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2004 (Fathom this!)


  • Mind Hacks is the blog companion of the book of the same name. “Neuroscience and psychology tricks to find out what’s going on inside your brain.” Via Kottke.

  • Koders is a search engine that looks for code within open source projects. Via Kuutio.

Not getting smart with me

I take that back. SmartyPants works okay, but not perfectly. It’s refusing to escape characters properly. Backslash-dash-backslash-dash should produce two dashes. But instead it produces this: \-\-. No help found yet. Oh well.


Operator madness

What’s going on with the Finnish operators? Yesterday, I switched to DNA’s Onni subscription plan, in which all calls, to any number at any time of the day, costs 0,069 euros. The same goes for text-messages. And the fixed monthly price of the plan? Sixty-nine cents. I can’t see anywhere that this is a limited-time offer. So where’s the catch?

This same mad scramble for customers is going in broadband. When we first moved into our apartment in the beginning of 2004, we were paying HTV 55 euros a month for a 512Kbps connection. Now, for 55 euros you can get a 8Mbps ADSL line from Saunalahti!

The end doesn’t seem to be in sight: according to a story in Helsingin Sanomat, telecoms regulator Ficora expects the broadband prices to fall 20–40 percent next year.

While iIm certainly not complaining about paying less (or getting more), I do wonder how far this is going to go and will this cut-throat competition kill off players and drives prices back up?


Putting on my smartypants

I just integrated PHP SmartyPants into my home-grown publishing system. So now I ask: “Does it work?”

“One can only hope. If it doesn’t, will one bother to fix it—or will one just leave it alone, broken and all? And if it does work, will one clean out the silly markup rules one has used so far?”

Answer: Yes, it does, indeed, seem to work. And no, one has not been inclined to clean up the old code that cumbersomely did what SmartyPants so elegantly does better.

Another interesting plug-in is PHP Markdown, though I shudder at the notion of learning yet another markup style.

  • MarsEdit looks like a nice blogging client for OS X. Will keep in mind in case of eventual switch.

  • TweakUI is a small app to fix Windows without messing around with the registry.

  • City-lehdelle etsitään ostajaa.
  • Talentumin Tietoviikko- ja Mikropc-lehtein ulkoasut on näköjään uusittu. Ruma tuo Tivin uusi logo.

Flashing words, whole novels at a time

Trevor Smith has an awsome speed-reader applet that flashes Cory Doctorow’s novel, Eastern Standard Tribe, on the screen, one word at a time. It’s an interesting experience of reading.

Cory’s been up to a lot. He loosened the (Creative Commons) license of his first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, and gave an interesting talk at the Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books event.

There’s also an Ogg file of Cory’s speech, Web 2.0 == AOL 1.0?, available through BitTorrent.


Some outliners and Dia

Another list of outliners.

WikidPad looks interesting, and for $12, it’s certainly in my price range. I wonder if the titles of pages are always WikiStyleWords in the outline view? I don’t think I like that.

Skwyrul still seems to be about the best two-panel outliner there is for Windows. It’s small, simple, and has full version you can try.

Dia is an open source diagramming tool. I need to look into some other ones. I’ll put up some links later.

  • P2P Politics features political video clips from both sides of the line.
  • Media Matters for America feels somehow more relevant than most (partisan-split) political sites. It explores the conservative-rigged untruths that the media (purposely or not) spreads.

Eriarvoisuus iskee jälleen silmää(n)

Tutkiessani josko kurssikirjaa olisi joskus saatavilla, törmäsin jälleen räikeään esimerkkiin kirjastopalvelujen käyttäjien eriarvoisuudesta. Huomaa Itäkeskuksen kirjan eräpäivä! Taitaa olla jonkun kunnallisvaltuutetun lähipiirissä, tuo lainaaja.


Tarrojen ja kaakeleiden liimailijoita pidätetty

Naiskasvo kaakelillaKuusi nuorta on pidätetty epäiltynä satojen, jopa tuhansien tarrojen sekä keraamisten laattojen liimaamisesta, kertoo tämän päivän Helsingin Sanomat. Poliisi otti epäillyt kiinni maanantaina. Read more


Hei katsokaa noita tyhmiä, jotka Punikkilassa asuvat

Kokoomusnuorten Punikkila-kampanja on harvinainen irtiotto politiikan tavanomaisesta mainonnasta. Valitettavasti kampanja ontuu.

Kampanjassa esitellään kaksi kuntaa, Porvarlahti ja Punikkila. Kuten arvata saattaa, Porvarlahdessa on kaikki kokoomuslaisittain ja hyvin, kun Punikkilassa on asiat päinvastoin, eli niin maan perkeleen huonosti. Jo tässä asettelussa mennään kuitenkin pieleen. Näennäisen kysymyksen ollessa “kummassa kunnassa haluaisit asua”, kampanja oikeasti uhkaa: Olet joko puolellamme tai meitä vastaan.

