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What would you say to an alien? April 3, 2014

Posted by oktyabr in personal.
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I’ve read many answers to this question over the years and the one I always remember, my favorite, is by American writer and humorist Steve Allen, when posed the question by OMNI magazine, January 1995:3367459432_2f95581930_b-565x724

 

To Our Visitors:

 

We have translated the key part of your recent message as, “We are peaceful, and we’re dropping by for a visit.”

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If we are alone in the universe, why? (Fermi Paradox part 2) April 3, 2014

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Another rainy morning and a cup of coffee post.

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This one is a reply to thread started in a group that began with this hypothesis:

 

“If even one civilization in our galaxy became spacefaring in it’s 10+ billion year history, it would only take about 50 million years to explore the entire galaxy. So, we can, it seems, say that never has a civilization arose to have explored the galaxy in it’s entirety.”

 

And my reply (so far):

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Are we alone in the Universe? (Fermi Paradox part 1) April 3, 2014

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1461351_10201924450329498_1590928834_nWe are the evidence of life in the universe because we exist.  Is the universe conducive to life?  Yes, absolutely, or we wouldn’t be here.   As an example of “intelligent” life found in this current universe I do a lot of thinking, usually over my morning cup(s) of coffee.  For the last few years I’ve done a lot of pondering… and debating…  about a subject known as “The Fermi Paradox”.   This is the first of several posts I’ll share here…  my thoughts on this topic.

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What if aliens are like whales… April 3, 2014

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Yet ANOTHER rainy morning cup of coffee post…

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This one is from a thread regarding a recent article that crows and the like may be good to examine to help give us perspective on how something “intelligent” that does not think like humans do (even has a different brain design) “thinks”.  It may be useful for the day that we might encounter a truly alien intelligence.  Specifically I was responding to this post:

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[RANT MODE ON] The future of rally sims on the PC looks rather bleak to me… November 25, 2012

Posted by oktyabr in games, opinions, personal, software.
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I am a “sim racer”.  For those that don’t know that means that my love for all kinds of cars, racing, and anything else that goes fast has been extended to my computer as well.  I not only play racing “games”, I play racing SIMULATIONS!  Specifically I am quite fond of “rally racing”, both as a spectator sport and as a racing type that I like to play on the computer…

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The sweet, sweet evil that is Facebook… November 24, 2012

Posted by oktyabr in it's debatable!, opinions, personal, social networking, web, web 2.0.
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Facebook!  How I love thee… How I HATE thee!

It seems as if Facebook has put a real dent in the more traditional examples of self-publishing, including this very blog.  Is this a good thing?  Well… it means that maybe you have an easier time finding like-minded people to have topical discussions with.  Want to know the right way to milk a yak?  Yup, there is a facebook group or page for it.  And yet all is not sunny in the land of Facebook!  It has many small problems that I am personally perplexed as to why they exist!

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Ye old “GIMP vs. Photoshop” revisited March 29, 2011

Posted by oktyabr in consumer, GIMP, graphics, it's debatable!, open source, opinions, personal, software.
20 comments

My original post GIMP vs. Photoshop is still one of the posts that I get the most comments on, even though I wrote it over a year ago!  Not all of the comments get published though ;) 

This one did because after the name calling was done the writer actually had a point, sort of, so I thought maybe I’d revisit the topic…  What follows is the comment and my reply:

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Nigeria scam victim compensation! July 6, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in consumer, email, funny, scams, web.
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File this one under “Just when you think you’ve seen it all!”

I just got this email today… I swear!  It said this:

NIGERIA SCAM VICTIM COMPENSATION: Email: *****@**********

It has reached the office of the Federal Govt of Nigeria that you were scammed before so the Govt has decided to compensate you with the sum of $70,000.00, Contact Barrister Etters and pay a fee of just $80 for funds release . Send email to *****@***********

Now everyone has HEARD about the Nigerian email scams, right?  RIGHT?!?!?  Yeah, I’m sure there is at least one or two innocently naive grandparents or otherwise NOT internet savvy folks that have actually sent money to such ridiculous scams but are the numbers that high that the scammers feel they can be even more profitable by pretending to compensate the victims in a new scam?  These guys should really find another line of “work”.

Photo: BP oil leak July 5, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in consumer, energy, environment, green, opinions, personal, technology.
2 comments

As a bit of a self-proclaimed “tree hugger” I know we can get kind of preachy about global warming, climate change, dependence on fossil fuels, pollution, etc.  I’ve tried hard to resist the temptation to post a news update every other day concerning such topics because I think there is already enough of it out there.  But recently a friend posted an AP photo that struck me so profoundly I just had to share it here too…

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Listen to this! Calexico! July 3, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in listen to this, opinions, personal.
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Calexico, Calexico, Calexico!!!!

