Saturday, November 01, 2003
Official Phil Dick site launch to coincide with the release of John Woo's film of the 1952 short story "Paycheck", starring Benlo [s*T*a*R*e]
...about a scientist in the future whose memory is erased after he completing a job working on a top-secret project. Using a bag of clues he left for himself, he must piece together his past while being hunted by evil forces.
Also Erich von Däniken opens a "Mysteries of the Universe" theme park in Switzerland.
2:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Immanuel Velikovsky Archive [s*T*a*R*e]
Following the rabbinical sources which declare that the Deluge was caused by two comets ejected by the planet Khima, and our interpretation of the planet Khima as Saturn, we begin to understand the astrological texts, such as certain passages in the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy, which attribute to the planet Saturn floods and all catastrophes caused by high water.
2:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Cecily of Formica on the threat of hypertext
This kind of intertextuality has only been hinted at in the scholarly practice of foot- and endnotes, but unlike these academic conventions, hypertext expands on the practice by providing the reader with an immediate opportunity to investigate other references. Hypertext explodes the notion of 'book as solitary object'; all hypertexts are related, each hypertext exists only in relation to other hypertexts, and no one relationship between documents supercedes the other in importance.
2:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Guardian's Top 40 US bands: 40-21
2:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Guardian's Top 20 Brit bands
2:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, October 31, 2003
The Guardian's Mark Lawson on why (predictably) the new Hollywood film version of Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective is not nearly up to the classic series made for British TV
Though challenging and disturbing -- and long -- this is one of the best series ever made for TV. The DVD does it justice, which is great especially because it never really made it to American television.
Maybe Robert Downey does a good job in the title role -- I can see him in it despite the indelible impression Michael Gambon made -- but the story really needs the 6 hour length, and Jon Amiel (and particularly editors Bill Wright & Sue Wyatt) really set a standard it would be hard to beat.
For anyone interested in how art gets made, the process of turning experience into creation was Potter's metier.
2:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, October 30, 2003
A writer appreciated for her short stories in her Canadian homeland for years, Frances Itani is apparently making big waves internationally now with her first novel Deafening
There's not a single false gesture in Frances Itani's Deafening. Despite its subjects -- war, romance, disability -- it's a story of careful, measured emotion, bleached of all sentimentality. I think I'll track down her last "novel in ten stories" Leaning, Leaning over Water, which I'm somehow more attracted to.
The heroine, Grania O'Neill, was robbed of her hearing at the age of five by scarlet fever in the early 20th century. Itani narrates her life in a voice imbued with the cadences of the deaf girl's thoughts and sensibilities, a technique that submerges us in Grania's silent but vivid world, a place "divided into things that move and things that don't move."
Maybe because it details the horrors of WWI and Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War (about the Vietnam war from the perspective of a North Vietnamese soldier, which I'm now reading) is enough about that subject for now. It's very good BTW.
12:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Anthony Head's piece on Ian Buruma's Inventing Japan: 1853-1964 is so comprehensive it could serve as a summary of the book
Either way you get great insights into the Japanese character and how it's adjusted (or not) to the challenge of modernity and Western culture.
Buruma's tale differs in its focus on the psychological currents of the times, and on the patterns of behaviour that often determined political developments. Japan's response to its encounter with Western civilization was, as Buruma says, "traumatic". It engendered a clash between the new students of Western ideas and the old Sinocentric modes of thought, and eventually, after a series of homespun theories about "Japanese essence", the deeply blinkered nationalism that led to the savagery of the war. Even those who adopted new ideas were divided; some welcomed them for their own sake, while others saw them as a means to a nationalistic end: once Japan had "learned enough from the barbarians to resist them, the country could safely be closed again".
To identify the remnants of this mentality in modern Japan -- in its stringent visa requirements, for example, or in workplace attitudes to foreigners, who are rarely given any real authority -- is to recognize the relevance of Buruma's book to observable aspects of Japanese life today. It was only in 1999, after years of struggle by numerous foreigners and against the wishes of the National Police Agency, that Japan finally ended its system of fingerprinting all foreign residents. But it still insists on re-entry permits for most foreign residents going abroad, whether on a business trip to South Korea or a weekend break to Guam, entailing more visits to immigration offices and a 3,000 yen (Pounds 15) [or about $28 US] fee each time. This essentially racist tax is never discussed in the media and most Japanese don't know about it.
At the root of Japan's neurosis is the unresolved conflict between individualism and its desire to control...
11:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
It's not just me -- networks are playing fast and loose with their schedules to the point where even TV execs have trouble keeping track of what's on
Until recently I was printing out a schedule of the shows my girlfriend's mom watches (mostly syndicated senior stuff like Gunsmoke and Matlock). Every week at least one show was on at different times.
And that's daytime. Primetime is even worse.
I watch few shows of any kind, 24 and King of the Hill being the two I can think of right now. So I wouldn't have noticed myself.
Unfortunately, the one new show I was watching -- The Brotherhood of Poland, NH -- has been yanked by CBS according to the article linked above.
The networks have been getting increasingly desperate over the last 10 years, as cable and the net etc. have stolen viewers. But it's hard to believe this chaotic scheduling is going to help.
1:46 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Current slang check
o.s.o.s. adj Mostly teenborn, many sexual/abusive.
on some other shit. someone who is 'off target'. trippin'.
(Thu Mar 15 01:09:03 PST 2001)
gibran /ji-brawn/ adj
the inability to handle words with more than three syllables. i mean, syllab.
(Wed Nov 21 14:35:55 PST 2001)
scorp-bat /skorp bat/ noun
part scorpion, part bat. often seen when taking mushrooms. beware of people turning into scorp-bats on you.
origin: inverness, CA
(Mon Mar 27 11:38:07 PST 2000)
12:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, October 27, 2003
MIT students develop alternative to file-sharing with sound quality between FM & CDs but no downloading
Channels are broadcast over MIT's cable TV network.
The MIT project is called "Library Access to Music," or "LAMP," and here's how it works: Users go to a Web page and "check out" one of 16 cable channels in the MIT system, which they can control for up to 80 minutes. The controller then picks songs from among 3,500 CDs -- all suggested by students in an online survey over the past year -- that Winstein, 22, and Mandel, 20, have compiled. Interesting, but kind of a weak substitute.
The music is then pumped into the user's room on that channel and played through a TV, a laptop with an audio jack or external speakers.
Only one person controls each channel at a time, but anyone can listen in. Anyone can also see on another channel what selections are playing and the usernames of the controllers (Winstein acknowledges potential privacy concerns, but there are upsides: He once got a romantic proposition from a user who admired his taste for Stravinsky).
If all 16 channels regularly fill up, MIT could make more available for a few hundred dollars each. Users can listen to, but not store, the music.
The students built the system using part of $25 million grant to MIT from Microsoft Corp., some of which was set aside for student projects.
"We still wanted to do it over the Internet, but MIT's lawyers were not willing to chance that," Winstein said.
2:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Sounds like the name of a band
The Andy Warhol Authentification Board has decreed that "only artworks the artist was directly involved in producing can be considered a Warhol original"
15f works re-appraised by The Board have Had their "authority rescinded."
Geez, and I just downloaded one the other day.
9:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()