To(r) think that you’ve seen it all

Posted Thursday, 5 April 2007 by Owen S
Categories: News, Tech

While our asinine leaders make dumb proposals I thought I’d point out the perfect foil to such dangerous, 1984-like aspirations that seem to be festering in the cesspool of their heads.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is Tor: An anonymizer so simple and foolproof to use yet so powerful that even German police couldn’t bust child porn traffickers. I sincerely doubt our existing 3rd-world technology, corrupt culture, bumbling police force and incompetent mentality will be able to crack it.

Tor main site
Tor overview
Wikipedia article for Tor

What it basically does is give you a different IP from what your real one is — and with that goes the ability for you to be detected. Assuming your blog doesn’t have your full name, and you’re not some crazy pic whore that takes 807123 pictures of yourself a week, the authorities can’t do anything about it.

Of course, you should ignore this if you’re not using Firefox, and can’t be bothered to do so. God knows what the thought of downloading something as… complex as this would do to you.

My…. what?

Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2007 by Owen S
Categories: E/N, Music

Got this off Karcy’s post. “Existential version” made me lol, all the more because it’s sad how it’s true.

Fitting treatment of a shallow, mind-numbingly stupid thing — do you like this song? Like, really really like, not just “oh it’s a cool song” like, but a “this is my bestest song in the whole wide world! ^_^” like. Have you studied the lyrics carefully and still admit to loving a song like this with all your heart?

If that’s true, then here is what you do. Stand in front of a wall. Assume a bowing posture such that all you can see is the ground. Now run into that wall in front of you with your head still in that position. Repeat till you lose consciousness, and/or obtain a cerebral haemorrhage.

Cheers to Alanis Morisette for making an inane song into something golden. Best natural selector if I ever saw one.

P.S: If you’re fortunate enough to have lived such a sheltered life you’ve never heard of the original in all its brainless, blazing glory, here’s a tip — don’t. You’ll want that 5 minutes of your life back when you’re done with it.

KL Lit Fest ’07 – Day Two/Three

Posted Wednesday, 4 April 2007 by Owen S
Categories: Events, Literature

This should have been up last Friday ages ago, but the problem with sleep debt’s that the interest’s rather high, and I’ve been struggling to meet the minimum payments. Anyway, now that that’s cleared up (ooh, look at the incoming traffic).

When Ms. Audrey, my Lit lecturer asked me today about the whole thing I found myself going into ums and ahs. Found out later that she was part of the organizing committee while in UM a few years back. Shows how incestuous the literary scene in KL is… not like that’s really surprising to begin with.


The rest of the festival was split between more writing tips, more poetry, even more writing tips and to cap it all off, a rather subdued ending with Camilla Gibbs at The Marmalade.

Tash Aw was at his finest again with The Endings, working his charm over the audience, occasionally inserting bits of what I faintly guessed was dry British wit. The audience this time around had apparently learnt from yesterday and crowded around in front. I was contented to secure a place far behind, out of reach this time.

I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to say that yes, I did get his autograph. Couldn’t find his book, but I suppose that wasn’t that important. Got to take my picture with him, but I still think this one with the duck’s superior.

Beats
lot more of where that came from at Tarlia’s Flickr. be warned.
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KL Lit Fest ’07 – Day One

Posted Wednesday, 28 March 2007 by Owen S
Categories: Events, Literature

The highlight of the day was equal parts horror and wonder: Tash Aw asked me to read the first three sentences of Lolita in front of what seemed like a hundred people.

Yes, that Tash Aw. The one who wrote the novel set in Malaya during the Japanese occupation, that got long-listed for the Man Booker ’05, and then proceeded to win the Whitbread First Novel ’05 award. That guy.

He was really thin, in jeans and a white shirt, with a British accent. Did a workshop called The Beginnings, took us through several extracts from Austen, Hemingway, and two other authors whose names I can’t really place. As the supplied mic wasn’t exactly wireless, he had to get those sitting in front and up close to read out paragraphs from the extracts (all in the name of “audience participation…).

