Monday, November 21, 2011

Free College Lectures and Courses

Do you see my Sallie Mae balance on the right side of the page? Fuck college, take free courses online, and learn a tangible skill. Stanford and MIT both are offering online material for free. MIT, like UC Berkley, has over one-thousand Youtube video lectures online. I am hoping maybe I can take a calculus class, before I have to take one at my host university.

Stanford is offering free online courses which start in January. Some of the courses include Computer Science, Game Theory (the two I signed up for), Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and others.

This is amazing! As the bachelors degree continues to be the most over markets product in the United States, I hope more colleges follow suit.


 Reddit users were sharing the onomatopoeias of their native languages. Interesting enough, almost all of the examples were animal noises. You can look at he link yourself, or check out the list below.

American English:
  • meow = cat
  • woof = dog
  • moo = cow
  • knock knock = knocking on door
  • tweet tweet = bird
  • pow pow (or bang bang) = gun shooting
  • pew pew = blaster
  • who who = owl
  • cheep cheep = chick
  • neigh = horse
  • cockle-doodle-do = rooster
  • ribbit = frog
  • caw caw = seagull
  • bahhh = sheep
Brazilian Portuguese:
  • Miau = cat
  • Au au = dog
  • Muuu = cow
  • toc toc = knocking on door
  • Piu piu = smal chick
  • bam = gun shooting 
  • mao = cat
  • gao = dog (their bark is woe woe)
  • nouw = cow
  • jew jew = laser beams (jew also means banana, "banana banana"! )
  • Miau = Cat
  • bup bup = Dog
  • Muuu = Cow
  • piu piu = Bird
  • toc toc = Knocking
  • Pam, Pum = Gun
  • Mjauw = cat
  • Vov = dog
  • Muh = cow
  • Bank bank = knocking
  • Pip pip = bird
  • Bang = gunshot
    • Miauw = cat
    • Woef/waf = dog
    • Moe = cow
    • Klop klop = knocking on the door
    • Tjilp tjilp = bird
    • Pang = gun shooting
    • Vroem = car
    • Kwak kwak = duck 
    • Ka-ching/Ka-tjing! = cash register
    • knor knor = pig
      European Portuguese:
    • Miau = cat
    • Ão ão = dog
    • Muuu = cow
    • Truz truz = knocking on door
    • Piu piu = small chick
    • Bang = gun shooting
    • HAHA = laugh
    • Caim = Dog yelp
    • miau = cat
    • vuh, hau = dog
    • muu (sometimes 'ammuu') = cow
    • kop kop = knocking on the door
    • piip piip = small bird
    • pam = gun shooting
    • titityy = bird
    • kvaak kvaak =duck ( "kääk" if the Duck is Donald )
    • röh röh = pig
    • böö = boo
      (The verb for frogs' sound is "kurnuttaa", it is not usually written as a sound itself, just as a verb.)
      French Canadian:
      • Miaou = cat
      • Wouf = dog
      • Meuh = cow
      • toc toc = knocking on the door
      • pit pit = bird (french canadian only)
      • pan = gun shooting, we use also "pow"
      • Vroum = car
      • coin coin = duck
      • Kashing! = sound of a cash register
      • groin groin = pig
      • toudoumtsi = rimshot
      • bouh = boo (when you try to scared someone)
      • rabbit rabbit = frog
      • Miau = Cat
      • Wau or Wuff = dog
      • Muh = cow
      • klopf klopf = knocking on door
      • gurrgurr = dove (there's no one for birds in general, at least I don't know it)
      • klopf klopf = knocking on the door
      • Brumm brumm = Car
      • Quak Quaak = Duck
      • Ding = Cash register
      • grunz grunz / oink oink = Pig
      • bada bum dschsch = rimshot
      • Buh! = scare
      • quaaaak quaaaack = frog
      • päng päng! = Gunshot
      • Μιαου = cat
      • Γουφ = dog
      • Μου = cow
      • τοκ τοκ = knocking on the door
      • τσιου τσιου = bird
      • Μπαμ = gun shooting
        Gujarati (ગુજરાતી):
        • મિયાંઉ = cat
        • ભાઉંભાઉં = dog
        • ભોંઓઓ = cow
        • ઠક ઠક = knocking on the door
        • ચીંચીં = bird (small)
        • ધડૂમ or ધડામ = gun shooting
        • Mjá = cat
        • Voff = dog
        • Mu/Mú = cow
        • Bank bank = knocking on the door
        • Bíbí = bird
        • Bang = gun shooting
          Irish Gaelic
          • miao = cat
          • bhuf = dog
          • mú = cow
          • cnag cnag = knocking on the door
          • tsíp tsíp = bird
          • plimp = gun shooting
          • Nya-Nya = cat
          • wan-wan = dog
          • don-don = knock
          • chun-chun = pigeon
          • ban = gun
          • gero-gero = frog
          • ki-ki = monkey
          • shuwa-shuwa = sparkling
          • ju-ju = grilling meat
          • goshi-goshi = washing something
          • momi-momi = squeezing body parts (i.e. boobs)
              • (야옹) ya-ong = cat
              • (멍멍 / 왈왈) mung-mung / war-war = dog
              • (음메) mm-meh = cow
              • (톡톡) tok-tok = knock on door
              • (빵/팡) BBANG / PANG = gun shot
              • (빵빵) ppang-ppang = honk
              • (꽥) queck = duck
              • (꿀꿀) kkool-kkool = pig
              • (짹짹) check-check = small bird
              • (히히잉) hee-hee-heeing = horse
              • (꼬끼오) kko-kkio = rooster
              • (찌지직) chi-zi-zick = ripping paper
              • (두근 두근) doo-goon doo-goon = heart beat
                  • Mjau = Cat
                  • Voff = Dog
                  • Bank bank = Knocking
                  • Pip pip = Bird
                  • Pang = Gunshot
                  • Kykkeliky = Rooster 
                  • Nøff = Pig
                  • Bæææ = Sheep
                  • Miał miał = cat
                  • Hał hał = dog
                  • Muuu = cow
                  • Puk, puk = knocking on the door
                  • Paf paf = gun
                  • Ćwir Ćwir = bird
                  • Puk Puk = knocking
                  Russian (Русский):
                  • Мяу [Myaoo] = cat
                  • Гав [Gaw] = dog
                  • Мууу [Mooo] = cow
                  • Тук-тук [Took-took] = knocking on the door
                  • Чик-чирик [Chyk-chyrik] = bird
                  • Бах or бам [Bakh or bam] = gun shot or an explosion
                  • Хахахаха [hahahaha] = laughter
                  • Kukariku = Rooster
                  • Hruk = Pig
                    • Miau = cat
                    • Guau guau = dog
                    • Muuu = cow
                    • toc toc = knocking on the door
                    • pio pio = bird
                    • pum = gun shooting
                    • ja ja ja= laughing
                    • Mjau = cat
                    • Vov = dog
                    • Muu = cow
                    • Knack knack = knocking on the door
                    • kvitter = bird
                    • Pang = gun shooting
                    • Gnägg = Horse
                    • Pip pip = Mouse
                    • Nöff = Pig
                    • Bääää = Shepp
                    • Grrrr = Tiger
                    • Kvitt kvitt = Bird
                    • Kraa Kraa = Crow
                    • Kvack = Duck
                    • Hoo hoo = Owl
                    • Kuckeli kuu = Rooster
                    • Kväk = Frog

