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Survival Research Laboratories and their robot that launches 6-foot wooden planks at 120mph - this is the sort of thing Robot Wars should really be about; dramatic and violent mutual demolition is the one thing that robots are insentiently ideal for. Monsters such as this and this are far more worthwhile than clunky tin boxes rotary-sawing little scratches on one another's casing.

Very hard to get venues, though. They're actually offering to stage events for free, for anyone who can get one sorted out. Surely some television people could arrange something?

29.07.01 print a satirical open letter to Channel Four, apropos Brass Eye, which is followed up by people complaining about not recognising satire, whilst not recognising satire. Er.
Martin challenges my sniping at Big Brother for being the Worst Thing In The World - yes, lazy demonisation on my part, but it does seem the depressing figurehead of cheap, meaningless, over-hyped television, all the worse for the cynical tabloid enthusiasm. Having sat in a living room with three silent, intelligent people watching a group of childlike televisual strangers talk drivel, it's easy to see Big Brother as an unworthwhile and ominous direction.

But this is far cry, I hope, from tarring its viewers. Dislike and distrust particular thoughts or actions, but judge individual people as a whole. I hate people who generalise. All of them.

It's easy to forget how astonishing fossils are, the unimaginably vast time they've been waiting underground, and the fact that they're not really as rare as you feel they should be. You can buy a 550-million-year-old trilobite online, for a tenner, and more besides. Quietly astounding.
The phrase "something of a cliché" is something of a cliché. Someone lists every book he's read since 1974, in a terrifyingly pedantic online database. But makes no personal comment on a single one of them. Oddly pointless.
Strange - NTK quote me on the subject of crunchy Twixes, but from an email I sent them some six months ago. [via Matt]
I was amused by the Brass Eye special. Brass Eye complaints top 1,500; applause remains unmeasured. A refreshingly brave look at the hypocrisies and stupidities of the media's treatment of paedophilia, and thoroughly important destruction of meaningless rent-a-quote celebrities. Some uncomfortable material, but all with a very sharp point to make, and I appreciate television that provokes a reaction from me, dammit. If the nation's only allowed to watch programmes which 1,500 people don't complain about, we should all get on the phone about other things.
"Shtop!" says the latest of those irritating and increasingly less coherent beer adverts, "This bride isn't ready yet!" Not because she's underage (not that I was expecting that, or anything, Thought Police), but because she's a chimpanzee. Because chimpanzees are fated to evolve into human beings, of course. We are the inevitable pinnacle of evolution. Graagh. I wonder if the ASA heeds complaints on the basis of lazy, polluting ignorance.
Man imprisoned for seven years for having impure thoughts and writing them into a private journal. I trust the thought-police officers who read the journal were good enough to turn themselves in, as well. And so on. Moral: Don't write things down, and lie. [via Raven]
Nigel Blackwell responds to inaccuracies in that Guardian interview. Line in the X-COM: Apocalypse FAQ, circa 1997:- "Slums are prone to catastrophic collapse. You'll lose ALL your base that way." I've a horrible feeling I'll still be reacting to such memery in sixty or seventy years' time. Free will, indeed.
Aha! The oven-shrunken plasticky technology I spoke of yesterday is not lost to mankind; Ole has such a keyring of his daughter's handprint, and Suzie is able to give the dark art a name. Which also turns out to be the URL of a cheery manufacturer Web site. My god.
Mildly interesting but fairly drivelly comments on all modern drama being robbed of clichéd plot devices through the ruthless advancement of phone technology. No bad thing. is still 'owned' by Mr NixLight, I see, some twenty-four hours later. The drama. The tension. The user confidence.
Ech. Cook'd and Bomb'd were fibbing when they said the new Brass Eye special was about Internet rumour-mongering, the scamps. Today's G2 had an article revealing that it's about media paedo-hysteria after all, with some gloriously unmakeupable celebrity feed-quotes to prove it:-

"Genetically, paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you or me. Now that's scientific fact. There's no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact."
More or less everything by Kevan Davis.
As Above is part of the Uncertain Organisation.