For a start, they pay a hefty premium for “organic” seeds. What on earth can that mean? The mass of a cabbage seed is of the order of a milligram, while the cabbage it produces is of the order of a kilogram. If the seed was “contaminated” with say one percent of a deadly poison, the cabbage would contain about ten parts per billion of the dreaded stuff. There is no known non-living substance (even the most deadly, Botox, which Californian women inject into their faces) that can produce any symptoms at such a concentration.

— Gardening wisdom, from NumberWatch

More font madness


So I went to Apple’s support site to search the knowledge base, and couldn’t read a damn thing. My eyes were a bit tired, and the search results were displayed in 9.5pt Arial. Of the many preferences you can set when you log in with your Apple ID, legibility isn’t one of them. Gosh, I wonder what would happen if I searched for “Universal Access?”

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Does CSS stand for Can’t See Shit?


I like CSS. I’m thinking seriously of ditching HTML tables in favor of pure CSS page layout. Unfortunately, it feels like almost every site that pushes CSS fills the page with tiny little fonts, and most of them use absurdly wide text columns with no leading. A List Apart uses decent leading and keeps the column width under control, but their “bigger text” stylesheet only produces a significant change if the user has already overridden their browser’s defaults.

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/this/url/sucks/cgi-bin/showArticle2.php?
articleID=9487220&sessionID=394582849
&phaseOfMoon=…


Is there a reason I should care what scripting language your site is implemented in this week?

Is there a reason I should care what variable names your script uses this week?

Is there a reason I should care what directory you store your script in this week?

Is there a reason why I should see any implementation details at all, or be forced to try to cut and paste a 494-byte URL when I want to recommend your site to a friend?

And should it be harder to make a sensible URL than a ludicrous one?

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My other PDA is made of wood pulp


I was sitting in a meeting today with my iBook, and a late arrival walked up and asked if we could chat for a bit afterwards. Normally when he needs to talk to me, it’s either to pick my brain on some operational aspect of the service, or see if I’m willing to commit my team to supporting the latest project that’s steam-rollering down on him.

In this case, he wanted to talk about Stickies. Seems he’s been writing a replacement for the current OS X version, and decided that I might have useful input to offer. Something to do with the cascade of 30+ notes covering almost every square inch of my screen, taking full advantage of multiple fonts, text color, note colors, minimization, etc. Also physical post-its attached to flat surfaces on the laptop.

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Google fails me. Or not.


It was on the tip of my tongue. Really.

Just a little hint was all I wanted, and I couldn’t find it. Back in the mid-eighties, I watched a mildly amusing (very mildly) film that had some nice quotable lines. I’d like to give proper credit when I use them, because while it’s fun to be obscure, it’s even better when you can prove you’re not making it up.

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Angel without the twist, please


I was in love with LeAnn Rimes even before the recent makeover that shows off her physical maturity and taste in lingerie. Unfortunately, while I appreciate the eye candy, what I love is her talent, and her new album Twisted Angel doesn’t make much use of it. The songs aren’t wretched, exactly, they’re just blah. It’s like an hour spent listening to the previews for next week’s WB shows.

In fact, I expect to hear several of these tunes on Smallville soon. Perhaps Life goes on the next time Chloe is pining for Clark, or The safest place when Lana has to be rescued from a blizzard, Suddenly for the big graduation day. The title track can turn up when Lex goes cruising for brunettes in Metropolis in his latest sports car.

Of course, the woman he finds will turn out to be the Disposable Kryptonite Mutant of the Week, but he’s getting better at dealing with that.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”