Bifurcated Rivets

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15 September 1999

Has anyone read "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess : The Conflict Between Word and Image"  UK  USA ? Is it any good? Hmm, I just read the reviews at amazon, and the ones that are, at a guess, written by people with a scientific background say that it is utter drivel, whilst the others say that it is life changing and well researched. I don't think I'll bother, unless someone suggests otherwise.

I've been watching the Deep-Six webcam - what time does it get light in the mornings there? (It's just starting to get light now - 7:22 on the image). Lookign through the archive the worst weather seems to have been at around 1 in the morning when there seems to be a lot of stuff (water?) blowing about and the camera shifts its position.

Does your browser recognise … (…) I wonder? Netscape 4.61 doesn't, but the KDE 1.1.2 File browser does! (HTML 4.01) it would be nice to be able to rely on ubiquitous support for things like that, but no joy of course.

I've been listening to some Fred Astaire tracks (it's his 100th anniversary this year). There are loads of Fred pages, and no wonder - he was fantastic. Top Hat is one of my all-time favourite movies. A great dancer and singer ( much better than Gene Kelly) - probably the best white tap dancer in fact. There were loads of great black tap dancers - Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (, Buck and Bubbles, the utterly incredible Nicholas brothers - but prejudice kept them out of the limelight. Oh, I just found which has acres of stuff - bios, videos etc. etc. Go and explore it. You'll find QT shorts of tap stars at the Off Jazz site - they're great. The two times that you see really happy faces are adults at tap dancing classes and people who have just caught a good wave.

Well, I have to be incestuous and pass on this link from Strange Brew. It all sounds so familiar. Real life on the web. I've laughed so much it's made me cry now. There's more good stuff from his homepage.

Strangeness afoot on the web. I make a comment on something that appeared on peterme (in the incestuous and self-gratifying way that weblogists do) and lo and behold it gets overwritten. So I mail him my cached copy and he rewrites some of it, but not all of it, so my little rant about waht home is now weirdly out of context. Totally unimportant of course. And then I look at cardhouse and find a mention of jigai. Now is this coincidence or did someone read about it here and then mail cardhouse? Who can tell? Who cares? I read the article about weblogs that brig and I sort of agree with it, but also not. There is probably a clique of webloggers who copy links, and I do tend to go to the logs rather than the original sources, but, in fact I rarely used to go to those sources anyway and weblogs digest them for me. Yes, I miss information, but there is too much anyway and if it is important I'll hear about it eventually. It's a bit like Epinions - all down to reputation.

14 September 1999

Grrrr, a spell checker is something that a witch or warlock would use. What you really mean is a spelling checker!!!

Back to the library to grab "Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds " by Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini  UK  USA to learn about mental traps.

A JPop/Anime jukebox site. MP2 format and offline between 9-6 EST.

Yeah, I got the first post on Jorn's new RobotWisdom discussion forum.

Good grief, Prentice Hall still have a slow to load image map as their navigation method.

Another reading list/set of reviews - I like her categories. I need to read the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax... Oh, and read the paragraph on running out space for books

I am puzzled by peterme's puzzlement over why people are attached to books. Isn't it obvious? Books smell nice, they feel nice, they look nice. Magazines are not books because you tend to throw them away (well sometimes) - books are not ephemeral in that way, even trashy books. Think about a bookshop or a library - when you go in there is an atmosphere (probably induced by smell and the sound absorbing properties of paper). Go into a software shop - noisy, nasty smell of plastic, etc. etc. I'm off to the library to get hold of the Lakoff book he mentions though. (Ouch, it looks hard - I don't know if I'm clever enough for it)

As to home, well I don't own a laptop and I don't travel that much. and my mobile is always switched off. Home is where my books and records are, where my garden is, where my musical instruments are, where I know instantly where to find the jar of ground cumin when I need it.

I just received an e-mail message from India which says : "software for blower required. olease confirm the terms and condition." I have no idea why I should have been sent this.

Kermit explains the V-chip. Since the majority of people seem to be incapable of setting the clock on their video (yes, it is a cliché, but it is also true), how on earth are they expected to work the V-chip? A pointless implementation of a stupid idea.

