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Swiss mountain cleaners

posted by Ainsley Drew   Apr 01, 2009

Switzerland is more than cheese, alps, and a blonde serving cocoa. It’s also the home of the slightly neat-freak mountain cleaners.

via swissmiss

We Work Remotely

April Fool’s that actually aren’t

posted by Ainsley Drew   Apr 01, 2009

From across the pond, here’s a list of 10 stories that could be April Fool’s but aren’t. On the list:

Pubs are telling expectant mothers when they’ve had enough to drink.

Entirely unfunny. For a more joke-filled first of the month, you can always get that yodeling game for XBox360.

“Thank You, Vocoder”

posted by Ainsley Drew   Mar 27, 2009

“Vocoders are an instantly recognizable synthesizer sound, having been used in popular music since the 1960s. They allow you to ‘talk like a robot’, which while fun, is often not musically useful.”

This from “Introduction to Vocoders,” proves the point that the vocoder does not, in fact, turn a song into music. The voice analyzer/synthesizer system that was originally developed in the 1930s to facilitate early telephony has now become a seemingly inescapable accessory to popular music.

Rapper Ice Cube also awkwardly reflected on the negative effects of vocoders on rap:

“Records sales really not concerned to me as much as doing it my way. And doing the kind of records I want to do. Without some A&R dude trying to tell me to go find T-Pain and get you a voice box. Ya know, all this stupid stuff that they do that mess up a lot of records, mess up a lot of artists.”

This clip of T-Pain v. His Vocoder is the audio equipment equivalent of Stephen King’s Christine, and it certainly backs up Mr. Cube’s claim.

Update: Turns out that the actual device Mr. Pain uses to alter his voice box is referred to as an Auto-Tune, and it’s the weapon of choice for Cher, Kanye, and T-Pain, who seems just as oblivious as this author was. The two machines are entirely different.

Thx jason freeman

Super Tuesday Surprise: Leading Minsk Newspaper Endorses

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 04, 2008

Super Tuesday Surprise: Leading Minsk Newspaper Endorses Candidates in US Presidential Race.

The Democrats have now only two candidates who stand to chance against this powerful phalanx: Barack Obama, senator of City Chicago and nephew of Saddam Hussein; and Hillary Rodham Clinton, organizer of popular solidarity-building women’s breakfasts for discussion of hair-hygiene and of place of woman in American politics, and only official wife of number-one enemy of Serbs and all Slavic peoples, Bill Clinton.

Also: “The Woman: it is also Person!”

Hasbro is releasing a special “Regular Monopoly”

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2007

Hasbro is releasing a special “Regular Monopoly” edition of the popular game, following the success of hits like Star Wars Monopoly and Simpsons Monopoly.

[The game] replaces the iconic, high-valued properties of Mariowalk and Luigi Place with its own fancifully named “Boardwalk” and “Park Place.”

Reaganomics Finally Trickles Down To Area Man.

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 16, 2007

Reaganomics Finally Trickles Down To Area Man.

The $10 began its long journey into Kellener’s wallet in 1983, when a beefed-up national defense budget of $210 billion enabled the military to purchase advanced warhead-delivery systems from aerospace manufacturer Lockheed. Buoyed by a multimillion-dollar bonus, then-CEO Martin Lawler bought a house on a 5,000-acre plot in Montana….

From the always excellent xkcd, this comic

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 10, 2007

From the always excellent xkcd, this comic absolutely drips hilarious nerdiness and nerdy hilariousness all over the place. “Oh yes, Little Bobby Tables, we call him.”

Remember the Transformers movie from this summer?

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 24, 2007

Remember the Transformers movie from this summer? Those were fun times. Here’s a letter to Optimus Prime from his Geico auto insurance agent. “Mr. Prime, I am going to remind you again: Your policy with GEICO only reimburses you for accidents that occur while you are engaged in the reasonable use of your truck and trailer. As I told you when you originally purchased the policy, GEICO does not offer Megatron coverage, Starscream coverage, Soundwave coverage, Decepticon coverage, or Energon-blast coverage. Those are just not the types of damages we would expect from reasonable use.”

In the Year 2030, the Young Hotshot at

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 18, 2007

In the Year 2030, the Young Hotshot at My Office Tries to Walk Me Through “Centaur,” Apple’s New Mind-Orb-Based Operating System. “Well, go ahead and materialize the topaz orb first. That should launch your facefield preferences.”

Five Flickr sets that aren’t driving the

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 12, 2007

Five Flickr sets that aren’t driving the long-term traffic you’d hoped for. Merlin brings the funny, you make with the laughing.

Nation to Ken Griffey Jr.: We Wish

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 01, 2007

Nation to Ken Griffey Jr.: We Wish It Were You Hitting 765 Home Runs. “They talked about his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card, and how, instead of going down in value with every hamstring injury, it should have skyrocketed in price with his 800th, maybe 900th home run.”

Twelve tips for travelling across the United

posted by Jason Kottke   May 29, 2007

Twelve tips for travelling across the United States by train. “12. Train Love. I wish you the best of luck in finding a soulmate via subsidized government transportation.”

