So Uncyclopedia is something I’d known about a while ago but had forgotten about until a random Reddit post that I came across today reminded me of it. A parody of Wikipedia, Uncylopedia basically mocks the hell out of everything through one form of humor or another. I think the first (and last?) time I mentioned it was when I was talking about some different Uncyclopedia articles for math-related things (including Newton).
So, of course, having been reminded of Uncyclopedia, I had to spend some time on it this afternoon (when I should have been either working or writing, let’s be honest).
On the “Alberta” page:
Calgary is most famous for the world famous Stampede where people gather to look at exhibits, go on rides, and wait in line to get trampled on by live-stock.
(regarding housing) The hastily constructed overpriced shacks also have the advantage that the majority of them are spaced 8 feet apart, so if your neighbour screws up your house is torched too. This recently happened in a major NW area in which 8 houses were toasted literally and firetrucks couldn’t get out there quick enough cause the snow was everywhere.
On the “Arizona” page:
Arizona is a 113,998 square mile sand dune located in the western United States.
Arizona has a constant and unwavering year-round temperature of 145 °F (336 degrees Kelvin), and an average of 0.0000000001 inches (2.54 × 10-15 kilometers) of yearly rainfall.
While modern science hypothesizes that at some time the entire planet was covered in water, no evidence exists suggesting Arizona has ever been below the sea level…Billions of years ago, as water on all sides came into contact with Arizona, it was slowly and methodically absorbed by the 50,000 foot high impenetrable wall of sand surrounding its entire perimeter.
On the “New York Mets” page:
The “Los Nuevo York Mets”, are inarguably one of the worst teams in Baseball.
They have won two championships, which is extraordinary, considering there have been about OVER 9000.
On the “Canada” page:
The world looks to Canada for international peace-keepers, since they possess no weapons other than snow shovels, and their jovial accent and flannel clothing are comforting.
The vast majority of Canuckistanians are actually invincible, impotent superheroes, invested with a variety of superpowers ranging from looking at TV or computer screens for entire weeks in winter to understanding the rules of hockey using telepathy and superhuman intelligence. For this reason, Canadians don’t need any form of government or even a military, since every single guy next door can either stop bullets in mid-air or cut through buildings using energy blast from their eyes, but usually they end up playing video games on their computers most of the time since no nation is crazy enough to attack such an intimidating and powerful county in Montana as Canada.
In 1952, the Canadian Air Force bioengineered all Canadians into developing resistance to the harsh winters. The technology involved beautiful fur growing out of their skin during the winter time, that really offers no thermal protection but is solely for repelling mosquitoes. This resulted in thousands of hunters from USA confusing Canadians for bears every winter, therefore explaining why Canada is so underpopulated.
To speak of Canada’s geography is to speak of the great swells of beaver that infest the land.
An early French remark aboot Canada dismisses it as “a few acres of snow”.
(Actually, the whole “Canada” article is fantastic.)
What the fuck is this
What in the fuck is this
WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS
Google, you inconsistent pile of nonsense, what was wrong with your previous logo?
Hell, what was wrong with your previous font? Anybody who knows me knows how much I hate sans serif fonts.
(For anybody that doesn’t know me: it’s a lot.)
I don’t like that using a sans-serif is becoming the equivalent of being “modern.” It’s not being modern. It’s being shit. I think there’s a correlation between how long a site’s been using a sans-serif font as their logo (or as part of their logo) and how much that site sucks.
Let me give you some examples:
Twitter has always had a sans serif font, and Twitter has always sucked. And what’s with the “t” in this font? It looks like a little airplane seat.
An airplane seat for losers.
Facebook has always had a sans serif font, too. Coincidentally, Facebook has pretty much always sucked as well.
Now let’s look at some websites that don’t suck. Notice that they all use serif fonts.
HOLY SHIT IT’S A CONSPIRACY.
Nnnngh the sans serif nonsense is such an annoying fad. Like, I know Google has changed its logo in the past, but this is too dramatic, I think. Seriously, Google, you were doing fine with variations of this…
It’s a good font. A good font. But then you somehow find the font equivalent of diarrhea residue and MAKE IT YOUR NEW LOGO’S TYPEFACE?
I am so irrationally aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangry because of this.
At least they’re still capitalizing their name.
So help me god, if they stop capitalizing their name…
Edit: if you search “Google logo” you get this field of insanity. I don’t know about you, but this looks terrifying.
This is still one of the most entertaining comparison charts for some reason. Like, I have no idea why the different temperature scales are so damn entertaining to me, but they are.
