Hear Ye! Since 1998.

Archived Posts for July 2002

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 Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
31
Jul 02
Wed

Smash Glass In Case of Low Creativity

It’s sometimes easier to just answer questions than think of something to write. Two sites have a purpose of providing you with questions to answer on your site: Friday Five and Saturday Eight (I wonder why those guys didn’t go down the alliterative route and call it Saturday Seven). I’ll answer this week’s Five:

1. How long have you had a weblog?
A web site since the early 90s (’93/94 I think), but it only started in e/n form in January 1998. Hm, 4.5 years.

2. What was your first post about?
I am a compulsive archiver. Thus, I present to you Hear Ye!’s first entry, written when I was 16. Ugh, that’s a while ago. Pretty soon after a holiday up in Brisbane.

3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one?
Hmm my site URLs jumped with ISPs until I ended up at Zip, the ISP I still use. Zip acquired another company and changed to Zipworld, so I decided to get my own domain name in case further organisational changes made my URL change again. Thus, I am now here at hearye.fissure.org. I like stability, and I have seen no reason to change this site’s name in the intervening years.

4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else?
Own proprietary CMS. I like it, but maintaining your own CMS can be very time consuming.

5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place?
Preferably one central place – only because it’s less loading time on my 28.8k dialup connection. Australian broadband infrastructure is rooted. However, if the site’s good, I’m willing to wait. I’ve been conditioned to be patient.

Another Joke

John and Ted are playing golf. On the 3rd hole they catch up to a couple of women playing sloooooow. John decides to go up and ask if he and Ted can play through. He gets 1/2 way there, turns around, and comes back.

“What’s the matter?” Ted asks.
“I can’t ask them. It’s my wife AND girlfriend. You go do it.” replies John.
So Ted walks towards the ladies, gets 1/2 way there, turns around, and comes back.
“Now what’s the matter?” says John
“Small world,” he replies.

Joke

One fine day on an Indian reservation, a young man went to see his father.
“Father,” he said, “how did my younger brother, Wild Horse, get his name?”
“Well, my son,” the young man’s father replied, “when your younger brother was born, I looked outside our teepee, and the first thing I saw was a wild horse, and so I named your younger brother after it.”
The young man continued, “Father, how did my sister, Running Water, get her name?”
His father sighed, “I remember it well. When your sister was born, I looked outside our teepee and saw a flowing river, and so I named your sister after it.”
“Father,” the young man began, “how did-“
“Wait,” the old chief interrupted. “Why do you ask these questions, Broken Rubber?”

It’s all happening

Deloitte Consulting swaps one surname for another and will now be known as Braxton.

Meanwhile, “Monday” may never get to be used: “PwC is believed to have paid about $US5 million for the Monday trademark…It could take the record in terms of the most money spent on a brand that never really got to see the light of day.” (AFR, 1 Aug 02)

More on the Takeover

of IBM over PwCC.

MBAs

An alternate perspective on the value of MBAs.

Headache!

Many many years ago
when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who
was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter
Who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her,
And soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother,
For she was my father’s wife.
To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother
To the widow’s grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.
Father’s wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run
And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter’s son.
My wife is now my mother’s mother
And it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife,
She’s my grandmother too.
If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.
For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa!

29
Jul 02
Mon

Hotham

It was a fantastic week. Snowed three times, twice overnight and once while we were on the slopes. It’s 8 hours down to Hotham and the general consensus was that it was better than Thredbo, Perisher and Selwyn – but naturally, anywhere overseas is better. We were accommodated at a beaut lodge in Dinner Plain, 15 minutes from Hotham, arriving Sunday afternoon, ready for 6 days of skiing. I haven’t gone skiing for 5 years, but its one of those sports that’s really easy to pick up again and by the 4th day we were hitting all the blacks. My leg muscles are big now, but I give them one week to atrophy again.

Hotham slope map – highlights are runs I tried (186k)

Big D: Isolated from the rest of the mountain, this is a waste of time. If you’re a first timer, head to the Summit instead.

Summit: Windy and flat. Rambo’s Revenge and Australia Drift are not worth the time it takes to waddle across to the area. Take Sun Run over the bridge and head towards Heavenly Valley.

