The word in the title may not be a real English word, but I don't care. What I do care about is the unfair treatment of people with phobias. I'm not just saying this because I myself have a phobia that has been exploited, I have met and befriended people with phobias themselves. Note, I'm also not pointing this at any individual, this is a notice for the world.

I have seen two different methods of dealing with someone with a phobia.

  1. Generally ignore it, but warn the person in question if something that violates the phobia is nearby so that they can avoid it.
  2. Try to discourage the phobia by informing that person of the way in which the thing they have a fear of surrounds them and is everywhere in their life.

Number two is a little difficult to explain, so here are some examples.

Example 1 is me. You should know that I'm mycophobic, which is a fear of fungus. People know this. And all I've heard is things such as "Fungus is everywhere", "Hatkirby, you eat bread everyday and yeast is a fungus".

Example 2 is a friend of mine who happens to be a pyromaniac. Because of this, she's highly hydrophobic. But all she's heard is "There's water in the air", "There's water in orange juice", "There's water EVERYWHERE" and "You are 70% water."

In my experience, this does nothing to help the person with a fear. All it does is frighten them and if in the case of telling them that something they like contains something they fear, it just puts them off of that things. (Air in the case of the pyromaniac which isn't such a smart thing, though no water isn't such a smart thing either)

I'm not pointing fingers, no way. I'm just posting a note of advice. Phobias hurt people and people with phobias don't need people attempting to help them by scaring them.

EDIT: Gryphic has posted a reply to this on her blog called Phobica.

EDIT: Gryphic has written another post in relation to this post, but not really on the subject of Phobias. It's called Pyromania =/= Hydrophobia (and other firey stuff).

Hatkirby on May 24th, 2008 at 10:30:04pm
πŸ‘ 4 πŸ‘Ž

Once again, thank you for voting on the poll of the week. This week was OK, but we got the same number of Indifferent as Yes. Anyway, here are the results:

Yes - 3 vote(s)! No - 0 vote(s)! Huh? - 1 vote(s)! Indifferent - 3 vote(s)!

In other news, you many have noticed that we have reverted the Layout 4. Sorry about that. Many people didn't quite like the style and the truth was, it broke in many browsers and many screen resolutions. Apparently, it broke in every browser and screen resolution other than mine. Oops.

EDIT: You also may have noticed that my username's changed. It has. Don't worry. You're not going insane.

Hatkirby on May 23rd, 2008 at 3:10:28pm
πŸ‘ 9 πŸ‘Ž

Recently, I came upon a web servive entitled reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA system. For those who don't know what CAPTCHA is (shame), CAPTCHA is a method of preventing bot spam on your website. A picture is generated with one or two distorted words on it. A user doing whatever it is you want to protect must type in the words (s)he sees to be allowed to submit his/her comment/whatever.

Many CAPTCHAs annoy people. It seems that all they do is obstruct and prolong the time taken to do something. But reCAPTCHA is different.

reCAPTCHA doesn't just help stop comment span on your website. It helps digitize books. reCAPTCHA sees CAPTCHAs as a way of harnessing human power into doing something useful that cannot be done by a bot. This way, you are not only verifying that you are not a bot when you fill out a CAPTCHA, you are also contributing to a cause.

The people at reCAPTCHA have scanned many books and attempted to convert the scanned pictures into words with OCR software. OCR software cannot always get all of the words, so the words that the OCR doesn't understand are send to be used in a reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA then generates a picture with one word that is known and another word that isn't known. The reCAPTCHA assumes that if one of the words are correct, the other one should be as well.

reCAPTCHA can be used everywhere. They've exported their API to many platforms and written plugins for many web applications. For some of these and some better explained information, please visit the reCAPTCHA website at

I would also just like to mention that the website has a page with a demo reCAPTCHA that you can use to digitize books without verifying anything. It's at and it's really addicting.

Hatkirby on May 22nd, 2008 at 10:30:04pm
πŸ‘ 8 πŸ‘Ž

Gryphic's had her say, but now it's my turn. And I fully defend the word "color" and it's proper spelling.

Pretty much my biggest argument is the pronunciation. Color is pronounced color, not coloure. Thus, it should be spelled color and not colour. Another thing. Contrary to what Gryphic has ranted about, the letter U is actually an ugly letter, at least it is in my view. Why should it be placed into a word that creates such beauty and design?

NOTE: This is simply a rant. Please do not take this post entirely seriously.

Oh, and by the way, I would just like to point out that the Golden Compass is not The Golden Compass. The book is called Northern Lights and the device is called an alethiometer. Normally I'm on the American's side of things as I'm American, but there isn't a single instance of a golden compass in that book. So there.

Hatkirby on May 20th, 2008 at 10:30:03pm
πŸ‘ 17 πŸ‘Ž

Okay, don't run away. I just want to share some of my favorite websites with you.

