CLOSE
Original image

10 Funnier Alternatives to Lorem Ipsum

Original image

Photograph by Flickr user Blake Burkhart.

“Lorem ipsum” or ”Lorem ipsum dolor sit” is a reference to a chunk of Latin text used as filler, often in place of future text, for design purposes. It’s called that because those are the first words. The classic text is from Cicero, although it’s been scrambled enough to be barely decipherable. Lorem Ipsum was used for printing tests before the internet, but since everyone and his brother are designing websites now, we are more familiar with it than ever. And since we see it a lot, some designers are giving us alternatives to use as dummy text or to just give us a laugh. Let’s check out a few of them.

1. Riker Ipsum

Riker Ipsum generates text using lines of dialogue spoken by Commander William T. Riker in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Need more text? Hit the “more” button to add another sentence. They will be in no particular order.

I recommend you don't fire until you're within 40,000 kilometers. You did exactly what you had to do. You considered all your options, you tried every alternative and then you made the hard choice. Your head is not an artifact! I'm afraid I still don't understand, sir. You enjoyed that. Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you. Wouldn't that bring about chaos? Fate. It protects fools, little children, and ships named "Enterprise." Mr. Worf, you do remember how to fire phasers? I am your worst nightmare! What? We're not at all alike! A lot of things can change in twelve years, Admiral. The look in your eyes, I recognize it. You used to have it for me.

2. Yorkshire Ipsum

A thick Yorkshire accent is barely decipherable to those outside the area. Writing English phonetically to show the accent is just as difficult to read, so it may as well be a text placeholder, as in Yorkshire Ipsum. Some of the randomly-generated phrases may be NSFW in the strict sense, but I can’t tell.

Where's tha bin. Will 'e 'eckerslike mardy bum bobbar. Face like a slapped arse soft lad dahn t'coil oil eeh wacken thi sen up soft southern pansy. Bobbar michael palin ah'll gi' thee a thick ear ne'ermind aye. Breadcake soft southern pansy tha daft apeth. Any rooad that's champion wacken thi sen up wacken thi sen up nay lad ah'll learn thi. God's own county nah then ne'ermind will 'e 'eckerslike ee by gum. Eeh appens as maybe appens as maybe ne'ermind. Th'art nesh thee is that thine be reet ee by gum. Sup wi' 'im shurrup.

3. Samuel L Ipsum

If you want to generate text that reminds you of the movie characters played by actor Samuel L. Jackson, you have your choice of generating “slipsum” with the original profanity intact in the classic version (even the landing page has NSFW text) or “slipsum lite” which only generates profanity-free quotes. The quotes are not censored, just chosen for content. It’s not even gibberish, but rants delivered by Samuel L. Jackson characters, in complete paragraphs.

Do you see any Teletubbies in here? Do you see a slender plastic tag clipped to my shirt with my name printed on it? Do you see a little Asian child with a blank expression on his face sitting outside on a mechanical helicopter that shakes when you put quarters in it? No? Well, that's what you see at a toy store. And you must think you're in a toy store, because you're here shopping for an infant named Jeb.

4. Bacon Ipsum

Photograph by Flickr user Michael Cannon.

Bacon Ipsum puts a little meat (or a lot of meat) into your placeholder text. It’s not all pork, and you can change the setting to add some Latin words to break up the nonstop carnivorage, like a palate cleanser. Warning: may cause hunger.

Chuck swine jowl ham frankfurter. Chicken salami t-bone kevin chuck ribeye pork loin pancetta leberkas short ribs jowl frankfurter andouille. Hamburger ball tip ribeye beef ribs rump t-bone shankle meatloaf sirloin kevin pork loin. Alcatra chicken sausage pork loin. Tail corned beef cupim ball tip. Tenderloin jowl bresaola, porchetta boudin corned beef fatback chuck tongue leberkas beef jerky swine prosciutto. Landjaeger jerky tri-tip pastrami porchetta doner rump cow sirloin brisket capicola kielbasa frankfurter tenderloin venison.

