Yesterday, the big controversy on the blog was Tau Day, not the Supreme Court ruling. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I spent the day glued to SCOTUSblog, and, when I got home, I had to celebrate. So I made broccoli parmesan fritters, using the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Fellow Patheos blogger Eve recently posted her own variation on this recipe, but I kept it simple (except for doubling the garlic).
This was my second cooking project for the week, as I had my first Spawn of Sourdough Starter in the form of small sourdough pretzels.
But that wasn’t the only fun legal story this week! Law and the Multiverse (a blog that analyzes law through the lens of comic books and superhero movies) got military lawyers to weigh in on whether a certain plot development near the end of Avengers is a war crime, and how much license a soldier has to follow her conscience and shoot down a fellow soldier engaged in an ambiguously illegal act.
It’s practically a crime that The New Yorker‘s article on the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt is restricted to subscribers. But I guess it’s kind of appropriate that after you read this excerpt, you’ll be compelled to quest for a copy online?
Christopher Straus, University of Chicago class of ’88, created the school’s first scavenger hunt, in 1987, envisioning a modest diversion, limited to his dorm, whose purpose was to instill a sense of camaraderie. These days, many of the items on that first list seem like easy pickings—a hula hoop (10 points), a training bra (25 points), a painting on velvet (20 points). Each year, the Hunt begins long before its official start date. “One kid on our team has been growing his beard for weeks in case there was a beard-related item,” said Erin Simpson, a member of the MacPierce team—two dorms playing together. This year’s list, the longest in the twenty-six-year history of the Hunt, consisted of three hundred and fifty-one items. It filled nineteen pages and contained such challenges as: Build a ten-foot bridge across Botany Pond using nothing but balsa wood and glue (60 points). Revamp a Xerox machine for office warfare (12 points). Secure a meeting with the mayor of Chicago (25 points). Produce a scale model of the Great Lakes out of fire (15 points).
Now I know how to deal with heart attacks, but I am no match for the spectre of Death in his more dapper guises, as in these anti-tippling PSAs from the early 1900s (via io9).
Turns out there were more interesting Turing posts than I linked on his birthday:
“What are your favourite Sci Fi movies?” “I like Star Wars and The Matrix,” comes the typed reply.
“Can we agree that the prequels sucked?” I continue. “Absolutely! Lucas should be shot!”
That settled it – only a flesh-and-blood movie buff could be so enraged by The Phantom Menace.
In the original Turing imitation game, you’ve got three entities: a judge, a woman, and a machine pretending to be a woman. Alan Turing says he can’t answer the question “can machines think” because he doesn’t want to waste time with the popular definitions of “machinery” and “thinking.” He wants a simpler, more rigorous test that’s more objective and reliable. So what he actually comes up with is a test for a machine with a woman’s sensibility…
I really wish this aspect of Turing’s puzzle had been relentlessly played up from the very beginning. It’s just like Turing says: it’s useless to ask the indefinite question “can a machine think.” Why not ask the specific and weird question, “can a computational system be a woman?”
Finally: omg revolving crossbow!!!
My birthday’s in less than a month, btw.
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