Tuesday, September 29, 2009

iSnack 2.0: All Publicity Is Good Publicity

It really is*. Would love to see the Kraft spreadsheet that shows how much sales have increased since they announced the name.

*Unless a batch of iSnack 2.0 was found to have, say, live fire ants wielding razor blades and discarded syringes. Brand awareness isn't everything.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Fix Is In

This American Life is a radio program. Wikipedia will give you the facts, but I can offer the opinion: it's consistently excellent. If you're a fan of radio journalism, listen. Every week is a masterclass. In fact, ArtBabe Jessica Abel did a comic about TAL that is a masterclass.

Last week, they replayed a show from 2000 entitled The Fix Is In. Eschewing their usual format of telling several stories around a central theme, they focus on the one told by Kurt Eichenwald in his book The Informant, which describes an FBI investigation of a price-fixing scandal. They interview all the principal subjects, including the enigmatic Mark Whitacre. It's an absolutely fascinating dissection of white collar crime, with some surprising twists. It's made me want to see the film adaptation which comes out later this year. Apparently they're playing it as a black comedy, which, after you hear this documentary, sounds like it could be an inspired decision.

How much are you paying for milk?

Friday, August 07, 2009

All that glitters glitters for bloody ever

During university I spent my third year away from home doing work experience. My little sisters were aged six and nine at the time and I missed them a lot. I sent the youngest a package of art supplies. She was delighted, and duly used them to make me a thank you card.

It was very touching. She'd used almost as much time and effort as she'd used glitter. A thick layer of the stuff had managed to stay attached to the glue, and the rest welled in a small sparkling sea in the envelope.

Happy and reflective about the artistic zeal of infancy, I went shopping. Walking about the shopping centre I found that quite a number of people were looking at me. By quite a number, I mean more than none, which is about how many people take notice of me when I'm not doing gay fascist salutes.

Alarmed by this attention, I returned home to consult a mirror. The glittering visage that confronted me was as disturbing as bodily fluids of indeterminate origin. I looked like I'd been facefucked by tinkerbell. I turned slowly, as if appreciating a finely cut diamond, and thousands of tiny squares of plastic twinkled at me. Holding up a hand to touch a particularly fetching purple bit, I realised my hands too were those of a fairy fondler. They were, of course, how I'd got my shimmery countenance. But even that didn't explain how I'd covered myself quite so utterly with unicorn dandruff. That shit gets everywhere.

The picture with this post is not, as you may have guessed, the card my sister sent me but Demetri Martin's pithy summation of this most heinous of stationery.

Glitter. Just say no.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bill lands two women in the U.S.

Bubba's North Korean mission all over the news now. Kudos to Radio 4 for using Trey Parker's I'm so ronery to introduce their piece on it this morning. Also to fark.com, who won the headline war with the sublime 'Bill Clinton picks up two asian chicks'.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


It occurred to me recently there's only a very small part of a man's life where he is not thinking about boobs. This period begins shortly after he is weaned, and ceases at puberty. Outside of this short window, it's a mental titfest. Obviously they - chest pillows, that is - are not always the foremost thought, otherwise chaos would ensue. Pilots would crash planes all the time, enraptured by the memory of a particularly arresting pair of sin cushions. But scrumptious mammaries and suffocating gazongas are still always there in the background. Even in a fighter pilot's brain during a dogfight, for example, there's a small part occupied with 'I like how they wobble' or 'I wonder which one is bigger?'

This brief time free from nork tyranny needs a name. Better suggestions on a postcard, please. In the meantime, here's a Venn diagram explaining it. It considers only the first 21 years for reasons of symmetry.

In praise of Melbourne's cafes

@PuzzlerT points out this interesting article on antipodean cafe culture spreading to London. Funny how these things go in cycles - the high quality of coffee in Australian cities is usually put down to the post-war European immigration. Good coffee has been widely available since then, long before the coffee chain boom. And now we're exporting it to London, a city which, as the article points out, was itself a centre of coffee culture a couple of centuries back.

Now, I say all this as but an interested observer: one of the great tragedies of my life is that I love caffeine but hate coffee. What I love about antipodean indie cafes is their vibe. London abounds with quality pubs, bars and clubs but is sadly lacking the kind of cafes Melbourne has by the hundreds. They're invariably friendly, fun and filled with interesting people. The decor is eclectic and often maximalist: every surface covered with posters, pictures and trinkets. There's always a liberal supply of fliers and pamphlets advertising all manner of local happenings. Old, random, mismatched furniture is the norm and there's almost certainly a few couches - usually vast and collapsed ones that require so much effort to get up from that one decides one would rather keep sitting. In short, they're the kind of place I love to while away a Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wow, imagine being able to sit down and shoot the breeze with Kim Jong-il!

