Episode 004: Bowling for Anti-Dollars

Topics discussed: Radioactive cookies & cursed frogurt; self-referential aptitude tests; virtual spermatozoa; mean triangles; telepathic tompeepery; and computers that play write pop songs, critique screenplays, and play old-school Super Mario Bros. Plus, blood!

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Audio equipment update: Matt J bought one new microphone but then we had technical issues with it. Those might be resolved in time for Episode 5, but meanwhile we went back to our original Episodes 1-2 recording method. At any rate, donations to the “buy Matt and Matt some better microphones” fund are still welcome (via the Donate button in the sidebar), although it might mutate into the “bandwidth fund” whenever we get our audio issues under control.

Also: It is VERY likely that we will have our first Very Special Guest Star on the next episode, so stay tuned…


Cursed frogurt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_pqnsKWlpc
Self-Referential Aptitude Test (the actual test): http://faculty.uml.edu/jpropp/srat-Q.txt
– general page about it (with links to answers/spoilers): http://faculty.uml.edu/jpropp/srat.html
Incompleteness theorem(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel’s_incompleteness_theorems
Evolved virtual creatures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBgG_VSP7f8
All about genetic algorithms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_algorithm
Original Heider & Simmel shapes video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZBKer6PMtM
– a couple of updated demos (bottom of page): http://www.yale.edu/perception/Brian/demos/causality-Basics.html
– Scientific American blog post reviewing the work: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/2013/03/08/animating-anthropomorphism-giving-minds-to-geometric-shapes-video/
– one study on Heider & Simmel figures in autism (link to academic paper PDF): https://wiki.inf.ed.ac.uk/twiki/pub/ECHOES/MindTheory/DADFB8FE363C2E3511727597152A008844E4A06408.pdf
Tom Murphy’s algorithm for playing classic NES games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOCurBYI_gY
– his paper: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tom7/mario/mario.pdf
MJ’s “Programming for Psychologists” class on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/c83pfp
– direct link to first lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O7Gxzl-ekI
– course materials here: http://is.gd/c83pfp
Generalized Super Mario Bros. is NP-complete (note: after watching past the title we see now that this is a joke): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGI-GqAK9c
– paper version: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tom7/sigbovik/mariox.pdf
Comma Chameleon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF589_X_JJg
This is Your Brain on Music (link to Amazon): http://amzn.to/15JGWIK
Blink (link to Amazon): http://amzn.to/13CoylD
– more of Malcolm Gladwell’s books (link to Amazon): http://amzn.to/153kMxA
Kenna: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenna
– his song “Freetime”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ggbRTRDFOI
Uncanny Valley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley
– Pop Sci video on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNdAIPoh8a4
Screenplay algorithm article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/business/media/solving-equation-of-a-hit-film-script-with-data.html
Zapped!: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapped!
Beer and diapers: Data-mining urban legend? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/15/beer_diapers/
– link referenced in that article: http://www.dssresources.com/newsletters/66.php
Bowling in movies: http://www.scotsman.com/news/random-top-ten-bowling-scenes-in-movies-1-1172691
– also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Bowling_films
Forrest Gump feather CGI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ2SWXwoYwQ
Bayesian statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_statistics
– Bayes’ theorem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes%27_theorem
– Bayesian spam filtering basics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_spam_filtering
– Paul Graham describes the basic technique he developed: http://www.paulgraham.com/spam.html
– an updated version of the previous link: http://www.paulgraham.com/better.html
– a good discussion of the “reverse inference” problem in neuroimaging, using Bayesian reasoning: http://www.ccn.ucla.edu/wiki/images/d/df/Poldrack2006.pdf
Netflix talks about their recommendation engine: http://techblog.netflix.com/2012/04/netflix-recommendations-beyond-5-stars.html
– some more on recommendation engines: http://datacommunitydc.org/blog/2013/05/recommendation-engines-why-you-shouldnt-build-one/
– and more on how they work: http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/how-recommendation-algorithms-know-what-you-ll-like-1078924
– and a bit more: http://readwrite.com/2007/01/16/recommendation_engines
Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table (link to Amazon): http://amzn.to/16wril9
Molecular structure images: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/05/atomic-level-images/
Why veins appear blue: http://scienceblogs.com/scientificactivist/2008/04/17/why-are-veins-blue/
McSweeney’s “E-mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying to Give Out Over the Phone”: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/e-mail-addresses-it-would-be-really-annoying-to-give-out-over-the-phone
Interrobangs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrobang

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