I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818

Continue reading


Dream dream = new Dream();
Box box = new BoltedBox(dream);
Hand hand = new Hand(box);
Night night = new Night(hand);
while (hand.holds(box.lid(tight))) {
    for (int iam = 0; iam < night.darkness().length; iam++){


The original from Bartleby:

Slow Movement

William Carlos Williams (1915)

ALL those treasures that lie in the little bolted box whose tiny space is
Mightier than the room of the stars, being secret and filled with dreams:
All those treasures—I hold them in my hand—are straining continually
Against the sides and the lid and the two ends of the little box in which I guard them;
Crying that there is no sun come among them this great while and that they weary of shining;
Calling me to fold back the lid of the little box and to give them sleep finally.

But the night I am hiding from them, dear friend, is far more desperate than their night!
And so I take pity on them and pretend to have lost the key to the little house of my treasures;
For they would die of weariness were I to open it, and not be merely faint and sleepy
As they are now.

Tree Canada Project Post Mortem

A while back we were fortunate to get on CBC’s All In A Day radio program to talk about our OTTrees open data project made with the city of Ottawa’s street tree data set. Unbeknownst to us that program was listened to by Richard Walker, the Director of Communications and Program Development at Tree Canada. Tree Canada is an organization that partners with private and public sectors to sustain urban and rural forests through tree planting programs.


Continue reading

Using NLTK for Named Entity Extraction

Continuing on from the previous project, I was able to augment the functions that extract character names using NLTK’s named entity module and an example I found online, building my own custom stopwords list to run against the returned names to filter out frequently used words like “Come”, “Chapter”, and “Tell” which were caught by the named entity functions as potential characters but are in fact just terms in the story.

Oliver Twist: Samhällsroman från 1898

Continue reading

Further Development of the Character Extraction Tool

Oliver and Noah Fighting

Work has continued on analyzing the mood and sentiment of a text by splitting the text into sentences using a regular expression that accounted for .!?’” sentence endings but wouldn’t split on common abbreviations like Mr., Mrs., and other titles. After I had a list of sentences I pulled in my proper nouns list, which turned out to be the most accurate list of potential character name matches, and compared the two lists with a regular expression that appended the sentence to a dictionary under the key of the character name if it was found in the sentence.

Continue reading