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Journal: The Deathly Hallows Rocks (spoiler-free) 4

Journal by metlin

So, I laid my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a few days before its release.

All I can say is this - it's awesome! It's a coming of age story, and I loved every bit of it.

I was very disappointed when I had reached the end of the book and re-read the last few pages a couple of times. It's been a great run, and thank you Rowling, for giving us these fantastic stories!

United States

Journal: Hindu Prayer Shouted Down in US Senate 15

Journal by metlin

Chaplains from various faiths and religions are sometimes invited to provide the opening prayer for the US Senate. While traditionally this has been done by a Christian Chaplain, this Thursday was unique in that it was the first time a Hindu Chaplain was invited to say the opening prayer in front of the US Senate. Unfortunately, this was marked by protests by some religious Christian folks who shouted down the prayer and kept interrupting it periodically. A video of the incident can also be viewed.

And as a side note, it is interesting how the right seems to want more religion, but only if it were their own. It is rather unfortunate that for a religion that is supposed to teach tolerance, its most fervent followers seem to be showing very little of it.

User Journal

Journal: Fur fnvq LRF! 37

Journal by metlin

Fb guvf Inyragvar'f Qnl, V gbbx zl svnapï½r bhg gb qvaare ng n cnegvphyneyl avpr erfgnhenag.

Jura fur neevirq, V unq n ebfr ba gur gnoyr (juvpu jnf fcrpvnyyl erfreirq sbe hf ba I-qnl, juvpu gbbx fbzr qbvat). V'q nyernql cynaarq bhg gur riravat naq unq unq n gnyx jvgu gur znantre bs gur cynpr nobhg zl cynaf.

Jr beqrerq qevaxf, naq jvgu gur qevaxf, fur unq n tynff fyvccre jenccrq va n ancxva qryvirerq gb ure. Jvgu gur nccrgvmref naq fnynq, fur unq n gvnen oebhtug gb ure ba n cyngr. Jvgu gur ragerrf, fur unq n pebja-funcrq yncyry cva oebhtug bhg ba n cyngr. Naq svanyyl, jvgu gur qrffreg, fur unq n fnfu gung ernq Cevaprff jvgu ure anzr ba vg.

Ol guvf gvzr, fur jnf dhvgr fhfcvpvbhf. Nsgre nyy guvf qenzn, V tnir ure n pneq gung nfxrq ure gb tebj byq jvgu zr, naq tnir ure n Angvir Nzrevpna cbhpu (fur vf cneg Angvir Nzrevpna) gung unq n abgr gung fnvq gung V pbzr jvgu fgevatf nggnpurq (na vafvqr wbxr orgjrra hf).

V svanyyl oebhtug bhg gur evat (juvpu unq n fgevat nggnpurq gb zr) naq nfxrq ure gb zneel zr.

Fur fnvq LRF!

Naq fur ybirq gur evat (naq gur ebpx). Lnl! Guvf unf tbggn or gur orfg Inyragvar'f Qnl bs zl yvsr lrg.

Yahoo!

Journal: The Yahoo! Flickr Fiasco: Listening to your customers 4

Journal by metlin

Today, I just received an email that Flickr has given a deadline for us "Old Skool" members to merge our accounts with a Yahoo! account.

Not only has the Yahoo!/Flickr crowd squarely ignored user and customer needs, they have gone ahead and done something that the users were explicitly against. Already, a lot of the users on the Flickr forum have asked if they could cancel their membership.

And here are the reasons that I think this was a big mistake on Yahoo! and Flickr's part.

Doesn't anybody take lessons in basic business practices anymore?

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot Tag Cloud 5

Journal by metlin

Given all the tags that have are being used on Slashdot, I wonder what a Slashdot Tag Cloud would look like.

Then again, the Slashdot word cloud is rather boring.

The tag cloud would probably be full of dupe, fud, riaa, linux, msft sucks etc.

User Journal

Journal: Master of Science, baby! 12

Journal by metlin

Yoohoo! Had my graduate commencement ceremony, was the first in my major.

I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech,
and a hell of an Engineer

A Helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva
Engineer

Like all the jolly good fellows,
I drink my whiskey clear.

