If it’s good enough for astronauts, it’s good enough for you: someone on metafilter found NASA/Hasselblad’s photography guide for astronauts, which doubles as an instruction manual for the space Hasselblad. It’s actually a not half bad introduction to the basics of photography, including exposure, focus, depth of field, the effects of different focal lengths, and composition. Guys who had no training in photography beyond this little booklet took some of the most striking and recognizable photos ever. Of course, it’s easier to make great photos when you have a camera angle that only a dozen people have ever had access to.
Timothy Noah’s new blog post discusses the role that weight will play for candidates in the 2012 election. History shows us that the scale is tipped slightly in their favor.
Courtesy of the New York Times.
The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:
— The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.
— The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play.
— The Red Sox had only about a 2 percent chance of losing their game against Baltimore, when the Orioles were down to their last strike.
— The Rays had about a 2 percent chance of winning in the bottom of the 9th, with Johnson also down to his last strike.
Multiply those four probabilities together, and you get a combined probability of about one chance in 278 million of all these events coming together in quite this way.
When confronted with numbers like these, you have to start to ask a few questions, statistical and existential.
Jeff Lewis and our FAME Issue
End Of An Era of the Day: Loveable curmudgeon Andy Rooney will make his last regular appearance on 60 Minutes this coming Sunday.
92-year-old Rooney, who started his weekly final-thought segments in 1978, came under criticism in recent years for opinions many felt were increasingly outmoded.
Still, the veteran radio and television writer was a Sunday evening mainstay, and will be sorely missed.
“There’s nobody like Andy and there never will be,” CBS News chairman Jeff Fager said. “He’ll hate hearing this, but he’s an American original. His contributions to 60 Minutes are immeasurable; he’s also a great friend.”
Though Rooney told TVNewser last year that he plans to keep working for the show until he “dropped dead,” Fager said it’s been “harder for him to do it every week,” adding that he was welcome back “to speak his mind on 60 Minutes when the urge hits him.”
In related news, RIP Joe Mande’s Andy Rooney Game.