Saturday, June 16, 2007

A dream of a good compact digital camera

Thom joins Mike Johnston and myself and rages against the machine, dreaming of a high-quality, responsive compact camera.

Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate is a genius. It's unbelievable that it's the same woman playing the teenager and the old woman.

She is so perfect. Even just the way she is sitting is reflecting the character and the age of the character.

In the Catherine Tate show she plays a dozen different recurrent characters, occurring in short sketches. Some of them I don't find too interesting, but the best ones are unique and hysterical.

(Sadly it seems the Catherine Tate show is not yet available widely world wide.)

Friday, June 15, 2007


I never played with dolls, sorry, "action figures". And so I was never a Transformers fan. I saw the old Transformers animated film a few months ago because it's well regarded and some of the great voice work was sampled in one of my favorite songs, Decepticons. But I didn't much like it, it was and stayed a childrens animated film about toys.
But it is clear that the upcoming live action film will be much different. At least visually, it's very sophisticated. Amazing in fact. (Not that it's an indication of quality, but they say that the robots have more individual parts than anything done before.) Unless it gets terrible reviews, I'll probably see it once it comes out on DVD. ("The killer robot is really distracting!" Hehe.)

Interview with Neil Gaiman

Interview with Neil Gaiman.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


In the past couple of days, I have re-compressed around one hundred thousand pictures...
That took a while...
But it saved me over fifty gigabytes of disk space!
It's a strange world. My first computer, in 1995, had *half* a gigabyte of disk space.

Pascal tells:
A few years ago, former French President Jacques Chirac was visiting a computer show, and wanted to show he was savvy: "Oh, yes, one clicks here on the rodent, right?"
This is authentic. "Je clique sur le mulot" became the national joke for months.

Air Travel

Airlines are suffering because more people want to travel? As some commentators like to say, WTF? I can't see why normal market forces are not handling this? For example, if everybody are fed up with poor service, raise service and prices, and those who are most fed up will go to you.

By the way, whatever happened to the Internet taking the load off commuting and business traveling?

In any case I praise gawd every day that my travel to work is twelve meters. (It used to be three meters, but I have a bigger place now.)

Sound policy

It's easy to fall into listening to only one genre of music. But I try to treat my ears to all kinds of things. Just a sound policy.
As it were.


I just got a bunch of my favorite flower from a lady friend of mine, signing herself "your number one fan". How kind it is, and how pretty those are.

ttl said...
Nice vase too.

eolake said...
Thank you.
I almost never buy knickknacks, but when I saw that vase in the store a couple of years ago, I just had to have it. It's stunning.
And it's bigger than it looks in this picture. (The sunflowers are really big.)

Virtual actors

Tom Charity wrote:
"At a time when Celine Dion can sing a duet with Elvis Presley on prime time, Gerald Butler can battle it out with 'uber immortals' and a reanimated Laurence Olivier can co-star with Jude Law, will authenticity come to seem out-moded, or more important than ever?"

Yes, it'll be interesting to see what Hollywood films will be like in 20 years. Right now I am at the point where I don't even think to speculate whether action scenes are physical or CG or miniatures. It's impossible to tell, and I don't really care. Will the same be true of actors soon? I don't see why not. And does that matter much, except to the actors? Is Toy Story II less art because no flesh was filmed?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Takagi Masukatsu

Takagi Masukatsu visual music (watch the video lower on that page).

This is one of the clearest pieces of evidence I've seen that the computer allows us to create worthwhile art which could not be made in any other medium. I think his work is beautiful.


... If parody is flattery...


Excellence does not require perfection.
- Henry James

Finally a perfect quotation.

How to lose a sale by charging too little

How to lose a sale by charging too little.


In Danish we have the terms "A person" and "B person" ("A menneske" og "B menneske"). The former likes to get to bed early and get up early. The latter likes to stay up late and get up late. (I'm the latter.)

My Danish-English dictionary claims that the terms are the same in English, but from online dictionaries and use, this seems not to be the case. Does anybody know if there are terms in English/American for these concepts? 

Followup on diamonds and shit

Followup on diamonds and shit.


Arrrrgh, my two favorite TV shows (I only watch TV shows on DVD though), Sopranos and Gilmore Girls, have ended! I am mortified. I am on my knees, please, somebody make something to replace them. 

BTW, I am happy to hear that my friend Susie Bright and many of her friends have given up TV like I did in 2003. It is very hard to have a TV (connection) and not have it waste your time. 


Yes, more Steve Jobs! I'm sorry, but I'm just a very big fan. :)
In the Developer Keynote from Monday, Steve talks mainly about the upcoming upgrade to OS X. It actually looks very promising. (I was a little lukewarm about the last one.) Just one small thing for example: they have finally realized that the active window should be more distinguished from the inactive ones. I've been bitching about that since the beta back in 2000. If only they also have made desktop pictures capable of scaling down a vertical image which is too tall for the desktop! (Such a lame miss that it can't do that.)

