tarot reading generator, I’m afraid. I have been to
seem some films, though. Men in Black II was
pretty funny and had some cool stuff in and we enjoyed it. The
same evening we also watched Austin Powers in
Goldmember which made me laugh like a drain, though maybe
it seemed extra funny because Smith and Jones had been its
warm-up act. I have to admit I was laughing at gags
that went over the heads of the mainly teenage audience.
Compare and contrast two different ideas of cool:
MiiB is all discipline and sharp suits with a
monochrome palette, Powers is all hedonism and
bright colours. Oxford viewers also get to point and gurgle
happily at the inclusion of a new Mini as Nigel Power’s
spy car. BMW must be very chuffed to have a new movie featuring
Michael Caine driving the new Mini in it! (Of course Mini is
now owned by a German company, just as Austin’s signature
Jaguar is owned by Ford.)
Before this we were having lunch in a local café when we
noticed that the table next to us was occupied by Mephistophilis
lunching with Lucifer (from Dr Faustus)—or perhaps Hero
and Borachio. Spooky.
I have created an experimental RSS feed
for this site. In principle this can be used by people with RSS
aggregators to mix my latest headlines in with other channels.
The documentation for RSS I am using is
Winer’s, because he is one of the few people to
actually document it.
Erm, except that I have taken the liberty of
adding an XML namespace attribute
(using the namespace mentioned in an article about
I am using the
description field to hold (part of)
the first paragraph, by way of a teaser; readers are expected to
follow the link to read the thing in full.
I was a little surprised to discover that RSS 0.91 has no
provision for supplying a date for news items. For weblog-style
channels, this seems like a major omission!
I also really dislike the RSS-0.91 de-facto convention of
using escaped HTML text as the value of titles and
descriptions. For one thing, why not just embed HTML as-is
instead of under an extra layer of encoding? (That’s the
whole point of XML namespaces, for example...) Worse, many
people just grab the first 100, say, characters, regardless of
whether decoding the result will be valid HTML or not! This
means that you cannot safely use XSLT to transform RSS 0.91
to HTML, unless I am missing something...
Anyway, in my feed I am making a point of stripping out all
mark-up before adding to the RSS file. People who want to see
it formatted will have to follow the link!
Here is a primitive first
stab at a tarot-reading service.
It isn’t finished yet, but I’m putting it up for
people who like being early adopters...
The front end is very
rudimentary—you choose a spread from the drop-list and
then enter a random number, and press Submit. You should see a
big green screen with thumbnailed cards laid out on it. Click
on the cards to see them full-size.
My simple-minded virtual tarot
dealer now understands the Celtic cross spread.
This was tricky because it requires that one of the cards be
laid crossways, so I had to change the format of the data
arrays to hold the positions of the cards; now
switched to embedding an XML document describing the layouts in
defs section of the SVG file.
This weekend was
It all seemed to go really well—not that I can take
much credit for it, since all I was responsible for was
making the badges for attendees, and as it turned out
I didn’t make enough! That means we had many more
walk-ins than were were planning.
was very busy, as always. She had big
tasks: the mail-art exhibition (which this year took the
forms of dozens of black butterflies fluttering on invisible
threads down a corridor), and a workshop during which three
teams drew ‘noir’ comics based on plot points drawn at random
out of beer glasses.
Jeremy’s weekly strip is now
serializing a ten-part story, Black Butterflies, a
very ‘noir’ mystery story starring C. Evidence.