Saturday, May 02, 2009

Stob Start

Here's my well-received smoothie recipe, "Stob Start". It's a nice drink for a morning start, or an evening desert.

One mug of water
A half mug of orange juice
A half mug of milk (full or skim, to taste)
One banana
A half mug of berries (strawberries or mixed)

Blend well.

It's very lovely.

I like it very cold, so I use chilled water and frozen berries, sometimes even frozen bananas (peel before freezing!) and a few ice cubes.

If you want it more desert-like, add more berries.

You can make it more mellow and nourishing by adding protein powder.


Bet you didn't see that coming. Well, I'm a man of unknown depths. Like Snoopy said: "the fruits of my labors shall be reaped by future generations."

Mambo Combo

It seems Lou Bega is another one who got the message about not changing a working formula: his I got a Girl song is a virtual copy of Mambo no. 5, even down to the theme of the lyrics.
It's interesting that so many of the world's best songs were made by people who never before or after got even close to making anything as good. I wonder why.

John Cleese interview

John Cleese interview, very funny. Part two. (I wish they posted the whole thing. This seems to be just two small bits.)
And here's a spoof interview. Maybe not the funniest thing he's done, but at least he's going out of his way to offend everybody!

Denmark is flat

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
-- Aristotle

I can see the viewpoint, but I'm not sure I agree. Even though I've been self-employed for years now and loving it, before that I had several different day jobs which I was perfectly happy with. The work was not bad, it had variation, I liked my boss and colleagues, and I earned my keep and learned new skills and could forget about the work when I walked home each day.

I have a friend who loathes any kind of hierarchy. She could never be in a paid job, she tells me, it would be degrading. I really don't see why. In a couple of my paid jobs I was very friendly with my boss, and half-jokingly called him "boss" sometimes (which is not normally done in Denmark).
Maybe it's because Denmark is very flat, both geographically and socially. There is not a lot heavy hierarchy going on. Or maybe I was just lucky with my jobs, I think I was. But it seems to me that a hierarchy is not such a horrible thing if both parts are doing it willingly and know it's all just in good fun, and there's mutual respect.

It does not have to be twisted domination games. The fact is that in any operation bigger than a couple of people, there has to be a central coordination and control point, otherwise people trip over each other.

Friday, May 01, 2009

From watch to motorcycle

[Thanks to Capt. Kirk.] (I don't know where these are from.)

I think a few of them are really good, even just seen as sculptures. 

Solid Potato Salad - The Ross Sisters (1944)

[Thanks to Jan.] This is not just a fun song and cute singers, it's also an astounding contortionist act. Holy moley, what girls!
(By the way, are you aware that you can jump forward to, say, one minute, even though a video has not yet loaded that far?)

Treating wood

I'm just enjoying another season of Grand Designs, the UK TV show about unusual houses being built. (I just realized season five has sixteen episodes... sixteen full documentaries in one year! Kevin McCloud is a regular David Pogue.)

One issue I've not heard about: when they build of wood, either a log cabin or post/beam structures or whatever, how is the wood treated? What protects it against excessive drying and wood worms and so on?

I started thinking about it watching one episode about a young couple renovating a 400-year old house where big parts of the old oak beams were just rotted away due to death watch beetles. It was a classified building, so they could not just tear down the roof and start over, and it was very difficult and expensive to shore it up and replace parts.
So is anything being done to make new wooden buildings last four hundred years?

Big model rocket

Notice the scale right in the beginning. This muddafukka is big! Must be about ten meters. (Update: it's close to eleven. Good estimate, bully for me.)

John Cleese Philosophers in Oxford

The Secret Policeman's Balls. 1977. Overall pretty spotty, I have to admit, but I liked this one, quite innovative. I got it on a DVD and wanted to share it with you.

Seen from above

Thanks to photography site Neutralday for the link to these aerial photos.

Some of these are very like the book Earth From Above. I have the postcard edition, and many of the cards have been on my fridge for a couple of years.


Will you look at what my spell checker did? Suddenly insert Chinese words? WTH?

(What's up with English spelling? It goes from "air" to "aerial"?) (I'm not talking about the screen shot now, but about different spelling about two words though they have the same root.)

BTW, I'm so happy I changed from making post with Mozilla to using Firefox. My big posting problems have disappeared. And well, Mozilla is not being updated anymore anyway.

Irregular bottoms

We've had some of these before.

The one below is not from the Telegraph, it's one I took myself two minutes walk from here:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lars von Trier

That Lars von Trier, what a character. He seems to be a big bunch of character flaws and neuroses, barely held together with tape and will power. How does he even function, much less be successful?

I'm not a huge fan of his films, but I respect his heart and courage and integrity.
I did like The Kingdom though. A Danish TV series uniquely gaining an international audience (and a Stephen King re-make), it was weird and funny and creepy. And weird.

