December 18, 2015

"It's like: you and the Tyrannosaurus rex."

What I said when Meade read item #4 on "10 things not to buy in 2016": "Selfie sticks." I was all: "Yeah, if your arm's not long enough...."


rhhardin said...

Screwing an extended selfie-stick into the camera makes the picture sharper by greatly raising its angular inertia against hand shake.

Gahrie said...

Selfie stick?

I've never even owned a cell phone yet.

Bill Williams said...

Bourbon? Don't buy bourbon? Rye is more unctuous and feisty?

No. Bourbon is the great American drink. They (and Meade) are wrong on this one. What's the deal here? Are they French or something?

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Been doing a joke in my act (intermittently) re selfies and a T-rex. Just putting it on the record here so nobody thinks I'm ripping off the professor. That's not how I roll. Ripping off law blogs, that is. (It gets a great response. The joke, that is.)

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

P.S. Not sure why the selfie stick is causing so much resentment these days. For MarketWatch to characterize "people desperate to share a picture of themselves but can’t be bothered to ask someone else to take it" is tortured bullshit. I live in Las Vegas, where there are more selfie sticks per capita than anywhere on earth. The faces depicted in the vast majority of selfies being taken with those sticks have a genuine smile on them. I'd say that's a good thing and that Jillian Berman needs to grow up.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the selfie-stick/T-Rex joke is a thing that exists in nature, waiting to be discovered. After I wrote this post I googled, on the theory that I can't have been the first person to base a joke on this.

My point was that everyone has, by now, gotten over selfie sticks. Your arm should be enough, and if your arm isn't long enough so you really do need a stick, it's like, you and the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Ann Althouse said...

I found this from November 2014: "Someone really needs to buy T-rex a selfie stick for Christmas."

Ann Althouse said...

I'll bet many comedians have made many jokes about the shortness of T rex arms over the years. I mean, every kid wants to know, what's up with the tiny arms?

Ann Althouse said...

I get over 8 million hits on the question why does a t rex have small arms?


"The mysterious function of T. rex’s short arms has provided an endless source of amusement on the internet. But scientists too have been perplexed by the dichotomy of such a large animal with such tiny, seemingly useless forelimbs. Similar to the initial idea that T. rex used its arms to hold its mate, some have suggested that the arms kept prey in place—a study from 1990 hypothesized that the arms could maneuver at least 400 pounds—or provided lift when the animal stood up on two legs, assuming the animals ever sat on the ground. As far as current theories go, the idea that T. rex’s forelimbs are in fact totally useless is growing in popularity, says Sara Burch, a paleontologist at Ohio University. But Burch isn’t convinced and is trying to reconstruct the muscle layout of T. rex’s forelimbs based on the forelimb muscles of its modern relatives and the shape of the bones."

(The internal link goes to a Tumblr called "T. rex trying," with lots of cartoons, like a T. rex trying to play hopscotch.

MadisonMan said...

Please don't link to things that require multiple click-throughs. You're only encouraging them.

Peter said...

Why would anyone buy "down payment insurance"?

I think I understand the psychology of it (people are risk-averse). But the expected value of the loss must be less than the price of the insurance or no one would sell it; therefore, it makes sense to buy insurance only for potential losses one can't afford. Which presumably doesn't apply to the down payment on a house, as you've already paid it and, if you think there's a significant risk that the price a house will fall then why would you want to buy it?

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

A few comedians here and there have mined the T-rex/short arms thing over the years. Not as many as you'd think. (And mostly dealing with masturbation.)

My point was just a pre-emptive strike so nobody thinks I'm ripping off a blog.

(If I see a comic do a bit that's similar to mine, I tell him when he gets off stage, just so-- in the future, when I'm doing my joke-- he doesn't think I ripped him off. Insurance. A reflex.)

Talking to a comic last night. He was on the road with a friend who was coming up on his fourth Carson appearance. He needed just one more joke to put a bow on top of the five-minute set that he was running for the appearance on Tonight. The comic suggested a bit _he_ had been doing. He allowed the comic to "rent" it, just for the one TV appearance. When he got home from watching the taping, there were two messages on his answering machine from other comics who said he just got ripped off on national television. The comic who taped the appearance also got messages-- from other comics who admonished him for ripping off a joke. (Both comics had to straighten the others out on the arrangement. The comic who taped the show handed over most or all of his AFTRA-scale check for the taping, as previously agreed.)

Interesting. (There's an SSRN paper that explores stuff like this-- in which I am quoted multiple times-- that says, "...norms-based IP systems offer an alternative (or supplementary) cost/benefit bundle which in some cases may be superior to that of formal law alone. In stand-up's case, norms economize on enforcement costs and appear to maintain a healthy level of incentives to create alongside a greater diversity in the kinds of humor produced."

Hunter said...

The legitimate reasons for a selfie stick, to get the camera farther than arms length away:

You are trying to get a bunch of people in the frame. Yeah you could ask one person to take the photo, but then they can't be in it.

You don't want to look bulbous. There is a reason portraits are usually taken with a longer lens from farther away. Arms length is not far enough away to avoid really bad perspective distortion. Also you can't get much background or much of your own body in the frame. So the photo lacks the context you may want.

In either case, yes, you can ask a stranger to take the picture. Do I want to hand my $600 smart phone to a stranger who might drop it or run off with it? Not particularly. Also, in my experience, strangers usually take shitty pictures. Most people don't know what a good exposure is, or how to frame even the most basic shot of a couple people standing in front of something.

I do not own a selfie stick, but I wish I had invented it. It's one of those ideas that is right there staring you in the face yet it doesn't occur to you until someone else does it.