Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jud Painter

One of my guilty pleasures is Poldark. You can read more on this series here and here.

My favorite character is the servant, Jud Painter. For some inexplicable reason I feel compelled to copy out a chapter that I read last night in the first book of the series, Ross Poldark, by Winston Graham. It focuses on Jud's speech patterns, which I find so interesting.
Pages 301 - 303

The found Jud gloriously drunk.
Some part of Ross's threats had stayed with him through his carouse, and he was not on his back, but within those limits he had done well for himself.
An ostler had got him to the front of the Red Lion Inn. The three horses were tethered waiting, and he was quarrelling amiably with the man who had seen him this far.
When he saw the ladies coming he bowed low in the manner of a Spanish grandee, clinging with one hand to the awning post outside the inn. Bit the bow was extravagant and his hat fell off and went floating down the rivulet which ran between the cobbles. He swore, unsettling the horses with the tone of his voice, and went after it; but his foot slipped and he sat down heavily in the street. Am small boy returned his hat and was lectured for his trouble. The ostler helped the ladies to mount and then went to Jud's aid.
By this time a lot of people had paused to see them off. The ostler managed to help Jud to his feet and covered the tonsure and fringe with the damp hat.
"There, ole dear; stick it on her 'ead. Ye'll need both 'ands for to hold yer old 'orse, ye will."
Jud instantly snatched off the hat again, cut to the quick.
"Maybe as you think," he said, "because as I've the misfortune of an accidental slip on a cow-flop therefore I has the inability of an unborn babe, which is what you think and no missment, that you think as I be open to be dressed and undressed, hatted and unhatted like a scarecrow in a field o' taties, because I've the misfortune of a slip on a cow-flop. Twould be far superior if you was to get down on yer bended knees wi' brush an' pan. Tedn't right to leave the streets before yer own front door befouled wi' cow-flops. Tedn't right. Tedn't tidy. Tedn't fair. Tedn't clean. Tedn't good enough.
"There, there now," said the ostler.
" 'Is own front door," said Jud to the crowd. "Only 'is own front door. If every one of you was to clean before 'is own front door, all would be clean of cow-flops. The whole lathering town. Remember what the Good Book do say: 'Thou shalt not move thy neighbor's landmark.' Think on that friends. 'Thou shalt not move thy neighbor's landmark.' Think on that and apply it to the poor dumb beasts. Never --"
" 'Elp you on yer 'orse, shall I?" said the ostler.
"Never in all me days has I been so offensive," said Jud. "Hat put on me 'ead as if I was an unborn babe. An' wet at that! Wet wi' the scum of all Powder Street: drippin' on me face. Enough to give me the death. Drippin on me 'ead: a chill you get, and phit! ye're gone. Clean yer own doorstep, friends, that's what I do say. Look to yourself, and then you'll never be in the place of this poor rat oo has to assult 'is best customers who is slipped in a cow-flop by danging a blatherin' wet hat on 'is 'ead from off the foul stream that d'run before 'is own doorstep with should never 'appen should never 'appen, dear friends, remember that." Jud now had his arm round the ostler's neck.
"Come along, we'll go without him," Verity said to Demelza, who had a hand up to her mouth and was tittering helplessly.
Another servant came out of the inn, and between them they led Jud to his hourse.
"Pore lost soul," said Jud, strokin the ostler's cheek. "Pore list wandering soul. Look at 'im, friends. Do'e know he's lost? Do 'e know he's for the fire's? Do 'e know the flesh'll sweal off of him like fat off of a goose> And for why? I'll tell ee for why. Because he's sold his soul to Old Scratch 'imself. And so've you all. So've you all what don't 'eed what the Good Book do say. 'Eathens! Eathens! "' Thou shalt not move thy neighbor's landmark. Thou shalt not-' "
At this point the two men put their hands under him and heaved him into the saddle. Then the ostler ran round to the other side as he began to slip off. A timely push and another hoist and he was firmly held, one man on either side. Old blind Ramoth stood it all without a twitch. Then they thrust one of Jud's feet deep in each stirrup and gave Ramoth a slap to tell him he should be going.
Over the bridge and all the way up the dusty hill out of the town Jud staying in the saddle as if glued to it, haranguing passers-by and telling them to repent before it was too late.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This is a stellar sci-fi pilot of a show that never was. The fleet protecting the solar system, grovey music, ice cube trays as tablet devices, what more do you need.

Some facts here.

Monday, June 27, 2011


This is an interesting collection of observations from the Wall Street Journal. The first one, regarding active engagement in reading, is what caught my attention and one that I would like to see more information about.

JUNE 18, 2011
Week in Ideas

Stupidity Is Contagious

Everett Collection
A study found that college students who read a short script about a moronic soccer hooligan subsequently did worse on a test of knowledge than a control group.

College students who read a short script about a moronic soccer hooligan subsequently did worse on a test of knowledge than a control group. But the deficit disappeared if the readers were encouraged to carefully notice how they differed from the character in the story.

Sixty-three Austrian students read "Slow on the Uptake," about Meier, who wakes, is confused by an adage on his calendar, gets drunk, attends a soccer match and misses the outcome because he brawls. The students either summarized the story or underlined passages where Meier differed from them. A control group of 18 read a story with an innocuous protagonist.

