Monthly Archives: December 2003


Most of my work for the 2004/01/01 update is done. The only major task left is to finish the year-end awards pages, which isn't too much. Oh, and I'll probably have to tweak the update software a little to make it handle a simultaneous image and experience update, but that's easy as well.

I dusted off The Trouble With Being Born today while I was working on the update stuff, and while Cioran is really a love-him or hate-him sort of philosopher, this one, along with Tears and Saints, is one of my favorite works. I think that's the opposite reaction you're supposed to have?

Characteristic of dying regimes: to permit a confused mixture of beliefs and doctrines, and to give the illusion, at the same time, that the moment of choice can be indefinited postponed...

This is the source — the sole soure — of the charm of pre-revolutionary periods.

# # #

Imaginary pains are by far the most real we suffer, since we feel a constant need for them and invent them because there is no way of doing without them.

Now I'm going start working on a highspeed “image fingerprinting” utility that'll hopefully go a long way to eliminating duplicated images in the BME galleries (and other places too maybe). It's really basic. Originally I was just going to do a hash of the file, but I realized that since it only has to do a “loose match” (which is then later manually confirmed) I can shift the balanced from effectiveness over to speed a little more than usual.

UPDATE (three hours later): The fingerprinting system is designed (using tuncated CRCs of expontially staggered 32-byte blocks throughout the file), inserted into the add-image-bot code, tested, debugged, and verified! I seriously didn't think I'd have it running today. Yay for being allowed to have supper.


I just got this picture submitted to me, with no explanation as to what it is. Any theories? Because of the size, I doubt it's a human testicle (since that would be most people's first assumption). I don't speak Chinese so I can only inquire so far in this case.

I lean toward the notion that it's an abnormally small human testicle, but I really am not 100% sure at all!

Don't let your silly dreams fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall.

A few issues that are pending for BME in 2004 are listed below. If you have feedback on any of them feel free to post your notions in the whatever forum…

IAM vs E2 Access

I'm probably going to start taking mainstream submissions for IAM access again over the next month or two. The goal is to make sure that site supporters always have access to something if they want it (since a dozen E2 memberships are not useful to most people). My current plan would be to add an “IAM ONLY” button to the submissions forms here on the site, which would then issue you coupons instead of a passcode. This would also allow the better contributors to support their friends.

Video Integration

I'm going to start taking video submissions for all sections (ie. not just themed movies such as procedures, but short video “photos” of piercings and so on) of BME starting fairly soon, as well as building video blogging and so on into IAM as a byproduct. Currently the plan is to put the videos inside the existing subsections, but in a separate gallery from the images themselves (but using the same general thumbnail/grid style). I haven't even begun to thought about minimum standards (ie. resolution, time, compression) or anything like that…?

Live Chat

The current live chat will have to be scrapped soon. It's “growing bugs” and there are holes in it so it's not really up for debate. I can either replace it with an IRC server, a customized IRC server (using IAM for authentication), or a custom client (which would be Windows only) that would include things like downloading avatars from IAM and true IAM integration (so, for example, if you're in live chat, and someone sends you an iam.alive message, it would pop up there as well). I lean to one of the latter two.

Christmas cheer continues

As I'm sure many of you know, there is such as thing as a “military family” where both parents are employed by the military, and it's not all that uncommon. Many of these families of course have children, sometimes young children. The Gauthier family for example has three children — a two year old, and 7-month-old twins. The father is already in Iraq (since last April) and isn't coming back any time soon. The mother has been ordered to leave in March — either go to military prison for desertion, or put your kids in foster care and serve your country they tell her (more)… Seriously, how screwed up is it that now they're taking away the children of the troops?

And what a background it's up against. Iraq is still a mess (more). Christmas saw eight US soldiers (or more) killed in Iraq, and if the ratios stay constant, that would include 160 or so casualties from injuries as well (more), not that you'll hear much about those casualties from the media (more). Then of course there's al-Qaeda's latest dire “warning” (more) to the infidels:

"[The Americans] should prepare their coffins, hospitals and graves. The coming days will be full of surprises and great events which will make them a historic example."

You know, if they had any sense, here's what their message would read. Covering it with psycho rhetoric isn't helping convince people they're not simple religious nuts… They are not explaining their case clearly to Joe Normal:

"Let us be clear. American forces are occupying our land, destroying our way of life, and stealing our property. If all US military are not out of [insert country here] and all US oil drilling does not cease in [insert country here] within 3 months we will be forced to retaliate. American citizens will feel the same pain that [insert country here] citizens feel because of the US actions."

All this stuff about Allah isn't helping anyone “get it”. It's preaching to the choir!

Anyway, the US of course canceled a bunch of Air France flights a few days ago, and is now seeking the 13 missing passengers, all on “terrorist watch lists” and some with pilot's training (more). The US says that they do not believe they have stopped all of the attacks — after all, their invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq has provided al-Qaeda with a massive army and popular support. The “back breaking” attacks on the US are expected to happen by the end of January.

So until then, be very very afraid, and always vote for Bush.

Want a new project car?

If anyone is interested an aqaintance of mine is selling his Laser 917 for $500 (yes, five hundred dollars). The kit is located in Marietta, GA (15 minutes north of Atlanta). I should emphasize that it is a kit and contains the body, doors, bumpers, windshields, dash, seats, upholstery, and assorted parts… not the chassis though!

Anyway, if you're interested drop me a line and I'll put you in touch. It's really easy to work on and I have a full set of manuals for them that I'd be glad to make a copy of. Parts are easy to get and you can either put it on a VW chassis or on a custom tube chassis if you're so inclined.

(Update: this car is now sold)