Tuesday, June 14, 2005

OK boys, play together nicely or I'll take the computer away

A Shanghai man has been sentenced to death after killing someone who stole a virtual sword in an online game.

The pair had argued over ownership of a virtual sword that Qiu and another player had won in the online game “Legend of Mir III.” Qiu loaned the item to Zhu, but Zhu then sold it for 7,200 renminbi (around US$870). When Qiu tried to involve the police in recovering the item or the money, he was told that such virtual items are not protected by Chinese property laws. After Zhu refused to return the item or pay compensation, Qiu went to his home and stabbed him in the heart, according to the report.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Freakboy alert

Say hello to Mannequim man, the human mannequin.

Preferably with a slap and tell him to get a proper job

I hate those buggers that lurk around Covent Garden standing still all day in rubbish make-up and costumes.

Three years in mime school and that's all your capable of ....

Move along now, there's nothing to see

Ohmigod! Hell just froze over!

How is this for massive news??

Pink Floyd are reforming to play Live8 in July.

Yes indeedy, Roger Waters will play once more with Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright.

Roger Waters always said it would take something of the magnitude of Live Aid to get them back together because otherwise it could only be about making oodles of cash and would just be a huge sell-out of what he thinks it stands for

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Masque of the Red Death

Years ago I wrote and performed a tour of Edgar Allen Poe's The masque of the Red Death, a short story in which a group of rich degenerates lock themselves away in a castle ignoring the dangers of plague, lost in a cloud of debauchery and irresponsibility.

My inspiration for doing the piece was that, even then in 1992, I felt a lot of gay men had grown complacent about the dangers of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. I felt that the rise in drug use that had been happening since the rise of Acid House, raves and other beat heavy dance music clubs had led to greater irresponsibility where safe sex was concerned.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude, and have lived life to the fullest fo the full. What I've never done is play russian roulette with my sexual health.

It comes as no surprise then to read that with the rise of Methamphetamine usage (crystal or tina to her friends) there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of people contracting HIV and other STDs

After years of living in constant fear of aids, many gay men have chosen to resume sexual practices that are almost guaranteed to make them sick. In New York City, the rate of syphilis has increased by more than four hundred per cent in the past five years. Gay men account for virtually the entire rise. Between 1998 and 2000, fifteen per cent of the syphilis cases in Chicago could be attributed to gay men. Since 2001, that number has grown to sixty per cent. Look at the statistics closely and you will almost certainly find the drug. In one recent study, twenty-five per cent of those men who reported methamphetamine use in the previous month were infected with H.I.V.

The healing hands of the truth

Here's a story of how personal courage and resistance to corruption can pass under the radar even on a national television station.
Natalia Dmytruk, a sign-language interpreter in the Ukraine state-run television station, has won an award for the vital part she played in letting the population of the Ukraine know that the presidential elections had been rigged.
Dmytruk, 48, made sign language her vocation and today interprets for Ukraine's state-run television. Her face and hands appear in a little box at the bottom of the screen as she sends out the news on the mid-morning and early afternoon telecasts to the hearing-impaired.
During the tense days of Ukraine's presidential elections last year, Dmytruk staged a silent but bold protest, informing deaf Ukrainians that official results from the Nov. 21 runoff were fraudulent. Her act of courage further emboldened protests that grew until a new election was held and the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko , was declared the winner.
Dmytruk and three other Ukrainian women received the Fern Holland Award on Tuesday night at the Vital Voices Global Partnership's fifth annual ceremony honoring women from around the world who have made a difference.

Dmytruk's "courageous actions sparked the public outreach and ultimately new and fair elections on Dec. 26, 2004," said Melanne Verveer , chair of the board of Vital Voices.

Election monitors had reported widespread vote-rigging immediately after the runoff between Yushchenko and the Russian-backed prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych . With Yanukovych leading by a slim margin, the opposition urged Ukrainians to gather in Independence Square in front of the parliament building to protest the results.

Each time Dmytruk went to Independence Square with her 20-year-old son and teenage daughter and saw the thousands of protesters, she felt herself transformed .

"I was impressed by the expression on my children's faces. I was so fired up by other people I observed passionately voicing their discontent," she said in an interview this week. "It was that special spirit and energy of people coming together, uneasily at first, but looking in the same direction."

Dmytruk would then return to work and broadcast the state's version of events.

"I was observing it from both sides, and I had a very negative feeling," she said. "After every broadcast I had to render in sign language, I felt dirty. I wanted to wash my hands."

The opposition had no access to the state-run media, but Dmytruk was in a special position as a television interpreter to get their message out.

On Nov. 25, she walked into her studio for the 11 a.m. broadcast. "I was sure I would tell people the truth that day," she said. "I just felt this was the moment to do it."

Under her long silk sleeve, she had tied an orange ribbon to her wrist, the color of the opposition and a powerful symbol in what would become known as the Orange Revolution. She knew that when she raised her arm, the ribbon would show.

The newscaster was reading the officially scripted text about the results of the election, and Dmytruk was signing along. But then, "I was not listening anymore," she said.

In her own daring protest, she signed: "I am addressing everybody who is deaf in the Ukraine. Our president is Victor Yushchenko. Do not trust the results of the central election committee. They are all lies. . . . And I am very ashamed to translate such lies to you. Maybe you will see me again -- " she concluded, hinting at what fate might await her. She then continued signing the rest of officially scripted news.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lifecycle of Bloggers

Found this list of stages in the lifecycle of blogging and am trying to decide where I am in the list.

