Bobby's Blog

Saying Goodbye to Leonard Nimoy

March 06, 2015

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"
~Leonard Nimoy



That was Leonard Nimoy's last tweet. He died last Friday, surrounded by family and friends.



"LLAP", of course, stands for "Live long and prosper," his character's famous line from Star Trek.



Losing Mr. Spock was a crushing blow to trekkies all over the world. Millions flooded social media sites with tributes and memorials. Friends -- famous and unknown -- expressed their sadness and their undying love for the 83 year-old actor, writer, director and poet. I was one of those millions. But I don't remember exactly what I said. What I do remember is what he said. I'll always remember his last words to us, his fans.



In honor of Leonard Nimoy, let's all recognize a "perfect moment" this week. But don't try to hang onto it. Just remember it. Always.



Live long. And prosper,
Bobby


Leonard Nimoy
March 26, 1931 - February 27, 2015

Robots Take Over the World! (Not Really - Just Your Atari Gaming System)

February 27, 2015

People who worry about Things like Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots worry that one day the machines will realize they don't need people to survive and annihilate us all. But the people over at DeepMind have a bigger problem with their AI robot as our friends at engadget pointed out: "It probably never occurred to anyone that, as soon as they discovered beer, Netflix and video games, that computers would ditch plans for world domination, drop out and get a job at the local gas station."

Seems the folks at DeepMind wanted to see if the AI could learn to play video games without being taught. So they set it up with 2,600 Atari titles and let it go. They didn't give it any instructions on how to play, but every time it did something right, it was rewarded with the electronic equivalent of a doggy treat. And you know what happened? It got really good at those games. So good, they want to teach it more complicated games like Pac-Man and StarCraft.

Every gamer knows those Things are totally addicting. If AI gets hooked on video games, we'll never have to worry about it conquering the world. But it might crush you -- and your friends -- at Halo.

See you next week,
Bobby

Random Things on the Internet

February 20, 2015

As an avid reader (lurker) of the popular "random Things" web site, Reddit, I often stumble upon Things that are more shocking than the NSFW (not suitable for work) subcategory (subreddit). Things that are so shocking, I have to share them with you.

In January a certain "Captain Mercedes," announced that he had tracked every single bowel movement he had in 2014. But wait, there's more: He compiled a data file cataloguing each and every one of those movements using the "Bristol stool scale" (seven categories of shape and consistency). But wait, there's a bonus! He posted the poop file for other Reddit users so they might "design hypotheses" of the data to help the poor captain better understand the mysteries of his secretions.

You can't make Things like this up. Follow the adventures of Captain Mercedes and his output yourself. Fair warning: it might not be suitable for work.

See you next week,
Bobby