scrap pad

london calling font

Google Answers: what is the lettering on The Clash's 'London Calling'?

flickr/yahoo id

I resent having to log in to flickr with a yahoo id now (or by March). Anil Dash is baffled by flickr users' . My resentment is an almost completely emotional response... I didn't want to create another yahoo id. I hate visiting the yahoo front page because of its busyness and centralization (same reason I don't use my google homepage; they all remind me of msn and aol and netscape), though yahoo seems to be doing a lot of great stuff these days (flickr, a well-recieved js ui library, employing cool people).

also: people are bitching about it on metafilter (some of the bitching vaguely makes sense). I didn't know yahoo ids expired due to inactivity: I logged in to one today that I created in november 2000 and haven't used since june 2001. the geocities pages associated with it are gone, but the account is there.

openid + whuffie

Jyte: Claims, Cred & Contacts. Jyte itself. I think this is potentially a way cooler form of social networking (for the web-literati, at least) because it's about identity in a broader sense than just "this is your profile page." it creates identity by associating people with their actions across the web (openid), with eachother, and with other peoples' opinions of them. (a lot of the current claims aren't about people, though. they're more gathering random agreement than building credibility.) via simon willison.

ellen feiss

Interview with Ellen Feiss. what I get from this? -- that she's gay.

a bit of type I was playing with last night

for my roommate's band.

what is happening

some mac os x background processes and daemons

face blindness

face blindness, described with rocks.


because I always forget the .htpasswd syntax and also fail to write it down for myself:

[2:15pm me@mycomputer:~/Sites/dev] % htpasswd -c .htpasswd bob
New password:
Re-type new password:
Adding password for user bob

from How do I password-protect my website using .htaccess?

massive cleanup

these have been sitting on my desktop for a day/week/month.

real-ID followup

cNet's Real-ID FAQ: "Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards." That article is from May, 2005.

sac newspaper

the sac bee started a california politics news site, yearly subscription is $500. it has in depth blogs, news, and commentary that won't show up in the regular paper. interesting: more full coverage available online, and timely. using the idea that there is a ton of good info, and it doesn't necessarily have to be super-processed (ie, weeded, reworded, and deadlined for printing) to be useful to people. the idea of information abundance strikes me as a very web thing. price sucks, though. it's targeted at people who work closely with the government. as a way for the sac bee to make money? --dunno.

web 2.0 meeting scheduler

Diarised. there was another web app a few months back that had a chart showing everyone's availability. this one is more email-focused, maybe? and uses Rockwell. via daringfireball. (add to the collection of web 2.0 apps I would never use, except this one is really not exciting at all.)

there should be another descriptor than "web 2.0" that means "web app." possibly just "web." hah.

update: the other scheduling web app I was thinking of was doodle.

wheels on bike

Suzue track hubs. my hubs would be the non-track equivalent of the ones at the bottom of the page (the crappy ones). I think. They just say "Suzue sealed-tech" on them, though I should look again. (update: yes, that's all they say)

mindfulness in a catalog

This online store of bike things is mind-blowing: Rivendell Online Catalog. It has amazing attention to detail: materials, craft, and a tiny bit of practical, not-snobby heritage. Everything has a detailed, enthusiastic description and often a quick how-to. They are so attentive to detail that they get parts custom manufactured (tires, something else I don't remember) and dig up nifty things (opposite-shifting front derailleurs, wool cycling jerseys). I want a paper catalog so I can sit and drool (more drooling and catching enthusiasm than shopping).

specifically awesome things:

fancy bike handlebar wrap

kb points out: "Harlequin Pattern Handlebar Wrap" except she saw it at fixedgeargallery, where she cribs all the cool stuff from.

thousands and thousands of people

it amazes me that over 11,000 people are seeding just one torrent of the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, and over 17,000 people are downloading it. there are hundreds (even thousands!) more seeding and leeching other torrents of the same show. the number of battlestar galactica nerds who are at this moment sharing the latest bsg torrents is more than twice the number of people in my home town, and it happens every week that there is a new episode.

(numbers according to mininova's stats... where do they get those? how accurate are they? obviously, a single client doesn't connect to 28,000 others; mine usually stops at around 12 peers, regardless of the thousands available)

so. cool.

multi-word thesaurus. this came out of ben and I talking and playing with my multi-word thesaurus idea. it's great for filling in the blank when you are listing off words that don't quite fit. ben made this version of it. it is clicky-clicky, more freewheeling than a regular thesaurus and at the same time more sensitive to the tone of your words.

architecture for humanity logos

Architecture for Humanity Logo Competition (photo set of finalists on flickr). some of these are pretty neat: #3, 5, and 8 (#9, too, but only when it has the blue subtext). and some use a bunch of colors for meaning or rely on visual clichés and I don't know how they got there (esp. #11, 12, and 16).

what is Architecture for Humanity, anyway? high design or humanitarian organization?

