Wikileaks Rape: Julian Assange Raped Women?

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Wikileaks Rape: Julian Assange Raped Women?

Xah Lee, 2010-12, 2010-12-29

If you are not familiar with the event of wikileaks, see a intro here: Wikileak: US Diplomatic Cables Leak.

Julian Assange Raped Women?

The Wikileaks sex files: How two one-night stands sparked a worldwide hunt for Julian Assange (2010-12-07) By Richard Pendlebury. Source www.dailymail.co.uk.

Summary of the article: When Julian was visiting Stockholm, Sweden, two women admirers, Anna and Sofia, sought him out. Anna offered her apartment for him to stay. Sofia bought the train ticket for Julian to visit her at home. Both had sex with him. Anna created a party at her house the next morning for him. Sofia had a second sex the morning after. Few days later, the two women met, found out that each slept with him, then they started to visit police. The central issue seems to involve a broken condom. Apparently, under Swedish law, sex without women's consent to not use a condom is considered rape. Sofia wanted to know if there's a way to force Julian to take a HIV test, because no condom was used in their second sex. LOL.


Apparantly, the names are leaked all over. Here's the photos.

wikileaks Anna Ardin wikileaks Anna Ardin 2

Anna Ardin, the woman who invited Julian to stay at her apartment. Source annaardin.files.wordpress.com

wikileaks Sofia Wilen

Sofia Wilen, the woman who bought Julian train tickets to her abode.

More article:


Mike Tyson vs James Douglas

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Mike Tyson vs James Douglas

Xah Lee, 2010-12-27

This is Tyson vs. Douglas in 1990. One of the historic boxing match.

“Mike Tyson vs James Douglas”, round 1 to 4.

“Mike Tyson vs James Douglas”, round 5 to 7.

“Mike Tyson vs James Douglas”, round 8 to 10.

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The story behind a formula for Pi

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Math Politics: Simon Plouffe and The nth Digit Formula of π

Xah Lee, 2010-12-27

Discovered a notable math politics.

There's a fomula, that can compute the nth digit of pi directly. The formula is named Bailey–Borwein–Plouffe formula. Presumably, it is discovered by 3 persons David H Bailey, Peter Borwein, and Simon Plouffe, but actually might be just a single person Simon Plouffe. This is a typical politics in math or other science community. Here's what Simon has to say about it.

The story behind a formula for Pi

From: plou...@math.uqam.ca (Simon Plouffe)
Date: Jun 23 2003, 10:14 pm
Subject: The story behind a formula for Pi
To: sci.math, sci.math.symbolic

This note explains the story of the so-called Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe algorithm and formula.

  The story began many years ago in 1974 when I wanted to find a formula for the n'th digit of Pi. I was studying rational and irrational numbers. With my calculator I was computing inverses of primes and could easily find a way to compute those inverses in base 10 to many digits using congruences and rapid exponentiation. Since it appeared impossible to do the same for Pi, I wanted then to find a simple formula f(n) that could compute the n'th digit of Pi. I had that idea for 20 years.

Since the computation of Pi looks more complicated than the number E , i.e. exp(1), I studied a way to compute that number instead. At that time (around 1983), I had a simple Basic program that used a spigot algorithm to compute E, as expected that algorithm worked but of course but was taking an increasing amount of memory. My question was : why can't we do it for E or Pi or any irrational numbers like sqrt(2).

It was during the year 1994 that I began to compute arctan series but I did not realized that this meant a lot. I was able to use an algorithm to compute arctan of 1/5 with fast exponentiation without realizing that it could compute arctan(1/5) in base 5 very fast since the rapid exponentiation was natural in that base.

Later in 1995, around august 7 of that year I suddenly realized that log(2) was fast computable in base 2. Since I had a bit of experience with spigot algorithms and also my little Basic program to compute arctan, it was not difficult to adapt the algorithm to log(2). In the next few days I made my first program : A program to compute log(9/10) in base 10 using a very small amount of memory and very fast. The program had 432 characters long.

That discovery was a shock to me. I realized that I had found it yes but it was not new to me since I could do arctan(1/5) easily too but it took me 2 years to realize it.

This is where I began to use Pari-Gp, that program could find an integer relation among real numbers (up to a certain precision), very fast.

During my stay at Bordeaux University in 1992-1993 I perfected that program I had that could interface Pari-Gp and Maple. That little Unix script had an enormous advantage of flexibility because I could set up a series of real numbers to test among 1 unknown. At that time I was beginning to find new results, the programs were able to find identities.

That program was the one that found the formula for Pi in hexadecimal (or binary). I also used another one : PSLQ. It was a good program but a bit cumbursome to use since it is written in fortran. Nevertheless I made an interface to Maple too. Pari-Gp was by far easier to use and faster for small cases (up to 10 real numbers at the time with 100 digits precision was enough for those kind of problems).

This is where I made the biggest mistake in my life : To accept the collaboration of Peter Borwein and David H. Bailey as co-founders of that algorithm and formula when they have found nothing at all. David Bailey was not even close to me when I found the formula. He was added to the group 2 months after the discovery.

I was naively thinking that I could negociate a job as professor at Simon Fraser University, which failed. I am very poor at negociations. I remember that day when the Globe & Mail newspaper article went out in October 1995. I was at Jon borwein's house and he had a copy of the newspaper in hand. This is where I asked him to become a professor at SFU. He simply replied right away < don't even think about it >. I thought, this is the best chance I will ever have to become a professor there, since it failed, I decided that I had to leave that place.

I was very frustrated at that time, in late 1995 after the discovery. I realized that many small details where terribly wrong. They were getting a lot of credit for the discovery and I had the impression of not getting anything in return. My strategy failed. One of those details was the article of the Globe and Mail, I asked Peter Borwein : why did they putted the photo of you and your brother on the article ? Your brother has nothing to do with this!.  He simply replied that the Public Relations at the University made a mistake. Later that year, I was invited to a ceremony in Vancouver for the CUFA (faculty of the year Award). This is a prize with plaque and mention that those 2 brothers received for the discovery of the formula. They simply mentioned my name at the ceremony and I received nothing at all. They made a toast to the queen of England, I did not stand up.

In late 1995, there was that Canadian Math Soc. congress in Vancouver, I was not invited to talk about the discovery. There was even a guy (Stan Wagon) that said to me, I don't know if you have anything to do with this but in all case, this is good for you isn't ?

Then in 1996, I realized that if I get up at night to hate them it is a very bad sign, it means that I have to leave that place (Simon Fraser university). I was convinced I had no future at all with those 2 guys around. I was making serious plans to leave.

The story of the formula (my formula), was not the only one. The same thing happened with the ISC (the Inverse Symbolic Calculator). The story is even more ridiculous. I opened the site with my constants in July 1995 and it was an immediate success. The 2 Borweins had nothing to do with that thing, I had made the tables and all of the Unix programs to run it. The precious help I had was from Adam Van Tuyl, a graduate student, he made most of the code behind the web pages, later Paul Irvine made some additional code.

At that time the local administrator of the lab. tried to convince me to stay even to pay me for maintaining the ISC, I refused. I wanted to leave with what I had : my tables of real numbers and sequences I worked for years (since 1986). This is why I opened the Plouffe Inverter with my name in 1998, to keep what was mine. When I realized that I was about to loose the paternity of the ISC, I left in march 1997. I went to Champaign Illinois to work for Wolfram and Mathematica. (this time it took me less time), that one was worst than the 2 brothers combined. I simply left as soon as I could, 5 months later.

