By Ben |
  • A Russian-American comedian I heard on BBC world service a few minutes ago was just saying how in the Soviet Union, when someone important died they would broadcast Swan Lake for 24 hours on all stations with no explanation, causing everyone who lived through it to develop a pavlovian stress response to the music. So here I am a few minutes later minding my own business, and what starts playing in the next room? Daaaaaa da da da da daaaaaa da daaaaaa...
  • Yo momma such a topologist, she got a tattoo of the three utilities problem, and then got a piercing so she could solve it
  • If Newton had seen how people exit an airplane, he never would have come up with the first law of motion.
  • According to Google Translate, "Hatee hatee hatee ho" (one of the things the fox says, but spelled "હતી હતી હતી હો") is Gujarati for "had had to have had." What tense is that?
  • There are two types of people:
    0. Those who think programmers start counting at 0
    1. Those who know the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers.
  • Based on my non-representative sample, one is much more likely to hear French music in an indie coffee shop in Omaha than in Paris...
  • I made omelettes this morning on our new induction gizmo. The skillet was hot and ready for cooking in about 15 seconds. No oil, no burning. When I was done, I hit Cancel and the pan stopped sizzling in under a second. I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it. It wasn't so much like regular cooking as it was like the simulated cooking in our nephew's VR video game.
  • I got into a chat with someone at Discover customer support who signs their posts *McKay and all I can think of is Mr. Mackey from South Park. We are unable to change the way transactions are sorted on your printed statements, m'kay? Even though the categories make no sense and we realize Baskin Robbins is not a supermarket, m'kay? If you want to sort transactions chronologically you have to look at your statement online, m'kay?
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again, whoever mapped the backspace key to go back a page in the Lynx browser in 1992 had no intention that browsers in 2019 would still take us back a page when we accidentally hit backspace. Stop it.
  • I think it's weird that we talk dispassionately about memes "going viral," as if that could potentially be good, or even harmless. How many times in history has a viral outbreak *ever* been harmless? We should take viral behavior as a serious warning that we need to stop and think before we spread the thing any farther. The internet is much more like a mycelial mat than anything bacterial or viral. It's gone fungal!
  • Listening to teenagers talk excitedly about bands from the '60s and realizing this is was like when swing dancing made a comeback in the '90s.
  • Avengers: Infinity War was not as sad on second viewing as the first time. But it did make me favorably compare Doctor Who to Doctor Strange. It would have significantly helped my suspension of disbelief if Doctor Strange had taken a moment during the New York battle scene to say, "I can't use the Eye of Agamotto right now... fixed point in time, don't you know, sorry" or "I can't use my sling ring to send Ebony Maw into the sun; he's deadlock sealed" or "I can't use my magic books to locate Vision like I did Odin because he's only listed in the new edition that hasn't arrived yet." As BS as those explanations are, at least they attempt to gloss over the fact that he had one job and didn't do it properly before people he cared about started dying. Sigh
  • Kinds of movie trailers I'm tired of:
    1) shows too much, gives away the entire plot of the film
    2) shows too little, makes me think the film is incoherent and boring
    3) WHOMP! sound byte WHOMP! bit of dialogue WHOMP! accelerating drum beats and aaaaaaaaah the title fades in
  • It's that thing where Jessie asks me if I want to go out tonight, and I say I'm too tired, and then she falls asleep on the sofa by 7:30 and I'm still awake. #partyvegetables
  • Man, my Facebook feed seriously needs an Admiral Ackbar emoji so I can just flag some of your posts as "It's a trap!" and move on. #vaguebooking #youdontknowwhoyouare
  • I want to make an album of church choir performances of Beatles songs, and call it "Inordinately Fond." (Google the phrase if you don't get it)
  • Mendeleev was no doubt the inspiration for every sci-fi inventor who says, "my invention is nearly complete! All I need is this new element that has yet to be discovered, but whose properties I have predicted. Once I find it, I will RULE THE WORLD!" That may not be how science usually works, but it worked for Mendeleev.
