Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2)
Enjoyable - some nice, incremental improvements in the basic game mechanics, a good neon-sunshine aesthetic, and an almost complete excision of double-entendre business names, which automatically makes the game world much more adult and realistic.
gamelog  5stars  crime  transport  drugs  nostalgia  america  cities 
june 2007
Code of Practice on Noise from Ice Cream Van Chimes etc. 1982 [pdf]
"It is an Offence to sound your chimes so as to cause annoyance: [...] Except on approach to a selling point [...] When in sight of another ice-cream van which is trading [...] More often than once every 2 hours in the same street."
food  law  ice  sound  via:tim  filetype:pdf  media:document 
june 2007
Text Adventure Forums [Beta] - Idle Forums
"This forum is for playing text adventure games! Our resident super computer Ziggy serves up the current move, and all you have to do is reply to the thread with the next move, such as 'Go north'. Ziggy will then respond." They died in Zork I.
if  emergence  via:waxy 
june 2007
28 Days Later (2002)
Better and worse than I remembered, mostly through knowing what was coming; less of a jangly sense of doom, but some good threads and patterns, and a coherently sketchy backplot. The zombies were disappointingly boring after the first half hour, though.
filmlog  4stars  zombies  apocalypse  viruses  london 
june 2007
Tim Knowles - Postal Works - Spy Box
"A digital camera inside a parcel looks out through a small hole and captures images of its journey through the postal system. The Spy Box was sent from my studio to the gallery taking an image every 10 seconds recording a total of 6994 images."
art  secrets  surveillance  travel 
june 2007
Merde d'artiste: not exactly what it says on the tin | Guardian Unlimited Arts
"One of Manzoni's collaborators, Agostino Bonalumi, has now revealed that the tins are not full of faeces, but plaster."
art  metal  lies 
june 2007
Paris match | The Observer
"If I went and stood in the indie section of the Virgin megastore, [...] maybe someone would come along and say, 'Ooh, look, it's Jarvis!' If I was really desperate one day and needed to reassure myself that people still knew who I was, I could do that."
interviews  pulp  music  paris 
june 2007
The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel
Disappointing: a minimally expanded list of the one-sentence tourism ideas from the Latourex website, padded out with flat and patronisingly overexplanatory summaries, and random-weblog-standard "laboratory results" from people who've taken the journeys.
booklog  tourism  travel  random  dice  secrets  mysteries 
june 2007
Cake Rental
Fake plastic wedding cakes with a single, real slice. "After the couple's 'feeding each other' act, the display cake is taken back into the kitchen and the guests are served regular sheet cakes from the local bakery or wholesale store."
food  plastic  love  illusions  lies  via:hoaxes 
june 2007
More police to patrol on full moons | Telegraph
"Inspector Andy Parr, of Sussex Police, made the connection while analysing crime statistics for the Brighton and Hove area’s 'night-time economy'."
police  psychology  brains  brighton  space  via:rodcorp 
june 2007
The Island and Lake Combination
"Largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island: Vulcan point in Crater Lake on Vulcano Island in Lake Taal on Luzon (PHI)."
maps  water  via:qwghlm 
june 2007
Xorph Dot Com | Clockers
"In a world not quite like our own, where the industrial revolution was triggered not by steam, but by springs [...] Daedelus Murphy and his ragtag band of friends and rivals are about to learn that that curiosity can be the most dangerous crime of all."
films  theatre  mutation  technology  history  crime  hacking  monkeys 
june 2007
The Future: A Retrospective
"This website is a 2007 audit of [the future-predicting 1989 book 'Future Stuff']. I'll find what happened to the predicted products, and to the people and companies who were going to bring them to you."
future  history  technology  via:leonard 
june 2007
show me the way (to go home)
If you've got a moment: "As part of an art project about spoken directions, we're trying to collect as many recordings as possible of people giving directions."
creations  art  maps 
june 2007
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
A refreshingly quick cut to the chase, but it loses its way for the middle third of the film, only touching on the interesting logistics of invading a planet with clones, and undermining its own quiet malevolence with silly noises at the end.
filmlog  3stars  aliens  secrets  plants 
june 2007
Rosemarie Fiore - Good-Time Mix Machine: Scrambler Drawings
"I connected a gas generator and air compressor to buckets of paint and secured them into the seats of a Scrambler amusement park ride. Once the ride was in motion, paint sprayed out of the benches onto vinyl tarps placed underneath."
