In our 2010 paper "What's the Magic Word?", the experimental evidence suggested that "fucking" is a more useful phrase than "please" when you're an AuIn our 2010 paper "What's the Magic Word?", the experimental evidence suggested that "fucking" is a more useful phrase than "please" when you're an Australian native speaker addressing a speech recognizer that has both words in its vocabulary. I look forward to reading Give Me a Fucking Doughnut, Mr. Panda....more
You only need to look at the two pictures above to understand how the famous Color Me Beautiful method works. On the left, the woman has just decided
You only need to look at the two pictures above to understand how the famous Color Me Beautiful method works. On the left, the woman has just decided to buy a copy of this book, believing that some crap about how her coloring is associated with a time of the year is magically going to make her twice as attractive. On the right, she has gone pale with rage after discovering that she's shelled out her hard-earned dollars for an obvious Photoshop scam which [continued for another 200 glossy pages] ...more
I want an inverse spy flick. The spy is a woman. Her whole team is made up of diverse women. All the villains are women. There is only one man in the entire movie and he is a Strong Male Character who is like 25 and decently ripped and has a scene where he steps out of a pool wearing speedos because he is Confident and in Control of His Sexuality. We see his ass when he has to tug down his pants to get at the knife strapped to his thigh. His nipples are always erect for no fucking reason.
They are undercover in a nightclub. In order to keep their cover from being blown, he has to kiss another man.
He knits to relieve stress and to keep his mind sharp. It is never discussed by any of the characters.
Someone asks him how he knows how to do Traditionally Feminine Things. "I have four sisters," he answers. This is also how he knows how to fight while armed with nothing but a purse, a high heeled shoe and a can of hairspray. During this fight he is, for no apparent reason, shirtless.
The lead spy is Helen Mirren. She nails the Action Boy in the shower. There's a lot of lingering closeups on the way the shower spray runs across his breathlessly ecstatic face. We also hear every breathless whimper of his climax, while out in the hallway Lucy Liu is smoking impatiently, a duffel bag full of rocket launchers slung over her shoulder. The President isn't going to kidnap herself here, christ.
Action Boy emerges in a small towel, sheepish yet radiant. Helen Mirren emerges in a tuxedo, also smoking, also with a duffel bag full of rocket launchers.
In one scene, the lead villain captures the Strong Male Character. He is, once again, inexplicably shirtless as she ties him to the chair. He makes some quips about his sexual independence before he is rescued by a sweat-drenched Helen Mirren, who kicks down the door and nukes everyone in the room. Strong Male Character's hair remains perfect throughout the ordeal.
Strong Male Character is heartlessly slain in front of Helen Mirren's eyes despite all his skills and combat prowess. His body slumps to the floor, lifeless but supple. Helen Mirren makes a witty quip at Strong Male Character's killers before quickly and dramatically slaying them all.
She steals one last glance at Strong Male Character. His beautiful eyes stare back from a handsome face with perfectly tussled hair, lips positioned as if in a gentle sigh. There's no bringing him back now. Helen Mirren walks away, stronger than before. Strong Male Character's death has hardened her, but given her the strength and resolve to complete her task.
An after credits preview clip comes on as a teaser. Helen Mirren with a huge explosion tearing things up behind her walks towards the camera with a new Strong Male Character wearing the tiny tattered remains of a burned shirt about his flexing pecs and deltoids, and he is carrying the bag of rocket launchers as he steps in behind her.
So Matt Bomer?
Nah, Matt Bomer is almost 40. Despite his great looks and great bod, he's way too old to play the shaggable romantic supporting character to 70-year-old Helen Mirren.
Matt Bomer plays Helen Mirren's sadder-but-wiser ex, computer-savvy, gorgeous but still single, fiercely independent (but it's all an act).
Helen Mirren shows up on his doorstep to ask him for one last hacker job, for old time's sake. Matt hauls off to slap Helen in the face, but Helen catches his wrist, pulls him close, and kisses him long and hard. Matt struggles at first but finally melts into her embrace. Lucy Liu strolls past them into Matt's chic apartment slapping Matt on the ass as she mutters "Some things never change, do they?"
