Friday, December 15, 2006

October Podcast

Inspired by my favorite podcasters Mano Lopez and the Homemade Show, and by the shortage of music here that I like, I decided I would start doing a podcast. I figured I could do one once a month or every other month, and I put together most of this playlist one week in October. After a short delay, I now present to you my first podcast. You can expect January's podcast in mid-March.

October: 故乡何处是?

The Chinese question in the title means "Where is my hometown?" and it's a quote from Li Qingzhao, a poet who moved from Shangdong province to Zhejiang in the 1100s when the north was engulfed in war.

Playlist:
Solo - Theo Torres
Happy Birthday - ZJNU Student Choir
水云间 (Water Cloud Space (?)) - 童孔 (Tong Kong)
呼吸 (Breathing) - 常静 (Chang Jing)
La Vida es un Carnaval - Issac Delgado
Y Soy Llanero - Grupo Cimarrón
Chicharra - Marta Gomez
Damaquiel - Hector Buitrago et al.
Amortiguador - Andrea Echeverri
Acochado Todo - Almir Rouche
Mindjer Dôce Mel - Eneida Marta
The Easy Way - That Mad Ahab
Stay in New England - Mimi LaValley
Leaves that are Green - Simon and Garfunkel

play

Thursday, December 14, 2006

High-Fashion Underwear

You know that cozy feeling of sitting by a campfire with a hot cup of chocolate in your hands, feeling the warmth on your face and the cold mountain air at your back? Well, take away the fire and the hot chocolate, and imagine instead that you're teaching a class.

It's gotten a little colder here recently. And the classrooms, like the student dorms, have no heating. Last weekend in Hangzhou (which I will have to post about later, but I understand now how it could claim to be the prettiest city in China), I bought a new coat, perhaps warmer than anything ever owned before, and I've sometimes been wearing it while teaching.

Tonight I went out and bought some long underwear. The attendant assured me that the ones I got are very fashionable, and a very nice color. They come in a fancy box, with schmancy tags.* The biggest size they had is one size too small (the same situation as for slippers), but they're larger than the set I left in California, which must have been bought for me when I was shorter, and then have shrunk. So hopefully I will feel more comfortable when I go out now, but the local paparazzi had better keep their cameras ready for me sporting my high-fashion underwear.

*This was a test: Is this usage of the schmefix ungrammatical? Did you go "Huh?" when you read this sentence?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Free Hugs

This video makes me happy.
With the low resolution it looks a lot like Patiunky, and I can totally imagine him doing something like this, even if it is somewhat at odds with his current YouTube persona.

Apparently the Free Hugs Campaign has quickly spread all over the world, though it is having difficulty some places. In China, for example, hugging counts as inappropriate public display of affection, and it's considered a foreign custom, too. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Yum

A bit busy here, no time to write much. Which is where you come in. Your job is to: (1) identify what I am eating in this picture, and (2) provide a caption. A hint: it isn't turkey with cranberry sauce. Thanks.

IMG_2116

In other news, the Great Firewall has migrated to include blogspot.com and beta.blogger.com among the civilized. It has accordingly been moved down on my enemies list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 03, 2006

万事随转烛

Which is to say, "The myriad matters [of the world] are as the wavering of a candle flame."

I feel obligated to inform the world of the annoyingness of the Great Firewall. The firewall doesn't fully block anything, but it makes a lot of things troublesome. It's more like something out of a Monty Python sketch than a serious defense against toxic memes. Instead of building a wall, they have built an obstacle course, and instead of lying between civilization and the barbarians, it winds through the whole world, and changes course every weekend.

For example, to post a comment on MySpace (admittedly deep in barbarian territory), you first attempt to load some MySpace page, and MySpace will prompt you to log in. So you login, and are taken to your "Home" page. If you can remember which links you have to follow to get where you were headed, you can do such things as read new messages, read friends' bulletins, and view your long list of MySpaceFriends. If you try to look at any person's profile, however, (including your own), something is triggered in the firewall, and the connection is dropped. So, you try your favorite proxy service. That one might have MySpace's kind of web magic reserved for paying users, so you use another service. It can load the profile page fine. But then you click the 'post comment' link, and you get MySpace's "You must be logged in to do that!" page (which I have in the past gotten when I tried to log in: apparently at times you have to be logged in to log in.) So you have to log in again, which will take you back to your "Home" page, from which you again have to navigate back through the link maze to post a comment.

