Who's up for fishing?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says that the Babelfish is simply the most wierd thing in the universe. What do you know, it could be right.

If you're not familiar with the Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (tho original BBC series, not the more recently released film), shame on you. At any rate, to understand the Babelfish one must, right off the bat, know what a fish is. I'll be assuming you all know what a fish is. If, however, you don't know what a fish is... Right, this is plain silly, isn't it? Second, one must know of Babel. The tower of Babel was a great construction of man, made to challenge the heavens themselves and raise mankind to the statute of God. God, however, would sabotage this enterprise by mixing the tongues of man, thus creating the many languages spoken around the world. Thus, a Babelfish is a creature that can understand any language in the universe. In the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy, you stick it in your ear and immediately you'll be able to understand any alien dialect as though it were your own mother tongue.

Of course Babelfish can also mean another thing. Out of waiting for a download to complete-induced boredom, I figured I could have some fun with it. give it a chunk of text, have it translated into another language, than yet another language without going back to the original language and back to the language you typed in. If you gave it a simple sentence, the result should be approximately the same sentence you gave it. An example:

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

Translate from English to Portuguese, from Portuguese to French, form French to German and from German to English:

"The kastanienbraune fox fast reversal on the lazy dog."

Note: Just so you don't think I ever made any typos, I copy-pasted in between languages.

Fair enough. Small sentence, few mistakes. Now give it a large, complicated piece and add in a few more translations and watch the fish wiggle. Here's a suggestion:

(Form "V for Vendetta")

"Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

Give it a try.

Tongue tied farewells.

ArabianShark cannot possibly be tonge tied, because a shark's tongue is quite stiff, seeing as it is cartali... cartile... cartela... it's stiff.

(Incidentally, I meant, of course, cartilaginous)


Lately I've been posting far too long updates and comments, and I've heard complaints that my blog entries won't fit some screens, even at high resolution and in full screen mode. Mea culpa. A post to indulge those of you who can't be bothered to read for too long.

And for those who'd whine about there not being any content to it, it's sunny, Daylight Saving Time took night hours from me and I'm disgruntled about it all.


ArabianShark is gone.

What's a W but a stuttered V?

A very silly title, wasn't it? I suppose that's the best I could come up with, attempting to get W and V in the same sentence tongue-in-cheek. Right, then; onwards.

At any rate, why W and V? W is the initial of the last name of many famous people, such as Andy Wachowsky, Larry Wachowsky and Hugo Weaving, to name a few. Where am I going with this? And how come there's a V in it as well? What is the V for, why should there be a V, why, why?

Why, for Vendetta, of course.

(And that's what it's all about. A whole rant just to introduce yet another movie review. Well, then, here be slight spoilers, none of which about the plot (and most certeinly none about the gunpowder plot), yet some about the other aspects of the movie. Read on.)

First and foremost, Hugo Weaving makes my skin crawl. In a good way, that is. Every single line he delivers my hair stands on end. Picture that, sitting next to a porcupine at the movies.

Before the review, how about an overview? The place is London; the time is in the near future, most likely in the next 20's or about that time. A totalitarian regime has taken over the United Kingdom. Media, politics and police are all about a single goal, that of a single man; a Chancellor set on total domination of the people of England. Enter V, a man behind a Guy Fawkes mask, a man who wont sit and be spoon fed whatever laws, whatever lies "they", whoever they might be, see fit that he abide by. Enter the villain.

Despite being set in the future, this is no Sci-Fic flick.

The shooting and directing is much like those of The Matrix (as one would expect), with great results as well. Unlike The Matrix series, however, great emphasis is put on the little things, or rather lack thereof. Not that there aren't any little things, for they are many, but because the little things are not allowed to be or remain little. (I still have Mr. Weaving's voice in my head. Try to read this paragraph as though Weaving were delivering it.) Every little thud or tap of small objects being dropped, flung or merely knocked over is emphatised and exagerated until it becomes quite simply and delightfully ominous, grown or overgrown to a thunderous boom.

