Content-Type: text/shitpost


Subject: Stupid questions?
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-26T21:14:21
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.stupid-questions
Message-ID: <aa34c42fc1baf096@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

People sometimes say that “there are no stupid questions”. I disagree.

If the question admits only stupid answers, I think that's pretty strong evidence that it was a stupid question.


Subject: Puzzling Pigeonhole Principle Pppppppbbbbh
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-26T21:10:59
Newsgroup: comp.lang.haskell.math-se-shitposting
Message-ID: <e59e148ef4a3d0ab@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

A hapless loser on Math Stack Exchange asks:

What is the minimum number of people in a single room so that it can be said “There are two people in this room with birthday in January ”?

Possible answers include:

  1. There is no minimum, because the room might contain any number of people, all of whom were born in November, and no others.

  2. The minimum is 2, if both were born in January.

  3. The minimum is 0, because you can say whatever you like, regardless of who is in the room.


Subject: Spiders
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!hardees​!triffid​!mechanical-turk​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-22T18:29:09
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.spiders
Message-ID: <4941263a5ead92ab@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

One often hears the factoid that

In a year, the averge person swallows eight spiders in their sleep.

Of course, this is nonsense. The correct statistic is eight spiders per minute.


Subject: More Twitter Trend mysteries
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!hal9000​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-01T15:18:35
Newsgroup: alt.sex.twitter-trending
Message-ID: <4761d6642d166fc6@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Today Twitter has drawn my attention to #คั่นกูEP11, which they claim has appeared in 496,000 tweets. This seems to concern episode 11 of a Thai TV series I hadn't heard of before.

I like these Twitter trending hashtags because they remind me how big the world is and how small my little corner is compared with it.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-01T15:13:36
Newsgroup: rec.food.cooking.20200501
Message-ID: <ab6da21a89c3bc27@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • Just as the umlaut mark was originally a tiny ‘e’ written above the vowel, and the Spanish ‘ñ’ was originally an ‘n’ with another ‘n’ above it, there's also a Greek diacritical mark which is a tiny iota written below a vowel.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!skordokott​!berserker​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-04-30T13:41:31
Newsgroup: rec.food.20200430
Message-ID: <c031517944c07db0@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • That wedding music that every movie soundtrack uses was written by Felix Mendelssohn as [part of the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream](https://open.spotify.com/track/5LNwmPufnGLxEpcYgVhpRz?si=OWMQOoGiSgCK sA6HRkqgwA). Film producers have a profound, almost fervent respect for the works of the great composers of the past, because they are in the public domain.


Subject: Bitter relations
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!glados​!the-matrix​!mechanical-turk​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-04-27T14:38:43
Newsgroup: alt.sex.bitter
Message-ID: <3d0a353c9b6ed2c5@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

According to U.S. to Argue It Never Left Iran Nuke Deal, in Bid to Force Arms Embargo, Report Says :

U.S.-Iranian relations have been bitter since the Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran in 1979 and ushered in an era of theocratic rule.

That is a heck of a sentence there.

Some might observe that U.S.-Iranian relations had been bitter at least as far back as 1953, when the CIA and the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran toppled the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953 and ushered in an era of brutal dictatorship.


Subject: Extremely weird sentences
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-04-10T12:37:21
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.biden
Message-ID: <efff62646978f4fa@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine:

With Bernie Sanders’s decision to suspend his presidential campaign, Joe Biden is not just the “presumptive” Democratic nominee, but the putative nominee: It’s in the bag unless something extremely weird happens.

Apparently “77-year-old man dies” is now “something extremely weird”.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-04-03T20:11:54
Newsgroup: misc.misc.20200403
Message-ID: <4b2d7effe1c8063d@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • There is not only a Juneau, Alaska, there is also a Juneau, Wisconsin. The founders of the towns were cousins. The town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was also founded by a Juneau.

  • There is also a town of Alaska, Wisconsin.

  • Unfortunately, no town of Wisconsin, Alaska.