Or again, suppose you want read your sister's blog. She, like you, uses Blogspot to host her blog. She writes a pretty funny blog that you read pretty often, so you have her blog bookmarked, and you load that bookmark. ... After several seconds of waiting for your computer to contact the server you remember that this week Blogspot is officially a hive of barbarians. Nice barbarians, maybe, but barbarians none the less. So you might go to your favorite proxy service, or since you are subscribed via Bloglines, you can read her posts there. And what if you want to post a comment? Well, if you are using the gladder Firefox extension, when you click on the post link, you are automatically redirected to a proxified page. Then you can click on the "comment" link, and type in your comment. Then you scroll down and find... the word verification magic doesn't work with the proxification. (That is a real word. There are 452 Google hits as of this writing. 453 once Google finds this one.) Ah! But you know that the Great Firewall has no problem with Blogger.com. Blogspot is a hive of barbarians, but Blogger, from which the barbarians produce the Blogspot drivel, is safely within civilization. So you cut and paste the web location into a new tab, and edit out the proxifying part, load the page again, paste in your comment, and fill out the word verification. 哎呀,这么麻烦! (which is to say, "Aiya! So irritating!")

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Internet Gods Read my Blog

A week or two ago I discovered that I can now access the English Wikipedia (though not the Chinese version) without going through a proxy or using the secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia
service. This morning I discovered I can access the Stanford application page. Just now I discovered I cannot read my own blog without going through a proxy. The verdict is clear. The internet gods have read my blog and took some hints from it. Just not all the right ones. I checked Youtube just now. It's fully accessible, and I was sucked into watching the Llama Song. Beware.

故鄉何處是?

有个学生在她的日志问为什么外国人那么常常那么遥远旅行。
我在乌兹别克看我哥哥的时候,哥哥的朋友表达了差不多一样的意思。现在他也去过别的国家,但是那时侯他也觉得常常遥远旅行很奇怪。我妈妈告诉他,你认识的外国人只是喜欢旅行的外国人。很多的外国人不常去远。
但是还有真的分别。中国也在改变呢,可是家乡概念在这儿还很重要。上个星期学生社会谈论外国文化。那儿有三个外国人:一个索马里的本科学生,一个也门的留学生,和我。对每个外国人问了家乡怎么样,我们差不多不能回答。索马里的人在沙特阿拉伯出生,没看过索马里。也门的人住在英国,不常去也门。我也告诉他们,我没有真的家乡。这样的事对中国人很难懂。人结婚了,常常跟丈夫的父母一起住,如果不跟他们一起住,他们应该在不远的地方。大学生不跟父母一起住,有的学生回家得座五六个小时的车,但是放了寒假,暑假都回家,放了中秋节的假,大部分也回家。大部分没从浙江省出去过。外国人来中国过一年多,不看他们的家,对中国学生的看法真奇怪。
墨西哥人真这样。在墨西哥,大学生回家每天或者每个星期,每天座一个多小时的车或者每个星期座五六个小时的车不奇怪。但是男人常常过半年不看他们家,因为需要去非常远的地方找工作。
国家文化都有自己的习惯,有一点不同,但是心里差不多。虽然我没有家乡,我认识的人都不在叁塔巴巴拉或者哥伦比亚,但是我想我认识的人,我还想我住过的地方。什么国家的大学生,留学生,外教,季节工人都想家。

There was a student who asked in her free-writing journal why foreigners so often travel so far.

When I was in Uzkekistan visiting my older brother, his friend expressed a similar thought. Now that friend has also traveled to other countries, but at that time he also thought frequent distant travels are pretty strange. My mother told him, "The foreigners you know are only those who do like to travel." There are many foreigners who rarely travel far.