Blue Ribbon Area: Probably the best area. Long slopes with variety, and not heavily trafficked. On the Saturday, all the other lifts were packed, but Blue Ribbon was queue free. Boondoo’s a nice run, as is Varsity Drag (which we kept accidentally calling Varsity Blue). Return to Hotham central via Davenport access.

Basin Area: Avoid Noticeboard (ice, moguls). Avoid Wall of Death. Wall of Death should be double black.

Heavenly Valley Area: A decent area, except for Slalom Gully which turns to crap by midday – snow’s very inconsistent, full of bumps. The blacks feeding into it are pretty good though, if slightly icy. The Cornice, followed by Black Snake makes a nice run.

Orchard Area: Terrific area, but it does get monotonous after a while. Not as heavily trafficked as Heavenly Valley. Snow’s good, especially in the morning. Avoid Watershed, but try Bushwhacker, Big Slope and Twirligig. If you can return via Spargo’s as opposed to Greenline, do so. Spargo’s is very steep, especially the last part (there’s a sign at the end section saying “steep descent, use low gear!”) but definitely doable. It was rated double black the for half of the week (icy conditions, and a no fall zone) but that shouldn’t stop you if you don’t mind the steep – the run is smooth and there aren’t any bumps to stuff you up.

Photos in the gallery.

Unfortunately my digi camera’s not waterproof and it’s a bit of a brick so I never brought it onto the slopes. I also figured that if I fell on the camera, the camera would do me more damage than I might do to it.

Hotel Service

Now this is service!

Chilli Pepper

At a recent party I came across a bottle of chilli sauce named “Possible Side Effects”. The bottle was adorned with numerous warnings about the contents being extremely hot and how, like its name implied, it had the potential to cause grevious bodily damage. I opened the bottle and took a good whiff. My eyes didn’t water, so it can’t have been that hot a sauce. So, I did a bit of research on the net. Hotness in chilli, provided by the chemical Capsaicin is measured in Scoville units. Pure capsaicin is about 16 million units. The hottest pepper is the Naga Jolokia pepper in Tezpur, India. In its natural state, it is reputed to be measured at up to 850,000 units, although some dispute this, claiming dodgy liquid chromatography by the Indians. The Habanero has been acknowledged by the Guinness Book as being the hottest at up to about 580,000 units. I couldn’t find an official measurement for Asian Chilli Padis, but they seem to rank up there with the Habanero. The sauce, “Possible Side Effects”, has a rating of about 250,000 units, which isn’t tremendously hot – not to a palate somewhat desensitised to Capsaicin, anyway. After hunting around and finding a few sauces (actually, legally the hottest sauces have to be called “food additives” because of their potency) claiming to be the hottest, I found The Source, rated at a ridiculous 7.1 million units. Just one drop of this in a gallon of minced meat will make most people cry. It’s pretty expensive too. There are some people running around though with their tastebuds all incincerated off that want to try pure capsaicin, though. These people are either bullshitting or are just plain freaks. Pure capsaicin is about 16 million Scoville units. Simply inhaling would be harrowing enough, much less ingesting it.

Pure capsaicin is so powerful that chemists who handle the crystalline powder must work in a filtered “tox room” in full body protection. The suit has a closed hood to prevent inhaling the powder. Said pharmaceutical chemist Lloyd Matheson of the University of Iowa, who once inhaled some capsaicin accidentally: “It’s not toxic, but you wish you were dead if you inhale it.” “One milligram of pure capsaicin placed on your hand would feel like a red-hot poker and would surely blister the skin,” said capsaicin expert Marlin Bensinger. (Src)

A bit on capsaicin desensitisation:

Why are hot peppers hot?
The compound to blame is capsaicin, actually a group of related compounds called capsaicinoids. Pure capsaicin (8-methyl-n-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is a white powder soluble in alcohol but insoluble in cold water, so drinking that glass of ice water does nothing to alleviate the burning sensation. But, take courage, you can desensitize yourself to capsaicin by ingesting repeated doses at low concentrations or a single dose at high concentrations. (I don’t recommend the latter.) In this way capsacin is unique. Other spices, such as mustard oil (zingerone and allyl isothiocyanate), black pepper (piperine), and ginger (gingerol) don’t have this quality. You can’t desensitize yourself to these burning compounds. [Dairy products are also a good way to stop the burning.]

