Re: Goodness

1

29 is insufficiently precise.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 7:48 AM
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2

Where is the classic "How is babby formed?"?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 7:56 AM
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3

I think I've mentioned here before that my brother was on Maury in an entirely made-up scenario. All fake top to bottom.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 7:57 AM
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4

16 is my personal favorite.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:04 AM
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5

I saw 10 on Twitter yesterday, and it just..uh..huhm. Props to her for not wasting anything?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:09 AM
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6

I like 26, because I remember somebody asking almost exactly that question some years ago. The difference being that my questioner was three years old.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:12 AM
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7

Those are so great. I love Yahoo Answers so much. It's a personal goal of mine to cite a Yahoo Answers response in a brief, but I'm not sure I'll ever get there. It's hard to know but I kinda doubt any of those are truly fake in the sense of being true hoaxes; eg the mermaid spell questioner probably knows that she's being provocative but also sincerely wants a mermaid spell (Springer was totally faked though, sorry to say).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:15 AM
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8

Surely some of these people are 11 years old.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:21 AM
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9

I don't know why 7 is really that daft. Autograph manuscripts by real historical religious leaders exist, and 2000 year old texts exist. Unlikely, yes, but not inherently dumb.

10 is amazing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:23 AM
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10

8: I think that most of them are from young people or kids. And maybe the occasional troll.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:27 AM
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11

24 reminds me: we have a very cheap microwave that doesn't even have digit keys, you can only enter time in the sum of multiples of 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 10 minutes. If the time is at "0:50" and you add 10 more seconds, instead of taking you to "1:00" it displays "0:60". In fact you can go all the way up to "0:90" and compose that with minutes to get times like "4:90". It still does the right thing, but I'm very curious as to how that was developed and passed QA.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:29 AM
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12

Crocodiles are not gay. That's a terrible allegation. Probably originated by a terrible alligator.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:37 AM
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13

12 Okay, man.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:41 AM
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14

I'm sure I've mentioned before the My Brother, My Brother and Me podcasts, which uses these crazy Yahoo Answers questions as the basis for an "advice" show.

You can trawl through transcripts of the archives here for some classic and/or disturbing questions and suitably bemused answers.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:03 AM
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15

Some are by kids, some are jokes, and the rest are by people from Florida.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:06 AM
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16

Props to her for not wasting anything?

There are far less vile ways to use that stuff.


Posted by: Virga•licious | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:18 AM
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17

I'm at work, or I'd link to the video of the guy who paints with his butthole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:22 AM
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18

I'm from Florida.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:23 AM
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19

Also my friend was on Judge Judy and it was completely real, except that the show paid the "fine" and it's binding arbitration, not an actual court. But they contacted her after she filed in small claims court, and she went for it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:25 AM
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20

I'm from Florida

So which one is yours? Birds in Canada?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:31 AM
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21

"No, I think the producer liked the story so much that she wanted to, like, let it happen, but was letting us know that if it was fake--and I think she did believe it to be--that we needed to keep up the front the whole time we were there."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 9:35 AM
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22

I had a friend who attended some Springer tapings in the late 90's. Who claimed when you're in the audience, it's all clearly fake. But I didn't press for details because I didn't care.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 10:23 AM
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23

Hmm. I attended one and although I've heard it's fake, the one I saw wasn't obviously so. Surely they can sprinkle some real in the fake, or fake in the real.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 10:39 AM
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24

ISTR reading an article years ago about "professional Jerry Springer guests." Multiple appearances on different shows, different problems, different partners, etc.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 10:47 AM
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25

My turtle is definitely gay toward people, though he's never spent time around male turtles and has always been indifferent to female ones. If you have to ask, your turtle is probably straight.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 11:01 AM
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26

25: Some agenda you people have. Can't even get a turtle into a same-sex relationship.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 11:30 AM
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27

I'm in Flrodia. Should I ask around, see what's on people's minds?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 11:38 AM
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28

For your own sake, no.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 11:42 AM
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29

What good outcome would that lead to?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 11:43 AM
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30

26: Like other members of the household, he has really poor social skills. He thought his tankmate (admittedly female) was a rock and she took to nipping him whenever he walked on her, so she had to move to a nice pond with friends of mine.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 11:56 AM
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31

Did I really type "Flrodia"? The sickness takes hold quickly I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:10 PM
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32

I figured it was a new kind of Googleproofing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:14 PM
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33

||

On my poster at this conference last year I introduced a sort of goofy schematic graphic to explain my approach. I am sitting in one of the big conference-opening symposia and... I think the speaker stole my graphic! I guess I'm honored somebody is paying attention? The speaker is much higher-profile than I am.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:26 PM
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34

33 Congratulations on getting plagiarized!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:34 PM
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35

I read "copasetic" as "copaseptic" which is an interesting word, like companionably rotten or something? Contentedly festering? Down with putridness?

