Tuesday, May 31, 2005
This reminds me of German invention which plugs into the electrical outlet at your home and detects/filters out all the radioactivity in the electrical current (which logically must be there if the electricity was generated in a nuclear plant).
Monday, May 30, 2005
I doubt Greenpeace & Co. can do anything meaningful to persuade the global industries to stop affecting the global climate (actually, I doubt Greenpeace & Co. can do anything meaningful at all). I also know that the climate changes won't be as quick as Roland Emmerich would like you to believe. But I am pretty sure the weather wasn't fucked up like this 20 or 30 years ago.
Thank God the Czech Republic is in the middle of the Europe and the floods, Tsunami, drought etc. will affect us relatively later than other regions. That means I can probably live the rest of my life rather peacefully before everything goes to hell. I'll let my theoretical children cope with it.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
- The movie "White Noise" is called "Hlas smrti", or "The Voice of Death".
- "The Amityville Horror" became "You'll die at 3:15"!
- "Herbie: Fully Loaded" is now called "My Car, The Bug".
- "Bewitched" is "My Beautiful Sorceress".
- "Aliens of the Deep" became "Mysterious Depths in 3D"!
- "Stealth" is "Top Secret Mission"
- "Cinderella Man" is called simply "Heavyweight".
- "Sky High" is "School of Superheroes". (By the way, is this movie really such a blatant ripoff of "The Incredibles"?)
- And "Emperor's Journey" became "A Penguin's Story".
By the way, "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" will be released under Czech title "Dead Bride of Tim Burton", which, I think, is rather stylish (and clearly intentional).
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
Communists are threatening her with a lawsuit and demand an apology. Mrs. Kocickova reacted by attending an opening of the new zoo pavillion and apologizing to the pigs for likening them to the Communists. Cheeky woman.
One of the heads below belongs to Mr. Grebenicek, current head of the Communist Party (his father was tried for torturing the people in Communist prisons but died of natural causes before the end of the lengthy trial). The other head belongs to a pig from "Animal Farm":
If I had kids, I'd probably tell them Mr. Grebenicek has regular sex with animals. But I am not telling that to my dogs.
Today, 17 years after the fall of Czech Communism, the Communists are alive and well. I am not sure about "well" because most of them are very old, but certainly alive. They got a "new image" by making the red star really, really small and replacing it with cherries. Yes, cherries. Their slogan is "With the people, for the people" (click to see the cherries!). The disturbing fact is that there is also a non-zero number of young Communists, most of them not remembering what Communism was and how it worked. (I admit it could be fairly interesting debate to find out if the Communism could actually work the way Marx & Engels envisioned it, in contrast to its actual perverted form.)
Between 15 and 20 percent of Czech people vote for Communists. These people were probably happy 20 years ago, when they could live their day-to-day lives, eat and watch TV without really having to do much at all. They are not happy today when they see that someone is paid for their work more than they are. It's really weird "Communist mentality" when popular articles appear (not just in Communist press!) about "Mr. XY is evil because his monthly salary is over $2000!" Of course he is evil because "the people" cannot have such salaries! Mr. XY is certainly not one of "the people".
Well, dear "people", you can have such salaries. If you don't have them, it's not the fault of the system but of yourself. You are either not competent enough or you don't have friends at the right places. At least in Capitalism you can read articles about it.
Of course this screengrab is crappy but it can be seen fairly well on the big screen, flying from lower-right corner of the screen a few seconds after Obi-Wan says "Another happy landing" and right before their transport lands in the Coruscant dock.
In the case Jack Valenti is reading this, I do not have a pirated copy. I was translating the movie for the Czech release and thus got the (crappy) version on my harddisk.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
By the way, I triumphed over the Dark Side. Vader didn't know what a condom is. That's probably understandable, given his personal experiences...
Friday, May 20, 2005
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I'd like to sell my flat in the center of Prague and buy another other slightly bigger (also in Prague). If you are interested in buying my flat or if you can offer me interesting flat, please go here for photos and detailed info about both buying and selling (Czech language only).
If you are, by any chance, interested and you don't speak Czech, contact me via e-mail or ICQ (not in post comments!!!).
Forget about hockey players, THIS MAN IS MY GOD!
Monday, May 16, 2005
Expect more files to appear there soon.
The tube - which is expected to be found and reopened several centuries into the future - contains, among other things, a DVD DISC!!!
What are those people smoking? Can you imagine someone in the year 2345 or so finding the shiny disc, being able to read the bits from it and being able to reconstruct them into sound and inferior (i.e. 2D) picture?
Of course, if the tube also contains the specs for MPEG compression and deCSS, I am ready to apologize to the authors...
Well, that's not strictly true. I am mildly interested in knowing that several Czech people can put the piece of rubber into fishnet more often than groups of several people from other countries. But I am much more interested in whether I can finish "Resident Evil 4" on "Professional" level without dying (for example).
And I am certainly not interested in dozens and dozens of unknown people IMing me with Czech equivalent of "!!!!!!OMG CHAMPIONS TEH CZECH ROXORZ!!!!!!".
