Friday, November 30, 2007

How Foolish I Was

How foolish I was!
How foolish I was!
I thought access to culture a fundamental right

How foolish I was!
How foolish I was!
I thought that free culture was the right fight

But now I can see!
But now I can see!
What's important's making money, every day of the week

But now I can see!
But now I can see!
The whole world's at my fingertips - ten cents a peek

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Beowulf (2007)

ImageMovers, Shangri-La Entertainment
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Beowulf - the movie - is a film adaptation of Beowulf - the epic Anglo-Saxon poem. It tells of Beowulf, of how he slew the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a fierce dragon. (If you think those are spoilers, remember: the poem is more than 1000 years old!)

Although the movie follows the main plot of the poem, it does diverge in a number of ways intended, I believe, to give a more coherent plot, and to create the distinction between 'good' and 'bad', as opposed to 'man' vs 'nature'. For example, Grendel is merely a monster - nature - in the poem, but it is part the sin of a man in the story (the issue is a little more complex than that, but I'll leave it be).

However, the plot changes notwithstanding, the film is action-packed and enthralling. The music is well-suited (I'm considering buying the soundtrack, not something I do often) and engaging. Most impressive, however, is the fact that the entire movie is computer-generated. There are times when it's obvious that it is, but there are many times when it's very difficult to tell, and the camera motion that is enabled by the CG more than makes up for the deficiencies.

One of the nice touches was that Grendel speaks in Anglo-Saxon, which is a nice touch. The (partial) recitation of the Song of Beowulf is also in Anglo-Saxon.

There is a bit of nudity, but it is mostly covered (sometimes cleverly, sometimes not so cleverly) to garner a PG-13 rating. But what's surprising is that all the violence didn't push it into R; it's very graphic, and fairly realistic (though not completely, which is probably what saved it).

I certainly recommend Beowulf on the big screen, and it's probably amazing in Imax 3D.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Athiest Limericks!

Friendly Atheist has Athiest Limericks!

My entry:

Here’s a quick way to insanity:
Believe (in incredible vanity)
An omnipotent being -
All-knowing, all-seeing -
Would care one small whit ’bout humanity.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First blog post for AppVenture

Some of you may know that I've been working for AppVenture, Inc. these past few months, and one of our projects is blogging about programming. So, I'm proud to announce my very first post at AppVenture, Synchronizing Contacts in Outlook 2003 using an Add-in. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Audiveris

I tried out Audiveris the other day, and, although I could get it to run, it didn't work as expected, even with their demo. I haven't the foggiest what's going wrong, whether I don't have enough memory or am missing some library. Anyway, I can get it to run and load an image, but interpreting always fails, leaving me with nothing in the 'score' portion and a messed up display. So... that's unfortunate.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

OMG! GPL OMR!

I was pointed today to the first GPL Optical Music Recognition (OMR, also Music Optical Character Recognition, or MOCR) software I've ever heard of, Audiveris, and I nearly wet myself (well... ok, not really, but I am giddy).

I haven't tried it yet, but rest assured that I will do so ASAP (hopefully tonight!).

Friday, November 02, 2007

Youtube Evolution video

I think I'm going to have to agree with Greta Christina... the following video about evolution that discredits the IDiotic 'watchmaker' straw man argument is awesome.