Pretty much every programmer, professional or otherwise owes a massive debt of time and frustration to stackoverflow and the stack exchange network.
Stackoverflow is basically a Q&A format website for programming problems, there are lots of those about but stackoverflow harshly moderates its answers so only the high quality ones are allowed (sometimes too harshly however). They are one of the most popular sites on the internet, often this means their technology will run on loads of servers spread all over the globe with data replicated up to the eyeballs.
The stackexchange guys however take a different approach, running very very efficient code on a few very powerful servers, check out this article for some mad specs!
I’m off to the New Forest this weekend with some family and friends for the last camping trip of the year.
Unlike some harder types, after September it gets far too cold for us to camp. Brrrrr. But, the weather looks good. The car is nearly packed. Let’s do this.
The New Forest is a gorgeous place to visit as most readers will know. One highlight this time of year is the ‘Pannage’. This is where local farmers can release their pigs in to the Forest to roam free for two months to eat all the fallen acorns (or Haycorns as Piglet would call them). The practice has been going on for centuries and I just read that it was so important, Pannage was used as an economic measure of a forest’s value in the Doomsday Book (gosh!). Anyways, Pannage continues to this day and is very important as acorns are poisonous to ponies who wonder wild across the New Forest all year round. Here’s a video about it:
Strandbeasts! If you can get passed the terrible choice of music, marvel at these amazing creations that are on a beach and wind-powered. They. Look. Alive.
And finally, Esther, some funny pics
I’ve been watching Tarantino films this week.
Here’s a review of Jacki Brown
A more mature, even, detached, approach from Tarantino.
One where character development is key and every bullet has significance.
It’s a fascinating, if slight, stylistic pivot and whilst he doesn’t eschew from his brand of stylised violence entirely there’s a clear dissonance between Jackie Brown and his previous two productions – and – whilst his consistent improvements as a film-maker are admirable (as are his strides to not simply re-make Pulp Fiction here) I just didn’t find the narrative interesting enough to warrant Tarantino’s talents and more pressingly the extensive runtime.
Grier is an entertaining screen presence and the magnificent soundtrack and cinematography propels the story forward but something about the story lacked the suave pizzaz that Tarantino’s style most benefits from.
As it is, Jackie Brown is a decent adaptation of a book by Elmore Leonard (whose films are notoriously quite easy to adapt) with apt character development and the occasional riveting set piece which offsets the slog of a second act. A good film, but I’m not overly eager to re-visit it any time soon.
Still – I’ve been listening 10 110th Street many times since the film, the soundtrack is an awesome Tarantino special again.
Fresh of the press today LA band Rival Sons have released a new single from their upcoming. If you fail to accept Led Zeppelin broke up 30 years ago this is the band for you.
This week Apple announced their new iPhone and I really couldn’t care less. What I do care about though are some of the beautiful frontend happening their landing page for the phone.
I can’t wait until we’re living in some kind of Minority Report augmented reality dystopian future, and it looks like we’re already on the way there! I’ll be arrested for Thoughtcrime in no time. Sweet.
Not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need right now.
A thing I never knew as an Irish person (and feel an appropriate level of cultural shame about now.)
While listening to the ‘No Such Thing as a Fish’ podcast, (if you haven’t listened to it, you need to rethink your aural life choices) I discovered that an Irishman created penalty kicks, and as an Irish person – I naturally contributed by vast general association, because we all know each other…
Who was the man, the myth, the stereotypically drunk, very drunk, penalty kick creator? His name was William McCrum. He created the penalty kick in 1890. He was a goalkeeper (amongst other things like a linen factory owner and the drunk, black sheep of his family) for the bottom of the Irish league team, Milford Everton. Originally, the penalty was called the “Kick of Death”, due to the nature of the grievance caused by an opposing team’s player’s faux pas or frisson depending on which French phrase you’re fond of.
After initial ridicule by the International Football Board in London, June 2nd 1891, the penalty kick became rule 13 of football. The cause was a match; Stoke against Notts County – Stoke were merely a goal down and pressing for a last-minute equalizer when they got a free kick. Notts county defenders stood in front of the goal and simply blocked it. Therein arose the need to consider a better way to divert poor sportsmanship and alleviate injuries to players.
Rule 13 was not well received. Keepers were set against it and protested by standing beside the goal when a penalty was given. Strikers were no better, they decided to deliberately kick the ball wide during penalties. In order to rectify this, the rule was changed to force goal keepers to stand on the goal-line in 1905.
The result, a heart-breaking effort by the English to be good at a rule indoctrinated to modern culture that was invented by an Irishman.
Today i’m recommending a film, and that film is ‘Return of the Living Dead’.
I’m a fan of the horror genre as a whole, but I have a soft spot for Zombie related shenanigans in particular. I’d tried to watch ‘Return of the living dead’ once before but it didn’t click with me because of the humor, back then I took my horror very seriously…and still do really, comedy horror isn’t really my thing, exception being the Evil Dead films and now ‘Return of the living dead’.
It’s a perfect Friday night with beers and mates film. Toxic zombies, teenagers in peril, old people in peril, everyone in peril, slapstick comedy, blood and guts, a talking zombie!, naked ladies and much more. Also it’s got a banging 80’s rock/metal soundtrack.
Interesting Friday zombie fact: This is the film that introduced the concept of zombies eating brains.
Here, have a trailer: