Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Using the Dvorak keyboard layout with Final Cut Pro 6

Worst public announcement ever to follow...

I realise troubleshooting uber-geek program incompatibilities is not the coolest thing to be doing on New Years eve, but give me some time it's only lunch time. I plan to be off the computer by midnight!

I've been having an issue with shortcuts in Final Cut Pro 6 due to my Dvorak keyboard layout (this is an ergonomic keyboard layout for safe lightening speed typing available in your computer's operating system) for about a year. This is before I had a serious go at fixing the problem. Using the Dvorak-Qwerty language input I was incapable of using any of Final Cut Pro 6's keyboard shortcuts, making it impossible to edit and type using the same language. Some others on the net appear to have had the same problem (really, there are 6 billion people on earth, at least 10 other people have suffered from this exact problem), but no solutions...

The Solution:

Don't use the Dvorak-Qwerty language input, use the Dvorak (only) input. Quit FCP, and make sure Dvorak is selected when you open it again. The keyboard now types in dvorak and the keyboard shortcuts all function as you would expect. I have no idea why I didn't think of this sooner, nor do I have any idea why it was so difficult to find this solution on the internet, hence my reason for writing this blog.

Sorry to my regular readers... ha... regular readers... this is pure naval gazing, I don't have regular readers, not anymore anyway.

See you next week with more discoveries, like the exciting new development that I can now hide the names of audio tracks in my timeline to enable me to view the waveform correctly for multi-camera syncing... oooooh.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

School Yearbook Photo

I recently found an old yearbook photo of mine. How things have changed.

Ah, the good old days when I used to look like something out of an Aphex Twin video. I had model written all over me.

Not even... bring a photo of yourself and visit Yearbook Yourself

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm a model, you know what I mean

Those of my readers who have not met me "in the flesh" so to speak, may be unaware of the fact that I am incredibly good-looking, as is testified to by the following "modeling" photo-shoot fashion magazine photos.

You might have thought that this was the work of a veteran model-slash-actor, but in fact this was my first photo-shoot since I joined the Red Eleven models and talent agency over two years ago. During this time I had worked on my poses, eventually perfecting "Blue-Squeal". I think it was worth the wait, the world is ready now, apparently they weren't in the last 12 auditions.

Brynn, the considerably less attractive model at the shoot, had been fortunate enough to fall into numerous international advertising campaigns, underwear posters and television ads for aftershave and watches and such. I tried to give him some pointers on pouting, but as you can see he didn't really listen. Models...

The one where it looks as though I'm masturbating with a small microphone was a special favorite of mine, a proverbial up-yours to the pretense of the fashion industry. This had nothing to do with the fact that I wasn't paid for my work, I was happy to share the love.

If you'd like to have these pictures in hard-copy... you'd better get down to your local magazine store and pick up a copy of Real Groove magazine, before they run out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Good odds for Big Wednesday?

This morning when Michael Laws (on Radio Live) informed me that one third of lotto winners "knew they were going to win", it reminded me just how bad the masses and their mouth-pieces are at judging probabilities. Laws seemed to be suggesting that if one believed they were going win the lotto they had more chance of winning. Not only is this probabilistically wrong, but it is at its most basic wrong, after all, presumably TWO thirds of lotto winners didn't believe they would win the lotto - suggesting generally that one had more chance of winning if one did NOT believe they were going to win.

But even this wouldn't be correct, as it is not important what proportion of winners believed they would win or not, but how that proportion relates to what the ticket buying population believes in general about whether they will win or not. I would hazard a guess that a third of people who buy tickets believe they will win, or would say so if they did.

But you read this blog to see if the chances of winning tonight are good:

The chances against winning 1st or 2nd division are astronomical, and as we have seen for the last few weeks there is a good chance it will not go. If it does go, it won't be you, get used to the idea.

The chances of winning 3rd division (which is what we're hoping for here) are 1 in 35000. Which are fabulous odds to begin with, but lets whittle them down.

Last week 2.9 million tickets were sold, and this week an estimated 4 million will be. Last week 460 people won 3rd division, so if you increase that proportionately there should be about 634 3rd division winners, if we do it based on probability we should get 686 3rd division winners

So, lets take the 35 million prize and divvy it up between the roughly 650 3rd division winners. This gives us $53846.

These are good odds (if the prize gets past the first and second division posts)

So, what are the chances of it getting past these posts? Well, the chances of winning 1st and 2nd division with one line is 1 in 16 million each, which makes your chances of getting one or the other about 1 in 8million. With four million 6 line tickets being sold this makes 24 million lines. So when I entered this into Wolfram Alpha as (7999999/8000000) to the power 24000000 it gave me a 49.8% chance of the prize not being won in 1st or 2nd division (which shows just how difficult it is to win 1st or 2nd division!).

