All posts made in Oct. 2000:

Perl 6 disappears up its own arse.

The language will be dynamically extensible, using modules written in Perl. So you can program in a language that looks like Python, Latin, or Java, if you want.

See also: Slashdot thread on the Perl 6 showcase. Sounds interesting. I'm especially keen on the cleaning up of the OO syntax. But I'd be keener on some work to make Perl work better with databases, like PHP, but I guess that's not core.

Stereotypes affect performance with internal (as well as external) causes [via mrbarrett].

Very highly recommended: Logic: a Very Short Introduction [at] is a quick and accessible starting point, with examples and counter-arguments, to the world of formal logic. I've decided to get out of my armchair and start learning about this stuff.

It's always a different experience when Dan comes to Upsideclown. Today's piece is fragmentary and disturbing. A dark reflection of what is.

This is what I love about Upsideclown. The whole mechanism (no editorial, rota, fixed group) encourages experimental writing, and looking down the archive there's such a mix of great stuff -- and quality, accessible pieces aswell. Yeah, I'm pleased.

And unnerved too. This Monday, Dan brings us Shiftwork. Or in other words, click here.

Voices from beyond talks about the very act of death becoming a public affair. Some parts of this article are very hard to read.

It's Friday's-Guardian-day today. Funny article on the nation's bra fixation which makes the quite valid point that all this body augmentation is quite stupid. I mean, you don't want to pick up some great looking person and take them home only to have then dismantle themselves into a monkey with strap-on limbs before your eyes, do you?

Short discussion on using MySQL on Mac OS X.

Man, this junk game (on Schwatown Midway) is far too addictive, and I still can't solve it.

The level of world happiness could be greatly increased by introducing the Britney lookalikes to the SFHBS.

Oh, so the 1930s Eastern Europe poster look of the Today web site was deliberate [via linkmachinego]. Our other idea, based upon a Falangist painting, was to have our reporters huddled naked, hoisting aloft a golden cross of truth. Now that would've been something to see.

Superb Thursday Upsideclown from Victor today.

Decided it's time I bought into the art boom. Well, I say buy, but I'm the one who's going to be paid. Vent R Spleen, my performance arts group, is really taking off, and whilst Cornelius and Daisy, my creative partners, have reservations about the direction in which we're heading, I'm convinced that this one is going to be our big break.

Victor outlines his grand new performance piece in Body Art.

Map of UK postal areas.

Oh god, Blue Jam is finally coming out on CD. Please please please one CD per episode and bring out everything (but it doesn't look like it will be).

I like the text at SpeefNarkle, like Growing up with lithium. Funny. I love the free association, and I dig the ninjas.

The new Today programme web site looks like those old Soviet propaganda posters. Cool.

This annoys me more than you might realise. Wired News now spells email as 'e-mail', and gives us a rant to say why. Bloody prescriptive armchair linguisticians. Like a word coming about because of 'laziness' means in any way it's wrong.

3,560,000 results for 'e-mail'. For 'email', about 55,000,000.

The reality of Europe is distorted by a British press which drip-feeds its readers a diet of xenophobia [Guardian summary] says Neil Kinnock in Euro-porkies. The Sunday Times (who are picked out) dub Kinnock Enemy of the People.

The fact that many papers simply omit to report important stories because they are counter that paper's politics, or knowingly print false information because they can get away with it, really upsets me. The standard of information in the right-wing Europhobe press especially is getting beyond a joke.

Monday, and Upsideclown is mine, all mine! And this time I'd like to discuss the cultural phenomenon that is the shop. A pseudo hunter gatherer activity? A social obsessive compulsive disorder? A capitalist narcotic? No, nothing as sophisticated as that: Shopping mauls is now up, for your delight and mental nourishment.

The Tacky Postcard Archive has a cool mailtothefuturesque feature that lets you send postcards to people anytime from now till a few weeks time.

I not going to be nasty or rude. Positive only. Fair and square.

  • Advantages of umbrellas
    * They keep you dry.
  • Advantages of hats
    * They keep you dry.
    * You can't poke someone's eye out with a hat.

And I was explaining this to my friend as we crossed the road and someone with a huge golfing umbrella pushed past and I pointed in indigation. "You don't need an umbrella that big," I shouted after him, "Put it away!"

And the woman a couple of metres in front of me turned round, looked at me, and said "You should have to get a license for those things." And I agreed completely, "Why can't people wear hats?" She was enthusiastic: "People just don't know how to use them." "Those big ones are the worst. There's no need!" I continued as we crossed the road. "They should be banned," she said finally, and we both nodded happily and went our separate ways.

