Monday, 10 June 2002

Excuses and links

Listening to:

Handel, The Alchymist. My CD liner notes (by Anthony Hicks) say that this was the first orchestral music by Handel to be heard in England. It was originally an overture for his opera Rodrigo, but it gets its name because the suite's various movements

...were used as ‘act tunes’ (i.e., music played between acts) during a revival of Ben Jonson's play The Alchymist at the Queen's Theatre, Haymarket, in January 1710.

Still reading:

Vikram Seth, A suitable boy. I'm up to page 905 of this edition's 1474 pages. It continues to enthrall.

My complete failure to write web-log entries last week stems from the fact that Monday and Tuesday were public holidays, and while at work on the remaining three days of the week, I was very busy with the administrivia required in releasing HOL. Though it has yet to be announced, you can download exciting theorem-proving files now from SourceForge. I offer a similar excuse for my failure to write on the previous Friday.

But in all this time, I have accumulated a few good links that I feel compelled to share.

This, for example, is a pretty cool research project from MIT that aims to find out what's hot on the web by doing frequent scans of sites that identify themselves as web-logs, and seeing what they link to. To wax poetic, it's a window on the communal web-logger's soul. More usefully, you can see what the web's current best jokes are, and what its current neuroses are as well. (Good jokes aren't necessarily guffaw-inducing either. I particularly liked the gentle humour and style of this extract from a new book by Paul Robinson.)

There's also this neat Java demonstration of the scale of the universe through over 30 orders of magnitude. Of these, I'd estimate that the human mind can easily cope with about 10 of them.

Of course, the incomprehensible is easy to find on the Internet itself. In this case, the more you look at, the wackier it seems.