Shared posts

28 Apr 07:00

Reader Question 52

by KoryBing

Madam U’s snakes aren’t individual animals but more like the tentacles of an octopus. When she’s not giving conscious attention to the snakes they do their own thing, exploring and feeding information back to her. But when she wants to she has full control over them.

26 Apr 02:57

Six cases of measles confirmed in Tennessee outbreak. Measles was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000.

by Xeni Jardin

Measles virus. U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Public Health officials in Shelby County, Tennessee today confirmed six cases of measles in the county, up from two last Friday. Victims of the measles outbreak are "widely diverse" in terms of age, gender and where they live, authorities said.

(more…)

26 Apr 13:09

Site fetches the real URL for any shortened URL

by Rob Beschizza
Vvicked

relatedly...

cyber-creme

Get Link Info protects you from being rickrolled, linked to malware or otherwise misled with a link: punch in a short URL from any of the big URL shortening services, see the real one before you go there. There's a browser plugin for Firefox and IE; for Chrome users, Redditor NickPapa suggests Nope, which doesn't quite do that, but does warn about links that redirect. [via]
26 Apr 13:35

URL lengthening service also makes URLs "shady"

by Rob Beschizza

Photo: Julian Burgess, CC.

Unlike URL shorteners, Shady URL takes any URL you give it and generates a sinister long one instead: "Don't just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening."

For example, boingboing.net becomes http://www.5z8.info/pirate-anything_p5r2pa_getPersonalData-start and twitter.net becomes http://www.5z8.info/inject_worm_d4o6ox_oneweirdoldtiptolosebellyfat

The creation of Mike Lacher, it was revamped by snipe.

19 Apr 20:47

Questing

by Toni Johnson

questing

a little dragon dude, going on a quest.

20 Apr 00:00

Laws of Physics

The laws of physics are fun to try to understand, but as an organism with incredibly delicate eyes who evolved in a world full of sharp objects, I have an awful lot of trust in biology's calibration of my flinch reflex.
19 Apr 00:00

Breakfast Sleeves (mini-mini-comic)

17 Apr 23:34

Cultural misunderstanding

by Coelasquid

2016-04-11

Man, my computer crashed on me when I was almost done with this one and I found I hadn’t saved since like the first 15 minutes of working on it so boo, had to keep this simple to get it out with this ridiculous weekend.

Anyway, yeah, I just like Ganondorf’s “BEHOLD! THE POWER OF A GERUDO WARRIOR” taunt in Hyrule Warriors, because when you think about it, he’s not saying “Behold the power of me, Ganondorf” (he has another taunt like that anyway). It’s some home town pride, he’s basically saying “Hahahaha I fight like a girl and I’m gonna fuck you up!” And that’s delightful.

10 Apr 18:49

Illuminated I Iguana

by Toni Johnson

illuminated I iguana

07 Apr 22:56

Photo



31 Mar 17:23

unseenphil: seananmcguire: unseenphil: See, I’d watch a...

Vvicked

I would watch the sh*t out of this show.



unseenphil:

seananmcguire:

unseenphil:

See, I’d watch a JDrama featuring hordes of nameless cowboy antagonists.  Like not even joking, they could have a lieutenant who wears spurs all the time inappropriately and do kickboxing to show he’s more dangerous and better trained than the others.

It could be set in Kobe and the cowboys could be rustlers trying to steal fancy beef cattle for their American megafarm cattle baron employer loosely based on a telephone game version of Cliven Bundy only he’s running Monsanto.

…sweetie, how has no one weaponized you yet?

Well, for one I’m not sure -how- I could be weaponized. Unless someone made a weapon that could convert weird little fiction pieces and quirky story ideas into energy.

You could called it a sort of Narrative Device, if you will. 