Ooh nifty. I can get The Onion on my Palm.

Don't piss around with shitty gif versions -- you can now watch the deleted Tron sex scene in full motion video. (This post triggered by Alan Kay Is Tron. Don't ask.)

I am extremely interested in the Wiki Wiki Web. To read further: Starting points, faq, and one minute Wiki.

Today's word is diaspora which originates in a beautiful clash between the deliberate sow and the mindless scatter.

I approve (as if they needed it). BountyQuest is anti bad patent, pro good patent. They're a clearing house for corporations to offer money in bounty to people who can find prior art to patents, such as Amazon's 1-click and even the BountyQuest business method. The company vision and history is also interesting reading.

Question: After a patent is granted and then prior art is found, how from there is a patent invalidated?

Thursday, time for the second Upsideclown of the week. And man, it's funny.

The first point being that the cat hasn't been seen since yesterday afternoon. Not that this would normally be a cause for concern; under the usual circumstances the only thing to worry about would be whether little Prometheus was urinating on the i-Book or dissecting dead mice on the living room rug. But this time I'm really worried; I'm not going to get upset about the blood on the Axminster when the rain's still pouring down and the cat isn't back yet.

George relates the tale of our recent ordeals at the Grand Clown Lodge: Wet wet wet wet wet. Go now, it's worth it.

Well, go on then.

Brilliant Untitled Document this week. Birds Not To Fly South For Winter. "Fuck it," says Swallow.

Song monkey is so wrong, oh so wrong. It's like an audio version of [NEW SEX TOY].

(Personal link time.) What can I say except it was a great night; I'm the least photogenic person on the earth, and here's proof; and yes, dammit, shellsuits would make that noise.

Not at all funny: A few ideas on packing incase the world ends. I'm scared now. [via Guardian weblog.]

I forgot to mention Gravilux when I first saw it: Gravity sim Java applet. Funfunfun. [via kottke via boingboing.]

Terragen [site not available today] is without doubt the best damn landscape generator I have ever seen. Although the official site's not up, there are a couple of mirror sites from which you can grab the app itself.

My landscapes aren't quite as good as the ones at Planet Terragen, but I'll get there. Next stop: Animations. From memory, there's a fantastic movie at the proper Terragen site -- but as I said, that's not there today.

Technically: A paper entitled Fractal Patterns in Nature.

Monday is the day of fresh Upsideclown.

What follows is directly reproduced from what I unearthed in a friend's back garden. The first part is reproduced here. I am still digging for the continued parts, but no luck yet.

James pulls Upsideclown in a new (and altogether very odd; I'm quite worried about him) direction in The March of Proudfoot: Part I.

I'd forgotten until I read something that reminded me. When I was younger I used to have really strong feelings. I wanted to change the world. I felt directionless but powerful and just wanted to strike out and fly. And now I see someone who really cares and I think: What have I lost? Once upon a time there were things I felt so strongly but didn't understand and I too could barely choke them out and I wanted to shout these things from the rooftops. And why do they have it and not me? I feel inferior in some way, empty.

But I haven't got that anger anymore. The world is too good. And perhaps that's it. That turmoil inside me is gone.

No longer do I feel I'm on the verge of something new and awesome. No longer am I scratching at the page trying to reveal something that in my guts I know is there. No longer tipping from fury to glory.

But I'll swing my feet in time. I'll set this boat rocking, get back up there. Blinding beams of light from my eyes, everything I see transparent before me. The beauty and wonder of life tugging me into the air, hauling me aloft where the cold air paralyses my lungs and reinjects me with life, my skin tingling as I feel every filament of reality walking itself across my face and body.

It's good to see that Sony are thinking about augmented reality. Augmenting reality can be as simple as attaching virtual notes to objects, to image processing all input to record and clarify what you see. It's the future baby.

Sorry, but I can't let this pass; the juxtaposition of current affairs and soft core porn is terribly confusing (and in the end it's just nude ladies). You'll need Real to watch the Naked News [via Metafilter].

People collect their favourite words: One; two; three. The UK's favourite word is serendipity. There's a draw for ninth place: bollocks/compassion/fuck/home.

My current favourite words:

  • Astonishing
    which doesn't get used nearly enough.
  • Heartening
    which is not only a beautiful word but a beautiful concept. We should work for heartening things.
  • Otter
    which is a brilliant word, but I have no idea why. Otter. Otterotterotter.
  • Augment
    which is this week's number one word. It reminds me of silver, and of building and grafting. I enjoyed saying "augment the location object" yesterday until someone caught me at it, and that was fairly embarrassing.

