Category Archives: humor

Games that can (now) Live Forever: 3 in Three

3 (!) years ago, I mentioned a PC game (actually a Macintosh game) called “3 in Three”. Now, because of technological advances, we have a ready-made way of playing it: by emulation!

With some effort and alot of time, you can see things like this:

MisfitLegislature

Misfit vowels sounds like something from elementary school English. Maybe like Number Munchers, but different? Speaking of which, 3 in Three isn’t supposed to be educational, but neither are crossword and the like puzells.

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Fun in the MLA + ACW

MLA is the Modern Language Association, and they are responsible for the MLA style of citations used in some research papers, in opposition to the APA, IEEE and others. I shouldn’t really say opposition to, since they all have the same goal in the end.

Anyway, some amusements I have found are:

  • The now changed Purdue OWL example of an anonymous publication citation: “Wordsworth is a Loser 100”.
  • The ACW style sheet, that I swear was partially adapted into MLA. Examples can be seen here. For some reason I remembered “pine_guest” for maybe 15 years since I first had to work on MLA papers in English 101 and had a handbook for citing MLA style.
  • I cannot find it now with some cursory searches, but there was an example text about motion picture censorship that I think was lifted from someone’s research paper, about how licensing fees by governments (towns and villages) were used to control films.

Anyone have anything else like this?

 

Not just “Bernard” Sanders

As many people in the United States know, Vermont is a State in the Union. Like all other States, it has local government. UNlike most other States, the State’s Secretary of State (no connection with the federal one, currently Tillerson) maintains a list of local government non-civil service positions, viewable here.

I don’t know if the current Secretary of State wrote the descriptions or not, but some of them are a hoot. For example:

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Turds!! – A college student pranque

According to WikipediA, this immage was gotten up and spread about by some Indiana University students many many years Ago (1890). For the better education of the students of to-day, it is transcribed below.

Contains offencive language.

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Everything about meta tags in Minnesota

Continuing from the previous post about the self-centered Malteze town, we now have a Fortune 500 company at work:

Pillsbury

Unfortunately, it is a sentence fragment. Probably they meant to say “Everything about the Doughboy you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.”

On a similar note, my father once lived in Minneapolis, where Pillsbury was once based and remembers a satirical film of the Pillsbury Doughboy being trapped in an oven and baking to death. Unfortunately he doesn’t remember a producer’s name or anything else that would help find it in this age of YouTube.

A Visit to Satan

Every Christmas season (in the United States at least), two notoriously bad seasonal films are aired “for the lulz”. They are “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (wiki, IA) (you can’t beat a title like that) and “Santa Claus” (wiki, IA) of K. Gordon Murray. Both of these are hilariously bad in ways their creators probably didn’t intend. However, they are feature films, which can make watching them hard.

For a shorter, lighter dose of Christmas nonsense, I present the little known, but just as bad, “A Visit to Santa” by Clem Williams. A short little flick (less than 15 minutes) containing Santa and some children wandering around a 1960s shopping mall in (according to reviewers) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pay particular attention to the Tom Swift-like obsession with transportation technology: Santa has a rocket (!) and magic helicopter (!!).

Even if you don’t, or can’t, watch the film itself, I highly recommend reading the reviews, which are a hoot.

Graphiqual entertainment and education

A Wikipedian post for today, I discovered, within a short amount of time, two very highly worthwhile pieces of media from the English Wikipedia. They are both on the subject of graphical display of information.

First, the serious one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misleading_graph

I remember in 7th grade algebra we very (Very) lightly touched on this, but didn’t go into it at all. This is a valuable description of crap graphs that can easily make things look both different from what they are, and authoritatively so. I remember reading a book by Tufte that had some of this in it, but here it is for free. I was unsurprized, and put out, to find out that graphs in finantial statements are not required to be, essentially, true. In other words, they won’t be, because they don’t have to be. Offencive.

Second, the silly one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chernoff_faces_for_evaluations_of_US_judges.svg

The fact that these represent various attributes of individual people just makes it even harder to not imagine these are actual people’s faces. Now, I understand the idea behind Chernov faces: You can pack alot of data into a face. However, faces bring up biases. None of these look like a mother-in-law, but look @ S. S. Cohen. S/He sticks out completely because their face is round and the rest of them aren’t really. They also look bummed @ something. Maybe that their neighbor, R. J. Callahan, has an absolutely massive jowl? And why does J. J. Bracken have eyebrows that are actually growing out of their eyeballs?