FYI December 28, 2017

On This Day

1795 – Construction of Yonge Street, formerly recognized as the longest street in the world, begins in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto).
Yonge Street (/jʌŋ/; “young”) is a major arterial route connecting the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto to Lake Simcoe, a gateway to the Upper Great Lakes. Until 1999, the Guinness Book of World Records repeated the popular misconception it was 1,896 km (1,178 mi)[3] long, and thus the longest street in the world; this was due to a conflation of Yonge Street with the rest of Ontario’s Highway 11. Yonge Street (including the Bradford-to-Barrie extension) is actually 86 kilometres long.[2] The construction of Yonge Street is designated an Event of National Historic Significance in Canada.[4] Yonge Street was fundamental in the original planning and settlement of western Upper Canada in the 1790s, informing the basis of the concession roads in Ontario today. Once the southernmost leg of Highway 11, linking the capital with northern Ontario, Yonge Street has been referred to as “Main Street Ontario”. Today, no section of Yonge Street is a provincial highway.

The street was named by Ontario’s first colonial administrator, John Graves Simcoe, for his friend Sir George Yonge, an expert on ancient Roman roads. Yonge Street is a commercial main thoroughfare rather than a ceremonial one, with landmarks such as the Eaton Centre, Yonge-Dundas Square and the Hockey Hall of Fame along its length—and lends its name to the Downtown Yonge shopping and entertainment district.

In Toronto and York Region, Yonge Street is the north-south baseline from which street numbering is reckoned east and west. The eastern branch of Line 1 Yonge–University serves nearly the entire length of the street in Toronto and acts as the spine of the Toronto subway system, linking to suburban commuter systems such as the Viva Blue BRT. See the ‘Public Transit’ section below.


Born On This Day

1944 – Kary Mullis, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
Kary Banks Mullis (born December 28, 1944) is a Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist. In recognition of his improvement of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Smith[3] and earned the Japan Prize in the same year. The process was first described by Kjell Kleppe and 1968 Nobel laureate H. Gobind Khorana, and allows the amplification of specific DNA sequences.[4][5][6] The improvements made by Mullis allowed PCR to become a central technique in biochemistry and molecular biology, described by The New York Times as “highly original and significant, virtually dividing biology into the two epochs of before P.C.R. and after P.C.R.”[7]

He has defended AIDS denialism,[8][9][10][11][12][13] and climate change denial, [8] and has attacked sociology as a “worthless science” for not taking astrology seriously.[14] All of these stances were criticized by George Johnson of The New York Times.[15]



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Jerry Eugene Pournelle (August 7, 1933 – September 8, 2017) was an American science fiction writer, essayist, and journalist who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

Iron Law of Bureaucracy

Pournelle suggested several “laws”. His first use of the term “Pournelle’s law” appears to be for the expression “one user, one CPU.” He has also used “Pournelle’s law” to apply to the importance of checking cable connections when diagnosing computer problems. His best-known “law” is “Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy”:

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.[41]

He eventually restated it as:

…in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.[42]

This can be compared to the Iron law of oligarchy. His blog, “The View from Chaos Manor”, often references apparent examples of the law. Some of Pournelle’s standard themes that recur in the stories are: welfare states become self-perpetuating, building a technological society requires a strong defense and the rule of law, and “those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

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Tor Ekeland

Tor Ekeland, P.C.
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Three months after a 16-year-old boy in Oklahoma was allegedly raped with a pool cue by his Bixby High School football teammates at the superintendent’s home during a team function, the school board’s only “disciplinary action” so far has been to accept the resignation of the superintendent, Kyle Wood. They did this while giving him his year-end bonus of $4,000 and allowing him to receive full compensation and benefits through Oct. 31, 2018, according to a report from Tulsa World, which has been closely covering the story since breaking news of the investigation into the incident.

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