Peter Borwein wanted very much that I do a Ph. D. on the ISC but he wanted also to publish (with his name of course) an article before I deposit the thesis. Again the same story was going on, these 2 guys are so greedy I can't believe it. The behavior they had with me was not exclusive, especially Peter Borwein he was the same with most of his students, especially the good ones, sucking the maximum. Jon is the same but he has more talent in politics (more money too). He is good but has a tendency to site himself a lot. He thinks that if he had the idea of the sum of 2 numbers at one point in his life then all formulas in mathematics are his own discovery.

About David H. Bailey. He came after the discovery of the formula and my small basic program , I had also a fortran version. This is where Peter Borwein suggested to add him as a collaborator to the discovery since he contributed to it (as he said), this is my second big mistake. Of course he accepted to co-write the article, who wouldn't ?! David H. Bailey (and Ferguson) are the authors of the PSLQ program. That program is the <american> version of the Pari-Gp program. I used it a little it is true, but what made the discovery was pari-Gp and Maple interface program I had. So actually, that person has nothing to do with the discovery of that algorithm and very little to do with the finding of the formula. The mistake was mine. Saying that Bailey found the formula is like saying that the formula was found by the Maple and Basic program.

I tried very hard to correct the situation avoiding the subject of the actual discovery of the algorithm and the formula, I made an article in 1996 for the base 10. I thought naively again that this would re-establish the situation, it did not. I almost accepted to do a film at one point in 1999 when a certain guy from England that wanted to make a movie on Pi and the discovery of the formula. he asked me if I would accept to talk about my <differents> with the Borweins. I did not wanted to go in that direction, I should had. There was that book of Jean-Paul Delahaye (le fascinant nombre pi) that mentioned the Plouffe algorithm and formula because I told him part of the story. In some way I was afraid of revealing that enormous story.

Why was I so naive ? I had a previous collaboration with Neil Sloane and the Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences and the web site, this was really a big success and Neil is the person I respect the most in mathematics so this is why I thought (wrongly ) that my collaboration with the Borweins had to go well, a big mistake.

Why do I write this ? To tell the truth and also the arrogance of those people makes me sick.

Will I gain something from this ? I don't care, I have nothing to loose.

Simon Plouffe Montréal, le 22 juin 2003.

✻ ✻ ✻

The original post can be seen here: http://groups.google.com/group/sci.math.symbolic/msg/5b7e62ce42ae0cb6

I do not know Simon, but i tend to believe him. Wikipedia seems to indicate so too.

I happened to have exchanged few emails with Simon around later 1990s, and he has a paper on Cardioid on my site. See the bottom of the page: Cardioid.

Simon has a home page at: http://lacim.uqam.ca/~plouffe/.

PS Thanks to meowcat for mentioning the formula to me.

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Emacs Lisp Tutorial: Replacing Title Brackets to HTML Tags

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Emacs Lisp Tutorial: Replacing Title Brackets to HTML Tags

Xah Lee, 2010-12-26


In my blogs, i use angle brackets for book titles and article titles. For example:

• 〈The Rise of “Worse is Better”〉 (1991) ...
• 《The Unix-Hater's Handbook》 (1994) ...

When a page is a book list, i'd prefer the book names to be colored so it is more readable. So, i want a html tag like this:

• <span class="atlt">The Rise of “Worse is Better”</span> (1991) ...
• <span class="bktl">The Unix-Hater's Handbook</span> (1994) ...

With proper CSS, the titles will be colored, and the brackets also added.. Here's what it looks like:

  • The Rise of “Worse is Better” (1991) ...
  • The Unix-Hater's Handbook (1994) ...

The CSS would look like this:

span.bktl, span.atlt {color:#006400}

(See: HTML/CSS Tutorial.)

It is very tedious to do the replacement, even using Emacs Keyboard Macro feature. I'd like to have the changes done by just pressing a button.


Wrote this elisp code on the spot. (took about 15 min.)

(defun title-bracket-to-html-tag ()
  "Replace all 《...》 to <span class=\"bktl\">...</span> in current buffer.
Also, replace 〈...〉 to <span class=\"atlt\">...</span>.
The bracket 《》 is used for book titles.
The bracket 〈〉 is used for other titles (article, film, music...).

See: 〈Intro to Chinese Punctuation with Computer Language Syntax Perspectives〉
URL `http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/bangu/chinese_punctuation.html'"
  (let (changedItems)
    (setq changedItems '())

      (goto-char (point-min))
      (while (search-forward-regexp "《\\([^》]+?\\)》" nil t) 
        (setq changedItems (cons (match-string 1) changedItems ) )
        (replace-match "<span class=\"bktl\">\\1</span>")

      (goto-char (point-min))
      (while (search-forward-regexp "〈\\([^〉]+?\\)〉" nil t) 
        (setq changedItems (cons (match-string 1) changedItems ) )
        (replace-match "<span class=\"atlt\">\\1</span>")

    (with-output-to-temp-buffer "*changed items*" 
       (lambda (myTitle)
         (princ myTitle)
         (princ "\n")

The code is not that complex. If you know Emacs Lisp Basics, then you can understand it.

You can try the code. Put the following content in a buffer:

• 〈Defective C++〉 (2007), by Yossi Kreinin. At: yosefk.com.
• 《The Unix-Hater's handbook》 (1994), by Simson Garfinkel, Daniel Weise, Steven Strassmann, and Don Hopkins. The entire book is available at mit.edu. (ℤ local copy)
• 〈The Rise of “Worse is Better”〉 (1991), by Richard P Gabriel. At: dreamsongs.com
Richard Gabrielw is a well known figure in lisp community, the starter of what's now known as XEmacs. He's the recipient of ACM's 1998 Fellows Award and the 2004 Allen Newell Award.
〈The Rise of “Worse is Better”〉 is probably the first article that analyzed the strategy of software success from a evolutionary biology perspective.
• 〈Extreme Programming Explained〉 (2008), by Yossi Kreinin. At: yosefk.com
• 〈Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant〉 (2001-01-08), by Simson Garfinkel. At: salon.com (ℤ local copy)
• 〈Optimization: Your Worst Enemy〉, (1999), by Joseph M Newcomer. At: flounder.com (ℤ local copy)
• 〈Will it rot my students' brains if they use Mathematica?〉 (2002-05), by Theodore W Gray. At: theodoregray.com (ℤ local copy)
Theodore is the author of Mathematica frontend. The article discusses educational math software, video games, and violence.
• 〈Go To Statement Considered Harmful〉 (1968), by Edsger W Dijkstra. Source; (ℤ local copy)
• 〈Skin Cancer〉 (2000), by Greg Knauss. At: suck.com. (ℤ Local copy)
A satire on Netscape browser and the “Skin” phenomenon.
• 〈Censorzilla〉 (2004), by Jamie Zawinski. At: jwz.org (ℤ local copy)
Jamie is a notorious programer of xemacs and Netscape web browser, has written a webpage that contains codes from Netscape browser before its Open Source release. Note the profanity laiden comments and what they say. It gives a indication of the pain and fucked-up-ness of computing industry.
• 〈Let's Make Unix Not Suck〉 (1999), by Miguel De Icaza. At: primates.ximian.com
Miguel de Icazaw is the man behind Linux's Gnome project and Mono project. This article is written in the era when unixes do not really have a desktop or any concept of coherent development framework. It was controversial.
• 《Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction》, by Steve C McConnell amazon.
Throw away all your Design Patterns or eXtreme Programming books. If you want a scientific book on software development analysis, read this book instead.
Steve McConnellw. «a author of many software engineering textbooks including Code Complete, Rapid Development, and Software Estimation. In 1998, McConnell was named as one of the three most influential people in the software industry by Software Development Magazine, along with Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds.»

