Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Understanding the comics

February 22, 2017

Once again, I return to the question of what you have to know to understand a comic strip or a cartoon, with two recent cartoons in my comics feed, a Rhymes With Orange and a Bizarro; in both, understanding requires that you supply a word that isn’t in the text of the cartoon:




Mathematical Principles of Natural Fig Snacks

January 15, 2017

A recent One Big Happy has Joe cutting corners on a book report:


Classic kid behavior.


Squirrel Girl

January 13, 2017

From linguist friends on Facebook, this cartoon, of obvious linguistic interest:


This is the strip Squirrel Girl, in the Marvel Comics universe.


Gloomy tech days at the NYT

November 10, 2016

[11/12/16: Update on the NYTMagazine/Wesley Morris matter. By the time I got around to looking for Morris’s excellent piece “Last Taboo” on-line, my searches were shunted to another Morris piece, “Uncommon Ground” (to appear in print tomorrow). I posted about this; Ned Deily discovered that though he had been able to get to “Last Taboo”, he was now also diverted away from it; and Ned unearthed the Wayback Machine evidence for the piece on-line earlier. At least one reader reported no problem with the links, and not long after I posted, things were fixed for everyone. Alarm no more.

Meanwhile, I tried to get in touch with Morris about the problem, but saw no way to do it. Ned, ever helpful, reported that the NYT had a page listing Morris’s articles for them, and on it there was an Email Author button. So there was; it doesn’t give you an address, but directs messages to Morris out of public view. Unfortunately, the software returned the message

We could not process your request, please try again later. Sorry for the inconvenience.

— 25 times over two days. My patience is now officially exhausted. To hell with it.

Score card: one software glitch fixed, one apparently still flourishing.]

Now, back to my previous posting.]


Made for you

October 26, 2016

(Underwear ad, suggestive but not explicit text.)

From Daily Jocks yesterday, featuring Andrew Christian underwear. The image, the ad copy, my caption (inspired by the extraordinarily plastic-synthetic look of the model):


Raunchy, cheeky, and playful, Andrew Christian always pushes underwear styles to the limit. Andrew Christian has developed into a hugely popular underwear brand that’s not afraid to show off the male form with crazy designs, bright colours and attention seeking styles.

Crafted from
Cutting-edge materials,
Cristiano29 is the latest,
Most life-like
Model in the
Andrew Christian M4M
PerfoHunk line,
Guaranteed to perform all
Sexual functions to your

Enhanced model 29ST does
Pleasant small talk, 29DT
Dirty-talks to your


Business news from our house

September 3, 2016

In today’s NYT Business news on-line, in hard copy tomorrow (Sunday): “A Warrior Against Junk Mail at Yahoo Looks Out for Mom, Too”  (as told to Patricia R. Olsen), on Elizabeth Zwicky, 51, an anti-spam architect at Yahoo in Sunnyvale, Calif.

A very brief interview. Best quote:

Do you think your job will be obsolete one day?

No. Criminals have gotten better and better at designing spam. It may mutate, but it’s not going to stop. Spam is where evil meets advertising, and no one has ever gotten rid of either one.

Geek compounds

June 4, 2016

Today’s Zippy, returning to Pancake Circus, to trade geek compounds:


Three things: the expressions being traded, which start out in panel 1 as N + N compounds from the tech world, both Ns monosyllables, and then get a bit more varied, but still with accent on the initial syllable (the default accentuation for  compounds); the final expression, FlapJax, certainly referring to flapjacks (a U.S. synonym for pancakes, as fits the Pancake Circus context) but possibly also to the fictional character Jax from the Mortal Combat games (in line with the tenchnogeek theme); and the re-use of the visual material from another Zippy cartoon, now with different text.


The snail days of summer

May 28, 2016

On the Comics Kingdom blog on Tuesday, for National Escargot Day (May 24th), ten cartoons on snails, all of them new to this blog. Some turn on the snail cartoon meme (having to do with slowness), many have to do with the slowness of postal services (snail mail, in the rhyming retronym), the rest deal with other gastropodal matters.


Programmer paintings

May 21, 2016

From Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, a link to the Tumblr site “Classic Programmer Paintings”, in which paintings (some famous, some genre paintings chosen for their pictorial content) are captioned with jokes about the life of programming. Two examples (both from painters new to me):


Ivan Bilibin, “Koschei the Deathless” from Marya Morevna (1900): “Senior security engineer on his way to deliver comments to developers”


Osman Hamdi Bey, “The Tortoise Trainer” (1906): “The Shell Scripter”

(a play involving shell program ‘a program that provides an interface between the user and the operating system’ (NOAD2))


Anti-spam architect (plus a mathemagician)

May 21, 2016

The anti-spam architect would be Elizabeth Zwicky in a “Yahoo Women in Technology Profile” by Michael McGovern (Talent Community Manager at Yahoo!) on the 18th. The piece is in the form of an interview, but with questions submitted in writing by McGovern and answers written out by EDZ, so you get the full flavor of her writing — lucid, pointed, often wry. There are photos: one of EDZ with her team, one an unposed head shot of her which catches her nicely. It’s a bit too light, a consequence of the fact that the photographer (Opal Eleanor Armstrong Zwicky, then age 6) was a novice at the camera, though she already had a good eye):