Late the next night, as Matt and Helen hack into the CIA database, Helen tucks a stray lock of Matt's hair behind his ear and asks why there's no wife or kids in the picture after all this time.
Matt turns his sad, beautiful eyes towards her and confesses that there has only ever been Helen for him, but he couldn't stand never knowing if she would come back alive when she left on a mission. Helen and Matt nearly have a moment, but the computer beeps with the result of their search.
The next morning, Helen goes into the kitchen to find Matt's 20-year-old nephew has come to stay for the weekend. Helen and the camera slowly pan up and down his gorgeous, toned, oiled-up and glistening body as he stands, near-naked but for his tight, black satin booty-short underwear, and starts making a gourmet vegetarian omelette.
He turns around and smiles at Helen. "You must be a friend of Uncle Matt. I'm Caden. You hungry?"
Helen's eyes drift down to Caden's bulging crotch. "Oh, I could eat," she quips.
Helen Mirren and the actor who play the 20-year-old nephew get together in real life. Everyone is delighted.
[A cloud in Heaven. PLATO, LUCRETIUS, HUME, LAPLACE, DARWIN, THE REV BAYES and sundry others]
PLATO: Meeting to order. Manny has asked us to review Sea[A cloud in Heaven. PLATO, LUCRETIUS, HUME, LAPLACE, DARWIN, THE REV BAYES and sundry others]
PLATO: Meeting to order. Manny has asked us to review Sean Carroll's new book. I trust you've all read it?
LUCRETIUS: Say, how come we're writing this for him? What's going on, Plato?
PLATO: I owe Manny a little favor. Fellow-seekers after wisdom, we have eternity ahead of us. This won't take more than an aeon or two. Who's first?
LUCRETIUS: Okay, I didn't like it much.
PLATO: Would you care to elaborate, dear Lucretius?
LUCRETIUS: Well, it's a cheap rip-off of De Rerum Natura.
HUME: Modest as ever, I see.
LUCRETIUS: Look, he's just updating my formula! Fear not the Gods, fear not death, there is nothing but atoms and void--
LAPLACE: Quantum fields.
LUCRETIUS: Whatever. He's done a good job on the philosophy, I grant you that. But come on guys, he calls it "poetic naturalism" and where's the poetry in his book?
LAPLACE: Where's the naturalism in yours?
LUCRETIUS: Now Pierre-Simon, you know that's not fair. I was writing in the first century B.C.
LAPLACE: Well, you could have read Aristarchus. Or at least Hipparchus. Sean's naturalism is state of the art.
[General murmurs of approval]
PLATO: With all due respect, brother Lucretius, I think Pierre-Simon makes a fair point. If one wishes to defend naturalism, an understanding of nature is required. It is evident that Sean understands these -- ah -- quantum fields very well. And he has a gift for explaining them.
LUCRETIUS: But the hexameters--
PLATO: Sean maybe lacks a feeling for the poetics of words. But he sees the poetics of geometry.
LAPLACE: I enjoyed his geometric demonstration that there can be no occult forces.
PLATO: Yes, his use of the -- what was it called? --
LAPLACE: Feynman diagram.
PLATO: That was it. By turning the Feynman diagram through a right-angle, we see that all forces must already have revealed themselves. Very elegant. I must remember to show it to Eudoxus. Now, who else has comments?
THE REV BAYES: It is unworthy of me to say this, but I was touched that he believed more in my little rule than in God.
LAPLACE: You did well there, Tom.
THE REV BAYES: Perhaps too well. I fear people like Sean may be disappointed when they find out that--
THE REV BAYES: I'm sorry, I forgot we were still live. Charles, you look like you want to say something?
DARWIN: Well, I was also flattered that he took me so seriously. But remember, I always left open the question of how life originated. That "warm little pond"--
HUME: It's true, I did feel at times that Sean's protestations of rigorous scepticism were not entirely justified. I liked the kind things he said about me too. Though when he told us he was certain that science would soon understand the emergence of life, it almost sounded like--
THE REV BAYES: Faith? There's nothing wrong with that, you know.
