A True Story (Ancient Greek: Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα, Alēthē diēgēmata; Latin: Vera Historia or Latin: Verae Historiae) is a novel written in the second century AD by Lucian of Samosata, a Greek-speaking author of Assyrian descent. The novel is a satire of outlandish tales which had been reported in ancient sources, particularly those which presented fantastic or mythical events as if they were true. It is Lucian's best-known work.
It is the earliest known work of fiction to include travel to outer space, alien lifeforms, and interplanetary warfare. As such, A True Story has been described as "the first known text that could be called science fiction". However the work does not fit into typical literary genres: its multilayered plot and characters have been interpreted as science fiction, fantasy, satire or parody, and have been the subject of much scholarly debate.
- "A True Story" | 2018-10-15 | 525 Upvotes 72 Comments
A Request for Comments (RFC), in the context of Internet governance, is a type of publication from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Society (ISOC), usually describing methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet and Internet-connected systems.
Almost every April Fools' Day (1 April) since 1989, the Internet RFC Editor has published one or more humorous Request for Comments (RFC) documents, following in the path blazed by the June 1973 RFC 527 called ARPAWOCKY, a parody of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". The following list also includes humorous RFCs published on other dates.
Bored of the Rings is a parody of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. This short novel was written by Henry Beard and Douglas Kenney, who later founded National Lampoon. It was published in 1969 by Signet for the Harvard Lampoon. In 2013, an audio version was produced by Orion Audiobooks, narrated by Rupert Degas.
- "Bored of the Rings" | 2017-07-08 | 55 Upvotes 22 Comments
The Dreadnought hoax was a practical joke pulled by Horace de Vere Cole in 1910. Cole tricked the Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the battleship HMS Dreadnought, to a fake delegation of Abyssinian royals. The hoax drew attention in Britain to the emergence of the Bloomsbury Group, among whom some of Cole's collaborators numbered. The hoax was a repeat of a similar impersonation which Cole and Adrian Stephen had organised while they were students at Cambridge in 1905.
- "Dreadnought hoax" | 2014-10-28 | 98 Upvotes 41 Comments
@dril is a pseudonymous Twitter user best known for his idiosyncratic style of absurdist humor and non sequiturs. The account, its author, and the character associated with the tweets are all commonly referred to as dril (the handle without the at sign) or wint (the account's display name), both rendered lowercase but often capitalized by others. Since his first tweet in 2008, dril has become a popular and influential Twitter user with more than one million followers.
dril is one of the most notable accounts associated with "Weird Twitter", a subculture on the site that shares a surreal, ironic sense of humor. The character associated with dril is highly distinctive, often described as a bizarre reflection of a typical male American Internet user. Other social media users have repurposed dril's tweets for humorous or satiric effect in a variety of political and cultural contexts. Many of dril's tweets, phrases, and tropes have become familiar parts of Internet slang.
The author behind dril remained unknown for years, with the few available details about the author's life fueling speculation about his identity. In 2017, dril's author was "doxxed" (in other words, his identity was exposed) in a post that went viral and received media attention. After the doxxing, many Twitter users and journalists preferred to preserve dril's pseudonymity out of respect for the author's personal privacy and the character's mystique.
Beyond tweeting, dril has created animated short films and contributed illustrations and writing to other artists' collaborative projects. His first book, Dril Official "Mr. Ten Years" Anniversary Collection (2018), is a compilation of the account's "greatest hits" alongside new illustrations. In 2019 he announced the launch of a streaming web series called Truthpoint: Darkweb Rising, an InfoWars parody co-created with comedian Derek Estevez-Olsen for Adult Swim. Writers have praised dril for the originality and humor of his tweets; for example, the poet Patricia Lockwood called dril "a master of tone [and] character," and The A.V. Club dubbed him "arguably the most iconic Twitter account in the history of social media."
