Archive for the ‘Language technology’ Category

Emoji days

October 28, 2016

Emoji(s) are hot news these days. In the NYT yesterday, “Look Who’s Smiley Now: MoMA Acquires Original Emoji” by Amanda Hess. And just a bit earlier, two cartoons linking emoji to hieroglyphics, one by Cameron Harvey, the other by a cartoonist I haven’t identified. And before that, an article about emoji scholars, including our local specialist, Tyler Schnoebelen.


Automating clickbait

October 23, 2015

From Paul Armstrong, this link to Lars Eidnes’s blog on the 13th, with a scheme for “Auto-Generating Clickbait With Recurrent Neural Networks”.

Background: postings on this blog:

7/17/14: “Clickbait schemes”, here

6/27/15: “Clickbait”, here

And now Eidnes’s come-on:


Paper vs. screens: handwriting

November 12, 2014

Briefly noted.

In the latest NewScientist (for11/1/14), a piece by Tiffany O’Callaghan, “Goodbye, paper: What we miss when we read on screen”, subtitled “Digital technology is transforming the way we read and write. Is it changing our minds too – and if so, for better or worse?”. A report on reading and writing on paper vs. on-screen. O’Callaghan observes that, for the most part, there’s been plenty of speculation, but very little conclusive research. We don’t really know much. One notable exception, in a box on the work of neuroscientist Karin James of Indiana Univ.:

Writing freehand, then, seems to be an important part of learning to read – but does the type of handwriting make a difference? Some schools have stopped teaching cursive or joined-up writing. In the US, for instance, it is not part of the national curriculum adopted by 46 states, though it has been reinstated by some states in response to a public outcry. When it comes to learning to read, though, James has found that writing in cursive doesn’t seem to add anything to the mix. “It seems like it’s any kind of creation of a letter by hand that makes the difference,” she says.

That is, the physical action of writing, in whatever style, facilitates learning to read.

… plus four

May 18, 2014

Cartoon traffic since the five items I talked about in this posting: a Bizarro on passwords, then and now;  a Benjamin Schwartz New Yorker cartoon on Canadian eh; a One Big Happy on God talk; and a Zippy on Dagwood (Bumstead).


Don Rosa

April 25, 2014

Following on Disney cartoonist Carl Barks comes Don Rosa, like Barks a story-teller; the humor in Rosa’s work is mostly in the way the stories unfold, and is otherwise the humor of character — and it’s largely visual rather than verbal.


Paper vs. shiny rectangles

April 17, 2014

Today’s Zippy, on media of communication:

The incursion of electronic media into the domains of paper media is a recurrent theme in Zippy.


Another three for the weekend

March 22, 2014

Three more cartoons, on varied topics: a Zippy, a Zits, and a Pearls Before Swine:


Another cultural allusion

March 6, 2014

A recent Joe Dator New Yorker cartoon:

What does it take to comprehend (and then enjoy) this cartoon? A Martian would need to know about  texting and the language conventions available to texters. My 10-year-old grand-daughter would get that much, but would still be baffled by the cultural allusion.


Constraining communication

March 1, 2014

From a numer of sources on Facebook, this 2/11/13 New Yorker cartoon by Liam Francis Walsh:

Walsh’s website here. And here (on the New Yorker blog) he talks about how the cartoon (which has been very popular on the net) developed.

[Addendum: the device here is known as a dog cone, designed to keep dogs from biting or gnawing at themselves.]

Disregard for facts

October 1, 2013

Today’s Pearls Before Swine is the latest in a long series of strips on penguins on an ice floe being pursued by a hungry polar bear:

There’s no point in confronting some people with facts; they’ll just deny the evidence, and are likely to cling even more strongly to their beliefs.

(An oddity of these strips is that the first panel has three penguins in it. They devise some method to avoid being eaten, but the polar bear eats one of them anyway. And then in the next strip there are three penguins again. The penguins are, of course, indistinguishable.)