Young Son’s Pipe Band Kilt, as Promised

27 04 2009






Remember I showed you a close-up of his “sporran” last week?  Young Son’s pipe major has been impressing upon him that the whole outfit is a military uniform, so just for fun, I checked out the official U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band Uniform regulations for an example of how one properly wears this intriguing item about which none of us ever learned in school! Read the rest of this entry »


Computer Program to Take on Jeopardy

27 04 2009

If we don’t really know how to teach kids like humans, maybe we can at least teach computers like humans? 😉

Computer Program to Take On Jeopardy:

I.B.M. plans to announce Monday that it is in the final stages of completing a computer program to compete against human “Jeopardy!” contestants. If the program beats the humans, the field of artificial intelligence will have made a leap forward.

I.B.M. scientists previously devised a chess-playing program to run on a supercomputer called Deep Blue. That program beat the world champion Garry Kasparov in a controversial 1997 match (Mr. Kasparov called the match unfair and secured a draw in a later one against another version of the program).

But chess is a game of limits, with pieces that have clearly defined powers. “Jeopardy!” requires a program with the suppleness to weigh an almost infinite range of relationships and to make subtle comparisons and interpretations. . .

“The big goal is to get computers to be able to converse in human terms,” said the team leader, David A. Ferrucci, an I.B.M. artificial intelligence researcher. “And we’re not there yet.”

Purdue U for Understatement? One for COD and Meg

27 04 2009

“Mr. Karpicke, of Purdue, agrees that scholars should be sensitive to real-world complexities. ”


Seriously, this is for all Thinking Parents, not just to pick on Purdue but on all college professors, so lofty in their scholarly certainty about what students (literally, studiers) should be doing and how they should be doing it . . .if the masters don’t really know, is College just some elaborate professional hazing ritual, some sort of scholastic alchemy? Read the rest of this entry »