But there is also a real difference. China is also changing, but the concept of hometown is still very important here. Last week a student club was discussing foreign cultures. There were three foreigners present: a Somali regularly enrolled student, a Yemeni exchange student, and me. They asked each of us foreigners what our hometown was like, and we were all pretty much unable to answer. The Somali was actually born in Saudi Arabia, and has never seen Somalia. The Yemeni lives in England and only rarely goes to Yemen. I also told them I don't have a hometown. This sort of thing is hard for a Chinese person to understand. When a couple marries, the often go to live together with the husbands parents, and if they don't live with them, they shouldn't live very far away. University students don't live with their parents, and some of them must take a bus for five or six hours to return home, but every summer and winter holiday they all return home, and during the autumn one-week holiday, the majority also return home. The majority have also never left Zhejiang province. For foreigners to come to China for a year or more and not see their families, to the Chinese way of thinking seems quite strange.

Mexicans are really like that too. In Mexico, university students return home every day or every week. Riding a bus for over an hour each way every day or five or six hours every weekend is not unusual. However men often pass half the year without seeing their families, because they must travel extremely far to look for work.

The cultures of different cultures each have their own customs, which are a little different, but their hearts are much alike. Although I don't have a hometown, and none of the people I know live in Santa Barbara or Colombia, I still the miss the places I have lived, in addition to the people I have known. The college students of every country, exchange students, foreign teachers, and migrant workers all get homesick.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Differences

People keep asking me about the differences between China and the United States. Usually when people ask me about those differences, I say something similar to what I said on my other blog, i.e. essentially that there isn't a very big difference, and the differences are getting smaller. But for everything there is a season, and the time has come to get detailed about the differences I have observed.

  • People here speak Chinese, and people in the United States speak English. Okay, yes, I know that's kind of obvious, but we have to start somewhere. Of course, that statement is a terrible simplification. Chinese people typically speak two languages: their local dialect, and the standard dialect. For people in Zhejiang province, the difference between their local dialect and the official dialect is something like the difference between French and Spanish, or maybe even the difference between English and German. In addition, university students have typically been taking English classes since they started middle school, some of them since primary school. So even those who have difficulty speaking and writing English can still read English fairly well. So whereas in the USA, most of the multilingual people are immigrants or children of immigrants, multilingualism is fairly widespread in China, even though there are quite few foreign-born residents.
  • In the USA, toilet paper is in bathrooms; in China, toilet paper is on tables in restaurants. In the USA, fairly large paper napkins are widely available in eateries, cafeterias and fast food restaurants. In China, what is available to wipe your hands or face in such places is either a roll of toilet paper, or what westerners could easily mistake for kleenex tissues. In at least one dining hall here, you are given one such tissue/napkin when you buy your food. And yes, almost all public bathrooms are BYOTP (Bring your own toilet paper), and most are squatty potties.
  • In China, it's not very polite to touch food with your hands, and if you do touch food with your hands, you must not lick your hands. You must use your limited supply of tissues. However, it's quite all right to spit bones out onto the table, and to slurp soup from your spoon.
  • Chinese students typically choose their major only once, before they start college. The students of one major take all the same classes, live together with four or six per room, and typically eat and socialize together. American students typically change majors multiple times, and not uncommonly transfer from one college to another. They have many general education classes with students from other majors, and might or might not choose to live with and socialize with people they know from class. If three students have to share a bedroom, they think they have it bad.
  • They don't have Mexican or Italian food here. The closest Middle Eastern food is one hour away. On the other hand, you can get a dozen dumplings (any way you like) or a bowl of fresh noodle soup for 3 RMB (about 40¢), and you can eat like a king for 20 RMB ($2.50).
There may also be other differences, but those are the obvious ones.

Apparently, the post I wrote last week was my 100th post. Yay! I think that deserves some kind of celebratory/nostalgic review of these past two years (has it really only been two years?), but I see blogger has got some new features coming that will make such nostalgia easier. Perhaps once I check them out, we can have a proper party.

