by simon baird

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


new sigur rós! gobbledigook! it's... different! and there's naked people! it's... I don't know..! it's... wow!
Update: That vid is gone now. Try your luck on youtube. Or please enjoy watching it here on the official site in some lame inaccessible video format (quicktime).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I guess I left my iPod running. That would be too much Michael Stipe for anyone don't you think?

you might have seen this before but...

I think it warrants a re-run. it's a commercial for Tiddlyspot created by jacquelyn janis aka rambly

the dog is brilliant

Red Baron Seaplane in jeopardy

I heard that so-called "residents" are complaining about it and it might be shut down. What the hell is their problem? Actually I don't know. Perhaps they have a valid complaint. Maybe it killed four dugongs last week. Or maybe a red 1950s Grumman G-164 seaplane spoils the ambience on their multi-million dollar island-view balconies. But nevertheless the seaplane is a treasure. This blog post is a petition. Post a comment supporting the Red Baron and once there's a bunch of comments I will forward it to the newspaper or maybe the mayor. More photos here.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Can someone chip NASA a few dollars so they can afford a colour camera for their next mars probe?
"This is an approximate-color image taken shortly after landing by the spacecraft's Surface Stereo Imager, inferred from two color filters, a violet, 450-nanometer filter and an infrared, 750-nanometer filter."

looks like geohashing is going to be big

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A pig's gotta fly

today I went for a ride in a pedal kayak like this

with little flippers underneath that swim it along when you pump the your legs.

this seaplane used to live on magnetic island but the locals didn't like it so it moved over to the strand.

we paddled up to it in the marina

and later got out of it's way. it was just like porco rosso.

when it takes off it kicks up a lot of water then banks left to avoid the cargo ships and the freight cranes. when it's coming in to land it flies along the beach lower than a kite.

earlier some parachuters landed on the beach but I didn't see them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

local people

It's this morning. I've ordered a coffee at a cafe at Parkside, one of my local mini-shopping centre. I've just bought a ham and cheese bread thing from Brumbies which I plan to eat for breakfast. Coffee arrives.

Sow face: Oh. Oh you can't eat that here. You'll have to take that outside.

Me: Really? I'm your customer. I've just paid $3.20 for a coffee. Could I just put the bag away? [it has Brumbies logo on the paper bag]

Sow face: Look you can't eat that here. People will think you can sit here and eat that here.

I'm a little cranky. It's early. I'm hungry. I haven't had any coffee. The cafe isn't empty but there are many free tables. My coffee is in a proper cup so take-away isn't an option. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to deal with this woman who I'm starting to think doesn't like me. Perhaps my hair is too long and I look like trouble in my motorcycle jacket...

Me: Are you SURE? Because I will probably NEVER come here AGAIN.

It's starts getting weird here. I can't remember what was said next. "Trouble? We'll have no trouble here.." kind of thing. So eventually I glance my coffee, take a deep breath and agree that I will put my food away in my bag and eat it later. The coffee was really good, damn it.

Ps, I can't believe I've been putting sugar in coffee for so many years. It took a couple of months to wean off. But it was so worth it. Sugar in coffee is like sugar in tea. It's wrong. You fools! Once I was like you! Say no to sugar! Enjoy the flavour!! Thank me later!!!

more python vs ruby


import re
line = re.compile(r'\s*#.*$').sub('',line)



Guess which is which. Guess which one I prefer.

(Dear readers, I realise this is boring on numerous levels. Hopefully I will get it out of my system before too much longer... ;)


line = re.sub(r'\s*#.*$','',line)

Much better. I can read that. Thanks Xavier!


Y: I've realised even in my game I don't want to get married. Half the girls in the village want to marry me now. It's the whole point of the game. But I'm staying single.

Me: [lolz] Your animals need you...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Here's the thing. If I care about something I've already subscribed in my rss reader. If I don't care about it then I don't care about it. So what is friendfeed doing for me? I suppose it's a way to discover other feeds related to people I know. But how important is that to me? Not very. Scoble claims it's about the conversation, by which I take it to mean comments on friendfeed items. Who has time for that? Trackbacks and blog comments are the conversation aren't they? If you have something important to say are you going to put it into a comment on a friendfeed? Doubt it. So in other words it's "inconsequential chatter" which I can get plenty of elsewhere on the internet. I'm not saying friendfeed is a bad idea, I guess I just don't think it's going to be as big as some people are predicting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fwd: Processing.js for TiddlyWiki

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Simon Baird <>
Date: Wed, May 14, 2008 at 10:15 PM
Subject: Processing.js for TiddlyWiki
To: TiddlyWiki <>

If you're not subscribed to Paul Downey (aka psd)'s blog you might have missed this:

It's about Paul's brand new ProcessingjsPlugin which lets you use Processing.js in your TiddlyWiki. TiddlyWiki is now a pretty nice tool for playing with Processing.js. I think this is very cool.

