27 September 2006
[tv] Grace Dent’s TV OD — Dent’s blog on this year’s Big Brother was the best thing about the show – Radio Times now have her doing a column on TV every week … On You Are What You Eat: ‘Small Scottish woman chases fat people with a box of poo until they cry and eat salad.’
[politics] I’m right, you’re wrong, and the voters know it… — Simon Hoggart on Tony Blair’s last speech at the Labour Conference … ‘The organisers tried to whip up a frenzy which was almost, but not quite there. Before he arrived there was a “spontaneous” demonstration in which members of the audience held up hand-written posters: “We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah”, “Too young to retire” and simply “Thank you”. It was like waiting for a very cuddly version of Stalin. We saw a video in which ordinary folk and celebrities gave thanks for the existence of Blair. One old lady said: “I’m grateful for the £200 fuel allowance – it’s better than a woolly hat.” And they claim the British have a poverty of ambition! Then he arrived…’
28 September 2006
[911] The Hopeless Stupidity of 9/11 Conspiracies‘To me, the 9/11 Truth movement is, itself, a classic example of the pathology of George Bush’s America. Bush has presided over a country that has become hopelessly divided into insoluble, paranoid tribes, one of which happens to be Bush’s own government. All of these tribes have things in common; they’re insular movements that construct their own reality by cherry-picking the evidence they like from the vast information marketplace, violently disbelieve in the humanity of those outside their ranks, and lavishly praise their own movement mediocrities as great thinkers and achievers. There are as many Thomas Paines in the 9/11 Truth movement as there are Isaac Newtons among the Intelligent Design crowd.’
29 September 2006
Alan Yentob wants to know why You Tube matters to you … From YouTube Comments: ‘Ah, great to see my TV licence is paying the wages of people like this. *Borat-length pause* NOT!’ [via]
[apple] YouTube: Steve Jobs likes to says “Boom!” alot. [via Blah Blah Flowers]
30 September 2006
[books] An Evening with J.G. Ballard — a transcript of an interview and questions with the author of Empire of the Sun and Crash‘At the end of the last century, people would ring me up and ask me my views about the future. I said I can sum up the future in one word – it’s going to be boring. Vast suburbs that extend around the planet: utter boredom, broken by acts of unpredictable violence. The man in the supermarket who opens fire with a machine gun. And the suicide bomber, a man who has nothing, setting off a bomb in a desperate way to prove himself. The idea of meaningless violence, which I looked at in my previous novel Millennium People, has a huge appeal. I can understand that. It’s in the roots of one’s childhood – all children smash their toys. The trouble, of course, is that people get killed.’ [via As Above]
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.’
1 November 2006
[comics] Brian K. Vaughan interviewed on BBC Radio (requires Real Audio) — the comic writer was interviewed on the Today Programme this morning about his new graphic novel about the Iraq War, Pride of Baghdad.
2 November 2006
[books] My Mother and the DahliaJames Ellroy on the Black Dahlia and his Mother … ‘I wrote six good novels and crashed Betty and Jean with The Black Dahlia. It was a salutary ode to Elizabeth Short and a self-serving and perfunctory embrace of my mother. I acknowledged the Jean-Betty confluence in media appearances and exploited it to sell books. My performances were commanding at first glance and glib upon reappraisal. I cut my mother down to sound-bite size and packaged her wholesale. I determined the cause of my ruthlessness years later. She owned me…’
3 November 2006
[wikipedia] Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit WarsAvengers (Comics) vs. New Avengers (Comics): ‘Should there be a separate page for New Avengers (comics)? Is the name of the team now the New Avengers or is it just a new Avengers? Is it a new comic entirely or just a continuation of the old one? Following a positive merge vote, a series of reverts occurs when an editor “merges” the two by simply pasting the merged information into the article, creating two articles in one. The slow nature of the revert war means that, technically, nobody violates WP:3RR, and requests for help from other admins go unheeded because, well, it’s lame. After a series of exchanges on the talk page questioning people’s command of English as well as their sanity, the issue appears to have been settled with the creation of New Avengers (comic book) (note the oh-so-subtle distinction)…’ [thanks Alisterb]
4 November 2006
[metaverse] Goodbye, Cruel World — an Observer journalist spends a week in Second Life‘The simple genius of Second Life is that it combines elements of Big Brother culture with the spirit of eBay. It plays to the contemporary urge to project ourselves into every story, to write our own emotions larger than anyone else’s, to perform rather than to listen, to blog rather than read. And it also offers unlimited opportunities to shop.’ [thanks Sasha]
5 November 2006
[comics] ‘The Ways of Women are a MYSTERY to me!’ — a panel from Avengers #35 spotted on scans_daily

