1 May 2005
[weird] Can This Black Box See Into the Future? — can a network of random event generators predict the future? ‘… then on September 6, 1997, something quite extraordinary happened: the graph shot upwards, recording a sudden and massive shift in the number sequence as his machines around the world started reporting huge deviations from the norm. The day was of historic importance for another reason, too. For it was the same day that an estimated one billion people around the world watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey. Dr Nelson was convinced that the two events must be related in some way.’
2 May 2005
[tv] Cannes to screen BBC’s Nightmares — the BBC documentary Power of Nightmares is to be remade as a film … ‘The BBC Two series questioned whether the threat of terrorism to the West was a politically-driven fantasy, winning a Bafta TV award among other prizes. Its three one-hour episodes are being edited into a single two-and-a-half hour movie by producer Adam Curtis after the festival asked to screen it.’ [via Haddock]
3 May 2005
[tea] Software for Tea-Making Duties — Wired News on Teabuddy‘Teabuddy lets co-workers create office groups online to record rounds and requests, complete with personalization options like milk and sugar preferences for individual colleagues. Before leaving for the kitchen, responsible brewers log onto Teabuddy and check a box next to the name of those for whom they are making a cuppa. Teabuddy tallies the total cups made and consumed by each employee, keeping a history that lists the date each user last poured forth — it’s “objective, factual proof of who’s done what and when,” according to a message on the site.’
4 May 2005
[wikipedia] Random Entry at Wikipedia — link to a Random Entry on Wikipedia.
[comics] Preview of Desolation Jones #1 — from Warren Ellis and J.H. Williams III.
5 May 2005
[voip] Guardian Online on Skype — nice overview on using SkypeIn‘That SkypeIn should be so attractive shows that there is life in the public numbering system yet. For about £20 a year, a SkypeIn number connects me to the largest network in the world: the public-switched telephony network. (Before the launch of SkypeIn, Skype users could only receive calls from people who also used Skype.) SkypeIn also takes advantage of a geeky part of telecoms: regulation. Fixed line numbers are very cheap to call in the UK (and in many countries) because of the efforts of regulators in keeping costs down. So calling my SkypeIn number always costs the same as dialling London, regardless of where I am.’
6 May 2005
[books] Dracula Blogged — Bram Stoker’s Dracula published as a blog using the calendar in the book … Jonathan Harker: ‘I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt. I fear. I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul. God keep me, if only for the sake of those dear to me!’
[ukelection] Robert Kilroy-Silk. Not a happy man, really — A picture of Robert Kilroy-Silk losing the Erewash Election. He got 2,957 votes.
8 May 2005
[lmg] Kilburn High Road, For one night only…

Link Machine Here
Link Machine Here
Originally uploaded by DarrenS.

9 May 2005
[apple] Apple’s HD Video Plot Thickens — Robert Cringley on Apple’s plans for iTunes: ‘[Tiger] gives us a peek at another evolution of iTunes, which is the inevitable expansion of the system to carry additional audio file formats. Looking at the unused iTunes icons that shipped with your new version of 10.4, you’ll notice icons for currently-not-supported ogg vorbis and Windows Media Audio (wma), as well as several others including a variety of video formats, too. With this new information we can make a pretty good guess about the evolution of both iTunes and iPod. When Apple feels that the success of iTunes is absolutely assured, which will be shortly, they’ll address the user complaint that iPod only supports AAC and MP3 audio by adding these additional formats, leading to increased iPod sales.’
[life] That’s Enough Entertainment, Thanks — Armando Iannucci on “Choice Fatigue” … ‘I’ve suddenly sensed how much pressure we are under to view and hear everything. The constant thrum from the arts pages and review sections of the weekend papers, the non-stop shrill from monthly magazines and cultural round-ups on television and radio, insist that we simply have to see that film and order those CDs and set the video for the next 19 episodes of this unmissable drama. And yet, as those unread supplements pile up, as the VHS tapes filled with recordings of old but as-yet unwatched episodes of The Nazis: A Warning From History and Spaced form a mountain on the floor, what we are left with is an ever-expanding sense of failure to catch up with all the sensory experiences that have been made available to us.’
10 May 2005
[comics] Ask Mefi: Who are the worlds greatest comic book artists?‘The fact that nobody has mentioned Kirby yet is inexcusable.’
[ukblog] Walking the Streets — a weblog by a Traffic Warden … ‘There’s no rotation scheme, and how the streets are managed is very much down to the feet on the street. A place might not get any visits for two weeks for one reason or another, but as soon as the problems start to build up, we’re there. It is random, it is erratic; and the methodology varies from Enforcement Officer to Enforcement Officer, which serves to keep the wrongdoers on their toes.’
[comics] Stories, Drinking And The World — Warren Ellis on Stories, the World and Comics … ‘For me, writing happens on my own. It’s exactly the same as a ritual, or sitting down at a campfire, or initiating a vision state in silent darkness. It has to come from me and the spaces in my brain. And that’s one reason why I stay in comics. Any other visual narrative medium is hopelessly compromised by committees and executives and notes and queries. In comics, it’s just the writer and the illustrator and the editor. You only have to get two other people, at most, on the same wavelength as you. And you get to speak in a mass-communication medium — where the sales are still better than genre novels or indie music, in many many cases — without filters. You get to say what you meant to say.’
11 May 2005
[ipods] Evening Standard: iPod Health Alert
12 May 2005
[ipod] iPods Killed the Radio Star‘Arrow 93 — a classic rock station for as long as I can remember (my memory stretches back a decade or so, incidentally) — was now calling itself Jack FM. The change was more than nominal. “They’ve expanded their playlist, explained my wife, who knows all about these sorts of things. “So instead of just playing classic rock, they’ve got some pop music, some alternative, stuff from the ’90s. And they jump from one genre to another at random.” “It sounds like an iPod on shuffle mode,” I said. And apparently, it’s supposed to…’
[comics] My Mom was a Schizophrenic — Chester Brown’s comic-strip on the history and medical classification of Schizophrenia

