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

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This one drops the payload

I gave blood every six months for almost eight years. It gave me a warm feeling of saving people's lives and an insurance that would entitle me to have free blood transfusion in case i would, God forbid, need one.

Last time i gave blood, a year ago, i received a letter from the Israeli Blood Bank director, Dr. Eilat Shen'ar. The letter said that a test had shown that i was found positive for Hepatitis C, but then they re-tested it and found that it was a false positive. Nevertheless, she wrote, i am kindly asked not to donate again.

My physician confirmed that i'm negative and healthy.

It pissed me off, so i called them and asked for an explanation, mentioning that i have the O-negative blood type, which is in high demand. They told me that it is Standard Procedure and advised to wait one year and call again.

I won't tell the long story of the bureaucracy and the misunderstandings on the way, but after a year i did that test and today i got the results. False positive again. They don't want my blood, even though they know that i'm healthy and that it can save someones life in case the bank runs out of O-negative, which often happens, especially in Israel, with all the explosions and the wars, not to mention the numerous car accidents. Standard Procedure, they say.

I am not a doctor, but even they admit that it's not a matter of science but rather of bureaucracy. Here's a proof that bureaucracy kills. Now i feel really bad, even though i probably did my best here. The best you can is good enough, you say? I am not convinced.


I saw an advertisement for an accredited university in which you can earn a masters degree (M.A.) in wonderful subjects, such as Holistic Health and Women Studies.

I wonder what are they learning about for M.A. in Women Studies. I suppose that Color Matching, Inexistent Odor Recognition and Wrapping Sandwiches in Cellophane are done at the B.A. level. Maybe fo M.A. they are offering seminars on Obscuring Desires and Fighting Over Imaginary Relationship Problems.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Keep it Gangsta!!

From an email from Larry Wall to the Perl 6 mailing list:

Reduce operators only turn infix into list operators. What you really want here is a hyper-fatarrow:

   my %h = @k »=>« @v;

Aharoni with Larry Wall
I want to be like Larry. A. E. Aharoni and L. Wall, OSDC 2006, Netanya

No, i'm not going to post every single Larry Wall quote from his every email.

I just like the word "hyper-fatarrow", which refers to the fat arrow (=>) inside those angle quotes (»«), which you probably don't have on your keyboard. Larry is quite brave to introduce Unicode characters as operators in a general purpose programming language. So he's allowed to give them funny names too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

People Speaking - Two Kinds

— "Is this thing made in China?"

— "Yes. That's the problem. There were two kinds of those and I wanted to pick the one that isn't made in China, but there was none."

Made Me Cry - Firefox Again

And more about Firefox - i keep reading about it and i can't stop getting fascinated by it. It's a proof that free software works and that it can be used by regular people. It's a proof of Microsoft's lies, dirty tricks and incompetence.

There are many astonishing things about Firefox. The dedication of the programmers who developed Firefox to do The Right Thing - to write a free browser which will support the best technical standards and will be not just usable, but cool too. The dedication of the user community, of which i am proud to be a part to using and promoting, even with the worthy alternatives around (Safari, Opera, Konqueror and well, IE). Even it's logo makes me shed tears. Free software done right changes the world. It actually does.

Firefox has been downloaded 200 million times. This number probably includes previous versions. It means little about actual market share. But why not celebrate?

My older Firefox-related entries:

Firefox Fun

Firefox fun:

Lifesize Firefox
אווי, חמווווווווווווד!!!!1

More at Firefox tales.

I though about it - i see people promoting Firefox out of sheer love for it, which is well-deserved. Would there be anyone to love Internet Explorer so much? Probably not, 'cuz unlike Firefox, IE is just there. But if someone would really want to show his admiration, what would they do?

The only thing i could come up with was calling one's child Internet Explorer. I hope no-one does it though.

Oh Boy Oh Boy

Dear Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Person,

I appreciate your valuable comments with links to material about Lithuanian and Polish.

Can you please tell me who you are? I'm very very curious. If it's a secret, you can send me a private email to amir dоt aharoni аt gmail dоt com.

Labas ačiū.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Made Me Cry - Leaving on a jet plane

Fucking Armageddon is on loop in the labs here.

