26 November 2015

Tiny Penis Drumsticks

Like so many other crickets, a Roesel’s bush cricket sings to attract his mate. But his courtship doesn’t stop once a female finds him. As they have sex he’ll use a pair of tiny drumsticks on his genitals to show her he’s the rhythm master she wants to father her young. The structures are called titillators; they’re small stiff rods that sit at the base of the penis and are inserted into a female during sex ...
The drumming seems to be an important sexual step for this cricket. Females often tried to stop mating with males whose titillators had been removed–especially in the males who were left with only one drumstick. And even when the females put up with their rhythm-impaired mates, the males were less successful in getting their sperm to stick.
Read the rest of the story here.

30 October 2015

13 October 2015

05 September 2015

From Ms. L-y's Social Media

Via FB | Click image to enlarge

Via FB | Click image to enlarge

Via Twitter | Click image to enlarge

Via Twitter | Click image to enlarge

Via FB | Click image to enlarge

Via Twitter | Click image to enlarge

20 August 2015

Language Is Important

Via FB | Click image to enlarge

31 July 2015

30 July 2015

Tribute To Hayao Miyazaki

Made with Blender, Gimp, Octane and Natron. Thanks to Blackschmoll, Boby, Christophe, Clouclou, Cremuss, David, Félicia, Frenchman, Sozap, Stéphane, Virgil. And Thanks to Ton Roosendaal, the Blender community, the developers of Blender, Gimp and Natron.
Music by Joe Hisaishi. dono 2015

28 July 2015

Too Much To Ask For?

Apparently, it is.

21 July 2015

Twerking Corgi

Because it made me laugh.

Trump vs Trump

MAD Magazine | Via FB
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07 July 2015

Tom The Dancing Bug | Human Morality Made Simple

Ruben Bolling
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Visit Tom the Dancing Bug on FB

05 July 2015

Google's DeepDream

From the description on Vimeo:
A visualization of what's happening inside the mind of an artificial neural network.
By recognizing forms in these images, your mind is already reflecting what's going on in the software, projecting its own bias onto what it sees. You think you are seeing things, perhaps puppies, slugs, birds, reptiles etc. If you look carefully, that's not what's in there. But those are the closest things your mind can match to what it's seeing. Your mind is struggling to put together images based on what you know. And that's exactly what's happening in the software. And you've been training your mind for years, probably decades. These neural networks are usually trained for a few hours, days or weeks.

In non-technical speak:
An artificial neural network can be thought of as analogous to a brain (immensely, immensely, immensely simplified. nothing like a brain really). It consists of layers of neurons and connections between neurons. Information is stored in this network as 'weights' (strengths) of connections between neurons. Low layers (i.e. closer to the input, e.g. 'eyes') store (and recognise) low level abstract features (corners, edges, orientations etc.) and higher layers store (and recognise) higher level features. This is analogous to how information is stored in the mammalian cerebral cortex (e.g. our brain).

Here a neural network has been 'trained' on millions of images - i.e. the images have been fed into the network, and the network has 'learnt' about them (establishes weights / strengths for each neuron). (NB. This is a specific database of images fed into the network known as ImageNet http://image-net.org/explore )
Then when the network is fed a new unknown image (e.g. me), it tries to make sense of (i.e. recognise) this new image in context of what it already knows, i.e. what it's already been trained on.
This can be thought of as asking the network "Based on what you've seen / what you know, what do you think this is?", and is analogous to you recognising objects in clouds or ink / rorschach tests etc.
The effect is further exaggerated by encouraging the algorithm to generate an image of what it 'thinks' it is seeing, and feeding that image back into the input. Then it's asked to reevaluate, creating a positive feedback loop, reinforcing the biased misinterpretation.
This is like asking you to draw what you think you see in the clouds, and then asking you to look at your drawing and draw what you think you are seeing in your drawing etc,

That last sentence was actually not fully accurate. It would be accurate, if instead of asking you to draw what you think you saw in the clouds, we scanned your brain, looked at a particular group of neurons, reconstructed an image based on the firing patterns of those neurons, based on the in-between representational states in your brain, and gave *that* image to you to look at. Then you would try to make sense of (i.e. recognise) *that* image, and the whole process will be repeated.