  • The Daily WTF - This website provides a daily resource of computer humor. Note the name WTF. I do not endorse profanity, you should know that by now. I would just like to inform you that WTF stands for Worse Than Failure.
  • CSS Tricks - OK, I admit it. I'm a CSS junkie. I love what you can do with CSS. So I just had to find a good website with daily CSS goodness, so here we are.
  • CrunchBang - I do not use CrunchBang Linux, nor do I think I ever will. However, this is the blog of an open source developer so it's often full of the type of stuff I enjoy. Code.
  • XKCD - A good webcomic. I love this comic. I love the style of drawing, I love the computer humor, I love pretty much everything except for the inappropriate references and the profanity.
  • Web Resources Depot - A good resource for all of your web resource needs. I only just found this site recently and it's already joined the ranks of the sites with their RSS feeds on my Bookmarks Toolbar.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. These are all of my absolutely favorite sites (except for Four Island, of course). I have all of their RSS feeds in my Bookmarks Toolbar where I can access them when I want to. I hope you've gained something from this random post!

Hatkirby on May 19th, 2008 at 10:30:03pm
πŸ‘ 0 πŸ‘Ž

I'm happy to say that I think I've successfully integrated Fouripedia and The Fourm with Four Island. Fouripedia is now running on the old page-system I wrote a while ago and The Fourm has been compressed to stay the same size as the rest of the site, which looks much more aesthetically pleasing.

The most important accomplishment, however, is the moving of everything to the domain. The Wiki used to be located at and The Fourm used to be located at so I would never be able to fully integrate Four Island, because one of the security points of cookies is that they don't work cross-domain. Soon I will move over the Quotes DB and then the domain-moving step of construction will be over.

I would like to ask, however, what you readers think of the Rightbar (The HatNav and the HatBar). Does it look good? If not, how should it look? Please tell me as I want Four Island to look as best as it can.

Hatkirby on May 18th, 2008 at 10:30:03pm
πŸ‘ 7 πŸ‘Ž

You should know that I use Ubuntu Linux. Recently, however, I upgraded from 7.10 (Gutsy) to 8.04 (Hardy), which, among other things, replaced Firefox 2 with Firefox 3b5. Of course, I though this to be a good thing because the newest version of any piece of software is normally the best. But I'm not so sure now.

My time with 3b5 started out OK, but this state didn't last long. Soon, Firefox was committing suicide at random times such as in the middle of typing up a very long Fourm post, or simply pressing more than 3 keys on the keyboard at a time. Naturally, these abrupt terminations were very annoying, especially as sometimes, Firefox refused to re-open and I had to restart the computer to get it to start again.

Another problem I had was the gradual slowdown of Firefox. Nearly everyday I had to restart my computer (and I'm talking about a hard shutdown, just finger on the button, nothing to do with the OS) to get Firefox working at a reasonable speed again. These problems started getting very annoying, so I decided I wouldn't take it any more and installed Firefox 2.

Firefox 2 has been working fine for me. With the exception of Firebug, which for some reason won't install, so if I need Firebug I need to use Firefox 3b5's buggy version of Firebug. That can get a little annoying, but for now, it seems as if everything's back to normal. I hope.

So remember, peoples, just because something's newer doesn't mean it's better. Especially if it has the word "Beta" in it.

For the record, I'd just like to say that if I had the choice, I'd do away with Firefox and use Internet Explorer.

Hatkirby on May 17th, 2008 at 10:30:17pm
πŸ‘ 1 πŸ‘Ž

Charlotte-type-Oooh! This week's poll went well. We got the same number of votes as last week, now isn't that strange. I'm pleased to see that most people use Yaplet as it's a valuable resourse to us, and I'm especially pleased that no one voted for option #4. So anyway, here are the results:

Yes - 11 vote(s)! No - 0 vote(s)! I just found out what Yaplet was - 1 vote(s)! I can't even be bothered to click on the link - 0 vote(s)!

I'd also like to mention that I've rewritten the blogging system for Four Island. Now, I can post posts that only get added to a separate table, the 'pending' table, and a daily cronjob will move one of these over to the real table a day. That way, Four Island can have article-style posts occuring more often.

Last but not least, I am going to get rid of MediaWiki and write the Wiki myself. It's just part of the "I only want to use my own code" type of thing.

EDIT: And peoples, sorry about the downtime. Power outage.

Hatkirby on May 16th, 2008 at 4:53:53pm
πŸ‘ 0 πŸ‘Ž

Well, we've already switched to the 5th layout. The fourth one didn't seem to last that long. Sorry about that. I'm just ever-trying to make the perfect design for Four Island. I'll probably continue to tweak at this design for a while.

Also, I know the commenting system is still disabled. I'm sorry. I'm just still trying to figure out a way to get around the vandalism on the Projects page because they shouldn't have been able to post anything at all anyway....... Oh poopsicles. An idea just struck. I'll let you know how it goes later.

EDIT: Okay, I was right. This is how the bots were posting comments.

Most bots do not understand disabled form field elements and apparently, the form validation page didn't actually check to see if the person was logged in. The only thing keeping out logged out people was the disabled submit button, but since bots bypass that....

It's been fixed now, so I've re-enabled the commenting system. YAY! Happy commenting! Now, tell me what you think about the new layout!

Hatkirby on May 15th, 2008 at 10:30:03pm
πŸ‘ 10 πŸ‘Ž

Congratulations people, we've just recently received our 5000th hit! And hadn't we just passed out 4444th hit 2 days ago? Thank you to all of the people who go onto Four Island every day! It is muchly appreciated!

Note to self: Make blog posts longer.

Hatkirby on May 15th, 2008 at 6:01:38am
πŸ‘ 3 πŸ‘Ž