The h2g2 Post: 09.07.18

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Posted: 9th July 2018

The Nature of Laughter and the Laughter of Nature

TJ the Assistant to the Assistant Editorial KittyWake up. It's time to read the h2g2 Post. TJ is resting up between mischief: last week, he stood on the keyboard, turned on High Contrast, and rebooted the computer. He's only 12 weeks old, and already a geek prodigy.

As the title of this week's Editorial suggests, there's a lot in this issue that will make you laugh. We like to think that you're laughing with us rather than at us, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Which sort of reminds me of the nasty surprise I just got on Skype. It appears that the Microsoft Corporation decided to road-test its Cortana AI on us unsuspecting users. Suddenly, every time SashaQ, Superfrenchie, Milla, or Tavaron said something to me, the darn program was making 'helpful' suggestions about how I should answer. You know, witty remarks, such as, 'Yes, indeed,' or 'Just a bit' or the extremely eloquent 'I know right' (no punctuation). It took a bit of finagling to figure out how to turn it off. By that time, of course, I'd thought of at least three AI-related science-fiction plots that did not reflect well on the technology….fortunately, you're not getting any of them this week. Instead, we have good Stuff.
Barylambda by Willem

  • Willem takes his wildlife time machine to the age just after the dinosaurs, and shows us some Pantodonts. You'll be amazed, as always. Enjoy the gallery of previously unseen critters. (If you've ever seen anything like this, we'll be surprised.)
  • On the more contemporary nature scene, there are buzzards and hedgehogs, oh my. And floral beauty and a weird tree. There's an epic film about the secret life of dogs and cats, and even a wild field trip into space for some extraterrestrial wildlife-spotting. Eat your heart out, NatGeo.
  • Awix and I will present contrasting ways to review films. He's discussing something intellectual, while I'm reviewing a zombie movie. You heard me right. Oddly, though, both movies deal with parenting and survival skills. Great minds think alike in some ways, I guess.
  • Hedgehog Camouflage by Freewayriding
  • The quiz section is extra-special this week. In addition to the usual puzzlers, guest quizmaster Bluebottle reveals exactly why he isn't welcome at weddings on the Isle of Wight. Go figure.
  • There's the usual snarky advice and odd cartoon. Some of them are very odd. Enjoy.
  • Fiction? Do we have fiction? Of course we do. You're wandering into the Twilight Zone this week. We're sure you'll manage to navigate. Freewayriding, Paigetheoracle, and Professor Animal Chaos do us proud here.
  • You want factual information? What's your problem? Well, okay. We've got a factual, illustrated essay on the art of inventing. Read and learn.
Best Friends Forever by Dmitri Gheorgheni
You know what to do: read, leave comments, send more Stuff so we can do it again next week. Enjoy the summer, unless you're Willem, in which case, stay out of the rain down there. Dress appropriately for the weather in your sector of the planet, and carry your copy of Twice 42 wherever you go. We can use the advertising, and it makes you look intellectual.


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