Archive for October, 2006

Wares, they cometh

Some very cool stuff in the wonderful world of software(tm):

  • Flash 9 beta for Linux (finally!)
    OMG OMG OMG – so much better.  faster.  no (or way fewer) sound issues.  GTK standalone player available, as well.  Now I don’t have to cringe when I receive a link to “that really cool flash site.”
  • Gaim 2.0 beta 4 multi-protocol IM client (cross-platform)
    Vast improvements.  File transfers on MSN still teh suck, tho.  And, of course, it doesn’t support the anything complicated.  Now I will use aMSN for complicated features, and Gaim for minimal chattiness.  Like when I’m supposed to be doing homework.  ….  Like now.  🙁
  • Songbird 0.2 webby music player/manager (cross-platform)
    If you’re still of the 1) Find music file in filesystem 2) double click to play in audio player mindset, please come to the current generation.  You need a library manager.  You do.  This is based on Firefox XUL and it’s pretty slick.  It’s even quite snappy!  It browses the web, collects media files from web pages…. oh just click the link and watch a video about it.

Note: Posted in Deepest Sender. Which seems to prefer ‘BR’ tags over ‘P’ tags.  Eewww….

Bitter Sweet

Yesterday, I was at a cafe with my friend, Jesse. We each bought a coffee and a cookie for our nutritional kick-start of the day (around noon, at the time). I gave my visa card to the well-endowed clerk to pay for my purchase, and she gave me the debit user-input pad saying “You have to confirm.”

Huh? Um… Okay. “Purchase $3-something Okay?” I click Okay.

“Tip?” I think I actually made an audible grunt of surprise. Whatever. Fine. She’s nice to look at, I guess I’ll give her 15%. I’m so weak. “Purchase $4-something okay?” Okay.

I took my newly purchased beverage over to the counter to sweeten it up. Now, this may sound strange, but I actually prefer the taste of non-sugar sweeteners to actual sugar. Maybe this is because I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, and I don’t like adding so much sugar to my coffee. And I figure I could lose some weight, maybe not adding so much sugar would help. As I explain this to Jesse, he says something along the lines of “Weight or cancer, one of ’em will get ya.” I added one packet of sweetener, and one of sugar (regretfully, I missed the brown sugar).

Later in the day, I was in a computer lab at school working on project with my group. Jesse had given me a Tab energy drink earlier. He said he didn’t like the taste of non-sugar sweetener. I was kind of thirsty, so I pulled it out of my bag and was about to drink it. One of my group members said, “You know that stuff’s carcinogenic, right?”

“That’s what people say.”

“So… why do you drink it?”

“I dunno… tastes good?” I enjoyed my energy drink.

Since the start of this school term, I’ve been drinking a coffee sweetened with a sugar-substitute nearly every day. So this morning, I decided to look into the controversy over these sweet things I enjoy.

My current sweeteners at home are Sugar-Twin and some no name “calorie-free” sweetener. Both contain sodium cyclamate. Both say, “Use only at the advice of a physician” and both are available on the shelf of any grocery store, in Canada. In the US and the UK, cyclamate has been banned since 1969 and 1970, respectively, due to some tests on rats linking cyclamate to bladder cancer. According to Wikipedia, Sugar-Twin does not contain cyclamate in the US market, but instead uses saccharin, which has been banned in Canada since 1977, excpet for diabetic usage. Tab Energy apparently uses sucralose as its sweetener, which seems to be the least controversial. Many other low-calorie soft-drinks currently use aspartame as the sweetener, which has been linked to brain tumours. Of course, all of these “links” are not of the greatest strength.

For a seriously fascinating read, check out the Wikipedia article on sugar substitutes. For a much less fascinating read, search Canadian Food and Health regulations.

Now, as I finish my cyclamate-sweetened coffee, I embark on a painful journey of homework and assignments. I wonder if that’s the cause of this slight bitterness….

Whatever you use, use it in happy moderation. 🙂

Wife-beating-turtle video

FAZED – Videos

Jesse linked me to this. Hilarious. I think I’d be willing to pay a small sum for someone to digitally enhance it and add a white wifebeater to the horny turtle. That would just be awesome.

Posted as a test of flock. Pretty cool. Seems fast too. Almost motivation enough to get a flickr account for the photo uploading-blogging-easiness. Still not gonna switch from Firefox, though.