1 April 2005
[election05] Please stop calling us Tories, say Tories‘Though the label Tory has been used for years as a term of abuse by the left, it has never been deemed pejorative by the Tories themselves. Indeed, Conservatives have for centuries been proud to call themselves Tories.’
[comics] Sin City Comic-to-Screen Comparisons — Compare Frank Miller’s comics with the upcoming Movie‘Not an exact match by any stretch, but the mood is there…’ [via Waxy]
2 April 2005
[science] 13 things that do not make Sense — from the New Scientist … ‘IF YOU travel out to the far edge of the solar system, into the frigid wastes beyond Pluto, you’ll see something strange. Suddenly, after passing through the Kuiper belt, a region of space teeming with icy rocks, there’s nothing. Astronomers call this boundary the Kuiper cliff, because the density of space rocks drops off so steeply. What caused it? The only answer seems to be a 10th planet. We’re not talking about Quaoar or Sedna: this is a massive object, as big as Earth or Mars, that has swept the area clean of debris…’
3 April 2005
[crime] The Last Request — a Flash animation listing some of the Last Meals of Texas Death Row Inmates … About Last Request: ‘I’m by no means glorifying the men you see in this production because I honestly don’t know if they were really guilty or not. I just know that when I consider the choices they made for their final meals they were trying to tell us something.’ [via Metafilter]
4 April 2005
[london] Evening Standard Headlines — a flickr set showing how the Evening Standard’s Headline writers attempt to stamp out positive thought within the London area …

Transplant Patients get Rabies
‘Transplant Patients get Rabies’

5 April 2005
[election05] Election 2005 — The Guardian launches another blog to cover the Election on May 5th. [Feed: Election 2005]
[ukelection05] On Flickr: UK General Election 05 Photo Pool
6 April 2005
[bdj] The web’s Belle de Jour? — the Evening Standard proposes another suspect for BdJ — an author called Stewart Home. I’ve been sent two files of information mentioned in the Standard by verysunnymeadow (a prolific commenter on The Book Club Blog’s investigations into BdJ). Both articles are linked below:

  • ‘Belle De Jour’ Identified As Male London Novelist‘With the Belle diary, while the forensics suggest even to the most sceptical observer that he has, at the very least, an extremely strong case to answer, the nearest I’ve heard of his making an admission is a touch on the side of the nose, given furtively to a mutual friend who was about to raise suspicions a little too high at a party.’
  • Clues that Stewart Home is Belle de Jour‘As readers of “Belle de Jour’s” book will know, Belle mentions several male friends and lovers. However, there is one male friend who gets mentioned in the weblog but not in the book. This is “SH”, a reference to Stewart Home, the real author.’

[ukelection05] Alastair Campbell’s Weblog — almost certainly fake … ‘Out getting eggs for R, C and G. Couldn’t help notice Britney Spears has a perfume out. Was tempted but don’t think Fiona would be too happy. Or Tony!! He prefers Christina Aguilera.’
7 April 2005
[comics] Frank Miller On-Line — comprehensive list of Frank Miller / Sin City links.
[blogs] Bloggers Pitch Fits Over Glitches — Wired News on Bloggers recent Technical Problems … ‘Last month there was even a glitch with the Blogger status page, which prevented tech staff from posting service updates. Sometimes software glitches cause these outages. Other times it is a hardware hiccup. And when the service is just achingly slow? That’s due to a lack of power — “actual electricity, if you can believe it,” according to Biz Stone, an HTML freak who works at Google on Blogger. (He says Google is working on it.)’ [Related: Blogger Status]
8 April 2005
[royalty] Royal Wedding Cam — Watch Charles and Camilla get hitched tomorrow.
