The ponytail equation

I was doing some hairstyle research[1][4] and I discovered the ponytail equation. I couldn’t actually believe this was real. I thought it must be an April Fools that got into a Wikipedia article. Then I realised that I’d seen some of it before.

It’s the phrase “Rapunzel number” that causes familiarity. I’ve heard it used before, and that triggered a vague memory of previously discovering hair equations – possibly even this one. It still seems a little ridiculous, but there are people who have calculated stranger things (I mean, have you seen some of the stuff Randall Munroe gets asked to figured out?[2]). Actually, it’s entirely possible that it was something Randall Munroe wrote that caused the Rapunzel number to come to my attention, or it might just be the massive news coverage it seemed to generate in 2012, or it could be one of the times I’ve found interest in a video talking about how they do CGI hair (the Monsters Inc CG team put a lot of work into making Sully look like he had real fur – it was a massive leap in the technology at the time[3]).

Anyway, I just thought that the idea of a ponytail equation was a bit ridiculous and thought I would share it, even though I can massively appreciate the advantages such an equation can bring to the CG world.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I wanted to make sure the hairstyle I was mocking was indeed a reverse mullet. References disagree on how a reverse mullet should look, so I’m not actually sure. It was basically something like an undercut ponytail – long hair along the top gathered at the back into a ponytail with a short back and sides underneath. I do not understand why anyone would want this style unless it’s something like how you keep a devilock out of the way when you don’t want a devilock, but he didn’t look like the type to have a devilock so…
2. what if? by xkcd
3. VentureBeat article on Sully’s hair in Monsters University
4. I did a lot of hair research… considering I didn’t really intend to do any.

[Requiem] Comfortable lies

I was given the phrase “comfortable lies” to base a bit of fiction off of. What follows appears to be an excerpt from my Requiem character‘s mind, specifically regarding the creation of useful tools and servants. It doesn’t really go anywhere, but does bring up some of his notions about how the kine and ghouls should be treated.

Normally I would share this sort of thing across my social networks, but it’s almost a little too strange for me to want to do that, so I’ll just leave it here and point people at it later.

The human mind is a wonderful thing. Given enough of a push, it can come to believe anything – it can even lie to itself and twist truth and fallacy so completely they become indiscernible.

Push someone to their breaking point enough and they come to accept it as part of their life, they may even come to welcome it. They forget that things weren’t always like this and convince themselves that this is better; they come to welcome a brief respite as if it were a month-long vacation. They tell themselves that the lie is true, that they’re better off, that the respite is better than a holiday.

Push someone to their breaking point enough and they convince themselves that they’re unbroken while they remould themselves in the forge you present to them. There’s no challenge in breaking someone and reforging them; it’s a long process and you often have to start from nothing. Convincing someone that they remain unbroken, that they have chosen this path instead of being forced into it – that is a much more entertaining prospect.

Those who survive the process are fit to serve – convinced by themselves that this is where they should be without the weaknesses of a broken mind. Perhaps they long for the day that they can strike back, but can’t imagine what they would do without you – it doesn’t matter as long as they serve; and the ones who think they deserve to end your existence will fight harder to stop someone else doing so.

Of course, the process also eradicates their candidacy for elevation, at least in the superior clan. The lesser clans may find their twisted nature compatible, but they lack the elegance required for our family.

field of fucks

Hath no fucks to give

a barren field of fucks
Medieval tapestry contains great wisdom

I rather wish I could set this image up as auto-reply on every email I get at work some days. It wouldn’t really be appropriate to respond to clients with it, but sometimes they really seem to deserve it.

After all, I don’t care if you only just noticed after (approximately) three years that you couldn’t see a link on your website any more. If it was that important to you, maybe you should have mentioned that sometime in the last three years.[1]

And when the reason that the application I made for you is breaking is that you are doing the one thing you explicitly told me you weren’t doing when I asked about it, I really feel no obligation to fix it for you. No really, fuck off.

