Note: The older the entry, the unlikelier outside links are to work.

July 27: Saving the planet before weekend
By: Tero | Archives

I watched the movie La Vita Bella (Life is Beautiful, for non-Italianoparlantes) yesterday and now I have been inspired to become a better human being. Well, at least until saturday night when there is a big party at my place. But, if you feel the urge to help in some way to save this planet of ours, then why don't try a topic that is close to my heart, the sea and its inhabitants. You may have read about the U.S. Navy's "Low-Frequency Active" (LFA) sonar program. The military has been supposingly testing this new, high-powered system in secret for years. Now, the Navy wants to deploy it across 80 percent of our planet's oceans. LFA sonar is designed to detect enemy submarines by flooding vast expanses of the oceans with sound.

Here seems to be the problem: LFA noise is billions of times more intense than that known to disturb whale migration and communication. Whales and dolphins depend on their sensitive hearing for survival. To put it simply, a deaf whale is a dead whale. Deafening noise from the LFA system will interfere with the vital biological activities of marine mammals. Scientists fear that long-term exposure to LFA could push entire populations over the brink into extinction (maybe we should try this on the Americans themselves?). So, go to the NRDC homepage and bother your favourite congressman on the issue.

If we don't take action now, we might have to dispose of further dead whales in the future.

July 26: Internet Culture, part II
By: Tero | Archives

Now that we are describing the world wide web as a social web, I don't want to seem antisocial and will therefore try to share my views on wwweb culture in general. Basicly, my point is that most of it is crap. There are so many websites that are a total waste of time, not only for the reader, but also for the author (not this one of course!). I find it hard to believe, although understandable, how anybody could willingly spend days and months in front of a screen and have all your input to the world done through electronic bits and bobs. And for what? To create shit sites like this? There are some good sites out there like this, but that's another topic all together. What I'm trying to say here is, what happened to real social behaviour, real social skills? What happened to talking to each other, face to face? What happened to real encounters, real facts, real images? Everything is so false nowadays. It almost seems we tend to accept new concepts or trends as basic human traits and behavioural patterns a bit too fast lately. Just look at laser eye operations, most natural thing in the world right? For many it is already, but virtually an unknown concept just 30 years ago. Or how about having a mobile phone? Can you remember a time when they didn't exist? Or what is this finding and dating your mate on the internet? Since when has it been normal to "see" somebody on the web for long periods of time, to date, and perhaps to finally meet, just to find out that the handsome 24 year old surfing champion has mysteriously turned into a 53 year old bold sick fuck who likes little boys and chopping up older ladies. I mean, what kind of people are we talking about here? Humanity is going down the drain fast, and all these new technological gizmos that allow us to maintain relationships from afar, like the internet, the email, the mobile phones, will one day take over completely (if they haven't done so already!) and that could be the end of it all. End of humanity as we thought to know it. Somewhat scary thought, I will say, but luckily there are still many people in this world who see beyond such pessimistic predictions and await a better future. But I will write about that some other time, for my phone is ringing and there is mail in my inbox. Gotta go!

July 25: Artificial Life
By: Jani | Archives

Alan Turing, a famous mathematician, predicted in the 1950's that by the year 2000 artificial intelligence would be so developed that it would be impossible to distinguish between human and computer-generated answers to questions given through a terminal. So far, the computers' record in this so-called "Turing's Test" has been pretty miserable, and they're far from convincing any reasonable people of their intelligence. Although you're not going to be fooled by ALICE, it's still pretty fun to see what kind of answers it gives to your questions.

Meanwhile, non-intelligent artificial life is blossoming on the net. Conway's Game of Life is a famous game where squares are created and "killed" according to very simple rules. With these simple rules, amazing patterns can be created which "live" forever. Alan Hensel's web site is a good starting point for playing around with this game.

Another pretty fun site is Technosphere, where you can create your own creature, herbivore or carnivore, and hope it survives and breeds in the hostile environment of the artificial world. I've tried and tried, but I don't seem to manage to get a herbivore to live for too long. On the other hand, my carnivore is already "ancient". There's little you can do for your creatures in this game, so it's basically just checking up on what they've been up to lately. It gives a strange satisfaction, though, when you read that one of your creatures has killed another one...

