The Null Device
It will soon be possible to use mobile phones on the Tube, with Ken Livingstone promising full coverage of the system within 3 years, and also mentioning the tantalising prospect of wireless internet access on the Tube. (Though have they figured out how to hand moving connections over between access points yet?) Meanwhile, opposition politicians are concerned over terrorists using phones as detonators, the anti-mast movement is concerned about the microwave saturation making Tube journeys even more carcinogenic, and everyone else is concerned about there being no escape from that bloody Crazy Frog or whatever inanity replaces it.
According to the Toronto police sex crimes unit, the vast majority of people arrested for child pornography offences are obsessed with Star Trek:
The first thing detectives from the Toronto police sex crimes unit saw when they entered Roderick Cowan's apartment was an autographed picture of William Shatner. Along with the photos on the computer of Scott Faichnie, also busted for possessing child porn, they found a snapshot of the pediatric nurse and Boy Scout leader wearing a dress "Federation" uniform. Another suspect had a TV remote control shaped like a phaser. Yet another had a Star Trek credit card in his wallet. One was using "Picard" as his screen name. In the 3 1/2 years since police in Canada's biggest city established a special unit to tackle child pornography, investigators have been through so many dwellings packed with sci-fi books, DVDs, toys and collectibles like Klingon swords and sashes that it's become a dark squadroom joke. "We always say there are two types of pedophiles: Star Trek and Star Wars," says Det. Ian Lamond, the unit's second-in-command. "But it's mostly Star Trek."And there's more on the claims here, including letters from indignant Trekkies complaining that the article vilifies Trekkies whilst failing to put forward the "ethics, morality and message" of their
(via bOING bOING)
Two members leave The Cure (hang on, weren't they supposed to have broken up?), reducing the veteran band to a trio. Though, given that The Cure jumped the shark sometime around 1990, and have since done a profitable but dull line in Cure-by-numbers, this isn't particularly noteworthy.
What is noteworthy, though, is the mention on the bottom of the news item that Robert Smith is currently working on a remastered version of Blue Sunshine, a much-underrated psychedelic-pop album done by Cure/Banshees side project The Glove in 1982 or so.
I haven't been paying enough attention to France's rejection of the EU constitution to comment insightfully on it, but Momus has:
It seems to me that a very similar thing has happened to Europe that has happened in the US: the people voting Yes to the EU constitution have the same educated, urban profile as the people voting Democrat in the last US election. And in both cases they've been defeated and outnumbered by less tolerant, less affluent and educated, more anxious, irrational and xenophobic people from smaller towns and country areas. People who feel like outsiders to the political process are now, with splendid passive aggression, exacting their revenge by dealing it blows. In many cases these people are also outsiders to the process of wealth creation: strip away the blue coasts and the big cities and America loses the economic powerhouses which make it the world's predominant power. It's the same in Europe: the people now determining the shape of the continent are the insecure poor, unwilling to share their meagre income with Polish plumbers and Turkish bakers, but also unwilling to admit their economic dependence on the dynamic city folk and political elites they've just dealt a slap in the face.Perhaps this is a good thing for trans-Atlantic peace. Perhaps the red-state Americans and the French Non-sayers can realise that they have a lot in common, put aside their hatreds of each others' countries and unite in a big joyous pogrom of their respective inner-city liberal-cosmopolitanist elites, shortly before devolving into a new dark age of poverty, superstition and xenophobia.
Fountainhead Earth is a twenty-volume philosophical fiction novel by Nobel prizewinning author Ayn Rand. It was Rand's last work of fiction, and all volumes after the first were published posthumously:
Bureaucratic aliens from the planet Stanton have invaded Earth, stifling all rational thought in a mere nine minutes. They enslave all the architects, forcing them to build fashionable and nonfunctional Doric façades in front of every McDonalds. Randroids, huge semi-mechanical creatures, a cross between a cyborg and a public-address system, stride the landscape in Ayn Borg Collectives.
Johnnie "Galtboy" Tyler (played by Keanu Reeves) comes along and meets Dilbert (played by John Travolta) and Wally (played by Forest Whitaker). Disgusted with their office politics and disregard for quality, Johnnie trains his tribe of cavemen in capitalism in one week and achieves a leveraged buyout of perfectly preserved Harrier jumpjets. He then flies these back to the planet Stanton and delivers a 40,000-page speech that bores the aliens literally to death.