HUME: Yes, but he says science isn't faith. I'd have felt reassured if he'd quoted Iris Fry's book. There's a woman after my own heart. But she's not even mentioned.
WEYL: And the same story with the universe's low initial entropy. I wasn't afraid to compare it to a miracle in my book. But despite the fact that Sean constantly refers to the Past Condition, there's hardly a word about why the world might have started in this extraordinary state.
PLATO: Gentlemen, gentlemen, please! Remember, it's easy for us to nitpick. Sean's just mortal.
DARWIN: True. Well, he's better than Richard Dawkins.
VOLTAIRE: And Christopher Hitchens.
WEYL: And Victor Stenger.
THE REV BAYES: Not to mention A.C. Grayling.
[Elaborate facepalm from VOLTAIRE]
PLATO: So, all in all, we don't think he's so bad.
LUCRETIUS: No, no, his heart's in the right place. As Pierre-Simon said, he does a good job of explaining the atoms and void.
LAPLACE: Quantum fields.
LUCRETIUS: Whatever. I still can't forgive him for taking out my hexameters. But maybe that's just me.
PLATO: Thank you Lucretius. Then, I hope that--
HUME: Wait! If Sean's correct about the finality of death, then what are we all doing here?
[A moment of general consternation]
WITTGENSTEIN: Relax, everyone. We're only a figure of speech.
PLATO: Ludwig, I don't know what we'd do without you. So, we're giving him a pass? All those in favor--
EVERYONE EXCEPT HUME: Aye. Aye. Aye
HUME: With the caveats already mentioned.
PLATO: Duly noted, David. Now thank you again, gentlemen, you've all been very kind. The first round of ambrosia is on me. ...more
I'm trying to improve my very shaky knowledge of sign language linguistics, and one important part of that is acquiring some understanding of HamNoSysI'm trying to improve my very shaky knowledge of sign language linguistics, and one important part of that is acquiring some understanding of HamNoSys, the bizarre notation used to capture signs in written form. This little booklet is meant to give you an overview of how HNS works. For the first few pages it all seemed pretty straightforward:
But the devil is in the detail. By the time you've reached page 10, you already feel that it's not quite as easy as you'd thought:
and then it gets worse and worse: the notation rapidly extends to include where you make the sign, with what direction and orientation, movement, type of movement, using both hands at once, and still more arcane topics. I think this was my favorite bit (the book focuses on Irish Sign Language):
Gaaah! How do signers manage to keep it all straight?! But I suppose if I had to describe speaking to someone who had no idea how it worked it would be equally mysterious. You blow air through your larynx, agitating your vocal chords, and touch your tongue to a place just behind your teeth while simultaneously rounding your lips and protruding them slightly, then immediately afterwards... ...more
Our language technology group in Switzerland has been working on sign language translation for about a year now. It's a challenging and interesting prOur language technology group in Switzerland has been working on sign language translation for about a year now. It's a challenging and interesting problem: signed languages are different from spoken languages for many reasons, the most important of which can be traced back to the fact that they are realized in three dimensions rather than one. In sign language, it isn't just what your hands say; it's where they say it, in what direction, and what the other parts of your body are doing at the same time. Maybe signers aren't kidding when they say that sign is more expressive than speech. So far, our speech to sign language translator is pretty basic.
We missed this guy when we were doing our literature search, but one of my colleagues stumbled over a YouTube video earlier this evening. You have to admire his courage. There's five of us, and we've got a fair amount of experience in the relevant technology; as far as I can make out, he did his work all on his own, as a Master's thesis. I can understand where the first two paragraphs of the acknowledgements come from:
The successful completion of any task would be incomplete without acknowledging the people who made it possible and whose constant guidance and encouragement secured the success.
First of all I wish to acknowledge the benevolence of omnipotent God who gave me strength and courage to overcome all obstacles and showed me the silver lining in the dark clouds.
