The Internet Wants to Name This Research Vessel "Boaty McBoatface"

If there's one thing that history has taught us, it's that you should never give the Internet the power to name anything. The Verge reports that the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recently launched a poll on its website to find a name for its new $288 million polar research ship, and so far the name with the most votes is "Boaty McBoatface."

Other NERC ships have names that one would expect important vessels to have, including the RRS Discovery, but tens of thousands of people have cast their vote in the #NameOurShip poll for something far less conventional. The Verge points out that the name does not technically meet the standards set forth by the NERC, which stipulate that the name should be "inspirational and about environmental and polar science." But the NERC also asked that the name not be currently in use by another scientific vessel, and as far as we know, "Boaty McBoatface" is up for grabs. Other names submitted to the poll included the RRS NetflixAndEndureSubzero, RRS Seaward (an Arrested Development reference submitted by one George Bluth), and the RRS Ice Ice Baby.

This is not the first time that the Internet has shown its creativity when it comes to suggesting names. In 2014, expectant parents in British Columbia, Canada, asked the Internet to name their daughter. They ended up going with the name Amelia Savannah Joy McLaughlin, even though the top choice online was Cthulhu All-Spark. Mountain Dew also rejected the top pick for its Dub the Dew poll, which was supposed to provide a name for a new drink. Apparently, 4chan users wanted the drink to be called "Hitler Did Nothing Wrong," which prompted Mountain Dew to cancel the poll altogether.

The NERC poll ends on April 16, so there is still time to have your voice heard and potentially submit the winning name … or you can cast a vote for Boaty McBoatface.

Banner image via YouTube

[h/t The Verge]

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Google Translate Error Accidentally Insults Flat-Earthers
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Google seems to be holding nothing back in its treatment of science deniers. As spotted by Mashable, Google Translate accidentally labels flat-Earthers “crazy” when one particular phrase is translated into French.

You can try this trick for yourself—at least until Google fixes the error. On translate.google.com, select English as the original language, type “I am a flat earther” into the blank field, and choose French as the second language. The phrase translates to “Je suis un fou,” which reads as “I’m a crazy person" when it's translated back into English by clicking the icon with the two arrows on it. (Note: This doesn’t work if "Earther" is capitalized, and it seems to only work for French.)

Google representatives say this wasn't an intentional dig, though. A Google spokesman told CNET, "Translate works by learning patterns from many millions of examples of translations seen out on the web. Unfortunately, some of those patterns can lead to incorrect translations. The error has been reported and we are working on a fix."

Flat-Earthers are those who reject that the Earth is round, instead believing this to be an elaborate conspiracy orchestrated by various governments and space agencies. Members frequently use YouTube as a platform to spread their message, and the UK just held its first Flat Earth convention in April. About 200 people attended.

Intentional or not, this wouldn't be the first time Google snuck an Easter egg into its translation service. One Reddit user discovered that the “world's funniest joke” from Monty Python's Flying Circus translates to “[FATAL ERROR]” when plugged into the translator app. The joke sounds like it’s in German, but the words are actually gibberish and don't translate to anything in particular. In the skit, anyone who hears the joke dies from laughter.

Update: As of May 29, the translation error has been resolved. It now translates to "Je suis un flat earther." 

[h/t Mashable]

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How to Craft the Perfect Gag, According to Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton seen with Donald O'Connor on the set of a film in 1957
Buster Keaton seen with Donald O'Connor on the set of a film in 1957
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Dubbed “The Great Stone Face” for his ability to hold a deadpan expression even as the world (quite literally) crashed down around him, Buster Keaton was “one of the three great silent comedians” in film history, according to filmmaker Tony Zhou.

A video by Zhou, spotted by The Kid Should See This, explains just how Keaton managed to pull off such memorable stunts, and why his scenes continue to influence modern actors and filmmakers. First, Keaton shunned title cards and subtitles, instead opting to advance the story through action. He disliked repetition and thought each movement should be unique, while also insisting on authenticity and proclaiming that a filmmaker should “never fake a gag.” If a gag couldn’t be captured all in one shot, he wouldn’t do it.

The angle and positioning of the camera was also paramount. Many of Keaton’s vaudeville-esque gags were visual in nature, toying with the viewer’s perspective to create illusions that led to hilarious reveals. But for that to be successful, the camera had to remain stationary, and the joke had to play out entirely onscreen.

A low-speed chase scene in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, where Ralph Fiennes's Gustave H. runs up a long staircase in the background to escape cops, is a modern example of this. “Like Wes Anderson, Buster Keaton found humor in geometry,” Zhou says.

Check out Zhou’s video below.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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