"Trains, bloggers are threats in drill" →
Here’s an interesting story, reported by the AP. The Associated Press have “obtained” “hundreds of pages of heavily censored files” from the U.S. Government. These pages detail a “Cyber Storm war game” in which various simulated attacks threatened the nation’s defenses. Among the simulated attacks were planes flying too close to the White House,...
Walking home from college today, I happened upon a woman apparently frightened by a swan. My walk home involves a walk along a canal path, and rain tends to tempt the swans out of the canal, for reasons unknown to me. So, seeing this woman, whose path was trapped by this swan, I decided to help out. I didn’t have much choice really, since, by being scared of the swan and not going past it,...
Something Rotten at the NYT. Or Not. →
The New York times contains a brief article entitled One Pot describing the Spanish dish known variously as cocido or olla podrida literally “rotten pot” According to the dictionary of the Real Academia Española, podrida may have an admiring connotation, similar to the use of “filthy rich” in English. Curiously, instead of the correct podrida, the article gives the name of...
Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward - Why Do You Let Me Stay... →
This just made my day. It’s another track from Zooey Deschanel’s collaboration with M. Ward, that they’re calling She & Him. I’d only heard this on on the unofficial MySpace account until now, and had had no luck whatsoever in finding an mp3. I can finally listen to this on repeat without having MySpace open in a tab. The post also has a tracklisting for their album,...
TV and radio star Jeremy Beadle dies →
The 59-year old star was admitted to hospital last week but died earlier today. His wife and family were with him when he died. Beadle is no longer about.
Shakespeare's Monkey →
You’ve heard of the infinite monkey theorem, I’m sure: The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a particular chosen text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. There’s been plenty of statistical analysis of the theorem, that’s covered quite...
Pronunciation of the 21st Century →
I found myself on this Wikipedia page for the 2010s today and found out something I didn’t already know: Experts — expert broadcasters, scientists, lexicographers, and linguists, that is — have been ardently debating (nay, clashing!) how the years of the 21st century should, and will, be pronounced. It seems like a silly thing to argue about, but they have a good point. For centuries, the...
Laughing Shark →
This is a video of, well, a laughing shark. Nothing more, nothing less. And it cracks me up, I tell you. [via Kottke.]
Origins of "fail" as a noun →
Hey, speaking of fail the noun: where does it come from? I’ve been seeing it around the Web recently (e.g. xkcd), and I have a vague sense that it’s a reference to something, but I don’t know to what. It seems like this guy hasn’t heard of 4chan or YTMND — where most of the memes he quotes (C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER, win, FTW, as well as fail) originated. And where most of...
State of the Union Tag Cloud →
I’m not American, so I’ll refrain from comment.
Reasons to Look Forward to Lost
Lost is back soon, and the hype machine is really getting into gear. So here are a few Lost-related links from the last few days: Six reasons to look forward to Lost. Not that you need them, I’m sure. Lost - Synchronicity. This is a video on Youtube that combines all the Lost footage from the time of the crash — Desmond in the hatch, the Others and their book club, and, of course, those on...
The FAIL Blog →
This blog has massive fail. (No, seriously!)
Peacock Tail →
A theme for Tumblr I just finished. All the details are there, so check it out.
Richard Stallman Doesn't Browse the Web →
From a posting on LWN.net on December 19, last year. For personal reasons, I do not browse the web from my computer. (I also have not net connection much of the time.) To look at page I send mail to a demon which runs wget and mails the page back to me. It is very efficient use of my time, but it is slow in real time. Well how about that. (via.)
Testing a Theme
Don’t mind the mess. Normal service will be resumed shortly. Edit: And we’re back.
Misplaced Spellings →
This is a guest post on Language Log by Thierry Fontenelle of the Microsoft Natural Language Group. It was sent in as a response to one of many posts about the Cupertino Effect. (Plenty on that in Language Log’s archives, if you don’t know what it is.) Thierry explains how some of these spellchecker aberrations come about, positing that it’s not really the Cupertino Effect at...
