Archive for February, 2008

27
Feb
08

Book: Time Enough For Love by Heinlein

Heinlein Time ENough For Love
This is the last book I finished and it took me a while. Why? Well, it’s Heinlein’s fault.

Time Enough For Love by Robert A. Heinlein is a book about Lazarus Long, a guy who is very very very old. Maybe you shouldn’t read on if you want to read the book yourself, because I’ll tell you what happens.

*spoilers*
Lazarus is this guy born sometime around 1920. Since his family has very good genes and in their lineage they all get very old, they take part in this project where they procreate among similar families, so they reach a very old age. By rejuvenation, they get to be even older. Lazarus is the oldest person around, and pretty much everyone is a distant relative of his, most people are descendants of him.

So far so good. Interesting in this book is whenever Lazarus describes settling down on a new planet, describes some of the customs there, some of the new technology they have. That’s the strong point of the book.

The weak point of the book is that the author was evidently very fixated on the procreation part and every female character in the book is exactly alike: promiscuous, complaining about all the taboos of society and she more than anything, wants to please lazarus and have his baby. And when I say every woman, I mean every woman: the slave he buys, who he refuses on account that she’s in reality in love with her twin brother; the girl he raises from when she was three; the women in the rejuvenation clinic; the computer that has been transplanted into a female body; his clones that got an extra X-chromosome; and oh, his mother, too. And don’t be upset by him sleeping with his own mother, it’s okay, because she’s pregnant when he does, so she can’t end up with a baby with a birth defect or anything…

You know, I think I’ll leave my review at that, because having read all 589 pages of this book, him sleeping with all these mentally identical women is really the only thing this is about. Have I mentioned that they’re all nudists in the future?

If you really want to read a Heinlein book, don’t read this, read Stranger In A Strange Land! (Or better yet, read something by Kurt Vonnegut.)

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25
Feb
08

Music Monday #4 – Still Alive (Portal Spoilers!)

On this Music Monday I would like to warn all the gamers among you that this entry will have spoilers for Portal. So if you plan on playing the game, don’t read any further. I’m serious. Stop reading.

If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, well, Portal is one of the coolest games I’ve played and at the very end there’s a very cool song. I don’t know if you can appreciate the song if you haven’t played the game, but I think it’s fantastic. It’s actually sung by Ellen McLain and was written by Jonathan Coulton. So without further ado, I bring you:

http://www.mediafire.com/?byxolwtxei9
(copy and paste this into your browser)
OR
Get it from the Central Village blog (good taste in music there!)
OR
Watch the video here (again, SPOILERS and nice ASCII art ahead):

Enjoy and feel free to comment!

25
Feb
08

Video Saturday #09 – TED

Oh, look! This week’s Video Saturday is on a Monday! Who would’ve thunk it? I think that tells you I had a good weekend, haha!

Anyway, today’s topic is TED.com. It’s this event where a lot of special people get together and talk about fancy stuff. Let’s start off with something really fancy.


This is Jeff Han demonstrating his fancy multi-touch
compuer interface. I want one of those. Reminds me of the ReacTable.
There’s actually a bar which has something like that. Fancy but useless…

 

Speaking of music (uhm, the ReacTable is a musical instrument, kind of, hence the transition), I want one of those, too:

Pamelia Kurstin playing her “Theremin”. Fancy.
She’s quite the chipper girl, too.


This is Tony Robbins. He motivates people, which is a
very swell idea if it works. Who doesn’t need a little motivation? Maybe
I wasn’t that much more motivated after seeing this, but
I liked some of the stuff he had to say, and maybe you will, too.

For something more serious:

This is called Emily Oster: What do we know about the spread of AIDS?
It’s very interesting. You’d wish they’d give people more time so
they don’t have to hurry through their presentations that quickly, but
quick or not, this is pretty interesting.

If you’re interested in even more videos like that, check out the TEDtalks channel on YouTube, or go to the Ted.com site. That’s it for today, enjoy, comment and suggest away!

18
Feb
08

Music Monday #3 – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

This Music Monday I would like to present to you a song by The Smiths called Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others. Let me quote Wikipedia:

“The Smiths were an English rock band active from 1982 to 1987. The group was based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr and were signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records. Considered by some critics to be the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British indie scene of the 1980s, the Smiths have had a major influence on subsequent alternative music, including bands such as Radiohead, The Killers, Bloc Party, The Stone Roses, Blur, Suede, Oasis, The Libertines, Brand New, The Verve, Belle and Sebastian and Doves. At the time, the group was notable in particular for two things: Morrissey’s unusual, witty, ambiguous and sometimes controversial lyrics; and Marr’s complex, dense music, which helped return guitar-based music to popularity after it had fallen somewhat out of favour in the UK charts.”

Copy and paste this into your browser:
http://www.mediafire.com/?0obtkyqdvzr

Or watch the video on YouTube here:

Lyrics:
The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
From the ice-age to the dole-age, there is but one concern
I have just discovered:

Some girls are bigger than others
Some girls are bigger than others
Some girls’ mothers are bigger than other girls’ mothers (x2)

As Antony said to Cleopatra as he opened the crate of ale
Oh, I say:

Some girls are biger than others
Some girls are bigger than others
Some girls’ mothers are bigger than other girls’ mothers (x2)

It’s under your pillow, the one that you dream of
It’s under your pillow, the one that you dream of

And I said you’re mine

16
Feb
08

Video Saturday #9 – Speeches

Today’s Video Saturday is all about speeches. Today you have to click on the images to get to the YouTube site with the video.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. [See the transcript here]

Hillel Neuer of UN Watch exposes the hypocrisy of the UN Human Rights Council (March 23, 2007). For the first time ever, the Council president, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico, rejects the speech as “inadmissible” and bans it from ever being delivered again.

“I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the urge to remind the other dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.” – Taylor Mali

“I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.” – Stephen Colbert [See transcript here]

“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner.”” – John F. Kennedy [See transcript here]

11
Feb
08

Music Monday #2 – Down On My Knees

[Ayo – Down On My Knees on Mediafire]

Today on Music Monday, a very cool song by Ayọ [Ayọ on Wikipedia]. She writes her name with a little dot under the o, which is pretty awesome. Some people may think it’s already awesome to write a “u” with two dots on it, but hey, an “o” with a dot under it is my personal favorite.

Anyway, Ayọ is an Afro-German singer born in 1980 and it seems she had quite a troubled past. I heard this song last year or so briefly on a radio station where they talked about new artists and was very amazed with this song. The lyrics make me cringe when she sings “I was willing for you to die, ‘cos you were more precious to me than my own life”, because it seems clear to me that she meant “I was willing to die for you”. Also I’m not sure about the “she can love you more than me” part. But hey, I like the scarce instruments, I like her voice, I like the rhythm and sound – what more could you want?

Lyrics:
Ayọ – Down On My Knees

Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you

Please please don’t leave me

Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Please please don’t leave me

Do you really think she can love you more than me ?
Do you really really think so ?
Do you really think she can give you more than me ?
Baby I know she won’t
Cause I loved you unconditionally
I gave you even more than I had to give
I was willing for you to die
cause you were more precious to me than my own life

Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Please please don’t leave me

I won’t believe that you really really want to leave me just because of her
Have you forgot about all the things we’ve been through
She was not the one who was there for you
Cause I love you unconditionally
I gave you even more than I had to give
I was willing for you to die
cause you were more precious to me than my own life
I love you unconditionally
I gave you even more than I had to give
I was willing for you to die
cause you were more precious to me than my own life

Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you
Down on my knees
I’m begging you

Please please don’t leave me

Don’t leave me
I’m begging
I love you
I need you
I’m dying
I’m crying
I’m begging
Don’t leave me
I love you
I need you
I’m dying
I’m crying
I’m begging
I’m begging
Please don’t leave me, no no no no no

So, what do you think? Do you like it? Do you know similar artists? COMMENT!

09
Feb
08

Video Saturday #8 – Animals

On this delightfully sunny Video Saturday, I will show you some videos of animals. Why not, right? Who doesn’t like animals?

Dolphins are so smart, they can even blow bubble rings!

The somewhat famous (?) “Amazing Cats” video. Funny!

This is a maki. Creepy, isn’t it?

A deer that jumps over a guy on a motorbike. Neat.

Crows are incredibly smart!

And last but not least, the very famous sneezing panda!

If you know of any other cool animal videos, do comment, please. Enjoy!