Month: May 2005

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

In beautiful Catholic Ireland, women with illegitimate children are coerced into concentration camps run by monastic orders (of nuns). The children, actually, are taken away and given up for adoption, while the women are interned, locked up, and forgotten. They will be coerced to work in a commercial laundry facility all day to atone for their sins. There is no term limit, they will spend their whole life in the camp if nobody remembers them and gets them out.

The plot sounded like science fiction to me. Or at least some medieval spooky tale of witches, devil worship and crazy Jesuits monks brandishing the Witch Hammer at a town gathering. Turns out it’s an almost contemporary tale, with the last of the concentration camps closing in 1996. [Note: I do not think Jesuit monks are crazy. I actually know a lot of contemporary Jesuit monks, and those I know are smart, literate, considerate and kind.]

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As Good as it Gets (1997)

I mean, do you realize this movie got both Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress in 1997? I mean, what kind of horrible year that must have been for Hollywood?

Jack Nicholson plays an obsessive-compulsive writer (who oddly barely ever writes) that becomes a grouchy hermit. As such, the role seems to have been written for Mr. Nicholson, who has a history of playing slightly crazy, solitary characters. Helen Hunt, who in turn has a history of playing the romantic interest of much older and much uglier guys, plays a waitress who has trouble making ends meet. The third one in the party is Greg Kinnear, the gay painter next door.

It may be fitting that the movie was nominated for the acting, but not for anything else. Someone on IMDB indeed comments that the story overall is too schmaltzy to be acceptable, but that the acting makes up for it by making every scene believable.

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MosTeX

Who would have thought math would came back to haunt me in the most delectable way??? I found a mosbot (mostex) that renders TeX formulas in the simplest of ways. You just add the mostag "tex" in your content, and you get a formula that ‘looks’ right.

Say you want to have ‘x square plus y square’ in your content. You enter { tex } x^2 + y^2 { /tex } and that renders as {tex} x^2 + y^2 {/tex}. That’s much prettier, of course.

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Upgrading to Mambo 4.5.2

Amazing! The install file and the web site said it would be painless – and indeed it was painless!

I downloaded 4.5.2, looked at it, and it seemed to touch EVERYTHING in the system. That got me quite scared, of course, and frankly I quite didn’t buy the fact that every file needed to be changed because of ‘copyright notices’ and such. But in the end I trusted the ease of getting my old site back, if needed, and I risked it.

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Naked Lunch (1991)

Amazing when you watch two movies one shortly after the other, and although they really have nothing similar about them, they have an odd link that bridges the gap, maybe just for you.

That’s what happened with me in the case of {moscontentlink:The Texas Chainsaw Massacre%} and Naked Lunch. In the former, the 1960es came to life. Astrology, psychedely, mushrooms, drugs, love (not much rock’n’roll, though) all conspired into forcing the protagonists into fright. But thirty years later, the recurring admonitions from parents and adults not to use drugs just don’t come as frequent, and the movie feels lame because you just can’t feel why everyone is so afraid.

Naked Lunch is from a time when drugs and homosexuality where experimental, and it lives mostly in the shadowy dark region in which this experimental nature is exciting.
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Bronchitis

It started out just as the common (but severe flu). Then I decided to take some nice medication – it made me feel super-healthy!

So far so good. When I then went on to go back to work and to spinning class, that little bug turned into a major bronchitis that has been killing me for the last week.

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Adding RSS awareness to your site

I just figured out how to make my site have the neat [RSS] box that Firefox displays to indicate your site has an RSS feed available.

It’s actually very simple: you just have to go to the Administrator screen. There, in Modules, select Syndicate. In Syndicate, look to the right and click on Parameters.
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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

So I thought I was going to get a classic of the genre, and got ready for a night of gore and terror, afraid I might not sleep. The first twenty minutes alone, though, made it clear this was one of those movies that terrifies only the culture that begat them. Thirty years later, we are terrified of terrorists, maybe of AIDS, but psychedelic terror just doesn’t cut it any more.

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What is moscontentlink?

Just after I finished moszoomimglink, I created another useful mambot. This one allows you to add a link to any content on your site, provided you know its title.

To use it, the syntax is very simple:

  • { moscontentlink:’Item’ }
  • { moscontentlink:’Item’|’Alternate text’ }

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What is moszoomimglink?

I am one of those guys that writes reports about trips he's made, and 'spices' them up with relevant pictures taken on the road. I like having the prose interrupted by my images, because it's easier on the eye, because you have a better chance of figuring out if you are interested in a particular ride or hike if you see the surroundings, and just because I am so proud of my pictures.

In parallel, I started looking at all the different forms of gallery add-ons for Mambo. I looked at all the non-integrated ones, looked at all the integrated ones, and ended up liking zOOm the best. I found it had a few bugs, a few idiosyncrasies, but all in all it worked the best for me. (more…)