Super Bowl Ads on Youtube Make Everybody Unproductive at Work

Ninety percent of people will spend all day watching Super Bowl ads on YouTube

How much time are you wasting watching Super Bowl ads on YouTube?

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Halloween Math: How To Figure Out This Year’s Costume

Not sure what to be for Halloween this year? Use our handy Halloween Math guide to come up with some simple ideas for costumes. Have fun and be safe!

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Data on Data: Star Trek’s Commander Data Can Kick your Android’s Ass

While Lieutenant Commander Data was cruising around the cosmos at impulse speed, those of us who were Earthbound were still suffering through the awkward teenage years of home computing. We could set our VHS players to record Star Trek: the Next Generation, but it took three hours to program our graphing calculators. But data storage has really been moving forward at full warp speed since the mid 1990s.

When I was a kid, my grandfather would always try to give me $10, which he said would get me as much as he could get for a dime when he was my age. Well, you’ll be able to do the same thing with data storage to your grandkids one day. The exponential growth in overall computing power over the past few decades is nothing short of mind boggling.

“Back in my day, sonny, we had to format our own floppy disks.”

In seventh grade, we would all gather in the upstairs hall in my grammar school on rainy afternoons to play one of two games: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego or The Oregon Trail. I never found Carmen, but I died of dysentery enough times to never want to go to Oregon in real life.

The games themselves were stored on the most up-to-date data storage devices at the time: eight inch floppy disks. You could literally hold these behemoths by one corner and shake them like a Polaroid picture. Each one held a whopping 1.2 mb of information. Yeah, I know, I’m old.

But when I went home on Thursday nights, the most amazing television show I had ever seen came on, and my dad and I were glued to the screen every week. It would all start out with the majestic English accent (even though he was French on the show, because…space?) of Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise.

Then the ship would shoosh past from one side to the other. The actors would start popping up. Picard’s bald head, Geordi’s visor, Riker’s beard, and Data’s gloriously green tinted face.

I’m not sure why I liked Data so much, but he was awesome. The ultimate social misfit, he really wanted to be human, or at least he was programmed to try to fit in as much as possible, but he never could quite understand what was happening.

Data could perform complex mathematical equations with a tilt of the head as a slightly quizzical expression spread across his android face, but he couldn’t figure out why Geordi was upset. One time when that little Wesley Crusher kid messed things up, Data reassembled a key part of the Enterprise’s computer so fast his hands were blurry. But when Geordi and Ensign Ro were out of phase and presumed dead after a transporter accident, Data couldn’t even really cry. He’s just not programmed that way.

He did, however, have an awesome amount of computing power burring around inside all that glowing circuitry just under his synthetic skin. While I was trying to get a floppy disk to make that “whomp whomp” sound we all knew it could, Data was cruising around space with eight petabytes of memory.

Each one of his fingernails had more processing ability than NASA in the 1960s. And it creeped the bejesus out of me every time he pulled back one of those fingernails to access some vital circuit or whatever the writers had devised as a plot point for that episode.

My iPhone could find Carmen Sandiego, Waldo, the Lindbergh baby, and the spec script for 3 Fast 3 Furious in only slightly longer than it would take Siri to understand my mumblings. But Data will always be king of the geeks. I’m not even sure if he had functioning parts or if he was all Ken Doll down there, but damned if he didn’t land a girlfriend. She did get eaten by a trash bag, but I think that had more to do with a contract dispute than android sex.

So geek out all you want while watching reruns of TNG on your iPad (which Star Trek totally invented) but, the really amazing thing is how far we’ve come in computing ability since Brent Spiner first caked on the green makeup and reported to Ten Forward for a blue simulated cocktail served up by Whoopi Goldberg.

The nineties were a strange time, come to think of it. But for those of us who remember, we will always have Data envy. And secretly, deep down, we all still wish we could be friends with Data.

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How Geeks Read: The Anatomy of a Good Nerd Book


I think every reader wanders into the bookstore with the same idea in mind: finding the book that calls out to them. I know I do, and while it depends on what I’m in the mood for that particular day, I admit that more often than not I drift into the same sections of my local bookstore. I’m interested in geek culture (you may have noticed by now), and I like to see what other people that are into the same put out into the world. However, the trendier geek culture gets, the more stuff hits the market, and soon enough, the bookshelf is swimming in stuff tailored to meet my interests. I Can Has Cheezburger collection? Yeah, I got that. Watchmen? Never leaves the coffeetable. Geek Girls Unite? It’s my primer for life.

