May 5th, 2006

Porsupah smile by Djinni

(no subject)

w00t! Five new pages of Fur-Piled! To snag them in one easy go:

curl -O "[158-162].jpg"

(Oh, gotta love page 159.. =:)

For anyone interested in drawing toony characters, or just curious as to what makes a toon, the kind folks at the ASIFA-Hollywood archive have scanned the first half of Preston Blair's seminal Advanced Animation, rare first edition from 1947 (yours for a whole dollah!), complete with unauthorised use of various studios' characters. It's truly wonderful work. To fetch all the pages so far:

curl -O "[01-17]-big.jpg"

The remainder will be following later.

You've doubtless seen it already, but it bears repeating: Stephen Colbert at the White House Press Corps dinner (400MB torrent, good quality) should not be missed. "I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message: that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world." "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

The thought occurs that Guy Maddin and Tom Waits really ought to collaborate on some project.

Via spidermouse, an absolutely classic, wonderful AIDS compaign spot (2.4MB) from France. Not work-safe. ^_^

An extremely nifty animation of ESA's Huygens probe's landing on Titan, with plenty of useful added information on screen, putting the visuals into a much-needed context.

What else do you do when the cable goes out? (Work safe)

FurAffinity's mascot, Fender, au naturel. Oh my. =:) (No, not work safe)

In the /. comments to the Gartner rumormongering about a possible additional Vista delay, one wag pointed out the definition for "vista" as a noun: "A distant view or prospect".

Now that's rather pleasant: a Fairtrade cinsault/shiraz from Chile. Very well-rounded, soft, but much more full than any merlot, whilst being gentler than most cab.sauv. or plain shiraz.

Oh, murr.. McKellen tells Empire magazine, "He hasn't been given a love line, which I think is a pity. It would be wonderful if the camera hovered over Magneto's bed, to discover him making love to Professor X."

Not a bad release schedule - the current season of Doctor Who is beginning to appear on DVD. The first volume only contains The Christmas Invasion and New Earth, whilst vol.2 on June 5 will have the following three episodes. ie, a month after the first broadcast!

The state of health insurance in the US isn't improving, with 40% of Americans making between $20-40k now without insurance, compared to 28% in 2001. 20% of all working Americans are paying off medical bills, even allowing for insurance, and 60% skip medication for chronic illnesses in order to save money.

Here's an interesting graph plotting cost of oil versus Bush popularity. It's perhaps not overly surprising there's something of a correlation - deaths thousands of miles away are abstract, for most people, whereas totals on a gas pump are more visible.

Fluffy cold-climate canine fanciers should take a look at this representative.

An Intuos 3 ought to make quite a good input device for Second Life.. on either side of the main paid, there's a group of four buttons and a touch strip, plus the pen with two rocker button positions. And the mouse with three buttons (one being the scroll wheel) and one on either side.. hafta see how to make best use of all that in dancing.

A gun-shaped party cracker loaded with a teddy bear. It's Japanese, of course. ^_^

Well, that's a bit of a nuisance.. seems Bunny's drive has finally failed. Bunny, you may recall, is my venerable Wallstreet, bought in September 1998, and acted as more or less my primary system since 2004, until Hyzenthlay came onto the scene. Not a big matter, but still.. time to ponder what to do. I don't really want to put much money into a spare system, given Mouse already fills that role, but, I suppose a small drive wouldn't be expensive, and larger than what's there anyway. ^_^ (A Travelstar 14GS, the largest available in March 1999. Yours for a mere $535! ~wince~ Literally the largest, too - 13mm tall, so there's virtually no post-1999 laptop thick enough to hold one of that form factor) Hey ho. It served well.

Yume Tsukai: looks particularly promising. We start in a rainy classroom, where a girl's abducted by a ghostly apparition.. and soon, another almost joins her in whatever netherworld awaits, interrupted by someone able to dispel the nightmare. The latter turns out to be one of a pair of dreamcatchers, whose stock in trade is solving such mysteries.

Au Tonelico promo: the character designs look fairly routine, but as it makes clear, it's the music that's central to this series. I'll certainly be giving it a shot on the strength of that promise alone. Okay - having seen the first episode, it's vaguely like a cross between Outlaw Star and Escaflowne, with the seriousness much more towards the former. It's fairly cliched, but there's a certain charm to it.. I think I'll be continuing with it, even if not as a high priority.

xxxHolic seems to be continuing reasonably well - I'll keep it in the rotation. The character designs do take a lot of getting used to, with rampant spider legs (and arms) - quite a departure from CLAMP's more usual style. It's nothing incredible in the storyline department, but it has a certain tanginess I enjoy.

