kevan + via:holly   111

Their Questions Answered
"Their Questions Answered answers, each week, the rhetorical questions that people send in to the Guardian’s Weekend magazine [letters page]."
writing  humour  via:holly 
september 2010 by kevan
Cinema advertising tricks from the 1920s | Hide&Seek - Inventing new kinds of play
"Have facsimile of legal subpoena printed, summoning the public to attend the attraction. [...] 'And for failure to attend you will be guilty of not witnessing a tense drama that will entrance you with the remarkable acting.'"
advertising  history  camrad  via:holly 
september 2010 by kevan
Courthouse News Service - Families Say Schools Snoop in Their Homes With District-Issued Laptops & Webcams
"The named plaintiffs say they learned that Big Brother was in their home when an assistant principal told their son that the school district knew he 'was engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in minor plaintiff's personal laptop issued by the school district.'"
surveillance  children  computers  via:holly 
february 2010 by kevan
London's Treasure Hunt Riots | Paul Slade - Journalist
The rise and fall of proto-ARGs from 1904, with clues hidden in detective fiction. "Before he could secure his prize, Randall had to narrow down the possible cities to Newcastle and Carlisle, [...] find a district of Newcastle that sounded a bit like 'Edward Green' and realise that the serial number Meggs had overheard must be attached to a lamp post."
games  args  pervasive  history  london  secrets  money  news  via:holly 
november 2009 by kevan
Woman Sues Toyota Over 'Terrifying' Prank
An unclear-consent Toyota email campaign backfires. "Duick claims she had difficulty eating, sleeping and going to work during March and April of last year after she received e-mails for five days from a fictitious man [who] said he was on the run from the law, knew her and where she lived, and was coming to her home to hide from the police."
delusions  law  advertising  email  camrad  via:holly 
october 2009 by kevan
Dice-O-Matic hopper and elevator - GamesByEmail
A dice server dropping Math.random in favour of "a machine that can belch a continuous river of dice down a spiraling ramp, then elevate, photograph, process and upload almost a million and a half rolls to the server a day."
dice  technology  random  via:holly 
may 2009 by kevan
tweenbots | kacie kinzer
"Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."
robots  walking  society  emergence  via:holly 
april 2009 by kevan
The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist
"The vault was thought to be impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. The robbery was called the heist of the century, and even now the police can't explain exactly how it was done."
crime  technology  via:holly 
march 2009 by kevan
Urban Camouflage
Sinister ghillie suits made from dishcloths, shopping bags and cardboard boxes.
illusions  art  monsters  via:holly 
march 2009 by kevan
Write or Die : Dr Wicked's Writing Lab
"Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you're fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences."
writing  via:holly 
january 2009 by kevan
Nation & World | Did inner-tube robber use Craigslist in heist? | Seattle Times Newspaper
"[A member of the public] saw a Craigslist ad last week seeking workers for a road-maintenance project. He inquired and was e-mailed instructions to meet near the bank at 11 a.m. Tuesday and to wear specific clothing."
crime  via:holly 
october 2008 by kevan
The Great Tantra Challenge
Science versus black magic, live on television. "After nearly two hours, the anchor declared the tantrik’s failure. The tantrik, unwilling to admit defeat, tried the excuse that a very strong god whom Sanal might be worshipping obviously protected him."
magic  science  television  india  via:holly 
march 2008 by kevan
Living Dolls - Gaby Wood
Vaucanson's Duck through to the Mechanical Turk, and beyond. Good background reading, but it tries a bit too hard to be philosophical about any glimmer of possible metaphor.
booklog  technology  robots  chess  birds  illusions  hoaxes  via:holly 
march 2008 by kevan
playing card death in SE Asia - a photoset on Flickr
"There are cards everywhere in SE Asia, I have never witnessed anyone throwing them away but they litter the streets, so I thought I'd try and get a full deck."
photos  cards  via:holly 
january 2008 by kevan
BBC NEWS | England | Cornwall | Mr Potato Head makes octopus pal
"We wanted an octopus-friendly toy which had a compartment to hide food in."
