Reddit: The Good Parts

inspired by Dan Luu’s HN: the good parts

Imposter Cakes

I run a cake business. I charge people hundreds for wedding cakes… Every last one is made using Pilsbury cake mix I buy for $1 a box at Walmart. I suck at baking. Every time I’ve ever tried to make a cake from scratch it sucked. But baking is like.. My whole deal. My friends all call me the cake girl. It’s like my whole life is a lie. People compliment my cakes all the time. Telling me how delicious they are. Telling me it’s so much better than box mix cake. Telling me they could never bake a cake so delicious. Well guess what? For $1, they too can make a cake just as delicious. Just add oil, eggs and water. In my defense, I love cake decorating. I make all of the frostings and fondant from scratch. I just hate baking fucking cakes!! I base my prices mostly on the decoration of the cakes and not of the cake itself of that makes sense. Still… No one knows about this except my husband. Even my best friends think I fucking slave over the oven mixing and baking these damn cakes. I have been doing this for YEARS. If anyone knew my business and reputation would be in the toilet for sure. :/ I keep telling myself I have to learn how to make the damn cakes without the box mixes, but I never do it. I feel like such a sham sometimes.

Wadsworth Constant

For EVERY youtube video, I always open the video and then immediately punch the slider bar to about 30 percent.

For example, in this video, it should have just started at :40. Everything before :40 was a waste. This holds true for nearly every video in the universe.

Cuil Theory

Reddit’s thumbnails have a Cuil level of effectiveness.

Can we make that a unit of measurement?

One Cuil = One level of abstraction away from the reality of a situation.

Example: You ask me for a Hamburger.

1 Cuil: if you asked me for a hamburger, and I gave you a raccoon.

2 Cuils: If you asked me for a hamburger, but it turns out I don’t really exist. Where I was originally standing, a picture of a hamburger rests on the ground.

3 Cuils: You awake as a hamburger. You start screaming only to have special sauce fly from your lips. The world is in sepia.

4 Cuils: Why are we speaking German? A mime cries softly as he cradles a young cow. Your grandfather stares at you as the cow falls apart into patties. You look down only to see me with pickles for eyes, I am singing the song that gives birth to the universe.

And so on.

edit2: We need a standard notation for Cuil to make calculations easier. I suggest the interrobang ‽, but I’m open to any other suggestions.

Negative Zero

TIL that negative 0 is a thing.

TIL that you can check for negative 0.

It doesn’t really have any consequence though. Except maybe determining the sign of infinity when using it for division.

It has effect in the Atan2 operation. Atan2(0, -1) yields pi, while Atan2(-0, -1) yields negative pi.

Be careful of your literals by the way, if you use a negative zero integer literal in some languages (-0), it will evaluate as positive zero, as there is no negative zero integer. Using floating point literals (-0f/-0d) will prevent this.

This one is a real bitch if you expect a value in the range between 0 and pi, rather than 0 and pi, and sometimes negative pi.

The Ghost

Ah the ghost.

Okay, so, in the first place it’s always nice to get a client from a business card you left at a diner. It means people pick those things up. However, when leaving business cards at diners in certain areas of town, I should expect some issues.

This call came through on a dreary December day as I was sipping coffee and watching the snow fall. The caller ID read that it was the local hospital, and as I picked up I spoke to a rather frantic young man who informed me he was being held against his will and he needed an attorney to help him. When I asked where he was, he simply said “the 5th floor.” While this may sound innocuous, every hospital has a “5th Floor,” where Napoleon roams the halls freely and the residents speak to their imaginary friends who may, or may not, have been an influencing factor in why they decided that clothing was a way for the government to track them and therefore the only solution was to create Poop Pants to throw off the monitoring ability of the CIA.

Long story short on this portion, within an hour of the call a friend had dropped off my fee, and I was en route to the Fifth Floor to meet with my new client. I assumed it would be an involuntary committal defense, and after speaking with my client I gauged that, while the man was most definitely in need of mental care, he was not a danger to himself or others and was unlikely to be one. He had, in my opinion, been forced to agree to being committed by his probation officer, and frankly I wasn’t going to let that stand. I got the name of some contacts from his treatment plan who were willing to vouch that he had, until recently, been compliant with his medications, and contacted his social worker who was able to confirm that, yes, since he had ceased taking the medication due to an inability to afford the medications, the county would assist him with it. A slam dunk, I would simply swing my big lawyer dick around the mental ward and get him released, then appear in the Court to defend against the involuntary committal.