It wasn’t exactly fun given how Lolita’s opening line is the worst thing to read if you get nervous reading in front of a large unknown crowd — it’s got an unbelievable amount of alliteration and assonance in it. Fudged up “light of my life, fire of my loins”, and I’m pretty sure I sounded drunk at the rate I stumbled through it. But after that horrible first sentence it got better. Sat down to applause.

Guess I’d better get that book signed tomorrow… wonder how many people were actually there for the writing bit and not the “ZOMG FAMOUS ‘MALAYSIAN’ AUTHOR MUST SIGN BOOK!!11” bit. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though, there were plenty of people taking notes.

lol Starbucks lol
the obligatory pretentious Starbucks picture (because it’s cool to take pictures of it, I kid you not) makes its appearance here. goodie bag on left.

Eda Kriseova’s session after lunch was a bit hazy. Read the rest of this post »

Racism is pathetic

Posted Sunday, 25 March 2007 by Owen S
Categories: Rants

Garbage in, garbage out? Definitely.

This is one of those “siapa makan cili terasa pedas” posts — not really talking about anyone in particular (although an exchange today definitely provoked this). Still feel burnt by what I said? Awww, that’s tragic, but don’t feel important. You’re not. I doubt racists actually have any significance in my life, except to be ridiculed endlessly.


I never got the whole racial superiority thing.

Or the racial inferiority thing, for that matter.

But how do these things come about? Generalization. Blinding ignorance to the fact that one or two persons, or a group, or a class, or a school full of said race behaving in a certain manner equals the entire race. That’s right, I’m sure you’ve gotten to know all four hundred and seventy nine of them personally, nevermind your illogic about how your experience(s) with that immensely small sample size equates that race being inferior to the rest.

I just don’t get it.

Sometimes I think we deserve all the injustice we’ve been dealt. You’re brought up in a racialist environment, true; your parents darkly mutter in hushed tones and shake their heads about the state of things; people are taught to stick to their own race; race relations aren’t exactly at an all-time high; yet what do you do to brighten up matters?

Nothing. Instead, you abhor the sight of the “other race”, as if you were unique in your hatred. You’re not, really — you’re just another dumb drone sucking away at the hive mind of hatred and wretchedness. Is this really insulting? Of course it is, but in turn, so is the matter at hand. To say nothing of the 6 million Jews long gone post-Holocaust.

There probably is a justification for racism out there, but it probably died along with Hitler. Maybe you could take things into perspective by realising despite your so-called ‘achievements’ in life so far that you use as your superiority complex towards fuelling your hatred, for all that — there’ll always be someone of that race you loathe so much that’s better than you.

I’ve always nursed an annoyance against racists so I guess this post is more late than anything. Those jokes about about racial stereotypes and belittling are funny for all of five seconds, much like the time it took you to think before opening your mouth.

Suppose a good pre-emptive against those who say I’m being “emo” over this — no, not really. Some people like to use “emo” as a blanketing label against opinions which don’t sync with theirs, which is of course pitiful, but since you’re already racist to begin with, might as well expand your know-it-all cloak to include pseudo-logic, right?


Normal updates should resume after this, been trying to break the vicious cycle of sleeping at 4-5 a.m. this whole week to success. An entire week of blissful REM sleep was the result.

I feel much better already. :>

Protected: Only one (packet) that mattered

Posted Sunday, 25 February 2007 by Owen S
Categories: Musings, Personal

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Melonpan

Posted Monday, 19 February 2007 by Owen S
Categories: E/N

I found out yesterday that Midvalley’s in-house bakery in JJ sells melonpan.Melon buns!

Naturally, I was delighted, nevermind Dad muttering under his breath about dinner later, how it’d ruin my appetite to say nothing of the ice-cream he was about to buy us while he shook his head, or Fern frowning and calling me “greedy” for buying two of the little buns (she settled for one mayo hotdog).

A quick note about melonpan: I watched this anime called Shakugan no Shana, which had a heroine called Shana that went around eating melonpan for a huge part of the series. She’d eat it at lunch, for snacks, in childhood flashbacks — probably for 3/4ths of her meals and significant on-screen time, for that matter. And look really adorable while doing it, too.

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