Silly stuff

Great moments in unintentional comic book humor. (Via Dyspeptic Mutterings.)

Toys that should not exist. (Via The Rat.)

*****

Today’s question

Is a puppy still kawaii if he’s several times larger than you?

*****

Via a friend: Hindu deities, Hello Kitty-style. Here’s an interview with the perp. It is impossible to make Kali kawaii.

*****

Remember library card catalogs? Here’s one for beware the kawaii:

(Via MamaT.)

*****

Still no motivation

More fun with the poster generator:





*****

Really unmotivated

I forgot that tj han lives on the other side of the international date line, so I missed the deadline for his demotivational poster contest (n.b.: some of the entries are a bit indelicate). For what it’s worth, here’s what I had planned to enter (I posted it on my other weblog):

Suburban Banshee also designed a couple of posters.

*****

Cute company

The image is from episode twelve of Paranoia Agent. Note the bunny. Nowhere in the credits for that episode or on the disc’s packaging did I see any acknowledgment of a Playboy copyright. I wonder if Haruhi’s and Mikuru’s bunny girl outfits really do present an obstacle to licensing Suzumiya Haruhi.

*****

The kawaii challenge

Here are a couple of entries for Fledgling Otaku’s kawaii poster competition. I tried to suppress my reflexive cynicism and put together something that a four-year-old can appreciate, but it’s not easy.

*****

Question of definition

Does a lady with a monocle count as a meganekko?

Update: The issue in this instance is more complex than I had realized.

(In the next episode, Forte is back to “normal.”)

*****

Counting the minutes

Earlier this morning, the time was 01:02:03 04/05/06 a.m. In a little over two hours, it will be 01:02:03 04/05/06 p.m.

Curiously, the first volume of Kamichu! will be released in the USA on 6/6/06, as will Ann Coulter’s new book. (The former is on my “buy” list.) Yurie may be a pagan goddess, but Coulter makes a better Beast.

*****

Fried beef rice w/scorn and egg

If you’ve recently had abdominal surgery and it hurts to laugh, don’t click here for the most astonishing menu I’ve ever seen.

(Via Chizumatic and Peeve Farm.)

*****

The iron law of software documentation

The thicker the manual, the more useless it is.

*****

Generally sooner

Pixy’s Law of Customisation

If you work with computers long enough, sooner or later you will find yourself adjusting a delicate and expensive piece of equipment with a pair of wire cutters.

*****

Built to last?

Top Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth

Method #8: Sucked into a microscopic black hole:

You will need: a microscopic black hole. Note that black holes are not eternal, they evaporate due to Hawking radiation. For your average black hole this takes an unimaginable amount of time, but for really small ones it could happen almost instantaneously, as evaporation time is dependent on mass. Therefore you microscopic black hole must have greater than a certain threshold mass, roughly equal to the mass of Mount Everest. Creating a microscopic black hole is tricky, since one needs a reasonable amount of neutronium, but may possibly be achievable by jamming large numbers of atomic nuclei together until they stick. This is left as an exercise to the reader.

Method: simply place your black hole on the surface of the Earth and wait. Black holes are of such high density that they pass through ordinary matter like a stone through the air. The black hole will plummet through the ground, eating its way to the center of the Earth and all the way through to the other side: then, it’ll oscillate back, over and over like a matter-absorbing pendulum. Eventually it will come to rest at the core, having absorbed enough matter to slow it down. Then you just need to wait, while it sits and consumes matter until the whole Earth is gone.

Highly, highly unlikely. But not impossible.

Via Absinthe and Cookies. Also via Ith and Downtown Chick Chat comes this bit of Scientology. My anwers are in parentheses:

The “thetans,” or alien ghosts, were implanted in earth’s volcanoes 75 million years ago by the evil intergalactic ruler Xenu, until the nasty buggers escaped and invaded the bodies of each and every one of us. New recruits like Katie Holmes , or “preclears,” answer the questions while hooked up to an E-meter—a crude, polygraph-like contraption—as a Church-sanctioned auditor records the subject’s responses for further expensive inquiry. We excerpted 20 of the list’s 343 questions in the premier issue of Radar, on newsstands now. For those playing along at home, here’s another verbatim sampling.

