If you want a tasty project, try making these Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies With Mocha Cream Filling. We made them for the game night last Friday. They are: scrumptious.
Other prohibited possibilities: LOVEMEAT, MEATPOLE
(Thank you, Ian!)
I got a chance to try a new board game last time I was in the Bay Area (thanks, Rachel!), called “Hey! That’s My Fish!”. You should play this game because it’s simple, fast, fun, inexpensive, and can even be played with two people. Or just because it’s called Pingvinas in its original language.
I know some people will throttle me for suggesting this, but this game reminded me of my first (and only) few games of Go, because it involves capturing territory, tracking shapes/areas, and cutting people off. Except you get colorful wooden penguins and can play with eight-year-olds.
Last night, I went to see Marvin Minsky talk in the Media Lab auditorium, specifically about his contributions to Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey, on his new book (The Emotion Machine), and all sorts of other things.
Highlights from the talk (with minimal paraphrasing, hopefully):
- “I’ll give a better talk if the computer breaks, because I have an outline here… and… It’s very hard to follow an outline if you get a new idea.”
- “I like to make lists of disasters.”
- “[Kubrick] tried to get me to play chess but I wouldn’t.”
- [on NASA] “… and now they’re thinking of sending people to Mars which is crazy because they’ll be DEAD.”
- Minsky referring to his laser pointer as “the death ray”
- “[The estimate came from] me thinking of the 20-30 ways to estimate the number [of simple statements a 10- or 15-year-old child knows], and then diddling it until they all came out the same.”
- “But you know that most people have 4 or 5 emotions, like hunger and fear, and uh… whatever.”
- Marvin Minsky loves LISP.
- He uses a Mac and did his presentation by scrolling through many pages of a PDF.
- In response to this question: “If AI becomes as good as you’re describing… how should we treat these new machines ethically? Should we treat them like humans?”
Minsky: “If it was as smart as a person, it would very soon become much smarter, so you could ask it!”
If you’re interested in the movie stuff in particular, here’s a pretty good interview with Marvin Minsky, on working briefly with Kubrick.
In school when they teach you about thinking or learning…and what’s school for? It’s not to learn about Inuit culture or Egyptian culture or algebra or geography or whatever? What you’re really in school for is to learn about thinking and learning.
I’m curious to see if the Guitar Hero one is interesting, or if it will just be the same as all the other Guitar Heroes (sounds like it doesn’t use the Wii controller at all). And I’m really excited to see how Katamari uses the new controller; it would be tons of fun working up a sweat for my katamari!
Kirthi invited me to play PaRappa the Rapper this afternoon, which is a fun little rhythm game for the PSOne. I played on Easy, which the manual says “is for very young children, or for those who have no sense of rhythm at all.”
(for Saturday (2/24/07)… it’s just late.)
We have Guitar Hero 2 set up in our lab area (because Alex Rigopulos, of Harmonix, graduated from my group some years ago), and it gets played a LOT. Since there are other groups around us who want to work, we have the game hooked up to two pairs of headphones, so all you can hear when someone is playing is the click-click-clicking of the strumming. Adam says that he plays Guitar Hero so much that he can recognize a piece by the click-click-clicking alone. Amazing, Adam!
This morning, I woke up with a Guitar Hero song stuck in my head. “What song IS that??” I did a search on the web for Guitar Hero, and found a group of guys wrote some software to grab the “tabs” off of Guitar Hero 2. Just by looking at each set of tabs in turn, I was able to find the song (“Less Talk More Rokk”!!), notable for its regular ascending patterns and totally infectious off-beats:
I went on a walk today, across the Mass Ave bridge, up Beacon St, and through the Common to Downtown Crossing. Things I noticed during the walk:
People throw phone books on the river. (And why not!)
- My chin is an extremity.
- Today was a good-weather day in Boston. There were people out playing frisbee, kicking a soccer ball around where there wasn’t ice, and joggers all over the place. Today’s low is 17, high is 36, and it’s sunny. Yay!
- The fitting rooms at Filene’s Basement are just one room, lined with mirrors and hooks next to them, spaced about 3 feet apart. After waiting my turn, I walked in, looked around, found the one empty mirror, and squeezed between two naked people to claim it.