octopuses  toys  via:holly 
january 2008 by kevan
Sirlin.net » Save Game Systems
"We can allow the player to stop playing without excessive penalty and make a challenging game. It’s just a matter of defining what 'saving' actually means."
games  design  via:holly 
january 2008 by kevan
Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
Rescuing the rural working classes from their own ignorance, using casually implausible urban superpowers. A good first half, but Flora's writing is forgotten and the parody thins out into a generic countryside drama, as it begins to tie up.
filmlog  3stars  society  education  writing  secrets  via:holly 
july 2007 by kevan
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 by kevan
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 by kevan
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 by kevan
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 by kevan
Will Self: PsychoGeography
Will Self on South London. "It goes without saying, that when Eliot observed that 'A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many / I had not thought death had undone, so many', the zombies he referred to are coming from the southern, commuter 'burbs."
london  cities  via:holly 
april 2007 by kevan
The Solar Mount (Le Mont Solaire)
Turning Mont Saint-Michel into an enormous sundial.
architecture  time  france  photos  via:holly 
march 2007 by kevan
Seed: New Zealand Scientists May Microwave Colossal Squid
"A colossal squid weighing nearly half a tonne and believed to be the biggest ever caught is being kept on ice as scientists ponder whether to put it into a massive microwave oven." Includes the tractor-tire squid-ring cliche.
squid  techology  ice  via:holly 
march 2007 by kevan
London's 50 best unsung museums - Time Out London
Fifty obscure London museums, a lot of them cheap or free. "It occurred to me that if I saved the wrapper from every product I bought, collectively they'd represent a social history of daily life in Britain."
london  museums  todo  via:holly 
march 2007 by kevan
The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Hays Code)
"Most arts appeal to the mature. [...] This art of the motion picture, combining as it does the two fundamental appeals of looking at a picture and listening to a story, at once reaches every class of society."
history  films  law  sex  politics  via:holly 
january 2007 by kevan
BBC NEWS | Politics | Government to close 551 websites
"About £9m a year was expected to be saved over three years by cutting back on 'vanity' sites that do not serve a useful purpose." Including a few I've worked on.
politics  web  money  via:holly 
january 2007 by kevan
On Photography - Susan Sontag
"The mainstream of photographic activity has shown that a Surrealist manipulation or theatricalization of the real is unnecessary, if not actually redundant." Great social history of photography, lots of photographers I should read up on.
booklog  photos  history  art  society  via:holly 
january 2007 by kevan
The West Pier - Patrick Hamilton
The idle, experimental corruption of innocence by a blankly emotionless Hamilton protagonist, back and forth along the seafront at Brighton. Oddly over-explanatory and first-draft feeling, falling towards an inevitably disheartening end, but it works.
booklog  brighton  money  love  lies  illusions  piers  via:holly 
january 2007 by kevan
The Humanist Hymnal Index
Appalling atheist filk. "O, tidings of knowledge and truth, knowledge and truth. O, tidings of knowledge and truth."
music  religion  lunacy  mutation  dawkins  via:holly 
november 2006 by kevan
US Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud - Chirag Mehta : chir.ag
"[This] tag cloud shows the popularity, frequency, and trends in the usages of words within speeches, official documents, declarations, and letters written by the Presidents of the US between 1776 - 2006 AD."
politics  language  america  history  via:holly 
november 2006 by kevan
Industrial musical - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"An industrial musical is a musical performed for the employees of a business, intended to create a feeling of being part of a team, and/or to educate and motivate the management and salespeople to improve sales and profit."
music  business  theatre  via:holly 
september 2006 by kevan
Spacing Photos » WHATEVER: Scrabble in Kensington
Street Scrabble - giant tiles played onto an entirely-chalked board. Maybe they couldn't find a big enough grid of paving stones.
scrabble  todo  via:holly 
july 2006 by kevan
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Ants 'use an internal pedometer'
"[Scientists] set some ants off on a foraging trip along a tunnel, but once they had reached the food their legs were manipulated to either make them longer by adding stilts, or shorter by partially amputating them."
