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Choice Bits

Time Travel, Cow Belching, and Other Timely Topics

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  Plumbing the depths of the twitterstream and keeping our feet dry.  

What’s Hot

Top-Ten lists are passé—ours goes to 11. These are the top titles that folks are interested in currently, along with their rank from last month. This is based solely on direct sales from our online store.

11Agile Web Development with Rails
2^NEWThe Developer's Code
3^5The Cucumber Book
4^9Programming Ruby 1.9
5v2Deploying Rails
6^10The RSpec Book
7^8Seven Databases in Seven Weeks
8^NEWProgramming Your Home
9v6iOS SDK Development
10^11Rails Recipes

Things Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Dear logitech, love my wave wireless keyboard. Don’t need the numeric keypad. How can I safely saw it off? tx, Kent. — @KentBeck

Does anybody know the name of, source of, maker of, the urinal in Greens Restaurant in Ft. Mason, Frisco? This is not a joke. — @MrAlanCooper

Why didn’t they make throat armor in the Game of Thrones days? There’s a blacksmith out there that should be fired. — @SarahKSilverman

Wait—is Moneyball nominated for Best Spreadsheet or for Fewest Women? — @ftrain

Thanks for Sharing That

Girl eats 4,000 washing-up sponges. /me: posted without comment. — @scottdavis99

Dawn is off to teach eager veterinary students about cow belching. [I don't make the news; I just report it.] — @marick

Japanese Fart Scrolls. A whole new sphere of academic study.… — @stephenfry

US crackdown on crystal meth means Sudafed is hard to buy. But meth is easy to buy; here’s how to make Sudafed from it.… — @ciphergoth

Fame & Fortune

I tried to start my own political party once, but we failed to gain support. — @cmdrtaco

I would gladly trade all my fame and fortune for even more fame and fortune. — @ConanOBrien

Yelp IPO: 8 yr-old company, $83M in revs (up 70% y/y), $16M in loss (up 100% y/y), valued at $1.3B. You do the math. — @dhh

I am told I am trending worldwide on twitter—but I feel the same here stuck in traffic. — @johncusack

No Tweet results for yelp fame fortune. — @twitter

Time Travail

OMG this is seriously good—the new Manchester Time Machine app from the @NWfilmarchive. — @MancLibraries

Someone tweeted me today asking if I could check out their demos on MySpace... proof that time travel is possible. — @example

Dear future self: if you’re in a bad mood, just remember what today felt like. — @ginatrapani

I always give my future self way too much credit when it comes to remembering passwords. — @davepeck

Facebook’s future, 2012-2025 [infographic] — @GuyKawasaki

Facebook is our past. Twitter is our present. Unemployment is our future. — @MoistPork

I think @robcorddry will be nominated for hot tub time machine at some point in the future and past. — @johncusack

Gripes, Grovels, Rants, and Regrets

Berners-Lee “sorry” for HTTP’s forward slashes. — @davewiner

Today I earned my black belt in Groveling for Conference Rooms. — @noelrap

When you say “You missed my point,” you’re blaming the wrong person. — @petdance

I’d rather tell my invoice resource it is now paid, rather than that its “paid” attribute became 1. — @peterc

Let’s argue about whether Haskell or Clojure is better while somebody else ships products using PHP and duct tape. — @agentdero

I had resolved to stay out of arguments on the Internet, but that’s shaping up to be too drastic a lifestyle change. — @lizardbill

This Coding Life

A bunch of the cool kids in the Ruby/Rails world use vi. Looks like tmux is your friend. Watch buy… — @pragdave

From page 35 of the English:Ruby phrase book: “I hate you with a seething passion” translates roughly as “rescue nil.” — @cowboyd

Ruby 1.9 has support for GOTO through the SUPPORT_JOKE compiler flag. I am not making this up.… — @ReinH

One assertion per test is an excellent way to exercise the reader’s short term memory and the fine motor skill of scrolling. — @marick

My phone is telling me that the high today is 48, the low is 50, and it’s currently 37. Related: computers control markets and fly planes. — @Chris_Ashworth

Beginning to think that the software that cracks CAPTCHAS is technically passing the Turing test. — @hal_hildebrand

Reclaim the internet and your life by using #IFTTT. — @ParkerXL

The Anti-IF Campaign is recruiting new members. Join us! — @AntiIFSchool

Implementation and Big Thoughts are the chocolate and peanut butter of programming. — @KentBeck

“The real problem is that since you are in Australia, all bits must be turned upside-down during transmission.” — @codinghorror

Some programmers, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use floating point arithmetic.” Now they have 1.999999999997 problems. — @tomscott

When OS X *fully* embraces iOS, that’ll be the Cougar release. — @JohnShade1

Programming as brussel sprouts:… — @gvwilson


Listen first, know your friends, nothing is private, stay on guard, don’t feed trolls, create more than you consume: — @rands

Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Mark Twain — @bakadesuyo

RT @joshlam: Google was late 2 search. Facebook was late 2 social networking. Apple was late 2 MP3 player. Late is nothing. Just do it better. — @MrAlanCooper

Scientific goat breeding program + fence vs horny buck. Bet on the buck. Every time. — @KentBeck

A pizza with radius “z” and thickness “a” has the volume pi*z*z*a. #math #education — @intmath

The Bard retwitten? #SeussSpeare, I’m smitten. — @pragpub

“What you wake up on Saturday thinking about is your passion and what u should do.” -Reid Hoffman — @puneetchawla

Getting an initial contact from another company through their SEO firm is like getting a love letter from your girlfriend’s drug dealer. — @peterc

The phrase “Don’t take this the wrong way” has a zero percent success rate. — @nealbrennan

If every claim of “X produces Y” included a Tukey bar-and-whisker plot, humanity would be better off. — @marick

If dolphins were as smart as people say, they’d stop hanging around with tuna fish. — @MrAlanCooper

Who Are Those Guys?

They’re not all guys. Also, we have to confess that we cleaned up their punctuation and stuff a little. OK, who they are: Anti-IF School, Chris Ashworth, Jeff Atwood, Eric Barker, Kent Beck, Murray Bourne, Neal Brennan, Puneet Chawla, Alan Cooper, Peter Cooper, Paul Crowley, R. Tyler Croy, John Cusack, Scott Davis, example, Paul Ford, Stephen Fry, David Heinemeier Hanssen, Rein Henrichs, Hal Hildebrand, Guy Kawasaki, Andy Lester, Manchester Libraries, Bill the Lizard, Charles Lowell, Rob Malda, Brian Marick, MoistPork, Conan O’Brien, Parker, Dave Peck, rands, Noel Rappin, Tom Scott, John Shade, Sarah Silverman, Michael Swaine, Dave Thomas, Gina Trapani, Twitter, Greg Wilson, and Dave Winer. You can follow us at