The Null Device

2001/2/19

Scare meme of the day (or of a few days ago anyway): Falling in love is bad for your psychological health; at least if you're a teenager. Adolescents in the throes of romantic involvement and under the influence of phenylethylamine have been found to be more susceptible to depression, delinquency and drug abuse. Remember kids: Just Say No. (via Rebecca's Pocket)

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Cliché watch: +"all your" +"are belong to us" -"base"

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No surprises here: A U.S. court has found the Mickey Mouse copyright extension law perfectly constitutional and otherwise hunky-dory. That's right, we can rest assured that the progress of art and science is safeguarded by retroactively extending copyrights on works (such as old Mickey Mouse films) whose creators have long since passed away, and that the dangerous anarchy of the public domain will no longer deter gigantic corporations from having purchased works some seventy years earlier. The notion of copyrights expiring is a myth, one perpetuated by subversive elements who probably use Napster and modify their DVD players. And George Washington didn't smoke dope either, for that matter.

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Marketing coup of the day: Rap Snacks. That's right, rap music fans, hip-hop culture is now available in potato chip format. (Via Something Awful.)

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Tanya (she who hates music) has now transformed her blog into a weekly column; what's more interesting is that she offers to review readers' own music, in her characteristically vicious style. Which should be amusing.

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The former Soviet republic of Lithuania has a unique tourist attraction a Stalinist theme park. Called Stalinworld, the park consists of towering Communist statues, machine gun nests and a recreated gulag. Concealed speakers broadcast the screams of torture victims. Stalinworld's creator, wrestler turned mushroom tycoon Viliumas Malinauskas, plans to have guides in Red Army uniforms and a railway to transport visitors in cattle cars. (via Rebecca's Pocket)

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Studies have apparently shown that women select sexual partners by scent, in a way that maximises diversity of immunity genes, but that women on the pill choose exactly the wrong partners, at least from the point of view of genetic immunity. Mind you, not all scientists agree even that humans can pick up such olfactory information. (via RobotWisdom)

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So what has your humble weblogger been up to lately when he wasn't posting entries and links to news stories to this page? Well, yesterday I didn't do much productive; I spent some time with a friend, caught a train down to Stony Point and back and later crashed in bed and caught up on sleep; today I went to a record fair with two friends, and bought two CDs (nothing terribly exciting; just an Everything But The Girl best-of from before they discovered drum & bass and a Deadstar single which sounds a bit like Curve circa 1993), and then paid the friends a visit, rewatching part of Fight Club on their DVD player and playing around with a bass guitar (which I could probably learn to play quite usably; I think I'll have to get one sometime soon).

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Newspaper want ad of the day (3K GIF).

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I just finished reading Neal Stephenson's recently rereleased first novel, The Big U. I found it very enjoyable (perhaps partly because I have been hanging around universities, as either a student or employee, for the best part of a decade, though perhaps not); other than a few loose ends, it is as characteristically rich in plot, humour and inventiveness as Stephenson's subsequent works. (Stephenson, who reluctantly agreed to rerelease The Big U to keep people from selling internal organs to buy rare copies on eBay, is on record as deprecating it as a mediocre early work and not worth reading; pay no heed to this, for it is quite good.)

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The latest episode of Jocasta and Guido's Weblog Clinic discusses the rationales behind maintaining a blog, as well as the nature of the Internet as a personal and/or consumerist medium. Food for thought.

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Any game is better with 3D graphics: Game company Jester Interactive intends to recreate classic 1980s Speccy platform games Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner for the new consoles. The new version will use 3D graphics. We can probably expect a mediocre cock-up on the scale of the 3D-"enhanced" versions of Frogger and such. (via NtK)

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