December 8th, 2007

As I write this, John Carpenter's adaptation of Stephen King's Christine is just finishing on TV.

I hadn't seen the film in a good fifteen years, but it proved to be just as entertaining as I remembered. Some of the scenes, such as the encounter between Christine and Buddy Repperton at the filling station, are as memorable as anything John Carpenter ever shot.

The film as a whole isn't on a par with the likes of The Thing, Halloween, Escape From New York or Big Trouble in Little China), but it's good, solid entertainment; back in the 1980s even a workmanlike Carpenter film was good value.

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Squid pie

December 7th, 2007

Remember, folks: Pie Doesn't Have Tentacles!

(For the story of the pie that did, see here.)

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Market train

December 6th, 2007

A couple of months ago I saw a photo in the Guardian of a train running right through the middle of a densely-populated market in Bangkok. I wanted to post a link to it, but when I checked their web site I couldn't find the image so I let it go.

I should have known; if you wait long enough, the web usually comes up with the goods. Here's a video of that very train in action that's even more impressive than the photo was, since it shows far more clearly than the photo did how the market's stall-holders cope with having a train go by at regular intervals.

It's so beautifully co-ordinated that you half expect them to burst into a song-and-dance number…

[Via MetaFilter]

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December 6th, 2007

Can someone please explain to me how someone makes a photograph like this.

Is it clever Photoshop work, erasing the people and leaving their sneakers behind? Is it actually two pictures (one of the reflections of the people wearing sneakers, the other of their footwear alone standing in the puddle) blended to form a composite image? I have to know!

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High Tension

December 5th, 2007

You couldn't pay me enough to persuade me to do this man's job.


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December 5th, 2007

Wikipedios. Yum!

[Via James Nicoll]

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Makoto Nagano

December 5th, 2007

This video of a contestant negotiating an obstacle course on Japanese TV is astonishing.

Keep watching right to the end; the guy's ability to negotiate the first few sets of obstacles is impressive enough, but then in the last minute or so of the video he's shown tackling a fairly straightforward but – to my mind – even more daunting final obstacle.

[Via GromBlog]


Eat for victory

December 4th, 2007

Japan in culinary offensive to stop spread of US fish:

The keepers of Japan's biggest lake have called on the public to join in one final push to eat the bluegill fish – possibly the most reviled creature in Japan – into extinction before it does the same to threatened native species.

The bluegill's steady destruction of indigenous freshwater fish, almost 50 years after it was touted as a vital source of protein for an undernourished population, is being treated as an ecological emergency and has provoked a rare public show of contrition from Emperor Akihito. As crown prince, Akihito received bluegill as a gift from the then mayor of Chicago, Richard J Daley, during a visit to the US in 1960. […]

Presumably if this works for the Japanese UK Red Squirrel Group will start publishing recipes for grey squirrel stew.

[Via Kevan Davis]

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TB-L as Greatest Living Englishman?

December 4th, 2007

Stephen Fry nominates Tim Berners-Lee as the greatest living Englishman:

Who is the greatest living Englishman? It would be hard to argue against the merits of Tim Berners-Lee, the sole begetter and inventor of the world wide web, an organism whose initials, www, have (in some languages, including our own) three times more syllables than the phrase they’re abbreviating, which is perhaps the only flaw in Berners-Lee’s grand design.


Incidentally, that flaw… the unwieldy name and initials, www, came about as a result of the inventor’s extraordinary and entirely endearing modesty. Originally he had come up with the name The Information Mine, but he found the initials, TIM, embarrassing. No less egocentric (especially in French-speaking Switzerland, where he was working) was another thought, the Mine Of Information, so he settled on good old www. […]

Note to would-be commenters: anyone posting that Bill Gates invented the World Wide Web when he wrote Internet Explorer will have their Internet Driving License revoked with immediate effect.

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Pledge Drive Week

December 4th, 2007

Frequent commenter (and source of many a link I've posted over the years) Gary Farber is asking for donations, as he's in a spot of financial bother.

If you're inclined to lend Gary a hand, you can do a couple of things:

  • Go to Amygdala and make a donation (or better yet, set up a subscription).
  • If you have a web site, post a link to Gary's site to get his 'pledge drive' more attention.

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