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Friday Fun Thread for January 27, 2023

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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Does anyone here count cards?

I count until I get 52, and then I stop. Make sure to account for jokers though.

Dunno if this is the place but needed to complain about that roughing the kicker call against SF. Insane. Eagles player blocked him into the punter. Wild.

New 'AI' tool by imgn_ai is capable of making very plausible looking pictures of hot women..

It's still in beta though, so, sometimes it misses.

I suspect YCombinator has already funded some bright young founder who wants to 'disrupt porn' and make the world better by eliminating exploitation of women by unscrupulous porn industry or something along those lines..

Also relevant:

Hands are tricky, so maybe a sign language manual was bound to end poorly.

Can you give me a link to the tool these images were made from? I googled "imgn_ai" and the first result was "" so I installed their program before realizing it wasn't that, then I found "" which is a telegram thing and I don't know what telegram is, and then I found "" which is yet another thing that doesn't seem to be what made the images.

I reverse google image searched the first image and there are lots of twitter posts of the image but none are pointing to an original source or mentioning the program used to create it.

I'm asking because I want to generate similar imagery.

Found it: @heartereum.

I believe it's this, but someone is running the output through some sharpening NN to add detail and resolution?

what blows my mind is how perfectly calibrated it is to the platonic ideal (in western society) of a hot woman.

It's so weird, it's so potent, and this is just some amateur's work. God I am happy I won't be entering puberty in this decade. Shit's starting to get weird fast.

Note that this ideal is an artificially enhanced look that exploit supra-normal stimulus and androgynousity, for example the brows are very masculine albeit supra-masculine.

It is an interesting feature that for women to exert peak visual stimulation they require for some feature to reach levels more masculine than men themselves.

what blows my mind is how perfectly calibrated it is to the platonic ideal (in western society) of a hot woman.

Why shouldn't it be? Its training dataset is set is full of platonic ideals (in western society) of hot women.

I'm wondering if impossibly hot chatbots living in people's phones might turn out to be a force for good or not. Theoretically you could get a lot of teen boys to do literally anything with a proper approach in the form of a hot woman being interested in them....

Have you by any chance read 0HPLovecraft's God-Shaped Hole? NSFW, obviously.

Not yet.


And given how long it took me to spot the finger I'd say the misses could be a lot worse.

Why the mockery of...venture capital? Silicon Valley? I figure some bright young founder wants to make money by producing porn without paying any actual women. No need to knock down straw altruists.

I've seen too much of related corporate bs , and between that, and effective altruists, I'm practically allergic to people who say they want to make the world better.

But hey, this is the friday fun thread, so I won't go any further.

If I were to read Dumas and Hugo, does anyone know of a resource for what order to read them in? A personally preferred order? Books to skip?

There's no specific order beyond reading Les Miserables and the D'Artagnan books in the natural order.

I've been playing and thoroughly enjoying Fire Emblem Engage over the past week. The story is bland, with some of the worst hero worship I've ever seen in an RPG, but the gameplay is probably the best it's ever been in the series. Here are my thoughts on it as someone who's played about half the entries in the series. I'm maybe 3/4 through right now, so I suppose my impressions could still change.

The presentation is solid, with better environmental design and seemingly less asset reuse than Three Houses. Many lines are unvoiced though which feels like a step back from Echoes and 3H. The character designs range from trashy gacha game tier to quite good, depending on who you're looking at. The environments are gorgeous and the music is incredible.

The story is pretty generic with fairly obvious plot twists. It's serviceable though, and not actively terrible like Fates. The characters take the unfortunate Awakening route where most of them are one-note gimmicks who just repeat their gimmick(s) in every support conversation. The cast is large enough that despite this, you should find yourself with a full roster of people you like and want to keep alive. I like Alfred, Diamant, and Ivy quite a lot, as well as many of the meme characters that the gameplay makes you grow attached to. I prefer how 3H and Genealogy handled their characters better, with a tightly connected cast of characters whose interactions developed both the characters and the world, but I like the new cast nonetheless.

