Bifurcated Rivets

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25 February 2000

Hmmm, I like the idea of timestamps, but I don't think that they are working as dividers. I just tried setting all the text monospaced and it really was very readable. But perhaps a bit pretentious and (self-) conciously designy. Well I shall let the ideas stew in the mental stock pot over the weekend...

At the moment I have left the alternating colours in as well.

Here's another one. The trouble is, I think that this would look fine if I had lots and lots of long paragraphs, but with lots of short items I suspect it will look stupid.

Timestamped text for Ben to look at (so if you are not Ben don't look at this line)

If anyone ever comes across a CD of Mondo Mando by David Grisman, do let me know - it seems to have vanished form the known universe.

Folk MP3s and stuff

Japanese only banjo pages. is a good site if you play bluegrass banjo. Probably not much use if you don't though.

OK, so I hit an advert banner for a girly site, but it's weird - has Java applet and VRML pictures rather than just gifs and jpegs! Why appplets? They aren't animated or anything! Bizarre.

I don't remember seeing the Fun Trivia site before. Much ephemeral nonsense here. There's lots more over at too, but there it seems to run more to yet another list of search engines that everyone knows about anyway.....

I was thinking about Duct Tape. Which came first Duck Tape or Duct Tape? In the UK it is called either Gaffa or Gaffer tape. I always assumed it was Gaffer tape (as in gaffer == boss) and hadn't come across the gaffa spelling until I came across rec.musc.gaffa. To me, gaffa sounds like an exotic drug. I can just see William Burroughs sitting in an upstairs room in Tangiers, somewhere above the souk, sipping a small glass of gaffa, which has been distilled from the blossoms of a rare flower found only in the Atlas mountains. A potent hallucigen naturally. Stop me if I am havering (which does not mean vacillating!!!)

24 February 2000

My brain is completely fogged today. I haven't slept properly for several days now and it is starting to creep up on me.

Netscape 4.72 still doesn't get borders right all the time.

Today is the anniversary of the Ents destroying Isengard. I don't want to get into a Tolkein link thing - there will be way too many and most of the sites will be horrible (for instance this one...) This damning review of an album by the metal band Isengard is fun though.

The Atlanta Roadways Digest describes itself as "a satirical look at driving in Atlanta". Entertaining in its own way.

You'll note that I have abandoned the cruddy borders (well cruddy everywhere except on my local machine!) and gone back to a differentiated background. I tried experimenting with different alignments and widths, but they looked too "designed" if you see what I mean. A weblog is (for me) a a scribbly, notebooky sort of thing and should be much more realxed. I have thought about adding timestamps to the entries which woulsd also let me make a hook to hang a tag on for direct links to individual items rather than whole days. The timestamps would act as dividers between the items and so I could dispense with the colouring. The thing to avoid is a feeling of "Deadline 12:00AM, Newcastle" - it is more a logging, sequencing thing rather than making the items feel more important. I'm gibbering amn't I?

GMTplus9 takes me to Great Mobile Homes of Mississippi. A true gem.

Drew sent me some good links to Blue Meanies sites : A ska band, the Apple blue meanies, and, of, course, the original Blue Meanies. Soemthign for all tastes there I think.

Interesting article about porn sites and business success. (Thanks Frank)

Nor had I heard of Mutopia. Public Domain sheet music archive. Fantastic!

I hadn't heard of the LilyPond project before. It would be nice to have a good music typesetting program in open source.

23 February 2000

OK, I know this is from Slashdot, but I do think that it is pretty useful all the same and worth mentioning. The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.

The Strangerers website still won't load, but last night's episode was very funny.

Useful tips on paragraphing.