Critics among you may also note that the weekend is over without my posting the promised Chinese post. Well, I didn't say when each week I would write such a post, so there. I promise you I've already started. I've written five sentences. Be patient.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

新的习惯

我是英语老师,我的英文课之两门是写作课。我告诉了那个学生,常常用英文为交际写是很有用的习惯。还有,我让他们日志的作业,每个星期用英文写一页。

我的中文名字是“力行”,有“身体力行”的意思,是说,内容说的话努力实践。因为我应该练习写汉语,所以我每个星期用中文写一件文章。因为我的中文很差,我不能写那么长的文章,但是跟小的开始,越来越长,我希望能学会写不错的中文文章。

我家人都不会看中文看得懂,我要让他们看得懂我的话。所以我翻译到英文。因为我也想练习西班牙语,我也到西班牙语翻译我的文章。这样可以做平行的语言资料库。

Soy profesor de inglés, y dos de mis clases de inglés son clases de escritura. Les dije a aquellos estudiantes que escribir en inglés a menudo por communicación es hábito muy bueno. Además, les di tarea de escribir un diario en inglés, una página cada semana.

Mi nombre chino es "Lixing", que refiere a un modismo "cuerpo trabajar duro". Es decir, haga esfuerzos si mismo según lo que predique. Porque yo tambien debo practicar escribir chino, voy a escribir un ensayo en chino cada semana. Porque mi chino falta mucho, no puedo escribir un ensayo tan largo, pero con empezar pequeño y lentamente seguir mas largo, espero que pueda aprender a escribir ensayos buenos.

Mi familia no pueden entender chino, y quiero dejarles entender mis palabras. Entonces, voy a traducir a inglés. Porque también quiero practicar español, voy a traducir mis ensayos a español tambien. En esa manera puedo hacer un pequeño corpus lingüístico paralelo.

I'm an English teacher, and two of my English classes are writing classes. I told those students that frequent writing in English for communication is a very good habit. In addition, I gave them homework of writing a journal in English, one page a week.

My Chinese name is "Lixing", which refers to the maxim "body work hard", meaning diligently practice what you preach. Because I also need to practice Chinese, I'm going to write a post in Chinese each week. Because my Chinese is pretty limited, I can't write a very long essay, but by starting small and slowly writing longer, I hope I can learn to write decent Chinese posts.

My family can't read chinese, and I want to let them understand my words, so I will translate into English. Because I also want to practice Spanish, I will also translate into Spanish. This way I can make a small parallel linguistic corpus.

Monday, September 25, 2006

View from Jian Feng Shan

Last weekend I again hiked up Jian Feng Shan, this time with several others from the university. It was a bit hazy/cloudy, but the view was still quite good. Afterwards we had a BBQ lunch. Yum!
BBQ at Jian Feng Shan

Friday, September 15, 2006

9-11 retrospectives

Global Voices has an excellent roundup of worldwide commentary on the 9-11 anniversary. [via el oso]

The people here, like many places around the world, are certainly interested in the U.S., generally more than other English-speaking nations. Many people respect or admire aspects of American culture, and the rest have a strong enough sense of hospitality to still be friendly, but we're not exactly liked. It's important to understand why.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

尖峰山


尖峰山
Originally uploaded by serapio.
I have posted a few more photos of the area, starring the local geographical landmark, Jian-Feng Shan. This mountain is about two miles north of the campus, and on most days it is clearly visible even through the fog. Its means Pointy-Peak Mountain, and that pretty accurately describes it. It rises about 1000ft in less than a mile of trail, and the top is just big enough for a couple small picnicking parties. I hiked up the trail the day after I took this picture, and it is necessary to take many rests on the way up. It has been raining or sprinkling 24hrs a day for much of the last week, so everything is fairly wet, but temperatures are pleasant.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Great Firewall

As you may have noticed, I have been able to access *.blogspot.com and blogger.com from beyond the firewall. I can also visit flickr, youtube, and bloglines, all of which I thought might be blocked. However, there are a few things I've noticed are being blocked, and I'm having trouble figuring out their rationale.


Wikipedia

This one is particularly annoying, because everyone links to it everywhere, and so at least once a day, I'll try to load a wikipedia page. My first hypothesis was that the powers that be want to protect people from polluting their brains with all the mundane trivia available there. However, everything available at wikipedia is also mirrored at many other sites across the web. I think the difference is that though people can go look up snakes on planes, Pirates versus Ninjas, Tencent QQ, Salars, or Jingjing and Chacha, they are protected from wasting their time arguing on the Wikipedia talk pages.