Rupinder, who comes across as a good software engineer and a smart person in general, set himself the goal of writing a system which could translate Punjabi to Indian Sign Language, and if he'd turned in an unqualified success then I think I'd now be a believer too. The system he's built is still quite impressive, given that he presumably had to do all the work in a few months. It can translate some simple sentences from Punjabi into a shallow semantic representation, then into abstract representations of signs, then into the weird and wonderful HamNoSys notation, and finally into avatar movements, as in the following example:
He says Deaf signers think the output is acceptable, though he doesn't provide any details. Well, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
The best part of the system is the editor Rupinder wrote for creating his HamNoSys lexicon, which is what you can see in the video; it almost makes HamNoSys intuitive, no mean feat. I hope we'll be hearing more from this talented young researcher. Go Punjabi sign language linguistics!...more
This children's classic, published in 1906 by future Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, is so famous in Scandinavia that everyone knows the plot; butThis children's classic, published in 1906 by future Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, is so famous in Scandinavia that everyone knows the plot; but until now I'd never read it. Nils Holgersson, a good-for-nothing kid in late nineteenth century Skåne, angers the local tomte (a kind of Swedish leprechaun), who magically transforms him into another tomte. Nils, who's now the size of a thumb, is fortunately adopted by a flock of geese who take him to their summer nesting grounds in Lapland and back again. En route, they conveniently traverse all of Sweden, giving the author ample opportunity for an extended series of geography lessons. It sounded dull, but I was pleased to discover that in fact it's nothing of the kind. The geography is always firmly in the service of the narrative, the lead characters are well drawn, and the style is moving and poetic. But what surprised me most was that I'd never heard how it came to be written.
According to the introduction, the author's original inspiration was a terrible story she had heard from her grandmother about an incident that had occurred when the grandmother was herself a little girl. There was a white goose on the farm, and one spring day he took it into his head to fly off with a flock of wild geese who were passing by. The family was of course sure they would never see him again. But many months later, Selma's grandmother was astonished to see that the goose had returned. And he was not alone; during the summer, he had found a mate, a beautiful grey goose, and they were accompanied by half a dozen little goslings. Delighted, Selma's grandmother led the goose family to the barn, where they could eat from the trough with the other fowl. She closed the door so that they wouldn't fly off again, and ran to tell her stepmother. The stepmother said nothing. She just took out the little knife she used for slaughtering geese; and an hour later there was not one goose left alive in the barn.
For me, this resonated with what many other people also find the most memorable episode in the book. One night, Nils is woken by a stork, who says that if he follows him he will show him something important. They fly to the seashore, where there is a strange city, quite unlike anything one would expect to find on the Swedish coast. Nils goes in through the huge gate and discovers people dressed in rich clothes from a bygone age. No one seems to notice him at first. He finds his way to the merchants' quarter. People are selling all kinds of precious goods: embroidered silks and satins, gold ornaments, glittering jewels. And now he realizes that the merchants can see him. They are holding out their wares to him, offering all these treasures. Nils tries to make them understand that he could never afford any of it, he is a poor boy. But they persist, and using gestures tell him that he can have anything he wants, if he can just give them one small copper coin. He searches his pockets over and over again but finds they are empty. In the end, he leaves the city, and when he turns round again it has disappeared. "It is the lost city of the sea traders," explains the stork. "They were drowned beneath the waves long ago, but once every hundred years they come back for a single night. The legend is that if they can sell a single thing to a mortal, they will be allowed to return to the world; but they never do." Nils feels his heart is going to break. He could so easily have saved all these good people and their city, but he has failed them.
