The Jester

Mar. 18th, 2009 09:44 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
I've been impressed by John Stewart on Comedy Central over the last couple of years. Often he does more hard hitting interviews and investigative journalism than the people who are supposed to be doing that. I was thinking this morning that it's odd that this should come from a comedy show, and then it hit me that Stewart is fulfilling an ancient role, that of the jester.

Traditionally the jester, or fool, could get away with saying all those things no-one else could. Often, the king or queen relied on that, because while other couriers would not tell the truth to them, through either fear or intrigue, the jester often would. Protected by being able to say what they liked because "it's only a joke", jesters performed an important role of pointing out those things everyone else could not, like the fact that the king is wearing no clothes.

One of the things that has disappointed in New Zealand recently is the general lack of good current affairs comedy shows. It seems Newsboy (Jeremy Wells) has been just about it for some time now.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Passing on some image amusements from all over: Last night I passed out from Kingfisher Strong consumed while saying goodbye to Orienteering John, so didn;t dream, but the previous night I did. It wasn't a particularly nice dream.
I was in the military in a place that was somewhere in the Indian/Pakistan/Afghanistan area. I only remember snatches, like being on parade and then being told the parade was moving to another location so I had to get on a bus to get there. When I got off the bus I was no longer with my unit, I'd either got on the wrong bus or forgotten to get off it. I got my kit stolen, and I was annoyed because it was my fault for putting it down in the first place. I think I spent some time trying to recover it.

The most vivid part of the dream though was at the end, when an elderly-looking woman handed me a young child. At this point I was unsure why she was handing the child to me, she was talking fast in language I could only pick out a couple of words from, but I got the impression it was because she wanted me to take her somewhere.

I took the child, who was a girl, and realized my hands were covered in blood, and then that the blood was coming from multiple deep lacerations on the girl's back. The older woman, who looked too old to be her mother, handed me a fine silk quilted jacket, turquoise on the outside with gold thread embroidery, and silver on the inside, indicating I should use it to wrap the girl and contain the blood.

It was obvious now that she needed to be taken to a hospital. I hesitated when taking the jacket, it seemed antique, beautiful, of very fine make. Surely it was worth a fortune, surely we should use something else to soak up the blood? I was thinking. The elderly woman obviously understood my hesitation and said, in English, "no matter", pushing the jacket between my hands and the girl.
That woke me up.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tyler)
The Register has collected a number of satirical hacks to the Google Chrome comic. Hee!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
From the Perry Bible Fellowship

Gamblin' Man

There are a lot of other nastier, and much more amusing, ones there. Like this one. The cartoonist, Nicholas Gurewitch also does some wonderful impersonations of older cartoon styles.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (jayne)
From AbstruseGoose

Out of the Closet )

Help! Desk!

May. 7th, 2008 03:33 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Whilst surfing around seeing if I can put Cory Dotorow's Little Brother on my phone, I discovered this wonderful Norwegian skit on the difficulties people have with new technology.

I'm finding my left foot hurts in the cold like it's been subject to bastinado. However, on applying warmth, it feels better. I'm wondering if I got a hairline fracture from somewhere in the past and it's basically just a form of rheumatism. Damn, bodies are a nuisance! Why can't you pull them apart and fix them like cars and computers? I hate having to go and get some tradesman to work on my stuff. Who designed this silly hardware anyway? Why can't I get an upgrade?

Started reading Greg Eagan's Diaspora last night. OMFG, that has got to be the absolute worst way possible to start a novel! Yeah sure, so now we know all the stuff that Egan thought about around designing his AI's, but why the hell do we care? Anyone who knows anything about the concept could have written that intro chapter, it's not anything new, and hasn't been since about the late eighties, well before Diaspora was published. I suppose it makes sense in that the lead character didn't have sentience at that point, but while i could easily follow it all, it was dense and turgid and almost put me off continuing to read. Still aren't sure if it was worth the effort, but we'll see.

Oh, happy birthday[livejournal.com profile] elfs and belated one to [livejournal.com profile] keptinacan, forgot to say so last night !

