Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Where to? Neverwhere

I am a pretty strained person if asked what next to read. The things I read are mostly lecture notes or course textbook, which are interesting in their own ways. Yet, I consistently put 'reading' as a hobby in any form where I need to put my hobby. Well, I read some Douglas Adams' works, Tolkien's, ...and popular science, the kinds of 'A Brief History of Time', or 'The Elegant Universe'. In fact I spent a lot of time in my relatively brief senior high days reading popular science ...and Phantom of the Opera (I just had to mention it, that book was great).

Enough of nostalgia. There's this little ritual of mine to shop for books at the end of a semester. To help me brave through holiday (rather, to help video games and sleep help me brave through holiday, which doesn't really need a braving through in the first place). Now, I watched stardust, and I liked it, very much. Especially Captain Shakespeare and the fact that the movie depicted some kind of nuclear fusion toward the end ('what do stars do?" ...nuclear fusion!). I really like all the imagination. So it's a given that the ritual book-shopping has to involve a Neil Gaiman book in it (and must not involve burning things, strange incantation, or human sacrifice, what'd the world say!).

I know I'm getting too verbose about nothing here, two paragraphs about liking books and oh-that-movie-was-good-I-have-to-read-more-from-the-author and all. It is obvious that I was reading Neverwhere, considering the title of this post and the picture at its beginning, let me say it anyhow: I read Neverwhere. I like it. A world below another world, and no one knows. I easily fall to books that beautifully create its own world with its own culture, quirks, strangeness, and that lead to interesting characters (this is a selling feature for RPGs to me too). And the villain mastermind! Call me uninitiated but I was surprised. I'd like more detail about that character, but I guess what's there makes for a nice imagination anyway. In Tolkien books, the villain overlord is introduced in the beginning, do something bad, then in crawl to its little dark cave, sending minions for our brave heroes to slaughter. Happened in both Melkor's and Sauron's age.

I thought that the ending kind of dragged too, but that's before the little surprise at the end. Heh, that Marquis. It's also a surprise that Gaiman wrote a book about Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I don't think I'd be reading it soon though.

Currently burying my face in Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights (I don't hear very good things about the movie, compared to the book, but I haven't seen it, so no objectivity here). Depending on how interesting it is, I might get to the two sequels immediately. But after that, I think it's certain that I'd read another Neil Gaiman's. Recommendation?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Courage and Tenacity (2)

Spirited Bear Jr. hit the street with guitar on hand. Every step that he took was another stop the massive rockification of the world, nay the universe. Of course, reality wasn't so kind to just give him a stage, some several millions of audience, and a large cup of hot chocolate every single morning. Like every honorable bears and penguin out there that did make it big, in anything, Bear Jr. had to fight his way.

The first issue was highly functional. Bear Jr. didn't have a roof to sleep under, a fridge to hit at meal time, much less food to fill the hypothetical fridge. But that was not something that he couldn't remedy. In a flash Bear Jr. was hired by the fisher-bears and fisher-penguins guild as part time land staff. This would take care of rent and meal, Bear Jr. thought, and because he's working part time, he'd have much time to practice his craft.

He more or less got it right for the rent and meal part, but dead wrong about the rest. Naive Bear Jr. didn't think that there's anything fishy in his contract, except that it involved a lot of fish, but any half-experienced part-time-job-hopping wannabe-rocker bear would immediately realize that part time meant just that, a part of time, a MAJOR part of time. How does 14 hours workday sound? It's surprising they could get away with the ridiculous scheduling, with labor unions and all.

It's not Bear Jr. if he didn't have the tenacity to find a way even in a very trying time. He began carrying his guitar to the port for work. Most of the time he didn't have to do anything anyway, he just had to be there in case some administrative work needed to be done, which was rare, at least for the kind that he was allowed to handle.

Returning fisher-bears and fisher-penguins would then listen to Bear Jr. shred. Shredding to ...oldies. Well, Bear Jr. needed some audience, any audience, and there were a lot of old penguins and bears in the guild. Tough old penguins and bears. But they melt at the first sound of an old romantic tune. In a matter of weeks, Bear Jr. became a kind of full-time port musician and part time part time administrative staff (yes, there are two "part time"s there). One day, he was offered to work on a fishing boat, told that a no-challenge desk job wasn't a good thing to spend his youth on. Bear Jr. never planned to spend his youth doing some desk job, he planned to spend it rocking the world and blowing people's minds, well not spend, invest. But he accepted the offer, the strong waves and vengeful storms of the sea would get his creative juice flow like a waterfall, so he thought.

Poor Bear Jr. in his first time out in the open sea, he fell from the boat during a storm and lost, needless to say, he died. His body was never found. The end.

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Well, not. The fishing trip went smoothly, for the veterans at least. For our Bear Jr.? Well, he fell and died didn't he? Actually no, he was safe, very very much exhausted but safe. He has never been on a professional fishing trip before, but the other crew said he did pretty good. Skipping ahead, Bear Jr. became a fairly good fisher-bear, and a better rocker. He event wrote some songs during his fisher months. Most of the songs sounded like seafood recipe, but some are pretty decent.

Their haul gets better after Bear Jr. was on board several months. The fishes, some of them are weird, dig his songs, it seems. Oh yes, Bear Jr. sang on board, every single trip. He wanted to be a rocker he's got to work for it. The old sailors began to ease up to listening to modern rock too.

After a while, our hero couldn't stay being a fisher-bear, he's got to go to the city and live the dream. So he went, leaving his sailor friends who now look very much like a biker gang. Bear Jr. decided to walk to the city. Not because he wanted to prove something or he couldn't afford transport. It's just very near. But in the middle of the road, a very big truck carrying a lot of fishes of all kinds, including weird ones, lose control, swerved, and hit him. Bear Jr. died instantly.

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No, he reached the city in one piece. Well, he was thirsty and his feet was killing him, and he regretted his decision to walk, but he's fine. It's better to regret doing something than regret not doing something, he thought. Now struggled at sea, practised everyday, declared dead by a mean writer twice, Bear Jr. was on track to the rockification of the world. The first step, little concerts on the street.

Let's skip a lot of effort and just say that Bear Jr. was tenacious, unbelievably tenacious, and strangely declared dead three more times by the mean writer. He made it big, but not massive. He had many teen fans, scored enmity from their parents, won a small-time record contract, and for good measure declared dead five more times, by various means from drowning to catastrophic mental breakdown which involved a lot of bricks, all false, of course.

But what propelled him to fame was Our Beloved Fantastic Teacher The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower's campaign. Because he jumped to support the moment the campaign was launched. His honed rocking skill and passion and willpower made him a major champion of the campaign. His personal goal? Planet Earth of Rockified Passion and Willpower. Well, it didn't happen immediately, lots of people and penguins and bears prefer metal, pop, classic, or even pure white noise. But he got a title: The Epic Bear Jr. of Courage and Tenacity. Well, Bear Jr. preferred Fantabulous to Epic but he made sure that his every performance was both epic and fantabulous, out of personal ego and a name to live up to.

Okay, we know the story from Papa Bear and Bear Jr., how about Mama Bear? She seemed to be some kind of villain in both the story, but she wasn't! She got what she wanted in the end too, but that's not for now.

By the way, at the declaration of Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower Bear Jr. sang, and a huge speaker fell on his head and killed him. No, of course not. He sang and rocked the earthlings and went home safely to feast on ice cream and chocolate cakes.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Courage and Tenacity (1)

Although sonny bear had always known that he didn't want to be a president, his parents' urge made him act as if the prospect was interesting, interesting enough to put some effort in. With the whole act, he made Papa Bear and Mama Bear happy for some time, not to mention the act made him relatively diligent and perform nicely at school.

Bear Jr. was inherently lazy. He didn't actually have a dream he wanted to achieve. If he could help it, life should consist of a lot of naps, meals, and snacks, and little of anything else. That exactly was why Mama and Papa Bears' stellar expectation of him important. Well, that was until their little sonny bear worked up an aspiration for himself, because after that he would be working hard even without all the urging.