Didn't know you could spell copacetic that way.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:38 PM
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36

I mean, the obvious alternative is that I'm not as creative as I think and they came up with it independently.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:42 PM
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37

||
Anyone following the American Spring protest? I'm just tickled to death by the totality of their failure. It's worthy of an entry in The Book of Heroic Failures.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:49 PM
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38

10 is fake.

As for walking on the sun, isn't the canonical answer that it can only be done at night?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 12:53 PM
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39

I think it's a combo of people being very stupid (as in not knowing anything at all) and people being very stupid (as in thinking of stupid questions to ask for their own amusement) and people being very stupid temporarily because they are high.

My bf has been running an affiliate-link powered blog targeted at shoppers for a very niche houseware market. It sort of started as a lark but has become his/our principal source of income. He gets a lot of comments in his buying guides, and also emails from people who come across his buying guides. We have principally learned from this that there are a large number of people who use the internet and seem to be able to read and write but do not actually like doing it at long stretches, and are also quite lousy at basic arithmetic--but make enough money to buy fairly expensive housewares. And if you take the trouble to be nice to them and answer their questions, they will be very loyal and grateful--even if on your end the correspondence really consists of copying and pasting blocks of text from the blogpost they originally were reading, in response to their questions. It's almost as if the sheer fact that information is presented in the Q&A email format makes it easier to digest. We both find this amazing as it is basically the opposite of what we would want out of a buying guide, or really any other kind of guide. We haven't really figured out what to make of this phenomena, but it is rampant enough to start feeling significant to us.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 2:27 PM
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40

So, your boyfriend's readers are basically looking for a Komodo dragon expert.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 2:49 PM
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41

Pretty much, except that they are actually in the market for buying a Komodo dragon--and after this exchange, they often do. Which can cost ~$250-500, and takes up a non-trivial amount of real estate on their kitchen counter.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 2:56 PM
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42

People are really bad at reading comprehension.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:01 PM
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43

My chair and the secretary have this ongoing problem: he sends her instructions via email. She reads the first sentence, and carries out the task wrong. He re-sends the email, with the parts she missed underlined. She finds this incredibly condescending and gets pissed. He says, "this has been going on for over a decade. Why can't she read the entire email?"

I basically sympathize with him, but I do think that if he used paragraph breaks and bullet points a little more judiciously, she'd read a little further.

Anyway, she recently got slammed in some job reviews and I've been pulled in to be a reference and the whole thing is pretty awful, but involves a lot of situations mostly amounting to the first paragraph, although with a wider crowd than just the chair.


Posted by: eh, presidential | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:05 PM
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44

She finds this incredibly condescending and gets pissed

It's funny -- it's not that that's not a condescending way to handle it, but I cannot imagine having the chutzpah to get pissed off about being condescended to under those circumstances. I mean, when the short answer to "Why are you treating me like an idiot" is "Because you are, objectively, acting like an idiot," you're not in a strong position to fight about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:15 PM
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45

Why doesn't the first sentence say "there are seven things I need you to do by Friday" and then have a set of paragraphs numbered from 1 to 7 (each beginning with a topic sentence in bold)?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:19 PM
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46

45: Well, exactly. He's not writing things in the way that would optimize reading comprehension. From what I can tell, that itself is a skill that people are very poor at recognizing the need for.


Posted by: eh, presidential | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:28 PM
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47

In the length of a typical email, how bad can he be? Are his emails really weirdly hard to read?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:55 PM
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48

I sort of sympathize with getting stressed out by instructions not being optimized for reading comprehension--really, being highly optimized for non-comprehension IME--and do think that's a big issue among managers. It sounds like the bigger issue, however, is management not actually calling someone in at the beginning and talking to them about their problem. I.e. I am willing to believe that a lot of underlings behave like idiots but I am even more willing to believe that managers manage like idiots too.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 3:57 PM
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49

Yeah, the fact that this has been a consistent problem for a decade probably means that everyone in the situation is dealing with things remarkably badly, and they all deserve each other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:00 PM
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50

They're 1-2 paragraphs, of the sort that makes me slightly glaze over and have to conscientiously remember to read it.

Also, the secretary is...well, I exercise every MWF and shower in our building. I've done this for over a year. About three times a month, she says "Oh, do you exercise in the mornings? How nice. What do you do?" and we have the exact same conversation that we had the previous week. There's a touch of goldfish-finding-the-new-part-of-the-bowl going on, but the whole thing is mostly exacerbated by the super-defensive response to the condescending response. Ugh, everybody.


Posted by: eh, presidential | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:13 PM
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51

49 is exactly right.


