The Principles of True Genius

If you have to read the instructions it’s your failure not mine. I sleep four hours per week. So many great ideas scuttle through my brain; the only things that relax me are red wine and country music. If knowledge is cargo and we’re the conveyance, then I’m a dump truck and you’re a shot glass. My inventions offer you opportunities to improve your life. You’re likely to squander the benefits on candy, bingo, and pay-per-view television. None of those are mine. I simply didn’t have the time.
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The secret is applesauce

I thought cake farts were a consequence of over-indulgence and a sensitive digestive system. I now understand that I was mistaken.

Today wasn’t my birthday, but I did poop a candle.

If video of the event existed, thousands of views and hundreds of imaginary dollars would be mine.

Headline of the day 2

Death Star Petition Gets White House Rebuff

New Math

Craig Damrauer put together a slideshow at The Atlantic Monthly demonstrating the math of the technology he expected by now:

When you get right down to it a lot of the ‘future’ things I saw in cartoons, TV shows and movies while growing up have come true. We have instant food (TV dinner + microwave), video phones and 3D television. Robots help fight our wars (drones) and the cops are armed with guns they can set on stun. So it’s helpful to see this as a glass half full kind of scenario. However, there are a few things I’d hoped for that I’ve yet to see. Here’s a small selection.

(via @tcarmody)

Headline of the day

Super Exciting News on Super Polynomiality of LP Formulations of the TSP Polytope

his logic is impeccable.

Things that happened during our date include, but are not limited to, the following:

You played with your hair a lot. A woman playing with her hair is a common sign of flirtation. You can even do a google search on it. When a woman plays with her hair, she is preening. I’ve never had a date where a woman played with her hair as much as you did. In addition, it didn’t look like you were playing with your hair out of nervousness.

We had lots of eye contact during our date. On a per-minute basis, I’ve never had as much eye contact during a date as I did with you.

You said, “It was nice to meet you.” at the end of our date. A woman could say this statement as a way to show that she isn’t interested in seeing a man again or she could mean what she said–that it was nice to meet you. The statement, by itself, is inconclusive.

We had a nice conversation over dinner. I don’t think I’m being delusional in saying this statement.

In my opinion, leading someone on (i.e., giving mixed signals) is impolite and immature. It’s bad to do that.

from the moderated comments

Just to be clear, this comment was intended as a response to “Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing is the best thing since gravity”. Just so everyone’s clear: Gravity < Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. That is all.

Rhein II

Andreas Gursky’s “Rhein II” set a new record for the highest selling price for a photograph ($4.3 million) yesterday. I must say I rather like it, though I do wonder how these things happen.

In fact, ten percent of all the photos we have were taken in the past 12 months

by 1960 it is estimated that 55% of photos were of babies.

the 20th century was the golden age of analog photography peaking at an amazing 85 billion physical photos in 2000 — an incredible 2,500 photos per second.

When the first few hundred thousand digital cameras shipped in 1997 their memory was strictly limited (in fact cameras like the Sony Mavica took floppy disks!).

That might sound implausible but this year people will upload over 70 billion photos to Facebook, suggesting around 20% of all photos this year will end up there.

And other statistics about the history of photographs.

Unlike Philip K. Dick’s novel “The Minority Report” or the film inspired by the novel, the program relies on algorithms, and not mutants to predict the likelihood of something happening

The police department in Santa Cruz has employed predictive algorithms to reduce burglaries and car break-ins.

The heart of the program is the belief that criminals often commit a second or third crime in the same location and the same time as a first successful crime. For example, if a burglar is successful breaking into a home at 2 p.m. in a certain neighborhood because no one is home, the criminal will use that experience to do it again to another house in the same neighborhood around the same time.

In the case of Santa Cruz, on California’s central coast and home to a University of California campus, that would be about four days later.

The algorithm knows this because Mohler has fed eight years of data on crimes in Santa Cruz into the algorithm.

