Saturday, 26 January 2013

50 shades of Spartacus

I see that the Spartacus train has got to the third season. I wonder if this will damage the sales of 50 shades books.

Monday, 7 January 2013

New CMS - Notice::Pages

Have you ever wanted a CMS to manage a website [0] that creates static pages, (either with or without a template) ?

Do you want that template to be just HTML with no micro-language, (other than HTML) ?
Do you want that template to have the option of having as much CSS and javascript as you, (or they) want?

Do you want someone, (or even a team) to be able to write and edit the pages and only the Editor, (or Editors) to have the power to actually publish, (set live) the pages that are ready, (and even un-publish them.)

Welcome to Notice::Pages A small perl module build on Notice

Notice::Pages creates flat-files and integrates with an instillation of Notice to create the static portion of the website. (All of the dynamic parts and those that require authentication reside the far side of Notice::Login.)

Deceptively simple, but infinitely flexible, (and with a touch more development it will have the option of a separate template for each page and one static site per account - so that Notice can optionally host multiple sites at the same time.)

Using the deceptively powerful CKeditor, Notice::Pages is light-weight, ready to use, (and looking for a strap-line - and some feed-back.)

[0] or more likely you want the customer, (your friend/parent/sibling) to manage their own website.

You can't move


The new Zeno's paradox

Imagine an infinitely long conveyor belt that is one kilometre wide. On each side of the conveyor belt is flat uninterrupted terrain of the same material as  the belt. (The belt is also empty east of where our story is set.) On this conveyor belt we find two twins, (they are each others twin, not one from two pairs of twins.)

They grow up on the conveyor belt until they are twenty-one years old. They are, (by the miracle that improbable does not equal impossible) remain identical to this day. To celebrate their birthday they decide to have a straight line drag-race. They have two almost identical cars, except that one has a maximum speed of 2 kilometres per hour and the other has a maximum of 4 kilometres per hour.
(Not the most exciting of drag-races, but it makes it easier to remember the numbers.)

The starting blocks for these two vehicles is a contraption at the edge of the conveyor belt and suspends the slower car one millimetre above the belt, (no the wheels are not touching the belt), and the other one millimetre above the surrounding flat land. Neither car can turn left or right and the starting contraption, (that will drop both cars at the same time), sends them off parallel to the edge of the belt. (The wheels have been constructed so that they have perfect friction and both will start at their maximum speed.)

The belt is moving east, (always has, always will) at exactly 2 kilometres per hour, (this is the direction of the race).

You are friends with one of the twins and she asks you which car she should pick.

Those of you that know v1+v2 != (v1+v2) will tell her to pick the 4 kilometre per hour car as the 2 kilometre per hour car will be going ever so slightly slower than 4 kilometres per hour car.

So if this happened in a galaxy that is already moving at the speed of light, would they be able to move at all?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Combined Taichi

Combine all Taiji postures into one form

I think of myself as a fan of the Yang family style, but in reality that is the branch with which I am most familiar. I also like the Beijing (24) form. So my question to those that are familiar with two or more styles, is:

Where and how would you combine the elements from one style into the other?

I imagine starting with the Beijing form and then adding the missing elements from the Chen, and then the Wu, (and lets face it - Bagua while we are at it; yes I am saying that Wu contains some Bagua). Then anything that is left from the Sun/Shoon, (even more Bagua plus Xingyi), and Wu/Hao styles, (and even the missing elements from the Yang style long-form). This would produce a medium length empty hand form of between fifty and seventy movements.

Start at the beginning!

The reason that I would not start with the Chen form and add the others, (despite Chen being the original) is that a lot of work went into condensing the Yang long-form from about 85, (108 if you like) movements down to 24. 

What would be the benefit of this?

Despite this thought experiment basically recreating the 42 (competition) form, or the history of Sun/Shoon style, I feel that analysis of the benefits of taichi [0] would be helped if we created a form that not only flowed from one posture to the other but over the course of the form it also flowed in and out of upright and inclined and from large frame to compact, (though not necessarily in that order, and probably changing every three or four postures.)

Xingyi < Bagua < Taichi

If that idea isn't contentious enough, I would also postulate that, as with Sun/Shoon that evolved from a person that had already learnt Xingyi and Bagua, (and despite that being the direction of evolution), (from Xingyi to Bagua to Taichi - how many practitioners of Bagua will be inflamed by the idea that Taichi is more evolved that their system? ;-) ) an individual may be the result of evolution but it is not hampered by the past. Put another way, those elements that are superfluous can be replaced by those that are superior; and by starting from Taichi and only adding the most distilled parts from the past we will not end up rejecting the past simply because it is older.

I'm comparing apples and oranges?

Most people will benefit from learning the Beijing form; this and Yang style are the most popular over the world. The other branches focus more on martial application. If you have steam coming out of your ears or find yourself shouting at the screen, "c does not imply causation" and Yang style is a fighting style then you are in agreement with all the masters. The only argument that feels valid, in regards to the differences between the branches is that a particular frame may match your athletic abilities and body morphology. 

"Taichi does not require a warm-up"

I often use some Qigong as a warm-up before I do one of the forms. When I learnt a short-form from a nice chap called Ian, (in London) we often did a particular qigong before working on the form. I can picture some of that qigong, but I don't remember it. With that frustration I asked on a Tao forum if anyone had been in those lessons or had any idea what it might be. One of the first responses, (how ever well meaning it might have been) was along the lines, "Taichi does not require a warm-up". I was amused that they had totally missed the point of my question, despite the validity, (or otherwise) of their response. If we added Qigong to the start of the form, (8 piece of brocade?) then we could be sure that it did not require a warm up. 

Has this idea got any legs? (Would it work?) The answer is probably not, but analysing how to combine styles is probably a good experiment for the more advanced practitioners. You can add your list of moves or stories of success in the comments.

[0] After the death of each Taichi master, I wonder what they died from, how long they lived and the quality of their last ten years. There should really be a table somewhere.

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Sort of a test blog... until it isn't