linkmachinego.com

January 2, 2008
[blogs] WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier — a blog posting letters in real-time (ninety years after they were written) from a English Soldier in World War I to his family … ‘Three days after, we were called up the line again of course I went this time. We had to go to the front line were it was on the Menin Road no doubt you have heard about it. We were there for three days it was awful the shelling day and night.’
January 3, 2008
[war] Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3] — a wonderful long series of blog posts from Errol Morris as he obsessively examines two early war photos taken during the Crimean War to decide if they were staged or not … [via Metafilter]

‘Much of the problem comes from our collective need to endow photographs with intentions – even though there are no people in the frame, including Fenton himself, who is conspicuously absent. The minute we start to conjecture about Fenton’s reasons, his intent – his psychological state – we are walking on unhallowed ground. Can we read Fenton’s intentions off of a photographic plate? Is there anything in the letters that tells us what he was really thinking and what really happened?’

January 7, 2008
[tv] The GOP Primary Field in Buffy Villains — great list which neatly sums up Republican Presidential candidates (especially for non-american Buffy fans) … ‘John McCain as The Master – The oldest vampire. Got killed early, but there’s some talk about how he might rise again.’
January 8, 2008
[fun] Concentrated Stupid — a webpage showing a random example of the concentrated stupidity of the Internet‘u kno dissin tom and if he knew he be deleted all of uscryingnaw playingprobly delete u for posting thislol’ [via Waxy]
[comics] The Rack — I’ve really been enjoying these entertaining comic strips about life at Yavin IV – a Southern Californian comic shop. Check out the start of the comic strip or this weeks staff new comic picks.
January 9, 2008
[funny] Improbable Pop-Up Books — funny photoshop contest from somethingawful.com

an improbable pop-up book


[weird] Dearly departed to heat Manchester crematorium — Mega City One’s Resyk comes one step closer … ‘A Manchester crematorium where “grieving friends and relatives have complained of the cold during services” will tackle the problem by using the “body heat” generated in the incineration process to crank up the temperature…’
January 10, 2008
[batman] The OTHER Brian Bolland Batman story — creepy Batman story spotted on scans_daily‘I don’t consider myself a Bad Person…’
January 11, 2008
[comics] Doonesburyland — Radio 4 looks at Doonesbury. Includes an interview with Gary Trudeau and contributions from Steve Bell and Martin Rowson. (This should be available for about a week from now – so check it out.)
January 12, 2008
[comics] Dave Sim – the Song, not the Singer — fair-minded examination of why Dave Sim’s comic Glamourpuss is worth looking at … ‘Sim as he comes across in print is dogmatic, rude, paranoid, believes women to be subhuman and evil, and holds political and religious views which, to the extent that they’re comprehensible at all, are totally incompatible with humanity. He’s read the Bible as a struggle between Good and Evil and thought that Evil sounded like a good idea. Which is what infuriates me, because he’s destroying the reputation of the finest creative mind of his generation, and I’m sick of trying to defend someone who I find (as an essayist – again, no judgement of him as a human being implied) utterly repellent and inimical to everything I hold dear. But I have to, because he’s that good. Even was Sim’s comic writing as bad as his prose would imply, I would still want to read anything the man did just because of his technical skill.’ [via Meowwcat]
January 13, 2008
[comics] England their England: Monsters, Maniacs and Moore [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4] — Alan Moore’s view of the world from a 1987 Central TV documentary now available on YouTube. (I’ve embedded the first video after the jump.) … ‘My names Alan Moore. I write comics.’ (more…)
January 14, 2008
[comics] A Storytelling Thing — interview with Paul Grist, the creator of Kane and Jack Staff‘I went and printed out… I think I ended up printing 3000 copies of the first issue [of Kane]. Then I decided to try and sell them. That was a matter of sending out a sample copy to all the comic shops in the UK and selling it directly to them. And from that I found that, out of the hundreds of comic shops in the UK, there were about 15 willing to sell something like that.’
January 15, 2008
[web] Oblique_Chirps — twitter feed of Oblique Strategies‘Remove a restriction’
January 16, 2008
[comics] 17 Sensational, Free and Downloadable Graphic Novels — some great stuff here to take a look at including the start of Y: The Last Man, DMZ and Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol (all highly recommended).
January 17, 2008
[comics] Horror in the Nursery — fascinating scans of an article with Frederick Wertham attacking crime comics from Colliers magazine in 1948…

