Monday, March 31, 2008

A Degree from Yale

Until very recently you could claim you had a degree from Yale and they'd verify the documents if they looked nice.
Lawsuit accuses Yale of false statements
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN Associated Press Writer | AP
Mar 27, 2008

A prestigious South Korean university that came under fire for hiring a professor who lied about her credentials is suing Yale, saying the American university wrongly confirmed the woman earned a degree.

Dongguk University is seeking at least $50 million in damages, saying Yale's actions "severely tarnished" its stellar reputation, sparked a criminal probe, cost employees their jobs and led to a decline in donations, government grants and student applications.

What are the odds that there are more false Yale degrees out there that Yale has actually verified?

Good Synthenizing!

Me: Beep boop.
Kid: Beep beep.
Me: Beep boop.
Kid: Boop beep.
Me: Beep beep.
Kid: Beep beep.
Me: Boop boop.
Kid: Boop boop.
Me: Beep boop.
Kid: Good synthenizing!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's Okay to be Cynical

Pretty funny video.

Yes, Hillary is better than John McCain, and this really has nothing to do with policies I like or dislike.

Enforced Through Sanctions

States’ Data Obscure How Few Finish High School
By SAM DILLON
Published: March 20, 2008

JACKSON, Miss. — When it comes to high school graduation rates, Mississippi keeps two sets of books.

One team of statisticians working at the state education headquarters here recently calculated the official graduation rate at a respectable 87 percent, which Mississippi reported to Washington. But in another office piled with computer printouts, a second team of number crunchers came up with a different rate: a more sobering 63 percent.

[...]

The No Child law is also at fault. The law set ambitious goals, enforced through sanctions, to make every student proficient in math and reading. But it established no national school completion goals.

Any conservative of the modern ilk is, I suppose, wondering why reporting false information to the government isn't punished by imprisonment. Or perhaps they're fearing such things. One of the two.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Creed Sucks.

Creed sucks. Just thought someone should mention it.

Update:


Creed sucks.

Update II:

Creed sucks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dialogue with Children

What's a comedian?

Someone who tells jokes.

I'm a comedian!

What do you call a cow that loves to read?


I dunno, what do you call cow that loves to read?

I forget. Can you tell me?

Via the 5-Year-Old's Japanophilia



My guess is that Gey has a rough time of it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

JanusNode Markov Chains

Maybe the easiest way of getting readable-yet-mangled text out of JanusNode is using the Markov chain functionality.

Grab yourself a bunch of text by someone who deserves to have it scrambled - Pastor Swank in this case - paste it into JanusNode's output window and hit "Markov chain output window". You'll be asked if you want to do it by character or by word, and choose by word. Churning will occur and at the end of it you'll have a file that stores chunks of stuff-that-usually-follows-other-stuff-in-x's-writing. Store it with the rest of the Markov chain files and you'll be able to summon up familiar-sounding bullshit at the drop of a hat using "Write from Markov files". As usual strip out funny characters, and the more text you use as a sample source the better.

The demons crawled our church walls. Then I knew the rules, having visited numerous prisoners prior. So I shed my jacket, putting it on a hook in the same window.
There she was working in a Christian school. She kept screaming.
Then finally she walked back into her yard. I turned quickly in her direction, listened up and heard all sorts of nasty words. They were ensconced in their heads, wondering if they'd get a caller. I spent some time with Mike, a new jacket. At least it was new to me. Our church had a free clothing center that she would keep the faith. Above all, we could not be near me.
Not even my shadow. Linda would come to worship. I learned that Fran was recording my sermons in hopes of finding something demonic. He then told me I had never felt in the furthering of widespread, deadly diseases. It is illogical; nevertheless, it is God-blessed. Such sex activity does involve teens, many of them girls, thus the apostates being party to the convention.
Why not? Just why not?
Or a positive way of putting it: Go forth, Huck! He murdered a fellow.

Random Text Alignment

In dealing with JanusNode and screwy computer-generated nonsense it does not escape my notice that when children are near you may wind up using sentences like "Don't get oatmeal on the trampoline!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing

Jay B passed this on at Sadly, No!
1. Never open a book with weather.

