The Null Device
Rumour: William Shatner (best known of his Mr. Tambourine Man cover) is to record a remake of Gary Numan's Cars.
A glossary of colorful street/criminal/prison argot, mostly historical.
Britons miffed about Hollywood's rewriting of history:
So how does Hollywood justify rewriting history? Simple: economics. The film cost $75 million to make and since the US movie market is the main source of income for any film, it was felt it would have to revolve around good ole American boys. And so a fake new memory for the world was created. Just wait for the Oscars.
A web page on that irritatingly ubiquitous feature of corporate logos of the past decade: the Millennum Orbital Crescent Swish. (via BoingBoing)
Bam-b.com: Xenorenderporn? A Codex Seraphinianus for ravers? Or just too much drugs? In any case, it looks pretty doovy.
Interesting historical tidbits about secret Soviet battle stations in space and other such things:
Well, guess what--Salyut 3 had a machine gun. The station had a 23 mm rapid-fire cannon mounted on the outside, along the long axis of the station "for defence against US space-based inspectors/interceptors". Combat engagements would have been leisurely by Star Wars or fighter jet standards, since the only way to aim the cannon was to point the entire station at the target, using its attitude gyros.
The survival kit in the Soyuz spacecraft which ferries cosmonauts to and from the Mir space station is said to contain, among other things, a pistol and ammunition. This is not so much to put down the occasional space mutiny, but as a precaution in case of an off-course landing in a region with dangerous wildlife. In March 1965, due to failure of the prime retro-rocket system, the crew of Voskhod 2 landed in a remote region in the Ural Mountains and rescue crews could not reach them until the next day. They were forced to retreat to their re-entry capsule to escape wolves in the forest where they landed.
Automated justice: Brazilian law enforcement authorities now have a program which can dispense instant judgments in simple cases. (BBC News)
Scientific PROOF that the universe is flat: (BBC News)
Another result of the study is the prediction that the Universe will continue its steady expansion, which started at the Big Bang, and will not collapse into a "Big Crunch".
Interesting piece on the Australian zine scene. (The Age)
Cloned cows appear genetically younger than newborn calves. (The Age)
Some interesting and evocative stories from the career of a Melbourne policeman: (The Age)
In an instant you are in an entirely different world from that of the police station - from the intestines of the divisional van into a poor home. Front door is swinging open now. Mum comes out, carrying a baby in her arms. Her cardie is all undone and she's bare-breasted. Her drunken husband sinks the slipper into her back while she's clutching the baby and falling. This is right in front of you, in East Preston, like. I threw him in the back of the van straightaway. I virtually couldn't understand it myself. I said to him: "You're a brave sort of a gentleman. Do you want to have a go at me?"
There once was this fellow, he sat on some railway lines intending to commit suicide and a truck ran over him. It's hard to believe but it's true. The truck hit him and carted him 85 metres up to the road; nothing left of him. A constable at the scene was getting most upset. I said: "It just goes to show you. How stiff can you get? Here he was just waitin' for a train to come and a bloody truck cleans him up."
The creator of the computer game The Sims has surreptitiously introduced a virus which mysteriously kills characters -- in the form of a downloadable guinea pig. (NYTimes)