bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Went through fridge today to see what'll have gone off by the time I get back from Christmas and New Year holiday. It turned out pretty much everything would keep apart from a pint of milk (most of which can go onto breakfast cereal or into tea for Dad tomorrow, and the rest can be poured away) and a box of Cauldron garlic-and-ginger-marinated tofu pieces.

I'd been meaning to try making a vegetarian form of Oyakodon, so finally got on with it and had a go. Notes I took while cooking are here at the request of [ profile] bambooaxe on IRC. :)

Notes are here - not quite recipe form, since I jotted most of this down on the back of an envelope as I was cooking. :) )
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Read a Rolling Stone article about the sheer volume of actual fucking fraud that is involved in many of the current US banks foreclosing on homes. Not homeowners committing fraud, the banks, and it goes all the way down (of course it's related to the pit of lies and bullshit that was the subprime mortgage market, it's just horrifying to realise quite how much lying was going on).

And in an effort to try to do something with the money that I have that isn't "spend it on stuff I don't need" and that is "help the world be better", I've signed up on Kiva, a microfinance site, and have made a loan (just one so far, but I intend to do this regularly). Check the site out if this interests you.
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
I'm looking for advice on web hosting. I'd like to sort out my own hosting rather than using friends; what web hosting companies have people in the UK found to be decent? (Cheap is not vital, but an idea of the average costs of this sort of thing would be helpful.)

People outside the UK, if you have web hosting that accepts UK customers your input would be good as well. I'm not sure to what extent web hosting companies deal with non-nationals.
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Hello, Jon Henley!

You wrote an article in the G2 today about the leader of a nation currently dealing with the (as far as I can tell) worldwide debt crisis, with some interesting stuff about that leader's political history. But there was something that nearly stopped me reading it at the start.

Why the hell did you see it necessary to describe the leader in question as "pale" and "irredeemably frumpy"? Did that have anything to do with discussion of their policies or political history, at all?

Do you comment on, for example, the US president's appearance when you write something about him? Other than if it's relevant to the article, no, of course you don't.

Or did you just do it to Merkel because she's a woman, and women's appearances are public property?
bouteillebleu: (Water)

turns out that a new Assassin's Creed game makes me forget I need sleep.

this post brought to you by roughly seven hours running around virtual Constantinople / Istanbul - I only turned the 360 off because (a) one of my Assassins was killed in a fight and I hoped that it hadn't saved after that, and (b) it's quarter to six in the morning what the hell.
bouteillebleu: (Praise be to the Teacher)
I'd been meaning to look at this for a while and have finally got round to it.

The Rule7 forums run on forum software that doesn't have any sort of ignore list for posts. (It has one for PMs, but that's all.) Being able to ignore a particular user's posts is something I find really useful for maintaining sanity while browsing a forum.

So here is a Greasemonkey script that I threw together today to do this for me. There's a line at the start of the script where you list the usernames you want to ignore, and on any thread that you load it'll replace the text of their posts with "(You are ignoring this user.)". If you're logged in and quote their post you can see what they wrote, and you can of course disable the script - it's just to avoid initial flares of anger rather than prevent one from reading it entirely.

I've tested this on Firefox 3.6.21 with the Greasemonkey extension; I know there's one property in it that doesn't work in IE before version 9 but should on earlier ones, and will try to get that working next.

If you try it and find any bugs, please find your browser's Javascript error console (this question gives a summary of how for several browsers) and let me know the error message you're getting.

Bard 0.1

Aug. 20th, 2011 10:05 pm
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Today I have finally started on a programming idea I had a while ago - something that uses the Python Natural Language Toolkit to mess around with poetry.

What I have so far is something that automatically generates (almost) iambic pentameter. It's getting the words from Hamlet at the moment (each pair of words in the output occur next to each other in the play).

It is very bad iambic pentameter, mind, because I'm not taking into account where the emphasis is in words. (There's a dictionary I can use to do this, but I'm not using it yet.) But here's its first creation:

with your sister be pardon and armour
with sleep to stand you his tenders for his
with honesty can well appear like you
with speed to fall a farm it will wear him
with this hand more like madness range as you
with ecstasy of something musty him
with it cannot tell my lowest note him
with equal thanks are naught s cap of frame
with the foils have ta to her virgin as
with entertainment than his base into

As you can see, it's got some way to go. Because the output's random, I can't tell if its love for "with" is accidental or a bug in my code; another few runs of the code should be enough to find out. (The "ta" and "s" are because I'm removing punctuation, which is its own entry in the word lists I'm using - the first is probably from "ta'en".)