Seems Bubba is over there now on a mission to win the release of two journalists. I wonder if Kim is as batshit insane as he seems? I'm fascinated by North Korea's isolation. It strikes me as the most isolated place on earth. Even primitive tribal cultures have regular contact with the outside world now, but it seems North Korea's general population may have no idea what's happening in the world. Perhaps Michael Jackson not only never died over there: he never even lived.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I selected my domain name with random word association

I do rather like wombats, however, so it wasn't entirely by chance. This guy likes them more.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Michael Jackson

I instinctively rankle at the slavering, obsessive media coverage of Michael Jackson's death. But I can't criticise people for being affected by his death. When I heard Princess Diana died, I was annoyed at myself for actually feeling a sense of strange kind of empty sadness. I didn't know her! I barely even knew what she did apart from oppose dresses and wear land mines. I'm a staunch Republican and hate the idea of royalty. So why did I feel *anything*?

I came to the conclusion that it's because the mega-celebrities you've grown up with have just always been there. You couldn't miss them even if you were trying - Princess Diana and Michael Jackson's megastardom seared them into the very conciousness of any child growing up in the 80s. So when they're suddenly not there, it makes one involuntarily think how nothing is permanent, and then reflect on mortality. There's no emotional connection - just a sense of something being different that you never expected. Like an unfeeling, distant echo of a parent dying.

My trickle of thoughts will join the ocean of comment, most of which, it should be obvious, I care less about even than people will care about mine. Regardless of what you thought about him, I think this is the best approach: commemoration through creativity.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

And now Gmail is out of Beta!

The scriptures tell us that the End Times are near! But I wouldn't worry too much until they release this.

Congrats VLC!

VLC went to version 1.0.0 today. A great open source product that's helped me numerous times. I'm not a FOSS zealot, but sometimes it's the best way to Get Things Done. Well done!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

You couldn't, you can't, except if you already did

Follow up news to my posting on California's proposition 8. The Strauss vs. Horton case concluded in May and the ruling stated Prop 8 was valid as voted. They also ruled that marriages of 18,000 gay couples who married before Prop 8 would remain valid.

IANAL, but unfortunately the ruling does make sense in Law. Shame they ever got into a situation where that *could* make sense.

Americans: if you want to your States to get out of your life on this issue, get the Federal Supreme Court to overturn this.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A rather fascinating night at the theatre

The evening didn't start well. We were denied, for the second time in a week, our richly deserved pre-show GBK by a voucher wielding crowd, who'd had the disgraceful temerity to steal our idea and implement it shortly before us. Fortunately ever efficient Wagamama saved the day. Another averted DINKY tragedy; I can hear the very bleeding of your hearts from here.

Through, as so often, luck rather than skill, we had front row tickets at Trafalgar Studios for a performance of The Last Cigarette, a new play adapted by Simon Gray and Hugh Whitemore from the series of memoirs by Gray. I, with my usual ignorance, knew nothing about Gray, and had a mild awareness the play had received mixed reviews. So we didn't really have too many expectations. I just thought it would be nice to see Felicity Kendal. Like so my many male children of the 1970s, my parents' love of The Good Life has ensured a lifelong crush.

I really enjoyed it. Not having read the diaries, I can't rate the play as an adaptation. As a play it mostly works, taking incidents and thoughts from throughout his long life and weaving them into the central story of the slow creep of age and mortality. The main conceit is to have Gray played by three actors, allowing Gray's conversational prose to become actual conversations with himself. This was alternately clunky and brilliant. A rapid pace, clever lighting and bravado performances makes you forget you're effectively watching a 2 hour monologue. Felicity, love her though I may, was probably the weakest link, though each of the other actors had less assured moments. Reading other reviews today, I perhaps enjoyed it more than some because I knew nothing about Gray - several reviewers thought it failed to truly capture a man they were all quite familiar with. I just really enjoyed the language and the clearly lovably irascible iconoclast who penned it. So for me, it served simply as a great introduction to Gray - I'm eager to read the diaries at the very least.

