Monday, September 03, 2007

I am not bound to please thee with my Answer...

... Certainly not when you ask that kind of question.

I have recently been spending time on Yahoo! Answers, mostly out of sheer boredom between class sessions. For those who don't know, Yahoo! Answers is a website where random people on the internet ask questions, and other random people, like myself, stop by to answer them. Good answers are rewarded with points, and when you get enough points, you presumably get rewarded with something nice, a toaster oven say. I already have over 2,500 points, and I'll probably get that cool leather jacket any day now. What's that you say? Points are meaningless? NOooooOO! Well at least I still have a blog post.

I earned most of my points in two fields, one of which I am now a "Top Contributor" in. Perhaps you can guess which fields those are. Well I won't tell you if you are right or not because I refuse to admit how much of a loser I truly am*. But I noticed there are some people who are even bigger losers than I am. And for your viewing pleasure, I will ennumerate the with snide remarks.

1) Some people, forgetting that any random bozo is going to answer their question, describe, in extreme detail, a 15 step experiment they would like their research group to carry out. Then they ask whether the project is safe. Hello! There are probably only 10 or so labs in the country that can do that project, and yours is one of them. Lives may be at stake here, and you me whether what you are doing is safe? Do you really think it is a good idea to waste your time and points asking that. Wouldn't it be better, to, I don't know, ASK A COLLEGUE! Someone who also went to graduate school. Someone with experience. I am one of the most knowledgeable people on that Yahoo Answers forum. I have had 2 years of training in that subject, and I can't even understand the question. And knowing the other users on that forum only makes me less comfortable about you asking there for safety advice.

2) The other users browsing that forum. Namely the guy who asked, "Two chemicals dangerous when mixed. Where I get them?" Luckily for him most knowledgeable chemical people aren't sadists** and would never give him such info. There's a good chance he's still alive.

3) Many people probably use Yahoo! Answers to get help with homework. This is fine. Some people ask about 50 questions at the same time, and expect other people to do their homework. Those people receive a lot of snide remarks, and not all of them from me. But even those people are smart enough not to use Yahoo! Answers to cheat on tests. And even the people who use Yahoo! Answers to cheat on tests don't normally give the point value of each test question they want answered. But one guy did just that. He (or she, but I think girls may have more brains than that) painstakingly typed in 16 Algebra questions, and yes, right there next to the title of each question, was the amount of points the question would be worth on the test. I'm not sure what he was thinking. I mean a) How could anyone answer all those questions and get back to him before the teacher wondered what was taking him so long in the bathroom? b) By putting the point-score there, he annouced to the whole world it was a test, and most people want money for test questions. c) Writing that point-score wastes time. And if you only have an hour, it would probably be in your best interest to hurry. Anyway I got back to him about three days later with this answer: "You Fail". And I got my 16 points for it; To add to his embarrassment, I voted it the best answer.

4) On the topic of people who write stupid math questions: You would be surprised to find the number of people who write in asking for 50% of 30 or help adding a two-digit number. I don't know about you readers, but I find this shameful. a) It is not too much too expect for someone to be able to add two-digit numbers. It's not that hard. Even Paris Hilton could probably add two-digit numbers if she set her mind to it. It might take her a few hours, but she could do it.*** If Paris can add, so can you. b) If you are such an absolute moron that you don't know how to add two digit numbers, at the least cover your stupidity with a calculator. There is no need to announce to the world what a dunce you are. A calculator can do the job cheaper and faster.

5) Someone who answers the aforementioned question with "Arg Math! I hate math! It burns. It burns. Make it go away!"**** is even worse than the last guy. She (Sorry ladies, but she did have a female avatar) also could do with some math and perhaps some counseling. I mean does she freak out every time she write up a deposit slip? But at least the other guy knew how to read. You have to give him some credit. He knew to ask that question about addition in the forum labeled "Mathematics". If this person is that scared of numbers, why in heck did she go to a "Mathematics" forum? What did she expect to find there?

Besides the people, there is one other highly amusing thing about Yahoo! Answers. The "Alternative Science" forum somehow ended up lumped with the "Actual Science" forums in "Science and Mathematics". Even more amusing, "Alternative" happens to come just before "Astronomy and Cosmology" in the list. This ensures a constant supply of ridicule and torment towards anyone who dares ask a question about Astrology or UFOs. It's very entertaining to watch.

And last, some questions just make you say "Whaa..." I speak of course about this one.
Hypothetically speaking, if my husband went into New Zealand's witness protection program, will I ever see him

For some reason, I am partial to one Edgar Greenberg's answer.
The New Zealand Witness Protection Program? OF COURSE! I KNEW that orc looked familiar. Tony we have our man. And nope you'll never see him again. Not now anyway. Thanks Honey.

But this guy's was good too.
Probably not - because New Zealand's witness protection program is the best in the World bar none.

You are told to dress like a sheep and go mingle. So far not one protectee has ever been found....
Support your local All Important Question Of The Day&trade (and Completely Ridiculous Question Of The Day&trade and Just Wondering&trade)

The Completely Ridiculous Question of the Day&trade? That's one cause The Cold Hard Facts heartily supports.******

*Out of touch with Culture. Ha, I'll have you know I earned an A in Pop Culture. I'm like totally awesome, man.
**Unluckily for him, I am sadistical. I told him exactly where to get them chemicals from. I also told him the reaction product has a sweet and tangy smell. Expect an update real soon, possibly from the Darwin Awards.
***You catch the Pop Culture reference? I told you I was on the ball.
****Ok it wasn't quite that. But I HAD to exaggerate. People who can't add aren't all that witty or literate either. '
*****Contrary to what this post may make you believe, I do sometimes give actual and factual answers. Just don't ask me to make a "Cold yam salad recipes with marshmallow fluff?"


Aryeh said...

Finaly a return to Cold Hard Facts, i was getting sick and tired of Hot Soft Fiction.

Jonathan/Yoni said...

"you fail" ha ha
and the lady who hates math browsing the math forum, lol.

Ava said...

Loved it!! So real and true!!

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