Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Location: Rochester, United States

Chronically curious モ..

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The "the" sentence...

I was thinking of how there are statistical cues to words in speech. For example, how in English, determiners always came before nouns, so how there could never be any sentence that ends with "the". *Sigh*. Metanalysis s.u.c.k.s. Which reminds me: Mark Liberman runs a very nice Language Log...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

24d12'S, 27d58'E

This is my Aussie pal, Christian (far left) with his girlfriend Kate (top), cousin Corrado (far right) and our friend Amanda; on his farewell evening. Now, Chris & Kate went on a touristy trip to Barcelona, and some random guy in the metro gave him a t-shirt, which he gave me. This t-shirt says South Africa and has a coordinate. So naturally I stuck the coordinates in Google Earth. Here's what comes up: Any clues to what it could be are appreciated! (ps: the white line about a third of the way down and a little over halfway across the pic is 1km in length, so the scale is clear).... bizzare

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I've finally seem to have gotten into the "flow" of thesis-writing! It comes way more easily now; probably because the structural problems have been solved. And here's a little piece of curiosity from the introductory chapter on segmenting speech. Apparently, the Sanskrit word narangah (the orange tree) was picked up by Arabic traders along with the fruit, who took both with them to Moorish Spain, where the fruit is still called naranja. The word (and presumably the fruit) travelled to the English speaking parts of Europe, and it was called a narange. Turns out, people kept mis-segmenting "a narange" as "an arange", from which (after a vowel change) we get our familiar orange.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Multi-touch Tech Demo
Finally, looks like the future is gonna happen after all!! *Phew* Finally we can stop worrying that the only futuristic thing we saw were self opening doors like in Star Trek...

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Here's something that is very very true in the Sciences. Probably in any creative field (Calvin is discussing Art).