11 April 2005
[comics] Pleased to meet you, Reverend, your cousin is insane — on meeting a relative of Dave Sim‘”We’re not really in touch,” Chris said. “Is he popular?” “That’s kind of hard to answer,” I said. Your cousin is a total freakin’ genius but he’s batshit insane and did a 300-issue comic story about an aardvark with a sword crossed my mind. Thankfully, my brain had spooled back up to speed…’
[comics] Katsuhiro Otomo Interview — the Onion AV Club interviews the creator of Akira … ‘I can’t create a movie by myself. It is worthy only because many staff bring new ideas and techniques. I think the appeal of being the director is to encounter such new things, which I don’t possess. It is absolutely wonderful to create something new based on teamwork. It is something that I couldn’t appreciate in my cartoonist days.’ [via]
12 April 2005
[bdj] Will the real Belle de Jour please stand up? — Jane Perrone emails Stewart Home to find out if he is Belle de Jour … Home on BdJ: ‘I’m no more interested in who Belle ‘really is’ than I am interested in who Jack The Ripper ‘really’ was. The endless speculation about the identity of such figures serves only to obscure any understanding of them.’
13 April 2005
[comics] Unintentionally Sexual Comic Book Covers‘I can only imagine the condition of a society in which a comic featuring wet, well-trimmed, virile young man gazing romantically in a monkey’s eyes could be published without raising some serious red flags.’
14 April 2005
[web] Domesday 1986 — the BBC’s project to mark the 900th aniversary of the original Domesday Book now online. ‘…the BBC published its Domesday Project on a pair of twelve inch laser discs with a laserdisc player and microcomputer.’ [via Yoz]
15 April 2005
[bdj] Intimate advice from a London Call Girl — Belle de Jour is an Agony Aunt! … ‘When I was approached to be The London Line’s new agony aunt, I thought, why not? I know about agony. Reading reviews of my book was agony in itself. And my career so far has been nothing if not surrounded by questions.’
16 April 2005
[movies] The Man Who Shot Sin City — Wired Magazine on how Robert Rodriguez brought Sin City to the screen. ‘…small details like Sin City’s signature “white blood” proved to be an effects challenge. Regular movie blood didn’t cut it. Instead, the crew used fluorescent red liquid and hit it with a black light. This allowed Rodriguez to turn the blood “white” in postproduction. Likewise, the novel’s few splashes of color proved troublesome. Yellow and green react with green screens, causing color to spill into the background and making them impossible to separate. So during shooting Rodriguez painted the villain, Yellow Bastard, blue – and then colored him yellow in post.’
17 April 2005
[comics] Vintage Superman Cartoons — hosted on [via Pete’s Linklog]
18 April 2005
[tv] Twelve Reasons Why Columbo Is The Best Police TV Show‘Just One More Thing…’
19 April 2005
[politics] Are we going forward, back – or sideways? — David Aaronovitch on The General Election: ‘…I was on the tube train from north London to Watford. The train travels overground through the suburbs of north-west London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire: Pinner, Harrow, Northwood Hills, Croxley, and more. Strung out along the tracks are thousands of unremarkable houses, their monotony punctuated by stations, 30s shopping streets and the odd school or church. In each house lives one, two, three voters – each with their own understanding of the world, their own personal ideologies, their impressions, their experience of the world. And there are millions and millions of them. And, as ever, the thought scares me slightly. What do they want? We insiders talk about voter volatility when what we mean is we have lost the plot.’
20 April 2005
[space] What a Little Moon Dust Can Do — if I went to the Moon I’d still need Loratadine‘”Dust is the No. 1 environmental problem on the moon,” said Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who reported having a severe allergic reaction to moon dust during his mission in 1972. “We need to understand what the (biological) effects are, because there’s always the possibility that engineering might fail.” Moon dust is much more jagged than dust on Earth because there’s no water or wind on the moon to toss it around and grind down its edges. It’s created when meteorites, cosmic rays and solar winds slam into the moon, turning its rocks into powdery topsoil.’
21 April 2005
[books] The Article that Changed the World — The Guardian on book subtitles … ‘What all these “changed the world” titles have in common is a lack of self-confidence. Unsure that readers will want to buy a book about sugar or sewing machines or radio in Canada, publishers over-gild their lilies. In a sense, yes, all these things have changed the world, but only in a general sense that everything that exists changes the world.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
22 April 2005
[comics] The Comics Bubble and the Burst — Metafilter discuss the comic book speculation bubble of the 1990’s. ‘…I sold hundreds of copies of Harbinger #1 (Valiant Comics) for more than a hundred bucks a pop — and you can pick them up for near cover price these days. I was a bastard. I knew and understood the fanboy mentality perfectly, and to this day I feel no guilt about it.’
