The Null Device
Julie Burchill presents a leftist argument for invading Iraq in the Guardian.
5) "Ooo, your friends smell!" Well, so do yours. We may be saddled with Bush and Blair, but you've got Prince Charles (a big friend of the Islamic world, probably because of its large number of feudal kingdoms and hardline attitude to uppity women), the Catholic church (taking a brief break from buggering babies to condemn any western attack as "morally unacceptable") and posturing pansies such as Sean Penn, Sheryl Crow and Damon Albarn.
Following a few links from the C-One Commodore 64-of-the-future project, I discovered that it is by no means the only such project, and merely the tip of the iceberg. There is an entire subculture of people (mostly in northern and central Europe, it seems) hacking Commodore 64s to do things they were never meant to, and developing all sorts of odd artefacts; such as The SuperCPU, which appears to be a 20MHz replacement CPU for the C64 with extra PC-style RAM; people are writing demos, games (and modifications to cracked commercial games) and even operating systems for it. And you can top it all off with an IDE interface which plugs into your C64's cartridge slot.
I have finally gotten around to the copy of Iain Banks' The Crow Road I picked up in an Oxfam in Islington last year; on page 61, I found the following quote:
`I'll tell her for you if you like,' Droid offered (there is an entire generation of Andrews with the shared nickname of Droid, post Star Wars).
That's funny; there was rather a lot of Andrews around when I went to university (one reason I became referred to primarily by my initials and Andrew here became known as "cos"), but I don't recall any of them being called Droid. And these were computer science students, of all things.
London - Urging his nation to "see the big picture" and not focus on one issue, British Prime Minister Tony Blair today explained that unflinching support for President George W. Bush is particularly necessary now if Great Britain is ever to become the 51st U.S. state.
Blair, however, insisted the advantages of becoming another star on the U.S. flag are too great to ignore. "As Americans, we will finally be able to lift the yoke of cross-Atlantic condescension," he said. "We will finally be able to say we won the Colonial Rebellion. We will be able to once again look in the mirror and say, 'We are a superpower.' And we will be able to declare that we 'saved our own butts' during World War II."
This is Graham the Happy Scum's universe and we're all just living in it:
To counteract the rise in vegetarianism and similar "wacky eating behaviours"
among teenaged girls in America, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has set up a site whose message
is basically "
Grudnuk sez: Eat meat, it's cool!".
The site, which looks like a cross between a Barbie fan page and a Taco Bell ad (beef-filled tacos and gigantic hamburgers dot the screen), extols teenage girls to "Keep it Real" "real" as in a person who eats beef, preferably three or four times a day. Visitors are also invited to send e-cards to their "real friends" and to tell the world why they are "real girls" (because they eat beef burritos, of course!)
(Now we finally get to find out whether irony did die on 9/11/2001, as some commentators claimed; if this site somehow succeeds in turning the tide of teenage veganism in America, then we are indeed living in the New Norman Rockwell Era of plain-dealing boy-scout earnestness. If it falls flat, then irony is alive and well.) (via rotten.com)
A long and very interesting article on the class of sleep disorders known as parasomnias; a set of bizarre conditions which range from night terrors to sleepwalking, sleep-eating, sleep-sex and more (one man even almost strangled his wife in his sleep, thinking she was a deer).
She had been eating in her sleep since her late teens, finding clues like chocolate frosting on her pillow or cherry pits and porkchop bones in the sheets. ''I thought I was the only person in the world doing this. I would wake up in the morning wondering, What did you do last night?''
Fifty-three minutes after falling asleep, the teenager gets out of bed and begins crawling on the floor, growling, his hands folded into paws. He seizes a corner of the mattress with his teeth and shakes it. After six and a half minutes, perspiring heavily, he collapses and becomes ''clinically unresponsive.'' When technicians ask him, he reports that he has been dreaming what he always dreams -- he is a large cat following a female zookeeper with a bucket of raw meat. Here's the strangest thing of all: this parasomnia is not technically a sleep disorder. Throughout the episode Cat Boy's EEG reports that his brain is ''awake.''
A man with REM behavior disorder appeared on the monitor fighting phantoms over his bed. A case of a person acting out a dream? ''Either he's acting out a dream, or possibly dreaming out an act. It could be that the brain makes up something to explain the movement created by motor-pattern generators in the brain stem.''