A Glossary of Brevity

About-face = change of heart
Amid = before, after, during, or all three; in the face of, in spite of
As = at the same time as; before; during; after. Also, because
Axe = dismiss, remove, eliminate
Back = support, offer support, express support for, approve (of), stand with/behind
Bash = criticise (thus, “Catholic health association bashes bishop on abortion hospital”)
Bid = attempt, try
Blast = criticise
Blaze = fire, conflagration
Blow = setback, handicap, hindrance; consider rephrasing to “hamper, scupper chances”
Boss = manager, executive, CEO, chairman
Brand = describe as, label, nickname
Bug = infection (viral or bacterial); malicious computer program
Cage = imprison, incarcerate, jail
Chide = criticise
Clash = conflict
Con = convict, prisoner
Critics = opponents, adversaries
Curb = rein in, restrain, repress, limit
Cut = reduce, lower; reduction, decrease, discount
Diss = criticise
Dodgy = underhand, corrupt; we suspect they’ve done something wrong, but have no evidence to back up our suspicions
Dub = describe as, label, nickname
Eye = consider, contemplate
Face = is in line for; faces the prospect of; must prepare for; is threatened with
Fear = anxiety, concern, worry, terror
Fever = excitement (however mild)
Fire = dismiss, remove, eliminate
Flay = criticise
Flip-flop = change of heart
Furore = outcry, hubbub, uproar
Fury = anger, or, more probably, mild annoyance
Guru = expert
Hail = welcome, recognise, approve of
Heist = robbery
Helm = run; take over control of
Hike = increase, rise
Hit (by) = affect, have impact on (something more specific would be nice)
Hit back = retaliate, riposte, counterthrust
Hit out at = criticise
Hold = arrest, detain
Ink = sign, put signature to (thankfully on the wane)
Ire = anger, or, more probably, mild annoyance
Jibe = accusation, criticism, sideswipe
Lag = convict, prisoner
Laud = praise, garland with praise
Key = significant, important, major
Kill (figurative) = cancel, overrule, countermand, rescind
Knock = criticise
Lash = criticise
Loom = impend, be imminent, approach; should be used only with negative events. Isn’t.
Mar = spoil, ruin, undermine
Maul = criticise
Moot = suggest, propose, table
Mull = contemplate, consider, weigh up
OK (v) = approve, pass, agree to, sign off on
Pact = treaty, agreement, contract
Pan = criticise
Plea = request
Poll = survey; election
Probe = investigation, inquiry, review; (verb) look into, examine, review
Raft = wide range, selection, host, plethora
Rage = anger, or, more probably, mild annoyance
Rue = regret
Quiz = question, interrogate, grill
Quit = resign, stand down, tender one’s resignation, vacate one’s position
Rail at = complain of, about
Ramp up = increase, amplify, develop, intensify
Rap = criticise
Rift = division
Rig = manipulate, pre-arrange, fix
Roast = criticise
Row = conflict; controversy
Row back = have a change of heart
Sack = dismiss, remove, eliminate
See = forecast
Seek = request
Seize = arrest
Set to = is going to, plans to, intends to, is about to, is preparing to
Slam = criticise
Slash = reduce, cut down/back
Soar = rise, increase
Spark = trigger, cause, prompt
Spat = conflict
Split = division
Slag off = criticise
Slap down = criticise
Slate = criticise
Swipe = criticism
Tear into = criticise
Tick off = admonish, rebuke, reproach
U-turn = change of heart
Vie = compete, fight
Volte-face = change of heart
Vow = swear, promise
Wag = raconteur, wisecracker; romantic partner of footballer
War (figurative) = conflict
Woe = misery, hurt, or, more likely, mild disappointment
Woo = make advances/overtures to, try to win over

5 Reasons Why iOS Beats Android

1. Speed


Android apps can only be written in Java*, a language that compiles to bytecode. iOS runs machine code directly like a desktop computer. While a big strength of Java bytecode is that it can run on multiple CPU architectures, machine code is typically faster in practice, even after the Java bytecode is JIT** compiled into machine code, because of all the safety checks*** that must be injected into the resulting machine code to fulfill all the rules of Java.

While this checking makes bugs easier to track down during development, it takes a severe toll on the CPU’s ability to perform instruction pipelining, something that was of little concern in the 1990s when Java was developed, but is now a crucial source of speed gains on modern CPU’s.

Google was probably trying to encourage a diverse ecosystem of devices by picking Java, but in reality, almost every manufacturer is using some kind of ARMv7-compatible CPU. All in all, using Java doesn’t make much sense.

