Chernoff’s Faces

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 06:31 am
[syndicated profile] futilitycloset_feed

Posted by Greg Ross

Humans are bad at evaluating complex data, but we’re good at reading faces. So in 1973 Stanford statistician Herman Chernoff proposed using cartoon faces to encode information. He found that up to 18 different data dimensions can be represented in a computer-drawn face, mapping one variable to the length of the nose, another to the space between the eyes or the position of the mouth, and so on. This produces an array of faces that we can assess quickly using the brain’s natural talent for reading features. (The example above shows lawyers’ ratings of state judges in U.S. Superior Court.)

“This approach is an amusing reversal of a common one in artificial intelligence,” Chernoff noted. “Instead of using machines to discriminate between human faces by reducing them to numbers, we discriminate between numbers by using the machine to do the brute labor of drawing faces and leaving the intelligence to the humans, who are still more flexible and clever.”

(Herman Chernoff, “The Use of Faces to Represent Points in K-Dimensional Space Graphically,” Journal of the American Statistical Association 68:342 [June 1973], 361-368.)

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Comic for November 29, 2015

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 11:59 pm
[syndicated profile] dilbert_feed
Dilbert readers - Please visit to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to

(no subject)

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 09:27 pm
raincitygirl: close up of the Hulk's face (Hulk (kickair8p))
[personal profile] raincitygirl
I am reading the novel Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and it deals with the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War. I know very little (actually,s trike that, I know nothing) about Nigerian history, so I am looking for non-fiction books on the subject, particularly dealing with the Civil War. Google and The Observer lead me to John de St Jorre's The Brothers' War: Biafra and Nigeria (published in the UK as The Nigerian Civil War). It's available on Kindle for $17.10 CDN. However, it is from 1972, and not written by an actual Nigerian person, but by a foreign correspondent for the Guardian and Observer who covered the whole war. Anybody have any other recs before I buy? Thanks.

For example, Amazon found me There Was a Country: A Memoir by Chinua Achebe.
umadoshi: (sleeping on a book)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Yesterday (Friday) I was pretty groggy and out of it all day, so even though I had an accidental nap in the evening (admittedly, I was then up until 2 AM or so, but that's normal), I opted not to set an alarm for this morning.


I woke up briefly around 7 or 8 or so with a headache and got up long enough to take something for it...and the next thing I knew, it was almost 1 PM. By the time I had my tea made, [ profile] scruloose was home from the market. So I had my tea and breakfast while I quickly read through DW etc., as I usually do at a somewhat more reasonable hour, and then went back downstairs to talk to [ profile] scruloose a bit before starting work.

When I regained consciousness from today's accidental nap, it was nearly 4 PM. *facepalm* At least I managed not to fall asleep again while [ profile] scruloose was out this evening; instead, I read Patrick Ness' The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which is the first book I'd picked up in two weeks. It's also really good. *^^*

This degree of tiredness isn't unusual when Casual Job is happening, but I generally think of it as taking longer to hit. We've only had two full weeks (with Mondays off), and other than the Wednesdays running their usual eleven-or-so hours, the days haven't been all that long. Given that, the sleepiness (and failure to get much of anything done) is pretty annoying. :/

And speaking of Casual Job, this bout is really not looking like it's gonna be a long one. We may even be finished by the end of this coming week. O_o

My wallet is deeply unimpressed by this prospect, since Casual Job is a high percentage of my overall yearly income, and among more usual expenses, we're planning some work on the main bathroom. more details under the cut )

Dept. of Saturday Night

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 10:50 pm
kaffyr: The Polar Bear from Polar Bear cafe (Polar Bear-san)
[personal profile] kaffyr
A Day in Which I Got Gin

That's really all I can title my day, or my post (why is it that I insist on titling my posts, I wonder?) For I did little more today than a) make my holiday card list, b) rewatch the Zygon Invasion and Inversion, and Face the Raven with my First Born, who'd specifically asked me to help him catch up with the season - and go out to get some meds, and some gin. 

Note that I have, quite manfully, resisted making some sort of bad joke about meds and gin being sought on the same trip. 

More about my day under here, to save bandwidth. )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Back in Time for Dinner, which is a series of hour-long episodes featuring an English family eating their way to the present from the 1950s, one year a day.

It's worth watching.

