The Null Device


A church in Canberra, alarmed at those wicked Harry Potter books seducing children away from the truth of Christianity, has distributed a leaflet to its members about the dangers these books pose to children, and their contribution to the rise of juvenile devil worship in America. Unbeknownst to them, the text of the leaflet was taken from a piece in the Onion.

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It seems that the FBI don't have much to do these days; taking a cue from the more humorless animal-rights activists, they have launched an aggressive investigation of parody site (which discusses growing rectilinear cats in bottles).


London installation artist Michael Landy, 37, is destroying all his possessions in the name of art. The objects, which range from odd socks to valuable art works by Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, will be pulverised as part of an art performance named Break Down. Landy attained fame in 1994, when an installation of his (consisting of a bin full of rubbish) was accidentally disposed of by the gallery's cleaner.

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How the mighty hath fallen: In an attempt to attract a Gen-Y audience, Encyclopædia Britannica's online operation has started putting up "spicy", sensationalist articles with topics like "TV and the single girl" and -- I kid you not -- Britney Spears' belly button. will also cut costs by outsourcing its content production to outside operations (advertising agencies and promotional consultancies would be my guess).


Pioneering unsigned-artist site IUMA goes Falco.


Jane Mackay, former GP and currently artist-in-residence for the Cambridge University Musical Society, has synæsthesia; a neurological condition which enables her to see the colours of sounds. She describes this experience in her own words.

"And my sister and I used to argue about our colours for the days of the week - my Wednesday is a lemony-yellow with angles in the middle of it, hers is green.
"Brian Perkins, the BBC Radio Four newsreader, has an amazingly rich, chocolatey-brown voice. "Yet 'Perkins' is a rather wishy-washy yellow-green, so I always forget his surname."
"I had a wonderful sneeze once, from someone sitting behind me in a concert. It was a really lovely turquoise that came across my shoulder in a triangular sheet."

(I once mentally associated letters of the alphabet with colours (A, E and M were red, B and F were green and C was yellow), though I think that originated in a set of wooden blocks I had as an infant.)

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