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December 31, 2005
[comics] Scans_Daily: Best Batman Joke. Ever.

December 30, 2005
[games] Mornington Crescent on Wikipedia -- contains spoilers for the game ... 'Item #101 of the 2005 University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt was for one player on each team to "participate in an email adaptation of the classic game Mornington Crescent", using the CTA rail system. Participants were warned, "We shall follow the standard Thurgood-Hamilton conversion algorithm, but banning semi-lateral shunts."' [via Metafilter]

December 29, 2005
[radio] Tracking the Lincolnshire Poacher -- a radio program about Shortwave Numbers Stations. [via]

[links] Kottke: The Best Links 2005

December 28, 2005
[comics] They Dealt with Dan. Now Dana and Yasmin target Dennis -- the Guardian looks at Children's Xmas Comic Annuals ... 'Al Notton is not convinced that comics of any kind have a future. "I was speaking to my seven-year-old nephew about comics recently, and he said, 'Uncle Alan, what's a comic?'"' [via Bugpowder]

December 27, 2005
[ebay] eBay Auction: Cooked, Unwanted Christmas Dinner Item! ... 'You are bidding on One Cooked Brussels Sprout' [via Random Acts of Reality]

December 25, 2005

December 23, 2005
[toys] The Toy That Ate Christmas -- the Guardian looks at the story behind the Roboraptor. '... when Roboraptor behaves "intelligently" you catch yourself feeling impressed, and when it doesn't, you catch yourself responding as you would to a clumsy toddler, rather than as you ought to respond to an assemblage of 132 plastic parts, 235 metal ones and 191 electrical components. But Roboraptor is not, primarily, intended to be cute. "This is the first robot that really has the ability to scare small children," Tilden says proudly. "Our previous robots could annoy your cat. Roboraptor can hunt him." All this is achieved with a radically simple design: the toy's decision-making circuits are modelled on the chip in a musical Christmas card.'

December 22, 2005
[survival] Important Question of the Day: Is it a good idea to drink your own urine? ... 'Dr Stroud says there is just one situation where urine might be useful - if, just as your ship sinks, you happen to be completely drunk. "Like you just had eight pints of lager and you were peeing like crazy," he says. "Arguably, the first couple of urines, if you kept those, might just possibly give you more water than salt." As for non-emergency situations, Stroud dismisses those who believe urine could be beneficial...'

December 21, 2005
[comics] Make Your Own Speech Bubble! -- in the style of Diesel Sweeties ... [via jzw]

speech bubble image

December 19, 2005
[stalking] Stalking for Beginners -- a Howto guide on ruining someone's life ... 'After he fell asleep, I took down all the phone numbers in his cell while hiding in the bathroom. Mom, Dad, Susan, Rita, Jeff, and some guy named "Coke Delivery." Real subtle, dude. I went back to bed with him and murmured "I love you." He moved away from me. Everything was working as planned. He was getting stalked.' [via]

December 18, 2005
[art] The Cat Pictures of Louis Wain -- some examples of the Cat pictures of Louis Wain - a famous Victorian artist and schizophrenic. '...a foundation was set up for him by his peers (including the famous H.G. Wells) which enabled Wain to spend the last years of his life in comfort in private asylums in Southwark and Napsbury, where he continued to paint and draw his cats. Wain allows us a unique insight into the delusions and course of illness in a late onset schizophrenic.'

December 17, 2005
[flu] Jon Ronson: 'Recently I mentioned here that I have a stash of Tamiflu, bought over the internet. I keep it safely in the medicine cabinet, even though I've appraised the situation and don't believe that an avian flu pandemic will hit. I base this assessment on the fact that we didn't all die of CJD, and also I've an idea that the sort of people who don't believe in the imminence of a bird flu pandemic are enlightened freethinkers and that's how I like to see myself.'

December 16, 2005
[links] Glanced at:

[movies] Vision of Hell -- a Guardian article which asks: What Makes a Great War Film? ... 'It is easy to understand why Jane Fonda abominated The Deer Hunter. The Vietnamese characters are not sympathetic or deep, the American soldiers are, and the movie ends with the survivors sitting around the table, singing God Bless America. But that simplistic summary, and Fonda's hostility, mischaracterise the subtlety and complexity of Cimino's feature: the tender slowness with which he describes the home town the conscripts come from, which makes you understand the coldness of the American war machine, the depth of the betrayal involved in hurling trusting young patriots into an incomprehensible nightmare for which their upbringing has not prepared them, and the true, lingering nature of war wounds.'

December 15, 2005
[movies] Letters to Walken -- amusing Christmas Letters to Christopher Walken ... 'Mr Walken, Please, will you come Dance at my Birthday Party?' [via]

December 14, 2005
[news] Suburb Lawyer Shoots Pirates -- a North London Headline Crisis from Sashinka.

December 13, 2005
[comics] Dr. Fredric Wertham's Weblog -- the infamous anti-comics crusader has a posthumous blog (he died in 1981) ... 'Flooding the market with love-confession comics is so successful in diverting attention from crime comic books that it has been entirely overlooked that many of them are crime comic books, with a seasoning of love added. Unless the love comics are sprinkled with some crime they do not sell. Apparently love does not pay.'

