Jokes about anything and everything.
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3 days Ago
I’ve recently discovered (via Kottke.org) a deceptively simple game called GeoGuessr, which works as follows:
- The game shows a random location using Google Streetview
- The player has to click as close as possible to the location on the inset map
- 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)
- Repeat 5 times
- Tally up the score
Depending on how you play, you may or may not care about the score. Kottke at the link above writes that “Using Google in another tab is cheating!” If you play that way, the score will help you figure out how well you guessed. However, the game is—in my humble opinion—much, much better if you look up the location in another Google Maps instance.
How can that be? Why, because it’s just really not that easy at all, even if you “cheat”.
Everything's in Cyrillic. Good luck!Some of the locations drop you into the middle of a vast desert with no signs of human habitation. Some of them will be in locations where you don’t know the alphabet or writing system. You’ll have your fingers crossed that the country you’re lost in uses Arabic numerals for its roads or perhaps at least includes an anglicized version of its city names in major highway signs.
And count your lucky stars if you at least get into a modern StreetView; there’s still data for the States and Australia that dates back to 2009, which is of quite low quality. Try reading a street or highway sign in those places.
We got 32368 points on this one (try it yourself), nailing the location within a few dozen meters in most cases. If you don’t fee like trying it, you can just view the locations.
Highlight the next paragraph if you want to see the locations.
Our locations were in Omsk, Làrach Mòr (Scotland), Esashi, Japan, the middle of nowhere in Australia (Tambo) and northeast of Johannesburg in South Africa.
If you’re going to try it, don’t read the next paragraph either.
No landmarks at all. Enjoy!How do you even search this on a US keyboard?We would find landmarks on signs like “Dirk’s Place” or “Club Hotel Motel” and “Fanny Mae’s Food and Fuel” or the “Top Tucker Great Grog” which we found on Flickr and pointed us toward Tambo in Australia. For Omsk, we used an online Cyrillic keyboard to enter street names in Russian (we had to search around since “Pushkin Street” was as likely to narrow things down as “Elm Street” would in America). In another case, we relatively quickly recognized that we were in Japan, but had to cruise the streets until we saw signs with Arabic numbers and Latin alphabet city names to narrow things down. Without extra help, we would have still missed our guess by hundreds of kilometers, if only because we have no idea where highway 115 is in Japan without looking it up.
It turns out that the version of the game in which you “cheat” takes a lot longer than the one where you just guess as best as possible without looking up anything. We tried again (try it yourself) and managed to best our previous score by a paltry few points (32386 points this time), but also noticed that the game was whisking us off to almost the same countries as in our previous attempt. If you don’t feel like playing it, you can still view the locations we visited.
Again, highlight the next paragraph if you want to see the locations we visited.
This time, we were transported to just outside Kiev, along the coast in Brazil, south of São Paolo, near Shimoda, Japan, west of Lesotho in South Africa and a small, rural town in Romania.
6 months Ago
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 of destroying her throwback viewpoint that I couldn’t resist—in which she wrote that women aren’t getting married as much anymore because … they are unattractive to men. She argues that men haven’t changed at all, so they can’t be the problem, something that is self-evident to the enlightened. Women are to blame because they are “angry…also defensive”. To which Stephen responds:
“Women are angry and defensive. You want proof? Go up to any single woman and say: the reason you’re not married is because you’re angry and defensive. (bullet: wear a cup.)
“And, not only are these shrill harpies scaring good, quality men away from marriage, but they’re also making these men deadbeats. Venker says that women have “pissed [men] off [and] undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them.”
“Yeah! Men hate women who compete with them; that’s why it’s so rare for men to be attracted to women in the workplace. I mean, what man wants a woman providing the money while he stays home to do what? Witness his child taking its first steps? I’ve seen people walk before and, frankly, babies aren’t that good at it.
“Men want paperwork; we want a grinding commute to sit in a cubicle all day long, taking crap from that jerkoff Rick. Luckily, Venker see a way to liberate women and men from these liberate women: all that ladies have to do is [Venkman again] “surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs. If they do, marriageable men will come out of the woodwork.” Yes, just surrender, and those men will come out of the woodwork, like cockroaches in a darkened crab-shack.
“But ladies. Ladies, you can do more…by doing less. Maybe you could go without voting. Or stop talking…that’s mysterious. I mean, what are you girls thinking? (bullet: Am I in Saudi Arabia?) I mean, follow Miss Venker’s advice and you single gals will be able to live out every woman’s wildest dream: marrying a man who doesn’t want you to achieve anything.
“And, as a man, on behalf of women everywhere, thank you Susan Venker, I trust you will lead the charge by getting out of the writing business; clearly, it’s not in your nature. And that’s the word.”
The interview with Frank Oz in the same show was pretty funny, as was Colbert’s portrayal of a Powerball winner squirrel-shaped pools at the top of show, so check out the full episode if that sounds good to you.
Next up is an episode of the Daily Show featuring an interview with Neil Young (who is pretty good), but is preceded by two stellar segments:
- A monologue by Jon, exposing John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s hypocrisy vis à vis their near-feral focus on Benghazi and their heaping of approbation on Susan Rice for it. Jon and his staff do a nice job digging up video to show the two senators supporting Condaleeza Rice in a similar situation—similar, except that Condaleeza actually knew she was wrong (and lied about it)—whereas it’s perfectly plausible that Susan Rice was just wrong.
- …and then a segment by Jason Jones—Consultants without Bordersa—about U.S. campaign advisors who go abroad to spread the love and bring the gift of the U.S. campaign style and advertising to other, more benighted countries.
November 28, 2012 – Neil Young (The Daily Show)
The main guy Jones interviews, Tad Devine, is so stunningly tone-deaf that it’s hard to believe he wasn’t in on the joke. A partial transcript follows.
“Tad: You know, listen, every place is not like our country in terms of the stage of development of democracy. U.S. political consultants just have a lot more experience.”
He goes on to give an example of a case he worked on in Ireland where he found a link to the Playboy site from the opposition’s web site … and the opposition’s last name was Rabbitte. Comedy gold! Democracy gold! Jason Jones responds: “And just to think, that meaningless titty scandal might have gone un-utilized.” Tad concurs with a lopsided, loopy grin.
A little later, Jones asks him about another campagin, this one in Bolivia, where Tad helped elect a guy he describes as having a “great mustache…and an awesome llama ad”. He goes on:
“Tad: Listen, it’s very complicated there. And, unfortunately, after he was elected, there was insurrection—riots—in the streets. Ultimately, he was forced to resign.
Jason: American-style democracy, undone by the will of the local people.
Tad: It was a very difficult situation.
Jason: How did you pick yourself up?
Tad: You know…I went on to the next campaign.
Jason: God bless you, sir.
Jason: (voiceover) And their perseverance is rivaled only by their generosity.
Tad: It’s been great to travel to these places and work with people…
Jason: And to do all this, without getting paid, it’s just incredible…
Tad: Well, I do get paid for it.
Jason: Yes, but, less than you do here [America].
Tad: Sometimes I get paid less and sometimes I get paid more.
Jason: Right, well, financial compensation doesn’t diminish the volunteer spirit. (Emphasis added.)
Tad: Well, I’m someone who enjoys the work and is happy to have the opportunity to do it.
Jason: A hero.
Jason: (voiced over the graphic below) They say that a hero can save us and, lucky for the rest of the world, we have plenty of those.”
And, finally, there is another Daily Show, with a John Hodgman segment (in his role as plutocrat) and an interview with the always-witty (and oh-so-dry) Calvin Trillin. A couple of bits of his wisdom and wit:
“[…] I think we think of something like [Trump running for President] the way that dentists think of tooth-decay: it’s a pity, but where would business be without it.”
“Calista Gingrich, aware that her husband has cheated on and then left two women with serious illnesses, tries to make light of a bad cough.”
November 29, 2012 – Calvin Trillin (The Daily Show)
Here’s a partial transcript of the John Hodgman bit:
Hodgman: Now that you’ve reëlected Obama, I and the other deranged millionaires can no longer afford American workers’ pricy demands. I mean, I hate to say it, but we might just have to start shipping jobs overseas.
Stewart: What…start? Companies have been shipping jobs overseas for years now. That’s not a…
Hodgman: And I hate to say it, but once Obamacare kicks in, I just might have to technically make everyone a part-time employee in order to avoid having to pay their health insurance.
Stewart: That’s a pretty standard corporate tactic, for years now, believe me, I know, I’m at Viacom, that’s all they do, throw people [makes shuffling motions with hands]
Hodgman: Well, and no matter how hard you work, I might just have to keep your wages stagnant.
Stewart: That’s already the case! … John, all these threats that you and your fellow CEOs have been making are really exactly what these CEOs have already been doing for thirty years now. What’s the difference?
Hodgman: The difference? Well…we used to be motivated by profit; now, we’re doing it out of spite.
1 year Ago
Here’s an interview of Diane Keaton by Stephen Colbert. It’s hard to describe, but it’s very entertaining, 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)
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, cannot
Who knows, does not
Who does, knows not
And so the world
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.
THAT WILL SHOW THEM.
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