Thursday, February 26, 2004

And yet another one
The Devil's Dictionary v2 Attempting to update the classic
Nobody Died"This photo-blog stands in mute protest against the obvious, but also pays tribute to the 'guerillas' responsible for this covert truth campaign"

A campaign of freeway blogging in california - a particularly good one "Dear America, Thanks for all the money, sorry about your kids. -- Halliburton Oil"
Space Art in Children's books 1950's to 1970's some amazing pictures from the late 19th century onwards of sci-fi illustration
'Doonesbury' Offers $10,000 for Proof Bush Served his time. vietnam-dodger George W Bush supposedly served his term of duty in the Alabama Air National Guard. now Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who can prove he actually turned up for duty in 1972
3D Models from a Single View - a project at oxford is developing software that can generate an 3d model from any 2dimensional image such as a photograph or painting - some nice examples on their website in VRML and in MPEG format

Monday, February 23, 2004

I think I'm going slightly mad - weird image that seems to move even though it isn't
Prokudin-Gorskii Images Some amazing photographs by a Russian Photographer from before the Russian Revolution. There is a great exhibition of hi-res copies of some of his photographs also at the Library of Congress website

Friday, February 20, 2004

A weird 3D representation of how long it takes for a ping to go from Berlin around the world - I could watch it for hours (well, ok in truth, a few seconds before I lose interest)
Grey Tuesday EMI have banned DJ Danger Mouse from using samples from the Beatles White Album on his remix album The Grey Album. Hip Hop's not really my thing but there is a principle involved - The record industry stifles creativity for it's own greedy ends. They constatnly use the plaintive cry of "we're protecting Artists rights" whenever it suits them when, in fact, artists get a pittance of the megabucks the record companies force the consumer to pay.

So, in defiance, lots of sites are aiming to post the album for download next tuesday and they are asking other participants to turn their websites grey for a day on Tuesday February 24
I've been finding lots of paper models on the net today - firstly over at Flying Pig, who sell paper automata to make at home - some nice ones there - if you sign up for the newsletter there are even some freebies.

some others include maps of the world which you cut out of a sheet of paper and stick together

Here's a site with all manner of polyhedra to print out and make. You can make a paper steam Engine (might get soggy when you add water still it'll stop the fire from burning the paper!).

Some lovely kitsch stuff here. Loads of free stuff here

And look, since it's the Internet, there's even paper automata porn
Ike and the alien ambassadors According to Michael Salla, a former american university professor, today is the 50th anniversary of Ike d Eisenhower meeting aliens and refusing to give up nuclear weapons in return for advanced alien technology. Apparently this is hot news in UFO circles among the contactee/abductee lunatic fringe. Salla goes into further details on his website . To be honest I can't really bring myself to read this bilge, it all becomes a huge circular mess.

I think there was an X-Files episode in which it was postulated that the UFO/Abductee community was created and manipulated by groups that want disinformation to be spread among the paranoid and the gullible. whenever I see or hear the word Grey when applied to UFOs I automatically switch off, I was once involved in a production of Arthur Miller's the Crucible and just see it as Abigail williams style "me too" hysteria.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Animals on the Underground yes that's right, as we don't have enough worries with the decaying tube, now there are wild animals all over the tube network (well the map that is). Cutsey little animal shapes can be found on the tube. I wonder if Erich von Daniken will write a book proposing that it's evidence of ancient alien landing sites. Not that I'm saying it can't have happened, the first time I read Zecharia Sitchin I was blown away by some of the evidence: the Sumerian numbering system which enables the calculation of the solar year; the possibility of further planets in our solar system; so many things, but unfortunately let down by his determination to identify heroes in legends with historical figures. Exactly the same problem I have with people who contend the Bible is history
Woman Lived with Sister's Corpse for Months An elderly woman in Ireland can't remember how long she slept in the same bed as her dead sister but she thinks it might have been as long ago as Christmas 2002. Mary Ellen Lyons lived at home with her sister and brother. The brother sounds a wee bit on the dim side, he didn't even notice that one of his sisters never left her bedroom. Gosh and Begorah

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Oh dear, the news doesn't get any better for Microsoft Gates fiddles as PCs crash and burn
interesting article which says that it is technically feasible to make operating systems hack and virus proof but unfortunately Bill Gates and his cronies won't license the technology

I am constantly reminded of Jonathan Pryce's character in one of the recent Bond Movies, he says something along the lines of "is our new software ready??? Is it full of bugs and prblems so our customers will have to pay to download patches and updated versions in future???? Good"

Oh dear, cynical me, but isn't that just how the game is played???
BTW and it's a big one

Just cos I make copies of my games on my Hard Drive doesn't mean I give copies to other people, or condone copyright theft, I don't

I do understand people who do though, these things cost way too much money, are aimed at the young, who have less mone, why wouldn't they steal steal steal.

