1 August 2009
[ronson] Jon Ronson on Gary McKinnon … Ronson tries his best to provide a sympathetic profile of McKinnon

‘His testimony offers a compelling argument against conspiracy theories. He spent between five and seven years roaming the corridors of power like the Invisible Man, wandering into Pentagon offices, rifling through files, and he found no particular smoking gun about anything. He unearthed nothing to suggest a US involvement in 9/11, nothing to suggest a UFO cover-up. Nothing, he told me, except two things…’

3 August 2009
[moon] To the Moon – with extreme engineering … a look at the story behind The Lunar Orbiter programme – a series of missions which mapped the moon’s surface before the Apollo landings … ‘The Lunar Orbiter astonishes even today. It had to take pictures, scan and develop the film on board, and broadcast it successfully back to earth. Naturally, the orbiter had to provide its own power, orient itself without intervention from ground control, and maintain precise temperature conditions and air pressure for the film processing, and protect itself from solar radiation and cosmic rays – all within severe size and weight constraints. This was far beyond the capabilities of the newest spy satellites, which back then returned the film to earth in a canister, retrieved by a specially kitted-out plane. The Orbiter challenge was the Apollo challenge in miniature.’
[funny] Go Watch: Straight out of Surrey by Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer ‘…I have a crime record like Charles Hawtrey.’ (more…)
4 August 2009
[comics] Predator vs. Tintin

Tintin vs. Predator

5 August 2009
[future] How Is America Going To End? The world’s leading futurologists have four theories‘For nearly three hours, we run through America-killers that range from the believable to the science fiction-y: rising sea levels, a collapse of entitlement programs, an attack by a foreign power on American soil, a pandemic 10 times worse than the 1918 flu, global domination by a space-faring nation that uses geo-engineering to “turn off” climate change, and the emergence of a transnational class of biologically enhanced supermen and women (“They’re all about 6-2—and that’s the girls,” Schwartz says) who identify more with one another than with any particular nation…’
6 August 2009
[comics] Thoughts on the Forthcoming Howard Chaykin Blackhawk Collection … a look at one of Chaykin’s less well known comics from the 1980s … ‘This is a quintessentially Chaykin image. Why? Well, just gaze into Blackhawk’s eyes, and you’ll see the horrible truth: that Blackhawk totally seduced and bedded that swastika before shooting it to death and setting it on fire.’
[drugs] Risks Of Drug That May Have Killed Michael Jackson, Propofol, Or Diprivan, Emerge‘Wischmeyer began making informal inquiries, and was shocked by what he learned. “People would reach into the needle discord boxes full of used syringes and pull out old vials of Propofol, not knowing what patient it had been used on or whether it was spoiled. That’s pretty extreme,” he said. In another case, an addict fell asleep at his desk so frequently that his lolling forehead bore a perpetual bruise.’
7 August 2009

neil before zod

9 August 2009
[tv] Meth in the madness … Louis Theroux on Crystal Meth … ‘Meth is “ghetto Prozac” – a primitive and dangerous pain-reliever, which goes on to aggravate the very pain and chaos which people take it to avoid.’
10 August 2009
[docu] Errol Morris is on Twitter … … ‘HISTORY LESSON: The camera was the first version of Photoshop.’ [link]
[macs] Go Watch: Ice-T presents Mac Repair … the rapper and TV star demonstrates an admirable and straightforward approach to personal data security with a claw hammer.
11 August 2009
[comics] The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table … containing a robot, a zombie, an astronaut, a monster, a Lincoln, a Vampire, a T. Rex, a ninja, an alien, a platypus and many many combinations…
12 August 2009
13 August 2009
[comics] Dan Clowes Interviewed … [via Waxy’s Links]

CLOWES: There’s a book that came out more than ten years ago − a 50th-anniversary index of the members of the National Cartoonists Society. It’s a book of photos and short bios of hundreds of old-time American cartoonists, and for some reason a few “younger” − I was thirty-seven at the time − non-members, such as myself, were included.

There are dozens of photos of these old codgers smiling with these stupid grins on their faces. But you can see the sadness underneath. It’s such a grim document. My friend [and fellow cartoonist] Chris Ware told me he had to actually hide his copy of the book, because he can’t bear to look at it.

QUESTION: What did you both find grim about it?

CLOWES: All these lives spent behind the drawing board; decades on a daily strip that no one remembers.

14 August 2009
[comics] Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons on graphic art, computers and the dreaded Comic Sans‘There are people who specialise in lettering, and I’ve had my hand lettering made into a digital font. I picked up a copy of the Dandy the other week, and I was amazed to see that it was completely lettered in my hand-lettering font. It was quite a thrill, really, having been a Dandy reader years and years ago.’
17 August 2009
[cards] Marshall McLuhan Designed Playing Cards … known as the Distant Early Warning Card Set … [via MetaFilter]

The Law Of Averages Will Clobber You Every Time...

18 August 2009
[petition] Alan Turing Downing Street E-Petition: ‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to apologize for the prosecution of Alan Turing that led to his untimely death.’ [Click on this Link to sign the petition]
19 August 2009
[comics] Recommended: Harker by Roger Gibson and Vince Danks … really nicely done British small-press crime comic. Harker – the classiest occult detective TV show you’ll never see (a review from Richard Bruton): ‘The genre trappings are all there. The police procedural investigation, the crime scene investigation, the autopsy, the legwork, the finding of the clues; it’s all there, exactly where it should be. Add to that the mysterious supernatural goings on to get one really great comic book series. But on top of a really lovely idea, really well executed the thing reads incredibly well…’
20 August 2009
[war] The Wandering Soul Psyop Tape Of Vietnam‘Listen to the eerie sounds of “The Wandering Soul” – also known as “Ghost Tape Number 10” – that was broadcast by loudspeakers installed on Swifts and other units during “Chieu Hoi” and Psychological Warfare missions to “taunt” the enemy.’
21 August 2009
[books] Unearthed Again – Golden Hare That Obsessed A Nation … what happened to Kit Williams author of Masquerade and his Golden Hare?‘The hare was later bought by a mystery buyer for £31,900 at a Sotheby’s auction in 1988. Williams had tried to buy it but was outbid, and it has remained unseen in private hands for more than 20 years.’
22 August 2009
[books] Dan Brown Oxfam’s ‘Most Donated’ — BBC News‘Dan Brown’s works are being offloaded to second-hand shops faster than anyone’s. Oxfam named him the “most donated” author at its chain of charity shops. John Grisham, Ian Rankin, Danielle Steel and Helen Fielding were the other high-profile authors to achieve the dubious honour of making the top five.’
24 August 2009
[comics] Comica Festival 2009 … the website for the London’s comic festival – guests this year include Joe Sacco, Eddie Campbell and Bryan Talbot‘Preparations are well under way for the sixth Comica Festival scheduled for November 6 to 26, 2009, to be held at the ICA and other London venues.’
[funny] For Sale in Gotham London: Batmobile replica 4.2 engine 1 years Mot and 6mths Tax (£8,500)‘It has titanium cup holders as used in the Bugatti Veyron which I won in an auction and the arm rest is autographed by Batman himself Adam West.’ [via LDN]
25 August 2009
[tech] Xkcd’s Tech Support Cheatsheet … follow this flowchart and remember the other other golden rule: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” and you will have a lucrative and rewarding career in IT Support.
26 August 2009
[comics] The Top 70 Most Iconic Marvel Comic Panels … a really strong list of key moments in the Marvel Universe.

Daredevil: There Is No Corpse.

[timeline] Time Travel TimelineInformation is Beautiful provides a visual timeline of time travel movies showing where paradoxes might occur.
27 August 2009
[funny] Go Look: Stormtrooping in the Rain
28 August 2009
[watergate] Deep Throat: An Institutional Analysis … a smart investigative essay from 1992 which correctly guesses the identity of Watergate’s Deep Throat‘There has been considerable speculation that Deep Throat never existed, that he must have been either a complete fiction or a composite of several people. My memory of those early months of Watergate is otherwise: that there was a specific individual, from the FBI, and Woodward had special access to him. What seems important, with two decades of hindsight, is that in our national preoccupation with personality and celebrity in the nation’s capital, we have concentrated too much on Deep Throat as an individual and not enough on the underlying bureaucratic forces.’
31 August 2009
[twitter] Yet another Twitter worth taking a look at: Shit My Dad Says‘You need to flush the toilet more than once…No, YOU, YOU specifically need to. You know what, use a different toilet. This is my toilet.’