Monday, 31 March 2008

Monday Blues Cure

For all those who have perfect cousins:

Not a problem I suffer from fortunately, all mine are imperfect.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Memory and Retrieval

One particularly aspect of IR which I find particularly interesting, is the effect memory must have on the retrieval process. If we consider the standard ASK model, which assumes several iterations of searches, it is clear that memory drives the whole process, and the users ability to use their short term memory must have a substantial impact on how effect they can be or how long it takes them to search. This has in my view particular implications for dyslexics, who are prone to short term memory problems.

In the light of this the work of Oliver Sacks is particularly interesting. I read his book 'The man who mistook his wife for a hat' as part of the reading for my masters degree, and really got into his work. A particular case study related to this was 'the lost mariner' about a seaman who only had a half minute short term memory (STM) life span. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have your life restricted to half second spans. It would be extremely difficult for somebody to search effectively, even if they could recall what it was they were search for in the first place. However, this is not most extreme case by any means. In his latest book 'Musicophilia', Oliver Sacks discusses the case of Clive Wearing, who suffered a terrible brain injury and now has approximately 7 second memory spans. He has also a severe case of amnesia and has lost a lot of information from his long term memory. Clive is a man who I admire greatly, I have a wonderful CD of him conducting the Europa Singers performing Sir John Taveners "The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom". I found some videos on youtube of a program on his condition:


This is truly heart-breaking. Has someone who workings on creating IR systems which people can use, I cannot see a way of helping people with such poor short term memories - I feel completely useless! One bright spot, his talent as a musician is undiminished - I will return to this issue in a future post on my thoughts of the implications of 'Musicophilla' on music IR and relevance.

Monday, 24 March 2008

We are the Robots (who play music)!

This is just so much fun!

Theres even a video.

This is just simply wonderful! (h/t. Jack Schofield)


Which is what I have when I look at this changing Gif image - the sizes are just unimaginable!

This is the Daddy!

Monday Blues Cure

HAL and Dave have a disagreement.

Goodness me, AI would have come a long way in 2001 - if only.....

Monday, 17 March 2008

Monday Blues Cure

This brings back memories:

Nothing better to cheer you up on a Monday morning.

Monday, 10 March 2008


A colleage and friend showed me a video on youtube of Steve Ballmer (Microsoft's CEO) 'performing' at a conference. One of the videos linked to this one was a short 19 second extract of Mr Ballmer using the word 'Developers' rather a lot, and I wondered if I could find it by searching on youtube. To my delight, this came up as the first hit:

The 19 sec segment is nowhere to be seen on the hitlist. Oh the joy of relying on single word search terms! This is the 19 sec version:

Completely over the top. So is the video my colleage/friend pointed me at:

Sync is all wrong! Enjoy.

Monday Blues Cure

The weather is so appalling this morning, I really do need a cure for my monday blues! This will do the trick

I wonder what librarians would think of all this?

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

More moggy madness

I just can't help myself!

Fancy spoiling your cats? Even more:

Your cats will be so happy, they'll be dancing the night away:

I don't think this chap approves......

.... and he thinks your looking for a fight!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

The purfect crime

Silly pun? Wait till you see the video!

Monday, 3 March 2008