Things I noticed:

1. The 1950s kitchen appears to have a measuring cup! From all the talk talk talk about how annoying it is to convert American recipes I assumed measuring cups had fallen out of favor in England a lot earlier than 1950.

2. This is how you use that style can opener. I looked at it and went "Nope", but - unlike my counterparts in the 1950s - I can google that sort of thing.

3. The mom in this family really got a raw deal. The kids and dad could leave the house every day to go to school and work, and her 1950s counterpart would have had other housewives to talk to, but she was really stuck.

4. Loving the clothes, though, especially that purple apron. Also, I noticed around when the girls switched from pigtails to ponytails, the kids' clothing seemed to modernize a lot faster than the grown-up clothing. Which of course makes sense - your kids can't wear what they wore 10 years ago, but you can, and even if you make careful use of hand-me-downs the clothes children wear doesn't actually last forever.

5. Is it okay in England to use the flag as a tablecloth? Was it okay in the 50s? In the US it's definitely a violation of the Flag Code, and even I think it's a little tacky (and I definitely don't revere the flag or anything like that!)

6. What's with the shelf between the burners and the oven on her stove?

7. For all her talk about how if she'd married a GI and been a war bride she'd at least have an electric mixer, she may be wrong. I grew up with a rotary eggbeater as our only way to beat anything - actually, we have one now. Both our electric beaters broke, and we were tired of using a spoon or a whisk.

Hamilton and Historicity

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 10:18 pm
beatrice_otter: Les Mis stage show singing "One Day More" (One Day More)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
I love Hamilton the musical, yo.  It's great.  The music is good, the words are incredible, I absolutely adore it.

But the thing is, I know enough about history to be able to see what they're doing.  And the way they tell the story, Hamilton absolutely comes off like he is what we would today call a progressive or a liberal.  They don't actually say that, but with the multiracial cast and an emphasis on him coming up from the bottom of the heap (except not quite the bottom, because he was still an educated able-bodied white guy, you know) it's implied.  And they make a big deal about Hamilton being opposed to slavery and Jefferson the slaveowner and all of that.

It's a very pretty story.  But the thing is, none of the founding fathers were anything close to what we today would consider a liberal or a progressive.  They weren't much like today's conservatives, either.  Things were very different.  But even outright abolitionists weren't out to free slaves because they believed in racial equality; nobody was advocating for anything like gender or sexual equality; and very few were arguing for economic equality.

Vox explains Cabinet Battle #1 and gives all the background to show you just how misleading the show is.  Because if nobody was arguing about racial, gender, disability, or sexual equality, there were a few people trying to make things at least a little more equal for poor white men.  Trying to reign in the power of speculators, bankers, and other rich people from profiting on the backs of the working class.  And in the debate that Cabinet Battle #1 depicts, the guy trying to protect poor whites from rapacious rich guys?  That was Jefferson.  Hamilton's plan got American business off to a good start and set the stage for the economic expansion of the 19th Century.  It also royally screwed a lot of poor people.

Hamilton was not the community activist working for his peeps and keeping it real.  He was the brilliant guy from the wrong side of the tracks who got a scholarship, got out, never looked back, and was happy to join the system with no qualms about enforcing and strengthening it. Because anybody who was smart like him could make it out the way he did, and if you weren't smart and dedicated enough, you deserved your lot in life.

I love the musical.  But it's a perfect example of how the way you tell the story--even if technically all the major details are accurate--can drastically change the meaning.

alschroeder3: (Default)
[personal profile] alschroeder3 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
In light of her successful TV show, continuing a look at Supergirl's Rogues' Gallery, such as it is.

When Supergirl got her own comic, with Paul Kupperberg and Carmine Infantino as creators, Linda had moved to Chicago to go to her third college, Lake Shore University. (Some people keep on returning to higher education: Linda Danvers was one of those.) Kupperberg and Infantino tried to give her some memorable villains. Psi appeared in the first three issues of the DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL. One could consider it three separate appearances or one three-part story--I am inclined to the latter...but she oddly continued in some other DC comics, and made enough of a presence at DC as a whole to deserve an entry.

She died, but has resurfaced in the new 52. Of course, you could say the same for Supergirl.

Psi had the potential to be a GREAT Supergirl villain. In many ways she was as powerful as Jean Grey as Pheonix. She had a vast array of powers that did not duplicate Supergirl's...but she came across as more of a confused victim, rather than a formidable foe.

