Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The topic of silent Finns reminded me of one song's lyrics:

Les gens du Nord
ont dans leur yeux le bleu que manque à leur décor.
Les gens du Nord
ont dans leur coeur le soleil qu'ils n'ont pas dehors.

The guy who wrote this - Enrico Macias - was born in Algeria and later moved to France. Don't know if he has ever been to Finland.

I ain't dead

Just had a weekend full of work and the longest workday of my life - about 48 hours. I feel like a zombie, but maybe it can be healed by some sleep and a few episodes of Buffy. Say, 144.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The silent Finns

The first time I ran into the stereotype of silent Finns was in February 1992 in Boston. I had just decided to learn Finnish just for the hell of it (I was not considering moving to Finland yet) and I had just found the guy who would teach me the language. We had our first lesson, and continued chatting after it. For about two hours Urpo was telling me that Finns are very quiet people and don't talk too much, and I was looking at him and thinking "yeah, right".

I've lived in this country for over ten years now, and I am still not sure where the stereotype of silent Finns come from. Maybe all the silent ones just run away always when they see me.

Yes, more Finns looks shy when talking to strangers than Americans or central Europeans. This does not however prevent them from talking. Finns don't usually do pointless small talk. Many Finns don't do pointful small talk, either, but that's just because they can't wait to get to the real talk.

There are some differences in communication cultures between different western people, but Finns are not any more unusual than most. They don't speak to strangers a lot, but still do it a little more often than, say, Bostonians. The most unusual in their way of communication are the French. They want you to say a lot of polite words first, and if you don't they think you are being mean. They speak to strangers less than Finns, too. The Spanish and Italian don't speak to strangers a lot, but apparently find it quite natural when strangers speak to them. The nation that I've seen speak to total strangers the most is Swedes - I wonder whether the stereotype of silent Finns was born fron the comparison with them.

The most amazing thing is that the Finns tend to buy into that stereotype. I've heard many lengthy explanations about how Finns never speak from those same Finns who allegedly never speak. I've heard Finns complain about how here - as opposed, apparently, to the rest of the world - people sit on the bus silently and always choose an empty seat rather than sitting down next to another human being.

Just what do they imagine the people in other countries do? I've lived in the US and in Russia, and traveled all over the Western Europe with the exception on Greece, Ireland, Andorra, San Marino and Lichtenstein, and everywhere the people behaved exactly like the Finns. Why would anyone want the total strangers on the bus to sit next to them even when an empty seat is available and immediately start some polite small talk? And where are the people who do that? They are probably all in Lichtenstein.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The shit has hit the fan

The other students are remembering Jeff Weise, the teenager who went on a shooting rampage and killed 9 people and himself. They say that there were warning signs long before the murder.

"Weise was different and seemed to delight in the fact," - says Contra Costa Times. Horrors!

The late murderer wore black a lot, used eyeliner, wrote zombie stories, played guitar, was always in the art class drawing the pictures of skeletons, wore trench coat and liked horror movies. He also posted on the web forum of the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party, which probably should be banned for purely esthetic reasons just for this name.

OK, weird kid. Pretty much anyone who expresses serious admiration for Nazis (and he did) is usually a bit weird, and if the person is not even white, usually doubly so. But the rest of it? Don't most of the teenagers do all that every once in a while? Some adults, too.

Just watch school principals banning black clothes, eyeliner, trenchcoats and skeleton drawing all over the country. On one web forum that I frequently visit one poster who had the misfortune to be a high-school goth during the Columbine massacre said that her school banned trenchcoats, fishnet stockings, black clothing, heavy makeup and lots of silver jewelry. Gee, I feel safer already.

I wonder what kind of sinister things people would say about me if I did something really bad and died in the process? "She had a lot of black shirts and used them, and had a lot of eyeliners, which she did not normally use, but most of them were black too. She played role-playing games, and liked violent movies and had quite a few of them. She also had very violent hobbies, like martial arts and target-shooting, and owned quite a lot of knives, although they were all of the kitchen variety. She couldn't stand Islamic fundamentalists, and did not care much for Christian and Jewish fundamentalists either. She really hated communists, and probably hated Illinois nazis as well. She has said some very nasty and threatening things about her country of birth, which is still shaking in its boots from fear. She sometimes ate raw beef and raw fish, and made jokes about eating babies. She was a known childhater who posted in some childhating forums, and has lurked in some other evil forums as well. She drank alcohol, and visited Amsterdam many times in her lifetime, which probably means she was up to no good there..."

