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This collection of fake Underground signage is absolutely brilliant. Can't say I've seen any of them myself, but then, I'm only in London once in a while. Has anyone spied them in the wild? (That said, with the recent move, I may well be along a bit more often than a couple times a year. Of which, phase II just completed at 3am on Saturday morning, with The Stuff™ all brought over)


I'm not entirely certain it's showing what it claims, but, supposedly, this is a block of ice glowing red/white-hot, courtesy of a chunky induction coil. (Apologies, but I don't recall who pointed this out to me. ^_^;) Edit: dakhun offers a detailed explanation of what's being seen, in this reply.

A couple Doctor Who tidbits: seems the Christmas episode will feature Madame Vastra and Jenny, and, one episode of the second half of this season is written by Neil Gaiman. ^_^

The badger cull is to be postponed! Of course, this is no time for complacency - Defra clearly isn't announcing a cancellation, only a delay until Summer 2013. However, it does mean the cull will not now proceed in the coming few days, giving much-needed time to further publicise the usefulness of field trials of the recently developed bTB vaccine for badgers, and to get the bovine equivalent out into deployment - methods that will genuinely help to control bTB.

This is a very gentle short, though not without feeling, melancholy, and longing; one might not expect such of the tale of the life of a plastic bag, voiced beautifully by Werner Herzog.

Occupy presents a discussion on "Socially Useful Banking", featuring Andy Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability at the Bank of England; Dominic Lindley, Head of Financial Services Policy at Which?; Duncan Weldon, a senior economist at the Trades Union Congress; and Lisa Pollack, a reporter on the Financial Times Alphaville blog. Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London; October 29, 1800-2030. No charge. (The sponsors list is rather an interestingly varied bunch, too, including the Quakers, Peter Tatchell, Unite, the United Reformed Church, The Robin Hood Tax, and the Baptist, Methodist, and United Reformed Chuches' Joint Public Issues Team)

Here's a fascinating look at attempts to understand proto-Elamite writing, some 5000 years old. Thanks to current imaging technology, and an element of crowdsourcing, we may be on the verge of being able to understand these cryptic cuneiforms.

You may have heard of the anime Death Note. You might even have heard of My Little Pony. So, here's an anime music video combining both: PonyNote, Best in Show winner at Otakon 2012.

I know they're not a husky, but on seeing this dog with a particularly neat ball, I immediately thought of huskyteer. I'm sorry. ^_^

Courtesy of OGLAF, the Derp Fox shirt.

The New Parkway will be reopening on Nov 30! As originally, you'll be able to enjoy second-run flicks on comfortable furniture, enjoying good pizza and local beer as you watch. The new venue's located not so far from the original, at 474 24th Street, still in Oakland.

Here's a fun weblog to peek at, if you really enjoy the wonders of excellent cooking: Eataku. Which also notes that Iron Chef is returning! A new chairman, I note with some wistful regret, but we can hope Fuji TV understands the need for careful selection. It debuts in a two hour special on Friday, Oct 26 2012 - hopefully, fansubs will appear within a few days, though I recall the company did crack down on fansubs of the original. Perhaps they'll be gentler now.

This city council meeting speech on a "gay rights" motion in Missouri is worth seeing. It does indeed seem rather nasty, but, you'll want to carry on to the end of the three minutes.

I'm not one for the minutiae of TV shows, but, I'm curious: has there ever been any mention of how Daleks are powered? Or Cybermen? The closest I can come is recalling the latter had a weakness in the form of gold, or gold dust, but that was more to do with interfering with some system, than sustenance per se.

Want to back the reopening of what sounds like a rather excellent chocolatier in San Francisco? Charles Chocolates wants your moolah! "I have always held very strong opinions about what makes a great chocolate — opinions formed over 25 years of chocolate experience (and consumption!) that have guided the development and production of everything that we make. Key is the belief that chocolates are food - fresh food — and as such they should be made with the freshest ingredients and enjoyed within a few weeks of being made. Our chocolates are not designed to be displayed on store shelves for months before being bought and eaten. We make them by hand when you order them and deliver them to you within a few days of their creation."

Also in the City, Chocolate Lab sounds like somewhere I need to drop by. (Doesn't hurt that the beers are supplied by the likes of the Magnolia and Speakeasy)

This wolf? Is a fursuit. =:D Also: lying on a bench, and exhausted thereon. ^_^;

Some interesting number crunching in this Grauniad piece on tax avoidance in the UK, examining a selection of large US companies. You can look at their total and average turnovers and tax paid between 2008-2011. Relatedly, here's a quick look into how a Hollywood studio production can rake it in, yet still not turn a profit, technically - much as Starbucks do, the key concept is to use subsidiaries and charge them high fees for things like intellectual property, causing them to make a paper loss.

Another venue for detailed journalism, worth adding to your news bookmarks: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not-for-profit based at City University, London. (In a nice touch, all their work is published under a Creative Commons license, though the rights to photographs and video may be held by other parties)

Aeronautics sorts will be far better placed to pass comment on this than I. It would seem there is, perhaps unsurprisingly, an alternative explanation being posited for the cause of the 2010 crash near Smolensk, killing the Polish leadership: evidence including sheared rivets, rivets missing, and shrapnel may suggest an explosion.

More interviews than you can shake a modestly sized deciduous forest at, courtesy of the Paris Review, with the likes of William Gibson, Maya Angelou, Robert Crumb, Susan Sontag, Ray Bradbury, and Samuel R Delany.