gender on Vienna signs

Gender change for Vienna signs - sweet! they're showing men with children on signs, and other things. a few more pics. the advocate clarifies: "The construction site image, along with several others, was only depicted on a poster describing the campaign and won't be put to use officially either." (also via the wider angle sunday reader)

it's not so much that I'm thrilled with the depiction of skirted/ponytailed/high-heeled women, but I like the way that actions are associated with different gender roles.

using plants to clean soil

Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants. reminds me of a project at USM, where they use spinach to remove lead from soil around homes. (purdue thing via the sunday reader at wider angle ->

more free GIS

MapWindow GIS. this one is apparently full-featured; it lets you edit shapefiles, data, etc.

rpg movie

I can't belive I just spent 40 minutes watching this movie that parodies a video game on youtube. (the cut-in story/video clips from elswhere were dumb, but the game parts: awesome.) via waxy.

new hero

Sweetpea Bicycles - Natalie builds custom bikes for women. Seattle.

new bike

the new bike is an all-red miyata 710 from the 1980s (not the 1984 model that has a white head tube, though). she is a bit smaller than the old bike and has super-skinny tires. hopefully she'll be going smoothly by tomorrow afternoon. as far as I can tell a bunch of her parts aren't original (handlebars, rear derailleur). weirdly, the rear wheel has 7 gears and the front has 2. I've never seen a bike advertised as "14 speed" (should I pay more attention?) Miyata Info.

choice (birth control) and oppression

this is my favorite post from "blog for choice day": Blogging for choice: Given the choice.

coworker's computer problem

my coworker gisela's laptop pops up a window trying to install/configure PhotoGallery every time she re-boots. other people have had this problem: on roxio's forums, on help2go. (for future reference?)

how much electricity, again

there's a really fun widget that calculates the electricity cost of an appliance halfway down this page: How much electricity does my stuff use?

electricity usage in $

approximate appliance electricity costs (bimonthly). also, this chart on running some distributed computing app says running a desktop 24 hours a day costs $5-$10/month.

national ID law

Maine rejected the national ID law (go maine! too bad my Maine ID expires in 2007). wow: not only do we have to have passports now (as of Jan 14 or so) to fly to Canada and Mexico, but we will have to have passports to cross those borders in a car as of January 2008, and in May 2008 will have to have ID complying with the 2005 REAL-ID law to board an airplane (restricting travel within our own country) and also (I think) to access federal human services programs. States are free not to issue REAL-ID compliant drivers' licenses, but then their residents will have to have *passports* to board any plane or access federal programs. The REAL-ID compliant licenses, at least in Maine, would cost people over $100, and require people to show original copies of their birth certificates and social security cards. And this fall I was putting off getting my CA drivers license because it costs $35.


check out the per-paragraph comments on this Django Book beta. it 100x improves the usefulness of commenting for something like this (a document-in-progress with limited authorship but open to comments/suggestions from wide readership).


to use the AlphaImageLoader thing to make transparent pngs work in IE, an element's "hasLayout" has to be set. IE's hasLayout. it can be set by setting one of several css properties. also, there is this script, which looks to be a one-stop solution for transparent pngs in IE.

social media and philanthropy

Anil Dash spoke to the Northern California Grantmakers on social media and philanthropy. Does large-scale philanthropy apply directly to social media? Isn't social media about granularity (individuals), rather than centralized resources (grantmakers)? I do think its important that nonprofits and their grantors know about social media and its potential, and that they make room for it in their proposals/funding, which was something that struck me about the CTC VISTA PSO: how it served as an introduction to the ideas of social media for us VISTA members and our supervisors. (via anil dash)

microsummaries are live summaries that live in a bookmark

Microsummaries/Using - MozillaWiki


I've upgraded my goofing-off: I'm using google reader. also moved on up to firefox 2.


Meta Tags: The Poor Man’s RDF? RDF = Resource Description Framework

Information in RDF is expressed as a series of statements that each have a subject, verb, and object–triples. ... adding a new property in RDF is as simple as asserting in a triple that value X is a certain property of entity Y.

the importance of favicons

While making phone calls for work today asking people about how they used certain websites, I got a specific comment from one person that she likes that a site's bookmarks have "a little building" next to them; "there are so many 'e's." A bit of fuel for my favicon crusade (though it indicates I should expand beyond drupal favicons to *any* site without a favicon).

did you know...