                        Sunday, November 20, 2011

                        Livemocha Giving Away Premiuim Conent To Contributing Users

                        January 22, 2012 - I have a new article on becoming an Apprentice Livemocha Expert.

                        Livemocha, a language learning website, is giving away their premium content to Contributing users. Considering other users grade your submissions, you really should return the favor anyways. It's fun too, you listen to records others have made, you have to think about your language, as well as how this person can improve their language ability, and if you find someone who is a good grader/reviewer you can friend them!

                        If you haven't checked this site out yet, this is honestly a good reason to start now.

                        Tuesday, November 8, 2011

                        Spider Eyes

                        While looking for images for yesterday's post I found a wealth of images of spider eyes. Many of the images come from Thomas Shahan. As far as I know, all of these images are in the Creative Commons. Thought they were interesting enough to share.

                        Monday, November 7, 2011

                        Public Speaking

                        My biggest fear? Speaking in front of a room full of spiders.
                        The Internet went out for a few hours today, and with an upset stomach, and nothing to do; I started to wonder about why so many people fear public speaking. Why are so many of us adverse to it? Supposedly seventy-five percent of people experience some sort of anxiety when publicly speaking. Sometimes it happens to me, all of a sudden my sympathetic nervous system kicks in, and I start to get sweaty, and my heart races, and oh jeez.

                        Evolutionary psychologists suggest that our fears have been hardwired into our brains. We fear heights, spiders, and the dark because our ancestors that didn't, were promptly genetically pruned. Of course the problem with this theory is that there is no way to test it without a time machine.

                        Can the same be true to public speaking? Would expressing your views to a group put you in as much danger as being somewhere high up, or being attacked by a wild animal? Ostracization could have certainly meant death in certain situations. Then again, many people who do speak out are put in danger (Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Yitzhak Rabin, Gandai, Larry Flint, Jesus, George Harrison, Alan Berg).

                        But the concept of public speaking being so dangerous is astounding to me. Perhaps  it is the same reason why the judgment of others is so important to us? I don't know... only questions to think about...

                        Sunday, November 6, 2011

                        The Ethics of Cog Sci

                        Unfortunately, because my degree program in Cognitive Science is in science (instead of the humanities) there isn't any room for an ethics class. There is however room for the mandatory Calculus I and II. I hope that comes in handy, considering statistics was rejected from my final degree proposal. On the other hand I could have taken an ethics course as a general education requirement. Well possibly... after transferring between schools with completely different gneral education requirements, in order to pursue the BS in Cognitive Science; I don't know if I can blame myself.

