Monthly Archives: September 2012

The problem with eyewitness testimony

“The brain abhors a vacuum. Under the best of observation conditions, we only detect encode and store in our brains bits and pieces of an experience.” The brain fills in the rest. We are worse at guessing the details than we usually think. And jurors trust eyewitness testimony more than most other facts.

If the video below does not work, then try: Scott Fraser: The problem with eyewitness testimony.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

IFTTT Twitter Triggers

Because of Twitter’s impending API terms changes (how third parties can access their service), third parties like If-This-Then-That are dropping Twitter. Ugh.

I only had two recipes using Twitter.

    1. Post any tweets I tag #ln to LinkedIn. I don’t even think I triggered it once.
    2. Copy my tweets to Dropbox. I deleted both, but decided I needed to replicate the Dropbox one.

So I went to to make an RSS feed of a search on my name since I knew that would work. Only I could not find an option to get the link to the RSS feed for the search. I even looked for RSS and atom in the HTML. So I went to Google Reader where I was sure I have such an RSS feed. Sure enough, there is one.

In IFTTT, I setup a recipe to append to a text file anything matching the RSS on the search for my username.

The RSS method is better than the Twitter trigger in that it will capture replies. (I’ll be honest that I considered trying this RSS method seconds seconds after seeing the results of the Twitter trigger.) It is worse in that it will collect spammer and phisher tweets.

And to be honest, I suspect Twitter will kill the RSS feeds on searches at some point in the near future. They are trying to become more of a walled garden. Which sucks for those of us who love it for not being a walled garden.

The suspicion is why I have not posted how to make your own. I know. I suck. But proliferating my trick probably will kill off the feature I like even faster.

UPDATE: Oh… And Google Drive was not an option at the time I originally created the recipe. Instead of using Dropbox, I used Google Drive.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Happy Constitution Day!

Interesting that we have a Federal holiday for thumbing our noses at England, but the anniversary for founding the government for our country, Constitution Day, goes unmarked with barbeques, fireworks, and intoxication. This year is the 225th one.

Not so long ago I read the Federalist Papers. It was an interesting look at how some Founding Fathers responded to complaints about weaknesses and overreach in the Constitution. I hope most people read the federal Constitution, their state Constitution, and the Federalist Papers every few years.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Don’t Change

As a kid, this Tootsie Pop commercial was my favorite. They aired during Saturday morning cartoons. My parents slept in late those mornings, so I had the television to myself. For the decade or so that I watched, it aired at least once an hour. Some times several times an hour.

As an adult, this commercial from the, what, 70s or 80s still amuses me. What also amuses me is that this relic still airs today. They have not modernized it. I hope they never do.


from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

TED Talk: Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence

Wow, not sure why I have not posted this one yet. In college, I was one of four students who showed up to the showing of a video of Pinker talking about his book How the Mind Works. It reinforced for me Psychology was a good choice for me.

So this talk on decline in violence seems appropriate for September 11th.

If the below video does not work, then try Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

TED Talk: What we learned from 5 million books

Google Labs’ Ngram Viewer lets us look at the use of phrases over time. For example, my name, Ezra, appears to have been most popular usage peaks back in the 1600s and 1700s, but has been more consistently used since the 1800s. This kind of thing can get me lost for hours at a time. Ezra+Persia+Cyrus

Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel have some more interesting lessons learned.

If the below video does not work, then try What we learned from 5 million books.

I found this on a blog post where a TED intern picked her favorite TED Talks.

from Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4