Stuff from August, 2017

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on August, 2017.

Look Your Last

Ira Glass’s Favorite Part of David Rakoff’s Last Writings - The Atlantic:

It was sadness that gripped him, far more than the fear
That, if facing the truth, he had maybe a year.
When poetic phrases like “eyes, look your last”
Become true, all you want is to stay, to hold fast.
A new, fierce attachment to all of this world
Now pierced him, it stabbed like a deity-hurled
Lightning bolt lancing him, sent from above,
Left him giddy and tearful. It felt like young love.
He’d thought of himself as uniquely proficient
At seeing, but now that sense felt insufficient.
He wanted to grab, to possess, to devour
To eat with his eyes, how he needed that power.


Twenty Years of Character Encoding Mismatches

So, I anticipated this problem when we gave Ess her full name: Esmé… but I didn’t quite realize the extent of the problems she’ll have with computers accurately displaying her name:

… my girlfriend’s surname contains an ‘é’. I have yet to see a year go by without receiving mail having ‘é’ on the address label where the é should be.

We’re Dutch, and the é is part of our language, and even part of the legacy character encoding standard everyone used before Unicode’s widespread adoption. This is just a matter of code that works perfect as long as all characters are part of the ASCII set, but fails on the characters that don’t conveniently match between UTF-8 (é) and ISO-8859-15 (é).

I doubt these issues will go away within even, say, twenty years.