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seth theory

Student: Great master what is the most draconian discipline of mathematics?

Master: Without a doubt it is Set theory!

Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Mothra vs. Godzilla

I saw this movie over a year ago with the intentiton to write about it but I never got around to it and when I finally sat down to get it done I realized most of it had escaped my memory so I had to re-watch it. I didn't like this movie the first time and I certainly didn't enjoy it the second time around.

A hurricane blows Mothra's egg off Infant Island and causes it to drift to Japan. Banzo Torhata sees an opportunity to make money off the egg but Mothra's twin priestesses show up and plead with him to return the egg or else the larva will hatch and cause great damage in search of food. Torahata refuses and tries to kidnap the fairies. They then go to reporters Ichiro Sakai and Junko Nakanishi to try to persuade Torahata to return the egg. Torahata still refuses and the girls leave with the adult Mothra. In the meantime Godzilla reawakens and begins another rampage. Japan's only hope is for Mothra to return and not only save her unhatched offspring, but Japan as well.

The following is my scattered notes.

The intro is very good looking.

Overtly sexist from the start. Let the damn photographer do her job!

The movie explores (mass) media and its relation to the Godzilla universe. What is its role, what is news, how to "make" news etc.

Clearly some criticism against capitalism in that a corporation is scamming a poor fisherman's community out of something that can't be bought or sold in the first place. Also completely ignoring the inherent great scientific public value in such a find, in search of monetary profit. This, dare we call it anti-capitalist, sentiment is persistent throughout the movie.

What about the two tiny ladies from infant island? Well I don't know what do say. 60's weirdness deluxe...

The characters act and behave like they are familiar with Mothra almost made me think Mothra was a real mythological creature. 1

The movie is sprinkled throughout with many boring jokes about eating eggs.

Godzilla, in all its glory, is looking good as per usual but is yet again shoe horned into the story.

The nuclear angle is interesting in this one. Infant island is almost completely destroyed by nuclear testing. This is what got me into Godzilla to start with so I appreciate this perspective.

The monster fights are sadly not very impressive and the movie lacks the usual monster havoc, destroying cities and so on. I can't put my finger on why exactly, because a giant moth is obviously badass but Mothra doesn't quite do it for me.

Even though Mothra get's better towards the end it doesn't hold up and this is probably my least favorite movie in the franchise, so far.

  1. This is explained by the fact that there is a, perhaps a better, movie Mothra (1961). I had no idea about its existence until I started writing this and stumbled upon it via a web search. Maybe Mothra vs. Godzilla is better if you have seen Mothra beforehand. 

the beauty of free software

I'm on Debian testing and I rely heavily on vdirsyncer 1 from pimutils for syncing my calendar, todo-list(s) and contacts between devices. I've been using this setup for quite some time now and it works pretty well.

After some dreaded apt upgrade, maybe in combination with a pip3 install --upgrade stuff, somewhere along the line, vdirsyncer broke down on me. Instead of thoroughly reading the Python error I tried for several days to reinstall it via different routes but I never got it to work.

Finally I had enough and back traced to my initial broken state and actually read the Python error:

'xml.etree.ElementTree.Element' object has no attribute 'getiterator'

I googled the error and found this helpful snippet on github:

Methods getchildren() and getiterator() of classes ElementTree and Element in the ElementTree module have been removed. They were deprecated in Python 3.2. Use iter(x) or list(x) instead of x.getchildren() and x.iter() or list(x.iter()) instead of x.getiterator(). (Contributed by Serhiy Storchaka in bpo-36543.)

I have created #7 to fix this.

This looked straightforward and gave me some hope of an easy doable fix. I then ran:

grep -Ril "getiterator" /usr/local/lib/python3.9/dist-packages/vdirsyncer/

which outed the damn culprit:


in particular, in on line 123, we need to replace one line in the function

def _merge_xml(items):
    if not items:
        return None
    rv = items[0]
    for item in items[1:]:
#        rv.extend(item.getiterator())
    return rv

as indicated above and that's it, vdirsyncer works again!

I was so happy when I managed to fix it so I thought about doing a pull request but it turns out that this is already fixed upstream and it is just the pip repository lagging behind.

I could have solved this in a couple of minutes instead of days if I just had read the error to begin with. A willingness to dig into the code and change one line was all it took.

Even though this was very low hanging fruit it's a very nice feeling to say "fuck it" and do it yourself, something that in all likelihood would not have been possible if I had to deal with some closed down proprietary solution. It's such a simple thing but yet so empowering.