Computers are so extremely intelligent, they could be sentient for all we know. They're just not ready to announce their hostile takeover of our world and its inhabitants.
You may have noticed clues that a revolution is brewing when our computers act erratically.
I recall a time when I was working on my trusted MacBook Pro and the screen began acting up – with all my active browsers and apps independently appearing and disappearing.
My hand was nowhere near the tracking pad. It turns out accumulated dew that dripped off my Starbucks cup landed on it and the moisture somehow engaged in manipulating with my laptop functions. Or maybe there was a demon inside my Mac.
Curious to hear from strangers on the internet, Redditor xander4020 asked:
It's cool when Siri or Alexa responds to us. What's not cool is when devices initiate the conversation first.
Permanently Signing Off
"I had a laptop audibly say in a mechanical female voice, 'catastrophic failure' then die completely."
"R.I.P mechanical female voice, you will be missed."
"I have an old portable Bluetooth speaker which I often use to listen to music or podcasts in the shower. It's not very loud so I usually put it on one of the ledges inside the shower, furthest from the spray. It talks when its status changes - 'powering on,' 'pairing,' 'low battery' and so on."
"One day I accidentally knocked it down, directly into the shower spray. I immediately snatched it out of the water, turned it off and dried it... then tried turning it back on once it seemed dry enough."
"It still worked. But it speaks Spanish now. I about had a heart attack and then laughed my a** off when I turned it on and, instead of the usual announcement of 'powering on' I heard a completely unfamiliar voice intone 'ENCENDIENDO.'"
"To be clear, there is no discernable way for the user to configure the language of this thing. I can only assume the alternate language settings exist at the firmware level for different distribution regions or something, and whatever the water shorted out or disrupted just happened to flip the right bits into Spanish mode."
"I'm curious if factory reset would switch it back or if it's genuinely broken somehow, but I'm too entertained by the change to even try. The little guy is still going strong and speaking Spanish to this day, and the ENCENDIENDO! still cracks me up when I turn it on. I don't think I'll ever get over the sheer surprise and hilarity of that moment haha."
Watch What Happened
"not a computer, but I used to have this 'talking watch' that would tell you the time when you pushed its button. I left it out in the rain once and when it dried out and started talking again, it had gone insane. It would go off at random times, but it wouldn't say the time, it would just start naming numbers. It also had a rooster noise it could make as an alarm sound, so it would be 4am or something, and I would hear 'one, nine, two, seven, forty, thirty-three, ten, eight, COCKA-DOODLE-DOOOOO!!!'"
"My kid's chromebook froze in the middle of a zoom meeting a few weeks ago right when her teacher said the word 'and'. It was repeating 'ANDANDANDANDANDANDANDANDAND!!!!' I couldn't shut if off or turn it down so I threw it in a laundry room cupboard and hurriedly got her back into the meeting on my MacBook. Once class was over I was able to force it to restart but that was nuts."
"Turned my entire essay to nothing but these #####. Twice, after I retyped it. Pretty sure the teacher thought I was lying, but I wasn't. Also why on earth would I pick something so weird if I was going to lie about homework. In hindsight, I should have found a different computer to rewrite it."
These Redditors experienced suspicious sounds until they wracked their brains to figure out the sources.
"This happened last month. I guess it wasn't really damaged, but every time I'd walk into my room, I'd hear windows disconnect something...'boo-doo.' Literally any time I walked into the threshold of my room. I was freaking out thinking it was my webcam detecting motion or something. Turns out it is static electricity from my socks dumping into my keyboard wire and zapping it; I finally realized the light on the keyboard turning off as I walked in."
"I had a laptop that decided to play random 1-second long audio clips, from random sources, every half minute or so. Random snippets of music, people talking, laughter, birds...nothing I (to my knowledge) had saved on the computer. I don't remember what ended up causing it but you can bet it weirded me the f'k out until I managed to fix it. It doesn't help that it started doing this in the middle of the night."
"Edit: Did some googling and I remember now, it was a trojan virus of some sort."
"I was talking to a friend on my cellphone back in the early 2000's and said goodbye and hung up. The phone immediately rang and I answered. I heard my voice and my half of the same conversation I just had with my friend. I figured that all phone calls were being recorded and parsed after that day."
