Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wi-fi in an SD card

Automatic wi-fi connection... in a diminutive SD card! ? Surely it's April first today? How can there be space for this? Such a card is barely the size of a thumbnail.
If this works it sounds cool. Not only can your pictures appear automatically on your computer as you take them, but also on a web site.


Footloose. I love that movie. It's one of the most joy-filled movies ever.

Kevin Bacon is good, and I can understand why the gals and the gays want him.

And Lori Singer. Oh boy. She's so hot her pants must be made of asbestos.
(Have you noticed that in movies from the early eighties, you see a level of slenderness that you simply don't anymore? I've noticed it in several movies.)

And of course a lot of the impact and the staying popularity of the movie comes from the rocking title song by Kenny Loggins. It's just impossible to sit still to if you have a dancing-bone in your body. I don't care too much for his other songs, though, too maudlin. It's funny how often that happens, at least for me: an artist has one song which I really consider world class, and that's it. It's a funny phenom.

I love the dancing feet in the beginning of the movie and in the music video below. there are many in the video which were not in the movie. I know, you probably don't give a s**t. :-) But I think they're a really nice invention.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lewd behavior

Few things perplex me more than the insane reactions much of humanity has to anything sexual.

"According to the arrest report cited by Roll Call, Craig tapped his right foot, which the officer said he recognized 'as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct.'"

Wow. So it's basically illegal in Minnesota to move your foot in certain ways?

Even if we had established that the senator was actually looking for unattached sex, so what? Sure, it may become a problem for his wife if he brings home an STD, but I have a feeling that people's problems with "lewd behavior" is not related to disease. If it were, condoms would handle it, but promoting condoms is all but illegal by itself. No, if two adults engage in consensual sex, where is the victim? Is it because it's homosexual sex? I'm confused.

It is just fantastic to me that such a big percentage of a population can be so uncomfortable with other people's sex lives that they have to make parts of it illegal. And even more fantastic that this is seen as normal by most people. Apparently.

Justin commented:
Well, that's only half the story.
Ordinarily a man soliciting gay sex in a men's room would just be a sad example of how hard it is for many Americans to express homosexuality openly. However, in Senator Craig's case, the hypocrisy of his actions screams out for some outrage. Here is a man who has crusaded against gay people. He has damned them as degenerates. He has used his power as a Senator to enforce legalized discrimination against gays. While all along, he's been secretly having gay sex.

All right, if you say so, I don't know the man. But even so, all this has no bearing on the fact that I don't see how anything he did here is or should be illegal.

Of course, it's a funny world. I wonder how many of these people are also just self-hating homosexuals.

TTL said:
I had never heard of Westboro Baptist Church before but now I'm a fan. This just might be the only Christian church impossible to ridicule. Their ridic factor is already maxed out, making them kinda cool. :-)
But what do I know, I'm a fag-enabler coming from an abominable sodomite whorehouse masquerading as a nation.

Me too. (It's only a matter of time before Denmark is on their list too.)

This "church" is just so extreme that not only do they hurt their own cause, but if you had made them up in a story, nobody would have believed you! You gotta love them.

They say on their site:
"In 1991, WBC took her ministry to the streets, conducting over 34,000 peaceful demonstrations (to date) opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth."

That's six demonstrations per day, seven days a week! Well done for about a hundred people!


There's progress being made each year in ease-of-use of computers, despite their growing complexity and usefulness. I well remember nightmare of getting a modem to work in the mid-nineties, the various "modem scripts" one had to try out and then call the ISP to get another obscure code to try. Similarly the first time I tried to connect via ethernet to a broadband modem a few years later. Very complex, I needed a lot of help.

But today I did the same thing after years of only using wireless. (I changed to ethernet partly for security, partly because the wireless connection has never been reliable.) So I plugged in the cable and waited a couple seconds, and boom, I was on the Net. That's just lovely.

(Note, I use a Macintosh, I don't know if it's that easy on Windows Vista, perhaps it is.)


I just watched Coppolla's Bram Stoker's Dracula. I'm not sure what I think of it. Gary Oldman was very good. Anthony Hopkins was good. Winona Ryder was pretty. Keanu Reeves sucked. That man really can't act drama, I'm sorry.

