This one drops the payload

I gave blood every six months for almost eight years. It gave me a warm feeling of saving people’s lives and an insurance that would entitle me to have free blood transfusion in case i would, God forbid, need one.

Last time i gave blood, a year ago, i received a letter from the Israeli Blood Bank director, Dr. Eilat Shen’ar. The letter said that a test had shown that i was found positive for Hepatitis C, but then they re-tested it and found that it was a false positive. Nevertheless, she wrote, i am kindly asked not to donate again.

My physician confirmed that i’m negative and healthy.

It pissed me off, so i called them and asked for an explanation, mentioning that i have the O-negative blood type, which is in high demand. They told me that it is Standard Procedure and advised to wait one year and call again.

I won’t tell the long story of the bureaucracy and the misunderstandings on the way, but after a year i did that test and today i got the results. False positive again. They don’t want my blood, even though they know that i’m healthy and that it can save someones life in case the bank runs out of O-negative, which often happens, especially in Israel, with all the explosions and the wars, not to mention the numerous car accidents. Standard Procedure, they say.

I am not a doctor, but even they admit that it’s not a matter of science but rather of bureaucracy. Here’s a proof that bureaucracy kills. Now i feel really bad, even though i probably did my best here. The best you can is good enough, you say? I am not convinced.



I saw an advertisement for an accredited university in which you can earn a masters degree (M.A.) in wonderful subjects, such as Holistic Health and Women Studies.

I wonder what are they learning about for M.A. in Women Studies. I suppose that Color Matching, Inexistent Odor Recognition and Wrapping Sandwiches in Cellophane are done at the B.A. level. Maybe for M.A. they are offering seminars on Obscuring Desires and Fighting Over Imaginary Relationship Problems.

Keep it Gangsta!!

A. E. Aharoni and L. Wall, OSDC 2006, Netanya

From an email from Larry Wall to the Perl 6 mailing list:

Reduce operators only turn infix into list operators. What you really
want here is a hyper-fatarrow:

    my %h = @k »=>« @v;

No, i’m not going to post every single Larry Wall quote from his every email.

I just like the word “hyper-fatarrow”, which refers to the fat arrow (=>) inside those angle quotes (»«), which you probably don’t have on your keyboard. Larry is quite brave to introduce Unicode characters as operators in a general purpose programming language. So he’s allowed to give them funny names too.

Made Me Cry – Firefox Again

And more about Firefox – i keep reading about it and i can’t stop getting fascinated by it. It’s a proof that free software works and that it can be used by regular people. It’s a proof of Microsoft’s lies, dirty tricks and incompetence.

There are many astonishing things about Firefox. The dedication of the programmers who developed Firefox to do The Right Thing – to write a free browser which will support the best technical standards and will be not just usable, but cool too. The dedication of the user community, of which i am proud to be a part to using and promoting, even with the worthy alternatives around (Safari, Opera, Konqueror and well, IE). Even it’s logo makes me shed tears. Free software done right changes the world. It actually does.

Firefox has been downloaded 200 million times. This number probably includes previous versions. It means little about actual market share. But why not celebrate?

My older Firefox-related entries:

Firefox Fun

Lifesize Firefox

Firefox fun:

More at Firefox tales.

I though about it – i see people promoting Firefox out of sheer love for it, which is well-deserved. Would there be anyone to love Internet Explorer so much? Probably not, ‘cuz unlike Firefox, IE is just there. But if someone would really want to show his admiration, what would they do?

The only thing i could come up with was calling one’s child Internet Explorer. I hope no-one does it though.

Oh Boy Oh Boy

Dear Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Person,

I appreciate your valuable comments with links to material about Lithuanian and Polish.

Can you please tell me who you are? I’m very very curious. If it’s a secret, you can send me a private email to amir dоt aharoni аt gmail dоt com.

Labas ačiū.

Made Me Cry – Leaving on a jet plane

Fucking Armageddon is on loop in the labs here.

Buscemi in a space suit. Affleck and Buscemi in a space suit singing “leaving on a jet plane.” Owen Wilson complaining about people who think that Jethro Tull is a person in a band.

Liv talking Japanese (i heard that she had trouble with Quenya, and Japanese is harder as far as i know. Whatever.) Liv making Aharoni cry:

— “Promise me you’ll come back!

— “OK.”

— “Say it!”

— “I promise.”


The President of the United States of America making Aharoni cry:

— “I address you tonight not as the President of the United States, not as a leader of a country, but as a citizen of humanity. … And yet, for the first time in the history of the planet, a species has the technology to prevent its own extinction.”

Yeah, now that Aharoni is submitting patches to Perl 6, it should better have. Ya mama.

— “Ahh! Ahh! The door’s gonna blow!”


The cages and the cages

I submitted a patch for Parrot and it was even accepted.

Parrot is the codename for the central part of the next version of the Perl language, Perl 6 (it’s a dynamic registered-based virtual machine, if you’re technically inclined). Because it is called Parrot, there’s a role in the development team called “cage cleaners” – the people who do all the little work without diving deeply into the magick algorithms. So i am one of them.

This patch doesn’t do much except aligning some spacing and indentation in a Perl file. But i’m still insanely excited. It is not functional for Parrot, but it helps developers write code without bugs.

More to come … i hope.