Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spring should get fines for slow driving.

So what's up with the winter this year? It's just fighting, tooth and nail, to hold on. It desperately struggles to maintain it's fragile grasp on us. The last bit of chill in our bones. That last period of "damn it, still too cold to sit in the living room without a blanket".

Couple of weeks ago, most of the snow was gone from Trondheim. We had close to 15 degrees celsius, sunshine and blue skies. People were starting to think we might actually get an easter where we could sit in a t-shirt, barbecuing hot dogs and enjoying the warmth along with the fresh air. Alas, winter wants it differently.

I'll keep my hoodie on, probably my hat as well, and pray that the cold snap of winter leaves me be.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Twitterfeed test

Just testing some compatibility.

Jail time proportional to the crime?

Not fucking likely in this case.

If I read the story correctly, the man in question was 51 when raping a 10-year old girl, in a fashion the court labeled "severe". So a man of 51 rapes a 10 year old, in a severe fashion. You'd expect maybe 10 years or so in prison? Think again. 2,5 years.

This is fucking ridiculous. Economic crime, like say stealing 100k from your company, often leads to 5+ years in jail. Sure, that's a crime as well, and worst case scenario someone loses the job, or the company goes under because of it. But jesus christ, raping children should, and I almost want this to be true, be punishable by death. In most cases, it ruins that child's life. Forever and ever. It should at least get you a solid 10 years behind walls, with psychological evaluation every year until release, and strict supervision after release.

Raping a child isn't something that "just happens". It's not like you "whoops, sorry I stuck my dick in you, little one". It's dispickable, wrong and infuriating. If the people who do these things are mentally ill, then for the love of all that is good, put them somewhere where they cannot harm others.

2,5 years. Ridiculous, is the only word I can think of.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Turbo Journalism

Today, I see the headline "Women must wear burkas - this is how Stortingets politicians (the legislative branch of our Government) defines radical islamism". I'm thinking "wow, that's pretty direct".

Turns out, it's actually just Dagbladet who have been calling random politicians and asked them for their opinions. Furthermore, the person who they paraphrased from, is a nobody, a random representative from FrP. In addition, the quote is taken out of context. What the representative is actually saying is "Radical islamism is the wish to bring Islam in, with it's Sharia laws, on top of Norwegian laws. They are fundamentalists, with their view on women. They demand that women wear burkas, and not show anything."

My translation might be slightly off, but I think I got the general jist of it. In any case, it's a ludicrous butchering of a quote, from a person who doesn't speak for any majority, is not the spokesman or woman for any party or movement, and it's blown way out of proportion.

Headlines are supposed to catch your eye, sure. But when the headline is this misleading, I almost want to report Dagbladet to PFU.

This is Turbo Journalism at it's worst. Creating something from nothing.

Builders on Speed

I am grumpy today. Goddamn builders that are setting up the new student houses (which in itself is a great thing) are doing so on an area that is extremely close to the bedrock (I think this is the proper term for the norwegian "grunnfjell"). So how does this annoy me?

Well, I am a night person. My biological clock seems to be set on staying up very late, and waking up very late. However, when you at 8 in the morning feel like there's an earthquake, and your entire house is shaking so hard things start falling off the dressers and night table, it's hard to stay asleep.

In addition, some of my neighbors take gaming a tad seriously. One of them spends his entire day shouting at his screen, for all kinds of retarded reason. Mostly he's calling other players retards. Extremely annoying when the walls are thin as paper.

So tired now.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Has The World Gone Mad?

I get being "critical" of science, and not just gulping everything down and accepting it. I get asking tricky questions and trying to disprove theories; after all, it's what usually has to be done in order to confirm a theory. I get all that. But this teacher took it just a tad too far.

Writing about the theory of evolution as "just a theory"? The theory of Big Bang as "just a theory", and liken it to pure fiction and fantasy? Remember, this guy doesn't appear to be fronting Creationism or anything, so from what we can tell, it's just an article showing pure ignorance.

Here's what I got to say to that nimwit: Galileo had "just a theory", Sir Isaac Newton had "just a theory", Albert Einstein had "just a theory" (well, he had several). Most of the prevailing building blocks in today's science started out as theories, generally laughed at by the societies they lived in.

And how about this: who the fuck are you to shovel ignorance into children's minds? If you're trying to teach kids to be critical and analytical, show them how to conduct research, how to check for sources, how to break down arguments into theories and hypotheses and prove or disprove those. THAT'S science. Taking a piss on the theory of evolution, isn't. Now fuck off and get a real job. Or an education.

NEW: Also, have a look at my buddy's blog, where he presents a few interesting points, backed up by sources and credible scientists.

Additional sources:

What you'll end up with

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Revolution Is Now!

Ever wondered how YouTube could evolve even further? How it could take creativity to a new level? Well, Kutiman is it. This is the revolution. This is how it happens. You will be here to witness it.