Posted by: eh, presidential | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:14 PM
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52

(Except now I'm being called on to be a reference for the secretary. Or at least, she has asked me to, but the administration has not yet followed through, and relevant parties have vented to me, unsolicited.)


Posted by: eh, presidential | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:18 PM
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53

You probably did something to deserve them, tangentially.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:33 PM
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54

"Ms. X is a moderately capable secretary, but a remarkably excellent way to atone for your failings."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:38 PM
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55

She would be exceptionally perfect for a highly repetitive job, and this is actually more of a know-what-solution-fits-the-person/situation job.


Posted by: Eh, prezzy | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 4:53 PM
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56

She would be exceptionally perfect for a highly repetitive job

Maybe you shouldn't write a reference for this person.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 5:24 PM
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57

I agreed to take on an easy departmental service work thing and then found out it isn't so easy because it requires the cooperation of a secretary who I'm told "should be fired but can't be because she's nice and tries hard".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 5:33 PM
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58

So, apparently, the way to get tenure at my institution is to be a secretary.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 5:33 PM
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59

That only works for people who can be nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 5:54 PM
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60

I'm sure I mentioned my former cow orker who had some kind of very mild learning disability. She'd been hired as a keypunch operator in the late '70s, and had just become a fixture, with whatever the most repetitive, non-customer facing jobs in her department happened to be filtering down to her. She was like an incompetent Castro -- just kept on going, through manager after manager, all of whom got exasperated with her on a fairly regular basis, but couldn't or wouldn't fire her. So she wound up with something like 35 years on the job (and I hope cashed in big when we were bought out), but finally her manager couldn't take it anymore and she got the boot. She was very nice in a kind of mopey, overly-concerned way. I bet she would still remember me if I saw her on the street, which is more than I can say for a lot of those bums.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 6:22 PM
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61

Birds in Canada?

Do geese count as birds? They are borderline vermin, imho (though it's remarkable to watch them change formation without losing the shape of that V).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:13 PM
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I've heard a distinction made between "giant" Canada Geese, which are non-migratory, and the regular kind which are certainly migratory. Never saw one in Canada except in the Spring and Fall, in migration. My parents would call me to see them. I can remember once sitting at dinner when my parents could hear them, and we all rushed outside to see the vee.

Maybe they were always pestilent around Northern US cities, and the Canada Goose was only exotic in Canada


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:22 PM
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63

Branta canadensis? I always think of the Westing Game.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:27 PM
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64

Yes. Just looked it up in Peterson's Field Guide. He says there's a considerable difference in size among "races." The "Atlantic" is about twice the size of the "Richardson's" with the "Lesser" in between. Presumably the same species, but different habits among different populations.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:39 PM
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65

Which ones shit all over the sidewalks here?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:44 PM
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66

Never saw one in Canada except in the Spring and Fall, in migration.

Yeah, me neither. I think I've seen more Canada geese in New Jersey than I ever saw in Ontario.

They can get quite aggressive when they feel challenged (yes, I know, they're just protecting themselves, and why shouldn't they? but Canada goose versus small dog? I wouldn't place my money on the dog ... ), and their greenish poop that my large dog always wants to eat is sort of disgusting (admittedly, this could be blamed on the dog, not on the geese).

My parents would call me to see them.

Mine too. This was either the beginning or the end of winter, depending on which direction the geese were flying.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05-16-14 8:47 PM
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67

39 tl;dr.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-17-14 3:47 AM
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68

Speaking of stupid online questions, I got a Quora email digest today that featured the question "How come Nixon had to resign after Watergate but Obama doesn't have to resign because of Beenghazi?" in the subject line and at the top of the list in the body of the email.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-17-14 12:25 PM
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61 et seq: This intro paragraph in the Audobon write-up is a pretty good recap of the last few decades with regard to Branta canadensis:

The status of the Canada Goose has diminished over the past century. One of North America's most recognizable birds, the species was revered by early naturalists as a symbol of the wild north, and was often described with the greatest of admiration. The passage of migratory flocks, honking loudly overhead in their V-shaped formations, has always been a much-anticipated sign of the changing of the seasons, observed with awe by generation after generation. Today, however, with numbers at an all-time high, the Canada Goose is generally regarded far less romantically. As their range has expanded in recent decades, the migratory urge has been greatly lessened within many populations, and lost completely in others. They have even come to be perceived as pests within certain communities, where they are attracted to public parks, golf courses, lawns, and waterways.
I recall in the '60s going to a wildlife refuge in the UP of Michigan where we goggled at the abundance of geese (and goose shit). An experience now available at nearly every local golf course, river, and park with a pond or lake.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-14 7:32 PM
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70

Holy shit, my nephew can throw a fucking tantrum. Jesus Christ, kid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-17-14 7:46 PM
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