Bifurcated Rivets

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28 October 1999

I won't be around the hive for a couple of days...

The Illustrated Beowulf. Odd. Very odd.

Can humans think?? Why would they need to if they had one these?

27 October 1999

Still a worker not a drone. Here's a little stopgap and Japanese slogan site (via the ever wonderful gmtPlus9).

26 October 1999

I'm a busy little bee no honey I'm afraid.

25 October 1999

It was the fiftieth anniversary of the formation of the Newcastle Kingsmen Sword Dancers this weekend. Which was nice. I also found the homepage of Addison Rapper and Clog - I taught them rapper when they first started, and Penny taught them clog. When we were with them we didn't live near by, now they are our local dance team and we aren't part of them anymore. Isn't life strange?

I watched parts of a very strange television programme called Either/Or on Saturday night. It was almost all monochrome and took the form of a quiz where the contestants are hooded and masked (though the masks get smaller as the show proceeds) and the game goes on until there is one person left who then gets his or her anonymity stripped away. It was almost unwatchable and in fact was, if it is possible, negatively entertaining (untertaining?) I cannot imagine what the presenter had to do to sell this idea to someone who was actually prepared to make it. Was I the only person watching it? It seems a possibility. I also saw a show where Phil Kay was driven round Glasgow in an open-top bus, descending every now and then with his passengers to "shoplift" stuff. This was not a good idea for a television program either.

I heard a lovely quote from Tim Rice when asked if he was still friends with Andrew Lloyd Webber:

"Of course - I went to his last show. At least, I hope it was his last show."

Oooooo, who rattled Ben Brown's cage? (via gmtPlus9)

I like Ethel the Blog.

I've had a lot of trouble sleeping these last few nights. One particularly bad night I kept drifting in and out of sleep and kept dreaming about domain names of all things. was one of them.

Hmm, QXL seem to want us to go naked... (Or try this saved image in case they've fixed it.)

I bought a very cheap, remaindered copy of Kevin Kelly's "New Rules for the New Economy" - only after I got it home did I realise that it was in fact a signed, remaindered copy... Not a big sale then.

Opendesk - coming on Monday. Or so it says. But sing the song until then.

Netreal have renamed themselves and you probably should go there and spend lots of money: This, this, this and particularly this look like things I ought to own.

Sound advice about e-mail security when travelling in David Strom's latest Web Informant.

22 October 1999

I was told about Arts Journal by e-mail. Good clipping service for Arts related topics.

Alexlit Digital Library is interesting. I am signed up and will try it, though these recommendation systems rarely seem to work for me - my tastes are too weird or something. Later - I can't get it to work at all, may need cookies I that made no difference. (via Whim & Vinegar)

I had a weird item here, but I decided that I didn't want to publicise them...

I finished All Tomorrow's parties last night. I loved it. And I did an epinion on it, just because that's the trendy thing to do. Interestingly enough I seem to be the first person to review it. Epinions is almost unusably slow at times from this side of the water.

The new website for the Independent is ghastly. Like Gorjuss, I am not even going to start listing what is wrong with it, mind you, I don;t like the design of the paper version much either. Oh my god, it is much much more horrible than I thought. Could this be the worst designed website ever? (OK, probably not, but it is vile.)

English-Esperanto Dictionary. (Thanks Matt) Esperanto keeps popping up today - Memepool and Misterpants both have items on it and other constructed languages. I suggested an Esperanto word as a domain name yesterday too, so it must be in the air.

You should read this horror story about Hotmail. Ghastly.

21 October 1999

No more today - have to see someone about an aerial...

The homepage of Big Poo Generator. Umm, what can I say? Nothing really. (Again thanks to Ben)

Many years ago I tried to get some money to develop a VR-based system management tool. At the time everyone said it was a stupid idea. Now read someone else's proposal to do it based on Doom. (Thanks Ben)

Dan talks about the epinions web of trust idea. The trouble is it isn't a web of trust in any meaningful sense. It is a web of interest more than anything else - I am interested in certain people's opinions, but I do not necessarily trust them. There are more likely to be people who I don't trust at all than people who I trust all the time. <HOBBYHORSE>Oh, and sure nobody is getting rich via the site, but only North Americans even have the option of payment anyway</HOBBYHORSE>

20 October 1999

Nothing today - teaching AM and on a course (new teaching methods for Science) this PM.

