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Ben's blog

  • On the distance between languages

    Here are the results of a small study to calculate the distance between words in english and other languages. The way the computation is done is by going through a list of basic english words, using the Google Translate API to get translations into other languages and finally computing a levenshtein between each English/translated pair of words. The final distance is an average.

    This only looks at the spelling words, the next step is to look at their phonemes.

    Feel free to use the datasets bellow and please let me know what you’re working on :)

    language      distance from english
    Swedish 63.88%
    Danish 66.69%
    Dutch 66.78%
    French 69.31%
    German 72.27%
    Italian 76.89%
    Spanish 82.14%
    Albanian 88.61%
    Croatian 90.74%
    Estonian 91.45%
    Polish 92.48%
    Hungarian 102.2%
  • les francais sont des branleurs professionels

    Les francais ne font pas greve pour revandiquer quoique ce soit, ils font greve car cela fait partit du folklore national. Pour donner plus d’impact a leur greve etouffee par toutes les autres greves, c’est a qui foutra le plus la merde: operations escargot, blocages, penuries, detournements, mouvement coincidants avec les grands departs, et cetera. Et les lyceens sont de la partie, non qu’ils aient quoi que ce soit d’interessant a ajouter, mais organiser une greve lyceenne fait partie d’un des rites de passages a la vie de branleur professionel assiste par l’etat.

    Illustre ci dessous: une brochette de braillards sans cerveau flambent des caisses a cote d’une raffinerie

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  • The last harvest

    With sub-zero temperatures just around the corner, it’s time to remove all the unripened fruits of our plants. Preserve will be made out of the green tomatoes.

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    and all that is left of the garden is a decrepit mass of dying plants img_0015

  • I finally caught a glimpse of Jersey shore

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    I have a TV in a hotel I’m staying at so I thought I’d get caught up on popular culture. Needless to say the picture is rather grim: 24/7 news channels blowing everything out of proportion, incessant aggressive advertising and the few rather intellectual channels just aren’t very dense.

    And then there’s MTV’s Jersey shore… To say that this show is stupid is far from enough. I remember a time when what came out of MTV was a message of provocative anti-conformity with for example Nirvana and Beavis & Butthead. Now even late at night it’s all about mindless consumerism, irresponsibility, self-importance and so much more frivolous shit.

    But rest assured, the undermining of women that is present in most music videos nowadays is not in Jersey shore. This is due to the fact that the male characters are also dumb as lobotomized monkeys.

    It’s painful to watch even just to make fun of.

  • Bear encounters

    Taken from Utah’s Hunter Education class:

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    Bluff charge? Bears know how to lie?

    So remember kids,

    – grizzly: don’t even try, drop on the ground and try not to look too tasty.

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    – black bear: FIGHT BACK!

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  • Just got my hunting license


    And the badge that comes with it.

  • Trip of Doom – epicness in a map

    [flv:http://ben.akrin.com//wp-content/uploads/2010/09/trip_of_doom-summary.flv 580 450]

  • Fresh produce!

     pict0015 img_0001 img_0010 pict0090Zucchinis, tomatoes, eggplants, salads, pickles, pumpkins, potatoes… et cetera. The garden has been a frank success this year and for the first time since we’ve been gardening.

    We have more than enough vegetables for our consumption. We’re canning some of them and although they won’t last us a whole winter a little more effort next year will allow this.

    We also have 6 chicken, get about 4 eggs a day and are thinking about a goat.

    I feel like we’ve taken a huge step towards self sustainability.