Mongolia, a rugged land where traditions of the past are still practiced today by enduring and hardy nomads who conquer the vast steppes and deserts.
A couple of years ago I went to the Naadam, a Mongolian traditional festival, in Antwerp and was quite fascinated by the Mongolian throat singers. Since then the idea of visiting this special country had been in the back of my mind. Then some friends joined in on the idea, and after some discussion we decided that organizing it ourselves would take too much effort, and we went to joker and asked them to do it all for us.
The trip is split into three parts
- Ulaanbaatar and the Terelj National Park, where we do some superficial UB exploring and bike through fields and on roads,
- The two-week road trip through Mongolia, during which we crossed the provinces Töv, Bulgan, Arkhangai, Övörkhangai and Dundgovi (visiting cities with roaring names such as Three Springs, or Nine Things) in two old Russian vans, and
- Ulaanbaatar and Naadam festival where we dive deeper into the capital and its festivities, and have a short visit to Moscow!
Read on, for some more information on Mongolia or click on one of the above links for the adventures! read more...
Acquired a new piece of hardware today: the Kobo Aura. I already have an e-reader (Sony PRS 350), however it lacks a light, and its battery would not survive two weeks without power.
So far, the kobo seems to reacts a bit faster, has built-in wifi (with a bookstore), and some decent dictionaries that are easy enough to replace (unfortunately, there can't be more than the predefined ones)
If Mark Knopfler -- once rated by Rolling Stone magazine as the 27th best guitarist in the world, and probably better known as the lead guitarist of the Dire Straits -- passes through your town you better buy a ticket and go listen to this master of the Stratocaster.
Since the Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 (for real this time:(), Mark has been having great success as a solo artist, and his newest creation, the album Tracker  demanded he did another tour, hooray!
I made an MP3 recording (168 MiB) of the entire concert with corresponding cue file which contains the tracks and offsets and is supported by many players (e.g. clementine), or you can just stream it! Another hooray!
- review: http://www.gva.be/cnt/dmf20150606_01717790/knopfler-amuseert-zichzelf-en-publiek-in-sportpaleis
And some photos:
Call me old-fashioned, but I like feeds: they're clean, they're fast, they're sort of local. The problem is, however, not all sites provide an atom (or RSS) feed, and if they provide one, it sometimes is more than I want.
E.g. someone recommended the language articles by Michele Berdy at The Moscow Times. It provides a RSS feed to all opinions, but not to a specific subset. It does, however, give a HTML listing of most recent articles.
I went out for a quick look on the webz, and found a couple of paying services, and the free Feed Creator byte FiveFilters.org. It seemed to do what I want, but as it wasn't open source and actually seemed quite easy, I did a very basic implementation myself.
It contains three entries:
- title optional title
- url what site to fetch. There is a limit of 1 MiB
- url_contains perform an XPATH query
//a[contains(@href, '$url_contains')]", i.e. return all
a-tags whose href contains url_contains
Currently, there are a couple of keys available that can be used. Values are first converted to lowercase, unless otherwise noted.
- url[not]contains select if the href [not] contains the value. Multiple occurences are
- urltitle[not_]contains select the url if the link's title [not] contains value. Multiple occurences are
- div_class select only urls that are inside a div with a class containing case-sensitive value. Only last occurence will be used.
In the future there'll be some additions, which are probably documented only on http://jerous.org/tools/site2atom.php only.
Feel free to use in any way you see fit, and let me know if it suits you in any way :)
I, uh, 'spose y'all still wonderin...why I named my guitar Lucille...
Famous words, from one of his signature songs, told thousands of times. But it won't be told anymore, nor would Lucille whisper gently, as the last of the three kings, B.B. King, and one of the few remaining guitar blues legends, has passed away on 14th of May 2015 at the age of 89.
I'm glad to have seen this musical giant play twice, once in Vorst, 16th of September 2006, his 81st birthday, and another time at Gent Jazz, in 2009. This week I'll be sure to put on his Live at the Regal album many a times.
Amen, brother B.B., rest in peace, you deserved it.
In academia Latex rules the world.
In the industry it is Microsoft Word who is master.
When they work together, it is, unfortunately, MS Word that wins.
I usually write my documents in latex, so I can use the tools I want and not be restricted to having to use an exact version of Office, have clean and simple diffs, smaller files etc.
To convert latex to other editable formats, there are a couple of alternatives, such latex2rtf, latex2html and pandoc, the latter of which is the most moder, up-to-date and versatile, it seems. It can convert from a multitude of inputs (among which latex) to another multitude of outputs.
Converting from latex to docx pandoc proves to be not as easy as I hoped, since pandoc does not support macros that well.
There is a tool called de-macro (you probably already have it installed) that expands macros to their full glory (a bit like m4, but then for latex), so e.g. other tools, which don't handle macros well, can be used.
Because I often forget these cunning plan quotes from the great Blackadder series, and they're worth remembering :)
Baldrick: Have you got a plan, my lord?
Blackadder: Yes I have, and it's so cunning you can brush your teeth with it!
Blackadder: I've got a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel!
Baldrick: I have... a plan, sir.
Blackadder: Really, Baldrick? A cunning and subtle one?
Baldrick: Yes, sir.
Blackadder: As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?
Blackadder: Baldrick, I have a very, very, very cunning plan.
Baldrick: Is it as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has moved on and is now working for the U.N. at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning?
Blackadder: Yes it is.
Baldrick: Hmm... that's cunning.
There probably will be issues on this site because of this move (links site still pointing to the old domain, or pages not showing any content), or from external links pointing to the old domain. These will get (hopefully) fixed, over time :)