I deliberately skipped a week, because it was one of those extremely taxing pre-vacation weeks during which I had several near-foetal-position-thumb-in-mouth-moments. Instead I’ll be writing about my vacation, with pictures, and a little bit of backyard philosophy. This post is being written in a speeding Toyota Quantum 10-seater minibus (yes, it looks exactly like a taxi, we are currently the king of the road). Don’t worry, my co-driver has taken over.
I must be getting older. During the past week, there were at least three or four occasions where someone was clearly wrong on the internet, and I dutifully started carefully crafting that brilliant corrective response which would inevitably spiral downward into the fiery depths of idiocy. However, each time I stopped mid-answer, long before clicking the post button or sending the email, and switched to some other more valuable and less pointless activity.
This post is going to be really short, so I’m giving you this 80s theme song to compensate: DON’T YOU FEEL LIKE DOING AWESOME 80s STUFF AFTER THAT?! In week 25, I finally got around to writing that level sets blog post I’ve been warning everyone about. If you’re into that type of thing, the level set method is an interesting alternative way to represent N-dimensional surfaces evolving through space.
I think I might have forgotten to tell you that one of the many perks of working at the Stone Three offices is that there’s a micro-brewery within walking distance. Triggerfish Brewing, as brewery in question is called, was the location of a midweek mini-get-together that ended up looking like this: Triggerfish’s Roman Red Ale on a Winter’s day. On the topic of not-too-shabby settings for meetings, I finally got around to visiting Truth Coffee in Cape Town, described by some as The best coffee shop in the world.
In week 23 of 2014 I nerded out by writing two Emacs-related blog posts over at the vxlabs, and hacking org2blog to support WordPress image thumbnails: Modify Emacs Deft for recursive directory search -- this shows you how you can modify Emacs Deft mode, a Notational Velocity clone, to handle nested directories. Configuring Emacs mu4e with nullmailer, offlineimap and multiple identities -- this post documents my complete Emacs-based mail client setup.
Welcome to this post, the 72nd edition of The Weekly Head Voices, and a momentous one at that. For the first time, I’m writing the WHV using my favourite operating system with editing function, Emacs. To those of you who don’t know Emacs, this might mean that I’ve finally gone around the bend. I can report that it is a very happy place. (there will be more Emacs shenanigans in the near future.
Ubuntu, my personal favourite Linux distribution, has recently released version 14.04 LTS. LTS stands for Long Term Support: LTS releases are supported for 5 years, meaning that with 14.04 you are covered until 2019. Trusty Tahr, as 14.04 is known, is beautiful, functional and still free. Ubuntu means “humanity to others”. It also means pretty desktop! This seemed like an opportune moment to get something off my chest.
One of my colleagues at Stone Three, Ernestine, is teaching me isiXhosa. I’m a very slow learner, partly because isiXhosa doesn’t fit in any of my existing Germanic or Romantic (I only have a smattering of this, but it’s there) language frameworks. However, it’s loads of fun, so I decided this had to go on my blog. There will be absolutely no structure to these lessons. I’m planning to put posts up more or less when I think it’s going to be fun to do so.
On Wednesday May 7, together with just over 18 million other South Africans, I voted. Afterwards, my thumb looked like this: POWER THUMB! … 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.
(I just deliberately deleted the draft I was working on. It was not the best pattern.) I want you to read this quote by Richard Dawkins, taken from the God Delusion: Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else could you remember it?