According to critics, an eavesdropper, constantly striving to go behind the curtains of heaven in order to steal divine secrets. May grant wishes.

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Travel, around the world. Sleep, less. Profit, more. Eat, deliciously. Find, a new home.
Species: featherless biped, chocolate addict
Roots: born in Sweden — lived also in Switzerland, USA, UK — mixed up genes from Sweden, Norway, India, Germany
Languages: French, English, Swedish, German, Portuguese, Latin, Ada, Perl, Java, assembly languages, Pascal, C/C++, etc.
Roles: entrepreneur, programme manager, methodology lead, quality and risk manager, writer, director of technology, project lead, solutions architect — as well as gardener, factory worker, farmhand, supermarket cleaner, programmer, student, teacher, language lawyer, traveller, soldier, lecturer, software engineer, philosopher, consultant

2004-Nov-25 [this day]

Submission, also known as Islam

Watch it courtesy of iFilm: IFILM - Submission Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (yes, that van Gogh) was killed November 2, 2004, by a 26-year-old extremist Muslim of Dutch-Moroccan descent. The current theory is that he was taken down for his critical look at the treatment of Muslim women. It's not a documentary, but a metaphorical look at the harsh realities of their lives. (In English with Dutch subtitles.)

The film's screenwriter, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, grew up an upper-class Muslim in Somalia. In '92 she escaped to the Netherlands, mastered the language and attended university to study political science. Now a politician, she has received death threats for numerous stances she's taken and activities she's undertaken. But as a self-proclaimed ex-Muslim, she has taken it upon herself to make the plight of oppressed Muslim women known to the West--and to hopefully end their suffering.
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2004-Nov-03 [this day]

Stress situations improve memory recall, and impair problem-solving

Researchers at Ohio State University report: ... Students performed better on the memory test one to two days prior to the exam, when their stress levels were presumably at their peak, and worse on the problem-solving tests. A week after the exam, students were given a similar round of cognitive tests. This time, the students did slightly worse on the memory test, but had improved on the word and shape tests. ...

There's an argument to try to schedule different types of exams on separate days, or weeks (we always argued about this with our high-school teachers). Also, relaxation techniques should only be used if the tasks at hand are not purely parrot-like. [this item]

2004-Oct-28 [this day]

Drink red wine for health!

The Times: Research published in the specialist medical magazine Thorax today suggests that each daily glass of red wine gives 13 per cent protection against cancer when compared with non-drinkers. But rosé wine made no difference and white wine seemed to have the opposite effect, the study found. Neither beer nor spirits appeared to affect the development of cancer either. The researchers, from the University of Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, said that the beneficial effects are due to the tannins in red wine, which have antioxidant properties. [this item]

2004-Oct-27 [this day]

Well met, Hobbit! (aka Homo floresiensis)

BBC News | Science/Nature: Scientists have discovered a new and tiny species of human that lived in Indonesia at the same time our own ancestors were colonising the world. The three-foot (one-metre) tall species - dubbed "the Hobbit" - lived on Flores island until at least 12,000 years ago. ... Even more intriguing is the fact that Flores' inhabitants have incredibly detailed legends about the existence of little people on the island they call Ebu Gogo. The islanders describe Ebu Gogo as being about one metre tall, hairy and prone to "murmuring" to each other in some form of language. They were also able to repeat what islanders said to them in a parrot-like fashion. ... Henry Gee, senior editor at Nature magazine, ... speculates that species like H.floresiensis might still exist, somewhere in the unexplored tropical forest of Indonesia. ... Because the remains are relatively recent and not fossilised, scientists are even hopeful they might yield DNA, which could provide an entirely new perspective on the evolution of the human lineage. [this item]

2004-Oct-15 [this day]

150 million online songs, and counting

Apple announced yesterday that they have sold more than 150 million songs from the iTunes Music Store... iTunes users are now downloading more than 4 million songs per week, a rate of over 200 million songs per year. That annual rate of sale corresponds to an almost 2% share of the music industry's revenue. I think Apple's share will grow to 10% by early 2006, i.e. more than $1b in online music sales. Apple barely makes a profit on the music it sells. The profits come from iPod sales, which overwhelmingly dominate the market for mobile music players.

See also:

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2004-Oct-12 [this day]

Not for bread alone

Steve Jobs, interviewed by Business Week: ... our primary goal here is to make the world's best PCs -- not to be the biggest or the richest. We have a second goal, which is to always make a profit -- both to make some money but also so we can keep making those great products. For a time, those goals got flipped at Apple, and that subtle change made all the difference. When I got back, we had to make it a product company again. ... [this item]

2004-Oct-09 [this day]

The growing American prosperity

The Heritage Foundation: The U.S. economy has displayed a remarkable resilience following the bursting of the Internet bubble and the 9/11 terrorist attacks that struck at the heart of American business. The economy's strength was such that the 2001 recession is among the weakest on record. Today, business investment continues on an unprecedented expansion and more Americans are working than ever before. Still, myths are rampant. This paper presents a basic statistical overview of the American economy and prosperity that Americans today enjoy. ... [this item]

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Delenda est. Sic tempus fugit. Ad baculum, ad hominem, ad nauseamque. Non sequitur.