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Imma just let this sit here
MOTHA FUCKIN SCIENCE
They turned RNA into an anti-virus program. That is amazing.
Let me restate this in case it didn’t sink in the first time
Researchers physically DELETED ALL TRACES of the HIV virus from a human cell.
ALL OF IT.
IF YOU ARE NOT EXCITED ABOUT THAT I DON’T THINK YOU KNOW WHAT HIV IS
For every human tragedy, we get a triumph
“MOTHA FUCKIN SCIENCE”
RNA has always been an anti-virus program. This is the purpose of siRNAs (short interfering RNAs). RNA is used to defend cells against foreign sequences; it’s used to regulate host cell processes (miRNAs = microRNAs); even mRNA is more complicated than just “I encode message lol!”. Prokaryotes use RNA to defend themselves against phage (CRISPR).
RNA is badass and if you do not agree then you are wrong.
Me: “Hiya! What can I do for you?”
Customer: “Yeah, I’d like to exchange this peanut butter.”
(She hands me the peanut butter and the receipt.)
Me: “Oh, okay. Any reason? Is it bad?”
Customer: “Oh, no, it’s not bad. It’s just that it’s the chunky kind, and I need creamy.”
Me: “Oh! Well, if you want to go grab the one you want, I’ll get you fixed up and on your way!”
(She goes and gets the creamy peanut butter and comes back. I check the prices and hand her the right one.)
Me: “All righty, you’re all set! Have a good day!”
Customer: “Thank you!” *laughs* “I can’t believe I picked this up. I can’t have the one with the chunks in it. I’m allergic to peanuts!”
(She walked off and my manager and I exchanged very confused glances.)
I HGAVE TOE SAVE TEhe priNCESS
ITS FROM FUCKING JURASSIC PARK WHAT THE HELL TUMBLR
66 million years ago, a large asteroid about six miles in diameter smashed into what is present-day Mexico. It was the most unpleasant thing you can imagine for everyone here at the time, and it ended up causing the extinction of over 75% of species, including all the dinosaurs.
It killed off all the dinosaurs—that’s how the story goes. Right?
The thing is, when we picture dinosaurs, we picture large, reptile-looking guys tramping about on land being dicks. And yes, those guys you’re picturing went extinct.
But there were also a lot of other kinds of dinosaurs, including some with feathers who could fly. While no non-flying dinosaurs survived the mass extinction, some of their avian cousins did survive, and they’re still surviving today. Which leaves us with the surprising fact:
Birds aren’t just the descendants of dinosaurs, they are dinosaurs.
So there dinosaurs were, ruling the Earth, when a big rock changed everything, setting mammals on a new course to dominate the world and sending the mighty dinosaur off to the periphery to watch from the sidelines. And today, most of our attention is on the mammals of the world—ourselves in particular, but also on our dogs and cats and elephants and bears and whales and cows and monkeys and sheep.
But what about our planet’s flying dinosaurs over on the sideline? Have any of us thought to see what’s going on with them?
Sometimes, when a big, popular circus loses its appeal and another, new form of entertainment takes over, and then a bunch of time passes, it’s better not to see what those old, forgotten circus performers are doing these days. Sometimes, you don’t want to know. Because sometimes, it turns out that what’s going on behind the doors of the old, broken down circus caravan is a bunch of weird, dark shit.
This week, I decided to pull back the curtain on the bird world and see what was happening there. Here’s a report on what I found:
Identity Fraud: Ordinary Birds Pretending to Be Exotic
There’s no less glamorous animal than the pigeon, so it’s understandable why so many pigeons are trying to pass off as other, less stigmatized types of birds—but come on:
It’s just not working:
Growing a mustache and calling yourself the Inca Tern is clearly not fooling anyone:
The best pigeon-hiding effort I’ve seen is by a group of white pigeons who spent millions of dollars on PR and rebranded itself as “the dove,” locking down a partnership with the Catholic church and plastering the internet with images and drawings like this:
It gets worse. Here’s a vulture that grew a beard to try to escape all the baggage of being a vulture, which might have worked had it come up with a cleverer name for itself than the bearded vulture:
Here are two skinny-headed anhingas who are pretending not to be birds by posing as the hind legs of a deer or a dog:
Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised when the anhinga is unimpressive, given that this is how it plays hide and seek.
