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Showing posts from June, 2006

Axis vs Allies

So it's Germany-Italy in one semifinal. If it's England-France in the other, we can all play Axis and Allies.

Apple-Magritte mashup

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I have to say, this intersection of the Apple logo and Magritte's "Son of Man" is a damn fine idea.

Switch

G ot my Macbook today (and am blogging on it while watching Brazil play Ghana). Have followed Adri's useful guide to what to do with a new Mac , including downloading Adium for IMing, plus tried out Delicious Library . Very, very lovely. Except for the overheating - if I keep this on my lap too long (as opposed to on a cushion) I might sterilise myself...

All wireless all the time

R andom thought about the new wireless broadband network that's supposed to cover all of Singapore - beyond the obvious idea of people tapping into the network to check e-mail, I think it would also be (geekily) cool if the always-on network was used by standalone devices. Such as a vending machine that sends e-mails back when it's out of Coke. Okay, so it wasn't that random a thought. A man needs his morning caffeine!

And piles to sort before I sleep

I was impressed by this video of a 3-D Desktop Prototype created by the folks at the Dynamic Graphics Project .

Stream of unconsciousness

A bout to be a groomsman at one of my best friends' weddings today. And, on an unrelated note, have an incredible craving for a doughnut. The Zen philosopher Basho once wrote, 'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish'. Funny guy. Dreams over the last couple of days: 1. I was singing Prince's "Kiss" onstage, and was doing a damn decent falsetto if I may say so myself. (This was related, methinks, to reading an article about people who can't stop singing along to music.) 2. I was lying on a mattress on the floor, and there was a huge amount of water coming in through a gaping hole in the wall, and in order to avoid drowning I got up and moved to the bed, but the water kept rising, and I had to swim to the door.

The urban future

T he urban economist and the SimCity lover in me loves the fact that the Metroquest computer sim (based on SimCity, natch) is being used to see future consequences of decisions . The software has also been used with planners in Bali, Indonesia - where it showed the island was heading for serious trouble. The island's tourism-based economy is so linked to its environment "that they're inseperable" - but the environment was under serious strain, the programme showed. "When we went there, we discovered that they were reaching their carrying capacity on so many sustainability issues - overcrowded streets, congested arteries, brownouts for electricity on a regular basis, and at their capacity for water supply," Mr Biggs said. Speaking of urbanism, I found this piece on the competition in Boston between a new "lifestyle centre", where the shopping centre attempts to replicate the Main Street feel, and the old-style Burlington Mall, very interesting.

Germany v Sweden

B ack from my time in the sun (and the rain) at the firing range. Watched Germany-Sweden in the World Cup - nice to see Singaporean representation on the field, even if today it was only in the form of a fourth official (Shamsul Maidin). That Shamsul's the top-rated ref over at Soccernet is pretty impressive. Certainly he was miles better than Graham "can't count to two" Poll... Speaking of German football players, I was quite amused by Mortiz Volz's ability to take the piss out of the standard German stereotypes on his home page , including this whole page dedicated to David Hasselhoff ("Being German, I love David Hasselhoff. It's actually the law back in the Motherland. For me the Hoff is almost like some kind of higher spirit. Hoff-ness is everywhere. The Hoff is a big inspiration - in times of trouble I often ask myself 'how would the Hoff deal with this situation...?'")

In Reserve

Well, in reservist at least: will be off for my annual jaunt serving the country for the next couple of days, so all will be quiet on the eastern front here.

Woman attacks breeder

T he weird thing about reading this story about a woman who attacked a dog breeder with the dead puppy she had bought is that without seeing the byline I knew it took place in Missouri. I guess I'd just read too many horror stories about puppy mills there.

A Design For Life

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M y main souvenir from Bonn was something not very German at all: the Alessi "Girotondo" Key-Ring , by King Kong Design (if we're going to get fancy-schmancy: King Kong are Stefano Giovanni and Guido Venturini, key ring designed 1996). Only got the boy one - but it looks like it would be cute as part of a his-and-hers thing. Yeah - I have a weakness for Alessi products. Although I must say in the entire time I've had the Starck Juicy Salif I've squeezed oranges on it a grand total of once.

