Day in brief – 2011-10-31

  • @lufandever Проснуться,умыться,кофе,почта,завтрак,обед,диван,ужин,душ,заснуть. Выполнимо 10 из 10. :-) #
  • My last Amazon order arrived today split in five packages. Oh boy, so much fun to be had, I don't know where to start. :) #
  • Shared: Samsung Takes the Lead In the Smartphone Market http://t.co/d4B4gUi4 #
  • Shared: How Can I Justify Using Red Hat When CentOS Exists? http://t.co/jEoIYNwW #
  • Shared: Dennis Ritchie Day http://t.co/dbLh1Omt #
  • I'm comparing web-based genealogy software. Nothing that I really like. Thinking of doing my own. http://t.co/YvCBpelC #
  • Shared: Climate Change Skeptic Results Released Today http://t.co/e7aBmtx8 #
  • So many people love #Ubuntu So much is going on with it. But I've always been a #RedHat #Fedora person. Haven't regretted it even once yet. #
  • Now that's a good place to hang out – WordPress Ideas http://t.co/yCDHzzfd #
  • One wee left until #Fedora 16 release http://t.co/v01ONBwp #

Jeff Atwood on parenthood

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror fame is expecting two more kids – twin baby girls.  When something like this – a baby or two on the way – happens, it doesn’t go by unnoticed.  It consumes your whole mind and forces you to think and rethink everything.  Jeff is an excellent writer with a trained technical brain.  So it makes reading his thoughts on parenthood especially interesting – it’s a crazy mix of logic and emotions.

It’s also a history lesson. The first four years of your life. Do you remember them? What’s your earliest memory? It is fascinating watching your child claw their way up the developmental ladder from baby to toddler to child. All this stuff we take for granted, but your baby will painstakingly work their way through trial and error: eating, moving, walking, talking. Arms and legs, how the hell do they work? Turns out, we human beings are kind of amazing animals. There’s no better way to understand just how amazing humans are than the front row seat a child gives you to observe it all unfold from scratch each and every day, from literal square zero. Children give the first four years of your life back to you.

Congratulations, Jeff, and good luck with the pregnancy!

Zed Shaw : Why I GPL

Zed Shaw, the guy behind a lot of code and several books, shares his thoughts on why he is now switching from simpler, more permissive licenses like BSD and MIT, to GPL.  Most of the Linux  people and GPL fans would easily guess the reasons, since they’ve popped up in pretty much every license related flame war.  But it’s nice to hear from someone who did actually experience the theory, and who really knows what he is talking about.

I’ll always be an open source developer, but quite frankly, we’re dying off because the companies who use our software do not give back. The irony of the situation is that, in order to improve my motivation to do open source, I have to charge for it.

I obviously won’t ever charge an open source project, since they are honoring the unwritten contract: If I give, you give.

But the days of quick-flip corporations and ingrate programmers making money on my software are over. My new motto is:

Open source to open source, corporation to corporation.

If you do open source, you’re my hero and I support you. If you’re a corporation, let’s talk business.

Welcome to the GPL camp, Zed.

7 billion

Sometime soon (or already?) the world population will hit 7 billion.  CNN prepared some aids to help us visualize how large of a number that is.  They have some great examples, but I still don’t think people can actually visualize that.

— Seven billion ants, at an average size of 3 milligrams each, would weigh at least 23 tons (46,297 pounds).

I don’t think one can transfer the ants or rice visuals onto humans.  I think humans are the best examples here.  Just take a moment and think of all the people you ever knew – family, friends, classmates, colleagues, cashiers at the nearest grocery shop, politicians you saw on TV, important people you’ve read about in history books, fiction characters, your Facebook friends (most of who are fiction characters), and on and on and on.  If you sum up all those people, you’d probably be well over a thousand people.  Maybe two or three  thousand. Let’s say it’s five thousand.  That is still 1,400,000 times fewer than the current world population.  Hence, I say, it is impossible to imagine.  We are just not built for that.  After all when we were built, the world population wasn’t even a single million.

Michael Winslow : Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin

If you are not a teenager or a pensioner, you should remember a rather successful comedy “Police Academy“. It was so good they made 6 sequels. It was about a bunch of cadets going through the training in the police academy. One of the cadets, played by Michael Winslow – cadet Larwell Jones – had an interesting talent. He could make all sorts of sounds – police car sirens, gun shots, TV noises, and so on and so forth.

Back then only a few people knew that Michael Winslow does indeed have such a talent. He is now known as a man of 10,000 sound effects. And I must say that with years, his skill only grew and improved. There are quite a few videos of him on YouTube, but this one in particular will amaze you, I promise. He is doing a cover on the Led Zeppelin’s song Whole Lotta Love.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxcCC2g1Ke0]

Day in brief – 2011-10-29

  • I'm at Goody's (Nicosia) http://t.co/pVJfONDt #
  • BBQ lunch with beer. Awesome. :-) #
  • @RockCyprus Thanks for the mention :) What can I say? I'm a big man, I need my foods. :) #
  • Last night I was at death metal event. Apparently, I was the only one who checked in at Foursquare. This is weird. #
  • My brother uploaded pictures from the yesterday's Metalmorphosis festival. All as usual. :) http://t.co/2N23p9nX #
  • Your truly. Yesterday. http://t.co/y6w7aoGs #

Metalmorphosis : Arch Enemy live at Pavilion Hall, Nicosia, Cyprus

Yesterday, my brother, his girlfriend and I went to Nicosia for the Metalmorphosis music festival. If you saw my earlier post about the event, you’d know that the main attraction was the Swedish death metal band Arch Enemy.

