|Friday night saw Index on Censorship's
"Last Laugh" benefit in Brighton; those on the stage included
Newman with a hurriedly stripped-down version of his current "Resistance is
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
|Crack open the A4; paperairplanes.co.uk
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.
|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
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?
"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
|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
xtremetxt.com 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
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
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.
on a BBC emulator,
insistence; one of many reasons why I've not been being terribly
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
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
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.|
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.