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Friday, December 1, 1995
For some reason I seem to be in a rather depressed mood. Is this the
result of being too tired? I think so, coughing all those nights does
not give you the proper rest.
I will have to go home in a few minutes. Added a new quote to
Susan's white board saying:
I started listing to the CD `The Instruments of Classical Music:
The Organ'. A rather obscure CD that we bought in
was produced in L.A., but originating from a German company,
containing recordings from East-European people.
I starts with `Toccata in D minor' by Bach.
Sometimes thing just don't work
(as you think they work)
Found a funny quote in the signature of Hugh Bothwell:
Lets keep this matter in perspective. One insignificant galaxy, one
of the tens of thousands of galaxies, has a small yellow sun on
its outer rim. About this sun orbits a molten iron ball. On the
surface of this ball is a very thin crust of silica slag. This crust
is partly coated by a microscopically thin layer of carbon hydrogen
compounds. Some of which has delusions of grandeur.
Monday, December 4, 1995
This morning, I brought Annabel to the day-care for the first time in
her life. It's now three o'clock, and they have not called me yet, so
it seems it is going nice. I wonder how she is going to react when I
will get het at the end of the afternoon. Lately, she has become shy
in front of strangers again.
It is also the first day that Li-Xia works
again, after Annabel was
born. She started working at the company that I used to work at,
before I started working here at the university.
Last Friday we went to a party of the company, because it existed
for 8 years. We were invited because Li-Xia officially started
working at December the first! I told one of my former bosses
that I might be able to crack the DWG
format for Release 13. I might give it a try during the Christmas break.
A funny workshop on Computational Humour, which is not a joke:
International Workshop on Computational Humor
"Automatic Interpretation & Generation of
Enschede, the Netherlands
Department of Computer Science
University of Twente
September 11-14, 1996
Preliminary Announcement and Call for Papers
IWCH'96 aims at bringing together research
results in the area of computational humor, with
an emphasis on the computational interpretation
and generation of verbal humor. There are two
main reasons to have a workshop in this
One of the obvious reasons is that there are
aspects of human behaviour that more or less
seem to evade a computational treatment.
Creativity has been given some treatment, but
mostly in an artificial context of problem
solving, not of behavior or language use. Other
aspects of human behavior, e.g. emotions, have
only found superficial (computational) attention,
for example in research projects in which facial
expressions are interpreted or generated. One
may ask what 'intelligence' is required for skilful
use of humor and how attempts to model humor
can contribute to modelling intelligence. One
may also ask what role humor can play in
making systems look more intelligent, for
example in a Turing test.
A second reason is that in artificial
intelligence and natural language research
modest results emerge in modelling co-
operative behaviour, disagreement and ironic
language use. In recent years we also have seen
a number of research results on humor that
make starts to a computational treatment or that
will probably underlie a future computational
treatment of the topic. Especially in (non-
computational) linguistics and cognitive
psychology work is becoming more and more
formal and it makes sense to attempt to
implement the proposed models, with the hope
of experimenting with them computationally.
One assumption that underlies the
organisation of this workshop is that in future
human-machine interaction, humans will
demand a naturalness and effectiveness that
requires also the incorporation of models of
probably all human cognitive capabilities,
including the handling of humor. Stimulating the
interaction between computer science (language
technology) and computational humor research
is one of the aims of this workshop. Apart from
human-machine communication, robotics,
automatic text interpretation and machine
translation are other areas that also will profit
from research on computational humor.
In addition to some invited papers there will
be presentations of a selected number of
submitted papers. The Workshop Organizers
invite submissions of original papers and panel
or demonstration outlines to this workshop.
