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A Bullshite detection tool

Ahh, StumbleUpon…how I have missed thee! Thanks to SU, I found an online bullshite detector – what an excellent idea! It seems to rate the text as a decimal out of one, where 1 is complete fertiliser.

Unfortunately, when I put the text on the front page of an absurd site I put together for one of the IT courses I’m doing, it “only” came up with an index of 0.14, which is considerably less than expected for a site that “sells” racing equipment based around troll physics. The special offers got only 0.06, which either means I can’t bullshit properly, or the site’s a bit wonky…

That said, give it a try. It’s probably going to surprise you, and it might come in useful someday.


Attempted N00bery

This is a short story based around a grumpy comment I made about how some idiot should be arrested for “Attempted N00bery in a Private Web Forum”. Read More…

What makes comedy funny or not funny?

Elsewhere on the web, I recently commented on a discussion about stand-up comedians and why they are funny or not. Humour is inherently subjective, so I couldn’t hope to speak for everyone’s tastes. However, I can at least look at my own tastes and why I find them amusing.

Nothing is sacred
Frankie Boyle is one example that comes to mind: he spares nobody and nothing, not even himself or Glasgow. What makes this so funny is that he can be downright outrageous. Another great example was George Carlin: since I’m an atheist, I think his “Religion is Bullshit” sketch is quite accurate. God is supposedly all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful and all-benevolent…but he needs money! The humour in this case comes from somebody not being afraid to say out loud that something is completely absurd and why.

In the discussion I mentioned above, I also mentioned The Goon Show. While it was a radio show and not stand-up comedy, it is an example of extremely surreal humour, such as the “What time is it, Eccles?” exchange. Here it is. It’s so bizarre you can’t help laughing. Or take the Trololo meme: Mr Khil was so ridiculously happy while singing complete nonsense that it was hilarious.

Parody works by not taking the original work too seriously, and if done well, it can be hilarious. An excellent example of parody that comes to mind is the Trolling Saruman video. What made that so funny was that they were poking fun at the Lord of the Rings by using the Trololo meme, and also because they did a very good job of putting it together.

Gallows humour
Sometimes, you laugh at something because it’s better than crying about it. A lot of paramedics, firefighters and other such trades end up doing this, simply to stop the job from getting to them. Back in 2008 and 2009, a lot of comedians in Ireland cracked jokes about the economy going down the drain. Why is this funny? Because it can help to deal with whatever it is that’s just happened.

Move over Chopra – there’s a bot for you!

For those who HAVEN’T heard of Deepak Chopra, he’s an Indian mystic/New Age healing woo-woo advocate.

Frankly, any time I come across his stuff, I end up facepalming because it’s so much gibberish – in fact, Orac at Respectful Insolence has a whole category of pseudoscience and pseudomedicine named “Choprawoo”. A lot of it is based around the dreadfully mistaken idea that quantum physics is magical and allows healing, cleansing, etc., etc….

The thing is, some of his remarks on Twit-ter sound like the work of a bot. Well, somebody just went and just that! It takes random, profound-sounding words that Chopra has posted on Twitter and puts them into random sentences.

Although it hasn’t mentioned “quantum” yet, I think it’s brilliant. “Evolution opens cosmic balance”; “The web of life comprehends unparalleled creativity”; or how about “Perception meditates on irrational happiness”?

Pure comedy.

What to do with 1 and 2 cent coins

I hate having lots of 1 & 2 cent coins around the place: they take up room in my pocket, and you can’t use them for bus tickets in Ireland. And it costs 1.5 cents to produce a single 1 cent coin, so what’s the point?

So, here’s a few ideas for what else you could do with them:

Make a paperweight from them
Take a piece of card, and glue about twenty or so coins to it, stacked on top of each other like a haphazard pile, before cutting out the card around the pile.

Enhance a beermat with them
Steal Borrow a beermat from any pub, and stick the coins on top of it.

Stack them
Glue a bunch of coins together, and stick them where they’ll catch the sunlight.

Use them as ammo
One of the Resident Evil movies (a quick search reveals it was Afterlife) tried this; however, in real life they’d be practically useless, having less mass than regular shot, and to fire an American quarter, you would need a 4-guage shotgun – which are apparently quite rare.
That said, throwing a few coins at a cat might scare it off >:-)

Build a chair out of them
I have no idea how many you’d need to make a chair that could support your weight or how much glue you’d need. But I think it could be done, if you had enough of the damn things. And of course, if that works, you could in principle extend it to making a house out of them!

If Rage Comics took place in meatspace/real life

Created by the very talented PistolShrimps (who made Trolling Saruman): what Rage Comics would look like in real life.

Star Wars as weather forecast

Hat-tip to my sister Olwen for forwarding this on to me: a site that compares the current weather in a location to a planet from Star Wars!

At the moment, Galway is like Yavin 4: hot and with clouds. Pieces of the Death Star may fall on my head if I go out for a walk –