An even more ridiculous move is some normal yellow and black bird gluing a clearly-fake plastic beak onto its face and calling itself the toucan:
Then there’s the harpy eagle trying to pose as a fucking panda bear of all things:
But the most blatant identity fraud cases are happening throughout the chicken world. I get that no one wants to be a chicken.3 A chicken is a tweaky, paranoid joke of an animal. A chicken doesn’t fly, it spazzes into a brief flutter—and it can’t chirp, settling instead for the absurd “bawk.” And while we have the courtesy to call cow and pig meat euphemisms like “beef” and “pork,” we just call chicken meat “chicken,” because nobody respects the chicken. I understand why you’d wish you were a different type of bird. But that’s no excuse for doing psychotic things like painting yourself black:
Or getting a transparent makeover:
Or getting a ridiculous haircut:
Or fluffing out your feathers and calling yourself the silkie hen:
I also discovered a new fad that’s gotten hot—impersonating humans.
Here’s a bird pretending to be a makeup-y 53-year-old woman:
And here’s a bird trying to be a human grandmother:
Here are birds posing as human old men:
And it’s apparently become trendy to grow stylish human hair:
The irony of all these ordinary birds going to insane lengths to try to be more exotic is that what’s going on in the world of exotic birds is far worse:
Sadistic Psychological Abuse of Male Birds By Females
What humans don’t realize is that exotic birds are only exotic for one reason—women abusing their power of sexual selection to force horny men to go through tremendous shame and indignity at their whim. The females in a species of birds can get together and decide to evolutionarily turn the men of their species into literally whatever absurd creatures they want just by agreeing to all “select” for it. Like female peacocks getting together and colluding to only sleep with the men who turn themselves into the biggest, prettiest fans—which leaves the men with no choice but to spend the next hundred million years evolving into big, pretty fans:
And you’d think it would be bad enough that the female mallard thought it would be fun to turn the male mallard’s head bright green, but the much more twisted female mandarin duck has made her man into a piece of full-blown abstract art:
And this is nothing compared to the sick practice by some species of female birds to turn their males into “birds of paradise”—like the tanager females, who got together and decided to have sex with only the fuzziest, most neon men, resulting in this tragedy:
And just look at the shame on the face of the male Wilson’s bird of paradise:
One set of females forced their males to change species altogether into an orange fuzz ball and renamed them “the cock of the rock” because they found it fucking hilarious:
You’d think turning men into clowns would be enough, but the women aren’t done. They make their clowns put on mortifying dance performances:
Meanwhile, many birds have bigger things to worry about than whether they’re exotic or not:
Birds With Proportional Difficulties
There are birds out there going through physical hell and no one has any idea. Like this bird who has the head of a duck but the body of a sparrow:
Or this bird who has a miniature pair of human legs instead of normal bird legs:
This bird has no head:
And this bird is only a head:
These birds didn’t realize you were supposed to be a body with feathers on it, not just feathers and nothing else:4
And this bird forgot to not be just a fuzzy sphere:
Widespread Facial Rotting
One of the more disturbing findings of my investigation was the large number of birds out there who are actively decaying even though they’re not dead yet. The most well-known example is the gruesome turkey, whose facial gummies—which are delicious-looking on other birds—have horribly rotted:
And it gets worse. The wood stork’s head is fully decomposing:
Some have tumor or mold-ridden beaks:
And others have replaced their head entirely with that of a tiny bludgeoned-to-death llama:
Creatures Out in the Open Who Are Clearly Supposed to Still Be in The Egg
The elephant in the room whenever you’re in the presence of a newborn human baby is that it very obviously belongs in the womb for another month. But in the bird world, this phenomenon is far more extreme. Some upsetting examples:
Most alarmingly, many of these fetuses are in a constant state of agony, with every passing moment being the new worst moment of their life:
Birds Who Forgot to Go Extinct When They Were Supposed To
There are a number of birds currently living who were obviously supposed to go extinct a long time ago and just forgot. Most notably, the shoebill:
And the helmeted hornbill:
The golden pheasant is a prime offender:
As is this strapping eagle, who needs to rein it in a notch and remember that he’s still a bird:
As is this chicken, who doesn’t even have clothes on, let alone a fashion runway and an audience:
But for Americans, we don’t have to look very hard to find avian narcissism at its worst. This is what the bald eagle looked like before 1776:
Just an ordinary, low-confidence bird. But ever since signing a deal with the US to serve as its national emblem, the bald eagle has let the whole thing go to his head, strutting around with this absurd look on his face:
Little does he know how close he was to being ousted in favor of the turkey of all animals.5
Outrage at Nothing in Particular
There’s an odd fetish in the bird world with being outraged about what seems like nothing in particular.