Sheesh, now I am scared of me!

Congress, the opposite of progress

A few days ago the Congress decided to let Terri Schiavo's parents move the matters from the state to the federal courts. This was a Republican idea, which is very interesting considering that usually Republican are the ones who clamor for the state rights and complain about the evil federal government. Apparently it is indeed different when it is yours. The federal government, I mean.

They don't seem to talk that much about the sanctity of marriage either, now that they don't want Schiavo's husband to make decisions for her.

I am not quite sure why the Congress did it. I understand that this is a matter of life and death and votes, but according to the opinion polls a majority of Americans, including the majority of Republicans, is for letting her die.

Schiavo's father said that she smiled when she heard about the new law. Note to the Congress: if even the people with no cognitive function find your new legislation funny, maybe you are doing something wrong.

Note to everyone who might be making decisions for me: if I am ever in a persistent vegetative state, kill me. If I am in a permanent state when I can think but not move or communicate, kill me. If Randall Terry ever tries to take part in that decision - well, you know who you have to kill but it would be probably illegal for me to say it here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Violence in Paris

The was considerable violence during a demonstration of high school students in Paris on March 8th. "Considerable" means that hundreds of teenagers were beating up and robbing others. I am curious as to why this story did not make it into the Finnish press - or maybe I didn't find it?

Anyway, here is the article from Le Monde, if you read French.

Anyway, there was a demonstration of high schools students, demanding AFAIK more money for high schools, and it was invaded by hundreds of people, mostly from Seine-Saint-Denis and other northern suburbs, many of them students of a vocational school in Seine-Saint-Denis, who started beating people up and robbing them of cell phones and other robbable objects.

The article quotes a few of the criminals, who are saying that, surprise, they went there to rob people and beat them up because it's easy money, fun, and you get to avenge yourself on the white people. Apart from the great crime of being white, people were beaten up for being skateboarders, goths or simply dressing up too much. The criminals also pointed out that white people are cowards, that they walk the streets alone, as opposed to in a group, and therefore constitute easy targets, and that they can always buy a new cell phone or a MP3 player.

For whoever does not know, "students of a vocational schools in Seine-Saint-Denis" is a politically correct French way of saying "mostly Arabs, some blacks".

Note to self: Seine-Saint-Denis is probably not a good place to visit.

Note to the French: you've lost Algeria and it's OK, but losing northern suburbs of Paris is probably not a good idea.

Point to ponder: how do you beat people up at a demonstration? Isn't there a lot of other people around to stop you? Was everybody afraid to intervene or did the criminal somehow always position themselves to outnumber the victims?

Flashback: I've seen this before. There used to be a group called Lyubery, from Lyubertsy, a suburb of Moscow. They also liked to go to Moscow to beat up people. They could not well practice anti-white violence on account of being white themselves, so they used to target young people who were in their opinion unusually dressed. That was in the mid-eighties. Wonder what became of them.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The weekend

Went for a beer with a few friends on Friday, went to two parties on Saturday (why do parties all have to be on the same day, why?) and spent a nice and moderately quiet evening with Killeri on Sunday. Sex does cure work stress a little.

Little kitties are all gone to their new owners now.

We saw Constantine which was OK but left me unimpressed.

A thought that came to me at one party: there are a few people whom I always see at other people's parties. Often I feel like inviting them to my parties too, but then I don't know their email addresses and feel like I don't know them enough and feel too shy to ask (although Anu has once informed me that people rarely get upset about being invited to a party, and this is probably true). Anyway, one of these people has just invited me to his party and I am happy about it (and this also means that now I will have no problem inviting him to my parties, either), but it would be nice to figure out a way of inviting (or just exchanging email addresses with, inviting will follow naturally) other such friends-of-friends without feeling all scared. Not that I am actually having a party anytime soon.

