Shared posts

26 Mar 08:56

Cicero: Get off my dick CatilineCicero denounces Catiline...

Cicero: Get off my dick Catiline

Cicero denounces Catiline (1882-1888), Cesare Maccari / G.O.M.D., J. Cole

24 Mar 20:30


24 Mar 18:39

Unfolding Hopes

by Greg Ross

Albert Szent-Györgyi, who knew a lot about maps
according to which life is on its way somewhere or other,
told us this story from the war
due to which history is on its way somewhere or other:

The young lieutenant of a small Hungarian detachment in the Alps
sent a reconnaissance unit out into the icy wasteland.
It began to snow
immediately, snowed for two days and the unit
did not return. The lieutenant suffered: he had dispatched
his own people to death.

But the third day the unit came back.
Where had they been? How had they made their way?
Yes, they said, we considered ourselves
lost and waited for the end. And then one of us
found a map in his pocket. That calmed us down.
We pitched camp, lasted out the snowstorm and then with the map
we discovered our bearings.
And here we are.

The lieutenant borrowed this remarkable map
and had a good look at it. It was not a map of the Alps
but of the Pyrenees.

Goodbye now.

— From Miroslav Holub, Notes of a Clay Pigeon, reprinted in G.Y. Craig and E.J. Jones, A Geological Miscellany, 1982.

The post Unfolding Hopes appeared first on Futility Closet.

24 Mar 14:20

Client: We need a new platform for our website. This one is old.Me: What do you mean when you say...

Client: We need a new platform for our website. This one is old.

Me: What do you mean when you say platform?

Client: I don’t know, but I’ve been told we need a new one.

24 Mar 08:30

flyartproductions: La Vie Part II La Vie (1903), Pablo Picasso /...


La Vie Part II

La Vie (1903), Pablo Picasso / Confessions Part II, Usher

24 Mar 16:35

jtotheizzoe:That “new scientific breakthrough discovery” you...

by joberholtzer


That “new scientific breakthrough discovery” you just read about on that news site/blog/Facebook page? It’s almost certainly wrong. This article from Vox is a seriously important thing that, if you care about science, you really need to read, like right now. 

My take: The tendency of the media to report on what is *NEW* in science is indicative of what I think is the largest perspective gap between scientists and nonscientists. 

The general public (apologies, I hate how homogenous that word is, because there is no single “general public”, but I have to use it here) seems to crave novelty and has a tendency to view every scientific finding as forwardprogress and individually meaningful, but science is a an ongoing process of self-correction and repetition. It doesn’t have an “end” and any single study is almost certainly wrong, or at the very least doesn’t tell the full story.

This is why I have tried to steer clear of reporting on “breaking” science news in my own efforts here on OKTBS. Science communicators and journalists, we need to make a commitment to covering science as a process and not as a series of breakthroughs. When science IS reported that way, we run the risk of losing people’s trust when science later must later correct or contradict itself, which is something that will absolutely happen, because that’s what science does. We must also make people comfortable with the idea uncertainty and science-as-a-process is a good thing!

I’ll shut up now. Go read this.

23 Mar 20:30


20 Mar 06:30

Escape Suspenders

by Greg Ross

In 1885 George C. Hale had the bright idea of weaving a zigzag cord into a pair of suspenders. Now if the wearer is trapped in a burning building, he can free the cord, lower it from a window to receive a rope, and escape to safety.

Hale’s patent application says, “I have found by experimenting that from fifty to one hundred feet, or even more, of the cord can be secured to the suspender in the manner heretofore described.”

The application was granted. I wonder if he ever went into business with this.

The post Escape Suspenders appeared first on Futility Closet.

20 Mar 18:59


by Greg Ross

Reviews of a test pattern on Netflix:

  • “Not as good as the book. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the whole thing. I hope ‘Downscaling 2998fps: Too Down, Too Scaler’ is better.”
  • “This is truly some of the best acting I’ve ever seen Keanu Reeves do. Hands down.”
  • “Not since Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist has there been such a grim exploration of nihilism, peppered with gratuitous exploitation as ‘Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps 10Min.’ I found it beautiful and filthy with a soundtrack that puts Frozen‘s ‘Let it Go’ to shame.”
  • “I had not seen any of the previous test patterns, and I was afraid I would not ‘get’ this one. Boy was I wrong! Talk about exciting! Going in my list. I’ll be watching this one again!”
  • “I turned it off at 01:17:18. Pretty obvious where this thing was going. Really sad to see that cyan has resorted to doing test pattern work, another hue that started out with so much potential. The circle with the spinning colors showed promise and that ‘bleep’ sound was kinda clever.”
  • “What happened Netflix? A year or two ago your test patterns were good clean fun. Yes, you might attract more subscribers with this kind of material, but at what cost? You’re better than this Netflix!”

Reviews of a gallon of milk on Amazon:

  • “Unfortunately, after a terrible night’s sleep, I have concluded that this product is not suitable for use as a pillow.”
  • “This is a fine milk, but the product line appears to be limited in available colors. I could only find white.”
  • “I cannot say that Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz. was entirely responsible for my winning the Sveriges Riksbank Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. However, I would be remiss in not mentioning it.”
  • “Has anyone else tried pouring this stuff over dry cereal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!”
  • “Bought it for my cousin who had cancer, item never arrived and my cousin died.”
  • “You know, if you click on the different image views, it looks like it’s coming to GET you…”
  • “WANTED: Somebody to buy milk on the internets with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we drink it. Must bring your own weapons and be able to crawl through a series of tubes. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”

See Beach Reading.

The post Commentary appeared first on Futility Closet.

20 Mar 17:51

didn’t i tell you elephants were mad chillhomey in the back is...

didn’t i tell you elephants were mad chill

homey in the back is like yasssss he got my zoobookss

21 Mar 16:11

cyberho:COUTURE, HO!!!! Shirogane




23 Mar 04:00

Wasted Time

Since it sounds like your time spent typing can't possibly be less productive than your time spent not typing, have you tried typing SLOWER?
23 Mar 12:41

A Softer World: 1216

buy this comic as a print!
Or share on: facebookreddit
If you enjoy the comic, please consider supporting A Softer World on Patreon
20 Mar 04:00


At the bottom left: The mystery of why, when I know I needed to be asleep an hour ago, I decide it's a good time to read through every Wikipedia article in the categories 'Out-of-place artifacts', 'Earth mysteries', 'Anomalous weather', and 'List of people who disappeared mysteriously'.
18 Mar 14:26

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Center of the Universe


New comic!
Today's News:

Why Are We Smug?

19 Mar 14:35

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - GIMME YOUR WALLET


New comic!
Today's News:

 If you're having deja vu, it's because I accidentally posted this comic for a second yesterday. Press Z :)

17 Mar 06:51

Critical Sensitivity

by Greg Ross

Alexander Woollcott set a world record for the shortest review of a Broadway play.

The play was titled Wham!

Woollcott’s review, in full, read “Ouch!”

The post Critical Sensitivity appeared first on Futility Closet.

17 Mar 18:02

Chinese Magic Mirrors

by Greg Ross

During China’s Han dynasty, artisans began casting solid bronze mirrors with a perplexing property. The front of each mirror was a polished, reflective surface, and the back featured a design that had been cast into the bronze. But if light were cast from the mirrored side onto a wall, the design would appear there as if by magic.

The mirrors first came to the attention of the West in the early 19th century, and their secret eluded investigators for 100 years until British physicist William Bragg worked it out in 1932. Each mirror had been cast flat with the design on the reverse side, giving the disk a varying thickness. As the front was polished to produce a convex mirror, the thinner parts of the disk bulged outward slightly. These imperfections are invisible to direct inspection; as Bragg wrote, “Only the magnifying effect of reflection makes them plain.”

Joseph Needham, the historian of ancient Chinese science, calls this “the first step on the road to knowledge about the minute structure of metal surfaces.”

The post Chinese Magic Mirrors appeared first on Futility Closet.

17 Mar 15:42

chaosophia218:Minimalist Posters of Great Mathematicians.

by joberholtzer


Minimalist Posters of Great Mathematicians.

16 Mar 15:00

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Monocle Announcement

13 Mar 08:30

You can stand under myUmbrellas in the rain (1899), Maurice...

You can stand under my

Umbrellas in the rain (1899), Maurice Prendergast / Umbrella, Rihanna

13 Mar 22:42

deep-dark-fears:Happy holidays! An anonymous fear submitted to...


Happy holidays! An anonymous fear submitted to deep dark fears. Just trying to draw like Helen Jo today.

awesome comic, awesome response to fear, and a shoutout to one of my favorite illustrators

13 Mar 15:00

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - They'll Be Parting


New comic!
Today's News:

 If you're still having RSS issues, please use this:

14 Mar 15:43

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - DIE OPPRESSORS!


New comic!
Today's News:


12 Mar 18:30

Tumblr the leader of BuzzFeed’s sited content

by joberholtzer
12 Mar 20:30


13 Mar 04:00

Terry Pratchett

Thank you for teaching us how big our world is by sharing so many of your own.
12 Mar 08:30

flyartproductions:WHO WILL SURVIVE IN AMERICA? Guernica (1937),...



Guernica (1937), Pablo Picasso / Who Will Survive In America?, Kanye West ft. Gil Scott-Heron

11 Mar 15:56

A Softer World: 1213

buy this comic as a print!
Or share on: facebookreddit
If you enjoy the comic, please consider supporting A Softer World on Patreon
11 Mar 20:30