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from aerkiaga's blog

There's a chance you know about the electric-hydraulic anlogy. An analogy between two fields I happen to need, in combination, in two of my projects... Now, I've got an exam on neurology and cardiology next week. Apparently unrelated, huh?

What if I show you this article related to neurology? Or this one to cardiology (no, that graph is not from a half-wave rectifier with a smoothing capacitor). Or this whole bunch of literal circuit diagrams taken straight out from medical-related publications? See the pattern now?

Well, this is the simple fact that both engineers and nature look for solutions to fight the very same physical laws (also scientists don't like reinventing the wheel). And this week I'm studying all these four “similar” subjects; isn't that terribly beautiful? :D

By the way, I'm much less interested in those four than I am in the psychiatry-computer science duo; and I might be forcing the analogy at this point, but I want to believe it's no coincidence that I want to become a psychiatrist... Deep Learning, anybody? Anyway, don't mind my ramblings ;)


This week, after having previously contacted them, I sent an e-mail to the FSFE translators mailing list with a list of changes to help correct the faulty spanish translation of their PM/PC Open Letter. I hope their campaign ends up being successful!

My Big Project is related to the field of biotechnology. I need to make it reliable for critical applications, while still being open to flexible use. One particular problem I've faced is storage: how can I implement an atomic, consistent filesystem that's still dead simple and standard? Well, I've been working a bit on that front. I want to create a protocol that's verified by automated proof and then show it to people that might also find it useful.

And, last but not least, I've made the decision that I want to participate in GSOC 2022, as, for the first time, it allows non-CS students to get onboard! I've read the rules and everything, but I'm worried that my being a med student will get my proposal turned down... Oh, yes, I only intend to send one, to this organization (provided they even participate...). I've been reading their source code this week so at least I get a head start; I'll need to set up a computational chemistry workflow though.

 
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from Roberto Q. S.

The following is my translation of the description of a manufacturable and tradeable device from the science fiction, space-themed video game Eve Online, developed by CCP Games.

Source text:

The Nanoheuristic Clone Mapper is an augmentation that acts as a hub for specialized nanites that flood every part of a capsuleer's clone body. Through electro-molecular communication with the NCM hub augmentation, the nanites provide a real-time nanoscale map of the capsuleer's1 body. When a capsuleer's pod is breached, the Nanoheuristic Clone Mapper is able to instantly take a snapshot of the clone state and burst transmits it to an active Tactical Capsuleer Recloner in the local system. If the clone mapper finds an active recloner locally, the capsule's Transneural Echo Burning Scanner data is also redirected to the recloner. The supply of nanites available for mapping and maintaining electro-molecular communication via the capsuleer's artificial nervous and endocrine systems is limited, and after a certain period of time an NCM augmentation will become non-functional and need to be replaced.

Target text:

El Mapeador Nanoheurístico de Clones es un aumento que funciona como un núcleo de nanomáquinas que inundan toda parte del cuerpo clónico del capsulero. A través de comunicación electro-molecular con el aumento del núcleo MNC, las nanomáquinas proveen un mapa de escala nanométrica del cuerpo del capsulero, en tiempo real. Cuando la cápsula de un capsulero es rota, el Mapeador Nanoheurístico de Clones es capaz de capturar instantáneamente una imagen del estado clónico y la transmite en ráfagas a un Reclonador Táctico de Capsuleros activo en el sistema local. Si el mapeador de clones encuentra localmente un reclonador activo, los datos del Lector Transneural de Grabación de Eco de la cápsula también son redireccionados al reclonador. El suministro de nanomáquinas disponibles para mapear y mantener la comunicación electro-molecular mediante los sistemas nervioso y endocrino artificiales del capsulero es limitado, y después de cierto período de tiempo el aumento MNC se volverá no funcional y necesitará ser reemplazado.

Note:

  1. As far as I know, the original English term “capsuleer” has never been officially translated for game localization purposes. Eve Online is currently not available in Spanish. The term “capsulero” is how I decided to translate it.
 
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from Roberto Q. S.

Hereunder is my translation of one of my favourite passages from Gabriel García Márquez' Cien años de soledad. The physical book that I own is a copy of the beautiful fortieth anniversary commemorative edition, prepared by Real Academia Española and Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española in 2007, and published by Editorial Alfaguara.

Source text:

[...] Así que a las ocho de la mañana estaba medio pueblo en la plaza, donde el padre Nicanor cantó los evangelios con voz lacerada por la súplica. Al final, cuando los asistentes empezaron a desbandarse, levantó los brazos en señal de atención. —Un momento —dijo—. Ahora vamos a presenciar una prueba irrebatible del infinito poder de Dios. El muchacho que había ayudado a misa le llevó una taza de chocolate espeso y humeante que él se tomó sin respirar. Luego se limpió los labios con un pañuelo que sacó de la manga, extendió los brazos y cerró los ojos. Entonces el padre Nicanor se elevó doce centímetros sobre el nivel del suelo. Fue un recurso convincente. Anduvo varios días por entre las casas, repitiendo la prueba de la levitación mediante el estímulo del chocolate, mientras el monaguillo recogía tanto dinero en un talego, que en menos de un mes emprendió la construcción del templo. Nadie puso en duda el origen divino de la demostración, salvo José Arcadio Buendía, que observó sin inmutarse el tropel de gente que una mañana se reunió en torno al castaño para asistir una vez más a la revelación. Apenas se estiró un poco en el banquillo y se encogió de hombros cuando el padre Nicanor empezó a levantarse del suelo junto con la silla en que estaba sentado. —Hoc est simplicissimum —dijo José Arcadio Buendía—: homo iste statum quartum materiae invenit. El padre Nicanor levantó la mano y las cuatro patas de la silla se posaron en tierra al mismo tiempo. —Nego —dijo—. Factum hoc existentiam Dei probat sine dubio. Fue así como se supo que era latín la endiablada jerga de José Arcadio Buendía. El padre Nicanor aprovechó la circunstancia de ser la única persona que había podido comunicarse con él, para tratar de infundir la fe en su cerebro trastornado. Todas las tardes se sentaba junto al castaño, predicando en latín, pero José Arcadio Buendía se empecinó en no admitir vericuetos retóricos ni transmutaciones de chocolate, y exigió como única prueba el daguerrotipo de Dios. El padre Nicanor le llevó entonces medallas y estampitas y hasta una reproducción del paño de la Verónica, pero José Arcadio Buendía los rechazó por ser objetos artesanales sin fundamento científico. Era tan terco, que el padre Nicanor renunció a sus propósitos de evangelización y siguió visitándolo por sentimientos humanitarios. Pero entonces fue José Arcadio Buendía quien tomó la iniciativa y trató de quebrantar la fe del cura con martingalas racionalistas. En cierta ocasión en que el padre Nicanor llevó al castaño un tablero y una caja de fichas para invitarlo a jugar a las damas, José Arcadio Buendía no aceptó, según dijo, porque nunca pudo entender el sentido de una contienda entre dos adversarios que estaban de acuerdo en los principios. El padre Nicanor, que jamás había visto de ese modo el juego de damas, no pudo volverlo a jugar. Cada vez más asombrado de la lucidez de José Arcadio Buendía, le preguntó cómo era posible que lo tuvieran amarrado de un árbol. —Hoc est simplicissimum —contestó él—: porque estoy loco. Desde entonces, preocupado por su propia fe, el cura no volvió a visitarlo, y se dedicó por completo a apresurar la construcción del templo.

Target text:

[...] So at eight in the morning half of the town was in the main square, where Father Nicanor sang the gospels with a voice lacerated by supplication. At the end, when the attendees started to disband, he raised his arms in attention signal. —One moment —he said—. Now we will witness an irrefutable proof of the infinite power of God. The boy who had helped him in mass brought him a mug of thick and smoking chocolate, which he drank without breathing. Then he wiped his lips with a handkerchief que took out from his sleeve, extended his arms and closed his eyes. Then, Father Nicanor rose twelve centimetres above ground level. It was a convincing resort. He went for several days among the houses, repeating the levitation proof by means of the chocolate stimulus, while the altar boy gathered so much money in a rucksack that in less than an month he undertook the contruction of the temple. Nobody called into doubt the divine origin of the demonstration, save for José Arcadio Buendía, who unaffectedly observed the drove of people that one morning gathered around the chestnut tree to once more attend the revelation. He barely stretched a bit on the stool and shrugged when Father Nicanor started to lift from the ground along with the chair on which he was seated. —Hoc est simplicissimum —José Arcadio Buendía said—: homo iste statum quartum materiae invenit. Father Nicanor raised his hand and the chair's four legs sat on the ground at the same time. —Nego —he said—. Factum hoc existentiam Dei probat sine dubio. It was thus how it became known that José Arcadio Buendía's devilish jargon was Latin. Father Nicanor took advantage of the circumstance of being the only person who had been able to communicate with him to try to infuse faith into his disrupted brain. Every afternoon he sat next to the chestnut tree, preaching in Latin, but José Arcadio Buendía insisted on not admitting rhetorical twists and turns nor chocolate transmutations, and he demanded God's daguerreotype as only proof. Father Nicanor then brought to him vignettes and holy cards and even a reproduction of the Verónica's cloth, but José Arcadio Buendía rejected them due to being artisanal objects without scientific basis. He was so stubborn that Father Nicanor renounced his evangelization purposes and kept visiting him out of humanitarian sentiments. But then it was José Arcadio Buendía who took initiative and tried to break the priest's faith with rationalist ruses. On a certain ocassion when Father Nicanor brought to the chestnut tree a board and a box of tokens to invite him to play draughts, José Arcadio Buendía did not accept, as he said, because he could never make sense of a contest between two adversaries who were in agreement on its principles. Father Nicanor, who had never seen the game of draughts in that way, could not play it ever again. Each time more astonished by José Arcadio Buendía's lucidity, he asked him how it was possible that they had him tied to a tree. —Hoc est simplicissimum —he answered—: because I am crazy. From then on, worried about his own faith, the priest did not visit him again, and he dedicated himself completely to rush the construction of the temple.

