Hear Ye! Since 1998.

Archived Posts for April 2001

Please note: The posts on this page are at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
27
Apr 01
Fri

Communal Crier

New
• Digital Stream

Star Trek DS9: Honor Among Thieves (Ep 6.15)

Colm Meaney is a good actor, and it seems that any episode where the Chief is the main subject, is a winner. “Honour Among Thieves” has Miles O’Brien sent in as an undercover agent for Starfleet trying to ferret out information about a Starfleet traitor. The organisation (as it is euphemistically known) he is to infilatrate is The Orion Syndicate – an interstellar version of the Mafia with its own code of ethics and rules. Ethics, you say? From gangsters? Well, that’s what this episode revolves around, and the reason this ep works so well is that it uses O’Brien. His “everyday man” disposition creates a realistic and believable feel that ends up deceiving Bilby, his boss in the Syndicate.

Miles gains Bilby’s trust playing into the role of a “tinkerer down on his luck” very well. And trust him Bilby does. Bilby “witnesses” O’Brien which basically holds Bilby responsible for any stuffups O’Brien makes. Bilby isn’t a thug. He knows his line of work is not optimal, but he has a family to care for and this is the only thing he knows how to do. Family was a prominent concept with Bilby pointing out more than once, “family is the most important thing.”

The scene where Bilby makes a character assessment of O’Brien is poignant. “…a man who doesn’t have a friend in the entire quadrant…” The statement is interesting, because O’Brien looks like a man who actually *could* be that down on his luck. The irony, of course, is that O’Brien in Trek is the portrayal of the idea “family man” who has a whole bunch of mates back on DS9.

When O’Brien unknowingly sets Bilby up to die at the hands of the Klingons, the feeling of sympathy for Bilby hits in. Sympathising with the enemy it may be, but can you really blame him? Bilby is arguably as much an “everyday man” like O’Brien is. Only that he’s working on the wrong side of the law.

All in all, this episode is an intelligent one. O’Brien is put through another torturous episode (remember eps like “Hard Time” and “The Assignment”?) where his humility, down-to-earth attitude and common man sensibilities are thrown into a situation he doesn’t deserve. Thumbs up to this competently acted episode.

Harbhajan Singh, National Hero

For his one-man bowling band effort in the recent Test series against Australia, Harbhajan is reaping the rewards. He’s been given money, a small plot of land, and the post of deputy superintendent of police by the Indian state of Punjab. Only on the subcontinent. They are truly fanatics!

Orange One

We only have one phone line in this apartment and it’s perpetually hooked up to the net. A second phone line costs $200 to install plus $20/month, though, and all I want to do is to be able to make local land-line calls and receive them. Today I hooked up with Orange One Upfront… they sell CDMA mobile phones which turn into home “land-line” phones when you’re at home. The good thing about this Upfront deal is that the entire thing is prepaid so there aren’t any monthly connection charges or anything – far cheaper than getting shafted by Telstra and installing another physical line. Also, the sales guy told me that the phone’s “localzone” (the zone where it acts like a landline) covers about half the suburb you’re in – if you don’t follow the manual’s instructions to run the localzone accuracy pinpointer thing (where you dial *65). Reception has been perfectly clear when talking with other landlines. The only minuses about the package is the piece of crap LG mobile phone (model LGC-800W) they give you, and the fact that “unlimited untimed local calls” are really restricted by the 2.5 hour talk time battery life of the phone. Of course, you can’t use this “extra phone line” for data calls, but you can send SMSes out with it. Otherwise, it’s all good. I’m just going to leave the thing at home and use it for taking in local calls. (For those that know me, if you need my number, drop me a mail or icq msg.)

Need For Speed

This site here has got quite a few good vid clips of cars doing stuff. Nice cars doing powerful stuff. Be sure to check out the Ferrari F40 driver who did 320km/h on a public freeway.