A history of, and information about Kabuki. Nicely done, attractive pages.

Talking of seppuku, here are Dr Seppuku's Halloween Tips.

I've just been reading about jigai which is the samurai women's form of seppuku. Disembowling yourself was not allowed for the women, oh no, what they had to do was tie their ankles together and cut their own throats. Why the ankles tied? So that they left a tidy corpse. There are some aspects of Japanese culture that I am not enthused by. There are lots of different names for suicide in Japanese - jisatsu is a modern, intellectual suicide for instance. Then there is junshi which is suicide for grief when your master dies. Another page about seppuku.

KDE 1.1.2 is out, but no RPMs so I'll have to build it fropm scratch. *sigh*.

The Deadball Era has moved. Everything you need to know about dead baseball players.

13 September 1999

Mpeg movies of Japanese anglers casting...You really can find anything on the Internet.

Why not sit in a Titanic deckchair, eating Titanic chocolate, and playing with your Titanic dolls. The world is a sad place isn't it?

Find out about Y2K and why you should panic...

Antique Weirdness. Much strange and good stuff here, including more lurid paperbacks.

Stuck for an answering machine message?

Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (via Calamondin). Someone I know went to see Larry Adler recently and said he was fantastic. Me, I do blow a little blues harmonica myself - check out Papa George Lightfoot.

This "Name that candy bar" page is great! Except of course that they are all US bars so I don't recognise many of them. (via Cardhouse)

Bovine Inversus is new to me. Looks nice and has some nice links, pity about the poor Latin though. I particularly like the link to Lurid paperback Cover of the Week. (well, I don't like the actual link, which is just the same as every other link, I mean I like the place that it takes me to. Sheesh, talking about hypertext is really hard!)

AppWatch is a new open source software announcement site. Looks as though it may have potential.

There's a new Web Informant about e-mail on the road. Interesting and David's tips for PR people are worth a read too.

10 September 1999

This piece on the Lack of Maternal Characters in Recent Walt Disney Films is good. It's been around since 1997 so you may have come across it before, but I think it certainly identifies a nail and hits square on the head. (And, since you ask, I am not a fan of Disney - I will never forgive them for what they did to Winnie the Pooh. Oh, and Disneyland and Disneyworld are up there in my top ten places never to be visited again.)

This is a useful set of pre-Raphaelite links. "The people who know" say that you are not really supposed to like the PRB's work, but I'm afraid I don't care because I like much of what they did. I am particularly fond of the work of Alma-Tadema (Not that he was one of the PRB at all). Another Alma-Tadema page. All that being said, there are some pretty terrible PRB pictures.(First link via Bouzou)

Zenarchy sounds fun. The zenarchy stories are good.

The Institute of Metahistory : "The Institute of Metahistory unites people who believe that the existing ideas of the past of the human civilization can be wrong in many respects, since they were evolved on the basis of data which can hardly be considered exhaustive, and bear the imprint of a vast number of stereotypes."

The Culture-Jammers' Encyclopedia - lots of solid weirdness here.

Billboard Liberation Front - the art and science of billboard improvement.

I've changed the sizes of the writing brush separators. They look more balanced now. (IMHO)

More Japanese ads - this time for DyDo Drinco Inc., in particular their canned coffee drink. In at least one of the adverts you can distinctly hear glugging noises as the product is consumed - something that would be totally unacceptable in a Western advert (except perhaps as a joke).

Ah, Calamondin took me to Subterranean Notes which has a reference to the biography of Joseph Cornell that I have been meaning to read for years. ("Utopia Parkway : The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell " by Deborah Solomon  UK  USA ) Cornell's work is wonderful.

The Pentel Japan site is a nice example of Japanese "cute" design. Note that they have entirely different product lines for Japan and Overseas. The Japan section has some hi-tech writing brushes and a nice page on brush technique for writing. Look at the site for a comparison - it's noisy and rather tacky looking. Also look at the version - another nice looking page but in a definitely European way. The doodle pad is fun.