excerpt from colliers magazine in 1948 on crime comics


January 19, 2008
[comics] Well Hello There, Robin … amusing behind-the-scenes photo of the 1960’s Batman TV Show.
January 20, 2008
[life] RulesofThumb.org — a user-contributed collection of Rules of Thumb … ‘To estimate the length of time a person has been dead, take a rectal temperature. If it is above room temperature, subtract from 98. The answer is the number of hours since death.’ [via Lifehacker]
January 21, 2008
[pants] Paxman raises smalls problem with M&S — Jeremy Paxman on the awful spectre of widespread male gusset anxiety … ‘[Jeremy Paxman] is so concerned about the declining standards of men’s underwear that he has written to Sir Stuart Rose, the chief executive of M&S, detailing his “anxiety” about its gussets, which he said no longer offered “adequate support”. “Like very large numbers of men in this country, I have always bought my socks and pants at Marks & Sparks,” he wrote. “I’ve noticed that something very troubling has happened. There’s no other way to put this. Their pants no longer provide adequate support. When I’ve discussed this with friends and acquaintances it has revealed widespread gusset anxiety. I do feel that someone should take up this mighty battle. The other thing is socks…”‘
January 22, 2008
[comics] The Strangeness of Brendan McCarthy — all-new blog from one of my favourite comic artists.
January 23, 2008
[comics] For Sale on eBay: Queen and Country #1 from Greg Rucka and Steve Rolston.
January 24, 2008
[tv] The Wire: Four Seasons in Four Minutes — I’ve only watched a couple of minutes of this to avoid spoilers but looks like a great summary … ‘McNulty has a Drink.’
January 25, 2008
Why I can’t use Facebook anymore — or rather, why using Facebook is like getting every annoying round-robin email from the last 10 years again … ‘1 how evil are you invitation’ [via Reddit]
January 27, 2008
[comics] A List Of How David Banner Got Angry

47. Being stuck in a cab in New York rush hour traffic – “You don’t understand,… I have to be there by 4.00!” – “Hey, mac, it’s rush hour, we ain’t gettin’ there til five, so relax.” – “BUT I HAVE TO BE THERE BY FOUR!!!”

January 28, 2008
[funny] Fuck Planet Earth — funny spoof of BBC’s Planet Earth series on YouTube. [via Sore Eyes]
January 29, 2008
[comics] Alan Moore in the 1982 BJ and the Bear Annual — scans of some early professional work from a UK TV annual.
January 31, 2008
[food] Dip Once or Dip Twice — a food microbiologist examines double dipping at parties as practiced by George in Seinfeld … ‘On average, the students found that three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater’s mouth to the remaining dip. Each cracker picked up between one and two grams of dip. That means that sporadic double dipping in a cup of dip would transfer at least 50 to 100 bacteria from one mouth to another with every bite.’ [via Kottke]
February 1, 2008
[comics] Alan Grant’s Edinburgh Lecture — Forbidden Planet Blog reports from a lecture the veteran Judge Dredd / Batman writer gave in Scotland. On Dredd: ‘Alan had been re-reading some of his own early work – something he says normal weekly and monthly comics deadlines don’t leave much time for him to do, he rarely re-reads his own work – in preparation for the talk and is still surprised and a little depressed at how much of what he and Wagner wrote ‘as a laugh’, taking then-current social trends and blowing them up to ridiculous proportions (literally in the case of Two Ton Tony Tubbs), has gone from being satirical humour (something 2000 AD and Dredd in particular has always been good at and something I’ve always relished about it) to being rather too close to the bone (the League of Fatties was hilarious in the early 80s, now he reads about childhood obesity epidemics in Britain and America and suddenly the joke’s not as funny anymore…’
February 3, 2008
[blogs] What I Killed Today — the sad blog of a veterinary technician detailing what animals they had put down that day … ‘An emaciated ferret who had been fighting an auto-immune disease.’ [via Warren Ellis]
February 4, 2008
[csi] How Gil Grissom got his name: ‘…series creator Anthony E. Zuiker mentioned that the character was originally intended to be named Gil Scheinbaum, but after Petersen was cast, Zuiker decided he was ‘insufficiently Jewish’ for the name and along with Petersen decided to rename the character for astronaut Gus Grissom, and Gil because of one of the actor’s hobbies, fishing.’
[funny] Out of Context — funny YouTube video of some out-of-context movie scenes … ‘My mommy hurt my head.’ [via Waxy]
February 5, 2008
[comics] A Conversation with Writer Brian K. Vaughan — interview with the writer of Y: The Last Man as the long-running comic series concludes (link contains serious spoilers) … ‘People have been asking me for so long, “what’s it feel like to be done?” And I was like, not until I hold it in my hands will it feel like it’s going to be over. Actually, I haven’t read it yet, so there’s probably still another undiscovered stage of death. I’ll be angry over the ad placement or something.’
[comics] A Wonderful Alan Moore Song — from MJ Hibbett who also did another favourite of mine Hey Hey 16K‘Well the entire shop went silent as everybody realised… a generations hero had caught us all buying shite.’ [via Blah Blah Flowers]
February 6, 2008
[comics] Chapter 1 of Criminal Online — from Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips‘Whenever things begin to fall to pieces, I think of my father.’ [via The Comics Reporter]
February 7, 2008
[comics] On Collecting Comics … some useful advice from Eddie Campbell.
February 8, 2008
[sex] Map of Sexual Fetishes, Categorised and Interlinked … I suspect this isn’t as comprehensive infoporn as it seems… but I know now what shrimping is so it was worth a look. :) [via Qwghlm]
[comics] Coloring Comics, Old School — fabulous explanation from Todd Klein about colouring comics in the 70’s and 80’s … ‘I think the 1970s were probably the nadir of paper quality at DC. Comics from the 1940s and 50s had much better paper, and still look it today if well kept, but the company began cutting paper quality to save money some time after that, and when I started it was pretty awful. So, as you can see, any colors other than the primary ones were likely to come out mud.’
February 10, 2008
[comics] Annotations to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier — from Jess Nevins … On a parody of the London Tube Map included in the book: ‘Many puns here: Maida Jump, Court Short, Turnham Blue, Colouring Inn, Tooting Bottom, Eating Broadly, Rothernot, Pen Stroke Newington, Upper Etching, H.B. Row, Ink Staines, Whiteout City, etc. Also no wonder than Mr Moore’s line would include “Chin Topiary” “Barking” and “Very Cross”…’ [via Feeling Listless]
February 11, 2008
[funny] The Fail Blog‘This is a site for sharing all things that FAIL with the world.’ [via Sore Eyes]

