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Friday, September 30, 2005

Equinox: Einstein's Biggest Blunder



As the title suggests, it's about the greatest scientist. Yes, but no, not really.

I HIGHLY recommend this one. One of the greatest cosmology discoveries!

In the beginning was the void.
But the void was not nothing.
And there was light.
And the light changed.
And so the void brought forth the world.
And the world was good for it endured until men could comprehend it.
But it will come to pass that one day the energy of the void will have pushed all things away leaving nothing but the void.
But the void is not nothing.

download:
torrent

credit to this contributor on MVGroup.

the video:
the audio encoding distorts it a little, otherwise a quality release. The picture is an actual screen cap.

additional reading:
on channel4.com

thoughts:
It strangely supports my Big Bang hypothesis, in a way. I'm a little consumed by all these theories and readings on cosmos and physics. If you know me, you know I'm no general scientist, let alone physicist. I suck at math. The best I ever did was Multivariable Calculus, and I got totally whacked at that. I'm surviving all these ideas solely on curiosity and analytical abilities. Never underestimate the human brain.

I don't know what to make of Joao Magueijo. He's either gonna be one of the most daring cosmo-theorists, or he's a mentally imbalanced physicist, or both. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

defense mechanism

Everybody's got some ways to protect themselves from others, and well, from themselves, so there is this thing called defense mechanism. Mine works pretty well. I have shitty memory. I just forget what is not pleasant. None of the effort put into the mechanism itself is on the conscious level. It's done in id, without my awareness.

But analyzing things is the one true skill I'm good at. I subconsciously analyze anything insight. A computer, a girl, a relationship, the city I live in, the country I'm from, the universe our planet is in, the very air between my eyes and this very screen. I can't help it. Old habits die hard.

Here are other defense mechanisms:

Denial.
Humor.
Altruism.
Splitting.
Undoing.
Isolation.
Acting out.
Projection.
Avoidance.
Regression.
Repression.
Sublimation.
Idealization.
Anticipation.
Introjection.
Suppression.
Somatization.
Displacement.
Compensation.
Rationalization.
Intellectualization.
Passive Aggression. Reaction formation.




wiki link

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

EU vs US on auto-production


Sometimes I flatout dislike Jeremy Clarkson, partly because he drives all kind of cars, mostly supercars, for a living but still bitches so much. Although you have to admit, the guy has a genuine point now and then, especially where there's a sore spot people try to avoid, or where they simply can't pinpoint what the problem is. He's right on the money again: (and his choice of words)

The new Pontiac Solstice is America’s first attempt at making a sports car in more than 50 years. And not since David Beckham’s wayward penalty kick against Portugal have we seen anything go so wide of the mark. It is comically awful.

And that sets a question. How come America’s massive car industry can’t make what is basically beans on toast? A light, zesty, pine-fresh car with an engine at the front, a simple foldaway roof in the middle and rear-wheel drive at the back? Lotus can make a sports car using nothing but a melted-down bathtub and the engine from a Rover. Alfa Romeo can make a sports car using steel so thin you can read through it, and an engine that won’t start. Then there was Triumph, which made a sports car even though its entire workforce was outside the factory warming its hands around a brazier and chanting.
read more

Monday, September 26, 2005

Large quake hit Peru




7.5!

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdlad.htm

Look, our Universe




Analyses of a new high-resolution map of microwave light emitted only 380,000 years after the Big Bang appear to define our universe more precisely than ever before. The eagerly awaited results announced last year from the orbiting Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe resolve several long-standing disagreements in cosmology rooted in less precise data. Specifically, present analyses of above WMAP all-sky image indicate that the universe is 13.7 billion years old (accurate to 1 percent), composed of 73 percent dark energy, 23 percent cold dark matter, and only 4 percent atoms, is currently expanding at the rate of 71 km/sec/Mpc (accurate to 5 percent), underwent episodes of rapid expansion called inflation, and will expand forever. Astronomers will likely research the foundations and implications of these results for years to come.


source: WMAP Science Team, NASA's pic of the day
links: in-paragraph links are useful information provided by wikipedia

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Damn Small Linux

I've talked about a Linux live CD which you can use to boot your computer to use the OS whenever. Now there is an even smaller distro called DSL (Damn Small Linux).

