2017-10-01

Alien Stockholm

A few years ago Stockholm City Museum showed the exhibition United Stockholms of America, pictures and stories from the eight Stockholms in USA, all very small towns and hamlets.

It now struck me that surely there must be at least one Stockholm in Canada, and so there is: Stockholm, the seat of government for Fertile Belt No. 183, which gives an immediate idea of the Canadian prairie, about as featureless and sparsely populated as a terraformed area on Tatooine.

2017-09-21

Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

So the bike lane comes up the hill on the left of the pedestrian path, but right here at the zebra crossing, it suddenly switches over to the right side. Presumably the people who did this did not for a second think it would make any difference whatsoever.

2017-09-18

Everything is on YouTube

When I made my first visit to the US, this ad came on on the TV and again and again over the following days. The horrific scenario of pre-prepared junk food with soulless activity cards burnt “My Mom’s one busy lady” into my mind, enough for me to look for it on YouTube. What’s possibly worse is that I actually found it – in multiple versions. Other people must also have tried to exorcise the jitters by rewatching the scene.

2017-08-20

Rare people

Watching British detective series it has often struck me that no matter in how seemingly remote a place a person has been killed, the body will typically be found within a few hours. An explanation for this might be suggested by Northumberland (where Vera is located) being the most sparsely populated county of England at 63 persons/km², which population density is in Sweden only surpassed by the three “big city” counties of Västra Götaland, Skåne, and Stockholm.

2017-08-13

Scientific writing

As found in an article I’m reading: “These observations have indicated that X may provide an option for prophylaxis in certain populations.” Enough hedging for a fence around our house.

2017-05-25

Finished model 2017-III

A Warhammer Wood Elf turned into a Moor Elf. Painted in Humbrol enamels for a change.

Finished model 2017-II

Originally a random Space Marine that came with a box set of Vallejo Model Color bottles I won in a raffle. While consisting of all of three pieces they didn’t have terribly good fit and required quite a bit of putty in awkward areas, yet had to be painted before attaching and puttying to be able to reach all surfaces.

In honour of the centenary of Finnish independence I decided on a colour scheme inspired by the Finnish national hockey team, even though they usually don’t carry heavy blasters and rocket packs. (Really, your knife will be sufficient for most eventualities.)

2017-05-08

Lua

I got to thinking about the design of programming languages. It may be a recency effect, but it seems to me there’s been a plethora of programming languages designed and supported by a single person in the last decade or so. Usually their existence is very clearly due to some pet peeve of the designer, which is reflected in the grammar and feature set of the language. Some, like Ruby, have syntactical features which, while I find them annoying, presumably save the designer some typing in their typical idioms.

I presume that older languages have gone through processes of standardisation that have worn off the most idiosyncratic bits, if they weren’t designed by a committee to begin with. (Which does not mean that there aren’t disgusting bits in those languages too.)

The latest of these vanity languages I’ve run in to is Lua, which, on the whole, is not too bad. I still haven’t decided if I like the concept of metatables, but I have to admit it allows some nifty and powerful tricks.

So, how does it do the usual Hailstone program?

function hailstone(n)
   while (n > 1) do
      n = (n % 2 == 0) and n // 2 or n * 3 + 1
      print(n)
   end
end

I was a bit disappointed that assignment isn’t an expression and thus couldn’t be fed into the print(). Of note is also that Lua does not adhere to the C syntax patterns used by Java, JavaScript, awk, or even Perl, in particular the conditional assignment is done through short-circuiting logical expressions instead.

2017-04-28

Veckans ord: pelargon

Det är klart att en stylit vill vara ensam för en stunds pelargon i solskenet.

2017-04-21

Viikon sana: hummustuhnu

Huononlaatuisen falafelannoksen seuraus: hummustuhnu.

2017-03-25

Finished model 2017-I

Something a bit unusual. A Relocatable Equipment Building in 1:76 scale from Scale Model Scenery’s kit. The material is cardboard and paper. I have to say the kit was of impressively high quality and the pieces making up a quite easy build. (I still managed in a moment of distraction to confuse the roof and floor, so had to tear them off and swap before the glue had set.)

I expect it will eventually find its place in some diorama context. In particular, it is my entry in the prestigious competition between me and Kipper, both of us known for never finishing our models, in who will get the most models finished during 2017.

Model donated by Big Mike.