Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My cartoon dreams

When I was a teenager, I thought seriously about becoming a cartoonist. I have always been doodling a lot, although it has dwindled ever since I started studying.
Sites like Flight, Insanely Twisted and the blog of Michel Gagné make me wish I had started properly back then.

Still, I guess I always found cartoons a fun pastime, not an obsession. And I think you need to be almost obsessed to make a living off it. I remember attending a cartoon convention in Melbourne (or was is Sydney?) back in 1995. At the time, I thought I was getting pretty good but when I saw what some youngsters were creating, I sort of lost heart. Talent be as it may, it mainly requires very high amounts of dedication, practice and maybe also an inspiring environment of like-minded artists or aficionados. Cutting edge cartoons were not readily available in Northern Jutland back then..! :D

I might have a small amount of talent - but I think persistence is more important. I'm not patient enough to be a cartoonist, but I wish I was.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I see giants falling

The introduction I saw didn't really mention the scope or quality of collaboration services and file storage - but I think this appears fairly impressive. And it's lean...supposedly.

Friday, August 24, 2007


They beat us the day before yesterday....by 4 goals to nil. A nice, warm evening at the Aarhus Arena, even if the Danish team was disastrous.

Best moment by far: the Irish cheering for Denmark, in the 2nd half.
Cracked everyone up.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stock, Mayhem & Waterman

This news clip had me laughing today.

Apparently, an error in one of the subsystems of the Nordic Stock Exchange (OMX) put the Maersk stock on the market for a measly 1,99 Danish crowns. 150 transactions went through, before the error was discovered. One transaction involved 556.200 stocks - which, in a less unforgiving world, would have saved the lucky buyer more than 35 billion Danish crowns (since the Maersk stock is generally going for about 65.000 DKR each).

The faulty transactions are, of course, already annulled. However, I wonder how they measure the indirect costs of the error. If we assume it took 10 minutes before the error was corrected and the assets were frozen, then a drop of, say, 2% (the Danish stock fell quite a bit during the first hours of today) would mean that the sellers "avoided" losses of nearly 15 mio. DKR.
Of course, I expect that the stock value is written back and updated correctly. And if it is not, then I'm going into brokering software.

Spacy philosophy

A few blogs of note that I am watching at the moment:

Sentient Developments
Have a look at the posting on the Simulation Argument which assumes that the Matrix plot might have some real merit. Personally, I think it's an artificial construct, assuming way too much. But it's a funny thought, at least.

Nice bits of compiled techno-babble.

In other news, I am well into home improvement at the moment. Yesterday I got into a fistfight with a roll-up curtain and this weekend I might look at tool shed insulation...a domain of kings.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sleepy hollow - the anecdote

Some years ago (maybe 7 or 8 - I seem to remember being single) I'd often have some weird experiences in my sleep.
I would wake up in the middle of the night and be completely paralyzed. Hearing, feeling and thinking as if awake. Not seeing, naturally, since I couldn't force open my eyes.

It happened maybe once a month over a period of 4-5 months. At first it was quite scary. Once the sense of capture seeped through my sleepiness, a huge sense of claustrophobia would kick in. I would start struggling, trying desperately to move a limb - sit up, flail an arm, get those eyelids up. Sometimes it resulted in a violent break-through. I must have looked like an unlucky fish out of water, caught up in my sheets, gasping.

Later on, I actually got used to it. Tried to go with flow and sense the physical state I was in. It was virtually impossible to go back to sleep, though. The feeling of powerlessness was usually too heavy to ignore.

It concerned me a great deal, of course. I also had a lot of "falling into sleep" in the literal sense of the expression - most people have probably tried this. The big sleep-dive that has you jerking like an idiot.

I researched it and became aware of the medical concept of "sleep paralysis" (although the phrase had not been so accurately coined back then). The human brain sends signals - in the form of hormones and neurotransmitters - to the muscles, telling them to ignore physical instructions during the dream sleep phases. Sometimes the brains sends too much or lets one wake up before the effect has worn off...and then you're in the iron maiden.

It hasn't happened to me in a long time now. Probably because I never get as much sleep nowadays as back in my student days. Fuck all risk of me waking up late at night these days =)

This fun article / tutorial spurred my memory, however. I have had lucid dreams, too - but I only recall them dimly, none of them so totally in control as the article suggests.

I'm not sure I want to experiment with my dream phases - but it is tempting. The absence of logical coherence when you're dreaming is fascinating, especially because that same absence seems so perfectly natural in situ.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Leftover sludge event horizon

The narrow transitional phase of leftovers - which leaves you indecisive as to pour it in the sink or in the trash bag.

I really hate that one.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Cleaning recipes

Just because I'm a homeowner now...

Vanessa's Cleaning Recipes

Friday, August 03, 2007

Strange magic

Just started the, apparently, award-winning "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. Promising, so far.
I was struck with a heavy feeling of recognition - due to my few attempts at the roleplaying game Ars Magica. Also focused on "true magic" and mythical, un-categorizable faery folk.

Set in the 1800s, it also reminded me of "The Baroque Cycle". Read this if you haven't!

A place for my garbage heap of snapshots

Check out Photosynth - a technology on the horizon by Microsoft. Pretty impressive - and fits perfectly with the mindset of tourist photography. Get it ALL in there!