[Picture of me]






Here are things I've created myself.
2014-12-23: Site News

Site redesign

I decided to switch to a new layout before everything was ready, partly to force myself to finally get it done, and partly to stress myself out for no good reason. Come back in a week or so, and I'll have much more content up. You should probably be celebrating Christmas now anyway.

2013-11-01: Portfolio

Crow girl

2013-05-23: Portfolio

Pig robot

My friend Anna likes pigs and robots.

2005-05-19: Portfolio

My pet

This profound work of art was created for the "Master and Servant" themed CGNetworks illustration competition; you can find work in progress images and more information here

2005-02-20: Portfolio

Rabbits with flamethrowers

2003-10-16: Portfolio


2003-10-02: Portfolio

Big boss

Detail of a gangster-themed poster for the dance show group Jump Session

2002-09-01: Portfolio

Lilya 4-ever

Oksana Akinshina as Lilya in Lukas Moodysson's movie Lilya 4-ever.


Fun or interesting things from the internet.
2015-04-14: Linkblog

The Best Anime And Manga For Beginners

This list is for the person who has seen a Ghibli film or two, who maybe watched Cowboy Bebop back in high school. They know there’s a whole wide world of stories out there, but they’re not sure how to access it. 

I love Yotsuba& and Uzumaki, which are on the list, so I should probably check out the rest.

2015-04-14: Linkblog

Women preferred 2:1 over men for STEM faculty positions

In experiments with professors from 371 colleges and universities across the United States, science and engineering faculty preferred women two-to-one over identically qualified male candidates for assistant professor positions.

Williams and Ceci conducted five randomized controlled experiments with 873 tenure-track faculty in all 50 U.S. states to assess gender bias. In three studies, faculty evaluated narrative summaries describing hypothetical male and female applicants for tenure-track assistant professorships in biology, economics, engineering and psychology. In a fourth experiment, engineering faculty evaluated full CVs instead of narratives, and in a fifth study, faculty evaluated one candidate (either a man or identically qualified woman) without comparison to an opposite-gender candidate. Candidates’ personalities were systematically varied to disguise the hypotheses.

The only evidence of bias the authors discovered was in favor of women; faculty in all four disciplines preferred female applicants to male candidates, with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference.

Update: Scott Alexander weighs in, now that we have several studies finding a strong bias, but in opposite directions.

2015-04-08: Linkblog

What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand?

In certain situations, it seems, we have started using “no” to mean “yes.” Lena Dunham and Marc Maron, talking about people who reflexively disparage modern art:

MARON: They can look at any painting and go, “Eh.” They can look at a Rothko and go, “Hey, three colors.” And then you want to hit them.

DUNHAM: No, totally.

It’s not even limited to “No, totally.” I first started noticing it when a fiftysomething acquaintance responded to a question I asked by saying, “Yup! No, very definitely.”

2015-04-08: Linkblog

8088 MPH: We Break All Your Emulators

An insanely advanced demo for the 1981 IBM PC + CGA graphics.

2015-04-02: Linkblog

The Staring Book

While living in Japan, Arni Kristjansson heard several non-Japanese friends complain that they get stared at in public. He decided to create a fake book cover titled Why Do Japanese People Stare At Foreigners?, which can be wrapped around a book you're reading.
2015-03-27: Linkblog

Ny studie: Män gillar inte karriärkvinnor

102 norska bachelor- og masterstudenter fick i ett experiment höra samma berättelse om en karriärist; i 50% av fallen fick karriäristen namnet Hanna Berg Jacobsen, och i 50% av fallen Hans Berg Jacobsen. Studenterna fick sedan bedöma personen. De manliga studenterna gav följande svar:

75% av gillade Hans, 24% gillade Hanna. 75% ville samarbeta med Hans, 36% ville samarbeta med Hanna.

80% ansåg Hans vara en bra ledare, medan 48% ansåg samma sak om Hanna. 72% tyckte att Hanna var en dålig mamma. 30% tyckte att Hans borde bättra på sina pappa-skills.

Kvinnor lade mindre vikt vid könstillhörighet på de flesta punkter.

2015-03-19: Linkblog

The myopia boom

In the early 2000s, when researchers started to look at specific behaviours, such as books read per week or hours spent reading or using a computer, none seemed to be a major contributor to myopia risk. But another factor did. After studying more than 4,000 children at Sydney primary and secondary schools for three years, they found that children who spent more time outside had a lower risk of developing myopia. Time engaged in indoor sports had no such protective association. And children who spent more time outside were not necessarily spending less time with books, screens and close work. What seemed to matter most was the eye's exposure to bright light.

2015-03-17: Linkblog

New, faster type of 3D printing

The resin solidifies when ultraviolet light hits it. So to create the desired item, a projector underneath the resin pool shoots UV light, in the form of a series of cross-sectional images of the object. As a result, it works in minutes, rather than hours — 25 to 100 times faster, its creators say, than conventional 3D printing. The lack of layers also makes the products of this new method stronger. That's because they're solid objects, rather than layers of material stacked together.

2015-03-11: Linkblog

NHMRC: No evidence for efficacy of homeopathy

The National Health and Medical Research Council today released a statement concluding that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions. Its release follows a thorough review of the evidence, conducted as part of NHMRC’s responsibility to provide advice and support informed health care decisions by the Australian community.