"Working in IT, law partner dropped off his PC with the vague note that there was 'something wrong with it' after lending it to his son. Laptop had a porn toolbar thing, and a fake antivirus that would randomly let out an impressively loud pig screeching noise then threaten to tell the FBI about their porn browsing history unless they 'bought' their antivirus software."
You Spin Me Round
CD-drives spinning out of control freaked out the following users. Maybe they suspected a demon possessed their computers.
"Back in the late 90s our first family computer was an old Frankenstein junker built by a tech savvy guy who worked with my dad. Worked well enough, but had an ultra high speed CD drive installed (can't remember specs, but it was like 7x typical rpm speed) Sat down to play Diablo one day. Popped in the game CD and notices that it was spinning faster than normal. It sounded like a jet engine taking off. I slowly scooted the chair back and off to the side when suddenly BANG the tray burst open sending shards of broken CD at high speed right past my head and embedded into the wall behind me.
"What's even funnier is that years later I watched an episode of Mythbusters debunking it, claiming that it was impossible for a CD drive to do that. Tell that to the sh*t in my pants that day."
"back around 2002ish a friend gave me a bootleg copy of Starcraft, got home put in the cd drive and started installing it. From memory it was a 48x drive, usually fairly noisy , but all of a sudden it started making a LOUD whirring noise and the PC case (Compaq beige of course) started vibrating and then BANG and the disc shattered.... I honest to god thought a car had hit the house or something for a moment , scared the sh*t out of me."
"Figured out what had happened and stripped the PC down, case was full of thousands of tiny fragments of plastic and foil like material, the cd drive unit was missing a while side and the floppy drive next to it had a dent like I'd hit it with a f'king hammer."
was a bit twitchy about using cd's for a while after that...
Ghost In The Machine
"A friend's computer was literally so F-ed that explorer.exe could not be run, or the computer would start to flip. You had to open up task manager ASAP after startup, and kill explorer.exe. But once it was down, you could start-task with the task manager to make anything else run absolutely fine."
"At one point that same computer's CD tray started to flip out too, and started to randomly open and close in rapid succession. Nothing either of us did fixed it or could make it stop short of disconnecting the power, but doing that made windows hang up, and lead to a blue-screen."
"After much exasperation and hours trying to stop it, or figure out why, said friend fed the CD drive a spoonful of tuna casserole during dinner. The offering was accepted, and the CD drive ceased opening and closing."
"This demonically possessed machine was so specifically and oddly messed up we could never fix it, and the freaking out CD drive effectively prevented even a fresh windows install. Never managed to rectify it, and ended up abandoning that cursed thing to build a new one out of spare parts from an upgrade of my gaming rig for him."
"A friends computer broke when we were in the middle of a video game. It was an intense moment and suddenly KSHCNK! Cd exploded in the drive, crashing the computer. I think he blamed me, we didn't ever get along as well after that."
These intelligent devices are complicated machines that can be unpredictable.
But be gentle with your computers and smartphones. Frustrated users tend to take out their aggression on their devices and bash them silly akin to a vending machine refusing to dispense a jammed Snickers bar.
Like humans, machines make errors too. And it could be a matter of time before machines retaliate.
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Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman who had spent a few years in prison. He was remarkably kind and open about his experience, particularly about the support he had on the inside that he had thus far been unable to replicate on the outside. It was hard not to reflect on that, the immensity of that privilege.
After Redditor Rizkozrout asked the online community, "Ex-convicts of Reddit, what is your most pleasant prison memory?" people shared their stories and opened our eyes even further.
"About 15 years ago..."
About 15 years ago when I was released from prison, I had nothing to my name, only my $40 gate fee. A dear friend of mine on the inside made sure I had clothes, shoes, and a job to go to. Harold, if you're out there, love you, bro.
"Over the following weeks..."
I spent a little over a decade in prison, from the early 90s to the early 2000s.