Many news sites

Some of the foreign news sites are blocked, but not all. Earlier, I'm pretty sure that CNN and BBC were blocked, but right now CNN seems fully accessible, and it looks like www.bbc.co.uk is accessible, but news.bbc.co.uk is not. VOA News is also blocked. (I wouldn't have noticed except their overly articulated broadcasts are nice for English learners.) Also, the dynamic part of the wall seems particularly sensitive to words that appear in the news. You can load news.google.com once, but reloading it is likely to be interrupted. (This dynamic part might have been what was affecting my efforts to load CNN and BBC pages earlier.)

HRIC

This one makes a lot of sense. This is just one of many blogs I occasionally read, but it's often critical of the government here. The curious thing from my perspective is that several other blogs, especially Global Voices >> China and the blogs that feed into it, are not blocked. GV has a much wider repertiore than HRIC, but also contains similar content.

*.wordpress.com

Again this is a question of why single this one out. Blogspot is accessible, Typepad is accessible, Livejournal and Xanga are accessible. But Wordpress is not. Dunno.

Google cache

Google is only occasionally unaccessible, likely when too many bad words appear in the results summaries. But Google cache, both from Google.com and from Google.cn, is always unavailable.

Stanford graduate application

And finally, the graduate application for Stanford University is blocked. Frankly I'm stumped on this one. I thought at first the host itself was down, but I can reach it fine if I go through SDSU computers. The application won't be available until the 15th, but it could be a slow process if I have to go through the SDSU computers or a proxy. Perhaps this is just the internet overlords' way of telling me I shouldn't go there.



I'm also surprised they aren't blocking youtube. There's some serious spiritual polution there, like Ask a Ninja, Angry German Kid vs. Numa Numa Boy, Bush covering U2, Hannes Coetzee playing spoon slide guitar, and the Snakes on a Plane music video.

(Okay, the Hannes Coetzee clip doesn't count.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Zhejiang Normal University

Pavilions on the Lake
I have uploaded some pictures of the campus. The lake in this picture is right outside the front gate of my apartment.

The campus is preparing for a giant 50th anniversary celebration by adding lots of buildings and gardens on the east end of campus, and generally prettying up the older west side of campus.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Welcome to my humble abode


Here is a tour of my new digs. Outside in the brightness is a nice little balcony.

I think I'm going to find out this morning how soon I start teaching and, more importantly, where to find food.

And I do indeed have good internet. So skype me! (user: lucien.carroll)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Carry-on baggage

As you have probably heard, emergency new restrictions on air-travel carry-ons forbid carrying water bottles, toothpaste, gel deodorant, pudding, cattle prods, dynamite, or snakes. Now that I have moved my toothpaste, pudding and snakes into one of my checked bags, my normally small carry-on is New Carry-on Lite™!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

almost internet famous

Today, instead of writing my thesis or even writing a wikipedia article as thesis-writing warmup, I made shirts. Aren't they swell?




I've promised myself I'll write that wikipedia article after dinner.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sanborn Clan Reunion Photos


Conversation
Originally uploaded by serapio.
I've uploaded my some of my photos of the Tahoe reunion.

And here's some movies too.



Saturday, July 22, 2006

Breath deep, open wide, and say 'ah'

I would have thought that people who were asked to read stories about Jurgen mit Füchse und Hühner and Günter Müller der Hürdenlaüfer, rather than feeling sad, would have busted up laughing. I think I also would have a hard time keeping a straight face with my eyebrows taped together.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Donkey Rider


Donkey Rider
Originally uploaded by serapio.
The donkey rider is a frequent element in Song dynasty monumental landscape painting, such as the works of Guo Xi, "Li Cheng, and Fan Kuan. According to Peter Sturman, the professor of my undergrad art history class, the donkey rider is an icon of a failed literati, modeled after Meng Haoran and Du Fu. Li Cheng is believed to have seen himself as the donkey rider. The donkey rider is a talented poet, artist and philosopher who is nevertheless unsuccessful in the civil service examinations or falls out of favor with the imperial court, and takes up a reclusive itinerant life in the countryside.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So that's the problem

New research suggests there might be a special neural pathway for rewarding recognition and comprehension. Related research, searching for a neural pathway that rewards writing long essays that no one will want to read, has so far found nothing.

