Tag Archives: random

(Ir)replaceable?

I have a bunch of old coffee mugs from TV shows, art museums, even an apartment complex I used to live. In once sense these aren’t replaceable. If I ever break my Mozilla Coffee mug or the “I’m in the middle of fifteen things, all of them annoying” quote from Cmdr. Ivanova, or if I lose the “Venti Schmenti” travel mug from Diedrich’s (a coffee chain that has since been absorbed by Starbucks), that’s it — I can’t get another one.

But I have plenty of other coffee mugs, and there’s no shortage of mugs I could buy to replace them if I had to.

As memorabilia, they’re irreplaceable. Functionally, they’re almost expendable.

It’s interesting to think that they’re both, depending on how you’re looking at them.

Not so Random

I wanted to take a look at Firefox’s error page a few minutes ago, so I selected the address bar and hit some random keys. Due to a lack of sleep last night and a day of caffeine, I’d forgotten that if it can’t find a site with a given hostname (and still can’t find one through auto-complete), it automatically does a search for whatever you typed in.

I was rather surprised to see that a search for “klasjdf” turned up 508 hits.

As I think about it, it makes sense. Those letters are 7 of the 8 home keys on the QWERTY keyboard layout, and the eighth is not only a semi-colon, but home to a pinky. A touch typist hitting random keys might be inclined to just hit the ones that are already under his or her fingers. One per finger, leaving out the single non-letter, gets you exactly the 7 that I typed.

As for the letter order, I spot-checked a few permutations, the lowest of which was just 251 for klasdfj. Those with patterns scored higher: 18,400 for alskdjf (alternating left & right, working in from the edges to the center); 99,600 for asdfjkl (left-to-right).

I guess there must just be a lot of people typing random text. Infinite monkeying around, so to speak.

Best random song pairing ever

The following two “Weird Al” Yankovic songs popped up sequentially on the iPod the other day:

  • “I Love Rocky Road” (based on Joan Jett’s version of “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” and all about ice cream.)
  • “Cavity Search” (it’s about going to the dentist—U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” is turned into “Numb me, drill me, floss me, bill me.”)

Sometimes random shuffle makes you wonder whether the software knows more about the songs than what’s in the ID3 tag.