Then call “title-bracket-to-html-tag”. It will generate a output on a separate pane showing you all the changed items. Here's the output:

Let's Make Unix Not Suck
Skin Cancer
Go To Statement Considered Harmful
Will it rot my students' brains if they use Mathematica?
Optimization: Your Worst Enemy
Java: Slow, ugly and irrelevant
Extreme Programming Explained
The Rise of “Worse is Better”
The Rise of “Worse is Better”
Defective C++
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
The Unix-Hater's handbook

Showing the changed items is important, because your text may have a mis-matched bracket. You have have a quick glance in the output and know if something is incorrect. This is also why keyboard macros isn't a good solution here.

Here's a short explanation of the code.

  • Do a repeated find replace using “while”, and “search-forward-regexp” and “replace-match”.
  • For each occurance, also put the title into a list. (so later on we can do a report on changed item)
  • Then, use a temp buffer to print the changed item. (use “with-output-to-temp-buffer”)

All the functions in this code are very basic and is frequently used for text processing jobs. You can just use this function as a template to write your own.

(The book list above are from: The Tech Geekers and Software Engineering.)


CSS Compressor

This find replace is useful in many situations. For example, you know how webmasters often need to compact javascript or CSS code, so the file size becomes smaller and decrease page load time? There are many libraries and tools to do that for js and css . With emacs, you can have a lisp function that does a simple code compacting by just find replace. For example, here's my CSS compactor:

(defun compact-css-region ()
  "Remove unnecessary whitespaces of CSS source code in region.
CSS is Cascading Style Sheet.
WARNING: not bullet proof. Only does a simple compression by find replace."
(let (mystr p1 p2)
(setq p1 (region-beginning))
(setq p2 (region-end))
(setq mystr (buffer-substring p1 p2))
(setq mystr (replace-regexp-pairs-in-string mystr '(["  +" " "])))
(setq mystr (replace-pairs-in-string mystr
["\n" ""]
[" /* " "/*"]
[" */ " "*/"]
[" {" "{"]
["{ " "{"]
["; " ";"]
[": " ":"]

[";}" "}"]
["}" "}\n"]

(delete-region p1 p2)
(insert mystr)

With that, a button compress can compact your code. (See: How to Define Keyboard Shortcuts in Emacs.) You can easily modify the code so it does un-compact or works on whole buffer, or output to a new file.

The code above uses a elisp library “xfrp_find_replace_pairs.el” so the elisp code itself is more compact and readable (See: How to Replace Multiple String Pairs in Emacs Lisp Buffer.), but it is not necessary. You can just use the “while” loop with “search-forward-regexp” like before.

For another application, see: Multiple Find/Replace Pairs on File with Emacs Lisp.

Another different use, but essentially same technique of find and replace, is to turn a plain text table into a html table. See: Emacs Lisp: How to Write a make-html-table Command.

Emacs is beautiful!

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Restore Last Session in Safari, Firefox, Chrome

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Restore Last Session in Safari, Firefox, Chrome

Xah Lee, 2010-12-26

This page tells you how to restore your last session (all opened pages (tabs/windows)) in all major browsers.

In my daily work, i usually have 10 to 20 tabs open in each of Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and sometimes Safari, Internet Explorer too. (yes, i use all of them at the same time.) It is critical for me that when a browser crashed, i must have all the my pages re-open. Because, the tabs i have open usually means to-read or otherwise to-do item.


Recently, Safari (5.0.3) on Windows added a new feature. Now you can open all tabs in your last session. It's under the menu “History▸Reopen All Windows From Last Session”. Finally. Safari is the last browser to have this feature.


Firefox, starting about version 3.x, will automatically open all tabs in your last session if it crashed. (See: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Session_Restore) Go to your “tools▸options”, in the “General” tab, under “When firefox startsup”, choose “Show my windows and tabs from last time”.

However, sometimes if you exit Firefox (by clicking the ⌧ close box on the window), then when you launch Firefox, it may not restore your last session.

Here's add-on called “Session Manager” to solve this problem, at Source addons.mozilla.org

After you installed it, you can go to the menu “Tools▸session Manager” to open your last session anytime.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the best here. It always just restore your previous pages, doesn't matter it is a crash or normal exit.

Make sure you turn it on. Click on the wench icon on top right to go to options, then in “Basics” tab, “On startup”, choose “Reopen the pages that were open last”.

Internet Explorer 8

In Internet Explorer 8, to reopen last session, just go to “Tools▸Reopen Last Browsing Session”.


Opera is also very nice. It automatically reopens your last session always. Make sure you have it on.

Go to “Tools▸Preference”, “General” tab, in “Startup” field, choose “Continue from last time”.

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Hollywood+Disney: A Rape of Culture

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Hollywood and Disney's Rape of Culture

Xah Lee, 2010-12-26

Watched 〈Clash of the Titans〉 (2010) amazon recently.

clash of the titans poster

I enjoyed the monsters. In particular, i really enjoyed the Medusa scene. But overall, it's a very lousy film. Idiotic actors with clownish costumes, bland acting with very stupid script, a American paintjob of Greek tale.

Whenever the hero Perseus appears i just see a US Marine (played by Sam Worthington, of Avatar). When Zeus is on the screen, i can't help but see the jedi Qui-Gon of Star Wars (played by Liam Neeson) behaving as a comical jedi Zeus. Another major supporting actor, one that helped in the Medusa kill, is the villain Le Chiffre of James Bond's Casino Royale (Mads Mikkelsen as Draco).

Seems most of the major actors have blue eyes, and speak in various english accents (Scottish, Australian). LOL.

Also, out of the blue they brought the Arabic myth Jinn (aka Genie) into the mix. LOL. I'm not sure to what degree Greek mythology has some Arabian myth elements. I think due to proximity of the regions, there might be some. But certainly not the way Hollywood randomly pick “exotic” foreign elements to fit American taste.

Rape of Culture

You know how Hollywood movies rape cultures? This is sometimes addressed in academic papers in anthropology. I think it is also a popular essay topic assigned to college students. Examples of such includes:

  • 〈Aladdin〉 (1992) amazon
  • 〈Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas〉 (2003) amazon
  • 〈Pocahontas〉 (1995) amazon
  • 〈Troy〉 (2004) amazon

How is it rape? For example, in Greek culture, there are multiple gods. The gods are all power hungry, and vain, and openly war with each other, also rape women. (all too human!) There are common interpretations that the relationship between the Trojan hero Achilles and Patroclus is a homosexual or pederastic one, which is not a uncommon practice in ancient Greece. (see: Achilles and Patroclus.) Greeks also practice slavery (i'd say in a very respectable form, better than today's “human rights” society.). (See: Why Do I Not Support the “Human Right” Concept?.) However, many of these practices or beliefs are offensive to the ignorant modern American. How can a hero be bisexual and quarrel over the ownership of a slave girl from a war trophy? How can you depict him as a hero in a movie? That certainly would NOT be a American hero. How can they have multiple gods? and each one openly warring with each other, for power, for vanity, for jealousy. In most American's eyes under the Christian God, these are sins that warrant punishment by death. (See: Western-God-Believing-Sect's scripture.)