I’m going to say this right off the bat:  Anyone who writes a single paragraph review of any Calexico album didn’t listen to it.  It’s that simple.  Because their music is not.

I’m playing nearly all of their discography today and the more I listen to them the more I admire and respect them!  Based in the sun parched realm of Tuscon, Arizona, Calexico defies easy categorization.  Sure, there is a definite “tex mex” flavor to a lot of their music, maybe some blues and more than one tip of the hat to old school country (NOT the commercialized glitter pop stuff they play today), but there is also some serious jazz going on here, on more than one track from more than one CD, and maybe more than a smattering of experimental rock.  And what’s that?  Synth?!?  Dub?  Samples????  No matter what you pick out from these guy’s sound it’s almost always interesting, fun, more often than not cinematic, and uniquely Calexico.

Check them out on Pandora if nothing else!

Recipe – Oktyabr’s Red Beans and Rice July 3, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in food, personal, recipes.
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This is one of my favorite dishes and it’s cheap and easy to make too, if you have the patience. I first got plagued with the idea of trying it myself not long after all the cooking shows seemed to be doing spots on New Orleans during the hurricane recovery. Two or three shows mentioned the “traditional” dish “red beans and rice” but never went into detail over how it’s made. Several recipes I found online say that it’s origins are in making something out of the leftovers of a “traditional” (Catholic?) Sunday baked ham. Easy to start the beans soaking on Sunday and serve up on Monday!  One reference I found referred to using EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and bottled hot sauce as condiments with this dish as “Jamaican Style Red Beans and Rice” which is how I prefer it.  Since then I’ve also seen real recipes of the “Jamaican Style” that introduce coconut milk and hot peppers right in the dish.  I haven’t tried these yet but I will!

In a single paragraph (the quick and dirty method):
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Recipe: Oktyabr’s Spanish Onion Soup July 2, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in food, personal, recipes.
4 comments

If you like the taste of onions this one is sure to please. Those having it for the first time are pleasantly surprised at how a great soup becomes creamy and rich as the melting cheese is stirred into the broth!

It’s named for the variety of onion, not the nationality of the dish. I actually learned it from my Grand Mother and I’m not sure where she learned it but I’ve made it from memory for several decades now. Most people I have taught this recipe to have added it to their “best” collection as well. Super simple and easy to make, cheap too, and like most of my favorite recipes this one just begs to be tweaked and tinkered with! Don’t be afraid to change things around and make this recipe truly your own! Doesn’t really matter how much or what seasonings you use… The onions and cheese are the stars of this show!
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Ideas for New Games July 2, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in games, opinions, software, technology.
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60px-Gnome-joysticksvg.png I posted this on a forum for a major game company in a thread where members were invited to share their ideas about “Ideas for New Games”.  I put a lot of time and thought into  my post and thought it might be worthwhile to save it here as well.  The original thread can be found by clicking >here<.

I’ve been an FPS (First Person Shooter) player since the original DOOM, have played these games extensively and watched them evolve and progress over the last (nearly) two decades.  Before that I was a paper-and-pencil wargamer and RPG’er (Role Playing Games) and perhaps even a “rules junky”… collecting obscure games and rule books just to  study the mechanics and the different ways of making a good game.
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A Personal Perspective: Children and Parenthood May 30, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in personal.
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“A wise man learns from his mistakes” or so it’s said.  I say a smart man learns from others mistakes. personal-1.jpg

That said my biggest wish for my children…  for ANY children…  is that they get to remain children as long as possible.  That they get to experience the wonder and growth of childhood in a natural, lesiurely fashion and aren’t (hopefully) made to experience those things better left to adults any sooner than absolutely necessary.

My biggest goal as a parent is and always has been to facilitate the above to the best of my abilities…  and perhaps, if any improvement can be found, to strive to be a better parent than mine were to me.  I hope my children also follow this rule and try to pass it down to their children and so on.

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Dub FX: One Man Band… redefined! February 2, 2010

Posted by oktyabr in listen to this, make music, other cool stuff, video.
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Recently a buddy of mine turned me onto a “street muscian” from Australia that goes by the name “Dub FX”.  Dub FX has been travelling the world for the last couple of years performing in public squares, shopping centers, etc.  With the help of a hand dolly to haul around a couple of car batteries, an amplified speaker, and some very cool gear including a loop station and some effects pedals, he’s basically redefined what a “one man band” might mean!

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