amusing panel from an old avengers comic

[wikipedia] My Wikipedia Contrail: Peter Falk‘Falk wears an ocular prosthetic (“glass eye”). His right eye was surgically removed at the age of three because of cancer.’
6 November 2006
[net] The Guardian’s Web 2.0 Feature — an article and interviews covering Web 2.0 (the interviews are with people like Matt Mullenweg, Evan Williams and Joshua Schachter) … ‘Sit someone at a computer screen and let it sink in that they are fully, definitively alone; then watch what happens. They will reach out for other people; but only part of the way. They will have “friends”, which are not the same thing as friends, and a lively online life, which is not the same thing as a social life; they will feel more connected, but they will be just as alone. Everybody sitting at a computer screen is alone. Everybody sitting at a computer screen is at the centre of the world. Everybody sitting at a computer screen, increasingly, wants everything to be all about them. This is our first glimpse of what people who grow up with the net will want from the net.’
7 November 2006
[google] Searchmash — Google 2.0 or Google’s Playground… You Decide. [via Google Operating System]
[comics] Come fly with me — the Guardian previews the film Hollywoodland – includes an interview with Ben Affleck on playing George Reeves‘When the actor George Reeves died in 1959, the headline ran: “Super hero, out of work, kills Self”.’
8 November 2006
[comics] Election Day 2006 – Whose Side Is Your Favorite Superhero On? — Dave’s Long Box wonders what the political affiliations are of various notable Superheroes … ‘Batman is a true independent, a man of solid principles and baffling contradictions. This may be because he is mentally ill…’
9 November 2006
[firefox] Paste and Go — useful time saving Firefox extension which allows you to paste a URL into the address bar of Firefox and then immediately to that website without clicking the Go Button or pressing return.
10 November 2006
[comics] Alan Moore to Appear on the Simpsons‘[Moore] features in a sub-plot which sees a new ‘cool’ comic shop opening in Springfield in competition with the Android’s Dungeon, run by Comic Book Guy who is voiced by Hank Azaria. The new shop has persuaded Moore to make a public appearance.’ [via Progressive Ruin]
11 November 2006
[comics] The Morrison Method (for optimal Seven Soldiers Appreciation) — sensible readers may wish to read the trades! [Seven Soldiers Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3]
[tv] Never-Ending Stories — article about how to fix the format of TV Shows like Lost. ‘Puzzles are meant to be solved, not prolonged. You can only tease viewers so long before they feel like they’re being mocked.’ [via City of Sound]
12 November 2006
[comics] ‘…and get this Pigeon off my head!’ — goofy old panel from Action Comics #331 spotted on scans_daily.