A soon-to-be Mac user

Y esterday, I caught a severe case of gadget lust at seeing the new MacBook - decently priced, decent power, and in any case I'd been looking for a laptop so that I can surf while downstairs. Mmm. (Yes, that smacks of self-justification, but oh well.) So today - man of impulse that I am - I plonked down the money for a MacBook. But 3 weeks' wait! Groan. I'm not all that good with delayed gratification. I'd been looking forward to trying out Delicious Library . Friend/Mac evangelist Matt MacInnis is just waiting for the chance to show me what the machine can do. On a separate tech-geek note, I have a spare Palm Tx that I bought thinking I'd lost my original... and then I found my original in my gym bag. Will be willing to sell the Palm (including an SD card, a leather case, and a screen protector) for a decent price - if you're interested e-mail me at daryl [at] dsng [dot] net.

All Greek to me

L ast night, over a delicious dinner at Da Paolo (mmm... squid ink pasta), the topic came to what the most traumatic name you could give your kid would be. I put forward a whole host of names from tragedies: Clytemnestra, Ulysses (oh yeah - missed Bloomsday a couple of days back - down with allergies), but my personal favourite was Oedipus. Now that would really screw your kid up. As the old joke about the Jewish mother goes - Oedipus, schmoedipus, what does it matter so long as he loves his mother?

Linksfest: Wallflowers for Algernon

Book/band mashup titles . I like "The Natalie Merchant of Venice" and "The Sun Also RZA". On the Chinese gaming business . Actually the entire issue of the Escapist on the subject is good to read.

Last night's gig

D Jing at the Butter Factory was lots of fun - thanks go out to all of my friends who showed up, and thanks for the compliments. Glad y'all liked it - it was great doing the side room, got to showcase a whole range of everything, really, from Lyn Collins to Diplo to Nelly Furtado covering Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" to, of course, that staple of my sets, the Postal Service.

I say, old bean

Meanwhile, I was slightly confused a couple of days back by The Great Hatsby AIM bot, but this clears it up.

Modern Grooming

Why is it when I get up in the morning, I have to spend time putting gel on my hair to achieve the "out of bed" look?

DJing at the Butter Factory

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I have been asked to DJ this Wednesday (14 June) at the Butter Factory , #01-03 Riverside 48, 48 Robertson Quay, from 11pm-1am. I'll be spinning eclectic grooves in the chillout area while the usual bangin' hip-hop goes on in the main room. It'll be "eclectic" and not necessarily obscure - just trawling through the more interesting corners of my MP3 collection. Motown, soul, 80s, kitsch covers, house, and whatever floats my boat, actually. Damage: It's a charity gig - $20 if you prepay, $25 at the door including one drink, with all ticket proceeds going to the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund . Plus 1 for 1 on all house pours from 10pm-midnight. E-mail me at daryl [at] dsng.net for presale tix, booking tables, or outright donations. Or just show up at the door! See y'all, yo. DJ Slapdash in the house!

Mashup!

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An old one, by Sue Trowbridge . The AP on mashups

Paya Lebar

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Posted a whole bunch of old pics onto my Flickr page , including this one - I liked the way the track sees to recede into the horizon.

The Vegetable Orchestra

O r, Terry Schiavo plays the tuber. The Vegetable Orchestra (Das gem├╝seorchester) were pretty much what you'd expect from their name - music played with carrots and cucumbers turned into instruments. They're not completely out of their gourd, but they certainly brought the fun to Jubilee Hall. The visual spectacle of the live event was just as much part of the effect - in the background were projections of veggies being sliced up, while the sound of tumbling pumpkins and aubergines was much enhanced by seeing them tumble. All in all, an enjoyable evening, although from a pure musical perspective the tunes that focused on percussion (such as "Greenhouse" , a house music piece) fared much better than the efforts at melody - the carrot flute was an intriguing effort, but sometimes one thought of that old Samuel Johnson quote about a dog walking on its hind legs ("It's not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all"). But that's being chur

Film blogs

T he Girlfriend once referenced girish , and it turned out to be a pretty impressive film blog - well written, erudite. Take this excerpt from his piece on Godard's Every Man For Himself , for instance: Late Godard is often referred to as his “transcendental period” and this movie is where that period begins. In the most heart-stopping scenes, Nathalie Baye bicycles around the Swiss countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, manicured farms, backdropped by picturesque sky. The camera seizes mid-rapture, and the images hurtle into a stuttering succession of freeze frames; it’s not quite slow motion, but a sort of freeze-frame motion . (Perhaps this is where Wong Kar-Wai first encountered it.) I occasionally pretend to write about film , but reading blogs like girish or Like Anna Karina's Sweater does remind me I'm such a dilettante.

