Sunday, February 27, 2011

LolCat, LOLCode and the Ceiling Cat Bible

Some these esoteric posts are based on links made by commentors on CalculatedRisk a financial blog. In the case of the LolCat / Ceiling Cat a comment by ac and follow ups by Rob Dawg.

LOLCODE Apparently has compilers and interpreters as well for the language.


The LoLCat Bible excerpt Genesis
Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs
1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.
2 Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.
3 At start, no has lyte. An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz.4 An Ceiling Cat sawed teh lite, to seez stuffs, An splitted teh lite from dark but taht wuz ok cuz kittehs can see in teh dark An not tripz over nethin.5 An Ceiling Cat sayed light Day An dark no Day. It were FURST!!!1
6 An Ceiling Cat sayed, im in ur waterz makin a ceiling. But he no yet make a ur. An he maded a hole in teh Ceiling.7 An Ceiling Cat doed teh skiez with waterz down An waterz up. It happen.8 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has teh firmmint wich iz funny bibel naim 4 ceiling, so wuz teh twoth day.
9 An Ceiling Cat gotted all teh waterz in ur base, An Ceiling Cat hadz dry placez cuz kittehs DO NOT WANT get wet.

10 An Ceiling Cat called no waterz urth and waters oshun. Iz good.
11 An Ceiling Cat sayed, DO WANT grass! so tehr wuz seedz An stufs, An fruitzors An vegbatels. An a Corm. It happen.

12 An Ceiling Cat sawed that weedz ish good, so, letz there be weedz.13 An so teh threeth day jazzhands.

For those who are humor constrained, take heart from the following

"The effort to translate the Bible into a language full of grammatical errors, hacker acronyms and Internet lingo may appear distasteful or blasphemous to some, but not to worry. Much of the translation only loosely follows the Bible. It's crowded with references to lolcats pictures and to ambiguous Internet humor, and these references can only be understood by people who spend too much time on the Web."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Millie Jackson: and email to friends

email : to friends
I used to listen to Millie Jackson as a teenager (1975) and this particular song, If Lovin you is Wrong (1974). There was this DJ Eric Fernando (Fernando is the most common last name in SL) who played this song often on the radio. I just loved the smooth rhythm and never listened to the words.
So after 30 odd years listened and still love it. The words make sense too.

Sonia Arango-Rivera's opinion/reply
Regarding Millie Jackson, I saw her for the first (and last) time at the Apollo Theater many years ago. I had purchased tickets with some friends to see Isaac Hayes who was very popular when his recording of "Shaft" became a big hit with both blacks and whites. On the bill with Isaac was Millie Jackson who was unknown to me and was I ever surprised when she began to sing and with each song her gestures and language got dirtier and dirtier. Not surprisingly, the audience loved her - the dirtier she got the more they clapped and screamed. When she finished her act, the audience kept asking for more and more. While I am not a prude by any means, she was too raunchy for me. I stayed only because I had paid premium for the ticket and wanted so much to see and hear Isaac Hayes.

I don't know if Millie Jackson is still performing or, for that matter, if she is still alive but, if she is, she knows how to drive the audience wild.

I don't think I've ever heard this song before it's a good blues song and I like it.

What Eric Fernando used to play: If Lovin is you is Wrong (1975)

Maybe the so so stuff. (1983 Slow Tongue )

Millie Jacksons version of Classical Music: London, 1984 (You have to listen)

Libiya and the Tuareg: Featuring Tinariwen with Santana and Robert Plant

Looks like Libya is in the news and the Tuareg are back to fighting the establishment. So a two second background.

Libya: I used to remember this as the same country as the historical Carthage. Apparently the wiki says otherwise, it was based in neighboring Tunisia. For those who dont want to bother reading the links/wikis, Carthage was the country of Hannibal 182 BC (around the time of Dutugemunu 161 BC-137 BC) who took elephants across the Alps to fight the Romans. For the Christians reading, apparently Hannibal was a name based on the God Baal. The basis of the name is no different from Buddadasa or Shivaprakasam (could have used ShivaLingam as an example too, but then could have confusion as to which part of the name is god). Apparently Hannibal could mean Grace of (the god) Baal.