Major topics of interest include, but are not
restricted, to the following:
- (computational) theories of humor, irony and sarcasm
- the (possible) role of humor in human-machine interaction
- machine translation and verbal humor
- discourse analysis and humorous exchanges
- semantics and pragmatics of humorous language
- semiotics of humor
- connectionist approaches to humor
University of Twente,
Salvatore Attardo, Youngstown, USA
Douglas Hofstadter, Indiana University, USA
Franciska de Jong, Twente, Netherlands
Victor Raskin, Purdue University, USA
Graeme Ritchie, Edinburgh, Scotland
Oliviero Stock, Italy; chairman ACL
Akira Utsumi, Yokohama, Japan
Invited Papers will be given by:
Salvatore Attardo (Youngstown, USA)
Carmen Curco (London, UK)
Mlchal Ephrat (Haifa, Israel)
Rachel Giora (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Douglas Hofstadter (Bloomington, USA)
Bruce Katz (Sussex, UK)
Victor Raskin (W. Lafayette, USA)
Graeme Ritchie/Kim Binsted (Edinburgh, UK)
Akira Utsumi (Yokohama, Japan)
Judith Weiner (USA)
The proceedings of the workshop will be
available at the workshop. It is planned to have
a selection of the papers (after a second process
of reviewing) in a book published by a major
The workshop will be four days long, from
Wednesday to Saturday, September 11-14, and
will include invited talks and paper
presentations. Some special events, including a
panel discussion and an evening program, are in
Instruction to Authors:
The Workshop Organizers invite submission of
original papers (4 copies with a maximum of 15
pages) and panel proposals to IWCH'96. Papers
will be reviewed by the members of the program
committee. After the reviewing process authors
of accepted papers will receive an 'Instruction
for Authors'. To contribute, please submit to the
program committee chairman:
prof.dr. A. Nijholt
University of Twente
Department of Computer Science
PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede, Netherlands
Important Dates in 1996:
April 15: Deadline for paper submission
May 15: Notification of acceptance
July 15: Final paper due
Full details of registration will become available
in the Spring of 1996. Announcements will
appear in newsgroups, mailing lists and
(electronic) newsletters. IWCH will also
maintain WWW pages with up to date
information about the workshop.
Tuesday, December 5, 1995
I found several copies of the book
`Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'
by Robert Pirsig on the net.
These must be illegal, as it seems unlikely that the book is not copyrighted
Brad Cox has a collection
of quotes from the book on
His Middle of Nowhere
is also worth visiting.
Found lucret-uh's Page.
A very outspoken page with a interesting picture of her, with a mirror on
The First Snow
Susan came to look in my office, to check
whether it was only from her office that she could see the very
thin snow, floating in the air outside.
When I went to the canteen to get my daily glass of milk, I
encountered a group of female students. It struck me that most
of them were taller then me, some even a lot taller.
I am 176 cm (= 68.75 inches = 5 feet 8.75) tall,
which is rather small for Dutch standards.
Wednesday, December 6, 1995
Yes, I know, I did not write a single useful sentence in my diary today.
Guess it must have been a boring day. I did some work on my
Thursday, December 7, 1995
Today Craig Massey <email@example.com>
(from OzEmail Pty Ltd - Australia) spammed a message about the book
Oracle of Man in many newsgroups. The author says things like:
"I am stating that it will eventually be possible to retain our conscious,
living intelligence, separate from our human physical bodies." (namely
by transferring it to a computer), and
"I believe that computers are presently the second most intelligent
form on the planet, but I am not sure for how long it will remain in
This is just some naive AI-kind-of babble, that I thought had become
extinct a long time ago. I would say that an average computer still is
on the level of a bee.
Last week I brought some packages of instant soup to my office to try
it out. I now have discovered that I can easily make two cups of soup
from one bag, as the taste of the one bag per cup soup is rather strong.
The only problem is determining what is the half of the contents of a bag.
Data or information
The internet was designed to exchange information, but because large
parts do not have any moderation, most of the `information' should be
regarded as `data'.
I am also afraid that many surfers might develop an `information'-illness,
or should I say `data'-illness, which has symptoms like: loss sense for
reality, flaming, and depression.