Memento

A good film that makes you think afterwards. It’s about a man who has lost the ability to create new memories after being hit a little too hard in the head. The head knock was given by the same criminal who raped and murdered his wife, and its been his goal to track down the killer and obtain vengeance. Won’t say too much more, but as you can see, the idea of a man who can’t remember things raises a lot of possibilities!

Interestingly, there are a few intentional contradictions in the film. Guy Pearce makes a little speech about “facts” being the only way to find things out and that memory is unreliable. Yet, during the whole movie he is relying on his long-term memory. The hunt for facts is all good, but if you don’t have a solid foundation to ground them on, it’s not going to work. This is pretty much shown at the end of the film. Then there is his assessment that he is pretty good at judging people. Of course, his skill fails him time and again throughout the movie.

22
Apr 01
Sun

Communal Crier

New
• Useless Idiot

Moved
• Mister Happy Boy (formerly Shattered)

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“Free” Beer

24,000 beer bottles plunged into a river.

Taiwanese Student MP3 bust

Article on the Register. I don’t know why it would have been much trouble for the cops to have gotten a search warrant:

“I need a warrant to search these peoples’ computers for MP3s.”
“What grounds do you have for suspecting them of having illegal copyrighted material?”
“They’re university students.”
“Ok.”

If You’re Bored…

A history of bandaids. Cow ASCII Art. Things to leave on your answering machine. Thanks to Fuzzi for these.

Paintball

A bundle of aching joints and sore muscles are testament to another day at paintball. Last Friday saw a group of about 30 of us head off for Paintball Pete’s at Mount White (up North near Woy Woy). Shen, who organised the entire thing had decided to take a gamble on the venue where we hadn’t played before. Unfortunately, the gamble did not pay off and Pete’s turned out to be the worst of the three fields we’ve now been to. Its claim to be the closest field to Sydney was unfounded, the leisurely drive taking an hour on the way up, and 100 minutes on the not so leisurely way back (traffic!). About 20 headed off from Strathfield (15 arriving fashionably late despite threats of a $5 surcharge for late arrivals by Paintball Pete himself), 10 from Hornsby, under the cover of some grey, angry looking overcast skies.

Anyhow, as I was driving off with a friend when I got a call on my mobile. It was Doz.

“Hey man, you’ve got room in your car right?”
“Yeah, why?”
“You’re gonna have to give me and George a lift.”
“Uh, why?”
“Our car battery’s flat.”

Around I turned and picked them up. Turns out that they had to jumpstart the car that morning. The 20 minute drive to Strathfield didn’t recharge the dodgy battery, though, and thus the car was now stranded in the 1-hour carpark. By the time we thought about leaving a note on the windscreen for the parking inspector, we were out of town. Oh well. Doz called his dad who expressed concern not about a parking ticket, but that the car might be stolen. This resulted in much laughter. Woe be to the thief that tries to steal a car with a flat battery (unless he has a spare set of leads or car battery in his pockets).

Pete’s is a small, ragged paintball outfit. Their prices are competitive, but there’s a tradeoff for that. We all pulled up at the Mt White Village Store, where our entourage of cars then headed off to the actual paintball fields – some 12 km down a sideroad, half of it which was unsealed. Briefing was conducted by Mandy, a woman with an unhealthy fixation about ball cleaning (“I’m the best ball cleaner on the Central Coast! You damage your balls, I’ll clean ‘em for ya!”). After a few too many groan-inducing puns regarding testicles, we took to the fields. Pete’s only has 5 fields, and we had the opportunity to play a mere 3 of them. The drizzle turned dirt to mud and the presence of generous amounts of cow shit on the fields made any form of rapid movement perilous (part of the fun I tell you! As long as you don’t do a faceplant into a pile of something that looks like mud but looks distinctly organic). Unfortunately, gameplay was restricted by the rather dubious “5 meter rule” that had never been used on any other paintball field we had played at. This effectively meant that one man could hole himself behind a barricade indefinitely, even against a battalion of people, as approaching within 5 meters of a player was a no-no. That is exactly what happened. One capture the flag scenario saw our team moving into the opposing base with about 8 people. The other team had two left, cowering behind barricades. Of course, an en masse rush would have crushed them, but we weren’t allowed to do that. We couldn’t go around either – the right barricade was too close to the side line (less than 5m away from it) so we couldn’t flank around there. The left barricade was too close to a creek (and no one felt like wading around waist deep in water in this weather). Five minutes later and the only attrition occurring was on our nerves and the game ended without result. The 5m rule sucks. Free lunch at Pete’s was a cold one, and we all stopped playing soon after. I can’t recommend this field. It’s not the closest field to Sydney. Heartbreak Ridge near Blacktown is still the most professional bunch, and that’s where we’ll be going next time.