There's a new Ghost Sites up.

I like this calendar page with the date in all kinds of different reckonings. (via /.)

Why not rate your diet? Well, one good reason is that it's a stupid set of questions which relates very little to my actual diet. (I scored 39 out of 111 which is supposed to be good I think)

9 September 1999

A virtual tour of Edo. Very, very good.

I just changed the background. I think this is probably more readable. Let me know if you hate it of course. All part of a much needed overhaul. Does this perhaps look too much like Memepool? Product differentiation is so important... (I've actually changed it again now)

<recipe name="Bramble brulée" type="dessert" class="yummy">

Beat the cream with the caster sugar (actually I use Demerara here as well) until it is just holding itself. Fold in the blackberries and then either put it all in one dish or else into ramekins. Sprinkle a thin layer of Demerara on the top and then put under a very hot grill until the sugar has melted.

Use your commonsense with regard to the amounts - you'll know what's right. After all given brambles, cream and sugar can go wrong!


I want to read "Grossed-Out Surgeon Vomits Inside Patient! : An Insider's Look at the Supermarket Tabloids" by Jim Hogshire. It is mentioned inside this utterly astonishing bit of intermingled conspiracy theory. (via RobotWisdom)

Photos To Go - roadtrip photos, some of them are gorgeous.. (Thanks gordo)

OK, I said I wouldn't extract from Fishstick, but all you Nihonophiles must go and look at oshima cmpeg - lots and lots of mpeg videos of Japanese commercials and a JPop mp3 archive.

Fishstick is so damn, unapproachably good it has depressed me utterly.

I do like the Fishstick blog. Lots of wonderful links - go look at them yourself. Definitely one that goes into my rotation. Oh, and needless to say there are lots of Japanese sites too.. (The author's homepage is also more than worth a look - waste your day looking at it. Go on, you know you want to!) Thank you Cardhouse for taking me there.

RobotWisdom lead me to the AlertBox on reputation managers which lead me to Epinions. And in the book section thereof I find yet another source of things I might want to read. *sigh*

8 September 1999

Some more Japanese sites: Eromond (look at the High-Leg Center and the baka test - baka means stupid I think.), Gadgetty Babys, Peep Show, Sanrio, Null;. That's enough for today... (all via SHIFT)

Clover's Secret Room - described by the directory where I found it as "Sense of rare French lolita". Whatever that means. Here is yet more description:

"This homepage is designed by a girls' group named "clover". They are active in the field of music photography and so on. You can feel relaxed and walm by illustration drawn freehand and Kyoto dialects All the pages seems to be speaking strongly like "I love it !". I think it's really good for girls to show their affection directly. There is no use explaining why you love it, isn't it? This is a girlish homepage full of such atomosphere."

Maybe you should think about studying at the International Otaku University. Or perhaps read the Otaku Weekly.

Check out the US government run anti-drugs site Freevibe. Reefer madness lives, daddy-o. Yo, to the max, etc. etc. (ultimately via RobotWisdom)

My Lomo Action Sampler Kit arrived. It's small and plastic and brightly coloured. Lovely. I need to go out and use it. I'll put up scans of anything that comes out well. (Don't hold your breath!)

Isn't it so annoying when you can't remember a site you want to go back to and it isn't bookmarked? I can remember a fragment so I tried Amnesi but it just seems to be broken - it won't even work with its own example!

7 September 1999

I must stop describing things as "stuff" (I've changed some of the far too many usages today so you won't see them if you are reading this...)

A little piece on Zen and Sailing from The Wax.

Now, I'm going to go and listen to some of the speakers at our International teaching Seminar - Phil Agre is here, Bill Newman, Peter Neumann, Nygaard: will learn things I'm sure.

I was listening to some Count Basie stuff last night. What a band. And that link is part of a site with loads of good material - it's all about the Great Day in Harlem photograph. There was a fantastic documentary about this a while back with footage shot on the day the picture was taken. I'd really like to have a poster version of this image, but $49.95 is way too expensive and I just want the image, none of the guff round about it. Ah, a much better deal, now all I need to do is find someone who sells this in the UK.