Next up - recognising word emphasis properly, possibly using more data and trigrams rather than just bigrams, and likely uploading to Github.
bouteillebleu: (Default)
This evening, at the suggestion of [ profile] theblunderbuss, four of us sat down to play a game of Fiasco. It's a GMless game that involves making your characters together by figuring out how they're related, giving them motivations, and then setting them off with an idea of their aims and seeing how badly wrong things can go. The style it's aiming for is the idea of a caper movie, and I think we got that, although possibly at a slightly odd angle.

Explaining this may be a little tricky, so let's start off with a crude ASCII diagram of what the relations between characters were...

Seriously, if there is one thing you read this review for, let it be the crude ASCII diagram. )
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
I have only just discovered that along with the many other science and mathematical Olympiads, there is an International Linguistics Olympiad. The sample questions are amazing.

Unlike another Olympiad I never heard of at school (the International Olympiad in Informatics - we knew about the Chemistry, Physics and Maths ones, and I assumed there was a Biology one as well), the Linguistics Olympiad started two years after I left school, and the UK one has only been going since 2009.

But having looked at the sample questions, I am so enthused about it that I am likely to have a look at some of them in more detail this evening. :D
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
A friend of mine is currently in hospital after several operations. She's feeling quite woozy, but has done her best to try to avoid needing blood transfusions, because she has O+ blood and donates blood regularly and this would knock her off the donor list.

If you've not given blood before, please have a look at the National Blood Service website and see if you could go and donate.

I know some of you cannot donate for various reasons (have had transfusions before, have trypanophobia or similar, have had sex with men / have had sex with men who've had sex with men). But those of you who can donate, and haven't gone along to a session - I encourage you to go along to a session near you (you can find out when and where your local sessions are).

If you are in Cambridge I am happy to go along with you to a session for moral support and talking rubbish at you beforehand and buy you a drink later. (Remember, lower blood content = get drunk faster, perhaps a bonus? :)
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Wanted to share a pair of well-presented and phrased (optional) gender and sexuality survey questions I've seen recently. These are from a survey from, a project campaigning for the lives and freedoms of LGBT people.

Image under the cut. )
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
I like writing random stuff in Potch's background. There's not much of it, but what there was was spent learning alchemy from an avian, and occasionally little snippits present themselves. :)

Read more... )
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
Note: this is your last chance to claim any of the books in - I am going to take the unclaimed ones to charity shops this weekend.

But I do have some more books. As before, these are yours if you're interested - come June they will be going to charity shops.

Books are £1 each unless there's another price, all paperback unless otherwise mentioned. Can do delivery within Cambridge or to Maelstrom event 4; Odyssey event 3 might be possible via someone else but would have to arrange. Anything else, let me know and I'll see what we can work out.

Read more... )
bouteillebleu: (Default)
Ready to get out of the house by 8am.

I am going to vote before work. This is a reminder to friends in the UK that referendum day (and also some local council elections) is today, and you should get out and vote. :)

I believe the polls are open 7am - 10pm, so if you don't have time before work then you should have some time after.
bouteillebleu: (Pocket watch)
Following a conversation with a housemate in which he asked what the proper linguistic term for things like "saxamaphone" and "tramapoline" was, I share with you the following article: Reduplication in English Homeric Infixation.

(Yes, that Homer. Yes, it has some phonology in there; the Wikipedia page on Optimality Theory might be interesting, or you could just skip most of the phonology and read the examples. :)
bouteillebleu: (Reading)
Books I am getting rid of. Yours if you're interested - come May, the ones that are left will be going to local charity shops.

EDIT: Books that were not claimed have now all been donated to Mind on Burleigh Street in Cambridge, in case you were after them and would like to know where to acquire them. Edge magazines are still available, pending me figuring out how best to dispose of them.

Books listed below the cut. )
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Spinemeet on Sunday was good - I'd forgotten how much fun it is to get together with the other people in the group and just chat, either about things in general or about Maelstrom. (Hazard of going to player events on my own.) Looking forward to event 1.

Got more sleep over the weekend, so am feeling better about work and have clearer ideas about what I'm doing.

Sonata Arctica gig on Friday was good as well. Musician's earplugs continue to hold up well (they're these ones - cheap, reusable, and even work with my ears that can't cope with in-ear headphones, so I'd recommend them to anyone looking for something better than disposible ones).

I, er, spent most of the opening acts reading a book I'd started on the train into London, as the O2 Academy Islington has sofas on its mezzanine level and they were quite comfortable. Found a spot half-behind one of the ceiling pipes that gave me a view of the stage when Sonata started playing, which had the bonus feature that I couldn't see the strobe light directly. Then listened and sang along to my heart's content - the music is singable and the band make their concerts fun.

Set list was as follows:

Sonata Arctica set list, 25/3/11, O2 Islington )


bouteillebleu: (Default)

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