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8 months Ago

Prank: a psychedelic video

Published by marco on

This video reminds me a bit of the work of George Plimpton—especially the sound effects. Super-strange story of a prank gone wrong…or right? It’s hard to tell. There really are no words. The animation is top-notch and the sequences are definitely not something that most of could conceive. Somewhat Lovecraftian in places. If you’re a fan of animation and strangeness, check it out.

A Prank Time by JaimeR (YouTube)

Phrasing. BOOM.

Published by marco on

Imagine my surprise when I opened the article Great Tits Sing with Syntax by Abbas Raza (3QuarksDaily) and discovered it was about Japanese birds.

In case you’re interested, the 3QuarksDailly post links through to the full article These birds use a linguistic rule thought to be unique to humans by Rachel Feltman (Washington Post)


The title is a reference to a tag line from Archer, which the lead character utters at every possible opportunity, whenever someone says something that could be misconstrued as even vaguely sexual in nature. Archer’s seventh... [More]

2 years Ago

Greg Proops on San Francisco

Published by marco on

Transcribed from Clasps:

“The beach in San Francisco is not like Brian Wilson’s endless-fucking-summer beach.

“Beaches in southern California, people go to ‘em and they’re surfing and they’re having picnics.

“Or if you go to a beach in Hawaii, people are playing volleyball or – what do you call those boards that you stand on and you have a stick and you look like a douchebag? What are those? – paddleboards. Yeah. Those are awesome, right? And people are out there doing that and shit.
... [More]”

Extemporizing with Greg Proops

Published by marco on

I’ve recently started listening to the Gregg Proops podcast, called The Smartest Man in the World. He has a objectively terrible LA accent that really needs getting used to, but he’s a wonderfully extemporaneous, stream-of-consciousness, improvisational comedian whose claim to fame is “Whose Line is it Anyway?”.[1]

Let’s start off with a sample from the podcast called “Hearts”. Proops was discussing how the British newspapers were disparaging “pop royalty” Jay-Z and Beyoncé for not being... [More]

3 years Ago

Podunk City, USA

Published by marco on

 Surprised cowWhen you grew up in the countryside, you tend to have to prove the extreme rurality of your origin to others who share a similarly bucolic provenance. Should I become embroiled in future such contests of micturial prowess and find myself in trouble, struggling to triumph against a backwoods foe prodigiously well-equipped with a backwoods background that threatens to overshadow my own, I will rest assured that I can break the glass in case of such an emergency to retrieve the following link to... [More]

The Internet will consume you

Published by marco on

The following screenshot of the post What is an example of a “useless/worthless PhD” or its opposite? by Mathbosss (Reddit) presents a prime example of how the Internet actively works to consume your every waking moment.

 Screenshot of a /r/math post

I found the conversation quite interesting and somewhat humorous and was sorely tempted to continue. Fortitude intervened.

(Semi-)Intellectual jokes

Published by marco on

Recently, the post What’s the most intellectual joke you know? (Reddit) got a lot of play and a tremendous number of suggestions. I dug through what were rated the top 500 replies and extracted and collated my favorites.

Computer Science

  • There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors.
  • The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”

    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves... [More]

4 years Ago

Geoguessr: Geography lessons in the real world

Published by marco on

I’ve recently discovered (via Kottke.org) a deceptively simple game called GeoGuessr, which works as follows:

  1. The game shows a random location using Google Streetview
  2. The player has to click as close as possible to the location on the inset map
  3. The game rates your guess based on distance from the actual location and comes up with a score (6500 points seems to be the maximum)
  4. Repeat 5 times
  5. Tally up the score

Depending on how you play, you may or may not care about the score. Kottke at the... [More]

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: November wrap-up

Published by marco on

The last week’s worth of Daily Shows and Colbert Reports had some very good moments, so I thought I’d summarize and link to the stuff I found interesting. To start off, the show November 28, 2012 – Frank Oz (The Colbert Report) included a really strong “The Word” segment, shown and transcribed by yours truly below.

The Word – Sisters are doing it to themselves (The Colbert Report)

In this clip above, Stephen addresses a column by Fox News staff columnist Suzanne Venker—a so-called journalist to whom I would ordinarily not pay any attention but Stephen did such a sterling job... [More]

5 years Ago

Diane Keaton and Stephan Colbert in a short, surrealist play

Published by marco on

Here’s an interview of Diane Keaton by Stephen Colbert. It’s hard to describe, but it’s very entertaining[1], in a very nonsensical and silly and non-goal-oriented way. Just pure improv; it’s hard to imagine that they rehearsed it.

Diane Keaton Interview by Stephen Colbert on 30.04.2012 (Colbert Nation)


[1] YMMV: Maybe it was the relaxed labor day dinner and too many white russians that made it so funny. White russians have been known to have that effect.

Irony from 16th-century Italy

Published by marco on

 The post Filosofia monosillabica by Mark Liberman (Language Log) included the image reproduced to the left.