But wait, there’s more. The car drama didn’t end there. We arrived back at Strathfield – Doz’s car hadn’t been booked by the cops yet. Lucky. After rummaging through a few friends’ garages, we discovered no one had a set of jacks for jumpstarting. The local servo didn’t have one either (!). Strathfield seemed to be devoid of the damn cables. So, Shen drove Doz back to his home in Ashfield, called a mechanic, and fetched a set of leads there. They rested for about an hour (yes, you feel pretty buggered after paintball and a long drive) and headed back to Strathfield. There at the car park, a scene not unlike the following ensued:

Doz: Dude, where’s my car?
George: Where’s your car dude?
Doz: Dude, where’s my car?
George: Where’s your car dude?
Doz: Not funny dude. Dude, where’s my car?
George: Where’s your car dude?
Doz: Fuck.
George: Are you fucking serious?
Asian Woman: And then?

And then… “maybe they towed my car away?” Or maybe not – a call to the RTA revealed that they do not tow cars away from car parks. That left only one other possibility… As of yet we still do not know where the car has vanished to. But if you’re in Strathfield, keep your eye out for a seedy looking guy running around with a spare set of jumper leads and a car battery down the back of his pants. He’s a car thief.

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Canberra

Is a hole.

80s Saturday Morning Television

I watched waaaay too much tv in the 80s. As a result, an inordinate amount of these shows are familiar to me. Ah, reminisce…

18
Apr 01
Wed

Inferno has been…

… sucked off into a void. The void of writing a last minute research proposals, assignments and whatever remnants of holiday I can dredge up after all that. Uh, that didn’t really make sense. I even missed this week’s DS9 episode because I forgot it was on (shit… and it was the only season 6 ep I haven’t seen yet). Next time I return I’ll have stuff to post. Promise.

11
Apr 01
Wed

Communal Crier

Moved
• The Abode (joining the Solonix megaconglomerate)

Star Trek DS9: Far Beyond the Stars (Ep 6.13)

Once in a while, an episode of Trek will turn out to be a gem, and this week’s one is most definitely a shining example. It’s Trek at its finest. It’s not just science fiction entertainment, full of geek notions and superfluous scientific sounding buzzwords. No, it’s entertainment with a social and cultural awareness that transcends technology, science, warp drives and tranporters by delving into what any human – sci-fi fan or not – can relate with: the human condition. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Deep Space Nine is not a soapie set in space. OK, sometimes it is, but not always. Its unique positioning means that it can mean so much more than an episode of Neighbours. This week’s episode is almost unrecognisable as Trek for those who don’t follow it, yet it is as Trekkian as an episode with guns blazing and weapons firing. (In fact, this episode is more likely to turn off the philistines who watch sci-fi just for the hi-tech destruction and special effects. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too, but at the same time I appreciate the other side of science fiction which happens to be purely about carnage. I don’t appreciate the people who dispense a good work of sci-fi just because it doesn’t have a shipfight.)

My roommate walked past when I was watching this episode: “What show is this?”
“Deep Space Nine.”
“Star Trek??? This is Star Trek?”
“Yep.”

