Cool clock

A very cool clock which, alas, requires Flash.

Fancy something a little more low-tech (no Flash required)? OK, try this.

Paul Lynde quotes

Fantastic: Paul Lynde quotes from Hollywood Squares. [pants]

Peter Marshall: True or false, the navy has trained whales to recover objects a mile deep.

Paul Lynde: At first they tried unsuccessfully with cocker spaniels…

Peter Marshall: What is the name of the instrument with the light on the end, that the doctor sticks in your ear?

Paul Lynde: Oh, a cigarette.

Peter Marshall: Henry Kissinger was recently quoted as saying,”They aren’t even sexy!” Who was he referring to?

Paul Lynde: The Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Peter Marshall: Now listen carefully, Paul…during the time of the hula hoop, the yo-yo, and Davy Crockett hats, who was in the White House?

Paul Lynde: I’ll say the yo-yo!

I Was A Teenage Punk-Rock Extra

I Was A Teenage Punk-Rock Extra! [pants]

The Healthy Flooring Network

The Healthy Flooring Network.

I have a dust and dander allergy (great news in a cat lover) and my dream house has wooden flooring instead of carpets, and blinds instead of curtains. Rugs provide snugness underfoot, as they can be beaten out properly. Alas, while I rent, it’s just a dream.

Interesting remark from the site: British people have a particular attachment to fitted carpets. … The proportion of houses with fitted carpets everywhere else in the world is much lower, even in countries with similar climates (UK homes 98%, France 16%).

(Thanks, Malc, for the link).

Converting bitmap images to coloured ascii

Here’s a groovy site which converts bitmap images into coloured ASCII – nice. Alas, doesn’t seem to work with Opera. Boo, hiss.


Googlewhacking – your goal is to find that elusive query (ideally two words) with a single, solitary result.

Spaced Penguin

Spaced Penguin (requires Flash).


Ninjas are mammals. Ninjas fight ALL the time. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

A hot sighting is a picture of a ninja REALLY flipping out: surfing on a school bus, flipping over a Thanksgiving dinner table while a family screams, or simply eating a cat.

Loops of fury, Batman!

Loops of fury, Batman! I’ve been tying Dutch bowlines when I thought I was tying er, ordinary bowlines! Boy, is my face red.

Another good knot site, anyway. I love its comments on the granny: This knot is dangerous, and untrustful. One moment is slips the other it jams. It is best to ban it out from your habits

While we’re in the world of knots and climbing, how about the Outdoor Action Guide to Belaying?

Introspection in python

Python introspection discussion.

Cutting to the heart of the matter

Y’all are crazy sex chimps. Why yes, yes we are. Thanks for noticing, ma’am.

noah grey – nice look

noah grey – I love the look of this site: gentle, clean, functional, interesting. The photos bar down the right is a nice idea, I might have to nick that. :-)

I’m really starting to think about writing my own blogging software… I currently use Blogger and it’s been really good, but I’m such a perfectionist/control freak that I’m definitely outgrowing it. My trek website is built with home-grown software: no weblogs there but lots of dynamic picture indices etc. Still just an idea at the moment, but one that’s growing…

Changing Rooms – avoid!

If you’ve ever watched BBC1′s “Changing Rooms”, don’t miss this: an account of the show by one of its participants. [plastic]

Television addiction

One for Ed: Television addiction. [null]

What is more surprising is that the sense of relaxation ends when the set is turned off, but the feelings of passivity and lowered alertness continue. Survey participants commonly reflect that television has somehow absorbed or sucked out their energy, leaving them depleted. They say they have more difficulty concentrating after viewing than before. In contrast, they rarely indicate such difficulty after reading. After playing sports or engaging in hobbies, people report improvements in mood. After watching TV, people’s moods are about the same or worse than before.

I blame Ed for making me like Sex & The City.

Knots on the brain

I’ve decided that since I’m getting into rock-climbing a bit, it’s time I learnt how to tie some knots: Knots on the web; knot knowledge; knot guide at Irish Climbing Online; knots.pdf.

So far I’ve mastered the figure-of-8, bowline, highwayman’s hitch, and fisherman’s knot. Last Tuesday I couldn’t do a figure-of-8 to save my life, which is ridiculuous because it’s so easy – and I knew it was ridiculous at the time, which made me more anxious to get it right, and more likely to get it wrong. Well, never again, I say!