For some more cognitive science reading, relevant to the national holiday, check out this discussion of psych research on patriotism, and dope up those mu-opioid receptors.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Blucker by Sweetwater River


Blucker by Sweetwater River
Originally uploaded by serapio.
I have been informed that I should point out to my faithful readers that I have posted pictures of the hike Biker and I took when she visited me.

For further entertainment, provide the syntactic tree for the sentence above. Then insert "on flickr" in the most natural place, and redraw the tree. If you figure that out please explain it to me.

Or perhaps we need a poll. Which would you feel more comfortable saying?
a) I have posted pictures on flickr of the hike we took
b) I have posted on flickr pictures of the hike we took
c) I have posted pictures of the hike we took on flickr

Is this covered in those formal-syntax type classes?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Come take a seat against the arms trade

Hey peeps! Come hang out with me in the Million Faces Stadium, full of people sitting for arms control. I'm in section W7, seat W7R0C50.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Moseying


Jinhua
Originally uploaded by serapio.
It's finally happening. Starting in September, I will be teaching English at Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua. It's apparently a university of just 20000 students, and the city might have anywhere between 300,000 people and 4 million, depending on who you read. (I think it might be confusion about Jinhua being a city within an administrative division, within a prefecture.) Someone fought somebody else here in the 4th century, and some poet during the Song dynasty claimed it was pretty, but otherwise it seems like a fairly unremarkable place. But I'm hopeful. In this view from Google Earth (you can check it out for yourself), we see Jinhua with mountains in the background, and the measuring tool tells me it's just 9 miles from the river to the mountain top, with an elevation gain of 3500 feet. I can't find the university, but it is said to be in "the northern suburbs", which must put it within just a couple miles of the base of the mountain. The city is also just a couple hours drive from Hangzhou, which was once likely the largest city in the world, and is often described as the most beautiful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Emergency Public Service Announcement

It has belatedly come to my attention that Thursday is Intergalactic Towel Day! But Don't Panic!! Just remember to bring your towel.

[UPDATE: Considering that there will also be a massive tidal wave tomorrow, it is especially CRITICAL that you carry your towel with you at all times.]

Hike up San Miguel Mountain


Sweetwater Reservoir

Some kind of cactus flower

Snake
Tarantula
Horny toad
Wasp
Me and Jerry went for a hike up San Miguel Mountain Monday. The flora and fauna were out in full force.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Site of the week

In the category "What are they teaching kids these days!"
Duda Hart Stork Baby Toys & Clothes

Monday, April 17, 2006

My compy returned home today

I know you have all been waiting in suspense for news of my computer.

(Except of course for those of you who hadn't heard. A week ago saturday, shortly after posting those fascinating slides about discourse segmentation, my screen went fuzzy and froze. Upon rebooting, the screen went black. In anguish I cried, "Is there a doctor in the house?" To no avail. Alas! Monday, after the time of mourning had passed, I took it down to the local Apple Store, and sent it away for repairs. At least they were free. I have been alternating between an old 300MHz celeron tower I had almost sent to the graveyard, and the computers down at school.)

So, today my compy was returned to me. They reformated my hard drive, as they said they might. I had backed up a lot of things a month or so ago, and I had the forsight to backup my main documents before taking it in, but I have still lost many applications, a few photos, a movie clip or two, my mail history, my music, and sundry other bits of my life. The moral of the story is: do frequent backups, even if you're not in the habit of killing computers.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Evaluating Hierarchical Segmentation

For all of you intrigued by the methodological issues surrounding evaluating hierarchical discourse segmentation, I have posted my slides on this subject.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Quote of the Day

This sentence appears without warning as if it there were no sarcasm involved:
"By eschewing obfuscatory verbosity of locutional rendering, the circumscriptional appelations are excised."

Mann, W. and Thompson, S. (1988). Rhetorical structure theory: Towards a functional theory of text organization. Text, 8(3):243–281.