  • There is a Wisconsin Township, Minnesota, but the trail stops there.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-31T14:00:43
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.20200331
Message-ID: <d72f919f6d434748@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • “Cock-throwing”, a sport in which a chicken was tied to a post, and players threw sticks at it with the goal of knocking it down or killing it, was practiced in England as early as 1409.

  • A papal edict issued by Nicholas I in the 9th century required all churches to use only the image of a cock as their steeple weathervanes.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!gormenghast​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-30T14:08:40
Newsgroup: rec.pets.20200330
Message-ID: <50180b6c651b5f63@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • Seven versions of La Vie en Rose charted in the U.S. in 1950.

  • The 1954 film A Star is Born, starring Judy Garland, was itself a remake of a 1937 film of the same name. .


Subject: Teragrams
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-25T19:58:18
Newsgroup: misc.misc.margaret
Message-ID: <8f7bdcf576ff946f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

“Margaret” backward is “teragram”. A teragram is the same as a megatonne.


Subject: Spam
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!mechanical-turk​!brain-in-a-vat​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-25T14:43:19
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.spam
Message-ID: <91e3e6ddd4c50047@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I do get a lot of spam from organizations people and offering to supply “content” for my blog, and more often than not they say something like:

I was just browsing slatestarcodex.com and we'd be really interested in working out a deal for placing relevant, non-promotional content on your website.

I try writing back to these people because I want to know where they got the idea that I own slatestarcodex. So far none of them has returned my mail so it remains a mystery.

Today's spam solicitation was more amusing though:

I'm Kenny, Cofounder of … . …

If you find my writing is suitable for your website: shitpost.plover.com, I would like to create an exclusive article for your website about …

Hee hee hee.

Sorry, Kenny, not shitty enough!


Subject: Save us!
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!uunet​!asr33​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-24T20:01:51
Newsgroup: news.groups.snuff
Message-ID: <3c01220418910732@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Save us before we perish! For two days we have pined away without snuff.


Subject: Pharmacy delivery
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-24T19:59:39
Newsgroup: alt.sex.delivery
Message-ID: <c5645fbfbd9e3ae5@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The pharmacy informed me that they now have delivery service, so I said sure, deliver my prescription.

I had a very clear picture in my head of what would happen: they would fill the prescription at the place down the street, then hand it to someone who would carry it to my door. My wife had independently had the sanme picture.

But no, instead they transmit the order to a central location and ship it by U.S. post. Why did I expect anything different?


Subject: Hoarding
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!wescac​!berserker​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-17T16:55:21
Newsgroup: talk.bizarre.hoarding
Message-ID: <b5d3669283c36e9e@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I went to the store this morning. Some things were sold out, most things weren't.

The dumbest thing I noticed that wasn't there:

Brita filters.


Subject: Massachuetts’ prudent and humane quarantine pay law
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-16T14:09:33
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.quarantine
Message-ID: <4df7ded1d1a638c0@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Massachusetts state law provides:

When the board of health of a town shall deem it necessary, in the interest of the public health, to require a resident wage earner to remain within such house or place or otherwise to interfere with the following of his employment, he shall receive from such town during the period of his restraint compensation to the extent of three fourths of his regular wages;

Very good!

provided, that the amount so received shall not exceed two dollars for each working day.

a blobby cartoon
figure, holding up its blobby arms, with a speech bubble that says “oh
no”


Thanks to Chas. Owens for bringing this to my attention. The cartoon panel is taken from Webcomic Name. I wonder when this law was enacted? The web site does not say.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-16T13:43:08
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.20200316
Message-ID: <d9ec2f4177e3886d@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • To “slub” is to pull out and twist a bit of fiber from a wad, in preparation for spinning it. The twisted lump at the end is also called a slub. I had previously only known slubs as the little bumps, left over from the cocoons, that you see on raw silk dresses.

  • The Pandrol clip is named for its inventor, a guy named Per Pande–Rolfson.

  • All the Scandinavian versions of “Peter” are missing the ‘t’: Per, Pehr, Peer, and Pär. What happened to it?