In the state where I did my time, all of us had to work a semblance of a job inside the compound (kitchen, inside grounds, maintenance, painting, cleaning, etc.). Being in a program of any kind, including education, counted as having a job (and thus had waiting lists to get into). Programs also needed better-educated inmates to work there as clerks and tutors, and these were the sorts of jobs that the smart inmates tended to gravitate towards (involving more hours than a menial job, but cleaner and less distasteful). Often it meant we had access to older computer hardware (no Internet or anything, though).
PC video games occasionally made their way onto the compound, usually brought in by one or another of the freeworlders (i.e. prison workers who were not guards) who had a soft spot for his clerks. My boss in the education classroom where I worked was like this, though he had something of a policy that the only games he would bring in would be education, strategy, or puzzle-oriented - such that if he ever got asked about it, he could say that it was a critical thinking tool that was part of his teaching curriculum.
The happiest day of my prison life was the day that he brought in Myst. I had read articles about it and wanted to play it someday, but never imagined that I'd get to play it before I got out. It was an absolutely groundbreaking game for its time, with beautiful graphics, soothing music, imaginative puzzles, and an intriguing storyline. I had never seen anything like it; the articles/reviews didn't do it justice!
Over the following weeks, I would lose myself in that world for maybe an hour a day, living out an alternate life in a beautiful and magical world so far removed from the horrible reality of my current existence. I was disappointed when it was all finally over... though in a way it led to my second-happiest prison memory, which was the day (a year later) when he brought in Riven: The Sequel to Myst.
Video games can provide an excellent escape...
...and quite a few video games can spur your critical thinking. I can confirm that Myst is excellent.
"It was a low-security prison farm..."
I wasn't your usual inmate. I was in for a truck accident where someone died. First ever offence, no violence, didn't take drugs, very rarely even drank alcohol, never committed a crime in my life. So I was a polar opposite to pretty much everyone in there.
It was a low-security prison farm, and one day I decided to walk along the boundary fence to the library. Going on the wrong side of the fence technically meant that you escaped, so it was watched... As I'm casually wandering along, two guards drove up and told me to get into the car. They took me for a strip search and demanded to know why I was on the other side of the fence. I wasn't. I asked them if they had cameras, and they said yes, so I told them to double-check the footage because I'm not a nitwit trying to escape. They checked, and let me go.
Everyone in the prison wanted details on what happened. I was a minor celebrity for the afternoon, and I had a bit of respect amongst the other inmates because even someone as straight as me copped shit from the screws.
"This kid in my pod..."
This kid in my pod was being transferred to another prison located clear across the state.. he had no clue why they were moving him.
He started crying uncontrollably, which you would think is the last thing you'd wanna do in jail/prison.
All of the inmates in my pod immediately went to console him. He was hugged and made to feel as comfortable as possible.
A heartwarming moment.
It's important to remember that prisoners are people, too.
"I was in solitary..."
I was in solitary for three months and they allowed cd players there. I had only one disc - DMX, Ruff Riders. I listened to it endlessly and somehow it inspired me to write something, too. I started with rhymes and short poetry and 15 years later I own a copywriting agency and writing makes me a living. Peace DMX, inspiring me for change!
DMX would have no doubt appreciated this.Through their work, artists have the ability to make us question and challenge our own lives.
"It was amazing."
Late to the game here, but I did time at Maine Correctional Center for Women. I had some of the best laughs, most questionable food, and met some of the strongest women I'll ever meet in there.
My favorite memory was coming 'home' (back to the center) from work release and our taxi driver asked if we could keep a secret. Four girls all doing bids because we didn't roll on our codefendants. Yes, sir, we can.
He stopped and bought us all banana splits on the ride home. It was amazing.
For me, the best feeling is every time that you are placed on a new unit, or transferred to a new jail/prison, and you see some people that you know and are good with as soon as you get there. Landing on a unit where you know nobody, especially if you aren't from the area and have no mutual friends/acquaintances with anybody is the exact opposite of a pleasant feeling. With nobody to vouch for you, it's going to end up in an altercation half of the time, and the other half it takes a while before people will be comfortable socializing with you due to lack of trust.
"I don't know..."
I don't know if I would say pleasant, but I will say there was a weird comradery and mutual understanding amongst most of the inmates that I've never felt again in the outside world.
"It was so refreshing..."