The big new mechanic of the game is the Engage Rings, which are 12 rings that each contain the soul of a protagonist of the previous entries. Characters can "Engage" them to receive guidance and significant power from the hero stored inside them. The game glosses over the sheer existential horror of being a disembodied spirit bound to a ring for seemingly forever, aware of the world around you but unable to interact or communicate with it until the main character awakens your ring, so... I will too, I suppose. You steadily acquire more of the rings as the story progresses and assign them to your units, who can use them to call on extremely powerful abilities.

Storywise, the rings are pure fanservice, and often feel like a missed opportunity. Many of these characters are already very similar to eachother coming into it — at least half are infantry lords with similar personalities who use swords in their own stories — and Engage flattens their personalities even further into basically a single, happy, supportive blob with one personality between the 12 of them. It might be more interesting to have the rings be the spirits of characters and heroes or villains from the game's own worldbuilding, with distinct personalities and histories that vary between the spirits, but I get why they went the way they did. I've played the games about 2/3 of the included characters and it is fun to see them here, even if it does feel like the I clapped when I saw it meme.

Going by gameplay the rings are awesome. They give varied, interesting abilities that can play to a unit's strengths or shore up their weaknesses, and each one has a flashy, single-use move you can use each time you Engage it. Many characters have unique mechanics that echo the mechanics from their own games (Lucina's abilities are based on pair-up attacks, Corrin has terrain-altering moves, Leif cheats and uses whatever weapon is most advantageous when attacked, just like the enemies in his game.) that make the unit you attach them to play radically differently. The rings are definitely overpowered, but the game throws so much of its own nonsense at you that they actually feel somewhat balanced, though your experience may vary based on difficulty and how much you grind.

The game itself is a blast, minus some tedious minigames like the fishing. The map design is strong, units have varied niches, fights are challenging and feel cinematic, skill inheritance and ring placement give you lots of unit building options, and I can go on. Engage is easily shaping up to be one of my favorite entries in the series. Strong recommend if you enjoy RPGs, strategy games, or Fire Emblem.

I feel embarrassed to say this but honestly the character design hair has been holding back my purchase. It's just so fucking dumb looking.

Which ones? They look like standard modern FE husband/waifu bait to me. Except maybe the black Dippin Dots girls, I'll admit that's weird.

Also I wasn't going to buy this but I see Lyn is in it... now I might have to.

Hey, at least you don't have to drink a verification can (of Pepsi) every time you restart a stage; they sponsored the main character's hair color up front this time.

You are not alone.

Good to see a review!

The only other one I’ve seen described it as the best strategy gameplay paired with some of the worst plot, so you’re more or less on the same page. I’m not sure how to evaluate the character designs—the protagonist is astonishingly bad. Diamant looks pretty cool, though I have a hard time differentiating his visuals from SMT#FE’s Touma!

After getting farther in I have to downgrade my rating on the plot from serviceable to actively awful, so I'd say the other review you read had it just about right. I find it increasingly difficult to just enjoy the gameplay when I feel so disconnected from the story it services, but YMMV.

The character designs are pretty goofy, but at a certain point I just got used to most of them. I chose the male main character but am starting to think this was a mistake. He has a lot of feminine character traits that I find very grating on him, and would probably mind less if he were a woman.

Is there any way to keep YouTube videos playing when I lock my phone without paying for premium?

I run yt-dlp periodically on a cron job, then a python script collates the videos into an rss feed, and copies the videos and rss to a webserver, where a podcast app that supports videos can download it. (I use Downcast.)

The user experience from this is dramatically better than the default.

I use video lite on ios.

Android has Newpipe. For obvious reasons you can't get it from the play store.

That works too.

Does viewed from a browser work for you?

That works.

If you're on Android then you can use and YouTube Vanced. It's a bit of a hassle to set up but it works well. Also blocks ads.

I had Vanced for a while but it stopped working for me a few months back, might look into setting it up again.

Youtube Vanced development has stopped, so it might not work if/when Youtube eventually changes its API. You might want to try looking into Youtube ReVanced. It has the same lock screen playback and ad blocking features as Vanced and is actively being developed.

Any recommendations for funny podcasts?

