Archive for October 2007

I was fooling around on Facebook the other day, and I came across this hilarious “Marketplace ad.”

Facebook account for sale

Especially the bit about the number of wall posts and poking reputation is very witty. Though, I’d prefer to call the ad title “Online identity for sale”

Caffeine MoleculeCaffeine is no doubt a best friend for college students, as well as those who feel the need to be awake whole day. After all, it’s one of the rare legal stimulants out there.

Anyway, I’ve found this blog wholly devoted to caffeine: a database of the amount of caffeine in drinks, food/tablets/gums and more, as well as new caffeine products and related market news. Check out this very interesting blog named Energy Fiend: Obsessed with Caffeine.

Speaking of caffeine, also check out the Caffeine Vault at to see what caffeine can do to you and a lot more information about caffeine.

I am often asked why I am a vegetarian as this is rare in a country like Turkey. And I greatly dislike answering these as the questions that follow are usually stupid and often include mockery. However, I somehow (academic procrastination?) felt the neccessity to discuss certain aspects of vegetarianism:

First of all and actually most importantly, vegetarianism is not simply a choice of diet. It’s a political and ethical attitude. It’s standing for ‘life.’ In other words, while there are also vegetarians out there, who do not eat animal bodies for the sole reason that they find it disgusting, there are also people who refuse to eat animals because it has other connotations. This can vary from person to person, but the main idea is, eating meat (or animals in general) justifies and normalizes murder, the sight of blood. Remember sacrificing animals as part of religious ritual in Islam and how little kids see this as a glorification – with animal blood on their foreheads.

Again, vegetarianism is standing for ‘life.’ The world has gone crazy about lowering the amount of water used, at least Turkey did because there is water scarcity. Have you ever considered the amount of water to make say a baby cow to grow up enough to be slaughtered compared to the amount of meat/nutrition you get from the cow (not including the cereals used to feed it). Before you even say “they are going to die anyway.” Well, we are talking about animals that are produced to be slaugthered at a certain age – that is animal overproduction (what a disgusting word to use here) farms. In short, with that amount of water and cereals wasted, you would not need an initiative like Live 8, where people think they are doing something useful and have their conscience comfortable. Anyway, there are a lot of statistics about these: like, 80% of agricultural fields are used to feed animals. And that amount of space could be used to produce more vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc. More information is available in Turkish here.

Secondly, being a vegetarian is being the Other. There are no words in use that I know of to refer to those normal people who eat meat (unlike the word heterosexual to refer to the same situation in terms of sexual orientation – but then, vegetarians don’t experience social pressure other than the limited number of foods to choose from outside home). That is, I am marginalized when I say I am a vegetarian, as those meat eaters do not use a word to describe themselves – they do not have the need to do so anyway. So, this is another point to reinforce non-vegetarianism.

And thirdly… The situation is similar in Got Milk? campaign, where milk/dairy producers started an immense promotion of milk consumption saying that it’s healthy and needed to drink milk. Similar to this, we have the myth of the healthy meat, which continously tells you to eat meat and otherwise you’ll have certain deficiencies – with ads speaking, doctors commanding, etc.

And so on…

CybercultureHad this thing in my mind for a while. The title of this post sounds too wide and generic. And the word cyberculture is a lot more than cyberculture jargon or how technology shapes and (re)creates a new (form of) culture. Anyway, however, the sole reason I’m posting this is a quote from a Youtube user’s comment on some video. Unless you are not familiar with internet slang, what that user was doing is trolling. Troll(ing) is, to steal from Wikipedia: “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response.” Anyway, this Youtube user says:

This is Internet Wonderland. You can say whatever you want about anything even if you don’t make an idea about what you are talking about.

When it comes to Internet, the phrase freedom of speech has more connotations than it does in real life. Let’s think it this way first: Suppose you were to read this post in a book. You had no chance to reply me here. But now, thanks to the internet and interactivity, you can post a reply and say whatever you want (does not mean there’s no censorship on my part tho:) Anyway, this might sound trivial, but the thing is, the fact that you can reply to posts [whether on (video/photo)blogs, portals, forums, etc] is also related to what Roland Barthes calls the death of the author: We no longer have the authorial power that puts a distance between him/herself. Now, everyone’s an author (or, author is an ugly word: rather blogger, forum user, commentator, etc). We can now respond to someone else in seconds after we see the post, we can disagree, flame the poster and so on. Also, on forums, there is no hierarchy of a thread. The most recent post gets to the top, or a recent reply bumps the post to the top. If it’s old, it’s usually only accessable through search (engines). So, on the internet, it doesn’t really matter if you are Lacan or Alper (that’s me!).

Similar with search engines… I don’t know if they changed it yet as it has been criticized because it was a hierarchical way to do so (or even canonical, maybe), but Google (I don’t know how other search engines work) uses Pagerank, which prioritizes the pages that have more links from other pages to show up before all others in search queries. In other words, your little personal homepage does not have a chance against a huge portal. Compare this idea with small newspapers/magazines and big media companies. Another thing is, you can easily (if you got the money) exploit this Pagerank system by paying companies to increase your Pagerank, and boom, your page is at the top with certain keywords. So, it’s seen undemocratic (democracy is overrated anyway).