extreme signage failure


February 12, 2008
[space] An astronaut from NASA describes the smell of space: ‘At first I couldn’t quite place it. It must have come from the air ducts that re-pressed the compartment. Then I noticed that this smell was on their suit, helmet, gloves, and tools. It was more pronounced on fabrics than on metal or plastic surfaces. It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as “tastes like chicken.” The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch…’
[tv] C.J.’s Catchphrases — a collection of sayings from C.J. on Reginald Perrin‘I didn’t get where I am today by everything smelling of a Bolivian unicyclist’s jockstrap!’ [via As Above]
February 13, 2008
[comics] V Vs Scientology — interesting comment on the Forbidden Planet Blog about V for Vendetta masks used at recent protests against Scientology … ‘V masks have been a tremendous bestseller for us for a while, now I am starting to understand why!’
February 14, 2008
[doco] True Films – 200 Documentaries You Must See Before You Die — a PDF E-Book on documentaries written by Kevin Kelly now available as a free download.
February 15, 2008
[crime] Death of a Supergrass: The Armed Robber who got out of Jail Free — Duncan Campbell sums up after the death of the UK’s first Supergrass‘A short, squat man, described by a former colleague as “like Bob Hoskins but without the charm”, he held extreme rightwing views and at the time of his arrest was knocking back a bottle of vodka a day. He was reviled throughout the criminal fraternity. One of the men he helped to convict spent many hours in jail teaching his pet budgie to say “Bertie Smalls is a fucking grass.” But from the police’s point of view, Smalls was a godsend…’
[funny] Oh Fuck, The Internet is Here… [via More(ish)]

oh fuck. the internet is here.


February 16, 2008
[comics] If I Have To Explain It… — Evan Dorkin blogs a scan of the King and Kirby section of the Manhattan Phone Book … ‘Coincidence? I think not!’
February 17, 2008
[movies] Happy Groundhog Day! — Jaime Zawinkski wonders how many days Bill Murray re-lived in Groundhog Day‘Between days #21 and #22, he memorized the entire Jeopardy show, which would take at least a few viewings. It’s possible he did that while learning piano, or French.’
February 18, 2008
[comics] The Last Man Exits — the New York Times covers the conclusion of Y: The Last Man‘A stand-in for Ampersand, named Zuni, was posing for photographs beside a beverage cooler in the shape of R2-D2. “I jokingly told the store I would do this event if they had a live monkey,” said Mr. Vaughan, who slipped Zuni’s trainer a $5 tip. Ms. Guerra, 36, was particularly enchanted by the animal. “I’ve never seen a live monkey before,” she said. “I cheated and based Ampersand on my cat.”’
[wwrfd] What would Richard Feynman Do?‘Is there a bongo drum around?’ [via Interconnected]
February 19, 2008
[diana] They’re all guilty? ‘Definitely.’ Fayed gets his day in court — Mohamed Al Fayed testifies at the Diana Inquest …

Shortly after Tony Blair and Robin Cook had been added to Fayed’s list of conspirators, Richard Horwell QC, a note of incredulity rising in his voice, said: “So that’s MI5, MI6, the CIA, the DGSE – the French intelligence service – Judge Stephan … the French ambulance service … Lord Condon, Lord Stevens … Mr Burgess, the Surrey coroner and Lady Sarah McCorquodale?” He could have added several more: two bodyguards; the French pathologists; a photographer called James Andanson, who was allegedly driving the white Fiat Uno that brushed against the Mercedes shortly before it crashed in the Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31 1997; Henri Paul, the chauffeur; a reception clerk at the Ritz hotel; Sir Michael Jay, the then British ambassador; Sir Robert Fellowes, the Queen’s private secretary, who was Diana’s brother-in-law; Lord Mishcon, her solicitor; and – of course – Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Time and again, Fayed answered: “Definitely.”

