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Thursday, Dec 20, 2007 - 00:31 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert

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Panda Time

Finally found the time to catch up on my backlog of match reports for my Grilled Birds team, with it happening to be leading the league for once a great motivator. Thinking up dozens of stories at a stroke was a pain, but that's what happens when one gets lazy for more than two months.

I had to first fix a bug with calling the Linux calendar (cal) command, which had worked dutifully for three years before silently breaking without warning.

The first step was to make use of the technical support that my delightful web hosting company set up just for these purposes, and I put in a request ticket asking if I still had access to /usr/bin/cal. It wasn't what I would describe as a scripting problem, but that was the closest category I could find.

Ten hours later, I was the proud recipient of a polite templated reply appreciating me for my business, and informing me that scripting unfortunately isn't within their support boundaries, so would I please bother my webmaster if I had one, and oh would I be so kind as to complete an online survey?

Figuring that I was unlikely to get a direct yes/no answer since I had already pared the query down to its barest form, I shrugged and set about writing my own cal program as a Perl subroutine. How complicated can the Gregorian calendar be, anyway?

Duplicating a standard Linux command was a good time to put the C/Unix philosophy into practice, and I find that those words of wisdom are relevant to most programming tasks. The most important mantras are:

  1. Don't optimize prematurely. Please.
  2. Don't use fancy algorithms when a simple one suffices (much like words - clarity is better than cleverness).
  3. Write programs to do one thing, and that one thing very well (in most cases, this would be subroutines for me).
  4. Store data in flat text files (unless you've got something to hide).
  5. Look for the 90 percent solution (leave the hardest stuff out at first, unless they are also critical).
In short, go about doing stuff in a way a smart ten-year old could understand given some explanation. Chances are the day will come when something breaks and one will be at approximately that level in trying to recall why one did things this way.

With that load off my shoulders, it was time to indulge in some trivia.

Did you know that the World Wide Fund for Nature sued the then World Wrestling Federation over their common acronym (WWF) in the year 2000? At first blush it would seem that most people would be hard pressed to be confused given the difference between their agendas, but a more complex explanation may be at hand.


The WWF has unveiled its masterplan to break into the lucrative professional wrestling industry with a bevy of trained panda wrestlers (hey, you didn't think the use of a panda in a classic wrestler's crouch on the WWF logo was coincidental, did you?). A training match at its Japanese farm territory attracted positive responses, with smarks in the audience surprised with the level of technical ability on display. A brief list of moves to watch out for in the above clip include:

Move (Time)
Somersault Escape 0:20
Chokehold 0:40
Pushing out of the Ring 0:50
Attempted Pin 1:12
Hand Prodding 1:20
Denying Reentrance 1:38
Great Reversal 1:50
Butt Attack 2:18
Catching Breath 2:25
Stomping 2:40
Selling too Hard 2:43
Escape! 2:49
Slapping 2:55
Just Lost Balance 3:33
Lunge! 3:41
Rolling Kick 4:02

...

Or it could just be two baby pandas having some innocent fun in a zoo.

Well, there were other real headlines like students choosing easier classes, World of Warcraft now not only helping to survive moose attacks (see recent posts) but also in the jungle of the business world and "refugees" collecting moolah from the UK to set up shop back home (in which case why the heck are they considered asylum seekers?), but they're not nearly as fun, are they?



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2 comments


c.wenhoo said...

u call that classic wrestling crouch i fark u one time not enough ah


December 20, 2007 - 01:27 SGT     

gilbert said...



Original image from: http://sport-people.blogspot.com/2007/06/grand-sumo-tournament-2007.html


December 20, 2007 - 02:53 SGT     


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