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September


Knowledge databases
Household Cyclopedia As the object of all study, and the end of all wisdom, is practical utility, so a collection, of the most approved Receipts, in all the arts of Domestic and Social Life, may be considered as a volume containing nearly the whole of the wisdom of man, worthy of preservation. This HTML-ized 1881 book of general knowledge will teach you how to tie a knot, brew cider, rear silk worms, gild, produce photolithography, prognosticate the weather and just about anything else you had to do a hundred years ago.

I'm in the process of editing a page full of these types of how-to pages. Stay tuned.


Inkjet photographs
Epson offers a true archival photo-quality inkjet. The review offers some good tips on using this expensive printer and its special inks. Booknotes has a whole pile of other links about Preservation and Permanence of Digital Printing
XSS
Don't get nervous, XSS isn't the newest extensible fad. Its WebMonkey's Steve Champeon's acronym for cross site scripting. XSS, Trust and Barney explains how CGI forms can be manipulated by sending form data as HTML or other scripts. One thing popped out though - "Just think how awful it would be to load a guestbook and have the browser window close and then reopen without menus or toolbars, regaling you with a Flash presentation..." I discovered on a recent project that you can't get javascript to close a browser window that wasn't opened by a script. In other words you can't close a window that was opened by the user. You can't make its menus or toolbars go away either. We solved the problem by resizing the original window (which for security you can't size too small) and opening a new window without menus in front. Maybe Steve knows of a way, but I guess I have to buy his DHTML-GUI book to find out.
The Bomb Project
The Bomb Project The Bomb Project seeks to re-utilize and distribute declassified images of atomic tests made during the Cold War and to raise public awareness by re-contextualizing the very media that remained hidden from the public eye for decades. Click on the main image to see the slide show of hauntingly beautiful nuclear images.

Privacy
Steve Gibson's page on The Anatomy of File Download Spyware is the story of how he discovered that certain downloading utilities (RealNetworks RealDownload, Netscape/AOL Smart Download, or NetZip Download Demon) transmit unique IDs back to the program's publishers, allowing a database of your entire, personal, file download history to be assembled and uniquely associated with your individual computer ... for whatever purpose the program's publishers may have today, or tomorrow. The story gets more interesting as he confronts the program's publishers. The page also reports that Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., introduced legislation on Friday that would force software manufacturers to notify consumers when their products include "spyware," bits of code that surreptitiously transmit information about the user's Web surfing habits back to the software company.

Catching up

Some science stuff: Some HTML stuff
  • Using CSS as a diagnostic tool At first glance, I didn't think this would be worth the trouble just to see table borders and other structure elements - why not download the code and add a table border like I always do? But the trick on this page is amazingly easier than I ever thought. The key is setting a user style sheet in your browser preferences, which I never knew was so easy. Page two includes some other tricks for looking at the structure of a page.
  • Mind Your <table> Manners provides tips on building streamlined tables. Main point: "write code based on columns rather than rows". Also talks about avoiding gaps in spliced images, nesting and new HTML 4.0 table elements.

How to travel light
The Compleat Carry-On Traveler A Compendium of Opinions and Ideas on the Art of Travel, With an Emphasis on Living Out of One (Carry-On-Sized) Bag, offers many reasons to travel light, among them security, economy and mobility. The site teaches us how to travel light with an amazing detail focused on how to pack your clothes using a bundle folding technique. Something else you might learn from this site is the word 'compleat' is not a british spelling, but an actual word meaning 'highly proficient'.
via larkfarm
Javascript
Dori Smith, the pro at Ask the Javascript Pro and co-author of backupbrain brings back the Javascript Critic, tears apart a tutorial, and in doing so, helps us come a little closer to understanding Javascript. Now if we can only make all the project managers who shorten Javascript to Java understand that one of them is another hundred bucks an hour.
Pumpkins
All you ever wanted to know about pumpkins. Find out about picking, growing, and cooking (the Pumpkin Sauce for Pasta is going to far). Also help finding a patch, or learn all about the varieties. They also have a pumpkin carving site. More on Halloween at the History channel site. Americans spend $2.5 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.
Catching up
I haven't posted anything for a week, so I better catch up a bit.

