Random rants and thoughts, without any coherency nor structure (nor wisdom, insight, or even interest...). Ignore at will.

Some rants and ideas French: click here (gueulantes et idées en français: cliquer ici).

To contact me: nat@makarevitch.org.

Countries: accounts (CIA) and GDP

Country comparison: account balance / GDP.

French cosmetics

Printed on a soft tube (cosmetics):
Decolleté! ... 6 languages and a unique common word: « décolleté ». The French one. Yay!

IT: RAID and Linux (3ware, md)

How to tackle random I/O thanks to RAID?

Tarkovsky and Kusturica, language and comprehension (and cleaning ladies)

Tarkovsky told a story about Zerkalo (Mirror) (published in IMDB's "User Comments"):
After Zerkalo was completed, it was first shown to the group of the famous critics. After watching it, critics started to argue about it, trying to find the hidden meaning and make sense of what they just saw. It went on and on until the cleaning lady who came to the screening room and had been waiting for the end of discussion to do her job, asked them for how long they would stay? Someone said to her that they were discussing a very complicated film, and they needed time to understand it. Cleaning lady asked, "What is that you do not understand in this film? I saw it also, and I understood everything." Critics were silenced for a moment, and then, one of them asked the woman to share her thoughts on Zerkalo. She answered, "It is about a man who had caused too much pain to the ones whom he loved and who loved him. Now he is dying and he is trying to ask them for forgiveness but he does not know how." After the pause Tarkovsky said that he had nothing else to add about his film to what the cleaning lady had to say.

About Kusturica's Dom za vesanje (Time of the Gypsies) we are told (IMDB) that:

In year 1988, this movie was one of the most awaited films in the Istanbul International Film Festival. I was one of the lucky ones who had a ticket for the film. When the show time arrived, it was obvious that there was a problem since the film did not started. A lady from the festival committee came to the stage announcing their apology and explaining what the problem was; they were expecting the copy of the film from its distributor in USA. Unfortunately there was a logistics problem, so they had to get it directly from Yugoslavia. When the festival organisation put their Yugoslavian translators at work they did not understand which language it was! And a cleaning lady, who was an actual gypsy figured out that the movie was in Gypsy language. So it was not possible to translate it for the festival.

So they offered an apology and refund in case anybody did not want to watch it without subtitles.

Nobody left the theatre. We watched the movie without understanding a word. But, at the end there was a standing ovation at the theatre went on for a couple of minutes.

IT: Google strategy

Google strategy (Wikipedia)

IT: Using e-mail efficiently


A perspective on 'Chernobyl Forum' (IAEA) material

Massive and deliberate disinformation.

IT: WebDSign

WebDSign: thrust the Web by trust :-)

IT: IBM Thinkpad X31 laptop on Debian Intel 3.1, kernel 2.6

Using an IBM X31 laptop under Debian.

War: Subcontractors are army's weak points

Many private companies provide various services and supplies to the US army (Halliburton...). At war times some of them may be the weakest critical component because fooling or messing up their internal process is probably more easy than causing havoc in the army, while leading to similar results. For instance: no (or dangerous) food may be available on the battlefield.

IT: Unix (Linux): optimization

Some declarations (parameters) may optimize the kernel's unified buffer-cache usage and general I/O strategy. Bonus: hints for 'interactive' programs.

IT: IT offerings

IT may only be service-providing.

War: 'racial' war (BiDil and delta 32)

A drug named BiDil, which had no effect on a white control group but reduced heart failure deaths by 43 percent for an African-American control group, was approved by the F.D.A. as a drug for African-Americans.

Therefore a weapon only potent (immediately or not, by killing or sterilizing...) against a given race (up to a given level of race mix?) may be possible and, in such a case, somebody will find it. Then somebody will use it.

Moreover for some individuals among a homogeneous population some genetic mutation may enforce a pretty efficient resistance to a given disease (see also Survivor gene 'fights infection' (avian flu) and, maybe, immunity to HIV, see also the 'Herceptin' case). There may even be some genetic susceptibility to lung cancer. Therefore, by being able to deliberately provoke such a mutation, one can claim a better insurance against his own 'racial'-weapon. Or maybe cure cancer...

IT: Quake logo

The logo used by the software editor Id Software for the famous Quake game may come from a pattern carved in menhir-statues found in the Sardinia Island, especially the one called Barrili I:

See, think, speak.

Do you think (say?) a destroyed or potential wall or a stack of bricks?
Do you say (think?) the meeting will begin at 11:00 or the meeting will begin when all participants will be present?.

Do we see the same way? How comes that language affects 'half of vision' and how do we keep irrelevant items out of awareness?

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and Thinking about Thinking, anyone? Yep!... or nope!? Toddlers memory? Types of memory? Is grammar hard-wired into our brain?, perhaps because genes may influence language learning (Robert Ladd and Dan Dediu, Edinburgh) and Culture influences brain function.

Ne pas cliquer!