People I supposedly look like

Jamie Oliver. Resemblance: 0%.
Jamie Oliver. Resemblance: 0%.
Brian Thompson. Resemblance: 25%.
Brian Thompson. Resemblance: 25%.
Hugo Weaving. Resemblance: 90%.
Hugo Weaving. Resemblance: 90%.

I have, over the years, been accused of looking like various people. I'm not sure if I do, but hey. Here are some of the more accurate ones:

Jamie Oliver I was once told I look "a bit" like Jamie Oliver. By "a bit", I assume the person meant "not in any conceivable way", as I do not, in fact, resemble Jamie Oliver in the slightest. I also cannot cook.

Nick Cave I'm not entirely sure that I can agree with my alleged resemblance to The Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave. I can't entirely disagree, though. When I was younger, I had a similar hairline. (Now, I cling to the belief I have a hairline at all.)

Brian Thompson Mr. Thompson is probably best known for the role of the alien bounty hunter in The X-Files, but he's had a few other recognisable parts, including roles in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, and the Mortal Kombat movies. I look a bit like him, but only when he was younger. He's…changed.

Nicholas Hope British character actor well known for his appearance as Bubby in Bad Boy Bubby. Yeah, I look a bit like him. But I look like Nicholas Hope, not Bubby. It's splitting hairs. I know. You would, too.

Hugo Weaving You probably know Hugo from The Matrix, the Lord of the Rings series and Captain America. I know him as "that guy I kinda look like". This is not news to me. I've been told this for decades, now. (Boy, how I love being able to measure time in decades. Screw you, getting old.)

Trevor Phillips I also bear a passing resemblance, apparently, to a fictional nutjob in a violent video game. At least it's a popular violent video game.

And it's not Pokemon.

Could be worse.

Nick Cave. Resemblance: 10%.
Nick Cave. Resemblance: 10%.
Nicholas Hope. Resemblance: 50%.
Nicholas Hope. Resemblance: 50%.
100% match.

100% match.

The Jelly Bean Generator returns

Once upon a time, was home to a craptacular generator of random jelly beans. It was crudely based on the idea from the Harry Potter books and films, wherein the heroes experience a brand of magical jelly bean that features every flavour known to man. If you click the link below, you'll generate a random bean. Hit the button at the bottom to pick another one. Go on, you know you want to.

The Jelly Bean Generator


If you have a suggestion for another flavour to add to the bean repertoire, post it in the comments!

Strange places to find colonpipes

The colonpipe emoticon is quite rare among smiley faces, largely because very few people know how to properly use it. Most instant messaging, forum and blog software include graphical representations of the little face. Hit the jump for a small collection of them, and then some colonpipes in their native habitat!

Software isn't the only place we find colonpipes, though. Hit the jump for more exciting things --

Here are some "natural" colonpipes -- "natural" being defined as "not inspired, influenced or invoked by or any of its users":

A trampoline. I don't think it's actually meant to be a colonpipe, but it's been stretched out of proportion so as to unfortunately resemble one.

This is one of my favourites. It's a little colonpipe-shaped man on the blackboard in the background of the Police music video for Don't Stand So Close To Me.

The next couple are less natural, more influenced by

A colonpipe in the sand, on the beach in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. There's absolutely no reason why a beach should not have an emoticon on it.

Saving the best for last, here's the awesome collage from Erica of various Utah denizens (some of which look suspiciously like Erica and Jim, but I'm no detective) holding colonpipe placards over their faces. There'll be another update relating to these in the near future, as I've recently laid my hands on higher-resolution copies of the images that make up this little group.

Stay tuned.

Educational arcs

I have a new annoyance. It's another one of those pieces of English that no one seems to know how to use. It's deeply misunderstood. It's the term "learning curve". I'm continually, it seems, encountering people who believe that because something involves learning, that the entire project can be described as a "learning curve". "It's a learning curve." "This is difficult. It's a learning curve."

This is not correct.

It may have a learning curve. In fact, I guarantee it has one.

A learning curve is not the mere existance of learning. A learning curve is a way of describing the increasing (or decreasing) difficulty in the learning process for a given activity. A steep learning curve exists when a task is difficult to master, a more gentle curve when the job is easier.

You can read about learning curves in far more detail than I care to go into over at Wikipedia, the bastion of opinion-disguised-as-fact and the bane of high school paper graders world-wide.

If you have a new skill to learn, remember that it has a learning curve, and if you want to complain about it, it's probably a steep one.

Paddling about

I've recently obtained an iPad, which leaves me with the quandary of exactly what the hell to use it for. This is illustrated in my first evening of having the new toy, wherein I spent a great deal of time sitting on the couch with it, using it to search the internet for "uses for an iPad". There's something so alarmingly meta in that, it hurts my head just thinking about it.

Once upon a plop

Having learned that Wordpress allows you to back-date posts, I've once again installed the great hulking behemoth of a front-end. As a result, you can now read up on a bunch of my old posts, dating back to 2002. Be warned, most of the early ones are filled with incredibly angsty rantings. I was an angry young man. I'll be adding some new old items as I come across them.

I'm not going to promise this will be updated regularly (or, indeed, at all), but at least it's organised and all in one place. Thanks for your time.