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Friday, November 26, 2004

Random word of the day: stupid line. It's the line between a quantified risk and an unquantified one. E.g. skiing on-piste vs off-piste. I guess you could draw a graph of times-stupid-line-was-crossed against years-of-age.

For most people it would peak in the mid-twenties before going into a steady and graceful decline. It would take a dip after a serious life event such as a mugging or an operation. It would show a spike if you developed a hard drink or cocaine habit. How's YOUR stupid line doing lately?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Reptile in the White House? Cheney speaks to your (three) brains.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hundreds of previously unknown species have been discovered in a new census of the ocean depths. (Firefoxers take note: the site currently only loads with IE - doh!)
I liked this bit: a new species of Gobi fish was found off Guam in the Pacific Ocean. It has developed a partnership with a snapping shrimp, with the crustacean digging a hideout on the sea-bed for the two while the fish stands guard.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Random image of the day, courtesy of pthbbbt.

Friday, November 19, 2004

It was 35 years today: Apollo 12's lunar module Intrepid touched down, marking the start of one of the more spectacular lunar outings: Pete Conrad and Alan Bean kept busy on the surface for 31 hours. Dick Gordon kepts the Yankee Clipper in lunar orbit while the boys fossicked around.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

How to make Basque Cod Pil Pil
Get some floury spuds on the go while you do the cod.
Put some boutique olive oil (about half a cup) on the pan, and gently saute sliced onions and green peppers. Reserve the veggies when tender.
Let the pan cool to a very very low temperature.
In the coolish oil, place the fillets of cod, skin upmost.
Gently gently swish and sweat the cod, releasing its juices into the oil. From time to time, tilt the pan and whisk the oil and juices. DO NOT FRY THE COD.
When you have something like a fishy mayonaisse on the go with the whisk, drain it off into a warm bowl, flip the fish, and give the pan a quick burst of heat to finish the bit nearest the skin, and heat up the whole thing.
Place cod and spuds on plates, add the veggies, and spoon the mayonaisse-like sauce over everything.
If you can do this properly, you're able to cook Basque food.
PS. You need really fresh cod, great olive oil, and good spuds: otherwise don't even bother, just find a Basque restaurant.

It's official: Ireland is the best place in the world to live. Hmmmmmmm ... Don't quite know what to make of this. Anyway, what's happening at the Economist (who sponsored the survey of 111 countries)? I've read their mag for years, and rarely found a word about Ireland that wasn't mealy mouthed and disparaging. Then last month they do a big special edition on the ^&*( Celtic Tiger - and now this????

Mach 10 has been achieved by the NASA ramjet - a new record.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

From boing boing: Phone fetishism: watch top models trample hated technology, smashing it to bits.

The witch hunts have begun: after the election, the CIA is to be purged of dis-loyalists - "soft leakers and closet liberals".

The European Space Agency has put an ion-propulsion rocket into lunar orbit. While ion jets are pea-shooters in terms of horsepower, they hold great promise for long-distance travel in low-gravity space.

We had a birthday bash on Saturday with C. and S. visiting - Basque themed menu with fish chowder, mushrooms with walnut sauce, and basque potato, olives and pepper sauce, and steaks. A good knees up, and a nice walk with Scooby in the woods - old enough now to be off the leash a lot of the time - and a few curative scoobs at Macreddins

Friday, November 12, 2004

A nice change from socks and an M&S jumper for the man who has everything.

Happy birthday to me!

NASA are making a attempt to set a new speed record at Mach 10, using ramjet technology.
A ramjet operates by subsonic combustion of fuel in a stream of air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft itself, as opposed to a normal jet engine, in which the compressor section (the fan blades) compresses the air. Ramjets operate from about Mach 3 to Mach 6.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Some cheap shots here on this Fallujah black humour page: still worth a giggle ...

No cheap shots, just some straight talkin, in this piece about the Mussolini kind of guy.

The upgrade itch: a discussion of that old nagging tootache - do I buy now when the technology is hot, flaky (and expensive) - or do I wait till it's stable, cheap (and yesterday's news).

Tuesday, November 10, 2004

When learning a new computer language, one of the first tasks I set myself is the writing of a prime number generation algorithmn. Here's an enjoyable discussion (well, if yr cut out that way) of these intruiging little beasties.

Monday, November 8, 2004

US troops enter Fallujah: Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent told a crowd of some 2,500 Marines. "You're all in the process of making history. This is another Hue city in the making. I have no doubt, if we do get the word, that each and every one of you is going to do what you have always done — kick some butt."

Reach out and sneer: an open letter from the Blue States to the Red States.

Wednesday, November 4, 2004

Bush won.

Here's from a mail I sent this morning:
Yeah, feeling pretty deflated this end too.

I guess, from the Marxist-Leninist perspective, when tyrants prevail this hastens the coming of the global revolution.

But I wasn't looking for global revolution - just nuance, better phrasing, grammar and vocabulary.

Oh well, I guess it's up to America to decide over the next four years if they want their leaders chosen by the children of the corn.


Tuesday, November 2, 2004

The great Linus Torvalds vs. Andrew Tanenbaum debate about the relative merits of monolithic vs. micro-kernel operating systems is an oldie but a goodie. Turned up by Slashdot as it transpires that the legendary Comp. Sc. prof Tanenbaum is maintaining watch as the Votemaster on a US election-monitoring site.

Pissed off with your chav neighbour revving his Rav4 in the drive? Try drowning him out with the might of four Rolls Royce Olympus 301s. On the auction block is an Avro Vulcan bomber, albeit in less than perfect nick. You have 3 days to pony up a couple of mil for the ultimate *that* will shut them up accessory.

I posted this comment on an excellent review of the US presidential election, which happens today, on d2r's website:

A very well written and thoughtful piece. The pity is that it is mainly going to be read by those who like myself are already firmly among the converted. The political end of the blogosphere now seems to consist of right-wing bloggers reading and cheering on the other right wing bloggers, and the sqme happening on the other side.
Well, we'll see which way the cookie crumbles today: I think William Gibson's recent post is apposite: this is an election about whether or not there will be elections in the future.

posted by A Seeker after Knowledge 7:48 AM

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Living somewhere near here:

Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Click the piccie for a bigger version ...
Blogs we like
Blogcritics: news and reviews
William Gibson - he's back.
Dervala is a thought-provoking read.
William S. Lind military .... AND intelligent.
She's a Flight Risk ... and on the run.
North Atlantic Skyline: the West's awake
Informed Comment from an expert on Iraq
Karlin Lillington is on the move.
Quondam Confederate: Mark is in Malmo
Banana Republic Daze: is pithy and topical
Oblomovka in California
Textism: rarely updated, but succulent.
Melanie - this really is a blog.
Meanderthal Man - in search of the Missing Think.
Tom Chi making music in Seattle.
The Homeless Guy - out and about.
Babblogue is quirky.
The Agonist - somewhere in Texas (when he's not touring the Silk Road).
SlashDot - geek central.
BoingBoing - a directory of wonderful things.
Bernie Goldbach - is under way in Ireland.
Ideas Asylum - for insanely good ideas.
D2R - for tech talk.
Last Daze of Eamo - for an eye on the comics.
Tom Murphy - has a PR angle.
QuantumBlog - for scientific updates without all that Slashdot attitude shite.

Dept. of War-blogging Just to keep an eye on these guys and be reminded that the neo-cons aren't going away any time soon ...
Den Beste - good on engineering topics, rabid on everything else.
John Robb - war-blogging from the armchair (which is the closest to a war-zone most of these guys get).
Instapundit - for breaking news, and a right-wing take on same. "If you've got a modem, I've got a (bigoted) opinion".
Andrew Sullivan - a right-winger who writes well.
... and if you want to get the taste of these guys out of your mouth, visit: Press Action

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Just in case they ever come back to life, and to remind one of the perils of hiatus ....
Where is Raed? used to blog from Baghdad
Ilonina - was random.
Paulianne was diarying in Diois
Eric Raymond - an individual, but one who doesn't keep his site updated.

I live in Ireland, in a lovely part of the country called Aughrim in the county of Wicklow. I work in South Dublin - it's a long commute - but 2 days a week I work from home. Whenever possible, I walk with my dog Scooby (Scooby's a feisty Glen of Imaal terrier with loadsa character) under beautiful Croghane Mountain.
About the name Mulqueen Mulqueen is a Clare sept, first recorded as a bardic tribe in the annals of the Dal Cais in the 10th century. I'm from Limerick originally myself, and the name is mainly found in south Clare, North Tipperary, and Limerick East. The name is O'Maolchaoin in Gaelic - the "Maol" (as with all the many Irish surnames beginning in "Mul") means "bald". It doesn't mean there were a lot of hair-challenged gents back then! The tag refers to "tribes wearing horn-less helmets" - it wasn't just the Vikings who wore horns, many Irish tribes did too. The "chaoin" means "gentle" in the sense of well-bred (the sense that survives in "gentleman" or "gentility"). Presumably the bardic (poetic) activities are referred to here :-) Anyhow, some of us are still writing - there is a disproportionate number of Mulqueens working in Irish journalism. Heraldic elements in clan history generally tend to be much later additions, but for the record the Mulqueen coat of arms holds a lion and a heart, and the motto: "Fortiter et fideliter" - brave and true.
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