August 3, 2018

What the Hell is a Scutoid??—a REAL Explanation

from Gómez-Gálvez et. al
If you’ve seen the recent headlines of “Scientists Discover NEW SHAPE!,” then you’ve been touched by bad science reporting.

If you skimmed an article or two and came away thinking, so what the f*ck is a SCUTOID, or, why the f*ck is a scutoid, it’s also not really your fault. Though the new-not-new scutoid is a fairly simple 3D shape, explaining why it exists and what it does involves referencing cellular biology, tiling, geometric projection, and Voronoi diagrams; in passing, entomology; and optionally, Steiner trees.

Here we go.

April 8, 2018

March 31, 2018

Easter Fools’ Day Pranks

For many of us, today marks the first EASTER FOOLS’ DAY in our lifetimes: the last time it happened was in 1956. Hope you’ve been busy brainstorming for the last 60 years… Let’s dive right in!

If you have swimming pool: find an Easter Bunny suit, or a large stuffed animal rabbit, tie weights to it, and sink it in the pool. Take several Easter baskets and eggs and fake grass and throw them in the water. On Easter morning, burst into the kids’ room and stammer tearfully, “Oh no oh no! There’s been a terrible accident!”

November 19, 2017

Justice Fatigue

Deleted Scenes and Should-Be-Deleted Scenes from Justice League


[Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons work on a construction project.]
MENALIPPE: My queen, the chamber shall be completed as scheduled. Only…
MENALIPPE: Do you not think the Mother Box would be safer inside a, a fortress, instead of a round theatre?
HIPPOLYTA: It shall suffice.
VENELIA: My queen, or what about in a vault deep underground?
HIPPOLYTA: No, no, this circular room is best. With the Mother Box on this central pedestal, we can keep arrows aimed at it from all angles.
VENELIA: If we’re in a circle, all pointing arrows at the center…won’t we be shooting each other?
MENALIPPE: My queen, also, about the plan to not have doors…
HIPPOLYTA: You mean heavy stone walls which will drop once their support logs are smashed with hammers?
MENALIPPE: Yes. Are you sure you just don’t want to use hinges? On big metal doors…maybe attached to a fortress?
HIPPOLYTA: This is the only way.

*   *   *

[Watching the Batcave monitors]
ALFRED: It appears the parademons feed on fear.
BATMAN: Wait, Alfred! That picture…zoom in. Behind all the drones. Right…there!
ALFRED: Dear lord, is that—
BATMAN: Yes, it’s the Scarecrow!
ALFRED: And the evil clown from It!

*   *   *

[Aquaman slams his quindent down into the floor, blocking the wall of water rushing down the tunnel towards them.]
BATMAN: Luckily, we have Aquaman on our side. He can make water talk to fish. He has water under total control.
[Aquaman gets washed away]
*   *   *

[Aboard the Batplane]
BATMAN: We just have to make it through the night.
WONDER WOMAN: Get through tonight’s giant battle, that will start soon?
BATMAN: Yup. Want a large glass of whiskey?
WONDER WOMAN: Shouldn’t we be preparing for the war, or at least staying sober for it?
BATMAN: Ehhhh. I’m wearing an animal suit with ears and about to punch aliens.

*   *   *

[In the Batcave]
BATMAN: How much time do we have?
ALFRED: Two hours!
BATMAN: My plane can’t go that fast.
CYBORG: It can if I’M driving.
[The Batplane, not designed for supersonic flight, loses structural integrity above the Atlantic Ocean and breaks into 47 pieces]
CYBORG: …Recalculating.

*   *   *

[A truckful of people flee the growing alien vines. The Flash grabs hold of the truck.]
THE FLASH: Hold on!
[The Flash zooms the truck out of harm’s way.]
SUPERMAN: I can one-up you! I’m gonna pick up this entire building full of people with my bare hands and fly it to safety…
[Superman picks up the long building from the center and lifts it into the air. Since the foundation is designed to support weight evenly and not at a single point, it buckles. The ends of the building crumble downwards, shearing the entire structure into fragments. Glass and mortar and people fall from the sky.]
THE FLASH: You win.

*   *   *

[The League relaxes on a cliff, looking down as strange and beautiful blue flowers sprout from the alien vines that blanket the town below.]
SUPERMAN: I’m glad I got to see this.
BATMAN: You know this used to be people’s homes, right? A town?
CYBORG: I was worried the alien vines were going to usher in a nightmarish hellscape world, like the one on which the oddly Germanically-named Steppenwolf grew up.
BATMAN: No. He just hated flowers. He was…so evil.
THE FLASH: I want alien flowers! Oh look, that little girl is picking some. How cute—
CYBORG: Wait, don’t touch that—we don’t know if it’s—
[The girl, poisoned by unidentifiable and incurable extraterrestrial toxins, collapses and dies immediately.]
BATMAN: Dammit.