Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

11 Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense: Best of Wikipedia

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Wikipedia maintains a catalog of Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense (BJAODN) -- it's the best of the worst stuff added to Wikipedia. Here, I present 11 excellent pieces of dumb humor that was deleted from Wikipedia...but then retained on a best-of page, because it's just that bad good.

1. Water on Mars

On April 1, 2004 a Wikipedia user discovered shocking proof -- photographic proof -- of water on Mars. The photograph was posted to the heart-laden article "♥Water on Mars♥" and the image is still retained (Creative Commons license and all) on Wikipedia, though it carries this bold warning: "This is a very bad joke. We believe it to be one of the most humorous examples of the Wikipedia community's work."
 
A Wikipedia editor commented: "Evidently, there is also glass and a plastic wrapper and now MY JAWS!"

2. The Cross-Eyed Teacher

Wikipedia's Pupil page had this section inserted:

Q. Why was the teacher cross-eyed?
A. Because she couldn't control her pupils.

Wikipedia editors followed up with:

[edit: This is incredibly not funny.]
[edit edit: That's why it's funny.]

3. CPGM

A little Physics humor:

The Coalition to Prevent Gratuitous Misuse (CPGM) was organized in 1901 to protest the (then) common misuse of the word weight to mean mass. The movement gained momentum (defined as the vector product of its velocity and mass) when SI was officially adopted in place of metric system, which no longer carried its weight. This movement captured the imagination of the mass of scientists througout the world, although the general public remained unmoved, since a body at rest tends to remain at rest (see Newton's Laws).

Editors added:

this should never have been deleted, it is a work of genious (edit: I think you mean "genius," genius.)

4. Y0-Y0 Ma

Y0-Y0 Ma is not to confused with Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist. Apparently Y0-Y0 is a nonhuman actor. Okay, just read this glimpse into some Wikipedian's madness (and/or sense of humor):

Y0-Y0 Ma plays Yo-Yo Ma, who lives in the human universe. Y0-Y0 Ma was born on Availy 32, 123456789, so he is 40 years, 13 months, 5 weeks, and 8 days old as of Verely 0, 987654321. He was born in Culombos of District, Wishongtan, Amerigan Union of Soviet Capitalist Tribes.

About the actor

Y0-Y0 Ma is an actor who enjoys playing nonexistant creatures. Of all the beings he had played, his favorite are the humans. He enjoys playing them, because they aren't that sophisticated, so he doesn't have to be. Of course, no one understands what he's saying when he is acting, because all the actors speak in Humanish language for "authenticity". His favorite character, Yo-Yo Ma, is a parody on his name.

Y0-Y0 Ma currently resides in Los Diablos, Jaba Nacilofria, A.U.S.C.T.

5. A Tip on Cow Tipping

This briefly appeared on the Cow Tipping page (emphasis added):

Tip #2

If you succeed in tipping a cow only partway, such that only one of its feet is still on the ground, you have created lean beef. Such a feat is well done. Naturally, being outside, the cow is unstable. When it falls over, it becomes ground beef.

An editor then inserted: "Such quality of humor is rare."

6. The Drummer Joke

"Someone who hangs out with musicians." (Briefly appeared as a definition on the Drummer page.)

7. Th'u~nks

Presented without comment:

Th'u~nks as a religion, was born when two prophets — known as the Two Great Piephits by practitioners of the religion — discussed the greatness, and spiritual meaning that can be found in the humble pie, particularly the pukka (pronounced "puck-ah") variety. Currently it has believers in countries around the globe.

Origins

In the year 2006 CE the Piephits were discussing the benefits of the pie over other pastry based savoury foods, when they were struck by a joint moment of revelation. This moment, known as The Pievation, was believed to be the moment when the Master Baker showed the true meaning of pastry, and consequently life to the Two Great Piephits. From this they jointly established the main underlying tenet of the religion, that of B'heegery and thus Th'u~nks was born.

This continues for quite a while.

8. Alternative Rock/Missing the Point

The page for Alternative rock featured this alternate definition, including an apparently sincere attempt by an editor to make sure it was properly sourced:

Alternative rock is the name given to one stone when you're looking at another stone. The term was coined by photographer Edwin Blastocyst when looking at one stone and speaking about another, oddly enough.

     The quote from Edwin Blastocyst needs to be verified.

          (Note: I'm not sure Blastocyst was a real person, considering that "blastocyst" is a stage of embryonic growth.)

9. Voltaic Democratic Union

The Voltaic Democratic Union, which is actually a thing, started out as a "stub page" (starting point) featuring the text: "Shocking, just shocking!"

10. Baby Catapult

From the now-deleted "Baby Catapult" page:

The Baby Catapult is an invention of insane genius Maxwell Q. Infantlauncher of Indianapolis, Indiana. It is not meant to launch actual infants; it is meant to launch Cabbage Patch Kids and the sort. The goal is for them to go 100 feet in the air, and 500 feet along the ground. The catapult should be finished by mid-2004.

An editor noted: "I, for one, am disappointed."

