30.9.05

Wasps?

My life is currently symbolised by the five dead wasps discovered on the hallway linoleum this morning. Five. Think about that for a while.

29.9.05

Bought it!

28.9.05

So, in my absence...

... the Aaron Carter Situation has escalated a little. If you're not hip to the little drama that is occuring over there, here's a short line of events:

  • - I link to this picture of Aaron Carter (younger brother of Nick Carter - some shite boy band member from the 90's that is trying to resurrect his pointless career following allegations that he beat ex-girlfriend Paris Hilton black and blue) after reading the Holy Moly mailout.
  • - Aaron Carter fans start flocking, after that post is ranked reasonable high in the MSN Image Search.
  • - they start to comment. I haven't had a third of that number of comments on any other post on my blog. Ever.
  • - they get a little abusive, so I delete a few.
But here's where it gets fun. While I was away, this comment gets posted, reading:
"Hey all...thank you to some for calling me a skank whore..and thank you to some who said i WAS pretty..that is me, amanda. We have been best friends for three years and 2 years ago, we met up at a party to hang out when we were going out around that time and his friend took that picture of us with his cell phone when we wernt looking..if you dont want to believe its me, fine..dont, but i was just as suprised as all of you are right now when i saw this picture come up on google images when i was simply searching for a picture of aaron to show my friend in guitar class..if anybody has any comments or wants a picture of me to prove that it IS me in that picture, you can email me at westsidegrl133@aol.com

and yes, it was good..it was great,,hes a great kisser, girls !! lol take it from me..
x0 all.. PLEASE do not publish this anywhere elce..i hoped for it to simply be a personal pic, but i guess it got out and now its on google..

Amanda."
No way of knowing if this is really her, but quite frankly, I don't quite think she's grasped the concept of privacy and the internet. She didn't even think to send me an email asking me to take down the link (not that I could even if I wanted to - which I don't - as Blogger doesn't let me edit past 300 posts). I'd email her... but I'm not quite sure what gems of wisdom would fall from her mouth to be honest.

Let this be a lesson to y'all. If you make it available, someone will probably find it and use it for evil.

Out!

Apologies for the absence! Apparently my bill paying skillz are not 1337. Back to regular posting later this evening.

24.9.05

Out?

"Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday demanding that British Prime Minister Tony Blair withdraw British troops from Iraq.

Three streams of marchers carrying banners, chanting and blowing horns converged on Hyde Park to hear anti-war speeches.

Police said 10,000 people took part in the demonstration -- far fewer than the 100,000 the organizers had hoped to attract -- and that it had passed without incident.

Protesters carried banners with slogans such as "Blair Liar", "Bush world No. 1 terrorist", "No war, no nukes" and "Blair's taking liberties, troops home now"."

Haven't these people heard of a political vacuum? I've been against this war since it's conception, but if we pull out now it's as good as throwing the Iraqi people to the dogs. Their subsceptibility to warlords and crooked Islam and all kinds of human rights violations is at an all time high - something that military withdrawal will only exacerbate.

I know that it sucks right now, but really... leaving is not the answer. We have a responsibility to clean up the mess that we've made, and not abandon a vulnerable nation to a potential leader that will make Saddam Hussein look like bloody Ghandi. I think the people that are marching against occupation are either ill-educated, or far too blinkered by their own self-importance to see the reality of the situation.

[From Reuters]

22.9.05

Quote 22/09/05 (#2)

"What impressed me the most was the concept behind the video, in which they present everything from the perspective of the TV. This means you never see any game images, but just from the movements of the players and the sound effects, you immediately understand the type of game they’re currently enjoying. It’s amazing to see how little blips and blops have become such a regular (and easily understandable) part of our vocabulary."

~ Jean Snow on the Revolution controller teaser video released by Nintendo last week.

Link Dump 22/09/05

  • - Mean Girls by Jess Cartner-Morley. That is one unfortunate picture of Heidi, and they reveal that there will be a crunk style track on the new album (released October 10th). Can't wait.
  • - When I eventually get paid this month, I will be buying a 6GB Creative Zen Micro. I'm not deciding on a colour, because I'm going to buy it from a physical store instead of online, and I'm not sure what they'll have in stock (I'm secretly hoping for powder blue though).
  • - The fact that the London bombers staged a practice run the week before it happened both terrifies and fascinates me.

21.9.05

Quote 22/09/05

"the road to hell is paved with bootleg software"

~ Andy Baio re: this Steve Jobs quote.

Skeleton in the Woods

"The skeleton of Richard Sumner - 47 when he went missing three years ago - was found in a remote area of Clocaenog Forest, Denbighshire, in April 2005.... [he was] at one time a scenic artist for opera productions at Glyndebourne, [and] had suffered from schizophrenia since 1984... he had attempted to take his life [...] before and [...] had taken four days to free himself. His skeleton was found by a woman who had become lost while walking her dog.