It seems like they went for a Stylized movie. But in my opinion it ended up more stilted, both the pictures and the dialogue. I dunno.

But I really liked the customes, and the various versions of Dracula's make-up, as an old man, as a beast, as a half-bat. Very well done.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


To my surprise, Amtrak has never been profitable.
This is weird. I'd think trains are perfect for America. From the prices I hear, air travel is very expensive in the US (one of the few things where Europe is cheaper), and traveling long in a car is just agony (at least to me). It's just too cramped. So trains really should be successful.

Alex added:
I have seldom seen Amtrak beat road for speed.
My reliable commute by car used to be between 50 and 200 minutes for 38 miles.
To accomplish the same by Amtrak/bus bridge used to take 90 minutes, but the worst derailment we had added another 3 hours to that, and even something simple like Union Pacific failing to set the switch (points) to bring us to the platform cost us an hour at my station.
Over a longer distance, say Oakland to Santa Barbara, this is easily a 6 hour drive, and a 12 hour train ride.

If Amtrak sux, that could be seen as just a different symptom of America's attitude to trains. Some countries, like France and Japan, have wonderful and speedy train systems.
Maybe it is America's love of being A Rugged Individualist. A car is an expression of that.

Don informs:
As I understand it, its a population density thing. There are less people per square mile in most of America than in most of Europe, and in rural places (and we have a lot of those) our roads mostly have less traffic, making cars faster and more practical than the rail.
It's not universal, though: for short trips through very dense areas like the areas around New York, Washington DC, or Atlanta, the local trains are much better than driving.
Also, the roads go to many more places over here than the trains can manage - Were I to walk to the nearest train station from my home, it'd probably take about two hours. This mindset is: "If I'm going to have to take a taxi or drive to the train station, I might as well just drive to where I'm going in the first place."

Ah yes, that makes sense. I always forget how friggin' big America is. "Overpopulated planet" my ass. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Greg Heins Photo

Greg Heins Photo.

The only pity is that he, like so many photographers, considers 600 pixels a large size for the web. I think it's a pity, I like to see pictures at 1200 to 1600 pixels on the long side, and that's what I put up myself.

I like the one above, I like pictures looking through trees/bushes, it plays with space and shapes and lines all at the same time.

Ooh, and these ones, with the snow. What a sense of space!

Screen rotation

TTL pointed me to a tip I was not aware of: in Mac OS X you can rotate your screen. I guess if you like to read very tall web pages, for example. With an Apple widescreen monitor, it looks quite spectacular.

I can imagine at least one good use for it: if you need to see your photos as large as possible in Photoshop, and they are portrait orientation.

By the way, don't judge me by the wallpaper. I'm not gay, really. It was like this when I took over the apartment, and the walls are the last thing I need to get done. I have put in new carpet, new windows and door, new curtains, new furniture. But having the apartment painted makes such a mess that I haven't faced it yet.

Alex said:
I think it was the quintessential tweeness of the (insert word meaning printed strip between two colours/textures of wall) that EO thought may spark the latent homophobe in his audience. [Indeed. A cute old couple lived here before.]

Now, what is strange is the spell checker just rejected homophobe, it's only suggestion being homophone. Is this the start of Newspeak, the word doesn't exist, so I can't say what I want to. It's like the Scrabble game on my cell phone. Just turned out I had an NGGRIE in my rack, and no S to make a laughing word. Unfortunately the word which would have scored the highest points is a word which is taboo, and the game had it excluded from its dictionary.

Funny old world, I was on an adult enabled MSN film board, and my profile was rejected because of the use of the word Hitchcock, as in Alfred!

'nother funny one, I submitted an erotic story on-line to a forum for such things. My carefully constructed text was rejected because of the pub name, "The Cock O'Barton". I renamed it to another pub in S. Manchester where the story was set.


By the way, I used to wonder how Prince and Madonna could choose such self-aggrandizing monikers. But then I found out that both of them actually were given those first names by their parents.
Can you imagine naming your child "Prince" or "Madonna"? No wonder they both grew up with aspirations of world domination. :)


I mentioned the art of making movie out of video games, and Peaceful Blade reminded me of the correct term for it, "machinima", and pointed to this funny and raunchy example.

