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Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

Assorted Links to Get You Through the Weekend

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vortex

Image: Spencer Platt /Getty

 

Here are some links to help you shake off the nasty cold spell the whole country seems to have endured. In fact, this weekend here in Michigan, it’s going to be downright balmy for a change: highs in the low 20s to high teens. Bust out the BBQs!

Have you seen the funniest thing on the Internet, the latest Bad NFL Lip Reading video? Run, don’t walk.

Is it a Lifetime movie or Megadeth song?

Do you or your kids use Snapchat? Here’s a compelling reason why you should reconsider that:

Any time your device connects to the internet it associates 100% of your activity with your device. (Every device has a unique identifier, like a finger print. When you buy it and register it that transaction is linked to you and everything you do with it is ultimately pointing back to you.)

Every site, every image you upload/download, every search, every call… everything is associated with that device. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Even if you delete it. Even if you use a proxy server. Even if… E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

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You Won’t Believe What We’re About to Do to Our Headlines. Spoiler: Not Really.

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Upworthy.com (and, now, copycat sites) has become known for dramatic, click-grabbing headlines. As I write this, here’s what’s scattered across Upworthy.com’s main page:

  • Remember When Music Videos Used To Mean Something? Some Still Do.
  • About. Damn. Time. A Sports Network Takes On What No One Wants To Talk About In Locker Rooms.
  • Oh Snap! Cat Blanchett Asks E! Why They Filmed Her Like That But Not The Men.

These headlines are built for one purpose: to grab your interest and make you click. They’re an engagement strategy. If writing accurate, concise, descriptive headlines was Headline Writing Strategy 1.0, these are 2.0, dripping with drama and cliffhangers and faux astonishment.

It got me thinking. What would happen if we took our most recent headlines here on Unfiltered and put them through the Upworthy treatment? Would the new ones be better? Worse? Would you vomit? Let’s see (click to see the real headlines):

Hmm.

Hmm.

We might be on to something here.

(Unless you’re vomiting, in which case, “Man Refuses To Believe A Blog Post Can Make Him Vomit. And Then He Reads This.” Wait. Sorry. What we mean is sorry.)

Have a great weekend, you guys.

What Does the Fox Say?

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When I was a kid, there’s zero doubt I liked music and TV shows that my parents thought were the stupidest things ever foisted upon mankind. A talking dog with the munchies that helped a bunch of teenagers crack haunted house mysteries? A Japanese giant robot with missiles for fingertips? Please.

The parent’s view: my son is watching the cultural equivalent of composting leaves on TV. Our country is screwed.

The kid’s default view: this stuff is clever and funny. Too bad my parents are just crunchy parents who are too old to understand. Lamers!

Up until a few days ago, I thought I had the dad thing nailed: I’m thrilled to do all sorts of things with my son. Video games, mini-sticks, basement futsál, water gun fights in the summer. I grokked kid stuff, and I was impervious to the Dork Virus that infected other dads and made them, well, dorks.

But now, I present to you my greatest challenge yet:

This might be the silliest thing on the Internet. It might be genius. Problem is, I can’t tell.

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Casual Friday: The Best ‘America’s Got Talent’ Surprise Yet

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We had some technical difficulties this morning, but we’re back with an abbreviated Casual Friday post. If you tried to find us this morning, sorry about that. Thanks for hanging in there.

This video might be the best thing going right now. Two siblings — the brother, a 9-year-old drummer, and the 6-year-old sister, a singer — take to the stage of America’s Got Talent. Seems simple enough. The judges fawn and coo and squee over them, and then this happens:

Oh, trust me. Watch the video. All of it. At the 1:35 mark, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Casual Friday: I Have Too Many Tabs Open, So Pardon Me While I Dump Some Here

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The original plan was to tell you one of two stories:

  1. One about a cat who suffered a fairly giant digestive meltdown in the middle of the night about a year ago that concluded in him spinning wildy under our bed while, um, emitting, um, stuff, like the foulest balloon from hell you can imagine. Or…
  2. How we managed to mess up a Jeep at Drummond Island, MI when said Jeep was basically bulletproof, with bulletproof being defined as ‘the vehicle you’d want when the zombie apocalypse starts.’

But both of those ideas will have to wait (this is either good or bad, depending), because I literally have 49 tabs open in Google Chrome and my machine is lumbering under the load. That means I have to share some stuff I find interesting with you, or I will never close the tabs. It’s the way I work. Sorry to use you as my internet meta notebook.

(I’m not really sorry.)

Here we go. Save keep these tabs open on your machine so you can use them for 4th of July fodder next weekend.

First, Barnes & Noble is giving up on making Nook hardware. Apparently, people on the internet are surprised by this. I saw this happening a few years ago, mainly because hardware margins are so slim, losses have been steadily mounting, and B&N is facing a relentless Amazon while trying to make sense of still having brick and mortar stores. Smart move on B&N’s part, but I have serious, serious concerns about the Nook’s future. That’s why when you buy a device like an e-reader, you’re not buying a device – you’re buying an ecosystem. Choose wisely.

Instagram introduced video, which effectively ruined Instagram. All I can say is thank goodness you can turn off autoplay, or I might seriously bail from Instagram. This should be a cautionary tale to companies who think they need to offer a feature because a competitor does (in this case, Twitter’s Vine video offering). When the new feature undermines the very idea of what your product is in the first place, you can do more harm than good. Unfortunately, this lesson is most clear retroactively, which means you have to screw up in order to realize you screwed up. Messy.

Android accounts for 92% of mobile malware, and malicious apps on Android have increased 614% – that’s right, 614%, no decimal in there. Open always wins, right? Who needs curation?

Maybe this will make tic-tac-toe less boring.

Want to be part of a social experiment? Try Call In The Night, a service that calls you sometime after 2 AM eastern time, connects you to another random person who also was just awakened, and records the call for a podcast. Heck, it might even be good for your sleep, because there are some who argue that human sleep is naturally polyphasic.

This xkcd comic, entitled The Pace of Modern Life, is amazing. You should check it out. Read it. Really read it.

Chuck Skoda’s A Week with iOS 7 is one of the best iOS 7 impression pieces I’ve read, especially the ending. (Self-plug: if you missed our own iOS 7 writeup, check it out here.)

Finally, 27 volunteers teamed up at the Seattle Public Library to make the world’s longest book domino chain. The 2,131 book trail is a world record. Here’s what it looks like.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Making Baseball Better

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Now that hockey is pretty much done and all my favorite sports are on hiatus until fall, it’s time to make baseball more interesting. To me, this means adding fake British commentary. Like this:

My favorite part:

He runs in to bowl…Mork and Mindy, that’s going for six! No! Caught by the chap in the pajamas with the glove that makes everything easier. And they all scuttle off for a nap.

See? Baseball made better. Right?

The One That Got Away: A True Story of Fishing Incompetence

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Although I’ve gone fishing about two dozen times in my life, I am by no means what you’d call a good fisherman. I can cast and reel a lure in, sure, but ask me to string a reel, hook a worm or select even a halfway appropriate lure for conditions, and I’m lost. And knots — don’t get me started on knots.

My son, however, seems to have the fishing bug big time, for every time we’re near water he asks if we can fish. Being a Good Dad, I of course say yes, but these times have come when I have a more experienced fisherman around, which is great at subtly masking my incompetence while still allowing my son to think his dad is his own private version of Bear Grylls.

Last weekend, we participated in a charity Jeep off-road event for cancer research. We stayed at a friend’s cottage on the water, and my son brought a friend with him for the weekend.

Within five seconds of arriving at the cottage, the boys asked if we could go fishing. Without thinking, I said yes, which frankly was a pretty stupid thing to do, because I had not properly assessed the reel/rod situation at the cottage. (I sure didn’t bring any with me. Why? I don’t own any, thanks for asking.)

Thankfully, the owner of the cottage actually knows something about fishing, and he had a wide array of both closed- and open-bail reels for us to use.

After picking up some Canadian crawlers at a local bait shop, we found ourselves at the cottage boat dock, reels in hand. A tackle box full of arcane, sharp items was present too, but I know what to do with a tackle box like a dog knows what to do with a dual-clutch transmission.

The boys were both actually quite adept at casting, until my son’s reel got totally hosed (sorry to drop the technical lingo on you like that) and I had to fix it. It was a simple tangle, and once I straightened it out, I threw a few test casts into the water.

Boom! Immediately, my son points down to the water and says, “Dad! Ohmygod! You caught a fish!”

He’s right. Somehow, a clearly very stupid ten-inch smallmouth bass decided to jump onto my hook with an open mouth, and now here I was, pulling him out of the water.

The problem: I had never taken a fish off a hook before. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. But my son and his friend were right there, wide-eyed, and they each wanted to take a picture with the catch.

marc and bass

Like any rugged outdoorsman, I grabbed a pair of fuzzy gloves (??), some pliers, and I held the fish gently while trying to remove the hook from its lip. Thankfully, it wasn’t hooked in a wonky way, and the hook came out easily.

