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2008 (Fathom this!)


Encoding for CSS content

When using the content attribute in CSS, all characters must be encoded in hexadecimal and prepended with a backslash.

This bin-oct-dec-hex converter works fine.


  • Nunavut's coat of arms Nunavut has to have to coolest coat of arms, ever!
  • Love in the Time of Darwinism. An interesting look at how dating and the perception of marriage has changed in America. There's some vituperate stuff in there.

Jack and Jim and Johnny, oh my!

Mental Floss: The men behind you favorite liquors. “One morning in 1911 [Jack] Daniel showed up for work early and couldn’t get his safe open. He flew off the handle and kicked the offending strongbox. The kick was so ferocious that Daniel injured his toe, which then became infected. The infection soon became the blood poisoning that killed the whiskey mogul.”


  • Ad Week: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. "Hire at least two new people every day." Jeff Goodby may have been exaggerating, at least at first, when he gave that directive ... in the spring of 2007. But the reality was, it was a necessity. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was in a hiring frenzy following an unprecedented new-business windfall, which itself followed a major account loss early in the year that threatened to trim rather than swell the agency's ranks. Suddenly, the San Francisco agency needed to find a lot of talent, and fast.

Two types: Leitura and Arlt

Leitura is a diverse family of faces that looks like two families joined into one. Arlt is a typeface with curious serifs.


Boot-time silent SMSs?

Dear LazyWeb, could you please tell me if there’s a S60 software and accompanying web service that will automatically and silently send a SMS every time my phone is booted. Or if this doesn’t already exist, would someone please start one?


March 31, 1979 to October 25, 1997

Jamie Livingston took a Polaroid a day from March 31, 1979 to October 25, 1997, the day of his death. Mental Floss tells a great story about the site.


Seven rose-pushers

There were seven rose-pushers outside the train station after work on Friday.

  • Claremont. A short movie about going down a hill fast. Astounding.

ESP by 22

Yay! My copy of 22’s first EP, ESP, has arrived!

When I first heard them, I sort of wrote them off as “musician’s music”, too technical for my taste. But after seeing them live — wow! — I totally heard the light! 22 is now my favorite band.

It’s also one of the only times I’ve seen a band live — three times now — before they’d released, well, anything.

You can get your’s from CDON, or give them a listen on Myspace or on Facebook.


His uncle’s eye

joe biden is thom yorke’s old american uncle.”

— A comment on Daily Intel


A note about Georges Perec

The first thing I learned about Georges Perec is that he’d written a novel without using the letter ‘e’. Talk about creative constraints!

Perec’s best-known work, Life: A User’s Manual, is divided into 99 chapters, which “move like a knight’s tour of a chessboard around the room plan of a Paris apartment [building], describing the rooms and stairwell and telling the stories of the inhabitants.”

He was a member of Oulipo, a literary group interested in creating constrained writing techniques.


Educational videos

Ever wonder how to garden, drive a car, or write a letter while high on salvia? Well, here are some educational videos: driving on salvia, gardening on salvia, and writing a letter to Congress on salvia.

Funny, and probably very true.


  • Cassette from my ex. Relationships end but mixtapes are forever. (Especially after they're posted on the internet.)

EES almost there

Electric Eel Shock’s almost made its goal of raising $50 000 on Sellaband. Buy a stake in the band for $10 and you’ll get EES’s next record. Not a bad deal!


The basest of base

One learns fascinating thing on the Internet; things, perhaps, that one wouldn’t want to. While the art of perfumery isn’t exactly the worst of them, and I deny that I’m affronted by its intricacies, I do wonder if I really wanted to know its, uh, animalistic side.

“It is a classic French way to make perfume,” he says, referring to animalic scents, the basest base notes. Civet oil, which is drawn from the anal gland of the civet cat, and which is said to smell a bit like blood. Castoreum, the animalic note in Cruel Intentions by Kilian, which comes from a gland in the guts of a beaver. Perfume critic Chandler Burr has said that it smells of “leather, urine, smokey tar and of anus.

Via Untoward.


Dividing up Helsinki

Markosamuli is tagging up the shapes of the neighborhoods of Helsinki on Google Maps. Where one area ends and another begins is an eternal topic of debate. Maps are rarely consulted in these debates, though, so maybe this is a first step in achieving a “groupthunk” or crowdsourced conclusion.