So taking into account this 50% chance that the prize won't make it to 3rd division we can take our 1 in 35000 chance of winning a share of the big prize and halve it...

Giving us a 1 in 70000 chance of winning $53846. Which, I'm sorry to say, are not so good odds, but are the best odds you will ever have playing lotto.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thou shalt not misrepresent thy opponent's position

Having the name James Brown has made me a master in the art of the "never heard that one before", "good one", "it is, really?" response, complete with polite chuckle. But I really felt for Richard Dawkins this weekend, my having the privilege of seeing him speak (albeit via satelite video link) at the New Zealand Readers' and Writers' Festival.

"Richard Dawkins, one of the world's most out-spoken atheists, some might say, the High Priest of Atheism!"

"hmm, ha ha, good one... never heard that one before."

This was how our bumbling host introduced Dawkins, then going on to pronounce that he was the was "Oxford Professor for the Understanding of Science"... a position Dawkins relinquished 6 months ago. How embarrassing.

The "High Priest of Atheism" meme was perpetuated further by former Bishop (now agnostic) Richard Holloway, who was also speaking at the festival, this time in the flesh. As a volunteer, I had the job of escorting him to the signing table. I bit my tongue all the way in order to restrain myself from rebuffing his misrepresentation of Dawkins.

Holloway had gone on to talk about how he had "got Dawkins to say that he was, to some extent, agnostic". Dawkins explains the extent to which he is agnostic in the God Delusion, but as with most of Dawkins' opponents we shouldn't expect that Holloway has read past the front cover, and so with veiled conceit Holloway laid claim to this admission.

He seemed to, however, forget this immediately when it came to putting Dawkins firmly in the dogmatist camp in his following comments.

Holloway then said that Dawkins had expressed to him that he found it difficult to find an evolutionary source for pity. This, to me, smacked of the type of quote-mining undertaken by creationists who never grow tired of quoting Darwin's professed difficulty in understanding how the eye could have evolved, a quote that is followed by an extensive explanation of exactly how it could. No doubt Dawkins' comment regarding pity was also a preface to an explanation of how empathy arises through evolution, an area of much interest to himself, and many others in the field of evolutionary psychology at present.

He also leveled that Dawkin's "hates" Freud, which did sound as much a silly emotive appeal as it does here and that he "doesn't understand metaphor". This is, no doubt, because Holloway sees the bible as allegorical - but that's because Holloway is an agnostic! Richard Dawkins did not write "The Agnostic Delusion", so I fail to see his point here. Again Dawkins' numerous concessions to the beauty of biblical imagery, music, to the majesty of the natural world, to his appreciation for metaphor, art and the numinous, do require his opponents to read his books, or listen to what he actually says before they respond.

But never have I heard people so certain as those that say we cannot know, but I won't go so far as to call Richard Holloway the "High Priest of Agnosticism"

The festival in general was very stimulating. Dawkins, was as usual, on his game managing to make the sterile medium of the video-link very entertaining and at times quite funny. Other highlights were "The Wisdom of Crowds" author James Surowiecki, and futurist George Friedman.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

1973 Design for the Catholic Church's Archdiocesan's Youth Commission

Catholic priests were apparently a lot more open about their indiscretions in the 70s.

Thanks to Goat Boy for this little gem.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Important Flu Warning.

Activities to Avoid:

Ray Kurzweil

Most of all I enjoyed Ray's comments about how we can predict things accurately at a macroscopic level, trends, Moore's Law etc despite having no power to predict the individual (microscopic) factors. It makes me think of all those people quoting Quantum Physics as a way of looking at human interactions, forgetting that Quantum Physics' Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle only applies to quanta, hence the name "Quantum" physics, not simply physics, which adheres to the (very predictable) laws of thermo-dynamics, as Ray points out. Back to the drawing board new agers.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

That makes me think of...

Before I begin, the title “That makes me think of” makes me think of Zefrank the progenitor of the game “That makes me think of”, which involves… well you’ll get the idea by the end of this entry (a long one since I haven’t “entered” recently).

So, Zefrank makes me think of sarcastic news reporting.

Sarcastic news reporting makes me think of Mahmoud Ahmadinegad who, just last week, opened the UN talks on racism... yes, that's right. He began with a tirade against "international jewry" (or something to that effect). This prompted a walkout by 23 EU delegates, joining a boycott by many countries including New Zealand; countries who had predicted such a speech by an entrenched anti-Israel proponent, theocrat and holocaust denier.

