some sort of dinosaur

Take the scenic route

Okay so HERE IS A GREAT IDEA that if it doesn't already exist, I expect will exist within the next 5 years or so.

There's two ingredients: first off, is GPS software!

Right now most GPS software offers you two choices when going from A to B: shortest distance or fastest time. They do this giving each section of road two scores: a distance score (how long you go along road X) and a speed score (how fast road X will take you: is the speed limit 40? 80?). Fancier ones use real-time traffic information to tell you how fast traffic on the road is actually moving, so you have a better speed score.

The second ingredient is photos: specifically, geotagging photos. Right now Google uses some geotagged photos to give you shots of things nearby on Google maps, since the geotag stores where on the planet the photo was taken. The problem is a lot of this tagging is done by hand. Once everyone starts buying cameras with GPSs in them, you get geotagging for free, and the number of geotagged photos will explode!

All you need to do is put these together and you've got a third score you can now add to roads: "number of photos taken on or near this road" - in other words, "scenicness". You'll be able to say "I want to go from here to school, and I want the scenic route!" and your GPS will say "How much are you willing to be delayed for some pretty scenery?" and you'll say "Oh, 10 minutes", and hey presto, an alternate route to your destination that gives you some more interesting views than you might get otherwise.

There's some wrinkles: you'd need to do some smoothing to filter out shots of accidents from the day before, say, and also filter out people who might try to grief the system, but it'll work pretty well right out of the box. Add on some content analysis (tags, say) and you might even be able to figure out what pretty scenery you should be looking for at each point, and even filter by them. It would probably work better in the country than in the city (where things like "Michael Jackson's House" will be covered in photos), but it'll still be pretty neat.

Anyway it's a pretty obvious idea but I wanted it out there in case someone tried to patent it, if they haven't already. GOOGLE/GARMIN GET ON THIS PLEASE, I WOULD LIKE TO USE THIS FEATURE
some sort of dinosaur

yarr, excuse me manners and excuse me princess

Let's see what we've got here:

- "Excuuse me, princess!" is really unpopular, given its ease in typing: people either write the phrase with The Canonical Number of Letters U (that is, 1), or write it with more. I believe this reflects a tension between dictionary spelling and how the word is said: if you're going to break the rules, people break them in a way that's clear and unambiguously not a typo!

- There is a marked preference for 41 letters u: "excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!" has 3,770 results, while the results around it have tons fewer. That's that bump near the end of the graph! Clearly there is a connection here with the amount of time the average person is willing to hold down their "u" key before losing interest and seeing what the other keys do

- It took 50 letters u ("excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!") to get 0 results. I was going to stop there, but then I made the mistake of checking 51 letters u, which had a few hits, as did 52. It was at 67 letters u ("excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!") that my Google search box was mostly the letter "u" and I realized that there is no upper limit on how many letters u could appear. It's letters u all the way down, you guys! So I stopped and wished I'd written a script to do this instead, but I really thought we'd peter out before 67.


"excuse me, princess!": 133,000
"excuuse me, princess!": 7,980
"excuuuse me, princess!": 133,000 (a tie!!)
"excuuuuse me, princess!": 222,000
"excuuuuuse me, princess!": 238,000
"excuuuuuuse me, princess!": 90,900
"excuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 65,900
"excuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 67,600
"excuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 36,700
"excuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 27,600
"excuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 21,100
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 55,400
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 34,300
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 24,500
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 9,540
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 3,500
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 5,970
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 23,300
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 2,090
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 3,410
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 2,060
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 3,870
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1,840
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1,420
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1,080
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 206
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 243
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 405
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 95
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 134
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 108
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 84
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 97
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 9
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 99
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 78
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 55
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 79
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 4
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 5
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 3,770!
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 4
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 4
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 7
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 6
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 4
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 5
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 4
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 3
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": FINALLY, NO RESULTS
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 5
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 5
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 6
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": none!
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 2
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 2
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 2
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 2
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 3
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1
"excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess!": 1

