Molester Claims He Was Victim of Bigfoot →
Incredible. This man is blaming Bigfoot for his molestation of children. Morrill told an investigator preparing his pre-sentence report about being sexually assaulted by the legendary Bigfoot, a North American folklore character said to be between 7 and 10 feet tall, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. If this is what Bigfoot does for kicks, we need to capture it as soon as...
Snake Bursts After Gobbling Gator →
A rather incredible report of how a 13-foot python tried to eat a 6-foot alligator in the Everglades. The python attempted to swallow the alligator whole, and exploded. And, of course, there is a fairly gruesome photograph of the aftermath.
Have You Been Rickrolled? →
An article from the Guardian Arts blog attempting to deduce a reason for Rick Astley in particular being the popstar of choice for the Rickrolling meme. The author’s conclusion: The link promises you something alluring and glitzy - an exclusive movie trailer, celebrity - then confronts you with a pub singer from Newton-le-Willows in a Next blazer. Let-downs get no more bathetic. As...
Mongering in the Onion →
More excellent linguistic satire in the Onion. Approximately 550 mongers in the fields of war, hate, and fear mongered together at the Washington D.C. Marriott last week as part of the 34th annual mongering conference. They managed to work in fear-, war-, hate-, fish-, and whore-mongering. As well as mongered, mongering, monger-building, night-mongering, and mongerly, too. Excellent. And...
Smoking gun →
An interview with Will Self in the Guardian about his new book, The Butt, which I’m very much looking forward to reading. Absolutely one of my favourite writers. One particular quote that I loved in this was Self’s thoughts on the smoking ban: Self, who’s been cutting down himself, is “not particularly opposed to smoking bans. If the only flag of liberation you have to...
My Sex Life, Described in BASIC
10 wank 20 goto 10
Save Me From Your Followers →
Excellent article on NPR about music fans. Then there are the bands that, unfortunately, attract such a hipster fan base (like MGMT, Yeasayer, and Liars) that you want to attend the show wearing a fleece jacket, khaki slacks, hiking boots, and a fanny pack, then push your way to the front and line dance, except that you worry people will think it’s ironic. [Via Yourmonkeycalled]
How To Make Good Tea →
Marco wrote this excellent post on how to make great coffee, so I thought I’d complement it with a post on how to make great tea. Here goes. Insert teabag. Insert hot water. Insert milk. Remove teabag. Stir. I hope this was useful.
Universal Axes Be Your Own Pet Songs Due to... →
Three songs from Be Your Own Pet’s latest album were cut from the US release, because Universal deemed them “too violent”. Despite, as the article points out, Universal having acts like Marilyn Manson and Eminem on the label. The cut includes my favourite track from the album, “Becky”, which I posted to Tuneage a few weeks ago. Really disappointing. [Via...
You know what’s been annoying me recently? What’s really been getting on my nerves? Mundane lists of words. Words that are hard to spell, words that are the longest in the English language, words that are “horrible”. Yes, horrible. This list is just another list of the longest words masquerading as a list of horrible words. (Thanks to the frequently inane Neatorama for this...
unrealistic belief in one’s own intelligence; delusion of superintelligence What a lovely word.
The Forbes Fictional 15 →
Every year, Forbes compiles a list of the richest fictional characters. Topping 2007’s list was Scrooge McDuck with a net worth of $28.8 billion. Fake Steve Jobs also makes an appearance at number 11. 2006’s list had Scrooge McDuck at a paltry (poultry?) 3rd, and, rather hilariously, Prince Abakaliki of Nigeria at 10th — he’s the Nigerian entrepreneur that keeps sending you...
Edited: It was in fact Kate Bush, not Laura Bush. I have no idea how that...– Me, after mistakenly claiming Laura Bush wrote “Running Up That Hill”.
Ludolph van Ceulen →
Ludolph van Ceulen died in 1610 after deriving 35 decimal digits of pi, which the Germans then called the Ludolphine Number. They’re engraved on his tombstone. He used much the same method as Archimedes, 2,000 years earlier, called the method of exhaustion, which involved drawing polygons with 262 sides. Someone probably should have just pointed him to this site (the proprietor of which,...
An Interesting Coincidence
Thanks to Wikipedia, I can tell you this. In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe’s only complete novel was published under the title The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It tells the tale of an Arthur Gordon Pym who stows away on board a ship called the Grampus. At one point, the ship is wrecked, and only four men survive, Pym included. As the men starve, they draw lots to see which of them...
Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an...– Steve Martin
D'Agapeyeff Cipher →
Alexander d’Agapeyeff included this “challenge cipher” at the end of the first edition of Codes and Ciphers in 1939. No one was able to solve it, and he later admitted he’d forgotten how he encrypted it. It remains unsolved.
Music Tumblelog Seeks New Contributor →
Tuneage is looking for another new contributor. Click through if you fancy it.
The GoldenPalace.com Monkey →
In 2004, Robert Wallace discovered a new species of monkey in Madidi National Park. Rather than naming it after himself, he auctioned off the naming rights to raise money for FUNDESNAP, the organisation maintaining the park. A noble gesture indeed. The winning bid was US$ 650,000. The monkey is now called the GoldenPalace.com Monkey. Good job, world.
"Neutral" Punctuation →
Sorry, I know this is pretty old news, but I only just read it. Google made some improvements to the Search ExperienceTM by dynamically detecting the direction of the query — ie., RTL in Arabic and Hebrew. But this stood out: Enabling applications for bidirectionality is especially tricky because any sentence or phrase may contain a mix of left-to-right text (e.g. English, numbers),...
British Rave Flyers from the 90s →
Surprisingly awesome indeed.
Absurd Entries in the OED →
Ammon Shea on “Absurd Entries” in the OED. The entry for unpoetic gives no definition, but there is a note that tells the reader to ‘cf. next.’ The reader dutifully looks ahead to the next entry which is unpoetical, the definition of which reads ‘cf. prev.’ Or when James Murray used a list of eight different word to define a single sense of the word cannily (‘Sagaciously, skilfully,...
Do Not Reply. Seriously, Don't. →
Every day, thousands of e-mails are sent (most of them automated) with @donotreply.com as the reply field. You’ve probably received a few yourself. What thousands of people are apparently unaware of is that someone owns this domain, and anyone unlucky enough to actually reply is sending their e-mail to a real person. A real person with a blog, who is telling the world about your stupidity. A...
Obsessed (Agog, Beset, Consumed, Driven, etc.) →
The New York Times’ review of The Man Who Made Lists, a biography of Peter Mark Roget, best known as the creator of Roget’s Thesaurus. Via Fritinancy, who also notes this excellent quote from the review: Madness did not just run in his family; it galloped, sped, sprinted, dashed and made haste.
Being Harvey Keitel
Sometimes, when I’m walking somewhere, I like to imagine everything is in slow-motion and everyone is looking at me. Like that scene in Reservoir Dogs, you know? Where they’re all walking down the street, looking cool as fuck, in slow-motion. For a few seconds, I’m the coolest person in the world. I am Harvey Keitel, and everyone really fancies me. Even the guys. Then I realise I’m just...
"A night on drugs cheaper than going to the pub" →
London’s Metro isn’t known for its excellent journalism, and I’m pretty sure I’ve called it out on poor fact-checking here before. The following quote comes from today’s edition: In London the average price of a pint – at £4.06 – is dearer than a hit of heroin. I’m not sure about this. The majority of pubs I’ve been in in London — from pubs right in...
Xenolinguistics and Science Fiction
I have been watching Star Wars. In the last week or so, I’ve watched all three films from the original trilogy. What I noticed — and I know I’ll be alone in this, as well as caring — is there’s a lot of commentary to be made on language in Star Wars. The most obvious, of course, is Yoda. No need to mention that, really. But did you notice that members of the Rebellion seem to...
Six-Word Reviews of 763 SXSW Mp3s →
In this article for The Morning News, [Paul Ford] downloads and listens to all 763 tracks offered by the SXSW people and gives them a rating out of 5, and reviews them in six words. If SXSW’s showcase was a good way of finding new music, this is a great way of finding new music.
I Got Insulted →
Insult Me is a tumblelog that offers to “knock you down a peg or two” if you’re feeling too good about yourself. All you have to do is add them, and wait for the insult. I did that, and this is what I got. Some of them are pretty weak, like this one, but I thought mine was pretty funny. I’m far too full of myself to feel insulted, though (I look great in that hat). If...