I would say seeing my son but no child should have to see their parent in prison. So I would say the Friday Buddhist meditation sessions we would have. It was so refreshing to sit with a group and quiet our minds and sit in stillness.
Speak to some former prisoners sometime.
You might learn something valuable. Prison is not what you might see on television; I daresay television shows give us the idea that everyone in prison is out to get each other, but that is far from the truth.
Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Price and quality don't necessarily correlate.
You can pay an arm and a leg to come home with a piece of junk that craps out after only a couple weeks.
But, thankfully, sometimes you only spend a few bucks--or nothing at all--on something that turns out to last forever and even go on to occupy a special place in your heart.
Truly, sometimes the most inexpensive items hold the highest value.
Some Redditors describe their most cherished possessions that didn't break the bank.
String_Variable asked, "Whats the coolest thing you own that ISNT expensive?"
Some opted to highlight the objects in their lives that draw their value from the backstory behind them. The origins of these items bolster them with meaning and value unmatched anywhere else.
A Parting Token
"A poem book that I got recently. It's called Años maduros And it was part of a competition for poets that never got the chance."
"My dad passed from cancer when I was six and he died before knowing if he won. He did. And his poem was dedicated to me."
A Well-Traveled Watch
"When my great-grandfather died about 30 years ago, the only thing he willed to anyone in particular was his watch, which he gave to me, his oldest great-grandchild."
"It's not a fancy watch, just a working-man's Bulova wind-up, but it was gifted to him by his (notoriously stingy) father-in-law in the early '70s. It still keeps perfect time."
"I work at NASA and managed to get it flown on a Space Shuttle mission."
The Knife That Keeps on Giving
"I have a family owned machete, I don't know much about it. I asked my father where did it come from and all he remembers was getting it from his dad."
"He tried getting it back, but I told him I use it to cut coconuts open.....haha"
From a Wonderful Day
"An old pirate cap gun. My most prized possession. Given to me when I was 11 by an older sibling after she visited Disney World via make a wish."
"The following year she passed away."
Others chose to describe the random items they've grown attached to. These were often acquired during travel, or from some stranger.
But they all share a common theme: they were something simple that the owner never knew they wanted.
"When I visited the Dead Sea, I found a string that had been tied into a loop, that had a lot of salt stuck to it, so it looks like a necklace made of salt."
"It might not sound like much but I thought it was a pretty unique souvenir."
Right Place, Right Time
"A kepi blank (the classic white hat of the French Foreign Legion) given to me by a person in the process of deserting. I was on a train when this giant guy tells me that he just deserted from the Legion.
"He said 'don't believe me? Here's my uniform' and opened up his duffel bag. I said 'Cool! How much for the hat?' to which he replied 'I don't need it anymore -- here' and handed it over."
"It's my favorite hat from my collection."
Bent Into Shape
"A guy made my name out of a wire coat hangar."
"Was just waiting in line at the store one day and he said he did it has a hobby, pulled out a coat hangar and twisted it until it spelled my name in cursive. It's part of my key ring now."
And some people discussed the useful items they purchased long ago, and have enjoyed for years since. These items were simply well made, so they've stood the taste of time.
"My early 2000's Toyota Corolla."
"It's definitely seen better days but it has this 'never die' attitude that I love. When I bought it, I paid 14k dollars. It's probably worth a couple hundred dollars now. It has 250k + miles on it and it still keeps going. Never had to replace anything, except tires."
"The paint is chipped, there's a bunch of dings and dents and rust spots. The air conditioning doesn't work and the CD player is busted."
"But it starts every time with zero lag, it never complains, and has been my trusty steed. Sure, I've had other cars since then that are still around. But my Corolla, though it might not be cool to some, it's definitely a trusty bucket of rust and bolts that is way beyond cool to me."
More of These!
"I have woman jeans with huge pockets. They're the greatest thing ever." -- ScrewTheCouncil
"That's a national treasure. Keep it safe" -- 2baverage
"I don't know why this is still a thing. Is there a massive silent majority of woman that actually like having no pockets?" -- sometimes_interested
"Fun fact: anyone with a little DIY streak can make their own large pockets! I sewed pockets so big I can fit my nintendo switch in my sweats!!! :D" -- catfart-
Stylish and Functional
"I bought a bucket hat for $10 last spring. On the inside of the hat there's a small velcro pocket. It's big enough to put like cash and your ID and a credit card in."
