As usual, xkcd knocks it out of the park. Just as my wife; I’ve complained out this very thing several times before.
What troubles me is that, in all likelihood, a bunch of people must have sat around a table somewhere debating over the best way to lay these signs down on the pavement. On the one hand, I can kind of see their point — it would make some sort of sense that people would read the first word they come to. But it’s clear to me that someone neglected to adequately test this idea in a focus group or what-have-you because what they failed to consider is how deeply ingrained the Western proclivity is to read from top to bottom, left to right.
You’d think someone would have figured this out by now.
* I do so love “XKCD”:http://xkcd.com/505/. Webcomics for brainiacs. Nothing better.
* Dave Kellett always “brings the laughs”:http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/081117.html
* These “Noel Collection iPhone protectors”:http://www.more-thing.com/noel-collection-incl-mirror-protector.html are amazingly sweet-looking.
* Cherie Priest has a “steampunk novelette up at Subterranean Press”:http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/fall-2008/fiction-tanglefoot-a-story-of-the-clockwork-century-by-cherie-priest/
* “Elliptical Arguments”:http://scienceblogs.com/builtonfacts/2008/11/elliptical_arguments.php for the mathematically inclined.
I don’t generally do link roundups, but in this case, there are a handful of notables, and I don’t really have the time or energy to write about each one individually.
- “Antibiotics for Sinusitis”:http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=12 – This article from _Science-Based Medicine_ sums up exactly my thinking about the germs floating around out there right now. I’ve been sick twice this winter, and in both cases, I needed high-powered antibiotics to muck everything out, and even then it took two or three weeks to shake it off. From what I’m hearing from folks all over the country, this isn’t exactly unique – the bugs are bigger, stronger, and longer-lasting. It’s likely that over-prescribing antibiotics is one of the prime factors for this.
- “SpySat stuff”:http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/02/21/spysat-stuff/ – Is it bad that I ignored all news about the US government shooting a missile at the spy satellite until Phil posted about it (as I knew he would)? Sorry, I just don’t trust the information given back on this sort of thing until I see it on the Bad Astronomy blog, and I have even less use for most of the unnecessary drama that surrounded this particular event. Why must the media blow stuff like this out of proportion? I appreciate Phil’s level-headed presentation of the facts.
- “Wireless Digital Display Tattoos”:http://gizmodo.com/359018/cellphone-display-concept-designed-by-dracula-is-bloody-ridiculous – Call me strange, but I think this idea is really neat. Of course, I’m the guy who’d love to have a neurological uplink to a computer, too, so embedding a subcutaneous, wireless tattoo interface in my skin isn’t a huge leap from there.
- “Um, Yeah – Grapefruit”:http://xkcd.com/388/ – xkcd apparently unleashed a monster with today’s comic about fruit. Bear in mind, it’s highly subjective, so his mapping may match yours. (In fact, it’s safe to say that it probably won’t.) Go easy on the guy. Just because he’s wrong doesn’t mean you need to beat up on him.
Two of my favorite webcomics are “xkcd”:http://xkcd.com and “Irregular Webcomic”:http://www.irregularwebcomic.net. I’ve got quite a few webcomics plugged into Google Reader, but these two stand head and shoulders above all the others. The primary reason is because they are intelligent comics, relying on a brand of humor that appeals to the mind rather than relying on what I consider to be locker-room humor. Nearly all the webcomics I read deal with geek humor in some fashion, but only xkcd and Irregular Webcomic rely pretty exclusively on ‘smart’ punchlines. Comics like Ctrl-Alt-Del and Penny Arcade focus a lot on crude and crass topics and the main reason I keep them in my list is because of the occasional appearance of something truly witty.
Here are a couple of my favorite strips from the last couple of days:
See? Smart humor. Funny without the crudity. That’s my kind of funny.
“xkcd has a rare political post”:http://blag.xkcd.com/2008/01/28/obama/ today about why Barack Obama may well be the best presidential candidate we have this election cycle because of his commitment to open government. It’s a compelling read, and I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it. (Comments are closed on that entry, but please feel free to bring thoughts and comments back here. Seriously, I’m curious…)
This… this is just awesome.