Weekly Head Voices #71: Vote for the future.

On Wednesday May 7, together with just over 18 million other South Africans, I voted. Afterwards, my thumb looked like this:



… and the rest of me felt like a million bucks!

Some complained about the outcome. I think we’re moving, albeit slowly, in the direction of a healthy democracy. Here are this year’s results, and here are 2009’s results. The opposition has been growing (slowly) at a national level. Interestingly, in Gauteng, smallest province with all of the money and power, the opposition is making similar progress.

Late to the party as per usual, I discovered Vagrant, a fantastic command-line tool to create, use and destroy virtual machines AT A WHIM. I was so happy with this that I created this screencast, which has the added advantage of being an effective component of insomnia treatment. (Yes, I do know about and have even played with Docker. For what I’m doing now (deploying multiple self-contained servers on on-premises servers without direct access), vagrant+virtualbox fits better.)

On the topic of nerdy software, let’s turn the dial to 11. I’ve started using emacs 24 with mu4e as my main email client now. It looks like this:

mu4e screenshot with nvpy search active

mu4e screenshot with nvpy search active

After leaving GMail, I made do for a while with Thunderbird, but wasn’t really happy with it. (It’s really an awesome email client, but my inner nerd wanted more.) I can honestly say that I’m in email heaven at the moment. My 68 thousand email archive is locally mirrored with offlineimap 0.6.5. mu4e in Emacs is able to perform search requests through the whole archive in milliseconds. It makes GMail seem positively snail-like in comparison. In addition, I can use my crappy elisp-fu to make it do the most silly things with the user interface and my email. Oh yes, and zenburn. Gaaaaaaaaaaah…

Completely accidentally, I saw Star Trek Into Darkness on Netflix the other night (no, we don’t have Netflix over here, really) and was completely BLOWN AWAY. Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan was an awe-inspiring movie villain. According to the Wikipedia page on Khan Noonien Singh (recurring villain in the Star Trek universe), Jonathan Romney of The Independent had the following to say about Cumberbatch’s voice:

[It was] so sepulchrally resonant that it could have been synthesised from the combined timbres of Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Alan Rickman holding an elocution contest down a well.

Dang. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know what he’s talking about.

Just in case you thought that we didn’t live in the future, have a look at this live video stream of the Earth, taken by the cameras of the International Space Station, which is only floating 422km above the Earth’s surface:

(read more here)