  • I had forgotten that Biosphere 2 covers 3.14 acres. That is so pointlessly nerdy. I mean, acres aren't even an SI unit...
  • Maybe people would pay more attention to the insect apocalypse if we called it the Rapture. Why aren't there bugs anymore? Because they were the chosen ones.
  • No. Slavery was not indentured servitude, unless you're talking specifically about George Washington's dentures.
  • Many years from now, the Opportunity rover wakes up again. A smooth, white robot is hovering before him. "Directive!" she says.
  • You know what, Web browsers? Firefox, Chrome, Safari, are you listening? If a URL has a period or a close parenthesis at the end of it, I guarantee you that's a typo from when the link was at the end of a sentence. Just go ahead and ignore it like you would a trailing space. If anyone complains, you can blame me. Thanks.
  • [headline about manhole fires in NYC] Thoughts and prayers for the wildfire victims of Andalasia. [crickets] If I make a joke and no one laughs, is it still funny? I say yes.
  • I think it's weird that in none of its various uses is the "full stop" (period) actually a full stop. That is, it's not used to indicate that you're done talking, like "over" on CB radio or EOF in a file. The semicolon we use to end statements in programming makes way more sense for the way people use a period to end a statement and then keep right on talking. Oh, well.
  • You know, if biotech wanted to win over the critics of GMOs, they could release a gene drive to wipe out the varroa mite. And not charge anyone a cent for doing it. That would convince us that they have the interests of humanity at heart. Of course, to save the bees it would probably also be necessary to stop making neonicotinoids. They could also do that, if they wanted to prove they had the interests of humanity at heart.
  • I have to share this surreal thing that happened last night... Jessie Stallings and I went to an IHOP that (without going into unnecessary details) was having some management and maintenance issues. While we were looking at our menus, the PA system, which had been unusually silent up to that point, suddenly came on loud and clear with the soundtrack of an introductory lesson about fractions. "If I take this rectangle, which is the whole, and divide it into two equal parts, and then I divide each of them into two equal parts, then I'll have four equal parts, or 'fourths.'" It went on for about 3 minutes before it suddenly went silent and stayed quiet throughout our meal, leaving us in suspense about what you call half of a fourth. Before we left, I asked our beleaguered waitress how on earth that had happened. She said the PA system plays music through the manager's computer, which is locked in their office. The manager hadn't been in since she started her shift, but had evidently left the computer on a tutorial about fractions (maybe for a visiting child, I'm guessing) instead of on the usual music channel, and none of the other staff could get to it, they could only change the volume.
  • I opened a tab at my local coffee shop. When I went up for a refill, there was a different barista, and without asking my name she put it on my tab. I asked what name the first barista had used, and she said "Beard." Literally every man in here has a beard. I guess mine is the most beardy beard of all.
  • I just realized, in Doctor Who technology is inductive rather than deductive. In most SF, you are told an X is a device that does Y, then they get into a situation that requires Y, produce an X, and indeed X does Y just as advertised. In Doctor Who, they get into a situation that requires Y, X turns out to do Y regardless of what we were previously told it did, and they conclude that X must do Y because it just did it. You could call it lazy writing, but it's the way the show has been consistently written for 55 years...
    Or I guess you could make the case that Doctor Who writing is procedural while other SF writing is object oriented!
  • Wow, the upcoming Shazam movie looks like DC decided the only thing wrong with Green Lantern was the color of his suit. I know Marvel keeps recycling origin stories too (magic Iron Man, tiny Iron Man...) But Iron Man was successful...
    Of course, Captain Marvel also has the same plot as Green Lantern. The difference is, Carol Danvers is already a mature and responsible adult when she gets powers, not an arrogant brat.
  • Let the record show I did not slip on the ice. I slipped on the side of some random stranger's trailer trying to help get their stalled vehicle onto it.
