a necessary and sufficient distraction


Env, my new blog

It’s work toward a successor to Iff. It’s still an early beta; I’m not even sure I like its address. Comments welcome.

“The New York Times” is doing badly

“Internet purists may maintain that the Web will throw up a new pro-am class of citizen journalists to fill the void, but for now, at least, there’s no online substitute for institutions that can marshal years of well-developed sourcing and reporting experience—not to mention the resources to, say, send journalists leapfrogging between Mumbai and Islamabad to decode the complexities of the India-Pakistan conflict.”

Sir Terry
the flyby anomaly
“Mom goes to Whole Foods”
“The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia”
Sasha Frere-Jones’s non-work site
not a cult, no sir
student movements in the color revolutions
Thomas Dolby reminisces about Shane MacGowan at school
a Richard Marsland memorial page
Arkell v. Pressdram
identifying stars in astrophotography

It’s not particularly impressive to match arbitrary images against the fixed stars. It is impressive to do it with so much tolerance for blur and clutter, and to make it so friendly.

a forgivable failure to timeline cool
_why on making things
the orbit of the moon around the sun is convex
truth to tyranny
the 500-mile e-mail
Sasha Frere-Jones on Portishead’s “Third”
friendly custom laser-cutting

Welcome to the future, where matter compilers cut sheets of invented molecules with beams of light for the cost of a meal.

C.J. Cherryh’s Latin primer
some samples of “Fred Basset”
Les Horribles Cernettes on YouTube
Operation Cat Drop
“A Note on Childeric’s Bees”
the controversial part of Paddy Ashdown’s testimony at the Milošević trial
an interview with E.O. Wilson
Robert Graves’s warning to children
Sappho’s warning to uneducated women
stalls and spins
a polemic against metadata utopianism
Lego ads
nature makes you smart
The Maldives is saving up for a new country
tea grown near Burlington
a glossary of Japanese onomatopoeia
links to John Boyd’s works

A pleasant little OS X graphics and interactivity environment for Python. Reminiscent of Logo, Postscript, and (dare I say?) HyperCard.

Solar Cycle 24

“All your solar and aurora needs in one place!”

the tact-filter model
Anarchaia is become Trivium
Francis Bacon’s “Essays”
TV host warmly congratulated for being bittorrented
Draftastic, a collaborative editor

Sign yourself and a buddy up for a free account. It doesn’t do anything nasty with your e-mail address, and using it for 30 seconds will make it clearer than this explanation:

We have acceptable systems for writing code alone (text editors), natural language alone (word processors), and code in teams (version control systems).

But writing natural language in teams is a huge disaster. People put up with ridiculous systems like mass-CC’d e-mails of Word documents.

So Draftastic is like version control for prose. If your group is writing a report, you pull up Draftastic and write it at once. No lock fights. No accidentally typing on top of someone. Everything updates live (no Flash, just Ajax, and it works with JS off too).

It’s like a whiteboard, or a whiteboard-model collaborative editor, only it’s designed for actual work. You get histories, diffs, a permission system – things we rely on in coding but haven’t learned to ask for in natural language.

Draftastic is a business venture by Nick and me. The more bug reports and feature requests the better. Enjoy!

rare metals as the new rare spices

Not a new idea, but very good prose.

a low-cost electric mini-plane
“The Singularity Is Far”

Scott Aaronson hits exactly the right note. Again.

Via Anarchaia. Again.

Stendhal syndrome
Merlin on doing fewer things better
a Northwest and Northeast Passage at the same time

There seems to be a rehabilitation of him in the air.

“Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance”


a paper co-by one C. Black

That’d be Bodger.

MODIS today
verbal cartoons
the bumps on the leading edges of humpback fins may prevent stalls
fair circumstantial evidence that Odysseus killed the suitors on 16 April, 1178 BCE
economists dabble in a system involving experimenting as well as hypothesizing
ADHD may be a remnant of nomadism
the president of Kiribati is preparing to evacuate the country by midcentury
Internet access CAPTCHAs

Via Sam.

visualizing an MD5 collision
ocean color
HSP: a more perceptual hue-saturation-foo color model
the Church of Google
goats love TriMet

They take the busses; the coyotes get the light rail.

modern thinking about programming state

Via Platypus.

taste wheels
a map of human diseases by shared genes
the roads of the continental US
an argument that unpublished attack ads ought to be embargoed

This is an excellent introduction to a lot of good questions about broadcast ethics. I can think of at least one sf book where it’s illegal to report on terrorism, but no one seems to be saying that aloud in real life.

cloned sniffer dogs

A Fortran successor from Guy L. Steele. As you might assume, his presentation is fascinating. It’s really Unicode, there’s an redefinable juxtaposition operator (a b being a×b is redefinable), and on the whole it approaches live math notation: “opr (n:ℕ)! = if n=0 then 1 else n·(n-1)! end”.

a philosophical zombie movie
Markov chains for images
Merlin on unintended puns
an insect with a habitat of a single shrub
a well preserved mammoth
full text of Brewster’s “Treatise on Optics”, 1833

Including, delightfully, a discussion of spectral lines before they were explained.

the Lemonodor auxiliary
transforming palettes to be more useful for people with color vision deficiencies
a DSL that runs the ASCII-art IP spec
get Helvetica off our money
probably the definitive review of real life
Spitbol 360 sources

A perl precursor.

an American “Spaced”?!

A show specific to that time, place, and group of characters, I would have thought. The only good news is Josh Lawson.

Starbucks v. Walmart
mantis shrimp, it is increasingly clear, are our superiors
pushing fuel efficiency in stock cars
BudBurst, a national phenology field campaign for citizen scientists
Bowie Seamount

24 m below the surface, 180 km from the nearest dry land.

the BANCStar programming language
direct observation of continental drift
circumcision may be popular because it lowers fertility
DST is still inefficient
ICER, the DSN’s main image codec

PDF. A close relative of JPEG 2000.

differential GPS correction over IP
good intentions about carbon emissions are not enough
“Sketch of the Analytical Engine”, translated and with notes by Ada Lovelace
BC introduces a revenue-neutral carbon tax
single serving sites
arguable violations of complementary flavor transitivity
Flipchart Hiatus: possibly the best musical artist recording today
e-mail v. Civil War letters
“Some explorations of string repetition statistics”
ways for UK MPs to resign
US Patent 5,533,051

One of at least two patents that claims to be able to compress anything. The proof that this is impossible is left as an exercise to the reader, the reader’s pet, and particularly developed cheeses in the reader’s fridge.

Kosovo declares independence
WHO estimates that smoking will kill 500,000,000 people now alive

Via Bodger.

lambda calculus in a can
radical (sic) cartography
manure dust may prevent lung cancer

As Reddit points out, ASCII only is ridiculous.

the Anthropocene
my Flickr favorites as RSS
the GPO’s standard for cream white 100% diploma parchment, smooth-finish

Favored for cyanotype prints because it’s slightly alkali. The cheapest conforming paper is Crane’s Diploma Parchment.

the Paul Keating insult archive

“Honorable Members opposite squeal like stuck pigs.”

hairdressers with supposedly funny pun names
knife-sharpeners’ and umbrella-holders’ argot
cerebellum congelatum
Sellwood Bridge design candidates
“Mladici” pilot part 1

The weirdest television I’ve seen all year: two twentysomethings (mladići in Serbian) share an apartment with noted war criminal Ratko Mladić. Hilarity ensues!

the Flushing Remonstrance
Huck Finn on Ambrose Bierce’s death, by Steven R. Boyett
shirts in bulk
ten years ago in “Spy”
live-action “Garfield”
an interview with Steven R. Boyett
Sam Green is the first Washington State poet laureate

My family’s neighbor when I was growing up. Well deserved.

Crew Resource Management

How to work quickly in small problem-solving groups.

a fake antique Mao
Port of Churchill

“The current shipping season runs from mid-July to the beginning of November. The use of icebreakers could significantly lengthen the shipping season.”

photos by Leigh Perry of seascapes and other bland things
an interview with Brad Bird
the physics of medieval archery
will recur for samosas
did the Vikings found Vinland in Cowichan Valley during the Medieval Warm Period?


Errol Morris goes to Crimea to have a look at that road himself
a boy saves himself and his sister from an angry moose using WoW hunter tactics

I’ve never played hunter, but I gather his strategy of grabbing aggro and hitting FD is pretty standard. I leave it to you, reader, to muse on the ways in which games about contention might be more than training for aggression.

old illustrations, mostly French
using politics to popularize hash collisions
David X. Cohen’s Fermat near-miss finder

Via Anarchaia.

is it Christmas?
people are getting sick of lists

My interpretation lately has been that articles organized as lists are popular because they’re mostly about one thing. People try much too hard to give blog posts etc. clever titles and surprising twists, but with “10 things that …”, you know what you’re getting.

IP law is unenforceable
bird-proofing windows with a highlighter
“Get This”’s “Illegal Download” as a legal download

Fairly early in their run, they made a best-of CD with a run of 1000, called it “Illegal Download”, and only gave out to fans who’d shown exceptional dedication. Like many others, apparently, I figured the title was ironic and that we would signal our understanding of this, and respect for the craftsmanship of the show and the co-operation of its distributors, by not illegally downloading ripped copies. Now that the show’s ending, Tony Martin addressed the fans in a cutting “explaining stuff to tards” voice and told us we didn’t get the point and Triple M had to go and do our work for us. Tsk tsk.

“Apple Needs a Nikon”
a live advertisement for Coke
“not so much”

It was a catchphrase in Greek class by late 2002, and I assumed it was from “The Daily Show”.

a chatty account of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China
a new independent investigative journal
the body under Dr Crippen’s house was not his wife’s
“Get This” ends 23 November

What are they thinking? “Get This” is the best contemporary radio comedy I’ve heard, and it rates great. The on-air guys are already happily working for half pay. If it “soaks up production and editing time”, they should hire Mattie Dower an assistant and be thankful.

Radio New Zealand’s podcasts

E.g., Kim Hill’s interview with Jeremy Pope.

monochrome film development with household chemicals
the Minicon 34 Restaurant Guide by Bruce Schneier and Karen Cooper

Where did Bruce meet his CIA handler? How did Neal Stephenson explain pho? What did Jesus have at the Last Supper in Cuzco? You’ll have to read it to find out, because you can’t search it, because it’s in some crazy obfuscated DRMy form. The ironing is delicious.

“The correlation between passive smoking and heart attacks is now excellently documented”
how nerds talk
a widespread and underreported currency security pattern

I was all but certain I’d already Iffed this.

weird landscape architecture
Anthony Lane on Leica
third-party firmware for Canon consumer cameras
a simple demonstration of JPEG
throwing like a girl
color genetics in Icelandic sheep

Confused? Compare with spelsau.

amateur photos of infrastructure are useful
debunkings of myths about the EU
“T. Rex in: Hyperreal Comics”
finally, an update on the double-nosed Andean tiger hound
olive oil forgery
don’t get dehydrated
social hierarchies in technical classes
“A Role For Endogenous Retrovirus In The Evolution Of Placental Species”

Via Platypus.

recoverable bokeh

Hey, I have that lens.

the design of a gas-absorption refrigerator
an Amiga on an FPGA
a conversation between Boston and Portland powered by aurora
fiber in coffee encourages beneficial intestinal microbes
“Getting Around in China”

By a neighbor of my family.

“Cannibalism and the Common Law”
Australia’s audiovisual heritage online
“A Whirlwind Tutorial on Creating Really Teensy ELF Executables for Linux”
Japan is seeding coral islands to claim EEZ
a correlation between lead exposure and violent crime
a cheap but necessary shot
phase-change insulation
possible Inca remains in a Southern Norwegian rosebush
a marble adder
Lolcats as ethnic jokes
how to write about Africa

“Always take the side of the elephant.”

how a weird cedar grew, maybe

Via Bodger.

“Mistakes in Experimental Design and Interpretation”
the Domesday Book
the basics of MRI
pop culture was best in 1996
Guantanamo v. Nuremburg
“The Awful German Language”
great, now the French know
60 photos from Magnum for its 60th anniversary
a tiny biography of Robert Fortune

His books aren’t in Project Gutenberg. This biography doesn’t make it as clear as it might that exporting tea from China to India was quite illegal; at best it was smuggling.

many men are scared to work with children

As the Reddit comments point out, (1) their numbers seem quite low, and (2) it’s scary even to bring this up because saying you’re worried about seeming creepy seems creepy. Who knew moral panic might cause problems?

XKCD gives a hint
maybe it’s pointless to verify programs

More generally, are formal and informal thinking continuous?

intriguing biodiversity in the abyssal Weddell Sea
Ontario’s north: “there’s no better place in the world to do business”

Second, perhaps, to Chad.

the Inca used bismuth in decorative bronze
rationally accounting for other people doing the same thing

This kind of thing is often in play in everyday life where people are being mocked for supposed irrationality.

superstitions in MMORPGs

Comedy gold. Via Platypus.

a huge, near-continuous sky survey
Puget Sound steelhead listed as threatened
standing DA Notices
spork anatomy
San Juan Islands links

Via Mom.

I had a lot of these already. I alternate between thinking the island are over- and under-represented online.

false precision from unit conversion
Google search to inline text
Skybus Airlines

Ryanair for the US, basically.

traditional English paper sizes
the definition of the Iranian coat of arms and flag
71 optical illusions and other visual curios
“Computer Science’s Image Problem”
Wordsworth rap
the truth about Lisp
clever cards
a review of the McCrorie Odyssey
an acoustic Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)
how to write a spelling corrector

Remind me to learn statistics.

a salt-rising bread recipe
SISC in the browser
adding epicycles
DST doesn’t work in the US either
“Get This”

I can’t listen away.

As I was explaining to Platypus just now, it’s sometimes funny because it’s foreign and their concerns are laughable, and sometimes because they’re funny.

a discussion of bowline failure modes

As it says on the first page, descriptions of the bowline often come with an ominous but useless warning that sometimes bad stuff happens. This is reassuring.

what makes a great photo?
a green onion pancake recipe
Roadgeek fonts

It’s shameful that the official version isn’t free. It’s a government work and a generally useful safety supply.

John McCarthy’s “Notes on Formalizing Context”
wholesale Rives BFK
Orbis sensualium pictus

Comenius’s illustrated kids’ encyclopedia from 1658, in churchified Latin. God bless humanism, that’s what I say.

Noctilux photos on Flickr

The Noctilux is an old Leica lens that opens to f/1 – three or four times faster than most lenses around these days – and thus lets you use richer film when it’s darker.

some excellent jowling
human health effects of Prussian blue (cyanotype pigment)

3 g daily orally seems to cause only constipation. I estimate there’s about a gram per letter-size print.

imagined conversations
friction stir welding
“Daylight Time and Energy: Evidence from an Australian Experiment” (PDF)

Daylight saving time extension clearly did not work around the 2000 Olympics. I maintain that DST is repulsive in every important way.

a map of topics in science
why Australia scares Britain
slides about web typography sucking
an automatic CS paper generator
observe gravity in your very own basement
magnetic pole revesal in the lab

Heehee! They used “span”!

oxtail and red wine potjie
Jingbei Hu is trying to publish his diaries from the Cultural Revolution
bellicose weather modification
a practical velociraptor safety tip
huh-uh v. uh-huh
an interview with the designer of the classic Netherlands banknotes

The 50 guilder note especially was brilliant and influential.

a more Greek than the Greeks proof of the irrationality of sqrt(2)
how kinds of praise affect schoolkids
there seems to be a huge sub-aquifer under Asia
a story from the death of Data General

“With the speaker jammed in there, the battery, the PC104 stack, I could just barely zipper up the back of the bear and provide an honest to god, $800 Internet-enabled storytelling stuffed animal.”

young Iranians
giant palm salamander tongues store 18 kW/kg
Simon Pegg on “Americans just don’t get irony”
“Can social scientists redefine the ‘war on terror’?”
some large raindrops are temporarily umbrella-shaped
the Carver

Approved of by Jeremy Clarkson, which is a nontrivial achievement.