How do the filters know what to filter?

How do the filters know what to filter?

Consider a system in which you have a signal passing through a number of filters, and an “undo” mechanism so you can return to an arbitrary previous state. Now, say you have an “antifilter”, which removes the influence of any filters previous to it.

OK, the question is, is the antifilter considered to be a filter or not? To put it another way, does an antifilter remove the influence of any previous antifilters? Then, what are the implications of either choice for the logic and behaviour of the system? Example: multiple antifilters in series. How does this configuration behave if antifilters “remove” previous antifilters? How does it behave if they don’t?

The Gregs of Humanity

Band name: The Gregs of Humanity

Dave n Rachey – yay!

Dave's curmudgeonly head

Turkey targets Chomsky

Turkey Targets Chomsky [robot]

Scarcely two months after the European Union praised Turkey for passing new laws protecting freedom of expression, the authorities in Ankara are using anti -terrorism legislation to prosecute Mr Chomsky’s Turkish publisher.

Gimboland gets a search box

I’ve added a simple search button to Gimboland – in the sidebar, under the archives. Will also add an “advanced search” option, and customise the look of the results pages, but not right now… Groovy.

Undertow by Lush – it’s, well, lush

I’m listening to Undertow by Lush over and over again this afternoon – it’s absolutely unbelievable – really really lovely. Thank you, Andrew for nudging me in this direction – although I haven’t found the DJ Spooky mix yet. If I like it more than the original, things will be getting messy round here.

Interestingly, it looks like Emma from Lush went on to form Sing-Sing, who I’ve come across via Locust. This makes me want to check out Sing-Sing more…

Climbing the north face of the Eiger

Climbing the north face of the Eiger – gripping stuff, but I wish there was more commentary on the photos.

Killing Dragons

Last night, I finished reading this book. It was tedious in places but got very good as it went on. I’ve submitted a review to Amazon, hopefully it’ll appear there soon… [2002-01-31: It's finally appeared.], a high-level FTP interface, a high-level interface to python’s standard ftplib module. Looks excellent – wish I’d had this a month ago.

Terry Waite on the POWs at Camp X-Ray

Terry Waite on the POWs at Camp X-Ray.

I can recognise the conditions that prisoners are being kept in at the US camp at Guantanamo Bay because I have been there. Not to Cuba’s Camp X-Ray, but to the darkened cell in Beirut that I occupied for five years. I was chained to a wall by my hands and feet; beaten on the soles of my feet with cable; denied all my human rights, and contact with my family for five years, and given no access to the outside world. Because I was kept in very similar conditions, I am appalled at the way we – countries that call ourselves civilised – are treating these captives. Is this justice or revenge?

The best ewok painting in the world, ever!

The best ewok painting in the world. Also, Ponda Baba’s arm is missing (broken – 20030610). [pants]

What, only four?

Fantastic: a watch that tells you the direction and distance to the four nearest pubs.

Spam filtering at AOL

From the RISKS digest, some interesting/insightful comments about spam filtering at AOL.

Cool DJ pics

DJ number 1 DJ number 2 DJ number 3

Cambodia photos

Some pretty cool Cambodia pictures.

Gwen Stefani actually rather attractive shocker

I’ve suddenly realised that Gwen Stefani is, to quote Tharg, “one serious stack of woman flesh”. Why wasn’t I informed of this sooner?

Lighting-up saber

From this (frivolous) discussion of product placement in Star Wars prequels [null]:

Imagine how silly it would look if, during the middle of one of their conversations, either Luke or Ben pulled out a cigarette and lit it with a lightsaber.

How long do you have to live?

How long do you have to live? According to this, I’m due to die at 3:27 AM on Wednesday December 19, 2063, aged 90. Gee, that’s going to spoil my family’s Christmas.

Tips for the trekking photographer

Tips for the trekking photographer.

Myths over Miami

Myths over Miami (originally published on my 23rd birthday, I notice). [null]

A bit of digging produced this… Clive Barker was working on a film based on the article – would love to see that.

RFC 1925: The Twelve Networking Truths

RFC 1925: The Twelve Networking Truths.

