Archive for August, 2005

Looting vs "Finding"

August 31st, 2005

Looting.

1. Valuables pillaged in time of war; spoils.
2. Stolen goods.
3. Informal. Goods illicitly obtained, as by bribery.
4. Informal. Things of value, such as gifts, received on one occasion.
5. Slang. Money.

finding.

1. To come upon, often by accident; meet with.
2. To come upon or discover by searching: found the leak in the pipe.
3. To discover or ascertain through observation, experience, or study
4. To recover (something lost): found her keys.
5. To recover the use of; regain: found my voice and replied.

shopping.

1. To visit stores in search of merchandise or bargains.
2. To look for something with the intention of acquiring it.

(via making light)

The wisdom of Marjory!!!

August 29th, 2005

Doozers build their constructions out of an edible candy-like substance (apparently manufactured from radishes)”

So there!

VIVA LEON!

August 29th, 2005

News just in that Leon passed his PhD viva today. Hurrah.

Here is what we predict Leon will look like later.

Windy!

August 29th, 2005

This is going to get worse before it gets better

LAZ037>040-049-050-056>070-MSZ069>071-077-080>082-291100
MON AUG 29 2005

…INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING.

EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE KATRINA CONTINUES TO APPROACH THE AREA. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS WILL SPREAD NORTH OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN AND ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI COAST THROUGH DAYBREAK…AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS WILL SPREAD FROM THE COAST INTO THE NEW ORLEANS METROPOLITAN AREA BY DAYBREAK MONDAY AND THE NORTH SHORE OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN AND THE MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST BY MID MORNING MONDAY. MAXIMUM WIND GUSTS OF 150 TO 175 MPH ARE LIKELY ALONG THE PATH OF THE HURRICANE THIS MORNING.
AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR HURRICANE FORCE…OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE…ARE CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

…DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…
AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. MANY WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.
HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A FEW POSSIBLY TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. MANY WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.
AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES MAY LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MANY POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING…BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED.


No Backing out now!!

August 26th, 2005


So you want to be a writer

August 26th, 2005

From Patrick NielsenHayden at MakingLight

Preach it, brother
Posted by Patrick at 01:21 PM
Tim Clare, Everyone Does Not Have A Novel Inside Them:
“The publishing world, frankly, is a cartel,” opined G. P. Taylor, children’s author and erstwhile self-publisher, “you can only get in there if you’re in the know…I and J. K. Rowling were discovered by accident. Most people are in the club, and it’s a mafia.” […F]or a grand cosmic fluke, J. K. Rowling’s “discovery” seems suspiciously stage-managed. Upon finishing her first Harry Potter novel, The Philosopher’s Stone, she sent the first three chapters to an agent, who turned them down. She sent them to a second agent, who asked to see the rest of the manuscript. A year later the agent secured a publishing contract. Behind the scenes there may have been smoke-filled pool halls, gunpoint negotiations and the ritual amputation of little fingers, but on the surface it seems rather genteel for the mob.
The truth is a disproportionate number of publishers are wide-eyed idealists with a frightening propensity for chucking good money after bad. As much as agents and editors may feign a cool professional insouciance, most dream of stumbling across The Next Big Thing and securing their place in industry history. While veteran authors languish in the mid-list doldrums, jammy first-timers rake in vast advances on the promise of long and lucrative careers, which frequently fail to materialise. Publishers act with one eye on posterity, leaving their accountants with ulcers the size of kumquats, and the UK book market saturated with newcomers brawling over a limited readership.
Despite this, there will always be luminaries such as G. P. Taylor who are happy to curry favour with the disaffected and untalented. Enthusiastically promoting a competition with the aim of finding “the next J. K. Rowling”, Taylor made the bizarre claim that “for the first time ever, a publisher is going to offer someone totally unknown the chance to be published”. […T]he simple fact is that unknown authors are being taken on every day, and frankly, publishers and established authors suffer because of it. The British publishing industry is crying out for a high-profile hothead to disabuse thousands of needy, bumbling timewasters of the notion that nascent masterpieces stir within their loins.
[…] If anything, the British publishing industry is too open to new writers at the expense of skilled stalwarts. […] Instead of promoting an attitude of “everyone has won and all shall have prizes”, the industry needs to remind people that brilliant writing is very, very hard, that there are many dragons to be fought on the way topublication, and that perishing in the battle is no shame
.
The above was read aloud to a small band of Tor editors who responded with unruly outbursts of cheering. Mind you, this was on a day when I’d bought a first novel just two hours before, and a good book it is, too. Which simply demonstrates that Clare has hold of a Higher Truth, which, like many Higher Truths, is easily refuted and yet persists…

hurrah! maths.

August 25th, 2005

cheers to Ben for sitting down for a few hours and walking through some of the maths parts of my work. He even paid for his own coffee, although after 90 mins of graph theory and set theory and markov chains and annealing solutions I think I’ll be paying for coffee next time.

I used to be good at maths once!

Try the New Forest. Its new!

August 24th, 2005
So I was in England last weekend, eventually, visiting with Jamie and Hilary and generally eating and drinking far more than was good for me, or indeed any of us.

I arrived in London only five and a half hours late. All but one of them stuck on an Aer Lingus jet in the middle of nowhere in Shannon. This after a bright and cheery (yeah, right!) 5:45 start to get breakfast, packed and a 7am bus. It was “technical difficulties” which is airline speak for “fucked if we know, and we wouldn’t tell you if we did”. The last time I was on a plane with “technical difficulties” was 3 days after the Concorde crash in Paris, when the backup of the backup of the backup engine monitor failed and it took an extra 2 hrs to fly from Dublin to New York as we had to stay within 2oo miles of land. Nothing like that this time, they just kept us onboard for just over 2hrs and then gave us 10 euros for breakfast and then reboarded us after an hour and took off 90 minutes later. Everyone could have handled the situation better, Aer Lingus weren’t very good at telling us was happening and they should have left us off at 10am rather than just pull away from the gate and park somewhere in the airport.

Likewise, some of the passengers could have complained less, most of them were going to be accommodated somehow with overnight stays as necessary and unless you live more than 8hrs than your destination airport its unlikely that you won’t be able to contact loved ones or whoever to warn them you may be 24 hrs late arriving. Only one couple made a lot of noise they were on a 12pm flight from Gatwick and Aer Lingus couldn’t do anything at all for them. Eventually they disembarked to try to buy their way on to a Ryanair flight or something. I had a book and free food (not good food, just free, unfortunately not a particularly good book either); I didn’t care much.

Getting through London from Heathrow is standard stuff, Heathrow Express to Paddington, Bakerloo Line to Waterloo Station. I only missed my train by 30 mins, and I was able to get the 17:05 train to Southampton. All in all I arrived only an hour late, although a bit annoyed I didn’t get to do anything or go anywhere in London. Hilary and Jamie had champange because of Hilary’s recent accomplishments.

The weekend proper began with Rose Wine and the adding of spices to meat. We ordered take-away from a newish Indian Restaurant, and not only did the manager deliver the food personally they called us after about 2 hrs to see if we liked it!!! The food was quite good and after a little persuasion I was allowed to order Lamb Jhal Frezee

Lamb Jhal Frezee is a hot stir-fry. This is a delicious way to cook any meat or vegetables. In colonial times it was introduced to the memsahibs (lady of the house) by the bobajee (cook) as a way to use up any leftovers. Stir fried with massala gravy, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, fresh coriander and not forgetting the hot fresh green chillies. Please say if you like it HOT or HOT

Others may complain about weight gain after all the Indian food we had, but I don’t think mine hung around enough to cause any long term worries. Maybe colon cancer!

Saturday we woke early, and some of us smelled like garlic and went to collect our hire car. About 60 pounds got us the use of a 2.2L Vauxhall Vectra with Jamie and myself as drivers and Hilary as navigator/”I just passed my test so you had better drive proper” girl. Not bad for ordering a polo. So off to the New Forest we jaunted to go hunting ponies. Unfortunately the New Forest is neither new, nor a forest nor a place one can hunt ponies. You aren’t even allowed ride the ponies. Maybe you need to buy them dinner and a movie first. We stopped near Lyndhurst a typical touristy town (if it was Irish it would be twee) except that amidst all the glitter and prettiness it had a maserati dealership, which just added to the glitter and prettiness. And Lyndhurst has one of those cafes where if you order main courses and dessert from two different people, or from the same person but who uses two dockets then they aren’t able to work out what happened at the till and you get dessert free.

After Lyndhurst we drove around the New Forest a bit, occasionally getting out to shoot ponies and chop their legs off (otherwise we couldn’t get the carcasses into the back seat). After a while we were tired and covered in blood so we had to stop for a beer. Then we went to Tescos to frighten the children with our pony express mock up! Except it wasn’t that express as the ponies were dead and had no legs. Afterwards we headed back home and Hilary cooked dinner while Jamie and I watched and drank beer.

Sunday was another early start and back again to the New Forest. This time our destination was Castle Hurst, part of the coastal defenses built by Henry VIII in the 1530s and subsequently expanded and refurbished by the Victorians. Hilary had a brain dead piece of GPS equipment that we tried to use to navigate from their apartment to Milford on Sea, but the blasted thing couldn’t find its own arse with a map so we had to give up on that and navigate by following the car in front of us or by repeatedly making left hand turns. Against all the odds we eventually got to Milford and a 40 min walk along an artificial sandbar to the castle, which was well worth the visit, and the sunburn. Back to Southampton for all you can eat chinese. No prizes for guessing how that ended up!

Monday was uneventful. 10am train back to London where the weather was lousy and I just mooched around and did a bit of shopping. On my way through Heathrow I picked up a bottle of Talisker for the flat and some chocolate for the ravenous hordes. Back to normal on Tuesday, except no exercise for this week as everything is closed. Maybe I should complain

A little bit Lolita

August 24th, 2005
She is 13 or 14. He is 20 or 21. He sees her across the room and starts stalking her, instantly forgetting his previous infatuation that he had claimed was his “true love.” She is flattered and intrigued, trying to cope with hormones and feelings she has never felt before–and soon she is enthralled by his honeyed words and eager to surrender her mind and judgment to his will. The imbalance in power and confidence between the barely-teenaged ingenue and her mature lover–a thug and a killer–is alarming. The only concession to decorum and order is that they are secretly married by a corrupted priest before the panties actually hit the floor. (from here)

We went to Romeo and Juliet at the Belltable last night. Its managed to garner a bit of publicity for itself by being updated to a contemparary Limerick setting, what with the fueds and all. There was even a solitary protestor with his “not to fueds, no to war, no to fighting” banner. But he wasn’t dedicated enough to his cause to stay after it started raining.

What most people seem to have ignored is that an amateur production by a youth group isn’t likely to be very good at all, in spite of what tricks and gimmicks are used to modernise it. And indeed it wasn’t very good at all. The idea of contemporising the play was quite good, although the Belltable is quite small and they could have done with an extra set, possibly in a housing estate/villa or similar instead of the generic scaffolding backdrop used in most of the play.

The acting was basic enough (young inexperiennced actors, blah, blah blah) but the delivery was pretty bad. Yes you are using a modern Limerick accent, albeit more Rathkeale than Ennis Road, but thats not an excuse to muble through lines really fast while facing away from the audinence and projecting towards the back wall. And it was really noticable, especially after the intremission, that the longer the speech the less pronounced the accent. I mean is it ok for Nurse to have a thick Limerick accent for

Anon, Anon!

in Act 1, but then to have no accent in Act 3 for

Hie to your chamber: I’ll find Romeo
To comfort you: I wot well where he is.
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night:
I’ll to him; he is hid at Laurence’ cell.

All in all the audience, which seemed to be the arty set and mothers/family of the cast and us, although we were there for the fencing, seemed to expect much of the “limerickisation” of the play and were actively looking for stuff to laugh or ooh at and the play itself also seemed to be working too hard looking for “limerickisation” bits to present to the audience for laughs and oohs. If I had paid more than 8 euros for the ticket I would have been quite disappointed, as it was I was merely disinterested.

All Change

August 24th, 2005
The UL webserver has been giving grief for almost a week now and I haven’t been able to access or update files. So I set up my own domain and moved. The move should appear seamless for most people. If it isn’t let me know in the comments. Ronan had the same problem and he moved his blog to the ssmh site

The name autoschism.com is inspired by conversations with Jamie and Hilary over last weekend, the fact that they are enduring their Babylonian Captivity in Southampton, a book on popes and antipopes I was browsing in Borders on Charing Cross Road on Monday and so on and so forth.

autoschism.com is also unique in google. So once the DNS system and search engines catch up, I should be easy to find. The closest match google finds is “autoschediasm“; which would probably be a good domain name as well, if not a unique match in google.

au•to•sche•di•asm

Pronunciation: (ô”t?-sk?’d?-az”um), [key]
—n.
something that is improvised or extemporized.

Now that I am no longer a UL site I will probably change the look etc. But I have too many things to do right now. One in particlular springs to mind! So no major facelifts for a while.

autoschism.com is hosted by dreamhost.