Training a computer to write like Tommy Wiseau

A nightmarish image of Tommy Wiseau as a half-digital being

Tommy AI-seau

In the past year or so there have been some very funny attempts to use neural networks (roughly, programs that try to learn to identify patterns in data) to produce text. From the RoboRosewater bot that creates new Magic: The Gathering cards, to the new episodes of Friends, to the attempt to beat G.R.R. Martin to the next A Song of Ice and Fire book, they’re everywhere.

The trouble is, they don’t feel natural. The grammar is always slightly off, characters simply appear without introduction, and no-one behaves like a human.

In most genres, this would be a disadvantage. For trying to create a script in the style of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room though, it’s a positive bonus.

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Google Search Q&A 7

It’s really thin pickings now. The only search results we still see are from what I imagine must be the really exotic search engines. Hello to all you Yahooers and Lycosers and Duck Duck Goers! But there’s one search that we get weirdly often. It doesn’t even have any sparrows in it.

coat of arms of different country

Not many people have been to Different Country, but I popped through on holiday this year, and I got a glimpse of their coat of arms. I reproduce it below (with help from Wikimedia’s very extensive palette of coat of arms elements)

Isn’t it lovely?

In praise of… the adverts for Frankfurt’s municipal services

The twenty-first century is a weird time. The word “phone” now refers to small computer that you poke. People can devote themselves full time to swearing at celebrities. And everything needs a brand.

Luckily, Frankfurt’s municipal services are more than up to the task. Here are some of the best.

Here’s VGF, Frankfurt’s transport company. A classic. All you really need to understand is that everyone who’s shouting is a Frankfurt fan, and the lonely guy in the striped shirt is a Bayern Munich fan.

Oh, and “Alle fahren mit”? That means “Everyone rides”. Wonderful.

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British and Irish saints, ranked by cruelty to reptiles

Happy St Patrick’s day, where the people of Ireland (but mostly Chicago) celebrate a man who killed thousands of snakes. Patrick was no friend to the reptiles, but was he the worst? Let’s find out!

8. Godric
Godric was your typical Medieval hermit – wandered around Europe, lived alone, was thought of as very wise. And, as the story goes, he let snakes warm themselves by his fire. Godric was not mean to reptiles at all, and scores 0/10 on the meanness scale.

Godric being godly

7. Brendan
Brendan was pretty cool. What do you associate with saints? How about round the world journeys to discover new lands and fight demons? Seriously, here’s a typical example of one of his adventures from Wikipedia: “They find an island with a dog, mysterious hospitality (no people, but food left out), and an Ethiopian devil.” Anyway, one of the things he encountered was a big island called Jasconius. The monks landed, started fires, celebrated Easter… and then realised Jasconius is a giant snake. Sure, they set a snake on fire, but only by accident. 1/10.

Brendan on a sea monster. This one looks more fishy than reptilian.

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Google Search Q&A 6

Spuggies! (By Daniel Marchese on Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

It’s been a long time since we did this, and the boring reason why is that Google now encrypts its search engine referrals (officially for privacy reasons, but it will still show you search terms for paid search adverts…)

But not every search engine does, and the “Search terms” box in our stats page has been very slowly filling up…

  • dove mixed with sparrow
  • pattern of sparrow for embroidery
  • sparrow in cross sticking
  • difference between mocking jay and sparrow
  • small brown garden bird
  • small speckaled uk sparrow like bird
  • what would the difference be when reffering a person as a dove rather than a sparrow
  • cayenne pepper and sparrows

…with sparrows.

Today, we’re going to answer one (non)Google Search with the help of another.

  • nom of sparrow graph
  • sparrow energy drink

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7 Things only 90s kids will remember!

The 90s was the decade when everything sped up! Sure, in the previous decades, technology and entertainment and politics changed, but that was so slow. The explosion of culture in the last decade of the century was completely unheard of before, and completely reshaped the world. The 90s produced so much new stuff, and got rid of so much old stuff, that only those who spent their childhoods in the 90s will ever truly understand that revolution! Already, it’s an era we look back on fondly, and with nostalgia. That’s why we at Sparrow & Dove have put together a list of 7 things, from every part of life, that only 90s kids will ever truly get!

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Occupy Tom Nook

A pre-print of an article soon to appear in the prestigious Mushroom Kingdom Journal of Socioeconomics.

Occupy Tom Nook

Google Search Q&A 5 – English pub name cross stiches

Hey, let’s see what’s in the search grab-bag this time!

  • sparrow like birds
  • thrupenny sixpence sparrows and doves
  • what is the different between a dove and sparrow?
  • sparrow eye recipe
  • family of dove and sparrow
  • sparrow with black bib

Come one, isn’t there ANYTHING in the incoming searches that isn’t sparrows?

  • english pubs cross stitch patterns


British pub names are well-known for being mundane and fantastic (and often archaic) in equal measure, and for tending to fit a few quite rigid patterns: “The Coloured Animal”, “The Monarch’s Symbol”, “The Item and Item”, “The Old Thing”, and so on.

So designing some cross-stitch designs based on English pubs should be fairly easy!

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Google Search Q&A 4 – A beginner’s guide to set theory

According to our site stats, almost two thirds of visitors to our site are looking for information on sparrows. Don’t believe me? Here is a graph of the search strings that have found our site, grouped by whether or not they contain the word “sparrow”:

See? It’s scientific fact. And 23 of those are variants on “is sparrow and dove same thing?” So, what does the mailbag have for us this time? (Please don’t be sparrows, please don’t be sparrows)

topless jamaica

red light district in frankfurt on map

rob liefeld wallpapers

… On second thoughts, let’s go with the sparrows.

sparrow in maths sets

Aww, who wants to learn some maths?

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Google Search Q&A 3

Time to stick my hand into the lucky dip of our incoming Google Searches once more and see what comes to the top…

difference between dove and sparrow

what is the difference between a dove and a sparrow

whats the difference between sparrows and doves?

difference between sparrows + doves

difference between a dove and sparrow

sparrow or dove


This will never do. Let’s have another look.

sparrow tram

Ah, now that’s a good question.

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