Category Archives: Content

These posts are dedicated to my or my friends’ work on content creation: Short stories, video games, etc…

Calculating an Erdös-Chomsky-Bacon number – 13

Some days it is hard to focus on work – any day where I have to look at large-scale copy-edits is one of them. So I decided to procrastinate by calculating my Erdös-Chomsky-Bacon number (modified), which is any publication links across co-authors to Paul Erdös and Noam Chomsky, as well as any filmed acting across actors to Kevin Bacon. That last part is a cheat because a Bacon number is supposed to be movie-only connections, but I’m OK with that because I was paid to do the acting.

My Erdös-Chomsky-Bacon number is 13:

Erdös Number = 4

Donald Derrick -> Daniel Archambault
Derrick, Donald and Archambault, Daniel Treeform: Explaining and exploring grammar through syntax trees. Literary and Linguistic Computing, (2010). 25(1):53–66.

Daniel Archambault -> David G. Kirkpatrick
Archambault, Daniel; Evans, Willam; Kirkpatrick, David Computing the set of all the distant horizons of a terrain. Internat. J. Comput. Geom. Appl. 15 (2005), no. 6, 547–563.

David G. Kirkpatrick -> Pavol Hell
Kirkpatrick, D. G.; Hell, P. On the complexity of general graph factor problems. SIAM J. Comput. 12 (1983), no. 3, 601–609.

Pavol Hell -> Paul Erdős
Erdös, P.; Hell, P.; Winkler, P. Bandwidth versus bandsize. Graph theory in memory of G. A. Dirac (Sandbjerg, 1985), 117–129, Ann. Discrete Math., 41, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1989.

Chomsky number = 5

Donald Derrick -> Michael I. Proctor
Examining speech production using masked priming.
Chris Davis, Jason A. Shaw, Michael I. Proctor, Donald Derrick, Stacey Sherwood, Jeesun Kim
Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 2015

Michael I. Proctor -> Louis Goldstein
Analysis of speech production real-time MRI.
Vikram Ramanarayanan, Sam Tilsen, Michael I. Proctor, Johannes Töger, Louis Goldstein, Krishna S. Nayak, Shrikanth Narayanan
Computer Speech & Language, 2018

Lousi Goldstein -> Srikantan S. Nagarajan
A New Model of Speech Motor Control Based on Task Dynamics and State Feedback.
Vikram Ramanarayanan, Benjamin Parrell, Louis Goldstein, Srikantan S. Nagarajan, John F. Houde
Proceedings of the Interspeech 2016, 2016

Srikantan S. Nagarajan -> David Poeppel
Asymptotic SNR of scalar and vector minimum-variance beamformers for neuromagnetic source reconstruction. (DOI)
Kensuke Sekihara, Srikantan S. Nagarajan, David Poeppel, Alec Marantz
IEEE Trans. Biomed. Engineering, 2004

David Poeppel -> Noam Chomsky
Governing Board Symposium The Biology of Language in the 21st Century. (DOI)
Noam Chomsky, David Poeppel, Patricia Churchland, Elissa L. Newport
Proceedings of the 33th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2011

Bacon number = 4

Donald Derrick -> Earl Quewezance
“Frontrunners” by European News at the “Play the Game” conference (2005)

Earl Quewezance -> Rob Morrow
“The Mommy’s Curse”, episode 6, Northern Exposure (1995)

Rob Morrow -> Embeth Davdtz
Emperor’s Club (2002)

Embeth Davidtz -> Kevin Bacon
Murder in the First (1995)

Book review: Mythic Orbits 2

Hello readers,

I have always kept this site for professional work to date, but following a recent shout-out, today I’m going to introduce you to something totally different: A review of speculative fiction.

After an initial awkward meeting at Dalhousie Chemistry Week, Kristin Janz and I became friends as we attended University at Dalhousie, in Nova Scotia (the remote outcropping of rock on the Eastern Edge of Canada where we both grew up.)

I recently read a book in which she is a short-story author: Mythic Orbits Volume 2, and enjoyed it greatly.

Now, while all of the stories are worth reading, there were a couple that were themes I’ve seen often before.  I’m not good at reviewing stories with themes I’ve seen often before, so I’m going to give short thoughts on the ones that are newer for me.  For people like me, it is worth noting that the stories get more theme-original as you progress through the book, but that is a very vague generalization, so you are better off with my very short reviews of each story:

Donald S. Crankshaw’s “Her Majesty’s Guardian” was a simple, well-executed piece with a glorious conclusion.  It reminded me of the way many of the smaller societies of Earth used to handle leader purification – brutal and effective!

Linda Burklin’s “Dragon Moon” is a visually stunning story with heartwarming family-protective elements.

Kristin Janz’s “The Workshop at the End of the World” evokes perfectly how I feel every time I consider walking into a “Toys’R’Us” – and then decide I just can’t face how bloody boring the store is.  Let the reader understand.

Cindy Koepp’s “Seeking What’s Lost” is raw and brutal and deeply personally tragic.  Keep a box of tissues nearby, and be prepared to use them liberally.

If you are a religiously active Christian like me, you would think you’ve read C.O. Bonham’s “Recalled from the Red Planet” a million times…  But oddly enough, you haven’t, because no one is ever this wonderfully direct about this particular story.

William Bontrager’s “They stood still” was my favorite story.  Years ago a friend showed me a draft of a novel she was working on with scenes of time standing still that were so good I’ve lived decades since waiting to ever read anything like it again.  I will never forget how it felt to read time stop, the sheer wonder and utter terror of it.  I felt the whole world around me go quiet.  Time stood still for me.  And Bontrager brought me to that quiet place for only the second time in my reading life.  The rest of his story of post-traumatic-stress is just as good, and I would have bought this entire book for that story alone.

A.K. Meek’s “The Memory Dance” is easily the strangest and most original piece in this collection.  In some ways, it reminded me of “Leaf by Niggle”, one of Tolkein’s greatest short stories.  And following that comment, for the most part, if you want to read something this wonderfully out-there, you have to go pre-1940s sci-fi.

Keturah Lamb’s “Unerella” is a glorious take on Cinderella, and I wish there were many more such stories on Earth – a situation I’m very slowly trying to remedy myself. Kat Heckenbach’s “Mark the days” is the kind of story you wish movies like “Memento” or “Mulholland drive” could be – a tiny bit easier to follow, and infinitely less pretentious.  Give the whole book a read, and you’ll be happy.