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Archive for October, 2018

Satire, fine psychological research, or simple hollywoodian lust for cinematic grandeur? I really can’t decide, probably because it’s a bit of everything. But the proposition is intriguing: “Let’s Get Donald and Stormy Back Together Again!” (on the Politico website). It’s worth a few minutes of your time!

 

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Yesterday, I spent the afternoon on my motorcycle. My tour included a visit to the dutch Hertogin Hedwigepolder, a piece of land that will be “given back” to the river Schelde in 2019, together with the belgian Prosperpolder. It was a bit strange to see that were so many people cycling and walking on the remaining roads and dykes, on a piece of land that will soon be mud and water. But migratory birds will be happy in the future: there are already large flocks of geese that use the meadows and the creeks as a stop on their travels.

I snapped a picture of the marker that indicates the border between the Netherlands and Belgium on the dyke next to the Schelde, wondering whether there will still be a way to get to it a year from now…

(A larger version can be see on Flickr –
just click on the picture to go there)

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Last week, our Audi A3 was summoned to its first mandatory technical inspection. Since it is a CNG-powered car, I had to bring a supplementary document, attesting that the CNG installation is as it should be – and that required an extra inspection by the manufacturer (one of its dealers, actually). Four years is still young, for a modern car at least, so all I had to do was take the day off and wait a couple of hours in order to get the document. Not really a fun afternoon, but so be it.

The interesting part was that I was offered a look a the CNG tanks, which are normally hidden from sight since they’re under the trunk. Here’s what they look like from below:

Next inspection of the CNG parts will be in 2022.

The mandatory inspection of the rest of the car went well, too. Do you notice the location of the exhaust, which is not where most cars have it? Well, the inspectors trying to measure the exhaust gases had a lot of trouble finding it!

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Sure. As told on the Zappa webpage:

Zappa makes it super easy to build and deploy server-less, event-driven Python applications (including, but not limited to, WSGI web apps) on AWS Lambda + API Gateway. Think of it as “serverless” web hosting for your Python apps. That means infinite scaling, zero downtime, zero maintenance – and at a fraction of the cost of your current deployments!

That’s less revolutionary than Frank Zappa, of course. But it might come in handy, once I find the time to do some real Python development… Then again, you will probably beat me to it!

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BMW R1100S rider ‘John Lyon’ recently added a few great pictures to the Pelican Parts Forum for this bike. And this time it was not just a photo of his bike, he managed to upload a picture of an R1100S meeting somewhere in 2006. Nice work, John!

Just click on the images to got to the original posts, so you can read the comments as well ;-)

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How To Understand Fandom?

As a foreigner, I may be mistaken… but I do think this article on Politico is worth reading if you want to understand at least part of the attraction of Tr*mp to his supporters: “I Found Trump’s Biggest Fan“.

I do understand that fandom is something emotional. Having a rather rational mind makes it very hard for me to be a fan of anyone or anything. Merriam-Webster writes: “Fan is generally–and very likely correctly–believed to be a shortened form of fanatic”, pointing to the “intense uncritical devotion” included in that concept.

Books like Ben Bradlee Jr.’s “The Forgotten: How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America” (on Amazon) can probably explain some of the reasons, or should I say: emotions, that come into play in this particular situation. And perhaps they can also provide some ammunition to fight it?

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I know I’m six weeks late with this information, and I know SF fans will already be aware of the Hugo Award winners for 2018. I still haven’t finished reading the complete Broken Earth trilogy, but hearing Nora Jemisin’s acceptance speech certainly upped my motivation to so ASAP! So thank you, Cory Doctorow and BoingBoing, for sharing it!

I’ll also have to take some time to get to know some of the other winners.

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