ants  walking  limbs  via:holly 
june 2006 by kevan
BCNG - Board Games & Bubble Tea
Boardgame cafes in South Korea. "After hours of staring into computer screens, people are seeing the value of face-to-face, human interaction, even with strangers."
games  board  drinks  via:holly 
june 2006 by kevan
Test Shared Vision - Community Bridge Project
A boring old inner-city concrete bridge repainted as brown-stone trompe l'oeil. "The illusion is so strong that art professionals sometimes stand next to the bridge and ask where the mural is."
architecture  art  illusions  construction  via:holly 
june 2006 by kevan
Titus (1999)
A visceral, emotional plot gets past most of the dead grammar, the set and costume design is fun for its mess of wilful anachronism.
filmlog  2stars  death  politics  via:holly 
june 2006 by kevan
Enquire Within Upon Everything, The Great Victorian Domestic Standby - Project Gutenberg
"[To] Model a Flower in Wax; [to] Cure a Headache; [to] Bury a Relative; Whatever You May Wish to Do, Make, or to Enjoy, Provided Your Desire has Relation to the Necessities of Domestic Life, I Hope You will not Fail to 'Enquire Within.'"
books  history  via:holly 
june 2006 by kevan
Black Swan Green - David Mitchell
The painfully over-self-conscious life of a schoolboy stammerer in 80s Worcestershire. Bit of a mix of the authentic and the cliched, and I can't really tell what gimmick it's waiting to pull, but it's good writing.
booklog  education  society  nostalgia  via:holly 
may 2006 by kevan
The Card (1952)
High-speed turn-of-the-century social climbing through forgery, loan sharking and cheerful business acumen. Or just marrying rich men, if you're female.
filmlog  3stars  money  society  business  politics  love  via:holly 
may 2006 by kevan
How to cure your asthma or hayfever using hookworm - a practical guide || kuro5hin.org
Anecdotal case of successful self-infection. "It involves a great deal of research, a trip to Cameroon and a lot of barefoot walking in open air latrines in west Africa."
medicine  science  worms  parasites  via:holly 
may 2006 by kevan
Tuno Negro (2001)
A fairly nonsensical Spanish university-slasher - quite a fun motive, but patchily applied, and it's always hard to know how to interpret spurious made-up-Internet elements.
filmlog  2stars  education  death  crime  surveillance  web  via:holly 
april 2006 by kevan
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Fun recursion about padding a shallow film with random songs, and dubbing because the stupid audience won't realise.
filmlog  3stars  music  weather  films  meta  via:holly 
april 2006 by kevan
Site of Reversible Destiny - Yoru Park, Gifu
"By guiding visitors through various unexpected experiences as they walk through its component areas, the Site offers them opportunities to rethink their physical and spiritual orientation to the world."
art  design  plants  japan  via:holly  architecture 
march 2006 by kevan
Prater Violet - Christopher Isherwood
Isherwood floating through the 1930s British film industry, pressing a few buttons and doing another slow orbit of a solemn and troubled giant.
booklog  films  history  war  books  via:holly 
march 2006 by kevan
oddbooks.co.uk
Extracts of nonsense from second-hand bookshops: "Brainwashing is a Cinch!", "What To Talk About", "Stories in Revelation for Tots to Teens", "The Leftist ESP Conspiracy"
books  history  lunacy  via:holly 
february 2006 by kevan
Essays - Michel de Montaigne
"[Idleness] presents me with so many chimeras and imaginary monsters, one after another [...] that, in order to contemplate their oddness and absurdity at leisure, I have begun to record them in writing, hoping in time to make my mind ashamed of them."
booklog  philosophy  random  history  via:holly  via:leonard 
february 2006 by kevan
Atomic Blast Photos
Astonishing photos of the first few nanoseconds of an atomic blast. "Edgerton built a special lens 10 feet long for his camera which was set up in a bunker 7 miles from the source of the blast. [...] The exposures are at 1/100,000,000ths of a second."
