Vorsprung Durch Gimboland

Ribbed for her Gimboland [wotever]

War on Terror == Franchise for ignoring human rights?

Why negotiate with your political opponents when you can annihilate them? In the era of WoT, little concerns like war crimes and human rights just don’t register.

Naomi Klein on the “War on Terror” [robot].

Donald Knuth, FMRS

Donald Knuth has been elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Go Knuth!

BBC to open its archive

Good news for Wombles fans everywhere: the BBC is to open up its archive [null]. Unfortunately all the music will be in Real Audio instead of Ogg, I suppose, but hey, it’s a start…

LED-Toilet-Seat Galactika

LED-Toilet-Seat Galactika [gamma]. Oh yes.

More on knots

More on knots via Mark Hughes: The Tangled Task of Distinguishing Knots and Knots and Their Polynomials. Unfortunately I’m waaay too busy to read them at the mo, but maybe later tonight… Thanks, Mark!

The Non-Expert: Defenestrate Your Résumé!

The Non-Expert: Defenestrate Your Résumé! by Matthew.

If you are having trouble getting everything to fit, try narrowing your margins, reducing your font to 7, or getting rid of the ‘deadweight’ by eliminating your education or omitting the nouns.

Untying the Gordian Knot

Untying the Gordian Knot – mildly interesting though short on detail. OTOH knots are complex buggers.

I got to that page after googling on “gordian.knot”, inspired by a student of mine cutting the Gordin Knot in an exam question. When asked to provide a solution to the famous Dining Philosopher’s Problem, this bright spark suggested adding more forks. Who’d have thought that the next conqueror of Asia would be a Computer Science student at Swansea?

If none of the above makes sense to you, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll do my best to explain. :-)

Don’t eat that banana

Don’t eat that banana.

Guardian Reader Of Low Intelligence in Ethnic Skirt

Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy. Classic. [rotten]

Complementary “yin” currencies

Fascinating “don’t-miss” (to quote Jorn) interview with Bernard Lietaer, all about money – what it is, what the problems are with the current system, and lots about the complementary “yin” currencies emerging all over the place [robot]. Way cool.

Hand-picked nuggets:

I am afraid that if the United States had to live by the rules that are imposed on, say, Brazil, the United States of America would become a developing country in one generation. It’s the system that is currently unstable, unfair and not working.

Africa for instance has been dropped off the world economic map for most practical purposes.

I spent last summer in Bali. People are remarkably artistic in that island. Their communities are unusually strong. They have festivals that are totally mind-blowing, and can last a month. They’re having a good time. It’s a comparatively non-violent society. And what I found is that it isn’t a simple coincidence that they have been using a dual currency system for many centuries. All these unusual characteristics of Bali turn out directly to be nurtured by their dual money system.

I’m saying that exclusive use of a competitive programmed currency in a community tends to be destructive for the community fabric. This isn’t theory. We’ve seen this happen at the tribe level, with the collapses of traditional societies. I’ve seen one happen myself in Peru among the Chipibo in the Amazon. That tribe had been in existence for thousands of years. When they started using the national currency among themselves, the whole community fabric collapsed in five years’ time.

Glow in the dark light-bulbs!

Yeah, I know, it sounds like a joke, but look: glow in the dark light bulbs! [null]

Literally a party in my pants

Winners of the nerve.com pick up line contest [null].

I like the one for the woman holding a baby…

Linux on a USB Keychain Drive

SPBLinux – Linux on a USB keychain drive. Like, yeah!

These things are getting seriously cheap – I bought one today (256Mb, USB2.0) for 55 quid from Mr USB (look under “Flash Drives/MP3 Players), but for 90 quid I could have got half a gig (in fact, I kinda wish I had). Now, that’s just silly, and where’s it going to end?

I mean, OK, compared to a 3.5″ it’s expensive – I can get 80Gb for about 100 quid now, right? But this baby’s so much more transportable than a hard drive. Half a gig is enough to put a reasonably repectable linux distro onto, and then you can cart it around to wherever you go and boot into it. How long before we have 1Gb drives? 2Gb? 5Gb? 10Gb? At this point, the computer you’re on becoming irrelevant – a hotdesk. You carry your operating system and your data with you. I really like this idea. Of course, the tricky bit is hardware configuration – you can only hotdesk if your OS is good at autodetecting hardware and playing nice with the local network, whatever it happens to be. But it’s a nice idea. One day…

Oh, and since hotdesking already has a meaning, I hereby invent a new word. Er, but what? I dunno, how about “pocketdesking”? Any better ideas, send me a postcard.

Grub Splashimage Howto

When I installed gentoo linux, I also started using grub as my boot loader (as opposed to the more traditional LILO). Grub can display a splash image in the menu background, and for quite a while I’ve idly wanted to customising this. Well, here’s the howto. w00t.

Humans closer to rats than cats

Humans closer, genetically, to rats than cats [robot]. Bummer.

This snippet caught my eye:

It also supports what is becoming increasingly clear – that the stretches of DNA we call genes are only a small part of the genetic story.

Whale fart

Whale fart – fantastic [rotten].

Open your windows at top and bottom, people

“The trick to getting the maximum flow of air through the window is to slide the sashes so the window is open equally at the top and bottom.”


Hello, World

Hello, World.

It’s been a quiet fortnight, hasn’t it? I went on holiday to Cornwall and had a lovely time, mainly lazing around in my parents’ back garden, although a trip to Eden didn’t go amiss either, especially combined with a gig by The Orb and Moby.

Anyway, back to work, busy busy busy, etc. – but just enough time to point out that The Diamond Age is fast approaching [null although apparently Slashdot's seen it too so probably so have you already, but anyway] and Dubai is to build the world’s first underwater hotel – groovy [rotten].

Yoga warm-up

Yoga warm-up.

It is illustrative of the bizarre way my mind works to note that I reached that page by the following path: I was reading a (paper) document about CASL, the Common Algebraic Specification Language, which is something I’m researching at work. This mentioned Monoids, so I searched and found this wikipedia entry – very elucidating. That took me to category theory, which according to that page is also apparently half-jokingly known as “abstract nonsense”, which fact led me to google on that term, which took me to this page on everything2.org, which links to the usual yoga which is a dead link page with a link to yoga warmup – hurrah.

The World Wide Web – your free association playground on acid.

I’ll be gone for three days

I’ll be gone for three days [bash].

It’s a good month for Mars-gazing

It’s a good month for Mars-gazing – the best it’s been for 5,000 (or maybe even 60,000) years, in fact.