May 1, 2000
[comics] Comicon reports Alan Moore is to change his name to “Alan Marvel-Vagina!” [second story on that page]
May 2, 2000
[tech] Richard Stallman on Metallica: Metallica justifies their lawsuit saying they think it is an outrage that their music has become a “commodity”. Apparently they think music is a commodity when shared between fans, but not when large companies sell copies through record stores. What hypocritical absurdity! Such drivel is normally laughable. But Metallica is presenting it as an excuse to attack our freedom, and that is no laughing matter. I encourage people to write letters to periodicals that cover this story, stating disgust for Metallica’s lawsuit and rejecting their views. [via Slashdot]
May 3, 2000
[ebay] A spooky haunted picture sold on Ebay… WARNING: DO NOT BID ON THIS PAINTING IF YOU ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO STRESS RELATED DISEASE, FAINT OF HEART OR ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH SUPERNATURAL EVENTS. BY BIDDING ON THIS PAINTING, YOU AGREE TO RELEASE THE OWNERS OF ALL LIABILITY IN RELATION TO THE SALE OR ANY EVENTS HAPPENING AFTER THE SALE, THAT MIGHT BE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PAINTING. THIS PAINTING MAY OR MAY NOT POSSESS SUPERNATURAL POWERS, THAT COULD IMPACT OR CHANGE YOUR LIFE. HOWEVER, BY BIDDING YOU AGREE TO EXCLUSIVELY BID ON THE VALUE OF THE ARTWORK, WITH DISREGARD TO THE LAST TWO PHOTOS FEATURED IN THIS AUCTION, AND HOLD THE OWNERS HARMLESS IN REGARD TO THEM AND THEIR IMPACT, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED.
May 4, 2000
[MP3] The Register points out that the phrase MP3 has been sprayed on statues and walls in Whitehall after the Mayday protest: ‘Quite why these hardened anarchists and eco-twats felt the need to paint a computer format alongside cries for revolution is unclear – is this the first sign of an internet generation, lost and disillusioned and unable to function without a keyboard, crying out for attention? Who cares.’
May 5, 2000
[mayor for london] “If the Archangel Gabriel had stood with the name Winston Churchill, Ken would still have won.” — Jeffrey Archer. So what does a London mayor do anyway?
[history] newsUnlimited asks: Did Britain poison Napoleon? [Text Only] …when his remains were brought back to France in 1840 prior to ceremonial burial in Les Invalides, his body appeared perfectly preserved. At the time it was seen as a miracle. Today scientists say the phenomenon is symptomatic of arsenic poisoning.
[mp3] “The Man” is watching you if you’re using Gnutella… Starting as early as this morning, most gnutella searches also turned up the file “The RIAA is watching you” 0 bytes. If this file is actually being put out by the RIAA remains unknown. This could be a prank, but could very easily be the real deal.
May 6, 2000
[mayor for london] BBC News has a picture gallery of the election for London mayor.
[dna] newsUnlimited has a good overview of the race to decode the human genome. Beneath the venom towards Venter lies another human emotion – fear. “Everyone is frightened of losing,” said a senior scientist from the Pasteur Institute. “The human genome is only going to be sequenced once and it will never need to be done again. There are Nobel prizes riding on this. It’s a big, big prize and it’s technology driven. Craig is in cahoots with the American makers of the DNA sequencers we all use. He is also a self-aggrandising pain in the arse.”
[comics] Shit! People are still worrying if Dave Sim is a misogynist or not! “If you look at her and see anything besides emptiness, fear and emotional hunger, you are looking at the parts of yourself which have been consumed to that point.” — Dave Sim. If you’re interested check out cerebus.org for more details on Sim’s comic….