THANK YOU FOR THE CHALLENGE WHEN THE NICE MEN WITH THE VAN GET THERE DO NOT FIGHT SHHH SHHH IT WILL ALL BE OKAY

24 Aug 17:11

Fire Emblem: The Original Saga

by Brad
A0a
06 Apr 16:27

A to Z Challenge: echidna

by Toni Johnson

echidna

04 Apr 02:03

A to Z Challenge: cowardly creature

by Toni Johnson

cowardly creature

10 Mar 22:09

This Ball of Magic Instantly Extinguishes Any Fire

by Casey Chan on Sploid, shared by Adam Clark Estes to io9
This Ball of Magic Instantly Extinguishes Any Fire

The Elide fire ball must be filled with magic potion because it can get thrown into any fire and put it out immediately. Watch this demo video of it as it gets tossed around and turns flame into smoke. Sorcery!

Read more...










13 Mar 19:30

Keep Track of Every Mission Throughout The Solar System With This Handy Map

by Andrew Liptak on Gizmodo, shared by Andrew Liptak to io9

There’s been dozens of probes that have gone out exploring the solar system since 1959's Luna 2 probe. PopChartLab has gone and noted down each one since in this beautiful poster of the Solar System.

Read more...










19 Feb 16:35

Just saying.

by Jessica Hagy

card4818

The post Just saying. appeared first on Indexed.

11 Mar 22:12

How to upgrade your entire life.

by Jessica Hagy

card4837

The post How to upgrade your entire life. appeared first on Indexed.

16 Mar 06:24

The German Tank Problem

by Greg Ross
Vvicked

STATISTIIICS

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-H26258,_Panzer_V_%22Panther%22.jpg

During World War II, as they mulled whether to attempt an invasion of the continent, the Allies needed to estimate the number of tanks Germany was producing. They asked their intelligence services to guess the number by spying on German factories and counting tanks on the battlefield, but these efforts produced contradictory estimates. Finally they resorted to statistical analysis.

They did this by studying the serial numbers on captured and destroyed German tanks. Suppose German tanks are numbered sequentially 1, 2, 3, …, B, where B is the total number of tanks that we seek to know. And suppose that we have five captured tanks whose serial numbers are 21, 35, 42, 60, and 89. It turns out that

\displaystyle B = \frac{(N+1)M}{N} - 1,

where N is the sample size (here, 5) and M is the highest sampled number (here, 89). In this example, the formula tells us that B = 105.8, so we’d estimate that 106 tanks had been produced at that time.

In the event, Allied statisticians reportedly estimated that the Germans had produced 246 tanks per month between June 1940 and September 1942. Intelligence estimates had put the total at about 1,400. When the Allies captured German production records after the war, they found that they had produced 245 tanks per month during those three years, almost precisely what the statisticians had predicted, and less than 20 percent of the intelligence estimate.

(Thanks, Ryan.)

Please support Futility Closet on Patreon!

07 Mar 12:41

Don’t misclick.image / twitter / facebook / patreon















Don’t misclick.

image / twitter / facebook / patreon

11 Mar 23:46

Stumble

by Toni Johnson

stumble-small

It’s okay to stumble. Unless there are zombies. That’s a good way to get eaten.

I made this to put up on my Redbubble store. You can check the design out here.

27 Feb 15:46

Dune recreated with gummi

by Cory Doctorow

5328669937_c64962c2de_b

"Crafted from a 2-foot-long gummy worm, Haribo gummy bears, black licorice string, yellow sprinkles, and rock candy crystals! A scene from the great science fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Here we see the giant gummy worm on the desert planet of Arrakis. Ridden by the powerful gummy bear Paul Atreides as he seeks to control the prescious "spice" melange, which gives those who ingest it extended life and some prescient awareness. Muad'Dib!" (more…)

29 Feb 18:27

At around 500 rubber bands, the external pressure forces the watermelon to explode

by Mark Frauenfelder

melon

This is from Mental Floss' gallery of 15 cool science GIFs. I love this one:

When you notice that the air bubbles “fall down,” you’ll realize these divers are actually walking upside down on the underside of the ice on a frozen lake. This becomes possible when they inflate their gear with air, which increases their buoyancy and makes them go up. A little fine tuning, and they can simulate gravity upside down. They can do that as long as they have air in their bottles, because the water pressure around them is supporting their entire bodies from all sides.

