7792 – all sorts of misc junk

good-ish vibes about the Deerfield place.. they’re checking me out financially and socially and criminally, and I think I’ve passed any tests they might have.


Newt and I had a fun frolic for his b’day… nice, gentle evening, all told. A vid or two may be forthcoming, depending on how they turned out.


You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

Spellsword
74% Combativeness, 43% Sneakiness, 88% Intellect, 19% Spirituality
Aggressive, but with the brains to back it up: You are a Spellsword!
Score! You have a prestige class. A prestige class can only be taken after you’ve fulfilled certain requirements. This may mean that you’re an exceptionally talented person, but it probably doesn’t.
Spellswords combine arcane might with combat know-how. They’re much tougher than mages, like to wear armor, and can cast spells through their weapons. They’re very, very, good at doing lots of damage to a single target very quickly, and while not quite as tough as most fighters, are still pretty hard to kill.
You’re both smart and aggressive, which means that you’re probably pretty dangerous when pissed off. You also tend to be somewhat straightforward, which is nice, and don’t have much use for spirituality or mysticism.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 81% on Combativeness
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You scored higher than 78% on Sneakiness
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You scored higher than 89% on Intellect
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You scored higher than 7% on Spirituality

Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Also, a Terrasque? Whiskey Tango Hotel?


Saw my first episode of the new Nightstalker. – Not my thing. I’m going to have to watch old episodes of the original series now to see if my fondness for it is nostalgic or actually based on good stuff. I agree with jwz…This new show is a badly-written X-files.


Still processing this information:

Doug Wu called… he’s a dad… Sired a child with illyana (a gay woman who initially dated Cathy Wu, but that didn’t work out and Illlyana inherited Doug as a pal after his marriage to Cathy dissolved.)

It seems that Illyana wanted a kid and Doug is the biological father… the girl Kayla (sp?) will be raised in a household of four singles. She’s seven days old at this point, and I hear that she’s beautiful, and quite healthy. I think Doug’ll be quite nurturing and give boundless love to his daughter.

I had no idea that Illyana was gay.. I somehow was under the impression that she was Doug’s SO rather than POSSLQ… I suspect there’s more of a family vibe there, all things considered, too.

Discovered some interesting things I didn’t know… Doug’s working as a caregiver for folks with cerebral palsy and the like, his household has no real internet access and they seem to frown on gaming (viewed as a colossal waste of otherwise useful energy) . It also seems that Doug is the primary breadwinner for the unit, with two of the members out of work

I talked to him for about an hour last night, and we caught up on things… we didn’t know what sort of work the other was doing these days… oddly, I don’t think we talked about comics once, even though he’s pretty much the Ancient One to my Stephen Strange when it comes to TV/Comic book history and remembrances.


Night of the Living dead – in the form of a podcast/radio drama mp3


Moment of Lyric: mp3

Instrumental.

I’m beginning to dig Frigg. (Acoustic Nordic folk music with touches of American Appalachian and country & western music)

As soon as I get some more good mp3s, I’ll share.


Dolphins sing ‘Batman’ theme

Scientists have taught dolphins to combine both rhythm and vocalizations to produce music, resulting in an extremely high-pitched, short version of the Batman theme song.

The findings, outlined in two studies, are the first time that nonhuman mammals have demonstrated they can recognize rhythms and reproduce them vocally.

“Humans are sensitive to rhythms embedded in sequences of sounds, but we typically consider this skill to be part of processing for language and music, cognitive domains that we consider to be uniquely human,” says Professor Heidi Harley, lead author of both studies.

“Clearly, aspects of those domains are available to other species.”

The studies will be presented at the joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and NOISE-CON 2005, which runs from 17 to 21 October in Minneapolis.

Learning to sing

Harley, who is associate professor of social sciences at the New College of Florida in Sarasota, says that both studies tested dolphins at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida.

The researchers first had an adult male bottlenose dolphin position itself in front of an underwater sound projector, called a hydrophone, that produced six different 14 kilohertz, 4 second rhythms.

The dolphin was rewarded for performing a certain behavior to each rhythm. For example, when rhythm 1 played, it waved its pectoral fin and when rhythm 2 played, it tossed a ball.

The various rhythms were played at different frequencies and tempos to ensure the dolphin was recognizing rhythms instead of just frequencies or sound durations.

Another adult male was trained to produce similar rhythms using a pneumatic switch, essentially a small, air-filled ball connected to a computer that then generated sounds whenever the dolphin pressed the switch.

“The dolphin was reinforced for producing a specific rhythm to a specific object,” says Harley.

“For example, when we presented him with a Batman doll, he received a fish for producing a specific rhythm, in this case, a short sound and then a long one.”

“If you recall the original Batman TV series musical intro you’ll probably remember the way they sang ‘Bat-maaaaaaaan’,” she adds.

The dolphin spontaneously vocalized to the rhythms, so the researchers started to reward the male with fish whenever it matched its ‘singing’ to the rhythms.

By the end of the studies, the scientists could show an object, such as the Batman doll, which represented a certain rhythm-vocalization combo to the dolphin, and it would create the correct sounds both vocally and using the switch.

Batmaaaaaaan

Gordon Bauer, associate professor of psychology at the New College of Florida who did not work on the studies, says, “This is the first report, to my knowledge, of a nonhuman mammal’s ability to discriminate rhythmic patterns.”

But Bauer doubts that dolphins realize they are producing what people consider ‘music’.

“I think music is a human construct,” he says. “I doubt that it has pertinence to animals, although the elements of music, such as pitch, time, timbre, rhythm, etc, may be incorporated into animal communication.”

Harley agrees, and hopes the everyday vocalizations of dolphins will be analyzed in terms of their rhythmic content.

In the near future, she and her team are planning to test the dolphins on their ability to recognize recordings of their own rhythms by having them associate their own sound creations with identifying objects similar to the Batman doll.

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