#1. Start reading blogs.
You start out as a lurker and by either having met a blogger or run accross an intriguing and challenging post from someone else’s blog, you start mulling about in your head for either a forum for response, challenge, or agreement. You *could* start by commenting on other folks blogs first, but you start having a gradually increased desire for a space of your own. Like when you’re living in your parent’s basement and the rest of your friends are making weekly trips to Home Depot and using words like “mulching”. You begin to wonder if you want to belong.

#2. You start a blog.
Maybe at first it’s on blogspot or livejournal. You start writing about cheese sandwhiches. You use your full name and the full names of your friends that are involved in your occasionally mischievous exploits. These things satisfy you. Hubris starts taking a more significant part of your site as you develop your tiny homestead online. The notion of fleshing out your online personality becomes important.

#3. You become a stats whore.
Daily stats/referrals and meme participation for webrings, quizlists, personality profiles, and the occasional sepia toned webcam photo to make you look all “emo” and “sultry” and “sensitive” or at least a little bit thinner. And definitley like a Kpop music video still image. You voraciouslly groom your links list as you build a posse. The wishlist makes it’s initial appearance and creepy strangers start sending you gifts when your birthday comes around. You consider this slightly weird, but hey, then again, you *did* get that Star Wars Box set that you always wanted. You *start* memes just for the additional traffic. Perhaps you even start a webgame of sorts.

#4. You become really personal on your site as the online and real-life worlds start confusing you.
As you recognize the possibility of being an opinion leader in your personal circle, people flame you. You occasionally flame back. You cry about comments that certain people make to provoke you. You bitch about these things as well. Then you take into consideration that comments were made by pimply 14 year olds who post jpegs of their warcraft characters online and realize that these lOZeRs aren’t worth your time. This gives you an sense of superiority. Haha! you say to yourself. I have a posse and a blog and you don’t. So fuck off, you lame twat. Hazzah!

#5. You faux “retire” from blogging.
Having temporarily exhausted the emotional reservoir from which your personal blog has released, you post about retiring. Or a vacation. Or a hiatus. Or a sabbattacal. You say this will be permanent. Or last a month.

#6. You cave back into blogging in less than 72 hours.
You candy pants blogging crack addict.

#7. You decide to “get serious” about blogging.
You seek out “The A-List” of bloggers and start reading more of them, and news about them, and news about blogging in general. You come to the conclusion that if you ever hope to join their rank, then you need to atleast register your own domain. Afterall, http://candypantsnewbiebloggeraboutcheesesandwhiches.blogspot.com will not get you linked by Kottke.

#8. You have a pseudo flirty im/blogging/flickr flirting relationship with another blogger whom you have never met.
This will likely end badly. Very badly.

#9. You decide that you must meet other bloggers.
SXSW seems like a good way to go about it. Or attendance at Fray Day. Or finding any excuse possible to move to San Francisco. At least a trip, after all. With a visit to SF, meeting other “celebrity” bloggers is just as tasty a tourist destination as going to Fisherman’s Wharf. Or more so. Definitley more so. Your blogroll grows threefold.

#10. You take a step back and metablog about blogging and what blogging has done about your blogging.
You become pedantically navelgazingly annoying. For some reason, your blogger readership eats this shit up. This does not convince you, however, that you want to do something silly like smoke weed with Marc Canter. Because even *you* know that’s a bad idea.

I do mine when skiving at work - I almost never get the time to blog at home. I'd like to be a stats whore but I don't think I get enough readers to make it worthwhile. I virtually ever talk about my life and it's more a case of I blog where I've been when I should really be working.

What's your worldview??

You scored as Materialist. Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements

What's your personality defect???

I'm a Starving Artist

You are 42% Rational, 42% Extroverted, 28% Brutal, and 57% Arrogant.
You are the Starving Artist! You are more intuitive than logical, and are primarily guided by your heart and emotions. You are also very introverted and gentle. Of course, this does not mean that you do not have an ego. In fact, you are surprisingly arrogant for someone so emotional and gentle. This is why you are best described as a starving artist. You are very introspective and quite sure of yourself, as any accomplished artist is, yet your views are impractical, guided by feelings, and overly gentle. You probably find math, logic, and similar intellectual pursuits offensive to your artistic sensibilities, and you prefer the open-endedness of artistry because then you know you can never truly have a wrong answer. So really you have no reason to be arrogant, you big doofus, because the skills you value (emotion, spirit, art, etc.) in yourself are valuable only on a subjective level, meaning your arrogance is purely masturbatory. In short, your personality is defective because you are arrogant, introverted, introspective, gentle, and thoroughly irrational...posessing most of the traits needed to be a starving--and useless--artist. So get out there, write a few short stories that are allegories for the spirit, and starve!

Your exact opposite is the Capitalist Pig.

Well they got the last bit right - how I hate capitalist pigs - they should be made into capitalist bacon sandwiches and fed to cannibals. Anyone know where i can find a tribe of hungry canibals who'd like to dine on capitalist swine??

How's this for tacky

A dutch site that sells stuffed toys including fake stuffed animal heads - just vey very nasty and unpleasant

Friday, June 03, 2005

What to do in the hereafter

I've always thought I'd liked to be buried in a sack sitting up with an apple tree planted over my head so that my decomposing body could be transformed into something that people could sit under and eat the fruit from the tree fertilised by my life.

Obviously, I'd prefer that this to happen after I die.

Today i read of Eternal reefs, who offer the chance to have one's asshes mixed into a concrete reef scaffolding to help create new habitats for coral and a plethora of other pland and wildlife.

Seems like quite a nice idea

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Entrances to hell

Now here's one I forgot all about till I was reminded of it on the Guardian's page. Basically it keeps track of mystrious entrances around the UK which could possibly be an entrance to Hell

This one's called Badadada tatatata