listening to:

Friday, November 30

Who wants...

A free ninja?

- posted at 9:31:38 PM :: feedback

Thursday, November 29

Imagine That

I seem to be twenty two.

- posted at 12:04:01 AM :: feedback

Tuesday, November 27

Action movie

"The reason they're here is that earlier when the Taliban grabbed some guns and started fighting, there were two Americans inside the fort: one of whom was disarmed and killed -- he was called Mike -- and another one was also in trouble; he was out of ammunition, he had managed to sort of hold off the Taliban with his pistol but he was out of ammunition when the main body of American and British people arrived. There's no word on his fate yet. But the Americans were mounting a rescue operation."

(Read the entire article.)

- posted at 8:25:58 PM :: feedback

Monday, November 26

It's true...

I saw it on the internet

.

- posted at 6:53:48 PM :: feedback

Sunday, November 25

lolly wiberal

The bastards. The bastards, the bastards, the bastards.

Who, you ask, could these bastards be? Why, they're the Republicans, of course!

Oh. What have they done now?

That's what. A wonderful article in the Sunday Times, not normally known for being a friendly woolly liberal paper. But that's by-the-by.

I'd really like to walk straight up to the White House, press on the front door, and tell whoever answered it:

"HAVEN'T YOU LEARNT ANYTHING, YOU FOOLS?"

- posted at 5:24:19 PM :: feedback

And made them in his own image

Okay, skip the religious stuff. But anyway. Scientists have cloned an embryo. Kind of. Anyway, lots going on with this, lots of deep issues. Hardly appropriate for something where I'm going to write about three lines when I've done a dissertation on it, but there you go. Bear this in mind, though:

"I find it somewhat ironic that so much research goes on with materials that have the potential to kill large amounts of human life...but research with the potential to create human life is so strongly opposed."

And that has got to be one of the most insightful and intelligent comments I've seen on Slashdot for at least the past year.

Oh, look at that. A blog post without any links at all. That's got to be a shocker.

- posted at 5:11:52 PM :: feedback

Wednesday, November 21

Vote

(For my brother). That's Adrian. He's really good at this stuff: UN Space Generation Advisory Council Elections.

- posted at 2:18:01 PM :: feedback

Monday, November 19

I like

This is good. It's the MP3s from the Buffy episode Once More, With Feeling. It's the Musical episode. I like musicals. I like Buffy. Combine the two, add a wonderful sense of humour and you have me clamouring for the DVD and the (hopefully) forthcoming soundtrack CD. Now. Gimme. Gimme gimme gimme.

- posted at 4:43:48 PM :: feedback

Wednesday, November 14

actually...

I can tell you that the drive into school today was a bitch. But I can't tell you why. Not because I'd have to kill you, but because I don't know. So there.

- posted at 11:57:05 PM :: feedback

Censored

I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you.

- posted at 11:52:33 PM :: feedback

Friday, November 9

Sousveillance

If you don't have a problem with surveillance technology provided the subjects get to watch the watchers, then World Subjectrights Day is for you. Sounds fun.

- posted at 7:41:07 PM :: feedback

Woah

'I've got the world's longest tongue'. Just about says it all, really.

- posted at 4:22:57 PM :: feedback

Wednesday, November 7

NewLogo

So I visited BBC News Online and something looked slightly different from, well, about an hour ago. A brand new grey navbar across the top. Oooh. Well, being the inquisitive person that I am, I had a look at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ thinking "They couldn't have possibly rebranded... Could they?"

And yet they have. It's gone all grey. Now, whilst I'll be the first to admit that the old design (circle things, nav running down the left, designed for 640x480 screens) wasn't that nice, this new design is... grey. It's grey, grey, grey. And it's called "BBCi", which is clearly BBC Interactive. Very early 90s. There's an obligatory flash movie to complete the branding experience to tell you what's going on.

- posted at 10:14:10 AM :: feedback

Monday, November 5

Tell me why...

I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why!
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why!

Okay, I'll tell you why. I don't like Mondays when I have to get up early, when I have the beginnings of a cold that's not only sapping my strength but also my will to live (and more importantly, my will to sit in front of the tv). I hate sitting in a Company workshop and wondering what, exactly, it is that we're doing whilst my nose is alternating between streaming and increasing its pressure to the extent that I'm sure it's going to explode. I hate sitting in a Conveyancing lecture fighting the urge (actually, not so much an urge as something that just happens) to fall asleep. Oh, and the same bunged-up nose problem.

I hate winter. It's cold, it's dark and it's generally uninteresting.