  • Remember, if you seashells, Seychelles.
  • I am grateful that when I finally did fall on the ice, I fell on a patch that was not covered in dog poop.
  • I just tuned the autoharp for the first time in months, and man was it ever flat. I haven't started playing yet, and my wrists are already tired from cranking the tuning wrench.
  • People just keep signing the Honda Accord every year without disclosing what's in it. Does it prohibit signatories from building giant fighting robots? Or is it just about economic, reliable transportation as proponents claim?
  • I'm so proud of Jessie for turning in her 197-page dissertation to the review committee yesterday. She's got the whole week on our calendar marked "due sometime this week," from yesterday through next Monday, and she turned it in on the first day she could. I married Hermione Granger! 😉❤️
  • I don't know what's for second breakfast, but elevensies has got to be Eggos.
  • So let me get this straight... If affluenza is something people with affluence get, then are we all getting immunized each fall against influence?
  • This sounds like something out of an anime. [ photo of a package of lace stockings; "Ultra-thin design, extremely transparent, with a light ze and smooth silk touch. Breathable all-missile design, can shoot the sun light, preventthe summer direct sunlight, and effectively protect skin."]
  • Captain Marvel was even better on second viewing, but I can't help wondering if the writers put Wonder Woman, Frozen and She-Ra in a blender. Not that there's anything wrong with that method of writing.
  • Is it just me, or do [Chicago mayoral candidates] Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle sound like candidates for Hogwarts student body president?
  • The thing I find odd about the premise of The Umbrella Academy, having only seen the pilot so far, is... 47 women around the world had miracle babies, and a rich dude traveled the world buying them, only 7 were desperate enough to give them up for money, and they *still* would up with an all white cast. White people must really love money! Or at least watching other white people.
  • I wonder what the Bee Gees concluded about the New York Times' effect on man, and whether it applies to cable news.
  • Is the gender neutral title Mx. pronounced mixture or mistery?
  • A couple of dudes on the radio were talking cheerfully about how tomorrow [March 30] is April Fools' Day, and I was like, no, you're doing it wrong...
  • pet peeve: when a company notifies you that their terms have changed, and they show you the new wording, but don't tell you what the old wording was so you don't actually know whether or how the change affects you.
  • [headline: Microplastics found in 'pristine' wilderness] You might call our age the Plasticine.
  • What if a pallet, a palette, and a palate were really interchangeable?
  • I can't believe there's actually a company called Pegatron. Without googling it, I can only assume it's a winged horse that transforms into a pistol.
  • It was five years ago today [April 21] that I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I've now been in full remission for almost a year, thanks to the cooperation of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, and to the heroic sacrifices of thousands of volunteers in experimental studies. My CLL will return, but for now I try to make the most of every day! I should have celebrated it as Passover now that I think about it, but happy Easter!
  • [headline: Media coverage of violent events is found to fuel a cycle of stress] In other news, comedies are statistically more likely to make people laugh.
  • Why does Engame have to be so political? If the remaining people don't like Thanos, all they have to do is agree to vote for the same person to replace him.
  • I hate to rain on the parade, but I was kind of disappointed by Avengers: Endgame. It felt to me like Peter Jackson was directing, except that he would have allowed us to see the scenery in focus. YMMV.
  • I refuse to believe that John Oliver is two years younger than me.
  • That feeling when you go to start charging your car, and the photo the app uses to represent that spot is a photo of your car parked there.
  • Every time PHP tells me "Additional uncaught exception thrown while handling exception," I think of the plastic surgery lady from "Brazil" saying, "My complication had a little complication."
  • "Last Week Tonight" is so much more enjoyable than "Adam Ruins Everything." Similar premise, but if I'm going to learn how awful everything is, I'd rather enjoy it.
