Hello Cruel World
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Welcome to The Mess
Blogger is still behaving strangely betimes. Am not able to safely remove duplicates or re-edit entries yet. Sorry about the mess, it'll get fixed, but I think you can get the general flavour anyway. I hope. <cheesy grin>
New lows in film tie-in merchandising
Sauron's One Ring
An electronic replica of the Dark Lord of Mordor’s armor-clad severed finger which recalls the defeat of the malicious ruler of Middle-earth by brave Isildur, eldest son Elendil, who cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron at the Battle of the Last Alliance in the Second Age.
(Collections are also available for Alien, Predator, Shrek, Star Wars and Star Trek)
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
World Wide Web
The WorldWideWeb (W3) is a wide-area href="http://www.w3.org/History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/WhatIs.html
">hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal
access to a large universe of documents.
Everything there is online about W3 is linked directly or
indirectly to this document ...
That last bit is a kinda cosmic recognition. But then, you can almost say
the same thing about roads: "The road goes ever on and on, down from the
door where it began" Certainly it applies within continental
masses, like Eurasia-Africa, the Americas & Australia.
Going Home Again by Howard Waldrop; Review by Greg L Johnson
Going Home Again is Howard Waldrop's fourth short
story collection. It contains nine stories published from 1992 to 1998. Not
only are they the best stories Waldrop has written over that time span, they
are pretty much the only stories he has written, along with continuing work
on two novels, one already 26 years in the making. As he observes in the
introduction, "This is not the way to make lots of money." It is, however,
the way to write many-layered stories that reward the reader willing to pay
attention to every word that appears on the page ...
One of the best things about science fiction is that it often provides a
home for writers that just don't fit in anywhere else ... Howard Waldrop is
another singularly individual writer who writes complex, beautiful short
stories, many of which reveal alternate histories of a truly unique nature
Words & Music. Words & Deeds
You probably need to hear this. ( href="http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/common_people.wma">http://www.shoutfact
ory.com/av/common_people.wma ). You may not think you need to hear it,
but I'm afraid you do. Resistance is futile. (Who do you think is the vocal
ml - with video (may be overloaded) -- or explore other (p)arts at
aviola.com ( or try from this page: href="http://fredo.em411.com/show/release/2430">http://fredo.em411.com/show/
release/2430 , which links to the MP3 at href="http://fredo.em411.com/download/release/2430/fredo_em411_com_the_sad_s
... and for dedication to the cause of freedom from censorship (compare
9/11F banned by ADF stories) see href="http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16088">http://n
ewsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16088 re David
David's fundraising efforts ("PETER DAVID & THE PINIS' SDCC INK ADVENTURE"-
with pix) or the same story at href="http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16047">
"PETER DAVID: GETTING INK FOR THE FUND"
Words & Music. Words & Deeds
You probably need to hear this. ( http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/common_people.wma ). You may not think you need to hear it, but I'm afraid you do. Resistance is futile. (Who do you think is the vocal artist?)
Alternatively, http://aviola.com/the_sad_song.html - with video (may be overloaded) -- or explore other (p)arts at aviola.com ( or try from this page: fredo.em411.com/show/release/2430 , which links to the MP3 at fredo.em411.com/download/release/2430/ fredo_em411_com_the_sad_song.mp3
... and for dedication to the cause of freedom from censorship (compare 9/11F banned by ADF stories) see http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16088 re David David's fundraising efforts ("PETER DAVID & THE PINIS' SDCC INK ADVENTURE"- with pix) or the same story at http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16047 "PETER DAVID: GETTING INK FOR THE FUND"
World Wide Web
The WorldWideWeb (W3) is a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.
Everything there is online about W3 is linked directly or indirectly to this document ...
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Re Ulrika's post on part of one of Patrick's comments "In a society in which everyone "knows" that politicians and activists are entirely no-goodniks, who has power?"
I call this 'Christabel' from just one tiny moment in the TV version.
[In 1934, Christabel Burton married Peter Bielenberg, an Oxford graduate and German lawyer. In 1935 she became a German citizen and moved to Hamburg. She kept notes during the next ten years, and a few years after the war, wrote her story (under either "The Past is Myself" or "When I was German" ). In 1988 it was adapted by Dennis Potter to a TV series called "Christabel", and shown on the BBC (and PBS in 1989).] Someone asks her what she thinks of Herr Hitler's political ideas and she says something along the lines of "Oh, I don't follow politics".