Read more... )

Toronto, Niagara Falls + Montréal: Photos

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 09:07 pm
zombieallomorph: (Default)
[personal profile] zombieallomorph
Okay, here are a couple of pictures! Finally! (Click for larger version)


Pictures of Niagara Falls + Toronto )


Pictures of Montral )

Stayin' Alive with CPR in Chattanooga WAIT, there's MORE

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 11:30 pm
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
[personal profile] feng_shui_house
This is great- administering CPR to the tune of the Bee Gees 'Stayin' Alive' is the recommended rate of compression.

And the firefighters dance!

Firefighters Gangnam Style (entirely different folks, somewhere else. They are hilarious.)

The recipe is a lie and other links

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 03:50 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
The cake, uh, recipe is a lie. The magazines, internet articles, & cookbooks with "quick" and "easy" "15 minute" meals? They tend to be *ahem* economical with the truth. For weeknight dinners, I aim for no more than 40 minutes between stepping foot in the kitchen & dinner being ready. Typically I take ~30 minutes by choosing to make meals that are relatively straight-forward low-fuss affairs. I find that half an hour of dinner preparation is a good trade-off between minimising the time & effort expended for the most interesting & tasty results.

Awaken the Force within. (I'm still cautiously optimistic that it won't suck.)

Remember Meals(TM) from "Good Omens"? Well, a Japanese company is adding wood pulp to konjac noodles to make them more palatable (yes really), and consequently lowering available calories per serve (to fewer than 2% of the calories in pure wheat noodles).

It's another big map xkcd.

See here for spoilers.

And a couple of musical ones:

Freddie & Bowie's vocals from "Under Pressure" a capella are as awesome as you'd expect:

Adele enters an Adele-lookalike contest. Is delightful:

Some via [ profile] andrewducker

The Snivellus Fan Club

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 10:34 pm
cyberghostface: (Default)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily
You probably won't get this unless you've read the fifth Harry Potter book. Warning for depiction of bullying.

Comic under the cut... )

Media References to Fanfic, the week ending 11/28/15

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 10:14 pm
wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
[personal profile] wneleh posting in [community profile] as_others_see_us
Northeast Valley News’s Tamara Juarez argued that Authors [are] wrong to take offense at fanfiction.

The Week shared that Almost everything about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a closely held secret, so on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel engaged in what might be called fan fiction. For Montreal Gazette, Hayley Juhl wrote that, of one theory, with Indiana Jones doing double duty as Han Solo there’s all sorts of fodder for strange fan fiction here. And, in The Washington Post, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson and Daniel Nexon got meta: We can still argue about the meaning, message, and theories of politics operating in, say, a speculative-fiction franchise. But such arguments should take text, image, and other aspects of the relevant medium seriously. Otherwise what we produce amounts to bad fan fiction — bad because it rests on misleading and partial readings of the source material.

In “We’re all geeks now” for The Christian Century, Kathryn Reklis wrote that, at New York Comic Con, As I listened to fans compare references to comic books in recent films and dissect favorite characters on fan fiction websites, I wondered if anything I teach would ever inspire such passion, commitment, and communal connectivity.

From a piece in The Columbia Chronicle on being a fan: Some of those people who are considered most fanatic—the word from which fan is derived—are known as “shippers.” They want the character, actor or artist to be in a relationship with someone of their choosing, often another character, actor or artist. These shippers are known for creating fan art or fanfiction depicting the people they “ship” in a relationship together.

This was pretty well done: from Karen Hines in Calgary Herald: Fan fiction centred around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a disturbing and impassioned turn.

Creed, James Bond, Gilmore Girls, Game of Thrones, Fargo, NaNoWriMo, Hey Arnold!, Hunger Games )

Victor Frankenstein, Hannibal, Doctor Who, Blur )

In a piece about (same) sex ed for The Telegraph, Kaite Welsh wrote Trial, error and some Buffy the Vampire Slayer lesbian fanfiction helped me establish the basics, but sexual health - and sexual enjoyment - shouldn't be left to experimentation and badly written porn.

A New York Times piece on the hunt for, and eventual capture of, a serial swatter, described one of the victims: She had played games since she was 6, when her father introduced her to Doom; after her parents went through a difficult divorce, she sought refuge in a ‘‘Harry Potter’’ fan site called MuggleNet, where she wrote and shared fan fiction.