But for mama and papa bear, the drive was all in the wrong direction. Why? We need to know what bear Jr. wanted to be to know why. One particularly warm Saturday evening, teen bear Jr. asked his father what was his hobby when he was a semi-little bear like he was then. Papa Bear went to the storeroom (a very mysterious place for bear Jr., he thought he might find some dinosaur fossil with party hats and funny shoes if he searched the place long enough) and retrieved an old acoustic guitar. He then told Bear Jr. that when he was his age, he played guitar for a massively-heavy metal band. The name was "The Daisies and Daffodils".

Eager Bear Jr. then asked the only thing worth asking immediately after the revelation: "Play me a song!". Papa Bear obliged and jammed parts of his favourite band song that he could still recall (which was quite much!) with the dusty detuned guitar. The song itself was not some awesome material, but the fervor and passion in which Papa Bear played it made it sound like it was the best song ever composed in the whole Sovereign Arctic Republic.

Mama Bear came along and added to the story. She said she was a fan of the band, and that she first met papa bear after a little concert that first brought the band to the attention of the youngsters then, oh and that she helped compose the song papa bear just played. The nostalgia story then goes on to how the band had quite a solid fanbase, how they almost hit it big time, and their eventual flop. What, they flop? How?

Well, they have to flop, else Papa Bear would be a massively-heavy metalist touring the world blowing the minds of concert-going people everywhere, not a professional and authoritative but largely unknown chef he is now. The reason was simple. "The Daisies and Daffodils". The band was known for its edge, its strong lyrics, its loud, raging, fearsome sounds, and its fearless, rough-edged members, the fans loved that. Then they found out what daisies and daffodils meant. English was not so much used over there then, except for bears and penguins dealing with foreign partners. Its use in pop culture was mostly in an attempt to look cool, and they mostly failed at just that. The band knew what a daisy was, but they thought daffodil was a name for a scary beast or something. "The Daisies and Daffodils" was meant as an ironic name, like "The Strawberries and Alligators", or "The Bananas and Raptors".

Back to the important part. That evening Papa Bear gave his son his old guitar, said that he might like doing music in his spare time. But Bear Jr.'s mind was filled with visions of splendour, of fame. He decided on the spot that he wanted to be a rocker. Not metalist? time changes, and there wasn't any semiconductorist at the time (wait metal, rock, semiconductor, we're on to revolutionize the music industry! wait for ceramicist and superconductoror!). That drive was what Mama and Papa Bear thought to be all in the wrong direction (Obviously, they didn't know how epic would a rocking president be!).

Bear Jr. didn't tell his parents of his new found ambition right away. He knew enough that he can't just hop on to be a president after he's done being a rocker, and he didn't expect to stop being a rocker at all when he made it big. Ambitious little sonny bear practised every single night with his guitar. He didn't seem to improve much, but his drive was as strong as ever and that was what really mattered.

One day Mama Bear told him to study more and play less, and that he wouldn't be playing guitar much when he's president anyway. Bear Jr. then realized that he couldn't keep acting like he's interested in being a president, he wanted to be a rocker and that's that. Leave presidency to some other bear or penguin, he's going to rock the world! So Bear Jr. mustered up the courage to tell his mother about his life goal.

We all know how it went. Mama Bear got angry, Bear Jr. left home in an adventure to be a super fantabulous legendary epic rockstar of the millennium, and Papa Bear was afraid to go home. We also know Papa Bear's quest and its eventual end. But how about Bear Jr.'s adventure? That's for part 2 of course.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

OSU! BERJUANG

Two events left in the festival. I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad. I mean, the festival's ending! The thrill is ending! But, after that, it's holiday!

No, not quite. After that, it's back to the lab for final year project. I've got a lot of catching up to do too!

Anyway, besides making things digitally, I do doodles in analog too. With pencil, pen, paper, the classic things. So it's just fair for my ego that I get to show off some analog works too!

Can't you feel the passion and willpower overflowing from the picture to the left? No? Well, at least don't let it haunt your sleep as a nightmare. One more edit below for more impact!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Unexpectedly ...Catchy

I don't follow Indonesian music scene. Not out of conviction, belief, or make-belief rule. It's just the barrier, physical, mental, hordes of penguins. At least I can depend on my sister which musicians are ear-safe and which aren't whenever I'm back home.

We discussed about one Indonesian song before. Now, let me bring you another from the same group. But first, some words of warning, the video might not be the most 'right' thing for some people and penguins, so some open mind might be needed. Also open air if you'd like to get some breeze, or open heart when you found out that I was exaggerating.

And so, enjoy Laskar Cinta!

As usual, lyrics:

Love Brigade
Dewa

O calm soul, be wary
be wary of hearts full of hatred you can't fathom

for truly Mephistopheles lives and dwells
in hearts full of hate, in hearts full of prejudice

love brigade, spread seeds of love!
exterminate viruses of hate
viruses that can crush souls
and rot hearts

love brigade, preach of love!
for love is the nature,
and radiant path for
all of humankind

when enmity runs in your veins
enmity to fellow humans
truly the beast,
reigns over you

no, do not wish
for me to show affection
or to pity those
full of spite like you

O calm soul, don't you ever imitate the Almighty
by administering justice and passing judgments
truly you have not the power and effort,
and might to decide righteousness

are we not created men and women,
tribes and nations that surely differ?
are we not to comprehend and respect each other,
not to be sundered and battling bearing arms?

Heheh, I kinda like how they made Once run to the mike in the earlier part of the clip and arrive just in time to blast away with the refrain. With this, my list of translated Dewa songs reach a whopping length of ...three.

Much credit for dictionary.com, thesaurus.com, and sederet.com, handy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Recess in Festival?

Impossible! But we can still relax, no? An hour, two, three, four, twenty-four. Anyway, the festival is halfway done. I'm not saying if the events fit into hard, very hard, exceptionally hard, immensely hard, insanely hard, or PENGUIN HELP IT'S TOO HARD category, but the whole of it so far was enjoyable, really.

Burning the younger part of the evening in the library, I found myself interacting with people I don't usually meet; people from other schools, mostly. Exciting, in a way, we are frustrating together, but for different things ...so surreal. And when it's closing time, I return to my cave and say to myself, "the night's still young", sleep late, and wake up early the following day, early lunchtime, that is.

Good event calls for a good battle cry, and I said sometime past let's cry a lot this year: battle cry. Old favourite was 'SEMANGAT!' but then Ayu told me a more refined one 'BERJUANG!', my current favourite, thank you very much for the advice. I recommend all to try it, not just for festival of course.

----snip---

In another topic (see we have to maintain incoherence around here). Dilla gathered last few days (time frame is my assumption, falsity is ...a penguin's fault) some adjectives to describe my senior high classmates, all nine of them! (I know it's just nine, but I'm trying to make it sound many now) Let's see what she got for my description (translated for ...obfuscation?):

Ryan: weird, lightning-fast, hard to predict, little bit autistic, introvert, nice ...cold but actually do care, lack expression, unknown, abnormal.

Whoa, I learned new things about me, super! Let's dissect them, maybe we can find out more.

  • Weird, as in ...a creep? I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo, I listen to Radiohead~
  • Lightning-fast, I like how it sounds. Wonder what's it about, walking speed, talking speed, eating speed, time needed to wake up? Whatever I like the vibe.
  • Hard to predict, I need to maintain an image here in randomryy.
  • little bit autistic, I actually looked up wikipedia about autism; hope the word was used very loosely.
  • Introvert, no objection, the defense rests.
  • nice ...cold but actually do care, awww, that's sweet. See, I'm a good person!
  • Lack expression, the defense rests.
  • Unknown, at least my name is known.
  • Abnormal, arguably I don't really want to be normal, so that's a praise.

Oww this is the kind of experiment I can't think up. Admittedly, I had some difficulty doing my part in the survey (what kind of horrible classmate are you? Ryan-like kind, I guess). Something great is, no one said I'm lazy! I must've done a good job hiding that 'feature'.