The main character draws from several sources, not quite copycatting any yet merging several elements with all which is only his own to a most exquisite result. First and foremost there is the black cloak and hat from which shines a white mask, à la Phantom of the Opera. Also the cloak and mask, the colour black and the fact the V is more than merely man, but the icon of a concept, a recurring theme of fear and hatred, that he is no more hero than anti-hero, that he is such a charismatic villain, that his voice was probably dubbed in in post producing (I should think that it should be rather hard to accurately record voice from beyond the mask of from within it, for that matter)and even that his name is the letter V spell out Darth Vader. Besides the impecable conception of the character is Weaving's spectacular performance, not just as vocal talent but also as physical talent. Unlike David Prowse's interpretation of Darth Vader, V is hardly the masked character that makes you wonder weather there's actually a person underneath the costume; Weaving's body language convey every last little twitch that his face would, were not for the mask.

Other elements drawn upon are mainly of historical nature, most strikingly, a very deliberate resemblance to Adolph Hitler whenever the Chancellor is seen adressing the public and (skip the remainder of this paragraph, lest you read spoilers) in the scene when thousands of ordinary people don Guy Fawkes masks and black cloaks and hats to join in the revolution, which draws upon Mahatma Ghandi's gathering of 4000 people to collect a bowl of sea water to produce their own salt (which, if you recall your history, was illegal at the time).

Where the movie really shines, however, is in its music. Not just background, taylor-made music for any specific scene (which I have nothing against, on the contrary), but the usage of music an element of a scene, particularly classical music. I won't go in much depth, but, again, mind the little things. The keyword is sync.

The lighting is to be commended as well. Hard contrasts of light and shaddow are cleverly applied to establish moods and even mislead the viewer for some more plot twists. Softer transictions set different moods, some with warm lights to express comfort and intimacy, some eerie shadows to induce a sense of mistery and deceit.

Much powerful imagery was used to great effect. Many short shots of episodes of violence, passion, death and love succeed masterfully at conveying simple concepts in flashbacks and minor subplots.

Right, that's enough. Just go and see the movie. It's well worth it.

Sighing for the streets of London... Farewell.

ArabianShark will now be setting off for a journey towards the North Sea, up the Thames and off to a little vacation in London... In his dreams.

Full Moon

Right off the bat, if you're looking for a sane and sensible read, you're all out of luck. Right, then, onwards.

Full moon, at last! Come, O, come, sweet Silver Queen of the Night, come; come and bestow us thy blessing, the healing glare of your light. Let us crude creatures of blood and bone be bathed in thy shiny grace, for yours is the flameless fire and the dark light with which our shadowy paths yearn to be ablaze with. Shine through and spread your beam in the hazy mists of the night you make light and make the inky black heavens lit with the sparkling web of deceit only one as yourself can weave. Come, O, come; come and leave us never.

Right, then, that's that. Oh, by the way, there's a full moon tonight. Beware of werewolves and such, like, you know... bed bugs. They bite!

Wishing you all the sanity I... misplaced.

ArabianShark is hardly a basker shark, yet he'll be surfacing for a bit of basking tonight. I't a pretty night after all, you know.

Hail to the Empire

Yes, of course, Hail to the Empire, the one political power over the whole galaxy, under the Rule of Emperor Palpatine and the drive of Drk Lord of the Sith Darth Vader.

Hold on... wrong empire... oops.

Right then. See if I get it right this time. Hail to the Brittas Empire... no?

Close enough. Ok, third time is a charm. Hail to the British Empire.

At least I got the right empire this time around, only it's hardly an Empire these days. However, what it became (for the most part, anyway) has its day today. It's Commonwealth Day.

If you're wondering, the Commonwealth a loose confederation of nations, most of which formerly of the British Empire. Another Commonwealth (the Commonwealth of Independent States - CIS, for the many fellow geeks - as opposed to the Commonwealth of Nations, aforementioned as "the Commonwealth") is a similar confederation of former Soviet Republics. For another day, perhaps.

Farewell now, and don't miss the cerimony on BBC, if you read this in time (which I don't suppose you can, since it's waaaay too late).

ArabianShark is now going on tour of the Commonwealth realms. All the lovely vacation spots and more.

Ladies night

Today is interantional woman's day.

How do you make a blog entry about that? I gues I'll be taking the French kid way out of this.

