A week in Magic Kindergarten

Dear Princess Celestia,

CC: Anyone else reading my blog.

So I’m a week into my course now, more than one seventh of the way to magic Vietnamese fluency. Or something like that. Between work, classes, minimal homework, and an annoying head-cold, I’ve been pretty much flat out, which is lucky as I don’t have any other plans or commitments. (Or none I can’t procrastinate away, rather)

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Tension in Debian changelogs

Holger Levsen wonders what tense people write their changelogs in. Andrew Pollock feels that his tendancy is past-tense.

Looking back over some of mine, FreeRADIUS from a long time ago, and openjpeg more recently, it appears that my preference is to actually write them as untensed fragments. I think I’m answering the question “What does this change do?” from the perspective of the change. This would make sense, mirroring somewhat the comments I put in dpatches (and the overly verbose names that have been known to occur) which are usually the patch talking about itself in the plural. Unless that’s the patch _and_ I talking about ourselves in the plural?

Bollypocalypse

Went to see Race tonight. It’s actually not marked on the Hoyts site, but it’s Hindi/English blend with English/nonsense blend subtitles. It’s mentioned on the IMDB front page, but I missed it looking for the comments on the plot. The front page comment was satisfyingly spoiler free, and very positive. Had I noticed that the commenter was Indian, I might have clicked. Ah, hindsight. >_<

As an aside, the Hindi/English mix was interesting. I haven’t seen enough Bollywood films to know if it’s particular to this film or is part of the style (a friend suggested it was the latter) although I noticed while researching this post that one of the actresses doesn’t speak Hindi. I need to learn more languages, at least reaching the point where I can watch movies in Japanese, Cantonese and now Hindi. And of course I wonder if I can possibly swing a research project into a Hindi/English pidgin. A university-funded Bollywood movie collection would be a thing of beauty…

So I took a few friends, all of us completely unprepared. I really should have clicked to it being Bollywood, given I’d noted the Indian director, actors, etc…

On the plus side it’s really good. Turns out that the best way to improve a twisty, turny, windy plot, double-plot, cross and recross fest (ala Wild Things, which I’ve raved about here before) is to have the actors stop to sing and dance about what they’re feeling every so often.

Also, attractive people are important. ^_^ I now have a new secretarial hiring policy, and a new fashion model hiring policy.

These policies remain subserviant to my existing Neve Campbell hiring policy and Mew Azama hiring policy. But not by much. I’m an equal opportunity employer.

I also want to get married in Cape Town, at the registry office.

If you haven’t seen Wild Things or Race, go do so.

Now Playing: Wild Things. My housemate hadn’t seen it! This is a revelation akin to discovering another friend of mine hadn’t seen The Princess Bride. There’s also a Princess Bride Game coming, although I’m a little concerned, after seeing the trailer.

And just in case you didn’t twig, this post’s title is of course related to revelations. I’m not harbingering the end of Bollywood…

AmazonJP digs smart chicks like me

For reasons which I suspect are more due to the purchase of のだめカンタービレ 特典 のだめの鍵盤ポーチ付き than DS陰山メソッド 電脳反復 正しい漢字かきとりくん and 漢字そのまま DS楽引辞典, Amazon has emailed me to recommend this:

Now, my Japanese is not exactly spectacular, and rikaichan proved unhelpful as well, but this appears to be to be a 3-month exercise cartridge for women to increase their 女ヂカラ. As the joke goes, you fuck just one goat…

(Japanese is my best non-native language, too. My knowledge of Modern Standard Chinese currently extends only to 你有好乳房 “You have excellent breasts” and 你的妹妹有十六歲嗎 “Is your sister 16?”, although if pressed occasional other words, interspersed with Japanese and the occasional mumble will emerge. ^_^)

Now of course I need to go assert my masculinity by buying something like this:
(The infamous witch touching game)

Granted, I’d have bought this game whether Amazon was trying to make me buy girly things or not and I realise that my other purchases (Kakitorikun, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon DVDs, for example) may have given Amazon the impression that I was a female Japanese primary-school student, but seriously, who gives a credit card to an eight-year-old girl named Paul?

Of course, my last AmazonJP shipment went to a female friend who was in Japan, maybe they assume I’ve been pretending to be a foreigner all this time to avoid sales tax? (Which is the opposite of online games, where I usually claim to be from very very south Okinawa, on the grounds that they don’t actually ask what country you’re from, just which prefecture of Japan…. This isn’t a problem, both because I am roughly south of Okinawa, and because Japanese MMOs lost their appeal to me once I realised that the Japanese seem to produce nothing but grinding MMOs.)

