Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Th' Rev. Mercury, part 2

For the first time i uploaded my own recorded concert as a torrent to Dimeadozen. The Mercury Rev show, of course.

The recording quality is not that bad, but actually i hope that someone more experienced will download it, improve the quality (noise reduction, whatever). I really believe in the collaborative power of the Internet; when it works, it works beautifully.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Political Compass, part 3

Time to check my political compass again. Read about the previous one here.

This time it is:
Economic Left/Right: -1.88 (2005-07: -2.50; 2004-09: -2.75)
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.97 (2005-07: -2.10; 2004-09: -3.13)

The flux is first and foremost due to the fact that i choose Agree or Strongly Agree differently each time. To the death penalty question i always say "Strongly Disagree", but to the "Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers" i sometimes agree and sometimes strongly so. It all depends on the moment i'm answering and millions of moments that lead to it since the last time. My answers are honest and reflect how i feel.

Apparently i steadily keep moving away from Communist towards the economic right. It may have something to do with the fact that i slowly started to make real - albeit still modest - profits on the stock exchange. And in the social part i'm going back from Fascist to Libertarian, although the changes are not too significant (and i'm still on the Libertarian side).

I'll test myself again a few months after the elections.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Drop the Debt

I finally handed all the long-overdue papers for the previous semester. Technically nothing's finished till i get the grades, and frankly i hardly deserve to pass; and i pray that the professors will be merciful about this almost endless procrastination. Still - i haven't felt so good in almost a year.

But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the almighty
We forward in this generation triumphantly
All I ever had is songs of freedom
Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom
Cause all I ever had redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

People Speaking - Miracle

— "So, do you know what was the miracle of Chanuka?"

— "Well, there was the oil miracle in the Temple."

— "Nah, that's not a miracle. The real miracle was the victory over Hellenism. The oil miracle is nothing - go live with a wise righteous rabbi for a week, and I promise that you'll witness at least one miracle of that proportion."

... And another repair

The whole site crashed after i tried editing the blog template on a wireless connection. So i repaired it again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I refreshed the look and now i pass most of the W3C XHTML 1.1 validation again. The only parts that fail are in the Google, and auto-generated code.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Someone just told me i'm on his RSS! Ya mama

I'm lost for words.


Blogs by two of my friends from the university:

They are both in Hebrew. I love Hebrew, but i have a variety of reasons to keep writing in English. But a few things that are common to me and them is that they both like:

  1. Good XHTML (although i kinda neglected mine lately).
  2. Being too clever about writing with weird non-English scripts.

Linguists have some things in common.

Oh (edit): Dan commented that calling scripts, particularly the Hebrew script, "weird" is not so nice. This marks the first time that i used the <del> tag for its originally intended purpose and not just for funny humorous crossing out.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I just received a work-related email from someone whose first name is one word consisting of twenty-seven letters.

I Can Spell It

If Arik Sharon really wants to break some new ground in statesmanship, he should go out and tell the world the whole truth about Israel's nuclear capabilities. And no, i don't know anything about Israel's nuclear capabilities. There are two reactors, in Dimona and in Soreq, and for all i know they are both civilian. And maybe not. I don't know. But if Sharon wants to prove the world that he's so fucking special and to do something new about the Iranian nuclear program, he should just call Iran to direct nuclear talks. But of course, he should tell the world that he's ready to accept international observers in the Israeli reactors, on condition that the same kind observers will go to Iran. And sign the non-proliferation treaty. And then proceed like Reagan and Gorbachov did. Now that would be a revolution.

I hate nuclear weapons. Even if i am the one who has them.

People Speaking - Socks

— "What, religious? With the socks and all?"

Angry Youth

I dreamt that i have AIDS and lung cancer. I was very happy to wake up to the sound of the alarm clock - although i still thought for a minute trying to figure whether i really just dreamt it or really had AIDS and lung cancer and went back to sleep "for just a couple of minutes".

Writing about it makes me think: dreamed or dreamt? Both are considered correct, but English specialists recommend to pick one and be consistent. Dreamed seems to be The Right Way - it's kinda more standard (i love standard) and not irregular and it's also pronounced more or less as it is written, unlike dreamt which is pronounced as if it was written *dremt. But then i would participate in the killing of the only English word that ends in -mt. Not nice.

Anyway, the dream was very, very depressing. I really don't want to have AIDS and lung cancer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Stone Mystery

I found a little stone on the floor of my office. Mystery.

