Category Archives: Humor

Almost retarded.

Internet Explorer users are stupid and have an average IQ of just 80.
Screencap via The Awl.

While I wanted to believe the study, it was clearly a hoax. Still, I begrudge its believers – that Internet Explorer is such an awful brand name these days is what gives the ApTiquant (née Sokal) Affair the taint of reality.

And it’s deserved criticism. I feel dumber every time I use that browser, that by troubleshooting for its rendering engine, enduring its comparatively slow performance, and attempting to comprehend its persistent lack of a sensible Ctrl+L behavior, I am rendered slightly less alive. Or maybe it’s the thought of Internet Explorer’s resilient hegemony, throbbing along on the fetid fumes of versions 6 and 7, polluting this series of tubes, that drives me to activities that kill my brain cells.

So no research has borne out that Internet Explorer users, as a bloc, are (not) almost retarded. But in the age of WebKit and Firefox and iPhones and Androids, Internet Explorer’s users seem less and less apathetic and more and more adamantly unsavvy. Using Internet Explorer by rational choice at this point is equal to claiming that Barack Obama was born outside the United States. The browser is so loathsome I can’t even think of hipsters who use it ironically.

And as a designer – and with no intention to sully fine prose – “borne back ceaselessly into the past” and what have you.

(In case you were actually interested in answering the question of why people still use Internet Explorer, see Mozilla’s series on why people don’t upgrade their browsers.)

The deathly hallows, part 2.

Hewlett Packard and the Toner of Secrets, illustration by Will Posner

(Much like the movie described herein, this post will make a lot more sense if you read the first part.)

So I live-tweeted my viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I was hesitant to even watch it when I was offered a ticket, having reveled to some degree in the cultural anti-cachet of having remained quite ignorant about one of the defining fictional universes of the last decade.

Though I still don’t really understand the canon of Harry Potter, I find that since watching this movie and (having had much of the jargon explained to me) that I understand the Twitterverse/blogosphere a little better – it makes a kind of sense to me now when someone calls Rebekah Brooks one of Rupert Murdoch’s horcruxes.

What follows below are the complete tweets of that night. Please forgive any typos; much of this was written in a crowded movie theater on a BlackBerry with the aid/obstacle of Christina’s summer cardigan laying over the screen. (Seriously, RIM, make a BlackBerry ad that involves tweeting snarkily in a dark movie theater filled with emotionally attached fans – with pretty minimal typos – and the halo of touchscreens will dim.)
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The deathly hallows.

Spoiler alert: at midnight, I will watch my first Harry Potter movie. Before tonight, I have never read a Harry Potter book or watched a Harry Potter movie. Until a couple weeks ago, I didn’t know the full name of the movie for which I possess a ticket. Like the people in this Slate article, I might live-tweet or live-blog the whole experience, but with more profanity.

What I know about Harry Potter:

  • He has two sidekicks, a redhead and a woman.
  • There’s a drink called butter beer.
  • There’s a game called quiddich (sp?).
  • Snape kills Dumbledore.
  • The first book was written by J.K. Rowling shortly after she divorced. She is now a gazillionaire, and in pounds sterling.
  • Daniel Radcliffe plays the title role. He appeared naked on Broadway.
  • The third movie was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who also directed Y Tu Mama Tambien which had lots of nudity. Everyone agrees that it’s “really dark” but nobody seems to remember the name of the movie right away (The Prisoner of Azkaban, apparently).
  • Design Observer ran a piece on the typography in one of the movies a couple years ago.

I’m afraid to learn what “hog warts” are.

A quick case study on the dynamics of status messages in Google Talk.

Argument: “Everything tastes better on a stick.”
Counterpoint: “No, everything tastes better wrapped up burrito style.”
Countercounterpoint: “No, everything tastes better mini, regardless of impaled or wrapped.”
Countercountercounterpoint: “No, everything tastes better with bacon, butter, or maple syrup.”

The first point, typed by Roanne in reference to yakitori quail eggs in bacon, was quoted for humor as my GTalk status. No more than a few minutes passed than Christina seized on this, argued the second point, and added that by virtue of the quail eggs being wrapped in bacon, this was in fact a burrito-style food. An hour-ish later, Patrick chimed in that mini foods taste better (Matchbox sliders, please), and (in a telling example of how much overlap there is in this arena) cited “mini burritos” as evidence. James then followed with his assertion, which I admit is the most specious because it refers to specific ingredients instead of a type of preparation and there would certainly be substantial evidence against it in food from other cultures.

Content of the four arguments aside, what I find amazing about them is that they took place in four different conversations with four people of whom only two know each other and that the original argument only had to exist in my GTalk status in order to spur three additional conversations, parrying a varied range of perspectives in the manner of IRC while enjoying the intimacy of a phone call.

More amazing: yakitori quail eggs in bacon are sufficient evidence to support all four points.

Originally published 12 December 2008.