25 September 2008

A new do

Juanita Phillips' new hair on the news tonight.

I'm yet to be fully convinced.

23 September 2008

My contemporaries

Here's a list of people born in 1965, just like me. 

  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Shania Twain
  • Gong Li
  • Princess Stéphanie of Monaco
  • Sherilyn Fenn
  • Dr Dre
  • Chris Rock
  • Sophie, Countess of Wessex
  • Diane Lane
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • Alan Cumming
  • Julia Ormond
  • Joely Richardson
  • Slash
  • Jeremy Piven
  • JK Rowling
  • Elizabeth Hurley
  • Manuel Uribe Garza
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Paul WS Anderson
  • John C Reilly
  • Brooke Shields
  • Björk
  • Ben Stiller
  • Moby
  • Charlie Sheen

Quite a group, isn't it?

21 September 2008

Cute friends

The winner of the All My Facebook Friends Are Gorgeous award is this guy. Even the thumbnails are stunning.

End time: it's all Elizabeth Taylor's fault

I’m intrigued and fascinated by the Rapture – the idea that Jesus is coming back, gathering up all the believers, including the dead ones, and taking them to heaven.

The people who believe in it are a fervent group, to say the least. They're close readers of the Bible, although I must say only when it suits their purposes. There’s a lot of speculation among them about timing and whether the rest of us will be abandoned or destroyed along with the entire planet.

Of course, they all believe it's going to happen very soon, something they have in common with every culture since the ancient Egyptians.

Two of these chirpy eschatologists, Todd Strandgberg and Terry James, have created a vast site dedicated to being “Rapture Ready”. There, they tackle every imaginable subject. Some of the FAQs are, uh, interesting. 
  • I am afraid of the end of the world. What should I do?
  • Why is God so confusing? 
  • I am unmarried and 30. What can I do?
  • Is it okay for a man to dress like a woman? 
In order to prove that the end times are upon us, they're documenting all the troubles in the world: abortion, drugs, global warming, homosexuality, terrorism, mass murders, rock ‘n’ roll – the usual hit-list of horror. 

One item on the list attracted my particular attention: “Marriage – Elizabeth Taylor”. Apparently Liz’s many husbands demonstrate the decline in the sanctity of the institution of marriage, proof enough that the time of the great tribulation is approaching.

19 September 2008

Let Wikipedia launch your music career

Got some time to waste? Go to Wikipedia and hit the Random article button on the left-hand side. That’s the name of your band. Hit it again to find the name of your hot new CD. A few more times and you’ve got the names of all your songs. Here’s mine:

BAND: Simtel

ALBUM: Guqin aesthetics


  1. Space pirate
  2. De Dannan
  3. Cineaste
  4. Nest Freemark
  5. Bondelum
  6. Medial intercondylar tubercle
  7. Spring Garden Tunnel
  8. William Langewiesche
  9. Blaise Gisbert
  10. Symphony No. 1 (Nielsen)

17 September 2008

It turns out all my dreams are cliches

Everyone dreams. At about two hours a night, the average person spends six years of their life dreaming.

We don't know how or why we dream, the thing between our ears still being one of the great scientific mysteries. We do, however, know what we dream about.

Since the 1950s, there have been several large-scale studies of the content of dreams.

The most common emotional state we experience in our dreams is anxiety. That can't be good.

Here are the most common themes:

  • situations relating to school
  • being chased
  • running slowly in place
  • sexual experiences
  • falling
  • arriving too late
  • a person now alive being dead
  • teeth falling out
  • flying
  • embarrassing moments
  • falling in love with random people
  • failing an examination
  • not being able to move
  • not being able to focus vision
  • car accidents

  • I know it's true, but am I alone in finding this list really disturbing?

    16 September 2008

    Oh, no – does this make me a geek?

    There's this guy called Jay Hinson. He's bright. Really bright. His PhD thesis was on the decay of the tau lepton into three charged pions and a tau neutrino. That's particle physics, people.

    So Jay lets his mind wander one day and starts to think about "technology which allows subspace fields to 'reduce' the mass of a ship while still allowing for energy and momentum conservation".

    Except when Jay says "ship", he means "space ship". And when he says "technology", he means "Star Trek".

    "This," Jau writes, "led me to consider various other energy and momentum related questions concerning subspace and warp fields in general."

    Like it does.

    To read Jay's musings on this subject, all 17,236 words of it, click here.

    Elsewhere – ie, back in the real world – you will find Jay's discussion of relativity and faster-than-light travel (it starts here).

    He calls it an FAQ and, while I would quibble about his use of the word "frequently", it's actually a highly readable piece of work that had me thinking "Shit – I understand relativity, special and general!" at one point. Seriously. He made it make perfect sense to me. And I don't know nuthin about nuthin.

    Someone needs to publish this guy. Just take out the Star Trek stuff first.

    10 September 2008

    I, Tallulah

    I'm reading Tallulah Bankhead's autobiography, Tallulah. It's one of the most eloquent, entertaining books I've ever read.

    In the chapter called "Affidavit of the Accused", she writes:

    I've had many momentary love affairs. A lot of these impromptu romances have been climaxed in a fashion not generally condoned. I go into them impulsively. I scorn any notion of their permanence. I forget the fever associated with them when a new interest presents itself.
    I'm so on her side.

    09 September 2008

    Coming soon

    Peter Kay has a new sitcom in production called Britain's Got The Pop Factor ... And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice.

    07 September 2008

    Design by committee

    My friend David was working on a logo for a mining company that started out with this completely on-brief sketch:

    and, thanks to everyone at the client end weighing in with their fascinating opinions, somehow ended up, at one point, with this horror:

    His entire sordid history of what happens when you let clients keep making changes is here.

    04 September 2008

    You guys are no fun

    Some random Taliban prohibitions:

    • anything made from human hair
    • equipment that produces the joy of music
    • pool tables
    • lobster
    • nail polish
    • sewing catalogues
    • pictures
    • chess
    • masks

    02 September 2008

    Just Druitt

    When news happens in the outer Sydney suburb of Mount Druitt, it’s never going to be a good thing. Here are the recent headlines from ABC News tagged “Mount Druitt”.

    Man flips car during high-speed chase

    Man charged over Sydney rape spree

    Young crims face curfews in Australian first

    Sydney serial sex attacker 'will strike again'

    Sydney sex attacks feared linked

    P-plater 'doing 110 in a 60km zone'

    Teens charged over bus assault

    26yo charged over weapons, cash haul

    Teen 'holds up store with cleaver'

    Police chase ends in front yard

    NSW men arrested over boarding house murder

    Security 'exceeded authority' in schizophrenic's death

    Man jailed over teen boy's rape

    Police seek help in finding missing teen, baby

    Man targets phone towers during tank rampage

    Driver impaled in car crash

    Police probe school leavers' fatal crash

    Teenage girl bailed on sexual assault charges

    01 September 2008

    Kaiser Karl is a bear

    Not that kind of bear. After all, it is hard to imagine the creative head of the house of Chanel submitting to the "No Artificial Scents" rule at the door of his local bear bar.

    The inventors of the teddy bear, Steiff, have created a Karl Lagerfeld bear, designed by the man himself.

    Speaking of KL, was he really ever fat? Go ahead – do a Google image search. Not a one. Has he had all evidence of those days purged from the internet?