 
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from Friends Near and Afar


A user at Reddit commented...

it’s just that I like to send my pen pals the American stamps when writing to them at first and finds this an unusual choice. (I also feel the same about the US Basilica of the Sacred Heart but I see that one has been discontinued). (original post here)

Ah, but that one IS a very special stamp now.

As you mentioned, it has been discontinued. I created the WIKI Location Stamps pages, and for that particular stamp I was surprised.

As in, there wasn't a matching real church building anywhere in the USA matching the stamp's design. For each location stamp's page, I included the original stamp's image, and a photo of the landmark, building or other item that closely matched it.


Was the wrong image used?

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, in Notre Dame, Indiana, which was the original, intended one to appear in the stamp does not look like the stamp's image – which with some sleuthing and help from the Wikipedia Disambiguation page, I determined was a real church building, but located in Brussels, Belgium.

I did not mention this to the Slowly Team, although I did add a 'Special Notes' section to the WIKI page describing this.

Someone must have sent them notice, and they quietly marked the stamp 'Discontinued' without notifying anyone.


Maybe we could bring this nice design back?

I have thought of sending an email and suggesting they could re-establish the stamp – asking their designer to simply changing the country code to BE, and adding it to the Belgian Location stamps. 🙂

Alas — I decided to do a mock-up of the re-coded stamp myself. Here's the current, now Discontinued design, for the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, in Notre Dame, Indiana.

A significant church and landmark, as it is the mother church of the Congregation of Holy Cross (C.S.C.) in the United States.


A photo of the church :

Shows it is pretty nice, elegant, but does not match the stamp's Design.


The real church

...depicted in the stamp is this one :

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, in Brussels, Belgium.. Which directly resembles the stamp's design. Here is my own mockup, with the Belgium country code on it :

A Belgian Tourism website has some great photos and information.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, constructed in the Art Deco style, is 89 metres tall and 167 long: measurements which make it the fifth largest church in the world.

Located in the outskirts of Brussels, in the neighbourhood of Koekelberg, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Coeur Basilica) is an architectural masterpiece from the twentieth century.

The church was established to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Belgian independence. King Leopold II lay down the first stone in 1905, but the temple was completed many years later in 1971 due to construction being stopped during World War I and World War II.

The Basilica's own website has some excellent photos and historical info as well.

I hope the SLOWLY Team could consider this suggestion – adding one new stamp to the Belgian set, without much trouble. 🙂


But can they replace a stamp like that ?

Sure, the stamps we see and use are all identified via a pointer to an image file stored on SLOWLY's own servers.

Any of them could be revised, replaced with a newer version for any particular reason, and it has happened in the past. (usually a quick fix for some error in a recently released stamp, like the typo in one of the Tarot set ones).


I always though this was the case.

Given that all we have for all those stamps in the Slowly collection is an URL to an image file, stored on their servers, theoretically ANY of them could be pulled, revised, improved or whatever they desired, quite simply by making a new image version, having it in 320 pixels, and 160 pixels, the two sizes stored in their servers. And uploading them in.

Voilá – instant replacement.


Montserrat's Red Heliconia issue

...is one well documented case. We had saved the earliest image as soon as it came online, detected via the stamp's addition to the SLOWLY API. And this is what it showed :

A couple of days later a friend wrote to me and pointed the stamp looked different :

And he was right – Slowly team had replaced it on the sly. Well done, as it better matches a sample photo of the Red Heliconia, which is the National Flower for the island of Montserrat, a British possession in the Caribbean.

Their government website has this example :

...which the revised stamp better resembles – having more Red colour than the original stamp did.


Famous Last Words

Special Thank You to the folks behind this wonderful app — all the hard working people at Slowly Communications.

Letters we share, with pen pals all over the World, via the magic of the Slowly App. A modern day take in the traditional penpal experience.

Come and join us, if you are not yet using Slowly.


Follow Blog via your Fediverse/Mastodon account :

@friends-near-and-afar-letters-we-share@wordsmith.social

This page created entirely in MarkDown language. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment, via a direct message to my Twitter account – or the Reddit one.

You can also post a public comment in the Reddit thread for it here.

@yann2@koyu.space Top ▲

 
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from Roberto Q. S.

The following is the preface of Mario Bunge's Dictionary of Philosophy, first published in 1999. The book was originally written in English, but the physical copy I have is the 2005 Spanish language edition, translated by María Dolores González Rodríguez and published by Siglo XXI Editores. I wanted to do a reverse translation into English as I found appropriate.

Source text:

Este es un diccionario de conceptos, problemas, teorías y principios filosóficos modernos. Se limita a la filosofía occidental moderna. Lejos de ser neutral, adopta un punto de partida naturalista y cientificista. Por consiguiente, existe un sesgo en la elección de los términos, autores y análisis —escasamente disimulado en la mayoría de los casos. Tres advertencias han de tenerse en cuenta. La primera: las entradas son desiguales en cuanto a su longitud; mientras la mayoría son breves, unas pocas son miniartículos. Estos últimos tratan de tópicos que, en mi opinión, son importantes pero no se han tratado adecuadamente en la literatura. La segunda: algunas entradas contienen material técnico que un lector no especialista puede pasar por alto o dejar para más adelante. La tercera: he evitado la solemnidad. La estolidez es característica de una filosofía momificada, no de una filosofía viva; y en cuanto al pesimismo, mejor dejarlo para los agoreros. La genuina filosofía debe alumbrar, no abrumar; iluminar, no oscurecer; ayudar a vivir una vida agradable, no preparar para una jubilación ociosa, ni mucho menos para la muerte. La elección de los términos ha sido dictada por su uso, utilidad y valor perdurable, no por tendencias de moda. Las modas son por definición locales y efímeras. Por esto aparecen aquí términos tradicionales como «cosa», «cambio», «prueba», «verdad» y «bien», mientras que «abducción», «monismo anómanlo», «atomismo lógico», «aprehensión», «designador rígido», «implicación estricta» y otros arcaísmos o curiosidades efímeras no aparecen. El lector interesado en ampliar ideas o en diferentes enfoques puede consultar mi Treatise on Basic Philosophy (8 volúmenes, Dordrecht-Boston: Reidel/Kluwer, 1974-89) o diccionarios más extensos. Estoy muy agradecido a Martin Mahner por sus numerosas críticas constructivas. Dedico este libro a Marta, mi querida esposa desde hace cuarenta años.

Mario Bunge Department of Philosophy McGill University, Montréal

Target text:

This is a dictionary of modern philosophical concepts, problems and theories. It is limited to modern occidental philosophy. Far from being neutral, it adopts a naturalistic and scientistic point of departure. Consequently, there is a bias in the selection of the terms, authors and analyses —scarcely dissimulated in the majority of cases. Three warnings are to be taken into account. The first one: the entries are unequal in length; while most are brief, a few are mini-articles. The latter treat topics that, in my opinion, are important but have not been adequately addressed in the literature. The second one: some entries contain technical material that a non-specialist reader can disregard or leave for later. The third one: I have avoided solemnity. Stolidity is characteristic of a mummified philosophy, not of a living philosophy; and as for pessimism, better leave it to the doomsayers. Genuine philosophy ought to enlighten, not to overburden; to illuminate, not to obscure; to help live an agreeable life, not to prepare for an idle retirement, much less for death. The choice of terms has been dictated by their usage, utility and enduring value, not by fashionable tendencies. Fashions are, by definition, local and ephemeral. This is why there appear here traditional terms such as “thing”, “change”, “truth” and “good”, whereas “abduction”, “anomalous monism”, “logical atomism”, “apprehension”, “rigid designator”, “strict implication” and other archaisms or ephemeral curiosities do not appear. The reader interested in amplifying ideas or in different focuses can consult my Treatise on Basic Philosophy (8 volumes, Dordrecht-Boston: Reidel/Kluwer, 1974-1989) or more extensive dictionaries. I am very grateful to Martin Mahner for his numerous constructive critiques. I dedicate this book to Marta, my beloved wife since forty years ago.

