atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2032: Eyjafjallajokull eruption

Can we just rename that thing "Mount Doom" or something? WTF is it with Icelandic names? 50 syllables at a quarter-vowel each. It's almost as bad as Polish.


Apparently the thing's a-fixin' to blow up real good. The eruption taking place now already brought air travel in Europe to a standstill for three days. (Was it three days? I didn't bother to count.) If it sets off the nearby Katla volcano, it's going to be pretty bad for Europe.

See, now, "Katla"--two syllables, two vowels, no pronunciation guide needed. WTF, Iceland? "Eyjafjallajokull". Six syllables long and it needs a pronunciation guide ("(ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl)") and it looks like the goobers at Yahoo or AP forgot the umlauts, too. From this point onward, the Fungus will call the damn thing "Mount WTF". (Except in quotations.)

Guess what?
...the last three times that Eyjafjallajokull erupted, Katla did as well.

Katla also typically awakens every 80 years or so, and having last exploded in 1918 is now slightly overdue.
Oh good. So if Katla goes off, it's not exactly unprecedented, and it's had 80 years to build up a good head of steam. The two volcanoes are interconnected.

Is 2010 going to be "the other year without a summer"? At least in Europe?

Hopefully the eruption of Mt. WTF will not trigger an eruption of Katla. 'Cause otherwise God alone knows what it'll do to the economy of Europe, and the eruption of Mt. WTF alone has caused enough trouble.

* * *

Well, my BakaBT ratio has improved to 0.231. I hope that's enough of an improvement to de-warn me.

Honestly, I thought that the damn torrents were seeding. It surprised me when I discovered they were not; and going through BakaBT's procedure for re-seeding torrents has enabled me to bump my ratio that far in a bit less than three days. So all I have to do is to follow that procedure for more torrents, and that should correct the problem.

I'm also limiting all my non-BakaBT torrents to a really tiny bit of upload bandwidth--10k each--in an effort to keep the BakaBT pipe wide open.

* * *

Yotsuba&! is not bad reading. I'm trying to figure out WTF is going on with Yotsuba--is she too young for primary school? As of halfway through volume 2 her age has not been given.

Reading /b/ has led me to read the name of the series as "Yotsubanned!". /b/tards write "b&" instead of "banned" when, for example, someone gets excluded from the board for misbehavior.

Well, no matter. I'm going to get more of it; it's good.

* * *

Well, today is "Earth Day". I plan to celebrate by mowing the lawn with a lawn tractor. See, I could mow the lawn using a walk-behind mower; it could even be done with an electric. But NO, I refuse to work that hard. Instead I will fire up the tractor with its giant 17.5 horsepower engine and let it burn all kinds of GASOLINE while I sit on my ASS and turn the steering wheel. HA HA FUCKING HA, econazis!

* * *

I don't understand how this happens: when I am playing Freecell--a program which is included with Windows Vista--the sound gets wonked up. Sometimes the speakers will abruptly emit a digital screech for no apparent reason; and even though I have the sound effects turned off, it keeps WinAmp from playing.

Guess I may need to find new drivers or something.

...but I've been thinking about replacing my sound card, because this one is not very good.

See, my last computer--the P3--had a Sound Blaster Live! which was excellent. Unfortunately it had digital outputs and the analog output sounded like shit; it had all kinds of noise in it. And the card in this machine--a "Creative SB X-Fi" card--is just as bad. The noise is obvious when there is no music playing, or during quiet passages. It's a "noise floor" issue.

It reminds me of the Commodore 64. I have recordings of music from various programs for that machine; under the music you can clearly hear the video update taking place--a kind of hissing tone, around 14 kHz, interrupted by the screen redraw. It goes kind of veesh-sheesh-sheesh-sheesh.

This computer, designed and built nearly 30 years later, makes almost the exact same sound.

(C-64: 1982. This machine: 2007. So, okay, 25 years later. Still.)

The Sound Blaster AWE-64 that I had in my Celeron machine made no analog noise. Or very little, anyway--an undetectable amount--and the same was true for the AWE-32 in the machine I had before that.

It's clearly some kind of crosstalk, but I have no idea if it's in the system bus or just propagating inductively from the video card. In any case I have no idea how to shield the audio card from video noise without overheating both of them and frying them into little inert lumps of carbon.

Hell: the C-64's video hardware was shielded, kept in an RF shield on the mainboard, precisely to keep the video noise to a minimum--and even then, it still got out.

Seriously, I think it's just bad engineering from Creative Labs: spending as little as possible on the digital-to-analog hardware because "no one uses analog anyway". Well, I'd already decided my next sound card would not come from Creative Labs, anyway.

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