Given the chance I would so wear a badge that says "Careful, I'm an expressionless, lightning-fast weirdo". Wait, maybe I should stick a post-it note on my forehead that says just so, NEW EXPERIMENT!

Now, I really need to get back to the festival.

BERJUANG!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Azure and Eleventy-One

The song above is composed by Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger/Cross, Xenogears, and Xenosaga fame, sung by Eri Kawai whom another song have been featured once before.

From the work Kirite, a book with a soundtrack (yes, isn't it awesome). The story is written by Masato Kato, someone who's involved in many great games, including Chrono Trigger/Cross and Xenogears. A shame I don't know enough Japanese to read the story.

The quality of the Youtube clip doesn't do it much justice, but I just have to post about it. Obsessive-compulsive, aren't we penguins. Anyway, for those who want to sing along, the lyrics:

Soukyuu

damatte miageru hatenaku aoi sora
ryoute wo hirogete mienai tsubasa de habataite

ashita kono hoshi wo miushinatte mo

aeternus futari ni nokosareta kono yume wa
indelebis kogoeru tane no you ni mezameru toki wo matsu yo

furimuku senaka ni kirameki shiroi kaze
tashika na omoi mo kotoba ni kaeru to kowaresou

ashita watashi tachi kiete itemo

aeternus kono me ni kizamareta isshun wa
indelebis haruka na tabi no hate ni kanarazu mai oriru yo

aeternus futari ni takusareta kono yume wa
indelebis mou ichido umare kawaru sekai wo migomotte

aeternus kono me ni kizamareta isshun wa
indelebis mou ichido sabita toki no tobira tataku

And for justice, ice creams, and chocolate cakes, the translation:

The Azure

In silence I gaze upon the boundless azure sky
spread my arms and take flight with invisible wings

be it that tomorrow I may lose sight of this planet

aeternus the dream left behind for us
indelebis like a frozen seed, is waiting for the time of awakening

turning around, I find sparkling white wind blowing
even the most certain of thoughts would shatter if put to words

be it that tomorrow we may cease to be

aeternus the one moment carved to my eyes
endelebis will surely carry on to the end of this long journey

aeternus the dream left behind for us
endelebis is bearing the rebirth of the world

aeternus the one moment carved to my eyes
endelebis knocks on the rusty door of time once more

By the way, this is post number eleventy-one, a cute number.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gibboning Done, Success!

The newest version of Ubuntu, Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) was released in a hectic Thursday sometime late in October. I tried upgrading online, but penguin! The download was slooow. I remember setting it to download from Singapore server (which is hosted in that other university), I guessed there's just no way it could be slow, but it is, plain and penguin!

So in the name of maintaining sanity and preventing me from obsessive-compulsively checking the progress every other minute, I aborted the upgrade. I have some live CD ordered, I can live with the Fawn for some time while I wait for them. Oh, and anyone can order the live CD from their site for free, free CD, free shipping, but it takes a month to arrive. Or you can just download the CD (or torrent the DVD) and burn (or mount) it yourself.

Well, the CDs finally arrived, and I tried to upgrade. Guess what, I should use the alternate CD to upgrade, so I can't use the CDs I got. Ouch, attention pays off. Anyway, I pulled the alt CD from their site and upgraded (ask Google or the penguins how, I'm showing off new OS here, not writing a review).

Everything seems well but for two crucial things: Amarok (music player) and Kopete (IM) are broken. Before I pulled some updates that is. Sigh, those are my favorite things too. Well, arguably I'm not the most careful of computer user, so let's let it slip. After all, the upgrade to Feisty Fawn half a year ago broke my X window and forced me to log in with command line only.

They change the default file manager from Konqueror to Dolphin too. Pretty as it is, I have some enmity with Dolphin because it can't *penguin* sort by type. Let's see how it goes for some time, I'd either switch back to Konqueror or get used to Dolphin.

Now, what's a gibbon? Well, this is a gibbon:

Well, if I want to have an OS named after cats I would have to go for a Mac and OSX (Leopard). There goes the hope for Ubuntu *.04 Calico :3 (with the emote). Maybe we should have a distro called LOLnux, written entirely in LOLCode, and all graphics are LOLCats, what a dream!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Exit to Sleep is the Other Way

Alertness-in-a-can. A cup of awake. Anti-lethargy aqueous mixture. Whatever it goes by with.

Caffeine. It's useful like a Swiss knife to many sleepiness/lethargy -related ailments, except that it's not a knife, and not from Switzerland. Preparation for the festival leaves me with little to no option against employing its service, done so enjoyably.

Don't tell me about its risks first; chances are I'm not gonna listen anyway.

And for a healthy dose of unrelated content:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Enigma, it is

You know what's expected from a blog written by a student like me? Whining over assignments, coursework, and finals. Because this is Randomryy, we should... do just that, right? but of course, penguin.

Interim report and essay assignment (about combinatorial optimization, no less. What the penguin is that?) due in a week, design report in two weeks (and it's NOT graphic design), and festival being just around the corner (oooh, which corner? Should we cut corner? Call the coroner, someone and his crony choked on corn, they say the mighty cron mandated so!)

The enigma? why am I typing away here instead of somewhere else, in the report document, for example? Penguins know not, maybe I should do just that. It's like the right activity in the wrong window, feels so ...surreal.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One-fifth of a Century

Counting it in century feels somewhat grander. I'm two decades old now, officially not a teen, fabulous. Makes me think, it's kind of a big milestone and I should do something about it, reduce procrastination for example, or eat more chocolate cakes, maybe.

Now, if there is someone 20 light years away from here and equipped with something to see the surface of the earth, she might be able to see me born, grow up, go to school, asking silly questions, breaking things, experimenting, etc; I'm going to sue her through intergalactic court for stalking and get a cosmic amount of compensation. Oh the possibilities!

Now, for Elektronika, Algoritma, Cinta, dan Dunia! Let's cry a lot this year, Battle Cry that is; YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

Down the trail of the beasts, roar along lions and tigers! (see here)

Bulldoze every resistance! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

Can't stop the current! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

Drown the noise! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

Burn all impedance! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

PENGUINS! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

CATS! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

CHOCOLATE CAKES! YA-YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

ROBOTS! YAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRR!

CAPS! Uuuum, nay.

All that shouting is tiring, let's just sit down and do nothing for the remainder of the weekend (and all that high spirit goes off with a poof *poof*).

On an unrelated note, watch this video:

Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?

Well, are you? Try to think up something not politically correct. Now, are you?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I did NOT Procrastinate

Say Hi to your new Lesser Overlord

Well, maybe a little.

A little now, a little then, a little again. In average: a little; that can't be too bad.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Happy Robots

Does emotion make a being more intelligent? We humans are intelligent beings, we are also emotional beings, are we less intelligent were we emotionless? Does artificial intelligence need emotion?

Those were the questions discussed in an AI class one sunny day at school. Well, without curiosity and ambition, we would be stuck in the stone age hunting some beast for dinner and not caring about pollution or global warming, but without computers, video games, books, you name them. So emotion kind of works for us, will it work for our intelligent robots too?

Certainly, we wouldn't want our hard-labor-robots to feel overworked, we don't want our repetitive-task-robots to feel bored, we absolutely don't want our nuclear-plant-operative-robots to feel suicidal, but we want our pet robots to be happy at times, sad at times, playful most of the time, etc. Emotionless pet robot (the likes of AIBO) doesn't make a good pet!

Emotional pet robots have actual use in mental/psychological treatment, or for lonely people who are allergic to fur or the likes (and maybe allergic to other people too). So the answer is really simple then, give just the right emotion for the purpose the robot is to serve. We can have invariably happy farming robots, constantly cheerful helpdesk robots, etc.

Okay, so given the technology, should we build an emotional robot? Emotional in the sense that it is emotional like us, not some selected purpose driven emotion. Some would argue what need do we have of that kind of robots, we have plenty, plenty, of emotional (normally or overly) humans out there, and their number grows by the day!

