‘He began to eat Hermione’s family’: bot tries to write Harry Potter book and fails in magic ways

After being fed all seven Potter tales, a predictive keyboard has produced a tale that veers from almost genuine to gloriously bonkers

JK Rowling must be thanking Dumbledore that she has her Cormoran Strike series to fall back on, after a predictive keyboard wrote a new Harry Potter story using her books and it became the funniest thing on the internet.

After the team at Botnik fed the seven Harry Potter novels through their predictive text keyboard, it came up with a chapter from a new Harry Potter story: Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. It is worth reading.

Magic: it was something that Harry Potter thought was very good. Well, thats not wrong. And the following sounds plausibly Pottery: Leathery sheets of rain lashed at Harrys ghost as he walked across the grounds towards the castle. Ron was standing there and doing a kind of frenzied tap dance.

So far, so Ron. But then:

He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermiones family. Rons Ron shirt was just as bad as Ron himself.

If you two cant clump happily, Im going to get aggressive, confessed the reasonable Hermione.

It continues in this vein: almost making sense, but mostly just gloriously bonkers, like: To Harry, Ron was a loud, slow, and soft bird. Harry did not like to think about birds. And my favourite: They looked at the door, screaming about how closed it was and asking it to be replaced with a small orb. The password was BEEF WOMEN, Hermione cried.

Botnik describes itself as a human-machine entertainment studio and writing community, with members including former Clickhole head writer Jamie Brew, and former New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. The predictive text keyboard is its first writing tool it works, Botnik explains, by analysing a body of text to find combinations of words likely to follow each other based on the grammar and vocabulary used. As this New Statesman feature says, the results are: at once faintly recognisable and completely absurd.

We use computational tools to create strange new things, says the company on its website. We would like, selfishly, not to replace humanity with algorithms. instead, we want to find natural ways for people and machines to interact to create what neither would have created alone.

As well as the Potter chapter, Botnik has also created incredible TV scripts for Scrubs and Seinfeld (Dating is the opposite of tuna, salmon is the opposite of everything else. Im sure you know what I mean, says Jerry). Its tried romance (Hot guy Jeff is devastatingly sexy and steamy. Hes got a really simple rule: be the ultimate playboy and get through one day without crying), Halloween safety tips (The Bible says that children love when we dress them like pumpkins and eat their regular clothes) and teenage advice columns as well. All are fabulous.

I am in awe of its surreal genius it certainly beats Wireds attempt to write a science fiction story with an algorithm, later rejected by an editor for not sounding human. Im not sure Botnik sounds particularly human either but I know Id like to meet it.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/dec/13/harry-potter-botnik-jk-rowling

Dan Rather eloquently destroys GOP tax bill in viral Facebook post

BTW

Dan Rather was a defining voice of his generation, and he took to Facebook on Monday to voice his concerns over the state of the nation, calling it an “era of moral rot and the defiling of our communal, social, and democratic norms.”

In his post, the 86-year-old veteran television journalist wrote an impassioned takedown of the Republican Party’s tax bill.

“Wealth can never be a measure of worth,” Rather wrote, going on to describe working-class Americans he said exemplify his vision of the U.S.

“I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, and paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly and infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, and in them I see America,” he wrote.

Rather’s post, which had garnered 62,000 reactions four hours after he posted it, was a response to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). On Monday, the senator defended repealing estate tax by saying it “recognizes the people that are investing.”  

As opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” Grassley said.

The tax bill the Senate passed on Saturday would not eliminate the estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” which taxes 40 percent on estates worth $10 million or more. But many of the measures actually contained in the bill have been criticized by Democrats for their potential to help the very wealthy—and rely on trickle-down economics for middle-class people to reap any benefits.

Rather, who spent more than 40 years as a correspondent and anchor for CBS News, said the “power brokers in Washington today seem deaf” to the wants and needs of the types of people he described, from public school teachers to immigrants to science students.

“These, and so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists and moneyed classes,” Rather wrote.

He also directly attacked Grassley’s statement.

“What is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley’s demeaning phrasings?” Rather wrote. “Those who can’t afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, and all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their ‘darn pennies’ on the simple joys of life.”

Rather called the tax bill and Republicans’ viewpoints “top-down class warfare run amok.”

“Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party,” Rather wrote, “and it it is not pretty.”