"The Kingdom" is translated from "Riget", which is fond slang for "Rigshospitalet" (The King's Hospital), Denmark's largest hospital. Big mofo. My sister and my ex-girlfriend have both worked there.

... Thinking about it, I think what turns me off Trier's work, even to a little degree The Kingdom, is that none of it contains any really likeable characters. They are nasty people living in a nasty universe. I guess this comes from Trier's view of the world. And that's all right, and honest. But if your view doesn't match it, it's a turn-off.

TTL exclaims:
Trier is a genius. Possibly the greatest living genius of film. Is there any other director whose films have that depth of an impact? Whose films literally make you question your own sanity?

Or is there any other director who can replace the set with chalk drawings on the floor and still achieve a stronger illusion of reality than a dozen of academy award winning Hollywood directors combined?

"Nicole Kidman reportedly spent two days in bed recovering from watching Breaking the Waves, and then informed von Trier that she simply had to work with him."

Well, I guess I have to see that one. Wouldn't want to miss being bedridden for two days. :-)
(No, seriously, I'll give it a chance. Dogville didn't do it for me, though I had nothing against the stylism.)

An S.L.R. Tailored for Video

An S.L.R. Tailored for Video, camera review by David Pogue, about the new Panasonic GH1. It's a very tempting camera.
"S.L.R. (single-lens reflex) cameras are the type professionals use. They’re usually big, bulky and heavy (the cameras, not the professionals)."
Oh, I don't know, have you seen professional photographers?

The GH1 is breaking new ground in video capabilities for a still camera, like live autofocus.
David has a couple footnotes too.

Forrest J Ackerman is dead, alas

... But his estate sale is something else if you're a SF/pop-culture fan. How about an Alien egg, or Darth Maul's light sabre? Or a first edition Dracula, signed by the author and Bela Lugosi?

I honestly don't know that the hell this is, but maybe it'll go a little ways towards making up for me insulting the Adam West Batman.

Flying drone spies on marijuana users

[Thanks to TC] Flying drone spies on marijuana users, video.
Actually the title should more truthfully say "growers" rather than "users", but still, this is very funny.
If this had been four weeks earlier, I would have said it was an april fool's prank. Anyway, it's strange if this device really has been developed in Holland, probably the most marijuana-liberal country in the world.

Also from msnbc, and very apropos more than one thing I've blogged recently: Tattoo Barbie!
I find it interesting that Bratz are kicking Barbie's skinny white butt, but Mattel has trouble competing because Barbie traditionally is so whitebread, so they get howls of protests when they try to emulate Bratz' contemporary edginess. What's a multinational corporation to do?

Iain said: Why, sue the competition of course. Pending appeals, Mattel now have the rights to the Bratz line-up.

Oh gawd.
This prevalent idea of "you work for us, so all your ideas belong to us" is really distasteful.
If the ideas behind Bratz really came from Mattel, how come they did so much better?
Mattel also sued a model who had a web site called Barbie Strips. Even though she was actually called Barbie (Barbara) like thousands of women, of course she could not afford the legal battle with the giant, so she had to close the site and ended up in debt.

video ads

It seems the thing really proliferating now is video ads on web sites. That would really not have been my first choice of Brave New Developments, trust me.

Descartes on doubt

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
-- Rene Descartes

I strongly agree, though I would add that once won't do it by a long shot.
And also that "all things" mean all things, not just those which are supposed to be in doubt by humans.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Megan Fox on video

Photographing with a video camera (so far the RED One is pretty much the only game in that town). Basically, it lets you press the shutter later at your leisure. Might be something. Not less work though.

A kinky shoot

A journalist writes about a professional S/M porn shoot. Quite interesting. And quite different that one might imagine.
This again touches upon a recurring theme in this blog: personal freedom and live-and-let-live. From the article:
"The key that distinguishes BDSM from abuse is the simple but fundamental issue of consent. Having something done to you that you do not want or choose is abuse. Having something done to you that you willfully choose, that gives you pleasure, even if it's something that would be abusive to someone else, is nothing more than sexual preference. One person's horror really can be another person's ecstasy. So it all comes down to whether one group of people gets to impose its sexual beliefs and preferences on people whose sexual desires differ from their own."

Alexey Andreev

[Thanks to] Alexey Andreev art. Wonderful semi-abstract fantasy/SF stuff.
And he's productive too, it seems in some periods he makes a full painting every day!

UK police, again again again

More stories about UK police, the last letter is from an Austrian tourist who was stopped by police for taking pictures of a bus! That is just astounding. How do they decide which tourists to harrass, out of the millions of London tourists every year? What is their think? Do they just enjoy the power trip, or do they really believe they are doing their job?

I think that UK, similarly to the US, has some of the best of everything, and some of the worst of everything. The best music and the best writers. And the most hard-ass police and government.