  • Any meme that claims no one is sharing it is factually untrue
  • The impressive thing to me about the black hole "photo" is that it took only a finite amount of time to produce the image from the radiation that escaped from the black hole, whereas it takes the radiation that doesn't escape an infinite amount of time to fall into it... at light speed. The event horizon is the difference between your civilization's desperate distress signals being picked up by a telescope on Earth and used to make a pretty orange picture that people share on social media, and spending your civilization's last seconds of life watching the entire universe die of old age around you while your planet is stretched thinner than a hair.
  • It's a shame Trump only gives silly nicknames to people he doesn't like. Benjamin F'in' Yahoo has a nice ring to it.
  • Gotta love it when a rich person uses the phrase "people with limited resources" as if that's some sort of niche market.
  • Armored Doll Vomit
    Dammit Drool Lover
    Immoral TV Doodler
    Mr. Molded Violator
    Dolt Imam Overlord
    Mortal Doom Drivel
    Devil Marmot Drool
    ... Just sayin', there are a lot of other anagrams for "Tom Marvolo Riddle." And since he hadn't previously even mentioned that his middle name was Marvolo, it was not possible that a bunch of kids would guess "I am Lord Voldemort."
  • I'm hearing a lot of people saying that men need to shut up and sit down because our opinions on reproductive rights do not matter. I'm also hearing a lot of people saying that men need to stand up and speak out in defense of reproductive rights. I see only one resolution to this paradox, so here goes:
    I am pro-choice *because* other people's medical practices are none of my business. They're also none of your business, no matter what gender or political persuasion you belong to. They're none of anyone's business besides the patient's and their doctor's, and the patient has the right to choose a different doctor.
  • There should be a filk band called "Mal Reynolds" that plays only Malvina Reynolds tunes with lyrics about Malcolm Reynolds. They could sing songs like, "You Can't Make a Browncoat Come Out" and "Tiny Starships."
  • Computer science is a sudo science
  • It's 2019. Can we please stop using fonts in which I and l are indistinguishable? If you can tell by looking which of these words is spelled correctly, you are exempt: 
    IIlinois, lIlinois, llIinois, lllinois, IIIinois, IlIinois
  • I know I've said this before, but it's still true that whenever I hear the song about how "you've gotta keep your head up so you can let your hair down," I imagine someone working around a lot of machinery with moving parts.
  • So let me get this straight... anesthesiologists can choose between two gases that are equivalent in their effects on the patient, only one has 1/24th the climate impact than the other *and* breaks down faster *and* is considerably cheaper for the patient... but some consistently choose the more expensive, more damaging gas for no reason? I think the environment is not the only thing they're failing to care about.
  • It's that thing where I finally decide to go through a bunch of the things on my reading list, but it's been so long that half the domains are no longer registered. Who thought it was a good idea to build our global information system on top of year-long leases?
  • I love it when people who came of age in the '60s complain about social norms changing too fast...
  • The road to Hell may be paved with good intentions, but I'm pretty sure the soundtrack is gas-powered leaf blowers.
  • Jessie and closed on the purchase our house in Omaha on Thursday evening! Our thunder was stolen by popping a tire immediately after closing and losing 2 hours waiting for a tow.
  • I've never been so glad to drive a [Ford C-Max Energi] hybrid: the accessory battery has gone bad while I'm out of town and need to get home tonight, but no worries, the engine can start from the main battery and charge it. The guy at AutoZone said he thought the alternator has stopped working, but AFAIK there is no separate alternator for the accessory battery, and clearly the engine is still charging the main battery just fine. In any case it still drives, so I'm headed home!
  • [Headline: One of D-Day's most famous, heroic assaults may have been unnecessary] If hell is defined by clumsy mistakes followed by lies, betrayals of trust, and shameful coverups, then war is hell. Unfortunately so are a lot of other things.
  • Sometimes having the name Stallings causes our listing on to mistakenly come up when bike tourists in the Baltic states are looking for a place to stay the night. I usually figure out their mistake in time to tell them that Omaha is not, in fact, in eastern Europe.