• Have you driven anyone insane? (It’s the other way around.)
• Have you ever killed the wrong person? (
No. I aim carefully.)
• Is anybody looking for you? (
Not since I caught them.)
• Have you ever set a poor example? (
Certainly not. We maintain a superior level of mediocrity around here.)
• Did you come to Earth for evil purposes? (
No. I am conquering the planet for its own good.)
• Are you in hiding? (
I don’t need to hide. Nobody believes it when they see me.)
• Have you systematically set up mysteries? (
No, I make things up as I go along.)
• Have you ever made a practice of confusing people? (
I don’t need to practice.)
• Have you ever philosophized when you should have acted instead? (
Yes, if by “philosophizing” you mean reading Calvin and Hobbes.)
• Have you ever gone crazy? (
I’ve never gone sane.)
• Have you ever sought to persuade someone of your insanity? (
No. They’ll figure it out eventually.)
• Have you ever deserted, or betrayed, a great leader? (
I’ve never found one worth abandoning.)
• Have you ever smothered a baby? (
No. Have you?)
• Do you deserve to have any friends? (
Do my friends deserve me?)
• Have you ever castrated anyone? (
No. Why do you ask?)
• Do you deserve to be enslaved? (
No, but I could use a slave or two to clean the house and weed the garden. Any volunteers?)
• Is there any question on this list I had better not ask you again? (
All of them.)
• Have you ever tried to make the physical universe less real? (
Why bother? Strawberry fields forever.)
• Have you ever zapped anyone? (
No. I left my zapper back at Aldebaran.)
• Have you ever had a body with a venereal disease? If so, did you spread it?
(Certainly not. I’m very picky about my bodies.)

*****

Beware the kawaii

The most terrifying video I’ve seen in a long time.

(Via dotclue.)

*****

Goodnight, Reki

I’ve stated before that there is nothing objectionable in Haibane Renmei, but I was wrong. In fact, it should be R-rated: one of the central characters (gasp) smokes. Sorry for scandalizing everyone.

Soundtrack: Gryphon, “Estampie”

*****

Cuteness advisory

If you think Harry Potter is growing up too rapidly, you might want to peruse Koge Donbo’s Potter fansite, moonless night. Donbo, creator of the original Sugar, a Tiny Snow Fairy, apparently is a great fan of the Hogwarts universe. Harry has never looked so kawaii.

Addendum: Here’s a different take on Potter.

*****

Bulletins from Lollipop Castle

America faces yet another crisis: a shortage of magical ponies.

For most of the 20th century, ponies were primarily used as imaginary companions for giggling pre-teen girls. However, the market base for ponies has expanded considerably in recent weeks and months, as liberal euphoria has reached such giddy heights that only brightly-colored, silken-maned, magical sparkly friendly talking flying ponies are capable of complementing.

Steven Den Beste thinks that mahou shoujo are the key to resolving the problem, but I’m not so optimistic.

*****

Does associating with haibane increase the risk of avian flu?

*****

A world without angst

I’m not particularly interested in manga, and i have no intention of reading this one, but it’s worth a mention:

The hotly anticipated Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days begins its run as the exclusive manga insert, marking its English-language debut…. Angelic Days takes the angst-ridden Eva pilots and sets them in a lighter, brighter world, where choosing the right girlfriend is more important than saving Earth from unimaginable threats.

(Via Chizumatic.)

What other stories might benefit from translation into a “lighter, brighter” universe? Here are a few possibilities. Each of these would make a good basis for a teevee sitcom:

Godot Can Wait: Pozzo hires Estragon and Vladimir as cook and gardener on his estate; madcap mischief ensues.

Wiser Blood: Hazel Motes preaches The Power of Positive Thinking to his growing congregation and buys a really good car.

Beautiful Sailor: Adventures in the Navy with Billy Budd and his special friend, Jemmy Legs.

Prufrock’s Perfectly Peachy: J.A. teams up with his pal Sweeney to open a seaside fruit stand where they can watch girls play volleyball.

Hunger No More: The hunger artist meets a nutrition counselor and begins an exciting new career in data entry.

*****

No. No. No.

noir

Kirika, Mireille, Altena and Chloe

(Via Chizumatic.)

*****

What is the largest number you can denote with two keystrokes on an ordinary qwerty keyboard? What’s the smallest (absolute value) non-zero number? I’ve put my answers in the extended entry, but I wonder if it’s possible to do better.

Later: Let’s stick to real numbers, please.

The largest I’ve come up: 9!, i.e, 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1, or 362,880

The smallest: .1

*****

Very different

Azumanga Daioh meets Miyazaki, ABe and Steve Jobs, among others:

osaka

The character spotlighted above is Osaka, who thinks very “different” indeed.

I could do without the Nazi stuff, but otherwise the gallery is horrifyingly cute.

A couple of personal favorites:


haibane

osaka

(By the way, I have now watched Azumanga Daioh through the fourth disc (of six), and I am happy to say that the third and fourth discs are markedly better than the first two, and also that there is less of Kimura (my main problem with Azumanga Daioh) as the series progresses.)

(Via the Old Home Bulletin Board.)