What with Rickrolling (more info here if you’re still confused) becoming so widespread, I can’t help wondering… I wonder how many people get tricked into clicking a link to Rick Astley’s ugly mug, and then pretend they didn’t, claiming to have “seen it coming”?
Wait, Tumblr Has New Features?
You may or may not have noticed that Tumblr pushed a few updates live today. Since they don’t publish updates on their blog, and someone in #tumblrs asked, I’ll post a list. (It’s much more fun to discover them yourself though, so consider skipping this.) The immediate change you’ll notice is a cog next to your following count on the dashboard. Let’s go there. ...
Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma,” Explained →
From the mouth of the band themselves! Brilliant. “I have a complicated relationship with grammar,” he admits, adding that he “spent a year teaching eighth-grade English in Brooklyn and, when you spend so much time trying to get kids to write in ‘Standard American English,’ you’re bound to start questioning the importance.” Best bit: someone also wrote a song about zeugma. Article...
Tom Cat - Unmasked →
A parody of the leaked Tom Cruise Scientology video. It’s… well, it’s odd. LOLcat-ed titles, and a big cat’s head where Tom Cruise should be.
The Sex Diaries of John Maynard Keynes →
I remember coming across this topic a while ago, and it seems no further success has been had since, outside broad speculation. John Maynard Keynes was a noted economist and homosexual, who kept two diaries of all his sexual exploits. The first one is easily deciphered, with lines like “16-year-old under Etna” — it’s just a list of his partners, by initials or nicknames. The...
Music Blog Zeitgeist of 2007 →
Forget the magazine editors & big label marketing budgets. Our roundup is from some of the most passionate music fans alive: music bloggers. Hype Machine’s music blog zeitgeist of 2007. Includes best 50 songs, best 50 albums, and best 50 bands.
Dorkness Theme →
dailymeh: Alright, so you probably know that Tumblr rolled out some changes today, many of which were related to the theming system. I was bored and decided to try it out: the result is this, a new theme which works a bit like a technical demo, but also works fine just for normal use. Oh, and it looks decent in my eyes, but what do I know. I might have set a record in speed-theming, or...
Extending Album Art →
One of b3ta’s many varyingly fantastic Photoshop competitions. This one definitely falls on the side of very fantastic. Using any tools available - you, your record collection, a camera, photoshop, a scanner, whatever works - show us what happens beyond the borders of classic album sleeves, how the artwork continues. Challenge open for TWO magnificent weeks. Some of the entries —...
Now is the winter of our discount tent.– Does It Offend You, Yeah?’s e-mail newsletter thing.
Reblogging and Ownership
This is another long, driveling post about Tumblr, I’m afraid. But this one raises an issue I think deserves some focus. The issue of ownership when you reblog. Attribution is easy when you reblog a photo or a link. With quotes and chat posts, no attribution is currently slapped on by default, but I understand that to be something that’s being worked on, and most people are smart...
Wimpy-math-rock band Foals are my favourite band for the next couple of hours. Their lead singer has an exceptionally indie name, and Dave Sitek is producing their album, due in March. Oh, and one of their songs is called Mathletics. Where could you possibly go wrong?
I’ve been using Tumblr for about 6 months now. In that time, I have come to this decision: tumblelogs are the way forward. They are going to change the way we blog. (Important distinction: I am not equating Tumblr with tumblelogs here, it just happens to be the service I use to publish mine, and probably the most popular one.) At the moment, long-form blogs are the norm. And why not? There...
#tumblrs Quote Database →
I set this up so we can remember some of the best bits from #tumblrs.
The Reblog Button →
A blog entry by Fred Wilson evangelizing the reblog button as the “media movement that moved [him] the most”. (His tumblelog is here.) As well as some great commentary (“reblogging harnesses the viral web”) he makes a great suggestion: I would like to see the front page on tumblr feature the most reblogged items the way that digg and delicious/popular do. But instead of...
