Friday, January 20, 2012

Google Translate

Google Translate works quite well. Occasionally it does some weird things. For instance, it translates (from Spanish)

No me acuerdo bien cómo me aparecìa.
I do not remember exactly how I appeared.

That is exactly what I'd expect it to say. However, when I change it by one word, 

No me acuerdo muy bien cómo me aparecìa. 
I get
I remember very well how I appeared.
rather than
I do not remember very well how I appeared.

If you change the initial verb to a synonym, it's correct. I.e.,

No recuerdo muy bien cómo me aparecìa.
I do not remember very well how I appeared.

I assume it's an error in Google Translate rather than me missing the subtleties of the Spanish language. Yet it seems like such a weird thing to get wrong. I'd really like to get into natural language parsing one day. Maybe then I'd discover the answer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paragliding Tasmania

I and four other paragliding pilots went to the South West Tasmania in December 2011 to fly. On the first day we looked at the Sentinels then flew 12 Trees (5min flight, unfortunately). On the second day we did a couple of good flights off Mt Elisa. We had excellent conditions, mostly blue skies with a little bit of cumulus. Wind was light and nicely flowing up the ridges. Launching was relatively easy. Some of the thermals were strong but the cores were tight and difficult to exploit for beginners.

Flying with Lake Pedder in the background was amazing. Only Klaus (our Austrian import) had a good flight. He flew down to the last ridge then made his way up, above launch, above Mt Elisa, then eventually above Mt Anne. It was really impressive stuff. The rest of us merely delayed our descents. Nevertheless, it was incredibly good fun.

Photos from the trip can be found here.

After the South West, Mark and I tried to fly Winton (the most accessible site out of Hobart). Unfortunately the wind was high and we didn't have the confidence/experience to give it a go. It was good to watch the locals fly the site, however. Hopefully next time we'll get to fly there.