Today’s youth, eh?

van alle menschen, die oom verachtte en wantrouwde, waren er geen, voor wie die verachting en dat wantrouwen grooter was, dan voor de winderige, laffe, beginsellooze jongelieden van de negentiende eeuw

From “Joachim Polsbroekerwoud” by Vlerk, pseudonym of Bernardus Gewin (1812-1873).

Translation: “because of all the people that uncle hated and mistrusted there were none for whom that distrust and hatred was greater than for the windy, cowardly, principleless youths of the nineteenth century.” And the girls merely wanted to go play with their friends…


A face I saw this morning:

[photo of a perforator and two candles in the shape of a smiling face]

Llamatron high-score

Scored 2,291,522 at Llamatron tonight. Baaaaa!

If you would only love me…

The other day the wonderful Louise Hope post-processed a book I had uploaded to the Distributed Proofreaders to be proofread, and did so at a speed us mortals can only dream of. The book is an Arthur Pinero play, The “Mind the Paint” Girl, which had some success on Broadway and in the form of two Hollywood spin-offs.

Part of the play were four lines of a song, to be sung by all the actors on the stage. On my request Louise converted these lines to Lilypond, so that anyone can now reproduce it faithfully to any format they like. So here’s my rendition: sung, in Ogg Vorbis format.

The following is a short biography I wrote about Pinero for the proofreaders:

Biography and About this play

Arthur Wing Pinero (1855 – 1934) was a British playwright, son of Portuguese immigrants. His works have been in the public domain in Life+70 countries since 2005. Project Gutenberg already has a couple of them, and besides The “Mind the paint” girl I have two more (“The Big Drum” and “The Cabinet Minister”); so if you liked this one, tell me, and I will give them scanning priority.

Pinero wrote mostly comedies, of which this is one. When he initially tried to write a tragedy, the public rejected it, and he had to rewrite the play (“The Profligate”). With the popularisation of tragedy through the likes of Ibsen, he tried his hand at this type of play again, and this time with more success. George Bernard Shaw called Pinero “a humble and somewhat belated follower of the novelists of the middle of the nineteenth century”.

The “The ‘Mind the Paint’ Girl” seems to have been successful; it was performed in London, New York (Broadway) and Mainz in the year of its publication. It was filmed twice (in 1916 and 1919), and in his novel The Beautiful and Damned (1922), F. Scott Fitzgerald writes: “His bathroom, in contrast to the rather portentous character of his bedroom, was gay, bright, extremely habitable and even faintly facetious. Framed around the walls were photographs of four celebrated thespian beauties of the day: Julia Sanderson as ‘The Sunshine Girl,’ Ina Claire as ‘The Quaker Girl,’ Billie Burke as ‘The Mind-the-Paint Girl,’ and Hazel Dawn as ‘The Pink Lady.'”


The room to the left is lit by an 11 Watt CFL, the room to the right by a 60 Watt incandescent lamp. The first picture was taken right after switching both lights on, the second about two to three minutes after. The first lamp cost 4.50 euro, the second I don’t know, but it must have been less than a euro.



And yes, the sink needs cleanage. And is it me, or does it look like the kitchen is about a foot lower than the office?

I think I b0rked something

I was a bit over-zealous (or under-careful) when I removed the Project Wonderful ads from my entry pages, and broke stuff in the process. Please let me know if there’s something you think you ought to be seeing here but don’t. I mean, apart from hot chicks in almost absent bikinis.

Amsterdamse Bos revisited

I packed some weight in my back-pack, because sometime this summer I will go hiking in the Ardennes, and I will be schlepping a dozen or so kilos worth of camping gear, food, drinks and clothes along. In other words: preparation time. I went for another walk through the Amsterdamse Bos, this one a bit shorter than last time, but still taking up well over three hours.

The stinging nettle. Hated for its sting, loved for its qualities as foodstuff and medicine. Distant relative of the equally hardy and useful marijuana. I am bit afraid to pick them in and around Amsterdam, because you never know who peed on them, making it quite a while since I have had nettle soup.


Sunlight reflecting off water onto the bottom of a bridge.


Ooh, I so hate these. Another accidental photo that I like. This time I was trying to take a picture of a very muddy stream, aiming at the point where it disappeared into the forest. When I got home I realised that sunlight projecting through the overhanging leaves turned the yellow-brown of the water into all kinds of green, giving the scene an emerald quality. This is a crop of that photo.


O hammers, head

Richard Carrier writes about the books recovered from the lava-covered town of Herculanaeum, and this sentence that he came across in one of them:

For example, consider the man in Alexandria who was a foot tall, with a colossal head that could be beaten with a hammer, who used to be exhibited by the embalmers.

(Via Brian Flemming.)

The cool-sucky playground fallacy

Here’s a fallacy that in these fast moving times I observe on a regular basis: people on the internet arguing that everything on the internet is wrong. People using free software to argue that free software sucks (a recurring occurrence at Slashdot). Jack Valenti arguing for eternal copyright, yet nobody wants to read his book.

It’s like you have two playgrounds: one where all the cool kids play and one where all the losers play. So one of the losers goes to the cool playground, kicks a stone, and keeps saying to the cool kids: “this playground sucks, I am going to leave any minute now.”

Unfortunately with copyright policy it is the losers who set the tune.

Beneath a Steel Sky

(First published at Teleread.)

[screenshot]Not really news, except to me: the classic graphical adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky has been republished as freeware by its original authors. When the game first came out, somewhere in the 1990s, I thought of buying it based on playing a cover disk demo, but never got around to it. Later I noticed that there had been a PC release, and I started looking for a copy in the bargain bins, but failed to find it there. So imagine my surprise when I found the freeware version. You can find it at the website of the Scumm Virtual Machine, which you’ll also need to download to play it.

BaSS is a point-and-click adventure that takes place in your average dystopian future, where the poor live in the polluted skies atop towers while the rich live safely underground. Your mission: get down. The game starts with a hunt-the-pixel puzzle, and has a few spots where you have to sit still and watch the game unfold the story, but apart from that I’ve been enjoying myself so far. Art by Dave Gibbons and professional narration make this a tight production.