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Friday, February 02, 2007

Billy is dead... :-(

I am probably some five years late here... but hey...

I was watching an episode of Ally McBeal, and billy just died. in two episodes, he discovered a brain tumor (in his ass apparently), then he just died for a massive brain hemorrage (again in his ass, which would qualify them as hemorroids too, I guess).

Pretty sad episode. It almost made me cry... the idea of losing someone you REALLY love has a great effect on me... That LOSS sensation, the fact that you realise you'll never be able to talk to him/her again... It's hard to cope with, for us... :-|

Enough sadness now. It's almost the weekend, I've taken half-a-day off so that I can rush down to Ardennes (almost there, Anthisnes).

There (where the arrow points to) I'll meet my girlfriend's family for a reunion and a dinner. where as far as I understand I'll have to prepare something. Pasta with Bottarga, I guess. what else? (NB: I make it differently than in the recipe linked.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The best things in life are free...

so is Google Reader. Finally I'll be able to read my most preferred websites from only one page. I'll immediately see if one of them has been updated. Instead of having to check them out one by one. Now the question is: will I spend less time in pointless exploration, or will I drown in trying to read them all? mah... who knows? but sure it's cool!

(and don't come to me saying that there's other and better rss-feeders-whatever around. this one comes from google so sits nicely between my gcalendar (now with free sms!!!) and my gmail (which keeps getting better.)

oh, and hey, let's not forget that blogger is google now!!!

Asoka: here's a movie I liked

as per topic. I saw this movie at University, in Southampton. Pretty epic story. dion't remember much other than the main character had very big anger management issues...

Very long and lots of song and dances, indian beauties, and incredibly violent battles, for what I can remember. Aristotelic tragical ending.

Unfortunately, I can't find much in terms of pictures on the net.

here's the wikipedia page corresponding to the historical character upon which the movie is based.

I can't / I can't I / can't stand watching...

Battlestar galactica anymore. The last two episodes have been sitting on my harddrive without me even pretending to care about them. bah... let's face it, "The Future is Wild" is much more entertaining...

I mean, instead of cardboard spaceships looking for a silly planet whose inhabitants aren't even intelligent enough to remember they were part of a whole civilisation only three thousand years ago...

We have the tale of continents colliding over great lenghts of time, the closing of the mediterranean sea and its evaporation, the death of the life which it did harbor with the exception of few adaptable and ultra-specialised species. We follow the hundred-million-year-long voyage of Australia to collide with Japan; the analog travel northward of Antarctica and its blloming from frozen desert to temperate forest to tropical jungle, and the evolution and diversification of its few bird species in thousands new varieties each occupying its own special niche. We ave insects as big as hawks preying on small colibris descended from albatrosses, we have colibris who defend themselves spraying a noxious liquid the drink from a flower, and insect who mimic that flower so that they can trick the bird in getting closer to them just when he's defenseless. This is REAL science-fiction, where science plays the most prominent role, and not unlikely love-triangles between petty officers and fighter pilots. bah!!!

Booh! for Battlestar Galactica, Kudos! to "The future is wild"!!!

ps: I am not inhuman, mind you. I also did watch an episode of Ally Mcbeal, third series - that pretty much fulfill my need for unlikely romance :-)

new piccies on the side bar

My brother married last september, and I did scan some of the old-style piccies that my uncle/godfather shoot for the occasion. Funny though, I did only scan piccies with me or Marie in them, so there's no mention of Maria Grazia, bride. Anyway, they're in the sidebar.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The new market of exploit and viruses

I think I've heard many times the comparison between our computers and an ecosystem, where multiple species (programs) compete for CPU-time and other resources. Computer program have their viruses, too, which spread at the expenses of other programs, exploiting their vulnerabilities. Some viruses hide within the program itself, some other burrow within the file that other softwares 'eat' - an image, for example, and are able to get executed and do their own business thanks to so-called 'exploit', code snippets which exemplify the way of attacking said program, of exploiting one of its known weaknesses. But the situation goes beyond this, now. This weaknesses and the expliouits are usually found, by chance or intentionally, by users which untilam few years ago would receive from software giants like M$ very little, may be a hand shake, in the worst of cases they would be threatened with a court action if they were to disclose them. I hated this way of doing...

Now however, security experts and 'hackers' have become clever, and instead of disclosing the newfound holes do put them up for auction, where they are often snatched not only by security firms interested in letting their clinets know about it. Sometimes, the buyer is a criminal 'firm' intersted in actually exploiting the hole to plant in your PC some nasty spyware, to steal your credit card number or such.


but hey, I really believe that this situation has been created by the hostility of big companies (M$ in primis) towards hackers. By doing so they've alienated their simpatyes, and by driving them in the underground they're facilitating this clandestine market of information.


anyway, the NY Times has an interesting piece about it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Levi's sues...

Over the shape of their trademark pockets.

No, seriously, since evreybody seems to be copying their 'seagulls' flying in a pentagon (see piccies on the left, courtesy of NY Times)

So this got me thinking about pockets... and what came up to my mind is something that only Italian of roughly my same age (or older) may remember. a n ad which caused scandal in catholic Italy, when it came out.

the brand, Jesus Jeans: the year, 1972. the piccie you can see below.

Nice huh? I english, the writing says: "Those who love me will follow me", jesus' words of course, with a twist. I'd certainly follow the lady wearing the jeans :-)

If you're reading, Marie, please forgive me :-P

The Gufo

ps; some of you may notice that it was two years before I would be born - never mind, I got hold of comics and magazines where this picture was shown at the time...

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Notes to my future self

I've done it again. Before leaving work, on friday afternoon, I fill in a word page with some notes on ToDo points for today... They seemed perfectly understandable then... But now? Not a chance in Hell... Cryptic like the freaking Da Vinci code.

I guess I'll have to get back from scratch. I hate mondays. they're good for blogging only :-(

Rocky Balboa

I've seen this movie. Not bad. but mostly, a movie made of self-quotations. From the scene of the stairs, to the training in the butchery, everything was there. they even self-quote the actors, since Rocky's new woman is a young girl that he brought home long time ago.
I understand the movie wasn't supposed to center about fights anymore, but the lack of a decent bad guy really did hurt the whole story. This Mason Dixon did look more like a failed rapper than anything else.

They could ahve at least twisted the plot by having rocky's woman son to part for his black brother, or something like it. Instead, everythign did flow predictably toward a fight which we know it was supposed to be epic... only it wasn't. No strategy, No suspense no nothing in fact. Just a bunch of fists to show that he's still the Italian Stallion. bah... 6.5 for the effort that old Silvester took in getting back into shape for the movie. His abs put the young guy to shame, really.

Some nice blogs

The Man in Blue speaks no-nonsense, about the culture of fear which grips the US (and others), and many varied things such as gravity, and social psychology.

and there's Street Anatomy, too... with some amazing medical pictures from all over the world. Click on the link to see more piccies.

Isn't this impressive? and believe me, I haven't posted the more shocking one!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Really, really wild!!!

I' ve just seen the first episode of "The future is wild" series. It looks very good indeed, and I hope the next episodes will be more detailed not only in the matter of animals, but also plants. I know that lots of animal evolution has been driven by plants (e.g., the special relationship which insect and vertebrates share with agiosperms, that is, flowering (and seeding) plants. I can't believe that the future wll reserve plants a passive observers' role. I do however understand that it is more difficult to forecast such breakthrough than incremental evolution of animals...

But I'm certainly looking forward to the following episodes...

As an aside, yesterday I've been to see Blood Diamonds at the Cinema (Bioscope, is the funny word flemish use for it). A nice movie, with a good and strong message to bring home. pity, though, that it caters to audience who doesn't really need to hear it. a bit like "An Inconvenient Truth" - only people who care about Global Warming are going to see it. the ones who really make up the problem do not give a rat's ass about it.

Same for diamonds. Girls who have been brainwashed to want a diamond will not certainly be stopped by Leonardo DiCaprio and the others who compose the merry brigade of this movie. Nor will the big heads of diamond commerce in Antwerp - actually, they started a PR campaing devote to limit the iage damage from this movie well before it came out. Sorry for the interspersed cynism. I'm just not really confident that we, as humans, are so good. hopefully, the hopping snails and the jungle octopodes from the future will do better, in 200 Million years time. All the best.