Notes on a web journey

posted on: 31 August 2006

About art and biology

filed under: @ 14:20:03

A few days ago I was browsing the web looking for books-related articles. I came across The Nonist post on libraries' photos
( me and another million people, apparently ), found it beautiful and interesting and posted about it. Then I went back to The Nonist site and started looking around. There are MANY interesting posts. Actually, too many...So I decided to link to some of the articles I found through The Nonist' posts here, mostly as reminders for myself:


posted on: 31 August 2006

Book bindings

filed under: @ 10:08:21

Book binding - Porter & Coates publishers - 1873

Early in the 19th century, the need for speed, simplicity, and economy in book production led to the introduction of cloth as a binding material and casing as a binding process. This exhibit chronicles the growth of English and American publishers' binding from its infancy in the 1830s to its decline in the early 20th century.

Publishers' Bindings 1830 - 1910
via India,Ink.


posted on: 29 August 2006

The Eastern Garbage Patch

filed under: @ 10:35:21

The very thing that makes plastic items useful to consumers, their durability and stability, also makes them a problem in marine environments. Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.


posted on: 27 August 2006

Fear and respect

filed under: @ 17:21:42

How it should be:

Fear and respect

A Javascript elaboration of a thought (“Fear breeds hate, respect brings peace” - one of the random quotes that appear on the right upper corner of this site) to illustrate a concept: until fear is greater then respect the end result will always be war.

The most important is the last line (fear--;) without it the loop is infinite and crashes the computer..

The double minus sign is a decrement operator and subtracts 1 from whatever is assigned to. With each iteration of the loop fear decreases and the loop ends. Right now, fear is ++, it increases with each iteration. The loop is infinite.

Let's break that loop..


posted on: 27 August 2006

Homo floresiensis

filed under: @ 12:59:03

For the past two years, researchers have been hotly debating (and coming dangerously close to fighting over) whether the fossils of a diminutive hominin found in Indonesia are those of a previously unknown species. The publication this week of some long-standing doubts over the “hobbit” fossils show the debate is far from over.

Homo floresiensis


posted on: 25 August 2006


filed under: @ 11:36:21

Beautiful pictures of Libraries:

Trinity College Library - Dublin

Libraries are the keepers of human history, the shape of men efforts to understand and remember, they bring perspective to human history and enable anyone to learn and keep learning.

Library Smut


posted on: 24 August 2006

Inaccessible downloads

filed under: @ 14:57:23

The Internet, in theory, enables anyone from anywhere to access information. In reality all the people with dial-up connections are cut out of a lot of it. I know that in the States and Europe almost everybody has some kind of high speed connection but the rest of the world is still using dial-ups. I'm not a professional of the web but I like it because it has brought more freedom to people, more opportunities to learn.
Podcasts, videocasts,screencasts: there should always be a text version that can be downloaded by everyone.


posted on: 23 August 2006


filed under: @ 20:19:31

I implemented the tags at the end of each post. The script for the tag cloud is also ready but I want first to go backward through the posts to add tags before displaying it on this page..however it's possible to watch it grow.

I don't think that categories and tags are overkill. Categories help me to keep things more organized, only tags would be too insubstantial (if substance has anything to do with a feeling). I will not use the same words for tags and categories.


posted on: 22 August 2006

Water crisis

filed under: @ 21:35:04

One-third of the world's population is living in water-scarce areas, say scientists behind a 5-year analysis of global water resources. The finding is a worrying update to an older study by the same team, who had previously predicted that such a situation would not arrive until 2025.

Water crisis happening now

Next wars will be for water not oil. Will we be able to avoid that or will we just go ahead as we always seem to have done? Another self-inflicted situation, fueling my doubts on the intelligence of humans.


posted on: 21 August 2006

Tags cloud

filed under: @ 14:08:23

I'm writing the code, using PHP, to create a “cloud” based on the tags I decided to add to each post.