Japanese Bicycles in the U.S. Market: "Miyata is a major manufacturer, and made bikes for export under other names as well, notably Univega."

dropped handle bars

The Advantages of Dropped Handle Bars. I had the nicest fucking handlebars in the world, perfect width and perfect curves and exactly what I'd dreamed of for years. Also, my TTT headset had a classy angle, and looked like Scar the Cylon raider. holy fuck I miss my bike. I am looking, halfheartedly, at others.

about bike frames

on "trail" - how the angle of the front fork contributes to the stability of a bike.

current personal projects

things I'm trying to do:

  • not chew my lips
  • drink more
  • read more
  • not look unfriendly

state of the union

Bush highlighted Baby Einstein and Wesley Autrey in his State of the Union address.

bullet point

I was looking for the html entity for bullet points (•): •. wikipedia on the bullet point.

making phone calls for work

The message on the answering machine of the organization I just called was entirely in Spanish, and I felt really rude leaving my message entirely in English. (I have no Spanish; "dos pupusas con queso y frijoles, por favor" and the numbers 1-9 don't count)

barcode font

a barcode font (for a certain type of barcode). free. via the ctcvista blog.

protecting comment forms from spam bots

comment form honeypots. via simon willison.


wow, I just got a wedding invite on evite.

forgotten link

go here when I get home

bike stolen.

my bike was stolen from my half-open garage.

mushroom walk, 1975

the American River Conservancy looks like it might have some interesting events. There was a mushroom walk today, which would have been wicked cool (though probably next to impossible for me to get to). via (how is it a .org if they're a yahoo company-thing?)

bluegrass in sf

there's a bluegrass festival in san francisco, february 3-10.

yana recommends

outlaw harnesses (sex things). <- this is a both exciting and depressing. gah.

the old web

In seventh grade, the internet was about 500 Ways to Annoy Your Roommate. We printed it out and passed it around. We were *so* ready for college.

My memory of going online at school was going to WebCrawler, which at that time maintained its own index and was one of the better search engines, and searching for "500 ways to annoy your roommate." As I experienced it, WebCrawler was great, later AltaVista was the best, DogPile (a meta-search engine) became briefly useful, then Google came on the scene. When I started using the internet for real, by which I mean "daily," in 2000, Google was the only search engine that mattered.

weird things to do with css

I live handily without these css methods, but some of them are less hack-ish than I expected and kind of neat. also: I didn't know there was an opacity attribute in css.

oscms conference

open source cms summit at yahoo, tentatively march 22-23 this year. I'm curious about conferences but also totally intimidated.

intersect in sql

sql relational algebra examples

sql where clause thing

for future reference:

SELECT * FROM Products WHERE ProductName IN ("Chair", "Table")

(from "using sets with sql," a dumb article name for an article about "IN")

re: the telegraph

putting machines on both ends of something was non-obvious. there weren't even translating typewriters on both ends; people had to translate to and from morse code. uh, IIRC.

quick consistant visual id for commenters

way of identifying people in comment threads (and other places). it's an image generated from your ip, a quick non-textual cue of who's talking in an online discussion. (really cool.) via simon willison. it builds the icon like a little quilt. my ip comes out nicely:

conference blogging

great coverage of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women Conference is happening over at brownfemipower.

more IE bug-catching

catching IE css bugs: try adding position: relative or a height or a width to an element. How to Attack an Internet Explorer (Win) Display Bug. (why is there no date on that article? or am I blind?) also: I actively avoid most css hacks—hiding stuff from browsers with funky comments, etc—so while the hacks in that article are nice and simple (and 5 years out of date), the code samples are not my style.


I love the idea that I could solder with a lighter. So ghetto. And practical: like I'm going to shell out $20 for a soldering iron! Even $3.00 for a spool of solder is a big outlay to stick two wires together. Make Magazine says it's "Learn to Solder Month." (that's where the first link came from). I already did learn to solder, but then I never had any reason to practice.

I might even be getting comfortable going to the hardware store, one small thing at a time. (last month: laundry line and an x-acto knife. last week: a plunger and a nail. today: a key and some wood glue. tomorrow: solder.)

(cross-posted to my "travel" blog)

IE 6 css bugs

float: right css bug in IE 6; float crazies up its parent. solution: put a float on a parent container. fix found on this page o' floated divs (useful lots of ways).

gis-gis-gis. community mapping, I mean.

I've sent three GIS links to my supervisor now, so I think I might be able to generate enough material to maintain a blog, of sorts, of CRATE-related stuff. most recently, a link from ethan zuckerman's post on ten democracy projects in seventy minutes (which reminds me of being at the ctcvista pso). by "generate," I actually mean "find."

powershot sd700, out of stock

I think I might have missed the boat on the canon powershot sd700IS. it seems to be out of stock just about everywhere, and canon is supposedly going to make new camera announcements in february. I'll probably still end up getting one...

thinking about

I lost a lot of confidence at work this fall.


I disagree with the phrase, "miscarriage of justice." not sure why.

robot radio

on living on earth (jan 12, 2007 show) some guy was being interviewed about robots. at one point he used the phrase "create in our own image," which is synonymous with the idea of "playing god," and summons up in me old-fashioned feelings of impropriety about creating combinations of intelligence and human form.

at another point the interviewer said something like, "the philosophical aspect to building robots makes some people uncomfortable; how does that make you feel?" "I feel fascinated!" the interviewee replied. my question: is "fascinated" a feeling? (if so, it must be awesome)

the interviewee also says something about raccoons being dexterous but we never wonder if they will eventually create robot raccoons, and are alpha-centaurians watching them and saying, oh those cute professors think they're going to make robot professors!

powerbook around the house

a powerbook also is... a really large portable/wifi telephone. a heating pad. (for cramps! today=worst ever!) a nightlight, for walking up the stairs. an alarm clock, with ical+itunes.