A page promulgating the myth of the British Breakfast. I can assure you that I have never seen kidneys or mutton chops at a breakfast table anywhere. Not have I seen kedgeree and chutney. As to "hoppers" I have never even heard of them. A hundred years ago, the very rich did indeed have breakfasts like this, but they have not existed for a very long time except in exceptional circumstances. The bit about multi-course breakfasts is true, but, I've had multi-course breakfasts in almost every country I have visited, so it is noghint special. The place with the weirdest breakfasts is in fact the USA, where people eat very strange things indeed: maple syrup on bacon, biscuits and gravy, both on the same plate, oh, and with what they would have called jello. Good grief, they'll be eating pineapple on pizza next!

Pirates - It's more than a costume, it's a lifestyle. Once again, I am saying absolutely nothing. If I go on saying nothing at this rate I shall have to stop doing the log.

I wonder if he ever got help? How can someone so illiterate be being asked to read Tale of a Tub?

A big collection of tongue twisters in English. Pop up a level and you get them in a multitude of languages. Some of the Japanese ones are real killers.

And here is the answer you have all been dying to know since you last practised phoneme awareness.

Phoneme Awareness Activities. I was sitting in the car with my daughter last night doing things like this strangely enough.

Dan lead me to the Grim Reaper's Age Guesser and it guessed me as 8 years too young. I have no idea what this means.

22 February 2000

Ah, I found out what 5/5/2000 is - it's the planetary alignment thing. They even have a picture!

I found my way to the Survival Centre, and there seems to be some scare about 5/5/2000 but just at the moment I haven't worked out what it is. Check out the review comments for the Richard Noone book that seems to be promulagting this disaster in the making (whatever it is!) There are some classics: "A refreshing exception to most books dealing with similar subject matter.", "Noone has woven a number of unusual and seemingly disparate threads into a single, provocative, scholarly tapestry", "It is my hope that every Mason will find time to read this brilliant new book.". Clearly a load of old bollocks.

A curse generator...could be useful.

I think that "Watkins Bold As Love" is a really, really terrible name for an album - no matter how good it might possibly be.

After All These Years - a rock and roll reverie

This story is bizarre. Strange Y2K nonsense. Can't work out what's behind it.

Make your own decaf tea - vile idea!!

A whole page of tea related links.

Thank you Alice for the guide to Air Guitar.

Many years ago (probably over 30) I listened to a wireless program about sound poetry and for some reason part of one of the poems has stuck fast in my brain. It popped up again this morning. It goes

China tea cup, coffee cup, nibble a bit, nibble a bit

It was a poem about railways and buffets - try saying that line with a train rhythm and you'll hear what was intended. But why did just that fragment stay with me I wonder?

21 February 2000

Daring Diva - the web site for adventurous singers. Lots of interesting stuff

My truth name is SLICK MUSIC-MAKIN' BUILDER OF TRUTH (Thanks Jen)

I noticed at home that one of the the colours in the new background comes out as dirty yellow on some systems. I need to do some more playing with it clearly.

This evaluation of US Presidential candidates' web pages is fun.

A couple of weblogs that I hadn't seen before - Greg's and Keith Brown's. They both look interesting but unfortunately they suffer from TinyText® and are very hard for me to read.

Don't you just love Pat Robertson? (Um, no)

Since I am on the topic of instruments that I cannot trace, I should mention the Stritch and Manzello that Rahsaan Roland Kirk used to play. When he did his playing three saxophones at once trick, he used (according to some sleeve notes I once read) a stritch and a manzello as well as an ordinary sax. I have never been able to find out what these are - I may of course be totally deluded. Ah - the wonder of the web - I am not deluded, they are names he made up for weird saxs he found, I quote from this excellent biography page:

"Those first recordings were primarily of Roland the tenor-man, but he added something new on a trio of tracks. From his earliest days, Kirk had been reaching for the musical potential of nearly anything he could lay his hands on (his first instrument was a length of garden hose), but there was a particular set of sounds from a particular set of instruments that had come to Kirk in one of the prophetic dreams that had served as his source of vision since he had been blinded at the age of two. The instruments that appeared in his dream had been the moon zeller and the stritchaphone. The dream came to fruition when a pair of antiquated woodwinds were discovered in the basement storeroom of a Columbus instrument dealer. When an unusually shaped Bb soprano saxophone, with a bend at the neck and an upturned bell, was placed in Kirk's hands, he recognized it as his moon zeller, which he made famous as the manzello. The stritchaphone, or stritch, was another anomaly, an Eb alto that had no bend at all, stretching out to resemble a gigantic soprano with a large, flat bell."

