1 February 2004
[philosophy] Course or Cult? — interesting article about what happens at a “Introductory Philosophy” course run by The School of Economic Science … ‘It’s the third week of a nationally advertised philosophy course. The tutor has been asked about the relationship between rationality and logic, and the students wait expectantly for his answer. “Listen,” he says, “this is logic. All trains are long. All coaches are long. Therefore, all trains are coaches. That is logic, and it is no good for anything at all. There is absolutely no relationship between rationality and logic.” Couldn’t happen? Well it did.’
[lmg] LinkMachineGo Syndicated on LiveJournal — LMG’s content available to Livejournal users. Thanks to Pete who set it up… [Related: LinkMachineGo’s RSS Feed]
2 February 2004
[comics] NeilAlien’s Ask The Mysterious Orb — Ask the Orb a Yes/No Question and receive your answer … ‘Warning: The demons within the Mysterious Orb might shriek horribly.’
3 February 2004
[blogs] You’re Fired! — the New York Post on Blog Privacy … ‘Dating can also become tricky terrain when one or both parties are blog-savvy. “The blogging community is terribly incestuous,” Lapatine admits. “If the relationship doesn’t go well, all your mutual friends will read about it. This,” he adds, “is how a friend of mine learned that he had halitosis and was a bad dancer.”‘ [via Anil’s Daily Links]
[politics] Simon Hoggart on Alistair Campbell: ‘…you have to realise that most ministers have the same view of Alastair Campbell as butlers might of his lordship’s nasty, slobbery dog; they pretend to like the beast, but would dearly love to get it in the pantry and kick it in the slats.’
4 February 2004
[comics] I guess Frederick Wertham was right about Batman and Robin… [via ¡Journalista!]

image of the atom, flash, green lantern and batman

‘Only someone ignorant of the fundamentals of psychiatry and the psychopathology of sex can fail to realize a subtle atmosphere of homoeroticism which pervades the adventure of the mature ‘Batman’ and his young friend ‘Robin.’ — Frederic Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent’
5 February 2004
[tv] The Severity Rating of Swearing and Offensive Language … The Top 10: ‘Cunt, Motherfucker, Fuck, Wanker, Nigger, Bastard, Prick, Bollocks, Arsehole, Paki’ [via I Love Everything]
6 February 2004
[tv] Influential Friends — a summing up of Friends (the last season begins on Channel 4 tonight) … ‘Friends resonated not only because it was brilliantly funny, but also because it struck a chord with its audience. If Seinfeld was, famously, a show about nothing, Friends was a programme about arrested development and our desire for an extended adolescence. The reassuring subtext to Ross and Rachel’s turbulent love lives, and Monica and Chandler’s unfulfilled careers, was that it was normal to be directionless in love and work even in your late 20s.’
[comics] A Short History of the Photocopying and Dissemination of My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable — David Rees describes the publishing and distributing history of MNFTIU. ‘…the book was being distributed via fax without my permission. This is called “file sharing.” I asked the guy if he thought his photocopy friend would make me some copies of the book at a reduced rate ? seeing as how he was already engaged in unauthorized fax piracy on the high seas of clip-art comics. He thought this was reasonable. I called the guy at the photocopy shop and we worked out an arrangement whereby I would stop by the shop on Friday afternoons with a 12-pack of beer. I would leave the beer on top of the counter and he would kick a box of books under the counter. I would lug the books (actually, collated pages) home on the subway and staple them in my living room. That is how I learned the ancient art of bookbinding.’
7 February 2004
[archive] Sidebar Blog Archive #5:

8 February 2004
[tech] Why does the Windows Copy Dialog give such Horrible Estimates? — explains why copying files is often vaguely annoying. ‘…the copy dialog is just guessing. It can’t predict the future, but it is forced to try. And at the very beginning of the copy, when there is very little history to go by, the prediction can be really bad.’
[mumbo-jumbo] Francis Wheen’s top 10 modern delusions

1. “God is on our side”
2. The market is rational
3. There is no such thing as reality
4. We mustn’t be “judgmental”
5. Laissez-faire capitalism is the prerequisite for trade and prosperity
6. Astrology and similar delusions are “harmless fun”
7. Thin air is solid
8. Sentimental hysteria is a sign of emotional maturity
9. America’s economic success is entirely due to private enterprise
10. “It could be you…”

10 February 2004
[quotes] Quotes from Either President of the United States George W. Bush or Senator / Chancellor / Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars Movies‘Now witness the firepower of this fully operational battle station’
» WikidPad … Wiki Notebook / Outliner for Windows [via]
» Plep Redesigns! … the linklogger’s linklogger!