[news] Cardiff Terrifies Me -- headline posters from the South Wales Echo ... 'CARDIFF - Muslim Pupils in Sausage Roll Blunder' [via Metafilter]

December 12, 2005
[london] Evening Standard Headline Crisis 2005 -- I've been taking pictures of the Evening Standard's Headline Posters and posting them on Flickr for about a year now...

images of the evening standards headline boards
Click on the images for the full set

December 11, 2005
[quote] "The Church says that the Earth is flat, but I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow of the earth on the moon and I have more faith in the Shadow than in the Church." -- Ferdinand Magellan

December 09, 2005
[comics] Comic Book Habit -- from Toothpaste for Dinner ... 'I found this comic book in your room... before this becomes a habit, I want you to think very carefully about this, and ask yourself if you want to get addicted...' [via scans_daily]

December 08, 2005
[food] The London Review of Breakfasts -- a guide to the best breakfasts in London... 'We love the hungry hours of anticipation before we decide on a venue. We love the splendid taste of expertly cooked, herb-filled sausages, the aromatic texture of crispy bacon, the burst of yellow yolk as a knife breaks the surface tension. We love piping hot beans, buttered toast and squidgy grilled tomatoes. We love to wash it all down with a reassuring cup of tea...' [Related: eggbaconchipsandbeans]

December 07, 2005

[blogs] Nick Robinson's Newslog -- apparently the first official Blog on BBC News.

December 06, 2005
[bdj] Sex: An interview with Belle de Jour - Part 1 | Part 2 ... 'Q: How close is your own life to that of Belle de Jour as we know her as a percentage? A: The aspect of my life that was reported in the book is probably within 95% correct - obviously some dates and locations had to be changed to protect my and others' anonymity. However, there is a very large part of my life that was not involved with the book at all.'

[comics] Interview with Brendan McCarthy ... 'I was sitting in a taxi with Grant [Morrison] - we'd got pissed at a comic convention and he was saying he couldn't think of a headquarters for the Doom Patrol. So I said - what about the Beatles in a Hard Day's Night? They used to live in that house where they were all connected together. I don't know if you remember the sequence, but the Fab 4 lived in 4 terraced houses that were basically hollow inside so it was one giant house. So I said - why don't you make it so that they live on a street and the street moves around and hides among other streets? It fit into the surreal Doom Patrol style? We started talking about streets and I said - you know what's bugged me all my life? It's that that the singer Danny Le Rue - he's basically called Danny the Street - isn't that just a fucking weird name? Why don't you call it Danny the Street and make it a transvestite cross-dressing street?'

December 05, 2005
[politics] CIA Sabotage Manual -- used in Central America in the 1980's - reminiscent of Jack Chick. [via jzw]

image of cia instruction manual

December 04, 2005
[comics] Intellectual Marijuana: Comics and their Critics -- an essay on the perception of comics by "intellectuals" in America during the last Century. Marya Mannes: 'Every hour spent in reading comics is an hour in which all inner growth has stopped.' [thanks John]

[food] Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good -- exerpt from Fast Food Nation ... '[As] he opened each bottle, I dipped a fragrance-testing filter into it -- a long white strip of paper designed to absorb aroma chemicals without producing off notes. Before placing each strip of paper in front of my nose, I closed my eyes. Then I inhaled deeply, and one food after another was conjured from the glass bottles. I smelled fresh cherries, black olives, sautéed onions, and shrimp. Grainger's most remarkable creation took me by surprise. After closing my eyes, I suddenly smelled a grilled hamburger. The aroma was uncanny, almost miraculous -- as if someone in the room were flipping burgers on a hot grill. But when I opened my eyes, I saw just a narrow strip of white paper and a flavorist with a grin.'

[web] When Murder Hits the Blogosphere -- this actually should be titled "Murder on MySpace". '...[Kara Borden's MySpace] page was brightly colored with pink-lined black boxes listing her friends and hobbies, a rainbow striped white background and a picture of her in a pink top, smiling with lips closed to hide her braces. She listed her interests as soccer, talking on the phone, the beach and partying. "Books are gay," she wrote. She lied about her age, listing it as 17. A few hours later she allegedly stood by as her boyfriend, David Ludwig, 18, shot and killed her parents.'

December 03, 2005
[links] Glanced at:

December 02, 2005
[comics] The Dawn of Dilbert -- online version of the original Dilbert submission package which Scott Adams sent to various cartoon syndicates - includes 50 Strips ... 'Synopsis: Dilbert is an engineer. He is about thirty, and works at an undisclosed high-tech company in Northern California. He lives with his dog, Dogbert, who bears a striking resemblance to Dilbert (including glasses and the ability to speak). Dilbert is very intelligent and kind-hearted, which makes him particularly ill-suited for life on this planet. Dogbert is also intelligent, but with a cynical edge. In contrast to his master, Dogbert has such a simple, yet keen understanding of human nature that his perceptions seem ridiculous to Dilbert. '

December 01, 2005
[comics] Where's Barry? -- Barry Allen isn't Dead. He's just Resting... 'Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, has been called "DC's first official saint." He died saving the entire universe, after all, and to avoid cheapening that sacrifice he is likely to be one of the few comic book characters whose death will actually stick. However, his virtual sainthood has led to Barry being sighted as often as Elvis...'