[secondlife] Warren Ellis on Second Life: ‘The laissez-faire nature of SL has turned much of the mainland into a retard’s toybox. Second Life is, by and large, an ugly, stupid-looking place, a riot of bad signage, lurid coloured blocks and constructions that’d embarrass a four-year-old playing with Lego.’
13 November 2006
[wikipedia] My Wikipedia Contrail: Russell’s Teapot … Bertrand Russell: ‘If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.’
14 November 2006
[blogs] Russell Davies on Blogging: ‘It’s easy to knock blogging as a kind of journalism of the banal but in some ways that’s its strength. Bloggers don’t go out and investigate things (mostly) they’re not in exciting or glamorous places, they’re not given a story, they have to build one out of the everyday lives they lead. And this makes them good at noticing things, things that others might not have seen. And being a blogger, feeling the need to write about stuff makes you pay attention to more things, makes you go out and see more stuff, makes you carry a notebook, keeps you tuned in to the world.’ (from a larger article on “How To Be Interesting“)
[thisisgood] David Blaine Street Magic Spoof — NSFW, it’s loud with much swearing but laugh-out-loud funny. [via Metafilter]
[stories] Very Short Stories — some notable writers create six word stories inspired by one from Ernest Hemingway … Alan Moore: ‘Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time’ [via]
15 November 2006
[comics] Seven Soldiers Wrap-Up Interview with Grant Morrison‘Remember the first time you picked up an X-Men or Avengers book and it was stuffed to the staples with parallel universes, clones, alternate future versions of characters, and a continuity so dense you could stand a spoon in it? The chaos, confusion and excitement of being thrown without a guidebook into a new world was intoxicating to me and it seems that superhero comics only start to get boring when that sense of anything-can-or-can’t-happen is replaced by familiarity.’ [via Journalista]
16 November 2006
[books] The Mother Load — another interview with James Ellroy … ‘What I like about the era I am writing about, meaning 1958 to 1972, is that the anti-Communism mandate justified virtually any kind of clandestine activity. I like exploring the mind-set of extreme expediency.’ [via Kottke]
[comics] Chris Weston has a Blog — Chris Weston was the artist on The Filth with Grant Morrison and Ministry of Space with Warren Ellis‘One of the most frequent criticisms levelled at me (by the inbred, ingrate scum who pose as my colleagues) is the fact that all my characters look JUST LIKE ME! That’s one if the hazards of using photographic reference when you’ve only got yourself as a model.’ [via BeaucoupKevin]
17 November 2006
[comics] Roaring’s Rantin’s: The Tale of Rudcliff and Williams — scans of an obscure Brendan McCarthy and Pete Milligan comic strip from 1987 …

amusing panel from paradax by McCarthy and Milligan

[tv] It’s Like A Jungle Sometimes — Grace Dent on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here‘Being in the jungle makes you constipated. Nobody aside from Lauren Booth has had a poo. Oddly enough, living on a diet of boiled muddy water and chargrilled alligator bum doesn’t do much for the bowels. Neither does sitting on the loo praying for movement with David Gest’s ghoulish face against the door clutching a bucket of water asking if you’ve had any luck.’
18 November 2006
[tv] Make Love, Not Warcraft — Southpark animators discuss intergrating World of Warcraft into an episode of the animated TV Show … ‘The Blizzard team gave us a special “friends and family” server to play on. Every once an a while a strange player would walk by and check out group the filming. The programmers could instantly kill a player that got in the way of filming. There’s a player out there wondering what they had stumbled upon just before they were wiped from the location.’
19 November 2006
[film] Who killed Superman? — more from the Guardian on the true story behind the movie Hollywoodland‘As with the many theories that swirl around the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short – the tortured and mutilated Black Dahlia – there are too many contradictory pieces to assemble a single coherent jigsaw puzzle of Reeves’ death/murder. Or rather, there are perhaps three jigsaws with not enough pieces to complete any of them.’
20 November 2006
[tech] Health fears lead schools to dismantle wireless networks‘Michael Bevington, a classics teacher for 28 years at the school, said that he had such a violent reaction to the network that he was too ill to teach. “I felt a steadily widening range of unpleasant effects whenever I was in the classroom,” he said. “First came a thick headache, then pains throughout the body, sudden flushes, pressure behind the eyes, sudden skin pains and burning sensations, along with bouts of nausea. Over the weekend, away from the classroom, I felt completely normal.”’
[rss] I updated LMG to WordPress a couple of months ago. It was pretty painless and I hope no one actually noticed the change but one of the downsides was that I had to redirect my RSS feed. The permanent home of the new feed can be found here:

