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filling the void

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Captain's Log

It just came to me, I could have called this place "captain's log". Not because I'm a Trekkie or anything (but I do like star trek), but because my nick on the internet for the past 12 or so years has been "captain". It would be correct, and at the same time a star trek joke. I would personally chuckle every time I read it.
But after a while I guess it would get old. I don't think you'll see a change like this any time soon.
Ohh so witty...


Vehicular Access

I brought my car out of its winter slumber today. I spent a good 90 or so minutes driving around with the top down. I did my best to find some nice curvy back roads, but this country is so damn overpopulated that there are little towns and houses almost everywhere. Also, roads don't really have turns here, they just bend a bit, and 500m further along the line, your car has actually changed direction.

I would love to go for some inspired driving, but I might have to take it to the track for that.
I did happen to drive past IKEA though, so I took the opportunity to check their Swedish food store, and I stocked up on most of the candy I could find. I forgot to buy daim (damn!) and they didn't have dumle (double damn), but the rest of the stuff is absolutely delicious.
They had cheese, but not my preferred brand, unfortunately. I will be making more stops there, that's for sure.



The posts about shaving at least had some connection to manliness (as most women I know don't shave their face), but this is going to be a really girly one.
Yesterday I bought a new moisturizer. I have been using Nivea's Q10 face something-or-other for a couple of years now, and I decided to try their "Cooling Hydro" gel, which is supposed to keep my face cool as well as moisturized. I can feel the cool, but I think they phones in the moisturization.
Also, my face feels a bit like I have put hair gel on it instead of face cream (don't worry, I haven't), which is a real draw back.
I'll give it a couple of more days. If it still feels weird, then I'm going back to my trusted old friend Q10.



It appears that EU is Moving to Ban Online Hate Speech.
When will people stop trying to regulate what other people think and say? I dislike racists and whatnot just as much as the next guy, but that doesn't give me the right to limit how they can express themselves.Also, people who are "targets" of these sort of things needs to relax a little bit.
Seriously. Being called all those things can be bad, but there's got to be a limit. Soon we'll turn into some society where people sure each other as much as in the US, and the government sends people to Siberian prison camps like in the USSR, at the same time.
I, for one, do not want to live in such a society. Shape the fuck up people, it's not as serious as you think!

Stop trying to regulate my brain!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Madness

Our school year here is split into four quarters. This is the last quarter in the school year, and as luck would have it, I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. Today is Wednesday. I thought to myself: "This will be a good day to go downtown to do some shopping and check some stuff out". Imagine my surprise when I found all of Enschede downtown at the same time. It wasn't just at lunch time either, it was before and after. People were swarming. All the cafés were full, as were all the stores. What were these people doing there? Didn't they have jobs to go to? Didn't they have school?
You'd think that lunch time in the middle of the week would be a good time for people to not be out and about on the town. Weird.

In other news, I finally replaced my old backpack. It wasn't getting old, but it was so rugged and abrasive that it was tearing up the backs of all my shirts. This time I bought a nice one with some kind of contraption at the back that always keeps the bag off my back by a couple of centimeters, letting the air flow nicely. Another good thing about this contraption is that no matter how much I stuff in to the bag, the feeling against my back is always the same. Perfect.

Today I also got my tickets to Mayday. This party has been happening for a long time (from 1991 in fact, according to wikipedia), and it's about time I went. Now that I live so close by.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust

So, I guess Boris Yeltsin is dead. I can't claim to know enough about him or his time in Russia to say anything about it, other than, well, that he is no longer alive.

Who's infringing on who now?

I don't know if you've heard, but there's this "rumor" going around that music producer Timbaland ripped off a song created by mod producer called Janne Suni in 2000. As I am a geek, and the demo scene lies close to my heart, I did some fast youtubing, and came up with the following:


Did Timbaland rip off Janne? You be the judge, but it sounds pretty damn close for this to be a coincidence.

It's almost like how Vanilla Ice (starts 15 seconds into the video) did (not) rip of Queen's Under Pressure (starts right away) back in the day.
MTV has a segment called "Vanilla Ice Sings His Dings", that is absolutely hillarious, but unfortunately youtube doesn't have it.

EDITED TO ADD: If you like the demo scene, and haven't yet seen it, here's one of the best demos ever created. Second Reality by Future Crew (1993)

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Friends of Old

Today I found out that a very dear friend of mine (that I have written about previously) has finally moved down to Amsterdam. I met her last when she was her visiting in November, when she told me she was moving down on a more permanent basis. She's not been living here for a couple of weeks, getting things settled and I got a message from her today, and I called her up and we talked for a bit.
It's nice to know that not only are there other Swedish people tired of the country and moving out, but also that it's a good friend of mine, and she has chosen the same country as me to live in. It justifies my choice, and it also means that I have another friend to visit here, and another reason to go to lovely Amsterdam.
Hopefully this means that I'll go to more raves, since I actually now know one more person in the country who likes to do it. I know that other people here like it, but I just don't know any of them.

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Monday, April 16, 2007


My last post was apparently number 314.

I'm a bit annoyed right now, because my internet has gone back to sucking ass. During exam weeks it was fine, but now, for some reason, everything takes ages to load, and I have slower response times than on a GSM modem.

Another thing that pisses me off was that google decided to introduce the possibility of having blogger in a variety of different languages, so I was greeted with a dutch page when I went to log in.
Not only that, but when someone else from my ip range visits my blogger profile, it's in dutch, even though their google settings indicate English. I hate localization of software. I know a lot of other people like it, but I feel like more of a victim than a beneficiary.
Also, why the hell does google's spell checker think internet should be spelled with a capital I? It's not a fucking name, it's a concept.

Looking on the bright side of life, however, we've had a nice temperature of 28 degrees here all weekend. I've been walking around in shorts for 3 days, and I'm absolutely loving it.
I had a solero ice cream today. When they were introduced, there was only one flavor, Mango with vanilla ice cream. About 1-2 years after the introduction, they removed this flavor and started adding all sorts of other outlandish flavors. This went on for years, without the best mango flavor ever returning. Until now. When I went to the store today, I found a "solero exotic", which turned out to be exactly the old mango taste that I enjoyed so much.
I also saw that the liberal party in Norway is moving towards passing a law that would make both file sharing legal for private use, and ban DRM. Both very cool things. Definitely steps in the right direction. I foresee DRM being all but extinct within 5-10 years.
I have heard about similar bills in Sweden and the EU, but I can't remember where.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Resistance D - Skyline, so hot right now...

This is old.

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When I first discovered lifehacker, I assumed that it would contain tips on how to, well, hack my life, so to speak. What I didn't expect, but what I am thrilled to have found, is that it also links to pages about writing. This recent link offers five tips about proper punctuation. Even if I was pretty much at home with about 3½ of those rules, I really enjoyed reading it. I now know where to put a semicolon, and what they are actually used for. Of course, for tips on punctuation, penny arcade is always helpful. (There is a third one, but I can't seem to locate it.)

Linked from the page about punctuation; I also found this. I haven't had time to read it yet though.

I have read several articles linked from lifehacker about writing, and they've almost all been good. I seem to have misplaced (read deleted) the links to them, otherwise I'd share them with you. Lifehacker uses tags though, so you should be able to find them quickly if you need to.

EDITED TO ADD: This is also very good. I find myself making some of the mistakes explained in here, but not many. I do, however, see them made by others on a daily basis. Number 5 and 7 are very important, as they aren't going to, as the author says, "[do] a little wiggle dance on the screen and then [reach] out to grab the reader by the throat".

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Crafting Post-Mortem Messages

This is a big disturbing. They're turning the ash from cremated corpses, presumably your loved ones, into pencils. I imagine they take the normal wood, and then infuse the graphite with the ash, or just compress the ash into some graphite-like substance.
I understand why someone would want to do this, but as a teacher, I would very much disprove of having a paper written in dead mans body handed in to me for grading. I would also not accept papers written in blood or urine or any other bodily fluid. (Ok, so I'm not a teacher yet, but I'm making a point here).


Bruce Schneier Facts

This won't amuse you unless you're a crypto geek, or at least reasonably interested in computer science and cryptography. Bruce Schneier is something of a guru and icon is the cryptography society.

Much like the facts known about Chuck Norris, there are also facts about Bruce Schneier.
Maybe not as hilarious as the Chuck Norris Facts, I found them pretty entertaining.

Bruce also has a blog here.

