Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Armenian Holidays Calendar for iCal or Google

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Every Armenian grandma I know has an Armenian calendar up in their kitchen with all the important dates on it. You could always ask them, “When is Vardavar?” so you could know what day you could wake up your brother/sister in bed by splashing water on them and not get in trouble. But that is such a hassle. What if you forget and miss it by a couple of days? Better to get an electronic version that we can all subscribe to in our iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook, or whatever other calendar and get reminders like we do for everything else. So I grabbed one of those wall calendars and got to typing…

There are some things to keep in mind when putting together a calendar of Armenian holidays. Since there are three times as many of us living in the Diaspora than in our own country, should it include the official state holidays of the Republic of Armenia? What language should it be in? What about including religious holidays? Every religious “day” or just the big important ones? And what of the other non-religious but perhaps pagan in origin traditions some groups of Armenians mark or remember on their calendars?

Although I’m aware of all these questions, I haven’t spent an enormous amount of time coming up with great answers for each of them. Generally I’ve included most, if not all, official state holidays from the Republic, as I feel that even as Diasporans we should know what the state holidays are in our own country. I’ve also included the “big” religious or traditional days that our family observed or I know about in general. Each occasion is named in Armenian and in English, in some cases just Armenian names spelled phoneticall in English. The final list looks like this:

  • January 1, Ամանոր / New Year Day
  • January 6, Սուրբ Ծնունդ / Christmas
  • February 14, Տռնդեզ (Տեառնընդառաչ) / Trndez (Purification)
  • February 19, Վարդանանք / Vartanank
  • March 18, Միջինք / Mijink
  • April 5, Ծաղկազարդ / Palm Sunday (Tsakhkazard)
  • April 24, Եղեռնի զոհերի հիշատակի օր / Genocide Remembrance Day
  • May 21, Համբարցում / Hambartsum
  • May 28, Հանրապետութայան օր / Republic Day
  • July 5, Սահմանադրության օր / Constitution Day
  • July 19, Վարդավառ / The Transfiguration
  • September 13, Խաչվերած / Khachverats
  • September 21, Անկախության օր / Independence Day
  • October 13, Սուրբ Թարգմամչոց / Holy Translators Day
  • December 7, Երկրաշարժի զոհերի հիշատակի օր / Spitak Remembrance Day

If you think I’ve missed something that should be on here, post a comment below with the date, what the occasion is, and, if you think I’ve not heard of it, why it should be included. I will definitely consider your feedback and update the calendar as needed to reflect additions.

Lastly, most of the Church-related dates change yearly so they are missing for next year. This calendar is good for 2009 only right now. I will update it for 2010 shortly before we get to it. Enjoy.

Subscribe to Armenian Holidays Calendar in iCal

Download Armenian Holidays Calendar file

Samsung’s iPhone Killer Won’t Kill a Fly

Monday, May 12th, 2008

I guess Samsung has decided to join the raft of players trying to come out with an “iPhone killer”. Or maybe we should just start calling them iPhone hangers-on? Check out a picture of it:


I’m sure if I actually used this phone I could come up with a whole host of reasons why this thing won’t come close to an iPhone. But just by looking at this image let’s go with:

Why have they taken up a giant chunk of the space on the home screen to inform me that I am looking at “My Shortcuts”? You know, it is probably a pretty intuitive guess these are my shortcuts since you know, it’s my phone and, well, these are the shortcuts on it. Seems to me like that screen space could have been used a lot more efficiently by showing an additional row of shortcuts or increasing the size of the same ones.

I’m sure Apple is trembling in their boots.

Dragster Tires Captured at 1000 Frames Per Second

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Yeah so I went to LA for a wedding a few weeks ago and I somehow managed to catch a cold when it was a ridiculous 95+ degrees there. It took me a little while to recover from that. Then it was July 4th and there was lots of driving and fireworks.

Speaking of driving, I always knew that tires on cars, and of course especially race cars, experienced a lot of stress and pulling forces under acceleration, braking, and cornering. But this, I could not have imagined this.

Somebody used a high-speed camera capable of capturing 1000 frames per second (how the heck did they get it to do that???) to film drag race cars at the starting line. If you watch the video you get to see tires being twisted up like a wet towel you were trying to wring out. Plus you can catch each individual cyldiner firing in the dragster’s engine.

Oh and just for reference’s sake, movies are shot at 24 frames per second and your typical home video camera records at 30 fps.