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Of course, this is applicable not only to Ruby but to any language that supports Unit Testing and probably also to others...
P.S: To all the people who commented on my rant about programming languages: When I wrote that I tried out Clear, Erlang or Eiffel, I assumed everyone will automatically understand that I also tried out relative "heavyweights" like Python and LISP. And Karel. :)
P.P.S: This is inflatable 1 meter high KAREL THE ROBOT, sitting on my cabinet. It was made in Czech Republic around 1985 or so (when it still was part of "Czechoslovakia"), and is still able to "hold its air"! Karel programming environment was all the rage back then, officially sponsored by the Communist Party and Svazarm (a weird organization which taught technical stuff to young people, in coordination with Czech Army, and was practically the only way for a young person to get hands on any kind of computer). Although it was maintained at the time that Karel was invented in the Czech Republic (Karel is very common Czech name), it was in fact invented in the U.S. in 1981 and named after Karel Capek (a Czech) who invented the word "robot"!
Friday, May 13, 2005
- I bet this poster for Episode III was printed in the U.S.A.
- I bet Fox asked what is the name of the fifth month in Czech and got the (correct) answer: "Kveten".
- I bet nobody at Fox is interested in Czech grammar. Otherwise they would know that "Kveten 19" does not mean anything (possibly it might mean "May of 2019", with a bit of imagination). The correct way of writing "May 19" in Czech is "19. Kvetna".
- I bet people from Fox think they are smarter than us.
Oh yeah, and it had to be free (both as in "beer" and as in "speech").
I tried literally dozens of languages including exotic things like Rebol, Euphoria, Erlang or Clean (incidentally, it seems my mind simply refuses to accept the concept of functional languages). However, I found out that it's almost impossible to learn "bold" and "daring" languages (i.e. anything other than C and Perl [I hate Perl somehow less than C because its absolute ugliness looks almost like an art]). I tried everything from PHP to Forth.
In fact, the only large-scale software project I created in last 10 years (for money) was done in Smalltalk, a wonderfully simple and elegant purely (and I mean PURELY) object-oriented language from 70s, whose core ideas seem bold and genial (oops!) even today. Unfortunately, it seems the less conventional and C-like any language is, the less people use it and the worse documentation it has.
The case in point: For example, documentation for Seaside, very interesting web framework for Smalltalk. Yes, that is the whole official documentation. Even if you know Smalltalk, you are hopelessly lost, without any idea how to actually do something. The problem is (and now I am not talking about Seaside or Smalltalk in particular) that while the community works on improving the software, nobody has time to write (or update!) the documentation (which is much less exciting task). When the default installation requires default admin password and you have to dig deep inside the code to find this password, you know something is amiss. Fortunately, Smalltalk is pretty much based on an idea of digging deep inside code, which should give you a lot of info even when the classes are not documented very well (and they are not, believe me).
The other case in point: The D programming language offers to be "The new C", really object oriented, including design by contract, etc... Unfortunately, while the authors tout how much better than C their language is, the documentation cannot be understood unless you already know C. :) (Something very similar is true for Objective-C.)
The idea of "Design by contract" (basically meaning that the language itself FORCES YOU to write documentation and tests during the programming whether you want it or not) seemed rather appealing to me. It means (or at least should mean) that you can return to your project after some time and still have basic understanding which method does what (which is what I do, because most of my programming happens when I have time to spare, which is not often). It was invented (I think) by the authors of Eiffel, which was elegant, simple (and FAST) language. Why the past tense? I am afraid Eiffel has lost much of its original simplicity and recent additions (which are becoming incompatible between the various Eiffel implementations) make it cumbersome. Eiffel also provides a simple way to integrate existing C libraries. Or, more precisely "aims to provide", because - again - you have to understand C constructs and C preprocessor pretty well to actually hook the libraries to your code.
If you want to do anything in any of these languages, you basically have to beg in the mailing lists and forums and feel very stupid afterwards for asking questions which are insulting for language gurus.
The answer probably is "Learn C, idiot". The "problem" is, I really, really don't want to. Currently, I am looking at Ruby.
And this is Albert, my other dog:
He was supposed to be a chihuahua when we bought him. Now he weighs 6 kg. I could probably make up some parallels about Albert and C but that would be unfair to Albert.
(Thanks to "Wittgenstein" for pointing out that the English word "genial" is not derived from "genius" as I originally thought. :) "Ingenious" is.)
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
One of the benefits of living in former communist European country is the fact that regular moviegoers in Czech Repubic will see the movie at 8 pm local time on Wednesday, i.e. around noon U.S. time, i.e. before the U.S. premiere (if I am not mistaken).
(The image shows fans from Czech Star Wars Universe attending the premiere of Episode II.)
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
"Internet diaries", e.g. often updated pages with someone's thoughts and experiences, are as old as Internet itself. Maybe even older because I remember reading stuff like this on BBS and Fidonet. Hell, even I worked on something similar sometime around 1995. Those diaries were written because the author had something he wanted to share with the world. Usually, it was A) interesting, B) funny, or at least C) "funny" because autor sincerely thought it was interesting or funny even if it wasn't. Also, the author usually had some faint idea of how to spell.