Maailma ei kuitenkaan ole kaksijakoinen, kuten ei myöskään Suomen monipuoluejärjestelmä. Vaikka tällainen poliittinen asettelu on Amerikoista tuttu, se ei tee sitä yhtään sen siedettävämmäksi.

Porvarlahti on se idylli, jollaiseksi kokoomus muuttaisi maailman, jos voisi. Jokaisella puolueella pitäisi olla oma esikuvakunta, jossa yhteiskunta toimisi parahin päin, toteutettuna puolueen oppien mukaan. Kokoomusnuorten kampanjassa Punikkila-kunta kuitenkin sisältää toisen viestin: ne, jotka eivät Porvarlahdesta pidä, voivat painua huitsin vittuun.

Ehkä seuraavissa vaaleissa voidaan kyydittää Punikkilaan kaikki ne muutkin epätoivottavat, jotka eivät vapaaehtoisesti tajunneet rajaa ylittää. Muilutukseksi sitä kai kutsuttiin.

Kokoomusnuoriin voi tutustua heidän Internet-verkkosivustollaan, joka on rakennettu käyttäen hyväkseen tekstin ja kuvan yhdistämisen Internetissä mahdollistavaa HTML-teknologiaa.


Overview of Intelligent Systems

Yesterday’s Presenting Computer Science lecture was on intelligent systems, given by Petri Myllymäki. Professor Myllymäki would be a great person to interview, many things he said would make good soundbytes. That’s probably why this is the first lecture I’ve gotten around to noting here.

My favorite quote: “We want to do to Google what Linux did to Microsoft.” Read more

  • Tietojenkäsittelytieteen laitoksen me@tktl-verkkolehdestä on ilmestynyt uusi numero.

Paul Auster: Hand to Mouth

I found Paul Auster’s Hand to Mouth from the Pasila library. I hadn’t heard of Auster before. I didn’t connect him with the New York Trilogy, which I had heard good things about. I admit it: I was drawn to the book because it told about a young, struggling writer. Read more


The icon not chosen

While I like Firefox’s fox-hugging-globe icon, I think the alternative proposal, an icon inspired by Japanese brush painting, is fantastic. It looks good because it looks so different from the usual icons you see. This is also probably why it wasn’t chosen. We need a more heterogenuous visual culture for our logos and icons. Jon Hicks tells about the branding of Firefox.


Lokakuun tarranlumous, October 27–30, 2004

A few guys I used to go to school with are part of the Lokakuun tarranlumous (“October stickerevolution”), a street art exhibit. The site promises to open some time soon. Someone pasted the exhibit stickers that were given to me all over our living room mirror last night. Now it’s full of torn paper and glue.


Weekly site rankings

TNS Gallupin Suomen web-sivustojen viikkoluvut julkaistaan M&M:ssä. Irc-galleria on kuudentena.

  • 9cm is a Helsinki-based graphic design collective. Be sure to check out their Dodge-like design magazine.

There are at least four translations of Madame Bovary...

...and the newest one, by Margaret Mauldon, is horrible. At least according to Clive James.

... Already, though, it is hard to suppress a suspicion that in the matter of historical fidelity things are out of kilter, and the suspicion intensifies once the book is opened. Professor Malcolm Bowie, who wrote the informative introduction, makes much ado in his back-of-the-jacket blurb about Flaubert's precision, which the professor assures us is matched by Mauldon's brand-new and meticulously accurate translation of the actual work. Any reader wishing to believe this is advised to start on page one. He had better not open the book accidentally at page 178 [end of chapter 12, in part 2], on which we find Emma's lover Rodolphe justifying to himself his decision to ditch her. Rodolphe is supposed to be a creep, but surely he never spoke the French equivalent of late-twentieth-century American slang: "And anyway there's all those problems, all that expense, as well. Oh, no! No way! It would have been too stupid."

Just to be certain that Rodolphe never spoke like a Hollywood agent, we can take a look at the same line in the original: "Et, d'ailleurs, les embarras, la dépense … Ah! non, non, mille fois non! Cela eût été trop bête!" The perfectly ordinary, time-tested English idiom "No, no, a thousand times no!" would have fitted exactly. The awful possibility arises that Mauldon has never paid much attention to English idioms like that. Instead she thinks "No way!" is perfectly ordinary. We can take it for granted that she knows the French language of Flaubert's era inside out. (She has already translated, for the same series of Oxford World's Classics, works by Zola, Stendhal, Huysmans, Constant, and Maupassant.) But she has a crucially weaker knowledge of how the English language of her own era has been corrupted. You might say that English has always advanced through corruption, but "No way!" is an idiom so closely tied to the present that it can hardly fail to weaken any attempt to summon up the past. In Alan Russell's translation of Madame Bovary, first published by Penguin in 1950, there is no "No way!" Probably the phrase did not yet exist, but almost certainly Russell would not have used it even if it had. What he wrote was "No, no, by Heaven no!" Not quite as good as "a thousand times no!" perhaps, but certainly better than "No way!": better because more neutral, in the sense of being less tied to the present time.

Looking at this online version of Madame Bovary, I can’t find see who the translator is. A little investigation, based on James’s comparisons, proved inconclusive. The last sentence of part 2, chapter 12 is interesting. It reads: “And besides, the worry, the expense! Ah! no, no, no, no! a thousand times no! That would be too stupid.” Just as James recommends.


The Mac is a...

Scent of an OS and The Mac is a hard mistress. While I like Apple computers (the 17" TiBook is the most drool-worthy computer ever built), I don’t look forward to learning the ins and outs of the Macintosh OS. It’s actually considered a bit clunky by a lot of designers I know. IBig icons and all that dragging and dropping, ugh.

Still, someone I know isn’t looking back from his switch (in Finnish).

  • Palm and Handspring founder Jeff Hawkins thinks humans don’t think by computing, they remember things. “When I take a drink, I'm not calculating how to move my arms; I'm recalling sequences.”

Revolution Betrayed

While there’s little chance I’ll ever read it, Leon Trotsky’s Revolution Betrayed in available online.


Homage to Catalonia

The full text of Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is available online.


Joi Ito coming to Helsinki

Joi Ito will be speaking in Helsinki on Thursday, October 14th. The speech, titled “The Future of Music,” is hosted by Aula.


My new 7610

I got a new phone a few weeks ago, and now it seems to be a little broken. The five-direction key doesn’t want to go up. I’ve googled around, hoping someone else might have the same problem and an explanation why, but so far no luck. I’ve found a few decent reviews, though, and learned some things I didn’t know. Read more


Firstly, uhhh, and secondly, uhhh

This remix of Bush’s speech from the September 30 debate reminds of the story about the guy who made a tape of the between-word sounds he made while giving a lecture. He edited out all the speech and kept only the umms and uhhs. There was twenty minutes of it! Voke, a Finnish teacher I had in high school, used to tell this story to make students pay attention to the stalling sounds we make when speaking publicly.

Here’s another work of edited footage, this one video from the Republican National Convention.


Thinking ahead

To all of you, who I fail to see regularly because of my inability to schedule appointments, let me say: I am sorry, I truly cannot help it. I like the way Po Bronson put it: “I'm not very good at planning. Thinking ahead makes me frantic and depressed, because inevitably I see that there is a lot of work in my future.”


Po Bronson: Bombardiers

The only book I’d read by Po Bronson was The First 20 Million Is Always the Hardest, and I wasn’t impressed. But when I found Bombardiers on the shelf in the Kallio library, I grabbed it, took it home, and read it. And wasn’t disappointed. I am, however, baffled by how good Bombardiers is, and how bad The First 20 Million is. Read more


Small screen rendering

Testing web pages for how they’ll look on small screens is easy with Opera. You can switch to small screen rendering (SSR) mode by hitting Shift+F11.

Opera’s browser is available on many mobile devices, for example on phones that run on the Symbian OS.

A List Apart has an article on building sites that work on small screens.


Vilkaus Blogistaniin

Ylioppilaslehden Tervetuloa Blogistaniin on mielenkiintoisimpia weblogien esittelyjuttuja, joita on perinteisessä mediassa julkaistu. Ehdottomasti paras suomenkielinen juttu. Muotokikkailu, jossa alaotsikoina toimivat eri päivämäärät ja ajat (muka blogimuodossa) on aika päälleliimatun oloinen, mutta muuten kerronta etenee mukavasti—melkein blogimaiseen tapaan.



Fontit.com-kirjasinverkkokauppa uudistuu. Osana kauppaa toimii myös Typomania, typografian ammattilaisten ja harrastajien foorumi. Fontit.comin omistaja Qventa Oy on Linotypen ainoa jakelija Suomessa.



Personally, I prefer backblogged over blogjammed. Meaning when you have a lot to blog about, but don’t have the time or willpower. Coined by Mister P, who seems not to be very good at paying his bills.

And while you’re visiting Cruft, be sure to check out the great penny cleaning experiment.


An eight-instruction Turing-complete programming language

Brainfuck is an eight-instruction Turing-complete programming language, created with the goal to write the smallest compiler ever. I can’t say I understand it, but I am mightily impressed by how the source code looks. Does this really do something? I stumbled upon Brainfuck on fellow CS student Juho Naalisvaara’s site. Juho’s in my Operating Systems I study group.


Email at the university

It turns out that most Helsinki University students have two email accounts, one main university mailbox (firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi), and one departmental mailbox (e.g. firstname.lastname@cs.helsinki.fi). Why this is, I have no idea. This explains why I wasn’t receiving my test messages.

There’s many ways to access your mail: the university address is called a Mappi account, and evidently has several alternative webmail systems. The computer science department has two webmail systems, SqWebMail and IlohaMail.

Luckily, both addresses can redirected, although there are restrictions (Mappi is the only mail system that allows forwarding to non-university addresses).


Harvesting free content for dead trees

AlwaysOn is launching a magazine based on the best posts and comments published in its community web site. Are they serious? Guess you gotta get that yummy weblog content before the miopic eyes of graying executives any which way you can...



Gmail-lite is a PHP-based, HTML-only frontend for Gmail. For browsers that can’t handle Javascript.


On vaikee innostuu ku se kuulostaa nii paskalt

Eniten ärsyttää Radio Helsingissä pyörivät mainokset. Sitten on tuo “Punavuoren Bukowski” -nimitys. (Markku ehdotti, että olen vain kateellinen. Ehkä.) Ja mikä siinä Nytin jutussa oli oikein vikana? Kylläpä äippä ja isä-pappa ovat pojastaan nyt varmaan ylpeitä… Häh?

Haluan ehdottomasti lukea Helsinki 12 -kirjan. Mulle menee varmaan muutama vuosi ennen kuin teoksen ehtii saada kirjastosta, mutta kuitenkin. Ehkä siinä vaiheessa jaksaa kiinnostaa uusmediahypetys enemmän.

Aika vänkää tosin on se, että Tuomas Vimmana esiintyvän kirjailijan oikean nimen paljastaa itse herra Uusmedia, Alex Nieminen.


Google challengers

Mooter, Girafa, Thumbshot.net, WiseNut, iBoogie, ProFusion, Picsearch. Why do half of these have such horrible names?


Mallia opiskelutahtiin

Sattumalta päädyin tietojenkäsittelytieteen laitoksella työskentelevän kaimani kotisivuille. Hän, kuten minä (hah!) on ollut kova opiskelemaan.


Explaining what are weblogs, part n+1

A journalist called today asking if she could interview me for a piece on blogging. I said sure. It’s been a while since I’ve last been interviewed about blogging. This time I was discovered through a media research assignment I wrote with Ville. Ville’s actually been on TV a few times talking about web journals, so I guess we’re Finnish experts.

I asked to see (and check over) the story before it’s published. She said she’d send it to me, but I have my doubts.

I’m not sure I was much help for the story. I wasn’t too impressed with her questions. I tried to answer them the best I could, pointing out what is significant in the blogging phenomenon (people’s voices, popularizing writing as a thinking exercise), and trying my best not to add to yet another hype article on the latest new thing.

I’m a little worried, though. She kept calling weblogs “diaries” even though I kept reminding her that they’re not the same thing.

When asked about what I thought about moblogging (the actual question was: “Nokia has brought out new software that allows people to move pictures to computers. What do you think about this?”), I was reminded of Dave’s question. I think I agree with Dave that moblogging should be considered a facet of blogging that “happens in the real world.” Not just thinking, but experiencing. While how you blog will certainly affect the medium (more pictures, sound, even video), the stuff that’s important about the weblog format si the same. Moblogging will tie the real world to weblogs as weblogs have tied real people to the web.

At one point, after mentioning Kallioblogi’s bathroom reviews, she suggested that weblogs could become “weapons against< companies.” At first I wondered if she was setting me up for a attention-grabbing quote (that’s what telephone interviews are all about). I said those weren’t my words. I agreed that, yeah, weblogs allow people to speak up and join together. Then again, blog-as-weapons sounds kind of cool. Me, the weblog agitator.


Loneliness as never before

“Man in the 19th Century began to feel a loneliness such as he’d never felt before, as least as I read history. He’s been feeling it for a century now and he’s getting more and more lonely, more and more atomized. He’s being blown to smithereens. He’s in a world where he has no bearings. He’s on his own as he’s never been before, because in the past he had tradition and convention. There’s nothing on the horizon today: no great leaders, no Moses who might lead us out of the wilderness. Now it is up to man to save himself. He can’t look to anyone for help. That’s the desperate and the hopeful quality about this modern age. Man has to recognize himself as something more than a human being or he’ll perish.”

—Henry Miller, My Life and Times, 1972


Movies I want to see, in no particular order

Spun, Wings of Desire, Happy Accidents, Drugstore Comboy, Another Day in Paradise, Crime + Punishment in Suburbia, Gummo, Bully, Swimming Pool, The Salton Sea (even though it has Val Kilmer), Sex and Lucia.

Also: The Henry Miller Odyssey, No Maps to These Territories. Guerilla – The Taking of Patti Hearst, Uncovered: The War on Iraq, Control Room, Channels of Rage, The Weather Underground, Biggie & Tupac.

The Machinist, Primer.

El secreto de sus ojos, Aardvark’d: 12 Weeks with Geeks.


En söisi...

“Kasviksia. Olen carnivaali.”

Cityn ruokaspesiaalista, listalta ruoista, joita ei söisi


Tragician’s Hat, Intiaanidisko

Both Sister Flo and Tv-resistori have put out records this year. I discovered both bands when I was living in Turku, at live gigs.

Dusted Magazine has a feature on Fonal, the publisher of Tv-resistori’s Intiaanidisko.


Kirjoja Kalliosta

Kallioblogissa puhuttiin Kalliosta kertovista kirjoista. Pussikaljaromaania kehuttiin, ja Alpo Ruuthin teokset mainittiin. Pitää pitää mielessä.


Ånäs hyvästelee Knigan

Markus Ånäs on jättänyt Johnny Knigan ja siirtyy ilmeisesti Kauppalehden uuden “pääkaupunkiseudun päättäjiä” kosiskelevan Presso-lauantailiitteen toimittajakuntaan.


  • Historic sheet music categorized by illustration types. Even older stuff is also available copyright-free in various catalogs.

Kalliosta bloggaukseen

En ole seurannut suomenkielisiä blogeja tai median kirjoittelua niistä (alkubloggaajien lempiharrastus) viime aikoina, mutta törmäsin tänään kahteen blogeista kertovaan juttuun tänään. ITviikossa kerrotaan Schizo-Jannen perustamasta Kallioblogista, ja Turun Sanomissa oli elokuun lopulla juttu Irakin sodasta paikallisten bloggaajien silmin.

Molemmissa jutuissa oli urleja yhteenlaskettuna yksi kappaletta.

Kallioblogi ei näytä olevan pystyssä tällä hetkellä.


Some books

I found an old list of books I wanted to read and that were at the library.

Title, authorClass
The Meme Machine, Susan Blackmore56.411, 591
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins591
The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene53.1
Cosmos, Carl Sagan52.2
The Ecstacy Club, Douglas Rushkoff4.4
Children of Chaos, Douglas Rushkoff32.4

“Give into your hate”

Fantastic photos of Zell Miller and Dick Cheney. Does Miller remind you of anyone? Where are the blue lightning bolts shooting out of his fingers?


Räjähteitä ja lentolehtiä

Supo haluaa suojelupoliisi.fi-domainin itselleen. First come, first serve -periaatteella se ei tosin heille kuulu. Kiinnostaisikohan verkkotunnus yhtä paljon jos osoitteesta löytyvällä sivustolla ei olisi Supolle kriittisiä linkkejä?

Ylioppilaslehden vuonna 1999 julkaistusta Supon lyhyt historia: Kommunistien tarkkailusta kettutyttöihin:

Poliisin ylilyönneistä hän kertoo esimerkkinä pian Orimattilan turkistarhaiskujen jälkeen tehdyn uutisen, joka kertoi kuinka poliisi oli ratsannut eläinaktivistien pesän, asunnon, jossa oli muun muassa räjähteitä ja lentolehtiä.

"Myöhemmin julkisuuteen tulleiden tietojen mukaan kyseessä oli toista kuukautta vanha juttu, joka oli selvitetty. Mitään yhteyttä turkistarhaiskuihin ei oltu todettu. 'Räjähteitä' oli ollut joku yksittäinen luoti ja lentolehtisiä miehen itsensä saamat lentolehtiset. Poliisi vuoti ilmeisesti sen Orimattilan iskujen jälkeen rikostoimittajille. Poliisin piti tarhaiskujen jälkeen näyttää nopeasti saavansa jotain aikaan", Rantanen kertoo. Ratsatun asunnon alkuperäinen vuokralainen oli Luonto-Liittoon kuuluva nuori, joka oli lainannut tutulle asuntonsa.


Get that mouse

Logitech has a new laser mouse that claims to make optical obsolete. This sounds good. Optical mice aren’t very accurate, and they tend to feel sluggish. While no mouse I’ve ever used beats Logitech’s standard gray, two-button and wheel mouse, the ball does get dirty.

The MX 1000 is cordless, which sounds good, but can cause its own set of problems. I also like the fact that the laser light is invisible to the eye. Try watching a movie in a dark room with a traditional optical mouse.

If only the MX 1000 wasn’t shaped so awfully.


Anti-virus guys are the James Bonds of computer science

F-Secure’s anti-virus research team has a weblog. While it still seems to be looking for its voice (many multiple-author, corporate blogs never find one), there was some interesting new findings about how the Bluetooth worm, Cabir, spreads.

News from the Lab guys—you need to make your permalinks visible so that people don’t have to go digging through the source code.


The ultimatum game

From Surowiecki’s story on why people got so upset over Dick Grasso’s huge paycheck.