It's really small. At just under 50Mb you can put it on a USB pen drive and boot it up from there if your newish BIOS allows you to change the boot sequence to USB first. It can also be installed on the HDD, as well as on a bootable live CD. Your choice.

download it here
homepage here

a screenshot:


BTW, Knoppix has a new release that is more powerful and fills a live-DVD.
Knoppix live DVD torrent link

lazy Sunday afternoon


The winds are absolutely howling. A couple of inches of rain being dumped on us. We have our own tropical cyclone to deal with.

Over the radio, on the Internet, Virgin Radio UK, why do they need a DJ? All they do is to play the same freaking songs over and over and over and over again. We need a voice do we? Is that what's it's all about? No DJ's needed.

"The music, we all love, Virgin radio," the whispering female voice says. At least that was recorded. If they asked me, that's all they ever need on it. But no one was asking me. Hence, opinion not expressed. I can't listen to American pop radio anymore. Not that the Brits are way better with their pop hits. I'm just tired of the hip hop R&B crap for a while. Lots of older American pops are on Virgin anyway.

a lot like

"A lot like Love" got me thinking outloud if within the last 10 years of all the girls I've dated there wasn't a single one who I could spend the rest of my life with, what in the world is wrong with me?

Were there just too many? Were they mostly too brief? Yes and yes. Here I am, looking back at each one of them if I could recall each of their names. No I can't. I can't recall all of their names. That's an indication for too many.

For this half a year, it's been no one. Zip, nada, none, good, maybe that's the way it ought to be.

About the movie, a somewhat perfect Sunday afternoon one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

nature cleaning up

As much as you and I don't want to admit that, we might just be no better than parasite to our home planet Earth. I know, we are great. We build. We have single-handedly acheived civialization (if you can call it that). But so do ants, and they don't harm the environment. They don't kill each other. You may also argue that Earth is not alive, so by definition we can't be parasite, a living thing that lives in another living thing as a host and does no good to it. But is Earth really just a rock? Is it? Really?

Some say the ecosystem is trying to get rid of us. First of all, there are more hurricanes and they get more violent each year. Second, a new global-wide ice age is somewhat overdue. And there are too many other nature disasters, earthquakes, freak waves, tsunamis, typhoons, droughts, famines, tornados, floods, volcanos, solar flare, landslides, etc, all waiting to explode. And needless to say these are all domestic.

Look at it this way. We need mother Earth. If someone claims that the other way around is true as well, I'd say it's complete bollock. (love saying that!) We couldn't have been worse for the planet. We produce too much CO2. We dumped a dozen N- and H-bombs. We've been deforesting. We kill as a sport...

(edit: apparently ants kill, or at least fight each other.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

bloggin' good?

news update:

Google Launches Industrial Strength Blog Search (Sept 19, 2005)
Caution: Your boss is reading your blog (Sept 19, 2005)
People blog as therapy, says AOL (Sept 19, 2005)
Dictionary recognizes 'blog' but not 'bling bling' (Sept 18, 2005)
Blog creator will retire (June 4, 2005)
Weblog editors let you create posts offline (June 03, 2005)
Blog’s All Here: Let the 2008 Presidential Race Begin! (June 02, 2005)
Oh, bless me, blog, for I have sinned (JUNE 1, 2005)
AmericanBlog.Org Announces FREE National 50 State Blog Infrastructure (May 31, 2005)
Newspaper Encourages Feedback, Calls It A Blog (May 27, 2005)



Why blog? you ask.

I used to hate the idea of blogging. The more people are doing it, the less it appeals to me. There is a theory in Economics about the trend of the general public and the taste-value depreciation that goes with it.

The first time I came accross a blog was 1999, if I recall correctly. And I even signed up for one. It was nice and my incentive was "I've become too lazy to keep a pen-and-paper journal anymore." But that didn't last for one reason or another. One of the reasons being I was a computer programmer. Having a CIS degree doesn't help convince me to convert to blogging. I've had my good old fashioned hand-coded websites for a few years, some for school assignments while others interests, then they died out gradually.

