Month: May 2008

Doubly Entertaining: Telectroscope

Have you seen the Telectroscope? Hardly anyone knows that a secret tunnel runs deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean. In May 2008, more than a century after it was begun, the tunnel has finally been completed. An extraordinary optical device called a Telectroscope has been installed at both ends which miraculously allows people to see right through the Earth from London… Read more →

Crazy Australians pretending to be crazy Italians

Have you seen Italian Spiderman yet? The premise is that Italian Spiderman was a 1968 Italian action-adventure film made by Alrugo Entertainment, which was deemed “un-viewable” by Italian distributors and never released. The story has the only 35mm print of the film being lost at sea, but recovered in the present day, thereby allowing Alrugo Entertainment to release the film… Read more →

Their great chicken-bone and moonshine empire will rise again

I know you’re already seen this, but it’s just too good to let go by. My favourite bit references the hobo signs stuff we were looking at earlier this month: And they devised a secret language of signs and scrawls used to alert their passing brethren to danger or opportunity. A crucifix chalked on the side of a house meant… Read more →

SF Authors Say Smart Things: John Shirley on ego

There’s a misunderstanding that the right-hand-path in spirituality, to use a short hand term, is about abasing or losing yourself or demolishing yourself. Not true at all. It’s simply about being in right relationship to the divine source of consciousness, and the Bodhisatvas who try to mitigate, and eventually end, the world’s suffering. But it’s not self annihilation. It’s more… Read more →

The McLaren Discriminant

I’ve never been one to engage in a lot of “there are two kinds of people in the world…” divisions. Oh, I think that humans are fundamentally inclined, probably at a biological level, to see things in terms of “us and them”, but like a certain brilliant Scotsman, I also tend to think that the direction of increased civilization is… Read more →


This weekend marked both the 7th anniversary of my wedding to a woman who is much too good for me1, and the 10th anniversary of the day we “officially” started going out. Time flies. It seems like the five year mark was just a minute ago. According to traditional sources, the 7th wedding anniversary is marked with gifts of wool… Read more →

Now that’s an old school poem

Here, underneath this little stone, Lies Robert, Earl of Huntingdon. No archer was as he so good, And people called him Robin Hood. Such outlaws as he and his men, Will England never see again. That’s my best shot at updating what may well be Robin Hood’s epitaph to modern English. I love the Internet age because I have access… Read more →

Putting My Own House In Order

Or rather, bitching about my own country’s politicians for a change. It seems like I can’t turn around lately without seeing another story that just embarrasses me as a Canadian. The classic example, which I’ve talked about here before, is the Tories’ continuing attempt to force a DCMA-style law down our throats. After getting his ass more or less handed… Read more →

SF Writers Say Smart Things: Cory Doctorow on statistics and security

I often use the same example Cory uses here in discussing security issues at work: 99% effective means 10,000 failures over a million instances. Which in turn means that if you’re trying to detect a 1-in-a-million event, then you will get it 9999 false positives for every real event you detect–and at that rate, you will never find the actual… Read more →


I had a definite plan this morning to do a little geohashing and see who showed up at the local meeting. Too bad the algorithm would have put me in the Atlantic Ocean off the South Shore. Maybe tomorrow it’ll be on land–easy enough to calculate with the online reference implementation. Actually, if I had access to an ocean-worthy boat,… Read more →

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.