linkmachinego.com

November 1, 2004
[reading] Pattern Recognition [Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US] … ‘There must always be room for coincidence, Win had maintained. When there’s not, you’re probably well into apophenia, each thing then perceived as part of an overarching pattern of conspiracy. And while comforting yourself with the symmetry of it all, he’d believed, you stood all too real a chance of missing the genuine threat, which was invariably less symmetrical, less perfect. But which he always, she knew, took for granted was there.’
[tv] The real King of Comedy — the Observer on the DVD release of Seinfeld‘One episode is entirely set in a Chinese restaurant where the cast wait for a table, and George (Jason Alexander) confides his latest girlfriend disaster to Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld). He has had to leave midway through sex because he is too embarrassed to go to the toilet in his girlfriend’s tiny flat, where his every move will be heard, and he has “an intestinal requirement that surpasses by great lengths anything in the sexual realm”. So how to extricate himself? “The only excuse she might possibly have accepted is if I told her that I am in reality Batman, and I’m very sorry, I just saw the Batsignal”.’
November 2, 2004
[politics] More Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail — long interview with Hunter S. Thompson

‘Hunter S Thompson is not regarded as one of world journalism’s easier subjects. [...] It’s a combination of things, really: the ubiquitous firearms and narcotics; his nocturnal regime and sudden mood swings. I first encountered him in the early 1990s when I was working for another newspaper which had decided to send him to join the Royal press corps for the Highland Games. I met Thompson at Gatwick, at 6am. He lit his hash pipe while we were still in sight of the customs hall and insisted on being driven to Smithfield Market for whisky. When we reached his hotel, he barricaded himself in his suite for 36 hours, then fled back to Aspen in the middle of the night. His subsequent faxes referred to me as an “evil treacherous dingbat” and a “weird limey freak”. “In a strange way,” says Ralph Steadman, “insults are Hunter’s way of articulating affection.”‘

November 3, 2004
[comics] Snowed-under Briggs resorts to eBay — Raymond Briggs has so much The Snowman merchandise stored at his house that he’s decided to attempt sell it all on eBay … ‘Briggs, 70, admitted he is a novice at internet selling. ‘I didn’t know about eBay. A lady who works for me is putting the stuff on. It could be a disaster: there are already pages of Snowman things there. I assumed everything would be £10 at least, but I’m amazed to see some of it going for 50p. Why bother? There are all the costs of postage and packing. You can buy something for that in a charity shop. ‘We’re starting with one item to see if it will work: a Snowman toy holding a tiny teddy bear, which I’ve signed. It’s very well made, like Steiff teddy bears, and I can’t remember if we’ve said £50 or £150. There are mad collectors out there who will buy anything with signatures…’
November 4, 2004
[comics] Milk and Cheese on the US Election Result:

Milk and Cheese -- WHEEEEE! Four More Years Of Hell!

November 6, 2004
[books] Another interview with Neal Stephenson‘I do think that those who devote their lives to studying science or to building new technologies learn certain habits of thought. They derive satisfaction from finding new truths, or doing things in a way that is more elegant. Perhaps this could be considered spiritual. It is a way of confirming over and over again that the universe makes sense and follows orderly laws, which a religiously significant assertion.’
November 7, 2004
[comics] The Comics Reporter — Tom Spurgeon’s comic news weblog.
November 8, 2004
[comic] Dan Clowes Switch Commercial — the creator of Ghost World did an unused commercial for Apple (directed by Errol Morris) … ‘It’s like a perfect robot pal.’
November 9, 2004
[web] Firefox 1.0 Released‘Thus did the followers rejoice with a clamour that shook the heavens; for the Fox came forth in its majesty, fully grown, and did henceforth swear an oath to do battle against those who would oppose it. Truly, rejoice, for the Fire hath descended from heaven to cleanse!’ – from The Book of Mozilla, 11:9 [Related: Download Firefox 1.0 using Bittorrent]
November 10, 2004
[apocalypse] 19 End-Of-The-World Prophecies — We missed at least one apocalypse last month: ’2004-OCT-17: Clay Cantrell computes the date of the Rapture from size of Noah’s Ark with particular attention to the precise location of the “escape window” in the top of the vessel.’ [via Kevan's Delicious]
November 11, 2004
[blog] Thought of the Day — moblogging a handwritten thought-of-the-day sign at Oval Station on the London Underground … ‘Those who dance are thought mad by those who do not hear the music.’ [via Sashinka]
[iraq] Steve Bell on Falluja‘These people are hardcore.’
November 12, 2004
[quote] Kurt Vonnegut Quotes‘I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.’
November 14, 2004
[games] Spacewar – Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums — a profile of Spacewar (one of the first computer games) and the personalities behind it by Stewart Brand from Rolling Stone magazine in 1972 … ‘Spacewar as a parable is almost too pat. It was the illegitimate child of the marrying of computers and graphic displays. It was part of no one’s grand scheme. It served no grand theory. It was the enthusiasm of irresponsible youngsters. It was disreputably competitive (“You killed me, Tovar!”). It was an administrative headache. It was merely delightful. Yet Spacewar, if anyone cared to notice, was a flawless crystal ball of things to come in computer science and computer use…’ [via del.icio.us]
November 15, 2004
[books] Dark Star of LA Noir — long profile of James Ellroy‘For many, his ostensibly shocking claim that he had “figured out how I could use my mother’s death, reduce it to sound-bites and sell books”, might have seen him tagged simply as a grotesque opportunist. But then, in a bravely imaginative departure, he complicated matters further by addressing head-on the nature of that exploitation in his ground-breaking 1996 book My Dark Places, which was part memoir and part, ultimately doomed, attempt to identify her killer, who has never been identified. The more one finds out about the man, the more his title of the essay in which he claims novels are mislabelled autobiography makes sense: he called it “Where I Get My Weird Shit”.’
[spam] Trial Shows How Spammers Operate‘As one of the world’s most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of Internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need. [..] In a typical month, prosecutors said during the trial, Jaynes might receive 10,000 to 17,000 credit card orders, thus making money on perhaps only one of every 30,000 e-mails he sent out. But he earned $40 a pop, and the undertaking was so vast that Jaynes could still pull in $400,000 to $750,000 a month, while spending perhaps $50,000 on bandwidth and other overhead, McGuire said. “When you’re marketing to the world, there are enough idiots out there” who will be suckered in, McGuire said in an interview.’
November 16, 2004
[comics] Stuart Immonen’s 50 Reasons To Stop Sketching At Conventions:

50 Reasons To Stop Doing Sketches - #11 The Superfan

[lard] Lard Crisis: Mince Pies Threatened As Supplies Dwindle‘Demand in east European countries for cheap cuts of pork has led to a shortage of meat suitable for rendering into lard. New members of the European Union, including Hungary and Poland, are buying within the union to avoid a levy on non-EU imports. Supermarkets such as Morrisons have been forced to display signs on shelves apologising for the lack of lard’ [Related: Mefi on the Lard Crisis]
November 17, 2004
[web] Portable Firefox 1.0 — useful adaptation of Firefox‘Portable Firefox is a fully functional package of Firefox optimized for use on a USB key drive. It has some specially-selected optimizations to make it perform faster and extend the life of your USB key as well as a specialized launcher that will allow most of your favorite extensions to work as you switch computers. It will also work from a CDRW drive (in packet mode), ZIP drives, external hard drives, some MP3 players, flash RAM cards and more.’
November 18, 2004
[comics] The Strangeness of Brendan McCarthy — nicely done unofficial website for the much missed artist best known for his work on Judge Dredd and frequent collaborations with Peter Milligan … ‘Will he ever return to drawing a full comic strip? He has been quoted as saying, “Of course I will produce comic books in the future, but first I want to make sure I have enough money behind me so that I can self-publish the material I choose. I’m getting too long in the cock to have silly people telling me how to produce my own work. There’s just too much crap to put up with and quite frankly, I can’t be bothered with it”‘
November 19, 2004
[buy sell] eBay Pulse — find out what’s selling on eBay. [via BingBangBosh]
[royalty] Prince Charles: ‘What is wrong with people nowadays? Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far above their capabilities? This is all to do with the learning culture in schools. It is a consequence of a child-centred education system which tells people they can become pop stars, high court judges or brilliant TV presenters or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary work or having the natural ability. It is a result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically engineered to contradict the lessons of history.’
November 21, 2004
[wifi] How To Steal Wi-Fi — a useful guide to using your neigbours wi-fi access point without asking from Paul Bouting… ‘Every techie I know says that you shouldn’t use other people’s networks without permission. Every techie I know does it anyway.’
November 22, 2004
[tube] Blood on the Tracks — article about suicides on the London Underground … ‘How the tube got its reputation as a good spot for suicides is a mystery. It is a completely stupid choice. A large number of jumpers don’t die immediately and plenty don’t die at all. Those that are successful often manage because they get themselves crushed between the far wall and the train, instead of on the rails. It is very far from clinical. At the first “one-under” I attended, the woman was still alive underneath the train, screaming and trying to get up. The image stayed with me for years.’
November 24, 2004
[london] B3ta interviews London’s “Are you a Sinner or a Winner?” ManQ: Daddy or chips? A: Both. If your chips are down you need your Daddy (points skyward).’
November 25, 2004
[politics] Impeach Tony Blair? Not this Crazy Gang — Simon Hoggart on the attempt to impeach Tony Blair … ‘Some of us had gone along in the hopes of hearing Harold Pinter, a keen supporter of the move to impeach the prime minister. Perhaps he would read one of his poems: “‘ Bombs hurtle down. They split open the skulls of babies. George Bush fills the skulls with shit, the shit of shitty shit-covered damnation’. Thank you.” Or words to that effect. Sadly, Mr Pinter was not able to attend…’
[descaler] Cillit Bang FAQ — everything you need to know about the much blogged household cleaner … ‘Q: How does Cillit Bang work? A: I’m not sure. Any Chemistry gurus out there? Is it a surfactant? Oxidant? Acid? What would happen if you necked a shot of it?’

  • PeterCooper.co.uk: Cillit Bang … From a Comment: ‘…for the people who said it is a real product…..where the hell can I get it? Its driving me nuts…..I NEED Cillit Bang!!! My life will never be the same without it….HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

  • The Ulterior: BANG! … From a Comment: ‘I have seen the advert everyday for about a week now on channel 4, and in my Chemistry class about 2 weeks ago, when discussing oxidation, somone shouted out CILLIT BANG! We were all fairly confused and thought he was winding up the teacher, but no! He was discussing the oxidation power of Cillit Bang! It has now started a religion in my school and every time we meet each other we have to shout Cillit Bang! Its not a great religion, but i thought you should all know about it…’

November 29, 2004
[descaler] On eBay: CILLIT BANG – New and unopened [via Tech PR blog] … ‘YES – it does exist – but very difficult to find!! This is an excellent product and does everything that it says it does – great for kitchens and bathrooms and for shiny new pennies!!!’
November 30, 2004
[internet] Penny Arcade: Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad