Desert Island Art

I’ve often joked with my computer geek friends that if I was stuck on a desert island and could have only one program, it would be Microsoft Excel. Which is amusing on a number of levels: I have a long history of Microsoft bashing; Excel is not very well known for anything other than number crunching; Real Programmers™ tend to pooh-pooh VBA (the programming language in Excel).

But Excel is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a word processor, the formatting is great, the built in formula language is great, using VBA lets you turn spreadsheets into applications, and more. I even used it to design the kitchen and bathroom tiling for the Electron Workshop.

But a 70+ year old Japanese artist has taken it to an entirely new level: Using Microsoft Excel to create art.





Much more at:


My First Album Cover

A cool meme. I’m not even going to try it twice because the first attempt was so perfect.

1 – Go to
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 – Go to Random quotations:
The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 – Go to flickr’s “explore the last seven days” Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Put it all together, that’s your first album.

Now to put together some music…


Weird spam of the day

Weird enough to get through my gmail spam filter.

From: Pearlie Horn
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2006 22:45:38 0000
Subject: ostrich-egg nitrogen balance

employed in agreeing to everything her ladyship said, thanking her for every fish he won, and

Yes, that’s the whole email. No attachments, no hyperlinks, nothing else.

The body of the message is a fragment from Pride and Prejudice: “Mr. Collins was employed in agreeing to everything her Ladyship said, thanking her for every fish he won, and apologising if he thought he won too many.”

The only purpose I can imagine for this is a spammer checking through a mailing list and sending these messages to track bounces to cleanse incorrect/inactive addresses from the list. At least they have an interest in classical literature.


We had spinach and ricotta agnolotti for dinner tonight and got onto the subject of the origins of pasta. Noodles, pasta, history – some real, some legend (like Marco Polo bringing it back from China in the 13th century) all the italian names for the various types, and Deb says “so what did they [Italians] eat before pasta?”. I responded: “sauce.”