Monday, May 31, 2004
Kids these days are definitely losing it. I never had this problem with old skool Degrassi. As I relive my CBC childhood... Hmmmm what's the Street Cents crew up to? Oh look Buyco is trying to take over the world again. That wacky Pompadour.
I love being a statistical anomaly and I love my 50 minute daily commute. Cause I love driving.
DVDs don't play. Windows complains about screen resolution or colors, and their help file suggests that just because I have a DVD player doesn't mean I can play DVDs. I'd need a codec for such things. OK. Whatever, man. Now I remember why I don't bother with computers much anymore....
I'll troubleshoot some more tonight.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
BlogsCanada : E-Group Election Blog
Seems to be the best source for info and writing on the Canadian election. (aside from my posts, obviously)
Decided to fire a few Bloggers from the sidebar for not updating enough. Also, one said she liked Avril Lavigne. That's instant firing, right there.
Friday, May 28, 2004
It was a given, but Tecmo's confirmed they'll be making Ninja Gaiden 2 after DOA4 is released. Yes. From the folks that brought you Ninja Gaiden, the motherfucking greatest action game of all time.
I hope the normal difficulty is set at Obscene for next time. I thoroughly enjoyed AI enemies that didn't just stand around waiting to be killed. The fluidity of the controls, the richness of the visuals, the wanton decapitations. God I love this game. Did I mention it has ninjas?
I'll try to get the monday and the tuesday off so that I can meet you at the airport and show you around for a bit....it's so cool that you're coming to visit...that automatically gains you cool points...
General reminder to everyone else that the "Land of the Morning Calm" is a fab tourist destination for all interested...
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Holy salient Simpsons quote, Batman!
Mr. Burns, from last Sunday's episode: "I can't be held responsible for what my goons were ordered to do!"
The Hindu : Giving peace a chance: "``No matter what the armed forces do to Afghanistan, the sense of security and power cannot return to America. So the only way to move forward is to find other ways. This means realising that peace is the only real security,'' says Kumar."
The lighter side (flash)
I never watched the Apprentice (not owning a television and all), but this would have made a decent show. Here's hoping they make episodes for the other leaders as well.
ALEXANDER - Large
Holy shit I'm awesome. Troy was such an utter disappointment, this should make up for it.
Hot pink! with whaleskin hubcaps and all-leather cow interior and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights. God that felt good. My hatred for PETA knows no bounds. Fuck off. Seriously. What next? Baseball? The only reason I don't like leather is because it's hot like a mofo in summer and cold as a bitch in winter. That's it. I'm not worried about some bovine who's getting the axe anyway to feed my carnivorous apetite. So some German wants a piece of that. Big whoop. And where the hell do they get this so-called 'research'? You get leather in the freakin S-class because a lot of your clients want it. Deal.
I've got mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, the thought of a Batman game that doesn't suck sends me into fits of glee. On the other hand, there are kick ass titles like La Pucelle that don't sell gobs of copies, but are worth their weight in gaming gold. Then again, this applies to licensed games (which by their nature have always sucked) not original properties so that last statement doesn't really count. :)
Something I've been meaning to post. I got my travel itinerary. I will be in Hong Kong on June 27. I will be arriving in Seoul Incheon International Airport on July 5. Back in Canada on the July 8. Chantal: foolproof directions to where I can meet you will be much appriciated, or if you can meet me at the airport. . . the plane is scheduled to arrive around 2:30 pm.
went bungee jumping on Saturday. Scariest crap I've ever done. Lived to tell. Got a frequent jumper's card...still dazed about it all....
Another fun autocross has come and gone for me. G drove great as usual. Me. Ummmmm. Not so great. :) Hopefully I beat the PT Cruiser and stayed out of last place this time. I'm learning at a snail's pace.
If you own a vehicle you owe it to yourself to try autocross at least once. If you own a riced up car, doubly so, cause there's nothing more humbling than that guy that just beat you in a Dodge Spirit. ;)
That's it. I'm going back to rallycross, where the car matters more than the driver. ^_^ I kid. They're both fun, but I know which side my bread is buttered.
The Duc, you must try this. I'm willing to bet you'll take to it like a duck to water.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
BBC NEWS | Technology | Nintendo 'fears for games industry': "[Nintendo president Iwata] said he wanted the DS to be a return to the simplicity of the two-button console, which Nintendo pioneered.
"What we have come up with as the answer is to change how you feel and touch with the console.
"We have to radically change the whole structure of how the game is played." "
If you want to criticize MS regarding gaming, this is how you do it. Sorry fellas, ya gotta take the hardware hit. We've been used to subsidized gaming machines for awhile now and we're certainly not going back. Get in there, put 100% behind your product, or get the hell out.
Nick Hornby discusses pop music in this NY Times essay
Maybe this split is inevitable in any medium where there is real money to be made: it has certainly happened in film, for example, and even literature was a form of pop culture, once upon a time. It takes big business a couple of decades to work out how best to exploit a cultural form; once that has happened, 'that high-low fork in the road' is unavoidable, and the middle way begins to look impossibly daunting. It now requires more bravery than one would ever have thought necessary to try and march straight on, to choose neither the high road nor the low. Who has the nerve to pick up where Dickens or John Ford left off? In other words, who wants to make art that is committed and authentic and intelligent, but that sets out to include, rather than exclude? To do so would run the risk of seeming not only sincere and uncool - a stranger to all notions of postmodernism - but arrogant and vaultingly ambitious as well.via MetaFilter.