As the books continued to stack up, it got me thinking about which ones I went back to again and again, while other ones collected dust. When it came to books that documented nerd culture, rather than actually being a part of it, there were lots and lots of missed out there. I pored over books like Otacool, Ready Player One, and Geek Wisdom over and over. But why was I enjoying them so much? What did they offer me that some of the other books didn’t quite find the sweet spot on?

Laying the Groundwork

After reading enough favorites, I started to note that the best culture books had a specific anatomy. A structure, if you will. The foundation is laid by references galore, as that is the language of the nerd kingdom. Just try it the next time you go to a con or even a programmers’ meetup. It works on the internet like magic.  Just say “my Atari,” “favorite RPG,” “Linux,” or ,”d20.” If heads perk up and eyes widen, you’re in the game. The more you can drop, the better — and you get extra credit for the mega obscure ones (if you say anything that makes reference to the MacVenture series, my eyes instantly become twinkling hearts).

Know Your Sh*t

Now that the language is in place, it’s time to woo me with knowledge. Fill me in on history, and you get double points for telling me parts of my culture I don’t already know about. Vintage gaming is hard (I was kind of obsessed as a child), but I don’t know too much about early Mac nerds. I kind of missed out on the later years of Star Trek (more of a devoted Deep Space Nine type). And I never finished Buffy. Can you fill me in? I’m learning new things, which is something the majority of nerds really love to do.

I’ve Been Geeking Since 1980

The third part of this golden triforce is experience. Writing a book about geekdom is a great thing whether you’re two years in or twenty, but just like your grandfather has the best stories, the long time geeks know their stuff, and I want to hear about it. Experiences are key. What was your first gaming system? Did you play games on an IBM using DOS? Did you go Nintendo or Sega? The more stories you can tell, the more we want to hear – because it leads us to be able to relate. The words “me too” wield major power in the English language, but relatable stories are a close second. Since many geeks felt alienated when they were growing up, this is an even more powerful bond.

With that, we leave you to peruse your own journey through the path of Ready Player One. Make sure you get equipped before you get headed out. You don’t want to head into the field without a proper weapon…



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Hallyuah! The Call of Korean Pop Music

Google is like one of the gods of the tech world – when they tell us to like something, we listen. That’s why I was shocked and delighted to see them sponsor a concert at Google Headquarters last month called “Korean Music Wave.” Featuring a host of popular Korean ensemble bands, it may have seemed like an unusual event to the average onlooker. However, for a hardcore K-pop fan like me, it was nothing short of a magical announcement.

So why are Google putting their mammoth support behind the K-pop movement (also known as hallyu)? Well, I think there are a few reasons, but let’s discuss some of the most important ones.

1. It’s a polished product with great crossover potential.

When you watch a K-pop video, you get instantly drawn in, even if you aren’t a fan of dance music. Korea pulls out all the stops when they make music videos, and the fact that budget is not object really shows in the polish of their presentations. The videos often tell a story, and they show more more of a thoughtful approach than the current MTV generation’s videos. Add a flawless approach to choreography and production, and it’s no surprise the beat makes you makes you get up to dance.

2. It’s sexy without being “too much.”

While idols like Justin Bieber, Kanye West, and Beyonce are big news in the American pop scene, there is one aspect of American pop that Korean pop doesn’t present in the same way: sexuality. American videos tend to go over the top in many aspects, often portraying situations that parents may not feel comfortable with their teenagers seeing. K-pop is sexy, but in a very different way. Also, “hard” themes such as drugs and crime rarely come up in K-pop, not even in the hip-hop scene. It’s part of what makes k-pop carefree and easy to enjoy.

3. It’s foreign, but it’s also familiar.

While not every K-pop group sings in English, quite a few do, such as Girls Generation (who were also recently featured on the David Letterman show). While language acts as a barrier for many forms of music to reach mainstream popularity, Most Korean pop has a fair smattering of English in it, and it’s easy to sing along to because of it. This helps to make the music more accessible, but even if it’s not English-heavy, a lot of K-pop fans find that they fall in love with the music anyway.

4. K-pop stars are trained entertainers.

Unlike many other bands who end up on stages together without a lick of formal training, K-pop acts are assembled by skilled entertainment conglomerates who have the boy and girl bands formulas down to a science. S.M. Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment are the companies that are behind some of the biggest K-pop acts in the industry. When young men and women join these talent companies, they are thoroughly trained to become top-notch singers and dancers. It’s a part of why your jaw drops every time you watch these performers blow it away on stage.