Obviously you can't make good movies with this tool, it is made for gaming, not movie making. I don't see a great leap to a tool which is made for movie making though. Software with relatively easy-to-use tools for amateur film makers, so they don't have to get a degree in 3D animation, but can simply ask the characters to do what they should, and so on. This software could be sold with extra modules for various characters and settings for what you need. Maybe you could buy a complete model of 42nd Street in NYC, for example.

If somebody made this, I think we could see quite interesting movies being made by single authors. What William Gibson called "the garage Kubrick", and sort of made the focus of his wonderful novel Pattern Recognition, except that one was based on the technology of around the millennium, and so one person couldn't do it.

Actually exceptionally clever individuals are already sort of getting there, witness Till Nowak's Delivery. This short film is pretty damn awesome, it's hard to believe it's made by one man, more or less. I have a 96MB version of the whole nine-minute film, which I downloaded a couple of years ago, but it seems it's not available for free download anymore, they are selling it on DVD. (If it were me, I'd sell it as a download, much more interest in that, rather than wait for a DVD.)

Update: Alex points to this interesting movie.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Artist Once More Known As Prince

The Artist Once More Known As Prince may not actually be the person behind this attack against his own fan sites. I hope so, for otherwise it must be one of the dumbest moves in public relations ever.
Some of the fan sites are uniting.

I think even just legally he is on shaky ground here, to say the least. Normally the copyright to photos of a person belongs to the photographer, not the subject, and I doubt very much that Prince has bought the copyright to all the photos ever taken of him. And to assert that the copyright to tattoos of his likeness belongs to him is just plain idiotic.

TTL injected:
His case, if he has one, would be about trademark rights. Not copyright. He does own the trademark to his likeness. Registered or not.
The question is what constitutes a violation. Use of his likeness in news, encyclopaedia or documentary context? Probably not. Pushing a product or service based on or exploiting his likeness? Probably yes.

Hey, how come there's no Prince photo decorating your post? ;-)

You're quite right, I have corrected it now.

Big Brudder

Do we need to fingerprint all school kids?

Pascal said:
This is not enough. All humans should be rounded up and exiled on some small planet from which escape is near impossible, too remote from other planets anyway. Then intelligent life in the Universe would be safe from those barbaric mad hairless apes.

Maybe this already happened?

Security Notice for Mac users

Security Notice for Mac users.


This is ridiculous, now you can get a ten-megapixel camera for under $200. It's only a handful of years ago you couldn't get a ten-megapixel camera for love or money, and a five-megapixel one cost tens of thousands of dollars.
OK, admitted, ten megapixels in a cheap pocket camera is not the same quality as ten megapixels in a bigger camera, but even those you can get for $600 now. I never predicted we'd see Moore's law enter my favorite hobby.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Transparent butterflies

TTL said:
This almost begs the question: Why didn't God think of this before? For surely transparency beats camouflage colouring any day.

Perhaps we are surrounded by lots and lots of creatures who are completely transparent?

They're apparently for real. Amazing.

Pippi Longstocking

I am rewatching Pippi Longstocking. I haven't watched it since I was a child almost 40 years ago, but I remember a lot of it.
The show* is a great pleasure. It's so full of life and fun, and often very funny too.

I found the theme song on YouTube. I had actually forgotten that not only was I (and everybody) fan of the TV show, but also of the song, and I think this single was played so often the grooves were worn through to the other side. (The Gilmore Girls are fans of her too.)

I found two later and different versions of the Pippi theme song, and I braved my iMovie software, and put them on top of a clip from the first Pippi episode. The first one is a hard rock version, I think that's funny for a song from a kids' program. (I actually have a long standing ambition of making hard rock versions of kids' songs. I have one or two good ones in my head.)

*It is not clear, but I think the first "movie" on the DVD box set is actually compiled from the TV series.

Update: this video has been up now for like half an hour, and already 130 people have watched it. Holy crap! (By comparison, the Vampire Killers clip from yesterday has only been viewed 50 times in a whole day.) I wonder if all that traffic comes from here or from searches on YouTube, or what.

Pascal theorized:
Or it could just be that the words Sweden and Denmark immediately make some people hope there'll be beautiful naked viking blondes? "Longstockings, isn't that some erotic actor? If she chose that name, perhaps she's only wearing that. CLICK."

Actually you might be right. Hard as it is for me to imagine anybody not knowing Pippi, I guess most don't, and after all most new readers here come by way of Domai and may be looking for all that stuff.

Tea And Music

I saw this poster on Will & Grace. Isn't it wonderful?
Some of the best use of negative spaces I've seen. The black parst are positive spaces in the outer parts and negative spaces in the inner parts. And the orange parts are positive spaces in the inner parts and negative spaces in the outer parts!

Also the bravery of the positioning of the elements. The teapot and the cup are bundled together at the bottom, and parts of the pot are cropped off. And the flowers are bunched together at the upper left, there are only four, and two of them are cut in half. There's only a small amount of blue, in the vase, which just saves the whole of the composition from becoming too warm.

Work of a master. I wish I knew who the artist was.

Angelina and talk shows

Angelina is the hottest thing on two legs. And she's bi and into S/M. Gotta love that.

This evening I've watched a few talk shows on YouTube. Is it just me or are they getting more and more brief and superficial? People come in for six minutes and nothing at all is said about anything. It's too weird.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Every Day Is Halloween

(The title is taken from one of my favorite songs by Ministry.)

Wonko said:
My wife (MGLW) [My Good Loving Wife. - the editor] was brought up with the Scottish tradition of Halloween, "guising", sticky buns on strings, spirits and the Celtic New Year. Trick or treaters there have to earn their sweets by singing a song or reciting a poem. As a result it's probably her favourite time of year. She really goes to town with decorating, carving pumpkins and so on. I've always hated it and used to either be out or pretend to be. Now I just let MGLW open the door and give out the sweets.

I don't wish this to be seen as Yank bashing, because it's not, I just really wish we'd never imported this North American style of Halloween to the UK. It's become a commercial exercise, promoting tooth decay, obesity and extortion with menaces by minors.

Funny, I almost posted exactly the same thought on Oct 31, but for some reason I didn't. In Denmark there isn't, or wasn't, any Halloween, but there is a similar tradition in February, "fastelavn". And in that one too the kids have to earn their keep by singing a song. And I think that makes for a healthier attitude to the whole thing than just going around demanding treats for no good reason.

Fastelavn is not related to death or horror like the Mexican or American customs, but the customes can be anything.

But Honey?

I just bought a squeeze bottle of honey for my tea, and on the label is this warning:
"Unsuitable for infants under 12 months."
I can just see somebody handing the bottle to their six-month old baby, saying "here, Honey, put this on your pancakes."

kronostar said...
Honey can be harmful to babies undeveloped immune system. Before I thought it was just they could get allergies, but from the linked article it seems that the honey could be deadlier. Of course got to wonder how much of it is hype...

Alex said...
We took precautions with honey and nuts on our kids. We also did the phased introduction of foods too. Paranoia is certainly great, especially in these days of increased awareness and learning. There are a few kids in the school have nut allergies, and a neighbours kid had allergies to heaps of stuff, barely a thing he could eat.
Honey is best on toast, or mead, or in rosehip tea.

Robert Kits van Heyningen said...
Having had 2 children, I can confirm that honey can be dangerous to infants. Once their immune system is developed then it's fine. I wonder if this is a recent thing or has always been so.

Fearless Vampire Killers

Fearless Vampire Killers, Count's speech on roof.
(A.k.a. Dance of the Vampires.)
Roman Polanski.
Ferdy Mayne, who should be much better known, gives one of the best speeches ever in a movie. The accent, the rhythm, the threat, the fun. Wonderful.

This film is one of the best examples ever of successful semi-abstract film making. It's billed as a comedy (problem of marketing, you have to focus on one thing), but it's so much more. You'll notice people talk funny in this film, but because they all do it, it just works.