Archive for February, 2009


My Manly Shave

Yesterday I shaved with a straight razor for the first time. I got it for my birthday this Thursday. First impressions: It’s kind of like a trade-off between “Wow this feels great, I’m getting a really close shave” and “Steady hands. Steady hands. Come on steady hands. Please let me keep my hands steady.”

Obviously I’ll get better at it over time and it won’t take as long as it took the first time, but at least I had no cuts on my first try! Wish me luck!


Thank you Microsoft

Microsoft has done it again! I continue to be safe from something that wasn’t a threat in the first place. (Or was it?)

Windows terminated an application to protect my computer. However, an interesting question is: Which application?


My version of Windows XP is Swedish, so I will translate:

Titlebar: Data execution protection [I guess]
In bold: This application was terminated to protect the computer.
Name: [The] Explorer
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Button: Close the message
Below horizontal line: Data execution protection helps protect against harm from viruses and other threats.
Link: What should I do?

Apparently Windows thought Explorer was a threat and terminated it accordingly. Explorer shut down after giving me a message that it had terminated in an “unexpected” way, but of course, Explorer being Explorer, it started right back up again. But Windows was not complaining this time.

And all I wanted to do was to shut down the computer. Do you think you can handle that, Windows?


Wonderous White World

The temperature has been at its lowest this winter in the last days, and there has been a lot of snowing while it’s been cold, which means the snow is really light and powder-like, and it stays on the trees and other things.

Today as I went home from the university, I was admiring a landscape of nothing but white. All white. Everything was white, and I mean everything. Visibility today was probably only about ½ km (very approximate estimation), so even the air seemed more white than normal. It was beautiful, walking down alleys of hills of shoveled snow almost twice my own height. I tell you, even though I’ve lived here since I was born, I still appreciate the beauty of copious amounts of white snow. It’s gorgeous!

Winter is definitely my favorite season after summer. It all boils down to what you can appreciate and get out of each season. Let’s break down what I love about each season in the order of most to least favorite season:


  • Warm temperature – the very fact that you can pick yourself up and go outside and enjoy the weather without having to clothe yourself with anything but your indoor clothes and shoes. Heck, even shoes are optional if you’re just in your yard or something, or on the beach/in a (clean) park.
  • You can do so much. Go swimming, skateboarding, barbecuing, etc.
  • Beautiful sunsets.


  • Cold temperature – it can be nice sometimes to have really fresh and cool air to breathe in if you’re feeling sluggish or have a headache. It’s very refreshing. The cold is obviously a love-hate thing. The cold brings snow, albeit it also obviously makes you freeze if it’s too cold.
  • It can be extremely beautiful in the winter if it snows a lot during a period of very cold temperatures, and the temperature stays cold. If the temperature stays cold, the snow also tends to stay white and clean because slush and sand/gravel tends to make filthy slush, which tractors shove up to the side of the road, which makes it gray/black and just look disgusting. Those two scenarios both tend to happen periodically each winter so love-hate thing there as well.
  • Beautiful sunsets.
  • It’s fun to play in the snow.


  • Life comes back again, which brings hope back into your heart each year. Seriously, it sounds corny but believe me each spring it’s so nice feel the warmth again and start to wear lighter and lighter clothing. It’s also always nice to finally touch the asphalt again when biking. Oh sweet friction, we miss you each winter. Even though it’s fun to skid around sometimes!
  • Barbecue season is back on!
  • Just a general sense of joy comes back to you during this time. I think it has to do with the fact that you see more of the sun up here in the more northern part of the hemisphere.


  • Nothing.
  • No seriously, I hate this season. It’s my mother’s favorite. Things start to rot and die (which does create a brilliant display of colors on the leaves of trees), it rains more than in the other seasons, it starts to get cold, you can’t do anything. Blah.

Something that is very special about the climate up here though is that each year, every season for me is experienced as if it’s my first time. When the first snow falls each autumn, it’s amazing. Everything turns white, usually overnight. Then when the snow starts thawing during spring, things start turning green, the air suddenly feels… busy, again, because of birds coming back from winter migration and chirping up the place. It’s unique every time. It’s quite nice to have a more dynamic sort of climate than pretty much summer all year, or you know… living in the desert or having cold weather all year. Change is good. Periodic change makes you appreciate what you had and what’s to come, more.

That’s my take on it, how about you?


1 + 1 = 0

I saw something on YouTube today that was interesting. To relieve you of having to watch the extremely slow-moving video, I will just provide the proof right here.

First assume that

i = √(-1)

Next, assume that

√(ab) = √(a) * √(b)

Now, we will derive the proof:

1 + 1 = 1 + √(1)
= 1 + √[(-1)(-1)]
= 1 + √(-1)√(-1) = 1 + (√(-1))²
= 1 + i²
= 1 + (-1)
= 1 - 1
= 0

Does that not blow your mind? Now, obviously this is crazy. So let’s take a look at how the proof is flawed.

The assumption that √(ab) = √(a) * √(b) is only true if at least one of a and b are positive numbers (including zero). If both a and b are negative then √(ab) = -√(a) * √(b). Hence,

1 + 1 = 1 + √(1)
= 1 + √[(-1)(-1)]
= 1 - √(-1)
(-1) = 1 - ((-1))²
= 1 - i²
= 1 - (-1)
= 2

And the world makes sense again. Now I feel like my feet are back on the ground!


Torturing a ten-year old

I assume there is a near-infinite number of ways of making life hard for a decade-old laptop – one of them being

$ yes $(yes)

yes is a program that outputs a string indefinitely until the process is killed. If no parameters are given to the program, the output is “y” followed by a new line, repeated until killed.

What I in the spur of the moment did, just to see what would happen, was that I wanted to use the output of one yes command and use that as the parameter for another yes command to see if the output would grow exponentially. What I was too tired to realize was that even the first reiteration would be infinitely large. Oops! And the memory of the laptop was already filled up by Firefox.

Hard reboot!

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