Bleats

Mariah Carey Won A Nobel Prize According To This Cake Decorator And, Fair

All I want for Christmas is… um, a unifying theory on gamma radiation.

Generally speaking it is best, when ordering a custom-decorated cake, to do so in person.

But there are times when one must do so over the phone – as when one’s officemate desires a birthday cake celebrating their love for Mariah Carey, and then… well, this happens.

At least one of those cupcakes had better be radioactive.

For those unfamiliar with this pioneer of science, Marie Curie is credited with discovering two elements (polonium and radium) and forging the first comprehensive theory of radioactivity. She was also the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and is beloved for hits like ‘Hero’, ‘Fantasy’ and ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Sorry, not that last bit. Man, this is an easy mistake to make.

To be fair to Mariah, she has long had a keen interest in physics. Her 2008 album E=MC2 was, after all, essentially a musical thesis on cosmology, with ‘Side Effects’ a detailed discussion of the effects of gamma radiation on human tissue, ‘Touch My Body’ being a primer on the electromagnetic force between atoms and ‘Migrate’ exploring theories on solar system evolution and the relative positions of the gas giants, featuring T-Pain.

“Touch my body, put me on the floor / Pi to two decimals is 3.14…”

However, the most impressive thing about this cake – aside from Mme Curie’s baleful stare – was that they correctly spelled “Siobhan”. I have a niece with that name and goddamn, they deserve a tip purely for not icing it “Happy Birthday Shivorn”.

In any case: salut, unknown cakesmith. You have done the culture a solid.

If You’re An Atheist But Still Believe In Supernatural Beings You’re Doing It All Wrong

Either magic is a thing, or it's not - surely?

Part of the appeal of being an atheist is not having to conform to doctrinaire ideas defining your (non) beliefs.

However, a new study suggests that atheists aren’t exactly the resolute reality-loving fact-seekers that they live to present themselves as – and, for that matter, nor are they the amoral ethics-void that they’re often portrayed as being.

The massive Understanding Unbelief project involved surveying 6600 people in six countries – the UK, the US, China, Japan, Brazil and Denmark – with over a hundred face to face interviews.

And look, the results were weird.

It turns out that atheists might not believe in God, but a surprisingly large percentage are weirdly cool with other supernatural beliefs with exactly as much supporting evidence: such as life after death and the existence of ghosts.

More specifically, the Understanding Unbelief project spoke to atheists and agnostics (people who are unsure on the existence or non-existence of gods) from six different countries and concluded that people are really doing their unbelief differently.

On the happy side of the ledger, the study found that non believers still believe in absolute moral precepts – like, for example, that murder is wrong – at the same rate as the rest of the population.

So atheism doesn’t send people spiralling into violent nihilism, which is nice.

But the other thing – the belief in the supernatural – is counterintuitive.

Thirty-five percent of all the Chinese atheists and half of their agnostics believe in astrology, for example, while 20 per cent of UK atheists believe that some things are “meant to be” and 30 per cent of Brazilian atheists still think there’s life after death and how the hell does that even work?

Well over a quarter of the Brazilian atheists believe in “supernatural beings” – which, as the survey clarifies, means beings “such as angels, demons, ghosts or spirits.”

See? GRAPHS DON’T LIE!

The lesson of the study is that people’s beliefs are strongly influenced by the culture into which they are born, including the strength of said beliefs.

For example, American atheists were the most certain their beliefs were correct – exactly like American believers – and Brazilians in general are of the opinion that supernatural creatures live and work among them.

But seriously, fellow non-believers. If you think that the existence of god is unconvincing but that horoscopes seem super plausible, or that you’ll be doing anything much after you die, then you’re not applying the same rigorous fact-scalpel to one supernatural belief as another.

And… um, isn’t that sort of the point?

This List Of The Worst Possible Furbaby Names Is Downright Inspirational

Humankind, you just can't come up with names worse than these.

It’s easy to worry about robots replacing us in a Terminator-style future, but thankfully neural networks are here to show that wow, computers are actually idiots.

Without wanting to get technical, neural networks are systems built by wizards to make machines learn language through magic. And there are few things in the world more glorious than putting a bunch of inputs into one and then asking it to, say, come up with names for cats.

And that’s what machine learning programmer Janelle Shane decided to do at her AI Weirdness blog. So if you’re looking for a name for your new bundle of thing, here are some terrible suggestions courtesy of a stupid and unfeeling machine.

Pictured: how neural networks are made.

So pause for a moment and imagine calling these things out of a window while tapping a tin of cat food:

Dr Leg
Chicken Whiskey
Funky Moe
Gregory Chimney
Beep Boop
Tom Noodle
Peanutbutterjiggles
Ringo Shuffles
Whiskeridoo
Scat Cat Butthole
Gangrene
Moisture
Oilbag
Buttwig
Dr Fart
Lillith The Vamp
Elle Fury
Deadbolt
Romeo of Darkness
Fist
Warning Signs
Kill All Humans
Bones Of The Master
Mr. Sinister
Evil Whispers
Stranglehold
Sparky Buttons

There are even more at her site and goddamn, they are perfect for any pet – or for that matter, pregnancy – that you’re considering.

And please, let GOAT be first to wish you congratulations upon the arrival of dear little Fist.

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