OSS study

study on the economics of FLOSS - this is what I thought that other article a few days ago would be, from its headline. OSS = Open Source Software. FLOSS = Free/Libre/Open Source Software

jeff han

article on Jeff Han and his work (multi-touch guy)

also, re: the video attached to that article: it seems like interfaces are moving towards being things we use with more of our body and/or standing up. ex: the wii, multi-hand interfaces, the iphone's use of proximity sensors and accelerometers as part of the ui (more obviously than on apple's laptops). it will be more intuitive to use computers in more parts of our lives if that use isn't all sitting down at a keyboard.

cool ads?

question: is that an ad at the top of coolhunting? because if it is, it (and the other ones that show up when you reload) is actually an interesting link -> leads to interesting artists' websites.


comment thread on ways of avoiding long proofs (typically in science/math textbooks). "left as an exercise to the reader."

also, the word "elision."

windows hate (suprise!)

This isn't news to anyone else, but. Things pop up out of nowhere all the time on my Windows computer at work: "update this" "install that." They're not attached to anything! I can easily imagine myself clicking "don't install" on important patches, and "install" on adware/spyware. The bubbles from the taskbar are "out of nowhere" as far as I'm concerned; they're attached to tiny tiny icons, triggered by mysterious forces, and unpredictable about what they will do if you click them. hate hate hate. But it's not only the taskbar bubbles; other apps throw little warning windows in the middle of the screen. On my Mac, if the OS wants to upgrade it opens an application where I can see past updates, etc. If an application wants to upgrade, it asks when I open it.


dataplace, placeblogger. (logos)

ca nonprofit sites

really nice site: (Legal Services of Northern California) It's wicked simple, and wicked full of information. There are almost no images (and no pictures at all), nice colors, very readable text, what looks like a useful blog (which *is* the front page), and standards, and everything. hooray for the old new web.

also: their tone is knowlegeable but not inhuman. their terms of use are crisp. If I could pull together terms of use in that style (though not necessarily those terms) for ccrh, I'd be happy.

ladder climbing

Women CIOs: How To Smash the Glass Ceiling. are they fucking serious? it's womens' job to learn to work around entrenched patriarchy? and the "tips" from other women—it's like even they assume that women are incompetant, because the tips are things that anyone in any environment with any sort of promotions will know (being good at them is another story, but not one limited to women!). It makes those women sound like they got their positions as much by acquiescing to the system as by their own merits. (not to diminish their accomplishments; but climbing up the ladder != changing the system)

ze frank

article on ze frank at the ny observer. in it he says:

“... this is an audience that I value immensely, because they do incredible stuff. How do you value an audience who, when I ask them to dress up their vacuum cleaners, send in 1,000 pictures in 20 hours?”

it mentions that "the show" will end on march 17 this year. and that ze will be doing hollywood things. via kottke.

where MySQL data lives

On my mac, MySQL data is stored in /usr/local/mysql/data/tablename (I always want to know where things are so I can go and "ls" them. That's my [small, plastic] hammer.) For MyISAM tables, there are three files (approximately. Messing with table/db data from outside MySQL is asking for trouble.): tablename.MYI, tablename.MYD, and tablename.frm. As far as I can tell, *.MYI are indexes, *.MYD are data, and *.frm are table definitions (that one's a guess). more on .MYI files.

p.s. the mystery 700mb: the table data files themselves are appropriately sized (2mb + 31mb = 33mb total, same as I calculated they should be) and the indexes aren't insane (4mb + 41mb = 45mb total). so I still don't know what's up.


I totally made that thesaurus tool. I am going to try a couple different takes, but: coming soon to a server near you! (maybe)

why all blog posts are the same (maybe)

kb mentioned recently that the "livejournal text input box is always the same, thus it always provokes the same emotions from me, thus i always write the same things." which got me thinking: blog posting interfaces that show what you've been doing - flickr photos, browser history,, flagged rss posts from other blogs, notes from your 'scrap pad' type thing, flagged/starred/labeled emails, etc. if you have those input sources. it'd have to be a non-browser app. come to think of it, flock is supposed to do something like this. this is one of those things that would be interesting to look at, but that I wouldn't use.

dream movie

a boy's bizarre dream (youtube). via kb's friend sam.

mysql question: something big and nowhere to be found?

what would balloon to 700 mb while building a 70 mb mysql database? are there error logs recording every warning somewhere? (because there were a lot of warnings: I used IGNORE and inserted a lot of duplicates.) this space was very clearly being used up on my hd as I built the db (with a scrappy little script)

also, what are the files "ib_logfile0", "ib_logfile1", and "ibdata1" in /usr/local/mysql/data? (I suspect they're related to InnoDB tables, but how can I tell if I have any innoDB databases? - I might have played with them in the past, but not enough that I remember what/where/when). those three files are 5mb, 5mb, and 18mb (!) respectively.

sac tech people org

SacStarts - for Sacramento tech entrepreneurs/small business people. I'm curious, but business-y tech stuff like that really isn't my kind of thing. Nor are dinner tables full of business-y web guys and grilled chicken. someday I will pull myself together and meet some more web people, though.

money management

Cha-Ching, a money manager app for os x, makes me think about "working for myself." weird feeling.

consistently backup mysql

backing up mysql with a shell script and a cron job.

gis mapping

LSNC mapping resources - great list of internet mapping tools and resources. suprisingly, via work.