Mario Bunge Department of Philosophy McGill University, Montréal

 
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from Image Masking Service

How To Mask Your Images With An Image Masking Service

If you are looking to make an image more interesting or just want to hide parts of it, then image masking is for you! What is image masking? Image masking is the process of making an image less visible in order to reveal a hidden image. This type of technique comes in handy when you want your design to appear different than what it actually is. The hidden image can be anything from a pattern, texture, or even words. There are many services available that allow you to upload your images and have them masked by professionals. Here’s how to do it yourself!

What is image masking?

Image masking is a process of making an image less visible in order to reveal a hidden image. There are many ways to do this, including by using textures or patterns. This type of technique is helpful when you want your design to appear different than what it actually is.

The hidden image can be anything from a pattern, texture, or even words. The best way to do this at home involves uploading your images and having them masked by professionals. Here’s how to do it yourself!

Upload your images to an online service

There are many online services that allow you to upload your images and have them masked by professionals. Here, we will be using “Pixlr.” To use this service, you must first create an account. Next, you will need to download the app to your device and open it up.

After doing so, open your image in the editor panel on the left side of your screen.

Then click on “Effects” in the top toolbar.

From here, you will be able to select what type of effect you would like to apply with one click!

Pick your design elements

Before you start masking your image, you must pick what parts of your design you want to mask. This is important because it will help determine how you want the end result to look.

If you are hiding text in the design, go ahead and select a font that you’ll use for that hidden text. If there is an image or pattern in the design, be sure to choose a color or texture that will work well with it. For example, if you are hiding text in a blue background and using yellow text, it may not be as easy to read on screen.

Once your design elements have been decided, it’s time to start creating your mask!

Pick a color for the hidden part of your design

First, you need to find a color for the hidden part of your design. You can pick any color you want but it needs to be an equal distance from your original color.

Pick a color for the hidden part of your design

Pick a color that contrasts well with the color of your image. For instance, if you want to mask a blue sky, then you would use a dark, almost black, shade of blue.

Pick a color for the exposed part of your design

The first step to image masking is picking a color for the exposed part of your design. When choosing your color, you want to pick something that will not be too noticeable in the final product.

For example, if you have an image of a black background with a white circle on it, then you would want to use a light gray color for the exposed portion of the design. That way, when masked, the white becomes invisible and all that remains is a black circle on a light gray surface.

Pick a font and size There are many fonts that will work for image masking. You can use a serif font or a sans-serif font, but not all fonts work well with image masking. Try out different fonts and choose the one that you like the most.

The next step is to set your desired font size. You'll want to pick an appropriate size that won't be too difficult to read with text, but also won't be too small or difficult to see through.

Next, upload your image and set the “Opacity” setting at about 55 percent for best results. This will allow you to see the hidden text when it's supposed to be revealed.

Now set your opacity slider to 50 percent and choose a color of your liking. Then, click on “Add Mask”.

This will add a new layer over your image with black text reading “Layer 1” across the top of the screen and white writing across the bottom:

Pick a font and size

Now click on Layer 1 in order to reveal your hidden text! Voila! You have successfully masked an image!

Re-size the text To begin masking your image, you want to first re-size the text. You want it to be large enough so that it covers up half of the image or more. Then you want to find a pattern that will flow around the text and cover up half of the image.

Now that you have found a pattern you like, it is time to place it on top of the text but at an angle. Make sure this pattern is covering up half of what was left uncovered by the text in step one.

After covering up half of what was left uncovered by text in step one, place your pattern onto what remained uncovered. Make sure this pattern is also covering up half of what was left uncovered by the text in step one. At this point, your design should look similar to this!

Now all that's left is to paint over anything that remains uncovered after your patterns are applied in steps two and three! Paint over just a small portion so no lines or white space remain visible when finished! When finished painting over everything, your design should look exactly how you designed it!

Create a mask with Photoshop or AI 1) Open up Photoshop or AI and find your image.

2) Take the Lasso tool and make a selection around the area you want to mask.

3) Click on the “Create Layer Mask” button at the bottom of your layer palette.

4) Your new layer will now be named “Layer Mask” and it should be above your original image. You can double-click this layer to edit its properties if needed.

5) Press CTRL+I or select Image > Inverse to reveal your hidden image!

Upload your masked image to an online service. Image masking is easy with online services like Photoshop! Online services allow you to create a masked image from your existing image. They also provide the ability to choose from thousands of different designs, textures, patterns, and colors.

Just upload your image to an online service and they will make it ready for you. You can even save the result as a new file so that you can use it in other projects or share it with friends. It's easy to create a gradient or texture mask! Continue Reading: https://www.adeptclippingpath.com/image-masking-service/

 
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from Roberto Q. S.

Source text:

“We need descriptions to deal with some aspects of our life. Yet we must recognize that while descriptions are necessary, they are only approximations of the world. That was one of the reasons for the downfall of the ancients. The ancients could describe anything. They had descriptions of subatomic particles so small that their most powerful instruments could not detect them, yet they described them. They described how the world was built from the smallest forces, forces so infinitesimal that they could be detected only by interactions created by machines that were as big as the entire city of Henvor”.

Target text:

«Necesitamos descripciones para lidiar con algunos aspectos de nuestra vida. Aún así, debemos reconocer que si bien las descripciones son necesarias, son sólo aproximaciones del mundo. Esa fue una de las razones de la caída de los antiguos. Los antiguos podían describir cualquier cosa. Ellos tenían descripciones de partículas subatómicas tan pequeñas que sus instrumentos más poderosos no podían detectarlas, y sin embargo las describían. Ellos describían cómo el mundo estaba construido desde las fuerzas más pequeñas, fuerzas tan infinitesimales que ellas podían ser detectadas sólo mediante interacciones creadas por máquinas que eran tan grandes como toda la ciudad de Henvor».1

— L. E. Modesitt, Jr.2 Gravity Dreams Sueños gravitatorios

Note:

  1. My own translation of the original text, which was taken from the electronic edition (Kindle), published by Tor Books. Copyright © 1999 L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  2. This is a link to the author's official website.
 
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from Roberto Q. S.

Source text:

La misión del llamado «intelectual» es, en cierto modo, opuesta a la del político. La obra intelectual aspira, con frecuencia en vano, a aclarar un poco las cosas, mientras que la del político suele, por el contrario, consistir en confundirlas más de lo que estaban. Ser de la izquierda es, como ser de la derecha, una de las infinitas maneras que el ser humano puede elegir para ser un imbécil: ambas, en efecto, son formas de la hemiplejía moral.

Target text:

The mission of the so-called “intellectual” is, in a certain way, opposed to that of the politician. Intellectual work aspires, frequently in vain, to clarify things a bit, while the politician's tends, on the contrary, to consist in confusing them more than they were. To be from the left is, like being from the right, one of the infinite ways the human being can choose to be an imbecile: both, in effect, are forms of moral hemiplegia.1

— José Ortega y Gasset La rebelión de las masas The Revolt of the Masses

Note:

  1. My own translation.
 
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from Friends Near and Afar


An article about a new and interesting service :

Every day, the mail still comes. My postal carrier drives her proud van onto the street and then climbs each stoop by foot. The service remains essential, but not as a communications channel. I receive ads and bills, mostly, and the occasional newspaper clipping from my mom. For talking to people, I use email and text and social networking. The mail is a ritual but also a relic.

That relic is also the model for a new personal-communication app called Pony Messenger. Think of it as email, if email arrived by post: You compose a message and put it in an outbox; once a day (you can choose morning, afternoon, or evening “pickups”), Pony picks up your outbound dispatches and delivers your inbounds. That’s it. It’s postal-service cosplay. It’s slow email.

The article on The Atlantic is well written and even mentions SLOWLY and other slow tech apps and services.

Ben Grosser created the Minus social network, on which you can post only 100 times. Other technologies of unhurriedness include Dialup (a surprise-phone-call app), Slowly (a pen-pal service), and Mail Goggles (a Gmail add-in to prevent email regret).


I thought it interesting, worth a mention here

Pony Messenger for example allows some niceties I am still waiting to see (maybe) in our SLOWLY platform. Like some Rich Text formatting. They show in-line images for example – images inserted in the middle of the message's text, which can make them more relevant.

Screenshot from Pony Messenger's website :

And it allows sound recordings for those wanting them as well.

Get creative

Compose in a rich, modern editor. Express yourself with embedded images, links, and audio files.


Service is available on iOS, Android or via Web Client

A post by it's author, Dmitry Minkovsky, on Hacker News briefly describes the main points about this app and service :

Pony is a messenger without a send button. When you're finished composing a message, instead of sending it right away, you put it in your outbox. Once a day—in the morning (5:30am), afternoon (12:00pm), or evening (6:30pm)—Pony picks up anything that's in your outbox and delivers any new messages that may have arrived. You can edit a message until it's picked up, move it into drafts, or delete it altogether.