I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech
and a hell of an Engineer

Oh, if I had a daughter, sir,
I'd dress her in white and gold,
And put her on the campus
To cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir,
I'll tell you what he'd do--
He'd yell: 'TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!'
Like his daddy used to do.

Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum,
and Sugar three thousand pounds
A college bell to put it in,
And a clapper to stir it round.
I'd drink to all the good fellows,
who come from far and near.
I'm a Ramblin', Gamblin',
HELL OF AN ENGINEER!

User Journal

Journal: Kid Suspended for Reciting Star Trek Pledge 4

Journal by metlin

(Blatantly stolen off Boingboing)

Okay, now this is absolute bullshit. It's stuff like this that drives me crazy.

During the pledge of allegiance recital at school, a kid decided to recite the Star Trek Pledge of Allegiance.

Mind you - nothing vulgar nor inappropriate, in fact, the ST PoA is something that quite nicely encapsulates the spirit of humanity.

And what happens? The kid gets suspended and the kid's Mom gets called to school. Not to mention, the kid gets a punishment of having to write the pledge 50 times.

The Mom's got the story in her blog.

"So, anyway. What did he do?" I picked at the hem of my sweatshirt, looked just to the right of her face. I couldn't meet her eyes. I felt nervous. I felt underdressed. I wondered where 8 was.
 
    So she told me what he did. And as she told me, I started to laugh. I didn't laugh a little, either, but I belly-laughed and grabbed my stomach. My son stood with his class this morning, put small right hand over heart, faced the American flag, and recited his own personal pledge of allegiance:
 
    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species.
 
    "Mrs. Jaworski. This isn't humorous. The Pledge is an extremely important and patriotic moment each morning in the classroom. I am ashamed of your son's behavior, and I hope you are, too."

I'm at a loss for words. I hope that stupid principal and teacher get kicked out - if anything, that kid needs to be applauded for his spirit and creativity.

Damn!

User Journal

Journal: Key Step in Cracking Codes using Quantum Computing 2

Journal by metlin

I submitted this a while ago, but no idea if it has been accepted. Anyway, thought I'd preserve it here for posterity!

metlin write "A very crucial step in the procedure of decrypting today's commonly used encryption codes by Quantum Computers has been demonstrated by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). According to a paper which was published in this month's Science, physicists at NIST were able to demonstrate a quantum version of Fourier Transform using electromagnetically trapped beryllium ions as qubits. This is a big step in Quantum Computing as well as its applications, since the quantum version of FT is the most crucial and final step in Shor's algorithm -- an algorithm for finding the "prime factors" of large numbers -- the prime numbers that when multiplied together produce a given number. Paper abstract available here."

User Journal

Journal: Banned Again & Brilliant Response from Robert Rozeboom 6

Journal by metlin

Turns out I've been banned from home. No, it's not DHCP - it's a static IP, and one day I'm able to post and the other day I'm not. No particular reason, either - I had have two of my comments modded down, but then I had been modded up atleast double that many times.

So, I mailed moderation@slashdot.org. And what do I get? A blindingly brilliant and insightful mail from the Einstein reincarnate Robert Rozeboom -

"You have been downmodded too many times and are in timeout for a bit."

Wow! Hey, genius.

Anyway, I mailed him back telling him in extremely precise terms that I can post from elsewhere, just not from my home. Even though I've been modded up, not down, in the recent past.

No response yet. I wonder what else his blindingly awesome intellect is going to conjure up next.

I call you my son not cause you shine boy, but 'cause you are my own. You ain't too bright, boy.

User Journal

Journal: Just what we need - a hardliner for a Pope 12

Journal by metlin

Gee!

Sometimes my powers of prescience startle me.

Just the one guy that I do not want elected Pope gets elected Pope.

Yeah, just what we need. Yet another hardliner right wing nut-job for a Pope. As if the world wasn't full of them already. Oh yeah, we need more of these folks. Absolutely. Yup.

I'll be surprised if the human race makes it very far.

User Journal

Journal: Literary Meme (inspired by Ethelred Unraed) 25

Journal by metlin

Well, thanks to Ethelred Unraed for this one!

---

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

The Fireman's Manual.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Ayesha from "She", by H. Rider Haggard.

