Category Archives: Humor

Abstinence-only Driver’s Ed

Don’t miss reading this link at McSweeny’s. Hilarious.

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How Grandma Sees the Remote


via Gizmodo.

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Fine Art Photoshop Contest

Yes, my favorites are all irreverent, but I just can’t resist. Check out the growing collection at the Fine Art Photoshop Contest posted here, where you can also see the un-retouched originals.

Following frame

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Only In Japan: Rice Paddy Art

You’ve heard of crop circles? Well, here’s the Japanese version made of living plants. By patterned planting of four different varieties of rice plants, each with different colored leaves, Akio Nakayam and friends grew these reproductions of the Edo-period prints. Wow.

News photo

News photo

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How Nerds Eat

I just stumbled on a great post from Julieanne over at Cosmic Variance.

“My temporary officemate runs down to the vending machine and buys a bag of gummi bears. He dumps them on the desk, sorts them by color, and then proceeds to eat them in order of increasing bin size (i.e. the pile of 1 orange one, then the pile of 3 yellow ones, then the pile of 4 green ones, etc).

If I buy a bag of M&M’s, I sort them by color, then figure out a division that lets me arrange them in a triangle, with one color per horizontal row, but allowing colors to be repeated (i.e. it’s ok for 9 red M&M’s to show up as a row of 7, and then further up, a row of 2). I then eat off each diagonal, producing a progressively smaller triangle, but one that maintains the horizontal color structure till the tasty end.

My kids, who I suspect inherited a geek-streak a mile wide, also sort multicolored candy into patterns and make up an algorithm for eating it.

The non-scientists who I have asked about this habit look at me like I’m nuts. (So do people who grew up in large families, because someone was bound to snarf the candy before they could take the time to develop this particular neurosis.)”

One of my personal favorites on the candy consumption side is to conduct natural selection experiments with M&Ms. I like to take two M&M’s and squeeze them together until one fails structurally, and then I eat the failure, setting aside the victor to participate in the next round of trials. The winner of the single elimination tournament is the most fit M&M prototype for future generations. The superior M&M is always the last to be eaten.

I am also known to organize my French Fry consumption by waiting just until the smallest fries reach the perfect temperature, and then eating them in order of increasing size, catching each one as it passes through the optimal temperature (for the layman, the higher surface area-to-volume ratio of the smaller fries means that they cool faster.)

My wife does, in fact, think I’m nuts, though she seems to find it endearing in some odd way.


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Peel an Egg in 5 Seconds, Updated

Update September 8, 2007:

I happened to walk into our kitchen the other morning to discover my wife and a friend chatting over a late breakfast. I said my normal hellos and good mornings but really intellectually engaged at the time. But as I was turning around to go back to my home office, our friend picked up a hard-boiled egg (the first hard-boiled egg I had seen since originally posting the video below) and was preparing to start peeling it.

I have to admit that she dealt with it rather well when I leaped across the kitchen to snatch the egg from her grip before she could begin to break the shell. When everyone had recovered from my surprise leap, largely I suspect in allowance of my somewhat regular odd (nerdly) behaviors, I asked her “how long do you think it would take you to peel this egg?”

“A few minutes,” she responded.

I then asked, “what would you say if I told you I could to do it in under 5 seconds?”

“No. Way.”

“Time me.” I used the technique pictured below. It took 3.5 seconds.

10 seconds of stunned silence followed, whereupon she shouted, “That was TOTALLY COOL!”

Ah yes. Nerd pride.

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4th Grade Math Genius Calculates High Probability of Getting Beat Up

The title says it all. I almost couldn’t stop laughing and crying at the same time.

“First, I computed my annoyance ratio to determine the probability that each student would want to beat me up,” said Mosley. “Then I gauged that against the Beatings to Hand Raises Theory along with past historical data from my previous physical assaults.”

“The probability of me remaining this smart, let alone becoming slightly smarter, is very high,” said Mosley. “Given that, getting beat up within the month is an expected result. Furthermore, when taking into account my small stature proportional to the most likely inflictors of given beating, I’m estimating a 30 percent chance of a broken bone.”

Hat tip to The Giant Napkin.

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A Catapult Watch: For the Geek that has Everything

Do you have friends who still play Dungeons & Dragons? Well, then this is the perfect gift for them. The Catapult watch. Co-workers will never again sleep within range.

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Teach Both Theories, Let the Kids Decide

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Rube Goldberg Machines From Japan

The best collection I’ve seen so far made with ordinary household objects.

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