July 19, 2002
[science] Strange Blood — Wired Magazine takes a look at artificial Blood. ‘…we’re in South Africa, where the human immunodeficiency virus has slipped into the veins of at least 4.5 million people. That’s 10 percent of the population. Some estimates put it much higher, at 25, 30, or even 40 percent, and all studies agree that the numbers are climbing, making this country among the hardest hit anywhere. The result, in addition to the obvious misery and death, is a blood shortage of huge proportions. Necessity breeds invention, however, and it can also cut through snares of bureaucracy. As Cappy’s pale, anemic body is wheeled into intensive care, Levien tells the nurses there to “hang a bag of aitchbock.” That’s H-B-O-C, for hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier – the generic term for Hemopure, a therapeutic substance made by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical firm Biopure and approved for use nowhere in the world except South Africa. This is artificial blood, and it’s clean and pure and fresh from the tap – never touched by human hands or human pathogens. To collect Hemopure for an injured South African, you don’t need donor drives or questionnaires or tourniquets or risk. All you need is a head of cattle.’
July 20, 2002
[blogs] Couple more quotes about the Great British Blogs Competition

  • Blogjam: ‘…the Internet has turned me slowly from an outgoing, gregarious, popular fellow into a shallow, reclusive computer dweeb with very few remaining friends, and blogjam is the nearest thing to a serious relationship I’ve had in some time. In summary, I think blogjam warrents some recognition for putting up with me. It’s the very least she deserves.’ [via Wherever You Are]
  • Blogadoon: ‘I suspect Blogadoon is too strong on cock and spite, too weak on tech and eye-candy to rate well in any kind of mainstream beauty contest.’

July 21, 2002
[blogs] One last quote about Great British Blogs, from Life as it Happens: ‘What does Anita Roddick know about blogging? And Alan Rusbridger? Granted, something of this response is the idea of the Outside World peering into the blog golfish bowl (“But you don’t understand!” “You’re not one of us!” “You don’t get it!”) Assuming they are reading as everyday readers, why should they not? On the other hand, those who do not blog on a regular basis may well miss the fine points of the game.’
[wifi] Sunday Doonesbury — Garry Trudeau on wireless networking‘Man… Great Hotspot. Why would anyone pay for this stuff?’
July 22, 2002
[bb3] In It to Win It — Brian Sewell discusses Tim‘Tim, 100 per cent, is a humourless wimp with no sense of fun, no ability to let slip the middle class inhibitions that so undermine his frail sense of security. Not for Tim a knockabout race with supermarket trolleys (his hair might be disarrayed), not for Tim a venture into uncomely drunkenness, not for Tim a romp of any kind, for this is a boy still dominated by the suburban manners of his mother, a boy who in his own esteem has stumbled onto the stage of a farcical pantomine.’
Hate #14 -- Buddy Bradley Shaving [click to buy at Amazon][comment] For the Hell of It — Julie Burchill on the Daily Mail.

The Mail compared to comics: ‘The secret with the Daily Mail, as with the Sun, is to read it not as a newspaper but as a comic in which someone has forgotten to do the drawings. But whereas the Sun would be Viz, the Daily Mail is a dark, nihilistic number, like Hate or Hell-Blazer.’

More: ‘What is the Daily Hell scared of? How long have you got? On one day last week, you could have chosen from the abortion pill, gay rights police, dogs, white people having black babies, taxes, single mothers, career women, exams, teachers, doctors, taxi drivers, unions, drugs, compensation, Big Brother, HRT, sugar, vitamin pills, foreign beer and girls who go on holiday to Greece and drink too much (though in Daily Hellville half a shandy is probably “too much” for a woman).’
July 23, 2002
[bb3] Baying For Blood — Why the press hates Jade and has the tide turned? ‘Jade Goody is poor. She is badly educated and not terribly bright, and so she says remarkably silly things such as “East Angular? That’s abroad. Is there not a place called East Angular abroad?” Her father is in prison, her mother is disabled, and she has admitted to shoplifting when she was younger. She is also of mixed race, which accounts for the distinctive, full features which have seen her lambasted for not being sufficiently “English rose” for the nation’s sensibilities. But – perhaps most importantly – most of the criticism that has been targeted at Jade, explicitly or not, is because she is a woman.’
[comics] Yahoo’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Movie preview page‘…I guess what we have to do is cross our fingers, hold our breaths, and hope that the film itself somehow captures some wink of the magic of Moore’s writing. Maybe. Can Stephen Norrington do it? His first film went direct-to-video, his third has yet to be picked up for distribution, which leaves us with Blade. Blade is a bloody, violent romp of a vampire movie, and while I did enjoy it for exactly what it was, I don’t get anything from it that yells to me “this guy would rock as the director of LoEG”.’ [via Cheesedip]
July 24, 2002
[bb3] It’s Imperative that I spot any Nudity — behind the scenes at the Press Agency covering Big Brother 3‘Rob Kelly, 21, works for a press agency, Kent News and Pictures. For the last eight weeks, he’s watched Big Brother for 12 hours a day. His eyes must not leave the screen. If he needs the loo, someone stands in. Every three to four minutes, he fills in a log of the housemates’ activity. When his shift finishes at 9am, another “monitor” immediately takes over for the next 12 hours until Kelly resumes his watch at 9pm.’
[comics] Interesting selection of MP3’s from musical collaborations between Alan Moore and Tim Perkins … [via Bugpowder]
July 25, 2002
[politics] You Ask The Questions — Ann Widdecombe‘Q:Were you pleased with When Louis Met Ann Widdecombe? Why wouldn’t you let Louis into your bedroom? A:I was not unhappy with the final programme. I invited Louis into only those areas of the house where I would invite anyone else. I am entitled to some privacy and I cannot believe the nation is remotely interested in my bedroom or bathroom.’
[comics] Millarworld — Official Mark Millar site lauches along with WEF-alike Forum‘As you might expect, the contents inside have something of a bias towards me, but I’m paying for this thing so I like to enjoy that little luxury.’ [via Barbelith]
July 26, 2002
[blogs] Swish Cottage rates Great British Blogs … Fine summary of Plep: ‘A staggering array of random links. The Bifurcated Rivets that’s fun to read.’ [via Sashinka]
[comics] After the Snooter — preview of Eddie Campbell’s new autobiographical comic. Includes two sample chapters: Eternity and Running A Publishing House Out of the Front Room‘As well as examining his life as an artist in his forties, Campbell looks back on what his childhood self expected of him, and rejuvenates his social life by surrounding himself with a new gang of youthful reprobates. Ongoing collaborator Alan Moore offers an alternative role model, heading his own midlife crisis off at the pass by deciding to worship a sock puppet and dig a cave under his house.’ [via Bugpowder]
[film] Postive review of Austin Powers in Goldmember‘Who else but Myers can deliver this kind of exuberant, ambitious, mainstream screen comedy? Adam Sandler? Chris Rock? They are simply not in his league. In the course of an interview to promote this movie, Michael Caine has again unburdened himself of his view that Britain is a nation of losers and that he is not appreciated here. A baffling view, considering that he has been knighted, honoured and otherwise idolised. But I wonder if his chronic discontent may have been reawakened by this film: the fact that it takes a Canadian working in Hollywood to satirise a British icon so persuasively, so affectionately, and with such mouth-watering box-office results? Isn’t that what we should be doing with our industry?’ [Related: Trailer]
July 27, 2002
[web] AOL RIP? — Douglas Rushkoff on AOL / Time Warner’s Problems. ‘…AOL’s purchase of Time/Warner heralded the end of the bubble. AOL was cashing in its casino chips. And just like the gambler who trades in his colored plastic disks for real cash, AOL’s Steve Case understood that his run was over and that it was time to trade in his stock certificates for those of a company that had genuine assets.’ [via Evhead]
[comics] Long three-part Newsarama interview with Mark Millar #1, #2, #3

