[Inform] Improving NPC Conversation (?)

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Doeadeer3

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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Okay, I am working on improving NPC conversation. A limited
improvement, because after I started thinking about it I realized
a MAJOR improvement would mean more work for me the game writer/
programmer, coding all those responses to countless possible player inputs.

So aiming low, what I am trying to do is include certain types questions in the
orders routine of an NPC. Looking over the code of parserm.h
and reading the manual -- anything that is not understood by orders is
passed back to the life routine of the NPC as a say action.

Bob, hi becomes say hi to Bob

The only way questions are handled by orders is: "Bob, tell me about whatever"
which becomes "ask Bob about whatever". But I want orders to be able to handle
a question like, "Bob, where is Jimboy?".

I looked at parserm for processing orders and decided trying to rewrite
that section was beyond me and would probably totally muck up the parser.

So here is what I came up with and frankly I think it er... sucks.
Not only because I have to code a separate verb routine for how, why, etc., but
because on top of that I have to create two verb routines for the same type of
question so that one can be processed by orders and one by the life routine.

orders processing--

[ WhereIsSub; "You need to address that question to someone,
>someone, where is someone";]

Verb "where" * "is" creature ->Whereis;

life processing--
Extend "ask" last
* creature "where" "is" creature -> Query;

[ QuerySub;
stuff;
if (RunLife(noun, ##Query)~=0) rfalse;
more stuff;
];

I can "condense" this by:

Bob "Bob"
with name "Bob" "overused" "and" "underpaid",
life
[; Query : "~How should I know?~";
],
orders
[; WhereIs: <<Query self second>>;
];

But that isn't really what I want. Anyone have a better suggestion? Is there
some way I could set the noun to Bob, the action to Query and second to the
text, etc. in the grammar pre-routine to orders, that would eliminate having to
write separate verb routines for life and orders? Or set the actor to the NPC
the action to orderquest and the text to second, so I wouldn't have to write
separate routines for different types of questions? Anything that could improve
on this? Frankly, I am stumped.

(BTW - Scoping isn't an issue, I have that covered.)

Doe :-)


Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Andrew Plotkin

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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Doeadeer3 (doea...@aol.com) wrote:
> The only way questions are handled by orders is: "Bob, tell me about whatever"
> which becomes "ask Bob about whatever". But I want orders to be able to handle
> a question like, "Bob, where is Jimboy?".
> [...]

> So here is what I came up with and frankly I think it er... sucks.
> Not only because I have to code a separate verb routine for how, why, etc., but
> because on top of that I have to create two verb routines for the same type of
> question so that one can be processed by orders and one by the life routine.

> orders processing--
>
> [ WhereIsSub; "You need to address that question to someone,
> >someone, where is someone";]
>
> Verb "where" * "is" creature ->Whereis;
>
> life processing--
>
> Extend "ask" last
> * creature "where" "is" creature -> Query;
>
> [ QuerySub;
> stuff;
> if (RunLife(noun, ##Query)~=0) rfalse;
> more stuff;
> ];

Actually, that seems quite reasonable. Putting in two routines for a verb
is not bad if one of them is a stub.

The only thing I'd change is to make the default WhereIsSub try to
*infer* a creature. If there's exactly one around, print "(asking Bob that)"
and direct the query; If there are more than one around, print "You'll
have to ask that of someone in particular."; otherwise print "You're
talking to yourself again."

> But that isn't really what I want. Anyone have a better suggestion? Is there
> some way I could set the noun to Bob, the action to Query and second to the
> text, etc. in the grammar pre-routine to orders, that would eliminate having to
> write separate verb routines for life and orders?

Probably, but I'm tired again. Sorry. :)

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Den of Iniquity

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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Adding new ways to converse with NPC's scares me - each new level of
complexity generates new ways to break mimesis, if you'll pardon the
phrase. However I think Where is, What is and Who is shouldn't cause too
much fuss - there is a library already extant - whowhat.h - which handles
the Zork-like question grammar like "Who is Khelavastar?" and "What is a
grue?" Putting these questions to NPC's is another kettle of fish but the
principle of bringing topics into scope can't be far removed.

I think it'll be some time before we see a 'Why' implemented well in
anything other than multiple choice, though. "Bob, Why did the chicken
cross the road?" - at the moment you'd probably need a keyword searching
thing - why just opens up too many possibilities and introduces the
problem of giving NPC's explicit motives, not just programmed actions
with implicit motives.

Can't help you a great deal, but...

On 15 Jul 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:

>Extend "ask" last
> * creature "where" "is" creature -> Query;

You should include

* creature "where" creature "is" -> Query;

Also, do you really intend to limit the object of queries to creatures?

-> BOB, WHERE IS THE STUNT CD?

(I know, you were hoping not to have to include such details... Of course
this does rather depend on what sort of work you're writing.)

Or indeed singular objects/people?

-> BOB, WHERE ARE THE KIDS?

(I know, not so likely to happen to animates, but you'll want an "are"
grammar line for plural objects and plurally-defined singular objects
like trousers if there are any such things)

--
Den [waiting impatiently for a 12 cm import from across the Atlantic]


GLYPH

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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On 15 Jul 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:

> Okay, I am working on improving NPC conversation. A limited
> improvement, because after I started thinking about it I realized
> a MAJOR improvement would mean more work for me the game writer/
> programmer, coding all those responses to countless possible player inputs.

Yeah. That's inevitable.

> So aiming low, what I am trying to do is include certain types questions in the
> orders routine of an NPC. Looking over the code of parserm.h
> and reading the manual -- anything that is not understood by orders is
> passed back to the life routine of the NPC as a say action.
>
> Bob, hi becomes say hi to Bob
>

> The only way questions are handled by orders is: "Bob, tell me about whatever"
> which becomes "ask Bob about whatever". But I want orders to be able to handle
> a question like, "Bob, where is Jimboy?".

Hmm. I did exactly the opposite. Everything is converted to "Bob, blah"
form for Bob's grammar routine to handle. Actually, it's "Bob, blah blah
blah blah blah" form. Then the game's heirarchy of message translation
objects have a go at it, and pass the translated message to Bob.

Anyway, instead of yakking about it, I'll just release it. Maybe in a few
days now.

