Sure, “generative AI” image models are all the rage, but don’t sleep on slightly-older-fashioned FaceApp de-aging, aging, and re-gendering.

This is what I looked like, will look like, and would have looked like, apparently.

Anyone keeping track of the puzzle-solving adventures at my house, I did eventually finish all 2000 pieces.

In case anybody was worried after I posted on Wednesday about trying to assemble a brightly-colored jigsaw puzzle on a brightly-colored tablecloth, we did remove the tablecloth later that evening.

Dear Sunday pwinn, I appreciate that you decided to start a 2000-piece Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle as a way to take your mind off of Things™. But could you not have first removed the Christmas-themed tablecloth from the table? Signed, Mid-week pwinn

Apparently many people believe that if a person picks up a gun and points it at you and takes your stuff, that is theft, obviously, but if that same person picks up a government, and points law or policy at you and takes your stuff, that’s just how the world works. Nobody is to blame. Billionaires are totally normal. You had a choice between taking that job and dying in the street, so it was your choice as much as the billionaire’s that led to the status quo.

The Venn diagram of these people and those who believe that “taxation is theft” overlaps quite a bit.

Expedia sure is a well-managed company whose products we all use every day, right? I mean, when you think of well-managed companies, nobody compares to Expedia. It’s the best! All CEOs should aspire to be worthy to just tie the shoes of the CEO of Expedia, and yet I’ll bet most readers can’t name him without searching.

I mention this because it turns out he is the highest-paid CEO in the Fortune 500. He received 2,897 times the median employee salary at Expedia, or $296.2 million.

Today I learned that Expedia also owns and operates a few other names you might recognize from the current decade: Hotels . com, Vrbo, Travelocity (yes, they bought their prime competitor some time ago), Hotwire, Orbitz, eBookers, CheapTickets, CarRentals . com, WotIf, and Trivago, so perhaps they’re doing a little better than your first thought might be.

My takeaway after learning this today is that I need to stop using Orbitz. I think I’ve used Kayak and Trip .com most recently anyway.

So maybe he gets just shy of 300 million because he’s figured out how to avoid triggering anti-trust investigators while eliminating competition via acquisition. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine how he’s doing any better job that someone paid 1/300th as much.

Almost 3000 times as much as the median employee of this company; it seems bizarre that this is even allowed.

Data comes from the AFL-CIO, chart from Genuine Impact.

Presenting without comment, AI model MidJourney v4’s response for the prompt “Black history month.”

The unrelenting pervasive nature of white history as the default leads to most people forming unconscious ideas about roles we can each play. It is incredibly and sadly common for people to believe that white European society is the pinnacle of civilization, as evidenced by… [waves all around] Never mind that Steve Jobs’ father was Syrian, clearly white people invented technology, right? Never mind that mathematics was developed far from western lands, to the point that we now study algebra, or الجبر al-jabr, developed while Europe was mired in tribal warfare.

It’s a vicious cycle: if you believe that everything you see was invented by white people, then you believe that white people invented everything, because each set of false information reinforces the other.

Wypipo, open your eyes! Here’s a popular meme image of just a few things invented by Black people, and the full list is so much longer. This list is so long mastodon won’t let me put the entire text description in the alt tag, so I’ll add it as a reply to this post.

I have finally found a sauce I prefer to the traditional Huy Fong “Cock Sauce” Sriracha. Diamondback Texafied Sriracha is better. It’s just better.

Huy Fong is still excellent for when I’m out and about at restaurants, and I’ve still got a big bottle in my fridge, plus those packets, but more and more I’m reaching for the Diamondback.

That’s one good thing about H-E-B opening stores in the Dallas area. I would never have learned about Diamondback otherwise.

My daughter texted me urgently today, asking for help in art class. As someone who attended school before the advent of cell phones, this entire concept threatens to derail me, but I’ll focus for her sake. She wants examples of abstract art, and wants me to help, and I quote, “Using your uhm ai art thing.”