I built Pony because email makes it hard to keep up lasting correspondences with people. I think the main reason for this is because email is dominated by “transactional” communication—time-critical messages that are tied to some particular interaction: order confirmations, password resets, etc. All of these things tend to bury interpersonal correspondence. The same goes for texting and chat platforms: they may be good for keeping in touch with people and for making plans, but messages come and go quickly and they're not really spaces designed for more thoughtful correspondence.

Pony, on the other hand, encourages thoughtful communication and acts as a barrier to anything time-sensitive. It's a highly predictable space and unless you've received a delivery, you know that when you open the app, nothing will have changed. And although Pony encourages you to take your time and not communicate reflexively, it also sets a “micro-deadline” every day, which creates structure that helps keep the correspondence going.

I've started a blog, if you're interested in reading more. (RSS feed is available here.)

If you like this concept, please sign up and try it out! It's available for iOS, Android, and the web. This is a completely self-funded project. You can contribute inside the iOS app using In-app Purchases or in the web app using Braintree/PayPal. You can also buy me a coffee.


Tried it, the user interface is simple and functional.

The new message editor is plain text by default – a simple panel with minimal distractions (good).

At the bottom though, you find the Rich Text formatting tool buttons I wish could be present on SLOWLY as well. Those include : Bold, Italic, Linking to any URL, Image Insert.

A snapshot of the Compose panel with some Bolding, some URLs inserted a well as an inline image:

Larger image here if desired.


A quick note

The Compose screen on my laptop is WAY wider than shown in the screen capture above.

I resized the window much narrower than normal, to make the screen capture a better format for posting here as a screen cap.

See a full sized, normal compose window screen cap here. (1600x739 pixels, 21 Kb)

There's also a small button at the top right on the Compose window – and pressing that makes the Editor maximized, full screen width, with no distractions at all on the left side. (full size screencap here, 1600x802 pixels, 8 Kb)

A great idea and way to concentrate on the all important Words.

There are many nice things here, specially on the rich text formatting features offered, and the clean, uncluttered screen layout. I wish our Slowly Team would look at these and consider them for the app.


Famous Last Words

Special Thank You to the folks behind this wonderful app — all the hard working people at Slowly Communications.

Letters we share, with pen pals all over the World, via the magic of the Slowly App. A modern day take in the traditional penpal experience.

Come and join us, if you are not yet using Slowly.


Follow Blog via your Fediverse/Mastodon account :

@friends-near-and-afar-letters-we-share@wordsmith.social

This page created entirely in MarkDown language. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment, via a direct message to my Twitter account – or the Reddit one.

You can also post a public comment in the Reddit thread for it here.

@yann2@koyu.space Top ▲

 
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from underlap

Testing your code is a great way of avoiding bugs, but it's tempting to put off writing tests until you have something which works. At that point, it may be very difficult to test your code, especially to write unit tests, because you may not have written the code with testing in mind. One way to avoid this situation is to use Test Driven Development (TDD).

What is TDD?

TDD is a way of developing code by writing tests before the code to be tested. This way, you can be sure that your code can be tested. Also, you'll know that your tests are valid because they'll start off failing (a test which never fails is useless!).

How do I start doing TDD?

The basic idea is easy: 1. Write a failing test 2. Make the test pass, together with any other tests 3. Refactor to make the code clean 4. Repeat.

A failing test might not even compile if it's calling some code which hasn't been written yet. That's ok.

Do I need to follow TDD strictly?

It's quite a good discipline to follow the strict TDD approach for a while to get the hang of it. But after that, I think it's fine to be a bit more relaxed.

For instance, if you're trying to get a piece of code working, it may be more appropriate to code up a prototype as a “proof of concept” and then go back and develop some code using TDD now that you know roughly how the code will work.

I have also used code coverage tools to make sure most, if not all, of my code is tested. You don't need to hit 100% coverage, but something like 80-90% is clearly a better sign of a good test suite than 20-30%.

Unit testing

A unit test tests some code in isolation (from other code, the internet, a database, etc.). Code composed of small modules is easier to test, if each module can be tested in isolation. It's then possible to drive unusual and error paths as well as the happy paths through the code.

The trick is deciding the size of “unit” to test, e.g. it could be a single module or a group of modules. If the unit size is larger, there's more scope for refactoring without needing to change the tests. If it's smaller, then moving code between modules and changing interfaces tends to require test rework.

What is often ignored in TDD circles is that, strictly speaking, if you refactor tests, then you should check that the failures they were originally written to catch are still caught, but that's a real pain as you have to temporarily break the code under test multiple times to provoke each refactored test to fail. But without this, it's theoretically possible to mess up a test refactoring and end up with a test which passes when it shouldn't. An extreme example of this would be to delete the code inside a test, which would obviously then pass, but be useless. The issue is that people might be tempted to hack their test code around on the assumption that running all the tests and seeing them pass is some sort of safety net when, in fact, it isn't.

The best way to avoid refactoring tests excessively is by testing larger units. If you do need to refactor tests, then doing a series of correctness-preserving refactorings (some of which your editor or IDE may be able to automate) reduces the risk of invalidating a test.

Does TDD guarantee my code will be well designed?

No! Don't be caught by the trap of thinking TDD will necessarily give you a great design. It's a good way of avoiding untestable code, but it doesn't guarantee clean, understandable interfaces etc. Using TDD to get a good design is, as Rich Hickey once described, like driving a car along a road and bashing against the crash barriers (“guard rails” if you're American) as a way of getting to where you want to go.

Is TDD worth it on small, personal projects?

I've worked in teams, one doing pretty strict TDD, but on personal projects, I tend to unit test the stuff which I'm most likely to get wrong and with the most conditional logic. (I must confess I don't tend to invest in integration tests for personal projects as it's usually too much bother.)

More information

 
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from drikkes

Mannmannmann

Mehr als zwei Drittel der (überwiegend) Führungskräfte, die wir in unterschiedlichen Branchen befragt haben, finden, dass sie Wichtigeres zu tun haben als sich mit gendergerechter Sprache auseinanderzusetzen.

Wie HORIZONT künftig gendern wird.

(Ich wäre ja schon froh, wenn sie in Ihrem Newsletter die kostenpflichtigen Artikel korrekt kennzeichneten.)

 
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from Adept Clipping Path

11 Reasons You Ought To Utilize an Image Manipulation Service

Did you know there are a great deal of picture solutions that you can utilize to develop your own creative and one-of-a-kind photos? Did you likewise know that several of these solutions are totally free? In this blog, we're going to talk about the advantages of using a picture adjustment service. Yes, you review it ideal: Free! So let's begin on why you should make use of one currently.

What is a picture control service?

An image adjustment service is a web site or application that can take an uploaded photo, as well as change it into something totally different. There are many different solutions, yet among one of the most typical ones is Canva. Not only can you utilize this for creating your very own web content, such as presentations or leaflets, however you can likewise utilize it to make special designs for your organization or brand. Among the largest advantages to using an image adjustment service is that you do not require any layout experience to produce stunning content. The various other benefit is that they're cost-free! So what are you waiting on? Obtain busy and also begin using a cost-free solution today.

Why make use of a picture solution?

A lot of people forget the choice of using a complimentary image solution. The fact is, they don't realize they can utilize these solutions to make their own pictures. Among the most popular factors is that you can create an unique photo that's not already in the general public domain name by using a photo adjustment solution. This indicates you will not need to spend for rights to make use of somebody else's work or stress over copyright violation. One more factor is that you'll see special as well as innovative images on your internet sites as well as social networks pages that wouldn't exist if you did not make use of among these solutions. You may also wish to consider adding a photo right into your article with a user friendly service like Pixlr or Canva since it will aid engage your audience as well as bring in even more focus. There are several advantages to using an image adjustment solution, yet why do you need one? There are plenty of reasons it's vital for your organization' success, so start experimenting with various tools today!

11 Reasons why you must utilize a photo adjustment service!

Among the first things that people discover about your business is the top quality of your photos. Whether it's a firm logo or a photo for a social media sites post, you want to make sure that it's professional, crisp and also noticeable. If you occur to have some abilities in photography, then you might intend to get it done on your own and also maintain your costs down. Yet if not, after that utilizing an image control solution is actually your best choice. To cut down on expenses, you can outsource this task to specialists. They have the ability to create high-quality pictures at lower expenses as well as offer them at a better rate than you would certainly have the ability to do on your own.

