February 23, 2002
7:20 AM   Subscribe

Peter Norvig has written a Python script that generated a 12293word palindrome. Impressive. But before you ask: No, it doesn't make any sense.
[via Play with the Machine]
posted by Su (16 comments total)
This sucks. Way too many acronyms and obscure words.

I like the Dan Hoey Panama palindrome...I have yet to see anything to top it.
posted by taumeson at 7:31 AM on February 23, 2002

I fail to see the interest factor of palindromes. Personally, I find them to be quite lame. Guess I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy such things. Oh well.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:20 AM on February 23, 2002

This does seem to lack that subtle thing we call artistry. If you havent seen them, Scott Kim's Inversions (visual palindromes) are gorgeous.
posted by vacapinta at 9:26 AM on February 23, 2002

"A palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob!" - also from a Python script.
posted by chino at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2002

vacapinta, are you familiar with john langdon's ambigrams?

I agree, this palindrome is lame. But I tend to prefer short ones that make some kind of sense to long ones that are meaningless anyway, even before you add obscure words and lists of proper nouns.
posted by mdn at 11:23 AM on February 23, 2002

mdn: thanks. langdon's website claims that he and scott kim invented ambigrams at the same time. Hmmmm...

On Scott's website, he claims that Douglas Hofstadter (his friend, author of GEB) coined the term.
posted by vacapinta at 1:35 PM on February 23, 2002

There's a certain brute-force quality about finding a technical palindrome, but it has no elegance. Not only is the famous Panama a great palindrome, it's a terrific synopsis of the reality, as is the other famed Able was I ere I saw Elba (i.e. Napoleon's first island of exile).

Here's a pretty random collection -- there's even one for the war on terror: "Ram O Hamas, Osamah, Omar!" The 12293 word one would fit right alongside a few of them, but a handful are meaningful.
posted by dhartung at 2:04 PM on February 23, 2002

I find Norvig's own critique of his palindrome (the last paragraph before it starts) to be quite eloquent and rather more interesting than the palindrome itself.
posted by electro at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2002

I thought I'd point out this earlier thread on Oulipo, which approaches similar problems from a different angle.
posted by electro at 3:14 PM on February 23, 2002

thank you vacapinta and nbm. both the inversions and ambigrams are brilliant. awe inspiringly simple mixes of science and art that I find strangely exciting. I have loved that kind of thing ever since this way back in 1989. thanks again
posted by toxicsoul at 3:32 PM on February 23, 2002

sorry. cant get it to work. if you are interested darkhorse.com. search for mayhem. click on the #1 link. its a comic titled mayhem. nicely
posted by toxicsoul at 3:39 PM on February 23, 2002

OK, it's obvisouly a bit of a cheater, but hell, at least it's a fun image.

Di, Al, Togo, Böll, Edna, Todd, Adolf, Sir Obadiah Turner, Ollie, Nora, El, silly Rama, Yma Sumac, St. Toby, Cal, Mike, Graf Alfie, Leila, Roz, Owen, Gallos, Reg, Nina Noyes, Mary, Lionel, Lana, Essex, Rex, Dr. Olim, Sal, Isobel, Ed, Axel, Ann, Odile, Leon, Bill (a Pole), Ginger, gay Ogden MacColl, Ewen Enid, Ansel, Gore, Lady Block, Cindy, Sam, Ronny, Llewellyn, Norma, Syd, Nick Colby, Dale, Rog, Les, Nadine Newell, Occam, Ned,, Goya, Greg, Nigel, Opal, Lib, Noel, Eli, Donna, Lex, Adele, Bo, Silas, Milford Xerxes, Sean Allen, oily Ramsey, Onan, Ingersoll, Agnew, Oz, Oralie, Leif LaFarge, Kim, Lacy, Botts, Camus, Amy, Amaryllis, Lear, O'Neill, Oren Ruth, Aida, Boris, Flo, Dad, Dot and El Löbo got laid.

- Clement Wood's "The Orgy" (no relation)
posted by Wood at 3:56 PM on February 23, 2002

Clement Wood's "The Orgy" (no relation)

This is so far off topic, I probably shouldn't post it, but this is a fairly frivolous thread, so ...

Sometime in the late '70s (I think) there was a sitcom that had as a character a fellow named Mario Lanza. Whenever he was introduced to someone, naturally he'd say, "Hello, I'm Mario Lanza." The other person would ask, "Any relation?" And Mario invariably would come back with, "To whom?" Cracked me up every time.
posted by diddlegnome at 8:00 PM on February 23, 2002

My favorite palindrome: A fool, a pool, a tool -- lootaloopaloofa!
posted by kindall at 9:51 PM on February 23, 2002 [1 favorite]

Nick Montfort and William Gillespie have created what Oulipo has just acknowledged as the longest literary palindrome: 2002: A Palindrome Story in 2002 Words. A very nice read.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:16 AM on February 24, 2002

see, that was very cool. That is what I like in a palindrome. Much more impressive than long lists of random names.

vacapinta, I don't know who did what first, but it's all pretty cool. I have a copy of langdon's book, and really enjoy it.
posted by mdn at 9:59 PM on February 24, 2002

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