About a month ago I was tickled to discover Unbaby.me, a plugin for Facebook that attempts to detect pictures of babies and replace them with an image feed of your choosing. It’s a neat idea, but the system fails on two accounts:
1) It traces words and phrases like “OMG SO CUTE!!! 🙂 🙂 :)” to determine if a picture is likely a baby. This takes out small furry animals as collateral damage, which I’m actually okay with, and also sometimes pictures of people. Sorry Ashley Bradarich, you’re still a celebrity but I love you for it. Your devil-angel photo is certainly TOO CUTE FOR WORDS HOLY GAWDS!!1!.
2) I set mine to relay the amazing website designs image feed on DeviantArt but since people there don’t understand what categories are I get results like the following:
See, this is my kind of information science. IR can be so much more fun than convoluted math equations.
This post was a while back, but I juts now have gotten to it. A fellow PhD student, in an attempt to help us brainstorm more creative ways to recruit new information science students, sent us the following advertisement for reference:
As he explained, it’s a puzzle meant to draw you in:
In this poster, everything is hidden in the binary code (please ignore the girl at the background).
The decipher process can be found at http://xrl.us/bnx5jc (in Chinese). Here are the steps to get the material in natural language (I skip some trial and reasoning steps):
OCR the binary code from the image.
Save it as a binary file and name it bin.gz (you can get the name of the file by interpreting the binary code).
Unzip the file and get a file called bin. This is a java class (again, tell from the binary code).
Save the file as a java class and run it. You can get the correct name of the class (i.class) from the java error message.
What puzzles me about it is not actually the number cipher, which I imagine is pretty neato, but the the relevance of the woman in the background. Is she supposed to be just a pretty background, like a flower pattern? Are they assuming only heterosexual men apply and that this woman will get their attention? Is this like insurance companies that put naked ladies on billboards, but a subdued version? I’m not yet ready to label it sexist, simply because I don’t understand Japanese culture enough to comprehend the context. Right now I can’t help but see it as comically non-sequitur!
There’s no way around it: buying organic foods is expensive, usually 10 to 40% more costly than buying regular foods (according to Wikipedia). And if you choose to buy organic part of the time, like me, which products should you focus on?
A relatively recent study by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration might be able to help you decide, if you’re living in the US. The Environmental Working Group has ranked pesticide contamination for forty-six fruits and vegetables involved in over 100,000 lab tests from the study as well as further testing by the state of California (all done between 1992 and 2001). Their results? The following:
Twelve Most Contaminated Fruits and Vegetables (buy organic):
1. Nectarines (97.3% of nectarines sampled were found to contain pesticides)
2. Celery (94.5%)
3. Pears (94.4%)
4. Peaches (93.7%)
5. Apples (91% )
6. Cherries (91%)
7. Strawberries (90%)
8. Imported Grapes (86%)
9. Spinach (83.4%)
10. Potatoes (79.3%)
11. Bell peppers (68%)
12. Red raspberries (59%)
Twelve Least Contaminated (not as necessary to buy organic):
(in alphabetical order)
6. Corn – sweet (nearly all corn is genetically modified, however)
12. Sweet peas
Anyone who knows me knows about my not-so-well-hidden penchant for Segways. The self-balancing personal transportation device is, for me, half retro-futurist fantasy and half ridiculous human tragedy. Regardless of how you feel, for something that tech-prophet Steve Jobs predicted would be “as big a deal as the PC,” the Segway has fallen pretty spectacularly short of the hype. The only people who seem to really use the Segway are tourists and law enforcement and it doesn’t like that will change any time soon.
Except maybe in China, where these pictures show Chinese military police training on combat Segways in anti-terrorism drills for the upcoming summer Olympics.
“Iron Sky is a film about conformity: those who want to conform, those who want to make others conform, and those who refuse. A girl rebels against the foundations of her fathers, learning what freedom and equality mean to her, and that the world of today has lost sight of their true meaning.”
Not sure what to expect – they don’t have a release date or anything like that, but I must admit I’m interested. I have a feeling it’ll look cool, have a great sci-fi/history/fantasy concept and then employ less then stellar acting.
Hop around the website for a blog, pictures, and plot fragments.
PS – I’m out of school! That’s right, it means I have time to write again. Wahoo! Next post might be about my new phone. PDA’s – laptops of the future? Certainly not that iPhone crap…
http://local.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=Stettler,+Canada&ie=UTF8&z=14&iwloc=addr&om=0, just northeast of Calgary and due east of Red Deer, the home of the Advocate newspaper. There hasn't been any independent verification of the underwear-eating technique being effective but unlike bomb-making or knitting on an airplane, you are welcome to try this yourself.
http://totallyabsurd.com/archive.htm. Featured above is just one of the many ridiculous things dug up from the archives of the patent office. This particular item is called the "Gerbil Shirt":http://totallyabsurd.com/gerbilshirt.htm, a wearable habitrail. Think of the beauty of it, never having to leave your furry friends at home.