I let the fish back into the water with a casual “Fly! Be free!” Mork & Mindy reference. The boys thought I was awesome. I had handled the situation with zero issues, and maybe — just maybe — I was better at this than I thought.

But probably not.

The Dusk Trip

After dinner, the boys wanted to go on the boat for another quick fishing excursion. It was dusk, and I remember my hardcore fishermen friends saying dusk is a good time to fish based on some labyrinthine logic, so we grabbed our reels, piled into the boat, and headed to a quiet patch of water near the far shore, about 600 yards away.

Let me tell you now that I am so experienced, so good at fishing, that I forgot to take with me:

  • The tackle box
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • Fish-catching accessories of any kind

I briefly thought about turning back to get all that gear, which was sitting on the dock quitely mocking me, but I thought the chances of anyone catching a fish are slim and none, because we’re using random lures, tossing lines about in random directions, and we only had about 15 minutes before nightfall. What could go wrong?

My son had a light lure on his line, and was having trouble casting it against the wind. “Dad,” he says, “can you cast this way out there for me?”

So I did. I cast his lure close to shore, and told him to reel it in slowly.

A few moments later: “Dad. Heydad. I think I have a fish.”

“Buddy, there are a lot of weeds over there. You’re probably just snagged a little.”

“I don’t think so Dad. It’s pulling — hard.”

I smile and tell him to keep reeling. “It’s just some weeds buddy. Reel it up and we’ll re-cast.”

“Dad, I’m telling you, there’s a fish. I can’t even hold it anymore.” I look at him and he’s really struggling.

I take the rod from him and look down. In the time it took me to assure him he caught a bunch of weeds, he managed to pull in a 15” pike.

A pike. I don’t know much about fish, but I could see the rows of teeth on this guy, and I wasn’t in the mood to lose a finger, to say nothing of my son’s respect. Ruh-roh.

But what to do? Unanchor the boat and drag him back to the dock, where the tackle box was? Cut the line and let him go with a hook in his mouth, which seemed stupid and inhumane?

My son and his friend were staring expectactly at me while I weighed my options. I had a Dad Hero image to uphold, and this wasn’t looking good for me. Even less so for the pike.

Mercifully, the pike decided, “Oh man. I’ve been caught by a 44 year old dude who has no idea what to do. Here, let me wriggle violently so as to dislodge myself from this hook.”

And he did. With one sharp convulsion, the pike bucked free of the hook and dove back into the water. I thought I heard him say, “You owe me one, jerk!” as he disappeared into the dark water.

Was I getting lucky or what?

“Oh MAN buddy! DARN IT! The fish got away!”

My son stared into the water, as if tracking his mortal enemy. “Dad, we almost had that guy. We’ll try to get him tomorrow, OK?”

“Sure buddy. Let’s get moving now, because the mosquitos are getting nasty.”

“Yeah.”

For the record, if that pike is reading this, I’d like to say thanks, because not only did you allow me to remain Hero Dad, but even with tackle and gear, things would have been ugly. For everyone involved.

Have a good weekend, everyone. And to our U.S. readers, have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

Casual Friday: Stuff I Found While Clicking on Underlined Words

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It’s that time again, and I’m sorry to do this to you. Not so sorry not to do it, however. Good luck deciphering that ambivalence.

I indeed have an absolute bucketload of tabs open in my browser that I want to share, but that don’t quite warrant their own posts. I’ve done these linkposts before, and it’s time for another one so I can close these tabs and free up gigs (literally) of used memory. It’s all about my system resources, people. Here we go.

Here’s a video of Lionel Messi (the reigning best soccer player in the world) versus a robot goalkeeper. Lots of nerds arguing over this on the internet (nerds arguing? on the internet? no way!) about how this robot works. Regardless of how it operates (my guess is the small camera recognizes the ball’s trajectory, plots the path in some 3D space very rapidly, and moves the robot arm to intercept), it’s amazing. Nevermind the fact that Messi’s first two shots hit the post. We’re one step closer to the Rise of the Machines, folks. Get those canned goods stocked up.

Is your child bored sometimes? Good. They should be allowed to get bored.

Want to get the heebie-jeebies while you read something? No sweat. Check out Nathaniel Rich’s story about deep water divers. Exhilarating.

Consider this a PSA in case you haven’t heard: Google is shutting down its Google Reader (an RSS feed reader) on July 1, which means one of the key Google services I use is going away. I am using both Feedly and Reeder side-by-side to see which one sticks. I am not happy about this, and I know it’s Google’s right to kill their totally free service anytime they want, but I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t make me wary of putting my critical data in a Google app. Example: Google is trying to get people to try its new Google Keep. No thanks — I’ll stick with Evernote, which has this thing called a Sustainable Business Model, so a year from now my notes app will still exist. Not that I’m bitter.

I think Kilian Jornet Burgada is superhuman. If you missed Christopher Solomon’s piece entitled Becoming the All-Terrain Human two weeks ago, don’t miss it this time.

Speaking of superhumans, how much caffeine can you have before winding up in the E.R.?

The spider who couldn’t hide. Funny! Also scary! Mostly scary! But also funny! God I’m anxious about spiders.

Here’s a brief set of photos depitcting Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in 1996. Man, I miss that guy. (Nerd bonus: the camera used to take these pics was the short-lived Apple QuickTake camera, which cleary exceled at rendering black as purple. Ugh.)

Finally, I leave you with How Animals Eat Their Food, far and away the funniest thing on the Internet this week:

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Casual Friday: Know Your Yelling Goat Meme (and Mashups)

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A couple weeks ago, a video of goats yelling like humans dominated the Internet. If you haven’t seen it, here it is. I have to warn you: it’s more entertaining than you think it is. Don’t skip over this; it’s required viewing if you want the rest of this post to make sense.

So naturally, when something that gets 13 million views sinks in to the Internet writ large, mixups happen. And boy, do they happen.

Here’s the yelling goat meme mixed up into today’s top songs to an absolutely hysterical end.

If this doesn’t get your weekend started right, nothing will.

Let’s start with Taylor Swift:

And move to Whitney Houston:

How about some One Direction?

And we can’t forget Queen…

And here’s Katy Perry:

But then there’s always Miley Cyrus…

And finally, I’d be dishonoring my legacy as a Gen X child of the 80s if I didn’t include some Bon Jovi:

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Casual Friday: Sending You Into the Holiday Season With…Well, Whatever This Is

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Today’s Friday post is going to be even more incoherent than most, but most of the time you guys trudge happily (?) along with me. I’m amazed by that. You guys are gluttons.

Anyway, check this stuff out.

Holiday Posting Schedule

Until January, posts will be light here on MIPRO Unfiltered. We will be posting shorter-form content and some stuff I personally find amusing (one of the benefits of being the blog editor), but that’s about it. You won’t see any of our regular PeopleSoft tech-heavy features. Stuff like that will be resuming in the new year.

Take some time, kick back, and enjoy (a) whatever downtime you have and (b) whatever ridiculous things I drink enough spiked eggnog to post.

Stuff to Keep You Fascinating

The holidays are a busy time. You will find yourselves in extended family/social situations, and you can only talk about football and vodka for so long. So I’ll give you some things to talk about so you can be the Conversation Muse. Resorting to this, of course, means you’ve become horribly, horribly desperate.

If you or a family member rock a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, heads up: there’s a nasty exploit in the wild. Take countermeasures.

If you write on your iPad (like I do, sometimes preferring it over a ‘real’ computer), this article will resonate with you – Dropbox: The Linchpin. Quick executive summary: the iPad’s writing popularity is deeply reliant on a technology (Dropbox) that Apple does not control and iCloud does not provide.

If you haven’t heard, Google Maps is now re-born on the iPhone, and it literally is as good as one purebred unicorn or 12 kittens of mixed breeds. Shames Apple Maps. Go get it.

An extensive evaluation of Bill Cosby’s sweaters.

A full list of iOS/OSX Emoji. Love the descriptions.

The Real Thing. If you don’t want this car, check your pulse.

A Final Word

When we started this blog over three years ago, it was, at best, an experiment. For the longest time, we got 30–60 unique visitors a month. We were maybe getting 300 pageviews.

700 posts later, we’re thrilled and still somewhat stunned that we have a dedicated readership. We’re over 5,000 unique visitors per month, and our pageviews are greater than 30,000. Like I say, thrilled and stunned. Mostly thrilled.

As the blog editor, I want to thank each and every one of our readers. You have made this blog into one of the most popular ERP/PeopleSoft/nerdery blogs on the web, and I only aim to improve.

To that end, if there’s something you’d like to see more or less of here on Unfiltered, let me know. Seriously, e-mail me. I want this to be a mix of relevant industry news and PeopleSoft expertise, but I also want it to be fun and interesting. If coming here begin to sound too much like a whitepaper or watercooler discussion gone bad, then I’m doing it wrong. I’m looking for balance, and if I’m off the mark, yell at me.

Until then, and on behalf of everyone at MIPRO, happy holidays. Be well.

©2017 MIPRO Unfiltered