Peek over here, and you'll find someone running OpenStep 4.2 on an Intel Mac, under Parallels Beta. Apparently works quite well.

Handy - looks like µTorrent and BitLord are both now compatible with Azureus' distributed hash torrents. Useful if the tracker goes boom, or you simply don't want to use one, such as for a private torrent between friends.

From dKos comments: "Having spent a good deal of time in Central America in the 1980s, what I most remember about Reagan was the praise he gave for General Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala when that fellow was ordering the slaughter of tens of thousands of Mayans as a means of drying up support for leftwing radical guerrillas.

The mass graves are still being dug up."

Ah, you've got to love it.. when did the Governor of Kentucky decide to repeal sexual orientation protection for public employees? Right after declaring it to be "Diversity Day". ^_^ The Business Lexington Journal - a pinko commie Euro-lovin' publication if ever I heard of one - says "While Kentucky businesses are begging the governor to obsess over workforce training, skyrocketing health care costs and incentives for job growth, he seems more focused on meddling in the choices people make in their private lives as to what sort of companionship best suits their personal needs."

Not (currently) suitable for an internal laptop battery, unfortunately, but Hitachi-Maxell's come up with a novel battery design, using only alumin[i]um plates, to which water is gradually added.

Handy. Finally got around to setting up rsync for automatic mail backups - no cost, and as the app name suggests, it only copies what's necessary to achieve synchronisation. It doesn't handle resource forks, unfortunately, but they're not that widely used in OS X - vastly less so than in OS 9 and before. A bit of a pity, as the concept worked out very well, making for easily tweaked program resources, but at the expense of portability - when the net came along, the death knell had rung. (Not that similar functionality can't be achieved with straight data forks, of course, as shown by the NextStep/OS X application format, wherein multiple executables coexist, loaded as required by the architecture - in NextStep's case, 68k, SPARC, PA-RISC, and x86)

In the US, blue is the color of liberalism, red of conservatism; in the UK, it's the other way around (plus yellow for the Liberal Democrats, the de facto heirs to the liberal crown, given "New Labour" has shifted into the Conservatives' territory). How do other countries match up? Not, I'll have to say, that I'm much of a fan of such simplistic labels as Lib/Con - at least a two-dimensional scale seems much more useful.

So, I noticed a local computer consultancy guy's getting rid of what sounds like a stack of old Macs and ancillary bits'n'bobs, and was getting ready to add my name to the list of good homes, when I worked out - even aside from where would I put anything more - what need would I have? Everything I want to do, Hyzenthlay's well up to the task, and it's easy to stow away, and expends minimal power in doing so. What would be the point in having a desktop running full time, especially one with an older processor?

Thing is, I used to aspire to collect computers - in Fremont, I picked up three Sun 3/360s and a 4/110, with the vague intent of placing them around the house as MU*/news terminals. The Atari 800 didn't see much use, either. Gods know, it's a good thing I declined the idea of a Sun 690MP.. as things turned out, everyone just used their own 'puters in their own rooms, with some surplus 10Base-2 coax snaking around under everyone's doors.

Ultimately, I think I prefer the idea of gadgetry to actually owning any. No.. maybe it's more a matter of minimalism and efficiency. The former's been something of a necessity, whilst the latter simply has appeal, whether in considering, say, power consumption of a computer, gas mileage, or execution unit utilisation in a processor. I like the fact Hyzenthlay's so capable (and beautiful! Practicality ought not sacrifice aesthetics, surely), whilst still remaining easily portable, whether into the bath or around the world, and using a modest 70W when pushed, with the battery charging, display at full, and processor going full pelt.

That said, things would probably be different if I lived in one place for any real length of time. Moving every 6-24 months makes such collecting a touch impractical.. and there's certainly part of my geekiness that'd love to display classic computers on the walls, like the AIM-65, SYM-1, Acorn System 1, ELF II, and Superboard.

Well, that turned out quite pleasantly - a sort of Thai-inspired curry. Started off with getting some water to the boil, adding cilantro, lemon thyme, basil, garlic powder, and hot chili powder (discovering the bird's eye peppers in the fridge were.. on the elderly side), plus a packet of broccoli & cauliflower soup as a base. Then a package of diced turkey thigh (ideal for this kind of cooking, as the prolonged simmering lets the flavors permeate the meat), and a few thickly sliced shiitake.

I fiddled around with the herbs and seasonings more in the meantime, given the simmering changes it all around, and added some tarragon and oyster sauce as well, along with some asparagus tips, baby corn, and mangetout, plus some raw tiger prawns, covering the whole thing with a package of fresh egg noodles while all that steamed away below.

Quite acceptable. ^_^

And with this entry, I'm all caught up on my posting backlog. Huzzah!