January 31st, 2004

Along with other things tucked into the nooks and crannies around here, there are new photos up in the Make It Snappy 2 photo gallery. And, by the way, there is now a second Make It Snappy gallery. Which you might have picked up on.

upstairs at Ken Marquis'

I’m still working on correcting any errors in old posts, tweaking the template, and adding new pages. There is some more artwork on the way, a few chucks of concrete poetry, and some “new” “art”work….

January 30th, 2004

US bans timed-honoured typeface.

US bans timed-honoured typeface
30/01/2004. ABC News Online

In a sign that no matter is too small to affect international diplomacy, the US State Department has issued an edict banning its longtime standard typeface from all official correspondence and replacing it with a ‘more modern’ font.

In an internal memorandum distributed on Wednesday, the department declared ‘Courier New 12’ – the font and size decreed for US diplomatic documents for years – to be obsolete and unacceptable after February 1.

‘In response to many requests and with a view to making our written work easier to read, we are moving to a new standard font: ‘Times New Roman 14′,’ said the memorandum.

The new font ‘takes up almost exactly the same area on the page as Courier New 12, while offering a crisper, cleaner, more modern look,’ it said, adding that after February 1 ‘only Times New Roman 14 will be accepted.’

‘This applies to diplomatic notes,’ the memorandum said tersely.

There are only three exceptions to the draconian new typographical rules: telegrams, treaty materials prepared by the State Department’s legal affairs office and documents drawn up for the president’s signature, it said.

The memorandum offered no explanation for the exceptions, leaving foreign service officers to speculate as to whether the White House, US treaty partners and telegram readers are not yet able to handle the change.

January 30th, 2004

Pickled dragon mystery
dragon pickles are a delicacy in England

January 29, 2004

A pickled “dragon” that looks as if it might once have flown around Harry Potter’s Hogwarts has been found in a garage in Oxfordshire, England.

The baby dragon, in a sealed jar, was discovered with a metal tin containing paperwork in old-fashioned German of the 1890s.

Allistair Mitchell, who was asked to investigate the dragon by a friend, David Hart, who discovered it in his garage, speculates that German scientists may have attempted to use the dragon to hoax their English counterparts at the end of the 19th century, when rivalry between the countries was intense.

“At the time, scientists were the equivalent of today’s pop stars. It would have been a great propaganda coup for the Germans if it had come off,” Mr Mitchell said.

“I’ve shown the photos to someone from Oxford University and he thought it was amazing. Obviously he could not say if it was real and wanted to do a biopsy.”

The documents suggest that the Natural History Museum turned the dragon away, possibly because they suspected it was a trick, and sent it to be destroyed. But it appears a porter intercepted the jar and took it home. The papers suggest the porter may have been Frederick Hart – David Hart’s grandfather.

Mr Mitchell said: “The dragon is flawless, from the tiny teeth to the umbilical cord. It could be made from indiarubber, because Germany was the world’s leading manufacturer of it at the time, or it could be made of wax. It has to be fake. No one has ever proved scientifically that dragons exist. But everyone who sees it immediately asks, ‘Is it real?”‘

Some scientists believe that dragons, though the product of imagination, were inspired by the extraordinary creatures that once roamed the Earth.

As J.K.Rowling’s alter ego Hermione Granger once suggested, legends have a basis in fact.

The Telegraph, London

via BoingBoing

In Brunei, we have Officials dismantling the logs resembling a dragon at the site allegedly used to summon spirits and ghosts to obtain 4-D lottery numbers in Jalan Rasau.
And Music from DragonQuest videogame moving from games to orchestras.

January 29th, 2004

Whale explodes in Taiwanese city

A dead sperm whale has exploded while being delivered to a research centre near the southwestern city of Tainan.

Passers-by and cars were soaked in blood and body parts were sprayed over a road after the bursting of the whale, which was being carried on a trailer.

The whale had died earlier on a beach and had been collected so its remains could be used for educational purposes.

A marine biologist blamed the explosion on pressure from gases building up in the mammal as it began to decompose.

The whale attracted a lot of onlookers both before and after it exploded.

Several parked cars and pedestrians got covered in blood when it exploded.

Residents and shop owners wore masks while trying to clean up the spilt blood and entrails.

“What a stinking mess. This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful,” said one resident.

