mtbc: maze H (magenta-black)
[personal profile] mtbc
Since dropping the children off in Dundee this morning I have been doing various chores around the house and yards, including killing the most obvious weeds and attempting to fix some loose bathroom tiles, hence the white grout now caked onto my fingernails. I had mentioned missing the wire mesh window screens since moving from the US. [personal profile] mst3kmoxie has some kind of mesh for fixing over our patio door so I wiped the latest mold from around the glass and frame ready for her to use the included adhesive pads.

This weekend is unusually pleasant in that there are no exceptional impediments to my getting on with useful things. While such impediments may individually be exceptional, the fact that there is an exceptional impediment of some kind is itself hardly exceptional. Another one is coming: in my mowing the yards, the mower's drive belt snapped. I have ordered a replacement but I shall have to put some time aside for installing it: yet another exceptional event occupying what little useful personal time I do get.

fork bomb

May. 26th, 2017 07:35 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
In the second year of my BSc, one of the lecturers asked us to build a Unix shell. In those days, Unix on PCs was a novelty, and most people used accounts on a minicomputer called altair. (Now I feel old.)

Anyway, a fundamental part of building a shell is the sequence of fork() then exec(). It's unique to Unix-like systems, and most students were unfamiliar with it-- hence the exercise.

Now, if you miss out the exec(), you'll have a continuous loop of fork()s, otherwise known as a fork bomb. This could bring down the system, especially in those days. So imagine several dozen CS2 students logging in to the same computer, building a fork bomb by accident, and setting it off.

The funniest part was how angry he was with *us* in the next lecture. "The sysadmins are saying I told you to put fork() in a loop! I *never* told you to put fork() in a loop!"

Music meme: day 1 of 30

May. 26th, 2017 01:01 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and a bunch of other people are doing a 30 day music meme, and it's really interesting to see people's choices! In some ways music isn't a big part of my life, so I might struggle with this one, and anyway I'm not going to commit to posting every day for 30 consecutive days, but I thought I'd give it a go.

The first is A song you like with a colour in the title, so I went for White winter hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I don't always love the kind of very blurry musical style that Fleet Foxes go for, but I got really fond of this song a few years back and it's one that always raises a smile when it comes on shuffle.

People are generally linking to YouTube, and I'd never actually seen the accompanying video for this one before. It's kind of a cool claymation thing, so I'm glad I searched it up.

Embedded video )

Interesting Links for 26-05-2017

May. 26th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

30 Day Music Meme day 12

May. 26th, 2017 09:26 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

When I was 12, Everything I do (I do it for you) was number one for 16 weeks. Everyone was talking about Bryan Adams. So I listened to everything he'd released at that point, and that's why even though I was wee at the time it was released, it's going into the pre-teen slot. Imagine a lonely, depressed 12 year old in a 3 bed semi in a small town. Then I heard this, and it was like all the hope in the world wrapped up in one small Canadian.

The Best Was Yet To Come by Bryan Adams.

Interesting Links for 25-05-2017

May. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
highlyeccentric: Manuscript illumination - courtiers throwing snowballs (medieval - everybody snowball)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Currently Reading: Too many things for work. A selected-poems book of Carol Ann Duffy's work. The Rose & The Dagger, which is the sequel to the YA Sheherazade one called The Wrath and the Dawn.

Recently Finished:

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a reasonably good book. On the other hand, I really didn't need another christian-allegory spec fic in my life. At least Susan Cooper has a good world-built reason for DARKNESS SWALLOWING EVERYTHING MUST BE RESISTED CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED, and also she has Merlin.

Protagonist: a+ grumpy girl child
11-y old heterosexual romance plot: unnecessary and annoying.
Protagonist magical-genius younger brother: great character, but gave me a weird 'oh hai autistic stereotype' feeling.

I appreciate the effort to make the mother an Interesting Career Scientist, too, but ffs, you can't have a physics research lab in your basement.