I think today's Real Life was filmed in the Emperor's room.
How to pay for it all? The Conservative party is promising deep tax cuts, but when asked Stephen Harper was not able to explain how exactly this would be paid for. Paul Martin's anounced plans are turning out to be just re-annuoncements of programs that are already in the pipeline. Which is not so bad in itself, one wouldn't expect a government to hold up development of programs until an election. But Martin is taking criticism from the other parties for supposedly taking double credit for some of the announcements. One thing is clear, though, and that is that the Liberals are not being very up-front about what in their platform is new and what is already existing.
The NDP just announced their plans to pay for proposed new spending. Key points seem to be an introduction of an inheritance tax for amounts above $1 million, something the United States has, and something I'm frankly surprised we don't have. There'd be an exception for farms and small businesses. They also anounced plans to crack down on off-shore tax havens, pointing out that Paul Martin's company Canada Steamship Lines is headquartered in Barbadoes ad pays no federal income taxes. I can't say I'm a big fan of sniping statements like that, but it is quite ironic. Also "He proposes to cut tax breaks and subsidies for the oil, coal and nuclear industries and shift them to green-energy sectors such as wind, tidal and solar power." This is common sense. No one needs a tax break for running a coal-burning power plant.
The Grope and Flail has an election commentary page with some good election-related editorials, even if they are a bit horse-race-centric. The press can't help themselves, it seems.
There's a cute little page with at-a-glance leader profiles here.
I'm going to look for more info on how the Liberals plan to finally implement all the promises they've been waxing poetic about for 10 years and haven't gotten around to yet. CBC.ca has a good Report card on the 2000 Liberal platform and how their promises stack up against what was accomplished.
What I hope someone mentions in this race is how Canada is no longer the UN #1 best country to live in, what has changed and what can be done to change it back. I'll write more about this later.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
It's true. I'm coming out of the closet... on paper. I favour The Bloc, but honestly, man, what are they smoking? :) If you can deliver on all those promises, you're some kind of demi-god. Realistically, all I see is gimme, gimme, gimme.
If The Simpsons has taught us anything: My parents are sitting on a gold mine.
Wired News: Virtual Dopers Crave High Scores
The designers of Achaea, one of the biggest online text-based games, have recently introduced a virtual addictive drug -- known as gleam -- as part of a story line in which a crime ring has been attempting to infiltrate the game's cities. And some players can't take it fast enough.
via boing boing.
"What we wanted to do with gleam was we wanted to see how the player base would react to something that's pretty bad," said Matthew Mihaly, the CEO of Achaea publisher Iron Realms Entertainment. "It's really nasty. We didn't tell them it was addictive.... (Non-player characters) showed up and said, 'Hey, I've got this stuff here, wanna try it?' Being new, they pounced right on it."
Achaea characters who take gleam get hooked quickly -- suffering typical addiction symptoms: violent vomiting, shivering, irrational sobbing, begging for the drug and even overdoses resulting in death. Some of the game's players are angry about gleam's introduction into their world.
"Your vote has extra value for your party" - The Globe and Mail
I had forgotten about this since it had first appeared, but it's at least a reminder that your vote is worth something even if the party you vote for doesn't stand a chance in your own riding. Not as good as if we actually had proportional representation, but it's better than nothing.
Thanks to C-24, from this time on, all political parties will be funded on the basis of how many people cast votes for them in the previous election. Your vote is worth exactly $1.75. Whoever gets your vote gets that money. And in political life, money is oxygen.
Some people think that the change will benefit the Liberals over other parties, because they traditionally garner the most votes. But in fact the Liberals stand to lose in the deal, which is why then party president Stephen LeDrew called campaign finance reform "as dumb as a sack of hammers."
Mr. LeDrew knew, as all Liberal bagmen know, that the Liberals would always be able to raise more money than other political parties. Because Liberals have almost always been the government, they have had access to corporate donors that no other party could command. The Conservatives, unless they happened to be both united and in power, always came a poor second in fundraising, while the NDP had to rely on unions to finance their modest campaigns.
But from this election forth, all that has changed. Now you are the single biggest donor to a political party, through your vote. Maybe you're a strict environmentalist, but you don't appreciate the NDP's dependence on the labour movement. The Green Party is a logical choice for your vote. And now you know that the Greens will get your $1.75 every year until the next election, no matter what happens in your own riding. They can use that money to hire research staff, lobby the media, buy advertising. One day they might even be able to parlay their increased visibility into seats in Parliament. All thanks to you.
So the kid in me immediately asks: What the heck is it expanding into? My brain is so incapable of comprehending how big this is. Let's just say it's bigger than your wang.
smart studio | projects | brainball: "Brainball is a game that goes against the conventional competitive concept, and also reinvents the relationship between man and machine. Instead of activity and adrenalin, it is passivity and calmness that mark the truly successful Brainball player. Brainball is unique amongst machines since it is not controlled by the player's rational and strategic thoughts and decisions. On the contrary, the participants are dependent on the body's own intuitive reactions to the game machine."
Monday, May 24, 2004
Nothing more dangerous than a clever New Zealander..
Tam I Am | Ma tana ka aha: "Saw Elephant today. Chilling and absorbing. Like a wet sponge. The last few minutes are the worst. As someone who has only ever been to (what I now know are idyllic safe havens of safety safeness) public kiwi schools (and a schmancy art college) where the smallest offence like an untucked shirt got you a thorough bitching by the Dean, Elephant rattled me good. But in my never ending quest to ruin any kind of introspection with superficiality, I just can't get over how fantastic that kids' hair is (above). What conditioning treatment is that? He doesn't have any dark roots! How can hair be that blonde naturally?"
EE Times -IBM, Sony, Toshiba team on processor architecture for broadband
Good summary of the information currently available on the proposed 'cell' processor. Looks like the idea is to shrink down a SGI MIPS cluster down to a system-on-chip size. Basically looking for increased performance through massively parrallel processing. Funnily enough it's similar to the work I'm doing, with interconnected processor cores on a single chip, in my case an FPGA is used and the purpose is to simulate graph problems. But the cell chip aims to use a similar layout to do calculations optimized for handling multimedia-heavy network traffic (for use inside routers). Neat stuff, if and when it comes to fruition.
According to El Reg, Initial sampling has begun. Now I wanna get a board with a few of these things on there to match up their "one teraflop on a chip" claims with the harsh light of real-world constraints.
Why you should never post your picture on the Internet
via blort via MonkeyFilter.
On another note, a metafilter post I made was lifted and posted to blort by my hero quonsar. I feel honoured and violated at the same time. The link is here and is quite funny / creepy in itself.
The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu. One of the most oft-quoted and widely read works of ancient Eastern philosophy, and the basis of Taoism. Definitely worth the read.
Update: fixed broken link.
He who stands on his tiptoes does not stand firm; he who stretches
his legs does not walk (easily). (So), he who displays himself does
not shine; he who asserts his own views is not distinguished; he who
vaunts himself does not find his merit acknowledged; he who is self-
conceited has no superiority allowed to him. Such conditions, viewed
from the standpoint of the Tao, are like remnants of food, or a tumour
on the body, which all dislike. Hence those who pursue (the course)
of the Tao do not adopt and allow them.
The skilful traveller leaves no traces of his wheels or
footsteps; the skilful speaker says nothing that can be found fault
with or blamed; the skilful reckoner uses no tallies; the skilful
closer needs no bolts or bars, while to open what he has shut will be
impossible; the skilful binder uses no strings or knots, while to
unloose what he has bound will be impossible. In the same way the
sage is always skilful at saving men, and so he does not cast away any
man; he is always skilful at saving things, and so he does not cast
away anything. This is called 'Hiding the light of his procedure.'
Therefore the man of skill is a master (to be looked up to) by him
who has not the skill; and he who has not the skill is the helper of
(the reputation of) him who has the skill. If the one did not honour
his master, and the other did not rejoice in his helper, an
(observer), though intelligent, might greatly err about them. This is
called 'The utmost degree of mystery.'
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Dinosaur appears on remote island volcano webcam - A pink dinosaur has appeared on a volcano crater webcam used by New Zealand's Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS). The webcam, updated hourly, can be viewed here.
Top 100 Reasons I Need A GMail Account
People really want these things, it seems. Pretty funny site.
Although the results aren't posted yet, it seems I've won the H-Stock class in the FMC race this weekend. Yay for me. (I actually forget my time. 53.55 sec, I belive. I post the link when the results are available online.) There were 8 compeditors in my class (including me). The other 9 compeditors were in higher classes. Most were faster than me. And although Eggplant was the FTD (fastest time of day) car, it was his friend Boris, not Vlad himself, who got the FTD time. From what I remember, it was 47.18 sec. Vlad was close in the high 47's. No one else there broke the 52 second barrier. Eggplant was easily 4 seconds faster than anyone else. I got a ride in it. Wow. That thing can almost stop on a dime and no matter how sharp he turned, the car never plowed or screeched its tires. Insane. I'm almost half-tempted to pick myself up a set of racing tires for next season, but we'll see what happens. Despite the internet's opinion on how awful the Firestone FR690 is, it's working well for me.
Anyway, that's what's new here. I'm figuring to be back in Moncton for the 26th. It may be my last race for the season, given my current travel possiblities - I want the practice, the fun, and, if all goes well, my 3rd victory in 3 races in 8 days. Go Chibi-Vic.
This article about the upcoming Canadian election from an American's perspective over at The Daily Kos reminded me of one of my favourite political anecdotes, The Story of Mouseland:
The Story of Mouseland
as told by Tommy Douglas, 1944
It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.
They even had a parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.
Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for the last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider then we are.
Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws -- that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouse holes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds -- so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.
All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided that something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.
Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that's Mouseland needs is more vision." They said: "The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouse holes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouse holes." And they did. And the square mouse holes were twice as big as the round mouse holes, and now the cat could get both paws in. And life was tougher then ever.
And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black one's in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.
You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.
Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "OH," they said, "he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up!" So they put him in jail.
But I want to remind you: That you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea.
--Tommy Douglas, 1944
This is why we can never get good political leaders:
Full text of Sonia Gandhi's address to CPP
Here's another informative article on Sonia Gandhi.
Throughout these past six years that I have been in politics, one thing has been clear to me. And that is, as I have often stated, that the post of prime minister is not my aim.
I was always certain that if ever I found myself in the position that I am in today, I would follow my own inner voice. Today, that voice tells me I must humbly decline this post.
You have unanimously elected me your leader, in doing so, you have reposed your faith in me. It is this faith that has placed me under tremendous pressure to reconsider my decision. Yet, I must abide by the principles which have guided me all along.
Power in itself has never attracted me, nor has position been my goal.