I've made a demo/showcase/play site with a slightly tweaked (Paul, a patch is on the way) version of Paul's lovely plugin with some examples of a few different ways you can use ProcessingjsPlugin:

Background reading if you don't know what this is all about:



More from Pythagoras Switch

Pi ta go ra su wi chi (Pythagoras Switch) seems like it might be a pretty cool show. Here is a compilation of another of their regular segments: And here's some more if you're as addicted as I am now:

The Algorithm March

Let me tell you about the Algorithm March. It comes from a segment on a Japanese children's TV show called Pythagoras Switch (pronounced pi ta go ra su wi chi). There is also the Algorithm Taiso (exercise..?). The Algorithm Taiso you do with two people standing still. The Algorithm March you do in a conga line with many people. Here is the march performed by the two guys from the TV show and some ninjas. Someone has subtitled it for us (thank you whoever you are): Now that's probably the best of it but if you liked that then read on. The taiso you can see at the start of this video (you can skip the rest): Now that you're up to date with the Algorithm March please enjoy the following:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

python otherwise

Well other than the venting in my last post on python, it's actually not been too bad. Random thoughts from a part-time ruby programmer learning python:
  • the self thing in class methods is a little funky but it's not bothering me at all.
  • the ternary expressions I've started to really like. ie: x = 'foo' if some_condition else 'bar' beats x = some_condition ? 'foo' : 'bar' hands down for readability
  • the significant indenting thing is okay. It took a little adjustment, but yeah whatever. a shift width of two isn't enough for me though. four is fine.
  • stuff like str(some_object), len(some_object), int(some_object) versus some_object.to_s, some_object.length, some_object.to_i, I can stomach, but it feels like a backwards step
  • it took me ages to figure out how to display local time. it seems over-complicated.
  • seems less helpful that (but it could just be I'm more accustomed to it)
  • Can python do stuff like this? Maybe it can. (I'm a noob, bigtime).
class String
  def my_thing
    // do something cool

"Hello there".my_thing

I just read that and it sounds a little like I'm bitching. What I'm trying to say here is that python is alright. But also, that I like ruby a lot. Did that come across..?


Yoshimi* is periodically obsessed with moving to New Zealand's South Island and buying house. I think she's really on to something. Take a look at this!

It's like the Tenenbaum's! Did you notice the price? $380k. For that you would get a modest one story three bedroom in the outer suburbs of Townsville. At it's NZ dollars! They're like pesos I think. Dundedin - it's 90 minutes from some of the worlds best skiing. And there are penguins

and lovely buildings like this one.

It's the home of the Regent Theatre 24 Hour Book Sale. On the downside it's cold, it rains a lot and the people talk funny (but they are nice). Who's with me? We'll have plenty of room there I think. I have cousins that can show us where all the good cafe's are.

I almost forget it's about five blocks from the octagon (that's the center of town in Dunedin), probably has ocean views, and is across the road from a park with a statue of some kind.

View Larger Map

* not her real name

python bitching

>>> x = [                           
... "foo",                          
... "bar" # oops missing comma      
... "etc"                           
... ]                               
>>> x                               
['foo', 'baretc']
eh? wt..?

python, you owe me an hour of my life, which is about how long it took me to find this 'bug', if you could call it that. I'd call it a syntax error. one hour!! a syntax error!!! GAHHHH.. :P

watch and learn:
irb(main):001:0> x = [                                              
irb(main):002:1* "foo",                                             
irb(main):003:1* "bar"                                              
irb(main):004:1> "etc"                                              
irb(main):005:1> ]                                                  
SyntaxError: compile error                                          
(irb):4: syntax error, unexpected tSTRING_BEG, expecting ']'        
(irb):5: syntax error, unexpected ']', expecting $end               
        from (irb):5                                                
ah, sanity returns

Monday, May 12, 2008 email message from

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

what happens when they mention your web site url on the triple j morning show

even though they said it wrong twice...

