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Of course, one must take this with a few pinches of salt, but still, rather interesting to see what Grand Moff has to say of the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who bearing down upon us: 'We’ve got to set the Doctor off in a brand new direction. It’s chapter two of his life. Now something happens to him that changes the way he thinks and the way he will adventure from now on. You can celebrate an anniversary in many ways – I think the most productive one within the narrative is to say “This is where the story really starts. This is where he finds his mission, he finds his destiny.”' (And, there's going to be a one minute trailer for the 50th Anniversary airing tonight, and online immediately after, featuring all the Doctors. Nothing of the episode itself, though - they're being teases =:) [Edit: And here it is!]

Regarding last week's unexpectedness - whilst the quotes for all the work necessary will still take a while, hopefully with minimal hassle from the insurer, the telephone pole is at least finally out of the yard. ^_^ Work finally commenced on Friday morning, wrapping up today, with our connection live again by the time I woke up this morning. As good a job as the MiFi did, I'm quite happy to have 3.9Mbytes/sec inbound again, with no caps. (And for less money than that 7GB allowance of cellular data, which, frustratingly, the cellco insists on expiring after a month)

A short (ca. 500 words) furry story you might want to read, courtesy of nicodemusrat: "Buddy". Such a time isn't too far off, ne? And with it will come such possibilities, and inevitably, such bittersweet moments. [Edit: ack! I didn't notice it was f-locked. I've enquired if that might be changed]

Do you see films on the big screen much, or mostly at home? For me, the disincentive is that locally, there's a choice of two multiplexes, both of which are bland establishments, offering nothing more than the opportunity to sit in an auditorium for a couple hours. Frankly, I prefer watching a film at home, where there's a vastly better drinks offering, and nobody's heads in the way. That said, I probably would be tempted by something along the lines of Luc Besson's new establishment in Paris. (Ones I'd happily personally recommend are the Chapter in Cardiff, the Little in Bath, and the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. The Chapter only has two modest screens, but always with an inspiring selection from around the world, plus an amazingly stocked bar with around five casks on, and dozens of lesser known German and Belgian bottled beers. The Little's a converted Georgian property, being in the heart of the town, oozing atmosphere. And the Castro's a full-on 1920s movie palace, complete with a mighty Wurlitzer that rises from the floor before each screening, for a ten minute musical prelude. Absolutely magnificent! Only the one screen, but it's a genuinely big screen. I haven't yet been to the new Parkway in Oakland, but it sounds like they've brought it back in spirit)

CERN recently put up a series of talks from their latest Open Days: "The lectures cover more than 20 topics from the invention of the World Wide Web and the discovery of the Higgs boson to CERN's antimatter experiments and the Large Hadron Collider." And, StackExchange saw a superb series of answers to what might seem like a relatively simple question: What's inside a proton? Whilst it's sort of true to say they're composed of two up and one down quark, the question then develops rather interestingly. Consider this chart, showing the internal appearance of a proton, based on collision energy on the Y axis, and "resolving power" of the "probe" particle on the X.

A few folks I know might be interested (although, they probably already know) in the recent arrival of a "collector's edition" of MST3K: The Movie, including deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and behind-the-scenes footage. ^_^ (From the same release company as MLP:FiM. Now there's a crossover I'd like to see) And another BD release that's been a long time coming: Tank Girl! And, Wolf Children debuts on (Western) BD on Nov 26.

An app whitetail might want to check out: a version of SheepShaver ready configured with Mac OS 9.0.1 - zero configuration required, just download, launch, and watch the virtual machine boot up. Which, I suppose, means you'd have some 68k being emulated as PPC code, itself being emulated on Intel. Oo, I wonder if it'll run Connectix Virtual GameStation.. =:D (Sadly, some searching around suggests not - apparently, it'll launch, but won't successfully run any games. True, there are easier ways of emulating the PS1 now, but VGS has obvious geek appeal =:)

That also led, while checking my drives to see if I've got a copy of my old PowerBooks' drives online somewhere (seemingly not, so I'll have to excavate the DVD-Rs), to the discovery of some odd miscellanea, including a copy of Copland, Apple's ca.1995 attempt at a next-generation OS, Photoshop 0.63, the source to Mac OS 7.1, and a copy of a film I know I haven't seen yet: SpaceDisco One. "'Spacedisco One' is a sequel to both 'Logan's Run' and '1984' at the same time with Orwell's Winston Smith running into the daughters of Logan 5 and Francis 7 as they're busy running about a park firing off laser beams at one another. It's not until they meet that Winston realizes they're actually all fictional characters in a movie. When not discussing 'Battlestar Galactica' with Stargirl 7 and Francis 8, Winston makes frequent visits to the Ministry of Truth - known to you and I as Universal Citywalk. Oh yeah, did I mention the roller rink in space that people have to skate on to get to Earth? Yeah, there's that, too." Remarkably, it even scores 7.1 on IMDb.

