I’m trying to learn XML and XSL and I stumbled across the W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. They’re very well done. C|NET wasn’t so useful, but W3Schools served my purposes admirably.
The struggle to bring about spelling reform in America had a surprise boost recently. The latest Microsoft spelling dictionary accepts “thru” as an alternative to “through.” The folks at the American Literacy Council take spelling reform very seriously, and this is there preferred spelling of that curious word. It seems like a pretty hopeless cause to me, but this episode did make me reflect on the fact that, in terms of practical motive force, the Microsoft spelling dictionary is probably the most powerful dictionary in the English-speaking world. Move Microsoft and move the world.
If spelling reform interests you, here is a good long list of some variations in traditional English spelling.
Today’s sunspot number is 229 and the solar wind currently has a steady velocity of 371.6 km/sec. If you’re ever in doubt in the future, just check with the Space Weather Bureau.
From the Washington Post comes a discarded ruling from the Supreme Court showing how things really work.
3-D visualization without those pesky glasses (think of “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi!”) may really happen someday soon: Actuality – 3-D Volumetric Display Technology.
See what a picture sounds like with the voice sonification applet. I’m not sure if it’s useful, but it’s cool. Make sure and try out the Shepard scale near the bottom of the page. The endlessly ascending scale is kind of creepy.
You are aware of much much less than you think you are, even when you take into account how much less you are aware of than you think you are. New Scientist: Blind to change
If you wasted any time playing the Theseus puzzle mentioned in this space a few days ago, take a look at this beautiful double maze puzzle on the Sega site. It’s not as tricky, but it sure is easy on the eyes. I’m a sucker for the old medieval-map stars and parchment look. It’s sort of a Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books kind of look.
This is old news, but Noodle is a very entertaining way to make music graphically. Definitely worth the time it takes to download and install, if only to sort out the odd user interface.
Before I got sucked into the software world, I was seriously considering grad school in robotics. Biomorphic robots, that is to say robots whose systems are modeled in one way or another on biological systems, have always fascinated me. The folks at Iguana Robotics have put together the world’s coolest biomorphic robot links.