Within 24 hours of being committed, my client was back at home. A hearing was set a couple weeks in the future, and I did daily checks to be certain he was compliant with his medication leading up to the hearing…until the one day I didn’t.

A call from the local police was my tip off. An older officer, one I was familiar with, called to advise they had responded to a disturbance at my client’s home. He apparently had been screaming in an empty room loud enough that the neighbors were concerned and called the police. The police officer, a friendly sort, gauged the situation and decided my client wasn’t a threat, but asked what the situation was.

“The ghost,” my client had responded, “The ghost won’t get out and it won’t leave me alone.”

“Well,” said the officer, “I can tell it to leave.”

So he did. He told the ghost to leave. And then, apparently for shits and giggles, told him that it was a “civil matter” if the ghost refused to leave, and therefore an attorney would need to be contacted. At which point my client dropped my name….which resulted in the cop giving me a heads up.

So, I call my client…who is inconsolable at the concept of sharing his home with the ghost. Keep in mind, I’ve been to this guy’s house. This is the first I’ve heard of a ghost. But there is a competency hearing on the horizon, and this will not play well in front of the judge.

“The cop said it’s a civil matter,” my client repeated about the 18th time after I told him I was not, in fact, a priest, but was a lawyer and didn’t know how to perform an exorcism.

“What do you want me to do,” I snapped a bit, “Evict it?”

There are moments in time when you should keep your mouth shut. This is one of them, because the immediate response was “CAN YOU? THAT’D BE GREAT!”

Well shit.

So, long story short, I ended up driving out there with a “Mock Up” Notice to Quit addressed to “Any spirits in possession of the property located at [1313 Mockingbird Lane] without any authority under color of law” advising them that their possession was “unlawful in nature” and ordering them to “quit and surrender the premises, or any portion thereof, within fifteen (15) days of the date of this notice.”

As I was obviously unable to obtain personal service via hand delivery, I had my client direct me to the portion of the premises the Ghost occupied, an empty spare bedroom, and made service by posting the Notice to the door of the room. I then announced that the ghost “HAD BEEN SERVED A VALID NOTICE TO QUIT AND SURRENDER POSSESSION” and went home.

A week later, as we’re preparing to enter the Court for my client’s competency hearing, I ask about the status.

“Oh Mr. Creepy, it worked great!” my client announced. “He moved out the same night and took all his stuff with him.”

The ghost apparently had “stuff.”

Anyhow, I smiled and patted my client on the shoulder as I offered some sage advice.

“Well, good,” I said, “now, let’s not mention this in front of the judge. He might have a problem with the service and order us to let the ghost back in if he finds out about it.”

My client nodded enthusiastically. I kept him out of the mental hospital that day, and take some comfort knowing somewhere today this crazy bastard is still telling people about his great lawyer who got rid of his ethereal roommate for free.

Bagel

I was once on a US military ship, having breakfast in the wardroom (officers lounge) when the Operations Officer (OPS) walks in. This guy was the definition of NOT a morning person; he’s still half asleep, bleary eyed… basically a zombie with a bagel. He sits down across from me to eat his bagel and is just barely conscious. My back is to the outboard side of the ship, and the morning sun is blazing in one of the portholes putting a big bright-ass circle of light right on his barely conscious face. He’s squinting and chewing and basically just remembering how to be alive for today. It’s painful to watch.

But then zombie-OPS stops chewing, slowly picks up the phone, and dials the bridge. In his well-known I’m-still-totally-asleep voice, he says “heeeey. It’s OPS. Could you… shift our barpat… yeah, one six five. Thanks.” And puts the phone down. And then he just sits there. Squinting. Waiting.

And then, ever so slowly, I realize that that big blazing spot of sun has begun to slide off the zombie’s face and onto the wall behind him. After a moment it clears his face and he blinks slowly a few times and the brilliant beauty of what I’ve just witnessed begins to overwhelm me. By ordering the bridge to adjust the ship’s back-and-forth patrol by about 15 degrees, he’s changed our course just enough to reposition the sun off of his face. He’s literally just redirected thousands of tons of steel and hundreds of people so that he could get the sun out of his eyes while he eats his bagel. I am in awe.

He slowly picks up his bagel and for a moment I’m terrified at the thought that his own genius may escape him, that he may never appreciate the epic brilliance of his laziness (since he’s not going to wake up for another hour). But between his next bites he pauses, looks at me, and gives me the faintest, sly grin, before returning to gnaw slowly on his zombie bagel.