The Onion: “Despite the existence of cinema

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 26, 2007

The Onion: “Despite the existence of cinema classics such as Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Seven Samurai, the 2004 film Garden State starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman is some poor fuck’s favorite movie.”

Arkansan blames liberal Congress for a particularly

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 26, 2007

Arkansan blames liberal Congress for a particularly hot March, made so by daylight saving time. “You would think that members of Congress would have considered the warming effect that an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate.” Who needs The Onion with Connie M. Meskimen around? (The headline seems to be misspelled as well…”warning” should be “warming”, yeah?)

Update: Phew, we still need The Onion…the letter is probably a joke. (thx, stephen)

A letter from the Paleoanthropology Division of

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 23, 2007

A letter from the Paleoanthropology Division of the Smithsonian Institute: “We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents ‘conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.’ Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be the ‘Malibu Barbie.’”

Update: Not that there was any doubt that this isn’t a real letter, here’s the confirmation. (thx, sam & sheldon)

Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 16, 2007

Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Rails Developer David Heinemeier Hansson’s Response to Alex Payne’s Interview. A little inside-baseball, but it’s a good game.

Ken Graney’s Roomba has broken the three

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 16, 2007

Ken Graney’s Roomba has broken the three laws of Roombotics. “The first law states that the device ‘must not suck up jewelry or other valuables, or through inaction, allow valuables to be sucked up.’ The second law prescribes that Roomba ‘must obey vacuuming orders given to it by humans except when such orders would conflict with the first law.’ The third and final law authorizes a Roomba to ‘protect its own ability to suction dust and debris as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.’”

Loving article about the little-known transcontinental burrito

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 12, 2007

Loving article about the little-known transcontinental burrito tunnel linking San Francisco and NYC. “By the time they reach Cleveland the burritos are fully heated through and traveling uphill at about twice the speed of sound.” (via seriouseats)

Like most of the best Onion articles,

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 26, 2007

Like most of the best Onion articles, this one hovers between absolute hilarity and extremely tasteless: Anna Nicole Smith Finally Reaches Target Weight. “Forensics reports reveal that Smith’s miraculous weight loss began on Feb. 8, when she was discovered unconscious in her Hollywood, FL hotel room.”

A list of 16 things it takes most

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 23, 2007

A list of 16 things it takes most of us 50 years to learn. “There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is: age 11.”

Update: This list originated with Dave Barry, but some of the items on the list as no longer his. (thx, michael and justin)

Roommate Wanted: Share My West Village Pad. “

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 21, 2007

Roommate Wanted: Share My West Village Pad. “Ideally, you do not have ‘a lot’ of friends (i.e., any). But if you do, they cannot visit the apartment at any time.”

The Wisdom of Children, including A Conversation

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 21, 2007

The Wisdom of Children, including A Conversation at the Grownup Table, as Imagined at the Kids’ Table and How College Kids Imagine the United States Government. “FRIEND FROM WORK: I am the loudest! I am the loudest! MOM: I had a lot of wine, and now I’m crazy!”

The Onion: I Support The Occupation Of

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 20, 2007

The Onion: I Support The Occupation Of Iraq, But I Don’t Support Our Troops.

A suggested entry for New York City

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 12, 2007

A suggested entry for New York City for Conservapedia, a Wikipedia without the liberal bias. “The city’s population is often reported by the mainstream media to be as high as 8 million — but a rigorous count of actual Americans, using the methods of Adjusted Freedom Demography pioneered by Smorgensen in the Patriot Census of 2005 (i.e., excluding immigrants, Jews, ivory-tower communists, and nonrepresentational artists, and counting only three-fifths of descendants of African slaves, as originally intended by the Framers), reveals that New York City’s population of legitimate Americans is actually only 312.”

Some other Zapruder films include Nancy Reagan

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 06, 2007

Some other Zapruder films include Nancy Reagan Fells a Deer and Ricky Zapruder’s Birthday Party.

A dad sings NWA’s Fuck The Police

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 05, 2007

A dad sings NWA’s Fuck The Police to his young son using some creative realtime censorship. “‘Cause he’ll tickle you ‘til you’re giggling.” (via the grumpiest)

Video of a standup economist translating the 10

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 01, 2007

Video of a standup economist translating the 10 principles of economics into something a little funnier. Here’s the guy’s web site. (thx, barry)

Things I Desperately Wish Women Would Say

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 26, 2007

Things I Desperately Wish Women Would Say to Me on First Dates. “Is that an XXL Magic: The Gathering shirt? Plus five to Gryffindor!” (via fimoculous)

Tremble funnyman Todd Levin dons the Non-Expert’s

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 19, 2007

Tremble funnyman Todd Levin dons the Non-Expert’s hat over at The Morning News to explain how to buy wine. “FANCY SERIF FONT + PARCHMENT LABEL + SOMETHING YOU KIND OF REMEMBERED FROM THE MOVIE SIDEWAYS + $12-$16 PRICE TAG = SUCCESS”

Amazon Recommendations Understand Area Woman Better Than Husband.

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 09, 2007

Amazon Recommendations Understand Area Woman Better Than Husband.