Ants in the Mr Pants

Ants in the Mr Pants – excellent.

The joy of proof

Gimbo scratches his head as he ponders the following: Given a real number x and a rational number e, find a rational number within a distance e of x.

Later… OK, a bit of googling later and I’m reminded that for every irrational number, there is some rational number within an arbitrary distance of it. I reckon if I can find the proof of that result, I’ll know how to solve the above. Next question is how to find the proof…

More cool APODs

A couple more cool Astronomy Pics from the last week: solar system, setting sun.

Marillion weekend 2003

Marillion weekend 2003.

Best British weblog

The Guardian is launching “the first competition to find the best British weblog“.

The cruft index

From Rich: The Cruft Index – very true.

Cruft Force 6. Limping. Description: [Delphi|Visual Basic|Java] suddenly remembers a trial shareware component – deleted six months ago because it was rubbish – and refuses to compile anything until it is reinstated.

Oh, I’ve been there – which is one of the many reasons why I refuse to touch Delphi and, if possible, Windows. :-)

A critique of C++

From Ingvar: C++?? : A Critique of C++

Less politely, Verity Stob’s version.

Killer fonts

Killer Fonts – “Handwritten fonts by outlaws, brainiacs, maniacs, and rock n rollers”. [malc]

Binary ha ha

From Paul: “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.”


Mmmm, that was an extremely relaxed weekend. WOMAD was very chilled, easily the most relaxed, “happy-vibe” festival I’ve been to. I think we’ll go for the entire weekend next time. It’s much smaller than Glastonbury (a fifth of the size? an eighth?) but very vibrant and with loads of good music. We saw several bands from various countries, and they were all as energetic and frenetic as you’d expect. :-)

Francis Dunnery was definitely the highlight, for us at least. He said at the start that it was going to be a relaxed and gentle set for a beautiful evening, and so it was. Julie and I sat there with a jug of Sangria between us, and mellow vibes abounded. There was only one song I recognised (an old It Bites number called Hunting The Whale), but that didn’t detract at all. There were, alas, a couple of moments of self-indulgent guitar twiddling, which really didn’t fit in with the rest of the set, but thankfully they were brief and few. I think I might well have to pick up his new album soon, and get Julie singing along to “Hometown” again.

The rest of the weekend was spent in similarly relaxed fashion, loafing around Reading with Barbara & Tobi, watching Goldmember (quite amusing, but no great shakes – be sure to disengage brain before viewing), then returning to Cardiff to spend yesterday lazing around in pubs, reading. Julie started Touching The Void at about 2pm, and finished it at about 7 – bless her (and loved it, of course). Oh yes, also finally saw Dude, Where’s My Car last night, and I have to say, I did enjoy it. Delightfully silly.

Off to WOMAD

Right, I’m off to Reading, to check out the WOMAD Festival, taking place there this weekend. Barbara has cunningly scored us cheap day tickets for tomorrow, which is super good ‘cos Francis Dunnery is playing. Have funky weekends, people.

Photos from a day in London

Cleopatra's Needle William Blake's Grave View from Golden Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral

Faulty schematics of ruined machine

Faulty schematics of ruined machine, from Godspeed You Black Emperor‘s website.

Epileptic fit signs

Don’t miss this: a first-person description of the sensations leading to an epileptic fit – incredible. [null]

Making things happen vs making things work

Many of the products and services supplied by companies offering “solutions” never worked, or never worked properly” [robot]

McNealy’s attitude is the culmination of the last decade’s ascendant ethos for U.S. business: near worship and lavish compensation for people who “make things happen” coupled with near contempt and minimal rewards for people who “make things work.”

Hmmm, doesn’t sound familiar at all…

Everest summit view

The view from the summit of Everest – thanks, Rich.

Bob Monkhouse, Protector of The Light

Family fortunes stupidity, and a bit more.

“Something that frightens Dracula”: “Bob Monkhouse”. Bob Monkhouse???

US agents accused of anti-Muslim graffiti

U.S. agents accused of anti-Muslim graffiti.

Stupid moon rock thieves!

Moon rock thieves nabbed after advertising them for sale on the web – showing that NASA interns aren’t as smart as you might think.

American man jailed for barbequing a kitten

American man jailed for barbequing a kitten, may get up to five years in prison.

Forensic Programming course notes

Forensic Programming course notes, a work in progress. [via risks]

I seem to have stopped sneezing, by the way.

Bless me

I just can’t stop sneezing today.


Something rather flashy and fun which Odin showed me a long time ago, that I’d forgotten about: sodaplay. (Requires Java, I think).