Tuareg: Really dont know much about them. Vaguely remember reading that there might be connections with the Roma and Indian gypsies. Their dances could be our Southern, Thovil dances but thats true of most of the dance and music around the region Mali etc. First wave out of Africa ? What I know about the Tuareg is the group Tinariwen. Been around since 1979 apparently.

Santana and Tinariwen (not included the Robert Plant thing)

One of the latest Tinariwen Videos

Traditional Tuareg Dance: Could be Southern Sri Lanka, Thovil dance

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Negombo: Compost Facility

Went to the Negombo Compost facility a few weeks back. Bought compost and talked to Sumith who runs the facility. Really, nice. Sumith does really have green thinking. The tyre thing is just great. Call Sumith at 071-8429231 for directions and availability of compost.

If you are not a Negombo person (which i am) the easiest is to ask for St Annes, in Kurana. Pass the church, beautiful place, big trees, peaceful place. When you hit the rail tracks, dont cross over. Turn right and chat to all the Army guys. This is another access to the Army camp in Katunayake. You will have to provide ID somewhere along the line before you get to the compost facility.

You can head back on Wijaya Road.

So photos of the compost place:

The layered, green things are tyres as is the light brown blue fish tank.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Celia Cruz : Oye Como Va and Cuban/Puerto Rican Attitudes to Color

I started this post as about Cuban/Puerto Rican Attitudes to Color and sort of got into the comparisons with the Lankan attitude to a persons of color.

Oye Como Va, made very popular by Santana from his Abraxas Album. If you are into Latin jazz and mambo Tito Puente made this song famous in 1963. The version below is from Celia Cruz who also sang Guntanamera in 1940 (The girl from Guantanamo Bay), (did a post on that a few weeks back). In 2002 she won the Grammy for Best Salsa Album La Negra Tiene Tumbao (please watch the video, its great).

I am kind of digressing. The Celia Cruz's Grammy title song makes a good intro to what I see as the Cuban/Puerto Rican thinking of race/color, i.e. what you see is what it is.

La Negra: The Black girl
Tiene Tumbao: Has Rythm attitude

In the words from Oye Como Va, uses Mulatto to refer to probably a light skinned girl.
Oye como va : Listen how it goes
mi ritmo : my rhythm
Bueno pa' gozar, mulata : Good to enjoy, mulatto
Oye como va : Listen how it goes
mi ritmo : my rhythm
Bueno pa' gozar mulata : Good to enjoy, mulatto

I guess the average Sri Lankans dont realize there are are other parts of the world who are about comfortable with color as the average Sri Lankan. The average means, those who are minimally westernized and call their sister Kalu Nangi, not their third cousin removed whom they meet once in three years at the wedding or funeral. We (to be realistic not me) use words like Kalu Nangi/Kalu Aiya (Black Sister/ Black Brother). Equally well Sudu Nangi/Sudu Aiya (White Sister/ White Brother). There is no comparison with our Northern neighbor, where black is just not cool. You just would not want to have a name like Kaluwitharana or Dharmadasa either as whatever up thousand miles up North. Maybe even 150 miles up north a two or three decades back.

So what do I attribute this kind of open mind. I really think its one word, ISLAND.

For those who think differently, I would suggest visiting the south which I know well. Every other family has a relative who is married out. Can be a female or male and often not even met while in Sri Lanka. In other words tourism was not the biggest factor. So could (really should) also write about the European guy who walks his daughter to school in Pathana (Hikkaduwa). Another day for that.

Finally a comment, I really dont wish to be anonymous. I am a Tamil whatever that is . I consider my home to be the south so what more can I say. Had my DNA tested too, I have no clue. Confused, yes and finding my way and its the journey, lost my way a few years back and think I know where I am going now.