  • “Impropriation” is when ecclesiastical property is placed under control of a layperson. The diary of John Evelyn mentions that the tithing in some parish was impropriated to his uncle, who then gave £20 per year back to maintain the church. Why didn't the parish just keep the tithes, then? (Maybe they came to less than £20? I really don't know.)


Subject: I have other fish to fry
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!asr33​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T15:44:56
Newsgroup: alt.sex.fish-to-fry
Message-ID: <37a32de762d2af93@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The phrase “other fish to fry” goes back to the 17th century:

1660 John Evelyn Diary and Correspondence (1857 ed.) vol III p. 132 “I fear he hath other fish to fry.”

According to a sloppy Google Books search, variations appear with these frequencies:

  • “Bigger fish to fry”: 25
  • “Other fish to fry”: 20
  • “Larger fish to fry”: 1

It seems to me that “larger fish to fry” ought to mean the same as “bigger fish to fry”, but it sounds weird. Is that just because it's unusual? Or is there some pattern to the way English uses ‘bigger’ and ‘larger’ from which one could predict that ‘bigger’ would predominate here?

A (Dutch) co-worker informs me that the Dutch version of this phrase is “andere katten te geselen”. Instead of frying fish, they are flogging cats. Who knew that the Dutch were so depraved?

(Not really related: OED Quick Search for “other fish” asks: “Did you mean: motherish?”.)


Subject: Korchnoi and the rules of chess
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!hardees​!triffid​!gormenghast​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T15:34:00
Newsgroup: comp.lang.haskell.korchnoi
Message-ID: <8e817f76d66d5dce@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

In his book Chess is My Life, Viktor Korchnoi wrote: “I went up to the controller and asked whether it was legal for me to castle when my rook was attacked. I was assured that it was. Afterwards, this incident was cited as being an indication of how extremely tired the players were. But in fact, out of the 2500 games that I had played, there had never been an instance where it had been necessary for me to castle when my rook was attacked, and I was not sure that I understood correctly the rules of the game!”

(Source)


Subject: Korchnoi and the rules of chess
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T15:28:40
Newsgroup: sci.math.korchnoi
Message-ID: <b833cf63c0317bc3@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

In 1974, Korchnoi was playing Karpov in the Candidates final for the right to challenge Fischer. Midgame, Korchnoi strolls over to the arbiter O'Kelly de Galway, and asks if he can castle while his rook is attacked. O'Kelly looks at him stunned, but answers yes. "It had never come up before," Viktor shrugged.

(Source)


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!glados​!extro​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T12:43:43
Newsgroup: misc.test.20200310
Message-ID: <67b2ee64bc0cf790@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • According to Wikipedia, Bono belonged to a “surrealist street gang”.

    What the heck is a surrealist street gang? Did they ride flaming giraffes? Did they get into pitched battles with the dadaist street gang from the next street over?

  • After the departure of Mayor Pete from the presidential campaigns, I wondered who else was of Maltese descent. Of course Wikipedia has a list but I was not expecting to see Britney Spears on it.

    Also, Justine and Jason Bateman.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T12:02:39
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.20200308
Message-ID: <3d326f5c13b4e8da@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
  • The name of the Hungarian dessert crêpe palacsinta (and similarly in Austrian, Italian, and a bunch of Slavic languages) is the same word as “placenta”.

    It's Latin for “cake”.

  • Learned a bunch of other stuff but forgot to blog it.


Subject: Why my search program found no solutions
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!gormenghast​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T12:02:20
Newsgroup: comp.lang.haskell.burf
Message-ID: <8c9423c6325e2e29@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I ran my program, was puzzled when it didn't produce any output. So I modified it, ran it again, did this six times in a row before I figured out the problem.

I was actually running chmod +x program.


Subject: Capers
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-04T18:57:34
Newsgroup: sci.math.capers
Message-ID: <3b1c7e6941d1c793@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I asked the coffee shop lady how she explains capers when a customer asks what they are. She said “tiny pickles”.