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a frog the size of texas

November 1st, 2007

12:26 pm - Memeage and fever dreams. Only with no fever.

Home from work today, and possibly tomorrow. Went to bed a little after 11, and except for staggering out to the computer to email work at 7:30, slept for about 12 hours. Had very bizarre dreams that incorporated a sort of Venice in which I was a gondolier (pulled directly from the manga Aria, as I read volume 1 right before turning the light off), the last surviving member of a very very old house (no money left, squandered generations back), a painter of the Venice-type place, and also possibly a spy (well, you hear a lot when you're a gondolier); a grace-and-favour apartment in something called the Old Palace that was mine officially because of my family but unofficially for "services to the prince" that rumor had it was being an ex-mistress (but was actually because of the spy thing). And then Ichimaru Gin showed up in the gondola wanting a painting and inside the Old Palace were ghosts that over the course of the dream went from insubstantial and few to substantial and many, and they were hooked to these large holes in the floor with hoses (image taken from Mythbusters last night when they had the gas hoses) that glowed red and supplied life energy, and then somehow weren't really dead, and then there were these skeletal things that were really dead and I was shielding a pregnant woman from these things and Gin wandered off to attend a committee meeting.

So, yeah. My subconsious is a scary place at times, but it did supply some really nice visuals during the course of the dream.

My Shakesperean quoteCollapse )
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03:46 pm

Well, I was actually feeling pretty good, to the point where I was considering going through my closet and dumping everything that no longer fit into plastic bags to take to Goodwill. I was just downloading podcasts to entertain myself with while doing so, and ... then the sneezing/runny nose part of the cold hit me with a hammer and now all I want to do is roll up in a ball and sleep. *sigh*
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08:25 pm

Chocolate is good for colds, right?

10:14 pm - Guess the number! SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT!

So the other day I was listening to a podcast that talked about "the wisdom of crowds." This is the title of a book that talks about collective decision making and how, in some particular circumstances (most often is situations where there is a precise, quantifiable answer to be had), a correct, or at least the closest to correct, answer can be got from averaging together all the answers. You can read about it and the bull-weight-guessing experiment in 1906 that produced this phenomenon at Wikipedia or here.

At my work's Hallowwen party, we had a guess-the-number game similar to the bull's weight guessing game mentioned in the above links. Over in the section of the room that was dedicated to dead druggie celebrities, there was a small display that featured the powdered innards of Pixy Stix cut into lines with paper razor blades, and a glass jar full of candy that looked like pills,* and the game was to guess the number of pills in the jar. I asked if I could have the guesses afterwards, to test out this theory, and they gave them to me. Sure enough, it turned out that the average of all the guesses was fairly close to the actual number in the jar. And throwing out the two outliers - someone guessed 1000 and someone guessed 83 - the average was closer to the actual number than the closest individual guess.

* Er, the Social Committee is nicely twisted. :D

Now, we only had 13 guesses and I suspect that it would have gotten much closer to the real number if we'd had more, but it was still quite interesting. And I want to try it again, with more guesses. So I'm doing something similar here. Of course, I have no idea if a picture of the container will be the same as looking at it, but them's the breaks. :)

There's no prize, sorry to say. You'll have to do this entirely for the good of science.

So ... Guess the number of popcorn kernels in the Sanzo shot glass!

Poll and pictures under hereCollapse )
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