April 5th, 2015
How to Play 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel, taken from Mantel's notes for stage adaptations of her work:
Cardinal Archbishop Thomas Wolsey
You are, arguably, Europe's greatest statesman and greatest fraud. You are also a kind man, tolerant and patient in an age when these qualities are not necessarily thought virtues.
You are not quite the enormous scarlet cardinal of the (posthumous) portrait. You are more splendid than stout, a man of iron constitution who has survived the "sweating sickness" six times. You are a cultured Renaissance prince, as grand and worldly as any Italian cardinal. Renowned for the speed at which you travel, you are capable of an unbroken twelve-hour stint at your desk, "all which season my lord never rose once to piss, nor yet to eat any meat, but continually wrote his letters with his own hands…" Your household observes you with awe, as does the known world. You hope you might be Pope one day, but think it would be more convenient if you could bring the papacy to Whitehall; you wouldn't want to give up your palaces or your place next to your own monarch, and anyway you could probably run Christendom in your spare time. […]
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April 4th, 2015
Windscreenwiperman is a thoughtful piece of work on a tricky subject:
A man makes friends with a young teenage boy online. This film explores the stigma around online friendships, and our global addiction to social media. Directed by Sam Baron. Written by Sam Baron & Raphael von Blumenthal. Produced by Mark Hopkins, Aidan Grounds & Emily Precious. Starring Raphael von Blumenthal, Joe Hurst & Rebecca Herod.
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April 4th, 2015
Beautiful Maps presents exactly what the name suggests. Well worth a look.
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April 2nd, 2015
RomancR promises to disrupt your bedroom:
RomancR, which we plan to launch later this year, will bring the power and efficiency of markets to our romantic lives. You will leave your pitiful dating life where it belongs in the dustbin of history! Go beyond antiquated non-market systems for finding lovers. Why should we rely on people's fickle sense of taste and attractiveness, their complicated ideas of interpersonal compatibility, or their sense of altruism, when we can rely on the power of prices? With RomancR, we won't have to!
[Via Crooked Timber]
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April 1st, 2015
Where you end up if you mistype 'gmail' as 'gail' and your browser autocompletes your entry:
Hello and welcome to the gail.com FAQ.
Q: Why isn't there any content here?
A: All personal web content is hidden on back pages to conserve bandwidth.
Q: Interested in selling gail.com?
A: Sorry, no.
Q: How did you manage to get gail.com?
A: My husband registered it as a birthday gift back in 1996.
Q: How many times a day is this page visited?
A: In 2014 this page received 1,829,385 hits, which is an average of 5,012 per day. Eighty-five percent of those hits were from unique IP addresses. Occasionally, we get Redditted and get several tens of thousands of visitors over a day or so.
Q: I think you're infringing on my trademark…
A: You can't have an exclusive trademark on a common word or name. My husband and I successfully defended ourselves against an attempted domain coup d'état in 2006; see WIPO Case D2006–0655 for more information.
Q: Don't you know that you could throw some ads up and make money?
A: Yes, I know, thank you. For those who feel they need more advertising in their life, have a look at our nifty EFF ad below.
Thanks for visiting,
Gail (faq at gail period com)
Bravo. Proper old school internet.
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March 14th, 2015
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March 13th, 2015
I do wish Martin Belam, in posting about how UsVsTh3m marked the passing of Terry Pratchett, hadn't planted this delightful thought in my brain:
And personally, with Pratchett's death and Leonard Nimoy only recently departed, this has made me realise how deeply Tom Baker's death is going to affect me.
Now I'm thinking about it too, dammit!
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March 12th, 2015
Alan Rusbridger, soon to depart after 20 years as editor of the Guardian, reflecting upon his early years at the paper:
For quite a long time the Guardian struggled to get my name right #oldcuttingsbooks
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