1 June 2003
[blogs] If You Really Want To Know, Ask A Blogger — The Observer’s John Naughton on Blogs …

‘[…] the whole point of the web is full and comprehensive linking, and Google ranks pages by the numbers of other pages that link to them, it is hardly surprising that blogs are winning over established media. Nobody in his right mind would link to a mere abstract. A few Big Media outlets understand this elementary fact. The Guardian and The Observer sites are exemplary in this regard – which is why they are beginning to outrank their competitors (for example, the London Times and the New York Times) in web searches.’

2 June 2003
[blogs] Downhill — six degrees of seperation weblogs … ‘LinkMachineGo links to Junius links to InstaPundit.’ [via Interconnected | Related (kinda): Oracle of Bacon]
[comics] Frank Miller Speaks! — MP3 audio of a Comics Journal inteview of Miller by Gary Groth.
3 June 2003
[blogs] Mission Fullfilled — Warbloggers feel sad and unsatisfied after wargasm … ‘I myself did notice something rather odd about a week after combat ended in Iraq. I was relieved that we finally attacked, and even more relieved that the war was quick and that our military suffered as few casualties as they did in winning it. But I also felt, oddly, a kind of let-down, an emptiness, something missing.’
4 June 2003
[iraq] Baghdad Blogger — the first Guardian column from Salam Pax‘Beside all the papers we now have a TV channel and radio; they are part of what our American minders have called the Iraqi media network. My favourite TV show on it is an old Japanese cartoon (here it is called Adnan wa Lina). It is about what happens after a third world war when chaos reigns the earth. Bad choice for kids’ programming if you ask me.’ [Related: Salam Pax is Real]
[comics] Fantagraphics Appeal Paying Off — Team Comics seems to be saving Fantagraphics … Eric Reynolds: ‘This grass roots campaign looks to be a phenomenal success: if orders continue at close to the rate they have for the last five days, we project that by weeks’ end we will have achieved our immediate goal of… $80,000.’
5 June 2003
I’ve been thinking about underpants lately … How many pairs of Underpants should a man own? Is 14 too many or too few? How many pairs of Underpants do you have? Tell Me.
6 June 2003
[web] The Eighties Tarot — tarot cards as pop icons from the Eighties … ‘The serendipitous Ferris Bueller, loved by sportos, motorheads, geeks and sluts alike, is the perfect Fool.’
7 June 2003
[spam] BT Blocked by Spam Blacklist‘BT has been rocked by allegations that its own servers are “dangerously misconfigured, insecure or abuseable” and are exposing email users to the threat of increased levels of unsolicited mail. A number of BT customers attempting to email friends and colleagues have been perplexed by their emails bouncing back with a delivery error message…’
9 June 2003
[books] Excerpt from /usr/bin/god — Two thousand word extract from Cory Doctrow’s new novel … ‘Everyone was a font of creativity and interesting factoids. Conversation was solidly anti-idiotarian, a form of discourse that ran, “Here is a $THING. It is stupid. I am smarter;” “I see! Here is $ANOTHER_THING, it is likewise stupid and I am likewise smarter.” It wasn’t just a fucking stock-market bubble — it was nerdvana.’
[weblogs] Blogging’s too Good For Them — from today’s New Media section in the Guardian … ‘Just imagine… no more illiterate teenage wannabes clogging up the world’s most popular search engine with their idiotic “which Sex And The City character are you?” quizzes and incestuous links to their mates. No more American neo-Nazis babbling on about the Dixie Chicks and inciting racial hatred. No more tree-huggers talking about henna tattoos, home schooling and tofu. Just a list of proper sites full of proper information, written by proper journalists and proper academics. Fantastic.’
10 June 2003
[web] Drudge Match — Camille Paglia interviews Matt Drudge. [via Anil’s Daily Links]

‘PAGLIA: There’s something retro about your persona. It’s like the pre-World War II generation of reporters — those unpretentious, working-class guys who hung around saloons and used rough language. Now they’ve all been replaced with these effete Ivy League elitists who swarm over the current media. Nerds — utterly dull and insipid.

