Archive for ‘On the Web’

March 24, 2013

Carabiner Hacks

Hack #1: Multiple bag holder

Particularly true when grocery shopping for a family (or just shopping with 1 girlfriend), a carabiner is a force multiplier – allowing 1 hand to grip multiple bags while keeping the other hand free. Courtesy of a random Google+ share (cannot find original link – if you are the owner, please let me know).

Case Picture:
Carabiner Bag Holder

A Carabiner can hold multiple heavy bags comfortably (assuming you have the strength of course)

Hack #2: Bottle holder

Only applies to bottles with an internal through-hand grip (with no lobang). YMMV. This is a common hack for the sporty outdoorsy person with 2 hands and more items to carry than you can shake a stick at. Picture taken from AllExpress e-commerce site.

Case Picture:
Carabiner Bag Holder

Note: If it has a ring/hole, it can clip onto your bag.

Hack #3: Hairband Organizer

For the woman (or simply long-haired), hairbands and ties are a fact of life. So is losing them. Unless you bundle them together with a carabiner. Also makes for a handy baby/pet toy – if you can live with baby drool/teeth marks on your hair ties.

Case Picture:
Carabiner all-in-one Organizer/holder

Other stuff you can organize with the carabiner: clothes hangers, pendants, rings, study cards (requires a much bigger hole though)

Hack #4: (Beer) Bottle Opener

Need to open a bottle? A carabiner makes a ready bottle opener. Perfect for that after-climb drink. Remember: Don’t drink and climb. Courtesy of the CHOW youtube channel.

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January 14, 2013

Scream Sweden – “Flash Crowds exist outside my Window!”

Scream Sweden liveleaks link as found by me.

Random link found on a typical Monday morning. I wonder what led this enterprising individual to make this remarkable discovery – I mean this came so far out of left field it ended up somewhere in centre.

If you listen closely it might even sound musical, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were sudde… you get the picture.

Update: For those curious, this Reddit thread explains the origins of the screaming culture. Apparently it’s a tradition for students in the Flogsta area of Uppsala to carry on the scream. If I had to hazard a guess, it probably started like all good “bad” traditions do, by accident. Then collective stupidity being fun when shared, it spread. And continues to this day, helped along by the fact that it’s fun, is relevant to a need and a great way to bond with others – a classic example of tribe culture in play.

Even those slightly beyond shouting distance.

November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe


The Raven, as performed by John de Lancie

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore–
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;–vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lenore–
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore–
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me–filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“‘Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door–
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”–here I opened wide the door–
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”–
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my sour within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is and this mystery explore–
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;–
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he,
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door–
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door–
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore–
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning–little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door–
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing farther then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered–
Till I scarcely more than muttered: “Other friends have flown before–
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore–
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never–nevermore.'”

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore–
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee–by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite–respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!–prophet still, if bird or devil!–
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted–
On this home by Horror haunted–tell me truly, I implore–
Is there–is there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!–prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us–by that God we both adore–
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore–
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting–
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul has spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadows on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted–nevermore!

Resources:

Further Reading (Wikipedia):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raven

Full Text of Poem taken from Every Poet:
http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Edgar_Allen_Poe/edgar_allen_poe_the_raven.htm

August 18, 2010

Weekly Music Pick – Raise Me Up

For those wondering, Derek Redmond was a favourite coming into the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, after a shock victory over the American athletics team in the 1991 World Championship 4x400m relay.

The fateful event happened during the semi-finals. As stated within the video, 150m into the race Redmond tore his hamstring and collapsed on the track. As paramedics came to assist, he would wave them off and then started to hobble towards the finish line, 250m away. 65,000 spectators watched in silence as Redmond and his father, having braved security to support his son, hobbled the remaining distance to the finish line. At the end, Redmond finished with a standing ovation from the spectators.

2 years after, Redmond would retire from athletics due to injuries, but he never gave up on representing his nation in other events.

This week marks the first week of YOG competitions, so something a bit more uplifting is in order. “You raise Me up” is a 2002 song originally sung by Irish singer Brian Kennedy for the Secret Garden album “Once in a Red Moon”. The song sold well in its home market but true popularity would only come after several notable covers, WestLife among other acts.

The melody of the song is derived from Danny Boy, a popular Irish folk song (lyrics written by an Englishman), which in turn was based on Londonderry Air. A copy of the songs are listed below for your listening pleasure/comparison.

June 21, 2010

Weekly Music: Sekai ga Owaru made ha

This week’s pick comes from the famous Slam Dunk anime back in the mid-90s. Band that performed this song is called Wands (ワンズ), which was disbanded in 2000.


Short version

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May 5, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Yui’s Solo Guitar Riff (K-On!!)

Late by a week and a half at least…. but better late than never.

This week’s weekly music pick comes from the latest season of K-On, simply titled K-On!! (note the extra exclamation mark). It comes from the opening minutes of the 1st episode, when Yui begins to practise her guitar strumming skills – a min and a half of pure bliss.

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April 18, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Song For…

Missed 2 weeks of Weekly Music Picks, for that I have to apologize and explain. Real life (aka) work caught up with me, some major changes gonna occur in the next few weeks, some of which I am looking forward to, others which I had hoped to avoid. With that said, back to the song.

This week’s song comes from Zoids Chaotic Century, a TV anime series that aired from fall 1999 to winter 2000. The pick is the first ending theme by a Jrock group called Dear, entitled “Song For…”, an energetic rock ballad. I always liked this song from the moment I heard it because it fills me with a sense of yearning, a hunger for something I cannot put a finger on.

The song is also famous as the theme for an inspiring Guilty Gear combo video, entitled simply as “Song For…”, featuring 1 of the most eccentric guilty gear characters Zappa.

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April 8, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Stand by Me

This week’s music pick is an oldie from the 60s. Entitled “Stand by Me”, the song was written and performed by Ben E. King in 1961, and not John Lennon, as some claim. Originally written for another group, this song almost never made radioplay if not for the fact that King had some studio time leftover from another project.  Its distinctive jazz chord progression is now known as the 50s progression or also, “Stand by Me” chords.

The lyrics of “Stand by Me” employs subtle metaphors to good effect. The first few lines of the song go as follows:

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March 24, 2010

Weekly Music Pick: Far and Away Theme

Late, but better late than never….

This week’s music pick is from a semi-obscure movie. Called Far and Away, this 1992 movie stars a younger Tom Cruise opposite Nicole Kidman as two Irish migrants trying to make it big in America.

The theme is nameless, and is often simply called “Theme of Far and Away”. There are at least 2 versions, the lighter and more playful version by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as well as the more formal version, listed below.

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March 8, 2010

Weekly Music: Bokura no Natsu no Yume

This week’s music pick centres around summer. Entitled Bokura no Natsu no Yume by Tatsuro Yamashita, it loosely translates as Our Summer Dream, or more appropriately, Our Dreams of that Summer. The song is the theme/ending song for the anime movie Summer Wars.


Tatsuro Yamashita – Bokura no Natsu no Yume

Considering the unseasonable warmth we are experiencing here, and that the movie was only just recently released in local cinemas, I thought it particularly apt. Trailer for the local release below.

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