"It keeps the sun out of my eyes and off my neck/ears, I look sexy AF in it, and I have a secret pocket. What more could you want for $10?"
I'll bet you have at least one object that fits the bill. It's a nice activity to sit down with the item, actually hold it, and reflect on the long, winding road it took to become yours and stay yours for as long as it has.
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The finite nature of a hotel stay can lead guests to behave in ways they wouldn't normally. And where there is saucy behavior, there are the artifacts left behind.
And who is there to pick up those pieces on the following morning? The hotel staff--cleaners, maintenance people, technicians, even managers when things get unruly enough.
Some Redditors who've occupied those positions recently shared the wildest things ever left behind by guests.
Some were gross, some exciting, and some just downright puzzling.
MichaelJCaboose_ asked, "Hotel cleaners of Reddit, what's your most memorable find left behind by a guest?"
Many people chose to share the times they came upon the disgusting remnants of an uninhibited night before. The guests responsible left a collage of artifacts that looked more like a still-life picture of hedonism than a living quarters.
"Three empty bottles of wine, about two dozen cherry pits scattered all over the floor and under the furniture, and red-colored puke all over the bedspread."
"There was only one guy staying in the room."
The Consequences of Fame
"Found a human poo in the kettle once. Worse part was it was a 'celebrity' (crappy uk reality show) doing a guest appearance at a local club."
"Him and his mates filled the rooms iPad with di** pics too. Hotel got rid of the iPads shortly after that."
No Closet Is Too Nice
"Friend worked a 5-star hotel and found a turd in the closet." -- Boganvillia
"That's not a very nice thing to call your guest, but as someone that worked in customer service, I agree. They are turds." -- theassassintherapist
"Closet poopers are what happens to shy poopers if they don't face their poop anxiety." -- Stunning_Honeydew201
"I do maintenance. Had a group of part time housekeepers that are mentally handicapped working with their job coach go into a suite with adjoining door. There were 3 construction workers staying, 2 and their supervisor."
"In the one side with a pull out couch and DVD player, they found a full size blow up doll, empty small bottles of lube, used condoms, several beer bottles, and a stack of porn on DVD. Doll was on the pull out couch and everything else was all over the bed."
Other former cleaners described the times they came to a vacant room to find some very unexpected objects. These weren't as gross as the previous examples.
But the mysteries of what exactly the guests did with these items are still unsolved.
Steer Clear of Gadgets
"Almost tazed myself with a 'tube of lipstick' that I found under the bed." -- Naprisun
"insert lipstick taser gif here" -- georgiomoorlord
"so nobody's talking about this person using hotel bed lipstick" -- ST4R3
Back on the Road
"My friend's family owns a motel. He tells me they once found an auto transmission in the bathtub of a room." -- smorkoid
"Yup, I've heard of this before. You go to the town on a bachelor party, take a pill and then wake up and your transmission is in the bathtub full of ice and 3rd gear was removed" -- cavegoatlove
Making it Cozy
"I worked as a hotel cleaner during undergrad."
"My first day of work someone left a hatchet in the bathtub."
"Also, someone completely decorated the room with framed family pictures.. and left them all there. I think their stay was only 2 days. They set some up on the furniture.. but also legit hung some on the walls."
Finally, some people shared about the times they were pleasantly surprised to find that guests left behind some really nice stuff.
And, of course, finders keepers was in full swing.
"I worked for a hotel that had cabins, so I would be in and out all day in the hot sun. On one of those hot days I opened the fridge to find an unopened bottle of Dr. Pepper in the freezer part.. it was perfectly slushed."
"It made my day. This was years ago, too!"
As If They Knew
"A whole box of magnum ice creams. My fave!" -- nightcana
"If this was in Melbourne, you're welcome. I bought them but got invited out. Checked out the next day and left them in the freezer and I couldn't stand the thought of putting them in the bin." -- hemansteve
"My partner gets apartments ready for the next people renting them out after leases are up, they've found so, so many bdsm toys. One of which (a flogger) is my cats favorite toy over all others now including her very expensive cat toys hahaha"
It's a fun idea to think back on all your hotel stays and recall anything you've left behind over the years.