art  physics  paint  via:infosthetics 
june 2007
Hackers (1996)
Watched as the second half of Holly and Brendan's steampunk-rewrite-readthrough. It's great when what you assume is just an abstract neon-cityscape metaphor of boring hack work is revealed to be actually running on their 28.8bps laptop screens.
filmlog  2stars  hacking  computers  crime  viruses 
june 2007
reCAPTCHA: Stop Spam, Read Books
Brilliant: "In aggregate, [CAPTCHA checks] consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into 'reading' books."
books  web  spam  via:zarba 
june 2007
The Olden Time Series, Vol. 4: Quaint and Curious Advertisements by Brooks - Project Gutenberg
"THE PRINTERS of this Paper bag Leave to Advertise their Customers, that they have lately purchas'd a new Set of TYPES, at a very great Expence, which will be improved for the Entertainment and Instruction of the Public."
advertising  history  via:leonard 
june 2007
New Statesman - Simon Munnery
"Recently someone said to me 'You're a writer; what do you write?' 'Notes mostly' I replied." Simon Munnery's online column for the New Statesman.
munnery  weblogs 
june 2007
Fimoculous.com - misc - iPredict
"Although news is immediately a historical account, it is also implicitly a gamble on the future, a suggestion of where things will be. iPredict attempts to capture those implicit questions in every news story."
news  future  emergence  via:infosthetics 
june 2007
Welcome to The Shady Old Lady's Guide to London
An icon-scattered Google Map of minor-historical addresses and obscure features in London.
london  history  tourism  maps 
june 2007
Raspberry Debacle » Blog Archive » A Sketch Towards a Taxonomy of Meta-Desserts
"Dessertoms are not infinitely stable: many, such as 'crepe' and 'sweet bread', are actually very unstable, and can easily turn into a dessert that would be horrible."
food  meta  maths  via:holly 
june 2007
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (Nintendo DS)
Ingenious generic-fantasy framework for a match-three puzzle game; different colours generate mana, to cast spells from a CCG-style rack. Idly addictive, and nice for having a shared board, but the percentage bonuses can make it uncomfortably random.
gamelog  ds  5stars  puzzles  magic  monsters 
june 2007
French expressions you won't learn at school
"Je te vois venir avec tes gros sabots - Now we are finally getting to the point (literally: 'I see you coming with your big clogs')."
language  france  via:jodi 
june 2007
The Book of Dave - Will Self
Alternating between the life of a London cab driver, and the feudal, bucolic, post-apocalyptic culture built around a notebook he left behind. A lot of good idea mappings, and as strong as Great Apes for a near-visibly overlaid alternate London.
booklog  london  future  apocalypse  language  society  children  religion 
may 2007
Dawn of the Dead Boardgame
The out-of-print 1978 board game, now with new board art. "The zombie player rolls two dice and refers to the Zombie Entrance Table to determine if new zombie units enter the shopping centre from any of the main doors."
zombies  board  games  paper 
may 2007
Latourex - Laboratory of Experimental Tourism
"...discovering a capital by following the layout of its Monopoly board. Visit the streets, stations, jail, car park, water and electricity companies, etc all by throwing the dice and following the official rules of the game."
random  tourism  cities  dice  via:jodi 
may 2007
A decent little homebrew Roguelike for the Nintendo DS, with a good interface. Nicest original feature (new to me, at least): the game doesn't end until you actually quit, so you can choose to watch dungeon monsters loot your dead body and mill around.
gamelog  4stars  nethack  ds  roguelike 
may 2007
:: Come Out & Play 2007 ::
"In collaboration with the Waag Society and the PICNIC Cross Media Week Festival, Come Out & Play will be running a two-day mini-festival in Amsterdam this September. Games will take place in locations around Amsterdam." Accepting submissions.
games  design  cities  todo 
may 2007
Last Tango in Aberystwyth - Malcolm Pryce
Good, deadpan, Welsh-seaside noir parody, with nuggets of well-written genre in there. The silliness has a better edge of coherency to it, this time, but the plot's a sprawling mess of afterthoughts and needless cameos.
booklog  mysteries  death  secrets  police  tourism 
may 2007
Water Cooler Games - The New York Times Publishes Our Newsgames
"Persuasive Games has a new publishing relationship with The New York Times, in which they will be publishing newsgames we create on their op-ed page, as editorial content, not just as games."