"the time is now"

"front-end architects"? - specifically, web people who know the inside and the outside. when is it not the time for people who know the outside and the inside (everything about everything)? hah.

thesaurus words

downloadable thesaurus file. free as in uncopyrighted. project gutenberg.

roommate interview process

sample roommate interview questions:

  • does it smell in here? (best answer: "not that I can tell")
  • so, do you have a mac? (best answer: if they don't look at me like I'm insane)

funnier now

using weird skills to save the world: kb said I do this? kind of? which I take as a compliment. I am sort of a regex wizard these days. (wizard on the third try, that is)

make the face, too

monster in sign language (from ben)

unicode domain names

from the daring fireball/cabel sasser podcast below: apparently you can register unicode domain names. so they're talking about going out and registering three or four single-character unicode domain names... "recycling symbol".com (♲.com), etc. (at ~1:00:00)

web typography I'm not bothering to read now

The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web The title is set in flash. Great opening page to a book on web typography. anyways: classic typography manual, refigured for the web. for future reference.


web design patterns

christmas book

Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day is disjointed but at the same time dense (and I fear ultimately unrewarding), but I have a senseless determination to finish what I've started—and what my dad can't finish. Somebody's got to complete the family work. I'm on p. 83 of 1085. ugh ugh ugh. So far the only thing I've written down: "tolerated by though not especially beloved of" (p. 60)

why I thought to mention it at all: an article in the stranger comments on the hugeness and inaccessibility of this book.

macworld session podcast

the podcast I was waiting for of john gruber and cabel sasser at macworld.

cat names

I just read about a cat named Flea. I love cats with animal names and will talk about them at any opportunity: Puppy, Monkey, Pig. Flea.

python weekend

Dive Into Python is extremely well written. It isn't hurting at all to read it <body> to </body>. No stupid jokes, no trendy phrasing, no talking down. When/if I finish, I'll be looking for a good reference, because this is an excellent discussion and introduction but not perfect for finding details in. Anyways: I would read this shit for fun. (oh, wait...)

sacramento thing

when sacramentans want to communicate that they're cool, they talk about burning man. even if they didn't go, they have a friend who went...


"Welcome to the World of Multiple Sclerosis" (uhh, nice world you've got here... from the website of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation)


In my bedroom I have line-of-sight with the cell phone tower, yet my calls are dropped when I sit on my bed against the wall.

headline confusion

"EU study says OSS has better economics than proprietary software": I kept seeing this headline (forgetting where) and thinking that it meant that the business of making and selling OSS made more sense than the business of making and selling proprietary software. Which made sense to me, wheather because of wishful thinking plus the bandwagon effect, or because it's possible to form a "logical" path to that conclusion... What made sense to me is that a market would be better served (though not necessarily more profitable) and the idea of "letting the market decide" would be more realistic if the companies selling things in the market were focused on selling, supporting, and extending a product that is widely available.

can't think of a good analogy or next sentence, so I'm not sure if this idea has any logical extension...

The headline actually meant that, in a study of a few european universities, it was ultimately cheaper to use OSS than proprietary software.

style guides

what does the NYTimes' style guide say about smileys? David Pogue's iPhone FAQs part 2 ends with a smiley.

itunes 7 logo

finally updated stuff that the system updater has been nagging me about for months, including itunes (from 6.x to 7). some blogger mentioned being annoyed by the blue notes in the icon (rather than 6's green; nearly every dock icon has blue these days), so now I am too (you don't need to tell me this is ridiculous). how to put the green icons back in itunes 7. except I don't have on hand (and can't download from apple) an installer for itunes 6. (I wish it was the old days of having plenty of disk space; I used to archive the installers for every single application I used, and would even keep 1 or 2 versions back.)

update: also, I don't like the swishy top bar of the new notes. thanks, ben, for sending me the old green ones!

zip code "scribble" map

us zip code "scribble" map - zip codes drawn in ascending order, they show state boundaries and dense city areas, etc. great comment thread with zip code tidbits. (I continue to love zip codes). via kottke I think.

getting rid of cat smells

I'm worried that the first girl who came to look at our apartment was turned off by the cat smell upstairs... I'm not sure how strong it actually is because I have gotten used to it. When our roommate goes (Sunday I think), I'm going to do a couple deodorizing experiments.

