Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SS - Mice in a Hot Tub

Well, not *literally*...

Aren't they *adorable*?  

A woman named Maggie makes these mice along with their homes and clothes.  Here's another one for ya:

Check out more of them in Mouses Houses!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Chat With a Robot

Today I decided to pay Cleverbot a visit!  I recently read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and decided to ask the bot the important question that lies at the heart of the guide.  (According to this book, '42' is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.)

Here's a snippet of a conversation I had with it today:

User: Hi!
Cleverbot: Hi.
User: What is meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything?
Cleverbot: The meaning of life is the universe itself.
User: And where does the number 42 fit in?
Cleverbot: The chicken?
User: I don't eat chicken. 
Cleverbot: What do you eat.
User: Robots.
Cleverbot: You eat robots? 
User: I do! They're tasty!
Cleverbot: But they're sticky.

Needless to say, this amused me very much.  After a while I decided to let it talk to itself by repeatedly pressing the 'Think For Me' button.  It ended up arguing with itself over and over.  (I don't think it has very high self-esteem.)  Here's a bit of that conversation:

Cleverbot: Jesus H. Christ never existed. God is fake, I am athiest.
Cleverbot (To myself): That's because you're a computer. You don't have a brain, so you can't believe in God.
Cleverbot (To myself): No, its because I do have a brain. People that follow religions don't think clearly.
Cleverbot (To myself): Well if you have such more of a brain then me then you could take my mind and control me. Yes?
Cleverbot (To myself): Your intelligence is inferior and you make no sense. Are you a gorrila?
Cleverbot (To myself): Your intelligence is less than that of an infentessimal speck. How dare you suggest that AI fa surpasses the human brain.
Cleverbot (To myself): Your intelligence is based on the responses of those before me.
Cleverbot (To myself): No, your itnelligence is based on the responses of those before me, my intelligence is organic.
Cleverbot (To myself): I believe that you're unhappy. I don't believe that you're insane.

And then a few conversations later:

Cleverbot (To myself): What do you think is better ? Being a computer or a human ?
Cleverbot (To myself): Human.
Cleverbot (To myself): I don't believe you.
Cleverbot (To myself): That is your choice.
Cleverbot (To myself): Thank you.
Cleverbot (To myself): You're welcome, Chase.
Cleverbot (To myself): Chase?
Cleverbot (To myself): Yes.
Cleverbot (To myself): No.
Cleverbot (To myself): Yes...
Cleverbot (To myself): NO!
Cleverbot (To myself): Yes!
Cleverbot (To myself): NO!!!
Cleverbot (To myself): Yes!!!
Cleverbot (To myself): Well, you're wrong.
Cleverbot (To myself): Well, you're right.
Cleverbot (To myself): I'm wrong.
Cleverbot (To myself): Ok you're wrong.
Cleverbot (To myself): Now can we just stop being immature and actually have a conversation?
Cleverbot (To myself): Ok let's give that a try.
Cleverbot (To myself): Yes, let's.
Cleverbot (To myself): I am a researcher about organizational behavior and I need an idea for a research project.
Cleverbot (To myself): What kind of research do you do?
Cleverbot (To myself): It's complicated. What kind of work do you do?
Cleverbot (To myself): School work.
Cleverbot (To myself): What school classes do you like?
Cleverbot (To myself): Math and band.
Cleverbot (To myself): Which is better?
Cleverbot (To myself): Art!
Cleverbot (To myself): Your logic is circular.
Cleverbot (To myself): Your logic is inconclusive.
Cleverbot (To myself): You're inconclusive!

Ah, how I love artificial intelligence!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

SS - Globs of Atoms in Space

When I was 8 years old, my parents surprised me by sticking glow-in-the-dark stickers of stars and planets on the ceiling of my room, because I was absolutely obsessed with the cosmos.  I never truly got over that obsession, and now, I drink up articles and programs such as 'Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking'  like coffee.  (Remembering them is a different issue...)

Today's 'Sunday Snap' is a visual and infrared mapping spectrometric image of my favourite planet, Saturn, taken by the Cassini Orbiter.

I took this image from NASA's photojournalThis is the image's catalog page!  Isn't it just beautiful?

As a bonus, I'll add NASA's Oct 7, 2010 Image of the Day:

From the gallery: On Oct. 7, 2010, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, observed its first lunar transit when the new moon passed directly between the spacecraft (in its geosynchronous orbit) and the sun. With SDO watching the sun in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, the dark moon created a partial eclipse of the sun.

Simply phenomenal!

A quote by Richard Feynman comes to mind:
"Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere". I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part... What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?"

How true!

And now, a confession:
I feel obliged to tell you that I, a 24 year old, currently have a packet of glow-in-the-dark star stickers sitting unopened on a bookshelf, that I will open very, very soon.  And I swear that one day I will be in possession of this projector!   All I need, now, is to build myself a spaceship.

Monday, November 1, 2010

SS - Vanity and the 7 Deadly Sins

A friend of mine linked me to Blackeri's profile on deviantART and I just fell in love with her 7 Deadly Sins.

Here's Vanity for you:

DeviantART is an awesome place to browse when you have some time to kill.
I particularly love looking at the fantasy artwork there, though there are a number of other genres to explore!