Google Earth Mystery Object? - Hardly!

Google Earth Mystery Object? - Hardly!What is it that you can see in this snapshot of Google Earth...

Idioscenic Conjecture

Idioscenic ConjectureI am posting some ideas here to promote discussion of the psychology of conspiracism...

Boeing 747 AAIB Accident Report Reveals Electrical Failures

Boeing 747 AAIB Accident Report Reveals Electrical FailuresAn accident report published April 11...

Jimmy Duncan - A Prescient Politician

Jimmy Duncan - A Prescient PoliticianJohn James "Jimmy" Duncan is a former Chairman of the United...

User picture.
picture for Hank Campbellpicture for Helen Barrattpicture for Robert H Olleypicture for Hontas Farmerpicture for Bente Lilja Byepicture for Steve Schuler
Patrick LockerbyRSS Feed of this column.

Retired engineer, 60+ years young. Computer builder and programmer. Linguist specialising in language acquisition and computational linguistics. Interested in every human endeavour except the scrooge... Read More »

When Things Smell A Funny Color

I have often heard people in Britain say in jest something like:

"I don't like that, it smells a funny color."

From time to time our senses play tricks with our brains, and we 'hear' or 'smell' colors. 
Such switching of sensory modalities and perception is called synaesthesia.

Synaesthesia is a neurological condition that often involves a ‘blending of the senses’. It is thought to affect less than 1% of the population, and people experience it in a variety of ways.
Random Noise #14 : Colorless Green Syntax

Formal grammar is heavily based in syntax.  It is possible to generate sentences by using word lists and rules in a computer program, but the output rarely makes much sense and can be exceedingly funny.

By ignoring syntax whilst chaining words together based on the frequency with which words follow one another, one can build an interesting 'sentence'.  The most famous such chain is Noam Chomsky's 'colorless green ideas sleep furiously'.  It obeys the rules of syntax but it makes no sense.
The Real Ira Hayes

The world's largest statue is a bronze sculpture 110 feet high.
It depicts six Marines.  Each figure is about 32 feet tall.
They are hoisting an American flag on the island of Iwo Jima.

I would like to introduce my readers to an artist who has painted a wonderful version of this iconic image.  He has also written an article about the real Ira Hayes to go with his painting.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to contact him through his website for further information.

The Buzzword Blog #4 : Irrational

What does 'irrational' mean?

The term 'irrational' is too often just another  buzzword.  It is used very loosely, even by scientists, to imply that somebody has formed an opinion without thinking about it 'properly'.
Random Noise #12.5 : Irrational  Numbers

I'm far too rational to blog about other people's irrationality.

I'll just get on with writing my next article and leave writing about silly superstitions to others.
Random Noise #12 : Freedom of Speech and of the Press

Freedom of speech is a right and a duty.

Faced with injustice, we have both a right and a duty - a duty-right - to speak out against it.

Politically motivated censorship can only do its dirty work in absolute secrecy.  But once that censorship becomes public knowledge, it achieves the opposite of its desired effect when it amplifies and unifies the voice of outrage.