Sunday Burst!

Oddities and Awesome abound!

:: 25 GIFs that illustrate mathematics concepts. Some of these are indeed a bit clarifying, but there are a few others that still make no sense to me. But then, I haven’t grappled with a lot of these concepts since I was in school many moons ago.

(On that last one, those kids better be using a wipeable marker.)

:: If you want proof that a wonderful blog post can be written about anything, here’s a wonderful blog post about The Simpsons‘s Ralph Wiggum.

One of the most endearing parts of Ralph’s backstory is how supportive and warm his home life is. Anyone who fits in that badly at school deserves a loving set of parents. They don’t always get it.

His father, Chief Wiggum, is usually depicted as Ralph with a nightstick and a gun (which is part of what makes Chief Wiggum ridiculous while Ralph remains lovable; Ralph has no actual power to abuse), and regularly takes his son out on patrol with him. He’s happy to tolerate Ralph’s quirks (Wiggle Puppy — the character Ralph inhabits when he drops to all fours, runs around in a circle, and barks — comes foremost to mind) and quick to dispense fatherly advice when Ralph comes to him with girl problems. “A woman’s a lot like a nut, son,” Chief Wiggum says, before pulling out his gun and shooting a walnut open in frustration.

But Ralph is more than Chief Wiggum minus power. Ralph’s goodness is not the absence of malice. Ralph’s goodness is pure and unself-conscious. “Was President Lincoln okay?” he asks Ms. Hoover worriedly after learning of the Ford Theater assassination. It’s the last day of school, and everyone else has already left for the summer. Ralph’s not leaving until he makes sure that President Lincoln is doing all right.

Ms. Hoover does the only thing. “He was fine.”

Ralph can go home after that. No one will suffer alone as long as Ralph is around.

:: I freely admit to having a high tolerance for weird stuff, and even with weird stuff I don’t like, I at least respect the impulse to just be weird, because the world usually needs more weirdness. But once in a while I encounter something that’s just too out there, something that makes me say, “Whoa there, folks. Let’s rein it in a bit. You’ve gone too far around the bend, beyond the borders of Weirdville, and into the middle of Crazytown.”

Case in point: Asian Nazi cosplay.

Yeah. That’s just…not right.

More next week!

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