- GLYPH

E-Mail <y8...@unb.ca>
or <graham...@hotmail.com>

------------------

Shameless plug for my web page:
<http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/9315>

Doeadeer3

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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>From: Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk>
>Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 09:17 EDT

>I think it'll be some time before we see a 'Why' implemented well in
>anything other than multiple choice, though. "Bob, Why did the chicken
>cross the road?"

I am probably not going to implement a why, I was just using that as an
example. However, a how would be okay.

Bob, how about those rangers? could be turned into ask Bob about the rangers

>you'll want an "are"
>grammar line for plural objects and plurally-defined singular objects
>like trousers if there are any such things)

Yes, I have are on the grammar line, just didn't include it in my example.

Doeadeer3

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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>From: erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin)
>Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 00:22 EDT

>*infer* a creature. If there's exactly one around, print "(asking Bob that)"
>and direct the query; If there are more than one around, print "You'll
>have to ask that of someone in particular."; otherwise print "You're
>talking to yourself again."
>
>> But that isn't really what I want.

Not a bad idea. Maybe I will replace saysub and do that there too. It keeps
annoying me because it doesn't infer. Only one character in a room and "say
hi" procudes the result. "who do you want to say hi to?" although no one else
is there.

Doe :-)

Lucian Paul Smith

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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Doeadeer3 (doea...@aol.com) wrote:
: >From: Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk>
: >Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 09:17 EDT

: I am probably not going to implement a why, I was just using that as an


: example. However, a how would be okay.

: Bob, how about those rangers? could be turned into ask Bob about the rangers


>BOB, HOW ABOUT DEM APPLES?


-Lucian

Irene Callaci

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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I did something similar in my UnknownVerb routine. If you're
interested, here's the code. If an animate creature is in the
location, it presumes the player is speaking to that creature.
If there's more than one animate creature, it selects one and
speaks to it (or him or her -- I'm sensitive, I'm sensitive!).
If no animate creatures are in the location, it returns the
usual "That's not a verb I recognize" error.

[ UnknownVerb i j;
objectloop (i in location)
{ if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)
{ second = i;
j++;
}
if (j > 1)
print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";
}
if (second ~= 0 && RunLife(second,##Answer) ~= 0) rfalse;
else L__M(##Miscellany,38);
rfalse;
];

If you get your SaySub routine working, I'd really like to see
it, if you're willing to share.

irene

Irene Callaci

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Jul 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/15/98
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So, of course, I forgot one crucial line in the code below.
You need a break after the line:

print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";

and, of course, that means you have to add { and } around the if
statement, too. Sorry. I've tried to mark the original code,
below so that it makes sense.

irene

On Wed, 15 Jul 1998 18:58:49 GMT, ical...@csupomona.edu (Irene
Callaci) wrote:

>[ UnknownVerb i j;
> objectloop (i in location)
> { if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)
> { second = i;
> j++;
> }
> if (j > 1)

{ ! add this bracket


> print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";

break; ! add this statement
} ! add this bracket

Doeadeer3

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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>[Inform] Improving NPC Conversation (?)
>From: GLYPH <y8...@unb.ca>
>Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 11:25 EDT

>Anyway, instead of yakking about it, I'll just release it. Maybe in a few
>days now.
>
> - GLYPH
>

Sure, I am still very interested.

Doeadeer3

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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>From: ical...@csupomona.edu (Irene Callaci)
>Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 14:58 EDT

>If you get your SaySub routine working, I'd really like to see
>it, if you're willing to share.

Sure, will do, thanks fro sharing unknownverb.

Doeadeer3

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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>From: Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk>
>Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 09:17 EDT

>new level of
>complexity generates new ways to break mimesis, if you'll pardon the
>phrase

>However I think Where is, What is and Who is shouldn't cause too
>much fuss

Yes, I agree. Think every parent of a two-year old (or is it a four-year old?)
knows that. They break mimesis all the time. "Why is the sky blue? Why do I
have to do that?"

Would force the game writer into the usual reponse, "BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!"

Now that I think about it, HOW probably opens a big can of worms too.

From: lps...@rice.edu (Lucian Paul Smith)
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 14:41 EDT

>BOB, HOW ABOUT DEM APPLES?


:-) Because they are all kinds of hows...

how about.........

Bob, how about dem buns?

how can/do/does........

Bob, how can I win this game?

Bob, how do I make a molotov cocktail?

how would.....

Bob, how would you like to play thermonuclear war?

I am sure there are even more types of hows, just haven't thought of them yet.

<Kaboom>

Joe Mason

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> insribed:

>
> objectloop (i in location)
> { if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)
> { second = i;
> j++;
> }
> if (j > 1)
> print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";
> }

I would use LoopOverScope instead of objectloop, so that you can easily
expand the scope beyond the current location.

Joe

Doeadeer3

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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>From: ical...@csupomona.edu (Irene Callaci)
>Date: Wed, Jul 15, 1998 14:58 EDT

>If you get your SaySub routine working, I'd really like to see
>it, if you're willing to share.

Well, it's pretty simple and is almost exactly like your UnknownVerb.

Extend 'answer' first
* topic -> VagueAnswer

[ VagueAnswerSub i;
objectloop(i in location)
if (i has animate && i~= player){ second = i; break; }
if (second~=0){
print "(saying to ", (name) second, ")^";
<<Answer noun second>>; }
L__M(##Tell,1,noun);
];


Tested it and it works just fine and dandy. I was thinking it could be refined
with an attribute "sayfirst" to default to a specific NPC in a location if
there is more than one there, but I don't really need to do that in the game I
am working on because the major NPC in a location is already listed first (ergo
first in the object tree).

But you probably figured it on your own, anyway.

Dylan Thurston

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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ical...@csupomona.edu (Irene Callaci) writes:

>
> I did something similar in my UnknownVerb routine. If you're
> interested, here's the code. If an animate creature is in the
> location, it presumes the player is speaking to that creature.
> If there's more than one animate creature, it selects one and
> speaks to it (or him or her -- I'm sensitive, I'm sensitive!).
> If no animate creatures are in the location, it returns the
> usual "That's not a verb I recognize" error.
>

[Code deleted]

Wouldn't it be good to prefer to speak to someone with a pronoun
associated, so it's possible to carry out long conversations while
ignoring a third party? (This isn't perfect, if, say, there's a man
and a woman in the room, both with a current pronoun, but it would
help.)

If the situation really is ambiguous, I don't like arbitrarily picking
someone to talk to; it doesn't fit with the way ambiguities are
handled in the rest of the libraries.