Stop being so greedy you capitalist pigs

Rant over
321 Studios sells system for copying PC games - you've got to feel sorry for PC users, here comes a bit of software that lets you make a diskcopy of a Game on CD, it costs $60 is probably gonna be sued out of existence while we lucky Mac users have been able to do just that thing for years and years and years. I nearly always end up making a virtual copy of a game, it's just so much quicker

Ha ha PCs are rubbish

Sorry, I have to work on stupid windows every stupid day at work and they are just so rubbish
He's at it again!

Not content with ranting on about Diana murder conspiracies, Mahammed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods, is suing Dow Jones, owner of the Wakll Street journal for libel relating to an article published in April 2002 which compared Harrods with "Enron". Unfortunately it costs to subscribe to the WSJ otherwise I would link to the article so that it would be come more prevalent on the net.
What a way to go! A woman from Streatham has had her cremated husband's remains put into a batch of shotgun cartridges so that 20 of his friends could go and bag some wildlife. It seems one dead person provides enough ash to fill 275 12 bore cartridges. This exercise in mass slaughter took place in Scotland at the end of January. Apparently the special cartridges were responsible for the deaths of 70 partridges, 23 pheasants, 7 ducks and a fox. I think they should have shot all the friends and used the spare cartridges bagging the local hunt

Monday, February 16, 2004

Fancy staying at a mediaeval italian castle? come to Il Borgia
Not quite pop-ups, but plenty of Things to make and do, including a model of Neuschwanstein and a T-Rex. There's even a model of the World Trade Center though obviously don't go near it with aeroplanes or matches (apologies for the poor taste of that one!)

Neuschwanstein is one of the the castles built by Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria. One of Bavaria's top tourist attractions, ot is probably most well known as the castle of Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which has the distinction of being the first film I ever remember seeing, way back in 1969. There is a production in the West End of London, which I haven't been to; mainly because the producers keep casting the most nausiating Z-List actors (and I use the term here in its loosest sense to mean some talentless bastard who continues to get work despite having all the charisma of haemorhoids) including Michael Ball, Gary Wilmot and, most recently, Jason Donovan. All of these people should be Google bombed with the words talentless bastards or derivative insulting curses that apply

You can hire the car from the film for Weddings, and all the usual celebratory nonsense; although there were, in fact, 4 different racing cars called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which was built and raced in the 1920s by Count Zborowski, a wealthy English sportsman who also enjoyed building racing cars and playing with Model Railways.He seems to have been fabulously wealthy, living near Canterbury in Kent
Salted Paper Prints - WH Fox Talbot's Prints

Nicephore Niepce, Museum of Photography - First photography Some nice early photographs
You too can make your own Salted Paper Prints using WH Fox Talbot's methods
There is a great site about the history of photography in Edinburgh by a guy called Peter Stubbs. He seems to have tracked down an amazing number of professional photography studios from the dawn of photography and onwards. Some absoultely amazing photographs on his website (unfortunately, not the most attractively designed site, though)Edinburgh

This daguerrotyp is the oldest known american portrait photgraph, made by Robert Cornelius in 1839
Saturday (Valentine's day) was the anniverssary of Matthew Brady taking the first photograph of an American President, James Polk, in office. This was a Daguerrotype, an early form of photography done on metal plates. An interesting timeline of the development of photography is available here

This was around the era of the American Civil War, there are some amazing pictures at the Library of congress site The sheer horrow of the slaughter seems magnified by the age and decay of the photographs.

Friday, February 13, 2004

One of Marvel's more interesting creations - Doctor Strange... Sorcerer Supreme Good site with lots of background info
Found on Gay Spiderman

rather amusing, Spiderman's got some dancing partners

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I've got a bit ospare time and want to continue redesigning my page - I did a mini tidy up yesterday but I want to do a complete site now from the bottom upwards is CSS. It's been a while, but there are some nice templates to start from >here, and they're on a Creative Commons License

Here's a great little page with a nice graphical layout to the different basic page layouts they're offering.

Some interesting ideas could come from StudioId
I'm working in Trafalgar Square at the moment which is really handy for going to galleries at lunchtime Today I went to the National Gallery and was particularly blown away by Hoogstraaten's peepshow, a 3 dimension box with an amazing trompe l'oeuil which appears to be 3 dimensional when you have a good peep. It really is amazing, thankfully one side is open so you can see inside and see how it's done, otherwise I am sure you would be convinced it was doll's house filled with models. Really amazing stuff

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I'm really into pop-up books at the moment and have bought myself a couple of books to help inspire me to maybe make one of my own. There are some great ones available, including Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, both by Robert who seems to be a bit of a genius - He's managed to create books which are a work of art and absolutely amazing. I

'm trying to find out about one I had as a child - a pop up Bible or Life of jesus type thing. The only thing I really remember about it (I would have been around 3 or 4) was the final pop-up which was a pop-up crucifiction - it sounds gross/crass/hilarious but I assure you it's true

A great list of books to be had at Wonderful World of Pop-Up and Animated Books. keep your eyes out for the work of Ingrid Siliakus who does amazing architecturarl sculptures out of single pieces of card.

Lots of exhibits here, Here, Another virtual exhibition. Interesting stuff about the history of pop-ups.

The Popuplady has a good page with good links, including a link to the world's largest pop-up uterus

Another pop up collection, A very simple How to make page
Bookmarklets are little bits of javascript that you can drag to your bookmarks bar and use to add extra functions to your browser. Some of my favourites are Zoom images in/out load all linked pictures in a new window, Go to the top level of a site, go forward a page, go back a page - really cool
Ah, my heart bleeds NOT. Yet another massive security problem resulting from the rubbish software Microsoft insists on inflicting on the world. Why aren't they facing up to massive class actions for consistently failing to produce software that is secure???
Macworld UK - Comcast offers $66 billion Disney merger deal The pressures are building in the Magic Kingdom US cable giant Comcast has gone public with its proposed deal to merge with Disney. Disney is now being described as a beleaguered company - and CEO Michael Eisner's position is being severely called into doubt.

Ah well "off with his head" as the Queen of Hearts might say (no not the long-departed Diana!!) and into the freezer to keep uncle Walt company
You can see a digitized copy of one of leonardo Da vinci's notebooks online at the British library website. The also have a Copy opf Caxton's Chaucer and the Gutenburg Bible
Ever wondered how to give your dinner that authentic medieval peasant flavour? Go to GodeCookery.Com where there are a plethora of bona recipes from days of yore. There are also loads of medieval resources to be found Middle Ages & Renaissance Pathfinder">here
VirtualParks is a QuickTime VR website with some great panoramas. You can search by theme or location

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Hamlet - The Text Adventure Remember the days of squnting at your tv screen playing "The Hobbit" on your Sinclair Spectrum? Screaming "Thorin, pick me up" at the top of your voice so he'd carry you through the Goblin's window, hopefully to find the ring and avoid Gollum?

Well now you can enjoy Hamlet the text adventure too - yay

But if you want to enjoy the hobbit, grab yourself a spectrum emulator (that one's for mac OS X and UNIX all you sad victims of the Microsoft hegemony and a copy of the Rom from the net. Otherwise go here and play it in Java

There are also more resources here
Ambrose Bierce Writer of Horror stories including an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and the Devil's Dictionary, a particularly witty and ascerbic book written in 1906, light years ahead of its time

A particular favourite of mine in the light of recent history is :

ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.

It's not known when he died, in 1913 he went to Mexico where he disappeared

Monday, February 09, 2004

Friday, February 06, 2004

Encyclopedia: History of Japan Interesting, japanese history
Japanese History Tres interesting
Academic Review of Durrington Walls Pictures here Durrington Walls it the biggest henge monument in the world - unfortunately a road bypass goes right through the middle of it. Information about Durrington can be found here and here

Thursday, February 05, 2004

inter - Face a slightly weird though interesting page watch the face move
Nice to Know: That America's class-less society is even more privilege ridden than UK society!!!

It seems the two front runners in this year's presidential case, Sen. Kelly and the shaved monkey are both ex-Yale men, members of the Skull & Bones club, the most exclusive fraternity they have.

And not just a little bit weird and kinky!!

describes a social club with arcane rules, a hoard of relics ranging from Hitler's silver collection to the skull of the Indian chief Geronimo - plus a resident prostitute.

initiation rites include a mud-wrestling bout, receiving a beating and the recitation by a new member of his sexual history - delivered while he lies naked in a coffin. Elevation of a Bonesman creates opportunities for his fellows, and Robbins says that President Bush has appointed 10 members to his administration, including the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
They boast of their ability to leverage their members into positions of power - no idle boast if they were caught up in the 2000 coup d'etat that put the monkey on the throne

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Mickey Mouse way to run a company

Last week, Pixar ended negotiations with Disney to renew their distribution deal after 13 succesful years of working together and five consecutive hits. It seems the strong wills of Steve Jobs and Michael Eisner weren't very compatible.

Now Roy Disney, nephew of old frozen head, has renewed his campaign to oust Eisner

Monday, February 02, 2004 some funny pix - particularly like the Screen Saviour
Ever fancied disecting a Frog?? the go to Froguts! - Virtual Dissection Software cool Flash site that allows you to disect a frog without actually harming an animal (aprt from the one they photoraphed, that is
How spooky Was just on Weird Links which today tells how Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz put a plastic bag over her head and suffocated herself back in the early sixties and it took me to Find A Grave. Cool, I thought, so I thought I'd put in a random name and see what came out. So at random I put in Boris Karloff. Imagine my surprise to discover that he died on this day Feb 2nd in 1969.

truly the spirit of Boris is looking down upon us heh heh heh
Save Tara / Skryne Valley - The irish government plans to build a road through the valley of Tara, one of Ireland's most historically significant sites. This site has been set up to lobby for a change in the plans. The idea of a motorway being driven through an area with clear historical ties which date as far back as the Stone Age is monstrous, as monstrous as building a road through Stonhenge or Mach Pichu of any other historical site.