Twitter is a social network and microblogging platform that lends itself to some imaginative purposes besides communication. A Twitter account can be a single-subject blog or a single joke. It can be an experiment in what software can do, or what people will believe. It can be a medium for social protest. It can even be a webcomic site. Here are some strange and different Twitter feeds that you might get a laugh out of once, or you might want to follow long-term.
1. FACES IN THINGS
Humans have a tendency to perceive patterns in seemingly random data. That’s our brains making sense of the world, and we tend to see human faces more than anything else. This phenomenon is called pareidolia. The Twitter account Faces in Things gives us example after example. All you need are two dots, circles, or really any two things for eyes, and maybe a shape for a mouth, and we can even see expressions in those shapes.
2. CATS OF DISNEYLAND
Disneyland is home to an extensive colony of feral cats. They stay mostly hidden during the day, and come out at night to prowl the premises. Park staff tend to the cats by feeding, neutering, and providing veterinary services when needed, and the cats return the favor by keeping rodents away from the park. Spotting one of the cats is a treat for visitors, but they can also follow the cats on Twitter at Cats of Disneyland. The tweets are cat-centric, and usually pretty funny. There are also plenty of contributions of pictures from visitors who spotted a cat at Disneyland. The Twitter feed was created to support the blog of the same name, but the Twitter feed is much more active.
We hear ominous warnings about the rise of artificial intelligence, but then we see real experiments that show we have quite a way to go before Skynet takes over. INTERESTING.JPG is an experimental Twitter feed generated by artificial intelligence. An AI software program was trained in photo captioning by having it analyze photographs with human-written captions. On Twitter, it tries to caption news photographs itself, as best it can. Sometimes the generated captions are almost accurate, although not particularly enlightening. Other times, they are hilariously wrong.
4. WE WANT PLATES
There seems to be an epidemic of restaurants that are dispensing with regular dishes in favor of something “creative” to set them apart from other restaurants, particularly in the UK. The Twitter account We Want Plates collects incidents of food being served on weird substitutes like wooden cutting boards, flat caps, flower pots, wicker baskets, marble slabs, and shovels. If there weren’t photographs, you’d think I was making that up.
I’ve seen hot dinners served in skillets (cold food would be weird), and of course you expect a barbecue sandwich to come in a plastic basket lined with paper. But I’ve never been to a restaurant where they just made up stuff to use instead of plates. Have you?
Jeff Thompson created a Twitter account that links us to various websites from the “Internet International Directory,” published in 1995. InternetDir95 Tweets one URL out every hour. Most are dead, because keeping a website active for 20 years is asking a lot. Finding one that is still active is like finding a piece of treasure. Thompson has created several other experimental Twitterbots, some more successful than others.
6. MEDIEVAL REACTIONS
The Twitter feed Medieval Reactions marries medieval imagery with modern problems. It’s funny, but either or both the art and the text can be NSFW.
7. NIHILIST ARBY'S
Nihilist Arby's is not connected to Arby’s sandwich shop at all, except for the subject matter. This Arby’s has a thin veneer of promotion for the brand, but underneath all that is a soul who is obviously going through an ongoing existential crisis. Contains NSFW language.
Back in January, the New York Times did a profile of rock climber Tommy Caldwell. They referred to his trip to Kyrgyzstan, but in the print edition and initially in the web story, the country was spelled Kyrzbekistan. The internet version was corrected, but not before the fictional Kyrzbekistan became an internet sensation. Eight months later, Kyrzbekistan’s Twitter feed is still educating people about the culture, history, and government of the nation. However, the updates are slowing down, so you may as well enjoy them while they last.
See more in our previous post 12 Strange and Different Twitter Feeds.