The valley of happiness lives up to its name

Marvellous, marvellous weekend camping in the fabled Happy Valley, up near Abergaveny with a bunch of slightly deranged people I’m privileged to call my friends. In a remarkable reversal of the usual Laws Of The Universe, Julie and I were the last people to crash out on Saturday night. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed camping so much.

Is the sun made of iron?

Is the sun made of iron? [robot]

Porn clerk stories

Via null, some fascinating and highly entertaining (in a morbid people-watching kinda way) porn clerk stories. The author is basically a left-wing freedom-loving liberal, and some of the best parts are when this attitude is challenged, or at least brought into focus.

Example: “And it’s never the 21-year-olds who rent Barely Legal, it’s always the 45-and-ups. Gah. The 21-year-olds do occasionally rent the one Older Women, Hotter Sex video we have. I approve of this, in a shocking display of my own personal prejudices.”

and, beautifully disarming:

“He is, after all, just putting on makeup. But why in our porn section? It has such harsh fluorescent lighting.”


Soylent Green is yummy

“What the hell is Filet Minion?” Excellent. :-)

Rendering with Natural Light


Musicality all around

Quite a few interesting musical things going on at the moment…

The ever-discerning Andrew has been raving about Seascapes Of The Interior so I followed the links to check them out. Their “Sounds” page led me to download Protection from, and “Discriminating” & “Marks on a Beetle’s Back” from Very interesting stuff.

Protection is, frankly, beautiful, especially for the first half (acoustic marvellousness), and gets somewhat menacing and strange towards the end, veering ever so slightly into “prog” stylings (the sins of which I know way too much about), with wordless vocals which reminded of Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull… I wasn’t sure if I liked this at first, but I am now: I do.

“Discriminating” has more floaty acousticness, laced with a touch of feedback and some spoken female vocals which, for some reason, put me in mind of some stuff from The Sisterhood’s Gift. But don’t let that put you off – it’s quite pleasant really, if a little diaphonous.

“Marks on a Beetle’s Back”, the longest of the three tracks, sits somewhere between the two – denser than Protection, but more upbeat than Discriminating. Aha. I’ve just figured out the band this stuff really reminds me of: This Mortal Coil.

Whilst grabbing those last two from, I also grabbed “Hungover, as the Oven at Maida Vale” from Godspeed You Black Emperor‘s Peel session. I’d heard the name before (probably from the great man himself) but not the music, and, well, wow. It’s incredible. Long, rambling, difficult, beautiful, scary, tragic, crazy, etc., etc.

So it’s been a pretty interesting week for my ears, basically.

And then, out of the blue, I get email from my old buddy Mr Jan Tomlinson, telling me the following:

“Too many DJs”, comp, you may already have it, if you don’t buy it, it is just bonkers brilliance I’m afraid!!, or stuff the Hives and all that malarky, go straight to the Buff Medways!!!

or try the Gotan Project, argies making music, very goooooooooooood!

Von Dutch

Now, considering I’ve never received email from Jan before, and haven’t seen him in probably two or three years, that’s pretty “to the point”, not to mention slightly random. :-) Thanks for the tips, Jan!

Veneer selector

Having trouble picking out the right veneer? Let the veneer selector help!

Nice… Thanks, Malc.

Doggles – goggles for dogs

Doggles – goggles for dogs. Fantastic.

Trude’s had a baby!

Trude’s had a baby!

Multiprocessor pythoning

Tips for using python in a multiprocessor setting.

Corporate sandals prompt Bush to act

Corporate sandals prompt Bush to act. [ntk]

More depressing TCPA/Palladium analysis

More depressing TCPA/Palladium analysis by Ross Anderson, Reader in Security Engineering at Cambridge University.

Climbing Snowdon is a great way to spend a day

Whew – fantastic weekend! On Friday afternoon Malc & I drove up to Snowdonia where we met up with my Dad, my brother Colin, and his wife Caitlin, there to climb some hills. On Saturday we did Snowdon (by the Rhyd Ddu path), and yesterday Malc & I did Moel Siabod (by the east ridge), both of which were excellent fun. The peak of Snowdon was surreal – there’s a railway station and also the very busy Miners’ Track, so it was teeming with people – quite strange after our peaceful climb.