Segueing

Apr. 4th, 2008 04:11 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
These light grafitti are almost as awesome as the surprise [livejournal.com profile] seraphs_folly gave me yesterday, which was a session on a Segway round the waterfront. Those on my flist who work in TradeMe (which I discovered on Wednesday now also includes boy Regan!) may have seen us practising outside.

Segueing is awesome. I was a little shakey at the start, but half way thru I felt like leaning on my elbow on one leg. It was hard to resist the urge to try and jump it, or climb stairs with it, or see how it handled being on one wheel... Great little toy. Now if only their price was around NZD $2.5k instead of NZD $12K. It;s no

These incorrect historical stories from Cracked.com are quite humorously presented, so I thought they should be passed on. I especially like the idea that if we propagate untruths about historical figures they should at least bear some resemblance to the character of the figure in question, such as the suggestion that a story about Benjamin Franklin in which he pleasured six women at once would be far more appropriate than the rather silly kite story.

Saw another newish-looking book left on a piece of construction site by the pavement this morning. Just sitting there. This time with a blue bookmark. I am wondering whether I should read the text on the marked page. Perhaps it is a clandestine communication from the System Architect?

Finally :
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tyler)
Last week, a Mozilla advertising campaign was quickly hidden away after a test audience thought t was in poor taste. But that doesn't mean we can't spread it anyway. Basically, the campaign stated that, in comparison to Internet Explorer users, Firefox users were 23 per cent less likely to have cancer and also less likely to have heart attacks.

Of course, it's pretty damn obvious why, and the causation is actually the reverse, but it's a lovely argument to use against an employer or client who wants to mandate an I.E. install. Just let them know, and bring up the spectre of later employee lawsuits (or in NZ, increased ACC levies) because they were forced to use I.E. at work! Anyone stupid enough to be fooled by that deserves to be fooled!

In other news, a Polish teenager hacked the Lodz tram system with a modified television remote, causing four derailments and injuring twelve.

(yes, I've been catching up on my El Reg reading at work).
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Death)
The 2007 Darwin Awards have been announced.

Sim City (or should I say Micropolis) has been open-sourced and it has even been compiled for the OLPC.

Our local PC tech actually managed to resurrect my work lap top, which is good coz it means I won't have to re-do some work or re-installor my development tools this week. Though that does mean I have little to do at work. Hmmm, I wonder how hard it would be to port Micropolis to Java....

Looking forward to a brief catch up with [livejournal.com profile] seraphs_folly at the airport this evening.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
It may be Friday morning back home, but it's Thursday night here so seeing as I haven't had an actual dinner meal since G left last Thursday, I thought I'd be with TNC in spirit, and went had my normal murgh tikka masala at The Saffron Club. It has to be the least Indian Indian restaurant I've eaten at, with sparkly colour-changing lights and music that sounds like it would be at home on Rise FM from GTA.

The food was OK, though like most English curries, not very hot. The garlic naan was special, I;m sure the naan's in the UK here are bigger and thicker than elsewhere. Their mango lassi made a nice dessert. The main problem was my stomach. It has shrunk. I feel totally bloated after only a single naan, MTM, & rice. When Ii got back I crashed on the couch for many minutes trying to deal with the bloat

I am currently ROFL about Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Colin Mockery doing a tyrannosaurus is just hilarious.

It seems that it's primarily the US, Canada, and Japan, that are the prime blockers in Bali. So people are saying that they should ignore them, because all those countries will be facing government changes very soon and the new governments will be forced to into line by the voters, like Australia was. Unfortunately I don't believe it, neither the US nor Japan have a credible green or liberal party. But anyway, Avaaz wants a large dynamic response in the next 24hrs from you and anyone else who thinks the US and it's allies should stop procrastinating, to take to the talks and help shame those three into an agreement.

Meanwhile, via Daily Kos, a Florida jet that ran out of fuel and crashed on the Yucatan Peninsula in September with 3.6 tons of cocaine on board has been identified as one of the jets used by the CIA for their extraordinary rendition program

And has anyone back home heard about this Reuters story ?
A New Zealand woman who sent a naked man to the wrong house on the promise of a good time has been charged with misusing a telephone.
The 17-year-old woman sent the man an enticing text message offering him an early Christmas present in the shape of two friendly women and suggested he take off his clothes to save time...
But it was the wrong house and the householder did not see the funny side. The police were called and the man arrested...
And finally a review of the XO laptop, the one that is being built for $100 by Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project in places like Nigeria.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Deser Peach)
Or maybe saying that it is being too insulting to asses?

