also, news

If you hadn't heard, Annie and I are engaged.

I could write a big long post about how happy I am, but I will spare you. Annie's is better anyway, so just read that.  :-)

wesley christopher feldman

Welcome to the party.
Congratulations Elizabeth and Peter!  Jacob, high five for being a big brother.

establishing your child's online identity

Question:* when you have a kid, do you register their name as a domain name, a gmail address, or anything? To be held in trust until age whatever when you turn over the password? At what point, from 1990 to 2050, did/will this become standard practice?

Is using an email address or domain name that your parents registered for you uncool? Are there social conventions for choosing online handles yet, what are they, or what will they be?

*Not to go all cyber-punk on you, but

2D liquid simulation aspirations

Check out this (java) water implementation:


video of similar c++ implementation:

Makes me want to work on Mage Drops again.

wrapped in bacon ftw

Gouda Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Bacon.

Not as hard as I thought it would be, actually.

In other news, I have a slight hangover.  :-)

wooden drawers

Nice design reference for making your own wooden furniture/drawers.

I'd think about using nylon or delrin strips, too.

Basically, I dislike the metal tracks with wheels that you see almost exclusively these days, because they add a lot to the cost and complexity of the project, because they take up extra space, and because they seem fragile.

trigonometry has a badly designed interface

Imagine for a second that our trigonometric nomenclature doesn't exist as such, and you work for me, and you are writing an API for trigonometric functions.

You come to me and say:
I say: 
Those words are meaningless.  You're fired.
Math language in general is really terrible about this; it forces the student to learn meaningless foreign names for concepts that, to mathemeticians, have become intuitive.

Which raises the question, what would you call those functions?
sine could be:

...I got nothing.

how we specify information

Online shopping currently sucks.*

Have you had this experience?  You're shopping for something outside your area of expertise, and you hit a wall of mediocre websites.  Each has too many products, each product described by 1 line of text and a janky 50x50 jpeg.  None is quite what you're looking for, though you're sure the product exists.  Eventually you find a site that has what you're looking for, but it's in German.  But then you start for searching for that specific nomenclature, and you can eventually find a site in your language that talks about what you want, but doesn't sell it.  They link to 3 online stores, 2 of which are broken links, and one of which is one of the janky sites you found in your first search.

It's like, the story of my life.

Now, go to and try to find some piece of hardware, like say, a 3/8 hex nut.  The site isn't perfect, but I'm betting it gets you there, and teaches you something about hex nuts along the way.  The part I love is that if you search for a broad category, it lets you narrow down your search in a way that makes sense to you.  You build your own decision tree, instead of being channeled down theirs.  It is a very flexible process.

So, online shopping: who will fix it?  Who will make the process work when I don't already know what I want, or how to describe it, or how to search for it?  Who will let me buy something by teaching me what I want to buy?

* is OK, but not great.  It's mostly usable, which is enough to make it the world leader.  But it only covers a relatively small area of content.