Archive for August 4th, 2010

August 4, 2010

Rule 34

rule 34

Rule 34 is a generally accepted internet observation which states: ‘If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.’ It implies that there is a sexual fetish for every conceivable subject matter. It originated from a 2003 webcomic drawn by Peter Morley-Souter to depict his shock at seeing Calvin and Hobbes parody porn. Morley-Souter posted his comic on the United Kingdom website ‘Zoom-Out in 2004,’ and it has been widely reproduced. ‘Boing Boing’ blogger Cory Doctorow writes of the meme: ‘Rule 34 can be thought of as a kind of indictment of the Web as a cesspit of freaks, geeks, and weirdos, but seen through the lens of cosmopolitanism,’ which ‘bespeaks a certain sophistication—a gourmet approach to life.’

The conundrum of finding an Internet pornographic exception to Rule 34’s ‘No exceptions’ led to Rule 35: ‘If no porn is found at the moment, it will be made.’

August 4, 2010

Godwin’s Law


Godwin’s law is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: ‘As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.’ In other words, given enough time, all discussions —regardless of topic or scope —inevitably wind up being about Hitler and the Nazis. Also the poster who mentioned Nazis loses all debates/discussions they had in said topic, and their insults are nullified. Godwin’s law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread reductio ad Hitlerum form.

The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact. Although in one of its early forms Godwin’s law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads, wiki talk pages, and social networking sites.

August 4, 2010

Pony Bottle

A pony bottle is a small diving cylinder, often of only a few litres capacity, which is filled from a main tank before a dive and fitted with its own independent regulator. In an emergency, such as exhaustion of the diver’s main air supply, it can be used as an alternate air source in place of a controlled emergency swimming ascent. By comparison a bailout bottle, which serves a similar purpose, is both smaller and has a regulator integrated into the cylinder. Since their introduction in the 1980s, bailout bottles have been the subject of debate within the diving community.

The argument against bailout bottles is that they do not have sufficient capacity to get a diver in many emergency situations back to the surface safely, and thus cause divers to feel a false sense of safety. A review carried out by Scuba Diving magazine attempted to give a sense of from what depth bailout bottles of various capacities could get divers to the surface under maximum safe ascent rates. The review found that a 1.7 cubic foot bottle had sufficient air to get the reviewing diver from 45 feet to the surface; a 3 cubic foot bottle from a depth of 70 feet; and a 6 cubic foot bottle from the maximum reviewed depth of 132 feet.