One excellent joke Steve makes at the expense of both Microsoft and Adobe: He presents a "basic version", a "business version", an "enterprise version", and an "ultimate version"... all of them at the same price ($129), and all of them containing everything, being just one version obviously. Gotta love that.

Big surprise: Apple Safari Browser for Windows! If you are ever frustrated with Internet Explorer or want compare Firefox to something else, check it out. (For one thing, it's apparently twice as fast as IE.)

Talking about speed, I am bugged by the fact that whenever Jobs demoes something, everything on his machine happens instantly. It does not do that on mine, depite the fact that I have the biggest and fastest Mac money can buy, and stuffed with memory (currently 6GB!). What gives?

Talking more about speed, but this time in a good way: I remember many years ago, trying to download Netscape 3 (I think it was) over modem. It was over 30MB, I couldn't even do it. Now I downloaded the Safari 3 beta for Mac, it was 15MB, and it downloaded in less than half a minute! Kewl.

Another quick reverse here: In Leopard, networked machines and drives will automatically show up in Finder. That's great! I remember that from working on Windows. Back in 1995.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Consider the word "gentleman". A refined man, a higher kind of man, is a man who is gentle.

In terms of what I'm studying with great pleasure this year, A Course In Miracles, every single second of our life we have a choice of only two attitudes:

1) the viewpoint of the Ego: conflict, fear, anger, attack.
2) the Higher Self: gentleness, love, reach, communication, forgiveness.

And the more often we choose the Higher Self viewpoint, the better we will feel, the stronger we will be, the more peaceful we will feel, and the sooner we will be in heaven/nirvana/source.
Terry said:
I spoke with a fellow just yesterday who told me that he gets a rush out of killing animals, a high that he apparently thrives on..........mercy is rarely ever displayed.

Pascal sitting on a cloud said...
That animal killer guy must be horribly insecure. I don't know for mercy, but he inspires me great pity. Poor soul! He's more pathetic than his animal victims.

A real confident person is he who HELPS those weaker, "why? simply because I can".

To briefly analyze the principle, the "bully" abuses his power position to get comfort from seeing himself as the powerful one in a situation. The more extreme the situation he seeks and creates, the greater his unwittingly confessed insecurity.
While the helpful one is so confident, he doesn't fear that his power will be any lessened by sharing it or employing it for others, on the contrary.

It's all about how you see yourself, the Universe and God's purpose, to put it in religious/mystical terms. Do we see our existence as destroying everything else, which we perceive as alien to us? Or as building as much as possible, because we are part of it all, and any progress is beneficial to us in one way or another?

Terry, if you seek mercy, here's a tip on the place you have the best chance of finding it: look inside yourself. And then share it, because the more you share things like love and happiness, the more you'll have. Some things ARE in unlimited supply. It's mathematically proven.

Rented films

If you are curious what films I have rented in the past five years, here's a list.
It's over 1200 movies!
The ratings are not mine, but averages from the rental service's customers.

e e cummings

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
-- e e cummings

Who also made this poem.

I've long thought that apart from comics, combining words and visuals is a woefully underused art form. There is so much potential there. Alfred Bester, genial SF writer, is one of the few I know of who went there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


From a comment on the Golden Compass post below:
"Certain characters deliberately cause suffering and death to innocent victims, and it seems to me that the book excuses those crimes because they were in the service of a greater, noble purpose."

It is very true that brutality is such a common element of this world that we barely notice it. How many of the men Dirty Harry kills did he really need to kill? And how many in the audience really cares? While I am on the back of Clint Eastwood, I was gravely disappointed in Unforgiven. This film was a brilliant anti-violence movie... all up until the last five minutes when it suddenly turned 180 degrees and became a pro-violence movie, so the audience could revel in the brutal shooting by the "hero" of about ten men, most of whom were just in the room at the wrong time.

Two of my favorite books, at least in the past, are Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth, both by L. Ron Hubbard (yes, the Scientology founder, he was a good SF writer). But it is dawning on my how brutal the heroes of those books are. And both of those, unlike the Clint's tainted protagonists, are understood to be true-blue, total heroes, with blonde hair and square jaws and everything.

The hero of Mission Earth once murders a bunch of gangsters by gassing them in a garage. He kills several FBI agents ("nobody important") by blowing up a building. And he kills several attackers by kicking the faces off them with the bottoms of his football boots, which have metal spikes.

And the hero of Battlefield Earth saves the enslaved peoples of the known universe by blowing up the home world of the villain race, with a whole civilization of probably 30 Billion people. It is dryly noted that he found it "hard to take responsibility for that much destruction". Yeah, I imagine.

Indeed, not only are us Earthlings so used to violence and hate and conflict that we barely notice it, and fail to distance ourselves from it, but if you think about it, there is barely a "hero" tale told in books or films which does not include bloody acts of murder against the "villains" of the story.