Hollywood Stock Exchange
Thursday, January 6, 2005, 04:12 - Games
At HSX one can trade in virtual stocks in actual movies and filmstars. When you sign up (it's free!) you get 2 million Hollywood dollars (H$) which you can invest in stocks. The goal of course is to turn that into a large portfolio.
Just like a real stock exchange, they have tickers with the symbols and news and graphs and top-X lists. The site contains a little bit of info about each movie and star that you can invest in, but you might want to get more info yourself from e.g. the Internet Movie Database.

BTW they have a referral program so if you are interested to join HSX for free, please be so kind and contact me so I can send you an invite by email. Thus I can earn some more H$, thanks :)

Why Being a Prostitute is Better than Being a Computer Consultant
Wednesday, January 5, 2005, 05:03 - Humor
* You get to choose your clients
* Hotel, etc. expenses are directly billed
* You actually receive that high hourly rate clients are paying for you.
* No dress code
* Close client interaction at all times
* You are working nights anyway
* Finally a way to fit exercise into a tight schedule
* Continual feedback - every two hours or so
* Not tied down working with a team (unless you want to be)
* Either way you are still getting screwed

From Jests and Jokes.

150,000 dead and counting...
Tuesday, January 4, 2005, 05:29 - The News
Wikipedia has an excellent page about the 2004 Tsunami caused by a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake.
It explains the cause and effects in great detail.

These QuickBird satellite images at DigitalGlobe just don't do justice to the devastating effect of the tsunami. Footage shot on the ground and shown on TV, together with interviews with victims have much more impact.

There are many websites related to donations and relief initiatives for the millions of victims of this natural disaster.

New SPHPBlog version
Sunday, January 2, 2005, 21:42 - Personal
Alex has released a new version of SPHPBlog: 0.3.7r
Most noticeable change is entry categories. I will be categorizing my posts in the coming day(s).

Yesterday I also moved my blog from my home web server (ADSL) to my external web server, so performance should be a little better for most of you.

I also updated the looks of my blog. The picture in the banner is a stitched together panorama photo that I took a couple of weeks ago from my balcony.
It hasn't the detail of the 2.5 gigapixel zoomable picture of TNO, but it still is a nice picture.

Happy 2005!
Saturday, January 1, 2005, 22:31 - Personal
Happy new year to everyone!
I wish you all health, money and the time to enjoy it!

Quake shook Earth to core, say scientists
Friday, December 31, 2004, 17:03 - Science
The quake that set off the devastating tsunami last Sunday had bigger impact than anticipated, according to The Independent. The Earth is now spinning a little faster than before.

A NASA scientist believes that a shift of mass towards the Earth's centre caused the planet to spin three microseconds - three millionths of a second - faster. It also caused the planet to tilt around 2.5cm on its axis. The added wobble is unlikely to have any long-term effects.
The forcing of one tectonic plate beneath the edge of another had the effect of making the Earth more compact and spinning faster, but the changes were probably too slight to be detected by global positioning satellite networks.

Geologists of the US Geological Survey said changes on the Earth's surface were more noticeable, shifting the island of Sumatra 36 meters to the south-west. Some of the smaller islands off the south-west coast of Sumatra may have moved to the south-west by about 20 meters.

The police
Friday, December 31, 2004, 00:16 - Personal
Last night something happened near my apartment building that attracted an ambulance, five marked police cars and two what I think were unmarked police cars.
The ambulance stopped just out of my view, but I saw an empty gurney being returned to it and then they drove off with sirens only a few minutes after they arrived. I suspect they could do nothing for the victim and where called to another location.

My first guess was something like the murder on Theo van Gogh, but then I would suspect the police to search the surroundings and they did not do that.
As it happened immediately next to an 18-story appartment building with free access I suspect it was a suicide jumper, although I'm not sure that would attract that much police attention.

In an attempt to find hot police info on the internet about it I came across this site that has a live police scanner feed of my police region Haaglanden. I have been listening to it for a while yesterday and today.

Most of the stuff isn't interesting at all. A lot of small fires and some arrests for lighting fireworks. The occasional accident.
At one point a police car was directed to an address where a man was threatening his wife with a knife. When the police arrived the man had left in his car, saying that he was going to get himself killed on the highway. A message was sent out to all listening units to look out for the car and to apprehend the man who was intoxicated with alcohol (at 11:00 AM!).
Very soon one unit had spotted the car and made it stop and arrested the man.

BTW I still don't know what happened last night, but it was fun to listen a little to this stuff.

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