Here are the web links I’ve found for 22 May 2009 to 27 May 2009, posted automatically.
- The Age of the Essay | Paul Graham: This essay dates from 2004, but it’s still valid. The essay, the kind that’s about exploring an issue, is a natural form of writing online. Plus I like his comments about disobedience and creativity.
- GLAM | Wikimedia Australia: One for your diaries! A little conference called “Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia: Finding the common ground” at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 6-7 August 2009. Hosted by Wikimedia Australia, with discussions on four themes: Education, Technology, Business, Law. To be opened by Senator Kate Lundy, Senator for the ACT.
- That 180ms is the bane of my life: Network engineer Glen Turner explains why the 180 milliseconds it takes for Internet data to cross the Pacific causes problems. “You’ve got to realise that Australia is almost unique in being a long way from the centre of gravity of its language. Broadly, almost all German-speakers live in Germany, whereas a tiny proportion of English-speakers live in Australia. That has an effect on Internet traffic. Most Internet traffic in Germany stays within Germany. Most Internet traffic in Australia goes offshore.”
- One thing PC users can do that Mac users can’t…: Crude but effective.
- Media and Brand Supremacy: Why the New Media Brand Could Be Nike | The Huffington Post: Heidi Sinclair notes that individual journalists and commentators are sometimes bigger news brands than the outlets they work for. There’s plenty here which meshes with my complains that some folks don’t separate the content (“news”) from the container (“newspapers”).
- texts from last night: A scarily funny collection of people’s (allegedly) drunken text messages. Don’t click through unless you’ve got plenty of time to spare.
- Death in Birth – Where Life’s Start Is a Deadly Risk | NYTimes.com: The first of three articles on efforts to lower the death rate in Tanzania. Excellent timing, given Project TOTO. Challenging to read, however
- The Angelina Factor | Bitchy Jones’ Diary: A ranty article which, in language which may be confronting for some, explores the social and psycho-sexual issues around the idea that Angelina Jolie is universally sexually attractive. Just for the record, I do not find her the least bit attractive.
- Rethinking the Global Money Supply: Scientific American: China has proposed that the world move to a more symmetrical monetary system, in which nations peg their currencies to a representative basket of others rather than to the US dollar alone. The article includes a little history, too.
- “We did not know that child abuse was a crime,”says retired Catholic archbishop | the freethinker: The retired Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert G Weakland, says “We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature… [I] Accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it’.” WTF?
- Comedy Thrives in Times of Despair | Spiegel Online: Monty Python’s Michael Palin on what the financial crisis is a boon for comics, and the perils of political correctness.
- Hello Africa | Vimeo: A 42-minute documentary about mobile phone culture in Africa.
- Shell On Trial | newmatilda.com: Next week, Shell will appear before a US federal court on charges of torture, extra-judicial killing and crimes against humanity for incidents which took place in the Niger Delta. Will it be the first multinational found guilty of human rights abuses?
- Genital warts take Shoaib out of Twenty20 World Cup | ABC News: There was a time when someone’s medical history was considered private, even if they played sports professionally. Personally, I reckon the specific of Shoaib’s medical problem are none of anyone else’s business.
- PlugComputer Community: The developer community for Marvell’s Plug Computer.
- Plugging In $40 Computers | NYTimes.com: Marvell Technology Group has created a “plug computer”. A tiny plastic box you plug into an electric outlet. No display, but Gigabit Ethernet and a USB. Inside is a 1.2GHz processor running Linux, 512MB RAM and 512MB Flash memory. US$99 today, probably under US$40 in two years.
- Misguided middle-class moaners | BusinessDay: Ross Gittins explodes a few myths about Australia, class, taxation and social welfare.
You have less than three hours to nominate someone or something for “Cnut of the Week”. Sorry ’bout the late notice, but I’ve only just decided that I’m well enough to do Stilgherrian Live tonight.
We’re looking for people, organisations or other entities who are futilely trying to hold back the tide of change. It has to be something in the news in the last week, and you have to explain yourself. Nominees have to be not merely doing bad things, but failing to notice or adapt to the change around them.
Everyone who nominates and leaves a valid email address goes into the draw for a free t-shirt of their choice from our friends at King Cnut Ethical Clothing.
Nominations for “Cnut of the Week” are open until 8.30pm Sydney time, and you must nominate at the website for it to count. And also, when we draw the t-shirt winner, you must be watching the program and email us the code word within 5 minutes of your name being announced, otherwise we’ll pick someone else.
(Of course, neither they nor us are as lame and unethical as to share your email address with anyone else. I for one have site policies about this sort of thing, and so do they.)
At 8.30pm you should be watching Nick Hodge‘s program @NickHodge with special guest Mark Pesce before Stilgherrian Live starts at 9.30pm.
Who do you nominate, and why?
The cat vomited this morning. Again. Artemis has this habit of gorging her food and then, five minutes later, throwing up wherever she’s standing.
Today it was a projectile effort from the heights of the TV stand, a reddish-brown spatter right across the living room floor.
Remember that last time you threw up? How the acrid stomach acids burnt your throat and mouth? How it felt like it was surging up into the back of your nose? It’s just like that. Freshly warm and mixed with the reek of cheap fish.
You can’t help but get it on your hands as you wipe it up.
I’ll bet just the thought of that smell is causing tightness in your sinuses, clenching in your throat.
Wiping up cat vomit first thing in the morning is rather unpleasant, no?
If wiping up cat vomit is the worst you have to think about today, then you’re one of the luckiest bastards on this planet. It’s not a particularly demanding sacrifice to make in return for some furry companionship.
Today is, of course, Anzac Day, our national memorial for those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and that other country.
Continue reading “Anzac Day 2009: Sacrifice”
Not since Saturday Night at The Duke and Another brain in my notebook has a notebook page ended up on this website.
Nicola, your attempt to pass blame to ’Pong is completely transparent. We all know you wrote this. There are witnesses.
I’ve written a rather challenging piece for Crikey today, Twitter: enabling the new global rubberneckers. Challenging to write, and maybe challenging to read.
I was disturbed on the weekend to see Twitter become some kind of morbid deathwatch. As every increment in the Victorian bushfire death tool was reported, it was retweeted and retweeted endlessly — even once the mainstream media had geared up and was providing live updates.
For people threatened by bushfires, or those concerned for the safety of loved ones, up-to-date news is vital. No argument. We also need to share our emotions as a community — that’s what makes us a community. It was heart-rending to see one 17 year-old tweet (and I won’t link), “Just got told that a few friends who live in the bushfire area haven’t been found yet. Where’s a tissue, I have a tear in my eye.”
But for everyone else, obsessively tracking every latest horror “to see what it looks like” is nothing but selfish “recreational grief”. The morbid rubbernecking so hated by police and emergency workers.
And I’ve written about recreational grief and recreational outrage before.
The article isn’t behind the paywall, so it’s free for all to read.
[Update 30 January 2008: More analysis of this has been posted since this article was written. Look for items tagged “heath ledger”.]
Just 24 hours ago, actor Heath Ledger died. Before most people even knew he was dead, I’d set up a web page asking for jokes about his death and I placed an advertisement (pictured) on Google. Tasteless. But there was a porpoise. This was Science!
Here’s what I’ve learned so far. If you have any questions as you read this, please ask them. I’ll be exploring the data more deeply over the next few days.
Continue reading “Lessons from tacky Heath Ledger jokes, Day 1”