the easy suggestion:

  1. wash with soap and water
  2. apply white vinegar, let dry to damp
  3. apply lots of baking soda
  4. wait a while, vacuum.

great comment thread, recommends:

  • meth labs smell like cat pee
  • Nature's Miracle (TM), an enzyme based cleaner. $6.49 for a spray bottle.
  • the Lampe Berger, a lamp with a catalytic converter that supposedly eliminates all kinds of smells. $30, plus $18.95 for the oil, at amazon (yippico, actually, but they're more navigable via amazon)

eHow says:

  • you can find peed-on parts of carpets with a blacklight
  • use a rug cleaner, then an enzyme-based cleaner, let sit, then vacuum

things I have daydreamed about recently

  • being a science teacher
  • snowboarding in tahoe with my dad
  • traveling to central america with my parents
  • opening a convenience store + café
  • making $30,000/year and then having college be too expensive because I have $15,000 in savings.


band that may or may not sound like the lemonheads: the bright ideas.

mail client

when it grows up a bit, I may try correo, a new thunderbird-based mac mail client. though if it just duplicates mail's functionality, what's the point?

music - the finches

the finches. cozy. supposedly coming to sac on jan 26. or: mp3s here.


I've been hearing good things about the movie Children of Men.

cook's illustrated

re: cooking magazine recommendation request at heckasac, I mentioned the only cooking magazine I occasionally bother to read.

I really like Cook's Illustrated; it's ad-free and has prettily drawn illustrations; they're in-depth and I like their kind-of-scientific approach, which often involves trying a bunch of brands of a key recipe ingredient and reporting their opinions of it. Also, their recipes aren't impossibly fancy.

oblique strategies

it was really funny last night when Anton plugged the oblique strategies widget at his weekly True Love gig. oblique strategies is a bunch of phrases/idea seeds compiled by brian eno and various others for when your creativity is frustrated. when ben proposed pantextual, this is one of the things I thought of.

ms office ui redesign

I'm kind of excited about office's interface redesign; the whole "ribbon" thing, bringing features out of the deep, deep menus... "We want things to be more discoverable," says some developer here: Microsoft reveals details of Office 2008 for Mac. also there, a screenshot. via daringfireball.

(of course, new office requires vista, and I don't anticipate seeing vista anywhere for another year at least, and probably 3 years in many corporate environments. though office for mac might start showing up places in a year or so.)

on passwords

for future reference. boingboing quotes this article on passwords:

PRTK also runs a four-character-string exhaustive search. It runs the dictionaries with lowercase (the most common), initial uppercase (the second most common), all uppercase and final uppercase. It runs the dictionaries with common substitutions: "$" for "s," "@" for "a," "1" for "l" and so on. Anything that's "leet speak" is included here, like "3" for "e."

The appendage dictionaries include things like:

  • All two-digit combinations
  • All dates from 1900 to 2006
  • All three-digit combinations
  • All single symbols
  • All single digit, plus single symbol
  • All two-symbol combinations

dictionary/thesaurus tool I want

is there an online thesaurus where I can put in two words and have it show words that overlap them both? -- maybe this is one of the "dictionary mashups" that the librarian at pop!tech this year was talking about. it could be a kind of social network for words, even: friendster and myspace tell you how another member overlaps with your network, this thesaurus should do that for words (especially if they don't directly share a synonym).

also: take two words that share meaning with a third; the first two don't necessarily overlap, right? otherwise, I could find a word that means some combination of "unfortunate" and "crestfallen" by looking in the thesaurus entries of either one. "unfortunate" and "crestfallen" don't share meaning, exactly, but they do have a sort of empathy, and I'm looking for a word that falls in that. (hah: empathetic words? does that make sense? also: I'm not looking anymore, I changed the sentance.)

lost links

from early december, on my hd:


cool web 2.0 app I'll never use: cocomment. smart aggregation of your comment thread conversations.

tablet mac

ModBook - a company is modding MacBooks into tablets. they have a built-in gps option... if it has decent accuracy, to heck with those scrawny little gps units running ESRI's ArcPad (though no ESRI software is available for the Mac... not that ESRI is that good, but it's industry standard.)

anthony bourdain in ghana

this post on anthony bourdain, a food traveller, makes me willing to try watching food tv. (specifically.)

update: eh. it was pretty cool to see bits and pieces of ghana, but I didn't really like the guy, and the show wasn't in-depth/nerdy enough to be satisfying. his narration went like this: "mmm, this food is good. it's spicy, I like spicy. what is this? pork? mmm. thank you, this is delicious."

new blogger feature

favorite feature of the "new" blogger: nice blog search urls, like searching my blog is now easy to do from my url bar (which I use basically like a cli).

society of the spectacle

back in november I started to watch this movie by guy debord, the society of the spectacle. I think. anyway, I stopped at 12:08 and never got back to it, but made these notes.