Berlin Wall graffiti
xkcd on Watterson on comics
a very thin lens
hints of late Epona worship in Roman Gaul

These Romans are crazy!

visual IP address hashes
live drumlin formation

Via Bodger.

Miss Shilling’s orifice
John Howard thinks there might be something to this talk of global warming

What tipped him off? Was it the higher temperatures?

soap-opera amnesia
some logo trends

Apparently details are in.

a lander game with the canvas tag
an interview with Emir Kusturica

The “Black Cat, White Cat” guy.

go in extreme places
bootstrapping from the pure lambda calculus
some kind of scary patent holding scheme

Myhrvold was the guy who said some dinosaurs might be able to make 200 dB cracks by whipping their tails.

preferred numbers

Someone put ISO 3 online.

if by whiskey
Fallingwater in Half Life 2
how to draw
“LaneHawk: Visual Scanner for Preventing BOB Loss”

Wiseman was involved.

Tupper’s self-referential formula
“The Pinocchio Problem”
milk thistle cures death caps
Yahoo search form shortcuts
“The Diamond Age” on televison
Robert Anton Wilson dies
a 20-person tech company without managers
Skitt’s Law

“Spelling or grammar flames always contain spelling or grammar errors.”

Especially because people seem to switch into some kind of heaving, clunking, pseudo-RP Pedant’s Dialect.

strange maps

Via Bodger.

RFID tags in Canadian coins
chopstick tests in Japanese private schools

Reactionaries are much funnier when they’re overseas.

Danes are perpetually pleasantly surprised
a 2.5-D printer-style wood carver
more common sense for the humanities
“Artificial Evolution for Computer Graphics”

Full of naughty naughty s-expression sex.

“Panspermia” for free

Man, I remember being hypnotized by this at the Seattle Science Center in 1992 or so. I never knew it was made on a Connection Machine.

Olin Shivers’s history of T

Richard Kelsey took his front end, which was a very aggressive CPS-based optimiser, and extended it all the way down to the ground to produce a complete, second compiler, which he called “TC” for the “Transformational Compiler.” His approach was simply to keep transforming the program from one simple, CPS, lambda language to an even simpler one, until the language was so simple it only had 16 variables… r1 through r15, at which time you could just kill the lambdas and call it assembler.

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
I Heart Guts
the Colemak keyboard layout
mysteries v. puzzles

Students saw problems in Enron in 1998, two years before its stock peaked.

a wiki for Xi
John C. Qwerty
Picasso painting
a Romano-Celtic mirror
the story of Audion

I used it when I wasn’t using GrayAmp.

libertarianism as the Marxism of the right
qualified optimism
seed-eaters breed more before big seed crops

Via Bodger.

chicken hypnotism
Puget Sound is turning into sewage chai
a new “Ambassadors”
the FDA will probably approve unlabeled cloned meat for sale
why Aria will not make you a web site
“New Yorker” cartoon selection
Kodak may be waking up
Mongolian milk tea
ZZ Top is still cooler than you
rumors of an Antarctic murder
the amb operator
UPS logistics optimizations
fire marks
Thomas Dolby’s tour tech

Very reminiscent of Guitar Hero.

Via Platypus.

CSS is 10
“La Operina” online
fans construct a real “Penny Arcade” search
near-live tracks of Pacific pelagics
a diabetes breakthrough in mice
the Aerobie coffee press
some Iranian typography and calligraphy
my brother paints
to shave the yak

Oh, the things I learn when I drop by freenode for the morning.

the advice Google gave its millionaires
CSS Zen Garden: Geocities 1996
retunings of a certain played-out piece
I would have used Craigslist
Greenland sharks
function bushido
an intuitive explanation of Fourier theory
remixes for Ray


stain-pattern teacups
forehead metoposcopy
“The Nightingale Princess”

Starring Asher.

(Sorry if Iff is becoming nothing but googles of things from my childhood.)

a tiny, documented hex and octal printer
we need a word for Google wells (“moose heads”?)
“let the market decide” is not the same as “shut up”

Good ole Lore.

“If Supreme Court Justices Were Rock Stars”
the freed USGS DRGs

Once I spent several days tracing a scan of one of these. Good times.

gentlemen’s pocket globes
“Andrew Henry’s Meadow” will be directed by Zach Braff

Kind of odd because it’s set on a fictionalized version of the tiny island where I grew up. The writer’s daughter read it aloud to us at school, and we could recognize individual trees in several illustrations.

12,150 cups of chocolate pudding = 1,215,000 miles
a computer the size of a building block
directed graphs of song lyrics
the move-to-front transform
del.icio.us will eat itself
methylene blue as a cure for humdrum urine
greedy reductionism
Steven Pinker on implicit equal time for religion and reason
IE 7’s tabs may be what it takes to end pseudo-links
water poetry
a review of the Charlie Mortdecai books

Tonight’s re-reading.

deterministic numbers

Hey, these are more predictable than those!

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology

Some good design if you look hard enough.

vegetables seem to be getting less nutritious
“I’m an athiest, but…”
Apple ads in Japan
Cabel on Kettle Chips’s beta box

“Let me make this clear: you will be eating potato chips that most people will never get to eat.”

an origami planner

Via Bodger.

there are senators who disapprove of torture?!
coffee creates liberalism in a paragraph
a PHP library for sparklines

They’re good, but Tufte should stop burbling whimsey about them.

fancy nails
a little stereo lens
E-Z climate modeling
the Eco-Dome
someone voted in Broward County with an Inverted Jenny
beta is not an excuse
my mother
Joker.com is handing out .info domains for $3 for the first year
a cut above the usual supersaturated glossy bug micro photos

Via Bodger.

Operation Morning Light: a personal account

How they found a radioactive Soviet spy satellite in Northern Canada.

an analog clock with digital hands
which Bembo?

Monotype’s metal Bembo was a god among fonts, but the first popular digital version was mediocre. In the past few years many people have tried to get it right, but none of the new ones are both good and on the open market. Aetna is too spindly and poorly spaced. Monotype’s new Bembo Book is too chubby and poorly spaced. Matthew Carter made a promising one but signed it over to Yale. Edward Tufte made a very good one, perhaps the one we need, but doesn’t distribute it because he’s “not in the type distribution business so it will not be made available”, the jerk. So we’re still waiting.

John Yoo on the contingent right of the president to crush children’s testicles

I missed this when it came out. Google for more complete references.

$9e9 in cash is missing in Iraq
Ryan Drum

An islander. I don’t believe everything he says, but I pay attention to it. The kelp powder is excellent popcorn seasoning.

a cartogram algorithm
a new island off Tonga
“How they stole the mid-term election”

Interesting if true.

Adobe gives the ActionScript VM to Mozilla
photo 69 from “The Spaceship Junkyard”
Waldron Island School’s official site

“Life-styles on Waldron require good physical health and a sense of self-reliance. Living accommodations are modest cabins, heated by wood and with minimal indoor plumbing.”

Swiped from OISD’s frameset. The photos are so old that I’m in one of them.

Panic gets voicemail
a synth as props
a primer on proas
the W3C on “deep linking”

Where I come from, we call it “linking”.

EPA North American ecoregion maps
Pelosi might crack down on lobbyists
only a stupid de-facto nation would omit to set up an EFL web site
aurora forecasts
controversiality in the NetFlix data
the election will probably have technical problems
a relative quantification of Pac-Man
a web site just for whale-corpse-bone worms
3D graphics in the browser
math book index jokes

“The Java Language Specification” wins. I seem to recall Spivak was pretty good too.

donate to the fake boarding pass guy
why a point wasn’t quite 1/72 inch
“energy” in European
“The New Yorker” on Spore

My tastes aren’t obscure enough. The mainstream keeps finding out what I’m into.

a debunking of the pernicious “XHTML is nothing” meme

the main language used for the Shuttle

the North Atlantic Drift stalled for 10 days in 2004-11
the US is in long-term financial trouble – surprise!
web 2.0 culture shock illustrated
highly composite numbers

Good dimensions for things designed on grids. Mmm, smooth.

six-word sf stories
Caruso’s illustrated eyewitness account of the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake
possibly the largest artificially lit photo ever
medication to stop menstruation
an apotheosis of artsy Flash
some paintings by Scott Fraser
train a war horse in 214 days
“Private Eye”’s running jokes

I’ve been watching Ian Hislop on HIGNFY.

ah, but is the bear in complexity class P?
a page that crashes Firefox
“To which country should I immigrate?”
Bodger’s Kool-Aid partition
Tinfoil Hat Linux
Rocking Raven: Haida manga
more Irish than the Irish themselves

The aggrieved tone of the article really sells it.

the village of Mumbles

It sounds like a silly name, but it probably just means “breasts”.

Rafe’s Law

Via Bodger.


Reports of an exceptionally practical aphrodisiac.

Kim Jong-Il’s nicknames
the Patriot Guard Riders

Evidently roughly equivalent to CBC Radio 2.

Greenspun’s final thoughts on New Zealand
Pop Experiment’s visual art
marans don

Incidentally, I always assumed “catamaran” was from Greek “kata-” (via, by, according to, down, etc.) and perhaps something akin to the Latin “mare” (sea), but it’s from the Tamil “kattumaram” (tied wood).

Mr Olbermann once again brings the words
Washington Park Station’s pi is wrong
the Transgondwanan Supermountain

An equatorial range apparently shed 1e8 km2 of delicious sediment into the oceans about 550 mya, thus causing the Cambrian Explosion.

Boris Johnson

The English, I gather, regard him variously as a politician with a sense of humor or a cryptofascist posing as a buffoon.

yum cha
a sailing simulator
some Renaissance printers’ marks
and speaking of Ladytron
3600 mi of ants

Iff will be back stronger than before when Qwest hooks up the DSL. It’s been two weeks.

the Hardy-Littlewood rules
thousands of pieces of trash from the 1200s found off Oslo
Andrew’s cheese sandwich

I’m told by earnest people that it’s the best ever.

McSweeney’s recommends
a fair selection of web comics
I like my pu-erh, but not at $475 a cake
write yourself a Scheme in 48 hours: a Haskell tutorial

Scheme48 is, of course, independently named for having been first implemented in that amount of time on 6-7 August 1986.

faddy networking and walled gardens for old people
cosmic rays encourage cloud nucleation
Kids in the Hall transcripts

It loses a lot without the delivery, but it’s still genius.

Google Code Search exposes some entertaining naughty bits
the Do Not Fly list is stupid
6502 assembly in the browser

Via Bodger. A physics simulation of the hardware would be more impressive.

terraforming Sol-3
why do tooth loss and memory loss correlate?
an interview with J. G. Ballard

Now to read it.

fire maps from MODIS

If I recall correctly, it sometimes marks hot, smoky industrial districts as fires.

a flowchart for your escaping-torture needs
boy, that’s a lot of cognitive biases
the worst accidental radioactive contamination of US civilians
NetFlix puts a $1e6 bounty on a 10% better recommendation engine

OMG, that’s going to be some fun data.

Armstrong said the "a"
funny cat pictures

Photos of pets are the next big thing, man.

a light, ugly folding bike
let FTP die
HP’s blog epidemic visualizer


I hope this is a diagram of propagation across the front pages of Robot Wisdom, Daring Fireball, Reddit, Fark, Slashdot, Boing Boing, Digg, Metafilter, Wired News, and so on – the hoppingest secondary news sites. I suspect that they prey on each other in about that order.

For personal amusement, I’d like to see the network of pickups between Iff, Anarchaia, and Grow-a-Brain, which have a friendly plagiarism rate of perhaps 1/40.

“Four Quartets”
math quotes

Escher: “By keenly confronting the enigmas that surround us, and by considering and analyzing the observations I had made, I ended up in the domain of mathematics.”

clever neologisms, poorly organized
solar flares strongly interfere with GPS
a dictionary of body language
gay white supremacists
the Canon EF 1200 mm f/5.6 lens

Gosh, I dunno. Extended to 2400 mm, that’s only f/11.

“A New Kind of Review”
Alex Ross on “classical music”

“They are making little headway with the unconverted because they have forgotten to define the music as something worth loving. If it is worth loving, it must be great; no more need be said.”

the Seitz 6x17 160-megapixel panoramic digital camera

And all for less than the price of a house.

stupid QR code tricks

It would be interesting to specify a matrix code with a tiny tiny virtual machine (forth? postscript?) – then you’d have some real quinery.

the “Mona Lisa” is lit by LEDs
“So, cat … a rap: all it rot?”
John Mosby

Early modern guerillas.

my Flickr favorites
serious summer Arctic ice recession

“If this anomaly trend continues, the North-East Passage or ‘Northern Sea Route’ between Europe and Asia will be open over longer intervals of time, and it is conceivable we might see attempts at sailing around the world directly across the summer Arctic Ocean within the next 10-20 years.”

a private citizen’s view of the Thai coup

May the internet live a thousand years.

well-crunched analysis of congressional voting

Terrible, terrible graphic design all through it. Begging for some Tuftization. If you scrape the data and run it through a real grapher, drop me a line and I’ll link to it.

Nicolaus Baslij’s gravestone in Malacca
brain damage in the Iraq War

Body armor is getting good enough that things that used to kill you leave your body intact but your drain bramaged.


Gangster cats. Via Platypus.

Microsoft’s music player hopes to violate copyright
Chinese food
how David Remnick runs “The New Yorker”
a draft of a history of AppleScript

In the LtU log, happily enough.

Big Brother is polite and always wondered about digital reciprocity failure
a tag-searching demo

With Magic.

newly corrected and inpainted Venera lander images
Lisp macros compared to C++’s by a Perl wizard
new candidates for tallest redwoods

Found by amateurs.

don’t brag to the police

As Wheel put it, “Damn! The smooth gentleman thief isn’t supposed to be caught by pansy-ass Austrian civil servants! He’s supposed to be taken down during a deadly game of cat and mouse with a rugged American hero with a tormented past.”

How true that is. How very true that is.

the names of naming companies
assorted excellent graphics work

With mathematical and conceptual backgrounds.

Iff bug: the title field munges both escaped and unescaped versions of Frédo Durand’s name. How embarrassing.

Chomsky and Zinn v. Tolkien
“A Walk Through Durham Township”’s portfolio

An island the size of a large boulder all alone between Ireland and Iceland.

the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

If XML were Forth.

basic questions about where you are
London to Brighton by train in two minutes
basic Chinese haggling
Unicode 5 released

No PDFs of the tables yet.

One Square Inch of Silence
a proposed database of Ohioans accused and only accused of sex crimes
entertaining lies
Noman Koren v. the San Juan Range near Ridgway
contemporary accounts of WWI
the liberal paradox

Arrow must be a strange man.

philosophy videos
Keith Olbermann orates against Rumsfeld’s jibba-jabba
Mr Jenner on DRM v. the Laws of Robotics

Old. Via Platypus?

short and sweet graphic design debunkings
3 kya Celtic mummies in Xinjiang
Big Bend National Park’s front page has some interesting debug info

Just skimming, “2276-07-04 21:00:00” is kinda suspicious.


