Shared posts

09 Oct 19:49

"______ is my spirit animal"?

Look, this shit would be perhaps slightly less fucked up if we hadn’t stolen a continent from the people who “gave” you assholes the idea of “spirit animals.” Stop it.

07 Oct 15:08

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Recording


Hovertext: Kelly felt this one was too mean. I, on the other hand, feel nothing.

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08 Oct 13:28

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Kids


Hovertext: No more syntax for you. Only precious gurgling noises.

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You're coming to see me and The Oatmeal and Abby Howard this weekend, right?!


07 Oct 06:55


by Greg Ross

Image: Flickr

We’ve been making things awfully hard on spirits. The standard Ouija board lays out the alphabet in two simple rows, which means it’s easy for the dead to tell us about FEEDERS but terribly hard to refer to LAYAWAY, even though these words are equally long.

In the interests of better communication, Eric Iverson made a study of this for the August 2005 issue of Word Ways. Using an image of a Ouija board, he counted the number of pixels that a planchette would have to travel in order to spell out various English words. The results are dismaying: The most exhausting four-letter word, MAMA, requires fully 17 times as much travel as the simple FEED. Longer words are more consistent: The hardest 23-letter word, DISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM, requires little more work than the easiest, ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC. But do dead people have that kind of stamina?

What’s the answer? Iverson experimented with different layouts and found a hexagonal grid that minimizes the average travel distance for a typical word (see the link below). And he found a checkerboard grid that’s 3 percent more efficient than that. Even rearranging the letters on a standard board to ZXVGINAROFUPQ JKWCHTESDLMYB rather than the standard alphabet increases efficiency by about a third. Now maybe we can have some better conversations.

(Eric Iverson, “Traveling Around the Ouija Board,” Word Ways 38:3 [August 2005], 174-177.)

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06 Oct 13:26

Plan and Simple

by Mark


Nearly forgot to schedule this one!! I am already out of practice.

06 Oct 07:26


Any top is a twist top if you try hard enough.
05 Oct 23:53

As someone who is supposed to uphold the law getting #blacklivesmatter written on your coffee seems pretty tame let alone something to complain about. So have cops always been so thin skinned?

You’re talking about this story, where someone who is about to get hell of harassed by the police wrote “#blacklivesmatter” on a cop’s coffee cup, and now the fucking assholes in the police union are pretending like this is some kind of affront. It’s weird how the same dumb fucks who say shit like “if you aren’t breaking the law, you have nothing to worry about when cops stop you” don’t think that “if you aren’t a racist cop, you have nothing to worry about when people suggest that maybe cops shouldn’t murder Black people.” So strange.

03 Oct 06:35

Worldly Wise

by Greg Ross

Proverbs from around the world:

  • A pretty basket does not prevent worries. (Congo)
  • Good painters need not give a name to their pictures; bad ones must. (Poland)
  • Sickness comes riding on horseback and goes away on foot. (Belgium)
  • The spectator is a great hero. (Afghanistan)
  • Those who have to go ten miles must regard nine as only halfway. (Germany)
  • The world is dark an inch ahead. (Japan)
  • Those who place their ladder too steeply will easily fall backward. (Czech Republic)
  • All the wealth of the world is in the weather. (Scotland)
  • Those whose mother is naked are not likely to clothe their aunt. (Sudan)
  • To be in the habit of no habit is the worst habit in the world. (Wales)
  • What is bad luck for one is good luck for another. (Ghana)
  • Good luck is the guardian of the stupid. (Sweden)
  • A change is as good as a rest. (England)
  • Good scribes are not those who write well, but who erase well. (Russia)
  • There is no such thing as a pretty good omelette. (France)
  • Of all the thirty-six alternatives, running away is the best. (China)

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05 Oct 13:00

The League

by Clay Yount

Are you a boy? Are you a girl?

02 Oct 08:30

flyartproductions: The laughing cavalier is straight off the...


The laughing cavalier is straight off the Roc

Laughing Cavalier (1624), Frans Hals / Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Jay Z

01 Oct 16:32

a fresh innovation

by kris


there’s a startup called peeple that’s making the rounds online, calling itself “yelp for people.” you can review people — and if you know their phone number you can start a peeple account in their name, without their permission

but don’t worry, only positive reviews of you show up online instantly. if someone writes a nasty review about you, you get a text about it, and you can go dispute it! which is exactly what you wanted to do with your day

plus, there’s nothing preventing me from giving my ex a 10/10 rating, just to get my negative text about them posted and indexed by search engines along with their name

the comments about the service are overwhelmingly negative, saying “we don’t need or want to participate in this product” — but the peeple admins are deleting many of those from their facebook page

that seems like a nice feature

30 Sep 21:33

Isn't it nice that we live in a world where the pope and a protestant can get together and be all mutual over how icky gay people are?

I told you suckers, that asshole is only good for a pope.

29 Sep 20:30


23 Sep 18:47

A Narrowing Window

by Greg Ross

In 2006 I noted this excerpt from Lillie de Hagermann-Lindencrone’s 1912 book In the Courts of Memory:

I sang, and thought I sang very well; but he just looked up into my face with a very quizzical expression, and said, ‘How long have you been singing, Mademoiselle?’

The bolded section is a “pangrammatic window,” a string of naturally occurring text that contains all the letters of the (English) alphabet. This one is 56 letters long.

That was nine years ago. Can we do better? In 2012 a 42-letter example was discovered in Piers Anthony’s novel Cube Route:

‘We are all from Xanth,’ Cube said quickly. ‘Just visiting Phaze. We just want to find the dragon.’