I am not sure about the etymology but Wikipedia says that the word "weblog" first appeared in 1997 and "blog" two years later. Thus, at least since 1999, there were bloggers, meaning "famous/interesting people who write blogs". The term "blogger" (let's put quotes around the word) I use as an insult, refers to people who use the opposite approach: "I am famous/interesting precisely BECAUSE I write blog".
Now, I hate generalizing. There are definitely many people who call themselves bloggers and are famous/funny EXCLUSIVELY because of their blogging activities. But I insist they are in minority, even more so in the Czech Republic. Most of the "bloggers" proudly wear the "blogger" title as if it meant something more than "diary writer" and they even think some journalistic privileges apply to them (although, of course, not any of the journalistic requirements). Their "blogs" are strictly of the C) variety (see above). For example, one of them threatens to sue anyone who publishes his real name (which he originally used himself on his "blog") his photograph (which he originally used himself on his "blog") or even links to his photograph. He looks approximately like this:
Sure, they are "famous". For example, they know about private property where using cameras is forbidden, they invite everyone to "go there and take pictures as a happening", they go there, take pictures for as long as it takes for them to be detained by the security, and then they appear on TV in "Internet journalists brutally attacked for no reason" segment. To prove their point, they post images of their sexy knees online.
I do lots of stuff in my life. And if I ever end up being referred to as "Frantisek Fuka, the ([once] famous) blogger", that would really be a sad day in my life.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Recently, I translated Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven". The person who wrote the explanations for the S/S List had some very interesting ideas about measurement systems in 11th century Jerusalem (click on the image).
P.S: The "flickr-frame" class has "margin-right: 15px" and yet, at least in Firefox, there is no space at all between the picture and the text on the right of it. Any CSS guru with suggestions?
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Exhibit A: In the previous round, one of the singers performed the song "Cabaret" and pronounced the word "Cabaret" as "Kabared". Every time it appeared in the song.
Exhibit B: The song "On my head" from Czech singer Dan Barta from the soundtrack of the latest Czech movie "Snowboardaci" ("The Snowboarders") is very popular and is played on the radio several times each day. Of course, the movie is targeted to teenagers and thus, the lyrics are in English. Please listen to the full MP3 of the song here and explain to me what the lyrics are supposed to mean.
If I understand it correctly (which I cannot say for sure), the refrain goes like this: "When I am standing on my head, you are crazy smiling. Now we don't have it, we are mad, guarantee speedy romancing."
Today, celebrations of 60th anniversary of liberation of Czechoslovakia took place throughout Prague. Interesting fact is that about one quarter of Czech Republic, including large cities like Pilsen (yes, the cradle of beer), was liberated by the U.S. Army and most of the rest of the country by Soviet Army. However, during the Cold War, Czech history books were altered to remove any mention of non-Soviet armies. This lasted until the 1989 "Velvet Revolution".
The intro picture looks absolutely fascinating. The girl wearing a nametag, a cap from hell and a forced smile, standing on the empty meadow under the dark violet sky. This is pure "Fight Club" moment. Don't forget to "click for important information"!
Saturday, May 07, 2005
We have a new Prime Minister, Mr. Paroubek. I don't care too much about politics (I think that most problems in our country would be solved by giving our president, Mr. Klaus, absolute powers and licence to kill). But Paroubek definitely looks more evil than Mr. Gross, his predecessor.
What is more interesting for esteemed reader is how his wife looks!
Note the uncanny resemblance to the title character from British TV show "Baldy Man". Although Mrs. Paroubek is neither bald or man. I think.
I noticed my homepage (which is mainly in Czech language) is getting more hits from abroad than from the Czech Republic (probably because of my StumbleUpon links)! At first I thought this is weird but then I came to conclusion that there are probably less people in the Czech Republic than in the rest of the world minus the Czech Republic. Thus, it sort of makes sense.
I started thinking about doing more content in English and came up with the idea of BLOG. This means that I might now officially be known as BLOGGER, an entity I prefer to rank somewhere between amoeba and dead amoeba. Well, life changes, I guess...
I will try this out for several reasons:
- To see if there are indeed english-speaking people who are interested in things I write.
- To test out the blogger.com interface and see if I like it or if I'd like something else for some projects I am working on in my spare time.
- To learn English better (that means I'd appreciate if you tell me about my grammar errors). Note that although I never lived in English speaking country, I am pretty sure I know how to spell "separate" and "definitely", which makes me more gramatically adept than 69% of Internet users.
- To see if non-Czech people find some things happening in this country to be as weird as I do.
- To have more hits than Daniel "The Blogger" Dočekal, which will piss him off.
People from CSSD (ruling party) are calling for investigation. However, Home Secretary Mr. Bublan explained that planes refueling at Ruzyne are not business of Czech Republic. Which is probably true.