Too much competition and too little time. There are simply too many people who dedicate their time to designing good websites and keeping them running smoothly. I don't have that luxury, and I am not particularly innovative. So, I digress, succumb, give in, to blogging.

Blogging, wikipedia's definition

Despite how much I disliked blogging, it's nonetheless a thing in the near funture, more so than it is now. Everybody will blog. Look at the bright side, citizen journalism!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Mid-Autumn Festival

Today is supposed to be when the moon is the roundest and biggest of the year. An exquisite poem named "水調歌頭" was written on this day in 1076AD by famous Chinese poet "Sou Sek" (1037-1101), while getting pissed drunk 'til dawn.

Background:

He was 39 years old, a government official. Both his father (a great writer) and wife had died. One year earlier he was demoted and reassigned to the middle of nowhere, as a result to his disagreement with the legislation in Beijing. He hadn't seen his brother (also a great writer) for seven years. The poem was written to express his frustration and loneliness. He also questioned the existence of heaven. Tradionally Mid-Autumn is when families get together and celebrate the full moon, think of it as Thanksgiving Day, only a few thousand years older.

Poem: (my very rough translation)

1. When is the moon full? (referring to another poet Li Bok's existentialism works)
2. I ask the sky with a toast.
3. In the palace of the heaven,
4. Who knows what year it is? (if it exists at all, there is no death)
5. I wish to return, riding the wind. (he was high, thinking himself a god)
6. But the jade garden is frightful.
7. I fear the frigid cold in the high place. (referring to a well-known fable where a girl went to the moon after stealing god's medicine only to find out there is no one, beautiful but cold.)
8. It's unlike here on earth,
9. Where people dance gracefully. (earthly entertainment, drink, sing, dance, etc)
10.Moon shines round the luxurious red house,
11.Into the skillfully crafted windows,
12.on a sleepless person.
13.The moon isn't here to play a joke on me, is it?
14.Why does it have to be the fullest when I'm the loneliest?
15.Being able to be with one's family and having a full moon at the same time has always been difficult.
16.Let's hope they live on forever.
17.Although they're far away, I hope they can enjoy what's in my view now.

Translation notes:

Cryptic writings, many hidden meanings, I try to reveal them, tranlation therefore not literal here and there.

Referential writings, lots of references, like a little one-liner can fill one page in order to fully explain.

He never said he was lonely, but it is quite obvious. He did say something to the effect of missing them.

He used "I" only once, on the fifth line. Subject was seldom used at the time, nor any pronouns.

It was written in ancient Chinese, like Shakespearean English, only older and it uses very efficient but few words to express difficult concepts.

This is only part of it (but best-known) that talks about Mid-Autumn Day, then it goes on about his brother.

torrent sites

that I use often and that consistently have great stuff.

Anime:
[Live-eviL] anime
BoxTorrent anime
#L33T anime raws

J-dorama, Asian TV:
D-addict

movies, music, TV, and everything else:
seedler.org
mininova.org
torrentspy.com
torrentbox.com
thepiratebay.org

basketball:
DavkaBT

Friday, September 16, 2005

temperatures changed

We apparently underestimate the correlation between air temperature changes and the memory retrieval mechanism of the human mind. The sudden change in temperature triggers your head to locate those related memories. Last night was chilly, 17C (=62F, before then it was a constant 30C) and I had a series of the most intense dreams. So intense I kept waking up from them. Your skin never lies.

I know why I love the cold. There are too many great memories associated with it. Too many to count. Too great to forget. I do honestly miss New England and Northeast Tri-State, especially NYC of course, and mainly.