--Dylan Thurston
d...@math.berkeley.edu

Den of Iniquity

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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On 16 Jul 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:

>Yes, I agree. Think every parent of a two-year old (or is it a four-year old?)

That's something a parent _really_ ought to know...

>knows that. They break mimesis all the time. "Why is the sky blue? Why do I
>have to do that?"

Surely a child breaking mimesis would be one who said things like "Why
thank you, mother, that was a delicious dinner. You must have worked
hard to make it and I'm very grateful for all the things you've done
for me today. Now I think I'd like to play quietly."

>Would force the game writer into the usual reponse, "BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!"

:D

--
Den (Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue. With a two-hour
physics practical to demonstrate the effect and some homework -
that'll make 'em less keen to ask such questions.)


Irene Callaci

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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Good idea. I'll check it out.

irene

Brandon Van Every

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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Den of Iniquity wrote in message ...

>--
>Den (Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue. With a two-hour
> physics practical to demonstrate the effect and some homework -
> that'll make 'em less keen to ask such questions.)


Better yet, quit being a tired, grumpy grown-up and put your energy into
genuinely educating/broadening your kid. Go take some aerobics classes so
you'll have the stamina to keep up with 'em.


Cheers,
Brandon Van Every

Todd Baumann-Fern

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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GLYPH wrote:

> Anyway, instead of yakking about it, I'll just release it. Maybe in a few
> days now.

Can't wait to see it. NPC's can be such a pain....


Doeadeer3

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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>From: Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk>
>Date: Thu, Jul 16, 1998 06:12 EDT

>That's something a parent _really_ ought to know...

Well... er... actually I don't have any kids.

>Surely a child breaking mimesis would >be one who said things like"Why
>thank you, mother, that was a delicious dinner. You must have worked
>hard to make it and I'm very grateful for all the things you've done
>for me today. Now I think I'd like to play quietly."

Yep.

>(Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue. With a two-hour
> physics practical to demonstrate the effect and some homework -
> that'll make 'em less keen to ask such questions.)

Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't think I know why the sky is blue. I guess I
need that demonstration. (Here's your chance to go completely totally
annoyingly pointlessly endlessly frustatingly fillibusterly insanely
off-topic.)

;-) But then, again, why bother?

okbl...@usa.net

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98071...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
> --
> Den (Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue. With a two-hour

> physics practical to demonstrate the effect and some homework -
> that'll make 'em less keen to ask such questions.)


Heh. But if you do that, you haven't actually answered the
question--certainly not for a young child. All you've done is described the
mechanics. You haven't explained *why* it's blue, only the trivial details
of *how*. ;-)

The child may be asking "Why is it blue and not red?" or "I really like blue!
How did you know to make it blue?" or "Why is it still blue when I've been
trying to change it to green?"

Of course, those are a *lot* tougher questions to answer. ;-)

[ok]

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Jul 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/16/98
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Doeadeer3 wrote:

> >However I think Where is, What is and Who is shouldn't cause too
> >much fuss

> Now that I think about it, HOW probably opens a big can of worms too.


> :-) Because they are all kinds of hows...
>
> how about.........
>

> Bob, how can I win this game?


Surely I'm not the only one who has actually asked this of an NPC
at a particularly trying time? (Around the same time I'll be typing
"Scream" "Pray" "say 'AAAAARGHHH'" into the parser.)

Talk about faith vs. logic. But perhaps a really merciful IF writer
would put some miracle response in for those situations...

--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Joe Mason

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
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Doeadeer3 <doea...@aol.com> insribed:

>>(Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue. With a two-hour
>> physics practical to demonstrate the effect and some homework -
>> that'll make 'em less keen to ask such questions.)
>
>Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't think I know why the sky is blue. I guess I
>need that demonstration. (Here's your chance to go completely totally
>annoyingly pointlessly endlessly frustatingly fillibusterly insanely
>off-topic.)

Different wavelengths of light will bend more when they refract. That's
why you get a rainbow when light passes through a prism or through mist in
the air. It happens that through most of the day, sunlight falling
through the atmosphere scatters off particles so that blue light hits the
ground and most other wavelengths bend off into space (I believe).
However, near sunset the light is coming in at a different angle, so red
light hits our eyes and everything else goes elsewhere.

This can also be changed by air pressure, so the exact colour of the sky
can be used as a barometer in some circumstances. "Red sky at night,
sailor's delight", and all that.

There, now that wasn't so hard, was it?

(Wait, wait - I just posted information! Think, think...)

No, actually its because of pollution. See, the sky is the face of Mother
Nature, and because of all the smog in the air, Mother Nature has to hold
her breath. Yeah, that's it...

Joe

Andrew Plotkin

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
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Joe Mason (jcm...@uwaterloo.ca) wrote:
> >Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't think I know why the sky is blue.

> Different wavelengths of light will bend more when they refract. That's


> why you get a rainbow when light passes through a prism or through mist in
> the air. It happens that through most of the day, sunlight falling
> through the atmosphere scatters off particles so that blue light hits the
> ground and most other wavelengths bend off into space (I believe).
> However, near sunset the light is coming in at a different angle, so red
> light hits our eyes and everything else goes elsewhere.

Nope! Totally wrong. :) Well, mostly wrong. Scattering is right,
refraction is wrong.

> CONSULT SCI.PHYSICS FAQ ABOUT RAYLEIGH SCATTERING

The molecules of the atmosphere scatter blue light, slightly. That is, a
small percentage of the blue photons get kicked into random directions
as they travel. When you look into the sky, those scattered photons are
coming at you from every direction, so you see blue in every direction.
The sun, in contrast, is slightly reddened (a bit of blue is missing) but
you don't notice.

At sunset, you're looking at the sun through much more air (consider the
geometry), so there's much more scattering. Practically all the blue is
scattered out -- forming the blue sky of people to the west of you -- so
you see a very red sun.

Refraction is a minor effect in air, since the index of refraction is so
small. Not naked-eye noticeable -- although someone is going to bring up
the "green flash" effect, which I don't remember how it works.

> This can also be changed by air pressure, so the exact colour of the sky
> can be used as a barometer in some circumstances. "Red sky at night,
> sailor's delight", and all that.

I believe that's just different kinds of clouds, or lack of clouds, on
the horizon.

