The Null Device


An interview with Dorothy Gambrell, who draws Cat and Girl and The Four Fours.

DG: Are the proletariat cool? Or is talking about the proletariat cool? I'm interested in culture, in society I have generally found that politics are not nearly as important as politicians claim they are. Unless, of course, Politics starts running around the room waving its arms and shouting incoherently, as it's been doing lately. I haven't considered myself political in the past, but I can see people around me becoming much more political. I wouldn't be surprised to soon find myself among them.
What does bother me are trends disguised as inevitabilities like, say, marriage, or having a full time job. There are lots of excellent reasons to have a full-time job money and stability and getting out of the house - and there are lots of good reasons to not have a full time job - like owning your own time. If you choose to make that trade off, between stability and time, time and money, that's fine, but I do feel that a lot of people never realize that there was a choice to be made.

Incidentally, there won't be any new issues of Cat and Girl for a few weeks, because Dorothy has gone to Australia, of all places.

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Iran's religious police have arrested dozens of young people for internet dating:

General Ahmad Rouzbehani told Irna: "Some people were using an internet site to allow girls and boys to talk and arrange meetings in a place in north Tehran where they had illegal relations."

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An article looking at the phenomenon of earworms, or pieces of music which get stuck in one's head and resist removal.

Stuck song syndrome annoyed, frustrated, and irritated women significantly more than men. And earworm attacks were more frequent -- and lasted longer -- for musicians and music lovers. Slightly neurotic people also seemed to suffer more. Kellaris hasn't yet found a cure. Women are more likely to try to get rid of the offending ditties. Men are just as likely to do nothing as to fight their earworms.

Unfortunately, the good doctor has not yet found a surefire way of stopping the bastards; though some folk cures include using another song to dislodge it, or trying to complete the song (breaking the loop). (via 1.0)

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If one good thing was to come out of the (alleged) current anti-French mood in the US it would be that Marcel guy in Linux Journal toning down his corny "French chef" act. Though, as of the "March 2003" issue, it doesn't seem to have happened.

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Remember those nice, idealistic young people who went to Iraq to be "human shields" (or "war tourists" as Salam so incisively called them) to protect the peace-loving Iraqi state from Yanqui imperialist aggression, and get put up in 5-star luxury for their trouble? Well, most of them just turned tail and fled when they realised that the Iraqi government wasn't so nice and was going to station them near military facilities rather than hospitals full of big-eyed orphans and such. Still, one could argue that they've managed to scam a holiday for free and get away with their lives; meanwhile, two have elected to stay behind, perhaps in the hope of winning a Darwin Award.)

(Perhaps they should send the local Spartacists/lunatic-fringe Marx/Maoists to replace them? They'd get a chance to selflessly protect the people's liberation government of Iraq from the capitalist imperialist running-dog aggressors, and the places they came from would get a bit more chlorine in their gene pools.)

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