We aren't actually asking the system what it thinks the image is, we're extracting the image from somewhere inside the network. From any one of the layers. Since different layers store different levels of abstraction and detail, picking different layers to generate the 'internal picture' hi-lights different features.
All based on the google research by Alexander Mordvintsev, Software Engineer, Christopher Olah, Software Engineering Intern and Mike Tyka, Software Engineer

04 July 2015

28 June 2015

"Senator Huckleberry J. Butchmeup": Charles Pierce's Political Nicknames

Morning Joe:
Squint and the Meat Puppet

Charles Pierce is a sportswriter, author, blogger, and political observer. The following list of "Pierce-isms" is a work-in-progress compiled by Frank Moraes of Frankly Curious.
Big Chicken: Chris Christie
Brogressive Man-Crush Senator Aqua Buddha: Rand Paul
C-Plus Augustus’ Excellent Mesopotamian Adventure: (Bush’s) Iraq War
Clinton Guy Shocked By Blowjobs: George Stephanopoulos
The Combover Trump: Rudy Giuliani
Douglas McArthur McCain: John McCain
Fred Hiatt’s Home Depot For Bad IdeasThe Washington Post
FREE MONEY (!): Medicaid Expansion
Fracksylvania: Pennsylvania
Girl With The Faraway Eyes: Michelle Bachmann
Goggle-Eyed Homunculus Hired by Koch Industries to Run Their Midwest Subsidiary Formerly Known as the State of Wisconsin: Scott Walker
Governor Goodhair: Rick Perry
Senator Huckleberry J Butchmeup: Lindsey Graham
Manson Family of American Geopolitics: Cheney family
Mausoleum of Unemployables: Breitbart.com
Mitchell Brothers: Charles and David Koch
Mrs Greenspan: Andrea Mitchell
Nine Wise Souls: Supreme Court
Obvious Anagram: Reince Priebus
Our Lady Of The Magic Dolphins: Peggy Noonan
Padishah Emperor of All Crazy People: Louie Gohmert
Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods: Sarah Palin
Senator McDreamy: Scott Brown
Senator Professor Warren: Elizabeth Warren
Squint and the Meat Puppet: Morning Joe
Tailgunner Ted Cruz: Ted Cruz
Tiger Beat on the PotomacPolitico

13 June 2015

We Are Dave

Dave|Via FB

Favorites From The New Yorker

I thought I smelled something funny.

And, rejected by The New Yorker ...

06 June 2015

01 May 2015

30 April 2015


Because it made me laugh on a day I needed a laugh.

28 April 2015

Baltimore | Tuesday 28 April 2015

Pennsylvania Avenue at North Avenue | Photo by Bishop M. Cromartie

25 March 2015

Shiny Homage To Firefly

... thanks to Joss Whedon ... we get to hear (Jesse L.) Martin and his Flash costars/Kickstarter partners Rick Cosnett (Eddie Thawne) and Carlos Valdes (Cisquo) sing a gospel version of the Serenity ballad. No, this is not a drill. Martin, Cosnett, and Valdes filmed the video as a thanks to Whedon, who contributed “an outstanding amount” to their Kickstarter for a collaborative musical short film, The Letter Carrier ...

05 March 2015

20 February 2015

Cold Enough To Freeze The Balls Off A Brass Monkey

There is no better visual cue that it is cold out than this brass monkey. Once the temperature gets to be frigid, about 23 degrees Fahrenheit, a piece of his anatomy drops off as illustrated in the picture above. This will bring life to the adage “cold enough to freeze the b…s off a brass monkey.” To reset him all you have to do is let him thaw out a bit and reattach his boys. This may be the only time you find emasculation amusing.
Nerd Approved via FB

15 February 2015

Correction | Obama NOT The Antichrist

Correction published in the Lexington Dispatch via R. L. Bynum's Twitter | FB

15 Feb 15 | A Nip In The Air

One degree on the screen porch, minus 6 on the deck.

05 February 2015

Steven Pinker | Mind Games

From the quiz

Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author and is currently the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. The questions in this short quiz are culled from Pinker's course "Psychological Science." From Pinker:
... The questions that psychology tackles are the ones that obsess us in everyday life: family relations, sexuality, kindness and aggression, the reliability of knowledge. Not surprisingly, many concepts in academic psychology have crossed over into popular culture, such as conditioning, Freudian psychoanalysis and cognitive dissonance. Exams that invoke these memes test whether students understand the theories well enough to reason about them when they are presented away from a familiar textbook context and are applied to real life ...
Take the quiz here.


28 January 2015

Can't Be Unseen | Domino's Ad

Click image to enlarge

The Fifty Shades effect. New print ad for Domino's Spicy Sriracha  puts the "B-D-S-M in P-I-Z-Z-A."


25 January 2015