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filling the void

Sunday, December 31, 2006

World War II

If it wasn't for the lack of small arms fire, I'd think that Ze Germans were coming across the borders once again. Firecrackers have been outlawed in Sweden for a couple of years now. Fireworks are still legal, on two days of the year, one of which being the 31st of December.
Apparently, here, they haven't learned their lesson. You'd think that they would be a little more careful after what happened last time. Not a single second goes by without and explosion of some kind. Either far away, or really really close. Some of them sound like entire houses going down.
Being awoken by explosions isn't something new for a lot of people in this world, but it certainly was for me this morning.

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Trance Energy

I went down to the Free Record Shop yesterday and got my tickets for Trance Energy 2007.
I have friends coming down from Sweden, and possibly Denmark as well.
I haven't gone to an arena trance event in a long time, and it's going to kick ass.
Just a little over two months left, at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht here in Holland.
Going to be a blast. You should come down and join us!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Ohh, and I know I shouldn't repost things. Especially not things I link to (if you're not reading the stuff that I've linked to in the side bar, you're missing out). But this is just too good to pass up.

Here also, linked from wired.com, via lifehacker.com, is something for you (I want to say "us", but I'd be lying) fitness freaks.

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Fellowship of the Ring Redux

Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring would be much better if it wasn't for these incessant hobbits. Merry and Pippin, even if they have their heartfelt moments, are at least somewhat comical, they further the side story (that makes this into 3 books instead of 2), and they don't seem to be as married to each other as Frodo and Sam. Samwise is nothing short of Frodo's wife. "You're not eating or sleeping, don't think I haven't noticed...". What the hell kind of line is that from one adventurer to another? That's like something straight out of Ally McBeal (another show that would be a million times better without the main act, Ally). These guys are out on an adventure to save the future of civilization as they know it, they're not throwing a dinner party.
I know Sam cares about Frodo, and he told Gandalf that he was going to protect him, but this is just ridiculous.

And Frodo running off by himself at the end of fotr? What was that? I know it's a set up for the rest of the tale, but please. There are probably a couple of other ways that could have been handled. J.R.R, I'm looking in your general direction.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's a great and wonderful movie, trilogy in fact, but some things are just annoyances. Merry and Pippin redeem themselves in the later movies, but Sam has absolutely no claim to fame what so ever. He doesn't even provide comic relief, he just gets in the way. If Sam had gotten turned into a toad by Gandalf when he catches him outside the window, it would have been a better movie.
I do know why Sam is there though. I know the function he fills, but I think that they could probably have done it differently. As a matter och fact, they could have thrown in an extra adventurer. Or, just not killed off Boromir and have Boromir lead the remainder of the fellowship to get Merry and Pippin, and Aragorn could have come with Frodo to mount doom. Granted, the deception parts with Gollum might have had to be re-written a bit, but still.
They could even have done a bit about the Isildur failure once they get inside mount doom, but then Aragorn redeems himself by being the one who throws the Ring in the fires. Everybody lives happily ever after.

As I'm writing this, the credits are rolling in the background, and it's just a shitload of names, no titles. Are these just people who they are thanking for some reason or another? There must be thousands, if not more!

Ohh, and after 10 minutes of editing this post, the credits are still running. What the hell?

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Call of Warez?

Ohh please, either this is a tip of the hat to the warez community, or these guys are completely oblivious to it. Also, what the hell kind of name of Call of Juarez anyway? Is it some gunslinger legend that I've never heard about?
The people who thinks up the names for a lot of these games needs to have their heads examined.

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Not only for Christmas, but for any occasion, or just when you want to indulge yourself, the Swedish people have purchased boxes of chocolates called Aladdin. Since their introduction around 1939, the contents of these boxes has varied, but with a certain theme, and some special favourites making it in to the box year after year.
Personally, I have witnessed some changes to the selection of chocolates. Some have come, some have gone, but I dare say that about 2/3 of them have always been the same, in my lifetime.

Until today.