Take two people. Give them a hundred dollars to split. One person (the proposer) decides, on his own, what the split should be (fifty-fifty, seventy-thirty, or whatever) and makes the other person a take-it-or-leave-it offer. If he accepts the deal, both players get their share of the money. If he rejects it, both players walk away empty-handed.

The rational thing for the second person to do is to accept the offer, whatever it is, since even one dollar is better than nothing. But in practice this rarely happens. Instead, lowball offers are almost always rejected. Apparently, people would rather throw away money than let someone else walk away with too much.

Remember, fairness is not equality.


If you hate men, be sure to be creative about it

From the SCUM Manifesto:

“Eaten up with guilt, shame, fears and insecurities and obtaining, if he's lucky, a barely perceptible physical feeling, the male is, nonetheless, obsessed with screwing; he'll swim through a river of snot, wade nostril-deep through a mile of vomit, if he thinks there'll be a friendly pussy awaiting him. ...”


Money may make you happy, but it won’t bring you sex

Research shows that money may make you happier, but it won’t help your sex life. Sex, however, will make you feel like money in the bank.


Stupidity portrayed stupidly, but funny

Smart Genes, an open source novel. From chapter two:

“Do you wish you were smarter?” the guy in the ad asked. “MIT announces clinical trials of gene implants which enhance intelligence.”

Lennie pictured a gadget he’d slip down his jeans to make his organ look larger. But even though Eileen sometimes accused him of thinking with his dick, could something like that make you smarter? No, he decided. It must be the other genes, the ones you get from your parents.

“We are looking for men and women of modest intellect,” the man on TV said. “You will receive a stipend worth 500 dollars. If you’re interested, let us know by clicking the ‘Signup’ button on this ad, or calling the number below.”

“I knew they weren’t going to give 500 dollars cash,” Lennie said. “Eileen, what the fuck’s a stipend?”

“I thought he said ‘stripe end.’”

“So what’s a stripe end?” Lennie asked.

“Silly. It’s a zebra’s butt,” Eileen said, spitting up bits of popcorn as she laughed.

Lennie laughed too. “A zebra’s butt isn’t worth 500 dollars. A whole zebra’s not worth 500 dollars.”

“How would you know?” asked Eileen. “You could make some steaks out of it. The meat might be a little tough, but you could always use some A-1.”

Lennie made a grab at Eileen’s ass. “That’s the only butt worth 500 dollars to me.”

“You say the sweetest things.” Eileen punched Lennie on the shoulder.


Still haven’t seen Fahrenheit 9/11

Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911, by Dave Kopel.

And from New Yorker’s profile on Michael Moore:

The trouble was that the workers who had become middle class began thinking middle class. “People started to believe that the factory would always be there, that the health benefits would always be there, the four weeks’ paid vacation,” Moore says. “So when the company started taking them away people were, like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ Well, when was the last union meeting you went to? ‘Never been to a union meeting.’ Do you vote in every election? ‘I try to.’ Everybody got their two cars, their house in the suburbs, their snowmobile, their cabin up north, and decided to check out from job No. 1, which is being a citizen of the United States of America.”


This is “livesearch”

Bitflux’s “livesearch” uses javascript with XMLHttpRequest and a little PHP. Wow!

Based on this, Jeff Minard has created a real-time Textile-formatting preview feature.

Both scripts are licensed under the Apache license, which, as Minard explains, means you can “basically do whatever, give credit, retain the same license.”


Dan again

Dan Fante, while not being much to look at, is a plenty interesting writer. See Approach December, poem of his. There’s another one in the sidebar of Lummox Journal’s interview. Hollywood Investigator has a two-part interview. 3am has another one. Notice how much mellower Fante seems in the Lummox Journal interview. Maybe the interview was done via email?


Why it’s better to be rich

Despite being a favorite of libertarians, I rather like this George Bernard Shaw quote:

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.”


Scrubbing spyware

Paul Boutin recommends using both Spybot and Ad-aware. However, Download.com reviewers complain that Ad-aware installs a worm called GLB1A2B and changes the home page of Internet Explorer.


Koneisto goes McSweeney’s

While this year’s Koneisto magazine is hardly subtle or restrained (I’m not liking the slumming-with-Courier look at all), it still appears to exhibit signs of what Design Observer calls the McSweeney’s phenomenon.


There are

There are insects that spring forth only every 13 and 17 years. Notice that these are prime numbers. Sun-spot activity, however, varies in cycles of 11 and 22 years.

There are parasites that cause crickets to commit suicide by drowning, and parasites that make ants want to climb to the tops of blades of grass so that they are more likely to end up in the stomachs of sheep.

Every summer in Lappland, the strongest reindeer males copulate so vigorously that they burn off all their excess body fat and freeze to death in the winter.


“Fiction in a hurry”

Citypages’s story on Plain Layne, including an interview with Odin Soli, fills in some gaps in the story.

“People have asked at what point readers began to suspect that Plain Layne was make-believe, and the answer is, from the very beginning.”