So more Cuban music below Callejon de hamel , watch the woman in red at 1:45 mins

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ella Fitzgerald & Tom Jones

What more can I say, Ella FitzGerald. I doubt Americans know the meaning of FitzGerald. Its Norman fils de Gérald, or son of Gerald (Gerald meaning "rule of the spear"). Famous names who were FitzGeralds, John FitzGerald Kennedy (Yes JFK) and F Scott FitzGerald who wrote the Great Gatsby.

and the Girl from Ipanema (1964)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egypt: History factoids from the 1800's: Ruled by Albanians and Georgians

Given that Egypt is very much in the news some factoids about the rulers in the 1700's, Georgians and Albanians the Muhammad Ali dynasty and a French guy thrown into the mix.
Word games Pasha==Shah==Tzar

Ali Bey Al-Kabir (1728 — 8 May 1773)
Mamluk leader of Egypt from 1760 to 1772. Born in the region of Abkhazia in Georgia into a family of a Georgian priest[1], he was kidnapped and sold out in slavery in Cairo in 1743. He was recruited into the Mamluk force in which he gradually rose in ranks and influence, winning the top office of sheikh al-balad (chief of the country) in 1760. In 1768 Ali Bey deposed the Ottoman governor and assumed the post of acting governor. He stopped the annual tribute to the Sublime Porte and in an unprecedented usurpation of the Ottoman Sultan's privileges had his name struck on local coins in 1769 (alongside the sultan's emblem), effectively declaring Egypt's independence from Ottoman rule. In 1770 he gained control of the Hijaz and a year later temporarily occupied Syria, thereby reconstituting the Mamluk state that had disappeared in 1517.
If one is interested in history, you should read about the Mamluks, slaves who ruled country. I recall the first time I read about Mamelukes in Walter Scotts The Talisman. The Maluks were the force behind Saladin who used the Mamelukes to defeat the crusaders.

Muhammad Ali Pasha: (4 March 1769 – 2 August 1849).
Ottoman Turk, of Albanian origin, who became an Ottoman Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.
Muhammad Ali was born in Kavala, in the Ottoman province of Macedonia (now a part of modern Greece) to Albanian parents, the son of a tobacco and shipping merchant named Ibrahim Agha.
He married Ali Agha's daughter, Emine Nosratli, a wealthy widow of Ali Bey.
Farouk I of Egypt
The great-great-grandson of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Farouk was of Albanian descent. His mother was a great grand daughter of Suleiman Pasha (born Joseph Anthelme Sève,) a Frenchman.
His sister was Princess Fawzia Fuad, first wife and Queen Consort of the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Ability to Comprehend Energy use in The modern World

Came across an interesting article (hat tip on the modern worlds use of energy and our inability to grasp the sheer scale of energy being used. examples from comments
Magnitude of energy derived from oil; A gallon of gasoline will move a medium size car 20 miles. Go out and find a level stretch of road and push your car 20 miles. When you get done, we will talk about renewable energy.
A loaded eighteen wheeler can go a mile on something between a pint and a quart of diesel. Give the driver a hand truck, and it'll take him something like five hundred hours.

In addition he argues that prior to finding fossil fuels, we lived paycheck to paycheck of our energy quota. Finding fossil fuels, was like winning the Lotto, and there is a good possibility we are nearing the end of energy Lotto.

Energy funds, energy flows by John Michael Greer

Underlying all the grand and sweeping fantasies of endless economic growth powered somehow by lukewarm sunlight and inconstant wind, I’ve come to think, lies the simple fact that the human mind never quite got around to evolving the capacity to think in terms of the huge amounts of energy our species currently, and briefly, has at its disposal. It’s one thing to point out that a planeload of tourists flying from Los Angeles to Cairo to see the Great Pyramid, back when political conditions in Egypt allowed for that, used more energy in that one flight than it took to build the Great Pyramid in the first place. It’s quite another to understand exactly what that means – to get some sense of the effort it took for gangs of laborers to haul all those blocks of stone from the quarries to the Nile, load them on boats, then haul them up from the Nile’s edge east of Giza and get them into place in the slowly rising mass of the Pyramid, and then to equate all that effort with the fantastic outpouring of force that flows through the turbines of a modern jet engine and keeps an airliner poised in the thin air 40,000 feet above the ground for the long flight from LA to Cairo.

