- The Guardian: Mexico City considers fixed-term marriage licences
The city is considering offering two-year marriage licenses. Couples would get married, and two years later their marriage contract would end, though they could, of course, renew it. Why? Because so many marriages end after two years, requiring an expensive and trying divorce. I've been forecasting limited term marriage licenses for years, but I never would have guessed that it might start in the heavily Catholic Mexico.
- CNet: Was legal site rewrite a liberal plot? Not quite.
Justia made a mistake in a regular expression (I made the same mistake last week), resulting in some SCOTUS rulings going missing from their website. The conspiracy-theory responses are remarkable, especially the bizarre call for a criminal investigation. Justia is a private site—they're free to exclude any rulings for any (or no) reason!
I am embarrassingly excited about this thermostat. I've put a lot of thought into thermostat design over the past few years, convinced that they could both look and function a great deal better than the best models currently available. (In my new home, we got top-flight ones installed, and they're still ugly and work poorly.) The Nest Learning Thermostat is quite a bit more advanced than anything I'd imagined. One more feature I'd like: the ability to detect the presence of people in the home based on whether their phone is on the WiFi network.
- Wikipedia: The National Road
One of the first highways in the country was the aptly named "National Road," running from Cumberland, Maryland to south-central Illinois, the road was to continue clear to Missouri, but the project ran out of cash. Construction of the 620-mile road ran from 1811–1838, having been authorized five years prior by President Thomas Jefferson. Today it's U.S. Highway 40. (Fun fact: U.S. highways with numbers that end in a zero run clear across the country, or at least did at one time.)
- The Washington Post: Ubiquitous ‘tiny belly’ online ad part of scheme, government says
Must we all pretend to be shocked that these awful ads are a scam? The surprising thing is that so many people didn't know—enough that losses to this fraud may exceed $1B.
- Stack Overflow: Regular expression to search for Gadaffi
How do you identify "Gadaffi" (and its many, many variants) in an block of text? With this regular expression. \b(Kh?|Gh?|Qu?)[aeu](d['dt]?|t|zz|dhd)h?aff?[iy]\b looks like the winner. Bonus points go to the guy who figured out that it can be matched with Soundex, which is probably a better way to deal with this problem.
- xkcd: Radiation Chart
I have frequently linked to xkcd because it's funny. But this time it's straight-up interesting. Randy Munroe has put together a chart that contextualizes the doses of ionizing radiation received from various activities. This provides a perspective that's timely—in light of the Japanese nuclear reactor situation—and also full of comparative values that might make you rethink your notion of what is and isn't safe. Note that what doesn't appear on this chart is radiation from a cell phone. That's because it doesn't produce ionizing radiation.
- Mathematically Correct Breakfast
A möbius sliced bagel. Mmmm…math.