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Today: That is an EX PARROT!
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Today: That is an EX PARROT! Reply with quote

Today I start off a new Today thread, with a Monty Python tagline. :-Ş

Grandmother is doing okay -- as well as can be expected. Thanks for the kind thoughts everyone. And yeah, it's a shame she has to go into a nursing home. But on the other hand, she's 98, so it's actually pretty amazing that she managed to avoid it for this long.

Also today, I clean out my apartment while prepping for this afternoon's D&D game.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hurrah for Monty Python!!!

Today I spent the evening watching 1776, with a break to go to a play audition. I read two parts, a genteel woman doctor and a harlot. They asked me to read the doctor twice, but after I read the harlot once they were like, "Huh. Okay. Do you have anything to say? I don't have anything to say." The harlot has a lot more room for expressive emotion while the doctor has more depth. We'll see if I get either...

And a recap: Doing a very fine job at distracting myself from both demons and responsibilities, physically taking a long time to get back on track gustatorily, but all things considered... I guess I'm doing all right.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother, Tin. =(

I hope you get a part, Asa!

Today the title of the Today thread makes me laugh.

Today I work on a research paper. Sigh.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
Because you can't guarantee the screen size of each user - if it's in columns, would you make the reader scroll to the bottom and all the way back to the top, or somehow arbitrarily choose a scroll height for your columns? Big headache, I'd think.


Ideally, you'd adjust the height of the columns to match the height of the reader's screen and tile the things out towards infinity - at least if you didn't have stupid amounts of content that'd slow the browser down as it filled up the memory - so that people scrolled horizontally instead of vertically.

Considering a lot of websites now spread related content across multiple inter-linked pages (even this thread is so spread ^^; ) I suppose you could string things together that way too.

I've no idea if it's possible or not - it may be that you can't set things up that way given the tools the current standards give you - but if it's just difficult, then that's the sort of problem you hire web, well whatever you call people who work with websites, to solve. Problems that are merely tricky you could presumably solve yourself rather than hiring someone to do it ^_^;

Today spent some more time messing about with drawing. Was trying to draw a monitor across the other side of the room but it's set up in such a way that you couldn't really see the far right hand corner so I was going nuts trying to figure out why it didn't look right. Eventually just got the camera off the desk and took a picture. Zoomed in and lined it all up on the computer =p

Note for the future: If something looks tricky, steal someone else's eyes.

Uh. <_< I mean look at it from a different perspective. Yeah - that's it.

Neh - you live and you learn. (Or, as they say, you don't live long.)
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
Ideally, you'd adjust the height of the columns to match the height of the reader's screen and tile the things out towards ... so that people scrolled horizontally instead of vertically.


Hmm. So basically, you'd replace vertical scrolling with horizontal scrolling? How would that work, exactly? Are you envisioning:

1) Formatting a passage of text as one single line. There is no "end" until you get to the end of the passage; it just keeps going, and you scroll horizontally until you finish reading the entire thing. Thus:



In this case, it would get really hard to keep track of your place in long passages, and the difficulty in doing so is physiological. It would be like reading a marquee sign for ages and ages -- as the text slides along, you have to constantly re-adjust your eyes to follow. This would especially bad if you're trying to locate one small segment of a larger passage. Ugh.

2) Formatting a passage of text to take up the available screen space, however large it is, and then scrolling horizontally to the next screen, thus:



This is better, but strikes me as a step backward. When you scroll vertically, the left edge of the text remains fixed at the same position, so you can flick your eye to the beginning of the new line without having to re-scan the field to find the correct starting point. If you're scrolling horizontally, there's no guarantee that the left edge of the text will wind up aligned with its previous position.

The alignment issue could be solved technically. But why bother? At the level of individual lines of text, we are trained from a very young age to read from the top to the bottom. If you change the way the text is read, you force the brain to process it in an unaccustomed way. For short passages -- slogans, titles, billboards -- that's fine. For longer reading passages, it would get tiresome fast. Why go against the prevailing socio-technical norm when that norm works perfectly well and hurts nothing?

If you're really interested, you might take a look at "Grid systems in graphic design: A visual communication manual for graphic designers, typographers, and three dimensional designers" by Josef Müller-Brockmann. It pre-dates the Internet considerably, so it's a bit dated now. On the other hand, you're still using the same model eyeball and brain that your ancestors were using 20,000 years ago.

Today I am argumentative. :-Ş
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Asa



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argumentative, but you phrase it much better than I would, so I'm okay with it. ^_^
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BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night was the third night in a row insomnia came calling.

Today I am running on three hours of sleep and lots of caffeine. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight. u__u
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Nem



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
1) Formatting a passage of text as one single line.


