Sues has been getting busy with the needles. The knitting pattern and instructions will be available for download at some point for anyone interested.
Now that’s a good idea:
A young chap attached a generator to his hamster’s wheel and now it charges his mobile phone for him. The strange thing is that he got a ‘C’ for GCSE science… And people say that GCSEs are getting easier…
Pinholecamp is a group of artists who go out to the Burning Man festival each year and take some beautiful images with a room-sized pinhole camera. Like pretty much everything at the festival, they do this for free and for the spirit of the thing; however, it does cost them a lot of money, so if you fancy buying an interesting print for US$20 and supporting a great group of people then visit their site and participate in keeping a great thing going. I’ve just sent them some money because I think that they’re a very worthy cause.
I can’t afford to get the to Burning Man this year. I’ve been twice in the past and I will go again in the future. There’s nothing else like it on earth, and it starts (officially) tomorrow.
Given that apparently there is some doubt about the theory of evolution, I feel it is wise to highlight a couple of alternatives that should be covered when the Kansas curriculum (and later probably the rest of the US states) is opened up to suggest different approaches to creation.
First up we have the sound and reasonable belief that the world was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. The author of the website explains in his open letter to the Kansas School Board:
Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.
We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. [...] a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artefact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artefact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.
Read more about the reasonable request here http://www.venganza.org/
The second theory, that it is of the utmost importance that should be presented with equal seriousness to other competing interpretations, is that of the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
The IPU’s great appeal is described in a brilliant and undeniable piece of theo-logic:
The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a being of great spiritual power. We know this because she is capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that she is pink; we logically know that she is invisible because we can’t see her.
You can’t argue with that.
So, along with Intelligent Design I hope to see these equally valid and scientific proposals on the Kansas syllabus next year.
Do you know any others that I should be aware of? Put a link in a reply!
Does anyone know if this site really makes good on their promise?
If they do then it’s definitely worth a visit.
I don’t often laugh out loud at things on the web, but this really did the trick for me (although where’s the rubber?).
I’ve made a game for the charity organisation Water Aid. They do great work with the government trying to make sure that funding for supplies of fresh water gets to where it’s needed.
They wanted a game about the frustrations of trying to get money when you’re a poor country, and you can play it online here:
I’ve been waiting ages for the long-rumoured new Portishead album, so in the meantime I’ve found an album from a couple of years ago by the lead singer Beth Gibbons and someone called Rustin Man. It’s called ‘Out Of Season’ and, while not being slow trip hop (drip hop?) like the Portishead songs, it certainly has some really good moments. Beth Gibbons’ voice is very distinctive and it’s nice to hear something from her that I’d not heard before.
How strange. I was looking for some information about an obscure old Philip K Dick story and stumbled on this site http://perkypat.info. Have a look through the pictures section. For some reason I found it very disturbing. There’s not a lot on there, and I can’t read the text, but I’m not really sure that I want to be able to…
Is this a good thing or a bad thing: Micro$oft have said that they are putting some sort of security system into the XBox 360 (to be released later this year UK link) which means that only products that have been licensed directly by them will work on it. Anyone who wants to make a peripheral for the 360 will have to have it quality checked by M$ before it’s available to you. So… That seems good. Sort of.
The alternate reading of events is that this also means that M$ will be charging manufacturers to have a license to produce for their machine, meaning that the peripherals will likely cost more to cover M$’s costs and will probably be just as good/bad as they were before M$ examined the technology. This is without going into the litigation minefield of M$’s history of ‘getting inspiration’ from their competitors.
In the best possible world this will mean great add-ons for everyone, but, being cynical like I am, I suspect it just means more costs for the consumer for exactly the same devices.
As a thought: do you think that someone would be able to take M$ to court if a peripheral that they had approved wasn’t very good? After all, M$’s sign of approval should be a signifier that the item is a high-quality product and if it’s not then is that misleading to the consumer? I’d love to see someone try that!
modern welcome stopping matter and
mother nothing shook
opposite saying age changed
So, DS has a mother and she thinks that things aren’t the way they were when she was young. No surprise there then. But what would DS’s mother be? And would DS be insulted if I said she’s probably as big as a house (literally)?
