Working random fact generator

lynx -dump | grep -A 3 U | sed 1D
This is a working version, though probably clumsy, of the script submitted by felix001. This works on ubuntu and CygWin. This would be great as a bash function, defined in .bashrc. Additionally it would work as a script put in the path.
Sample Output
The only letter not appearing on the Periodic Table is the letter "J".

2 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • Though without infinite time and knowledge of how the site will be designed in the future this may stop working, it still will serve as a simple straight forward starting point. This uses the observation that the only item marked as strong on the page is the single logical line that includes the italicized fact. If future revisions of the page show failure, or intermittent failure, one may simply alter the above to read. wget -O - 2>/dev/null | tee lastfact | grep \<strong\> | sed "s;^.*<i>\(.*\)</i>.*$;\1;" The file lastfact, can then be examined whenever the command fails.

    wget -O - 2>/dev/null | grep \<strong\> | sed "s;^.*<i>\(.*\)</i>.*$;\1;"
    tali713 · 2010-03-30 23:49:30 23
  • extension to tali713's random fact generator. It takes the output & sends it to notify-osd. Display time is proportional to the lengh of the fact.

    wget -O - 2>/dev/null | grep \<strong\> | sed "s;^.*<i>\(.*\)</i>.*$;\1;" | while read FUNFACT; do notify-send -t $((1000+300*`echo -n $FUNFACT | wc -w`)) -i gtk-dialog-info "RandomFunFact" "$FUNFACT"; done
    mtron · 2010-04-02 09:43:32 1

What Others Think

how come the original command didnt work in ubuntu is it because of the egrep ???? I have the other synatax running great in my RHEL5 server...
felix001 · 655 weeks and 5 days ago
I'm not sure. I couldn't get it to work at all with the egrep command. Thx for the vote.
xizdaqrian · 655 weeks and 5 days ago
links -dump | sed '/+-/,/+-/!d' a better version, since some funfacts may contain over one line.
talkiwalki · 655 weeks and 1 day ago
i like that ;9
xptonix · 652 weeks and 1 day ago
-1 Fails to work on a Mac with macports lynx.
Rabbit67890 · 634 weeks ago
right after I try talkiwalki's version...
Rabbit67890 · 634 weeks ago
Only talkiwalki's version works on a mac with the macports links.
Rabbit67890 · 634 weeks ago
This is a little bit more straight forward and may due to site design stop working but is less finicky by far than relying on a text renderer or positional reference. wget -O - 2>/dev/null | grep \<strong\> | sed -e "s;^.*<i>\(.*\)</i>.*$;\1;g"
tali713 · 608 weeks and 5 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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