So far so good. What made it extraordinary was the Q&A they had with the cast and co-writer afterwards. I'm a veteran of many post-film Q&As, but this was my first after a theatrical production. We weren't quite sure what to expect. Felicity, alas, was stricken with a cold and didn't attend, but the other two 'Simons' came out about 10 minutes after the show concluded, changed and clutching beers. They were joined by co-writer Hugh Whitemore and Mark Lawson of Front Row fame. Sitting in the literal front row watching this was rather like Radio 4 coming to life before your very eyes.

A fascinating discussion followed, often a paean to Gray and his works but also a fascinating insight into the creation of the play. Gray died shortly before it was completed, ironically not to the lung cancer so feared in the memoirs but to a sudden aneurism. Whitemore completed it, but said it was mostly finishing touches. The audience were given a chance to ask questions, which they did with aplomb until at one point an impromptu answer was given from the crowd. Turns out it came from his daughter Lucy who just happened to be there that night! It lent a further poignancy to proceedings, as everyone knew she'd just seen a play that was about the death of her father. Her less 'arty', more subjective, more matter-of-fact commentary about him provided an interesting, sometimes completely contradictory contrast to that of the panel. It's the sort of thing that would have made a great actual Radio 4 program - I'm astonished they weren't recording it.

Walking out, we walked past Lucy talking with one of the actors, and she had two teenagers in tow, which we presumed were her daughters. Heck of a way to learn more about Granddad.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Business and busyness

Both continue. Completed my fourth week at the new job, and while the gradient on the learning curve remains steep, my legs aren't giving out. Off to Sheffield this Thursday to meet one of our larger clients. I've still mostly been *through* The North on the way to Scotland, so I'm looking forward to having a quick look. Necessarily quick as I'll spend most of my time there in a meeting, of course.

Much else continues besides. Hannah & I have taken advantage of the sunshine and strolled - my preferred mode of transport - a few areas of London we're less familiar with. Apart from that we've checked out:
  • Synecdoche, New York. My twittereview will serve here: impenetrable tosh. I love his earlier films, but this is too ambitious, too long and too insufferable. Maybe I'm too stupid to get it, or maybe the emperor has no clothes: either way, I don't really care.
  • His Dark Materials - the brilliant National Theatre adaptation, a new production of which is currently touring regional theatres. I was fortunate enough to see the fabulous original production at the National. This touring production has necessarily stripped down staging, but otherwise preserves all the wonder and skill of the original, including the fantastic puppets used to represent daemons and armoured bears. It sounds awful: six hours of children's fantasy with puppets, a huge cast of characters and complicated metaphysical themes, but it works amazingly well. It necessarily whips through the epic story at pace, but you never feel cheated like so many did by the lame film version. See it if you get the chance.
  • Yesterday we made a short visit to the annual Day Of Dance, where the Westminster Morris Men host Morris teams from around the country for, well, dancing. In the day. There is, I am reliably informed, beer in the evening. I'm afraid I'm generally indifferent and often hostile to folk dancing from any country, but I was impressed with a geordie team who tangle themselves in knots with a kind of sword thing. Good fun. Following that we walked about 30 metres to a candlelit evening of baroque favourites at St-Martin-In-The-Fields. Luvverly.
Now it's sunny and lovely and I'm going to try and fix my bloody iTunes. Again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Surfacing Again

My second extended break from sharing random shtuff has been due to my starting a new job at Hotcourses. (I actually work for this part.) The first couple of weeks have involved a mass absorption of information, so I haven't had much spare brain capacity for anything else. Not to mention I've had many fun and fascinating commitments to fill the evenings as well!