"Hydrogen fusion, the sun makes shine
Vascular pressure makes the ivy twine.
Because of Rayleigh, the sky's so blue.
Hormonal fixation is why I love you."

Laurel Halbany

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
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On Thu, 16 Jul 1998 11:12:43 +0100, Den of Iniquity
<dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

> (Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue.\

But it *isn't* blue. It just *looks* blue.

Dennis....@delta-air.com

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,
erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:
>>snip<<

> Refraction is a minor effect in air, since the index of refraction is so
> small. Not naked-eye noticeable -- although someone is going to bring up
> the "green flash" effect, which I don't remember how it works.

OK, for those who don't know the "green flash" is an effect which sometimes
occurs just as the sun sets. When the sun sets in a position where there is
no obstructions all the way down to the horizion (I have only seen it over
ocean) sometimes, just as the sun disappears, there is a flash of green
light. This is not an optical illusion; it has been photographed.

The flash is caused by the fact that different wavelengths of light are
bent at different angles by the atmosphere. This effect is most pronounced
at sunrise and sunset, when the light from the sun passes through the most
atmosphere. When we are watching a sunset, we can still see the sun even
after it has physically dropped below the horizion. We are seeing light that
has been bent around the horizion by the atmosphere. As the image of the sun
sets, the longer wavelenghts of light (which are bent less) disappear first;
first red, then orange, then yellow. After the yellow disappears, we are
left with green, blue and violet; The blue and violet are scattered as
described above, so for a brief moment we are left with a green flash of
sunlight.

There is a sunset ceremony every evening in Key West where everyone gathers
for the sunset and waits for the green flash. I was on a dive cruise last
November where, every evening, everyone would gather on the top deck and
watch for the flash. Apparently conditions have to be just right for it to
occur, but when it does it is quite vivid.

I hope my ramblings are at least semi-understandable...
--
"You can't run away forever, but there's nothing wrong
with getting a good head start" --- Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson --- Dennis....@delta-air.com
--- http://home.earthlink.net/~tanstaafl

L. Ross Raszewski

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
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In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,
erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:

> "Hydrogen fusion, the sun makes shine
> Vascular pressure makes the ivy twine.
> Because of Rayleigh, the sky's so blue.
> Hormonal fixation is why I love you."

Heh! and here I thought I was the only person who knew that song

Den of Iniquity

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
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On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Brandon Van Every wrote:

>Better yet, quit being a tired, grumpy grown-up and put your energy into
>genuinely educating/broadening your kid.

You can get criminal sentences for broadening kids nowadays.


Den of Iniquity

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
On 16 Jul 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:
>Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't think I know why the sky is blue.
>I guess I need that demonstration. (Here's your chance to go completely
totally annoyingly pointlessly endlessly frustatingly fillibusterly insanely
>off-topic.)

Don't tempt me. :) Anyway, by the time I read this there are already two
explanations, neither of which is right. You see...

The sky wasn't always blue. In fact, up until the mid 1930's, it was clear
through, and during the day looked, well, something like black night sky,
only without so many stars. Water, likewise, was completely clear, deep
water appearing dark, like the sky. Then in 1937, Pepsico commissioned
popular magzine artist Samuel K Jeffries III to illustrate numerous scenes
with the sky depicted in a dark blue instead of the normal black.
Initially these were his original works, picturesque rural scenes with
happy folk in the foreground pouring Pepsi Cola into tall glasses and the
extraordinary 'blue sky' rising above the fields and hills behind. Later,
Jeffries imitated existing works, only adding blue skies and pepsi cola
bottles to the original scene. Who can forget 'The Pepsi Seller' (based on
'The Hay-Wain')? At the moment this can be seen beside John Constable's
original in The National Gallery, London, along with several other
examples of Jeffries' work - a highly recommended exhibition. These
pictures have become extremely popular and some of the originals sell for
as much as $200,000 in auctions today.

In 1942, Pepsico created a vast machine, and, ostensibly to aid the war
efforts of the Allied forces, began sucking huge volumes of the
atmosphere, and lightly coated every molecule of nitrogen, oxygen, water
vapour, carbon dioxide - in fact just about every gaseous particle present
in the air - with a blue colouring agent. Of course, the painting of the
molecules took a long time and an incredibly large volume of blue paint -
even though each molecule required such an infinitessimal amount of dye,
the number of molecules in the atmosphere required many thousands of
megatonnes of dye.

And more machines were needed - a total of over 1200 machines were built
in a very short amount of time, just six months from September '42 to
March '43. Slowly but surely, the atmosphere turned blue - initially it
was so blue in the vicinity of these machines, scattered up and down the
east coast from New England to North Florida, that a dense blue fog
settled over the East coast of the states and Canada, reducing visibility
to just a few metres in some parts. There were many calls to stop the
atmosphere polluters, but when the positive effects on the war in Europe
became known, there was nothing that could stop them. Although most
of the machines have now been dismantled, one of the remaining few
can be seen in the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

What effect could it have possibly had on the Second World War, you might
ask? Well, it was customary to paint the undersides of the wings of
fighting aircraft black, so that they are harder to detect against the sky
above, making them harder to hit from the ground. The allied forces had
retained a little blue paint, but just about the whole of the world's
supply had been snapped up by Pepsico. So the Allied forces painted the
B52's, Lancasters, spitfires, hurricanes and all other craft with a light
blue tinge while the German air-force were left black. As you can tell,
this helped the Allies enormously. Of course it only bought a few months
before the Germans managed to produce enough blue dyes from plant extracts
to camouflage their planes. And so in March 1943, the atmosphere
colouration was stopped.

But things hadn't gone entirely to plan. The dye had been thought to have
a limited life, and that it would eventually wear off. To some extent it
did, and you will never again see those vivid navy-blue skies again. But
much of the dye remained in the atmosphere, and that which had washed off
ended up in the seas, oceans, lakes and rivers, giving them a blue tinge
as well. Pepsi's biggest advertisement will probably go on to colour our
skies for many years yet - it is thought that the blue colour will still
be visible as late as the twenty-fourth century.

And that's why the sky - and the sea - is blue.

So now you know.

--
Den


Laurel Halbany

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
On 16 Jul 1998 01:30:09 GMT, doea...@aol.com (Doeadeer3) wrote:


>Yes, I agree. Think every parent of a two-year old (or is it a four-year old?)

>knows that. They break mimesis all the time. "Why is the sky blue? Why do I
>have to do that?"

