Tao of the Machine

Programming, Python, my projects, card games, books, music, Zoids, bettas, manga, cool stuff, and whatever comes to mind.


(What the heck is a "niffler"? Know your classics.)

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-11-07 23:54:42   {link}
Categories: general


"Limburger" seems to be a well-known, though not necessarily popular, cheese here in the US. But, wait a minute... I come from a province in the Netherlands called Limburg. How come I never heard of this cheese? (At least not before the Monty Python "cheese shop" sketch -- it's really very runny, sir.)

Wikipedia has the answer. In this list of cheeses, Limburger does not show up under Netherlands; rather, it appears under Belgium. Sure enough, the cheese has its own entry, which tells us: "Limburger is a very strongly smelling cheese which originated in Limberg, Belgium." A Google search for this place doesn't yield much, so I wonder if that shouldn't be Limburg instead; Belgium happens to have a province too with that name.

Today's trivia brought to you by a native Limburger. emoticon:smile

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-11-06 21:11:18   {link}
Categories: general, Nederland

Political Compass

[via Ned Batchelder] Political Compass. My score: Economic Left/Right: -5.62; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.00. (Judging from the chart, this places me close to Nelson Mandela and Gandhi. :-)

It's interesting to see that people who are supposedly socialists, like Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder, appear right of center. I'm not sure I disagree with the site's concept of "left and right are merely measures of economic position". To me, left/right is also equality/inequality, not just economically, but also socially. Then again, what do I know? I lost interest in politics some years ago.

The Iconochasms test is quite eye-opening too, and illustrates how dangerous it is to think of public figures as only "good" or "bad".

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-11-05 22:05:06   {link}
Categories: general

A Floridian dope looks at Zope

As I wrote before, I've been reading up on Zope lately. 'Tis a peculiar piece of software. One the one hand, it's very easy to get started and build a working web application in no time. On the other hand, there is this vast collection of products, classes, methods, etc, which is overwhelming. Also, as the Book of Zope points out, there are several layers ("tiers"): e.g. Python code, the manager, the actual site; when adding or changing something, it's not always clear in which layer this is done best.

Zope has vast possibilities. Of course, all those people who have been using it for the past few years already know this... as for me, I only heard rumors, and read a bit about ZODB and ZEO, but had no compelling reason to start using it. Until recently. Let's see what I can do with it. It's been a while since I did web programming; some of the concepts ring a bell, others don't.

DTML seems nifty. It's basically a mix of Python and HTML. (The DTML tags don't always map one-on-one to Python constructs, but you can see the language shining through.) It's interesting to compare it to Firedrop's (and Kaa's) embedded Python code. I realize that significant indentation doesn't work so well when embedded in a web page... it's acceptable for client-based programs like Kaa and Firedrop, but would become cumbersome if you have to write a lot of server-side code.

More on Zope later... probably.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-11-04 23:01:18   {link}
Categories: Python

Rakim interview

I don't really have any news, I was away for the weekend and am currently reading Zope books. So I'll just discuss a link or two. :-)

rakim.com kind of works (it never used to). Among other things, it points to a mildly interesting article (part one, two).

Among the more interesting observations is that Rakim thinks of "old school" as a style, rather than a period. Also, he talks about the breakup with Eric B.

On a side note, an astrological guess-the-sign game can be played here... this quote pretty much gives it away: "At the same time at that point I was more on just doing joints that I felt that I wanted to do. If everybody was going right I went left. Everybody was talkin' about blue, I'ma talk about black. So I never wanted to follow the trends that everybody did. At the same time 'till this day with me, I dropped a couple of albums and some of the beats for the entire album wasn't what everybody was doing at the time, but at the end of the day if everybody liked what I was putting down on the mic, then I'm able to do another album. So it was never like did what everybody else is doing and all that shit. I always wanted to do me." (Note that if you literally copy down what a person is saying, it doesn't make them sound very intelligent. :-)

If you can't figure out the sign, this page has the DOB.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-11-03 13:23:18   {link}
Categories: music, esoterica

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