games  news 
may 2007
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Decent story of going back and moving on, sidestepping a lot of obvious scenes, with the protagonist being deadpan and matter-of-fact enough to work as a character. Had forgotten how little he avoids the question of what he does for a living.
filmlog  4stars  death  love  nostalgia  via:brendan 
may 2007
Hackety Hack: the Coder's Starter Kit
An introductory programming language, from the writer of the Poignant Guide to Ruby. "The point is: programming just isn't available to people like it was with the Commodore 64."
programming  education  children  download  via:waxy 
may 2007
The Daedalus Project: Superstitions
"Given that MMOs are a kind of Skinner Box that offer some random rewards (e.g., rare drops), it's not surprising that superstitious behaviors emerge in MMOs as well."
games  psychology  mmorpgs  delusions 
may 2007
Biodiversity: Wild Parrots Tame the Concrete Jungle
"At dawn, they take off from large roosting trees to forage for non-native figs, dates and avocados. [...] Residents of Ocean Beach believe the parrots arrived 25 years ago after a pet store burned down, and they never left."
birds  cities 
may 2007
"I reckon most people I know twitter about twice a day, so dawdlr is going to update twice a year. To try and get people to say what they're doing, you know, more generally. To submit a dawdl send a postcard to this address..."
web  time  via:jones 
may 2007
"In this semi-extreme performance, 6 curious artists strip away not only most of modern life's familiar structures, but an entire dimension: they have elected to inhabit a structure that effectively forces them to live in 2 dimensions."
art  architecture  maths  via:zarba 
may 2007
Log On, Shoot at an Iraqi: New Interactive Installation at the Flatfile Gallery | Political Art Magazine
"Bilal's installation - titled Domestic Tension - disturbingly raises awareness about the life of the Iraqi people and the home confinement they face due to the both the violent and the virtual war they face on a daily basis."
art  war  paint  technology  via:penguin 
may 2007
Mobile Phone Virus Scare Jumps from Pakistan to Afghanistan
"The rumours claimed that 'as soon as you answer your phone blood comes out of your mouth, nose and ears and you die'. [...] Government authorities are blaming local Taliban for spreading the scare story."
phones  pestilence  delusions  death  viruses 
may 2007
Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia | Guardian Unlimited
"At present, Nato does not define cyber-attacks as a clear military action. This means that the provisions of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, or, in other words collective self-defence, will not automatically be extended to the attacked country."
war  computers  russia 
may 2007
Villagers find mobile phone signal after 10 years | Guardian Unlimited
"It was a holiday maker who eventually discovered that if you stood on the bench and faced west you could make a call. Soon afterwards, queues began to snake back from the bench at peak times."
phones  secrets 
may 2007
The Believer - The Codex Seraphinianus
"Like a Borges story, this is as much about the quest for knowledge as it is about the knowledge itself. It involves books missing from libraries, lost translations, and people not answering letters."
books  mysteries  language  art  borges  via:warrenellis 
may 2007
Wumpus 2000
A text adventure in a randomly-generated dungeon. "Each creature has a different AI which dictates how it moves... some go looking for treasures, some seek out prey, some try to find room to breed, and a few move in a 'patrol' pattern."
games  if  monsters  random  via:zarba 
may 2007
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories - Solid freeform fabrication: DIY, on the cheap, and made of pure sugar
3D printing with sugar. "We mounted the hot air gun to the system and placed a piece of bread where the sugar would normally go - allowing us to make CNC (computer numerically controlled) toast, demonstrating [the] X and Y motion control systems."
technology  food  via:mcios 
may 2007
The Lives of Others (2006)
The counteraction of human weak points in the omniscient surveillance system of the GDR. Slow, strong character development; occasionally heavy-handed, but most of it perfectly underplayed.
filmlog  4stars  surveillance  germany  secrets  lies  writing 
may 2007
Bots on The Ground - washingtonpost.com
Anthropomorphising war robots. "He always got the job done. [...] One time, he actually did break down in a mission, and we sent another robot in and it got blown to pieces. It's like he shut down because he knew something bad would happen."
robots  war  psychology  delusions  technology  future  via:collision 
may 2007
Improve your photography with classical art
"I keep a directory of about 30 of my favorite paintings and anytime I need to do color correction, I just scan through them to find the one that gives the photo I'm working on the best look."
art  photos  paint  light  mutation  via:holly 
may 2007
The RFID Guardian: a firewall for your tags: Page 1
"The Guardian needs to do this lookup quickly, since it must make a decision about whether to jam the tag's response within 320.9µs—the amount of time between the RFID reader's request and the beginning of the tag's transmission back to the reader."
rfid  surveillance  technology  hacking  via:rodcorp 
may 2007
Radio 1 pulls 'promotional' track for brand of hair gel | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited
"Style, Attract Play is the slogan for the hair product range Shockwaves. Honeyshot was created by the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi as a pop group that can be bought "off the shelf" by companies to covertly promote their brands."
advertising  camrad  hair 
may 2007
Welcome to RiffTrax!
MST3K living on, with Mike Nelson and others providing heckling commentary MP3s to play alongside films. Hadn't looked at the site since it launched; it's got dozens of films on there now, including a lot of recent releases, and Night of the Living Dead.
films  meta  mp3s  zombies  todo 
may 2007
YouTube - Daydream Believers (Mitchell & Webb pilot) 1 of 3
Mediocre parallel-storyline sitcom pilot from 2001 about a bad sci-fi writer and his bad sci-fi characters, getting a full series on Radio 2 from this weekend.
television  radio  videos  space  writing 
may 2007
Bad Science » Given the choice, I'd have the miracle pill story
"This story was completely ignored by the entire British news media, despite their preoccupation with both antisocial behaviour and miracle cures, for one simple reason: this was not a story about a pill. It was a cheap, practical parenting programme."
science  medicine  news 
may 2007
To The End Of The Line
"This is a hugely self-indulgent, yet also dangerously ambitious, undertaking. Namely, to document my visit to every single working station on the London Underground."
london  underground  tube  weblogs  via:lmg 
may 2007
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Screwball divorce comedy with undercover 1930s tabloid journalists infiltrating a socialite wedding, before that plot thread gets dropped in favour of absent-minded alcoholic chaos. Good leads.
filmlog  3stars  love  news  lies  drinks 
may 2007
YouTube - ZX Spectrum - Manic Miner Loading
"I'm not even going to comment on this. It takes a specfic type of person to appreciate this. It may be possible to record the sound and load the game into a real Spectrum from this."
computers  nostalgia  sound  games  via:lmg 
april 2007
New Scientist Environment Blog: A new Arctic island is born into our warming world
"We knew the land was there, but until Arctic explorer Dennis Schmitt, from California, spotted a thawed strait on an expedition in summer 2005, no-one had realised that the island was [no longer] connected to the mainland."
weather  ice  world 
april 2007
The Bug: Steampunk Computer Mouse > Jake of All Trades
"One holds the device in a manner similar to the way a wood-worker holds a sanding block. [...] Turning the wheel in the center produces an action similar to turning a page in a book, or cranking a kinetoscope."
technology  art  computers  metal  via:matthew 
april 2007
Inhabitat » Studio Libertiny's Vase Made By Bees
"Making its debut at Droog's booth in Milan, the vase was made by 40,000 bees over the course of one week. Studio Libertiny constructed a vase-shaped hive that the bees then colonized, building a hexagonal comb to encompass the existing form."
design  bees  art  via:holly 
april 2007
The Rules of Cliques
"All current members of that circle must then vote on whether to approve or disapprove of the remark." Interestingly vague inductive logic game.
games  via:rwhe 
april 2007
Ananova - Fake snake signs
"Austrian officials fed up with motorists stopping to urinate by the roadside have put up fake snake warnings to scare them into using toilets."
signs  reptiles  lies 
april 2007
The Diary of a Nobody, as a daily weblog
"I should very much like to know who has wilfully torn the last five or six weeks out of my diary. It is perfectly monstrous!" Inspired by the BBC4 documentary, I've revamped an old site of mine as a pick-your-own-start-date RSS extravaganza.
creations  books  weblogs  humour 
april 2007
Gathering disparate MP3s and streams of lectures into a single searchable archive.
education  mp3s  science  via:leonard 
april 2007
BPS: Is the benefit of exercise a placebo effect?