I was reading in Mojo about Steely Dan and it was metnioend that they wanted to use a marimba when recording Pretzel Logic, but couldn't get one so they used a flopanba. What on earth is a flopanba? OK, I assume it is something that you hit to make notes, but beyond that I don't know. Search engines return no hits, though Altavista kindly suggests that I could "Comparison shop for flopanba"! (The Dan website is very strange and has very little useful info on it at all!)

Why Calista Flockhart is an idoru.

18 February 2000

Some settings look great on Netscape on my Linux box but when viewed in a variety of browsers under Windows 2K and MacOS they loook awful - the 3D borders are lit from the other way and it looks a mess. I wonder what is controlling this. I also found that there is some very weird rendering behaviour with respect to borders in most of the browsers! If you aren;t seeing boxes, jiggle your scrollbar a little and see if they appear.

Well I've been fiddling with the background as you can see... I've taken out the two tone paragraphing for the moment as it does horrible things on some browsers. I still need some way of distinguishing different topic areas though and I dont want to use tables. I apologise for the live testing if you have found this page unreadable at some point.

A new toy - I think I might want one.

Great Women in Astronomy.

A Rasta/Patois dictionary - there are a loads of copies of this all over the net for some reason.

Who started the evolutionary world view? Amazing nonsense cobbled together from a disparate set of prejudices. Evolution may fail the test of Scripture, but this fails the test of sanity. Check out the full End Times Apostasy Database for more of the same (much more!). Find out if Men Are Lusting After Your Wife Or Daughter and how he Praises The Lord For Women Who Keep Their Hair Long. Particularly good is Tottooing for Jesus (sic) (I've always wanted to do that). Women who keep their hair long would be a great name for a band.

The William Burroughs Word Lab. One page up a lot more Burroughs stuff.

I read something about taste recently and could not for the life of me remember the name given to the fifth taste - it's umami. You know you are tasting it when you recognise the presence of MSG in a food.

Japanese food company's page - attractive, clean layout.

I signed up to ICQ the other day (using the Mac client) but I don't really know what to do with it - I don't think I know anyone else who uses it!

Good grief, the inside of my coffee cup is actually white!

Alice has been talking about lift buttons. We had a coffee room conversation yesterday about the buttons outside a lift and someone maintained that there were people who thought that you pressed the "up" button to bring the lift up to you so that you could get on, rather than as an indication of the direction in which you wanted to travel. If you think this please own up as I don't believe you exist.

The web page for the Piobaireachd Society. I'm in a highland bagpipe mood today and some piobaireachd would go down really well at the moment. It's a pity they dont have all the music online or any audio feeds either.

Anita pointed me to another sort of feeder that I didn't hit on yesterday.

Just to be fair, here are some of Tu Fu's poems as well.

Jolly Roger? I can't quite work out what is going on here. "The WWW Renaissance"

Here is some of Li Po's poetry. One of the great poets I think, though of course since I'm reading him in translation it's hard to really tell.

The Li Po Society of America. This of course has nothing at all to do with liposuction (the vacuum removal of chinese poets?) If you back up a page there is a nice animated gif. From there, via Interbeing you get to the Unified Buddhist Church page. Why is it that when a religious organisation has the word "unified" in its name you almost immediately think of schisms?

Ugh, I really must wash my coffee cup.

Today I read that the Bonneville Salt Flats are turning into mud which is why all the speed record people go elsewhere now. I don't know if this is true or not, though there is a hint of it on the page to which I've linked. Ah ha, here's some hard information on deterioration and what is being done to reverse it, and some nice photos.

