Silencio, Por Favor!

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Did I get some sweet new headphones? Am I some sort of YouTube gamer now?

No. However, there is jackhammering 50 feet from me.

So, this is how I live now.

Getting Into Blaseball 

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

Earlier this year, I heard about a hot new game: blaseball, an online riff on baseball. However, when I couldn’t figure out if it was pronounced blace (rhymes-with-place) ball or blasé (as-in-apathetic) ball, I moved on.

Recently, friend-of-the-site Alex S. sent along a couple useful links about the game. To start, what exactly is blaseball?

Blaseball is an online, alternate reality, surrealist fantasy baseball game. At the same time, it is not any of those things at all. The game transforms week-to-week, and while it models itself after America’s favorite pastime, it’s slowly getting further and further away from the sport.

That answer comes from Polygon’s useful blaseball Q&A, which is worth a read. Intrigued, and want more? Here’s a video covering the weirdness in even more depth. It’s really quite something.

I haven’t yet really had the time to partake in blaseball’s extreme weirdness, but after reading about it, I strongly support the absurdity. The MLB season will be over by next Wednesday, but the next blaseball season starts very soon.

Extremely Big Boned 

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

Living in the city, this 12-foot-tall skeleton Halloween decoration is not something I’m likely to see in person, but I appreciate its ridiculousness.

A 12-foot-tall skeleton in a yard.[Photo credit: @frogonarock]

Still, even in the suburbs, I really have to wonder where one stores this thing the other 11 months of the year outside of October.

These Onions Are Too Sexy for Facebook 

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

As XKCD’s Rule #34 comic taught me, someone out there is getting hot looking at onions. Still, Facebook probably shouldn’t ban pictures of the vegetable for being “overtly sexual”.

That Profanity Filter Stinks 

Monday, October 19th, 2020

A paleontology conference recently found themselves using some rather ridiculous software that blocked all manner of terms it shouldn’t have.

“Words like ‘bone,’ ‘pubic,’ and ‘stream’ are frankly ridiculous to ban in a field where we regularly find pubic bones in streams,” one participant said of the filter, which organizers had to thwart.

Amusingly, the frequently profane Samuel L. Jackson would be unaffected by this filter. His classic line of “Hold onto your butts” from paleontology-adjacent film Jurassic Park would pass through without a problem.

Oh, Yeah, It’s All Totally Cursed 

Friday, October 16th, 2020

In 2005, a 21-year-old Canadian woman named Nicole stole some small artifacts from Pompeii. Since then, she apparently suffered nothing but bad luck, including two bouts with breast cancer, as well as various financial woes. As a result, she has returned the artifacts, along with a letter of apology.

“I wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought,” wrote the woman, who said she was “young and dumb” at the time.…”We can’t ever seem to get ahead in life,” she wrote, blaming the bad luck on the tiles.

It was bad to have stolen these items, and it’s good to have returned them. But my favorite part of the story is this tremendous bit of trolling from the caretakers of Pompeii:

Over the years, around a hundred visitors have returned small artifacts like mosaic tiles and pieces of plaster that they stole during a visit to Pompeii, according to a spokeswoman for the park.

The items were sent back along with letters from the visitors “claiming to have derived only bad luck” from taking away the artifacts, the spokeswoman told CNN.

A selection of letters and returned artifacts has been put on display at the Pompeii Antiquarium, she added, noting that, while the value of the artifacts was not significant, the letters were interesting from an anthropological perspective.

The idea of these folks just casually noting how cursed everything clearly is, and what a bad idea theft is, really tickles me.

Also, this is as good a post as any to promote one of my own guiding principles for life. It’s a variation on the Golden Rule, focused more on actions. Namely, before taking an action, it’s good to stop and think “What if everyone did this?”. If this thief had considered it, she’d have realized the site would rapidly cease to exist. She might have avoided a decade and a half of misfortune. If more people stopped and thought “What if everyone did this?”, the world would be a much better place.

Someone in Los Angeles Is Having Some Fun 

Thursday, October 15th, 2020

As Missing Persons told us way back in the ’80s, nobody walks in LA. Apparently, however, at least one person is flying courtesy of a jetpack. Perhaps the only thing more difficult to believe is the fact that no one has captured pictures or video footage of this yet.

Walker Buehler’s Skinny Pants 

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Was Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler1 wearing someone else’s pants when he pitched the first game of the NLCS on Monday? Maybe! After his team lost, however, he was in no mood for questions about his britches.


Footnotes:

  1. If there’s a less apt name for a pitcher than “Walker”, I haven’t heard it.1 Better still, Buehler has stated that rather than giving up a hit, he prefers to issue a free pass to a batter. That figures. ↩︎

  2. Grant Balfour’s last name is also pretty great, and unapt. ↩︎

Nothing but Blue Links Did We See 

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Because I don’t perform any sort of tracking on the readers of this site, I have no idea what the average reader age is. Given that, this look at how some famous websites looked in 1999 may be nostalgic for you, or it may feel like having a glimpse at cave drawings. Either way, it’s a fun look at the early days of the commercial web.

You Should Be Punctual 

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Recently, friend-of-the-site Larry P. passed along a link to a piece entitled “Be On Time For Things”, which is worth a read. While this is good advice in general, the post in question also does a tremendous takedown of a truly detestable post from Slate’s “Our One Fight” blog.