The Null Device
Cryptozoology in the news: A couple in Lithgow have filmed what may be the Blue Mountains panther, a mysterious big cat sighted in the Blue Mountains since the late 1970s, though remaining elusive.
A study has shown that tall men are more likely to divorce and remarry, taking younger second wives, and thus having more children. Height is a more significant predictor of this than other status indicators, perhaps because in the ancestral environment it was a useful indicator of fitness, and as such, sexual selection may ensure that humanity keeps getting taller.
Good news on the film front; Terry Gilliam has finished the Good Omens script. Given that Gilliam is involved, I have high hopes for this film.
A BBC piece on the recent Norwegian RFC1149 test, in which Internet traffic was carried by carrier pigeon. The live test has resulted in some ideas for speeding up CPIP (Carrier Pigeon IP), such as better error-correction techniques. Wonder whether any new RFCs will come of it.
Prison policy imitates Ed Anger column: Arizona prison officials are looking for a psychiatrist to treat a paranoid schizophrenic death row inmate, restoring his mental competence so that he may be executed. Unfortunately for them, all psychiatrists contacted have thus declined, because of this thing called the Hippocratic Oath.
After being voted off the UN Human Rights Commission and Narcotics Control Board, the US throws a hissy fit and threatens to stop paying its dues. And then, reminded that they haven't paid their dues for years, amends this to a threat to forget about paying overdue UN dues, of which it was going to generously pay half. Such are the privileges of being the World's Leading Nation.
Under Bush, U.S. to militarise space; which may see the US Air Force expand its mission to space-based combat, or the creation of a US Space Force. Nuclear-armed orbital battle stations and jumbo cosmospheres, here we come.
(Mind you, it's possible that the militarisation of space may be seen by future historians as the start of humanity seriously venturing off the surface of Earth. Sad fact is, there's nothing like war or inter-tribal conflict to motivate human endeavour. Perhaps it's the age-old club-the-rival-caveman's-brains-in instinct.)
Well, I absconded from work a bit early this evening and went down to the Punters to see some bands, for the first time in a while. The first band was Radius, which was sort of laid-back guitar ambience (sort of like Mogwai or Art Of Fighting) with the occasional female vocals, and sporadic forays into indie-pop territory. Then was a rawk band named Dead Sorority, which didn't do that much for me. Finally, Sir came on and played a set of their trademark kind of hypnagogic cabaret. (sort of like trip-hop only slower and without the breakbeats, or something like that), including a new song and an unreleased number. I chatted with Jesse and Liz of Sir after the show, and they plan to release an EP/single in the not-too-distant future, which is something to look forward to.