- posted at 4:31:59 PM :: feedback

Sunday, November 4

White powder of choice

White powder of choice at the moment is Lemsip. This is wonderful because unlike the white powder that seems to be in the vogue at the moment it's actually making me feel much better (though I suspect another white powder that is more used to be popular is one that would make me slightly more alert). Mental note: do not post self Lemsip. It could get nasty.

- posted at 11:07:23 PM :: feedback

On cheese

No, not cheese. Not your common cheddar or your stilton or your brie or... well, other cheeses. That would be far too much of a sensible topic. No. What I'm talking about here is cheese. You know, that kind of bubblegum pop that drunk students dance (I'm using the term dance rather loosely here), the kind that the majority of Cambridge students absolutely love when they find playing at--now, I'm sorry to have to use this word and for this I apologise and feel deeply ashamed--bops.

Anyway. Last weekend, I was up in Cambridge, sometimes gently swaying from side to side and some other times more vigorously jumping up and down to the Moulin Rouge Bop, a five hour spectacular of, well, scantily clad girls (it was Moulin Rouge themed after all) and blokes wearing black-and-white. Well, there's only so much that you can do, really, if you're male and it's a Moulin Rouge theme. I suppose you could try and go as Jim Broadbent playing Harold Zidler, you could even put on some braces and go as Ewan McGregor's Christian. The more enterprising would find some way to lop a couple of feet off their height and go as Toulouse-Lautrec. But that's about it. Not really that much room to maneuver in really. If you're male.

On the other hand, the girls went crazy. Rumour has it that this year's intake at my old college has been bumped up to around one hundred and eighty (compared to the one hundred and fifty of my recently graduated year) since everyone who'd been offered a place managed to make the grades. Even better news for the freshers is that the male/female ratio has finally broken even. Actually, in hushed corners of the bar you could even hear the rumour going around that (say this quietly), there were more girls than guys this year. Shocking.

I feel bound to point out that there was some murmer of dissent when the Moulin Rouge theme was put forward. One email said, bluntly, that it was a crap theme and that James Bond, fancy dress and Harry Potter suggested, amongst others. It was pointed out that a Moulin Rouge bop would allow the girls to dress up as provocatively as they wanted (never a bad thing, really), and would allow blokes to put in absolutely zero effort (as they normally did). Besides, someone said, four hundred drunk young adults trying to pull each other whilst dressed as eight year olds a la Harry Potter would be seriously screwing with your head. On the night, there was a startling array of corsetry, but the prize really had to go to Alice who'd managed to fashion a moulin rouge hat which actually spun round. Genius.

There was a point to all of this: the music. You see, we had expected at least a smattering of Moulin Rouge-themed music, but this wasn't the case. As it was, we all got horrendously drunk and ended prancing around rather wobbily to five hours of pure, unadulterated cheese, as evidenced below. I find it unsettling that, a whole week after the event, I can still remember nearly half of the setlist...

  • Belinda Carlisle - (We Want) The Same Thing (Ext Summer Mix)
  • Chesney Hawkes - The one and only
  • Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
  • S Club 7 - Don't Stop Movin'
  • Bee Gees - Tragedy
  • Green Day - Basket Case
  • Bomfunk MCs - Freestyler (Album Version)
  • Blur - Song 2
  • The Weather Girls - It's Raining Men
  • Spice Girls - Wannabe
  • Wheatus - Teenage Dirt Bag
  • Crazy Town - Butterfly
  • Shaggy - Angel
  • S Club 7 - Reach
  • Five - Keep On Movin'
  • Britney Spears - Oops - 01 - Oops I Did It Again
  • Christina Aguilera, Lil ' Kim - Lady Marmalade
  • Eminem - Stan (featuring Dido)
  • Tiffany - I think we're alone now
  • The B52s - Love Shack
  • Gina G - (Ooh Aah) Just a little bit ..
  • Snap - The Power
  • N trance - Set You Free
  • John Travolta & Olivia Newton - Grease Megamix
  • Kylie Minogue - Locomotion
  • Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
  • Black Box - Ride on Time
  • Whigfield - Saturday Night
  • 2 Unlimited - No Limit
  • Five - Let's Dance
  • Spin Doctors - Pocket Full Of Kryptonite - Two Princes
  • Kylie Minogue - Can't get you out of my head

And yes, the reason why those look suspiciously like MP3 titles is that they are. I should point out at this time that I do actually have some good music and that it's not entirely stuff that you could only really listen to with around twenty of your friends, all holding bottles in your hands, jumping up and down and really vair drunk.