‘I know a lot of creators really hate the Internet because it’s an unedited forum where readers can tell you what they’re really thinking and share this view with hundreds of thousands of people. They’re also down on it because the ‘net provides spontaneous response and people say the kind of things they might reconsider if they were to put it all in a letter and mail it. However, I think the Internet has become the lifeblood of the industry and it’s at the absolute heart of the recovery we’re experiencing at the moment.’

July 28, 2002
[booze] The Puzzling Red Wine Headache [login as: linkmachinego/linkmachinego] — this link is for Vaughan‘It may be caused by “compounds found in the skins of grapes and they are either naturally occurring or produced through fermentation,” Dr. Freitag said. He would postulate no further. “It’s not as if there are hundreds of thousands of dollars for funding” studies to determine the cause, Dr. Freitag said. There is actually a stigma to studying the subject. “I’ve entertained the idea of looking for grants to study this and I’ve been told, `Don’t go there, it’s bad P.R.,’ ” Dr. Freitag said.’ [via Follow Me Here]
July 29, 2002
[tv] Enough of Big Bruv – for now — comment from Barbara Ellen … Even though I’ve been disenchanted for several weeks, there I was on Thursday, watching again as moody model Alex issued a quasi-Shakespearean speech from the bottom of the Big Brother staircase. Priceless. It was all about his regrets: Regretting coming in, regretting staying in, regretting everything. A broken man apologising to himself and the nation, a bit like Hamlet with designer face fuzz and hair gel. Watching him, swaying about in self-pitying grandeur, you couldn’t help but think: Excuse me, you have regrets? How do you think I feel? How do you think any viewers feel?’ [Related: Big Bro 3 – The Last Night]
[911] Reach for the Sky — Salman Rushdie on 911 and what should happen on the site of the WTC … ‘At Ground Zero that November day, the hollow air seemed to gather and shape itself into those huge lost forms and soar upwards towards the memory of billowing fire. “That was where it happened,” I kept reminding myself, “not down here, but up there.” I tried to identify cubes of empty space “up there” that might correspond to the exact locations of the twin crimes, wanting, a little crazily, to repossess those spaces by the pure force of seeing. An aeroplane passed overhead and made me wince.’
July 30, 2002
[comics] Notes on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v2 #1 — annotations to Alan Moore’s latest comic … ‘Gulliver Jones is greeting John Carter. Carter, as mentioned, was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and debuted in ?Under the Moons of Mars? in 1912. Carter was a Virginian (note his manner of speaking here) and a Civil War Veteran who was transported to Mars in 1866 through a zeta beam. (Well, okay, through astral projection.)’ [via Usenet]
[books] Fundamentally Unsound — Salon takes a look at Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series … ‘Left Behind cloaks itself in the conventions of ordinary airport thrillers, but it does far more than just provide a Christian alternative to decadent mainstream entertainment. It creates a Christian theory of everything, one that slates current events into a master narrative in which the world is destroyed and then remade to evangelical specifications. It’s an alternate universe in which conservative Middle Americans are vindicated against everyone who doesn’t share their beliefs — especially liberals and Jews.’ [via Follow Me Here]
July 31, 2002
[comics] A couple of Hate Cover Wallpapers I’ve been working on … [thanks to Team DOLnet for the scanner and Photoshop tips]

Hate #5 WallpaperHate #28 Wallpaper
[800 X 600] [1024 X 768][800 X 600] [1024 X 768]

August 2, 2002
[books] Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2002 Results — competition to write the worst opening sentences to imaginary novels… [via Massive]

‘The professor looked down at his new young lover, who rested fitfully, lashed as she was with duct tape to the side of his stolen hovercraft, her head lolling gently in the breeze, and as they soared over the buildings of downtown St. Paul to his secret lair he mused that she was much like a sweet ripe juicy peach, except for her not being a fuzzy three-inch sphere produced by a tree with pink blossoms and that she had internal organs and could talk.’

August 3, 2002
[comics] Global Frequency — web site for Warren Ellis’ new comic … ‘There are a thousand and one people on the Global Frequency. A worldwide independent defense intelligence organization with a thousand and one agents, all over the world. Anyone you know might be with them. It’s the world’s little open secret.’
[film] The Flesh Ripping, Bullet Spraying Ballet Master — profile / interview of director John Woo

‘The Killer was elemental Woo, the template that has relentlessly infused much of his subsequent work. A super-abundance of picturesque violence props up the usual conflict of good and evil, in which we are invited to observe not so much the clash of black and white, but the shades of grey that lie between the protagonists. Hero and villain become interchangeable; creatures of the same culture, victims of the amorphous pressures put upon them by a wicked world, equally beset by guilt, shame and regret, similarly capable of acts of selfless nobility, brothers under the skin. The hitman and the cop are two fingers on the same hand. In other words, it is a buddy movie. Add to that the love interest: the girl is a veritable apotheosis of anorak sexual longing – she is beautiful, lonely, isolated and, best of all, she is blind. No button is left unpushed. You get the car ‘n’ speedboat chases, innocent kiddies caught in the crossfire, a spectacular gun battle in God’s House with His statuettes exploding all over the shop, a close-up euthanasia shot (very matey) and a grande finale of Woo’s special trademark, white doves fluttering over the carnage. Phew.’

August 4, 2002
[comics] — Blog Genealogy. Great idea… LMG can be found here on Blogtree and I’m a father already!‘You can register your blogs and record which blogs inspired their creation. You can also search for existing blogs and view which blogs they in turn inspired.’
[comics] State of the Art: Frank Miller — Jimmy Palmiotti interviews Frank Miller about Dark Knight 2 amongst other things …

‘JP: What about comics is driving you nuts right now?

