my recent reads..

RFC 3339 / ISO 8601 dates in javascript

Many server-side languages (e.g. Ruby and Python JSON encoders) and encoding formats like ATOM send dates in RFC 3339 / ISO 8601 format. The standard Javascript Date object cannot parse these values, which can make client-side scripting involving dates a pain.

There have been snippets of code floating around the net for ages, and various libraries that include necessary support. rfc3339date.js is my attempt at rolling the best into an standalone, unobtrusive, and open-sourced Date extension that plays well with other libraries that also extend the Date class.

It lets you do things like:

var d = Date.parse( "2010-07-20T15:00:00.333Z" );

=> "2010-07-20T15:00:00.333Z"

=> "20100720T150000.333Z"

=> "20100720T230000.333+0800" // assuming current timezone is GMT+8

The readme in the project repository on github has more information about the range of date formats supported and other methods available.

Blogarhythm: Too Many Times - Mental as Anything
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Shinjuku Pit Inn

10th July 2010: Jazz has been huge in Japan since whenever, but unless you go searching, it's easy to miss the fact that Tokyo has a thumping great live scene. Sites like are great for getting around the language barrier.

So, it's Saturday afternoon and we're looking for a place to chill so we jump on a train to Shinjuku sanchōme and by my very rough guide we manage to find the Shinjuku Pit Inn. As is always the case with food and music, it's a basement venue.

I had no idea who we might get to see, but we were very lucky to catch a 5 piece outfit who played a 3 hour set through the afternoon (sunglasses definitely required when we emerged back onto the street in the early evening).

This was trad jazz at it's most enthusiastic and dedicated best. Who else would be playing in a dingy, smoke-filled basement on a Saturday afternoon instead of out shopping or lazing the weekend away?

And being in the audience is a serious business - the rows of desks are at once a reminder of a stricter scholastic past and yet a wonderful setting to prop up you G&T, smoke if you please, and just get lost in the music.

The ¥2500 cover charge (including drink) is not bad. I only wish I had discovered this place when I was working in Japan. I can't think of a better way of relaxing on a Saturday afternoon.

Blogarhythm: Relax, take it easy - Mika: Live In Cartoon Motion

NB: I am retro-blogging Tokyo which is why this post is a little delayed
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Tsukiji Market

Spoiler alert: not advised reading for those who can't stomach the idea of "real" food!

10th July 2010: Up at 6am to sleepily jump on the train to the Tsukiji Fish Market, only a few stops and a short walk away.

I knew we were going in the right direction because of all the old men with wellington boots and wicker baskets.

Although we didn't arrive in time for the auctions, there was still fearsome activity underfoot, and a seemingly infinite selection of seafood fresh from the boat.

The prize catch is of course the tuna. A fish may have lost it's life, but there's something terrific yet beautiful in the way it it is treated with such reverence.

The true pleasure in visiting the market comes afterwards ... finding a nearby sushi restaurant to enjoy the morning's catch in the best way possible.

The Chutoro was divine as could be expected, but the real surprise was the Kampachi which absolutely knocked my tastebuds out of the ballpark. And even weeks later the thought of the Uni+Ikura sushi immediately makes my mouth water in anticipation of the salty creaminess!

Which leaves me with only one question: is the princely ahi and maguro tuna in ANY way related to the sad excuse for nutritious cardboard that ends up in tins on the supermarket shelves?

Blogarhythm: Fresh - The Lost Fingers

NB: I am retro-blogging Tokyo which is why this post is a little delayed
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DHH, Lars, and the Quality of Water

Just for the record:

I wonder what they added to the drinking water in Denmark back in the 70's?

Blogarhythm: Smoke on the Water - Metallica covering Deep Purple.
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