  • What's even more fun than learning a new word by seeing it on a letter from your health insurance is teaching it to all the customer service reps you talk to in the process of getting it straightened out. No, not parental, parenteral. Yes, I had to look it up too. It means a drug was administered other than by mouth. Only it wasn't, I didn't receive any drugs that day. It's all straightened out now.
  • Me waiting for the washer to unlock its lid: Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL.
  • Unpopular opinion: The short-term impact of any customization of a Web site whatsoever is to make it harder to use.
  • Unpopular opinion: when ministers and other podcasters get quiet for the most important part of the sentence, it makes their recordings inaccessible to people with hearing impairments as well as those listening in a car or other noisy place. Here's what it sounds like: "We can do X, we can do Y, but the MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO is (mumble mumble whisper)." Speaking like this is an affectation and can be un-learned. I know some people learn to do it on purpose because, they say, it helps kids learn to listen better. Well, those without hearing impairments anyway...
  • unpopular opinion: musicians should record their music without distortion, and those who want to hear it distorted can just play it on crappy speakers.
  • business idea: a pawn shop just outside security at the airport where people can pawn their pocketknives they forgot to leave at home and buy them back cleaned and sharpened when they return, or at least get something with which to open packaging and tighten screws while they're visiting town.
  • It is uncanny how much this actual real life physics experiment has in common with the fictitious one in the opening scene of "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension." I wonder if their oscillation overthruster also looks like a flux capacitor?
  • If I had not had so many, many years of frustrating experiences with trying to get Linux to do ordinary everyday tasks, and with bloated printer and scanner drivers, I would not be able to fully appreciate how seamlessly my current Dell/Ubuntu system works with our HP all-in-one printer. Everything is just effortless, with no added software. It kind of makes me tear up for my misspent youth.
  • Favorite quote of the day so far: "John Carter Syndrome: when the source material was so influential the movie gets accused of ripping off all the films it inspired." (From the Honest Trailer for Ghost in the Shell)
  • Stranger Things season 1: We don't have a budget for animation, so the monster is just gonna be a guy in a rubber suit.
    Season 2: Eight monsters. Non-humanoid. Fully animated.
    Season 3: A monster that has a shape is *so* last season.
  • Cats have two forms of energy: pathetic and kittential
  • The dogs wanted a longer walk than usual this morning, so I had some time to think, and I was thinking about the time travel paradox in Doctor Who, and how you could make the case that it's one of the more consistent concepts in the show.
    As I understand it, the idea is that a time traveler can change the details of *how* things happen, but cannot change major events, because those are "fixed points in time." Kind of like Schrödinger's Cat, once an event has been observed from the future, it can't be changed in the past. Time may be "a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff," but unlike in "Back to the Future II," a traveler is stuck on one timeline and cannot follow a branch. ...except when the plot calls for it ("Rise of the Cybermen").
    At least twice, in "The Waters of Mars" and "Vincent and the Doctor," the Doctor has tried to save people who were destined to die, and then they committed suicide. Their deaths were fixed points, and they saw no future for themselves, so they killed themselves. Vincent was already struggling with mental illness. But Adelaide's death is more problematic. 
    Yes, the episode is all about the Doctor's character development and his own struggle with his impending regeneration [cue world's smallest violin]. Yes, his motive for saving Adelaide is simply to prove that he can do it. No, he really didn't put any thought into how this would affect her. Yes, he may be more of an asshole in this moment than at any other time in the history of the show, and the Universe (writer) needed to teach him (us) a lesson. But even so, even being self-absorbed, he could have TAKEN HER WITH HIM in the TARDIS instead of leaving her alone in her house on Earth with no way to explain how she got there from Mars. I mean, it wasn't too long before this he was all set to take Madame de Pompadour with him in the TARDIS, even though that would have disrupted the timeline. 
