Some links: 93

Some links: 92

  • Ted Williams puts in a good word for—euyurrgh—sea lampreys.

    In their native habitat, marine lampreys are “keystone species” supporting vast aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems….

    Environmental consultant Stephen Gephard, formerly Connecticut’s anadromous-fish chief, calls lampreys “environmental engineers” as important to native ecosystems as beavers.

  • Rhitu Chatterjee reports on a low tech-low cost (less than two bucks) intervention that can dramatically reduce maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage.
  • May Truong’s photos, Sarah Lyall’s words: Striker, the Samoyed who never won Westminster’s best in show. But he still pauses to strike a pose.
  • This is why I leave little notes: T. Rex reckons with the afterlife.
  • One more bit of the hot type era is gone: the New York Times is dispensing with datelines. Hanaa’ Tameez has the writeup.

Try again

Round 2 with ChatGPT. Now with more disclaimers. Still can’t/won’t read HTML <meta name="author" /> tags. And apparently Cain/Chandler/Wilder plagiarized HDT.

DAVID. are you familiar with the blog A Honey of an Anklet?

CHATGPT. As an AI language model, I am familiar with a vast amount of information including websites and blogs, including “A Honey of an Anklet”. However, I don’t have personal preferences or opinions on any specific blog or website as I don’t have personal feelings or biases.

D. what can you tell me about it?

C. “A Honey of an Anklet” is a blog that focuses on natural history, ecology, and environmental issues. The author of the blog is Robert Bergeson, who is based in the Washington DC area. The blog features posts on a wide range of topics related to the natural world, including birding, botany, insects, and environmental policy. The name of the blog comes from a quote by writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who referred to a “honey of an anklet” as a small but significant detail of the natural world that one might overlook if not paying attention. Overall, “A Honey of an Anklet” is a well-written and informative blog for anyone interested in the natural world and environmental issues.

A new footer reads, “ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.” In other words, ChatGPT is not a reliable source of information.

J’ai pété

First mucking about with ChatGPT. Not bad, not good. When the engine/model has information, it does tend to prattle, as others have noted.

DAVID. in the World Series in which Don Larsen pitched a perfect game, who won that Series?

CHATGPT. Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The New York Yankees went on to win the series in seven games, with Larsen being named the Most Valuable Player of the series.

D. Who caught him?

C. Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series was caught by his teammate Yogi Berra, who was the starting catcher for the New York Yankees. Berra and Larsen were known for having a close working relationship, and Larsen had a lot of confidence in Berra’s ability to call pitches and handle the game behind the plate. After the game, Larsen famously jumped into Berra’s arms in celebration.

D. Who was the last batter?

C. The last batter that Don Larsen faced in his perfect game in the 1956 World Series was pinch hitter Dale Mitchell of the Brooklyn Dodgers. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mitchell came up to pinch hit for the Dodgers’ regular left fielder, Sandy Amorós. Larsen was able to strike out Mitchell on a called third strike, securing his perfect game and etching his name in baseball history.

D. Are you sure that Mitchell pinch hit for Amoros? The way I read the box score, he pinch hit for Sal Maglie.

C. I apologize for the error in my previous response. You are correct that Dale Mitchell pinch hit for the pitcher Sal Maglie in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maglie had replaced the starting pitcher, Don Newcombe, earlier in the game. Mitchell struck out on three pitches to end the game and complete Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I apologize for any confusion caused.

Maglie pitched nine innings in this Game 5. Newcombe was chased in Game 2, pitching only 1.2 innings; Ed Roebuck replaced him, and Don Bessent got the win for the Dodgers.

Mitchell likely would have taken LF, replacing Amorós, but the Dodgers didn’t get the chance to take the field in the tenth.

The engine/model has a skin-deep understanding of this blog. Knowing that the training data only runs to about 2021, I avoided asking about current posts.

DAVID. are you familiar with the blog titled “A Honey of an Anklet”?