I remember, the Troy DVD has a interactive special feature that introduces Greek gods. Some 6 or so gods standing around a podium, and you can click them, then the DVD will zoom in and basically voice over some brief intro about that god (something like that). I remember going thru them and i was very offended. Apparently, they try to have a fun feature that are semi-educational but actually it creates a complete Americanize fairy tale that is nothing close to these Greek gods. It's been some 5 years i don't remember the details and am not sure i still have the DVD (might be buried somewhere), so i couldn't describe any concrete example now. I just remember i was very offended that it is sort of a cultural wash.

Also, Disney's Aladdin, and Sinbad. In Sinbad, you have the American hero, American heroine, and a dog. You have the Good Guys, you have the Bad Guys (E-V-I-L!). (it's so silly they brought in the Greek goddess Eris into the mix, as the “Bad Guy”.)

I learned the true nature of Arabian Nights in mid 2000s. Take 5 minutes to read this one: The Arabian Nights: 70. ABU AL-ASWAD AND HIS SLAVE-GIRL. Or, read my intro: The Arabian Nights, Introduction by Xah Lee.

Now look at Disney's Pocahontas. Basically, in that period of history, American eliminated the native Americans. If i recall from a course i took in ~1992 on American History, some indigenous race are biologically extinct. (yes, extinct, as in, extinct animals.)

How can we, who have killed or caused death the Native Americans successfully and more in numbers than the Germans did Jews, with cutting off women's pussies and wear them as souveniring hats, have the audacity to run a movie Pocahontas shewing how “well we had our differences but finally became friends”?? Maybe if the Germans succeeded in eliminating Jews, then their propaganda machinery will show some family value fables about how Germans and Jews had some misunderstandings but finally resolved their differences and became friends.

What Disney do is — perhaps innocently as side effects of capitalism — to take a foreign culture's mythology, twist and turn it into a fairy tale of American mores and ethos. All foreign cultural elements of the myths are wiped clean. Instead, you have American heros (with a American heroine and a dog), American Justice Obsession, American humor, American freedom and equality sensibilities, and Amerian family value happy ending.

For some info on some reality of these Disney twists, see:

My gripe isn't about the faithfulness of these movies. After all, they are adoptations as entertainment products for profit. Rather, my gripe is on the ignorance and condonance of Americans on this matter. They (we) are a uni-culture group, utterly ignorant of other cultures. Helped and brought up by these films. While, daily, we obsess about (our) concept of human rights, justice, rape, equality. May God help us.

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on marketing

Started to write something on Facebook, but as usual i hit the char limit. So, here it is:

if you haven't already, please subscribe to my blogs. Takes too much time to put each new post here. subscribe here Subscribe To XahLee.org Site Feed.

extempore thought:

i used to think that great writing or product is key to success. That is of course still the most important thing. But I've found in this year, marketing is critically important, and it really take a large percentage of your resources (say, at least 20% of your time/resource needs to be spend on such thing) Looking at movies industry, you know how they spend tens of thousand to market each film. Some great films, without marketing, are not known to the general public, and some developed so-called cult following. That's a example. Likewise, companies, have a sizable percentage budgets devoted to marketing. In short summary, in modern society, in general, in order to break beyond close circle fans, a good percentage of your resource must be spend in marketing. Sad in a sense, but that's just how things are.

this applied to my personal level of blog writing is that, i need to constantly devote time to tweet, facebook, etc. Invest time into little widgets like tweet this, facebook me that, which is really a activity i hate. Of course, there are successful blogs or writers who become extremely popular purely by their work thru word of mouth, but in general that's rare exceptions. e.g. if you survey blogs, i think you'll find a large number of quality blogs are without audience, while, lots of garbage (usually run by small companies with lots of fancy ads and animations) has lots readers.

looking at the issue deeper, am sure if you study marketing (say in universities), you'll find a lot things they discuss which we uninitiated wouldn't know. e.g. basics like why marketing, and how, its effectiveness, import, relevance. Looked in a scholarly way. (as opposed to what we might think as all bullshit as most non-academic literature about marketing wants you to believe (such as some pop books. e.g. “10 secrets to marketing”, etc.))

Emacs Keyboard Macro Example: Insert All Unicode Stars

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Emacs Keyboard Macro Example: Insert All Unicode Stars

Xah Lee, 2010-12-24

Here's another story about emacs's power. This page shows a real world example of emacs's power, using several of emacs's features to insert all unicode characters who's name contains “star”.


I need to collect all unicode characters whose name contains “bullet”. For each one, i want the unicode name, followed by the char. For example, here's the result showing some them:


Before reading further, try to spend 10 minutes, using your knowledge of emacs to do it. Test your skill out.

  • If you don't know how do it, you are a emacs learner.
  • If you did it within 10 min, you are a emacs user.
  • If you did it within 1 min, you are a emacs expert.
  • If you did it within 1 min without emacs, you are impossible. ☺


Hint, use “ucs-insert” and keyboard macro . If you stuck somewhere, it might help to refresh Emacs and Unicode Tips. You should be using emacs 23.x.

Here's how i did it.

  • Call “ucs-insert”.
  • Type 「*bullet*」 then Tab twice, to get a completion list of all names containing “bullet”.
  • Move cursor to the completion pane, copy all content, put it in a new file, delete the first few irrelevant lines. You should get this:
BULLET                            BULLET OPERATOR 
  • Optional: now, turn on whitespace-mode, so you can see the tabs or spaces.
  • Now, do find and replace, and replace sequence of more than 2 white spaces to Newline. You should have this:
  • Optional: call “delete-trailing-whitespace” to get rid of trailing whitespaces, if any.
  • Now start Emacs Keyboard Macro. Starting at the first line. You want to select the whole line, copy it, then call “ucs-insert”, paste it, press Enter to insert the unicode char of that name. Then, move cursor to next line. Repeat.
  • In the end, you'll have this:


All this sounds complicated, but if you use emacs daily, it usually is done with reflex and can be finished within 30 seconds.

Now, try a little exercise. Try to list all unicode chars whose name contains “star” in it. See what kinda starry chars unicode has. (you should get 45 chars. Counting only unique ones, it should be 42.)

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HTML Entities, Ampersand, Unicode, Semantics

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HTML Entities, Ampersand, Unicode, Semantics

Xah Lee, 2010-12-23

This article is some thoughts on semantics of symbols.

Semantic Differences in Symbols of Identical Appearance

I write a lot essasy and tutorials related to computing. Often, they include instructions on pulling menus in software. For example, i would write: use the menu “File▸New▸Folder”. (e.g. Second Life Keyboard Shortcuts Cheatsheet.)

I needed a consistent syntax to indicate the menu hierarchy. Notice that i've used a small right pointing triangle there. The unicode char i was using is named TRIANGULAR BULLET “‣”. I found a better symbol for it recently, the BLACK RIGHT-POINTING SMALL TRIANGLE “▸”. So, i took 5 min in emacs to do the change to 5k files on my site. (There are 353 occurances in 62 files.)

Even both chars look the same, but they have semantic differences. The char i was using is a meant to be a Bullet (typography), whose purposes is to indicate a item in a list. What i needed isn't a item indicator, but a indicator for a node in a tree. A common symbol for this purpose is a right-pointing triangle. So, BLACK RIGHT-POINTING SMALL TRIANGLE is a better choice.

Ampersand, HTML Entities

On a related topic... you know how in html, the ampersand char “&” needs to be encoded as “&amp;”. In early HTML specs, that char needs to be encoded always, but i think in html4 the rule is changed so that if the char is surrounded in spaces then it doesn't need to be encoded. (the rule is quite complex actually, especially when the char is in url. See: URL Percent Encoding and Ampersand Char. ) In XML, the ampersand always needs to be encoded, unlike that of HTML4.

