Sailing in the Adriatic Sea

Ahoy!

This time the cat and the bear are on a sailing adventure! Both of us had never done this before. We’re so lucky that one of our friends knows how to sail and that he proposed to go sailing for our summer holiday :). So, in the end, the crew consisted of 5 members: the cat, the bear, a Siamese cat *ehem, because she’s Thai ;)*, Capt. polar bear, and another polar bear :p. Here you go, the crew seen from the top of the mast by the cat and the bear…

We started traveling by car from Italy towards Croatia, to Murter to be exact. There, in the harbor, the boat had been waiting for us. The boat is a Bavaria Cruiser 40 S, named ‘Judita’, more details can be found here. It’s actually quite big, there are 3 bedrooms inside, besides a living room and a kitchenette. The living room inside was almost never used, because we always eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after-dinner-drink outside near the cockpit *there are two benches and a fold-able table*, accompanied by summer breeze ^^.

The trip was going like this…

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Women and Balls

Miss Granny is here! I’ve been waiting for this movie (to be subbed and uploaded to a streaming site :p) since the beginning of this year. The theme is a bit similar to 13 Going to 30, or Freaky Friday. After watching the first 2 minutes, I can’t resist to open my blog and write about this. The opening is too damn funny! Besides… I’m a big fan of metaphor ;).

If you compare a woman to a ball…

Then a woman in her teens is a basketball. To catch the ball high up in the air, every man reaches for it as hard as he can.

A woman in her 20s is a rugby ball. Several men attack the balls like dogs trying to take possession of it. This is the only time in life a man will risk his life for a ball.

A woman in her 30s is a ping pong ball. The number of men going after the ball is significantly reduced. But the amount of attention paid to the ball is still decent.

A middle-aged woman is a golf ball. There’s only one man for one ball. And the man tries to send the ball as far away as he can.

And beyond that… She’s a dodge ball.

:D

The Story of Tim and Casey

Tim and Casey are best buddies since high school. One day, after years, they meet up in a bar for some drinks, sharing their work life stories, cursing at their bosses ;). They’re working at a company named McRels Inc. It turns out that their jobs are very similar. Both of them are working with text, news to be exact. Tim’s main responsibility is reading news, then ordering every events happening in the news in a timeline, guessing whether an event comes after or before another event. Casey started working on his current job just recently. His job is to decide whether there is a causality between two events.

Tim: “So, when I am given a text Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern Philippines on Friday, killing thousands of people, I should be able to guess that the struck happens before the killing.”
Casey: “Aaah, I see… For me, I must decide whether the struck caused the killing or not.”

Casey’s job seems to be easier since the decision is binary: yes or no (well, also to decide which one is the cause and which one is the effect), but it’s actually much more difficult than Tim’s. One reason is that, unlike Tim, Casey doesn’t have enough resources to learn how to decide on the causality. Moreover, the concept of causality is more abstract than temporal ordering.

Tim is very lucky, because he could participate in a challenge on guessing the event ordering. As we know, competition can lead people to perform their best—that is, it can improve their quality of performance 1) Paramita Mirza and Sara Tonelli. 2014. Classifying Temporal Relations with Simple Features. In Proceedings of the 14th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pages 308–317, Gothenburg, Sweden, April. Association for Computational Linguistics. . Unfortunately, Casey doesn’t get that chance.

First of all, Casey needs to build resources for learning on deciding the causality between events, so he hires minions to do that. He can only afford two minions since he’s low on budget.

The minions are not so smart, so he needs to set up guidelines for them to annotate causal information in text 2) Paramita Mirza, Rachele Sprugnoli, Sara Tonelli and Manuela Speranza. 2014. Annotating causality in the TempEval-3 corpus. In Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Computational Approaches to Causality in Language (CAtoCL), pages 10–19, Gothenburg, Sweden, April. Association for Computational Linguistics. . Tim offers him to use his available resources, which is a collection of text already annotated with all events available in the text. Having the resources annotated with causal information, Casey can finally learn how to identify causality between events in text 3) Paramita Mirza and Sara Tonelli. 2014. An Analysis of Causality between Events and its Relation to Temporal Information. (to appear) in Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Dublin, Ireland. .

