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Light a torch for Natasja: Honour the memory of Natasja – support the fight against AIDS in Africa

RAW 2004 - Missekat SceneJust listening to “Release”, the first album by Natasja (+ 24-June-2007 R.I.P) – it’s actually MUCH stonger and MUCH more experimental than I remembered – will go down as a classic! – especially the tracks “Bonfire” and “Restless” are OUTSTANDING.

The picture was taken at the R*A*W 2004 event at Islands Brygge – the last time I saw Natasja alive…

Lille T det er dit navn og himlen er din havn

Lille T: Thank you for the wonderful memories, especially when you were performing with “No Name Requested”, probably the best Danish Hip-Hop EVER, and at R*A*W in August of 2004, just before your big break – it was so so great, and really the day I discovered NEW dancehall, and the celebration of life that dancehall represents!

Honour the memory of “Little T” and donate to the Red Cross’ fight against AIDS. AIDS is destroying the hope of Africa. Below is a quote from Natasja’s MySpace page.

Friends and colleagues of Natasja have been wishing to start collections for Natasja’s mom and others already did collect on the day that Natasja died, like it happened at Rub’a’Dub club last Sunday. Anyone wishing to relief Natasja’s moms situation can do so by donating money on the bank account below which is set up as a trust fund with the sole purpose of paying for transportation of Natasja’s remains and to pay for her funeral. Any excess funds from the collection will be donated to The Red Cross effort to fight AIDS in Africa. The last cause has always been one of Natasja’s greatest wishes to support.

Bank info:
Account number (incl. reg. no.): 3121 3121656760
Swift code: dabadkkk
IBAN: dk4030003121656760

And my prayers go out to the women and children of Africa!

“The real party starts when Africa is liberated”.

“The Creator” must be “sleeping”: PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, I’m on my knees here: send more angels, like my friend Louise that is currently working at a hospital in Africa. Tasha can you “pull some strings”?


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Professional cycling: “I WANT TO BELIEVE”

I WANT TO BELIEVE X-FILESJust watched the Rabobank press-conference from the Tour de France 2007, featuring Michael Rasmussen – the man behind the amazing Tour hat-trick yesterday. Congratulations to Michael, you look sharp in “Jaune”. The result yesterday was impressive, and it almost brought a tear to my eye, I was loudly cheering him on.

But after the initial euphoria, I’m sitting here, beginning to feel queasy.


At the press-conference, somewhat to my surprise, at least a few journalists dared to ask “the question”: “can we trust you”? “are you “clean””?

Rasmussen looked very confident when he confirmed: that we can “trust him: he’s not using illegal means to get his results” – I want to believe him – but even if the means aren’t exactly illegal, they could be “questionable”.

So: I want to believe Rasmussen, not least because I LOVE professional cycling.

It’s possible we can trust him, even likely, but he’s positively using ALL the legal means – and likely some that are “pushing” it – that money can buy to get his results, as all the top riders have to.

It has, for instance, been unveiled that Michael Rasmussen does “height training”, well he sort of has to – but one of the side effects of training in the high mountains, is that it is, in some ways, the “natural” way of achieving results similar to “blood doping”. Rasmussen also confirmed that he’s using wind-tunnels and I suppose that he might also be using “height chambers”, but that is on my own account. These things aren’t cheating, it’s simply using technology to improve your results. Illegal? No! Questionable? Maybe!

Rasmussen has also been quoted with calling the UCI “Men in Black” – he joked about that today, saying that he thought that the MiB was “Will Smith and this other guy, that run around shooting aliens”. Rasmussen now, cleverly, thinks that the UCI are “just doing their job”.

But…I’d stongly question if it hasn’t gone too far, when you need to consult a staff of medical doctors daily, I thought you only needed to do that a few times yearly, unless you suffer from a “serious condition”. Being engaged in professional sports obviously is akin to having a “serious condition”.

The “Men in Black” can’t gain access, because they would have to fight off the “Men in White” first.

Give Bjarne Riis some love – Sir Bjarne would be nice

A related note:

For 10 years now the sports journalists has been conducting a witch-hunt against Bjarne Riis, the man behind the greatest sports-result in history by a Dane in an individual discipline, constantly pondering the bleeding obvious: “was Bjarne Riis using illegal means while he was engaged in professional cycling“?. Of course he was, he even indirectly admitted it in 1998, by saying that he had never “been tested positive”. And that’s where it should have stopped. It’s well know that all of the top riders in the 90ies were using illicit means to get the results. So when he finally, bravely, admitted to using EPO it was not even news-worthy, albeit wise and commendable.

Bjarne Riis still deserves to be recognised as a role-model:

He broke the typical Danish attitude of self-depreciation; showed that you can set a goal and achieve it – doing EXACTLY what it took. After ending his active career, he’s managed to take a third rate cycling team, and make it the best in the world, like he said he would.

I’d say he deserves a Knighthood as much as Michael Laudrup. Sir Bjarne – I like the way that sounds.

“Put up or shut up”

The journalists should stop the which-hunt – get real – engaging in professional sports has, as mentioned earlier, been akin to a “serious condition” since ancient times – if you don’t like it, stop covering it!

And finally: “Grill” the “Chicken” like you do the “Eagle” – or shut up!

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“Hello Kitty” – Leopards are KEWL but I want something CUTE (and FREE)

Baby Clouded LeopardAfter being AWOL from Macnyt – lurking and being EXTREMELY bored with what was going on there, I’m, Bach! (For a short notice I think…)

Poor new user BTW. I have since repented and answered on-topic. Sometimes we’re not too friendly to new users @ Macnyt – thank you for pointing that out Cathrine – and read on! This is not as boring as usual – ah maybe it is – or rather: “it has no interest what-so-ever” to you ;-))”.

