leave your thoughts at the door


GPSing and freedom


I enjoy driving the long roads and have long conversations with my self, somehow discussing all things in life with me and myself brings me joy. Free of the care of the world, driving somewhere on I 70 east or on I 495  and then I feel this sharp shooting pain in my gastrocnemius, and the nurse in me freaks out. Oh no I cannot afford DVT, or PE, but no chest pain for now or no trouble breathing. At this point the conversations with one’s self turn into conversations with GOD and prayers. I know I have to stop driving 6 hours non stop but I blame the Sonata, very fuel efficient, so I don’t have to necessarily stop at any point until I reach my destination  and I love the fact that my bladder listens and does not act at all.  Prayers replace the disturbing thoughts  automatically to happy thoughts.

Ever since I watched Jeff Corwin and found about GPS, I have been fascinated by it, I do not have to worry about getting from one place to another. A few hours will fly by and I find myself in the state I have come to love the most; VIRGINIA. Right now I am sitting at a Panera in Arlington, I love traveling here, good food, good companies mostly ( fake Tedy Bruschi) and if the need to jump from state to state comes to mind, it is just a matter of crossing the beautiful Potomac river and voila; DC and Maryland.

 Fake Tedy Bruschi introduced me to Old Town Alexandria, amazing  food and a beautiful park with the view over the Potomac river overlooking DC. A perfect place to unwind and close one’s eyes and breath in the air and relax, although if  you are sitting near the water, avoid breathing in too much air since there are no roses to smell if you know what I mean.

One of my best friends is here and I hope the GPS will lead me to visit IOWA next time, welcome Papy

until next time

 

 

Mela Keyboard


There are thousands of English keyboard apps on Google Play and a few Ge’ez keyboards. I’m quite satisfied with my choice of English keyboard (I use “iPhone Keyboard for Android”), and I’m sure many Android users have found one they like. However I couldn’t find a good Ge’ez keyboard. I was looking for these features,

1. Must support Ge’ez and English so that I don’t have to switch between different keyboard apps
2. I should be able to switch between the two keyboards seamlessly
3. Must have English spelling suggestion
4. Must have Amharic suggestion
5. Typing Ge’ez letters should be easy

I tried every Ge’ez keyboard on Google Play. None of them had the features I was looking for. They all lacked at least one of the features I had in mind, specially points 4 and 5. Mela Keyboard has all the features that I feel a basic Ge’ez keyboard should have.

And that is why I have been passionately working on Mela Keyboard, an Android keyboard with Ge’ez and Latin letters.

Here is the Ge’ez keyboard with Amharic suggestion. The dictionary of Amharic words being used is so rich that I sometimes get surprised when a lengthy word I have in mind comes up right away. A few percentage of the suggested Amharic words are misspelled. I plan to get those gradually weeded out.

Image

To allow typing Ge’ez letters easily, you use what I call the “Handy Key”. It’s the one in the middle with a yellow border. Every time it is pressed, it switches the current character, eg. from ሁ to ሂ.

Here is the English keyboard with word suggestion.

Image

I used it for about two months while continuously fine tuning it. Now that I think it is a good keyboard, I’m ready to share it with everyone else. I released it this week. I hope fellow Android users enjoy it.

To install it, get Mela Keyboard on Google Play.

If you like it, like Mela Keyboard Facebook page to let others discover it.

If you don’t like it, the app makes it easy to send comments.

I look forward to hearing from users!

wuletah beza


addis abeba


  addis abeba 1

DSC03011

addis abeba 3

Courtesy of Sami

One

Ants launch first rocket to Mars


I listened to Richard Dawkins’ interview in BBC’s Life Scientific radio program. It was important to him that those who read his book ditched their religion and became atheists like him. It’s only natural that he wants others to see what he sees. But for him, the non-existence of God can be shown through reasoning. Now that, I don’t understand.

Think about this. Do you think ants will ever send rockets to Mars?

Ants marching along in a line. They look so unaware of their surrounding. I can put a piece of rock in front of an ant, leaving it with no other choice but to climb it. I can then lift the rock and take it elsewhere with the ant on it. Does it know what’s happening? Probably not. And yet, the arrogant ant scientist will dismiss the notion of a powerful being watching over the ants as utterly ridiculous.

A digital composite of Leaf cutter ants from The Guardian.

We take animals and test their memory, time perception, self awareness, tool use, language, and so on. We flash images at them and see if they remember what they saw. We put marks on their bodies and test whether they recognize it when they see themselves in the mirror. We record sounds they make and look for meanings in them. That’s all good but who is testing us? What makes us sure we are at the top of this intelligence hierarchy? If at all, doesn’t the result of these tests show there could be a superior intelligence, where all our current reasoning falls apart in the face of it? I’m not just saying we know very little and we have a lot to learn. We all agree with that. I’m questioning if, with the mind we have, we are capable of knowing and explaining everything there is.

In his book The God Delusion, Dawkins’ main argument against religion goes like this,

1. Suppose everything around us is designed by a designer (a supreme being, a god, etc).
2. If so, then who designed the designer? Who created God? Someone must have designed the designer too. This contradicts 1.
3. Therefore there is no designer.

But he missed one small point: those who believe in religion believe their mind is not capable of comprehending their god. He has silently dismissed that crucial point, and made a hidden assumption that the existence or non-existence of a god can be reasoned with human logic. Here is the missing bit,

0. We as humans do not have any limitation in our understanding. Our logic system is sound, and can explain everything.

Just for fun. Purity, curtosy of xkcd.

Point 0 is known and studied very well in philosophy, mathematics and artificial intelligence. There is a beautiful example quite related to Point 0. Here it is in all its glory,

This sentence is incorrect.

The sentence is a paradox. Here is why,

  •  We can’t say it’s correct because it says it is incorrect.
  •  Our remaining option is to conclude it is incorrect. If it is indeed incorrect, then it’s opposite must hold. The opposite is,

This sentence is correct.

The result of our conclusion is against our conclusion itself! The paradox is related to Godel’s incompleteness theorem, which demonstrates the limitation of our reasoning. The solution is to avoid making self referential statements. Have sentences talk about other sentences, not about themselves. Otherwise the universe will collapse on us. The consequence of our logic system is that it can’t prove its own correctness. Proving our logic correct requires yet another system that lives outside us.

That is why atheists’ attempt to prove God’s non-existence will always be a flawed logic. Their option is to just believe in God’s non-existence and have faith in themselves.

I leave you with an object we can’t explain.

Penrose triangle

The Penrose Triangle, an impossible object.

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice


I think if somebody tells a lie, they’re not just a liar. I think if somebody takes something that doesn’t belong to them, they’re not just a thief. I think even if you kill someone, you’re not just a killer. And because of that there is this basic human dignity that must be respected by law. I also believe, that in many parts of this country, and certainly in many parts of this globe, that the opposite of poverty is not wealth. I don’t beleive that. I actually think in too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.

We cannot be fully evolved human beings until we care about human rights and basic dignity. That all of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone. That our visions of technology and design and entertainment and creativity have to be married with our visions of humanity, compassion and justice.

I didn’t want this!


andthree-google-search

The picture is from my own post right here, also appearing at the very top of the google search. I commented before that blogging was a bit like being naked and I’m conscious about what I put up for the whole world to see. However, I overlooked this one. I didn’t think the picture may come up in a search result, out of its context. I don’t want to give a bad impression to outsiders about Ethiopian food.

A vote!

1. Delete the picture, leave the post.

2. Delete the whole post.

3. None of the above…

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