Emotion doesn't have to be an exclusive feature of organic intelligent beings, does it? After all, emotion boils down to the levels of various chemicals in our system. We're happy because certain chemical has a high concentration, sad when some chemical is in low concentration, etc. Personally, I'd say "build away!" to the question earlier. It might sound like a more academic version of "strike first, ask questions later", or a prime example of the opposite of the saying "Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you have to do it".

Think of the possibilities. We can have Emotional Robot Penguins from Outer Space, ...which runs on chocolate cake. Awesome! Robot, Penguin, Outer Space, Chocolate Cake, happy around the clock, it's like having every single cake in existence and getting to eat them too!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Memorable Days

Sometime over a month ago, a friend out of the blue pulled a question out of thin air: "Why don't you keep a journal?" Umm, why the penguin should I keep a journal, troublesome to the power of penguins? Approximately that was my response, it had less penguins though. You know, I have too much to do, like, procrastinating and oversleeping, and don't forget gaming with reckless abandon, oh, there are these nice things called classes, projects, and assignments too, almost forgot about that ...not!

My super-penguin-class laziness aside, the idea is actually interesting. How much do I remember of a Saturday last month? last year? last decade? How much do you remember? Given how forgetful I am, I'd rather not go beyond decade. That way, keeping a journal might just make sense, but we need a compromise.

So I came up with a solution. Everyday I'd write a sentence most representative of the day, that is, a description of event or thought I felt most strongly during the day. It's been going on for more than a month now, but it's me, I often write a day's sentence two days after, the memory's not as fresh by then, no? (Of course not, Ryan is always fresh and refreshing!) The contents contain very little amount of penguin, much less healthy dose of bricks to the face, certainly not randomryy material. Anyway, I'll keep at it as long as it's interesting. Penguin, I'll need some reference when I'm important enough to get a biography of me written.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Going Against Old Song?

I grew up educated that shower is a thing you do every morning (and late afternoon, but I nullified it rather quickly). There's even a song about it: "bangun tidur kuterus mandi~~". But something happened two years ago that made me reconsider that: I let my hair grow long. Long hair takes some time to dry, and given me, I would wake up just early enough to give myself barely enough time to shower and walk to class (with relatively generous late margin). That means I was walking in the morning sun with semi-wet hair, in the equator weather, equator humidity. That, ladies and gentlemen, was torture.

Inspiration struck: why not shower at night, before bedtime? It's rarely original, I know. Guess what, it worked like a charm! No, like a computer, charms don't work, they're just superstition (Ryan, please don't bully idioms). Really, it solved the problems, I could be cute(?) and comfortable at the same time. It's like having a cake and eating it too! But there's more, I found out that it's easier to wake up if there's less to do between waking up and going out. Morning shower did make me more resistant to waking up, more prone to skipping class! Moreover, I found out when the hot water is usually cut off too (and scheduled my shower time accordingly, imagine the anguish to suddenly being have to bear with cold water in the middle of an enjoyable hot shower, ouch). Another nice thing from the shift is that I can leisurely enjoy my showers, I'm not pressed with getting to class on time, getting myself to sleep is a hard thing anyway, might as well enjoy the process (different thing with getting myself to wake up, said like a true bat-penguin!)

Now I'm experimenting the method for application during Ramadhan. I know for a fact that morning shower doesn't work nicely. We'll see if night shower works better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Obfuscation

Pulling out a pen and begin writing is a normal thing. If you have several colors ready, maybe you want to choose which one is best for the purpose, green ink for an official document, for example. Of course, choosing ink color to use is hardly an adventure, no one has killed a dragon, dug up a treasure chest, and saved the princess just to choose which color he'll use to write his exam paper in. Although examination itself is arguably equivalent to killing multi-headed dragon, digging a treasure chest buried deep under the sea, and saving several loud princesses with their pet frogs, the choice usually boils down into two: black ink or blue ink.

Now, what if we inject some direly needed thinking process in pen-choosing-fu. Take a look at the exhibit below, I have four pens: red, black, blue, and green. The color of the cap and the bottom, and the tint in the clear casing all point to the color of the ink. The one with green cap has green ink, and the one who needs a thinking cap is me (off screen).

I'm going to disassemble them, then mix-match their component so as the ink color of a pen is the color that is not present in the outside. For example, green cap, red bottom, blue tinted clear case => black ink. The re-imagining result can be seen in the below exhibit. Blame lo-res phone camera for the quality, but I would always be happy to show it off in person.

Finally, the time has come when trying to use a blue pen involves problem solving! The fun has come back to pen! This will so solve a lot of problem in the world! I decided not to carry around black ink for a while. Before anyone screams discrimination, I use almost exclusively black for years. for. years. It's time for the other to take the spotlight. (Discrimination!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Smorgasbord

First and Foremost, Ramadhan is here. I apologize for my mistakes, intentional or not, international or not (?), which must measure like mountain ranges, only without the beauty of mountain ranges. Next, I decided that a thick steel wall is not really that healthy. I recall claiming to be not as healthy as a thousand kilometers thick steel wall, and when things happen, they happen. I wanted to join all the glee surrounding the first days of Ramadhan, but inability to get out of bed didn't help. Maybe it's some kind of cleansing, showering everyday just don't cut it. Anyway, I didn't need to be a certified ill person this time around, so I just disappeared from classes for a day, sorry profs. Lastly, we NTU final year Electrical and Electronic Engineering Students have a favorite subject this semester: Human Resources Management. Personally, I like the subject, I really like the subject, it reminds me why I want to be engineer, truly!

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's been a While

Since the last incomprehensible chain of wordy hullabaloo.

A new one:

Irrelevant Resources of Significant Expedience!

Irrelevant Resources of Significant Expedience!

Irrelevant Resources of Significant Expedience!

Practice, practice, and don't forget the old ones.

The Elusive Art of FoldingChair-Do

There are many kinds of martial arts out there in the vast world. Karate-do, Judo, Kendo, Iaido, et cetera (the DO means 'the way of ...') But Brad Thames chose the most bizarre of them all, the FoldingChair-Do, The Way of the Folding Chair. Brad Thames has been practicing the arts since elementary three, when he barely could lift a folding chair. Though the moment he started, he knew that it was the way his life would be, the way of the folding chair.

Like any way of life, it was not entirely flowery. Dedicating oneself to mastering the art of the folding chair was never an easy task, and would never be. Brad Thames met many resistance by the general population in his life of folding chair. He couldn't have his folding chair with him in class in school. They provided chairs and desks, so said the school. Brad Thames always thought that the school just hated his passion in pursuing FoldingChair-Do.

But all that changed when he began high school. His principal, Madam Cindy Pane Dunesby, had no problem with him going around with his beloved silver-green folding chair, with some conditions. The conditions weren't hard, Brad wasn't allowed to hurt people with it, which he very easily did, for the way of the folding chair is a way of love and peace, not a way of violence and vengeance. The other, harder, condition was that he had to race the tolerant principal upon request. What race?

Everything and anything. As we know, Cindy Pane Dunesby was an impulsive racer. She would race oil tankers given the chance (and she did!) Apart from the absurd races, young mister Thames' high school life was just the way he wanted it to be: Free to pursue the way of the folding chair.

Several months into high school, an idea dawned upon Brad Thames. Why don't he promote the way of the folding chair by establishing a club of it? They have Karate, Judo, Boxing, Quick-eating, Slow-eating, Racing (all kinds) clubs, but no FoldingChair-Do club. So he told the principal of his intent. Principal Dunesby was thoroughly amused by the idea. She thought that that's the way youth has to be; energetic and enthusiastic. But she didn't think that the club would attract much enthusiasts, she couldn't give facilities to a club that would never take off. Even so, she liked the idea so much that she just had to decide immediately, no time for a survey of interest.

So she resolved the problem with the only method an honorable Cindy Pane Dunesby would take: racing. If Brad could beat the principal in a kilometer folding chair race at the school's running track, he would have permission to establish the club and would get a club room and some funding. Needless to say, Brad Thames who had been living the way of the folding chair won the race, although not easily. Madam Dunesby may not had raced with a folding chair before, but she managed to present fierce, if not mad, competition to him.