DRUDGE: But you look at these tanned, blow-dried gym bunnies like Brian Williams, NBC’s next anchor — all they do is read off a teleprompter, and no one has a problem calling them journalists. In the end I really don’t care what I’m called, as long as it’s not blogger.’

[blogs] Simple Guide to the A-List Bloggers. On Chris Pirillo: ‘I am everything. I created newsletters. I made them work. Want some of my spammy newsletters? Former TechTV star. I am cool. The size of my ego wouldn’t even fit in Texas. Doncha wish you lived my life? In the Age of Spam, my answer to everything is email newsletters, yes, links to shareware, freeware, thisware, that ware, along with smart comments quips from Super Geek, why I mean me, of course. It is all about branding and my chaotic hyperkinetic personality. Join my Brain Trust and I can tell you how *I* did it, yes, yoooou tooo, can cassssshhhh in on all the Internet Riches out there just waitttting to be found, for onnnnnlllllllyyyyy $97 a month. But waiiiiit thereeeereee’s moooree, we’ll throw in a cool piece of Pocket PC software that I got from my Microsoft buddies. They like me. I like me. I use a Palm now however. But I am Super Geek.’ [via Ben Hammersley]
11 June 2003
[bb4] Jon’s Geek Army — Jon Tickle fanpage … ‘Chosen by God, Loved by Women.’ [Related: Jontical]
12 June 2003
[books] A Beautiful Mind — profile / interview of science writer Paul Broks (“the new Oliver Sacks”) …

‘What would he tell a stranger the book is about? “Without putting them off?” he asks with an uncertain smile. “That’s the difficult thing. Well it’s about how personal identity is fragile, and how at one level we’re basically meat and at another level we’re basically fiction – human beings are storytelling machines, and the self is a story, and we tell a story about ourselves, and we just pick up on the story.” He stops, defeated…’

[bb4] Ebay Auction: — currently at £510 with 3 days to go and it’s misspelt … ‘You are bidding for the complete ownership and management of JOHNTICKLE.COM. Due to a certain persons popularity in a certain Channel 4 production, this domain name is going to be very popular and will attract a LOT of visitors.’
13 June 2003
[books] Life, the universe and everything — profile of Bill Bryson … Regarding his new book: ‘…the result is 30 chapters of slightly awestruck potted science – cosmology, palaeontology, evolution, cells, oceans, forests, the birth of self-creating life, the rise of man. Sensibly, Bryson leavens the jaw-dropping statistics and atomic physics with some droll stories of scientific endeavour from the last 300 years. Such as the astronomer Percival Lowell, who believed that Mars was covered with water-ferrying canals built by industrious Martians; few sought to disagree with him because he was, after all, endowing the expensive Lowell Observatory (which discovered Pluto in 1930).’
[comics] Fanta Out Of Fire — interview with Gary Groth about the sucessful Fantagraphics appeal … [via Neilalien]

‘GROTH: I caught it about a week or two before we sent out the open letter. Just in the natural course of paying bills and looking over our upcoming list, something triggered this. I realized that things weren’t right, and that’s what did it. I called an emergency meeting with Kim and our accountant, and sat down to empirically verify my gut feeling that this was not good.

NRAMA: And the cold feeling in your stomach got bigger and bigger…

GROTH: Yeah. It was a real “Oh shit, we are fucked!” moment.’

