28 February 2006

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11 February 2006

The hockey fever has begun

With the opening of Turin Olympic games, the sport fever is officially on. Especially it is the fact in Latvia - this year is the ultimate hockey year: our team is in the Olympics and we have the world championship in our capital Riga in a couple months.

Tomorrow we have a chance at medals in biathlon and luge. I had no idea our guys were actually in top 5 there. That will be fun to watch tomorrow.

And on Wednesday the heat will be on: hockey, Latvia vs USA. We would have beaten USA to pulp at last years world championships if the judge would not have illegally rejected two goals shot by our team and given a large number of unfair penalties to our players. Even the coach of the USA team made a point after the game of saying that the judging was inadequate. However the real point is - we will crush you this time.

PS. I just found out that the championship is planned at the same time as the Debconf 6 in Mexico. NOOOOOOO!!!! This is the worst news - I'll miss all the fun. Crap. Really. Crap. I hope there will be some kind of coverage in Mexico.

09 February 2006

Firefox backing up.
A bug is bugging me up, but it is unclear to me what is the cause, so no reporting or fixing is yet in sight - whenever I scroll up in Firefox using the mouse scroller there is ~10% chance that the "back" action will be executed. It has happened to me a lot of times now, and I haven't noticed similar symptoms in other programs.
Ubuntu Dapper, FF 1.5, USB mouse, HP nx6110 notebook. Any advise from the lazyweb?

08 February 2006

So ... I tried to understand what this american football thing is all about. What got me interested in it was an anime from Japan called Eyeshield 21 where a boy that ran errants for bullies his whole school life goes into american football as a runner with his great speed and agility. That get me thinking about looking into that sport - it looked quite interesting in the anime.
Boy was I wrong.
So I watched the Superbowl XL - the biggest and most important event in the american football year. The first half was absolutely empty - nothing happened at all. The ads were much more interesting then the game. The halftime show was ok, not as good as ads.
And the second half just showed why this is the definitive american sport in the worst meaning of that - legalese. Steelers would have lost it the judges would have not interfered so much with the game. This sport has like hundreds of tiny rules that are very dependent on interpretation by the judges - that is what I call a sport for all the american lawyers to like. Cancelling several good Seahawks trows just because some guy was holding someone on the other part of the field, that must be givin an ecstasy for every law student. Not for me though.
And even without all that dilation with ridiculous rules (what's that stupidity with running clock and two minute warning ?!?) the game itself is kind of dumb - there are just too many people in the field for anything that a regular person can really understand. Strategies that almost never work out because of the other team interfering with their strategy. Too much chaos and still each person only does a one single thing. Even more - many of the players never will get any attention in the game just because they are on a supporting position, but the quarterback will always be the center of attention.
A very unbalanced game that is even more screwed by a ton of ads, a very heavy leaning on judging nitpicks and just 3-4 nice moments in the whole 1 hour game. I'll just stick back with hockey and anime :)

07 February 2006

Rock the dance floorApple tree and cherry tree ...BaibaA new sports hall of my old school
Also at the school reunion I took a lot of photos - 217 to be exact. So, here are a couple of the best shots that (as I think) look quite nice even without knowing the people or the circumstances of the pictures.

Note to self: I seem to be getting good on candid portraits and architecture, but group photos, candid action photos and still life need a lot of work.

Note to my ex-classmates: dārgie klases biedri, visas manis uzņemtās fotogrāfijas jūs varat novilkt šeit, ja tas links nedarbojas, vai jums vajag kādu bildi augstākā kvalitātē - sazinieties ar mani pa epastu vai telefonu.

