Items: Hodgepodge and mishmash

No discernible theme this time, just a collection of whatever happens to be sitting in my open browser windows:

  • Last week, the Opera web browser company (located in Norway) said that their CEO had told the company that "if download numbers of Opera 8 reached 1 million within four days he would swim from Norway to the USA." The downloads reached the 1 million mark within the given time period, so the CEO set out to swim the Atlantic. You should read the "The Story" section at the top of that page, but then don't read the next section yet; instead, jump down to the bottom of the page and read "Situation report #1" and then scroll upward, blog-style, to read the other two reports in chronological order. (Thanks to various people who pointed to this at various times over the past week.)
  • You can now view a trailer for the movie Serenity—this is the movie based on, or possibly sequel to, the TV series Firefly. Apparently the trailer contains some spoilers (though possibly no more so than other trailers), so I haven't watched it. The movie will be in theatres September 30, but if you live in certain cities, you can see advance screenings of an unfinished version on May 5 at 10 p.m. (Thanks, Comma!) Me, I'm gonna wait for the final release, especially 'cause that'll give me time to finally watch the whole TV series on DVD—I've had about eight offers from different people to loan me the DVDs and/or watch with me, just haven't made time for it yet.
  • Very entertaining encounter with a dangerous hacker, translated from the original German IRC transcript. Probably much more entertaining to geeks than to non-geeks. I feel a little bad for the poor hacker, but wow, talk about instant karma. (Thanks, BDan!)
  • Did you know you can light a fire using a Coke can and a chocolate bar? Basically you're using the chocolate as an abrasive to help polish the base of the Coke can until it acts as a focusing mirror.
  • Somehow I had missed the group blog withboots, featuring such sf luminaries as Gwenda B, C. Rowe, C. Barzak, Gavin G, Kelly L, Ted C, Alan D, Kristin L, KJF, and Richard and Barb (those last two of whom I don't think I know). Apparently they don't post very often, though.
  • Speaking of people named Bond, I recently encountered a posting on Heidi Bond's blog Letters of Marque from a couple years ago titled What you can get away with. I'm not sure that her example is that surprising—various friends of mine have done sewing and knitting and such in class—but I do like the overall point: "if you are acting outside of established norms, people consider it rude to comment on it." Unrelatedly, having her blog title in an open window has meant that the Stan Rogers song "Barrett's Privateers" (annotated version) has been running through my head for days. I like the song quite a bit (not least because of the unusual five-line chorus), and I've always been fascinated by the concept of letters of marque, but I'm ready to move on to another song now.
  • Odd face-reading survey from National Geographic. I haven't finished going through it yet, but thought some of y'all might find it interesting.
  • Interesting and wide-ranging discussion of letting FTM transgendered students enroll at Smith. I don't have nearly enough time to contribute to the discussion, but there's clearly a lot of interesting stuff to discuss. Note that the beginning of the original article that indirectly sparked the discussion wasn't about an FTM student applying to Smith, but rather about a biologically female Smith student who discovered he was a man after he'd already been at Smith for a while, and the issue came up not as a matter of school policy but because of an Italian class in which the student wanted "to speak Italian like a boy." It looks like the article goes on from there to discuss other transgender issues at Smith, but the rest is only available to subscribers.
  • The Solidarity Choir sings "songs of freedom and struggle"; they have some audio samples on the site, and in the only one I've listened to so far they sound really good.
  • A while back, I mentioned Canadian singer/songwriter James Gordon's great song "Frobisher Bay." Now you can listen to what looks like two entire albums of Gordon's, Endomusia and The Song the River Sings, online via RealPlayer. I'll be ordering a couple of his albums from Borealis as soon as I figure out which ones I want. You can still download the hauntingly lovely "Frobisher Bay" and a bunch of his other songs for free in MP3 and other formats from SoundClick.
  • Which obliquely reminds me that Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer's album When I Go is now available in the iTunes Music Store. I've liked their other albums quite a lot too (thanks for the recommendation of Drum Hat Buddha, Jenn!), but I really love When I Go, especially the title track. See my entry from a year ago for more comments.

One Response to “Items: Hodgepodge and mishmash”

  1. Jennifer

    Don’t bother pointing people to the Serenity sneak peek. It’s sold out in all 10 cities. But I have tix. Yay!


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