19 October 1999

I think you will all agree that this is an essential item that all webloggers should own.

Millenium Matters

"a repository for information on, sources regarding, and personal revelations about the times just ahead. We seek a greater understanding regarding the changes taking place in ourselves and on the Earth."

The 1998 Prophecy contest page is fun - the author guessed 20 predictions and did better than the psychics.

Kevin Lowey records what he learns each day. (Well, not every day as you can see from the dates, in fact not very often at all)

Homa Therapy. Vedic organic gardening - I have never come across this before.

Funny how people don't really understand the web. This page with a question on it (identify the boy in the photo) gives the answer away before the page is even loaded, first from the URL, second from the title.

The Victorian Women Writers project. My wife loves to read Victorian women writers.

Naval Terminology, Jargon and Slang FAQ. This was the first hit for the Google search "chewing the fag end of the leftovers of tomorrow"

Electric minds - I haven't come across this before, or is it something else that has been renamed? I tried to sign up for it, but got lots of ASP errors. Electric Minds should do better.

Betterbodz - building better bodies at the speed of technology! (spelling checker needed and not just for the domaon name!)

This page about bars has clearly never been checked for correct layout on multiple browsers. The text hangs off the right hand side of the background in a weird way.

Is this a spoof? A club for women, by women, for women, but the frontpage has recipes, and cleaning and decorating tips? Maybe it's some weird retro-thing.

The Kinky Friedman site. The Kinksta is playing Live Theatre next month. I shall be there if it is at all possible. And Rory Block is there too, Saturday it seems, wonder if I can make that one as well?

Interested in Cemetries? Then join . This is a list for all you taphophiles out there - I find cemetries to be fascinating places. There is an old Jewish cemetry in Newcastle that is preserved in what can only be described as a large airshaft behind Dance City. (via PigDog) is very, very, very odd. The Map takes you to some strange places too. Is it legal to be this weird?

This manipulable face in Java is scary. An astonishing piece of work. (via Memepool)

18 October 1999

Boz Burrell and Tam White might well be interesting, but I can't get any of their samples to work properly.

The autumn colours are especially good this year, I just scuffed my way through a big pile of dry leaves - great fun!

Talking about quicksand, here are some myths about it.

This book about consensual crime looks good. It is a very sensible proposition, though one has to be careful not to slip into the quicksand of libertarian nonsense when agreeing with it - it is not a call for less government, just a call for sensible, enforcable laws. IMHO of course. (via Memepool)

I got an Ondigital digital receiver this weekend. Why do they refer to these things as set-top boxes? It's way to too big to go on top of my television. Of course none of the 3 aerials on my roof point in the right direction for proper reception so I am having to have my aerial moved. *sigh*

This is fun for a couple of minutes.

The latest RISKS has a horrendous story about someone's replacement credit card.

New Web Informant on preserving archives. Something that exercises my mind quite frequently.

Andrew Brown writer of the New Statesman Internet column, had a piece on weblogs recently. Apart from saying nice things about Bifurcated Rivets, I think that he captured the weblog spirit well - he clearly gets it. It turns out that I am waiting for someone to lend me Andrew's new book - The Darwin Wars  UK

I saw a man who was the double of William Burroughs. I met a girl walking round town carrying a lit miners' safety lamp.

Observer piece on e-books. Not sure I agree, particularly with some of the implications:

"The new Microsoft Reader software 'brings to the screen exactly what we all love about books: clean, crisp type, traditional layout and an uncluttered format'."

Excuse me? Note several things. 1) This is software, not a reader. So what if I have a lousy display? Why is this different from Adobe Acrobat?, and 2) what makes them think that that is what people love about books? Us book-sniffing weirdos know better!

Mersenne prime 26972593-1 - in English. (52M file...)

I got a (mis-spelled) name check in Need to Know!

"Right Turn Clyde" - media e-zine.

