April 28, 2008


selfishly, i'm glad you didn't say goodbye
Photo by Jacob Appelbaum.

Over the last 13 years Eric did his best to teach me about the manly mysteries of sideburns and other mojo, the female predilection for butt dances, vomit-inducing parabolic trajectories and recent work in unification grammars. He was a supporter of and mentor to lemonodor, and me.

He knew we would miss him and he was right.

I guarantee I'll be removing my pants in tribute to his memory.

Update: Len Sassaman has a post about Eric.

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April 21, 2008

Pop Culture Theorists? In *my* Boing Boing?

ledermuller's science-as-art
From Ledermüller's Amusement Microscopique tant pour l'Esprit, que pour les Yeux; Contenant Cinquante Estampes [..] Dessinées d'après Nature et Enluminées, avec leurs Explications, 1766.

The Daily Cross Hatch has an interview with Scott McCloud and Douglas Rushkoff, plus video and audio from their panel at the NYC Comic Con [via Boing Boing].

How do [you] see pop-culture’s recent flirtation with comics as affecting the medium?

McCloud: I think it’s benign right now, it will turn ugly.

So it’s not necessarily a bad thing at the moment?

McCloud: Yeah, well, it’s bringing some people to the medium and at the moment, in this particular time in our cultural history, it’s produced some okay movies. I mean, I’ll go see Iron Man.

Rushkoff's blog post.

Also, Sky & Winter moderate a “My Dad Makes Comics!” panel:

Sky: How is it different to have a dad who makes comic books as opposed to any other jobs your friends' parents have?

Winter: It definitely pays the bill, that's for sure.

Sky: "The bill?"

Winter: The bills. Anyway, it's really fun to have my dad making comics because I get to go to places and most of my idols make comics or TV shows. So since my dad makes comics about making comics, usually they know who my dad is. So I can [say], "Hello, I'm Winter McCloud, Scott McCloud's daughter." And they'll be like, "Oh my God, it's an honor to meet you!"

Sky: Really? I've never gotten that reaction. (audience laughs)

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April 10, 2008

MCL as Swank Client

Terje Norderhaug is doing some cool stuff. His Swank client for MCL “turns MCL into an IDE for other Common LISP environments.”

Put another way, you can (for example) run the ClozureCL compiler and environment from within MCL, developing and executing code simultaneously on MCL and ClozureCL. Forms in Fred or an MCL Listener can be evaluated on ClozureCL. The MCL Apropos Dialog, Trace Dialog, Package indicator and Packages Inspector all works for ClozureCL much like they do for MCL.

So instead of using Slime in emacs as the Swank protocol client to provide a Lisp IDE, you're using MCL. Here's an example of typing bad code into MCL, having it evaluated it in ClozureCL/OpenMCL, and choosing a restart from MCL:

mcl swank client showing restart dialog

Using MCL's apropos dialog to browse symbols in ClozureCL/OpenMCL:

mcl swank client showing apropos dialog

More screenshots.

Terje says

I am sure you all have noted that the MCL Swank Client is a step towards integrating the OpenMCL/ClozureCL compiler into the MCL IDE... It's becoming like having two LISP environments in one, bringing OpenMCL back home!

Imagine MCL running on Intel under Rosetta, integrating an Intel- native ClozureCL environment. That would give us the best of two worlds and a smooth transition path for MCL and MCL applications to run on Intel.

This might be what helps us escape from the emacs ghetto.

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April 08, 2008

lemon tumblr

Relationships among scientific paradigms

Lemonodor.tumblr.com has the rest of the ephemera that I can't cram into this page here. Prefilled with 5 pages of stuff for your enjoyment, hardly any boring text.

Like Jorn Barger's Robot Wisdom auxiliary, except his auxiliary contains the longer stuff, mine is the short stuff.

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April 02, 2008


i like the name 'the jumping off place' better
Edward Hopper, Rooms by the Sea, 1951.

I learned from Will Fitzgerald that OpenDMAP has been released.

OpenDMAP is an ontology-driven, rule-based concept analysis and information extraction system. Unlike traditional parsers, OpenDMAP does not have a lexicon that maps from words to all the possible meanings of these words. Rather, each concept is associated with phrasal patterns that are used to recognize that concept. OpenDMAP processes texts to recognize concepts and relationships from a knowledge-base. OpenDMAP uses Protégé knowledge-bases to provide an object model for the possible concepts that might be found in a text. Protégé models concepts as classes that participate in abstraction and packaging hierarchies, and models relationships as class-specific slots.

From the paper “OpenDMAP: An open source, ontology-driven concept analysis engine, with applications to capturing knowledge regarding protein transport, protein interactions and cell-type-specific gene expression”:

OpenDMAP advances the performance standards for extracting protein-protein interaction predications from the full texts of biomedical research articles. Furthermore, this level of performance appears to generalize to other information extraction tasks, including extracting information about predicates of more than two arguments. The output of the information extraction system is always constructed from elements of an ontology, ensuring that the knowledge representation is grounded with respect to a carefully constructed model of reality. The results of these efforts can be used to increase the efficiency of manual curation efforts and to provide additional features in systems that integrate multiple sources for information extraction. The open source OpenDMAP code library is freely available at http://bionlp.sourceforge.net/

Will, Jim Firby, Mike Hannemann, Charles Martin and I used to work on various DMAP-style (Direct Memory Access Parser) parsers back in the day. Back then it was mostly Lisp; OpenDMAP, which Will and Jim worked on, is Java; And in the past year I wrote a Python DMAP.

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April 01, 2008

Watch Out For The Hindley Milner Type Checker

what's south of the Land of Lisp?

Conrad Barski has posted a sneak peak at his upcoming Lisp textbook/comic: “Land of Lisp”.

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perfect storm screenshot

Johann Korndoerfer's perfectstorm is a “real time strategy game study written in common lisp using OpenGL for graphics display and cairo for texture generation.”

It's nice to see something written in Lisp that doesn't look terrible, and almost wouldn't surprise me if I saw it on my XBox 360.

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Weekend of Lisp Meetings

video game war blah blah
Game Boy damaged in the first Gulf War.

CRACL met in LA on Sunday, though I was unfortunately not able to make it. Apparently 70 people showed up to the Boston Lisp meeting (pictures).

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Controlled Tango Into Terrain

Table of contents of a letter Ann wrote in 1993.

Maciej is learning to tango.

The host seats guests around the dance floor based on his guess at their dancing skill and other intangible factors (such as how great they look). Men ask women to dance by trying to make eye contact and nodding towards the dance floor in a gesture called the cabeceo. In theory this is a discreet way for men to save face in the event of a refusal; in practice it means men cross the darkened room, stand three steps in front of their intended partner, and wag their head gravely until she either gets up to dance or tells them to go away.


A Partial List of Tango Mistakes I Have Made

  • Weird panther-like shuffle that kept head unnaturally level
  • Knees not bent
  • Knees bent too far
  • Moved without waiting for partner
  • Wrong-footed partner
  • Instead of taking smooth steps with the sole of foot gliding along the floor, staggered like Frankenstein monster
  • Somehow ended up with partner many meters from dance floor, in construction area in the back of the studio
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