Cambrian Development
Biz: , ,

Since I posted about Cambrian House last night, they’ve responded to me. I sent a heads-up mail to them (because I saw their blog didn’t pick up the trackback I sent) and got a brief thank-you note back from the CEO/founder saying they’d fix their permissions problem.

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Pre-Cambrian House
Biz: , , , , ,

I was poking around reddit and followed a link to, an all-Flash (ugh!) puzzle game. There’s a few of these “guess how to get to next level” games online and they all just annoy me. Yes, you’re so clever. No, I find patronization alluring. Yes, I’ll spend my time on this for no discernable reward.

The puzzle is run by Cambrian House, a mysteeeeerious stealth startup that has only a teaser page online. If there’s one thing that annoys me more than Flash puzzle-level games, it’s stealth startups.

So I went poking around some more and found a development copy of their website. And much to my surprise, it’s actually a darn cool business idea. So cool that after I wrote a whole “Mwaha, I’m raising the curtain early!” post I thought better of it and am only going to post this for now. It was clever and fun, there’s going to be a ridiculous amount of buzz around this company when it launches. And I got to register as user #9, which was damn funny when I noticed their “About Us” page lists 17 employees.

Confidential to CH in Calgary: it’s really tacky to litter your URLs with “.php” and get variables. Put the following in your .htaccess file and have index.php take apart the URL with the PHP code below and route to your different pages. URLs like “/community/member/Harkins” look much nicer than “/community/member-profile.php?users_id=9”. (Or ask me about mod_rewrite.)

<Location /secret_development_environment>
    Order Deny,Allow
    Deny from all
    Allow from

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond    %{REQUEST_FILENAME}  -d [OR]
RewriteCond    %{REQUEST_FILENAME}  -f
RewriteRule     ^(.*)$  - [L]

RewriteRule ^(index.*) - [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^([^.]*)$ /index.php [QSA,L]

function url_parse() {

// we don't want to pass get vars or anchor tags on to the script
if (strpos($url, '?'))
$url = substr($url, 0, strpos($url, '?'));
if (strpos($url, '#'))
$url = substr($url, 0, strpos($url, '#'));

//remove leading slash and possible trailing slash, store in $url
if (substr($url, 0, 1) == '/')
$url = substr($url, 1);
if (substr($url, -1) == '/')
$url = substr($url, 0, -1);
if ($url == '/')
$url = '';
$url = explode('/', $url);


Cambrian House house responded to me.

It’s, Like, Symbolic
Life: ,

In a nice coincidence (though I’ve been reading Robert Anton Wilson lately and am tempted to yell synchronicity), my music player gave me Flower by Liz Phair (the better version, from Girlysounds) and followed it up with Marigold by Nirvana. They’re both slow, quiet songs (and Flower has the added bonus of being delicously obscene).

It got me wondering — how many flower-related songs do I have that are slow and quiet? The answer, surprisingly, is all but one of them. If this were the 80s I’d have to make a mix tape of them, but apparently blog posts are the modern version of the mix tape.

  • Ben Harper – Roses From My Friends
  • Johnny Cash – The One Rose
  • Cranberries – Daffodil Lament
  • Eels – Daisy of the Galaxy
  • Eels – Daisy Through Concrete (not upbeat, but noticeably livelier than the rest of this list)
  • Garbage – So Like a Rose
  • Meiko Kaji – The Flower of Carnage
  • Nirvana – Marigold
  • Phair – Flower
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Lily (My One And Only)
  • Queen – Lily of the Valley
  • Tom Waits – Flower’s Grave
  • Tom Waits – The Briar and the Rose
  • Tom Waits – The Last Rose of Summer
  • Tom Waits – Trampled Rose

That’s a decently-large run of songs, and Tom Waits is apparently a big fan of the sub-sub-genre. It’s pretty damn funny that so many artists thought “Hm, flowers are beautiful, pretty, and uplifting, so I’ll be outré by writing a morose song about them. My soul is so dark!” I’ll have to give the last words of this post over to the Rolling Stone, who recognized this for what it is:

For another [pitfall], there’s the inevitable song about the serial killer who dresses up as a clown, which symbolizes nothing about American life except the existence of creative-writing workshops.

Playing With Fire

I managed to iron twelve shirts without once burning myself on the iron, go me!

But I set off the smoke detector while frying bacon.

Strings are a Domain-Specific Language
Code: , , , ,
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Question: Isn’t a domain-specific language just the same thing as a library?

Source: Pretty much everyone the first time they hear of DSLs.

Answer: No, a DSL is much more than a library, and I have an example that won’t make you say, “Well, sure, if you’re doing something that esoteric…”

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Django And The Disappearing Template Tags

If you are defining custom template tags, don’t put them in a file named You’ll be able to {% load log %} fine in your template, but you won’t be able to use your tags. No, this isn’t documented anywhere.

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Know a Good Linux Feed Reader?
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Could anyone recommend a good feed reader for Linux? I need to be able to organize my ~160 feeds in folders, read an entire feed or set of feeds without having to click incessantly, and get already-read items out of the way.

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Sociable Makes Blogs Happy
Biz: ,

I just read a neat blog post on one guy’s experience using Sociable. It even has a nice graph. That’s a nice spike in traffic.

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What a Blog Post is Missing
Life: ,
1 comment

This 37signals blog post is missing one thing.

It’s not talent. It’s not ideas. It’s not money. It’s not marketing. It’s not technology.

It’s exposition.

Newsflash: You’re Not Good Enough
Life: , ,
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The excellent humorist Jay Pinkerton just wrote about Men’s Health magazine. It’s a lighthearted but wholly accurate look at a common magazine formula.

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