Ripping Yarns...
Thrilling adventures at the frontiers of pop culture



"The very finest selections from Mr Berners-Lee's Electric Interweb, hand picked and presented for the more discerning browser."



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Complaints and compliments to Stuart Houghton

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Friday, July 30, 2004

I, Republican: The Three Laws

Billmon from Whiskey Bar offers us:

1. A Republican may not injure a corporation, or, through inaction, allow a corporation to come to harm.

2. A Republican must obey the orders given it by corporations except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A Republican must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:39 pm ::link to this entry



Thursday, July 29, 2004

David Owen on diseased heads of state

Interesting paper by Dr David Owen about the various ailments suffered by heads of state.


Posted by: Stuart / 3:13 pm ::link to this entry



Belief in Hell Boosts Growth

A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis claims that there is a correlation between a widespread belief in hell or eternal damnation in a country and lower levels of corruption and higher standards of living.

Posted by: Stuart / 10:33 am ::link to this entry



Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Street Fighter clone based on Les Miserables

Blogged mainly for the amusingly Engrish translation on the site.

"He enjoyed the miserable so much that he decided to make a game out of it"

Posted by: Stuart / 3:25 pm ::link to this entry



Chitosan - wound-sealing bandage derived from shrimp shells

Cool new medical tech - chitosan is currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan and is capable of sealing wounds in under 30 seconds. The material carries a positive charge and bonds easily with (negatively charged) blood cells to form an artifical clot.

Posted by: Stuart / 1:56 pm ::link to this entry



Voyage to Our Hollow Earth

Would you be interested in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover Our Hollow Earth first hand? If so, we invite you to join us for an expedition to the North Pole with Steve Currey, one of the leading river explorers in the world!

Posted by: Stuart / 1:03 pm ::link to this entry



Monday, July 26, 2004

The Annotated Alan Moore

Annotations for Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Promethea and others.

I've been waiting for a couple of years now for someone to ask me how on earth we did Promethea #12, just so that I could be knowing and mysterious about it, rather in the style of David Blaine.
--Alan Moore


Posted by: Stuart / 4:51 pm ::link to this entry



Lots of bootlegs

Live bootlegs of many, many artists.

Posted by: Stuart / 10:17 am ::link to this entry



Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Snowmail

Sign up to get a daily email from John Snow (or Krishnan Guru-Murthy or Alex Thomson) giving his take on today's news. I have been reading this for about a week & it's pretty cool.

Posted by: Stuart / 5:14 pm ::link to this entry



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

419 scammers going off the rails

The Register has a story about the latest email scam from those lovable rogues in Nigeria :


From: Secretary Towogbola [secretary_in_chargeeeee@hotmail.com]
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT {THIS IS NO JUNK MAIL}

"EXECUTION"EXECUTION"EXECUTION"'
NATIONAL CORPORATION HEADQUATERS LAGOS.

PRIVACY. we wish to introduce our company/ourselves as a subsidiary of INTERNATIONAL ASSASINATORS AND WORLD SECURITY ORGANISATIONS,with branches in one hundred and two {102}countires.

we have received a fax message from our headquaters,new york,this morning to inform you to produce a mandatory sum of US$40,000.00 {FOURTHY THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS} only,into our account given below in nigeria within ninety six hours{96},alternatively you will be SNIPPED and GUNNED down during the period of our oncoming anniversary of fifty years.


Posted by: Stuart / 3:11 pm ::link to this entry



Monday, July 19, 2004

Amazon reviews of My Pet Goat

"A real page-turner! When you pick this one up, you'll wish you never had to put it down!" George W. Bush

Posted by: Stuart / 3:48 pm ::link to this entry



Eyewitness accounts of the Trinity nuclear tests

"I was looking through crossed polaroid glasses directly at the site. My first sensation was one of intense light covering my whole field of vision. This seemed to last for about 1/2 second after which I noted an intense orange red glow through the clouds. Several seconds later it appeared that a second spherical red ball appeared but it is probable that this apparent phenomenon was caused by the motion of the airplane bringing us to a position where we could see through the cloud directly at the ball of fire which had been developing for the past few seconds. This fire ball seemed to have a rough texture with irregular black lines dividing the surface of the sphere into a large number of small patches of reddish orange. This thing disappeared a few seconds later and what seemed to be a third ball of fire appeared again and I am now convinced that this was all the same fire ball which I saw on two separate occasions through a new hole in the undercast."

Posted by: Stuart / 3:36 pm ::link to this entry



Free Shell Accounts

Huge list of free UNIX (mostly - some are VMS, etc) shell accounts.

Posted by: Stuart / 1:31 pm ::link to this entry



Thursday, July 15, 2004

Making Light: Prophetable colors

Teresa Nielsen Hayden has a great post on Making Light about the strange process of deciding what colours will be fashionable.

Who does this to us? An outfit, founded in 1962, called the Color Marketing Group. These are the people who wished avocado green and harvest gold kitchen appliances on America, and put the 1980s into those mauve-pink shades that looked so peculiarly horrible on so many of us.

Basically, the CMG is a trade organization, with 1,500 members drawn from a bunch of different industries. Twice a year they get together in Alexandria, VA, to come up with long-term and short-term color predictions. The long-term prediction is a set of sixteen colors that will be profitably marketable two years hence. That is, the 2003 palette was distributed to manufacturers in 2001. The short-term prediction is a palette of colors declared to be currently the thing.