If you enjoy good transformation artwork, I ought to highlight a two-pager (so far, anyway), "Pest Problems", by Ravensflock: page 1, in which an innocent bunny wakes up in a strange location, and page 2, wherein his world changes rather dramatically.

Little by little, Cuba comes out of its shell - from January 2013, its citizens will be able to travel internationally freely, without the long-loathed exit visa system. The article does note that some restrictions will remain for certain people, however, such as members of the military, and doctors, to avoid a brain drain.

If you feel like frittering away a few minutes somewhat usefully, have a look at the adult finalists in ImproveSF's current competition to design the San Francisco Public Library's new card artwork. Of 3000 entries, the 10 finalists are presented, which you can offer additional points to, depending how much you like each of them. Of course, there's one design in particular that caught my eye, "I Love SFPL" - but there could be some bias involved. ^_^ To vote, you'll need to make an account - just the usual name/email/password, with everything else being optional.

Flicks I've enjoyed in the last few days:

- Seeking A Friend for the End of the World. Amiable, quite enjoyable, but somehow ultimately fails to be convincing. Worth seeing if it's around.

- Safety Not Guaranteed. Positively delicious. Convincingly performed, and written with balance I've not enjoyed since Don Juan DeMarco, with Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, and Faye Dunaway. Worth seeking out. (Easy enough in the US; still no release, cinematic or video, in the UK)

- Expendables 2. Blame the housemate. =:) It's exactly what it looks like - an excuse for loads of guns and explosions. Still fine by me, as it doesn't really require any attention be paid to it, so you can carry on with browsing and conversation, with no loss of experience.

Has anyone watched the Blu-Ray release of Priscilla? (Only released in the US, apparently, and not available for download at all) Seems there are some potentially worthwhile extras, even beyond the image quality.

I've also finally seen some of Firefly, which I understand one or two others have enjoyed. =:) Rather liking it, yes. True, it touches on a plethora of tropes, but none the worse for that. It's rather unfortunate, realising that having seen the sixth episode, I'm almost halfway through it all, not counting Serenity, but so it goes. (Favorite character? Has to be Kaylee. I want to be her when I grow up =:)

Thoroughly enjoying the current series of Red Dwarf, especially including the latest ep, "Lemons". I did think the key guest role was played by Tim Minchin, whom I would assert would be absolutely perfect there.. =:D
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oh yeah... it's just bad web design. And yes, enabling Javascript is usually a good way of getting around it, but I tend to feel I shouldn't have to allow it; it's like having a newspaper delivered and then being required to allow the delivery boy access to all your house just so you can read the paper.

Ooh, that "thumbnails of tabs" gadget sounds nice! I wish Firefox had something like that.

Yeah, I'm certainly not criticizing the guy; quite the opposite, he did a swell job there. :) And yes, it's funny how people selectively ignore the bible, isn't it? Or, alternatively, say that some passages should be taken metaphorically, which (when you think about it) is just a thinly-veiled variation thereof, essentially the same in practice.

Jesus and Mo spoofed this just this week, actually. In a way, christian fundamentalists who actually take ALL the bible as gospel (and who really do, instead of just claiming they do and then ignoring parts of it anyway) would at least be more honest, if batshit crazy, but no such things seems to exist, right? Not that I'm surprised; you'd be unable to even translate the bible if you really went all the way with this, and you'd basically end up the same as fundamentalist muslims who also insist that the qu'ran cannot be translated, that every single last bit of it must be taken literally and accepted as the absolute truth, and so on.

I think the first time I pondered being "trapped" in a suit was on seeing Farallon's rather wonderful enlargement of a Kimba plush, some 3'-4' long..

Ooooh, I don't think I've seen that. :) I don't remember what my "first time" there was; I've been in love with the late Pouchhopper's locking quad fox suit ever since I first saw it, but I know I saw that over in a Yahoo group that I only joined because I was already interested in this, so I'm not sure anymore. Ah well — perhaps not a discussion for a public entry, anyway.

Hmm, British cooking isn't so bad, I think. Britons are sometimes poked fun at here for things like mint sauce, but by and large, when I think of British cuisine, I think of good, hearty food, things like steak-and-kidney pie, toad-in-the-hole, bubble & squeak, bangers and mash, that sort of thing; puddings as well, of course, e.g. spotted dick, with vanilla custard and so on. ^^ Not particularly posh, perhaps, but good.

But yeah, it'll be fun to see. I'm also curious what they'll come up with for Germany; there certainly is no end of "typical" dishes, but choosing just a few might be hard, and German cuisine varies a lot by region. Bavarian or Baden-Württembergian food, for instance, might as well be from a wholly different country as far as I'm concerned (that said, I actually like it a lot).

I'm also curious to see what they'll do for Iceland; I really hope it's not gonna be þorramatur, which is what often gets dug out and rehashed when people talk about Icelandic cuisine, due to its shock value (especially for sensitive US-American stomachs who might recoil at the thought of such things as singed sheep's heads, pickled ram testicles and so on). Fun and traditional (and tasty, actually) as it may be, it's just not representative of modern Icelandic cooking.

But then, they'd likely be unable to find such things even in New York. :) (In fact, I was extremely surprised they were almost unable to get pork liver from any butcher without having to wait for it. I could understand that for specialty items such as pig's caul, but liver?)

Anyway, I think I do expect that they'll select something nice and representative there, too. :)

Mmmm, and as for expensive/fancy restaurants? Yeah, it'd be fun to go to one of these, but I doubt I will anytime soon myself. :) As for Noma at least, I'm told that if you want a table, you should book a couple of months in advance, BTW. And if you do go... by all means share your experiences! :)