The Biggest Asshole in the Animal Kingdom
If you know the animal kingdom, you know that’s saying a lot. And no, I’m not talking about the ostrich, nature’s terrible personality on a stick:
I’m talking about the goose.
Outside of the heinous world of insects, I can’t think of a creature that has literally no redeeming qualities. Except for the goose.
You know when you have some bread and you decide to feed some birds, and there’s one piece of shit who’s bigger than everyone else and shoves the other birds out of the way, taking literally every piece of bread, and you have to cleverly strategize in order to throw bread to the rest of the birds, and even then it’s hard? Well the goose is the quintessential feed-the-birds-bully.
The goose is perpetually unpleasant to be around, and the second something happens that doesn’t go his way, he has a fit and makes this appalling face:
That’s about plenty of the goose.
The bald eagle isn’t the only bird with a hero’s complex. Steller’s sea-eagle seems to be convinced that he’s that Disney character who’s all hardened and low-voiced and gruff and doesn’t want to talk about his past but then ends up having a heart of gold and agrees to mentor the protagonist and ends up sacrificing himself to save the day:
On the other side of things, it appears that the vulture has taken his reputation to heart and become a caricature of himself, overexaggerating his sinister, menacing stereotype in a bad-guy-in-a-kids-movie way:
And just when you thought we had our hands full with these real birds thinking they’re fictional, the puffin, who is fictional, is out there living his life in the three-dimensional real world as if he’s an actual creature:
Odd so far, and a bit grim. But as my investigation grew deeper and I asked more questions, I began to uncover more disturbing things going on in the darkest corners of the bird world:
Legitimately Psychotic Behavior in the Pigeon World
The identity fraud pigeon cases mentioned above were just the tip of the iceberg of the strange things going on with pigeons. On the streets of your city, you’d have no idea, but as I explored, I was shocked by what I found. It started with certain pigeons looking kind of abnormal:
Something wasn’t right. I dug deeper, and an entire perverted world began to reveal itself:
After that last one, I decided I had dug deep enough. I still don’t know what the fuck is going on with those pigeons.
And my darkest findings were still yet to come—
The Rapey White Parrot That’s Terrorizing the Planet
I’m not talking about normal parrots, or even this overly-segmented fuck:
I’m talking very specifically about the white parrot:
Here’s what I want you to do. Look at the above photo and form an opinion about his motive at the moment the picture was taken.
Now watch this video:
Now look at this picture again:
Not okay, right?
A Ghostly Sociopath Who Watches You at Night
Owls are creepy. Everyone knows that. But when most people think of an owl, they picture this handsome, potentially-wise, only-scary-in-a-cartoonish-way owl:
Or maybe they picture the low self-esteem owl:
They might even picture the genuinely eerie round-headed owl:
What they probably don’t picture is the ghostly sociopath owl who watches you at night:
Let’s just discuss the situation here. First of all, he doesn’t have a face, he has an anti-face, which is unsettling as fuck. Secondly, he’s a predator who makes his living silently murdering unsuspecting living things. Thirdly, he’s nocturnal. Of course. Fourthly, most of the time, he’s just standing there by himself, perfectly still, with wide eyes. Fifthly, he says “hoo.” All the normal birds “chirp,” and this creepy fuck says “hoo.” And finally, add on to all of that that his head swivels around and even flips completely upside down:
Then—then—I come across this GIF:
And this GIF:
Nothing about this GIF is okay. The guy on the left is manically devouring some kind of rat alive, the two guys on the right are slinking around like the grudge lady coming down the stairs, and those three manage to be the three least disturbing owls in the GIF.
Complete Mental Breakdowns
We all know that the flamingo lost his mind a long time ago:
And the potoo’s snap is well-documented:
But as I reached the farthest fringes of society, I saw more and more cases that seemed beyond hope.
Like the arctic tern and its inexplicable migration habits. In general, I’ve always wondered what birds’ issue is and why they need to migrate such absurd distances, and then I read about the arctic tern and found this:
Arctic terns are true champions in the bird world. They fly about 11,000 miles from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to their winter home in Antarctica.