Anyway, I rattled off three films over the two days, so there should be plenty of material for a webpage when I finally get round to visiting Jessops again. Many thanks, once again, to our expert Sherpa, Colin. :-)

The spiral of governance

Last night, sleeping the sleep of the just, I dreamt that Britain’s House Of Commons was arranged in a spiral, and that over time, the members occupied seats closer and closer to its centre. Eventually they would reach it, at which point they’d go back to the outside, starting the cycle once again. A single cycle lasted many years, and the moment when the centre was reached was considered to have special cosmic significance. It was deemed typical of Tony Blair that he would have the luck to be in power at one such historic moment…

More python advocacy

PYTHON: Yes, You SHOULD Be Using it!

jwz on message threading

jwz on message threading.

“In this document, I describe what is, in my humble but correct opinion, the best known algorithm for threading messages (that is, grouping messages together in parent/child relationships based on which messages are replies to which others.)”

Quite interesting, although it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a generalised way of threading messages where I had a flat collection in which each message contained a reference to its parent (if any), whereas much of the magic that jwz applies is to do with working out what the hell those parent/child relationships are in the first place, in the whacky world of email. Still, it’s all good stuff and his general scheme got me moving in the right direction.

Also groovy: WebCollage, which is now running as my Xscreensaver.


3d-Desktop, “a GNOME OpenGL program for switching virtual desktops in a seamless 3-dimensional manner”.

Looks pretty funky.

Portraits of open source pioneers

Portraits of open source pioneers. [robot]


Analemma – wow. [robot]

The truth about Star Wars

The truth about Star Wars.

Perlin’s hypertexture

Perlin’s hypertexture.

Windows still rubbish

Hello? Windows users? When are you going to wise up? Hello? Anyone in there? Hello?

Optimising keyboard layout with a genetic algorithm

Using a genetic algorithm to optimise keyboard layout. [robot]

Hmmm, might have to try out this Dvorak malarkey…

Short and sweet haiku article

Short and sweet haiku article.

dataflow-orientied programming in python

dataflow – a framework for dataflow-oriented programming in python. What it’s for.

The Man in the Bowler Hat

The Man in the Bowler Hat by A. S. J. Tessimond: the poem upon which Osymyso‘s excellent The Not Quite Fool is based.

Bloggus Caesari

Bloggus Caesari, the weblog of Julius Caeser – excellent. [kevan]

Top 30 UK Blogs

Top 30 UK Blogs, according to Alexa [ntk] seems to have a lot of interesting stuff. Yesterday’s entries, for instance, mention Buckminster Fuller, the Sephirotic Tree, and this remarkable snippet on flocking.

Also from there, and very cool, The collective consciousness is attempting to create Great Britain – why not go and help them out?

Minority Report – yeah, not bad

Went to the flicks last night and gazed in wonder upon Minority Report – very good indeed, certainly the best Spielberg I’ve seen for a long long time. Superb vision of Washington DC 2054, with autopilot cars that go vertically and cops with Jetpacs (at last!). Another one to add to the (fairly short) list of films starring Tom Cruise which I can watch without wanting to scratch my eyes out. :-)

Introducing Gimboland images and software

A couple of new links in the sidebar… images is my new image gallery (python powered, of course). At present there’s no fancy image viewer CGI but there will be soon. Anyway, check it out, there are some cute baby photos in there. More to come later… software is where I’ll be publishing some of my software over the next little while, but there’s nothing there yet. I just included the link so images wouldn’t have a gap next to it. ;-)

The first hit is always free

The first hit is always free.

Dead link hunting leads to bigger kittens

Just going through the archives looking for cool stuff and I noticed the Random Kitten Generator link was broken. Google found me the new location and, oh my God, it’s A GIANT KITTEN!!!

Cardiff Festival

The Cardiff Festival has just kicked off – loads of events going on over the next month or so. Not many bands announced yet for the Big Weekend (Aug 2-4), but Alabama 3 is one of them.

And this coming weekend, something new: Compass Point, “Hip Hop, World Music, Metal Punk, Indie, Cutting Edge & Dance music”. Could be good – or then again.

RMS biography online

Free As In Freedom, the biography of Richard Stallman, available online under the GFDL.

Did I just buy a house?

Yikes. Might have bought a house.

Not me

Not me.

Trusting in God since 1956, when the commies were getting really scary

I’m interested to read (here [null]) that until 1956 the motto of the USA was not “In God We Trust” but “E Pluribus Unum”, meaning “From Many, One”…

I think “Semper Ubi Sub Ubi” would have been better, though.

BBC news tickers

BBC news tickers: they do exist after all…

Python goodies from Dr Dobb’s

Python goodies from Dr Dobb’s Python-URL:

Nice bit of advocacy,, thoughts on metaclasses, and Christian Tismer’s slides on Continuations and Stackless Python.