It appears we are cut-off from the Internet for the moment. And that happens
during my break. (The fact that I mention these facts, says a lot about
I have collected a total of 621 URL's in my WWW pages. I made myself two
counters for two of my pages:
means `blessed', and is the first character
for the name `Frans'.
Today she has gone to the day-care for
the second time in her life.
She was crying when I left. When I waved to her, she waved back, but
also started to cry. She must have remembered last Monday's experience (the first time). She was not very happy when
I got her. She did not like the drinks they gave here, and on top
of that her mother came in late, after we had returned home.
But a stunning thing was, that we both noticed that her walking style
had improved so much, showing a lot more self-confidence. She also
did a lot more investigating.
Friday, December 8, 1995
First `real' snow
Yesterday evening, the first real snow felt, just about 1 cm (2/5 inch,
for the non-metric readers). Annabel liked
the snow, until she tried to touch it, and felt forward. She immediately
started crying, and did not want to stand in the snow anymore.
Found Rachel's Home Page.
Monday, December 11, 1995
Getting the shakes
Last Saturday night I did not feel very well, so I got into bed and
started reading the book
on Problem Solving'. Then at some point, I had got some strange hot/cold
feeling, it was time to go to sleep, which meant I had to go out of bed
to do some essential before-going-to-sleep preparations. But as soon as
I got out of bed, I started shaking uncontrollable, from cold. I managed
to do everything and get into bed again, but it was a funny experience.
(It did not happen again.)
Waking-up early in the morning
This morning, I woke-up while dreaming about having to preach in church, without having prepared anything, nor having picked
a topic. But while I was adjusting the microphone (in my dream) I decided
it to be about: `Revival'. After I woke-up (and still being in a dream-state),
I recalled two scripture parts
(Ezra (I thought, but it was
Nehemiah 8:9) and
Acts 2:37-41) that might fit, and started to outline
my preaching. I also thought how I could explain the meaning of the
word 'opwekking' (the Dutch for revival). Then I also had to think of
'Removing the Veil', Chapter 3 of The Pursuit of God.
This morning Annabel started screaming
rather hysterical, once I got inside her room at the day-care centre.
This is definitely worse then last Thursday.
For a moment I was afraid that it was because she did not feel so well,
she had been sick last Saturday night, and I thought about taking her home.
But immediately, I realized that taking her home would only make it
worse the next time. Going away as quickly as possible was the best
solution. Later on, Li-Xia phoned them, and
she told me that she was playing happily and enjoying herself.
Susan brought a `Young Activities
Balloon Kit' from `Galt Toys' with her this morning. It was a left-over
from a party she had. I made the mouse this morning. The last sentence
in the `Step by Step Guide' says: Your imagination is the only limit.
I just completed blowing one of the extra long balloons, made some twists
in it, and attached it to Rolf's door.
Just before Rolf came back from his teaching, I discovered there was also
a Bee in the Guide, so I quickly changed the Mouse into a Bee, and stuck
it with some tape on his door. I wanted to keep the Bee, but I thought
the `Snake' was a little out of place, so, I took it away.
Tuesday, December 12, 1995
A very boring day, in a sense. Did not have a writing mode, but I was in
a very funny mood, probably caused by me still being a bit ill.
I put the snake balloon in a cup on my desk. One end is above my monitor
and slightly moving all the time, because of the rising hot air.
Working at home
When I am writing this I am sitting at home in what we call the
reading room (because of all the books that are there). I am sitting
in the dark as not to wake-up Annabel, who sleeps next door. The
doors have a small window above them. And I have put on my coat,
because it is a little cold. On my head there are headphones,
and I listen to the sound track of `Shadowlands'.
Li-Xia is taking a shower, to wash her hair.
