The Null Device


The latest thing to come out of Iceland, following Björk, Múm and Sigur Rós, is a patch to allow C++ in the Linux kernel. It appears to be quite well optimised (the runtime library has been modified, bringing the cost of throwing an exception below that of calling good old printk() in the plain-C kernel). As such, it looks like it could be good for performance and stability; Darwin (the MacOS X kernel) is written in (a somewhat stripped-down) C++, and seems a lot more solid than Linux, and less likely to be destabilised by unforeseen conditions (i.e., devices/filesystems/&c. suddenly disappearing); I suspect that C++'s exception handling has something to do with this.

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A cross-dressing Hasidic man was charged with murder after the death of a rabbi, with whom he was sharing a flat, in New York.

Goldstein was dressed in a gray blouse with a plunging neckline, dark slacks and pink high-heeled shoes, a police source said. His face was made up with bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow that clashed with his long beard, the source said.

(via tyrsalvia)

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Munster Beat, an exotica-tinged dance/electro remake of the 1960s monster TV comedy. (via MeFi)

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Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger, recently went to Washington, writing the whole experience up with his unmistakable wit:

When my turn comes to step up to the podium for the archangels to question my reasons for entering this land of dreams, this heaven on earth, I get asked a question that will trouble me for a long time after the interview is over: "Sir, are you religious?" Now, I am the type of Muslim who would tell you that even if there was an Allah hovering up there, he should be punished by collective disobedience because he has been doing a miserable job. So the answer to Mr Immigration Officer would be a hearty: "Oh, no. I dropped that potato a long time ago." But instead I keep looking at the little cross hanging from his neck and feel like telling him that this is none of his business. But I don't. We all know why he is asking me this question and what my answer should be: "No, sir, I am not religious and I do not know how to prove that to you." I feel ashamed that I have just said these words.
And that is another thing that seemed to be incomprehensible to one of my new Washington friends: when we were talking about the popularity of the clerical militia chief Moqtada al-Sadr I was asked how anyone could be fooled by someone who so obviously used religion to boost his own popularity and went for the lowest common denominator for popular appeal? I was saved by another guest who asked if we were talking about Bush or Sadr here.

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Loud music can do more than damage your hearing; it can make your lungs collapse:

One man was driving when he experienced a pneumothorax, characterised by breathlessness and chest pain. Doctors linked it to a 1,000 watt "bass box" fitted to his car to boost the power of his stereo.
It is thought the intense pulses of low-frequency, high-energy sound causes the lung to rupture because air and tissue respond differently to sound. The usual risk factors for collapsed lungs are smoking, illness that has weakened the patient, chronic obstructive lung disease or use of drugs that depress alertness or consciousness, such as sedatives, barbiturates, tranquilizers, or alcohol.

(via darwin)

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