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Scared now.

Amazon sell some really weird stuff; for example, tins of uranium ore.

No, that's not the scary bit.

The scary bit is that customers who bought this item (the aforementioned uranium ore) also bought copies of Halting State and Volume Four of Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming (insofar as extracts are available for purchase). I seem to recall writing about that here.

I think I'm going to go and hide under the bed now. (Yes, the bedroom is circular; not a right angle in it!)



No worries. That was me.


You think the connection with your book is scary, but what I find truly scary are the other items attached to the Uranium: the book Forbidden Lego Projects ("Using LEGO bricks in combination with common household materials along with some very unorthodox building techniques, you'll learn to create working models that LEGO would never endorse") and the Dremel multi tool.


@Joelie Ok, now I'm scared too because I actually own those items as well. Forbidden Lego is a truly awesome creation. The zip gun works quite well.


Reviewer comment on the Uranium Ore: "on par with the stuff I was buying from the Libyans over at the mall parking lot, but at half the price! I just hope the seller does not run out, because I have many projects on my list including a night vision sasquatch radar"


All jokes aside, it is uranium ore, not metal. I didn't see any indications that people were also buying centrifuges and aluminum tubes, so I don't think anyone was considering reprocessing it :)

1200 CPM is not exactly very radioactive, is it. A good old-fashioned luminous watch can do much better than that.


I appreciate the comments on the Ore at Amazon, from creating giant fire ants to powering an "instant grill cheese sandwhich maker." And the user submitted photos... wonderful stuff!


It's the "meet the feebles" purchaser that really scared the crap out of me.

I mean that's just training your kids to expect the many angular ones from the outer places.


And only yesterday I came across this article titled "The Computational Power of Minkowski Spacetime" which instantly seemed like it accidentally slipped through Laundry filters. It's synchronicity all the way :)


2: it's like Amazon is being overrun with Evil McGyvers.

"They've locked us in! How will we get out?" "Simple. I have my Dremel multi-tool, a small tin of uranium oxide, some Lego bricks, and a near-future SF police procedural... I'm going to need to draw some blood; roll up your sleeve."


It's all the people buying Windows 7 that worry me.

I'd rather my nuclear dictators were using more reliable systems!


Well, how the hell else are amazon shoppers supposed to power their dimensional gate-way spamming geometry-matrices when the power goes out? Maybe some free shipping is in order.


Just checked. The Uranium Ore customers also buy

Three Wolf Moon "Official" T-Shirt 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Shirt KIDS - TEENS & ADULTS

And more scarily...

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Upgrade


Can't be too careful with those Tindalosians about.


"No one puts baby in a corner."


Sorry, those purchases were mine-- I've always read Atrocity Archives as a slight fictionalization of true events. Was that wrong? If so, I've got to go apologize to some Math folk who received what in retrospect would have been disturbing requests for information...


Sure, the room has no Euclidean corners. But a round room on certain toroidal geometries... I hope you've got a binocular web cam setup.


Have you read The Radioactive Boyscout, the story of the kid who built his own breeder reactor?

No reason.


For a while there I was worried that I had been buying things in my sleep. Thanks, Jamie, for clearing up the confusion.


Fission-powered e-book readers loaded with "Halting State" for someone whose day job involves Combinatorial Generation? Sounds about right to me. But what happens when she/he starts writing novels?


That's it. We're gone. As in PSSZZZZT!


@magetoo Glad I could help ease your mind...

As a side note, how many of the cross sells do people really own? I counted 6 for myself (and I might add 2 more). Really, it was kinda weird to see such a lineup of things I either own or would like to own.


Come on, any budding mad scientist knows you should buy your equipment and materials as separately as possible, preferably in cash, not blundering about online ordering things from Amazon. That'll just set off alarm bells somewhere.


I expect Amazon have a real incentive to get their pattern-matching done right, but even they sometimes target the adverts oddly.

I'm not sure I want to believe some of the things they've said I bought.


I wonder whether purchasers will have their names put in databases run by the various police and intelligence services. Given that such purchasers have a tendency to buy Charlie's books, one can only hope that they won't consider all of his readers as suspect.


Why no corners in the bedroom? Is it to make things harder for the many angled ones to hide?


@ 16 BINOCULAR web-Cam ????



I'm sure the laundry organisation approved the publication content.


The comments at the Amazon listing for uranium ore are worth reading. And you should also check out the vendor selling one used for US$2499.


Could be worse . . . what if people buying uranium ore were also buying Iron Sunrise and a biography of Idi amin?



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 14, 2009 3:23 PM.

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