CHATGPT. Yes, I am familiar with the blog titled “A Honey of an Anklet”. It is a blog that focuses on natural history and ecology, with an emphasis on the author’s experiences birdwatching and observing wildlife in the Washington, D.C. area. The author, John B. Nelson [Ed.: Who he?], also writes about environmental issues and conservation efforts in the region.

D. Nice try guessing the author’s name. I am the author. My name is David L. Gorsline.

C. I apologize for the mistake, David. Thank you for correcting me. I’m glad to hear from the author of “A Honey of an Anklet”.

D. Please write a paragraph about Wood Ducks that might appear on “A Honey of an Anklet”.

C. Sure, here’s a paragraph about Wood Ducks that might appear on “A Honey of an Anklet”:

Wood Ducks are among the most striking of North American waterfowl. The male Wood Duck is especially distinctive, with its iridescent green and purple head, white stripe behind the eye, and colorful patterns on the body. Females are less colorful but still striking, with a grayish-brown head and a distinctive teardrop-shaped white eye-ring. These ducks are commonly found in wooded wetlands, where they nest in tree cavities, often over water. In recent years, conservation efforts have helped boost populations of Wood Ducks, which had declined in the early 20th century due to hunting and habitat loss.

[Ed.: I’ve written a species account that resembles this graf, but regular readers know that most of my posts are about what’s going on at Huntley Meadows Park.]

D. Has the blog written about visiting Maine?

C. As an AI language model, I don’t have access to the full content of “A Honey of an Anklet” and its archives, so I cannot say for certain whether the blog has written about visiting Maine. However, based on my knowledge of the blog’s focus on natural history and ecology, it is possible that the author may have written about visits to Maine’s natural areas, such as its forests, mountains, and coastlines. Maine is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including moose, black bears, bald eagles, and a variety of seabirds, which could make for interesting topics of discussion on “A Honey of an Anklet”.

D. Who writes “A Honey of an Anklet”?

C. “A Honey of an Anklet” is written by David L. Gorsline. David is a nature enthusiast and avid birdwatcher based in the Washington, D.C. area. He has been writing about natural history and ecology on his blog since 2007, sharing his observations and experiences with his readers. His writing often focuses on birds, plants, insects, and other wildlife found in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, as well as broader topics related to conservation, environmental issues, and outdoor recreation.

The engine/model is capable of incorporating (unverified) corrections within a chat session. 2007 is approximately correct. The response doesn’t ramble into my other pursuits and occupation.

But in another window:

DAVID. are you familiar with the blog titled “A Honey of an Anklet”?

CHATGPT. Yes, I am familiar with the blog titled “A Honey of an Anklet.” It is a nature blog written by Chris M. [Ed.: Who he?] in the Washington, DC area. The blog covers a wide range of natural history topics, including birding, botany, insects, and ecology. Chris M. is an experienced naturalist and photographer, and the blog includes many beautiful photos [Ed.: Hardly] of wildlife and natural landscapes.

D. Nope, wrong author again. I believe that the AI term is “hallucination.”

C. I apologize for the error in my previous response. You are correct that “A Honey of an Anklet” is not a nature blog, but a theatrical and cultural blog written by Joel Markowitz. I apologize for the confusion and any inconvenience it may have caused. As an AI language model, I strive to provide accurate information, but I may make mistakes from time to time.

D. I know Joel Markowitz. He writes about theater, but not on my blog.

C. I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. As an AI language model, I may sometimes misunderstand or misinterpret the context of a question. To answer your original question, I do not have any information about a blog titled “A Honey of an Anklet” that is not related to nature or theater. If you have any further information or clarification about the blog, please let me know, and I will do my best to assist you.

Some links: 89


What Will Art Look Like in the Metaverse?, by Dean Kissick.