The handcuffs attached to one arm indicated that Mr Sumner had attached himself to the tree and thrown the key to a point where he could not retrieve it.

Home Office pathologist Brian Rogers said the position of the handcuffs and marks found on the tree indicated that Mr Sumner had probably changed his mind, but could not reach the key: "It's possible he took an overdose of tablets. It's possible he took poison."
[From BBC News]

20.9.05

Belfast Riot

19.9.05

Spotted 19/09/05

Four great big yellow juggernauts with the words "WORLD'S GREATEST MOSCOW STATE CIRCUS" emblazoned on the sides - one of them towing a dirty looking caravan.

A little girl standing up in her darkened bedroom window, feet on the windowsill, calling out quietly to a black and white moggie who paced across the car in the driveway, meowing loudly.

Boy racers in a thumping blue car.

18.9.05

CSI Season Six

Season Six of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation premiers on US television this coming Thursday. The last season ended on a particular high - CSI Nick Stokes being abducted, buried underground in a box (with a handgun)... the whole experience broadcast live to the lab on a webcam (not to mention Quentin Tarantino directing the whole shennanighan and the presence of a suicide bombing scene that meant it was delayed for a week in the UK). Nick got out alive, and I didn't really like the way it was directed, but all in all a good end to a solid season.

Safe to say, I am stupidly excited that a new season is about to begin. It's genuinely one of the best shows I have ever seen in my life (and I've watched a crapload of television in my short life) - a tumultuous mix of great characterisation, easy-to-understand science, drama and the celebration of all that is geeky - and perhaps the only television series that I have felt the need to go out and purchase in shiny expensive boxset form.

It almost seems custom designed for people just like me (zing! Saying that makes me feel like a sucker) - they play the music I listen to, they reference the cultural oddities I'm interested in, they flesh out characters I can identify with (and therefore give a shit about), and alongside all that, they make me think. I know that a lot of purists point and moan that it's not accurate, but it's TV, I don't necessarily care about it being 100% real. I care about it being engrossing and unpredictable with talent working hard in front and behind the cameras.

With the internet the way it is these days, the 6 month delay between US and UK broadcasting isn't really an issue - I'll torrent the suckers, watch them as repeats on terrestrial television next year, and then buy the boxsets when they are released. Now it's just a matter of sitting on my hands until Thursday night.

[The picture above, and other stills from Season Six can be found here. No spoilers in them, I promise.]

17.9.05

Kim Stanley Robinson

"I think the US is in a terrible state of denial. Worse than that, we seem to be caught in a kind of Gotterdammerung response: we'd rather have the world go down in flames than change our lifestyle or admit we're wrong. Even here in California, 50% of cars on the freeway are SUVs, and they're political statements: they say, we're going to take the rest of the world down with us because we don't give a damn."
~ KSR on America and the enviroment, part of an interview conducted by Sarah Crown.

16.9.05

Revolution Controller

Ooh. This morning's revelation of the new Nintendo Revolution controller gave everyone something to talk about today. I'm not quite sure whether I like it yet (I'm still unsure about the design of the console as a whole - this just re-inforces the cable modem look), but I have a few thoughts:

- unless they release one of their own or work in the old Gamecube controllers, the first third party piece of hardware to be released will no doubt be a "normal" controller.

- I don't like that it is so narrow. Back in the day, I used to play a lot of the interactive games on the cable TV system we had, via a remote control not dissimilar to the one in the picture. It didn't do any favours for my wrists.

- I'm guessing that the first party games to be released have been built around the way this controller works. I'm especially looking forward to seeing how the swordplay/mini-games in the Zelda titles work, as this could potentially mean that there's less hack-slash-hack-slash and more fluid, free movement to achieve.

It's going to take a good solid game to get me to buy this console with the way it looks though. It seems to be more Western-TV-ised, which isn't at all why I like Nintendo - I'd love to hear what the Japanese think of the design. But I do place a lot of faith and trust in the company, as they have pretty much defined the direction of the console-based gaming world. So it's still a case of watching the details unravel for me right now.

14.9.05

Danny the Dog (review)

Luc Besson is, in my opinion, one of the finest men to be involved in movies - period. You only have to look at the legion of films he has either written or produced to know exactly how talented and therefore important, this man is in the cinematic world. A great majority of my favorite films have his name stamped all over them - frm Leon (which actually makes my imaginary top ten of all-time favorite films) to Nil By Mouth to The Fifth Element and Kiss of the Dragon.

So when I heard about the film that would become Danny the Dog (aka Unleashed), I was pretty excited. Not only was it a new English speaking Besson movie, but it had Jet Li once again in the leading role (a la Kiss of the Dragon), and Massive Attack on board for the soundtrack. Oh, and Morgan Freeman, who is pretty much a legend in himself.

