Two weeks ago, after observing the bizarre search suggestions that ask.com gives for searches, we launched a little contest (which we have run a little late in posting the results of). Here are the results in our several categories:
Winner: “how do i go“, which ask.com helpfully expands into (among other variations), “how do i google someone.” Submitted by Josh Gurian.
“Does anyone actually use ask.com?”
“Where is jeeves? What have you done with him?”
How to style your lack of hair
Winner: Evidence that people are looking for stuff that hasn’t been invented yet. (Hint: it isn’t on the net.) Submitted by flickr user samaritan.
“Did you fire Jeeves?”
The question “Should a” produces some interesting ethical issues.
The simple query “when can” produces some insight into how obsessed ask.com (or perhaps its users) are with pregnancy.
Well, maybe pregnancy and international cuisine.
This was the hardest category. There were too many to choose from. The depressing entries struck various notes depression because very unhappy people are querying the search engine, but also because of the terrible grammar issues, and genuinely scary things that one would hope no one ever searches for– both self-destructive and frighteningly ill-informed.
The idea of choosing a “winner” for questions like these is rather stomach turning– but labeling them losers won’t help either.
Why don’t i have any friends?, Submitted by flickr user samaritan.
“When will the” (insert terrible thing) happen?
How dumb am i?
Why does everyone lie to me?
Winner: The Most winningest, naturally. Submitted by flickr user dennisw.
loose my belly
I hat you.. (It’s both brilliant and inexplicable.)
Winner: The winner makes you wonder how they type the queries. Submitted by flickr user predatormc.
How to kill a mockingbird
Can babies breathe underwater?
This one borders on scary, but the thing about sheep puts it in the funny category.
Finally, two good entries from the Stupid question department: First entry, Second entry
Congratulations to our winners!
Lolsaur is a new site that has (silly) potential.
Here’s my attempt, adapted from the original photo by Marjorie Morris Lipan (CC-BY-NC-SA/2.0 license).
[And, created with fd’s Flickr Toys.]
Our favorite neighborhood donut shop has made a classic pronunciation/spelling misstep: they sell “Apple Flitters.” It only adds to the charm of the place!
We are great fans of Bawls Mints. Or, I should say, we were great fans of Bawls mints, because they are apparently no longer being made. They have been replaced by this visually similar but radically inferior substitute called “Bawls Buzz.” The formula has been completely reworked, and now tastes of cheap, bland candy, a little bit like pixy stix. Sugar is no longer the first ingredient.
On the other hand, the text on the bottom of the box is still there and still brilliant. Who makes packaging like this anymore? (And who makes candy like Bawls Mints anymore?)
Just kidding– we don’t actually have any juicy details to share. But, with all the hype surrounding next week’s release of the iphone, we thought that you might want to take a look at our Hands-on review of the iPhone. You know, just in case you haven’t seen it already.
One of our neighbors is retired and, so far as we can tell, spends approximately twelve hours per day golfing. Golfing from his front lawn, that is. While he’s an agreeable fellow and we will not begin to question the motives or reason of someone that has this compulsion, we will simply observe that our neighborhood has an infestation of foam practice golf balls.
Beyond the many hundreds of balls that are successfully reclaimed each day, some dozens accumulate in the yards, bushes and hanging potted plants of our house and the houses of our other neighbors. They get stuck in the trees and bushes, confusing us when we go to pick lemons. People remember to shut the windows of their cars when they park. Sometimes it gets so bad they clog the gutters. You can even find them in places that they could have only gotten to after three reflections, leaving you quite puzzled. But, you get the idea.
Once behind a fence, they seem to have particular trouble getting out. (Especially if there’s a dog.) Case in point: This weekend we were at one of our (non-golfing) neighbors houses for a birthday barbecue. In the back yard, down below the little bushes, approximately twenty yellow balls were visible. I didn’t look hard; these were just the ones in plain view. When I pointed them out to our hosts, I learned that they had already thrown the day’s catch (a few dozen balls) back over the fence.
What do do? We decided to practice a humane method of dealing with pests: catch, tag and release.
Many of the partygoers got involved in the process. Most of the balls were tagged with simple designs, but some were quite elaborate. We particularly liked this set (which we didn’t make), showing four foam balls as members of Kiss. We tossed them over the fence, and they disappeared early in the morning. We’re waiting to see if any of the tagged ones reinfest the yard, or if we get new ones every day.
If our golfing neighbor is sufficiently annoyed by people writing on his little foam balls, it may even be effective as a means of population control.
From 1997-1999, I was a cartoonist on both the comics and editorial pages for the Daily Texan, the student newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin. The Deadly Toxin, as it was widely known, was a fairly “big” paper with a daily circuation (on weekdays) of around 25,000 copies.
I wrote the cartoon off and on with the help of Kirk Madison, hence the byline “Krik and Lledniw.” The cartoons were published under three titles, “Surreal Estate,” “Fire Andy Smith,” and “Unit Normal.” They ranged from very, very silly (like this one) to pointed editorial cartoons that even once earned me a concerned letter from the president of the university– but that’s another story.
We are slowly working on getting the archives online. But here’s a teaser: the cartoon above was the Easter special in 1998.
April first is the only holiday of the world’s oldest religion and the world’s largest church: The First Church of the Last Laugh. We celebrated the holiday in San Francisco with the church at the 29th annual St. Stupid’s Day parade. The weather was lovely, and the people-watching was excellent. We took a few pictures, which are in this flickr set for your enjoyment.
Some parade highlights:
Scott of Laughing Squid was there with Justin of justin.tv and has already written about the parade and put up a flickr set, too.
Here are some more flickr sets from Steve Rhodes, solsken, dustinj, and a handful of pictures from bellboybob.
We don’t normally dwell much on the word “Evil” in “Evil Mad Scientist,” but this list of advice for Evil Overlords (and heroes, and henchmen, and wicked-but-beautiful daughters of evil overlords, and so on) is really quite insightful and comprehensive.
If the phrase “My spoon is too big” either makes you fall over on the floor laughing or reply with “I am a banana,” you must have seen the deadly-funny cartoon “Rejected” by Don Hertzfeldt. We recently got a copy of Bitter Films, Volume One, a collection of six of Don’s animated shorts including “Rejected,” “Lily and Jim,” “Billy’s Balloon,” and “Ah L’Amour.” Even though I’d seen all but one of them before, I laughed so hard that I had trouble breathing during three of these cartoons.
Besides the classic shorts and some other minor gems, the DVD also features a few short Don Hertzfeldt “bookend” animations produced for The Animation Show, a festival-formatted collection of animations produced by Don in collaboration with Mike Judge (of Beavis and Butthead fame).
The Animation Show is now in its third year and the first two years are available on DVD. Even if you’ve already seen the Hertzfeld animations from it, it’s worth getting Volume 1 of The Animation Show just to see the music video “Bathtime in Clerkenwell” by the band (The Real) Tuesday Weld, featuring sublime and surreal animation by Alex Budovsky. If you like that, you may also enjoy Return I Will to Old Brazil, also by Budovsky and (The Real) Tuesday Weld, which is a music video and new recording of the classic song “Brazil.”