[via]

12 Feb 14:22

allacharade: frog-and-toad-are-friends: I’m reading Don Quixote for my world literature class and...

allacharade:

frog-and-toad-are-friends:

I’m reading Don Quixote for my world literature class and apparently when it was first published in 1605 it was world-changingly popular, one of the first “popular novels” as we know it today, and there were all sorts of people who were writing and publishing their own unofficial fan-sequels to Don Quixote which was basically the first fan-fiction, and then in 1615 the original author wrote an official sequel in which Don Quixote reads a piece of fanfic about him and sets out on a quest to beat up the author who mischaracterized him

This is all true. What happened more specifically is that one fan fiction got really really popular and since people weren’t all that familiar with how novels worked (because there weren’t really any other novels in Europe yet), a lot of people just took this as a valid sequel. Cervantes (the original author) had pretty much stopped working on any kind of sequel to the original at point, but he got really pissed that people were reading this fan fic and assuming it was as legit as his canon. So he got off his butt and wrote this sequel, which academics call big words like “meta-textual” when really it was Cervantes trying to make sure people understood his canon correctly and didn’t get carried away with their silly fan theories based on this one fic writer’s interpretation. 

Now-a-days, the “true sequel” is normally just lumped in and stuck onto the end as a “part II,” in case you are wondering why you’ve never heard of a Don Quixote the Sequel. By all accounts, the fan fic was pretty bad, which makes it’s a perfect beginning to the grand tradition of fanfiction.

Calling this the first instance of fanfiction, though, comes from the fact that this was the first time, as far as we know, that the author of the original stepped in to officially denounce fan work as not canon. For most of history (at least western history) there wasn’t really an idea that stories had ownership. Most famous greek plays and poems are based on other works. Virgil’s Aeneid can easily be called Homer fan fiction (we have no real way of knowing how much of the story existed in folk tradition and how much he made up). Most of the versions of greek myths you know come from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, which is largely his short fics about other myths. Moving out of the classical world, bible fic constitutes a lot of what literature is for a while. Dante’s  Inferno, specifically, (which is, lets be clear, a self insert fic where the author meets his fave author - so it’s also RPF - and they take a tour through a crossover fic between the Bible, historical fic, and greek myth) was so popular that it’s kind of crossed over into fanon (quick - biblically how many cicles does Hell have? Answer: none, they all come from Dante and in turn Virgil, and eventually Homer…) On the run up to Don Quixote, we have Shakespeare, who adapted most of his plays directly from other works by other people, from which he asked no permission (nor was he expected to.)

The real move that makes this false sequel the first official fan fiction is that the author of the canon material asserted his ownership of the intellectual property that was the characters and the story. Not in the legal sense - there was nothing illegal about this sequel - but in the sense that you could call this sequel “unauthorized.” It’s the beginning of thinking of characters and stories as belonging to a specific person, rather than simply being created by said person.

23 Feb 18:45

Hark, A Vagrant: Karl Heinrich Ulrichs




buy this print!

Here is a comic about a man I admire very much! Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was an early champion of LGBT rights, and maybe the first person to speak publicly for them as he did in Munich in 1867. The last picture there is the place where he spoke. He used the word "Urning" for gay men, a term he coined, because even the word "homosexual" wasn't invented yet (it would be soon after). I only found out about him last fall, which is surprising and also sadly not surprising. But he was really amazing, I'm sure you will agree.

Hark! A Vagrant is a strange mix, sometimes the comics are straight jokes and sometimes, like here, I just want to talk about someone I think is great in a way that's easy to pick up on - comics are great for that! And I tell you what, I got so much out of this particular collection, of all the things I read. Here is a link:

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs:
Urning Pride and the First Known Gay Activist

Translated and Edited by Michael Lombardi-Nash, PhD


The document is a mix of things, essays and Karl's own writings and I think you will like it very much. I'm going to leave you with the epitaph on the stone his friends put up for him, he had many friends and admirers. It reads like a little affectionate biography.


