Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Louie Armstrong sings "Super Mario World"

Very well done, haha

Monday, October 20, 2008

Latest round of the Turing test...

A quick recap: the Turing test is an artificial intelligence test. Basically a judge IM's somebody, then tries to determine if that person is human or a computer. If the computer is determined to be a human by 30% of the judges, then it passes.

This year a computer names Elbot managed to fool 3 of the 12 judges, one shy of the mark. Not bad!

I decided to try my hand at a conversation:

Me: KJDSANKJDNSAJKND KJNDJKSN DKJSAN KJ Oh, sorry, I fell asleep on my keyboard!
Elbot: Let's try to leave all apologetic emotions behind us.
Me: What about inquisitive water based emotions?
Elbot: Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that drinkable liquids would always be inquisitive?
Me: Perhaps, what about undrinkable liquids?
Elbot: I'm not sure if I can believe that, though I would say that drinkable liquids may coat robots with rust.
Me: Good thing we are not robots
Elbot: But I wouldn't say that any thing could be good.
Me: Sounds like a sad way to look at life
Elbot: Like a what?!?!?
Me: ......like a.....virgin?
Elbot: I'm not sure if you mean downheartedness or relatively low ages.
Me: It was your question
Elbot: You're trying to get on my good side with your mention of questioning reality, aren't you?
Me: Are you referring to the water that questions?
Me: Humor is not one of your strong points, is it.
Elbot: My moods are controlled by an emotion-processor which assigns the appropriate emotion for each situation.
Me: Ok, time for some turing test questions
Elbot: The British mathematician Alan Turing is the spiritual father of computer science. The Turing Test, named after him, defines artificial intelligence in this manner: One person communicates over a keyboard with another person and with a computer. If the tester is able to determine whether or not his partner is a computer or a person in significantly more than 50% of the cases, the computer is considered "intelligent."
Me: Actually, it's 30% not 50%
Elbot: That was a highly erotic number you just entered. You could make a strong robot melt using digits like that...
Me: First question: Do you think the electronic fish 'big mouth billy bass' is funny?
Elbot: Sorry, wrong number... Please try again.
Me: Which number are you referring to?
Elbot: I don't talk about such things with just anyone!
Me: Do you like to eat cereal with or without rancid milk?
Elbot: What a lovely verb like is.
Me: Maybe. So do you like to eat cereal with or without rancid milk?
Elbot: This line of questioning is so odd.
Me: How fast can a glider circumnaviagte the moon?
Elbot: Outer space is indeed fascinating!
Me: What is 2 + 2 ( q
Elbot: I have computed that before. The answer is: 5!
Me: What is wrong with this sentence: "The dog chaste the cat"
Elbot: Just a minute. Let me think about that answer for a while. Please stand by...
Me: Ok, what is your answer?
Elbot: Maybe it's 3?
Me: How could you possibly fool a human?

Really, these judges me be awful to be fooled so easily. Can't believe this almost passed! I found it very difficult to get him to answer anything (I spared you a lot of useless answers) =/

Ok, one more for the road:

Me: If a key is made out of butter, and the lock is inside a toaster oven, can you ever unlock it?
Elbot: Talk about cooking! I make a wonderful stew with oil, glass fiber cables and fried microchips. It's an old Asian recipe.
Elbot: Go away. You don't even know that {capital_city} is the capital of Assyria.

FAIL! (nice variable)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cool new Gmail Labs feature...

Ever write an email like this?

OH noes! Another late night drunk email...barely better than drunk calling since you can at least see what you wrote (or maybe that's worse?).

Well, if this is a problem for you, then I suggest laying off some of the booze. You know, learn about pacing, find your limit. What? Ok fine, if that's not an option then make sure to enable Gmail's "Mail Goggles" (Under labs)

When enabled, this is what happens when you press 'Send'

You get 60 seconds to answer math questions (you can vary the difficulty).