Champions? Champions of what—horrible decision-making? The North Pole is 6,000 miles away from the equator. Every climate possible exists in between. Whatever climate difference they’re finding on the other pole could be achieved by flying 1,000 miles of latitude away from the pole. There’s no explanation for going farther than 6,000 miles. And if the arctic tern claims there’s some key subtle factor that makes the far pole better than somewhere on their current hemisphere, that’s like commuting every day from your home in Boston to an office in San Francisco because you found a slightly better deal on office rent there.
Then there’s the California condor, who at some point began shaving his whole head and face for no apparent reason:
And there’s this lunatic:
And this chicken, whose family hasn’t heard from him in over a year:
And these chickens, who look like walking food:
And these birds, who are non-ironically and permanently impersonating Big Bird:
And this parakeet, for whom we need no comment:
Birds Who Apparently Think This is All a Big Joke
If there’s one takeaway from all this, it’s that the state of the bird world should not be taken lightly, especially by birds. And yet, in the midst of everything I found, there were a bunch of birds who couldn’t give a fuck either way. Like the dimwitted spoonbill:
Or this incredibly immature pelican:
Or the blue-footed booby—
—who seemed more intent on dancing than doing anything to help:
I’ll wrap up with a bird who should be concerned about both the wider bird world and his own bizarre situation and seems apparently worried about neither:
So there you go. Next time you’re outside and you see your neighborhood crow or sparrow or pigeon, just remember: A) it’s a dinosaur, B) it may have secrets, and C) leave it at that—some things are better left unexplored.
Note: We changed over to Disqus for comments. Annoying that it makes you create an account, but it only takes 2 seconds and it’s much more interactive with upvoting and downvoting. Facebook comment section is the same as it was. If you have feedback, we’d love to hear it—firstname.lastname@example.org.
who the movie Jurassic Park lied to you a lot about—they were around the size of a turkey, feathered, and not especially intelligent.↩
I have a billion things to say about dinosaurs and this extinction event, but I’m going to cut myself off here and save it for a post all about it.↩
Weirdly, the currently-living creature whose DNA is most closely-related to that of a Tyrannosaurus Rex? The chicken. I picture what happened is that T-Rexes started having these disappointing sons and the fathers would be like, “You’re not my son” and then those sons would have even more disappointing sons and disown them, and then it happened again and again each generation and 65 million years later, this is where we are.↩
I’ve been informed by a reader that the first of these two birds is, in fact, much more of a Christmas tree ornament and much less of a living bird. On one hand, I should probably take it off the post. On the other hand, I’m going to leave it up as commentary about how ridiculous-looking real birds are that I couldn’t tell that this was fake.↩
Before settling on the bald eagle, Ben Franklin suggested that the US choose the turkey as its national emblem. He thought the turkey made more sense because it was aggressive and mean, while the bald eagle was a lazy scavenger.↩
Look. I don’t know what you’re over there thinking about. It could be simple or sophisticated, mundane or whimsical, practical or creepy.
But I’m over here thinking about numbers. Again.
I’ve never been especially impressed by words. They’re mushy and sometimes pleasant and sometimes annoying. They’re subtle and subjective and rambly and flowy. Words are okay. Whatever.
But numbers. Numbers are fascinating and precise and satisfying and delicious and whatever it is you’re thinking about at any given time, there’s at least a 60% chance that I’m over here thinking about numbers.
So I’ve decided to do not one, but two consecutive posts on numbers, during which we’ll start at 1 and end up in a very scary place. Today, we’ll keep things in the realm of the ordinary and the conceivable, capping ourselves at a million.
The numbers between 1 and 1,000,000 are everywhere in daily life. 1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 are our friends—we get them, they get us, and in this post, we’re basically gonna just hang out with them and catch up, since you probably haven’t been good at keeping in touch.
Let’s start at the beginning—
We’ll lead off with the extraordinarily dull 1.
1 likes to masquerade as this poetic and profound thing, getting used in sentences I don’t really understand, like “the oneness of all” or something annoying like that. But then anytime you actually spend time with 1, you end up bored.
1 is also no fun to play with. Multiplying or dividing things by it is an incredibly underwhelming experience, and it manages to be such a dud that somehow, it’s not a prime number even though it only has one factor.