I got two of these boxes for Christmas, my dad brought them down from Sweden to Holland. I open one of them, intent on taking that first luscious piece of chocolate that I seem to remember being called the "noisette". I know where in the box it is. I know that it's been there for as long as I can remember, and I also know that it's always been my favourite. I'd go so far as to say that the entire box is worth it, if I can snag that delicious piece of chocolate.
So you can imagine my surprise when I open the box to find it not only containing some new pieces, but it is MISSING the piece that tied the whole box together. This one piece that ALWAYS disappears before the others. The defining piece of chocolate for this box is GONE!
Not gone as in taken by some nefarious chocolate company employee, but it's completely gone from the box. They don't make it anymore, it's no longer part of the official Aladdin line up.
Shit, I almost burst into tears. It's like the rest of the box just isn't worth it without that twisted little piece of chocolate.

A piece of history died today. Not James Brown, he's dead too, but the crown jewel of piece chocolates is dead. I don't know what will replace the sorrow in my heart (read stomach), now that the king is dead. With a little luck, they'll bow to public opinion and bring it back, but all I can do now is hope. Maybe I should write them a letter.

Something needs to be done. We want our chocolate back!

I can't even find a picture of it...

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Sunday, December 24, 2006


This is monkey. Happee Monkee, to be precise. Monkey was given to me by a person I like very much. Monkey is really soft and, as you can see, very very cute (much like me, thank you very much).
Monkey is sitting on my desk, on top of some things, and I think I'll keep Monkey there for a while. To keep me company in the darkness of winter. Monkey makes me feel good, and Monkey is incredibly cute (like the person who gave me Monkey).

I like Monkey. Isn't Monkey cute?


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Casino Royale

Watched Casino Royale last night with a friend. I had really no idea what to expect with this movie. Many people said that Daniel Craig had no business playing Bond, and others heralded a new era of Bond. The result, a terrific movie. Just when you think it's over, they suck you back in to another story line. Quite brilliant. Sure, Mr Craig's jaw is a bit too chiseled, and he could pout his lips a bit less, but he most certainly is "the new Bond". All in all a VERY good movie. If you haven't seen it already, you should. In the cinema preferably, it's a big movie, it deserves the big screen. (note "the", not "a").

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Clerks 2

Just watched clerks 2.
The beginning seemed to just be another confused love movie, and really nothing like previous Kevin Smith works.
It turned out to be pretty good, but it was still no original Kevin Smith, no sir...
It got really serious and deep, and it actually based it's plot on what normal movies base their plots on, and none of the straightforwardness that you normally find on Kevin Smith's movies.
This was a movie where I actually felt embarrassed for the characters at some times. Other Smith movies haven't been like that. Good none the less though.

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As a former student of Uppsala University, I get their alumni newsletter every so often. It usually contains links to special dissertations, news about the university, and other cool things about the university.
The one I just got in my mailbox has some pretty cool news. It turns out that our principal has signed an agreement with Harvard to create an exchange student program. This would bring Harvard students to us and, more importantly, us to Harvard.
The article (in Swedish) states that this is a very exclusive deal, because Harvard generally doesn't except exchange students from anywhere except the very top universities in the world.
So be the transitive property, that must mean that Uppsala University is one of the very top universities in the world. Even though I can't really agree,based on the education they gave me, it feels good to know that I'm backed by a well renowned university.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Social skills

Some arbitrary annoyed friend: How come you didn't say "hi" to me at such-and-such occasion?
Me: How come you didn't say "hi" to me..?
Some arbitrary annoyed friend: *silence*
Me (thinking): That's what I thought...


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Christmas is almost here. I only have 2 more classes to go before I can have two lovely weeks off. I don't really have any school work left to do: I don't have anything I need to take care of outside school.
And yet, I can't bring myself to do any of the things I like.
I've promised myself to not play WoW (might have to break that promise sometime in the future).
I don't write any code (can't bring myself to start. Whenever I open the IDE, I just get tired)
I don't play any other games (other than a stint of bejewelled, but that gets boring after a while)
I don't watch any movies (I can't be bothered)

I don't do anything, and it's driving me insane. I just hope that when Friday comes, I'll be content enough with whatever it is that I can allow myself to relax and do some things I like. As it is now, I just want the days to pass. It's not like I want them to pass so that something on the horizon can happen, I just want them to pass, period.
I guess summer would be the biggest thing on the horizon, but I can't very well coast apathetically along all year just because summer isn't here (this IS what I do all winter, but lets pretend that I don't).

I'm bored, but I don't do anything about it. I watched some Family Guy and American Dad, which brightened my day, but it's one new episode of each per week, that's not nearly enough to keep me satisfied.
I don't have anything to look forward to, maybe that's it. No goal, other than being out of school for two weeks.

Shit, I've got go get out of this rut. Any suggestions on what to do would be most appreciated

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Kids Rejoice!

Now you have the means to counter what mom and dad says about your favourite habits. Sit as close to the tv as you want or go swimming directly after a meal.
Granted, it's not empirical evidence, but if it's on the internet, it must be true.
Also, I trust wired to not lie to me too badly.

Fact or Fiction

Friday, December 15, 2006

Off the wagon

Who am I kidding here...
I know I terminated my account, and that my game time expires on Monday, but so help me, here I am, re-queueing for the Battlegrounds over and fucking over again.
I just hope that the end will be swifter this time.
As with Diablo2, I kept going back to it around 4-5 times as I recall (not counting this fall, when I REALLY wanted to play, but didn't). Each time had a longer time span between it, and the times that I spent playing became shorter and shorter.
Now, as you remember, Blizzard is releasing "The Burning Crusade". I don't know if I'm going to try to exercise some kind of mental restraint, or if I'm just going to get suckered into the wonderful game again. The stuff that awaits on the other side of the dark portal might just prove too much of a temptation for me to not surrender to.
I do know, however, that I'll put everything else before the game. Now that I'm guildless, and I'm not raiding, I don't have to take care to adapt my playing schedule to anybody else's time, which makes all the difference in the world.

I'd love to clear Naxxramas and AQ40 and whatnot, but I realize that it's not in the cards for me. Maybe if I could spend 40 hours a week at the game, with the best people in it, but I have way too much other interesting things to do.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm bored. Here are some beards.

Crazy man, just plain crazy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

W(h)ine vs. Whiskey

You can't forcefully drink your sorrows away with wine.
You can always count on there being whiskey or some equally strong liquor involved when someone drinks their sorrows away. Just think of virtually any movie that you have seen where this has happened. Has the hero (or antagonist for that matter) ever walked in to some shoddy, dark bar in some back-alley of the big city, sat down at the (almost empty) bar, looked glum, and ordered a glass of Chablis? The answer, my friends, is no. That just doesn't happen. No matter if the person at the bar is a man or a woman, it's not proper to drink your sorrows away in anything less that 80 proof. It just doesn't seem grave enough unless you're drinking something that is really detrimental to your health.

Sometimes I get this need to do just that. Go somewhere and drink my sorrows away, but as a man who doesn't drink whiskey, let alone beer, it just doesn't work. Not that the alcohol itself wouldn't drown my sorrows (it never does btw, it only exacerbates the problem), but it's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you're sitting somewhere with a glass of wine in your hand.
No, sorrows have to be drowned in a different manner for me, and when I figure out what that is, I'll make sure to tell you.

On a lighter note, I just love the new spellchecker that blogger has. Inline and everything. Microsoft Word should take a page from the good people at Google.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Burning Crusade

I've stopped playing WoW. I don't even play around with talent calculators or skulk on the forms any more. I've stopped playing, and I couldn't be happier.
That was, of course, until Blizzard saw it fit to release the Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft. I'll agree it doesn't look even half as exciting as the original WoW did when it came out, but it's still pulling me in.

I guess I'm going to have to succumb to temptation. I do like the game, with regards to game mechanics, it's just the people in the game, and the end-game content that I'm not too happy with.
Sure, I used to spend 12-16 hours a day playing, so I guess I've seen more of it than your average player, but so help me, raiding with 39 other people just to get some timed attack just right isn't my bag.
For those of you out there who actually play, I really hope that the stuff that drops in outlands (not in the raid dungeons though) will be A LOT better than the raid epics I have now.
A good thing is that they've reduced the raid sizes to max 25 people now.

Anyway, time for school...

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Requiem for a Toy Story

I found this delicious little mash up at Monkeys for Helping today.

It is absolutely delicious, and you have to watch it. The Mary Poppins is good too, but not nearly as good as Toy Story vs. Requiem for a Dream.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Some links

A List of Heroes (Top 20 Hackers in Film History)

The Seven Phases of Owning an iPod (almost entirely true!)

I think I've found two new blogs to add to my daily list.

http://www.drivl.com/ (EDIT: This site is awesome, I love it!)



Bringing you much happiness in the way, yay! \^_^/

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Friday, December 08, 2006


I'm a computer scientist. (Ok, so I might be bolstering my self-image here a bit by calling me a scientist, but hey, it's my field at least). I've have different laptops at different times. Some good, some crappy hand-me-downs, but for some reason, I've never felt completely at ease using a laptop. There's always been something wrong. Something slightly inadequate.

I was sitting around in the cafeteria yesterday with a classmate of mine. We were preparing some things for a class, and I noticed that almost everybody in the cafeteria was using laptops.
We were in the Electrical Engineering building, and I remarked to him the fact that there seemed to be more engineers with laptops than computer scientists with laptops. Then he says something incredibly insightful that has never even crossed my mind before. I've always felt that; if everybody else can use a laptop, why can't I? He said that; of course there are more engineers with laptops than computer scientists. Engineers use computers as tools, computer scientists work WITH computers. Thus, such a limited device as a laptop could never be sufficient for a computer scientist. Everything just fell in to place. Of course, this is how it must be. I could probably have a laptop as well, but not instead of my real computer. (Had I had the financial means, of course. Students are poor people, we don't do double computers...)
It's all about levels of abstraction. How far away is the thing you are working on from the thing you are working with.
In the case of a computer scientist, "with" and "on" are often times the same thing.

Life would oftentimes be much simpler if you could just fit all your belongings into a large backpack, so you could just uproot yourself, take your stuff, and leave any time you want to.
This is good for moving, but I think it would make living someplace a little hollow.
Maybe it's just because I've moved around so goddamn much these last years, and that each place I've lived at recently has been a temporary place. I'd like, for once, to move somewhere and say to myself: "I have NO idea when I'm moving out of here, and I like it!".

One can dream, can't one...

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I Too Want A Robotic Friend

I guess I'm going to have to build one then.
Almir Heralic, from Chalmers University in Gothenburg in Sweden did just that.
This robot is awesome! It has many of the same joins as a human, can recognize faces, track movement...
Kind of makes me wish I was in a different field of study. I don't think I have the skill though.


Ohh, and it talks too...

Here's Almir's page at Chalmers.

I guess this really is old news, but I thought I'd share it with you anyway.

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Headsets - Now Only For Convenience

This just corroborates what I've been saying all along.
Cellphone radiation does not cause cancer.


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

On A Roll

I've been feeling a bit under the weather this last week. The phrase "my old bones ache" (from Warcraft III, actually. Spoken by Cairn Bloodhoof) really fit me yesterday and the day before. Today the aching is gone, but now my throat hurts instead.
My roommate gave me throat pills with Lidocain in them, which do a pretty good job of easing the pain. I'm going to the store for some more of the same in the morning. Might be good to have. They contained a shitload of Lidocain too, I can barely feel my tongue, hehe.

Anyway, what I was getting at was the fact that I haven't had the energy to blog properly this week, and I first thought that I'd submit a series of small blog posts, but then I thought what the hell, and put them all in one big one. Thus:

This week was spent in London, as some of you might know. Not actually IN London I guess, but more just west of London in a little shit hole called Reading. (All British towns are shit holes, no offense.) I went to visit a dear old friend of mine. We partied hard, like we always do, and I had a blast! I guess I did come home with some sort of fever, but I suppose that's the price you pay for going all out. I met a lot of cool new people there. Some of which were from South Africa, which is pretty neat. What they were doing in the UK though, I will never know.
I also met this really cute girl. At first I thought "But, she's cute... There are no cute girls in England.", but then my friend explained that she wasn't from England, and that's when all the pieces fell in to place. It's too bad that we live in different parts of the world though. Travel is fairly cheap I guess, but not that cheap. It's not like jumping on your bike and riding for 10 minutes.

Speaking of travel, my friend told me that I might have to watch what I bring with me on the plane, what with the recent ban of liquids on board and all that nonsense. They actually did force us to put stuff in transparent bags at Schipol, to carry through the security check, but at least we were allowed to put those things back in our bags after security.
I wonder what the point of that exercise is. Do they think that the security people could have spotted "dangerous" liquids just by looking at them? I'll bet you a small country to a bent hair pin that no one that works security at an airport can tell if one water like substance or another can be used to make explosives. "But they put it through machines" you say, "maybe the machines know?". Well, if the machines know, then why can't we just keep the containers loose in our bags? Why do they need to be packed in sealed transparent bags?
A false sense of security, and a shitload of inconvenience is all it is. I don't even feel safer, not one bit.
Ohh, and when I'm going through security in Gatwick, I start noticing that our queue is much slower than the others. I look ahead, and find that we have to take out fucking shoes off and put them through the x-ray machine too!
Can you believe this bullshit? What's next? walking naked through the metal detector? Putting humans through the x-ray? When does it stop? When will the people of the world rise up as one and say "No more of this bullshit!"?
Don't you see that the terrorists have already won? Being a terrorist, by definition, means that you are someone bent on creating terror. Creating terror doesn't necessarily mean crashing airplanes into skyscrapers. Creating terror means to instill a feeling of terror in other people (or animals, for that matter). To make others afraid.
I think they've done a pretty good job at it so far. We're so scared that we'll allow virtually any freedom reducing "security" measure to feel a little bit safer, yet we're not safer off now than we were before 9/11!
All these so called security measures didn't stop people from bringing liquid explosives on airplanes, and it's sure as hell not going to stop nefarious people doing whatever their doing next, because they know our every move! They know our full strategy! They have our game plan laid out for them to poke holes in!
As you might have gathered from this (and previous posts), I'm a privacy/freedom nut. I also happen to be a security nut, but one thing I'm not is a sheep. They are slowly but surely eroding our freedoms until there is nothing left.
I guess we're lucky that they still let people ride the subway, after what happened in London.
Nuts I tell you, NUTS!

I could rave about this all day, but I'm getting hungry. Time for some microwavable food, because I've spent all my energy writing this piece here, plus I'm sick, so I've earned an easy street dinner.

Watch this space!

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New Google App

I propose a new function for google.
Google has this feature called sets. Google sets lets you input something, and then it generates a set of related phrases.
What I want is the ability to exclude an entire set (they have large and small sets) from a normal google result. i.e. if the set "animals" returns "monkey, gorilla, panther", and I search for "jungle -set:animals", I'd get all the results about the jungle that did not include the words monkey, gorilla or panther.
Something like: google: jevring -set:"veterinary medicine"

Which would actually find ME on google, and not just my uncles (ex)-wife, who's a major author on the subject of veterinary medicine. Sure, you'll find me in those results too, but you have too know what you look for. A search for "jevring" currently returns around 10000 results, and probably something like 20 of them are about me. A search of "Markus Jevring" (first name and last, for those of you who didn't know), returns old university pages, and group listings and whatnot from things that are really old.

So google, you had better be paying attention to bloggers. (I hear microsoft does this. Looks for dissenters, read their opinions, and tries to do something about them) If I see this feature showing up within the coming year, I'll know where you got it from!

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