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. ^_^