- posted at 6:53:08 PM :: feedback

Saturday, November 3

Memes

I tried to start one today. More later.

- posted at 10:42:29 PM :: feedback

Network cable unplugged

Every day, I seem to be getting around three or four hits off people who are googling the search term network cable unplugged. Now, this really confuses me, because I had always thought that the error message "network cable unplugged" really only suggested on real course of action. Namely, that of plugging in the network cable. Controversial, I know, but it might just work. If this seems a bit too out-there for you, then you might consider reading the Microsoft Support Article "Network Adapter Does Not Work if Unplugged", which I suspect will do the trick.

On the other hand, it could be someone on the other end of your piece of cat-5 sat next to the hub or the switch and merrily yanking cables out as if there were no tomorrow. Which is a rather amusing mental image, really.

- posted at 10:37:00 PM :: feedback

Spam, spam, spam

Bastards.

Received Sat 03/11/2001 15:21
From Postmaster General Subscriptions
Subject Unsubscribe successful
Body:
We have removed the email address "[redacted]" from mailing list "freegift". Thank you for using our service.

Received Sat 03/11/2001 15:24
From Daily FREE Gift
Subject {{)(}} Congratulations!!! Get your FREE phone NOW!!! {{)(}}
Body:
Dear Dan ,

Congratulations! You are prequalified for a FREE Cellular Phone from AT&T Wireless. Get a FREE Motorola V2397 or Ericsson T19 cellular phone with the nations best wireless service from AT&T. Receive a FREE car charger and FREE leather carrying case, as well as a $50.00 rebate from AT&T.

Bastards.

- posted at 10:17:28 PM :: feedback

X10 pop-under ads

Details on how to turn those pesky adverts off are here. It appears that you may also be able to mangle the URL (default is thirty days free of X10 advertising), since changing http://www.x10.com/home/optout.cgi?DAY=30&PAGE=http://www.x10.com/x10ads1.htm to something like this should set the period to 365 days. Fingers crossed.

- posted at 5:36:41 PM :: feedback

I want my Super Toy

Wow. They actually did it. You can buy Teddy, the loveable toy from A.I. I know what I want for Christmas...

- posted at 12:49:21 AM :: feedback

Friday, November 2

Soundtracks revisited

The last soundtrack installment lasted quite a while, but even I can't take single-track repeats that often. And, much as I am loathe to admit it, that Dandy Warhols track is getting rather too much airtime at the moment, notwithstanding my constant playing of it. So, having realised that I actually am not that lazy to burn my own compilation CDs, and encouraged after the success of the first one (cracking tracks each and every one of them), I went and tried for another.

Ooops.

I thought I'd start slow so we opened with some Craig Armstrong--Rise--which is coincidentally the music from some Peugeot ad (I think), with the stripping model. Fun. This was in the same vein followed rather commercially by Faithless's The Garden which anyone who's ever seen a Vodafone ad will recognise. Bad, I know. And the fact that when I copied the CD to tape and got the levels completely wrong for the first two tracks (horribly distorted), it seemed to be completely irrecoverable.

Good job things looked up after that. Groove Armada have been slammed in the music press for their latest album and their live gigs apparently leave something to be desired. On the other hand, if you like derivative chill-out music, then My Friend is going to be right up your street and the vocals are a great hook. Great to drive to, which was kind of the point of these compilations. From there, I've got to admit that I went a bit mental and on some kind of personal retro-crusade. We suddenly get the Foundations' Build me up buttercup which seems to have spent most of my third year at university endlessly swilling around my head like some toilet cleaner that just won't flush away (drunkenly singing it in Edinburgh at Hogmonay and hearing it, bizarrely, for the first time in a club at the beginning of the year) and, even more bizarrely, Robert Knight's Everlasting Love, which was culled from my brother's MP3 collection. At least, that's my excuse.

Well, I had to get that out of the system. Cheesy oldies were ditched unceremoniously for Pepe Deluxe's Before you leave, which in parts sounds suspiciously Mint Royale-ish, and then followed by the Shrek-tastic All Star by Smash Mouth which I only like just because of its first two lines. See me? I'm picky I am. Very much so.

Yet another concession to crass commerciality kicks off side two of the tape with OPM's Heaven is a halfpipe, which I have to admit was a rather incredibly mistake since I can't stand listening to that track at all now. A stroke of genius was to follow that with the Little Trees' Help! I'm a fish!, which is not only pap and pop of the most enduring nature, but irresistably "scream-along-a-smile" and had me tearing down the M1 exhorting to all who could hear that "I'm a little yellow fish in the deep blue sea..." Sad, I know. Won't somebody help me, indeed.

