mitcho Michael 芳貴 Erlewine

Linguist. Fifth year PhD student at MIT.

blog

Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Ten Grand Is Buried There

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

By now many of you have probably seen this new Microsoft Australia campaign, “Ten Grand Is Buried Here.com,”1 which calls Firefox “old” and Safari “boring”:

microsoft.png

I’m not sure what this is saying about me, but my immediate reaction was to go check whether tengrandisburiedthere.com was available. To my surprise, Microsoft had yet to snatch it up! A few hours later, here’s the result:

tengrand-firefox.png

Go ahead, visit the site and give it a try!

Note: Not being a marketing guy, I just threw some text together to introduce Firefox. If someone has some better copy for this display, please let me know.


  1. As of this writing, this domain actually has yet to serve anything. 

Dates in the Month of May that Are of Interest to Linguists

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Happy May! May, as you surely know, is an important season of celebration for linguists. Some of my favorite items are below.

From Dates in the Month of May that Are of Interest to Linguists by the late [[James D. McCawley]]:

May 6, 1939. The University of Chicago trades Leonard Bloomfield to Yale University for two janitors and an undisclosed number of concrete gargoyles.

May 23, 38,471 B.C. God creates language.

May 29, 1962. Angular brackets are discovered. Classes at M.I.T. are dismissed and much Latvian plum brandy is consumed.

May 31, 1951. Chomsky discovers Affix-hopping and is reprimanded by his father for discovering rules on shabas.

Unfortunately May 31, 1951 was a Thursday…

This week on Ubiquity Parser: The Next Generation

Friday, March 27th, 2009

parsertng.png

Last week I released a proof-of-concept demo of the next generation Ubiquity parser design and it was also the focus of discussion in our weekly internationalization meeting.1 Christian Sonne even wrote a Danish plugin for it during the meeting—a testament to the pluggability and of the new parser design.

In addition, at the Ubiquity weekly meeting, pushing this new parser into Ubiquity proper was identified as a key goal of Ubiquity 0.2, making frequent iteration and debate over this parser essential.

To that end, I’ll highlight some of the changes made to the parser demo codebase in the past week: (more…)


  1. The weekly internationalization meeting, like all Ubiquity weekly meetings, are completely open to the public. We’d love to hear new voices contribute to the discussion! Take a look at the schedule of upcoming meetings

Bathroom Graffiti

Friday, November 21st, 2008

University of Chicago Law School Faculty PodcastOn my continuing quest for good audio content, I’ve recently subscribed to the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Podcast and so far I’ve been very pleased. Today I was listening to the latest installation: Dean Saul Levmore’s talk on “The Internet’s Anonymity Problem.” He opened the talk with an anecdote about graffiti at the Med and bathroom graffiti. This immediately reminded me of a Scav Hunt item which I completed in my first year:

From the 2004 Scav Hunt list:

Item 80. Brain Farts: The Collected Works of The University of Chicago Bathroom Graffiti (organized by theme, but attributed to location). [102 points. 15 bonus points for an inset detailing the entirety of the “Grout Work.”]

I spent a day or so going around campus with a friend (so I didn’t have to be snooping around in ladies’ rooms) taking pictures and compiled the booklet. (more…)

The Big Chart

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The Counter-Intuitive Comparison Institute of North America (CICINA) hopes to definitively identify the best thing in the world. And don’t worry—CICINA isn’t like the “east-coast media elite”:

“We are like you—only more so.”

Brilliant. Watch the video:

(via kottke)

Oh Twitter, you’re so funny

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I don’t think those two were related.

The Japanese Office

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

I got hooked on The Office since I’ve been in Taiwan, which I watch at hulu.com via [[VPN]]. Checking for a new episode the other day, I found this clip from [[Steve Carell]] on [[Saturday Night Live]] this past weekend: The Japanese Office.

I’ve been a fan of the [[SNL Digital Shorts]] since [[Lazy Sunday]], but this is absolutely something else. It’s a brilliant piece of cross-cultural parody. Many on the associated Hulu page had some questions, however, so I decided to write up a little explanation of what’s actually going on in this short, and why I love it so.[^2]

(more…)

Podcast Pick: The Bugle, the Audio Newspaper for a Visual World

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Now that [[Republic of China presidential election, 2008|the Taiwanese presidential election]] is out of the way, the already pretty boring Taiwanese news has hit a new high in boringness, today asking if closer ties to the [[PRC]] (with [[Ma Ying-Jeou]]’s promise to open up the [[Three Links]] (三通)) means we can have a panda now. No seriously. The people have been waiting.

This, together with my currently daily train commutes, have led me to further explore the world of podcasts. I’m now a proud subscriber of “The Bugle: the Audio Newspaper for a Visual World,” with [[John Oliver]] of [[Daily Show]] fame and [[Andy Zaltman]], distributed by [[The Times of London]]. Like a weekly audio Daily Show, except more British and thus more ridiculous. It’s fabulous fun, and perfect for those of us who hate reading.

Here’s a snippet from this past episode:

USA and Britain are once again at the top!, of the western world’s teenage pregnancies – also called the two countries most committed to the [[war on terror]]. … What it also suggests is, as nations, we get overexcited in the prospect of an easy conquest without really thinking about the long term consequences.

So true.

Oh Amazon, you’re so funny

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

amazon warning

Thanks.