Sunday, September 30, 2007

Funny Star Wars Videos

Mahna Mahna:


Cubicle Stormtroopers:

Gangstsa Rap:

Robot Chicken:

Robot Chicken Star Wars from Hip Swizzle on Vimeo.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Have Morning Off Work, Here's Stuff From Internet

We're getting our driveway chopped up this morning, so I'm hanging around here for the morning.


  • If you get tired of conversations with people and would rather converse with your computer, this looks promising: For instance, if you're talking about the movie Star Wars and ask what the plot is, the system refers to earlier pieces of the conversation to retrieve an explanation of the movie's plot instead of giving a general definition of plot, or the plot of some other movie or book that was discussed before Star Wars. The other key aspect of SILVIA that makes it different, says Spring, is its ability to comprehend concepts that are worded in a variety of ways and produce uniquely worded responses. "You can speak to SILVIA using whatever phrase you want," says Spring, "and it extracts meaning. And on the reverse end, we have algorithms that can put [responses] back into human language. Sometimes we're surprised at the way SILVIA creates these things."
  • Another defense of Wikipedia (one with which I wholeheartedly agree): The implicit assumption, here and in all discussions of Wikipedia -- which nobody bothers to make explicit because everybody knows it -- is that if you get your information from a non-Wikipedia source (the Encyclopedia Brittanica, say, or Eric Blair's immensely illuminating New York Times articles), you don't need to "tell" if the information is true. It just is, because it comes out of a book or a BBC documentary or a professor's mouth. In that assumpion, I smell more than just the Chupacabra's spoor; the idea that books are right by virtue of being books and Wikipedia might be wrong because anyone can edit it -- that just may be the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. In fact, it is a truly dangerous load of crap, because it asserts that the writing of books is different than the act of editing a Wikipedia article; that creating books is some mystical act conducted by holy creatures whose ideas are never spurious, unsupported or just plain crazy. Since when?
  • Sometime around 1981 or 82 I said to myself "Self, if they ever make an Iron Man movie, they totally should use the Black Sabbath song in the movie." All things come to those who wait.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Simpsons Shots Matched With Their Inspirations

In honor of the season premiere of The Simpsons (occurring right now) here are a bunch of Simpso-mages matched up with their inspirations. For instance:

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dylan Cue Cards

Same old story r.e. not blogging that much -- Work is mega-busy, and I've been trying to get some stuff done around the house. I now have four bookshelves in my office, one of which holds my new flat-screen TV (much more efficient than the museum piece I had on a TV cart until recently). I actually have a big, open, unencumbered patch of floor now that provides access to my closet!

I thought these were fun:

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Clinton, Obama, and Edwards Identify 46 Least-Favorite States

L.A. Times article on plans by Democratic candidates to play ball with the established early-primary/caucus states. Excerpt: Front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York followed Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina in pledging to abide by the calendar set by the Democratic National Committee last summer. The rules allow four states -- Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina -- to vote in January. The four "need to be first because in these states ideas count, not just money,*" Edwards said in a written statement. "This tried-and-true nominating system is the only way for voters to judge the field based on the quality of the candidate, not the depth of their war chest."

As I said almost two years ago:
It's absolute bullshit that someone in New Hampshire or Iowa gets to exercise significantly more influence over who the next president is than I do.

*Excessive use of hairspray must count as an idea.

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