Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Autumn in Amsterdam

Autumn in Amsterdam
Originally uploaded by Joep R.

Beautifully composed

Monday, January 28, 2008

Al Gore in 2008? Don't Bet Against It

If neither Hillary nor Barack can win the convention on the first ballot and Edwards is unable to deliver victory to either, then the Democrats will need a compromise candidate. And, if you’re going to compromise, why not go with someone whose popularity has skyrocketed among Democrats, who has won the Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar?Why not? It could be worse.

read more | digg story

Friday, January 25, 2008

6.189 Multicore Programming Primer: PS3 Cell Programming

6.189 Multicore Programming Primer: PS3 Cell Programming

This course is a brand new IAP 2007 class offering open to all MIT students (undergraduates and graduates). Students will spend several weeks learning about new multicore architectures and parallel programming patterns, and will design and implement projects to run directly on the new PLAYSTATION®3 consoles. The course will culminate in an exciting competition at the end of IAP, and prizes will be awarded to the best projects. The course will give students hands on experience in parallel programming in an exciting and relevant context.

Wow - will go through this, not that I'd probably do much Cell coding, but nevertheless, neat...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bangalore Airport, India Forecast : Weather Underground

Bangalore Airport, India Forecast : Weather Underground - good, reliable weather reports - I like scanning the RSS feed to get a sense of how cold/hot it really is

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Movie Review: Zulu

We watched Zulu (1964) today. Interesting movie - hard to say whether it's pro- or anti-imperialist. Fuller review soon. For now, here's an interesting viewpoint:

Since such a vast number of British soldiers appeared to be killed during the encounter represented in the film, one then must wonder why there was so little to celebrate. Perhaps Endfield and Prebble were mindful of Rorke's Drift's true history, which was not accurately reflected in their screenplay. While there was a battle at Rorke's Drift on January 23, 1879, it was a one-sided affair entirely. Zulu scholar Magema Fuze points out, "The Zulus died in heaps there, killed by those white men in the building. They went on killing them until dawn, and in the early morning the Zulus withdrew defeated, leaving behind heaps of dead on the ground."

James O. Gump sums up the reality behind Rorke's Drift in his
excellent "The Dust Rose Like Smoke: the Subjugation of the Zulu andthe Sioux":

"Chard's forces, bolstered by Martini-Henry breech-loading rifles andample supplies of ammunition, sustained fifteen deaths. In
recognition of their valiant defense [Gump is being ironic here] at Rorke's Drift, Chard and ten of his men each received a Victoria Cross, the highest honor to be bestowed on a British soldier in the nineteenth century [described solemnly by narrator Richard Burton at the film's conclusion.]"

In other words, Rorke's Drift was actually a "turkey-shoot" of the kind that occurred on the road to Basra at the end of the Gulf War or which has just occurred in Afghanistan. Some things never change.

In examining the motives--conscious or subconscious--of Endfield and Prebble, it would be useful to take a look at their rather singular careers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Anne Rice endorses Hillary Clinton

Interesting off-center endorsement.

Anne seems in form, if only she'd get back to the Vampire Chronicles.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

9 who sat near TB-stricken woman on India-to-O'Hare flight are sought --

9 who sat near TB-stricken woman on India-to-O'Hare flight are sought --
Nine people in Illinois are being sought by public health departments after sitting near a woman who had tuberculosis on a flight from India to Chicago in early December, health officials said.

The woman, who has not been identified, was on American Airlines Flight 293 from New Delhi to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 13. She continued on another flight to San Francisco, where six days later she was diagnosed with the multiple drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis, said Shelley Diaz, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over 90% of the people in India have been exposed to tuberculosis at one time or another. This does not hold true globally, of course.

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader