Sunday  the Fifteenth of December, 2002

(The Lonesome No More middle-name generator now archives the details of people who want to be archived, if anyone was that bothered. Thanks to Benjamin Pachysandra-8 Wray for defeating my defeatism on this one.)

Passing Frenzies: War of the Worlds - Rumble - Nation States - Button Men

 Saturday  the Fourteenth

Peppercoin - a low-overhead crypto-heavy micropayment scheme currently being fermented, which claims to make transactions of under a dollar perfectly feasible and lovely. Presumably the low overhead will be offset by merchants having to hand over a big pile of money to use the service, but it's promising stuff, all the same. Due to go live early next year.

 Friday  the Thirteenth

Hours of Inform has begun - "The adventure must be set on a cruise ship. It must involve Jesus, a cat, a mini-skirt and a weather balloon."
I'd assumed that the practical joke industry had remained pretty much unchanged over the past thirty years, selling off the same dusty old merchandise all along ("Surprise, that boiled sweet I just gave you has been sitting in a poorly-stapled box on a toy-shop counter display since 1983!"), but no, someone came up with the viciously cruel idea of fake lottery scratchcards at some point in the past decade.
"Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are least dangerous is the man of ideas. He is acquainted with ideas, and moves among them like a lion-tamer. Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are most dangerous is the man of no ideas. The man of no ideas will find the first idea fly to his head like wine to the head of a teetotaller."
G.K. Chesterton has a weblog - window-sized chunks of his writing, with links to the full texts where they're available online. Good. [via Prandial]

 Thursday  the Twelfth

"You xyzzy deave, unheamily." - a catalogue of responses to xyzzy, from the same source.
Good to see the existence of a walkthrough for The Man From DEFRA, my submission for the first Hours of Inform. Nicely written; taking the time to do the things I gave interesting responses to, rather than just barrelling through with a dull, optimal solution.
It's time for a second 24 Hours of Inform - non-consecutive, this time, with contestants using no more than 1440 of this year's remaining minutes to write a complete text adventure, around a sealed-envelope theme suggested by a third party. It'll start tomorrow, arbitrarily - if you want to sign up beforehand or during (or, indeed, wish to be that third party); click link.

 Wednesday  the Eleventh

'As I said in my speech': I told him, 'your new middle name would consist of a noun, the name of a flower or fruit or nut or vegetable or legume, or a bird or a reptile or a fish, or a mollusk, or a gem or a mineral or a chemical element -- connected by a hyphen to a number between one and twenty.'
Gripped by the arbitrary-middle-name societal-restructuring of Vonnegut's Slapstick, and struck by its hazy similarity to inane Smurf-Name generators (and the brief senses of familial connection that their coincidences can generate, on message board communities), I have recreated its archive-burning assignation computer. And am now off down the Thirteen Club.

 Tuesday  the Tenth

Be sure to prototype your folded-paper-snowflake designs with careful computer-aided mockups before hacking away with scissors, this year. The site includes instruction in the dark arts of folding proper hexagonal ones.
Great Gifts - £17 to immunise a child, thirty quid for a piglet; a friend or relative of your choice gets no Christmas gift, just a card telling them where the money went instead. It certainly puts arbitrary boxed-set-DVD Amazon wishlisting into cold, stupid perspective. [via Chrissy]

But the whole business of getting pocket change across the world seems endlessly two-sided and uncertain; I'm always very leery of where aid charity money actually ends up, how much of it gets absorbed or lost along the way, and how lasting and effective the end results actually are. Quoting from a widely and lucidly scathing interview with a Peace Corps volunteer, which argues against foreign charity aid as a whole:-

"What you don't do is go back in five years and see what's happened to those pipes. Well, what happened to it? A couple of tough guys in the village came and took over the water system, and they're selling water to people. I've seen this happen over and over again. The poor people in the village aren't getting any water, and they're still walking down to the damn river and drinking awful water, because you're not looking at the political context into which you put those pipes."


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: 09.12 02.12 25.11 18.11 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.