06 February 2006

On the weekend I was at the school reunion and among other matters I gave my school a present of 50 Ubuntu CDs to use in school and to give out to the pupils most interested in computers. After that I talked to my IT teacher who is now an IT adviser to the principal. It seems that all that we were taught in high school (Office software) is being move down to grade school and it is currently unclear, what will be taught to high school students. It could be programming, but it would take a large pile of time and money to prepare all the teachers for that.
It is quite a food for thought - find something challenging enough to teach at 11th and 12th grade to children that have learned all of word processing and presentation making while in their 5th grade and in the same time make it very easy to prepare 40+ year old teachers to teach that material.
In this context I find the project Little Wizard very interesting - if basics of programming can be taught so easily, maybe we still have a chance of getting it into the mandatory curriculum.
On homosexuality

Listening to some recordings of the Howard Stern show got me thinking about homosexuality. I try not to have any prejudices, so I tried to view this phenomenon from a purely logical point of view with as little external data as possible, so help me if I'm wrong.

Close relationships between two persons are generally understood to contain four separate components: sex, legal matters, social matters and romantic matters.

First of all it is said that, while the percentage of homosexual people is low, many heterosexual people have had some kind of homosexual experience either as an experimentation or as an accidental exposure. It also is believed that if the person in question is not physiologically repulsed by the concept (i.e. homofobic) then they can experience sexual pleasure regardless of the gender of the partner, number of partners or even absence of such. In all we can basically conclude that while homofobia is a sexual disorder (it disorders sexual function), homosexuality is not about sex at all.

The legal perspective is very inconclusive - in some parts of the world even having homosexual relationships can be illegal, but in other parts of the world homosexual marriages are not uncommon. Also all the legal stuff is there to help people that can not help themselves, especially minorities. So the legal part should be all for the equalising homosexuality to heterosexuality unless that does direct and irreparable harm to the society (which it seemingly does not).

From social perspective homosexual couples look to be living the life very similar to the heterosexual couples - there are some that are going wild and there are some that honour strong and stable relationships for decades and love to go to theatre. It could even seem that homosexual people tend to have a higher percentage of creative people and intellectuals.

The only think left is love. Call it a quick romantic encounter or a the love of the lifetime, but that seems to be the major descriptive difference with homosexually oriented people - they just fall in love with types of people that tend to be of same gender as themselves. It could be related to behavioural predispositions or differences in hormonal perception, but ultimately we do not know enough about love to fully understand that difference.

So at this point I can only conclude that until we understand all the hormonal processes and that "love" thingy, we could just as well start counting homosexual males and homosexual females as two additional genders that can not be fully understood by other two genders, just like men can not fully understand women and the other way around. This difference is as real and as effective as the difference between male and female genders or (stretching the analogy a bit too far) like the difference between races and should be honoured just as much as these differences are honoured.

And now I coin the terms "omale" and "ofmale" as the new homosexual male and female gender descriptors and "oman", "omen", "owman" and "owmen" as terms for single homosexual male, multiple homosexual males, single homosexual female and multiple homosexual females respectively.

05 February 2006

Just watched the DVD version of the Aristocrats. It was one of the funniest jokes ever and each person telling it really changed the joke immensely. However if your sense of humour if even a bit under very good and if you can be easily disgusted by references to strange things, then forget that I wrote anything, or just watch it anyway to try to overcome that :)

Warning: do not in any circumstance allow a republican, anyone with a weak heart, or a child under 21 hear anything from that piece - you'd risk radical democratisation, a death stroke or a head filled with REALLY strange thoughts respectively.

Otherwise, just have fun and try not to die laughing :D

02 February 2006

Got my plane tickets to Debconf 6 yesterday. I ordered the tickets on-line, but when I came to the travel agency's office, they had lost my reservation some how. I did not complain, because the new price the offered was 10 bucks lower then the one I reserved on-line (and it was for the exact same flights). Strange.

Anyway - Mexico, here I come!

On another note, I and two of my high school classmates spent 6+ hours yesterday preparing a present for our high school homeroom teacher. We prepared a book with a page for each student with a photo and description of what each of us is doing 5 years after graduation. The Homecoming is this Saturday. Should be fun.