Archive for June 2011
First of all, you should know we’re going to revisit this topic frequently. There are so many great female comedy writers on Twitter now, you can’t fit all of them in one slideshow. For this collection, we assumed you were already following the likes of @sarahksilverman, @lizzwinstead, @sandrabernhard and so on. If you’re not, go take care of that right away and come back.
To help create this list, we enlisted the expert opinion of WitStream’s Lisa Cohen, who knows a thing or two about funny women and funny tweeters. Cohen recently wrote an extremely insightful piece on the valuable role Twitter (yes, we just used valuable and Twitter in the same sentence) plays in making the female comedic voice more mainstream:
Now we can be funny and deactivate that “don’t say it” switch that we’ve integrated into so many areas of our lives. Because we’re only quietly typing it into our computers (not saying it face-to-face) we’re disinclined to soften the message through tone of voice or a flip of the hair. We don’t have to see the looks on people’s faces as they try to figure out why we’re so desperate as to try and be funny (“She must be lonely and bitter”)…. As this stream of real women’s voices becomes the norm, more people will be comfortable laughing, and raising their daughters to unleash their quick wits on the world.
So without further ado, here are 18 women we think you would do well to begin following on Twitter right now. Let us know in the comments who you think we should include next time.
Been aware lately I have put up some heavy reading. So here’s a cute puppy.
On June 10, 2011, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft pointed the LRO Camera NACs to capture a dramatic sunrise view of Tycho crater.
A very popular target with amateur astronomers, Tycho is located at 43.37°S, 348.68°E, and is about 51 miles (82 km) in diameter. The summit of the central peak is 1.24 miles (2 km) above the crater floor. The distance from Tycho’s floor to its rim is about 2.92 miles (4.7 km).
Many rock fragments (“clasts”) ranging in size from some 33 feet (10 m) to hundreds of yards are exposed in the central peak slopes. Were these distinctive outcrops formed as a result of crushing and deformation of the target rock as the peak grew? Or do they represent preexisting rock layers that were brought intact to the surface?
Tycho’s features are so steep and sharp because the crater is only about 110 million years old — young by lunar standards. Over time micrometeorites and not-so-micro meteorites, will grind and erode these steep slopes into smooth mountains. For a preview of Tycho’s central peak may appear like in a few billion years, look at Bhabha crater.
On May 27, 2010, LRO captured a top-down view of the summit (below), including the large boulder seen in the above image. Also note the fractured impact melt deposit that surrounds the boulder. And the smooth area on top of the boulder, is that also frozen impact melt? These images from the LRO Camera clearly show that the central peak formed very quickly: The peak was there when impact melt that was thrown straight up during the impact came back down, creating mountains almost instantaneously. Or did the melt get there by a different mechanism? The fractures probably formed over time as the steep walls of the central peak slowly eroded and slipped downhill. Eventually the peak will erode back, and this massive boulder will slide such that the big boulder will meet its demise as it slides 1.24 miles (2 km) to the crater floor.
More than four million PCs have been enrolled in a botnet security experts say is almost “indestructible”.
The botnet, known as TDL, targets Windows PCs and is difficult to detect and shut down.
Code that hijacks a PC hides in places security software rarely looks and the botnet is controlled using custom-made encryption.
Security researchers said recent botnet shutdowns had made TDL’s controllers harden it against investigation.
The 4.5 million PCs have become victims over the last three months following the appearance of the fourth version of the TDL virus.
The changes introduced in TDL-4 made it the “most sophisticated threat today,” wrote Kaspersky Labs security researchers Sergey Golovanov and Igor Soumenkov in a detailed analysis of the virus.
“The owners of TDL are essentially trying to create an ‘indestructible’ botnet that is protected against attacks, competitors, and anti-virus companies,” wrote the researchers.
Recent successes by security companies and law enforcement against botnets have led to spam levels dropping to about 75% of all e-mail sent, shows analysis by Symantec.
Although he was a successful writer of radio comedies for Arthur Askey, Tony Hancock and Frankie Howerd, and television sitcoms starring Jimmy Clitheroe and Hattie Jacques, Bob Block, who has died aged 89, will be best remembered by those who grew up in the 1970s for the children’s series he created – Pardon My Genie, Robert’s Robots, Rentaghost and Grandad.
The first to capture the imaginations of adult viewers as well as the young audience at which it was aimed, Pardon My Genie (1972-73) featured a spirit (Hugh Paddick in the first series, Arthur White in the second) that appears when an old watering can is polished by Hal Adden (Ellis Jones), the shop assistant in an ironmonger’s owned by Mr Cobbledick (Roy Barraclough). Much of the comedy derived from the fact that the 4,000-year-old genie’s magic was as rusty as the can – and the programme was notable for its slapstick and farce.
That style was also a trademark of Rentaghost (1976-80), along with Block’s inventiveness and wit, and cleverly constructed storylines and plot twists. It featured an agency renting out phantoms such as the Victorian fop Hubert Davenport (Michael Darbyshire), the medieval jester Timothy Claypole (Michael Staniforth), the Caledonian conjuror Hazel the McWitch (Molly Weir) and the hayfever-suffering Dutchwoman Nadia Popov (Sue Nicholls).
The ghosts had the ability to teleport by grabbing their noses between thumb and forefinger. However, their hamfisted attempts at running a taxi service and organising a highbrow concert and other activities invariably ended in failure.
The characters had also proved somewhat inept in Rentaghost’s predecessor, Robert’s Robots (1973-74), starring John Clive as an eccentric inventor, Robert Sommerby. He had a gift for building robots resembling and behaving like human beings, including the bad-tempered Eric (Nigel Pegram), who regarded actual humans as disgusting creatures with revolting habits, such as eating.
When the Miami Police first found Benito Que, he was slumped on a desolate side street, near the empty spot where he had habitually parked his Ford Explorer. At about the same time, Don C. Wiley mysteriously disappeared. His car, a white rented Mitsubishi Galant, was abandoned on a bridge outside of Memphis, where he had just had a jovial dinner with friends. The following week, Vladimir Pasechnik collapsed in London, apparently of a stroke.
The list would grow to nearly a dozen in the space of four nerve-jangling months. Stabbed in Leesburg, Va. Suffocated in an air-locked lab in Geelong, Australia. Found wedged under a chair, naked from the waist down, in a blood-splattered apartment in Norwich, England. Hit by a car while jogging. Killed in a private plane crash. Shot dead while a pizza delivery man served as a decoy.
What joined these men was their proximity to the world of bioterror and germ warfare. Que, the one who was car-jacked, was a researcher at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Wiley, the most famous, knew as much as anyone about how the immune system responds to attacks from viruses like Ebola.