Buscemi in a space suit. Affleck and Buscemi in a space suit singing "leaving on a jet plane." Owen Wilson complaining about people who think that Jethro Tull is a person in a band.

Liv talking Japanese (i heard that she had trouble with Quenya, and Japanese is harder as far as i know. Whatever.) Liv making Aharoni cry:

— "Promise me you'll come back!

— "OK."

— "Say it!"

— "I promise."


The President of the United States of America making Aharoni cry:

— "I address you tonight not as the President of the United States, not as a leader of a country, but as a citizen of humanity. ... And yet, for the first time in the history of the planet, a species has the technology to prevent its own extinction."

Yeah, now that Aharoni is submitting patches to Perl 6, it should better have. Ya mama.

— "Ahh! Ahh! The door's gonna blow!"


Monday, August 21, 2006

The Cages and the Cages

I submitted a patch for Parrot and it was even accepted.

Parrot is the codename for the central part of the next version of the Perl language, Perl 6 (it's a dynamic registered-based virtual machine, if you're technically inclined). Because it is called Parrot, there's a role in the development team called "cage cleaners" - the people who do all the little work without diving deeply into the magick algorithms. So i am one of them.

This patch doesn't do much except aligning some spacing and indentation in a Perl file. But i'm still insanely excited. It is not functional for Parrot, but it helps developers write code without bugs.

More to come ... i hope.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bargain buildings, part 1

There seem to be some strange problems since i moved to the new and "improved" beta Blogger platform.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not the Same

Ceasefire. At first i didn't buy it, but now i see photos of the official Lebanese army entering villages in the South, so it's probably good. I still think that it must be some trick, but i hope that i'm wrong.

Refugees from Galilee are returning back to their homes (my parents never left). Hotels in the North are reporting that the tourists are coming back. So what, is it like ... Peace?

Still, it's not the same country. Nasrallah is still alive, and as long as he is, he'll say that he won and a lot of people will believe him; Ironically, Israelis are the first to believe him - i don't think that any of us actually has a feeling of victory. And as long there's no victory, the war is not really over and can come back any minute.

Moreover, well over one hundred Israelis and much more Lebanese were killed in this pointless bloodshed. Questions are being asked. Was the army ready to this war? Why did the chief of staff reassigned senior commanding officers in the middle of fighting? Did we have to kill so much civilians to reach almost nothing?

Most importantly - i hear the Israeli journalists, "the keepers of the etrog", carefully asking the greatest questions of them all: Those people that we supported so strongly before the elections - Prime Minister Olmert and Defence Minister Peretz - are they capable of doing another war? Didn't they lie to us about the Disengagement? Why did we mock Effie Eitam when he said that after the Disengagement Kassam rockets will fall on Ashkelon? Why didn't we even try to listen to him? (They know the answer - because he has a beard and wears a kipa, but they are still afraid to admit it.)

No, it's not the same country as it was a year ago. And it's for the good. It's always for the good.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

People Speaking - Tired

— "Why aren't you going to sleep?"

— "Because I'm tired."

Monday, August 14, 2006


"I decided to visit it and was reading all the nasty stuff he said about Jews and Booze. Then I found out I was on Mel Gibson's blog by mistake."

(A comment on a Slashdot post about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new blog. Thanks to L. Roz Hubbard for the link.)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


This is the "Contact us" page of the website of the Israeli Testing Certification Board (ITCB is the Israeli branch of ISTQB; see here).

Can you see any problem with it? Hint: You don't need to know Hebrew to find it. Remember that this is no less than the Testing Certification Board.

Although it is unlikely that they will ever fix it, i made a screenshot - just in case. Click to enlarge.

ITCB Contact


I studied a new English word! Ya mama!

The word is "fob". Definition in Merriam-Webster:

2 : a short strap, ribbon, or chain attached especially to a pocket watch
3 : an ornament attached to a fob chain

I learnt it from UK's new airport security measures. It allows "keys (but no electrical key fobs)". Among other things it means that you can't take you disk-on-key a.k.a USB flash drive and probably any other USB gadget into the plane cabin.

