x509 style guide
The resulting type and value of an instance of use of the new value notation is
determined by the value (and the type of the value) finally assigned to the
distinguished local reference identified by the keyword VALUE, according to the
processing of the macrodefinition for the new type notation followed by that
for the new value notation. -- ISO 8824:1988, Annex A

Also contains this (Irish) gem:
An Post certificates include an enormously long (nearly four times the
maximum allowed size) legal disclaimer in the certificate policy extension
(the certificate contains as much legal disclaimer as all other data
combined).
read  standards  reference  funny 
november 2015
List of humorous units of measurement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Includes "...the "Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures", developed by 19-year-old Donald E. Knuth..."
november 2015
Our Life Begins: The Age of Play
A breathtaking passage from Will Durant’s Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God:

See him, the newborn, dirty but marvelous, ridiculous in actuality, infinite in possibility, capable of that ultimate miracle— growth. Can you conceive it— that this queer bundle of sound and pain will come to know love, anxiety, prayer, suffering, creation, metaphysics, death? He cries; he has been so long asleep in the quiet warm womb of his mother; now suddenly he is compelled to breathe, and it hurts; compelled to see light, and it pierces him; compelled to hear noise, and it terrifies him. Cold strikes his skin, and he seems to be all pain. But it is not so; nature protects him against this initial onslaught of the world by dressing him in a general insensitivity. He sees the light only dimly; he hears the sounds as muffled and afar. For the most part he sleeps. His mother calls him a “little monkey,” and she is right; until he walks he will be like an ape, and even less of a biped, the womb-life having given his funny little legs the incalculable flexibility of a frog’s. Not till he talks will he leave the ape behind, and begin to climb precariously to the stature of a human being.

Watch him, and see how, bit by bit, he learns the nature of things by random movements of exploration. The world is a puzzle to him; and these haphazard responses of grasping, biting, and throwing are the pseudopodia, which he puts out to a perilous experience. Curiosity consumes and develops him; he would touch and taste everything from his rattle to the moon. For the rest he learns by imitation, though his parents think he learns by sermons. They teach him gentleness, and beat him; they teach him mildness of speech, and shout at him; they teach him a Stoic apathy to finance, and quarrel before him about the division of their income; they teach him honesty, and answer his most profound questions with lies. Our children bring us up by showing us, through imitation, what we really are.

Life is that which is discontent, which struggles and seeks, which suffers and creates. No mechanistic or materialistic philosophy can do it justice, or understand the silent growth and majesty of a tree, or compass the longing and laughter of children. Childhood may be defined as the age of play; therefore some children are never young, and some adults are never old.
read 
october 2015
Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge (Spanish: Emporio celestial de conocimientos benévolos) is a fictitious taxonomy of animals described by the writer Jorge Luis Borges in his 1942 essay "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins" (El idioma analítico de John Wilkins).

Wilkins, a 17th-century philosopher, had proposed a universal language based on a classification system that would encode a description of the thing a word describes into the word itself—for example, Zi identifies the genus beasts; Zit denotes the "difference" rapacious beasts of the dog kind; and finally Zitα specifies dog.

In response to this proposal and in order to illustrate the arbitrariness and cultural specificity of any attempt to categorize the world, Borges describes this example of an alternate taxonomy, supposedly taken from an ancient Chinese encyclopædia entitled Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.

The list divides all animals into one of 14 categories:

Those that belong to the emperor
Embalmed ones
Those that are trained
Suckling pigs
Mermaids (or Sirens)
Fabulous ones
Stray dogs
Those that are included in this classification
Those that tremble as if they were mad
Innumerable ones
Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
Et cetera
Those that have just broken the flower vase
Those that, at a distance, resemble flies

