Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How closet anarchists die

I like the graffiti style that makes a cardboard cut-out, and then sprays that same pattern in zillions of odd little places. (I believe this is called stencil style.) Graffiti is to the city what tattoos are to the body.

If I end up with a terminal case of cancer, and when armed with the certainty of nothing to lose, that's when I'm finally going anarchist by graffiti. As I think more about this, I've decided I'm not joking. Of course, now that I've finally reconciled my epiloguish acts with a closing philosophy of life, it will be just my luck to die of sudden heart attack or dozing happily in my sleep.


[image] Remaining Relevant blog

[ * ] Some really interesting stuff comes up on Google Images if you type in "graffiti art" or "stencil graffiti"

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Up and Away

A trusty Atlas V rocket threw the NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Spacecraft toward the moon today. The LRO is the one I find most interesting. It will go into orbit around the two poles, turning a suite of six instruments on the moon for thorough mapping. It's looking for potential landing sites for astronauts, but will produce a super detailed map of the lunar surface using laser altimetery and radically high resolution, 3D digital photography. LRO's high-resolution mapping is even good enough to show some of the larger pieces of equipment previously left on the moon by other missions. It's estimated that a full 70–100 TB of image data will be returned.

An excellent 7 min. video overview of its missions can be found on YouTube.



"Real World: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission" YouTube Feb. 24, 2009. (Accessed June 19, 2009).

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Google chats and A.I.

Recently I've been listening to some lectures on the Google Tech Talks channel on YouTube. One is by Ashwin Ram, Associate Professor and Director of the Cognitive Computing Lab in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He talks about how games might use various kinds (or levels) of artificial intelligence to achieve realistic interaction. As computers become more powerful, some of these advanced methods can be realistically implemented. Prof. Ram -- talk about a name that matches his career! -- gives some statistics on who plays games at the beginning of his talk, and then transitions into a survey of the broader techniques of A.I.. The questions at the end by the various attendees at Google were also quite interesting.

Another deep topic of A.I. comes from what's called Artificial Life, an area where I especially have research interests. Though the topic is just as engaging, Unlike the smooth Dr. Ram, this presenter comes off as having endured multiple attack wedgies from everyone in his High School's athletic program (including the coaches.) Nonetheless, his research and results are unquestionably competent. He's Virgil Griffith, a graduate student in Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology, and one-time target of a sedition and espionage suet.



[image] The Bleeding Purple Podcast Blog

[ * ] Ashwin Ram "Case Based Reasoning for Game AI" Google Tech Talks April, 3 2008 (Accessed June 8, 2009)

[ * ] Virgil Griffit "Polyworld: Using Evolution to Design Artificial Intelligence" Google Tech Talks November, 8 2007 (Accessed June 6, 2009)

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