Click each link to see more photos from the gallery.
Recently there was a funny attempt by a guy on Kickstarter to raise money to design detailed plans for a death star (a la Star Wars). The goal was £20,000,000 or around USD$30,500,000. This was in response to the White House replying to an official petition to “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” Due to continuing threats of not building it, this was the people’s of Earth attempt to raise the money themselves.
In this article on Appleinsider, Apple calls into question Greenpeace’s analysis of their new data centers.
In the forum there’s a hilarious comment that I wanted to share, hill60 says,
I got the inside scoop from Mike Daisey, Apple built a secret tunnel from the Foxconn factories of China to North Carolina, they use the twelve year old workers they are hiding from labour inspectors to mine coal and use it in their secret underground power plant, the children are fed on whale meat by products from Apple’s whaling fleet, the whale oil is used to lubricate MacBook keyboards, not only that the rare Brazilian rainforest trees being cut down for Foxconns plants in Brazil are being used as props in the mineshafts where the twelve year olds work 27 hours a day, 9 days a week.
Hey y’all. Long time no see. For the past four years, I’ve been working slowly but obsessively on a very odd project. Bit by bit I’ve dissected Obama’s self-read autobiography into thousands of very short phrases, usually one to ten words or so, and have used these snippets to tell a completely different story from the original. I’ve then set the story to music. The story is called Son Of Strelka, Son Of God. Broadly speaking, it tells the story of an ugly dog-faced demigod who recreates the world after it is destroyed. It’s about thirty minutes long, and lies in some weird grey area between audiobook and electronic music.
Head to the forums on the link above to download the work in its entirety. According to yalelawtech.org, the “use of Barack Obama’s voice is fair and allowed according to the law.”
Animations that people made to go along with the first two chapters of the audio book are available here. It must have been a lot of hard work, but the end result is amazing. You can’t tell at all that the words are out of order.
Below is a great article on the origin of one or two spaces after a period. I think I finally learned this while writing a research paper for a biology class in college.
Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.
And yet people who use two spaces are everywhere, their ugly error crossing every social boundary of class, education, and taste. * You’d expect, for instance, that anyone savvy enough to read Slate would know the proper rules of typing, but you’d be wrong; every third e-mail I get from readers includes the two-space error. (In editing letters for “Dear Farhad,” my occasional tech-advice column, I’ve removed enough extra spaces to fill my forthcoming volume of melancholy epic poetry, The Emptiness Within.) The public relations profession is similarly ignorant; I’ve received press releases and correspondence from the biggest companies in the world that are riddled with extra spaces. Some of my best friends are irredeemable two spacers, too, and even my wife has been known to use an unnecessary extra space every now and then (though she points out that she does so only when writing to other two-spacers, just to make them happy).
What galls me about two-spacers isn’t just their numbers. It’s their certainty that they’re right. Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the “correct” number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two. Others explained they mostly used a single space but felt guilty for violating the two-space “rule.” Still others said they used two spaces all the time, and they were thrilled to be so proper. When I pointed out that they were doing it wrong—that, in fact, the correct way to end a sentence is with a period followed by a single, proud, beautiful space—the table balked. “Who says two spaces is wrong?” they wanted to know.
Just got this spam message sent to me. It was trying to get me to buy best man gifts. I couldn’t make something this creative up if I tried!
As a man, you tally to take, you most belike someone never been neat at shopping, or symmetrical liked shopping for that thing. Now that you’re achievement to be married, you’ll feat that choosing gifts for your primo man change beautify effort of your to-do move. It’s a provocative strain, but if you cognise where to perception, you’ll be competent to conceive the perfect heritage in no case.
Sometimes jargon really is gibberish.
Take the “scientific” papers generated by a computer program and submitted by three MIT computer science students to a scientific conference. One of the papers, “Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy,” was accepted by World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics 2005 as a non-reviewed paper. “The Influence of Probabilistic Methodologies on Networking” was rejected.
Graduate students Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn and Dan Aguayo had doubts about the standards of some conference organizers, who they say “spam people with e-mail.”
“We were tired of getting these e-mails from these conference people, so we thought it would be fun to write software that generates meaningless research papers and submit them,” said Stribling. All three of the students are doing research in the Parallel and Distributed Operating Systems Group at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT.
The paper’s acceptance proves their point, Stribling said. Their computer program generates research papers using “context-free grammar” and includes graphs, figures and citations. The program takes real words and places them correctly in sentences, but the words used don’t make sense together…
Here’s the group’s website: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/, including links to the two papers that they submitted to the WMSCI 2005. Their first computer-generated paper, Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy, was actually accepted. Their second submission, The Influence of Probabilistic Methodologies on Networking, was rejected for some reason. I don’t understand a lot of the titles of the real papers that are presented at these computer science conferences so these seemed to fit right in.
The grad students raised enough money to attend and present their paper at the conference. They were actually going to have their program generate a Powerpoint presentation for their talk. Unfortunately, the conference heard about this plan and rejected the paper. So, they decided to hold their own “technical” session in the very same hotel that the WMSCI used for its conference. The (randomly-generated) title of the session was The 6th Annual North American Symposium on Methodologies, Theory, and Information. The grad students presented three randomly-generated computer science papers using randomly-generated Powerpoint presentations that they had not seen prior to standing up and presenting it. The resulting talks were pretty hilarious and are available to watch as a video called Near Science. The website is a little old, but the first high quality AVI still works.
Here’s a SCIgen created computer science paper that my brother and I “wrote”: NAWL: A Methodology for the Visualization of Consistent Hashing
Aka funny math with words.
Just found this awesome site called New Math that has some really funny math equations.
Here are just a few of my favorites:
Filing = paper – entropy
Handball = racquetball – racquet
Infomercial = Information + commercial +Wait, there’s more
Pirate = thief + boat + bandana – leg
Easter bunny = Santa Claus – breaking and entering
Backyard = manifest destiny + fences
Check out the site because there’s a bunch more, including an RSS feed that I’m now following in Google Reader.
I was glancing through the subjects in my spam email folder to make sure nothing good was getting deleted. I was fortunate to do this because I almost missed my good friend Andrew, the Chairman National Audit at Barclays, which according to Wikipedia, is actually true. He has a proposal that I cannot afford to ignore. According to the email header details, he must have sent this from his secondary office in Kiev, Ukraine (I’m thinking he’s on vacation.)
Here’s the email. It was quite an entertaining read and someone really put a lot of thought into it.
I am Andrew Likierman, Chairman National Audit at Barclays.I am contacting you concerning a deceased customer William Nathan,and an investment he placed under our banks management.I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.
I contact you independently and no one is informed of this communication.I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.
In 2005, the subject matter came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of 2.35 million British Pounds Sterling, which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf.I was the officer assigned to his case, I made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer of the private banking sector, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our bank. Continue reading