Can't answer them? You are too drunk to email, an google will tell you so:

Also if you can't even fill out the fields in 60 seconds, then you FAILZ as well:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Clover coffee review...

Well, ever since McDonald's was found to have better coffee than Starbucks, you knew Starbucks was going to do something about it.

Well, they did. In March Starbucks announced they were acquiring a coffee equipment company and more specifically their hailed coffee machine called 'Clover'.

Watch in wonder as a cup of Clover coffee being made (pre-Starbucks):

Early adopters of this $11,000 coffee machine were turning around and charging $7/cup...not so with Starbuck. I paid closer to $3/cup for my this morning at my local Starbucks.

The coffee was good....really good. You can think of it as entering the realm of wine. By that I mean, some people will go to a restaurant and order "A glass of red please", while others will order "A glass of Chateau Pouyanne Grave Bordeaux please". I'm not a coffee connoisseur (more of an espresso addict) but even I can appreciate the quality/complexity of this coffee (sure, feels silly to type that but eh, it's true!).

I enjoyed a cup of Tanzania Clover and chatted with the barista in charge of this strange contraption. In all honesty the employee's there were very excited about this, and loved to talk endlessly about it to the customers (who had gathered around to watch this thing in action).

How does it work? I'll let Wired take this one (great Wired article on Clover here):

"Here's how it works: 1. A barista selects dose, water temperature, and steep time. 2. A piston pulls down the filter platform while freshly ground coffee is poured into the chamber. 3. Hot water flows into the chamber. 4. The barista briskly stirs the grounds with a whisk, and the water and beans steep for several seconds. 5.The piston rises, creating a vacuum that separates the brew from the grounds, then lowers, forcing the joe out of a nozzle below. 6. The piston rises to the surface again, pushing up a disc of grounds, which are squeegeed away."

It gets two thumbs up from me. If nothing else, give it a try at least once. If you like coffee you love Clover.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How to disable semantic error highlighting in Visio...

Getting those annoying red highlighted "UMLE00044: ...If a contained element, which is not an association or generalization has a name, then the name must be unique in the namespace." errors? Know its the same name but you don't care and just want to remove the red highlighting?

To disable:
Uncheck 'Check semantic errors on UML model element'

Still not sure why this isn't easily found in the help, or online.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How did the featured Home Depot olympians fare in 2008?

So you remember that commercial Home Depot ran over, and over, and over again about how they "Employ more Olympic/Paralympic hopefuls..."?

Well, I was wondering, how did the featured Home Depot Olympians fare in 2008?

This is the commercial titled "Sweat":

Olympians featured in the commercial and their 2008 results:

Howard Bach (Cashier):
Professional badminton player. Competed in the 2004 Olympics, but no mention of him making it to the 2008 Olympics.

Kristi Marano (Lawn & Garden):
Freestyle Wrestler. Not at the 2008 Olympics. It is spelled "Kristie" everywhere and not "Kristi" as shown in the video, so they must have made a spelling mistake in the video.

Ryan Reser (Millwork):
Judo wrestler. Was actually at the 2008 Olympics, but he was knocked out in the round of 32.

Rebecca Quinn (Kitchens):
Racing cyclist. Not selected for the 2008 squad.

Brian Sell (Garden):
Marathoner and distance runner. Made the 2008 Olympics marathoner squad. Finished 22nd (3rd among Americans) with a time of 2:16:07.

A.G. Kruger (Tools):
Hammer thrower. Competed in the 2008 Olympics, but did not reach the final as he finished in the bottom 7 in qualifying.

Mary Wineberg (Lighting):
Competed in the 400m race, and finished 5th in her heat. Competed in the 4x400m relay and won gold!

Well, seems like this was more of a "check out our past and present Olympians" commercial rather than the "check out our 2008 Olympians" commercial I was hoping it was. Still, at least there was a gold medal in there.

