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Ladies and Gentlemen: Our future!

You will choose to stay at home, brother. For you will be able to do everything you need from your potato couch. You will be able to don your virtual helmet and experience the Revolution on 360 degree all-round CGI. You may choose to view as manga, or Hanna-Barbera, as the Hair-Bear bunch.

Because the Revolution will be televised.

The Revolution will be brought to you by Apple Mac or PC World, with Nokia and Motorolla providing SMS updates. The Revolution will show pictures of hopefuls queueing overnight for the latest audition.

The Revolution will be sponsored by Gap, the Khaki-and-Camel collection, and it will star me, as you. You will play yourself, or Brad Pitt playing you. Or you, playing Brad Pitt, playing you.

The Revolution will be smoked, snorted, injected, chased or vapourised. It will be recording on mini-TV and kept in the pocket. The Revolution will be digitised, then transferred to all available formats. It will appear on your favourite CD as the bonus track. You will be able to procure it cheap on VHS, or pay a little bit more for the extra footage on DVD. Betamax will be available for the old-school, who are more gunshoe than gumshoe, with their shell-toes and grips. The Revolution will shoot from the hip.

The Revolution will be scratched, spun back and sampled as a loop. It will appear as the red button on your remote control. The Revolution will operate a job-share, or flexi-time option, so you can have it at your leisure.

Because the Revolution will be digitised.

The Revolution will be permed, highlighted and set. It will have its own award ceremony, with the biggest winners unable to attend except for via live satelite link, because of their current Revolutionary commitments. The Revolution will be a teacup in a storm, or a bottle in a message, or a door to a key. The Revolution will always come with fries.

Because the Revolution will be televised.

The Revolution will be heard, my brothers, because it will use viagra, camagra, oral tightening, hardening of the arteries, in order to fit inside Ronald's Happy Meal box as the free gift. The Revolution will have a new twist, sponsored by Levi, with a sticker campaign written in an eligible graffiti-style font.

Because the Revolution will be advertised.

And pay-per-view will have a whole new meaning, brothers. The Revolution will be available for Gameboy this fall, and X Box and Gamecube today. The Revolution will be televised, will be televised, will be televised, brothers.

Because the Revolution is alive.

By the Kleptones

These Are Just Sounds

More addictive than crack cocaine, more uplifting than crystal meth, more repetitive than a man on marijuana, weirder than an acid trip.

I don't know what it is about memes. Why do geeks love them? Anyway, I've just discovered a meme that we at Rhodes came a little late to. Apparently there's a song called "Dragostea Din Tei" by a band called O-Zone (although it's also done by Haiiduci?). The lyrics are here, in Romanian, with English translations. Note with joy the translation of the chorus.

The thing is. The thing is. Some lad out there, vaguely reminiscent of Ghyslain[1], recorded himself singing along to the song. You can have a looksee here, and I've got a copy up here. Russell and I have not been able to stop listening to/watching the damn thing.

[1] Ghyslain is a 15 year old boy from Quebec who became famous as the Starwars Kid after a video he made in his school basement. You can have a look at the video, and at the fifteen remixes that meme-obsessed geeks around the world made, here. The person originally responsible for the propagation of the meme is here. Ghyslain is identified here. He appears in Tony Hawk 3 here. Thousands of people petition to have him appear in Star Wars 3 here. And everybody apologises and raises over US$3000 to buy an iPod for Ghyslain here.

Things of which to beware

Be cautious! Be alert!

(The world needs more lerts)[1]

We have seen an increase in the number of roving gangs of teenage girls who deliver gifts of cookies to people's houses. This menace can not be stressed too forcefully. Thankfully, these two insipid little blighters got their just desserts [2]. Spurning the opportunity to attend a dance, they chose to spend their night baking cookies for unsuspecting neighbours. Thankfully, one of the neighbours managed to successfully sue them for $900 in medical fees after they frightened her by banging on her door to give her the cookies.

Secondly, we have uncovered evidence of an alien invasion. Maintain constant vigilance.

Thirdly, the problem of dangling prepositions is growing, too. See how the title of this blog entry is NOT "Things to beware of"? This is because a preposition at the end of a sentence is something up with which I will not put.

Update [1] Be aloof. We have enough lerts now.

Update [2] I mis-spelled this - it's "just deserts", from the same root as "deserve". However, in this context, I think "desserts" works rather well.