Apply this to energy and you’ve basically got the history of the modern world. Until our species broke into the Earth’s store of fossil fuels and started going through it like a lottery winner on a spree, we lived from paycheck to paycheck on the incoming flows from the sun, and we got fairly clever at it. Growing food crops, raising livestock, building windmills and waterwheels, designing houses to soak up heat from the sun in winter and shed it in the summer, and a good many other ingenious tricks gave us the annual paycheck of energy we used to support ourselves and cover the costs of such luxury goods as art, literature, philosophy, science, and the occasional Great Pyramid.

With the transformation of coal from ugly black rock to energy resource over the course of the eighteenth century, that changed radically. Simply put, our species won the lottery, and it wasn’t a paltry little million-dollar prize, either – it was the great-grandmother of all jackpots, unimaginably vast enough that for most of three hundred years, the major constraint on how fast we used fossil fuels was the struggle to figure out enough clever ways to use it all. What nobody noticed at the time, or for a long time thereafter, was that we’d switched from a flow to a fund, and the faster our fossil fuel use accelerated, the faster the bank balance depleted

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Osi Bisa: American Center at Galle Face Court

As a kid 10/11 year old I was a member of the British Council. Came by train from Moratuwa to the Kollupitiya train station. Walked across the school (Cant remember the name, its still there) and bare land that is now the US Embassy ( as I became older that was how we ran to movies at Liberty and Rio). The next property was the British Council.

My father taught me in many ways to do my own thing. He made me a member of the British Council and long before that made me a book addict. Brought me over to the BC Children's sections. Probably twice or thrice. And then I was on my own, the book addict, get on the train if I needed the fix. Ever so often he would meet me at the BC and then when we pass the the second hand bookshop in front of the now American Embassy he would buy a book. Wilkie Collins, Moonstone was one that comes to mind now, much much better than Sherlock Holmes. To be honest I cant remember the stories, just that they were better than Agatha Christie. I know thats no comparison to the Texas Chain Saw murders.

So what can I remember from the children section books. Juan Manuel Fangio (and I did not look up the whole name before I spelled the names or made a link) and Stirling Moss.

I am still not getting to the American Center. Somewhere had heard about the American Center. Cant recall if I walked to the American Center or took a bus. I was sweaty (not that it really mattered in that day and age) and walked into ice cool environment. The British Council was cool but not this cold. I really didnt know what to do. There was this gentleman who came and asked, " do you want to listen to music". I guess I agreed. I didnt know how to put headphones or plug them in either. Never seen a headphone or a sound system before in my life. I think I was pointed to Osi Bisa and Chicago albums. I listened and was hooked. Could not become a member of the American Center till I was 14 or 16.

Couple of year later my cousin Logai (Bernard Barr) brought 8 Track tapes of Temptations 1990, Ike and Tina Turner Nut Bush Limits.

Finally after all the yap, some of the first stuff I listened at American Center at Galle Face Court,

Gong Gong Song Osi Bisa

Chicago 95

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bush speech at Swiss Charity Cancelled: A la Mahinda at Oxford

Looks like it was just not Mahinda Rajapakse who has travails in giving speeches.

Excerpts from NY Times.
A visit by former President George W. Bush to Switzerland this week has been canceled because of security concerns, as the threat of mass protests loomed and the possibility emerged of a legal case against him for ordering torture. Mr. Bush was informed Friday by the charity he planned to address in Geneva, the United Israel Appeal, that his Feb. 12 dinner speech had been called off, said his spokesman, David Sherzer.
Several human rights groups including Amnesty International and the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights had planned to ask Swiss prosecutors to open a criminal investigation against Mr. Bush over the admission in his recent memoirs that he personally authorized the waterboarding of terrorism suspects.
“Whatever Bush or his hosts say, we have no doubt he canceled his trip to avoid our case,” the Center for Constitutional Rights and others said in a statement.
Full Article here