Monday, August 28, 2006
My! Very educated morons just screwed up numerous planetariums.
If you haven't heard it yet, you're gonna hear it now: Pluto is no longer a planet.
On the 24th of August 2006, the International Astronomical Union adopted some new guidelines that determine what is, and what isn't, a planet. And according to the new definition, Pluto isn't a planet. It's a Dwarf Planet.
Of course, it's bogus. The definition states that planets have to orbit the sun. Not a star, but the sun. You see what I'm getting at? If there are planet-like objects circling around, say, Alpha Centauri, they're not planets.
Secondly: Pluto is a Dwarf Planet? Double-you-tee-eff? So Pluto isn't a planet, but it is a dwarf planet? That doesn't make sense. At all. Some people go as far as calling it a
And speaking of linguistics: what about all those mnemonic devices, those ezelsbruggetjes? Luckily, some new English ones start to pop up here and there (some even in protest). But the Dutch? Nothing! Do we not care!? Are we just like Gustav Holst, who, too, couldn't be arsed to compose a movement for Pluto in his Planets-suite?
As you might have guessed, I am appalled by the decision that robbed poor Pluto of its status. Or as he has said himself,
Planets have feelings, too.
(On a completely unrelated note: hot damn!)
Sunday, August 27, 2006
And then they rode into the night…
- Russell Kirkpatrick — Fire of Heaven Book I: Across the Face of the World
The Undying Man studied the charts and documents laid out on the vast black marble table, searching patiently for the flaw in his long-laid plans.
A Dark Lord, an Epic Journey to prevent Impending Doom, Fearsome Warriors pursued by a Company of Fierce Travellers… if you've read Lord of the Rings, you know the drill. The book has it's flaws. To name one thing, after a little more than five hundred pages, most of the characters still seem as flat as the paper their created on. The situations they work themselves into seem to resolve themselves almost too easy, and the amount of time they spend on equal parts of their quest seems out of balance. Still, I'm looking forward to In the Earth Abides the Flame which should be released early November.
So now it's back to a book I've started before, Maarten 't Hart's Een vlucht regenwulpen.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.—Bernard Bailey
Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.—Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)
When in doubt, tell the truth.—Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier.—Blore's Razor
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Friday, August 18, 2006
End of All Hope
Today I came across the latest Nightwish DVD, End of an Era, for a price I couldn't resist. And after watching it, I have a feeling I can never look at that band with a straight face again. There is so much wrong with it on so, so many levels.
Take keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen for instance. It's odd that singer Tarja Turunen was fired right after the recording of this DVD for being too much of a diva, when Mr. Holopainen seems to be the biggest theatrical dramaqueen on stage. I'm not even going to mention all the things that are wrong with this Pirates of the Caribbean look he's going for, but please, the nail-polish! Wearing black nail-polish when you're shooting a DVD is one thing, but it being nearly chipped off is quite another.
Another thing that annoyed the living daylights out of me, is that I had a hard time hearing him play. You see him, all dressed up, bashing away on the keyboards. But when most songs require a complete orchestra and choir on a backing tape, you have a hard time hearing what is played live and what isn't. The same thing pissed me off the last time I saw Within Temptation live: when I go to a gig, I want to see them play live, not do some play along with the backing tape schtick where you can't be sure what's live and what's not.
Then you have Tarja. Her accent is horrible. There were songs in the set ("Wishmaster") where I couldn't make out a word she sang. But then again, with lyrics like
Sla-Mori the one known only by Him / To august realms, the sorcery within / If you hear the call of arcane lore / Your world shall rest on Earth no more, who cares.
And changing your dress during the show, that I can live with. Changing your dress five times is pushing it, but still. Having colored microphones to match your dress—you've got to be fucking kidding me!
I could go on. You had this
Indian Native American dude who clowned about the stage for a song and a half. The stupid editing with all those fucking slow-motion shots. Tarja doing that Finnish song karaoke style with just the backing tape. That fact that they didn't play anything from the first two albums. All those Finnish "Huppelgoths" in the audience. (You know the type: black hair, black clothes, mascara that's all run out because they've been crying their fucking eyes out because it's so fuckin emotional when the backing tape plays. They're all so fuckin non-conformist individuals WHO ALL DO THE FUCKIN SAME THING. Lame ass wankers.)
The list of crimes is endless. And you know what the worst part is? I still enjoyed it. A lot.
Monday, August 14, 2006
For my tenth list of links, here are ten links I had lying around:
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Like Piet Hein Donner in a darkroom
The plan was that I was just bringing one terrific idea into the meeting, convince the others that the idea is a good one and worth pursuing. Then, I would sit back and brainstorm on whatever else might be a good idea.
I ended up acting as a combined chairman / secretary to get the discussion to an useful conclusion, and to top it off, I have to work out and distribute the notes I took
Not only was I completely out of character, I think there might even be a word for such situations: crapdammit!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
When I was in The Hague two weeks ago, I stood eye to eye with Het Puttertje. A nice little painting by Carel Fabritius.
In my bag was a disintegrating collection of short stories by Maarten 't Hart, called De Dorstige Minnaar, on the cover of which was an adaptation of that painting. When I found out they had a bookmark in the museumshop with it too, I couldn't resist the urge…
- Maarten 't Hart — De Dorstige Minnaar
Zonder gerucht verschijnt hij in de kamer waar mijn moeder en ik aan de ontbijttafel zitten.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Guilty as Hell
The BBC revealed the top ten of Q magazine's 'guilty secret' song list. Guilty secret songs are those sings you'd hate to admit that you like. Since I don't swing that way, here is a List of Ten Songs I Like a Lot But Really Should Be Embarrassed About, Which I Am Not Because I Just Don't Give a Rat's Ass:
- Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
- Europe - The Final Countdown
- Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
- Deep Blue Something - Breakfast At Tiffany's
- No Doubt - Don't Speak
- U2 - One
- REO Speedwagon - Keep on Loving You
- Train - Drops of Jupiter
- Kiss - Sure Know Something
- Boyzone - No Matter What