May 7, 2000
[ken4london] newsUnlimited has an interview with Ken Livingstone — the new mayor of London. “It suddenly dawns on you that all those people have gone out and voted for you, and it was overwhelming and incredibly humbling, and I hadn’t expected to have that feeling…”
May 8, 2000
[weblogs] USS Catastrophe — a weblog about comics…
May 9, 2000
[tech support] It was a bad weekend for technical Support team at Australia’s federal trade commission, Austrade after the ILOVEYOU virus was released last week….
May 10, 2000
[my inner turmoil] Do you think your friends, family and colleagues hate you? You can tell! The most common means of doing so were: being reserved by avoiding all intimate topics of conversation; not asking questions, so as to speed up any interaction; treating the other person as a stranger; physically avoiding them; not paying attention to them; and showing excessive politeness. [from newsUnlimited]
[ken4london] Livingstone and Labour close to compromise deal reports newsUnlimited.
[books] Extracts from Martin Amis’s new autobiography Experience: “I’ve been name dropping, in a way, ever since I first said: ‘Dad’” and “Mum, do you think I’m her father? – Definitely”
[tv] Clerks [The Cartoon] — it’s times like these I really wished I lived in America….
[clones] First cloned mouse dies reports BBC News. “Dr Yanagimachi has indicated that Cumulina’s remains will be preserved and mounted in a new permanent exhibit in a new Institute for Biogenesis Research.”
[film] filmUnlimited on trailers being released on the internet. Mat Snow, former editor of the mature gentleman’s rock monthly Mojo, once explained how he had fully enjoyed Godzilla without ever having seen the film. For the months of build-up beforehand, he had the pleasure of getting excited about the film, imagining the monster and the movie in his head, getting off on the hype. By the time the film actually came out, he had been reliably informed that it stank. So he didn’t go to see it. But he didn’t feel cheated – he had had four months of enjoyable anticipation at no cost.
May 11, 2000
[books] Final extract from Amis Autobiography — When darkness met light
[comics] Marvel to abandon comics for videogames and Movies? “The simple paper medium of comic books just isn’t cutting it in the age of video’s flashy special effects, explosive audio and interactive action.” – The Wall Street Journal. [via Ghost in the Machine] SOMEBODY DIES! BY MARVEL BETRAYED!! EVERY BUSINESS EXEC MY ENEMY… COMICS… FIGHTS… ON! I’M BORN AGAIN! A COMIC BOOK WITHOUT HOPE…. IS A COMIC BOOK WITHOUT FEAR!!! MY… SPLEEN… EXPLODES…
[weblogs] Barbelith reviews top eight weblogs. [Voice in head: Must... find... online... personality...]
May 12, 2000
[tech] BBC news reports on perks for IT workers … “The more common perks include pensions, healthcare, cars, share options, flexi-time or a corporate box at a football ground. “However, companies such as Oracle provide a benefits cafeteria system in which employees are awarded points with which they can purchase the perks they want. These include extending annual holiday and life assurance for partners.
May 13, 2000
[books] Another Amis posting — the Digested Letters of Kingsley Amis.
[comics] Warren Ellis talks about Cerebus. “Dave Sim is more than a little mad, as I think anyone who’s read a great deal of CEREBUS would attest to. Us old lefties instinctively shy away from someone who communicates what is at best gynephobia and at worst pure bloody misanthropy in the way that Sim does, even allowing for the dichotomy between auctorial intent and personal belief. But as a creator I keep coming back to Sim for his masterful, hugely inventive storytelling. Creatively, he’s the mutant bastard child of Will Eisner, The Studio artists (Barry Windsor-Smith and those guys) and Chuck Jones.”
[comics] Warren Ellis talks about David Icke. [Icke's Web Site] “There is an essential piece of this obviously quite decent man’s brain that is missing; the Quality Control function that allows most of us to cross the street when badly deluded people walk towards us waving a matchbox shouting “Do you want to see my bomb?””
[quote] “I am myself a Norfolk man.. and glory in being so.” – Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson
May 14, 2000
[america] America planned to drop a nuke onto the moon! [I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.]
