1 September 2004
[missing] Raising the Dead — interesting article about finding missing people using the internet, Google and many eyeballs … ‘Families post all over the Web, searching for missing loved ones. Local coroners and cops, nudged by the Doe Network, upload pictures and vital statistics of their Does. Groups like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children do the same. Networkers comb through it all like they were playing the kids’ card game Concentration, digitized by Patricia Cornwell. Comparing death dates on coroner sites with last-seen-on dates on missing persons sites. Checking for scars, tattoos, anything that distinguishes the person from a crowd. Googling until the coffee runs out. It all sounds like amateur hour. It is amateur hour. There’s no order, no discipline to the investigations. These amateur sleuths slog along at their own pace, chasing their own bogeymen. “That’s why the Doe Network is invaluable – real people looking at real data,” says Emily Craig, forensic anthropologist for the state of Kentucky.’
[] ‘Vengeance’ swipes cake, eats it, too — man invades house and eats a childs birthday cake. ‘…the owner of the home asked the man who he was, the intruder replied, “I am vengeance. I am the knight. I am Batman.” Then the man went into the kitchen, cut a piece of birthday cake, took it into the living room and ate it. After continued questioning by the homeowner, the man left the house and drove off in a red 1988 Cadillac.’ [via Do You Feel Loved?]
2 September 2004
[quote] Douglas Engelbart: ‘I confess that I am a dreamer. Someone once called me “just a dreamer.” That offended me, the “just” part; being a real dreamer is hard work. It really gets hard when you start believing your dreams.’
3 September 2004
[quote] Ted Nelson’s Four Maxims: ‘Most people are fools, most authority is malignant, god does not exist, and everything is wrong.’
[blog] The Policeman’s Blog is not a happy one… ‘So, whilst The Scorpions, MI6, the CIA and Special Branch have been dealing with mercenaries and international terrorists, what have I been doing? Well, dear reader, I have been finalising the case against a 14 year old boy suspected of robbing another child of £5.00 and a novelty key fob.’
6 September 2004
[books] The Science of Fiction — Philip Pullman on science and fiction … ‘There’s no abstract human who will always behave in the same way – except in economics, where every human being is assumed to be rational and selfish to exactly the same degree as every other. No wonder it was called the Dismal Science.’
7 September 2004
[blog] My Life As A Morrisons Employee — blog from worker in a British Supermarket … ‘It’s official… the first christmas stock went on sale today, at 3pm on Friday 3rd September.’ [via Call Centre Confidential]
[blogs] UK Political Blog Feeds — another UK Blog Aggregator.
8 September 2004
[comics] Disney With Fangs — Newsarama interviews Grant Morrison on We3 … The Influences on We3: ‘Anything to do with innocent, misunderstood animals on the run from vicious human bastards. Animals getting their own back. The events played out in We3 are very different and far more shockingly violent than the adventures of Thomas O’Malley and the Duchess in The Aristocats, for example, but the basic idea of the animal odyssey across country in search of some seemingly hopeless safe haven is a very resonant and appealing theme which no-one has really played much with recently… certainly not in comics. I’ve always wanted to do one of those classic animal stories that make people cry, so this is like that… Disney with fangs. We3 is probably one of the first of these kind of stories to treat the animal heroes as animals and not as anthropomorphized representations with human emotions and speech patterns. So basically, we gave the popular old ‘animal quest’ idea a sci-fi coat of paint, spliced it with Miike Takashi uber-violence, and created a vehicle to demonstrate the ‘Western Manga’ storytelling style Frank and I are trying to develop.’
9 September 2004
[blog] Progressive Ruin — new-to-me, nicely done blog about comics.
10 September 2004
[blogs] Jon’s Jail Journal — the Blog of a Brit in a US Jail … ‘My first cellmate was a satanic priest called Lonely who had a pentagram tattooed on his forehead.’ [thanks Phil]
11 September 2004
[politics] Tom’s Little Black Blog — the Guardian comments on blogger Tom Watson’s new job as assistant whip for the Labour Government … ‘I’m taking a blogging break this weekend to have a look at Chequers. Great swimming pool, great people. Can’t really say much more than that. You know, the closer you get to really powerful people, the more you realise how much they’ve got going for them – tact, discretion, brevity.’
