Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Jennifer Government: NationStates

"What do the Republics of Cueballs, the jungle paradise of Gurraanweeemoop, and the city state of Griliopolis have in common? If I add in the amazingly unoriginal Republic of Alec Meer, you’ll get the idea. Nation states is a quiz-based long-term multiplayer game where your country’s behaviour is based on the decisions you make for it. So Griliopolis is a Left-Leaning College state, and the Republic of Cueballs is a Compulsory Consumerist State. It’s all based on a passable Sci-Fi novel called ‘Jennifer Government’ by Max Barry."

The Theocracy of Griliopolis

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Date Engine -

My birthday:

The Number 1 single was:
The Buggles - "Video Killed The Radio Star"

The Number 1 album was:
Police - "Reggatta De Blanc"
My little bruv descended on me at the weekend like a very scruffy force of nature; he finally left today and, while it was really nice having him around, it does make me question my value system. Maudlin this sounds, but in my old age (since about the age of 12), I've grown into a proper judgemental facist with a sneering disregard for those who hold 'shoulds' about the world, which obviously requires a 'should' of my own.

I also spent today being lunched by Nominet, the UK's domain name registry. For those not in the know, i.e. anybody with half a personality, they are the regulators of the .uk domain name, and are recognised as such by the government. They're a not-for-profit organisation (based in Oxford, which made for a passable conversation topic), which is a tight line to walk; large one-off costs can cripple the careful budgeting of such a firm in a day and make it go whimpering to whatever parent runs it. Despite the strange pressure of their jobs then, they were deliciously nice people (apologies for the lechorous intonation, but I've been watching the Alan Clark diaries - more on which in a moment.) Each of them had a different seemingly pleasant outlook on life - I actually felt inspired by their presence, their certainty of their simple goal - for all their suits and smatterings of make-up they had the happiness beneath the surface of people who either believe they are doing the right thing, or have a well-funded sinecure and big lunches to look forward to, so are happy anyway.

Doesn't mean I necessarily admired their purpose. To return to Alan Clark, what I admire is straightforward incidental psychosis, of a very particular sort. The Alan Clarks, the Rorschachs (from Alan Moore's The Watchmen, which everyone should read), Ken Livingstone (once upon a time), John Lilburne - I love the marytrs of life, the anti-heroes. If I was ever to write a book, and one day I hope to, pointless and derivative as the concept of a novel is, I'd write about these people. They're not simply rebels, they're rebels who rebel unconsciously according to a very open moral code, which they will not compromise on, but will vocalise to their hearts' content, and which is not coherent, or consistent in any rational manner. It's recklessness, partially accidental, backing up strong beliefs which I admire, irrationally.

Sunday, March 21, 2004


Obscene shockwave animation by creators of South Park that they were paid $2million to do, and was canned when the Shockwave execs saw it....

Virgin pulls pouting airport urinals.

See also

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Life After the Oil Crash

Thanks to Jonty for this one; a terrifying vision of the future, without oil! Just like OPEC 1973. The fact is we're going to hit Peak Oil (the point where oil becomes progressively harder and hence more expensive to extract) pretty soon. At that point, everything becomes more expensive; water, transport, everything; and as so many resources and services are interlinked (take the example of the UK's dependence on natural gas), the failure of one drives up the demand for and price of all, beyond the point at which the economy (and especiallly the markets) can sustain change.

(Cor that was po-faced.)

Matthew Simmons, Energy Advisor to George W. Bush: "It is past time. As I have said, the experts and politicians have no Plan B to fall back on. If energy peaks, particularly while 5 of the world’s 6.5 billion people have little or no use of modern energy, it will be a tremendous jolt to our economic well-being and to our health — greater than anyone could ever imagine...
I don’t think there is (a solution). The solution is to pray. Under the best of circumstances, if all prayers are answered there will be no crisis for maybe two years. After that it’s a certainty.

This also seems to back it up, with the confused incentives that the oil market has proving key.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Underground Profile

I'm legally obliged to pimp my friend's sites, so…

'Jah, erm, rules, skanky ho hoe, Penny's bitchin' site, what?'

