Airline seats, synchronized orgasms, a virtual plague, and animals with academic credentials

Today's post examines animals with degrees, the "Corrupted Blood" incident, Global Orgasm, and seat configurations for the Airbus A380.

I happen to be a mild aviation enthusiast. True, I don't have a pilot's license, or the means with which to go to learn how to fly an aircraft. But that doesn't stop me from admiring the loud shiny things that go fast. Generally, is military aircraft, because they also make things go boom, but like any red-blooded American, I also like large aircraft (along with large guns, butts, and trucks, and I'll spare you a joke about the rap). The Airbus A380 is one of the larger aircraft in the world, and the largest passenger airliner in the world. That interests me, but I find it hard to believe that anyone could really be interesting in the seat configurations of said aircraft. Ooh! Two full decks! Ooh! Between 407 and 853 passengers! Ooh! Three class configurations! My guess is that this used to be on the article for the aircraft itself, somebody wanted to delete it as trivial, and it was moved to save the information.
I also have to apologize if it seems I'm mocking it; that's not really something I want to do with this blog. I just couldn't come up with any good wit without being negative.
Cabin cross-section of an A380's economy class seating; seats, luggae containers, and human sardines are to scale.

The Global Orgasm is an annual event scheduled to coincide with the end of the winter solstice. Using several different names since the first annual event in 2006, the idea is for synchronized orgasms to promote peace and emit positive energy. The Global Consciousness Project maintains that the event has a measurable effect on random numbers... so I ask the parapsychology organization how they can tell, if the numbers are random? While I'm not really one for that hippie crap about Gaia and energy and stuff like that, I do believe that there is a positive effect on the world by encouraging orgasm. While there is nothing saying that the event has to be sex vs. masturbation, I can only imagine that coitus (or whatever method you prefer) can only be good for humanity as a whole. Making everyone just a little bit happier is a net boon for the planet.

The Corrupted Blood incident occurred in September 2005 in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Most everyone is familiar with the popular online game, where a player takes the role of his/her avatar in a fantasy setting, and interacts with other players and characters to perform quests or other activities. This incident in question occurred when Blizzard (the developer) released a new dungeon and its end boss, Zul’Gurub and Hakkar (respectively). One of the boss's attacks was a spell called "Corrupted Blood", which drains a player's health; merely inconvenient to an experienced player with a high-level avatar, but lethal to a less-developed character. The highly contagious nature of this spell wasn't supposed to be an issue, since it would wear off by the time the player defeated the boss and exited the remote area to return to the population at large (or the player would simply die). However, some players figured out that they could teleport out of the dungeon and back to densely populated areas, and some did so (probably both accidentally and maliciously). Non-player characters were carriers: immune to the effects, but spread it easily. At least three servers wound up with an epidemic, with panicked players fleeing, quarantines and quarantine breakers, and terrorist vectors that attempted to infect as many as possible. Before Blizzard finally fixed the issue, it got the attention of real-life epidemiologists and anti-terror experts as a case study or model for research; for example, the CDC asked Blizzard for data on the incident. Following the release of the expansion Wrath of the Lich King in 2008, Blizzard held the "Great Zombie Plague of '08" for one week, but in a more controlled setting.
A scene from WoW with the infection spreading. The skeletons are dead players, and the puffs of red blood are players taking damage at the moment of the screenshot.

I think that list of animals with fraudulent diplomas is funny, even though the title might be a tad misleading until you read the explanation. Most of the animals on the list had their names submitted to diploma mills as a way to expose their lax accreditation methods. One of the most notable was Colby Nolan, a house cat who was awarded an MBA in 2004 by Trinity Southern University for $400. The Pennsylvania attorney general files a lawsuit against the Dallas-based school and ended their fraudulent practices. One of the examples goes back as far as 1967, and the most recent is last year. To be honest, it reminds me of the Who's Who scam because the payee winds up with a worthless document for his or her money (unless that degree isn't vetted by an unwary employer).

The bonus for today isn't so much interesting as it is a warning: IPv4 address exhaustion is imminent. In case you're not net savvy, here the nutshell: the internet is run by a protocol called, funnily enough, Internet Protocol, which assigned IP addresses to end users and service providers. The way that IP version 4's addresses were structured and allocated since the 1980s means that almost all of the 4.3 billion possible addresses were used when the last address pool was assigned last week. There has been some patchwork stuff done, but the allocation system wasn't designed for broadband (i.e. always on) connections, subnetting, and smart phones, as well as registrars (like businesses and universities) that needed more than the 65536 Block B allocations, but less than the 16 million Block A provides, meaning that portions of these allocated blocks are sitting unused. The only real solution is to transition to IPv6, which has a capacity for 340 undecillion (3.4×1038 or 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) addresses.
If you maintain any sort of network beyond linking your home computers to the internet, please plan for IPv6 as soon as you can. Anything else would simply be irresponsible for your users and everyone else in the intarwebs. Happy reading!

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