Everyone loves getting blown on a Friday. Mind-blown, that is. So without further ado, here's a bunch of stuff for your "I could work, but why?" period this afternoon.

1. The proper plural for "octopus" is "octopodes", and Britney Spears is a perfect anagram for "Presbyterians."

2. In this staggeringly interesting Fresh Air interview, voice actor Billy West (Futurama, etc.) describes how his research and preparation for voicing Popeye required mastering the art of Tuvan throat-singing. Apparently original voice actor Jack Mercer had unwittingly employed it to create the classic Popeye voice in the 1940s. Listen to this interview. It's fantastic.

3. Chinese officials were forced to shut down a supercomputer this week because it was learning. What was it learning, you ask? To give vaguely sexual answers to queries from users. Apparently when supercomputers finally become sentient they will be like 15 year old boys.

4. I'm probably late to the party on this one but apparently iPhones aren't just tracking you everywhere you go – that data is being sold to, well, anyone who pays Apple for it. Sounds cool! I don't see what could go wrong.

5. File under Pitches Lobbed Directly in Ed's Wheelhouse: someone has scanned and shared a collection of brilliant propaganda posters from the Soviet space program, 1958-1963. Holy balls.

6. Dueling is legal in Paraguay. I'm getting in on the ground floor of a new industry I call Grudge Tourism.

7. Had we known this in our trivia tournament a few weeks ago we might be $1000 richer: the only film to win the Oscar for Best Picture without its director also being nominated for Best Director is Driving Miss Daisy (1989). If you ever win money for knowing that, I want a cut.


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14 Responses to “NPF: FEBRUARY POTPURRI”

  1. rob Says:

    perfect anagrams: britney spears = presbytarians = best in prayers

    also: desperation = a rope ends it

  2. Patti Says:

    The Soviets had Daleks? How did we beat them to the moon?

  3. Misterben Says:

    Your Grudge Tourism concept is sheer genius, and I suggest you take it the hell off your website before someone steals your idea. Someone like me.

    I'm serious. People would absolutely go for that. "What did you do over the summer?" "Oh, I went to Paraguay to fight in a duel." Right off the top of my head, I can think of five or six people who would jump at the chance.

  4. Hazy Davy Says:

    1) When you start your travel business, I need to buy tickets. Until then, I have to persuade my f-i-l that he just *has* to see Paraguay.

    2) Satanic Dong is an anagram for Gin And Tacos. So is Gonad Antics. And you are a dear, ill bum.

  5. Pam Says:

    Here's another one for you. The only word in the English language that contains all of the vowels in alphabetical order is facetious. Just in case that comes up in a trivia game.

  6. anotherbozo Says:

    The proper plural for "octopus" is "octopodes"

    Only the Etymological Dictionary agrees with that, and then prefers octopuses for English-speakers. Other English dictionaries specify octopuses. But it ain't octopi, so I learned something.

  7. Denn Says:

    The Paraguay idea will be hijacked by the reality TV folks anyway.

  8. j Says:

  9. heydave Says:

    I bet those posters say "all your base belong to us" in russian.

  10. Neal Deesit Says:

    The only word in the English language that contains all of the vowels in alphabetical order is facetious.

    The only? Somebody doesn't know how to work the Google.

    Aerious, Absteinous, Abstemious, Abstenious, Abstentious, Abstentiously, Aceriflorum, Aceriflorus, Acheilous, Acheirous, Acleistous, Adecticous, Adventious, Affectious, Aleikoum, Alpestrious, Anemious, Annelidous, Arsenious, Arteriosum, Arteriosus, Arterious, Avenious, Bacterious, Caesious, Camelious, Carnelious, Facetious, Fracedinous, Gareisoun, Gravedinous, Haeriously, Majestious, Materious, Parecious, Phragelliorynchus, Placentious, Tragedious

  11. Alan Says:

    Fowler's Modern English Usage states that the only acceptable plural of "octopus" in English is "octopuses." The editors opine that "octopi" is misconceived, and "octopodes" pedantic.

  12. Noskilz Says:

    Neat assortment of stuff – particularly the vintage space posters.

  13. cleter Says:

    Grudge Tourist would be a good name for a band.

  14. Ruthie Says:

    6. Dueling is legal in Paraguay. I'm getting in on the ground floor of a new industry I call Grudge Tourism.

    And I thought the reason George Bush the Younger's dad bought him a place in Paraguay was that convenient absence of an extradition treaty with the U.S.