People Speaking - Hodge

— "Hodge published this wonderful research ... I don't know what happened to Hodge. I think he died."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Veg Update

I stopped eating meat in May. I had a blood test in September, and it was normal. I had another one yesterday and my Vitamin B12 level went up since the last one. It's weird - i don't follow a strict diet and i don't take vitamin pills. But a fact's a fact. If anyone who reads this considers becoming vegetarian, but has concerns about health implications - don't you worry. Just say no meat for a week and see what happens. Then another week. Then one more. Than just go on. It's not that that bad. I have less headaches lately if that's any indication.

Oh (edit): It is possible, of course, that i digest B12 exceptionally well. Ask for professional medical advice before making a decision about your diet, but don't be ashamed of eating according to an idea and not only health - just don't put the idea too high.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Count, Count ... These Are the Things I Can Do Without

There are one hundred and twenty five people somewhere in the world, who think that their language, called Pirahã, is the best one to speak.

In that language it is impossible to count, which makes me, too, think that it is the best language to speak.

People Speaking - Coca Cola

— "Yesterday Sharon had a stroke. Some people were glad, but I told them - nu-nu-nu. The Book of Proverbs says: 'When your enemy falls, do not rejoice, and when he stumbles, let your heart not exult' ... But look how God sets things up: I went looking for the vending machine to buy me something to drink and found free Coca-Cola on the way."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

They Label Me Insane

I donwloaded 45 GB of music from Dimeadozen.

A day will come and i'll listen to some of it too.

I dl'ed about ten Neil Young gigs. I gave a quick listen to some of them and they are all better than Rust Never Sleeps. Ya mama!

Work Work Work

There's NOTHING like Kit Kat ChunKy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I wonder what does the Italian word "tinsegna" mean. I can't find it in dictionaries. If you happen to know, please leave a comment.

Oh (edit): Silly me: It's probably ti + insegna = t'insegna = "teaches you". But if it can also be something else, i'll be happy to know.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Help the world with minimal effort!

Folding@Home is not a new project, but i recently rediscovered it. Basically you donate the unused CPU time of your computer to a scientific project that calculates protein folding. I don't know much about biology, but as far as i understand this project might help make significant progress in medicine, which is the common interest.

If you're using Windows, there are two versions - the graphical version and the console/service version. I prefer the service version, because after a little initial configuration you don't see it at all and it doesn't ever bother you anymore. The graphical version can show some pretty pictures of molecules, but it is not very interesting. The installation instructions for the service version at the website are not very good, so i wrote a little something by myself.

  1. Download the software. I use 5.04beta, but 5.02 probably works the same.
  2. The FAH504-Console.exe is the program itself, not a setup package. Create a separate directory, for example C:\FAH or C:\Program Files\FAH or something like that and copy this file to that directory.
  3. Run the file. You will be asked a few questions. If the question is not listed here, it's safe to give the default answer.
    • User name: Just write whatever you want - you don't have to create an account with a password etc.
    • Team Number: You can create a team and sign up your friends to this team. Then you can see your statistics on one webpage. It is not very important, so you can just say 0 and be in the "General" team, but if you want to do it, read this, create your team and put its number there. You can also put my team number - 47146. Go go team aharoni!
    • Launch automatically at machine startup, installing this as a service - say yes.
    • Use Internet Explorer settings - say yes. It will copy your internet connections settings from Internet Explorer.
    • Change advanced options - if you have a dual-core processor, say yes. Otherwise say no. How to check if you have a dual-core processor: If you bought your computer before 2005, you probably don't have a dual-core processor. If you bought it in 2005 or later, do this: right-click on the taskbar and click Task Manager. Click the Performance tab. There must be a CPU Usage History graph running. If there's one graph, then you have a regular CPU. If there are two graphs, congratulations - you have a dual-core CPU.
    • If you have a dual-core CPU, give the default answers to all the questions, and answer 1 at the Machine ID question.
  4. Now the programs will start running, but you can close the window. The software is smart and it will resume work quietly when you restart your computer.
  5. If you have a dual-core CPU, you can now run two instances of Folding@Home - that's what dual-core is good for. How to do it: Create another directory, similar to the first one, for example C:\FAH2. Copy the FAH504-Console.exe to that directory too. Do the same configuration operation from the beginning, but give Machine ID 2 this time. Now you are really cool.

When the service is running, you can check the Task Manager and see under Performance that 100% CPU is used. That program runs at the lowest priority, which means that it only uses your unused CPU time and doesn't hurt the performance of your day-to-day activities.