The plot revolves around Sisko having a mysterious dream that places him in the role of Benny Russell, a black science fiction writer in the early 1950s. He works for a publishing firm where, after being inspired by a drawing of the DS9 station, he goes on to write a piece about a space station captained by a black man. However, given the climate of the era, the story, despite being very well written, is straight away dismissed by the editor as implausible: “Your hero is a Negro captain… it’s not believable.”

One of Benny’s colleagues suggests that the piece is rewritten so that the story turns out to be a dream dreamt by a black man. If it’s a dream, then it can be implausible and it won’t make a difference, right? Theoretically correct, until the publisher not only cans the story before its makes it to press, but then fires Benny.

This show is commenting on racism. That is pretty damn obvious. What is interesting is that traditionally Trek has been colour-blind. Fair enough, given Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a quasi-Utopian society. The Original Series aired the first interracial kiss on television. Nonetheless, the show has seemingly consciously avoided making direct statements about racism and the race of characters in the series. Sure, there have been many episodes regarding racism, but this is the first time a character has been identified as being “black” and certainly the first time the show has used the word “niggers”.

Russell’s tragic struggle is ultimately doomed by Mr Stone, his publisher, but within him, he claims hysterically and repeatedly, the idea lives on. Nothing can stop an idea because you can’t censor what a person thinks (1984-esque societies aside). And that makes it as real as if the idea was published on paper. The allusions to black visionaries and their struggle are clear, but the point is made in a way that is not offensively blatant, but tasteful. This show could not have been aired in the 70s. Possibly, some would have found the idea of a black in command a little distasteful.

Yet, the show is introspective in that it acknowledges that in the 90s, a black can be in command of a space station on a television show – something that would’ve been impossible in the 50s. The point – that we have come a long way but there are still problems – is trite, but still needs reinforcing in today’s society.

The plot aside (which is devoid of Trekkian technology), the episode has a little fun with shoving the actors into new roles. Acting as people of the 50s, we see all the regular cast without makeup. Some are identifiable by their face and the rest by their voice. JG Hertzler stars as an artist. He is unidentifiable by appearance but luckily his voice is incredibly distinct. Combs and Alaimo (Weyoun and Dukat, normally) have accented their voice but are still identifiable as the two white cops with the typical non-subtle white supremist attitude. Eisenberg (Nog) cameos as a paperboy, Dorn (Worf) as a football player. Farrell (Dax) makes a good job acting as Darlene the ditzy secretary. The characterisation of the others is well done. If the two cops are overt racism, then Auberjonois (Odo) playing Douglas the magazine editor is the embodiment of covert racism. He refuses to publish the story, not because he objects, but because the public objects. He says “that’s the way things are”. He can live with a Negro writer on staff, but to let others know? Nuh uh. Shimmerman (Quark) is Herb the writer with views opposing his editor’s.
I like the reference to Communism and McCarthyism (Douglas insinuates that Herb is a “pinkie”). Visitor (Kira) represents feminism, which has had a history with many parallels to racism.

The reflective conclusion to the show also worked on a variety of levels. It gets Sisko thinking – he is privileged to be in the position he is in (owing that privilege to Negro activists who worked to produce the colour blind 24th century society) and inspires him out of disillusionment. Secondly, there’s the existential level – what if he is a part of a dream – a figment of Russell’s imagination? Is he real if he is an idea? Of course, there’s a third wrapper which is even jucier. Sisko is part of someone’s imagination, but not of someone far beyond the stars. He is a product of the Trek franchise, created by Trek writers. He is a dream, but for millions of viewers around the world, that does not make him any less “real”. The proof is in the pudding (did I use that expression right?) – the show, by its very existence, verifies the assertion that “an idea in the mind is still real”. Clever.

There is no B-Plot to detract from the story this week. Instead we have an engaging, intelligent episode with an atmospheric music score and the 50s was realistically portrayed in costume and set design. There’s a lot more to this episode and my review doesn’t do it justice. Watch it.

