A friend recently pointed me to a webcomic called xkcd. (In the same email, she asked how I was doing, but I still haven't replied because I got sucked into the site she pointed me to.) It's a very geeky three-times-a-week strip; some of it annoys me, some of it leaves me cold, but some I liked, and I suspect some of y'all might like it too. Note that some of it is serious rather than funny.
(Also note that a fair bit of what I'm pointing to in this entry isn't work-safe.)
Also note that, as with the otherwise unrelated A Softer World, you can point your mouse pointer at any given strip and it'll pop up a coda or explanation or punch line or comment. In fact, some of the xkcd strips would almost work as Softer World strips, only in general I like the timing/pacing better in A Softer World.
Here are some of the xkcd strips I liked:
- Computational Linguistics (for those who don't know, that was one of my majors)
- Mail (reminds me of "Fourteen Experiments in Postal Delivery")
- Graduation (this one is kind of sweet)
- Parallel Universe
- Just Alerting You (I'm surprised this one hasn't shown up on a T-shirt yet)
But that's not what I'm here to tell you about. The same people also host a site called BestThing where you're presented with two items and you can click whichever one you think is better (and then it presents you with another two, and so on). You can also add your own items. The site tracks which things are considered better than other things, and provides a list of the Best Things Ever.
But that's still not what I'm here to tell you about. The same people also put together BestDate: "like BestThing, but with ideas for dates!" Yes, it's a collection of things to do on dates, and you can indicate, one pair at a time, which ones you like better than other ones; also, you can add your own.
The other night when I first encountered this, the collection of items was pretty paltry; I kept seeing the same dozen or two dozen items in various combinations. So I started adding items. It's kind of addictive.
Meanwhile, other people were also adding items--the collection grew as I watched--and the top Best Date Ideas list kept changing. At this point, roughly half the items on that best-ideas list are things I suggested, but I suspect that's primarily due to too little data.
So, if you have ideas (serious, wacky, funny, insane, or otherwise) for things to do on dates, stop by the site and suggest them. And compare suggestions with other suggestions.
Last time I stopped by, it presented me with this choice of things to do on a date:
Which is better?
- Subverting the dominant paradigm
- Smashing the state
. . . I'm still trying to decide.