Friday, October 24, 2014

Well, that didn't take long

So, Bing got it right yesterday. But today they're back on form:

Yep. A simple little couple of sentences. «Не мы это начали»: Как Россия Владимира Путина будет менять международный порядок

And Bing says "Don't we began: the Russia of Vladimir Putin to change the international order".

see text

To start, Bing misses the quotation marks. Then ... "Don't we began".

"Don't we began"?? Bing, that's not English. The не is modifying мы, anyway - "not we" - and you forgot the это. "We didn't start this."

Then you totally left out the как. That means "how". And the будет, which means "will" - the future tense. And that means the sentence isn't "the Russia of Putin to change" (which, again, isn't English) but rather "how the Russia of Vladmir Putin will change the international order."

So Bing left out three crucial words and misplaced the "not". Not a good sign.

Google isn't much better. ""Do not we have started," How Russia Vladimir Putin will change the international order"

They got the quotataion marks, and the "how" and the "will"... but "Do not we have started"? Seriously? And where's the "this"? It's not just "starting", it's "starting this". And missing that  Putin's name is in the genitive case? How does a translation algorithm do that?

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What? C'mon, guys

Okay, I'm going to object. "Chaplinesque" doesn't really apply to the comedy of the actual Charlie Chaplin.

Merriam Webster defines it as:
resembling or suggesting the largely pantomime comedy of the motion-picture comedian Charles Chaplin, especially its central comedy figure, a pathetic ineffectual good-hearted tramp with torn baggy pants, long-worn shoes, cane and bowler hat, an odd jerky walk, and pretensions to gentility 
"Resembling or suggesting". Not, you know, being.


Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, s.v. “Chaplinesque,” accessed October 24, 2014, http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com.

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2 Comments:

At 8:07 PM, October 24, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

We both found the clue confusing.

 
At 8:18 PM, October 24, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

That's because the answer was wrong.

-esque means "in the manner or style of; like". Chaplin's comedy isn't "in the manner of Chaplin" or "Chaplin-like".

You don't say the Gettysburg address was Lincolnesque. Or Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a very Kiplingesque story.

The contestants' answers were better, and one even had the right number of letters.

 

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The Hot Zone: halfway decent horror novel, crap science

If you're scared out of you mind about Ebola because you're one of the millions who read The Hot Zone - calm down and read read this. in which an infectious disease epidemiologist and a science communicator tells us why it's one of the banes of her existence.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Credit where due

Because I mock Bing when it fails, here's one it gets right:

Родители, которые ухаживают за детьми с инвалидностью, с ВИЧ-инфекцией, другими тяжёлыми заболеваниями, нуждаются в особой поддержке. Планируем продлить срок специальных выплат до достижения ребенком 18-летнего возраста вместо 15, как это происходит сейчас. - Parents caring for children with disabilities, HIV, other severe diseases, need special support. We plan to extend the special pay until the child reaches the age of 18, instead of 15, as is currently the case.

Родители, которые ухаживают за детьми с инвалидностью, с ВИЧ-инфекцией, другими тяжёлыми заболеваниями, нуждаются в особой поддержке. Планируем продлить срок специальных выплат до достижения ребенком 18-летнего возраста вместо 15, как это происходит сейчас.

Parents caring for children with disabilities, HIV, other severe diseases, need special support. We plan to extend the special pay until the child reaches the age of 18, instead of 15, as is currently the case.
Google does just fine, too:
Parents who care for children with disabilities, HIV and other serious diseases, need special support. We plan to extend the special payments until the child reaches the age of 18 instead of 15, as is happening now.

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Some cute

Goodness, I've been surly. Here, have Power Puff Doctors.



(found on Maggie MacReynolds' pin - artist apparently called Lumos5000)

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Choosing

A commenter at Whatever says, in answer to Scalzi's post telling #Gamergate followers how to really boycott him:
I don’t assume that every non-theist I meet endorses everything Richard Dawkins says. I don’t assume every Muslim I meet supports ISIS. I don’t assume every American I meet endorses drone strikes. And I don’t assume that everyone using the “gamergate” hash tag endorses threats of violence.
But there's a flaw here.

Not every atheist labels their speech with #IHeartDawkins (or whatever). Not every Muslim labels theirs #ISISRulz. Not every American labels theirs #Drones4Ever.

But every person "using the "gamergate" hash tag" chooses to label themselves that way.

So it's not at all unreasonable to assume - especially this deep into it - that they do in fact endorse the #Gamergate ethos.

If they don't, they're free to choose another hashtag.

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Harsh? Not too.

carl zimmer: Worrying about Ebola becoming airborne, in my  opinion, is like worrying about wolves evolving wingsI can't say I have much sympathy for people cancelling their flights to places like South Africa or India or London - or even domestically! - because of Ebola who are discovering that they can't get reimbursed. This fear-based reaction doesn't deserve to be catered to.

Your science-free bubble should be expensive.

(read this)

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2 Comments:

At 2:26 PM, October 23, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Actually, husband is concerned that Ebola virus might be genetically engineerable into something contagious via airborne spread.

 
At 3:35 PM, October 23, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Genetic engineering is a very remote possibility - it's hard and there are plenty of diseases out there that are worse, much easier to get (many ARE airborne or spread by insects) and harder to treat. Okay, maybe on a battlefield Ebola would be a problem.

But worrying about genetic engineering, while (imo) somewhat foolish, is absolutely nowhere in the vicinity of being afraid to go to South Africa - so afraid you forfeit a $60,000 deposit - under current circumstances.

Ebola is hard to get. Nobody in America needs to be this panicked about it.

 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An observation

One shooter (possibly two) has shut down central Ottawa for hours. (And let me say right away that I'm very glad it wasn't worse and very sorry it happened at all.) One bombing shut down Boston for several days.

