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October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Just to let you know that like many others on Slashdot journal circle, I've moved on to Multiply. It's got much better support for media and there's even a group for recovering slashaddicts. So, I won't be posting here anymore, but see you on Multiply instead. :)

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Extreme weather

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago First we have an extremely warm early winter with no snow until January - this happened the last time in 1920s.

Then the weather pattern flips upside down and now we're freezing our butts off. This morning the temperature was in -30s (both C and F) and there's plenty of snow around.

** brrrrr ***

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Zombiedefense.org

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Everything you've always wanted to know about zombies but have been too afraid to ask...

zombiedefense.org exists for you, the informed consumer. The coming zombie holocaust is not a question of if, but when. Thousands of pages of research, hundreds of hours of video, and dozens of experts (many of whom are prominently featured here) have virtually guaranteed that zombies are not only real, but they are a potentially civilization-ending force of nature. In the words of Dr. Stephon Güttenwald, "Das spuchen zomben puich gulchessachenfädder" (translation: "We cannot falter in the face of our fathers' corpses").

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OMFG! What happened to my G4 Mac?

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Truly disturbing.

It's not photoshopped nor do I have a dedicated Windows computer anywhere in the house - only Linux, OpenBSD and Mac. Can you guess how I did it?

Ok. Here's the answer.

64 bit Linux, QEMU/KVM for running 32-bit Windows XP Pro in a virtual machine and VNC for piping the virtual machine's screen to my Mac. Neat. :)

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Working from home - life is good

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago At first I thought that the installation of air conditioning units in offices of our wing of the university was a real nuisance. There was noise (drilling in concrete, metal works,...), constant traffic in and out of my office and a horrible smell of metal being welded.

However, it didn't turn out to be so bad after all. Now I get to work from home and have to pop in the office only once or twice a week. It's quiet, I've got all the food, drink and music I want close at hand, people can't pester me by walking uninvited into my office and if I want to I can lie down on a bed and work using a laptop+WLAN. Try doing that at work. I can also sleep late and work late. If I need to communicate with someone, I can always do that by using instant messengers, cellphone or Skype. If I want to be unavailable I'll just log off and switch the cellphone into silent mode.

Once I get my permanent faculty position, I'll be working much more often from home. It should happen in a couple of months if everything goes well and then I'll be "untouchable" in the sense that no-one can give me grief about not showing up at the office as long as teach my courses and keep on publishing. :)

I know Mantorp works from home, but how about the rest of you?

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There's stupid...

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago ...and there's Stupid.

That's despite an earlier study that found nearly three-quarters of diabetics said their doctors had advised them to exercise. The patients who got the strongest warnings to get moving were the least likely to listen, according to research being released Friday.

That falls into the same category of Stupid as refusing to go and show a malignant looking skin lesion/mole or a subcutaneous lump to a doctor in case it turns out to be cancer.

This article also made me think about what is it in exercise that makes it such a chore to many people? When I think back a few years when I was still an overweight beer-swilling slob on a steady pizza/kebab-diet, the main reason why I detested any exercise must have been simply: "It's not fun".

So why wasn't it fun? Three reasons: 1) Wrong kind of exercise, 2) Too much exercise too soon and 3) Insufficient or bad equipment.

Wrong kind of exercise. I can't stand running, yet whenever I got the idea that I'd have to get in shape I'd start jogging. Why? Lack of imagination, I guess. A part of it was also probably social pressure. Exercise tends to be synonymous with jogging and if you're doing something else, you get questions like: "Wouldn't it be much easier/healthier to just jog?", "Oh, the bike cost that much!? How could you afford it?" (reading between the lines: "you're just showing off you rich bastard") or "You go to the gym? You aren't using those protein hormones, are you?".

Too much exercise too soon. Once I foolishly decided that I'd run (of course) two times per day - in the morning and in the evening. You know, just to get myself in shape again and running two times per day must produce results sooner. The result: a permanent injury in my right knee. You can guess what it did to my motivation to exercise in the future.

Insufficient or bad equipment. I realized this only after I had finally bought a good bike. What a difference it made - biking was actually great fun!

(just some random musings on a slow Saturday afternoon ;) )

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An interview with Richard Dawkins

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago A very interesting interview with Richard Dawkins.

TM: Could you address a couple of reactions that I see in the media, either to atheism, in general, or to you and your book? One, people ask why are atheists so angry?

RD: That's a very curious misperception. We get accused of being angry or of being intolerant, but, if you were to look at critiques of one political party by the other... when Democrats criticize Republicans, or Republicans criticize Democrats, nobody ever says, "You're being intolerant of Republicans, or angry." It's just normal, robust argument. People have gotten so used to the idea that religion must be immune to criticism that even a very mild and gentle criticism of religion comes across as angry and intolerant.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with being an angry atheist.

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It loses the ring of fat or it gets the hose again

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Robodiet in progress.

There's a lot of scatter in the daily calorie balance (black symbols), because I've been more hungry on some days than on others. In particular, I like to eat more on those days when I've been weightlifting at the gym. I don't really care about that as long as the average remains well below 0 kcal. Maybe oscillating the daily calorie intake will actually be a good thing in the long run. The macronutrient distribution has been pretty well in the 40%/30%/30% (protein,carbs,fat) bracket I planned.

As the graph shows, I lost a lot of weight during the first week, but that was just the initial bloat going away. Two weeks gone, eight weeks to go.

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Man in hot pants struts in boots, cheers city

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago What a wonderful randomly generated spam subject line.

That was so weird that it made me look what they were selling: adult daycare company stocks with 600% growth potential. :-/

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The way she looked...

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago India Times:

BEIJING: A 17-year-old boy in northeastern China was so disappointed with the looks of a woman he met over the Net that he hanged himself after seeing her face-to-face, the state media reported on Friday.

Beware of the horrors that lurk within teh interweb...

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Got boobs instead of pecs

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Horrific.

Apparently Silvestre also had occasion to videotape surgery (a screen capture pic is shown below) on a male patient, former Mexican national champion bodybuilder, Alex Baez. Baez had gone in seeking pectoral implants, but awoke to find he had been given female breast implants.

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Armageddon Clock has not been updated!

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Hey, what's going on? It's 2007 already. Why hasn't the Armageddon Clock been updated to include 2006?

I've got the first dibs on Benny Hinn's executive jet Dove One and I want to know how long it is until I get my hands on it...

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The Most Dangerous Roads in the World

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago This is a fascinating blogspot post.

Sukhumi "Military" road in the former Soviet Georgia, in Caucasus mountains, which truckers and wine-drunk crazy "Lada" drivers navigate with the utter abandon, typical of the local mountain people

I LOL'd at that. :D

The most dangerous hiking trail looked absolutely horrific, but then again, I've got a fear of heights...

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Resetting my sleep/wake cycle

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Uh. My sleep/wake cycle is still messed up.

After the last (Sunday-Monday) nightshift at the synchrotron, I've been trying to reset my circadian rhythm to a more normal one, but it's still not working right. Yesterday evening I went to bed at 8 pm only to wake up at 1 am after which I couldn't get any sleep until 5 am. Let's just say that I haven't been feeling very awake at work today...

Do you travel a lot? How do you deal with jet lag?

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Tempur and futon mattresses [UPDATE]

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago For some time I have had problems with pain in my lower back.

It is an annoying ache and stiffness that is concentrated not on the spine but on the Erector Spinae radiating towards the Obliques.

It goes away if I exercise regularly - especially weight lifting seems to work - and it is aggravated by prolonged immobility such as sleeping. Soft mattresses seem to make it worse. Right now it's pretty bad - enough to disturb my sleep - because I didn't get much exercise last week (the 16-18 hour days and night shifts at the synchrotron don't leave you with much extra energy) and the bed at the hotel was just horrible.

I have heard good things about hard mattresses in the prevention of back pains and I've been considering buying a stiff cotton futon or a Tempur-Pedic bed.

Do any of you have experiences in either? I like the cotton futon concept - simple and very organic - but the Tempur-Pedic has received a lot of praise on the net, too.

Update: I just came back from a visit to a futon store where I got to try what a futon feels like. While it is difficult to say anything definitive without actually sleeping on the thing, the full cotton mattress felt pretty nice and I'm sure I can sleep on it. Since I was planning to buy a better and larger bed anyway soon, I placed an order for the mattress. The delivery will take 3-4 weeks and when it arrives I'll have a better look at the bed frames which should be available immediately. My two favourites so far: this and this.

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SiliconJesus' meme

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago 1. If you had to live in a different state than the one you live in what would it be?

Ok, since I live in EU, I'll choose from EU states: Any Nordic state or the Republic of Ireland.

2. If you were on a plane that crashed, would you rather be stranded on an island or a desert? Island sounds better. There's water which can be distilled and, unless it's just a piece of rock, there are also some other resources.

3. What "catches your eye" first in the opposite sex? Mmm... I guess it's a combination of hair-style and body shape.

4. How much do you think a guy should spend on an engagement ring? I have absolutely no idea of or opinion on this one.

5. How old do you want to be when you retire? It will be a sad day when I'll have to retire.

7. Would you rather be the smartest person in the world or the most attractive person in the world? Smartest. You can't fix Stupid.

8. Do you think tattoos are hot? Yeah, sort of, as long as they've been done professionally. I still like piercings more.

9. What was your first pet? I have never had pets.

10. Where did you go on your first Spring Break? N/A.

11. Are you scared of spiders or snakes? Spiders freak me out, but snakes are OK.

12. What was your first job? A summer job. The city paid me to mow lawn.

13. What is in your front, right pocket? An ID/passkey card to the synchrotron facility I'm visiting right now.

14. Do you put up a real Christmas tree each year? No. Not even a fake one.

15. How many blankets are on your bed? One.

16. Do you have a TV in your bedroom? I gave up watching TV earlier this year. No TVs.

17. When was the last time you received a card in the mail? Must have been the card Tuxette sent me from South Africa.

19. Who was the last person that text-messaged you? My boss.

20. Who was the first person you saw today? Some dude on the hotel elevator.

21. Do you have any awards hanging on your wall? Nope.

22. Do you own glasses? Sun glasses, glasses and contact lenses. L: -4.25 / R: -2.75.

23. When is the last time you shaved something on your body? A week ago. I really should shave my beard...

25. What was your first vehicle? I've never owned a car.

26. Do you miss high school? Yeah. It was almost as much fun as the university.

27. Are you more of a neat or messy person? Personal hygiene: neat, Home: a total slob.

28. Do you think that everyone should have a cell phone? Don't really care.

29. Do you remember your first family vacation? Vaguely. It was a domestic vacation trip.

30. Ever been in a fight with a best friend? Nope. I've never been in a fight.

31. Ever puked in public? Many times. At home and abroad.

32. Would you prefer dinner and a movie or bowling and ice cream? Dinner, a movie and beer.

33. Do you sleep with your door open or closed at night? Definitely closed. I can't stand open doors - between rooms or wardrobe doors - in my bedroom.

34. How far do you live from work? About 9 km one way.

35. Do you believe in afterlife? No, unless you consider the conservation of your atoms and energy as afterlife.

36. How many credit cards do you own? VISA and MasterCard.

37. Would you move to another country tomorrow, if you were offered a $100,000 job? Sure. If the job's to my liking, I'll be ready to go tomorrow morning.

38. How many kids do you see yourself having? None.

39. Were you a trouble child? No. I was a total geek.

40. Do you like butterflies? Don't like them, don't dislike them.

41. Can you shake your booty? Yeah, but why would I want to do something like that? I'm a boring person.

42. Do you shower at night or in the morning? Morning and evening (I bike to work and back).

43. Where is your favorite place to eat? At home.

44. What did you wear to bed last night? Boxers.

45. Do you have to sleep with something "ON" every night in order to sleep? I like to have some background noise. A radio or something playing on the laptop. Complete silence freaks me out. TV news broadcasts were a good source of noise.

46. On average, how much TV do you watch a day? I don't watch tv.

47. Do you have any piercings? No.

48. Would you rather go snorkeling in the Caribbean or hiking on the Appalachian Trail? Couldn't I do both?

49. Have you ever taken karate lessons? No, but I really should get moving and check out the local Krav Maga club.

50. Do you think if you got married, you would ever get a divorce? If it doesn't work, it's best for everyone involved to go for a divorce.

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Man with no pulse - let the cyborgification begin! [UPDATE]

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Cool!

MONTREAL -- A 65-year-old Quebec man who received a new long-term mechanical heart last month is being described as the only living Canadian without a pulse. Dr. Renzo Cecere implanted the "Heartmate II" mechanical heart into Gerard Langevin in an three-hour operation Nov. 23. Officials at the McGill University Health Centre say the device, which is about the size of a flashlight battery, could last up to 10 years.

Artificial eyes, repaired eyes, artificial pancreas, artificial hands and other artificial organs (sorry - there's no artificial replacement/upgrade for THAT organ, yet!).

The future looks good.

Update: Diabetes no more!?

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Do they have Rapture Fever or something? [update]

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago What a great idea! Now that the air is lead free, we can finally strip out all the catalytic converters and start using leaded fuel - at least until lead becomes a problem again.

Personally I don't think they're thinking big enough, though. Why not bring back asbestos and DDT while we're at it? Must... destroy... earth!

Update:

Can't have that pesky scientific process to get in the way of profits...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday streamlined the way it updates regulations for the nation's worst air pollutants, a move that drew immediate charges that officials are trying to quash scientific review to benefit industry at the expense of public health.

The changes, some of which closely mirror requests by the American Petroleum Institute and Battery Council International industry groups, include shortening what is now an exhaustive scientific review, and replacing recommendations prepared by career scientists and reviewed by independent advisors with a "policy paper" crafted by senior White House appointees at the agency.

*boggle*

Environmental protection based on policy papers? WTF?

Update 2:

Hmm... looks like CNN got its headline ("EPA: Leaded gas may return, along with lower standards") really wrong. From the LA Times article: "The ban on leaded gasoline will continue no matter what, agency staff said, as will other rules."

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A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago This must be one of the funniest things I've read in a while.

At first I thought it had to be a spoof, but... damn!

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Does the darn thing work?

October_30th October_30th writes  |  more than 7 years ago Damn technical problems.

Why, oh why did I have to go and mess with a perfectly working experimental setup? Now it'll take several hours to fix that screwup...

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