A few early design and layout tweaks as I get ready to head into the weekend. The goal: deploy the new site template, and convert some or all of the old content over to the new functions. I also need to archive the old design (see the poll). If I get real ambitious, I might try to hack together some Emacs macros and/or functions to make my life a little bit easier. First, however, I need to clean out my bookmarks file. Ready? Here goes…

First, a bit of site meta stuff: I got the GeneHack RSS file (provided by Ian Davis of Internet Alchemy and The Web Starts Here) added to the my.netscape channel selection, so those of you who prefer that syndication method can click that button off to the left. I’ve revised my template a little bit, so I can add a few snips of content over there, under the day’s title. It’s enough of a PITA (on purpose) that it won’t get changed all that often. That button, however, looks not-too-good there, so it’s gonna move soon. Bottom line: if you think you might be interested in clicking, click now.

I’m pretty sure that this was linked from some 'blog, but I don’t remember which one (sorry!): Find Your Voice: Writing for a Webzine. Lots of interesting advice, most of it applicable to 'blogging culture. I’d quote some of the better parts, but the page specifically requests that that not be done. You’ll just have to go read it yourself. This is a deep one; allow some time, or plan to read it more than once.

In contrast, Hotwired has an article about Web writing that doesn’t have a whole lot new to say. Know your audience, know your medium. I also don’t buy the contention that it’s the surfing masses inattention that’s resulting in the bad writing. Maybe the masses are inattentive because the content sucks, eh?

CNET had a little article on associate Programs; deals between independent site and large commerce sites, such as Amazon which pay some amount back to the indie site if a clickthru results in a purchase. I’ve thought about signing up for some of these and then saving any resulting money as a way towards buying a domain name and hosting service. However, I’ve basically concluded that there’s no way my traffic is high enough to even bother with this. Anybody with comments on signing up for these, pro or con, please let me know

Who needs gene therapy? Researchers have found that carefully measured doses of a particular antibiotic can allow certain defective genes (those with nonsense codons (aka premature stop codons )) to be normally expressed. This is interesting; it’s quite closely related to the research interests of the lab I work in.

More science: Could ice-covered Antarctic Lake Vostok harbor novel forms of life? In order to answer the question, scientists have to figure out how to drill into the lake without contaminating the waters - which sounds like quite the problem.

Science and sociology of science: One of the more interesting aspects of scientific culture is the way supposedly objective, rational people react when their (unconscious and unacknowledged) prejudices are challenged. For example, claims of widespread homosexual behavior in virtually every studied mammalian and avian species push some scientist’s buttons:

Such ideas can provoke outrage, however. “Some primatologists want to deny that homosexual behavior has anything to do with pleasure. There is a streak of puritanism running thorough American primatology that says a behavior can’t exist just for sexual pleasure,” [Linda Wolfe] says. “At a conference in Madison some three years ago, I raised this idea and got drummed out of the room.” Her scandalized colleagues rubbished the idea with remarks such as: “Well, if that was the case we’d all be in the aisle now having sex,” she recalls.

Looking for some wrist-shredding ASCII-based Angband gaming fun? Thangorodrim: The Angband Page has an insane number of variants available for download, source and binaries for various platforms, as well as some seriously geeky Angband humor.

Don’t care about Angband? Mac person? Have a look at the changes in the forthcoming MacOS 9.

Have a boring job? Want one?

More blogs, coming soon to a Daily Dose page near you: julienne.com and present attention. Also headed towards the Dose: more weather info, stating the obvious, and perhaps gazebo.

A thought that just popped into my head as I was linking to the above sites: It would be nice if GeneHack had a section with a queue of pages-to-be-read-later; I have a decent sized bookmark folder of these on my home machine, which would be perfect for reading during slow moments at work. Hmmmm…more work for the weekend.