My aim has always been to defend the secular foundation of our nation and the poor of our country- the creed sacred to Indira ji and Rajiv ji .
We have moved forward a significant step towards this goal. We have waged a successful battle. But we have not won the war. That is a long and arduous struggle, and I will continue it with full determination.
But I appeal to you to understand the force of my conviction. I request you to accept my decision and to recognise that I will not reverse it.
Our foremost responsibility at this critical time is to provide India with a secular government that is strong and stable.
Friends, you have given me your generous support; you have struggled against all odds with me. As one of you and as president of the Congress party, I pledge myself to work with you and for the country. My resolve will in fact be all the more firm, to fight for our principles, for our vision, and for our ideals.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Anime News Network - t.A.T.u. Paragate (movie) Two great tastes that tasste great together.
Wow they're really going where Will Wright won't. Sim Bomp Chicka Bown. O_O*
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Slashdot | Nintendo's Iwata - Innovate or Die
"CNN/Money has interviewed Satoru Iwata, where the president of Nintendo Ltd. says the gaming industry is in the midst of a crisis of innovation, which could lead to its demise. The idea, of course, is to justify the existence of the upcoming Nintendo DS, but Iwata does point out that the gaming market in Japan has been shrinking in the past few years - and the U.S. and Europe may do so soon."Nintendo seems to continue to point the way progresswise. Without them middleware vendor Microsoft and Colour TV / walkman seller Sony would be pretty lost for new ideas. It's funny, though, while Microsoft's and sony's home entertainment divisions lose money hand over fist sunk into ambitious attempts to squeeze more polygons onto a standard resolution television screen, Nintendo are the only ones who actually have to make a profit at this business. They can't just request more money from the parent co. and continue on doing the obvious solution, they actually have to innovate now and then. And, not surprisingly, they're still making huge profits while the big-budget battle that could take sony down (in conjunction with the massive losses and braindead management of their movie / music arm, which I've blogged about previously) and be at least a slight embarrassment to Microsoft (they have enough money that they could literally build a titanic and shrug the sinking off as a business lesson) may just leave Nintendo unscathed.
As for the playstation portable, Sony seems to be falling into the WinCE trap, trying to pack too many bullet point features into a portable device. My prediction for the portable market: The smallest and lightest device will win out. Just like the iPod and the Palm Pilot, it's not the device with the most bullet-point features on the box, it's the device that actually delivers the best experience in a portable context.
Satellite imagery is amazing. I'd zoom down to Peter's house if I knew where it was.
It's as if the Emporer himself gave me a Royal Hand Job. Zhang Ziyi and Takeshi Kaneshiro? From the director of Hero?! Scratch that. I owe him a hand job.
On the topic of high gas prices, I think it's about time to tune up my old bike and start taking that to work. I stopped biking for a few reasons, e.g. carrying a bike up and down a flight of stairs to and from the apartment was a major pain, it was a bit too far to bike to work, and I was basically gone the last two Summers. Now that I've moved to a more convenient location and gas is getting pretty expensive, I think it's time to try the old peddle-mobile. Saving gas money would be a definite bonus.
Sempai, you never said anything about the withdrawals. I just walked outside, it is obscenely nice. Then I had this sudden pang a cone flashed before me. Then I saw a woman with a tatooed breast.
For the love of all that is holy. Don't mess with the boob. Mock me if you must. The boob is sacrosanct. The boob is sound. It is a work of art. Do not sully it's surface with imagery or piercings! It is verboten! This above all else, to thine own self be true (but augmentation is A-OK).
580 CFRA - News Talk Radio: "Ontario's health minister is promising an investigation after a decomposing, miscarried fetus was mailed in a box back to its grieving parents."
I just got a server error: "java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: unable to create new native thread" while trying to leave a comment on someone's blogger blog. That's it, it's over people. Blogger (and therefore google) are out of memory. The Internet is finished. Can't add anything else to it.
Smellin' of Troy: "What follows is a partial list of discrepancies between 'Troy the Big-Budget Hollywood Movie' and 'Troy the Epic Poem and Archeological History'."
Big Ticket Items:
The war took ten years, not seventeen days
Achilles was dead by the time the Horse was built and deployed
Menelaus wasn’t killed by Hektor
Menelaus got Helen in the end (Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, visits them in Sparta in Book 4 of the Odyssey, ten years after the war)
Agamemnon was killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, back in Greece, immediately after the war
Aias (Ajax) was not killed by Hektor; he committed suicide when not given the armor of Achilles after Achilles’ death
Paris died at Troy (of an arrow wound, appropriately)
Andromache, Hektor’s wife, was captured and enslaved
Baby Astyanax, Hektor’s son, was tossed off the walls after having his brains bashed out by Odysseus
Patroklos was older, not younger than Achilles and was not his cousin
Briseis was from Lyrnessos, not Troy, and was neither a priestess of any kind nor the cousin of Hektor
Keen gas prices resource. Obviously I ain't goin outta my way and using up more gas to get to these outta the way places. But it's neat to check out.
Hey! Quick update: Going to Beijing for sure in September and it looks like I will be back in Canada permanently in November...little sister is getting married next year and I need to be there for her....
My stupid computer got another virus...and I start my technical writing courses next month.
Sorry I've been somewhat absent but things here are really busy now....hope you are all well.
Alex, happy belated birthday, and Tuan happy birthday in advance.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
I hate my car. That's why I'll be autocrossing and rallycrossing this year.
Crap. Crap. Crap. I'm hooked. Damn you chibi-Greggu!
So I got schooled by everyone at the autocross today. Beaten by a PT Cruiser, I'll never live that one down. :0)
I enjoyed it quite a bit, not as fun as rallycross mind you, but sure beats videogames and daily drivin'.
6 runs. I started out with a 56 second run and improved with each run until I got a 46 second run. All this time worrying about going off course and hitting cones and I didn't hit anything once. That surprised me.
I'll be back for another try next week. So much for the new tires. Oh well...
Oh yeah. Vlad likes Subaru. Vlad is cool. Vlad will school you in an automatic Cavalier.
Now I must follow around Gregory and learn his ways, for he is sempai to my kohai. *bows*
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Backyard terrorism: "The US has been training terrorists at a camp in Georgia for years - and it's still at it"
"If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents," George Bush announced on the day he began bombing Afghanistan, "they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril." I'm glad he said "any government", as there's one which, though it has yet to be identified as a sponsor of terrorism, requires his urgent attention.
This is fucked.
For the past 55 years it has been running a terrorist training camp, whose victims massively outnumber the people killed by the attack on New York, the embassy bombings and the other atrocities laid, rightly or wrongly, at al-Qaida's door. The camp is called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by Mr Bush's government.
It's official. We've caught up to Japan. I'm scared. Hold me.
OPEC? Old and busted. Poop. The new hotness. Science rocks.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical
While I shall bitch about our government, there's still the matter of perspective...
Bill Nevins, a New Mexico high school teacher and personal friend, was fired last year and classes in poetry and the poetry club at Rio Rancho High School were permanently terminated. It had nothing to do with obscenity, but it had everything to do with extremist politics.
The "Slam Team" was a group of teenage poets who asked Nevins to serve as faculty adviser to their club. The teens, mostly shy youngsters, were taught to read their poetry aloud and before audiences. Rio Rancho High School gave the Slam Team access to the school's closed-circuit television once a week and the poets thrived.
In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.
A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.
The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.
Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal.
After firing Nevins and terminating the teaching and reading of poetry in the school, the principal and the military liaison read a poem of their own as they raised the flag outside the school. When the principal had the flag at full staff, he applauded the action he'd taken in concert with the military liaison.
Then to all students and faculty who did not share his political opinions, the principal shouted: "Shut your faces." What a wonderful lesson he gave those 3,000 students at the largest public high school in New Mexico. In his mind, only certain opinions are to be allowed.
By now I have been inundated with many pleas for don't buy Company X gas on a certain day, or hey let's boycott Company Y! They are well meaning, they are well intentioned, but they're not well thought out plans, cause well, they don't work.
But fret not, there are alternatives:
1. Walk/bike/skate. The exercise'll do ya good. Public transit would be next on the list. Obviously this isn't practical for everyone.
2. Buy a more fuel efficient car.
3. Car pool.
4. Stop driving to work altogether and collect unemployment.
5. Stop spamming me.
If you're gonna whine. Do something about it! SUV, minivan and truck sales haven't gone down. This isn't a knock against those cars or the people that truly need these vehicles. It's a knock against "I drive it because it's bigger and therefore 'safer'. Why can't I get anymore than 1 highway 0 city?"
So to sum up. Yes I will participate in your May 19th gas boycott. I've got more than 3/4 a tank. I'm good to go. And for a larf, sure I'll boycott Esso and Petrocan. I usually fill up at Irving or Ultramar anyway.
Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things: "Congratulations to the Civilian Space eXploratiion Team, whose amateur rocket was the first of its kind to make it into space! The seven meter tall rocket, GoFast, reached an altitude of 100 kilometers yesterday, the "official edge of space," according to New Scientist magazine."
Bit Torrent Search App. Best way to download stuff, period.
June 1st. New Corrs album. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Not Constantinople!! This isn't happening. This isn't happening...
Monday, May 17, 2004
How many glasses of beer are in a keg? How many feet of noodles are in a package of Ramen? How many CDs can you label with a Sharpie? Find out the answer to these and other questions of the ages at How much Is Inside.
Nick Berg's Killing: 50 Fishy Circumstances, Contradictory Claims, and Videotape Anomalies || kuro5hin.org: "The video tape and circumstances of the killing of Nick Berg seem fishier and fishier.This article summarizes and lists 50 anomalies around Berg and his death."
34) "Terrorists" were fat
via boing boing.
Several of the men in the film were fat by Iraqi standards. If they were Feyadeen or Mujahadeen, they probably have been living underground since the first days of the occupation. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been shown on news stories as they have marched and demonstrated. One would be hard pressed to point out a single fat man among these thousands.
35) White hands of "terrorists"
Some of the "Arab terrorists" have pasty-white hands and (other exposed) skin. One would be hard pressed to find Arab men with pasty-white hands. (See: Nick Berg Conspiracy Theories Abound.)
36) Wrong accent
Al-Zarqawi is/was Jordinian. Arab linguists have said the man posing as Al-Zarqawi did not speak with a Jordanian dialect. Others have suggested the man reading the written statement may not have been a native speaker of Arabic....
39) Al-Zarqawi's missing leg
Al-Zarqawi was missing one leg. Al-Zarqawi allegedly wears a prosthetic device, according to previous CIA reports. (See: IHT Protrait of Al-Zarqawi.) There is no evidence that the killer wore a prosthetic device. Further, Al-Zarqawi had been outfitted with an artificial leg that did not fit or function properly. He was unable to walk or stand normally. No man in the group showed evidence of such infirmity.
