Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Charlie is making me dumber, and other off topic ramblings.

I have absolutely nothing to write about. Yet, here I am. Proceed at your own risk.

So, Yahoo has taken over Babelfish translation (this may or may not have happened recently, but I just noticed it, so it's new to me!), and they're apparently making it better. I just kicked through the first sentence of this post (English to German, and back again):

I have absolutely nothing to write about. Yet, here I am. Proceed at your own risk.

Ich habe absolut nichts, ungefähr zu schreiben. Jedoch, hier bin ich. Fahren Sie an Ihrem eigenen Risiko fort.

I have absolutely nothing to write approximately. However, here am I. Continue at your own risk.

Yeah...not quite there, guys. It'll never be good until the computer can analyze context for words with multiple meanings (see: about, in this case meaning "of; concerning; in regard to," while Babelfish mistakenly uses the "near; close to; approximately" definition). But they do seem to have fixed the grammar a bit, understanding that not every language is structured just like English, so using the proper "Jedoch, hier bin ich," (which is the appropriate German structure, meaning literally "Yet, here am I") but curiously enough, not switching back to the common English structure on the retranslation (which would be "here I am"). Anyways. I'm a loser and think about things like this. Moving on!

Things are getting crazy and goofy at work. I'm in an awkward position right now - let's leave it at that. The situation is stressing me out a little more than it should.

Okay, so this came out like...more than a year ago, but it's still making its rounds on teh Intertubes. It's really a testament to the power of the internet, if you want to get all philosophical and crazy about it. As I post this, this video, of two kids somewhere in the UK, has been viewed 34,629,375 times.

Not a typo.


Over the last thirteen months.
Totally safe for work, by the way.
Without any further ado, here it is, "Charlie bit my finger."

As the Internet is likely (no, inevitably GOING) to do, the video has spawned a wave of imitators and remixers (all also safe for work):

(You can't see it, but I'm shaking my head and crying for the fate of humanity, while simultaneously passing it along to all three people who'll end up reading this. Color me human.)

On another note, (maybe just realizing this after watching the "Charlie" video sixteen times), I think I'm getting dumber - kindof like that Simpsons episode. I blame the internet.
From the article:

Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read
War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”

Right there with ya, Bruce. I'd like to add (well, if it wasn't already in the article - I skimmed it - ha) that the nature of the Internet makes us easily distractable. See previous subject - back to "Charlie" - while looking that video up, YouTube pointed me to a variety of remixes and parodies, which ended up leading me to a video of some kid making faces, which led me on and endless loop back to the "I like turtles" kid, which had me on my page searching for, and subsequently watching, the "All y'all who seen the leprechaun say YEEE-AHH!" video, cracking myself up a little, which for some reason brought me to Saturday Night Live's brilliant parody of Dora the Explorer:

And then I forgot what I was talking about. See what I mean?

If you think the media-heavy blog post is stopping here, be forewarned that this train is just gettin' rollin.'
This is probably the best beer commercial ever made:

For some reason (probably because it's HILARIOUS), it was decided that Stockholm's subway map should be translated from Swedish to English. If you need to get from Awful Village Hospital to Rock Star, the map is here!

French people are insane:

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

And I think the Fresno Grizzlies (who are the AAA affiliate of the San Franciso Giants) have found their new left fielder:

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

No politics today, because I'm feeling dumb and uninspired. Well, there's, um, one thing that bears mentioning, I suppose. For the past eight years, soon-to-be-former-President Bush has been revealing himself as the idiot who runs his mouth and ends up finding his foot in it, possibly because he's uncomfortable and needs to say something, anything, to fill the silence. Inevitably, he ends up saying something mildly offensive, but doesn't really realize it, whether or not that actually makes it worse, I'm not going to debate. Anyways, here's the story.
Filipino president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was at the White House yesterday, discussing possible aid for her country as it recovers from last week's typhoon. Bush, while probably unsuccessfully attempting to switch the direction of the conversation to Muppet Babies and his golf swing, says (from the White House transcript):

PRESIDENT BUSH: Madam President, it is a pleasure to welcome you back to the Oval Office. We have just had a very constructive dialogue. First, I want to tell you how proud I am to be the President of a nation that -- in which there's a lot of Philippine-Americans. They love America and they love their heritage. And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the -- of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House. (Laughter.)


PRESIDENT BUSH: And the chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way, Madam President.


Might not be offensive, but it' of those things that could be construed as such. Awkward, at best. I think President Arroyo really had no idea how to respond to that. Kind of like "I like turtles."

So, that's more than enough out of me. I've got to head to work anyways. See y'all next time.

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