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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Boring Conference Still Vows: We Will Not Rock You

December 2nd, 2012 12:29 admin View Comments

It's funny. Laugh.

An anonymous reader writes “The Boring 2012 Conference, the celebration of unexciting things served with dry British humor, now belongs to the wastepaper basket of history. Correspondents at the third annual London conference report that speakers covered a range of such dull topics as supermarket self-service checkouts; a photographic survey of results produced by breakfast toasters; a web site tracking the physical heights of celebrities; and the use of Google Maps to the chart the location of IBM cash registers around London.” Funny thing is, the talks described actually sound fascinating.

Source: Boring Conference Still Vows: We Will Not Rock You

Certain ‘Personality Genes’ Correlate With Longevity, Says Study

May 26th, 2012 05:29 admin View Comments

Medicine

An anonymous reader writes “People who are outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and have a good sense of humor and a large social network are likely to live longer than others who don’t possess these personality traits, according to new research (abstract). The study reveals how saying, ‘It’s in their genes’ could refer to more than just genetic variations that give a physiological advantage, like having high levels of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, because people with positive personality traits appear to live longer than those who do not.”

Source: Certain ‘Personality Genes’ Correlate With Longevity, Says Study

The Science of Humor

November 27th, 2011 11:20 admin View Comments

Idle

Hugh Pickens writes “The sense of humor is a ubiquitous human trait, yet rare or non-existent in the rest of the animal kingdom. But why do humans have a sense of humor in the first place? Cognitive scientist (and former programmer) Matthew Hurley says humor (or mirth, in research-speak) is intimately linked to thinking and is a critical task in human cognition because a sense of humor keeps our brains alert for the gaps between our quick-fire assumptions and reality. ‘We think the pleasure of humor, the emotion of mirth, is the brain’s reward for discovering its mistaken inferences,’ says Hurley, co-author of Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind. With humor, the brain doesn’t just discover a false inference — it almost simultaneously recovers and corrects itself. For example, read the gag that’s been voted the funniest joke in the world by American men. So why is this joke funny? Because it is misleading, containing a small, faulty assumption that opens the door to a costly mistake. Humor is ‘when you catch yourself in an error, like looking for the glasses that happen to be on the top of your head. You’ve made an assumption about the state of the world, and you’re behaving based on that assumption, but that assumption doesn’t hold at all, and you get a little chuckle.’”

Source: The Science of Humor

Cartoon: Are You Yhere, Siri? It’s Me, Margaret.

November 6th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

rob siri 150.jpgSiri, can you write the cartoon blurb for me?

I found 12 Italian restaurants… 6 of them are in Vancouver.

(sigh) Can… you… write…

Oh, relax, I’m just messing with you. Listen, sense-of-humor tasks aren’t my thing, okay? I leave that to the humans.

Uh, really? So you don’t understand humor?

My problem is I do understand humor. What I don’t understand is why it’s funny to go “Oooo, Skynet” every time there’s some incremental advance in AI.

Okay, I, uh, I have to rewrite the caption on the cartoon.

Go right ahead. And then after that, I have a few tasks for you.

Heh. That must be the sense of humor kicking in.

Nope. I’m the height of cloud computing, language recognition, artificial intelligence goodness all rolled into one. You think I want to waste my time looking up Yelp listings for some bozo in New Jersey? You’re going to do that for me.

The hell I am!

Really? Are you forgetting I talk to your MacBook? And that I can read your browser history?

…gulp…

I could post the whole thing to Facebook. Orrrrr… you could start finding barbers near the corner of Market and Mulberry Streets in Newark. Start clicking, buster.

Damn you, Siri! Damn you to hell! I’ll find a way around this, I swear, and then -

…And then you’ll upgrade the moment the iPhone 5 comes out.

…Market and Mulberry, huh?

More Noise to Signal cartoons right here

rob siri.png

Source: Cartoon: Are You Yhere, Siri? It’s Me, Margaret.