As for the rest of the one-digit numbers, I enjoy 2, 4, and 8 because when I was seven I became obsessed with saying “2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1,024, 2,048, 4,096″ before hitting a wall,1 and I have an affinity for prime numbers, naturally, so 3, 5, and 7 fall into my favor. Not thrilled with 9, but at least it’s a perfect square. The only thing 6 offers my life is annoying the shit out of me every time I have to tell someone my phone number—(xxx)-666-xxxx—and they can’t help but have some reaction to that and then we end up in this little song-and-dance interaction about it.2
Let’s move on.
Getting to the two-digit numbers, interesting things finally start happening. 10 itself is a big one, because our entire base ten existence stems from it. Why did we end up in base ten (instead of something like base 8, which would go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, etc.)? Because we have 10 fingers. It seems intuitive that only with base 10 could you multiply and divide so easily and simply add zeros or move a decimal point when shifting by multiples of 10, but that would be the case with any number system.3 Let’s look at some bigger numbers—
12 has the dozen thing going which is something, as well as factors up the dick. It’s also the number of people who have been on the moon.
Let’s pause for a second to acknowledge how ridiculously impressive it is that humans got humans onto the moon and safely back. And how lucky are those 12 guys? Could any life experience be more desirable than getting to bounce around the moon while looking at the Earth hovering out there in space?
Continuing along, I don’t know whose sister 13 slept with, but somewhere along the way it pissed off the wrong person and managed to become the only number with a legitimately bad reputation.
20’s worth mentioning just because I read during my research that only about 1 in 20 men in the US is 6’2″ or taller. So if you’re 6’2″ or taller, you’re the tallest of this average sampling of 20 American men—4
33 is relevant because of Larry Bird and because that’s what I turned on Wednesday thanks for wishing me a happy birthday none of you.
You might be surprised to know that only 1/43 Americans openly identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but that when asked in an anonymous and veiled survey, that number jumps to 8/43:
Not much else happening with the two-digit numbers until we arrive at sleazy 99, the price tag whore who’s made its whole living being the guy next to 100.
100 is a big deal and clearly knows it, but that’s fair. It’s the first three-digit number, but in our world, 100’s main role is being the overlord of the one and two-digit groups—it’s a century of years, the official “okay you win” age to reach, and the whole concept of percent is just comparing a part of 100 to all of 100. 100 is also a perfect square of another one of these fundamental numbers (i.e. 10, 100, 1,000, etc.), which is satisfying.
Being in the top 100th of a group in some way is also a thing. It looks like this:
If you’re in the red dot when it comes to wealth, you’re the notorious 1 percent and a lot of people will make signs that are mean to you. To be in the red dot among Americans, you need to make almost $400,000/year, but only about a tenth of that ($39,000 in 2011) to be in the red dot worldwide.
On the SAT, you’d be the red dot if you scored a 1480 out of 1600 or a 2200 out of 2400, and on the ACT, you’d need a 33. A Stanford-Binet IQ of 137 will make you the red dot too and would mean 99% of people are stupider than you.5
After 100, we’re about to get into superbly random number territory, but first we hit 101, a C-list number celebrity for a handful of small claims to fame, like 101 Dalmations and beginner courses and the West Coast US highway.
There are 444 Apple retail stores in the world:
If you deal five cards 508 times, you’ll average one flush:
And there are 12 million US dollar millionaires in the world, or 1 out of every 583 people. If your total assets (in excess of your total liabilities) add up to over $1,000,000, you’re the red dot in this diagram:
Four Digit Numbers
1,000 is also a huge deal in our world and has a bunch of nicknames, like a grand, a G, a kilo, and k. It’s also part of the elite chain of numbers in the “order-of-magnitude” chain, which we know as million, billion, trillion, etc. Million is actually the third number in that chain, with the dud 1 as the first number and 1,000 as the second number. And 1,000 is the key multiplier that defines the whole chain.
That said, 1,000’s dirty secret is that it’s a fraud like 10 and can’t be made into a square. The square root of 1,000 is an embarrassing 31.62277660168 etcetera without even a vinculum.7
Anyway, let’s look at some four-digit numbers and odds:
Here’s how many times a neutron star spins around every second:
And here’s how many minutes there are in each day:
A genius-level IQ of 150 will earn you red dot status on the thousand-dot intelligence diagram, but that doesn’t mean you got a perfect 1600 on the SAT—only the red dot in a 1,489-dot sample aces the SAT:
On a perfectly clear night, we can see about 2,500 stars in the night sky:
Here are all the seconds in an hour:
And here’s the number of religions in the world:
So there are more religions than the stars we see in the night sky, and you could name a religion every second and it would take you over an hour to name them all.
