Categories
Art psychology technology

Pareidolia on Grains of Sand

I came across a site tonight that hits on a lot of my interests. It’s got a nice mixture of art, technology, with just a hint of psychology.

I’ve been interested in pareidolia since I first learned about it years ago. It is, as wikipedia defines it, “the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.”

In this particular case, the objects are grains of sand and the incorrect perception is that they look like faces.

In the artwork Pareidolia* facial detection is applied to grains of sand. A fully automated robot search engine examines the grains of sand in situ. When the machine finds a face in one of the grains, the portrait is photographed and displayed on a large screen.

Check out Pareidolia, face detection on grains of sand.

(via Waxy)

Categories
pandemic work

Alberta Parents’ Guide to Returning to School

The Alberta government today released their parents guide for the 2020-2021 school year.

“Your child may feel nervous about what school will be like. While there will be changes, the key school experience will be the same as before—they will learn in class with their teacher and see friends.”

Parents’ Guide 2020-2021 School Year PDF

Categories
work

Alberta Education Minister Wants Teachers Tested

In a letter sent to school superintendents across Alberta yesterday (and then forwarded to all teachers), Education Minister Adriana LaGrange explains that the government has been working hard to increase testing capacity and turn-around times.

I recently became aware that the test result turnaround times in Alberta are already supposedly down to two to three days. Friends of mine decided to get the whole family tested because one of their kids became ill with Covid-19 like symptoms. (Still waiting until tomorrow to hear back).

LaGrange also suggests that all teachers should be tested for the novel corona virus before returning to in-person learning this fall.

Her complete letter after the jump.

Categories
humor Politics video

I Am Starting to Regret My Vote For Trump

The Lincoln Project is an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent current and former Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Their latest ad features the comedic satire of David Cross explaining that he is just now starting to regret his vote for Donald Trump.

Here’s the original Cross routine that is a little longer than what you get in the ad.

Categories
animation

In My Particular Case

It turns out, trying to work out what your film is going to be about is a pretty good topic for a film. Check out this interesting piece by Chico Jofilsan in which he talks himself into, out of, and back into making this particular movie and how exactly he went about it and how worrying about how choosing a bad idea can turn into something not that great doesn’t help because sometimes you just have to go for it. The whole thing is a bit meta.

In My Particular Case from Chico Jofilsan on Vimeo.

(via Neatorama)

Categories
Politics video

Dr. Danielle Martin and US Senator Richard Burr Debate Health Care

Back in March 2014, Canadian Dr. Danielle Martin was asked to speak to a US Senate Committee investigation on health care systems, specifically regarding issues such as single-payer and multi-payer systems and wait times.

From a CTV report on the clip:

Martin was invited to testify by the committee chairman, Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who would like to see the U.S. adopt a single-payer system like in Canada, something Vermont is already doing.

Canada’s health system is really run by the provinces, with federal funding, Martin explained, citing research showing better outcomes for cancer and heart patients in Canada at a much lower cost than the U.S. medical system.

That made her a target for Republicans on the committee, but Martin counter-punched with gleeful spontaneity.

Was it true that Canadians were dying because of health rationing? Not as many, she replied, as the 45,000 Americans dying each year in a health-care system rationed on the basis of someone’s ability to pay.

(via Metafilter)

Categories
Music video

Come and Get Your Love (Official Music Video)

This is the official music video for Redbone’s popular 1974 hit, “Come and Get Your Love”. It was released last week.

From IndianCountryToday:

As an enduring pop hit, Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” has had millions of plays on air and on YouTube with the pioneering rock band’s visually powerful performance on TV’s “The Midnight Special” in 1974, when the song was released.

That clip begins with a powwow dancer performing in front of the band, introducing millions to a Native traditional dance they had most likely never seen before.

In 2014, the mega-budget sci-fi film “Guardians of the Galaxy” used the song in a key opening scene and on the official soundtrack, garnering a whole new generation of fans.

But the infectious, bouncy song with a message of earthy and universal love never had an official video from the band. Until now.

(Via Miss Cellania)

Categories
Apple

Apple Sets All Time Third Quarter Revenue Record

During Apple’s most recent earnings report call, Tim Cook seemed almost embarrassed to announce that Apple had such record revenue during a worldwide pandemic. But as a shareholder I can’t say I’m disappointed. I’m also excited that they’re once again splitting the stock, this time four to one.

From Apple:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2020 third quarter ended June 27, 2020. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $59.7 billion, an increase of 11 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.58, up 18 percent. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Categories
Music

Vocal ranges of the worlds top pop singers

The worlds greatest vocal ranges

Compare the vocal ranges of today’s top artists with the greatest of all time.

This chart shows the highest and lowest notes each artist hit in the recording studio. Hover over the bars to see the songs on which they reached those notes.

From The Loop:

Gonna stop here for a second and acknowledge the English language/UK-US bias, right off the top.

That said, this is still quite interesting. Before you follow the link, take a guess as to who in the pop universe has the biggest vocal range. Challenge is to name anyone in the top three.

I was able to guess someone in the top 10, not top three.?

Categories
humor pandemic

COVID-19 Risk Chart

From XKCD

First prize is a ticket to the kissing booth.

Randall Munroe runs you through risky behaviour in this handy chart that applies for both pandemic and non-pandemic risks. I’m betting that I’ll be doing in-person classes come September. The minister of Alberta Education will let us know as of August 1st — though some teachers believe the decision has already been made and they’re waiting for August to improve the optics. It’s not like it really matters what they “decide” because things will change the moment we have confirmed cases at school — at least I hope so.

As for the chart, I feel like, “Skateboarding into a mosh pit on a cruise ship” should be rated as higher risk than “Getting a Covid test from a stranger at a crowded bar” on the non-Covid risk axis.

(via Kottke)

Update: Apparently at the same time I was posting this the Alberta Government decided to make the announcement early: School is back on in September. It turns out I was right about the decision being already made and this was confirmed by a leak to the Globe and Mail.