13 September 2004
[movies] Sin City Preview Trailer‘A hardtop with a decent engine and make sure it’s got a big trunk.’

Click Image for Stills from Sin City.

14 September 2004
[blogs] Diary of a Fast Food Life — behind-the-scenes blog of an employee at a UK Burger King … ‘Whilst getting into a cab at 4 a.m. this morning, I saw an interesting sight (not exactly unusual in any British city at this time). It was: none other than our RM (Restaurant Manager) looking very cosy and friendly with a very young female friend. It so happens that I know this girl. How? She works in our store as a crew member.’
15 September 2004
[blogs] The Guide — the Guardian finally starts publishing it’s Sunday Guide on the web using a blog format. Charlie Brooker on Crisis Command: ‘…it’s essentially pornography for paranoid news junkies; a gameshow in which a panel of managerial types from everyday life (who are presumably used to making tough decisions, like which secretary to goose next) get to “run the country” for an hour during a simulated crisis.It boils down to a series of agonising multiple-choice questions. Will you quarantine the plague-sufferers? Or line them up and shoot them? It’s that cheery. The correct decision usually turns out to be the most brutal – start agonising over whether or not you should send in the army and it all goes tits up (diseased tits in this case).’
[bdj] Belle de Jour signs off: ‘All things pass. For instance: Harts the Grocer, I am saddened to note, are now Tesco Metro. But that is the way of things.’
16 September 2004
[comics] Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison and Alan Moore… as Lego. [via Neil Gaiman’s Journal]
[bdj] Call Girl “Belle de Jour” Ends Web Diary — Reuters covers BDJ’s retirement … ‘LONDON (Reuters) – “Belle de Jour,” the writer of an online journal describing her life as a London call girl, is quitting the website that launched fevered speculation about her true identity and landed her a book deal.’
17 September 2004
[comics] Saved by the Beagle — profile of Fantagraphics‘When Love and Rockets debuted, underground comics consisted primarily of, as Thompson puts it, “Batman with tits — just like regular mainstream comics, but with a little bit of sex and violence thrown in.” The Hernandez brothers may have had a knack for beautiful female characters, but the stories — rich, multifaceted, character- rather than plot-driven — were an anomaly. Along with Crumb’s Weirdo and Art Spiegelman’s Raw, which appeared around the same time, Love and Rockets helped reinvent the comics underground for a post-hippie age, and it put Fantagraphics on the map.’
[bdj] BBC News: London ‘Call Girl’ Gives Up Blog‘Belle de Jour captured the wave of blogging and earned notoriety for the sometimes explicit online accounts.’
19 September 2004
[film] Michael Mann’s Dark World — Brief BBC News profile of the director of Collateral‘Collateral displays all the classic Mann themes – the exploration of the male psyche, the blurred lines between good and evil and the disaffection that comes from living in the big city.’
[bibble] What is “bibble”? — I really don’t post enough random google crap to LMG anymore … ‘This handy chart is good for thinking about what bibble means, but you probably won’t get it. Think of this as an incantation that invokes the four fundamental elements of thought and language: bibble, fire, love, and death…’
20 September 2004
[bdj] Web’s most Famous Hooker Kills Blog — the Register on Belle de Jour’s retirement … ‘Belle did what most of the waste can never accomplish simply because she actually had something to write about or at least something to pretend about. The real-world musings of a call-girl, participating with the hopefully washed masses, are fair more gripping than an Emergent Insomniac intoxicated by sloth, riddled with Diet Coke driven anxiety and climaxing over his latest “scoop” on the intricacies of Microsoft Word.’
[books] Dark Rider — interview and update on Stephen King‘King still plays guitar and sings. For the past decade he has played in the Rock Bottom Remainders, a writers’ band featuring Miami Herald humourist Dave Barry, novelists Barbara Kingsolver, Scott Turow and Amy Tan, and Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Once they went on tour with Warren Zevon, who insisted King sing his tune, “Werewolves of London”. “I was shy to do it because he wrote the song. He took me aside and said: ‘It would be the apex of my career’, and he was not kidding. So I did it.” It’s a song for a horror writer to sing, with a memorable howling chorus, “Aah-woo, werewolves of London”, and such couplets as, “He’s the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent”.’