Those freezing walks on Brooklyn Bridge; winds blowing in the midst of the coldest autumn when the first snowflake falls; student films in downtown Manhattan, Williamsburg Brooklyn, Coney Island, midtown, Brooklyn college, prospect park; going to work in blizzards; getting stuck and declaring a snow day; overtime pay for the sanitation workers; stocking too much salt for a quiet winter; new year countdown in Timesquare; new millennium laser show while new boro president being sworn in; 5 degrees F chrismas party; clinging together bracing gusts of wind; ski bus trips from downtown board to upstate hunter; shopping malls in nj; running late and scared shitless in the subway; the overheated train cars; bubble jackets; astor place; the villages; chelsea; westside highway; connecticut; halloween party and parade near west 4th; christmas strangers in Queens; new years eve hit or miss; radiocity; cheap classical concert seats; avery fischer hall; thanksgiving dinner; cool cousins; virtual non-existence of earthquakes; saturday morning calculus classes; the most beautiful college campus in the USA; ghetto neighborhoods; mumbling subway conductors; the periodic temporary blackouts on trains to Queens; astor place(i know, again); flatbush bklyn; 7th avenue; muddy snow; the stares; chit-chat with strangers; day trip to Vermont spa; chinese restaurant in CT; smelly greyhound buses; mystic seaport; clam chowder; boston japanese restaurant; vietnamese lunches; the film forum; the illusive skyscrapers; chinatown; little italy; subway musicians;

As far as I'm concerned, summer only exists for the sole purpose of emphasizing the importance of winter. I know years from now, I'll be thinking the same about the winters in Japan. They're not as cold, but almost as intense. (here is a marker)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Holographic Universe


Again, just where are we?

In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect's name, though there are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science.

Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn't matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.

Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. The problem with this feat is that it violates Einstein's long-held tenet that no communication can travel faster than the speed of light. Since traveling faster than the speed of light is tantamount to breaking the time barrier, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to try to come up with elaborate ways to explain away Aspect's findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more radical explanations.

to read more: link

to read even more: book

pic: NASA

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

widescreen wallpapers (v2)

1280 x 800
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

1440 x 900
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

1680 x 1050
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

1920 x 1200
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Again, sorry for failing to give credit to individuals. Most of them are from deviantART.com, while others all over.

more wallpapers posted here:
widescreen: post post
non-widescreen: post post

Monday, September 12, 2005

one last time

Four years and one day ago was a tragic day that contributed to some rather sharp changes in my personal life. If you're an optimistic person you'll see optimism in just about anything, likewise with most any other personalities. Some events though have the affect of manifesting them.

I used to work in the municipal government district, which neighbors the financial heart of New York city downtown, during my three years and a few months with the agency. It's nothing dramatic, mostly just clerical duties. "The agnecy" sounds like, wow, a secret police organization. No. it's really just an office of the local public sector, with a lot of different locations. I loved flashing my city employee ID card that allows me access to restricted municipal buildings. I miss that. I did computer support plus purchasing for one year, as an intern, and finance for two years.

I did, as a result, have the chance to meet some interesting people like the two mayors, Giuliani and Bloomberg. No doubt they won't remember me. I also met my share of assholes. There was bureaucracy, and plenty of trumpery.

As those buildings came crumbling down, the debris hit me with an epiphany, although it took all of 2002 for it to completely sink in. A life is merely a blip in the infinity of the universe, one must go on to live everyday like it is his very last. So I left and started to chase something a bit more intangible.

The agency, went without any landline for half a year. Cellphones were assigned. The windows were shut tight for the entire fall and winter that followed, with air-conditioning left on. The air, suffocating for that period of time, has remained the same thereafter. The smell of the dead burning still lingers. We evacuated our building seven times within three months since that day. Everybody, while running down those 3000 steps, from the bottom of his heart, believed something will go off with a boom. But nothing did. Nothing. Ever. Did.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

roadtrips across Japan

Three trips sum up my cross-Japan experience.

Total kilometer driven:
1100+1700+4000 =6800 km
(=4225.32411 miles, 98% by me, data of the trips are educated estimates with an error of +/- 600 km)
ref: a drive from New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA is 2843.6 miles

Total duration combined:
5+7+9 =21 days


First, a round trip from Ehime to Fukuoka during a break in April-May 2004, with then-girlfriend Kaori, vehicle: Mitsubishi Pajaro Mini.



Second, a one-way roadtrip from Ehime to Chiba in February-March 2005, by myself, vehicle: Honda Prelude.

trip route and info, including some pics here.
trip highlights here.



