Random

Mar. 10th, 2009 05:12 pm
valkyrieza: (Default)
Driving to work today I spotted a car with the numberplate: "OUCH 1 GP".

So somewhere, there is a car with the numberplate of "OUCH GP". I wonder at the reasoning there.
valkyrieza: (Bailey)
By Mike Howard

Article Here

Before I unveil my list of the most overrated exercise and diet trends, I feel a disclaimer or two is in order:

   1. I'm in favor of anything that helps people become healthy or fit. The word "overrated" needs to be taken into context and is certainly open to interpretation.
   2. Just because I deem something to be overrated does not mean I don't think it has merit. I may feel something is "overrated" simply due to the amount of hype it gets or to the degree that its proponents revere it.

With those 2 things in mind, let's get going.

   1. Balls, BOSU's, balance boards, Oh my!: Read more... )
valkyrieza: (random art)
Most of my friends know that I am a supporter of the previous and current Russian presidents. They seem more honest in their wishes to lift up their county; to decrease the distance between the rich and the poor. This said distance especially increased in the years that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This post, translated into English is by a Russian photographer. The idea was to photograph the most expensive thing in the house. 




valkyrieza: (NCIS Gibbs Ya think??)
 We can't trust Zuma, warns Zille

ANC president Jacob Zuma cannot be president of the country because he cannot be trusted, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.

"When voters put politicians in power, they must be able to trust them. Without trust, democracy goes bust.

Read more... )Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-03-07 17:40:22
valkyrieza: (brown coffee cup)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I can only answer for people in South Africa at this point, but cellphones are the worst. Handheld gaming devices are too expensive here and so is the wi-fi. Although laptop appearances in shops are more common these days, they do not create as much hassle as cellphones. People talk loudly, allow them to ring in the most inopportune places and frankly behave, like the public space is an extension of their living room. I do not care if your boyfriend broke with you and how much time you spent crying to your girlfriends. Speak softer or see them face to face and leave the rest of us to our own devices.

I suppose I just hate the imposition of another person's life onto others without their  consent and cellphone help allows to do that with little effort. In comparison, a wannabe pseudo-intellectual in a coffee shop with an open laptop is quieter and more amusing in trying to balance the 17'' inch screen laptop and a tall latte on one small table.

valkyrieza: (bbt - geek penny)
World of Warcraft: The 'crack cocaine' of gaming
by Chris Matyszczyk

  We all have addictions, small or large. They toy with us. They ruffle our hair, whisper in our ear, slip their hands down our shirts, and tickle us just the way we like it.

Among gamers, a key addiction, according to Sweden's Youth Care Foundation, is playing World of Warcraft.

Read more... )

The foundation says that in 2007, it received 2,000 calls to its addiction helpline, 170 of which concerned computer games. Presumably, all 170 calls involved World of Warcraft. Would it be fair to ask how many of the 2,000 involved crack?

I personally like this comment from the Digg site: "They confuse correlation with causality... AGAIN. Over ten million people play that game, it's bound to come up in problem cases more than the average game."
 
There is no such thing as a 'good' addiction. Replacing "World of Warcraft " or any other 'addictive' game with say sport, will merely make you a more fitter addict.  There is such a thing as analysing and addressing your problems, playing around on a PC for 10-15 hours a day is primarily a symptom, not a cause. 

P.S.  On a lighter note. How else would we get our elite armour sets? :)


valkyrieza: (Terry Pratchett quote)


 






You Scored as Lord Havelock Vetinari

You are Lord Vetinari! Supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork! Cool, calculated, and always in control. You graduated from the assassins guild, but failed a course on stealth and camouflage, because the professor never saw you there (even though you attended every class). You always seem to know what everyone is thinking, and after a conversation with you, people feel that they have just escaped certain death.
 








Lord Havelock Vetinari
 
69%






Carrot Ironfounderson
 
69%






Death
 
63%






Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax
 
56%






The Librarian
 
44%






Gytha (Nanny) Ogg
 
38%






Rincewind
 
31%






Greebo
 
25%






Cohen The Barbarian
 
25%






Commander Samuel Vimes
 
25%




snagged from [livejournal.com profile] mighty_jo 
valkyrieza: (SGc - Daniel really comment)
A commercial satellite collided with a Russian satellite over Siberia yesterday, yielding a cloud of fragments, according to a NASA scientist tracking space debris. The collision between the commercial satellite, belonging to the American communications firm Iridium, and the Russian satellite, believed to be defunct based on its advanced age, was the first of its kind,
Read more... )

 

Article from the Scientific American.


We need to send some Metro cops to space, preferably the whole force.


valkyrieza: (wine rose)
I went to the fruit and vegetable shop today to get some pecan nuts for home-made biscuits. The store also serves as a nursery, selling potted plants and freshly cut flowers. The dreaded ignored commercialised Valentine's day holiday is this Saturday and the flower section in front of the store was full of tiny rose bouquets and small arrangements with intensely pink odourless roses and kitschy teddy bears with the requisite heart clutched in tiny plastic paws. I am not even going to try to comment about the price, but needless to say, it is cheaper then the conventional shops, but not by much. Especially at this time of the year, any rose of any red shade will do.

I don't know what makes me sadder, the fact that it is supposed to be the day when men must remember to give flowers to their girlfriends and explore that 'romance thing' they talk about in the adverts or that we women feel very happy receiving those mass produced plant mutations just so they can brag to those so-called unfortunates that happen to be single on one day in February about getting flowers.

I don't want to explore the ideas and connotations of commercialism, perceived romance, self-delusion and all those happy themes that make me such a happy well-adjusted and not to forget, single individual in this particular post, but the truth is - no matter how we hate or love the 14th of February, we love getting flowers. It generally does not matter where we are in life, we still think the gift of a few plants means something from those who gave it to us.

Oh, just to get to the point I was losing whilst waxing philosophical. If one must acknowledge the commercialism and the cheap sentimentality, at the very least, try to get real roses, not the ones that die after a day and have no smell since they are cheaper to grow. More along the lines of a few, preferably a few dozen long stemmed  roses. You know, the ones with dark red petals and crimson-coloured centre, and a wonderful lovely scent. Maybe, they do make one consider that there is something to this 'high romance' thing. At the very least, they keep for more than a day.





Argh

Feb. 10th, 2009 09:10 pm
valkyrieza: (Firefly - Mal bonnet comment)
Research is only glamorous in movies - grumbles about the upcoming exam.
valkyrieza: (Leary glasses)
I performed my civic duty this weekend and registered to vote in the upcoming general SA election. I tend to generally take a dim view of large elections. In this country, that has a curious mixture of 1st world and 3rd world lifestyle the 3rd world lifestyle, not by choice of course, tend to be the uneducated, easily excitable majority so I doubt that my lone voice, supporting a minority view will make a large difference. This means that people like the 'revered 'ANC president Jacob Zuma have a far better chance of becoming president, but hey, some presidents never even had the wealth of education such as a completed grade 5. Naturally, education is not the only prerequisite, but it is more then a nice-to-have.

On a completely unrelated note, I spotted this article about incorporating both the bedroom and the bathroom into one space. The concept of an on-suite bathroom is hardly new, but to enjoy the toilet smells and after bath humidity whilst sleeping is simply not enticing. Colour me an ultra conservative, but that's just me.

valkyrieza: (Firefly - Isn't that special)
Is the Cape allergic to Malema and Zuma?
By Andisiwe Makinana

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is to continue campaigning for the ANC in the Western Cape, despite "an overwhelming feeling on the ground" that he should be removed from the campaign trail, the Cape Argus has established.

Debate has been raging in ANC circles about whether Malema should continue campaigning for the party in the "conservative and sensitive" province, especially after his controversial statements in Cape Town last week.

Malema commented that Zuma's rape accuser had had a "nice time" and also that schoolgirls who fell pregnant should be sent to special boarding schools.

Read more... )

 



valkyrieza: (Karev)
The People Time Forgot: Flores Find - question below

It is an old story, but worth reading )

Of course, the opposing side disagreed, claiming that one skeleton is not enough. From what I can understand this caused quite a furore in the palaeoanthropological community. Heck, if 'complicated' terms appeared in mainstream newspapers, then it is indeed quite a discovery. The sceptic in me, does wonder if one skeleton and partial remains of several other skeletons is enough to claim a new species, even if they are the descendants of the Homo erectus species that evolved into their own species over time thanks to isolation of the island. This of course brings the other contentious point of how Homo erectus got there in the first place.

Recently, as in just over a month ago, a
Minnesota anthropology professor, claimed validity to the existence of  Homo floresiensis in his study.

Article )

So anyone who is more knowledgeable on the matter?

I do not have even the basic ground facts to make an informed decision with which side to agree. Another human species is undoubtedly cool, especially as recent as this one to have interacted with our ancestors. On the other hand, there is not enough evidence to fully justify such a claim. This is not a subjective topic such as religion/politics where my view makes it right I my eyes.  I also do not have a greater understanding at a higher level then high school, like with economics or accounting to be comfortable to 'choose a side'. I am open to more information and explanations that I can at least feel better about this.

Net News

Jan. 25th, 2009 03:38 pm
valkyrieza: (NCIS - Ducky serious)
This is an old report from the "Onion" about McDonalds, referenced by someone on Digg It is about 12 years old by now, but still funny as it laughs at the idea of obsessive cult fan and the lack of usefulness of some of the aspects of modern consumerist culture.

There is also an old issue of some expensive NCDs (negotiable certificates of deposits) using teleportation. It starts of with a mysterious disappearance of approximately 8 million South African Rand en-route from the headquarters of one bank to another in Johannesburg. The distance between the two banks? About 10 minutes walking at a leisurely pace. These same NCDs were put to the branch in the Western Cape Province to be cashed out on the same day they went AWOL in Johannesburg, bear in mind we are talking more then 1000km difference between the physical places and back in 2000, when this started not very frequent air trips between the Johannesburg and Cape Town. Of course, everyone has signed off to the fact that they were in Johannesburg and the businessman who has asked for the NCDs to be redeemed has proof of purchase for the these papers. Add to that a grisly death, a persistent heir still trying to redeem the money, a bypass of the Reserve Bank's exchange rules regulations and numerous court dates. I reckon the people who specialise in being Private Investigators in financial matters will have a ball. Who needs a smoky office and people shooting at you?

I did not know that this year is an International Astronomy Year 2009 for South Africa. It seems there is also a solar eclipse on the cards this coming Monday. My neighbour bought a telescope so this will be an opportunity to view a solar eclipse with proper equipment.

There is also the tragic news of the murders of infants and one of the minders in the small town near Brussels in Belgium. I had spent about two, not the nicest months in Belgium and despite my feelings towards certain people there, it is a law-abiding place where such violence, especially towards infants (youngest was 6 months old) is doubly unexpected.

CNN.com offers the first page story about 25 years of Macs. I wonder how much Steve Jobs paid for that little promotion? It took a little scrolling to see this article. It is about reversing the policy that "prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counselling or referrals about abortion services." [CNN.com, "Obama reverses abortion-funding policy", accessed 25.01.09]. This policy has been implemented each time an uneducated, pardon the expression 'hick' like presidents Reagan and Bush reverse it. I applaud the common sense shown by the Obama administration, this is one of those issues that should not be politicised. I believe most women, myself included do not appreciate a mainly male body of politicians deciding about their bodies.

BBC offers a cheerful combination of reporting about violence in the world and more impacts of the global financial crisis. it is interspersed with a cheerful article about a pilot who had managed to land his plane on water after both its engines were crippled by birds . I have done some quick Googling, it is exceptionally difficult and has only been a few times before, where like in this case, everyone had survived.

Also, for[livejournal.com profile] lyonza , an academic article about how MUDs were started. It is a bit old, but still interesting to know how.

Back to studying, thank goodness, it is an open-book exam.
valkyrieza: (armchair review)
I feel silly, missing the build-up to the Golden Globes and now the Oscars. The Golden Globes ceremony is a nice way to gauge the the Oscars and I was quite surprised to see Brad Pitt nominated as well as some actors from "Tropic Thunder". Now, I had not watched "The Curious case of Benjamin Button", but have to remark on Tropic Thunder. It is funny, pokes fun at everything within Hollywood and absolutely refuses to take itself seriously. I almost did not recognise Tom Cruise as the repulsive, sexually frustrated, overweight and bald producer. Nice to note that "Burn after reading" got a kudos at the Golden Globes, but I am a fan of the Coen brothers so I am not the most objective judge:)

Poor Heath Ledger received his posthumous nomination, I wonder who will receive the award on is behalf. Thanks to his death (if one can use that phrase), the Batman franchise received an unprecedented prestige, taking it out of the league of the 'big budget blockbusters based on comic books and spurned by critics'  to the league where the "real" movies  and actors are rated, not just the special effects. I still do not think that "Dark knight" was that good, but obviously I am in minority.

Of course, as probably one of two people on my list, who watches "Mad Men" I mentally applauded the genius of Matthew Weiner and also Jon Hamm and January Jones for their nominations. This for me is truly the series that simply does not disappoint.

Also saw that a new series, called "True Blood" was nominated. It is supposedly about a clairvoyant and a vampire falling in love, but the detailed synopsis reads like the bloodier version of "Days of our Lives". Has anyone watched this? If you have, is it better then it sounds from reading recaps?


valkyrieza: (brown clock on top of a book)
Obama must not rest on his laurels

By David Espo

History surely will remember President Barack Obama as the first US black to sit in the White House. But success in his term will depend on his accomplishments rather than on the colour of his skin.
He takes office with friendlier majorities in Congress than any chief executive since Lyndon Johnson and confronts economic challenges unrivalled since the era of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


Read more... )

 

Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-01-20 21:29:47


For once, an article that does not choke on hero worship. I like Obama so far, he has shown to be intelligent, self-aware and politically astute. Am I convinced he'll be a good president? He has some really good qualities for making a good president, but only time will tell if that is true. Even the best candidates fail, but with the US being in financial crisis, involved in an unpopular war far from home,  having indulged  in an aggressive foreign policy, etc I would not recommend to put on those party hats just yet. 

Of course, history has a different take on things. It is often kinder to fools then to good men.

 

Random

Jan. 14th, 2009 11:38 pm
valkyrieza: (Default)
Note to self: When a shoe sale is mentioned, ignore the statement and try not to catch the name of the store at which it is at.
Make it a note-to-self from tomorrow, since obviously, it did not work today.


In other news, the ignorance, arrogance and chauvinism of old men in turbans continues to infuriate me.

valkyrieza: (armchair review)
I have to giggle at this. I was reading some news this morn and spotted this in an article that talked about movies, especially popular ones, which are encouraging teenagers to read.  The author included an excerpt from the "Variety" magazine about Twilight.

Variety said it "should satiate the pre-converted but will bewilder and underwhelm viewers who haven't devoured Stephenie Meyer's bestselling juvie chick-lit franchise."

This is not the nicest thing to say, but one has to marvel at the use of language in what looks like to be a critical review.

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