Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Apologies again for not posting much of late. In the meantime, here are links to some interesting things I would have posted sooner if not for my frenetic schedule.

1. Malcolm Young of AC/DC is ill and unable to perform. However, AC/DC denies that they are retiring.
2. The Hackers Who Recovered NASA's Lost Lunar Photos.
3. Super Planet Crash!
4. Muslims becoming Christians.
5. Atheists becoming Christians.
6. Mapping Great Debates: Can Computers Think? This is a series of posters on issues on philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence (like the Chinese Room and Gödelian arguments), which organizes everything into charts. It's immensely helpful and I highly recommend it.
7. Mickey Rooney died. He was one of the last surviving actors from the silent film era, and the only one who was active the whole time. I was always kind of amazed by him: here was a guy who was making movies in the 1920s -- the freaking 20s -- and he was still making movies in the 2010s. One of his last roles was in the Night at the Museum series, the third of which began filming in January. I can't find anything indicating whether he had filmed his scenes before he died. But that would be amazing: his first movie came out in 1926 and his last movie will come out in 2014 or 2015. That's an insanely long career. I find this makes me sad, similar to how I felt when the last veteran of World War I died. These people are a connection to the past, and when they die, that connection is broken. I tried to express my appreciation for such connections with this short story. I'll feel the same way when the last person born in the 19th century dies. Currently there are 14: one born in 1898, four born in 1899, and nine born in 1900. (It must be weird to be the oldest person in the world: everyone else in the world who was alive at the time of your birth has died.) Wikipedia has lists for the last surviving veterans of wars, last surviving US war veterans, and last survivors of historical events. Reflecting on them makes the march of time seem like such a tragedy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Favorite Movie Scenes

The Dark Knight


Boondock Saints 2: All Saint's Day

The Book of Eli

Die Hard (1)

The Matrix Reloaded


The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars Episode V)

Burn after Reading

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Fun and Fancy Free / Mickey and the Beanstalk

Wreck-It Ralph

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Sorry for not posting much of late, I have a lot going on right now. I'll get back to what's important as soon as I can.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interesting fact o' the day

The Old Testament was translated into Aramaic in ancient times, as well as several other languages. When they translated Genesis 1:1 ("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth") they made an interesting error. The third person singular perfect mode of the verb "to create" in Hebrew is bara. But after they translated this into the Aramaic word for create, they kept the Hebrew word bara in the text. I say this is an interesting error because bara is an Aramaic word with a completely different meaning than the Hebrew "to create". In Aramaic bar means "son" (Simon Barjonah, blind Bartimaeus, etc.), and  an aleph (or "a") at the end of a noun is the definite article. So the Hebrew verb "to create" and the Aramaic noun "the son" are identical. Since they kept this term in the text when they translated it into Aramaic, the first verse of the Aramaic Bible reads "In the beginning the Son of God created the heavens and the earth."