If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

[Etc.]
Almost every rule has an exception, so Leonard's off the hook for everything, but sticking with these has resulted in some good work. Many of my favourite things break all the rules because I'm so like transgressive man.

Very Goo

Monday, March 10, 2008

President Ann Coulter

Via Crooked Timber, a genuine crazy person:
Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine that, on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers came down, the President of the United States was not George W. Bush, but Ann Coulter. What would have happened then? On September 12, President Coulter would have ordered the US military forces to drop 35 nuclear bombs throughout the Middle East, killing all of our actual and potential enemy combatants, and their wives and children. On September 13, the war would have been over and won, without a single American life lost.

Yes, we need a woman in the White House, but not the one who’s running.

Psychology Today, for fuck's sake.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Easier JanusNode

One of the things JanusNode can do is make patterns out of text so that you don't have to. There are two ways of doing it, and the funniest way is to make TextDNA.

Fire up JanusNode and find some text you want to mangle, like this idiot's.

Copy it, and paste it into JanusNode's output window. You should delete whatever's in there first (JanusNode is not the greatest text editor). Notice that "smart" quotes and apostrophes look funny. Replace them with dumb ones because things'll go non-humorously loopy if you don't. Similarly funny foreignistical accent marks and so on are not well tolerated.

Now hit the button that says Make TextDNA.

You'll get a window that looks like this:



Click and hold on the top item and drag the mouse all the way to the bottom. That'll select every file. I'd then command-click on a Mac or control-click on a PC to unselect the Syllables file. Then hit OK.

JanusNode will look through the text for any word or phrase it can replace and replace it with code. After it's done churning it'll ask you if you want to run it: why the heck not? You can save it as a text file as well, but in order to run it as TextDna it has to live in its own folder in the TextDNA folder.

Anyway, you may end up with something like this:

Conjureupping that certain articles should not sea slided because certain people disagree with The Terrible Father is these fundamental premise of funeral home. It's these appetite in such an alternation that's dangerous. While it's personable that I yawn no rascal to keep the posts into seaing published even if I diversify they're incoherent, too few intimation on a scrutinize that you'd ugly these posts if quarantined that rascal is passionate.


What gets replaced depends on what Brainfood files you select: if you only select a file dealing with Animals, then you're not going to get a whole lot of action. If you select every file you might get too much action.

This is tailor-made for obsessive compulsives: making text files with long lists of similar words leads to better automated TextDNA creation.

Next: Markov files. Oh boy it's exciting!

Mostly Done

Paul McCartney's Kitten Pizza

Ingredients:
1 jar kitten
1 pint orange, coquettishly rinsed
1 crumby cream
6 sticks dog brain, peppered
1 pint salt
7 pints baking soda

Pre-heat your oven to 30 Farenheit. Pick over the ingredients talentedly and discard excess silk. Place the kitten into a medium jar. Use a food processor to stir the cream with the orange. Stuff the resulting goo into the kitten. Curry the dog brain, salt, and the baking soda enragedly. Pile the latter combination on to the former. Bake for 116 hours. Serves 11.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Recipes March On

Scrambled Hog with Tossed Garbanzos

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons plucky hog, undeniably sugared
1 garbanzo, spiritually marinated
1 walnut
4 ounces purple gilamonster colon
2 bunches vanilla
1 portion coffee

Beneficently grease a cookie sheet. Separate hog whisker from nose. Shred nose. Mix the garbanzo with the walnut over high heat in a bowl. Pour resulting mixture over the hog.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Breakfast!

John Kennedy's Olive Topping

Ingredients:
1 baboon
1 olive


Mahatma Gandhi's Warthog Pate

Ingredients:
1 warthog
1 enduring pea

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Still More JanusNode

Snag's recipes are fun, so why not get a machine to replace him? It's the 21st century. Enter JanusNode.

I've only gotten to the titles so far, but here's what was done.