It’s like a little family of scales, dude. Rankine and Kelvin are the parents; Fahrenheit wants to be just like daddy (mommy?) Rankine; Celcius wants to be just like mommy (daddy?) Kelvin. Réaumur, Rømer, and Newton just want to stay out of things.
And what the hell is Delisle doing?
Actually, the reason the Delisle scale is in “reverse” is because its inventor, French astronomer Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, built a thermometer containing mercury, chose boiling water as his initial “zero” point, and measured the change in the amount the contracted or expanded. Contracting mercury (that is, colder temperatures) “added” to the zero (meaning higher values on the Delisle scale); expanding mercury (warmer temperatures) “subtracted” from zero (meaning lower values on the Delisle scale). Apparently Celsius was also originally “reversed” like this, but was changed upon the death of its inventor, Anders Celsius, who had based the scale partially on Delisle’s work.
Also, I love the idea that the average human body temperature is 558.27 degrees using the Rankine scale.
Pretend for a second that you have no idea what a bird is. You know what beaks, feathers, wings, etc. are, but you don’t know what a bird is.
Now read the following:
Birds (class Aves or clade Avialae) are feathered, winged, two-legged, warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates.
Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. Extant birds have more or less developed wings; the most recent species without wings was the moa, which is generally considered to have become extinct in the 16th century. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly.
Birds are social, communicating with visual signals, calls, and songs, and participating in such social behaviours as cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators.
These are all from Wiki’s page on birds. You can’t tell me that from these descriptors that birds don’t sound fucking terrifying.
TOOTHLESS-BEAKED PREDATOR-MOBBING DEATH-BOMBS FROM ABOVE!
Okay, I’m done. Back to studying.
I submit that on Wikipedia, you can get from the page of any mathematician to Leibniz’ page in 6 clicks or less (even without clicking through the “Mathematician” or “Mathematics” links that show up in like the first sentence of every mathematician’s Wiki page).
Fun Examples for Fun
Starting mathematician: George Polya
Click 1: Probability Theory
Click 2: Probability
Click 3: Christiaan Huygens
Click 4: Gottfried Leibniz
Starting mathematician: George Boole
Click 1: Differential Equation
Click 2: Derivative
Click 3: Gottfried Leibniz
Starting mathematician: John Venn
Click 1: Set Theory
Click 2: Principia Mathematica
Click 3: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Click 4: Gottfried Leibniz
Starting mathematician: Sewall Wright
Click 1: Philosophy
Click 2: Gottfried Leibniz
Starting mathematician: Henri Poincaré
Click 1: Bernhard Riemann
Click 2: Riemann Integral
Click 3: Integral
Click 4: Gottfried Leibniz
What is it? It’s the sound of knowledge!
More specifically, it’s the sound of Wikipedia being edited. Tones play in real time, signifying the addition (bells) and subtraction (strings) of information to Wikipedia articles. The lower the tone, the larger the edit. There’s even a beautiful tone for new Wiki users registering.
What’s even cooler is the fact that the map displays which Wiki pages are being edited and allows you to click through to them if you find one particularly intriguing.
Seriously, this is really beautiful if you think about the fact that its arising out of a bunch of different people with a bunch of different information putting that information out there to share with others.
Very, very cool.
I’ve talked about the kilogram quite a bit on here, but I want to revisit it a bit. Mainly because of Wikipedia’s sassy little remark about the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK).
The other six base SI units (second, meter, ampere, Kelvin, mole, and candela), which used to be based on physical artifacts, are now defined in terms of physical constants for precision’s sake. For example, the meter was originally defined as 1/10,000,000 of the meridian through Paris between the North Pole and the Equator. It is currently defined as the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.
Only the kilogram remains to be redefined in this new, more precise way.
The IPK itself is a small little cylinder of platinum/iridium and is stored in Sèvres, France. It is the internationally recognized artifact that is defined as having a mass of exactly one kilogram. So it is, in essence, the kilogram.
But of course, there are copies of it. Sèvres holds three; other nations have national prototypes. And that’s where things get interesting.
Wiki: “By definition, the error in the measured value of the IPK’s mass is exactly zero; the IPK is the kilogram. However, any changes in the IPK’s mass over time can be deduced by comparing its mass to that of its official copies stored throughout the world, a process called ‘periodic verification.'”
“Beyond the simple wear that check standards can experience, the mass of even the carefully stored national prototypes can drift relative to the IPK for a variety of reasons, some known and some unknown.”
