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The diary of a Giraffe Hunter
Inconsistent updates from the front
27th-Jul-2012 01:33 pm - TDKR
The Dark Knight Rises is a very good film. This is not a compliment.

Holy spoilers, Batman!Collapse )
14th-Jul-2012 02:04 am - Book meme - with a twist!
birthday penguin
... The twist is that I'm going to copy lost_spook and ignore the rules and just bold what I read. Yes, even Moby Dick. I made it to half the bloody book.

There's a cut here, honestly!Collapse )
7th-Jul-2012 11:32 pm(no subject)
birthday penguin
I'm bored. And been wondering due to reading fic. So, question.

What's harder to write in character: secondary/one-off characters or main characters?
(As in, we don't know a lot about secondary characters so the writers don't have a lot to work on, as opposed to knowing a lot about the main characters but having the writer's view of the character skewed because of their preferences etc).
5th-Jul-2012 08:55 pm - 7 of 100: Oasis, Live Forever
... And then there was Britpop. And I can't talk about Britpop without starting with Oasis, because, well, Oasis.

Yes, yes, on the whole Oasis vs. Blur thing (yikes. 90s.) I was firmly in the Oasis camp. Well, on a personal level I thought they were all ridiculous, but musically... see, here's the thing. Noel Gallagher knows about three chords and uses them in predictable ways, but still he does it very well. Blur were... pretentious. And I know it's completely ironic considering just how much progrock this meme is about to suffer from me, but something in Damon Albarn's pretentiousness just always rubbed me the wrong way. Not to mention that the first Blur song I've ever heard was Boys & Girls which to this day is one of my least favourite Blur songs.

But this isn't about Blur, it's about Oasis, and like the rest of the universe, the first I heard of them was Live Forever, which is actually from 1994, not 1995, but I think they stayed in the background until Wonderwall came out. Maybe this should be a Wonderwall entry then, not Live Forever, but as much as I like Wonderwall, Live Forever simply summarises Oasis. Maybe it's the same as what I had to say about Nirvana - it has honesty (which is all the more ironic because I think they wrote it directly due to being annoyed with Nirvana-esque depression?)

Anyway, Live Forever is the quintessential Oasis song. Simple chords, simple lyrics, Liam still knew how to sing back in the day, but it works. I shouldn't still be fond of this song, but I am. They actually had quite a lot of really good songs from Definitely, Maybe: Columbia, Supersonic, Slide Away (I love Slide Away. Completely adore it. Maybe I should have linked to it...), but in the end, it's not a surprise that Live Forever was their big break, and still one of their most famous songs ever.

Also, it already showcases their ridiculous tendency to keep songs going on and on and on in the end (although until they decided to make their point with Be Here Now it was manageable, but then, Be Here Now was a rubbish album anyway).

LOL that ridiculous chairCollapse )
4th-Jul-2012 10:49 pm - Physics!Squee
I'm just sitting here enjoying all the noise over the Higgs Boson. Yeah, I'm rubbish at physics and will never be a physicist, but still - woo! People are excited over physics! ♥

So, to celebrate, here's a PDF that explains Gödel's second incompleteness theorem only with monosyllabic words. Rejoice!
17th-Jun-2012 09:15 pm - 6 of 100: Nirvana - About A Girl
So, we're still in 1995, aren't we. Hmmm. Did I mention Israel at those years was a bit behind everyone else? At least, I was. So who cares of Kurt Cobain died in 1994, I was into grunge in 1995! Grunge fashion, too - torn jeans and flannel shorts and everything. I still find that fashion highly aesthetic by the way.

Anyway, for the failing grunge fan I am, my favourite Nirvana album has always been the Unplugged one. Yes, I know, it kinda defeats the point in Nirvana, but there you have it.
Also, I'm one of those people who first heard The Man Who Sold The World in the Nirvana edition... I still haven't quite got used to David Bowie's original, I must admit.

Thing is, for all the noise and screams and that, Nirvana actually were talented. And I think the Unplugged is the best indication of that - you drop the noise and the screams and the distortions and what you get is a band that sings its heart out. And that's the thing about music. When it's people singing their heart out, usually it's good.