A belated New Year resolution

On Usenet and Web forums, I will not associate with the following kinds of people:

- anyone who used to walk to school every day fifty miles uphill each way while carrying his or her disabled grandmother on his or her back, and now believes that all the problems of the modern world are caused by the fact that the kids nowadays are not forced to do the same,
- anyone who opposed cellular phones because there used to be no cellular phones when they were young,
- anyone who suggests colonoscopy as a pathway towards enlightment,
- anyone who suggests that the other party in the converstaion should either be raped or commit suicide in order to find out what the important things in life really are,
- anyone who believes that the death of thousands of poor brown people in a natural or unnatural disaster in some hot undeveloped country is a good thing because of the resulting population reduction,
- anyone who believes that the death or thousands of rich white people is such a disaster is a good thing just because those people were on vacation while he or she was not,
- anyone who writes the word "whore" with a big "W",
- anyone who is continuously fighting for the rights of the unborn, undead, unconceived and unfucked, much as I can empathize with the latter cause.

Yeah, I know that some of the people I know in real life do some of the above. This is their privilege for knowing me in real life and not being assholes most of the time. Net acquaintances don't get that.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Al Qaeda vs. Microsoft

I wonder what would happen if we could get Al Qaeda and Microsoft to fight each other? For example, by telling Microsoft that Al Qaeda is distributing Firefox, and by telling Al Qaeda that Windows is anti-Islamic.

Is there any chance we could rid of one of them this way. Or - dare I hope? - both. Imagine the war:

  • Day 1: Microsoft takes out a patent on suicide bombings, airplane bombings, truck bombings and all the explosives that are not patented yet.

  • Day 2: Al Qaeda blows up a Microsoft building and puts up 10000 webpages about Microsoft being evil.

  • Day 3: Microsoft sues Al Qaeda for bombing without paying for the patent.

  • Day 4: Some Al Qaeda cleric finds a hadith saying that Microsoft Windows are against the will of Allah. Signed by Mohammed himself, no less.

  • Day 5: Microsoft search engine finds only very nasty porn pages when searching for "Al Qaeda", and endless pages about how Al Qaeda is against true internet security, mom, apple pie and Internet Explorer.

  • Day 6: Some Al Qaeda cleric declares that every new Linux installation brings you an extra virgin in heaven.

  • Day 7: Microsoft bribes all governments the money can buy to fight against Al Qaeda. Ome million terrorists and sympathisers are arrested worldwide.

  • Day 8: Swarms of men and women in headscarves and veils, all waving Debian installation CDs and screaming "Allahu Akbar!", attack offices around the world and install Linux everywhere where they are not killed by goverment troops before that.
  • Day 9: Microsoft buys every nuke it can, nukes all known Al Qaeda bases.

  • Day 10: Some Al Qaeda cleric promises virgins on earth for every new Linux installation, and slightly-used men and women too, in case the world runs out of virgins.

Vera plays Dr. Freud (graphic content warning)

I have a theory that there is no human-induced psychological trauma that couldn't be healed by capturing said human and scraping his or her eyes out with a fork.

This is not a threat towards anyone - it's just a thought that came to me while I was pondering why some school incidents caused me some long-term trauma and some didn't.

Since most countries' laws take a dim view on scraping people's eyes out with a fork (and if your country's laws don't then you have problems that are more pressing than any psychological trauma you might have), Dr. Vera Playing-Freud advices trying harsh language and other more conventional forms of therapy before resorting to extreme violence.

I should probably also warn everyone trying this form of self-therapy that sometimes it has unintended embarassing consequences, such as totally strange women greeting you at a conference in another country 16 years later with "Hi! You were that girl who punched our teacher in the nose, right?"

Friday, March 18, 2005

Terri Schiavo and fundies

The House Republican leadership (gee, what a surprise) has decided to issue a subpoena that would prevent doctors from removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tubes today. That's "to allow Congress to fully understand the procedures and practices that are currently keeping her alive", they say. Hmm, I thought they have had fifteen years or so to achieve the full understanding. I mean, I can understand that our congress is slow, but that slow?

