|More insane proof that
Morrissey predicted the death of Diana Spencer, this time with
the help of aliens from a Carl Sagan novel. David Alice would be really
good at HipBone,
wouldn't he? [Moz bit via NTK]
||The gloriously atmospheric Garden
Nomic returns from the compost heap this morning, with a clean-slate
ruleset and fresh set of people. I've just proposed that players be allowed
to play Goblins or Fairies, as well as the ubiquitous Gnomes. Be interesting
to see where it goes. Join at the ground floor today.
|Anyone who's ever played a game of Nomic should immediately purchase and
digest Steven Krane's The Omega Game; anyone who enjoys
twistingly-plotted slowly-revealing thrillers should do the same. Twenty
people awake in a luxurious hotel on an anonymous Pacific island, with
no memory of how they got there, only signed-and-dated copies of an
"initial ruleset" for a mysterious game, the rules of which they can
change by unanimous consensus. Nomic meets The Prisoner meets
The Game, with much fast-paced drama, exotic isolated atmosphere
and an impressive scattering of guessable-but-unguessed plot swerves.
And it does make the idea of a non-abstract real-life Nomic seem quite
appealing, so long as we get something into the rules to prevent
people being, er, murdered... Nomic Mystery Weekend, anyone?
|It's sad how much the future can compress your past.
For ten quid I can buy
a CD containing over 2,000 Atari ST games to
run on an emulator, and throw away the dozen or so eighty-capacity
disk boxes that have been trailing me morosely around the country for
ten years. (Well, apart from shareware and the stuff
and I used to write, but I guess I can convert the best of that to
emulator format. Hm.)
|Avoid the unbearable tweeness and vulgarity (or heart-stopping
"five pounds for a glued feather?" horrors) of greetings-card
shopping by buying online from Art
is a Tart - excellence from Julian Williams,
amongst others, with free postage and no pre-printed messages. I
shall go nowhere else, in future.
||The Black Team could use an extra player, in
match, if anyone's interested. Join today.
|More reasons not to embrace carbon dioxide; Lake
Nyos in Cameroon explodes occasionally:-
"The explosion was the result of a heavy cloudburst in the rainy season,
which stirred up the CO2 rich water in the lake, causing it to upwell and
fizz like a soft drink when shaken. A large cloud of CO2 was released from
the lake, and because CO2 is denser than air, it hugged the ground,
killing people and animals as it traveled down the mountain."
A chilling image, a tide of invisible gas rolling down the mountainside to
completely envelop a sleeping village. Scientists have since set up an ingeniously simple
siphon system to reduce the lake's CO2 levels, though,
and it's looking like they're on the way to getting it sorted.
|Absolutely superb quote in the Greening Earth Society FAQ -
"Our use of fossil fuels is helping give plants the extra CO2 they
need to grow more lush and green worldwide."
||More whining Americans;
Earth Society argue that "C02 is not a pollutant, but rather
one of nature's most fundamental building blocks". So's nitrogen, but I
wouldn't want my house pumped full of it.
|The Bush administration
out of the Kyoto protocol because it "exempts developing countries" (alright,
they'll be producing loads
of CO2 in twenty years or so, but that's no reason for developed
countries to shrug off their own responsibilities, and to assume that developing countries
will do the same), and they "think it might seriously harm the US economy"
(which is, of course, far more important than the world environment).
"We are not working on the issue of un-signing; we are working on the
issue of market-driven, technological and creative ways of addressing the
issue of global climate change."
Or, in summary, "lalala, we can't hear you".
|Crikey, an Atari ST
emulator, with a list of classic games built in and downloadable at
the click of a button. Although it's easier just to go straight to
and poke around there for whatever games you can remember
(but note that the site's "download" links have "§ion" replaced with "§ion" by
well-meaning Web browsers, which necessitates a bit of manual
Fuller nostalgia and comment when I've found the time to download
and play things, anyway. I wonder warily how the amazing-at-the-time aspects
of games like Midwinter and Resolution 101 will seem to
these jaded twenty-first century eyes. (And whether I dare assemble emulator
images of the stuff I used to write in the early nineties...)
|The hypnotically time-wasting Flash game Levers
threatens my working day. I wonder how long it'll be before companies
attack each other's productivity with such memetic attacks.
||Caught a bit of a Radio 4 programme last night about cryogenics and a
of frog which freezes solid during hibernation;
I wasn't aware that any animals bigger than insects could get away with
this sort of thing. Astounding. Asking an
Internet, NewScientist had an article about such sub-zero tomfoolery, back in 1998.
Anyone with undying faith in the parliamentary road to progress must
be saddened by the thought of cabinet ministers with their diaries out
saying: "When's good for you?" and: "Hang on, that's half-term," and:
"Gordon, how much money have we got left?"
Hardy on representative democracy. [with a nod to
|Nng. Improbably-named twelve-year-old Brittney Cleary releases
a song about Instant Messaging after being
"discovered", presumably by AOL marketing people. It's as if someone's
making news up to deliberately infuriate and depress me.
||After demonstrating to a colleague why the "&page=../thing.html" bits of
his script's URL were insanely insecure, I went on to find quite a
few things that hadn't struck me in this Web
Hack FAQ. The guestbook-SSI thing is particularly alarming. Cue
panicked back-checking of sites I've written.
|The sort of thing that amuses me: a neatly-painted sign on a
wall by a road-turning, saying "PLEASE DO NOT OBSTRUCT DAY OR
defaces currency with his URL, in a vague bid to track its future, or at
least get more site traffic. I think I
might give the URL of a sub-page with an inquisitive fill-in
form, or something, if I manage to get around to it. Although
has been doing this on a grand scale for years, of course - just enter
a note's serial number to see its life story.|
Intriguingly, various variations on "wheresliz" have been registered -
I trust someone's getting around to setting up a UK equivalent.
|This seems extremely, insanely ominous - Majestic,
an interactive "real life" game that sends
you fake faxes and emails, as well as rather chilling-sounding
phonecalls, through which you stalk the Internet and unravel the details of a fictional
conspiracy. A relatively low-budget, low-maintenance version of The
Game, all told, although it seems bound to end with someone sniping
from a clocktower or loading a van with explosives, convinced that they've
worked out what's going on, having tied it in with the wrong bits of the
real world and forgotten that they'd ever signed up for "a game".
[via my 2p]
||Glancingly misread "All Your Eggs In One Basket" as "All Your Egg Are
Belong To Us" on the front of a Sainsbury's magazine, whilst queueing,
over lunch. One of those days when I feel very aware of my consciousness
being nothing more than exhaust fumes from
a bunch of memes. Must sleep.
"By this point I was involved in a separate discussion with insurance
experts about whether or not having your house wrecked by Mir would
count as an 'Act of God'. My argument was that this could not be the
case since we were talking here about a Communist space station and
Communists are atheists."
A superbly ridiculous BBC news article in which a reporter
insure his house against being hit
|An organised pilgrimage to Mornington Crescent on Saturday, the
first one I've attended since the first one,
meeting up with Nik,
John and a truly alarming
number of the MCiOS crowd, including -
most notably - the antipodean Mr Wayper,
who'd been forced by merciless employers to do a couple of weeks'
work in London.|
Always a strange experience, suddenly having faces and voices and
mannerisms to attach to previously vague online identities; similar
to actually visiting Tube stations which you were only aware of in
game terms - how much the perception adds to your mental image when
you return to a flat text-based forum. MC as a metaphor for life.
There is no Spoon.