FM: “Crying Fireman” comics. Golly, we all got plenty emotional after 9/11, and a lot of us did some plenty emotional work. But at least we knew when to stop. Now Marvel seems to have turned it into a goddamn cottage industry. Ghoulish. Shameful. It reminds me of the old saw that every American tragedy winds up turning into a farce.’

August 5, 2002
[i kiss you] Mahir Is Not A Terrorist‘Who is want to come TURKEY I can invitate ….. She can stay my home …….. I speake turkish , english , rusian , I want to learn other language ! I do not want to learn about terrorism !’ [kinda via Metafilter]
August 6, 2002
[comics] Punching Holes Through Time — absolutely fab Sequential Tart interview with Grant Morrison. It’s so good, I can’t decide on a quote so you’re getting three …

At an important time in my life, between the ages of 12 and 19, I was practically autistic at home. I had a lot of fun at a boys school during the day but evenings were grim beyond Morrissey’s most rueful yodellings, spent huddled in our flat above the Finefare, drawing my own homemade comic books and writing fantasy novels with cock in hand (see Flex Mentallo #3 ).

I just re-read a bunch of Doom Patrols and they were fucking brilliant. I’m a little ashamed that I would never dare end the X-Men on a full-page cliffhanger featuring a floating pyramid and a Satanic Noel Coward lookalike with a periscope in his head shouting the words “REVERTH MY BUTTOCKTH SERGEANT MAJOR!”

[Crisis on Infinite Earths] made for a great maxi-series and possibly the best, most apocalyptic superhero crossover ever. Ten billion characters screaming as entire universes caught fire. George Perez was the John Martyn of comics and there was a sense of genuine threat and armageddon. It seemed like the most important event of all time (unless you’d been there for the death of Jean Grey, which fucked with me more, sleek and romantic and 21 by this time. I wept silent tears as Scott and Jean held hands and ran out to face certain death on the moon. Lying on a park bench beside Hyde Park in the sun at 8 a.m., I penned a tear-stained paean to mutantism. Me in Chelsea boots, drainpipe trousers, fluffy moptop, with The Winds of Chaos, my first novel in a folder in my attache case. “Dear Chris, I cried for Jean Grey …”

[war] One Hell of a Big Bang — Studs Terkel interviews Paul Tibbets the man who piloted the Enola Gay

‘ST: One last thing, when you hear people say, “Let’s nuke ’em,” “Let’s nuke these people,” [al-Qaeda] what do you think?

PT: Oh, I wouldn’t hesitate if I had the choice. I’d wipe ’em out. You’re gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we’ve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn’t kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: “You’ve killed so many civilians.” That’s their tough luck for being there.’

August 7, 2002
[barcodes] Create Your Own Barcode … [via Boing Boing] Barcode

[terrorism] How to make a Dirty Bomb — Jon Ronson attempts to make a Nuclear Weapon … ‘The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists writes: “Producing either uranium-235 or plutonium-239 in the quantities needed to make nuclear weapons is extraordinarily difficult and expensive. [Nuclear-bomb makers] must be prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions.” I consequently downgrade my ambition to building a dirty bomb – a conventional bomb mixed with radioactive material – instead. I am a novice in this matter. Not only is my knowledge of the necessary physics sketchy at best (I got 9% in my mock physics O-level) but my resources are extremely limited. The Guardian has told me not to go crazy with the expenses. I don’t even have a garage or a basement; those things are pricey in north London.’ [via Sashinka]
August 8, 2002
[life] Why Me? — A psychologist tells why he is sick of self-pitying patients … ‘Everywhere we look, our culture is sending us the message that if we comply, we will be spared anguish. I have bad news. A brief study of history shows that we have put ourselves behind the cosmic eight ball. Mass extinctions, the growth and contractions of empires, sudden evolutionary leaps, even our children’s growth spurts, all show the same thing: If you live on this planet, you will experience periods of calm broken up by periods of intense crisis and radical change. No life is spared.’
[cartoon] Steve Bell on Saddam and Gaddaffi‘If you wanna get ahead get a hat like Tommy Cooper.’
August 9, 2002
[] The Bot who Loved Me — just how low can internet marketing schemes go? … ‘Perhaps the most extreme is the Crush007 site. Based in Malaysia, it sends a fake crush e-mail to an unsuspecting stooge. The site then goads the sucker to reveal all kinds of personal facts, including “how many times does she/he masturbate a week?” and “names of his/her biggest crush.” The homepage makes no secret about its motives: “We have developed this website just to help you find out who your friend’s crushes are, and also not to mention, their biggest, most well kept secrets.” Fear for the dorkiest kid in the class, thrilled that someone actually has a crush on him, who is about to be the victim of an Internet humiliation machine.’
[comics] Censorship of The Authority — Panel by Panel analysis of censorship in the Wildstorm / DC Comic … ‘At left, a selection from the bottom panel of page 6 from The Authority #27 as it was printed. At right, the same area of page 6 as Arthur Adams originally drew it. Note the nipple in Adams’s original.’ [via Boing Boing]
August 10, 2002
[comics] Moore Morality — Dylan Horrocks on Alan Moore. ‘…he’d taken all his own grief and the lessons he’d learnt from it and had distilled them into this crazy little comic about superheroes and interdimensional travel. He’d given us a gift, carefully copied from the scars on his own heart. That’s what I mean when I say that what really makes Alan Moore’s work special is its morality. His work is pure and sincere. And utterly, deeply humane.’
[blogs] How we’re spending our time at Pyra — what’s happening with Blogger‘Sometime later this month, the first public, large-scale, non-Pyra-run installation of Blogger will go live.’
August 11, 2002
[food] Grease is the Word — Nigel Slater makes Elvis Presley’s Fried-Peanut-Butter-and-Banana Sandwich … ‘I have known about this sandwich for years but felt that, along with deep-fried Mars bars, monkey brains and fugu fish, this was territory that I did not wish to explore. The fact that the peanut butter was sometimes mixed with strawberry jam, and that the whole heart-stopping snack was then fried in butter, put the seal on it. Still, what the hell. It can’t kill me. So here I am, standing in the kitchen, debating whether this legendary recipe really is the crack cocaine of the sandwich world, and whether I am going to get out of this alive. I so want to just say no, but I like bananas, have a sneaky fondness for white sliced bread, and absolutely adore peanut butter.’
August 12, 2002
[comics] Comic-Book Confidential — Mark Millar dishes up loads of gossip about comics … Now I wonder who… ‘The freelancer who indulged in a little cyber-sex with a reader (the transcript of which is now doing the rounds in the female comics community).’ is?
[bb3] The voice of Big Brother — interview with the narrator of BB3 … ‘”Chickens.” It is quite a thrill. Say it again, I ask. “Chickens.” For some reason, this pleases me no end. As an added bonus, he continues in familiar Geordie tones: “Day 44 in the Big Brother house.” I clap my hands. I am having a conversation with the voice of Big Brother. And I can see his lips move.’
August 13, 2002
[comics] This is Information — a page from Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s 911 Tribute comic-strip …

