Links On A Saturday Night

Between this whole house-selling/house-buying thing, and the relatively insane week I’ve had at work, I have been neglecting the blog. Let’s catch up on a few things that have popped up in the meantime.

  • I may have mentioned here before that I enjoyed Farmer’s Riverworld books (for getting me into Burton, among other things), and I certainly have mentioned my general feeling about book-to-screen adaptations (well represented in this cartoon), so you can understand why I am tentative in my response to the trailer for a new Riverworld mini-series. I am also unsure how to react to the presence of Helo, Methos, Gaeta, and Supergirl–it’s like the genre supporting character rep. theatre company.
  • Repeat that last point, but this time with Hollywood giving yet another PKD book the Blue treatment.
  • Most exercises at “top ten” list making are inherently doomed to a kind of pointlessness–the lists are by their very nature both subjective and hopelessly limited in scope. They can be useful in a couple of ways–as a kind of short-hand for describing personal tastes, as a seed for starting certain kinds of discussions, and as a way to provide implicit recommendations. For example, this list of top ten science fiction novels isn’t the list I would come up with, were I even to attempt making a list, but I’ve read nine of the items on the list and agree they are all excellent… so that tenth one seems like something I should get around to reading.
  • There are other kinds of lists that can be just as useful, if you trust the people that make them–I don’t recognize a book on Jeff Ford’s October reading list, but given that it’s him making the recommendations, I’m interested in checking them all out.
  • What would be worth than getting into a multiple vehicle car crash? Getting into a crash with a van full of bees.
  • Apparently women have sex for exactly 237 different reasons ranging “from the altruistic to the borderline evil”. The top two reasons shouldn’t surprise anyone, although their order might disappoint some romantics.
  • I happen to think that a brewery releasing a low-alcohol beer named “Nanny State” is pretty funny, especially if it’s in response to previous criticism for making a particularly strong brew. But the complete humourlessness of the alcohol watchdog groups is even funnier.
  • First an apology for Turing, and now some money for Bletchley Park? It’s like a lightbulb went on over someone’s head in London.
  • So just how ignorant do you have to be in order to both ignore the rules of common courtesy in the social contract AND to risk pissing off both James Bond and Wolverine? Seriously.
  • During the first couple of years of my life as a parent there was much joking about “getting on the cover of Bad Parenting monthly“, but this online photo gallery shows a series of potential cover images that all take the cake.
  • I’ll be honest, the idea that the American DHS is paying for the development of what’s essentially a fancy flashlight that causes temporary blindness and nausea is a bit unsettling–I dislike the idea of many kinds of authorities having access to this kind of tech, or at least my initial reaction is to do until I imagine it in comparison with what might happen if those same authorities only had access to lethal weaponry. What I do have an unmixed reaction to is the news that the DIY crowd has come up with open source plans for building one of these things for around $250 (compared to the $800K that DHS paid for a prototype)–and that reaction is, of course, bemusement.
  • I would also like to be bemused at a Bush-era insider claiming that it was the more-or-less official position of that administration that the Harry Potter books promoted sorcery. But my bemusement runs out whenever I remember that we’re talking about thinks that happened in the third millennium CE.
  • I understand that Western society is composed of many, many different groups, with worldviews that are compatible or incompatible along a spectrum that ranges from “I see the world just as you do” through to “I understand the way you see the world, and utterly disagree with it” and on to “I can not even being to comprehend the set of basic tenets on which your worldview is founded–not only are you not right, you’re not even wrong”. Since I mostly interact with people who are at least partly compatible with me, I can kind of forget sometimes that there are these other groups around me all the time who I just can’t understand–and who probably find me just as incomprehensible. I mean reality TV, people deeply emotionally invested in spectator sport, and Wal*Mart are all things from worldviews that are nearly outside of my comprehension, but at least I can conceive of what value people see in them. A little farther down that particular axis and you completely lose me.
  • How newspapers still crack me up: they can have web editions, and put stories on the web, and claim they are integrating with the Internet world… but they can still write entire articles about a particular web site and not include a single link to the site. Seriously, is there a single less clueful thing you could do on the web? How much do you have to not get it in order to have it escape your attention that people reading the article, you know, might want to go on to the subject of the article, and that you could enable that?
  • This item is just for Alex Wilson: Star Wars Lines Improved By Replacing A Word With “Pants”

And that should hold the fort until I can come up with something a little more philosophical.

  2 comments for “Links On A Saturday Night

  1. October 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Pavane is very much worth reading; you’ll like it.

  2. October 7, 2009 at 12:56 am
    Heh… I’ve seen the SW pants one before (and it still makes me smile). Lizzie still says “Green means go, Red means stop, and Blue means pants” 🙂

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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.