Right now I organize the log with categories but sometimes I find it not precise enough and I don't think that adding a lot of new categories is the best way to go. Hence my decision to add tags at the bottom of each post, to specify better what the post is about and to enhance the findability of topics. I eventually will end up having:

  • a search feature (using FULLTEXT)
  • categories
  • tags on each post
  • a tag cloud to show all the tags I use

Now, when I want to find something, I just use the search posts feature, but, for a user that wants to have a comprehensive look at my posts, that's a bit too specific. Categories, on the other hand, seem to me to be too general. The code for the tag cloud is not finished yet and it's also turning out to be more difficult to write that I would have thought sometimes I think I've gone blind..didn't see the function I was looking for in the PHP manual.


posted on: 17 August 2006

Insects photography

filed under: @ 11:11:47

Nothomyrmecia macrops - Dinosaur Ant - South Australia
Nothomyrmecia macrops - Dinosaur Ant - South Australia

Beautiful pictures of insects on myrmecos (and also links to other similar web sites).


posted on: 16 August 2006


filed under: @ 12:55:08

Scientists measure Earth's history

I do think a lot about how inconsequential humans are in the big scheme of things. We have not yet even proved we're a viable species compared to dinosaurs, for example. Dinosaurs were around from 230 million years ago to 66 million years ago. That's a long time. They were very successful. Humans have been around for maybe a million years. It doesn't look like we're going to have that long of a legacy but we'll see.
Samuel A. Bowring
(professor of geology at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences)

I have been thinking and saying that for years but this is the first time I see it written by somebody else, by a MIT's professor of Geology not some other opinionated dude like me. I also always use dinosaurs as a comparison..

EARTHTIME is an organized, community-based international scientific initiative aimed at sequencing Earth history through the integration of high-precision geochronology and quantitative chronostratigraphy. Our main goal is the development of the geochronological techniques necessary to produce temporal constraints with uncertainties approaching 0.1 percent of the radioisotopic ages.



posted on: 16 August 2006

15 years of WWW

filed under: @ 12:51:23

Amazon used to be a large river in South America - but that was before the world wide web. This month the web is 15 years old and in that short time it has revolutionised the way we live, from shopping to booking flights, writing blogs to listening to music.

Websites that changed the world


posted on: 15 August 2006

MySQL sorting and PHP sessions

filed under: @ 19:04:23

Some MySQL sorting tips:
sort MySQL results ignoring definite and indefinite articles (the, a, an)
which points to this post
originally meant to answer this thread

And an interesting article on PHP sessions:
the truth about sessions


posted on: 14 August 2006

Design reminders and icon analysis

filed under: @ 13:30:41

Two very interesting articles on Boxes and Arrows:


posted on: 13 August 2006

Volcanic melodies

filed under: @ 21:20:08

The low-frequency, seismic rumblings of volcanoes are being transformed into delicate musical scores in an effort to predict when they will erupt.

Vulcanic melody

Researchers in Italy have already created a concerto from the underground movements of Mount Etna on Sicily.

Volcanic eruptions score melodies


posted on: 13 August 2006

Evolutionism and creationism

filed under: @ 11:27:30

I think that this debate is also an indication of the confusion most people live in. I don't believe that the problem, as far as the uninvolved with science common man is concerned, really is creationism or evolutionism but instead a need to be told what is “good” and what is “bad”. Most people that believe in a religious system also believe that moral standards are directly proportional to faith: religion makes people more compassionate. Which may be true to a certain extent (read: cross-national correlations of quantifiable societal health with popular religiosity) but it also means that helping someone else is done in the name of one's own God and, if the other person's God is a different one, soon trouble will arise. To be able to understand and accept other cultures and beliefs we must have an open mind and inform ourselves: lots of work. To just decide that “what I believe is right” solves most questions and unfortunately leaves very little room for learning. Religion in itself cannot make a human being better, each one of us has to work hard every moment of our lives to achieve that.


posted on: 12 August 2006

Antique pocket watch

filed under: @ 10:37:22

Audemars Piguet Grand Complication antique pocket watch

Fine and rare Audemars Piguet Grand Complication perpetual calendar minute repeater split second chronograph with register antique pocket watch circa 1910. White enamel dial (hairlines and crack) with red and black markings, subsidiary dials for month with elapsed time, day of the week, day of the month, and running seconds with aperture for moon age. Heavy plain polish case with chronograph button and recessed repeat slide in the band. The dust cover signed Golay Fills & Stahl, Geneva. First quality 34 jewel movement jeweled to the center and the hammers, marked Adjusted and with precision regulator. When activated this watch chimes the exact time using different chime tones to designate the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. Loud, clear tone.

