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Genuine random numbers, generated by radioactive decay

HotBits is an Internet resource that brings genuine random numbers, generated by a process fundamentally governed by the inherent uncertainty in the quantum mechanical laws of nature, directly to your computer in a variety of forms. HotBits are generated by timing successive pairs of radioactive decays detected by a Geiger-Müller tube interfaced to a computer. (Warning: random sounds.)
posted by parudox on Feb 9, 2009 - 41 comments

Roll 1d20 for save. 9 again? Heh, too bad.

In a must-see interview for tabletop gamers everywhere, Colonel Louis Zocchi talks about modern mass produced plastic dice and why they utterly fail at being random: Part 1 - Part 2
posted by loquacious on Nov 26, 2008 - 84 comments

National holidays are so boring.

Laboring on labor day? Some things to keep you busy. Ugly Mailboxes. Bizzare Statues. Hand Drawn Maps. French Manhole Covers. What's special about this number?.
posted by Lutoslawski on Sep 1, 2008 - 22 comments

Anything you want, for $2

Webcomic artist D.J. Coffman offers to draw anything you want for $2 apiece.
posted by divabat on Jul 23, 2008 - 42 comments

Stacks of Miscellany

This stack of retitled paperbacks should feed your appetite for random weird pictures and found objects. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jul 13, 2008 - 52 comments

Postcrossing

you've got new postcrossed mail You have heard of geocaching. You have heard of Bookcrossing. Here comes Postcrossing. The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you'll receive at least one back, from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world. [more inside]
posted by Baud on Jun 8, 2008 - 19 comments

15 bits of crypto should be enough for anybody

On May 13, security advisories published by Debian and Ubuntu revealed that, for over a year, their OpenSSL libraries have had a major flaw in their CSPRNG, which is used by key generation functions in many widely-used applications, which caused the "random" numbers produced to be extremely predictable. [lolcat summary] [more inside]
posted by finite on May 16, 2008 - 81 comments

Laverne Salmons, Adrian Turner, Stormy Spellman, Ruth Torres.....

Need to name a character? Use this random name generator. Hit refresh to, uh, refresh. Explanation here. [via]
posted by dersins on May 2, 2008 - 51 comments

Lost and Found Art goes from Random to Contrived?

Is it “found art” when it’s intentionally left out to be found? [more inside]
posted by skyper on Mar 26, 2008 - 18 comments

Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts

Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts (pdf), a recently-updated paper on the Cornell arXiv peer-review site. By Hrvoje Nikolić of the Rudjer Bošković Institute in Croatia. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 25, 2008 - 47 comments

"Thrown Under the Bus" is Thrown Under the Bus. Ouch.

"This year, in a gesture of humanitarian relief, the (Lake Superior State University Banished Words) committee restores "truthiness," banned on last year's list, to formal use. This comes after comedians and late-night hosts were thrown under the bus and rendered speechless by a nationwide professional writers' strike. The silence is deafening."
Of course, "(thrown) under the bus"* is on this year's Banished List, along with "perfect storm", "webinar"*, "waterboarding", "post-9/11", "wordsmith", "back in the day", "surge", "x is the new y", "give back" and other seemingly "random" words and phrases.
*One of the requirements for a Banished Word or Phrase is that it has been used as a title for a Blogspot or Typepad blog. [more inside]
posted by wendell on Jan 1, 2008 - 102 comments

Random Haiku

Intimate in bed
Adoptive iterative
Develop in bed!


[refresh]

Hello my marbles
You have no chance to marble
Make your undoing!
posted by pedantic on Nov 29, 2007 - 68 comments

60 elements remain.

How many HTML elements can you name in five minutes?
posted by divabat on Nov 28, 2007 - 68 comments

Pizdaus

Not enough random context-free images in your life? Try Pizdaus! [nsfw]
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 31, 2007 - 29 comments

RANDOM.ORG

RANDOM.ORG offers true random numbers to anyone on the Internet. The randomness comes from atmospheric noise. Also has subsites such as a coin flipper, dice roller and a jazz scale generator.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 28, 2007 - 11 comments

Word Dissassociation

Word Dissassociation A lovely little song made up of completely random words.
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 28, 2007 - 22 comments

randomness

Random Friday! pictures, confessions, quotes, wiki, word, kittens, livejournal, family circus, flickr groups, essay, comic strip, idea, haiku, howto, bullshit, inspiration
posted by petsounds on Feb 16, 2007 - 22 comments

pi in pixels

what happens if you assign a colored pixel to each decimal of pi?
posted by petsounds on Oct 26, 2006 - 99 comments

random(1-100)

Please pick a random number between 1 and 100 (Explanation follows after filling out a short form.)
posted by kika on Aug 28, 2006 - 146 comments

The Interweb Medley

The Interweb Medley!! What happens when you mix up some of the more well-known Internet memes around? Madness.
posted by divabat on Aug 11, 2006 - 25 comments

