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Stung Eye

The eye of the bee holder.

The Secret Powers of Time by Philip Zimbardo.

It’s worth your time to watch this video. :)

Related: The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory a TED talk by Daniel Kahneman

P.S. Zimbardo was the led researcher behind the famous Standford Prison Experiment.

Lessons from fashion’s free culture a TED talk by Johanna Blakely of Ready to Share.

These are interesting ideas to ponder considering that our Canadian government is about to propose a major (and perhaps heavy-handed) restructuring of our copyright laws.

Related: Terms & Conditions - A short video on Digital Rights Management.

A dark solar filament seen across the surface of the sun.

Related: Video of Large Eruptive Solar Prominence.

Web 3.0 - A short documentary on the semantic web.

Glutton LastFM

Two days ago I released my first Ruby gem. In coding parlance gems are software libraries created to enhance the Ruby programming language.

My gem is call glutton_lastfm. It’s a wrapper library for version 2.0 of the last.fm API. The source code and documentation is available on my github account.

This gem allows you to query last.fm for:

  • artist information by name
  • top albums by artist
  • top tracks by artist
  • top user-submitted tags by artist
  • upcoming events by artist
  • album information by name

For example, here’s a program that searches for tags and images related to Buck 65: artist_tags_and_images.rb

I wrote this library to:

  • Learn the gem creation process. (Facilitated by the jeweler gem.)
  • Better understand the mechanics of web-based APIs. (Facilitated by the httparty gem.)
  • Brush up on my unit-testing skills. (Facilitated by the fakeweb gem.)
  • Distance myself from years of return-code function creation in favour of exceptions.

I also wrote it as part of a larger data-mining project I’m working on. (Which reminds me that I’ve been meaning to write a post on datasets and the soon to explode dataset market.)

The glutton_lastfm source-code is released unlicensed into the public domain.