Trinity drinks deeply at learning’s open source

Trinity drinks deeply at learning’s open source. [daily-url]

Trinity college, Melbourne, has replaced its Windows network with Linux machines, and has adopted python for teaching and operations.

The biggest benefits to educators of open source are cost, simplicity and flexibility, says Trinity ITT manager Richard Wraith.

Python goodies

Python goodies: Albatross, “a small toolkit for developing highly stateful web applications”; Pythoncard, “a project to build a HyperCard like tool in, and using, the Python language”; an assertion that “Python is just as good as C++ for real apps“. [python-url]

Basque – very nice.

Basque – very nice. Heard about them here.

Could be my next Locust?

BBC testing Ogg streaming – hurrah!

The BBC is testing Ogg Vorbis streaming for radio. Excellent – Ogg Vorbis is a free and open audio codec, and if they can start using that instead of Real Audio, I’m all for it, for reasons of both cost and liberty.

Some SNMP resources

Some SNMP resources: The comp.protocols.snmp FAQ. Introductions to, and papers on, SNMP by David Guerrero, Yoram Cohen, (including links to RFCs), and Cisco Systems. Toolkits: The Net-SNMP project, and a page all about Linux SNMP tools. Python-related: pysnmp, an SNMP framework for python, and this is just weird. Miscellaneous other stuff:, “an excellent reference site on all aspects of SNMP and Network Management”, and a list of SNMP-related sites. That lot should keep me going for a while. :-)

Another great true urban legend

Another great urban legend (another true one, at that): For 25 years two brothers-in-law traded the same pair of gift pants back and forth between them, each time finding more inventive ways to wrap the beasties.

The pants next turned up in a drab green, 3-foot cube that once was a 1974 Gremlin. A note attached to the 2,000-pound scrunched car advised Collette that the pants were inside the glove compartment.

Bite the wax tadpole!

Bite the wax tadpole, people.

Mainichi Daily News

Mainichi Daily News has a slightly surreal Japanese news/gossip section called Wai Wai. It’s worth checking out, if only for its surreal style of writing…

My personal favourite headline from the front page: Tokyo’s homeless women: Foot loose and fancy free.

Alex Cox on “Black Hawk Down”

Alex Cox on “Black Hawk Down”. [uknown]

Tutu on Mugabe

Archbishop Desmond Tutu says Robert Mugabe has “gone bonkers in a big way”. [lev]

The George W. Bush Scorecard

The George W. Bush Scorecard of Evil [lev]

James Earl Jones oops

Plaque Honoring James Earl Jones Instead Has Name of Martin Luther King’s Killer [lev]

A plaque intended to honor deep-voiced actor James Earl Jones at Fort Lauderdale’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration instead is erroneously inscribed to James Earl Ray, King’s killer.

“Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive,” reads the plaque, which has prompted outrage among civil leaders.

Go Helsinki

Spaced‘s guide to the best clubs and bars in Helsinki.

The Cisco Ninjas

The Cisco Ninjas

Pacific atolls not sinking?

Pacific atolls not sinking?

Kandahar comes out of the closet

Kandahar comes out of the closet. [lev]

Now that Taleban rule is over in Mullah Omar’s former southern stronghold, it is not only televisions, kites and razors which have begun to emerge.

Visible again, too, are men with their ashna, or beloveds: young boys they have groomed for sex.

Kandahar’s Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naive young boys. Before the Taleban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship.

Poor fellow…

Football referee who scored a goal resigns. [poe]

A referee who scored for a team losing 18-1 has resigned after being told by the Football Association that he would be suspended.

Archaeologist Tired of Unearthing Unspeakable Ancient Evils

Archaeologist Tired of Unearthing Unspeakable Ancient Evils.

“Can’t a man even clean up his work area without inadvertently conjuring up a pack of lightning-breathing ocelots?”

Go Materhorn!

Let’s hear it for the Matterhorn.

Internal waves at Gibraltar

Cool image of internal waves at the straits of Gibraltar.

This year, I resolve…

This year, I resolve…

Ha ha bonk

A buddhist walks into a pizza place and says “Make me one with everything”. :-)

IP address manipulation in python

IPy for python – IP-address handling in the style of perl’s NetAddr::IP.