The best photo search by sketching I’ve seen yet.

Panic! at the Disco

Apparently I’m the last one to hear about them. This one song I’m listening to is real promising if it’s the good kind of campy.


This seems to be an Australian word for a simple map of paths, extended to simple flow charts and so on. I can’t find an etymology; perhaps a map such as might be drawn with a stick in mud?

yellow crazy ants!

“It is a particular problem on Christmas Island. Instead of forming colonies with a single queen, it now forms supercolonies with several queens which cooperate rather than fight. This aggressive insect has devastated the wildlife of the island. Using formic acid it will overpower sizeable creatures like reptiles and coconut crabs and has killed 10-20 million Christmas Island red crabs.”

PKD pre-on GWB
a subterranean orchid
“Numerical Recipes in C” online
taxonomy jokes, such as they are
D. H. Lawrence on modern war
how right-wingers see the “New York Times”
what a lot of GUI paradigms
near-death by chocolate
the herring gull complex is not a ring species
freaky-ass Antarctic vampire pseudospiders
some civilized countries ranked by popular acceptance of evolution
rare Wattersoniana
canonical examples of photo tampering
a first look at the AOL data
a bamboo bike
egads: 5e6 or more ocean microbe species
don’t click it
how to eat American food

“Salt not good. Sugar not good. Oil not good. Fat not good. Blood pressure, heart problems. Yup, Yup.”

video epitomes
Michael Forsberg

Click past the front page and through the hideous navigation. The photos are superb.

Hugh Laurie was suitably humble about playing Bertie
many 5-word sequences

“We processed 1,011,582,453,213 words of running text and are publishing the counts for all 1,146,580,664 five-word sequences that appear at least 40 times. There are 13,653,070 unique words, after discarding words that appear less than 200 times.”

A trillion words of text and the tools to parse it. Hmm. Any bets that Google isn’t the singularity?

Reddit thread on subscripting from 0 or 1
a goban heatmap with Google
QI’s links
Scheme warts

All at least partly right.

the Hays Code
spam plants
activist mapping

Greenpeace hacks GM soybean fields in France.

“Quite Interesting”

A game show I would point my eyes at.

“Achewood” v. *
using Ancient Greek in LaTeX

Also via Bodger.

a geologist’s lifetime field list

Via Bodger.

Rubik’s hypercube

“Reliable, efficient transmission control for networks that suck.”

the man is for real
Society for Research on Umami Taste
the Church of England suggests that ruining ‘creation’ is not a great idea

“Sin is not just a restricted list of moral mistakes. It is living a life turned in on itself where people ignore the consequences of their actions.”


Mmm, fake macros with stupid (in the affectionate sense) Perl tricks.

Iff is backish

Julieclipse, one of my best friends, died on 11 July. Stopping Iff was not at all in her spirit, but I couldn’t be bothered to think about it for a while. Now it’s back.

a proposal for more competitive planetary brand positioning
Will Wright and Brian Eno on generative systems
stories about Mike Warwick and grep

“Since Diophantine equations are undecidable in general, there’s no way to build a POSIX-compliant grep.”

“Faith, race and Barack Obama”

The Economist on gerrymandering.

nerd ABCs
an intro to Xi, a frame language

I shall watch this with a great deal of interest.

“How Aspergery are You?”

“Like many of my students, I have hypersensitive hearing, and I’ve always been easily overwhelmed by certain noises. I used to get unusually upset by seemingly minor sounds around the house. I also remember fixating on symbols, creating patterns, and repeating them in my head when I was a kid.”


Delightful old illustrations.

a global warming ad

Via Julieclipse. Good for the Ad Council.

pre-Katrina discussion of New Orleans’s levees

With awesome mesh maps.

the difficulty of getting raw cheese in the US
solar terms

Terms as in periods, not names.

a live domain name lookerupper
revisiting “Principia Mathematica” with modern tools
how to derive the speed of light from the Koran
Good news, everyone!
Siracusa suggests OS X on L4

Sign me up.

Lisp in ECMAScript
fractal wrongness
an uninsured typographer needs help with an emergency hosptital bill
the Four Seasons Centre

I’m looking at WVS’s photos and listening to the lead-up on CBC 2. Canada’s so kawaii.

hypoallergenic cats
Inkling Pens

Oh. My. Goodness.


James Lovelock is my new old hero.

capacitors as batteries
criticism of the form of the Federal Marriage Amendment
Frodo for Congress

Issue #1: Destruction of the Ring.

Issue #2: Pulling the rug out from under terrorists.

Gez Fry’s Japanese-style illustration
Tutu and Tintin: OTP
Simon Norfolk’s photos of supercomputers

“The problem is not that these computers might one day resemble humans; it is that they already resemble gods.” Old gods, maybe.

photos with an ice lens
giant earthworms in Eastern Washington
an ultrasonic Guinness-fizzing device
Wikipedia on just war
the Tobin Tax as a path to meeting the MDG
the Pogues, or at least their reanimated zombie bones, are touring

But I’m not gonna see them.

a case of AIDS in the US in 1969
“Army Times” on the Millennium Challenge 02

A war game, featured in Blink, that Middle Eastern guerillas were winning against impressive tech.

MacBook virtual desktop haptics
“Bill Frist: A Doctor at Heart”
the atomic bomb go game

“The explosion caused disruption to the game, damage to the building, and some injuries to those attending the match. Play was resumed after the lunch break, and the game was played to a conclusion that evening. Hashimoto, holding White, won by five points.”

Peter Menzel’s photography

Very 90s but in a good way. Via Lemonodor.

a warrant canary

Like the signs suggested for libraries. Not very fine, though – a fuller scheme would tell what hadn’t not happened, not unwhen, and so on.

John Dean on Nixon and Bush
Flickr’s kite photos marked “interesting”
the Nelson ice trigger for kite aerial photography
Mike’s photos from Ecuador
Silvia Night
a manual of US traffic signs
“The Decisive Moment” scanned

Wonderful photos – terrible interface.

“Cat and Girl” on epistemology, evidentiality, and the philosophy of testimony
a model of benchmark debunking
hipster bingo

I’m sitting in the Black Cat now, and I can bingo without turning my head.

Luke Thuemmel’s videos from Iraq
Chinook Jargon references
“Daywood Academy” goes color as Trina rises out
a piano on a mountain
the most annoying haggadah ever
parody of sites claiming the moon landings were faked
Diebold’s voting machines and philosophy remain unsafe

Authority should be held as locally as possible.

geeky comics

It reads like a tasteful nerd’s sketchbook, which it is.

Kos collects some fine new progressive essays
graphs of history
tactless figurines

You know, I’m beginning to get a tiny bit sick of terrible Flash interfaces.

glacier research at PSU
The Show with Zefrank

I haven’t Iffed this because I’ve been expecting it to take off and top all the bookmarking sites. No, really.


“The first lending and borrowing exchange.” Gonna be keeping an eye on this.

The Cellar’s Image of the Day archive

NSFW in parts.

what a housing bubble looks like
a short, broad interview with Al Gore

He politely hints that he thinks the “Inconvenient Truth” trailer sucks too. Via Julieclipse.

Ken Rockwell explains how he gets awesome colors

Mostly by taking photos of awesome colors.

paragliding near a storm
Democrats without ideas
New Yorkers subject to medical espionage

As Wheel pointed out, “No one wants to have some unmonitored person get on a train and give everyone diabetes.”

David Alan Harvey’s Magnum portfolio

I really like his stuff, but had been waiting to Iff it until it came in a nice interface. I gave up. Apparently most of his recent ones, including “National Geographic” work, are with a 6-megapixel Nikon.

in Fiji, there’s a concept of pollutants
Kubrick’s script for “Napoleon”

Via the Wayback Machine.

what “rheme” means
a full, open map of the Isle of Wight
iPods for trapped miners

A tiny, well-featured lisp. Can be squeezed to a 20 kB binary. The docs could be used as a general introduction to lisp.

the Vatican coyly hints that dying of AIDS may be a bad thing

At least for married people.

Ladytron’s “Destroy Everything You Touch” video
steampunky CGI painting
“On Lisp”’s macro chapter
$100 furo

Well, about $130 in 2006 dollars.

a Grumman J2F-1 Duck at the Cowlitz Bay dock in 1939

Old film and old metal finishing sure did collaborate well. I swim right there in summer. The Richard Brummett mentioned took some excellent photos in Vietnam between going to college with Fox News’s Bill O'Reilly.

The PNW isn’t ready for a 9 earthquake

Then again, who is? The Blue Cascades III report referred to above is excerpted here. (What’s that? More than a cursory site of its own? But why would coordinating and disseminating vital disaster-preparedness information involve the Internet? Especially in the notoriously poorly wired PNW?)

Aristotle on being without a dog
Locke on executive power
clips from “Look Around You”

Parody of twenty-year-old educational videos. Brilliant.

a swimming-around-and-eating Flash game

Let’s take it for granted that we’re all going to compare it to Spore, okay?

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s blog

With great old photos.

web 2.1: serverside blinking

Via Anarchaia.

Quozl’s emu fat freezer remote monitor
E. coli lite
Werner Herzog is a mensch
BMO uses graphology to sell retirement

Weird and unpleasant. Will Prudential start giving you a heavily disclaimed horoscope? Merrill Lynch brand palmistry? Wells Fargo tarot?

an old “Crypto-Gram” on security through obscurity
nerd gigo

All in all, much better than most clipart webcomics.

the Earl of Lucan defends himself in Parliament after the charge of the Light Brigade
a proposed German citizenship test

An art history short in the special floating-neoclassicism postmodern style of the East Coast in the early 80s.

the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
rumors of a flying-wing Boeing passenger airliner
the “Inconvenient Truth” trailer

I think it’s terrible. I expect to wholeheartedly agree with the movie’s point, but the trailer seems disingenuous, tawdry, and annoying. I hope they know what they’re doing.


Via Platypus, noted lover of animals.

huge corporations ask for carbon emission limits

Via Julieclipse.

live Markdown
mathy Haskell evangelism
a “Garfield” randomizer
Eos Airlines: luxury flights between New York and London, and nothing else

From Anthony Lane’s article in the current “New Yorker”, in which he points out that Ryanair is practically free.

an animated year of Blue Marble images
benefits of quitting Lemonodor


The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
the Zompist’s la-la schemes for messing with the US
John Gruber starts Daring Fireball full-time
a freely queryable geography database
the making of the THX logo sound
Won-Ldy Paye

A very, very good drummer and storyteller. He came to the island school about ten years ago as a visiting artist. “Ldy” is pronounced “day”.

real cider v. the FDA
Al Hurra

US propaganda.

the Washington quarter candidates

One insipid hash of iconography.

One so-so salmon and Rainier.

One striking, detailed, and generally awesome whale.

Washingtonians, do your duty and vote 3.

a Greenpeace founder on nuclear power
how to teach binary by call and response
I do not understand Japan
Pigs in Space: The Early Years

They’re a-lookin' for gravity waves. I was on a Reed Reactor field trip at the Hanford observatory in January 2003, and it was awesome.

cameras made out of film
commercialized exhaust-cleaning, fuel-producing algae

So far it’s only fairly efficient and takes a lot of space.

the first Boards of Canada music video

Maybe only appealing to fans and already-potential fans. Take the “iPod/iTunes” version.

Unosat: satellite imagery for all
almost indistinguishable from Slashdot
evolution v. the Eddas

I’ve long wanted to do something a little like this per-user with system software instead of multi-user on the web.

Magnum photos chosen daily by “Slate”

I missed this somehow. I hope you like high dynamic range, film grain, and excellent composition.

the detail in 5x7 Velvia
German graffiti machine-translated into English

Laugh along with witticisms like “sour makes merrily for – our forest laughs itself dead” and “everything borrows. Also my heart pumps.”

all about Gough Whitlam’s dismissal

Did you know that he remains the only Australian Prime Minister to be dismissed? That “when Senator Lionel Murphy resigned his NSW Senate seat in January 1975 to take up his appointment as a judge of the High Court of Australia, the Liberal State government of Premier Tom Lewis refused to replace him with a Labor nominee”?

female soldiers from around the world

I was trying to re-find this when I found the IDF pictures the other day, lest you think I regularly Google such things out of the blue (women “fully clothed” (gun or tank)). Anyway, this is easily in the dozen most surreal pages I’ve seen in my many years on the web.

Brent Stirton’s photography

Punchy and undercaptioned.

how to report on climate change
“Don’t worry, Steve, I still remember regions.”

This was told to me, almost sentence-for-sentence, by someone who died before this version was written. Folklore indeed.

when can I visit Madagascar?
Europe has a pretend financial disaster

The astute reader will recall that the US, in sum and in part, is deep in the red.

cod-seining off the Orkneys in 1963

Many fascinating similar series are linked in the comments etc.

how GE makes jet engines

Fawning and management-oriented but good.

glaring problems with the so-called theory of evolution
Hersh on the US’s plans for Iran

“One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One target is Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran.”

What a terrible idea.

it’s under “gullible”
the EU defends a font

Fonts are one of very few things I wish courts were stricter to protect as intellectual property; this might take us in the right direction. The precedent in the US is basically that fonts are trivial and no amount of similarity constitutes infringement.

System 7 in Flash
the PNW accent
Eemadges: “an editable collection of beautiful descriptions”

Cool, but they should stop justifying the text right away.

“Property, Intellectual Property, and Free Riding”

Via Bodger.


Or “Plan 9 from User Space” – some of the Plan 9 operating system’s tools ready to run on other platforms. It’s installing as I type.

“Death to User-Generated Content”

Right on. (I feel similarly about the verb “author”.)

a very simple game – play until it’s true

See also its sibling.

a gallery of data visualization

Many of the examples should be familiar to readers of Tufte and Huff.

Peter Max Art Online

I can’t stand this stuff. Not even ironically.

Uncyclopedia on optical illusions
“Mystery Me”

Photos, mostly of water and night. Exceptionally graceful sharpening and color balancing.

a jolly cyborg
150 extra engineers

Via Lemonodor.

sub-pixel photon position detection
“Concrete Mathematics”

So far (not very far) so good.

photos from Crete
“My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” 2006

Remastered with new tracks and relicensed; remixing starts 11 April. This is my third draft trying to explain what the album sounds like and why it’s so great – never mind. Just go listen.

“A visual database of Canadian culture”

The Canadian national pastime is insisting that Canada has a wonderful and distinct culture. The thing is, it does, so the insistence is hilarious to an outsider.

Split The Money

By people I know. Crazy, crazy people.

the origin of “Spacewar!”

You can find emulators and applets around the web.

Paul Cooijmans’s “Test for Genius”
Heidegger explains his relationship with the Nazis
home-cultured meat is getting closer


stream levels in the Lower 48
“Photographs that lie”

“Already there are a half-dozen computer software programs on the market, such as Digital Darkroom, which allow the user to ‘edit’ photographs digitally. The technology is still in its infancy, but the picture-altering capabilities of the million-dollar Scitex is fast moving into the hands of anyone who owns an $8,000 personal computer. … And then there is the digital camera, a sort of hand-held freeze-frame video camera that should be a hot seller in the 1990s.”

coherent, popularized refutations of ACC-denial talking points

Well suited to tossing at people in ugly global warming flamewars.

James “Yes, Yes, the Gaia Guy” Lovelock on nuclear power
Gartner’s Hype Cycles

Funny what I forget to post here.


