Sunday  the Seventeenth of November, 2002

"This is such a habit now that I do it all on autopilot. I disconnect from the officenet at 5:28pm (special dispensation, medically certified). 5:29, my coat is on. By 5:32 I am walking through Drake Plaza in front of the office, heading for the transit stations."
The ghosts of ghosts, at Upsideclone. Beautiful.
Lobo was a 1930s card game based around the London Underground as it was as the time, with stark, black-and-white photos of fifty of its stations, many of them long-since revamped and renamed. Mark Lane, Praed Street, Post Office... A distant cousin of Mornington Crescent, but hammered out of the abstract Beck's map and into the real world. (I've Dvorakised the Lobo deck for appropriately artless online play, if anyone's interested.) [via Herr Bratsche@MCiOS]

Related: GSM Arts' Tube card game, which I suspect is just Uno using lines as suits, and (since I had the same idea myself a few years ago, and made the cards for it) consequently haven't bought.

Passing Frenzies: Urban Letterboxing - Eraser Carving - War of the Worlds

 Friday  the Fifteenth

Quake Friends; six people re-enacting a Friends script on an active Quake server. "Our performers functioned as passive, neutral visitors to the game - we were constantly killed and reincarnated to continue the performance." [via Matt]

I'm pretty sure that the last few series of Friends have been scripted and choreographed entirely for ease of digitisation - that they now have enough stock footage of basic stances and mannerisms to create another three thousand episodes inside a computer, with ageless, wageless virtual actors.

I Used To Believe also details many, many chewing gum fallacies, of the death and destruction caused by swallowing (I dimly remember believing this, and later realising the unlikeliness of sweetshops selling things that could kill children). Although evil gum-spitting has been dropped from Blair's on-the-spot utopian fining schemes, I think Chrissy's got a point about gum-swallowing re-education being a good way to approach the whole problem.

The permanent scatter-plots left by spat gum feel like a valuable source of social data, though. I'm still percolating theories as to the relevance of their locations - that they map the points at which people decide to stop chewing gum; that it boils down to (a) meeting someone, (b) being about to eat something and (c) general self-awareness and boredom. I'm sure there's a great deal of significance embedded in the tarmac around train stations, if only we knew what to do with the data.

"My brother told me that anyone with an arm band, like the ones bartenders used to wear in old western movies, murdered his brother. So, I thought that anyone wearing any kind of bracelet high on the arm; around their bicep, murdered their brother. In the seventies, these bracelets were very popular among women, so I thought I was often surrounded by murderers."
I Used To Believe, an archive of the fallacies of childhood, the careless lies of elders impacting heavily on fresh plastic brains.

(I used to believe, amongst other rubbish, that strangling ivy would slither through my bedroom window at night if I left it open; that the Jeff Wayne War of the Worlds album was actually happening in real time on some quasi-real level, but would work out alright if we listened to the whole thing (I can still picture a Martian tripod slumped against Westbury white horse); that when you bought a new computer you first had to sit down and teach it everything you needed it to know, from one-plus-one onwards; that I was able control light switches with my mind but couldn't quite remember how to do it; that human beings were basically decent, and that some sort of god existed.)

The site was part of an exhibition in Brighton, in May, apparently. The world's getting very small, these days.

 Thursday  the Fourteenth

"As the court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work. It is our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber bands."
Coyote vs Acme. Very possibly the oldest thing on the Internet, but new to me.
The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed, not even across a single kitchen - the spirit wife pointed out that the thing we were too tired to listen to and too technically impoverished to audio-record would probably be available on the BBC web site, and it was.

You can listen to streaming broadcasts of The Heard, a poetry vehicle driven by the Johns Hegley and Cooper-Clarke, as they become available. Scratchy quality, but no worse than a bad radio. All we need now is a cheap wireless speaker that can pretend to be, well, a cheap wireless.

"The coyote begins to walk aimlessly away from the highway; for the first time in his life, he lets that precious source of road-kill fade unchecked to the horizon behind him. He has no destination, he just walks. One paw over the other, weaving around columns of rock and stony hummocks. He passes cacti but neither eats nor drinks."
Wile, a poignant look at the reskilling of an immortal cartoon coyote, after its lone blue-feathered quarry is dead and eaten.

 Wednesday  the Thirteenth

"[Simulation] can allow insight into a situation that mere narrative cannot. It allows players to explore different outcomes -- in the fashion of a software toy -- and thereby come to a gut understanding of the simulation's subject. Having played at least a dozen different games on Waterloo, I understand the battle, and why things happened the way they did, and the nature of Napoleonic warfare, far better than if I had merely read a dozen books on the subject."
I Have No Words & I Must Design, an essay on the important factors of game design by Greg Costikyan, a co-author of the mighty Paranoia RPG. Good stuff on the importance of resource-allocation dilemmas, relevant feedback, endgame narrative tension and being able to identify with characters roles - widely applicable stuff, from computer games to bits of cardboard. Opens with a nice deconstruction of what a game is and isn't.

 Tuesday  the Twelfth

Patterns for Personal Web Sites - a well-stated look at the important aspects of site structure; a lot of nicely-summarised ideas and suggestions, with some gems of terminology. (Stepping backwards, the personal web pages of the author are appropriately vast and fascinating, particularly the journal musings.) [via Matt]
Forthcoming soulless, lurching horror from the pen of Richard Curtis; Love Actually, the tale of a British Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) who falls in love with the Downing Street maid who "brings him his tea" (Martine McCutcheon). But at least the usage of the title pre-empts any romantic comedies set in Hove. [via Esc]

 Monday  the Eleventh

"These painted bikes have evolved into fantasy contraptions blissfully ignorant of the laws of mechanics, instruments of torture unable to be ridden, whilst those with missing parts echo the reality of bike ownership in an urban environment."
1057 - cycle-lane symbols in the wild, extracts from a photo-collection of the white-painted outlines of dead bicycles, mutated and repainted at junctions and crossings, never quite living up to the Platonic Department of Transport ideal.

The Weird Cycle Lanes of Brighton site quietly encourages activists to reclaim the kerbsides by painting their own. [via Joh]

A Dawn of the Dead remake is nigh; there's a spoiler-laden look at the script, which seems more focused on the survival of a reasonably-sized community in another soulless shopping mall, and furthers the science of zombification a little (they only start lurching when rigor mortis kicks in).

Tangentially, don't rush to buy the 28 Days Later soundtrack for its video-clip "unseen footage", unless you really want two minutes of pointless car-journey singalong and are desperate to know why the protagonists suddenly drive across fields and stop for a picnic. (Spoiler: "Frank, can we stop for a picnic?")

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: 11.11 04.11 28.10 21.10 14.10 07.10 30.09 23.09 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

Archive search. You never know.