* C code can be embedded in an Android app via the NDK and RenderScript API’s. But this just proves my point: Even Google realizes that Java doesn’t always cut the mustard.

** Just-In-Time

*** Bounds checking for arrays being the primary culprit, since it involves a compare-and-branch operation every time an array element is accessed. Branch prediction in the CPU can mitigate this somewhat, but it’s still extra work.

2. Memory

Another innovation of Java is that unused RAM is freed automatically by a garbage collector, instead of having to be managed more actively by the application. The drawback of this becomes apparent when one attempts it: A memory scan is necessary to discover unused areas, and the app must be momentarily halted while it happens, causing those momentary glitches you see so often on Android devices.

Android tries to limit how often that happens by giving each app a memory allowance that it must use up first. The net result is that every Android app uses as much memory as it can all the time. Not good.

iOS uses a much simpler system called Automatic Reference Counting, the idea being to embed memory management into the programming language (Objective-C or Swift) on a fine-grained level. An object in iOS memory is freed immediately once no code can hold a reference to it anymore. In practice, this leads to smoother-running apps.

3. Programmer-friendliness

Android was originally developed by Google as a competitor to Blackberry OS. When Apple unexpectedly released the iPhone, Google scrambled to refashion Android as a competitor to iOS. The Android API* reeks of being a rushed job. The multi-touch feature was unceremoniously tacked on without a redesign. Even years after introducing a feature, documentation tends to be minimal at best, lacking at worst. To use a car analogy: The engine compartment is badly designed and the service manual is incomplete.

The iOS API is, comparatively speaking, downright beautiful. Everything the programmer might want to do is explained in clear English in voluminous pages of easily searchable documentation. High-performance algorithms for various types of data processing are built into the operating system for the programmer’s convenience. With the addition of the elegant Swift programming language, the clunky Objective-C programming language, a major drawback of iOS, can be retired.

* Application Programming Interface

4. Cost

An argument commonly heard from fans is that you get more for less when you buy Android devices. Can you guess why Android always gets the apps later than iOS? It’s because Android users are less willing to pay up. That’s why they bought an Android phone in the first place, because it was the cheaper option.

Almost all the good apps out there cost money to develop, and startup companies are looking for a return on their investment. They’re far more likely to get that with iOS users, who are willing to pay for things. Reason #3 above seals the deal.

5. Lifespan

Even quite old iOS devices receive new versions of iOS. Apple has a slow release cycle. Product series and models are often supported for years. The resale value for Apple product is therefore high.

Most Android device manufacturers abandon their devices shortly after releasing the next flagship in the line, and users must resort to rooting their phones to try out newer Android releases.

New Art: Cute Bunny


I don’t draw often these days; I’m just too busy with work most of the time. But on Tuesday night, I had some time, and was invited to a multi-stream of artists, and this is what I made there. As usual, she’s a spur-of-the-moment character. I often pick a personality type, a mood, and a species (human, bunny, cat, …) and try to embody that in a drawing.

The Problem with Atheism


So, I found this comic strip in my Facebook feed.

While I agree with the basic sentiment, I’m not so keen the extreme spoon feeding aspect of it. It’s not very nuanced, subtle or sophisticated. An atheist might like it because he agrees with it, but it’s not going to convince anyone to abandon religion, any more than clever posters convince anyone to stay off cigarettes or drugs.

Religious belief is a drug too, and like a drug, it can only be stopped with a strong emotional trigger. You quit smoking because you coughed blood that one time and it scared you witless. You quit the heroin because your wife intervened. You leave the church because it taught your family to disown you when you came out as gay. You stop believing in God because your whole family died in a series of senseless accidents, your prayers and kindness having fallen on deaf ears.

Religion is like your favorite car, sports team or consumer brand, times a hundred. It’s an emotional commitment. It becomes a part of your identity. Giving it up is painful and humiliating. Anyone attacking it is pushing your buttons. Nobody ever got anywhere by pushing all the wrong buttons.

Give religious people a honorable, pleasant way of leaving their religion behind, something better than the church, and they will come in droves. I’m a long-time non-believer and even I can see that churches are great gathering places, and that religions offer some very powerful creeds for young men to swear allegiances to; some greater cause to believe in.

Atheism is a very lonely place in comparison, because it is defined very specifically as the lack of belief. Very few people will rally around not believing in anything. Humanism and their organizations are somewhat better, but pale in comparison to the euphoria, happiness and unity offered by the more free-spirited churches. You just can’t beat emotions, they are at the core of the human experience.

Asterix, Villages and America


I was reading an interview with the new artist-writer duo taking over Asterix & Obelix from Albert Uderzo, when I came across a passage about how this duo thinks Asterix & Obelix isn’t popular in America because the Americans have neither villages nor a history of Roman occupation.

This got me thinking: Norway has no history of Roman occupation. Is there, however, anything resembling traditional European villages in Norway? We have a word for village, landsby, but it is never used about settlements in Norway. You always find it in some article or documentary about a foreign country. But I had to be sure, so I went on a Wikipedia walk, and I found this:


«In the time after the Black Death in the 1300s, a unique farm structure developed in Norway, with free farmers who somewhat owned their own land, contrary to the most of the rest of Europe. It deviated in other ways too; in Central Europe, people lived in distinctive villages, while in Norway, the settlements clustered around various types of farmyards.»


That is indeed what I’m familiar with from Norwegian rural life. A big family with many children living in a house in the middle of a field, and the next family some distance away across the next field, miles away from the nearest market town.


Villages, by contrast, are a foreign (yet charming) concept. Fantasy novels and role-play games are full of villages and foreign invaders who threaten to disrupt them. I think these are universally appealing concepts: The cozy, warm, fallible villagers contrasted against the bureaucratic, cold, efficient hordes. This, I think, is where Asterix & Obelix appeals to many.


And the lack of success in the United States? European comic book culture would be unrecognizable to an American: «Newspaper comics serialized in magazines? Comic books that are not about superheroes? Comics with cultural sophistication and historical references? Donald Duck as an adventurer and Mickey Mouse as a detective? Cute characters in violent settings? This is too weird for me.»

The Americans can have their superhero comics. In the meanwhile, Europe can enjoy the fact she has come up with her very own brand of successful popular culture. No matter where you come from: Have a good read!



Avbildet ovenfor er et eksemplar av Homo Sapiens Nerdicus, en enfoldig skapning som lever i både utmark, innmark, Danmark, tysk mark, løvmark, mark i rompa og ikke minst: Finnmark, som er ynglestedet til akkurat denne 31 år gamle hannen.

Nerder har mange gytesteder, men faktisk parring forekommer sjelden. Tusener flokker sammen i Vikingskipet hver påske og utfører sinnrike parringsdanser, men alle håp knuses umiddelbart fordi ingen noensinne husker å invitere hunnene. Mer flamboyante affærer finner også sted.

Nerdens veier er i det hele tatt ganske uransakelige, og lite faglitteratur er blitt publisert på feltet. Det synes nødvendig å belyse dette emnet, og derfor begynner jeg nå å skrive denne bloggen. Kom, bli med inn i vår verden! Du vet det ikke ennå, men kanskje du til og med har en liten nerd i magen?

Trenger vi psykologer?

Jeg vet ikke hvor jeg fant dette sitatet, men: «De store metastudiene har likeledes kommet til at de forskjellige former for behandling er like gode. Det er ikke metoden for behandling som er avgjørende, er det forholdet mellom pasient og terapeut som virkelig betyr noe, konkluderer de.»


En god psykolog er altså en som vil lytte til dine bekjennelser.

Jeg leste en plass at psykologisk behandling er mer som en kunst enn en vitenskap. Det virker for meg som at hva vårt samfunn behøver er mer emosjonell varme. Mennesker som kan si de rette tingene; ikke flere hodekrympere.

I våre store, anonyme byer blir vi alle usynlige, og de ensomme må hyre profesjonelle bestevenner.

Khuong Viet Tempel


Nei, dette bildet er ikke tatt i Asia.

Hvis du vil se et ekte buddhistisk tempel trenger du ikke reise lenger enn til Khuong Viet-tempelet i Lovenstad, rett utenfor Lillestrøm.


Tempelet er yngre enn det ser ut. Det ble nemlig bygget i 1989 av vietnamesiske buddhister. Jeg har ikke klart å finne mye informasjon om dette tempelet, men det frister å reise dit og ta noen høyoppløste bilder.

Jeg er ikke religiøs, men det er noe appellerende ved buddhismen. Det er ingen gud å tilbe, du må ikke tro på mirakler, og det nærmeste du kommer kristendommens syndkonsept er Karma, som egentlig ikke betyr noe annet enn handling, at dine handlinger kan få uante konsekvenser.

Buddhismens idéer om gjenfødsel (Punarbhava) er også annerledes enn man kanskje skulle tro. Det handler ikke om at akkurat du skal gjenfødes, men heller at livet er en syklus av fødsel og død, og at alt resirkuleres. Nirvana handler i stor grad om å slutte å bekymre seg så mye, og å få det rolig i hodet, og innse at man ikke kan klamre seg til det man har i livet.

Livets hjul (Dharma) går rundt og dramaet fortsetter, uansett hvor mye du forsøker å stanse det.