A 97,280-byte FPS.

vivid Homeric paintings on a c. 500 BCE coffin
Rowan Williams remains comfortingly sane

“I think creationism is … a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories … if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there’s just been a jarring of categories … My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it”

the Digital Baidarka
a barbie after Cyclone Larry

At landfall, Larry was the size of Katrina. No deaths reported yet.


A prospective operating system. Where many OS doodlers are asking “how do we make people do things right?”, they’re asking “how do we do things right?”. Reminds me a bit of Plan 9.

“A Polite Winter”
common-sense patent reform ideas
Oury & Thomas’s “Overtime”

Via my brother.

some Canoma movies
the funeral of Brett Lundstrom of Kyle, South Dakota, killed in Fallujah
why people like sailing
property law should not apply directly to medical ideas

Don’t believe anything else this guy says.

wholesale Ireland

“In 1995, the Irish government saw potential in international ‘Irish’ revelry. They reinvented the holiday at home to kick-start the tourist season. Now thousands of partiers head to Ireland for the ‘St. Patrick’s Day Season’ as Guinness has called this time of year. (It used to be called ‘March’ or, for Irish Catholics, ‘Lent.’)”


the Markia Shchakim’s landing

For $3e7, it had better fly on one wing.

photography around airports

If you aren’t violating reasonable standards of privacy, it’s about as legal as looking around – i.e., it’s just another public place. Security employees on the ground would do well to consider (a) that photography has never been integral to any act of terrorism and (b) that amateur photography has often been indispensable in crime and disaster investigations.

gray chunks
Richard Avedon’s “Democracy”

Photos during the 2004 campaigns. He died while working on this project.

Rachel Papo’s photos of women in the IDF
The Long Now’s projects
Caruso for free

“[The phonograph’s] first great star was an operatic tenor, Enrico Caruso, whose voice remains one of the most transfixing phenomena in the history of the medium. The ping in his tone, that golden bark, penetrated the haze of the early technology and made the man himself viscerally present.” – Alex Ross.

William Orbit

New album just out.

views of the Collatz fractal

See the obvious place for background.

transcripts of Newman and Baddiel’s “History Today”

The delivery is terrific; unfortunately the video is missing. Tell me if you find it anywhere.

“Literally, A Web Log”
Casio watches as evidence of violent intent
“Two Special Lenses for Barry Lyndon”

If Stanley Kubrick asks you to mount an f/0.7 Zeiss lens made for NASA, you do so.

what perpetual copyright means to Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Diverse comments.

arithmetic v. domestic spying
“Ha Ha Ha America”
a glossy information market

C’mon – let’s smooth those graphs out a bit.

possibly the very best way to avoid filling out your census

“The good Laird was yesterday declared ‘legally dead’ at 11.55am by his medical entourage of Dr Freeze, Dr Snakes, Dr Beere, Dr Weeds and Dr Qualified, who mixed the science of cryogenics with the dark arts of shamanism in Garden Place.”

“Beginnings” by Sylvia Bokor

“From top to bottom: Ayn Rand, Aristotle, an Ancient Egyptian scribe writing on a piece of papyrus; prehistoric artist, painting, Neanderthal shaping a rock with another rock, Homo Erectus, discovering fire.”

“Growing a Language” by GLS

Best. Gimmick. Evar.

no one seems to know what some cameras are doing in Guam’s airport

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

postmodern statistics
“Tour De Babel”

“This is my whirlwind languages tour – the one I was going to write for the Amazon Developers Journal this month, but couldn’t find a way to do it that was… presentable.”

Typewriter Keyboard

“You miss your old typewriter? You want your Macintosh to play typewriter sounds when you press the keys of your keyboard? You even want your keyboard to play your own sounds? Then Typewriter Keyboard is what you need!”

the Turkey City Lexicon
“Spore” demo

Will Wright’s newest game. Google Video also has a shorter version with just the on-screen stuff, but the introduction is excellent.

a regular-expression as finite-state automaton visualization
a 1994 interview with Will Wright

“I’d really like to work toward a grammar for complex systems and present someone with tools for designing complex things. I have in mind a game I want to call ‘Doll House’. It gives grown-ups some tools to design what is basically a doll house. But a doll house for adults may not be very marketable.”

“Reactome: a curated knowledgebase of biological pathways”

Via Platypus.

Neal Stephenson’s 2004 Slashdot interview

Somehow I missed this. Why’s he gotta be so cool?

North Bay Forge

Jim Wester is one of the few blacksmiths still making fine tools (and one of the few still innovating). I got to learn the basics from him for a few months. He’s a great guy all around – just don’t get him talking about boats.

a collection of physics applets

Mostly waves.

Phase One’s P 45 digital back

If a dollar bought you a thousand pixels, how many would you get?

a legal edge case
United Flight 173 crash

In 1978, a DC-8-61 crashed near Portland when it ran out of fuel because the crew was distracted by a landing gear problem. An excellent case study in emergency management.

the accents of English-speakers from all over

So many of them sound pretty.

a movie by cell phone

Possibly my very favorite Icelandic string quartet. Back in the day, they opened for Sigur Rós.

aspect marking in AAVE
“Five Reasons to get Cancer”
a cheap hydrophobic plastic

Honey rolls right off.

Rangitoto Island

Oceania is great in Google Earth.

contact lenses that deliberately filter
Swindon’s Magic Roundabout
Malcolm Gladwell’s blog

He’s very good but very popular. I will follow this closely but I fear it will get fluffy.

a chilling Mac virus … or is it?!

Via Anarchaia.

phrases censored on the net in China

Listed without the obscenities, of course.

“The Quaker Economist”
Slashdot comment on the scariness of nuclear waste

Right on. Sticking your poison in a barrel is better than putting it out of sight and having it end up in your lungs. Radioactivity is not Magic Evil.

how Zeiss makes lenses

Proportional to the size and number of the products, this must be one of the most delicate manufacturing processes out there.

chickens with teeth
a gestural keyboard for PowerBooks

For a quarter the price, I’d so get one.


Plenty of institutions that should know better seem to think that “www.” instead of “http:” means “it’s on the web”.

“How to Think Like a Computer Scientist”

“The single most important skill for a computer scientist is problem solving. Problem solving means the ability to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and accurately.”

the Texas City disaster
a home-made 80mm tilt-shift lens
Sikhi to the Max
Coast Salish gambling music
The Real Tuesday Weld’s videos

Time not spent watching “Bathtime in Clerkenwell” is time wasted.


Text input without speech or a keyboard.

an exceptionally fine Sbemail

Maybe you have to know the characters. I dunno.

Via Platypus.

3D projection with plasma flashes
images as music
“The Daily Show” v. social networking online
develop your lateral thinking
“The House on 35th Street”

A reconstruction of Nero Wolfe’s house. Tricky, because it – like he – was fictional.

“Here Lies Love”

An opera about Imelda Marcos by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. It was only a matter of time.

a “Dysfunctional Family Circus” archive

Do not read these if offensive things offend you. It’s essentially a filthy-humor contest.

Shaker esthetics
“There’s something about a Greyhound”

Via Grow-a-Brain, like most good things.

from “Turin” to “Torino”
Errol Morris

His writing is pretty good, but his ads and documentaries are outstanding.

truly groundbreaking advertising ideas
how to win every “New Yorker” cartoon caption contest
Photoshop’s anti-counterfeiting system
taking the IR cut filter out of a 350D

They do some nice stuff all around.

2005 World Press photo awards
Norman Koren’s pictures of India
he likes squirrels, he says
pretty animation of fluids

A little electrical system to keep table saws from removing too many fingers. Spiffy videos.

killer whales (or orcas, whichever) bait seagulls with fish

It seems significant to me that they’re luring the gulls with fish which they could otherwise eat; i.e., they aren’t just using a (para-)tool, they’re also giving up a lesser resource for a greater. But IANAWB.

Hofstadter’s “Person Paper on Purity in Language”
entertaining speculation on ET life

Pretty, but with a lousy interface.

visualization of tick-tack-toe world lines
heavy weather in the PNW

A foot of rain in January, and now a big storm. I blame it on La Niña.

a dry clothes-washer

I’d like to see this combined with ultrasound.

H.R. 683

Trademark law looks to be getting even uglier.

chaos-game visualizations of texts
the best image interpolator I’ve seen yet

Good demos.

money for human lives

They made a profit of about $36,130,000,000 in 2005, the largest of any publicly-traded corporation ever. They are not universally loved.

a novel method for the removal of ear cerumen
terrible, terrible sentences
an atmospheric vortex engine

Like a solar tower without the tower.

amateur satellite trackers

“‘It’s not an encouraging data point that these dudes could find the damn thing,’ observes the University of Maryland’s Lewis.”

how to draw “Copper”

Via my brother.

the Apollo Guidance Computer
“A Jolly, Socratic Science”

Decode the ugly orange bar code on USPSed envelopes.

“Beautiful China”

I’m a sucker for a terrace.

the Terminator Tether
grass for saltwater-irrigated golf courses
intuitive ethics applied to the legality of torture
self-defense with a cane
Hixie v. HTML parsers
a breakdown of model touchup art

Of great interest, and rightly so, to the “Vogue”-reading teenage girls here.

Drew Weing’s comics and illustration

Via my brother.

great buildings
an ASCII Mandelbrot set

(I’m still alive. I just spend most of my time online with Google Earth. Expect the usual posting rate to resume within two weeks.)

“The Perils of JavaSchools”

Spolsky compares recursion and pointers to Latin and Greek. “CS is proofs (recursion), algorithms (recursion), languages (lambda calculus), operating systems (pointers), compilers (lambda calculus) – and so the bottom line is that a JavaSchool that won’t teach C and won’t teach Scheme is not really teaching computer science, either.”

“Where the Wild Things Are”: the movie

“‘They call, they write, they send postcards, they show me script changes, they send me pornographic pictures and models of the monsters,’ Mr. Sendak said. ‘They’re very attentive. They make me useful to them.’”

“The Future is Knobs”
“Manifesto on [Jonathan Rees]’s Next Language”
“The Design of the Connection Machine”

I have the CM in a bag with Plan9 and HyperCard. Sniffle. I’ll miss you guys.

You know, my birthday’s coming up, and those hypercube shirts are hot.

godless linguistics

“Our public schools have turned away from the source of Truth, to teach our children that our sacred English language has descended from other languages. The poor impressionable youngsters are taught AS A FACT that English words have certain ‘root words’, even though this is only a theory. The FACT is, God Almighty created all languages complete when he confused mankind’s original language as punishment for our transgression at the tower of Babel.”

the black spot for graphic designers
here comes a leap second

See UTS for a prospective amelioration.

slow Iff for a while

I won’t have a steady supply of intarwebs for a few weeks, so Iff will be semi-dormant. If you just can’t get enough, browse the complete archives and make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Haskell thinks it’s funny
spirals where you might not expect them
Moving to New Zealand: A Personal Journey

Watch Hanan emigrate!

Google Videos of parkour
“Why conservatives hate MP3 players”

“The snow was falling down. I pressed the button, and suddenly we were floating. It was an incredible feeling, to realize that I now had the means to multiply the aesthetic potential of any situation.”

Marshall McLuhan and Glenn Gould are still worrying people.

pictures by Brazilian kids

“The main logistical trick, should you ever want to do this yourself, is to take a picture of the recipient with the camera before giving it to him. Then, after the roll is developed, you’ll know which prints belong to which person.”


A promisingly nimble-looking text editor for OS X. €39, though.

the best camera raw format utility

Raw workflows are expensive or laborious, but less so with dcraw.

Lots of cameras can, in theory, write DNGs. Lots of image editors can, in theory, read DNGs. The gap is made of greed: deliberately bad co-operation, planned obsolescence, and “integrated marketing strategies”.


For free!

Via Platypus.

how to ruin a game

“We really just needed to make the game a lot more accessible to a much broader player base … There was lots of reading, much too much, in the game. There was a lot of wandering around learning about different abilities…. We wanted more instant gratification: kill, get treasure, repeat. We needed to give people more of an option to be part of what they have seen in the movies rather than something they had created themselves.”

Muppet chess
“approximation, and some of the fun it enables”
you know you’re sleepy when
“Capturing the Unicorn”

Digitally splicing a sliced-up tapestry can be really tricky even if you’re a world-class nerd with two bodies.

“The lights were dim. The walls are concrete and painted white. The brothers project images on the walls, and they also use the walls as a whiteboard to perform calculations with erasable markers. The walls were covered with scribbles – work in progress. Most of the floor consisted of a vast digital image, in color, showing a hundred and fifteen different equations arranged in a vast spiral that breaks up into waves near the walls – a whirlpool of mathematics.”

Greenglass and Rosenberg, so it is said, used nothing more than a ripped Jell-O™ box top as a token. It’s neat how easily verifiable yet difficult to reproduce (or nondestructively manipulate) a small broken object can be.

Via Robert.

a pseudo-overhead view of current flow

A day of photos of the water squished back into an orthogonal map.

Dig the distortion shadow apparently cast by the exhaust of the boat at about 9:20:06.

the dolchstosslegende

Draw your own comparisons.

sharpen your Jewdar
Malcolm Gladwell on opinion, bias, and disclosure of interest
a comprehensive library of defense against libertarianism
“Honor After the Fall”
Japanese smileys

My, what a fine culture they have.

the Self-Modifying Indecent Turing Hack

I have seen a lot of esoteric programming languages, but this is exceptional for sheer elegance of inelegance.

Boundary Pass bathymetry
a MetaFilter thread on (how to prevent) election fraud

Like most people with a clue about computers, I have much less trust in Diebold than in the good old-fashioned Oregon vote-by-mail system.

how the Microsoft “Live” platform fits together

A triumph of graphic design.

“Deductive and Inductive Science: Reflections, Memories, & Open Problems”
hard times for a cargo cult

“In the past we believed in John Frum but now we believe in Jesus.”

Scalia on golf and the Constitution
The Elemenstor Saga

Nerd self-parody.

a film v. digital comparison

I don’t agree with everything he says and implies, but he’s taking a much saner approach than most.

“sometimes the corrections are even better than the articles themselves”
the British Library’s Renaissance Festival Books
the Burrows-Wheeler transform paper

Well written. This is the preparation algorithm that makes bzip2 so strong.

“Briefly, our algorithm transforms a string S of N characters by forming the N rotations (cyclic shifts) of S, sorting them lexicographically, and extracting the last character of each of the rotations. A string L is formed from these characters, where the ith character of L is the last character of the ith sorted rotation. In addition to L, the algorithm computes the index I of the original string S in the sorted list of rotations. Surprisingly, there is an efficient algorithm to compute the original string S given only L and I.”

“Mathematical Illustrations: A Manual of Geometry and PostScript”

See also the Red Book, the Blue Book, and “Thinking in PostScript”.

string art
how the Eniac took a square root
Zhang Chongren

Ever wonder why “The Blue Lotus” and “Tintin in Tibet” were the best ones?

the Okanogan Barter Fair

Man, speaking of stuff I’d forgotten. Mom took my brother and sister and me to one of these – in 1998? – and it was amusing but unpleasant.

“Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years”

I’ve been remembering a lot of stuff I’m surprised I hadn’t put here before.

“An Evaluation of Federal Tax Policy Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics”

“Using sources that include leading Evangelical and other Protestant scholars, Papal Encyclicals and Jewish scholars, I prove that tax policy structures meeting the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics must raise adequate revenues that not only cover the needs of the minimum state but also ensure that all citizens have a reasonable opportunity to reach their potential.”

a self-printing lisp interpreter for the IOCCC
wake-vortex hazard
the Red Cross is the Red Crystal too
so-so text-to-speech

Try a mismatched language and text for a ridiculous accent.

the best catalog reading ever

That’s Blixa Bargeld … you know, from Einstürzende Neubauten.