Kung? Pow! Chicken...

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Newsflash: Kung fu worthless against trains . (Interesting that Xinhua doesn't use the hanyu pinyin version of "kung fu".) Liang jumped down to the tracks and wanted to use Xianglongshibazhang, a famous kung fu posturing described in many swordsman fictions, to stop the running train. Also from the Xinhua site, a performance piece in Siberia :

Stars on 45

A true kitsch classic: the Stars on 45 Medley. I didn't realise it had a video. Featuring women in aerobics outfits doing disco handclaps!

The Ice Harvest

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W hile Harold Ramis will probably never top the virtuosity that is Groundhog Day , this black comedy of dishonour among thieves shows that he still retains the ability to capture the bleak side of a holiday. The Ice Harvest features John Cusack in a bad-guy role that's more Grosse Point Blank than, say, Say Anything . In this case he's Wichita mob lawyer Charlie Arglist, who's teamed up with Vic Cavanaugh (Billy Bob Thornton) to steal a couple million bucks from his boss on Christmas Eve. After he and Vic get away with the money, they have to act cool for a few hours, but Charlie dithers, not out of any goodness (he's amoral enough that he runs a strip joint) but because he's not exactly the picture of steely-eyed resolve. And women, of course, complicate the matter: in this case, Renata (Connie Nielsen), who runs the Sweet Cage strip club and whom Charlie hopes to slip out of town with. The bitter cold and the ice storm that hits holiday-eve Wichita thus form

Signs in Bonn

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Another picture from Bonn. Nothing special, except I thought the text ("cyclists / moped riders please dismount") and the picture didn't quite match. I kind of get what it means - 'people are bringing kids here, please get off to avoid running them over'. But it still seemed a bit of a jump.

Song Interpolations - Mony Mony

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"M ony Mony" - the Billy Idol version, not the Tommy James and the Shondells original - came up on my MP3 playlist today and it reminded me of how people chant the "hey motherf***er" lines in between the lines of the verse. There she comes round singin' Mony Mony ("hey motherf***er...") Here in Singapore, the 'added' lines always sounded like "hey motherf***er hey hey motherf***, but when I was in the US people would chant "hey motherf***er get laid get f***ed", but the general swearing theme remains intact. So I was thinking that this is a very strange thing to spread globally - does anyone know the origins of this "tradition"? Looking it up on Google, I found an entertaining thread about the whole "added lyrics" thing : I did know that people do sing "so good, so good, so good" in between the chorus of "Sweet Caroline", and that "Family Tradition," by Hank Williams Jr., gets

Linksfest: Danger! Cookies!

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Slate reimagines classic novels with pulp covers Or you could spell out the whole of Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus" in cookies Meat grown in a lab . On the one hand, this has a weird-science feel about it. On the other - it would solve a lot of ethical dilemmas, such as concerns for overfishing or living conditions on farms. A funny interpretation of "Sugar, We're Going Down" and its mumbled lyrics. Meanwhile, the Iraqis love Lionel Richie . "Richie says he was told Iraqis were playing 'All Night Long,' on the streets the night U.S. tanks rolled into the country in 2003."

Shopping list

Went to the PC show today and picked up a Brother printer/scanner/copier/fax/coffeemaker/dishwasher/okay, I'll stop. Crowds were crazy. Seriously - if there's an incident where Citylink Mall joins to Suntec City the resulting stampede would be dangerous. And trying to navigate through the crowd back to the train station wheeling a trolley was nuts. But all's well etc. etc. and I finally have a working printer and scanner. But if you ask me about nifty computer devices, what I really want is this USB turntable .

Rodent undented

Ooh, a hamster survives 3 types of crushing machines and a shredder : Another chapter was written yesterday in the history of great hamster escapes, when a pet called Mike survived three types of crushing machine and a shredder at a waste recycling plant. The small rodent was left with only a minor foot injury after astonished staff discovered him limping into a final sorting area after going through a process which rips cookers and washing machines into stringy bits of metal. Cue the Great Escape theme.

Mousing Goofy

H ow to mouse goofy . I've used a mouse left-handed for 6 years already - ever since I started getting twinges of pain on the right wrist - and it's been excellent. It's not just transferring the pain I think - the fact is, with your mouse on the left, your hands have to travel less to reach for the mouse from the keyboard (because the mouse hand doesn't have to travel over the numeric keypad). And of course, when I broke my right hand, it was very, very useful to know that at least my mouse hand was still good.