Meta Math

Gregory Chaitin's Meta Math! The Quest For Omega
"Okay, what I was able to find, or construct, is a funny area of pure mathematics where things are true for no reason, they're true by accident... It's a place where God plays dice with mathematical truth. It consists of mathematical facts which are so delicately balanced between being true or false that we're never going to know, and so you might as well toss a coin." From Paradoxes of Randomness.
"In my opinion, Omega suggests that even though maths and physics are different, perhaps they are not as different as most people think. To put it bluntly, if the incompleteness phenomenon discovered by Gödel in 1931 is really serious — and I believe that Turing's work and my own work suggest that incompleteness is much more serious than people think — then perhaps mathematics should be pursued somewhat more in the spirit of experimental science rather than always demanding proofs for everything." From Omega and why maths has no Theory Of Everythings.
[previously, see also, via]
posted by MetaMonkey on Apr 13, 2006 - 17 comments

The serendipitous web

Ever had one of those days when you want to look at web sites but don't know which ones you want to look at? A perl script on this page will show you a random web site. It's a great time-waster!
posted by clevershark on Aug 5, 2005 - 19 comments

Just What The Asinine Ordered

Online Generators
ALL historical evils stem from the failure to accept and be governed by the law of electro-temporal-time compensation.
They altered the Sphinx to conceal the truth about the law of electro-temporal-time compensation. the Club of Rome and their accomplices, David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, are systematically suppressing knowledge of the SECRET of Nature’s law of electro-atomic inequality.
the UNIVERSAL HARMONIC CONSTANT is 7.2304852305381. only from this value can one calculate the TRUE ORBITS OF THE PLANETS.
End wars, sexual frustration, etc. — adopt Holy Spirit field science now!
Fun with randomosity, via Del.icio.us/popular.
posted by Edible Energy on Jul 18, 2005 - 15 comments

Time wasting chaos is fun!

Sometimes Friday Fun doesn't have to involve Flash. Take, for example, the Random Vin Diesel Fact Page, or other existing ones, some serious, some not so serious. There's also random news generators and even random band name generators. Plenty of reloading, time-wasting fun for your Friday.
posted by twiggy on Apr 22, 2005 - 21 comments

Oconoashawequon Bay: where all the women are stong, the men are good looking.... yadda yadda

The Random Wisconsin City Name Generator. Every state needs one!
posted by mimi on Nov 4, 2003 - 11 comments

I Found A Duck!

I Found A Duck!
posted by Karmakaze on Aug 1, 2003 - 10 comments

Pussies

Randomcat.co.uk - Bring your own pussy jokes.
posted by armoured-ant on Jul 13, 2003 - 10 comments

Algorithmic and Generative Art

"GoogleSynth uses the Google Image Search thingy to randomly grab two images as the 'input' and 'target' images for the algorithm. Once it has two images it applies the algorithm with the parameters set by the user and produces a new image based on them. The results vary wildly, often the output is a total mess, but it creates some cool looking stuff now and then (depending on your definition of 'cool')." (For Windows and Mac OSX.)
posted by Dean King on Jan 29, 2003 - 5 comments

Twexus Mysterious Photoart

"Twexus does contain 15800 images today". Twexus is an enigmatic, engaging little database-driven photoart site that rewards you with new site features as your page views increase. I can't seem to tear free from the hypnotic effect of the "symmetry" page that concerns itself with my opinion on each proffered image. sorry, gotta go... must... return... to... twexus...
posted by taz on Nov 21, 2002 - 15 comments

Metafilterinkarationicizes!

Metafilterinkarationicizes! By analyising the frequency of pairs of letters in 45,402 different words it is possible to generate new words which, although, don't have any meaning are reasonably syntatically correct. Enjoy the random word generator.
posted by remlapm on Aug 2, 2002 - 33 comments

I've got a pseudo machine. I know that we're all living in the world of truth, light and clarity these days, but as a bad casualty of one jargon-ridden film studies course in 1981-82, I loved this little program. Less wieldy than the old classic, the postmodern generator. Has anyone noticed that Chip from the Corrections is a classic of the type - "assistant professor of textual artefacts", indeed. Actually, here's a real life Professor of virtual culture. Cute too.
posted by theplayethic on Feb 4, 2002 - 14 comments

[pseudo-]Random content generators

[pseudo-]Random content generators - very interesting stuff. I'd love to see human beings act on this content as a sort of selector of aesthetics a la Richard Dawkins. Be sure to check out the randomly generated comics.
posted by SilentSalamander on Nov 12, 2001 - 13 comments

What you get when you type "something strange and different" into Google

What you get when you type "something strange and different" into Google Am I the only person who bangs random words into Google to see what comes back? In this case I feel rewarded - bizarre patents from around the world. What's your favourite Google query string?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Oct 26, 2001 - 47 comments

LavaRand

LavaRand...harnessing the power of Lava Lite® lamps to generate truly random numbers....

That's a bold statement, but who am I to doubt the power of the lava lamp. The mathematical purist may disagree with the "truely random" part, but this geek speak convinced me that LavaRand can handle all my random number needs.
posted by bicyclingfool on Apr 30, 2001 - 1 comment

Roll Your Own Curses in Gaelic

Roll Your Own Curses in Gaelic
Confirming my long held suspicion that the best the Web can do is automate and diversify Mad Libs functions.
posted by rschram on Aug 18, 2000 - 1 comment

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