                        In late night conversations in smoke filled rooms my friends and I talk about the future, and ethics of Cognitive Science. It is my hope that after I graduate I can do lab-research in the field. Perhaps eye tracking, an ERP lab, machine learning, doing work with games, or some other cognitive psychology laboratory. A question always arises "Why"? Why would one want to continue research in such a field? Usually the interrogator of the question is concerned that technology will eventually lead to humanity's downfall, "the end of the world". I do not necessarily disagree. 

                        I have often been criticized about how I use what I know about how people work in every day situations. When I explained to my friend that if I am in a club, sometimes I will approach a woman with another woman around my arm. The reason for this is building social report, simply put, if this person is invested in me, than there must be a good reason why. My friend told me that I was being sexist and manipulative. I argue that if after approaching someone with a friend, if I can get that person to open up to me, and have a meaningful relationship with them, then there is nothing wrong with what I am doing.

                        On the other hand, I could just as well take her home for the night. Is this still manipulative? Even after a string of other social engineering techniques? No, pinking up women isn't necessarily Cognitive Science; I would argue it is more social engineering, which I would argue can be a part of Cog Sci. The point I am getting at is that is just like any other form of technology, Cognitive Science could be used for good and bad. Yes computers can provide us with a wealth of information, but they've also proved quite well at collecting off of our personal information, and as much as they bring us together, they drive us farther apart through isolation, etceteria, etceteria.

                        The question remains, why is it important that we know what human eyes pay most attention to, and for how long, why do we need to know if the sound of a beer bottle opening triggers more brain activity in a alcoholic than an average person, why do we need to have computers that can "think" on their own. Obviously nothing good can come fro technology like this, and will only be exploited more by people like advertisers.

                        And the reason I give is a personal philosophy. It is that if heaven could ever exist, it would have to be manifested here on Earth. If we are ever going to achieve such a state, we need to understand how we operate, why we do the things we do. We need to understand that we operate on the same brains we had when we were cavemen; and that's why we are aggressive, why we believe in ancient superstitions, why our genitals control actions we make, when the woman in the club sees me approach her with another woman in my arm and recognizes what is happening.

                        Being able to understand the ways in which the cognitive biases, and facilities we make affect our judgement is a form of transcendence. If man can't understand that, than I believe that he deserves to be pruned from existence. Not necessarily "the end of the world", the end of the human race. The earth is 4.54 billion years old, we're 200,000 years old. Whatever we can cook up I am sure the planet can handle it.

                        Thursday, November 3, 2011

                        Meaning and Cognition Readings

                        Yesterday I posted about one of the reading for my Meaning and Cognition class. Instead of a textbook, we have selections from various books in which we must read. These readings were made publicly available, so if you are interested in reading them yourself, you can find them here.

                        Wednesday, November 2, 2011

                        Word Order

                        Many of the concepts and examples in this article come from a chapter in a book written by Dirven and Radden, I have included the citation at the bottom of this article.
                        The word order of a sentence is crucial. "Loaf a store went of to the to bread I buy" doesn't make a lot of sense, even though you might be able to figure out that "I went to the store to buy a loaf of bread", it would certainly take you longer to understand when reading the former example. Other examples, such as "I want you to know" and "I want to know you" would need clarification if ever mixed up.

                        Sentences like "I came, I saw, I conquered" also rely on word order, so do "binary" examples (those that refer to two opposites) "give and take", "cause and effect"... "park and ride". Switching take and give, or cause and effect, do not sound right to a native speaker of English.

                        As mentioned before, word order defines the meaning of the sentence;
                        "Sam painted the green door".
                        "Sam painted the door green".
                        The word green, based on it's location in relation to the word "door" states the condition of the door before and after the event of the door being painted. You could of course include the state of the door before and after; "Sam painted the red door green".

                        Some languages can circumvent these rules, German is one of them; due to the existence of cases. In the sentence, "The boy threw the ball", both the words take thier respective cases; with the boy as the subject, and the ball as the object.
                        The boy threw the ball.
                        Der Junge warf den Ball.
                        Den ball warf der Junge.
                        Although the latter sentence would probably sound strange, the case of the word defines the subject, and object in German; not necessarily the position. 

                        Another concept that appears in language is that of the distance between words. Things which belong together conceptually tend to be put together linguistically, and vice-verse.
                        "A noisy group was hanging around the bar".
                        "A noisy group of youngsters were hanging around the bar".
                        Furthermore the difference between the sentences "I made her leave", and "I hoped that she would leave" is the influence of the noun on the situation. The sentence with the direct effect has a shorter distance between the subject and verb, the sentence with the least impact has a larger distance. The difference between "Romeo sent his girlfriend a valentine" and "Romeo sent a valentine to his girlfriend" is that the more direct sentence (the first one) suggests she received a valentine. However, if you change the sentences to say that "Romeo is sending..." then it is NOT assumed that she received the valentine! In this case, would there be anything different between the two sentences?

                        Dirven. "The Cognitive Basis of Language, Language and Thought." Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics. Ed. Radden. 2004. 1-21. Print.