1 December 2004
[blogs] Getting Fired From Weblogs Inc. — some interesting comments from behind-the-scenes at a couple of Blog “nano-publishing” Empires … ‘It’s probably every blogger’s dream: one day, they will achieve blogging nirvana and someone will actually pay them to blog. Despite the fact that people pay me fairly regularly to write for magazines, I admit that I, too, indulged in the blogging nirvana dream. And on the 18th of October, the absolute weirdest thing happened: Nirvana knocked on my door. Twice…’
[ipod] Troubled Diva: 17 things which I love about my beautiful, bouncing new iPod’16. The surprisingly intense surge of paternalism which I experience before leaving the house each morning, as I squeeze my iPod into its bendy “skin” in order to protect it from the ravages of the outside world. “Come along, my lovely; let’s wrap you up nice and warm in your matinee jacket. Easy does it. There’s a good boy.” Followed by the corresponding evening routine, as I gently prise off the matinee jacket (or is it a Babygro?) and place my baby back into its cradle.’
2 December 2004
[books] Digested Read: I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe‘The cleverest girl ever to leave Sparta, North Carolina felt crippled inside. Her roommate was so posh. “So here we are in our fuck-pad,” grinned Beverley. “Can I use all the cupboard space? You don’t have any clothes.” Charlotte bit her tongue. “I am Charlotte Simmons,” she said to herself.’
3 December 2004
[web] A Interview — interview with Joshua Schachter the man behind‘Q: I’d like to nominate for “Best Use of a Non-Dot-Com Name” — is there a deeping meaning to the name? A: Not really. I’d registered the domain when .us opened the registry, and a quick test showed me the six letter suffixes that let me generate the most words. In early discussions, a friend referred to finding good links as “eating cherries” and the metaphor stuck, I guess…’
6 December 2004
[blogs] New kids on the Blog — behind-the-scenes profile of Nick Denton’s blog-publishing company … ‘Most of his nine blogs attract well over 100,000 unique users a day. Gawker traffic increased to 300,000 when it was the first to show a picture of B-list actress Tara Reid after she suffered a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ and exposed a nipple at a red-carpet event. When Paris Hilton revealed she wasn’t wearing underwear at the same event, the accompanying photo brought in 255,000 unique users. That’s about a million unique users visiting the site each month. Denton has a handful of full-time staff, no office and everyone else – up to 20 employees – works part-time. Some industry estimates have put his gross earnings at as much as $100,000 a month.’
[bbc] Tales from the Morgue — an anonymous BBC Management Insider’s Blog likely to cover the staff losses and reorganisation … ‘Walking past TV Centre there was a Union rep handing out leaflets about tomorrows announcements…’
8 December 2004
[retro] b3ta: Hey Hey 16K‘old skool rampaks are much better’
[comics] The thing is, the Thing is Jewish — great article about religion in Superhero comics. ‘…it turns out that Jack Kirby, an active, synagogue-attending Jew, had a faith in mind for at least one of his characters. Mr. Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzburg) was an irascible, cigar-smoking, wryly funny product of New York City’s tough Lower East Side. So was his co-creation, Ben Grimm. Mr. Kirby died in 1996, but members of his family and many of the folks who worked for Marvel Comics over the decades say they knew that Mr. Kirby always thought of the Thing as a sort of alter-ego – and Jewish. In fact, Mr. Kirby once drew the Thing wearing the traditional Jewish skullcap and prayer shawl and holding a prayer book…’ [via Progressive Ruin]
9 December 2004
[ipod] Troubled Diva: 16 things which piss me off about my beautiful, bouncing new iPod’10. Click-wheel fatigue. Ooh, I’m just in the mood for some Yo La Tengo. Well, don’t give yourself RSI of the thumb in the process. And are you quite sure you wouldn’t rather listen to Air instead?’
[wwjb] Steven Shapiro’s Question of the Day: Who Would Jesus Bomb? [via Die Puny Humans]
[firefox] Paste and Go — a really useful Firefox extension to ‘…paste an URL from the clipboard into the address bar and load it as a single step, either via the adress bar’s context menu or by pressing Ctrl-Shift-V.’
10 December 2004
[film] What Stanley Didn’t Say — The Inside Story Behind a Fake Interview with Stanley Kubrick … ‘After Stanley’s death the volume of [press] clippings doubled, and tripled, then quadrupled. There were obituaries, memorials, recollections, assessments and so on. These were too important merely to box, so I decided to file them in date order in Swedex four-prong binders (always a favourite with Stanley: “Those Swedes sure know how to make a functional, sexy binder!”).’
[photos] Found Photobooth Photos: Is this You?
11 December 2004
[politics] UKIPwatch — a blog monitoring the activities of the UK Independence Party. Rustie to fight for Forest seat: ‘Former celebrity chef Rustie Lee will fight one of the Midlands most hotly-contested constituencies for the UK Independence Party at the next General Election.’
13 December 2004
[books] Julie Burchill’s top 10 books for teens — from the Guardian’s books section‘6. Chocky by John Wyndham – My imaginary friend’s bigger than your imaginary friend…’
[web] Suggested Google Alphabet‘A fully automated look at the most popular search keyword for each letter of the alphabet’ [via]
14 December 2004
[microsoft] For Softies, Search Is the New Black — Steven Levy on Microsoft’s efforts to compete with Google … ‘Bill Gates has a Google thing. When I asked him about the search competition last summer, he turned on the sarcasm. “We’ll never be as cool as them. Every conference you go to, there they are dressed in black, and no one is cooler!” Clearly Gates’s dander was up, not only because the Google upstarts were eating his lunch, but they were press darlings as well. Behind the rant was a taunting subtext: watch me. Bill, you see, had been busy figuring how to get his lunch back.’