Danny the Dog is a story of a young man (Jet Li) who has lived his life under the command of a classic Cockney gangsta (played by the perfectly casted Bob Hoskins) trained in martial arts and only martial arts, in order to serve as a guard dog on a leash. When his collar is kept on, he's as docile as a lamb. When it's off, he beats men to death. He has no life outside of his cage, which is nothing more than a hole in the ground, a teddy bear and an alphabet book. One trip to a basement filled with pianos triggers something in his memory, cracking open his world, and he escapes to the sanctuary of blind piano tuner Sam (Freeman) and his young step-daughter Victoria (Kerry Condon). But of course, that's only the beginning of his problems.

I got hold of a copy the other night, and settled down to watch it, accompanied by pink chocolate sprinkled donuts. Unfortunately I had read a lazy review beforehand (that I don't care to google and therefore link) that trashed the script and the acting and generally made out this film as the big disappointment of Besson's career. Safe to say, whoever it was, was completely fucking wrong.

The film is aesthetically perfect - from the white of Hoskins' suit, to the enchanced-texture tones of the visual landscape, to the braces on the daughter's teeth to the permanent little-boy look on Li's face. Structurally, it's very similar to Leon in that there is no straightforward bad to good to happy ending - Besson's projects always inject the tragedy of success to the movie screen. No matter who wins, someone always loses, and that fact is not covered up via the demonisation/glorification of characters. You do feel for all characters concerned, and even if you're relieved that X character dies, there is also regret for the loss of life and the flaws that they exemplified.

Because the successes of this movie are heroic and beautiful (example: Danny is sent to fight to the death in a sunken concrete pit. He refuses to do anything besides defend himself, and everything is thrown at him, including a woman and various weapons. The lack of colour and the baying crowd, along with his defiant survival is stunning to watch), it leaves certain parts lacking. I sincerely wish there could have been more time devoted to the background of Danny's training, and why Sam is so violently overprotective of Victoria. There are simplified answers to these questions in the movie, but it's such a mouthful of a film, I needed more of everything to chew on. But as it stands, there are 100 minutes on the reel and that's a lot of movie-time. I guess I'm just a little greedy, eh?

Overall rating - 4/5.

Saul



saul4_sm
Originally uploaded by _saturnine.

13.9.05

Link Dump 13/09/05

  • - Rebecca Blood interviews Dooce: "Sometimes I can distract my daughter long enough with a cartoon that I can write a one or two sentence post, but she usually catches me with the laptop open and realizes, 'Mother is no longer giving me her full attention and now she must suffer.'"
  • - Hello, Nintendo. I have now filled that big Nintendo Blog shaped hole in my heart.
  • - Some great tips for reducing household waste and saving money.

12.9.05

Berliner

On my way home from work tonight, I picked up the new Berliner Guardian. Having bought the last broadsheet Guardian on Saturday, and getting my hands on the preview supplement they provided, I was more than interested in seeing what the actual real-deal object would look and feel like.

I'm pleasantly surprised. The texture of the paper is not like Saturday's supplement - it's lightweight and of good quality. Downsizing was a great idea - I've never liked broadsheets because of how cumbersome a single page is. I'm more inclined to pick up a copy now because the whole thing fits onto my desk. And I adore the colour/font schemes - I'm guessing that the designers did a lot of blog research beforehand, because the rounded fonts and tasteful colour schemes don't half remind me of the current trend for minimal, primary colour based weblog templates.

Overall, a nice shift into the modern by one of my favorite leading media sources. Here's what the professionals think (Bugmenot required).

11.9.05

Reznor



Reznor, originally uploaded by _saturnine.

Spotted (yesterday)

On the number 25 bus, coming up to the crossroads of Raleigh Road and North Street a six year old girl at the back proclaims "That's the Fear Factory!"

She meant the Tobacco Factory.

9.9.05

Sounds Familiar

From an article on Wired about new game Radiata Stories:

"...a woman named Lulu is missing her cat. You have to go find it -- making sure not to pick up a mangy alley cat instead -- then bring it back to her while she's in the town square, which she always visits in the late afternoon."

Funny. That sounds exactly like one of the subgames at the beginning of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The only difference being that R.S. uses cats instead of dogs. Lame.

Universe (exercise)

The universe began with an explosion's impact. I believe it was warm and wet and sweet, like the inside of a rainforest's mouth. I believe bacteria marched on uncharted territories, turning them into battlefields where only slayings and suicides could occur.

I believe the the universe and it's rhythms are innate and knowing and defining. I believe it can be the only god, and that it does not have a consciousness, only instincts.

Man became man through mutation and forethought: naked from birth and brain, growth through the desire to sate and clothe both inventions.