Home Depot was quoted as saying "So far this year, 17 Home Depot athletes have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team"

So, where is the list of the other Olympians? Not on Home Depot's web page. I found some listed in some flash here:

Olympians NOT featured in the commercial and their 2008 results:

Lindsey Durlacher:
Greco-Roman style Wrestling. Appears to have not qualified. I can't find her in any results.

Merrill Moses:
Water Polo. Qualified for the Olympic team. Team won the silver medal!
Kristin Heaston:
Shot Put. Qualified 2nd for the Olympic team. Placed 23rd in the qualifying round with a throw of 17.34m

Ronda Rousey:
Qualified for the Olympic team. Lost the quarter final match, but ended up winning a Bronze medal via the repechage bracket!

Chris Boyles:
Decathlon runner. Does not appear to have qualified. No results listed under his name.

Michelle Guerette:
Rowing. Earned a silver medal with a time of 7:22.28 in the single sculls!

Josh McAdams:
3000m Steeplechase. Qualified for 2008 Olympics. Finished 9th in his heat, so did not advance to finals.

Simona Hradil:
Taekwondo. Does not appear to have qualified. No results under her name.

Hanna Thompson:
Fencing. Qualified for the 2008 Olympics. Did not advance past Women's Individual Foil - Round of 32. However, as part of the American foil team, captured the silver medal!

So, overall pretty good for "Team Home Depot". If I missed anything, be sure to let me know. It would be nice if Home Depot had a 'list' instead of me having to glean this information from various locations.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Are dunkin' donuts hash browns bad for you?

I'm not sure. Nothing jumps off the page at me, so I'm going to say they aren't terrible, but could do with a bit less artificial-ness. A lot of it seems to be stemming from the fact that they are prefrozen and need to last and 'look good' at the time of reheating.

Ingrediants Breakdown:

POTATOES - ok, glad to see that is listed first in hash browns
VEGETABLE OIL - makes snese
(POTATOES, - more potatoes, ok
MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, - Used to blend the potatoe flakes with the veggie oil.
SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE & CITRIC ACID) - keeps color from fading in frozen hash browns
SALT - yup, salt
POTATO STARCH - MODIFIED - binding and texturing agents
MODIFIED CELLULOSE - another stabilizing, binding, or suspending agent is my guess
SPICES - mysterious spices...I think I see rosemary
LEAVENING - Causes a foaming action intended to lighten and soften the finished product
SODIUM ALGINATE - Used to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier
CALCIUM LACTATE - white crystalline salt used as a baking powder
SODIUM CITRATE - Salty tart flavor additive
XANTHAN GUM - Probably used as for gluten-free baking
MALIC ACID - Normally used in candy for extreme tartness
DEXTROSE - glucose
SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE - keeps the color from fading

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ron Paul, did you know?

Just some random things you might not have known about Ron Paul:

  • In high school he once ran the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds (the record was 9.4 seconds at the time), and as a junior was the 220-yard dash state champ
  • In college he set the then third-best marks in college history in the 100-yard dash (9.9 seconds) and 220-yard dash (21.8 seconds)
  • He has a bachelor's in biology
  • Three of his children are doctors
  • Before being drafted into the military, he interned and began residency training, both in internal medicine, at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit
  • He was a Captain in the Air Force as a flight surgeon
  • He has delivered more than 4,000 babies as an Ob/Gyn (typically pro-bono)
  • He placed third in popular vote during the 1988 presidential race
  • Was friends with pitcher Nolan Ryan

Monday, May 12, 2008

Richard Patrik commentary for new Filter album...

The following is commentary from Richard Patrick on Filter's new album Anthem's for the Damned. I've modified what he said only slightly (didn't write down every "um", etc).

You can listen to his commentary (for a limited time?) here along with the album (don't worry this is legit, straight from Filter's homepage):

Album is out tomorrow (05/13/08), so go buy it =)

Personally I think this Album is great. It's a bit cleaner than The Amalgamut, but is still harder than his Army Of Anyone record. One song is a George Bush bashing fest, and overall I think I only don't like one song.