Good god, no. O_O *Horror*

I've seen programs written like that before. It was easier to write another program that went through and re-added the white space/newlines that should have been there than it was to read the things >_<

Tinalles wrote:
2) Formatting a passage of text to take up the available screen space, however large it is, and then scrolling horizontally to the next screen, thus:


Hmm, not really what I was thinking of. ^_^;

I'd set the width of each column to be around 12 words across in the browser's font size, tile them in the horizontal axis and have the base of one wrap to the top of the next.

Though like I said, no idea if it's possible at the moment.

Like a newspaper - or uh, this:

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t421/Nem9/Stuff/73987cb3.jpg

^^;

Admittedly you wouldn't get the edges perfectly lining up except when you were left or right justifying - but since you'd be using columns, which form relatively large targets to track as you're scrolling across, I'm not sure how much of an issue that would turn out to be.

Tinalles wrote:
Why go against the prevailing socio-technical norm when that norm works perfectly well and hurts nothing?


To see whether it can work better. With larger documents you - well, I anyway - often end up endlessly scrolling down a strip of text that takes up maybe a third of the screen. And really the screen's in motion most of the time because you read to the base of it and then scroll down a little to get the next few lines and....

Admittedly, you can flip your screen around and put it in portrait mode. However, unless you have a swivelly arm and connection on the back that doesn't get stressed by being swivelled, that's going to introduce some compatibility problems with things that genuinely are better run in wide-screen; games, videos and the like.

Or a monitor for each thing I suppose; one for films and games and stuff, and the other for text. Which is the way mine's set up and works reasonably well, save that the viewing angle for the older monitor is a bit odd.

Tinalles wrote:
If you're really interested, you might take a look at "Grid systems in graphic design: A visual communication manual for graphic designers, typographers, and three dimensional designers" by Josef Müller-Brockmann. It pre-dates the Internet considerably, so it's a bit dated now. On the other hand, you're still using the same model eyeball and brain that your ancestors were using 20,000 years ago.


Shiny. ^_^

Tinalles wrote:
Today I am argumentative. :-Ş


=p

Today really didn't feel like Monday. -_- zZZ

Today I note that you feel considerably better after six hours of sleep in the middle of the night than six hours sleep in the middle of the day. However sleep during the day is much easier to come by. >_> Odd that. If you get good enough sleep you're not tired by the end of the day so you end up staying up ever later....
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
I'd set the width of each column to be around 12 words across in the browser's font size, tile them in the horizontal axis and have the base of one wrap to the top of the next.

Like a newspaper - or uh, this:

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t421/Nem9/Stuff/73987cb3.jpg

... Though like I said, no idea if it's possible at the moment.



Oh, I see. You were thinking something like this:

http://meliogeny.net/alice-in-columns.html

That should do what you're talking about, as long as you're not looking at it in Internet Explorer 9 or older.

That's a lot more reasonable, but I totally didn't get it from your initial description.

Today I applied for a job in Denver. Wish me luck! I like the people I work with in Grand Forks, but I miss my family and my mountains. Also it would be a significant raise, which never hurts.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck! ^__^

Today was to be day four with no sleep, but after three hours of staring at the ceiling I decided to fight back with sleep aides. Now I just have to get enough caffeine into me so that I won't die driving to school this morning. @_@
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, Tin!

I usually sing myself to sleep - Pachelbel's Canon in D. I match the tempo to my breathing (each note is an inhale or an exhale), then slow down the song until I'm breathing really slowly and evenly. It also helps that I have to think about the tempo, which means I'm not thinking about all the anxieties that are keeping me awake. I rarely notice the moment I drop off, but it always works because the next thing I'm coming out of a dream, so.

Today was a crazy day. Half the eighth graders were off on some trip, and the rest of them were on an altered schedule to prepare for the standardized test at the end of the year. I ended up teaching How to Write an Essay, How to do Reading Comprehension, and How to Answer Questions to the eighth grade girls, who I've not had before. They're actually pretty good students. Then I ended up teaching the ninth grade girls, who I HAVE taught before, and they behaved awfully. Wouldn't be quiet, wouldn't listen to me, wouldn't do what I asked them to do. Then they got offended when I made half of them stand up and move to different seats to try and limit the conversations. So we'll see how it goes next time - the teacher suggests giving them a quiz as punishment, but I think I'll just ask them to hand in the activity next time I do one.

One girl said, "Can't you teach us without games? I just want to learn something!" Uh, hello, that's what I did today. But she didn't focus at all, wouldn't stop whispering to her neighbors, and then complained of all the noise.

*rolls eyes*
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And that's the reason I will never go into teaching. Good luck.

Asa wrote:


I usually sing myself to sleep - Pachelbel's Canon in D. I match the tempo to my breathing (each note is an inhale or an exhale), then slow down the song until I'm breathing really slowly and evenly. It also helps that I have to think about the tempo, which means I'm not thinking about all the anxieties that are keeping me awake. I rarely notice the moment I drop off, but it always works because the next thing I'm coming out of a dream, so.

I normally do something similar or tell myself stories. I just couldn't seem to focus enough on anything long enough for the usual methods to work.

Today my boring and endless-seeming class was actually interesting and went relatively quickly. Oh the wonders of actually learning something.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
Oh, I see. You were thinking something like this:

http://meliogeny.net/alice-in-columns.html

That should do what you're talking about, as long as you're not looking at it in Internet Explorer 9 or older.

That's a lot more reasonable, but I totally didn't get it from your initial description.


Yeah - reading back over it it's not entirely clear. I did mention like a newspaper in the other thread but.... Yeah =p

That does look rather like what I was talking about. How do you find these things? O_o

Good luck, Tin! ^_^

#

Today I was bored enough to evolve a script.

I've always thought the Roman alphabet is incredibly over-complicated for the actual information it communicates. Okay, a sound based system - that's acceptable - but you're still only dealing with 25 combinations + special characters.

Complexity creates a lot of problems for some people. One of the problems that a certain type of dysgraphic people have is just that the fine motor control necessary for writing is beyond them. Spatial dysgraphia - where people seem unable to reproduce symbols (or draw well.) And there's dyslexic dysgraphia - which I don't have a clue about =p

It strikes me you could eliminate at two of those at once - Braille doesn't contain any complex symbols so the motor skills and spatial coordination required are commensurably low....

I suppose, if you were to take the requirements to the extreme you'd get some design constraints like:

  • You should never have to take your pencil off the paper.
  • All the symbols should be mechanically simple.
  • All the symbols should be logically derivable - you shouldn't have to memorise the shape of anything.


Anyway quick five second fiddle with the thing - stealing from the most obvious system that encodes it more logically:



Problems:

1. Indicating white space is difficult. If the positions you have are

123
456

And you just want a 2 & a 6 - or whatever - then you need some way to indicate that what you've just given the person isn't a 1 & a 5

2. Speed - you have to pick your pencil up off the paper. Possibly there is some pattern that would solve this. Or you could sell paper that already has dots on it and just require that people produce a path that passes through the dots they want to activate.

You can see at the top where I was using two dashes of varying length to indicate the dots that would theoretically be obscured. The problem there is that you're not going to be able to produce consistent length lines. Well, I can't anyway. =p

Maybe if you just rotated the paper through 45 deg so that you'd have a consistent visual reference for line length.



Alright - so that sort of works and is much quicker. L for instance is just one slash rather than three.

Perhaps, if you had it as three lines. Rather than two. And the middle line was considered blank space.

So your matrix would look like

123
000
456

Allowing you to do this:



That was, coincidentally, a little bit faster than writing out the letters by hand the normal way would have been. It actually looks, sort of pretty - don't you think? @_@

Not quiet as fast as cursive though. (Which in turn is vastly slower than typing - which for me works out at around 45wpm - (Which was the reason I wasn't allowed to use a computer in exams in school =p).)

Now if only we had some way to join it up into a single movement we could write REALLY fast....

And since the vertical connection within the letters are all curves. - Necessitated by the speed of the writing and the need to switch position horizontally as well as vertically - we could make the connections between the letters straight lines.

The problem I worry about there is how easy it's going to be to hit the point you want to start the next character off from. Maybe if you subdivided each vertical line into three so that they just had to aim at the appropriate point. Also, many of the connections between letters are going to follow the same 2 or S like curve that the connections between the letters do when you start to pick up speed.

If you had the paper subdivided into boxes - that wouldn't be a problem. I suppose you could just have a convention - that anything after a full letter was blank space.

...

After trying it coming across with a straight line actually works fairly easily. You're pretty much always cutting down and to the left. It helps you compare the width of your letters to one another too.



Not the most aesthetically pleasing thing in the world - but after my third word it's now vastly faster than my cursive handwritting. :/

Looks a bit like a code. ^_^

I wonder how the Chinese join their letters up. Might be a trick there.

Edit: Admittedly I can see places where I've made an error in the above images - but that's due to not having the Braille positions memorised and thus reproducing errors in the earlier versions of the script, rather than any mechanical difficulty. And the very fact I can see the errors means that the system as a whole works and can communicate the information efficiently - once you get used to looking at it =p
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like my cursive, thanks. ^_^
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Think but this and all is mended...
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm, normal writing's certainly more informationally dense for a given space. Doubtless on account of having more complex figures.

I guess the extreme of that'd be Logosyllabic scripts; Kanji and stuff like that.

It's really just something to play with though ^_^;

I may go around and re-dot the Braille so that it follows some sort of easily predicted progression....
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