If you want to check you statistics, that is - how many protein folding calculations (so called WU's - work units) your computer has helped complete, go to the "Stats" section at the Folding@Home site.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Abrya lives in Louisiana. She likes gosple music and helping other people.

People Speaking - Water

— "Can you give me water? But not hot water and not cold water. And not hot with cold together."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Jah Loves You All

See how your name is written in Amharic. You should install a Unicode font if you haven't already.

Alon Gideon Almogአሎን ጊድዖን አልሞግ
Amir Elisha Aharoniአሚር ኤሊሻ አሃሮኒ
Amit Einavዓሚት ዔናቭ
Aviram Attiaአቪራም ዓቲያ
Bob Nesta Marleyቦብ ኔስታ ማርሊ
Cheli Siman-Tovኄሊ ሲማን-ጦቭ
Dan Elhararዳን ኤልሃራር
Daniel Yacobiዳኒኤል ይዓቆቢ
Efrat Millerኤፍራት ሚለር
Efrat Segalኤፍራት ሰጋል
Einat Shauliዔናት ሻኡሊ
Elad Arye Rosenheimኤልአድ አርዬ ሮዜንሃይም
Hadar Leviሃዳር ሌቪ
Itay Hazanኢታይ ኃዛን
Jehuda Ronenይሁዳ ሮኔን
Mercury Revመርኩሪ ሬቭ
Mikael Fassiሚካኤል ፋሲ
Mira Mohammedሚራ ሙኃማድ
Noga Gershoniኖጋ ጌርሾኒ
Oren Brachaኦሬን ብራኻ
Reut Perelሬዑት ፔሬል
Shay Bokobzaሻይ ቦኮብዛ
Shachar Shirtzሻኃር ሺርጽ
Tamir Gefenታሚር ጌፌን
Udi Calኡዲ ካል
Ya mamaያማማ
Yisrael Schuldinerዪስራኤል ሹልዲኔር
Yonathan Klingerዮነታን ክሊንጌር

If you are not listed or you find a mistake, send a comment and tell me.

Danger! High Voltage!

The doorknob in my office is trying to kill me.


A global warming has occured.

I don't know why i bother wearing a sweater when i leave home. I have so much nice t-shirts. For example, a Greenpeace t-shirt, which is the most relevant. And EFF and BitTorrent t-shirts too.

And just because the calendar says that it's Kislev i keep wearing sweaters.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

People Speaking - Degrees

— "28°?! Criminals."

Gathering Moss 17 - Religion

I swear that i try not to be too boring. I like to please. I know, my dear readers, that you loved me best when i wrote about my stupid bosses. Sorry, i don't have them anymore. Try Dilbert. I know that you don't like it when i write about politics. Mostly because you don't agree with me. I don't try to make you think like me. Really. Your freedom to excercise the right to disagree is more important to me than my own opinion. When i'm subjective i don't hide it. What i do try is to make you think. To think beyond the media, to think beyond what your parents or teachers told you. To think for yourself.

Mr. Tzachi Hanegbi leaves Likud for Sharon. Whatever. What's interesting is what he said in his press conference in the morning. He praised Sharon wildly. It broke new ground for bizzare. Not that he said anything very new; he mentioned, just as i expected, Sharon's reasoning and responsibility, not just some responsibility - National Responsibility! and his determination, not just some determination - Determination in The War on Terror! That's right. Soldiers were dying, suicide bombers were killing hundreds, Kassam rockets were falling on all of southwestern Israel, so he was determined to put an end to this and destroyed twenty five Israeli villages. And now soldiers keep dying, suicide bombers are still doing their thing pretty much the same rate of effectiveness and the rain of Kassam rockets is still pretty much the only kind of rain that we get this dry winter. But Ariel Sharon - oh, he was determined.

"I stayed in the Likud and tried to cooperate with people who were running for the post of Likud's chairman, but none of them is Ariel Sharon, and Ariel Sharon is the only man that must lead Israel in the next four years", Hanegbi says. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I remember hearing his announcement with my mouth open. Saying that he should get his tongue out of Sharon's ass is like saying nothing at all. It's more than that - it's a cult. One of the sects of the one true religion of Presumed Democracy. Churchill was right saying that democracy is the worst form of government. It's really a magnificent idea that just can't work, just like Marxism. There are some leaders that are not so good at pretending to be democratic and some that are better. Ariel Sharon is excellent. The media keeps telling everyone how hard it is for poor Arik to do his nationally responsible work, with so much opposition everywhere yet he does it all nevertheless. And he keeps succeeding. If that's not a conspiracy, tell me what is.

Personality cults don't die. They just take different forms and names.