If you're upset that I broke your page layout or forced you to scroll horizontally you can pretty much imagine what my response is, here is a hint, it involves the letter 'u' and also royalty
some sort of dinosaur

they call this market research

Is there a Dinosaur Comics shirt that doesn't exist, but you wish it did? Tell me about it! MAYBE I CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

note: shirt must be possible, for example a shirt that makes wishes come true is impossible (for me) (to ever consider parting with)
some sort of dinosaur

60s airline flight attendants are the new flappers

Oliver suggested the subject line connection when I sent him these pictures and I believe it is true! They both scratch the same oddly idealized, unattainable itch:

There's tons of amazing pictures here (four pages worth!) and here! Check out the "source" links on the second one for pages and pages more.

I think it's the retro gloss in the images combined with the thought of "the world couldn't possibly have been like this, could it?" that make them so compelling.

(That bubble helmet she's wearing is supposedly to protect her hair from the wind while moving between aircraft; I believe it makes a great ad image in any time period)
some sort of dinosaur

The Longest Poem in the World

It scans twitter updates and combines two lines that rhyme to form couplets. The results are pretty great!

this my first time seeing this show... and these women r a trip
I will stand up and shout. I declare mutiny on this ship.

She could spin around and keep the dick still inside .
I wake up and it's still hot outside. :(

Its my weekend now. I get to relax and drink cheap beer.
And for my next trick, I shall make these biscuits disappear!
And it on. Just like that.
i see wings and a hat
some sort of dinosaur

Mario Brothers epic movie

I'd told Jenn about this fun, epic 8-bit Mario Brothers flash video for a long time, but I had lost the link and searching "Mario brothers parody" just led to - to so much terrible stuff, you guys. There are a billion Mario Brothers videos, each more terrible than the last when sorted appropriately.

BUT! I searched for a while (both the internet AND my memory) for clues, and remembering that I saw it on Newgrounds was the key: they have a good listing of videos and I found it! It was called "Mario Brothers".

And here it is, for both Jenn and anyone else with about half an hour to spare! It starts out kinda cheesy but once you buy into it, sets a mood nicely.

Mario Brothers - Part One:
Mario Brothers - Part Two:
Mario Brothers - Part Three:
Mario Brothers - Part Four:
Mario Brothers - Part Five:
some sort of dinosaur


Okay so after I posted the last link, lainiest posted a comment reading:

Isn't that the guy who got stabbed in the throat (and lived!!!)?

...which I thought would be an amazing thing for someone to just post after every LJ entry, but it turns out that, YES, the author is Tim Kreider and he had been stabbed in the throat and survived the experience.

Erikochan was nice enough to point out this comic (PDF format) of the story of the neck stabbing, and also this reflection on the experience which I ALSO really enjoyed. A snippit!

Fourteen years ago I was stabbed in the throat. This is kind of a long story and it’s not the point of this essay. The point is that after my unsuccessful murder I wasn’t unhappy for an entire year.

Winston Churchill’s quote about the exhilaration of being shot at without result is verifiably true. I was reminded of an old Ray Bradbury story, “The Lost City of Mars,” in which a man finds a miraculous machine that enables him to experience his own violent death over and over again, as many times as he likes — in locomotive collisions, race car crashes, exploding rockets — until he emerges flayed of all his free-floating guilt and unconscious longing for death, forgiven and free, finally alive. I started brewing my own dandelion wine in a big Amish crock. I listened to old pop songs too stupid to name in print.

I’m not claiming I was continuously euphoric the whole time; it’s just that, during that grace period, nothing much could bother me or get me down. The sort of horrible thing that I’d always dreaded was going to happen to me had finally happened. I figured I was off the hook for a while. In a parallel universe only two millimeters away from this one (the distance between the stiletto and my carotid), I had been flown home in the cargo hold instead of in coach. Everything in this one, as far as I was concerned, was gravy.

Repreive, by Tim Kreider.