Friday, August 25, 2006

Some random thoughts

The majority of things you view and read on the web are created by writers, or at least by people who write. This seems like an expensive way to generate content. Machines could do it better, or at least - more efficiently.

Here are some interesting examples of randomly generated text. Some of them are pretty good:

My favorite - the random haiku generator – it can be downright profound. Click HERE.

How about random cartoons? They're not very good but it's an interesting concept. (I think this is how the cartoon Gil Thorpe is created.) Click HERE.

Random computer science papers. HERE

Need a website? Try the strangebananna - some of these look pretty good. HERE

A randomly generated version of the Onion. It’s not the worst humor site on the web. HERE.

Want to name a baby. This site generates random names based on census data. It's a great source for fictional character names. HERE.

And last, but not least, the blog-o-matic. This site generates random blog entries when you have nothing to say. HERE.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bear Bites Scout

This story was published in the The Salt Lake Tribune on 7/20/2006

An unidentified teen sleeping at a Boy Scout camp in the Left Fork of Hobble Creek Canyon was awakened early Wednesday morning when a black bear bit through a tent and into his upper arm.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) said the bite created a superficial wound that broke the skin, but "looked like a bee sting." Investigators said the boy was asleep when he was bitten. DWR conservation officers set a baited trap Wednesday to capture the bear and planned on staying in the camp overnight to watch for the bear.

This is an outrage! The boy's arm should have been amputated and given to the bear. Why? The U.S. constitution guarantees bears the right to keep arms.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Red Door

Have you ever noticed that many Chinese restaurants have red doors? I don’t know the reason for this, but I suspect it's related to the ancient practice of Feng Shui - the art of arranging items in space to achieve natural harmony. In Feng Shui, the red door is welcoming and promotes fame and reputation.

Episcopal churches also have red doors. Traditionally, the red door proclaimed that the church was a place of refuge. Soldiers could not pursue an enemy through the door of the church, and they would safe as long as they remained within. Later this came to represent that the church was a place of spiritual refuge.

This reminds me of a funny thing that happened to me the other day. I went to this Chinese restaurant, and the food was terrible. All they had was dry crackers and tiny little cups of wine. I’ll never go back there!
© 2008 Raoul Rubin