"Dad at Comedy Barn"

Apropos Bohemian Rapsody, TTL found this hilarious vid.
It's posted on youtube by the son of the laughing guy. He says "Yes, that is his real laugh."

Update: it seems there's a chain reaction, Strum The Sky points to this girl watching the above video.
Now we just wait for a video of somebody watching this girl...

It does not take much to amuse a toddler.

Warm weather thoughts

It's is almost summer here now. Not quite warm enough that I need to change to shorts, but not far off. Very sunny. (Oddly, according to the weather service, it's only twelve degrees C, but it really feels very summery.)

I had a delivery by a pleasant Indian fella, and he told me that he is actually more uncomfortable in weather like this than he'd been in India in fifty degrees Celcius! (About a hundred and twenty Fahrenheit.) I'm pretty stunned by that. His idea was that it has something to do with the angle of the sun, but I suspect it has to do with humidity. Any ideas? Experience?

Weather is an odd thing. I'm told that many consider Denmark a very cold country, for instance, but I never experienced it as such. It doesn't often get real frost. Maybe it's the humidity again?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Art by Sylwiaa

Art by Sylwiaa.


This is a really lovely animation, I like the drawings.

I just watched Escape2Africa, and I loved it, but at the same time I got a hankering for some interesting flat animation.

A busy mom

I found this picture while looking for something entirely different. (An image search can give the oddest results.)

It just struck me how much Kathy here looks like the typical busy mom, yes! :-)

Being a student

Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
-- George Iles

I like that. I think it's very true. If somebody, after leaving school, does not have the curiousity and desire to keep learning, then surely whatever he allowed himself to be forcefed in school will be of little use to him also, either being soon forgotten or being so distasteful to him that he won't use it.

Liberalism (updated)

Can somebody explain to me why American conservatives use the word "liberal" as a derogatory term for a left-wing person? I look up the word, and none of the definitions fit, it seems it means somebody who is for individual rights. Which is neither left nor right, so far as I know.

TTL helps out:
I hear you. The word "liberalism" has very nearly opposite meanings in Europe and America.

What Europeans call "social democracy" is called "liberalism" in America. And what Europeans call "liberalism" is nowadays called "libertarianism" in America.

Europeans use the word in its original meaning. There is also the expression "classic liberalism" to emphasize that you are talking about liberalism in its original meaning.

It is really confusing since it is the traditional values of the American conservatives/republicans that represent classic liberalism (small government, individual rights, Laissez-faire capitalism), not the left-wingers.

Why did they swap the meaning of the word? I'm not sure. But I understand that modern American liberalism (the left-wingers) really think that their philosophy is some form of refined version of classical liberalism, giving you more liberty, not less. Something like: "Laissez-faire capitalism doesn't work by itself, but if you throw to the mix the right amount of socialism, you get a perfect form of 'liberty'."

And, after the word "liberalism" had been hijacked and perverted this way, the true liberals in American had to come up with a new word for themselves. So they started to call themselves libertarians.

(This post came about because in the Mike post Aniko and I have a discusssion, and we were speaking past each other because we had different definitions of "liberalism".)

Update: here's a video which touches on some of these issues. [only near the end though.] It's also one of the most partisan things I've ever seen. The speakers says that literally everything the (leftist) liberal believes is wrong, because the heart of liberalism is the attempt to abolish discrimination of right and wrong. He has a lot of good examples, but he sees everything in black and white. America is Good by definition, so if you're against America going to war, you're against America and against Good.

I wonder if he'd feel the same way about America if he'd been born in France, Sweden, Uganda, or Borneo. Can you imagine somebody grown up and living in any other country being that fiercely pro-American, pro-everything-American? Of course not, never happens. Which proves that such black/white viewpoints are a product of viewpoint and upbringing. (You'll notice I'm not arguing against America or even conservatism, only against blind partisanism. It's not very bright either to consider America the "Great Satan".)

Monday, April 27, 2009


A very nice nude of a tattoo'd Asian girl. (Photo by Shiroi Kaze.)
Most of the time tattoos just ruin a model. But then some are artistically done. (Getting one of this size done must have taken some brass cohones.)

Time, time, time. Minutes to go, passing time

Hollie Steel

Britain's Got Talent seems to be loaded with new talent sensations this year. Here's a young girl who also took everybody by surprise.
I actually saw a girl sing in Bolton maybe five years ago, who was very much like this. Little thing, maybe eleven, seemed like I could have lifted her with one hand. But she sang several songs, and sounded like Witney Houston and Marie Carey in one. I think her name was a variation of Alex. I wonder what she's doing now.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lord of the Flies

Do we have any school teachers in the audience?

Why do schools always assign students books which are repulsive, full of hate or neuroses. Lord of the Flies for instance. It seems to be universal to want to traumatise students, or at least make the reading experience as unpleasant as possible.

More mad skills