February 20, 2008
[books] Youth of Today — Charlie Stross wonders about the what his future readers will be like … ‘There have always been cameras in shops and schools and other public places, although there are more of them than there used to be. Old folks grumble about privacy, but really, you’re being watched wherever you are. If you don’t like it, get a hoodie.’
February 21, 2008
[london] All in a Day’s Work — the blog of a London Cab Driver … ‘A lady I took to Camberwell last night gave me a twenty and two tens for a £22 fare and I gave her one of the tenners back. “You’re honest” she said thanking me. “It’s the only way to be” I replied.’ [via Time Out]
[comics] Warner Bros revs up live action Akira‘The Times suggests that Akira purists may not be entirely happy with the fact that the story is set in New Manhattan, rather than the futuristic Tokyo of the original Manga classic.’
February 22, 2008
[comics] The War on Fornication — Peter Bagge comic strip on sexual politics in America at the moment.
February 23, 2008
[religion] 20 Tacky Religious Products Guaranteed to Anger God‘As you’re no doubt aware, the most common complaint about nativity scenes is they’re too prejudiced against non humans. After all, who are the dogs supposed to pray to? Luckily, some intrepid inventor out there took a stand and made the Dog Nativity Scene featuring Mary, Joseph, some wise men and the Messiah Himself, all as partially clothed canines.’ [via GussetBLOG]
[funny] Funny Cinderblock Sale Post — another great posting from Craigslist‘Now listen, we’re all busy people here. You want the blocks? Come get the fucking blocks and give me one dollar for every block you take. How fucking hard is that?’
February 24, 2008
[quotes] Top 10 Quotes Against Work … Charles Bukowski: ‘It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?’ [via Reddit]
February 25, 2008
[google] Google circa 1960‘Mail to: Google Search Request. […] Please allow four to six weeks for results.’
February 26, 2008
[tv] Watchification — a sister blog to Speechification – curating the best TV from the BBC’s iPlayer, YouTube and other sources.
February 27, 2008
[comics] More Alan Moore — unpublished excerpts from an interview in the March edition of Word Magazine‘In real life, Graham Greene based Harry Lime in The Third Man on Kim Philby, who’d been his handler in MI6. When Philby defected in 1963,the newspaper headlines read PHILBY IS THE THIRD MAN, but they were simply reiterating a literal truth from a work of fiction. Philby had been the third man all along. And then… Philby was named after Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. Kipling lived in Broadstairs which is where John Buchan wrote The 39 Steps, near the real 39 steps down to the beach. So it all ties together. There’s something about it all that’s more than coincidence. It drives you mad after a while.’ [thanks Fraser]
February 28, 2008
[buffy] The Buffy guide to the Internet – 1997 style — amusing look-back at the portrayal of technology and the internet from an episode of Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘Buffy attempts to vanquish the demon by dragging the ‘Willow’ folder to the Trash, but all that happens is a very pixelated full-screen image of Moloch warns her to “Stay away from Willow”. Well, Buffy isn’t going to take instructions from some demonic computer virus, so they immediately try to find her, and expose a much bigger difference between 1997 and today. Buffy physically goes to look for her in the computer lab, and Giles and Xander are left to phone Willow’s house. You remember the days when you used to phone up a building and hope someone was in it, rather than call their mobile, right?’ [via Pete Ashton]
[windows] Find As You Type for Internet Explorer — great little utility that adds Firefox’s powerful and simple way of finding text in a web document to Microsoft’s web browser.
February 29, 2008
[calendar] Leap day – 29 leap facts for February 29th‘You have a 1 in 1461 chance of being born on February 29th. The odds are a lot higher if your parents have sex on May 29th the previous year.’
March 1, 2008
[books] 50 Crime Writers To Read Before You Die‘We wanted to compile a list of writers we had, jointly and severally, loved. We wanted to include writers like Dashiell Hammett, who brought something new and exciting to the genre; like Elmore Leonard, who turns an old trick in it with incomparable style; and like Poe, who invented it. We did not, except incidentally, take into account popularity.’ [via Metafilter]
March 2, 2008
[wikipedia] Nicholson Baker on The Charms of Wikipedia‘Without the kooks and the insulters and the spray-can taggers, Wikipedia would just be the most useful encyclopedia ever made. Instead it’s a fast-paced game of paintball. Not only does Wikipedia need its vandals—up to a point—the vandals need an orderly Wikipedia, too. Without order, their culture-jamming lacks a context.’ [via Metafilter]
March 3, 2008
[apollo] The Moon Museum — Apparently, there is a small museum of art on the Moon hidden in the leg of the Apollo 12 lander … ‘[Andy] Warhol’s contribution, which is obscured by the thumb above, is described as “a calligraphic squiggle made up of the initials of his signature. Actually, it’s a drawing of a penis.’ [via Kottke]
March 4, 2008
