"As he said this, he entrusted himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to help and sustain him at such a critical moment, and then, with his shield held high and his spear braced in its socket, and Rocinante at a full gallop, he charged directly at the first windmill he came to, just as a sudden swift gust of wind sent its sail swinging hard around, smashing the spear to bits and sweeping up the knight and his horse, tumbling them all battered and bruised to the ground."
May 30, 2010
"Even should you shake more arms than the giant Briareus himself, you'll still have to deal with me!"
May 28, 2010
May 24, 2010
May 22, 2010
Some people can be funny. Some people can be wise. Some people can be funny sometimes, and wise at other times.
"Was Jesus one with God in the sense that, say, Sean Connery is one with Daniel Craig, different faces of a single role, or in the sense that James Bond is one with Ian Fleming, each so dependent on the other that one cannot talk about the creation apart from its author?"
May 21, 2010
Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,And lay them prone upon the earth and ceaseTo ponder on themselves, the while they stareAt nothing, intricately drawn nowhereIn shapes of shifting lineage; let geeseGabble and hiss, but heroes seek releaseFrom dusty bondage into luminous air.O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,When first the shaft into his vision shoneOf light anatomized! Euclid aloneHas looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate theyWho, though once only and then but far away,Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.
Imagine [Maxwell]'s feelings when the differential equations he had formulated proved to him that electromagnetic fields spread in the form of polarised waves, and at the speed of light! To few men in the world has such an experience been vouchsafed...
May 20, 2010
May 19, 2010
SASI...can recognize sarcastic sentences in product reviews online with pretty astounding 77 percent precision. To create such an algorithm, the team scanned 66,000 Amazon.com product reviews, with three different human annotators tagging sentences for sarcasm. ...
This isn’t all just so your Roomba gets the joke when you tell it it sucks. Computer programs that can recognize sarcastic statements could generate better personalized content and make better recommendations to human users by not mistaking a product review titled “keep your receipt” with a sound piece of online shopping advice. It could also benefit opinion-mining systems that troll the Web trying to measure public sentiment about a product or idea.
May 18, 2010
May 17, 2010
May 16, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 14, 2010
May 13, 2010
May 12, 2010
The Slingshot Fund describes itself as "a collective giving community for next generation philanthropists," providing unrestricted grants to "innovative Jewish organizations." Will told me he realized grantees were taking a lot of time to prepare the requested three- to five-page mid-grant reports, and that although he himself read all the reports, donors did not read each and every one. The Slingshot community wanted to more effectively share their stories about impact.
So, last year, in addition to the grant itself, the Slingshot Fund gave each grantee a Flip video camera “to document their programs and projects” and asked “grantees to submit a mid-year video so that we could share their good works with the Slingshot community.” Will admitted, “We fund innovation, and it’s pretty clear we had to be innovative ourselves.”
He elicited compelling stories by telling grantees, “We just want to see what your work looks like,” and asking them, “What do you wish a donor could see?”
“The cameras went to Jackson, Mississippi to document Jewish life in the South, they taught us how Hebrew schools can use visual aid strategies to engage children with special needs, they showed us the side of the West Bank Security Fence we have never gotten to see, and provided dozens of other moments that a written report could never have conveyed.”Will points out that the videos are "not a replacement evaluation technique", but rather, "an effective way to share information we were excited about." As a result of the videos, he told me, “Our donors are not reading a brochure about great the program is, they are seeing it.”
It’s not just the donors who now, as Will says, “get it, because they saw it,” it’s also board and staff members – and the grantees themselves, who are now able to more easily learn of each other’s work.
And you, reader: several of the videos are posted to YouTube, and you can view them at http://slingshotfund.org/# <http://slingshotfund.org/>
May 11, 2010
When I am positively excited about something, I want to share that thing. Whether it be an idea, the sighting of the season's first hummingbird (2:04 PM yesterday!), or a professional epiphany, I want to share it with people on Twitter and friends on Facebook who may also find it exciting.
And, I enjoy being surrounded by people who are also open to and excited by new ideas, images, and knowledge. That's my social media meme.
May 10, 2010
May 9, 2010
Asking too many questions can actually distance you from your listener. Think of how you react to people who ask a lot of questions, versus how you respond to individuals who demonstrate a sincere interest in you. A lot of this is in how the questions are asked: are they directive, or open-ended story elicitations?
Ask for a story, and allow your listener to think about him or herself – not about you, why you are asking the question, and what your preferred response might be. Allow your listener to be the hero.
May 8, 2010
Consider the numbers:
- 0 is the unique identity operator for addition, which is interesting.
- 1 is the unique identity operator for multiplication, which is interesting.
- 2 is the only even prime, which is interesting.
- 3 is the first odd prime, which is interesting.
- 4 is the first square, which is interesting.
- 5 is the first Pythagorean hypoteneuse (22 + 32 = 52), which is interesting.
- 6 is the first perfect number, which is interesting.
- ...Suppose we go on inspecting numbers, and we do eventually find a number that is not interesting. Why, that number would be the first non-interesting number, which is interesting.Therefore, by induction, all numbers are interesting. Q.E.D.
May 7, 2010
May 6, 2010
May 3, 2010
May 1, 2010
- ► 2014 (44)
- ► 2013 (87)
- ► 2012 (121)
- ► 2011 (227)
- "Even should you shake more arms than the giant Br...
- This one just keeps coming up!
- Martin Gardner (1914-2010)
- "Bond. James Bond."
- Euclid & Maxwell (per Millay & Einstein, respectiv...
- Birds do it, differently.
- SASI, a Semi-supervised Algorithm for Sarcasm Iden...
- The name of the sign.
- I confess.
- "Practice, man, practice."
- art & life
- Photo-blogging Spring's arrival, part III.
- Are legs the new fish?
- They're back!
- How'd we go without it for so long?
- not just reading, but seeing
- "Respiratory sinus arrhythmia."
- intimacy + immediacy = enthusiasm
- Story Knows No Gender
- How we shot an iris through a pinhole. (Flashing h...
- Let Your Listener Be!
- All numbers are interesting.
- The Berry Paradox.
- Photo-blogging Spring's arrival, part II.
- Photo-blogging Spring's arrival!
- detection versus estimation
- ▼ May (29)