Anyway, here it is!Collapse )
Yeah, you couldn't be - well, not even a teenager in Israel, as much as simply living in Israel in the early 90s and not hear Aviv Geffen everywhere. He was pretty much the king of Israeli rock back then, especially for my generation.

Funny thing. He's apparently one of the judges now in the Israeli version of the Voice, and it was on at some point when we were all at my sister's for Passover. And then my mum said something like, "Oh, what happened to him, he used to say all those things no one ever said and now he's just like everyone else." I think even 10 years ago I would have thought she was mocking the way he was back in the early 90s, but now I can understand she actually appreciated him back then. Huh. Parents - more cool than you give them credit when you're a teenager (I know, I know, not a revelation).

Achshav Meunan really was sort of the protest song of - well, people who were a bit older than me back then, but not by much, complete with the "we're a fucked up generation" scream at some point. - as was Aviv Geffen who was generally my generation's protest singer, I guess. So he's got a horrible voice (no, honestly, it actually sounds good here compared to some recordings), but he was, I think, at the right place at the right time.

And here's the songCollapse )
2nd-Jun-2012 01:48 am(no subject)
"Journalists should have the right to use leaked documents as sources for their stories when these stories serve the public interest. We are highly concerned about the ramifications of this decision on the right of the Israeli public to be informed about the actions of state institutions."

"Every investigative journalist has in their possession files that were leaked from unofficial sources. We do not know another way to reveal instances of government corruption, injustices and offenses to the public, whose perpetrators would prefer to continue uninterrupted".

The leaked documents proved that a man who was later considered as a possible candidate for the Israeli Chief of Staff completely dismissed and ignored a Supreme Court ruling regarding the legality of assassinations of terrorists and the guidelines set by the court. The article based on the documents was published after passing through the military censor's office and was approved by them. Half a year ago, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu referred to HaAretz newspaper as "Israel's main enemy". The Israeli Supreme Court is still being attacked on a regular basis by the government.
Oh, look! Stone Roses!

Okay, that requires some music post. So I shall post The Stone Roses out of order. Cos it's topical and stuff.

The Stone Roses I got from... Ashe. I think. Pretty sure. In the early 2000s I was sending and receiving loads of tapes from people I met through the KS forum/mailing list, and getting to know a lot of new bands. And one of them was the Stone Roses.

I'm pretty sure I've already heard of the Seahorses at the time (Yup! Wikipedia lists Do It Yourself as out in 1997, and I'm sure I caught Blinded By the Sun and Love Me or Leave Me when they were released) but I never knew of the connection to the Stone Roses until I actually got to listen to the Stone Roses. And then I realised they're the first Britpop band and went wheee.

... And in an extremely amusing turn of event, not long ago I was getting a ride from my sister and she was listening to some CD, and something incredibly Stone Roses-y was playing. I can't remember which band it turned out to be (possible Kaiser Chiefs?) but I was so eternally amused that now retro had gone full circle. As the first Britpop band, The Stone Roses are largely responsible to the late 60s retro sound. And now... they've been retro'd. It's layers, man.

Anyway, there were a lot of amusing quirks in that album of theirs. Elizabeth My Dear, for example, which is in fact on the tune for Scarborough Fair, you can hear where Oasis stole half their music from from just listening to Made of Stone, and I Wanna Be Adored is still one of the best album openers ever.

So here it isCollapse )
17th-May-2012 09:08 pm - 3 of 100: Bon Jovi's These Days
birthday penguin
I decided to do these chronologically. Much easier.

And if I'm doing this chronologically, then the next band has to be Bon Jovi. I was the biggest fan once, lol. Their best of album was released in 1994, with Always as a single, and so me and my sister were introduced to Bon Jovi at about the same time and we both liked it. And the arrangement was pretty useful, she bought the CDs/ got the tapes, I took them from her. :)

A year later they released These Days. Now, that was the period in school where I joined a whole new class and didn't know much of anyone. So one day, we had a going-to-shelter drill at school, and I accidentally sat next to someone - who had a Bon Jovi necklace. What promised to be an otherwise completely pointless and boring exercise in pointlessness became a happy and enthusiastic discussion of all things Bon Jovi. That was Anat and she was one of my best friends until we finished school 6 years later (damn. I haven't talked to her for like, 7 years. Hmpf).