[ipod] iPod Pros and Cons — discussion on Metafilter … ‘An iPod, by contrast, keeps no secrets. The iPod records what songs have been played both most recently and most often, so it quickly becomes a record of the owner’s internal aural landscape. Listening to someone else’s iPod is thus an intimate, almost invasive activity. On the scale of personal exposure, it’s not exactly trading diaries, but it’s much more revealing than a mix tape’
11 February 2004
[tv] ‘I hereby vow never to work in TV again’ — more from Garth Marenghi. ‘…a woman, eyes bedewed with tears, laments: “Hast then our humble fabulist deserted his loyal readerhood [50 million sales worldwide and counting] in favour of televisual terrors [scary TV]?” Fear not, friends. This scribe ain’t about to hang up his nib. In fact my new novel Return of the Coil, in which a woman circumnavigates hell via a cursed contraceptive device, hits the shelves in mid-Feb (Asda do a three quid off deal, but if you order it direct from my website, the first 30 punters get a complimentary egg cup in the shape of a skeleton head).’
[politics] Boris Johnson on Andrew Gilligan‘I thnk the reason there is all this beastliness towards Gilligan is because he is not particularly good looking.’ [via Sashinka]
12 February 2004
[comics] 200 Words from Mark Millar — bite-size Q/A with Martin from the Copydesk setting the question … ‘Superman, for me, was the pinnacle of my ambition since the age of four of five and writing him was a nostalgic joy, but we’d be stunted as a creative community if we just followed our childhood ambitions. Even the guys who created Superman and Batman would just have written stories about Hercules and Sherlock Holmes if their ambitions had been limited by their ten year old day-dreams.’ [Related: 200 Words Archive, Mark Millar’s Official Site]
13 February 2004
[summary] The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less — The Last Sixty Years: ‘World conflagration. Fission explosions. United Nations. Space exploration. Assassinations. Lunar excursions. Resignation. Computerization. World Trade Organization. Terrorism. Internet expansion. Reunification. Dissolution. World-Wide Web creation. Composition. Extrapolation? ‘
[music] One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately‘The Police – Synchronicity — That this album is considered a classic is quite a feat for a collection of songs that Keith Richards deemed suitable for a dentist’s waiting room. Certainly, no album dealing with topics such as stalking, psychological abuse, betrayal and silent desperation has ever sounded so homogenized or made less thought-provoking pronouncements. To enjoy Synchronicity is to consider one’s self to be socially enlightened without having to dredge up any real empathy.’
[quote] Marc Smith: ‘If you’re 1 in a million, then there are 768 of you on the Internet.’
14 February 2004
[books] Fight Club Quotes‘You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.’
15 February 2004
[apple] Apple to open flagship London store this Xmas — the Register on an Apple Store UK … ‘The store is believed to be located at 229-247 Regent Street, locating it near Oxford Circus and Liberty’s, Dickens & Jones, Nike and FCUK stores. The site has been under re-development for a few years now.’
16 February 2004
[guardian] Guardian Rejects Tabloid — the Guardian won’t be producting a tabloid edition of the newspaper. Alan Rusbridger: ‘We’re still in the phoney war stage, with millions being ploughed into marketing a dual strategy which is, ultimately, unaffordable. No one I know believes that the Independent intends to keep publishing in two sizes. It will drop the broadsheet as soon as it can – and the Times is also trying to push its readers towards the tabloid.’ [via Words of Waldman]
17 February 2004
[comics] Introducing a Cartoonist Named Crumb — profile of Sophie Crumb from the New York Times … ‘When first encountered at a Berkeley cafe, she sat hunched over a sketchbook intently inking a portrait of two chess players seated nearby. “If I don’t draw for more than a day or two I feel depressed and useless,” she explained. Ms. Crumb at work is reminiscent of several scenes in “Crumb,” Terry Zwigoff’s 1994 documentary about her father. The resemblance is only heightened by her surroundings, the remnants of the hippie subculture from which Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat and the rest of her father’s most famous characters sprang.’ [via Boing Boing]
[bbc] The Death of Reith — Scary Duck on working for the BBC … ‘Greg (we always called him that, bless him) may have come across as-too-matey-by half with his jacket slung over his shoulder, but he cared about the corporation from top to bottom, and wasn’t afraid to make unpopular decisions. The sale of BBC Technology killed of the illusion of St Greg in some quarters, as did the outsourcing of property management and the construction of the Grey Lubyanka in White City, where jobs would mysteriously disappear en route from other locations.’
18 February 2004
[bdj] Belle de Jour was featured in Arrivals/Departures in this months Face Magazine

scan of belle de jour text from face magazine

» ‘It therefore follows that I must have a stalker, but as it is a good time of year for stalkers, I’ll let it go for now.’

