January 4, 2022
[time] COVID Standard Time‘Today is Tuesday, March 674th, 2020.’
January 5, 2022
[music] Angie Dickinson and Lee Marvin perform Steve Reich’s Clapping Music … brilliantly edited.

January 7, 2022
[drink] The Heaviest Drinker in the Animal Kingdom … Today I learned it is very hard to get hamsters drunk. ‘Alcohol goes straight from the gut to the liver, which starts breaking down the mind-altering toxin that is ethanol. Hamster livers are “so efficient” at processing ethanol that very little ends up in their blood, says Tom Lawton, a critical-care doctor in Bradford, England. But when the hamsters got injected with ethanol, the substance could bypass the liver and go into their bloodstream and then their brain—hence much wobbling and falling over. Hamsters’ alcohol tolerance is likely an adaptation to their hoarding lifestyle.’
January 10, 2022
[web] Meet the man who accidentally started an assassin hiring website … Buying a internet domain name can have unexpected consequences. ‘Innes had received a message from a woman named Helen. She was stranded in Canada, had lost her passport, and wanted three family members in the UK murdered for screwing her out of her father’s inheritance. He didn’t respond. But she persisted: sending a second email, which included names, addresses and other corroborating information. Innes felt compelled to act…’
January 11, 2022
[books] Infographic of Words Invented or Coined by Shakespeare … Shakespeare invented the word fap? Really?

Partial Infographic of Words Shakespeare Invented

January 12, 2022
[podcasts] Two podcasts series I’ve listened to recently…

  • Hunting Ghislaine … John Sweeney examines how Ghislaine Maxwell became a convicted sex trafficker.

  • The Coming Storm … An attempt to understand QAnon and it’s history.

January 14, 2022
[games] Creating Lode Runner … How the classic 8-bit platformer game Lode Runner was created. ‘The manner in which James’s system worked made the monsters seem to have intelligence – they’d often pause rather than home in on you. “And what made the game really interesting was they ran all this logic to determine if they were going to make this one move, left or right, but you could then jump off a platform and end up falling halfway down the screen. At that point, all bets were off, because your position changed so quickly,” says James, adding that – as you might have guessed – “a lot of the fun for me was applying the logic to different levels and not necessarily playing the game!”’ [More: Looking back at Lode Runner]
January 17, 2022
[cummings] Intoxicating, insidery and infuriating: everything I learned about Dominic Cummings from his £10-a-month blog … A deep dive into the world of Dominic Cummings.

What’s so interesting about Cummings is that although he seems to share some of this deep scepticism about democratic politics and politicians – too slow, too trivial, too easily spooked – he cannot fully embrace it. After all, tracking public opinion in a clear-eyed, unsentimental way is what he does, perhaps better than anyone. He is a genius at it. In the end, his blog reminds me of the old Woody Allen joke: “The food here is terrible!” “Yes, and such small portions!” Cummings thinks that British politics is broken, that the two main parties are ready for the knacker’s yard, and that most of the political class couldn’t strategise their way out of a paper bag. And yet he can’t resist trying to play their game. He wants to abolish the Labour party. He also wants to teach it how to win the next election. He’d like to put quantum physicists in charge of the government. He’d also like to see Rishi Sunak boot Boris (and Carrie) out of Downing Street. He wants to burn it down. He also wants to make it better.

January 18, 2022
[moore] Alan Moore’s Top Five: Mystics and Magicians‘Austin Osman Spare: He knew and possibly shagged Aleister Crowley, but regarded Crowley as “an Italian ponce out of work” and utterly rejected Crowley’s lore-bound and formal magical system. Spare was approached sometime in the 1930s by Adolf Hitler with a request that he paint the occult-obsessed fuehrer’s portrait, which he declined, replying “if you, sir, are the superman, then I am proud to remain an ape.” When Spare and his Brixton studio were later bombed during the Blitz, Spare suffered some kind of stroke and was left paralysed down his right side, including his drawing hand, but, being Spare, he simply taught himself to draw with his left hand…’
January 19, 2022
[politics] Has Boris Johnson Resigned Yet? … The only single-serving website you need today. ‘No’
January 20, 2022
[comics] ‘I read all 27,000 Marvel comics and had a great time. Here’s what I learnt’ … Douglas Wolk’s tour guide to Marvel Comics. ‘The reading stage went on for longer than I thought it would. It turns out my brain can only handle so much gaudily coloured, hyper-violent soap opera in a single day. The high point may have been wrestling with the thoughtful, exquisitely drawn, yet problematic 1974-1983 title Master of Kung Fu, which introduced the character of Shang-Chi, who recently made it to the big screen. A taut, introspective espionage thriller whose antagonist is Fu Manchu, the series became, over time, both more impressive and – for its racist portrayals – more wince-inducing.’
January 21, 2022
[worzel] Worzel’s Warning … A remarkably dark Jon Pertwee song warning about stranger danger in the 1970s.

January 24, 2022
[lifehacks] 100 Tips for a Better Life … I usually find something helpful in these posts with lists of life hacks. ’23. (~This is not medical advice~). Don’t waste money on multivitamins, they don’t work. Vitamin D supplementation does seem to work, which is important because deficiency is common.’
January 27, 2022
[music] The Beach Boys’ 40 greatest songs – ranked!‘’Til I Die (1971) – A stunning piece of songwriting – check out the extended alternative mix on 1998’s Endless Harmony – ’Til I Die is the most emotionally desolate song in the Beach Boys’ catalogue: a howl of resigned despair from a man in terrible distress. Its hopelessness is chilling, its sonic richness cosseting: an incredibly potent, unsettling combination.’
January 28, 2022
[tech] A Computer can never be held accountable… (An IBM Slide from 1977.)

A Computer can never be held accountable...

January 31, 2022
[comics] “We Get To Do Whatever We Want!”: An Interview with Sean Phillips … Covering Phillips long career. On Vertigo Comics: ‘Looking back I can see Vertigo was something special and changed comics for the better, but I couldn’t see that at the time. When I’m drawing a comic I’m focused on one panel at a time and it’s difficult to see the bigger picture.’