I happen to have the Dream app installed on my phone, and haven’t used it very much, so I started there. That app heavily leans into models trained in different styles, one of which is “Abstract,” so it seemed like a good bet. For the first prompt, I supplied an input image, which I said should heavily influence the result. Avid fans of anime might guess from the result that the image was fan art from “Assassination Classroom,” which was also the text prompt. For the rest I supplied no starting image, using only text prompts to steer things. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep notes at the time, and worse, I foolishly didn’t “Finalize” any of the results, since I was just looking for samples to influence my daughter’s art on paper. So I don’t remember what words I used for the other three examples, my favorites of the eight I generated for her.

If I can generate image description alt text for abstract art, it should be easy for anyone to generate image descriptions for anything.

Statista’s Chart of the Day is often fascinating to me. Today’s is about the oldest people in the world.

As the linked article says, all are women, and most are born in Japan or the United States.

Although born in the United States, María Branyas has lived most of her life in Spain. I’m still a bit surprised at how many of the women on the list are from the United States, though.

Since a previous post alerted me to the idea of an AI art model generating images of Buddha statues without having “Buddha” as an input, I decided to test it, so I prompted MidJourney with “cree, pasadena, ish, informal, preview, lindo, kids, potential, statue, calcutta, phenomenal, sigma, chero, heh, âľĵ, kier, bourdain, anjali, ori, displa”

The first time I forgot I still had the “anime” filter turned on, so I switched to MidJourney model v4 and re-ran it.

I’m not seeing Buddha in my results, although I do see statues. Then again “statue” is one of the words in the prompt, so nothing magical there.

I’m including both results because I guess I want to spend a long time writing image descriptions. 😀

The CSV spreadsheet is usually the one that’s a day ahead, so I guessed it was the one using GMT. Except… every now and then, it’s the one that’s a day behind. The inconsistency rules out GMT shenanigans, I think, but also, I don’t ever supply a time when marking a book as read. I select a year, month, and day. Which suggests it’s arbitrarily storing a time, and the fact that it’s off so often suggests it’s storing a time within five or six hours of midnight. And apparently inconsistently.

Another amusing bug anecdote is that books I finished reading on Oct 1, 2022, are just listed on the site as having been read “Oct 2022.” No date shown. The CSV spreadsheet has a date, of course.

It seems like there’s an entire class of date/time bugs on GoodReads, before we even get to the missing ISBNs and badly-corrupt data from 2017.

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Okay, let’s do this. I’d love for someone from Apple Music to try to explain how this playlist makes sense. How does a list start off so well with John Legend, SZA, and Zacari, then give me at least the third version of “Unholy” I’ve had in the last some-number of weeks, drift through some The Smashing Pumpkins and Biig Piig, and then suddenly drop Bailey Zimmerman singing “Get to Getting’ Gone” in there? Then back to goodness with Arctic Monkeys, ThxSoMuch, and GloRilla, but then: back-to-back songs featuring Nick Minaj and Old Dominion? How do Old Dominion or Brett Eldredge end up on this list at all? And then the list ends just fine, with Joji and Billy Raffoul and Meadowlark!

Where on earth did Bailey Zimmerman, Old Dominion, and Brett Eldredge come from? The Venn diagram of people who listen to those songs and people who listen to nearly everything else on the list cannot overlap by much!

I’m sure there are people who love those three artists, and perhaps they’re all lovely people. But I’m guessing anybody with those three songs on their playlist and not complaining would be upset to get my playlist for completely different reasons.

It’s like Sesame Street: three of these things don’t belong here.

Food: sushi 

I know people are dieting, so I’ll mark this as sensitive, but really I just enjoyed an amazing lunch at Tokyo One in Plano, Texas.

@CARROT prepared for the loss of Dark Sky by advertising and launching in “Dark Sky” mode, with a very familiar layout and using Dark Sky’s API as it’s source. That API will stop working after March, of course. Thanks, Apple.

I decided there was no point in paying to use an award-winning app and limiting it like that, so I switched to the normal Carrot “smart layout” which changes based on time of day and weather conditions.

It’s nice so far.

I’m still salty about Apple shutting down Dark Sky, don’t mind me.

I did become a paying customer of @CARROT yesterday, so yay for the non-megacorps.

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