Posted by: Stuart / 2:52 pm ::link to this entry



Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Japanese Govt. white-paper to be released as Manga

Oddly, not an Onion headline - the Japanese government want more young people to take an interest in it's policies and have decided to release their upcoming white paper on defense in comic book format.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:18 pm ::link to this entry



Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Right-Wing Ketchup

First Reagan declared ketchup to be a vegetable, now W Ketchup has come forward to ensure that proud Republicans can apply the correct condiment to their freedom fries while showing support for the freedom-hating, constitution-despising scum in the Whitehouse.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:22 pm ::link to this entry



Monday, July 12, 2004

Police unveil HERF gun

Police plan to stop car chases by using beams of EM radiation to knock out the internal electronics of modern cars.

"When the radio waves hit the targeted car, they induce surges of electricity in its electronics, upsetting the fuel injection and engine firing signals. 'It works on most cars built in the past 10 years, because their engines are controlled by computer chips,' said Dr Giri. 'If we can disrupt the computer, we can stop the car.' A prototype is due to be ready by next summer."

What I find interesting here is the unstated assumption that once a car has it's chips fried it is ust going to glide safely to a halt - as opposed to , say, spinning out of control in a flaming ball of automotive death.

Posted by: Stuart / 10:51 am ::link to this entry



Thursday, July 08, 2004

SmartKlamp: the fine art of male circumcision.

An automatic circumcision device. Yes. An automatic circumcision device.

Placing of the SmartKlamp®

* The foreskin is completely rolled back
* Then the tube of the SmartKlamp is placed on the top of the penis
* The foreskin will be rolled over the tube
* The clamping mechanism is placed over the tube and the skin and the foreskin is trapped.
* The trapped foreskin is being cut by a scalpel and removed; very little blood is visible
* The circumcision is ready!


Posted by: Stuart / 12:08 am ::link to this entry



Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Ruby looks like an interesting language - even more so now I have seen this poignant guide.

I’ll be straight with you. I want you to cry. To weep. To whimper sweetly. This book is a poignant guide to Ruby. That means code so beautiful that tears are shed. That means gallant tales and somber truths that have you waking up the next morning in the arms of this book. Hugging it tightly to you all the day long. If necessary, fashion a makeshift hip holster for Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, so you can always have this book’s tender companionship.

Posted by: Stuart / 11:54 am ::link to this entry



Meat Filter

Meat Filter has the latest news on all things vegan and vegetarian. I have no idea if that will turn out to be a lot of news or not, to be honest.

Posted by: Stuart / 11:49 am ::link to this entry



Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Software: Spyware/Adware/Hijackware Tools

Someone (Jim?) asked me for some Spyware removal help. This is a pretty comprehensive list.

Posted by: Stuart / 12:55 am ::link to this entry



Monday, July 05, 2004

Air America Place - Air America Radio mp3 Archive

Get your fresh Garofalo here. Liberal talk radio from the uSofA - interesting to hear the alternative leftpondian spin.

Posted by: Stuart / 3:25 pm ::link to this entry



Sunday, July 04, 2004

News Skim Comics

Really rather funny photostory comic.

Posted by: Stuart / 5:27 pm ::link to this entry



Friday, July 02, 2004

Rock Paper Saddam

Phto cut-up of Saddam trial.

Posted by: Stuart / 4:56 pm ::link to this entry



Man writes down his every thought

26 year old Lion Kimbro decided to write down every thought he had for three months.

Why would anyone in their right mind want to do this? "Because of the incredibly clarity that comes with it," Lion says. "It may feel that for the first time in your life, you really have a clear idea of what kinds of thoughts are going through your head.

"You can think about hidden subjects - things that are really important, but that people don't have the time to think about, such as: 'How do we communicate?' 'How is thinking structured?' 'What am I doing?'

"And you find answers. Basically, it feels like watching Atlantis come up."


If you fancy trying out Lion's technique, he has written a free-to-download book explaining his technique.

Posted by: Stuart / 12:49 pm ::link to this entry



Danny O'Brien fights to keep fingernail grip on reality

Amusing ramble on Oblomovka as Danny tries to keep his brains inside his head after a few too many keynote speeches.

My notes are full of this crap. Everyone else in the journalist's compound was clattering into outliners about the H.264 and personal iChat servers and how it all interrelates with current market conditions. My notes say "iChat AV, 3 other people. OMG they ARE trapped like General Zod! Is woman he talking to wife? Wrong kind of flirty. Forced bonhomie. Are you killed if you fuckup Jobs demos? Maybe they have gunmen off unseen, off webcam. "But, darling, it was my net connection it was bursty I couldn't hear what BLAM BLAM BLAMBLAM".

Posted by: Stuart / 11:40 am ::link to this entry



Thursday, July 01, 2004

Ask the Tech Girl

If you like sexy, smart, strong and sarcastic girls with superior tech skills, you are in luck.

"Ask The Tech Girl" gives you the rare opportunity to talk live to a super smart, sometimes snarky and always super sexy tech girl, geek chick or network ops cutie.


Currently being parodied on the always wonderful Something Positive.

Posted by: Stuart / 1:40 pm ::link to this entry



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