Going Home Again by Howard Waldrop - reviewed by Greg L Johnson
Going Home Again is Howard Waldrop's fourth short story collection. It contains nine stories published from 1992 to 1998. Not only are they the best stories Waldrop has written over that time span, they are pretty much the only stories he has written, along with continuing work on two novels, one already 26 years in the making. As he observes in the introduction, "This is not the way to make lots of money." It is, however, the way to write many-layered stories that reward the reader willing to pay attention to every word that appears on the page ...
One of the best things about science fiction is that it often provides a home for writers that just don't fit in anywhere else ... Howard Waldrop is another singularly individual writer who writes complex, beautiful short stories, many of which reveal alternate histories of a truly unique nature ...
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Can't fix up formatting until blogger editor works again
Shadows Cast by a Loving Father and the Holocaust
By ROBERTA SMITH
Published: July 12, 2004
Slideshow of photos mentioned in above article:
Animal colouration: www.nytimes.com/2004/07/20/science/20colo.html
Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Letter Report - read for free
Also Related Links:
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) More Titles from ASEB;
Space Studies Board (SSB); More Titles from SSB
www.ericblumrich.com/gta.html - Grand Theft America - another take on the 2000 US election
flatrock.org.nz/topics/odds_and_oddities/underground_retreat.htm - A nice, rambling sort of site in general. This page deals with some designs for underground homes.
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/episode_archive/0,1783,HGTV_3836_43,00.html (Extreme Homes)
Weather dark, cold, occasionally wet, just like winter should be. I'm miserable & logy, just like usual in winter.
Weird things happening on several computer sites today. Things not working the way they should (e.g. Blogger), multiple postings appearing, etc. Think I'll get out of the way for now.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Supply And Demand
respectfulofotters.blogspot.com/ 2004_07_01_respectfulofotters_archive.html #109043406521044247
I'm still catching up on blog reading, so I almost missed Kevin Drum's hilarious economics contest (www.washingtonmonthly.com/ archives/ individual/ 2004_07/004329.php ) (also see below):
Supply and demand. Yes indeed. The labor market is a slave to supply and demand just like any other market, right?
Odd, then, that CEO pay rose 27% in 2003 ( moneycentral.msn.com/ content/ invest/ extra/ P83603.asp ), isn't it? Did the supply of CEOs shrink last year? Did demand skyrocket?
What's more, compared to average workers, who remain stuck in the invisible grip of Adam Smith, CEO pay has increased about 3x since 1990 and about 7x since 1980 ( http://www.commondreams.org/ news2004/ 0414-10.htm ).
Is this the free market at work? That's what I'm told. So I have a contest in mind: a prize for the least laughable explanation for why CEO pay has gone up 7x since 1980 based on supply and demand ...
www.washingtonmonthly.com/ archives/ individual/ 2004_07/004329.php
July 18, 2004
WORKING CLASS WOES — PART 1....The New York Times reports that the working class isn't doing too well these days:
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hourly earnings of production workers - nonmanagement workers ranging from nurses and teachers to hamburger flippers and assembly-line workers - fell 1.1 percent in June, after accounting for inflation....In June, production workers took home $525.84 a week, on average. After accounting for inflation, this is about $8 less than they were pocketing last January, and is the lowest level of weekly pay since October 2001.
...."There's a bit of a dichotomy," said Ethan S. Harris, chief economist at Lehman Brothers. "Joe Six-Pack is under a lot of pressure. He got a lousy raise; he's paying more for gasoline and milk. He's not doing that great. But proprietors' income is up. Profits are up. Home values are up. Middle-income and upper-income people are looking pretty good." ...
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Happy Anniversary, Mike, Buzz & Neil
www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj ( Apollo Lunar Surface Journal - a good resource to argue against the 'moon landings were faked' idea.)
Sitting among a bunch of restless children on a hard wooden floor at the back of the midwinter-cold school hall, with the B & W 16" TV on the stage, after waiting through a long delay, it was very difficult to hear or see the transmission. Luckily by then my parents had TV of their own (before would watch at my grandmother's) and we could all watch the replay together on that night's news. Now I have seen the Full Moon exhibition, with photos up to life-size, and have the book Full Moon, by Michael Light, Andrew Chaikin (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999, ISBN: 0375406344) Light took NASA's master negatives of photos taken by Apollo astronauts and scanned them electronically, there's an essay by Chaikin.
www.retroweb.com/apollo_retrospective.html (A personal look back at man's first voyages to the Moon, from the perspective of a young teenager at the time.)
Monday, July 19, 2004
Hiatus; not Haiti, nor Hawaii - Burbling
Winter's bit. Snow over large chunks of New South Wales. Cold winds & rain here.
Did get, with MWS's help, a bunch done at Chris' place, but had a terrible abdominal muscular spasm after we got back to my place, so that I had to take a painkiller & prop myself up in the corner — they get worse if I lie down. Fell asleep (still upright) after the painkiller cut in, so didn't help M cut down the stuff in the yard.
Tonight there was a blackout for a couple of hours over our whole suburb, streetlights 'n' all. Was able to heat soup on the gas stove, use torches, lamps & a glass-enclosed candle for light so we could find our way about & rugs to keep mother wrapped up & warm. Took risk to put computer on to catch up on email & suchlike that I'd been too busy on weekend to check.
Lots of things to say & think, but no energy at the moment to put them down. Hovering on the cusp of tears several times yesterday & today, but not going down quite as much as before. A couple of weeks away from Chris' birthday.
Work tomorrow & wrapping mother up warmly to go out to her day centre. Sounds like fun.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
From the end of 1999 I was in mourning for my father for a year, and came
out of two years mourning for my partner at Easter this year. So I'm a bit
over black for a while, and have been dragging my winter clothes from 2001
out of the back of the cupboard.
It is interesting how colours & fashion styles do seem to cycle
around things that are incompatible with each other (eg lots of 'ice-cream'
pastels, then bright primaries, then very minimalist 'elegant', etc.
combined with a shape variable involving loose/tight, long/short, etc.),
with a changeover period usually involving black & white. Over several
decades I've built up enough of a wardrobe to keep me going most of the
time, and just wait for the cycle to swing past something that suits me to
pounce on it.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
You just can't get good help these days
Heard recently on 702BL (702 MHz AM radio) a quick discussion of recent suggestions by Bronwyn Bishop (Federal Member for Mackellar - Liberal). Chips are being spat here.
Based on what I understand from that discussion:
- Mrs Bishop says the Tax Act should be amended to provide taxation deductions not just for childcare or caring for disabled & elderly, but for any & all handymen, gardeners, housekeepers & so forth employed by a household.
And, from what she says, also not to allow the primary carer to work, but just to keep the household going? That is, she is suggesting the reason for the deduction not be that the expenditure is 'in order to produce assessable income'.
Sounds, basically, that this is mainly to pay for wealthy people's servants, under the guise of helping your average Aussie to pay for childcare.
The wealthy will be able to employ many more such helpers, and as both partners will not need to work in paid employment in order to get the deduction, I strongly suspect the amount they'd be able to claim would be considerably higher than the mean or median income couple.
Mrs Bishop goes on about the extra jobs produced, but why encourage in particular such servant's jobs, yet discourage things like people researching alternative energy, or ecological or medical research by cutting funds to a number of research centres in this year's budget?
To me this reflects the whole psychology & ideology of the 'modern' Liberal Party, which goes back to nineteenth century ideas, nineteenth century industrial & social relationships and the kind of Social Darwinism and Free Trade philosophy that had parts of Ireland exporting wheat to the English market (which could afford it) even while hundreds of thousands of Irish (who couldn't afford it) were starving.
Monday, July 12, 2004
What your cat does while you're at work
What your cat does while you're at work: (http://dahtcom.com/Roger/lick.jpg)
Yay!! Some rain at long, long last! This stuff could be useful now
"Rite in the Rain" is a paper created specifically for writing field notes in all weather conditions; from the torrential downpours of the Pacific Northwest to the blistering heat and humidity of a Florida summer's day. [Indeed, it might even be useful outside the United States of America in other wet &/or humid climates.]
