How to Drink in Antarctica

An Antarctic Recipe: Enhanced Sangria:

  1. Accidentally freeze an entire airdrop pallet of wine so that you have enough broken bottles that need to be consumed NOW so that this recipe's portions make sense.

  2. Procure a reasonably clean 5 gallon bucket. At the very least, a bucket free of detritus. Add the booze in the right order and you don't have to worry much about disinfecting things.

  3. Add one 750ml bottle, each, of the following boozes: gin, light rum, tequila, triple sec, vodka.

  4. Add three bags of frozen fruit and several sliced oranges. Fresh fruit won't last forever and you might as well use it here instead of throwing it out.

  5. Fill the remainder of bucket with red wine. Try to strain out the broken glass, chunks of cork, and label before dropping them in.

  6. Let sit for roughly 24 hours. DO NOT PUT THE BUCKET OUTSIDE IN THE SUBZERO TEMPS. Freezing things is why you're making this in the first place.

  7. Hide the sharp implements and serve to the unsuspecting by the pitcher.

NOTE: A single person should not consume an entire pitcher of this.

This recipe can be easily scaled up to for 55gal Rubbermaid wheelie trashcan. I know this because we had more frozen wine left over and repeated the experiment on a more epic scale.

Also, a really interesting longer essay on the culture of drunkenness down there:

Alcoholism in Antarctica:

I once gave a presentation to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where I opened, "Hi, I'm Phil Broughton. I'm not an alcoholic but I am a compulsive bartender." From there, I told a tale of alcoholism and enabling from the perspective of a safety professional serving people booze to oblivion. [...]

I recall pouring glass after glass of Crown Royal for a person that, against all odds, was still managing to sit on a stool and semi-coherently ask for another drink. There were three people that individually pulled me aside and said, "Dude. STOP SERVING HIM. He is so far gone it's not even funny." Assuming they remember, as it was a decade ago, they were drinking too, and the ravages of hypothyroidism in Antarctica on memory, they probably still blame me for serving irresponsibly. I had a different perspective. I try to keep in mind and control the most serious danger and deal with the other ones as they come up. The most dire danger in Antarctica is always failure to respect the absolutely lethal environment of Antarctica itself. I was far happier to serve until I could guide him over to a couch to pass out than to see him stagger out into the -85F night. I was doubly happy to be serving him in the bar rather than have him get to this state, or worse, alone where something dumb/wrong might happen and no one would be able to help him until it was far too late.

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Youtube download counter-countermeasures applied

I have worked around Youtube's latest obfuscation. You can again download all videos and playlists with my youtubedown script and bookmarklet.

Let me know if you find any that still don't work.

Great googly-moogly, that was a pain in the ass!

There's a get_video_info that tells you the URLs for the various resolutions of video data of a Youtube clip, in JSON form. Back in 2012, they changed it so that you had to take the provided "sig=" parameter and append it to the video URL before it would work. This signature appears to be a hash of some of the parameters to the URL (similar to what OAuth does) and the video-data URLs give you a 403 without it.

Within the last few months, they've started rolling out a new glitch where sometimes the signature (which is now "s=" instead of "sig=") is tagged with "use_cipher_signature", and... it's enciphered. Just enciphered. No actual crypto: simply a character-position-swapping cipher! These enciphered sigs come in lengths from 82 to 88 bytes, and you have to re-order and drop characters in particular ways to get them down to the 81-byte original signature. Each length seems to have a different algorithm, unless there's an overarching pattern that I haven't spotted.

It's purely security-through-obscurity! What a dick move.

Anyway, there's another kink on top of this: the enciphered signatures in the JSON don't work. The info about URL sources exists in both the get_video_info JSON, and also inside the HTML page itself, embedded as JavaScript. It's the same information, but with slightly different URLs and corresponding signatures. Obviously parsing the JSON is easier and saner than scraping JavaScript out of an HTML page, but... the URL/signature pairs in the JSON don't work, while the URL/signature pairs in the JavaScript do. So when you load the JSON, and find that the signature is enciphered, you have to punt on that data you already have and fall back on re-parsing the HTML instead.

What is this I don't even.

For laughs, check out the decipher_sig() function.

Now I have to wait for Miro to play catch-up and deploy a similar fix. I'm not holding my breath, because they still haven't released even a nightly build that includes the fix for downloading restricted Vimeo videos that I explained to them over a year ago. Sigh.


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DNA Lounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein we show you our drawers.

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