Mt St Helens

When I was in the US, one of the most impressive things I saw was the area around Mt St Helens. It was one of those things that made me glad my digital camera makes it so easy to take panoramic shots (click the panoramics to see slightly larger versions. If you want actual prints of any photos I post, let me know, since the originals have much better resolution than the versions I post).

The river valley downstream from the mountain:

The view from the interpretative centre:

Heading around the back of the ridge:

Looking back towards the next ridge:

And here we have Leung making an appearance (Leung is the mascot I took with me on my trip. He's a little big to make a great photo mascot, so there are long stretches of photos where he doesn't appear). Anyway, the real point of this photo is the effect of the lateral blast from the eruption. Most of the grey stuff on the ridgeline is actually dead trees that were knocked over by the blast. You can see a bunch of trunks still standing where they were sheltered by the ridgeline.

Python Quirk

Python's a very nice language to program in, but it does have a few quirks. Normally, if you put multiple strings in your code, Python will automatically combine them into a single string.

However, it *doesn't* do this if your string literals are positioned in the "docstring" location for a class or function. If they are then only the first string will be used as the docstring - the remainder will be ignored.

Update: A quick discussion on python-dev showed that the behaviour was fairly easily explained. The string literal concatenation magic only works inside a single expression (e.g. an assignment statement). Two string literals on separate lines look like two distinct statements to the interpreter. Escaping the newline after the first literal causes the string concatenation behaviour to be applied.

Firing it up

So, I occasionally post stuff over at Talkinboutstuff. However, that's mostly for random crap I expect the rest of the guys to find interesting/annoying/whatever.

So, I created this extra blog for myself - somewhere to pontificate about things I don't expect them to find interesting, like software and Python and open source and what have you. And, anything of interest to them can be cross-linked quite happily :)

Maybe I'll even get around to attaching this thing to a real domain name!