Chester Brown's My Mom was a Schizophrenic

14 May 2005
[comics] Proud Member of Warren Ellis’ Holy Slut Army … Ellis: ‘It was one of the more genuinely disturbing moments of my life, seeing people walking around wearing them at Dragon*Con last year?’
[puzzle] Diamond Geezer on Sudoku: ‘…like all the best puzzles it’s fiendishly simple.’
16 May 2005
[comics] Comics Recommended by Alan Moore … On Marshal Law: ‘If Watchmen did in any way kill off the superhero – which is a dubious proposition – then Marshal Law has taken it further with this wonderful act of necrophilia, where it has degraded the corpse in a really amusing way.’
[comics] Londonist interviews Nathaniel – a Comic Shop Employee‘Q: Who’d win in a fight: Fathers 4 Justice or Justice League of America? Why? A: The Justice League of America would win. They’ve got superpowers whereas the Fathers 4 Justice are just normal men in costumes. It’s obvious when you think about it.’
[blog] Google ponders Blogger, Gmail integration — update on the future directions of Blogger … ‘Google is also evaluating an enhancement that lets users natively upload images to their blogs from within the Blogger interface, Stone said. Currently, images can be posted to Blogger via e-mail or using other indirect methods, such as Google’s Hello image-transmission service. “There is a button there now [in the Blogger interface for image uploading] so we’re working on making that a useful button,” Stone said.’
17 May 2005
[tech] You can’t escape those AOL CDs‘One of the questions AOL tech support asks when people call in complaining that they can’t get their AOL CD to work is, “Do you have a computer?” because so many people who don’t have computers stick the CD into their stereo or DVD player and can’t get it to work.’
18 May 2005
[web] How to keep an Idiot Busy … web remake of an old Windows program. [via]
[documentary] The film US TV networks Dare Not Show — the Guardian on Power of Nightmares being shown at Cannes … ‘The film is […] incendiary for its analysis of what Curtis controversially insists is the largely illusory fear of terrorism in the west since 9/11. Curtis argues that politicians such as Bush and Blair have stumbled on a new force that can restore their power and authority – the fear of a hidden and organised web of evil from which they can protect their people. In a still-traumatised US, those with the darkest nightmares have become the most powerful and Curtis’s film castigates the media, security forces and the Bush administration for extending their power in this way.’
[blog] What are the Top Blogs when you Google on via?