So, how was it? Short story: it was not bad at all. Better than I expected. Here is a video from my brother which won’t tell you how it was, but will provide a hint, a glimpse into it, if you will.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIP1YgMCY9w]

Now for the long story. But first things first. I have to say that even though I am a big fan of hard and heavy music, death metal isn’t my favorite style. I find it to be to monotonic and even boring. Why did I go the even then? Well, firstly, because death metal is better than nothing. It’s not like we have a lot of choice here. Secondly, because I think such events are cool anyway, and I wanted to show my support. Thirdly, because I had a good company to go with. And, fourthly, because I didn’t have anything better to do.

So. Event tickets informed us of the doors open at 18:30. We thought that there was no hurry, so we left Limassol at around 6pm and came to Nicosia at around 7. It was a bit funny at the entrance, when we saw the crowd of people outside. The crowd was mixed-dressed. Half of the people were jeans and black t-shirts with skulls, skeletons, and fire. This was the younger part of the crowd as well. The older half of the crowd was dressed in suits, ties, expensive jewelry and such. Who could have suspected that the fans of Arch Enemy are so diverse? It turned out, the Pavilion Hall is a large place. Metal festival was occupying only a part of it. And there was a wedding reception in another part.

Without any problem we found our way in. At the entrance, there was a man, sitting at the entrance with a sign “3 drinks 15 Euro”. There were no drinks or drunks in sight. We asked him what he was about. He was selling alcohol tickets. You could by tickets for 3 drinks at 15 Euro and, he promised, that would be cheaper than paying cash inside. We bought some tickets. After all, who doesn’t like cheap, or should I say cheaper, alcohol?

Finally, we entered. The venue was already half-full (or half-empty). There was band on stage rocking the crowd. Or should I say deathmetalling the crowd? I’m not too good with the terminology here. I couldn’t say if they were any good, because, since death metal is not my thing, I had to listen to a few to compare. My logical conclusion was that the band on stage was the Cypriot gang called Sonic Death Monkey. They weren’t too horrible, but they were the first in the line-up, which usually means that each of the next bands is increasingly better.

We had plenty of time before the star of the show, so we started drinking, scanning the crowd for the fashion tips and making jokes. What else to do?

It was then that we realized that the men at the entrance tricked us. Well, he probably didn’t intend to, but that’s what happened. 5 Euros per drink is only cheaper if you had strong alcohol, which was selling at 8-15 Euros. Beers were 4 Euros per small Carlsberg bottle. Luckily for us, bartenders learned our faces very fast and started giving out beers for free. So overall, one on one, I think we had it much cheaper than the price list would indicate.

As for the fashion tips – there were plenty! Among the usual black t-shirts, jeans, and high platform boots with metal locks, there were things that one doesn’t see very often. Interesting tattoos and piercing locations, psychedelic hair cuts, duct tape on faces and hands – I’ve taken out a lot to think about.

Time went by, bands were changing each other on stage, I was slow starting to get into this whole death metal thing. As my brother said, it’s very much like jazz – each musician only cares about what he is playing, not noticing his band mates or the audience. There is a fine line between mediocre death metal and cacophony. Good thing that the bands were getting better and better.

After a few hours of drinking and listening to music, I got hungry. So I went out to find a snack, or hotdog or a pizza. To my surprise, there was no food around. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I spoke with a few people around, inside and outside and all of them confirmed my finding. That was really strange. I mean, it was like any food van driver’s nightmare – a crowd of people at the same place for hours, mixed with music and alcohol, and he is not there. I’ve even found a potential business partner. We thought we’d order a few extra large pizzas from Pizza Hut and resell them piece by piece for five times the price. We nearly went for it, but a timely consideration of security stopped us. How could we protect our investment against a crowd of hungry death metal fans? There was no way. Then I had an idea of a party crushing at the wedding reception, but their security was fine. I didn’t pass the face-, or rather I think, dress-control.

I went back inside. There was a possibility of me starving to death, and I really didn’t want to do that. One of the main reasons was that mass media would probably blame death metal music for my untimely passing. And that would be horribly inaccurate. As I said, I already started getting into the music by that time.

After hours and hours of the lineup, finally, the Arch Enemy arrived on stage. They were everything the crowd hoped for and more – loud, energetic, deathly metallic. When I saw one of the Arch Enemy’s videos on YouTube, I had my reservations regarding the lead vocalists sound. I really didn’t think that low, scary growl could come out of a pretty young lady like her. But it did. At some point, I think she made me doubt the practice of exorcism. After all, why do we have the urge of get rid of a daemon that occupied a human body. As it was demonstrated, one other alternative would be to find a way to control the daemon and make him sing when appropriate.

Arch Enemy was so energetic that me and my brother’s girlfriend made our way to the front lines. We were right next to the stage, two straight hands distance from the band.

Once Arch Enemy finished their set, the festival was over and the crowds went out for some fresh air. We were so hungry that we decided to eat before driving to Limassol. Goodies saved us from a sure starvation – god bless food joints that work past midnight!

Tired, but happy we came to Limassol around 2am.

As I said, despite this not being something along my alley, I did really enjoy the gig. I had good time, I got to experience something new, and I, as always, I got my chance to shout and scream my lungs out and head bang the crap out of mind.