July 17: Internet Culture, part I
By: Jani | Archives

I've noticed that the readers of these pages often have a weak grip on the Internet as a social web. Not that I'm claiming to be an Internet wizard, but when you're online for your entire work day, you're bound to pick up on the nuances of Internet life. Most of them are stupid, which is why they fit this site nicely. In a series which might last for this one episode, I'll present some of the more stupid / interesting things that start roaming the Internet for no apparent reason. Call it a crash course, if you will. Today, the meaning of the mysterious acronym AYBABTU is revealed.

AYBABTU = All Your Base Are Belong To Us. A rational person's response to this is "WTF?" (="What The Fuck?" I Could have done another article on Internet shorthands, but I can't make sense of half of them. What's ROFLMOA supposed to mean?) But there's actually a very lame story behind this senseless sentence. Any of us who have played old computer or video games remember that the Japanese weren't very good at translating stuff to English. This sentence is also from the intro of an old game, Zero Wing. If you feel like it, you can watch the entire intro. Trust me, AYBABTU is not the only messed up sentence in that short intro.
There are obviously many stories of who pulled out this sentence from the collective trash can of the gaming world. What is certain, however, is that the whole thing exploded. In a matter of few months, AYBABTU would appear anywhere, from syndicated comics to, well, bumper stickers. And people went on a rave to photoshop AYBABTU on any picture they could find. These pictures were then collected into a music video. I'm telling you, crazy.
By now, the thing has pretty much died out, although it's still expected knowledge of any netizen to know what the thing means. If you need to prove to someone you're class C internet-savvy, just mention All Your Base Are Belong To Us. If that's not enough for you, you need to either read the almost-complete history of AYBABTU or wait for further parts of the Internet Culture series on Morg.

Whatever you do, do NOT click here.

July 16: Part-time philosophy
By: Jani | Archives

As 50 % of all voters to Tero's poll say that they would want more serious/intelligent content on Morg, I feel obliged to meet the desires of those two people by linking this interesting email discussion I'm taking part in. It's "monitored" by a philosophy instructor whose course I took while I studied in Vienna. The discussion just got started, but I have a feeling it's going to bloom in several different directions. Right now I'm working on a reply on the benefits of world government. It's a topic of great interest to me otherwise, I'm actually surprised I haven't brought it up on Morg yet. I'll certainly do so sometime in the future. Meanwhile, enjoy dwelling into the minds of part-time (and one or two full-time) philosophers.

Judging from the two votes my poll on the forum has received, I don't think it's worth the trouble to set one up, as I suspected. I guess you'll just have to continue listening to the monologue of a duo of lone loones. What beautiful alliteration. I should be a part-time poet as well.

July 13: Friday
By: Tero | Archives

Those amid followers of M:org out there have already noticed that this date had no entry before, but now has mysteriously appeared. The simple reason for this is that the Moliis family now have a monopoly on the space/time continuum sector of business. Or maybe the evil powers that control Friday the 13th have somehow tossed me around in the fourth dimension and intentionally left me stranded in the future where I can post messages only post-vise. Also, I was unable to upload this bit on friday, as I had planned, so I will do it now. So, getting down to what I was trying to post is an article from the French business magazine L'Expansion, which states that Helsinki is one of the best places in the world to live. In French at least.

On more worrying news for all those who are not living in Helsinki, it seems like the world is heating up faster than anybody thought. So, now that the world's average temperature is rising, that is definitively another bonus point for fantastic Helsinki! Vive la difference! Ah, that reminds me, happy birthday to France!

July 11: The gods are angry
By: Jani | Archives

An article from The Times reports how a severe thunder storm caused over 30,000 lightning strikes in Great Britain. One of them burned down a church. This raises several questions in my mind, the most fundamental of them obviously being is there a god? If so, why did he/she/it want to take down a church? And is his/her/its aim really that bad? If you're a priest in that church, what are you going to tell your parish? That god didn't like this particular church because the seats were uncomfortable? If you say that this was just a "natural disaster", aren't you saying that a church building is no more special than any other building? Do church house insurances cover "Acts of God"?