The competition attracted a crowd. Students and teachers were all awed by the heat of passion that can be injected into a folding chair. Many thought that The Way of the Folding Chair was the definitive way of youth. So right then and there, Principal Cindy Pane Dunesby declared the establishment of the Folding Chair Club, where students could pursue the Way of The Folding Chair with Brad Thames as the captain.

The Folding Chair Club is now over 50 members strong. Although there is no large scale inter school folding chair race yet, the values of FoldingChair-Do such as strong will and perseverance is permeating all over the school. Suspiciously, The Geometrically Offensive Cake Shop insists on sponsoring all their events, and the president, Mr. Terrence Pierce, has never failed to show up however obscure or bizarre the event might be. It might be a mystery to Brad Thames and his followers, but we know what Mr. Pierce is really after, don't we?

What truly is a mystery is that Mister Graham Jonesy can never seem to be at ease around the young Brad Thames. He would hold his walking stick firmly on one hand, toss it between his hands, or actually support himself with it. But, why?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Nameless FLowers

In a great grassland Siil Amari arose. The tall grasses and the surrounding hills she beheld, and they pleased her. Long she ran amongst the trees and grasses, her garment glittering silver in the sun and glowing white under the moon. Many songs of power and beauty she sang of things she witnessed. Many a bird and beast followed after her, for her songs delighted them and her beauty enticed them. And names she gave to all things she saw. From the names she devised many more songs and the land was permeated with her voice.

But Siil Amari soon grew weary of her own songs. They sounded sweet to her ears, but her heart they soothed not. Many days and nights she sang, but none answered to her songs. Many things she called by names she gave, but none heeded her. Ran and ran and ran Siil Amari, her songs grew lonely and sad, and beasts wail at night in lamentation. But finally she came upon a shore, the ocean seemed boundless and wise to her. In a song most heart rending she sang to the sea of her wishes for answers.

From the sea walked men and women. They stood upon the shore in confusion and fear, for nothing they knew and they felt defenseless. But at the sight Siil Amari lighted up, and she sang a joyful song to the sea in gratitude, for she did not know that the sea presented not gifts, and that her joy was of her own will. Then the men and women gathered about Siil Amari, and there they felt at ease.

Thus dwelt Siil Amari amongst the people from the sea. They learned speech and the name of things from her and held her as their queen. The Queen then named her people Filiam, the waveborns. The Filiam soon took delight in the growing of plants and in crafts of building. Many great houses and halls they erected for their dwellings and for the storage of their food. For Siil Amari they built a mansion most beautiful in the middle of the town. There councils of wisdom are held, where Siil Amari told the Filiam of her devisings and wishes. In Evenings when the day and the people were weary, the queen would stand in her balcony and sing them songs of vast lands and tall mountains, and they would answer with lyrics of wonder and yearning for lands of which their queen sang.

Swiftly men grew in might and they began journeying about the lands, seeking sceneries the queen sang to them. In their quest they took up hunting and weapon smithing, of which Siil Amari took with ill mind. Birds and beasts they feasted upon were the first to hear the songs of the queen, and with words they might not answered, but in their hearts they answered still. Thus many corners of the land was filled with human settlements and Siil Amari's people grew in number and dominion. Many of the mightiest among men then thought to take Siil Amari's hand for himself, for power nurtured their greed. Each of them thought he was most worthy of being the compainion of the king and the lord above all people, and unrest stirred in their hearts.

Arms were raised against each other. Men slaughtered each other. Visions of power and domination blinded them from sceneries of peace. They were deaf but for the clashing of swords and battle cries. The voices of the queen were left unheard, and her songs were of forgotten past of weakness. But among men there existed those that remembered peace, those that renounced the bloodshed. Even then, they did not rally under the queen to restore unity, they took the queen as the root of the conflict, not the harbinger of peace. The smell of blood might had not intoxicated their mind yet, but it was already overflowing with arrogance.

When they finally raised their knives, they pointed it to the queen. The conflict would end if the cause is dead, so they counseled themselves. They then called upon the queen in her palace. The queen knew what counsel her people took for themselves. She did not fight and so her life was taken. But in the face of death she laid a curse for all the people of Filiam:

"There shall bloom on a hill unknown, flowers which I would not suffer a name. In time they shall all whither and be returned to earth. When all flowers have died and be returned to earth where I shall wait, the land shall be drown aflame and the people shall know only pain. But shall one dare find and pluck one blossom, my fire shall be quenched. But the brave one's kin, I shall not permit their blood to die and they shall be the eternal harbinger of conflicts and dooms for my grief shall not be vanquished."

Many valorous men and women scoured the land far and wide in search of the hill. Their purposes were many, not all of them noble. Some wished to sacrifice themselves for the whole Filiam, some thought the queen's curse meant eternal life, though in conflicts, and sought just so. But the curse was not relinquished thus easily. The queen laid it down in spite, and in a most horrible way the curse would unwound itself.

See also this post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Nice Earthling

Wrote something else for Kuntum blog.

Orang Baik

Yes, I love to show off.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Twirl~ Twirl~

I can't seem to finish writing anything here lately, isn't that fabulous? Well, that doesn't deter me from showing off anyway. Do you see a flat surface or a tunnel with zig-zag walls?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sooran! Sooran!

These past years, there is a little extra variable that I considered when I arranged my timetable: campus concert. Fortnightly every Wednesday at 12:45 - 13:45 the university and a sponsor invite musicians to perform on campus, in one of the smaller lecture theater. The range of musician and musics varies wildly from traditional songs from all over Asia and the world, widely (and narrowly) known composers, even Bengawan Solo! (Though we haven't got a rock band yet) Two weeks ago it was T'ang quartet, tomorrow there'll be vocal and piano, earlier today there was Fukunone ensemble. Wait, today? Fortnightly, every Wednesday, what happened to that? Well, the extra surprised me as well.

It was traditional Japanese music, Koto, Shakuhachi, Shamisen, and what seemed to be Taiko. I'm nowhere near being an authority in music, but when I find a performance enjoyable I do say it enjoyable :O. The Shamisen duet felt like the olden days equivalent of two rockers in a modern days riffing duel, rock off! The festival song had a feel of melancholy and hope in it, and lastly, the fishermen work song was filled with energy, reel in the fishes with burning spirit! (um... passion and willpower?) There's a yell in that song that goes "Sooran Sooran", the lead, the shakuhachi player, gestured to the audience to follow suit, Sooran Sooran. Well, being in a Singaporean institution, what would you expect? The first round, everyone was just too shy, second and the rest? I could see people opening their mouth Sooran Sooran, but there's just no voice coming out. Well, me too, so blame the penguins.

They sold CDs too after the concert too. I'd get one, but well, let's just say I had a cup of coffee too many in the morning. Anyway, usually they post the recording in this site, I'll be keeping watch.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Into Your Soul

If you stare at them for too long, they'll stare back into your soul

Made with GIMP and Inkscape, both are free open source softwares. They aren't hard to get into if you've been editing images with photoshop. I'll try to post the tutorial for above images when I have the time :]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lookie

I wrote an article for Kuntum blog. Read it if you've got the time :) Milestone Harian

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sixty-Two, Get Well Soon

Yesterday was August 17th, Indonesia's independence day. It has been 62 years since we declared independence and drew our borders on planet earth, the pale blue dot, the tiny piece of rock orbiting a nuclear fireball. So the rocky sphere got a new partition, congrats. Mother Land, with all due respect, Mother Earth is Mother Earth.

Like many independence from colonialism, Indonesia's involved a lot of struggles, though those struggles were mostly told to me through texts and pictures in school textbooks, so I can't appreciate it's whole magnitude. I think it's gigantic, whatever, it's big, and the founding fathers and mothers deserve a lot of respect. That is why any unfairness in the government and the people is a thing for the whole country to be ashamed of. That being said, the perpetrators of injustice and propagators of corruption are the ones that should be ashamed the most. If pride means anything, then we should see a somewhat rampant attempt at repentance. Don't point any fingers yet, point it at yourself for a moment (if you're an Indonesian, that is). Has pride died?