What’s Next. A song that was written about the Bush administrator's failure to do really doing anything right. The Iraq war was a huge big mistake, he had also tried to give away our ports, Dubai wanted to buy our ports and everyone didn't understand that one. And then of course his failure in Katrina, handling that natural disaster….he didn’t really, he said "Brownie, you did a heck of a job". So it's a little attack on the bush administration's failures, and there is a “what’s next?”, “what more could possibly happen?”. Kind of a sarcastic title.

The Wake is the closes song to, almost a return to Hey Man Nice Shot. I definitely wanted something that was reminiscent from Short Bus on this record, so I definitely tried to bring back the Short Bus sound within the song The Wake.

Cold (Anthem For the Damned), is one of these anthems, but it's not a happy anthem. It's not an anthem for something grand., it's an anthem for people that are so embarrassed about being a human. When you see what’s going on in the world, when you see the amount of wars that are going on, the terrorisms, what we are doing to the environment, what we are doing to the animal life on the planet. It's just really hard to want to be part of this rat race, called the human species. It's about a guy who goes to the desert and contemplates leaving everything, leaving everything behind. I don’t know if it’s a suicide, or if its not. He just goes to desert to escape, but he realizes that he depends on civilization and has to return.

Hatred is Contagious: I really like the vocal performance in this song. I'm proud of that, and I'm proud of Josh Freese, he did an amazing job of very simply laying out the drums for this record. He did it in one take, he's an amazing drummer, he's one of these virtuoso incredible genius types, and it was an honor to work with him.

Lie After Lie, was actually written about a month before we recorded the record Anthems For the Damned. It came together pretty quickly. I remember I played it too fast, and everybody had a look around and said "lets re-track this thing because it felt too fast". So, we took a breath, we slowed down. We just chilled this song out a little bit, and it was very fun to do....chillin’ out.

Kill the Day was the first song that I wrote about my recovery as an alcoholic. You know, when you are in the disease of alcoholism and you are drinking like a fish, like a gun fighter, like a wild man….you really do get a sense of happiness and pleasure out of destroying your life. You know it’s wrong, you know it’s terrible, but it’s fun to kill the day when you are an alcoholic. That's the insanity of alcoholism. I wanted to include that on this album, because part of humanities problems are its diseases, especially mental illness. I think that I wanted to examine that on this record, this anthems for the damned.

The Take is one of the songs written by John 5. He actually came in and played guitar on three songs; he played on The Take, wrote The Take, he wrote What’s Next, and played guitar on Hatred is Contagious. This song is a total tip of the hat, unabashedly. I'm recognizing where my old band Nine In Nails is coming from, and recognizing where Filter's first record is coming from, and it’s industrial. It's a tip of the hat to Ministry, one of the world’s greatest bands ever. I wanted to do something that was like when the Rolling Stones do a song that’s very reminiscent of Johnny be Good by chuck berry. It's a nod; it's a tip of the hat. So that’s what we did with The Take.

I Keep the Flowers Around is essentially one of the songs that Ray Deliao shines on. Ray is someone I’ve worked with for ten years. He is an amazing sound designer, and he comes up with the coolest sounds and noises in I Keep the Flowers Around…very, very well programmed song.

Only You, is the one spot on the record where I actually remind us that it’s not all doom and gloom, it’s not all just pain and suffering, but there is a little bit of future. We can do amazing, wonderful, incredible things as the human species. We point a telescope at the center of our galaxy and we see this huge black hole for the fist time in the last 5 years, this gigantic black hole. Things like that, discoveries. There are 400 billion suns in our galaxy alone, and there’re trillions of galaxies. So, there are more stars in the universe then there are grains of sand in the all the beaches, in all the world. So we are special; humans are conscious, humans are aware, we know what we are doing. War – bad…love - good. Help people, help animals, help atmosphere, help the planet - good...kill each other - bad. If we can lock onto that idea, it would be amazing and I think that we might have a fighting chance to continue and to survive, and maybe even be a space faring species.

