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May 8, 2008 - Not Smarter than the Average Bear

There have been some bizarre cases of animals being taken to court in historical times but recently a court in Bitola in Macedonia has found a bear guilty of theft. Zoran Kiseloski took a case against the bear after it stole honey from him. The man initially dealt with the bear himself by buying a generator and setting up lights and pumping turbo-folk music (by Ceca, a popular Serbian musician) to drive away the discerning bear. However, the criminal mastermind bid his time and lay in wait for the generator to run out whereupon he pounced and committed the crime. Apparently the trial has taken a year to finish but justice was served and the criminal fined 140,000 denar (about $3,500). The government paid the fine to Kiseloski, because, unfortunately, the bear proved smarter than the authorities, and is still at large. I'll bet neither Kiseloski nor Ceca will get a proper night's sleep till the criminal is locked up...

This story got a lot of press, the best of it was on the Times online.

Apr 30, 2008 - I'm On Setanta Sports

Setanta Sports have been running a series after premier league games on Saturdays and late at night after Champion's League games, where José Murinho gives his take on the latest news. This is some of the funniest TV I've seen in weeks, and the best part is that all the episodes are on youtube! Here's Sven's debut: Be champions...

The episode where the special one confronts the Voyeur is especially great - "surely this is legal minefield":

Apr 19, 2008 - Oscar Pistorius - Blade Runner

Oscar Pistorious is a South African sprinter hoping to compete in the Beijing Olympics. His nickname is the "Blade Runner" because of the shape of his legs. Actually, he has no feet at all and has been dubbed "the fasted thing on no legs". Pistorious' legs were amputated below the knees as a baby (he was born without fibula bones in his legs) and he wears artificial limbs. He calls these his cheetah blades, made by Össur, who are supporting him in his bid. He has broken the 100m, 200m, and 400m records repeatedly in Paralympic grades and his eyes are now set on competing with the fastest able-bodied athletes in the world in Beijing in the summer. However, there's a snag. The International Association of Athletics Federations have ruled that his cheetah blades give him an unfair advantage against able-bodied athletes and in January banned him from competing in the Olympics. He has a chance to appeal this decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the end of April. If his appeal is successful I wouldn't bet on him winning medals in Beijing (his best 400m time is still more than three seconds off the world record, and almost a second behind Olympic qualifying time) but that's not what the Olympics are about. Even so, he's only been running competitively since 2004, and he's improving at a phenomenal rate, constantly breaking his own world records. I'd expect him to break more personal records in Beijing but the more interesting question might be what could happen between now and the London Olympics in 2012. <!--break--> (Wired magazine ran a great article on Pistorious here.)

Apr 12, 2008 - Magic Pen

ConorN sent me a cool game called Magic Pen. Use the mouse to draw shapes, which manifest themselves as physical objects that obey Newtonian laws of motion and gravity. The goal is to move the red ball to capture the flags. Lots of structures, balls, pins, and swivels. Lots of fun but not quite as addictive as Planarity. Even so, I've spent far too long today playing it ;-)

Mar 17, 2008 - Playing with Drupal

I've been testing drupal as a blogging technology, and this is just a test post. The blog is going to be behaving strangely for the next few weeks till I finalise everything...

Mar 10, 2008 - Blog Back Online - Webfactioning

So the blog and website have been down for some time now (hardware issues). I've finally gotten the time to get things back up and running. The blog/wiki/website are now being run from a datacentre in Texas (apparently) courtesy of Webfaction. I'm on a plan that offers 4GB of memory and 600GB of bandwidth! I'll write more on this later both here and on the wiki. In the meantime, I'd be interested to see if anyone has any comments on the new root of the website, my new bibliography (both powered by drupal), and on the blog itself. Also, since I've got a stupid amount of bandwidth going unused, if anyone has any ideas on what to do with it I'm all ears... (obviously no piracy)

Dec 1, 2007 - Matteo “Matt the Jap” Matubara 1934?-2007

Today's Irish times announced the death of Matteo Matubara (better known among Trinity students as Matt the Jap). He was one of Trinity College's best known eccentric personalities, and few students who attended the college would have been unfamiliar with the sight of Matteo shuffling across front square. There were many rumours among students about his life and background, and the Irish Times notice only hints at the possibilities. More rumours/witness accounts are available on boards and politics.ie. (thanks ConorN.)

Nov 16, 2007 - Minesweeper - The Movie

CollegeHumor have produced a trailor for Minesweeper the movie. It looks better than Tomb Raider to me, I wonder if they could sign up Angelina Jolie to play the civilian instructor role?

Nov 2, 2007 - Gaylord shooting - “This whole thing is about male pride”

It's not what you think... On Halloween last year, south of San Francisco, two drunken lads out to impress their lady friends decided to visit an ostrich ranch. They climbed into a paddock and woke Gaylord - a 130kg male ostrich - who was not impressed with their antics. He attacked the pair, breaking ribs, and giving the ladies something to be impressed with. The pair beat a hasty retreat and returned with guns to settle the score, as you do when you haven't grown up watching Sesame Street. The story ended earlier this month with jail sentences for the two. I'd hate to be either of those lads on the bus to prison and be asked what I was doing time for... (thanks graeme.)

Oct 29, 2007 - Oh hai. In teh beginnin…

After LOLCats, LOLBOTS, LOLCode, LOLPolz, LOLSpiders, and LOLPhilosophers, it should come as no surprise that the LOLCat phenomenon has arrived in the bible, sorry, in the LOLCat Bible. This is really quite sacrilicious... from Genesis, chapter 1 (Boreded Cieling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs): An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz., and later, in chapter 8: An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has teh firmmint wich iz funny bibel naim 4 ceiling, so wuz teh twoth day. LOL! (thanks jimmy.)