Terri Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years. If our Congress doesn't know what that means, I can explain: it means that she has less brain function than President Bush. A lot less. As in, no cognitive functions at all. Her husband claims that she would have wanted to die. Her parents claim that she wouldn't. So claim thousands of religious fundamentalists who'd never met the woman but who know that their respective gods at least would not have wanted her to die. None of them seem to address the question of why their god has stopped her heart for a few minutes if he did not want her to die. These are the same people who always fight for the rights of the brain-dead, the unborn and the unconceived - apparently they feel a certain affinity with all the aforementioned groups as far as cognitive functions are concerned.

All of the above looks like a lot of trouble just because she never put anything in writing. Maybe I should mention it here, in avoidance of possible future confusion: if I am ever in a persistent vegetative state I would like to die. My parents would probably tell you otherwise, too, but they would be lying.

Also, if there is ever any public debate on whether I should live or die in any euthanasia or vegetative state situation, I really don't want any clergy to participate, at least any clergy that did not know me in person.

Probably should make a living will or whatever...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Life, the universe and everything

The work stress is clearly getting better, new features start working all the time.

Went to a job interview this morning. Nice company, and friendly people. Hope I did not scare them too much.

Yesterday went to see Downfall. It was very interesting from a historical point of view but not much of a cinematographic masterpiece, although advertised as such. It did have its moments. The is a movie about Hitler's last days and shit hitting the fan. The Germans there resembled some Russians I knew and did not love.

The extra bonus was that I watched it with Ville who knows quite a lot about history, so I got to hear a bit more about the history of that period, and that apparently the makers of this movie were not exaggerating.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Feeling better

Still very busy at work, but feeling a lot better.

Saw The Sea Inside yesterday, and liked it a lot. It's a movie about a quadriplegic guy who wants to die. Not exactly uplifting, but a very good movie.

I wonder to what degree assisted suicide is legal or illegal in Finland. Probably should find out, just in case.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Stress and depression

Have been overstressed lately, and yesterday was a very bad day. Spent it mostly in bed crying, couldn't concentrate even on watching Buffy. Could read a book though - I don't think I've ever been so stressed or depressed as to be unable to read - to get me into that condition usually takes an airplane.

It's not like I am continuously feeling bad - everything seems to depend on whether I have had a good or a bad day at work, and Friday was bad. Today is good, so feeling a lot better.

The software is getting better, so i guess the stress will too. I am just whining.

Managed to have some fun on weekend too: Anu came over on Friday, and on Saturday there was a Diskurssi where Niksu told us about winemaking. Tasted some wine, too. The wine was better than I ever expected home wine to be, but the process sounded so difficult that I don't think I'll be making my own wine anytime soon.

Xenia (a roommate) and I used to make wine once upon a time, but this was all about getting the maximum amount of alcohol with the minimun amount of money. I earn more nowadays, and drink less.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

They never ratified or signed the damn Optional Protocol in the first place.

The US did not leave Vienna Convention on Consular Rights

I woke up and saw an article in Helsingin Sanomat onine saying that the US has withdrawn from Vienna Convention on Consular Rights, which would mean that arrested foreigners would no longer have access to the diplomatic representatives of their own country. I almost piised my pants. "We did WHAT?!!!"

Turns out we didn't. The US has withdrawn only from the Optional Protocol that allows the International Court of Justice to intervene in such cases. Not that this was a particularly bright idea either, mind you.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tanya's blog

Tanya has finally got a blog. So far it's all in Russian, but if you read Russian I can recommend it. So far it's a work blog, and since she works in a human rights organization, it's rather hardcore.

There are links to articles there, and I can highly recommend this article: (part 1 and 2 and part 3). Part 3 is hilarious; given time and permission I might translate it or parts of it. It's an interview with a real live Chechen terrorist, and its title is Snickers - the Weapon of Jihad.

Men and reproductive freedom

I find it strange that in 21st century half of the population of the Western countries still doesn't have any semi-decent reliable birth-control options. Even more strange is that very few people seem to care.

