BBC: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020 finalists revealed. “A fish that appears to smile, a bear giving a friendly wave from afar and a very grumpy sea turtle – this year’s finalists show animals in relatable comedy moments. The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards were founded by Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, both professional photographers and passionate conservationists.”
Input Magazine: ‘Airplane Mode’ simulates a 6-hour flight in coach because that’s how grim reality is now. “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is having such a moment right now that people are apparently buying up all the supply of flight stick controllers, leaving plebes to use a keyboard and mouse or — *gasp* — gamepad like some kind of monster. Screw that hoity-toity front-of-the-plane-you’re-a-captain simulation because Airplane Mode is clearly the more realistic flying experience. The One True Flight Simulator.”
AZ Central: Need a laugh? Phoenix improv comedy groups are streaming free shows. Here’s how to watch. “Comedians thrive off a crowd’s reactions, and improvisational comedy is nearly impossible without live audience feedback. With COVID-19 closures and safety considerations in recent months, improv groups in metro Phoenix have largely stopped hosting in-person shows. Instead, several have brought their cast members’ talents online so fans can watch from the comfort and safety of their homes.”
BBC: Fawlty Towers John Cleese backs Torbay social distancing plea. “Fawlty Towers legend John Cleese has joined in a call for social distancing in the seaside town where the comedy series was set. Cleese tweeted: ‘Going forward if I see you too close to one another I shall lay down in-between. Social distance!’ The tweet by Cleese who played hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the TV comedy, added ‘2 metres = 1 Basil Fawlty’.”
BBC: Coronavirus: Signs tell shoppers ‘stay seven Chihuahuas apart’ . “Stern signs instructing people to queue two metres apart have become part of life since lockdown. But graphic designer Keith Williams and friend Katrina Collins wanted to lighten the mood and create a talking point. So they settled on making messages that describe two metres in quirky ways, such as ‘7 Chihuahuas’ and ’50 chips’.”
For a given value of useful, but it’s Saturday, so.. Make Tech Easier: Here’s a Bunch of Funny Things to Ask Siri. “Siri is an extremely useful AI assistant, helping you in day-to-day tasks like making a calendar appointment or finding your iPhone. But there are plenty of other more whimsical uses for Siri too. This is especially true when it comes to kids, though adults will also enjoy the pile of nonsense questions you can throw at Siri. So we’ve gathered together a whole bunch of funny things to ask Siri when you’re bored and looking for a quick fix of fun. Some are kid-friendly, others aren’t. We’ll let you be the judge!”
CNET: Rickroll service spices up Zoom meetings with Never Gonna Give You Up. “Zoom fatigue is real. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed much of the world into endless loops of virtual meetings, but there is a light in the Zoom darkness. Creative technologist Matt Reed has created a Rickrolling service that summons Rick Astley and his catchy Never Gonna Give You Up hit into your Zoom meetings.”
CNET: Memes toss first half of 2020 into the blazing dumpster where it belongs. “Goodbye and good riddance, first six months of 2020. You were a dumpster fire of a half-year, with your global pandemic and your murder hornets, and the second half of the year better not be taking cues from you. July 2 marks the midpoint of most calendar years, since there are generally 182 days behind it and 182 days after it. (Since this is a leap year, there are 183 days behind us now.) As we turn the cursed calendar page to July, the internet was quick to try to find some laughs in the debacle that was January through June, and to envision what July through December might have in store for an already exhausted world.”
Evening Express: Aberdeen University shows off its assets with online #BestMuseumBum battle. “Staff Aberdeen University have polished their bums for an online museum battle. Started by Yorkshire Museum, today’s curator is calling on museums to showcase the best bums and bottoms from their collection. Starting the campaign was an image of a Roman marble statuette depicting ‘an athlete at the peak of fitness’.”
The Onion: City Enters Phase 4 Of Pretending Coronavirus Over. “Saying the city remained on track for progressing into the final stage, Mayor Eric Johnson told Dallas residents Friday that they would soon officially be entering Phase 4 of pretending the coronavirus was over.”
The Tab: This is how to do that hilarious AI meme generator that everyone is doing on Twitter. “The generator, called This Meme Does Not Exist, is created by a site called site is called imgflip, who say on their site that the memes are generated by ‘a deep artificial neural network. Nothing about the text generation is hardcoded, except that the maximum text length is limited for sanity. The model uses character-level prediction, so you can specify prefix text of one or more characters to influence the text generated.'”
The Cut: How to Make a Realistic Duplicate of Your Head and Face (for Zoom). “Wouldn’t you love a guilt-free break from Zooming? Try to imagine it. The ability to have a single night’s relief from screaming into a computer during an ultimately dispiriting facsimile of a ‘hang-out’ with your friends or loved ones, without the stigma that accompanies turning down the invitation. The ability to act as a sounding board for your in-laws’ thoughts about lifting isolation restrictions, without having to be a sounding board for your in-laws’ thoughts about lifting isolation restrictions. The ability to present an attentive audience for your boss during a ‘meeting,’ while you just close your eyes or lie on the ground or do literally anything else, for the love of God. Believe me when I tell you: I can bring you this relief.”
WTTW: Can’t Stop the Comedy: Performers Adapt to COVID-19. “It’s said laughter is the best medicine, and while that might not be part of the CDC’s official guidelines, comedians everywhere are reaching out to audiences online, hoping for a little healing, some connection and a lot of laughter. The Second City, whose stages are as dark as any in town, is doing its part to light up the internet three nights a week with ‘Improv House Party.’ Anneliese Toft co-directs Thursday night’s offering, ‘Helter Shelter.’ The 45-minute show is an interactive Zoom spectacular.”
Found on YouTube: one of those rare Mr. Rogers parodies that doesn’t go for salacious laughs but sticks to deadpan satire. Mr. Rogers’ voice is not great but Lady Elaine, X the Owl, Queen Saturday, and Henrietta are perfect. Extremely well done and highly recommended. Lady Elaine encourages panic buying during quarantine – Mister Rogers Neighborhood parody.
Washingtonian: Meet the 19-Year-Old College Student Who Flew an Airplane Over Maryland in a Flight Path That Spelled “F— Covid 19”. “On Tuesday around 4 PM, a Piper Cherokee took off from Harford County Airport near Churchville, Maryland. Over the next two hours, the pilot flew a complex path that took him as far west as Prettyboy Reservoir and back east as far as Perryville. When viewed end to end, his flight path, about 28 nautical miles end to end and about 191 nautical miles total, delivered a middle finger to the pandemic that continues to ravage the US and disrupt our lives: ‘F*CK COVID 19,’ it read.” Asterisk mine.