Well, a common Macnyt scenario (when I’m involved;-)), unfolded:

It started by me “thread-jacking” a serious discussion about “if you should wait for the next version of Mac OS X: Leopard to buy a Mac, in order to save a few – 129 actually – bucks” (:: macnyt :: danmark :: – Leopard eller Tiger) (a frequent – and ANNOYING – asked question BTW. Come on: if you need a computer get it ASAP – Leopard will not improve your creativity significantly compared to Tiger, but a MacBook Pro most likely will – to quote Ben Hammersley: “Da Vinci would have killed for a PowerBook”).

“Hello Kitty”

Well, the thread took a major turn, and we began discussing “cats” (and Nintendo DS – but I’ll save that for another time)!

I think that Leopards are KEWL, much more so than Tigers, and I also found out that they’re TOO CUTE (for proof look here: Clouded Leopard Project – Babies, from where the picture for this article was taken).

But “we’re” running out of names for “cats”: Puma, Cheeta, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and Leopard already in use , so I began throwing ideas for new names for Mac OS X around, suggesting Felix, Norwegian Forrest Cat – and indeed it turned out that a lot of people already had ideas like that (and one I – and others – had in mind actually feel victim to self-censorship ;-)).

Mac OS X 10.6 – “Garfield” (LOL) would be great, and a computer that refused to start on Mondays would not be such a bad idea after all, even though edible drives made from Lasagna might not. But really: the current batch of Macs are “obese” as it is, they need to go on a diet, something Garfield will NEVER do.

Anyways…This made me think that Apple should create a CUTE version of Mac OS and call it:

Mac OS X 10.6: “Hello Kitty”

Here kitty, kitty, kitty…Ubuntu killed the cat

My good buddy Esben was quick to point out that Gibbons and Fawns are WAY KEWLer than Cats, and would have a brighter future, if some big players like Adobe agreed.

Shuttleworth could maybe “forget some boxes” at Adobes offices, if there’s still room next to “boxes” Steve already has “forgotten” there.

CS on Linux would be the ultimate “Cat killer”. Actually I think this is bound to happen, Adobe is looking for new markets, and ways to distance themselves from Microsoft and Apple, and with the increasing support for Linux that Adobe is rolling out (Flash and Apollo), I’m optimistic, and Shuttleworth can keep spending his money on Ubuntu.

Apple should fear that day, all they will be left with is Microsoft Office.

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How to implement native Danish spell-checking in Mac OS X – Apple: steal it, I’ll post bail

Bad Apple

A discussion on the Danish Macintosh community, Macnyt, about the missing native Danish spell-checking in Mac OS X, let me to speculate on what it would take to implement it. Apple you’re more than welcome to steal it, and I’ll even post bail ;-).

NOTE to Danish Mac users: What follows will not give you native (Danish) spell-checking in Mac OS X, but it describes what I believe would be required, by Apple, to implement it.

What? No Danish?

Apple’s Mac OS X comes with a very nice, integrated spell-checking service. Unfortunately there’s no support for the Danish language, and this omission hits all Mac OS X applications that plug into Mac OS X for their spell checking services. This excludes Microsoft Office:mac and most open source software like Open Office and NeoOffice, that has their own spell checkers, but it hits all system applications as well as Apple’s own iLife, IWork and most other 3rd party applications.

I know from experience that this is a major issue with Danish Mac users, the question surfaces again and again.

cocoAspell to the rescue

The current solution is to install cocoAspell, a Mac OS X wrapper for the Aspell open source spell checker, and download the Danish dictionary. If you understand Danish, you can also get help from Æbletræet and this detailed guide (ZIP file) made by a Macnyt user.

Unfortunately that is not something the average person knows how to do, and it’s relatively complicated.

How to implement native Danish spell-checking in Mac OS X

So here it is: This is what I have found out, that it would take to implement native Danish spell checking in Mac OS X.

From an implementation point-of-view, it looks like it is quite straightforward.

Everything is located in the AppleSpell.service package, that is located in /System/Library/Services.

The file is organised like a .app package, first a Contents folder, that contains a Resources and a Mac OS X folder, along with a PkgInfo file and some .plist files.

Each supported language is represented by an entry in a .plist file called info.plist located in Contents, and a .lproj folder located in Contents/Resources.

The .lproj folder contains two files, one is called bindict, the other Dictionary.dat.

Problem: bindict and Dictionary.dat are binary files, and I haven’t been able to locate ANY documentation of the formats.

Step-by-step guide (for the Apple engineers):

  1. Get a copy of the “Store Danske Ordliste”
  2. Organise it “in a manner that is compatible with your indexing software” (this is the hard part, and I’m sure you could get community involvement in this).
  3. Run it through your indexing application (or lend us a copy)
  4. Create a new AppleSpell.service package
  5. Add the entry for Danish to the Contents/info.plist file
  6. Add a folder for Danish language to Contents/Resources
  7. Add the bindict and Dictionay.dat files created by the indexing application to the folder for Danish language
  8. Replace the old AppleSpell.service package with the new
  9. Ask the Danish Mac community to help test it
  10. Release it with the next, minor, update of Mac OS X

I estimate that it would take no longer than 1 man-week to implement and test this – so Apple come on

p.s.. do you really need to reinvent the wheel?

In many ways cocoAspell, is a better and, not least, open solution, so Apple you should really consider the alternative: drop the native spell-checker and embrace cocoAspell, there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel is there?