1 October 2006
[blogs] A couple of interesting comics-related posts on Metafilter

2 October 2006
[google] Eric Schmidt to address Tory conference — the Chairman and CEO of Google is speaking at the Conservative Party Annual Conference tomorrow … ‘Googling for policies?’
3 October 2006
[search] i feel better after i type to you — a book reporting the 254 page search history of one AOL user in May 2006 … ‘The text in this book is pseudo-anonymous autobiography stored as proprietary corporate data which was de facto released into the public domain.’ [via As Above]
4 October 2006
[comics] Still in the shadows, an artist in his own right — profile of Maxon Crumb – Robert Crumb’s brother … ‘In his introduction to the 1995 collection, “Crumb Family Comics,” he wrote, “I have to continue indefinitely as a socially misfitted, god-mad, brooding ascetic and celibate, starving and street begging, eating a cloth string for meat and sitting on a bed of nails.” When I read that quote back to him, he says the description still fits, except for the street begging.’
[books] Steven Johnson on The Ghost Map — a ‘book trailer’ on YouTube about Steven Johnson’s new book on cholera, london, medicine and cities. [via Kottke’s Links]
5 October 2006
[comics] Ignition City Script — an excerpt from Warren Ellis’ script for a new comic called Ignition City … ‘Pic 2 …YURI, in his spacesuit, vodka bottle in hand, waking up as four hard little turds bounce off his head. YURI is also in his late forties. He looks as Yuri Gagarin would have if he’d lived that long, fucked himself out and become an alcoholic (both of which he was well on his way towards before he died). And, yes, he’s wearing an old Soviet spacesuit. Without the helmet, obviously. He just shambles around the settlement in a spacesuit he never takes off (and you can imagine what kind of mess it’s in), swilling vodka and shouting at people. Yuri is the town drunk.’
6 October 2006
[books] Passing the Gladwell Point — some interesting criticisms of Malcolm Gladwell‘At times, lately, Mr. Gladwell sounds like someone trying to tell other people about something he read once in a Malcolm Gladwell piece, after a few rounds of drinks.’ [via Kottke’s Links]
7 October 2006
[comedy] Let’s Play Numberwang!‘Numberwang accepts no responsibility for any loss of personal items, injury or sudden death.’ [via Diamond Geezer]
8 October 2006
[futures] The Coming Death Shortage — interesting look at what happens in the near future as people live longer and longer lives … ‘Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak founded Apple in their twenties; Albert Einstein dreamed up special relativity at about the same age. For better and worse, young people in developed nations will have less chance to shake things up in tomorrow’s world. Poorer countries, where the old have less access to longevity treatments, will provide more opportunity, political and financial. As a result, according to Fred C. Iklé, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “it is not fanciful to imagine a new cleavage opening up in the world order.” On one side would be the “‘bioengineered’ nations,” societies dominated by the “becalmed temperament” of old people. On the other side would be the legions of youth—”the protagonists,” as the political theorist Samuel Huntington has described them, “of protest, instability, reform, and revolution.”‘
[quotes] ‘In the year AD 426 Augustine of Hippo reused what was already an old joke: “What was God doing before the Creation? Preparing Hell for those who ask that question.” Hell is clearly the natural home of cosmologists. Which has not reduced their number at all.’ [from Bang up to date? – A review of Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku]
9 October 2006
[space] Ask Metafilter: Has anyone ever had sex in space? From the comments: ‘I had a friend who worked with NASA, and he had this conversation with them at some sort of official place (I actually think he has a paper out on it). The main issue was birth control and pregnancy, with concerns about the effects on the embryo of radiation on re-entry being the biggest issue. He said that hearing officials in the space industry seriously debate enacting a “anal sex only” rule to be one of the most surreal moments of his life.’
10 October 2006
[tv] Why We Watch… Columbo — from Radio Times Why We Watch blog/column … ‘Here was a show in which you saw who committed the crime in the opening minutes, an oddball narrative ploy that turned the rules of TV detection inside out. With the best line-up of villains since Batman, the likes of Donald Pleasence, Johnny Cash and Patrick McGoohan would then underestimate the cigar-chomping, raincoat-wearing Columbo, who would itch at them like a sore until they broke, all the while ingratiating himself on their time.’
11 October 2006
[film] Ask Metafilter: Borat Ruined my Life‘Last year, a guy came to my town claiming to be filming a documentary for Kazakhstan. He recruited my friend John to be in it. John signed the papers and everything- that’s not the issue. However, the producers got John really drunk and he said some things he really regrets that made it to the final cut. John’s terrified that everyone’s going to see the movie and think he’s an awful human being (which he’s not). He’s very distraught…’
12 October 2006
[comics] For Sale on eBay: Avengers #1 by Kurt Busiek and George Perez.
[comics] Tintin Cars — a website which compares the cars Hergé drew in Tintin with photos of the real cars. [thanks Alister]
[books] In Cold Blood – The Last To See Them Alive — the New Yorker Online republishes one of Truman Capote’s original magazine articles which formed the basis for his novel In Cold Blood. ‘…in the earliest hours of that morning in November, a Sunday morning, certain foreign sounds impinged on the normal Holcomb noises—on the keening hysteria of coyotes, the dry scrape of scuttling tumbleweed, the racing, receding wail of locomotive whistles. At the time, not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them—four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives.’
13 October 2006
[books] The Genesis of Gonzo — Extract from Who’s Afraid of Tom Wolfe by Marc Weingarten … ‘Like [Tom] Wolfe, [Hunter S.] Thompson recognised one salient fact of life in the 60s: the traditional tools of reporting would be inadequate to chronicle the tremendous cultural and social change. War, assassination, rock, drugs, hippies, Yippies, Nixon – how could a traditional “just the facts” reporter dare to impose a neat and symmetrical order on such chaos?’
14 October 2006
[comics] ‘300’ Comic-to-Screen Comparison — blog entry comparing images from Frank Miller’s comic on the Battle of Thermopylae to the movie trailer for 300. [via]
15 October 2006
[books] The Candy Man — A Profile of Roald Dahl‘Children need the dark materials of fairy tales because they need to make sense—in a symbolic, displaced way—of their own feelings of anger, resentment, and powerlessness. Children also benefit from learning about violence and brutishness in fairy tales, Bettelheim writes, for it counters the “widespread refusal to let children know that the source of much that goes wrong in our life is due to our natures—the propensity of all men for acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly.” Many fairy tales—and most of Dahl’s work—are complex narratives of wish fulfillment. They teach the reader, Bettelheim writes, that “a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human existence—but if one does not shy away, but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious.” Or, in any case, this is a hopeful fantasy which sustains us all’
16 October 2006
[comics] Castafiore Can’t Say Haddock! — a list of Bianca Castafiore’s mispronunciations of Captain Haddock’s name in Tintin … ‘The Castafiore Emerald, page 6, frame 4a: Captain Bartok. (frame 4b: Haddock responds: Haddock, by thunder, Signora Castoroili! … Haddock!)’ [via Tom Morris]
[internet] Some Tech-Gen Youth Go Offline — Wired News on the growing disillusionment with social network websites … ‘Bugeja often lectures students about “interpersonal intelligence” — knowing when, where and for what purpose technology is most appropriate. He points out the students he’s seen walking across campus, holding hands with significant others while talking on cell phones to someone else. He’s also observed them in coffee shops, surrounded by people, but staring instead at a computer screen. “True friends,” he tells them, “need to learn when to stop blogging and go across campus to help a friend.”‘ [via]
17 October 2006
[doom] Supposing … We invent some decoy doomsday scenarios — more from Charlie Brooker‘Terrorist extremists? Yeah, they’re frightening – but what about those North Korean nukes? Or global warming, come to think of it? I need a personal bloody organiser to sort it out – a gizmo that’ll set me a “timetable of concern” just so I can break down my overall sense of creeping dread into manageable, bite-sized flurries of panic. Otherwise, I’m in danger of forgetting to worry about some things – like bird flu, for instance. I haven’t seriously crapped myself about that since, ooh, February? Whenever it was, a top-up’s long overdue.’
[london] Crap Headlines — photos of headlines from North London Newspapers … ‘HUNT FOR SHOPPING CITY FLASHER’ [via Tom Morris]
18 October 2006
[comics] Dreams — from xkcd (‘a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.’) …