Meaning of the Ampersand

The ampersand char as a english punctuation means “and”, however, there are subtleties. (read Wikipedia article here ampersand, quite interesting story on etymology) In my own writings, i sometimes use the symbol, as in the article title Scheme & Failure. In longer sentences, sometimes you use it instead of “and” because using the word “and” introduces too many conjunctions in the sentence, but a glyph makes the grammatical structure more clear. For example, look at this sentence: “grep & glob mutates into egrep & fgrep confoundedness”. (Unix and the mbox Email Format) Here, you can see the “&” acts as a tight connecting operator. Its meaning is slightly different than the more general connective “and”. For the same reason, company names stick with the symbol too, e.g. “AT & T”, “Bang & Olufsen”, “Johnson & Johnson” or law firms “Allen & Overy” (See: List of 100 largest law firms).

With my recent unicode work (see: Punctuation Symbols in Unicode), i discovered several variant unicode char for the ampersand.


Being a fanatic about symbols, notation, syntax, elegance, i really hate the entities in HTML. The need to encode 「&」 as 「&amp;」 introduces several complexities. It's more difficult to parse, makes find & replace or grep more complex, more difficult in typing it. For example, you want to find all occurances of  & , now you need to search for both  &  and  &amp; . So, i've been toying with the idea of replacing any 「&」 with a unicode variant, the FULLWIDTH AMPERSAND 「&」. This way, you don't have to deal with the html entity. The SGML/HTML/XML character entity was created because some decade ago, unicode wasn't there. You only have about 100 ASCII chars to work with. So was invented “encoding” and “character entity”.

In the end, i decided not to do this replacement, for practical reasons, because many tools and software still don't understand unicode well. For example, search engines other than Google may not understand the semantics of the FULLWIDTH AMPERSAND char. It is also interesting to note, that when you type normal “&” in the find box in Google Chrome, Safari, IE8, they will find the FULLWIDTH AMPERSAND too, but not in Firefox, Opera. Try it.

Here's a interesting video from Google about how search engines deals with less used unicode chars.

〈How does Google handle ligatures, soft-hyphens, interpuncts and hyphenation points?〉

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Art of Translation

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Art of Translation

Xah Lee, 2010-12-23

Here are 2 translations of a lyrics from Chinese.

Translation ATranslation A
There's a girl, named Poem
She has many secrets
Cause in this world, it's hard to find a soul mate
She must search and seek
She thinks that, her face, leaves no trace
But loneliness, is written on her face
A girl by the name of Sze Yi
Full of secrets in her heart
A true friend is hard to get
She must try hard to find one
She thinks she can keep her secrets
And that they won't be shown on her face
But the word solitude is written on her face

which one do you think is better? (please leave a comment before reading further.)

✻ ✻ ✻

Last year, i translated a song 詩意 (Shiyi) from chinese to english. Today, i saw on the web a clip of the movie with subtitles in english of the song. After reading it, i realized my translation is so bad.

Here's the lyrics in chinese

一个女孩 名叫诗意
因为世上 难逢知己
她以为她 脸上没有 露出痕迹
在她的脸上 早已经写着 孤寂

You can see video of the song here: 詩意 (Shiyi).

In the past ~5 years, i translated perhaps 30 songs. Each usually took hours. Secretly, i was in a rapture with my translation everytime. Listening to the song repeatedly for hours and reading my own translation over and over, thinking about my mastery of english, and my unique perceptive power on matters of certain human condition that's in poetry. Often, later on when i found a professional translation, i realized how bad was mine. I've learned quite a lot from these experiences about translation.

I think one of the most important thing i learned about translation, is that the result must be natural and fluid as if it is not from a translation. If the result does not read like from native speaker, then it is probably not a very good translation. Of course, i was aware of this, but still, often my translation has sentences that reads odd. I defended this because i thought certain literal correspondence with the original is not necessarily bad style, because it gives the reader a sense of the original language's form and culture, and this i have consciously chosen to do in places, all things considered. But, from my experiences in past years seeing translations that i considered good, i don't think any of them does that in any degree.

Translation is not considered great art. For example, you won't see much historical figures who are remembered solely as great translators...

There are courses and schools for writing. Technical writing, novel writing, journalism, poetry workshops, literature studies... but am not sure i've heard curricula about translation. Of course, there are real-time translators as a profession. (often employed around political leaders, for example.) I'm sure there are vocational schools or trainings for industrial translators. But for translating literary work, am guessing there's not much dedicated curricula on translation per se. I think it basically relies on learning the languages and other literary aspects of the languages.

Also, when translating literary work, such as a novel, there are matters of style. For example, consider a style that is frequently literal. This can be pushed to extreme, yet maitain a distinctive readability. There are really so many ways to translate. Is there any scholarly article about translation as a art?

... going over to Wikipedia Translation, great reading. They have a section on “Fidelity vs. transparency”, which describes the dilemma i had. Here's some juicy quotes:

Fidelity (or faithfulness) and transparency, dual ideals in translation, are often at odds. A 17th-century French critic coined the phrase "les belles infidèles" to suggest that translations, like women, can be either faithful or beautiful, but not both.[19]

In recent decades, prominent advocates of such "non-transparent" translation have included the French scholar Antoine Berman, who identified twelve deforming tendencies inherent in most prose translations,[20] and the American theorist Lawrence Venuti, who has called upon translators to apply "foreignizing" translation strategies instead of domesticating ones.[21]

Current Western translation practice is dominated by the dual concepts of "fidelity" and "transparency". This has not always been the case, however; there have been periods, especially in pre-Classical Rome and in the 18th century, when many translators stepped beyond the bounds of translation proper into the realm of adaptation.

Adapted translation retains currency in some non-Western traditions. The Indian epic, the Ramayana, appears in many versions in the various Indian languages, and the stories are different in each. Similar examples are to be found in medieval Christian literature, which adjusted the text to local customs and mores.

Reading over, there's this section on attributes of a good translator:

A competent translator has the following qualities:

  • a very good knowledge of the language, written and spoken, from which he is translating (the source language);
  • an excellent command of the language into which he is translating (the target language);
  • familiarity with the subject matter of the text being translated;
  • a profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlates between the two languages; and
  • a finely tuned sense of when to metaphrase ("translate literally") and when to paraphrase, so as to assure true rather than spurious equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.[33]

What a great reading. I much appreciate it. I have myself wondered, whether good translation requires mastery of the From language more or of the Destination language, and i have concluded from my own experience that mastery of the destination lang is more critical.

I was born in Taiwan. Chinese is my native tongue. Grew up with it till 14. I speak, read, write, chinese fluently, of course. But from about 18 to now (42), the past ~20 years i live and study in english speaking countries. My literary skill in english reading and writing is far better than my chinese. I could produce reasonably quality translation of chinese to english, but not the other direction. My chinese literary skill is pretty bad. I'd have a paucity of diction and idiom.

More quote:

Moreover, a fully competent translator is not only bilingual but bicultural.

Indeed. Because, one really needs to understand the culture to grasp the nuances in meaning, for both the cultures of Source lang and the Destination lang.

Though, there are occasions that i find my translation better than ones from books or presumably professionally done subtitles of films. One of them i am rather proud of is 佳人歌 (The Beauty Song).

