Marking time in October 2002
Lucy came home yesterday with pastel drawings of a sunrise.
The things you find on the web. A range of tartan-free kilts, including this one:
A multi-functional kilt designed for working men. Extra pockets and a modesty snap between legs. Two exterior rear pockets. Two side mount saddle pockets, with “the Grip” retractable side hammer loop and front key loop. Patent Pending Wallet Grip rear pocket. Right side scraper/pencil pocket, heavy duty rivets at all major pocket stress points. 12 ounce Duc cloth. Fully pleated from bottom to top. Available in Neo-Traditional closure method only.
From the care instructions:
After pulling Workman’s Utilikilt from washing machine, snap out major crinkles…. While guiding your hands down the pleats, focus on elongating and flattening the fabric in a downward motion.
Japanese manhole covers
Thanks to the Museum of Online Museums for pointing out this collection of Japanese manhole covers. The text is in Japanese (which I can’t read) but the colourful covers speak for themselves. I have previously mentioned manhole covers in Chandigarh and other places.
Arts & Letters Daily, again
They were popping champagne in Washington when the phone rang this morning in New Zealand to inform me that The Chronicle of Higher Education was successful in its bid to extract Arts & Letters Daily from the bankruptcy court in New York. A little early in the day here for champagne, but the news seemed to make my coffee taste better than ever.
Amen to that.
Mena on movable type
Mena Trott, co-author of Movable Type, is interviewed on the south by southwest 2003 conference website. She tells what makes a good weblog:
I think that many of the characteristics of good traditional writing hold true for good weblogging. Conciseness and clarity are key. Also, never underestimate the power of a strong personal voice. A weblog written with a clear voice is really what hooks me — it gives me the sense that I know the person and, as a result, I become invested in their writing. What do I enjoy reading about? Apart from the weblogs of friends and acquaintances, I find myself mostly consuming items related to web-related technologies and pop culture. [Thanks to John Hiler for the pointer.]
Movable Type is a set of Perl scripts and MySQL tables concocted by Ben and Mena Trott. It’s been available for just a year. Mena explains:
Movable Type began as a hobby, a way to occupy time previously filled by, well, employment. We never imagined that Movable Type would become as popular as it is, nor could we comprehend the way that it would change our lives. The past year has been amazing. We have had an active role in shaping a medium that thrives on the personal voice while building an application that truly is a labor of love.
Like Blogger, Movable Type has a community of helpful users (some of them held my hand as I started my unix tinkering). But MT is more powerful than Blogger. I like its capacity to assign categories to posts — subjects like the web or this site.
The New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute can tell you all about growing and eating chilli peppers.
The most common way to test chile pungency is to taste the pod, this method, although quick and cost effective, may leave the tester in some pain. There are two other ways of testing pungency as well, the Scoville organoleptic test and high performance liquid chromatography.
The Scoville test is a refined, systematic approach. It was the first laboratory approach used to measure pungency in chiles. In this method, human subjects taste a chile sample and record the heat level. The samples are diluted in the laboratory until heat can no longer be detected by the tasters. This dilution is called the Scoville Heat Unit. This procedure can be appropriate in many circumstances, as it is more accurate than the taste test (“bite the chile”) technique. This test is also less expensive than more advanced laboratory techniques, but this method has limitations. Measuring pungency with this technique is still subjective and depends on the taster’s palate and sensitivity to the chemicals that are responsible for pungency. In addition, there are serious limits on how many samples a taster can handle within a reasonable time.
Arts & Letters Daily
Today Arts & Letters Daily posted a gone out of business announcement, instead of narrow columns of tasty micro-content. I’m bereft. What do you do when your browsing home page goes bankrupt? (This story has a happy postscript).
New web host, again
So far, so good. My new host is page-zone.com, a small hosting outfit in Ohio, USA. The transition has been remarkably smooth. I had excellent service from my previous host, webcentral.com.au, but when they sent me heavy bills for excess storage and data transfer I looked for better value.
The page-zone plan gives me twice the monthly data transfer, five times the storage, for one eighth the cost.