Gold Digger (George Bush Don't Like Black People remix)

Kanye West's "George Bush doesn't care about black people" was probably one of the most outrageous and awesome statements made by someone in the public eye in the entire history of the modern world. Pretty much everyone I know got hold of the video and although the reactions varied from "OMG AWESUM" to "Right time, wrong place", he definitely made one hell of an impact with seven little words.

So, when it comes to the people of the internet, you can always count on someone to take it a little further and make it even more awesome. The Legendary K.O has made a remix of Gold Digger (track 4 from Kanye's new album Late Registration) called George Bush Don't Like Black People. You have to hear this: it might not be the first protest song since Bush came to power, but it's the first to come out of the chaos Katrina has caused. There are a lot of rightfully angry people out there.

8.9.05

Link Dump 08/09/05

  • - The Bogner bag has an in-built light that lasts for 20 second bursts to help you find things in poor light. I'm having another "I want one" moment.
  • -"Through a series of carefully controlled experiments at a campus bookstore, researchers learned that consumers will, in every case studied, spend more money to buy a brand name item when someone they don't know is standing near them at the time they choose their purchase. Consumers also tend to spend more money when a group of people is standing near them but are more inclined to buy cheaper items when no one is near."

6.9.05

Portable

Jean Snow has a picture comparing the size of the GameBoy Micro to that of a PSP. It's actually bigger than I expected, less of a keychain console than a palm sized one. I'm also surprised to find that I don't like the pink case - although that could be the photo rather than the actual product.

I'd like to see a line up of all the current portable gadgets - iPod, Blackberry, DS, Sidekick et al - just to get a good idea of what the culture of carrying shit around in your pocket looks like right now. That would be one expensive line up, eh?

5.9.05

Lolita

"What has so fascinated and divided readers is how one should react to the novel. Or, in other words, how to be ''entranced with the book while abhorring its author." The author in question, however, is not Nabokov, but his mesmerizing creation Humbert Humbert. In interviews and essays Nabokov was careful to underline that Humbert was a ''scoundrel" and a ''rogue."

But Nabokov was also careful to underline that Humbert was not only a scoundrel and a rogue. 'In his last stage he is a moral man,' wrote Nabokov of the turn in Humbert's thinking which takes place at the end of the novel, 'because he realizes that he loves Lolita like any woman should be loved. But it is too late, he has destroyed her childhood.'"

~ The Seduction by Leland de la Durantaye

Link Dump 05/09/05

  • - A musician is not a hero. This is a hero. That boy deserves a medal, or at least his college tuition paid off.

4.9.05

Prefab

"The postwar prefabs were built with £150m from the government. Up went 157,000 Arcon, B2, Phoenix, Tarran, Uniseco and Universal two-bed homes, with bathroom, separate lavatory and fridge. The names of their designers are largely forgotten. Some were made from corrugated asbestos cement panels with a sandwich construction filling of wood and wool; others, like the B2 from the Bristol Aircraft Company, from aluminium. Many were built by prisoners of war. They were meant to cost £500, although most worked out at £1,300. And they were meant to last 10-25 years."

~ Prefab Sproutings by Jonathan Glancey

3.9.05

Link Dump 03/09/05

  • - Livejournal have finally caught onto the fact that sometimes, awesome things happen on their site, and thus LJ Spotlight is born. From the User Info: "LJ_Spotlight is a place where we’ll post about the cool ways people are using LiveJournal. Discover new friends and communities, get inspired to use LJ in different ways, learn about LJ features you might not have used before, and commend your fellow users on their good news."
  • - A whole bunch of soldier blogs of US servicemen/women stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Different perspectives are good.
  • - This Russian site has a whooooooooole bunch of cool mp3's available for download.
  • - Extremely graphic and (hopefully) shocking images of the casualties of the Iraq war. Ogrish standard. Enjoy the reality!

Spotted 03/09/05

At the cashpoint: one man, waiting for a dyke with a forearm tattoo, dressed in a denim jeans & jacket ensemble with an E-L-V-I-S red and black belt buckle and an honest-to-god Elvis quiff.

1.9.05

Micro Loss

The Gameboy Micro launches in Japan in two weeks, and I'm thinking of buying one as I'm a die-hard portable console fan. There's less hassle when it comes to getting down to game time - just plug in and play, with the occasional recharge when necessary. But it gets me to thinking: because it's so small, it's going to be easier to mislay. What are the accessories going to be like? Is it going to come with a clip on chain? Or brightly coloured hardcases?

It's definitely a console I'd be taking out with me, keeping in my purse/handbag, but because it's still a good portion of my paycheck it's not something I want to fall out of my bag, slip down the back of (or behind) a piece of furniture, or even be stolen by some quick fingered thief who can palm it a lot easier than they could with my GBA SP. The size of the screen also worries me.

I'll probably take the time out to visit a gaming store to see how it feels before I buy one (instead of just looking around online), especially as it's coming in a whole bunch of wicked cool colours.