In fact, music that's appeared in adverts seems to have been the only glue that held this incredibly shit tape together: the next track was Daft Punk's Digital Love, which quite plainly rocks, but there are those, I suppose, who'll protest because Gap have co-opted it in their latest ad campaign. I don't care. Last night, see, I had a dream about you...

VH1 has a lot to answer for, since Daft Punk's wonderful dancey track is followed by the early Texas track I don't want a lover, which amongst my friends is completely inexcusable purely because so far as I can see (and I live on a hill, so I can see rather far), I'm the only one I know who likes Texas at all. Perhaps this is because my taste in music is shallow, commercial (there we go again) and rather under-developed. Let me put it this way: at least there wasn't any S Club 7 on this tape, ironic or otherwise.

We keep the vaguely-commercial/modern pap theme by cueing up Gabrielle's Don't need the sun to shine next, but this is completely excusable since at uni I found one other Gabrielle fan (she drew the line at Dreams, though), but she's now in Japan for a while, so my support is limited to just one person--who isn't even in my hemisphere. Oh well.

An incredibly weak finish with Nina Gordon's Tonight and the rest of my life which appears on the US theatrical trailer for Captain Corelli's Mandolin (do you see what's happening here? Where all these tracks are coming from? It's like I'm Naomi Klein's worst nightmare at the moment) and then Sarah Brightman's Deliver Me which runs with the credits at the end of Brokedown Palace, a good film only because it's got Claire Danes in it, and as we all know she's wonderful because of a) My So-Called Life and b) Romeo + Juliet.

I think the only thing that I can take away from this rather futile exercise is that if the best/most enjoyable track from this compilation is something whose lyrics include the lines:

"With a wriggle and twist / a splash and a splish / you're a fish! help me!"

then must try harder is something I'm going to have to bear in mind the next time I'm let anywhere near a CD writer.

- posted at 10:14:01 PM :: feedback

Aibo See, Aibo Sue

You gotta love the quotes on Wired News:

"I thought about taking my Aibos, blowing them up and videoing it. But I couldn't do that to my little robot dogs."

(in a story titled Aibo Owners Biting Mad at Sony)

- posted at 7:59:32 PM :: feedback

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Just this.

- posted at 5:57:11 PM :: feedback

Thursday, November 1

On Convenience

I spent last weekend in Cambridge, after the horrifying motorway journey that seems to be a prerequisite of any trip in excess of fifty miles at the moment (Law college, a mere 25 odd miles away is a relatively simple straight-line from house to car-park, so easy that I could probably do it blindfolded. I'd crash, mind, but it's the thought that's there), the second weekend that I've been there since I left back at the end of June.

It's weird. I was talking to a friend about this in the pub last night: we both were very clear that we wanted to go back to university, but at the same time we were also emphatic that by the time we were due to leave, we were gagging for time away from those places. The weekends that I've spent back, though, have been wonderful. I get to meet up with all my friends, we get to go out for coffees and not feel guilty about work we should be doing. We go out to parties and, again, the whole guilt/work thing is lacking in its entirety. It's wonderful and refreshing. So, to be a little more specific, what I really like about these weekends away is the convenience of having all my friends in one small location within close walking distance to:

  • Fifteen million coffee shops (Cambridge is probably in serious danger of having caffeinated water now)
  • A very large and plush bookshop (actually Borders, but they seem to have merged with Amazon to create some kind of online behemoth) with, predictably, a coffee bar inside it
  • Umpteen college bars, but we have our favourite to which we owe our undying allegiance. The bar and coffee bar at King's isn't too bad, either
  • Two Pizza Huts (these are rather odd. They're the only Pizza Huts I've ever known to turn customers away because they 'ran out of dough'. Think about it.)
  • Yet another Late Night Coffee Bar at Clowns

... and other assorted things. Actually, scratch all of that. What I love most about going up to Cambridge for the weekend is meeting up with my friends. Awww.

Interesting Things

Culled from \favorites\ and selected new additions from the last three days:

  • Now blogging via BlogBuddy
  • Current Law Society Contract Rate (conveyancing homework--4% above Barclays Base Rate)
  • Some stuff on spin foam (GUTs/TOEs and quantum gravity)
  • An article on motion-sensing robotics aimed at producing sentry robots
  • Some more information on NeXT computers
  • Read product reviews without (more) adverts getting in the way: ZDNet/ExtremeTech review of WinXP

- posted at 3:37:55 PM :: feedback

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