[comics] Lots of interesting rumours about comics over at Ramblings 2000. Mark Millar talks about his new vampire TV series for Channel 4 called Sikeside: “The big difference between me and Buffy is that Sikeside is going to be the most appalling thing ever seen on TV… and I mean in terms of bad taste. It really, really, really, really is absolutely horrific and a response to all the overseas vampire dross we’ve been subjected to. I promise you won’t have seen this stuff before.”
[tech] Much of the Internet leads nowhere according to a recent mapping project. “If you picked two random pages and tried to click from one to the other, “there’s a 75 percent chance that you will never get there,” LaMore said. If a path did exist, the average click separation would be 16, the researchers said.” Hmmm… I always said you were never more than four clicks away from porn on the Internet… I guess I was wrong!
May 15, 2000
[mp3] Napster is irrelevant reports Wired News. “The amazing thing about Napster isn’t the program, it’s the idea,” Weekly said. “You can’t litigate the idea. You can’t tell people that they need to stop thinking about the idea. Already we’ve seen commercial alternatives pop up with Scour Exchange (a commercial file-trading exchange), so even if Napster is sued out of existence, there are alternatives popping up everywhere.”
[tv] Why do I like Friends so much? I have no idea… anyway… the cast of Friends have signed on for another two years!
May 16, 2000
[timemachinego, baby!] For some reason Yahoo describe my Grant Morrison Comixography as: “A Digital Shaman spell to summon comics author Grant Morrison for a night of complete debauchery.“ This is totally wrong… but then again who am I to argue with Yahoo? I am a digital shaman! WooHoo!
[interview] An interview with John Diamond [Text-Only] in the Observer. Diamond’s columns can be found at The Times Website. [Originally, I'd decided not to link to the John Diamond interview but it stuck in my mind for a couple of days, a friend mentioned it to me and I suddenly realised that columnists in newspapers and webloggers probably have a lot in common...]
[football] David Beckham immortalised in Thai temple reports BBC News. “The fan placed his sculpture of the Manchester United player in Bangkok’s Pariwas temple, in a spot normally reserved for minor deities.”
May 17, 2000
[tech] newsUnlimited reports on family in Silicon Valley [Text-Only]. “[...] Most revealingly, perhaps, is the way in which the word “family” is slowly turning from a noun, into a verb. Parents in Silicon Valley have been overheard talking about the need for “doing family,” as if it were less of a static unit than one of many activities to be fitted around other obligations. When a parent talks about spending “quality time” with his child, it is not a vague reference to hanging out with him or her on the weekend. It is used as a direct oppositional to “quantity time,” with the belief that, like everything else in Silicon Valley, if you concentrate hard enough you can achieve just as much in a condensed period as across a longer stretch of time.”
[sport] How Grandstand was cancelled [from newsUnlimited]. “The premier league clubs expect to realise around £2bn from auctioning the various rights packages. By chance £2bn is roughly the BBC reaped in licence fee income last year to fund its two television channels and five radio stations, plus its new digital ventures.”
[nasty] BBC News reports that anthrax has been linked to a spate of deaths in Europe of heroin addicts.
May 18, 2000
[tech] Vavatch Orbital has a dig at Prince Charles over his Reith Lecture: “I believe that if we are to achieve genuinely sustainable development we will first have to rediscover, or re-acknowledge a sense of the sacred in our dealings with the natural world, and with each other. If literally nothing is held sacred anymore – because it is considered synonymous with superstition or in some other way “irrational” – what is there to prevent us treating our entire world as some “great laboratory of life” with potentially disastrous long term consequences?” — Prince Charles [Update: Unsurprisingly, Stephen Hawkins has entered the debate: "[...] people in 50 years’ time will wonder what all the fuss about GM food was all about”]
[human nature] Slashdot asks: Can you legally lend a friend a DVD?