Go have a look at this collection of Looney Laws
about Animals
.

While I'm posting, can people try and access rpg.net.nz and let me know if you can reach it? I can't but I don't know if that's caused by the firewalls here at work, or something else, like the server actually being down.

Whoops!

Sep. 19th, 2007 11:48 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Lecherous Goat)
A married couple who didn't realise they were chatting each other up on the internet are divorcing Apparently they never heard the Pina Colada Song
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tyler)
Using a special lens Prof Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin report they can engineer the Casimir force to repel, rather than attract thus producing levitation....

Sounds suspiciously like magic to me..."Apprentices, I will now teach you Casimir levitation using a Leonhardt lens. After that, we'll move on to the altheiometer."

NaughtyThai cops are punished by being forced to wear hot pink Hello Kitty armbands
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (murata catgirl 1 (nekkid in boots))
Have a look at the Angel Kitty USB Keyboard Bra. Yes , that said what you though it did.

Work safe, but oh, so wrong! It is very cute though....

Somewhat less than safe for work is the gPod, an iPod attachment that has a "joystick" that vibrates to the music. They say you attach it to your mobile phone and "feel" your boyfriend's voice...

Then there's Ten Ways To Have Fun With Boobs, all about various boob-shaped equipment, which is sadder than the keyboard, but quite amusing.

And bibles should come with public health warnings. ]:)>
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
A big update covering all the things I wanted to update about, but haven't yet.

Gathered from various colleagues : And while we're arguing the so-called "anti-smacking bill", which it most assuredly isn't by the way, it is merely removing an ugly defence for child abuse, the UK empowers teachers to use reasonable force, which includes :
  • fining parents up to a thousand pounds for not parenting well.
  • making detention legally binding regardless of parental wishes.
  • Giving teachers legal rights of search and seizure (they will now legally be allowed to search for weapons, confiscate cellphones, i-pods, etc.)
  • Extends these powers to when pupils are off school premises, i.e.: travelling on public transport or in shopping centres
Personally I think this is a good thing. It may not be necessary in New Zealand yet, but UK school's are generally more violent and dangerous than even USA ones. Though there is less gun-play at UK schools, it doesn't make them any safer. A major part of the problem has been that the offenders knew teachers had no legal power over them, so police had to be called in whenever the teachers needed to enforce a rule, which is both a significant drain on police resources, and dangerous for the teachers involved, as by the time the police arrive it may be too late. The UK teacher's union has been pushing for something like this for years.

In personal news, I am becoming heavily in demand at work, thus not very much time to update. A bit of a lull this afternoon, I have work to do, but I need a wee bit of relaxation, and this is it!

Friday night was fun, catching up with [livejournal.com profile] rivet and [livejournal.com profile] allyn and all their peeps at their second house-warming in the same building, only this time for owning it rather than renting, and their birthdays too. Then on to the thing that wasn't happening at the Welsh Dragon, it felt good to catch up briefly with a lot of people thru those two parties.

Saturday was a day of running around geting my car serviceable and my internet serviceable. I now have a Linksys wi-fi hub and router, and while it works nice and simply, I don't like it. It doesn't give me any where near as much information as my old Level One one which completely died at about 2.00am Saturday morning. And it gives less control as well, which meant I had to modify my server settings to match the router, rather than the other way round, and that took a while. So Saturday several of the sites hosted at my place were down for most of the day.

Sunday I really only had time to do some washing and go to [livejournal.com profile] superlate's game, but on the way there, my car, containing A, H, and [livejournal.com profile] superlate was forced off the motorway by a car with the number-plate "URIEL". Scary!

I slept really badly last night. I was sweaty and had numerous nightmares, of the type where there is a pain in your back, in this case it was being caused by a woman with a knife. I was holding off other people at the door to a house with a pistol, trying to convince them that they should leave, that there was nothing to be worried about, I had it all under control, trying to protect the woman behind me in the house. All was going swimmingly until I felt the knife enter my kidney. It was a very Silent Hill-like environment.

I woke quickly, after only a little knife-twisting and associated pain, to a dark room that was horribly warm, oppressive, and scary. The Silent Hill feel of the dream made me wary of the patches of light and dark n the walls and ceiling, and the odd sounds I was hearing from outside. At one point I started hearing crackling noises from inside my pillow, like the feathers were moving around, trying to get out, as they had demonstrably done before.

I knew I was falling asleep again, I was only barely awake, and I didn;t want to go under with the fear still in my head. I thought that it must be some form of "Skill" attack, as per the Robin Hobb Farseer trilogy, the third book of which I am currently reading , making me fear my room, and fear going under where I would be open to more manipulation.

I resolved not to enter that dream again, and tried to think nice comfortable thoughts like lying next to [livejournal.com profile] seraphs_folly in Hagley Park and the sun, as when [livejournal.com profile] holding_pattern and [livejournal.com profile] grendel_khan visited us. But it is surprisingly hard to maintain warm and fluffy thoughts in such an environment, and whatever it was I was fighting (whether it was my own fear or an actual opponent, I know not) kept insinuating around the edges twisting fluffy thoughts to dark and bloody ones.

Later I awoke to Lancelot sitting on the head board, as I awoke he chased something out of the room.

Now only two days and five hours till I see my love again! is happy
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Annoyed by your friends rabbiting on about Second Life?

Tell them to get a first life!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tyler)
Being uninspired by the TV News this evening, here's my version of the important news over the weekend :

White Wolf Merges with CCP

Nope, White Wolf have not become part of the defunct Soviet Union, even though their editiorial policies are similar enough to make such a merger natural. In fact they are merging with Crowd Control Productions, the makers of the MMOG that no-one's ever heard of EVE Online, who hail from Reykjavik, Iceland! According to the release
Products to be introduced in 2007 will include strategy guides,enhanced collectible card games, role-playing systems, and novels allbased on EVE Online. White Wolf will leverage CCP's industry-leadingtechnologies to bring its offline role-playing titles online. Conceptualization and early development has begun to bring White Wolf's World of Darkness, one of the world's strongest gaming properties, into the online world

Quis Custodes Custodiet? YouTube!!

A video of LA police officers gratuitiously punching a guy who claims he can't breathe has resulted in an FBI inquiry.

It looks like the idea of being able to post such things and have then seen internationally may in fact work as a good method of policing, as long as people can get the neccessary access. Can't stop the signal!

If everyone could film what they're seeing and immediately make it available internationally to all, would that reduce crime in general ? Or would it just make everyone scared to do anything silly?

Actually, it seems that acting on such things is unusual, there is an awful lot of video of police brutality from the US on YouTube, try searching for it. And there are also many examples of why New Zealand Police should not be issued with tazers!

Playstation 3 sells out on release in Japan yesterday

Though seeing as they only had 80,000 units that seems hardly surprising in such a market.

UK Woman charged with terrorism because of computer files

(Reuters)
Police said among the items on the hard drive found in her possession were the Al Qaeda Manual, The Terrorists Handbook, The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, a manual for a Dragunov sniper rifle, The Firearms and RPG Handbook, a manual for a 9mm pistol and a manual on how to win hand to hand fighting.
As the /. commenter said, maybe it's time to delete that old copy of the Anarchist Handbbook you kept about for amusement value... alternatively, maybe it's time that everybody was given copies of these manuals on their hard-drives, whether they want them or not....
And let's hope the "RPG" in the title The Firearms and RPG Handbook is "Rocket-Propelled Grenade, as otherwise it means they think role-playing games are a sign of terrorism!

Robot says : Humans taste like Bacon

Or prosciutto ham. Technology confirms what we've always suspected!

PhilTube

Nov. 1st, 2006 04:25 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Deser Peach)
PhilTube : The Office meets GooTube....

via Gaping Void who also did this recently :



And Kung Fu Monkey has a review of an interesting looking book for budding TV script wriiters

Fruity!

Jul. 6th, 2006 12:37 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Deser Peach)
Another great Trade-Me deal

(Possibly NSFW, but it is just fruit!)

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