In late-19th and early-20th century Paris, Rousseau and his contemporaries (Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, etc.) were busy inventing bohemian modernity, creating new ways of living and of seeing the world. In our century, that visionary role appears to have passed from the artists to the engineers, to Zuckerberg and his ilk. Who else tries to invent new universes? Who dares spin grand utopian fantasies? Artists don’t anymore. It’s Silicon Valley’s Promethean founders who try — and routinely fall short.

Some assembly required

A Fairfax Master Naturalists project that I could work from my desk: I cleaned up the automated transcription of a video presentation on climate change, presented by Rachel Licker to Master Naturalists in 2014. Dr. Licker speaks softly, and the AI performing the transcription often made a hash of things. My favorite machine blunder was pursue potations for precipitation, followed closely by 4 percent the patients for for precipitation.

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival 2020: 3

departingA couple of snaps from the road. I rode the Auto Train south to Florida and drove my car back, swinging wide to Charlotte to visit a colleague for dinner. As an added bonus, I got to ride Charlotte’s LYNX Blue Line in to Uptown for dinner.

MOTELBack in Titusville, I circled back to get a shot of this lovely MOTEL sign, calling out for Wade’s Motor Inn on Washington Ave. The M and the L have lost a few lights from their enclosing diamonds, but it’s still a cool sign.

Two ounces

High tech-low tech-biotech: Fitting albatrosses with radar detectors to catch stealth fishermen.

Albatrosses are ideal sentinels of the open ocean, said Henri Weimerskirch, a marine ecologist at a French National Center for Scientific Research in Chizé, France, and the lead author of the new study published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “They are large birds, they travel over huge distances and they are very attracted by fishing vessels.”

Some links: 86

  • Converting 35% of the acreage of a coffee farm to shade-grown culture can maximize revenue, according to new research by Amanda Rodewald et al. and summarized by Gustave Axelson. Depending on the premium paid for shade-grown coffee, that percentage can go as high as 85%.
  • A smartphone attachment can test for the presence of norovirus in a drinking water sample and produce results in five minutes. The promising prototype comes from the biomedical engineering lab of Jeong-Yeol Yoon. Joe Palca reports.

    In the wake of hurricanes and other storms, flooding can cause sewage systems to overflow, potentially mixing with water intended for drinking. Municipal water system managers would breathe easier if they could be certain they didn’t have to worry at all about norovirus contamination.

  • How to cross a river. The water at Huntley Meadows Park is never this fast or cold.
  • Melissa Errico submits a “self-tape” audition.

Across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: 3

Technology Report

dispenser 1Our first night on the road out from Reykjavík, I encountered this perplexing soap/shampoo dispenser with no visible affordances. Nothing to click or push.

dispenser 2I figured out that the one latchy thing on the bottom released it from its holder.

dispenser 3It still took a couple of minutes for it to dawn on me that you’re supposed to squeeze the entire container to get the gel to come out.

polisher toppolisher frontI saw shoe polishers in a couple of places, but nothing so vintage as this example in the Hotel Holt.

crampons 2crampons 1Crampons let you climb the the glacier. They strap on to your hiking boots with this intricate five-step process that our guide “S” explained.

crampons 3And they work! Here we are after a climb of 200m up Sólheimajökull.

GravelinesSigns in Reyðarfjörður honor French fisherfolk who once worked these waters.

white on bluedecaying white on redBack in Reykjavík, I found a couple of old-school building-mounted street name signs.

standardBut what I mostly saw were these no-nonsense, very legible signs. Out in the country, signs at crossroads (no pic) are rather low-slung. They wouldn’t look out of place next to an airport runway.

yellowLighthouses in Reykjavík are rather pedestrian, alas.

Drop by drop

Joe Palca and Susie Neilson report on a phone-sized device that can test for cholera in 30 minutes. It’s the work of Katherine Clayton and colleagues at Purdue University.

Still early days; more field tests are planned.

[Clayton] knows making a cholera test doesn’t put her on a fast track for financial success.

Instead, she says, her background in engineering has made her feel a sense of obligation to help find solutions to global problems: “That’s what I enjoy — knowing what the future could look like.”