And what does this drift look like? the IPK itself is the line at zero denoted with the K. The other lines represent the mass changes in various national prototype kilograms.
Well, hell. And the IPK itself, Wiki notes, may be changing as well (and likely is), though it is still the “base” against which every other national prototype is compared.
Yup, humans have been to the moon but can’t figure out how to keep the kilogram constant. I find that hilarious.
But here’s where I lost it when reading this article:
“The magnitude of many of the units comprising the SI system of measurement, including most of those used in the measurement of electricity and light, are highly dependent upon the stability of a 134-year-old, golf ball-size cylinder of metal stored in a vault in France.”
Ooooh, Wiki…a bit of attitude, eh?
My mom can attest to the fact that I laughed about this for like 10 minutes straight.
(all pics from Wiki’s Kilogram page)
DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S A SUPER FACTORIAL?! I DIDN’T!
Recall the regular factorial: 6 factorial (6!), for example, is 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1.
The super factorial of six, on the other hand, is sf(6) = 6! x 5! x 4! x 3! x 2! x 1!
On a related note, Wikipedia’s “Large numbers” article is quite fascinating. I love how when we start dealing with the absurdly large or absurdly small (and things related to them) our terminology gets really strange.
Okay, so I had a bunch of examples but then Word crashed and then Tumblr happened so you get this instead:
Today as my mom and I were driving around, Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire came on over Shuffle. I commented, “I wonder what this song’s Wikipedia page looks like?”
Therefore, this week’s WeeklyWiki = We Didn’t Start the Fire!
I think this is a really interesting song, both because of all the events it contains but also because Billy Joel was able to rhyme everything. Haha, I think that’s awesome. Says Wiki” “Unlike most of Joel’s songs, the lyrics were written before the melody, owing to the somewhat unusual style of the song.”
And: “I had turned forty. It was 1989 and I said “Okay, what’s happened in my life?” I wrote down the year 1949. Okay, Harry Truman was president. Popular singer of the day, Doris Day. China went Communist. Another popular singer, Johnnie Ray. Big Broadway show, South Pacific. Journalist, Walter Winchell. Athlete, Joe DiMaggio. Then I went on to 1950 […]. It’s one of the worst melodies I’ve ever written. I kind of like the lyric though.”
It’d be interesting to see such a song written today.
HA, I remember the article that I was going to feature here a couple weeks ago!
If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV, you’ve probably been privy to the Wilhelm scream, a stock sound effect first used in 1951 and has since been audible in over 225 movies and TV shows (often as an in-joke).
The scream was first heard in the 1950s movie Distant Drums and gained popularity after George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino began to slide it into almost every movie they made (yes, including Star Wars). The fact that the scream is publically available has caused it to propagate throughout online media created by amateur film/media makers.
It’s Weekly Wiki time! See guys? It’s been like three weeks and I haven’t missed one yet. I give myself a banana sticker.
This week I’m featuring Wikipedia’s information about the different generations!
Here is the list:
Lost Generation (born 1883 – 1900)
The Lost Generation refers to those mainly brought up in the era of WWI; specifically, the young men and women who were pulled out of their normal lives to go and fight. It is said that the label originated with Gertrude Stein who remarked that young men of that generation were too old to train to be skilled workman and therefore were “lost.”
Greatest Generation (born 1914 – 1924)
What a title, huh? The term was coined by Tom Brokaw to describe those individuals who muscled through the Great Depression, fought in WWII, and aided in the material contribution to the war effort. Says Wiki: “He [Brokaw] argued that these men and women fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do. When they came back they rebuilt America into a superpower.”
Silent Generation (born 1925 – 1945)
Describing those individuals born during the Great Depression and WWII, this generation was substantially smaller than either the Greatest or the Baby Boom generations. This allowed people born in this timeframe more job opportunities (less competition) and thus resulted in great scientific and technological innovations used in the late 20th century.
Baby Boom Generation (born 1946 – 1964)
Everyone knows the Boomers! Post WWII, the US population jumped up as soldiers returned home and decided that it was the time to have a family. The article also features what is perhaps the greatest analogy ever: The baby boom has been described variously as…”the pig in the python.” By the sheer force of its numbers, the boomers were a demographic bulge which remodeled society as it passed through it.
Generation X (born early 1960s – early 1980s)
Perhaps the most recognizable generation in terms of name, Generation Xers were named such in order to signify their relative lack of identity and uncertainty regarding the future when compared to their parents and grandparents. According to Wiki: “The US Census Bureau cites Generation X as highly educated, statistically holding the highest education levels when looking at current age groups.”