    Is it just that she was young and pretty and Adelaide was older? Because in several different regenerations he's said that he can't tell people's age ("Last Christmas" and "School Reunion" come to mind). I get that he couldn't have had her along for the next episode, but they could have done a montage, or just written her out with a line of dialogue, "Oh, I dropped her off at a commune near Deneb, where she's leading a quiet life and won't affect the timeline."
    Don't get me started about the fixed points in "The Angels Take Manhattan." That is some BS, pure and simple. But maybe that's the explanation, right there. Sigh.
  • If you feel like a room without a roof, you may be in pergolatory.
    On the other hand, if you feel like you're inside but you're really outside, that's the gazebo effect.
  • I thought I recognized Claudia Christian in this week's "Handmaid's Tale," but it was...
    not the One.
  • You know what would make me feel like a valued and member of a store's customer loyalty program?
    Telling me before I make a big purchase that the sale starts tomorrow.
  • Not sure how to feel about hearing someone in the restaurant kitchen yelling, "I'M MELTING!" and no audible response from the other staff. I mean, best case scenario she's joking around and they're tired of it. Worst case, she melted and nobody cares.
    Starting to think she might be a parrot. "WHO'S THE HOT GUY WITH THE FRESH NEW HAIRCUT? HOT guy HOT guy HOT guy HOT guy"
  • Q: who wrote "Polythene Pam?"
    A: John Linen & Polymer Cotteny
  • Jessica Jones season 3 is brilliant, but the shallow depth of field is driving me crazy. I get enough of everything being blurry from being middle aged, thank you very much. I'm just glad this fad didn't start until after Lord of the Rings, or millions of dollars in set design and CGI would have been lost in the fog.
  • Pro tip: If your envelope needs "easy open instructions" it is not easy to open.
  • What I wish Elizabeth Warren had said last night when pressed about whether "Medicare for all" would cause a middle-class tax increase:
    Insurance premiums are also a tax, you just pay them to an insurance company instead of to the government. Yes, under "Medicare for all" there will be an additional tax which is your *insurance premium*. Our research indicates it will be lower than what insured people are currently paying in premiums. The only way to call this a tax increase is if you don't call private insurance premiums a tax.
  • Aluminum storm windows are a masterpiece of engineering. It's like someone said, let's fix everything that's wrong with wood frame windows, and damn the aesthetics.
  • "Corporations kill people. That's how capitalism works!" -- Angela "A.J." Geils, on Angie Tribeca season 4
  • When you nest functions in PHP, angels cry and posterity curses your name
  • That feeling when a company's hold music is actually really good and interesting and clear, and it makes you realize you've gotten accustomed to crappy, repetitive, tinny hold music and your heart breaks a little.
  • Data! I'm not just imagining it!
    summary for those who don't want to watch a 15-minute video: falsetto has always been prevalent in American pop music -- like at least 50% of all top 40 songs, that prevalent! -- but 2015 was by far the most mewling year ever.
  • This coffee shop's streaming music is so intermittent it's silent for minutes at a time before bursting into song. Is that why it's called Spotify?
  • Daniel Quinn wrote, "Evolution is never perfect, it's just damned hard to improve upon." After 6 months of using Evolution as my email client software, I have to agree.
  • It's only a matter of time before Android version names start overlapping with Dumbledore's passwords.
  • I think it's a shame more people don't know about merbromin (formerly marketed as Mercurochrome) for skin infections. It works faster and better than anything else, is dirt cheap, and lasts forever. You do have to buy it from overseas because it's not sold in the US anymore. I've had the same bottle since 1994 (sticker price: $.79) and last night it cleared up an infection in my toe in under 24 hours.
  • I want there to be a series of films about the intrepid Dr. Christine Jones. Suggested titles: Raiders of the Liquid Carbon Pathway; NSW Jones and the Compost of Doom; NSW Jones and the Lactobacillus Crusade; NSW Jones and the Kingdom of the Quorum Sensing.
