Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another day...

She calls out to the man on the street
"Sir, can you help me?
It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?"

He walks on, doesn't look back
He pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there.

Thanks to PC for the words.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"...they call me a teddybear..."

PZ Myers, one of the most vocal atheists in the world, male or female, describes himself in this interview conducted by a certain Richard Dawkins.

PZ Myers Discussion - RDF Productions -

Rapture: Harold is still Camping...

It just boggles my mind how these people continue to thrive and make utter fools of people and still get heard. I just found out through Jen McCreight's blog that Harold Camping has now revised the date of Rapture. Personally, I hope raptors get him...but I guess he will be unpalatable.

Edit: Here's an amazing joke about the Rapture from RK: "If you can't think of a joke on Rapture, don't worry; it's not like its the end of the world."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How is Chrome built?

Well, according to Pam Greene (Software Engineer), it's built with "wrenches and hammers".

Honey, I'm home? :The well-known QUeuing problem

In other news, according to an IPL (that's the Indian Premier League of CCricket) cheerleader, MS Dhoni is a "polite" guy.

Luke Surl Comics - 449 – No ExQses

[ thanks to RS for the link ]

A simple algorithm for solving problems

Step 1: Write down the problem
Step 2: Think real hard (scratch your forehead a bit, if needed)
Step 3: Write down the solution

This algorithm was generated by one MG-M from California. He was trying to describe how a certain colleague of his, by name RPF, used to solve problems.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Losing my sandality...

...or A Case of Missing Sandality, whichever you prefer. Inane, inane, inane. Add an 's' and let the slaughter begin. Steven Thompson and Jeremy Webb, two of the, wait, the dumbest writer-director pair ever! Really put the rorying darvill into the works. What a waste of 45+90 minutes.

P.S. You, yes you, I am talking to you. Can't you even recognize that one of your shoes is a size too big, you idiot!

P.P.S. NG, please please do not screw up next week. Who knows, if you do, the Sandman might just pay you an unscheduled visit.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Hygiene and cleanliness in 19th century France

I had the general idea that the level of cleanliness among the general populace was rather low in the middle ages and afterwards. But I always had the impression that this had improved by the Victorian age. Reckon I was mistaken. The following piece I quote from a post by Tim Carmody, and thanks to KC for putting the link to the post up in Reader. [This passage was taken from France Fin de Siecle, meaning "France, at the Turn of the Century". It is a book about art, culture, and literature in mid-to-late 19th-century France.]

If one considers the scarceness of water and of facilities for its evacuation, it is not surprising that washing was rare and bathing rarer. Clean linen long remained an exceptional luxury, even among the middle classes. Better-off buildings enjoyed a single pump or tap in the courtyard. Getting water above the ground floor was rare and costly; in Nevers it became available on upper floors in the 1930s. Those who enjoyed it sooner, as in Paris, fared little better.

Baths especially were reserved for those with enough servants to bring the tub and fill it, then carry away the tub and dirty water. Balzac had referred to the charm of rich young women when they came out of their bath. Manuals of civility suggest that this would take place once a month, and it seems that ladies who actually took the plunge might soak for hours: an 1867 painting by Alfred Stevens shows a plump young blonde in a camisole dreaming in her bathtub, equipped with book, flowers, bracelet, and a jeweled watch in the soap-dish. Symbols of wealth and conspicuous consumption.

In a public lecture course Vacher de Lapouge affirmed that in France most women die without having once taken a bath. The same could be said of men, except for those exposed to military service. No wonder pretty ladies carried posies: everyone smelled and, often, so did they.

Teeth were seldom brushed and often bad. Only a few people in the 1890s used toothpowder, and toothbrushes were rarer than watches. Dentists too were rare: largely an American import, and one of the few such things the French never complained about. Because dentists were few and expensive, one would find lots of caries, with their train of infections and stomach troubles, it is likely that most heroes and heroines of nineteenth-century fiction had bad breath, like their real-life models.

Carmody goes on to make the following comment: 'Yep. That's why we call them "the unwashed masses." '

To be quite fair, I was somewhat taken aback (read: shocked) at this. History never ceases to fascinate.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Rabindra Rock?!?!

[Thanks to pgSSG for this link.]

I was never really a really big fan of rock music (apologies to SP, but yes, rock would probably-definitely not be my first choice music). But we (here "we" means me and rock music) have managed to get along, sort of. That alliance/peaceable coexistence is, I am afraid, now over. And this is to blame for that.

PhD comics: Dark Matter video

Jorge Cham has put up a very nice video about Dark Matter and such stuff on the latest PhD comics.

Dark Matters from PHD Comics on Vimeo.

Monday, May 02, 2011

OBL gets an obituary?

Just saw this off a PZ Myers blog. It seems BHO has himself claimed this news. Love the comment by PZ:
I'm expecting his head to be mounted on a pike outside the White House now.
Other resources here and here.

The Merry Month of May

Whoever said that probably (surely) never lived in Chennai. In other news, just discovered PZ Myers and his blog, thanks to RS. Also, planning to learn (and do) some metaprogramming as well as improve my scant knowledge of python. Finally, imho, Kevin Spacey does a better Chris Walken than Chris Walken (and perhaps a better Jack Nicholson than Jack Nicholson, although the few good men of the jury might still be out on that).

This starts off May.