Interesting Stuff: Early May 2010

Some links to things you should check out.

  • My blog stats page alerted me to the fact that I’ve been included in Skepticator, an aggregate of (a) skeptical blogs and (b) blogs written by complete nobodies who might occasionally mention skeptical issues in passing. So thanks for that.
  • We know that people with at least some autism spectrum disorders have an abnormal cortisol cycle, so upon reading how the presence of a beautiful woman can raise cortisol levels, I thought … now there’s a therapy idea. :-)
  • An interesting way to compare genetics with operating system instructions.
  • On Australian television, Catalyst ran a nice article on the psychology of magic. The video is well worth watching.
  • It’s a pity that Chocri don’t ship to Australia. I had fun creating a monstrosity with milk chocolate, orange, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, caramel drops and sprinkles, but eventually I had to close the browser and throw it away.

And one more thing. There are still a few days left to vote in the Chatterbox Challenge (until 13 May). The most efficient way to try out all of the candidates is as follows.

  1. Start with chatbot #1, at the URL http://www.chatterboxchallenge.com/bot_info.php?CBot=1.
  2. Read the bot’s description to decide whether you want to give it a go. (For example, in the case of chatbot #1, you probably don’t, because it has Type: Desktop, not Type: Web-based. You will probably also want to check whether the bot has Chatting Language(s): English.)
  3. If you want to talk to the bot, click on the chatbot homepage to try it out. (In my browser, this automatically opens in a new tab.)
  4. To visit the next bot, increment the number at the end of the URL. (For example, replace “CBOT=1” with “CBOT=2” by typing it in).
  5. Go to step 2, and continue for all 56 bots.

Personally, my favourite is Brother Jerome (CBOT=8), but you should make your own decision.

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