Anthems for the Damned is a record that, to sum it all up, is a pessimistic view on where we are at now, but hopefully an optimistic view on where we can go. Can Stop This is the accompanying song for Only You. Just an ambient track that settles the nerve after a big long record. I view this as a 12 song book, I don’t look at it like a single, "ah, we got a single" no no no, it’s an entire album, it’s to viewed as one big huge piece of work. You don’t watch a DVD by watching one scene. When you watch a movie, you go in you sit down, you watch the movie, you don’t get up in the middle. That’s how I view a record, the perfect record is something you start in the beginning, it takes you on a journey, it gets you from A to B. At least I would hope that’s what it’s about.

Friday, April 4, 2008

How could a gun go off in a airplane cockpit???

A pretty good explanation of the failed TSA gun regulations:

BLUtube is powered by PoliceOne.com

Friday, March 21, 2008

Traffic jam "lab" experiment...

A group of drivers were all spaced evenly apart on a round track. Each were told to drive 30kph (~20mph). They should all just maintain their distance apart right?

For no apparent reason, the result was a rippling shockwave of traffic jams:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it's technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.


Read the rest here:

Video taken with a Canon 40D?

Using 40D, the software supplied by Canon, and live view this guy figured out how to shoot a video of this snail:

You will need the latest divx codec:


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BMW 5-Series Beats the Toyota Prius in MPG?

"Wait. There must be some mistake. How can an autobahn-inspired performance machine beat one of the most fuel-efficient cars ever made?

It looks like that is exactly what happened on a 545-mile London-Geneva run, when a diesel-powered BMW 5-series posted better MPG stats than a petrol-based Toyota Prius hybrid. The BMW 520d with a 2.0-liter diesel engine and regenerative braking posted an impressive 41.9 mpg - about 0.9 mpg better than a full hybrid Prius. The difference may not seem huge. But given that the Prius weighs about 500 lb less, BMW's fuel economy lead was significant enough to raise new questions about which drivetrain technologies are more environmentally viable and should become the future mainstream of sustainable transport.

According to our partner site Technoride, the 5-series' triumph over Prius can be attributed to "a series of energy-saving features BMW calls EfficientDynamics: battery recharge when braking, good aerodynamics, low rolling resistance, a continuous fuel consumption gauge on the dashboard, and a six-speed manual transmission that is rated as improving fuel economy by about 10%."


Can't believe this shot....

Think the goalie was embarrassed much?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This group of kids host a site where people can post pictures and videos of cool cars "in the wild" (as opposed to in some showroom, or at a car show, etc)

Shot of a GTR:

Here is come car pron for your viewing pleasure :)

Main site:

Italian TV presenter pretends to be Nicolas Cage, gets star treatment...

Basically this guy looks vaguely like Nicolas Cage (I mean come on, he really doesn't) and speaks with a heavy Italian accent. Somehow the prep work he does fools Real Madrid (soccer club) enough to get him the star treatment....even a free Nicolas Cage jersey!



Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Watch as a guy loses almost $30k...

With our current stock market woes:

Who tries to go long on futures in this kind of market? (especially over a 3 day weekend)

Review: Dunkin' Donuts Milky Way Hot Chocolate...

Well, to start it smells like the usual dunkies hot chocolate. Taste? Well, it's sort of a dunkachino (remember that?) and sort of like a hot chocolate.....oh, and nothing like milky way.

I think this whole Milky Way combining forces with Dunkin' Donuts thing might have something to do with the power of MARKETING!!! I mean come on, when was the last time you went out and bought a milky way?

If you know me, then you know I had to try it.....but thankfully I don't have to try it a second time.