[dotcom] Slashdot has the answer to why boo.com failed: “My wife never heard of boo.com (Score:5, Insightful)“
May 19, 2000
[weblogging] Any weblogger who provides lots of links must hit THE WALL at some point… and I’ve been certainly struggling with my own personal weblogging wall the last couple of days… So, it’s time to dig thru the old bookmarks and come up with some gems…
[film] Apocalypse Now Tribute Site
[old school net] Whatever happened to Geek Cereal?
[weblogs] The Taking of RiotHero 1 2 3: “Way back in the mists of time, there was a country called England, which was known for conquering things, drinking tea and having rural areas where the locals indulged in carnal acts with lesser species (or their close families).” [Tom and Katy have taken over Riothero for the weekend. Should be interesting...]
[another old link] Sam Sloan, ’nuff said… [...Good Grief... Dirty Dancing is one of the all time great movies!]
May 20, 2000
[film] Fantagraphics covers the Ghost World Movie. The Ghost World film has wrapped shooting and Terry Zwigoff is now spending his time in the editing room, whittling footage down to a managable masterpiece. Editing should be completed by the end of August or beginning of September, at which point MGM will set a release date for the picture, which stars Thora Birch, Scarlet Johanssen, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, David Cross, Teri Garr, Bruce Glover and others.
[science] newsUnlimited looks at what Prince Charles really believes in after his Reith Lecture: “At the core of Christianity there still lies an integral view of the sanctity of the world, and a clear sense of the trusteeship and responsibility given to us for our natural surroundings,” he said. “But the west gradually lost this integrated vision of the world with Copernicus and Descartes and the coming of the scientific revolution.”
[tv] The wisdom of Starsky and Hutch… Everything i ever needed to know i learned from Starsky and Hutch: “There’s got to be more to life than just breathing in and breathing out.” [Starsky and Hutch are on weekdays in the UK on Granada Plus at the moment]
[books] Surprisingly, Julie Burchill likes Kingsley Amis. Wierd!
May 21, 2000
[personal shite] I am having trouble sleeping which is not a good thing on a grey Sunday morning. I want to be snoring into my pillow, dammit! Instead I am adding permanent links to my weblog. This is not healthy…
[comics] Adrian Tomine’s diary on Slate explains why cartooning is better than a real job: “Producing an issue of my comic book is a slow, arduous process, and right now I’m a little more than halfway done with Issue 7. Last night I spent more than an hour tinkering with one line of dialogue. I tried five or six different variations, finally settling on the simplest and shortest: “What the hell’s your problem?” Brilliant, huh?”
[mp3] Lars Urich and Chuck D talk about Napster. “It’s a parallel world, and a new paradigm is taking shape. You have to adapt to it. This goes beyond Chuck versus Lars. This is about the record industry versus the people. The people have got it on their side, and you’ve got to adapt.” – Chuck D [via Josh Blog]
[bbc] Greg Dyke gets rid of expensive cheese from the BBC Menu. “Dyke’s decrees have been dismissed as daft penny-pinching by staff. ‘When John Birt ran the show there was always cheese – and biscuits – and croissants at meetings,’ one said. ‘What’s next? Will we soon be forced to bring in Thermos flasks of lukewarm tea and garibaldis wrapped in tin foil to keep us going?’” [I am not the most unbiased weblogger on this matter -- I work for the BBC -- but is this story news? And I've got to say that the quote above sounds like utter nonsense to me.... Did a real person say that? It sounds like somebody taking the piss to me...]
[wisdom] The wisdom of Ralph Wiggum: “My cat’s breath smells like cat food.”
[news] Barbara Cartland is dead. The BBC has a tributes page — some of them sound… well, a little critical. I wonder why? “Perhaps her works were ignored by critics because they deserved to be ignored by critics. Dame Barbara blamed women for the permissive society. She blamed women for teen violence. She blamed women for – well, let’s face it: Dame Barbara blamed women for everything. Maybe that attitude was acceptable a century ago, but no longer. We women don’t need pampered millionaires scolding us for running our lives as we see fit. And we don’t need their implausible melodramas, either.”
