:Archive Of July 2000:

Monday, July 31, 2000

- 6:05 PM -

I think what bothers me is that news services don't even try to appear impartial.

A simple example: BBC's item on the Concorde crash right now goes into great detail about the history of tire explosions on the Air France aircraft. No mention at all of any such failures on British Concordes. Well, there's been at least twelve. Tire explosions have ripped holes right through the wing, where the fuel is. This is not an insignificant omission.

Thursday, July 27, 2000

- 8:57 PM -

Oh.. Well, poop. I've just finished Gravity's Rainbow. I had been loving the ride. Clearly there's inspiration here for Cryptonomicon and William Gibson and the best chase scenes from Indiana Jones. But the ending? That's the ending? I actually thought my book was missing pages. Heck.

Otherwise I'd like to see someone try to make it a movie. So it would take a year to watch, so what? Have to be Terry Gilliam directing.

Monday, July 24, 2000

- 3:51 PM -

There's nothing like someone you respect voicing opinions completely at odds with what you think.

Ray Bradbury.

Felt like a dog on a walk getting its chain yanked. "Huh? What? Oh...."

Saturday, July 22, 2000

- 10:27 PM -

- 10:07 AM -

New YH CHANG! The wonderful archive is here.

Friday, July 21, 2000

- 7:23 PM -

Oh, sweeet! : Two-Fisted Tales of Website Justice.

Thank you, Lance.

- 7:04 PM -

He checks in to the Hotel Nimbus, in an obscure street in the Niederdorf or cabaret section of Zurich. The room's in an attic, and is reached by a ladder. There's also a ladder outside the window, so he reckons it'll be O.K. When night comes down he goes out looking for the local Waxwing rep, finds him farther up the Limmatquai, under a bridge, in rooms full of Swiss watches, clocks and altimeters. He's a Russian named Semyavin. Outside boats hoot on the river and the lake. Somebody upstairs is practicing on a piano: stumbling, sweet lieder. Semyavin pours gentian brandy into cups of tea he's just brewed. "First thing you have to understand is the way everything here is specialized. If it's watches, you go to one cafe. If it's women, you go to another. Furs are subdivided into Sable, Ermine, Mink, and Others. Same with dope: Stimulants, Depressants, Psychomimetics. ... What is it you're after?"

"Uh, information?" Gee this stuff tastes like Moxie....

"Oh. Another one." Giving Slothrop a sour look. "Life was simple before the first war. You wouldn't remember. Drugs, sex, luxury items. Currencey in those days was no more than a sideline, and the term 'industrial espionage' was unknown. But I've seen it change -- oh how it's changed. The German inflation, that should've been my clue right there, zeros strung end to end from here to Berlin. I would have stern talks with myself. 'Semyavin, it's only a temporary lapse away from reality. A small aberration, nothing to worry about. Act as you always have -- strength of character, good mental health. Courage, Semyavin! Soon all will be back to normal.' But do you know what?"

"Let me guess."

A tragic sigh. "Information. What's wrong with dope and women? Is it any wonder the world's gone insane, with information come to be the only real medium of exchange?"

"I thought it was cigarettes."

"You dream." He brings out a list of Zurich cafes and gathering spots, Under Espionage, Industrial, Slothrop finds three. Ultra, Lichtspiel, and Straggeli. They are on both banks of the Limmat, and widely spaced.

"Footwork," folding the list in an oversize zoot-suit pocket.

"It'll get easier. Someday it'll all be done by machine. Information machines. You are the wave of the future."

Gravity's Rainbow.


Tuesday, July 18, 2000

- 10:06 PM -

It's, uh, 10:00 at night and I seem to be farther away from what I wanted to get done this morning than I was when I woke.

There is just so much stuff on the web that you bump into when you go off looking for something.... I used to have enough trouble getting side-tracked in dictionaries. I loved libraries. I've taken apart everything I've ever owned. All for the same reason. I must, simply must, know everything. This has nothing to do with pride. Can you imagine having eyes but never open them? That's what it's like; I can't imagine not wanting to know everything.


Anyway, this is interesting:

"a vision of the New Jerusalem, that Ville Radieuse, that already exists in fragments in the writing and the works of the many great, but isolated men of our time. Our task is to build these fragments into a civilization based on the servitude of the machine: mass production, mass communication, mass participation."

It's from an essay by Tomas Maldonado in 1961.

Sunday, July 16, 2000

- 10:00 AM -

Coffee is the great equalizer of the morning. I feel so much better now.

It's Sunday. I present you with The Gospel according to Chomsky.

Saturday, July 15, 2000

- 4:56 PM -

A hot summer saturday of tanning on the porch with a few big design books.

So... at what point do we stop saying "retro" ? Is style really captive to it's first decade? The more I think about this term the less sense it makes.

I think I got started on this when I observed that late 50s modernism and late 90's modernism are the same thing with slight variation in materials. It's been pretty downhill from there. I really want to stop thinking about styles in terms of their initial time period, but I want to do that without simply creating a different sinkhole.

Friday, July 14, 2000

- 11:43 AM -

From Derek's blog:

Oh kill me now.

"This fall, Fox will release a new sci-fi series called Fearsum. In this show from producers of The Blair Witch Project, Ethan will play the lead character of Derek, a young website designer who ventures into the paranormal occurances ..."

I'm still laughing.

I may have to get a TV. This could be worse than the stillborn series "Microserfs". Pity they don't scrap the people-actors and hand it to the Simpsons or SouthPark crew. Imagine the cameo potential.

Lance as Chef.

Hell, let's just take over an episode of SouthPark and get it right out of our systems. Jeffery Z as Jesus? Hmm... who to do as Mr.Garrison? Jakob of course!

Monday, July 10, 2000

- 10:09 AM -

The minor perils of sealed technology: What do you do when the switch breaks on a cordless razor? Right now I've got the loud lil' bugger wrapped in three towels while I wait for it to run out of juice. I recharged it yesterday.

Tuesday, July 04, 2000

- 12:34 PM -

Monday, July 03, 2000

- 3:50 PM -

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut

Say it aloud: "WANTS PAWN TERM DARE WORSTED LADLE GULL HOE LIFT wetter murder inner ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge, dock, florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry Putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut ...."

The entire book, Anguish Languish, is on the Web. Sweet! Print it up and disrupt your workplace. Some things only work when they're shared.

- 11:12 AM -

I am so excited.

I have finally located Rowland Emett's Honeywell Forgetmenot Computer.

Emett was a English cartoonist and sculptor. Remember Disney's Chity-Chity-Bang-Bang? He did all the fanciful inventions. His independent pieces are even better. Big fun kinetic brass smile machines. Impossible to describe in print. You've got to see these things.

In 1966 Honeywell commisioned him to do a computer to ease the public perception of computers as large, unfriendly, mysterious devices. I saw it around then. It had the same effect on a small boy as a ticket to Legoland. I loved it. I was hooked. I've searched for it ever since.

Well, you'd think there'd be something on the net by now, wouldn't you? I mean, it's computers, it's fanciful, it's historic, it's whacked out English eccentricity.

Heck no. A few print references and a couple of terrible b&w shots in the Corbis collection.

Well, I've found it. It's part of a major collection of Emett's machines in the Ontario Science Center. They're doing an exhibition from December 16 through January 7. Go if you can.

They have:

The Featherstone-Kite Openwork Basket Weave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine
The Afternoon Tea Train to Wisteria Hall
Hush-a-bye Hot Air Rocking Chair
Humbug Major Sweet Machine
Little Dragon Carpet Cleaner
Clockwork Lullaby Machine
Forget-me-not Computer
Visi-vision Machine

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