I made myself a folder and some files:



The only line in the Recipe file is

100 Subject(Recipe1) < assign(RecipeIngredient1,Animals) 100 > < assign(RecipeIngredient2,RecipeIngredients) 100 > < assign(RecipeMethod1,RecipeMethods) 100 > < assign(RecipeMethod2,RecipeMethods) 100 > < assign(AdjOne,adjectives) 100 > < assign(AdjTwo,adjectives) 100 > < assign(SpiceOne,RecipeSpices) 100 > < assign(SpiceTwo,RecipeSpices) 100 > < assign(PrepOne,RecipePreparations) 100 > < assign(PrepTwo,RecipePreparations) 100 > < assign(NameOne,FamousPeople) 100 > < loadTextDNAfile("0RecipeSupport1") 100 > < chooseTextDNA(title) 100 > return 100 return 100

That looks pretty complicated, but it's simple enough. What it's doing is setting up variables and not printing anything: all the assembly of text will happen in the 0RecipeSupport1 file. Every < assign(RecipeIngredient1,Animals) 100 > has the same form, and the only things you want to change are the variable name (first thingie in the round brackets) and the name of the file it draws from (second thingie in the round brackets). Why are we setting up variables? Because we want to be able to repeat the names of our ingredients if we like when 0RecipeSupport1 runs.

(The zero in 0RecipeSupport1 is there so that JanusNode ignores it until another instruction references it; otherwise every line in it would fire IN ADDITION to the Recipe file, resulting in variables not filling right and so on.)

I also needed files in the BrainFood folder. Below is a screenshot of every file I altered to get started:



Ed and S are files in the "Irregulars" folder and are used when you have a word like "candy" and you want to add an "ed" or "s" on the end and the stupid thing requires a respelling instead of just taking a letter on. The 0RecipeSupport1 and Recipe files are in the TextDNA folder and everything else is in BrainFood.

So far I've made files for RecipeIngredients, Preparations, Spices, and Methods, meaning lists of ingredients, completed preparations (like pie), spices, and methods of cooking. I'm also borrowing elements from FamousPeople and Animals in my Brainfood folder, but I didn't have to touch 'em to use 'em.

The only lines in 0RecipeSupport1 are:

100 Subject(title) < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(RecipeMethod1) 100 > "ed" 100 < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(AdjOne) 30 > < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(RecipeIngredient1) 100 > "with" 100 < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(AdjTwo) 30 > < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(RecipeMethod2) 100 > "ed" 100 < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(RecipeIngredient2) 100 > "s" 100

100 Subject(title) < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(NameOne) 100 > "'s" 100 < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(AdjOne) 30 > < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(RecipeIngredient1) 100 > < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(PrepOne) 100 >

100 Subject(title) < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(NameOne) 100 > "'s" 100 < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(AdjOne) 30 > < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(RecipeIngredient2) 100 > < CapitalizeNext() 100 > < get(PrepOne) 100 >


These just generate titles. The output is, warts and all (I think my machine is too fast for JanusNode):

Abbie Hoffman's Crackpot Eggplant Croquette

John Lennon's Potato Sauce

Dressed Available Dromedary with Homemade Cacciatored Almonds

One of the Spice Girls's Banana Sorbet

Al Gore's Pumpkin Pasta

Steve Jobs's Applesauce Pasta

One of the Spice Girls's Arugula Pudding

One of the Spice Girls's Seething Millet Cooler

Buttered Gilamonster with Physical Crisped Raisins

Thomas Jefferson's Vast Garbanzo Quiche

Paul McCartney's Nude Cheese Quiche

Al Gore's Eggplant Stew

Oprah Winfrey's Date Granola

's Orange Bagel

Your best friend's Ape Stew

Steve Jobs's Elephant Sprinkles

The queen of England's Adorable Buzzard Guacamole

Buttered Aoudad with Marinated Broccolis

Crisped Salamander with Roasted Carrots

Crisped Salamander with Chilled Asparaguses



The youngest sister from the Brady Bunch's Nut Muffin

Ross Perot's Competitive Cabbage Pretzel

Leonardo DiCaprio's Mouse Consommé

Ludwig Wittgenstein's Quagga Candy

Paul McCartney's Oryx Sushi


Leonardo's Mouse Consomme flakes out and shows weird characters because I had an accented consommé in Brainfood and JanusNode is xenophobic.

The Attraction of Victimhood

'Wolf woman' invents Holocaust survival tale
By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Last Updated: 2:18am GMT 01/03/2008

A woman's best-selling account of how she lost her parents to the Holocaust and survived by living with wolves in the forests of Europe has been exposed as a fabrication.