1 June 2004
[london] Silver Jubilee — every Jubilee Line Underground Station got visited by Diamond Geezer last month … ‘St John’s Wood is the only station on the Underground network that shares no letters with the word ‘mackerel’. The station was nearly called Acacia Road but the name was changed just before opening (which is just as well otherwise there’d be no mackerel-free tube stations).’
2 June 2004
[nostalgia] Classic Kia-ora Advert from the 80s … ”I’ll be your dog! Wuff, wuff, wuff. It’s too orangey for crows, it’s just for me and my dog. We all adore Kia-ora!’ [via]
3 June 2004
[blogs] How Can I Sex Up This Blog Business? — Steven Levy profiles Nick Denton and Gawker Media…

‘How much money really is in this blogging business? Those who have looked at the model conclude that there’s no pot of gold here. In other words, they don’t call it nanopublishing for nothing. “These are not large-scale journalistic efforts,” says Martin Nisenholtz, CEO of New York Times Digital. “I agree with Nick’s characterization of them as like independent films – really small independent films.” Do the math: Denton pays a writer something like $2,000 a month and maybe a thousand more in overhead. Gawker Media, with a one-person sales staff, has lured advertisers like Absolut Vodka, British Airways, Jose Cuervo, and the John Kerry campaign. (Microsoft had been poised to advertise on Gizmodo, but then came that bicycle seat-dildo. No sense of humor.) Denton won’t say how much he takes in, but he points to press accounts estimating that ad-based blogs might gross about $5,000 a month. Calacanis agrees that’s in the ballpark. And if all the ads for Gawker are sold for the prices on its rate card, the total could be well over $10,000 a month. At the high end, that’s $80K or so net per blog per year – nice pocket change but not yet the stuff of moguls.’

[blogs] No 2,477: Jessica Cutler — Pass Notes covers Washingtonienne‘So what now for Ms Cutler? Infamy, book deals, television appearances, being labelled a “DC slut” by the Philadelphia Daily News and “the American Belle de Jour” by British papers. What more could a lady wish for?’
[conspiracy] Bilderberg: The Ultimate Conspiracy Theory — BBC News Magazine covers the 50 year aniversary of the Bilderberg Group‘Shouldn’t we expect that the rich and powerful organise things in their own interests. It’s called capitalism.’
5 June 2004
[chris morris] Second Class Male and Time To Go — Hoax columns by Chris Morris (published in The Observer in 1999) … ‘Not for publication: You have made me too depressed to write. Unlike the great melancholics – Baudelaire, Beethoven – I have no genius from which to draw consolation. I am at best a Brian Wilson, but a Brian Wilson who went to bed before making Pet Sounds. Fuck you all.’
7 June 2004
[war] Sixty years on, D-day veterans pass torch into hands of history — Jonathan Freedland on the 60th Aniversary of D-Day … ‘The end of the cold war allowed another new guest. For decades Russia was the forgotten ally but, now free of communism, it was allowed back in yesterday. Vladimir Putin rode in on the world leaders’ charabanc along with the rest of them (only the Queen and Bush were too grand to use the coach, preferring their own cars). When the Polish armed forces’ band formed part of the warm-up entertainment – doing a medley of Abba tunes, including a goose-stepping version of Dancing Queen that seemed to be a straight lift from Mel Brooks’ Springtime for Hitler – the picture of a united Europe was complete.’
8 June 2004
[fgi] Fucking Google It‘Google Is Your Friend. All Smart People Use Google. You Appear To Not Be One Of Them’
[web] Cracking the Code to Romance — brief profiles of hackers using the web for dating… the googler, the blogger, the sniffer and the stalker …

‘Moore has written several Unix shell scripts that run on-the-fly background checks on people who use wireless networks in his neighborhood. With the help of the popular network-traffic analysis utility Netcat, his script “sniffs all the traffic on the Wi-Fi network, greps for email addresses, and looks them up on Friendster.” Then the script sends Moore an email that includes a link to the users’ Friendster profiles, along with their pictures and login IDs. At a time when it seems that nearly everyone has a Friendster account, Moore says, “You can do really creepy stuff. You can get the profiles on everyone in your local café, then see who their friends are, and just walk up to them and ask, ‘Aren’t you Tom’s friend?'” More disturbing, Moore’s toolkit allows him to get zip codes and last names, making it easier to track down the real-world addresses of his targets, thus opening up a whole new universe of creepiness. “You could do all sorts of mean things,” he says.’

