Aitch-Bar

Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say


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Inaugural Linktopus

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The Linktopus is honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King by tearing a frigate apart.

Here is some stuff that exists.

Words with no English equivalents

5. Zeg (Georgian)
It means “the day after tomorrow.” Seriously, why don’t we have a word for that in English?

7. Lagom (Swedish)
Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right.”

8. Tartle (Scots)
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.

Steve Thomas - Mars

Steve Thomas – Mars

This art, by Steve Thomas is really cool. There are a series of solar system retro travel posters being sold as a 2013 calendar that was (unfortunately) already sold out by the time I saw it. Nonetheless, his site is worth checking out, because there are many more things like this excellent poster. And someday, there will be more calendars.

Alt-country rocker Ryan Adams got so sick of people yelling out “Summer of 69!” by 80’s crap rocker Bryan Adams that he finally just performed an aggrivated version of it. He had previously reacted by freaking out and throwing people out of his shows when they said it, which they frequently did. At the end he says “Can it finally stop now, please?” He sounds desperate, and I admire that. I can’t link to the song itself because there seems to have been some DRM weirdness, but you know, there’s google if you really want to hear it: the important part is that you know it happened.

 

Glee ripped off Jonathan Coulton’s arangement of ‘Baby Got Back’ – Really hard. It’s a cover already, but evidently, everything you change about a song you cover, is thereafter copyrighted by you. And in this case, where Coulton’s arrangement is totally new itself, with a melody that doesn’t have anything to do with the original, it’s extremely obvious it was copied. They even left in his change from “Mix-a-lot” to “Jonny C”…like they just ran this thing off in 15 minutes thinking no one would ever find out. JoCo was never even contacted. Hopefully this further shame the shameful series who’s ear-piercing covers are starting to show up before the original versions on sites like iTunes, to the horror of all right-thinking people.

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Monday Linktopus

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The Linktopus is tired of trying to reason with you people

Boom! There are more things.

\scriptstyle\Box   “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole

Listen up. I know the shit you’ve been saying behind my back. You think I’m stupid. You think I’m immature. You think I’m a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I’m Comic Sans, and I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.

You don’t like that your coworker used me on that note about stealing her yogurt from the break room fridge? You don’t like that I’m all over your sister-in-law’s blog? You don’t like that I’m on the sign for that new Thai place? You think I’m pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don’t all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros.

\scriptstyle\Box  The Register is some kind of British tabloid specializing in science and technology news. And like other tabloids it presents the news in a crazed, sensationalistic fashion that sounds as though it’s competing for your attention against the inside of a frantic Chuck-E-Cheez. Yet they are actually covering legitimate science stories, and not necessarily getting it as badly wrong as most traditional sources—they just happen to be throwing in strange, aggressive prose, and using the term ‘boffin’ no less than 3 times a story. Example, this story about the recent study proposing a link between autism and the age of the father:

We’re raising generations of MUTANT KIDS, says Icelandic study

The trend for women to have children with older chaps than of yore is causing many more mutations among children, according to a study of the genetics of Icelandic families. […]

The new info comes in a wide-ranging study carried out by boffins at Reykjavik firm deCODE Genetics, which holds DNA info on a high proportion of Icelanders. The results have been deemed important enough to be published in headline-birthing boffinry mag Nature this week.

It seems that the greater number of mutations produced as dads become older is down to the fact that a chap’s wedding tackle continually manufactures new sperm by dividing old ones, which naturally means that as the years go by the ready-use sperm in his firing chamber will be the result of more and more divisions in the past. Each division is another chance for a mutation to occur, so that sperm from an older man will always contain more mutations than sperm from a whippersnapper, and these mutations will naturally be passed on to any children he may have. Ladies, by contrast, are issued their entire load of eggs at a relatively young age, and so have many fewer chances to produce mutant ones.

See what I mean? It isn’t wrong, it’s just really weird, and really British. Having accepted these facts, it’s pretty much the greatest news source on Earth. Here are a selection of insane headlines:

China could penetrate US with new huge missile Uh oh…
LOHAN sets clock ticking for explosive climax
Boffins: We are VAPORISING the Earth… for science Supervillainesque move helps them learn about super-earths
Hubble spots ancient spiral galaxy that SHOULD NOT EXIST Milky-Way-like shape ‘should be space train wreck’
Undead galaxy cluster spews 700 zombie baby stars A YEAR IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!

\scriptstyle\Box   Retronaut unearths the creepiest magazine ever published: Girl Watcher. Literally a fun, fresh, non-judgemental look…at stalking. 1959 was a different time.