Several strange things:

  1. In that sense, fob should have meant "key holder", but it doesn't - see above.
  2. The first two native English speakers that i asked about this whole thing didn't know what am i talking about. They heard the word "fob" from me for the first time. (They are both Americans, however.)
  3. The 1947 edition of the Oxford Pocket Dictionary marks this word as "historical", but the latest Merriam-Webster does not.
  4. Blogger's spelling checker recognizes "fob", but not "fobs".
  5. Most importantly: Are these security regulations written for Average Joe Tourist? Or are they intentionally obscure?


This is not for computer people only, although it might look like that in the beginning.

You try to install a program on a Windows PC. This application depends on functioning IIS - Microsoft HTTP server software.

When you try to start IIS, you get an error - "Unexpected error 0x8ffe2740". This is not very helpful (talk about Microsoft's user-friendliness...), so you search the web with this weird error message and you find that it means that some other application is occupying port 80. Port 80 is the standard HTTP port. But what is it?

Of course you can use cool command-line network monitoring tools and find the offending process. But for me a quick look on the PC screen was just enough: In the tray there was the familiar icon for Apache. I am saying "familiar", because Apache is the main competitor of Microsoft's IIS - it is the famous open-source HTTP server, on which most of the World Wide Web runs. So of course Apache was occupying port 80. The icon, appropriately for Apache is a feather:

Apache software foundation logo

Now why do i say "appropriately"? Because Apache is one of the Native American nations and Native Americans are known for putting feathers in their head. It makes sense to me and it makes it easy for me to remember that Apache's icon is a feather.

Apparently, despite the fact that Apache is a very popular web server software and despite the fact that it's quite easy to remember its icon, many people with whom i work didn't see it immediately. I swear that i am not bragging - but i am quite surprised.

That's how my mind works. I am not a genius, but i do try not to strain my head remembering things that make sense - if something makes sense, it just pops up by itself.

Friday, August 11, 2006



In all languages there's a difference of one letter. So why doesn't English have June and Jule or Juny and July?

Oh (edit): I totally forgot the original, which is very important:



Why the world hates the Jews by Michael Medved

It's long, indulgent, apologetical and somewhat one-sided, but largely right.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Made Me Cry Again - Indriķis XIII

I updated the entry about Indriķis XIII with pictures. Enjoy.

This entry will self destruct within some time.


Ya Mustafa!
Ya Mustafa!

Look: Arabic-Chinese calligraphy and more Arabic-Chinese calligraphy.

Arabic calligraphy is so much more interesting than Hebrew, or any other for that matter. To my taste, Japanese comes second and Chinese third.

There hardly is such a thing as Hebrew calligraphy - the script for hand-written Torah scrolls is the same all the time and all the other books are just printed and we are not really concerned with handwritten calligraphy, which is a pity.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Em B D->D9 A

Em B D->D9 A

Am Em->Em2 F# Am


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Creeping Closer

It is creeping closer to me.

The son of someone who works in the office next to mine was killed in Bint Jbeil. He was supposed to get married next month.

May the true judge be blessed - ברוך דיין אמת.

People Speaking - Sixth

— "Can't you see it? We're in the last seven years before the coming of the Messiah. Now it's already the sixth, which according to the prophecy in the Talmud, is the year of the voices. Next year is the seventh, which is the year of the wars."

— "So you basically say that the wars has just begun and we ain't seen nothing yet?"

— "Oh, yes, of course. There's gonna be the war of Gog and Magog. The great nation of Gog from the north will come and fight us with many many soldiers. Read it, it's in Ezekiel. And in the end The Holy [G-d], Blessed Be His Name, will win. It is written that it will take six months just to bury them. Do you imagine that? You'll gonna go in a field and you'll see someone dead, you'll stop for a minute, bury him and then go on. And it's gonna be like that for six months straight. Next year."

Here's the relevant Ezekiel (38-39) - actually it says seven months. And if you read Hebrew, here's the relevant Talmud passage - Derech Eretz Zuta 10. After listing the seven years it goes on to this very convincing passage:

"R' Gamliel says: The generation in which the son of David [the Messiah] comes - the house of gathering will be that of prostitution, the Galilee will be destroyed, and the people of Galilee will go from town to town and won't find consolation, and the wisdom of the writers will stink, and those who fear sin will be loathed, the face of the generation as a face of a dog, and the truth is absent and he who avoids wickedness is going crazy."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Excruciatingly gray

Why i don't write in Russian much?

