The improvised card game.
Back on the Orion Express
Er, coming soon.
The Day of the Triffids
John Wyndham
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Haruki Murakami
Worldwar: In The Balance
Harry Turtledove
The Origins of Virtue
Matt Ridley
Incidental Music
Born Yesterday
Fresh Wound
The Bonzo Dogs
As Above at Stormloader
Banner-advert-ridden drivel.
Weeks Beginning
20.11 27.11 04.12 11.12
Friday night saw Index on Censorship's "Last Laugh" benefit in Brighton; those on the stage included Robert Newman with a hurriedly stripped-down version of his current "Resistance is Fertile" show, Mark Thomas being gloriously relaxed and chatty and furious, the previously unseen "Ben 'n' Arn" doing painfully funny French-schoolbook rapping as "Priorité a Gauche", and some sketch group or other doing random skits while their announcer tried too hard to sound like Chris Morris.

Very little censorship-relevant content, all told, although Mark Thomas did some excellently informative stuff about the Data Protection Act (despite glossing over the fact that, from what I remember, you have to pay whatever printing and postage costs the data holder requests); apparently CCTV footage counts as "data".

Bizarrely, Brighton HMV had a load of stuff for under three quid on the bottom shelf of its budget PC games section, over the weekend. No idea if this is a nationwide phenomenon or not, but, regardless, Rubik's Games (picked up for ninety-nine pence) is a splendid little bundle of puzzly things, including the best "arrange bricks and triangles and things to deflect stuff to a target" game I've ever seen.
Crack open the A4; has all the blueprints you could wish for. Although they seem to be lacking the corner-folding tear-bits-out-and-throw-them-away design that I favoured during my schoolyears. Hm. Maybe I should submit it.
Fair comment from Nader; toss a coin to decide presidency. A nicely-written article about Half Man Half Biscuit by Orlando's Dickon Edwards, curiously.
This has been troubling me. Over at the Hague, US delegates have said that "farmers could absorb tens of millions of tonnes of carbon into their soils each year by abandoning ploughing".

Weren't agricultural scientists saying only a few weeks ago that unploughed fields - with their smooth, impermeable upper strata punctuated only by tiny seeding holes - were one of the main causes of the flooding we've had over here? Hm?

Napster doomed.
"Supporters of the Stop Napster campaign have been placing tracks on Napster that look like they are recordings of legitimate artists. They are actually a four-minute recording of dogs barking or contain anti-piracy messages read by Charlton Heston."
I may be being naïve here, but don't people listen to MP3s after downloading them? Such viral tracks won't get very far if people delete them upon receipt. Yes, you could still end up downloading them straight from a supporter of the campaign, but the sheer ratio of protestors to genuine users would seem to make this no more than a minor, occasional irritation. (And I doubt they'd be targetting old Morrissey B-sides particularly, so I'd have nothing to worry about.)
Two years' worth of Jeremy Hardy's Guardian articles are online, I've just discovered. Excellent.

He's also at the Hove Centre next Wednesday, if anyone's local. On stage at eight o'clock, with tickets at ten quid on (0870) 900 9100.

Despite Dilbert slipping rather too far into Peanuts-style unfunniness lately, here's the best one in ages.
What a confused and self-defeating ad campaign for For the past couple of weeks I've been wincing at their bus adverts; crushingly inane text messages between fictional mobile users ("u lft yr pants in th bthrm!") and a suggestion to visit for "wot txtrs bin w8ing for".

I'd hoped that it was all an elaborate joke and the given URL just piled abuse upon anyone who considered themselves a "txtr", I presumed it would be Newspeak propaganda, but in actual fact it's advertising a rather nice mobile phone with a tiny qwerty keyboard.

Which seems a splendid enough idea, but why on earth are they pandering to the "c u l8r!" mindset instead of belittling it? Even the Web page itself is littered with random, zany abbreviations. Bah.

Monday's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? got massive ratings after a leak from the pre-recording informed the world that Monday's contestant was going to win the top prize for the first time in the show's history. Did 13.9 million people really enjoy watching a quiz where they knew the contestant would get each question right no matter how much she deliberated?
GOV. BUSH: "I talked to my little brother, Jeb—I haven't told this to many people. But he's the governor of—I shouldn't call him my little brother--my brother, Jeb, the great governor of Texas."
JIM LEHRER: "Florida."
GOV. BUSH: "Florida. The state of the Florida."

And that's barely a hundredth of it. All power to Gore and his desperation. Whatever were you thinking, America?

I bought a 1930s French phrasebook the other weekend, produced in association with the Daily Mail, no less, and written entirely as parallel dialogue. It's glorious. I'd put some excerpts on the Web, but you'd all think I was making it up. Par exemple:
Mme D. Yes, indeed! The fact is that there are some idiots of English and Americans who spoil everything for those who are not millionaires. I noticed one individual at the station, rather a common fellow, moreover, who gave a fifty-franc note to his porter. Mme D. Oui, en effet! Le fait est qu'il y a des imbéciles d'Anglais et d'Américains qui gâtent tout pour ceux qui ne sont pas millionnaires. J'ai remarqué à la gare, un individu très commun d'ailleurs, qui a donné un billet de cinquante francs à son porteur.
M. D. I consider that absolutely ridiculous. He must be either a profiteer or a fool, as you said. Let's say no more about it. It gets on my nerves. M. D. Je trouve ça absolument ridicule. Ce doit être ou un profiteur ou un imbécile comme tu l'as dit. Mais n'en parlons plus. Cela m'énerve.
"Did he croak six times, or only five?" Imogen on a BBC emulator, at Matt's insistence; one of many reasons why I've not been being terribly constructive lately.

Deep into the 8-bit mindset, I've been quietly amazed at the unexpected complexity of bits of nearly every level. A strange experience. Give it a go.

Nomics. Very entertaining things. The online BB Nomic is flagging a bit, though, with only three out of five players seeming particularly active. A fairly simple ruleset, thus far, as well. If anyone's interested, we'd welcome the new blood. Pessimism and tiredness (both, I suspect, aided by an afternoon's trek around Tate Modern) saw us chickening out of the DD&HSW gig on Saturday. Someone's arranged some MP3s of old live stuff, though.
It's a blog. Run for your respective lives. It was becoming more and more apparent that the only Web page content I had to offer was day-to-day muttering about whatever had been catching my eyes, and after finding a blog I felt the need to return to regularly, turning my Web pages away from bulky, stagnant, static content towards brief and frivolous nonsense seemed the way to go.

Spurning Blogger, this is running on a load of self-scrawled perl, and hopefully won't fall over too much. I daresay I'll mutate and refine things over time, and I'll be nailing some of the boring old static pages back up at some point, for general reference.

A part of the Uncertain Organisation.