Friday  the Twenty-Eighth of March, 2003

The plot thickens with reports of a black speedboat being seen near the pier early this morning, although this might not be true. Entertainingly, the West Pier Trust have commented that the cast iron skeleton of the pier wouldn't have been affected by the fire (it does look pretty intact), and that all of the wood would have had to have been replaced anyway.  ]
More: six photos from Esther, ten via Adactio and one beautifully, quietly hellish black/grey/red/orange closeup from a Brighton University photographer.  ]
Dramatic photos of the blaze from the Argus, and more from a passer-by. So how does an inaccessible, derelict building catch fire on a foggy grey morning?  ]
I've uploaded a slideshow of webcam captures of the Pier burning down, taken at five minute intervals over the past hour. BBC news has a photo taken just before eleven.  ]
Preposterously, Brighton's West Pier is on fire, as of around eleven o'clock this morning. The concert hall at the end is ablaze, its blackened skeleton becoming more and more visible as the roof and walls cave in. [...] And it's dying down now, the shell reduced to a charred ribcage, the legendary "West Pier" sign fallen and lost. The wide walkways at the sides are still untouched; hard to tell if the flames are going to spread or not. The end of the pier seems pretty much nigh, either way. [alerted by Chrissy]  ]

Passing Frenzies: Thief II - Button Men - Startopia - BlogNomic - Trodo

 Thursday  the Twenty-Seventh

The Guessmaster provides mighty extrapolations of the old binary-tree guessing game (think of a thing, answer yes/no questions until the computer makes a guess - if it's wrong, tell it your answer, and give it a question to ask in future to distinguish its answer from yours).

I hadn't really thought about this, but from such data it's possible to extract a number of agreed facts about an entity, based on the question path required to reach it from the base of the tree (with points of bifurcating contention marked as such). It's also possible to track two entities back to the point at which they first diverged on the tree, and thus establish a difference between them.

And finally, you can play a reversed version of the guessing game, where the computer selects a thing, and invites you to guess what it is. If you're wrong, it tells you the difference between your guess and the thing it had chosen, and gives you another go based on that additional information. Excellent use of very basic data.  ]

Police to get new DNA powers after being bitten by a genetically-engineered super-spider. If the police really want a permanent DNA store of innocent citizens on the off-chance that they might commit a crime later, they should fund a send-in-a-swab service for the Friends-Reunited hopeful-monster Genes Connected, simultaneously erasing cuckolds from genealogy trees, and destroying families everywhere.

"Genes Connected" isn't much less distasteful than the (presumably rejected) "Genes Reunited", though, on reflection. But in this world of fragmented families, random migration and Internet relationships, maybe it'd be a handy way to check that you weren't too genetically similar to a prospective partner.  ]

 Wednesday  the Twenty-Sixth

"You're making your code harder to maintain, harder to extend, and easier to introduce new bugs into. Probably you've done something wrong to get to the point where you need to optimise in the first place."
When Perl is Not Quite Fast Enough - wide-ranging tips for code optimisation, including a nod to the very useful-looking Devel::DProf. [via iamcal]  ]

 Tuesday  the Twenty-Fifth

"Within a century of little Kago's arrival on Earth, according to Trout's novel, every form of life on that once peaceful and moist and nourishing blue-green ball was dying or dead. Everywhere were the shells of the great beetles which men had made and worshipped. They were automobiles. They had killed everything."
Kurt Vonnegut is advertising Nissan SUVs on American television, presumably not with that quote. His appearance may just be a silent punchline to a campaign in which a driver needs an all-terrain SUV to search city bookshops for a Vonnegut first edition, but even so, it's Kurt Vonnegut advertising big cars. The world is ending.  ]
EasyMixing is a (potentially very harsh) take on the hotornot system, inviting time-wasting strangers to guess your favourite colour, how good your mental arithmetic is, what genre of music you favour, how many sexual partners you've had, and other, stranger things. This article goes into a bit more slapdash detail; that once the site gets going, you'll be able to ask it for photos of, say, humourless, naïve, rich people who like the colour red (or, at least, people who look like they might be humourless, naïve, rich people who like the colour red).  ]

 Monday  the Twenty-Fourth

Idly scripted over the weekend; my facetious two penn'orth on the practice of backing up political arguments with Simpsons quotes:-
is a
Brain-Eating Spider Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 8.8

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat Kevan, enter your name:



Brain children. Recent or noteworthy Web offspring.

Online cliques. Trespassers may be welcome.

In the bookpile. Powered by

Incidental music. Ohrwurmen or otherwise.

Other weblogs. The ones I make a point of returning to a lot.

Supporting cast. That have Web pages. In alphabetical order.

Weeks beginning. All having ended.
2003: 24.03 17.03 10.03 03.03 24.02 17.02 10.02 03.02 27.01 20.01 13.01 06.01

2002: 30.12 23.12 16.12 09.12 02.12 25.11 18.11 11.11 04.11 28.10 21.10 14.10 07.10 30.09 23.09 16.09 09.09 02.09 26.08 19.08 12.08 05.08 29.07 22.07 15.07 08.07 01.07 24.06 17.06 10.06 03.06 27.05 20.05 13.05 06.05 29.04 22.04 15.04 08.04 01.04 25.03 18.03 11.03 04.03 25.02 18.02 11.02 04.02 28.01 21.01 14.01 07.01

2001: 31.12 24.12 17.12 10.12 03.12 26.11 19.11 12.11 05.11 29.10 22.10 15.10 08.10 01.10 24.09 17.09 10.09 03.09 27.08 20.08 13.08 06.08 30.07 23.07 16.07 09.07 02.07 25.06 18.06 11.06 04.06 28.05 21.05 14.05 07.05 30.04 23.04 16.04 09.04 02.04 26.03 19.03 12.03 05.03 26.02 19.02 12.02 05.02 29.01 22.01 15.01 08.01 01.01

2000: 25.12 18.12 11.12 04.12 27.11 20.11

Archive search. You never know.