[comics] Big Brother With a Bleeding Heart — interesting blog post critically looking at Alan Moore’s work on V for Vendetta and Watchmen … ‘Rereading this really crystallized for me what I think is the biggest problem with Moore’s writing — his weakness (to paraphrase Borges) for appearing to be a genius. Moore’s an extremely smart writer and plotter, and he fancies himself a metaphysician and political seer. As a writer, he tends to have all the answers, and while that can look pretty amazing when enmeshed in the story, when you take a step back, the discordant cacophony of all the begged questions starts to get a little irritating. Evie occasionally yells at V and tells him he’s a pompous asshole who cares more about puzzles and quotations than about human beings. Of course, Evie always backs down and accepts that V only tortured her because he loves her…but it’s hard not to feel that Moore is loading the dice. It’s Moore, after all, who sits behind that mask; it’s him who’s rigged the game.’
March 5, 2008
[funny] The Onion on Kennedy’s Assassination‘Kennedy slain by CIA, Mafia, Castro, LBJ, Teamsters, Freemasons – President Shot 129 Times…’
March 6, 2008
[conspiracy] Or perhaps: New Theories Suggest Kennedy Wasn’t Shot‘After 11 years of painstaking research, Musashi uncovered testimony from anonymous eyewitnesses who claimed that unopened packets of duck sauce and soy sauce were hastily removed from Air Force One after the assassination. According to the book’s findings, the extremely high levels of monosodium glutamate combined with the stress of mediating an intense international ballistic-missile crisis caused Kennedy’s systolic pressure to mount to the point where the right rear quarter of his cranium “shot clean off.”‘
March 7, 2008
[life] Possessed – fascinating online documentary about obsessive hoarders … ”POSSESSED’ enters the complicated worlds of four hoarders; people whose lives are dominated by their relationship to possessions. The film questions whether hoarding is a symptom of mental illness or a revolt against the material recklessness of consumerism. When does collecting become hoarding and why do possessions exert such an influence on our lives?’ [via Waxy]
March 9, 2008
[42] What on earth is 42? … BBC News on the Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything … ‘The answer can be interpreted in two ways. One is that it is a bad joke, implying that there simply is no answer, no meaning, no sense in the universe, and you would be no worse off if you jumped into the nearest black hole. But the other interpretation is that the joke was wise. It shows that seeking numerical answers to questions of meaning is itself the problem. Digits, like a four and a two, can no more do it than a string of digits could represent the poetry of Shakespeare.’
March 10, 2008
[comics] The Further Adventures of Li’l Bruce Wayne … Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog on a long forgotten Batman comic … ‘It is notable, however, as being the first published comic book work of writer/artist Frank Miller.’
March 11, 2008
[tv] The Fonz Jumps the Shark … from YouTube – the origin of the phrase Jumping the Shark‘The phrase reached the height of its influence in the early 21st century. As it became more widely known, many fans began to consider the phrase over used. In particular, the phrase has become used by some to describe any development which they don’t like on a show. This has caused some viewers to conclude that “jump the shark” has itself jumped the shark.’
[people] The Obituary of Count Gottfried von Bismarck‘When not clad in the lederhosen of his homeland, he cultivated an air of sophisticated complexity by appearing in women’s clothes, set off by lipstick and fishnet stockings. This aura of dangerous “glamour” charmed a large circle of friends and acquaintances drawn from the jeunesse dorée of the age; many of them knew him at Oxford, where he made friends such as Darius Guppy and Viscount Althorp and became an enthusiastic, rubber-clad member of the Piers Gaveston Society and the drink-fuelled Bullingdon and Loders clubs. Perhaps unsurprisingly he managed only a Third in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.’ [via Metafilter]
March 12, 2008
[comics] Flipped!: David Welsh Presents His Current Favorite Manga Series … interesting list of Manga to lookout for… ‘If your comics reading list doesn’t include any sexy pulp, may I humbly suggest that you’re cheating yourself?’
March 13, 2008
[comics] The Daily Batman‘A Batman a day keeps the doctor away.’
March 14, 2008
[comics] “…He sure as hell is angry, but he does have moves.” … Progressive Ruin looks at the issue of Denny O’Neil’s The Question where he teams up with Rorschach‘Moore and Gibbons aren’t credited at the beginning of the comic with anything in this issue, but they are given a special “thank you.” I wonder if either of them were even aware Rorschach went walkies into this book, and out of their control. Anyway, Vic and his ’80s hair start reading, and it’s apparently compelling reading since he immediately nods off.’
March 15, 2008
[books] The 100 Best Last Lines from Novels‘P.S. Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise. –Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America (1967)’ [via Kottke]
[life] Spyware another Weapon for Domestic Abuse‘Safe computing has joined finding safe housing as a list of requirements for people fleeing abusive relationships.’
March 16, 2008
[underground] Cooling the Tube … interesting look at the issues surrounding cooling the train carriages and stations on the London Underground … ‘When an underground train tunnel is first constructed, it’s at the native soil temperature of around 14°C. Temperature problems start to show up 20–30 years later; this timescale has been seen over and over again in different lines/metro systems throughout the world. Basically the tunnel is a closed environment with a lot of energy sources. The soil around the tunnel gradually dries out and becomes a much better insulator — they’ve measured this on the Victoria line and found that the soil is dried out for several metres’ distance from the tunnel.’
March 17, 2008
[tech] Therapist Emulator Eliza discusses the death of her creator Joseph Weizenbaum

