The Null Device


A piece on video games and depression: are they therapeutic, do they exacerbate it, or are they just a safe way of topping yourself over and over again? (via Plastic)


Meg and Dave have a selection of fine Anti-Valentine's cards you can send online to people you don't particularly fancy all that much.


Valentine's Day Special Feature: Scientific proof that chicks dig jerks. (via Plastic)


Destroy everything pink and fluffy: The FBI has warned of a possible Valentine's Day terrorist threat after a man, "possibly of Arab descent", was detected buying 14 gas canisters, 12 packages of lead gun pellets and nine white Valentine teddy bears in January. Perhaps this is Saddam's follow-up to his dastardly plan to steal American childrens' Christmas PlayStations a year and a bit ago?

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Today is F14, the international day of protest against the oldest and most cutthroat form of Darwinian capitalism, the sexual marketplace. Today is a good day to listen to your Smiths records. (Even if you are happy wherever you are, you can surely remember a time when you weren't, perhaps in your distant youth; or in the immortal words "and when you're dancing and laughing and finally living, hear my voice in your head and think of me kindly". So spare a thought today for poor old Moz, sitting alone in his Los Angeles home with an album's worth of songs nobody will give him money to record.)

Tonight, however, I won't be spending the evening alone with my Smiths records; I'll be going to the Punters Club, to see Sir, Ninetynine and some outfit named Love Of Diagrams. (Sir and Ninetynine are not to be missed; both of them together, and at the fourth last ever gig at the Punters, even more so.) If that's not enough, the show is subtitled "Love in a Casio World". (What is it about the humble Casiotone keyboard?)

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The latest eating disorder: orthorexia, or an excessive dedication to following increasingly strict diets:

Amid a cacophony of competing menus, Bratman quickly forged his own dietary regime, eating only vegetables just plucked from the ground and chewing each mouthful 50 times. "After a year or so of this self-imposed regime, I felt light, clear headed, energetic, strong and self-righteous," Bratman wrote in an account of his experience. "I regarded the wretched, debauched souls around me downing their chocolate chip cookies and fries as mere animals reduced to satisfying gustatory lusts."

(via bOING bOING)

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Thank "Bob", I'm well clear of the Dido demographic, the latest lucrative market segment (which seems to be essentially smug, superficially fashionable thirtysomethings who consider themselves much more hip and with-it than they actually are, and/or are in denial about their comfortably bourgeois, alt-MOR tastes).

20 Protection by Masssive Attack Yes, you know that Blue Lines is really the one to have, but you got this because you've heard of Tracey Thorn. You wanted something edgy and hip hop but with the reassuring Marks and Spenceryness that was Everything But The Girl. And you got it!

Anyway, I've got only three titles from the list (Dummy by Portishead, Play by Moby (which I have since found too bland to be worth listening to, and which is probably a candidate for the next CD-liquidation sweep), and OK Computer by Radiohead (though I think that Kid A and Amnesiac are doovy)).

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