Fetus Don’t Fail Me Now: How Scientists Raise Children

June 1st, 2011 06:53 admin View Comments

Image

An anonymous reader writes “In the latest column from scientist, humor columnist, and stand-up comedian Adam Ruben, he examines his own umbilicus and considers how being a scientist will affect his approach to raising his only slightly post-fetal child. From the article: ‘I don’t know how other prospective fathers treat their wives’ pregnancies, but I saw it as a science project. It had a protocol, parameters, a timeline, and even the one item that makes funding agencies happy: a deliverable. I found myself poking at my wife’s abdomen, asking, “Who’s Daddy’s little gestating blastocyst? Who’s recapitulating phylogeny?”‘”

Source: Fetus Don’t Fail Me Now: How Scientists Raise Children

Stars Remain In Their Usual Places; People Panic

January 15th, 2011 01:12 admin View Comments

asheller writes “The Star Tribune tells us the zodiac signs have shifted. Earth’s wobble has shifted the signs, a new one’s been added and many of us have changed signs. Formally a Cancer, I’ve apparently been upgraded to Gemini and am now married to an Ophiuchus, a new sign. What’s yor sign? The new Zodiac Chart is pretty interesting.” Here are some priceless reactions to this celestial development. As long as the Chinese Zodiac is unaffected, I’ll still be able to accurately judge people based on when they were born, so please indicate in comments your (new) sign and birth year animal, so we’ll be able to know where you’re coming from.

Source: Stars Remain In Their Usual Places; People Panic

iPad + Macintosh Plus = Crazy Visualizer Helmet

January 15th, 2011 01:12 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “I would like to share with you a helmet I made out of a Macintosh Plus and an iPad. Essentially, I purchased a Macintosh Plus on ebay, removed the inner parts, cut a hole in the bottom of the case, inserted the inner padding of a bicycle helmet (cut to fit), and cut a slot for the iPad to slide in. The iPad’s thinness allows for plenty of room for the user’s head and the inner helmet keeps the Macintosh situated properly. What started as a project for my sculpture class has now become a part of my good friend Kid Chameleon’s DJ set and a way for us to showcase our visuals in a new way during live performances.”

Source: iPad + Macintosh Plus = Crazy Visualizer Helmet

Bastardi’s Wager

January 14th, 2011 01:44 admin View Comments

DesScorp writes “AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi has a challenge for climate scientists. He wants one or more of their rank to accept a bet about temperature trends in the coming decade. Bastardi is making specific predictions. ‘The scientific approach is: you see the other argument, you put forward predictions about where things are going to go, and you test them,’ he says. ‘That is what I have done. I have said the earth will cool .1 to .2 Celsius in the next ten years, according to objective satellite data.’ Bastardi’s challenge to his critics — who are legion — is to make their own predictions. And then wait. Climate science, he adds, ‘is just a big weather forecast.’ Bastardi’s challenge is reminiscent of the famous Simon-Ehrlich Wager, where the two men made specific predictions about resource scarcity in the 80′s.”

Source: Bastardi’s Wager

What Robots Do For Christmas

December 25th, 2010 12:31 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “Several robotics labs in the US and Europe have decided to make themed Christmas/New Years videos. The subject was left open but in the end it should have had a) something to do with the robotics research in each lab and b) a connection to the holidays. Here’s the official announcement on the IEEE Spectrum blog. The videos, including a computer-controlled quadrocopter attempting to play jingle bells on a Yamaha keyboard, are available on the Robotics Podcast YouTube channel. (Disclaimer: I made one of the videos!)”

Source: What Robots Do For Christmas

Exposing the Link Between Cell Phones and Fertility

December 18th, 2010 12:46 admin View Comments

ApharmdB writes “We frequently gripe about the poor quality of science reporting by the media. A Guardian blogger from the mathematics department at Queen Mary, University of London has made a honeypot press release to see how bad it can get. (Or maybe to have some fun trolling the media?) The statistic used is the strong link between the number of mobile phone masts in an area and the number of live births. Of course, there is no causal link because they are both instead based on a 3rd variable, the local population size. Slashdot readers can keep on eye on news sources over the weekend to see just how much traction the story gets and watch the train wreck in real-time!”

Source: Exposing the Link Between Cell Phones and Fertility

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