Monday, 25 March 2013

Entertainment stuff from the week 18-24/3/13

Hi, Friends

Study of the month:

'Researchers develop algorithm to maximize friendship acceptance by strangers on social networks'

That's right - some nice creepy people, from the USA, Taiwan, and China - have collaborated to make an algorithm for manipulating people you don't know into becoming Facebook Friends with you!

"There is one caveat here, and that is the algorithm only works if implemented by the social network itself because they are the only ones that can analyze the structure of friend relationships between different individuals who don't know each other or have any friends in common. There is also the problem of figuring out why a social network such as Facebook would ever possibly want to add such a feature. It would seem contrary to their most basic philosophy — to allow "friends" to keep in touch."


An 8th century Egyptian re-telling of the Jesus myth has been found, which casts them as a shape-shifter.

To be honest, this isn't so weird... Father, Son, virgin birth, still has Y chromosome but not a woman, dies twice, still being eaten and drunk even after 2000 years, has different skin colour for every xenophobic population around the world... of course they're a shape shifter!

The Checkout is here!!!

"THE CHECKOUT turns consumer TV on its head. The series is a no-holds-barred, irreverent and entertaining approach to the subject that would have Helen Wellings turning in her grave, if she wasn't still alive.
Each episode tackles issues that face all of us when we open our wallets - identifying ways consumers are being taken advantage of, manipulated and ripped off."

Episode 1 (30 minutes):

Individual skits are on the official YT page:

My review: Brilliant. Just as expected :-)

On the subject of YouTube - they've updated their format again. It looks OK, to me:

A couple of new 'Funny Place Names' albums. These are from the good ol' US of A:

I'd like to live at any of these places, if Lizzy the Lezzy were there:

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

If you like Tennis, and i do, here's the Top 10 hot-shots compilation from the Indian Wells tournament (Nadal won, Djokovic didn't. That means they've each had just one loss, so far, this year!)

I thought the French had it bad with le shopping, le checkout, le weekend, and le starting blocks. But now i realise their number system should earn them sympathy!
'Problems with French Numbers - Numberphile'

The Naked Scientists' live show - 'BANG! Naked Science Festival' (1 hour)

Herring semen as a flame retardant? Sounds fun, and works well - it's just not that practical :-D
'Researchers find DNA can work as a flame retardant (w/ video)'

On the subject of phallic stuff: (SFW)

'Judi Dench's Hot Date // Bad Teeth'
"National treasure Dame Judi Dench and Channel 4 News Anchor Jon Snow enjoy a romantic evening that takes a surprising turn... "

'MinusIQ | The pill to lower your IQ permanently' via cibertimanios
I hope it's not necessary to point out that, actually, igorance brings fear - not bliss :-P

Another video, by brusspup, of that cool water illusion. The wave shape is real, but the illusion of static water is formed purely through the frame-rate of the camera being the same as the frequency of the vibrations going through the water. This means it can't be seen with the naked eye.

'Sex In Video Games'
Mario and Zelda are my faves. "Je ta princesse" :-D

'The Cutest Hard Rock Singer Ever'

'Binman disciplined after defecating in resident's driveway'
{It wasn't malicious :-D }

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: scrobble -- analysing music listening statistics

Expression Of The Week: "fie!" -- a generalised expression of distaste that has arisen separately in many languages

Etymology Of The Week: jukebox -- from 'jook house' where they were used, with 'jook' meaning 'wicked/disorderly'. Jook houses were not 'savoury' establishments - think brothel/drinking den, and so manufacturers put effort into preventing the name from sticking. They failed, obviously!

Quote Of The Week: "I didn't realise he was a teetotaller until he went off to fix himself a stiff drink and came back with an ice lolly" - Max Kauffmann

Acronym Of The Week: SCART -- Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs (Radio and Television Receiver Manufacturers' Association)

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

A couple of great Queeny things:

'TV ad for Queen Greatest Video Hits II DVD with Brian May & Roger Taylor'
{Brian's acting is surprisingly good :-D}

And on the subject of surprisingly good:

'Ouveen - Korean Queen Tribute Band - Bohemian Rhapsody,I Want to Break Free,Don't Stop Me Now'

'The Greatest Frisbee Trick Shot EVER | Brodie Smith'

'Gum Sculptures'
There's no argument - whoever made these thingummies has some gumption. They've made me gum over all emotional.
{Are those puns groan-worthy? They better be!}

'Cat vs illusion…'

'Biting Elbows - 'Bad Motherfucker' (Insane Office Escape 2)'
A point-of-view real-action gunfight/escape. I'm not keen on the kind of video game that this is based on, but all that running does look kinda fun...

Magnets + electric current -> tiny little dynamo. There's nothing extra special about this - the energy comes from the battery, and the field of the coil slowly demagnetises the magnets - it's not perpetual motion, but it's fun to watch. So simple.
'Cursing Parrot'

A surfing duck!

