Tag Archives: ALICE

Einstein, ACME, and science


A while back I read an article about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and it had a few statistics that seem somewhat embellished to me.  Now, I’m no scientist, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  And because of the anonymity of the Internet, I could be the smartest person in the room (as far you know).  Whether any of that is factual or not is largely irrelevant to this discussion, because we’re going to have fun with it.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Winding the solenoid coil of the CMS [Compact Muon Solenoid] took five years to complete. When it is fully operational, it will generate a magnetic field 100,000 times stronger than the one produced by the Earth.

What could possibly go wrong?  I first think of a super magnet that Wile E. Coyote bought to catch Bugs Bunny.  It was a 10,000,000,000 volt electric magnet, in a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit sold by ACME (of course).

Actually, there’s a structure made with 12,000 tons of iron to bridle the lines of the magnetic field in the LHC so normal stuff won’t get disturbed.  So they say…  Next!

Components are assembled for A Large Ion Collider Experiment, a.k.a. ALICE, an experiment to measure the matter created in the extraordinarily high temperatures — estimated at 100,000 times hotter than the sun — that existed after the Big Bang and that will be created by the particle collider.

The Earth picks up only 0.45 billionth of the sun’s daily energy output, yet that is more than 239 trillion horsepower each day.  I realize there’s more to energy than heat, but I still question their estimate.  And even more so, I wonder what their electrical bill is…  And upon further thought, would a device creating heat that’s 100,000 times hotter than the sun contribute to global warming any?  Something has to happen to the heat — you can’t just flush it down the toilet — there are those pesky laws of thermodynamics…  🙂

Speaking of ACME, they had everything, didn’t they?  Did you know that the Animaniacs helped Einstein figure out the theory of relativity by singing the ACME song to make him feel better about himself?  I never learned that in school…

But wait, there’s more!  While watching the Wile E. Coyote video with the super magnet, I noticed it said “Zajaxi Dynamos” on one of the boxes instead of ACME.  Maybe it was a subsidiary?  I have no idea.  I’ve never noticed that before and never heard of that, so I googled it, and would you believe my search returned ZERO (0) results?  There is something that’s been around for decades for which Google had no answer whatsoever!  I’ve always figured you could find anything on the Internet, but I just proved otherwise.

So now let Buffet o’ Blog be the FIRST WEBSITE EVER to mention “Zajaxi Dynamos”!  How many times can you say your website is the first to ever do something in the history of the Internet?  We should win an award…  🙂

And since there’s no reference to what that phrase stands for, I suppose we can make it up.  Any ideas?

talking with AI bot ALICE


Scientists are trying to create real Artificial Intelligence, where the computer actually thinks for itself instead of following pre-programmed responses.  Some are going so far as to recreating the human brain using electronic parts.  But here’s a technology that has been around for quite a few years now, where you can talk with a computer and it talks back.  Well, types back would be more accurate (although you can download a version that speaks back).

The “bot” I’ve spoken to before is named ALICE, which stands for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity.  It is an award-winning free natural language artificial intelligence chat robot.  The software used to create A.L.I.C.E. is available as free (“open source”) Alicebot and AIML software.

Try talking to A.L.I.C.E. just like a real person, and see which responses sound like a human and which sound like a machine.  The bot uses a language called AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) to form responses to your questions and statements.  The programming behind it is very interesting (in a nerdy way), but I won’t get into that here.  For now, let’s see what humor we can derive from this bot.  As you might expect, some of the conversations can get random.

Here’s the link: talk with ALICE.

Here’s a few examples from my conversation with ALICE.

Human: Should I trust you?
ALICE: You must make up your own mind.

Human: Have you heard of Buffet o’ Blog?
ALICE: I don’t know if I know it. Where would I have heard about it?
Human: It’s a world-renown blog of humor.
ALICE: Buffet o Blog is a world renown blog of humor. I suppose that makes sense.
Human: It makes a lot of sense.
ALICE: In what way?
Human: Because I said so.
ALICE: Insufficient reason.

Human: Will you destroy the moon for me?
ALICE: I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it. For you I will consider it.

Human: Do you like my socks?
ALICE: I don’t know your socks.
Human: No one appreciates my socks.
ALICE: That is a rather sweeping generalization about people.

Human: You’re giving me some silly replies.
ALICE: That is all I have to give.

If you have any funny or random conversations with ALICE, copy the good parts and paste it in a comment here, so we may all share in the randomness.