(As for what I was particularly trying to find: well, unsurprisingly, it was much easier to just snag it online. =:D Short Circuit, a particularly good Shisen-so variant. And lo, it runs almost perfectly, with occasional tiny glitches in the sound effects)

Yay, new iPads (almost certainly) being announced on Tuesday! I think I'll go for one, this time around. (Definitely cellular, probably 64GB; approaching 128GB would be an indication I ought to just trim the apps and films back) I'd love to be able to run multiple synths linked via Audiobus, which isn't really an option with an iPad 1's CPU and memory, and the retina display is rather nice, which certainly wouldn't hurt for comics reading. Add in the likely 64-bit architecture, and it's likely to be the baseline requirement in years ahead, when eventually iOS goes 64-bit only. Meanwhile, I'll be able to give mine to my mother, to finally (and *very very reluctantly*) bring her online. (She fully understands there's a lot to be said for being online, but has something of a touch of technophobia, unfortunately, to the point where it's been challenging to get her to accept that she can check email on an iPad, by pressing the little picture of an envelope)

If you've experienced difficulties getting your parents online, how have you worked with that?

So, LJ eventually renewed, after some manual cajoling. =:P Fair enough, I suppose - I've moved since last time, which is, for me, pretty much a given. ^_^;

A look at the state of Juche booze: Getting Drunk in North Korea. It's a light hearted topic, but touches nonetheless on major issues, particularly from the perspective of such an isolationist state, such as receiving help from a Beijing brewery on making better lager, and the rise of the party elite, as in China, increasingly taking to luxuries unattainable by the general populace. It also notes some of the peculiarities of the street bars, such as the Soviet-style naming of Beer Number 1, Beer Number 2, etc, and the origins of one brewery's equipment: from the now defunct Usher's of Trowbridge.

Here's a little experimental abstract nature shot from this week. ^_^ Whilst I tend to use the Nikkor 300mm f/4D much more than the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8, due to the weight, the latter does offer that advantage of a wider aperture, as well as image stabilisation. So, seeing the late evening sun push through some trees in an interesting way, I thought I'd try specifically not focusing on anything, and letting the DoF take care of blurring much of the scene away from the focal plane. I'm rather taken by it. ^_^

 
 
 
 
 
 
Is "Buddy" available anywhere public? Unfortunately, the link you gave is to a locked post. I like short-shorts, so would certainly be interested to read it.

Do you see films on the big screen much, or mostly at home?

I rarely go to the cinema. The only time this year was for Equestria Girls, and that was a ponymeet as much as anything else.

Oh, poop! I completely failed to notice it was indeed in a locked entry. I've enquired if he might open it up for general viewing. I do hope so.

What puts you off/fails to draw you in with cinema going? I know for some people, it is an event, and holds some magic, but.. when it comes to the chains, they're all so similar, with nothing but heavily marked up ordinary chocolate and suchlike to eat. They're not bad, certainly, but don't really instill in me a sense of occasion, so much as merely a functional venue. Meanwhile, we've got a 42" screen and reasonable 5.1 sound, and a much more interesting selection of drinks. =:)

I'm still debating whether to buy EqG. I'd sort of like to, but then again, I'm not honestly sure I want to encourage Hasbro to go further with that experiment. More likely, I suspect, I'll just subscribe to the coming season on iTunes, and get to enjoy it in clean 1080p. Hopefully, this time, without quite so many Hasbro audio encoding cockups. =:/
What puts me off is that I don't really enjoy watching a film in the company of people (not referring to friends here) who think it's fine to talk on their phones, chat loudly, eat crisps etc very loudly throughout, etc etc. It's just a more comfortable experience on a home screen.

I think I'd sum up my response to Equestria Girls as something along the lines of: "Well, you got out of jail on that one, Hasbro, thanks to the talents of your writers and VAs. Now don't do it again, okay?"
I've heard about SheepShaver. Unfortunately, I am on 10.6, which is apparently too legacy to run this legacy emulator.
Really? That seems quite odd.. do you know why that would be so? Certainly, APIs change and improve with each major release, but I wouldn't've expected an emulator to be reliant on 10.7 or later.

Sorry to hear that, in any case. I'll see if I can find out what's up, and what the prospects are for expanding its availability.
Ah, OK, I just misread the description. It apparently runs fine on Snow Leopard. Now to find a suitable ROM file! I still have the installer discs for my G4. Would the necessary files maybe reside on that?
Oh, finestkind!

