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Tue, 24 Oct 2006

Writing (SI) units in LaTeX in a better way

Generally I do not bother with aesthetics of the units I use but today from comp.text.tex newsgroup I found that there is a "sistyle" package for that purpose. It also handles numbers and angles nicely too! The example given there was the following.




 documentation: http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/SIstyle/doc/latex/SIstyle/SIstyle-2.1.pdf

to download:  http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/SIstyle/

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Mon, 23 Oct 2006

Militarism in the Football Field (Turkish)

I saw this article quoted from a feminist magazine  in Turkey (Amargi)  and the prominent Turkish anti-militarist web-site,  http://www.savaskarsitlari.org. The author discusses her experience as a woman at the football field (the real one, i.e. soccer) and how it could be viewed as a militarist, anti-feminist activity. I have long had similar observations about institutionalized, commercialized sports. I am noting this issue here because many people on the "progressive left",  "libertarian left", "anti-militarist left" (watch the quotes that are deliberately inserted here to point out the ambiguity of the terms) , specially from Cyprus are very much into football teams and what not. For example, many Turkish Cypriots still stop the time when a *Turkish* team plays an important game. What were they doing before the time stopped? They were discussing about Turkey's occupation of north Cyprus! Well. Why so excited about the success of a Turkish team? who knows. Anyway, this is just to irritate some people , heheh heh, the point is about militarism, about chavunism (male or national). Before I put the whole text in Turkish below, let me quote Chomsky: "Sports plays a socieatel role in engendering, jingoist and chavunist attitutes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators." ( http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Noam_Chomsky.html) and from "Understanding Power" quoted at  http://terasima.gooside.com/article1sports2spectator.html and http://elliptic.typepad.com/elliptic_blog/2003/12/chomsky_on_spor.html ;

 In fact, I have the habit when I'm driving of turning on these radio call-in programs, and it's striking when you hear the ones about sports. They have these groups of sports reporters, or some kind of experts on a panel, and people call in and have discussions with them. First of all, the audience obviously is devoting an enormous amount of time to it all. But the more striking fact is, the callers have a tremendous amount of expertise, they have detailed knowledge of all kinds of things, they carry on these extremely complex discussions...

...And when you look at the structure of them, they seem like a kind of mathematics. It's as though people want to work out mathematical problems, and it they don't have calculus and arithmetic, they work them out with other structures...And what all these things look like is that people just want to use their intelligence somehow...

Well, in our society we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can't get involved in them in a very serious way -- so what they do is put their minds to other things, such as sports. You're trained to be obedient; you don't have an interesting job; there's no work around for you that's creative; in the cultural environment you're a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff...So what's left?

...And I suppose that's also one of the basic functions it serves society in general: it occupies the populations, and it keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter. In fact, I presume that's part of the reason why spectator sports are supported to the degree they are by the dominant institutions.

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Fri, 20 Oct 2006

Multiple Windows/Buffers in Emacs

Emacs is like an endless box of goodies. Some of the basics I know well and a few advanced tricks. But then, I miss some of the other basics in my daily usage. Here is a tip that I donot want to forget, so figure, posting it here..


stealing from that page:

Emacs window keybinding quick reference

Ctrl-x 2 splits the current window vertically.
Ctrl-x 3 splits the window horizontally.
Ctrl-x o cycles through the windows, left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
Ctrl-x ^ grows the active window one line.
Ctrl-x } widens the active window.
Ctrl-x { narrows the active window.
Ctrl-x + resizes all windows to equal size (height).
Ctrl-x 0 closes the active window.
Ctrl-x 1 closes all but the active window.
Ctrl-Meta-v scrolls the text in the next (i.e., not active) window.
Meta-x compare-windows searches for and jumps to mismatching text.

fancier stuff here: http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/wiki?SwitchingBuffers

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Wed, 18 Oct 2006

Turkey is Trying to "Manufacture Consent"

The translators, editor and publishers of Chomsky and Herman's (excellent) book "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media"  are under trial in Turkey under the infamous "301". The charges are "of spreading public hatred and enmity and denigrating Turkish identity, the republic and the Turkish Parliament under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). The defendants are facing up to six years in prison apiece." (from http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-16678.html) . Absurd? Well, yeah, but quite the norm in Turkey that is supposed to be reforming itself to be in line with EU norms. Hah hah. BTW, the book was originally published in 1988! And it is now, as if Turkish government decided to proove their point. I wonder if one could even think about showing the brilliantly crafted movie with a similar title? For whatever it is worth it, I think every activist interested in freedoms should watch this movie. 