40) Missing tattoos?
Large green tattooed "dots" are known to be on the back of Abu Musab Zarqawi's left hand. These tattoos cannot be seen in the close up video of the execution, though the back of his hand is fairly visible. (See: IHT Protrait of Al-Zarqawi.)
I watched Hero last night and it is heaps better than Crouching Tiger. It loses some points for showing off Jet Li's buttocks, but makes up for it with Zhang Ziyi, soooooo hot. *swoon*
The Emporer's army is frikkin huge.
Hayai desu ne!
Who will be the fastest on the Akina Downhill?
I did wonder with the size increase in the compact market, and Toyota's, Kia's and Hyundai's sub-compact cars, if Honda was going to compete. It seems they are.
Mooselessness. Just came across this site tonight, but it's funny that it seems to cover some of the stuff I've been ranting about with respect to Canadian politics, etc. I do enjoy the writing.
Every one has a limit Thursday, May 13, 2004 ...
I took the pepper spray, the billion-dollar gun registry, the sponsorship corruption. I even saw Jean Chretien steal my car, then drive it into a lake, and I let it slide. But for crying out loud, now the Liberals are looking at the U.S.'s copyright disaster and saying "Yummy! We want a piece of that."
Look, please write the prime minister. "Minister Scherrer is wrong on copyright. Replace her with a groundhog." I'd be happy with that.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Dissertation Advice: "I give the same advice to graduate students writing dissertations so often that I will set it down here to save myself the repetition."
Friday, May 14, 2004
"Hundreds of videos (of UFOs) exist, but none had the backing of the armed forces of any country...The armed forces don't perpetuate frauds."
Bwa ha ha ha ha!
Oh my, I nearly missed this little gem:
Let us say you are the premier of Alberta. Let's say you made some ill advised statements suggesting that public car insurance is the kind of socialist claptrap the forced Pinochet to stage a coup in Chile. Let us further posit that you were pursuing a degree at the time and had recently turned in a paper (word .doc) on that very topic, and presented it in the provincial legislature to back up those statements. Would you not then want to be pretty sure you hadn't plagiarized large chunks of your essay from the web?
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Lay off the weed. I'd rather not be dead from you staring at your hands. Worrying about drunkards is enough for me.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I agree 100%. "They're also shockingly ruthless businesswenches." Man that was funny.
"The Shining" in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.
*place pinky to lips before reading* 1 trillion dollahs!
That dead horse.
If I'm going to the theatre where I just spent my money to support an 'embattled' industry, could you please lay off with the PSAs? There are other avenues for you to get your message across. Putting a phamplet in a CD case or hogging a few minutes before a film aren't gonna do you any good. We already paid you idiots!
Testing my wicked CSS skills. Might as well link to the Google Blog
Ever since I came to Google, they've been talking about putting up an official Google blog. And now, less than 15 months later, voilà.
Oh well, it's not like we own a recently relaunched service where you can create a blog in two minutes or something. Okay, we do. (Sorry for the plug.) But I guess other Googlers have been a little busy what with all the searching. And the advertising. And filling out purchase orders for all those hard drives.
With background colour. Any other HTML weenies know how to make it wrap to the sidebar?
Boing Boing: Sony's entertainment business is killing its electronics business: "Sony's entertainment business is killing its electronics businessDerek Slater takes Sony to task over its new music-download service and iPod-like player."
Slashdot | Motorola Plans Wi-Fi Cell Phones: "'This AP article over at CNN talks about Motorola's plans to create a cell phone that can seemlessly switch calls between cell networks and VoIP over WiFi, when it sees WiFi availab"
For no other reason than sheer meanspiritedness, I think this tub of shit needs to become the next Internet super-trend. I'd like to take the next step and make him famous immediately:
Caption contest time: "I am _______"
My entry: "I am in denial about my stubby fingers."
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Sony unveils colour 'iPod killer' | The Register: "The ¥53,000 ($465) player sports a 2.2in, 320 _ 256 26,000-colour LCD and can download photography from a digital camera ... Like Sony's other digital music players, the Pocket will only play songs encoded in the company's own ATRAC 3 format."
I don't know about anyone else, but having a screen to look at pictures from your digital camera that is exactly the same size as the screen on your digital camera isn't going to take the market by storm. Also, the interface looks like a mess, and not supporting mp3 == teh st00pid.
Kick ass. Thanks to that site I now understand what Krusty meant by having a Tip Top Tet. Tet is Vietnamese New Years and isn't even remotely pronounced how it's spelt. It's more like Toit. Nevermind. It's fucking impossible to spell in English.
More RSS EvangelismRSS really is incredibly useful. You can get the latest entries in a blog or a news site organized like email, so you can quickly see what has been written since the last time you checked without visiting 10 different sites, and only read the ones you want from the subject lines.
The best RSS readers I've come across for windows are SharpReader (nice and simple) and RSS Bandit (more features, a little steeper learning curve). For Mac there's the lovely Net News Wire. There are plugins for Evolution for linux as well, and as always a ton of different apps for whether you swing GNOME or KDE or are one of those console freaks. There's also the Aggreg8 extension for FireFox.
