Friday  the Twentieth of September, 2002

Fantastic; 28 Days Later is a forthcoming UK zombie film directed by none less than Danny Boyle, with a lone bicycle courier waking in an abandoned hospital to find a London besieged by Triffids. I mean zombies. Victims of some carelessly-loosed pathogen that turns people into insane, flesh-hungry monsters - there's some excellent (and impressively topical) faux-site backstory going on at, and a trailer on the official site. [via Machete]

(But whither Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead, with "a 29-year-old wannabe DJ who is jolted out of his professional and romantic inertia by a zombie invasion of London"?)

"Bernard Cribbins narrates the story of how young woodland creatures should always get their mothers to accompany them when going for an ice-cream. Because of the target audience, we are spared the graphic details of the accident - the action happens behind the van."
Public information films from Britain of the 60s and 70s; downloadable here and there.

Charley says; children's nostalgia is going to be pretty miserable in twenty years' time, it'll probably be Bagpuss and the Clangers all over again, around and around for eternity. [via Adam]

Force your garden vegetables to grow into godless, unnatural shapes with these clear plastic Vegiform moulds. All very sinister; an admonitory forerunner of genetic modification for fun. No pudding until you've eaten your sliced elf head, kids. [via Dutchbint]

Gimmickry: Jump to a Random Archive Link

 Thursday  the Nineteenth

The tinkling of tiny bells. Propagandists Lury and Gibson wrote the thoroughly unreadable Internet-detective novel Dangerous D@ta the other year, under the gestalt pseudonym of, ahem, "Lury.Gibson".

CAMRAD update #1

Governmental Propaganda Disguised as Fiction
"The brainchild of advertising executives turned novelists Adam Lury and Simon Gibson, Narration Ltd will produce fictional stories on demand for firms and public bodies seeking to explain "difficult ideas" to the public."

McDonalds Product Placement in "The Sims"
"Players in the game also will be able to buy a McDonald's kiosk and sell the company's branded food products, earning "simoleans," the game's currency. Eating that food will also improve their standing within the game."

Heads up, it's the Brighton Comedy Festival next month. The first rule of ticket-based memetic distribution - buy your tickets before telling other people. With that in mind; Look! Look! Dylan Moran! And John Hegley, although it's looking potentially similar to last year's tour. Although he is John Hegley. Peter Kay has already sold out, alas.

 Wednesday  the Eighteenth

I think every technical department in the world has come up with the idea of I Made It Last at some point, but it's good to see it properly realised. Get your colleagues to sign up with their tea or coffee preferences, and you can ask cold, calculating software to decide who's due to brew the office's next round, emailing a list of drinks to its chosen victim whenever the number of thirsty workers exceeds a specified threshold.

Selection seems to be based on personal brewing histories - if you make a round of seven coffees, you should get six made for you before you have to rise to the kettle again. All very intricate and callous and robotic. Perhaps a good thing that we only drink water, here.

A grim little Atheist game, via Tyrethali. I'm really not sure if it's supposed to be for or against; my instinctive reaction is "this would be fine if the environment were more interesting".
"We want the law changed to make it illegal to murder children and bury them in woodland." - mob mobilisation made easy, by Think of the Children. Some good stuff amongst the petition signatures; "Someone needs to stop Adobe - apparently they are distributing pdf files on the web!"
Hm, my jokey prediction was slightly off-target - it's the Conservative Party who are saying that paedophiles should be tracked by high-tech satellites. Which actually just means having a bracelet-linked GPS box that blips every ten minutes; they're already using them in Florida. But wiring them to detect passively-chipped children and explode is surely, surely the next logical step.

Critical sentence from the Florida article - "At $10 a day, Pro Tech's system costs twice as much as traditional electronic monitoring."

 Tuesday  the Seventeenth

Back from a weekend in Derby playing a lot of Mao with the Axis of Uncertainty, amongst other things. Although poking around the Internet, we actually seemed to have been playing something nearer to Mao Prime, starting each game from a blank ruleset rather than perpetuating the needlessly cliquey core rules.

Mao Prime seems a bit wordy and overblown, though, trying to force too much of a starting ruleset. To scrawl the Mao rules we were using, for the benefit of future generations, people I've been raving to, and anyone who can't be bothered to wade through mostly-missing Web pages to find out how the game works:-

  • Get any old deck of cards and deal five to each person.
  • The dealer thinks up a Secret Rule which affects how the game is played (eg. "You can't play a card onto a card of the same suit." or "No talking."). Aside from the skeleton rules written here, this is the only rule the game starts with.
  • Starting on the dealer's left, players take turns to play cards from their hand onto a discard pile. If they can't (or choose not to) play, they must draw a card instead. When you run out of deck, shuffle and flip the discards.
  • If a player breaks a Secret Rule, the creator of that rule should immediately admonish them (with or without a hint as to what they did wrong) and give them a penalty card from the draw pile. The card they played (if any) goes back to their hand and play passes to the next player.
  • The first player to empty their hand is the winner.
  • The winner acts as dealer for the next round, and - yes - gets to make up another Secret Rule (in addition to the one from the last round - after a few rounds, there will be several Secret Rules to obey, possibly known only by the different players who created them).
  • Continue until bored or overly confused.
A very strange experience, playing a game where you aren't entirely sure of the rules - if your scientific experimentation and deduction fails you, you can sometimes wing it on half-realised instinct ("I don't know what Craig's rule is, but I get the feeling it'd be okay to play a five of clubs onto that eight of diamonds..."), or you can just guess wildly and try to win by chance.

Any game where you can foil and annoy a seriously strategic opponent without having any idea what you're doing has to be worth playing. And insane, confusing jargon is always a joy. That's a Go Johnny Go-Go-Go-Go!

As Above

Brain children. Recent or noteworthy Web offspring.

Online cliques. Trespassers may be welcome.

In the bookpile. Powered by

Incidental music. Ohrwurmen or otherwise.

Other weblogs. The ones I make a point of returning to a lot.

Supporting cast. That have Web pages. In alphabetical order.

Weeks beginning. All having ended.
2002: 16.09 09.09 02.09 26.08 19.08 12.08 05.08 29.07 22.07 15.07 08.07 01.07 24.06 17.06 10.06 03.06 27.05 20.05 13.05 06.05 29.04 22.04 15.04 08.04 01.04 25.03 18.03 11.03 04.03 25.02 18.02 11.02 04.02 28.01 21.01 14.01 07.01

2001: 31.12 24.12 17.12 10.12 03.12 26.11 19.11 12.11 05.11 29.10 22.10 15.10 08.10 01.10 24.09 17.09 10.09 03.09 27.08 20.08 13.08 06.08 30.07 23.07 16.07 09.07 02.07 25.06 18.06 11.06 04.06 28.05 21.05 14.05 07.05 30.04 23.04 16.04 09.04 02.04 26.03 19.03 12.03 05.03 26.02 19.02 12.02 05.02 29.01 22.01 15.01 08.01 01.01

2000: 25.12 18.12 11.12 04.12 27.11 20.11

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