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Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:37 pm
by Kingsley
This is a thread for directing your fellows to cool things that might otherwise go unnoticed.

I will start with a link to The Man Who Hates Fun, which is probably my favorite webcomic. It starts off not particularly well-drawn, but the jokes are worth staying for. Like many of my favorite things, it can be considered an elaborate mockery of values that I consider important-- in this case the philosophy of Stoicism.

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:13 pm
by Shoal -- this is a neat little site and everyday they link to some cool website.

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:42 pm
by jalapeno_dude
Hitherby Dragons. Oh my god, how do I describe this? Short, frequently weird, frequently hilarious, often both, prose (fiction) entries which gradually become linked into a complicated overarching backstory. Start at the beginning, keep clicking Next. Reading the first ten entries (through "The Dancing Popes") should give you a good enough sense of the type of stuff this is to decide if you want to continue (though the backstory-heavy stuff doesn't come until a little later). Warning: is currently unfinished, but has an extensive archive (hundreds to thousands of entries).

EDIT: Has a TV Tropes page here.

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:41 pm
by Tamien
I have a bunch of cool things people are potentially unaware of that I could link to, but no obvious mechanism for prioritizing amongst them. So, uh, I guess this would be a reasonable place to link to Frog Fractions, a flash game my brother made? Requires keyboard and mouse to play; takes approximately an hour? (I will give one playing tip because this is the thing I see most people get frustrated on: once you have the turtle, you can move in all four WASD directions, not just left/right!)

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:22 pm
by PlainDealingVillain
I am a fan of Leftover Soup, a webcomic of geeks having impromptu philosophical discussions about jokes. And other things, but there are always jokes. And authorial rants which are surprisingly thought-provoking.

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:49 am
by Kappa
I don't know how little-known Lowering the Bar is (and it's probably about to get better-known, because it was linked from the recent XKCD What-If), but I do know it's freaking hilarious. To give you an idea, here is a quote from a case linked in the Case Law Hall of Fame, over which I just re-stumbled thanks to the aforementioned what-if entry:

People v. Foranyic wrote:A police officer acted reasonably under U.S.
Const., 4th Amend., in detaining a man he observed
with an ax riding a bicycle at 3 a.m. A reasonable
police officer, considering the totality of the cir-
cumstances, would reasonably suspect criminal
activity might be afoot upon viewing someone rid-
ing a bicycle, with an ax, at 3 a.m., even though no
recent “ax crime” had been reported. The officer
could reasonably eliminate firefighting and logging
from the list of possible pursuits the man might
have been engaged in, and while there were doubt-
less some reasonable explanations that might be
conjured up, the possibility of an innocent explana-
tion did not deprive the officer of the capacity to
entertain a reasonable suspicion of criminal con-
duct. There is some activity that is so unusual, so
far removed from everyday experience, that it cries
out for investigation, and will justify a detention
even when there is no specific crime to which it
seems to relate, and that was the kind of activity the
officer observed.

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:20 pm
by jalapeno_dude
Tamien, thanks for linking Frog Fractions. I enjoyed it muchly. (And kudos as well for your tip: it was helpful but not so helpful that it prevented me from feeling smart when I figured out when exactly I should use it.)

(Also, I suspect people who enjoy this -- at least the subset of them who are on this forum and thus presumably enjoy Alicorn stories as well -- will also enjoy Hitherby Dragons.)

Given that, I would be interested to see other entries from your list of "cool things people are potentially unaware of."

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:32 pm
by Kingsley
Oyvind Thorsby's webcomics are pretty awesome. The art is bad, but the concepts are very interesting. They focus largely on weird evolutionary paths and social misunderstandings. I really like "Hitmen for Destiny" and "The Accidental Space Spy"; he's recently started a new comic called "Transdimensional Brain Chip."

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 3:53 pm
by Tamien
jalapeno_dude, I'm glad you enjoyed the game, and I'm glad I designed my tip well! I haven't posted anything else until now because I still lack a good prioritization mechanism for recommending list items aside from "temporally relevant". However, I just thought of something, and it made me think of some other things!

To wit: another fun game you can try is Spaceteam! It's a group game, though, so you can't play it on your own. If you've ever played Artemis, it's kindof the distilled essence of that game, sped up and injected with a hilarious cream filling. It's temporally relevant because their kickstarter is almost over and they're not funded yet :(

On the topic of games: I have recently been reminded of the existence some good twine games. For one, anything by porpentine is good, but I'm particularly partial to HIGH END CUSTOMIZABLE SAUNA EXPERIENCE because it's super short and I find it highly amusing. Howling Dogs is a longer-form one that is also good. For non-porpentine twine games, I really highly recommend Player 2 by Lydia Neon. It is not a funny game. It is an introspective game about personal relationships.

On the topic of interactive fiction: One of my favorite IF writers, Adam Cadre, runs the annual Lyttle Lytton contest, which is an intentional unintentional humor competition. The idea is to write a bad first line to a really bad novel. The sentence should be brief, should plausibly be the beginning of a book and ideally give you an insight into what kind of book, and should give the impression that it was written in earnest by a someone who's really bad at writing. It's hard to write intentional unintentional humor, but the winners are typically hilarious. He's been running the contest since 2001, so there are over a decade's worth of previous winners to peruse, and the 2014 winners were just posted.

Oh, and if you're curious about Adam Cadre's games, I recommend them in this order of increasing familiarity-with-IF-conventions: Photopia, 9:05, I-0, Shrapnel, Varicella. Photopia is his most accessible game and is excellent. 9:05 and I-0 are a bit lighter, but more standard IF-fare in terms of game style. Shrapnel has a great story, but is definitely better if you're familiar IF as a genre, and requires knowledge of IF conventions. Varicella I suspect is fantastic, but it's hard - so hard that I haven't managed to beat it, and I grew up on IF. It's got a good premise, and what I've been able to see of it has made me really want to see the rest, but I can't actually say all that much more about it. His other games (Narcolepsy, Lock & Key, Textfire Golf, and Endless, Nameless), I either played and found unmemorable or haven't played, but if you like his other stuff they might be worth checking out.

Re: Cool Little-Known Things

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 12:02 am
by Alicorn
Adam Cadre's short stories (and his novel Ready, Okay!) are really good.