moana lisa

November 15, 2006
I need to rant for a moment, about something very geeky and ultimately not of great consequence. (I understand this is tremendously unusual for this site or the web in general.)

So last night Ksenia wanted help looking for some symbol/logo type stuff for an art project... specifically for a symbol for "art" in general. Poking around the "webdings" font, I found this neat thing, character code 173, which "normal" fonts display as a little dash character:
Perfect! But I also wanted to let her see all the funny little icons that came in Webdings and of course good old Wingdings (and Wingdings 2). So I made a little program to print every character in those odd fonts in a single HTML page. And it was cool. But then I noticed... the Iconic Mona Lisa wasn't there. Investigating further with Window's character map tool and my program, I could see that the character before Mona Lisa was there, and the one after was there, and there was another icon that used the same basic image but put it in a "document copy" frame, but not that one. Not in Firefox, not in IE.

After beating my head against the wall, and even doing some research online, I found out that Character Code 173 is a "soft hyphen" and is involved in a giant, retarded, overly-anal-standards moronic mess that means browsers elect not to show it, because maybe it's supposed to not be a character, but some kind of weird-ass hint about where to break a word (but, maybe not, so the browsers really should be showing it, even if the whole idea of providing a hint about where to break a word wasn't totally antithetical to HTML in general.) So, I had a 1-in-256 chance (more or less) of running into this issue on the character I wanted, and the universe being what it is, of course that is what happened.

UPDATE: somehow inspired by Lex's comments, I made up a 8.5 x 11 version of the graphic, suitable for printing and maybe even framing. I love how it's an 8 megapixel image that's only 58K.

Funny of the Moment
Straight from the "Why Didn't I Think of That???" Department: Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Captured Koala. Brilliant! I remember these books and the story captures the detail perfectly. (via felisdemens)