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[Today's entry's music can be found here, from the soundtrack for Zivot je cudo, aka Life is a Miracle]

Everyone knows about Ratatouille and Flushed Away, but I'd not heard of One Rat Short before. Do watch the trailer - if you're in the mood for a realistic, and strikingly atmospheric, CG portrayal of rats, this is it. Unfortunately, it's still on the cinema circuit, and only on a few screens at that - next up are two showings in LA, then SIGGRAPH 2006's Electronic Theater. (Reminds me, I need to post those CG virtual imagings of DNA replication sometime. So very cool to see how it actually occurs)


dronon photographed one Vancouver otter's answer of "because we can" to that age-old question.

What's the received wisdom on Luxology's wares, compared to Maya, Blender, and friends?

From the Nifty Hacks Department comes ShadowBook, which can send an event to the VirtueDesktops multiple desktop manager. So, just wave your palm over the left speaker, and you can switch desktops. ^_^

ibneko noticed there's going to be a spinoff movie of Shrek's Puss in Boots. Might be enjoyable, given how wasted he was in Shrek II - Antonio Banderas has such potential, sorely ignored then.

Perhaps fairly obvious, but this AP story notes that the immune systems of wild rats are much more active than those raised in the lab, with "as much as four times higher levels of immunoglobulins, yet weren't sick, showing an immune system tuned to fight crucial germs, but not minor irritants, Parker said." It also quotes one doctor as saying that "challenged immune systems - such as kids who grow up with two or more pets - don't tend to develop as many allergies." Does this tally with your own experiences? (I grew up with big dogs; I had hayfever from about 10 to 13, and that's about it)

Love & Monsters.. as bad as Boom Town? Sadly, much worse. As the sage once said, "And let us never speak of this again."

Via fairybear, Lookin' Cute, a fun, very silly music video from the Gay Pimp. (Any recommendations for exporting the WMV downloadable version of Soccer Practice to something more portable? Under OS X ideally, XP workable as well. VLC and Mplayer try, but there's plenty of corruption)

And if you're driving back from AC, a friend suggests you could do a lot worse than Vincent's for some memorable pizza. He notes it's "located on Ardmore Blvd, way out in Forrest Hills (on the way to Monroeville). Take the US 30 exit off the Penn-Lincoln Parkway, for a couple of miles, and you're there (or have blown right by and not noticed it; -it's not exactly prominent, but people do know it's there -if indeed it still is)." "This is Vincent's Pizza. It ain't Burger King.
You get it OUR WAY, or you don't get the son-of-a-bitch at all!"

If you should make your way there, and Vince is actually still around, he asks you let him know that "Shoop" still remembers him and his pizza very fondly. ^_^

There's more to one's immune system than environment. I grew up with multiple cats, and one that slept in my bed every night (usually next to my face), and I have a horrible immune system. Why? Because I inherited one. Same with my brother. My mom grew up on a farm, and she's got a terrible immune system. It's genetic.

Now, if one has a normal immune system there may be help, but I think there's enough genetic variables they'd need to do some serious study before drawing any conclusions.
Oh, undoubtedly there'll be multiple factors at play, some trumping others in certain cases. Still, it's interesting to see some confirmation of the original hypothesis, with additional experimentation planned. (Thankfully, I'm pretty well set on the immune front. Even that can't stop something like food poisoning, though - our own fault[1], but no less painful for that. Took about two days before I wanted to leave the bed.. and we were only there for a week in total)

[1] If you see raw kebabs on display in an unrefrigerated street vendor's cart, on a nice warm day, my advice would be to give them a miss. ^_^;;
There was a fascinating discussion on The Straight Dope forums about proper manners in foreign countries when presented with food. People went on and on how horrible it would be to refuse food, and as a guest it's your responsibility to eat whatever is presented, regardless of what it is so as to not "cause offense". One guy even described drinking warm goat milk from a street vendor that smelled funny and had stuff in it. Was violently sick, but he "didn't cause offense".

Lesson for all: grow a thicker skin. If I'm visiting, and you serve something I don't want, I will politely refuse it. Deal.

Especially if they're raw kebabs on display in an unrefrigerated street vendor's cart, on a nice warm day.