Taking some artistic license, this translates roughly to:

Who can, will not
Who wills[1], cannot
Who knows, does not
Who does, knows not
And so the world
goes badly


[1] I use “will” in both cases in the will-to-live sense, when perhaps “wants” would be a more appropriate modern translation. But “wants” would impose a messy “doesn’t want to” translation.

Darwin Award of the century candidate

Published by marco on

Guy patien[t]ly waits for elevator and gets on said elevator (YouTube)

But still … can that possibly be real?

Who gets so pissed at an elevator that

will
not
show
up
GOD
DAMMIT

—Why is the world against me? On this too, God?—

that he just rams the doors until he DEFEATS THE STUPID ELEVATOR.

Just this one time, he’s won.

THERE.
THAT WILL SHOW THEM.

Who’s
B
o
o
o
o
s
s
.

Street Fliers

Published by marco on

7 more of the world’s most brilliantly pointless street flyers (happy Place). Some are pretty original; some are kinda mean; some are kinda lame.

I laughed at these:

 Have you seen this bird? Because they are everywhere.

 I finished this Garfield puzzle

 Reward for Eddie

The detail is too good not to be true:

“Black manx, white markings on belly. no tail. Six years old. Red collar w/tags. Overweight. Mews all day / night demanding attention. Won’t stay off countertops. Eats directly from unattended plates, knocks glasses/bottles/vases onto floor. Various expensive ailments. Doesn’t do tricks or anything... [More]”

6 years Ago

Low-cost Airlines (an Ode in Song)

Published by marco on

The comedy/cabaret troupe Fascinating Aida riffed on cheap flights—specifically those that you can get in Ireland (I’m looking at you, Ryanair). The video below is pretty funny (and includes subtitles for the Irish-accent–impaired).

Cheap Flights with subtitles by bolikoki (YouTube)

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT:The best line was right at the end (but it’s really much better in song): “And as we heard his announcement, our hearts gave a terrible thump…if you haven’t prepaid to use the steps, you’ll have to feckin’ jump!”


[1] Hat-tip to Kath,... [More]

John Oliver’s Stand-up New York City

Published by marco on

 How did I not know that John Oliver had his own show on Comedy Central? It’s apparently a show where he does stand-up comedy of his own—at which he is flat-out brilliant—and includes bits from some other very talented people. He had a special last year as well, called Terrifying Times (Comedy Central) (the link takes you to clips from that show).

Below is a video in which he tells the story of a man who rushes to catch a subway train. Oliver is a natural-born storyteller; it’s definitely worth the four... [More]

Lewis Black stumps for Trump 2012

Published by marco on

Lewis Black delivered what can only be considered a triumph of dark comedy in the following clip, in which he stumps for Donald Trump in 2012. You have to hang on through the whole video for his justification, which is transcribed below.

Back In Black – Trump 2012 by Lewis Black (The Daily Show)

“That’s what he’s best at: putting a bow on a turd, marking up the price and selling it so hard, you want it, even though you know it’s just a turd with a bow on it! America…is that turd. It’s time to let Donald Trump come in, put some gold leaf on the... [More]”

Colbert Report & Daily Show Roundup

Published by marco on

The essay interpreting Eric Cantor’s blatant religious censorship as an art statement is brilliant.

“This defunding threat isn’t some cheap exercise in mindless censorship; it’s an anti-paradigmatic revolutionary work of conceptual art-banning. And, while its point of departure may be Senator Jesse Helms’s admittedly ground-breaking defunding of the National Endowment of the Arts over André Serrano’s Piss Christ, it’s not a derivative “Oooh, I’m a Christian, I’m so offended” because, as the... [More]”

7 years Ago

Comic Sans MS Pushes Back

Published by marco on

In the category of font-geek humor, the perennial whipping boy of the font stable fights back in the essay, I’m Comic Sans, Asshole by Mike Lacher (McSweeney's Internet Tendency).

“Need to soften the blow of a harsh message about restroom etiquette? SLAM. There I am. Need to spice up the directions to your graduation party? WHAM. There again. Need to convey your fun-loving, approachable nature on your business’ website? SMACK. Like daffodils in motherfucking spring.

“[…]

“While Gotham is at the science fair, I’m banging the prom queen... [More]”

Name all the countries in the World

Published by marco on

Sporcle has a lot of fun quizzes, but my favorite is Countries of the World. After you start the game, you have 15 minutes to type in the English names of all of the internationally recognized states in the world. Not only do you have to actually know them and be able to recall them just by looking at the political boundaries on the map, you have to type pretty quickly to get them all.

A while back, I (well, the wife and I) used this game to try to learn all of the countries. We did pretty... [More]

Recent Daily Show Clips

Published by marco on

First up in a wonderful report from John Oliver, covering the recent Republican retreat in Hawaii. The angle is that the Republicans made a lot of hey about Obama being from Hawaii and continuing to vacation there, claiming it made him out-of-touch with the American people (it being taken for granted that Obama is to blame for his place of birth). Hawaii is, in general, one of the more expensive places to live in America, so the claim is not wholly without worth. However, watching the... [More]

Saudi Special Forces == Cobra Troops

Published by marco on

A recent collection of photos called Eid al-Adha and the Hajj, 2009 (Big Picture Blog) included the following photo:

 Saudi special forces display some of their skills and equipment during a ceremony as they prepare for the influx people to participate in the Hajj, in Arafat 15 kms outside of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Issa Mohammad)

These Saudi soldiers’ uniforms looked awfully familiar. A little work with Google Images and I came up with the following image of actions figures from the mid-80's.