Hm. My nearly-four-year-old breaks mimesis by insisting the sky is NOT
blue. (It is whatever color you say it isn't.)

John Francis

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98071...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,

Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

Here in California you can get penalized for *educating* them, too.

A new law just went on the books to outlaw bilingual education. Now any child
who is not a native English speaker gets put into an English immersion program
(for six months of education, or one school year).

After that all education *must* be given only in English. Parents can bring
a court action against teachers who don't conform to these regulations.
--
John Francis jfra...@sgi.com Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(650)933-8295 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd. MS 43U-991
(650)933-4692 (Fax) Mountain View, CA 94043-1389
Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your father. Prepare to die.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to

Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote in article
<Pine.SGI.3.95L.98071...@ebor.york.ac.uk>...

> On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Brandon Van Every wrote:
>
> >Better yet, quit being a tired, grumpy grown-up and put your energy into
> >genuinely educating/broadening your kid.
>
> You can get criminal sentences for broadening kids nowadays.
>
>

"Well, son, the sky used to be gray, but it turned colour with everything
else back in the fourties. It was pretty grainy colour for a while, too."


Yr. Obd't & Humble Servant,
Jonadab the Unsightly One


----------------

One of the many uses for peanut butter:
228. Have congress declare "National Peanut Butter Awareness Week."

(Need more uses? see http://members.kconline.com/kerr/pb.htm)

Send replies to username@isp, where username is jonadab
and isp is bright.net

The zerospam.com address works, but you get an ugly confirmation.


Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
Den of Iniquity wrote

[deep, deep snippage]

Wow! I feel really embarrased now; I had actually believed the line that
blue light was more easily refracted (and therefore spread about) by the
atmospheric particles than red light because of its wavelength, causing the
sun to appear orange and the sky blue! Imagine the gullability ;-)

Joe Mason

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> insribed:

>
>The sky wasn't always blue. In fact, up until the mid 1930's, it was clear
>through, and during the day looked, well, something like black night sky,
>only without so many stars. Water, likewise, was completely clear, deep
>water appearing dark, like the sky. Then in 1937, Pepsico commissioned
>popular magzine artist Samuel K Jeffries III to illustrate numerous scenes
>with the sky depicted in a dark blue instead of the normal black.

Remind me again: was this before or after the world turned from
black-and-white to colour? (3 pts.)

Joe

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
Joe Mason <jcm...@uwaterloo.ca> wrote in article
<slrn6qv8b1...@xenocide.execulink.com>...

Before. The world turned colour back in the fourties, and it was pretty


grainy colour for a while, too.

Why did Mr. Jeffries illustrate the sky in colour, then? Well, artists
have always been a bit crazy. Of course, his colour illustrations appeared
black and white at the time, but they turned colour with everything else in
the fourties. Likewise, the blue paint Pepsico used in '42 was still grey,
but it turned colour with everything else a couple of years hence.

Bob F.O.R. Apples

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Jul 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/17/98
to
Den of Iniquity wrote in message ...
>On 16 Jul 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:
>>Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't think I know why the sky is blue.
>>I guess I need that demonstration. (Here's your chance to go completely
>totally annoyingly pointlessly endlessly frustatingly fillibusterly
insanely
>>off-topic.)


<snip>


Wow! Den, dude. You must write some good IF or at least good fiction.
Sure you're not Douglas Adams? ;)

--Bob


HarryH

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Jul 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/18/98
to
In article <01bdb19d$c7bee440$LocalHost@jonadab>, jon...@zerospam.com
says...

>"Well, son, the sky used to be gray, but it turned colour with everything
>else back in the fourties. It was pretty grainy colour for a while, too."

>
>Yr. Obd't & Humble Servant,
>Jonadab the Unsightly One

Hey, I recognize these sentences! You ripped these off Bill Watterson's
Calvin and Hobbes! Guilty of Plagiarism. Go directly to Jail. Do not pass go.
Do not collect $200.

Try not to put your name on somebody else's work next time, eh?

-------------------------------------------------------
Of course I'll work on weekends without pay!
- successful applicant


HarryH

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Jul 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/18/98
to
In article <199807161954...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
doea...@aol.com says...

>Hmmm, come to think of it, I don't think I know why the sky is blue. I guess
I
>need that demonstration. (Here's your chance to go completely totally
>annoyingly pointlessly endlessly frustatingly fillibusterly insanely
>off-topic.)
>
>;-) But then, again, why bother?

Huh? I'm checking the sky right now, and it's dark and full of stars.
There's Mars, and Mercury, and Venus. There's also Cancer, Orion, and
Sagitarius. I don't get this "blue" thing here. :)

(Obviously, I'm a nocturnal creature)

HarryH

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Jul 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/18/98
to
In article <6oluc3$sej$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, okbl...@usa.net says...
>In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98071...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
> Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Den (Tell kids the real reason for the sky being blue. With a two-hour

>> physics practical to demonstrate the effect and some homework -
>> that'll make 'em less keen to ask such questions.)
>Heh. But if you do that, you haven't actually answered the
>question--certainly not for a young child. All you've done is described the
>mechanics. You haven't explained *why* it's blue, only the trivial details
>of *how*. ;-)

By Definition.

We chose to call blue Blue, and red Red. If we all agree to call blue Red,
and red Blue, the sky would be Red at noon and Blue at Dusk.


You see one red ball and one blue ball.

> DAN, GET THE BLUE BALL

Dan joyfully takes the red ball.

GLEEMOTH

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Jul 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/18/98
to
Joe Mason dangles this question in our faces:

>Remind me again: was this before or after the world turned from
>black-and-white to colour? (3 pts.)
I'll field this one. Calvin's dad?
Shay Caron (Shay_...@letterbox.com
-or-
glee...@aol.com)
This brings my point total up to 5. Yippee.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Jul 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/18/98
to

Bob F.O.R. Apples <B...@Bobster.com> wrote in article
>
> Wow! Den, dude. You must write some good IF or at least good fiction.
> Sure you're not Douglas Adams? ;)

No, no. He's really Calvin's dad.

