The Turing Test answers have been revealed, but there’s more analysis (and thus, more graphs!) to come over the weekend.
Statistical fun times will pause on Monday, though, for a special announcement.
It’s been a while since I mentioned my overcoming-gnostic-hatred-of-the-physical-through-cooking project, but it is still ongoing. This week I made the Easy Little Bread recipe from 101 Cookbooks and it was indeed both easy and little. I didn’t have any rolled oats, so I substituted steelcut oats with no ill effects (and I think a nice texture).
Let no one say that philosophy doesn’t have real world consequences.
Oh, and speaking of delightful making, I recently discovered the tumblrs Nerd Babies and Cosplaying Children. I really like how many of the costumes are simply done by just top-stitching over the kind of shirt you can find at a thrift store.
And then there are costumes like these:
It’s totally legit to go to the baby shower of a friend and bring them cyberpunk onsies, right?
Getting to costume children (and give them the skills to costume themselves) seems like one major benefit of having kids. If you’re looking for another way to get them to think creatively, you might like Conti and Caroland’s exam where you have to cheat.
Conti and Caroland teach a course on cyberwarfare, and they wanted their students to be able to think like an intruder in order to design better security systems. So they told students that they would be tested on the first 100 digits of pi in a few days, and, since it was of no use to memorize the number, they were expected to cheat. Collaboration was encouraged, and if you were caught, you’d get an F. Among my favorite solutions:
One student hand wrote the answers on a blank sheet of paper (in advance) and simply turned it in, exploiting the fact that we didn’t pass out a formal exam sheet.
Another just memorized the first ten digits of pi and randomly filled in the rest, assuming the instructors would be too lazy to check every digit. His assumption was correct.
(Via Schneier on Security, of course)
And sometimes the antagonist you’re trying to outwit to be secure may not even human or deliberately malevolent. “I’ve Got the Monkey Now” an essay from The Daily WTF tells the story of how a simple computer error check led the marketing department of Harvard School of Business Press seriously astray.
When you run into problems, it helps to think like a supervillian, so my hat’s off to the mayor of the small Italian town of Viganella. For 83 days out of the year, the surrounding mountains cut the villagers in the valley off from the natural light of the sun.
The last bit of good news may not sound as epic as that last take, but I’m pretty excited about Pop Warner’s decision to radically limit how much time young football players can spend on collisions in practices. I’m pretty staunchly opposed to football, since serious brain damage seems to be baked into the design of the game, so this change doesn’t satisfy me, but it’s a big improvement. I don’t buy the argument that pro players are adequately compensated for the risk of dementia and early death by their salaries and stardom (especially when their reduced brain function often leads them to waste their earnings) but no one should be arguing that the fun of high school football is worth a bevy of concussions.
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