Describing comedian Philip Schallberger for Willamette Week, John Locanthi wrote He's crafted erotic Matlock fan fiction.

The DUFF author Kody Keplinger told MTV’s Jocelyn Rish that, for initial beta readers, I had a couple of friends who wrote fan fiction along with me – I wrote a lot of fan fiction when I was in middle school and high school – and we were used to sharing our stories for fan fic. So when I started writing original stuff, I knew I could go through a couple of them.

Finally, from Alex Shephard in New Republic: Call it Islamophobic fan fiction: Trump is dramatizing chain letters now.

book giveaway

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 09:02 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
Please get these books out of my house! (Extra contributors' copies.)

Free giveaway: leave a comment and I will pick someone for each book by random number generator. Shipping's on me anywhere reasonable on the planet (Finland is fine, Antarctica maybe not so much).

- Warrior Women, ed. Paula Guran. This includes my short story The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars," as well as Jane Yolen, Nalo Hopkinson, Aliette de Bodard, and others. (NOTE: This is not strictly a sword & sorcery anthology; "warrior women" is defined very liberally, and the anthology appears to be broken into thematic sections.)

- Meeting Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan. This includes my short story "The Cold Inequalities" (new), as well as works by Nancy Kress, Gwyneth Jones, Ramez Naam, and others.

I will pick winners at some point during the coming week and let y'all know.

This is being posted on both Patreon and DW; you can post either place (but please just pick one or the other :p).

X-Men Legacy #6

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 10:44 am
laughing_tree: (Default)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily

"Oh yeah, oh yeah, check us out with our grownup grid-layout.

"Some of these panels are pretty good evidence (I think) that big chunks of text don’t have to be anathema to the flow of a comics page. As long as the text is colourful, and as long as you’ve taken into account the influence it’ll have on the pace (ie: slowing things down, acting as a brake on the flow), then all the wanky “rules” about maximum words per balloon, maximum balloons per panels, blah blah blah, can be cheerfully bent."
-- Si Spurrier

Read more... )


Saturday, November 28th, 2015 08:20 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Eva doesn't like me listening in on her chorus rehearsals, so I usually only catch the last 10 minutes or so.

Those minutes are spent on Sleigh Ride. I'd like to slay Leroy Anderson by now. I have three lines from the song running through my head on permanent loop. Not the whole song, naturally, which would be bearable. No, just from "pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie" to "these wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives".

The performance is on Tuesday. It's gonna be great, actually - the kids really are on tune, and they're doing their songs in parts and all that. But I want that song out of my head!


The McDonalds Monopoly Fraud

Amazing Nurse Cat Comforts Other Sick Animals in Polish Animal Shelter

Chip-based credit cards are old news; why is the US only rolling them out now?

How to Make Middle School a Smoother Ride with Diverse Literature

Japan's newest and largest mosque opens its doors

A Portait of Ancient, Cosmopolitan London

Bizarre Ancient Sea Creature Was Well-Armed for Feeding

Ancient 'Mud Dragon' Worm Had Spiky Coat of Armor

It's Cheaper for Airlines to Cut Emissions Than You Think

Global carbon emissions growth slowed for third straight year to near-stall

A Washing Machine That Recycles Its Own Water

This Video Explains How You're Doing Your Laundry Wrong

A brief history of USB, what it replaced, and what has failed to replace it

Play Hundreds of Classic Games on This Retro Home Arcade

Tennessee’s half-mile-long spider web shows how little we know about our surroundings

How Railroad History Shaped Internet History

The Black Female Mathematicians Who Sent Astronauts to Space

Humpback Whales Make Migration Pit Stops at Underwater Mountains

Saving a School on the Blackfeet Reservation

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Future of human gene editing to be decided at landmark summit

Drug driving suit mimics taking the wheel stoned

On concurrent surgeries

Could the Third Amendment be used to fight the surveillance state?

The Painting That Saved My Family From the Holocaust

The New, Ugly Surge in Violence and Threats Against Abortion Providers

The rich are less generous when they think there’s high economic inequality

Despite governors' resistance, Syrian refugees find support in US

Inside Anonymous' Messy Cyberwar Against ISIS

Syrian Civil War Brilliantly Explained By This Five-Minute Vox Video

Climate change already forcing world's birds towards poles, says report

I suspect that even the Thameses

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 09:21 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
Would find meeting the locus genii of the Fraser river ... unnerving.

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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