“Making Light” on the Great War
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff v. the Secretary of Defense re torture
what not to crochet
a wood-burning refrigerator

Via Ryland.

“‘The Elements of Typographic Style’ Applied to the Web”

I don’t like the idea and I don’t like the site so far, but someday it may get interesting.

“Put it in the Syntax”

Programming language design musing.

make your own ambient sound mixes
how to be a programmer
scheme fortune cookies

“In a profession plagued by, ‘when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,’ we get really excited when someone is able to come along and prove that everything really is a nail if lambda is the hammer.”

The Avalanches’ rightly famous “Frontier Psychiatrist” video
Gentle Sea photoblog

Via Bodger.

Inside TriMet
“The Cyclotron Comes to the 'Hood”

Ooo, oo, IMBY, please!

“The Rest Is Noise”

Woo! Alex Ross!

“I’ll repeat my outré contention that classical music, for all its elite trappings, is actually a radical, disruptive force in American culture, whereas most popular culture, for all its rebellious trappings, is intensely conservative.”

mysterious people
“Ekofisk: the experience”

See, for example, “Rapport fra Nordsjøen i storm” for more cool pictures of Ekofisk.

a 1.5e7 candlepower consumer flashlight for $30

And why not?

The Theory of Concatenative Combinators
Bembo’s handwriting
sketches for “The Iron Giant”

Via my brother.

Unicode and UTF-8 for Linux
Adobe’s glyph names for Unicode and OpenType
an amusingly well-done map of Azeroth

Azeroth is the the World of Warcraft landscape.

Via Wheel.

metal Bembo

Via Grow-a-Brain.

an unexpected ligature
Why do Americans fear nuclear power?
number spirals

I wish he’d give the source in postscript.

Unix in ECMAScript
“Blood, Dirt, and Nomograms: A Particular History of Graphs”
excerpts from Bill Clinton’s autobiography translated back from Chinese

“During my second term as governor, Arkansas made a great effort to attract new, advanced technology. Although I was in the smallest and poorest state in America, I was concerned about the entire world. I paid close attention to China’s reforms, and deeply admired Chief Architect Deng Xiaoping’s statements about science and technology.”

a panorama of Vancouver BC at dusk

The lights on the ski resort about halfway along can be seen on moderately clear nights from the beach near my family’s house, fifty miles away by water.

an account of photo colorization algorithms
“The Mayor of Ar Rutbah”

“Amid the chaos in Iraq, one company of U.S. Special Forces achieved what others have not: a functioning democracy. How? By relying on common sense, the trust of Iraqis, and recollections from Political Science 101.”

analysis of the World Color Survey
a “War of the Worlds” comic online
a JavaScript vector image library
a reasonable overview of the moon illusion
Excerpts of “Mr Bunny’s Big Cup o’ Java”
Ken Thompson’s “Reflections on Trusting Trust”

“You can’t trust code that you did not totally create yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people like me.)”

the Acid2 browser test

My browser passes completely. Does yours?

Richard Rorty’s homepage
“Paul Graham is Wrong”

“For too long, Paul Graham has gotten a free ride by saying things that disagree with people’s prejudices in an informative and entertaining manner.”

why smart people defend bad ideas
Russian jokes
wave-powered desalination

Via Julieclipse.

MPT’s ultimate weblogging system outline
Mark Ebner’s “Spy” article on Scientology
pictures of Wisconsin
Adam Gopnik on C. S. Lewis
Kosan and his eagle

Photograph by David Edwards.

(Sorry for the Iff hiatus. It was for the best reasons.)

The Ministry of Unknown Science

Funny offensive sketch comedy. Caution: offensive.

how WGS 84 defines the Earth
an investigation of X-Stream
the Sorted! programming language
recent sea level rise
make microloans almost directly to Africa

I don’t know whether Kiva in particular is trustworthy, but I endorse its stated idea. It’s nice to see microcredit getting more popular here.

“Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” by Mark Twain

One of the finest flames of all time.

a huge Indian corporation that doesn’t seem to suck much
Richard Rorty on literature

When did we start switching titles and subtitles?

“True Names” by Vernor Vinge

Complete with the astonishingly campy old illustrations.

make Unicode do things it wasn’t meant to do
a draft of a new Japanese constitution

“The Liberal Democratic Party’s final draft cuts the ‘no war’ clause from Article 9, and outlines an expanded role for the military.”

mapping toponymy

Via Ari.

a big thread of spoilers

You probably shouldn’t read it.

Clever Drosophila gene names

Via Platypus.

Frank Miller’s photos

Not the “Sin City” Frank Miller. I think.

“Style is Substance”

"For example, I want the next C grammar to define that a space comes between any keyword and an opening parenthesis. “if (foo)” would be legal, but “if(foo)” would not. Not a warning, not optionally checked, but actually forbidden by the language parser."

Creating Obsolescence-Resistant Software Interfaces
Universal Decimal Classification

“The Universal Decimal Classification is a system of library classification developed by the Belgian bibliographers Paul Otlet and Henri la Fontaine at the end of the 19th century. It is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification, but is much more powerful.”

Sim Daltonism

Pretend you’re colorblind. Via Bodger.

2000 US military deaths in Iraq

Overall, according to estimates published in “The Lancet”, about as many people have died because of this war as there are living in Peoria, or working for Microsoft, or were killed by Krakatoa in the 1883 eruption – or words in most novels, or hairs on your head.

“V for Vendetta” trailer

This might actually do justice to the original by keeping the politics and mind games central instead of making it an action flick. (The trailers are in the new H.264 codec, which you’ll probably want QuickTime 7 or VLC to play.)

editorial cartoons in bulk

Certain images sure do catch on. For instance, apparently it’s hilarious or insightful to point out that kids aren’t watching teevee when they’re reading “Harry Potter” (reviewed here by Harold Bloom), or that Mr Bush’s position in re criticism for inaction during the New Orleans flooding is comparable to the position of New Orleans residents in re the actual floodwater. Haw haw!

jet stream maps
right-wing cartoons

And I thought “Mallard Filmore” was nuts.


A black-and-white film about an incubus. With William Shatner. In Esperanto.

Any true friend with a copy will immediately let me see this. Heck, I may buy it.

Via my brother.

“Nunavut’s Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit group gets started”

See also “What is Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit?”.

the Dorset Culture
“Arguments we think creationists should NOT use”
a primitive cultural map of the US by major city

A good idea but not ambitious enough. More interesting questions might well make it more popular.

hand painting
the J programming languge demonstrated

J’s a descendent of APL, the one famous for funny characters. Dig Cliff Reiter’s thorough game of life.

the British Council’s art collection
The Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property

A good phrasing of the obvious.

interruptions at work

Via Boing Boing.

a redundant clock

Via Grow-a-Brain.

“The Color Red and Food”
Ten Toe Percussion video samples

Finally, a creepy database of everything you do that isn’t from the government. Via Bodger.

“Arc: A New Dialect of Lisp” audio

Paul Graham’s talk from the “Arc at 3 Weeks” notes. There’s nothing like a room full of gleeful nerds. (His voice is like a cross between Glowing Fish’s and Garth Elgar’s.)

An Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Winodanugai

“We can also see the effects of this plethora of vowels (936 vowels, each able to bear one of 65317 logically possible tones, giving over 61 million possible vowels (with tone)) on the morphology of Winodanugaian.”

six degrees of Wikipedia
“Statement on Occasion of Receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize 2005”
many two things
Wikipedia’s coffee article
a shirt asking for kerning
the quine page
“R.U.R.” in Esperanto

Translated from Czech. Famous for popularizing “robot”.

The Sound of Ancient Greek

Via Metafilter. It’s nice to hear the tones done confidently, but I think we can assume that the rather fey timbre is a personal feature.

earthquakes v. drunkenness
Puritan names

You can call me Wrestling Fly-debate.

“Escanaba in da Moonlight”
a biography of Comenius
Lillypond’s approach to music typography

Via Bodger.

Oscar Wilde’s fairy tails

Via Wavelet.

the biohazard symbol

“Charles Baldwin, a retired environmental-health engineer, explains his role in developing the biohazard symbol, which is now showing up everywhere.”

the Truck Driver’s Gear Change Hall Of Shame
an artifact of Odysseus’ (maybe, possibly, it would be cool if)
airfoils and airflow

Most elementary-school textbooks are just plain wrong about how wings work.

The New Varangian Guard

The originals were Norse mercenaries.

atmospheric gravity waves
“The last century: What the heck was that?”
Peanut, the camera van

Via Bodger.

leading church bodies in the US
M. Douglas McIlroy

Inventor of the Unix pipe, among other things.

OKGO’s “Million Ways”

Via Jauss and Grow-a-Brain.

numbers stations
Glenn Gould Interviews Glenn Gould about Glenn Gould

This is where iPods come from.

jouissance v. plaisir
a strange explosion over Siberia in 2002
Brandon Bird

Previously featured for his Christmas letters to Christopher Walken.

Errol Morris interviewed

“Fog of War” was very good.

the precautionary principle

How should you act before you know how to act?

everything Merlin knows about digital photography
The Greatest Album Covers That Never Were
Erik Spiekermann’s site
lots of acronyms
English idioms and set phrases from Wikipedia
Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days
a dylan wiki

Dylan was going to run the Apple Newton. It’s often described as a lisp-like language with C-like syntax.

an interview with Hans Reiser
expensive pinhole cameras

“When the atchange program is running, it watches one or more files. When any of those files changes, the atchange program will wake up and do any actions you want.”

Pax et bonum! Kapayapaan at kabutihan!
the optimal coin set problem

Bodger, Noam, and I were discussing this; Noam found the account given here.

The Tree of Life Web Project

“information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their evolutionary history (phylogeny), and characteristics.”

Via Bodger.

“The case against rebuilding the sunken city of New Orleans”
Louis Menand on “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”
Daring Fireball on iTunes 5

I’m with Steve.

“Inversions spectral and bright”
graphs of code commits per unit time
“A hurricane expert explains the climate-change connection”

Via Julieclipse.


Owner of Ben and Jerry’s, Dove, Axe, Lipton, et cetera.

Charles Taylor, ex-president of Liberia

Elected with a campaign song including the line “he killed my ma, he killed my pa, I’ll vote for him”.

how loud are very loud things?
Metafilter thread on surprisingly candid coverage of Katrina

Long but with lots of interesting links. VLC is the easiest open-source way to play WMV movies.

international comments on Katrina relief

The Red Cross can always use a donation, although apparently they can’t put it to use directly.

mathematical Lego sculptures
the Lituya Bay wave
a graph of gas prices

“The following plot shows how much I paid for each gallon of gas I bought over the past 26 years or so.”

Mike Fay’s “Megaflyover”

An aerial photo every 20 seconds for 60,000 miles. In Flash.

Fractal Theory of Canada
Redux Pictures
“The Onion”’s redesign
practice Dvorak typing
Elsa Dorfman takes 20" x 24" Polaroids

“Because they were well disguised, some have even suggested Matsuo Basho, a traveling poet, was actually a ninja employed by the shogun to keep a watch over daimyo, and that haiku he published were really secret codes telling other ninja some unknown secrets. This is a view dismissed by almost all historians.”

Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry
they fight crime!
news script cliches
the Post correspondence problem

See also Wang tiles and the rule 110 CA.

one way to put a grid on Europe
Canon EOS 350D (Rebel XT) IMATEST Results
fractal image coding demo
Processing 1.0

“Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and sound.”

a compression function c such that c(c(data)) = data

A respectable CMS – if you need a quick website, give it a whirl. I would favor it over Movable Type.

G. K. Chesterton’s Works on the Web
The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe
finding the exact time of a famous undated photograph

Via Bodger. Those astronomers are a clever bunch.

parody proofs of deity

136 is the last word on the matter, really. The rest were superfluous.

“How it is that we have come to invade Iraq”

“Previously titled: Why We Are Invading Afghanistan”.

Bert’s Coin Shrinking and Can Crushing Gallery
Get-a-map (UK)
Portland Opera will produce “Nixon in China” this spring
the Universal Postal Union

See also the Wikipedia article.

The Lyttle Lytton Contest
Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s aerial photography
art of the Spinifex People
The Right to Development as a Human Right

Barsh is an interesting man but probably sane.

Tui Tui

I have some cancelled stamps, thanks to my dear mother.


The USSR’s homage to the Space Shuttle.

The Best Meal in Beijing
goofing off on high steel
photo.net’s most popular recent photos
Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

Via Slashdot.

“Chainsaw hurled a chair at his human-resources chief, the very man who approved the handgun and bulletproof vest on his expense report.”

Rama’s Bridge
why are go algorithms hard to code?
Bombippy Photos
escapes, some failed, from Colditz Castle
33096 English nouns arranged by meaning

In Java. From Metafilter.

Wiktionary in Anglo-Saxon
a koan of lazy evaluation
“The Sun” on Dr Bronner’s soap
a glossary of Hindustani, Urdu, and Hindi words in Kipling’s works
slang from the Great War
things grant believes
bird-dropping spiders
Paul Debevec’s graphics

Splendid. Dig, just for example, the image-based lighting.

quick guide to light units
paintings of robots

Via Platypus.

mathy art
Plastic People of the Universe
Best Ads On TV

Via Grow-a-Brain.

Jacob Magraw-Mickelson
Weebl and Bob

Via Wavelet.

an autistic expert on livestock behavior

“Whereas most humans are good at viewing the ‘big picture’ of their surroundings, autistic people, Grandin believes, tend to be much more sensitive to the details. This hypersensitivity led her to notice things that have evidently been traumatising animals for centuries in human-imposed environments but that other experts had missed.”

“Balancing Point”

Balanced rocks and reversed time.

East German Olympic judges

“It is our distinct pleasure to bring to you a web page dedicated to those individuals who for so many years signified the highest standards in ideologically-based Olympic event judging.”

“Free-range Education”

An article in The Oregonian about Not Back to School Camp (no, I’m not linking to the redesigned site, guys). Sol Neelman’s photos were rightly celebrated; eventually I’ll find my pictures of him taking them.

“Private Lives”

A reporter describes the reaction to his presence on a small island lately disturbed by a drug bust.

I grew up on that island (and met the reporter); David Loyd is my father. I find the article interesting mostly for its honest but distinct bias – or, if you prefer, selectivity. Some of the stories recounted as such are not true and most of the people described seem like caricatures, but I think this is to be expected; on the whole the article reassures me about papers’ reliability.

“Shoot someone? Not Smith & Wesson’s fault. Copy a movie? Grokster’s fault”
the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme

“The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public.”

A Futurama Math Conversation with David X Cohen
a brief review of the Solitude Trilogy

The best radio I’ve heard technically and as commentary. You can find the CD set at many libraries. “The Idea of North” is the best explanation I know of the direction that urban culture lacks.

Long Haul Productions’ American Worker series

Strange little arachnids – one of the things called daddy longlegs.

Vitamin C
the Coq proof assistant
Gray code

A binary encoding of numbers such that n and n+1 differ in only one place.

Smalltalk for Lispers
“Collapsed Ice Shelf Exposes Life”

“An expansive ecosystem of knee-high mud volcanoes, snowy microbial mats and flourishing clam communities lies beneath the collapsed Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica, say researchers.”

the Vela Incident
Guernsey from the air
paintings from kids’ drawings
Strange Attractors and TCP/IP Sequence Number Analysis: One Year Later
information asthetics
new SpinnWebe comic
songs from ST:TNG sound clips
Just kept talking….