Since in theory, causality has a temporal constraint, that the cause happens before the effect, Tim and Casey have an idea to cooperate in order to improve their learning abilities. There still need to be some discussions for this idea, involving more meetings in a bar… with a lot of drinks, I suppose :).

P.S.: in case you don’t get the metaphors, this story is basically my PhD topic 4) Paramita Mirza. 2014. Extracting Temporal and Causal Relations between Events. In Proceedings of the ACL 2014 Student Research Workshop, pages 10–17, Baltimore, MD, United States, June. , where Tim and Casey are automatic systems for extracting temporal and causal relations, respectively. And the two minions are actually me and my advisor :D.

References

1.
  Paramita Mirza and Sara Tonelli. 2014. Classifying Temporal Relations with Simple Features. In Proceedings of the 14th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pages 308–317, Gothenburg, Sweden, April. Association for Computational Linguistics.
2.
  Paramita Mirza, Rachele Sprugnoli, Sara Tonelli and Manuela Speranza. 2014. Annotating causality in the TempEval-3 corpus. In Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Computational Approaches to Causality in Language (CAtoCL), pages 10–19, Gothenburg, Sweden, April. Association for Computational Linguistics.
3.
  Paramita Mirza and Sara Tonelli. 2014. An Analysis of Causality between Events and its Relation to Temporal Information. (to appear) in Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Dublin, Ireland.
4.
  Paramita Mirza. 2014. Extracting Temporal and Causal Relations between Events. In Proceedings of the ACL 2014 Student Research Workshop, pages 10–17, Baltimore, MD, United States, June.

lookslikescanned.com: Beat the Bureaucrats!

How many times do you have to print some documents, sign, then scan them before sending the signed documents to the administration? How many papers have you wasted, while you can do everything digitally?

lookslikescanned.com is the answer! :)

You could add your signature in a PDF file without having to print the document (how?), then to make your PDF file looks like scanned, upload your document to lookslikescanned.com and it will scan the document for you.

Unfortunately, for now it only works for a single-page PDF file, but you could use services like www.splitpdf.com to split and merge multi-page PDF file. I’m sure soon lookslikescanned.com will also be able to scan multiple pages of PDF ;).

Save papers, save trees, save the world! :)

Stories from Home

I actually just came back from home, yes, home sweet home… Indonesia! :)

After I came back from Iceland trip, I only had 19 days to finish every work-related things that need to be closed, before my flight to Jakarta. Did I finish them? Of course… not. Most of the time I was relaxing at home, but there are times when I had to open my laptop, checking and sending emails, and worked until late at night. Those 14 days *actually 12 days, 2 days are wasted for travels forth and back* at home might feel so short, but at least I think I spent enough time with my dearest family and friends, catching up with their current lives, and also enough time to make bonds again with some of my cats :D. The time was very limited, so I’m so sorry for not being able to meet up with all of you, dear friends :(.

Trip to Solo and Yogya

Right after I arrived, the very next day I had to fly again to Solo, with my mom and my aunt. We spent one night in Solo and one night in Yogyakarta, before going back to Bogor the next morning. I thought we were there only for travelling, I mean like.. eating and shopping :D. It turned out that the trip was a pilgrimage trip, to pay a ‘visit’ not only to my mom’s grandparents, but also to our ancestors (the Javanese royals) at Kotagede and Imogiri royal graveyards -.-. To be able to get into the royal graveyards, it is mandatory to wear a traditional ‘costume’. Oh well, this part was actually quite fun, since I could pretend I lived centuries ago ;).

Not that I complain, but the whole experience was kinda… weird. It was already dark when we arrived in Imogiri, and note that it was Thursday night *Thursday night has this ‘ghostly’ connotation in Indonesia :D*. Walking around the graveyard at night, spreading around some flowers on graves of some kings I don’t even know, chanting some prayers for the ancestors… sounds creepy, isn’t it? :D

The next days were wholly dedicated to my family and cats :D. Thanks to them, I feel more refreshed now! I should go home more often, too bad my bank account doesn’t allow me to do so >.<

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