The story of a metasyntactic variable

I just found this (RFC3092) on the etymology of “Foo”. While I’m familiar with a few of the roots (such as WWII, “foo-fighters”, etc.), it was very interesting to find Robert Crumb mixed up in all this.

Being a reader, and an avid collector, of comics since I was in short pants, I have long since felt that, should you dig around long enough into any world event of the last half century, or longer, you would find Crumb, staring back at you, and he quietly paring his nails…

Or was that Chris Ware?

…freedom is on the march… (cont’d)

Once again, those proud representatives of the good ol’ US of A up to their tricks. This time it’s the story of Mohammed who had been “killed during a search of his family’s home”.

Ah Bartleby

ClearType Tuner

If you are running Windows XP and you’re wondering why your fonts look awful (on, for example, an LCD / flat panel display) then try this tool out for size, or alternatively, you could use the online version. The difference in how the fonts are rendered is incredible (well for me at least).


I just noticed this recently; while in kde type the location ‘man:/’ into konqueror and hit return. You are treated to a html-ised version of the man pages. Pretty cool, eh?

The Sea Is My Soil

A few years ago my quite considerable record collection (> 3000 vinyl) suffered at the hands of an imbecile and a freak natural disaster. I have never quite recovered (does anyone ever truly recover from an amputation), and have never been able to replace what was lost. So I decided to track down the CD versions of my favorites and rebuild my collection in a less bulkier form. Alas, many of the lost records are no longer available, or never were issued, as CD’s, so I resigned myself to perpetually checking for re-issues, waiting for the day that a missing piece of the jigsaw could be recovered…

Then recently I learned that Herb Alpert had decided to re-issue his back catalogue in digitally re-mastered form. O frabjous day! Currently 7 of them are available here, with another 3 due in a week or two. Check out Lost Treasures, a collection of rare and unreleased material spanning the whole TJB period (62 – 69). Some incredible tracks, including the magnificent “Whistlestar”. Mindblowing!

I cannot recommend these records highly enough. They are legend, each and every one. And they have never sounded so good. If you don’t know much of the TJB’s output, now is the time to remedy this. Personally I cannot wait for Warm to be released, which is definitely my favourite of his albums.