Audemars Piguet Grand Complication

Audemars Piguet Grand Complication antique pocket watch


posted on: 11 August 2006

Charsets, UTF 8 and security attacks

filed under: @ 21:03:20


posted on: 11 August 2006

Web 2 Dna

filed under: @ 10:06:27

sevencolors DNA-like data mapping

An online visualization of a user-chosen website through a graphical DNA-like data mapping approach. The brightness of the lines is determined by the importance of the tags in terms of structure, so that a semantically rich site will appear brighter than one with messy old-style code. A site that focuses on (text) content is one where the DNA patterns are large (filling many containers), but contains a lot of empty spaces between the lines (empty space is the individual words). via infosthetics



posted on: 10 August 2006

Talking walls

filed under: @ 20:37:08

NetArt Open 2006: talking walls

The Net Art Open 2006: talking-walls
Talking-Walls is a dynamic website exploring the visual language of wall and street markings


posted on: 09 August 2006


filed under: @ 20:37:21

About creativity: cartoon cartoon


posted on: 09 August 2006


filed under: @ 13:36:42


I periodically re-think my categories and tagging system. I'm still not sure if I should add additional tags at the end of my posts to specify better the topic. The category that gives me most second thoughts is the one I named “interesting”, under which I tend to aggregate all posts that have something to do with art, culture, science and society. I don't think that adding another four categories would be the best solution and those are posts about things I find interesting. So, maybe, a mix of a category and some additional more specific tags in the post could be it.


posted on: 08 August 2006

Kerning, design school and printing

filed under: @ 11:13:22

Three interesting posts on Noisy Decent Graphics:


posted on: 05 August 2006

Images of whale songs

filed under: @ 09:55:20

Whale songs images

Mark Fischer, an engineer by training, uses wavelets - a technique for processing digital signals - to transform the haunting calls of ocean mammals and birds into movies that visually represent the songs and still images that look like electronic mandalas.

Subtle math turns songs of whales into kaleidoscopic images



posted on: 04 August 2006

Keyboard shortcuts

filed under: @ 13:56:32

I find keyboard shortcuts very useful used in combination with the mouse but there are a lot of them and I tend to forget some:


posted on: 03 August 2006

Movies on a roof

filed under: @ 09:57:03

Rooftop Films is a non-profit film festival and production collective that supports, creates, promotes, and shows daring short films worldwide and in a weekly summer rooftop film festival.



posted on: 02 August 2006

1980: Bologna

filed under: @ 19:29:07

Bologna's train station bombing - 1980 - Italy

On the 2nd of August, 1980 a bomb exploded in the train station of Bologna at 10:25 am, killing 85 people and injuring two hundred more.

Today, on the 26th Anniversary of the massacre, the masterminds behind the bombing are still unknown.

1980: Bologna


posted on: 02 August 2006

Dust and climate

filed under: @ 19:14:23

The dustiest place on Earth

Dust clouds can cool the Earth and halt hurricanes. But the world's biggest dust source was until recently a war zone: the Bodélé depression, a low-lying region on the eastern fringe of the Sahara.


posted on: 02 August 2006

Kubric's posters

filed under: @ 15:32:55

The “eye” poster of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey - 1968

Posters and promotion art from Kubrick's movies


posted on: 01 August 2006


filed under: @ 20:47:32

Patience, attention, skills:

Ron DeCorte watch

A watch story by Ron DeCorte


Making a watch by hand by Don Corson

Time Zone watch information resource


CSS,Javascript and Php studies

Anti spam email
A solution to writing an anti spam email contact link
filed under: Javascript
Background image
A background image randomizer that I used in the second version of this site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Javascript menu
A menu that uses Javascript and session cookies.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Experimenting with CSS and Javascript.A simple but, in my opinion, nice navigation “system”. The MiniSite is a one page site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo display
Protect copyrighted photos: a simple but effective solution.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo gallery
A photo gallery made for a friend
filed under: Javascript
PHP menu
A PHP menu that can be updated without having to re-publish all the pages is on.
filed under: PHP
Pop-up menu
A very simple pop up menu powered by Javascript. It works also if Javascript is disabled.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
RSS feed
How to write and use an RSS feed
filed under: rss-xml
Tag replacer
The Tag replacer explained and a link to it.
filed under: PHP
Tags search
A search form build and powered using Javascript and the DOM
filed under: Javascript