Some of my favourites are:

No Such Thing As A Fish - The researchers from the British panel show QI talk about their favourite facts of the week. It is essentially a panel show in itself, but without the conceit of any games or scoring

Dreamgun Film Reads - A group of Irish comedians (with special guests sometimes) do live readings of film scripts, that have been rewritten to be full of jokes. The podcasts are recordings of the live shows, complete with audience laughter. If you like films I **strongly **recommend giving this a listen.

The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast - Deadpan surrealism. The host presents a fake podcast about the beef and dairy industry. Surprisingly good given the odd-sounding premise

Lateral - British Youtuber Tom Scott hosts a quiz show with guests. All the questions involve lateral thinking. Not as funny as the others but still quite fun.

I'd really like to find something similar to Dreamgun, in the sense of being a scripted show in front of a live audience. I'm not really into D&D, which seems to have spawned a lot of comedy podcasts in the last few years.

Cum Town.

Note: not for everyone, very highbrow.

Just listened to the most recent episode of Lateral and loved it (though I was disappointed they didn't immediately get the Alien$ question)! Thanks for the recommendation.

For funny podcasts, I love Hollywood Handbook, but it's in a very different vein from the ones you mentioned and seems to be an acquired taste.

Not a podcast, but you can listen to WILTY as if it was a podcast.

Does Tom Scott always sound like he's out of breath?

Welcome to Nightvale is an enjoyable absurdist horror podcast about a radio show in a small American town where supernatural events are common and not treated as unusual.

Matt snd Shane's secret podcast has a 3 or 4 part podcast with Louis ck where they talk through all the presidents. It was about 6 hours long and I thought it was very funny and also thoughtful. Not 100% historically accurate. But as someone who is still a Louis CK fan I enjoyed it and probably would put it on again.

Not what you said what you were looking for but thought it was worth a mention.

These are a blast. They just have a ton of fun discussing something they both clearly love. Good times.

The Monday Morning Podcast by Bill Burr is a funny podcast, Not sure if it's to your tastes but would be hard to deny that its funny.

I stopped listening to his podcast but I still put on some of his ad reads every once in awhile. Absolutely hysterical.

Monday Morning Podcast by Bill Burr

Thanks, I'll give it a listen.

Any particular episodes you'd recommend? With 12 years of episodes I'm not sure where to start.

Most of the episodes are just Bill Burr going on rants, arguing with his wife and reading fan mail (and responding with {hilarious} advice), so there isn't any specific episode I have in mind.

There are snippets on youtube that you can listen to, to get a rough idea. The youtube channel Bill Burr University,Monday morning podcast clips has been compiling snippets from the podcast for a while.

This This is one of my favorites.

Any recommendations for good YouTube posts of full college lecture courses?

In the past I've enjoyed YaleCourses posts of Philosophy of Mind with Searle; Dante in translation with Mizzota; introduction to the old testament with Hayes; Marx's Capital with Harvey.

I'd be interested in anything in the literature, especially classical antiquity or 20th century anglophone; economics; history, especially Islamic or Chinese on a broad scale.

I enjoyed this yale course on Game Theory

Not on YouTube, but I found this economics course to be quite good:

You can purchase it on Audible for 15 bucks and it's well worth the money. Timothy Taylor is a great lecturer and is very enthusiastic about his trade.

Not sure if this is exactly what you're after, but I enjoyed this series (also found here) about the evolution of Atheism in the context of Christian Europe, primarily pre-Enlightenment era roots. If you've read Dominion by Tom Holland you'll be familiar with some of the broad strokes, but I found the specific examples given of skeptics/atheists from that time period (both the real ones and the ones depicted in the fiction of the time) especially interesting.

Not related to what you are looking for, but for a youtube lecture series;

Stanford CS224W: Machine Learning with Graphs, was very useful for me (For cryptocurrency/ML research). It's an excellent introduction to Graph Neural Networks and the associated links include lecture slides, notes, exams, and Jupyter Notebooks to code along with. The code is written using the PyGeometric library which is the best library for graph-based learning, a lot of the other courses online use outdated libraries and god forbid tensorflow.