I think there was a huge gap after Bon Jovi released These Days. I know that by the time their next album was released, I already wasn't as big a fan and didn't even bother listening to it, let along buy it. But These Days is still totally nostalgic, and now that I searched for the song on Youtube, I'm slightly worried at the fact I still remember the lyrics.

Actually, the song still works.Collapse )
8th-May-2012 06:46 pm - The day democracy died.
Opposition role call:

Labour - 8 seats. Centre-ish. They stopped being left a long time ago.
HaIkhud HaLeumi - 4 seats. Extreme right wing religious party, including an ex-member of Kach.
Ra'am-Ta'al - 4 seats. The party of the Islamist movement.
Hadash - 4 seats. Joint Jewish-Arab communist party.
Merez - 3 seats. Left with human rights/end of the occupation-emphasis Zionist party.
Balad - 3 seats. Arab-nationalist party...ish.

Sum of all opposition seats (with a note that on the more right wing, less democratic votes, the government usually can count on HaIkhud HaLeumi) - 26.

Sum of coalition seats: Ninety-four.

Some facts about the Israeli system:
Israel doesn't have a constitution. What we have is a series of laws called "basic laws", which were meant to set the basis for a constitution. These laws take precedence, that is, if a law passes that contradicts one of the basic laws, it is cancelled.

The last of these laws to pass was in 1992, the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. That is the major law that settles the issues of human rights in Israel. On the basis of this law developed in the Israeli court what is known as judicial activism. That is, the more the government ignores human rights and its own laws in legislation or policy, the more the Israel Supreme Court rules out laws as contradicting this basic law and cancels them. This hasn't happened a lot. But it has happened, and the Israeli Supreme Court has been subjected to ongoing attacks from the right over this in the past twenty years, becoming worse and worse with the last two governments.

A law that is being discussed a lot lately is a law that will allow the Knesset to re-legislate a law that has been rules as illegal in court if it has a certain majority. Theoretically, such a law is an important one - there should be a distinction between the court and the legislator, and the court's interference should be minimal. However, the recent Knessets and especially the current one have had a tendency of ignoring Israeli law and human rights in general. Without the court's ability to interfere with illegal legislation, there would be no one to stop them.

Two other things have happened in the past two months.
In March, there should have been an eviction of the illegal outpost Migron. In the last minute, the state reached a compromise with the settlers, one that gave them until 2015 to evict the outpost. The Supreme Court said no. The current date of eviction is August.
On Sunday, there was a discussion regarding the Ulpana neighbourhood in Beit El, which, like Migron, is built in private land owned by Palestinians. The Supreme Court - the last, final ruling court in Israel - has already ruled a long time ago that it must be evicted. The date set for the eviction by the court is the end of July. The state has appealed to have the decision overturned because it is uncomfortable to them. The court's answer, albeit phrased more politely, can be summed with "WTF no".

There's a lot of other things you can do with a majority of over 80 seats in the Knesset, not just cancel basic laws. None of them are good for democracy. No one's talking about it - at the moment.

On Sunday, there was also a conference of the Likkud party centre. What's happened in the Likkud in the past several years is that a large number of Settlers, who have no intention of voting for the Likkud in the general election, have become party members. They took over the convention more or less, and Netanyahu had to stop it in the middle when he realised he's not going to get what they want. These people also then have power in electing Likkud members, and setting up the Likkud's agenda.

The talk about election said the date would be early September. That would have been extremely uncomfortable for Bibi and the Likkud, due to the court's ruling about the settlements, and even worse for Mofaz's Qadima, who were going to shrink to about 40% of its current size. By Qadima joining into the coalition, Mofaz and Bibi have made sure they have a government that simply cannot fall. That said, the next election would be a disaster for Qadima, and also for Ehud Barak. He left Labour over a year ago, and all the polls indicated his new party would be lucky to enter the Knesset in the next election. The same will happen to Mofaz - no one is going to forget that he called Bibi a liar yesterday, and declared only last week that Qadima will not enter the government.

