The Wikileaks controversy has been pretty horrifying to watch play out, at least with regard to various organizations and companies such as PayPal, Amazon, Mastercard, and EveryDNS denying or revoking their access to services.
In case you were wondering, Wikileaks is actually a good thing. Here is a site that lists various reasons why. Of course, by even mentioning Wikileaks, one might jeopardize their chances of ever working for the U.S. State Department.
Interested in some of the more juicy or amusing tidbits from Wikileaks? Check out Cablegate Roulette!
FROM: PARIS, FRANCE
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: SEPTEMBER 06, 2006
CLASSIFICATION: CONFIDENTIAL SEE FULL CABLE
An Unforgettable Scene
¶6. (C) As the Ambassador was about to leave, Sarkozy went to the line of floor-to-ceiling windows that open from the interior minister’s office to the gardens of the interior ministry, and called over his nine-year old son, Louis, who was playing on the lawn (Sarkozy lives with his family in apartments above his office). Sarkozy was clearly happy — and proud — to be in the company of his young son and seemed tickled to be able to introduce him to “the Ambassador of the United States.” Louis appeared at the threshold with a small dog at his feet and a large rabbit in his arms. To shake hands with the Ambassador, Louis put down the rabbit — and the dog started chasing the rabbit through Sarkozy’s office, which led to the unforgettable sight of Sarkozy, bent over, chasing the dog through the ante-room to his office as the dog chased the rabbit, and Louis filled the room with gleeful laughter.
(Yes, at this point I’m just plundering my Google Reader shared items feed… but I’ve been sick!)
If only my habitual tardiness could produce something equally as great.
One day in 1939, Berkeley doctoral candidate George Dantzig arrived late for a statistics class taught by Jerzy Neyman. He copied down the two problems on the blackboard and turned them in a few days later, apologizing for the delay — he’d found them unusually difficult. Distracted, Neyman told him to leave his homework on the desk.
On a Sunday morning six weeks later, Neyman banged on Dantzig’s door. The problems that Dantzig had assumed were homework were actually unproved statistical theorems that Neyman had been discussing with the class — and Dantzig had proved both of them. Both were eventually published, with Dantzig as coauthor.
“When I began to worry about a thesis topic,” he recalled later, “Neyman just shrugged and told me to wrap the two problems in a binder and he would accept them as my thesis.”
I’m sure Corona’s marketing department is thrilled about this.
[H]e returned to his residence in Kabul to find it had been burgled. The intruder took money from a drawer and left behind a bottle of Corona beer. The Corona bottle sat on his counter for the next two weeks Yeager says, because Corona is one of his least favorite beers. He finally opened it during a going away party as the other drinks began to run low.
“I pulled it out and when I popped it there was no fizz and the cap was loose,” says Yeager. “Because this one didn’t have fizz you wonder if it went rancid or not, and I just kind of sniffed it and I went ‘Oh, that doesn’t smell like beer.’ “
Yeager, a geochemist familiar with acids, realized it smelled like sulfuric acid – otherwise known as battery acid. He called a friend over who had the same reaction to the smell. Yeager poured the “beer” into the toilet and it foamed and fizzed, leaving “no question” in his mind it was sulfuric acid.