when did we forget our dreams?

19 October 2006
[books] Penguin Books Covers — a collection of seventies book covers on Flickr … [via Limbicnutrition]
20 October 2006
[games] The View from the Top — the final confession of a recovering World of Warcraft junkie … ‘The worst though are the people you know have time commitments. People with families and significant others. I am not one to judge a person’s situation, but when a father/husband plays a video game all night long, seven days a week, after getting home from work, very involved instances that soak up hours and require concentration, it makes me queasy that I encouraged that. Others include the kids you know aren’t doing their homework and confide in you they are failing out of high school or college but don’t want to miss their chance at loot, the long-term girl/boyfriend who is skipping out on a date (or their anniversary – I’ve seen it) to play (and in some cases flirt constantly), the professional taking yet another day off from work to farm mats or grind their reputations up with in-game factions to get “valuable” quest rewards, etc… I’m not one to tell people how to spend their time, but it gets ridiculous when you take a step back.’ [via Waxy’s Links]
[comics] Top 7 Comic-Related Videos Online — A selection of comic-related videos on Youtube. [via Neilalien]
21 October 2006
[apple] Straight Dope on the IPod’s Birth — Leander Kahney on the creation of the iPod‘The iPod name came from an earlier Apple project to build an internet kiosk, which never saw the light of day. On July 24, 2000, Apple registered the iPod name for “a public internet kiosk enclosure containing computer equipment,” according to the filing. “The name ‘iPod’ makes much more sense for an internet kiosk, which is a pod for a human, than a music player,” said Athol Foden, a naming expert and president of Brighter Naming of Mountain View, California. But Foden said the name is a stroke of genius: It is simple, memorable and, crucially, it doesn’t describe the device, so it can still be used as the technology evolves, even if the device’s function changes.’
22 October 2006
[tv] Think outside the box — Jon Ronson Visits Deal or No Deal