I'm currently reading The Story of English which in the course of its history points out the birth of words. It gives a joy to speaking.

Neil brings us this Thursday's Upsideclown. But wait, something's wrong. Neil is dead! (Long live the Neil.) Dissecting his life and baring his soul to bring you enjoyment: Obituary.

Horrendously, now I know about it there's a good chance I'll find a use for the Perl module Quantum::Superpositions some time in the future -- if only to operate on values (notionally, as they say) in parallel, and use some neat conceptual shortcuts.

Game show names sink to new depths of no imagination: I Want A Divorce. Let's not go into the concept.

Man, I've been looking for this for ages (and then the tsluts archive sorts me out): Pop goes the weasel, being an interview with popbitch (which if you don't read, you should).

Otter is a network visualisation tool. I've very little idea what it does, but I can see it produces some cool pictures. I wonder whether I could use this to plot arbitary networks? Dirk, maybe?

I'm stumped. I'm trying to think of a quote, which goes something like: "The bourgeoisie are hated by the lower classes because they have money. They're hated by the upper because they spend that money on garden ornaments" but I can't remember what the exact wording is, or who said it. Ideas? Please?

Carl does it again: Click Here to Protest. Wow. No comment required.

To "carve a niche" says so much more about the organism/environment dynamic (whether a species in an ecosystem, or a person in a workplace) than so many longer phrases.

Whoops, Nucleus got rather mangled in my move. It's okay now, though.

(I'm running out of superlatives. (I love starting posts with parentheses.)) More brilliant stuff: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't and Operation: Gelleaux are among many great things at Kevin Kelm's 78% Shinier Page.

I know, I know, I've got otters on the brain today -- but I'm now a fully paid up member of the Church of the Quivering Otter, and it's great. The more you read the more you find. Brothers: Spread the smiles, for the time of the Otter way is come.

Otter is, contrary to expections, not a furry water dwelling animal beloved of children, but an "automated deduction system ... designed to prove theorems stated in first-order logic with equality". Logic is fairly well defined (isn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong); I wonder whether Otter works by simply traversing and closing down logic branches, or whether there's much more to it, optimisations and otherwise. It's at times like this I wish I had formal training in all this stuff.

Untitled Document is the kind of not-really-satirical-but-still-very-rude-about-topical-things magazine that I like to read. Like the cheap photocopied zines there used to be (like I used to do). And the Sainsbury's Reward Point article is inspired.

Don't stop there though, virtually every back issue is a work of sheer genius. Go and read them all now.

30 seconds and I'm hooked. Brilliant fucking unnecessarily profane posters at Team Fishcake. [via tsluts uncensored via prolific.]

Oh, and the Galleria Obscura is an absolute must-see.

How to get the MacOS X developer tools by taking them from Darwin:

What we're suggesting here is that you take parts of a development-level, unsupported operating system and install them onto a similar-but-not-identical, still-in-beta operating system. This is frighteningly close to the thin line that separates geekery and madness.

I feel strangely drawn to the idea of having to spend my next few days frantically trying to get data off my rapidly failing hard-drive. That is, having some cool shit on my Mac.

Unsupported, and you can't natively configure the card -- but you can have Airport on MacOS X [via MacOS X Weblog].

Nethack, without doubt the most addictive text-based game in the universe (Salon called it The best game ever), is being ported to the Palm. Yeah baby, no more work ever. But they're not done yet.

Apparently PocketRogue is similar to early version of Nethack. I'll give it a go.

It is now possible to build Mysql for MacOS X Public Beta. All I need is the Developer Tools and I'll be home and dry.

And in the cyclic multiverse that is Upsideclown (because it's Monday), we return to Jamie:

There's something reassuring about the feel of a sharp knife in your hand. It doesn't have to be a big one, we're not talking machetes or those fuck-off Turkish sword things, just your old Stanley, or even one of the old girl's from the kitchen. Just the knowledge that if some wanker starts on you, you can pull it out and watch the bastard shit himself on the spot.

There's not much more I can add really; except to say that I'm steering clear of whatever regression therapy he took in order to come up with Kids' stuff.

Six fish in a tank. One turns to another and says "Do you know how to drive this thing?"

It all seemed like such a good idea last week. Fish. And yesterday I ventured into the world of tropical fish (the shop down the end of Bethnal Green Rd, not - unfortunately - just off the coast of Florida) and bought two big red fish and four small greenish ones. You can see I know my stuff already.