Click here to search our complete product line.
For a pen that writes better while wet, try our all-weather pens.
Prospectors Earth Sciences
Unit 39, 195 Prospect Hwy
Seven Hills, NSW 2147
AustraliaPhone: 011 61298 38 7899
FAX: 011 61298 38 7073
Firewalk record flare up
July 12, 2004 - 10:30AM
An attempt to create a world record for fire-walking in Dunedin yesterday led to
28 people being treated for burns - 11 of them at hospital.
The event raised more than $900 for an ambulance service - but the ambulance
service spent more than that treating injured fire-walkers.
Thong's flop effect
July 12, 2004 - 2:24PM
Wearing thongs can make men impotent and damage internal organs, a European
study of the popular footwear has found.
Researchers found thongs contain toxic phthalates - chemicals which can cause
men to flop in bed.
Phthalates are also suspected of acting like hormones and causing damage to the
liver and kidneys as well as reproductive organs.
The German Association for Environmental Protection also found high amounts of
lead and poisonous zinc and phosphororganic compounds in thongs they tested.
International Court of Justice - Cour internationale de Justice
Cour internationale de Justice - International Court of Justice: "
in English: www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/icj002.htm
en langue fran?aise: www.icj-cij.org/cijwww/cijhome.htm
Trinc hael, thu
Friday, July 09, 2004
Historical Hurricane Tracks: hurricane.csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Recipe 2 update
Xopher: Essensia (orange flower muscat) is a great dessert wine, especially with a chocolate dessert. A distinctly citrusy flavor, though it has nothing in it but grapes.
xeger: The company [Quady?] that makes Essensia also makes a delightful black muscat desert wine called 'Elysium'.
Speaking of fruity flavours, there's a really interesting single malt whiskey out of the California brewery St. George Spirits ( www.stgeorgespirits.com ). Scotch snobs think that it's dreadful - but just about everybody else loves it.
Saturday, July 03, 2004
DVD: One Man's Flight of Fancy (MSNBC report)
MSNBC - One Man's Flight of Fancy
... Major studios sold a stunning $9.4 billion worth of DVDs to retailers last year, proof that DVDs now bring in a majority — 52 percent in 2003 — of Hollywood's revenue. Everyone noticed when the man most responsible for their good fortunes arrived: Warren Lieberfarb, former chief of Warner Home Video ... He didn't invent the technology. More important, he saw its potential to transform the industry. So he cajoled, strong-armed and bargained with industry players around the world to set aside their parochial interests and sign on to a universal standard for the new format. ...
Since it was introduced in the spring of 1997, the small silver platter he championed has transformed Hollywood and the way the world watches movies. Lieberfarb's dead-on hunch — that the masses would buy DVDs, not just rent them — helped ignite the greatest boom in Hollywood history, fundamentally altering the economics of filmmaking. Nowadays movie theaters merely begin the buzz for DVDs. We spent as much as $400 million on DVDs of "Finding Nemo," about $60 million more than at the box office. The prospect of issuing old films anew on DVD is behind Sony's current eagerness to sink perhaps $5 billion into buying MGM, with its trove of classics like "The Wizard of Oz."
Museum of Online Museums
Museum of Online Museums
... links from our archives to online collections and exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions ... The MoOM is organized into three sections.
The Museum Campus contains links to brick-and-mortar museums with an interesting online presence. Most of these sites will have multiple exhibits from their collections (or .. displays of items not on display ...).
The Permanent Collectiondisplays links to exhibits of particular interest to design and advertising.
Galleries, Exhibition, and Shows is an ecelctic and ever-changing list of interesting links to collections and galleries, most of them hosted on personal web pages. In other words, it's where all the good stuff is.
One thing you won't find at MoOM are collections of posters or maps. [They] have their own departments in the coudal.com archives. Find them and be lost for hours. MoOM will be evolving each week, so if you have a link that you think belongs here, please send a note to "kevin at coudal dot com" for consideration...
www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/arthurccl101182.html (Arthur C Clarke's famous saying about technology & magic
This is my blogchalk:
Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.