Vulture asked various screenwriters/show runners to write part of a Coronavirus Episode for their characters.
Michael Schur knows exactly who should be in charge right now…
First of all, Leslie would’ve known the CDC protocols for social distancing already, and they would’ve been instituted within 24 hours of the first reports of the coronavirus in America. […]
Ron would be thrilled because now there’s a reason for him to be alone with no one bothering him. But he’d worry about Leslie.
If Leslie Knope isn't available, perhaps Coach Taylor could step in to tell his team what they need to hear.1
A few thoughts on some of the others:
Of course Boyd Crowder would be working on a plan to take advantage of the lockdown to pull off a crime. And of course Raylan Givens would know to swing by to remind Boyd of the risk he'd be running if he tried such a thing.
- I was a bit distracted by the sight of that computer Frasier Crane was depicted as using. Note to readers under the age of 25: that's what we used to call a laptop back before Jony Ive got control of Apple's laptop designs. I was torn between admiration for how much less space a modern computer takes up (and how much more capacity it has compared to that thing) and envy for all those ports and sockets that just won't be found on an equivalent modern laptop, let alone an iPad.
You might imagine that a story that included the phrase…
"My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me."
… would be mean or cruel, but as you follow Dr Daniel Reardon's story it just gets funnier and funnier. Our hero takes what seem to be very reasonable decisions. It's just …unfortunate… that each of those decisions leads him a step closer to that hospital bed.
I'm voting for Rowan Atkinson to play Dr Reardon in the inevitable film adaptation.
[Via James Nicoll]
Why oh why were we denied the opportunity to witness a Prince guitar MasterClass?
I think the saddest thing about Prince's death is that we never got to see the MasterClass he was supposed to teach. Looking at the leaked script for the YouTube commercial, we can only imagine what might have been. I don't think it's been widely shared, but I have a copy kicking around that I can transcribe.
Int. Paisley Park, PRINCE's guitaratorium
This guitar has a thousand strings.
Close-up on neck of guitar. It looks like there are no more than four hundred strings.
PRINCE: (v/o, softly)
Six hundred of them are only visible in the purple spectrum.
I mean, I'm fully aware that We Are Not Worthy, but still…
[Insert obligatory link to footage of Prince's 2004 performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison, complete with his guitar ascending to the heavens.]
[Via MeFi user carrienation's comment on a post about Prince's Super Bowl half-time show at MetaFilter]
There's no denying it: this xkcd speaks to something deep in my soul.
I know I've read Wikihistory before a few years ago, but I was reminded of it earlier today and it's definitely funny enough to be worth posting here:
International Association of Time Travelers: Members’ Forum
Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War
At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl’s cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice! […]
Or possibly not, as it turns out.
Also, from further along in the same Usenet discussion and very much related: The home of Adolf Hitler, 1933: Doubt creeps in.
[Via Dorothy J Heydt, posting to rec.arts.sf.written]
Positively the only good thing about recent political developments in the UK is that they're going to give Marina Hyde tons of new material:
[…] Arguably this morning’s most amusing development was Helen Grant resigning as Tory vice-chair to openly support Dominic Raab. Is this the same Dominic Raab who resigned in protest at a Brexit deal he himself negotiated as Brexit secretary, and who is bizarrely being talked up as a strong candidate? Righto. It was Swift (Jonathan) who warned: "It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom." And it was Swift (Taylor) who said: "Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream." I don’t want to come over all Mystic Meg, but I am seeing a nightmarish news story in Dominic Raab’s future that will curtail any bid in fairly short order. […]
Any non-UK readers wondering who Dominic Raab is should comfort themselves with the thought that three years ago none of us on this side of the Atlantic knew either, and three years from now he'll be lucky to be the punchline in a "Name the Brexit Secretary who succeeded David Davis in the role?" quiz question.
So, do we file a high-profile article like this one under "Affectionate mockery" or "Fukng Hll pple, neveer mindd getting Oprh n stge, SN'T IITT TIIMEE YOU SORTD TTHIS KYBOAAARD OUTT!"
Keeyboarrd 101: Mostt lapttops havee keeys tthatt usee a scissorr-swittch meechanism tto prreess down. Sincee tthee ttwo intteerrlocking pieecees arree rreelattiveely ttall, tthee keeys havee morree "ttrraveel."
[Via The Tao of Mac]
There's no substitute for thinking ahead. Who can say when we might need these HTTP error codes for civilisational errors:
Civilisational HTTP Error Codes
To be truly useful, HTTP error codes need to take into account possible future issues. We therefore propose the 8xx range of codes for errors pertaining to the civilisation in which the server is operating. Inspired by https://github.com/joho/7XX-rfc. Forks and pull requests encouraged!
- 80x ‘Temporary’ failures (but I’d wait a while before re-requesting):
We can but hope that one day there will be a need to deploy code 831.
[Via Extenuating Circumstances]
Please, be sure to watch this right to the end. The soundtrack he's playing while he psyches himself up is just exquisite!
John Scalzi shares a story of an encounter with Automated Customer Service in the not too distant future:
Thank you for calling the customer service line of Vacuubot, purveyors of America’s finest automated vacuum cleaners! In order to more efficiently handle call volume, we rely on automated responses. To continue in English, press one. Para Espanol o prima dos. […]
That Purge Mode is a doozy!