Read Rather’s full post here.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/dan-rather-viral-post/

Charmer Boy Gypsy Girl by Victor Harrington

Story Summary:

The essence and meaning of transcendent love between two people—the kernel of human existence—is often found in the crucible of war. Such was the love between Bosko, a Serbian boy, and Admira, a Bosnian girl, who were caught in one of the most barbaric and brutal periods of the last century: the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2AdQOCr

Indie Reader Review:

CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is a novel about enduring love in impossible circumstances. Bosko is a handsome and charming Orthodox Serb. Admira is a Muslim Bosnian with gypsy blood running through her veins. In spite of their religious and ethnic differences, when they meet at a New Year’s Eve party and share a kiss they know that it’s fate. As Yugoslavia begins to splinter and lines are drawn between ethnic groups, the couple will have to fight to stay together — and alive.

CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is meticulously crafted, drawing on ample historical details to bring to life one of the most horrifying events of the 20th century: the siege of Sarajevo. Based on the real-life love story of Bosko Brkic and Admira Ismic whose heart-wrenching tale captivated the world in the 1990s, Victor Harrington’s novel is a powerful reminder that love can prevail in even the most brutal conditions.

While it is a love story, CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is also very much a stark examination of the cruelty of war. In its pages, we see the best and the worst of humanity. As Sarajevo is under attack, life comes a matter of day-to-day survival. Serbs and Bosnians are pitted against each other, but Bosko and Admira refuse to let their love become another casualty. Rather than allowing their relationship to dominate the narrative, Harrington uses it to contrast their grim surroundings, highlighting the senselessness of war and the resilience of the human spirit.

Superbly written and well-researched, CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL portrays one of the most ruthless periods of modern history in haunting prose. Harrington does not hold back in his depiction of the ethnic cleansing that took place during this tumultuous time and reminds us through Bosko’s friend, Matko, of our responsibility to safeguard life. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” says Matko; these words remain relevant today.

Ultimately, CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is a tribute to that most powerful of emotions which rules us all: love. Admira and Bosko are vivid characters who stick with you long after the final page has been read, almost as if they are begging you to remember that, in the end, love must triumph over hate.

~Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon for IndieReader
https://indiereader.com/2017/11/charmer-boy-gypsy-girl-epic-story-love-survival/

Author Bio:

Author Victor Harrington has the quintessential writer’s family history. The adventure began in 1850 when Edward, an Englishman in the British Army, fell in love with a Muslim princess whose family lived in Agra. Victor’s American paternal great-grand-mother was the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor from New England. The author was born in India in 1958, and his family immigrated to Canada in the late 1960s.
For Victor, New York remains a city that creates its own temporal distortion where a writer can observe, for a moment, the many worlds past, present, and future that make up the space-time continuum of his city.
Charmer Boy, Gypsy Girl is Victor Harrington’s first novel, and he has recently completed his second.

DIY Master Uses An Old PC Monitor To Make His Secret Doorway Even More Magical

Who doesn’t want their own secret room to escape to when all the worries of the world become too much?

Nobody, that’s who. Besides being infinitely cool, they bring out our inner children and promise a private hideaway where no one can find us. That’s why a fair number of people take on the awesome project of building their own, complete with sneaky bookcase and all. Redditor whiteboywasted took it a step further when he bought his first home and built a “magic mirror” with an old PC monitor, two-way glass, and a Raspberry Pi 2, which is a tiny, single-board computer.

Whiteboywasted found the perfect spot for a secret doorway between the master bedroom and an extra room that can only be accessed one way. First he removed the old door and frame, making room for the new one.

Then he attached brackets to the top and bottom of the doorway.

A quarter-inch deep groove routed in the shelves held the two-way glass in place.

With the glass secured, whiteboywasted used Liquid Nails adhesive to bond the PC monitor to two vertical boards, creating the “magic mirror” effect.

After testing to make sure the Raspberry Pi and the screen worked, it was time for him to attach the back of the bookcase, add the trim and install the whole thing in the doorway.

More trim around the doorway gave it a clean, finished look.

Here’s the view from the other side, where whiteboywasted installed a middle panel that drops down, revealing the screen. He also attached a metal strike plate, as he plans on adding an electromagnetic lock in the future.

All that was left was for him to fill the shelves with books — one of which is fake.

Now not only does whiteboywasted have his own secret space, but he also has a super cool screen to give him information about the weather, traffic, and news while he gets ready in the morning.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/diy-magic-mirror-door/