Some political news:
  • Chicago takes dim view of vote-selling Web site "In Chicago we react strongly and quickly to this type of activity... - because we need to guard our reputation here that this is a place where voting activity is legal and above board and beyond reproach," board chairman Langdon Neal said." This coming from a city that once had many residents of a cemetary on the voting rolls and probably originated the phrase "vote early and vote often".
  • Getting Out the Parody Vote

Some web/tech/interface stuff:
Some science stuff:
Vultures are dying
India's vultures are dying of a viral infection. This is pretty scary. Its got to be something pretty strong to kill a vulture, something that eats dead, diseased meat. Catching birds for breeding may be their only hope . India's ancient Parsee religion relies on vultures for their funeral services. Parsees are the religious descendants of the Zoroastrians of ancient Persia. They believe that earth, water and fire are sacred and must not be defiled by corpses. So they put their dead in funerary sites where hundreds of griffon vultures perform the disposal job.
Web Stuff
Some Web design related news:
  • How to make a chromeless browser window in IE This is making the rounds, and it should be said that it doesn't work on the Mac.
  • BBEdit 6.0 Released ! I feel like its Christmas whenever I get a new BBEdit. It's that good. I don't see anything about what made their last release really worth it - a well written, printed manual.
  • Do HTML skills matter anymore? This article says no. The author says XML and database skills are going to be more important. HTML has become secondary, but it's not going anywhere. He's comparing production and design to programming when he talks of HTML vs. the higher paying, more complex programming of XML and database work. Somebody better stick around and make sure they know CSS 2, DHTML and whatever DOM stuff is coming down the pike.Pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly uses the humble Windows Notepad text-editing utility to write the HTML for its thousands of Webpages, Sims says.I hear this constantly. Isn't there anything else to write HTML in for the PC? Something that has key commands for tags? It seems like an awful waste of man-hours to be typing in code, rather than have an editor like BBEdit do most of the work for you.

Magnetic Fields
Jason points out that the Magnetic Fields make him happy. He's talking about the brilliant and prolific Stephin Merritt band. But it appears that real magnetic fields can make you happy too. The Science News article Snap, Crackle, and Feel Good? says that Magnetic fields that map the brain may also treat its disorders. It's called transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Current Events in Science
The most common search phrase used to find this page is "current events in science". Though I report on the odd moon link or melting ice cap story, I'm probably not holding up to my advertising here. There's lots of other sites that do a much better job at daily science reporting. So for the 5 or 6 browsers a day who hit this site for science news - here's a primer.
  • The New Scientist Daily science news reports and some very good, detailed topic sections (my favorite is on alcohol.
  • Bottomquark slashdot-style science and tech news. Has an on-the-front-page list of articles from the past week for a comprehensive view. Its had a few technical problems in the past few weeks. I hope its OK.
  • Nature's Science Update "The latest research reported by Nature's science writing team." Updated daily. The articles and issues here are always interesting and complex but always the perfect length for a Web article - not too long to be daunting.
  • Junk Science With the constant "food found to cause cancer" 11 o'clock news features, its nice to know somebody's got a grip. "'Junk science' is faulty scientific data and analysis used to used to further a special agenda."
  • Baloney.com This regularly updated science page is mantained by a team of bloggers.
  • Anthropology news From Texas A&M, Archaeology, Bioanthropology, Socio/Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics.
  • Bubble Chamber Updated every few days.
  • Science Daily Headlines.
  • Space Daily One of the best daily updated space news sites. Why? Because it generates its own content. many of its space-business news won't be found anywhere else.
  • Sky and Telescope news Good info about what's happening among the stars and how to look for it.
Selected Weblogs with lots 'o science links If check on some of these sites a few times a week, you'll never miss another flourescent bunny story.