What Kutiman has done, might not be so revolutionary music wise. Several others have done this before, like 2 Many DJ's, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Kid Koala and god knows how many more. But not like this. Not through this medium. Kutiman seems to use YouTube clips only, making interesting, original and funky tunes, out of what separately seems to be random clips.

He uses sounds, pictures, entire clips, raps, verses, anything and everything he needs, from the massive universe that is YouTube. So what's so revolutionary? It's going to create a debacle the likes we have seldom seen. Who has the copyrights? Can it even be a copyright case, since all the clips are put out publicly for the world to see? What does the YouTube ToU say about this?

One thing is for certain, there's going to be heated debates over this. Dagbladet has already noticed it, and (thank god) seem positively amused by it. I hope a lot of people will contribute in various media, to spark a debate around this.

Bottom line, the music sounds good, regular John Does get featured. But whose music is it?

Friday, 20 March 2009

Semittism or not?

Working as a tourist "guide" every summer for about 8 years, I've met my share of Israelis. Now, I am sure that those who have enough money to come visit Norway, aren't exactly a cross section of the Israeli people.

However.. What I see in this article, and this one goes far on the way of confirming my impression of Israelis. Judging from personal experience, news (and yes, a lot more than just the mainstream press) and books, it seems a fair share of Israelis (and very often those that have some media coverage) always shout "Anti-semittism!" every time someone criticizes Israel for anything. Or jews. Which is funny, since a lot of jews don't consider themselves Israelis.

Now, the Israel vs. Palestine conflict is not black and white, will not be solved in quite some time, and basically only has victims. That being said, I'm pretty sure the majority of people in the world would agree that building a massive wall between the two states, draws remarkable resemblance to another wall we've seen in the 20th century.

Certain things about Israel and the way they are handling the Palestine conflict, is absolutely questionable. The major difference, the way I see it, is that more "John Does" in Israel identify with their governments actions, than "John Does" on the Palestinian side identify with what the terrorists are doing.

Allright, let's just stop there. My points, which got lost somewhere along the line, is that I think Israelis, allthough somewhat justified, are crying "Wolf" far too often, resulting in real anti-semittism being shrugged off. Which is a bloody shame both for them, and the rest of the world who aren't anti-semites, or whatever the word would be..

The Perfect Criminal = Identical Twin

In Germany, a pair of identical twin brothers have this week been released from custody, after it was determined that they couldn't determine which one of them had taken part in a robbery.

Really. So basically, if identical twins decide to start doing crime, they won't ever be charged on DNA evidence? That opens up a whole new world, I'd say. I mean, of course I understand the logic of it. Two brothers share the exact same string of DNA. When interrogated, they both deny taking part. Police knows that at least one of them were there, else there would be no DNA.

But the law clearly states that to get a ruling in these cases, it must be proven beyond doubt that the accused was there. And since they can't prove which one, or if indeed both, were there, they're at status quo.

Funny, and yet scary.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Future Is When?

So back when Minority Report came out, a lot of us thought "holy crap, that technology is going to be available tomorrow". Well, tomorrow is here.

Pattie Maes and her student has now made a device that is no less than tantalizingly futuristic, and by the looks of it extremely handy and practical as well. The best thing? It's not a giant silver robot trying to find your son..

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The White Moose

This animal is fantastic. A freak of nature, the white moose or albino moose has as near as makes no difference been shunned from all other packs of moose in Scandinavia.

But not here. Not in the border region between Värmland and Hedmark, between Eda and Eidskog. Somehow, in some extraordinary manner, they settled here. White and normal moose. Side by side.

I've only been lucky enough to see white moose once myself, and strangely that was also a calf and her mother. We had been on a sort of exploration trip throughout Eda and were returning home when they stood at the side of the road. The mum looked at us as if she was showing off her baby, saying "See, here you go". I don't think I'll ever forget that.

Piracy and a possible solution?

I've been thinking a lot about piracy lately. Why? Well, I've done my fair share of downloading. Do I like to be labeled as a criminal? Of course not. Do I understand that it is criminal? Yes.

See, the thing about buying music and movies, is that it's so ridiculously expensive. Let's say I buy a new DVD release. That's 200 NOK right there. Almost the same price for CD's. How much, exactly, goes to the artist? I'd venture a guess and say "not much".

Last year, I found Spotify, which was just a whole new world for me. I mean, paying a monthly fee to get access to decent quality music streams? I was delighted. I found quite a lot of the music I usually listen to there, and it wasn't long before I didn't even bother to keep Winamp up. You could just queue hours and hours of music, and not grow tired.

So the concept is valid. However, it would need some slight changes. First of all, it needs a wider selection. For this to come true, the industry needs to cooperate. Which they won't, since the whole concept of Spotify renders several links in the chain obsolete, which in term makes those links earn no money on the music, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is definately something they will fight for.

