Thursday

December 14th, 2017

Diversions

New World Order

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published May 18, 2016

New World Order
Mystery fiction has always been a popular genre, but now, readers who prefer that their crimes be solved by cats have several series of brilliant felines to choose from. As The Wall Street Journal reported in February, the major controversy swirling at "cat fiction" conventions is whether the clever kitties should advance the plot by speaking. "We all talk to our pets," noted one best- selling author, "and most of us imagine the other side of the dialogue." (Among the sets boasting more than a million copies are the "Joe Greys," the "Klepto Cats," the "Cat Shout for Joy" suite, and the recently concluded, 29-volume run of "Cat Who" books, e.g., "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards.") [Wall Street Journal, 2-29-2016]

The Glasgow, Scotland, company Osdin Shield announced recently that it had designed for potential sale (for those relaxing, yet secure evenings) a fashionable yet bullet-proof sofa and upholstered chairs sturdy enough to protect against 9mm handguns, shotguns and AK47s -- with special marketing to hotels, embassies and government buildings. [BBC News, 2-25-2016]



A Perfect Storm of Vacuousness: In February, British marketing company Havas Helia tapped the "millennial" generation's obsessions with craft beer and data-driven knowledge, announcing the development of 0101 -- a brew created, it said, by social media messages. The company, "finding" that the generation appeared "optimistic," analyzed "thousands" of the generation's messages against 24 human emotions, which it translated to 38 particular emotional states, which were fed into the IBM Watson computer, which selected 10 existing beers, whose recipes were then cribbed to create 0101 (a "cream ale" with honey and two specific kinds of hops, tasting of "optimism, love, imagination, and gentle overtones of excitement"). [IDG News Service (Boston) via PC World, 2-10-2016]

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