There goes the wilderness
50,000 New Cell Phone Towers For America's Wilderness Areas. Telecom companies forcing their hand to build towers anywhere? Sounds scary. Why do you need a phone in the woods? Just in case you get lost? If you're depending on a phone instead of your knowledge of how to use a map and compass, you should go to a nice city park. Read this Outdoor Explorer article on the cost of rescues and the issues involved when you call for one on a c-phone. I also can see the twisted ankle and serious fall accident rate go up where there's lots of cell phones. Just like on the road - people not paying attention as they talk and walk.

Cast out the evil spirit!
I didn't se anybody else comment on this one. Chicago Archdiocese Appoints Full-Time Exorcist Cardinal Francis George said he was needed.

Photoshop for fun and fraud
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will have to reprint a full press run of application brochures because they got caught manipulating the cover image by inserting a black student into a crowd of white football fans. The doctoring is very poor, the placement and shadows are so obviously wrong, this never should have gotten to press. Ten years ago nobody would have doubted a printed image, now everbody knows an image can be doctored, so it better look real. They tried to pull something like this off cheaply because the technology was available, rather than doing it the old fashioned way - hire a photographer and set-up the shot. Here's the UW-Madison Colege paper story.
Weblogging
Ever wonder what how Webloggers work? Pretty soon you'll be able to see at Behind the Scenes a sort of day-in-the-life thing. Why hasn't KIPlog joined in the fun? I do have a valid excuse, I was camping, besides you probably would have just seen pictures of me not posting anything for 24 hours.
Harvest moon
Everybody see the Harvest Moon last night? The Harvest Moon is no ordinary full moon -- it behaves in a special way. Throughout the year the Moon generally rises about 50 minutes later each day. But near the autumnal equinox (Sept 22, 2000), the day-to-day difference in the local time of moonrise is only 30 minutes. The Moon will rise around sunset tonight -- and not long after sunset for the next few evenings. That comes in handy for northern farmers who are working long days to harvest their crops before autumn. The extra dose of lighting afforded by the full moon closest to the equinox is what gives the Harvest Moon its name.

My iBook is now obsolete
It was inevitable. Apple put a DVD, a faster processor, Firewire and video output into the new Graphite iBook for the same price of the old. They also made a butt-ugly lime colored one. To rationalize it all - I really can't afford a video camera right now anyway, and a 12 inch screen would be too small to watch DVD movies.
More stuff I don't have time to read
I'm way to busy too comment much on these links, but these are Web-related must-reads. No time for where-I-found-them credits, besides all the credit for these articles should go to the creators. Even More stuff I don't have time to read
Non-Web-related
Beer
Lake Effect has found one of the invaluable databases housed on the Web - Beer Dies, the source for Beer expiration date information. How to decypher packaging and expiration dates so you don't get that bitter beer face. His list of beer brands makes a mighty to do list. They're are several that I've totally forgotten about. If this subject is important to you, you should regularly check this beer news page where they recently reported that Coors dumped 77,500 gallons of beer into local creek. Also check out the blogish World of Beer Bright Beer regularly updated news page.
Writing good documents
The techniques at gooddocuments.com show us how to help the Web reader read easier. Providing summary information at the link site can convey enough information to save the reader from following links they would otherwise have to follow just to find out a small amount of information. In other words, don't waste my time making me click on a link to find out where I'm going. via mersault thinking

For more on writing for the Web see this Writing in Electronic Text link page.
Catching up on some reading
A few Web-related articles.
More stuff I don't have time to read
Someday I'll sit down and read all the articles I said I'd read.
Weblogging
Happy Anniversary to Lake Effect which was a year old Thursday. Which reminded me that KIPlog will have its first year anniversary next month.

Random Links
Here's some random links I know some readers will want to know about:


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