I think basically the only thing holding the Spotify-concept back, is the expensive chain between the artists and the consumers. The powers making money off of artists, are too overwhelming, and too strong at the moment, for the consumers themselves to dictate the terms.

A lot of people I've spoken too agree that paying a monthly fee of, say, 200 NOK for music and movie access online, is an agreable option. Of course, it wouldn't be expected to gain access to "new things" until a fair time has passed since release. I.e. movies are available when the DVD is released, and music albums maybe X amount of time after they hit stores. I don't know, I'm sure something could be worked out.

Other issues that would need to be adressed are:
  1. Whether or not we would be allowed to store data locally for personal use.
  2. Pricing on the subscriptions, different kinds of subscriptions etc.
  3. Online/offline problem.
The point is, the technology is pretty much there, the consumers are pretty much saying yes to this solution (ref. Spotify's user base, and how many of those are paying subscribers), and artists are warming up to the concept.

I just wanted to let it out there, for people to think about. Do we really need the money hungry middlemen?

(Related article from db.no here, from itavisen.no here)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Sometimes, it feels like I am the only one who feels like the world is coming apart at the seems. But every now and then, I get confirmation that there are others who have indeed spotted our current predicament. Come now, don't get scared by the big fancy words.

This is my way of expressing myself. I like using words that might have more to do with academics than oral-style blogs. But that's the way I work. Language to me, is like a canvas. Or rather, the tools you would use on a canvas. There is such an abundance of words, so many words to describe even the smallest of nuances in meaning. But that's the point though, isn't it? To as accurately as possible describe what I am thinking.

I know I probably come off as a self-righteous bastard, throwing fancy words around with no intent. I am not though. Sure, I might be a bastard at times, but I do try my best to be fair when judging. I also try to not sound like a stuck up something..

And I do care about normal things as well. I listen to music, I watch movies, I watch reality TV shows sometimes (usually to laugh at how stupid the contestants are), I drink, I enjoy nicotine (not as cigarettes though), and I generally mistreat my body. No, I don't cut myself. I eat shit I shouldn't eat, and I don't eat what I should be eating. That's another therapy session though.

The point I'm trying to make is: even though it might sound like I want to be all political and philosophical, I'm actually quite "normal", if such a thing exists. I'm not raising myself above others by trying to sound all current and updated. And I don't pretend to know how to fix shit. I just voice my thoughts on how things work. Sadly, I don't give enough praise to the things that do work, and the things that are good.

Double standards.

Why is it that people whine so much over the national television license in Norway? Fine, if you own a TV set, you have to pay something like 1000 NOK per year. These money, go towards funding NRK1, NRK2, NRK3/Super, P1, P2, P3, the web service etc.

The channels in question, provide what I believe is an important cultural alternative. It's government funded, and publicly available. Nowadays, people are joining facebook groups and what not, to protest against paying this fee. "Because we don't watch the channels, or listen to those radio stations".

Ok, so let's investigate this claim. A large part of the same people also have either cable or satellite TV. And I am willing to bet a large sum of money, that they pay a monthly set fee, for that service. I would also be willing to bet they don't watch most of those channels, maybe half at most. Where's my empirical data you say? Fuck empirical data, there's such a thing as common sense.

So why then, are they so willing to protest against paying for something that actually provides (at least partly) decent TV? Sports casts, balanced news, debates etc. There's plenty of things that are needed, important and valid, as an alternative to the messed up reality tv-shows, the annoying advertising, and all the fucked up shows telling you who you should be, or planting ideas in our heads that everyone needs to be and can be celebrities.

Most standard subscriptions to cable or sat tv, cost about 199 per month. Which amounts to about 2400 a year. Of which they might be watching half the channels, if that many. 1200 down the drain then.

I don't get these people. Going by the same logic, taxes should be individually set. You have a child that goes to school? You should pay more then. Are you a hermit living outside society? No taxes for you. The hermit probably wouldn't protest (he probably isn't paying taxes anywho), but I'm pretty goddamn sure most people plan on having kids, and wouldn't like paying twice the taxes of people not having kids in school.

Maybe they would stop whining if the general tax went up by say 0.01% (or whatever the number would be to compensate for the TV license), so they didn't get the bill in their mailbox. Maybe then it would be fine, since they didn't have to think about it.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Here we go, then..

So this is apparently a blog. And this is apprently my first post. Is it called post? Or topic maybe? Who cares, really. This is just going to be somewhere to vent my frustration at this fucked up world. I doubt anyone will even read this. I need to write it none the less, though.

Call it therapy, call it madness. Somehow, expressing my views to the general populus seems to be the only thing that can set my mind slightly at ease. Ok, so, more to come when I figure out how this thing works.