Flash. Via Grow-a-Brain.

Penguin Remixed

I’ve respected Penguin less lately, but this seems clever.

R.I.P. Films

Many examples of the mid-20th-century’s Byzanto-Victorian glory.

Keith Horne’s astronomy links

A college friend of my parents.

RAND’s quality standards
“Cryptographic hash functions based on Artificial Life”

By M. Bedau, R. Crandall, and M. Raven.

Mark Bedau

He subbed in a class I took once and gave the impression of being (a) brilliant and (b) a caricature of a suave Mafia boss, accent and everything. Dig his research.

Thomas Pynchon’s “Is it OK to be a Luddite?”
The Everett Interpretation FAQ

“This FAQ shows how quantum paradoxes are resolved by the ‘many-worlds’ interpretation or metatheory of quantum mechanics. This FAQ does not seek to prove that the many-worlds interpretation is the ‘correct’ quantum metatheory, merely to correct some of the common errors and misinformation on the subject floating around.”


“PostGIS adds support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL object-relational database.”

strange compound bow designs
The Nocturnes: night photography workshops, exhibits, and resources
“Psyche”, a journal of entomology
a smart cat door
a map of the Coalition of the Willing’s fatalaties in Iraq

In Flash.

Bullfrog County, Nevada
“How modern life emerged from eighteenth-century Edinburgh.”

Hume’s all over suddenly.

Wilkins’ Real Character

With facsimiles of the fairly well-designed original. (The Real Character comes up in the beginning of the Baroque Cycle.)

almost integers

eπ − π = 20. Almost.

Olin Shivers
“Boldly bringing Monopoly forward into the 1960s”

A nerd joke – it refers to this kind of race, not skin color.

National Fire Maps
Rob Pike’s “Notes on Programming in C”

He actually means just notes; it’s not a modest title for a whole book. Most of the ideas apply to all languages. Rule 5 – data structures over code structures – is particularly useful.

If you look for what makes Unix good, you keep finding Pike’s tracks. He co-invented Plan9 (a sort of meta-Unix) and UTF-8 (the least bad character encoding).

one of the best writers I’ve ever read
All Ibsen’s works free on the net
terra preta

Exceptionally fertile Amazonian dirt.

“A Man A Plan A Canal Panama”

Pretty pictures.

Bush wants more nuclear power

I agree. Modern nuclear plants are extremely safe and efficient. Yes, we don’t have a good place to put the toxic waste, but we don’t have a good place to put any toxic waste; it sure beats coal. I think “in Yucca Mountain” is a better idea than “in the air”.

Furthermore, the governor of California wants solar panels on roofs: “A battery of industry, environment, public-interest, and religious groups have thrown their weight behind the legislation, ranging from Shell Oil to the American Lung Association to a statewide coalition of nearly 300 churches. Robert Redford, Edward Norton, and other celebrity greens are also enthusiastically endorsing the effort.”

If political necessity is making Republicans environmentally responsible, I, well, I just don’t know what to think.

Via Julieclipse.

slime mold movies
Bill Atkinson just keeps getting cooler
“A Mathematician’s Apology” by G. H. Hardy

(PDF.) In the public domain in Canada. It’s lopsided and wordy but a good read.

Making Light’s review of Godwinning the War on Terror
a newfound poem of Sappho
the definitive website on chiasmus and chiastic quotations
a math nerd
“The scene might have been considered serene if it weren’t for the tornado.”
Stanley Kubrick’s photos of Chicago
fire hydrant information
bowing graphs
A garbage collector for C and C++
Sturmwind on gossip

“Sturmwind” may replace “Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as my primary nickname for Noam.

read your own DX codes
the LOC Preservation Directorate

I wish I had a Preservation Directorate.

an electronic system to describe ancient andean khipus
Can a 16.6mp SLR really outclass ISO 100 color film?

Yes, they say; the CCD beats film for general use.

Chilling Effects

“Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities.”

teevee networks rigging car crashes
where are the San Juan Island ferries right now?
the earth in IR, animated

Real nerd-friendly.

the adventures of Bob Shetterly, the oldest person to sail around the world

His son’s books are good.

The Institute for Figuring

Photos. Kind of a David Alan Harvey style, doubtless enraging to some.

This is Broken

I’m surprised I hadn’t linked to this already.

lightning as represented in Japanese prints
Brian Utley’s photographs
“Iraq Coalition Casualties: US Names By Date”
Dalek kidnapped
Ancient Greek texts
Shards O' Glass
georeactor theory

What if enough uranium collected in the planetary core to maintain a five-mile-radius fast neutron breeder reactor?

Rumsfeld on Chinese military spending

The poor guy seems to have forgotten that group of several million irony-sensitive folks, each with their own World Almanac and means of publication, which we so lovingly call teh intarweb. For further coverage of the wonderful War On Violence, see Grow-a-Brain’s “Visualize World Jihad”.

photos of Michael Fay’s Megatransect
the treatment of torture victims in Portland
Salman Rushdie recommends a less compromising atheism

Evans: we had best look at religion as “a kind of art, which only a child could mistake for reality and which only a child would reject for being false.”

Rushdie: “religion today is big public business, using efficient political organization and cutting-edge information technology to advance its ends. Religions play bare-knuckle rough all the time, while demanding kid-glove treatment in return.”

But these are compatible ideas. Evans is describing the respectful attitude we wish we could afford, and Rushdie is not rejecting the model but saying it’s too soon – that Religion-with-a-capital-arr still treats this as a war, not a conversation, so we have to stay loud. I think it’s difficult but possible to both resist and appreciate supernatural thinking.

“Defending a Person Charged with Genocide”

(PDF.) Having Googled this case a while ago, I doubt that Kovacevic was as innocent as D'Amato supposes, but it’s an interesting article.

the BBC on a newly released video of Srebrenica war crimes

“A survey last week suggested that only half the Serbian population believe the Srebrenica massacre actually took place.”

all of Beethoven

The BBC++.


Interesting nerds. Via Bodger.

typographical sketches
Northern Study Area Fen Site
a maritime co-post with Grow-a-Brain

I’ve read Grow-a-Brain for what seems like ages now, and Hanan Levin, its proprietor, was kind enough to suggest a co-post. Please consider it today’s edition of Iff, and enjoy the boat-y goodness.

Thanks, Hanan!

diffraction blurring at apertures of f/32 and smaller
Mozilla’s lack of JPEG 2000 support

Navigating straight to a J2K displays it properly for me, but only through QuickTime.


Contemporary electropop. The members are a model, a graphic designer, a geneticist, and an industrial designer. They interview well.

Leo Foo’s photography pages

The reviews are practical and technical. His English is great.

people using WXtoImg’s weather satellite transmission decoder
“The New Yorker” on “intelligent design”

See also Bob the Angry Flower and Tom Tomorrow. Intelligent design provides a perfectly nice way for religions to begin reconciliation with reality; it’s a pity it’s being sold as competition to actual science.

lots of good Dinosaur Comics lately
the 38 united states
interviews with Benjamin Britten in '57 and '63

RealAudio, sadly.

a helicopter landing on Mt Everest’s summit
a sandstorm in Iraq
Hou tu pranownse Inglish

How irregular is English pronunciation?

categorical syllogisms

“A categorical syllogism is an argument consisting of exactly three categorical propositions (two premises and a conclusion) in which there appear a total of exactly three categorical terms, each of which is used exactly twice.”

“U.S. Army Instructions for Chaplains on Wicca”

Via Platypus.

“Fuzzy Cognitive Map and Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning”
Bevin boys
how to make pemmican
the original Mac boot beep’s source
a music video from UK troops in Iraq

The Ministry of Defence conservatively calls it “brilliant”.

“When Chopin finished a piece he stopped writing it”
suggestion time

I have some time to spend on improving Iff and I’d like to know what you think of it. Would you like to have a method to see only posts since a certain time? Would you like to be able to link to individual posts? Would you prefer that I link to more or fewer of a certain kind of page? Is some aspect of the design annoying? E-mail me or otherwise get in touch.


Dr Livingstone

He was one of the few African missionaries to notice indigenous cultures and languages, and he explored a third of the continent, freeing slaves as he went. When he died far inland, his friends carried his body for five months to bury him in Westminster Abbey.

5ive’s suggested non-standard spellings of “weblog”
an illustration blog
treemaps for space-constrained visualization of hierarchies

Noam’s install of Iff. He’s already linked to some great stuff.

a brief intro to copyright

Looks good for educating the as-yet-naïve.

the Red Cross may soon use a diamond emblem
the work on CSS3
Bill Moyers’s speech to the National Conference for Media Reform

“One reason I’m in hot water is because my colleagues and I at NOW didn’t play by the conventional rules of Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.”

the race of manga characters
Tufte’s draft for little graphs
llamas are awesome creatures
informal, brief, single-purpose co-ops

UTS is like UTC, only it squeezes or stretches the last 1000 seconds before a leap second and thus avoids some problems representing it.

don’t trust the little numbers
NATO wallpaper
“Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz”

Thanks to Julia and Tessa.

“The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (Solved)”

A good Goon Show to start with.

a bug involving Tiger’s shell attachment and possibly zsh

Platypus and I have this too. I welcome questions.

Nerdiest. T-shirt. Evar.
dual photography

“In its simplest form, the technique can be used to take photographs without a camera”

Via Rion.

Alan Moore interviews Brian Eno
Apple’s guide to OS X GCC optimization
Occam’s razor updated
smart sharpening in the Gimp
The Piers Plowman Digital Archive
the Goodstein Sequence
Linus Pauling’s notebooks
Soviet airbrushing
the barnyard filesystem model

Via Julieclipse.

why euphemisms tend not to work
toward R6RS

Mmm-mmm. I sure hope it doesn’t bloat up. (RnRS are standards for the programming language scheme; R5RS is one of my favorite manuals ever.)

Ford’s old suit
“Gentium – a typeface for the nations”

I like it, though I don’t use it often.

the Archbishop of Canturbury tells it like it is

“Ecological fallout from economic development is in no way an ‘externality’ as the economic jargon has it; it is a positive depletion of real wealth, of human and natural capital. To seek to have economy without ecology is to try to manage an environment with no knowledge or concern about how it works in itself – to try to formulate human laws in abstraction from or ignorance of the laws of nature.”

Via Julieclipse.

the ants will outwit us all
Apple Death Knell Counter
“JavaScript: The World’s Most Misunderstood Programming Language”
solid ivory-billed woodpecker sightings
“Napoleon Dynamite” was indeed great
Susan Sontag’s “Notes On ‘Camp’”
how to start a Quadra 950

Loud Flash. This was the high-end model in 1992; it cost $8k.

Via Bodger.

the Potsdam Giants
JavaScript as sexpressions
accidentally discovering lisp
a UN satellite feed

Marred by a senseless adoration for Real Video and poor spelling.

maybe it’s time we thought about this alleged “climate change”

Via Julieclipse.

“Running into US forces in Ahmedawa, Iraq”
improbable clouds
“A Day In The Life of Miss McDonald”

Via an anonymous link donor.

“Proposal to encode additional grass radicals in the UCS”

A mockery of complaints about Han unification. Warning: PDF. Warning: nerd humor.

charmingly gimmicky photographs
velvet paintings
“My Type Design Philosophy”, by Martin Majoor

In my view, Scala and Scala Sans are among the best postwar fonts, and this is an excellent essay. However, Majoor tends to gloss over details and present opinions as facts, so don’t trust his history as such.


A highway font that gets more legible as driving speed increases.

rules of civility

“When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered.”

an interview with Martin Majoor
the Bang Bang Club

Remind me not to be a war photographer. The photos are … really something.

“Are centrioles the ‘eye’ of the cell?”

I don’t have the biology to tell whether the thesis is nuts, but it sure is interesting. His argument for the optimality of the vaned micro-eye is especially intriguing.


“Arc is a new dialect of Lisp we’re working on.” I’ve been following this since just after he came out with the idea, and it hasn’t really gone anywhere. I’m still following it, though.

A Beginner’s Guide To Whaling

By some accounts, Iceland has the most web sites per capita, and most of them seem funny or learned.

Via Grow-A-Brain.

Godel’s theorem and associated fun

Ten dizzying theorems in under 3500 words! An excellent value!

induced hibernation in mice
why then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s speech on relativism was questionable

Unnecessarily aggressive, but necessary to say.

A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Via Ari.

How “Uncle Joe” Bugged FDR

From our friends at the CIA.

the Schwartzian Transform

A gothic algorithm for efficiently sorting arrays by any index if you don’t already have a sort function that can take an arbitrary comparison function as an argument.

United Nuclear

Mmm, radioactivity.

“Color naming and the phototoxic effects of sunlight on the eye.”

Color naming is an old philosophical/psychological/physiological curiosity. As far as I know, there’s no definitive text on it yet; this paper would certainly be a useful ingredient.

“Cool URIs Don’t Change”

Tim Berners-Lee (who invented the world-wide web) explains what makes a URI good.

“Independent Days”

An outstanding Daring Fireball post, in which Gruber justifies his use of Google Ads.

The Complicated Nature of NT Rationals Explained to Normal People.
make the guy gesture (Flash)
woman nurses tigers

And you thought the cover of Tigermilk was pretend. (This is dated 5 April; it may be descended from a hoax.)

a webserver on a Mac Plus
Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

You ought already to have read the original.

ferry shirt

You are not expected to find this appealing unless you live in northwest Washington.

a parody of the endings of 80s movies
Waikato Honey Research Unit

Neat stuff about honey (“with financial support from the New Zealand Honey Industry Trust”, so don’t trust it too much).


Sponsored by Coca-Cola.

just pretty travel pictures
Your Gateway to Libya
Woman Operator

“My name is Marianne Rafferty and I have been an Operating Engineer for 19 years now and have had this site up and running going on seven years. I have some personal insights, links to great sites, awesome personal photographs, safety tips and charts and a guest book with comments from Australia to Japan to New Zealand!”

Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names

Possibly the only NSFW chemistry page ever.

Via Platypus.

“The New Yorker” on “The Simpsons”
we can finally read the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

“In the past four days alone, Oxford’s classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.”


North American Vexillogical Association

Nice survey.

all the science you can fit on a shirt
Stewart Brand’s Environmental Heresies

“Over the next ten years, I predict, the mainstream of the environmental movement will reverse its opinion and activism in four major areas: population growth, urbanization, genetically engineered organisms, and nuclear power.”


GARRAYS are generalized arrays, combining the properties of Lisp arrays with hash tables and extending the concept of an index.”

laser-controlled mutilated flies
the Pope-U-Lator

Pick a Pope!

By Wavelet’s kin.

funny bits from Lionel Fanthorpe’s writing

“Dover Cross, he reckoned, looked capable, but he was no longer in the first flush of youth and that was putting it mildly. It was a euphemism.”

remixed Garfield … et cetera

Click the last image on each page to continue.

they think maybe they have a preliminary cure for some kinds of cancer, perhaps
the Ordovican extinction may have been caused by a gamma burst

Mmm, ozone.

the Nobel Peace Prize’s conflict map

In Flash.

“The All Spanking Show”

He also has a page on the Mojave phonebooth, and supports Danneels for pope.

Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder
Folks not afflicted NADD think those who are can’t focus because, look at us, we’re all over the place. PLEASE STOP CLICKING ON THINGS – YOU ARE GIVING ME A HEADACHE. Wrong. NADDers have an amazingly ability to focus when they choose to. Granted, it’s not their natural state and, granted, it can take longer than some to get in the zone, but when we’re there, BOY HOWDY.
“If all stories were written like science fiction stories”

“I can hardly believe we’re already in another city,” said Ann. “Just four hours ago we were in Chicago.”