Making favicons

While I’ve tried many different ways of making favicons, I prefer — and would recommend — creating PNGs and then converting them using png2ico. I’m still on the fence whether bundling a 32x32 pixel version pays off. On one hand, it’s “invisible” and available in cases where it’d make sense; on the other hand, it’s just extra bits to send down the wire.


Tilaa Lehti!

Joko sinä olet tilannut Lehden ennakkoon? 250 muuta on, vielä saman verran lisää tarvitaan.


  • Jon Tan, web designer extraordinaire. I love his typography/logo experiment. Yes, that's text!
  • Sphinx. An open source SQL full-text search engine.
  • Solr. An open source search server based on the Lucene Java search library, with XML/HTTP and JSON APIs, hit highlighting, faceted search, caching, replication, and a web administration interface.

Gonna Usagi Chan!

Guess who’s going to see Electric Eel Shock tomorrow? Yay! Rock ‘n roll fishing!


Catfishes and speed fixes

Here’s a handy Catfish plugin for Jquery. The author’s site seems to have disappeared, so I can’t comment there, but the one big thing to fix in this is to include a “speed fix”, which smoothes the jerkiness in the IE6 expression-based workaround.

Sitepoint’s original Catfish implementation was great, but big and slow pages tend to react badly with their IE6 workaround. Another approach is to use expressions to emulate position: fixed.

<!--[if lt IE 7]>
<style type="text/css">

body { background: url(hack) fixed; } /* 'speed fix', fixes the jerkiness of IE6 */
#catfish {
    position: absolute;
    top: expression(
        offset = parseInt(catfish.offsetHeight),
        document.documentElement.scrollTop + document.documentElement.clientHeight - offset + 'px'



Kiitos ei pelimiehille

Kipein adressi ikinä.


Älä pilaa tätä vitsiä

Hikipediassa on sivu, jossa naureskellaan adressien tehottomuudelle. Huvittava lisä on tietysti se, että ainakin yksi väitteistä ei pidä paikaansa*, ja että kohdan muokkaa-linkin takaa löytyy kommentti “älä lisää tähän” mitään.


True stories

Stumbling upon some books on Amazon is like getting lost within some strange alternate universe. Witness the art of Ben Mezrich: Rigged (The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, from Wall Street to Dubai), Ugly Americans (The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions), Breaking Las Vegas, Busting Vegas (The MIT Whiz Kid Who Brought the Casinos to Their Knees), Bringing Down the House (The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions).


Brain trickery

Helsingin Sanomat ran a story on the brain and how it processes stimuli. The story, published on February 12th, is behind a paywall, but I thought I’d post some of the links mentioned.

At first listen, this clip doesn’t make sense. But then listen to this, and return to the first clip. Sine-wave speech becomes decipherable after the brain knows what it is listening to.

Dropping syllables from recorded speech makes it nearly unintelligable (listen). But filling the gaps with static restored their comprehensibility (listen). Makio Kashino’s paper.

McGurk Effect — how your eyes throw off the ear. A great demonstration that visual cues are an integral part of speech recognition.

Looking isn’t necessarily seeing. For an infamous example, watch this video and “count the total number of times that the people wearing white pass the basketball. Do not count the passes made by the people wearing black.” Then proceed to step two.

Another example of attention in seeing is shown in the flicker paradigm: “A large fraction of traffic accidents are of the type ‘driver looked but failed to see’. Here, drivers collide with pedestrians in plain view, with cars directly in front of them (the classic ‘rear-ender’), and even run into trains. (That’s right — run into trains, not the other way around.) In such cases, information from the world is entering the driver’s eyes. But at some point along the way this information is lost, causing the driver to lose connection with reality. They are looking but they are not seeing.”


  • flot. A chart plotting library for jQuery.

Thickbox and SWFObject in IE6

I ran into some strange security errors with Thickbox and Flash in (surprise, surprise) IE6. Thickbox’s forums clued me into suspecting the problem had to do with SWFObject. The solution was to give the SWFObject’s script a defer attribute.

There’s still the issue of how much memory Thickbox causes IE6 to hog, but at least it’s working.


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caught together