The improvised card game.
The Foldover Game
Blind communal prose.
Back on the Orion Express
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Peter Cook - A Biography
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The Business
Iain Banks
The Insult
Rupert Thomson
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Haruki Murakami
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Weeks Beginning
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Hm, an excellent thought game from Tyrethali, tangenting from that book-shame-game and my throwaway comment about thoughts you've never thought; I Never, a game where you name anything you've never done, and get a point for each other player that's done it. It'd work quite nicely as a "tick any you've done" script-based Web thing, actually. I may dabble. I suppose it was naïve to expect too much coherence from last night's Top of the Pops webchat interview with the Divine Comedy ("What's your favourite song on the new album?", "Are you going to play Leicester?"), but I was particularly struck by the sinister, insulting brainlessness of a giggly schoolgirl cliché using the pseudonym "The_Future_Mrs_Hannon", what with Neil already being married.
"Upgrade to a better Web experience!" is the rallying cry of the Web Standards Project, a site which savagely redirects me to when I dare to access his blog via IE4. Although unarguably a good wake-up call to the apathetic masses, flat unavoidable redirection seems ludicrously extreme - coldly inconsiderate to people who get their Internet via libraries, Web-enabled phonebooths, friends' computers, or connections too brief or sluggish to merit a hefty upgrade download.

What's wrong with a simple text warning at the top of the page, or - if you want to be a bit more militant - a pop-up Javascript scolding? God forbid anyone should want to read your Web site for its content, eh?

Tasked, as I believe they say, with sorting out some forum software for a couple of our company's Web sites, I eventually plumped for IkonBoard, which turns out to be particularly robust and elegant, and laughably easy to install and configure. And entirely free to use. I'm impressed.
Order your own tailor-made Withnail coat for a mere five-hundred pounds. (I used to have a coat identical to the one David Thewlis wears in Naked, actually, which may even have been the same one, in a Wizard of Oz sort of way.) [via blog.greensprout] A great couple of stories at NewScientist - a patent for talking cigarette packets which would chide the smoker whenever the box was opened, and a mirror sculpture at the Nottingham Playhouse being in danger of setting fire to trees and birds on sunny days.
"'What's the point?' Maybe if you live in a country that's a monarchy, this book's worth reading, but this is America, ok? The whole reason we live in a democracy is so that we the people don't have to worry about things like this."
Proving the point below, the above is a staggeringly wearying comment on Orwell's 1984, from a page of genuine Amazon customer reviews of classic books. [via Blast!]
Mm, I hate all this shame of books you've never read stuff. "Thoughts you've never thought" is the important thing.
"Russian officials are reported to be finalising a $200m insurance policy against any damage its Mir space station could cause when it plunges to Earth this month." - alright, most of it should burn up in the atmosphere and any debris should land safely in the Pacific, but this is still rather alarming. (And NewScientist's coverage is even less reassuring.) Things to consider but not get around to, number 643:- A T-shirt with INSECURITY printed on the back.
"In AD 2101, war was beginning." That's how people spoke back then, before Language Reformation movements and extermination camps for the linguistically impure. Some holocausts are just a really good idea.
Those twisted minds at The Parking Lot is Full offer their own particular take on that meme. [from Raven]
Eerily humourless people complain seriously about Anne Robinson complaining jokily about the Welsh on Room 101, mysteriously failing to get angry about "the French" getting sent in every so often, or at any of the more pervasive half-ironical xenophobic sniping that Clarkson et al mistake for humour. Feh. Splendid - a free Divine Comedy CD is due with this Sunday's Independent, including a live version of the inspiring Love What You Do.
Cheapass Games have a philosophy so simple and invulnerable that it inspires a raging urge to launch it crashing through shop windows; well-designed games where they only sell you what you actually need. Everyone has their own dice, huge shiny boxes add little to gameplay, and it's barely armageddon if bottle-tops are used in place of moulded plastic player tokens. Better to have one nice set of dice and counters that you can use for twenty different games, than pay for a can-opener packaged with every tin of beans.

They make some splendid stuff, too. Over the weekend I bought the insanely amusing Give Me The Brain and the sprawling Kill Dr Lucky for a fiver a throw - although the former is a simple card game, the board-gaming latter could easily have been sold with a chunky cardboard map, carven figurines and a huge box of air, for fifteen quid more. Bravo to them.

And I'm pleased to find that Spirit Games, fuellers of my gaming habits some ten years back, are going even stronger these days, stretching so far as to keep a stock-list online for mail-ordering purposes. The above Cheapass Games, and many of their others, can be on your doormat, sans airmail, for a little over a fiver apiece.

Fun with Lost in Translation, throwing a sentence back and forth amid patchy software translation. Feh, a long weekend elsewhere, and too much work waiting for me upon my return. Amuse yourself with the short story "Love is a Fallacy", and browse the amusing and sturdy list of logical fallacies nearby, or something. [via Riana@MCiOS]
More or less everything by Kevan Davis.
As Above is part of the Uncertain Organisation.