I would like to tell a little story from my junior/senior high school days. Schoolers in Indonesia, elementary, junior, and senior high, are required to attend a flag ceremony once in one or two week (senior high schoolers have it bi-weekly, the rest weekly. At least when I was at school). I used to have no problem about it in elementary school, but afterwards, I despise it. I still do, I believe. I don't see the point in standing stiff in formation staring at people doing the ceremonial proceeding as stiff as they can. Even more true for the ceremonies they have at the palace, they need more than ten people just to pull a flag to its pole, that looks very much like a waste.

When a was a junior in junior high, I had the chance to be part of the student choir that sang in the ceremony at the palace at August 17th. The dislike hasn't grown at the time, then again back then the president was a scientist, a professor in fact. Well, that wasn't half bad, we had seats to relax and tarp to protect us from the sun. When I got to senior high, there was a student organization that's responsible for flag ceremonies at school. It was called Siera, Sub-seksi Upacara (Ceremony Sub-section). My mother saw them once and commented at how cool they were. It seemed that she wanted me to join in. Well, I liked myself the way I were, not walking all stiff and funny like that, so I joined the Comic division of the student media instead. My mother had no problem with that, she's not the type to want me to be the stereotypical manly-man type anyway.

The last four August 17ths, I was at school, away from home, away from much hype about the independence day. There were always a ceremony (and free food!) at the embassy each year. The first three, I didn't come because I had classes. Yesterday morning? It rained heavily and I decided walking to the bus stop was too much hassle and went back to sleep instead. Anyway, I wish the best for the land where I was born, where my families are, and where I will most likely spend my later days (can't hold my breath for Candyland). I also hope that whatever I'm doing later for a living, I will benefit the country in many ways (It's Elekronika, Algoritma, Cinta, dan Dunia. We humans drew the borders). The future is about fun and great justice. Happy independence day Indonesia, get well soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Meow! Cute Given Shape (2)

Next kitty, Richie. My Mom got her as a birthday present. She's about as old as Bayi, but over twice as shy. See, being posted in a blog makes her want to hide in a corner

Uh... Hai?

Unlike Bayi, Richie doesn't like to sleep in bed, she loves carpet edges, mats, and grasses instead. She's also very quiet; rarely meows, when she does, she does it in a real low voice. I can only think that she's either developing some kind of amplifier or researching the lowest audio frequency audible to cats. Maybe other cats call her Prof, I wouldn't know.

Pondering hard the most unsolvable of unsolvables

Doesn't scratch or bite people, but hides, hardest to find when hiding, in fact. Hates brush, just like me, I don't brush my hair often. Can't climb or hunt, of course. I think she would just run away if faced with a mouse. Modern domesticated cats just see a lot more computer mice than real mice.

An insight! quick, quick, must draw diagram
Aww, look at that, they posed for us

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meow! Cute Given Shape (1)

My family members are all cat lovers. We keep seven cats at home now. I'll try to feature them all here in time. First in turn is the eldest, Bayi.

Hai!

My little sister found her in front of her school when she was an elementary schooler, that's about ten years ago. Promptly adopted. She could barely stand at the time, small, dirty, and helpless. Now she's fat (the vet says she's overweight, truly!), loves to sleep in bed (photos below), and pampered through and through. You know, she doesn't even have basic cat skills like climbing and hunting. Moreover, I have a suspicion that she understands Indonesian, so I talk to her in other languages, obfuscation.

What have you there, mister?

Not so friendly to other cats, friendlier to humans. May scratch when moody, but totally obedient to my little sister, she's the one to call if a Bayi emergency happens. Unlike the other two, she doesn't like cheese (the rest are still too small). Two more photos of her sleeping, it's like the world is filled with peace and love.

Bed invasion! You're so not going to play outside tomorrow
It's all peace and love in the world

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Forgive Me, Master Time

A lot of time I whine about how swiftly time goes by. Before I knew it, it's report deadline; before I realized, it's exam period; before the idea sunk in, holiday's over. (Never apply to weekend, weekend is always about forever minus one day away, unless it's weekend, then it's exactly one week away)

For me, school lasts for 13 weeks each semester, excluding exam period and recess week. This semester I'm taking four subjects that have 2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week (say, type-A), one subject that has 1 two-hours lecture and 4 two-hours tutorials throughout the semester (type-B), one subject that has 1 three-hours class/lab each week (type-C), and final year project (FYP). No time is specified for FYP, but the general feeling is that every waking hours that is not spent in other classes has to be dedicated to FYP. To make it simpler, as it is a ten academic units subject, let's just assume that it takes ten hours each week, including recess week. Now for the calculation:

Type-A: (2*13 + 1*12)*4 = 152 (tutorials start at week 2) Type-B: 2*13 + 2*4 = 34 Type-C: 3*13 = 39 FYP: 10*14=140 (recess week included)

Total = 152 + 34 + 39 + 140 = 365 hours

The total amount of time available in that 14 weeks is: 14*7*24 = 2352 hours. Let's be generous and give 8 hours each day for sleep, that makes 14*7*8 = 784 hours. So, the amount of time I have remaining in the whole semester for goofing and penguin-ing around is 2352 - (365 + 784) = 1203 hours. That's enough to redo the semester (365 hours) three times over! (about 3.3 times)

Of course, there'd be commute, meal times, prayer times, etc, but I doubt it would take the time needed to redo the semester once (365 hours or 15 days and 5 hours). That means even after factoring that in, I would still have the time to go through the classes two times over! Now, I would have to ridicule all my talks about passion and willpower going on here if I can't make use of all those excess hours!

Elektronika, Algoritma, Cinta, dan Dunia!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Where's The Work?

We talked a lot about passion and willpower, and of how the earth will become Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower. One thing that should've been mentioned over and over again is, of course, hard work. Like I said, I'm a hard working person: hard to put to work.

Hopefully, hard work comes automagically from overflowing passion and willpower. Extending 'passion and willpower' to 'passion, willpower, and hard work' seems to be too much trouble after all, penguin.

Writing something like that might mean suicide if my future employer should search my name and find this blog and find this post. Well, at least they'd get a good reading about passion and willpower, and The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower.

When I first got to university, many professors encouraged us undergrads to work hard and play hard. Now I guess that's still true, but it'd be better for me if playing means doing some extra work (I'm not sure if I should sigh here). Now, proceed to procrastinate!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Candyland

Where life is sweet and peace lasts forever, or until the end of civilization, whichever comes first. In Candyland people are always happy and never have any reason to hurt each other. We can see people laughing to tears on the streets because they're just that happy. Love, passion, and willpower are overflowing wherever we see. Scientists would never have to see their discovery used to make weapons. Oh Penguins, weapons are all stored where they belong: museums, documentaries, and fictions. Anyone and everyone are lovely and sharp, in their hearts the fire of progress burns bright and in their minds the avalanche of innovation never stop. The world is as one, borders are erased; the people know that earth is just a tiny piece of rock orbiting a nuclear fireball. Armed forces everywhere are disbanded, Candyland has no need for it. Ex-soldiers volunteer to be kindergarten teacher, wearing pink uniforms and nekomimi headband; relinquishing the power to destroy the future to help build a gentler tomorrow. Maybe we would meet some alien civilizations too; infecting love, passion, and willpower all over the universe! Not going to happen anytime soon. Certainly not in my lifetime. You know engineers, we work from ideal cases, ideal devices, and add practical non-ideality afterwards.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Osu!

School's starting. Back to classes. Isn't this what I've been waiting for for a good part of my internship? We all gotta go with burning passion and willpower. After all we have Our Beloved Fantastic Teacher The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower, and his first disciple The Magnificent Papa Bear of Passion and Willpower behind us, keeping the fire in our hearts aflame. And don't forget what The Noble Ice Cube of Love and Sacrifice did for us.
Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower, just a passionate effort away.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Our Hero Penjahat Berewokan

Names in the following story are all kept in Indonesian, the future language of fun and great justice, the way they were first devised. If you need an English translation, hover over names with dashed underline.