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Second Life Viewer 2 Stupidities

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Second Life Viewer 2 Problems

Get your Xah Particle Maker today!

Xah Lee, 2010-12-22

Many aspects of Viewer 2 are stupid.

The new design is based on web browsers, so it is more familiar to people. I think in general it is a great new interface. More simple, easier to use. However, there are quite a lot stupidities that made it very inefficent while it need not be. Here's some examples i'm writing down as i find it. (i haven't been using Viewer 2. I always use Emerald and now Phoenix.)

  • In old viewer, you can press 【Ctrl+i】 to always expect the inventory to come up. Now, not so. When you do 【Ctrl+i】 now, it simply brings up the sidebar of whatever info was there last time, such as properties of a object. You now have to use mouse to get rid of that. 【Ctrl+w】 won't work.
  • In old viewer, press 【Ctrl+i】 and your cursor is in the search so can type what you want to find things right away. Now, you have to press 【Shift+Tab】 twice to put focus on the search field.
  • The 【Ctrl+t】 to get last IM chat is gone. There does not seem to be any keyboard shortcut to bring up the IM chat window. So, when you have multiple IMs, which happens often, you have mouse click each one, a pain in the ass.
  • When you are in mouse view, you used to be able to see your height. So for example, when you are flying or using jetpack in combat, you can read off your altitude. But now, when in mouse view, all GUI are hidden.
  • If you pop out the inventory from sidebar into a standalone window, then, the 【Ctrl+i】 shortcut no longer works. Nor does 【Ctrl+w】 work.
  • You can't see the region coordinate of your current position anymore. (to find your coordinate, open the map)
  • When using show beacons 【Ctrl+Alt+Shift+n】, but when in mouse look, all disappears. Quite stupid. When fixing griefer problems, or in combat, having beacons on while in mouse look is very useful.
  • The group notices are better, but... When you have a notification from group, it shows in the corner 2 lines of it, and when you click it to read it in full, it shows in a tiny window. The Windows cannot be enlarged. You have to scroll. And, before you got a chance to scroll, it automatically disappears. What a idiocy.
  • The pie menu has been replaced with the less usable rectangular menu. Pie menu is much easier to access. (See: Pie menu)
  • In old viewer, i can see all people on my friend list who i have give map and edit rights. I can easily edit them. With Viewer 2, you have to do a few mouse clicks to see that info for each person (Click on info icon, then click on Profile, then “NOTES & PRIVACY” ).

What are some UI improvements?

Overall, the GUI is more intuitive and modern.

Here's some issues with Viewer 2 or before that i hate very much. Been using Emerald Viewer for 2 years, and now Phoenix.

  • Teleport blacks out the screen. VERY ANNOYING.
  • Very annoying teleport sound.
  • No sim-wide radar. In Phoenix, you can press 【Ctrl+Shift+a】 to list all people in a sim. In Viewer2, it list only nearby people.


HTML5 Canvas vs SVG

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HTML5 Canvas vs SVG

Xah Lee, 2010-12-22

Spent few hours looking at HTML5 Canvas and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

My conclusion is: i won't touch HTML5 Canvas. Here's some highlights:

  • Canvas is bitmap based, SVG is vector graphics tech. (this basically means, SVG graphics can be resized without getting fuzzy. Suitable for clean line drawings, such as charts and illustrations. Canvas is more for photos, bitmapped video games. (If you are not familiar with the basics of advantage and disadvantages of bitmap vs vector graphics, see: Raster graphics and Vector graphics.))
  • SVG is XML. Each graphics element you created can be scripted with javascript for interactivity as part of XML/CSS/DOM. e.g. onclick, onmouseover.
  • The language of Canvas is low level and procedural, while SVG is declarative and higher level. (you can think of them as imperative lang vs functional lang) In procedural way, you give commands to draw as if telling a paint brush where to move. In declarative style, you state your graphics shape and size. e.g. 「circle(center, radius)」
  • with Canvas, once a image is drawn, it's dead image, like paint, part of the rendering. With SVG, it's live, changes to code changes rendering.
  • Canvas is relative new, part of HTML5. Support is spotty. Some 90% of SVG is supported in all browsers except IE8. (A light version of SVG is supported for years in mobile devices; while Canvas originated from Apple as proprietary tech, and is well supported in Apple's mobile devices) For practical considerations with respect to support, am thinking that SVG is slightly ahead, while Canvas is currently the hot topic due to html5.

Sample Animated SVG Graphics

Here's is a animated SVG you can view in your browser: soccer_ball_rotating.svg. (works in current versions Google Chrome (8.0.552.224), Opera (10.63), Safari (5.0.3), all on Windows. In Firefox (3.6.13), the soccer ball shows but does not rotate.) The source is from Source en.wikipedia.org

Be sure to view source of the above svg file. You can get a idea what svg format is like.

Use Inkscape to Learn and Create SVG

There's a wonderful vector graphics drawing tool Inkscape. I've been using it since few years ago. It is fantastic. I learned it quickly, and loved it. I have used Gimp much earlier, and have spend much more time with gimp, but find it rather more complex.

After you created a drawing in Inkscape and saved to a file, you can open the file in a text editor, and see the source code of the svg. This is a great way to learn about the svg format. You can create a simple circle and look at the file to see the svg syntax for that. Similarly, you can draw oval, square, path, text, color, fill, gradient, etc and view their syntax. Also, the tool lets you convert any bitmapped image to vector graphics.

For example, i've used Inkscape to create the following logos. The Emacs LogoQi Language LogoLISP LogoXah's Java Logo. You can view their svg source code.

Javascript Library for SVG

There are several js libraries that create SVG for you. So, you call js functions to create images, without needing to know anything about SVG. With such a library, you don't have to worry about SVG syntax or browser support problems.

One of the most popular js svg library seems to be Raphaël (JavaScript Library). Quote:

Raphaël is a JavaScript library that draws SVG graphics for web sites. It also provides a VML alternative for cross-browser compatibility. Raphaël currently supports Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 9.5+ and Internet Explorer 6.0+.

Have a look at the demos on its home page at: http://raphaeljs.com/. They look pretty impressive.

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Windows Quick Launch change keyboard shortcuts

Windows Vista has this Quick Launch toolbar. Basically, you can drag icons there and you can click icons there to launch apps. It also has a automatic hotkey feature. Whenever you put a icon there, a hotkey is automatically created for you. The first icon will have hotkey 【Win+1】, and second 【Win+2】, etc. The total number of hotkeys auto-created are limited to 10, from 1 to 9 and 0.

Great feature, but there's one problem. Whenever you create a new icon, or remove one, all your hotkey changes. This is quite annoying.

So, today, i disabled them all, and instead, use AutoHotkey to create hotkeys myself. Like this:

; disable the bunch of launch app keys setup by Quick Launch. Because it change keys whenever you add or delete a icon there.

#7::Run "launch or switch skype.ahk"

See also:

Jinni: I WANT!

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Jinni: I WANT!

Xah Lee, 2006-11-17

Jinni, please grant me all powerful knowledge!

Wait, no, i won't ask for much. All i want is, a BS degree equivalent knowledge each of:

Chemistry, biology, microbiology, human physiology.

And, while you are at it, please grant me 2-years study equivalent worth knowledge each of: abstract algebra, differential geometry, topology, number theory, graph theory, combinatorics, representation theory (i.e. concrete group theory), game theory, probability theory, algebraic geometry, projective geometry.

Jinn, grant me!

And, it is also desirable, to know perhaps a BS degree equivalent of: economics, law.