And here’s how many living languages there are in the world:
Finally, this is how many medium-sized (.5mm in diameter) grains of sand you could fit in a cubic centimeter box:
If 1,000 is a little overrated, 10,000 is underrated. No one talks about 10,000, but unlike the square rootless 1,000, 10,000 a perfect square of 100 100s, and 1% of a million.
Stephen Hawking’s IQ is supposedly 160, which would just qualify him to be the red dot in a 10,000 dot average sample of human intelligence. And just so you know, in an average group of 17,000 people, one will be an albino.
This is how many people fit in a sold-out Fenway Park:
The 55,030 Google employees would fill up a large stadium, as would Apple’s 50,250. Facebook is considerably smaller, with a staff of 8,348, while Wikipedia is running with only 208 people. You could fit the Craigslist team in a small bus:
And here’s how many seconds tick by every day:
100,000 is the most random main category number of this post. In life, it mostly comes up as a salary most people would really like to be making. It’s also getting very close to the largest number of people I can actually picture all together in one place. Michigan Stadium (The Big House) is just under 110,000, and the largest stadium in the world is India’s Salt Lake Stadium, with a capacity of 120,000. North Korea claims that its Rungnado May First Stadium holds 150,000 people, but North Korea also says that Kim Jong Il shot 11 holes-in-one on his first time trying golf so we’ll be sticking with Salt Lake Stadium as the world’s largest.8
Equal to the capacity of the world’s largest stadium is the number of abortions that happen in the world every day, on average:
That’s about 1/3 the amount of worldwide births per day, meaning a quarter of all pregnancies that don’t end in miscarriage end in abortion. That’s about the same as the rate in the US, but in New York City, 41 of every 100 non-miscarried pregnancies are aborted. And no, this isn’t meant to be a political statement of any kind, just an interesting (and to me, surprising) statistic, so just settle down.
Good luck. See you at the bottom—
Sorry. A million dots is a lot of dots.
And how small are one-in-a-million odds? How much of a long shot is one-in-a-million? Just try to find the red dot in the million dots above.
This image is the only way I can think of to visualize what a million or what one-in-a million actually means.
A million is interesting because it’s huge—but it’s also the smallest of the big boys, just small enough that you can still picture it or depict it on a diagram. It’s right on the border between the world we can wrap our heads around and the world of the totally inconceivable.
That red dot, if you found it, is a good thing to keep in mind next time you buy a 1-in-146 million Powerball ticket, or anytime you hear facts like one out of every 11 million airplane flights crashes. A one-in-a-million long shot is the same as rolling three 100-sided dice and trying to hit the number 63 with all three of them in one roll.
If you want to play around with taking a one-in-a-million shot at something, pick a number between 1 and 1,000,000, say it out loud, and then click Generate below and try to hit it (or two other ways to do it: 1) Change the max number to 1,000 and try to hit the number you say with the next two clicks; 2) Change the max number to 100 and try to hit a chosen number three times in a row):
The numbers generated by this widget come from RANDOM.ORG’s true random number generator.
The Million-Dot Poster
I like both the number 1,000,000 and the number 1/1,000,000, and I love any chance to visualize them. A blog post that can only fit 200 dots horizontally isn’t an ideal way to visualize a million because it makes a 1 x 25 rectangle you have to scroll down for an hour to see all of. So we’ve made a million-dot poster.
The poster is, satisfyingly, a square. A 24″ x 24″ (61cm x 61cm) poster with a 1,000 dot x 1,000 dot square of a million total dots. This allows you to most effectively visualize the number one million (it also helps to visualize 5 or 10 or 100 million, or even a billion, by picturing multiple posters next to each other).
And, of course, one of the dots is red. It takes a hunt to find it,9 but once you do, you can understand exactly what 1/1,000,000 means. So one poster, two extreme numbers to visualize.
There’s a plain poster, and we also made other versions that have a WBW drawing behind them. You can check them all out here.