Last year, Jesse Sheidlower wrote a bot that retweets pangrams that it finds on Twitter. Inspired by this, Google software engineer Malcolm Rowe set out to search first Project Gutenberg and then the web for the shortest possible window. Remarkably, he found one of only 36 letters, in a review of the film Magnolia by Todd Ramlow, for PopMatters:

Further, fractal geometries are replicated on a human level in the production of certain ‘types’ of subjectivity: for example, aging kid quiz show whiz Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) and up and coming kid quiz show whiz Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) are connected (or, perhaps, being cloned) in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine.

(The link seems to be down at the moment.)

“I’m pretty impressed by this result,” Rowe writes. “It’s only one letter longer than “The quick brown fox …”, and while that’s not the shortest possible pangram by far, it is one of the more coherent ones.”

(Thanks, Malcolm.)

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23 Sep 06:45

Square Routes

by Greg Ross

If you fit Pascal’s triangle into a grid, then each cell displays the number of distinct paths that lead to that cell from the upper left (assuming only rightward and downward movements and no backtracking).

So, above, the cell marked 4 in the second row, fourth column, can be reached in 4 ways: 1-1-1-4, 1-1-3-4, 1-2-3-4, and 1-2-3-4.

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23 Sep 04:24

is james bond racist?

He’s like the literal personification of imperialism, the fuck you think?

25 Sep 14:20

"Can you make the ‘plus’ sign less religious?"

“Can you make the ‘plus’ sign less religious?”
25 Sep 22:22

saintzitao: name one native american intellectual off the top of your head, name one native...


name one native american intellectual off the top of your head, name one native american actor or actress off the top of your head, name one native american senator, one native american news anchor, or an author or a tv personality or a singer or a poet or a comedian, name a single native american teacher you’ve had, can you? probably not 

ok so now think of one native american cartoon character you know of or a sports team relating to native americans whether it’s their actual name or their team logo, or a town you live in or near with a “native” name bet a lot of these things came to you right away i bet you didn’t even have to think 

needing native representation in media, education and government are not decoy issues, the commercialization and appropriation of native cultures are not decoy issues, the lack of native representation is institutional oppression at work 

26 Sep 14:20

Client: Can you make our website automatically download a virus to client’s computer so the client...

Client: Can you make our website automatically download a virus to client’s computer so the client has to buy our anti-virus?

His anti-virus is a .bat file which “detects” all files with a name like virus.exe, trojan.exe and so on. After I told him “no” he threatened me with a DDOS attack. I haven’t heard from him since.

28 Sep 02:22

baseballcardvandals: THANKS OBAMA.Own this BCV Original.

23 Sep 13:49

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Cross Product


Hovertext: I would be more open to your critique if it were expressed in radians.

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Thanks for a wonderful BAHFest East, everyone. I've never seen that auditorium so packed! 

24 Sep 14:21

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Subconscious


Hovertext: Also, the T in Tetris is a wiener.

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Psst. Hey. London. 

25 Sep 04:00

Picture a Grassy Field

Wait, I can fix this. Picture another field. In the middle sits the only creature the first creature is afraid of. Now just-- wait, where did THAT one go?
25 Sep 20:30


22 Sep 14:20

This is from an email where a client’s outlines their idea for a CD cover design:Client: The cover...


i'd buy that album

This is from an email where a client’s outlines their idea for a CD cover design:

Client: The cover Should be a muscular skunk devil pimp like creature throwing accusations of your past crazy life but a glowing peace around the person because they are not what they use to be. I saw a good example on Deviant Art, but That’s not quite it. don’t want female with T and A so all viewers may not get offended.

21 Sep 14:20

As I was doing a daily check of our client’s networks, the connection broke completely. One of our...

As I was doing a daily check of our client’s networks, the connection broke completely.

One of our biggest clients called immediately, because every minute without a working connection is a heavy financial loss for them. We were in red alert mode. It’s not often that everything breaks at once.

While we were looking everywhere, we had to focus on the server room because that was the likely culprit.

A server with 500+ plugged in cables looks like spaghetti. You have to plan and manage it carefully or you make a huge mess and create all sorts of new problems.

I started to investigate the server when I noticed an ethernet cable that looked out of place. I followed it from one port to… the port right next to it. This had created an endless loop for the server, because the server was feeding back into itself. I pulled the cable out and BAM! Everything worked again.

Me: Who did this?

Employee Whose Job Isn’t IT: (guiltily) M-me?

We asked him why he thought plugging a loose cable into a massive server was a good idea.

Employee Whose Job Isn’t IT: I saw this cable lying there, and no one was using it. I saw two free ports and put it in them, so it wouldn’t feel useless.

After a massive facepalm from everyone else at the company we banned him from the server room.

21 Sep 16:02

dr. ken lonely, m.d.

by kris


“here are your x-rays. i’m afraid you should avoid physical activity until this heals — oops, how did two tickets to everest in IMAX 3D get into the frame”

22 Sep 06:24

No Waiting

by Greg Ross

Image: Flickr

For Fuse 18, the experimental typographic publication that appeared in February 2001, type designer Matthew Carter reflected on the grand lettering that appears on public buildings: It’s meant to last for eternity, but inevitably it’s effaced by weather, by other inscriptions, and by the graffiti of vandals.

So, wryly, he offered DeFace, which speeds up the process.

“This typeface,” he wrote, “contains a set of inscriptional capitals that are self-vandalizing: each letter has graffiti associated with it that deface neighboring letters. Depending on the text, the graffiti can vandalize both the underlying capitals and other graffiti to make a palimpsest of marks that are individually legible but obscure in combination.”

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20 Sep 12:46

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Genetic Programming


Hovertext: 'Your feelings are stupid' is actually my family motto.

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Thanks for a wonderful BAHFest, everyone! 

21 Sep 04:00

Travel Ghost

And a different ghost has replaced me in the bedroom.