Yr. Obd't & Humble Servant,
Jonadab the Unsightly One

der...@tfn.net

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Jul 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/19/98
to
In article <slrn6qqq2p...@xenocide.execulink.com>,
jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:
> Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> insribed:
> >
> > objectloop (i in location)
> > { if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)
> > { second = i;
> > j++;
> > }
> > if (j > 1)
> > print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";

> > }
>
> I would use LoopOverScope instead of objectloop, so that you can easily
> expand the scope beyond the current location.
>
> Joe
>

This is certainly the track I need to take, as one of my actors resides within
a container. But I'm not sure exactly how to use LoopOverScope. Could you
provide an example?

Derek | der...@tfn.net

Joe Mason

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
Jonadab the Unsightly One <jon...@zerospam.com> insribed:

>
>"Well, son, the sky used to be gray, but it turned colour with everything
>else back in the fourties. It was pretty grainy colour for a while, too."

Well, you didn't connect them explicitly, but I guess that'll get you the
three points I offered in another thread...

Joe


Joe Mason

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
der...@tfn.net <der...@tfn.net> insribed:

>In article <slrn6qqq2p...@xenocide.execulink.com>,
> jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:
>> Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> insribed:
>> >
>> > objectloop (i in location)
>> > { if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)
>> > { second = i;
>> > j++;
>> > }
>> > if (j > 1)
>> > print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";
>> > }
>>
>> I would use LoopOverScope instead of objectloop, so that you can easily
>> expand the scope beyond the current location.
>>
>> Joe
>>
>
>This is certainly the track I need to take, as one of my actors resides within
>a container. But I'm not sure exactly how to use LoopOverScope. Could you
>provide an example?

Unfortunately, the Designer's Manual doesn't go into much detail either.
See Section 28 for a discussion of scope and lots of examples on other
aspects of it. The only thing really said about LoopOverScope is on p160:

Two library routines are provided to enable you to see what's in scope
and what isn't. The first, TestScope(obj, actor), simply returns true or
false according to whether or not obj is in scope. The second is
LoopOverScope(routine, actor) and calls the given routine for each object
in scope. In each case the actor given is optional; if it's omitted,
scope is worked out for the player as usual.

Unlike objectloop, LoopOverScope needs to run a routine, instead of just
having a block of code after it. So you would need to move some of the
code in Irene's example above to its own routine:

[ CheckForAnimate i j;


if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)

{ GlobalAnimateSecond = i;
GlobalAnimateCount++;
}
];

A problem here. There doesn't seem to be any way to pass info back from
this routine, or parameters in, so you need to use global variables.
Messy. Seems that LoopOverScope was really only meant for printing
things. (Anybody: is there a better way?)

Anyway, the code to call this routine would go:

GlobalAnimateCount = 0;
LoopOverScope(CheckForAnimate);
if (GlobalAnimateCount > 1) {
second = GlobalAnimateSecond;


print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";
}

Note that this will actually overwrite GlobalAnimateSecond each time the
test succeeds, so it will actually be the LAST item matched by
CheckForAnimate that is used. Also, note that Irene's original code will
print "(speaking to the xxx)" several times, leaving second pointing to
the last one printed. And that it assumed j was already 0.

Joe


Joe Mason

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
Joe Mason <jcm...@uwaterloo.ca> insribed:

Or was it, in fact, in this thread? I seem to be a little confused

Joe, who also got the lyrics to Come Together wrong over in r.g.i-f

Den of Iniquity

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
On Fri, 17 Jul 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

>"Hydrogen fusion, the sun makes shine
>Vascular pressure makes the ivy twine.
>Because of Rayleigh, the sky's so blue.
>Hormonal fixation is why I love you."

Very cute. Is this a Plotkin original or can you attribute it? I might
want to borrow it...

While I remember, I was going to give that 'experiment' info for the blue
sky/Rayleigh scattering thing - I'd have done it on Friday but I nearly
missed my train to London getting the Pepsi version finished... :)

I haven't actually tried this, so I can't vouch for it, but it goes
something like this:

Get a big transparent container, perhaps that long aquarium you used for
the pen-laser experiment (don't forget to tip out the sugar solution
first). Fill with water, add a little milk and mix well. Milk is an
emulsion, so in the water it should scatter light in much the same way as
particles in the atmosphere do. Then shine a bright light into the water,
darken your room, and with any luck, the water-milk mixture should take on
a definite blue-ish tinge that can't be attributed to either the water or
milk (consider buying from a different dairy if your milk is blue). If
your container is long enough, you might even notice that your light
source looks redder when viewed through the tank, but if your container
isn't very big it would probably take a spectrometer to tell the
difference.

You can get a refraction effect from the difference between water/glass
and air (unlike the minimal difference between atmosphere and vacuum) but
this is undesirable. Ideally you should shine a torch directly at a flat
face of your water-milk container. Also, a broad band spectrum emitter is
necessary but most household light-sources should be fine. So that's why
your pen laser won't work and nor will an array of like-coloured LEDs or a
sodium light. If your light looks vaguely white you're OK.

--
Den


Den of Iniquity

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
On 17 Jul 1998, John Francis wrote:

>After that all education *must* be given only in English. Parents can bring
>a court action against teachers who don't conform to these regulations.

I take it that learning a foreign language doesn't count?

Den of Iniquity

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
On Sat, 18 Jul 1998, HarryH wrote:

>We chose to call blue Blue, and red Red. If we all agree to call blue Red,
>and red Blue, the sky would be Red at noon and Blue at Dusk.

Indeed, one of the most fascinating questions about visual sensation is to
ask whether we all perceive the spectrum in the same way (and I suppose
the rest of our electromagnetic input). What I call Red is what you call
Red but if you could see the colour that I see when I see Red you might
call it Blue. I think it's one of those questions that will be
mind-bogglingly difficult to answer without the use of possession or
something. :)

--
Den


Den of Iniquity

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
>Bob F.O.R. Apples <B...@Bobster.com> wrote
>> Wow! Den, dude.
<wince>

>> You must write some good IF or at least good fiction.

I must, I know. I really ought to. I have never-finish-what-you-start
syndrome. Actually, I have never-finish-starting-what-you've-just-started-
to-start syndrome. They'll probably identify it as a medical condition
and find a cure for it just after I die. If I wrote IF right now it would
probably bring tears to your eyes, but not for humorous reasons. Maybe
I could write and illustrate kids' books, though. Young 'uns like stories
about anthropomorphised geometric shapes, don't they?

>> Sure you're not Douglas Adams? ;)

Hang on, let me check my bank balance. <sigh> Yup. Quite definite on that
one. Flattery will get you...

