O ye with silken hair.

A little something I just thought of writing on the spur while gazing hard at the hair of the girl sitting in front of me in a really really boring class.

O ye with silken hair,
Looking at you I despair.
For your locks, soft and meek
Seem like a mollified fractal, so to speak.

Just as in Mandelbrot’s set,
Your hair has a main bulb, where the bun has met
At a point, so near, so far and so light
Inaccessible but within sight.

From here, O maiden fair,
Emerge taut strands of hair
Like geodesics from infinity to and fro,
How perfect they go!

Your tresses, maiden fair, I recall
Seem like a tangent vector field
on the wedge sum of two spheres, big and small.

Brouwer was surely high,
when he proved the following lie:
“One cannot comb a hairy ball!”

O maiden fair, show Brouwer he is wrong,
His “proof” has stood for long,
Far too long!

As I write these lines, my conscience does prick,
People might whack me with a stick:
Brouwer’s theorem holds for a ball,
Not for the wedge sum of two spheres, big and small!

Alas, maiden fair, I was wrong.
But I’m not sad, for I have this song.
And now, I thank you, maiden fair,
For letting me write about your hair.

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Fastest (and upto date) pacman mirrors.

We’ve all faced this problem sometime or the other : Installing/upgrading packages takes forever because the pacman mirrors are slow.
Thankfully, as always, the Arch wiki and pacman have us covered. Pacman itself comes with a bash script which is at

/usr/bin/rankmirrors

. This script ranks mirrors according to their connection and opening speeds.
First make a backup of your existing mirrorlist.

# cp /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.backup

Edit the mirrorlist and uncomment all mirrors for testing.

# sed -i 's/^# Server/Server/' /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.backup

Finally rank the mirrors. The ‘6’ below outputs the 6 fastest mirrors.

# rankmirrors -n 6 /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.backup > /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Note that it is good practice now to run the following.

# pacman -Syyu

This forces a redownload of the package lists and upgrades the packages. Passing two
–refresh or -y flags will force a refresh of all package lists even if they appear to be up to date.