It seemed to me that both stories expressed the same feeling with quite unusual clarity. If only... ...more
In this taut/searing/gutwrenching/insightful (delete as applicable) one-act play, a female fighter pilot discovers sheWhite people's problems, part 94
In this taut/searing/gutwrenching/insightful (delete as applicable) one-act play, a female fighter pilot discovers she's pregnant, and, on returning from maternity leave, is told she can no longer fly jets. She's going to have to move to Nevada and join the Chair Force, as I learned it was called, to remote-pilot drones instead. It's a terrible job. She heads off each day to work a 12 hour shift tracking potential terrorists in Afghanistan, watching them on her TV monitor and trying to decide whether to take them out. It turns out that some of these terrorists have families, just like her! And, you know, (view spoiler)[collateral damage, psychological stress, toll on marriage, identifies with victim, moment of truth, court martial, etc etc (hide spoiler)]
Poor thing! Though articles like the one I just read make me suspect that the people on the other end of this particular relationship are having an even worse time. Incredible as it may sound. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Little House on the Internet: a short story inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tony Flowers and the Web 2.0 paradigm
Laura is eating her breakfast one mLittle House on the Internet: a short story inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tony Flowers and the Web 2.0 paradigm
Laura is eating her breakfast one morning when the doorbell rings. She runs to answer it, and there's a man holding a package.
"DHL delivery, Ms. Ingalls," he smiles, and he holds out his tablet. Laura signs with the digital pen just like she's seen Ma do it.
"You're getting to be a big girl, aren't you?" says the man. "I'm nearly seven," says Laura proudly. When the man's gone, Laura takes the package into Pa's office. Pa opens it. There's a book inside.
"What it is?" asks Laura. "It's a new children's book from the Australian National Library," says Pa. "It's called Hello! I said I'd review it for them on Goodreads."
"Can I look?" asks Laura. Pa shows it to her. There are lots of children, and they're all telling you how to say things in their own languages. Laura tries to read some of the words, but it's a bit difficult. She spells out what Emiko is saying. "Konni-chiwa. Is that right, Pa?"
"Alright," says Pa. "But I've only got time to do a few pages. You choose them." Laura looks through the book until she finds the Italian girl. "We'll do Sophia!" she says. "Good choice," says Pa. "Okay, how do we start?"
"First we digitize the pictures," says Laura. "That's right," says Pa. "Now, where's the camera?" "Ma was taking photos for her food blog again!" says Laura. She goes into the kitchen and looks for the camera. It's on the shelf next to the stove! Laura brings it back to Pa's office, carrying it very carefully. Then she and Pa open the new book and put it flat on the table. Ma comes in to see what they're doing. She stands behind them so she can put one arm round Laura and the other round Pa.
"I'm helping Pa speech-enable a new book!" says Laura. "We're going to digitize the pictures."
"Are there going to be copyright issues?" asks Ma. Pa sighs. "We'll show it to them when it's done," he says. "They wanted exposure, right? If they don't like it, we can always take it down." "Come on!" says Laura and pulls at Pa's hand. She hates copyright issues.
"Okay," says Pa. He helps Laura hold the camera over the pages, and Laura takes photos. Then they upload them to Pa's laptop. Laura thinks they look great, but Pa's a little unhappy about the lighting. "It doesn't matter!" says Laura. "Fine," says Pa. "Now what?" "Now we edit them," says Laura. "That's right," says Pa.
They import the pictures into Paint. Laura wants to use PhotoShop, but Pa says she isn't old enough yet. Anyway, Paint is fun too! Laura erases the text and cuts up the jpegs. Then she shrinks them down to the right size and saves them while Pa watches. "I can do it all by myself!" says Laura. "You can!" agrees Pa. "Now what?"
"Now we write the app," says Laura. "But you have to help me fix the metadata." "Okay," says Pa. He puts the book down next to his laptop and opens the wizard. Click, click, click! There's the metadata! "What do we do now?" he asks. "We put in the first prompt," says Laura. "That's right!" says Pa. The wizard says "Select picture". Laura looks at the book, and then she looks at the folder with her pictures.
"The picture is this one with Sophia saying hello," she says. "That's good!" says Pa. Laura clicks on the picture, and it appears in the picture box. "Now what?" says Pa. "Now we write the text," says Laura. She writes H-E-L-L-O in the text box. "And now?" says Pa. "Now we write the response," says Laura. She looks at the book again. "Key-a-oh," she says. "Ciao," says Pa. "Chow," says Laura, and she writes it in, C-I-A-O. "There you are!" says Pa. "Our first prompt done!"