15 December 2004
[blogs] From Ronson — Jon Ronson has a weblog. ‘…I am trying to think of a new book to write. I thought that perhaps writing a blog, and not worrying about crafting the words into something that would be publishable in any other form, might free my mind up to write the new book. So far it is not working, although I have only been at it about one minute.’ [via Pete Ashton]
16 December 2004
[politics] Stephen Pollard — I’m surprised it’s not been more noted that David Blunkett’s Biographer is a long-standing political blogger. ‘…at the moment my days are somewhat dominated by the fall out from my book, and that’s all I’ve time to cover.’
17 December 2004
[xmas] The Beatles Christmas Records — MP3’s of recordings the Beatles made for their official fan-club between 1963 and 1969. From a description of the 1969 recording: ‘Yoko makes an appearance as John’s interviewer, and the two sing a duet reminiscent of the “All in the Family” theme before finally predicting the 70s will be “peaceful,” and full of people “flying around.” McCartney sings a pleasant ditty.’
20 December 2004
[porn] We were sold into porn slavery, cry African islands‘Sao Tome remains a mere adolescent in the world of online porn (in terms of countries, Germany leads the way with 10 million pages, and the UK is close behind with 8.5 million), that figure corresponds to 1.7 pages per inhabitant. Germany in contrast has 0.12 pages per person, and the UK, 0.14. Winner of porniest country in the world is Tonga with an incredible 7.7 pages for each of its 110,000 inhabitants.’
21 December 2004
[politics] Farmer Clarke makes himself at Home — Simon Hoggart on Charles Clarke and David Blunkett … ‘At one point Mr Clarke referred to his predecessor, whom, he said, he was delighted to see in his place. There was a cheer from Labour MPs. Mr Blunkett was sitting three rows back, looking pretty miserable but surrounded by loyal and supportive friends. I can relate to that.’
[blogs] Time: 10 Things We Learned About Blogs’10. Anyone Can Do It’
22 December 2004
[apple] David McCandless: The Applestore of the Future.
23 December 2004
[comics] GM: Talking All-Star Superman — Grant Morrison on his new Superman comics …

‘I just read – yesterday in fact – the story ‘Superman’s New Power’ which appeared in Superman #125 from November 1958. And guess what Superman’s new power was in the ‘conservative’ ’50s. That’s right – it’s a teeny-tiny little Superman who shoots out from the palm of the big Superman’s hand and does everything better than Superman himself, leaving the full-size Superman feeling redundant and worthless. Holy analysis, Batman! It’s mindbending, brilliant and eerie work. This is what it would be like if Charlie Kaufmann wrote and directed the Superman movie and it’s far from goofy or childish, it’s genuinely affecting and slightly disturbing to read Superman saying stuff like ‘Everyone’s impressed except ME! Don’t they understand how I feel — playing second fiddle to a miniature duplicate of myself…a sort of SUPER-IMP?’ And people think I’M weird? I %$%$^ wish I was weird like this! I wish pop comics today had the balls to be as poetic and poignant and truly ‘all-ages’ again, and a little less self-conscious. I feel a little ashamed for not even daring to think of a magnificent tiny Superman who makes the real Superman feel inadequate every time he springs from his hand.’

[xmas] Santa Moblogged: Reject False Icons [via Die Puny Humans]
26 December 2004
[comedy] Sixteen Tons of Fun — Dave Eggers on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Eric Idle bringing “The Holy Grail” to Broadway … ‘After a highly successful Canadian stage tour in 1973, the group was invited to do a series of sketches on the “Tonight Show” hosted by Joey Bishop on that particular night. The result was dropped-jaw silence. The curtain went up and Chapman and Idle performed a piece involving the burying of a cat. Idle: “I just spent four hours burying the cat.” Chapman: “Four hours to bury the cat?” Idle: “Yes, it wouldn’t keep still, wriggling about, howling its head off.” It was a while before network television came calling again.’
27 December 2004
[history] Who was Inês de Castro?‘[The King of Portugal] revealed to the country that had secretly married Inês and that she was the lawful queen of Portugal. The king’s word was, and still is, the only proof of the marriage, but Peter took Inês’s body from the grave and forced the entire court to swear allegiance to her as queen.’
30 December 2004
[firefox] Secrets of Firefox 1.0 — some useful tech details from Brian Livingstone. ‘…it’s fascinating to find that many powerful capabilities of Firefox 1.0 are still difficult to find and little known. ‘ [via]
31 December 2004
[blogs] Have you read the one about me? — the Independent on blogs … ‘It is not that blogs have encouraged those with dull lives to write. They always have written – the blog lets them to do it in public. Some write monstrously self-regarding round robins each year; the blog lets them to do it cumulatively. The great blogs will survive, even those that make a zen-like, minimalist art-from out of their own dullness (see, for example, The dullest blog in the world) or those that, even in their dullness, manage to fascinate (Utterly Boring), if only because they give some insight, however accidental (or self-consciously contrived) into other people’s lives. In the welter of tacky corporatism that is invading the web, the blog remains its human face. Silly, boring, puffed-up, sad, tedious, over-excited, egocentric: just like all of us.’
[new.year] Diamond Geezer: Why you’re going to celebrate New Year at the wrong time‘Before you go out this New Year’s Eve, set your watch accurately using analogue Ceefax.’