This is crazy. How can we let such things paralyze our cities? It's an open invitation - such a small investment for such a huge return.

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Genuinely shocked

I never thought this would happen. Neither, apparently, did they. But it did.

All four ex-Blackwater security guards have been found guilty - one of first-degree murder, the rest of of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges - in the 2007 killings of over 30 Iraqis.

All of them. Going to prison today.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Supreme Court Footage

Okay, not really, of course, because no cameras are allowed.

But John Oliver is providing incredible footage to make the SCOTUS hearings watchable. "We spent an incredible amount of time and an almost immoral amount of resources to produce an entire Supreme Court featuring real animals with fake paws."


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The one-eyed whale!!!!!!!!!!!

One chapter heading in this 19th century work called the title character "one-eyed, lame" and another called him "deaf".

Well, it had to be The Hunchback of Notre Dame, really, didn't it?

Not according to one contestant, who wrote down "Who is Moby Dick?"

I'm having a hard time figuring how you'd know a whale was lame...

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RBG!

Six Supremes said it would be disruptive and confusing to strike down Texas's new restrictions on voting so close to the election.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned a dissent, joined by Kagan and Sotomayor, that says, in part:

"The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters."

Preach it, sister!

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Nice eggcorn

Saw this in email:

I came upon a roadkill deer, a sorrow for site to behold.

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1 Comments:

At 12:34 PM, October 20, 2014 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

Ha. It took me a second or two to parse that sentence.

 

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Week in Entertainment

Live: A fabulous and very funny Le Nozze di Figaro at the Met with Ildar Abdrazakov absolutely owning the title role and a good rest of the ensemble. The staging was excellent, too.

DVD: About half of season 7 of The Murdoch Mysteries. Being Canadian, it's 18 episodes, not just 3!

TV: Modern Family. Poor Mitchell and his sweater! Doctor Who, back to his attempting to define "good". This episode had some great moments - the Doctor "Thing"-ing his way off the tracks, and the big "this plane is under my protection!" speech, yes! Also, his calling the device he built the 2Dis was hilarious. The Doctor doesn't get many "just this once, everybody lives!" moments (sort of implied in the just this once part of it, if you think about it), and this wasn't one. But you don't often hear him say out loud that sometimes the wrong people do.

Read: We have got to Freedom Summer and I know it's going to be grim, so I took a break. Read a light mystery called Murder at Steeple Martin which was good enough to try the next one; Navajo Autumn, which was an okay mystery with a kind of odd, very unstylish writing style, I might try the next but I'm not sure; Cary Elwes' book about making "The Princess Bride", As You Wish, which was very enjoyable. The first three in the "Twenty-Sided Sorceress" series, and I can hardly wait till the fourth one comes out. I really enjoyed the world Annie Bellet has built here.

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4 Comments:

At 12:28 AM, October 20, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

What, no "Inspector Lewis"?

 
At 5:31 AM, October 20, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Not when I have to get up early and go to work on Monday. It's safely on the DVR.

 
At 3:30 PM, October 20, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I meant the Oct. 12 episode, which I assumed was already on your DVR.

BTW, our PBS affiliate was running a promo last night for a P.D. James work on "Masterpiece" next Sunday, so I assume there were only three Robbie episodes in Season 7 (unless there are more but they've been split up, for some reason).

 
At 3:44 PM, October 20, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yes, there are only three - which is better than none, of course! I watched the Oct 12 one last week, since Monday was a holiday. I mentioned it - that whole "savior child" bit is always iffy to me, though at least bone marrow isn't like a major organ!

 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Figaro!

Went up to the big city today to see Le Nozze di Figaro at the Met. They set the story in a 18th-century manor house in Seville during the 1930s, and managed to make it work someone - probably by pretty much ignoring it except for the costumes. The set revolved so that the action flowed - the scene where the Count is chasing Cherubino, for instance, twisted back around and through the moving set, and the overture showed us all the principle locations. Figaro was sung by Ildar Abdrazakov, who was perfect. Others included Marlis Petersen as Susanna, Peter Mattei as the Count, Amanda Majeski as the Countess, and Isabel Leonard as the pageboy Cherubino. It's a wonderful production of one of my favorite operas, and the second act was laugh-out-loud funny.

Below is a shot of the sunrise from the train in Delaware (over the Delaware River or possibly Bay depending on where they change the name), and a shot of the set at intermission, and that's me in front of the poster.






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Friday, October 17, 2014

An old truth

Over at Slacktivist Fred looks at a CEO versus town hall:
The city council passed a law protecting minorities from getting fired just for being minorities. Specifically, the city’s new law protects LGBT people from employment discrimination.

The CEO doesn’t like this law. What’s more, he thinks most people in the city don’t like it either. It’s quite possible he’s right about that. After all, laws protecting minorities from being treated unfairly wouldn’t ever come up in the first place unless it weren’t the case that a big chunk of the majority population was inclined to treat them unfairly.
And isn't that the truth? Laws tell you not to do things you want to, or that you must do things you might not want to. But you don't generally have to make laws forbidding people from doing things they don't want to do.

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Arizona!


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Okay, this spam is amaaaaaaazing

Got this comment yesterday:
The bartender, amazed by this feat of drinking turns to the man and goes 'Desperate Housewives dvd boxset's a big effort. We've all seen the research and the studies show that the power of prayer is magical no matter who or what it is that you think you're praying to.'
I'm totally baffled by how this was produced, because no human would have placed it on the post it was attached to (a critique of the Baltimore Sun using the word "youths" to refer to people in their early 20s). It is a thing of rare and amazing beauty (despite the missing comma).

I'm still not letting the spammer have a link, though.

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