Free NIV Bible

For those interested… free NIV of the Bible for download. Free for four more days only. Search function is nifty.

Holidays

Mid-session break is here… I’m off to Canberra for a couple days.

I’d run a Aussie branch of PE/NGA but I think I’d be the only one in the continent in it :P. Off to the driving range again today in lieu of an imp workshop tutorial at uni…

Shen dropped around with a copy of Black & White and forced me to load it onto my computer. I’m not going to forgive him for that… there goes any pretense of “getting work done”.

I Owe, I Owe, It’s off to work I go…

I’m working fulltime at the multinational (but relatively unknown to the layperson) IT firm EDS for a 6 month stint starting next semester.

Damnit.

My parents are currently off holidaying in Singapore and China. Dad sent back an SMS from China yesterday asking me to find out the exchange rate for the Pacific Peso vs the greenback and Sing dollar. Hmm, strange currency, I thought. What would he be doing with Pacific Pesos? I went off to Oanda and scrolled through the currencies list. No “pacific peso” listed. So I shot back an SMS saying, “can’t find the pacific peso – is it under a different name?” The reply came back today: “Yes, the Australian dollar.”

D’oh. I’ve been a bit slow this week…

Job Wanted

Look at this job ad. Wouldn’t that line look cool under the “past work experience” category of a resume?!

Wass’n Me

No, not Shaggy, but Eddie in the 80s (mp3 clip).

100 Dumbest Moments in E-Business History

Hahaha. This article details e-business shockers. Boo.com comes in in first position. But that wasn’t enough. They also come in at 20th, 31st, 57th, 86th and 101st.

Con Job

Haha this had me going for a while… it’s quite freaky initially though. Thanks Pro.

9
Apr 01
Mon

Communal Crier

New
• Damn The Man
• Themeless

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Dude, Where’s My Car?

If you want to give your brain a break, see this movie. You really have to be in the right mood – drunk, goofy, or both – to enjoy it though.

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(Slightly Old) News

WinXP beta testers still in open revolt over product activation. XP may have a product activation key (as did Australian versions of Office 2000), but there will be versions of it (especially Server flavours) floating about without this feature. Why? Larger companies purchase unlimited licenses for Windows – and with these licenses, an activation scheme would simply not be practical. Also, I suppose there is an algorithm somewhere that translates the generated product ID to the activation key…

Observation

Vic observes that this Good Friday is also black Friday (13/4/01).

Petrol Prices Online

Shell’s letting us check petrol prices online. Check out the petrol excise! And look at the price variance between suburbs (price per liter in cents for Unleaded):

Bathurst: 101.9 (Out bush :)
Baulkam Hills: 90.9 (Outer North)
Camden: 91.4 (Outerwest – south)
Chatswood: 92.9 (North Shore)
Hurstville: 91.9 (South)
Kingsford: 93.9 (East)
Neutral Bay: 94.9 (East Harbourshore-ish)
Penrith: 89.9 (Outerwest – north)
Ryde: 92.4 (North)
Strathfield: 92.9 (Innerwest)
Surry Hills: 93.9 (Near CBD)
[Approximation of locale may be slightly inaccurate!]

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Palm Wireless Net Connection

Finally makes it to Australia in the form of the Neo1. Always on, charged by data transfer, not time online. Large, clunky, expensive ($69/month + 30c/kb). Nah, won’t be in mainstream use that’s for sure.

SMS Bombing

From Plutonia: Police take to “SMS bombing” to deter mobile phone theft. Cool idea. Of course, mobile phone companies already have access to IMEI, the ID code every mobile phone has. They can track and disable stolen mobiles, but they choose not to. In fact, everytime you make a call, the carrier knows your phone’s ID, your SIM card ID, your location (based on the cell station relaying your call), and the number you are calling. A stolen mobile still needs a SIM card, and to get a SIM guess what? You have to pay the mobile phone carriers.