This is not the first church I've heard to have burned down by lightning, there was a small church in Finland as well, and there must be numerous others. What function do they perform if people can't be safe from nature there? Is this just another example of how "God works in mysterious ways"? I'm honestly very puzzled, it's these kind of things - minor, practical things - that have made me an agnostic. There are so many aspects (at least in Christianity) that go against common sense that I have a hard time disregarding them all.

Once again, I feel a little stupid just ranting my own ideas here without getting any feedback. It's these kind of issues that make for the best conversation, a monologue doesn't really live up to it. I'm seriously starting to consider adding some kind of a discussion forum to these pages. To that effect, I've posted a relevant question on the poll on my own pages. If I get enough responses o that, I'll do something about it. I'm not holding my breath, though.

July 5: Why can't we all just get along...
By: Tero | Archives

My little brother is a crazy little man who thinks posting pictures of some guy in funny glasses is actually funny. Who is he anyway? Are you sure you didn't download those pictures from Anyway, just to make sure there are no more confusions, here is a good picture of me from last October, attending my friend's Halloween party.

Here is some trivial information which I'm sure you didn't know before! Don't worry, neither did I, and what I still don't know is whether this information is anywhere near to the truth. Anyway, hope you appreciate my comments.

- Mosquito repellents don't repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito's sensors so they don't know you're there. (The invisible man is saving loads on repellents!)

- Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. (No wonder my breath smells like shit!)

The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as substitute for blood plasma. (and for pineapple juice in a Pina Colada!)

Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes. (So does the US government! Wait... it's the same thing!)

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. (Depends what you're watching....!)

Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty years of age or older. (Solitary Oak trees produce unicorns!)

The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum. (What's the bar code of a bar code? Do bars have codes?)

The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache. (Girls don't like guys with moustaches!)

A Boeing 747s wingspan is longer than the Wright brother's first flight. (That's because they missed their connection to Delaware!)

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating 1 olive from each salad served in first-class. (No wonder I'm always hungry after flying with them!)

Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise. (How do the clocks rotate in Venus?)

Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning. (Depends how hard they're thrown!)

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets. (That is some weird and wild stuff!)

Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin. (My wallpaper is made of the neighbours skin!)

The first owner of the Marlboro company died of lung cancer. (How is the latest one doing?)

Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined. (Yeah, but they play crap basketball!)

Marilyn Monroe had six toes. (What toes? Did anybody notice her toes?)

Walt Disney was afraid of mice. (J. Edgar Hoover was gay! Oh, you knew that already?)

Debra Winger was the voice of E.T. (I knew she was an alien!)

Pearls melt in vinegar. (Old ladies melt with Pearls.)

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married. (The other 65% are divorced!)

The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order. (Luckies, Pepsi and any REAL beer will do for me!)

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs. (Why would you do that, you pervert!)

A duck's quack doesn't echo and no one knows why. (Hey, I did my Masters on this subject too!)

Richard Milhouse Nixon was the first US president whose name contains all the letters from the word "criminal." The second? William Jefferson Clinton. (It also contains all the letters from the word "mini"!!!)

Turtles can breathe through their bums. (No shit! ...literally...!)

July 4: Blast from the past: update
By: Jani | Archives

Hmm, something strange going on with the pictures. I tried posting them elsewhere since the very limited 5 Mb given to are quickly running out. The pictures always work for a while but then seem to stop doing so. I'll have to try find a better image hosting service. Meanwhile, go kill some time.

July 3: Blast from the past
By: Jani | Archives

Numerous times, the internet has been used to spread stupid and embarrasing things farther and wider than ever before. Sometimes it's publishing voicemails left by a psychotic ex-girlfriend, sometimes it's just unintentionally revealing a bit more about yourself and your partner to the general public than perhaps desirable. While ten years ago such things would have been restricted to the closest family and friends (if even them), today it's possible to publish anything that is potentially available to millions of people. Which is the lure of the internet, which is why this site exists, which is why there's so much crap on the internet (the second and third points have absolutely nothing to do with each other whatsoever).

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