Posts tagged humour

Sometimes I find David Malki’s Wondermark webcomic too busy and text-heavy, but often it pays off to stop and read instead of skipping to the next item on my feed: here’s The Winning Catchphrase.

Misc. links Aug 30th - Sep 11th

Free online courses by famous philosophers. Since I’m really getting into watching OpenCourseWare videos (at least until the fifth season of Mad Men starts), perhaps I’ll put some of these on my watchlist.

Was Marx Right? A very relevant article, published not in some Pravda but in the Harvard Business Review. Mind you, I think the fact that the author spends the first three paragraphs in apologies and explaining he isn’t a communist is quite revealing about our societies’ mindset. Even if the communist remedies tried in the past were catastrophic failures, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Marxist diagnostic is wrong. For the most part, it is not.

Ikea Heights is a soap opera filmed in Ikea stores. While open. And without the staff noticing. Good job!

License plate SQL injection for the win! Could this be real? I guess someone read this.

Codecademy is a good (and fun!) place to learn yourself some Javascript. The interactive tutorial is still pretty short, but hopefully it’ll grow.

3D computer graphics done in 1972, by one of the founders of Pixar. As impressive as it may be, I still find it short of the awesomeness of Ian Sutherland’s Sketchpad demonstration from nine years earlier. I mean, that one still is pretty awesome today.

What People Don’t Get About My Job — from A(rmy Soldier) to Z(ookeeper). An interesting set of testimonials.

The evolution of the Web. A cool visualization of the evolution of web browsers and technologies since 1990. Things really got out of hand in the last few years…

Every single trivial task in life is hard.

Misc. links Aug 3rd - 18th

Paul Krugman suggests reacting to a fake alien invasion as the cure to our economic troubles. Mind you, this guy won a Nobel Prize, so the subtext is perhaps the only cure is some kind of global war (and so, of course it better be against a fake enemy from Mars). But the suggestion also implies that the whole of global economy runs on will, and we are in crisis as long as They want us to. So while we’re at it, we could pull a Civ and direct the whole global economy towards sending a giant robot to Alpha Centauri, or maybe towards building a network of 2km high vertical cities, or — I dunno — actually fixing things?!

Criticising a brand lowers the self-esteem of its adherents. Well, duh! Just consider sports fans, the penis-extension jokes about certain brands of cars, the way Apple computers somehow feel like a prerequisite to many in the creative industries, and the implied criticism when a brand itself ‘declares’ your computer/car/etc. to be last year’s model.

The Objective of Education is Learning, not Teaching. As a cynical would put it, institutions’ survival depends on their own lack of effectiveness, which is why the educational system is thoroughly broken. A very worthwhile read.

An useful side-by-side comparison of PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby. (via Kottke)

Smartass responses to ‘well-meaning’ signs.

xkcd has a good lesson on password strength.

This 2001 article from The Onion shows how predictable these last ten catastrophic years actually were.

The Assembly 2011 archive means it is time for my annual demo watching marathon.

The trailer for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sends the film straight into my Must Watch list.

LOLanimals on Found Objects/If Then Else? Am I mad?

Well, I couldn’t resist posting this: convulsive laugh of the week.  (via The Cheat Sheet, which I’m finding such an handy digest I might just unsubscribe half my feeds…)

Not as blatant as copyrighting silence, but still: I’ve recently attempted to upload my short film The Things We Found in the Attic to YouTube, which features a Creative Commons-licensed version of a rather famous cello piece composed by J.S. Bach I lifted from the Archive.org Community Audio collection. But try to get that past YouTube’s automatic cops! Despite the fact the composer has been dead for 260 years, therefore back in copyright only by early 22nd century (if copyright expansionism keeps its current pace), YouTube’s audiofingerprinting system flags the music as owned by Sony BMG (they might ‘own’ another performance, but who cares?), banning the video from a list of countries consisting of… all there is, basically.

Strangely, Web searches (not just on Google, which can’t obviously be trusted on this) are rather thin on this issue of false positives in YouTube audio fingerprinting system; a surprise since I expected this issue to be rather recurrent. Perhaps people just give up. Anyway, here’s a YouTube version of The Things We Found in the Attic that doesn’t violate any imaginary copyrights. With a link encouraging you to watch the infringing version.