Image adjustment services likewise offer much more adaptability than just taking pictures with your phone or point-and-shoot camera. You have the capacity to add impacts like text or blur images for focus in particular locations of the style. These are just a few of the benefits that these services use! Ready? Allow's start! Below are 11 reasons you ought to make use of a photo manipulation service! 1) You can produce special layouts that fit effortlessly into social networks messages 2) You can easily create color designs for various brands 3) You can conveniently include various other

Develop a fun image with your good friends

A lot of photo control services are also enjoyable to make use of. Utilizing among these services is perfect for when you wish to develop an imaginative picture with your pals. Picture the following scenario: You've been welcomed to a close friend's barbeque, however your camera is dead and you don't have any type of photos of the occasion yet! What do you do? Instead of stressing over what to do, whip out a picture control solution like Pikazo. Pikazo enables individuals to create collections, memes or enjoyable pictures from numerous images in just a few clicks. So if your buddies are having an event as well as you intend to appear with some enjoyable images with no effort on your part, Pikazo can help make it happen.

Use a picture control service to make your photos resemble paintings. Today's consumers are revealed to a great deal of photos in their everyday lives. From the advertisements on the street to the billboards that you pass by as well as even the pictures on your wall surface, photos are anywhere. Rather than utilizing a typical photo, try making use of an image manipulation solution. By utilizing a photo adjustment solution, you can create extra distinct and creative pictures than ever. With all the different filters, results and ways of adjusting your pictures, it is difficult to find one that catches your concept flawlessly. With these services, you can create any kind of kind of imagery that you want effortlessly! If you're searching for something more artsy and creative, attempt using a picture control solution to turn your picture right into a painting! The benefit below is that there are countless opportunities when it concerns what can be done with these solutions. You can make your image appear like a paint or perhaps recreate renowned artworks like Monet's “Water Lilies” or Van Gogh's “Sunflowers.”.

Develop an one-of-a-kind image of yourself

If you're trying to find something various, why not take a picture that mirrors your character or have an image made of your pet dog? The advantage of using a photo adjustment service, like Canva, is that you can create original pictures with a tailored look. You can develop an image with the right colors and also impacts to make it stick out. You can also add text— or whatever else you want— to your image. With the click of a button, you can do things like modification the size of message or layer several typefaces on top of each other. And also if you do not recognize how to code, Canva has design templates that already consist of all the required codes!

Make your images appear old or vintage

One of one of the most prominent photo adjustment services is called PicMonkey. If you intend to make your pictures show up old or classic, this is a fantastic website to discover. PicMonkey allows you to produce your own classic style with a couple of clicks of a button. You can use this service to make photos look like they're from the 1940s as well as 1950s or transform them into retro photos. The possibilities are countless of what you can do with this effective device. This fantastic solution is entirely free and you'll never need to bother with having an account that you do not need ever before once more.

Customize your images with text

One benefit of using an image adjustment service is the ability to personalize your photos. Customizing your pictures suggests including text, graphics, or other aspects to create an unique photo. This is excellent for firms that still want their branding aware as well as require to have something more than just text on the page. It's likewise a means to make certain you do not obtain caught in the taxing procedure of having another person skillfully take your photo as well as add your message later. Some services will even allow you integrate images with text as well as graphics to create an unique art piece! And since these solutions are cost-free, you can utilize them over and over, developing all kinds of material for your internet site or social networks pages.

Make amusing pictures out of everyday objects

We all have that photo in our minds of the person we intend to see in a picture. Perhaps it's your favored celeb, or perhaps it's a historical figure. Now you can assist bring that person to life with a cost effective as well as user friendly photo manipulation service! Some solutions, like Pixlr, allow you to conveniently develop your very own photos by including text and also items from a magazine of images to develop something actually distinct and individual. Another terrific advantage of using these solutions is the price factor. Frequently, these services are cost-free! So what are you waiting on? Provide one a try today!

Final thought

If you're looking for a way to add a personal touch to your pictures, or just want to spice up pictures of your friends, think about working with a picture control solution. From making your photos look vintage, to personalizing them with text, there are numerous reasons you should utilize a photo manipulation service. Learn More: https://www.adeptclippingpath.com/image-manipulation-service/

 
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from small medic mini-blog

small reflections from the other side

I've just finished a run of nights off the delirium ward

I now see delirium everywhere

where before it was “agitated confused” or “drowsy confused” I now recognise “hyperactive delirium” and “hypoactive delirium”... and I see the dangerous transition points where valuable information gets missed, or plans are never actioned.

 
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from Aquamarlynn

Content warning : minor character death, mention accident, marriage life, kissing scene, fluff.

Setengah dari narasi adalah flashback yang sengaja dicetak miring. Beware some typos.


Malam itu, tepat setelah dua hari merilis lagu ciptaannya di SoundCloud pemuda itu menyesap tehnya didepan jendela kamarnya. Dengan kesunyian malam yang menyapa, tenang dan damai adalah sesuatu yang ia nantikan disela-sela kesibukannya. Ia adalah Kim Sunwoo, pemuda kelahiran April. Penyanyi solo yang terkenal dengan tangan terampilnya dalam menciptakan lagu. Selain suaranya yang merdu, bakat rapp yang ia milikipun sukses membuat siapapun yang mendengar lagu-lagu ciptaannya menjadi terpesona. Seringkali ia ditanyai tentang lagu yang ia ciptakan. Semuanya memiliki kisah tersendiri. Dari satu lagu ke lagu lain memiliki makna dan ceritanya sendiri. Dan Kim Sunwoo selalu sukses menyihirnya menjadi mahakarya yang selalu dipuja oleh banyak pasang telinga di dunia.

Pemudaㅡ ah bukan. Lelaki April itu mengaduk teh hangat ditangannya lalu menyesapnya sekali lagi. Matanya masih asyik menatap jendela, menyuguhkan pemandangan langit malam gelap dengan pepohonan dan suara jangkrik samar-samar. Sedikit kebisingan kota dan gemerlap lampu lampu mengintip seperti ingin menemaninya menghabiskan malam. Kim Sunwoo, yang kini berusia tiga puluh dua itu menutup buku yang tadi sempat ia baca. Tangannya melepas kacamata baca yang bertengger apik.

Malam tenang tanpa jadwal yang membuatnya pusing adalah impiannya. Dan Kim Sunwoo mengilhaminya dengan baik. Suara ketukan membuat kepalanya menoleh, netranya menangkap sosok gadis cantik menyembul dibalik pintu, “papa? Boleh masuk?”

Sunwoo tersenyum lalu mengangguk. Tangannya melambai menyuruh gadis cantik itu masuk mendekat ke arahnya. Gadis manis itu berlari kecil lalu memeluk Sunwoo erat sambil memekik senang. Perempuan cantik berumur tujuh dengan mata bulat lucu dan bibir merah itu naik keatas pangkuan Sunwoo. Dan dengan telaten Sunwoo melepas ikat rambut yang sudah tak beraturan itu. Tangannya dengan lihai mulai mengikat scrunchies merah muda itu, mengepang rambut hitam legam milik putrinya. Oh iya, kenalkan. Namanya Lee Hyejin, putri Kim Sunwoo. Berusia tujuh, ceria, manis dan banyak bicara. Dan hal yang ia paling banggakan adalah ia sudah masuk sekolah, katanya.

Papa pulang kok gak bilang-bilang?”

Kata nanny Hyejin les menggambar jadi papa tidak bilang, biar kejutan. Eh tapi sudah ketahuan”

Soalnya tadi daddy telfon Nanny katanya papa sudah pulang”

Sunwoo terkekeh saat anaknya mulai bercerita tentang kesehariannya hari ini. Dimulai ia membuka mata, mandi bersama mainan baru, makan nugget dan telur kesukaannya, pergi sekolah pagi-pagi karena belajar upacara, lalu mendapat bintang karena berhasil menjawab pertanyaan, lalu makan siang bersama teman-teman, pulang lalu pergi les menggambar dan akhirnya pulang ke rumah menyambut papa yang sedang senggang. Sunwoo sesekali tertawa saat Hyejin menceritakan hal-hal lucu yang ia alami sepanjang hari. Lalu Sunwoo berakhir memeluk putrinya, menggendongnya dan menidurkannya diatas kasur. “lalu? Kapan Hyejin yang cantik ini mandi?”

Gadis kecil itu mengerucutkan bibirnya, “boleh tidak sih tidak usah mandi, pa?”

Hyejin habis dari luar, bertemu banyak orang. Jangan tidak mandi, nanti ada virus dan kuman menempel, nanti Hyejin sakit. Memangnya mau sakit? Nanti tidak bisa sekolah lho...”

Ya sudah, ayo mandi sama papa?!! Mau ya ya ya ya? Aku bosan mandi sama nanny terus...”

Dan Sunwoo adalah orangtua yang tentu saja mengabulkan semua permintaan putri kecilnya.


Sunwoo dengan telaten menggosok punggung putrinya dengan pelan, menuangkan sabun dengan aroma favoritnya, tangan kecil putri manis itu tak hentinya bermain dengan busa-busa yang mengapung diatas air dalam bathtubnya. “Papa.. tadi kata Bu guru lagu baru papa bagus. Bu guru dan teman-temannya suka”

Oh ya? Wah terimakasih banyak gurunya Hyejin.. sebuah kehormatan lagu papa dipuji bagus begitu oleh orang lain”

Lagunya bagus, katanya. Papa keren!!!!!”

