Thursday, July 15, 2004

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

What's your political orientation?

Try the Political Compass

For future reference my result was:

Economic Left/Right: -7.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.21


which means I'm more anti-authoritarian and left wing than Gandhi.

I must start drinking my own urine immediately
Just in time for Spiderman 2

Here's a series of rejected strips. Reload your browser to see the next one.

[from diepunyhumans. Where else?]

Monday, June 28, 2004

Yet more writing news

"Remembrance Day" has just been sent off to "Fables and Reflections", "With This Ring I Thee DEAD!" will be performed on the 12th of September. The details are here.

Whinge

My CD-Burner appears to be dead. Won't be able to get a new one for a while.

I better not lose anything...

Friday, June 18, 2004

Why we are at war

Please note that I disagree with much of this article but I do think the central metaphor is a good one. I do not see why, though, a struggle against the dark age of Islamofascism should lead us straight into a dark age of "radical conservatism". I'm against dark ages in general. And I just can't see Bush as Theseus. Minos, yes.


Terry Jones puts it in perspective

How to raise children the Donald Rumsfeld way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Why Mormons are dangerous

You know, I'm trying to make stuff like this up. Real life beats you every time.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Sex Scandal that wasn't

The intern who didn't sleep with John Kerry tells her side of the story - and attempts to find out where the rumour started.

Fascinated as I am with the US political scene at the moment, it hasn't produced many admirable characters. Alex Polier is an exception. You go, girl!

Friday, May 28, 2004

Amazing Confluence

Pekar! Crumb! Bragg! (Billy, not Fort) Together again for the first time!
New Blog

I've found Adam Ford's blog. He seems familiar, but I can't quite place him. Like me, he's interested in NeoPulp
Something for the Simpsons fans

Of which I am, of course, one. Finally someone's done a complete map of Springfield (as of season 15)

For that special someone in your life (i.e. me) you might want to consider the poster from Cafepress
Why I can't vote Labour anymore

You see, when our contemptible wanna-be Napoleon announced his government was banning gay marriages, I thought - at least Labour will stop this blatantly wedge-driven and totally discriminatory legislation in the Senate.

Nah.

They support it! This vile manifestation of religious homophobia has bipartisan support. Now Australia is back to denying basic rights to sectors of the community. I guess it makes us feel more relaxed and comfortable.

And it's nice to know that Mark Latham has at least one point of agreement with Bush.


Fuck! Looks like I'll have to join the Democrats (though I still think "The Lie Detectors" is a really fucked slogan.)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Intellectual Property News

The BBC are not only putting their archive online, they're making it available under a Creative Commons licence.

Why should you care? Because you (if you're English) will not only be able to download old BBC TV and radio shows and put them on whatever you damn well feel like to view/listen to them, but you'll also be able to use them in any way you see fit as long as it's not for profit. And you duly credit the BBC.

This may just be the first major shift in cultural dominance from the US back to England (and Europe.) By freeing up their content, the BBC are ensuring it will be around for a lot longer than the tightly restricted content produced by US companies.

Still not excited? Better read up on your Lawrence Lessig...

Bad news for Australians, though.



Here's the ever-glorious Kate Lundy's take on the forthcoming "Free" Trade Agreement.

I didn't know she was a Neal Stephenson fan!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Monday, May 24, 2004

Query of the Day

Is Michael Moore an asshole?
Andy Kaufman is still dead!

But at least he's still updating his blog.
New Addition

Added Kate Orman's Live Journal to links - I really should separate them out. I met Kate (well, formally introduced myself to her) at David and Kyla's Dawn of the Coconut party. I also need to add Andrew's blog, but the link's at home.
Ideal film location?

Photo essay of abandoned town on an uninhabited island in Japan. From Boing Boing.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Giant Robots and Death Rays

I've always wondered where mad scientists get their stuff.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Useful Tool

Tired of having to register (for "free") at news sites? Try this.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

US Censorship in Action

I knew I didn't dream this. I didn't hear the exact context, but during a US news programme the camera was moved off Colin Powell while the interview was in progress. It seems that press secretaries hold the real power in Washington. Transcript courtesy of Die Puny Humans

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Word for Today

I've been using Google's define function for words I don't know (a habit I'll have to maintain if I'm going to have any success as a writer.)

Today's word is: preterition

Defined as: suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted

So, if I say the latest Howard budget treats most young parents as whores, am I using preterition?

Answers in the comments, please.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Why "His Girl Friday" wouldn't be made today.

Why are most recent American films crap? Could it be the script?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Bag found!

Crisis narrowly averted. Everything was in it too. Thank you CityRail! (for once...)
Internet Justice

This is a classic story of the biter bit

What's interesting is the virtual flash mob that came into being from the bulletin board which allowed for transnational surveillance of the reverse-scam.

Imagine if this was used for political purposes....


More Writing Update

Brett and I have changed the title our radio play from Unholy Matrimony to With This Ring I Thee DEAD! which is still not the perfect title, but is misleading enough in just the right way. We both agree it makes it sound like the title to a McBain film. The performance date is either the 12th or 19th of September. We've sent the revised script off Laura and are awaiting her comments. She has also indicated that they are approaching Tex Perkins to play the priest.

This is great, but I need to get another story together in time for the Thorby Writing Group at the end of May.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Writing Update

Yesterday I found out that Brett and I have had our radio play "Unholy Matrimony" accepted by FBi for live broadcast.

So my writing tally since last year:

I-jacked
- fails to place in WA convention competition
Porn Again - wins Flash Fiction at Magic Casements 1 and is published in Agog 3
Crossed Lines - a ten minute play written with Brett - gets on short list for "Short and Sweet" festival, maybe produced for festival in 2005
Remembrance Day - wins "Writer of Promise" in Conflux Short Story competition - hmmm, I'm not listed in the results
In Final Battle - wins first prize in Daikaiju Flash Fiction Competition at Conflux (though to be fair there were only two other entrants.)
Unholy Matrimony - to be performed in front of a live audience at the Sydney Opera House Drama Studio

Wow - five out of six submissions at least placing - that's not a bad average.

The trick is now keeping up the momentum.

And I wish I hadn't lost my bag last night...

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sometimes your questions get answered for you...

I was discussing with Grant a few weeks ago what happened to the Daredevil writer Anne Nocenti - now I know

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I Know!

I've fallen behind (again) with postings. Will put a lot more in tomorrow (last day of holiday).

Just had to link to this - Photos of Japanese vending machines

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Student Protests

Admittedly I missed all the excitement of the student protest yesterday as I was in another part of UTS. But I still got to leave early once the students had occupied the Chancellory.

Having been a student I am sympathetic to the reasons for the protest. 25% is just too high an increase in HECS and the government has ensured the Higher Education sector is now dependent on full-fee paying International students to maintain sustainability.

I'll try and find some links to the protest:

>Some good photos here

> UTS turned pink

> A brief report from the frontline

And in other news, I found a link to Paul Kidd's site. Paul was a journalism student I shared a tutorial with at UTS

Monday, March 29, 2004

New additions

Just added my wife's blog to the sidebar, as well as my RSS feed for people who know how to use those things, and to encourage me to post more.

Also: new car next week, bank willing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Quick Poll

Which science fiction/fantasy hero/villain is George W Bush?

Is he...

Captain Kirk? - Going boldly where no man has gone before. Using the Prime Directive as more a guideline than an iron-clad law to bring peace to war-torn worlds on behalf of the Federation.

Doctor Who? - Seemingly a bumbling amateur who somehow manages to resolve complex conflicts through a combination of misdirection and superior technology

Aragorn? - Son of a king who has spent years in the wilderness before claiming his rightful inheritance and uniting the free world against tyranny.

John Sheridan? - Nukes solve everything.