14 June 2003
[spam] Open Relay Spam is ‘Dying Out’ — Where does the typical Spam come from then? … ‘Spammers traditionally used ‘open relays’ to distribute their spam. Open relays allowed spammers to off load the job of sending thousands of emails to a powerful server with high bandwidth. The practice slows down the processing of legitimate email and clogs up bandwidth, to say nothing of the potential damage to reputation that comes from even innocently sending out spam. Years ago spammers were spoilt for choice for open relays, but now the window for exploitation of corporate mail servers has reduced dramatically…’
15 June 2003
[blogs] Beta Standalone Trackback Form — another reason not to listen to the geeky voice at the back of my head telling me blogging would be a lot easier if I upgraded to Movable Type … ‘This form can be used to send a trackback ping to any blog that accepts Trackbacks. You do not need to have a Trackback system on your blog to send pings.’ [Related: Simpletracks | via Anil’s Daily Links]
16 June 2003
[film] Mescal and Madness — behind-the-scenes at the making of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest‘The most moving moment of Kiselyak’s documentary comes from Bo Goldman, the film’s eventual screenwriter, who argues that, as in every great story, there are no choices as to what the outcome is. “If a man lives a good and honest life he’ll come out OK,” says Goldman, reflecting on the way McMurphy finally sacrifices himself. “Even if he loses his wife, or loses his children, or destroys his career, he’ll come out OK. Because he’s written the right script for himself.”‘
[books] Excerpt from Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Everything

‘…experts believe there may have been many other big bangs, perhaps trillions and trillions of them, spread through the mighty span of eternity, and that the reason we exist in this particular one is that this is one we could exist in. As Edward P. Tryon of Columbia University once put it: “In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.”‘

17 June 2003
[web] LinkMachineGo… in Bizarro-World!‘real love bond of union’ [via Black Ink]
[comics] Two scanned pages [Page 1 | Page 2] from Alan Moore’s Script for V For Vendetta …

image of voice of fate dialogue from Alan Moore's V for Vendetta Script

18 June 2003
[bb4] Big Brother 4 Nomination Diagrams — charts describing who has nominated who … Some interesting analysis: ‘…Looking at this potential 5-5 split in terms of gender, it appears that Cameron and Gos have become honorary girls, while Sissy has been singled out as not girly enough.’ [Related: Diagrams for Series Two and Three | via Diamond Geezer]
19 June 2003
[search] GoogleGuy Says — insider info from Google‘GoogleGuy is a Google employee who is very helpful in responding to questions and providing information to webmasters in the forums at WebmasterWorld.’
20 June 2003
[comics] ¡Journalista! on the ‘comics blogosphere’: ‘There have been comics-related weblogs for some time now, of course, but the collected group seems to be finally getting big enough, and complex enough, to take seriously as a sort of ecosystem of ideas. We’re starting to see more and more real writing on the subject, from a wider variety of viewpoints — an environment that political weblogs take for granted, but into which comics weblogs are still growing. What started out as a set of isolated rants seems to be turning into a genuine, multi-tiered set of conversations…’ [via Neilalien]
21 June 2003
[comics] DaveWatch — reading the last issues of Cerebus so you don’t have to … Dave Sim: ‘I had assumed — such was my level of disengagement from feminist social reality — that overnight the military in the Nato countries were going to be up to their eyeballs in volunteers (comparable to what happened in 1914 and 1939)–countries like Canada would volunteer for the dirty jobs of sending wave after wave of ill-equipped soldiers into the caves of Tora-Bora and, over the course of a year or two, the military authorities would find out what to do with the real soldiers based on what had happened to the cannon fodder. I prepared myself to volunteer for cannon fodder duty.’
22 June 2003
[nsfw distraction] C*nt Trumps — play top trumps against the computer using annoying celebrities … Jeffrey Archer: ‘Rating: An Utter, Utter Cunt’ [Related: Celebrity C*nt Database]
23 June 2003
[web] Some recent interesting Barbelith threads:

  • Promethea #26‘This issue was ridiculously cool.’
  • Barbelith. (Warren) Ellis. Cameron (Stewart) (and Fatbeards) … ‘ I am using the term “fatbeard” in an inclusive, spread-the-love term, as a reader of comic books myself (a closer reading may have noticed that nobody has actually mentioned liking or disliking particular comic books in this thread yet). As you say, I am posting about comic books on the Internet. I am clearly of the fatbeard nation. I get to use the term, you don’t, to paraphrase Richard Pryor. Except of course you do, because you are also posting about comic books on the Internet.’
  • Sporanos Series 4 Discussion‘A wig!’