Sunwoo tersenyum lagi, lalu mengecup dahi putrinya, “soalnya papa bikinnya dengan hati.”

Ah ah ah!! Aku ingat! Kata Daddy kalau melakukan sesuatu, kita harus melakukannya dengan hati, nanti hasilnya akan sempurna. Iya kan pa?”

Eung! Betul! Kata Daddy, sukai apa yang kamu lakukan, lakukan apapun yang kamu sukai. Hasilnya pasti akan sempurna”

Sunwoo membilas tubuh anaknya yang telah selesai ia sabuni, lalu menggendongnya setelah terlilit handuk dengan rapi.

Papa papa! Ceritakan tentang kisah cinta papa!!! Kata Bu guru lagunya cocok untuk orang jatuh cinta!!”

Sunwoo mengernyit jahil lalu menjawil hidung putrinya main-main, “anak kecil kok cinta-cintaan?”

Kan yang cinta-cintaan papa, aku hanya mendengarkan!!!”

Sunwoo tertawa sambil mengoleskan minyak telon dan bedak bayi diatas perut dan punggung Hyejin, lalu membalutnya dengan piyama Cherry kesukaannya. Baik Sunwoo maupun Hyejin akhirnya naik keatas kasur, berbaring saling memeluk satu sama lain.

Lagu papa tentang jatuh cinta, iya?”

Hm.. bisa jadi. Itu lagu lama, seseorang membuatnya pas kami masih SMA dulu. Dan papa baru bisa menyelesaikannya sekarang setelah ingat nada-nadanya lagi..”

Hahaha papa sudah tua jadi pelupa!”

Sunwoo menggigit hidung kecil itu main-main lalu mengusap surai hitam putrinya, “jadi siapa yang cinta-cintaan pa? Papa atau teman papa yang bikin lagu itu pas sekolah?”

Sunwoo menatap putrinya. Tersenyum penuh teduh. Lalu matanya beralih menatap langit-langit kamarnya yang putih, “kita berdua. Kita berdua yang jatuh cinta. Dan lagu itu, dibuat saat kami berdua jatuh cinta”

Teman papa yang jatuh cinta itu orangnya seperti apa? Baik? Ataukah nakal seperti Youngjae? Ugh! Youngjae tadi siang menyembunyikan crayon biruku, aku sebal!!”

Haha, dia orangnya baik. Dia tidak pernah menyembunyikan apapun, tapi dia suka memberi. Dia memberikan semuanya yang papa mau, yang papa suka, yang papa impikan, bahkan tanpa papa minta”

Kim Sunwoo siang itu pergi ke perpustakaan. Dengan buku tebal dipelukannya, ia berjalan dengan tenang, headsetnya memutar lagu kesukaannya, sesekali ia bergumam dan bersiul mengikuti irama lagu. Ia buru-buru membuka sepatu saat memasuki ruang perpustakaan. Menebar senyum pada penjaga perpustakaan dan mendudukkan dirinya di kursi favoritnya. Sunwoo membuka buku tebal yang sedari tadi ia peluk, mengeluarkan buku catatan kecil dan pulpen dari dalamnya, tangannya membuka lembar demi lembar dan berhenti di lembaran yang ia cari. Matanya menelisik sekitar, kakinya sesekali mengetuk lantai, Sunwoo tengah menunggu.

Menunggu seseorang yang berjanji bertemu di perpustakaan. Seseorang yang akan mengajarkan materi kimia yang tak ia pahami. Setengah jam setelahnya, biasanya mereka akan pergi ke kantin bersama untuk makan siang lalu saat bel berbunyi, mereka akan kembali ke kelasnya masing-masing.

Bahu sunwoo ditepuk, membuatnya terkejut lalu ia menggigit jari telunjuk orang tadi karena sebal,kakak ih... Kaget tau” Lelaki itu tertawa kecil lalu meminta maaf. Ialah Bae Jacob. Pemuda tampan blasteran Korea Canada yang memiliki pesona luar biasa dalam dirinya. Si pintar yang menjadi ketua OSIS dua periode. Kekasih Kim Sunwoo tentunya.Maaf, maaf. Mana soalnya? Kita hanya punya tiga puluh menit sebelum makan. Menu makan siangnya favoriteku semua”

Dia pintar. Dia mengajarkan banyak hal pada papa. Belajar, bernyanyi, bermain gitar, membuat lagu, dan juga belajar sabar”

Sabar?”

Uhm! Sabar dan tidak mudah marah-marah”

Apa papa dan teman papa itu sering main bersama?”

Eum! Meskipun dia sibuk, dia akan selalu punya waktu untuk papa”

Menjadi seorang ketua OSIS, murid teladan dan juara kelas membuat Jacob menjadi orang yang tentunya menjadi primadona. Semua mata tertuju padanya. Semua puja, semua puji di dunia. Jacob adalah sempurna dalam kamus Kim Sunwoo. Yang selalu memberi dan menemani. Yang dengan senang hati mengabulkan semua permintaan Sunwoo. Bahkan disaat tersulit dan sesibuk apapun, Jacob akan selalu ada untuknya. Karena, Kim Sunwoo benci kesepian. Benci kesendirian. Benci tidak diperhatikan. Dan bertemu juga bisa menggenggam Jacob adalah anugerah yang sangat ia syukuri. “Kakak kalau sibuk gak usah iyain permintaan aku buat nonton, ih! Aku kan gak tahu kalau kakak ada rapat acara milad sekolah”Gak apa-apa, rapatnya bisa besok. Tapi nonton sama kamu, kapan lagi? Soalnya ini hari terakhir filmnya tayang kan?”

Pipi Sunwoo memerah karena malu. Demi Tuhan ia tak pernah menyangka akan menjadi prioritas manusia indah didepannya ini. Jacob mengusak rambutnya gemas lalu merangkulnya dengan hangat. Menyalurkan rasa tenang penuh sayang pada si aries. “Popcorn caramel?” Dan Sunwoo tak bisa tak mengangguk untuk tawaran itu.

Sepanjang film diputar di bioskop, sedikitpun tak pernah tangan Jacob melepas genggamannya dari tangan kiri Sunwoo. Sedikit membuat Sunwoo yang ingin memakan popcorn itu kewalahan, tapi Sunwoo tak keberatan. Selama itu Jacob, selama itu kekasihnya. Ia tak keberatan. Ada kepala yang bersandar di bahu luas pemuda Canada itu. Menghabiskan waktu bersama Sunwoo adalah hal sederhana yang Jacob sukai. Dan berada disamping Jacob, adalah hal yang sangat Sunwoo sukai.

Kalau papa ulangtahun, teman papa kasih kado apa?”

Kue. Kue cheesecake dengan berry diatasnya”

Wiiii! Pasti enak”

Sunwoo mengangguk. Rasanya sangat enak.

Hari itu, sehari sebelum ulangtahunnya, Sunwoo bertengkar dengan mama papanya yang tentu saja masih melarang dan agak tidak setuju dengan hobi yang Sunwoo tekuni, futsal. Mama dan papa Sunwoo lebih suka jika Sunwoo menghabiskan waktu membaca buku dan menonjol di bidang akademik. Bukannya main futsal, katanya. Sunwoo yang hancur dan berantakan itu berkali-kali menghubungi Jacob yang tak jua mengangkat telfonnya. Tentu tak jua membalas pesannya. Sunwoo membanting handphonenya keatas kasur lalu mengacak-acak rambutnya. Berjongkok dengan nafas memburu sebab amarah yang memuncak. Bermain futsal tidak ada salahnya. Namun mengapa mama papanya tidak pernah menyukainya. Maka setelah mengganti baju, Sunwoo segera meraih handphone dan kunci motornya. Pergi menerobos hujan deras menuju satu tempat. Rumah Jacob.

Pintu diketuk buru-buru, Jacob sedikit berlari saat itu, tangannya yang belepotan terigu dengan apron yang masih terikat apik di badannya itu menjadi saksi bagaimana sore itu saat hujan deras, kekasihnya berdiri diambang pintu rumahnya, memeluknya erat sambil menangis.ya Tuhan, Kim Sunwoo?” Dan sore itu, dengan hujan yang masih menjadi saksi, Kim Sunwoo menumpahkan letupan emosi yang bertengger didadanya, menangis diatas kursi sambil memeluk Jacob yang senang hati mendengarkannya.

