This is nice. A literal take on computer jargon.

A Cat Toy To Free Humans?

August 30, 2011

Cats know perfectly well that you are dragging the feather or string, that you are tossing the catnip mouse, that you are controlling the laser pointer. If you try to do anything else, they stop and stare at you until you give them your full attention again. Rather like human toddlers, they seem to need you to watch them play.

I saw this today. Would it, just possibly, free me from servitude to my Feline Overlords? Could I program it to sufficiently random movement, or must it be controlled in real-time? And either way, would I still have to devote myself to Their Amusement, or could I write and play with them simultaneously?

Not that I don’t want to involve myself with their antics, but when they keep poking at me, demanding I stop writing and come play, I get annoyed. This might be useful.

Robot Librarians?

August 18, 2011

Okay, not just librarians. These are amazing. Similar to the Kilobots / I wrote about previously / the Swarmanoids work together to achieve a goal.

I’d like to see them doing housework, of course. And yardwork… I prefer human librarians.

What would you have them do?

A wonderful article from the ‘Scientific American’ blog  /  Degrees of Freedom.

While full of pertinent examples of the usefulness of math and mathematicians, this paragraph was a hoot:

“On the other hand, mathematicians are cheap. They just need a small office, some chalk, a computer and, once in a while, a ticket to a conference. They make you smile by wearing nerdy T-shirts. They are good to have around on university campuses in case you are a scientist who happens to have calculus (or Riemannian geometry) questions. Oh, and they teach math to students. Lots of students.”

It reminded me, of course, of the joke about philosophers and mathematicians – a mathematician needs pencil, paper, and a rubbish bin; but the philosopher doesn’t even need the bin.

Conferences are great – that’s where the real cross-pollination of ideas can begin. People from all sorts of specializations getting mellow in the bar, and talking about things – and ideas happen.

Mathematicians may be too abstract for most people to understand, but they know the value of a conference.

Watch the Ending

July 7, 2011

This was amazing. I was looking hard, and saw a few things that weren’t quite right – but if I hadn’t been looking?


Gotta love it.

Wish people could figure out belief has nothing to do with it. Facts, people. They are not beliefs.

I’m impressed. These little robots are fascinating. And I can see how they will provide insights into all sorts of behaviors and strategies.

But let’s face it – they are cute!



Right now I’ve got Lead, Cadmium, Cobalt, Palladium, and Caesium playing.

This will be a tough procrastinator to overcome, I fear. Music and science and just plain cool.

Fun Stuff to Watch

June 24, 2011

This is a great series. I love how they put labels on everything.


This video presents an entertaining perspective on evolution, disguised as the quest for a 6th grader’s dream: a pet dinosaur.

I’m linking to it through the post by Punctuated Equilibrium as well,  as I thought her comments were helpful to read before watching.

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