As a little boy little Sulistyo Dermawan saw a thing no boy should ever have to see. He saw his best friend, Subroto Dorojatun Jaya, rammed by a Truk Manggis in a hit and run case. The image of the driver laughing maniacally at him before, when, and after ramming his friend was burned in Sulistyo's mind. However, the driver himself was never found and brought to justice. Young Sulistyo then vowed to drag that heartless driver to the face of justice.

Sometime in his high school period he found out that the driver was the leader of the one and only orderly, tidy, and clean criminal organization in Jakarta, Komunitas Kriminal Ibukota Jakarta Raya. Sulistyo then prowled the city streets at night, searching for members of the community. All members of the community have some common traits: they are always tidy, they never ever litter, they are kind to animals, and they care for mother nature. In fact, all those traits are included in their membership oath, anyone who breaks it will be hung upside-down from a tree three days with minimum food and drink for small offenses and be clubbed with electric guitars to death for serious offenses.

All those traits made them look nothing like criminals but they truly were criminals to the core. They did every objectionable things from petty thievery, major bank robbery, countless murders, all kinds of fraud, plagiarism and counterfeiting artworks, to much nastier deed like stealing ice creams from children and eat those in front of them. Their leader, the driver of the dreaded Truk Manggis, was called Taka Sutaka Martaka Raya. He pride himself by having more 'taka' in his name than most people. His appearance made the dandiest of the dandies feel unkempt. Mas Pimpinan, as his men called him, loved to collect electric guitars of all sorts, especially stolen ones, he's a criminal after all. He couldn't play guitar, though he had a charming singing voice, but microphones don't hit people as hard as electric guitars most of the time.

Back to young Sulistyo. In elementary school his friends used to call him Sulis, but in high school they all called him Sis to save time. Sulistyo didn't really think the time saved was really saved anyway and coerced his friends to spell Sis 'Schisz' just for giggles. All that didn't matter much for no one really ever needed to spell his nickname anyway, morever when Sulistyo began prowling the city at night to hunt for members from the community, he practically didn't have time to socialize if he want to keep pursuing his dream of becoming a kung-fu diplomat for starter and ninja president ultimately, so mostly no one ever needed to call him Sis. Imagine a diplomat that could break a brick wall with his yell or a president that could disguise himself as a wall and throw knives to assassins unlucky enough to target him, the world needed one thought young Sulistyo, full of dreams.

Although Sulistyo was firstly motivated by anger and vengeance in his hunt, he pride himself as someone who made the Great Capital saver. That pride slowly consumed him until whenever he saw a little girl or boy eating ice cream peacefully under a tree, he felt that it's because of him that they can enjoy their desserts. But all those pride would have to go crashing down after a fateful night. That night Sulistyo was very excited, he just got a lead on the whereabouts of a criminal community leader, someone close enough to Mas Pimpinan. He thought he would get information on the Supreme Leader, Mas Pimpinan Taka Raya. He didn't anticipate that the community member is a prominent martial artist with title Guru Besar Dunia Persilatan. Sulistyo's intense training in pursuit of his dream to be a ninja president might not be enough yet.

The post is already long enough, so we'll just skip to the aftermath of that night. It was awful. They were both in the association, Asosiasi Petarung Tangguh Nusantara Sakti. Their fight was like other fights between the bests of association members; bloody and messy. Blood splattered everywhere and trash bins flown all around, not to mention several trees which got early bulldozing from their special moves. If the community leader could get back to the community headquarter, Mas Pimpinan's favorite green electric guitar would be waiting for him, but he couldn't. He's dead. Sulistyo beat him.

The community leader didn't talk, though; he kept his silence. But important lead to Mas Pimpinan was not the only thing Sulistyo Dermawan lost that night, he also lost his pride as a champion of justice. The mess caused in the fighting was 100% made by him, the community leader fought carefully and gracefully; he clung to the community oath like dear life. Sulistyo thought that he was not better than a criminal, worse in fact. From that day, he prowled the night with a full-face mask of an unkempt, unshaven, scarred man. He was then announcing himself to his prey as Penjahat Berewokan. Sulistyo Dermawan is our hero Penjahat Berewokan.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Half Mad, Half Not So Mad

Mad people don't have a care for the world, so they're happy, right? We should all be mad! Maybe not, if they're happy should they be mad in the first place? Then we mustn't be mad? Like there's a healthy dose of brick, there should be a healthy dose of madness as well. Have you got yours?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Don't Stare at the Title

practise this new one: Demi Elektronika, Algoritma, Cinta, dan Dunia! (It's "for electornics, algorithm, love, and the world", but it doesn't rhyme that way) May we inspire awe in the minds of our peers and strike fear in the hearts of our adversaries.

Friday, July 27, 2007

GO GO GO Drama Machine!

I don't watch TV much, only when I'm back home in Jakarta. Even then there are much, very much, to be desired from Indonesian TVs. Most stations look like huge assembly lines of cheap dramas, clicking and whirring all the time churning out more and more dramas. One station even named itself as an education channel, but it's the station I least expect to stumble some educational material upon.

If you think about it, they make so much of them, some has got to be good. If that's the case, then we might be able to sell the rights overseas, effectively exporting dramas. Well, we're actually doing that, but the scale's not that big, I guess, I was asked by a canteen lady in campus to translate the title of an Indonesian drama she watched once about two and a half years ago.

Besides, there's a massive barrier from capitalising the produces of our drama machines. A lot, a whole lot, of them are adaptation, ehm ripoff, from foreign series. I lost count, my little sister has a knack of guessing what drama ripped off what foreign series. Surely people in their right mind wouldn't want to see the same show twice if there's not a significant retelling or at least a polite amount of new materials.

Even worse, a lot of those "adaptation" actually continues the story, turning into a sick kind of fan fiction in the name of capitalization, ha! Only there, as far as I know, can be a series with hundreds upon hundreds of episodes, each finished filming only days before airing. Planning seems to be some kind of curious alien being which is interesting to look at but not for anything else. "We should plan for this series? are you quite right in the head?" Oh the irony.

When the drama machine is down for maintenance, refueling, or whatnot, there are usually gossips. They cutely call them infotainments but for all purpose, they' re gossips, plain and penguin. The penguin do I want to know that some random mister actor just married some random miss singer who was divorced from another mister songwriter who ran off with his new boyfriend mister talk show host who had a chocolate cake as a pet, but he ate it. They can or can't sing, can or can't act, can or can't write good songs, that's that, no? Maybe instead of reporting it plainly they should gather all those gossips and make a parody series out of the materials. It'd have more production value, and can maybe be sold as a pure comedy series.

Of course, there are some quality shows out there. None of them is drama, mind you. News Dot Com (Republik Mimpi) is brilliant, Extravaganza is interesting, Wisata Kuliner is ... maknyus? News Dot Com, by the way, has a youtube channel, apparently from MetroTV itself, isn't it wonderful?

I dream of a time when Indonesian can watch TV and feel entertained and smarter afterwards, instead of cursing wildly and passionately at the antagonist of a drama whose character is so cliched one can't help but think that the writers just copy-pasted each other's manuscript. Hey, I dream of these kind of things too beside generous servings of chocolate cakes, ice creams, and candies.