So Robbie, Marieke and the Doctor are pretty funny at times. Marieke is cool (and sexy btw). She has a blog (which I may have previously mentioned). (Rosie Beaton however make me want to stab out my ear drums. Can someone get her off the radio? Sorry Rosie, I'm sure you're a nice person but perhaps you could try a different job for a while).

it looks exactly like this

i now own a banjo!

it needs some more strings. but i love it! it looks a bit like that

groovin the moo wrapup

from the townsville bulletin

me on

mini reviews:
  • that one guy. i heard of him before. he was alright. only caught the last part of his set. he was interesting if a little gimicky
  • the custom kings. never heard of. nice harmonies. they started out a little bit alt-country, a little bit gomez, which I liked, but i lost interest a little with the saxophone
  • karnivool. I never heard of them. karnivool rocked so hard. they were a little bit tool, a little bit 30 seconds to mars. not really my style of music normally. everything was perfect. amazing songs/vocals/guitars/charisma. one of the highlights of the day. here's some myspace and website
  • gyroscope. they have a big hit at the moment, which I think they closed with. i lost interest in them because they were so blown away by karnivool. karnivool and gyroscope are both from perth
  • the herd. they are australian hip-hop royalty. i've not seen them before and wasn't disappointed. nice grooves and live bass and guitars. they really don't like john howard. this was one of their highlights.  wakeup was great. the one about scallops, well it's not my favourite but it was good too. some new ones were good.
  • spiderbait. australian rock royalty. they did a pretty good set. personally i found it a little tired and old. closed with a long version of black betty. were blown away by sneakies who played next.
  • sneaky sound system. these guys are pretty huge in aus at the moment. well it was fully dark by now. they setup some fluro stage decos and hung up their banner. smoke, face melting 80s synth. the beardy guy coming out looking like star trek. the first time the bass kicked in in the opening song. the jazz break. oh, sweet heavens, yes. the crowd and myself were in their futuristic palms.
  • the presets. also pretty big at the moment. they've been described as the pet shop boys drinking lighter fluid which I think is good. the have a real drum set which is weird but cool. they were impressing me with their sounds.  they're a lot less poppy than the sneakies. i was tired and thirsty and stuck up the back so I left before they finished, which I now regret.
  • facilities. needed more bar staff. it was about a six hour queue to get a beer I think.
  • sound system. the sound system was fantastic. it was possibly the best quality sound i've ever heard at a big rock festival.

some sneakies videos

and here's a little presets video:

it's a new look blog

so there.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

and the most watched video on godtube is...

This one. I got half way through. I challenge you to get further. Like commenter rone08, I too, was brought to tears. (check the comments).

update... okay I watched the rest. you should too. it gets totally awesome when the hippie guy gets pumped by the music wailin in the background and starts flippin out ninja style on the uni students and they're like fightin him on the arms and the hippie guy is like, yeah? well, BAM!! and elbows them all at once in the nose and totally knocks them unconscious. and you can tell that later on he totally scores with that chick.

apologies to REAL ultimate power!!!! (and anyone else i've just offended ... :)

sigur rós splendour sideshows

Tickets go on sale Friday 23 May

Friday 1 August – Festival Hall, Melbourne
Saturday 2 August – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Crummy venues. But whatever.

via faster louder (and


i bought a radio yesterday. i've not had one for a while. it's a clock radio with ipod dock. it was an impulse buy at my supermarket. $39. it's pretty decent. cube shaped. wake to ipod. usb connection. whatever. this morning i was listening to it for the first time. i'm half asleep. i hear my friend les on the radio. apparently he's going to tattoo the doctor on friday morning, live on air. i guess he's australia's number one celebrity tattooist now. anyway, he is also an accomplished and prize winning artist. take a look at his web site at

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


i finished the world according to garp last night. it became unputdownable after the 'incident' (it's about two thirds through). the ending is wrenching, if not perfect. i've been thinking about it all day. it's good. and I don't know really but I think it must have been significant to feminists in the late 70s when it was published. I don't think I want to see the movie though. robin williams as garp. john lithgow as roberta, well okay. glen close? she could be good. I'm trying to read Irving in chronological order, but I screwed up slightly by reading Saving Piggy Snead (which includes The Pension Grillparzer) before Garp. But never mind that. Next: Hotel New Hampshire. (I vaguely recall enjoying that movie. Young Jodie Foster and young Rob Lowe. Hopefully it won't spoil the book). And next after that: Cider House Rules. (I'm certain I don't want to see that movie. The Spiderman guy...). John Irving (wikipedia link). (just one link, okay..? ;) Check out the recurring themes matrix...!

let the music play (CLAP CLAP)

I looked at your blog today. not that impressed with it. too many links to things.

well you're on dial up. that's why you don't like to click on stuff. it's too slow. you should get broadband.

and lame for posting the feist and colbert thing.

it was cool, they were flirting with each other. if you had broadband you'd have seen it. you might have liked it.

I saw it on TV. I TOLD you about it. duh.

oh, yeah. well other people might not have seen it. other people read my blog. like scott. he reads it.

whatever. who cares. I'm tired of links to things.

you want more original content. less recycled junk from the internet.


it's a fair point.

she doesn't like winter

(zooey, trying to suck warmth from the top of the hot water tank. it's
not even very cold yet)