|Digital Trickster Paul ventures into mad science with
Pineapple Project, placing a pineapple chunk in water and
keeping a careful diary of its rotting. My predictions: slight
disintegration, dust, dead files, and eventual, inevitable
|A very odd advert on television at the moment - some American woman
who I'm probably expected to recognise, sitting behind a picture
frame and blithering about how, if she'd been the model for the Mona
Lisa, she'd be smiling because she had such lovely hair. During the course
of this her mouth alternates between the only two settings it seems to
have; "unnaturally wide grin with teeth showing" and "unnaturally wide grin
with mouth closed", both of them equally ugly and unsettling. An advertising
copywriter's cruel joke?
|Sterling untruths from the legendary Dave's
Web of Lies:-
"Most buses carried no passengers at all until the invention of the
bus-stop in 1972, by Mrs. Gladys Henderson, the famous explorer."
"Water is not, as once thought, essential to life. This was merely a
clever scare campaign launched by Water Ltd. about 8 years ago."
"Elvis died accidentally while putting into place the final details
of his plan to fake his own death."
"Custard is fixotropic, and thus is sensitive to vibrations in the air
around it, so shouting at runny custard will make it set."
"The 'millennium bug' is a direct results of the fact that, when the old
software was written, 95% of programmers believed that we would be using
'stardates' by the year 2000."
It took five years, but I finally got to see The Divine Comedy
close-up, last night; at a tiny venue in Hammersmith they were belting
out everything from their forthcoming album, and none of it fell short
With mot juste
lyrics, enchanting imagery and some
alarmingly ear-worming music, this is by far the best stuff they've done since
Promenade, if not bettering it.
Restate my assumptions.
The writer writes for himself,
Not for you."
Song of the album; Lost Property, a fairly trivial list song
("It's a song about losing stuff.") that manages to be thoroughly
beautiful and emotion-provoking, allegories or otherwise. Very much
looking forward to hearing the studio version. (Although Sweden
on electric guitars was rather marvellous...)
|Ambrose Bierce's masterpiece, The Devil's
Dictionary is readable, rather inevitably, online. Not a patch on
sitting down with the
of course, but divisions falling at "eat to extinction" and
"oath to oyster" are mildly amusing.
||"Do you Yahoo?" "Do I have any choice?" -
gets eaten by Yahoo, and
I find myself unable to post to mailing
lists due to an apparent
bug in their cookie-setting. Feh.
awards spring up to counter the rather less interesting
The former are quite amusing, so far as I understand the questions, but
the whole award thing seems wrong when it's for something as personal and
unique as a Weblog. Narrowing it down to five per category is bad enough, but
actually saying "Person X's blog is better than those of A, B, C, D and every other
person in that region" seems awful.
Much like the recent Whitbread
Book Awards, really, which did the bizarre thing of picking a "Book of the Year",
setting fiction and poetry against autobiography and a children's book. How on
earth can you compare something like that?|
Still, the actual Whitbread award-giving seemed rather less interesting than the
preambling discussion, to me - I'll be reading
Passengers because of the things Ian Hislop was saying about it, not
because some panel or other voted for it. A sentence from a person whose opinion
you respect counts for so much more than a "First Prize" rubber-stamp.
|A water company sends a letter to Mr
Deceased. "It was purely an error and we didn't do it on purpose." they
say, as if we expect them to be sniggering behind their hands about it.
resigns, the tabloids are full of
snipey headlines, and Hague's being
laughably hypocritical about it all (as my other half commented; what about
Archer, for goodness' sake?). I really don't know how Blair manages to
get through Prime Minister's Questions without punching him.|
The resignation seems a bit odd, with the whole passport imbroglio only
getting as far as Mandelson misremembering a phonecall - although the
run-up to an election is a poor time for something like this to be
raked up, it seems just as poor timing for a cabinet resignation. Strange
that it's not been fought more. Mandelson was being rather shifty on
news the other night, mind, saying how he wouldn't object to the
log of the disputed phonecall being examined, but how such was an
outrageous breach of privacy unheard of since whenever, and whatnot, so
maybe there was something dodgy going on.
properly communal Foldover game went quite well. To quote
perhaps the finest paragraph;
"Nobody makes me laugh like George W. Bush" is a useful mnemonic for
remembering the eight steps of making a complete mess of the whole
kitchen, not to mention getting everything covered in blood with a
sprinkle of Parmesan.
Good work, gestalt authoring entity. I must sort out some stuff to
catch simultaneous posting, though.
|Aha. The Divine Comedy's Web pages
have finally been updated, and rather heavily at that, all disorientating
Flash animation and superfluous framing. Good content, though, and
the new album looks
quite, quite marvellous. And I'm off to see them in London tomorrow night,
after years of never quite being able to. Life is good.|
There's also a brief NME article
to be read, of producers and money and touring. [via Yao]
|Person asks for the word sweatshop
on his pair of customised Nike trainers, but the request is denied. Someone
should make some stickers.
||Surrealisme du Jour:
"How dare you get depressed by my splendid concubine's Morrissey album!"
Game is an online version of a thing I used to play at school,
and which enjoyed a healthy resurgence during my university years. Take a
piece of paper, write a cut-off sentence with the last couple of words
on a new line, fold above that line, hand to someone else to write the
next bit, and repeat until you fill the page or get bored. I sketched an
online version the other week after Yao and I got talking about
it; the lack of immediacy drains much of its appeal, sadly, but it's still
fairly entertaining. Feel free to submit a line or two.
|Three things I wonder about the life-lines on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire:-
Mind you, I was reading a newspaper article the other week that said in
the Russian version of the programme, the audience consider it their duty
to misguide the contestant as much as possible...
- Is the fifty-fifty random, or do they deliberately take away the
two most-obviously-wrong answers? Has anyone ever bothered to ask this
before taking it?
- How long will it be before someone phones a friend with a ready-and-waiting
search engine, for one of the
answers? Or even a friend with a room-full of people, I suppose.
- When asking the audience; if the contestant is confident that
one of the answers is definitely wrong, why don't they ask any audience members
who aren't entirely sure of themselves to give that one as their
response? Or if the contestant really has no idea, why not ask the
audience to use - I don't know - the last digit of their phone number,
to determine their response, thus averaging away any ignorance?
|Pathetically unpersuasive protests over
cloning, here and there on the news yesterday; a bunch
of people with vague "say no to cloning" letter-cards, a few sheep placards
and all of them shouting "Baaaa-d Science". Cruelly partisan choice of footage, or
were they the only people visibly protesting?|
Bravo the Lords for giving further research the green light, anyway; this is
just as much a temporary stepping-stone to working directly with adult stem
cells as it is to full human cloning, and far better kept under scrutiny in
the public sector. Annoying that a lot of people are still speaking of
cloning as if it's obviously a terrible and evil thing that we should
be really careful to avoid, though. I'm reminded of one of my favourite
discussion-panel appearances by Richard Dawkins; the man
pointing out that a clone isn't very different to a twin, to
|A splendid Curmudgeonly
Guide To Netiquette from Raven, posted to the
mighty Hate The Stupid mailing list:-|
"Another common reason to use all lower-case is because that
way you can type faster, meaning there will be the absolute
minimum time for you to consider what it is you will be saying."
|Hell is other people buying flatpack furniture, and the road to it is paved with
lane-merge arrows. Yesterday was not the best Sunday I've had. At least
we'll get a new bed in eight weeks.