[politics] Boris Johnson’s Blog‘Tim tells me that the idea is that I fall out of bed every morning, blazing with inspiration, and thunder out 3000 words on the issue of the hour, so generating a pandemic internet controversy. I am not sure, frankly, that I will manage that.’
21 September 2004
[God] The Official God FAQ‘Question: Is there a God?’
23 September 2004
[distraction] 56K Modem Emulator — the sound of the internet on dialup (I don’t miss it!).
24 September 2004
[music] Review of Smile — Brian Wilson’s long-lost Beach Boys Album finally released … ‘The news that Wilson and his backing band (based around American 1960s revivalists the Wondermints) were going to completely re-record and release Smile, after touring a completed version of it, was enough to cause an outbreak of mild hysteria. One Sunday supplement urgently sought the government’s opinion. Even they may have been surprised to get an answer not from the arts minister, but from defence secretary Geoff Hoon. Luckily, the past 18 months have been exceptionally quiet for the British armed forces, giving Hoon plenty of time to ponder the influence of the Beach Boys’ mid-1960s work on current alt-rock. He certainly seems well informed – “It’s such a good time for its re-release,” he told the Observer; “the indie bands my son listens to are building on Wilson’s ideas” – which will doubtless come as some comfort to the 8,900 British troops stationed in Iraq.’
25 September 2004
[god] Official God FAQ vs. Official God FAQ — click on the left link or the right link… you decide! [via Mefi]
26 September 2004
[geek] The Geek Hierarchy — where X considers themselves less geeky than Y.
28 September 2004
[ebay] eBay Boomers — Observer profile of eBay in the UK… ‘The five items I sold last week did quite well. Nigel Slater generously agreed to bake a large fruitcake for The Observer ‘s Christmas appeal, which sold for £51. A signed selection of Eddie Izzard DVDs and promotional lipsticks went for £63.03. A pair of Jimmy Choo size 40 diamante and satin high heels, rescued from The Observer fashion desk, also for the benefit of the Christmas appeal, sold to a instant-paying woman called Louise in west Yorkshire. I then sold an old Batman car and Batboat, valuable in its original box, for £395.01. A packet of fruit-flavour Pez, which was an ironic sale designed to take the eBay story back to where it began nine years and 100 million transactions ago, sold to a buyer in Germany for 10 pence, plus much postage.’
29 September 2004
[politics] Brimming Certainty gives way to Painful Humility — Jonathan Freedland sketch of Tony Blair’s Labour Party Conference Speech. ‘…he uttered two sentences that must have caused physical pain to his throat: “The evidence about Saddam having actual biological and chemical weapons, as opposed to the capability to develop them, has turned out to be wrong. I acknowledge that and accept it.” That brought some unscripted applause, a sense of relief that at last he had said what so many had longed to hear. He didn’t give the full “sorry,” but like the liberal parent who does not demand complete humiliation from a remorseful child, the Labour tribe took what they could get. The language was lawyerly – “I can apologise for the information that turned out to be wrong,” he said, rather than I do apologise – but he seemed to get away with it.’
30 September 2004
[comics] Comics 101 — nicely done column profiling the history of various comic books including Daredevil, Doom Patrol and V for Vendetta … On Marvel’s Secret Wars II: ‘In this 9-issue train wreck, the Beyonder, his interest in humanity piqued by his observations last time around, shows up on Earth and decides to try humanity on for size. The Beyonder creates a body for himself (a perfect duplicate of Captain America, as a matter of fact) gives himself a Jheri-curl hairstyle and heads off to discover life as a human, starting off with a trip to Spider-Man’s apartment, where he gets a lesson in how to take a crap. (“The experience is consummated!” says the Beyonder as he exits the bathroom.) I only wish I was kidding.’
[blogs] Random Acts of Reality: ‘The Potters Bar train crash was phoned into the Ambulance Service as a “Chest Pain”… ‘