Generation Y (born early 1970s – 1990 or so)
This generation (which includes me and probably most of my readers/stalkers/random passers-by) is unique in the sense that they didn’t grow up with technology surrounding them like Gen Z did, but also were young enough once technology began to permeate everyday life that they were able to acclimate to using it rather quickly/swiftly. Though my mom did this, too, and she’s a Boomer.
Generation Z (born early 1990s – present)
These dudes are typically children of Gen X-ers and are obviously a very wired generation—internet, cellphones, obnoxious social media Facebook and the like. According to Wiki: “a marked difference between Generation Y and Generation Z is that members of the former remember life before the takeoff of mass technology, while the latter have been born completely within it.”
More info on Wiki. Go check it out!
Way back at the dawn of time I linked to Wiki’s Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo article, but I figured I’d go all out and link to a bunch of Wiki’s “English is so screwy” pages.
List of Linguistic Example Sentences, sentences that “illustrate various linguistic phenomena.”
I had a really, really good article the other day that I was going to use for this post, but now I can’t remember what it was.
Caffeine from the moon? Starbucks from the stars?
Nope! It’s the color of the universe, according to astronomers from Johns Hopkins University.
Described by Wiki as “a slightly beigeish white,” cosmic latte is the average color of the universe across the spectral range of light sampled from a large section of the universe. The average color was actually originally purported to be a light teal, but that was due to an error with the software the scientists were using. Hahaha.
The article also has a list of a bunch of different names that were proposed for the color…I personally like Big Bang Beige and Skyvory.
Y’all ever heard of Waffle House? It’s a chain of restaurants located in many of the US’s southernmost states. There’s one about half a mile from our house here, actually. The waffle-centric restaurants sell (apart from waffles) soup, chili, coffee, and pretty much every breakfast item you can think of.
What’s surprising about Waffle House, though, is the fact that it is one of the top four corporations in the US for disaster response.* Says almighty Wiki: “Waffle House has an extensive disaster management plan with on-site and portable generators and pre-positioned food…This helps mitigate the effects of a storm on the power grid and the supply chains.”
In fact, this provider of syrup-pocket goodness is so disaster-ready that an unofficial gauge of disaster severity is based on the status of any Waffle House restaurants located within the disaster area. This gauge is known as the Waffle House Index and is used by FEMA. They employ a rough three-level guide based on Waffle House’s restaurant status to assess storm/disaster impact:
- Green: Waffle House is open and serving its full menu. Nothing too serious. Carry on. Buy some pancakes.
- Yellow: Waffle House is open but is serving a limited menu. Moderate damage; there may be no power and/or food supply may be low.
- Red: Waffle House is closed! Severe damage. No waffles. Apocalypse now.
Also, a quote from FEMA admin Craig Fugate: “If you get [to the disaster site] and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad. That’s where you go to work.”
Guess there were no Waffle Houses in New Orleans for them to gauge the severity of Hurricane Katrina’s impact…?
*The other four companies are WalMart, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.
Ready for another romp around the internet?
Of course you are!
- Love your 90’s music? Click here.
- Want to see if your favorite nickname/tag/username is available on a given site? Click here.
- Want to test your vocab? Click here.
- Interested in Google’s (playful) deceptions? Click here.
- Fan of obscure words? Click here.
- Are you getting high from all the clicking and wish you could do more of it? Click here.
The best OK Cupid match question ever.
As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been a major slacker with respect to my This Week’s Science Blog posts. Sad day, huh?
This is mostly due to either:
a) just completely forgetting to do one, or
b) having difficulty finding a *recent* article that’s interesting enough to blog about.
So I decided I’m going to change things up a bit. Rather than have a weekly post dedicated to science, I’m broadening my horizons and starting a Weekly Wiki blog in which I find an interesting (or unusual or hilarious or all of the above) Wikipedia article and elaborate on it here for you. And see how many pages it takes me to get from that article to the “Pornography” article.
This week’s Weekly Wiki: Vexillology. I’ll give you three guesses what a vexillologist studies.
Vexillology is the study of flags! HOW COOL?! According to Wiki, it is encompasses “the creation and development of a body of knowledge about flags of all types, their forms and functions, and of scientific theories and principles based on that knowledge.”
