Friday, November 12, 2010

Snake girl

[Thanks to William]
I'd like to photograph her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Palatial (update)

Me 'n Sally, out 'n town today.

Update Friday:
This morning, Sally made me an English breakfast with white bread, eggs, and bacon. I *never* have that here in England, typical that it takes a Dane visiting to make it happen. (I usually go for Müsli.)

In the evening we went to the Olive Press, where we both had sirloin steak with pepper corn sauce, and we both thought it was just amazingly good.

[Thanks to the kind Esox, who corrected my "korn". I thought that if it was with a C, it meant only maize.]

Quotes of the weak

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
           -- Sir Winston Churchill

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.
           -- Marie Curie, Letter to her brother, 1894

If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
           -- Marcus Bridgstocke

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"The Pro" comic book satire

If you liked "Kick-Ass", I think you'll like The Pro. They are not very similar, but if you still love superheroes and you have a sense of humor about them...

It's quite unbelievable, believe me.

Apple news

I got a "priority" mail from an "SJ" at Apple Inc, which begged me to keep up posting something. Anything.

So here goes:
There are rumors from Taiwan about an "iPad Air", which will be about the size of a MacBook Air, but a little lighter though, and thicker on average (thinner than the back end of an "Airbook"), and which will run dual systems. Normally it looks like a large-ish iPad and works like one normally (running iOS 4.2), but if you open the clam shell and reverse the screen, it becomes a MacBook! Running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Signs for slow drivers

[Thanks to African Sunset]

Slow days

Yo, the following days may be a bit slow around here... today I'm getting the finishing touches on my root canal treatment (which seems to have been of textbook example quality, thanks very much), and tomorrow and Friday (maybe more), I'm visited by a lovely lady from my old fatherland.

Notice the word "may". As in "possibly". I can't predict anything, and it goes easiest when I don't even try. But there seemed a likelihood that it might be noticeably slower, and I just wanted to prepare you, so you could stock up on DVDs and your favorite meds.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.
           -- Anonymous

I like when people value themselves.
Now, some people combine it with a low value of others, which is unpleasant. That's not necessary. But false modesty isn't either. If you're one of the ten greatest pianists in the world, there's no reason you should say "oh, I'm only a beginner, really..."

Cemetery sculpture

Cemetery sculpture.

Marcelo pointed to Staglieno Cemetary, Italy.
Woa. Bosoms and death. If ever there were a recipe for success...


(Photo by Brian Carter.)

Monday, November 08, 2010

The train that never stops at a station

The train that never stops at a station, article/video.

Quite interesting, only I'm not sure how the top cabins get back to the start. They'd all end up at the end station. (Perhaps there would be two tracks and they go circular?)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The iPad, the Kindle, and the future of books

The iPad, the Kindle, and the future of books: New Yorker article.

This is very interesting. Aside from "how will it all turn out when ebooks take over? Will anybody earn any money still? Who? And how?", it also takes up the old question "what's is a publisher? is he an unnecessary middleman, a leach? Or is he a nurturer and dissemminator of talent?"

Publishers maintain that digital companies don’t understand the creative process of books. A major publisher said of Amazon, “They don’t know how authors think. It’s not in their DNA.” Neither Amazon, Apple, nor Google has experience in recruiting, nurturing, editing, and marketing writers. The acknowledgments pages of books are an efficiency expert’s nightmare; authors routinely thank editors and publishers for granting an extra year to complete a manuscript, for taking late-night phone calls, for the loan of a summer house. These kinds of gestures are unlikely to be welcomed in cultures built around engineering efficiencies.
Good publishers find and cultivate writers, some of whom do not initially have much commercial promise. They also give advances on royalties, without which most writers of nonfiction could not afford to research new books. The industry produces more than a hundred thousand books a year, seventy per cent of which will not earn back the money that their authors have been advanced; aside from returns, royalty advances are by far publishers’ biggest expense. Although critics argue that traditional book publishing takes too much money from authors, in reality the profits earned by the relatively small percentage of authors whose books make money essentially go to subsidizing less commercially successful writers. The system is inefficient, but it supports a class of professional writers, which might not otherwise exist.

Two other book sites

Under the Shelfari post, Avron says:

LibraryThing is also a book reading / cataloguing site. In what I gather is an unusual move they combine all 'editions' of each book together so it doesn't matter if you've got an e-book, paperback, hardcover, advanced release or whatever, you still connect to everyone that you could have a conversation about that book with.
They have developed a number of other neat things as well, my personal favourite is the "Common Knowledge" section, mainly because it's allowed linking of series of books together in complicated ways.

GoodReads is another book site. I'm not familiar with it however, apart from knowing it's got a lot more users. 

MacBook Air, what's its place?

The new MacBook Airs are getting very warm receptions. (Another one here.)  The are better, lighter, faster, and much cheaper than their forefather.
I agree. I have the 11-incher. I have always wanted something that size with a full keyboard. And it's amazing to hold just 1 kilo's worth of full-powered laptop in your hands. The smallish but high-rez screen is delicious too.

But will it replace your regular laptop? Andy sez not. Why not? Because most people these days use their laptop as their main computer, and the Air ain't that. It's too limited. Basically, it's the 21st century laptop (I added this). It's what a laptop can be when it's not your main machine like in the old days, when you are willing to be without high storage and such for a few days. And seen as that, I think it's a bulls-eye.

Of course the iPad can do a lot of that stuff too, and it's simpler and even lighter. But hey, what's wrong with choice?       :-)


Any sufficiently advanced bureaucracy is indistinguishable from molasses.
           -- Unknown

Oh, that's a good one.

For real value, it depends of course on familiarity with the quote by Arthur C Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

... Which of course hints that like a camera or a lighter will seem like magic to any person who has lived only in a pre-industrial society, so would it seem like magic to us if we saw technology from a much more technologically advanced race, or the future (given that trends continue).

Update: TTL said:
Any sufficiently coarse form of magick is indistinguishable from technology.
Society is becoming less technology centric and more magickal.
For example, instead of upgrading one's computer all the time, people will keep a wingmac:

Woa. I haven't heard of Evan Ferrante before, but he's just spooky as Tom Cruise. Goldurnit.