2 weeks Ago
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?”.
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 appropriately somber and being too self-absorbed at the Louvre:
“How else would a rapper couple whose whole life is involved with self-aggrandizement, how else would they view the Louvre? You didn’t think they were going to stand there with a fucking sketch book, did you? Take detailed notes on the fucking “Winged Victory of Samothrace”? […]”
He went on to point out that “Beyoncé made a 5-hour documentary about herself for HBO *that had no humor in it*. […]” so how could we possibly expect her to provide us with any insight on the Louvre? She doesn’t even understand the deep irony of making a 5-hour autobiography and takes herself seriously as a living icon throughout. Having noted that, we should all do ourselves a favor and forget about her place in our society while still, perhaps, appreciating the bits of good music she manages to produce.
In the episode named “Periwinkle”, he addressed a sulking heckler:
“You know…you have exactly thirty seconds to change your fucking attitude from one of dismal reprobation to one of enormous respect. That’s what’s going to happen at this fucking show. Or I’m going to play the “Immigrant Song” and dance the rest of this goddamned show. And that’s the whole show. Seriously. I don’t give a shit. I can’t be fired and I’ve already got my money.”
And this is from “Mandates”, when he, once again, plays The Immigrant Song, this time on tour in Sweden.
“You know what this song is doing? It’s begging for a village to be burned to the fucking ground. I’d take all the cattle and women. I’d take mushrooms, I’d go to the Caspian Sea, I’d trade for slaves, I’d take my boats overland to fucking Volgagrad. That’s what I’d fucking do. You should be proud that you come from the land of the ice and snow and the midnight sun, where the hot springs blow.”
And then he launched into a tirade on how the world works:
“Christian white people run the entire fucking boat. And when I say ‘Christian white people’, I mean people that are different colors too, that aren’t Christian. Well, how do you include them all in one boat? I’m talking about the men who run the world, whether they’re in India, in Indonesia or Russia or America or China….they’re all of the same stripe. We’re talking about men who perceive women as objects, who perceive the poor as a detriment to society, who perceive the war machine as the machine that they must stoke and fuel, because that’s the machine that they receive all the profits from, that they perceive civil rights and freedom of expression in the world to be the biggest threat to the world—not war, not poverty, not sickness, not mayhem, but the people who lead all the countries in Africa, every single country you can think of, what they perceive as the biggest threat to the world is the fact that we would be able to speak freely to one another, share ideas and, maybe, learn something from another culture. That’s what they’re afraid of. What they’re afraid of is that we might consider each other equals at any point—because that’s not how the fucking world works. When a giant corporation sets out to make profit and growth—and those are their only two goals—the thing they want is to set us against each other. But how do you mean giant corporations? I mean giant corporations like governments. Governments are giant corporations that [work] at the behest of other giant corporations. You are living in a Utopian ideal here [Sweden] insomuch as they take all of your fucking money for taxes—but you do get something out of it, like trains that run real fucking fast and liquor stores that close before you can get there.”
9 months Ago
Published by marco on
When 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 end the discussion.
Oh, you guys used to tip cows when you got drunk?
Wow, that’s crazy.
“They were caught on videotape after a local farmer set up a camera in his barn after noticing his cows all of a sudden appeared anxious and were not producing as usual.”
So the farmer filmed them filming themselves “hav[ing] sexual contact with several cows”? Will Ilion police be pressing charges against the farmer for producing bestiality porn as well?
10 months Ago
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.
I found the conversation quite interesting and somewhat humorous and was sorely tempted to continue. Fortitude intervened.
1 year Ago
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.
- 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 of bread.
- I’d tell you a UDP joke, but you may not get it.
- I prefer IP jokes; it’s all in the delivery.
- I could tell you a joke about TCP, but I’d have to keep repeating it until you got it.
- There are two types of people in the world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets.
- There are two types of people in the world: Those who crave closure.
An Irishman goes to a building site for his first day of work, and a couple of Englishmen think, “Ah, we’ll have some fun with him!”
So they walk up and say, “Hey, Paddy, as you’re new here make sure you know a joist from a girder…”
“Ah, sure, I knows” says Paddy, “twas Joyce wrote Ulysses and Goethe wrote Faust.”
Math & Physics
- A hundred kilopascals go into a bar.
- Entropy isn’t what it used to be.
Q: What do you get when you put root beer in a square glass?
Q: What does the “B” in Benoit B. Mandelbrot stand for?
A: Benoit B. Mandelbrot.
First Law of Thermodynamics: You can’t win.
Second Law of Thermodynamics: You can’t break even.
Third Law of Thermodynamics: You can’t stop playing.
- A biologist, a chemist, and a statistician are out hunting. The biologist shoots at a deer and misses 5ft to the left, the chemist takes a shot and misses 5ft to the right, the statistician yells “We got ‘em!”
An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician just got out of a lecture regarding the geometry of 4-dimensional space.
The engineer says, “I had a really hard time visualizing in four dimensions.”