*****

Ridiculous waste of time

A friend of Terry Teachout’s proposed a parlor game:

What great artists (or famous people) could, and couldn’t, say the sentence “I am ridiculous”? Washington no, Lincoln yes. Milton no, Shakespeare yes.

Here are a few:

H.P. Lovecraft, no. J.R.R. Tolkien, yes.
John Varley, no. Gene Wolfe, yes.
Harlan Ellison, no. R.A. Lafferty, yes.
Phillip Pullman, no. Diana Wynne Jones, yes.
Yngwie Malmsteen, no. Steve Morse, yes.
Robert Fripp, no. Adrian Belew, yes.
Eddie Vedder, no. Les Claypool, yes.
Alexander Scriabin, no. Bela Bartok, no. Edgard Varese, no. Arnold Schoenberg, no…. Frank Zappa, yes.
Garrison Keillor, no (he’d say “yes”, but he wouldn’t mean it). Dave Barry, yes.
Alan Moore, no. Neil Gaiman — maybe.
Christopher Hitchens, no. Pope Benedict XVI, yes.

I may think of others later.

Hypothesis:
Most MSM columnists, no. Most bloggers, yes.

*****

A pseudorandom tool for automatic writing

Need to write a quick paper on computer science? Try SCIgen – An Automatic CS Paper Generator:

Synthesizing Lambda Calculus and Simulated Annealing Using VIM

Paul Pennyfeather, Aimee Thanatogenos, Tony Last and Miles Plastic

Abstract

The implications of mobile methodologies have been far-reaching and pervasive [ 1]. In this work, we confirm the development of superblocks, which embodies the unfortunate principles of complexity theory. In order to answer this question, we introduce a pseudorandom tool for enabling semaphores (VIM), arguing that XML can be made replicated, linear-time, and large-scale. . . .

Or, how about:

On the Visualization of Erasure Coding

Hackers worldwide agree that perfect communication are an interesting new topic in the field of wearable operating systems, and theorists concur [ 17]. After years of unproven research into the producer-consumer problem, we demonstrate the deployment of SMPs, which embodies the technical principles of electrical engineering. In order to answer this issue, we confirm that despite the fact that the famous efficient algorithm for the analysis of von Neumann machines by Raman [ 17] is Turing complete, courseware can be made omniscient, knowledge-base, and authenticated. . . .

A paper written by SCIgen was accepted for presentation at a CS conference in July. (The invitation to speak has since been rescinded by the conference organizers, the spoilsports.)

See also The Postmodernism Generator (refresh the page for fresh essays) and The EssayGenerator. For something a bit different, check out Context Free Design Grammar.

(Via NRO.)

****

Elegant and untraceable

How to hack the Harvard-Yale game:

One story in particular that I heard may well be apocryphal, but it certainly sounds plausible.
It only required one student who was willing to put in the time. During a period of a couple of weeks before the Big Game, he got into the stadium each afternoon. Wearing a black-and-white striped shirt and blowing on a whistle, he walked up and down on the field spreading bread crumbs all over the place, until the local pigeons learned to associate the sound of a whistle coming from a man in a black-and-white striped shirt with “free food”.
You can imagine the result on the day of the Big Game every time one of the referees blew their whistles… (And the particular beauty of this was that it didn’t even require that student to be anywhere near the stadium on the big day.)

[Later: It probably is too good to be true.”>

More hacks as works of art here, here and here.

*****

Searching cyberspace

fingerstyle sabre dance — No, thank you. I’d rather hear …

chicken dance accordion midi download

… or …

lawrence welk performs star trek theme

best miyazaki movie — either Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke

miyazaki gears — So Cream reunited and recorded a live album in Japan?

i am in love with chisa — If you mean Chisa Yomoda, turn your computer off now.

*****

If an experiment works …

… something has gone wrong. From Murphy’s Technology Laws:

— Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

— If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

— After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

— All’s well that ends.

— A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.

— The first myth of management is that it exists.

— A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.

More.

*****

Lord of the Hissy-Fit and other silliness

Let’s waste some time:

Romance novels, retitled (N.B.: some are a bit off-color.) (Via The Dawn Patrol.)

Fun with computers. (Via Synthstuff.)

H.P. Lovecraft, Japanese-style I: Pokélthulhu (Via Chizumatic.)

H.P. Lovecraft, Japanese-style II: Hello Cthulhu (Via In principio erat Verbum.)

For those who enjoy both jigsaw puzzles and anime: this gallery lets you make a puzzle out of any of its pictures.

*****

A very scary solstice

A couple of months late, but still worth noting: the Dagon Tabernacle Choir performs “The Carol of the Old Ones.”

*****

Doomsday pokemon

Here’s a disturbing image:

Strange Pikachu

(It’s a screen capture from this video.)

