Topic: Popular Culture
The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act (COVFEFE Act) is a bill introduced into the United States House of Representatives in 2017 (on June 12), during the 115th United States Congress.
The bill would amend the Presidential Records Act to preserve Twitter posts and other social media interactions of the President of the United States, and to require the National Archives to store such items.
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, introduced the legislation in the wake of Donald Trump's routine use of Twitter, stating "In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets. If the president is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference." If enacted, the bill "would bar the prolifically tweeting president from deleting his posts, as he has sometimes done."
If the bill were enacted, it would see US law treat US presidents' personal social media accounts (such as Trump's "@realDonaldTrump" Twitter account) the same as "official" social media accounts (such as the "@POTUS" Twitter account).
The list of commercial failures in video games includes any video game software on any platform, and any video game console hardware, of all time. As a hit-driven business, the great majority of the video game industry's software releases have been commercial failures. In the early 21st century, industry commentators made these general estimates: 10% of published games generated 90% of revenue; that around 3% of PC games and 15% of console games have global sales of more than 100,000 units per year, with even this level insufficient to make high-budget games profitable; and that about 20% of games make any profit.
Some of these failure events have drastically changed the video game market since its origin in the late 1970s. For example, the failures of E.T. and Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 contributed to the video game crash of 1983. Some games, though commercial failures, are well received by certain groups of gamers and are considered cult games.
- "List of commercial failures in video games" | 2020-03-09 | 21 Upvotes 20 Comments
This is a list of common misconceptions. Each entry is formatted as a correction; the misconceptions themselves are implied rather than stated. These entries are meant to be concise, but more detail can be found in the main subject articles.
This is a list of fictional stories that, when written, were set in the future, but the future they predicted is now present or past. The list excludes works that were alternate histories, which were composed after the dates they depict, alternative futures, as depicted in time travel fiction, as well as any works that make no predictions of the future, such as those focusing solely on the future lives of specific fictional characters, or works which, despite their claimed dates, are contemporary in all but name. Entries referencing the current year may be added if their month and day were not specified or have already occurred.
- "List of stories set in a future now past" | 2019-02-06 | 186 Upvotes 140 Comments
A self-replicating machine is a type of autonomous robot that is capable of reproducing itself autonomously using raw materials found in the environment, thus exhibiting self-replication in a way analogous to that found in nature. Such machines are often featured in works of science fiction.
The Vulcan salutation is a hand gesture popularized by the 1960s television series Star Trek. It consists of a raised hand with the palm forward and the thumb extended, while the fingers are parted between the middle and ring finger.
- "Vulcan Salute (Handshake Alternative, U+1F596)" | 2020-03-31 | 43 Upvotes 39 Comments
Retrofuturism (adjective retrofuturistic or retrofuture) is a movement in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future produced in an earlier era. If futurism is sometimes called a "science" bent on anticipating what will come, retrofuturism is the remembering of that anticipation. Characterized by a blend of old-fashioned "retro styles" with futuristic technology, retrofuturism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. Primarily reflected in artistic creations and modified technologies that realize the imagined artifacts of its parallel reality, retrofuturism can be seen as "an animating perspective on the world". However, it has also manifested in the worlds of fashion, architecture, design, music, literature, film, and video games.
- "Retrofuturism" | 2020-05-05 | 171 Upvotes 78 Comments
In a jury trial, a Chewbacca defense is a legal strategy in which a criminal defense lawyer tries to confuse the jury rather than refute the case of the prosecutor. It is an intentional distraction or obfuscation.
As a Chewbacca defense distracts and misleads, it is an example of a red herring. It is also an example of an irrelevant conclusion, a type of informal fallacy in which one making an argument fails to address the issue in question. Often an opposing counsel can legally object to such arguments by declaring them irrelevant, character evidence, or argumentative.
The name Chewbacca defense comes from "Chef Aid", an episode of the American animated series South Park. The episode, which premiered on October 7, 1998, satirizes the O. J. Simpson murder trial—particularly attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument for the defense. In the episode, Cochran (voiced by Trey Parker) bases his argument on a false premise about the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. He asks the jury why a Wookiee like Chewbacca would want to live on Endor with the much smaller Ewoks when "it does not make sense". He argues that if Chewbacca living on Endor does not make sense—and if even mentioning Chewbacca in the case does not make sense—then the jury must acquit.
In the Simpson murder trial, the real Johnnie Cochran tried to convince jurors that a glove found at the crime scene, alleged to have been left by the killer, could not be Simpson's because it did not fit Simpson's hand. Because the prosecution relied on the glove as evidence of Simpson's presence at the scene, Cochran argued that the lack of fit proved Simpson's innocence: "It makes no sense; it doesn't fit; if it doesn't fit, you must acquit." "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" was a refrain that Cochran also used in response to other points of the case.
A helicopter prison escape is made when an inmate escapes from a prison by means of a helicopter. This list includes prisoner escapes where a helicopter was used in an attempt to free prisoners from a place of internment, a prison or correctional facility.
One of the earliest instances of using a helicopter to escape a prison was the escape of Joel David Kaplan, nicknamed "Man Fan", on August 19, 1971 from the Santa Martha Acatitla in Mexico. Kaplan was a New York businessman who not only escaped the prison but eventually got out of Mexico and went on to write a book about his experience, The 10-Second Jailbreak.
France has had more recorded helicopter escape attempts than any other country, with at least 11. One of the most notable French jail breaks occurred in 1986, when the wife of bank robber Michel Vaujour studied for months to learn how to fly a helicopter. Using her newly acquired skills, she rented a white helicopter and flew low over Paris to pluck her husband off the roof of his fortress prison. Vaujour was later seriously wounded in a shootout with police, and his pilot wife was arrested.
The record for most helicopter escapes goes to convicted murderer Pascal Payet, who has used helicopters to escape from prisons in 2001, 2003, and most recently 2007.
Another multiple helicopter escapee is Vasilis Paleokostas who on February 22, 2009 escaped for the second time from the same prison. Because of this, many prisons have taken applicable precautions, such as nets or cables strung over open prison courtyards.
- "List of Helicopter Prison Escapes" | 2021-02-06 | 17 Upvotes 4 Comments
Muphry's law is an adage that states: "If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written." The name is a deliberate misspelling of "Murphy's law".
Names for variations on the principle have also been coined, usually in the context of online communication, including:
- Umhoefer's or Umhöfer's rule: "Articles on writing are themselves badly written." Named after editor Joseph A. Umhoefer.
- Skitt's law: "Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself." Named after Skitt, a contributor to alt.usage.english on Usenet.
- Hartman's law of prescriptivist retaliation: "Any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror [sic]." Named after editor and writer Jed Hartman.
- The iron law of nitpicking: "You are never more likely to make a grammatical error than when correcting someone else's grammar." Coined by blogger Zeno.
- McKean's law: "Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error."
- Bell's first law of Usenet: "Flames of spelling and/or grammar will have spelling and/or grammatical errors." Named after Andrew Bell, a contributor to alt.sex on Usenet.
Further variations state that flaws in a printed ("Clark's document law") or published work ("Barker's proof") will only be discovered after it is printed and not during proofreading, and flaws such as spelling errors in a sent email will be discovered by the sender only during rereading from the "Sent" box.
- "Muphry's Law" | 2021-05-26 | 11 Upvotes 1 Comments