Thrid, a round trip from Chiba to Hokkaido during summer break August of 2005, by myself, vehicle: Mitsubishi Toppo.

first entry here.
second entry here.
conclusion here.
pics here, here, and some homemade wallpapers here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

human withdrawal

The success, on the one hand, is overwhelmingly rewarding, yet on the other, sad? However strong my will is, I can't fight nature. The fact that humans are a herdinga species is beyond denial.

Gone on for six full months is this peculiar lifestyle without so much as socializing. Six times, maybe less, on seeing anybody outside of the classroom. What is this bizarre desire to want to be free from all restrains? Dig, until there is something reasonable, or, an answer no longer meaningful.

I come home alone everyday to four walls, travel alone, go on vacation alone, watch movies alone, shoot baskets on Sundays alone, shop alone, cook alone, eat alone, read the papers alone, and haven't had one single guest in my apartment since moving in half a year ago.

Coming from myself it really lacks conviction but there is no need to prove it to anybody that, people, do find me interesting. I can impress them. I do well with the ladies. I do maintain that I like, bottom line, to share my ideas.

Progress is being made. Much needed time for thoughts is needed much. The idea of coming home to the one girl I love with every last bit of the might of my being is tempting, very.

So, why, what, when, how, who?

Monday, September 05, 2005

USA rots with incompetence

The US of A is officially deteriorating inches above rock bottom, as if Katrina was needed to tell that part of the story. I naively thought 2004 election would have been when people'd finally come to their senses. What a moron.

Let's stay away from the head of state for a while. The unwillingness to taking charge and responsibility marks the traits of today's bystander leaders. For what are they hired? To run the country; to serve the people? Or to blame it on someone else when there is a problem? To think the tactic of repeating the same lies over and over again actually shuts the public up is disgusting. Downright nauseating. But, really, the most disappointing of them all is the majority of Americans themselves, ready to buy into crap shoved right in their face. "Here, here is a piece of shit. Why don't you see how it tastes? Make sure you finish them all. It's good for you." I have met great Americans. Where and why are they hiding?

For crying out loud. America. Wake the FUCK up! Hold them accountable.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

weird dream

I almost felt obligated to write in this blog, except I did't.

I had a really weird dream last night but now I'm wide awake I only remember fractions.

I am really late for a social meeting. Nine a.m. was when we say we'll meet up but I wake up in my dream at 6pm. So even if I go I would be at least 9 hours late. So I don't. I call insteads. Funny thing is he's still waiting. Then I go to a school summer camp trip, not as a teacher, but as a student. I'm back in HS, despite being 28 and non-Japanese. I'm in a Japanese HS but my "classmates" are my real life elementary school students in a public school I teach at as an ALT. Weird. So instead of rushing to meet up with my angry friend, I get on a bus with all those bouncy kids. I apologize profusely over the phone, but my usually easy-going friend just loses it. I don't blame him. I mean after all I'm 9 hours late and going to another thing.

I get off the bus as soon as possible once we get there. It's snowing. So a snowing summer camp it is. And the kids turn into adults and I fancy some of the girls. (note: the grown-ups do not resemble my real life kids, before you call me a freak) One of the classmates is holding a bunch of keys. That gives him all the power in the world. So who is going to be with whom in what room? When I am asked I simply say I want to be in a room with our female classmates and they think I'm joking. Three guys (one of them my real life HS friend) are running to the slope and they're already dressed in snow gear. Apparently it is cold. I adore winter but at that very moment I think to myself "what the hell are they doing?" as if I hated it.

So that was the whole thing or how I remember it. I woke up thinking I'm very late for something and I was very tense for a few minutes before realizing it was just a dream, and heaved a sigh of relief. That explains why I'm up at 9am on a Sunday morning. It's my only dayoff usually I sleep 'til late.





I haven't dropped into this blog for a while not because I don't have anything to say. Just the opposite, I got too much to say I don't know where to start. Part of what I wanted to say was preoccupied by the hurricane tragedy. Other parts a greater scale of things like evolution vs creation, alien intillgence, cosmos, etc.