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2 months Ago

Libertarian James Bond

Published by marco on

I think this was actually quite well done and is quite funny. “I was literally a different person then.”

Libertarian James Bond
by Reason (YouTube)


9 months Ago

A spammer’s cry for help from hell

Published by marco on

At Encodo, we recently turned off comments on our web site because we hadn’t gotten anything useful in years. Instead, we’d gotten a ton of spam comments that had gotten past the captcha included with Umbraco.

Several years ago, we switched from earthli WebCore, which has a home-grown captcha with math that seems to stymie the robots and spammers much more effectively. Now we’re kind of stuck with Umbraco and its patchwork CMS.

At any rate, there are comments to delete now, because some are... [More]

11 months Ago

Jonathan Pie on Acting Gay

Published by marco on

Jonathan Pie nails it, with nary a superfluous word.

Acting Gay! by Jonathan Pie (YouTube)

Partial transcription of the 4.5-minute video.

“If this is about authenticity and not about wokeness—which I don’t believe for a second, by the way—if it is about authenticity…would Russell T. Davis cast a gay person in a straight role?

“I’m not being contrarian. I’m not. An actor’s job is to imagine being in the shoes of someone who has a different lived experience to their own. Suggesting that an actor can’t authentically pretend... [More]

The backstory about Colonel Sanders no-one wanted to hear

Published by marco on

This is a real thing. That is the Mario Lopez of “Saved by the Bell” fame. This is not even tongue-in-cheek. This seems entirely irony-free.

A Recipe for Seduction | Premieres December 13th | Presented by Kentucky Fried Chicken | Lifetime (YouTube)

1 year Ago

Achievements in Word Games

Published by marco on

Queen Bee

Since COVID-19 has put me into 100% home office for a while[1], I’ve been doing the Spelling Bee at lunch with Kath instead of shooting the shit with work colleagues at Encodo.

As the link outlines, the Spelling Bee has an achievement called Queen Bee—where you have to guess every single one of the words that the author thinks are words (and bite back curses at his utterly mysterious omissions)—which we’ve only achieved twice.

 Queen Bee 2020-11-21

 Queen Bee Answers 2020-11-21

We’ve gotten within a word or two several times,... [More]

2 years Ago

NY Times Spelling Bee

Published by marco on

I recently wrote that Kath and I have a one-year streak going in the NYT Crossword Puzzle. While that is still ongoing, we’ve also recently discovered a little gem called Spelling Bee (New York Times). The concept is elegant and simple:

  • You get seven letters arranged in a honeycomb.
  • You have to combine these letters to come up with as many words with four letters or more as you can.
  • The middle letter is required.
  • You can repeat letters as much as you like.
  • Answers can overlap one another. (E.g. “glad” and... [More]

NYT Crossword One-Year Streak

Published by marco on

Kath and I passed a milestone today: we’ve been on a NYT Crossword-puzzle streak for one year.

 NYT 365-day Streak

You have to complete the puzzle on the day without asking for help. There is no time limit other than by the end of the day (so 24h maximum?) As you can see from the graph of average times I’ve also included, that issue doesn’t come up for us.

Maintaining a streak used to be more difficult before they improved the software for rebuses. A rebus is where you have to put more than one letter in a box... [More]

2016 Election Night Special with Bill Burr et. al.

Published by marco on

On the evening of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Joe Rogan held his podcast with a dozen of his friends to discuss the incoming results for four hours. I’d listened to the podcast at the time, but found the following video, which includes only highlights, mostly of Bill Burr working his unique magic.

Bill Burr on Election Day − ALL best moments by Joe Rogan Podcast (YouTube)

My favorite part is at the 7:00 mark, where Bill Burr described the magnitude of Trump’s accomplishments relative to other sporting victories:

“I gotta tell you something. Dude, if Trump... [More]”


Published by marco on

The Photo of Fox Scaring Marmot Wins Wildlife Photographer [sic] of the Year 2019 is really wonderful and must have taken so much time and preparation. I can’t help but think, though, every time I see it, that it should be captioned “Allen!”, as shown below.


