Category Archives: awesomenessocity

AI and haiku

Siri does haiku. Haiku is a very ancient form of Japanese poetry, based on a pattern of seventeen syllables over three lines of five, seven and five syllables. It is also the bane of introductory literature students unfamiliar with poetry (or syllables, or creative writing), as often they are required to start writing haiku with little or no background information.

But Siri can make that quite easy:

Siri can write haiku. It can even write haiku about haiku, as the last example demonstrates.
Siri can write haiku. It can even write haiku about haiku, as the last example demonstrates.

That last haiku, in fact, is an item of envy: wish I’d thought of that.

And it runs on batteries

Would you be willing to buy a BMW that gets up to 81 miles on a single charge, has a 170 horsepower motor, and costs a mere $41,350, not including the inevitable options?

And it runs on batteries
BMW i3, an all-electric BMW that has 0 CO2 emissions, 0-100 kph in 7.2 seconds, and all the space and comfort you’ve come to expect in a car that is not very large at all.

The all-electric design pretty much dictates that you have a garage for charging, and you probably wouldn’t want this if you lived in the rural portions of the Western United States.

But those are just the drawbacks. On the bright side, it spews out zero toxins, is sized for practicality, and you can get two of them for the price of a Tesla.

Early version of Google

This was the early version of Google. Using these humble wooden drawers, generations of scholars and researchers, desperate students and cunning spies, despairing parents and fanatical bibliophiles, and every other shape and size of reader delved into the depth and breadth of human understanding.

Something worth considering: Google contains only a fraction of the knowledge once cataloged by card catalogs. Technology has digitized and indexed only that which is easy to digitize and index; most journal articles, newspaper articles, books, scientific papers, notebooks and other written material are still confined to physical forms, and unknown to Internet search engines.

How I miss card catalogs.

The humble card catalog was the early version of Google. These wooden drawers held the wonder's of the world's past and the future of the universe.
The humble card catalog was the early version of Google. These wooden drawers held the wonder’s of the world’s past and the future of the universe.

Along the Louisville waterfront

Louisville is a seaport, of sorts. The Louisville, Kentucky, “seacoast” is the waterfront along the Ohio River, with that other coastal state, Indiana, just across the water. Barge traffic has moved up and down the river for a couple of centuries, winding its watery way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the waterfront is industrial, or devoted to roads. There are a couple of parks. And a boat ramp, where this sign was found:

"Cars will be launched" could be frightening, unless you had a car that was also a launch, which is a particular type of boat.
“Cars will be launched” could be frightening, unless you had a car that was also a launch, which is a particular type of boat.

Less whimsical is this concrete obelisk, marked off in feet, showing the height of the river above “normal” elevation. At 26.5 feet is a note that this was the height of the 1997 flood. A mark at 29.2 feet shows the 1964 flood level. A mark at 30.1 feet shows the 1945 flood level. And the red arrow at the top points to the air above the 32 foot mark, noting the 1937 flood level, at 40 feet, would be somewhere up there.

Flood gauge along the Ohio River front in Louisville, Ohio, showing the heights of the 1997, 1964, and 1945 floods. A mark at the 32 foot level notes that the 1937 flood would have been up there somewhere, eight feet higher.
Flood gauge along the Ohio River front in Louisville, Ohio, showing the heights of the 1997, 1964, and 1945 floods. A mark at the 32 foot level notes that the 1937 flood would have been up there somewhere, eight feet higher.

Seriously glorious feat of engineering

No, this is not another Internet posting of a food photo. Instead, it is a posting about art and craft and workmanship.

Who cares what it is, or what it tastes like: this is a seriously impressive piece of engineering.

They say this was shrimp tempura, and yes, it did taste like excellent shrimp tempura, but the design and engineering were truly stellar.
They say this was shrimp tempura, and yes, it did taste like excellent shrimp tempura, but the design and engineering were truly stellar.