To get fish into the tank you float the bag and then mix the water gradually so as not to shock them. All six were swimming along perfectly happy. They had food, warmth, and a Greek statue standing amongst crumbled pillars for decoration.

Aside: It's a little known fact that the Ancient Greeks didn't live in complete buildings like you or me; they lived in derelicts and rubble, in houses with no roofs and vines growing up the walls. Don't ask me why.

By the time I got back from South Of The River (an ordeal in itself), two of the little fish were dead. By this morning, all four of John, Paul, George and Ringo - or Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto, or whatever we'd decided to call them - were dead. The Red Platys looked distinctly sinister. The finger of suspicion pointed at the two of them.

But then they started going mad. The deeper red one made a break for freedom and leapt out the top of the tank while we were fishing (excuse the pun) its deceased colleagues out. The other lurked under the statue and refused to move. Not normal fishy behaviour you'll have to agree.

So we got the water analysed at the fish shop, and it was fine. And we tried to figure out what was going on, and we can't and nor can the fish shop people. So the tank's been emptied, cleaned, refilled, and now the fish (what's left of the decimated population) are being reintroduced.

Somebody told me keeping fish was relaxing. As it is I feel like a killer, and it's more than a little macabre having a Chamber Of Death in the corner of the lounge.

Still, at least I know that if the worst comes to the worst there's a humane way to end it all. Sorry, a "sharp pointed blade is run through the brain" -- humane for who exactly? Certainly not for me. Eurgh.

Host move complete (after a few hours when all you could see was a randomised historical fact): Now onto random bug popping.

Right punters, now listen up. Interconnected is moving home over the weekend. You shouldn't notice anything, but if I disappear for a day or two or my email address doesn't appear to work, that's fine. So: Now you know.

Gigs tonight: Elliott Smith (mostly new to me; stunning acoustic stuff; the man himself pissed as anything and could barely talk), with Oranger (happy music, happy people, hilarious drummer) as support.

I just bought tickets to see the Magnetic Fields from TicketWeb which was... quick, intuitive, clever. An all-round well-designed e-commerce site. Shocking.

When I entered my details there was one of those little privacy checkboxes, except it wasn't. It let you choose whether you wanted least/more/most privacy depending on whether you wanted junk mail, only mail from TicketWeb with gig information and so on, or only critical info. Clever. (I went for 'more', so it works.)

New to me: Crisp design and interesting links at

Another Thursday, another Upsideclown. Today it's Dan who's back with Dawson's Creek and postmodernism. And not surprisingly, a lot more than that too. It's another good one: Dawson, running now.

Ars Technica review Mac OS X Beta, and as is true with their previous OS X reviews it's clear, in depth and very readable.

I don't know what to say about this case of deliberate selection for certain traits:

Doctors have used genetic screening to select a test-tube baby with precisely the right cells for him to act as a donor to his seriously ill older sister.

It's just too new. I can't figure out the ethics of it at all.

I love the Guardian. Let's fight for our right to partake is a great take on the fuel crisis. But better still: The allure of a sweaty politician is brilliantly funny, so clown, and so I-wish-I-wrote-that. Excellent.

What's new in HTTP 1.1. Not that I'm 4 years, 1 month and 17 days behind the times or anything.

Ouch. Nice Flash site for Seriously but there's a spelling error on the front page.

Search for pubs by name, location (postcode) and facilities. Good, except that the interface is a little flakey and inconsistant (fixable), and the entire thing loads in a frame so you can't bookmark a specific pub. Oh, there are ratings and reviews too: Nice. I hope this takes off bigtime.

A quick heads-up: I'm going to be moving hosts, and what with making sure databases transfer properly Dirk is likely to be coming down tomorrow until at least the weekend. If you've got some great urge to explore the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, I'd do it now (or read DNA's fabulous book Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency from where I unashamedly pinched both the name and the strapline). This very page won't be down for as long, but is likely to be unavailable for 2-3 days as DNS changes propagate.

The story of my last few months sailing the hosting waters is -- in production.

Monday means new Upsideclown:

Mice are very, very small. About three inches long. They are not six foot tall, nor do they walk on two legs nor wear a ringmaster's outfit (macabre features of the circus seem to haunt us). They are not anthropomorphic, nor are they entitled even to pretend to live their lives as humans.

Victor dissects the phenomenon (well, animal) that is the mouse, in Disney must die. Alright, alright, steady on there.

Hey, I bought a tank. No, not one of those; one of these.