(Hah, I already had a tag created for Bruce Schneier! Imagine that!)

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Shooting Blind

Literally. Apparently if you live in Texas and have a hunting license, you're allowed to go hunting even if you can't see. (Ok, so the article is about an aid they can use, but it's what got my attention)


So, let me get this straight. You can be out in the woods. Where other people are. Carrying a loaded weapon, and also be allowed to fire said weapon.
Am I the only one who finds this terribly frightening? I'm all for hunting; game tastes good, and if you go way back, people hunted their food, but blind people do not hunt out of necessity. They never did. They either died, or someone else hunted for them. More to the point, blind people do not have any reason to shoot guns.
Seriously, what's wrong with people. How the hell would you get a hunting license in the first place if you are blind?

I'm all for people with disabilities being able to do most, if not all, of what other members of society can do, but there are certain limitations, and people should respect them.

It's not like they're letting blind people drive. Hell, I don't even know if deaf people can drive.

And according to the article, there's now some sort of laser aiming device to help them hit what they're (supposedly) aiming at.
What the hell? How do you aim if you are blind? How do you do it? Deaf people can't listen any more than blind people can see. I realize that you might be able to cook up some sound device for aiming, but I doubt we're quite there yet.

Stuff like this just makes me even happier that I'm never ever living in that absolute horror of a country.

I like shooting guns just as much as the next guy (I mean, we're men here, who hasn't played guns or cowboys and indians when they were kids), but that doesn't mean that anyone should be allowed to own or carry one, let alone walk around with them loaded anywhere they damn well please.

Getting a license to own a gun is fine, or if you have an actual reason for owning a gun. Waiting 7 days to get a hand gun isn't responsible gun ownership, it's just postponing the inevitable.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

"If it's not what you love, don't do it"

True words spoken by Mr Jeremy Allison of Samba fame. Currently employed by Google, he tells us about talking to his new office mate, what he does, and what he would have like to have been told when he was fresh out of college. If you are in Computer Science or any related area, you should really read this. Even if you're not, there are some points that are applicable to any job you'll ever do.

EDIT: I had a link here to what I thought was Jeremy's blog, but it was a collective kind of thing. Without it the comment below seems taken out of context, but imagine a link to a blog here.

Come to think of it, many big names in software blog on a more or less regular basis, and I don't read many of their posts unless they show up on other outlets linked by someone. Maybe I should make a habit of reading what these people deem worthy to say. They are, after all, where I want to be down the line. (i.e. working their dream job, doing what they love to do.)

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Geeks Make Better Lovers

The original title for the article was prefixed with "The 10 Real Reasons Why...", but that's such a mouthful. Besides, this is more of a statement.

It's an article written by Regina Lynn (such a porn star name, but I don't think she is) in her column in Wired, and I must say it rings very true.
There is a point about getting things done in there, which is only half true if you consider procrastinators like me, but other than that it hits the nail right on the head.

Read it!

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Will It Blend?

That is the Question...

It's no secret that willitblend.com is one of my favourite company promotions of all time.
This company, blendtec, sells mixers, one of which is a 5 or 10 horsepower (I can't remember which, maybe they sell both) mixer that'll chew through virtually anything.
On the Will It Blend show with Tom Dickinson, they take various objects and cram them down the mixer to see if they blend or not. They blend hockey pucks, golf clubs, cellphones, barbie dolls, and pretty much anything else you could possibly think of. A common request is the crowbar, but they haven't tackled that yet. A recent video that I just stumbled upon is the Glowstick video. As both a geek and something of a trance head, I find this extra fascinating. He even turns off the lights for added effect.

If you haven't seen them yet, you better move your ass over there right now and start going through the "do not try this at home"-section.
Someone doing this as just a joke had been ordinary. A company actually doing this with stuff they sell is absolutely awesome! Check it out!

There's now also a Will It Blog, that I plan to check out.


Good News Everyone!

Last night I got in contact with a company here in Enschede that fixes electronics. I told the guy what the problem was with my monitor, and told me that it might be fixable.
Apparently, the problem was very fixable when I still had the first problem, but became somewhat less so after the second problem started to occur.
The guy is going to evaluate my monitor and see if anything can be done, and if it can, he's going to do it for a very fair price. Who knows, I might be doubling up on massive CRTs before the end.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shaving the Wrong Way

When I woke up this morning, my skin felt tight. Tight, like maybe the hairs on my face couldn't break through the skin.
I check the mirror, and what do I find?
Zits. Lots of them. In the very places where my razor travelled upwards yesterday.
I'm 28, I'm not supposed to have zits damn it!
And it's not for lack of hygiene either!

I guess I have only myself to blame for taking that nutjob's advice, but that doesn't make it suck any less.


Monday, April 02, 2007


The things I find when I try to avoid studying.
I've seen this before, and I thinks it's pretty cool. Granted, Christmas lights moving to the tune of orchestral rock isn't everyones cup of tea, but I'm posting it none the less. (It's around 3 minutes, with no actual punchline)

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Shaving Techniques

Today I tried re-shaving against the grade, as suggested by the article on lifehacker.
I have some first impressions, and they're not good.
  • It took considerably longer to do it this way.
  • It was uncomfortable.
  • It felt weird. (maybe this is something you get used to)
  • It tore up my skin something fierce.
  • The added benefit: minimal, if any.
I have been using high-grade shaving equipment and skin care products for several years, so that's not the problem either. All this crap, for a benefit that's hardly noticeable, and that will certainly not be noticeable two hours from now is just not worth it.
I'll be re-applying moisturizer to my face all day to undo the damage I've done to my skin.
In short, don't try this!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Real Interview with Fake Steve Jobs

Hilarious. More fun if you've seen Pirates of Silicon Valley or at least know some Apple History.

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300 Posts!

I guess posting about reaching 300 posts in your 301st post is a bit corny, but hey, I didn't see this one coming.
Seeing as how blogger uses the same size template as me, I'm pretty sure this wonderful image will fit right in.
It seems to be scaled down. I hope blogger will not fuck this one up. Ohh well, as long as the 300 is visible, I'm happy.


(used up)^3 Revisited

Some of you might remember how I could not get my brand new monitor to work at the rated resolution and refresh rate? (Ok, it seems that I didn't blog about that, or that I couldn't find the post, but anyway, it didn't quite want to play). Any way, this new graphics card that I have (which works perfectly, by the way) allows me to come closer to that, running at 2048x1536 in 75 of the 85 possible Hz announced.

In other news, I came across this on lifehacker today, and it goes against something I have been taught fundamentally (on both Discovery Channel and by Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon), namely that you're supposed to shave against the grade. What the hell? That does terrible things to your face. Sure, it's a closer shave, but at the cost of fucking your skin up badly.

Maybe I'll try it though. Who knows I could have been wrong all these years.

Also, as you have probably seen over these last couple of posts, I absolutely love using back references to stuff that I've written myself. Someone has to be proud over my earlier musings. It might as well be me.

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ACM ICPC Revisted

For some reason, blogger has decided to stop emailing me about my comments, so I recently discovered an insightful comment from anonymous about my ACM ICPC Post. He says that competing is much easier than you might think, provided that you are of course eligible. He also, kindly, provided me with a link to the Eligibility Decision Tree. I make it through the basic requirements, but then things like being too old or having spent way too many years in school catch up with me. It turns out I seized being eligible when I graduated with my BSc.

I guess not being allowed to compete anymore takes the load off my mind of never having competed, and now I could never rectify that, even if I wanted to. It would have been cool to have competed once, but now that I know that I can't for other reasons than skill, I will put it behind me.

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April Fools

I regularly read around 10-15 blogs and news sources every morning, and here are the April fools jokes (I hope) that I have come across so far:

Insane attunement instructions for The Black Temple in World of Warcraft (This had better be a fucking joke)

Registering a new domain name to complete the comic transformation. (used to be applegeeks.com)

Normal fun about syndication and selling out your webcomic. (and open source)

Wireless Power. (Actually, I'd love for this to not be a joke, but it's obviously too good to be true.)

Mozilla Foundation sues Microsoft Over Tabbed Browsing. (Had it been the other way around, I would not have been laughing.)

An easy to use device for electrocuting yourself with a using a wall socket.

And finally, a list of previous cool April fools jokes. (It even includes the classic Swedish joke about putting a nylon stocking in front of your black-and-white TV to get color, which a lot of people fell for)

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