Kakak lagi apa? Kok belepotan hiks terigu?” Setelah tangisnya mereda, Sunwoo mulai memperhatikan bagaimana belepotannya kekasih yang tengah memeluknya ini. Lalu Jacob tertawa kecil, “kakak tadinya lagi bikin kue buat ulangtahun kamu besok. Eh malah kamu kesini... Gagal deh surprisenya”

Mata Sunwoo berbinar seketika dengan tatapan penuh excited. Sunwoo bertepuk tangan sambil menggoyangkan badannya, meminta pada Jacob untuk ikut serta membuat kue ulangtahunnya esok hari, dan Jacob adalah ia yang akan selalu bilang iya pada semua permintaan Sunwoo

Tepungnya 120gram ya? Lalu gula pasirnya juga. Jangan kelebihan jangan juga kurang!” Sunwoo mengangguk, dengan hati-hati dan telaten memasukkan terigu pada takaran yang tersedia diatas counter. Saat berhitung, tangan mereka akan bersentuhan sebab tak sengaja saling meraih benda di seberang satu sama lain. Hanya bersentuhan ujung jari saja, rasanya cukup untuk memupuk rasa cinta yang ada dalam hatinya, sebab Jacob selalu memberikan semua yang Sunwoo mau dan cari meskipun tanpa ia minta. Cinta yang Jacob hantarkan adalah cinta yang ideal yang selama ini Sunwoo cari. Menjadi anak tunggal dari keluarga Kim yang membuatnya sedikit memiliki tekanan dan ekspektasi tinggi keluarganya membuat Sunwoo mencari apa yang ia rasa kurang. Dan saat bertemu dengan Jacob, kakak pembimbingnya saat MOS dulu, adalah bentuk dan cara Tuhan mengabulkan doa Sunwoo. Tepat delapan bulan setelah berkenalan lebih jauh, Jacob memintanya untuk menjadi kekasihnya yang tentu saja diiyakan Sunwoo karena si aries yakin bahwa ia lebih dulu jatuh cinta pada pemuda Canada itu. Jacob dengan usil mengoleskan tepung pada pipi dan hidung Sunwoo yang membuatnya mengerang tak terima. Akhirnya perang tepung pun tak terelakkan. Meskipun demikian, Sunwoo tak keberatan. Sebab ada peluk hangat dan tawa yang merdu ditelinganya yang diberikan Jacob untuk mengisi harinya yang cukup kelabu.

Dan malam itu Sunwoo memilih tidak pulang. Dengan piyama biru navy yang ia kenakan tentunya milik Jacob, ia tertidur dengan pulas saat jam dinding menunjuk angka sembilan lebih lima belas. Tepat ketika Jacob selesai menyanyikan lagu pengantar tidur untuknya. Jacob yang memang tinggal sendiri itu mematikan lampu kamar. Menaikkan selimut hingga dagu dan memeluk kekasih kecilnya. Jika Sunwoo adalah orang yang setiap hari merasa dipenuhi cinta sebab memiliki Jacob di setiap harinya, maka Jacob adalah ia yang dipenuhi rasa syukur sebab bisa memiliki Sunwoo untuk mewarnai hari-harinya yang terkesan biasa saja

Papa dan teman papa itu pernah bertengkar? Siapa yang nangis? Aku selalu nangis kalau Youngjae menjahiliku lalu ia tidak mau mengaku dan akhirnya kami bertengkar”

Sunwoo tersenyum. Matanya menerawang, kembali ke masa lalu. Masa-masa sekolah yang penuh warna. Ia hanya pernah sekali bertengkar dengan Jacob selama menjalin hubungan, itu membuktikan betapa Jacob selalu sabar dan selalu menghormati setiap keputusan yang diambil untuk satu masalah yang menerjang keduanya.

Pernah. Papa pernah bertengkar. Itu saat teman papa akan pergi kuliah, dia harusnya kuliah di dekat rumah orangtuanya, dapat beasiswa karena dia pintar. Tapi dia menolaknya”

“Kenapa ditolak??? Ugh! Aku selalu ingin sekolah di Amerika biar keren! Terus kata Daddy, nanti aku bisa bicara bahasa Inggris dengan lancar”

“Aku gak mau, Sunwoo” “Jangan bilang karena aku, kak?” Jacob tertawa kecut. Ia membuang muka. Ia memang menolak beasiswa untuk berkuliah di Canada karenanya. Jacob kira semuanya akan berjalan dengan mudah, dimana Sunwoo akan menghargai apa yang ia ambil. Karena tak hanya dirinya yang menjadi alasan Jacob menetap di Korea. Jacob juga memiliki cita-cita menjadi idola disini. Sudah berkali-kali ia mengikuti audisi untuk masuk agensi. Berkali-kali juga Jacob berjuang untuk mimpinya, mimpi yang selama ini sedikit ia pendam karena tak percaya diri. Namun mengapa Sunwoo tak juga mengerti?

Kak, kalau cuma karena aku, aku bakalan marah kak...”

“Apa salahnya tetap tinggal buat cita-citaku, Sunwoo? Kamu punya mimpikan? Begitu juga aku! Aku masih mau disini, masih mau mencoba, masih mau kejar yang aku mau, masih mau kejar mimpi aku... Kenapa kamu gak ngerti? Ini bukan cuma tentang aku yang mau tetap sama kamu, ini tentang aku juga... Stop bujuk aku untuk kembali ke Canada dan ambil beasiswa itu”

Tapi kak, kampus itu kampus bagus. Kakak bisa masuk jurusan impian kakak juga disana, dapat beasiswa juga...”

Buat apa? Buat apa kalau kakak pergi kesana dapat fasilitas bagus impian semua orang kalau gak satupun mimpi kakak akan terwujud dari sana? Disini juga banyak kampus bagus dengan jurusan yang aku mau Sunwoo... Jangan bilang, kamu juga berpikir kalau aku mau jadi idol itu cuma lelucon? Cuma omong kosong gak berarti dan mimpi yang ketinggian di siang bolong kayak mamaku bilang?”

Sunwoo membolakan matanya lalu segera meraih tangan Jacob yang mengepal karena emosi itu, sunwoo menggeleng ribut dengan matanya yang berkaca-kaca, “bukan kak. Aku gak bermaksud seperti itu... Aku cuma mau yang terbaik buat kakak. Maksud akuㅡ”

Genggaman tangan itu dilepas, lalu tubuhnya ditarik dalam peluk. Peluk yang erat dengan bahunya yang mulai basah sebab Jacob menangis tersedu. Keluarganya selalu bilang menjadi idol adalah lelucon. Mereka tak pernah menganggap Jacob serius, tak jua mendukungnya. Bagi mereka menjadi idol buang-buang waktu. Dan Jacob selalu terluka. Sunwoo tidak pernah bermaksud sekalipun menganggap remeh mimpi kekasihnya, ia hanya ingin Jacob mendapatkan semuanya. Tanpa kurang. Tanpa harus ada rasa sakit. Maka ia berpikir kembali ke Canada dan mulai berkuliah disana akan membuatnya mudah. “Maaf kak, aku gak bermaksud begitu... Aku minta maaf”

Malam itu, setelah emosi mereda, ada Sunwoo yang terbaring diatas kasur dengan Jacob menindihnya, menumpukan badannya diatas siku agar tak membebani pemuda ariesnya. Pagutan yang belum juga terlepas sejak beberapa menit lalu, keduanya saling menyesap. Keduanya saling mengecup. Keduanya berbagi rasa manis penuh cinta. Sunwoo menangkup rahang Jacob, mengejar cium yang memabukkan. Yang membuatnya mabuk dan tak berdaya. Jacob mengelus pinggang ramping Sunwoo yang berbaring diatas ranjangnya. Dan saat Sunwoo melenguh, Jacob menghentikan semuanya sebelum terlalu jauh. Meskipun Sunwoo merengek, namun Jacob dengan tegas berkata tidak. Jacob tak pernah ingin merusak Sunwoo.

“Kak, yang di laci kakak itu apa? Kertas yang dicoret-coret?”

Kamu mau tahu?”

Lalu Jacob dengan senang hati mengeluarkan kertas yang disebut sunwoo tadi, menarik gitar yang tergeletak disamping meja, tangannya mulai memetik. Memainkan melodi yang indah ditelinga Sunwoo. Malam itu, dibawah sinar bintang yang menghampar dilangit, Sunwoo sekali lagi dibuat jatuh cinta. Suara merdu yang lembut milik Jacob itu membuat hatinya hangat. Dengan lirik lagu yang indah yang menyapa gendang telinganya sukses membuat Sunwoo dipenuhi kupu-kupu, tak hentinya tersenyum dan kagum. Jacob dan seluruh kesempurnaannya. Jacob dengan seluruh apa yang ada pada dirinya. Mengapa rasanya mereka sangat serasi? Mengapa rasanya sangat bahagia saat orang-orang bilang iri atas hubungan mereka. Cinta monyet yang terasa seperti ceri. Manis dan sedikit asam. Yang wangi pepohonan dan bunga-bunga. Cinta monyet yang terasa sangat menyenangkan. Rasa cinta yang selalu tumbuh setiap harinya. Yang akan selalu terasa begitu penuh seperti tak ada hari esok. Jacob dengan pribadinya yang hangat dan teduh. Dengan senyum manis dan perlakuannya yang membuat Sunwoo gila. Mencium bibir Jacob adalah hal yang paling manis yang pernah ia coba. Dan memeluk tubuh kekasihnya adalah candu baginya. Sebab ia selalu temukan rasa aman dan hangat yang senantiasa dihantarkan. Hanya dengan menatap matanya, ia sukses jatuh cinta. Tak usah bermain kertas gunting batu tentang siapa yang lebih mencintai siapa, sebab cinta monyet yang terasa seperti ceri ini adalah milik keduanya. Yang mampu memberi warna pada hati dan hari pribadi yang kesepian. Jacob selalu bilang, Sunwoo juga akan merasakannya. Bagaimana indah untuk saling mencintai. Bagaimana bahagia karena saling memiliki. Dan Sunwoo akan menyetujuinya.

