I was reminded of this because I had a very Googleish experience today. I've been working on a project that involves drawing spirals with Cairo, and I had some basic ideas but I was more or less stuck*. So I asked a few friends if they knew anything about graphics and eventually came across Josh.
I told him that my only primitives available were arcs (sections of circles), and he said I could approximate it, and then I said I had Bezier curves and his eyes lit up: "There's a whole chapter of my thesis on them!" (Thinking to myself: I thought your thesis was in math... ...oh, your PhD thesis.) And then he proceeded to thoroughly answer my question.
* I used to be more into this stuff when I was younger, so I think I might have been able to figure it out on my own -- but my recollection is more like "the intermediate control points are related to the derivative at the end, with some factor of 3 involved somewhere".