This makes me think of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, which reminds me my coffee is over-heating on the stovetop. The tarnished poor-man’s-espresso maker was a (much appreciated) gift from my sister in law who flats with a barista. She was recently given a 3 hour lecture on the nuances of coffee brewing. One interesting insight was that when the coffee starts to splutter the oil from the coffee beans has been exhausted, and as this carries the flavour it is best to cease pouring before this point. This little piece of advice has improved my coffees immeasurably

Oil carrying flavour makes me think of abstract concepts being physically enacted upon. An example being the question “do you believe in Love?”. A question that is complete nonsense. One can believe that there is a feeling people are referring to as love, and that that feeling is relatable across humans, even animals. One can believe that someone else loves them but to believe in love external to the sensation or actions surrounding the concept of love makes no sense. Does it make sense to anyone else?

Believing in things that don’t physically exist makes me think of Vampires. A subject about which my wife recently wrote a short story, which has been published in Her magazine!!!

Vampires make me think of Twilight, the movie, new to video (unfortunately I missed it at the cinema, how did that happen…?) that stars nobody, an opportunity of which Michael Laws took advantage, by successfully attaining the role of the father vampire Carlisle Cullen. I didn’t see his name in the credits but as you can see from it the picture it was undeniably him...

Michael Laws reminds me of people who say irrational things, which brings us back to where we started.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


This is an extra special entry on the blog, the long awaited (largely by my brother and parents) Darwin compilation video! We're still working on his recall and basic socialising with other dogs, but look at all the other cool stuff he can do! We've found that our local business village "Smales Farm" is a perfect skate-park for dogs with ledges, hoops, benches, gardens, fields and fountains (we haven't worked out what to do with the fountains yet...).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Word of the Day: Urbane

courteous; suave; elegant and refined in manner.

"Urbane" is one of those peculiar words where, simply using the word, makes the speaker seem characterised by it. Much like the word "pretentious", which almost inevitably makes the speaker seem pretentious.

Some might think that using words like "Urbane" also makes one sound pretentious, but who cares what they think? Philistines!

Quote of the Day

"I know not with what weapons the third world war will be fought, but I know that the fourth will be fought with sticks and stones."

Albert Einstein


Below is a video of the Big Dog. Sounds badass doesn't it?

It's a sort of robotic mule that is being used to track down and capture Osama Bin Laden! He's going to be laughing his ass off when he sees this hobbling around the corner.

It's probably best you turn your volume down, the noise is mightily irritating.

For a less frivolous look at the future of military roboticisation check out P.W.Singer: Military Robots and the Future of War. Singer talks about the moral dilemmas of robotic and remote warfare, particularly interesting is a disturbing new phenomenon: "War Porn".

Monday, March 30, 2009

Quote of the Day: His final authoritative bushism

“I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened.”

Former President George W. Bush, speaking about his upcoming book at a fundraiser in Canada (via HuffPo).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth's arbitrary hour.

My involvement in Earth Hour (8.30pm-9.30pm last night) was largely due to my wife's position as Sustainability Team Leader at her workplace. This means she has the unenviable task of devising green initiatives and getting others to play along. In solidarity we also "celebrated" (if that's the appropriate word) earth hour at our home last night with a candle-lit dinner with some friends we recruited that afternoon, with the lure of some delicious rice risotto. HA HA!!!

One of my friends had been of the same opinion as Paul Henry and Michael Laws that he should spend his earth hour using as much power as possible to offset any effects of the "gesture" put forward by earth hour proponents. Natalie and I were most happy to thwart this plan, and just look how much happier he was for it! What a happy chappy!

It really was just a gesture though and didn't aspire to be anything more, I probably used as much power as we saved during earth hour driving to the supermarket to buy candles (which we don't have around the house, of course). It simply gave us something to do for the night, and showed us how much fun you can have when you change the parameters of your daily rigmarole.

This morning we woke to Finlay Macdonald on Radio Live spouting some idea about Gaia, and that if Global Warming is happening, it's just the earth (a living organism) adjusting to humanity. I've heard this hokum before, and it overlooks one important factor: I don't care if the planet survives, I care if humanity survives, and if the planet's way of "adjusting" to humanity is to create an inhospitable climate for humanity then we are screwed.

Earth hour's probably on its way through Bible belt, mid-west USA at the moment... I wonder how that's going.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Asian drivers... have mad skills

I plagiarised this gem from Rove.

Quote of the Day

"... this is blood for fashion and I'm bleeding it."

Suede, the guy with the gaudy blue fou-hawke from Season 5 Project Runway.

Word of the day: Effluent

flowing forth or out.

1. sewage or industrial waste discharged into a river, the sea, etc.
2. a stream or lake flowing from a larger body of water

The word effluent is one of those handy words that enables the user to achieve ultimate nerd points by making the following double-meaning burn on your unworthy adversary.

"I hear the words, effluent from your mouth"

... meaning both, the innocent: "flowing from your mouth" (referring to the adj. meaning) but simultaneously "sewerage from your mouth"! (referring to the n. 1 meaning) In other words "yo talkn' sheet". Semantic BURN!!!

This burn is best suited to youtube comments sections and emails to radio hosts, for achieving superiority from the safety of one's computer chair...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pope Being-a-dick

Pope Benedict XVI, not content with parading his fine robes around Europe delineating the definitions of imaginary places like Hell and Purgatory, has recently traveled to Africa in order to... you guessed it... perpetuate the AIDS epidemic. By denying the efficacy of condom use as protection against HIV the Pope is denying the overwhelming scientific and statistical evidence that condom use is and has been proven to be the most effective protection against the spread of HIV/AIDS... but this is nothing new.

Africa is a place close to my heart, and in particular - the cradle of humanity: Tanzania, where I traveled in late 2007. The population of Tanzania is one quarter Catholic (9,000,000 people) and has the highest prevalence of HIV in Africa at 8.8%, that's 1,500,000 people. It is not an exaggeration to say that, just in Tanzania, there are millions of lives that are put at risk in the wake of the Pope's statements.

At the same time as pleading for his right to deny scientific facts in light of his religious beliefs the Pope ironically criticises what he calls "a dictatorship of relativism". Relativism (as Pope Benedict is referring to it) is the post-modernist notion that everyone's beliefs are culturally subjective, and are equally valid. They are, as it is often said "true for them".

The Pope seems to think that this is an aspect of the secular consciousness. And in a way it is, however only so much as the secular world is a pluralist world and so allows people like himself to spout disinformation (like the inefficacy of condom use) on that grounds that he has the right to hold such views on faith. It seems strange to me that the one aspect of secular life that caters for his unsupported views (relativism) is what he chooses to criticise.

Being an atheist myself, I agree with Pope Benedict XVI that relativism holds too much sway in society. I think when someone wants to lie to impressionable people at the potential cost of millions of lives, that that person should not have recourse to abscond from their responsibility behind a wall of faith, and be respected for it.

And seriously, who can respect someone who rides around in this contraption?

You can do something about it by signing this petition. If you're generally left of centre you might like to enrol for their email newsletter and sign other petitions.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

UNfree speech

I used to quite like the idea of the UN, that was until they tried to deny me the right to my most treasured pastime; criticising religion.

It's been in the works for a while, with a coalition of Islamic "voices", led by Saudi Arabia, lobbying the UN since 1999 against freedom of expression regarding Islam, but over the past year the UN Rapporteur, supposed defender of freedom of expression has been warming to the idea of taping the collective free world's mouth. A storm in a teacup has been brewing over this lately most notably concerning an article by Johann Hari, columnist for The Independent, questioning the UN Rapporteur "Why should I respect these oppressive religions?" on 28 January 2009:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated 60 years ago that "a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief is the highest aspiration of the common people". It was a Magna Carta for mankind – and loathed by every human rights abuser on earth. Today, the Chinese dictatorship calls it "Western", Robert Mugabe calls it "colonialist", and Dick Cheney calls it "outdated". The countries of the world have chronically failed to meet it – but the document has been held up by the United Nations as the ultimate standard against which to check ourselves. Until now.

Subsequently the article was reprinted by an Indian Newspaper; The Statesman, resulting in mass riots and the imprisonment of both the editor and publisher. Johann Hari has been told that he too will be imprisoned if he visits Calcutta. He has written a follow up article entitled Despite these riots, I stand by what I wrote in which he annunciates the opposition's argument:

A typical supporter of the riots, Abdus Subhan, said he was "prepared to lay down his life, if necessary, to protect the honour of the Prophet" and I should be sent "to hell if he chooses not to respect any religion or religious symbol? He has no liberty to vilify or blaspheme any religion or its icons on grounds of freedom of speech."

For commentaries on this check out Pat Condell's Rant on the subject or Lou Dobbs interviewing Christopher Hitchens on CNN.

Pat has an interesting idea, and that is to make a religion of free speech itself, and in doing so enshrine your free comments in the uncriticisable terms of religion. Lets hope no psychopaths decide to enshrine their beliefs in support of racism, mass murder, enslavement of women, oppression and genital mutilation in terms of a religion... then we're all in trouble.

DIY Scumbag!

Suffering after a momentary lapse in cognitive ability lead to two days of hard labour laying down paving bricks in our patio, otherwise known as the rockies (it's not very flat).

Darwin was a great help digging, and even when we weren't utilising his skills he did some unnecessary pro-bono work in the front yard.

Note: I just tried to feed Darwin two lunches back to back, and was alerted to this fact by my visiting grandparents and their equally elderly traveling companions. I'm getting Alzheimer's over and done with now while I'm young enough to enjoy it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009