“We’re not quite there!” corrected Roger. “We’re in the airport, which is some distance from the city, since it requires a good deal of space on the ground, and because of occasional accidents. From here we’ll take a smaller vehicle into the city.”

Louis C.K.
NIST’s timeserver gives out cool numbers through $(finger)

A little analysis shows some neat patterns.

“Unhappy Birthday”
The World Islands

A mefi thread on Dubai’s newest huge ill-advised project.

the dawn redwood
Omega, the terrestrial navigation system before GPS
manual Esperanto
Adagio Teas’ astroturf Googlebomb bribery


Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Shareholder Letters 1977-2004
“His Holiness Pope Pius XIII”

Habemus papam … no, John Paul II is still there as far as I know; it’s just that Pius XIII is so much healthier and more verbose, and, most of all, nearby. Oh, and he’s so reassuring: “Lest anyone think that We are claiming the ‘Holier than Thou’ syndrome, We are not.”

Prince Rupert’s Drops
“the world’s ugliest car”
“Gang will target Minuteman vigil on Mexico border”
Radio David Byrne
balanced ternary counting
the Kensington runestone
“Jesus was Way Cool” by King Missile

Via Ari.

quieting creation v. evolution in textbooks by leveling up
Crispin Sartwell
Toby Howard, a CS professor
“A Theory of Roughness” by Mandelbrot
Curry’s Paradox

A little like the liar’s paradox.

Rudy Rucker does as he pleases
zero anaphora
“Reference Solar Spectral Irradiance: Air Mass 1.5”

Sunlight by wavelength.

a nice guy who was really good at big guns
Jay Greenberg, a musical prodigy

Via Grow-a-Brain.

Maud Fontenoy just rowed across the Pacific
Lovecraftian fonts

Via Julieclipse.

a strange little pseudo-intelligence consultancy thingamabob
Supreme Court Merit Briefs

All kinds of fun stuff.

AI koans
Biosecurity New Zealand

Really, it’s just the word “biosecurity” that’s so great.

Australia and New Zealand have, on average, the best-designed governmental sites I’ve seen.

fried dough around the world
Amazon.com finds phrases frequent in specific books but infrequent in the whole corpus
a reconstructed recording of Brahms playing the piano

It uses wavelets, so you know it’s cool.

a writing sea lion
Udal law
Canada’s Receiver of Wrecks for the Pacific
rock balancing
Wes Clark is back

He was a good candidate in the 2004 Democratic primaries.

connect bands by musicians
a tiny black hole, maybe
North Korea v. information
an FPS in 5K
panoramas of tiny things
panorama of a big storm in Death Valley
notes on the H.264 video codec
life in Chile
“International Weather Satellite Images”

“This site is a listing of satellite images and movies taken by weather satellites around the globe. I have links to satellite pictures at other sites that are well known around the weather community and links to those tha are practically unknown. Some of the pictures, especially those in visible light, offer stunning views of the Earth.”

CS notebooks
Bodger’s marks

Everyone’s favorite propaganda tabloid!


An argument that P=NP because the real world “solves” NP-complete problems in polynomial time. This makes a compelling case (a) that digital physics warrants further philosophical consideration and (b) that mathematicians should be kept away from hallucinogens, alcohol, and refined sugar.

“The Scent of the Nile: Jean-Claude Ellena creates a new perfume”
optical camouflage

Via my brother.

Heraclitus in Greek, French, and English

Everyone’s #1 fave Presocratic. Big on fire and water, sleep, inversion, and gnomic epigrams. Amaze your friends with such insights as “If there were no sun, it would be night” and scoffing insults like “Dogs bark at everyone they do not know.”

“A page about call/cc”

A clever little function.

to represent numbers in Unlamda

Unlamda is a joke language; the scheme suggested actually uses Church integers.

The Edelweiss Pirates

The Hitler Youth’s competition.

Hans Reiser’s whitepaper on filesystem design
hypothesis that interstellar dust clouds caused mass extinctions
semi-automatic colorization

A Flash game. Listen to Boards of Canada, play with small noisy forest things, and chill.

Via Wavelet.

pretty beetles
Ohashi Tadashi’s Kikkoman ads
“Topos Theory in a Nutshell”

Remind me to understand this.

draft of a revision of the floating-point standard
sphere eversion with a movie
French color photos from the Great War
David Hasselhoff … uh … album … uh
GeoURL is back
a $23,500 cable
the beginning of Amnesty International

Peter Benenson, the founder, just died.

moving stars
“Belgium Doesn’t Exist!”
the popularity of names


a “Princess Bride” play
a smooth shopping cart system
the Shuttle software
Noble Ape

“The aim of the simulation is to create a detailed biological environment and a cognitive simulation.”

“Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby”

A friendly tutorial for the programming language Ruby.

humorously manipulated romance novel covers
Linguistic sex education in “Calvin and Hobbes”

Via Zack.

Reference Library of Digitized Insect Sounds
Typographica’s favorite fonts of 2004
a sound that seems to get continuously lower in pitch
golden mean base

Base φ (= (sqrt(5)+1)/2 ≈ 1.618) for counting.

“The Mathematical Theory of Communication” by Claude Shannon

The invention of information theory. (PDF.)


A surreal artist. His images make good desktop backgrounds.

adjectives considered helpful
Harry Truman was a Vulcan
“Life’s Greatest Trip”

Now he’s walking around the world with a cross. Takes all sorts.

vector graphics in browser JavaScript
Mimas over the rings’ shadows
Descartes’s notation v. the W3C’s
“The Revenge of the Intuitive”

Brian Eno on what’s easy to use.

Nexus Serif

Martin Majoor’s newest font. He’s still doing that thing he did with Scala and Seria. References to Dwiggins – think of a Dutch Electra.

‘Who is “The Man” anyway?’
Forum 3000 Hall of Fame

Via Wavelet.


A hot, hot garage band.

lots of pictures
“Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine” by Danny Hillis

Hot genius-on-genius action.

“A parent’s primer to computer slang”

The inescapable and involuntarily risibility of someone stodgy saying something silly.

VISAR video enhancement demos

Retinex is the rough analog for images.

“Bush’s Sex Scandal”

“Other developed countries focus much more on contraception. The upshot is that while teenagers in the U.S. have about as much sexual activity as teenagers in Canada or Europe, Americans girls are four times as likely as German girls to become pregnant, almost five times as likely as French girls to have a baby, and more than seven times as likely as Dutch girls to have an abortion. Young Americans are five times as likely to have H.I.V. as young Germans, and teenagers’ gonorrhea rate is 70 times higher in the U.S. than in the Netherlands or France.”


Via Platypus.

CIE Lab color space is not perceptually uniform

Don’t take this at face value.

quick web searches
fantasy planes
where you get to take photos
many instances of one sound effect
thousand-year eggs

A classic nutcase.

the TeX showcase
XeTeX: TeX extended for OS X
ent, John Walker’s pseudorandom number sequence test
The United States and the Metric System
Mockery of Paul Graham.

I like Graham’s writing, but he was asking for this.

Via Ari.

large-scale DNA profiling
“The Measure of Man”

“A cautionary tale told via dinosaur proxy.”

Via Platypus.

Nature Photographers Online Magazine
Euler’s identity

A Swiss mathematician! Hah!

the Notwithstanding Clause

A notorious all-purpose loophole in Canadian law.

global warming links
“welcome squid overlords”
kleptones downloads
a bust of Plato is probably an ancient copy and not a forgery
a feasibility study of Darwin on the L4 micokernel
how to keep a camera steady without a tripod
Need a hand? Ha ha ha.
a tip
is there no end to the hipster tee shirt madness?
Sally Ride’s page

So what have you done lately?

Slashdot comments on the Challenger disaster
making Java a little less like Java
animated Escher snakes
RFC3986: Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax
“Would you care for a cup of coffee?”

Via Joey.

the Avro Arrow
Imperial Japanese holdouts in the South Pacific

“When the Malaysian Communist Party surrendered in Southern Thailand in 1989, there were at least two former Japanese soldiers with them.”

Zen koans
the Jew of Afghanistan
the Lady Be Good

A B-24 ditched over Libya in 1943, all crew lost; discovered in 1959. There are several neat sites about it.

excruciatingly efficient and convenient solar cells
newly found ancient city in Peru

“The stone city, made up of five citadels at 9,186 feet above sea level, stretches over around 39 square miles and contains walls covered in carvings and figure paintings, exploration leader Sean Savoy told Reuters.”

the Mpemba effect
remixed “Calvin & Hobbes”

Watterson v. Zero Wing.

secret diaries

“Tom Dobrowolski’s multi-platform collaborative text editor.”

“Natural Phenomena Named After Frank Zappa”
Michael Wolf’s Hong Kong architecture photos

I keep trying for something like this.

replication of a bubble fusion experiment
“Celebrity comedian in substance shocker”
Arrow’s impossibility theorem

This is why election methods are tricky.

E. E. Cummings – sic
“stock.xchng – the leading free stock photography site”
Strindberg & Helium
tutorial for a whitespace language
“I read the comics so you don’t have to”
parts of “Beautiful Evidence” by Tufte

All images, 'cause he’s like that.

my favorite Japanese unsecured security camera

Works best in Firefox.

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences
why you shouldn’t justify text on the web
hard-sciencey preprints
NCSE Project Steve
“The Rocky Horror Muppet Show”
Ancient Greek Love Magic

Interview with Christopher Faraone.

Treasure Box

A fascinating Flash game.

Java web grapher
The Apple Store of the Future
killed in Iraq
music for babies
nice overview of Deep Impact
new photos mapped
US gives up search for Iraq WMD
“Right-wingers exploit tsunami by accusing enviros of exploiting tsunami”

Supposedly those wacko lefties are crrrazay enough to blame earthquakes on so-called “global warming”. Actually, they aren’t.

transform your face
“Clerks” as written by the “Boing Boing” people
Norwegian storm-tracking
Unicode abuse

Via Ari.

“brain facts and figures”
the names of large numbers
a cloud over a mountain
Ron Manley’s slide rule site

Haven’t you heard? Computers are so last year.

the national atlas
“The Common Law” by Holmes

“In Edward the First’s time some of the cases remind of the barbarian laws at their rudest stage. If a man fell from a tree, the tree was deodand.”

many things are called universal codes
Elias omega coding
Richard Dawkins’ evolution FAQ
a coolheaded assesment of a controversial issue

“Sure, the great majority of scientists are not wanton robbers or libertine, cross-country-killing-spree hijackers. But is that because they have some mathematical-type proof that one ought to be nice? Or is it just because they are a bunch of nerds that would not be able to rob and rape without getting their scrawny asses kicked?”

Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
“Programming languages: lecture notes”

CS in a nutshell.

the IPA pronounced (Flash)
British WWII propaganda posters
Ultimate Christian Wrestling

“UCW is a family oriented company, focused on clean and spiritually educational entertainment. UCW exists to minister the Gospel of Christ to the Lost and to see lost souls saved. Our long term goal is to have prayer placed back in public school.”

Electron Mike++
TECO Pocket Guide

A once-popular editor. Reminiscent of vi, but a sorta-ancestor of emacs.

Enlux Lighting

LED arrays to replace household lights.

that’s a fightin' chimp all right
“The Planet of the Photoshoppers”

Geeks and non-geeks think about images differently.

“How to be Emo”

Okay, so making fun of emo kids is like shooting fish in a barrel, and cheesy pseudo-50s narrated docu-info-mercial-tainment … thingies … are overdone, but this manages excellence.

My Backwards Life

Ends with “vid Byrne”. Starts with “David By”. Has a “vid Byr” in the middle.


A parody of tinyURL.

how you get to link to the Athens 2004 Olympics
Daily Dose of Imagery
Bill Evans’s liner notes for “Kind of Blue”

Made me go find out what “Kind of Blue” sounds like.

“accidental hipsters”
The Tongue Twister Database
observing prescriptivism
cute shirts
Kevin Cornell, a cartoonist and illustrator
Apple as Big Brother (QuickTime)
guy claims to have been laser-dazzled by Russian spies back home in 1997
a plane for moving “detainees” around

Picture from JetPhotos; but it keeps changing registration.

“No analog kaleidoscope for me, thanks – I have the Tokyo Abstraction!”
yep, that’s a tsunami
Anthony Lane did not like “The Phantom of the Opera”

Lane is one of my favorite prose stylists, and this is why.

“100 Movies That Deserve More Love”

Accurate as far as I know.

Bob Kaufman

A black beat poet who was silent between the assassination of JFK and the end of the Vietnam war.

bad built-in instructions to convince people to read the manual
Umberto Eco on OSes as branches of Christianity
everyone’s favorite anarchic Britpop

“General Motors paid Chumbawamba $100,000 to use their song Pass it Along for a Pontiac Vibe television advertisement in 2002. Chumbawamba then gave the money to the anti-corporate activist groups IndyMedia and CorpWatch.”

I heard about them from Julieclipse.

Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” as sung in Nederlands by Herman van Veen

Yes, that Herman van Veen.

ballpoint pen on paper

Via Bodger.

grant looks into Devo
Kevin Budden, killed by a taipan while collecting taipan for antivenom research

Ironic? Heroic? Dumb? Or all three?!

card throwing
heavy seas
intercultural onomatopoeia
huge earthquake
even more unproduced screenplays

Best. Word. Evar.

Blackfoot war unipony
how to prepare kiwi
“slurm.com is devoted to arcane, fun, and useless tools and information.”
The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Greek

“This highly compressed little manual is intended to give an overall view of Greek Grammar without examples and exercises. Then each section will correlate with some point on the larger schema, and bit by bit you can fill in the detailed grammatical information you need, all in the right places in the synoptic view of the system.”

Recommends starting with Homer. Watch for typos (e.g., a rather confusing “test” for “text”).

Michael! Heel!
most near-clear glass is a little green
“Comics I Don’t Understand”
verb aspects in English
William Sidis had an IQ well above 200 and obsessed over public transportation

A story we can all identify with.

the death of the Speakeasy
entertaining columns from Seattle

Try the old ones. The USSR fell apart! The Simpsons looks good!

“A network called ‘Internet’”

“Punctuation marks that look like smiley faces express happiness on a new communication tool known as ‘Internet.’ The computer network is already being used by 15 million people worldwide – to chat or do important research. Communication may be anonymous and isolated, but there’s always someone to talk to about sports, recipes or politics.”

“Hi Quality Free and Legal MP3 Music”

A semi-legendary collection of problems and solutions.

The Stony Brook Algorithm Repository
“Return of the Heroes”

“Why have The Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, the Harry Potter stories, and other tales of heroic fantasy, been so phenomenally successful in the present apparently cynical and disillusioned age?”

download the Wikipedia database
NASA’s Visible Earth
folding laundry
Sappho in the original and translation
a CS-y formulation of go
Andy Hertzfeld’s recommended computer books

Not all computer books.

Bill Atkinson’s nature photography

He also wrote QuickDraw, MacPaint, and HyperCard, three of the best pieces of software ever.

a spectrograph iTunes plugin
a talk of Alan Kay’s
Mr Macintosh
expose yourself to art
Mill Ends Park
the Dymaxion Projection
a campy music video

In Flash.

Mos-kau! Mos-kau!

Could be better.