Dear Jinni, in my life i've been a avid encyclopedia reader. I read Britannica and American Grolier's Encyclopedia about daily in the early 1990s. Then since early 2000 i've been spending several hours reading wikipedia daily.

Jinni, but i know so little, so insignificant. That for each page i have read, there are goddamn one hundred million pages i haven't read and increasing. So, if your power is sufficient, please grant me, if it is trivial, to have like had read all contents of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Jinni, i do realize, having read is not necessary equivalent to have understood. I could have, say, read all about math that appears in Britannica, say, taking a month or two. But i probably wouldn't, really understand them. Even if i understand them all after careful reading, the understanding isn't equivalent to even a student in a particular field.

For example, say, the topics of projective geometry. I could, read all Britannica has to say about it. And, i probably would understand it. However, this is far trivial than, someone who dedicated 2 years on the subject.

Yeah, so, grant me the knowledge i asked. And, grant me having had the experience of carefully read the entirety of Britannica.

Thank you.

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Sleep, Dream, Inception

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Sleep, Dream, Inception

Xah Lee, 2010-12-19

Watched Inception today. amazon. Not bad, but i wasn't thrilled.

Was drawn into the movie because i was a big Lucid dreaming fan. Kept a dream journal for about 2 years when i was about 13 (~1981). Sometimes in 1980s, Omni (magazine) published a article about lucid dreaming. In the article, i recall the researcher solicit reader's participation or sending in their dream journal. (i recall, the research team at Stanford University) I responded by postal mail my dream journals to them. (was written in Chinese) This is when i was living in Montreal, Canada. I was about 17 at the time.

I read rather a lot about dreams and sleep in my life. The whole science of it. REM, stages of brain waves, physiology of dreaming, and of course some about interpretation. “Some”, because literatures on interpretation of dreams are mostly superstitious garbage.

The science of Sleep is also fascinating. I particularly recall, in early 1990s, i read about it in encyclopedia Britanica. I recall, at the time, even the purpose of sleep is not well understood scientifically, and i think there were even some claim that sleep is not necessary, because it does not seem to have any direct effect on the physiology of human body system (e.g. cells, muscles).

Have actually experimented with sleeping cycles for many years throughout my life. For example, one idea to reduce required sleep time is to break sleep into multiple periods. A day has 24 hours. Each of us roughly spend 1/3 of it in sleep. So, it seems, every 1 unit of rest by sleep gets you 2 units of awake time. So, you could sleep 4 hours then stay awake for 8 hours, then repeat. Or, you could sleep for 2 hours, wake for 4 hours, repeat. Also, once you break them into periods, one idea is to reduce each period of sleep so that you might reduce the total time you spend in sleeping but not experience fatigue.

I've done this continuously for i think at least 1 year straight. But been doing this on and off for months or weeks in my whole life. Am 42. For perhaps a total of 6 years of my life, i sleep twice per day, roughly 4 hours each.

The other theory is to find the “natural day” period. That is, if without the hint of sun, if you live in a cave, what would be “day” period you naturally develop? It was said to be something like 25 or 26. That means, if you normally go to bed at 23:00, the next day you'd go to bed at 00:00, and next day at 01:00. That is, your sleeping schedule shifts by 1 hour later per day. This i've done for perhaps 20 years.

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unicode drawing shapes

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Unicode Drawing Shapes

Xah Lee, 2010-12-21

This page collects characters in Unicode that are drawing shapes.

Box Drawing (#x2500 #x257F) ─ ━ │ ┃ ┄ ┅ ┆ ┇ ┈ ┉ ┊ ┋ ┌ ┍ ┎ ┏ ┐ ┑ ┒ ┓ └ ┕ ┖ ┗ ┘ ┙ ┚ ┛ ├ ┝ ┞ ┟ ┠ ┡ ┢ ┣ ┤ ┥ ┦ ┧ ┨ ┩ ┪ ┫ ┬ ┭ ┮ ┯ ┰ ┱ ┲ ┳ ┴ ┵ ┶ ┷ ┸ ┹ ┺ ┻ ┼ ┽ ┾ ┿ ╀ ╁ ╂ ╃ ╄ ╅ ╆ ╇ ╈ ╉ ╊ ╋ ╌ ╍ ╎ ╏ ═ ║ ╒ ╓ ╔ ╕ ╖ ╗ ╘ ╙ ╚ ╛ ╜ ╝ ╞ ╟ ╠ ╡ ╢ ╣ ╤ ╥ ╦ ╧ ╨ ╩ ╪ ╫ ╬ ╭ ╮ ╯ ╰ ╱ ╲ ╳ ╴ ╵ ╶ ╷ ╸ ╹ ╺ ╻ ╼ ╽ ╾

Block Elements (#x2580 #x259F) ▀ ▁ ▂ ▃ ▄ ▅ ▆ ▇ █ ▉ ▊ ▋ ▌ ▍ ▎ ▏ ▐ ░ ▒ ▓ ▔ ▕ ▖ ▗ ▘ ▙ ▚ ▛ ▜ ▝ ▞

Geometric Shapes (#x25A0 #x25FF) ■ □ ▢ ▣ ▤ ▥ ▦ ▧ ▨ ▩ ▪ ▫ ▬ ▭ ▮ ▯ ▰ ▱ ▲ △ ▴ ▵ ▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► ▻ ▼ ▽ ▾ ▿ ◀ ◁ ◂ ◃ ◄ ◅ ◆ ◇ ◈ ◉ ◊ ○ ◌ ◍ ◎ ● ◐ ◑ ◒ ◓ ◔ ◕ ◖ ◗ ◘ ◙ ◚ ◛ ◜ ◝ ◞ ◟ ◠ ◡ ◢ ◣ ◤ ◥ ◦ ◧ ◨ ◩ ◪ ◫ ◬ ◭ ◮ ◯ ◰ ◱ ◲ ◳ ◴ ◵ ◶ ◷ ◸ ◹ ◺ ◻ ◼ ◽ ◾

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second life inventory links

Inventory Links

“Outfit Links” is quite a useful feature. For example, in sl, sometimes i play in the military combat community (first person shooter.) Sometimes i do build and scripting. (see: Build Tutorial and Scripting Tutorial.) Sometimes you might go to a dance club or beach. In different situations, you have different set of avatars, clothing items, or huds you wear. It is tedious to take off your clothing items and pick different ones in your inventory to wear. With “outfit links”, you can wear a particular set in one shot.

Inventory links tutorial

If you are impatient to watch the vid... see this doc at Source wiki.phoenixviewer.com.


There's a new version of lsl-mode for emacs. This new version added new functions and keywords AGENT_BY_LEGACY_NAME, AGENT_BY_USERNAME, llGetDisplayName, llRequestDisplayName.

Get it now at Emacs xlsl-mode for Linden Scripting Language.


Thanks to Michael Aldred donation for Emacs xlsl-mode for Linden Scripting Language.

adding web browser keys to emacs info mode

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Adding Web Browser Keys to Emacs

Xah Lee, 2010-12-20

Emacs has extensive documentation. The doc format is called “info”, and is a tree structure, very similar to how you browse a website.

To view the complete documentation index, press 【Ctrl+h i】. Once you are in the Info doc, you can use the mouse to navigate, or using keyboard.

Here's the most important navigation keys:

PurposeEmacs KeyWeb Browser key
BacklBackspace or 【Alt+
ForwardrShift+Backspace】 or 【Alt+
Go Up u
Focus on Next LinkTabTab
Visit LinkEnterEnter

Web browsers use the Backspace for moving to last viewed page and 【Shift+Backspace】 for moving forward. If you have 5 button mouse, by default the 4th and 5th button also works. (【Alt+】 and 【Alt+】 also works.)

