Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rene Descartes on Problem Solving

Looks like Descartes agrees with some of my ramblings on problem solving...

  • "Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems."
  • "Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
  • "Everything is self-evident."

Quotes of the [arbitrary time period]

On the presidency, faith, and insanity:

Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Do I think faith will be an important part of being a good president? Yes, I do. -- George W. Bush

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. -- Frederich Nietzsche

On WMDs:

Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction. -- George W. Bush

I feel compelled to speak today in a language that, in a sense, is new; one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Just for fun:

When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That's Relativity. -- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

English Pronunciation is Fun

The top twenty-one reasons that pronouncing English is fun (in no particular order):

  1. We must polish the Polish furniture.
  2. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  3. The farm was used to produce produce.
  4. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  5. The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
  6. This was a good time to present the present.
  7. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  8. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  9. I did not object to the object.
  10. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  11. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  15. They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  19. Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
  20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Canine Intelligence Quotients

The Christian Science Monitor has an article entitled "Why your dog is smarter than a wolf" that drew my attention for somewhat obvious reasons. Here's a quote:

"The wolves ... were only interested in the meat," notes Miklosi. "The dogs were of course interested in the meat, but knew that one way to get it might be to figure out what the human wants them to do."

To Csanyi, this proves that dogs have acquired an innate ability to pay attention to people, and thus to communicate and work with them. This is a skill that wolves don't assume even when raised from birth to learn it.

Dogs are "very motivated to cooperate with and behave like people," says Csanyi. "That's why dogs can do things no other animal can do."

So, the animal that has been bred for human social interaction over a period of several generations was more inclined to trust and rely upon humans than the animal whose ingrained social expectations are wildly different than what they have experienced for a couple of months. It's quite amazing what passes for science reporting these days...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Longhorns Win Big 12 Championship

The University of Texas Longhorns secured the Big 12 championship in convincing fashion and secured a second-consecutive Rose Bowl date with the little old lady from Pasadena. My Big 12 tracking page has been updated with a quick Flash that plays The Eyes of Texas while running through Texas' conference scores in reverse-chronological order. The weekly results tables are still available, too.