Eye Candies

Why eye candies? Not eye ice creams? Or eye chocolate cake? they're good too, and sweet to boot! I'm back at school a happy gamer when I really should be a hard working student. Well, hard working, hard to put to work, penguin. Something about Suikoden openings, I was just reminded how beautiful Suikoden III's opening was. video:
The animation was done by Gonzo, an anime studio which produced Last Exile and Gankutsuou among other titles (Those two were gorgeous). The opening for other Suikoden games aren't as memorable as Ai Wo Koete in Suikoden III (which means Transcending Love). La Mer in Suikoden IV was okay, Wind of Phantom in Suikoden V was not making me want to see it again and again and again. Judge for yourself. (Notice that I left out Suikogaiden games)
La Mer:
Wind of Phantom:
I think abandoning the 2D animated opening was a bad move on the developer's side, penguin, look at what's happening to the prince's eyes in Suikoden V opening, penguin. Let's talk about the story and gameplay some other time. Suikoden VI has to take place after Suikoden III, I believe everyone is more eager to know what happens next than what happened before. Lastly, there are Hugo and Lily in the very end of Harry Potter book 7. I wonder if Rowling knows that Hugo from the grasslands travels with Lilly from Tinto for a while in Suikoden III? Penguin, must've been nerdery [sic] at work.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cold and Sweet

I managed to get more submarines, yay. Submerge away in the vinegar! I've been having ice creams every night this past week. Tell you what, the world needs a lot more ice creams, for peace, love, passion, and willpower of course.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Submarine and Vinegar

They get along really well. Wish I could have many many many more *slurps* Quite probably the best thing after sliced bread and pure canned awesome.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Pride of a Robot

The best kind of robots is a those that transform and combine, extra bonus if they breathe fire and painted pink. A robot which lacks the capability to transform, combine, or both would be having problem with its self esteem and would seek compensation from other things, warring with other robots for example. That was the basic plot of the Transformers movie, at least if I'm in charge of writing. Let us now stop making absurd assumptions and talk about something else. I am not a movie-going guy, I usually only go if some friends ask me to go along, which frequency is about twice a year, har har. But today, I did the inviting. We planned to watch robots who lack the ability to combine, but at least they transform. But that's before we knew that the new Harry Potter film was on. Well, the film has nothing to do with pottery and Harry is not a clay artisan, penguin who came up with that idea? How was the film? Read a review, har har har. Anyway, Alastor Moody's got a Harley broomstick (Harley Davidson makes broomstick? beat me). Dumbledore reminds me of Gandalf, but Albus' got a lot more style around him. Dolores Umbridge has a lot of cats and kittens pictures in her office. Cat lovers can't be too bad, maybe she's just brought up the wrong way but is actually a good person deep down inside. Sirius dies, he kind of reminds me of Captain Jack Sparrow. Dumbledore, you're next. Crookshanks is cute, most cats are. Mister Weasley wears a funny hat. Vernon Dursley looks like a katamari. Harry ruined Dudley's first kiss with a dementor, but Dudley can't hope to crash Harry's first kiss with Cho. Sometimes justice seems to be lazy. Luna Lovegood's style of strangeness can be a good experiment material. The most interesting thing is this, I think Death Eaters would make a great rock band. They have the look and the number. Well talking about number, they have enough to make a rock orchestra, but a band is good enough with the amount featured in this film. Voldemort must look good with a yellow electric guitar, Lucius Malfoy can take up the bass, Bellatrix Lestrange can sing, some random minion can be the drummer and the rest can dance in their first music video, fabulous! Let's stop talking about the movie before it deranges into some random jabbering about Harry and Voldemort's twisted love affair ("You can never know love or friendship" "I feel sorry for you" "But I can teach you in time" (last statement didn't make it to the movie)). Thanks all for coming, my little sister and her two friends, my cousin, and Apret. Thanks for the Mona Lisa poster, I still think my smile is sweeter. And surely I passed the screening by fashion police, no?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Greetings

Prodding the world with a long fork full of traces of chocolate cake. Have penguins taken over overlordship yet? No, I guess, or I'd know. The future capital of fun and great justice is still as usual, a capital, but not of fun and great justice, yet, makes me want to emphasize on the future part of future capital of fun and great justice. But we have the capital of fun and great justice in our hearts, so it wouldn't be long, would it? Well, I need to make sure I don't forget the mantra: Jangan nakal!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Future Capital of Fun and Great Justice

This Saturday I'll be going back home to Jakarta, current capital of Indonesia and future capital of fun and great justice. It's not now? well, arguably no. The city has its fair share of annoyance and injustice, but every city has that one way or the other, no? From that we arguably has no capital of fun and great justice yet. We definitely need one, and I arbitrarily picked Jakarta, only because I spent a lot of time there (okay, in randomryy we ought to say 'just because' instead of giving a reason, but doing that all the time gives predictability to the blog, which only detracts from its self. One more thing, I have a feeling that doing this is against the concept and kills the joke. To all that I only have one word, of course, PENGUIN!) So when will it be the capital of fun and great justice? At the very late, after the second world take over by penguins, after cats, which is after the first world take over by penguins. After the dancing around the tree part, every part of the world is a place of fun and great justice, I did say I picked Jakarta arbitrarily, right? After all, the fire of the revolution that leads to us three species to be friendly will be incited after the quest of Our Beloved Fantastic Teacher The Great and Kind Penguin of Passion and Willpower. In Planet Earth of Passion and Willpower, any city can be and is a capital of something awesome or another. Now, in alternate universe which is somewhat more likely if penguins won't develop intelligence as fast as needed to take over the world soon (we know they're not likely to lag in the developing intelligence part, look). Jakarta will be the capital of fun and great justice when we finally have our beloved Candyland, where live is sweet and peace lasts forever. The soonest it can happen? When Jakartan wish it and work to that end, that is, when the capital of fun and great justice is in our hearts, it will indeed be before our eyes. Another thing about the capital of sun and great justice. Rainbow there doesn't have only 7 colors (counting from 0, it fits exactly in 3 bits), it has 255 colors (that's 8 bits, yay). I need to confess a lie though. I don't live in Jakarta. The Place I live in is, shortly, just in the outside part of the border between Jakarta and the neighboring province, West Java. But because I went to school in Jakarta and found myself in Jakarta again and again whenever I went out ...when thing happens it happens. Holiday means I'll be part time student, full time gamer, full time glutton, and full time lazy person. When you have that many full time things like that, you'll begin to wonder if you're having a holiday or not, penguin? I'll be having Final Year Project materials with me, but I don't think I'll be done reading them by holiday end, I can still make the effort, of course, hopefully over a generous piece of chocolate cake. Academic year end also means, besides the holiday, some melancholy. It means I would have to move to another dorm room (I'm the type of person who just can't stay in the same room for two consecutive years), and it also means that I would have to be separated from my computer during the holiday, having only the hard disk near me is not the same. With no offense intended, my computer is like my #1 roommate these past two years. The other roommates that really used the other bed and needed organic power supply were like just the other person in the background, again with no offense. Now while I'm in the mood, let's have a music video. Sayounara by L'Arc~en~ciel:
The video looks like it has some significance to the existence of the band at some time. I'm no good at that, really, I'm the type of person who doesn't keep track of the history of a band he's fond of. I can't really recall who're the people that has come and gone to L'Arc, neither can I recall how many FICTION JUNCTION Yuki Kajiura has had.
Anyway, straight to translation:
spread the wings and fly to the small sky the time is moving silently, bidding farewell to the morning and ride on the wind perhaps we played ignorant though we were also innocently spirited we were gazing at this time from somewhere all along once again, please, smile, forget your worries aren't you quiet today? though I really want to go back to those days, we'll meet again, thank you for now, goodbye fireworks fluttering down are laughing as an ornament, one last kiss if I keep quiet I'm afraid I'll be in tears, so please once again, please, smile, don't shiver raise your face when a new season comes, we'll meet again thank you, I love you... goodbye
Actually I picked the song more or less just for one line near the end: 'when a new season comes, we'll meet again'. Yeah, we'll meet again, my computer, classes, projects, school, penguins (okay no, penguins are coming along). Then again holiday means I get to see the family's three cats. One who loves sleeping on carpet, one who looks like carpet, and one whose attitude makes it look like it can ruin the carpet anytime. I wonder if they miss me, well they should. When you sleep on my bed whenever I'm away, you should _really_ miss me, or off to the carpet you go har har har. I'll try to check my emails everyday around midnight and post something here from time to time. If I can't be reached that'd mean I'm out of town, out of energy, out of happy (happycat can run out of happy, unfortunately), or out of luck (they some in plastic bottles, have you had your bottle of luck today?)