I am so glad I never ever have to meet these people. If I was dealing with them in person, heads might roll. Unfortunately, this is a relatively common occurrence as “keeping up with the times” is a phrase that doesn’t really apply to many of our clients.


Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The link, incidentally was still there, but you had to click through to another page to find it.

Font Porn

Well that’s one way to start a post – give it a raunchy sounding title.

With over 800 font files installed on my computer, finding the right font for the job can be an interesting task. I recently decided that I wanted an image header on the blog, and so I set about making one.

The first thing to do was to pick a font. I wanted something light (but not too light), a bit light-hearted, and probably handwriting-based. So I put together a block of font samples and sent it to a friend for their opinion on which one to use.

font samples
Incidentally, the title for this post comes from their reaction to being sent a bunch of font samples

The fonts featured there are (left-to-right, top-to-bottom): Throw My Hands Up In The Air, Treefrog, Helvetica Neue, Daniel, Waiting for the Sunrise, Angelina, Rock Salt, Zag Light, and Designer Notes.

Having narrowed down some ideas, I then went looking for a graphic. Ideas were lacking, but I found something I could use – cup rings. Having found myself a thematic image, the idea of it being written on a napkin just seemed to flow, and it had to be a handwriting font. I started putting together sample images but none of them quite worked right. Obviously, it was time to get more fonts.

Sample header
Daniel was my friend’s initial favourite font. I was less convinced.

I downloaded five new handwriting fonts and tried out some other fonts that didn’t make the first cut. Eventually I had it down to two fonts: Estrya’s Handwriting (Jellyka), and dearJoe 5 Casual. I augmented the initial header design (above) with a caption circling the cup ring (“words by Yoda”) and that’s what sold it for me.

Because hot damn, that's some Y
Because hot damn, that’s some Y

Of course, once the header was done I needed a new theme to make it work. I’ve gone back to the 2013 WordPress theme for now, but I’m still looking for an alternative – I just can’t fault the coffee house vibe of the 2013 theme.


So I have all of these statistics available to me now about this site and one thing stands out: I get more visits when I publicise the posts on social media. Not just from a “well of course everyone clicks the link to see what I wrote” perspective, but I usually find that there are one or two other posts that people have a look at as well.

I’m also finding that I get a lot of visits directed from SEO websites which I have no connection with, and no real desire to visit. Places like “” and “”. Apparently you can be directed to my website from those links.

What it doesn’t tell me that I would find quite interesting is which of my domains people use to get here. The default location for my domains is this blog unless I’ve assigned it elsewhere, which means that,,,,, and all point to this blog.

I’m not going to publicise this post, so if you’re reading it why not tell me what domain you use to get here, and how you found it if you’re not one of those people who have known about this domain since I registered it.


Today I have had a poem running around my head. A new one, not an old one.

I used to do a lot of poetry in school – I won competitions, and I think I was even published at one point. Of course, that was in primary school, so I’m not going to say they were brilliant by any standards. Did less in secondary school, and even less since. But occasionally the poet’s grace touches me and I compose something. I don’t usually do anything with it, but sometimes it’s for a purpose, and I put it to use.

The poem that had been forming itself in my head today got written down and emailed to the person it was for, and they appreciated it which was in itself the goal. I’ve previously written poetry to express my depression, or just to get something out of my head in an ordered fashion – using the structure of a poem to unravel my thoughts.

My early poetry, along with my propensity for reading is probably why I had a larger than average vocabulary for a kid in my area (though not higher than average for my year as I’d say most of the kids in my year were also in the smart kid crowd even if they also fit in the popular crowd where I didn’t).

But still, prose has its purpose, and I do like to write poetry occasionally – putting effort into a single piece and rearranging it until it works. Of course, since I do that with just about anything I put in the public eye, I’m not sure how much extra effort I can claim to put into the more poetic pieces.