  • Why is it that any number of ordinary people can do a convincing impression of a celebrity, but that same celebrity cannot do an impression of an ordinary person?
  • If you had told me when I was a college senior that people would still be cavalierly emailing Word documents 20+ years later, and that said documents would still look as bad to non-Word users as they did back then, and that Word users would still be as dismissive of and contemptuous toward the problems of non-Word users as they were back then, I would have tried to go into a field that doesn't use computers at all and wound up living under a rock.
  • Adventures in customer support:
    "And what was the disputed item?"
    "A Brix refractometer."
    "Sorry, what?"
    "A refractometer."
    "And what is that?"
    "A tool to measure the sugar content of liquids."
  • This morning I dreamed that Jessie and I were trying to get Debbie [her mom] to choose something for dinner, and she kept saying she would just eat post oak wood, and I kept objecting that she doesn't have the enzymes to digest that.
  • TFW you spend $5 on replacement batteries for a gadget that was originally 50¢ with batteries included.
  • I have now studied more Arabic in Duolingo than Dutch, French, or Hindi, and I have yet to learn a single Arabic verb. Be or be not: there is no try. Nor any other verb.
  • I enjoyed the Downton Abbey movie, but I'm sad that the climactic duel between McGonagle and Umbridge happened offscreen. Maybe it'll be in the DVD extras. Or fanfic.
  • I can't help wondering if Jameela Jamil might have been less inclined toward anorexia if her name didn't literally mean "Pretty Pretty." (Her character Tahani al-Jamil's name means "Congratulations the Pretty")
  • Boomerangst, n. The feeling when you didn't start the fire, but you also didn't put it out.
  • [headline about climate activists painting a mural on two blocks of San Francisco street] I'm pretty sure if activists shut down two blocks of any major thoroughfare in Omaha, nobody would notice, we're so used to constant construction...
  • Having no internet service at home except on our phones (something evidently got fried over the weekend) makes me question again why we pay for internet service at home when we have it via our phones.
  • When the power flickers for a fraction of a second and you can hear all your gadgets without batteries going, "I have awakened from my epic slumber! How the world has changed! What year is it, good sir?"
  • Pro tip: when ordering a warranty replacement for your malfunctioning phone, be sure to have it sent to your current address and not the one where you haven't lived in over a year and have no way to contact the current resident.
  • [link to The Surprising Origins of the Phrase "You Guys"] When you call a group of people guys, you're not necessarily calling them male, just depraved.
  • Jeff Bezos now has enough money to fix pretty much any world problem if he wanted to. Which means that every day those problems persist, it's because he chose not to fix them. Every day. Why doesn't everyone have health care, food, and water? Because Jeff Bezos doesn't want them to. Why is the climate changing? Because Jeff Bezos thought sending rich people on day trips to space would be cooler than building green infrastructure. The same is true of a handful of other guys, but mostly it's on Jeff Bezos.
  • I dreamed I found a Minitel 1 in the closet and was trying to figure out how to get it working with no 7-bit modem and also no telephone line.
  • What's the opposite of a vigilante? Negligente? Ignorante? Apathete?
  • Cluttered holiday decorations shall henceforth be known as Seasonal and Festive Disorder
  • The farmer'd had enough of her comfrey discontent
    So she put it in a bucket to anaerobic'lly ferment
    The smell was atrocious, like a corpse in full decay
    Her husband left her and the neighbors moved away
    The comfrey came back, the very next year
    Thought it was a goner, but the comfrey came back
    'cause it couldn't disappear
  • "In California you can now sue your psychic if you're not completely satisfied. Here's how it works: If you're a sucker for a seer, and what the seer sees sucks, you redress your grievance in a seersucker suit." - Swami Beyondananda
  • So far I've received emails today [Nov 1] about an "early Black Friday sale" and an "early Cyber Monday sale." Can we just skip to early Boxing Day?