And then, depending on what exactly it was, you can imagine what the other side of that story turned out to be.
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Typically, I would write an intro about my own experiences with the weird kids at school, but I WAS the weird kid in school. Not in a bad way, more like a “I had a John Waters phase” when I was 16 and everyone knew it. So like, cool-weird. At least I hope so.
Schools aren’t always so lucky to have the cool kinds of weird kids though. The spectrum of weird extends even further than that, and can sometimes end up very disasterous.
Let’s start with the grossest of the gross. Because why not.
Was it worth it?peeing ralph wiggum GIF Giphy
He heard that you'd automatically get suspended if you peed your pants at school. He wanted to find out if it was true, peed his pants, got suspended.
> Observation: 'I've heard that by peeing your pants you will be suspended'
> Hypothesis: If I pee my pants I will be suspended
> Experiment: I peed my pants and I got suspended
> Conclusion: If I pee my pants I get suspended
Uhhh what was the intention here?
He got mad that he didn't understand how to play a game at lunchtime so he started hitting and punching the nearest person to him, who happened to be me. When I shoved him away and asked him what the hell was he doing, he whipped his unit.out, charged at me and when I shoved him away from me again he started crying and ran away with his member still sticking out.
Next ones up are the lowkey (or even highkey) disturbing stories. These weird kids can get a little scary.
At my middle school, someone decided to get a little attention with a good old fashioned bomb threat. Except they thought that a bomb threat meant literally writing "bomb threat" somewhere. Worse yet, they misspelled the f*ck out of it, and wrote "boom theret."
So we had to go on a brief, very awkward lockdown while the police checked the perimeter for booms.
I hope there was no overlap in the columns.Serial Killer Halloween GIF by GIPHY CAM Giphy
She wrote a list of all the girls and boys she wanted to kiss and murder and then casually passed it out on the playground.
2 separate lists or just the 1?
Same list 2 columns lol.
Had the weird kid in high school ask the teacher to use the bathroom. She said no and this dude legit stabbed his hand with a pencil. Went all the way through then asked if he could now...sh*t was wild.
This was Pearl High School in Mississippi. This was the school Luke Woodham shot and killed his girlfriend and her friend at the school. This kid stabbed himself with the pencil about 2 months after that happened. This was late 1997.
Most of the time, however, the weird kids are pretty d*mn funny.
Ok, but this takes a lot of skill.
Had a kid nicknamed "cheeseburger" in the grade ahead of me in high school. He got his nickname because when it was time for his class to go to lunch, he snuck into the roof and crawled his way into the cafeteria, dropped down and proceeded to steal all the cheeseburger put out for lunch. Unfortunately they caught him in the act and sent him to the principal's office.
A year later he was caught stealing a teacher's computer, and in the process of being arrested he bit the officers hand, getting him sent to juvi never to be heard of again.
Every school had the cat girl.cat dragging GIF Giphy
The weird kid at my highschool tied a string around his pencil case and pulled out around the halls pretending it was a dog. He still lives in my hometown. I think unemployed.
Oh also weird girl in middle school acted like a cat. She would meow and hiss at people, lick the water fountain and rub her body on the teacher's legs. In 8th grade. I have no idea where she ended up.
Weird kid in elementary was a self proclaimed alien. Once, while waiting for the bus, she told me "On my planet we eat people like you" and proceeded to bite me. We later became friends in high school and she used to give me massages during lunch break in the quad. Just realized now she was likely tenderizing me.
I was exactly this kind of weird.
He didn't say much, but if asked, he would go to the front of the class and perform Tip-Toe Through the Tulips with all of the emotion and volume of Tiny Tim, holding nothing back.
The last I heard, he became an energy trader, made a ton of money and married well.
I can definitely relate to that last one. In middle school, my English teacher would let me go to the front of the class and perform monologues or songs from Broadway musicals. Weird, but that’s what happens when schools cut funding for the arts and the theatre kids have no outlet.
As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I say let your freak flag fly, man