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Puzzle over three-headed frog
Structured Procrastination

Thanks to Dov and Olly Glass for you?

The sandwich is complete!
Suspect's torture - two years of Springsteen [01mar04] - Republicans rally at Bush's alma mater: "Republican supporters were not alone, as they were joined by the group Billionaires for Bush. Around 30 students were present, all dressed in formal attire and holding signs such as 'Blood for Oil.'

Members also chanted slogans like 'Who needs equal rights?' as they handed out pamphlets.

The 'Billionaires' refused to give any real names or discuss the group's platform. Instead, participants attempted to mix in with the Bush supporters while chanting slogans.

Pamphlets included lines such as 'tax cuts generously gave millionaires and billionaires nearly $100,000 for each billionaire' and 'the benefits to the poor and lazy average less than $100 per year.'

'I thought it would be great to support global warming,' a demonstrator who would give his name only as Seymour Benjamins said. 'You can see how white I am, and global warming gives better tans.'"
Just spent two hours on the phone in an impromptu interview for the Dubai job. I made it through somehow, talking a good game and all that. That's not to say I blathered; but there were times my sentences were so convoluted that I had trouble following where the train of thought had been derailed.

Am feeling almost committed to it now; the challenge is starting to excite me. I'm not a gadget person, per se. I'm not a lad per se either. The nearest I've got to strenuous masculinity is standing near rugby players. Working out what I could do with this magazine is provking thoughts in me; admittedly, most of them are likely to have me thrown out of the country, but that's another gold star on my CV, isn't it.

Time to grow, methinks. Meantimes, I'll go and play with this Meccano PC case.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Angry Alien Productions, Sase and Topsie

.:: simply calvin and hobbes ::.
Apologies for the overlong hiatus in writing anything of import, and posting dirty links most days, but boys and girls, I need your help. I'm in hell. I've been offered a job in far Dubai, which pays better, has a better status, and would forward my career. It also fits my beliefs as man as a progressive being, and sits nicely with the crap I've been spouting for months about bath being a hellhole fit for retirees and childer only.

What I'm looking for are genuine reasons to go or not. I can't decide, and I'm meant to be deciding and ringing them today. Encephalous Jon Hicks gave me a phrase, which I don't quite get but which seems to fit; cognitive dissonance. Something about painting yourself into a mental corner, which is what Bath feels like - the fear of giving up a safe job here, that I've really got a handle on, in favour of one in a far-off place with people I don't know, that I could be abominable at. Frankly terrifying, when it should be exciting! Goddamn, it's even making me use exclamation marks. Excessive!

Let me sum up my current situation; I'm in a nice working group, finally, after 12\months of hell, with a happy group of people (and the neurotic Gila Munja that is Alec ;) ), who feel like we've got a good chance of doing a good mag. I respect Adam, my hairless hero of an editor, which makes a nice change. I'm even happy amidst the squalor of the flat I share with Kieron 'Youth Decay' Gillen. It may sound like I live in a freak show that's not going anywhere, but they're all loving, enthusiastic people, and it's hard to leave, so suggestions, please?

Friday, March 05, 2004

:: Danontherun! ::

Thass a great sandwich.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Woman Finds 'Dead' Child Alive at Party

We've all been to parties like that...

"Harold? But didn't I gut you like a fish back in 1930!?"
"Oh, hey, er... Maude. Yeaahr, I, er, got better... What've you been doing since Chicago?"
"Oh, you know, aging gracefully, stalking Art Garfunkel... Have you tried the spring rolls - real springs!" and so on...
Experts Say New Desktop Fusion Claims Seem More Credible

The Real Far Side.
Mahmood's Den :: Mahmood's Blog

Strangely compelling blog, from a high-up Bahraini. Surprising in that he's very liberal and very honest about everything, claiming he has nothing to fear. Admirable, really.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Gaping Maw: Classic, though largely tragic.
New Zealand News - NZ - Green light for Hamilton's Rocky Horror statue

Damn straight!
Girl feels no pain

Horrifying, but why should she worry - she has no pain, so no worry.
Program Details for Perversion for Profit (Part I)

Monday, March 01, 2004

Rent A Lord

I want one.