Saat gitar berhenti dipetik dan mulut yang berhenti bernyanyi, Jacob menggenggam kedua tangan Sunwoo, dibawanya dalam satu kecupan lama, diusapnya jemari itu dengan ibu jarinya, matanya dengan pasti menatap ke arah netra Sunwoo, “I love you. I really do. Aku bisa beliin kamu cheesecake kesukaan kamu tiap hari, bisa bikinin kamu makanan-makanan lain yang bikin kamu seneng, aku akan senang hati melakukan semuanya untuk kamu. Asal kamu tidak pergi. Jangan pernah pergi. Gak ada satupun sebelumnya orang yang bisa bikin aku kayak gini, nyaman, senang, bahagia, dicintai selain sama kamu, woo. Kamu isi kekosongan aku, begitu juga aku akan selalu berusaha isi kekosongan kamu.”

Ayo saling mencintai selamanya, kak. Kayak lirik lagu kakak tadi. Saling mencintai seperti tak ada hari esok. Aku janji akan selalu ada disini buat kakak, karena kakak juga begitu”


Sunwoo menghapus air matanya yang tak sengaja meluncur bebas dari pelupuk matanya. Menarik napas dalam sambil menggigit bibirnya gemetar, Hyejin disampingnya sontak khawatir, “papa kenapa?”

Sunwoo menggeleng cepat lalu menunduk, membiarkan air mata itu makin deras meluncur. Ada cinta yang selalu sama rasanya, bersemi didalam hatinya. Ada cinta yang sangat berarti yang dengan mudah membuatnya kuat dan bahagia. Cinta dari pemuda Canada yang selalu ada disisinya. Yang tak pernah memberikan rasa kecewa disetiap harinya.

Papa gapapa. Cuma sedikit kangen aja”

Kangen? Sama teman papa yang ini?”

Sunwoo mengangguk, masih menunduk dengan air mata yang mengalir. Punggung tangannya ia gigit sebentar lalu Sunwoo berusaha meredam emosinya. Demi Tuhan Sunwoo sangat merindukan rasa cinta yang ia sebut cinta monyet yang rasanya seperti ceri ini.

Teman yang papa ceritain ini pacar papa ya?? Soalnya ceritanya romantis seperti Cinderella”

Sunwoo mau tak mau sedikit tertawa karenanya. Ia mengambil tisu dan mengusap wajahnya yang basah karena air mata menganak sungai secara tak sengaja.

Dia cintanya papa. Lebih dari sekedar pacar.”

Apa orangnya Daddy? Papa daritadi tidak bilang siapa namanya...”

Sunwoo tersenyum teduh, “Nah, sudah malam dan papa sudah menceritakan bagaimana lagu baru papa ini. Sekarang saatnya Putri Hyejin untuk tidur atau nanti digigit monster hijau”. Hyejin meringkuk ketakutan lalu mulai memejamkan matanya seiring dengan lagu tidur dan tepukan halus di pantatnya. Dengan kantuk yang menyerangnya dengan luar biasa, Hyejin masih mencoba membuka matanya, “Papa...”

“Yes sweetie?”

“Apa cinta yang papa ceritakan itu Daddy? Kalian saling mencintai, kalian pelukan, ciuman juga seperti yang papa ceritakan tadi... Apa itu Daddy?”

Sunwoo mengecup dahi putrinya lama lalu menggeleng, “bukan sayang, bukan Daddy..”

Hyejin mendongak menatap papanya, mengernyit heran. Mengapa kisah cinta yang manis yang sedari tadi diceritakan oleh papanya tidak seperti Cinderella yang akhirnya menikah dan hidup bahagia selamanya?

Kenapa bukan Daddy? Kenapa papa tidak menikah dengan teman papa itu seperti Cinderella yang menikahi pangeran, pa?”

Sunwoo tersenyum lalu memeluk tubuh putrinya. “Sebab Tuhan lebih sayang sama dia daripada papa.”

Hyejin menutup mulutnya, “Dia sudah di surga, pa?”

Dan Sunwoo tak bisa tak menangis. Ia mengangguk, sekali, dua kali, berkali-kali ia mengangguk. Dan Hyejin memberi peluk dengan tangan kecilnya, “tak apa, papa. Teman papa akan bahagia bersama nenek di surga”

Amin... Amin.. dia harus bahagia, di surga.”


Menceritakan Jacob pada putrinya malam ini membuka luka yang teramat pedih baginya. Bagaimana hari itu seharusnya Jacob yang pergi tanda tangan kontrak dengan agensi barunya harus berakhir tragis. Bagaimana hari yang bahagia itu menjadi kelabu sebab kecelakaan yang merenggut nyawanya. Hari itu, hari dimana Sunwoo dinyatakan lulus masuk universitas yang sama dengan Jacob. Sunwoo yang bahagia bisa satu kampus dengan kekasihnya, mencoba menelponnya berulang kali, sejak chat terakhir yang mengatakan bahwa ia akan pergi ke agensi untuk tanda tangan kontrak, sejak saat itu juga Jacob menghilang. Dan kabar yang dihantarkan oleh kepolisian saat itu benar-benar menghancurkan segalanya. Mimpinya, mimpi kekasihnya.

Cintanya pergi. Tak bisa digenggam lagi. Cintanya pergi. Menemui Tuhan yang jauh disana.

Sunwoo menunduk, meremas dadanya yang sesak. Kehilangan Jacob beberapa tahun lalu, rasa sakitnya selalu terasa seperti baru. Kehilangan Jacob beberapa tahun lalu, terasa seperti kenyataan pahit bangun dari mimpi buruk sepanjang hidupnya.

Melihat suaminya menangis di dapur, lelaki yang baru saja pulang lembur itu menarik dasinya sembarangan lalu menghela napas berat. Bagaimana ia menangkap getaran hebat di bahu suaminya dan isakan penuh pilu yang samar-samar terdengar yang sengaja ia tahan. Hyunjae, suami Sunwoo melangkah pelan-pelan. Merengkuh tubuh kecil itu dalam pelukan hangatnya yang tulus dan nyaman, “hei sweetheart...”

Sunwoo terperanjat kaget. Matanya menangkap suaminya tersenyum manis setelah mengecup pipinya lembut. “Kenapa jam segini nangis di dapur, hm? Ada fans yang ganggu kamu? Atau berantem lagi sama agensi?”

Sunwoo membalikkan badannya membalas pelukan hangat suaminya, menumpahkan segala tangis yang sedari tadi ia tahan. Tangis Sunwoo mengencang, dengan dada yang masih ia remat, “Kakak... Kakak...”

Hyunjae mencium puncak kepalanya lama, beralih mencium dahinya dan mengusap punggungnya, “it's okay. Everything will be fine. Jacob pasti bahagia disana, sayang. Dia pasti bangga liat kamu udah ada di titik ini. Bahagia, berkeluarga, punya anak yang cantik dan baik. Kamu juga idol dan pencipta lagu yang keren. Jacob pasti bangga”

Hyunjae adalah kakak tingkat Sunwoo di kampusnya, yang jatuh cinta pada sosoknya yang terbilang pendiam dan tak terlalu mau bergabung dengan banyak orang. Semakin didekati, semakin Hyunjae sadar betapa ada luka besar perih yang menganga tak kasat mata di seluruh hatinya. Ditinggalkan oleh orang yang sangat dicintainya dihari yang paling membahagiakan bagi keduanya.

Hyunjae sedikit mengenal Jacob, ketua OSIS yang beberapa kali bertemu dengannya saat turnamen antar sekolah. Hyunjae yang juga aktif OSIS, tentu mengenal siapa Jacob dari sekolah sebelah. Pribadi yang juga ditaruhi puja dan kagum olehnya.

Maaf kak, hiks. Harusnya... Harusnya aku...”

No need to say sorry. Kamu gak perlu merasa gak enak karena kita sudah menikah tapi kamu masih menangisi Jacob. Aku dan Jacob, dua-duanya ada dihati kamu, meskipun tempatnya berbeda. It's okay. Nangis aja gak apa-apa. Aku ada disini buat kamu. Selamanya. Aku disini”

Dan Sunwoo bersyukur. Kembali menemukan cinta yang terasa seperti beri. Manis dan asam sebagai pelengkap hidupnya.

Sunwoo bersyukur, ada Jacob di masa lalunya. Dan ada Hyunjae yang akan selalu ada untuknya. Selamanya.

Fin

 
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