Bifurcated Rivets

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1 September 1999

A booklog from Ed. Even more stuff for me to keep up with. *sigh*

Experience: If the word "moving" appears on the cover and the book is not about transport then avoid it like the plague.

This visual traceroute page is fun. (via ntk)

I'm back and you can vote for the ugliest couch in America.

27 August 1999

Probably no updates for a few days as I'm hoping to be in the Lakes and perhaps go see my family in Edinburgh..

I've been trying to find some websites about Rubbish Theory, but so far have failed. Michael Thompson wrote a book published in 1979 proposing the concept, and there are references on the web but no details. If you can find the book you should read it as the idea is novel.

This clip-art image reminds me of Michael Jackson...

My friend Ole forwarded me this description of what the Japanese word "osamari" means sent to him by Yamaguchi Mikio. Yamaguchi-san has kindly given me permission to reproduce it here, as I think it is an important idea for which there is no word in English. I think a website has to have good osamari. (Me, pretentious? Never!)

osamari is the noun from the verb "Osamaru".

Osamaru is a process in which agitated or moving state ends to stability or quiet.

When problems occur, we do things so it osamaru.

When you hear noise at night indicating some disturbing incident, you are concerned till it osamaru.

So, osamari is the variable state or degree of anything that is, or potentially be moving or unstable.

When you lay out furniture in a room you try various positions. In the end you would feel good when the Osamari is good. When good osamari is achieved there is balance, sense of completion.

Same applies for the case of an organizational changes, perhaps. The use may be in negative in such case. Like: Osamari ga warui, which means osamari is bad, or it is yet to achieve stability.

So, in carpentry, when masters do things good osamari is achieved. Thence a degree of learning carpenter's achievement of art may be measured by how things he or she makes scores in terms of osamari.

26 August 1999

World clock - useful.

I've just found out about bk2site! It works very well and if you look at my bookmarks you will see the results.

These haiku movie reviews are fun. (Again from Whim&Vinegar)

Create your own language! And another place to do it.(via Whim & Vinegar, which is new to me and which I like a lot)

These on-line Chinese tools are good. (viaMood Swings)

Thanks to Dave of kikaze (one of my favourite weblogs) for giving me the low down on how to achieve the paragraph background colouring properly. The colour is not definite yet, and neither is the look - I'm going to play with it so bear with me.

A gallery specialising in Ukiyo-e wood block prints. Not cheap (and a lot of the site is not there yet). Woodblock prints seem to reproduce very well on the web.

Sightseeing map for Shiroishi, Lord Kojuro Katakura's castle town.

Japanese film poster postcards. From the Friends of Silent Film Association. I seem to recall hearing that the vast majority of Japanese silent films have been lost.

I am trying to find an English translation of "Hiking down the Tokaido (Yaji and Kita's Travel Notes)" but one does not seem to exist. Hiroshige painted a series of 55 views of sites on the Tokaido, and Patrick Carey seems to have written a book about it called "Rediscovering the Old Tokaido, in the Footsteps of Hiroshige"  UK - the publication date was supposed to be May, but it doesn't seem to be available yet.

Let me plug the Internet Protocol Journal which is produced at Cisco by my good friend Ole Jacobsen.

The whole Amazon purchasing circles thing seems pointless to me - I can't agree with cam that it is in any way important. However, I can see companies seeding completely bogus ideas into their competitor's heads by buying books in areas they are not in the least bit interested in! The uk site hasn't started circles yet - presumably because they don't have the sales volume to make it workable. I mean, why would I really care what books people in Leamington Spa are buying? (Except as something to make snide and ironic weblog comments about of course!)

A dreadful site by someone claiming to have a Grand Unification Theory for Physics. I quote:

"I look forward to review from professional scientists. I have never had my scientific journal papers published before. Physical Review has rejected them without review. (Granted, I uh sometimes uh cnat rite alll thatwell! But, jeesh!;)"

If hope his physics is better than his web design.

How about a Zen alarm clock? Why Tibetan bells in a Zen alarm clock? Why $99.95!

A nice picture of an enigma machine in the NSA NAtional Cryptologic Museum.

25 August 1999

Why are there seashells round this dessert? Check out som eof the other recipes in the Food Court at Morinaga Milk. There is a Morinaga Lab too, but it is nothign to do with milk or food!

