We held many meetings

Couldn’t resist it; this is another quickie (ahem) from the treasure trove that is Harper’s Weekly review:

“We were also surprised at how often it occurred… It was difficult to provide some hypotheses for the function of the fellatio behavior,” said short-nosed-fruit-bat researcher Libiao Zhang. “We held many meetings to discuss the functions.”


peace out


District 9

I went to see District 9 with my girlfriend and some friends earlier this week. They thought it was ok-ish. I, on the other hand, thought it was a masterpiece!

Right from the start, the film played to the little kid in me. The obvious references are all there: the hovering saucer from V, the alien refugees from Alien Nation, the absurdly powerful weaponry imported from your local first person shooter. But the film takes these influences and creates something more human than just the lopsided sum; there is something utterly cool about it, the way it engages you, makes you laugh (even at the dark bits) and leaves you sad at the end.

Some critics say they don’t like the broken semi-documentary style of the film. I couldn’t care less. The documentary style told one part of the story, the “in-scene” footage the other part. When last did you object to a novel where the author switched viewpoints to tell a more interesting story? Oh you don’t read? Oops, my bad.

What’s that? Oh, you mean the political aspects of the film? How could Blomkamp include themes of apartheid, oppression, discrimination and involuntary resettlement so lightheartedly? As if he did not mean anything with it!!! Sacrilege!

Well, of course he did. These themes are not there to make a point, they are there because we can almost believe in this global company’s conspiracy with its armed force and hidden agenda. Yes, these themes are taken directly from the recent history and current events in South Africa, because we know these are real, and we can almost believe that it can happen!

Was he trying to apologize for apartheid? Definitely not. Was he trying to use familiar themes from a familiar city to shape his story? Yes!
That was his goal: to make an awesomely kick-ass, darkly humored sci-fi movie. And he succeeded brilliantly!

Also, did anybody else get the Alien + Cat + Food Alf reference, or is it just me?

peace out.

The cool thing…

… about working at a company where the previous programmers were, let’s say, inexperienced, is that the new programmer (referring to your’s truly of course) gets to pull magic white rabbits out of hats every day. And people do not cease to be amazed by it.

“When can you have the data for me?”
“I don’t know exactly, but it’ll take some time, because I have to rerun all these other things. It might take a long time, sorry.”
“So I take it next week sometime…?”
“No, no, this afternoon, or at least tonight”
“Oh wow you rock!”

The downside (and there is always a downside) is that the new programmer gets to inherit all the shitty code that his predecessors wrote.
I would put down a succinct example of said code, but frankly there is so much of it my mind is fragged.

peace out

Your phrase of the day follows

This morning Mela and I went for a jog, during which she recounted to me how she and a girl friend of hers used to go for runs in the early morning hours when they were still in primary school.

“Because this was in the age before cellphones” she said, “we used to agree to go jog the during the previous evening, so come rain or high water we were committed the next morning. No cop-out!”

There we go, see what she did there? If you even remember a time without cellphones you are a relic, from an long-forgotten age, man.

peace out

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IFS Drives and Windows installer errors

So you’ve got a little ext3 partition that you set up to share files between a Windows partition and a Linux partition. Then one day, while working in Windows, you decide to install say, Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition with SP1 Setup. I know, I know.

Anyways, you run the little vcsetup.exe installer, and lo and behold it does not work. Something about the installer trying to copy a $shtdwn$.req file and failing miserably. Oh, you think, I know: a shutdown is required but is somehow not working, so you reboot and try it again, but it still fails. So you look around on the web, and find all sorts of discussions about IFS Drives and this particular error.

The solution is simple: Open up IFS Drives in the Control Panel, assign None to all the drives that you have mapped, then run the installer. After the installer has finished with its nefarious intentions, reassign the old drive letters to the drives, and you’re done.

You’re welcome, peace out

flabbergasted, as an aside

I was following a breadcrumb trail today on the subject of the Ray Kurzweil movie Transcendental Man.

On the wikipedia page for Mr. Kurzweil, I read a quote from Douglas Hofstadter who said the following about Kurzweil (and Hans Moravec),

“It’s as if you took a lot of very good food and some dog excrement and blended it all up so that you can’t possibly figure out what’s good or bad. It’s an intimate mixture of rubbish and good ideas, and it’s very hard to disentangle the two, because these are smart people; they’re not stupid.”

I am sorry, but I find that quote as ironic in the extreme. Especially from someone who puts Goedel, Escher and Bach into a blender along with some hokey pokey and hand waving, and then subsequently tries to finger paint a Picasso with the resulting mess.

peace out