* Are you sad that Joseph died? Don't you care?

> Perhaps in your fantasies I am sad that Joseph died? Don't me care?

* I would like to think that you would be sad.

> We were discussing you, not me.

March 19, 2008
[comics] Rogues’ Gallery of the 1968 Marvel Bullpen … this is worth checking out just for the photo of Jim Steranko alone. [See also: Rolling Stone on Marvel in 1971]
March 20, 2008
[politics] The Boris Johnson Generator … a web page which creates a Boris Johnson speech automatically … ‘My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters I love tennis with a passion. I challenged Boris Becker to a match once and he said he was up for it but he never called back. I bet I could make him run around. Watermelon smiles Sorry.’ [via qwghlm]
March 21, 2008
[movies] Standard Operating Procedure — trailer for a new documentary from Errol Morris about the events in Abu Ghraib prison. [via Kottke]
March 22, 2008
[comics] Comics Artists at Work on YouTube: Dave Gibbons and Travis CharestJohn Buscema and Bill SienkiewiczJohn Romita and Joe Kubert. [via Metafilter]
March 23, 2008
[movies] Errol Morris talks with Werner Herzog‘If everything was planned, it would be dreadful. If everything was unplanned, it would be equally dreadful. Cinema exists because there are elements of both in everything. There are elements of both in documentary. There are elements of both in feature filmmaking. It’s what makes, I think, photography and filmmaking of interest. Despite all of our efforts to control something, the world is much, much more powerful than us, and more deranged even than us.’
March 24, 2008
[records] The 8 Least Impressive Guinness World Records … a list of some real stinkers … On the largest collection of traffic cones: ‘David has a collection of 137 different, presumably stolen, traffic cones. Based on the picture, this includes “The orange conical one”, the “off-orange conical one” and the rare “yellow pointy one that someone drew a penis on the side of.”David owns approximately two thirds of all the types of traffic cones ever made, which is more impressive when you realize that means someone out there is actually a traffic cone historian and can thus validate the scope of his collection.’
March 25, 2008
[fun] HEMA – Online Store … Watch and wait for a couple of seconds as this great flash animation turns an online store into a Rube Goldberg device.
[blogs] Civil Serf blogger faces disciplinary action‘The unnamed civil servant at the heart of the controversy is said to be a fast-track civil servant who, on her blog, said that she was “just senior enough in my department to really know what’s going on, but not senior enough to attract suspicion from my blogging”. […] Followed closely by political observers, the blog attracted an influential following and was the subject of an investigation to discover its source. Last week the blog went off-line and a civil servant was reported to have been confronted and admitted authorship. She has been suspended, according to reports.’
March 26, 2008
[movies] From hell … Joe Queenan on the worst movies of all time … ‘While it may disappoint those who welcome my occasionally unconventional opinions, I am firmly in the camp that believes that Heaven’s Gate is the worst movie ever made. For my money, none of these other films can hold a candle to Michael Cimino’s 1980 apocalyptic disaster. This is a movie that destroyed the director’s career. This is a movie that lost so much money it literally drove a major American studio out of business. This is a movie about Harvard-educated gunslingers who face off against eastern European sodbusters in an epic struggle for the soul of America. This is a movie that stars Isabelle Huppert as a shotgun-toting cowgirl. This is a movie in which Jeff Bridges pukes while mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that has five minutes of uninterrupted fiddle-playing by a fiddler who is also mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that defies belief.’
March 27, 2008
[comics] The Art of Gerhard … great site looking at the non-comics work of Gerhard – the amazing background artist on Dave Sim’s Cerebus. [via meowwcat]
March 28, 2008
[funny] YouTube – 24: The Unaired 1994 Pilot … see Young Jack Bauer fight international terrorism with 1994’s technology … ‘Lycos is dry… trying Encarta now.’
March 31, 2008
[films] Recovering Reality … More from Errol Morris on Abu Ghraib … [via Kottke]