There are basically four things that men have for birth control: sterilization, condoms, withdrawal and a woman's word. Male sterilization is a fine birth control, very reliable, but for the obvious reasons it is limited to men who are quite sure they don't want to have any children in the future. Condoms are fairly unreliable; a woman's word is even more so. No offence to the vast majority of womankind who do keep their word, but very few men have sufficient mind-reading abilities to figure out in advance whether or not you are will keep your word. People who use withdrawal for birth control are generally called "Mommy" and "Daddy".

Apparently hormonal birth control for men is more difficult to develop than for women. I am not trying to blame anyone for it. But what is society doing with the rest of it? We have half of the population having the right to be heterosexually active without running high risk of having an unwanted child. It is my impression that there is a consensus that this it a good thing. Why is there no effort at all to extend this right to the other half of the population?

Let's see: sterilization. One would think that with no other reliable birth control available the society would be eager to present this option to men, so that at least the ones who are sure they don't want children would have reliable birth control. But no, no such luck. The minimal age for sterilization for men, like for women, is 30, allegedly to protect them from rash and irreversible decisions. Nobody seems to be interested in protecting them from the effects of not having reliable birth control, which tend to be just as irreversible. The ironic thing is that if a woman turned out to be unable to use any hormonal birth control or IUDs she would probably get a sterilization at a younger age on the grounds of being unable to use other birth control. The state seems to be in no hurry to implement other options, either, such as offering sterilization to men under 30 but storing their sperm until they are 30.

As for the matter of the woman's word, the consensus in our society seems to be "if he can't find a reliable woman it's his own damn fault". At least that seems to be the consensus among women, men who are sterilized and men who have already found a woman they believe to be reliable. The men who are currently looking for a woman are suddenly a lot less sure.

The pool of actual reliable women is fairly large, but the pool of the women a man knows to be reliable is pretty damn small. You can pretty much trust good friends and known long-term childhaters. That's about it. A nice woman whom you meet in a bar or on the net might have her own agenda. Most likely she doesn't, but should people really be expected to bet 18 years of child support on this?

Besides, not taking a woman's word for it or even suggesting that a woman might be lying is considered to be a major social faux pas in some circles. With some birth control methods, such as IUD, you don't have to take a woman's word for it, you can actually check it. Yet somehow I have never seen anywhere any public information for men "how to check of your partner really has a IUD". Maybe I should write one. It's not rocket science.

The weirdest thing is that if a woman promises not to give birth to any children and take full responsibility if she does, she is not allowed to put it on the paper. Or rather, she is, but it is not enforceable. This is usually explained by the child's right to his/her father, which is this context means child's right to getting child support from the father. Every time somebody raises the question, the response is "the mother cannot sign away the child's right to his/her father and the father's money".

This is so obviously untrue. Women can withold information on who the father is. Women can give birth without even knowing who the father is. Finally, a woman who promised not to ask for child support does not have to ask for child support. Women can in fact waive a child's right to his/her father for as long as they want, at least if the father also cooperates. A woman can raise a child without asking the father for money. What a woman cannot do is to commit to such course of action. Why?

If a woman has sex with a man, promises not to ask for child support, and does not ask for child support, then everything is fine and the child's right to the father's income does not interest anyone in the world. If a woman has sex with a man, promises not to ask for child support, and then changes her mind, and a man produces a paper with the woman's signature, then there suddenly exists a child's right to the father's income that a woman cannot sign away.

OK, I am not even starting on the parental obligations of victims of rape and child molestation. This is a matter for a whole another post.

Aggressive recruiting

According to, Ramzan Kadyrov, deputy prime minister of the Chechen government, said that the authorities did not mean to kill Maskhadov, but just wanted to catch him and offer him a position in security forces. Now that's what I call aggressive recruiting. Hope it doesn't catch on in IT field.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Immigration laws are no joke

The idea to write this came to me after a beer yesterday, but the phenomenon is so common that I hope the guy I was having beer yesterday won't take it personally. This attitude is quite widespread among people from Western countries living in other Western countries.