The old feed will still work but if you’re anal about these things you might want to update it. While I’m at it – you can email me via this form if you wish and if you’re stalking me you might find my Linklog and Flickr Photostream interesting.
21 November 2006
[books] Creator of a monstrous hit — profile of Thomas Harris the man behind Hannibal Lecter and his new book Hannibal Rising‘The profound mystery of the first two Lecter novels, Red Dragon (1981), in which the doctor appears only as a minor character, and in prison at that, and The Silence of the Lambs (1988), was that no psychological explanation was offered for his extreme cruelty. He was beholden to no one and seemed to have come from nowhere. ‘Nothing happened to me,’ he tells Clarice Starling, the investigator whose mission it becomes to trap him. ‘I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences.’ But this, it seems, is exactly what Harris is now attempting to do: to reduce Lecter to a set of influences, to show how he became the man he is, without conscience or remorse…’
22 November 2006
[comics] A Transcript of Alan Moore on Fanboy Radio — you can also download the podcast … Moore on the Simpsons Episode: ‘The episode involves new competition to The Android’s Dungeon that brings in hip comic creators like “my hip self, the hip Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes to their new shop. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone are listening… your South Park DVD distribution here in the UK is shameful! Should they offer to let me on their show, I’d do it. I dunno – if George Clooney can play a gay dog… If there is some other sexually-confused animal, I’d be a natural for it in many ways.’
23 November 2006
[movies] The Top 10 Movie Spaceships‘The Nostromo is little more than a space tugboat, pulling a giant ore refinery through space. Though it has no weapons, when given the (famously complex) command to self-destruct, it really goes off with a bang. An underrated ship, it could land on planets and scope out foreign lifeforms… which turned out to be not such a great idea after all.’
24 November 2006
[books] Digested Read: In Search of Perfection by Heston Blumenthal‘Black Forest Gateau has an undeserved reputation as a dessert for chavs. My extensive research, both in Germany and at the Fat Duck development kitchen, has proved that Toscano Black 63 chocolate, when combined with cherries soaked in the urine of adolescent male squirrels, is a feast for the senses.’ [Related: In Search of Perfection on Amazon]
25 November 2006
[tv] Binge Watching Contemporary TV — the blog City of Sound on DVD Box Sets … ‘When binge watching really kicks in, the form of the content itself is implicitly involved, as I’d suggest that the tighter the ‘universe’ the show inhabits, the higher the levels of intensity involved. In other words, with a show like ‘The West Wing’ – of which more later – the same set of characters inhabiting largely the same few spaces of the same location over seven seasons creates a gravitational pull which is difficult to escape from. Similarly, ‘Lost’, in being confined by an island, builds up a fictional universe one is immersed for most of the episode, with flashbacks off-island simply a counterpoint to the resolution of returning to that natural prison. Arguably, most successful TV shows have attempted to create a tightly defined universe…’
26 November 2006
[books] Robert Pirsig Interview — a wide-ranging discussion with the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance‘He says that ever since he could think he had an overwhelming desire to have a theory that explained everything. As a young man – he was at university at 15 studying chemistry – he thought the answer might lie in science, but he quickly lost that faith. ‘Science could not teach me how to understand girls sitting in my class, even.’ He went to search elsewhere…’
27 November 2006
[comics] Scans of The Master Race by Bernie Krigstein … [via Comics Reporter]