24 June 2003
[comics] Return to Sim City — analysis of the latest issue of Cerebus … ‘Sim has produced a one-panel-per-verse Bible pastiche with art that at times comes close to abstraction, complete with running creator’s commentary built into the layout of the page. It’s certainly a fascinating experiment. The problem is that it’s nuts.’ [via ¡Journalista!]
[blogs] Cory Doctorow on the Today Programme — one of the authors of Boing Boing was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning.
25 June 2003
[comics] Slick on the Draw — preview of the Comica! Festival at the ICA‘London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts will be hosting Comica, a 10-day festival of comic art and literature from around the world. Running from 27 June until 6 July, Comica features some of the most highly regarded figures currently working in the form, with appearances by Jimmy Corrigan creator Chris Ware and Joe Sacco, whose Palestine, a collection of graphic war-zone reportage, was published earlier this year.’
26 June 2003
[comics] Princess Di in X-Statix linkage:

  • Diana in the Mavel Universe — from Newsarama‘It was later confirmed for Newsarama that Diana would join, in some form or another, X-Statix.’
  • Princess Diana, Superhero — Peter Milligan Comments … ‘Diana comes out of it a lot better than the British establishment. Indeed, a couple of old palace eminence grise types arrange for this resurrected mutant zombie to be killed. “And this time, let’s do it properly,” one of them says.’ [via I Love Everything]
  • Guardian’s Pass Notes: Princess Diana, the Superhero ‘Next up from Marvel Comics: Camilla Parker Bowles as Catwoman; Prince Philip as the Joker; Derry Irvine as Judge Dredd.’
  • Diana in ‘Sick’ Comic — Daily Mail Article … ‘Marvel editor- in- chief Joe Quesada said: “Princess Diana is a mutant. Like every good superhero, she’s coming back from the dead. She’s going to join one of the X-Men teams. “If comics are anything, we’re subversive. This is really a wonderful story.” The monthly comic is already on sale in America and Britain and is expected to sell around 150,000 copies worldwide.’

27 June 2003
[film] ‘After 100 takes, they asked me: What the hell are you doing?’ — interview with Ang Lee … ‘One of the rules that govern comic books is that each page is broken into panels, which enable the artists and writers to approximate in print the kinetic quality of film. Lee chose to break the screen into multiple images as his way of reversing the equation. Even the size of the screen alters from scene to scene; the frame expands to exaggerated widescreen for some portions. “I had to find my way of translating the excitement you get when you’re reading comic books to the big screen,” says Lee. “Not just lining things up with montage, but choreographing multi-images in the same space’
[politics] Dear Bill: They’ve Called Last Orders — Simon Hoggart sums up Denis Thatcher

‘The received wisdom now is that Denis Thatcher was far from being a gin-soaked old bigot. Well, up to a point. But he certainly relished the world of the golf and rugby club bar, the just-time-for-a-quick-sharpener, the jovial trust-you-to-walk-in-when-it’s-my-round culture. Or as he once put it to his wife when she queried his request for a stiff drink on a morning flight to Scotland: “My dear, it is never too early for a gin and tonic.” “He had,” said an appreciative lunch guest at Chequers, “a very sharp eye for a refill.” And if the term means anything at all, he was a bigot.’

29 June 2003
[comics] Marvel: State of Play — interesting internal gossip about micro-management of creative projects at Marvel by Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas … ‘”Marvel Boy” II is not happening because Bill Jemas wants to change the script, and Grant Morrison doesn’t.’ [via Neilalien]
30 June 2003
[comics] I bought this a couple of weeks ago… Prez #1 — One of DC’s Goofier Moments … (click image to enlarge) …

Cover to Prez #1 (1973)

[web] Capital Numbers — a months worth of London numerology from Diamond Geezer. ‘…because London Counts.’