The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Unlikely yes, but no fake …

Tuesday 6 February 2007 at 8:39 pm

Lightning, comet, and fireworks! Creative Commons licence doesn't apply to this image.

Proof that quite a few of the Digg crowd are in need of a brain transplant: this awesome panorama of the Australia Day fireworks at Hillarys, the lightning, and Comet McNaught was yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. It got on to Digg earlier today, hitting the front page pretty quickly … and something like half of all the comments are people going on about how it’s ‘obviously fake’.

Also in the “foreigners talking about Perth” category: there is to be a major upgrade of the concert hall in Denver, Colorado, and its administrators have said they’ll start by studying various concert halls around the world that they like. Apparently our pillars-and-concrete icon of 1960s design (very Reid Library-esque, really) is one of them, right up alongside Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles …!


The little nerdy hack that could

Saturday 16 December 2006 at 8:17 pm

So, um, the traffic to my hastily-assembled little rip-off from an xkcd comic has, er, grown quite rapidly of late.

Visit counts for's first five days

From Thursday afternoon (Perth time), I was already getting a couple of thousand visits courtesy of whoever it was that submitted to StumbleUpon (the plugin for which I always disable, because it’s so freakin’ addictive!) … on StumbleUpon Buzz

… on top of the half-dozen who visited from here and the 100 or so who came via the xkcd forums. Special credit must go to Doc Ruby on Slashdot, who was kind enough to post a link on a discussion thread that was only slightly related to the site, after I’d answered a comment that basically called for someone to create this site. That prompted a link on — giving me several hundred extra visitors and prompting enough curiousity to earn me a posting on Digg, which initially drew little interest but then suddenly shot on to the front page around midday yesterday. on Digg front page

The bandwidth-usage graph from my Web host says it all:

Bandwidth graph for during the Digging

This resulted in my little (and not that well-written!) PHP script getting twenty thousand visitors in the space of a few hours, and also led to it being linked to from all over the Internet.

In a testament to dual-core Opteron pow-ah, the server that runs (appropriated from Feedeye, with which I’m still fiddling heavily) has barely skipped a beat. In the peak of the Digging, the load average on that box barely hit 0.6 (except when it was also doing its regular RSS cooking tasks, when it jumped to 3 or 4).

My biggest regret is that, somewhat embarrassingly, there was a bug in the site’s CSS for most of yesterday that caused the mapping results page to look weird in Internet Explorer 7 (though strangely, I saw no mention of this from anyone). The blame here lies with IE7’s Supposedly Fixed Box Model on the one hand, and with me accidentally deleting the workaround I’d created on the other!

But aside from all this, the greatest delight of yesterday was an e-mail I received in the morning from Mr. Almighty Stick-Figure Drawer himself!

E-mail: I'm awfully happy to see what you've done to see what you've done with my internet map!

Incidentally, aside from Randall I’ve received an entire 5 e-mails about — everyone is just leaving their opinions as comments on the forums & blogs where they’re seeing the links. This is perfectly understandable, but makes it awfully hard for me to figure out what people think! ;-)