The physicist says “Oh, it’s easy, just think of the 4th dimension as time”
The mathematician says “It’s even easier than that − just think about n-dimensional space and then set n to 4”
Romans & Germans
A Roman walks into a bar and asks for a martinus.
“You mean a martini?” the bartender asks.
The Roman replies, “If I wanted a double, I would have asked for it!”
A German walks into a bar and asks for a martini.
The bartender asks “dry?”
He replies “nein, just one”
According to Sigmund Freud, what comes between fear and sex?
Angela Merkel arrives at Passport Control at Paris airport.
“Nationality?” asks the immigration officer.
“German,” she replies.
“No, just here for a few days.”
Engineers & Economists
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer are on a golf course behind an especially slow group.
When the marshal comes around, they decide to ask him what the deal is.
He tells them the slow play is because it is a group of blind firefighters, who saved the clubhouse from a fire that blinded them, so they get to play for free.
The pastor proclaims “That is terrible, I will say a prayer for them.”
The doctor says “I can contact an ophthalmologist friend who has done wonders with the blind.”
The engineer asks “Why don’t they just play at night?”
- An engineer, an economist, and a philosopher are hiking through the hills of Scotland. On the top of a hill they see a black sheep. “What do you know,” the engineer remarks. “The sheep in Scotland are black.” “No, no”, protests the economist. “At least one of the sheep in Scotland is black.” The philosopher considers this a moment. “That’s not quite right. There’s at least one sheep which is black from one side.”
- I hear Heisenberg and his wife are having problems; When he has the time, he doesn’t have the energy, and when he has the position, he can’t get the momentum.
Heisenberg was speeding down the highway. Cop pulled him over and says “Son, do you have any idea how fast you were going back there?”
Heisenberg said, “No, but I knew where I was”
- The cop says “You were doing 100 miles an hour” to which Heisenberg replies “Great, now I’m lost”.
Philosophy & Linguistics
- Your mother is so classless, she could be a Marxist utopia.
- What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?
- What’s the difference between ignorance and indifference? I don’t know and I don’t care.
- A Buddhist monk approaches a hot-dog stand and says “make me one with everything”.
- Sometimes to sound smart I just masturbate a big word into a sentence even when I don’t know its meaning.
- It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.
- Due to cultural sensitives and issues with genocide, Crayola is going to stop using the the name Indian Red. They’re going to change it to Khmer Rouge.
Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Gödel, and Noam Chomsky walk into a bar.
Heisenberg turns to the other two and says, “Clearly this is a joke, but how can we figure out if it’s funny or not?”
Gödel replies, “We can’t know that because we’re inside the joke.”
Chomsky says, “Of course it’s funny. You’re just telling it wrong.”
Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French café, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He says to the waitress, “I’d like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.”
The waitress replies, “I’m sorry, Monsieur, but we’re out of cream. How about with no milk?”
Four dons were walking down an Oxford street one evening. All were philologists and members of the English department. They were discussing group nouns: a covey of quail, a pride of lions, an exaltation of larks.
As they talked, they passed four ladies of the evening. The dons did not exactly ignore the hussies—in a literary way, that is. One of them asked: “How would you describe a group like that?”
Suggested the first: “A jam of tarts?” The second: “A flourish of strumpets?” The third: “An essay of trollops?”
Then the dean of the dons, the eldest and most scholarly of them all, closed the discussion: “I wish that you gentlemen would consider ‘an anthology of pros.’ “
A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day and said “In English, a double negative forms a positive. But in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However,” he pointed out, “in no language in the world can a double positive form a negative.”
But then a voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”
↩“Fractals are typically self-similar patterns, where self-similar means they are “the same from near as from far”. Fractals may be exactly the same at every scale, or, as illustrated in Figure 1, they may be nearly the same at different scales”
Again, from Reddit, as explained by someone more familiar with Chomsky’s linguisitc theories than I:
“[…] but Chomsky is a linguist who is famous for his theory of linguistic competence. To put it on a bumper sticker, his theory holds that “performance does not equal competence”. In other words, he thinks that linguistic analysis should be concerned with the “ideal” version of language, which he distinguishes from the version actually spoken by the speakers of the language. One of his reasons for this is that the performed version of the language can include errors by the speaker that do not actually shed light on the language itself.
“So in the joke, Chomsky is saying that the ideal version of the joke is funny, even if the spoken version of the joke is not. He believes that there is a distinction between an ideal competently spoken version of the joke and the actually spoken version of the joke, and that the ideal version of the joke is the “real” version.”
As nicely explained in the joke thread on Reddit:
↩“Sartre wrote about choice, but that joke is obviously referencing his notion of nothingness, which he took to mean a physical nothing, rather than the simple lack of a something. He famously put this to analogy with his story about Pierre. You go to the café to meet your friend Pierre, but when you arrive, he’s not there. What you feel is the active LACK of Pierre. You look around expecting to see him but you do not. He is a nothingness that is felt. So the joke about “no cream” is turned around with a nothingness of milk.”
2 years Ago
Published by marco on
- 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”.
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.
Highlight the next paragraph if you want to see the locations.
If you’re going to try it, don’t read the next paragraph either.
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.