9 June 2004
[comics] 5 Questions for… Seth — the writer/artist is interviewed by Alan David Doane at Newsarama … ‘If you were to take the first part of Clyde Fans and change the electric fan, like all references to electric fans, to comic books, it would kind of explain who the character of Abraham is, because being a cartoonist in the 20th century has that same kind of feeling of, say, being an electric fan salesman, it’s a kind of an antiquated occupation that’s sort of fallen by the wayside as technological progress has moved us into such totally different media. In many ways, like working as a cartoonist, just drawing little things on pieces of paper seems like such an old fashioned method compared to all of the technological computer science that has come along.’
[venus] A piece of History Passes By and 350 years on the Sun Shines for Jeremiah the Genius — Simon Hoggart spent yesterday up a Hill in Lancashire with 92 astronomers as the Transit of Venus happened …

‘…it is the unity between our own past and the immensity of the universe which is skin-tingling. Just after the last transit, in 1882, Robert Ball wrote: “The next time people will see it is when the flowers are in bloom, in June 2004.” It was good to be there with the flowers.’

10 June 2004
[film] Let’s Not Get It On — a guide to the least erotic moments in recent films … ‘All it takes for Eminem to bed (or, in this case, stack of metal) Murphy is an awkward request for a date, which she parlays into some immediate workplace action: Looking for all the world like a crack whore, Murphy soaks her palm in her own saliva and heads down south. A moment of mostly silent sex – broken up by clanking factory noises – ends with Eminem, in a rare moment of vulnerability, gasping “Oh, God.” His savage beast isn’t soothed for long, though: After two seconds of postcoital bliss, he’s already shouting, “Your friends don’t even know me!”‘ [via I Love Everything]
11 June 2004
[monologue] West Wing – Two CathedralsPresident Bartlet talks to God:

‘You’re a son of a bitch you know that? She bought her first new car and you hit her with a drunk driver. What, is that supposed to be funny? “You can’t conceive nor can I the strangeness of the mercy of God,” says Graham Green. I think I know who’s ass he was kissing there, ’cause I think your’re just vindictive. What was Josh Lyman, the warning shot? That was my son, what did I ever do to yours but praise his glory and praise his name? There’s a tropical storm that’s gaining speed and power. They say we haven’t had a storm this bad since you took out that Tender ship of mine in the North Atlantic last year, sixty-eight crew. You know what a Tender ship does? It fixes the other ships, and, delivers the mail, that’s all it can do. Gracias Tibiago Domine. Yes, I lied. It was a sin, I’ve committed many sins. Have I displeased you, you feckless thug? Three point eight billion new jobs that wasn’t good? Bailed out Mexico, Increased foreign trade, 30 million new acres of land for conservation, put Mendoza on the bench, we’re not fighting a war, I’ve raised 3 children. That’s not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? Am I really to believe that these are the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with your punishments. I was your servant here on Earth. And I spread your word and I did your work. To hell with your punishments. To hell with you.’

12 June 2004
[mp3] We’re Stuck with MP3 — why the standard music compression format isn’t going to be replaced anytime soon… ‘The newer audio formats, including Ogg Vorbis, seem to have at least two things going for them compared with MP3: smaller files and less expense. But because any change would require conversion of billions of files – a royal pain in the butt – it just won’t happen.’ [via 2lmc]
14 June 2004
[bdj] Some Belle de Jour links I missed …

» … BDJ has a domain name.

» I am not Belle de Jour … somebody should sell this to Sarah Champion.

» Who is Belle de Jour? — the Daily Mail “investigated” the identity of BDJ back in April. ‘…we know rather a lot about Belle. Except, of course, her true identity, which has been the subject of frenzied speculation in publishing circles. Rumours abound. There are even those who even insist Belle is a he, not a she.’