May 22, 2000
[comics] Old Warren Ellis interview. “Hm. Jamie’s one with the monkey was brilliant. The first episode of his FEAR MACHINE sequence was marvellously solid, too. Several of Garth’s issues were standouts, including the Special, “Confessional.” Gaiman’s “Hold Me” was, to my mind, one of the most honest and natural things he’s ever done, certainly among his best work. I’d be hard pressed to choose a single issue.” – what’s his favourite issue of Hellblazer.
[quote] The wisdom of Barbara Cartland: “The trouble with half the Socialists is they’re suffering from vitamin dificiency”
[sport] newsUnlimited profiles Fat Les — Damien Hirst, Keith Allen and Alex James — on their song for Euro 2000 “Jerusalem”. “He also relishes the thought that the fans at Euro 2000, whether they know it or not, will be led by the London Community Gospel Choir and the London Gay Male Voice Choir. ‘The idea of great big white fascist thugs singing along with this, going, “‘ang on – a choir of nonces? What’s this…?” I love that. What an amazing world we live in’.”
May 23, 2000
[bbc] What kind of person would download and install a Charlie Dimmock screensaver on their computer?
[euro2000] Not So Soft has more links on Fat Les.
[comics] Nicely illustrated Eddie Campbell interview. “[...]but I would say that the impetus to draw these pages derives from an urge to record the world around me, to record a little piece of now and save it for tomorrow. “
[weird science] Potato powered webservers… [this one is going to get blogged everywhere]
May 24, 2000
[comics] Frank Miller talks about the sequel to Dark Knight Returns.
[dotcom] newsUnlimited covers how the boo.com staff feel after their redundancy “[..]As for the founders’ alleged profligacy, Thomson is diplomatic. “Getting through £91m in a year is quite lavish,” she says simply.”
May 25, 2000
[tech] I find this hard to believe: Linux is more popular than sex!
[comics] Cool Beans! There’s a new issue of Stray Bullets out…
May 26, 2000
[dotcom] Scan — impressive e-commerce idea. Basically, bang into your mobile the bar code number of any book or CD you see and send it to Scan as a text message. Within thirty seconds or so you get prices and delivery times from three online retailers back to your mobile and if you are registered you can buy it straight away….
[books] Experience in 400 words. “It is the late 1970s. The gross of condoms that Kingsley gave me and Phillip have long since been used.”
[books] Media Nugget of the Day covers Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker.
May 27, 2000
[comics] Rich Johnson on The Cult of Warren Ellis. “And the thin and wiry Our Lord Warren Ellis was no longer thin and wiry, and started to buy Armani suits and some of his followers thought to themselves, hang on, he’s raking it in with this Excalibur lark.”
[only in america] Texas prisoner attempts to sell seats to his own execution on ebay reports newsUnlimited. “Years ago Bob Dylan wrote in his song Desolation Row that “they’re selling postcards of the hanging”. Toney might concede that that still has more of a ring to it than “they’re selling tickets to the lethal injection”. “
[mp3] Lars from Metallica talks (at length) about Napster and MP3 on Slashdot.
[exams] The Daily Doozer reminds me why I’m glad I’m not a student any more. [tedious autobiography: I still have a regular dream where I've got one of my finals and have not been to any lectures or revised for it... seven years after I did them!]
May 28, 2000
[history] BBC News reports on the myth of Dick Turpin. “Michelle Petyt, assistant curator of social history at the museum, said research suggested he was a “quiet and dour man” and that stories of his good looks were definitely untrue. Professor James Sharpe, criminal history lecturer at York University – who is preparing a book about Turpin – said Turpin’s crimes were equally unappealing. He said: “Any ideas that he is a romantic, dashing figure are a nonsense. He had a quick temper and a violent streak.””
[comics] Alan Moore asks “What is reality?“