These keys don't work in emacs. If you use emacs in a graphical window, using the mouse's 4th and 5th button are quite convenient. Here's how to add to emacs. Put the following in your emacs init file.

(defun browser-nav-keys ()
  "Add some browser styled nav keys for Info-mode.
  The following keys and mouse buttons are added:
 【Backspace】 and <mouse-4> for `Info-history-back'
 【Shift+Backspace】 and <mouse-5> for `Info-history-forward'."
 (local-set-key (kbd "<backspace>") 'Info-history-back)
 (local-set-key (kbd "<S-backspace>") 'Info-history-forward)
 (local-set-key (kbd "<mouse-4>") 'Info-history-back)
 (local-set-key (kbd "<mouse-5>") 'Info-history-forward)

(add-hook 'Info-mode-hook 'browser-nav-keys)


Dingbats and Cultural Symbols in Unicode

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Dingbats and Cultural Symbols in Unicode

Xah Lee, 2010-12-20

This pages collects cultural symbols, industrial symbols, dinbats, or other weird chars of Unicode.

checkmarks ✓ ✔ ✗ ✘ ☐ ☑ ☒ 𐄂 ⍻ ❍ ❏ ❐ ❑ ❒; multiplication x ✕ ✖ ╳; office ✂ ✄ ✁ ✃ ✉; bullets and deco ❦ ❗ ❡ ❢ ❣ ❤ ❥ ❧ ☙; deco matching pairs ❛ ❜ ❝ ❞ ❨ ❩ ❪ ❫ ❬ ❭ ❮ ❯ ❰ ❱ ❲ ❳ ❴ ❵; unsorted ☚ ☛ ☜ ☝ ☞ ☟;

star ★ ☆ ✦ ✧ ✩ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✯ ✰ ✴ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ✹ ❂; sparkle ❇ ❈ snowflake ❄ ❅ ❆; florette ✿ ❀ ❁ ✾; asterisks * ⁎ ∗ ✱ ✲ ✳ ✺ ✻ ✼ ✽ ❃ ❉ ❊ ❋ ﹡ *; 4-spoked asterisk ✢ ✣ ✤ ✥;

cross ✙ ✚ ✛ ✜ ✝ ✞ ✟ ✠ ♰ ♱ ☦ ☨ ☩; cultural ☓ ✡ ☧ ☪ ☫ ☬ ☭ ⚒ ☘ ⚜ ☸ ☥; staff ⚕ ⚚ ☤ taoism ☯ ☰ ☱ ☲ ☳ ☴ ☵ ☶ ☷ ⚊ ⚋ ⚌ ⚍ ⚎ ⚏;

industrial ☠ ☢ ☣ ⚛ ⚡; recycle ♲ ♳ ♴ ♵ ♶ ♷ ♸ ♹ ♺ ♻ ♼ ♽ ♾;

peace ☺ ☹ ☻ ☮ ✌; sex ♀ ♂ ⚨ ⚩ ⚦ ⚲; sex relations ⚢ ⚣ ⚤ ⚥ ⚧; marriage ⚭ ⚮ ⚯; modern icons ♨ ♿ ⚠ ☡ ✈ ✆ ☎ ☏ ☕; weather ☀ ☼ ☁ ☂ ☔ ☃ ☇ ☈;

chess ♔ ♕ ♖ ♗ ♘ ♙ ♚ ♛ ♜ ♝ ♞ ♟; card games ♥ ♠ ♦ ♣ ♡ ♤ ♢ ♧; dice ⚀ ⚁ ⚂ ⚃ ⚄ ⚅; other ⛀ ⛁ ⛂ ⛃ ☖ ☗; misc ⚆ ⚇ ⚈ ⚉; music ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯; sports ⚽ ⚾;

ancient signs ⚐ ⚑ ⚓ ⚔ ⚖ ⚗; misc ; greek gods ⚳ ⚴ ⚵ ⚶ ⚷ ⚸ ⚻; sun ☀ ☼ ☉ 🜚 🌞; moon ☽ 🌛 🌕 🌝 ☾ 🌜 🌑 🌚; planets asteroids comets ☿ ♀ ⊕ ♁ ♂ ♃ ♄ ⛢ ♅ ♆ ♇ ⚳ ⚴ ⚵ ☄; zodiac constellations ♈ ♉ ♊ ♋ ♌ ♍ ♎ ♏ ♐ ♑ ♒ ♓; misc astronomy ☊ ☋ ☌ ☍;

circled numbers ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ ❺ ❻ ❼ ❽ ❾ ❿ ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉ ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓; unsorted ⚹ ⚺; unsorted ⚙ ⚝ ⚞ ⚟ ⚪ ⚫ ⚬ ⚰ ⚱ ⚼ ⚿ ⛄ ⛅ ⛆ ⛇ ⛈ ⛉ ⛊ ⛋ ⛌ ⛍ ⛎ ⛏ ⛐ ⛑ ⛒ ⛓ ⛔ ⛕ ⛖ ⛗ ⛘ ⛙ ⛚ ⛛ ⛜ ⛝ ⛞ ⛟ ⛠ ⛡ ⛢ ⛣ ⛤ ⛥ ⛦ ⛧ ⛨ ⛩ ⛪ ⛫ ⛬ ⛭ ⛮ ⛯ ⛰ ⛱ ⛲ ⛳ ⛴ ⛵ ⛶ ⛷ ⛸ ⛹ ⛺ ⛻ ⛼ ⛽ ⛾; vertical bar ❘ ❙ ❚; unsorted ❖ ※; unsorted ƒ ␥ ␦;

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Second Life Login Name, Display Name

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/sl/sl_login_name_display_name.html

Second Life Login Name, Display Name

A video tutorial from the Phoenix Viewer team.

〈Display Names on Phoenix Viewer〉 By Jessica Lyon.

Here's a short summary about the display confusion.

Old Login Name: First Name, Last Name

In the past, sl login name has 2 parts: first name, last name. The first name is freely choosen by user when they opened a account, while last name is from Linden Labs (a list of last names you pick from a menu).

For example, my first name is “Xah”. My last name is “Toll”, which is from Linden Labs.

New Login Name: Just One Name

Starting sometimes this year (2010), Linden Labs made some changes. New account no longer have a “last name”. This is more compatible with most websites. More intuitive and easier to remember.

How to Login in Different Viewers

If you have both first and last name, and in a viewer that has only one name field, type both of your names together, separated by space. For example, my first name is “Xah”, my last name is “Toll”, so in the single login field i type “Xah Toll”.

If you only have one login name and using a viewer that has both first and last name fields, type “resident” in the last name part.

What's Display Name

To make matters more confusing, Linden Labs introduced the “display name” concept around 2010-10. Display Name has nothing to do with login name. Display name is just a name that is displayed over your avatar.

Display name is like a nick name that you like people to know you as.

Setting Your Display Name

In LL Viewer 2, go to the Profile in menu “Me‣My profile”, then click the “wench” icon at the top.

In Phoenix Viewer, go to menu “Edit‣Display Name...”.

Viewing Other's Display Name

Go to menu “Me‣Preferences” 【Ctrl+p】, then “General” tab, then check mark the “Usernames” box. (For LL Viewer version 2.4.0 (216989) Dec 15 2010)


Here's some LL resources on display name.