Category Archives: funny

Building Your HENJ

A little how-to humor for you from How to be a Retronaut.

[via Neatorama]

Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D

I love this elegant, clear, and funny explanation from University of Utah Assistant Professor Matt Might.

Every fall, I explain to a fresh batch of Ph.D. students what a Ph.D. is.

It’s hard to describe it in words.

So, I use pictures.

PhDKnowledge.004

[via @catgrin]

Vonnegut’s Story Graphs

I love the way Kurt Vonnegut explained stories through graphs, described here by Derek Sivers.



Back in 1994, I saw Vonnegut do a version of this exercise in person, on a blackboard at Duke. In the lecture I saw, Vonnegut explained that Hamlet was the epitome of real drama, since unlike Cinderella, the story graph is pretty much a straight line. Essentially, Hamlet never learns whether anything that happens is good or bad and nothing is resolved, just like in life. Here’s the published version of the lecture, from A Man Without a Country (scroll down to the *):



Incidentally, Vonnegut made the best exit of any public speaker I’ve ever seen. At the end of his speech, he begrudgingly offered to take questions from the audience, as requested by the Duke speaker organizers. He answered a few fairly lame ones, including a teacher asking what one book should he get his students to read, assuming they would only read one (Vonnegut: “I suppose Genesis is a good place to start.”) Finally, he muttered, “I don’t think much of your questions. Goodnight,” and strolled off stage.

[via @gregg]

The New Math Explains

I love these.



Chemistry Dance Party

Not a lot of actual explanation here, but extra points for style.



[via Neatorama]

How Amused Are You?

I’m a “haha” person via instant message (rather than an LOL or heh person), so this is a most welcome meter.



[via ffffound]

Don’t Forget Your Time Travel Cheat Sheet

YesButNoButYes has put together a handy sheet explaining the important bits of human knowledge, suitable for tacking up in your time machine.


cheatsheet_ybnby

Bjork Explains How TV Works

It has something to do with the little city inside.



Also, an important safety tip: you shouldn’t let poets lie to you.

[via Boing Boing]

The Difference Between $165 million and $170 billion

xkcd is here to clear things up:


xkcd comic