Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Cheese Encrusted Bacon and a Loaf of Shoe

Well, not really. But it could have been. It’s actually not really about anything, really. Really... But you’ve heard that before. But Cheese Encrusted Bacon and a Loaf of Shoe doesn’t really tell you anything. What use is a title that doesn’t tell you what to expect? It’s a title without spoilers, that’s what it is. Think about it. A title like Alice in Wonderland is a bad title because it contains spoilers. The title already gives away pretty much all of the story. It focuses on a girl called Alice, who lands up in Wonderland. Then as soon as the first young girl is introduced in the story, you start to wonder “Is this Alice?” until her name is revealed, instead of just enjoying the story. And then after Alice falls through the rabbit hole and has no clue where she is, all the suspense that could have been built up is wasted, all because the title tells you she is in Wonderland. It really does spoil the story. The purpose of a title is not to tell you what it’s all about – it’s to get you to read it, and if you thought this post had a bad title, well, you’re reading it aren’t you?

But that’s all completely irrelevant. What is relevant is the title – in this case, picked completely arbitrarily (although not really randomly) to be On Cheese Encrusted Bacon and a Loaf of Shoe. Although cheese encrusted bacon certainly does sound good (although I’ll probably pass on the loaf of shoe (only probably, because, after all, I’m the sort of person who uses nested parentheses (sometimes even double nested parentheses) in his text, and it just might be edible), since it sounds like it may be chewy (and did you notice how parentheses distract your train of thought?)), it tells you absolutely nothing about what you are about to read. What it does reveal, however, is the weird way my brain always falls back onto one of two subjects – namely food or animals. I have no idea why it seems to do this so often, but it just does.

In fact, I’ve gone back and tracked how often these two topics come up in my blog, and plotted a graph of how the fraction of the blog covering these two topics varies with time. At least it seems to be on a downward trend...

And then, even though it highlights the declining regularity of my posts, I was in a graph plotting mood, and wanted a second colour, so here are is a graph showing the total posts, and the animal and food related posts for each month.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Depth Perception Problems and Meal Times

I’ve never really been able to judge how far away an object is. It’s just one of those things... I’ve never really been able to tell the difference between a small object close up and a big object far away. I never saw the fascination of those stereoscopic binoculars that were popular back in the early ‘90s (those ones with the two little cardboard wheels with frames of Spiderman or something printed on rectangles of transparent plastic arranged around the rim). And those 3D images where you squint and see a 3D image jump out of the page. Those never worked for me. And this new fascination with 3D films, I just don’t get. To me, it looks the same, and I just get a headache. It’s a minor disability, and I just couldn’t care less... usually...

The only thing that does bother me about it is that I cannot judge the size of a plate. This is not a problem for foods that are a pretty standard size, like sandwiches, but for other foods it becomes a major problem. If the plate is slightly smaller than usual, I land up dishing up less food than I’d like. That’s not so bad, provided I can go back for a second helping. The problem is when the plate is big (or square – I have great difficulty judging the size of a square plate, and I almost always get it wrong). With a big plate, I always land up with more food than I want. I don’t like this, because having a plate that isn’t completely empty being taken away from me is something that really bugs me... Even a couple of crumbs get on my nerves.

Just thought I’d say it... Don’t worry. Just try not to think of me having a normal driver’s license and driving on the same roads as everyone else...

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Zombie Rodents

Or maybe not. There’s not really much you can say about zombie rodents, apart from the fact that they’d behave very much like normal rodents, except maybe they'd move a bit slower (and be easier to catch). And maybe they'd drop a limb or two here and there... Think about, rats are pretty much your most zombie-like creatures already. Actually, don’t think about it, because then you’ll realise what a load of nonsense I’m actually talking.

The most zombie-like creature is actually a shark. It thinks “foooood” and starts mindlessly following one target, but it’s easily distracted if it passes more food and it will start mindlessly following that one instead. But the shark is driven by pure instinct, which brings me back to the rodents. The whole reason behind rats being used in labs to test behaviour is that they are predictable animals that are driven by pure instinct. If you train a rat to do something, it will do it.

Which brings me to the zombies. Consider a zombie human. It is simply a mindless being which is driven entirely by its instinct to find “braaaaiins”. I’m curious as to how easy it would be to use this zombie instinct to train it to follow mazes and the like. Would it be possible to insert electrodes into a zombies head and trigger automatic responses? Does anyone know where I could get hold of a couple of zombies so I can try this out? Although, now that I think of it, maybe building cyborg zombies is just asking for trouble.
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