They do all the others. It isn't really very difficult, but you have to be careful with the funny Italian words.
"And now?" asks Pa when they're finished. "Now we need audio files!" says Laura. "Who's our Italian native speaker?" asks Pa. "Aunt Irene!" says Laura, and laughs. "That's why I chose Italian!" Laura likes Aunt Irene. She's a sign language interpreter, and sometimes when she comes to visit she teaches Laura signs. Laura can sign Hi and What's your name? and You are so cute! She thinks maybe she'll be a sign language interpreter too when she grows up. Laura opens the mailer and writes "Hello Aunt Irene I need files for my speech app here they are love Laura x". Then she presses Send.
"And now what?" asks Pa. "Now we have a coffee break!" says Laura "Only I'm having hot chocolate". They go into the kitchen and make a latte for Pa and a cup of tea for Ma and a hot chocolate for Laura. When they came back, Aunt Irene has sent them the files. Laura presses the Deploy button, and there's her online app!
She sits and plays with it for the rest of the morning. It's fun to speak Italian, she just has to listen to Aunt Irene's voice and say it the same way! The speech recognizer tells her if she's got it right. Laura learns all the Italian words in the book, ciao and spaghetti alla Bolognese and calcio and uno, due, tre. And she's doing it with her own piece of software!
Language engineering is so cool, thinks Laura. Maybe I'll be a language engineer instead.
If you want to see some pages from Hello! look here.
If you want to try out Laura's speech-enabled web app yourself, go to this page. ...more
Before you get too excited about this amazing, heart-warming, life-affirming story, soon to be filmed by Disney, you might want to check out Phiona MuBefore you get too excited about this amazing, heart-warming, life-affirming story, soon to be filmed by Disney, you might want to check out Phiona Mutesi's FIDE rating page....more
After a sumptuous repast of pangi-pangi, a local delicacy consisting of llama's testicles grilled over a fire of paperback novels that Popotepec prepaAfter a sumptuous repast of pangi-pangi, a local delicacy consisting of llama's testicles grilled over a fire of paperback novels that Popotepec prepared to perfection, the Major circulated brandy and cigars, entertaining them with extracts from Troubles dans les andains, an early Boris Vian which he had thoughtfully spared from the flames. The company roared approval, slapping their own and each other's thighs at the more piquant passages.
"Is it available in translation?" asked Pas, who true to her Australian principles had until this juncture remained unequivocally monolingual.
"But my dear Madame!" protested the Major, seizing the opportunity to cast, en cachette, an appreciative glance at her antipodal attributes. "To translate Vian is, if one may hazard a culinary comparison, as impractical as it would be to stuff and roast a soap-bubble."
There was a moment's silence, while Pas attempted to evaluate the justesse of the Major's metaphor.
"With pears and foie gras," she said after due reflection. "And a little rosemary to counteract the flavor of the detergent. Yes, I think that would do the trick."
She set to work, fanning the embers to reignite the smouldering carcasses of Grishams and Archers; and within minutes, each member of the party was enjoying an unexpected dessert. ...more
"But are you really pro-life?" asked Alice. "Because you know, I've heard pro-life people talk before, and they sound quite different."
"When I use a
"But are you really pro-life?" asked Alice. "Because you know, I've heard pro-life people talk before, and they sound quite different."
"When I use a word," Trumpty Drumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Trumpty Drumpty, "which is to be master — that's all."
Alice was too puzzled to reply to this, so she thought she had better change the subject.
"That is a fine wall, Mr. Drumpty," she said after a while. "It must have cost you a great deal to build it."
"It cost me nothing," said Trumpty Drumpty off-handedly. "Every single cent of it came from my friends in Mexico."
"They must be very good friends," said Alice politely.
