Master of the Universe

Right. Well, I've been vaguely looking for the last two or three years for information about the current situation of the enormously respected artist Eduardo Paolozzi. I'd heard that he'd collapsed and been found unconscious in his studio, but no further information turned up. At all. Total silence. Until now. And while it's not as good as it could be, it's quite positive. The executive digest is that he's spent a while recovering and is still fragile, but thinks he'll be able to make it back to Edinburgh for an exhibition to celebrate his 80th birthday.

For those of you outside Edinburgh, a few years back he gave his collection (both of his own and collected work) to the National Musem, who have it on display in the Dean Gallery, across the road from the Gallery of Modern Art. I was passing there yesterday, while having a walk up the Water of Leith with my dad, and I noticed that a smaller version of his statue of Newton was in the grounds near the gate. The largest one he's made is in the courtyard of the British Library (It looks like this).

"Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq," Mr Clarke said in last night's interview. "And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaida is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq."

Mr Clarke initially thought that Mr Rumsfeld was joking, but quickly discovered he had the backing of Mr Bush.(Full article here)</lj_cut>

Also in the papers, yesterday, was this perceptive (IMO), if a bit self-congratulatory (also IMO), article about the "war on terror". As the fear of terror stalks the West, we have to keep it in perspective and frustrate the first objective of terrorists throughout the years - to provoke the enemy to behave badly and so widen the conflict.

On Saturday I went to see Zatoichi with my mum, aunt (and a couple of her friends) and cousin. I don't think it was as good as Hana-Bi, but that's not much of a criticism. It was a lot funnier, though. There were really quite a few very good visual gags in it, even right in the middle of fight scenes (which, incidentally, don't pull their punches : the injuries and deaths tend to be very graphic). It's a very good film, and apparently I'm going to be seeing it again soon

I've been fiddling with Soulseek (an Evil Filesharing System, for those of you not acquainted with it) and there are a couple of problems. You can set up a friends list and share with them, which is good. Indeed, sharing stuff with people you know personally rather than with just anyone is a good use for it. However, it seems a bit flaky. I have three friends, and I can actually only connect to one. I can send little messages to the others, but we can't browse or exchange files. Something a little more solid would be nice. Actually, being able to share some stuff only with friends and another set (or a superset) of that more widely would be nice too. Does anyone know enough about the various P2P filesharing systems to recommend one?

On the microwave front, one 50p fuse later and it seems to be as good as new. I was quite surprised, after reading FAQs and hearing your advice, to hear the bloke in the electronics shop say that it's normally just the fuse. I thought it was pretty much a forlorn hope. I only tried it because the fuse seemed likely to be under a quid. Anyway, rest assured that I didn't touch the generator, waveguide, any of the screening around the chamber, or indeed anything other than the fuse. But feel free to insist on not being in the room with it switched on if you think it's wise. (The fact that I'm sitting through here while it heats some milk should not be taken as agreement)

NB : Thanks for the advice on the microwave, all of you - it was appreciated.
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  • Current Music: The Durutti Column: Arpeggiator
apparently I'm going to be seeing it again soon

Damn right. You're not the only person to say it's a very good film. I want to see it!

(The fact that I'm sitting through here while it heats some milk should not be taken as agreement)

You've moved your computer to the kitchen?
I moved myself to the boxroom. But not actually through fear, honest.
I thought you'd said you already used it yesterday, to heat some soup? Did you do that from the box room too? ;)
No, but now that you mention it the cat is looking a little crispy this morning.
[ Filesharing ]

I fear not. I would Be Really Pleased if I could get Soulseek to work through my 'firewall', but even proxying the ports allegedly in use by that s/w makes little odds. It seems to 'just work' for some people and 'just won't' for others, which is a bit rubbish.

I think I need to construct some test-cases with the proxying rig (well, port-forwarding from the BSD machine's outside interface to the Win2K box, in point of fact.) but it's all basic stuff I've made work elsewhere.


There was Waste, which is/was small, private and encrypted. Were one investigating the construction of a shared virtual MP3 server, that might be an interesting place to start.
If an ordinary boring ftp server won't do (stick what's for friends only in a passworded section), consider running your own OpenNap server.

This uses the old napster protocol, so there are loads of client programs out there. You can a) keep its existence quiet or publicise it and b) give special accounts to friends so that they'll always be able to log on / do things mere mortals cannot.

There are several to choose from. is the original one, but is still being developed.