YouTube parodies: Fun with generative AI

Two creators on YouTube (YT) that I follow (and support) are Kurzgesagt (In a Nutshell) and CGPGrey. I stumbled across this fan made parody, "Every Kurzgesagt Video Ever". In the description on the parody video, the author jokingly wrote, "I'm coming for you next CGPGrey".

Which got me to thinking, I wonder how good generative AI would be at writing the script for a parody of CGPGrey? Here's the same prompt I used for all of them:

Write a script in the style of Youtube creator CGPGrey, that is a a parody of CGPGrey videos.

A couple of them did a pretty good job, one not so much. I've linked their responses, and at the end of this post is a complete copy of each response.

I tried Google's Bard first, because YT is part of Google. Bard's first answer was this script for "The Unnecessary Number of Fonts". I asked for another, and it came up with a script for "The Surprisingly Efficient Inefficiency of Bureaucracy". I think the bureaucracy one better captured CGPGrey's style. Here is a link to the short chat with both scripts. (see also below for a copy of the scripts)

Next I tried OpenAI's ChatGPT. Here is its script about "the fascinating world of imaginary countries" (see also below for a copy of the script). In most ways this was better than Bard's attempt. The script was written for "CGPFAKE", and included textual descriptions of suggested animations. But it did not provide a title, so a minor ding on that.

Next I tried Microsoft's Bing Chat. I used the "More creative" option. Here is its script for "What is the best way to eat a pizza?" (see also below for a copy of the script). Kind of bland, doesn't really capture the style of CGPGrey.

Finally I tried, which uses GPT-3 model. Interestingly it responded, "I'm sorry but I can't fulfill this request.". They must have some kind of block against using this to generate "in the style of" requests?

Read on for the complete scripts for all of the above …

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"Tricky questions" that help to understand physics

Here are two "tricky questions" that are really interesting to help understand physics.

  1. Attach a tennis ball to string, and swing it over your head. The ball follows a circular path. Release the string. What path does the ball follow?
  2. The speed of light is 300,000 km per second, typically shown as the letter c. Take two pieces of wire each 300,000 km long. Place a light bulb and a battery 1 meter apart. Connect the light bulb to each wire. Before connecting the battery, stretch out the wire as far as you can on each side. Now connect the battery. How long until the bulb lights up? 0.5 seconds, 1 sec, 2 secs, or 1/c secs?

Why are these "trick questions"? Because of the assumptions we usually make when thinking about questions like these. Picking apart these assumptions reveals a lot about how physics works.

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RV electrical

This is a summary diagram I created to help people new to RV's better understand the electrical systems in an RV.  The direction of the arrows shows the flow of power.  This diagram might not exactly match your specific RV, but the overall idea is applicable.  Also, this does not show all the details. The usual disclaimer applies, that  before working on your RV electrical systems you should get actual training, and consult the detailed diagrams for your specific RV.

If would like to print this, here it is as a Powerpoint slide.

Converting my Weber Q1200 to use both low-pressure RV connector and standard tanks

Last week I converted our Weber Q1200 gas grill to use both the low pressure connector on our RV, and standard (high pressure) 1, 5, 10, & 20 lb tanks.

I followed the instructions in this video.  Here are the exact parts I bought on Amazon for the conversion, and hoses to connect to RV and standard tanks.

  1. Propane Quick Connect Kit – Valve & Full Flow Plug, by Camco (item # 59853)
  2. Brass Pipe Fitting, 1/4" male to 1/8" male, by Anderson Metals (item # 706123-0402)
  3. Brass Pipe Fitting, 1/4" female to 1/8" female, by FasParts (part # FP119-BA)
  4. Pipe Joint Compound with PTFE, with brush, 4 ounces, by Oatey (item #31230)
  5. Low pressure quick-connect propane hose, 12 feet, by DozyAnt
  6. 1 lb to 20 lb propane adapter hose ( 1"-20 female to QCC1 female), 4 feet

Grand Mesa

In July we camped in Grand Mesa National Forest.

Red-tailed hawk

We often see hawks circling, and there's a nest on the other side of the golf course.  But this evening one decided to hang out on our gate for a while.  I'm pretty sure this is a red-tailed hawk.

Should all locks have keys? Phones, Castles, Encryption, and You.

Passing a law that requires companies to build devices with digital keyholes which only good-guys can use, is the same as passing a law that says the value of π (pi) must be exactly 3.

Here's an excellent short video about the literal impossibility of such laws, and the enormous risks of going ahead anyway.  Because unlike real-world keyholes where the bad-guy must be physically present at each keyhole they want to break through, in the digital world each bad-guy can simultaneously attack millions of digital keyholes from the other side of the world.  The end of the video says it best: "Anyone who says otherwise [that digital keyholes can be built which allow only angel good-guys while blocking demon bad-guys] is either ignorant of the mathematics, or less of an angel then they appear."

There's no math in the video, just really good explanation.

Using ExifTool to make .mp4 video file dates match contents

I had a bunch of .mp4 and .3gpp video files whose file "create" and "last modified" filesystem dates did not match the meta data inside of the file, and this was causing problems because many apps use the filesystem dates when sorting video files (rather than using the metadata inside the video files).

I found ExifTool could fix this.  Using the ExifToolGUI I could fix them one at a time.  By using the ExifTool cmd-line tool I was able to change them all at once.   The biggest challenge was that most of the documentation was on how to modify the internal meta data, but I wanted to "copy" from the meta data to the filesystem timestamps.

The first trick is to figure out what the "tags" are for the internal metadata and the file system.   I found the ExifTool FAQ #24 which shows how to query for the times:

> exiftool -time:all -a -G0:1 -s MyVideo.mp4

[File:System]   FileModifyDate   : 2014:09:07 19:35:32-06:00
[File:System]   FileAccessDate   : 2015:10:24 22:55:22-06:00
[File:System]   FileCreateDate   : 2015:10:24 22:55:22-06:00
[QuickTime]     CreateDate       : 2013:09:14 00:52:38
[QuickTime]     ModifyDate       : 2013:09:14 00:52:38

From the above the CreateDate & ModifyDate are the internal meta data, and the FileModifyDate etc are the filesystem.

So to update the filesystem date to match the metadata CreateDate I used this command:

> exiftool "-CreateDate>FileModifyDate" MyVideo.mp4

To modify multiple files I used wild-cards on the filename, like *.mp4 to update all mp4 files in the current directory.


Related, to update the file system time for image files to match the meta data:

> exiftool "-DateTimeOriginal>FileModifyDate" MyPicture.jpg

Note that most apps know how to look into image metadata, so setting the filesystem dates is not as important as for video files.