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