Curious? Try http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Herman%20/Manufacturing_Consent.html  for some excerpts from the book.

And few words I had to say about it in the past:




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Tue, 17 Oct 2006

Neo-Denktashist Apologism: "Need to be in tune with Turkey"

Neo-Denktashism's spokespeople never fail me. They create gems that try to act as apologist manifestos for their actions. Hasan Ercakica provided a nice example today in Yeniduzen newspaper (see below for complete quote in Turkish). He begins his column by attacking AKEL. He thinks that what Greek Cypriots are doing through by-passing TRNC is ignoring the presence of Turkish Cypriots. This might have made sense if the rest of his article argued that the "government" in north Cyprus was an independent one capable of making its own decisions regardless of Ankara's wishes. However, ironically, his article's punchline is that in order for a political party to come to government and stay there,it should act in tune with Turkey and should never go against it. To me, this is plenty of reason to do precisely what he claims Greek Cypriot administration, AKEL, Papadopolous and others are doing -- i.e. deal with Turkey directly about Cyprus, pressure Turkey in all international platforms etc.

He makes a big deal about the fact that CTP got a vote explosion in 2003 as opposed to others such as Akinci's BDH and Ali Erel's party. He thinks this is because CTP worked in tune with Ankara. Fair enough, this is what we are all saying! That is what Denktash used to be and it is what neo-Denktashists have to be. Funnly enough, he claims the reason is not Turkey's strong grip in north Cyprus ("as an occupying power") but it is Turkish Cypriot wisdom that it is necessary to be in line with Turkey. This is probably also true to some degree but the reason for that wisdom is not because of acts of conscience and goodwill on Turkey's side but it is because of decades long opression and non-democratic actions from Turkey. The point is that the elections in north Cyprus are a farce and artificial population movements never allowed the will of the Turkish Cypriot people to be expressed -- see http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~durduran/hamambocu/authors/tdr/tdr11_9_2003.html

It is always amusing to watch them evolve more and more into neo-Denktasist apologists who needs to clear their conscience frequently by making up self-contradictory stories like this.

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Mon, 16 Oct 2006

Abstract (around 30th and Walnut)

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Sun, 15 Oct 2006

Bathtub Security..

This one is simply a light one.

From Cyprus-mail  http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=28454&cat_id=1

Triumph for national security as President’s shampoo stolen

TWO PEOPLE were arrested on Friday after they were caught trying to steal President Tassos Papadopoulos’ shampoo from his home.

The two cleaners, believed to be Sri Lankan, were caught attempting to walk out of President Papadopoulos’ home in Strakka by officers of the Presidential guard. The two Sri Lankans were led to a local police station nearby and quizzed by officers over why they wanted the President’s shampoo.

Charges were set to be brought against the two before it was eventually decided to let them off with a warning.

Politis newspaper, that uncovered the story, sarcastically described the story as “a triumph for national security” under a cartoon picture of the President in a bathtub with rubber ducks with a hand in the corner swiping a shampoo bottle from a shelf.

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Mon, 09 Oct 2006

A'La Cypriot Recycling -- Or Lack of it.

This one does not require any further comments either. Pathetic?

Cyprus Mail, Web-site, October 08, 2006, Front Page

Recycling going to the landfill
By Constantine Markides

THE CONTENTS of the three-colour coded recycling bins that the Nicosia Municipality installed throughout the city in June are currently being dumped with other rubbish at the Kotsiatis landfill site in the Nicosia District.

Representatives from two Nicosia recycling companies told the Sunday Mail yesterday that the 30-litre capacity bins – the blue bin for metal, glass and plastic, the yellow bin for paper, and the green bin for general waste – were far too small, making it economically unviable for them to recycle the contents.

Aside from the disincentive of the bins’ slenderness, any recycler would also have to waste time sifting through and separating the contents of the blue mixed-materials bin since metal, glass and plastic cannot be recycled together.

Nicosia Mayor Michalakis Zampelas confirmed that at present the contents of the bins are being transported to the Kotsiatis landfill due to the lack of a contracted recycler. But he told the Sunday Mail that the plastic bags were colour-coded so that it would be possible to retrieve the bags and recycle them at a future date.

But the public – already suspicious that the appearance of the sleek colourful recycling units is no more than a Municipal publicity stunt to appear ecologically progressive – is not likely to be consoled by the possibility of a future recovery of the colour-coded bags.

Even the Mayor could not guarantee that the bags were not being discarded, but said that the “the most important thing is that the people know about the environment and recycling and develop an environmental sense”.

Zampelas hoped that the recycling of the bins’ contents would be in place “in a year or two years at the latest”.