Because i type slowly in Russian.

If i'd write more, i'd type faster.

Парадокс, бля.

Zionist Propaganda

Israeli Arabs: Finish off Nasrallah (YNet)

So, is it Zionist propaganda or popular outcry?

To the Point

I heard this quote once, i don't remember who said it - Orwell maybe? "The simplest way to end a war is to lose it."

It's true, but not for Israel.

For Israel loss means death. It's not worth it.

So it only leaves one option - to win.

And there's only one way to win.

To kill Nasrallah.

Beirut will be destroyed and he'll say that he won. Two thirds of Lebanon's population will die and he'll say that he won. As long as he is alive, he'll say that he won. So he must die. He's asking for it. And this will be the victory.

We can, of course, capture him, try him and put him in jail. And then his cronies will capture a couple of our soldiers and then we'll have to release him in return for them, and then he'll shoot at us again, and then we'll have to kill him. So why waste time?

This is cruel and oversimplistic, but someone, please, convince me that i am wrong. Please. I'm sick of being right all the time.

And don't worry about the history. We'll go down as the good guys, because history is written by the winners. So only one thing is left - to win.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Your eyes make a circle

As promised, Hizballah bombed Hadera.

But i've got something much better to show you - a picture of a boy the size of a house. Enjoy:

Boy the size of a house
Boy. Actually it's an advertisement for a hotel.

Oh (edit): Hadar says that the quality of this picture is very high and she doesn't believe me that i took it with a 1 megapixel phone camera.

1337 h4X0r

Go to the American Bible Society - introduction page.

Watch it from the beginning to the end. Don't skip, otherwise it won't work.

In the end there's a very neat visual effect. The coolest thing about is that it was not made by a designer or a computer programmer, but by God Almighty (and maybe Holy Ghost too). I hope that you'll notice it and enjoy it as much as i did.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Beach party tonight (actually on 2006-07-29)

Miron and the band sitting

See, that's a band. Nothing special.

See that geek in a BitTorrent t-shirt playing piano on the right? That's Aharoni, ya mama.

The lighting died the moment we connected it. We asked our friends to bring any lamps they can find.

Miron standing with bandage

Miron celebrated his birthday and his second-birth-day - a year since he nearly died in a work related accident. On the morning of the show he had another work related accident - he cut his left hand and he needed stitches. He played guitar anyway. He said that the nurse told him not to remove the bandage if the hand is bleeding. It bled, but in the middle of the show he removed it anyway. Guitar hero.

Eli plays guitar

Eli, the new guitar player really tied the band together. He had some feedback problems, but handled it gracefully.

Playing on the sand was not that bad. It even didn't destroy the instruments too much.

Elad plays bass

Elad is a show man. This bass is actually black blue, but it looks blue black in some pictures.

My old cheap and cranky 700-channel mixer and a couple of brandless amplifiers actually worked as monitors.

Stupid geek in a BitTorrent t-shirt plays piano

And i played some piano. Miron was happy and didn't yell at me for playing too loud.

Miron and the band in action

This is Rock Action, ya mama.

I was there.

Pioneer of aerodynamics

This is for computer people only: Ever heard of the Eiffel programming language?

It's supposed to be an super-duper-ultra-elegant object-oriented development platform, and its proponents think that it is superior to Java and C++. But i haven't heard of anyone actually using it.

Apparently the canonical implementation of Eiffel, EiffelStudio is moving towards becoming fully Free Software. The IDE is released under a modified GPL, much like Qt. It runs on Windows, and is supposed to work on Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS, some other Unices and even VMS.

The IDE is very impressive in the sense that it has a lot of toolbars with colorful buttons. The terminology, however, is quite different from what you may be used to in NetBeans, MS Visual Studio or KDevelop. The words "retargeting", "pull up", "feature", "cluster", "contract" and even "text" don't mean what you think they mean, but once you do the guided tour in the Help system it becomes clearer. There are also very impressive Eiffel training presentations.

I have no idea what is it good for, but every day i dedicate a few minutes for studying this thing. Did i mention the colorful toolbar buttons already?

(Tip, if you are trying this: The guided tour mentions ACE files. Actually these are ECF files. The documentation wasn't completely updated for version 5.7.)