This little web app called “What Would I Say?” is making the web rounds today as a fun thing that combines the absurdity of Mad Libs, the serendipity of Times Haiku and the narcissistic curiosity of googling yourself.
Built by students at Princeton, it gobbles up your status posts on Facebook and generates new ones — what you would say if you were a bot, as this Slate post puts it. Here’s the description from the developers:
Technically speaking, it trains a Markov Bot based on mixture model of bigram and unigram probabilities derived from your past post history. Don't worry, we don't store any of your personal information anywhere. In fact, we don't even have a database! All computations are done client side, so only your browser ever sees your post history.
So naturally we plugged in the Inlander to see what would happen:
Whoa. Try it yourself here.
What was happening at the first night of the 2013 Snowlander Expo? Advertising Assistant Gilbert Sandoval shot and edited this video to give you a taste of everything that was going on. The expo continues today until 6 pm. Details here.
Banana, an albino Burmese python, made an appearance at the Inlander office for a photo shoot. As the photo studio was prepared for her, she was given a little time to relax, attracting the attention of several Inlander staffers. Some took photos of her, while others also petted her. Look for Banana to appear in a future issue of the Inlander.
Several weeks ago, on a whim, we thought it would be fun to have a Cat Friday photo contest of cats wearing Halloween costumes. The Internet has clearly proven there's little else that people love more than silly cat photos, and what's more silly than a cat wearing a Halloween costume? We figured we would get maybe — maybe — five or so submissions, because frankly, putting a cat into a costume is a lot of work. Most people give up at the first scratch, as they probably should, and most cats will hate the experience so much you'll never get a good photo. (Note: We did not encourage anyone to force their cat to wear a costume.)
As the days after announcing the contest went on, we were delighted by the submissions we received, and then absolutely surprised. Either by a chance Google search for "cat halloween costume photo contest" or some other act of fate, people from all over the U.S. submitted photos of their cats in cute costumes. In the end, around half of the submissions were from outside the Inland Northwest. That alone made it hard for us to pick a "favorite" or a winner, and really, let's be honest: ALL of these cats deserve recognition for their efforts. So, we decided to feature all of the submissions here for everyone to enjoy, as we did so much. There is a small catch, though. We will feature one "winner" in a special Cat Friday ad in an upcoming print edition of the Inlander. There was no plan for a prize at first, since we doubted we'd receive more than a few submissions at all. Next year, though, we'll plan to have some exciting treats in store.
So, without further delay, we present the amazing submissions in this year's Inlander Cat Friday "Halloween Cats Photo Contest." Thank you to everyone who participated! We'll notify our "winner," to be featured in an upcoming print edition of the Inlander, via email.
As a teaser for the big reveal of the winners of the first-ever Cat Friday Halloween Cats Photo Contest later today, several Inlander staffers dressed up their own kitties in adorable Halloween get-ups, and we want to share them with you.
We didn't think it would exactly be fair for our kitties to compete with the awesomely adorable reader submissions we received, so we're featuring them here instead. Check back later today for the results of the official Cat Friday photo contest! We can hardly contain ourselves.
This week the Inlander celebrates 20 years of existence, and our publisher put together an album of photos from the Inlander’s early days of planning around kitchen tables and sharing computers.
When the first issue went out in October 1993, a lot of us who are now writers and editors weren’t doing a lot of sophisticated reading yet. (Some of our interns weren’t even born.) Here’s what we were up to when the Inlander got started:
Chris Bovey, art director
I was 13. Yeah, I used to get beat up a lot.
Chey Scott, listings editor
At almost the very same time the Inlander was born back in 1993, I was about to become a big sister for the second time, to my little brother Andrew (born Nov. 6). I was in kindergarten at Lake Spokane Elementary, in Nine Mile Falls.
I remember during class one day my teacher, Mrs. Byers, was announcing who had been named “Mustang of the Month” for being an outstanding student. (Yes, it’s true, I was a teacher’s pet from the start.) In a speech before revealing which of us got the award, she gave away a few hints, including: “this student has just become a big sister.” Yet, this didn’t strike me as specific to me since I already had been one, to my little sister, Erica. Weeks later, I remember my mom bringing baby brother Andrew to be my “show-and-tell.”
The rest of those first months of kindergarten were a blur of singing songs and making dried-bean-and-glue collages. I was also pretty stylish back then — though I wasn’t recognized by my classmates for it — my Gramma made just about my entire school wardrobe.
Heidi Groover, staff writer
This is probably about what I was doing then.
Laura Johnson, music editor
The start of 1993 was forever burned into my then-6-year-old brain when the lights flickered out. A wind storm of enormous magnitude, now known as the Inauguration Day storm since it fell on the same day President Clinton was sworn in, crashed down on the Seattle area taking out many trees and our power lines along with them. For days my family of four was without power. We huddled in piles of blankets the living room as my dad fed log after log to the fireplace, our only source of heat, while listening to the radio newscasters rattle off updates about the blackout. My parents cooked dinner on the grill in the backyard. I was told not to open the refrigerator or else we'd lose all the food sealed within. At night we lit candles to be able to see each other. At first it was like camping; new and exciting (plus, I didn't have to go to school). But then, it got to the point where being cold and not being able to watch TV just wasn't fun anymore. Once the power went back on, I swore I'd never take a light switch for granted again. But soon, going on with my daily first grade life, I forgot all about how it was to be without power.
Deanna Pan, staff writer
I’m rocking the pigtails on the right.
Jacob Jones, staff writer
A lot of things happened in 1993. Bill Clinton was sworn in as president. Czechoslovakia dissolved into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Some alt-weekly paper started in Spokane.
But my entire childhood also transformed that year with the release of the movie Jurassic Park.
Steven Spielberg's cinematic marvel completely blew my 8-year-old mind. I made my parents sit through it at least two or three times in the theater. I could not get enough of those terrifyingly real dinosaurs.
From then on, my friends and I would spend countless hours imitating and imagining prehistoric beasts in all their computer-generated glory. It's really the only thing I cared about that whole year.
Lisa Waananen, web editor
I was a second-grader in the fall of 1993, and my mom convinced me to grow out my bangs. I wasn’t a fan. The bangs were back by third grade.
Not enough girls signed up for fall soccer, so I was the only girl on my team. Since I grew up in Minnesota, land of the Vikings, the purple-and-yellow shirts were the best colors your team could get. I didn’t mind being the only girl and I took pride in never crying if I got hit in the face with the soccer ball. I did cry whenever we lost a game, and I got a lot of after-game lectures about being a good sport and not yelling at my teammates.
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