  • Hey, do you Guys know any reason the Gunpowder Treason should be forgot today [Nov 5]?
  • pro tip: exacerbate and exasperate are not the same word. From a CREDO Action petition to the House of Representatives: "The climate crisis is exasperating an already severe global humanitarian crisis." I think they might be projecting...
  • [headline: "One Hundred Years Ago, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity Baffled the Press and the Public"] I, for one, welcome our mollusc overlord.
  • A few things I've learned about linguistics from studying eight or so languages on Duolingo:
    • "Be" verbs not necessary. (Russian, Arabic)
    • "Be" verbs are indispensable, but can usually omit the subject of a sentence. (Spanish)
    • A noun without an article is always definite. (Vietnamese)
    • Noun without article is always indefinite. (Hebrew, Arabic)
    • Noun without an article is neither definite nor indefinite (English, Spanish, French, etc)
    • Noun is definite as the subject of a sentence but indefinite as the object, and there are no articles. (Hindi)
    • All noun both plural and singular. (Japanese)
    • capital letters are not necessary. (arabic, japanese)
    • (Cibara, Werbeh) Yltnereffid Nettirw Si Drow Yreve Fo Rettel Tsal Eht
    • spacesbetweenwordsarenotnecessary. (Japanese)
    • "This one" and "that one" are the only 3rd person singular pronouns you need, but verbs and adjectives must be gendered. (Hindi)
    • Verbs don't need to be gendered in the present or future, but in the past tense they are gendered. (Russian)
    • I need to know your gender before I can talk to -- um... you? (Arabic)
    • Reverse Polish notation for everything works does. (Hindi)
    • Adjectives and adverbs descriptive go always after subjects their. (Arabic)
    • You only need a handful of phonemes to speak, but you need at least four ways to write every word. (Japanese)
    • You need at least 39 phonemes, eight of which are variations on "kh," but words can be really short and writing is incredibly concise. (Arabic)
    • You only need about 29 fonemes, and 28 letters are plenti, of which seberal are ynterchangeavle. (Spanish)
    • Vwls r nt ncssry. (Hebrew)
  • Everybody loves the story of how the Chevy Nova was a no-go in Spanish speaking countries, but nobody can explain why Rabobank is able to do business in English speaking countries.
  • Every time I see Disney+ I think, it's only one +, so it's not incremented, it's just polarized. That implies the existence of an equal but opposite Disney-.
  • Overhearing Christian evangelists ostensibly talking to each other in coffeeshops but loud enough for everyone makes me miss 2nd St Cafe in Fairfield, where the over-loud conversations were often about Vedic scripture, New Age faith healing, and meditation.
  • Nextdoor is such a good antidote for "keeping up with the Joneses." Right now, your neighbors are posting things like, "Does anybody have any used lawnmower blades? I'm getting into blacksmithing knives now that I'm on disability as a consequence of drunk driving."
  • It's funny when people complain about their free speech being infringed because people don't want to pay them to speak. No one is stopping you from speaking for free...
  • [link to Merriam Webster] OMG, the first known use of the word "butthead" as an insult wasn't until 1973! So Biff was almost two decades ahead of his time...!
  • Every time I hear Tom Steyer's name, I think:
    🎵I am sitting in the morning with my tire on the corner...🎵
  • The Hong Kong election result [Nov 25] hurts my brain. They had a vote to determine whether to have more or less democracy, and the people who voted were overwhelmingly in favor of democracy? What did they expect the people who are opposed to democracy to do, stop the voters from voting?
  • [headline: Trump's team released a video of him as Thanos, and people are puzzled] 
    Marvel: with great power comes great responsibility.
    Trump campaign: hold our beer
  • Q: why do scientists have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, etc.?
    A: one is the control group
  • "The Pirate Planet" is better than I remember. But Tom Baker's cold sores are seriously distracting.