panels from Bernie Krigstein's Master Race

[comics] Eddie Campbell has a Blog‘In the old days i’d have made a one-page ‘Alec’ out of this, but today we squander our narratives in a blog.’ [via Comics Reporter]
28 November 2006
[comics] Tharg the Mighty’s MySpace Profile‘Borag Thungg, Earthlets!’ [via this Metafilter post on Eddie Campbell and 2000AD creators blogging]
29 November 2006
[myspace] Murder”‰on”‰MySpace — Wired documents another murder involving MySpace … ‘In many murders, victims and their killers are acquainted: wife shoots husband, crack dealer stabs customer, pimp strangles streetwalker. So you would expect some interaction among the friends and relatives of the perpetrator and the victim. In fact, typically there’s little. Even after intra-family crimes, relatives tend to choose sides and stay on them. “People distance themselves,” says Charles Figley, head of Florida State University’s Traumatology Institute. “The ties that bind people – births, marriages – split apart because of a catastrophe.” On social network sites, those sides interact. Victims’ buddies can howl at killers’ cousins, and the cousins can scream back. “All the old social relationship models and theories don’t apply anymore,” Figley adds. “We’re rewriting textbooks here.”‘
30 November 2006
[simpsons] When iPods take over the Earth — screengrabs from a new episode of the Simpsons showing what happens after the iPods become self-aware.
1 December 2006
[games] Asteroids Revenge – amusing Flash sequel to the classic Atari Asteroids computer game. [via Waxy’s Links]
2 December 2006
[life] ‘Our two poos have combined…’ — Jon Ronson reporting from the toilets on a RyanAir Flight. ‘…here in the toilet, I have an epiphany. “If there’s someone waiting outside,” I think, “I’m going to hold the door open for them!” I nod to myself and open the door. There’s a man standing there. “Here you are!” I say cheerfully. Together, we glance at the space I’m welcoming him into – a tiny, brown, disgusting cubicle. He furrows his brow, slightly taken aback, and enters. I cram myself back in my seat. “That was a nice and well-balanced thing for me to do,” I think.’ [Related: Out Of The Ordinary: True Tales Of Everyday Craziness on Amazon]
3 December 2006
[xmas] ‘Tis the Season — an Xmas blog from Anna and Meg. Also worth checking out is Meg’s Mince Pie Mania Flickr Group: ‘This group is all about capturing the ultimate Mince Pie. It’s a Christmas favourite but no-one can agree on what makes it just right. Some argue it’s the deep fill mince, others the shortcrust pastry and others still prefer half and half. I’m on the half and half side but your challenge this Christmas, should you chose to accept, is to get photographing those Mince Pies…’
[london] Monopoly Map‘A geographically accurate map of the elements of standard London Monopoly’ [via]
4 December 2006
[tv] Charlie Brooker: When it comes to Psychics, my Stance is Hardcore: they must Die Alone in Windowless Cells.
[google] How Google handles hacked sites — interesting post from the head of anti-webspam at Google on why a website got de-listed from their index and how Google deals with the problem … ‘So has these porn words and spammy links, and it’s all hidden via sneaky JavaScript. We have pretty good reason to believe that this site was hacked, but it’s still causing problems for regular users, so Google has to take action…’ [via Scobleizer]
5 December 2006
[secondlife] Second Life Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians: ‘…an avatar consumes 1,752 kWh per year. By comparison, the average human, on a worldwide basis, consumes 2,436 kWh per year. So there you have it: an avatar consumes a bit less energy than a real person, though they’re in the same ballpark.’ [via the Guardian’s Technology Blog]
6 December 2006
[comics] Todd McFarlane on Neil Gaiman and Spawn #9 (from long before the their court case):