I failed to get tickets for last nights Counting Crows concert so I am definitely hacked off - they were very good last time I saw them.

17 February 2000

I hadn't seen this nice moon phase calendar before. (OK, I bet you had)

This was the feeder I was looking for.... (of course half the pages are "under construction" as they say in the trade.)

Good grief, there is another cattle feeder magazine! This one claims to be the only magazine exclusively devoted to cattle feeders. Wonder what that makes the other one then?

An online magazine for cattle feeders?

This cat feeder is bizarre! Here's a bird feeder. Maybe we could combine the two and feed the birds to the cats?

We are going to a ToTAP tree planting in a couple of weeks. Should be fun.

(cross after an unsuccesful expedition). Why dont we get thos damned academics and researchers in physics and mathematics replaced by some commercialisation and make their subjects relevant! (see previous item)

Well, Peter I just don't follow your argument. I really don't understand what you mean by "relevance". Relevant to whom? The Internet was relevant to me long before it was commercialised (and access was easy too). For most of the people I know outside computing the Internet is totally irrelevant, except of course that there are lots of pundits shouting at them about how important it is all the time. Luckily most of them are intelligent enough to realise that these are people who are trying to sell them something and ignore it. If they didn't have the Internet their lives would not be significantly altered. If the telephone system vanished tomorrow they would all get on fine too. I really don't think the Internet is that big a deal. (And, no, I don't believe that we are going through a new industrial Revolution either)

What is the difference between digitise and digitalise?

I had nice email from the writer of Texting (Urban Depressive Signals) (I hope that's the name of the journal rather than just a passing header!) and this page lead me to the Penny Arcade site. The Graveyard is strange/interesting.

Do you need a forensic musicologist? If you are in any doubt, he also plays the Crwth! You can also find here a mention of "a melodic morphological norm and the tonal constraints of the anhemitonic gamut" - I am ashamed to admit that I have no idea at all what this means.

A page all about Eric Fenby. I have never forgotten the BBC play about Fenby and Delius - it made a huge impression on me for some reason.

The web of online dictionaries site is good too.

The Encyclopedia Mythica - I can't remember if I have linked to this before or not! Anyway, i found it via a useful listing of reference resources at NISS.

Duct Tape Wallets - and they are hand crafted!! (Thanks Ben)

Yesterday I kept thinking about Sei Shobob and Sei Shomel. How television corrupts the mind!

I hadn't seen the iCar before. (I am thinking of doing the iClaudius page)

16 February 2000

One of my students, Pak-o, is writing a weblog tool for me as his degree project. He has his journal of events online....

I watched the new Sky One series The Strangerers last night (website won't load for me). Not sure about it. In places it was very funny, but it seemed to rely too much on silly, rather obvious jokes which you could see coming from miles away. It may improve though. The weakest link is the woman who plays Rena - she simply cannot act.

Translations of Tolkein's Ring Rhyme into a variety of languages.

Codex Seraphinianus site - a strange sounding book indeed.

I hope you all realise that a weblog is just a modern day pillow book. I dont think that a pillow book is a journal, it is different, something more, and at the same time something less. The random mix of lists, comments, reflections etc. seems to be what weblogs and pillow books are all about.

A page of pictures of Kimonos.

Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan - lots of nice images too.

A Shower Book (modelled on a pillow book...You'll have spotted already that I am on Sei Shonagon kick today)

An attractive journal site.

15 February 2000

I like these pictures.

I nearly did the nose trick with hot coffee whilst laughing at the Lileks site:

"This site is part of the AMERICAN POSTCARDS project ; click below to visit other themes - and thrill to the exciting world of POSTCARDS! Warning: no actual thrills will result."

I hadn't been to the Lileks site for a while so I had a wee look - the Dorcus Line of Fine Menswear. The same high quality as usual.

