Archive for ‘Humor’

December 10, 2018

Belsnickel

Belsnickel is a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer figure in the folklore of the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany along the Rhine, the Saarland, and the Odenwald area of Baden-Württemberg. The figure is also preserved in Pennsylvania Dutch communities.

Belsnickel is related to other companions of Saint Nicholas in the folklore of German-speaking Europe. He may have been based on another older German myth, ‘Knecht Ruprecht,’ a servant of Saint Nicholas, and a character from northern Germany. Unlike those figures, Belsnickel does not accompany Saint Nicholas but instead visits alone and combines both the threatening and the benign aspects which in other traditions are divided between the Saint Nicholas and the companion figure.

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November 7, 2018

Tube Man

Peter Minshall

tube man, also known as a ‘skydancer,’ ‘air dancer,’ and originally called the ‘Tall Boy,’ is an inflatable moving advertising product comprising a long fabric tube (with two or more outlets), which is attached to and powered by an electrical fan. As the electrical fan blows air through the fabric tube, this causes the tube to move about in a dynamic dancing or flailing motion.

The design of the tube man was invented by Peter Minshall, an artist from Trinidad and Tobago, along with a team that included Israeli artist Doron Gazit, for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Gazit eventually patented the concept of an inflatable, dancing human-shaped balloon and licensed the patent to various companies that manufacture and sell the devices.

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November 5, 2018

Dumb Starbucks

Nathan Fielder

Dumb Starbucks is the fifth episode of the second season of the American television docu-reality comedy series ‘Nathan for You,’ and the thirteenth overall episode of the series. Written by series co-creators Nathan Fielder and Michael Koman, as well as Dan Mintz, it first aired on Comedy Central in 2014.

In the series, Fielder plays an off-kilter version of himself, who tries to use his business background and experiences to help struggling companies and people, offering them strategies that no traditional business consultant would dare.

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October 3, 2018

Florida Man

Florida Man is an Internet meme that typically consists of links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes or events occurring in Florida, particularly those where the headline refers to the subject as ‘Florida Man,’ calling attention to Florida’s apparent notoriety for strange and unusual activity. It also implies that the consumer is to consider this ‘Florida Man’ to be an individual wreaking havoc rather than multiple people being referred to by the same title.

‘Miami New Times’ noted that freedom of information laws in Florida make it easier for journalists to obtain information about arrests from the police than in other states and that this is responsible for the large number of news articles.

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September 25, 2018

Toga Party

Animal House

toga party is a type of costume party in which attendees are expected to wear a toga, a distinctive garment of Ancient Rome, normally made from a bed sheet, and sandals. Toga parties held by college or university students are associated with keg parties and excessive drinking.

The earliest known college toga parties took place in the early 1950s. Decades before such Greek-themed parties became known as ‘toga parties,’ similar parties, generally called ‘bed sheet and pillow slip’ parties (or simply, ‘pillow slip’ parties), in which attendees wrapped themselves in sheets and pillow cases, were regularly held by fraternal orders (like the Masons, Odd Fellows, and Elks), civic organizations, and church groups.

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September 9, 2018

Wojak

NPC meme

Wojak (Polish: ‘warrior, soldier’), also known as ‘feels guy,’ is a popular internet meme. Depicting a nondescript white man, it is used to generically express emotions such as melancholy, regret, or loneliness. It is often paired with Pepe the Frog.

A variation of Wojak with a gray face, pointy nose and blank expression became a popular visual representation of the ‘NPC meme,’ which gained online notoriety in late 2018. The meme began as a mockery of individuals who appear to lack an internal monologue, comparing them to non-playable characters in video games. The meme gained media attention due to its later usage parodying the alleged herd mentality of liberal activists. This controversial usage of the meme has been attributed to Donald Trump supporters.

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September 6, 2018

Barbie Liberation Organization

Igor Vamos

The Barbie Liberation Organization or BLO, sponsored by RTMark (an anti-consumerist activist collective), are a group of artists and activists involved in culture jamming.

They gained notoriety in 1993 by switching the voice boxes on talking G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls. The BLO performed ‘surgery’ on a reported 300–500 dolls and then returned them to the shelves of stores, an action they refer to as reverse shoplifting or ‘shopgiving.’ This action resulted in girls opening their new Teen Talk Barbie to hear it say phrases such as ‘vengeance is mine’ and boys hearing their G.I. Joe say ‘The beach is the place for summer.’

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August 26, 2018

Deez Nuts

Deez Nuts

Deez Nuts was a satirical candidate, portrayed by 15-year-old Brady C. Olson of Wallingford, Iowa, who ran in the 2016 United States presidential election. In polls conducted by Public Policy Polling in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Carolina in mid-August 2015, he polled at 8, 8, and 9-percent respectively, garnering the attention of the media.

On October 11, 2015, Deez Nuts announced on his Facebook page his intention to run for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, citing his eligibility despite not being a member of the House itself and the scarcity of candidates. A poll performed in mid-August 2016 shows Deez Nuts slightly edging out Harambe (a gorilla killed that year at the Cincinnati Zoo) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein in Texas, with 3% of the vote. Deez Nuts was endorsed by the man behind the original ‘Deez Nuts’ skit, hip-hop artist Warren G. Rapper Ice T also endorsed the candidate.

August 13, 2018

Little League Home Run

baseball error

Little League home run is a play in baseball during which a batter scores a run during his plate appearance with the aid of one or more errors committed by the fielding team.

It is so called because the play is presumably evocative of how young children in the process of learning how to play the sport frequently commit fielding and throwing errors that allow batters (as well as runners already on base during the at bat) to take more bases than they might otherwise normally take on the batted ball put into play. The term stems from Little League Baseball, founded in 1939 as an organizing body for local youth baseball and softball leagues throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

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July 4, 2018

Marc Maron

Marc Maron (b. 1963) is an American stand-up comedian, podcaster, writer and actor.

In 2009, Maron began hosting the twice-weekly podcast ‘WTF with Marc Maron’ where he interviews comedians, authors, musicians, and celebrities in his garage in Highland Park, Los Angeles. From 2013 to 2016, he starred and executive produced in his own IFC television comedy series, ‘Maron,’ a loosely autobiographical show, revolving around his life as a twice-divorced, sober comedian running a comedy podcast out of his garage. Since 2017, he has co-starred in the Netflix comedy series ‘GLOW.’

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July 1, 2018

Cat Lady

Eleanor Abernathy

cat lady is a cultural archetype or a stock character, often depicted as a woman, a middle-aged or elderly spinster, who owns many pet cats. The term can be considered pejorative, though it is sometimes embraced.

A cat lady may also be an animal hoarder who keeps large numbers of cats without having the ability to properly house or care for them. They may be ignorant about their situation, or generally unaware of their situation. People who are aware of it are not normally considered cat ladies.

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April 6, 2018

Chernoff Face

Chernoff

Chernoff faces, invented by American statistician Herman Chernoff in 1973, display multivariate data in the shape of a human face. The individual parts, such as eyes, ears, mouth and nose represent values of the variables by their shape, size, placement and orientation.

The idea behind using faces is that humans easily recognize faces and notice small changes without difficulty. Chernoff faces handle each variable differently. Because the features of the faces vary in perceived importance, the way in which variables are mapped to the features should be carefully chosen (e.g. eye size and eyebrow-slant have been found to carry significant weight). 

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