Bad experiences

So I’m kind of reblogging a reblog while I wait for my hair dye to activate. I originally wrote this in 2010, reblogged it in 2013.

Since then, I’ve had a varied “love life” with a few people passing through my life in various ways. Some I’ve screwed up, some just haven’t worked out (I’m pretty sold on the idea that I’m straight, but playing with gay guys can be fun too).

The reason I’m thinking about this right now is that I was talking to someone and realised that they didn’t know these stories – didn’t know the things I’d been through – and I couldn’t quite decide if I should tell them or not. But I made these things public for a reason – hiding it isn’t going to change things – and I know that they will read this, and can choose whether or not to follow the links above for themselves.

I was in a different place when I wrote both the original post and the comments on the reblog, but this still affects me. Today was the first time I’d thought about it in a long time, and I can now say that I’ve conquered a lot of the issues that came of it – but that doesn’t mean that they’ve gone away, or that they don’t linger – the moments that define who you are don’t just go away, they make you who you are; losing them would be losing part of who you are and I’m pretty happy with where I am at the moment.


[Lost] Character drabble

“Alright then, alright then. What can I get for ya? Everything you could want, I got – or I can get it. Well… everything available with a modicum amount of effort – I don’t got no one-of-a-kind Holy Grails or nuttin’ and I don’t do quest work in the main – that’s not my bag.

Ain’t no Imitation Brand items here: either it’s the real deal, a Gen-U-Ine product, or it’s not on my stall. I only make honest trades, and I don’t sell shoddy goods. Sure, it might have fallen off a truck or four, but that don’t make it shoddy. I take barter and favours mostly – cash if you’re hard up but there’s a premium on that.”

A bit of a drabble about my Lost concept for the new Isles of Darkness chronicle. I’m currently thinking of calling him Honest Denzo (or Uncle Denzo) but I don’t really know where that name is coming from.

Spent the trip to collect my phone last night building up the character and exploring the concept and what he does, who he is, and what sort of person he is. All in all, he’s not a nice person, but he’s not a bad person – he’s in it for his own gain and he doesn’t really mind if that hurts other people, or if their desires backfire.

Thinking Spring Court with some Autumn Contracts. All about the desire, with the ability to tell what magic items do/are.

Seeming/Kith is where I’m a little more stuck. I’m thinking of using inspiration from the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth – pale skin and blind in face with eyes in his hands which I intend to phys-rep with a mask and make-up[1]. To go with the mask, I’m thinking a creepy pale blond wig á la Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Taking this all into account, I’m either thinking Darkling or Ogre. Darkling has the pale creepy vibe down pat (especially Tunnelgrub and Palewraith), but Ogre has Cyclopean and I quite like that as a means of subverting the blindness. Wizened would also work, but I’m less convinced about wanting to play one.

The character is a bit of a mish-mash of Riff Raff from Rocky Horror, Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses, Badger from Firefly, CMOT Dibbler from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and other similar characters. Bit of an attitude, thinks he’s better than he is, proclaims himself an honest gentleman while trying to swindle every customer for all they’re worth.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I’m actually not sold on the eyes on hands thing, but some kind of pseudo-blindness appeals to me

Counting the minutes

Left my phone on the bus this morning, and now I’m counting the minutes until I can get out of here and get it back. I can’t do chat programs or Google+ in the office, and not knowing if people are trying to get in touch with me that might need me for some reason is getting to me a bit.

I could probably use the occasional internet deprivation stint, really. The honest truth is I feel like something’s missing – and I only felt this way since I noticed I didn’t have my phone around midday. Even subconsciously knowing it’s there is an ease on my mind even if I don’t know exactly where it is. There was palpable relief when I finally tracked it down to the Longstone depot and got in contact with Lost Property.

Why are we so addicted to our tech? I was getting positively twitchy as I tried to track my phone down – and not just because it isn’t insured. It’s an interesting question, and I don’t really have an answer – I’m just waiting for the moment I can go and get my precious back…