Randall "XCKD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: delightful exploded diagrams labelled with simple words

Randall "XKCD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.

500 phrases from scientific publications that are correlated with bullshit


Matthew Hankins catalogs 500 phrases used in scientific articles that researchers use to figleaf the fact that their results aren't statistically significant, and to hand-wave-away the fact that they're publishing anyway. Read the rest

Ar ar humor: Generating jokes algorithmically with Wolfram Mathematica


Kathryn Cramer writes, "Jesse Friedman, age 14, has developed some code for getting Wolfram Language to tell a few jokes. Although most of WL's jokes are not funny, the generative language tools are an interesting toy." Read the rest

Donald Trump Lorem Ipsum generator


Todd writes, "I made this ridiculous thing. Click on his head for more lorem."

Read the rest

#HMAnagrams: 13 anagrams for "The Haunted Mansion" that describe the ride


@ridetheory created 13 spooky anagrams for "THE HAUNTED MANSION" that spelled out scenes from the ride ("...THAT HEINOUS MAN: END" "HUH? NOT MANSE DETAIN!" "...I THEN UNTO HEADSMAN" and so on!). Read the rest

@trippingbot: Character Level Recurrent Neural Network twitterbot tweets on "hallucinogens"


Shardcore's latest twitterbot (previously) is @trippingbot, which trains a Character Level Recurrent Neural Network with drug reports from Erowid, where people post running logs of their drug experiences. Read the rest

The word "software" sounded ridiculous when it was coined in '53


Computing pioneer Paul Niquette's memoir begins with the tale of how he came to coin the term "software" in 1953, to the ridicule of his colleague, and how the idea of a computer whose code was separate from its machinery took hold and changed the way we think about computation forever. Read the rest

“Mom, Dad, where do emoji come from?” The Unicode Consortium, son.


The New York Times profiles the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit that “serves as the midwife to new emojis.”

People who aren't nerds never cared much about the Unicode Consortium until everyone started caring, a lot, about emoji. Read the rest

A Swedish doctor's collection of English anatomical idioms


Harvard Medical School's Per-Olof Hasselgren moved from Sweden to the USA more than 30 years ago, and ever since he got here, he's been noting down the large and bizarre universe of anatomical idioms in the glorious hairball that is the English language. Read the rest

Car accidents aren't accidents


The use of the term "accident" gives cops and courts the cover to excuse murder. In a brutal editorial, Hsi-Pei Liao talks about his daughter, who was killed by a driver when she was three. The driver got a ticket for failure to yeild and failure to use due care, and those tickets were eventually thrown out by a DMV judge who considered the case for 47 seconds. Read the rest

How to flip someone off with THREE middle-fingers


When your scorn cannot be contained in the anatomy of a bilaterally symmetrical life-form. Baffle your enemies! Win the admiration of your friends! Improve your manual dexterity! (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Execspeak singularity: the spectacular bullshit of Blackberry's CEO


It takes a top-notch MBA and years of training to be able to improvise and enunciate statements like this 2010 gem: "I'm going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We've taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness. It's a causal difference, not just nuance." Read the rest

AP will use "climate doubters" instead of "climate skeptics"


The new agency's new stylebook entry advises against using "deniers" as well, but at least it acknowledges that the true skeptics are adherents to the scientific method. Read the rest

How to send email like a non-metaphorical boss


When Enron collapsed and got hit with a lawsuit requesting discovery on its internal email, its top bosses decided that they'd skip spending money on pricey lawyers to go through the archive and remove immaterial messages -- instead, the dumped the entire corpus of internal mail, including their employees' personal messages. Read the rest

Kickstarting 1,000,000 new entries in a nonprofit, online dictionary


Erin McKean, our favorite word-nerd, is kickstarting a project to add one million widely used, but sadly absent, words to Wordnik, the nonprofit online dictionary. Read the rest

What's on the menu at the Eloi Plantation subdivision?


I suppose that the "Eloi" in the Eloi Plantation subivision in Lafayette, LA is a reference to the French name, and not the post-human species of weak and foolish sybarites whom the Morlocks consume for food in HG Wells's classic novel "The Time Machine." Read the rest

Wonderful alphabet of superhero letters


Australia-based illustrator Simon Koay reimagined the letters of the English alphabet as superheroes. Read the rest

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