Gathering Moss 17 - No-one

When a few days ago i heard someone saying that he votes for no-one and that he votes for Sharon, i thought that it was ironic. That it was a kind of a funny slip - that Sharon and no-one is the same. That voting not for Sharon is like for voting for someone. You can interpret it in a bunch of ways. I interpret it USSR-style - there weren't much opinion polls, but somehow all the time everyone knew who's gonna win. I don't think that there was even much need for falsifying the results. It really didn't matter whether you voted or not. In Israel i think (well, i'd want to believe) that there are no significant falsifications; they are not needed when the news are falsified so well. But the feeling is that Sharon is very much a part of our life. He's the prime minister for five years already. Or is it "only"? Is five years a lot? Not in France, they elect their presidents for seven years. But then - they don't demolish French villages in the name of National Responsibility.

Anyway - apparently this "no-one/Sharon" thing is going deeper. The latest news is that the voter turnout is expected to be the highest in many years. And people who didn't vote the last few times - and that's 10-20% of the population - are going to vote, and they are going to vote Sharon. I don't get it. Can someone please explain the reason for this strange behaviour?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Intellectual Property - Art Rundown


Leck/ uniq - report or filter out repeated lines in a file

We don't even try to han them. That's what everybody else does in such cases.

Instead we just strangely ignore them, even though they are right here. It really could be much easier. I don't get it.

We keep idly talking about lat without any reck. And we do big things about it that try to look like a plad and fail miserably. We could however easily han the situation.

Just like the dops no-one here will ever - ever! - leck.

(Whatever you understood is OK.)

Th' Rev. Mercury

I plugged th' microphone into th' Japanese minidisc recorder. Then i found th' red button and pressed it. Pretty pictures of funny ladies in black and white tossed and turned on th' silver screen behind th' stage and there was jazz. Then music changed and more pretty pictures of record covers started jumping on th' screen - Hunky Dory, Harmony Rockets, The Velvet Underground (1969), A Love Supreme, Son House and many many many more. And puppies too. Then band came and played songs. Grasshopper played some clarinet and harmonica and Jonathan waved his hands. Then he waved his saw. Later he bowed it too. He was really nice. He jumped around. On th' last few songs Aviv Geffen joined band on stage and played his acoustic guitar. But 'tis not really very important.

Jonathan told us that we're gotta serve somebody (in a funny way). He also told that he's a Jew. I always knew it. "Jonathan" means "God given" in Hebrew. I thank God for giving me this beautiful, beautiful concert.

I hear of people living deep inside of the earth. They are really tall.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Gathering Moss 17 - Sane

— "You're a sane person, tell me - when elections come, who will you vote for?"

— "Vote? For no-one. I vote Sharon."

People Speaking - Watch

— "What?! They'll help you? They'll see you agonizing on the floor and steal your watch."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Gathering Moss 17 - Reasoning

Seems that Ariel Sharon plays his Reasoning card well. He has reasoning (shikul daat - שיקול דעת), he has responsibilty, and not just some responsibility - National Responsibility! His image and media advisors are professionals of the best kind - on the bottom line livel, on the results level they just haven't failed since about 1999. His motto in 2001 was "A leader capable of reasoning". His latest spins are all about responsibility. National Responsibility.

At the press conferences he's so quiet and pragmatic. He told journalists - "I didn't kill myself when you were scolding and criticizing me and I didn't go out dancing when you turned me into an 'etrog'" (an etrog is a citron, a fruit that according to the Jewish tradition every Jew must purchase for himself and then keep it well during the week of the feast of Tabernacles; our responsible and reasonable journalists said said that Sharon should be safeguarded like an etrog until he completes the destruction of Gush-Katif). He didn't kill himself - he killed the dreams of about 10,000 Israelis whose homes he destroyed; and he didn't go out dancing, but he did get out of a criminal conviction on his corruption charges. A little humor, a little wink, a lot of responsibility. And reasoning, yea, a lot of it. Staying a prime minister for five years without party support, without media support, without parliamentary support, without lobbyist support takes a lot of reasoning.

That's how a man, that for the whole of his military and political career symbolized the lack of credibility, responsibility and regard for authority, is now the symbol for the opposite.

And we don't even have a better option.

People Speaking - Theory

— "Your say your daughter is crying a lot? I'll send my four-year-old son to you. He's smart, he'll teach you the theory of relativity."


I became addicted to BitTorrent lately. I never liked it so much before: the language was strange and nobody bothered to explain me what the expressions "will seed indefinitely", "NATTED leecher", etc. mean. But now, thanks to Dimeadozen i love it.