Of these, the following were particularly well doused in the proverbial awesome sauce:
  • Art & The Brain - a fascinating discussion at Royal Institution with the type of panel that makes you want a collective noun for polymaths. The discussion tried to focus on art and creativity, but almost inevitably, began to wander to considering the nature and origin of consciousness, a topic that's fascinated me ever since I read this.
  • Not Quite Hollywood - a fantastically fun blitzkrieg tour of the wild world of Ozploitation.
  • The West End transfer of the pitch-perfectly fabulous Chocolate Factory's production of A Little Night Music. See it. Hear it. Love it.
  • The London premiere of Objectified. I've been a font bore ever since seeing the London premiere of Gary Hustwit's wonderful documentary Helvetica. I was already excited to see his follow up film, but the icing on the design cake was the post-show chat with Hustwit, Marc Newson, Alice Rawsthorn and none other than Jonathan Ive. The latter is head of industrial design at a certain fruity computer company, and one of the key reasons behind their resurgence in the past decade. He basically designed iEverything. He rarely gives interviews so it was a treat to see him in person.
  • The Living End @ Koko. I've seen these guys from my hometown several times over here and back there: they never fail to put on an absolutely barnstorming show. Their music isn't always what I want it to be - especially lyrically - but live their energy, tight musicianship and sheer desire to win over the audience transform everything into fantastic unabashed rock magic. Seeing a guy play a double bass over his head Hendrix style never gets old.
  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation - I'd heard this amazing story before, via the venerable movie site Ain't It Cool originally, and then floating around the internets for some time after. I've hankering to see it for years, and only realised recently that the paucity of screenings is because they can only do them for charity. Taking any cash for a flick that's such a blatant ripoff puts them in dodgy legal territory, despite Spielberg loving it. Thanks to a random twitter from one of Jason's followed, I was lucky enough to attend the London premiere! Vue cinemas and various other organisations did a bang-up job of the whole event, catering Temple Of Doom stylee with monkey brains, eyeball soup and snake! All money raised went to MediCinema, one of those nice little single purpose charities that does one very good thing well. The movie itself? Simply wonderful. Ingenious and inspiring. Testament to both the greatness of the source material and the dedication of two fans who followed through.

And that's just the really good stuff. Enough to be going on with, eh?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Comic news roundup...

News apropos for my recent posts is on the wires today. Peter & Steve don bowler hats and babble awkwardly about beginning 'principal motion capture' on their Tintin movie, and below Rob and Elliot skewer the stupid 'Calvin peeing on things' novelty tat meme.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lost mysteries that will never be found

When I was a child, I got a little thrill each time I visited the local library. This time, perhaps, I would find a Tintin book I hadn't already read. I adored their detailed artwork, broad humour, eccentric characters and, above all, their sense of mystery and adventure. Tintin's world was filled with the kind of nefarious intrigue and dastardly plots that just didn't happen in Montrose. There was but one great mystery for me to solve: had I read them all yet?

Each Tintin album actually has the name and cover of the complete set of books printed on the back, so at first this seems a small problem. I eventually read all the ones I could see on these covers. But a quick google shows you that differing editions have different lists on the back. This increased the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there were books that weren't listed on any edition I'd read. I loved the books so much I enjoyed clinging to this hope.

A quick google, I say. Therein lies the heart of my modern problem. I don't know how adept I would have been at the web when I was, say, 9 but I reckon I would have figured out that Wikipedia have a comprehensive article on Tintin books. Indeed, the first google hit for Tintin takes you straight there, and the second section of the article has a bold, clear, authoritative list of all the titles.

Of course, this information was probably available back then if I really, really wanted it, but it wouldn't be easy. The budget out-of-date encyclopedias that informed so many school projects probably wouldn't have a section on a Belgian comic book author, not one even as beloved as Hergé. The library index might reveal something, but probably only titles that were actually held somewhere in our lovely municipal library system, not every title ever actually published. My adult brain suggests a Hergé biography might do the trick, but even if the library had one I probably wouldn't have thought of it. I reckon I'd have had to write to the publisher or visit the State Library to get a definite list, both big undertakings for an 9 year old.

I could find out if wanted to, but the point here is that I didn't really want to know. I enjoyed the anticipation, the thrill of a chance find, the maintaining of hope in the face of increasing evidence. It's probably as close as I ever came to Faith.

These days, with the vast amount of information available to us instantly, we've lost these little mysteries. Sure, I could choose not to look at the information, but that's difficult when it's so easy. It's like chocolate for some people: if it's right in front of them, they'll indulge, but if it's not easily noticable or accessible they can resist. As you come to the end of a book you've really enjoyed, you may wish it wouldn't end, but you never stop reading. Back in 1983, if I'd had Wikipedia, I'd definitely have looked at the Tintin list.

One can even be accidentally informed with so much up-to-date information. I've fairly studiously avoided spoilers for popular TV serials, wanting to enjoy them in my own time. Recently I thought I was safe to bone up / remember what the hell was going on in Battlestar Galactica, as they were about to begin airing the delayed final series. Turns out it had already begun to air and I suddenly knew the identity of the final Cylon. To use a recent meme, what has been seen cannot be unseen. (I now feel memetically behooven to write KILL IT WITH FIRE despite it being completely inappropriate. Must stop reading reddit so much).

I feel a little sad about these lost mysteries, but anyone who knows me knows I'm an ardent fan of the information revolution, so I have to take the good with the bad. We always look back with nostalgia at our youth. Kids today actually have it great - imagine having all that information at your fingertips when your brain is so able to absorb it! And we may have lost the little mysteries, but we still have the big ones to ponder. Despite this seemingly limitless array of information, there are still an astonishing number of quite fundamental things we don't know. Why do we age? Why do we sleep? What started life? If you know any nine year old mystery fans, tell them there's lots more to look forward to when they grow up.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ok, it's been a while since I posted...

...all blogs must go through this phase. It's required under law. I'd test this in court but the law is for the rich.

I have actually half-written a few posts, which will go up when they're done. I'll try and post a few more random, smaller things here as well, and continue the delicious mini-blog and occasional tweeting.

And for right now, here's a random space-filling picture!

from digg

The Future of Calvin & Hobbes

Calvin & Hobbes is, by all accounts, a masterpiece of American literature. So far I've found nothing to refute that view. I've the complete collection, but have only have read a little, deliberately saving and savouring. Bill Watterson is to be admired both for his artistic integrity and knowing when to stop. The latter is a rare and valuable thing; especially, dare I say, in America.

In the past few days two separate depictions of a future, older Calvin have gushed out of my web firehose. (Future and older together is not necessarily a tautology in fiction). I unfortunately can't say who created them because of the disturbing internet trend to link to pictures unattributed. The first is humorous with a touch of pathos, the second poignant despite the unnecessary hallmarkesque demotivational text and border. Both are rather good, but I hope they follow Watterson's lead and leave it at that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day!

I'm not even sure that's the right greeting, or if there is any kind of greeting at all. Most aussies are vaguely aware what the day is for and that it might be a bit contro, but are more concerned with the Aussie Open, grouse tunes, barbecueing lamb chops and getting sunburnt to buggery.

This year, I can impart a new Aussie Day tip: When making a Sam Kekovich mask, using lip balm in lieu of a glue stick does not work, and makes Sam look even scarier than usual.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yes, they can. Now, we hope, they will.

Obamalamadingdong! What a day! I was lucky enough to be able to watch the whole speech and parts of the build up here at work. I'm a born, eternal optimist, but whatever your mental persuasion you must concede that it was a momentous occasion and one to be celebrated. It seems like most of the world has.

The picture at left shows the points in his speech I was most delighted about; Stephen Fry agrees! The commitment to science and shout-out to atheists were compensation for all the grumpy muttering I did during the religious bits.

The word 'curiousity' demands further attention. It's a wonderful human quality worth remembering - and using - but I think it's particularly interesting in this political context. Labels in politics are nebulolus and endlessly argued, but I think most would agree that conservatism, even by its very name, implies a desire to preserve the status quo. At best, this can mean defending ideals, values and systems that serve us well. At worst, it can mean a blind opposition to change. In this latter case - indeed, in *any* case - I think it's wise to be curious about other ways to do things. If we never inquire, we'll never know. If we never wonder, we'll never discover.

We've had compassionate conservatives. Curious conservatives next?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thank god I'm not I'm all thumbs

I'm a very slow texter. This is partially due to my dogged insistence on whole sentences, proper punctuation and long essays that mock the very name Short Message Service. But for the most part, it's 'cos I'm not very good with my thumbs. I'm rubbish at video game thumb controllers. I could never do those funky string things where you make spider webs and whatnot.

I'm a thunco.

I just had a neologasm and covered myself with neolojism.

They are among us

I live quite near Paddington Basin. It's interesting to watch how they've been transforming it, but I only just realised it's the headquarters for a Cylon invasion.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Wikipedia

You're not always right. You're not always popular. Yet, you are, unequivocally IMHO, a remarkable achievement. Congratulations.

Incidentally, I'm surprised by how many people don't know that Wikipedia provides "dumps" of the entire encyclopedia. Amazingly, this collection of every single English article comes to a mere 4.1GB! Almost anybody could fit on their home computer these days if they deleted that season of The Wire they've already watched. The dump doesn't include the revision history, discussion pages or non-text media, but it's enough to be getting on with, eh? (I speak from experience here, having been on many bleary eyed wikibinges where I start at one place and end up somewhere really, really different).

Furthermore, 4.1GB is well within the capabilities of mobile devices these days. This means you can hold an appreciable fraction of the sum total of human knowledge in your hand. Perhaps becoming less useful in this ever-more-connected world, but still astonishingly cool. Sucks for these, though.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Last night I went to see The Comedy Store Players. Their improv nights are a London institution and always great fun. All good, then, in the proverbial hood. Except for one, terrible, accursed thing that haunts my dreams and fuels my nightmares.