K-pop has plenty of basic appeal, but there’s also one element that makes it hopeless addictive: the fact that it’s naturally happy music. As a fan, I hope the hallyu wave continues to grow and grow, because it’s just the kind of fun that makes my music library better.

Interested in listening yourself? Start with some of our favorites: Girls Generation, Big Bang, Super Junior, T-ARA, Wonder Girls, TVXQ, and BEAST. Enjoy, and don’t forget to get up and dance!

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New Orleans Hotels on the Parade Route

The Mardi Gras Survival Guide and New Orleans Hotels on the Parade Route, Courtesy of


It’s your first time in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you say? Oh, dear. It’s likely that you’ll be overwhelmed by the spectacle, even if you’ve seen many celebrations in many other countries before. After all, everywhere you look there are parades, costumes, beads being hurled, and all other manner of unfamiliar customs. You know, like women taking their shirts off at a moment’s notice in exchange for small trinkets. Yes, hide the children (or at least be prepared to shield their eyes at the speed of light!)

Jokes aside, New Orleans is a fantastic destination for adults and children alike, and your experience of celebrating carnival here can vary quite a bit depending on where you camp out. For instance, the Mardi Gras experience in the uptown area of New Orleans, near Napoleon Avenue is considered more of a family-friendly spot to watch the parades, and it’s where locals like to hang out as well. At the start of the parade on Napoleon, parade goers can expect light to moderate throws, as most float riders are still too sober to be generous. If you can find a cute baby, you may be able to convince riders to throw you a stuffed animal or two. A little past Napoleon on St. Charles is where most younger locals catch the parade. These include college preps and high school kids who think they are in college. Drink of choice: Red Bull.

If you want to catch the parade in this area, New Orleans hotels such as the Royal St. Charles and Avenue Plaza Resort offer all the charm one would expect from the sound of the names, but are also conveniently located within walking distance of the routes of the most spectacular parades, such as Bacchus and Orpheus.

Venture further down the parade route, between Louisiana and Jackson, and you’ll come across a more family oriented area. Young local families and young adults will occupy most of the area. College freshman who are too afraid to get drunk in front of their visiting parents will carry around a flask, usually filled with Captain Morgan. In this area, float riders primarily throw to their friends and family, in order to save throws for later in the parade.

Between Jackson and Lee Circle are a variety of locals. Hipsters, food cart vendors, and grumpy bike commuters who didn’t leave work early enough to avoid the congestion. The locals are relaxed and enjoying locally brewed Abita beer. The float riders begin to panic that they didn’t buy enough throws to last until the end of the parade, and they get conservative. New Orleans hotels on this part of the parade route are close to the action. Avenue Plaza Resort and the Prytania Park Hotel can offer an area of refuge for bathroom breaks and to rest your feet.

If you prefer to be situated closer to downtown so you can easily access uptown and downtown on foot, The Hotel Modern (formerly Hotel Le Cirque) and Maison St. Charles are excellent choices for New Orleans hotels. All the parades you want to see will be within walking distance, and it’s an ideal way to situate yourself near all the excitement without jumping feet first into the middle of the French Quarter, just on the edge of crazy town. While this area will mostly be tourists exploring the area, you’ll still see a few courageous locals sporting their costumes and dancing in the streets. You can also explore the city’s central business district and enjoy food and cocktails at some fantastic spots. Float riders have now become so drunk, that they lose their inhibitions and begin tossing throws overboard.

But wait — you say you came here because you couldn’t resist the call of Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras day? Well, Lord help you, but it’ll be interesting at the very least. As long as you don’t value sleep, you can stay right in the middle of the action at well-known New Orleans hotels like Royal Sonesta, Hotel Monteleone and W French Quarter. You won’t have to walk a few blocks to find the action if you stay here, as it’s more likely happening right outside the hotel, or possibly on your neighboring balconies. Be warned that this is the heart of the Mardi Gras debauchery, so be ready for anything.

Whether you’re in need of New Orleans hotels uptown or downtown for your first time celebrating Mardi Gras, or you do it every year, there’s plenty to choose from. Just make sure you come prepared with a stomach of iron if you plan to keep pace with the locals!

