Archive for June 2007

Well-Oiled Machinery

June 14, 2007

I was set to type up something fun that’s recently happened when WordPress sucked the wind out of my sails; with an FYI that feed stats feature has been given the boot, I was thrown into an impromptu research as to what to do about it. And being I know this much *lifts thumb and index fingers one inch apart* about the technical side of blogging, I spent an obscene amount of time over it. Exhausting.

Now, it’s not a vanity thing, though it heartens me to know my one loyal reader (hi, Grandma!) can bear my puerile ramblings. I’m still not clear as to the point of this blog, what purpose it serves me, apart from the fact that it’s entertaining me, so that reader feedback is pretty useful in knowing if I’m entertaining anyone else.

So, if you’re up for some more drivel, do update your rss feed link to the new one. The old one will be gone in a few. As for the rest, same old, same old.

Metaverse!

June 13, 2007

Want to tour your childhood home demolished ten years ago? Quite possible. All you need are tons of pics and a software.

Über-cool software Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth was discussed by Blaise Aguera y Arcas in a TED talk (go watch the video!). How much data can you read off a square inch of your monitor? Apparently, infinite. And skimming photos of gigabytes file size with unbelievable ease is possible. Yes, no more making paper clip sculptures as you wait for hi-res pics to load at a snail’s pace!

ted

The more important feature: Simply put, Photosynth gives you the capacity to create a fluid multi-dimensional composite out of several flat images of the subject. A simple Flickr search of Notre Dame (as per demo) resulting to hundreds of images can be parlayed to a virtual hi-definition 3D tour of its facade, even interiors! So, the more and better-tagged the images on Flickr (or any photo community) are, the better these composites get.
From basic personal use to forensics–possibilities of its application are endless and exciting (eh, and malicious exploits are to be expected, naturally). I’m pretty sure this technology isn’t making as much waves in intel/tech-dependent communities (i.e. military, NASA), but for li’l ol’ end-consumers like us, especially those who’ve gone gaga over virtual communities (Second Life, anyone? mind-boggling), this is awesome stuff. I wonder what market this product will be targeting specifically, which would definitely affect pricing.


It’s Not You, It’s Me

June 12, 2007

Sam Brownback, the Kansas senator, is widely considered by many in the pro-life community to be one of the strongest pro-life candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president. He proved his pro-life bona fides again over the weekend when he said he opposed abortion in cases of rape or incest.”

Wow. I’m speechless, but not quite– someone rip this guy a new asshole.

From here, flagged by Feministe

Lilliputitos!

June 12, 2007

Leeeeetle people in a big big big world, check out Slinkachu’s tiny street art project.

I can’t imagine myself being able to carve anything of this scale. Amazing.

Death with a Side of Jack

June 8, 2007

chartI was reading a sort of article over at Slate and seeing this chart fascinated me. They asked a pool of 560 physicians to watch Jack Kevorkian on Larry King Live, conducting a survey before and after. The video itself is not so relevant as they barely affected the stats, but what fascinated me was that, of all religion-affiliated doctors, the Jewish ones led the most support to physician-assisted suicide (or offered the least resistance, however you want to phrase it), even beating out the Protestants. Granted this is a rough survey, even with a lax percentage of error, I find the survey telling. I have to admit, I am not that well-informed with regard to Jewish doctrines, so I was compelled to look up an explanation to this surprising “revelation”.

The argument “death with dignity” is an oxymoron from a Jewish point of view. The Jewish people have been taught that human life is, in its very essence, dignified and that death can never be so. According to Rabbi Simmons, “a person’s soul is not his to extinguish, and he cannot not direct someone else to assist him in ending his life. Even the removal of a pillow when a person is in death throes, thereby hastening death, is forbidden.” Clearly, suicide and assisted suicide are DEFINITELY off the table. Although it is noted that in very certain cases, it is permitted, it still doesn’t relate to the generous acceptance reflected by the stats, especially for its legalization. And we are not talking about passive euthanasia (withholding of medication, procedure, etc knowing it can lead to death) to which the Jewish movement is supposedly more tolerant of , but physician-assisted (the aggressive kind, mercy-killing, if you will).

Most articles I’ve read support the anti-euthanasia stand, which doesn’t connect– I would love to know how Slate got its respondents. However, to appreciate the data itself, I am also curious of the fact that while inclination to personally perform said act is moderate/mid, support for its legislation is overwhelmingly high, considering it is the same Jewish lot being surveyed. Hm. Interesting.

On the general issue of euthnasia, the most obvious reason of opposition is its being an apparent violation of the Hippocratic oath. The next would be theological/moral implications, easily reflected by the chart, led by the Catholics. This legalization biz is very sticky as it will not only raise questions on the definition of life (and the can of worms that comes with it) , it will raise questions on the reconciliation of faith in the workplace. Can a Catholic doctor refuse performing it? Can a hospital refuse hiring a doctor whose belief might hinder his full function as one?

(to be continued…)

Feed Me!

June 6, 2007

Call it a quirk, but I’m a bills person. Even if I have enough loose change, I pay for things with notes and save all the coins. I dislike having to bring them out, to sort them on my palm and stack them up. Whipping out a crisp bill is just easier (and yes, I arrange them facing the same way and by increasing denomination). Also, I tend to spend less when I see the number of bills left in my wallet dwindling, despite the alarming accumulation of coins. My wallet management teeters on the brink of psychosis. It’s not unusual for my bag to be five pounds heavier by the end of the week. And I already have a heavy bag to begin with– a whole ‘nother issue that requires a post of its own. Anyway, what do I do with those chunk o’ change? Mostly they sit in jars, coin dishes and in my 18″ slim can and, by the end of the year, I marvel at how much I saved. Given my penchant for coins, I should probably get one of these. I am hypnotized by its lips.


Uglee!

June 5, 2007

2012.jpg

The logo for the 2012 London Olympics has just been unveiled and was met by, what I assume to be, polite clapping and a backlash of resounding disgust.

“Unlike previous Olympic emblems, the logo does not feature an image from the host city. (snip) This is the vision at the very heart of our brand,” said London 2012 organising committee chairman Seb Coe.

“It will define the venues we build and the Games we hold and act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world. It is an invitation to take part and be involved.”

And everyone is taking part, mostly taking potshots– the more uncanny would be a commenter who describes it as “London 2012 Olympics Logo resembles Lisa Simpson giving head.”

(snicker)

The main target is the youth, hence the “radicalization.” I’m not exactly convinced it gives off that vibe. Nothing about it reflects British pride. Nothing about it is aspirational or youthful. It’s different, I’ll give them that, but the design really lacks appeal. Especially merchandising appeal. Who would want a shirt of that?

The cost of this logo? A whopping £400,000 (!) awarded to brands consultants Wolff Olins. Hefty sum you got there. This has naturally sparked some outrage given that the organizing committee’s budget has already quadrupled since the initial stages of planning.

Organizers must take a look at these, uh, creative alternatives.

Source

UPDATE: Think the logo was bad enough? Oh, it just got worse. “The media regulator Ofcom has begun an investigation into claims that TV footage promoting the London 2012 Olympics has triggered epileptic seizures.” Jesus.