"The future is terribly easy to predict. It’s predicting the instantiation that’s hard."
"These travel posters by Steve Thomas, Amy Martin and Adam Levermore-Rich promote travel to exotic eras and destinations, such as the Crimson Canyons of Mars, Tranquil Miranda, or the Winter Wonderland of the Ice Age." Beautiful.
Lots of sed-goodness here.
"The rest of this article will be a tutorial showing you how to host and manage Git repositories with access control, easily and safely. I use an up and coming tool called gitosis that my friend Tv wrote to help make hosting git repos easier and safer." Nice guide to getting up and running with gitosis.
"Turning the economic crisis into one of those clever internet memes." Lols.
"The Mugen (infinite) series of toys from Bandai Asovision has now brought us the Mugen PeriPeri, a keychain toy that aims to replicate the pleasure of opening a package for the first time. Snacks, boxes, and other tear-open packages tend to reveal good things, so perhaps experiencing this sensation boosts endorphins and sends us into pleasure mode." Tear-off wrapping you can tear forver.
"You have 1 point. 1 point is rubbish. You want more." Beautiful, fun-looking trailer for an XNA title due out next sure – that simultaneously captures what games are basically about. Or, at least, what points are all about.
"Wells has received insufficient credit as a writer of rhythmic, incantatory prose, long-breath paragraphs to cut against his tight journalistic reportage. The War of the Worlds makes the journey from sensationalist incident to moral parable. Wells predicts an era when fiction and documentary will be inseparable." Fantastic writing from Iain Sinclair on HG Wells.
"When a sospeso is ordered, the customer pays for two coffees, but only receives one. That way, when a person who is homeless or otherwise down on their luck walks into the café, the person can ask if there are any coffees held in suspense, and can have one as a courtesy of the first customer." Wonderful.
Wikipedia quotation of the day: "Variations of the red eye based on the number of espresso shots include the black eye, which is made with two shots of espresso, and the dead eye, which is made with three shots of espresso. A 'fight club' contains four shots of espresso." A "fight club"!
"You forgot one thing, Dr. Roberts. You forgot that people are dicks." Aheheh.
"Perhaps then what people object to, whether they realize it or not, is an ideological and theological issue with religious gaming, rather than any particular distaste as the idea Christian gamers might simply want games that explore their faith and service their community."
"So why am I mentioning this now? Because Alternity has just started. This is a new Harry Potter game, and it starts from the beginning — September 1, Harry's first day at school. Only not as in The Philosopher's Stone. In this scenario, Voldemort, er, won." Fanfic-cum-alt-universe-RPGs in the Potterverse being run solely on Livejournal. Amazing.
15 January 2007
It had to catch up with me eventually. Matt tagged me with the “five things” meme. And then so did Alex. I thought I’d have some time to write this, but then everybody else finished theirs dead quick, and I got tagged twice, and this took ages – hence the delay.
The problem with things like this is that you often either end up sounding arrogant, or you give away terrifying secrets on the internet, where they’ll never be forgotten. Striking the middle ground is hard. I hope I managed that, anyhow.
1. I’m an only child
“So that explains everything,” is the traditional quip. It explains a moderate amount, I suppose, but I really don’t think it has a vast significance as to who I really am. Yes, I’m probably more comfortable with my own company than many, but as a bookish, quiet child, it suited me, I suppose. I never really wanted for a sibling until I got to University, really, and I’ve certainly never minded not having one. So, there you go. To me, it’s just my life, but people sure do love attaching significance to it.
2. I have hammertoes/bunions
This is my random physical skill. I always thought my feet were normal, but no; if you look at them, the top join of my toe angles inwards at about 30 degrees. I’m used to them now, but I’m assured they’re not meant to be like that. No idea if it was shoes or just my genes that did it.
3. I’m obsessed with film censorship and classification
This is my dorky interest – specifically, in the work of the BBFC. I love movies, but film certification itself is a fascinating mine of trivia. It’s also a really interesting guide to the mores and tastes of culture. Fortunately, the BBFC have a wonderfully detailed website, with their entire database online, and with listing for new releases. It’s one way I find out what new titles will be out soon, and also is interesting to see which films have been edited to reach certificates.
For instance: here’s the entry for Don’t Look Now, originally rated X in 1973, passed as an 18 in 1988 on video, and then given a 15 in 2001 when re-released to the cinema – all without edits. Also note the changing iconography of the BBFC, and, most trivia-tastic of all, the shorter running time on video, which indicates not that the film’s been edited, but is merely down to the fact that video runs at an extra frame every second compared to film.
Anyhow, I find it rather interesting, if only to mine the archive, and to watch classifcation, and censorship – or lack of it – at work. Another interesting board of censors is IFCO, the Irish film censor, who are interesting if only for their slightly different priorities (interestingly manifested in their split between 12A, 15A, 16 and 18 film ratings – on video I believe they just have 12/15/18).
I’m fully in agreement with Mark Kermode when he says that we, the British, have the best film classification board in the world. They’re smart, clued-in, and fair. Their site also provides RSS for recent releases on film, video, and digital media (games). Try subscribing some time – if only to get a laugh out of the terrible titles porn videos have.
4. I didn’t like curry until I was 18
Which isn’t that remarkable a fact, unless you know how much I like eating curry now, and, more to the point, how much I love cooking curry now. I think we make one a week, on average, and often make several when people come over. What I’ve learned time and time again in my adult life is that it often takes a very good dish to break the ingrained responses of millions of crappy school dinners.
5. My girlfriend hasn’t seen my chin in three years
My dad’s had a beard ever since I was born, so I’ve never really had many issues with facial hair. I grew my sideburns at about the age of 14, mainly because they arrived, and I quite liked them. I’ve kept them long ever since, though try not to let them get too bushy and look too much like a Victorian patriarch. Anyhow: this answer is about facial hair.
I grew my first beard the summer I was sixteen. It involved deciding very carefully when the earliest I could have my final shave of the school term was, and then just let the fuzz build up without looking obvious, in order to get the maximum head start. I ended up with a DJ-Shadow-like chinbeard. My body hair, when it has grown, always started out golden, and went red as it matured.
I grew my first adult beard in the first term at university. My beard for most of my time at Cambridge was a chinstripe with wings – an upside-down T – and no moustache. With hindsight, it looked a bit silly, but it was fun, and it felt like a good expression of my personality. I periodically shaved it off, and only ever in order to facilitate progress with some girl I fancied. Invariably, I discovered that it wasn’t the beard they had problems with, and so I grew it back immediately.
I grew my final beard in the third year, and, for the first time in my life, grew the moustache to go with it. Proper goatee, although it’s been hell joining up the sides, so to speak. I haven’t been clean-shaven since then, and you’ll see the beard on my graduation photographs. Given Alex and I got together in the final term, that means she’s never seen my chin.
Much as I love her, I’m not sure she will for a while. And when she does, it’ll be a shining white patch – it hasn’t seen the sun in a long whlie, either.
Gosh. They weren’t hugely exciting. Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting that I’m willing to tell you.
Anyhow, now I have to tag five more people, which is hard, because I have to choose five people who haven’t done it already. So I choose: Matt Biddulph, Matt Patterson, David Smith, Simon Willison, and Chris Heathcote (if they’ve not done it already).