The Null Device
More details have emerged on the arrest of US peace activist Scott Parkin: it turns out that the government is holding him in solitary confinement, and billing him for it, until he renounces all claims against the government, a similar tactic to that used against asylum seekers. Also, it appears that he is being held on national security provisions, rather than character provisions, which entitles the government to block the hearing of his case. Meanwhile there have been protests outside the Australian embassy in the US, and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has protested the decision.
Which demonstrates a reemerging ugly side of the Australian Way. The legal principles of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Queensland are alive and well. The government's message here is: if you don't conform to our model of relaxed and comfortable Australia, we have the means to make things very uncomfortable for you. The principles of pluralism and democratic debate are about as relevant in John Howard's Australia as they are in Mahathir's Malaysia.
And it looks like Australia is establishing itself as a global centre for the exporting of hard-right ideology; the New Zealand Labour party claims that Australian Tory strategists and a hard-line Christian sect are involved in campaigning for the conservative National Party.
And now something for all the moronic-cynicist fashion-goth hipsters in the audience: How to embroider skulls on your iPod socks. Because as everybody knows, skulls are, like, totally hardcore, especially when they're on iPod socks. Then all you have to do is make sure the iPod is full of Death From Above 1979 and LCD Soundsystem and post-post-ironic coolsie disco-rock.
(via bOING bOING)
2. You have never been to The Tower of London or Madame Tussauds but love Brighton
4. Hookers and the homeless are invisible.
9. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.
19. The UK west of Heathrow is still theoretical to you.
24. You don't hear sirens anymore.
25. You've mentally blocked out all thoughts of the city's air/water quality and what it's doing to your insides.
29. You roll your eyes and say 'tsk' at the news that someone has thrown themselves under a tube train.
Luke Williams from design firm Frogdesign (who designed the original Mac and the NeXT cube) talks about the design of the iPod and the way design conventions reference other objects:
"So... as I was sitting on the toilet this morning" (this is of course where most good ideas come from), "I noticed the shiny white porcelain of the bathtub and the reflective chrome of the faucet on the wash basin... and then it hit me! Everybody perceives the iPod as 'clean' because it references bathroom materials!"
The public once thought electricity was dangerous and expensive, so to change this perception, the electricity industry sought to project the image of electricity as a modern and progressive source of energy. To symbolize these qualities, designers used the conventions associated with "technological futurism"--hrome plating and streamlining. In 1955, industrial designer Henry Drefuss wrote that changes in the design of the modern kitchen had been brought about "by two things that had nothing to do with cooking a meal--the automobile and the airplane."
Although the symbolism has changed, the iPod also uses conventions to appear ahead of its time. Its surfaces are seamless and have no moving parts-- two conventions that have often been used in science and science-fiction to connote advanced technology. Remember the seamless, molten-metal bad guy in Terminator 2? Or how about the perfectly seamless, black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey?