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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Primer: the best movie I've seen all year...

I recommend not reading anything about the movie ahead of time, because half the fun is figuring it out for yourself... and you have to be patient at the beginning, as it starts out pretty slow... but it's worth it... just pay attention!

After you've seen it see it again until you understand it as best you can, then watch the director's commentary. Then read the Imdb and PrimerMovie message boards. And finally, there's this.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Why amateur radio is essential
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Video of Morse code vs SMS text messaging on Jay Lenno
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Monday, May 23, 2005

Then:

NPR's original mission statement in 1970... called for "some hard news, every desire to serve an alternative audience: "urban areas with sizeable nonwhite audiences," "student groups studying ecology," "groups with distinct lifestyles and interests not now served by electronic media."

The first broadcast of All Things Considered led with the segment about the protest rally, followed by a zesty array of stories: a roundtable discussion with reporters from the Christian Science Monitor, which seguéd into a reading of two antiwar poems from the era of World War I; a dispatch from a barber shop in Iowa whose proprietor was reeling from lost income as more men chose to wear their hair long; a portrait of a nurse turned heroin addict; and, finally, a discussion between Allen Ginsberg and his father, Louis, about the merits and shortcomings of drug abuse...

And now:

On the weekend of March 19, 2005, [the day of demonstrations marking] the second anniversary of the Iraq War... NPR's programming choices that weekend [were]: "a 'patriotic,' feel-good West Point piece; sports fans' feelings toward a baseball player (yes, steroids); more feel-good filler about an Iraqi-American painter and her use of color; Bantu Refugees Adjust to New Lives in America. Quote from the story: 'we give the government of America the high five'; Army Chefs Battle for Best-Dish Honors; a singing physics professor."

In October 2002 political correspondent Mara Liasson, in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, assailed two Democratic Congressmen for traveling to Iraq. "These guys are a disgrace," she said. "Look, everybody knows it's...Politics 101 that you don't go to an adversary country, an enemy country, and badmouth the United States, its policies and the President of the United States. I mean, these guys ought to, I don't know, resign." In the same vein, Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon -- who was an antiwar activist at the University of Chicago in the Vietnam era -- wrote a swaggering essay for the Wall Street Journal editorial page on October 11, 2001, titled "Even Pacifists Must Support This War," and, in a March 2003 speech in Seattle, he reportedly expressed support for the US invasion of Iraq...

Excerpts from Scott Sherman's account of NPR's sad road from alternative media to "respectibility" in Good, Gray NPR
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Friday, May 20, 2005


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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Just wrote a very simple flashcard program, which I call flashleit, that uses the Leitner system to sort flashcards in such a way that difficult questions are asked more frequently.

The program only requires Perl and the standard UNIX/Linux utilities like "ls" and "mv" to run.

Its main advantage over similar programs lies in its simplicity. It stores its data in regular files and directories, requires no fancy/fat libraries, and gives users the freedom to create and edit flashcards using their favorite editors or even directly from the shell.

I've tried to make everything simple and transparent. I hope you find it useful.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Here is the best Linux program I've found yet for learning morse code.
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Performance Measurements of Some NiMH Battery Chargers

Other interesting chargers:

LaCrosse BC-900
Maha MH-C401FS
Green Batteries chargers
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Monday, May 09, 2005

Two NetFlix-like services that carry foreign and independent films you won't find on Netflix:

GreenCine and Film Movement
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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Can't agree with everything on the 100 years of ART cinema (from a spiritual perspective) movie list, but the fact that it has two of Tarkovsky's best films in the top 5 says a lot.
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DokuWiki "is... mainly aimed at creating documentation of any kind. It is targeted at developer teams, workgroups and small companies. It has a simple but powerful syntax which makes sure the datafiles remain readable outside the Wiki and eases the creation of structured texts. All data is stored in plain text files – no database is required."
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pngrewrite: "a little utility that reduces the unnecessarily large palettes that too many programs write into PNG files. It also optimizes transparency settings, and reduces the bits-per-pixel if possible. Handy for post-processing images before putting them on a web site."
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Saturday, May 07, 2005

I am starting to learn American Sign Language. The first step has been becoming proficient in the Manual Alphabet.

In order to practice signing letters that I was having trouble with I wrote this perl script, which will search through a dictionary for words containing specific letters.

Enjoy!
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Word of the day:

jipijapa: A certain plant used to make Panama hats.

I just love how it sounds. :)


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Friday, May 06, 2005

Just wrote a little GUI frontend for wmconfig... you can get a copy of it here.

It requires perl and Zenity
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Monday, May 02, 2005


Strange Daze
Just your everyday alien conspiracies, sanity-shattering Lovecraftian demons, etc...
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Darfur war through children's drawings
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White House exerting more overt influence on PBS
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Just wrote an everything2 New Writeups XML Ticker to RSS converter.

You can get it here.

I myself use it with snownews
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Sunday, May 01, 2005

What is scientism?
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