Xaos is a really cool toy for making interesting backgrounds. It's endlessly tweakable through its menu options but the real fun is letting it generate an image at random. The image to the right is an example. It reminds me of General Grievous, which is really kewl because I've taken to naming my machines after Star Wars baddies lately as I'm all about dark and slick desktop themes.
Excellent fun if your feeling creatively spent.
I'm starting to take a serious liking to Xara Extreme for doing vector graphics stuff. My brother asked me to make an icon for his Android iPod appy he is developing. I balked at how busy I (always) am and he said not to spend any more than 20 minutes on it and that he just didn't want to use something that was "non-free". Well, after about 30 minutes (after knowing what I wanted to do) I came up with this. Touched it up in GIMP and voila. Not too shabby for a quicky. I didn't create the RSS icon in the middle but I could've in about another 10 or so.
Stellarium is nicely polished app that now runs without a hitch on Ubuntu (and I say this b'cuz I've tried compiling it on older versions, and let me tell you about dependency hell >:/ ). This is more a scientific program than apps like Google Sky and excellent when out in the sticks with a Eeepc on a dark clear night. It has an infared mode and a "view constellations" mode to see an artistic rendering of their shapes. Great stuff!