The Tiger

Well, what can I say? To win consistently in golf is nothing short of freaky. He’s a champion. I went to the driving range today because of that (well, almost because of that).

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DNS

Free DNS Hosting (ie: free name servers).

Query…

Anyone know of any cheap places to register domain names? Something under $9.50 a year which is the best I’ve found so far… Let me know please.

A Bit of Etymology

Find out about the speculated origins of some English phrases.

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Vocabulary

A site dedicated to words and their definitions (topical words lists, obscure words, etc.).

USS Constellation

That 80 kiloton aircraft carrier, the USS Constellation pulled out of Sydney today. I went to visit it on Sunday, here’s the photos. It was almost a 4 hour wait to see the damn thing, and it was only just worth it. Nonetheless, I was glad I went – it’s a mofo of a ship that we be decommissioned in 2003 (its successor will be 10% heavier).

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New Feature

On impulse, I whipped up a crossword word finder. Not that I do crosswords, anyhow, but some of you might. At the moment, the dictionary files the words are being pulled from are incomplete (I am using the linux words file plus another with 200,000 words). Anyone know where I can get a plain text file of a dictionary of English words (no definitions)?

6
Apr 01
Fri

Travel Diary Progress

17,800 words.

Anonymous Browsing

Use web proxies. Also good for bypassing IP htaccess bans.

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Distributed Processing Program

The latest usage of distributed computing is for cancer research. I downloaded it and I have no idea what it’s doing, but it looks cool and would be a display taken straight from a Hollywood movie (remember Userfriendly’s MovieOS?). Above all, as they say, it’s for a very good cause. Thanks to Silverweed for the alert!

Party Tricks

Not strictly “party tricks” but it’s a long list of cool phenomena.

Stock Photo Libraries

I have been looking for libraries of royalty-free stock photos online for a while now. Well, my mate Pete has delivered the goods and came up with a bunch of links: http://stock.d2.hu, http://zuadobank.com, http://istockphoto.com.

Dial-a-Coke

Telstra and Coke are trialing what European countries have had for a while now. If you are short of change and are damn thirsty (as you are when waiting for a train that’s been delayed for an hour at Central), then dial the vending machine. The charge is added to your mobile bill without additional fees. Yes, no additional fees, I’m just as surprised as the next person. Ahhh, m-commerce. Thanks Mitch for this snippet.

The Hangover Cure

Can’t remember the last time I went out and bought a music CD, but The Hangover Cure is a nice mix of songs. A few songs are a bit thumpy, but overall it’s not a bad compilation.

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Rebirth

My friend Phil (of Tatterdemalion) has had another venture into music kicking off with four solid funky mixes of rock/techno. So, have a listen to Rebirth. Those tracks so remind me of the .mods they used for the old Star Control games.

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Palm m505

Very schmick indeed. It has the profile of the Palm V range, but with colour, memory card slots and a “universal expansion” socket (like the Handspring’s expansion module). Probably come out costing a grand Aussie. Mm… would be nice to have… I can keep dreaming. Two things that I think would make it better are a bluetooth transceiver and titanium casing. Drool here.

3
Apr 01
Tue

Ramblings

I’m sure a t-shirt slogan has caught your eye recently. Something witty, perhaps, that has made you smile? Something insightful which has made you think? Or something downright stupid that you insult the person wearing it. Sometimes it’s a slogan slathered in thick black letters across a person’s back. Or maybe text small enough written across a girl’s chest so that when curiousity gets the better of you and you squint… instant pervert. Slogans are definitely attention grabbers. You’ve got those shirts reading “Pornstar”, declared loud and proud. There’s badly blurred text “too much sex causes bad eyesight”. Even the truly inane “all your base are belong to us” has been stuck onto the cotton. Slogans *say* things, and they also say things about the people wearing them.

Anyway where this is going is not that exciting, but nonetheless a slogan caught my eye of the reflective kind (thinking reflective, not mirror reflective… I’ve thankfully yet to see someone carrying a mirror around on their back). It was at uni on the bus, on the back of a guy sitting down: “God you frustrate me.”

The first interpretation that struck me was – the expression of annoyance at someone. Soon after, the word sounds rearranged themselves in my
mind and the sentence turned into an anguished complaint to The Creator (the “guy in the sky” so to speak). Either way, the former statement could be construed as somewhat blasphemous, and the latter, heretical. That is, of course, if you’re Christian. If you weren’t then either statement would make sense. I’m Christian, so while I didn’t take outright offense, I did shake my head (figuratively speaking, I didn’t actually shake it.)

This assumption satisfied me and I stopped thinking. Until the guy stood up. Scrawled at the bottom of the shirt was “Campus Bible Study”. Campus Bible Study (CBS) is UNSW’s evangelical Christian organisation. It’s a large society that actively promotes the faith, as all good evangelists do. Turns out that the old slogan of “Real Food” had been momentarily replaced with “God you frustrate me.” Immediately my perspective changed. For a second I was thinking, “It’s Christian, so it’s OK. There must be a reason for it.” Then I got about to thinking of a possible reason. “Must be a ruse to draw people in – people who are having trouble with their lives that they blame others and God for it. Then they sign them up to CBS and give them support.” Fair enough. A second later though I thought, “Hang on… does that justify using the Lord’s name in vain?” Why would a bunch of zealous Christians do this? I figure to get noticed you have to make a statement. “Real Food” didn’t cut it, so they switched to this. Something more noticeable and “stronger”. However, is it alright to do that for publicity? I’m sure the counter-argument would be that the good intentions justify the means. When that comes to violating a commandment, though, is that still right? Or is it really violating a commandment? How malleable is the Bible – does what it say change within accordance of what society deems relevant nowadays? A lot of people have moved away from a literal interpretation of the Bible – fair enough – but the introduction of mass subjectivity can’t be a good thing can it? Anyhow, I’m not seeking to pass judgement in this post.

The point of this post is that all the above was pure speculation on my part – a t-shirt slogan made me think for a fair few minutes on the bus – one lousy sentence.

But then again, I guess one lousy sentence said at the wrong place at the wrong time could end you up in hospital. I told you this was a rambling.

Anyway, I would suggest that the slogan is not using the Lords name in vain, but more giving voice to the anguish that many people feel to God….IE “You frustrate me God”, which is a statement, not using the Lords name in vain.  It could even be seen as an accusation against God. IE God YOU frustrate me”.  Is this wrong?  Since the statement is giving voice to frustrations that people do feel to God, and is raising the issues, I doubt it is.  The person may be in the wrong for feeling those frustrations, but to admit to them is certainly not wrong.  Besides, the frustrations are probabally due to a misunderstood view of God.  Thus come along to the talks (or whatever they are advertising), and your frustrations may be cleared up.

Of course, the statement is there to draw publicity for the CBS Easter Mission, where people can come along to hear about what God has done for them.  Will it cure their frustrations with God?  I have no idea, but it may raise some “thinking” material, and get people talking.

Anyway, another point you made with regards to using the Lords name in vain, you are right, if the statement was in itself wrong (Say using the Lords name in vain), then CBS should not be using it, it is inappropriate, and is not what they say they are about.  IE They claim to follow the bible, but will ignore it for publicity purposes.  THis would be clearly wrong.  I don’t think they are doing this.

Cool, thats my 2cents, though looking back I’m not sure if I explained it clearly. -Mike

Yah, I think it is the second meaning I described, not the first (after I discovered the CBS connection). The phrase is something someone “looking for direction” (or a way to ease their frustrations) would say. It’s just a little weird because when you wear a t-shirt, you are making a statement about yourself normally. However, these evangelists wouldn’t be the ones expressing frustration – they’ve already been given the knowledge of Christian liberatation/salvation etc. Anyway, whatever the motivation, that shirt got me thinking, and I guess that was the aim.

Star Trek DS9: Who Mourns for Morn? (Ep 6.12)

A light-hearted episode for Trekkies that have been following DS9 for a few seasons. The episode centers upon Morn who is reported dead at the start. Morn is the resident mascot at Quark’s Bar. He’s always present at Quark’s, enjoying a drink, yet in the entire history of DS9, he has never uttered a single word (people who know him on the show make him to be one of the most talkative people, although we assume this verbosity happens off screen).

Anyhow, the story begins with Morn leaving everything to Quark. “Everything” consisting of a mud-filled jacuzzi, a painting of a matador and a shipment of rotten beets. Oh, and a thousand bricks of gold-pressed latinum that Quark didn’t know about. Along comes a bunch of conmen (and conwoman) and the hunt for the latinum kicks off.

Episodes with Ferengi as main subjects are generally humour episodes but they all invariably run the risk of being ridiculously stupid. This one isn’t, I’m glad to say, but it’s still a good entertaining mindless (the plot is all too predictable) show after last week’s psychologically charged one. And there are some classic scenes (like when Nahsk slams the painting over Quark’s head, only to apologise for it later, and when Krit and Nahsk are about to lop off Quark’s finger over his ear-piercing squeals). Channel 9 better show next week’s episode – that’s one of the two season 6 eps I haven’t seen yet.

The Couch

A couple guys came in to replace the couch today. The first couch they delivered was the wrong model, so today they came in and delivered this new one. They got the proper model into the apartment fine. Next, they picked up the old couch and started off with it. They made it as far as the door when the couch thunked against something – the top of the doorframe. “Fuck! Why is this couch taller than the other one?”

They soon realised that the one they had to take out was about 3 inches higher than the one they just put in. 3 inches, which made its height higher than the door. Furthermore, the “foyer” is set in an alcove, so even if the couch was smaller, it still had to be maneuvered so that it slid around the corner. Yep, they needed a topological genius to do it. There was much more cursing. The Kiwi bloke was convinced that if it could’ve gone in, then it must be able to come out – which must be true – but neither of them could figure it out. In the end, after about 30 minutes, they gave up and left, saying they’d return within the hour. With a topological genius, I hope. Otherwise, I don’t mind having two couches :)

Update: They came back with another guy and this time got it out first go. Impressive.

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Apr 01
Sun

Thesis

I need a topic to write my thesis on. It has to be in the field of information systems. I’m looking for something in the field of m-commerce or mobile comms & connectivity. The proposal is due in 3 weeks and I don’t even have my topic yet…

Fuzzy’s Back

Lucky bastard is testing a protoype of the new Ericsson R520m which has GPRS etc. Keeping up with Nokia, I suppose. Oh and Fuzzy, get rid of your DHTML scroller!

Stuff to Do

1. Thinking of switching over from manual updates to a PHP system (gasp!).
2. Continuing work on the rather verbose diary of my roundworld trip (current word count: 14,000).

Miscellaneous Article of the Moment

Read about the Fugu (Blow-) Fish, Japanese equivalent of Russian roulette.

The Silicon Graphics Fridge Project

Converting expensive machines into household appliances. Thanks Vic.

Quick Laughs

HalfAMongrel – vaguely like The Onion in a highly condensed form.

Windows XP Beta 2 Review

Apparently it’s due to be released around the last quarter of this year. Looking good. Unfortunately, news has also broken that Microsoft will not be adding in-built support for Bluetooth into XP.

Wizardry 8

There’s a preview on ZDNet of Wizardry 8. Turns out that Sir-Tech Canada is still looking for a distributor.

Origin Dissolution

Desslock has written a rant (see 23/3 post) about corporate myopia in the form of EA basically dissolving one piece at a time, the once mighty Origin.



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