Bigger Europe

Tonight Cyprus joins European Union together with few other countries. This is a huge historical event.

Suprinsingly, there is not that much of a celebration in Cyprus. All TV channels broadcast the same concert by an aging Greek popstar in Nicosia. Not even a bit attractive. Only the Sigma channel manages to show the concert better than it can be in real life. Whatever.

I assumed there will be some photo opportunities outside with concerts, fireworks, and crowds. I was wrong apparently. I’ve found only one hang out in Kanika area, where they had something similar to a stage with a couple of rock bands playing. It was so horrible that it was actually a bit good. There was no sound, just noise, and there was no light, just a lamp. All my photo enthusiasm was gone in a second. And it was getting further with each other second. When midnight struck, music stopped, speakers said something like “Welcome to Europe and a very good night” and people started to get off. Not much fun. There was not that much of a crowd either. Just a few groups of teenagers below 18. And no fireworks.

Maybe next time. Oh, wait…nevermind. :)

A couple of photo links

BreakHere are a couple of useful links that passed by in the mailing lists recently.

In the other news: my latest order from Digital Photo Discount Club has been delayed due to a number of backorders. Now they’ve got everything except for Canon circular polarizing filter, so I’ve asked them to replace it with a slightly more expensive one made by B&W. They confirmed everything and promised to ship the order within the next 24-48 hours. Hopefully it will make it before the Cyprus stage of World Rally Championship. :)

The School of Rock

Went to see “The School of Rock” in the movies. This is above good film. Actually, I cannot remember any other film about rock or rock-and-roll that was this good. Even for a general comedy this film was too good. The main character is played by Jack Black, who is one of the vocalists in the band called “Tencious D”. I’d say he knows about rock from the first hands.

On one side the movie is pretty muh regular and naive. The fraud teacher comes to the high class school to earn some money, but ends up playing some rock music together with students. On the other side, the movie is full of energy, rock spirit, and very excellent music. Soundtrack has all time favourites such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, The Who, and whoever you can remember making impact on rock music.

This movie also while being lots of fun touches on some serious issues, like MTV screwing up the rock music, drugs and rock-and-roll, authoritive certification, children’s psychology, etc. It reminds the viewer in the nice way that rock-and-roll is not about getting wasted/loaded/high and it is not about making lots of money, but about something deeper.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who is, was, or is about to be interested in rock music, it’s history, and it’s atmosphere. It is very entertaining and funny at the very least. :)

Forrest Gump

I’ve just watched an all-time classic “Forrest Gump” on the DVD. I think I’ve seen this movie half a million times by now, but I still find new bits and pieces every time I watch it.

This movie is perfect in every and any sense. The story is interesting and original. Acting is perfect. Tom Hanks shines in this film for he has the main role, but everyone else is excellent aswell. Soundtrack is exceptional. There are moments when 2-3-4 songs/compositions change each other within one minute, but there are times when there is a lot of silence. Very moody. Special effects are also well done – all the presidents’ meetings, John Lennon, China, etc. Very neat.

Actually, I cannot point to one thing that is wrong with this film. I didn’t remember it being that good. And what makes me happier is knowing that I’ve got this DVD permanently for my collection. :)

Fedora Tracker

I’ve just read in LWN about recently announced Fedora Tracker. The goal of the project is to have a central database of apt and yum repositories with search facilities. This sounds like a very nice idea, since finding some Fedora RPM packages is not an easy task.

I’ve check it out and there is plenty of repositories already in. There is also a Submit form for missing information. I wish for this project to live and grow, since it has the potential to be more useful than RPMfind.Net.

American Reality

American kids
Here are three independent links that are worth a read, which I’ll collectively call “American Reality”. Some of these are a bit old, but are still interesting.

  • Iraq On The Record – this is “a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice.”. There is also a PDF file with examination of the statements.

  • The Bubble of American Supremacy” – interesting article by George Soros.

  • The whole surreal story” – blog entry of Chris Toshok (Evolution any much more developer) describing the search of his apartment by FBI and Secret Service. There are also scans of the search warrant and seizure receipt.

A9 – Amazon applied to searching the web

I’ve came across a new search engine from Amazon.com today – A9.com. It looks and feels much like Google, which is used for web searches anyway, but there are a couple of interesting bits about it.

First, if you’ll create yourself an account, A9 will remember you previous search queries. Nothing new here, though. While most of search engines don’t do it, most of the browsers do.

Secondly, it is possible to see “Site info” for each search result, where some specific information can be found, like contacts, description, etc. The weak side of it is that this information must be submitted by a human and is not generated automatically.

It is also boasted that A9 has some “Search Inside the Book” ™ technology which you can use to find text in Amazon books. I didn’t have any piece of text in mind at the moment, so I couldn’t test if it works or not.

The last nice thing I’ve noticed about this search engine is that it is very easy to operate by just using the address bar of the browser. That means that direct queries are easily constracted. For example: http://a9.com/leonid%20mamchenkov.

People who work with Amazon.com a lot will probably find this search engine handy. Me – I don’t like the peachy colors. :)

World Rally Championship – Cyprus stage

Cyprus Automobile Association has updated the Cyprus Rally website with the information regarding WRC 2004. It seems that this year it will be an even bigger event. There are bus tours from major cities, VIP packages with “Drive It Yourself” offerrings, etc. Maps and schedules are also there.

It is also useful to visit WRC Online and WRC’s official site for standings, points, articles, and pictures.