"[Hotel cleaners] who had been reminded how much exercise they engage in at work, showed health improvements in terms of weight, body mass index, body-fat, waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure. The control cleaners showed no such improvements."
psychology  medicine  sport  delusions  via:badscience 
april 2007
Fed economist proposes revaluing coins before they're melted down | Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee
"History shows that when coins are worth melting, they disappear. [...] Rebasing the penny would debase the five-cent piece and put it safely away from its melting point."
money  metal 
april 2007
Voynich Manuscript - a photoset on Flickr
"Good scans of the Voynich Manuscript are hard to find. These are from the [Yale Library], though unfortunately in a proprietary graphics format, which I converted to jpeg. [...] Being 500 years old, the Voynich Manuscript is not under copyright."
books  history  mysteries  via:leonard 
april 2007
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Homes to get free energy monitors
Clever and well-designed handheld display of your electricity meter, presumably calculating the power usages of your appliances by asking you to switch them off and on in turn.
electricity  technology  future 
april 2007
The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002)
A decent enough production; they're a bit too winkingly proud of their extra props and unspoken references, but there's a nice amount of Arcadian outdoorsness.
filmlog  3stars  names  lies  love  coincidences  children 
april 2007
Browseable archive of five-minute webcam captures of the sky over Amsterdam, including a beautiful sunrise-sunset sine-wave poster of a year's worth of weather.
weather  time  art  via:infosthetics 
april 2007
Guitar Heronoid
"An android that plays the Guitar Hero game. A computer processes the video feed from the PlayStation2, detects where, when and how to play and moves the fingers accordingly."
music  robots  games  technology 
april 2007
Clue (1985)
Cheerfully nonsensical vagueness that only really works if you know the three endings are coming, and doesn't really work that well anyway. The isolated-house murder-mystery trope is always fun, though.
filmlog  2stars  mysteries  death  board  games  meta  crime  secrets  weapons 
april 2007
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? - Independent Online Edition > Wildlife
"The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives."
bees  phones  apocalypse  via:holly 
april 2007
IGN: Capcom Wields Talisman
A console version of the terrible 1980s Games Workshop board game, insanely. "...utilizing a virtual board with 3D characters and environments. Up to four players can play online and off and take advantage of the game's 25 characters from the franchise."
games  board  nostalgia  lunacy 
april 2007
Talking CCTV cameras accuse wrong person | Society | SocietyGuardian.co.uk
"Marie Brewster, 26, a young mother, appeared on TV news reports after a camera operator mistakenly thought she had dropped litter and boomed out a reprimand from the control centre in Middlesbrough."
surveillance  technology  litter  via:rodcorp 
april 2007
Novelist Kurt Vonnegut dies at age 84 - Yahoo! News
"My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."
death  vonnegut 
april 2007
Sunshine (2007)
Guess what the crew of the sunbound spacecraft Icarus decide to do. Reasonably sane sci-fi, with the sun as a good, ever-present menace, although a bit redundant with space being dangerous enough anyway. Too many cliches, though, and a dreadful third act.
filmlog  2stars  space  science  technology  light  fire 
april 2007
Kororinpa (Wii)
Odd clash of relaxing physics and stressfully having to restart the level after making a tiny mistake, often because of the terrible camera system. And two-player mode is *appallingly* thin, just racing to finish the same level in split-screen.
gamelog  2stars  physics  puzzle 
april 2007
Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy: The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll -- New York Magazine
"Younger people, one could point out, are the only ones for whom it seems to have sunk in that the idea of a truly private life is already an illusion."
children  technology  surveillance  society  psychology  via:josh 
april 2007
Guardian Unlimited | Comment is free | Charlie Brooker: I can see you, citizen
"And, rather than mounting the cameras on poles, why not make them mobile and more kid-friendly by placing them inside full-size, remote-controlled Daleks, which can patrol the streets dishing out near-fatal electric shocks to those who disobey?"
surveillance  daleks  society 
april 2007
TimesOnline - Can this note stamp out corruption in a land where it's the norm?
"5th Pillar, the organisation behind the initiative, says that the [one-sided, counterfeit, message-bearing] note will allow ordinary Indians to make a statement against corruption without provoking a confrontation with people in authority."
money  india  crime  via:leonard 
april 2007
Videos - Real Estate Roller Coaster
A century of American house prices, converted into a first-person view of a Roller Coaster Tycoon ride. Some screaming would have been good.
money  simulation 
april 2007
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