- "Dril" | 2019-11-24 | 56 Upvotes 4 Comments
An esoteric programming language (sometimes shortened to esolang) is a programming language designed to test the boundaries of computer programming language design, as a proof of concept, as software art, as a hacking interface to another language (particularly functional programming or procedural programming languages), or as a joke. The use of esoteric distinguishes these languages from programming languages that working developers use to write software. Usually, an esolang's creators do not intend the language to be used for mainstream programming, although some esoteric features, such as visuospatial syntax, have inspired practical applications in the arts. Such languages are often popular among hackers and hobbyists.
Usability is rarely a goal for esoteric programming language designers—often the design leads to quite the opposite. Their usual aim is to remove or replace conventional language features while still maintaining a language that is Turing-complete, or even one for which the computational class is unknown.
- "Piet is a programming language, whose programs look like abstract art." | 2010-03-04 | 99 Upvotes 28 Comments
Everybody Draw Mohammed Day (or Draw Mohammed Day) was a 2010 event in support of artists threatened with violence for drawing representations of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It stemmed from a protest against censorship of the American television show South Park episode "201", led by the show's distributor Comedy Central, in response to death threats that had been made against some of those responsible for two segments broadcast in April 2010. A drawing representing Mohammed was posted on the Internet on April 20, 2010, with a message suggesting that "everybody" create a drawing depicting Mohammad on May 20 in support of free speech.
U.S. cartoonist Molly Norris of Seattle, Washington created the artwork in reaction to Internet death threats that had been made against animators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for depicting Muhammad in an episode of South Park. Postings on RevolutionMuslim.com (under the pen name Abu Talha al-Amrikee; later identified as Zachary Adam Chesser) had said that Parker and Stone could wind up like Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was stabbed and shot to death.
Norris claimed that, if people draw pictures of Muhammad, radical Islamist terrorists would not be able to murder them all, and threats to do so would become unrealistic. Within a week, Norris' idea became popular on Facebook, was supported by numerous bloggers, and generated coverage on the blog websites of major U.S. newspapers. As the publicity mounted, Norris and the man who created the first Facebook page promoting the May 20 event disassociated themselves from it. Nonetheless, planning for the protest continued with others "taking up the cause". Facebook had an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" page, which grew to over 100,000 participants (101,870 members by May 20). A protest page on Facebook against the initiative named "Against ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'" attracted slightly more supporters (106,000 by May 20). Subsequently, Facebook was temporarily blocked by Pakistan; the ban was lifted after Facebook agreed to block the page for users in India and Pakistan.
In the media, Everybody Draw Mohammed Day attracted support from commentators who felt that the campaign represented important issues of freedom of speech, and the need to stand up for this freedom.
- "Today is Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" | 2010-05-20 | 93 Upvotes 196 Comments
Lord Buckethead is a satirical political candidate who has stood in four British general elections since 1987, portrayed by several individuals.
The character, an intergalactic villain similar to the Star Wars character Darth Vader, was created by American filmmaker Todd Durham for his 1984 science fiction film Hyperspace. British video distributor Mike Lee adopted Lord Buckethead to stand in the 1987 UK general election and again in the 1992 general election. The character went unused until comedian Jonathan Harvey stood as Lord Buckethead in the 2017 general election; his televised appearance standing next to prime minister Theresa May went viral, drawing media coverage and an online following.
After the 2017 election, Durham asserted his ownership of the character and displaced Harvey. With Durham's authorisation, Lord Buckethead returned in 2019, now played by David Hughes; he appeared at People’s Vote rallies calling for a second Brexit referendum, and stood in the 2019 general election representing the Monster Raving Loony Party. Harvey also stood, using a new character, Count Binface.
Stańczyk (c. 1480–1560) (Polish pronunciation: [ˈstaɲt͡ʂɨk]) was a Polish court jester, the most famous in Polish history. He was employed by three Polish kings: Alexander, Sigismund the Old and Sigismund Augustus.
- "Stańczyk" | 2019-10-01 | 142 Upvotes 13 Comments