Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Politics and the World Cup

International Herald Tribune has published an interesting article about the relationship between the World Cup and Brazilian politics:

World Cup play also has a big impact on the economy. When Brazil wins, Brazilians feel happy and proud, and respond by spending more money, which bolsters growth and by extension confidence in the government.

Monday, June 19, 2006

اولين جمله اولين تکه وبلا گ فارسی

اولين جمله اولين تکه وبلا گ فارسی من خيلی طول کشید. اززهره برای نشان دادن آریا نویس متشکرم.....

Thanks go to Zohreh for pointing me to Aryanevis Persian editor.

There are still a few glitches but I think I'm on my way, and I'm fast learning the position of letters on the keyboard.

Pooya has now pointed me to Behdad's Persian editor, which comes with a nice large keyboard image making it useful to people like me who've not completely mastered the Persian letters' keyboard placement. Pooya also points to his own Javascript Persian editor, based on earlier work by Behdad.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lost In Translation

It may be lost in translation by some, but not to Jonathan Steele of The Guardian. Steele points to the following original in Persian. and goes over many of the more accurate translations.

Translation does indeed matter if the mis-translation is used as an argument for waging war. Ntohing can be worse than a war started because of intentional mis-representation and mis-translation. However, those who have been mis-translated again and again have grown weary of of fear.

I had only heard fragments of it but it was immediately obvious to me that the speaker was being intentionally misquoted and mistranslated.

A due respect to any language, and particularly a classical language such as Persian, demands proper and accurate translation.

I was only wondering when someone would dare to raise the issue and it looks like it has now been finally raised by someone for whom the actual truth matters.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Immutability of Tuples and Lists in Python

Python also ships with Cygwin.

Here's a piece using my Cygwin distribution.

This piece demonstrates the immutability of Python lists vs. Python tuples.

Remember that the concept behind "lists" and "tuples" in Python are different from similar mathematical concepts. In mathematics, we often use tuples to refer to various types of orderings. For example, it may be common to say "a measure is a tuple of..."

$ python
Python 2.4.1 (#1, May 27 2005, 18:02:40)
[GCC 3.3.3 (cygwin special)] on cygwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> mytuple = 1,3,2,0
>>> mylist = [1,3,2,0]
>>> mytuple[0]
>>> mytyple[0] = 0
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 1, in ?
NameError: name 'mytyple' is not defined
>>> mylist[0]
>>> mylist[0]=0
>>> mylist
[0, 3, 2, 0]

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Conservative Game

Paraguay and England played a very conservative World Cup 2006 game.

Let's hope for better games to come.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Goldman Sachs and the World Cup

According to Financial Times, Goldman Sachs has released a 60-page report on the economics of the World Cup.

However, Goldman is not the only financial institution to speculate about the economic and financial effects of the World Cup.

London-based Center for Economics and Business Research estimates a boost to economics of participating nations, and of the order of $20 billion for Germany. However, it predicts productivity losses in Latin America due to absenteeism. Matches will occur, mostly, during working hours in South America but during late afternoon in Europe.

German Chamber of Commerce is expecting a 60,000 rise in jobs due to the World Cup.

"Hosting a major sporting event raises the profile, status and reputation of the host nation, providing a lasting boost to tourism and business investment," says Lucy Hartiss of Capital Economics, a London-based consultancy.

Economists from ABN Amro, the Netherlands-based bank, have authored Soccernomics. Their research indicates that the World Cup-wining nation enjoys 0.7 per cent additional economic growth compared to the previous year as well as a boost to its stock market. (Note that only a handful of nations have ever won the World Cup. So, we're not talking about a great statistical base for these speculations.)

There is also a set back "to productivity as employees callin sick or sneak off work early to watch games," writes Scheherzade Daneshkhu for Financial Times. "But additional consumption provides a boost. The feelgood factor, especially in countries that progress to semi-finals, leads to happier consumers - and contented shppers tend to spend more."

IHT World Cup Blog

Check out IHT's Roger Cohen's World Cup Blog.

First Pair of Jeans Purchased On the Web

It has proven impossible to find jeans that actually fit me in stores.

So, after may years of looking, I finally did need a new pair badly enough that I ordered my first pair of jeans on the web.

Baggy Fit from Gap --

Ordering was easy and the survey even easier to fill.

Now, I can throw away the old, torn pair.

Five More Days to World Cup 2006

Yes, only five more days are left to the World Cup 2006.

The Guardian plans a World Cup 2006 podcast, available also as a free subscription on iTunes.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Meaning of Treaties

Article IV of the NPT says the following:

Article IV

1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

However, some people think that we should use judicious double standards when applying such treaties.

Of course, that this logic suffers does not prevent it from getting a broad forum for professionally produced prose that uses it to advance dubious arguments.

International law, like any other law is there to reduce transaction costs (including wars) in the dealings among nations.

To belittle these laws brings us to very dangerous borders.

Python for Education

I was pleasantly surprised to see Python is popular within the education community.

For example, take a look at the programming languages resources at Kirby Urner's Mathematical Canvas.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

MPlayer for Mac OS X

If you're a Mac user and are trying to play an AVI file of a German TV program from the recent Germany - Japan soccer game, downloaded through bit Torrent using Azureus, with XviD compression, you may want to try MPlayer for Mac OS X.

Friday, June 02, 2006

First interaction with Python

Having not read any manuals, here's my first interaction with Python on our family iMac at home:

masood-mortazavis-imac-g5:~ masood$ python
Python 2.3.5 (#1, Mar 20 2005, 20:38:20)
[GCC 3.3 20030304 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 1809)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> 1+1
>>> 1./3.
>>> 2./6.
>>> 2./3./1.
>>> 0.9999**99
>>> .99999**10000
>>> .5**99
>>> exit
'Use Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit.'
>>> ^D
masood-mortazavis-imac-g5:~ masood$

Sounds like a pretty handy calculator to me but I'm sure it can do much more!

Japan vs. Germany

Youtube video highlights of the game can be found here.

Angola vs. Argentina

Youtube video of the highlights of the game can be found here.