Welcome to my blog, where I post infrequently about books I'm reading, cool things I've found on the internet, poems I've liked, and other things that catch my attention.

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To Sang-bong's Wood Box and Bottle at Google Arts & Culture

I've recently discovered some really wonderful art by Korean artists. To my dismay, I know almost nothing about Korean art - but thanks to the internet, I'm beginning to discover some works I really like.

I've started poking around Google Arts & Culture, and it's actually pretty great - they feature various artists, various topics, various museums from one day to the next.

Somehow, one of those explorations led me to this terrific painting, Wood Box and Bottle.

Sue Halpern

I'm about halfway through this, and I'm enjoying it much more than I thought I would. For some reason I had a sense that it might be more serious than I was in the mood for (it is, indeed, fairly serious), and just not very engaging. But I'm finding I'm liking all the characters quite a lot, and the lives of both main characters are compelling. Halpern maintains a lot of mystery around both lives, so there's a sense of suspense that keeps me curious.

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A bee extracting nectar from a purple flower

I was so delighted to read about bees, and how they learn from other bees how to open puzzle boxes and pass on waggle dances.

The wonderful article Bees learn to dance and to solve puzzles from their peers, by the wonderful Jennifer Ouellette, highlights two recent studies

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I'm still thoroughly enjoying listening to my Familiar and Unfamiliar playlist.

The other day, Bonnie Raitt's "I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again" came up. I love Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw and know them pretty well, but I'd never paid much attention to the piano on this track before.

It's really lovely, though, and moved me so much that I wondered who was playing.

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I feel like I've seen lots of people claim that ChatGPT is good at mimicking the style of particular writers. (I seem to recall one writer who asked ChatGPT to write in his own style, and was really impressed by the results. I wonder if I can find that and link to it ... )

Well, the first "in the style of" experiment that occurred to me was this:


Write a feminist song in the style of Steely Dan.


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I've been enjoying my early experiments with ChatGPT.

Even though I know it's just a very elaborate computer program, I find it hard sometimes not to talk to it like a person.

I find that I usually say please - and its responses are friendly enough that I feel encouraged to keep doing it:

Kristi: Could you also translate that to English, please?


ChatGPT: Sure! The translation of "幸せは、なんですか? 非常に簡単な日本語でいってください。" to English is "What is happiness? Please explain in very simple Japanese."

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I've been interested in ChatGPT as people have been talking about it more and more lately, but I didn't have any ideas about what I might want to use it for - until I thought about using it for language practice.

It's terrible for providing factual information - ChatGPT doesn't know what's true and what's false, and it makes stuff up all the time.

However, what it's good at - what it primarily does - is recognize and mimic existing language patterns.