This paper, unfortunately, seems to only dip into humor with this one line, and then continues on in language that one could mistake for obfuscatory verbosity.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lomalinda


Bienvenidos
Originally uploaded by wildmansmee.
Kurt Metzger posted on mklife a bunch of photos he and Jon Captain took on their recent trip to LML. I have pulled a few into my flickr photos.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

planted things

humanity has subdued the earth --
plowed it under, paved it over,
permitted things to grow
only where they are planted.
trees, like fences and lane markers,
grow in straight lines.
cholla and yucca and poppies
grow only in forgotten plots
hidden in canyons, fenced off.
i ask you, who asked the palms
to grow where they do?
the eucalyptus trees and junipers?
no one.
each plant --
the eucalyptus and the poppie --
grows where it finds itself,
takes root in the dirt it's given.
there is a certain wisdom there.
but i think i'm glad
i'm not a plant.

Tempos Brasileiros

I've been playing with iMovie.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Woohoo!

I just submitted my first conference paper!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kitten War

I know many of you have seen this already, but I feel obligated to notify those that haven't. See kitten face off against kitten! You choose which one is cutest!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I have a new blog

It seems the thing to do these days is to have multiply blogs. Pinkerton has at least two, kirinqueen and hober have a few a piece, and some people out there are mass producing them. So I have decided to get with the program, and I have a new blog. There, I will tell the world everything it needs to know about itself. Here, I will continue to wander among gardens and fields.

Physical humor

Pocket Taser

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Traveling


create your own visited country map

(15 countries)
Note that in contrast to the travels of Mr. Carroll, Mataikhan, Caedmonstia, Slowlane, and Jeorge, I have barely traveled. My traveling within the US is similarly sad:

create your own personalized map of the USA

especially when you consider that in three of those states I never left the airport, and in Arizona I've never been beyond Yuma.

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Addendum: Here you can make a map of the places you've been and the places you want to go to. What's not as fun is it's a flash dealy that you can't post on your blog.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Brazilian Graffiti


PointingFingers
Originally uploaded by wildmansmee.
Brazil has lots of graffiti. Every elementary school, and many parks, government buildings, and businesses are decorated with graffiti, some of it commissioned, some of it not. This photo set has a selection of some I saw.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cognitive Science Sandwiches

From the menu from the Cognitive Science Café:

The Aristotelian Concept
Cucumber, tomato, balsamic vinegar, feta, and pita are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for this Greek classic.

The California Connectionist
Munster, sprouts, and mustard on whole wheat with a hidden layer of avocado.

The Perceptron
Like the California Connectionist, but without the hidden layer.

The Quine Panini
This grilled fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil panini eliminates the distinction between sandwich and pizza.

The Prototype
Peanut butter and jelly on white bread.

The Turing Tester
Half Brie with apricot jam on a French roll, half vegan alternative — we bet you won’t know which is which!

Chomsky’s Universal Sandwich
Sandwich --> Bread Filling Bread
Filling --> Filling Filling
Filling --> Vegetable
Filling --> Cheese
Filling --> Fruit
Filling --> Spread
Vegetable --> {sprouts, cucumber, eggplant, pepper, onion, carrots, lettuce}
Cheese --> {cheddar, swiss, munster, brie}
Fruit --> {tomato, avocado}
Spread --> {mustard, mayonnaise, hummus}
Bread --> {white, wheat, sourdough, focaccia, French roll}
Please provide a complete parse tree when ordering. Minimalists appreciated.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What kind of mall are you?


GoianiaMall
Originally uploaded by wildmansmee.
One of my New Year's resolutions (resolved as described here by Blukford) was to write a quiz on quizilla. I have now done so.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Regreso

Astute observers of things like calendars and schedules may already be aware that it is now the 17th of January. 2006. That is two weeks since the last time I said anything of substance, and over three weeks since the events of said post. During the past three weeks I have continued to wander among gardens and fields, as well as other assorted land zones, and the events of these wanderings shall be related as time and whim permit. Tomorrow I leave, returning to San Diego in a couple days, if airlines fly on schedule.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Playground


NaGangorra
Originally uploaded by wildmansmee.
Here are pictures of this adventure.