My laugh is silent. No sound comes out. My mouth turns up at the corners, I wrinkle up near the eyes, my upper body moves rythmically and involuntarily...with a total absence of sound. Nada. At no level of hilarity will my vocal apparatus arrange air molecules into meaningful waves. Perhaps, at best, I emit a sort of rapid breathing sound. Imagine a mildly hyperventilating phone pest. Now imagine him amidst a crowd of laughing people. You won't hear the pervy bastard no matter how enthusiastically he whispers what he'd like to do to you.

I concede this seems a fairly trivial problem, even by my standards. But live comedians rely on laughter as feedback. Comics don't need you to fill out a survey after the show or conduct phone polls while you're trying to eat dinner. They know immediately if they're doing well. To them, the sound of a wave of a laughter is the sound of success. I'm not part of this. I may as well not be there! It's like watching on telly with HD and surround-sound but that empty feeling that maybe you should have got off your arse and gone to some gigs! I, ever dog-paddling in an endless sea of neurosis, worry that I'm not showing my appreciation. This irks me. There are other ways of showing this appreciation: I can buy a comedian's CD, recommend them to my friends, or lurk outside their house until they come home. But none of these offers the satisfying immediacy of a big, belly-holding, audible laugh.

I've tried various ways of dealing with this. I've tried exaggerated movement; it's beverage spilling and awkward. I've tried showing extreme pleasure on my face; it's asking to be picked on and/or pointed out to security as a potential madman. I've even tried whooping and shouting, but even at the most exuberant standup gig this risks ejection the third time you do it for anything other than a nun-raping joke.

So to fake laughter. I'm not mute. I can emit sounds other than the ones the Japanese have electronic contraptions to cover up. But fake laughing is fraught with dangerous embarrassment. There are fine lines between many things, but not many finer than the one between a convincing fake laugh and an outright declaration of pantomime villainry. Every HAHAHA is just a BWHA away from worrying about the Evil Lair property market. Even if such accidental cliche is avoided, what alternatives? Men should not titter. Nor giggle. Civilised people do not guffaw, or do they? Chuckling is perhaps acceptable, if suitably controlled, but when does a chuckle become a chortle? Is sniggering ever acceptable? Let alone the suitability and reproduction of this cachinnation cornucopia, which of them should one choose as one's signature laugh? Nature chooses these at random for the unsilent majority, providing a pleasing laughter chorus with just the odd outlier that allows easy identification of particular laugh tracks. We muted merrymakers bear the extra responsbility of choosing where in this laugh orchestra we should fit for best effect; anything else would be gross irresponsibility. Thunderous bass amusement? A clear, trumpeting tenor? Subtle, lilting alto? Ear-splitting soprano cackle? I get so worried I forget what I wanted to laugh at in the first place.

So I've given up. Comedians, know that I do appreciate you. I love comedy. But short of wearing a distracting hat with BLOG.NEONWOMBAT.COM/2009/01/CURSE-MY-SILENT-LAUGH.HTML written on it, no comedian I've seen is likely to stumble across this treatise. If you do, know that I thought you were brilliant, especially that bit about dogs. This, of course, doesn't apply if you were shit. That silence was deliberate.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy Lame Attempt To Not Have A Cliche Title

That was, of course, 'Happy Gregorian Increment' until I changed it. Hope you had a good holiday whomever and wherever you are! If you're even reading this. And if you're not reading this, how is it getting into your head? Deep? Or stupid? It's a fine line. Not it isn't. It's just stupid.

Couple of quick things to start off the year that aren't nonsensical conversations with myself:

  • Listen to Stephen Fry's podcast on language. It's especially brilliant even by his high standards. (Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing sums it up well with suitable verbiage).

  • Check out the 'mini-blog' on the right, which is why I haven't been posting as often. For the web literate amongst you, it's simply my del.icio.us bookmarks. It's quite useful as a link-sharer and allows me to make a quick comment on each link, which stops a proliferation of one-link blog posts. You can subscribe to it separately, which you should do immediately, as I am ace and only ever include the highest quality linkage.

Right. Get to work. Forget the naysayers, 2009 is gonna be a great year! (If people actually took this advice, the 'tough economic times' would stop being a self-fulfilling prophecy...)