Why (You might perhaps be asking yourself)?

Because of this video:

The 'Alan Alan Alan' Marmot on the BBC! (YouTube)

3 years Ago

NYT gives a shout-out to Encodo

Published by marco on

The NYT Saturday Crossword today looks very similar to the Encodo logo.

We did the puzzle justice by filling it out from the middle outwards—perfectly balanced.

We made it another few clues before things drifted apart.

Bad, bad jokes

Published by marco on

I just read through a list of offensive jokes (Reddit). Here are, in no particular order, the ones I thought you would enjoy; your mileage may vary and don’t judge me.

Q. What do 50,000 battered women have in common?
A. They don’t fucking listen.

Adolf Hitler and Josef Mengele are sitting in a bar when Hitler turns towards a stranger and says: “I planning to deport and kill 16 million jews and 1 clown”. The stranger then replies: “why deport and kill the clown?”. Hitler turns to Josef and says... [More]

4 years Ago

Trump/Giuliani Joke

Published by marco on

“What do Rudy and Donald have in common?

“They both want to fuck Ivanka. Which is weird for Trump, because they’re related and for Giuliani, because they’re not.[1]

John Oliver

[1] Referring to Rudy’s first wife Regina Peruggi, who is also his second cousin.

Friendface is about love and companionship

Published by marco on

Mark Zuckerberg was worried that Congress wouldn’t understand his message, so he had his team whip up a helpful, instructional video to take things down to Congress’s technical level.

“It’s like a petri dish filled with friendship germs.”

Friendface | The IT Crowd S03E05 (YouTube)

5 years Ago

Essays that I’m glad I read

Published by marco on

I read through The web’s funniest stories by Tim Carmody (Kottke) the other day. My favorites from that list are:

Quick reads

So You’ve Decided To Drink More Water by Mallory Ortburg (The Hairpin)

A nicely written fantasy about starting a new diet/lifestyle.

“[…] Grown men sink to their knees as you pass, their faces crumpling into shameless sobs. Mothers lift their children up to you in mute and expectant appeal. You bless them all. […]”
TOTO’S “AFRICA” BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY by Anthony Sams (McSweeney's)
You’re welcome in advance for putting this into your head for the... [More]

Some comedy videos to soothe the exhausted leftie

Published by marco on

A friend on Facebook published a giant list of political-news links, one more stress-inducing and hyperbolic than the next. His friends commented about their existential angst and hair-pulling in response to the worst onslaught that the worst has had to offer to any group of people ever. To soothe the souls of these benighted individuals, I offer some distraction.

During dinner last night, we entertained ourselves instead with the following rabbit-hole of YouTube videos, starring Robin... [More]

Bill Burr on Pregnancy and Christmas Stockings

Published by marco on

Bill Burr does an extemporaneous podcast every Monday and Thursday. He is one of the English language’s best living comedians, with a tremendous feel for timing and a much cleverer take on things than he’ll admit (but that’s part of his schtick).

On a recent show, Monday Morning Podcast 22.12.2016, his wife Nia joined him. She is pregnant, several months along. Once you’ve heard the podcast, you’ll wonder at the amount of patience that she brings to the marriage, all the more when very... [More]

Whoosh: a missed joke on procrastination

Published by marco on

 I was about to go running, but it looks like it's about to rain, so I'm gonna sit this one out

OP; Heheheheheheheh
M: It’s been raining here all afternoon and night
OP; Mom, that’s not the point.
M: I know
OP; Hahah okay just checkin’ (upside-down smilie face)

6 years 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]

7 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]

8 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.

9 years Ago

(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]

Geoguessr: Geography lessons in the real world

Published by marco on

I’ve recently discovered (via 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]

10 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 in 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


—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.



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]”