There's an RSS feed for this blog here or from the 'Atom' icon on the side bar. You can get a feed from nearly all blogger sites by entering the url http://<blah>.blogspot.com/atom.xml . There are also feeds for boing boing, this piece of shit blog, MetaFilter, SlashDot and pretty much every other web site that is updated regularly. (look for an xml, rss, or rdf logo thingy, or Atom)
The other advantage is not having to look at people's crappy site design to read their content.
Here's a screenshot of sharpreader:
"Also, we know that we won't see any real damage included, but we've seen a penalty system in GT4 Prologue and expect this to have developed further. In Prologue, hitting a wall too hard or hitting an AI car 'below the belt' resulted in a 10 second speed restriction to 50km/h."
Crap. And I sooo wanted to smash Greggu's car. :(
"In a recent press statement, Sony Japan again confirmed that GT4 will incorporate all the cars of previous editions of GT."
No wonder it's taking so long. O_O
Holy crap. I agree with the nature of things. Dang.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Seeing as we are at an impasse, there is only one course of action - we measure wangs at high noon.
Whelp. I'm out. *nervous laugh*
candy store finds niche in Halifax: "The walls and shelves of the store are lined with boxes and bins of every kind of candy imaginable including chocolate bars, bulk candy, imported candy and candy with bugs inside."
Duc: That's what I'm saying. Your car would be one of the fastest in autoX, should you be so inclined.
I do find it a little surprising that no one in charge had thought of this...
Boing Boing: Pixel-counting can un-redact government docs: "Pixel-counting can un-redact government docs
A Luxembourgian/Irish security research team have presented a paper on a technique for identifying words that have been blacked out of documents, as when government docs are published with big strikethroughs over the bits that are sensitive to national security. The technique doesn't work on monospace fonts like Courier, but the State Department's recent font guidelines require that all docs be published in Times New Roman, which decodes like a charm."
"Nobody beats the Duc while he listens to his mad J-Tunes."
- I love that line. ^_^ I wonder if they have a J-Pod?
Greg Anstey! You think you can just call out the Duc? Do you know what the Duc's gonna do? The Duc's gonna take his new Falkens, shine them up real nice and shove them up that 'Vic's ass! Nobody beats the Duc while he listens to his mad J-Tunes.
Mind you I won't be changing my eating habits any time soon, but this film has me fascinated.
This new interface still sucks. Anyways, moving on...
I got to watch some of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. I've never seen so many of the People's Horses. It was like a veritable army that someone had dug up and imbued with the spark of life.
Is the profiles section. If you fill out your profile information in
the blogger control panel thingy and include a few items for interests,
favourite movies, favourite music, etc., then you can click on your
profile and then click on 'Sarah Slean' for example, and everyone who
listed 'Sarah Slean' in their favourite music field comes up. Very
Orkut-like and quite fun to explore.
You should try it once, though, especially if there's as much grip as you say. Tires are rated for tens of thousands of kilometers. 1 km of hard driving shouldn't remove too much life from them.
As for drifing, there was a little bit of that, mostly by the Porsche. The ass end of the vic "corrected" itself once, setting me up for a sharp chicane. Great fun. Drifting (or skipping the rear-wheels of) a FWD is actually useful in some situations, and that time was one of those situations. The instructor was left-foot braking around one of the skidpads in his ZX3 Focus. Great fun. Not so much to watch, but to do, but then I've never found watching racecars much fun anyways, much less so at 50kph. But inside the car? Very hectic.
Jes, non-drag/oval racing is dependent on driver skill not engine size. :) I've effectively removed myself from autocrossing the RS. The wallet dictates that I shouldn't spend $650 on high performance tires to get 1 season of use outta them. The winters are still on the WRX rims and swapping them for the Bridgestones - then- swapping them with the 17's is a bit of a chore. I'll wait for the next snow to hit.
Kudos on the FMC outing, chibi-G. I am envisioning a little Kudos meter as you dorifto. ^_^
After 1 week of rollin on 17's and the stupid levels of grip these Kumhos have, there's a running clock on my next speeding ticket. :(
You must autocross your cars. I have ordered it so.
The pylons don't hurt the car, and beginners tend to avoid the cones anyway. Lots of fun. I didn't know my car could do that. Nor did I know that all cars can do that. There were low-horsepower 20-year-old cars (Topaz, Golf/Jetta/Rabbits) that were mere fractions of seconds behind newer cars (Civic, Cavalier, Integra), and these very tight to the Porsche 944 Turbo. The two fastest cars were a Cavalier and a Focus, both with racing rubber. But the rest of us? Very tightly packed, regardless of our cars. And when the instructor drove our cars? Faster still. Wow. Who'd have thunk it?
I'll post the results when they're available. I can tell you that I had a better time than the Integra, the 2.5 TS, the RX-7, and some of the Cavaliers. Woohoo! I wish I could make it to the Moncton events.
Definately the most hectic 40-60kph I've ever driven. Never looked at the speedometer once. I only know the speed because I forgot to shift into 2nd gear during my first run, and kept pegging the needle at 7000 during the fast parts. Later runs were only a couple of seconds faster.
The runs are hard on the tires, but the engine is kept at about half redline (3k-4k), and the body doesn't get damaged by the cones, so you must try. Especially the Duc.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Globetechnology: "Blue LEDs are much more complicated to design and produce than red, green or orange LEDs, and until recently that made them expensive. But prices have crashed in recent months, and you'll now find blue LEDs tarting up every conceivable type of consumer electronics device."
Science & Technology at Scientific American.com: Blue Chip -- Shuji Nakamura beat the titans to blue LEDs and lasers, potentially revolutionizing lighting and data storage.