"The oldest social specialization, the specialization of power, is at the root of the spectacle. The spectacle is thus a specialized activity which speaks for the ensemble of the others. It is the diplomatic representation of hiearchal society to itself, where every other form of speech is banned." (7:50)

"The more his life is now his own production, the more he is separated from his life. The spectacle is capital at such a degree of accumulation that it becomes image." (9:36) (last sentance makes no sense to me?)

turing completeness for the critical theory: "Critical theory should communicate itself in its own language." (10:03)

(society of the spectacle on wikipedia)

sorbet in a bag

sorbet in a "sack": in a gallon ziplock, put a tray of ice cubes and 6 tbsp rock salt. in a quart ziplock, put 1 pint fruit juice. seal the air out of the quart ziplock, put it with the ice and salt in the gallon ziplock, seal, warp in a towel, and agitate for 5 mins. via boingboing.

cisco vs apple

apple acts like it can have any name it wants, based on the strength of their brand; first vs. apple records and now vs. cisco with the iphone. it's like steve just announced it that way because he thinks apple deserves the name, whether someone else had it first or not. not that I think they should/shouldn't be able to use 'iphone' or sell music; it just think it's inelegant how they go about it. arstechnica has a succinct article. also, cisco vs apple at boingboing.


cranberry beans are my new favorite kind of beans.

pbs in sac: kvie

sacramento pbs tv schedule

education from the ground up

Zapatista schools: "Other Education". via brownfemipower.


came across this video of a multi-touch demo that has new relevance re: the iPhone. especially about 1/4 of the way in, there's a bit of moving photos around, and pinching/unpinching them to make them smaller/bigger. (via: me, feb 2006)

website on more multi-touch interface experiments (by the same guy as above, jeff haan (?))

php can be obnoxious

One thing that makes PHP obnoxious is that it has a function for everything. It's as if someone wanted to make a language that people would write scripts in and think, "wow, that's so short." Except it doesn't work, because who knows all the damn functions? And it's not necessarily the presence of things-done-for-you that shortens and neatens code, it's the robustness of its metaphors. Or something.

Brought this on: using "array_walk()" plus some other code, where I could have used "array_map()". for future reference.

also: I definitely go through fads with my php usage. Recently I've been using "array_unshift()" at every opportunity.

first letter/first word

reasons we extracted the first letter and first word of "phrases" on pantextual programatically rather than with css:

  • css pseudo-classes aren't implemented in all browsers (though I think :first-letter is)
  • if the first character is a quote mark, we don't want that to be featured like a letter
  • there is no css pseudo-class for the first word

plane tickets online

my coworker just asked me about where to get cheap flights online. my response: I like because it's fast, sometimes I use orbitz, but in the end I usually end up getting a better deal by going straight to the airlines' sites. It should be noted that I've only bought 3 plane tickets in the past year-ish. I got cheaper flights directly through Aer Lingus and US Airways than were available through

p.s. how did people manage before you could buy plane tickets online?

south dakota

on south dakota. romantacized but also reexamined.


dance movies

html entities I was looking for

upside down question mark: &iquest; - ¿
upside down exclaimation point: &iexcl; - ¡

women in suits

Mexican poster of women in suits: "Is it really necessary to be a man to be someone?" ("¿Realmente se necesita ser hombre para ser alguien?")

resolution-independant ui for leopard

on apple's resolution-independent ui-thing patent. (by cabel sasser of panic software) ("resolution independent" = "vector", basically)

state of CA

California's state of the state address is tonight (tues jan 8) at 5pm. I wonder if Schwarzenegger will mention the iPhone? (update: the speech is available through

I had to go to wikipedia to find out when this year's State of the Union address is: January 23 at 9pm EST. (2007 State of the Union at wikipedia)

polonium 210

on polonium 210's deadliness. via meyer.

email gripes

that last "thanks" when someone does something small but useful for you that would be so easy face-to-face is another useless piece of email in an inbox. sometimes I wish that I could turn an email conversation into chat (persistant, time-insensitive chat) like gmail's conversations but maybe even moved out of the flow of my email until it's finished. especially those office emails, "are you available wednesday or thursday afternoon?" where it takes 15 emails to nail people down to friday afternoon at 2.

superglue and snowflakes

preserving snowflakes. it'd be cool to make a christmas tree ornament out of this (though I guess it's so tiny that you would hardly be able to see the snowflake itself). via kottke.

macworld keynote reactions

  • apple announced their iPhone. to heck with the other (voip) iphone. I'm looking forward to gruber/daringfireball's take on it.

    personally, it makes me all twitchy because it has no buttons (can I tell which way is up when I grab it inside my bag? can I listen to my messages without looking at the phone? you mean I have to *look* to make sure my finger is on the button?). This reaction is mostly due to the endowment effect—my cell phone is the best evar. I thought I would, but I don't want the iPhone.

    other reaction: this is the future! or, the future is here. so much information in the pocket. more than scifi, because it is the communicator people carry + the ship's computer, except it doesn't talk, which is actually an improvement imho.

    And: 160 ppi screen is pretty amazing and awesome. I also think it means the iPhone uses vector-based OS graphics. I think vector based OS graphics are either assumed or already announced for leopard, because ui bits get unreasonably small on HD screens. Time for an amateur prediction for June: MacBooks with screens > 72 ppi. (update: current macbooks have 113 ppi, or something.)

    also, steve spent nearly the entire keynote on this. an hour and a quarter. I feel like that's longer than he's spent on anything, even the first ipod announcement. maybe it's because the iphone has basically every feature ever.

    p.s. come June I *will* be going to the apple store to scope out the iPhone.

  • I was suprised that there were no software announcements. also, no "and one more thing..." I guess they've already previewed leopard, so why bother doing it again? I half-expected some iwork announcements, but all-hardware is much bigger (there was hardware-specific software, but that kind of equals just plain hardware).

  • video of the keynote will be up later today.

macworld keynote

ugh, no live macworld keynot video this year, I guess. plenty of live-bloggers, though. (macrumors has a good live thing). why doesn't someone just turn their damn macbook around and stream it? (rules, bandwidth. grr.)

update: I wish I had been reading engadget's coverage. it's great (lots of details, quotes, big high quality photos of stuff that matters).

babbling omni outliner love

when I am having trouble getting things done, I fire up omni outliner (which I think came with my powerbook) and make some checklists. it's so easy to make new list items, it almost happens accidentally; it does the indenting thing (command-]) that I love (do that thing... yeah, that... ahhhh... more); it does fancy colors if I feel like it but doesn't impose them on me. I don't usually like my to-do lists to be flashy, but when I need to pretend something's fun, omni outliner is there for me. I'm using it this week.

macworld keynote tomorrow!

tomorrow morning is the macworld keynote. 9-11am PST. steve jobs, apple product update announcements, pretty slides, leopard previews, and one more thing (= new apple surprise product). I'll be working from home, which will mean that I can listen to it out loud and not be interrupted. does it seem like I'm taking the bad kind of advantage of my job's flexibility? I watched it at work last year too. In 2005 I think I was at home watching. In 2004 I watched as much as I could before work, then read someone's live blogging of it at work (retail is slow in january), and then watched the rest when I got home. I wouldn't babble, but I'm excited.


["mangel-wurzel" is] originally German. The first part is the old word Mangold, meaning beet or chard (the latter being the green leaves from a variety of beet). The second part is Wurzel, a root. Germans became confused about the first part several centuries ago and thought it was instead Mangel, a shortage or lack. From this has grown up the popular belief that mangel-wurzel refers to a famine food, a root you eat only when you’re starving. This is a gross calumny, since when young it’s as tasty and sweet as other sorts of beet, though it’s mainly used as animal fodder.

from the world wide words newsletter (jan 6, 2007, thanks ben). the farm I was at this summer grew mangles for the pigs, but I was never sure I was hearing Elona right. (eventually confirmed the name, later in the summer).

style guide

the morning news style guide: dos and do nots on words and ideas (for tmn; not in general). (via coudal).

pretty fenders

bicycle fenders made of wood (ebay).

mostly dumb euphamisms

50 euphemisms for female masturbation. the nerdy ones: "digitising," "having a manually assisted fantasy," "hand jiving."

depth of field, penises

33 Photographs of The Intact Adult Male Foreskin. precise rather than flattering.

mac os x 10.4 tiger love

one of my favorite mac os x 10.4 (tiger) features is that slideshows are wicked easy to view from pictures in my email and selections in the finder. I use it sometimes even when there is just one photo. also, "tiger love"! <- awesome phrase.


I am the punchline to a typography joke. because I set a title in Times. I have so many excuses, but kb is still laughing.



font browser

kb uses Linotype's Font Explorer X (rather than Font Book) to browse through fonts. It's free.

anti-blushing advice

kb's advice, to prevent myself from blushing when I talk about Ben: "When you say 'Ben' in conversation, think about another Ben."

toaster wings

after dark - flying toaster screen saver. old skool like. (aim with kelly)


at one point there were caribou in maine, but not anymore. (aim with kelly)

ripping dvds

thinking about backing up dvds: mac the ripper, quicktime pro -less, dvd2one, dvd remaster.

one sentence

interface design quotes. "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." —Bertrand Russell.

yuba yuba yuba

cook's thesaurus - soy products. there's info about bean curd stixks and yuba on that page.

bean curd stick/yuba obsession

another yuba recipe

music video of letters

music video with stop motion words made of things. mediocre music. via kottke.

about film noir

if/when I get back into movies: film noir basics. with a bunch of (explained) recommendations.


mark's old website, convolutopia, came up at new years. it is wonderful, and makes me want to gouge out my eyes.

teenagers using up all the electrons.

danah boyd on teenagers not creating permanent 'online identities'. via waxy.

month's food for $30

jen mentioned this guy who ate for a month on $30.

homemade tortillas

homemade flour tortillas. not what I expected.


who I am