August 15th, 2007


The art of the binky

This entry on urban rabbits is one I'd easily recommend; there's some quite noteworthy photography. And here we see a binkying bunny. ^_^

Is German a language in decline?

Whatever the languages you might be interested in, though, here's a handy index to a large number of free online courses for just about any tongue.

ysengrin spotted this unmissable tale of what happens when a poorly run company thinks of itself too highly - in this instance, an exchange between Angus & Robertson and Tower Books, a major Australian bookseller and a publisher respectively. And just how often does one get to enjoy the phrase "voluble hilarity" in correspondence?

Parents unhappy that their children aren't polymer-based can choose to have them "perfected" in Photoshop, such as this baby, or this toddler. Be warned: you may find these very creepy. Those doll eyes - a deliberate effect - surely belong in a horror flick.

Do I know a "Jay Blanc"?

Six Apart meets South Park, wherein 6A's recent "explanation" is clarified, and much more. =:D [Edit: the journal's been deleted, but Google knows all]

So, with any luck, I should soon be able to engage in some wholesale reshuffling of partitions, including one or two for experimental purposes, and one purely for backup. Better, though, will be being able to bring all the sample libraries online, as well as having space for video editing. One worldwide woodwind library in particular seems to suggest a quick ditty or two.. I'll have to see where that leads me.

Furrydom in the Guinness Book of World Records, listing AC 2006 as largest furry gathering, with 2,489 attendees.

Monday night saw the first half of Richard Dawkins' new documentary, The Enemies of Reason, broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. And here it is (48 min, 50MB). Quite good, although ultimately, it's probably - so to speak - preaching to the choir. Perhaps tighter editing could have brought it down to a single broadcast hour, curtailing astrology's segment particularly. Trouble is, Dawkins just isn't someone who can radiate passion and intrigue for his topics in the same way, say, James Burke could - it's one thing to describe the wonder of looking into the nigh infinite night sky, and contemplate the millennia that stretch to the boundaries of the universe, but another to be able to say that and have people feel the wonder. [Edit: it's now up on Google Video, courtesy of the production company involved]

otter3 might find some points of interest in DanCoyote Antonelli's new installation. "The installation space is constructed to immerse the avatar in an a new environment, free of the geographical constrains that we as people controlling out characters are trained to recognize." The related Zero G Skydancers seem worth a look, too, especially if you're able to hook up a projector; here's a horribly edited clip of them in action, on what seems like a woefully underpowered host.

Could be just me, but something tells me Friday's decision regarding SCO's claim for UNIX copyrights affected their share price slightly. (Live chart here)

"Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday." And unlike in Vietnam days, where deferments could be easily obtained, those gaps have been filled now.

John Edwards' press release on Rove's resignation is, I feel, quite succinct. =:) I'd be quite surprised if this materially affects his actions, rather than merely his official and legal status - witness Rumsfeld's continued presence in the Pentagon.

Something I'm currently reading: Consciousness In Four Dimensions: Biological Relativity and the Origins of Thought. Too early to tell whether it'll be worthwhile, but the comments appear positive. "We are shown the development of cellular life in terms of spatial order and time; the evolution of cellular life to multicellular organisms and the specialized cells that compose our nervous systems; the higher order functions of mammalian brains; and, finally, the development of consciousness, again, in terms of spatial order and time. A fascinating tour of our natural world!"

iMovie '08 was released the other day, but disappointingly, lacking official support for G4-based systems (G5 and Intel only); however, it's possible to tweak the app slightly to ensure it installs anyway. At the same time, they made iMovie 6.04 available as a free download, ostensibly for owners of iLife '08, as the new version inexplicably currently lacks support for plugins. As it doesn't seem to perform any checks as to whether you have iLife '08 installed, it's effectively a freebie - you should be able to install it without any trickery, though in some cases, you may need to enter this curious preference setting prior to running the installer:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/ HappyCakeOven -bool YES

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the minimum Arctic ice extent from September 1979, and August 2007. RealClimate notes the difference is about 1,200,000, a bit larger than California and Texas combined, or slightly less than France, Germany, and the UK combined. "The minimum extent is usually in early to mid September, but this year, conditions by Aug 9 had already beaten all previous record minima. Given that there is at least a few more weeks of melting to go, it looks like the record set in 2005 will be unequivocally surpassed."

The Animal Crossing movie recently saw its first fansubbing. ^_^ As you might expect, it's very lightweight stuff, but still a pleasant ride for anyone who's enjoyed the games. In the first segment, the new arrival meets Pelly, the mayor, Tom Nook, Blathers, and some of the villagers.

Project ICE seems to be off to a good start. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world which has recently seen the last male die, leaving a purely female population globally. For some, that merely signals the opportunity to extend their own goals of conquest. The opening scenes are very much in a manga style of artwork, but it soon settles into a more well-developed style. (paka might appreciate the way the military forces have taken after ornate 19th Century officer designs) The storyline itself opens with a mysterious threat, when a maid plunges an elaborate syringe into herself, cocooning her within "ICE", seemingly a symbiotic lifeform, handily capable of eliminating the first team to arrive to deal with it. The second team manages to destroy the threat, nearly at the cost of the leader's life, when the creature's demise is assured by use of F.O.Big Gun™, almost killing a bystander when it ploughs straight into her. As thanks for then being saved by the team leader, she's taken to a special field near the main city, where, upon feeding some birds with tinned crab, the birds turn into flowers. One or two get bored of that, and turn back into birds. Which seems fair enough.

Wow. My mother actually dared take a culinary adventure of sorts, and used a crockpot for the first time in many years. Nothing exciting per se, but the stew definitely was good - that kind of cooking renders the meat so wonderfully tender, and I haven't enjoyed a good dumpling in ages. Now to encourage her into less familiar territory. ^_^ (I did notice a bottle of fish sauce appeared, too.. always useful in Thai curries. Lately, I've just been making do with a couple chopped anchovies, but that's not really the same as fish that's been left to stink away for months =:)

Blame keihound. =:D