Thanks to Damien for pointing me at a "how to" page for getting rid of the Netscape "shop" button - I used the same model to get rid of Netscape Radio as well. (The instructions are not quite right for Linux but it isn't hard to figure out what to do)

15 October 1999

I hope that everyone else finds the new Netscape "shop" button as loathsome as I do - I keep hitting it instead of "stop" because they look the same. Why can't I configure my interface to get rid of it? And what the hell is "Radio" menu item? God lord. Bring on Opera please!!!

Sources for weird stuff: Amok (I kept opening the latest catalogue at random places and found I owned or had read at least one book on the page), Disinformation, Feral House, RE/Search

Magnetic body wraps??????

If anyone can find me someone who sells negative heel shoes in the UK, I'd be very pleased to know who they are. I know that Roots of Canada still sell them but they are horrendously expensive and nobody that I know of imports them. Birkenstocks don't count (and they dont fit my feet and I dont like them anyway). I really want a proper pair of Earth Shoes but they haven't existed for a long time. Once upon a time I had several pairs of Hungarian Earth Shoe copies and they lasted me for years and years. I still have one very decrepit (I almost said down at heel) pair of a more recent Earth Shoe copy but they are only suitable for gardening. Another, even better earth shoe link, with pictures. The last place in the universe that had them is sold out...

Somoene passed me on the link for BLT cycle lights that I couldn't find the other day.

Some interesting food for design discussions at coolhomepages. Some of the pages they describe as "clean" look pretty mucky to my eye. (via RobotWisdom)

Lovegety - absolutely no comment.

Great "escape from locked bathroom" story.

I'm after an original copy of "The Tinkler Gypsies" by Andrew McCormick, and bookfinder turned one up at Graham York books. Sadly, he wants 145 pounds for it. Maybe I'll just stick with my reprint copy.

A starting point for information about Tove Jansson (see next item). There is a vast amount of stuff about the moomins, and I will leave you to explore it yourself. Read the books if you haven't already - I prefer the earlier books myself as the later ones are a little dark. I like the groke and of course Edward the Booble. Here's lots more pictures - hmm, I wonder about the copyright position on these.

Screenshot picks up on the sandcastle theme and mentions snow as a medium. When we get any snow I love to build snow lanterns - I picked this idea up from an illustration in Tove Jansson's Moominland Midwinter  UK  USA . So I searched and it turns out that they do it in Japan too. (Tove Jansson is hugely popular in Japan as well). Anyone else build snow lanterns? People round me think it's weird. You should build them - it's great fun. Here's a "how to" page from Japan. These photos capture the strange glow they have very well.

Yay! Bananas on the web. I like bananas 'cos they've got no bones.

A search for "tube power amps" from MSN hit my homepage. These three words appear nowhere on it or in its vicinity. Is this some kind of post-modern, deconstructed search engine?

Kyoto cams. It's always dark in Japan when I am looking.

These Kanji pages are designed for use by tatooists, but are useful to the rest of us as well.

Mitsu writes about teetering between the technical and the artistic. I know exactly what he is talking about.

I love soup. Probably something to do with being Scottish.

This article on problems with web anonymizers is worth reading.

New Cryptogram. Links to this self-study course in Block Cipher Cryptanalysis.

Boasting a completely vile design, HomeIndia does provide an interesting service - you can send a letter to India for free. You e-mail them and they print it out and post it. Great service for the unwired majority. Their Indian Almanac is interesting too. Pity about their slogan - "We deliver emotions".

Eurodic provides translations of technical terms and such like into twelve european languages.

The Big Gallery has lots of pictures for sale. Trouble is you can only view a few of them so it is going to be pretty hard to decide of you want to buy one! There are some really twee pictures amongst the good stuff. Here's another.

It's not just me asking about memorials, here's a Camille Paglia piece on exactly this topic. (Thanks to Bob Maynard for pointing this one out to me)

Great language translation resource site. (Apart from the nasty geocities popups of course)

14 October 1999

Truely awful website brought to you by the Consumers Association - Taxcalc. Bad choice of background, bad typeface rendering, and nothing works as it is "under construction". The manual for the program states quite clearly that you can register at the site. The program is OK however (though I wanted to moan about some aspects of it which is why I went to the site)

Check out the Java Bike ride - it may not have started when you look at it. (It seems to be off and running now)

I took the "Comment" link out of the headers, not because the service was poor, but because it has only been used once - most people just mail me directly. I've added instead an epinions link. That too may wither on the vine but it helps my weblog cred.

