Cool site I found on Semantic Focus that indexes English and Spanish feeds. Planeta Web Semántica



hegemonic – ruling or dominant in a political or social context

Source: Webster’s

Found it used here recently: Stuff That White People Like – San Francisco

As you know, I’ve been getting back into riding again…(insert sound of an LP screeching to a halt). “Wait, what do you mean by ‘ride’?”, you ask. Well, when Isay ride, I mean riding a bicycle – specifically, my mountain bike. But apparently, some guys I overheard talking at the gym this morning meant riding motorized dirt bikes or 4-wheelers!

I became excited when I overheard two men discussing nearby trails and how great the riding was in and around Taunton and Seekonk. I thought these might be trails that hadn’t made it onto any website and had to be a great secret that only locals knew about. I listened in a little closer; I even lost count of how many pushups I completed. Man #1 said, “Oh yeah, man that’s a really great ride, once you pass under the power lines just keep going up this hill.” I said to myself. “Hill?”, this sounds good (obviously ignoring the power line bit). Man #1 continued, “Its pretty technical, lots of roots and rocks.” Hmmm….technical. Ok, now even though it was raining pretty good this morning, I thought about getting out of there and hopping on my bike. The first man continued to describe a decent sounding ride with lots of distance, beauty, peace and fun. My attention waned a little as I drifted into dream land (damn, how many sets did I complete). I anxiously awaited for another significant piece of data to add to my virtual reality trip.

Then I heard something that made my heart sink. Finally, man #1 said something that provoked a response from man #2, “Oh yeah I know the place! I ride my 4-wheeler there all the time!”. Shit. I thought I had found a trail I could get to out my front door. A place where other mountain bikers went to ride. Sigh.

I’m already convinced that I will have to purchase a regulation hunting vest to ride the trails around here. So, I’m not sure about the riding on trails chewed up my motorized vehicles and run the risk of being hit by one as well. Not to mention the noise…oh that awful noise.


Here’s one I remember from my Physics days. I was so fascinated by this, I spent hours bouncing a tennis ball off the ground the day I stumbled upon it in my 2-ton physics book. Yes, I did read the text before going into lecture. I don’t have that physics book anymore, but wikipedia is a great source.

Coefficient of Restitution – You’re better off reading about it here:

semasiology – the branch of knowledge that deals with concepts and the terms that represent them; a discipline that is concerned with the meaning of words. “What does semantics mean?”

Source: Apple Dictionary; wikipedia

Paralanguage – refers to the non-verbal elements of communication used to modify meaning and convey emotion. Coughing, for example.


Source: wikipedia

A pharmaceutical company has been experiencing major delays in moving drugs from concept to market. One reason they have identified is that knowledge workers rarely have the relevant information required for them to perform their functions and make sound decisions in a timely manner. The reasons for these afflictions are multi-faceted for sure, but one major problem sticks out like a sore thumb – the information required to make informed decisions is scattered across thousands of systems, each with a different context. Querying each system to get an aggregate view (to  make informed decisions) is an extremely long proce$$.

Many attempts were made to “integrate the data”. (Btw, I have some strong feelings about data integration – and they aren’t all good. That’s fodder for a future post.) But inevitably, what you might expect from trying to integrate thousands of systems or silos is what they got – just fewer silos. But, they were still silos. Worse still, after years of data integration, they still had the same problem. Simply put, the organization wanted to enable a knowledge worker to make informed decisions “faster” and with greater confidence (knowing they had considered all the relevant knowledge). They concluded that if they could accomplish this, then they will not only save money, but also make them more money by getting their products to market faster. Data integration did not cut it.

Here’s how Semantic Web Technology helped. I like to call this approach metadata aggregation. Using RDF and RDF Schema, a model was created that 1) generalized entities in each system, effectively creating a “top resource” notion, called an “Asset”; and 2) represented known facts about these entities. Example:

  • “Clinical Study A is a type of Clinical Study (which is a type of Asset)”
  • “Clinical Study A has a completed date, 1 April 2008”
  • “Clinical Study A has a subject, caffeine”
  • “Clinical Study A has an author, SAB”
  • “Case Study 1 is a type of Case Study (which is a type of Asset)”
  • “Case Study 1 has a completed date 14 April 2008”
  • “Case Study 1 has a subject, caffeine”
  • “Case study 1 has topic, blood pressure”
To be clear, data was not “integrated”, facts about the information objects were aggregated. Therefore some of the traditional issues with data integration were avoided – allowing the organization to quickly get an aggregated view over their data.

RDF is schema-less and couldn’t care any less about context. The context in which a knowledge workers view this information is controlled by themselves. Add in another fact about each asset, called “source”, and enable the knowledge worker to choose which systems to consider. It becomes clear how much easier it is to query the metadata for all Assets that “has a subject caffeine”, than to go into each system and perform a similar, but possibly slightly different query each time. This approach gave the knowledge worker the confidence that all relevant information was at their fingertips, and allowed them to make informed decisions faster – effectively, providing them with the business value they were in search of.