One of my FPGA boards has a couple of insanely bright blue LEDs that light up the entire lab when the lights are out. I've programmed them to alternately pulse whenever I have email.
Bad Scrabble Hands!: "The following pages are real, unmanipulated examples of Scrabble-tile-chooosing ineptitude, hands so mind-bogglingly unfair in their horribleness that pictures just had to"
Metroid Metroid Metroid | Metafilter: "Metroid Cubed Now you can enjoy a classic NES game as 'volumetric isometric 3d graphics using a Voxel Sculpting tool,' which means is in some weird 3d now, and more confusing."
Friday, May 07, 2004
Wait a sec, there are rules in warfare? Ha. Bad joke. I just find it interesting that in war there are still rules of conduct. Thinkin back to the time where you line your men up there. We'll line our men over here and then commence pumelling each other with musket balls.
Do unto others as they say...
What does it mean, exactly, to take responsibility for other people's actions? Please clarify.
I read this on a message board and found it amusing:
"It really pisses me off that they have this law in effect. It's ridiculous. Not only is it an invasive coercion to give up one's privacy, but it's bad for the environment. It takes up to 40% more air conditioning power to cool your car on a hot day without tint. That should be a part of the Kyoto Accord!"
Well I skipped the last 3 Final Fantasy games but I'll be back for numero 12. Mainly because I'm in it. Damn I'm hot. Woo!
A Razzie Favourite.
I'm sure there's some scenes where they use an animatronic version, but sadly there's no Jon Voight. :(
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Saw an interesting photo on the front page of a newspaper yesterday. It had Crietien proudly wearing a Flames jersey and chatting with Martin Gelinas. Naturally, I was intrigued and read the caption which stated the former PM was a new converted fan of the Calgary Flames. Doing a bit more digging, I found this interesting tidbit:
MARTIN GELINAS 23
Height 5' 11"
Born Jun 5, 1970
SHAWINIGAN, QC, CAN
I thought that it was funny.
Forensic accountants? I had no idea there was such a profession. December of next year? Fuckers.
Man my Xbox has spoiled me to no end. Picked up Rallisport Challenge 2, the sequel to the game that made me, nay, forced me, to buy an Xbox. So pretty. Control is tight and spot on as usual, drifting = fun.
As much as I love the GT series and am salivating over it's release. GT4 looks like shit by comparison. Yes I just said that. I've never seen mud, rain, dust, and dirt executed so well. I'm currently driving an EVO 8 which is seriously cramping my style until I unlock the WRC 'ru. ;)
chibi-G, The Duc, you must come over to participate in the madness sometime. The course design is better than Duc(k) Island. ^_^
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
When you go to download the latest version of MSN messenger, if you're using a non-IE browser, the download speed doesn't ever exceed 5k/s, but if you go and download it using Internet Exploder it downloads at normal speed.
Scared, are we? Fuck you, Microsoft, tabbed browsing and no popups makes you obsolete.
Also, Mozilla Thunderbird is becoming an excellent mail client, much faster than Microsoft Outlook and better IMAP and anti-spam support.
Ming; you are more than welcome to crash with me!! I will most certainly be around ( working during the day, mind you...) and looking forward to having you here in Korea!!! Fly into Incheon and you will stay with me in Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si....most people understand if you say Bundang. If you are looking at a subway map online, look for the yellow line, and I am the third stop from the end at Jeongja.
This is sooooooo exciting!! woohoo!! I hope you can.....I promise to take you to the technomart and electronics markets **batting eyelashes**
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Don't feel bad chibi-G, at least she was cheaper to fix. Ouch. This would also be me if I get more ponies under the hood. X_X
I guess this is fairly old news, but anyways. Went to see a surgeon last week about a problem I had with my foot for a few years now. It's been getting worst over time, so I figured I'd finally get it looked into. Figured he just take a look at it, maybe take an x-ray, and schedule another appointment to do whatever work he needed to do. Apparantly, not. Immediately after I showed him, he had the cutting tools out and went at it. He jabbed me 4-5 times with a needle first. I generally don't mind needles, but the bottom of a person's foot is a lot more sensitive. . . . A few minutes later, I got a huge chunk of flesh cut of of my foot, they bandage me up, give me instructions on how to care for the gaping hole they just put in me and send me on my way. Good news, the problem is gone (literally). Bad news, I don't think I'll be doing anything overly physical for a few more weeks.
More UNIX. . . . more, head, and tail are also valid commands that could be added to the mix. But I digress.
Chantal: I will be in Hong Kong approximately June 30th through July 9. I have been trying to negotiate a stop in Korea, however I need to know if: 1. you will be around and available to take in a poor Canadian traveller. 2. where in Korea I have to be?
oh al....that was almost poetic...if only 'more' and 'yes' were also verbs it woulda been flawless.......raises another question...could 'head' be considered a verb in that context...?? if not, add that to the other two...
Monday, May 03, 2004
Sunday, May 02, 2004
I heart unix.
look; gawk; talk; date; wine; unzip; strip; touch; finger; head; mount; fsck; more; yes; spray; umount; sleep; leave
What is this physical activity you speak of? Tis a strange and foreign concept that warrants further study. Indeed.
You missed a great weekend of play, I now look like a target with all the bruises I have aquired from prettending I was 16 again. But any time anyone is in the mood to goof off in for a while.....
Saturday, May 01, 2004