This is extremely cool. View real-time relations and activities from any logfile on any server with SSH, in an entertaining way. The script gives you a real-time representation of activity on your website, using OpenGL. Be sure to check out the example videos. This one’s probably for the web-savvy only, though, as it requires knowledge of SSH, makefiles, your website’s logfiles...
Sounds like the Tumblr party at SXSW went well.
Lazyweb, I require a little assistance. Perhaps you can help? I’m trying to find a service that allows me to upload mp3s and link to them from elsewhere, directly. What I also need to be able to do is use that URL to embed an audio player in a webpage. Ideally, I’d like to find a service that does both in as few clicks as possible. But separate services for each part works too....
Custom CSS Tumblelog Theme →
The Custom CSS theme is the result of an idea Bill and I had a while ago: making your own Tumblr theme can seem daunting to someone that’s never done it before. What was needed, we decided, was a barebones theme with all the necessary elements already in place that anyone could apply and then add their own CSS to it, thus circumventing the need to learn all Tumblr’s theme tags, but...
The Brit dishing the dirt on America →
An article from today’s Observer about Nick Denton, “the king of gossip blogs”. I can’t say I ever understood the appeal of Gawker (the blog, not the company) — perhaps because, as Nick says in the article, “it’s exactly what British newspapers have been doing well for years” (and, equally likely, I find nothing more tiresome than reading gossip)....
'I fell in love with a female assassin' →
An amazing story about a photojournalist that falls in love with a female assassin. There comes a point in every new relationship when your girlfriend wants to share a secret. Usually it’s to do with sex […] But what happens if your new girlfriend has a much darker and more sinister secret than having slept around a bit? [Via Kottke]
Please, Do Not Be Alarmed →
Mat Honan (the Obama is your new bicycle guy) is pretending to twitter SXSW.
Action Park →
Action Park, a theme park in New Jersey that closed down in 1996 sounds absolutely terrifying. (As far as Wikipedia articles go, this one isn’t up to much, but the facts are there.) Between 1978 and 1996 there were 6 fatalities, 45 head injuries, and 10 fractures. And the stress is on “reported” there, because the park got in trouble for not reporting accidents. For more...
I just posted this in Tuneage and thought I’d share it here too. Definitely worth a read. An incredible, and extensive, essay about the cultural history of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and how it’s become increasingly popular and extensively covered over the years.
Rickroll Database →
I followed this link from Waxy.org’s Links and, for some reason, was disappointed when it really was in fact a Rickroll database, and not just an elaborate setup for a Rickroll. The reality is that it’s a blacklist of URLs that lead to Rickrolls, that anyone can add a link to, and subscribe to with Adblock Plus (a Firefox extension). As the site’s title says: “never get...
Co-ordinated possessive pronouns →
copyediting the Hype [Machine] blog, I ran into a problem. “Scott’s and me” or “Scott’s and mine”? This is the blog entry in question. I have little else to add except that I saw that too, and was faintly perturbed by it. I’m glad it’s not just me.
Do Coat Hangers Sound As Good Monster Cables? →
As it turns out…yes. Yes they do. (via Daring Fireball) Coat hangers don’t come with a lifetime warranty, though.
Nestography is a collection of screen captures from retro 8-bit games (remember them?) with witty captions attached. Brilliant. From the about page: The problem with video games is that most of them are trying very hard to engage you without making you feel anything, like a one-night-stand with someone that sort of likes you but not quite enough, or a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. The problem with...
The Charms of Wikipedia →
Nicholson Baker’s brilliant essay in the New York Review of Books. Half insightful and interesting commentary on Wikipedia, half book review. This wasn’t like writing reviews on Amazon, where you were just one of a million people urging a tiny opinion and a Listmania list onto the world—this was an effort to build something that made sense apart from one’s own opinion,...
AATW recently wrote a long post on his tumblelog*, denouncing the virtues of long posts on tumblelogs. Skipping past the obvious irony and focussing on the point: he used me as an example of what-not-to-do (or what he’d rather you didn’t do), so I suppose I should write an equally lengthy response. What AATW has illustrated his preference for is linklogs — a list of links, and other...
I rather enjoyed this post on The Nonist about Andrew Comstock’s ludicrous attempt at inventing a new phonetic alphabet (via Daily Meh). The first thought I had was that “comstockery” would be a perfect word to refer to those advocating phonetic alphabets, spelling reforms, and the like (“Nothing but unabashed comstockery! It doesn’t even have vowels!”). ...