Jefferson’s cookbook
Eisenhower’s atoms for peace address to the UN

“I would be prepared to submit to the Congress of the United States, and with every expectation of approval, any such plan that would, first, encourage worldwide investigation into the most effective peacetime uses of fissionable material, and with the certainty that the investigators had all the material needed for the conducting of all experiments that were appropriate; second, begin to diminish the potential destructive power of the world’s atomic stockpiles; third, allow all peoples of all nations to see that, in this enlightened age, the great powers of the earth, both of the East and of the West, are interested in human aspirations first rather than in building up the armaments of war; fourth, open up a new channel for peaceful discussion and initiative, at least, a new approach to the many difficult problems that must be solved in both private and public conversations if the world is to shake off the inertia imposed by fear and is to make positive progress towards peace.”

I’d consider voting Republican in 2008 if it were Ike.

illegal art

Read the EULA carefully.

The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

Astronauts take lots of pictures which, while excellent, aren’t well-calibrated enough to be scientifically useful compared to the dedicated sensors. So they stick them here.

mockery of creationist textbook stickers
a statue built ruined
chirping steps
pwn sugarwater!
Frank Zappa on “Crossfire”
“it’s music, not porn”
mockery of everyone’s favorite amazingly irresponsible vote-counting company
lidar of MSH between 2003-09-03 and 2004-10-04


“A Visit from Saint Nicholas (In the Ernest Hemingway Manner)” by James Thurber

“‘What the hell would he be asleep tonight for?’ I asked.”

“Step AWAY From the Computer”

Via Ari.

trailer for the new “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

Directed by Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp as Wonka and Alan Greenspan as Grandpa Joe.

Christmas letters to Christopher Walken
that’s the kind of breakfast I’m talkin' 'bout
physical reasons why “bunker busting” tactical nukes are dumb

You can’t get the bomb deep enough to contain the radioactivity.

a new primate in India

Macaca munzala. Well known to locals.

a sweet audio app
Psalm 23 on a helmet
soldiers’ photos
a basejumping video
“The ten most accurately rated artists in rock history!”
egregiously silly music video

vicious_satire(U2, boy bands);

“Baby Got Back” in Classical Greek

Oh. My. Gawd.

“Baby Got Back” in Latin

Via Wavelet.

a map of butterflies in Britain
the president isn’t a cowboy
probably the definitive telling-off of the South
English words from Arabic

Jar! Marzipan! Tariff!

You Forgot Poland

Via Ari.

a map of the US given to immigrating Germans
current solar images
Haidinger’s brush

A way to see polarization unaided.

a very flat salt flat
Littlewood’s Law
a little “Sinfest”
a pseudorandom number generator with the complexity of integer factorization
laser pointer hack
Becker and Posner. Watch this space.
forth in bash
A Lexus ad and great poetry. Mmm!
“2 TV networks reject church’s ad as controversial”

NBC and CBS aren’t running an ad because it makes the controversial statement that not all religions are open to all people.

(How many religions completely refuse to accept someone because of a permanent involuntary condition? I’m really not sure.)

looks like an insightful political analyst

This is a shameful example of my using this feed as a bookmarker: I haven’t read this yet.

Alang, the shipwrecking town in India
“famous last words of the game developer”
Pais Dinogad
Sometimes Things Die

One-hour exposure.

the Digger archives
the UN’s continuous identity crisis
“My Neighbor’s Wife”

A chilly, open Flash short.

Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music
Popeye v. anime
“adventures of confessions of saint augustine bear”
All “Red Meat”’s Milkman Dan comics. Not safe for work.

“I hate you, Milkman Dan!”

how to draw a cruise ship in Illustrator
Emogame 2.0

Not … not safe for work. At all. But it’s nice and pixelly.

how socially responsible are the big gas stations?

Ranking from 2001. Via Julieclipse.

just another karate chimp
“Peru seizes cocaine hidden in giant squid”

“LIMA, Peru - Peruvian police said on Monday they seized nearly 1,540 pounds (700 kg) of cocaine hidden in frozen giant squid bound for Mexico and the United States.”

Spotted by (who else?) Wheel.

the Gigapixl Project

Yes, that is a lot of pixels.


A cross-platform cosmological explorer. Worth it just for the wrench at a couple ly/s when the stars start moving.

the Taipei 101

A very tall building.

Monkey Media Report

“A North Carolina news and arts weblog”.

“wgets and cURLs”

Loads of fun iff you have Unix utilities.

PLT at Brown

“PLT is a multi-university group working on advanced programming languages, including language design, formal semantics, language implementation, and programming environments.”

RedNova’s image of the day archive

A more exacting digital Bembo. Still rawthah problematic.


A new but expensive highway font. If I were the DOT, I’d only accept stuff in the public domain.

the lost frog

Via Ari.


Comics made to spam subjects. Often excellent.

The Presidential Election in a World of Greco-Roman Morality

Via Mossaia.

“I think Bush just spoke to the 51 percent of America that fondly remembers spiking a baby’s heels and leaving her in a jar on the hillside.”

passive-aggressive punctuation
“Cornu-based curve editor for Unix”

This gives me an idea!

cornu curves

Heh heh. Heh heh heh.

Licko compares typography and ceramics

“[B]oth disciplines deal with creating visually and structurally balanced shapes. Both deal with the duality of inside & outside form.”

“Retired insurance man puts a premium on verse”

“A few years ago at Lincoln Benefit Life, he showed poems to his secretary. If she didn’t understand them, he’d revise. ‘I never want to be thought of as pandering to a broad audience,’ he says, ‘but you can tweak a poem just slightly and broaden the audience very much. If you have a literary allusion, you limit the audience. Every choice requires a cost-benefit analysis.’”

a bookstore organized by color
a tiny atomic clock
guy says politicians talk funny
makes more sense if you’ve read “The Screwtape Letters”

“Support for war among the Christians is at an all time high. It tickles me to no end to write that sentence. Christians, supporting war! It was not too long ago that such an utterance would have been unthinkable. We have quietly convinced them that they are, in truth, warring against the Muslims of the world, and that their very existence is dependant upon such support. Our agents amongst the Muslims have already achieved great successes, and now the lessons we learned with those people are paying off with similar success in our efforts against Christians.”

the Hale Telescope is using a laser to continuously calibrate their adaptive optics

“Employing the laser will allow astronomers to place an artificial corrective guide star wherever they see fit. To do so, they shine a narrow sodium laser beam up through the atmosphere. At an altitude of about 60 miles, the laser beam makes a small amount of sodium gas glow. The reflected glow from the glowing gas serves as the artificial guide star for the adaptive-optics system. The laser beam is too faint to be seen except by observers very close to the telescope, and the guide star it creates is even fainter. It can’t be seen with the unaided eye, yet it is bright enough to allow astronomers to make their adaptive-optics corrections.”

A. H. Robinson died
“Giant hail killed more than 200 in Himalayas”

“For 60 years the skeletal remains of more than 200 people, discovered in 1942 close to the glacial Roopkund Lake in the remote Himalayan Gahrwal region, have puzzled historians, scientists and archaeologists. Were they soldiers killed in battle, royal pilgrims who lost their way and succumbed to hypothermia, or Tibetan traders who died of a mysterious illness?”

Capitan Haddock’s insults

Squawking popinjay!
Prattling porpoise!
Scoffing braggart!

zipdecode by ben fry

Julia said I hadda.

Turn Your Back on Bush

Quiet, polite, doomed protest! Yay!

spatially diffuse animation
“Yes, Virginia, There Is a Real World!”

“‘Wouldn’t reality be what each individual perceives as being real?’”

they’ve got their very own literary tradition, apparently
“Links to Digital Mapping Resources”
nerdy novelty
an intruiguing alloy

57Ni-22Cr-14W-2Mo-0.5Mn-0.4Si-0.3Al-0.10C-0.02La-5Co-3Fe-0.015B … all mixed up in a bucket.

Quozl’s Open Source

“Quozl works in outback Australia as a software engineer doing internet firewall and operating system support for a large multinational computer company. When he’s not doing that, he creates programs and electronic devices, takes photographs, and a few other things”

a little about the “Joyita”, a South Pacific ghost boat

“At 5 a.m. on 3 October 1955 the MV Joyita, a 69-foot unsinkable wooden fishing boat, slipped out of the harbour at Apia, Western Samoa, heading for Fakaofo in the Tokelau Islands. There were 25 people on board, and the voyage should have taken just under 48 hours, but the Joyita never arrived at its destination. Yet no distress message was received from the boat, and an extensive search by the Royal New Zealand Air Force failed to find any sign of it. Five weeks later, on 10 November, the Joyita was spotted by a passing ship near Fiji, 600 miles from its scheduled track, abandoned, waterlogged and adrift. Four tons of cargo were missing.”

unattainably complex origami

“Escarabajo con cambio de color en el caparazon”

got yer delicate artform right here, punk
Chernobyl photos
guide to “The Difference Engine”
Japanese prints
Wikipedia on steampunk
stuff in the Kuiper Belt is probably smaller and shinier than they thought
beautiful lost Antarctic trees

“Geologists have discovered in Antarctica the remains of three ancient deciduous forests complete with fossils of fallen leafs scattered around the tree trunks. The clusters of petrified tree stumps were found upright in the original living positions they held during the Permian period.”

“Unlike any trees today, the long-extinct Glossopteris trees lived in stands as thick as almost a thousand per acre just 20 or 25 degrees from the South Pole, a latitude at which they received no sunlight for half the year.”

a tiny history of the Beaufort Scale
burn oil, melt permafrost, drill oil, repeat
waveforms want to be free
blog of a Finnish visual genius and Gnome developer
early DSP (came up in “Cryptonomicon”)
heheh … “medium”
multiple exposure of the lunar eclipse
a bit on P. G. Wodehouse
UNIX Tips for Mac OS X

Looks reasonably technical.

Sex-mad ‘ghost’ scares Zanzibaris

“In recent years the residents on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian islands claimed that [the ghost] only visited the islanders during voting, such as in the contentious general elections in 1995 and 2000.”

“But to the surprise of many this current ghost has reappeared when there is no polling of any kind.”

vampire monkeys!
“Mixed Schools and Mixed Blood”

Remember when we used to discriminate against innocent people? And we said it wasn’t unfair to keep them separate by law? Wasn’t that weird?

election map by county

They should really use a less distracting color than black for ‘no data’.

a National Guard plane accidentally shoots a school

Draw your own conclusions.

hidden pictures
a K-T crater off India
trash is abandoned property

Good to know. Good to know.

Byrne’s Euclid

A landmark of graphic design (and geometry, obviously). One of Tufte’s examples. Via Ari.

evil algae
cool RSS feeds

This “RSS” thing looks worth checking out.

“Steam Wars”
“Need To Know”

“Need to Know is a useful and interesting UK digest of things that happened last week or might happen next week.”


M4d qualities.

Wikipedia’s featured pictures
brilliant web design
the Ephemera Society’s item of the month

This month it’s a program(me) cover from the London Pavilion.

peregrines in Portland

I just watched one.

state health facts

I’m a sucker for a good mapper.

thermite synthesis

I think the aluminum would be the hardest part. Hmm!

GNU Wavelet Image Codec

E-Z-2-hack JavaScript for to look stuff up at your public liberry^Wlibrary.

newly discovered hominids

In Indonesia. Small and apparently just barely pre-Holocene.

the Elephant Six collective

These people are behind a disturbingly large portion of the new music I like.

“Clapping Music”

A video of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music.

projected St Helens ash clouds

Where ash might go if it goes at all.

Take that, Canada!

Republicans plugging Kerry

Much the same format as the infamous Apple ads.


Just what it says.

Fareed Zakaria

Very, very smart.

‘Movie Gadget Friday: the W.O.P.R. from “Wargames”’

“He uses the IMSAI connected to an acoustic coupler and his telephone handset to access W.O.P.R. This may seem a little unrealistic, but bear in mind that in the movie W.O.P.R. was also designed launch both nations’ entire intercontinental ballistic missile supply in response to a power cut.”

the Shiira browser

Built on KHTML; looks more featureful but more cluttered than Safari.

Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization
Philip Glass sues some conservatives for using his music

A guy I like uses a law I don’t like to stop people I don’t like from doing something I think they ought to be able to do. You’ll need New York Times registration.

Build Your Own Garfield Comic Strip!

Best of all, it allows infinite character instances per frame.

The Cellar’s Image of the Day

Usually impressive. Often offensive.

frame dragging even more confirmed


an errorblog

Your one-stop source for corrections and retractions.

apologies for outages

The to-do list shortens.

Chinese-Canadian Ode in Heroic Couplets

I was searching Google Images for Mr Yuk.


Via Julieclipse.

Veerappan shot dead!

This sends a clear message to notorious sandalwood smugglers everywhere.

reparations from Iraq to US companies

Via Mossaia.

a new ape

“The animals, with characteristics of both gorillas and chimpanzees, have been sighted in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to local villagers, the apes are ferocious, and even capable of killing lions. A report about the mysterious creatures is published in this week’s edition of the UK magazine New Scientist.”


A very good lisp blog.

people are quite unobservant about some things
Four Unproduced Screenplays
intriguing and disturbing sketches
Ukitakumunki’s gallery

The subject matter … well, all right. The execution … wow.

Weightless Animals
The Elements of Style: Unix as Literature

“To be sure, the UNIX community has its own measure of technical parochialism and nerdy tunnel vision, but in my experience there seemed to be a suspicious overrepresentation of polyglots and liberal-arts folks in UNIX shops.”

what is it with the English and do-gooder bats?
Finding the Speed of Light with Marshmallows: A Take-Home Lab
clothing for shy people
forth wiki

A wiki for the stack-based programming language forth.

Pretend your main memory is a lifo. It’s fun.

eye candy
JPEG-2000 Wavelet Demo

Image decompression before your very eyes!

disc v. disk
The Gutenberg Bible

Not bad for a first effort.

the world-wide web

I don’t pretend to understand it, but apparently it’s going to compete with gopher.

random art
color transformations

A little math on colorspace transforms.

That noise you just heard was me using this feed for e-z-grep bookmarking.


It’s a para-meta-www, or something.

a webcam for the North Pole


signalling and countersignalling

Intuitively obvious but nice to see spelled out.

Fafblog! The Whole World’s Only Source for Fafblog.

“Wrong, St. Anselm! By that argument there must exist a pie such that no greater pie can be imagined, which therefore must exist. Stupid St. Anselm! Mmmm… Godpie.”


A really nice reference for all sorts of refractive meteorological effects.

home-made sonar

I did this a couple months ago at home with sound-in from my computer because the PC didn’t have a mic. It was pretty sweet.


It’s political! It’s a parody of a parody! It’s Bollywoodesque! Watch it!

“Where do you stand on women’s rights?”

“Ah-ha-ha! I’ve always felt right about the vimmen!”

Lego, the Type Designer’s Friend

“It could look nicer, but a lot of our Lego pieces are otherwise engaged in other projects built by me and my daughter, so I had to scrounge for pieces among the dregs that met the bare minimum requirements.”


An old Japanese pangram.

being pro-life by not being anti-pro-choice

A pro-life Christian ethicist sounds an awful lot like a … you know … a liberal.

“What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, child care, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need policies that provide jobs and health insurance and support for prospective mothers.”

The Secret Lives of Numbers

A Java grapher of the popularity of numbers.

sound mirrors

Big parabolic acoustic focusers in England. Apparently they felt kind of silly when they invented radar.

Mother Earth Mother Board

Neal Stephenson’s 1996 Wired story about, um, travel of some kind. I haven’t read it yet.

giant squid

If there’s one kind of news I go to NASA for, it’s giant squid news.

The whole archive.