By Alan Moore, Melinda Gebbie -- Panels from 'This Is Information' 9-11 Comic

‘This is what Entropy looks like. Not much Energy. Not much information. The Kinetic Energy bound up inside the structure is released with its collapse, a single Pulverising Burst. Complex information is reduced to dull simplicity. Rubble, for example contains little information it all looks the same. This could be London, New York, Baghdad, Belfast, or Kabul. Or Anywhere.’
[lizards] David Icke’s Media‘I do read the Daily Mail, because its politics stink. In fact, so much so that I have to read it at arm’s length with a peg on my nose.’
August 14, 2002
[911] The Mystery of Flight 93 — The Independent’s view on the unanswered questions and conspriracy theories surfacing about Flight 93‘Everything is speculation — that is the problem with the story of Flight 93. And unless the US government reveals more of what it knows, provides a detailed account of the last 10 minutes in the life of Flight 93 and the 44 people who were aboard, there will not only be scope but sound reasons for the conspiracy theorists to continue to speculate as to what really happened in those last few minutes before the plane plunged into the earth; to cast doubts on the soft-focus legend that the traumatised American public has seized upon so gratefully.’ [Related: Mefi on Flight 93]
[blogs] Tom reconstructs We’ve Got Blog‘If you were interested in reading – but uninterested in paying for – the collection of articles printed in the book We’ve got blog (which includes an introduction by the esteemed Rebecca Blood), you may be surprised to realise that almost all of the pieces within it are freely available on the interweb. And don’t worry – most of them are just as interesting online as they are squirted onto paper.’ [Related: We’ve Got Blog]
August 15, 2002
[books] Pullman Lays Down Moral Challenge for Writers — Philip Pullman discusses morality. ‘…his real bugbear was with the “propensity of human nature” to use politics or religion to set up one unquestionable truth – “it could be the Bible, it could be the Communist Manifesto” – and to then knock down all that went against it. “This is what I am against. Not Christianity, but every religion and fundamental organisation where there is one truth and they will kill you if you don’t believe it.”‘
[blogs] Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man — old (2000) profile of Jorn Barger‘…Barger felt something was missing — a context for his postings, some frame of reference that would fill in the contours of his Net persona, now badly fragmented across the boundaries of his various newsgroups. His Web log, in the end, was born to fill that need. It was conceived less as the quality news digest it has become (frequented by thousands of the Net’s most knowledgeable) than as a portrait of Jorn Barger, rendered in the medium of his own daily, unexpurgated curiosities. ‘ [kinda via]
August 16, 2002
[memo] This Afternoons Events in the Restroom — a classic email from Internal Memos‘I understand from some of you that my recent indecency related arrest in Thailand seems to have clouded your judgement to illegal acts. Let me warn you that I am innocent and will prove so soon. This does not mean the office is a free for all.’ [via Haddock]
[blogs] You’ve got Blog — another ancient article (2000, from the New Yorker) about blogging … ‘Because the main audience for blogs is other bloggers blogging etiquette requires that, if someone blogs your blog, you blog his blog back. Reading blogs can feel a lot like listening in on a conversation among a group of friends who all know each other really well. Blogging, it turns out, is the CB radio of the Dave Eggers generation.’ [via again]
[war] Mock Cyberwar fails to end Mock Civilization‘We’ve seen cities immobilized for days by natural events like blizzards, the severest of which are often accompanied by power and communications breakdowns, financial inconveniences and failures of emergency response teams to function, and yet life goes on. Human beings simply aren’t as fragile and narcotically-dependent on state authority as the government desperately desires them to be. We shift for ourselves rather well for moderate periods of time when the infrastructure of state paternalism lets us down and the life-giving commercial heartbeat flatlines. People are remarkably good at solving problems, both individually and in small ad-hoc groups. Thus we survive earthquakes, floods, blizzards, depressions, epidemics, hurricaines, foreign occupations, famines, plagues, slavery, volcanic eruptions, sustained V-1 and V-2 bombing campaigns, and the like. If we couldn’t, we wouldn’t be here now.’
August 17, 2002
[tv] The Long Day Closes — Media Guardian on 24 as the last episode is screened on BBC2 tomorrow … ‘To say that Jack Bauer has been having a bad day is like dismissing the second world war as a little local difficulty.’
[mobiles] Cell Biology — the Washington Post on mobiles phones and swarming … ‘The very fabric of their time has softened. Remember arranging to meet at a specific time, like 8 p.m., at a specific location, like Connecticut and K? Forget it. The new hallmark of squishy lives involves vaguely agreeing to meet after work, and then working out the details on the fly. A time-softened meeting starts with a call that says, “I’m 15 minutes away.” It’s no longer unforgivable to be late, as long as you’re in contact.’
August 18, 2002
[tv] 24 Dreaming‘Right now, prawns are plotting to send love letters to a loud albino. My window and leg are raging, and salads that I work with may be rudimentary. I’m Federal Agent Jack Bauer, and this is the most minty surfboard of my life.’ [via Sore Eyes]
[war] The Search for Osama bin Laden‘CIA officials have highly reliable reports that al-Qaeda’s leader managed to cross into northwest Pakistan and is hiding in or near the city of Peshawar, where he commands the loyalty of local tribes and is protected by thousands of armed men. Bin Laden has managed to elude capture by one of the largest concentrations of special-operations forces, airpower and satellite surveillance ever mustered. Blunders at the U.S. command level, lack of coordination between coalition partners, poor intelligence and the unreliability or outright treachery of local allies have contributed to the failure, which now threatens to unleash civil war in Pakistan as al-Qaeda gears up for another attack on the United States.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
August 19, 2002
[books] Meet the Parent — interview / profile of Tony Parsons. ‘…Man and Boy seems unstoppable – it does that very rare thing, it reaches people who don’t normally buy books. The trouble is that when Parsons talks about it, there is no glimmer of the vision thing – he sounds almost like Jeffrey Archer, harping on about his sales figures. So, back to my original suspicion. Did he sit down one day and see the Nick Hornby bandwagon rolling past and think ‘I’ll have some of that’? Did he decide, cynically, hackily, to switch from smartarse to sensitive?’
[blogs] Living in the Blog-osphere — Steven Levy on weblogs. ‘…most coverage of the so-called Blog-osphere (the name given to the collective alternate universe consisting of all active Weblogs) seems to focus on A-listers like pundit Andrew Sullivan, gadfly Mickey Kaus or former MTV veejay Adam Curry. Even the various computer-generated lists that purport to probe what’s happening on Planet Blog don’t go beyond the 10,000 or so most popular ones, rated by the numbers of links to and from the various sites. But the bigger story is what’s happening on the 490,000-plus Weblogs that few people see: they make up the vast dark matter of the Blog-osphere, and portend a future where blogs behave like such previous breakthroughs as desktop publishing, presentation software and instant messaging, and become a nonremarkable part of our lives.’ [via Scripting News]
[lmg] An RSS Feed of LinkMachineGo is available here.
August 20, 2002
[comics] More Get Your War On [Part 12] [Part 13] …

Panel from Get You War On

[tv] The Dirty Truth — the inside story on Steptoe and Son. ‘…the two actors’ real-life relationship was [..] bizarre – and even more fraught – than their on-screen one. Wilfrid Brambell was gay and an alcoholic, notorious for his outrageous behaviour (on one infamous occasion he exposed himself to a woman at a party). He routinely told adoring fans who met him in the street to “fuck off”. Harry H Corbett was a womaniser who hated his role in Steptoe and died a bitter and disappointed man. When Steptoe finished in 1974, Corbett loathed Brambell. Within three years, the feeling was mutual.’
August 21, 2002
[web] PageRank: Google’s Original Sin — interesting view of what’s wrong with Google. ‘… PageRank drives Google’s monthly crawl, such that sites with higher PageRank get crawled earlier, faster, and deeper than sites with low PageRank. For a large site with an average-to-low PageRank, this is a major obstacle. If your pages don’t get crawled, they won’t get indexed. If they don’t get indexed in Google, people won’t know about them. If people don’t know about them, then there’s no point in maintaining a website. Google starts over again on every site for every 28-day cycle, so the missing pages stand an excellent chance of getting missed on the next cycle also. In short, PageRank is the soul and essence of Google, on both the all-important crawl and the all-important rankings.’ [Kinda Related: Googlegate]
[sex] The Son Also Rises — amusing update on the 30th Aniversary edition of the The Joy of Sex

‘Even 30 years after it was first published, the Joy of Sex begs many questions. On pages 114-5 of the latest edition, for instance, there’s a man astride a woman’s buttocks with his hands pressed into her shoulders. The helpful description of what’s going on follows. “She kneels, hands clasped behind her neck, breasts and face on the bed. He kneels behind. She hooks her legs over his and pulls him to her with them.” With me so far? Let’s go to stage two. “He puts a hand on each of her shoulder-blades and presses down. Very deep position – apt to pump her full of air which escapes later in a disconcerting manner – otherwise excellent.” Intriguing stuff. Why would she be pumped full of air? Just how disconcerting is the escape of air? Should we have the emergency services on standby? What tools should they bring? ‘

August 22, 2002
[blogs] Haddock Blogs — All the Haddock Blogs in one place … ‘Surprisingly little was written on DMT.’ [Related: Azeem,, Builder of Stuff, Dreadberry,, Interconnected, Malbec, Oblomovka, Overmorgen,, Technovia, Webslog, Yoz Grahame’s Commonplace Megaphone]
August 23, 2002
[gambling] Hacking Las Vegas‘In Las Vegas, the casino has the right to bar anyone it wants. (Atlantic City has more “civilized” rules: The casinos can’t bar card counters, however they can annoy and harass them with constant shuffles, dealer changes, and other countermeasures.) Individual card counters who follow Thorp’s system and succeed quickly find themselves first unwelcome and then extinct: In gaming parlance, they’re dinosaurs. By the early ’70s, the casinos had overcome their initial panic. They had learned to identify and contain the enemy. So the enemy did what every good enemy does: It got smarter.’ [via Kottke]
[comics] Chapel Hellion — profile of Get Your War On creator David Rees … ‘After Sept. 11, as the news became grimmer, readers may have noticed Rees’ officeworkers growing progressively more erratic. Allusions to alcohol and drug consumption peppered the strip, limning the depressed, ennui-drenched state of a “nation in crisis.” When one officeworker asks another how he’s “enduring his freedom,” his friend responds: “OK, I guess. I drink myself into a stupor every night. I can’t get out of bed because I’m afraid of what I’ll hear on the radio. My daughter is still wetting her bed. And I’m supposed to fly to Chicago for a meeting on Thursday.” “That’s what I like to hear!” responds his interlocutor, in a Prozac-induced haze.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
August 24, 2002
[war] Notes from a Suicide Manual — excerpts from a Kamikaze’s cockpit reading … ‘At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.’
[words] The Julie Burchill Random Recycler‘I must say there are few things that irritate me more than the car-crash that is her private life with no old-school network a drag queen made bitter by a real woman’s breasts.’ [via Sashinka]
August 25, 2002
[diana] ‘Now, about that passport…’ — interview with Mohamed al-Fayed‘Chester puts his head around the door again, to suggest his boss’s imminent appearance. “What you must please remember,” he says, with profound delicacy, “is that Mr al-Fayed is still very much a grieving father, and this is the fifth anniversary of the death of his son. He will no doubt among other things give you his thoughts on Prince Philip and, taken out of context, to some unsympathetic ears, some of this may make him sound like a bit of a ranting lunatic… But you must understand he cares very deeply about these things…” I promise to bear it in mind.’
August 26, 2002
[music] Hit Charade — the problem with the music industry … ‘Since 1980, the mainstream music industry has only consolidated: Five companies control CD sales, MTV owns a multi-channel music-TV franchise, and a single company, Clear Channel, dominates both the concert business and Top 40 and rock radio. Ironically, if unsurprisingly, the biz has suffered from its near-monopolistic control. Short-sighted labels and tightly programmed radio have bolstered the success of certain styles and performers but prevented anything fresh from breaking through.’ [via Sore Eyes]
[comics] Why New Marvel Sucks Ass! — Mark Millar pretends to be a REAL Marvel Fan … ‘I’m here for a reason, gentle reader, and that reason is to explain why New Marvel sucks the penis of SATAN. Now I don’t write this as some middle-aged virgin typing in his mother’s basement. I am, in fact, currently intimate with a very beautiful, mature lady I met on the Earth: Final Conflict boards last year …’
August 27, 2002
[books] The Word Factory — great interview with Iain Banks …

‘I would dread to think that either we’re as good as it gets, or that the universe is empty. If there’s nobody else out there, it’s all going to fall to us eventually, which is a frightening responsibility.’

August 28, 2002
[books] Zadie Bites Back — update and interview with Zadie Smith … Phil Davis: ‘…I wanted to get under the skin of a character that I recognised. There are parts of my father in Archie. He’s a product of another era, when things were more fixed and certain, but most people were essentially unhappy, trapped in awful jobs. In many ways, that’s what’s so lifelike about the book. It says, “This is what life is like for most people” – random, mundane, only occasionally inspiring. If you ask me, that’s what touches people about White Teeth.’ [Related: The Autograph Man]
August 29, 2002
[comics] Die Puny Humans — Warren Ellis has a weblog … ‘die puny humans is my newsmine. I wanted a place to put my research that was accessible, searchable, and, crucially, not cluttering up my bloody computer. This is it. Means I can get to my stuff from anywhere with a web connection. Anything I find on my daily trawls around the web that interests me goes up here.’
[blogs] Scotblog — A real, live BBC Scotland Blog from Martin at the Copydesk‘Wish you were here, blah, blah, blah… What exactly is the point of postcards?’
August 30, 2002
[web] Meet Mr. Anti-Google — interview with a guy who believes that Google’s PageRank algorithm is evil and wrong. ‘…Google does seem all-powerful. It’s been four years since the search engine came online, and in those years, while the whole industry has crumbled around it, Google, somehow, has only became bigger, better and more popular. To someone like Brandt, someone not unfriendly to conspiracy theories and wary of the “power structure,” the Web according to Google must be a hard thing to bear. And bizarre as it may seem to go after a service as loved as Google is, on evidence as thin as Brandt offers, isn’t it more surprising that it’s taken this long for someone to snap up the domain name? Google seems indomitable, and Brandt’s fight is, certainly, doomed from the start. But perhaps it’s time someone took on Google — even if just for the fun of it.’ [Related: Google-Watch, Metafilter Thread, via Beesley]
[blogs] The Sri Chinmoy Project — Mo Morgan discovers a sinister cult abusing‘Odd, I thought. But it was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.’ [Related: Metafilter Thread]
August 31, 2002
[comics] The Kill Your Boyfriend Random Quote Generator‘You know, I didn’t think I’d ever fall in love with anyone. Thank God our relationship’s never going to have to stand the test of time.’ [via planetbond]
[underworld] Look Deeper … ‘It was just silly crap but it hit the spot.’
September 1, 2002
[film] Along Came A Spider — article on the 12 Film Certificate and comic book movies … ‘For the beleaguered film censors, the problem with films based on comic books is –the comic books. Comics have always been controversial, with their mix of cartoon violence, vivid villains and perverse characters; always accused of glorifying the crime or drug use that their clean-cut superheroes exist to combat.’
September 2, 2002
[books] The Other Mother — Philip Pullman reviews Neil Gaiman’s Coraline [UK | US] … ‘When Coraline finds a door that opens into another flat strangely like her own, but subtly different (thus making the classic transition from here, where we live, to there, where the mysteries begin), we believe what we’re told. And when she discovers a sinister woman there, who looks a little like her mother but has eyes that are big black buttons, the matter-of-factness of the woman’s response when Coraline says “Who are you?” is both disarming and terrifying. “I’m your other mother,” she says. And so begins a struggle for Coraline’s soul.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
September 3, 2002
[distraction] Flash Air Hockey — fast moving and I love the sound effects. [via Grayblog]
[politics] ‘Oh my god. Not Ann Widdecombe’ — Guardian Colunist spends three days in a hotel with Doris Karloff‘You get all sorts of requests once you’ve written a book. The other week Amnesty International invited me to an event to read the works of an imprisoned writer and I was happy to say yes. I chose Jeffrey Archer.’ [via I Love Everything]
September 4, 2002
[blogs] Lying Motherfucker — various famous authors blog, kinda … Frederick Forsythe: ‘Oh, how different it had all been in the glory days, back when Maggie held firmly the reins of a nation and men weren’t afraid to knock a Big Issue vendor into the gutter where it belonged. When the fuzzy-wuzzies knew their place and everyone stopped for a roast dinner on Sunday. Henry fingered the limp white collar of his shirt. A gentleman couldn’t even get a dependable starch anymore. It all went downhill with the Labour government, when they forced the coolie laundries to stop using child labor.’ [Related: Scott McCloud explains LyingMoFo]
[blogs] Best British Blogs — I’ve entered, by the way but I’d probably put money on Troubled Diva winning it. Tom, meanwhile, has come up with this:

September 5, 2002
[office] Subject: Star Wars Figurines — another office email classic … ‘To the person (or persons) who finds it funny to repeatedly position my star wars figurines in inappropriate positions, please stop. The note I put there requesting this to NOT be done was not a challenge for you to do it again, or to see how grotesque and inappropriate you could get.’ [via Venkman]
[web] Engine Trouble — profile of Google covering the block by China‘Google knows things. Not only does it index more of the web than any of its competitors, offering makeshift translations of pages between languages – it remembers, too. The company archives millions of web pages on its own computers, giving them a life beyond their creators, which provides another potential motive for the Chinese block: even if the computer hosting a Falun Gong website is seized and destroyed, the page persists in Google’s collective memory. In 2001, Google bought the rights to thousands of old postings on the Usenet system on online message boards. They are now catalogued on its database, and your past obsessions with Dungeons and Dragons or ornithology cannot be erased’
September 9, 2002
[books] Last Rites, Last Orders — extract from Zadie Smith’s new book The Autograph Man [UK | US] …

‘Whose idea was it to drink alphabetically? Alex did not come to Bubbles with that intention. He merely came to have a drink, maybe drinks, maybe drinkseses. After five swift whiskies, though, the idea just sort of presented itself. And Roy, who was the barman, and must take some of the blame, Roy did no frowning, no reluctant shrugging. Oh, no.

Roy said: “Go for it, my son.”

And Tommy, a pregnant Irishman, whose idea it may have been, said: “Twenty says you don’t get beyond Haich.”

Which was a dare. And drunk men take dares like they take breaths.

Absinthe, then, set it off with a bang.’