11. C is for Cookie

This mini-essay on the rhetorical form of Cookie Monster's discourse was added to the page C is for Cookie and then, sadly, removed.

C is for Cookie can be regarded as a case study in persuasive oratory, emphasizing the emotional aspect of public speaking. Cookie Monster builds excitement by answering his opening rhetorical question, "Now what starts with the letter C?" with the obvious reply, "Cookie starts with C!" He then challenges the audience, "Let's think of other things that starts with C," before quickly replying, "Oh, who cares about the other things?" casually dismissing a whole range of other possibilities as irrelevant. Thus, having ostensibly come for the purpose of covering the letter C in its entirety, Cookie Monster has already focused his agenda exclusively on cookies, employing the classic bait and switch tactic. Several times in his presentation, Cookie Monster emphasizes what appears to be the central thesis of his remarks: "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!" The appealing rhythm of this slogan appears designed to entrance listeners, swaying their emotions and making them instinctively want to chant along with him. After rousing the crowd, Cookie Monster systematically lays out the logical underpinnings of his pro-cookie ideology, comparing cookies to round donuts with one bite out of them and to the moon during its crescent phase, in essence using a straw man argument that implies his opponents would advocate the superiority of these competitors over cookies. In this sense, Cookie Monster may be proposing a false dichotomy representing cookies as the only viable choice to a group of obviously inferior alternatives. But before the audience has a chance to catch on, Cookie Monster launches into another round of repetitive chanting, "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me, yeah!" as young children sing along. Here, Cookie Monster uses a propaganda technique strikingly similar to that employed in George Orwell's Animal Farm by the pig Napoleon, who trained the farm's sheep to bleat, "Four legs good, two legs bad" on his cue. Cookie Monster then adds visual stimulation to his discourse by chomping into a large cookie, concluding his remarks with "Umm-umm-umm-umm-umm" and other chewing sounds.

Another addition was an entire section titled Other Things Starting with the Letter C, including Carrot, Crabcakes, and Cucumber.

Way, Way More

There's a whole page of this, and it includes links to several more "best of BJAODN" lists. One of my favorites in those extra lists is a spoiler-filled plot summary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (with philosophical commentary).

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iStock
Bad Moods Might Make You More Productive
iStock
iStock

Being in a bad mood at work might not be such a bad thing. New research shows that foul moods can lead to better executive function—the mental processing that handles skills like focus, self-control, creative thinking, mental flexibility, and working memory. But the benefit might hinge on how you go through emotions.

As part of the study, published in Personality and Individual Differences, a pair of psychologists at the University of Waterloo in Canada subjected more than 90 undergraduate students to a battery of tests designed to measure their working memory and inhibition control, two areas of executive function. They also gave the students several questionnaires designed to measure their emotional reactivity and mood over the previous week.

They found that some people who were in slightly bad moods performed significantly better on the working memory and inhibition tasks, but the benefit depended on how the person experienced emotion. Specifically, being in a bit of a bad mood seemed to boost the performance of participants with high emotional reactivity, meaning that they’re sensitive, have intense reactions to situations, and hold on to their feelings for a long time. People with low emotional reactivity performed worse on the tasks when in a bad mood, though.

“Our results show that there are some people for whom a bad mood may actually hone the kind of thinking skills that are important for everyday life,” one of the study’s co-authors, psychology professor Tara McAuley, said in a press statement. Why people with bigger emotional responses experience this boost but people with less-intense emotions don’t is an open question. One hypothesis is that people who have high emotional reactivity are already used to experiencing intense emotions, so they aren’t as fazed by their bad moods. However, more research is necessary to tease out those factors.

[h/t Big Think]

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
The 10 Wildest Movie Plot Twists
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

An ending often makes or breaks a movie. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as having the rug pulled out from under you, particularly in a thriller. But too many flicks that try to shock can’t stick the landing—they’re outlandish and illogical, or signal where the plot is headed. Not all of these films are entirely successful, but they have one important attribute in common: From the classic to the cultishly beloved, they involve hard-to-predict twists that really do blow viewers’ minds, then linger there for days, if not life. (Warning: Massive spoilers below.)

1. PSYCHO (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock often constructed his movies like neat games that manipulated the audience. The Master of Suspense delved headfirst into horror with Psycho, which follows a secretary (Janet Leigh) who sneaks off with $40,000 and hides in a motel. The ensuing jolt depends on Leigh’s fame at the time: No one expected the ostensible star and protagonist to die in a gory (for the time) shower butchering only a third of the way into the running time. Hitchcock outdid that feat with the last-act revelation that Anthony Perkins’s supremely creepy Norman Bates is embodying his dead mother.

2. PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

No, not the botched Tim Burton remake that tweaked the original movie’s famous reveal in a way that left everyone scratching their heads. The Charlton Heston-starring sci-fi gem continues to stupefy anyone who comes into its orbit. Heston, of course, plays an astronaut who travels to a strange land where advanced apes lord over human slaves. It becomes clear once he finds the decrepit remains of the Statue of Liberty that he’s in fact on a future Earth. The anti-violence message, especially during the political tumult of 1968, shook people up as much as the time warp.

3. DEEP RED (1975)

It’s not rare for a horror movie to flip the script when it comes to unmasking its killer, but it’s much rarer that such a film causes a viewer to question their own perception of the world around them. Such is the case for Deep Red, Italian director Dario Argento’s (Suspiria) slasher masterpiece. A pianist living in Rome (David Hemmings) comes upon the murder of a woman in her apartment and teams up with a female reporter to find the person responsible. Argento’s whodunit is filled to the brim with gorgeous photography, ghastly sights, and delirious twists. But best of all is the final sequence, in which the pianist retraces his steps to discover that the killer had been hiding in plain sight all along. Rewind to the beginning and you’ll discover that you caught an unknowing glimpse, too.

4. SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983)

Sleepaway Camp is notorious among horror fans for a number of reasons: the bizarre, stilted acting and dialogue; hilariously amateurish special effects; and ‘80s-to-their-core fashions. But it’s best known for the mind-bending ending, which—full disclosure—reads as possibly transphobic today, though it’s really hard to say what writer-director Robert Hiltzik had in mind. Years after a boating accident that leaves one of two siblings dead, Angela is raised by her aunt and sent to a summer camp with her cousin, where a killer wreaks havoc. In the lurid climax, we see that moody Angela is not only the murderer—she’s actually a boy. Her aunt, who always wanted a daughter, raised her as if she were her late brother. The final animalistic shot prompts as many gasps as cackles.

5. THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)

The Usual Suspects has left everyone who watches it breathless by the time they get to the fakeout conclusion. Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a criminal with cerebral palsy, regales an interrogator in the stories of his exploits with a band of fellow crooks, seen in flashback. Hovering over this is the mysterious villainous figure Keyser Söze. It’s not until Verbal leaves and jumps into a car that customs agent David Kujan realizes that the man fabricated details, tricking the law and the viewer into his fake reality, and is in fact the fabled Söze.

6. PRIMAL FEAR (1996)

No courtroom movie can surpass Primal Fear’s discombobulating effect. Richard Gere’s defense attorney becomes strongly convinced that his altar boy client Aaron (Edward Norton) didn’t commit the murder of an archbishop with which he’s charged. The meek, stuttering Aaron has sudden violent outbursts in which he becomes "Roy" and is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, leading to a not guilty ruling. Gere’s lawyer visits Aaron about the news, and as he’s leaving, a wonderfully maniacal Norton reveals that he faked the multiple personalities.

7. FIGHT CLUB (1999)

Edward Norton is no stranger to taking on extremely disparate personalities in his roles, from Primal Fear to American History X. The unassuming actor can quickly turn vicious, which led to ideal casting for Fight Club, director David Fincher’s adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel. Fincher cleverly keeps the audience in the dark about the connections between Norton’s timid, unnamed narrator and Brad Pitt’s hunky, aggressive Tyler Durden. After the two start the titular bruising group, the plot significantly increases the stakes, with the club turning into a sort of anarchist terrorist organization. The narrator eventually comes to grips with the fact that he is Tyler and has caused all the destruction around him.

8. THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)

Early in his career, M. Night Shyamalan was frequently (perhaps a little too frequently) compared to Hitchcock for his ability to ratchet up tension while misdirecting his audience. He hasn’t always earned stellar reviews since, but The Sixth Sense remains deservedly legendary for its final twist. At the end of the ghost story, in which little Haley Joel Osment can see dead people, it turns out that the psychologist (Bruce Willis) who’s been working with the boy is no longer living himself, the result of a gunshot wound witnessed in the opening sequence.

9. THE OTHERS (2001)

The Sixth Sense’s climax was spooky, but not nearly as unnerving as Nicole Kidman’s similarly themed ghost movie The Others, released just a couple years later. Kidman gives a superb performance in the elegantly styled film from the Spanish writer-director Alejandro Amenábar, playing a mother in a country house after World War II protecting her photosensitive children from light and, eventually, dead spirits occupying the place. Only by the end does it become clear that she’s in denial about the fact that she’s a ghost, having killed her children in a psychotic break before committing suicide. It’s a bleak capper to a genuinely haunting yarn.

10. MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)

David Lynch’s surrealist movies may follow dream logic, but that doesn’t mean their plots can’t be readily discerned. Mulholland Drive is his most striking work precisely because, in spite of its more wacko moments, it adds up to a coherent, tragic story. The mystery starts innocently enough with the dark-haired Rita (Laura Elena Harring) waking up with amnesia from a car accident in Los Angeles and piecing together her identity alongside the plucky aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts). It takes a blue box to unlock the secret that Betty is in fact Diane, who is in love with and envious of Camilla (also played by Harring) and has concocted a fantasy version of their lives. The real Diane arranges for Camilla to be killed, leading to her intense guilt and suicide. Only Lynch can go from Nancy Drew to nihilism so swiftly and deftly.

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