Borges claims that the list was discovered in its Chinese source by the translator Franz Kuhn.
read  wikipedia  borge 
october 2015
Ringelmann effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Ringelmann effect is the tendency for individual members of a group to become increasingly less productive as the size of their group increases.[1] This effect, discovered by French agricultural engineer Maximilien Ringelmann (1861–1931), illustrates the inverse relationship that exists between the size of a group and the magnitude of group members’ individual contribution to the completion of a task. While studying the relationship between process loss (i.e., reductions in performance effectiveness or efficiency) and group productivity, Ringelmann (1913) found that having group members work together on a task (e.g., pulling a rope) actually results in significantly less effort than when individual members are acting alone. Furthermore, Ringelmann discovered that as more and more people are added to a group, the group often becomes increasingly inefficient, ultimately violating the notion that group effort and team participation reliably leads to increased effort on behalf of the members.
read 
october 2015
Playing with Pigs – researching the complex relationship between pigs and humans through game design
The Playing with Pigs project is researching the complex relationship we have with domesticated pigs by designing a game. Designing new forms of human-pig interaction can create the opportunity for consumers and pigs to forge new relations as well as to experience the cognitive capabilities of each other. The game is called Pig Chase.
pigs 
september 2015
J002E3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
J002E3 is the designation given to an object in space discovered on September 3, 2002 by amateur astronomer Bill Yeung. Initially thought to be an asteroid, it has since been tentatively identified as the S-IVB third stage of the Apollo 12 Saturn V rocket (designated S-IVB-507), based on spectrographic evidence consistent with the paint used on the rockets.
wikipedia  space  read 
august 2015
Trust Issues | Lapham’s Quarterly
This is a grand old rambling yarn.
read 
january 2015
Bat bomb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Bat bombs were an experimental World War II weapon developed by the United States. The bomb consisted of a bomb-shaped casing with numerous compartments, each containing a Mexican Free-tailed Bat with a small timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats which would then roost in eaves and attics. The incendiaries would start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper construction of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target."
read 
november 2014
The Groundbreaking Art of Alex Steinweiss, Father of Record Cover Design
"In one instance, Newsweek reported that sales of a recording of Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony “increased 895% with its new Steinweiss cover.”"
read  design 
october 2014
A 50 Year-old Teletype Powered by a Raspberry Pi
There's something lovely about this synthesis of technologies.
read 
october 2014
The Mythology of Dog Years
Well I'm glad we've put that to bed.
funny 
october 2014
The Manipulators: Facebook's Social Engineering Project
This is a calm and reasoned exploration of Facebook's manipulative study, and Europe's 'right to be forgotten'.
read  privacy 
september 2014
Living Simply in a Dumpster
This is marvelous, and in keeping with my Tiny House interests. A very worthy experiment.
read 
september 2014
How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit
"...bananas are the fourth-most valuable global crop after rice, wheat, and milk..."
read 
september 2014
Stanford engineer aims to connect the world with ant-sized radios
"...a device so energy efficient that it gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna..."
read  tech 
september 2014
Show HN: Super Looper – Disco Sequencer App
This falls into the 'click once, lose an hour' category...
music 
september 2014
Open sourcing chicken
I keep hens, which I get from a small, but still — I suppose — intensive, breeder. I'm glad to see initiatives like this one.
read 
august 2014
Submarine Cable Map 2014
By the looks of this, Ireland could do with a trans-Atlantic cable.
map 
august 2014
Tire makers race to turn dandelions into rubber
Yes, you read that correctly: dandelions, into rubber.
read 
august 2014
The color of every photo on the internet blended together is orange
“Craig Kaplan, a researcher in the Computer Graphics Lab at the University of Waterloo, told me, “in the years since Bumgardner produced his first bronze shield, I have not yet seen a convincing explanation for emergent orange.””
read  photography 
august 2014
The Free and the Anti-free
An interesting essay and well worth a read.
read 
august 2014
The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku
I like to spend time in the woods, and now I have a name for that: Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.
read 
august 2014
Making of the FF Franziska font
This is a useful insight into the process behind the creation of a font of type.
font  read  reference 
august 2014
The First Map of the Depths
"This map marks both a scientific and an imaginative revolution. When it was published in 1977 by Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen, two oceanographers at Columbia University, there had never before been a map of the entire ocean floor."
map 
july 2014
Messages in the Deep – The Story of the Underwater Internet
Beginning with a gripping undersea spy yarn from the early days of sub-aquatic cables this is an interesting rundown on the internet tubes we like to forget about.
read 
july 2014
The ship that totally failed to change the world
The nuclear ship that people liked, just not enough.
read 
july 2014
Theodor Adorno’s Philosophy of Punctuation
Theodor, I am guessing, did not make the funny very often.
read  writing 
july 2014
Music Vault: A Massive YouTube Archive of 13,000 Live Concert Videos
This is definitely worth a trawl, particularly if you are fond of bootlegs and live recordings generally.
music  watch 
july 2014
The power of lonely: What we do better without other people around
I enjoy solitude, perhaps too much—if that's possible—and was heartened to read this well-researched piece.
read 
july 2014
Mapping the International Availability of Entertainment Services
Good breakdown of the numbers on international availability of digital content and services.
read 
may 2014
The slow death of purposeless walking
It occurs to me that this could be a headline from The Onion. It is not.
read 
may 2014
Erdős–Bacon Number
Oh, whimsy, I do adore thee.
read  Math 
april 2014
Noise, Dynamic Range and Bit Depth in Digital SLRs
Buckle up and put on your glasses, this is some in-depth stuff.
