March 30, 2005

Can I have a feeding tube?

Lost in all of the discussion over the Terri Schiavo case is the actual feeding tube. How can I get one of these? Can I use hers, now that she's done with it? Will it be sold on eBay?

Of all the things in the world that frustrate me, trying to eat three meals a day is near the top of the list. My irritation over this makes me long for the days when any problem could be solved by putting a spear through it. My top two other annoyances are probably sleeping and dogs that seem to be able to detect clean jeans and slobber all over them preferentially.

I would pay top dollar to have a feeding tube system that would allow me to skip meals. Whenever I want to eat, I could just plug a few morsels into the system and return to work. No more preparing food, no waiting for the oven to preheat, no checking nutrition labels, no chewing, no sneaking moldy cheese into your friends sandwich. Well, I guess that last one I'll miss, but otherwise you get the point.

This would make dating easier, too! Dinner conversation would never lull because it would be too short.

Me: Hey, that's a nice feeding tube. Where'd you get it?
Her: Oh I got it on sale down at the...
Me (rudely interrupting): Well, looks like we're done eating, do you want to make out now?

Posted by mill1991 at 2:34 PM

March 25, 2005

If I were on the dating game

Question: If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be? Answer: Hmm... I would say 1) Funny, 2) Smart, and uhmmm... well, if I gotta be honest, I would say 3) gassy. No wait! Honest! Can I switch gassy for honest?
Posted by mill1991 at 4:21 PM

March 24, 2005

You're a really nice guy

In conversation with an attractive woman, there is one thing that she can say which sounds good, but it is almost universally not good. And that is "You're a really nice guy." It sounds like a compliment. After all, being nice is generally considered a good trait. However, in this context it means something equivalent to "You're like a brother to me, except less sexually attractive." In other words, it is a way of emphasizing the positive - complimenting you on your good demeanor is a way around saying "Looking at your face makes my eyes bleed."

This does not need to be the end, though. Sometimes, not being a nice guy can be attractive. If someone tells me I'm a nice guy, I say "You think I'm a nice guy? You should ask the guy that cut me off on the freeway if he thinks I'm a nice guy. Oh wait, he's dead! Now do you think I'm a nice guy?" Then, just for effect, run up to the nearest person and punch him in the kidney. I'm telling you, works every time.

Posted by mill1991 at 3:01 PM

March 21, 2005

Motto madness

I think the religious right's recent foray into politics could best be summarized thus: "Hating fruits but loving vegetables."
Posted by mill1991 at 3:07 PM

March 20, 2005

Super legal

Today's people that annoy me: People who, when driving by a police car on the highway, slow down to well below the speed limit. Just outside of St. Paul the speed limit is 55, traffic was moving along smoothly at about 60, and all of a sudden I see a flurry of brake lights, and then the cop car which caused the flurry, and I swear to you I wanted to vomit, except I don't like cleaning so I held it in.

Why are you slowing down!!?? Do you realize the logistics involved with trying to get a non-moving police car into a quickly moving, traffic filled, under construction lane of traffic? This guy is not about to put his life at risk to give someone a ticket for going five over. You could probably be barreling down the highway at 80 with a howitzer mounted on your hood and a dead guy's arm hanging out of your trunk and the cop would still be hesitant about pulling out into that mess o' traffic.

Anyways, the slowing did not end until traffic was moving at 40 miles per hour. 40! That's 15 miles per hour BELOW the legal limit, and about 25 below what it takes to get pulled over. People who slow down to 40 MPH, I do not wish to be rude, but I have a question: Are you retarded? When you see a security camera at a department store, do you put your own possessions on the shelf so it really looks like you're not stealing? If you see a minimum speed limit sign in a rush hour traffic jam, do you try to get up to 60, just to be safely over the 45 MPH minimum?

Posted by mill1991 at 9:59 PM

March 16, 2005

Testing a search engine

Since I am doing research in natural language processing, I am always interested (and skeptical) when a new product makes claims about its language understanding abilities. I became aware of the Brainboost search engine from Greet Machine, so I decided to test it out a little bit. The idea is that you enter a question and instead of getting links you get answers. Here are some results from some preliminary testing I did.

Query:What is the surface of Venus made of?
Result:
(1) Continents and lowlands - Only 8% of the surface of Venus is made of continental highlands
(2) Venus - - The surface of Venus is made of a thick crust of dried up volcano lava.
Analysis: (1) is tough to make sense out of, and is only a partial answer. (2), on the other hand is muy impressiv.

Query:Who is Scrooge McDuck's nemesis?
Result: Limited supplies ) - $6.00 Disney’s DuckTales #2 (July 1990) - "Scrooges Quest" Part 2 - "The Nemesis of Napalabama" Scrooges search for Webby takes our heroes to the Howling Hills of Pandamonia.
Analysis: Not very impressive. The correct answer, of course, is Flintheart Glumgold.

Query:Where is AAMAS being held this year?
Result:
(1)Sounds very interesting and Ill certainly be trying to submit a paper for this! (the fact AAMAS is held in Melbourne this year has nothing to do with it!) posted by Jamie at 5:56 PM << Back to blog.
(2) The award carries an honorarium, along with an invitation to give a talk at the annual Autonomous Agents and Multi - Agent System (AAMAS) Conference, which this year will be held at Utrecht University, the Netherlands July 25 - 29.
Analysis: This search makes it clear that the search technique is still using a "bag of words" approach instead of some kind of semantic analysis. Notice that the string "this year" appears in both results, and also that the two results give two different answers. "This year" could be resolved into the current year in a fully understanding system. Incidentally, if I changed the search to "Where is AAMAS 2005 being held," the search works perfectly.

