A Friday Stack

Oh look, here’s some things on the Internet I insist you at least consider maybe checking out.


Some Blogs

Hannah pointed the world to Cute Boys With Cats, one of those Tumblrs where the description is all in the name. I removed three and added four letters in the URL and found Cute Girls With Cats. And all was lovely and nice. And then I noticed – neither of them were at all porny. Usually the cuteboys/girls genre is a slavering wank-fest of airbrushed nonsense. These just have photos of people. Attractive people, sure, but sanely normally looking attractive people. Proof if proof were needed that cats make the Internet a better place.

A Hundred and One Wankers in which msdawnfoster documents the lumpen arses who shout sexist abuse at her as she cycles through London. Early days but the photographing of company vehicles is an inspired move.

Two from the Cheezeburger Meme-exploitation Factory: Hacked IRL ranges from arty intervention through amusing juxtapositions to purile vandalism. The Daily What is sub-4chan junk and videos but seem to be sent a lot of links to cool stuff on it. Both need a hefty skim but are otherwise pleasing.


Some Digitial Music

It’s always nice when a friend turns out to be a fucking genius.

The Long And Winding Road is a response to The Beatles’s decision to not release their music in a digital format says Antonio. He continues:

Here, I present digitised version of the song, taken from a scan of the sheet music from the Top Pops 6 song book collection from 1971 and attempt to interpret their music in a digital form. The process of digitising this work involved scanning the sheet music and using audio software to convert the scanning into audio. This, therefore, is the closest digital reproduction that I can make without having access to the original recordings.

Elsewhere: A dubstep mix retelling Jeff Wayne’s musical version of war of the worlds, sampling the original narratives by Richard Burton, Phil Lynott and David Essex.


Some Social Media Advice

Five Simple Tumblr Rules: “Old and new media wanting to get onto Tumblr: Just follow these simple steps, and you can help prevent the development of a how-to-use-Tumblr consulting industry (like the one that plagues Twitter) before it starts.”

What the fuck is my social media strategy?

How to Use Twitter for Marketing and PR


Some Wrongheadedness from An Otherwise Intelligent Publication

According to the Economist blogging is in decline as things like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr prove to be more effective for the sort of things blogging was considered good at.

Which sort of begs the question, if people are moving to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to achieve the sort of things they used to do with blogs (the article suggests this might be “maintaining an online journal or sharing links and photos with friends”), shouldn’t we see those things as the primary uses of blogs? And therefore should we not be celebrating that the tools for this activity have matured and reached a wider adoption?

Hang on, wrong blog. Sorry.


Some Interviews

Oh look, it’s An interview with Alan Moore. Haven’t had one of those for a few months. This is the quote most people were picking up on:

In the past I’ve tried to say, ‘Look, we are all crappy superheroes,’ because personal computers and mobile phone devices are things that only Bat Man and Mr Fantastic would have owned back in the sixties. We’ve all got this immense power and we’re still sat at home watching pornography and buying scratch cards. We’re rubbish, even though we are as gods.

The interview is mainly about the Unearthing spoken word piece he’s releasing which I must say I’m looking forward to… experiencing.

A long time collaborator of Alan Moore’s is Rick Veitch and here’s a long interview with the Veitchmonster from Arthur magazine with, as it happens, an intro by Moore. Haven’t read it yet but it’s sure to be fantastic. Here’s a couple of panels from one of his dream diary comics of the 1990s:

rbf1-15


Some Accounts of Unwellness

Mark Rice-Oxley’s account of his depression made for very welcome reading. At the end he says “it is a story I really wanted to tell because it is a story I wanted to read 12 months ago, when I was desperate for reassurance” and I think writing like this is an essential part of the arsenal against depression. Yes, he’s a middle class journalist writing in the Guardian but that’s beside the point. This illness is indiscriminate.

Speaking of indiscriminate illnesses, Christopher Hitchens has cancer. That’s not one I have personal experience of, thankfully.


Something I don’t quite see the point of

Our Digital City is an online digital snapshot of Birmingham in 2010.

If you build it, they will come!

Oh dear…


Some Bleeding Ice

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Blood Falls

Roughly two million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist in a place with no light or free oxygen and little heat, and are essentially the definition of “primordial ooze.” The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.


Some Wisdom

What are we lamenting? We’re lamenting the decline of a shared culture that’s relatively dominated by a small number of people who can decide what everyone needs to know? That’s not obviously a state that we have to yearn for. On the other hand, the fact that we have facilities for people who do want to be engaged to become much better informed if it is easy … from the perspective of a democratic society, this new state seems to me to be, not utopia, but more attractive.

Yochai Benkler said that. Background and context.


Some Audio I Haven’t Listened Too Yet

One of the best podcasts to come out of Birmingham back in the day was Dubber And Spoons Take The Bus. Dubber went on to be Lord of New Music And That while Spoons moved to New Zealand. Spoons came back and they did another episode.

A documentary about Moondog was on the radio the other week and Speechnification grabbed a copy. Moondog is really interesting. I must make time to listen to this.


Some Words of Wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut

How to get a job like mine from 2002.

About 25 minutes in he says the immortal line:

“We are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.”


More next time I can’t sleep…

One thought on “A Friday Stack

  1. Antonio

    I just had a look at the Terms and Conditions for the Our Digital City thing and by uploading stuff you give them rights to use it in marketing. So, to me it looks like they’re just getting a bunch of free resources, which explains why they didn’t just make a digital snapshot by doing a date search on flickr

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