Pixar grants girl’s dying wish to see ‘Up’

The original story is here by Annie Burries. I repost here.

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old with a rare form of cancer, was staying alive for one thing – a movie.


From the minute Colby saw the previews to the Disney-Pixar movie Up, she was desperate to see it. Colby had been diagnosed with vascular cancer about three years ago, said her mother, Lisa Curtin, and at the beginning of this month it became apparent that she would die soon and was too ill to be moved to a theater to see the film.

After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.

The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie.

The animated movie begins with scenes showing the evolution of a relationship between a husband and wife. After losing his wife in old age, the now grumpy man deals with his loss by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, flying into the sky, and going on an adventure with a little boy.

Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.

With her daughter’s vigil planned for Friday, Lisa Curtin reflected about how grateful she is that Pixar – and “Up” – were a part of her only child’s last day.

“When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” said Curtin, 46. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.”

Pixar officials declined to comment on the story or name the employees involved.




Colby was diagnosed with vascular cancer on Dec. 23, 2005 after doctors found a tumor in her liver. At the time of her death, her stomach was about 94 inches around, swollen with fluids the cancer wouldn’t let her body properly digest. The rest of her body probably weighed about 45 pounds, family friend Carole Lynch said.

Colby had gone to Newport Elementary School and was known for making others laugh, family friend Terrell Orum said. Colby loved to dance, sing, swim and seemed to have a more mature understanding of the world than other children her age, Orum said.

On April 28, Colby went to see the Dream Works 3-D movie “Monsters Vs. Aliens” but was impressed by the previews to “Up.”

“It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’” Lynch said.

Colby was a movie fan, Lisa Curtin said, and she latched onto Pixar’s movies because she loved animals.

Two days later Colby’s health began to worsen. On June 4 her mother asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair for Colby so she could visit a theater to see “Up.” However, the weekend went by and the wheelchair was not delivered, Lisa Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby could no longer be transported to a theater and her family feared she would die without having seen the movie.

At that point, Orum, who desperately wanted Colby to get her last wish, began to cold-call Pixar and Disney to see if someone could help.

Pixar has an automated telephone answering system, Orum said, and unless she had a name of a specific person she wanted to speak to, she could not get through. Orum guessed a name and the computer system transferred her to someone who could help, she said.

Pixar officials listened to Colby’s story and agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a DVD of “Up,” Orum recalled.

She immediately called Lisa Curtin, who told Colby.

“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.

“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.


At about 12:30 p.m. the Pixar employee came to the Curtins’ home with the DVD.

He had a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie and a movie poster. He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.

Colby couldn’t see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film.

At the end of the film, the mother asked if her daughter enjoyed the movie and Colby nodded yes, Lisa Curtin said.

The employee left after the movie, taking the DVD with him, Lynch said.

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Lynch who watched the movie with the family. “His eyes were just welled up.”

After the movie, Colby’s dad, Michael Curtin, who is divorced from Lisa Curtin, came to visit.

Colby died with her mom and dad nearby at 9:20 p.m.

Among the Up memorabilia the employee gave Colby was an “adventure book” – a scrap book the main character’s wife used to chronicle her journeys.

“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” Lisa Curtin said.


How to use mouse on text-base command line environment

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

How to use mouse on text-base command line environment? I came across this question while I was in an IRC. I didn’t know the answer immediately, but I did a bit research and found out by installing gpm will enable me to use mouse as in X environment.

On my Kubuntu box, I type sudo apt-get install gpm to install gpm. I need to restart my Linux box, in order to make it work. Now I can login into text-base command line environment as usual to use mouse.

Use Banshee to manage your iPod (in Linux)

There are a few applications to manage my old iPod Shuffle (The first generation. 🙂 I should get an iPod nano) in Linux. For example, Songbird and Amarok. I had used Songbird personally and I don’t really like it. Regarding to Amarok, I only use it to listen music, but never use it to manage my old iPod Shuffle. One day, I saw someone recommended Banshee in a IRC channel. Then I installed it in my Kubuntu, I realize this application is really neat, simple and most importantly it is useful. (At least, I plug my Shuffle into the USB port and Banshee recognises it immediately)


I like to give my Shuffle a new start and I think it is a better idea, since I want the device to synchronise to a single library. That means I need to format my Shuffle in the first place. NOTE: This should apply to other iPod devices as well, it is not limited to Shuffle. 🙂

Step 1: Plug my Shuffle
Well, I have to.

