Links for March 21st

  • Stack Overflow: Regular expression to search for Gadaffi
    How do you identify "Gadaffi" (and its many, many variants) in an block of text? With this regular expression. \b(Kh?|Gh?|Qu?)[aeu](d['dt]?|t|zz|dhd)h?aff?[iy]\b looks like the winner. Bonus points go to the guy who figured out that it can be matched with Soundex, which is probably a better way to deal with this problem.
  • xkcd: Radiation Chart
    I have frequently linked to xkcd because it's funny. But this time it's straight-up interesting. Randy Munroe has put together a chart that contextualizes the doses of ionizing radiation received from various activities. This provides a perspective that's timely—in light of the Japanese nuclear reactor situation—and also full of comparative values that might make you rethink your notion of what is and isn't safe. Note that what doesn't appear on this chart is radiation from a cell phone. That's because it doesn't produce ionizing radiation.
  • Mathematically Correct Breakfast
    A möbius sliced bagel. Mmmm…math.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “Links for March 21st”

  1. I used to work at Basis Technologies, which among other things produces a name indexing and matching API. Muamar Ghaddafi was one of the classic examples used in dev discussions. :-)

    The radiation chart collapses ambient exposure and ingested radionuclides into the same calculations, which is problematic. As one Redditor put it, “you don’t have a transatlantic plane flight in your colon.” Ingested radioactive strontium will end up in your bones, for instance, leading to horrible bone and blood cancers. The same amount of radiation applied externally is less damaging.

  2. Waldo, I have known you were a dork for a long, long time. No fewer than 13 years. (uh, wow.) But you have outdone yourself with conversation about Qaddafi (as he was spelt in the 80’s) and stack overflow. I am suitably impressed.

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