On that topic, I was disappointed to see that the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms MMO, at least from the two gameplay videos posted on YouTube, looks like another grinder. A translation of a beta test announcement however suggests that some level of facitonality will enter into it. Shame, really. ROTK would have been an excellent setting for the MMO I’ve been dreaming of creating. And sadly, the link to Dynasty Warriors Wave on the Wii is still not actually a link, at the Koei site. They showed this at the Tokyo Games show in 2005. And after the wonder experience The Godfather turned out to be, I was so looking forward to uniting China under the kingdom of Wu with nought but a pair of chakrams, a Wiimote, and the sweat of my brow (and other body parts). I guess I’ll just have to grab Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter’s Battle when it ships somewhere in English.

I just now finished watching Dexter, (Warning, Wikipedia article contains unmarked spoilers) which I enjoyed quite a lot. I have to say though, I’d have been frustrated to be watching it week by week. And the second half of the season involved me yelling at him a lot for being an idiot.

Oh, and I joined Mensa the other day. I’ve spent all week telling people I’m a card-carrying genius, which is a bit of an exaggeration, as I don’t know if I get a card (I’ve been too busy to check my post office box.)

Just to reinforce my genius status, I tonight completed all the character writing and drills for the grade 1 of Kakitorikun. That’s 80 kanji, and technically I’ve got an academic transcript that says I know several hundred, but… yeah. That’s not as impressive when I write it down, it turns out my level of Japanese approaches that of an particularly uncommunicative six-year-old. But I have gotten a stamp for every day this month so far. ^_^

I get proud about completely the wrong things, sometimes.

In somewhat more age-appropriate educational news, I’m finally getting back to uni this coming semester, taking Morphology part-time. Work’s pretty good about flexible hours and stuff, so this will hopefully only consume time from my life, rather than life from my veins, as per my previous attempts at part-time study. It helps that this time I’m not travelling interstate to work and further again to study. However, I think I’m going to have to withdraw from the ANUAS comittee, as I’m going to be even more pressed for time than I am now.

If anyone from the ANUAS exec is reading this, sorry. I’ll prolly make an official announcement this week, although given the way things are going, that’s about as reliable as everything else I’ve promised I’d do for the exec.

At least this won’t crimp my social life. My social life couldn’t be crimped by an angry hairdresser with an AK-47 crimping iron, since it’s basically completely absent.

If only I could find an amazonian smart Japanese chick who digs me… Although frankly, I’m flexible on nearly all those details.

Conga-line parking

Oh you lucky things, today this blog becomes a photoblog!

Anyway, walking back from LCA07 to International House…

Front-to-rear An unusual sign was seen in a UNSW parking area

Front-to-kerb This is probably what they actually meant…

Scene from a UNSW parking lot They are of course referring to the same parking lot. But at least they’re not in the parking lot of a department which has a large amount of contact with cars and the like…

Identity revealed Oh.

In other news, I may not have mentioned, but I got a Kodak C310 camera for Christmas. Happily, it is supported by gPhoto’s libgphoto2 so I can pull my photos and movies (no sound) in linux

Internet on Internet action: Routing around the bad to (speech-)recognise the good

Hmm, time to resurrect an old posting format…

Good
The Internet — automatically routing around damage such as a DMCA from Apple.
Bad
Storyline patents — Everytime I think the world has dug itself to rock-bottom, someone hits me on the back of the head with a shovel.
Educational
Kotodama, a video game research prototype for teaching Japanese to anime fans — Now this is where I’d like to be taking my university education… I wonder where the project’s going, and how I can get onboard… And of course, this led me to Julius, a speech-recognition system that I wish I had time to play with.

Thanks to Hellblazer via Slashdot for the heads-up on the patent.

Slashdot is prolly also the viaduct via which I got the Kotodama link, as well as a reminder about the Linux-based GP2X portable gaming doodad, and AnoNet, like FreeNet but built from VPN and SSH tunnels which leave you in control of your own machine’s actions. I guess the difference is that on AnoNet, if someone does work out who you are and they seize your equipment, you don’t have the I didn’t know that was on there defense you get from FreeNet. There’s also the issue that, if you do something heinous enough, such that international authorities can co-operate on it, then you can be tracked down.

One of the things AnoNet’s Wikipedia entry suggests would be a good thing to protect on AnoNet is bnetd, the Battle.net Server that Blizzard Entertainment had shutdown in the US. Mind you, even on the regular Internet finding bnetd source was as easy as following the link from the bnetd Wikipedia entry, once again demonstrating how the Internet routes around damage. ^_^