Tuesday, February 24, 2009

new week, new ideas

Algorithms. They've revolutionized fields as diverse as baseball, finance, and biology. But only when that one iconoclastic pioneer had the courage to employ them. I am that pioneer. I lead that vanguard.

The man who can simplify cartoon captions to a mathematical formula will dominante. I will now propose and test an algorithm.

1) Look at cartoon image
2) Find the incongruous thing
3) Choose a noun related to the incongruous thing
4) Go to rhymer.com and find words that rhyme with the noun of part 3 (note: I am in no way affiliated with this website)
5) Is someone in the image speaking?
6) Can this person be saying a rhyme identified in part 4?
7) I allow for some creative license here
8) Enter the New Yorker cartoon caption contest

Let's try it on the above image.

1) O.K.
2) Cats are stacked up
3) Totem pole
4) buxom, whoredom, hokum, condom, datum, eardrum, bedlam, flotsam
5) Yes
6) Yes, although none of the "rhymes" have anything to do with cats, and many of them seem actually not to rhyme at all
7) Hmm
8) "They seem to have formed a flotsam pole."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

brainstorming ii

"What's outrageous is the economic stimulus plan."
"Mine is a little underripe."
"No, I did not know these were real. Yes, things may have turned out differently."

I'm having writer's block, and, perhaps not unrelatedly, I'm in really low spirits this week. But I don't think this is all my fault: the artwork in question, by the inveterate ament Paul Noth, is particularly confusing, with one character's legs apparently melting into the boat and both characters in completely implausible shirts--some sort of sleeveless button-down. And is the boat on water or on sand? If Mr. Noth had a specific intention, he was completely inept at conveying it. Furthermore, I am puzzled by the presence of some sort of dartboard in the distance.

I think I'll just take this week off to sort some things out.

prisoner at a bar finalists

"If anybody calls, I'm not here."
"I'd kill for some peanuts."
"Most men drink to escape. I escape to drink."

Not too bad this week. I have no real complaints.