Query:How do you make an old fashioned?
The result of this query was a polite request to limit queries to factual questions. I think the search engine got thrown off by the word "you," thinking I was trying to make smalltalk, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried again.
Query (try 2):How is an old fashioned made?
Results
(1) The Old Fashioned is made by taking an orange wheel and a couple of maraschino cherries with a dash of sugar syrup and Angostura bitters and "muddling" them - basically squishing them all together in the bottle of the glass.
(2) For instance, an Old Fashioned is made by muddling an orange and a cherry with a dash of bitters then filling the glass with bourbon or whiskey and a splash of soda water. So that makes 4 non - alcoholic ingredients to 1 alcoholic ingredient, but I have yet to meed a chick who likes it.
Analysis: Result (1) seems to be incomplete - there is no mention of adding liquor or soda. Result (2) is a little better, plus it has that hilarious last line. I could probably figure out how to make it from answer (2), but I'll let #1 Dad be the judge of whether it's a good recipe or not.

So, with the factual questions out of the way, I moved on to more opinion and values-based questions:

Query:Why don't girls like me?
Answer: Nice Girls Don`t Get Drunk. - - Like a good girl I then lifted my dress over my backside and leant forward, ready to be screwed by my new black lover, who began to pull my panties down.
Analysis:I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I'm unsatisfied with the response yet strangely intrigued.

Query:Who is the best wide receiver in the NFL draft?
Answer:# Charles Rogers, WR Michigan State - Not only is Charles Rogers rated as the top NFL Draft prospect at wide receiver, many scouts feel he is the best player in the draft.
Analysis:Not only is this two year old information, but it completely neglects Chris Samp (WR - Winona State), who is clearly the cream of this year's class.

Query:If God is infinitely good, why do bad things happen?
Result: Just as human parents operate according to a higher wisdom than children do, so God operates according to an infinitely higher wisdom than we do.
Analysis: That really makes me feel a lot better.

Posted by mill1991 at 9:45 AM

Full disclosure

One of the most important traits of a good journalism is objectiveness. Because of this, a good journalist will reveal when he or she has a personal tie to the matter at hand. This is what is happening when the story says: (Full disclosure: I own stock in this company) or something to that effect. But the term is a little misleading. It's not really full disclosure, it's more like relevant disclosure. A journalist seriously practicing full disclosure would give all kinds of details that aren't really relevant, like:
  • My dad got me this job
  • I accidentally bought a woman's wristwatch, but I kept it because it fits my girlish wrists better than the man's version
  • Last night I had a sex dream with Heath Ledger
  • I rented From Justin to Kelly twice
  • Sometimes I fantasize about having a head to head interview-off (Like a dance-off for journalists) with Barbara Walters
Posted by mill1991 at 8:42 AM

March 11, 2005

Teasing for fun and profit

You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she responds to teasing. There are many different response types, all of which are very revealing. Some women like to stick to one response type, while others like to switch between them like they are brands of laundry detergent in that great laundry cycle called life. Here are a few examples:

Secretly Crushed Type
Description: This girl responds well outwardly, but is inwardly unable to withstand any type of suggestion that she is less than perfect.
Example:
You: Are you sure you want to go into Abercrombie? After that hoagie you just inhaled, maybe we should just go straight to Deb Plus.
Her (outloud): Ha, ha, yeah I sure did. (Gamely makes cookie-monster noises to simulate how she ate).
Her (inwardly): (Violent sobbing)

The Instant Revenge Type
Description: This girl refuses to be insulted, and will instantly retaliate, assuming you were trying to be insulting rather than just friendly or flirtatious. Even the most light-hearted teasing is taken as a vicious personal assault.
Example:
You: That was quite a sneeze! Shall I alert the paramedics?
Her: Your pants are too tight and you reek like curry.

Unshakable Type
Description: This is the best type, because not only does she laugh it off, but she'll often respond with much funnier insults, leading to an entertaining back and forth interplay.
Example:
Her: Do you think I'm hotter than Summer on the OC?
You: Oh, definitely. Wait, you said fatter, right?
Her: No, I said your mom is a huge slut.
You: Wait, that doesn't make any sense. Have you been drinking?
Her: Well, that's possible, but on the other hand your mom does sleep around quite a bit.

Posted by mill1991 at 10:31 AM

March 3, 2005

Dream characters

I always think it's fascinating when I have a dream with a fictional character and that person has his or her own personality. Where does it come from? I can understand if it's someone you know, because you should be able to fake their personality pretty well. Last night I had a dream with a friend in it and it was so realistic I felt like I had actually had a conversation with him when I woke up. But I wouldn't expect fake characters to be realistic. I would expect them to all be supermodels saying things to me like "Tim, your C++ code is amazingly efficient, yet surprisingly easy to understand." Or "I prefer guys who don't dress or communicate well. Do you mind if I take off my shirt?"
Posted by mill1991 at 4:45 PM