Monday, February 28, 2005


I have been using the Wikipedia for a while. Last December I even switched to Wikipedia for my movie links even though I had been used to thinking of IMDB as the ultimate movie reference web site.
While I have been using it for a long time, I haven't read much about the Wikipedia. However in the last three days I found independently three interesting things about it.
First I found a very interesting response (FUD-Based Encyclopedias) to an earlier article (The Faith-Based Encyclopedia).
The I received the latest issue of Wired and I read an article on a very similar subject. I read this article in the paper version of Wired but apparently it won't be published online until March 2. The article is called The Book Stops Here and it should be easy to google for it once it becomes available. As I was looking at the Wired web site I noticed that the Wikipedia was covered by Wired a few times before, for instance: Wikipedia Faces Growing Pains.
The third related item is not directly about the Wikipedia but I happened to have discovered the Seattle Wiki site which is based on the same technology as the Wikipedia. There is actually not that much content there but it is interesting that this cool flavor of a wiki is used for multiple projects. While reading The Book Stops Here article I read about Wikicities and my first reaction was that the Seattle Wiki is one of them but I couldn't find it in the Wikicities directory of places. Incidentally, Wikicities is not just about geographical locations, it has all kinds of virtual cities like this Polish one about C++.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


I watched today Closer at the Crest Cinema Center. It was much better than I expected. I think that it is one of the best films I have seen in a while.

Monday, February 21, 2005

American Splendor

So far I have only used the On-Demand feature of my cable box to watch stand-up comedy but today I decided to watch a film. I chose American Splendor. I heard good things about it before and I expected that I would like. It was indeed quite good but I didn't remember from the descriptions if it was indeed based on reality or just pretending to do so. I guess the fact that it looked plausible either way means that it is a well done film. After I watched it I looked for a review on-line. I first wanted to look it up in the Wikipedia but tonight it was down due to a power failure and I found the film's page on imdb instead. Apparently it was indeed based on a real Harvey Pekar. I even found Harvey's web page although it hasn't been updated since 2003.
[Added 2005-02-22] I looked for the article about American Splendor in the Wikipedia which was by now on-line. It turns out that they have this article about the comic series which mentions the movie but there's no separate article about the movie.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

I watched today the Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (Thai title: องค์บาก) at the Metro. The plot of this Thai martial art movie was not particularly interesting and not very believable but the chases and fights were pretty amazing. All this without CG or wires.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Whidbey Island

We went today to Whidey Island. It was a very nice day and everthing looked very beautiful. We first stopped at the Deception Pass. We walked down to the water and also along the bridge and back. Here are two pictures we took:

Then we drove south and stopped at Ebey's Landing for a short stroll. This place is really nice and the coastal views are great:

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Frost in the morning

It's already a second week of very interesting weather. It is a little below freezing every night and I wake up to this beautiful frost but the days are sunny and warm enough to walk without a jacket. It is especially nice when I can (like yesterday) walk to work. Building 42 where I work at Microsoft is about 25 minutes from my house, so this is just the right amount of walking given my time constraints. I even get to walk near beautiful trees and it's quite nice overall. If there were only fewer cars and less noise from the road, the walk would be just perfect.
Here's a picture of frosted roofs I can see from my window:

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Seattle Freeze

Someone forwarded to me this article in the Seattle Times about Seattle not being very friendly towards outsiders who move here and want to meet friends. I remembered that when I was in Poland I read an article that had a similar opinion about the Bay Area. I wonder if Seattle is indeed any worse than other areas. I'm too busy to notice much difference and I guess I have enough friends here to not suffer from this problem but I can see how this may be true.

Bride and Prejudice

I watched today Bride and Prejudice. The film was not very deep but it was a lot of fun if you set your expectations at the right level. I was overall happy that I watched it but of course it would be easy to pick on the film if someone wanted to.
At dinner after the movie, I mentioned the story I read about Weyco, a company in Michigan, that instituted a ban on smoking and was ready to fire employees who wouldn't comply (but they left on their own). This is a pretty interesting story but I guess it wasn't covered a lot since no one else at dinner heard about it.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Coloretto and Puerto Rico

Last night I played two more new games. The first one was a card game Coloretto. It is very nice: it has simple rules, is relatively fast and I couldn't think of an obvious strategy to win (in fact we played twice and I lost both times). One game of Coloretto takes under 30 minutes.
On the other hand the second game, Puerto Rico, took us a few hours to finish. The rules of this game were considerably more complex and I will probably do better next time.
The other players yesterday night knew more about games than I do and mentioned BoardGameGeek to me. I checked out that site and found that two of the board games I learnt recently, Puerto Rico and The Settlers of Catan, are on the list of top 5 of hot games there.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Infernal Affairs (無間道)

I watched Infernal Affairs today (on DVD). Plot-wise, the film is not any more or less interesting than other in that genre but it had a really unique character. Overall I quite liked it.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Life Aquatic and Jitterbug

We had brunch at the Jitterbug in Wallingford.

Jitterbug is a really nice restaurant just across the street from the Guild where we planned to watch a movie. We started with a mocha and hot cocoa.

Then I ordered very close to vegan vittles (I was surprised to find out that there is a whole book called Vegan Vittles). I must admit that while the quality of the ingredients was good and probably the dish will suit many people, I didn't like it that much although the potato cakes were very good.
After brunch we went for a short walk before we returned to the Guild. We watched The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I think it was quite entertaining although some complained that "the movie had no point". I think that this is the whole point of a film like this. You just watch it because it's fun. I quite liked the soundtrack including song by David Bowie sung in Portuguese.

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