Karl Henrich Ulrichs
who was born in Westerfeld near East Friesland
He distinguished himself and became renowned among
his equals by his mental faculties in the humanities and other disciplines
through instruction he received in Gottingen and Berlin.
He was concerned about new problems in anthropology and jurisprudence.
He had a remarkable sense of duty.
He was not elevated to prosperity nor was he humbled
by the attacks from his adversaries.
As a pauper he left the region of Hanover and went into exile.
He traveled through a great part of Europe.
He displayed everywhere a model character by his knowledge and virtue.
Finally he came to live in Aquila in central Italy to live for a long time.
He edited a Latin journal titled "Alaudae" [Larks]
which received praise from the old and new world.
Not complaining, not anguished, he died in our city in his 70th year
on the day before the Ides of July 1895
His loyal friends and admirers here and across the Alps
joined in to pay for this gift for their best friend whom
they mourn the loss of, and mock his lack of fortune
by this truly excellent monument.


"New problems in anthropology and jurisprudence." Victorians, amirite? But still I mean, who doesn't want their friends to mock their lack of fortune with truly excellent monuments?
18 Feb 04:36

Wilde Life - 189

by tech@thehiveworks.com
Vvicked

I love inappropriately-time grammar corrections.

New comic!
Today's News:

You guys are amazing. Thank you so much for the kickstarter. The book is definitely happening and there's so much time left!!

13 Feb 15:52

When you teargas a smooth hacky-sacker

by Cory Doctorow

riot skillz

This is found net.stuff, but my cursory research suggests it might come from Manama, Bahrain. That dude is s-m-o-o-t-h. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

18 Feb 18:17

Superduperperspective paintings that trick the eye

by Mark Frauenfelder

wpkDX8

https://youtu.be/qBfNJ3-xYwg

"This is an amazing piece of 3D art [by Patrick Hughes and on display at Birmingham Art Gallery] where the closest part of the picture appears to be the furthest away, an optical illusion known as "Reverspective". As you move around the painting, the room in the painting appears to move with you."

02 Feb 23:38

prokopetz: I think my biggest “huh” moment with respect to gender roles is when it was pointed out...

prokopetz:

I think my biggest “huh” moment with respect to gender roles is when it was pointed out to me that your typical “geek” is just as hypermasculine as your typical “jock” when you look at it from the right angle.

As male geeks, a great deal of our identity is built on the notion that male geeks are, in some sense, gender-nonconformant, insofar as we’re unwilling or unable to live up to certain physical ideals about what a man “should” be. Indeed, many of us take pride in how putatively unmanly we are.

Viewed from an historical perspective, however, the virtues of the ideal geek are essentially those of the ideal aristocrat: a cultured polymath with expertise in a vast array of subjects; rarefied or eccentric taste in food, clothing, music, etc.; identity politics that revolve around one’s hobbies or pastimes; open disdain for physical labour and those who perform it; a sense of natural entitlement to positions of authority (“you should be flipping my burgers!”); and so forth.

And the thing about that aristocratic ideal? It’s intensely masculine. It may seem more welcoming to women on the surface, but - as recent events will readily illustrate - this is a facade: we pretend to be egalitarian because it suits our refined self-image, but that affectation falls away in a heartbeat when challenged.

Basically, the whole “geeks versus jocks” thing that gets drilled into us by media and the educational system isn’t about degrees of masculinity at all. It’s just two different flavours of the same toxic bullshit: the ideal geek is the alpha-male-as-philosopher-king, as opposed to the ideal jock’s alpha-male-as-warrior-king. It’s still a big ego-measuring contest - we’re just using different rulers.

04 Feb 16:01

Alternatives to "Resting Bitch Face"

by Cory Doctorow

Bette_davis_the_little_foxes

On McSweeney's, Susan Harlan rounds up some less-objectionable alternatives we can use to describe so-called "Resting Bitch Face," such as "Yes I Really Do Just Want to Sit Here and Read My Book Unmolested Face." (more…)