Update: It seems cats are evil, too.


I love animals: I'm always talking about animals, I love 'em. But the thing is that, you know, whenever you see animals on the telly, it's always the show-off animals. Yeah? It's always the leopards and panthers and crocodiles. Lions milling about, going "Oh, I'm very good, I'm on everything", and it really makes me annoyed, you know? Because what about the English animals, you know? The British mammals, yeah? Hah, what about the muskrat, or the tiny northern root-vole, with his little banjo and hat made of elastic bands, yeah? Who's representing them, eh? No-one, that's who.

I was furious! I went round all the heavily wooded regions in England. I just went round with this small pamphlet, recruiting like a huge slave rebellion. I was like Spartacus. I was there, going, "Okay, we're gonna go to Africa! We're gonna kick their arses", and I got a huge sort of tiny little mammal slave rebellion. They were all wearing tunics, we were there rummaging about in Greece... Well, Kent. And I said, "Come on, we're gonna go over there, and we're gonna show 'em. I'm sick of the lions, I'm sick of the crocodiles! You must be too. Come on, now!"

So I got them all in a big rusty bomber, and we flew over to Africa. But we needed a strategy. We couldn't just go over there, you know, go "COME ON!", and give them some aggro. We needed a strategy. So what we did was, um, we built a huge wooden shrew, like the wooden horse of Troy, but with just a little bit more stoat in it, with tiny little stoat's arms holding the spear, and what we did, was we lined it - to make it double dangerous - we lined it all with kitkat wrappers.

Ah, it was fantastic, it was like a glossy bitch. It was so bright, it was a metallic wonder. Small boys would rather eat a pair of scissors than go near the glossy bitch. "Don't make me go near it, I'll eat another pair of scissors. I can't look at it, it's doin' me pupils in!" Ah, it was fantastic, it was very warlike, the body was very warlike. But the eyes? They were telling a different story. Hardly warlike: eyes, like the eyes of an old russian lady, who had seen too much. An old russian lady, with her arm caught in a loom, and big sailors would walk past and go "Hello!" and she'd go "No, not hello. My arm - it's in a loom." And they'd go, "Yes, hello!", and she'd go, "No, not hello. It's gone maroon. My arm, it is in a loom." And they'd go "Yes, hello!", and she'd go "No, not hello -", and in the end she'd have to pick up the two-ton loom, and walk them, follow them home, and knock on their front window, and they'd be going "Oh, you're scaring me a little bit now". That's what the eyes were like: dangerous, but beautiful at the same time.

And what we did, was we cut two circles out of the base of the shrew, so that Martin Pinemarten could stick his little stoaty, weaselly legs through, and wheel us around - it was fantastic. And there weren't any windows, so we were crashing into antique shops, knocking over stationary yachts. We were having a nightmare!

And eventually we found the plains, and we waited till dusk - waited till it got a little bit dark - and we looked through a crack in the shrew, and they were all out there, lions milling about, and we thought, "Yeah, we're going to get you, you freak nuts."

So, what we did, was, we waited till it was dark, and we went out, and we went "CHAAAARGE!" and we ran at them, and when we got out there, we couldn't believe it, they were HUGE! Lions the size of transit vans, we couldn't... we didn't know what was happening! Leopards like marquees, "Oh, he's like a Victorian tennis house, look at the size of him!" Martin the pine marten was in a right state, he said, "No, I'm not going out there again, they were bloody huge, you didn't say anything about them going to be that huge!" Martin, what's happening to your voice? "I don't know, but I'm a bit scared."

So we all ran back into the shrew, we were like, "Oh, no, what are we going to do?", and we had to come up with Plan B. Luckily, Morris, the wood-pigeon, went, "I've got an idea". Now, he'd brought some Japanese Tourist costumes along, and we popped them on, went out there, and we took photos of them all. But we used them cameras that fly water! Oh yeah! Some of the zebras were soaked, cheetahs wringing out their gussets. We went over there and we kicked their arses.

Best weekend I've ever had.

from Midfielding by Midfield General, lyrics by Noel Fielding from the Mighty Boosh/

Lists of bad people and bad companies

Dominic has a post about the Ten Worst Corporations of 2004. A lot of people, I will accept, are stupid and lazy and uninformed, and thus do not know about these corporations. But those of you who claim not to be stupid and lazy and uninformed, and yet still continue to support these corporations ("I like the taste", for heaven's sake, is as good an excuse as saying "I like the colour of oilspills")... How can you live with yourselves?