They may not think about it now, but in a year and a half, they're going to think about it.

At some point in 2008, I had a conversation with my landlady, who I met during my linguistics BA. She's a brilliant lady, older than I am - she's from my parents' generation. I don't remember what exactly happened at that point that made me say that I feel fascism really is gaining hold in Israel. She smiled and said, "That's how things felt in 1984, and then they got better". I went "er, I was born in 1984" and the conversation continued from there...

When I came back to Israel, already 2 years ago, she said then I was right. Things have never been this bad. Not in 1984. Not ever.

Before today, I assumed we've had at least one general election, perhaps two, before the shit really hit the fan. I don't anymore. Now I think the last truly democratic, free election, is already behind us. I don't know how things will look like in 2013. But I don't think it will look the same.
5th-May-2012 11:47 am - 15 character meme results
Oh, my.

1. Luna Lovegood
2. Tenth Doctor
3. Donna Noble
4. Kira Nerys
5. Teal’c
6. Harry Potter
7. Clyde Langer
8. Rani Chandra
9. MacGyver
10. Murdoc
11. Delenn
12. Martha Jones
13. Rodney McKay
14. Elizabeth Weir
15. George Kirrin

From primsongCollapse )

from lost_spookCollapse )
Okay, now that we've done Kula Shaker, I can go to the first album I actually bought.

Which was Roxette's Crash! Boom! Bang! in 1994. It all came about a bit oddly. I was ten and decided it was time I started listening to music. Yes, I was an odd ten year old. (I was an odd kid when it comes to music as a whole. Most 6 year old kids have their parents insist they learn to play. I was the opposite - I insisted to my parents I wanted to play piano until they agreed. Even the full year of "she's too young to play an instrument, let's have her one of those 'introduction to music while banging stuff' the teacher insisted on didn't deter me. But I digress). So, anyway, walking into what was later to became Tower Records and completely and randomly looking for something. With no idea where to start. That was... not very helpful, you'd imagine.

Crash! Boom! Bang! was just released then and Roxette were always big in Israel so the shop played it. Anyway, my reaction was "that's nice" so we bought that one.

Oddly enough... I'm not big on pop, and there are just about a thousand different things I'd rather listen to. But as far as pop goes, Roxette actually really are good. I'm of the firm belief that in just about every musical genre you can find something worthwhile, because you will have good musicians somewhere and good musicians make good music, regardless of the genre (with caveat: heavily electronic music gives me a headache. I can deal with the beats until a certain level but after that, it might be good, but I won't be able to recognise it because I'll be busy complaining about my headache). Roxette know their stuff.

Riders in the sky is the first song out of Crash! Boom! Bang! and it's 3 minutes of fun pop.
and here it is...Collapse )
30th-Apr-2012 10:14 pm - 1 post of 100: Kula Shaker's Tattva
I'm going to try and write 100 posts about... music.

Let's see how that works.

If there's ever a band I should start with, and if there's ever a song I should start with, it's Kula Shaker and Tattva.

They're not the best band in the world, nor are they the most original and unique. And Tattva isn't their best song. But in a way, everything I listen to today is because of that random day I opened MTV and there was this strange strange band on with 60s haircuts and 60s inspired music singing in Sanskrit.

The first song of theirs I actually heard was Grateful When You're Dead, when it was released in... April 1996 I think. It actually made it to the top 40 (35!) and I caught it once or twice. It registered enough that I would know it was Grateful later on, but it didn't register any more than that.

And then in July Tattva was released. And this mixture of psychedelia (both music and the extremely odd video) with the added bonus of strange lyrics... sort of got me. I think I finally got K only after Govinda was out, but by then I'd been a fan head over heals. I'm not as big a fan of theirs now as I was 16 years ago (OMG this can't possibly be the number of years!!! I feel old). But almost everything I listen to today, I can probably trace back to KS, whether it was wanting to listen to their influences, opening up my mind about 60s music, 70s music and non-Western music, the influences on those bands, or music I got to know through other KS fans. The only thing I can't give KS credit for in some way is classical music, which I have been playing since early on so most of that came from my Russian piano teacher.

So yeah. I don't listen to Kula Shaker a lot these days (definitely not compared to how much I used to), and I haven't listened to K in months, at least. But I owe my extensive knowledge, extensive interest and extensive love of music (and about 40gb of music on my harddrive, not to mention the stuff I have on tapes and couldn't convert to mp3!) to that day I heard Tattva.

So here it is.Collapse )
27th-Apr-2012 08:29 pm - meeeeeme.
15 character meme. Go.

(or: I made a secret list of 15 characters. Ask me questions about characters without knowing who they are, and after a while, I shall reveal the ridiculous answers. There's a much better description of this meme somewhere but I can't find it anymore.)

Ah! The "official" wording. For those of us who are confused by my confusing self.

1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment.

2) Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example: "One, nine, and fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from four. Do they succeed?", "Under what circumstances might five and fourteen fall in love?", "Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?"

3) After your f-list has stopped asking questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.
10th-Apr-2012 06:02 pm - Free beer and cookies for reccers
I know most people on my flist are either on calufrax or aren't into the Whoniverse, but just in case there is someone out there...

Originally posted by nonelvis at Free beer and cookies for reccers
(Not really, but I'm almost at that point.)

See, we're out of reccers. And when I say "out of reccers," I really do mean it, because starting April 23, the schedule is 100% empty. No volunteers. Not a soul.

Please, if you've ever considered reccing, have friends who have been on the fence about it, or just want to make sure the comm doesn't go dark, I beg of you, volunteer or encourage others to sign up. All you need is a mere four stories on Teaspoon you love -- more's great too, but not required -- that are well-written, don't all include exactly the same pairing (though they don't all have to be different), and don't involve character bashing. Then join the comm, if you're not already a member, and sign up here.

I am also open to suggestions about how to increase participation. Feel free to leave a comment here or PM me about this.

Thanks, everyone.
23rd-Dec-2011 07:01 pm - Yo! Paid accounts on my flist!
I cannot believe I'm getting into the whole "let's post about LJ being douches again", but this one is worth making sure everyone on my flist who has a paid account knows.


Apparently some people have had automatic payment enabled by this update without their consent.
Anyway... acquired from lost_spook
Give me a letter, and I'll list 10 things that make me happy that begin with that letter.

I can't guarantee my cynical view of the world won't influence the meme results at all, but I'll do my best.
21st-Oct-2011 04:20 pm - Klingons, PTerries, and rats
1. fic_rush is on this weekend! Join us to have ninja penguin-giraffes threaten to eat you unless you write fic.

2. On a different note... Thoughts on Jadzia DaxCollapse )

on another note, some amusing Worf vids:Collapse )

3. The new Pterry book. Pitry is displeasedCollapse )

4. I have a new rat icon. I'm missing Spider-Rat now. :( Granted, Spider-Rat wasn't as adorable as Icon!Rat, but it was pretty cute. They're a vastly misunderstood species, rats are!
2nd-Oct-2011 01:06 am - More meme questions
This time from lost_spook:

1. Which of your fandoms would be better with penguins?
2. Which fandom should most avoid evil giraffes?
3. Do you have any fandoms that actually don't fit your three things?
4. What is it that's so cool about Welsh in particular?
5. When is there going to be a DW/Famous Five crossover? Will there be honey still for tea? Or, failing that, ginger beer and sardines.


wafflingCollapse )
28th-Sep-2011 12:09 am - Thievery of Memes!
A Five Questions meme from justice_turtle...

If you want to join in the meme:

What are the three things that most attract you to a fandom?
Comment with an answer to the question above.
I’ll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.
Post to your journal with the answers to the questions. Or if you want, post in the comments here. Or both!
Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

mah thingiesCollapse )

the questions! (and answers)Collapse )
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