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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tweets for 2012-08-30

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I hear new news every day

I hear new news every day, and those ordinary rumours of war, plagues, fires, inundations, thefts, murders, massacres, meteors, comets, spectrums, prodigies, apparitions, of towns taken, cities besieged in France, Germany, Turkey, Persia, Poland, &c., daily musters and preparations, and such like, which these tempestuous times afford, battles fought, so many men slain, monomachies, shipwrecks, piracies, and sea-fights, peace, leagues, stratagems, and fresh alarms. A vast confusion of vows, wishes, actions, edicts, petitions, lawsuits, pleas, laws, proclamations, complaints, grievances, are daily brought to our ears. New books every day, pamphlets, currantoes, stories, whole catalogues of volumes of all sorts, new paradoxes, opinions, schisms, heresies, controversies in philosophy, religion, &c. Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, entertainments, jubilees, embassies, tilts and tournaments, trophies, triumphs, revels, sports, plays: then again, as in a new shifted scene, treasons, cheating tricks, robberies, enormous villanies in all kinds, funerals, burials, deaths of Princes, new discoveries, expeditions; now comical then tragical matters. To-day we hear of new Lords and officers created, to-morrow of some great men deposed, and then again of fresh honours conferred; one is let loose, another imprisoned; one purchaseth, another breaketh: he thrives, his neighbour turns bankrupt; now plenty, then again dearth and famine; one runs, another rides, wrangles, laughs, weeps &c. Thus I daily hear, and such like, both private and publick news. Amdist the gallantry and misery of the world: jollity, pride, perplexities and cares, simplicity and villany; subtlety, knavery, candour and integrity, mutually mixed and offering themselves, I rub on in a strictly private life.

Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (p.19)

Tweets for 2012-08-16

  • AHRC "science in culture" theme is the pun deliberate? #
  • Upcoming call for AHRC Science in Culture theme large grants #
  • I am about to be on BBC Radio Sheffield to discuss this amnesia case 'The woman who has lost 20 years from her memory' #
  • Crowd-sourced analysis of terms of service. next stop: an app that reads contracts, tells you how standard they are #
  • More olympics psychology from me on @BBC_Future. UK readable link "Olympic lessons in regret" #
  • New in Cog Sci from M Mirolli: analysing when a minimally cognitive agent develops representations #
  • Academic Colleagues: I recommend caution when dealing with @Podiumfor2012, who I have found to be manipulative and deceitful #
  • HP Printers and Scanners have good linux support. Hurrah for HP! #
  • Author of the great blog leaves important update on my "red for victory" column: #
  • And he's on twitter as @brainsidea. Thanks for the comment Richard! #
  • Just booked my flights for New York in September. Who fancies a beer? #
  • Now on my column for @BBC_Future, "what a silver medal can teach us about regret" #
  • RIP Duncan Luce, author of the bible "Response Times and their role in infering elementary mental organisation" #
  • Driskell's (1994) meta-analysis of the benefits of mental practice short story: it works #
  • Imagining how you'll study leads to better grades than imagining why you should study #
  • Recommended source for a history of the behaviourism-cognitivism debate in psychology anyone? #
  • Now live: Stafford & Bell (2012): Brain network: social media and the cognitive scientist cc @vaughanbell #
  • Featuring: twitter! cognitive science! Glamourous neurotweeps such as @deevybee and @edyong209! Get it while it's hot #
  • Our article on how social media are transforming science now FREE to access, because @TrendsCognSci get it #

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Tweets for 2012-08-09

  • Take a tour of Sheffield Music City, courtesy of @PublicityDept #
  • Struggling to generate many examples of sentences without the letters "I" and "K", for an experiment. #
  • That's 1 down, just need 29 more! RT @thefalken: @tomstafford "A sentence with no letters has none." #
  • "not just useless piffle about technology; it is also an endorsement of some rather noxious political ideas" BOOM! #
  • Ok twitter, now I need example sentences which don't contain the letters O or L. Can you help? #
  • My latest for @BBC_Future now up on mindhacks a cautionary tale of scientific research with an Olympic theme #
  • Amazing visualisation of the global arms trade Campaign Against the Arms trade #
  • The great E.C. Tolman, on what 'rat psychology' can teach us about academic freedom via @criener @EPCharles #
  • Using implicit memory to store passwords. A sort of behavioural biometrics via @Neuro_Skeptic #
  • A doctor referred to as cDa29…'is the first tetrachromat known to science' via @neuroconscience #
  • Editor's final demand b4 publication: remove all use of 1st person plural. Means I have to edit my paper to make it harder to read! #
  • Is also against APA style #
  • Do you have an advanced degree in maths/eng and could solve a theoretical problem with a robot art project? #
  • We will pay you in pure kudos if you can help! if you live in Sheffield, beer too #
  • Wow twitter, you are super helpful on a Tuesday night! Thanks for all the RTs and replies. I've got some great leads on a solution… #
  • …if anyone wants to do some of the work, i'm still open to that too! Knowing the answer != implementing the answer #
  • So, people of Sheffield, what would you like to see at your very own Festival of Science? #

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Seeking help: Drawing machines

Matt is making a drawing machine. A robot which will live on a wall and plot out paths which are an algorithmic solution to the artistic seeds that Matt feeds it. I’m helping Matt, but we’re stuck with a bit of the maths.

Due to artistic and practical constraints, this is how the robot will work: there will be two motors, top left and top right, from which a ‘pen’ is suspended. Our problem is about how to change the length of the chains from which the pen is suspended to draw a straight line between two points. I’ve done a diagram to make this easier to explain. The crudely drawn black circles are the two motors. There is a small blue circle (a start point), and the two chains in green (with lengths l1 and r1 respectively. The target endpoint is show as a red cross, with the chains shown in purple (with lengths l2 and r2 respectively (obviously there are only ever two chains, one right and one left, not four).

Calculating the length of the chains at the start and the end is fairly trivial. The problem is at what rate to turn the motors to lengthen or draw in the chains to get between the start and the end points drawing a straight line. For artistic reasons it is absolutely essential that the line drawn between two points is straight.

I had a go at solving this. You can have a look at this python code (incidentally, my first ever python script!). The problem is, my solution makes curved lines, like this (points along the path shown as blue dots)

The chains need to be tightened by some amount during travel to stop a curve being described, but I know enough maths to know that I don’t have a hope of solving this one. Can you help?

Tweets for 2012-08-02

  • Workshop for Google Data Analytics Social Science Research via @DigiWorldSheff #
  • Want to learn python by looking at examples of small complete scripts which do simple tasks. Can anyone recommend link? #python #lazyweb #
  • Discussion on this @Neuro_Skeptic post is illuminating about many issues in academic writing #
  • Feel slightly weird that my (scientific) life story is told in the august issue of @psychmag #
  • But very happy to be able to give credit to two of my scientific inspirations: Professors Andrew Mayes and Kevin Gurney #
  • At the 1992 Olympics the Lithuanian basketball team collected their bronze medals in tie-die #
  • 'new' publication How do we use computational models of cognitive processes? I survey how models are use in cog sci #
  • Summary: All is not as neatly Popperian as the textbooks would have you believe! #
  • RT @Neuro_Skeptic Induction of lucid dreams: A systematic review of the evidence #
  • More on lucid dreams, including that vital "how to" guide, in our free ebook #
  • A cautionary tale of scientific research, with an Olympic theme: does wearing red make you better at fighting? #
  • Can anyone recall an expt where ppts gave more compensation to plane crash victims who nearly made it to safety? Google has failed me #

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