It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Mikhail Bulgakov's supernatural novel The Master and Margarita is being adapted for the screen by Stone Village Pictures and producer Scott Steindorff, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Master and Margarita begins in pre-World War II Moscow, where the devil appears as a mysterious man who insinuates himself into a literary crowd. Amid a series of deaths and disappearances, the devil brings together the title characters, a despairing novelist and his devoted but married lover. The story shifts to the setting of the master's rejected novel, Jerusalem in the time of Pontius Pilate, and then to a supernatural world where satanic forces have taken over Margarita's life.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
So the paramedics came, checked me out and said I might need some antibiotics. They drove me to Lewisham hospital where it was my privilege, feverish and tired, to wait for four hours before a doctor turned up. There was a nice woman there who'd got drunk with her boyfriend, at which point he'd kicked her out of the house, then grabbed her by the hair and used her head to beat out a rhythm on the floor; he was in prison. There was also another exhausted flu sufferer and a man who's leg had spontaneously stopped working.
By the time, I'd finally got to see a doctor the fever had quieted (due to lots of paracetamol, water and fresh air), so he just looked me over, said I had viral flu, but there was nothing they could do for me. Well, actually, he said "Take nurofen", which I observed to him was basically ibuprofen + nice packaging = placebo effect, woo, and if I knew about the placebo it was unlikely to work, so could I save £7 and just buy the 90p generic ibuprofen instead?
I'm not 100% yet, but I have to go back to work tomorrow. I can't afford to spend any more time in bed, as I'm getting better far too slowly now and I know there's loads of stuff waiting for me, so I'd better go back in tomorrow. Ho-hum.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
GROW nano vol.3
While I've been sat at home, cultivating this Flu (last night I thought I'd try that old party game of "Waking Up Every Hour Shaking Like A Leaf") I've been playing the lastest in the excellent ten-minute GROW series, which Alec pointed out.It seems the series creator On is similarly bed-bound and has made a excellent illness-recovery game. Ace, give it a try. (Cough, splutter, wheeze.)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Influenza can also be transmitted by saliva, nasal secretions, faeces and blood.
F*ck you, G*d. I've not been near any of that shit which isn't my own and yet you let me lie here, gibbering at the pretty elves dancing on the ceiling, while my lungs try and escape through my mouth.
I wish I believed in you so I could blame you, you massive arse.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Warren Ellis » Harlan Ellison On The WGA Strike Settlement
HARLAN ELLISON ON THE WRITERS STRIKE SETTLEMENT
YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO RE-POST THIS ANYWHERE:
Creds: got here in 1962, written for just about everybody, won the
Writers Guild Award four times for solo work, sat on the WGAw Board
twice, worked on negotiating committees, and was out on the picket
lines with my NICK COUNTER SLEEPS WITH THE FISHE$$$ sign. You may have
heard my name. I am a Union guy, I am a Guild guy, I am loyal. I
fuckin’ LOVE the Guild.
And I voted NO on accepting this deal.
My reasons are good, and they are plentiful; Patric Verrone will be
saddened by what I am about to say; long-time friends will shake their
heads; but this I say without equivocation…
THEY BEAT US LIKE A YELLOW DOG. IT IS A SHIT DEAL. We finally got a
timorous generation that has never had to strike, to get their asses
out there, and we had to put up with the usual cowardly spineless
babbling horse’s asses who kept mumbling “lessgo bac’ta work” over and
over, as if it would make them one iota a better writer. But after
months on the line, and them finally bouncing that pus-sucking dipthong
Nick Counter, we rushed headlong into a shabby, scabrous, underfed
shovelfulla shit clutched to the affections of toss-in-the-towel summer
soldiers trembling before the Awe of the Alliance.
My Guild did what it did in 1988. It trembled and sold us out. It
gave away the EXACT co-terminus expiration date with SAG for some
bullshit short-line substitute; it got us no more control of our words;
it sneak-abandoned the animator and reality beanfield hands before
anyone even forced it on them; it made nice so no one would think we
were meanies; it let the Alliance play us like the village idiot. The
WGAw folded like a Texaco Road Map from back in the day.
And I am ashamed of this Guild, as I was when Shavelson was the
prexy, and we wasted our efforts and lost out on technology that we had
to strike for THIS time. 17 days of streaming tv!!!????? Geezus, you
bleating wimps, why not just turn over your old granny for gang-rape?