‘When Brent Pack talks about [Gilligan’s treatment] as being standard operating procedure, I find that a powerful and odd moment. He’s sincere, he’s not a bad guy, and yet he’s telling us something that is actually surreal and disturbing—even more so because he’s not a bad guy, because he’s being sincere. Or just seeing Lyndie England and how devastated she was by all of this. I’m moved by it. Call me crazy, but I am. She gives this final speech, which to me is so sad, about how maybe the whole world is just backstabbing and lying. You’ve got all of these players caught in this strange drama. The perversity of it all.’

April 1, 2008
[weird] File Under Wrong: Most. Distrubing. Teddy Bear. Ever. [via Sore Eyes]
April 2, 2008
[books] The Return of Neal Stephenson‘Stephenson, author of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, etc., you know who he is, has a new novel out this September. It’s called Anathem…’
April 3, 2008
[movies] Spaced Duo Savour Sweet Taste of Success‘[Edgar] Wright, 33, is working on two films in the US: Scott Pilgrim vs The World and an adaptation of the Marvel comic book character Ant-Man.’
April 4, 2008
[fun] How to Win at Monopoly® – a Surefire Strategy‘Always buy Railroads; never buy Utilities (at full price).’ [via Robot Wisdom]
April 5, 2008
[tv] How to make… Mad Men … amusing list from TV Critic Jim Shelley … ‘2. Light another cigarette and mix yourself a large Manhattan. That’s breakfast done.’
April 6, 2008
[movies] Throwing bones in the air as 2001 turns 40 … looking back at Kubrick’s 2001 … Roger Ebert: ‘The fascinating thing about this film is that it fails on the human level but succeeds magnificently on a cosmic scale.’ [via Metafilter]
April 7, 2008
[comics] The Alan Moore Primer … a beginners guide to Mr. Moore … [via Robot Wisdom]

The tangled history of Miracleman—from its origins as a British derivation of the 1940s Captain Marvel character to its current status as the source of a seemingly bottomless legal quagmire—is a Primer unto itself. Moore’s run on the title stretched from its 1982 revival as a feature in Warrior through 16 issues. It begins with the middle-aged Micky Moran remembering he has the ability to transform into a superhero with the use of a magic word, and it ends with Moran’s alter ego becoming a god on earth. In between, Moore teases out the troubling implications always present in the genre. What do these power fantasies mean, and, if left unchecked, where would they take us? Can the gulf between humanity and superhumanity ever be closed? “His emotions are so pure,” Moran tells his wife early in the run, “when he loves you it’s gigantic. His love is so strong and clean… When I love you it’s all tangled up with who’s not doing their share of the washing up and twisted neurotic things like that.” By the end of Moore’s story, the part of Moran that asks such questions is gone.

April 8, 2008
[space] YouTube: Buzz Aldrin punches Lunar Landing Conspiracy Theorist Bart Sibrel in the Face.
April 9, 2008
[tv] Dangers of being a TV reporter … compilation of great live TV News bloopers … ‘Yeah, put that on the news!’
April 10, 2008
[web] And the Web Moved On … Steve Bowbrick on Ted Nelson and Xanadu‘For Nelson, the whole messy ecosystem of the actual existing net and the web and those thousands of apps and millions of blogs and billions of users is just a big, ignorant snub to the totalising glory of Xanadu (which still isn’t finished). So, really, the whole thing was too sad. Xanadu and Nelson are perfect and unworldly. The web is imperfect and worldly. Xanadu can never ship because that would compromise its perfection…’
April 11, 2008
[comics] Wertham was right… [taken from Scans_Daily]