photography  reference 
april 2014
I, Pencil (1958)
"The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth."
read 
april 2014
Building blocks: how Project Ara is reinventing the smartphone
I liked the sound of this project when it was first mooted and wanted it to see—at least—prototype stage. It looks like it's well on the way...
read 
april 2014
George R. R. Martin’s Fantasy Books and Fans : The New Yorker
Now that GoT is back, this piece from 2011 makes for an interesting read.
read 
april 2014
NCURSES – Licensing
One side of the long tale of the ncurses license. I rely on ncurses for an awful lot of my terminal computing and I find this insight into its... well, its delicacy... to be fascinating.
read  ncurses 
april 2014
0307278581.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg (JPEG Image, 324 × 500 pixels)
This book cover design is really striking, it Just Works®.
design  books 
march 2014
Alexander Gronsky's 'Pastoral' : The New Yorker
For “Pastoral,” his latest project, the landscape photographer Alexander Gronsky took to the fringes of Moscow, the suburbs between Russia’s most populous city and the countryside that surrounds it. Gronsky, who says that he wanted to romanticize his subject, intentionally evokes the classic theme of man’s encounter with nature. Yet this reunion, achieved photographically through measured compositions and a deft use of color, remains an uneasy one: picnickers eat beside heavy industry, sunbathers lie out next to construction sites, and people stroll past piles of urban detritus.
photography 
march 2014
More News Is Being Written By Robots Than You Think | Singularity Hub
Loathe though I am to admit it, this makes a bit of sense; at least in the way it's presented here.
read  writing 
march 2014
English: Out with the long | The Economist
Reading this is like biting into a grapefruit.
read  writing 
march 2014
Pop-Up House: The affordable passive house
Great concept, proven, would like to see it reach production.
home  diy 
march 2014
Energy: Islands of light : Nature News & Comment
In its first full year of operation, the new 1-megawatt solar system met roughly 93% of the nation's electricity demand. Today, Tokelau has reduced its annual fuel bill by about $800,000, which more than covers payments on the loan it received from the government of New Zealand for the microgrid.
read 
march 2014
Boring, Oregon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In June 2012, in a play on the town's name, the Boring Community Planning Organization voted to pair with Dull, Scotland, for the purpose of promoting tourism in both towns.
funny 
march 2014
200 Free Documentaries Online - Open Culture
A diverse selection and well worth checking out.
watch 
march 2014
In Defense of Studying the Duck Penis
"Besides the fact that duck sex is incidentally intriguing (males are equipped with incredibly long “counterclockwise spiraling penises, while females have clockwise spiraling vaginas and blind pockets that prevent full eversion of the male penis,” Brennan wrote in Slate)"
read 
march 2014
"Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us—a meteor shower of synapses firing across the..."
"This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always arise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones."
read 
march 2014
Hilbert curve - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'm not sure which is harder to grasp, the mathematics or the visual representation.
math  patterns 
february 2014
The First book with printed page numbers
"The image below is a scan of a recto leaf printed by Arnold Ther Hoernen, Cologne, 1470 (Cologne’s second printer after Ulrich Zel). The book, Sermo in festo praesentationis beatissimae Mariae virginis (ISTC: ir00303000) is special in that it is the first (extant) book to include printed foliation (‘page numbers’*), here printed in the recto margins, half way down the page."
reference  typography 
february 2014
BBC News - What do those squiggles on the pavement actually mean?
"All of the colours cited above are based entirely on convention. None of it is enshrined in law. "There is no official designation," says Robinson. "There are no official colour schemes. The various players have never been able to get everybody to agree.""
read 
february 2014
How The Guardian successfully moved its domain to theguardian.com
"Working on a project with so many stakeholders and with such wide-reaching changes could have led to a form of paralysis that stopped the project from getting off the ground. However, by making our releases live immediately and accessible internally, the development team had inverted the traditional flow of pressure. We could continually petition the stakeholders by asking, “Can we make it live now?” rather than the more traditional model of stakeholders asking the development team, “Is it ready yet?”. This was a very healthy state to be in for everyone concerned."
read  strategy 
february 2014
There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written
"Some of the bowhead whales in the icy waters off of Alaska today are over 200 years old"
read 
february 2014
The One Literary Reference You Must Know to Appreciate ​True Detective
If, like me, you have been seduced by True Detective's swampy charms this makes for a diverting insight.
read  watch 
february 2014
Ways to avoid using the word 'very'
"Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain"
writing  read 
february 2014
How north ended up on top of the map
A scholarly investigation into the provenance of North.
read  maps 
february 2014
You're not going to read this
"Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, which measures real-time traffic for sites like Upworthy, dropped a bomb: "We've found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading," he wrote."
read  social 
february 2014
Making Remote Work Work
This is a good nuts and bolts nitty gritty guide to working "out of the office".
read  reference 
february 2014
When Commercial Fishermen Get Together to Recite Poetry
"The annual Fisher Poets Gathering is pretty much exactly as advertised: A group of around 70 mostly commercial fishermen from mostly the Pacific Northwest and Alaska gather in Astoria, Oregon, to read mostly poetry, mostly about commercial fishing. It draws hundreds of people—one account said 700—to hear poems, songs, and stories of this profession, the kind of talk and art that has always flooded and buoyed those who do this work, but that most people never hear."
read  writing 
february 2014
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
I think todo lists may be a gateway drug to the extraordinary order of the checklist. I, of course, have convinced myself that checklists are out of place in fields of creative endeavour. I, of course, am wrong.
read  Productivity 
february 2014
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