If the “meat and filler” version is still too meaty for you, they recommend you try Veggie Ipsum instead.

5. Cat Ipsum

Peter Tracy has a webcomic called Life Loosely Based. He also made a text generator called Cat Ipsum that generates cat-related gibberish made up of phrases any cat owner can relate to.

Pooping rainbow while flying in a toasted bread costume in space chase ball of string chew foot, and poop on grasses. Why must they do that flop over. Favor packaging over toy sleep nap and knock over christmas tree spread kitty litter all over house sweet beast. Use lap as chair give attitude poop on grasses sleep nap. Vommit food and eat it again purr while eating yet meowing non stop for food shove bum in owner's face like camera lens. Intently stare at the same spot stand in front of the computer screen purr for no reason stare at the wall, play with food and get confused by dust so present belly, scratch hand when stroked. Intrigued by the shower have secret plans. Sweet beast find something else more interesting, or stare at ceiling. Leave dead animals as gifts find something else more interesting. Lick butt. Sleep in the bathroom sink why must they do that. Intently sniff hand lick butt, and chase mice play time, but sweet beast, so cat snacks.

6. Cupcake Ipsum

Cupcake Ipsum is liable to cause cravings, or else cause you to go into sugar shock! Have a taste:

Gingerbread cake jelly pudding jelly beans. Fruitcake gingerbread wafer wafer gingerbread apple pie marshmallow. Biscuit jelly cookie dragée brownie dessert carrot cake macaroon bonbon. Unerdwear.com liquorice marshmallow fruitcake caramels dessert gingerbread. Cupcake caramels biscuit macaroon. Cookie fruitcake chocolate bar donut bonbon tiramisu cake croissant. Pastry gingerbread pastry danish halvah sweet muffin jelly. Macaroon cake icing halvah marshmallow applicake. Jelly-o cupcake lemon drops applicake macaroon donut.

7. Online Dating Ipsum

Photograph from Getty Images.

Designer Lauren Hallden developed the Online Dating Ipsum to generate the “word salad” that she says populates online dating profiles. I’ve never tried online dating, but I’ve read enough horror stories to assume that after a while all the profiles look alike. Something like this:

Introvert jazz cafes having a few beers self-deprecating humor. Degree in philosophy Vampire Weekend introvert self-deprecating humor really hoppy beers, grilling tacos really hoppy beers medical school I'm looking for. Family is very important to me bikes trying this for the first time Breaking Bad I'm really good at bored at home.

This might be useful for writing your own profile, in case you have no idea what to tell people about yourself.

8. Lorem Gibson

Lorem Gibson is a website filler text generator based on the works of contemporary novelist William Gibson. The generator has dispensed with mere verbs and connective words and focuses on nouns. For example:

hotdog systema plastic tanto concrete car refrigerator kanji physical sprawl geodesic singularity kanji. gang franchise pen cartel monofilament network tank-traps tiger-team pen wonton soup tanto motion drone. footage film drugs -ware Shibuya futurity hotdog systemic youtube Legba motion assault vinyl. sensory nodal point Chiba long-chain hydrocarbons refrigerator cyber- sensory footage neural cartel fluidity faded tanto.

9. Hipster Ipsum

Hipster Ipsum can also be called “hipsum.” Feel free to grab some of these words the next time you want to add more snide terms to a rant against hipsters.

Occupy McSweeney's roof party biodiesel letterpress asymmetrical. Sustainable brunch pug, put a bird on it tilde lumbersexual gluten-free banh mi chambray mumblecore pickled. Yr retro hashtag, pork belly drinking vinegar Blue Bottle disrupt butcher. Health goth small batch plaid vegan. Twee gluten-free sustainable wayfarers VHS. Fixie deep v craft beer, Williamsburg beard drinking vinegar artisan mustache yr hoodie plaid. Craft beer letterpress Kickstarter, quinoa irony sartorial freegan ennui fashion axe before they sold out sriracha migas Shoreditch slow-carb.

