Archive for September, 2015

“Solve This If You Are A Genius”

September 11, 2015

Well, that was the headline on Facebook at any rate.

Don’t scroll down.  See how you get on.

sheldon

The correct answer is 79.  That is, the last digit of the number before the equation becomes the first digit of the number after the equation.  Add two to it for the second digit.  116 was missed out just to confuse you.

I got 68.  I am not a genius,

The internet has eaten itself

September 9, 2015

There was a time, before internet shopping took off, before Ebay, before YouTube, before FaceBook became cool and then uncool, when the main purpose of the internet seemed to be the dissemination of intermittently amusing short films and animations.  (Well, that and porn, obviously.  Apparently.)

internetest2

I even had a job compiling hundreds of these clips into two series of a television programme called “Totally Viral” with an “amusing” commentary by the glorious Donald Sinden.

There was a vaguely anarchic, stick-it-to-the-man quality about many of them, as the process of making and disseminating filmed daftness suddenly bypassed restrictions of budget, TV commissioners, taste and – often – humour itself.  You just couldn’t tell which of these things would “go viral” and become hugely popular.  People would send them to one another in emails and newsletters…remember?

And then YouTube happened. providing a “respectable” showcase.

And now, in 2015, this happened.

A huge corporation, Delta Airlines, has made a safety video containing loads of internet memes (as they became known).  It’s sort of clever without being very funny.  It’s way too long.  And for some reason, it’s ever so slightly sad, like watching an old man on a Segway.

Is this genius…or just plain daft?

September 3, 2015

what3words

I really can’t decide.  I tried to explain what3words.com to Mrs W and my brother recently and was roundly mocked, and –  seeing as there was no web-enabled device handy to show them exactly what I meant – they continued to mock until I dissolved in my own pool of shameful tears.

Here’s the idea. Every 3m square on the surface of the earth is assigned three random words.

That’s it.  Those three words are then that square’s address.  My house, for example, is arrive.vines.celery.  (Well, not exactly, because you don’t need to know where I live, but you get the idea.)

OK, so 10, Downing Street is slurs.this.shark. which is sort of funny, in a way.

No. 8 Downing Street is bind.varieties.rider. Buckingham Palace is future.human.foster and the White House is sulk.held.raves (although presumably, being so large, these properties will have multiple three-word designations).

Weird, eh?  And, in these cases, pretty pointless because they already have addresses.

But what about the middle of a jungle somewhere?  Or the ocean?  Each square there has a three-word address too.  And this was where the mockery started, because why do these places need addresses?  And won’t standard mapping coodinates do the same job?

Well, I suppose they might.  But the guys at what3words.com who are behind it all do a far better job than I can of saying why it’s such a cool idea, and it goes way beyond words being more fun than a string of digits .  Check it out.  And please don’t mock.