For more information on New Orleans hotels on the Parade Route, please see information below:

Avenue Plaza Resort
2111 Saint Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Hotel Monteleone
214 Royal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Maison St. Charles
1319 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Royal Sonesta
300 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Royal St. Charles
135 Saint Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

The Hotel Modern
936 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

W French Quarter
316 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Inn on Bourbon
541 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Prince Conti
830 Conti St.
New Orleans, LA 70112 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

333 Poydras St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Westin New Orleans Canal Place
100 Rue Iberville
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Best Western
3636 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

300 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

500 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Harrah’s Hotel & Casino
8 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

LaFayette Hotel
600 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Hilton Riverside
2 Poydras St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Bourbon Orleans Hotel
717 Orleans St.
New Orleans, LA 70116 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Hotel Royal
1006 Royal St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Prytania Park Hotel
1525 Prytania St.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

Parc St. Charles Hotel
500 Saint Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 Reservation Hotline: 1-855-639-6756

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Understanding the Hipster Music Movement

I’ve always loved to discover new music, and I can remember many days spent in the listening station aisles of Tower Records in my city, waiting for a certain station to open up so I could check out an album with a particularly beguiling cover. This was pre-internet days, so really all you had to go on to discover new music was recommendations from friends and interesting CD art.

Of course, times have changed quite a bit. If you listen to the radio, you’ll have lots of Rihanna and Justin Bieber blaring out at you, and you may wonder just what the hell happened to humanity. Maybe you even have Pandora on your computer or iPhone, and you use it to discover new bands from time to time.

But what’s with these skinny, slightly dirty looking people wearing plaid shirts who, when you say, “Hey, I like this band that’s on, who is this?” turn to look at you with an aura of loathing, almost as if you’d announced you have herpes in public, and says, “This is Bon Iver, of course, don’t you KNOW them?”

Staring at your shoes, you feel a bit awkward, as if perhaps there was a quest to find the band the least people knew and you’d failed. Or maybe you thought you’d do some research, rolled onto a well-known website like Stereogum or Pitchfork, and suddenly realized it was a bit like wading out into the ocean and misjudging how deep it actually is 20 feet out. There’s all these fancy words describing albums that you have no idea how to interpret, and you don’t know any of the bands, and oh God, how will you EVER understand music again?

I’m here to let you know that there’s no need to panic. In fact, as much as the current world of indie music seems like a terrifying threshold to cross in which you will either comprehend it or never be cool again, it really isn’t. What makes it that way is the legion of people surrounding it who are determined to appear as if they are cooler than you and everyone else on earth. It’s an annoying movement earmarked by people who have earned the nickname “hipsters” because, in fact, there is no way on earth you could ever know as much as they do, and anything you do know they knew about three months ago anyway.

It’s kind of like “the one upper” — that guy friend every guy has bumped into once who, every time you say something about yourself, they try to say something better. Maybe hipsters aren’t as obvious about it, but don’t ever expect a hipster to hear you out and express enthusiasm over something you discovered. When applied to the music movement, it results in a whole lot of people whose primary job in life is to make you look bad.

To debunk it all, you only need one simple method of attack: realize that it doesn’t matter who knew about a great band first. Instead jam out to whatever you like, whenever you like, and when someone looks at you all sniffy and acts like what you’re loving is yesterday’s news, don’t care. So what if they have every Radiohead album ever made on vinyl (yes, even the limited edition box set!)?

There you go. You just instantly became cooler than a hipster can dream of being.

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60% of hipsters will tell you

hipsters, music, vinyl

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Mission Statement

Our modern times call for modern measures. In the fast-paced world of constant information exchange, every day we have more to consume and less time to do so. We enjoy quick injections of information, and if looks pretty in the process, all the better. As we continue to evolve, we continue to invent new mediums to communicate in, whether it’s to share statistics or humor (or sometimes, both).

In other words, it’s the age of the infographic.

At Statistical Fiction, we like the idea of absorbing information quickly, and the idea of a great presentation makes our knees quiver. But what if instead of using infographics to communicate numbers in our business lives, we also made use of them to deliver a good laugh? With a tongue-in-cheek view of modern society and a creative vision in tow, we aim to offer an experience for the reader that lets you enjoy a good giggle and effortlessly share that feeling with all your friends, all within the space of a few seconds. No time wasted.

So whether you are the 99%, the 1%, or somewhere in-between, chances are you’re part of a statistic. Why not laugh at yourself? There’s a 98% chance you will, by the way.

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Vennsday Diagram – Mac Owners

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