The Null Device
I saw Chicken Run today; though not in the cinemas, but rather on a DVD quietly imported from the UK and played on a Power Macintosh at work cunningly modified to turn a blind eye to the Divine Order of Things (as manifested in region coding). It's quite a cute film, and the making-of mini-documentary at the end is pretty interesting. It is a bit Hollywoodish in places (the character development and plot, for example, appear to follow Hollywood feature-film formulae more than the usual Aardman short does). Still, it's worth checking out.
The Jingu Shrine in Ise, Japan, is destroyed and completely rebuilt every 20 years, in a tradition which has been going since 690. Not surprisingly, the Long Now Foundation regards it as an inspiration.
The latest Fontomas font looks like one of Neville Brody's FontFont geometric faces. Take ye and snarf.
Future Music #102 is out here now, with a new design. The new logo looks very mid-1980s-electronic-hobbyist-magazine, and the spine-line quotes are gone; inside, the new layout looks quite good, though may date rapidly. Issue 102 also has a bonus CD of copyright-free samples, with some not-bad loops and sounds taken from SampleNet.
It's official: Al "Thul" Gore has conceded the Texas Death Machine is the next US President, despite losing the popular vote and getting in through a highly dubious technicality. The Republicans have won control of both houses of Congress, and will appoint three Supreme Court judges in the next four years. Anyone want to bet on when the first abortionist will be executed for murder in the US?
Future Ig Nobel contenders? Following up to the story about nihilistic children's novels, a team of Canadian developmental paediatricians has come to the conclusion that all the characters in Winnie the Pooh are mentally ill. Pooh is obsessive-compulsive, with ADHD, at risk of developing Tourette's and possibly having suffered brain damage from being dragged down the stairs, Eeyore is chronically depressive, and Roo is likely to become a juvenile delinquent.
"Sadly, the forest is not, in fact, a place of enchantment, but rather one of disenchantment, where neurodevelopmental and psychosocial problems go unrecognized and untreated," the pediatricians said in the Christmas issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The obvious solution? Dose 'em all up on psychiatric drugs. (via Found)
Scenes from a bizarre world: The Church of England magazine Celebrate has hailed silicone-filled pop tart Britney Spears as an ambassador for virginity. Meanwhile, the government of devoutly Catholic Ireland (aren't condoms still illegal there?) has launched a "Do a Britney" campaign. I can see a lot of people getting into that; at least until they discover that it's really about staying a virgin.
(Incidentally, I don't see what's so attractive about Britney Spears; she looks like a plastic doll. Then again, I don't see anything attractive about Pamela Anderson either. Maybe I'm just strange.)