The improvised card game.
The Foldover Game
Blind communal prose.
Back on the Orion Express
Still coming soon.
Peter Cook - A Biography
Harry Thompson
The Business
Iain Banks
The Insult
Rupert Thomson
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Haruki Murakami
Incidental Music
Accept Yourself
The Smiths
Other Blogs
AngryBlog Blast! Blue Ruin Digital Trickery Found HumanLint Interconnected Life as it Happens MomBlog UK Off-Topic Venusberg Wherever You Are Yao's DOT.Home [UK Blogs]
Supporting Cast
Alice Chrissy Dan Dave Dunx Eperdu John Lori Nik Paul Raven Riana Sandy Simes Tracy Tyrethali Yao
Weeks Beginning
20.11 27.11 04.12 11.12 18.12 25.12 01.01 08.01 15.01 22.01 29.01 05.02 12.02 19.02 26.02
Nice reference in Crawl; the Venom Mages' basic spellbook is called "The Young Poisoner's Handbook". Ah, so that's what Jason Hutchens is up to these days; teaching computers to talk properly. Disappointingly vague stuff, though - only "transcripts of conversations" managed to fool judges, which is pretty meaningless, and the Web site for Ai Enterprises seems to be nothing more than absurd hype, unless I'm missing a "click here for actual content" button. Oh well.
I really can't gauge the seriousness of this at all, but Graybo is now proudly selling mugs and T-shirts with his face on for about twenty quid each. Beware, though; I think the mugs lie about their dishwasher-friendliness - my lovely MCiOS one is looking particularly pale and unwell these days. seems a saner place for small-order UK-based printing stuff, anyway - having processed a fake order to check prices, it turns out at 14 including postage for a T-shirt. Hmm. A white-on-black "ATTENTION SCUM" one would be nice, I think... [via Matt, ages ago]

Mornington Nomic rises purposefully from the grave, its continuing mission to establish an alternative ruleset for the legendary game of Mornington Crescent.

In the four years it's been running, we've evolved a particularly impressive if rather over-complex set of rules that allow a fiendishly strategic game to be played on the London Underground map; the time has come, though, to prune the thing nearer to sanity. Join the mailing list if this should intrigue you.

The Grim Reaper pegs me at 34 in his age test; some ten years out. But I gave him a fake email address, which might slow him down. [via Blast!]
Matt talks of strange Today programme dreams - I've often found it a pleasantly confusing thing to wake up to; that the morning's news stories filter gradually into your consciousness, merging with the remnants of your dreams and settling themselves into random contexts. I once spent a while listening to some story about monkeys learning to communicate with scientists before I realised that they weren't actually talking about "the Monkees". "Yeah, I'm on the train" gets said a lot, yes, but I think we can safely kill the weak-stand-up-comedy reasoning that the owner is showing off the mobility of their phone, now that they cost twenty quid and everyone in the world has them. Location is a natural enough thing to ask of someone whose position is uncertain, or for them to anticipate and tell you, as this rather lengthy paper explains.
Found whilst wondering if his "Pancake Man" poem was online anywhere (it doesn't seem to be), a particularly good interview with John Hegley, with Simon Munnery in the background. Pancake Day; it's strange how ritualised pancake preparation seems, at least to this brain - that despite saying, every February, how we should have them more often, the whole, glorious assembly-line production of them somehow seems too extravagant for any other day. And just making a couple of them feels belittling of the experience. Funny what you grow up with.
Shades of Izzard's "bloke wanted to give us ten million deutchmarks" as the Guardian phones up various British companies and talks to them in foreign languages. [via The View From Here]
Interesting - this site's been getting a few visits from people searching for information on the currently fashionable hobby of mobile phone harrassment, which was near enough one of my predictions for 2001 (it also seems to overlap with the idea of mobile phone companies pretending to be hard at work solving a problem, and telling people to just - oh - upgrade their phones in the mean-time).

I was wrong about the journalistic Florida recount, though, which was finished the other day and saw Bush ahead by a mighty 537 votes out of about 6 million. Although, naturally, this still ignores voters who misread the form or were wrongly refused the vote or were waylaid by police long enough to miss their chance. Feh.

Still no disasterous GM terrorism, yet, mind. But there is a particularly confused conspiracy theory going round about the current foot-and-mouth epidemic being the work of animal rights activists.

Snow poised to engulf the UK, apparently, with much of England liable to be "plunged into chaos". Tsk. Maybe it'll slow the spread of foot and mouth, though.
An odd interlude on the bus this morning; a photography student asking individual passengers if she could take photos of them holding the cardboard head of Stagecoach's company director, on a stick.
"Can you smile as if you're deliriously happy?"
   "No, probably not."
More personality testing - the nicely-written Environics Survey labels me as an Autonomous Post-Materialist, which sounds about right. [via Blast!] The Brunching Shuttlecocks' Monster Pitch claims to be a random horror-film-plot-generator, but is actually just a way to read a hundred-and-twenty-five varyingly amusing plot ideas, with your choice of cast. Which is fair enough, really.
Behold Superiority. The League Against Tedium made his glorious televisual debut last night, made all the more striking in front of dramatic scenery and subtle background music. Standing on top of a van barking witty non-sequiturs into a hand-held camera, stinging away to snippets of opera and multimedia display and pre-recorded aphorisms, this feels very much the ideal medium for the League's persona, and landmark television.

Yet BBC2 have already decided not to bother with a second series:-

"It's sad, because Simon's comedy is about great language and ideas, it's a timeless notion of wit. He has that epigrammatic style you feel could fit in and be appreciated at any time in history. Except, apparently, on BBC2 in the year 2001."
Hm, the Bem Sex Role Inventory claims that I'm "sex-typed in the feminine direction" (5.05 vs 3.9). Curiously, you can work out how the questions weight things by only answering one of them and seeing what total it gives you (feminine = cheerful + gullible, masculine = athletic + self-reliant, apparently). [via] Bright sunshine, fresh snow, and sandbags across my Lewes doorstep. The British weather gods are, I fear, badly privatising their industry.
More or less everything by Kevan Davis.
As Above is part of the Uncertain Organisation.