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SIRI Opens the Gates of Hades, and Other Interesting Things

It’s the week of Christmas, and you’re only sort of going through the motions at work.  So here are some more interesting things to read and think about, though all non-IF related.

Your OED Birthday Word

The OED has a fun search tool that you can use to see which word originated in the year of your birth.  The word for my year was “Internet.”  Perhaps a premonition of my life to come.  What is the word for your year?

Twitter Royalty

Did you know that if you have more than 1000 followers on Twitter, it puts you in the top 4% of Twitter users.  Meaning, 96% of people on Twitter have under 1000 followers.  While it may feel as if everyone and her mother is on Twitter, the real numbers are very different.

According to the Daily Dot, “The vast majority of Twitter users basically haven’t used their accounts since creating them, and they generally have one follower or less.  Among active users, the median follower number is 117. This means that more people are following than being followed.”

So… it’s interesting to see the hard numbers and then to also see things like the implosion of Justine Sacco play out.  Is everyone on Twitter, or are few people on Twitter, or do people run to Twitter just to watch trainwrecks when the people who are actually on Twitter call them over to see?

The Justine Sacco thing made me sad, actually.  The stupidity of the tweet, the piling on and glee at her insensitivity, and then the self-righteousness of believing justice had been served.  The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth from start to finish, and I only heard about it in retrospect.

SIRI and the Gates of Hades

If you ask Siri, “what is July 27,” Siri will tell you:

Siri 1

And if you ask her, “what is September 3,” Siri will say:

Siri 2

Isn’t that… odd?

I read about this trick on the Daily Dot, and the most common explanation I’ve read is a glitch on Wolfram Alpha.  But still… I will be looking around cautiously on July 27th.

The Memories You Inherited

Linda sent me an interesting article on how memories are passed through families.  It sounds like they were looking at traumatic memories; nothing about good memories or a fondness for things was mentioned.  So, for example, if I developed a fear of crickets, and then I had children, even if they weren’t raised in my cricket-hating house, they would have inherited my fear of crickets.  Or something like that.

Or perhaps not since the study was related to smell.  And my fear of crickets is not tied to smell.  Though I despise perfume.  Maybe I’ve passed that along to the twins since they also seem to dislike perfume.  Or maybe they’re just saying that to bond with me because they know I don’t like perfume.  Either/or.

Your thoughts on any of these things, or tell us some interesting things you read this week.


1 Casey { 12.23.13 at 9:40 am }

I’m very pleased that my birthday word is ‘affogato’ – an Italian dessert made of coffee and ice-cream. Thanks for the other items. 🙂

2 Jo { 12.23.13 at 10:01 am }

My birthday word is “chill pill,” a memo I obviously never got.

3 KeAnne { 12.23.13 at 10:43 am }

My word is “nip and tuck” which seems appropriate given that I’m noticing increasing signs of aging seemingly daily :-/

I’ve always wanted to be royalty, so it’s nice to know that I have achieved royalty status on Twitter LOL.

Siri…that’s really weird!

4 Sharon { 12.23.13 at 10:53 am }

Aw man: I couldn’t search my birthday word because I don’t subscribe to OED. (March 1971, if anyone wants to check. . . ?)

5 Northern Star { 12.23.13 at 11:02 am }

My year – foodie! Appropriate too … considering I love food.

6 Monica { 12.23.13 at 11:34 am }

Today is my birthday and my birth year word (1972 – yes, I’m 41) is guilt trip. mmmm, I’ve been known put some people on that…and also take a few myself.

7 Shana { 12.23.13 at 12:10 pm }

My birth year word is recyclist. How appropriate for my household! That’s a fun little time waster when I should be working.

8 Tigger { 12.23.13 at 1:48 pm }

My word is “nip n tuck”. Really?! My husband’s is “foodie” and my son’s isn’t even available yet.

9 Sian { 12.23.13 at 1:51 pm }

Sharon your word for 1971 is reboot :). My word for 1978 is gazillion. Interesting to look through different years. My mother was born in 1953 and the word for that year was frenemy who knew that word was so old!

10 Karen (formerly Serenity) { 12.23.13 at 9:03 pm }

Siri didn’t work for me immediately; for some reason the bug isn’t there on the Australian one. (I like her best!) but it did for every other English voice… 🙂

11 Karen (formerly Serenity) { 12.23.13 at 9:05 pm }

Also; my word was “brainiac!!”

12 a { 12.23.13 at 10:47 pm }

My word is megastar.

13 Mali { 12.23.13 at 11:53 pm }

I feel REALLY old reading this! And slightly depressed. Everyone else got cool words. My word was “blag.” (blag, n.
Meaning: An attempt to obtain or achieve something by persuasive talk or plausible deception; a tall story, a bluff or pretence; a hoax or con)

14 a { 12.24.13 at 3:08 pm }

Also, regarding the memory thing…it’s probably a lot easier to make rats unhappy than it is to make them happy. And avoidance of unpleasant things is an important evolutionary skill, whereas non-avoidance of pleasant things is not all that useful. All I know is that the genetic passing down of anxiety is making me crazy – my husband’s family is filled with anxious people. My family is not. My daughter seems to have caught the anxiety gene and worries about the most absurd, unrealistic things. She’s got a worst-case scenario for everything! I’m working on mutating her back to a calmer, more logical thought process. Otherwise, those tween and teen years are going to be rough!

15 FKADL { 12.26.13 at 8:49 pm }

My daughter’s birth mother hates shrimp, salad, broccoli, all sorts of things. Yet my daughter eats everything. I hate onions and my grandfather hates onions, but I’m wondering if my hatred is because I watched him pick then out, or because my mother overcompensated because she grew up with a lack of onions. Nature goes only so far.

16 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 01.02.14 at 6:17 am }

Nip and tuck. There you go. That is my birthday word.

That SIRI thing is way weirder.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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