Japanese cocoa commercials (via Cardhouse)

I have to disagree with Peter - commercialising the Internet did not make it all relevant at all. Quite the opposite.

One thing I meant to say yesterday about the boustrophedon program is that its claim to make reading faster is really not true. The thing you learn on speed reading courses is that you should take in more than one word at a time and not regress - this in the limit tends to eliminate the sweep across the line of text so text direction becomes irrelevant. The other thing you musn't do is sub-vocalise. I went on a speed reading course and one point in the course we reading at over 2000 words a minute and still taking in the content! It was remarkable. There are lots of sources of information on speed reading, but it is hard to learn yourself - the course I was on actually used a machine that forced you to read at certain speeds which worked really well. This page has some thoughtful comments on the concepts of "speed" and "reading".

The stripper as sexual ideal - part of a site dedicated to costume information.

A brief history of the poster. (I wrote "poster of the history" first time round)

A page of Chéret posters.

A page of "Bear Names by Meaning". I have no idea either.

Mysteries of the Musical Theatre - yes Loïe Fuller gets a mention in here too. (I was reading about her this morning which is the cause of all this. There appears to be film of her performing but it doesn't seem to be online anywhere and of course it would be in black and white so the the whole point of the performance would be lost. She seems to be regarded as a pioneer of theatre lighting technique as well as of dance - she made glow in the dark materials using Radium, though Marie Curie advised against it.) There is an astonishing number of references to her on the web. I am really starting to wish that I could have seen her perform. Another portrait of her.

Colour names from the September 1893 Ladies Home Journal - better than the ones that X-windows uses!

Yet more Fuller - she had an affair with Rodin just in case you were interested. Here you can find a couple of Lautrec images of her. The Maryhill Museum of Art has a permanent collection dedicated to her (promise me that if you visit you'll send me a postcard - it looks like a fantastic museum) American Magic Lantern Theatre will recreate the dances for you.

Another Fuller article (in German) - there is a more telling image on this page.

A page about Loïe Fuller. She had a varied career but ended up in Paris performing a routine where she swirled silks about here under different coloured lights. The performance was apparently quite amazing. Lautrec painted her, though she didn't really like what he did. There is also a page about Jules Chéret who basically invented the idea of poster advertising. (The whole wetcanvas site is excellent, particularly the museum)

The Texas Chapbook Press and there Magellan's Log e-zine - excellent stuff. (Thanks Janet)

14 February 2000

The spelling on Slashdot discussion posts is getting even worse! (As part of the Undernet we ought to stand up and shout about it :-) )

A couple of people have pointed out that the peanuts site does have a mention of Schultz's death. I am surprised that they didn't do more though, let's face it, newspapers have obituaries prepared and ready to run, it has been pretty clear for some time that Schultz did not have long to live so I thought they might have had an obituary website prepared.

cgmusic is a nice source of hymns and hymn tunes. It's a pity that they dont seem to recognise that singing hymns can just be fun - some of the tunes are great and some of the words are very singable. (Mind you there are some utterly dreadful hymns - particularly those of the happy, clappy modern evangelical school) You don't have to buy into the religion to sing the hymns. There are some fantastic Islamic and Buddhist songs/chants.

Lautrec posters. He didn't actually do all that many - we have been sold a rather censored version of his life and works. This is not to denigrate them in any way of course - the posters were enormously influential. The very first one was printed on three litho stones it was so big (for the time), and people followed the bill posters round the street removing the posters while the glue was still wet. I's a pity that the design of the site interferes with the image.

Invisible Pink Unicorns exist. And I bet you all thought they didn't.

Is there a Valentine's Day net massaacre in progress? The net is just crawling along.

A boustrophedon text utility written in tcl/tk as well. I wonder
.aedi gnitseretnI ?golbew nodehportsuob a od dluohs I fi

Note that the Snoopy web site does not mention the fact that Schulz died on Sunday (or was it Saturday?).

RIP Charles Schulz, Screaming Jay Hawkins and Tom Landry

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