Step 2: Found out what device my Shuffle is
I needed to wait for a few seconds. so my Linux box to detect the Shuffle, then I typed this command in terminal.

sudo fdisk -l

It will list all hard drives in my computer. Most importantly, it is able to recognize my Shuffle. In this case, my Shuffle is recognized as /dev/sdd.

Step 3: Format my shuffle
Type this command in terminal.

sudo mkfs.vfat -F 16 -I -n "my_ipod" /dev/sdd

mkfs.vfat means it formats the Shuffle to FAT format. -F 16 indicates that FAT 16 is used. You can use FAT 12, 16 or 32 and it really depends no your device. FAT 16 is my option, since FAT 32 is not working for the Shuffle. -I means to make sure this command to work properly. -n follows the name of your device. In my case, I called it as “my_ipod”. The last bit is my iPod Shuffle recognized as /dev/sdd.

Step 4: Launch Banshee
Once the application is launched, it should detect my Shuffle and it did, then I imported songs from my local hard drives to Banshee.

Step 5: Synchronize Shuffle with Banshee
After I imported all the songs to Banshee, I simply draged and dropped songs into the Shuffle in Banshee.

I really like the interface of Banshee, because it is simple and neat. Another feature I like is the recommended artists while a song is played. It tries to match the similarity of the song you are listening, by searching the last.fm database (I guess). Overall, I really like Banshee and highly recommended it.

Work with ktorrent in command line

Ktorrent provides a nice user interface, but when you want to schedule a task with Ktorrent. You need to use command line to give yourself a lift. I include some simple examples and a shell script found in the Ktorrent forum for your interest. Please note that you need to start Ktorrent in the first place, otherwise the following commands will not work. To start Ktorrent, simply type /usr/bin/ktorrent in command line.


Start all torrents download:

qdbus org.ktorrent.ktorrent /core startAll

Stop all torrents download:

qdbus org.ktorrent.ktorrent /core stopAll

The script to control Ktorrent in command line

# Public domain script by amaurea/amaur on IRC (freenode for example).
# gary example
# qdbus org.ktorrent.ktorrent /core startAll

case $1 in
                echo "kt: A simple console interface for ktorrent.
Usage: In the following \"id\" indicates either a torrent hash or index.
       [] indicates optional arguments.

       kt start [id]: If ktorrent is not running, start it. Otherwise,
                      if id is given, start that torrent, otherwise start
                      all torrents.
       kt quit: Quit ktorrent.
       kt load url: Load the torrent given by url. Note that the torrent must
                    be manually startet afterwards.
       kt ls: Print a list of all torrents, of the format: index hash name.
       kt info [id]: Print more detailed info about the selected (or all)
       kt stop [id]: Stop the torrent given by id, or all if id is missing.
       kt name [id]: Like ls, but names only.
       kt remove id: Remove the torrent given by id (but not the actual files).
       kt clear: Remove all torrents.
       kt files [id]: List information about the files of the selected torrent.
       kt pri [id] [priority]: Give the selected torrent the given priority.
       kt pri [id] [file index] [priority]: Set the priority of the given file.
       kt pri [id] equal: Give all files of the torrent the same priority.
       kt pri [id] first: Download the first files in the torrent first."
       exit ;;
pid=$(pidof ktorrent)
if [ ! $pid ]; then
        case "$1" in
                        ktorrent --display :0.0 ;;
                        echo "ktorrent is not running!" ;;
eval "export $(cat /proc/$(pidof ktorrent)/environ | perl -pne 's/00/\n/g' | grep DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS)"
cmd="qdbus $loc"
case "$1" in
                res=`$cmd /core loadSilently "$2" 1` ;;
                torrents=`$cmd /core torrents`
                for torrent in $torrents; do
                        name=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent name`
                        printf "%d %s %s\n" $i $torrent "$name"
                done ;;
                if [ "$2" ]; then
                        if (( ${#2} < 4 )); then
                                torrents=(`$cmd /core torrents`)
                        else torrents=$2; fi
                else torrents=`$cmd /core torrents`; fi
                for torrent in $torrents; do
                        name=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent name`
                        size=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent totalSize`
                        dsize=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent bytesToDownload`
                        prog=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent bytesDownloaded`
                        speed=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent downloadSpeed`
                        seed=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent seedersConnected`
                        leech=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent leechersConnected`
                        priority=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent priority`
                        sl=`printf "[%d|%d]" $seed $leech`
                        pri=`printf "(%d)" $priority`
                        printf "%3.0lf%% of %11d %4.0lf kb/s %8s %4s %s\n" $((100*$prog/$dsize)) $dsize $(($speed/1000)) $sl $pri "$name"
                done ;;
                if (( ${#2} < 4 )); then
                        torrents=(`$cmd /core torrents`)
                else torrent=$2; fi
                case "$1" in
                                $cmd /torrent/$torrent name ;;
                                if [ "$2" ]; then res=`$cmd /core start $torrent`
                                else res=`$cmd /core startAll`; fi;;
                                if [ "$2" ]; then res=`$cmd /core stop $torrent`
                                else res=`$cmd /core stopAll`; fi;;
                                # qdbus boolean bug workaround: use dbus-send instead
                                res=`dbus-send --type=method_call --dest=$loc /core org.ktorrent.core.remove string:"$torrent" boolean:false` ;;
                                n=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent numFiles`
                                for (( i=0; i < $n; i++ )); do
                                        path=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent filePath $i`
                                        pct=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent filePercentage $i`
                                        size=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent fileSize $i`
                                        priority=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent filePriority $i`
                                        printf "%d %3.0lf%% of %11d [%d] %s\n" $i $pct $size $priority "$path"
                                done ;;
                esac ;;
                if [ $3 ]; then
                        if (( ${#2} < 4 )); then
                                torrents=(`$cmd /core torrents`)
                        else torrent=$2; fi
                        if [ ! $torrent ]; then exit; fi
                        n=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent numFiles`
                        if [ $4 ]; then
                                res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setFilePriority $3 $4`
                                case $3 in
                                                for (( i=0; i < $n; i++ )); do
                                                        res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setFilePriority $i 40`
                                                done ;;
                                                for (( i=0; i < $n; i++ )); do
                                                        pri=`printf "%2.0lf" $(((4*$i/$n+3)*10))`
                                                        res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setFilePriority $i $pri`
                                                done ;;
                                                for (( i=0; i < $n; i++ )); do
                                                        pri=`printf "%2.0lf" $(((4*($n-$i-1)/$n+3)*10))`
                                                        res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setFilePriority $i $pri`
                                                done ;;
                                                m=$(($n < 3 ? $n : 3))
                                                for (( i=0; i < $m; i++ )); do
                                                        res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setFilePriority $i $(((6-$i)*10))`
                                                for (( i=3; i < $n; i++ )) do
                                                        res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setFilePriority $i 30`
                                                done ;;
                                                res=`$cmd /torrent/$torrent setPriority $3` ;;
                else echo Too few arguments!; fi ;;
                torrents=`$cmd /core torrents`
                for torrent in $torrents; do
                        res=`dbus-send --type=method_call --dest=$loc /core org.ktorrent.core.remove string:"$torrent" boolean:false`
                done ;;
                res=`$cmd /MainApplication quit` ;;
                echo "Unrecognized command: '$1'" ;;

Tweet from command line (Continued)

There is a program called fortune in Linux. It will display a funny quote, if you execute it in command line. It will be interesting if I am able to direct fortune‘s message to twitter.


Firstly, you need to install fortune. In debian, you can do apt-get install fortune.
Secondly, copy this script to your home directory.
Last, assume you call the script twitter, and chmod 755 to it.

Usage 1: This will direct fortune‘s quote to your twitter account.

./twitter -q

Usage 2: This will direct your message to your twitter account.

./twitter -s "It is a beautiful day"




while getopts "hqs:" opt; do
	case "$opt" in
		q) 		QUOTE=`fortune -n 140`
				$curl --basic --user "$user:$pass" --data-ascii \
        		"status=`echo $QUOTE | tr ' ' '+'`" \
        		"http://twitter.com/statuses/update.json" > /dev/null 2>&1
				exit 0;;
		s) 		$curl --basic --user "$user:$pass" --data-ascii \
       			"status=`echo \"$OPTARG\" | tr ' ' '+'`" \
       			"http://twitter.com/statuses/update.json" > /dev/null 2>&1
				exit 0;;
		h) 	echo "Usage: $0 [-q] [-s your_twitter_status]\n\n" 
				exit 0;;

You can put twitter -q to your ./bashrc. That means each time you open a new terminal. It will tweet a random quote to your twitter account.