Monthly Archives: November 2009

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How to Automatically Extract Key Terms from Articles

Yahoo Term Extraction API PHP Code

Yahoo! as a business isn’t doing so well. This, however, does not mean they are underperforming on all fronts. In fact, Yahoo! maintains an excellent support for developers. They have made powerful API’s available to the public. One such API is the Yahoo Term Extraction API. Developers, marketers and search engine optimizers can use this API to extract key terms from any web page or article. Yahoo Term Extraction algorithms will take care of all the intensive back-end calculations for you.

View my Demo Application.

I originally built this application using the file_get_contents function in PHP. But it is safer to use cURL in order to maintain the data integrity as well as bypass security constraints set up by hosting providers. I am making the code snippet available to everyone. Use the following PHP cURL code to extract keywords using the Yahoo Term Extraction Library:

View the Source Code

Make sure to grab your API key from the Yahoo Developer Network.

The Human Quest for Preeminence


I have been watching Heroes lately. I admire purpose driven people, and so find the show’s geneticist, Mohinder Suresh, quite intriguing. I have compiled a short essay elaborating his philosophy on the implications of Darwin’s natural selection on our everday life.

Watch the trailer.

Where does it come from, this quest? This need to solve life’s mysteries, when the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we’d be better off not looking at all. Not doubting, not yearning. That’s not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here.

Evolution is an imperfect, and often violent process. Morality loses its meaning. The question of good and evil, reduced to one simple choice: Survive? Or perish?

When evolution selects its agents, it does so at a cost. It makes demands in exchange for singularity. And you may be asked to do something against your very nature. Suddenly, the change in your life that should have been wonderful, comes as a betrayal. It may seem cruel, but the goal is nothing short of self-preservation. Survival.

Some individuals, it is true, are more special. This is natural selection. It begins as a single individual born or hatched like every other member of their species. Anonymous. Seemingly ordinary. Except they’re not. They carry inside them the genetic code that will take their species to the next evolutionary rung. It’s destiny.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose. The Earth spins at a thousand miles an hour as we desperately try to keep from being thrown off. Like the first blush in winter that signals a great migration. Is there any warning of their arrival? A sign, a single event that set this chain into motion? Was it a whisper in God’s ear? Survive. Adapt. Escape. And if we could mark our single moment in time, that first hint of a prophecy of approaching danger… would we have done anything differently? Could it have been stopped? Or was the die long ago cast?

The earth is large, large enough so you think you can hide from anything. From Fate, From God. If only you found a place far enough away. So you run… To the edge of the Earth, where all is safe again. Quiet and Warm. The Solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief. And maybe, for a moment, you believe you have escaped.

This quest. This need to solve life’s mysteries. In the end, what does it matter when the human heart can only find meaning in the smallest of moments? Those moments are here. Among us. In the shadows. In the light. Everywhere. Do we even know yet?