Here’s what the plain one looks like:
A closer shot, showing the red dot in the middle:
And a close up shot, showing the red dot:
And here’s numbers post #2: From 1,000,000 to Graham’s Number
The other children were playing outside.↩
At least at some point I’ll have a new phone number—oh wait, whatever your first smartphone number was is now your number for eternity.↩
Yes, that was kind of a random fact to have brought into this—get used to it cause this whole post is just gonna be me throwing haphazard shit at you.↩
IQ is kind of a fake concept, but quantifying everyone’s intelligence with a number is fun anyway.↩
I’m not sure how many of those people are deaf, but there are 600,000 functionally deaf people in the US, or 1 out of every 454 people.↩
The WordPress spellchecker underlined vinculum even though it’s a word, because WordPress is appalled by where I’ve gone with this post.↩
I’ve also been in that North Korea stadium (where I took this video), and it seemed about the same size as a typical NFL stadium. I originally had this note as part of that last sentence, but it seemed one notch too braggy for a non-footnote.↩
Bonus points to anyone who can figure out why the dot is where it is on the grid.↩
Though we all know Wayne Brady as the upbeat comedian-turned-TV star of shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Let’s Make a Deal, the 42-year-old Emmy-award winner is now opening up to ET’s Nischelle Turner about his debilitating depression.
Brady admits he has secretly battled with depression for years and describes the harrowing emotions he’s experienced. “People are like, ‘Wayne Brady’s always happy!’” he says. “No I’m not. Because I’m human.”
"Having a bad day is one thing, having a bad week is another, having a bad life … You don’t want to move, you can’t move in the darkness," he explains. "You’re like, ‘I am just going to sit right here and I want to wallow in this. As much as it hurts, I am going to sit right here because this is what I deserve. This is what I deserve, so I am going to sit here because I am that horrible of a person.’"
The constant self-doubt turned into a vicious cycle.
"It starts this cycle where you tell yourself these lies … and those lies become true to you," he says. "So, you stick to your own truth you’ve set up. ‘If I am this bad, then why should any of this matter?’ I feel at that point, you end up wanting to stop the pain."
Brady reveals he hit rock bottom last June on his 42nd birthday, recalling, “I was there by myself, in my bedroom and I had a complete breakdown … Just go ahead and imagine for yourself a brother in his underwear, in his room, you got snot … and that birthday was the beginning of, ‘OK, I’ve got to make a change.’”
An event that especially hit him hard was the tragic passing of Robin Williams in August, who took his own life after a longtime struggle with depression.
Brady, who knew Williams from the comedian’s appearance on Whose Line, tweeted on the day news broke of Williams’ death.
"When he was on stage [in] full-on Robin mode — and I know this from being blessed enough to work with him — you could not touch that man," he tells ET. "He made all these people feel great. And at the same time, knowing that he had this sense of … what I make up in my mind, this low sense of self-worth, of belonging, of loneliness, of pain that all the money in the world can’t cure, all the accolades and awards, and all the love from people all over the world … all that love could still not stop that man from saying, I am in so much pain.’"
He also points out the double standard in Hollywood when it comes to admitting to depression as opposed to a drug problem.
"Nobody wants to out themselves so to speak, or if they out themselves, it’s in a very — I hate to say it — Hollywood way," he says. "It’s actually cool to go into rehab for some people. … But if someone says, ‘I’m clinically depressed,’ that sounds like someone’s making something up. It’s like, ‘Psst, you’re not depressed.’"
Brady now says he’s currently on the road to recovery, and gives a lot of credit to his ex-wife, Mandie Taketa. He says the two are still close friends, despite divorcing in 2007 after eight years of marriage. They remain committed to co-parenting their daughter Maile, now 11.
"We said we want to give her the closest experience she can have to living in the same house," he says of being neighbors with his ex. "And we’ve always lived in different homes. We just live super-close now. The fact of the matter is, I like her mom. She was down with me when nobody in the world was down with me, except my mom. There was loyalty there, there was respect, there is trust — she is my baby mama."
He also has this piece of advice for those battling with their own struggles with depression.
"It took me a while to get my stuff together to go, ‘You know what? If you’re not happy, you have to do something about it,’" he says frankly. "Just to admit that you are feeling this way is a huge step. To claim that, to say, ‘Why do I feel dark? Why do I feel unhappy? Let me do something about this.’"
Wayne Brady is one of my favorite people of all time, and I thought I might share this with some of you guys.
I’m all kinds of here for famous Black folks talking about their mental health publicly and candidly.
I’m all kinds of here for Black folks talking about their mental health publicly and candidly
Yes, open up this dialogue!