[blogs] Lots of interesting comments over the weekend about Best British BlogsMike: ‘I really do hope that the winner is someone that nobody reading this has ever heard of.’
September 10, 2002
[books] A Diverting New Chapter in the Life of a Literary Superstar — Zadie Smith Profile … ‘The essential charm of Smith’s writing is not its multicultural sweep, nor its Rushdie-like exaggerations and swift changes of direction, not even its incisive comic wit; it is the warmth with which she invests her portraits of even her unloveliest characters.’
September 11, 2002
[911] What has changed in New York? Everything. And Also Nothing — a journalist walks through Manhattan …

‘Strozier has been mapping Manhattan according to “zones of sadness”. South of Chambers Street, you could make out the people jumping, “and the only question is how that transforms you. Not whether you’re traumatised”. South of 14th, you could see everything – except individual human beings. And on the Upper West Side, “you probably saw it on TV. But you had to live with the smell. People are deeply confused about that, unless they’re very psychologically alert to their feelings. But everybody knows what the smell was. Today, the victims are literally in the lungs of people in New York”. Because of wind patterns, though, the smell never made it to the Upper East Side. “The richest, most elitist area in New York, and it was never touched. And within a few weeks, the most important thing for them was whether they could get a reservation at a five-star restaurant.”‘

[911] A View From The Patriotic Left — Christopher Hitchens looks back on 911 … [via Junius]

‘It is important to realize at the outset that a victory for those forces, of which bin Ladenism is only the most extreme, is in two senses of the word impossible. Impossible, obviously, from a moral point of view and from the viewpoint of survival. It has taken us a long time to evolve a society that, however imperfectly, respects political pluralism and religious diversity and the emancipation of the sexual life. A society that attempts to employ the objective standards of scientific inquiry and that has brought us the Hubble telescope and the unraveling of the chain of DNA. Clearly, there can be no compromise between this and the ravings of those who study dreams and are deluded by wild prophecies and who regard women as chattel and unbelievers as sacrificial animals. For them, the achievements of science are nothing, while the theft of weapons of mass destruction counts as a holy task. Their degradation is bottomless’

September 12, 2002
[books] Warren Ellis on James Bond‘In some ways — and I don’t think Fleming was unaware of this — he is what Allen Ginsberg called “bleak male energy,” causing and taking immense damage in single-minded pursuit of what he wants. At the conclusion of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, the front end of his personality essentially rubbed out by torture, drugs, multiple trauma and a sequence of horrible mental hammerblows, there is an almost disturbing glimpse of an amnesiac Bond as gentle, open, devoted, and almost sweet. And his lover dreads the day that he recovers. He is England’s blunt instrument of international assault — the spiteful, vicious bastard of a faded empire that still wants the world to do as it’s bloody well told.’
[distraction] Dicks of Hazzard‘Just two good ol’ boys, wouldn’t change if they could, Fightin’ the system like two modern-day Robin Hoods…’ [via Blogjam]
September 13, 2002
[books] On The Road: American Writers and their Hair — Zadie Smith in America … ‘Kansas City is oven hot, dead metaphor or no dead metaphor. And for some reason it is God’s plan to have me read in an inter-denominational all-faith meeting house, the better to offend all his children in different ways. By the time I get back to the hotel I’m washed up. The Jews hate me. So do the Catholics, the Muslims, the Hindus and the Jehova’s Witnesses. The Buddhists aren’t so crazy about me either. It turns out Kansas is not the city for religious comedy. Who knew?’ [thanks Prentiss]
September 14, 2002
[funny] Says God‘I like to kick things off with a bang. A Big Bang.’
September 15, 2002
[books] Man and Wife by Tony Parsons — The Digested Read … ‘I. Don’t. Know. Why I. Write in. These ridiculous. Sentences. And repeat. Re. Peat. Mys. Elf. Now. To women. Know I hate. The poncey. Middle-classes. That. Watch the. Late. Review. I. Really. Love Pat. He’s my son. Pat I. Love. He’s the. Best. Thing. I’ve ever. Done. Best. The. It breaks. My heart. That he. Lives. With. Gina.’
September 16, 2002
[comics] More Comic Book Confidential from Mark Millar‘That mysterious barrier between reader and creator has finally broken down and I can now name at least a dozen of my friends (most of whom are married) who’re having some kind of relationship with at least one of their readers. I think it’s a combination of the easy-access everyone has to their creator of choice at the moment, but it’s also due in no small part to this big influx of good-looking chicks we see on the boards, at the signings and at the conventions. Unlike the Vulcan-dressed, beer-paunched Sci-Fi chick, I think the comic girl tends to have a deadly combination of looks, intelligence and encyclopedic knowledge of their favorite creator’s work. Like I said, around half the pros I know (and I know a lot of people) are currently besotted with someone half their age on the other side of the country at the moment. Where will it all end?’
[distraction] Well worth the download: Eminem vs. The Smiths. [via]
September 17, 2002
[politics] Saddam and Me — interview with George Galloway

‘He revealed how Saddam had offered him Quality Street chocolates, told him how much he admired British buses. He also said how shy and retiring the Iraqi dictator was. The account may have been widely ridiculed, but Galloway is probably the only British politician who would be granted such an audience. Why didn’t he accept one of Saddam’s chocolates? “I never eat sweets, my dear. Never.” In his article, Galloway also related how Saddam commented that he had lost weight since their last encounter a few years ago. Galloway smiles when I mention it. “He didn’t have a chocolate either, which is interesting. But everyone else wolfed them down, so I got the impression that the tin doesn’t get brought out all that often.”‘

[distraction] Lego Theorists — Judith Butler, Anthony Giddens, Angela McRobbie and Michel Foucault as Lego … ‘The Lego Michel Foucault comes with a Parisian Library for younger children, or with the Lego San Francisco S&M Dungeon for older boys and girls.’
September 18, 2002
[another distraction] Mecha Breakout — the classic arcade game in your web browser.
September 19, 2002
[numbers] LinkMachineGo is Evil‘This number, when read backwards, gives 00438. This, written in octal, gives 666 – the number of the Beast. Enough said – QED.’ [via Dutchbint]
[books] Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington — his new book looks interesting … ‘Millington’s customarily whimsical take on contemporary gender relations is, of course, much in evidence but some of the sharper comedy here actually occurs beyond the familial settings. In certain respects the book has possibly more in common with the wry, mild-mannered satire of the Ealing films or David Nobbs’ Reginald Perrin than the novels of Tony Parsons, Nick Hornby and co.’ [Buy: UK | US]
September 20, 2002
[web] The Online Life of Bigplaty47 — from upsideclown

‘call_me_katy: why weren’t you there???? say something!!!!!
call_me_katy: I’M CRYING i thought i knew you, i thought i might love you
call_me_katy: and you do this, you did this
call_me_katy: YOURE MAKING ME CRY
call_me_katy: you have no heart. no heart at all
bigplaty47 has signed off.’