Sauron? - His eye is everywhere, and all he wants is ultimate power

Darth Vader? - The rebellion must be crushed at all costs

The Hulk? - You won't like him when he's angry

Elric? - Drug addled anti-hero who gains strength from a weapon of ultimate evil

The Cigarette Smoking Man? - The truth is out there, but not if he can help it

Friday, March 12, 2004

Happy Women Swallow

Here's why.
Shakespeare with all the boring text and performance taken out

Here's is a page with maps of the social networks for each of Shakespeare's plays. You can watch Antony and Cleopatra in 5 minutes.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Geeks inheriting the Earth

You know, I actually prefer the appellation "nerd" rather than "geek" as I don't (often) bite the heads off chickens to entertain the carny crowds. However, at Magic Casements last weekend I encountered the more solipsistic variety of geek who tending to slow down the panel sessions to a crawl while they aired their unkempt mindsets to the mutual discomfort of all. This article is a good summation of the perils of world wide geekdom.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Paranoia Blog

And here's a blog from the designers/creators of Paranoia.XP
Are you cleared to know this?

Paranoia is being republished as Paranoia.XP.

Waaa Hooo!

Remember, the Computer is Your Friend. Happiness is Mandatory.

And if your clearance is infra-red, please report to nearest termination booth for recycling. Have a nice day.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

New addition

Just found Paul Riddell's LiveJournal so I've added it to the side links. Paul Riddell is one of the funniest men in SF criticism, but I can't find an archive of his writing to prove it to you.

Damn.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Cory Doctorow on E-Books

Cory Doctorow is one of the more interesting new SF writers. He not only writes about technological change, he incorporates within the very distribution of his writing. For example, both his novels (and some of his short stories) are available as e-books. For free. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Eastern Standard Tribe. A Place So Foreign.

He says it's good marketing, I think it is too. I've read his first book and will probably obtain the hard copy for the collection.

Here's a speech he's made available (through the Creative Commons Licence) on the usefulness e-books.

For a similar view that discusses the perceptual differences between e-books and "real books", here's a lecture by Umberto Eco.

My take is similar to Eco's: E-books are great for reference work but a pain in the butt for narrative works. That being said - I like the format as it makes it easy to read on the train or anywhere really. I don't think I absorb as much from e-books as I do from the printed page, however. I think I'm still trained to see anything on a screen as intrinsically ephemeral, so I don't remember it as well as words on a printed page.

This will probably change as we get more familiar with reading off screens. Certainly I mostly read the Sydney Morning Herald through their AvantGo channel. Anything it misses out, I can read on the website. The only copies of the SMH we buy now are the ones with liftouts we need (the TV Guide, Good Living and the Next supplement, and the Saturday papers.) The electronic version, however, makes the classifieds much easier to access (if you're looking for jobs, accommodation or a new car) as the information becomes searchable, rather than just browsable.

If I could download the tv guide into my Handspring, I would. Once we go to digital television, with an online program guide - will we actually need Monday's Herald anymore?

We'll see.

Meanwhile, I continue to buy books from small publishers, as that's the only way to get stories from Brendan Duffy, Kelly Link and Jeff Vandermeer.

And the books look good too.

Added commenting

Isn't that exciting?

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Writing

Haven't written for awhile, which is bad. I've just posted a session report for last week's Rogue Trooper game to Spielfrieks, Nigglybits and Boardgamegeek. I don't feel I've been participating in the games forums as much as I should, considering how much they've returned to me.

The experience with Short and Sweet and the free workshop I got out of it has encouraged me to work on my script writing more than short story writing, though I still need to finish my story for the Conflux short story competition. I like theatre, but I don't think it really reaches the audience it needs to address. It's fine to criticise the Howard government's approach to refugees but as long as it's within theatre it's preaching to the converted. This is the problem I have with a lot of satire in Australia. So much of it confirms opinions, it doesn't challenge them.

Though Tom Lehrer appears to be right. It's impossible to be a satirist in a world where Bush, Blair and Howard are announcing investigations into their lack of intelligence.