Archive for January, 2006

Chat bots

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

I’ve been doing a little survey and a bit of thinking about chat bots to see if anyone’s come up with anything startling.

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100% pure x

Monday, January 30th, 2006

I’ve noticed some products say things like “pure fruit” when they clearly are not. For example some jams say pure fruit but then they say sugar in the ingredients. What they seem to mean is that what fruit they have in them is pure fruit, which is really silly.
As another example, I recently came across this packet of crackers which says “100% wholewheat”

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FAQ FAQ

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Have you made some FAQ’s
Yes
Where are they?
Just below here:
Is this just a way of stopping people from asking the same questions over and over again – ad nauseam?
Not really – I don’t remind repeating things – every interaction is different. It’s more for the questions people seem to be most interested in so that they can get the answers even when I’m not around. But I suppose it might leave room for more questions, having answered the main ones…

Climate change

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Following a number of rather alarming articles in the New Scientist. The UK isn’t figuring high on the list. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.
Here is a good selection of tasty climate-alarmist facts.
1. 20% of arctic ice has melted since 1978. This creates a feedback effect because water reflects less sunlight than ice.
2. The permafrost in the west-Sibrian peatlands, covering an area the size of France and Germany combined, are starting to melt. This is a tipping point climate-wise because it will release billions of tonnes of trapped methane into the atmosphere. Methane (CH4) is 20 times more effective a greenhouse gas than CO2.
3. The speed of the global ocean circulation system known as the conveyor belt was found to be faltering in 2005 as evidenced by a 30 percent reduction in the norhtward flow of warm water from the Gulf Stream over the past decade. It switches off completely quite often even without our help (e.g. once for 300 years about 8000 years ago) at this point the UK will become a big sheet of ice instead of a big carpark.

Living on a boat FAQ

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Is it cold in the winter?
As long as the heating is on, no.
More to come…

C1 FAQ

Monday, January 23rd, 2006


What’s that funny thing that looks like a microphone?
That’s the stand. You just pull down the lever and it sits on its stand.

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Sudoku why bother

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

A computer can solve all possible puzzles in no time at all so why waste your time? See a javascript algorithm at http://www.scanraid.com/sudoku.js

General FAQ

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Who are you?
I’m not sure.
Where are you from?
I’m not sure – I just had this feeling I was here one day.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
No idea. If you’d asked me that qn 5 years ago, I’d have got it completely and utterly wrong (if I’d attempted to answer it) so what’s the point in a question like that?
Are you crazy?
It is my firm belief that I am. With Douglas Adams, it’s a central part of my life philosophy that so called “normal” people, myself included, lead lives of subconscious paranoia and neurosis, without of course being aware of it. I think that becoming conscious of this is the first step to becoming sane.
Do you believe in consistency?
Usually yes but today no.
More to come…

Stop smoking

Friday, January 13th, 2006

I’m quite proud of this picture I took this week:

Recursion: The philosophy of boredom

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

The preface of English language version of The philosophy of boredom (Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank: 74,220) by the Norwegian philosopher, Lars Svendsen has this to say about the author’s motivation for writing:
“My reason for writing this book was this: I was deeply bored for a while. What made me reaslise the importance of the topic, however, was the boredom-related death of a close friend.”
He does not specify the exact nature of the boredom-related death of his friend, but the following snippet, plus some of the chapter headings perhaps give us some clue:
“I thank [my friends and colleagues] for their contribution, and, not least, for having put up with me at a time when I was virtually unable to talk about anything else other than the subject of this book.”
Chapter headings:
Typologies of boredom (p 41)
Boredom and novelty (p 45)
Ontology: the Hermeneutics of Boredom (p.116)
The experience of boredom (P.138)