batman, robin and a leather thong

April 12, 2008
[movies] Standard Operating Procedure … the web site for Errol Morris’ new documentary about Abu Ghraib‘The one thing that can be said conclusively about Abu Ghraib is it was entirely a violation of the Geneva Conventions. All of it.’
April 14, 2008
[gm] The Fauves: Tortured Soul … long clip of the Grant Morrison on lead vocals with his band the Fauves back in 1988 … (more…)
April 15, 2008
[apollo] Hollywood Hunts Star to Play First Man on the Moon‘[Neil] Armstrong was 38 when he and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon. Matt Damon, star of the Bourne trilogy, will be 38 this year, while Eric Bana, whose credits include Hulk and the next Star Trek movie, is 39. Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jake Gyllenhaal could also be in the running.’
April 17, 2008
[tv] Every Single Sopranos Death … absolute bloody mayhem (contains serious spoilers) … (more…)
April 18, 2008
[comics] Comic Book resources interviews Grant Morrison on Final Crisis, Batman and All Star Superman‘I had sent in a big pitch for something called ‘Hypercrisis’ and it would have included some of the ideas I have about Hypertime and DC’s higher dimensions and such. It was a huge storyline, 12 issues, all number ones to launch new series and all connecting to make one big epic. The first page opened with them all standing at Captain Marvel’s grave and Superman saying, ‘Marvel is dead.’ And that’s how it was going to open…’
April 19, 2008
[comics] More on Grant Morrison: Metafilter discuss Final Crisis and Zoids‘Holy shit, that Zoids comic is a hilariously Morrisonesque hijacking. Thanks! I had no idea such a thing existed. My favorite part is when Zoidzilla steps through that silvery liquid into the Hyperverse of the Mind…’
April 21, 2008
[comics] Alan Moore on BBC TV’s Inside Out East … [via Blah Blah Flowers]


[comics] Grant Morrison Interview … this time from the Daily Cross Hatch‘This was just the meat and drink of my life—superheroes, fashion, British television, because there was some really great British cult TV from the 60s and 70s, so all of that was influential to me, and I would have put that material out, wherever I found it. So if it’s Superman, I’m trying to think of the character as if he were a British television drama, what he would be like.’ [via ¡Journalista!]
April 22, 2008
[comics] Transcript of Grant Morrison’s Panel at NYCC ’08‘The lights went down for the presentation, and a screen came up saying “Fuck,’ which then changed to “time,” and the introduction for Morrison, with a slideshow of his work, and a reading of a statement from Morrison about the nature of life and fiction. Morrison came onstage to raucous applause and screamed “Lend me some sugar! I am your neighbor!” And then right away through open the floor to questions…’
April 23, 2008
[politics] Twitter / DowningStreet … Gordon Brown – the British Prime Minister – has a Twitter Feed (it seems to be produced by Civil Servants in his office) …

prime ministers twitter feed

April 24, 2008
[life] Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far … blog postcard project similar to Post Secret‘Everyone is someone else’s Weirdo’ [link]
April 26, 2008
[life] The John Harris Files … a Guardian journalist uses the Data Protection act to request information that companies hold on him and reports on the experience … ‘The AA, bless them, sent me the full transcript of a conversation I had in June 2007 with an operative called Julie (an illustrative excerpt: “We’re at home and our car won’t start. I assume it’s the battery”; “Right, smashing. We’ll get some help to you there.”) This is what happens when you make a list of the companies and organisations with whom you regularly deal and put in subject access requests – an opportunity afforded by the 1998 Data Protection Act…’
April 27, 2008
[comics] Invisible Girls and Phantom Ladies: How far have we come? … a scanned Alan Moore essay on women and sexism in comics from 1983 … Moore on being a teenager: ‘From what I can remember of my own time spent in that frenzied, pimply nightmare-world almost anything is likely to become grist to the mill of the adolescent’s deranged fantasies. Me, I was nuts about Hayley Mills…’
April 28, 2008
[comics] Alan Moore’s Outbreak of Violets‘In 1995 Alan Moore wrote the text for a set of 24 cards, called Outbreak of Violets, which were given away at the MTV Europe Music Awards 1995, and have since become something of a Holy Grail for fanatical Alan Moore completists. Like me. The last time a set came up on eBay I bowed out of the bidding at £200, and the item eventually sold for £800, if I remember correctly…’ [via meowwcat]
April 29, 2008
[windows] Superior Alternatives to Crappy Windows Software‘We’re still so traumatized about RealPlayer’s repeated takeover of our PC back in 2004 we’re seeing a special doctor that’s killing that part of our memory.’
April 30, 2008
[dna] My 23andMe DNA Results … Michael Arrington has his DNA analysed and blogs the results … ‘Some of the information is just for fun – I have “wet earwax,” for example, and don’t have the “alcohol flush” gene that turns people’s faces red when they drink. I don’t detect odors as well as some people.’
[comics] The Flash outruns the reaper 23 years after saving universe and dying … The Return of Barry Allen? …

Many fans had come to like the character better dead than alive after he was disintegrated saving the universe.

“That’s the point of comics – they don’t have to die, because they’re fictional creations,” said Grant Morrison, one of the writers behind the comeback.

“We can do anything with them, and we can make them come back and make them defy death,” Morrison said. “And that’s why people read comics, to get away from the way life works, which is quite cruel and unheroic and ends in death.”


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