Another proposed remedy:

My own favorite retaliation against attack by hot chili pepper is to simply eat another. And if that doesn’t work, eat another one. (Berkley, R. (1992). Peppers: A Cookbook. New York: Simon & Schuster)

Chilli is also, like everything in society, potentially carcinogenic if consumed in unrealistic quantities.

18
Jul 02
Thu

Oh Teenage Angst

It reads like it could be put into a paperback novel and sold. Today’s “Diary of Adrian Mole”. That’s probably why I read through most of it. Normally this is the sort of ordinary stuff you’d find in a paper diary, but this is right out in the open which is what I found particularly fascinating… or maybe I just haven’t been well-travelled enough in browsing teenage blogs. I had a bunch of comments to make, but well, I’ll leave it at: You live, you learn. Oh, I’m talking about this site by a smitten 16 year old Singaporean girl with the biggest crush on a 20 year old Nepalese guy, confused about love, sex, her mum and all the rest of the usual things.

Actually, it’s not fair that kids are robbed of their childhood. What kind of childhood do we have now if all there is to life is studying? There is so much more to life than that. I wish people would realise it. A degree is just a piece of paper with ink on it. It’s such a laugh that so much importance is placed on something that would burn if lighted.

Ironic that the site’s title is “They still don’t get it“.

Be Fabulous

Apparently, beautiful people get more pay. And we’re not just talking about models here.

Today

Woke up at about 9.30 today. Uni results were released at 8am, but as usual the NSS system shat itself under the load of students checking their marks. After a good 15 minutes of clicking reload, I retrieved my mark for this session, an HD for IS Security, which was a good start to the day.

Pro dropped around and we headed off for brunch. We intended to go to Coogee but our approach was all bad, hitting a series of No Right Turn signs and ending up in Clovelly. No matter, we ate there at a cafe on the beachside. The beach at Clovelly is nicely tucked away and not heavily trafficked, and the day was just beautiful. The fresh aroma of sea salt in the air, good view of the beach, the soporific sounds of waves breaking, and to cap it off, warm, strong sunshine. Not bad for the middle of Winter, but then again, this is Sydney. Walked off our food along the rocks. Lots of people out with their dogs who were swimming in rockpools. It sure felt like a weekend day. I love holidays.

Dropped into uni to drop in a couple history essays and then went off to the city to catch Blade 2. Shen went up to buy his ticket only to be asked for proof of age – Blade is restricted to 15+ unless accompanied by a guardian over 18. He was incredulous: “Are you serious??” We gave him a ribbing for that, “Don’t worry Shen, we can be your guardians” (despite the fact that he was the eldest of all of us). Until all three of us got stopped at the door by an overzealous usher intent on keeping minor minors out of Blade. But damn, I am pretty sure that at 21, none of us look like 14 year olds.

Blade 2’s cool. Violence, gore, swords, guns, blood, and badass attitude. Guy’s flick. If you are squeamish, go watch it. Desensitise yourself. The only thing that detracted from it was the old fogie sitting behind us exclaiming, “Oh Wowwwww” in the most annoying nasally voice you can imagine, every 5 minutes.

Off to the snow on Saturday, can’t wait. One week of skiing, then back to uni for my final semester. I’ve shoved everything (Thesis, Telecomms for E-Commerce) onto a Thursday, so I only have a one day week at uni. Snazzy. See you in a week.

14
Jul 02
Sun

Bend It Like Beckham

With the prodigious amount of movies Bollywood releases, you’d expect Indians to be fairly good at directing movies. Bend It is a simple tale, wonderfully constructed and quite hilarious. It’s about cultures conflicting as a English-born Indian girl in her A-levels year attempts to join a soccer team, much to the dismay of her mother who is more interested in educating her in chapati-making than kicking a ball around. Incidentally, this movie probably could have been used for the Crossing Boundaries topic area as well (see post below). See it with a curry friend who understands Hindi, for best effect (just like seeing The Wog Boy with a Greek).