The conclusion is based on the findings of a rigorous assessment of more than 1800 papers. Of these, 225 studies met the criteria to be included in NHMRC’s examination of the effectiveness of homeopathy. The review found no good quality, well-designed studies with enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy works better than a placebo, or causes health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

Although some studies did report that homeopathy was effective, the quality of those studies was assessed as being small and/or of poor quality. These studies had either too few participants, poor design, poor conduct and or reporting to allow reliable conclusions to be drawn on the effectiveness of homeopathy.

2015-03-07: Linkblog

Voxatron demo - Robot and the Snow Dragon

Four years ago, I linked to the voxel game engine Voxatron. A few days ago I discovered that they now have a playable demo on their web page. It's a cute, retro 3d platformer/shooter that's a lot of fun.

2015-03-06: Linkblog

IBM's Watson Computer Made A BBQ Sauce, And It's Delicious

IBM engineers carefully examined flavor compounds in thousands of ingredients, going down to the molecular level to measure the pleasantness of each. Then, using nutritional data from the FDA, they had the chefs at ICE try out the combinations Watson had determined would make for a delicious meal. 

The cognitive cooking team then sent some lucky journalists the Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, a golden, syrupy sauce created by Watson and the ICE chefs. We tried it as a dipping sauce with chicken tenders and were surprised by how delicious it really was.

Update! Now there's a cookbook: Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson

2015-03-02: Linkblog

Unreal Engine 4 tutorials

Unreal Engine 4 – a popular suite of game development tools – is now free[1]. Here are links to tutorials.

[1] Well, if you sell what you create, they want 5% of gross profit after $3000 sales per quarter.

2015-02-21: Linkblog

Calogero - Le portrait

2015-02-21: Linkblog

Tomatan, a wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes as you run

Weighing 8kg, it features a tomato shaped head with a mouth that opens to dispense the tomato into circular metal arms that then come down over the person's mouth to feed them a tomato.

People running the Tokyo marathon really need this.

2015-02-19: Linkblog

Phantom Acupuncture

A recent study looked at performing acupuncture on a phantom limb. They used a now well-established technique of tricking the brain into incorporating a dummy body part as if it were real. They placed subjects in front of a table so that one of their arms was below the table, with a rubber arm above the table placed in such a way that visually the rubber arm looked like their own arm. 

The researchers performed functional MRI scanning on subjects while needles were placed in their phantom rubber limbs. This created the experience of the DeQi sensation as well as the same brain activation that previous studies have found with acupuncture of real limbs. If these results hold up, this implies that the brain is simply responding to the expectation and visualization of the needle penetration. Actual needle penetration is unnecessary. The most parsimonious interpretation of this data is that acupuncture is all in the mind.
2015-02-19: Linkblog

Det är skillnad på folk och folk när det gäller yttrandefriheten

Så länge några få har frikort att sparka nedåt på alla andra är det omöjligt att framgångsrikt arbeta för ett samhälle med mindre hat.

2015-02-16: Linkblog

The Yule Cat

The Yule Cat (Icelandic: Jólakötturinn or Jólaköttur) is a monster from Icelandic folklore, a huge and vicious cat said to lurk about the snowy countryside during Christmastime and eat people who have not received any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.

2015-02-15: Linkblog

Let's talk about category structure and oppression!

Cognitive categories are often fuzzy, and some members of a category are considered more prototypical examples than others. Most Americans will agree that a robin is a better example of a bird than an albatross, and an albatross is a better bird than an ostrich. If you ask people to just write down as many birds as they can, they'll list the more prototypical (category-central) ones first. More peripheral members of the category do not come to mind at first.

People's idea of similarity is asymmetric: they will, for example, say that albatrosses are more like robins than robins are like albatrosses.  People's use of linguistic hedges is based on prototypicality too. So you can say an emu is technically a bird, but you can't say a robin is technically a bird.

Able neurotypical not-fat not-poor straight cis white anglophone American Christian men are considered to be prototypical humans. Everyone is expected to relate to them. We're all like them, they're just (default, category-central) people after all! But they're not like us. We're the albatrosses, here. How can the poor robins be expected to relate to us? This is why they think it's so ludicrous that they should be expected to read about marginalized characters (who are nothing like them!!) but think it's normal and fine that marginalized people should be expected to read about category-central characters.

Derailing often works by changing the category under discussion. “Trans women are awesome!” gets derailed with “ALL women are awesome!” By making the category “all women”, the derailer does not merely extend the statement to more people. No, by changing the category and evoking the new category's cisnormative prototypes, they change the subject entirely – recentering themselves and pushing trans women off to the margins.

2015-02-13: Linkblog

Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question

Press and Dyson outlined an approach, dubbed extortion, in which one player could always win by choosing to defect according to a prescribed set of probabilities. “If I’m an extortionist, once in a while I’ll defect even though we cooperated, in precisely enough proportion that no matter what you do, I’ll have a higher payoff than you,” Plotkin said. "Extortion does well with one opponent. But in a large population, an extortioner will eventually pair up with another extortioner.” Then both will defect, getting a poorer payoff.

Following his 2013 study, Plotkin changed the payoffs to be won by cooperating or defecting. With this shake-up to the system, which might correspond to a change in environmental conditions, the outcome returned to the dark side. Generosity was no longer the favored solution.

2015-02-12: Linkblog

Rambo Day

Dana Saint was getting married in August… so, we all got together to pay tribute to him with an elaborate, surprise bachelor party. We hope you enjoy our attempt to turn Dana into an action hero for a day.