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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Innovative architect maximizes tiny apartment space using movable walls

Truly impressive.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Text to Speech makes Life Sweet

Hi hi. Haven't posted in awhile, I know. Had my last classes of the semester Monday, and now I'm cramming hard until my finals begin next Monday. But I thought I'd take a quick moment to share a neat little trick I'm using to study for a class that is having a closed-book exam.

I'm not very good at committing things to memory, I don't think. I always joke that I can hold about three things in my head before the first one starts falling out when I try to put another one in. But unfortunately I have to know more than 3 things on my Constitutional Law exam, so I'm desperately trying to commit to memory the holdings of 14 very important Con Law cases.

I don't think I've had to do so much memorization since I was trying to acquire a basic German vocabulary back in high school. What worked back then? Auditory repetition. On the Mac (and probably on the PC, but I've never tried this over there), there is a very slick way to convert written documents to spoken iTunes tracks automatically, without having to read the tracks aloud yourself.

First, turn your word processing document into a PDF.

Next, open the PDF in a program such as Preview, highlight the text you want to turn into an audio track. Under the program menu, select Services, then Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track.

The Mac will use one of its on-board speech emulators (I like to use the voice called Alex) and deliver the track right into iTunes, where you can rename the file and create a study playlist.

The speech is a little stilted, but if you put all your punctuation in the right place, Alex actually does a pretty good job putting appropriate voice inflection in appropriate places.

This is so bitchin.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

More from Garfunkel & Oates

I didn't realize that the video I posted last time about pregnant women was by a duo who is actually really good at writing farcical songs.  The duo is called Garfunkel & Oates, and you can find them on Facebook, MySpace, iTunes, and YouTube. If you are into the Ditty Bops and Tally Hall, you will probably also enjoy G&O.  I found it hard to keep tears from squeezing out the corners of my eyes at the following videos:

Present Face
You know that face you get when you receive a present you don't really want?

Sex with Ducks
Pat Robertson said legalizing gay marriage would lead to legalizing sex with ducks... God, I hope he's right!

This Party Took a Turn for the Douche
Makes fun of D-bags. Lots of profanity in this one, if you are sensitive to that, but the lyrics are very good.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Everyone knows it, but nobody says it, because they're pregnant

I get a kick out of this little song. The best parts are the cliched conversational interludes in the middle. Apologies to all friends who are, ever have been, or ever will be pregnant.

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