You deserve all the opprobrium you get. While this nutty festschrift
of demented pleasure at being allowed to go back to work in the rice
paddy is filling your cowardly hearts with joy and relief that the
grips and the staff at the Ivy and street sweepers won’t be saying
nasty shit behind your back, remember this:
You are their bitches. They outslugged you, outthought you,
outmaneuvered you; and in the end you ripped off your pants, painted
yer asses blue, and said yes sir, may I have another.
Please excuse my temerity. I’m just a sad old man who has fallen among Quislings, Turncoats, Hacks and Cowards.
I must go now to whoops. My gorge has become buoyant.
Respectfully, Yr. Pal, Harlan Ellison
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
jess and i have gone swimming. rich is there too, alternating taking work phonecalls with doing butterfly strokes. in the corner of the shallow end of the pool is The Greek from season 2 of The Wire, eating an omelette with fennel in it. i am translating the season into Italian for the producers, and his next line is meant to be "look what they put in my omelette - why do they put fennel in an omelette?" and I am shocked. "Do you mean to say the writers have presumed that an elderly gentleman of European origin such as yourself would not like Fennel? How absurd!" we decide to change the line for the Italian dubbers, knowing that such a thing would entirely destroy the whole series' credibility in the Italians' eyes.
I wish I had dreams like Chrissy. Rather, I wish I could remember my dreams like Chrissy - with my current hip/back-pain and insomnia, I can't say my dreams haven't been pleasant or simple.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sony's Columbia Pictures has acquired screen rights to Michael Chabon's alternate-universe novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union and set Oscar nominees Joel and Ethan Coen to direct, Variety reported.
I've not read the book but I will now. Wikipedia makes is sound like a fairly standard alternate history-cum- detective novel, but what the Coens will do with that will be a funny Fargo packed with us Jews and Eskimos. Can you imagine a better gift to a pair of comedy clowns with a sense of the macabre than assassinated chess geniuses and an alcoholic cop fighting rabbis?
There's also some really, really politically-controversial scenes in the film, on the basis of its plausible alternative history where the Jewish refugee state is Alaska, not the Middle East. SPOILER:
The dome of the rock getting exploded by the Beth Din?!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Feature: The Armchair Generals - Official Xbox 360 Magazine
It's no fun being the odd one out. As the only team member with an attention span counted in hours rather than seconds, I'm regularly taunted in the office for loving PC strategy games. The other team members treat me as if I'm backward and nerdy; and it's true I do love strategy games, tactical combat games, turn-based games. Yet there's a shift going on, a shift of strategy developers towards consoles, both in the numbers being developed for the Xbox 360 and how they're being altered to fit it. Soon there will be more strategy games on the console than beat 'em ups, an unthinkable thing five years ago.
A super-long feature I did on console strategy games as my Parthian shot at OXM has gone on-line. If you like sending thousands of men to death and/or glory it's an involved and in-depth read - read the Gameplayer version though, as it's more legible. It involves interviews with Michael de Plater from Creative Assembly, Jim Vessella, Associate Producer on the forthcoming expansion Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath, Jim Bottomley, Lead Designer of Vivendi’s recent PC hit World in Conflict, Barry Caudill, Executive Producer at Firaxis Games talking about Civ Revolution, James Carey from Creative Assembly, and Mike Kawahara and Jim Ngui from Namco, developers of Mark of Chaos. That's a lot of developers!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
To Shop Assistants
STORE MUST OPEN PROMPTLY
at 6.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m. all the year round.
STORE must be swept, counter, base shelves and showcases dusted. Lamps trimmed, filled and chimney cleaned, pens made, door and windows opened.
A PAIL of water and scuttle of coal must be brought in by each clerk before breakfast, if there is time to do so and attend customers who call.
Any employee who is the habit of
SMOKING SPANISH CIGARS,
GETTING SHAVED AT A BARBER'S SHOP,
GOING TO DANCES, AND OTHER SUCH PLACES OF AMUSEMENT.
will surely give his employer reason to be suspicious of his INTEGRITY and alround HONESTY
Each employee must pay not less than ONE GUINEA per year to the Church and attend Sunday School every Sunday.
MEN are given one evening a week for courting purposes and two if they go to prayer meetings regularly.
After 14 hours works, spare time should be devoted to reading good literature.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Gallery: Inside the Navy's Armed-Robot Labs
The Navy's MDARS-E is an armed robot that can track anything that
moves. Told that I was the target, the unmanned vehicle trained its
guns on me and ordered, "Stay where you are," in an intimidating robot
voice. And yes, it was frightening.
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