Here’s a Bad Idea

The coveted Asparagus Pee DOH! award.This morning, The Lady Janet pointed out a brief article in Time magazine saying that gays and lesbians at Brown university are asking to room with members of the opposite sex to create “sexual-tension-free zones.” OK that kinda makes sense, but do you suppose there might be more than a few teenage boys who might claim to be gay to get a female roomie? D’ya s’pose?

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

An original Asparagus Pee quote to drag out every spring around this time.Sitting here eating eggs and homemade corned beef hash from the leftover meat from last week’s Reubens and watching it rain, I’m reminded of one of my own corny but original sayings: “April showers bring May flowers, and Mayflowers bring pilgrims.”

More on Toorop’s Desire

My drawing from memory of my favorite picture.I don’t want to beat dead horses, but it occurred to me this morning that you might not have checked out Jan Toorop’s work, and I wanted to stress again that this is my favorite image. This guy, Johannes, was sitting around in 1893 smoking opium and drew that thing on a piece of paper and enriched my life for 10 years, a hundred years in the future.


And a huge Asparagus Pee thank you to my dear wife, The Lady Janet, for including this in her wonderful Europe Trip scrapbook so I could scan it this morning.

Feelin’ just a wee bit o’ the Irish, are we?

So I got home early after troubleshooting a serious Novell&#153 network server crisis for the last three days, and I’m feelin’ a little Irish, drinking a few brewskies and a wee bit o’ Scotch, and eating an excellent “Chris’s Special St. Patty’s Day Reuben,” and singing some fine old Irish tunes like Cockles & Muscles and The Lass with the Delicate Air, when The Lady Janet reminds me of Tubthumping by Chumbawamba, as seen at the first church of chumbawamba.

Got to admit, that’s a pretty cool Irish-y song, especially that part about “pissing the night away.”

If you’re feeling Irish, I highly recommend that you check out this page on where they go to the trouble of listing rip-offs of the song Tubthumping, like this country version or this Mother Goose Rocks Humpty Dumpty version (click “Play” to start Flash video).

Alan Turing Scrapbook – Turing Machines

I don’t really need a reason to blog about Alan Turing and Turing Machines, you know, the idea that if you ask questions of something, and if you can’t tell whether it’s a human being or not, it’s the intellectual equivalent of a human being.

But I’m blogging about it anyway because this guy’s site came up very high in a Google&#153 search on “Cockles and muscles,” by which I hoped to find the old Irish dittie about Molly Malone that I’ve been singing for the neighbors’ enjoyment.

Update: I think I was already too Irish when I wrote this&#151a Turing Machine is just a system that can execute all of the instructions necessary to be a Universal Computer&#151in other words, everything that’s not excluded by Goedel’s Theorem of Incompleteness. The Turing Test is the one that says if you put slips of paper with English on them into a slot in the wall, and slips of paper with accurate translations into Chinese come back out of the slot, you have to assume that there’s a human translator in there who knows both English and Chinese, and if it’s simply a machine, that doesn’t matter.

Colorization Using Optimization

Wow!This is all over the internet today, but it’s really cool and makes good intuitive sense – they call it Colorization Using Optimization and they start with an assumption that “neighboring pizels in space-time that have similar intensities should have similar colors” and do a costed weighting function to use a few scribbles of colors in the different areas to seed the system with a color guide. It’s much cooler than it sounds, so check it out!

Desire and Fulfillment

Desire and FulfillmentHere is one of my favorite images of all time, Desire and Fulfillment by Jan Toorop, 1893. It’s a large pastel that hangs in the Musee d’Orsay, where I originally fell in love with it. They keep it in a glass case with some other fragile drawings in a room with black walls and very subdued lighting. Click the thumb for a closer look – the real one is about 3 feet wide (76 x 90 cm).