19 May 2005
[puzzle] How To Solve Sudoku‘A colleague at work sent me the puzzle and I sat down and worked out this way of solving it. Being slightly computer literate I decided to make a spreadsheet do all the hard work. I circulated the solution and someone suggested I publish the algorithm – I hope it helps.’ [via The Guardian’s Newsblog]
[directions] The Way To Amarillo‘Catch flight from London Heathrow to Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Hire car at Dallas Fort Worth Airport.’
20 May 2005
[tech] Warren Ellis: Are the Technocrats Geniuses or Frauds?‘They have been hailed as both…’
21 May 2005
[film] Watchmen – Will we be watching it after all in 2006? — Filmrot on the problem of bringing Moore and Gibbon’s Watchmen to the screen … ‘Unlike Alan Moore’s other notable ‘superhero’ comic The Extraordinary League of Gentlemen, Watchmen is not a romp. It is rich in the superhero tradition and has a sense of humour that happily makes fun of the genre but just as the iconic cover image is a smiley face, it is a smiley face with the blood of a hero smeared across it.’ [thanks Stuart]
[tv] Gandolfini’s temper is nothing like Tony Soprano’s — update on Series Six of the Sopranos … ‘One major character that could bite the bullet is Tony Soprano’s wife, Carmela, played by Edie Falco. Though the two feuded considerably in the last season, Falco doesn’t see it happening. “That would be unlikely,” she says. “Who would cook?”‘
22 May 2005
[ebay] Adult Baby Batman Plastic Pants for sale on eBay … [via Progressive Ruin]

23 May 2005
[movies] 2001 at 25 — a lookback (from 1993) at Kubrick’s 2001 from Omni Magazine … ‘Clarke had provided a framework of childlike wonder, of travel to the far planets and meetings with benevolent creatures from another world. He had redefined the possibilities of mystical experience for a jaded era. But Kubrick flavored this hopeful scenario with a discomforting reminder that such adventures could cost us more than we bargained for. The triumph of our intellect, he seemed to say, might actually cost us our humanity itself. Kubrick’s cynicism about modern condition–his ghastly spacemen with their chilling lack of communication–stood in contrast to the chatty, fussy genius of HAL 9000, a computer considerably more human than his zombified masters.’ [via Mefi]
24 May 2005
[tv] Holy villainous villains, Batman — Guardian’s Newsblog on the death of Frank Gorshin (the Riddler from the Batman TV Series) … ‘Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is about a pair of Jewish cartoonists in 1940s New York, and identifies a crucial truth about comic-book superheroes. These great Wasp icons were actually born out of a working-class, immigrant mindset. They were the dreams of influence and invincibility that came out of the heads of working-class scribblers still trying to get a toe on the ladder. Whether wittingly or not, Gorshin’s Riddler acknowledged these roots. His intelligence was the intelligence of the kid hustling for nickels. His villainy was that of the streetwise con-artist with a deck of playing cards in one pocket and a pair of knuckle-dusters in the other.’
[comics] Jamie Hewlett’s Common People Comic — Pulp’s song converted into a comic … ‘I think all pop hits should have comic adaptations; in an ideal world I would have a copy of Rob Liefeld’s Shake Ya Tailfeather: The Graphic Novel in a frame on my wall.’
25 May 2005
[brains] How to Pack a Brain for Shipping‘Recommended items to pack a fresh brain: Two clean, dry ziploc plastic bags (about 22.0 x 30.0 cm), Plastic bucket with tightly fitting lid (about 4.0 liters), Large plastic bag (about 40.0 x 50.0 cm), Envelope for documents, Thermosafe polyfoam container (38.0 x 33.0 x 31.0 cm), Two refrigerant packs (17.0 x 10.0 cm), Wet ice (about 1.0 kg)’
26 May 2005
[puzzle] Can you Digit? — more about Sudoku from the Guardian … ‘I now have the profound dissatisfaction of being obsessed with something I’m not very good at.’
27 May 2005
[film] Black and white and Bloody — interview with Frank Miller on Sin City … ‘Sin City has little in common with the garish, effects-driven superheroics now associated with the genre. It plays more like the film noir equivalent of Pulp Fiction; a trio of macabre, interlinked tales set in a stylised world where men are honourable brutes, women are deadly lingerie models, and the only proper way to deal with a paedophile is to shoot his nuts off. It’s not what you’d call politically nuanced, but Miller is unashamed and unapologetic. “Cartoonists’ dirty secret is that we tend to come up with stories that involve things that are really fun to draw,” says Miller.’
[games] Friday Afternoon Game: Snake Jump
31 May 2005
[comics] Cerebus Notebook #1 — some scans from Dave Sim’s notebooks which he used whilst creating Cerebus …

[puzzles] Sudoku Solver‘I have written this solver to show the extent of the possible logical solutions that derive from the numbers on the board.’