photos  science  via:holly 
february 2006 by kevan
Los Angeles Times: Vernon Shoo-Ins Shoo Outsiders
"By strictly limiting who can live in the [93-person population] city, Vernon officials handpick their constituents. [...] They only allow people who are city employees. Anything that smells like residential property, they disallow."
politics  cheating  nomic  via:holly 
february 2006 by kevan
Anagrammed Tube Map
A London Underground map photoshopped with anagrams of all the stations, with an excellent sense of humour. Concerning Torments.
tube  maps  mutation  via:holly 
february 2006 by kevan
Independent - Scientists hail discovery of hundreds of new species in remote New Guinea
"An astonishing mist-shrouded 'lost world' of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists."
birds  mammals  plants  secrets  science  via:holly 
february 2006 by kevan
Legal Affairs - Dragon Slayers or Tax Evaders?
"I inquired about barter income, specifically the difference, if any, between a painting for which the owner paid $6,000 bartered for half a year's rent and a virtual castle with a value of $1,200 [...] bartered for 10 million pieces of virtual gold."
games  law  money  mmorpgs  via:holly 
january 2006 by kevan
The Chess Artist - J C Hallman
A slightly purple travelogue heading towards Kalmykia's Chess City, covering the history and evolution of the game.
booklog  chess  games  travel  history  via:holly 
january 2006 by kevan
A Book of Surrealist Games - Alastair Brotchie, Mel Gooding
Rules and context of some good surrealist word and picture exercises, with illustrative output from games between the greats.
booklog  art  language  writing  games  via:holly 
december 2005 by kevan
Scotsman.com - Stalin's half-man, half-ape super-warriors
"The Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents." Probably not in those exact words.
war  history  russia  apes  genetics  via:holly 
december 2005 by kevan
MinimIce
Sheet-brass Icehouse pieces. "Even though these pieces weren't very useful for playing Icehouse, they're perfectly serviceable for Zarcana and other games that use the pieces symbolically instead of physically."
games  metal  via:holly 
december 2005 by kevan
Vile Bodies - Evelyn Waugh
Light, blase skimming of the top surface of 30s society, and fading out. Wonderfully unnerving bit on the irreparable psychological damage that a good metaphor can cause.
booklog  society  money  london  via:holly 
december 2005 by kevan
John Cage . Indeterminacy
One-page stories. "This site archives 186 of those stories. Each story is spaced out, as if it were being read aloud, to fill a fixed area. If you like, you can also read them aloud at a rate of one a minute."
books  via:holly 
november 2005 by kevan
The Top Secret Language of Flowers
"Red roses: Initiate assault strategy according to plan. Multiple red roses indicate an increased level of urgency for the mission."
plants  language  secrets  humour  via:holly 
november 2005 by kevan
pfly » Blog Archive » Mapping Toponymy
Plotting US placenames, "The first thing that jumped out at me was that my guess of hollow being an eastern term and gulch being a western one was basically correct. Except for Utah, where there is a large swath of hollows."
maps  language  america  via:holly 
november 2005 by kevan
Slashfood - Eating in the Dark
"There's also the The Blind Cow in Zurich, Switzerland and Black Out in Melbourne, Australia. The wait staff at Black Out are not blind, however. They wear night-vision goggles."
food  light  via:holly 
october 2005 by kevan
Moon, Matches and Microchips - A History of Being Blind in Brighton
"Whatever one thinks about modern architecture Lord Fraser has a relevant point when he writes that 'functional architecture St. Dunstan's has its critics, but none of them are blind.'"
eyes  brighton  architecture  history  via:holly 
october 2005 by kevan
Symbols.com
"Symbols.com contains more than 1,600 articles about 2,500 Western signs, arranged into 54 groups according to their graphic characteristics."
symbols  art  design  fonts  via:holly 
october 2005 by kevan
NPR : Authors' Lowlights, Resurrected from the Dustbin
"The former [extract] is from Amis' novel The Information; the latter is from his 1982 masterpiece on how to play and win at the arcade game Space Invaders."
books  writing  secrets  radio  games  via:holly 
october 2005 by kevan
BBC NEWS | How do hunters plan to get round the ban?