I just started subscribing to nostrich.net. I’ve been following numblr for a while now, but for some odd reason I hadn’t clicked through to Richard’s blog before. It’s absolutely fantastic. Go subscribe and thank me later. — vasta Thanks! And for what it’ worth, in my only-slightly-biased opinion, you should definitely do what he says.
I Never Did Find Out →
Since I seem to be having a fairly self-referential and self-indulgent night, I would like to share this with you. It was an entry I wrote on my blog in February last year. It was only a quicky, but the quickies are frequently the best, I find. Do enjoy.
“Do you believe in ‘The One’?” I asked her on a dinner date once. She said that she did, and flashed me a smile that made my heart flutter. “I think I know who my One is,” I said. She said that she did too, and leant a little closer to me. “Does he know?” I asked. She said that he didn’t, and blushed a little. “You should tell...
I Wrote That →
I have done the unthinkable and updated my blog. It’s a good ‘un! My friends are not web-addicted like I am. They are the sort of people that have a PC loaded with malware and fill their Facebook accounts with numerous useless applications, while I sit at home every night, wishing my Macbook was built in such a way that I could actually make love to it.
That's Your Boyfriend →
My new favourite tumblelog.
I think I love brooklyngirl. A number of reasons: Well, you know, she’s female. Her rather nice Tumblr theme reverses Tumblr’s default next/previous page links, like mine. It’s the previous page, not the next! Because of this post on her Tumblr. Congratulations on being my second Tumblr crush. (My first will remain a secret until she stops playing hard to get and ignoring...
Misha - Scars From the wonderful album, Teardrop...
Rob’s Party Mix from Cloverfield →
Wondering what all the indie-fabulous music that was playing at Rob’s party at the beginning of Cloverfield was? Wonder no more.
Metamagical Themas →
More on Metamagical Themas. This book by Douglas Hofstadter is subtitled “Questing For The Essence Of Mind And Pattern”. It consists of a collection of his columns from Scientific American which were written under the same title, alternating with postscripts which expand on the columns and link them together. Hofstadter chose the title “Metamagical Themas” for his column...
Person Paper on Purity in Language →
An (satirical) essay by Douglas R. Hofstadter, also orginally published in Metamagical Themas, written under the alias William Satire. It’s high time someone blew the whistle on all the silly prattle about revamping our language to suit the purposes of certain political fanatics. You know what I’m talking about-those who accuse speakers of English of what they call...
This Is the Title of This Story, →
This is the first sentence of this story. This is the second sentence. This is the title of this story, which is also found several times in the story itself. This sentence is questioning the intrinsic value of the first two sentences. This sentence is to inform you, in case you haven’t already realized it, that this is a self-referential story, that is, a story containing sentences that...
Eight things I think I think →
Good list. Number 2, “Google rank will become a political argument,” is probably quite likely. Though I’m pretty sure number 6, “somebody will get stabbed for speaking too loud with his mobile phone in a public place” has already happened — I have a vague recollection of reading about it somewhere. (via.)
I released a Wordpress theme a while ago that’s become somewhat popular — thousands of downloads popular — which makes me quite happy. (What makes me even happier is I get very few e-mails requesting support.) My policy regarding credit to me is that I don’t really care that much. The theme comes with a link and my name in the footer. It’s up to you if you take it out. But if...
TV Critics Admit To Never Having Watched The Wire →
From The Onion, as funny as ever. If you want to read some good commentary on The Wire — that is to say, not just reviews singing its praises, or satire pieces — I suggest Freakonomics’ What do real thugs think of The Wire? series, in which Sudhir Venkatesh watches The Wire with “real thugs” and reports their reactions. Part three was published today. “It’s a TV show,” I...
Visualizing the Bible →
This is absolutely brilliant.