I pulled down the release of Xanadu - I'm not one to avoid following the herd! God help the world if this the way of the future - nothing works, no documentation.

This 3D-card thing is brilliant! (via Memepool)

RobotWisdom lead me to iSkip - good grief. I have been skipping for years. I didn't realise I was supposed to do a website and turn it into a lifestyle movement, become rich and famous, etc. etc. BTW this is not rope skipping, just common or garden skipping instead of walking. Doesn;t everyone do this from time to time?

Here's a little game for you if you are bored. Go to your nearest amazon (.com,, .de), pick a book from their top 100 and then click at random on one of the "Customers who bought this book also bought" links. When the next book comes up, click on one of its (unclicked) links, stop when all the links you get presented with have been visited. Around 12 seems to be the norm.

I think I ought to go for a black background and blink tags.

I loved Outliners and in particular I loved More. Bring back outliners! I maybe ought to write one.

Tom Tomorrow on Kansas. Spot on as usual.

Google gave me no hits at all when I searched for "bathycetopsis oliveirai" - which is reputedly an Amazonian, eletric fish with taste buds all over its body.

We have some information from or "See Through" questions.

Thanks to Brig for making me aware of the Rapdly Changing face of Computing and of Webword.

I enjoyed this feature on Open Source as an Ant farm. There is a lot more to be said about the "art" side of programming - I often use analogies with painting when I am teaching about programming and design, but as this articles points out it is pretty hard to communicate this to non-programmers. I really ought to write something about it and I ought to finish writing my peice on why Eric Raymond is utterly wrong about Cathedrals and Bazaars!(via /.)

24 August 1999

I like this index of free compilers. (via RobotWisdom)

I've just made a list of books that I will probably try to read when and if I see them. I will be adding and subtracting to it just like my reading list.

This page is useful if you want to answer the question "Is Dispensational Premillennialism Different from Historic Premillennialism?" Most sane people will not ask the question of course.

This list of the most significant people in the 20th Century comes from Japan so should have a different perspective, however looking at the Arts, a lot of the same old faces seem to be there - maybe they really are that important! Interestingly there are many more Japanese in the Science and Sports section than the Arts. The Sports and Heroes selection is decidedly odd. (via gmtPlus9)

Heather Anne of LemonYellow and I are carrying out a little survey about expressions used when your view is blocked by someone. Please help us by answering some questions if you have any useful information.

This index of lunatic fringe sites is very good, but the sites are seriously scary. It does seem to be a little out of date as a lot of links are broken. (via PigDog)

Did you know that there was a serious suggestion in Japan during the Second World War that they should asassinate Charlie Chaplin, because some people genuinely believed that the USA would collapse without him?

Funny article about Kansas and evolution.

23 August 1999

Find out about Kabuki. In particular watch this ` of the onnagata Ichimura Manjiro transforming himself.

Get a message from mother....

These Killer Fonts are based on the handwriting of the killers. Some of them look quite nice too - I like Lizzie Borden.

A site by someone who sells weird books. They publish a (paper) magazine called "Book Happy" which is about collecting weird books.

The Synchronicity Archive is a pretty strange site. "Why is Brandon hostile" is even stranger.

Strange Finnish design/architecture site - chairs and stuff.

This book on Coprology (the study of excrement) looks interesting - Merde : Excursions in Scientific, Cultural, and Sociohistorical Coprology by Ralph A. Lewin  UK  USA

Went with my son to see Wild Wild West on Saturday night. I didn't think it was as bad as some of the reviews of it suggested, but it is still one that might be better from the cheap video rental shop on a slow Saturday night...

It felt like autumn this weekend. The blackberries are ripening and my onion crop has been extremely good this year. I finally managed to get round to trying out the breadmaker I bought cheap in a sale a couple of weeks ago and it's excellent.

Just picked up on Jessamyn's reading list which I hadn't seen before. Let me second her recommendation of Tim Cahill's Road Fever  UK  USA - an excellent book. In fact everything Tim Cahill has written is worth reading. Anyway, Jessamyn's list has some stuff on it I ought to add to my "to read" list, which is something that I need to put up on the web (mainly so I don't forget about it myself!)

The Luddite Reader seems like a useful resource if you want luddite stuff. (via TBTF)


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