In order to live in a country you are not a citizen of you usually need a residence permit or some other papers. There are exceptions to that, but usually this is the case. The people who give the residence permits out don't make it easy. Getting a residence permit somewhere is a game where you are playing against an adversary who is vastly superior to you in power and resources, who has made all the rules and who gets to change all the rules in the middle of the game. You cannot afford not to pay attention.

The rules are often stupid. I also think it's silly to make a lot of trouble for a person who applied for a permit extension one day late, but I don't make the rules; they do. I've met a few people who have done so; you really don't want all this trouble.

Don't believe anything the officials tell you, get everything in writing.

Don't assume that they will bend rules for you just because you are a fully employed Western person and not a Somalian refugee. They might, but they probably won't.

The system is staked against you, but the person behind the counter is rarely a personal enemy of yours. Don't take it out on them.

Your consulate is unlikely to help you. This is not because they are assholes, there is probably nothing they can do. Other people's consulates don't help them much, either. But if they really are assholes, contact your State Department or equivalent.

Sometimes various officials ask too many questions or look at your passport for too long. Take a deep breath. This is usually not a major problem, but you can make it one if you make a scene.

Don't try to renounce your citizenship without a good reason, especially if it's your only one. I can tell you from bitter experience that being stateless in not an improvement in comparison with being a citizen of an industrialized country as far a getting visas and crossing borders go. There are some countries whose citizenship is so shitty that being stateless is preferable; yours, however, is probably not one of them. My ex-country was.

There are rules that you can break and probably not get caught. Before you do so, think of the consequences if you are caught. Sometimes it's worth it, but usually it isn't.

If the country you are traveling or living in is a third-world shithole, all of the above applies even more. Don't overstay. Don't live there without a residence permit. Just don't. If you do it just might be that getting kicked out will be the least of your problems.

Have all your papers in order, smile nicely, expect all kinds of dirty tricks and be glad when and if they don't come. Read the laws. Find things out in advance.

If all of the above sounds patronizing you are probably not the intended audience. Having lately run into a person who tried to live and work in Russia without a residence permit, a person who moved permanently to a country and then started trying to find out whether the country in question has a permanent residence permit, and a person who tried to renounce his only citizenship over a rather trivial matter, I just felt I had to write this.

Monday, March 07, 2005

You'll see the distant flames, they bellow in the night, you'll fight in all our names, for what we know is right...

U.S. Army and other branches of service are having trouble recruiting new cannon fodder. Gee, who would've thought! Apparently even the most cognitively challenged candidates are figuring out that joining the army in times of war might mean getting shot at somewhere along the line.

Maybe they should use lyrics from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut for their recruiting song:

You may get stabbed in the head, with a dagger or a sword
You may be burned to death, or skinned alive, or worse!
But when they torture you, you will not feel the need to run for,
Though you die, La Resistance lives on.


Tired to death, mostly on account of spending all my waking time working or thinking about work.

Tried to get away from it yesterday with sex and a very good party. Did not really succeed in not thinking about work, but at least enjoyed it (the date and the party, not the work). I don't think there is enough alcohol in the world to relieve my current work stress.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Huonot ideat leviävät nopeasti

Kiinassa suljettu 47 000 nettikahvilaa "kasvatussyistä", sanoo Hesari. Perkele, sinnekin meidän Karpela ehti.

Women and science and nature and nurture

A little while ago Harvard University president Lawrence Summers gave a speech in which he suggested that underrepresentation of women in math and natural sciences might be partially due to the differences in men's and women's innate abilities, and all the hell broke loose.

First of all, if this were true (I don't know whether or not it is, and I suppose Summers doesn't either) it would bother me a fair lot on some level. I am not quite sure why. It's not like it would diminish women in science as such - it would just mean that, say, 8% of men have what it takes to be a scientist, but only 6% of women, or something like that, but it would bother me anyway, and apparently it bothers a lot of other people. And the other thing that bothers me is that even if it were true it would still be a thing one is not supposed to mention in speeches or talk about in a polite society. And, for example, if someone were to prove that fewer women have the aptitude for science than men, that someone would be in a fair lot of trouble.