Appalling Nomic-style loophole-surfing. "While the Act forbids hunting of hares, it allows hunting of hares which have been shot. [...] There is no guidance on either how shot the hare has to be or what it has been shot with."
law  dogs  cheating  nomic  sport  via:holly 
september 2005 by kevan
Wikipedia: Colors of noise
Other recognised colours of noise, besides white: "The next most commonly used color is pink noise. Its frequency spectrum is not flat, but has equal power in bands that are proportionally wide." Includes sound clips.
sound  light  via:holly 
september 2005 by kevan
Five Men and a Limo (video/quicktime Object)
Five big American voiceover voices overvoice their limo ride to an awards ceremony.
humour  meta  videos  via:holly  filetype:mov  media:video 
september 2005 by kevan
The Doodle Association Game
Intentional-mutation Chinese-whisper doodling. "As you get to the end of each line, start the next doodle directly under the last, moving in the opposite direction."
art  games  via:holly 
september 2005 by kevan
Times Online: Kidnapped in the name of art
Kidnap-staging artist Brock Enright comes to London. "Things got nasty. Enright was shouting abuse, saying that our agreements counted for nothing and that he'd had enough of journalists."
art  crime  lies  prison  via:holly 
september 2005 by kevan
History of chewing gum and the vending machine
"Thomas Adams attempted to make toys, masks, rain boots, and bicycle tires out of the chicle from Mexican sapodilla trees, but every experiment failed. One day in 1869, he popped a piece of surplus stock into his mouth and liked the taste."
food  history  technology  money  plants  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
USC Interactive Media Division - Mobile
Mobile-phone-based zombie drill. "MobZombies is a zombie-fleeing game where a player's movement controls an avatar in the game space. Players run away from virtual zombies by really running."
games  gps  phones  zombies  maps  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
The ghost village of Imber
Photos of a derelict Wiltshire village, requisitioned for military training during WW2. "The villagers were given a month to evacuate, and told they'd be allowed back when the war was over. They never were."
photos  dereliction  war  signs  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Daylight Saving Time - Incidents and Anecdotes
"As the bombs were being planted, they exploded - one hour too early - killing three terrorists instead of two busloads of people, the intended victims."
time  terrorism  world  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Shades of Meaning: The Effect of Color and Flavor Names on Consumer Choice [PDF]
The psychological impact of ambiguous or quirky adjectives. "Incongruity can make items appear more interesting leading to positive valuations; in addition such items may receive a positive boost due to the person having 'solved' the incongruity."
language  advertising  food  psychology  via:holly  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2005 by kevan
BBC NEWS | Art-loving bees prefer Sunflowers
"About 11% of approaches to the flower paintings ended with a landing, compared to just 4% with the other paintings, the study found."
art  bees  plants  evolution  eyes  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Color Code: A Color Portrait of the English Language
"The artwork is an interactive map of more than 33,000 words. Each word has been assigned a color based on the average color of images found by a search engine." A bit bland, as a result. Would have been interesting to ask people what colour things were.
language  art  maps  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Ben Goldacre's Bad Science
A searchable, categorised weblog of his Guardian columns, interspersed with occasional tangents.
science  lunacy  delusions  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Guardian Unlimited | The Martians aren't coming
UFO-spotter groups are closing down, sightings tailing off. "There don't seem to be any UFOs in Cumbria any more. Or maybe there just aren't any spotters. Parr's statement seemed to leave both possibilities open."
aliens  memetics  space  illusions  delusions  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Playing Cards FAQ: Why do the people on Anglo-American cards look the way they do?
Design changes and random mutations of playing cards, over the centuries. "Jack of Spades has gained a moustache (probably as a result of misinterpreting a line on his cheek)... And his spear has turned into an undecipherable object."
cards  design  games  art  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
Michael Kelly's Page of Misery: Lateral thinking test
Extreme-lateral-thinking answers to the usual problems. "The aquatic baddies from Stingray killed him." Fun how catch-all a lot of the proper answers can be.
puzzles  humour  fish  via:holly 
august 2005 by kevan
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