I’ve always held a bit of an interest in flags and flag designs. Back in high school in our mandatory speech class I did my informative speech on the major flag color families. Color families, as you may have guessed, are groups of flags that are similar both in colors and (generally) geographic location. Color amilies include the Pan-African colors, the Pan-Arab colors, and the flags including the Nordic Cross.
Does flag design sound interesting to you? Check out this link. It’s like if Emily Post were vexillologist.
So WoW has an offer going right now where you can sign up and play for free up until level 20. As you know, I was playing WoW back in 2009, but I let my subscription expire due to grad school insanity + not having enough money to re-subscribe.
I’ve been itching to play again recently, so I signed up again and started playing. Yay!
Anyway, last night I must have had the perfect combination of WoW time plus Wikipedia surfing time, ‘cause I had a dream that combined the two in a game called World of Wikipedia.
The best part of this dream is the fact that when I woke up, I remembered all the little details. There were two factions (like WoW): the Wikis, the fun-loving but troublemaking group who work together to cause mayhem, and the Pedias, the serious folk who are all about order and keeping things in check.
- Then there were different races based on the five “pillars” of Wikipedia.
- I think the equivalent of WoW’s classes were based upon Wiki’s three main core content principles.
- The equivalent of WoW zones were the main areas listed on the front page of Wiki (Arts, Biography, History, Science, etc.).
I don’t know. It was a really interesting dream, haha. I may have to create characters to correspond to the pillar races.
I had a dream last night that consisted solely of me writing lengthy Wikipedia article on “water vandalism,” which turns out to not be a real thing in real life but was, in my dream, acts that involved defacing public water (like putting bath bubbles in a public fountain).
I’m actually surprised “water vandalism” hasn’t been coined for that yet.
Also, there exists no Wiki article for one of the main structural equation modeling fit indices I’m examining for my thesis, so I’m half-tempted to actually create one. I’ve never edited a Wiki page before.
Yes, I know I’m about 3,000 words short for NaNoWriMo right now. Shut up, I know it, I’ll get there. Last year I was like 7,000 words short at this point, so there!
Bah. I’m jittery.
Today’s song: Mykonos by Fleet Foxes
Part I. Jupiter
Apparently this is a fairly frequent thing, but I don’t ever remember hearing anything about it before.
Part II. The internet
What is this, the Information Age Paradigm Shift into Tab Land? Or are all the big websites having a mid-digital-age crisis and wanting facelifts?
What is the big deal with tabs, anyway? Seriously. I don’t see their appeal. Now Wikipedia has jumped on the “let’s change shit up for no reason” bandwagon and added that overplayed “we’re modern now!” tab-and-pointless-fading-color-crap to their site. They also decided to move their search box across the page.
Somebody needs to explain to me why this is all happening at once.
Haha, maybe there’s some sort of cosmic connection between Jupiter losing a stripe and the big players of the Tubes deciding to change things up.
Like Google’s head scientist (because you know they’ve got some sort of “Google Jupiter” machines flying around in the ammonia clouds taking pictures) goes into a board meeting and says to their head designer: “Um, sir…it appears we’ve got some shocking news from Jupiter.”
Head Designer: “What is it, Doctor?”
Head Scientist: “Well, it appears that the SEB has gone missing from our view.”
Head Designer: “So?”
Head Scientist: “That means that the largest planet in our solar system has just changed its layout!”
Head Designer: “OH CRAP! We’d better get on that NOW! INFORM WIKIPEDIA, THIS SHIT’S GOING TO GO DOWN FAST!!”
Hahaha, I know it’s not a big deal. I just like to bitch about it. I just don’t see a valid reason for it, especially for it all happening at once.
Also, for whatever the hell reason, today we switched to Leibniz’ notation in calculus. Not that I’m complaining.
Today’s song: Parlez Vous Francais? by Art vs. Science
StumbleUpon brought me to Wikipedia’s page on the “Latin honors” for college degrees. Not only did I find out Australia has two different levels of failure (off the “grade” page…and here I must interject: “WTF, mate?”), but the “see also” section also provided me with this.
I found this rather interesting, considering that for the majority of colleges, the U of I’s cutoff points for summa/magna/cum laude are higher than all of these listed. Maybe ‘cause UI is such a small school (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE = RANGE RESTRICTION) they felt the need to have such high cutoff points…who knows.
Haha, sorry, I like this kind of stuff. Had they provided more colleges, I would have made some sort of map to see how the different regions of the US compared in honors cutoffs. Bah.
Also this, ‘cause I found it freakishly funny (and interesting), especially since they were all cracking up the entire time:
Today’s song: Echo by Girls Can’t Catch