Scandinavian Blue

At University, I was involved in a volunteer project to redecorate one of the student areas on campus. We wanted to use vibrant colors and wanted to paint one wall purple. The school put its foot down: No Purple.

We managed to find a color called Scandinavian Blue that was, unambiguously, purple. We presented them with purple colored sample chip with Scandinavian blue written on it and they happily.

I like the idea of a paint company that sells many colors under the names of many other colors. A red could be deep sunset violet. A yellow could be sunshine red, a green could be forest orange.

Why the *%?#! did you do that?

I do a lot of things that other people have a hard time understanding the motivation behind. For the record, I think there are three major reasons that motivate me to do things that are otherwise confusing or not apparent to people:

  • I had never done the action in question before.
  • I wanted to be able to be able to (honestly) say that I’d done the action in question.
  • I thought it might get me into a local newspapers’ "I Saw You" classified ads sections.

Vowel Poetry

I like my friend’s Louai’s name a lot. It dawned on me that perhaps this had something to do with the high concentration of vowels in his name. To test the theory, I set out to write poetry with lots of vowels.

Processing an English word list is relatively easy although picking the most appropriate processing strategy proved more challenging.

At first I set out to get words with a high concentration ratio of vowels to consonants. Unfortunately, this tends to privilege shorter words with less letters overall where it is easier to score a high ratio—words like “a” or “are.”. Out of curiosity, I also experimented with words with a high “number of consonants subtracted from number of values” number which gave me a other nice vowel-heavy words—how about a poem set in Ouagadougou?

I don’t claim the words I received were the best words possible but I thought the poetry was quite nice sounding with the high emphasis on vowels (for the sake of simplicity, I included ‘y’ as a vowel).

My first poem was a political poem:

courageously initiate equality: audacious idea
evacuate Europeanization
uneasy euphoria


reinitialize, reevaluate
zealously enjoy your opiate

Because too much seriously is just unhealthy, I wrote a rather raunchy sex poem to balance things out:

eyeful: your beauteous aureole, buoyancy
cautiously auto in your avenue
aerosolize joyous mayonnaise
oily opaque ooze
epilogue: goates inadequate

You can download the perl scripts I used to get the words here:

Use the code as you wish but please send me patches or improvements.

First Post!

Under pressure from a number of people and this crazy “planet” craze that seem so important to my Canonical Non-Nomical employeer and co-workers, I’ve decided to break down and create a web log.

I’ll keep this under wraps for some time to see if it’s something I can stick to. I’ll write about my interests. I suspect that this will center mostly around issues of Free Software, books, art, internationalization, and issues of intellectual property and copyright.