Ramblings and links - The Lyorn's Den
Mon Feb. 19th, 2007
04:57 pm - Ramblings and links
My week and weekend were not especially interesting, which is a shame. Well, the week was interesting, work-wise, for a given value of "interesting" (the same value as in certain oft-quoted believed-to-be-Chinese curses), and on Friday Murphy's banner was flying over everything I did -- first I messed up the preparation and didn't notice, then the computer didn't have the data and I had to wait for it, after hours of waiting I noticed that the preparation had failed and had to do it all over again, and then another step of the whole endeavour stubbornly reported errors, it took me hours to become desperate enough to ask someone what they thought was going on and find out that the error was expected and could be ignored, so it was well into the night when I could finally start the next-to-last step of this whole created-by-Dragonlance-gnomes cascade, which meant, of course, that I had to get into office on Saturday to press the button which would start the final step. Gah.
Fortunately, going into office for half an hour doesn't really disrupt my by-now traditional (once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is a sacred tradition) Saturday schedule of sleeping in, coffee and bookstores. I'm behind on my reading, as I have been digging through something long, fascinating and complicated and now have to re-read all 3500-something pages of it to discover everything I might have missed in the first reading, and to create a useful timeline. (Fictional Timelines has failed me.)
Saturday was a nice day, nearly too warm with 25°C and sunshine. I thought about getting some more clothes (I still want some of those cheap jeans, and I need another shirt), but couldn't overcome my aversion to any shopping that does not involve books or records.
Sunday I slept in again, little wonder as I hadn't been getting enough sleep the whole week, and my natural biorhythm (I have one!) wishes me to go to bed at 4-5 am and wake up at 12:30 pm. I had to chose between taking a walk, going to a role playing convention, or to a Chinese New Year's party. I decided on the last, as it seemed the one I was least likely to have a chance to see again, but in front of the door my nerve failed me. The announcement in the newspaper had said, "open to the public", but I doubted that "public" included "tourists", so I got into the car again and just drove around some. The hills were a shining deep green after the rains. Then I felt that I needed more music for driving around, went into a Used-CD-store which had a big sale and, eh, bought altogether too many CDs, including a "Beautiful South" one that might interest Tiassa, and one for "Engel", which Mrs. Smith probably already has, but then, maybe not.
In the evening I actually managed to beat SciFi's chaotic programming and caught an episode of Battlestar Galactica, which had too much marriage-problems-and-babies for my taste, and an episode of "The Dresden Files" (I have talked about the books a lot, beginning here), which was OK but not great. Too much "been there, seen that". I've been playing WoD since the early 90s, and while I like the genre, it needs more to impress me than wizards and demons. Even though I vastly prefer stories about wizards and demons to stories about marriage and babies, BSG clearly outclassed "The Dresden Files", based on the sample of one Sunday evening.
A long fanficrants post on kinkfic [I quote the author's warning: "If you, gentle reader, don't care for dark, twisted fanfic, for whatever reason, do not read this rant."] made me aware that I hadn't read much good kinkfic since I stopped reading HL and XF. HP and LotR had me drifting far towards the gen side of the fanfic continuum. Or maybe too much boring, repetitive slash has, I don't know. sevendials, the author of the rant, writes Weiss Kreuz. Which I do not read. Sigh. I hate it that all the cool girls write anime fanfic these days. :-(
Randomness: The "Uncanny Valley", or, Why something nearly right is more scary than something completely wrong.
On the intersection of politics, culture and barbarism: "The politics of the man behind 24."
I could have sworn I linked this before, but I can't find it... The most expensive chocolate in the world and why it's not worth it. I bet that none of you would ever consider spending that much money on that little chocolate, so you do not need to be discouraged from doing so, but the report has a lot of very interesting background info on how chocolate is made and who makes it.
Cuteness: Baby pandas.
Geeky crop circle.
Bruce Schneier doesn't like Window Vista very much.. Neither does this guy.
Steve Jobs wishes that we could just get rid of DRM.
Jonathan Lethem feels that originality is overrated in The Ecstasy of Influence -- A plagiarism
Fun with Creationism: Deep Time made simple.
And siderea quotes a psychological magazine that Sugar might power your willpower!
Lots of folk pounce on a stupid metaphor about "your body being your property", and beat it to death here. Completely work safe, except for the hysterical giggling, but very dirty.
Neil Gaiman has been waiting for the right time and is writing a new book.
And everyone's talking about that stupid Gender Genie again. Which tells you if you're male or female based on your writing style. It might be helpful if you write 1st person and are not sure if you get the voice right for the narrator's gender, but it might also be a load of bull. Especially if you look at the algorithm, which it provides and which is discussed here.
Helpful advice: "When it's positive to make a negative statement".
Links in German:
Wörterbuch der Redewendungen.
Zum Thema "Die Deutschen sterben aus OMG !!elfundelfzig!" ist die ZEIT erfreulich unaufgeregt
BTW, is anyone else getting spam that claims to be an invoice from IKEA?