With this freshness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity.
Pope Francis — Evangelii Gaudium
It seems just to be an experiment, so you might not have the feature yet: Facebook now allows you to enter an action that your status update is about. So instead of just writing “OMG Dragons!!1!1” you could specify that you are writing this statement in regard to “watching Game of Thrones”.
Here’s how it looks like:
One thing about that list struck me immediately. When I was notified about being among the chosen people to use the new feature I was about to post a link to the blog of my university, where I had written an elaborate (german) comment. However, I realized there was no way to indicate the action of “writing”. In fact the categories shown in the picture above seem to be a definite list and I think they have something in common.
With the exception of feeling, everything on this list is about consumption. Watch TV, read some news, listen to music, drink coffee, eat fast food, play freemium games. There is no writing, no painting, no singing, no dancing, no jumping. No thinking.
So there you have it, the default state Facebook expects you to be in: like a vegetable.
Panem et circenses, more obvious than ever.
I’m feeling uneasy. I have been for more than a few weeks now. The reason is rather simple – the end of my studies and my term as speaker of the student government is nearing and thus my life is about to change. It is inevitable, although the exact timeframe and the extent are not clear yet. Which is the very reason I’m feeling uneasy. I’ve been in this place before, after the end of my previous course of studies. Back in late 2008 I did not have a clue what to do. I had a rough idea of my interests, but no direction, no aim, no goal. It was ugly, one of the worst periods of my life. Not knowing what to do is horribly uncomfortable after a while. And it starts to feel that way again, the indecisiveness is creeping back into my life. In an attempt to learn from my past I want to take some time and sort my thoughts to properly come to a decision.
This will also serve me as a basis for seeking advice from friends and colleagues without having to tell everyone the same stuff over and over again. Yes, I am that lazy. Sorry, time is money.
Time flies… another year of taking a photo of myself every day has passed. You can read more about the process in last year’s article. This year I managed to take 334 pictures. I lost everything between June 30th and July 15th due to technical snafu. Accounting for those 16 photos I would have come out at the exact same 350 photos as last year. It still saddens me to have lost those photos as some of them were rather extraordinary ones. I completely changed my approach to storing and backing up the photos after Everyday had failed me so horribly once again.
However, before I delve into all that: me, from March 26th 2011 to March 26th 2013.
I’ve been thinking a lot about time recently. Time is many things. Time is of the essence. “Time” is a wonderful piece of music and a great match for Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator. You should take the time to listen to it, if you haven’t yet done so. I listen to it once in a while and most of the time it almost moves me to tears.
I’m constantly thinking that I do not have enough time. To an extent where I sometimes waste time just due to being blocked by that thought. But it is not true. I do have a lot of time, in which I accomplish a lot of things. Nevertheless I’m struggling, mainly because of two reasons:
- I’d like to accomplish even more.
- (I think) I’m not always accomplishing something.
As of today I have taken a photo of myself each day for exactly one year. I missed 15 days, so it’s 350 pictures altogether. Of those 52 weeks there wasn’t a single one in which I didn’t have to explain what the heck I’m doing – as I was using the front-facing camera of my iPhone to take the photo, people usually assumed I was taking their picture instead. I chose 7:30pm to take the photo, or the closest possible point in time afterwards – if you happen to know me, you’re aware of the fact that often I’m going to sleep between 2pm and 6pm, so on those occasions taking the photo was the first thing I did after getting up at something like 10pm. You’ll surely be able to spot a few of those instances in the video below.
I was actually wondering about how to name this post, then I stumbled upon this book while gift-shopping a few days ago. Seeing how 2012 is supposedly our last year, the following list suddenly becomes dramatically more important. Currently there are 46 movies on my IMDb Watchlist that will (probably) be released in 2012. But as I wanted this top ten to be published weeks ago and even now am only barely able to squeeze compiling the list into my timetable, I’ll stop blabbering now…
My top ten most anticipated movies of 2012
Finally, an update to my original tutorial – cleaned it up, added some screenshots, improved the JS a little bit. Having a proper place for this was one my reasons to start this blog in the first place…
First of all: the whole procedure will only take about 10 to 15 minutes depending on your theme and skills. If you think you cannot do it alone: don’t worry, you will get help. Read the tutorial first and afterwards decide how you want to proceed.
Earlier today I watched my 1111th movie ever. My goal at the beginning of 2011 was to reach number 1000, so I’ve watched quite a lot of movies this year, 223 to be exactly. Of those, 67 movies were released in 2011, which I’ll focus on in more detail further down. The numbers in this first part are about all the movies I’ve watched this year, not just those released this year.
Back in autumn I was on a mission to catch up with IMDb’s (in)famous Top 250 list, so I watched quite a lot of older movies in 2011, the oldest one being Metropolis from 1927. As of today I’ve watched 130 movies from that list, marginally more than 50%. Plan for 2012: watch at least another 20; actually I’ve already collected more than that and am just waiting for the right time to watch one of them.
Despite my own opinion sometimes differing (strongly) from IMDb ratings, the Top 250 doesn’t disappoint often. Funny enough, when it did disappoint me it was mostly movies I had expected to be good when in return I enjoyed almost every movie I had doubts about beforehand.
Adding up the runtime of my 223 watched movies results in an impressive 24456 minutes, that are 2 weeks, 2 days, 23 hours and 36 minutes. My average rating was 5.81 (using IMDb’s rating system: 1/10 to 10/10, only integers).
Compared to 2010: 108 movies, 12317 minutes (1 week, 1 day, ~13 hours), average rating: 6.03. Seems like watching more means watching more junk means rating more critically, I wonder what my average this year would have been without the Top 250 marathon. (Keep in mind that when going from 1 to 10 the mid-point is 5.5, not 5.0 – so I’m getting pretty close to that value.)
Maybe I’ve simply become an elitist snob. Which brings me to the interesting part…
My top ten least favorite movies of 2011
Guess who’s bach? Bach again! I’ve been wanting to start this for quite some time now, pretty much right from the moment I first heard of Octopress back in July. I love it when software (or any project for that matter) is so inspiringly good that you just want to use or play around with it. Most recently this happened to me with trakt.tv, leading me to almost instantly write about 1500 LOC for this little API playground. But let’s keep the focus on Octopress. Ever since my previous outlet closed its doors, I’ve been missing the regular chance to burden the world with my opinions. Sadly, podcasting still is not an option anymore. As much fun as it’s always been it simply consumes too much time when done with the standards I’ve had set for ourselves.
Just like it took me almost two months after first noticing Octopress until I finally installed it (in about 15 minutes, it’s that easy), this post has been in draft state for about twice as long. Having this possibility of taking as long as I need for an entry is my main reason for going back to the text-based medium of a blog. Parts of what you’re reading was written during my recent trip to Google Munich, parts while “enjoying” the latest season of Weeds from my bed, parts while waiting for servers to reboot at work, and so on. Not possible to do with a podcast, at least not without an extreme post-production workload.
Furthermore, while I still prefer the more personal way of conveying what you want to say by actually saying rather than typing it, I’m not quite sure about how I’d feel about doing it without partners.
Being a passionate person with a tendency to fanboyism, I feel compelled to explain why I think Octopress is the best fit for what I want. I will do so in the professional manner of discrediting alternatives.
Why not WordPress?
Not too much to say here. In all fairness, I’ve not done too much with WP ever since version 2.9 – but before that I even developed several plugins and therefore looked deep into its core. I still have nightmares sometimes. Nonetheless, WordPress is a good thing when used for the right purpose, I’m simply not the target audience any longer.
Why not Tumblr?
I like Tumblr, I really do. I’ve had the incredible luck that one of my entries was being featured on Tumblr’s radar – in the aftermath of that I’ve garnered more than 10k followers. Interacting with many of them is a very enjoyable experience in which I sometimes get lost for way too long. However, I’ve always found it being a pain in the ass for text-based entries, especially when they contain code-blocks. As much of what I plan to post here will be of that nature, Tumblr is not an option. I’ll obviously maintain my current account for what Tumblr is best for: saving my favorite funny pictures from reddit.
Why not xyz?
Of course there are other options. Alternatives to WordPress in the “serious blogging” section and Tumblr-alternatives like Soup and Posterous. Despite its flaws I have always found Tumblr superior to any of these, so naturally they’re out of the race. Relevant WordPress competitors lack my favorite Octopress feature: static generation. I know that Octopress isn’t the only static blogging framework, so to close for today I’ll just address one last question:
Find me a kick-ass static blogging framework that has a logo better suited to be a Zoidberg stand-in and I might give it a shot. (Disclaimer: I do know that Zoidberg is in fact not an octopus.)