Occam, were he alive today, would certainly use a one-bladed razor, not these silly 3-or-more-bladed razors.


"Specifically, it seems a growing number of people are retaining the behaviors and attitudes associated with youth. As a consequence, many older people simply never achieve mental adulthood, according to a leading expert on evolutionary psychiatry."

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein

<Nor> i found my 1st grey pubic hair the other day :(
<Nor> It was in a BigMac

Flavor Flav is in everything ya eat cause everything ya eat got flavor
Flavor Flav is da first taste ya git in da morning - ya breakfast is da flavor
In between dat ta lunch - in between dat dinner - in between dat ta midnight flavor
Yeah, das night I got somethin fa all da fandangoes of damangoes of da fandangoes of da mangoes



how to make a scanner work

i just installed my scanner under linux and it was relatively painless, but only because i'd done it (multiple times?) before. the scanner is a 'Packard Bell Diamond 1200 Plus'. linux scanner software is called 'sane', and this scanner uses the 'gt68xx' backend for sane, both of which come installed by default with ubuntu. a backend is the part of the scanner program which speaks directly to the hardware, and so is different for different makes and models of scanner.

plugging in the scanner and running sane-find-scanner in a terminal produced the following
found USB scanner (vendor=0x055f, product=0x021b, chip=GT-6816?) at libusb:002:003
# Your USB scanner was (probably) detected. It may or may not be supported by
# SANE. Try scanimage -L and read the backend's manpage.

scanimage of course was disappointing:
mnvl@sonja2:~$ scanimage -L
No scanners were identified. If you were expecting something different,
check that the scanner is plugged in, turned on and detected by the
sane-find-scanner tool (if appropriate). Please read the documentation
which came with this software (README, FAQ, manpages).
to get the scanner working, i had to find a firmware file on the CD which came with the scanner, in the folder 'WinXP', and copy it to /share/sane/gt68xx/. the file is called 'PS1Dfw.usb' and the similar file 'PS1Gfw.usb' will NOT work. this fact is NOT in the sane manual.

i performed my first scan by typing scanimage in the terminal. by default, this prints the image information directly to the screen, in the form of 113,000 lines looking something like this:

(a lot of the code was even more interesting than this, with some in a strange font, possibly an asian alphabet?). a more useful way of scanning is from the desktop menu 'Applications->Graphics->XSane Image scanning program'. this program labors under the delusion that my scanner is something called a 'Mustek Bearpaw 1200 CU Plus', but worked perfectly.



karl and karl

i knew that both Karl Marx and my namesake Karl Weierstrass were at Berlin university - Marx as a young student, Weierstrass as a professor after he was 'discovered' as a mathematician at the age of 40. But I just found out that they were both students at Bonn university at the same time in 1838 or thereabouts. Both were studying law at the insistence of their fathers, both apparently spent more time drinking beer than studying, both left without getting a degree. Weierstrass went to Munster to study maths, and Marx to study philosophy in Berlin, and the rest is history. I am intrigued however, by the thought that they might have known each other..



lansdown road



eyewitness report

I went to have a look at Lansdown Road, where the police shot a terrorism suspect yesterday, as it is about five streets away from my house. They are still searching the suspect's house, supposedly for a chemical weapon.

Lansdown Rd, as well as the next street along, Rothsay Road, have police tape across them. A few other streets which give access to the end of Lansdown Rd are also sealed off near there. No-one is allowed in unless they live there, in which case the police ask you where you live, and escort you to your house. There were quite a few police officers, for some reason most of them women, standing around behind the tape at either end of Rothsay Road, also a couple of police vans. Lots of kids who must have lived there were playing in the street or hanging around with the police officers. Whether this is because there was no traffic, or they couldn't leave the street and get back in easily, or what, I don't know. This the street adjacent to Lansdown on the same side as no. 46, the house that was raided.

At the intersection of Lansdown and Katherine Road, there were lots more police. A TV satellite van was parked on Katherine, with a camera on an extended mast pointing down the street over the buildings. There were quite a few people around with cameras, or who from their appearance, were patently journalists rather than locals. Quite a few locals just hanging around, most of them watching someone from the TV do a piece to camera. The house itself has a large tent-like structure covered in white plastic sealing over its whole front. There were at least 6 police vans parked near the end of the street behind the tape, and more down the street. Lots of police officers were standing behind the tape, and lots more could be seen. These included quite a few in a type of uniform I've never seen before: all black, with a black jumpsuit pulled down to the waist over a black t-shirt, and a peaked cap, giving the impression of some kind of elite police/SAS hybrid. All of these guys were to be seen in the background quite far beyond the police line. There didn't seem to be much activity around the area of the house.

At the other end of the street it was the same story. The street and adjoining ends of the next streets were sealed off. There were lots of normal police officers manning the barrier, with many more behind in vans having their tea or whatever, and lots of strange black-jumpsuited officers.

It seems now from the fact that they haven't found any evidence of terrorism, and from the things about 'credible intelligence' that they keep repeating that they realised these are either the wrong guys or they weren't caught in the act of anything, but what do I know..

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