23 April 2005
[comics] Warren Ellis: ‘I fully expect the film version of WATCHMEN to be a fucking musical.’
24 April 2005
[advert] Singing in the Rain Remix — MP3 remix using the music from the VW advert.
[movies] Sin City Expands Digital Frontier — Wired Reviews Sin City‘While [Sin City] could induce nightmares, it is also, in its own way, sweetly nostalgic. This is a film that loves artifice the same way that Singin’ in the Rain did. Singin’ in the Rain, along with many films noir and various other stage-bound Hollywood movies, used two-by-fours and gallons of paint to build its glorious unrealities. Sin City instead uses pixels…’
[ebay] eBay Feedback Generator‘Skillful quality! Packaging was desirable. Optimum delivery.’
[comics] Planetary Preview — PDF of the preview comic that Warren Ellis and John Cassady produced for Planetary.
25 April 2005
[comics] Classic Comic Ads‘These ads are as much a part of the history and lore of comic books as the stories themselves. What kid did not order or dream of ordering such classics as Sea Monkeys, Polaris Subs or X-Ray glasses that we saw in the comic books.’
26 April 2005
[comics] Graphic Novels for Snobs — Ask Mefi discuss Graphic Novels … ‘People keep telling me that certain graphic novels are masterpieces, but when I read them, I don’t like them. I keep wondering what their criteria are for judging a book a work of genius. Do they mean “it’s a masterpiece compared with other comic books” or “it’s a masterpiece compared with any work or literature”? Because I don’t care how something ranks within the comic-book world. I just want to read good stories. I’m convinced there MUST be good stories in graphic novel form.’
[ads] London Review of Books Personal Ads‘The LRB’s own Son of Jor-El, stuck in the Phantom Zone of the personal ads for three years now. Reckon I could still lick anyone of you wusses. Man, 36. Alone. Tonight, and very possibly forever. Box no. 07/12’ [via Yoz]
27 April 2005
[funny] Wanted: A tall well-built woman‘But please only read lines 1, 3 and 5’
28 April 2005
[numbers] The Conet Project — Mp3 recordings of Numbers Stations. ‘…a 1998 article in The Daily Telegraph quoted a spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry (the government agency that regulates radio broadcasting in the United Kingdom) as saying, “These [numbers stations] are what you suppose they are. People shouldn’t be mystified by them. They are not for, shall we say, public consumption.”‘
29 April 2005
[web] The Archivist — update on the Internet Archive and Brewster Kahle‘[Kahle] wanted to back up the Internet. There were only 50 million or so URLs back then, so the idea only seemed half-crazy. As the Web ballooned to more than 10 billion pages, the archive’s main server farm — hidden across town in a data center beneath the city’s other big bridge — grew to hold a half-million gigabytes of compressed and indexed pages. Kahle is less the Internet’s crazy aunt — the tycoon who can’t stand to throw anything away — than its evangelical librarian.’
[election] In the Eye of the Storm, it’s Blinking Tricky — Simon Hoggart watching Tony Blair and Gordon Brown: ‘[Nick Robinson of ITN] asked “Are you saying that you would have behaved in an identical way to Tony Blair if faced with the same circumstances?” There was a pause which might have lasted two seconds, but seemed to go on forever. [Tony Blair’s] right eye turned to stare malevolently at Mr Brown, like some Oriental jewel that has the power to turn men’s minds. The eyebrow above it arched in a V-shape. Finally the chancellor spoke, or rather barked: “Yes!” The right eye suddenly relaxed and even seemed, just for a moment, to gaze fondly on Mr Brown. Applause broke out from the businesspersons. “Well done!” said Patricia Hewitt, sounding, as always, like a doctor congratulating a small child on surviving a jab without crying.’