My taste in music is generally quite bleepy, but for many years I’ve enjoyed the dulcet tones of Fiona Apple’s two albums, which have now been released in a combined set UK link US link. Her first album, Tidal, has many great tracks on it and shows a voice with great strength and potential. Her unusual style of instrumental arrangment is very distinctive and produces some beautiful riffs that linger in the memory. A slightly more mainstream release of hers was ‘Across the Universe’, which has been described as ‘the best Beatles cover ever recorded’, and can be found on the soundtrack to Pleasentville (which is also a lovely film, and features the Fiona Apple video on the DVD UK link US link).
Anyway, back in 2003 she completed work on an album called ‘Extraordinary Machine’ which was apparently deemed too uncommericial for release. Some say that Miss Apple thought that the album wasn’t really finished, but I suspect that we won’t hear the truth about it. Fast forward to now, the album has been leaked onto P2P networks and a campaign has been running for around a year to get the album released. Finally later this year it will come out with about two-thirds of the tracks re-recorded. I’ve got a copy of the unreleased ablum, and it continues her earlier eccentric sound and puts in a few new twists. It’s definitely worth a listen and I’m looking forward to the official release and to hearing the difference the recording has made.
If you like female singers and fancy trying something a little unusual then give Fiona Apple a try.
Here’s a more formal run-down of the goings on:
There is now a website devoted to the inimitable style of the North Korea News and it has its own random insult generator, which is perfect for those times when the imperialist lackeys are showing their true faces to be those of running dogs. Great stuff.
Did this kind of stuff appear funny 40 years ago?
because worthy excitement between
why turning thats handwriting
It seems that DS has been around twenty years, but the excitement of the approaching birthday is what has prompted it into starting writing poetry. Aww, bless.
‘Electric sheep’ is a screen-saver that generates fractal patterns and using distributed processing to create new ones. The results are often very beautiful and hypnotic fractal flames that can be worryingly addictive to just sit and watch.
You need to have a decent-speed always-on internet connection and a fair bit of patience for the first ‘sheep’ (ie. fractal flame) to download, but once you’re started you won’t regret it.
For a long time I never bothered having a screen-saver, I found them annoying and distracting, but now I’m happy to see the sheep pop-up and help me relax into thought.
They’ve just updated the software so now’s a great time to grab electric sheep for your computer:
There’s more info in the FAQ link, so check that out if you’ve got questions.
When I was a kid I learnt origami, and even had an exhibition at my (tiny) local library. Back in those days it was hard to find any decent books about origami, and the internet was only a twinkle in the US military-industrial complex’s eye (and a few universitys’). If you were lucky you could find an old copy of Robert Harbin’s brilliant books (US link UK link) but most books had about twenty basic models and not a lot else. To this day I still make little birds occasionally, and it’s very relaxing to be able to make something elegant from something as simple as a square of paper.
Today things have changed. There are loads of origami books, reprints of Robert Harbin’s work, and models that certainly didn’t turn up in the books that I was reading when I was a kid. Today there are whole books dedicated to naughty origami (US link UK link), modelling women’s and men’s anatomy in various configurations, which may admittedly be more entertaining than a flapping bird and may prove a good talking point over a dinner with a loved one but I wouldn’t suggest trying to get them exhibited in your local library unless you enjoy giving grannies heart-attacks.
Or, more specifically, the Google boss got Googled and isn’t happy about it.
CNetNews.com ran an article demonstrating how easy it is to find personal information on Google, and as an example found some info about the Chief Executive. Google wasn’t very happy and complained to CNet about the use of the their CEO’s private information in the article and has now decided that it won’t talk to CNet for a whole year!
It’s just another case of a corporation not being happy about the way people use its tools, and I always find these kinds of things amusing.
Adobe threw a similar sort of strop a little while ago about people using ‘photoshop’ as a verb, such as ‘that image has been photoshopped’. Apparently we are supposed to say ‘that image has been altered using Adobe® Photoshop® Image Manipulation software’, and, yes, you are supposed to put those ‘registered trademark’ symbols in every time if you are typing that. Aww, poor ickle Adobe are getting in a stress that their company’s products are so good that everyone uses the name as a verb. Diddums.
I can understand that the Google boss might not want his personal information available online, but it’s the situation that the rest of the world is in because of Google, so either they need to work out a way to prevent this or they will have to learn to live with it. I suspect that it’s going to be the latter (but if it is they won’t be telling CNet about it until next year).