19 February 2004
[food] Why I love… All-day breakfasts‘To fully appreciate an all-day breakfast, it should be eaten after midday, hideously hungover, when the sober-minded are choosing between some disgusting wrap or trays of lurid raw fish. I hate to come over all Nigel Slater, but there is something comforting about a plate full of protein in the middle of the day. It’s the nearest these isles have to soul food.’
[blogs] The Blogfather’s Hit List — InstaPundit’s Bookmarks… ‘Reynolds keeps readers coming back by resisting the urge to play pundit on everything and instead focusing on important facts and phrases that don’t make the headlines. Where does he find them all?’
20 February 2004
[web] Anna Friel Dating — odd dating site – aimed at search spiders perhaps? … ‘Welcome to the Anna Friel dating and romance page. We provide personals and match making for dating Anna Friel interested persons. This is a great place to find love and romance for singles and those marridge minded. Don’t forget to check out the weekly dating tips and advice. This site will help you to date with people who are interested in Anna Friel romance. We have a huge selection of Anna Friel people wanting to meet you!!… If you want to jump straight into the deep end Click to find your Anna Friel partner.’
22 February 2004

» Curveball … 3D Ping Pong Distraction.
» The 10 Worst Album Covers … Joyce scares me.
» This week’s UK TV … Telly Listings [via Mo Morgan]
»‘Search the Latest Files in Binary Newsgroups’

23 February 2004
[porn] The Trouble with Larry — profile / interview of Larry Flynt

‘At 40,000ft, the editor of Hustler looked down the cabin and had a vision of “a guy with sandals on, and an old man with a beard. I took it to be them,” says Flynt, referring to God and Saint Paul. Deeply affected by the appearance of his distinguished fellow-passengers, he began making changes to his magazine. The cartoon strip “Chester the Molester” became “Chester the Protector – Guardian of Young Girls”. Hustler, Flynt promised, “will no longer demean women.” If you take a look at the “Asian” section of the Hustler website (you might begin with “Noy”, a young woman who explains how surprised and thankful she was to discover that US servicemen have larger penises than the humble Vietnamese) you’ll notice there’s been something of a rethink on this front. “What happened to fighting for Jesus?” “What happened was, I went to a psychiatrist. And he diagnosed me as being bipolar.” “And that’s why you saw God?” “Right. If only all of those born-again converts would take a little lithium, like I did, they’d be fine.”‘

24 February 2004
[tv] Columbo Quotes‘I worry. I mean, little things bother me. I’m a worrier. I mean, little insignificant details – I lose my appetite. I can’t eat. My wife, she says to me, “you know, you can really be a pain.”‘
25 February 2004
[comics] The Dave Sim Experience — a Onion AV Club interviewer attempts to negotiate an inteview with Dave Sim … ‘I offered to fax him copies of the interviews I’ve done with Alan Moore and Scott McCloud, so he could see what kind of stuff we do. I mentioned that we look for people who have non-mainstream opinions. He said that Scott McCloud and Alan Moore ARE mainstream. I said that they’ve been embraced by the mainstream, but that they don’t necessarily express themselves in mainstream-friendly ways; for instance, Alan Moore claims that he worships a sock puppet. Dave said something about that depending on whether it’s a feminist issue. I asked how worshipping a sock puppet was a feminist issue. He said “Same pus, different zit.” I said “I’m not getting you.” He said “Yeah. I know.”‘
26 February 2004
[bdj] The Times covers Belle De Jour’s recently announced Book Deal‘Belle de Jour, the internet’s most talked-about web diary, has a book deal. According to Publisher’s Marketplace, the London call girl, who may or may not be a literary name masquerading as a high-class hooker, has inked a deal with Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Orion to turn her anonymous tales of love-for-money into a manuscript due for delivery in August. The film rights are also being frantically contested. Which begs the question: what happens when her parents find out?’
29 February 2004
[comics] The ROZZ-TOX Manifesto — created in 1980 by Gary Panter after conversations with Matt Groening‘Item 15 – Law: If you want better media, go make it. ‘