Federico Pistono's blog


DVD ripping with Linux/*BSD/OS X



Hi, this short tutorial aims to be a guide for those who would like to back up a DVD using Linux. If you like nice and clear GUIs I suggest you to use the excellent Handbrake, but if you are interested in understanding what really happens when ripping a DVD and have complete control over the operation you will find this guide quite useful.

At first I will start with a general overview to clarify the situation about DVDs, then I'll switch to a description of the script I made, along with its usage. Remember that this does not pretend to be an exhaustive study about DVD encoding, it is a simple introduction to this beautiful World, for further information I suggest you to follow these links:


Project Polyphasic Sleep - Day Zero

Day Zero

Started 2005-11-07

I was aware of the existence of the "Polyphasic sleep" (I will occasionally abbreviate it PL) since I was very little, I remember my father telling me about this peculiar sleeping technique. He told me he had a friend who used to do it during his years at University, and how this person was exceptionally satisfied by the Uberman Sleep, and the beneficial effects that this had in his life.

Even though I knew about it, I never got myself involved into this experiment, since I did not feel the urgent desire to have 21 useful hours per day, and also I did not have any medical evidence that this method was reliable and not self destructing. I ignored its possible usage until I crashed into a Wikipedia article about polyphasic sleep, where I came to know about Dr. Claudio Stampi, one of the leading advocates of polyphasic sleep research, Founder and Director of the Chronobiology Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. It was a surprise to see that one of the most eminent persons in the world about this topic was Italian, I discovered that he initially graduated at the University of Bologna, and then moved to the States.

In his book, "Why We Nap, Evolution, Chronobiology, and Functions of Polyphasic and Ultrashort Sleep" he explains his studies about the nature of sleeping, dividing the usual 8 hours into 5 phases, and only one them was indispensable for survival, the REM (Rapid Eye Movement), in which you dream. He formulated a theory by which one could just reduce his sleep solely at the REM phase, gaining productive hours every day.

One of the things that really gave me the interest is that several famous people applied catnapping to a large extent. These include Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison and Buckminster Fuller. Other figures said to be associated with polyphasic sleep experimentation include Nikola Tesla, Napoleon, and Winston Churchill, just to name a few.

Enough with the explanation, for which I am not the most competent person to talk about these topics, therefore I shall redirect you to some useful links where the whole argument is explained in a satisfactory way.

Syndicate content