And if you like that, here is a collection of other interesting super-slow-motion video clips.

Microsoft Spends Money to Look Smaller

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

This is one of the funniest, most ironic, and stupidest ideas I have heard recently. Microsoft, the company who’s name is splashed all over the computer screens of 98% of the world’s computing population (Mac users use Office remember?), is spending $120 million annually to fight its image as “a huge American company”. Riiiiiight.

Insert obligatory jokes about the company’s name versus size here.

Wired News: 2005 Foot-in-Mouth Awards

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Wired News has posted up a funny article, title as seen above. Some choice quotes include:

“I know what I don’t know, and to this day I don’t know technology and I don’t know accounting and finance.”

— Bernie Ebbers, ex-CEO of WorldCom

“Screw the nano.”

— Motorola CEO Ed Zander

Some of them you won’t find funny if you don’t follow tech news too much but President Bush is on the list too.

Wired News: 2005 Foot-in-Mouth Awards

Where’s Waldo… in a CPU?

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

I bet you never thought to look in the microscopic etchings of circuits on computer chips to find where Waldo’s been hiding. See here. Apparently microchip designers have been etching in art and words into their circuits for decades. These things are ridiculously small, only seen with a microscope, and smaller than the width of a human hair.

The link above has samples of this stuff including Waldo, Marvin the Martian, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, and my favorite, a message in Russian to would-be reverse-engineers in Russia during the Cold War taunting them “If you’re gonna steal, steal the best.”

Of course, its not all fun and games. The aluminum flakes that made up the spots on the image of a cheetah on one of HP’s chips ended up coming off and caused the chip to fail. Who bets someone got fired for that?

Locked Phones are Dumb

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

I just want to share with you all an unbelievably stupid situation I’m in right now. I am, or used to be, an AT&T Wireless customer for cell phone service. When I signed up with them I got this phone. Now, I am moving up to Seattle where my phone doesn’t have any coverage without paying roaming charges. To alleviate this problem I am told by Cingular, the current lord of my cell phone service contract, that I will need a new 2 year contract and I will also need a new phone.

Now you say, sure, different network, different phone needed, right? Wrong. The Sony Ericsson T616 was sold to both AT&T and Cingular wireless customers in identical form. Identical with one exception that is; each company “locked” the phones they sold so that they could only be used with their service. Now that Cingular has bought AT&T Wireless and they’re supposedly one comapny though, they are telling me that I can’t use my T616, which is already roaming on Cingular’s networks all the time because of this whole merger dealie, if I change my plan from an old “AT&T” plan to a new “Cingular” plan. (more…)

A new computer mouse called Horse

Sunday, March 6th, 2005

A new computer mouse called Horse

The current and commonly accepted design of the computer mouse is a lot of things, but comfortable and healthy is really not one of them. You or someone you know may be suffering from pain, Carpal Tunnel, or other Repetitive Stress Injuries from using a mouse for hours on end.

Finally some people with actual knowledge of the human body have taken the time to come up with a mouse design that is orders of magnitude better for you in terms of preventing hand, arm, shoulder, and neck pain from mouse use. The article above outlines the research that’s gone into the design but for those of you who don’t care and are curious as to what it looks like, well here is a picture of it.

I realized some time ago that using a mouse was causing me a lot of pain. Since the horse mouse didn’t exist then (and still doesn’t for most of us) the next best solution I could find was the Microsoft Trackball Explorer. Review here.

Well hopefully you all find a device to use that is not causing you pain or injury. I know my solution has been great, much better than continuing to use a mouse, but its not perfect either. I’ll continue to look for something better. Maybe a horse trackball.

Oh and using the MS Trackball Explorer has one added benefit. Anybody who walks up to my computer is too confused by it, can’t use it, and gives up trying to use my computer. 😀

Bill Gates & Peter Jennings

Saturday, February 19th, 2005

There is a pretty interesting interview of Bill Gates by Peter Jennings done by ABC recently. They cover all kinds of technology things as well as some of his personal life, his kids, and his work through his charitable foundation.

Here is a link to the transcript.

Subway Systems of the World

Saturday, July 10th, 2004

I found a page that has maps of the major subway systems of the world to scale. Its pretty cool to see. I was actually surprised to see the size of the Los Angeles system. Although we all know how (not) useful it is; what with things so spread out in the area and lack of other public transportation as a support system.