Be still for long

Unable to settle, it feels good to have something different on the horizon.


Tv:stä tulossa

Kun yksittäisistä tv-ohjelmista lähetetään lehdistötiedotteita, on lähetykset kai syytä katsoa. Sekä BBC että CBS ovat haastatelleet ex-presidentti Bill Clintonia. Haastattelut esitetään:

  • ke 7. heinäkuuta, klo 19.05 (TV1)
  • su 11. heinäkuuta, klo 19.00 (Nelonen)

Silmään tarttui myös uutinen, että Luupäiden luoja Jeff Smith saapuu vieraaksi Helsingin Sarjakuvafestivaaleille 18.-19. syyskuuta.

  • Kottke redesigns, puts web designers to shame. It’s not just how it looks, it’s how it works. Note to self: emulate shamelessly.
  • There’s some great stuff on Emma’s link list. Check out the fabulous Youyesyou and the faintly Chris Ware like Supermundane.

Work more for free and don’t lose your job!

Siemens won’t be moving production to Hungary after more than 4000 workers agreed to work five more hours a week without additional pay. Hooray for capitalism!


The Plain Layne story

I first heard about the Plain Layne story from Kottke, who has done an exemplary job summing up what’s happened. There are, of course, links to the various twists and turns, such as a discovery and a confession.

Plain Layne, as a hoax, is in no way wrong to me. But then again, I’ve never read her weblog—I might feel different if I had, and felt betrayed. While presenting yourself as someone you’re not isn’t nice (and I mean when interacting with other people, not when writing a journal or a weblog), it still seems funny—all this outrage over assumed identities—considering how often it was said in the early days of the Net that one of the great things about it was that it would afford people new ways to explore their identities.

Remember, on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

My only gripe is that Plain Layne’s weblog has been taken off the Net. Why? So the cat’s out of the bag, and the journal’s been discontinued—this isn’t a reason to remove it from the Web. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much of it archived, either.

I support the right to write fictive journals without disclaiming them as such. But if such a creative endeavour is undertaken, isn’t it artistically reprehensible to take it down once you’ve been outed?


Some new blogs

Some good-looking blogs I’ve come across recently: Airbag Industries, Simplebits, PixelChatter, Unreal Travels, most of them found via Cameron Moll’s “wicked worn” tutorial. I like the wicked worn look (despite the name), but I suspect the style will age quickly. No pun intended.


Of boredom

Boredom is not so much about having nothing to do at present. Boredom is more about the unlikeliness of this changing in the immediate future.


We take care of our members!

With a smile on her face and a telephone headset, this lady looking at Rasputin’s pickled member could be model from a photo on the site of a webhosting company.


Low-impact Garfield

The other day, while talking about comics, Emmi said: “Garfield can’t be anyone’s favorite cartoon character.”

I don’t remember exactly why this came up, we probably saw a movie poster in the metro, but there might actually be an explanation proving Emmi right. Slate has a story on how Jim Davis made Garfield purposely bland. Crafted as a purely commercial cipher, the secret of Garfield’s long lifespan has been that he doesn’t elicit strong emotions, which could lead risk overexposure.


Essential applications

A list of essential applications for Windows. I don’t know all the software, but I agree with most of the list. I prefer Tiny Firewall over ZoneAlarm.

Having had a few headaches with spyware, I downloaded WinPatrol (the first spyware-buster I’ve seen that hasn’t had serious integrity issues).


Real life is sponsored

When real life looks like an ad. The caption reads: “Family members of a kidnapped and murdered girl take pictures of the dead bodies of the three men convicted and hung for the crime in Saudi Arabia.”


Kyllikki Who?

I had no idea of who Kyllikki Saari was. Now I do. One of Finland’s most famous unsolved murders; it’s making headlines again. Somehow I like that I found out from someone who has visited Isojoki.



Täytyy vähentää valkosipulin syömistä. Kun yksi valkosipulikynsi ei enää riitä yhdelle voileivälle, tietää, että alkaa olla ongelma. Lupasin kuitenkin viedä Karkin Keravan valkosipulifestivaaleille ja tarjota valkosipulijäätelön. Elokuun kolmas viikonloppu.


Looking for Fante and Hird

Looking: for Laura Hird’s Born Free and Dan Fante’s Chump Change (check out Wifebeater Bob). Both have been published in Finnish by Sammakko.

Having: a hard time getting through Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction. Like in Franny and Zooey, the first story is great. Raise High is beautiful. But in Seymour, the narrator is just nuts.


Anything to sell out

Carl Newman of the New Pornographers: “Money would change everything. If someone waves money in front of us, we’ll follow them anywhere. I think we’re pretty anxious to sell out. We will do anything to sell out as long as it doesn’t involve compromising our music whatsoever. I don’t know it that’s an easy thing to do.”



Janne Martola tarvitsee apuasi. Alla Katasto.fin i-postituslistalle lähetetty projektiapupyyntö.

“Kiinnostaisiko ketään auttaa ympäristö-teokseni toteuttamisessa. Apureille luvassa kohtuullinen palkkio.

“Projekti koostuu kolmesta eri työvaiheesta. Ensimmäisessä osassa tarvitsen mahdollisimman monta työ-miestä.

“Apureiden tehtävänä on maalata seiniä, katuja, puistoja, puita, huoneistoja... kaikenlaisia pintoja ja esineitä. Maalaaminen tapahtuu aluksi pääkaupunki-seudun alueella, mutta myöhemmin se jatkuu myös muualla suomessa ja ulkomailla.

“Maalina on krominvärinen Montana-spraymaali. Maalattavana pintana ovat kaikki ympäristön esineet ja asiat. Eli kaikki mitä tulee eteen maalataan kromiksi.

“Teoksen toteuttamisessa vahingoittuu yhteistä- ja yksityistä omaisuutta, joten projektiin osallistujat voivat joutua teostaan vastuuseen.

“Tavoitteena on peittää planeettamme jokainen neliömetri kromilla, jotta auringon valo heijastuu ja valaisee ympäröivän avaruuden.

“Halukkaat ilmoittautukaa hyvissä ajoin. Työt alkavat kesäkuun alussa.”


All hail scientific relativism!

From The Nation’s article The Junk Science of George W. Bush.

“Science, like theology, reveals transcendent truths about a changing world. At their best, scientists are moral individuals whose business is to seek the truth. Over the past two decades industry and conservative think tanks have invested millions of dollars to corrupt science. They distort the truth about tobacco, pesticides, ozone depletion, dioxin, acid rain and global warming. In their attempt to undermine the credible basis for public action (by positing that all opinions are politically driven and therefore any one is as true as any other), they also undermine belief in the integrity of the scientific process.

“Now Congress and this White House have used federal power for the same purpose. Led by the President, the Republicans have gutted scientific research budgets and politicized science within the federal agencies. The very leaders who so often condemn the trend toward moral relativism are fostering and encouraging the trend toward scientific relativism. The very ideologues who derided Bill Clinton as a liar have now institutionalized dishonesty and made it the reigning culture of America's federal agencies.”


  • Okay, this is for Karkki.

Anything wrong in this picture?

Anything wrong in this picture?


  • The prez at a diner. Huh? Via Alex via Sumppi.
  • To fix messed up spacing between letters in Photoshop, click the cursor between the offending letters and, holding down the ALT key, use teh arrow keys to increase or decrease the gap. This tip from Myrsky’s Janne.

Sivarit on homppeleita

On joitakin asioita, joita en harkitsematta mainitse uusille tuttavuuksille. Ei sen takia, että häpeäisin niitä, vaan sen takia, että ne johtavat liian usein vakiokeskusteluun, jossa sanotaan aina samoja asioita. Read more


Kinkkupizza syöty
Firma Oy:ssa liikkeellä eväsvaras

Valtakunnalisesti toimivassa Firma Oy:ssa on liikkeellä eväsvaras, varoittaa eräs rosmon uhriksi joutunut työntekijä. Viimeisin tapaus sattui perjantaina ennen kahtatoista yrityksen Leppävaaran toimitilojen neljännessä kerroksessa.

Nälkäiseksi jääneeltä asiakaspalveluyksikössä työskentelevältä Maija Meikäläiseltä hävisi jääkaapista kinkkupizza. Meikäläinen pitää ruokavarkautta vakavana, ja on lähettänyt asiasta tiedotteen kaikille yrityksen työntekijöille sekä lehdistölle.

Varastelulle ei Meikäläisen mukaan ole puolustusta.

- Se, että ruuassa ei lue kenenkään nimeä ei todellakaan tarkoita sitä ettei se ole kenenkään, Meikäläinen sanoo.

Meikäläinen on ryhtynyt toimenpiteisiin ruoan varastelun lopettamiseksi ja voron kiinniottamiseksi. Tutkimuksistaan Meikäläinen paljastaa vain sen, että hän on "nälkäisenä vaarallinen", ja että aikoo aloittaa jääkaapin tehovalvonnan.

- Webbikamera on asennettu, Meikäläinen sanoo.


Saapuipa postilaatikkoon

Alla oleva ilmestyi tänään toimituksen postilaatikkoon. (Viesti ei ole kenenkään meidän työntekijältä.)


Nyt on oikeasti joku huonotapainen ihminen liikkeellä, minunkin kinkkupizzani on lähtenyt 4.kerroksen jääkaapista! Se, että ruuassa ei lue kenenkään nimeä ei todellakaan tarkoita sitä ettei se ole kenenkään!



  • Syy miksi Oraksella on Suomessa niin kova markkinaosuus.


Beared souls

caught together