Non-Arabic in Movies

Roozbeh wrote a blog entry where he points out how Hollywood media tends to make a lot of silly and phony mistakes when depicting Arabs and Middle Eastern culture. Reading Roozbeh’s entry one could be made to believe that the lack of attention to details are limited to the middle east. I found his mention of how 24 had used the named of a former Iranian president to name some of its arab antagonists amusing, as is not to different from what I remember happened when the series The X Files placed an episode in Norway. The ‘random’ name of one of the people was Mr Brundtland. Which is not a common name in Norway at all, but it is the surname of a former Norwegian prime minister. And the average dress style was probably as representative of modern Norwegians as the dress styles of the first pilgrims are of todays US citizens :)

Funnily enough one of Norway’s largest newspapers made an article just 5 days ago, an article that talks about how Norwegians are depicted in US movies and TV. They mention for instance that Norwegians have been depicted wearing lederhosen on multiple ocassions, for instance in The Sorpranos, which is a Bavarian tradition, and which has nothing to do with Norway at all.

Another fun quote from that article is from CSI where they are reconstructing the face of a dead Norwegian woman and one of them says something along the lines of “There are a few Norwegian brunettes, but she is most likely to be blond, and then puts on the reconstruction a platinum blond wig”. Anyone who has been to Norway would know that there are more natural brunettes than natural platinum blondes. And most of the women who are platinum blond are so for the same reason they are so in the US; hair bleaching. In other words the colouring of the curtains doesn’t match that of the rug. :)

Another example of not caring too much about the details I remember, which is not directly related to Norway though, is from the movie Swordfish. At the start of the movie there is a Finnish superhacker stopped at the border, whose name was something like Axel Torvalds. Then later on when he speaks ‘finnish’ with his laywer, they actually speak German. Also if they wanted to style him after Linus they should probably have him speak Swedish and not Finnish as Linus is from the swedish speaking population of Finland :)

So Roozbeh, don’t worry, everyone gets misrepresented by Hollywood :)

Battlestar Galactica

Due to public request let me add these words: SPOILER ALERT!

So I ended up catching up to Battlestar Galactica this weekend. Seems Season four has recaptured much of the magic of the first two seasons, at least no ‘filler episodes’ so far, the storyline seems well woven and the things that happen, while often surprising, feels like they are meant to happen and are part of the bigger storyline.

The only irritation I found so far in season 4 is that the dilemma that they might be leading the cylons directly to Earth as they are fleeing towards it, is never mentioned or discussed. I guess it could always be claimed that maybe there was such a discussion ‘off-screen’, but it seems to important a question for me to never be brought up during the show.

Another issue that nags me a little is that if the original colonists found 12 planets close to each other that where habitable, then the current struggle to find such a place seems a bit weird, they should be rather plentiful :)

But these small issues, I recommend anyone who hasn’t watched Battlestar Galactica in a while to reconnect, as the psychology and tension of the series is exactly what it should be and the writing is superb. For instance the ‘fall’ of Felix Gaeta is a million times better than the feeble attempt of George Lucas to describe such a strings of events with the young Anakin Skywalker.

The time of Git has arrived

The GStreamer project has long been the last bastion of CVS, keeping the fire burning for the first and true version control system. So while the rest of the world had their dalliances with a long string of version control systems, we stayed true to our first love.

But alas, sometimes even the mountains have to change, and after Obama called upon us to be the change we have decided to embrace the new world order, and GStreamer have now embraced Git. A big thanks goes to Edward for his work on making this happen. If you want to grab the GStreamer git Master repo be sure to check out our updated developers pages for information.

HDMI why did I fear you?

So yesterday my housemate Ian and myself wanted to watch the Obama inaguration event from the Washington Licoln Memorial. Unfortunatly none of the TV channels we had available turned out to broadcast it. Luckily HBO was streaming it live on the net, but that gave me the issue that we didn’t really want to watch it on a laptop screen with laptop sound. So I decided to try something I feared to try up to this point, which was connect my laptop to the TV using the DVI output.

As it turns out this just worked, I connected the DVI cable to the HDMI input on the TV, fired up the Nvidia Display Settings application, pressed ‘Detect Displays’ and choose to set it up as a Twin view screen. It just worked. I then dragged totem over to the TV display and put it in fullscreen mode and was set to go.

Well almost, as it turned out when the event started, HBO had put in place a IP blocking for people outside the US. Well 5 minutes later I had found a US proxy server and was able to click into the stream. Once I had it going in the browser I just use Totem’s ability to take the stream over into a separate Totem instance then play that fullscreen on my TV. For the sound I just hooked a cable into my headphone output and connected it to my hifi system. Sure not Blu-Ray quality image and sound, but definetely acceptable sound and video quality :)

Going FOSDEM this year

I will be attending FOSDEM this year after having stayed away the last couple of years. Didn’t enjoy the last one I did attend some years ago, but having a bad fever can explain most of that :)

Looking forward to meeting a lot of people there who I haven’t seen in some time. And I guess there are a lot of things happening in the world perfect for discussing over some good Belgian beer :)


My housemate Ian got a Jamie Oliver cookbook for Christmas from his girlfriend. This has been part in causing a very cooking intensive new year so far. Home cooked meals so far has included me doing a foil baked gamon with potatoes and onion (not a Jamie recipe), Ian doing homemade meatballs with pasta and a beef roast and yesterday I cooked a chicken ragu with leeks.

While we have been using a lot of butter and cream in some of these dishes they hopefully still reasonably healthy. They at least taste much better than the normal stuff I toss together for dinner :)

Hopefully we can keep it up at Jamie will be proud of us :)