Article Dorkiness Rating

How you know what you’re getting is sheer QUALITY 

The Time Blimp Website contains thousands, perhaps millions at this point, articles and short postings on important yet dorky topics of our day.  The Time Blimp web servers alone can be seen by the naked human eye from the surface of the moon.  In addition to the irritating effects of moon dust on your naked eyes, you (dear reader) may at this point be wondering, “How will I know which articles to read?”  The answer, of course, is all of them.  But we can understand that certain articles have, shall we say, more hit points than others in the role-playing game of dorkiness.  Some articles will appeal to the layman, while others may contain features that could cause bleeding from the ear for an untrained novice.  These features include footnotes, subjunctive clauses, equations, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.

As a service to our readers, we on the Time Blimp staff have therefore devised a rating system, by which all articles are assigned their own branches on the Tree of Dorkiness.  Casual readers can feel free to start with those subjects deemed conducive to easy digestion, while more advanced readers (such as those finishing their PhD theses or SWAT team members attempting to defuse a bomb) can jump straight to the more advanced missives.

We rate our articles from 1 to 10, where 1 is calibrated at the base-level dorkiness of anyone less cool than Coolio, and 10 represents the greatest heights of dorkdom, where even the PBS documentary producers think you’re too dorky for public viewing. When needed, a rating level provides a description calibrated for both the science dweebs and the humanities dorks, especially chosen for successful communication with that particular species of dork. (The authors, of course, are major dweebs in every domain of dorkness.)

The Rubik’s Cube

In the Himalayan mountain range of dorkiness, the Rubik’s Cube is sea level — most everyone is dorky enough to have played with one of these. Articles scoring a “1” are mercifully free of jargon, equations, and terms like “hermeneutics”. In other words, the authors actually tried hard, this time.

   Alt-Rock Scenesters

What does the word “Pavement” mean to you?  Is Mike Patton the best singer in rock?  The scenesters who are approaching nerdiness about a subject that’s still “cool” embody the level of dorkiness of articles rated as a “2”.  These articles demand a slightly higher degree of attention, but are probably still decent bathroom reading for most people.

  Hobby involving plastic weapons and made up languages

Elvin, Druish, Klingon — if you have to dress up in a costume with capes and plastic battle axes to feel appropriate speaking the language, you and these articles both rate a 4.

  A Gmail AccountThe only thing more dorky than having a Gmail account is to be offered an account by a friend, and turn it down because you prefer your own superior email solution.  3.5 if your junk mail is more listserv than C-i-a-l-i-s offers.
   A Dice with X Sides, where X ~= 6

The ownership of anything but the canonical 6-sided dice puts you equal in dorkiness to the articles scoring a “5”.  One might also mention anyone who dresses up in reenactment costumes, particularly ren-fest and civil war varieties.  For the interested readers only.

   Where Toys Meet Algorithms

If you have a “system” to solve the original 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube, you’ve probably come across the beast seen here.  You may also own a tavern puzzle, or small plastic blocks of odd shapes that must be stacked just the right way to make a cube or pyramid.  You’ve become bored with correcting errors in our articles rating below a 6.

   A seriously complicated calculator

For science dweebs, the construction-brick-sized calculator with so many buttons it looks like a massage sandal.  For the humanities-oriented, a detailed map of some nation or archaic city-state that hasn’t been around for hundreds of years.

   The Rock Tumbler

What separates the men from the boys.  (Sadly the non-PC sexist use of the male pronoun is probably accurate at this point.)  Did you ever get one as a gift, throw some rocks in, and wonder why they looked the same when you took them out after 5 minutes?  And the horrible realization the next moment, when you read the instructions and found out that it takes weeks to work?  If your rock tumbler experienced continued after this moment, you can go right on ahead and read level-8 articles.

   The Haircut

There are endless varieties of The Haircut, but you know it when you see it — it might be a comb-over, might be inappropriately long ponytails on overweight men, might be the odd facial-hair patterns.  The common denominator is the need for a proper haircut.

   Erdos number less than infinity
Just knowing what this is rates you a 9.5 — articles at this rarefied altitude are truly dorky, perhaps unreadable.  You may wish they had been unwriteable too.



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