Now you know, and I guess, so do the criminals.

this post is about football statistics

The first thing Romer did was analyze every fourth down during the first quarter of every NFL game between 1998 and 2000. (He had help from a computer program.) Then, he figured out the fluctuating value of a first down at each point on the football field. After all, a first down was more valuable for a team if it occurred on an opponents two yard line than on their own twenty yard line. The next thing Romer calculated was the statistical likelihood of going for it on fourth down under various circumstances and actually getting a first down. He also calculated the probability of kicking a successful field goal from various spots on the field.

simple solutions to complex problems from yahoo news comments

silly question, why don’t we use a few crop dusters to knock out all the drug fields in central and south america? Same in afganistan, if the alledged taliban is funded by opium sales, why not knock they out to? Such a simple solution, makes you think there are people in our country that want these wars. “In God We Trust?” God doesn’t want any part of the gun companies.

I have the perfect solution to the drug problem. This will work. Pay any informant 10% of monies recovered or 10% of the wholesale value of the drugs confiscated. Give them the money tax free and make it anonymous so as to prevent retaliation and to encourage others. Let capitalism do it’s thing. Turn the profit angle against them and they will be out of business in no time. Thoughts anyone?

from the comments

Cindy S.:

There are as many Amandas as there are Michaels. We are a pluralistic union.

photo out of context

phase space

I don’t have the background to properly explain this, but a new theory of physics called phase space (that potentially aligns quantum mechanics and general relativity) gives us this:

Relativity prevents anything that falls into a black hole from escaping, because it would have to travel faster than light to do so – a cosmic speed limit that is strictly enforced. But quantum mechanics enforces its own strict law: things, or more precisely the information that they contain, cannot simply vanish from reality. Black hole evaporation put physicists between a rock and a hard place.

According to Smolin, relative locality saves the day. Let’s say you were patient enough to wait around while a black hole evaporated, a process that could take billions of years. Once it had vanished, you could ask what happened to, say, an elephant that once succumbed to its gravitational grip. But as you look back to the time at which you thought the elephant had fallen in, you would find that locations in space-time had grown so fuzzy and uncertain that there would be no way to tell whether the elephant actually fell into the black hole or narrowly missed it. The information-loss paradox dissolves.

2001: A Space Impossibility

This has bothered me a long time. I rewatched 2001: A Space Odyssey last night, and if HAL can kill Poole outside the spacecraft, the rest of the movie is a logical inconsistency. Even believing the space hatch Bowman returns to the craft through is somehow beyond HAL’s control, he still has to pass through two series of doors, and gain access to HAL’s neural center. Not to mention HAL killed Poole by controlling his pod. Once Bowman is outside the spacecraft, he should never be able to regain entry. It bothers me in an emperor has no clothes kind of way, and from a filmaker so invested in precision, and who I admire with the strength of a thousand suns, it baffles me.

Jenny, I got your number

Michael Lugo pointed out that the telephone number 867-5309 is prime and may be the largest prime number to appear in the title of a popular song.

‘The whole argument started when Stephen Hawking attempted to describe what happens to matter during its lifetime in a black hole’

The proponents of string theory seem to think they can provide a more elegant description of the Universe by adding additional dimensions. But some other theoreticians think they’ve found a way to view the Universe as having one less dimension. The work sprung out of a long argument with Stephen Hawking about the nature of black holes, which was eventually solved by the realization that the event horizon could act as a hologram, preserving information about the material that’s gotten sucked inside. The same sort of math, it turns out, can actually describe any point in the Universe, meaning that the entire content Universe can be viewed as a giant hologram, one that resides on the surface of whatever two-dimensional shape will enclose it.

[Not] the inside of my refrigerator…

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tweet of the day

quote out of context

“I know it will be called blasphemy by some, but I believe that pi is wrong.”

from the comments

Michael Smith:

As soon as I get this car flipped, people will know there’s a riot and come join me.

from the comments

Michael Smith:

Fact: Bald eagles live in Alaska
Fact: Sarah Palin is from Alaska
Fact: I heard she might have killed a guy
Fact: Bald eagles have tried to kill postal customers
Fact: The Post Office is an example of big government
Fact: Sarah Palin hates big government
Fact: Birds are smart and easily trained

Destruction Party

97, 98, 99, 102, 109, 110 112 contributors. 4 3 days to go.

coming out of sleep


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