... suddenly Jonadab wrote:

>No, no. He's really Calvin's dad.

Actually, that hits the mark a little bit too well for my liking.

Then again, did anyone else used to fancy Calvin's mom?

--
No Douglas

"Billy the undecagon saw his new friend, Jane the semi-ellipsoid, so he
went over to offer her some delicious candied spline curves...."

Andrew Plotkin

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
Den of Iniquity (dms...@york.ac.uk) wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Jul 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

> >"Hydrogen fusion, the sun makes shine
> >Vascular pressure makes the ivy twine.
> >Because of Rayleigh, the sky's so blue.
> >Hormonal fixation is why I love you."

> Very cute. Is this a Plotkin original or can you attribute it? I might
> want to borrow it...

I wrote that verse, and you're welcome to borrow it.

The idea was inspired by Pamela Dean's really brilliant novel _Juniper,
Gentian, and Rosemary_, in which some kids sing a similar verse. But not
actually the same one. Answering the same questions, but using different
words. I can't remember how that one went, but I would have written my
own anyway, since Dean's didn't scan very well.

I'm sure someone came up with the idea long before either Dean or I wrote
our particular instances of it.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Andrew Plotkin

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
Den of Iniquity (dms...@york.ac.uk) wrote:

I think it's theoretically impossible to answer. Saying "if we had
telepathy" begs the question; is there a translation of sensation involved
in telepathy or not? It's no different than our *existing* telepathic
function (transferring thoughts from one person to another via sound
waves.)

Since the question is impossible to answer, it's not fascinating at all.
It's maximally uninteresting, because there's nothing to say about it.

Doeadeer3

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
>From: Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk>
>Date: Mon, Jul 20, 1998 13:23 EDT

>While I remember, I was going to give that 'experiment' info for the blue
>sky/Rayleigh scattering thing -

[ experiment snipped]

I got it! I know who Den IS NOW! He's Mr. Whizard!!!

(Since Den lives in the uk that will probably mean nothing to him. So
explanation - Mr. Whizard appeared on American t.v. doing scientific
experiments with/for kids, i.e., it was a kids' show.)

Yep, well, nice to know you are still around, Mr. Whizard.

:-)
Doe doea...@aol.com (formerly known as FemaleDeer)
****************************************************************************
"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Adam Cadre

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Jul 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/20/98
to
Dennis Smith wrote:
> Indeed, one of the most fascinating questions about visual sensation is to
> ask whether we all perceive the spectrum in the same way (and I suppose
> the rest of our electromagnetic input). What I call Red is what you call
> Red but if you could see the colour that I see when I see Red you might
> call it Blue. I think it's one of those questions that will be
> mind-bogglingly difficult to answer without the use of possession or
> something. :)

Andrew Plotkin replied:

> I think it's theoretically impossible to answer.

> Since the question is impossible to answer, it's not fascinating at all.
> It's maximally uninteresting, because there's nothing to say about it.

For what it's worth, I once ran across a study in which subjects from a
variety of cultures were presented with color charts and asked to point
to the best representative of variousterms for colors in their language.
The results were the same for every culture. That is, the best "red" for
English speakers was the same as the best "aka" for the Japanese, the
best "lichi" for the Dineh of the American Southwest, and the best
"anpalultak" for the Inuit. (Heider & Olivier, 1972, via Wade and
Tavris, 1993.)

-----
Adam Cadre, Anaheim, CA
http://www.retina.net/~grignr

Den of Iniquity

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
to
On 20 Jul 1998, Doeadeer3 wrote:

>>From: Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk>
>

>>While I remember, I was going to give that 'experiment' info for the blue
>>sky/Rayleigh scattering thing -

>I got it! I know who Den IS NOW! He's Mr. Whizard!!!

Nah. I'm really Johnny Ball.

--
Den


Den of Iniquity

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
to
On Mon, 20 Jul 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:
>I wrote that verse, and you're welcome to borrow it.

Cheers!


ical...@csupomona.edu

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
to
In article <slrn6r58bo...@xenocide.execulink.com>,
jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

> >> Irene Callaci <ical...@csupomona.edu> insribed:
> >> >
> >> > objectloop (i in location)
> >> > { if (i has animate && i hasnt concealed && i ~= player)
> >> > { second = i;
> >> > j++;
> >> > }
> >> > if (j > 1)
> >> > print "(speaking to ", (the) second, ")^";
> >> > }

> Note ... that Irene's original code will


> print "(speaking to the xxx)" several times, leaving second pointing to
> the last one printed. And that it assumed j was already 0.

Yeah, I know (hits self on forehead). I forgot the break
statement after the print statement. Duh.

irene

L. Ross Raszewski

unread,
Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
to
In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>,

erky...@netcom.com (Andrew Plotkin) wrote:
> Den of Iniquity (dms...@york.ac.uk) wrote:
> > On Fri, 17 Jul 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:
>
> > >"Hydrogen fusion, the sun makes shine
> > >Vascular pressure makes the ivy twine.
> > >Because of Rayleigh, the sky's so blue.
> > >Hormonal fixation is why I love you."
>
> > Very cute. Is this a Plotkin original or can you attribute it? I might
> > want to borrow it...
>
> I wrote that verse, and you're welcome to borrow it.
>
> The idea was inspired by Pamela Dean's really brilliant novel _Juniper,
> Gentian, and Rosemary_, in which some kids sing a similar verse. But not
> actually the same one. Answering the same questions, but using different
> words. I can't remember how that one went, but I would have written my
> own anyway, since Dean's didn't scan very well.
>
> I'm sure someone came up with the idea long before either Dean or I wrote
> our particular instances of it.
>

There's an interesting (in several ways) anecdote I have which tiews in nicely
ot both this song and the color of the sky.

Many years ago, when I was abotu ten any my sister abouit five, an aunt asked
us "Why is the sky blue". I launched into an explanation of Rayleigh and
diffraction, and atmospheric conditions. My sister just said "Because God
said so."

It's taken me quite a few years to realize that her answer was probably
better.