Insanity test

Insanity test – excellent.

Hemingway’s “Old Man” dies in Cuba, aged 104

Hemingway’s “Old Man” dies in Cuba, aged 104.

Oooh, list comprehensions

Python rocks, and list comprehensions, in particular, rock.

Outsider Music

Outsider Music

“Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music.” … also showcases a gay country singer named Peter Grudzien who yodels about gays in the military; an African-American school teacher named B. J. Snowden who sings a tone-deaf and earnest anthem called “In Canada” (“In Canada, they treat you like a queen/ In Canada, they never will be mean”); and a Swedish Elvis impersonator named Eilert Pilarm whose hapless slurring of “Jailhouse Rock” so distorts the original, it boggles the mind with its originality. In addition, it features Daniel Johnston (top), a touchstone of the genre, singing “Walking the Cow,” an exquisite organ melody with a soulful lyric about the healing effects of walking a cow.

Don’t eat too many euro notes!

Don’t eat too many euro notes, or you’ll be ill.

Surreal numbers – an introduction

Surreal numbers – An Introduction – 52 page PDF on a fascinating topic.

You want mayo on that?

I’d like a pit bull salad sandwich, a bag of cheese & onion crisps, and a coffee please.

Who’s for online Scalectrix?

Who’s for online Scalectrix? (Showckwave Flash required).

Prosperity through punishment

Prosperity through punishment [slashdot]

“Cooperation can flourish if the public-spirited majority can punish freeloaders, say Swiss economists. People will pay to punish – suggesting that their notions of fairness outweigh selfish considerations. The work may help explain why people cooperate in society.”

Cardboard cutout Macs

Cardboard cutout Macs [devnull]

Gimbo’s first Rock climbing experience

I tried my hand at rock-climbing last night, on the indoor wall at the Welsh International Climbing Centre (apparently the biggest indoor climbing centre in Europe) – bloody good fun. Definitely more to come…

The ultimate Fake Band list

The ultimate Fake Band list, including such greats as Spinal Tap, Disaster Area, Deathtongue, Smeg and The Heads, S Club 7 (?), and – oh yes – Murph and the Magic Tones. [devnull]

The Fuller Projection

Cool things humans have done, #4184: The Fuller Projection, in which the surface of the globe is projected onto an icosahedron which is then unfurled. Come on kids, let’s hear it for Buckminster Fuller! [via National Geographic magazine]

Buffer overflows are totally unacceptable

Here’s Henry Baker talking on the RISKS forum about Buffer overflows and why they’re totally unacceptable. Makes me glad I love python…

And, related, a report from the CHATS (Composable High-Assurance Trustworthy Systems) program.

I have Go

There’s this game called Go which I’ve been getting quite interested in lately. It’s a board game for two players, dating from about 2000 B.C. and is one of the most popular games in the world, primarily in the far east. It’s very simple: essentially you just place stones on a board trying to surround the other player’s stones – but also incredibly deep. For instance, there now exist chess A.I.s (eg Deep Blue) which can beat all but the best chess players, but Go has so many more possibilities, and has so much more room for “intuition” that a novice go player can beat the best Go A.I.s around at present. (See here for more about computers and Go).

So it sounded like a fun game – and I’m pleased to report that it is. :-) Julie kindly gave me “The Go Pack” for Christmas, and we’ve started playing. The full game is played on a 19 x 19 board, and involves capturing territory, scoring, etc., but there’s a quick version of the game, called atari go, where the first person to capture a piece wins. It’s kinda reminiscent of Connect Four but with more possibilities, and it’s excellent fun. I started out beating Julie consistently then she “switched on” and started trouncing me, and now we seem about evenly matched. Think we’ll play this for a while then move on to the full game…

Sound good? Fancy a game? Okey dokey, you can play atari go online – excellent!

There are lots of Go sites on the net, eg Sensei’s library (a wiki – fantastic!), (excellent), British Go Association, Wei Chi online guide (nice picture of a traditional Go board on that page), What Is Go?,

School in America: sucks to be you

Here’s an interesting interview with a writer who went back to high school in America for a year, and what they thought about it. [rw]

Oh, and happy new year, by the way. ;-)