Looking for Alibrandi

LFA is the book I wish we had done in Year 12 instead of Educating Rita. We had to do something called a topic area. Our topic area was Crossing Boundaries and exploring all those issues presented in the text about crossing boundaries – physical, emotional, cultural, etc. I wish we had done LFA, which is about an Italian girl battling through Year 12 in an eastern suburb catholic girls’ school, because I could relate to it a lot more than I could to a middle-aged Pommie housewife attempting to get a university education. It’s a lot easier to write about something you can relate directly with. It’s a short novel, and I polished it off in about twice the time it takes to watch the movie. The novel was published in 1992, but it’s still fresh for now and offers a lot more insight than the movie. Movies adapted from novels can rarely hope to reflect the depth of a novel – movies do help visualise them though. Recommended.

11
Jul 02
Thu

Modafinil

“With a pill called Modafinil, you can go 40 hours without sleep.” The ramifications are astounding.

But then Edgar drops the bomb.

“The next generation of wake-performing therapeutics will be more effective. You’ll be able to stay awake for X amount of time and not add sleep debt. Ideally, it means being able to be up all day, all night, and all the next day and not have incremental increase in sleepiness or in sleep debt. It would be medication that gives you an interest-free loan.

“It could change the world. A complete paradigm shift. I’m not trying to plug my company. But we are in the forefront. We could see this being a reality, starting to become available, in about five years.”

Medical science is beginning to enter the realm of what was sci-fi only last decade.

What’s Not Fun

When friends give you a hard time when you decide to spend time with other friends, who in turn do the same thing. Give me a fucking break.

Creative Sentencing

More on the judge that gives alternatives to being sent to jail!

Trusted Computing Platform Alliance

This article on K5, about Palladium, the TCPA, Microsoft and the entertainment industry in general, was so informative and interesting I had to mirror the link which I initially grabbed off Fuzzy’s. No doubt we’ll still hear “Palladium”, “Microsoft” and “money-grubbing dickheads” in the same sentence, but perhaps we should be more concerned about the entertainment giants.

Miscellenia

- What’s White Gold? (It’s not platinum.)
– Why steel is still the best metal for sword making and why titanium is not.
– A US millionaire today would have been worth around $550k two decades ago. Compare the value of money between time periods.

AJH is “doing Europe” currently. Talk of travel always gives me wanderlust. This site is a cure for wanderlust, but only if you are thinking of visiting these places (note that the site isn’t completely up to date). And although some believe it’s a safer place these days, I’ll especially stay away from Algeria thank you.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

As I’ve always theorised, mutation only happens in the egg:

“The egg. The modern chicken is generally believed to be a “descendant” of Archaeopteryx, the oldest known bird. This 150-million-year-old resident of the Jurassic period laid eggs, and at some point evolved into an animal that was one generation away from being a proper chicken. This creature would have produced the egg out of which the first chicken emerged: ergo, the egg came first.” (Reader’s Digest, Dec 01)

10
Jul 02
Wed

Men In Black 2

About the same as the first one, entertaining stuff.

4
Jul 02
Thu

Minority Report

Movies like Minority Report have all sorts of symbolism in it. Obviously the names given to the three pre-cogs (Agatha, Arthur and Dash) had some significance, but I didn’t give it much thought at the time. On the bus today though, I had a bit of a think and I came up with Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashielle Hammett – three crime fiction writers from three different eras. And when I got home I checked and most of the Net seems to be in agreement, so that was cool. Good trivia :) But it’s appropriate, because MR is more a crime movie set in the future, than sci-fi movie about crime.

MR’s pretty cool. Any movie that screws around with time is going to get burnt, so expect there to be plot holes and suspend disbelief. The technology in that movie is not that far fetched for the most part, the human-computer interface that makes Tom look like he’s conducting an orchestra (we’ve got these today), newspapers that change (electronic ink, wireless connection), biometrics (ethically, society will not accept this anytime soon!), etc. Of course some things are too far fetched, like the spiders, those genetically engineered plants, plugging into the brain on a whim and so on. Recommended.

3
Jul 02
Wed
2
Jul 02
Tue

Stuff

Just finished my 60 page thesis proposal. It’s due in with my supervisor tomorrow, hopefully he won’t drown it in red, chuck it back in my face and say it’s not good enough. But I get this feeling that that may be the case. It doesn’t end there, I have this one annoying pissy half-subject I need to get done and uni has scheduled it in for Friday to Sunday. All day, 10 to 6pm. So I’m going in to uni in the holidays on a weekend to do work. Yuck. So next week is when my holidays really begin.



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