the whole world burns

Archive for October 2006

Prisoner Cell Block H (The Complete Collection) - 179 DVD Set


$1600, 179 DVDs, 692 episodes, not one of them worth watching.

Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One


I am naturally afraid of any technical document which is both long enough to be "volume" and incomplete enough to be only "volume one", but this is worth reading.

How a carpenter got the highest Scrabble score ever

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830 points total, 365 for one word: "quixotry". The kicker: it was only possible because of suboptimal choices by both players.

Grauniad film critic Peter Bradshaw on the cinema of YouTube

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[It] has, at its best, a transcendental amateurism, un-housetrained by the conventions of narrative interest or good taste. It is a quality to be savoured...

More CSRF issues with Flash crossdomain policy files

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More and more, web app security looks like a house of cards.

1. write two sentences; 2. create tension between them

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She felt the hand move up her back. Surely it was a hand.

Ig Nobel Prize For Literature, 2006: Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems with using long words needlessly

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Does complex, jargon-heavy writing make you seem intelligent? Apparently not. Before rushing to attack Derrida, note that the study's only real result is that fluency is the key. Increased complexity may not necessarily come at the cost of fluency. Long words are only problematic if used inappropriately.

Unfortunately, the chosen samples weren't much good. The complicated samples read as though a thesaurus had been used to inappropriately substitute words. (Which, for the experiment, it had.) The simplified samples read better, but with significant loss of nuance; even if undergraduates didn't notice, a domain expert would have.

By far the most interesting point came from the fifth experiment. Copies of the same document were divided amongst two groups, but the copies given to the second group were printed badly, making the text (optically) difficult to read. The low-toner group rated the intelligence of the author higher.

[W]hen an obvious source for the lack of fluency is present, people discount that lack of fluency when making their judgement. They do so to such an extent that they end up biasing their judgement in the opposite direction!

Lessons in Calligraphy and Penmanship


Fantastic collection from the "International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting", including scans of old 19th-Century school texts. My school failed to adequately teach cursive, but I always wanted to learn...

Code Search: "i=++i"

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Forget vulnerabilities; it's all about the stupidity

incredibly slick YUI-based comment system


Allows comments to be placed anywhere, purple-number like. First the revamped Slashdot comments and now this; awesome to (finally) be seeing some innovation in this space.

Babarism: The Church of Babar

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Every facet of our lives can be positively influenced by asking ourselves, "What would Babar do?"

I'm not sure that the ruthless despot of Celesteville is the best subject of such an inquiry.

UK man jailed for trolling

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During police interviews, Martin admitted posting the messages but insisted he was not racist. He told the officers he had intended to stir up an argument on the website but did not believe in what he had written.

Harry Potter and the Underage Blow Job - NSWF auto-playing audio


Mash-up made from Stephen Fry's audiobook readings. The scary, scary thing is that I know the original context of a lot of those samples. :(

Google Code Search

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With regexp!!!

Monster: The Medical Annotation


A close look at the Naoki Urasawa's manga thriller. I seem to recall there being less medicine in later volumes, but still, good while it lasts.

(From Polite Dissent, the only blog specializing in representations of medicine in comic books...)

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.