*****

Hmmm….

Go to Popular Baby Names, and in the “Popularity of a Name” box enter “Hillary.”

*****

Knee-deep in lunch

Robert the LB has a warm and cuddly dream about a purple dinosaur.

*****

A land without socks

At a used bookstore this afternoon I spotted Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. Should you ever find yourself on a tour in Faerie, you will find it handy.

Apostrophes. Few names in Fantasyland are considered complete unless they are interrupted by an apostrophe somewhere in the middle (as in Gna’ash). … No one knows the reasons for this. Nor does anyone really know how an apostrophe should be pronounced, though there are theories:
1. You ignore the apostrophe and simply pronounce the word. (Here Gna’ash = Gnash.)
2. You leave a gap or lacuna where the apostrophe appears. (Here Gna’ash = Gna-ash.)
3. You make a kind of clucking-sound to stand for the apostrophe. (Here Gna’ash = Gnaglunkash.) Persons with insecurely mounted tonsils should adhere to one of the other two theories.

Bath is something all Tourists crave for quite soon. After very few days of slogging along in all weathers and sleeping in your clothes, you will be ready to kill for a Bath. You will crave to wash your hair. The management is reasonable on this issue. Before long you will find wither a deep POOL in a RIVER of icy water (“icemelt;” see also HYPOTHERMIA, COMMON COLD and CHILBLAINS) or an INN with a heated bath-house. You will be able to leave your clothes, money, weapons and SECRETS on the bank or bath-house bench and wash in perfect safety. Management Rules state that no one ever steals your clothes/valuables or AMBUSHES you while you are immersed in a Bath.

Common Cold. this is one of many viral nuisances not present. You can get as wet, cold and tired as you like, and you will still not catch cold. But see PLAGUE.

Costume. It a curious fact that, in Fantasyland, the usual Rules for CLOTHING are reversed. Here, the colder the climate, the fewer the garments worn. In the SNOWBOUND NORTH, the BARBARIAN HORDES wear little more than a fur loincloth and copper wristguards (see CHILBLAINS and HYPOTHERMIA). However, as one progresses south to reach the ANGLO-SAXON COSSACKS, one finds VESTS and BOOTS added to this costume. Further south still, the inhabitants of the VESTIGIAL EMPIRE wear short SKIRTS and singlets and add to this a voluminous wrapper on cold days. Thereafter, clothing steadily increases in thickness and quantity, until one finds the DESERT NOMADS in the tropics muffled to the eyebrows in layers of ROBES (see HEATSTOKE).

… In fact, Elves appear to have deteriorated generally since the coming of humans. If you meet Elves, expect to have to listen for hours while they tell you about this — many Elves are great bores on the subject — and about what glories there were in ancient days. They will intersperse their account with nostalgic ditties (“songs of aching beauty”) and conclude by telling you how great numbers of Elves have become so wearied with the thinning of the old golden wonders that they have all departed, departed into the West. This is correct, provided you take it with the understanding that Elves do not say anything quite straight. Many Elves have indeed gone West, to Minnesota and thence to California, where they have great fun wearing punk clothes and riding motorbikes.

Sing is used in a technical sense. This is because MUSIC is so powerful in Fantasyland that no one can really just sing a SONG without risking a Magical result.
The most frequent use of Singing is to speed a dead person’s soul on its way. On some tours no one is properly dead without it (see UNDEAD). Otherwise, Singing is an invocation, a SPELL, or a way of summoning nature MAGICS for some purpose. Tourists shoud be careful to avoid humming a casual tune. You may find you have summoned an ELEMENTAL, a STORM, or a selection of GODDESSES AND GODS.

Socks are never worn in Fantasyland. People thrust their feet, usually unwashed, straight into BOOTS.

There’s a lot more, including six pages on the various kinds of enchanted swords (be sure to have a qualified magician inspect a blade, just as you would have a mechanic look at a used car you’re thinking of buying). Jones’ lexicographical exercise subsequently resulted in her novel Dark Lord of Derkholm.

Soundtrack: Johnny Winter, “Check Out Her Mama”

*****

Shake your Weltanschauung

It’s probably just as well that I don’t know the tune:

I’m too meta for my narrative,
Too meta for my narrative,
So meta it’s imperative.
I’m a theoretical model, you know what I mean?, and I signify my sign on the framework.
Yeah on the framework, on the framework, yeah I shake my Weltanschauung on the framework.
I’m too meta for this context–

Blame Eve Tushnet for this one.

*****

Not Vannevar Bush, either

Al Gore didn’t invent the internet. Teilhard de Chardin did. (I wonder if the crew who made Serial Experiments Lain, the tale of a noösphere gone wrong, had read Teilhard.)

(Via Ernesto.)