"Not in the least," said Trumpty Drumpty. "But they had no choice, you see. First, I sent back all the illegal immigrants; and then I said that if the Mexican government didn't pay for my wall, I'd stop those immigrants from wiring any money home."
"But if you had sent them back," said Alice, who was now feeling even more puzzled, "then how—"
"You ask too many questions, young lady," snapped Trumpty Drumpty. "This interview is now over."
"Nothing is going right today!" Alice said to herself. "Oh, how I wish I hadn't taken that job with Fox News!" ...more
Okay, I don't want to go all conspiracy theory on you, but it's hard not to apply cui bono here. Under normal circumstances, you'd expect the Dems toOkay, I don't want to go all conspiracy theory on you, but it's hard not to apply cui bono here. Under normal circumstances, you'd expect the Dems to be worried. They've had two terms in office, the US is still not doing so well economically, and Hillary is notoriously unpopular with a large chunk of the electorate. She ought to be having serious problems, and people on the left ought to be starting to shrug their shoulders and say, well, maybe some of those Republicans aren't that bad. Instead, the markets are giving odds of about two to one that Ms Clinton will be the next President.
Why? Um, because Donald Trump has rendered the GOP close to unelectable. I suppose he might have done it by accident, or out of stupidity. But if he'd set out to destroy the party, I don't see that he could have been more effective. He's alienated several key demographics - Hispanics, blacks, women - to such an extent that it's hard to see how any bridge-building exercise is going to work. I suppose a major terrorist attack may make people feel that, even if he's an asshole, he's the kind of asshole the US needs to keep it safe. But, more and more, he's coming across as a loose cannon who doesn't mean anything he says, who changes his story whenever it suits him and then insists that his views have "evolved", who just can't be taken seriously.
Consider for a moment that Trump used to be a Democrat. He used to be pro-choice. He invited the Clintons to his last wedding. And in a book or a movie, you'd know by now that he'd done it on purpose, to trick the far right wing of the Republican Party into coming out in the open and permanently discrediting themselves. It would be the twist that wrapped up the whole narrative. This is how, operating under deep cover, brave Agent Trump infiltrated the bunch of vampires that were sucking the US's life-blood, and put a stake through their collective hearts so that America could be Great Again.
Of course, I don't really believe it. But I just read this article in the National Review - not exactly your typical lying, liberal publication - and when you see their quotes you have to wonder. Here's someone so insanely irresponsible that even Ann Coulter is publicly upset about it. And that ending. I just have to quote it in full:
... barring some miraculous comeback by Ted Cruz, the Trump campaign will have cost the Republican Party the presidency after eight years of Obama, and perhaps the Senate and even the House - and Scalia's replacement on the Court as well. Years of effort spent attempting to dispel the accusations of inherent Republican misogyny, xenophobia, hypocrisy, ignorance and blind rage have been undone by Trump's campaign. And every Trump advocate in front of a camera had a hand in this.
We're not just gonna hug it out.
Since writing this review a bit more than three weeks ago, I've been regularly checking the odds posted on Betfair for the different Presidential candidates. A pattern has emerged: an improvement in Trump's chances is associated with an improvement in Hillary's chances. After Trump's unsuccessful Wisconsin primary, Hillary was running at around 2-1 on (67% chance of success). Trump has done well since then, and Hillary's improved to around 3-1 on (75%).
Like I said, I'm not hypothesizing a conspiracy. But if I were Hillary, I wouldn't necessarily be unhappy that Trump right now looks like he has a decent shot at getting over half of the Republican delegates ahead of the July convention and locking up the nomination.
In this position from yesterday's key encounter in the Candidates Tournament, GM Fabiano Caruana, current world #3, has just played 103. Kc4! to reach
In this position from yesterday's key encounter in the Candidates Tournament, GM Fabiano Caruana, current world #3, has just played 103. Kc4! to reach a winning position against GM Peter Svidler. Unfortunately he was not on top of the latest theory, having failed to study Philidor's 1749 book, and only drew the game.
Well, that's the 21st century for you. It's just too hard to keep up with everything. ...more