 GI Joe Cobra Guards

The Saudi special forces’ uniforms are clearly based on those of the forces of Cobra in the G.I. Joe cartoon universe. I wonder how subconscious this was?

Mike Rowe is Sleeping with Your Wife (In Her Dreams)

Published by marco on

So, there’s this show on the Discovery Channel called Dirty Jobs starring a fella named Mike Rowe. He’s got an all-American blue-collar image and he’s popular enough with the geek crowd to have attracted the attention of Reddit, which invited him to answer some questions. The final question in this video involves his obvious appeal for the ladies: “Is there any chance you’ll stop having sex with my wife in her dreams?”

His answer is absolute comedy gold, from the writing to the timing to the... [More]

Hang Biden High

Published by marco on

Biden is at it again[1]:

Gaffe-Prone Biden Embarrasses Nation Yet Again By Sneezing During Meeting (The Onion)

The consensus on Biden and his constant slip-ups is summed up by one analyst thusly:

“It’s a stupid, stupid error from a half-human, spit-spewing gaffe machine. […] It’s our fault for voting Obama into office alongside a half-retarded adult baby.”
[1] For the irony-challenged: the Onion is a fake news organization. They make stuff up without telling you that it’s made up. They take their approach to such an extreme that anyone with any common sense should realize that... [More]

8 years Ago

That doesn’t mean what you think it means

Published by marco on

In colloquial Swiss-German, the English word “easy” has been incorporated in some of its senses: as a synonym for “simple” and as a synonym for “relax”, as in a shortening of “take it easy” or a replacement for “no problem”.

For example (and I’m taking liberties with the Swiss-German spelling here because there are, at best, unwritten rules for that), you can say:

“Das isch doch easy! (But that’s easy!)

and you can also say:

“Kasch es nid mache? Easy, ich mach es.(You can’t do it? No... [More]

How to Build an H-Bomb

Published by marco on

Here’s a story originally published back in the Seventies and carefully passed from hand to hand to newsgroup to newsgroup and now from blog to blog: How to Build an H-Bomb. There’s a lot of pseudo-realistic–sounding scientific babble about various chemical compounds and elements, but the home-liquefaction process guide takes the cake:

“First transform the gas into a liquid by subjecting it to pressure. You can use a bicycle pump for this. Then make a simple home centrifuge. Fill a... [More]”

Taxonomy of Heavy Metal Band Names

Published by marco on

Heavy Metal Band Names by Doogie Horner (Comics vs. Audience) (pictured below; click for larger version) offers a well-thought-out taxonomy of many heavy metal band names, with five main categories—Deadly Things, Death, Religion, Animals and Badass Misspellings—branching into over a dozen sub-categories, among them “Pleas for Help”, “Umlauts”, “Medieval” and so on. All in all, not a bad job at all.[1]

 Heavy Metal Band Name Taxonomy


[1] It’s a bit obsessive and it obviously took a lot of time and thought that, it could be argued, may well have been better spent... [More]

Workplace Improvisation

Published by marco on

Extracted from a PowerPoint show that made the rounds via email a while ago; there were more, but some were clearly photoshopped[1] or just dumb.

Improvisation

Ladders

Trust


[1] Some of these might be as well, but not—at least for me—obviously so.

Bush’s Unalloyed Success

Published by marco on

As reported in the article For Bush’s staff, upbeat talking points on his tenure (LA Times):

“A two-page memo that has been sent to Cabinet members and other high-ranking officials offers a guide for discussing Bush’s eight-year tenure during their public speeches. […] The document presents the Bush record as an unalloyed success.”

A lovely take on this bit of (unsurprising) news is in Recent Giggle-Me-GYWOs by David Rees on December 2008 (MNFTIU), linked below:

 Memo About Bush's Unalloyed Success

“Where are all the other pages?”

Indeed.

The Eyeballing Game

Published by marco on

The eyeballing game is an interesting game that challenges you to “eyeball” distances and angles for fabulous prizes, fortune and fame. You have as much time as you like to perform each of the following tasks three times:

  • Make a parallelogram by dragging one corner to the correct position.
  • Identify the midpoint of a line
  • Bisect an angle
  • Find the center of a triangle
  • Find the center of a circle
  • Make a right angle out of two line segments
  • Find the point of convergence for three line segments

... [More]

The Onion News Network

Published by marco on

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report aren’t the only games in town anymore. The Onion, which started as an actual physical newspaper before migrating online, has a lot of audio and video content available, as well. The video content is incredibly well-produced and is designed to inspire the same “wait a second…is this real?” feeling as some of its better news articles do.

They have a few recurring themes, covering sports, political news and even a morning show. Here are a few of the better... [More]