Creuset of Ideas
A collection of various ideas

Archives of "Life"


The Spirit Survives

2007-04-25 @ 11:19

This morning, I woke up with this song in my head (hence the title of the previous post):

Such distance to the tips of the fingers,
the ganglion loom jerks inside;
the body grows steadily stranger
but the spirit won’t be denied.

That sharp halogen flash jars the eyeball,
the limbs pump in overdrive;
the body grows seemingly weaker
but the spirit won’t be denied.

Yeah, the ash-mark stands out on the forehead
as the vacuum sneaks up on the eyes;
the body becomes a constant traitor
but the spirit won’t be denied.

And they call that living a normal life,
but normality’s not standardised.
Though the body gets ever more root-bound
the spirit won’t be denied

Yes, the spirit survives.

This morning, I learned that the mother of a dear friend of mine is now terminally ill.


SPC: leg/bath

2007-04-10 @ 16:28

I haven’t done that in a while, take part in the Self Portrait Challenge. This month’s challenge is the body. This brings me to another thing I hadn’t done in a while: take a long warm relaxing bath, complete with beeswax candle and ginger soap (birthday gifts). Giving my body a break, my mind too. Feeling the soothing touch of warm water on my skin, feeling less heavy (after a hearthy Easter weekend).

Feels so good.



2007-03-29 @ 9:15

Via indexed


Interview meme

2007-03-19 @ 11:55

So, I’m getting interviewed by Thinking Girl. Here’s how it works: Anyone wanting to be interviewed leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond by asking you five personalized questions, to be answered on your own blog. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview other people. And so on. Depending on how much (or little) I know you, the question can be more or less intimate.

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The minimum

2007-03-1 @ 16:22

I was discussing machine translation (MT) with a friend of mine, a fellow linguist, the other day, trying to see how a computer could acquire enough information to be able to do a fairly accurate job. The big thing, of course, is meaning. But, from a MT point of view, this pretty much amounts mapping one language onto another (I’m simplifying, of course). This brought about the big question: what is needed to learn a language?

What does a child need, a priori, to be able to start learning, to pick up its first language? In other words, what innate knowledge or ability is required, as a bare minimum (besides, of course, the ability to process inputs from our senses)?

First of all, I’d say we need the notion of communication, that the sounds mean something. Or does observation tell us that? Do we only need to see (hear) that specific sound patterns are related to interactions?

Pattern recognition is a pretty obvious choice for bare requirement. The ability to extract patterns from the flow of sounds. Even before birth, the foetus can distinguish language from noise, and even recognize the sounds of its mother tongue. Studies have shown that the foetus is equipped to recognize patters, be they (for hearing) in music or language. By three and a half month, babies can separate words in a sentence; the phonological word comes before meaning. The brain sees the physical patterns (sound waves) before tackling conceptual ones (meanings).

Generalization and particularization: the ability to come to a general concept based on observation of particular instances, and conversely, to extract an instance from a general idea. This is pretty much relation to pattern recognition.

Am I missing something? Do we need anything else?



2007-02-23 @ 9:02

Couldn’t help reproducing Karli’s (mom on a wire) wonderful . She recently underwent ankle surgery.


MS Hope

2007-02-22 @ 15:47

A study conducted at the University of Calgary has lead to the discovery of an hormone that could regenerate myelin, countering the effects of multiple sclerosis. Starting from the long-established fact that pregnant women rarely have attacks, the research team was able to isolate the element responsible for this “protection.”

the study is the first to determine that prolactin, which increases in the body during pregnancy, is directly responsible for the formation of new myelin in the brains and spinal cords of pregnant mice. Further, when non-pregnant mice with MS-like lesions were injected with prolactin, their myelin was also repaired. (source)

Of course, clinical trials are still a long way off, treatment more so. But hope is their.

See also: University of Calgary.


Why God Hates You

2007-01-26 @ 11:23

Seems that it’s the season to be tagged. Here’s a wierd that has just come my way: List five reasons why God might be tempted to hate you. Doesn’t have to be sacrilegious (although it can); and no going for the easy stuff (because I don’t believe in It/Her/Him, I don’t go to church, I use Its/Her/His name in vain, I never pray, etc.). It can be a way to profess beliefs or admit dirty secrets. Make it fun, or deep, or both. Also, got to tag three other bloggers…

So here goes…

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Jenn’s Tag

2007-01-22 @ 9:50

Thinking Girl tagged me this weekend with this. This is not your run-of-mill list-X-things, tag.

Here’s the steps:

  1. Copy the following into a word file.
  2. Fill in the blanks and edit as desired or completely re-write (a one page limit is best). A little research on your own area makes it even better.
  3. Print
  4. Get a few signatures or just sign it yourself.
  5. Mail it. No stamps are necessary to the really big guns. Snail mail counts more than e-mail, so the extra walk to the box is worth it.
  6. Tag five people (on-line or otherwise).

7. Repeat as necessary.

Continue reading »


They were 14

2006-12-6 @ 15:24

Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Maryse Laganière
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michèle Richard
Annie St-Arneault
Annie Turcotte
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

(Thanks Jenn for reminding me).