"Because God made the sun to shine,
Because God made the ivy twine,
Because God made the sky so blue,
Because God made you, that's why I love you."
(Personally, i had always sort of guessed Garrison Keillor wrote it :-)

David Glasser

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
to
Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

> On Sat, 18 Jul 1998, HarryH wrote:
>
> >We chose to call blue Blue, and red Red. If we all agree to call blue Red,
> >and red Blue, the sky would be Red at noon and Blue at Dusk.
>

> Indeed, one of the most fascinating questions about visual sensation is to
> ask whether we all perceive the spectrum in the same way (and I suppose
> the rest of our electromagnetic input). What I call Red is what you call
> Red but if you could see the colour that I see when I see Red you might
> call it Blue. I think it's one of those questions that will be
> mind-bogglingly difficult to answer without the use of possession or
> something. :)

And the question I've always wondered is, what in the world is
color-blindness? I have it, and the only effect I can see are people
continually saying "What color is this? What color is that?" OK, I do
have some problems distinguishing colors, but where does it come from?
Are my eyes messed up? Is my brain's color-part just stupid? Do I
really see the world in black-and-white (as some people assume
color-blindness to be) and just not realize it?

--David Glasser
gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com | dgla...@NOSPAMfcs.pvt.k12.pa.us
http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser | http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/6028
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net:4000 (webpage fovea.retina.net:4001)
Interactive Fiction! MST3K! David Eddings! Macintosh!

David Glasser

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
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Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

> I must, I know. I really ought to. I have never-finish-what-you-start
> syndrome. Actually, I have never-finish-starting-what-you've-just-started-
> to-start syndrome. They'll probably identify it as a medical condition
> and find a cure for it just after I die. If I wrote IF right now it would
> probably bring tears to your eyes, but not for humorous reasons. Maybe
> I could write and illustrate kids' books, though. Young 'uns like stories
> about anthropomorphised geometric shapes, don't they?

Flatland for kids?

Irene Callaci

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
to
Now *that* would make an interesting piece of i-f, wouldn't it?
It's one of my favorite books.

irene

Andrew Plotkin

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Jul 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/21/98
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L. Ross Raszewski (rras...@hotmail.com) wrote:
> > > On Fri, 17 Jul 1998, Andrew Plotkin wrote:
> >
> > > >"Hydrogen fusion, the sun makes shine
> > > >Vascular pressure makes the ivy twine.
> > > >Because of Rayleigh, the sky's so blue.
> > > >Hormonal fixation is why I love you."
> >
> > The idea was inspired by Pamela Dean's really brilliant novel _Juniper,
> > Gentian, and Rosemary_, in which some kids sing a similar verse. But not
> > actually the same one. Answering the same questions, but using different
> > words. I can't remember how that one went, but I would have written my
> > own anyway, since Dean's didn't scan very well.

> Many years ago, when I was abotu ten any my sister abouit five, an aunt asked


> us "Why is the sky blue". I launched into an explanation of Rayleigh and
> diffraction, and atmospheric conditions. My sister just said "Because God
> said so."
>
> It's taken me quite a few years to realize that her answer was probably
> better.

This is, among many other things, exactly what Dean's novel is about.
At 12, instead of 10, but that's close.

michael...@ey.com

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Jul 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/22/98
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In article <1dcha3d.ta...@usol-phl-pa-061.uscom.com>,

gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com (David Glasser) wrote:
> Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> And the question I've always wondered is, what in the world is
> color-blindness? I have it, and the only effect I can see are people
> continually saying "What color is this? What color is that?" OK, I do
> have some problems distinguishing colors, but where does it come from?
> Are my eyes messed up? Is my brain's color-part just stupid? Do I
> really see the world in black-and-white (as some people assume
> color-blindness to be) and just not realize it?
>

It's been a while since my Psychology of Perception class, but...

<ahem>

You do not see the world in black and white, and you are within your rights
to thoroughly trounce anyone who suffers from this misconception. Your visual
apparatus is unable to make distinctions between certain wavelengths of
reflected light (most commonly the confusion is between red & green, although
there's also yellow-blue and I think a couple more). I can't remember if the
problem lies in the distribution of rods & cones on your retina, or if it's
the way the color-processing area of your brain is wired. I think it could be
either, but it makes little difference one way or the other.

It DOESN'T mean you don't know what color is. Putting aside all solipsistic
arguments for the moment, what you see when you look at a blue thing is
pretty much what everyone else sees when they look at the blue thing
(assuming your color blindness is red-green, of course). The trouble only
comes up when you're trying to distinguish certain specific wavelengths.
Essentially, if I held up a green apple and said, "This is a green apple,"
you'd say, "Uh-huh," and then if I held up a red apple and said, "This is a
red apple," you'd say, "Uh-huh," and then if I put the apples behind my back
and then brought them out again and said, "Tell me which is the red apple,"
-- you'd have a real hard time figuring it out.

Also, you may have difficulty color-coordinating your wardrobe.

The "defect" (and I use that word VERY loosely -- unless you make a living by
reading subway maps, or are deathly allergic to green apples, it's hardly a
defect at all) is a gender-based genetic trait located on the male
chromosome, so it's more common in males than in females. It can be
congenital, so your son might get it, too.

Any further questions should be taken to my TA.

--
--M.

Adam Cadre

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Jul 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/22/98
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Michael Gentry wrote:
> The "defect is a gender-based genetic trait located on the male

> chromosome, so it's more common in males than in females. It can
> be congenital, so your son might get it, too.

Close but not quite. The gene for color-blindness is actually located on
the *X* chromosome, not the Y. The reason that color-blindness is far
more common in men than women is that women have two different X
chromosomes, so both have to be defective for the trait to show. This is
very rare. Men only have one, so if it's busted, they're out of luck --
the Y doesn't help any.

An offshoot of this is that while color-blindness can be hereditary, it
cannot be passed from father to son, since a son gets his father's Y
chromosome, and not the defective X. It can be passed from father to
grandson, in the sense that it can be passed from father to daughter, and
while she probably doesn't show the trait, she has a 50% chance of
passing it on to her children.

michael...@ey.com

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Jul 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/22/98
to
In article
<Pine.SOL.3.91.980722...@godzilla1.acpub.duke.edu>, Adam
Cadre <ad...@acpub.duke.edu> wrote:

>
[a correction to my lecture on color-blindness]
>

Whoops -- you got me. Thanks for the clear-up.

Matt Ackeret

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Jul 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/22/98
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On 17 Jul 1998, John Francis wrote:
>After that all education *must* be given only in English. Parents can bring
>a court action against teachers who don't conform to these regulations.

I didn't see the original of this post, but I presume it