Once you’ve mastered the basics, you might try out some ghosting variations. I have a friend who favors the “Northern Irish goodbye.” You announce your intention to ghost long in advance, as a warning, so there will be no collateral damage.
Ever wondered why the tax year starts on April 6th?
In England, Lady Day [March 25th] was New Year’s Day up to 1752 when, following the move from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, 1 January became the start of the year. A vestige of this remains in the United Kingdom’s tax year, which starts on 6 April, i.e. Lady Day adjusted for the lost days of the calendar change.
Watched about 20 minutes on a plane, and that was enough to know that staring at the immobile back of the reclined seat in front would be preferable to watching any more of this wooden green-screen acting and bland CGI.
A solid installment. The earlier parts of the film, with more speaking roles than in the first two put together, do a good job of filling in the past 9 years without feeling like an info-dump, and of planting seeds for the inevitable duologue later in the film, which flows as well as you’d hope, though the very end feels a bit rushed.
Not quite what I expected: less about the eponymous other Earth, and more about a pair of ruined lives. In fact, it avoids discussing any of the physical repercussions Earth 2 would have – gravitational pull, satellite disruption, etc. – and only brings up the social and philosophical effects as needed to advance the plot. I think it was the right choice, given the character of the film. Well acted and understated, if a little predictable, and with an excellent soundtrack.
Again, this wasn’t what I expected at all: the blurb didn’t mention what happens at midnight. (Maybe given the title I was subconsciously expecting another Before ___ film?) A bit twee; the protagonist is insufferable and a lot of the other characters are quite 1½-dimensional; but fun! Perhaps I should watch more Woody Allen films – any recommendations, Tumblr?
We think this is the first written review of a Garuda gig:
Indie three-piece Garuda are first up, presenting their technical multi-time signatured tracks. There’s a brash innocence to their music which comes out in the shaky vocals, but the percussion and guitars are solid, and the band sensitively combine the more heavy sections with the lighter ones.
I’m not 100% sure if “brash innocence” is entirely negative? The comment about the vocals is fair. (I was losing my voice a bit, which didn’t help!)
Obviously, these worked really well back-to-back. The performances in Sunset are way better, and the production is slicker, but I don’t think it reflected as badly on Sunrise as you might expect. Ethan Hawke’s facial hair as Jesse is no better after a decade, though I’m pleased to see that it’s a little less questionable in stills from Before Midnight.
As I was leaving the cinema, I chatted to someone who complained that this was “a bit of a hipster film, really”, which I don’t really think is the case. It’s a monochromatic series of jump-cut vignettes about someone trying to avoid facing, and embracing, the realities of life – so maybe that fits the label? Not sure. It’s charming and well-acted.
I remember getting into Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz while I was watching them, but neither of them has stuck in my memory all that well. I get the feeling this will linger longer? Maybe it’s just more recent. It’s good fun.
Came for the Reznor/Ross soundtrack; stayed for the graphic and emotionally harrowing content. I remember thinking that the novel (or at least, its English translation) could have been trimmed down a lot – presumably no-one wanted to edit Larsson’s work too heavily posthumously? – and happily this version is much more tightly plotted (and still comes in at 2½ hours!).
I don’t really understand why the opening title sequence is basically a nano-tech gloop-covered Bond movie title, though I would like more glitches and Karen O in actual Bond soundtracks!
So low-budget, I kept adjusting the cables on my DVD player because I thought the colours were broken somehow. I can’t remember who recommended it, but it was only a few pounds on Amazon so I bought it on a whim and it’s been sitting on my shelf for years.
The premise is the protagonist confessing that he is, in fact, a eternally-young 14,000-year-old Cro-Magnon, with his disbelieving colleagues pretty thoroughly unpacking the implications of this claim. Shades of K-PAX. The plot uses a fair few cheap shots, and acting’s not exactly consistently amazing, but it’s worth an evening of your time – provided you like films which are essentially a ninety-minute conversation in a living room filmed on a camcorder. It’s not on any of the streaming services as far as I can see, but why not borrow my copy?
Their preliminary findings are that there is a “substantial lessening of competition” in Aberdeen, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge. […]
The Competition Commission have suggested the sale of either the Cineworld or Picturehouse cinema may be required in each of these areas. We will now be [meeting] with the Competition Commission to discuss the possibility of other remedies that might avoid sales […]
Emphasis mine. I’ve been diligently filling out all the surveys sent to Picturehouse members, expressing the reasons why I basically never visit any other Cambridge cinema. I wonder whether this finding is due to, or in spite of, the results of those surveys.
(I suppose I should be grateful that none of the London Picturehouses are facing disaster.)
An interesting paper from 2003 on allowing Excel users to define functions using the spreadsheet as the programming language, rather than forcing them to learn Visual Basic and rewrite their formulae in it if they want to make them reusable. It’s a good concept: experienced spreadsheet users are comfortable dragging a formula down to replicate it across a series of rows, and using absolute cell references ($D$5) to fix references to constants when doing so; so why not introduce reusable functions with the same programming environment?
The authors decline to support recursive function definitions, asserting that “recursion threatens consistency and potentially adds
attention-investment costs without adding corresponding payoffs.” In a footnote, they continue:
Excel also supports another, dangerous form of iteration, via
circular formulae (e.g. A1 = A1 + 1). This sort of “recursion” utterly breaks Excel’s basic functional paradigm, because each recalculation sweep computes a fresh iteration, so the value of each
cell changes over time. Our proposals do not make this technique
safer, nor do they intefere with it.
In the mid nineties, my dad (who has an engineering background) designed propellors for air racing with the aid of carefully-crafted Quattro Pro spreadsheets. These sheets allowed him to adjust various parameters (propellor length, curvature, etc.) and analyse the resulting performance of the propellor. These calculations made very heavy use of circular definitions to iteratively find numerical solutions to equations for which no closed form exists: I remember him updating values then repeatedly pressing the “recalculate” key (F6 or so) until the results converged.
I understand why Peyton Jones et al. consider this technique “dangerous”, and indeed I believe modern versions of Excel ask you to confirm that you intended to introduce a circular definition. But this seems like exactly the kind of calculation that structured support for user-defined functions could really help with: a way to confine such dangerous, iterative definitions to a clearly-presented section of function-as-spreadsheet which can then be more easily debugged.
“This once again suggests that – contrary to the misguided belief of hordes of turtle-necked goatee-stroking hipsters – Helvetica is a pretty crappy typeface, especially for text, and so is Arial by association.”—Xerox Scanners / Photocopiers Randomly Alter Numbers
I’m thinking back over what I’ve been up to over the past few years, and I find myself wishing I’d kept a diary a bit like Michael Meeks’ “(in)activity log”, accompanied by some kind of indication of whether it was a good or a bad day. I guess I’m looking for some kind of quantitative data on what activities actually make me happy. I went through a phase of writing an A5 page every morning, but that petered out, and looking back at them now they are mostly poorly-executed pieces of Sturm und Drang prose and didn’t really have that much detail on what I was actually doing on any given day. Perhaps writing each page first thing after waking up is not the best from a frame-of-mind perspective.
Another option is to fill in a calendar retrospectively with what each day actually contained. I suppose that if I still had my timelog data from my time at Collabora, I could use that to summarize what I did during the biggest chunk of every day.
Friends and acquaintances: do you keep any kind of diary or activity log? In what medium? Do you ever look back over it?
When Pluto was “demoted” from a planet to a dwarf planet, the IAU redefined the coordinate system convention, which actually aligned it with what scientists were already doing anyway.
Just let that sink in a moment. Thanks to the IAU’s redefinition, all existing maps of Pluto turned from “wrong” to “right.”
And to think that I found it easy to confuse myself and invert my coordinates when describing rotations of an imaginary sphere in a computer program I wrote alone… So glad I’m not a scientist dealing with actual rocks in space.
My band, Garuda, names its songs using letters from the Greek
alphabet. So far, we are up to θ, with no discontinuities but a couple of letters used out of order when songs took a long time to get right (αβδεγηζθ). Yes, this naming scheme might be both pretentious and a little trite, but it gives us an easy way to name works in progress and helps us decide what each song is about.
None of us speak Greek, but I feel like it would be fun if our set lists spelled out interesting words. So, inspired by @everyword, its illegitimate offspring @everyunicode, and an interest in poorly-implemented text processing, I wrote a little program to partition up a Greek word list into words which only use α, then α and β, then αβδ, and so on. It also calculates roughly how long playing that set would be. @kathegaruda tweets one of these possible set list a few times a day (using everywordbot). Each word may only use each letter once, to spare our audiences the fatigue of hearing us play ε fifteen times in a single night.
The bot will run out of set lists to tweet shortly after our gig this Saturday (our first headline show! £4 in advance, £5 on the door! Three other great bands!), but the number of words trends sharply upwards in a few letters’ time so it should have plenty of new material as soon as the band does! When we have more than three of our tracks recorded, I guess it would make sense to include a playlist so you can listen to the set…
I seem to read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction, so I was glad that this was a new slant on it. The satirical/black comedy notes are pitched well to make the world of genetic modification and amoral consumerism taken to a pretty outlandish conclusion feel grimly familiar, without descending into farce. Telling the bulk of the story in flashbacks has obviously been done before, but the two threads join up pleasingly. Read this book.
Even if you disregard the gender/sex conflation and cisnormativity angle—about which I don’t think I have anything insightful to say—so many of these signs are almost indecipherable. Toilets should not be such a harrowing experience.