Professor Wang Chien-ping, of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, had ordered the whale to be moved to the Shi-Tsao Natural Preserve after his own institution refused to allow a post-mortem examination on its own premises.

Record find

He said that the animal had been close to death when it was found on a beach and had died by the time help arrived.

“Because of the natural decomposing process, a lot of gases accumulated, and when the pressure build-up was too great, the whale’s belly exploded.”

However he said despite the explosion, enough of the whale remained to allow for an examination by marine biologists.

Professor Wang said initial observation showed the whale to be an older bull and that its weight of 50 tonnes and 17 metre-length made it the largest whale ever recorded in Taiwan.

Reports say because of the whale’s size, it took 13 hours, three large lifting cranes and 50 workers to get the whale loaded on the trailer truck for its final trip.

Surely, I’m not the only one thinking of Douglas Adams, right now….
Don’t forget The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: the adventure game.

January 29th, 2004

v.e.r.b.a.t.i.m. home
hasn’t been updated in a few years. Oulipo-like group, with branches across America….

January 29th, 2004

er, what?

January 29th, 2004

hand-drawn coca-cola logo from memory
monochrom Brandmarker

An attempt to evaluate the actual power of brands by making Austrian people draw a total of twelve logos (nine international, three typically European) from memory, 25 people per brand.

January 28th, 2004


If you’re not Superman, you need a pair of these.

Tim has some memories and copies of the comic-book ads for xray specs.

And XrayDeb provides us with some Xray Humor and Information. Just what we all need!!!

January 27th, 2004

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 19:01:44 -0700 (MST)
From: new
Subject: stop sending me stupid junk mail

stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail stop sending me stupid junk mail

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January 27th, 2004

An Interview With Mr. DiscoVision
covering technology, copyright law, and some off-kilter looks into the future in 1979.
Some more on the early laser-beams of DiscoVision.

January 27th, 2004

Secret of historic code: it’s gibberish

The Voynich Manuscript decoded.

January 26th, 2004

Where was Bush???
Well don’t ask me. I wasn’t there.

January 26th, 2004

Bruce Mau Design: Incomplete Manifesto
via Die Puny Humans

January 26th, 2004

The Enterprise Mission

Space imaging data, made available to the Mars Mission (13-year independent space research group) investigation of these possibilities, from a variety of official sources (including increasing “inside leaks”), now strongly suggests the presence (on at least two worlds — Mars and the Moon) of extensive ancient artificial structures in the solar system. The most celebrated of these potential “ancient artificial structures” is known to millions as the “Face on Mars” — a mile long, 1500-foot high Martian landform that eerily resembles a humanoid face, lying in a Martian desert called “Cydonia”… where no “face” belongs.
The Enterprise Mission — and this corresponding Web Site — thus represent a deliberate transfer of the previous “one planet” Mars Mission “artifact” investigation to a greater venue: an expanding research program seeking the facts behind the discovery in the last 4 years of “intelligently-designed, ancient artificial structures” on additional NASA and Soviet photos, not only of Mars… but of the Moon… Including — surface photographs of “artifacts” taken by the American astronauts themselves. Enterprise thus will be the “flagship” of an expanded solar-system-wide research effort, designed to carry out the widest possible investigation of these photographs, and to discern the truth…

January 25th, 2004

Man Fakes de Minimax

The Eater of Meaning is a tool for extracting the message from the medium. Format and presentation are unaffected, but words and letters are subjected to an elaborate nonsensification progress that eliminates semantics root and branch.

This is bizarrely compelling. The title of “Egyptian Fax Chamber” turns into “egyptianize kef chanted: on thermometers prowling of usefulness documentation & otherworldly ephesian.”

January 23rd, 2004

Margaret Cho responds to Michael
No, not me. thank god.
a follow-up to this post.

noted via follow me here.

January 22nd, 2004

Van Helsing!
actually, the moral of these three panels is: pre-Crisis Superman ROCKS!!!

okay. so maybe it’s not the moral of those three panels. But it’s my moral.

January 22nd, 2004

Ancient Egypt Unit Study

just what you need for your home-schooler, Mummy!

January 22nd, 2004

Help Me, Bubby!
Good grandmotherly advice, without letting her pull on your ears.

January 22nd, 2004

the State of the Union
via Britain and Japan.

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