Jan 29 2006

Fred And Ginger

(Or architecture about dancing.)

The Nationale-Nederlanden Building in Prague, by Frank Gehry:

“The “body language” of the two towers earned the building its nickname, “Fred and Ginger,” after dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.”


Jan 29 2006

Dog Food

BBC News:

“We love to come here in the winter and eat dogs,” he told me. “It’s good for your health, it makes you feel strong.”

Jan 29 2006


I just saw the first night of The Books tour. I’ve never been to a gig that made me cry with laughter. Virtuoso stuff. Smart, moving, lyrical. Wonderful.

Jan 26 2006

When Despondent

This cheers me right up:

Jan 23 2006

Nine To Five

Yowzer, as they probably don’t say in the in the modern Beano. I’m back working on PC Gamer for a few weeks, sat grinding the keys on the old staff writer coalface. Gather that internet up into a wheelbarrow and dump it down the production chute. There we go: more information than you can wave a cursory Google at.

Each month PC Gamer writes a short novel about PC Games, 50,000 words or more. The sheer density of what half a dozen people are able to produce is always a delight. PCG itself is one of the most productive teams in the world – foreign licensees buy the pages to fill their own mags, including PC Gamer US, which now seems to be taking a lot of pointers from the Extra Life section.

A few folk have criticised Gamer’s reworked approach as little more than ‘things we found on the internet’, but when you look at the soulful accounts of games loved and lost, as well as the stacks of things that you wouldn’t have found on the net, even if you went looking for them, then you get to see what magazines still do best.

The flipside to all this is that working in the office (which didn’t seem so traumatic when I wrote for the relaunch of Edge Online last year) has demonstrated to me just how much my freelance homelife routine has calcified in the last twelve months. I’ve finally got round to feeling efficient and comfortable, something I no longer feel when confronted with the ticklists of magazine-creating tasks.

Truly, my time has passed.

Jan 19 2006


I was just looking up about Medieval Antipopes, and found this about the trial of a maligned pontif:

The Cadaver Synod (also called the Cadaver Trial or, in Latin, the Synodus Horrenda) is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Pope Formosus, held in Rome on January of 897. During the proceedings, the decomposing body of Formosus, who had been dead for nine months, was dressed in his papal vestments and seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen VII, read the charges against him and conducted the trial.

Jan 19 2006

The Bee Hive Hat

Essential summer fashion.

Jan 18 2006

That’s A Stone Made Of Piss

BBC News:

Star Trek actor William Shatner has sold his kidney stone for $25,000 (£14,000) to an online casino, to raise money for a housing charity. The 74-year-old actor agreed on Monday to sell the stone to GoldenPalace.com. “This takes organ donors to a new height, to a new low, maybe. How much is a piece of me worth?” said Shatner.

The website has a bizarre range of collectables, which includes a half-eaten toasted cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary. It paid $28,000 for the item at auction.

Jan 17 2006

The First Laugh


There is a real distinction between authentic laughter, that which is caused by a stimulus, and laughter used to manipulate social situations, say Binghamton University researchers. In fact, these two kinds of laughter may have evolved millions of years apart…

“If you do a literature search on laughter, a lot of the material you’re going to come up with is really about humor,” Provine said. “But humor is really a sort of subcategory of the topic of laughter, instead of vice versa, because laughter is ancient and instinctive, while humor is something of relatively modern origin. So there was laughter long before there was humor.”

The authors begin their evolutionary tale of laughter well before humor came into the mix, arguing that laughter is a more basic function than even language. “Not only does it precede language developmentally…it probably preceded language in terms of evolution,” Wilson said. “So, there was a time in our history when we were laughing before we were talking.”

Jan 12 2006

Painterly Pollutions

The Lake Project.