10. Hodor Ipsum

We don’t know the real name of the character known as Hodor from the TV series Game of Thrones, because he’s never told us what it is. Unless it’s Hodor, because that’s the only thing he says. So they call him Hodor. You can guess what you’ll get with the Hodor Ipsum generator.

Hodor. Hodor HODOR hodor, hodor hodor, hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor?! Hodor, hodor. Hodor. Hodor, HODOR hodor, hodor hodor; hodor hodor hodor, hodor. Hodor hodor, hodor, hodor hodor. Hodor. Hodor hodor... Hodor hodor hodor hodor! Hodor. Hodor hodor hodor - hodor, hodor, hodor hodor. Hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor - hodor? Hodor HODOR hodor, hodor hodor hodor hodor?! Hodor. Hodor hodor... Hodor hodor hodor?

You don’t really need this generator, because if you type “Hodor” into Google Search, they will generate it for you.

Study this gibberish, and you may become as good at using it as Eric Idle of Monty Python, although it’s more likely that you’d want to use your generated text for cue cards.

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
technology
arrow
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
May 21, 2017
Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

Original image
Stephen Missal
crime
arrow
New Evidence Emerges in Norway’s Most Famous Unsolved Murder Case
May 22, 2017
Original image
A 2016 sketch by a forensic artist of the Isdal Woman
Stephen Missal

For almost 50 years, Norwegian investigators have been baffled by the case of the “Isdal Woman,” whose burned corpse was found in a valley outside the city of Bergen in 1970. Most of her face and hair had been burned off and the labels in her clothes had been removed. The police investigation eventually led to a pair of suitcases stuffed with wigs and the discovery that the woman had stayed at numerous hotels around Norway under different aliases. Still, the police eventually ruled it a suicide.

Almost five decades later, the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK has launched a new investigation into the case, working with police to help track down her identity. And it is already yielding results. The BBC reports that forensic analysis of the woman’s teeth show that she was from a region along the French-German border.

In 1970, hikers discovered the Isdal Woman’s body, burned and lying on a remote slope surrounded by an umbrella, melted plastic bottles, what may have been a passport cover, and more. Her clothes and possessions were scraped clean of any kind of identifying marks or labels. Later, the police found that she left two suitcases at the Bergen train station, containing sunglasses with her fingerprints on the lenses, a hairbrush, a prescription bottle of eczema cream, several wigs, and glasses with clear lenses. Again, all labels and other identifying marks had been removed, even from the prescription cream. A notepad found inside was filled with handwritten letters that looked like a code. A shopping bag led police to a shoe store, where, finally, an employee remembered selling rubber boots just like the ones found on the woman’s body.

Eventually, the police discovered that she had stayed in different hotels all over the country under different names, which would have required passports under several different aliases. This strongly suggests that she was a spy. Though she was both burned alive and had a stomach full of undigested sleeping pills, the police eventually ruled the death a suicide, unable to track down any evidence that they could tie to her murder.

But some of the forensic data that can help solve her case still exists. The Isdal Woman’s jaw was preserved in a forensic archive, allowing researchers from the University of Canberra in Australia to use isotopic analysis to figure out where she came from, based on the chemical traces left on her teeth while she was growing up. It’s the first time this technique has been used in a Norwegian criminal investigation.

The isotopic analysis was so effective that the researchers can tell that she probably grew up in eastern or central Europe, then moved west toward France during her adolescence, possibly just before or during World War II. Previous studies of her handwriting have indicated that she learned to write in France or in another French-speaking country.

Narrowing down the woman’s origins to such a specific region could help find someone who knew her, or reports of missing women who matched her description. The case is still a long way from solved, but the search is now much narrower than it had been in the mystery's long history.

[h/t BBC]

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
WEATHER WATCH
BE THE CHANGE
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES