Nov 162007

Wagner in FacebookNow you can be friends with Wagner.

At least there’s a Sika Wagner to be found in the facebook.

But the fact of “no recent activity” might mean that this is quite some other porcine individual.

Fingerpori, by far the best strip in Hesari these days has been gathered up to an archive. Hopefully this means that an album is forthcoming as well.

Nov 162007

Unfinished - Photo Thursday week #68 challengeThis week’s photo thursday challenge subject is unfinished.

My take on the subject is the attached image, a scene from the Museum of Australia, where paleontologists are investigating fossil discoveries in full view of the visitors. The white-haired guy in the picture clearly has lots of unfinished business to attend to on the table and doubtless tons and tons more stones just off the frame.

(As usual, the full-size photograph is available by clicking the attached image.)

Nov 162007

NyarlathotepI am Nyarlathotep.

The 999 forms of Nyarlathotep are a point of meditation for the true initiate. It is through these manifold faces that the secrets of the universe are made known. Called “The Crawling Chaos”, Nyarlathotep is the disembodied ego of Azathoth and thus the universal “I” of known reality. Some of the many documented forms are; Father of Knives, Nephren-Ka, the Black Man, the Beast of the Lashing Tongue to name a few.

Which Great Old One are you?

Nov 132007

Hakkapeliitat have five straight victories now.

Last week’s game featured the largest margin of the season – where the duo of running backs outscored the opponent’s by no less than fifty points. Picked multi-year Hakkapeliitat veteran Warrick Dunn off the list of free agents just before the game and slotted him in instead of Maurice Jones-Drew, who was up against the supposedly tight Titans’ defense. Both of them scored, but Dunn picked up more yards. And Brian Westbrook continued almost single-handed demolition of Eagles’ opponents: with three scores and 180+ yards in total he was clearly the key to victory.

The quarterbacks fared equally well: Saints’ Brees engineered an almost successful comeback (marred by a muffed onside kick) after two interceptions in the first half, Browns’ Anderson threw less, but had no picks either. On the defense Dallas put on a good show in the fourth quarter against the Giants, rattling Eli Manning with multiple sacks.

In the league proper the biggest news was Colts’ second loss, following a remarkable rally from 23 points down in San Diego – Peyton Manning’s six interceptions and Adam Vinatieri’s miskicks guaranteed the loss to uneven Chargers. Rex Grossman returned to chair the Bears’ offense (and didn’t suck too bad) and Cincinnati kicked seven field goals. Patriots’ bye meant rest for the team that actually (due to an easy schedule) actually has a decent chance to be the first team in NFL to finish 16-0 (Miami Dolphins, famously undefeated in 1972, played a shorter season).

Bring on week eleven.

Nov 132007

Depite being laid out all in flash, the 19.20.21 is worth a visit.

The cryptic name hides an inevitable result of urbanization: there will be 19 cities with at least 20 million inhabitants in the 21st century.

Nov 132007

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the arrival of fourth Arkham Horror expansion.

Kingsport Horror, out early next year adds yet another board to the game. The increasing need of horizontal real estate ensures that fewer and fewer of gamers can actually play Arkham Horror on a table, as the multiple boards and increasingly many decks of cards consume all available space.

It’s been a while since the last game – and the previous expansion hasn’t even been tried out. Definitely a good time soon to see whether the great old ones still hold humanity in thrall (current score is 4-2 for the home team).

Nov 122007

It’s been a while since the last checking which new blogs have been subject of GETs lately.

  • Hilavitkutin is the quintessential finnish generic gadget blog.
  • Bldgblog is a fascinating blog about architecture.
  • Risto Isomäki, the finnish environmentalist, in addition to just launching a brand new technothriller, has expanded his range to blogging.
  • Blogging Ultima describes a gamer’s journey through the Britannian tales (and is thematically similar to Blogging Zelda covered back in july, sadly that seems to have been taken over by marketers).
  • Juhapekka Tolvanen has moved on to a new site, and still deserved the lifetime award of the finnish blogging scene.
  • I seem to have completely missed the start of the Freakonomics blog. Materials-wise it seems to be both frequently updated and as good as the book itself. And speaking of popular economics blogs, the Long Tail remains worthwhile as well.
Nov 122007

The Google-led Open Handset Alliance released the first version of the Android platform entirely on schedule.

Too bad it’s not (at least initially) available for PowerPC-equipped Macs. But digesting pertinentest bits of the information avalanche (including videos) ought to take a while.

And yes: it runs Quake already, and a z-machine interpreter is probably just around the corner – thus cementing Android’s status as a credible platform almost overnight. Whether it ever makes it into commercial playground remains to be seen – after all it’s got the Symbians, iPhones and Windows Mobiles to take on.

Nov 122007

This week Skrubu’s fiver concentrates on learning and new ideas.

1. Does school kill creativity?
Nope, but bad teachers just might.

2. When did you learn something completely new, what was the subject and what kind of ideas did that provoke?
It’s been a good while since anything “completely new”, I’d say. Good enough not to be able to think up anything meaningful right now.

3. Do you actively seek new things to learn?
Yes. Being naturally inclined to besserwisserism, interesting factoids tend to be picked up whenever available.

4. Can a person ever be too old to learn new things?
Nope, age doesn’t matter.

5. In your opinion: who ought to learn something right now, and what would that be?
George W. Learning humility to acknowledge the persian quagmire would be a good first step.

Nov 102007

Participated in the semi-regular 2-on-2 table hockey torurnament yesterday evening.

Keyword in the above being participated, since success was thin on the ground. Placed eleventh among sixteen players, and only irregularly was able to summon any sniping action. Scored only eleven goals in the regular season’s fifteen games (but managed to de-stick a goalie), and got tossed in the first round of the playoffs (by the eventual winners of the whole shindig).

Like many great recreational endeavours, however, participation was pretty much all it took to have fun. Some of the games were classically good, and not nearly all of the best events victories. A skin-of-the-teeth loss is often a better game than a straight beatdown. But it sure was good to be on the delivering end of one at least once.

Nov 092007

Last month Alma Media announced that Presso will be terminated in november.

Its closest combatant to enjoyable saturday morning reads, Taloussanomat, will meet the same fate at the end of the year.

But where Presso looks like it’ll be extincted completely, Taloussanomat continues as a pure web entity.

And now I seriously need someting else to read over a saturday morning breakfast / tram ride downtown. Hesari itself is no credible replacement, being too unwieldy for comfort.

Nov 092007

In a truly surprising turn of events MIT sues Frank Gehry because his celebrated Stata Center, opened in 2004 to great acclaim, is not that functional as a building.

While the building is spectacular both inside and out (and rather confusing to locate anything within), the claimed design sins seem rather unforgivable.

Nov 092007

The best kind. Unplanned and unexpected.

  • Good intentions of getting home early. Check.
  • Multiple sentences beginning with “guys, I probably shouldn’t say this, but …” Check.
  • Worthy superiors praised, less than optimal beaten down. Check.
  • Late-night snack whose preparation consumes valuable sleeptime. Check.
  • Wondering whether all the new beers in Kaisla would be worth trying out. Check.
  • Not very productive day at work. Check.

And the world is definitely a tiny smidgeon better place.

Nov 082007

Continued analysis of a picture - Photo Thursday week #67 challengeThis week’s photo thursday challenge subject is continued analysis of an image of a path through woods.

My take on the subject is the attached image, an image from the Blue Mountains National Park, where a mountain vista offers a magnificent view over the lush rainforest in the valley below. The mist is not artificially added, the day of the visit was wet indeed.

(As usual, the full-size photograph is available by clicking the attached image.)

Nov 082007

Yeah. I thought I indeed was more jaded than this.

After all, following the live coverage of 9/11, a smaller tragedy should just fade to black and wander by, unseen, unfelt.

But nope. The fact that the finnish tranquillity was once again shattered by violence hit deeper than expected.

A massacre at a high school left eight people dead. Perpetrated by a self-confessed de-humanist, and accompanied by a full media package on several sites, the act itself is nothing short of shocking in its callousness.

Like Jussi in Kasa I’m going to avoid discussion forums for a while – it’ll be long before everybody and his cousin has had their say about the root cause of what happened.

Nov 082007

Älä Kailota is a public awareness campaign worthy of props on account of two reasons:

Their domainname boldly uses umlauts.

And the far bigger aspect is that lots and lots of people on mobiles in public transport are completely unaware that they’re spilling sordid details of their lives to their benchmates, if not the whole bus.

Anything that cuts down on such noise pollution deserves a round of applause.

Nov 072007

Details of Scrooge McDuck's Money BinScrooge McDuck turns 60 this year.

Sadly, there’s no new story by Don Rosa to celebrate the birthday – the six-part story by a committee of european artists seems very lame indeed in comparison.

Instead, duck fans are strongly suggested to turn towards an awesome scale model of the world’s richest duck’s money bin.

Nov 072007

Google knows no fear, it would appear.

How else could its recent actions be evaluated?

After all, within a few days, it has taken on two 800-pound gorillas: Nokia, with their open mobile phone platform and Facebook, with their open social networking initiative.

Keyword in both of the above is obviously “open”, but beyond that the analysis hasn’t really progressed that far.

Nov 072007

And the streak just got extended to four games in a row. And Hakkapeliitat is now above .500 for the first time this season.

Gambled on Drew Brees over Derek Anderson behind the line of scrimmage and it paid off – he threw the highest total of the week, and a trio of scores. None of which, sadly, to Marques Colston, but that’s not really a major concern. Brian Westbrook had yet another of his RB/WR-games, but earned a single touchdown – that on top of the 150 yards is just icing on the cake. Sadly return yards are not tallied – otherwise Maurice Jones-Drew’s record 100-yarder would have been a humongous play.

In the league itself Patriots outfoxed Colts in a likely preview of the AFC championship game in january. Probably in Foxboro, if Tom Brady’s offense remains as frightening they’ve been.

Bring on week ten.

Nov 062007

Finished watching the third season of HBO’s mighty The Wire the other day, and was both very pleased and dismayed.

Pleased on account of the multi-faceted storyline moving forward at a roller-coaster pace, and effortlessly picking up new threads while doing so.

Dismayed merely due to the fact that the fourth season doesn’t arrive on dvd until march next year. At least in region 2. The US release has happened already, but the domestic HBO boxes tend to be on the expensive side.