by simon baird

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

monkeys are evil

"When we come to chase the monkeys away, we are dressed in trousers and hats, so that we look like men," resident Lucy Njeri told the BBC News website

"But the monkeys can tell the difference and they don't run away from us and point at our breasts. They just ignore us and continue to steal the crops."

"The monkeys grab their breasts, and gesture at us while pointing at their private parts. We are afraid that they will sexually harass us," said Mrs Njeri.
Read more....


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

mystical experience delivered by technology

this is pretty cool. trick yourself into having an out-of-body experience. required: vr googles. a friend with a pointy stick.

Friday, August 24, 2007

google sky update - hubble images

Okay get this, they have put hubble photos IN THEIR CORRECT PLACE IN THE SKY. For instance to see the crab nebula in hi-res just find where it is (use the markers) and ZOOM IN. This is sublime. Google, we love you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Google Stars

I've been waiting for this. Cool.

The space imagery includes over one million photographs from various sources, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Palomar Observatory at the California Institute of Technology and the Hubble Telescope.

I guess you can't fly out to the planets or stars yet though. But soon.

Number 3: The Dunedin Regent Theatre 24 Hour Book Sale

We stumbled into this by chance in Dunedin. Imagine a beautiful old theatre like the Muppet Show theatre. The aisles and the stage are filled with books. It is literally shoulder to shoulder with excited people picking through books which are all 50 cents each. This is at about 10:30pm at night and outside it's beanie, scarf and gloves cold. There all ages of people there. Families, old folks, hipster couples. It seems like everyone is happy and smiling at each other. Most people are clutching a stack of books they've already found. When you buy books they wrap them up in newspaper so the streets outside are filled with people with wrapped book bundles. On the stage in a small area not filled with books there is a jazz band playing. Some people are sitting in the theatre seats watching the band. Milly and I were both so moved by the joy and beauty of the books and people that we both decided then that we have to move to Dunedin.

Here are some links:

misheard lyrics

This is how I sing it:
And if the music ain't good, well it's just too bad
We're gonna sing along to Vanna Wood
Because the dancers don't mind at the New Orleans
If you tip 'em then they'll make it good
Who's Vanna Wood? How should I know? Perhaps she's a friend of Vanna White? :)

In case you're wondering...

Monday, August 20, 2007

for philip pullman fans

If you like Dark Materials trilogy, then take a look at Physicists Discover Inorganic Dust With Lifelike Qualities.

Ps, here is my review of The Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass) trailer:

f**k yeah!!! but the bear should be much bigger (godammit) :(

Friday, August 17, 2007

BioShock hype - looks like another good reason to own a 360

This game is a beacon. It's one of those monumental experiences you'll never forget, and the benchmark against which games for years to come will, and indeed must, be measured. This isn't merely an evolution of System Shock 2, but a wake-up call to the industry at large.


There is art here, despite what many would say isn't possible with games, from Roger Ebert to game designers like Hideo Kojima. But it's in BioShock--it's in the gorgeously realized, watery halls of Rapture. It's in a Little Sister's expression of thanks when you choose to save her, or the utter silence if you harvest instead. It's in the way the characters develop, in the testimonials of the recording boxes you pick up along the way. It's in the way the narrative is structured, and the way it blends so seamlessly with the action. Irrational had a clear vision with this game, something pulled off with remarkable precision in every department. They didn't just deliver something that's fun to play, a criterion so often cited as the benchmark of what makes a game worthwhile. BioShock stands as a monolithic example of the convergence of entertaining gameplay and an irresistibly sinister, engrossing storyline that encompasses a host of multifaceted characters. This is an essential gaming experience.

I think he liked it. 'Harvesting a Little Sister'? Sounds cool. Read more here.

Ps, it appears to be unanimous: Gamesradar: 10
Eurogamer: 10
Game Informer: 10
IGN: 9.7
Chuck Norris: 10
Official Xbox Magazine UK: 10
PC Gamer UK: 9.5
PC Zone: 9.6
Gamespy: 10 (5/5)
1UP: 10
Metacritic 9.9

Oracle tip - how to refresh a materialized view

execute DBMS_SNAPSHOT.REFRESH('my_mat_view','A');

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Elton confirmed for North Qld

See here. I heard it was $140 and he's not even bringing a band..

Sigur Ros in Melbourne in October

They're performing the score for a dance performance. They are coming all this way, surely they will schedule some shows while they're here. Please? Oh here, I googled this. Some fans with mixed emotions: "Sigur Ros in Melbourne? They're coming??". "Yes, but it's for a... a dance show." :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Office (USA)

One of the best things on TV at the moment. Thought it might 'jump the shark' at the end of season two with the Jim/Pam dynamic changing but fear not. Highlights from season three: Dwight's secret meeting with Jan, Andy meeting Michael the first time, Andy's phone in the roof, Pam's firewalk, and so many more. Here's a few clips. My only comment (warning spoiler....),

Jim, Karen is way hot! What are you thinking? ;)

So lets look at the track record for US remakes of UK shows. Red Dwarf? Ab Fab? Men Behaving badly? (I guess there are others..?) All disasters. So The Office was quite a surprise. Did you hear that Ben Silverman (responsible for The Office (US)) is making Kath & Kim (US)? My first instinct is disaster, but you never know, he's proven it can be done, right?

