Archive for the ‘geek humor’ category

Kung Fu Pope v. Big Carbon

June 13, 2015

Via Slate, I came across this little bit of video:

Per Eric Holtas in Slate, this is the brainchild of some delightfully twisted Brazilian climate change activists.
My favorite shot?  Dawn-backlit papal Tai-Chi exercise.  IOW:  just watch this.
PS — the soundtrack could/should have been Inhofe and Santorum skull detonations.
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So You Want To Win A Nobel Prize…

April 7, 2015

Excellent advice from one who has.

Rule number two in this list of ten commandments goes beyond the needed snark (and the first principle, which might be called the Tao of science: the only way to achieve Nobelity is not to strive for it).

Los_borrachos_o_el_triunfo_de_Baco_1629_Velázquez

This second principle actually says something dead on point on where discovery happens, in an argument that I think bears on much beyond science itself.  It requires that the prize-aspirant should “hope that your experiments fail occasionally.”  Why?

Because:

There are usually two main reasons why experiments fail. Very often, it is because you screwed up in the design by not thinking hard enough about it ahead of time. Perhaps more often, it is because you were not careful enough in mixing the reagents (I always ask students if they spat in the tube or, more recently, were texting when they were labeling their tubes). Sometimes, you are not careful enough in performing the analytics (did you put the thermometer in upside down, as I once witnessed from a medical student whose name now appears on my list of doctors who I won’t allow to teat me even if I’m dying?). These problems are the easiest to deal with by always taking great care in designing and executing experiments. If they still fail, then do them over again! But the more interesting reason that experiments fail is because nature is trying to tell you that the axioms on which you based the experiment are wrong. This means the dogma in the field is wrong (often the case with dogma). If you are lucky, as I was, then the dogma will be seriously wrong, and you can design more experiments to find out why. If you are really lucky, then you will stumble onto something big enough to be prizeworthy.

And with that, a chance to think about non-stupid things for a while.  Open thread, y’all

Image:  Diego Velasquez, The Drunkards, or the Triumph of Bacchus1629.

Always Be Innovating

April 1, 2015

Via Boing Boing, this, from Google Japan:

Most scary:  the seeming universal nature of hipster affect.

And, with that….top of the day to you all.

I Like To Think Of This As The Universe Expressing An Opinion About Today’s Incarnation Of The Party Of Lincoln

October 2, 2014

I mean, this picture sure seems to make a cosmic viewpoint clear:

Keyhole_Nebula_-_Hubble_1999 crop

Ah well.  It’s back to work for your humble bloghost.

Image:  NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI) – Space Telescope Science Institute, Keyhole Nebula, crop of the feature known as “God’s Birdie,” 1999.

CPAC, Rendered

March 16, 2013

One of the joys of middle-aged fatherhood is the gift of the absurd — which is to say whatever entertains Kidz Theze Dayz — offered up by one’s sprout.

My son’s a gamer — Starcraft, TF 2 and WoW much of the time, but with an enduring love of Minecraft as well.  He’s an avid consumer of E-sports stuff on the various Youtube channels as well. If you’ve missed names like the Yogcast Yogscast, Day 9, the Cynical Brit (aka Total Biscuit, and known in this household as Whole Crumpet) and so on, you’re (perhaps blissfully) unaware of a huge segment of pop-culture.

I’m not sure I minded my long ignorance of the subculture of ‘casters and pro-gaming as entertainment, but once made aware, I have to admit it’s amazing — if only for the way that the gamer community constructed the entire infrastructure of a sports-entertainment industrial complex substantially (though not entirely) from the grass roots up.

1909_Stag_at_Sharkey's

There are significant sociologial and cultural insights to be gained from understanding that process and its results– or smart colleagues of mine think so:  we talk a lot about the political reach (or not) of the digitization of experience and the rise of social networks, and here’s a whole universe in which this is taking place that one can study absent the confounding variable of political passions.

But forget the high-falutin stuff — given his gaming and Youtube passions, my son regularly expands my horizons by showing me stuff I simply would never think to discover on my own.  And because I’m no sober scholar of modern tech/youth culture, I have my own interpretative lens that colors what he finds.  So, as a non-gamer DFH would-be yobbo anti-pundit, I’ll just thank my son for showing me the 36 seconds that captures the pure essence of CPAC:

 

So, as you read about CPAC neo-confederates wondering how Frederick Douglass had the presumption to forgive his former master, who, in their view, had merely provided food and shelter, think this vid.

Image:  George Bellows, Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909.

Let Your Geek Flag Fly

June 11, 2011

On deadline, and don’t want to leave this place totally unwarmed, so…

…Via my polytalented colleague Nick Montfort, I learned of this absurdly cool — really mesmerizing — video made by digital artist jörg piringer:

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I now have a new item for my bucket list:  getting my own character accepted to Unicode.

By the way:  be careful.  Watching this for too long may induce long unfelt cravings for a blacklight, Robin Trower solos,* and whatever it was you put in that bong.

Enjoy

*To which I’m listening as I post this.

How About A Little xkcd Haute Snark?

May 28, 2011

Honi soit qui mal y pense:

I got the heads up to this from John Sundman, a Twitter buddy, (@jsundmanus) who complains that it “is factually wrong; an astoundingly rare occurrence.”  Guess why.  (Sundman’s answer after the jump.)

“discussants are not holding beers.”