[comics] Alan Moore interviewed by Gary Groth — More audio interviews from the Comics Journal‘Moore, fresh off of his success with Watchmen (and subsequent break with DC Comics), had just embarked upon an experiment in self-publishing with the Bill Sienkiewicz-drawn mini-series Big Numbers. In these excerpts, conducted by telephone, Moore discusses some of the other projects he had been working on (Miracleman, A Small Killing and The Lost Girls) before settling into an extended dialogue concerning From Hell…’ [via Bugpowder]
September 21, 2002
[comics] The Philosophy of Art — interview with Eddie Campbell‘I love history. I’m very interested in the history of everything but when I hear terms like “Golden age”, I actually have a mechanism in my legs, called a “fuck-off mechanism”. It makes me automatically walk at great speed, and fuck off in the opposite direction when I hear those words. The comics business has its own peculiar imaginary history. Which is all right up to a point, but I prefer to see comics as part of a bigger history of art…’
September 22, 2002
[books] Philip Pullman Reaches the Garden — interview with the author of the His Dark Materials Trilogy … Pullman: ‘It’s a curious thing: we have to be told how to fall in love. We don’t do it automatically. Somebody made the point that if there were no stories about love, nobody would ever fall in love. We wouldn’t know how to do it.’ [via Interconnected]
[film] This Much I Know – Robert Evans‘It’s irreverence that makes things sizzle. It’s irreverence that gives you a shot at touching magic.’
September 23, 2002
[director] Triumphs that cannot Soothe a Troubled Soul — profile of Sam Mendes‘ Can it be coincidence, for example, that the then-bachelor Mendes, emerging from a series of broken relationships in his early thirties and hung up about marriage, chose five years ago to direct the Sondheim musical Company, which is about, er, a bachelor in his early thirties emerging from a series of broken relationships and who is hung up about marriage?’
[film] Back With A Vengeance — update on Tarantino and Kill Bill

Uma Thurman with a sword

‘Yohei Taneda, the production designer for the film’s Asian sequences, tried to explain the look of the film and the experience of working with Tarantino. “There is a reality to Kill Bill, but it is not the reality of the world,” he says. “It is the reality of Quentin’s world, and that is a somewhat different place. We are in Tokyo, we are in Okinawa, we are in a Chinese temple, but at all times, really we are in the world of Quentin.”‘
September 24, 2002
[comics] Grant Morrison updates his website. From Come Ride My Column: ‘How would you feel if a seemingly unlikely sex kitten like Brian Michael Bendis, say, or Alan Moore actually turned out out to be an utterly convincing and feminine seductress, able to “pass” as a refined and sophisticated lady? Let’s face it, careers could be hurt but this could be a very interesting and genuinely upsetting experiment. So I say once more. Let’s see some A-list comics pros got up as tarts! Fellow professionals, make your sexiest shots public – nothing seedy mind. Strictly glamour, lads, no hardcore.’
[tv] A Star in Geek’s Clothing — profile of Mackenzie Crook (Gareth from The Office) … ‘Crook modestly plays down his character’s part in the second series — “Gareth would be happy with the status quo and so it’s right that he doesn’t develop as much as other characters” — and then lets slip a storyline development that will surely cause many guffaws (as well buttock-clenching moments of embarrassment) this time around. “He becomes a bit of a ladies’ man — women I’m sure he meets down Chasers nightclub — and the others wonder if he’s making it up. It’s excruciating but there are poignant moments as well.”‘
September 25, 2002
[blogs] Blog Drone Unit #0189837 — automatic blogging … [via Dutchbint] …

‘Anyway she was a figure of poise and everything until the registrar told her that she needed an fna. She was a calligraphy enthusiast with a slight overbite and hair the color of strained peaches. In junior high but yesterday he said she was his gf from 7th to 9th grade if they were together the whole time thats a damn long time. One interesting thing about that is that i was working my way through the events of my junior high years when i remembered an old buddy from back then. We went back to dancing and i got my groove on with some fools that were therethis one guy was totally hot :* After the boat we went back to lizs in the limo.’

[rant] Trouble when Tweed Comes to Town — Will Self rants about the Countryside March … ‘Yes, Countryside Alliance, you’re the Tories who can’t stand the free market; you’re the libertarians who can’t handle homosexual rights or decriminalising drugs; you’re the defenders of Fortress Britain who get bankrolled by Brussels. You aren’t old MacDonald – you’re bloody senile.’ [via Guardian Weblog]
September 26, 2002
[comics] Probably the best individual comic panel ever? (St. Swithin’s Day by Grant Morrison and Paul Grist, click picture to enlarge) …

Why Am I Such A Wanker?

‘I can only dance to one song – “There She Goes” – and only in the bathroom. I don’t even need a record player. Sometimes I can just shut my eyes and HEAR it. Guitars like church bells. And then the drums start. And the singing comes in and I want to cry. And I’m going to die. I’m going to die tommorrow. I’m going to die and I don’t care. I’M GOING TO DIE! You know what they say – You’re only young once. And that was it.’
[bbb2002] Guardian’s Best British Blogs 2002 — as many of you know I was a runner-up. :) Congratulations to Scary Duck … [Related: Metafilter Thread]
September 27, 2002
[911] Failsafe — intriguing article about Flight 93 contrasting the events on board with American Defense Policy … ‘It may be worth taking note of the fact that the hijackers themselves correctly foresaw that the threat to their mission would come from the passengers and not from a military source external to the plane. The terrorists left behind them multiple copies of a manual, five pages in Arabic. The manual does not tell the terrorists what to do if an F-15 or F-16 approaches the planes they have seized. It instead gives elaborate instruction on what to do if passengers offer resistance. We should not ordinarily let ourselves be schooled by terrorists. But terrorists who seek to carry out a mission successfully have to know what the greatest threat to their mission will be.’ [via Red Rock Eater Digest]
[comics] Public Heroes — Newarama on the use of public domain characters in comics (concentrating mainly on Alan Moore’s work) … ‘Like many of the comic characters created in the 1940s, the heroes of the Standard line weren’t copyrighted. It wasn’t necessarily a careless move by the publisher, just a simple business decision. Remember – this was in the days before the phrase “intellectual property” was even coined, and comic book characters were disposable commodities. One was created in order to sell comics to boys, and when its sales started to slip, another was created to take its place.’ [Related: Slashdot Thread]
September 28, 2002
[tv] Johnny Vegas sells wedding pics to Viz for £1‘A spread of pictures in the adult comic show the couple walking, sitting on a bench and kissing. Johnny and Cath met in London early this year and married after a whirlwind romance. He said: “The glossies aren’t for me. Now I’ll just invest Viz’s quid and live off the interest.”‘ [via Haddock]
[comics] Alan Moore in Egomania #2: ‘”Approaching forty […] I was also starting to become more and more fascinated by the big taboo question of creativity, which also leads on to the big taboo question of consciousness, namely, “What is it and how does it work?” And also, of course, “How can I profit from it, move to Peterborough and live like a king?”‘ [via WEF]