British American Tobacco donated the first 100 bins, while the distributor Loizos Afxentiou provided another ten. A total of 1,200 bins are expected to be in place within the year, with the expenses covered by the sponsors.

Greens Municipal Councillor Stelios Kolokasides, who has issued a statement
criticising the Municipality on the issue, questioned how the mayor could possible expect the public to develop an environmental sense when the Municipality was discarding the recyclables as if they were rubbish.

“This particular initiative by the Mayor does not help either in recycling or in cultivating an environmental conscience when the public sees that the various items that they conscientiously place in the appropriate bins are taken to the Kotsiatis landfill as before,” Kolokasides said.

The Mayor has defended the introduction of the bins, claiming that the European Union approved them. “The bins are manufactured in Germany under European standards, and therefore we are repeating in Nicosia what is happening in Europe.”
But Kolokasides said that Cyprus is going to get in trouble with the EU if they discover that the government is treating the contents of its recycling like mere rubbish.

A supervisor of a major Nicosia recycling company told the Sunday Mail yesterday that there is an EU Waste Directive in place that requires member states to recycle “packaged materials” (including bottles, plastic, cans, etc) and that Cyprus could face stiff fines if the EU finds that the packaged materials are being tossed into a landfill.

He also noted that it was not economically feasible “to send a car to get and pick up four kilos from each recycling station. If they were bigger then it would be more viable.”

The supervisor blamed the authorities for not consulting those who have knowledge of the work and process.

“Unfortunately, we have this problem in Cyprus, where our officials think they know everything. So they go and do things like this.”

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Cira Center & 30th Str Station, Philadelphia, 10/06

I saw the breast cancer ribbon on the Cira center. Took a bunch of shots. I particularly liked the blurry version. look at the little rings of light.

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Sat, 07 Oct 2006

Signs/Graffiti Along Walnut & 30th Strs,Philadelphia

Click on Photo!

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Sun, 01 Oct 2006

Apply for NIH grants through grants.gov with linux

I just went throught it. Grants.Gov does not (as of October 1st, 2006) provide a way of using the pureedge viewer or the citrix server (for machintosh) with linux. However, Eric DeWeaver has the following solution which worked for me. There was  a brief glitch as he indicates on the web site but grants.gov or NIH solved it. For Upenn there is a local Windows server for this purpose which I could not get to work but Eric reported that at U Wisc, the similar idea works. So it is worth checking out.


 I think it is ridiculous that a federal organization such as NIH uses a mechanism that essentially endorses a particular operating system but to their credit, they *do* announce that this will be solved by 2007. They could be kinder to include instructions for linux, specially as you can see from the above URL, it is not something very complex or something like a hack. It is just using the citrix software again. Let's see how it goes.

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One manís personal solution to the Cyprus problem


 Cyprus-Mail, September 30th, 2006


By Jacqueline Theodoulou
(archive article - Saturday, September 30, 2006)

GREEK Cypriot refugee Kyriacos Myrianthis has returned to occupied Davlos, the village where he was born and raised, after 32 years of longing to spend his last years in his beloved birthplace.
Myrianthis, 68, was yesterday quoted in Politis, speaking about his desire to live out the remaining years of his life in the village he fled following the 1974 Turkish invasion.

“I am a pensioner, 68 years old, my days are now numbered and I see that I can’t expect anything from politicians,” he explained, expressing his joy at the opportunity to fulfil his dream.

The story was front page news for Turkish Cypriot daily Milliyet, which recently headlined: “A Greek solution to the Cyprus problem.”
Today, Myrianthis resides in his village on a daily basis and socialises with his Turkish Cypriot neighbours. He also goes fishing every morning with his new friends.

“I used to visit the village often and the hope was resurrected within me to return and fish in the village’s sea”, he was quoted as saying, adding: “An opportunity arose and I took advantage of it. I believe that politicians will do nothing for Cyprus. So for this reason I have decided to come and live the rest of my days in my village.”
It is not clear whether Myrianthis has returned to his own home in the village.

Myrianthis made it clear that he was never fazed by the prospect of living with Turkish Cypriots and said that his relatives visited him in Davlos every weekend.

“I live with them as if we are siblings and there is not the slightest problem.”
And neither is there any problem from the Greek Cypriot side, he added. “At the weekends I get the chance to go fishing with my grandchildren.”
The 250 current residents of Davlos – Turkish Cypriots and settlers – were happy to have a Greek Cypriot living among them.

“Initially it was a surprise, but now we are having a great time and we are pleased he chose us,” stated one resident, while another filled in: “He loves us and we love him. People are slowly-slowly doing what politicians are failing to do.”

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