Afterward, on a difficult test covering geography, science and the arts, the students who had read about Meier but not underlined how he differed from them scored from 30% to 32%, compared to about 37% for the control group and for students who distanced themselves from the character.

"A Story About a Stupid Person Can Make You Act Stupid (or Smart): Behavioral Assimilation (and Contrast) as Narrative Impact," Markus Appel, Media Psychology (April-June 2011)

Personal Finance
Confidence in Debt
Young people "experience debt as empowering," according to a study, and the effect is strongest for people who come from the poorest families.

Researchers looked at the responses of 3,079 people from 1979 to 2004, in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. They ranged in age from 18 to 34, although most were in their early-to-mid 20s. The survey included data about credit-card and educational debt, and measures of respondents' self-esteem and sense of mastery.

For students from families in the bottom 25% of income, self-esteem and perceived mastery rose steadily with both educational and credit-card debt. The education itself didn't drive the rise in self-esteem; given two people with the same demographics and schooling, the one with higher debt had higher self-regard. Similar but less-consistent effects were found for students from families in the broad middle income ranges.

Only at age 28 did educational debt (though still not credit-card debt) become a drag on self-esteem.

"Youth Debt, Mastery, and Self-Esteem: Class-Stratified Effects of Indebtedness on Self-Concept, Rachel E. Dwyer, Laura McCloud and Randy Hodson, Social Science Research (May)

Blend Images/Getty Images
People who fill out bubble forms, like those ubiquitous fill-in-the-circle tests, use distinctive pencil strokes that can be used to identify them, researchers report.

Bursting the Bubble
People who fill out bubble forms, like those ubiquitous fill-in-the-circle tests, use distinctive pencil strokes that can be used to identify them, researchers report.

They programmed a computer to take stock of 804 potentially tell-tale aspects of people's pencil strokes on such forms. These include the mark's center of mass, the variance of pencil-strokes from the bubble's radius and the depth of shading, as well as more mathematically advanced measures.

The computer analyzed 92 student surveys, checking a dozen marks from each respondent. Then the researchers scrutinized eight marks from a randomly picked person. The computer identified its man or woman 51% of the time. The correct answer was among the computer's top three choices 75% of the time and was 92.4% of the time among the top 10.

The method could be used to catch students who hire proxies to take their SATs and teachers who change answers on their students' high-stakes tests. But employers, the researchers said, could also use it to monitor the voting habits of their employees, since some jurisdictions, in the interest of transparency, release scans of voters' bubble forms, without attaching their names.

"Bubble Trouble: Off-Line De-Anonymization of Bubble Forms," Joseph A. Calandrino, William Clarkson and Edward W. Felten (to be presented at the Usenix Security Symposium, August)

Getty Images/OJO Images
A study claims that brain scans of consumers who listen to new songs can better predict hits than directly asking the consumers what songs they like.

The Brain's Pop Chart
Forget that focus group or that rave in Pitchfork or Rolling Stone: A study claims that brain scans of consumers who listen to new songs can better predict hits than directly asking the consumers what songs they like.

In 2006, 27 people aged 12 to 17 rated 120 songs by different unsigned artists while having their brains scanned. The researchers eventually analyzed all recorded sales for each song—including singles, albums and compilations—through May 2010. Sales data could be found for only 87 of the songs.

Most were duds, but three sold at least 500,000 copies. There was no correlation between the test subjects' ratings (on a 1-to-5 scale) and sales. But researchers did find a link between units sold and activity in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region linked to reward and anticipation.

The scans predicted about one-third of the hits, defined as songs with sales of 15,000 to 35,000, and 80% of the nonhits. But that was still impressive, the researchers said, given the capricious nature of the music business.

"A Neural Predictor of Cultural Popularity," Gregory S. Berns and Sara E. Moore, Journal of Consumer Psychology (forthcoming)

Thursday, June 09, 2011


One habit I have is putting a picture on most posts. This picture is from last weekend when we were sailing in SF Bay and spent the last night at the San Francisco Marina before it was closed for renovations. This Marina shares space with the Golden Gate Yacht club that will be hosting the Americas Cup in Two years.
The power of habits in the life of the creative individual. This will be my point of contemplation next week as I travel in Amsterdam. Here is a good quote from the commencement speech at Ringling
Habits are powerful - people don't realize how powerful habits are, and how much of their success or lack of success in life is attributable to sheer habit. Be aware of your habits, and what is turning in from an occasional to a regular thing, and what are the regular things that you don't even think about any more, because they are so habitual that they have become invisible. Down to the very basics: how much and when do you sleep, what you eat, how you sit, whether you walk or bike or drive. When and where do you get your best ideas? What sorts of activities and conversations leave you feeling happier and smarter? What do you continually do that leaves you feeling demoralized. Be mindful of your habits. Make them intentional.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

music of

A Study
This uses the built in microphone to sample the room at 2AM. I am prone to swiping the keyboard, so that is heard as well. I can't resist making sounds. Oh well, someday I may not. This works well with headphones and not well with speakers.

A picture from and sounds for my dearest lil sister

Monday, June 06, 2011

at&t learning

at&t learning

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Berios wife

things I hear

Fluid Automata by Angus
Double tap for princess

says de Angus