Monthly Archives: February 2005

Stopover LAX

I'm no fan of the mechanics of travelling, especially when done on no sleep and no food. So I feel pretty sick but Rachel is making sure that I don't die before I get to go to Africa. I'm stopped over in Los Angeles right now with a pretty insane headache, getting my mail downloaded and keeping my fingers crossed that my packets aren't being sniffed. Oh, and we sat with Paul Stanley from KISS on the flight from Cabo. I assume he was hanging out at Cabo Wabo with Sammy Hagar.


No, I don't miss Sizzler

Other than that I've got a lot of hard work to do over the next couple of weeks, but if I do a good job, maybe my Jost Van Dyke recluse dreams will come true after all.

All work, all play

I'm working on everything I have to do before I leave for Africa… Have to get another drive from OfficeDepot (yes, they have them in Mexico) to clone BME and all my code. I have a number of backups, but I think my LaCie drive is dying so I want a second current backup.

  C:\bme>dir /s
  [snip]

       Total Files Listed:
             1054444 File(s) 26,867,560,967 bytes

That's right, BME recently crossed the million file mark (although a very large number of those files are small; various control markers and files, thumbnails, and so on, plus there's a certain amount of junk files and noise). BME is getting got big…

While in Africa I expect to be online in 75% of the places I'll be. I don't think our trip has been planned at all yet but it's very much a working vacation. I have to do some filming, as well as complete a major coding project — I'll be doing that at family friend's reserve that is credited with bringing the cheetah back from the brink of extinction (they also have wild dogs and so on). Here's pictures from their farm:

It sounds exciting at first but I actually think that will be a very boring few days there, but that's kind of the goal — create a serene environment so I can focus on programming.

We're flying into Johannesburg, and I'm expecting casino-loving Rachel to drag us out to the “Las Vegas of Africa“. I really don't know what else we're doing, maybe going to Mpumalanga or Krüger… I think though we're heading north to Windhoek, Namibia — as if I haven't had enough of the desert living here in the Baja! I'm sure there will be some furious planning going on for the next day…

At least I can still read German relatively fluently (a high percentage of the info pages for South Africa and Namibia appear to be in German)! Afrikaans on the other hand, well… sounds “funny”. I'll post lots of pictures here, but if you prefer Mexico updates, watch Clive's page instead.

Win ORBAX $10,000!

(why?)

Anyway, I have a few articles in the queue as well, but completing the backup process before I go is a higher priority so if one has to get bumped to later in the week it's going to be the articles (sorry to Marisa and Fakir). Anyway, updates should continue as normal during the time that I'm gone, at least to some extent. If I can't process the main site, I'll at least try and keep BME/HARD and BME/extreme updated. BME customer support and so on are unaffected.

There'll be another big update later tonight by the way; it's already uploaded, I just have to activate it.

Chef's Recipe, BME Vegan Cookies

This will only be funny to a tiny percentage of people programmers reading this. My brain was feeling a little frazzled from working too much so I took a break and wrote this recipe, and also built a small stove to cook it in. OK, I admit, probably only I think this is terribly funny.

BME Vegan Cookies.

This makes my favorite kind of cookies.
A lot of them! I hope you're hungry...

Ingredients.
32 level teaspoons salt
72 cups soy margarine
116 g marijuana
77 cups oats
108 cups white sugar
111 kg vanilla
33 heaped barrels rice milk
86 kg flour
101 cups brown sugar
115 tablespoons baking powder
105 tablespoons baking soda
66 pinches cinnamon
69 cups raisins

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Method.
Put rice milk into the mixing bowl. Put raisins into the mixing bowl. Put oats into the mixing bowl. Put cinnamon into the mixing bowl. Put salt into the mixing bowl.

Put marijuana into the mixing bowl. Put baking soda into the mixing bowl. Put baking powder into the mixing bowl. Put baking soda into the mixing bowl. Put flour into the mixing bowl. Liquefy contents of the mixing bowl. Pour contents of the mixing bowl into 2nd baking dish.

Put rice milk into 2nd mixing bowl. Put vanilla into 2nd mixing bowl. Put white sugar into 2nd mixing bowl. Put white sugar into 2nd mixing bowl. Put brown sugar into 2nd mixing bowl. Put soy margarine into 2nd mixing bowl. Liquefy contents of 2nd mixing bowl. Pour contents of 2nd mixing bowl into the baking dish.

Serves 2.

If you have no idea what the above is about, and you'd like to learn more, here are the three words you need to get you started: “esoteric programming lanugages”

Vegan Diet = Child Abuse?

I've mentioned it before here, but since it's still being shown to me by quite a few people I thought I should comment again on this new fraudulent study being used to back the claim that “bringing up children as vegans is unethical”. The study takes a very small sample group of Kenyan children subsisting on a diet of not much more than corn and beans (without even dairy products), gives some of them meat and dairy diets, and then compares their progress. First, it should be obvious to anyone that they did not have a complete vegan diet — they suffered from malnutrition and starvation, and if you read the study itself they admit freely that these kids are known to have radically incomplete diets, and many were severely underweight and living in abject poverty.

Now, the folks promoting the study make some extreme statements for their meat industry sponsors, going so far as to essentially call veganism child abuse and “unethical”. But if you look at their results (from sample groups of only about a hundred kids per group), you'll note that in most areas the differences between the sample groups were negligible (a few percent), with some tests (verbal skills for example) showing effectively zero difference between the malnutrition control group and those who were given meat and dairy. Other tests (Raven's Progressive Matrices) actually showed kids who were given supplements and dairy products getting worse in comparison to the kids with malnutrition!

If the difference between full-on malnutrition and a meat/dairy eater is negligible (or even decreases in some cases), I'd like to see a study that includes a complete vegan diet, not something that incorrectly equates “malnutrition” with “vegan”. I would wager that you'd see the most dramatic increases in that group due to having a complete diet, and without all the contaminants, you'd see huge health and lifespan improvements as well. Excluding such a group is extreme ignorance, if not fraud.

This study — and its subsequent misinterpretations — were sponsored in part by Global Livestock CRSP, Land O'Lakes (a factory farming corporation), Heifer International (a pro-meat organization, but one with good ethics), and others so it's pretty clearly biased financially. As is all too common in these types of studies, the results are almost meaningless, and the conclusions are politically motivated. The fact is that a complete diet can be gained from any type of food — attention just has to be paid to what's being consumed if one isn't eating incredibly rich (too rich!) food like meat.

It's pretty obvious that if you don't get all your nutrients you're going to suffer, and there are a few that you have to pay attention to in a vegan diet (B12 most obviously), so you have to either take supplements or expand your dietary intake to include foods like dulse (a sea vegetable that I love). However, if you're eating in North America or Europe, many soy products are already supplemented for you. Using a bunch of poor Kenyan kids that are starving to death and eating an incredibly incomplete diet as “proof” that a vegan diet is unhealthy is laughable at best… and given that a vast majority of the deaths in North America are linked to a high-calorie high-meat (hello cancer) diet (and both animal and human studies show marked increases in both lifespan, health, and even performance and intelligence on a vegan diet), it's criminal to make such allegations, especially when sponsored by pro-meat organizations.

I really dislike mercenary scientists that alter their findings in order to please their sponsors.

Resist much, obey little

Life   (Death)


Photo: thorstrongstone