‘If anyone doubts the extent to which mysticism has permeated the hitherto secular corners of British society, they should spend a couple of days behind the scenes at Deal Or No Deal. “I wrote to the cosmos that I would like to meet a woman who’ll make me laugh and make me happy,” Noel tells me. “I wrote that I’d like a relationship that’s not too heavy, with an attractive lady, and I’d like her to walk into my life by the end of September 2005. And she did!” There is a short silence. “She wasn’t the person who sold her story to the Sunday People back in July, was she?” I ask. There’s another silence. “Yes,” says Noel.’

23 October 2006
[comics] A Life Stripped Bare — an interview/profile of Alison Bechdel about her graphic novel Fun Home‘If you cling to the notion that the comic-book format is still the exclusive preserve of superheroes and goofy jokes, you may find your perspectives violently shifted by Bechdel’s account of her dysfunctional family, which has made it to the New York Times best-seller list and has just been published in the UK…’
[space] Warren Ellis: Amazing Pictures of a Space Shuttle Launch seen from the International Space Station.
24 October 2006
[ukblogs] UK Blogs Search Engine — a Google Custom Search Engine which searches a list of 600 regularly updated British blogs.
25 October 2006
[distraction] Flash Target Shooting Game. [via]
26 October 2006
[comics] For Sale on eBay: Ultimate X-Men, Collected 1-3, 4-8 by Mark Millar and Andy Kubert.
[comics] Doonesbury’s War — Profile of Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau. ‘…when you ask him why he decided to take B.D.’s leg, the answer isn’t very satisfying. Trudeau doesn’t regard his characters in romanticized terms, or even as people; “Doonesbury” has always been more about ideas than personalities, so Trudeau thinks of Mike and B.D. and Zonker and Joanie as puppets. He pulls the appropriate ones out of the closet when he has a point he wants to make. In this case, he says, he wanted to make a statement about the suffering in this war. Originally, he was going to kill Ray, but Ray got spared when Trudeau decided that a death would not leave much of a storyline to pursue. So, with a bit of sang-froid, he amputated B.D.’s left leg, on the theory that he’d . . . think of something.’
[ipod] The Perfect Thing — another article about the creation of the iPod this time from Steven Levy‘In August, the team finally got one of the physical prototypes to play a song. A group of people working late at night took turns listening on a set of headphones from someone’s old Sony Walkman. That first song, by the way, was Spiller’s “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”…’
27 October 2006
[politics] Sketch The Naked Truth of a Leader at Bay — another sketch from Simon Hoggart watching Tony Blair at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday … ‘Claire Curtis-Thomas, Labour MP for Crosby, said to Mr Blair, “you will be aware that at this precise moment I have one hundred rather attractive naked men outside my front door.” I wish I could have bottled the look on his face. It was the mien of one who has no idea how he is supposed to react. Shock? Bafflement? Good humour? What bothered him was the fact that he had no idea where the question was going; there was nothing in his fat fact file that could possibly help…’
28 October 2006
[comics] Daily Powers (the story starts here) — Bendis and Oeming’s comic Powers is partially available online. So far they’ve got 73 pages of the first story arc – Who Killed Retro Girl? [via Metafilter]
29 October 2006
[space] Ask Metafilter: What happens after you’re tossed out of the airlock into Space?‘I agree with the mummy idea. Slow leatherizing of the skin and a very very slow loss of moisture over many years. It would end up in 10 or 50 years a shrivelled (and by how much is a debatable factor) mummy, burnt or burnished on the outside and frozen-ish on the inside. It could take thousands of years to be obliterated completely.’
30 October 2006
[film] Good Day, Mr. Kubrick! — in 1984 Stanley Kubrick placed an advert in Variety asking for audition tapes from unknown actors for his next film Full Metal Jacket – Brian Atene’s amazing tape has been posted to YouTube along with an update from the actor in 2006. Go watch, you won’t regret it… ‘D’You Wanna Know Somethin’!? I Scared. I Scared.’ (more…)
31 October 2006
[comics] Love that Dracula — what Jack Chick’s comics would be like if he had a massive nervous breakdown. The original: The Devil’s Night

jack chick / dracula mashup cartoon

[movies] 40 Things That Only Happen In Movies‘Anyone can land a 747 as long as there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.’