Archive for the ‘The Lighter Side’ Category

Abstract art at a glance (or two)

June 1, 2019

AbstractArtD5Ex2vRW4AEUMou

 Source: Street Art Magic.

Sign of the times

May 18, 2019

A sign on a tree in Elizabethtown, Pa.  Hat tip to Lambert Strether.

Two wolves and a sheep vote on dinner

May 16, 2019

There’s an old saying that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.  For some amusing ideas of what that may mean in practice click on Two Wolves and a Sheep on Scott Alexander’s Slate Star Codex blog.

A curious reading of Curious George

March 16, 2019

You might find this funny, even if you don’t know who Werner Herzog is. And, by the way, in case you’re wondering, the reading is by a Werner Herzog imitator, not the real Werner Herzog.

What if … conspiracy theories … made sense!!!???

March 9, 2019

The following graphics are lifted from a brilliantly funny post by Scott Alexander on Slate Star Codex.
(more…)

Merle Hazard, country musician economist

February 9, 2019

Time for a change of pace.  Merle Hazard (not to be confused with the great Merle Haggard) claims to be the world’s leading country musician-economist.  Click on his name for more about him and more selections.  Hat tip to kottke.org.

(more…)

Why I’ve given up watching network TV news

January 18, 2019

I recommend you view this in the enlarged version, if you can’t see the dates of the various short clips in the upper right corner of the screen.

 I’m not a supporter of President Trump, but this is ridiculous..

A choice of superpowers

December 29, 2018

I enjoyed the following on-line story, and maybe you will, too.

And I Show You How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes by Scott Alexander on Slate Star Codex.

Another experiment in educational reform

December 26, 2018


Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

Hat tip to Physicist at Large.

Santa Claus in the 21st century

December 23, 2018

An interview with Santa’s lawyer by John Scalzi.   Hat tip to the Weekly Sift.

Who’s listening?

December 5, 2018

Source: XKCD.

Caterpillars on parade

November 10, 2018

I can’t help but find this funny.

Seen in a public library

September 15, 2018

I forget where I came across this on the Internet.  For the benefit of non-American and younger visitors to this blog, the numbers are part of the old Dewey decimal system of library subject classifications; that system came into existence before the digital age.

A mock Bugatti Chiron built of Lego parts

September 8, 2018

Lego engineers built a driveable duplicate of a $2.6 million Bugatti Chiron sports car, using more than 1 million Lego parts.

It uses real Bugatti wheels and tires, a steel frame and batteries for power, but more than 90 percent of the car is Lego parts, including 2,300 Lego Technic Power Function motors and 4,632 Lego Technic gear wheels.

It has a fully functional steering wheel, brakes (but no accelerator), headlights, tail lights, speedometer and doors that open and close.  No glue was used in putting the parts together.

A real Bugatti Chiron is made of about 1,800 parts.  It has a 1,500 horsepower motor and a top speed of 261 miles per hour.  The Lego version has a 5.3 HP motor and a theoretical top speed of 18 miles per hour.

But it works!  I bet it was a lot of fun to work on.

(more…)

A cartoon history of metaphysics

September 1, 2018

Click to enlarge.

Source: Existential Comics.

Fun with street art

June 30, 2018

Time for something a little lighter.

.

A street artist who calls himself Tom Bob has fun with everyday objects.

Click on the links below for more of Tom Bob’s art.

There’s a Genius Street Artist Running Loose in New York City and Let’s Hope Nobody Catches Him by Monika for Bored Panda.

There’s a Genius Street Artist Running Loose in the Streets and Let’s Hope Nobody Catches Him (30+ New Pics) by Ilona for Bored Panda.

Ted Forth and the IRS scammer

June 16, 2018

Time for something a little lighter.

.

Source: Ted Forth and the IRS Scammer on Medium Large.

Why I like this Harry Potter fan fiction novel

June 9, 2018

I never read the original Harry Potter novels, but I have been completely engrossed in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, a fan fiction novel by Eliezer Yudkowsky published on-line, chapter by chapter as it was written, from 2010 to 2015.

The premise is that Harry Potter’s foster-father was not the vile Vernon Dursley, as in the original novels, but Michael Verres-Evans, an intelligent and kindly Oxford biochemistry professor, who encouraged Harry to read science and science fiction.

Consequently young Harry is a committed rationalist, who regards the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft not as a refuge from an unkind Muggle world, but as a puzzle to be solved and a challenge to be overcome.

He also is a genius, with the intellect of a Richard Feynman and the ambition of a Napoleon Bonaparte, along with the emotional maturity of an 11-year-old boy.

His plan is to use the methods of science to unlock the secrets of magic, then to combine the powers of both to “optimize” the world on rational principles  As a character remarks, this is not far from wanting to become a Dark Lord.

Young Harry escapes the control of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Professor Minerva McGonagall and allows himself to be mentored by the cynical Professor Quirinus Quirrell, while trying to wean fellow student Draco Malfoy from unthinking malice and Hermione Granger from unthinking goodness.

There are many adventures, in which young Harry seemingly triumphs by applying his intelligence and the rational method.  He becomes impatient with Hogwarts’ witches and wizards for failing to understand cognitive bias, Bayes’s Theorem, game theory, effective altruism and the other principles of rationality.

Then, in the end, he discovers that he has completely misunderstood his situation and brought himself, Hogwarts and Magical Britain to the brink of doom.  But he thinks his way out of his plight at the very last minute and saves the day, although not without cost.

(more…)

Optical illusions up against the wall

May 19, 2018


Manuel de Rita, an Italian artist known as peeta, likes to draw optical illusions on wall murals.  I took these images off a Colossal web page.

I am sure the artist had a good time painting these.  I enjoyed looking at them.  If I spent all my time thinking about government and politics, I’d be depressed.

(more…)

Cute harvest mice among the tulips

May 5, 2018

These cute pictures were taken by a British animal photographer named Miles Herbert.  Looking at them made me smile.  He does business as Captivelight. His other specialties are frogs, reptiles and birds of prey.

 I found this set of photos on the Bored Panda web site, which posted a gallery of 20 of Herbert’s mouse-and-tulip photos in all.

(more…)

Happy cows jump for joy at spring’s arrival

April 8, 2018

Source: thefunkyfarmer.

This is pretty much the way I feel.

Cats watching over human babies

March 10, 2018

Trade war tactics and strategy

March 5, 2018

Reuters reported that the European Union is considering applying 25 percent tariffs on American motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans, if President Trump imposes new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans?  Kevin Drum of Mother Jones explained the significance.

Hmmm.  Harley-Davidsons are made in—what?  Wisconsin, right?  In Menomonee Falls, actually, about 50 miles from Janesville, where Paul Ryan lives.  The Jim Beam bourbon distillery is in Clermont, Kentucky, about 20 miles from Mitch McConnell’s house in Louisville.  Levi’s is headquartered in San Francisco, about two miles from Nancy Pelosi’s house.

I think that’s a pretty funny example of trade war tactics.

How to tell the ‘flu from a cold

February 9, 2018

This doctor’s hilarious chart reveals the very simple way to tell if you’ve got the ‘flu or just a cold by Tom Michael for The Sun.  (Hat tip to naked capitalism)

What is influenza, how contagious is it, what are the symptoms, how can you avoid it, and has anybody died from the ‘flu in the UK? by Lauren Windle and Emma Lake for The Sun.

Cold versus flu, explained by Julia Belluz for Vox.  [Added 2/10/2018]  (Hat tip to Mike the Mad Biologist.)

Wit and wisdom on church signs

September 16, 2017

These photos of church signs were collected on the Bored Panda website.

(more…)