15 June 2004
[knowledge] The Two Things — apparently, for any subject there are only two things you need to know — the rest isn’t important or an application of the original two things … ‘World Conquest: 1. Divide and Conquer. 2. Never invade Russia in the winter.’ [via]
16 June 2004
[comics] Bat Out of Hell — preview of Batman Begins. ‘…the comic-book franchise does have a checkered past. The new chapter, which will hit theaters in June 2005, is called “Batman Begins” — presumably because “Batman Sucked the Last Time So We’re Starting Over” was too clunky.’
17 June 2004
[politics] You Ask The Questions — Boris Johnson‘Q: Admit it: you want to become prime minister, don’t you? A: There is no use in having politicians who are not ambitious. You might as well have racehorses who want to eat the grass by the verge. On the other hand, my chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.’
18 June 2004
[comics] A Farewell to Aardvarks — another summing up of Cerebus … “If Dave Sim recorded an album, it would be called Genius, Asshole or Madman.” [via Meowwcat’s Cerebus Links]
20 June 2004
[film] ‘9/11’: Just the facts? — Roger Ebert on Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11‘That’s where you’re wrong. Most documentaries, especially the best ones, have an opinion and argue for it. Even those that pretend to be objective reflect the filmmaker’s point of view. Moviegoers should observe the bias, take it into account and decide if the film supports it or not. Michael Moore is a liberal activist. He is the first to say so. He is alarmed by the prospect of a second term for George W. Bush, and made “Fahrenheit 9/11” for the purpose of persuading people to vote against him.’ [Related: Fahrenheit 9/11 Trailer]
21 June 2004
[tv] Big Brother Gets Therapeutic — interesting essay on Big Brother’s approach to last Thursday’s events … ‘To anyone who has ever been involved in a drinking session that went a bit too far, nothing especially outrageous happened in the house on Thursday morning. The reports say there were ‘death threats’ – well, Jason (the bodybuilding Scot) did threaten to ‘rip the head’ off Marco (the gay one), but I don’t think he was literally going to do it. Yes there were ‘violent confrontations’, if you think that throwing a plastic tray at someone counts as violence. There was also ‘verbal abuse’, some of which was quite funny – especially when Jason told the strange, wiry, helium-voiced Marco, ‘Don’t fucking disrespect me, gimp boy Gollum’. Yet reading today’s reports you’d be forgiven for thinking that all hell broke loose…’
[web] The Craigslist Phenomenon — profile of Craig Newmark – creator of craigslist‘While he was at his first job, as a software programmer for IBM, he enrolled in ballet and jazz dance classes to meet women. He ended up in the hospital with a hernia.’
23 June 2004
[film] Unfairenheit 9/11 – The lies of Michael Moore — Chris Hitchens on Fahrenheit 9/11‘I have already said that Moore’s film has the staunch courage to mock Bush for his verbal infelicity. Yet it’s much, much braver than that. From Fahrenheit 9/11 you can glean even more astounding and hidden disclosures, such as the capitalist nature of American society, the existence of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex,” and the use of “spin” in the presentation of our politicians. It’s high time someone had the nerve to point this out.’
24 June 2004
[books] The Condensed Bill Clinton — Slate reads Clinton’s autobio ‘My Life’ so we don’t have to… ‘Page 197: “I was so exhausted I fell asleep while the stripper was dancing and the goat head was looking up at me.” Look it up for yourself.’
25 June 2004
[comics] Remixed Spiderman Strips — amusing, nasty, probably NSFW … [via Die Puny Humans]

27 June 2004
[comics] Batman on Film — latest news and rumors about the Batman films … ‘BATMAN ON FILM is the voice of the Bat-fan as we lobby for the production of the ultimate BATMAN movie. We’ve been doing this since June of 1998…’
28 June 2004
[web] ‘Nerd Values’ Help Propel Tiny Craigslist Into Classifieds Threat — more on Craigslist and Craig Newmark … Peter Krasilovsky: ‘One thing about Craigslist — it is real thin. That makes it easy and fun to read, easy to maintain. While newspapers have been adding feature after feature to keep up with (job site)’s own feature creep, there is Craig with these little text postings, and they do the trick.’
29 June 2004
[mp3] Winamp Unlimited — the weblog for Winamp has a new home … ‘Winamp Unlimited is your #1 source for Winamp news, rumors, forum highlights, and general propoganda. Awesome!’
[politics] Another Interview with Boris Johnson — from the Independent … ‘Asked the inevitable question, Mr Johnson dismissed his own chances of becoming the Leader of the Conservative as “about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars”. However, there remain “fans of Boris” who believe that alongside all the bland hopefuls joining the Tory ranks from banks, public relations firms and the media, he would be the people’s choice for leader of the Conservative Party after Michael Howard steps down.’
30 June 2004
[politics] NO-ONE! EVER! TELLS ME! WHAT TO! FUCKING! DO!‘And then I’m sitting up last night, sucking cherry menthol throat drops and watching the coverage of the European Election, and gazing at the permatanned face of the vile Robert Kilroy Silk as the UKIP see their tally of votes mounting across the country. And I realise that his entire campaign is based on “No-one tells us what to do.” And I realise that it’s people like Billy for whom that message resonates very deeply.’ [via Mo Morgan]