An article in today's Guardian says that Williams are to stop making pinball machines. How very, very sad - they were always my favourites. I love pinball, and I am particularly pleased to see that Williams pinball machines are Y2K compliant.

6 September 1999

I just read about earshot - of course there is no Linux version. Sounds mighty strange though.

Americana music site - lots of clips in RA and MP3. I must be on a music jag today.

Just for Ed, here's some more accordion music. Sadly I can't get any of the samples to load properly as some of the tunes look to be extremely strange.

Woohoo, a Comamnder Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen site! One of my all time favourite bands. I saw them in Edinburgh many years ago. Check out this QT movie of them playing Hot Rod Lincoln. I don't have any of the albums listed here at all. *sigh*

Hawaian music in real audio - the slack key program is great. Love the Bob Brozman playing in the first track. Find out about the history of the slack key guitar. There are some good lap steel pages too.

The words of Boogie Wonderland are extremely odd. Still one of my favourite disco songs though. There have been some good remixes of it too. (via Memepool)

I just ordered a Lomo Action Sampler Kit. It sounds fantastic and is amazingly cheap!

A new section for stuff I have written. The only piece in there at the moment is about serendipity. It was recently posted to the vacuum mailing list. (thanks Ed).

Death related search engine - the database is not well populated though, I had to add my Virtual Memorial Garden to it myself!

I picked up a couple of Leslie Charteris "Saint" books when I was at my mother's - I haven't read them for years. Sure enough there's a webpage dedicated to them. And there's another site - in Swedish too! This page is amazingly hard to read because of an ill-chosem background. The books are still quite readable, if dated - lots of racism and sexism, but after all some of them are over 70 years old now so they are holding up pretty well for "popular" writing.

Wow, Bifurcated Rivets was number one in the most popular blogs list on brig's blog portal. Must be a statistical glitch. 182 weblogs in the list - too many to keep up with.

Read this if you think playing poker on-line is a good idea....

4 September 1999

Oooh, logging on a Saturday. Um, nothing to say really as I am just passing through, so how about a picture of my son taken by my father, and another one. Now all I need is a picture of my cat and I'll have to go use AOL.

3 September 1999

The Jackpot also took me to Hollow Ear Magazine. Good stuff - check out the accordion page.

Searching for the word "slickensides" lead me to the Gold Hunter site. Seems to be mainly about metal detecting though.

On Monday I went to the Museum of Scottish Lead Mining at Wanlockhead. Well worth a visit if you are into mines and mining and are in the area. The underground trip is particularly good.

Exposure, an eZine about the Art of Illusion. The description of the Balducci Levitation that David Blaine does is excellent. (via Manifestation)

I was playing with Jackpot (which came via a weblog which I think was Illuminatrix), and found this nice page of info on philosophers.

2 September 1999

Check out the mindset list for the Class of 2003. This is a good idea - pity it's US oriented - as you get older your students simply don't get some references you make automatically. This is often to do with the fact that most of them haven't read a book in years, but is sometimes to do with them being young...

Australian Bush Flower Essences - like Bach Flower Essences, but Australian (Note the similarity of Bush and Bach...) Anyway I am trying one of their mixtures and I will let you know if it works.

RobotWisdom took me to this page of books by the Scarecrow Press, what strange books! " Baseball's Biggest Blunder: The Bonus Rule of 1953-1957" or " Strangers in Hollywood: The History of Scandinavian Actors in American Films"

A "cyber listening lab" for English as a Second Language.

The Minnesota Orchestra's Virtual Tour of Japan. Weird for some reason. "Off and away with Eiji Oue!" The rocks are nice though.

Fifty books that Ushered Japan into the International Era.

Page from an English language course in Japan. With quicktime movies (which I haven't seen as I dont have a plugin)

Mandatory strange Japanese page: "Happy Ice Cream" since March 1997. Traditional pictures of cats, and a very strange cartoon.

A rather attractive page with a Japanese look. You seem to be able to pick it up as a package and use it yourself.

S&M Teddy Bears? Who would even think of buying such a thing?

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