'Striptease Prank with Just For Laughs Gags!'
This is a prank i wouldn't mind being on the receiving end of! (Depending on who i were with, of course...)

'Expert Hand Farter'
Here's his rendition of 'You Shook Me All Night Long'. I didn't think it would work with this genre, but LOLZ.

WTF? No, no - it was made that way!

'The 72 most ridiculous road signs ever'
Some of these are definitely faked/custom built; others are definitely real.

'"Who's On First?", the sequel'
This is a classic stage/cabaret act. I've even seen the Chuckle Brothers do it... in Scarborough, it was :o)

'Bomb Sight - mapping the London WW2 bomb census between 7/10/1940 and 06/06/1941'
Wow - that's a lot of bombs!

The Dreamliner - "how do you know when it's running?"
There's an article about it in NS - it's not a technology problem - it's an industry regulation one:

This is why there are Health & Safety regulations!!!

I'm afraid this vacancy's been filled:

Feedback extracts:

PARANOID observation of the week comes to us from Russia, courtesy of Jeff Clarke, who uncovered it at the news site
Operating on the principle that readers' comments on news events can be more interesting than the coverage of the news itself, Jeff turned to what RT's readers had to say about the cataclysmic meteorite event at Chelyabinsk on 15 February.
The not-untypical comment he draws our attention to is: "Europe is to blame. They're using all those wind farms they are building to blow the planet off course, and deliberately tried to make Earth collide with this meteorite whilst it was over Russia."
9 Mar
{Wind farms actually take enegry out of the air, thereby causing it to slow down. The wind on leeward sides of wind-farm sites is noticeably slower, post-construction}

THE revelation that horsemeat has been found in processed foods on sale in the UK and other European countries has led to some hasty mugging up on science by those who see part of their job as reassuring the public.
Sometimes it has been too hasty. John Arthur reports a message from his son's school taken from the Vale of Glamorgan council website: "Vale Council ensures food safety standards: the Council has confirmed 'No traces of DNA have been found in food supplied by the Vale Council's Catering Service'."
"So what were they feeding the children?" John wondered.
Since then, further mugging up on science must have taken place: the council has amended its website.
9 Mar
{I can barely conceive of what it must be like, to not know what DNA is!}

WATER from the purifier that Colin Robertson saw advertised in a shop window in Bayswater, west London, is, apparently, "Alkaline and hydrogen-rich with antioxidant properties!" Feedback asked round the office: "Is there a chemist in the house?" and of course there was: she confirmed that if the water were hydrogen-rich it would be acid, not alkaline – although this could indeed mean that it was antioxidant.
9 Mar
{Marketing guff seldom bares any relation to reality - but that's no excuse}

THE poster on display in Sainsbury's supermarket in Shorehead, Yorkshire, UK, stated: "All our chickens are 100% British."
"I suppose at rival supermarkets the legs are British," suggests Roger Denison, "but the rest of each chicken is sourced from other countries in the EU."
9 Mar
{ guff also bears no relation to reality when it's motivated by nationalism...}

THE blurb on the Signature Car Hire website touts the virtues of the Mercedes-Benz Viano Ambiente with typical promotional gush: "This car won't fail to excite and surprise all who sit inside the breathtaking interior."
However, when it gets to the car's performance, the description ties itself in knots: "The acceleration speed from 0-60 mph is 11.1 seconds... the Viano's engine has reduced fuel economy by up to 6%."
Tony Budd says he is still trying to work out the units for "acceleration speed", but, he notes, "it obviously doesn't help save fuel".
16 Mar

A HELPFUL notice near the lift in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering building at Imperial College London reads: "Lift does not stop at levels 3, 4 and 5. To reach levels 4 and 5 please take the lift to level 6 and come down via the stairs."
Alfredo Aguilar, who sent us a photo of the notice, is worried. He wants to know: what is on the third floor? Why are they not telling us how to get there?
16 Mar
{Isn't it obvious? There is no such place as level 3.... [cue X-files theme]}

The label on Bill Ross's jelly dessert purchased from the company cafeteria said, "Best Before Feb 30, 2013". Bill wonders when this will be and how he will get there
23 Mar
{Ask J.K.Rowling?!?}

HEALTH centres in the UK are adopting the use of touchscreens for people to self check-in when they arrive for an appointment. When Steve James approaches the screen in his local centre and touches it to start, the machine asks him if he is male or female. Then it asks him the day and month of his birth. Finally, it asks: "What year were you born?". The two options presented to him for an answer to this are: "1975" (the year of his birth) or "None".
He says he is always tempted to select "None", just to see what happens.
23 Mar
{There's one at my local, too. I've never pressed "None", for fear that the system would deduce me to be non-existent, and therefore wipe my records, rendering it impossible for me to kep my now-erased appointment... :-P }

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