What is the French kid way out, you ask? It is nothing like the spoon, I promise. It is rather more fun.

A French kid was once to write an essay for school on the subject "the cow". If my memory serves me right, his essay rougly translates into something like this:

"The bird I'm supposed to write about is the owl. By night it can't see and by day it's blind as a bat. I don't know much about the owl, so I'll continue about another animal I'll chose, the cow."

From then on, it's a bundle of laughs as odd approaches to the subject ensue, such as "the cow has six sides: top, bottom, front, back, left and right", "the head is for the horns to come out and because it's mouth had to be somewhere" and "it's legs reach the ground", up until the final lines, "the cow has a very keen sense of smell, and that's why you can smell it from far away."

So there, I had my owl, I found my cow and I applied the French kid way out of swampy grounds. Time for goodbye.

ArabianShark will rest on the bottom for a while, now. Only few species of sharks can actually rest and pump water over their gills without moving, most others must swim constantly so they don't asphixiate. Next time you think you're tired, think again!

I don't usually do this...

I've posted links before, but you might remember me saying I wouldn't link to other blogs. That just might be about to change.

I don't mean to make this a habit, but there is one blog especially noteworthy (actually, there are several such blogs... just read on). It's funny and often thought provoking. Furthermore, the fellow bloggers who write it were kind enough to put a link to my blog on their template, and by no means because I asked. They did it out of the kindness in their hearts. Cheers, mates! Gotta love that bunch. The ones I've met, at any rate.

So, ladies and gents, without further ado... The disco-bar!

Now before you all go rushing there and storming the place, I should warn you that it is, more often than not, in Portuguese, so if you don't speak the language, here's a good excuse to learn it.

I'll be adding the link permanently on the side bar too, so you may never forget to drop by whenever you think of ol' Sharky here.

Right, enough said. Live long, and prosper.

ArabianShark has a splitting headache... and a Networking Fundaments II report due soon. Bugger!

Marching up and down the square

The title is only funny if you read it with Jahn Cleese's voice while he's doing an army bit for Monty Python. I suppose you have to be John Cleese to do that properly, so... amused yoet, Mr. Cleese? No? Let's get that sorted, then shall we?

So you're all looking for comedy, eh? Tough luck, today is just not a funny day. Check back tomorrow, perhaps we'll have some funnies then.

Today is Ash Wednesady. That means only forty days (plus Sundays) until Easter. It also means yesterday was Mardi Gras. Enough with the all too abvious factoids, on with my usual style of blogging. I'm stuck with it, for better or worse.

The time to burn away the undesired memories is gone, and March we shall into 2006. Sure, you may think you already have, but really, it's only been 59 days so far, you still have 306 days ahead of you (counting today), so it's still fairly early in the year. That means that if you have not been up to a great start, it can still change. If, on the other hand, everything's been peaches and cream left and right, great, carry on!

March is the third month of the Roman Calendar. What else is new, you ask. Well, pretty damn nearly nothing, really. I just meat to say it is dedicated to Mars, Roman god of war, but, by no means, any more belligerent a month than any. If you believe in the meaning of coincidence, this year the month of Mars (March, duh) begins on the day of Venus (Wednesday, or so I think, if I remember that paper I wrote about the origin of the names of the days of the week all those years ago correctly), his lover, in spite of her arranged marriage with Volcano, in Roman mythology.

For the first time in my life I envy San Franciscans. Why, you ask? Well, then, be more specific. Why is it the first time? Some time would have to be the first, right? Why do I envy San Franciscans? Because Lestat, the musical is due to premier in SF this Spring. If you don't know who or what Lestat is, picture me giving you a very sternly disapointed glare right now. This should be tricky, if you've never seen me and don't know what I look like, but I'm sure you'll manage. Lestat is the main character of Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat" (Captain Obvious strikes again), and, IMO, the greatest vampire (literarily speaking, of course) ever. Forget about Dracula and Nosferatu.

My very own little vampires (yes, I breed them in my socks drawer) are growing nicely too, with the second tale nearly completed.

Farewell for now, for I still have much work ahead of me tonight...

ArabianShark smells blood on the water. Must be chum.