The last book you bought is:

The Egyptian Book of the Dead - (The Papyrus of Ani) by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.

The last book you read:

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.

What are you currently reading?

The Egyptian Book of the Dead - (The Papyrus of Ani) by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.

Eight Lectures in Theoretical Physics by Max Planck.

Death of Chaos (part of the Saga of Recluce) by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

Five books you would take to a deserted island.

The collected journals of "Annalen Der Physik" - I'd die without having to do physics.

"The Bhagavad Gita", Hindu religious/philosophical codebook of sorts - every man needs to contemplate his existence :-)

"The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" - like EU said, everybody needs to laugh once in a while.

"Lord of the Rings by Tolkien" - what can I say? I've read this again and again and again since childhood, and it never seems to lose its charm!

Well, either the "Table of Integrals, Series and Products" by Gradshteyn and Ryzbik or "On The Shoulders of Giants" by Stephen Hawking.

---

Damn, didn't realize I was that lost a geek. :-/

User Journal

Journal: Software Patents & Slashdot Group-think 5

Journal by metlin

Ah, yet another pristine example of the Slashdot groupthink.

For some odd reason, they cannot accept the fact that there maybe genuine folks out there who could use software patents.

Not to mention the fact that half the folks do not know the difference between patents and copyrights or the requirements and pre-requisites for getting the patent.

Nope, but we will however say things like, "I doubt you have ever been involved in a court case, never mind a patent infringement lawsuit." and mod-down those whom we disagree with rather than argue.

Bah, am just ranting. Fucking asshats.

But why oh why can't people see that there MAY be someone out there for whom something maybe beneficial? Perhaps it doesn't agree with your worldview, but that doesn't make it wrong.

Am serious here - am I the only one who seems to think that perhaps there is another side to things, too? It's disappointing to see one sided and biased arguments.

User Journal

Journal: Hitchhiker's Guide - The Movie -- BAD, BAD, BAD 10

Journal by metlin

Okay, so a lot of you do know that am very picky about movie adaptations of books. So perhaps you should take this with a pinch of salt - but if you're indeed a big fan of Douglas Adams, I'd strongly advise you to NOT watch the movie.

I was in the theatre the other night to watch Constantine (which btw, was a good movie). And they show the trailer of the movie adaptation of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It does not even look or feel anything like the books and a lot of it looks *SO* ridiculous that it grates on you. I could go on ranting about how they've changed a lot of things, but that probably doesn't make a difference -- what *does* make a difference is that they have made the humour very obvious and flagrant, almost like a standup comedy rather than the subtle PG Woodehouse-ish British humour that Douglas Adams was so famous for.

There are so many points that really are painful - Zaphod's second head comes upwards out of his tummy, Marvin looks *SO* ridiculous (white little thing), Trillian looks like a housewife and not an astrophysicist, Arthur is a short stocky guy and Ford Prefect cracks black humour jokes - if they can be called that. And they all talk in *AMERICAN* accents, for cryin' out loud. Vogons look like something George Lucas would create and the book is shown on a bloody LCD screen.

And the way the dialogues were rendered, nothing would make sense to folks who've not have read the book. While I do know that the movie did have Douglas Adams' blessing, am sure he's probably spinning in his grave.

Man, they're killing ALL my favourite works - Isaac Asimov, JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams....

DAMN YOU!!!! Can't you guys just let the bloody books be? Can't you create something new rather than copying works of art and screwing them over? DAMN YOU ASSHOLES.

Update

Seems like I've been banned (yet again) for bad posting and am not even gonna try and do something about it. Bah. Maybe because a lot of my previous comments got modded down :-(

Will reply to ya'll when I get back my "Right to Post" (TM).

User Journal

Journal: Woman sues neighbours for cookie-kindness 14

Journal by metlin

What do I even say to this one?

A couple of teen-girls decided to be nice and distribute cookies to their neighbours in an act of kindness. And they get sued.

The worst part? The neighbour who sued them won the case for medical damages worth $900. Just how rotten can we get?

Lesson, kids. Please do not be kind to neighbours. Or for that matter, anyone.

Update: Allen Zadr has written a rant on the topic.

You will lose an important disk file.

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