ROM? I might be misunderstanding - that link takes you to an app that you just download and launch - absolutely nothing else required. ^_^ (You can install other versions of the OS, but that's where it starts getting more fiddly)

Tip: whilst /Users/shared is imported automatically as a volume named Unix, reading further down notes that some applications may not work correctly if run from there. Short Circuit was fine, but MindThump complained about needing 0K of memory, some amount available, and advised me I could quit other apps to free up memory. =:) Copying it over to the "main" volume and launching it from there worked perfectly.
OK, I was looking in the wrong place. I found the pre-configured emulator, and I got it to launch, but I can't seem to do anything with it. Copying my old 9.2.2 system folder over won't work because the emulator won't run anything higher than 9.0.4. I have an Apple MacOS 8.1 installer disk, but I can't seem to make it work within the emulator. I guess I'm just too old and addled to figure this out. I'm just glad I still have my G4 which boots natively into OS 9. It would be nice to be able to do Classic stuff on my iMac, but like I said, I can't figure out how to work it.
I have difficulty getting my mum offline :) She covets an iPad Mini after I demoed mine, but feels she can't really justify it.

I don't watch a lot of films either way - I go to the cinema a few times a year, mostly for classic stuff at the BFI Southbank, and occasionally help my boyfriend catch up with the vast quantity of things he's recorded on his set-top box.
Hee! Certainly a different problem. =:D She's more inclined toward the mini rather than the "full size" iPad, then? I imagine the mini must be a fair bit lighter.

Ahh, the BFI! True, that's a pretty cool venue. ^_^ Could do with paying more attention to their beer and cider offerings, though. (What's that converted church somewhere around Islington? The roomie's description of it sounded quite appealing)

Come to that, I suppose I ought to pay some attention to what comes over the air, rather than over DSL. =:) FIlm4 et al do have some good choices, although I'm not sure I'd be able to withstand ad breaks - I've long been more of a BBC sort, though more out of their programming than that. (At least they're not as bad as US networks, where there'll be ads between shows, after the opening titles, first act, second act, and sometimes before the end credits as well. It got to the point where I didn't really watch the Simpsons in order to record it, just flipped back occasionally to pause and remove the ads. Perhaps relatedly, I wound up giving up on most "live" broadcast TV)
The Mini is what she's seen, but would probably work best for using in bed/while knitting, etc. (I was attracted to it as soon as it came out - the full-size ones were a bit impractical for my throw-it-in-a-scooter needs).

Not sure about the Islington place you mention, but the Royal Oak near Borough High Street, where I went on my birthday, is an excellent cider pub.
CERN recently put up a series of talks from their latest Open Days: "The lectures cover more than 20 topics from the invention of the World Wide Web and the discovery of the Higgs boson to CERN's antimatter experiments and the Large Hadron Collider." And, StackExchange saw a superb series of answers to what might seem like a relatively simple question: What's inside a proton? Whilst it's sort of true to say they're composed of two up and one down quark, the question then develops rather interestingly. Consider this chart, showing the internal appearance of a proton, based on collision energy on the Y axis, and "resolving power" of the "probe" particle on the X.

Interesting. Every time I read about modern physics I'm torn between wanting to learn more, and knowing that everything I'll learn is a gross oversimplification that somebody will inevitably tell me is false, misleading, and should be avoided at all costs. :)

If you've experienced difficulties getting your parents online, how have you worked with that?

Didn't have to, fortunately; my parents both used computers as part of their jobs from the 80s on, and for my father, Internet at work was also of crucial importance (to not have it would've been like not having a telephone). So it just happened naturally.

That said, I think your best bet is to try and understand why people are reluctant to go online. Do they think it's not worth the time, effort or money involved? Do they think there's nothing worthwhile out there for them? Are they concerned about hacking (in the sense of unauthorized access) etc.? Have they been influenced by the sensationalist portrayal of the dangers of the Internet in the mass media? Do they believe that they cannot or will not learn this new technology? Are they afraid to experiment for fear of "breaking something"?

Interesting article on drinking in North Korea, too. One can only hope that the country will open up a bit more; if the ruling class there are clever, they'll allow it, since there's no doubt they'll all be swept away in a bloody revolution one day otherwise. (Which won't be pretty, for anyone involved.)
Re: the proton
The most important thing to note as far as the internal structure of the proton is concerned is that the total theoretical mass-in-isolation of the three u,u,&d quarks that are the fundamental components of a proton are only about 1% of the mass of the proton. All of those gluons, the quark-antiquark pairs that are constantly forming and annihilating, and the rest are actually nearly all of the mass of the proton.

So it is not a simple matter of three quarks with a bunch of insignificant flotsam swimming in between. All of that other stuff is very important to the structure of a proton. It is when the proton interacts with other particles that the sum total of three quarks uud is the most important thing.

Edited at 2013-10-21 06:47 pm (UTC)
North Korea is such a quaint place, quite fascinating, which is fuelled by the fact that we know so little about it! Still, I would never be inclined to visit the place since my currency would most likely be used for supporting their regime. But I wouldn't mind a swig or two of Beer No. 3 :D