The improvised card game.
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You are the cheekiest gnu.
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Still coming soon.
How Brains Think
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Matt Ridley
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Hm, the Kombat Opera pair from Attention Scum actually exist in their own right, doing full sets of their surreal operatic unpleasantness. (And Munnery's touring a bit, presumably just with the monkey.)
"You are the spookiest pigeon. Goodbye!"
A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers. Superb. [via angryblog]
NewScientist rubbishes Bush's Missile Defence System again, pointing out flaws and doubts in each stage of the system - very little of its technology has been proven to work particularly well, if at all. And it all seems like ominous posturing, regardless; as if any "rogue states" are going to seriously consider chucking missiles at a country that could retaliate tenfold. Graagh. Eyes down for a needless arms race, funding cut from elsewhere.
A sparse but nicely-designed unofficial Bill Bailey site, with some MP3s of songs and stand-up swiped from his "Is It Bill Bailey?" series, which I feared I might never hear again. Aha! A full archive of the Tom Baker prank calls, as well as some tangential sci-fi bits, from the mediocre Radio 4 impressionist sketch-show Dead Ringers.
Alarming bit of brain-adjustment yesterday; after a couple of hours wading through the Recreation Deck on System Shock II, I took a break and wandered along the riverbank for a little late-night Tesco'ing. My first instinct on hearing a human voice was "Organic biped. Switch to shotgun.", neurons flailing uselessly for the "3" button of my consciousness. Ominous.
"Everyone I regularly read has been quiet today; is that because you're all as sickened by the police, government, BBC and ITN as I am?" says Nik, before thoroughly living up to his blog moniker. While I snipe weakly at the evil hypnotic capitalism of, erm, Amazon wishlists. Cough.

The Guardian had a lucid timeline of events and Urban 75 give an insightful report from one of the cyclists; overall it seems the fairly classic thing of opposed groups vaguely demonising each other, egged on by the media entertaining its audience with promises of Samurai swords versus rubber bullets. Crushing several thousand people into a rainy Oxford Circus for four hours, and then tsking them for being a bit angry, though, seems rather pathetic.

And Niketown is an actual place, rather than a sneering nickname for a generic shopping mall? Good grief.

Amazonian wishlists infuriate me, strange hybrids that they are of "since you've no idea what I'm interested in" Christmas lists for disinterested grandparents, and dead-letter drop-points for people you'd rather not give your address to.

It's faintly nauseating that they steer people away from buying gifts the receiver might not know about, that the wisher would prefer acquaintances to buy things expensively through Amazon than to find them cheaper locally and pop them in a jiffy-bag. And it's all rendered pretty absurd by people making unsubtle "I'd really, really like this!" comments - buy the damn thing, if it's that important; there's a link right in front of you.

What we need is wishlists of things that you can't buy easily online, that other people might own or have seen locally. And - something I've been meaning to do to keep track of where my friends live, regardless - an online address book which only reveals your details to nominated "friends" (much more subtle than saying "So what's your address, again?" a few days before a birthday). And to be as much about bootlegs and lending out as air-mailing polystyrene-wrapped originals for keeps. But I guess that's not very commercial.

Record publishers claim to be able to produce unpiratable CDs which "redirect" evil MP3-kiddies to commercial Web sites when they try to take recordings of them. I may be being outmodedly na´ve here, but surely if you can listen to something with your ears, you can record it? Even if it's complicated to do so at a decent quality level, it only takes one copy of Artist X's boastingly uncopyable album to get to a file-sharing system. This sort of thing really isn't worth throwing the technology at. (To friends who read this page more often than they talk to me - I won't pretend that other readers are that bothered, and they shouldn't either - yesterday's job worries have been pretty much assuaged, although things are only just within spitting distance of satisfactory.)
Warlocks - Raven's Web-based version of the elegant turn-based spellcasting game Firetop Mountain - is up and running again. Something like a complicated two-handed spells-and-monsters version of paper-scissor-stone, it deftly mixes simple game rules with fearsome strategy and a fantastical atmosphere. Impressively comprehensive Web pages for John Shuttleworth, who's currently halfway through a tour and a repeated radio series.
After waking up the other morning genuinely unsure whether I could sometimes half-levitate or not, I've been wondering just what the evolutionary advantage of remembering dreams is, such random pre-breakfast confusion seeming a pretty bad thing for savannah survival.

This paper argues fairly cogently in favour of it being "threat practice", at least reminding you what to watch out for, if not giving realistic simulations of retaliation and escape ("Oh no, a tiger! I'd better turn into a cloud and float away!"), as well as often being psychologically comforting.

The lack of company sign on the office door this morning speaks greater and more ominous volumes than my otherwise decent employer has been keen to, lately. If this page goes very quiet later in the week, you can safely assume that I'm back in the DHSS (my only real Internet access being through work).
More or less everything by Kevan Davis.
As Above is part of the Uncertain Organisation.