Archive: May 2008


oEmbed was introduced recently (beginning of this month) as a standardized way to get enough info about a resource to embed it; ie, get the format, dimensions, url, title, etc., so that you can build an <img> or <embed> tag for rendering the resource on your page. This is an extremely useful idea; it would let people paste a URL places rather than the youtube embed codes or whatever. However! This scheme requires two URLs to represent the same resource; a more RESTful approach would simply ask the resource's URL for a particular HTTP response. Backdrifter explains: oEmbed FAIL! Represent RESTfully.

(similar, but less readable spec: XRDS)

laser cutter access

Ponoko lets you design stuff to get cut by a laser cutter. I think that the way industrial tools like laser cutters are becoming more and more available to people is very cool.

on using open source

"If you want to use open source, you have to learn to stop being a have to become a collaborator" -- from a talk on Plone given by Steve McMahon here at NetSquared.

Christine recommends

Fun Home, a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.



  1. are venomous.
  2. nurse their young through their abdominal skin(?)

bike repair book

I'm looking for a good bicycle repair book: one that talks about tools, has a ton of diagrams (preferably hand drawn), and plenty of description and best practices. Today I came across a book called "Fix Your Bicycle", by Eric Jorgensen and Joe Bergman, put out by Clymer Publications between 1972 and 1979. It is full of diagrams and photos, from photos describing how to patch tires to technical illustrations of exploded bottom brackets. It also describes bicycle tools and how to use them. In short: I want it. I'm trolling Amazon's used sellers for it this very moment (there are several misspellings, for example).

Also looking good: Anybody's Bike Book, by Tom Cuthbertson (kb has a 1979 edition).

MEC backpacks

uh, backpack shopping alert. sorry.

MEC is a Canadian outdoor gear company that is a little bit like a slimmer, hipper LLBean with all the flannel-fireside-lifestyle crap trimmed away. They have a very good backpack selection, too. As a simple, minimalist overnight pack or travel bag, I liked the 30 liter Brio Crag daypack. Also the tiny Pika daypack is almost exactly like the tiny simple bag I inherited (translation: appropriated) from my mother, exactly right for casual hikes.


kb pointed me to this fantastic Atlantic article about an apple collector and curator. Linked in the article is the Fedco Seeds tree catalog, which has tons of info about cultivating trees as well as descriptions of varieties for sale.


"peregrinations". lovely.

fire in the hole

CNN video: flames shooting out of a manhole in Cambridge MA yesterday. (thx Justin)

from work today...

[6:32pm] becw: DRY?
[6:32pm] eads: Don't repeat yourself.
[6:32pm] t-dub: Don't Repeat Yourself
[6:32pm] t-dub: Or eads
[6:33pm] nikCTC: oh, it gets better...
[6:33pm] nikCTC: let me double-check my logs
[6:36pm] nikCTC: from April 10th of this year: (02:13:28 PM) becw: DRY, t-dub?


I would agree more if each browser displayed it differently: do web sites need to look exactly the same in every browser? (via)