I feel like this Toast piece on AWIT reflects probably a better reading of the book than I have:

Meanjin Autumn 2017 (Vol. 76, Issue 1)Meanjin Autumn 2017 by Jonathan Green

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This wasn't a great issue, IMHO. I was displeased with it from the outset, where in the opening pages the results of the Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize were announced. The announcement noted the huge disparity between #s of men and women (candidates? Shortlist? Unclear), and then offered absolutely nothing further. They had thoughts on why there were more poems about animals than politics, but not about why more men than women, and gave no indication of any desire to do anything ABOUT that.

I really enjoyed Matthew Fishburn's essay on the collecting of indigenous skulls (by white people) in early NSW.

Andrea Baldwin's memoir-essay Occasionally, A Stranger to Watch the Stars With is worth a read.

John Clarke's Commonplace has some interesting gobbets in it.

Otherwise, I was not hugely impressed by any of this issue - particularly not the poetry.

The Dishonesty of DreamsThe Dishonesty of Dreams by A.J. Odasso

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this. Not, perhaps, as much as I loved Devil's Road Down -I may never love any poetry collection like I love that chapbook - but this is a more mature style of poetry, and contains a number of my favourites, like Carnal Knowledge, and Five Times I Lived By Water.

Up Next: I've got a short-story collection by Ivan E Coyote near to hand...

Music notes: New Paramore album is excellent (I missed them the first time around but I am enjoying this revival). Under the influence of a fandom chain of suggestion I bought two Adam Lambert albums and am enjoying 'For Your Entertainment' extensively.

Weather for happiness

May. 25th, 2017 07:49 am
mtbc: maze F (cyan-black)
[personal profile] mtbc
Thanks to a high-pressure system this morning is warm and sunny. Dundee is generally relatively sunny and today's temperature is projected to reach around 70°F which is nothing by American standards but pleasant nonetheless. Still, while wearing a short-sleeved shirt on my drive into work, I brought a sweater in to counter our building's climate control. This is a common occurrence: for example, I recall working as a research assistant in the University of Cambridge's Department of Engineering one summer and often walking out into a wall of heat at the end of the day, then the next summer I was a visiting scholar in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University and encountered the same phenomenon, enough that I would bring trousers to change into from my shorts once I had arrived at my office and its cooler climate. (I have not needed to wear shorts here in Scotland.) I wonder how much energy we would save by not managing office buildings' climate quite as needlessly aggressively as seems commonplace.

My good feeling this morning in the sunshine reminds me of how much I enjoy such weather. Indeed, I might now have been working in University of Arizona's Department of Computer Science if not for those meddling kids: I was much attracted by the weather and a great-looking job vacancy for which I was very well qualified but my impressions of Tucson's public school system prevented me as a parent from risking such a move. Providence's schools already turned out to be quite bad enough, we left there after one academic year, not that we had moved there for the weather.

In returning to the US someday it would of course be good if that did make me as much happier as expected; I do indeed already bear climate in mind when considering to where I might move. Usual American house features like good porches and wire mesh for windows are also important though at our present house I do at least have a table in the back yard at which I can sit. The house I owned in Ohio had three separate porches. Locally we are not much troubled by winged hematophagic grazers; the insects that do fly into the house can become stimulating playthings for our cat. [personal profile] mst3kmoxie would note with disdain that the snakes that entered our house in Ohio similarly became playthings; I would try to clean up their remains before she came downstairs in the morning.

Update: It reached 77½°F.

(no subject)

May. 25th, 2017 08:06 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

A song you never get tired of. I was looking for something with a lot of range, to keep my interest up. Something a bit meaty, by a band I love. So I give you Astronomy by the Brain Surgeons. It was actually written for Blue Öyster Cult but is one of the BÖC songs that the Brain Surgeons, formed by Al Bouchard after leaving BÖC, kept playing. Al is now in a Blue Öyster Cult/Alice Cooper covers bande, Blue Coupe, with Dennis Dunaway from Alice Cooper.

Ancient music

May. 24th, 2017 09:53 pm
mtbc: maze G (black-magenta)
[personal profile] mtbc
Of the hymns last Sunday in church I noticed that I most liked How Great Thou Art in preference to the more modern ones from Mission Praise. I got to thinking about older music. BBC Radio 3 has The Early Music Show and [personal profile] emperor used to present a great local radio show with similarly early music but I wondered how much further back we can go. For religious music, with my background in Christianity I naturally thought of the mysterious cantillation signs for the Book of Psalms. Some searching online finds me CDs by Esther Lamandier which perhaps I ought to investigate. I don't immediately find an easy way to sample them though I guess there are probably also other relevant artists.


May. 24th, 2017 11:02 pm
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[personal profile] legionseagle
The New York Times and other US-based MSM outlets are currently publishing sensitive details likely to impede investigation of the Manchester bomb, details whih they seem to have got from intelligence sharing between US and UK intelligence sources. It shows the hollowness of all the "thoughts and prayers" rhetoric. That's not the behaviour of an ally, it's that of the worst sort of collaborateur, the sort who does it not from conviction but for gain.

ETA I'm not the biggest Andy Burnham fan out there, but I sympathise with him here where the acting US Ambassador seems to be giving him assurances that either can't or won't be kept.

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

May. 24th, 2017 10:08 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
to [personal profile] lydy! Have a magnificent day!

(Oooh, the sun just came out!)

Reading Wednesday 24/05

May. 24th, 2017 12:37 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read: The hundred trillion stories in your head, a bio of Ramón y Cajal by Benjamin Ehrlich. (Contains some detail of Ramón y Cajal's rather grim childhood.)

Currently reading: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. Partly because it's Hugo nominated, and partly because [personal profile] jack was excited to talk about it so I've borrowed his copy. I'm halfway through and enjoying it a lot; it's a bit like a somewhat grimmer version of Leckie's Ancillary books. It has too much gory detail of war and torture for my preferences but it's also a really engaging story.

Up next: Quite possibly Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, since I'd like to read at least the Hugo novels in time for Worldcon.

Interesting Links for 24-05-2017

May. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm

I <3 brainy punks

May. 24th, 2017 11:16 am
ceb: (absinthe)
[personal profile] ceb
My favourite Basque horrorpunk band, Los Carniceros del Norte, have made a covers album where all the songs are translated into Spanish. Exhibit A: _Cuchillos de Fuego_ by Johnny Cash:

Hoping this makes someone else's day as much as it made mine.

(entire album here: )

If you need your day made in Québécois French instead, here's a different brainy punk/psychobilly band (The Brains, appropriately enough, and they can make your day in English and North American Spanish too):

NB do not try to make your day with French-French punk, it works very poorly.

Synecdoche vs Metonymy

May. 24th, 2017 10:23 am
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
In a manful effort to remember which is which, I looked these words up *again*.

It looks like, "synecdoche" means using a part to represent the whole, eg. "how many heads" in a herd of cattle, or "how many bums" in a theatre, or "nice wheels" referring to a whole car. But is also used for the reverse, using a whole to represent a part, eg. "what does Brussels think" referring to the European parliament.

I couldn't tell why the second meaning was included, but secondarily, if the first meaning came first, and then people started using it both ways round, or something else. Nor if only the first meaning is "correct" and the second is a mistake, or if both are equally accepted.

Apparently "metonymy" means "using a closely related concept to represent a thing". Eg. using "suits" for "lawyers" or "businesspeople", or "the pen is mightier than the sword" to mean "the written word is mightier than force of arms".

So the real difference between "synecdoche" and "metonymy" is different history and connotations, which I don't really understand. But in terms of literal meaning, the only difference is "using a part to represent the whole" vs "using one concept to represent another".

But, obviously, human pattern matching means if you mostly use synecdoche in the "part for a whole" sense, then the most common use of metonymy is "whole for a part", even if it could be used for other things.

Can anyone fill in the gaps here?
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

10: a song that makes you sad.

My uncle had this song at his funeral. I gather Lemmy maybe did too? but my uncle died first, and besides, he was a good uncle. To give some idea of his personality, he demanded Fire by Arthur Brown for the end, when the curtains close. He fixed things, and he took life lightly, and the world is a better place for having had him in it.

I give you Jollity Farm by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band