That site points to .torrent's of bootlegs. It's even kinda legal - they have a list of bands they won't serve. And they only accept lossless recordings of complete gigs - no MP3's!

Anyway - there's a wealth of Radiohead, Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull and Bob Dylan there. Of course. I also easily found a Mercury Rev show from just a few weeks ago - nice to hear it before the gig on Monday.

But the really nice surprise came from an unexpected direction: I searched for Mogwai and found this instead. I found it, because it mentions Mogwai - "You might like Under Byen if you like Mogwai, Mum or Stina Nordenstam." Oh really? I had to check it.

When i listened to it, it didn't remind me so much of neither one of them, but it was very similar to Björk in terms of both singing style and melody structures. And they sing everything in Danish, the accent of which apparently sounds just like Icelandic, which is perfect, 'cuz i luv it when Björk sings in Icelandic, becuz like zis!!!1

So, this is Under Byen's homepage. And fansite. And an exceptionally beautiful video - actually, a Flash animation, but it doesn't look like one. Recommended if you:

  • Like Björk but wish she would sing in Icelandic more.
  • Like Björk but sometimes wish that her arrangements were a bit more mainstream.
  • Wish you liked Björk but something about her annoys you, such as - her un-Scandinavian look (black hair/weird nose/Japanese eyes), the way she still behaves like a thirteen-year-old at the age of forty, her stupid swan dress (get over it already). The singer of Under Byen has none of these features - she's just a quiet Danish blonde beauty with a beautiful fragile voice and a good sense for melody.
  • Wanna hear new music you haven't heard before. Really, just forget all the Björk comparisons - this is really something special. Don't miss it.

And no, i have no idea how to pronounce the name "Under Byen" properly. But sometimes i write some mean regular expressions in Perl.

Oh (edit): It's pronounced something like Oh-ner-bune. It's weird. I wish i could write it with IPA, but i'd better not. Try downloading their show at Roskilde 2004. You might have to create an account, and it might be impossible because they have too many accounts. It sucks - sorry, not my fault. If you have an idea on how i can send you 10's of MB's, tell me and i'll do it.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

People Speaking - Pray

— "What is the prayer time today?"

— "Ha-ha, you already missed it."

— "I don't think so, the sun sets down at..."

— "Well, let's just check it ... OK you've got a minute. Pray now! You begin immediately! Chop-chop!"

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I finally ate hummus at Abu-Gosh (أبو غوش). This Arabic village near Jerusalem is known amongst Israelis as the best place in Israel to "wipe" hummus, which is the proper way to eat it. Now the thing is that everyone talks about it, but no-one could tell me where to go exactly - Arabic settlements are very confusingly planned, and it's hard to find your way around the barely named and paved streets (years of goverment neglect, about which i'm not proud at all).

So i just tried to go there myself, alone. I heard about the Hummus Wars between the two restaurants that are both called Abu-Shuqri (أبو شقري); there was even violence against customers (!) a few months ago, but i guess that they understand now that there are lines, crossing of which will hurt everyone.

I drived into Abu-Gosh and just kept driving forward. I saw a couple of restaurants on the way but they looked like 100% tourist traps. So i kept driving until i saw a small arrow pointing left - Abu-Shuqri. So i turned left. A minute later i was in a "piazza", the size of which was no more than 8 square meters, but it was the home of no less than four restaurants, including "Abu Shuqri the Original!" and "Abu Shuqri Number 1!". Of course i saw no parking, but very quickly someone started to point me to some direction, so i just complied. Whatever, i said. He helped me to park in a side alley and of course called me inside to his restaurant. It was not one of the Abu-Shuqri's - it was called Naji and to make a long story short, it was excellent. I ordered hummus with mushrooms, my favourite; by mistake he brought me a plate without mushrooms. Later he apologized and added mushrooms. Actually, their mushrooms were simplistic and just couldn't add much to the wonderful hummus, but they didn't spoil it. The density was just right; the proportion of hummus, tahina, olive oil and pine nuts was perfect.

I've gotta admit that i still think that there's NOTHING like Hummus with Mushrooms in Pam Pam, but Naji provided me with a damn good plate to wipe.

People Speaking - Allocution

— "By 'allocution' I mean 'an appeal', as opposed to 'response'. German linguists that researched it, assumed that when someone asks, the listener waits for him to finish, then responds. It's a serious problem, don't laugh. My son was in American kindergarten for two years and he learnt to speak after his peer finishes and now he's back in Israel and he's miserable, just miserable."