Secondly, there is an incredibly amusing article over at the Beast about the Fifty Most Loathsome People of 2004. You should go and read it, by the way - you are placed at the third most loathsome.

Get Behind Thee, Satan

Get Behind Thee, Satan

By High Society

Running through checkers, jumping and hopping
Raise your arms and drop your shopping!
Let's throw some Che Guevara styles,
And start a revolution in the aisles!
They will never take us alive,
We'll take control of till number five.
We'll make our motives understood,
Raising riot till they lower the prices of canned goods!
Singing stirring anthems for a brave new land,
With a gun in one hand and some Omo in the other hand
Fighting the struggle like Nkosazana Zuma
We'll show them what it means to be a militant consumer
Like Lenin, Castro and Chairman Mao
Let's bag our freedom now!

Because society is like a sick oil spillage
Coming to your village, to rape and pillage
Breaking all the vows that you're making, forsaken
Get behind thee, Satan. Get behind thee, Satan!

Existential dilemma can be remedied
All you need is a notebook and some cali weed
I write ridiculous rhymes, it's all my fault:
I don't have to leave my room to revolt.
I'm revolting... Against your attitude
I find it insulting - it makes me rude
So, good luck to all you empty-headed ravers,
And let's just hope that God will save us
From these conglomerates of investment bankers
Dealers, lawyers, pushers and wankers
Masturbating on the human race
Concentrating on the telly rate
But I just relax
And pay my tax
And watch the world collapse

Because, society is like a sick oil spillage
Coming to your village, to rape and pillage
Breaking all the vows that you're making, forsaken
Get behind thee, Satan. Get behind thee, Satan!

Mmmm... Beer.

beer Not only does beer help fight cancer, but it can save you from natural disasters too!


Update: This sucks. Snopes has debunked the avalanche story. [via]

Update: The age-old dilemma about whether to have coffee or beer for breakfast is solved! Caffeinated Beer! Oh stop that behaviour!

SABloggies now open

The SA Blog awards are now open. Mail with your nominations. [via]

Apache Content Negotiation

This is a quick entry to demonstrate the Apache webserver's content negotiation. This system allows browsers to specify their capabilities to the webserver, which then chooses the most suitable form of the requested URL for the browser. I've used this for a while (e.g. when I link to my CV, which is both an HTML file and a PDF), but I only noticed it in its full glory when I tested it as follows:

In my page's .htaccess file, I added the line:

Options +MultiViews
This turns MultiViews on, meaning that Apache will automatically try to find the best "view" of a URL.

Next, I created a PNG image, and a text file, one named content-negotiation.png, the other content-negotiation.txt (working out which one I named which is left as an exercise for the reader). Next, I link to the root filename content-negotiation. Browsers that are capable of displaying the image should receive the PNG image, whereas text-only browsers should receive the text file. Try it in both!

Open source boardgames, opened Microsoft XML specs, and avoided questions.

Interesting weekend for, erm, stuff like that.

Some guy has released "the first open source board game": he has licensed it under the Creative Commons, and invites people to "patch" it to make it better: Dugi [via]

On a similar note, Microsoft have opened the XML schemas for the Microsoft Office document formats - see the Slashdot discussion. My two cents: I'm glad about this. It means they're showing willing. However, I'm cynical enough to believe that they're only doing this to win government contracts (a lot of governments stipulate "open standards" rather than "open source"). Their licensing doesn't seem to be GPL compatible, which is unsurprising because they hate it with a passion that is almost irrational. (See Update below).

Finally, Bill Gates was interviewed by the BBC in two parts: first and second. The reason I'm putting it up is that I want to point out how he avoids the question in the second part about whether he actually ever thought that he was being anti-competitive. It's astonishing. He literally refuses to answer the question, twice, and finally, when the interviewer says, basically, "Goddammit, Bill, WERE YOU EVER ANTI-COMPETITIVE?", he mumbles something about how rocking the computer industry is, without any reference to Microsoft at all.

Update: I couldn't resist posting this link: The BBC reports: some doodles were found on a podium, and thought to be by Tony Blair. Handwriting experts said they indicated a lack of leadership, and all sorts of nasty things. But as it turns out, the doodles belonged to Bill Gates...

Update: Slashdot has posted a new story: Microsoft hasn't really opened its standards.


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