Because she has rather
long hair, it takes a long time to dry, which means that washing them
always requires some planning. A long time ago she used to have hair
that reached until her knees. Currently, it is far from being that
Wednesday, December 13, 1995
I found a link related to TM (that is Trancedential Meditation, not
Twente-Milano, the database specification language that I work with)
about it being a cult.
Today there is a symposium with the title `Mission to Mars'. The posters
mentioned an URL, but is not working.
Dean & Laura VanDruff
have some good things to say. I found this through the
Thursday, December 14, 1995
This diary more and more gets the form of `A Netsurfers Diary'.
M. Letizia Jaccheri
Her Curriculum Vitae
in Italian. She also has an
She leads the E3 project,
which in their bookmarks page, have a link to the TransCoop
Wednesday, December 20, 1995
I have had some kind of cold again in the past days.
Across the country
Yesterday, Li-Xia and I drove to the other
side of the country and
back, to get her (a) new Chinese passport. The Chinese ambassady is
in The Hague.
Her new passport is signed by the Chinese ambassador in the Netherlands.
We stopped half-way the country to drop Annabel with my parent.
To drive across the country (from east to west) only takes two and
half hour (at an average speed of 120 Km per hour). This is outside
rush hours of course.
Today it has been snowing since early morning. But it is wet snow,
which means that it melt as soon as it hits the ground. In Holland
we get a lot of wet snow. Usually we need clear skies for it to
become really cold. When it snows, it is usually warm moisture air
coming from the Atlantic. Snow that lasts for more than a few days
is a very rare phenonema.
Thursday, December 21, 1995
A frozen car
The combination of fog and freezing
is always interesting. This
morning, I found the locks and doors of my car frozen. After some
trying I could open the trunk door of my Opel Kadett, and after this
open the the back doors (it is a 5-door car), but the front doors
didn't want to open. So, I climbed to the driver seat, to start
the engine, and by doing so, torn my coat. Then I climbed back
and started to remove the ice from the windows. Finally, I ran
upstairs to get the other key, and managed to open the locks
of the front doors from the outside. I am definitely going to
find myself a lock heating tool. This is not going to happen to
Progress in Software Development
The last days I looked in the book Information, which
contains preprints of the articles of the Scientific America
issue of September 1966. That is almost 30 year old. It was
interesting to read this book. I was impressed by some of the
things that were achieved at this time. But I also have to
conclude that Software Development is at a much lower speed
then Hardware Development.
Friday, December 22, 1995
On the rapid computation of various polylogarithmic constants,
a paper by David Bailey,
and Simon Plouffe.
I did a quick HTML-ization of some
documentation about the navigation system used in the Apollo
A child is easily freighted
Beware of frightening your child for fun, it might have lasting consequences.
This is what I learned yesterday. I already knew that Annabel did not
like the sound of the water running out of her bath, when she was in it.
Annabel had started liking to sit in her bath so much, that she did want
to go out it anymore. So, the other day, I though I had a good way
of getting her out, and pulled the plug while she was happily playing
at the time when she had to go out. Of course, she started screaming
and wanted to go out. But from now on she does not like to sit in the
bath at all! I hope she will get over to it soon, but I know, I never
should do it again, as this would only enforce her fear.
First Christmas Day, December 25, 1995
We had not planned anything for the Christmas dinner. For many
people this is one of the most important dinners in the year.
But somehow I do not like all this, because it seems to have
to do so less with what Christmas is all about. (We also did not
go to the special Christmas services, but that was also because
of Li-Xia having fever.)
So, around dinner time, I started looking around the cupboards
in the kitchen, and found a box of lasagna wafers (or what
ever you call them). There was some recipe on the back, and I
concluded that we had most of the ingredients. I took: 2 unions,
one thin piece of leek, one big carrot, and a piece of brocolli.
And, of course, Li-Xia gave me some meat and tomatoes.
I did the cooking in my usual style: doing every thing by feeling
and tasting, while turning the kitchen into a mess. The lasagna
turned out a little to dry, but the taste was okay.
November 1995 |