I spent the weekend in Bodrum – great port town and a must-see at this time of the year! I was on my way back with a friend. Had to visit the toilet often thanks to the amount of alcohol consumption. Seems like drinking not only makes you happy but also helps you make nice coincidences. No, I didn’t make out with a random girl but found this fabolous toilet at the bus station in Bodrum. See for yourself:

Idiot-Proof Toilet #1 Idiot-Proof Toilet #2 Idiot-Proof Toilet

Isn’t it great that they make the function of these objects of use obvious – well, more like idiot-proof. It’s understandable when they do this with usability. But come on! This is just a toilet for fuck’s sake! There are two ways of looking at these signs of course. One is, the way I did. The other is, seeing these as ‘street art,’ ( which is preferabble at this situation. Both ways, it’s hilarious and awesome.

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Doğrusu bu dilde yazılmış kayda değer bir blog henüz görmedim. Pek blogosfer insanı değilim gerçi, her ne kadar blog’umla uğraşsam da. Sanırım bu dildeki blogların çoğu ya eş dost için ya da belli bir konu üzerine (arabalar?) yazılan şeyleri içeriyor.

Bu konuya giriş paragrafından sonra, asıl bahsedeceğim konuya gireyim: Bir arkadaşımın blogu olduğunu öğrendim. Pek bakmadığı için adresini bile unuttuğunu söylediği blogu okuduğumda hayran kaldığımı söylemeliyim. Dili kullanışındaki mükemmelliği ve bir şeyleri ifade ediş tarzı öylesine güzel ki… Bu yüzden bu blogu salt bir web günlüğü olarak görmemek gerek. Blogun adı “we talked of death and this was life to us.” Yazan kişinin bir kadın olduğunu söylersem aklınıza ilk gelenin ne olacağını da biliyorum. Hayır, değil! Bahsettiği şeyler benim için, kendi deyimiyle “genç kız” yazılarından fazlası. O da bunun farkında elbet, ancak yazı yazma konusundaki güven eksikliği (hangimiz de yokki, Damla?) nedeniyle çekiniyor yazmaya devam etmeye.

Her ne kadar insanlar okusun diye yazmıyorsak da bu blogları, okuyan birilerinin olduğunu bilmek ve yorumlar almak her zaman güzeldir. Bu nedenle, tıklayınız buraya

Blogosphere is huge and blogging is serious business. An organization called College Scholarships will reward the best blog with a nice $10.000. The selection will be made by internet users, so you might want to have a look at all the blogs and vote for one.

You can view all the top 20 blogs here. Personally, I liked Kevin Lim’s blog as the content appealed to me more. But it seems like a lot of people have gone emo and voted for Kimberlay Klein (no offense!).

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Copy Control LogoI just ‘remembered’ this band Ultravox and realized I haven’t listened to them for a while now. I have their The Best of Ultravox album and I wanted to rip the CD so I could listen it on my computer and portable music player. But what the heck? It has copy protection.

I am not that respectful to copyrights and all, and I greatly dislike these kind of efforts as they can never make an ultimate copy protection that won’t be cracked at all. There is this wonderful phrase by a ‘crack’ scene, something like “if man made it, man can also crack it.” Additionally, I find these kind of efforts as limiting. Basically, what they do is to have two sessions on the CD (one data and one for audio). Anyways, I tried to use the awesome CD ripper software EAC (ExactAudioCopy) but it kept gaving errors. I tried some other software like Sony Sonicstage, Nero, etc with no success.

However, as I said, you can never make an ultimate copy protection. What you do is to extract the audio data to your harddisk using Isobuster. Then you get the uncompressed audio files in wave format. All you need to do now is to compress them into MP3 or whatever with your favorite encoder. You can also find some detailed explanation here.

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like Monty Python? Well, I love them. I was looking for this Communist Quiz sketch on Youtube to send to a couple of friends. I digged all Youtube but failed to find this sketch from ‘Live in Hollywood Bowl.’ So I uploaded it for you folks. Great sketch indeed!


WordPress 2.3 has been out for a while and I updated it a few days after the release. Today, I wanted to make a post and realized that there were a couple of changes in WordPress with the new version. So, WordPress now supports tag’ging, and tag clouds. Still lacks a couple of features UltimateTagWarrior has though but UTW isn’t fully functional for 2.3 yet.

From the Import feature found under Manage, you can import UTW tags you have been using so far to your WordPress’ new tag support. You can view a detailed explanation with visuals here. Anyway, in the meanwhile, I also realized WordPress kept giving me an error until I made a theme upgrade – rather a theme that supports 2.3. And found this pretty neat theme named Red Business, which I played around a little.

There are still some glitches on the site at the moment. Like the up ‘about me’ place which needs some text. Also, Extended Live Archives was updated by someone but it there are issues when you want to view the archive page with Internet Explorer (damn browser wars).

Anyway, the site looks neater, doesn’t it?

mumblings on life, literature, computers, media, whining, university life, movies, poetry, music, internet, procrastination, technology, media, horror, gender, blogging, concerts, film studies, wordpress, sexuality, vegetarianism, ideology, i greatly dislike sugar in my coffee, and all other unnecessary crap you would otherwise ignore.