todd mcfarlane cartoon about neil gaiman and spawn #9
7 December 2006
[tv] Imagine Links — nicely annotated link list covering Alan Yentob’s BBC documentary on the Internet. ‘I did try to track down Yentob’s myspace and livejournal but they appear to have been removed.’
8 December 2006
[iraq] Steve Bell: I Will Leave Forn Policy to the Grown Ups.
[politics] Dick Cheney’s Google Searches: ‘birdshot pellet removal, quail hunting “involuntary manslaughter”, katherine harris naked, iraq exit strategy, mullah omar MySpace’
9 December 2006
[film] 300 — movie trailer for Frank Miller’s 300. ‘Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight we dine in hell!’
10 December 2006
[film] Hot Fuzz — another trailer this time for the new movie from Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. [via Sore Eyes]
11 December 2006
[time] Accurate Time — website which tells you how accurate the time is on your computer … [via]
[drink] What Happens To Your Body If You Drink A Coke Right Now?‘In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.’ [via A Welsh View]
12 December 2006
[comics] Howard’s End? — Journalista takes a look at Howard Chaykin’s career … ‘Armed with a drawing style that owed more to J.C. Leyendecker than Jack Kirby, a storytelling sensibility closer to Raymond Chandler than Chris Claremont, and design chops seemingly on loan from God, Chaykin produced work during the 1980s that in many ways still has yet to be equalled by anyone creating adventure comics to this day. American Flagg!, Time2, Blackhawk, The Shadow: these were graphically challenging works of surprising and lasting storytelling sophistication, capable of entertaining thinking adults like few other works being produced outside the still-embryonic art-comics scene at the time. An implied blowjob scene from Blackhawk, not actually depicted but suggested through clever use of juxtaposition and framing, shocked DC Comics’ readership but signalled that Chaykin was an artist capable of anything…’
13 December 2006
[rumours] The 40 Best Celebrity Rumors Ever … On Richard Gere and Gerbils: ‘…none of Gere’s interviewers have had the guts to go there, or maybe there’s some kind of publicist-issued fatwa, but Gere has never publicly addressed the rumor. Would you?’
14 December 2006
[facts] 100 Things We Didn’t Know This Time Last Year’76. The day when most suicides occurred in the UK between 1993 and 2002 was 1 January, 2000.’ [via]
[net] Map of the Internet — neat hand-drawn map of the address space of the internet. [via Waxy’s Links]
15 December 2006
[future] Bruce Sterling’s Final Prediction — Sterling’s last column and Prediction for Wired Magazine … ‘The Internet, for instance, crawled out of a dank atomic fallout shelter to become the Mardi Gras parade of my generation. It was not a bolt of destructive lightning; it was the sun breaking through the clouds. Everything we do has unpredicted consequences. It’s good to keep in mind that some outcomes are just fabulous, dumb luck…’
16 December 2006
[drm] Bill Gates On The Future Of DRM — Some interesting quotes. Gates on DRM: ‘People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then.’
[comics] Eddie Campbell on the murders in Ipswich: ‘I used to think Alan was making too much of the recurrence of names and odd details in the Whitechapel Murder cases, but here it is all over, with a Police Superintendent Gull, and one of the victims named Nicholls.’
17 December 2006
[wikipedia] My Wikipedia Contrail: Larry David‘Curb Your Enthusiasm was credited with helping clear a Los Angeles man named Juan Catalan of a first-degree murder charge. Catalan, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, maintained his innocence, saying he was at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game on May 12, 2003, during the time of the slaying. During the game, an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm was being shot in Dodger Stadium which contained footage of Juan Catalan with his daughter. When told that his show had released a wrongfully accused man, Larry David commented in a New Yorker article, “I tell people that I’ve now done one decent thing in my life. Albeit inadvertently.”’
18 December 2006
[fun] Where is Jesus? — can you find Jesus in a crowd? [via Meowwcat]
[itunes] iTunes Power Tips — some useful ideas from Lifehacker‘Want to separate your speed metal collection from your spouse’s Broadway tunes fetish? How about your, ahem, grownup movies from your regular collection? Used to be that you had to maintain separate playlists, or log onto the same machine under different usernames to do so. But with iTunes 7, just hold down the Shift key (Option on the Mac) when you launch iTunes to create or choose a separate iTunes library.’
19 December 2006
[xmas] Professor Richard Dawkins Speaks at Fair Hills Kindergarten Regarding Santa Claus — a ‘short imagined monologue’ from McSweeneys‘I can see that the topic makes many of you uncomfortable. However, this should not be viewed as a bad thing. You may weep now, but your tears are a positive, not a negative. You are now facing the truth, which comes in many forms and is not always comfortable. This is a fact that you will be exposed to again and again throughout your lives. If you wish to live a life that contains only comfortable information and not necessarily the truth, then yours will be a highly deluded existence. Your intellectual maturity depends on whether or not you are capable of accepting the truth at this early age. That is why there is no better place to begin than with the absurdity that is Santa Claus and Christmas Magic.’ [via Kottke’s Remaindered Links]
[comics] For Sale on eBay: Ultimate X-Men, Collected 1-3, 4-8 by Mark Millar and Andy Kubert.
20 December 2006
[fun] Warning Signs from the Future … [via Warren Ellis]

warning sign from the future - lack of internet connectivity

21 December 2006
[media] VLC Version 0.8.6 — New release of the swiss-army knife of Media Players – it will play anything.
22 December 2006
[comics] Have A Cosmic Christmas, Earthlets! — a slightly bonkers Kevin O’Neill Christmas Cover for 2000AD.
25 December 2006
[xmas] Merry Christmas to Everyone … from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. [via Blah Blah Flowers]
26 December 2006
[xmas] A News of the World Christmas — from Pandemian.