I had some nice e-mail from people about the memorial phenomenon I mentioned yesterday including a description of a roadside crash memorial with burning candles and everything. There is a thesis to be written on all this.

The Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship are the people who started the so-called "Toronto Blessing" meme (and then got expelled from their own movement!). Now they are claiming that God is turning people's fillings to gold. The site asks why God would do this. So do I. Why doesn't God heal their teeth properly instead of pandering to their greed for gold? Funnily enough several people who have said the gold filling thing happened to them "forgot" that they had had a gold filling done many years ago. Surprising, eh? There is supposed to be an item on this story in the Ship of Fools but I can't find it. (Their fruitcake zone is funny though. Mind you I am always supicious of any kind of religious site, even one that pokes fun at itself. Just my natural cynicism I suppose) Another Fortean Times item as you no doubt guessed.

Buy some UFO crash debris?? Or why not let those aliens help you get fit? Or why not just make do with some good old fashioned freaks?

New Zealand fireball info. (via Fortean Times)

Speaking of sand castles, here's the Holland Sand Sculpture Park page (which netscape is having trouble with at the moment). Lots of sand castle links actually: The Sons of the Beach, Sandworld, Sandcastle Central. Have a look at the photogrpahs of what people can do with sand. Mind boggling.

Sorry, but this Universal Networking Language is not going to work. Or at least it will work for an impossibly restricted subset which will allow people to build castles of sand which will then crumble and the whole idea will be forgotten about. Language just isn't that simple.(via /.)

Bookcrazy looks like a good place to pick up interesting and outré volumes and vinyl. And they'll ship at surface rate too.

The river was amazingly still this morning - wonderful reflections.

13 October 1999

There was a story around about a candid camera site in Singapore where photos of people in the street (to be precise pretty girls) were being uploaded. It's gone now though.

The Ideatree - another site where I can't work out what it is all about.

I just picked up my daughter's tenth birthday bike. It's a Trek which, for some bizarre reason, does not exist in there online catalogue - the 810 17" Ladies frame. Very nice bike for the price. I noticed that BLT bike lights (no link) have come down in price so that they are nearly affordable - nighttime offroading is nearly in reach!

Never one to shy away from following th herd, I too have been doing some epinions. At the moment, more to get a feel for the interface than as a real burst of strongly felt reviewing. Please feel free to say that you trust my opinion! My member name is lfmarshall. I notice that there is no way of saying that you definitely don't trust them.

The hi-res satellite image is fantastic. Pity that it's a commercial deal - this is the sort of thing taht ought to be freely available. Oh, and can I paint "No photographs" on my roof and have it removed? I thought not. (Lot's of places)

I always wondered what "pompatus" meant!! Thanks metalog!

What is the Medieval Feminist Index? I really can't get a handle on it, though I can't resist pointing out that it has a page on "Broad Topics"...

The cut-up machine is fun (via PigDog)

I love this bizarre Japanese photography site. There are some very strong and natural images because of the random nature of the shots. There is a lot of randomness so re-loading getsyou different pictures. These wedding pics are weird.(via Cardhouse)

I note that Respond claims to "shop the world for me". What's the betting that the world extends from California to New York, and just south of Canada to just north of Mexico? (I am on an anti-cultural imperialism kick today)

I was looking out some homework related material for my children last night and came across a whole stash of interesting places. The 3 R set : The Richard III and Yorkist History Server, Rubber Chicken Enterprises, Rock 'n' Roll Radios, and RIII.

gmtPlus9 mentions Pera Pera Penguin's 5-Minute Japanese Class which is a web version of a weekly newspaper strip. It's excellent.

Someone jumped of the roof of car park near my office and today there are flowers left by the railing. When did this become the thing to do? When I was a kid you never saw flowers at accident sites. What's changed?

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