Monday, August 13, 2007

for my bunny deery

ca' the yowes to the knowes
ca' them where the heather grows
ca' them where the burnie rows
my bonnie dearie

when I went down the water side
to see the fishes sweetly glide
beneath the hazel spreading wide
and the moon that shines so clearly

when I went down the water side
'twas there I met my shepherd lad
he rolled me sweetly in his plaid
and called me by his dearie

if you'll but stand to what you've said
I'll come with you, my bonnie lad
and you may roll me in your plaid
and I will be your dearie

you will get gowns and ribbons meet
and leather shoes upon your feet
and in my arms you'll lie and sleep
my bonnie dearie

as waters wimple to the sea
while day breaks in the sky so fine
till clay-cold death shall blind my eye
I shall be thy dearie

till clay-cold death shall blind my eye
I shall be thy dearie

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kiwi greeting

I encountered this in Christchurch a couple of times so I can't say for sure if it's a nationwide thing. Instead of saying "How are you?", "How's it going", "How're you doing?", say "How's it?". And don't forget to add a Kiwi accent when trying thus et home. The first time I heard this was in a petrol station. It took me a second or two to decipher.

Petrol station checkout operator: "How's ut?"
Me: "Um... er... oh fine thanks".

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm thinking about getting one of these

Why? 1. Record band rehearsals to catalogue and remember songs. 2. Make bootleg recordings of live shows.

Preview of new stuff from Chinchy

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

resident evil 5 trailer

Playing Resident Evil 4 on the Nintendo Gamecube (that's right) was one of the best (and scariest) gaming experiences I've ever had. Resident Evil 5 on the XBox 360 may actually may be too scary for me. Check it out above. Warning, scary and violent. Ps, apparently people are saying it's racist since the zombies are black...

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny - Disappointing

I love Jack Black but this was really bad. For some reason I had high hopes for this movie. They really should have got some help with the writing. Steer clear of this one.

one sunday

[location: overflow at sunland plaza. i'm looking for letter box numbers. milly is looking for rabbit-ear antennas]

fm radio station break: If you wanna hear some stuff, then you've come to the right place

milly: oh my god. did you hear that?

me: 'hear some stuff'? is that what they said? 'hear some stuff'? f**king hell

milly: that is the stupidest thing i've ever heard on the radio (and that's really saying something)

me: perhaps it was meant ironically

random woman in store: [beaming] that's just how we are up here [meaning townsville, I presume...] - we're just so relaxed

milly: [icily] well i was born here and i'm not that "relaxed"

woman: (scowl, scurry)

me: (giggle)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Oracle create database link example

The syntax for the create database link command is pretty much impossible to figure out. I always get it wrong. Even when I read the docs carefully. So here's my version of the example.
    password -- no quotes here
    'database_sid' -- single quotes here
-- test
select * from dual@name_of_link

interstella tunes on myspace

I think I forgot to mention you can go listen to some tracks by my band over on our myspace. also I just noticed AUX has some very nice new stuff. well not that new but I just found them. "together apart" has some stationwagony guitar sounds.

I hope that someone gets my...

I hope that someone gets my...
I hope that someone gets my...
Tickets in the may-il.
Tickets in the may-il, yeeaah

Thursday, August 02, 2007

damn, how did I miss this back in the 80s

We'll be sold when Roddy comes
Comes for pearly dewdrop's drops
Tis the lucky lucky penny penny penny
Buys the pearly to their souls
Who knows what effect that would have had on me in 1985. I'd probably have some different records in the box in my garage at the very least. Thanks John and YouTube. Now please excuse me while I watch that a few more times.

my nz trip by the lazy blogger

I went too. Okay that was pretty lazy. I do promise some nz related posts in the future.

Oh alright, here's one now.

Top 5 things about NZ

5. They shrunk their coins. I don't know if you know this but Australian coins are enormous. Change for a coke zero can weigh more than the can. These things put holes in your pocket faster than an extra in Oliver Twist. They can destroy expensive wallets. NZ coins used to be the same size as Aussie coins but some time between my last time there and this time they shrunk them. Now they are about half the size they used to be. And to save themselves some effort, they kept the exact same design! Only smaller! Pure genius. Also they abolished the five cent piece and made the ten cent a bronzey colour like the old ones and twos used to be. C'mon Aussie, lets follow our Oceanic neighbours and get rid of our oversized coins.

Here's a picture: and a link.

4. The Flight of the Conchords
They have a tv show now. It's really good. They are like Tenacious D kinda but less metal and more Kiwi. Go and get it here if you're torrent savvy.

(to be continued).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

some news from Sigur Rós

See here, amongst other things a live dvd.