I decided to look up the enrollment statistics for the Faculty of Science of the University of Helsinki. Found the statistics for the end of 2002. 80% of biochemitry students, 77% of biology students, 30% of physics students, 66% of chemistry students, 40% of math students and 19% of comuter science students are women. These are very big differences, both between sexes and between fields. I can't offhand think of any differences between cognitive skills needed to study chemistry and physics. I find it quite difficult to believe that there is some innate difference between men and women that makes men study physics and women study chemistry. I also find it difficult to think of any kind of discriminating that would keep women out of physics and men out of chemistry. So why are the sex ratios so different?

Music taste

Yesterday we had a game session, and then we hanged out with Anu for a while. One of the topics of the conversation was my music taste.

I like the stuff that we defined as "finnhits and homodisco". I rarely meet other people who admit to liking the same stuff, and yet this is exactly the kind of music that most people choose to sing in karaoke, and that fills a dance floor in discos.

Anu thinks that much of this difference between what people say and what people do is due to the fact that when discussing their music tastes people usually talk about what they listen to at home, and a lot of people like finnhits and homodisco at parties and discos but do not listen to it at home. This is probably true, but this is not the whole story - I have often run into other people's overt disapproval when mentioning that I like this kind of music. I wonder why.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Color streaks

For the first time in 29 years I dragged my ass (and hair) to a hairdresser on account of the fact that I wanted to try Elumen hair color and they don't sell it to mere mortals, but just to hairdressers.

The place was Hiusneito in Herttoniemi, and the hairdresser was a blond young woman who honestly admitted she did not have a lot of experience with Elumen. Three different-color streaks cost 50 euros, which is a lot but not so bad for a hairdresser expenditure for 29 years. She did pretty much what I asked and I was satisfied.

The rest id probably only interesting to people who like playing with Elumen:

I have medium brown (that's dark brown for you Finns) hair, about 5 on Elumen's darkness scale. It has a fair lor of occasional strands of sowewhat-orangey-yellow, and nowadays also a noticeable (5% maybe) amount of gray. The idea was to cover the gray by getting some funky color on it, or at least by getting a non-funky color.

One streak was a 1:1 mix of KK and RR (orange and red), one was a 1:1 mix of KB and GK (something brownish and bright yellow) and one was a mix of BB and VV (blue and violet) which had a bit mote blue than violet. I had asked her for mostly blue with a tiny bit of violet, but after she mixed a bit more violet in it than I asked for the color on the bowl was so pretty that I just had to try it. All of this was applied straight over the natural color, with no bleaching.

The results:

The blue-violet made my brown hair a considerably darker and ashier brown. The gray hairs became blue-violet and give the whole thing a violet shade which is stronger at the roots where I have more gray. The gray does not stand out.

The yellow had no effect on the brown hair and made the gray hairs yellow. It is a bit birghter and less-orangey yellow than my natural yellow hairs, but I think it blends in nicely.

The red was a bit of a disappointment. It looks so beautiful on Yoe, but Yoe has very different hair. It made my hair a bit reddish and the gray hair orangey-pink, and the gray still stands out.

Now I feel like running back there and dyeing the rest of my hair, except that I haven't decided whether I want the violet, the yellow or maybe violet in the lower part and yellow in the upper. Besides I want to see how well the color holds.

Politicians in jail

Dutchreport reports that Geert Wilders is in prison and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is living at a military base (both of them are members of Parliament). Technically they are not being punished; they have expressed political views that are apparently unpopular with some of the citizenry and are getting death threats, and the powers that be have not found any better safehouses.

I think there is a little problem with free speech in a country where politicians have to live in prisons for expressing their views on politics. I remember the day Pim Fortuyn was killed and everybody there was in shock, since there had not been a political assasination in the netherlands for 350 years or so. That was less than 3 years ago, and now they have two politicians in hiding.

Wilders is somewhat harsher and more radical in his views than Fortuyn was. I suggest that people who want him killed think really hard about who will be the next guy.


Have an important deadline at work, therefore am working all the time. Don't be surprised if I seem tired or unsociable (I mean the people who see me IRL).

All work and no play makes Vera a bitch from hell. Besides, I have a bit of PMS. And there is somebody drilling stone outside my windows.