Tuesday, March 31, 2009

F1 Monsters

I don't like F1, but I really like the above advertisment for Sky F1, which was created by 1861 United, Milan, Italy.

Fubiz via Notcot.

Bouncy Marae

The New Dowse in Lower Hutt, NZ, has a excellent new exhibition: The Bouncy Marae. Here is the description from the New Dowse website:

"In her childhood, artist Inez Crawford (Te Whanau a Apanui) imagined that her local marae was a giant castle, and in her latest artwork she brings that fantasy to life as part of the Plastic Maori exhibition. Her giant inflatable Bouncy Marae is open in our courtyard for kids of all ages to experience - parental supervision required. Crawford uses the playful nature of this work to comment on the commercialisation of Maori art."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

WTWTA Trailer

The trailer for Spike Jonze's adaption of Where The Wild Things Are is up on Apple Trailers. As a child, I was a massive fan of this book. I'm really looking forward to the movie.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What song are you dying to cover?

Last night, while enjoying a Sapporo king can outside Club 7 in LKF, TJ asked HK Ham and myself what song we would most like to cover. After much debate, which canvased the likes of Bowie, Survivor and The Doors, to name a few, HK Ham declared with finality that he would cover "Time After Time".

I never got to the bottom what song HK Ham was actually talking about, as TJ and I immediately broke into Cyndi Lauper and the conversation degenerated. Notwithstanding our failure to stay on topic, I think it's a good question.

What song would you most like to cover? I'm still thinking about my answer, but a few initial thoughts are:

- Money for nothing, Dire Straights
- Too young, Phoenix
- Anarchy in the U.K., The Sex Pistols
- Sex police, Supergroove
- London Calling, The Clash
- With u, Rain
- You look like rain, Morphine
- Heroes, David Bowie

Hmmmm, so many good songs, but would they be good to cover? Let me get back to you on this one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday is reading day - Interface

It's Wednesday - time to discuss what I'm reading. During the US Presidential election I picked up a copy of Interface, by Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George (who I understand is Neil's uncle). I've read a number of books by Neil Stephenson, including the excellent Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash, so I had high expectations. Unfortunately, Interface is a poor cousin of these must read books.

The central character in Interface is William Anthony Cozzano, a popular and intelligent politician, who at the start of the book is the governor of Illinois (hence why I thought it might be fun to read during the elections). Cozzano suffers a stroke while in office, which leaves him significantly incapacitated. To try to regain his facilities, Cozzano agrees to an experimental medical procedure, which involves implanting a micro-chip into his brain. The treatment is successful and, with his facilities restored, Cozzano agrees to run for presidency - much cyber-political intrigue ensues.

Interface is a tightly plotted book, which is typically my only criticism of Neil Stephenson's writing. The prose is very glib and the plot steams along at an enjoyable pace. Notwithstanding these points, I found the story dated, a bit predictable and very light in terms of science fiction and politic analysis - the micro-chip in the brain idea is not explored in any detail and the political side of things are left very high level.

Verdict: An unsatisfying read. If you enjoy cyberpunk fiction and have an interest in politics, grab a copy for a long flight. If cyberpunk and politics are not your cup of tea, I say give it a miss - instead, re-read Cryptonomicon or grab a copy of Last Samurai, which I think I'll talk about next week.

As Margaret Fuller said: “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's all in the name

An unfortunately named plant in the park near my work.

A modestly named company near my apartment.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Techno-Dancing Joseph Stalin

Not. Making. This. Up.

Via Kotaku

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday is reading day

It's Wednesday, which seems as good a day as any to talk about what I'm reading.

I'm currently reading Freakangels, which is a free, weekly, ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis (of Transmetropolitan fame) and illustrated by Paul Duffield.

Ellis' own synopsis of Freakangels went something like this: "I've written two hundred pages and I still have no idea what it's about ... it's retro-punk, it's near-future steampunk" and involves characters who are "living in a post-flood London that they might possibly have had something to do with." Comic-con 2007

The story unfolds through a string of tales that look into the life of each of the Freakangel characters. Ellis presents his characters in a warts and all fashion, which, for me, makes them seem more real and developed than the typical comic book protagonist. Underlying the individual character stories, is the larger mystery about what has happened to the world and what involvement the Freakangels' had in the disaster.

I read the first few issues in trade paperback form, but have since been reading it online - for free! I recommend reading it in chunks, as I find with individual issues I'm just getting into the story and it's over. Freakangels is a great read, so give it go.