Thursday, September 30, 2004

Escher for Real

Oi, Mere, check it out. Some bloke's made himself all those Escher posters in real life... (apart from the hand writing itself, obviously...)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I've been reviewing two DVD encyclopedias today (Encarta 2005 and Britannica 2005), which has given me the chance to indulge my perverse side and test out their batshit knowledge. While checking out their knowledge level on the Thylacine (Tasmanian Wolf, extinct 1936, covered well by both of them, but better by the online Wikipedia) I've been sidetracked (temporarily, Mr Commissioner) into exploring the freakzoid Marsupial populations of Ozzieland, and I'm just falling in love with them. The best is the Marsupial Mole, a creature so bizarre that its students have no idea how to classify it...

The Marsupial Mole, the Numbat, and the Quoll.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Having intimidated some of Chrissy's female publishing friends with an experienctal justifcation of video games as a shortcut to the immortality we crave (as a way of staving off the reality of our death) by attempting to experience as many things as possible and video games being one of the richest simulations available for visual and audio stimuli, and for being able to encompass other forms of media (again not a real belief, but one worth spinning), we ended up talking about a) breast sizes (initiated by the girls as a way of shutting up the cyberhacks) and b) what animal we each were. FYI, Kieron was a Boa Constrictor (specifcally Ka from the Jungle Book), Chrissy was apparently a Gorgon, and I was a Cougar.

A fecking Cougar. I've no idea what that means?! Trying to think of a more appropriate animal, me and Ron have since decided on the goat, which happily fits both my personality and into the Jewish scapegoat / Greek goatherder / Welsh goatlover stereotypes. It also appears to be my Chinese animal, which brings me to the point. What's your proper animal, and is it appropriate. Choose from the Chinese horoscope. Discuss...
Chinese Astrology - The Animals of the Chinese Horoscope | Higher | Space probes feel cosmic tug of bizarre forces
Weight Watchers recipe cards, circa 1974

From Penny (though that URL is quite disturbing...)
Guardian Unlimited Film | News | In a secret Paris cavern, the real underground cinema

Monday, September 20, 2004

I Found Some Of Your Life: Introduction

Hilarious. Primitive peoples (say, Geordies) believe that when your picture is taken your soul is sucked out through the lens and used as lagging for the Devil's pipes. Here at last is evidence; this man's life has been stolen, merely because he left 227 photos of himself in the back of a taxi.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Colin Powell in four-letter neo-con 'crazies' row

Quality. New-found respect for Straw and Powell. And kudos to James Naughtie for somehow finding this out...
Locus Online: John Shirley: Global to Local

A good coffee break read, thoughtfans.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Erm? That's really, really disturbing. I think it's some sort of conceptual sculpture of the crossover line between man and dog, but I'm not sure. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 10, 2004

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Morning News - Tricks of the Trade Jonty contributed to this piece. He so proud!
Monkey World Road Trip madness

Road trip to Monkeyworld back on the bank holiday. Almost died. Very much like Robert Silverberg's The Book of Skulls (which incidentally, has been optioned for a movie.)

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Slashdot: Politics section

If this works, essential reading.
Am I the only one with an undue pleasure at larger government, indeed, at all things threatening and perverse? For example, walking home down the city streets, weighed down by multiple bags containing more hi-tech crap than the terminator, I'm perversely pleased that there's security cameras around to watch over me, and so I've got a captive audience to torment with bad tap-dancing when I'm drunk. Similarly, I quite fancy the ID card system; the more daft photos of people around in existence, the better I say. (and of course, assuming the state ceases its slow slide towards authoritarianism, we have nothing to fear from it beyond what we already fear; the innocent are safe.)

Similarly, McDonald's. We've known forever that eating a 99p cheeseburger from Maccy D's probably takes more life than smoking a pack of fags, but we still did it. However, having read Fast food Nation (before it became big, lovey, and thought it was big pile of judgemental horseshi'ite) and knowing the premise of Supersize Me (who needs to actually *see* the movie?) I felt more desire to go out and eat hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and particularly McDonald's, than ever before. I've eaten battered Mars bars and haggis and bits of meat that the animals themselves probably have a preternatural sense of shame about, in the full cogniscence of what affect this will have on my body, fattening flesh, filling arteries, and generally bringing inevitable death sweetly near.

The ancient philosophers called this akrasia, and it's one of my key concepts. It means incontinence and means knowing what the right thing is to do, but simply not doing it. Of course, it assumes that what you're doing isn't the right thing, and that the right thing is not the thing you *want* to do. Truthfully, it isn't the right thing for you if you don't want it; it might fit in with your moral code, but your short-term desire is stronger in you than a long-term health and happiness that might never come (with the fragility of life.) Combine this with a skeptical viewpoint on personal identity, and the future person you'd be preserving the body for isn't you anyway.

Which brings me to the final perversity; laughing at death. A recognition of the fleeting nature of our personalities and the self's coherent existence can bring acceptance of the valueness of the self, unless it is specifically chosen to have a value. To this I ascribe the ability to feel sorrow at the death of a loved-one, but also to joke about it; it is not merely a coping technique, it is not only a symbol of western desensitisation to violence, it is also a different mathod of valuing the life we have. Anyway, that's how I justify the inevitable jokes that are going to emerge at truck stops and in black cabs over the next weeks about South Ossetia, Darfur, and Iraq.

Anyway, enough grade-skool philosophical lecturing; nite!
Hilarity of Benn's Nigeria trip

Sent a link with the added imprecations, now familiar to stop putting up links and write more. Thank you Mr Mere Dreth.