Saturday, 29 September 2007

Gallery of illustrated book endpapers

View more here.

Courtesy of BoingBoing.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Chuckler Gadget: Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock

heh heh :D

"First off there’s an ear-deafening, neighbor-angering 113db alarm that will go off when it’s time to get up. Keep in mind that a jet taking off 200 feet away is rated at 120db so if you don’t end up having a heart attack odds are the alarm will wake you up. But if for some reason that still proves ineffective there’s also a ’super-charged’ bed shaker you place under your pillow that will basically shake you awake and guarantee you’ll be in a great mood the rest of the day."

More here at OhGizmo!

Beijing: Cops target Africans in Punchup


"A hazy picture of a police round-up of black people in Beijing's Sanlitun is emerging today. The full details are not fully known, but foreigners are starting to wonder if this fits into a pre-existing prejudice against black people by some Chinese. For those who have lived in China it is pretty clear that a fair amount of racism exists. Locals frequently throw unpleasant remarks awkwardly into conversations, but ignorant words and actions are quite different matters.

This weekend there were allegations that Beijing police beat up numerous dark-skinned people in city’s Sanlitun area and I am curious as to whether this reflects a broader trend in society, or if it was simply a drug sweep carried out by poorly-trained officers."

Read the entire post here. (SCMP text extracted in one of the comments).

See also on Africabeat (and the links within comments). Including one to a report by Reuters Africa.

On eBay: Greenberg's graphic adaptation of The Great Gatsby

I'm not familiar with the seller but it appears to be an ok bet (99.2% positive feedback from 117 transactions).

Buy here.

More about the book here and here.

Ruddy's Zhongwen Gaffe

Sure, it happened back in '84 but it's still funny :D

"In fact, Rudd's Mandarin-speaking ability has come a long way since his early days as a diplomat in Beijing. In 1984, when translating then Ambassador Ross Garnaut's remarks to a Chinese delegation that "Australia and China were enjoying a great closeness in their relationship", Rudd is reported to have said "Australia and China are enjoying simultaneous orgasms in their relationship".

Hat tip to Danwei.

Now, if only we could find a recording...

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Hero News: Book on Charles Feeney

I first read about Feeney a number of years ago in Time, and have been a fan ever since. He doesn't appear in the news too often (spotted an article about him in the local Melbourne newspapers one year when he attempted to sneak into town to investigate potential recipients of his philanthropy).

Now, finally, we can learn more about this legend in the book, "The Billionaire Who Wasn't".

Classic Feeney: "If I can get a watch for $15 that keeps perfect time, what am I doing messing around with a Rolex?"

Read reviews of the book here.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Gimme Gadget: Infinite memory daisy chain

"The snake-like, flexible design is called Memory Infinite. As you daisy chain one to the next, their storage capacity increases; keep adding drives until you have neither more nor less than is required."

Courtesy of Gizmodo.

Solar Sailor!


"Solar Sailor is an Australian invention that can right now be found sailing Sydney Harbour, a hybrid powered boat design that allows solar and wind energy to be harvest via its 'solar wing' for big enviro/financial energy savings. This tech has the potential to scale for use on ferries, cruisers, yachts, and even large tankers."

More at Gizmodo.

WSJ editor's Kmart smackdown


"As soon as we stepped outside the store, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to face a serious-faced young man who identified himself as store security and asked me to step back inside. When he said the shoes I'd purchased were in the wrong box, I followed him inside, promising my family I'd be right back.

Instead, I was led to a windowless security room in the back of the store, detained for an hour and accused of deliberately switching a more expensive item into a cheaper box. The adult flip-flops, it turned out, were $24.50, and the box had been for a child's size nine, with a $16.50 price. My stunned protestations and explanations were summarily dismissed. My driver's license and credit card were temporarily confiscated, I was told to expect a civil notice of a fine by mail, and finally, I was advised never to return to the store."

Full story here. (Courtesy of BoingBoing)

The hazards of traveling to the U.S.

"Nalini Ghuman, an up-and-coming musicologist and expert on the British composer Edward Elgar, was stopped at the San Francisco airport in August last year and, without explanation, told that she was no longer allowed to enter the United States.

Ms. Ghuman, an assistant professor at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who is British and who had lived, studied and worked in this country for 10 years before her abrupt exclusion.

...Ms. Ghuman’s descent into the bureaucratic netherworld began on Aug. 8, 2006, when she and Mr. Flight returned to San Francisco from a research trip to Britain. Armed immigration officers met them at the airplane door and escorted Ms. Ghuman away.

In a written account of the next eight hours that she prepared for her lawyer, Ms. Ghuman said that officers tore up her H-1B visa, which was valid through May 2008, defaced her British passport, and seemed suspicious of everything from her music cassettes to the fact that she had listed Welsh as a language she speaks. A redacted government report about the episode obtained by her lawyer under the Freedom of Information Act erroneously described her as “Hispanic.”

Held incommunicado in a room in the airport, she was groped during a body search, she said, and was warned that if she moved, she would be considered to be attacking her armed female searcher. After questioning her for hours, the officers told her that she had been ruled inadmissible, she said, and threatened to transfer her to a detention center in Santa Clara, Calif., unless she left on a flight to London that night."

Full story here. (Courtesy of BoingBoing).


Airport cops' database includes your reading material

John Gilmore and Bill Scannell have used Freedom of Information requests to show that the US airport screeners are creating records of the race, personal possessions and reading material of the travelers they pull over for secondary screening."

More here.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Finding joy

Nice one from Houston about the lovely G, who dared.

Always nice when good things happen to good people.

Related links:

"You've got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don't settle." Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement 2005.

See also Guy Kawasaki's advice on pursuing joy.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Offenders forced to listen to Barry Manilow

lol :D

"Judge Paul Sacco, who carries out the punishment about four times per year, said the sentenced fit the crime.

"When you have a person playing rap at extreme volumes all over the city, and they have to sit down and listen for an hour to Barry Manilow, its horrible punishment," he said."

More here.

Courtesy of StumbleUpon.

Your Jackson Pollock

My Jackson Pollock

Create yours here.

Click to change colour. Right click (or hold the Function key on Macs) to lift the 'nib'.

Preparing for Talk Like a Pirate Day

Friday, 14 September 2007

Lending Club breaks $1 million, expanding

"Lending Club, the Facebook exclusive person-to-person lending service has passed the $1 million mark in loans to Facebook users.

The milestone comes just short of 3 months since the the site hit the $100,000 mark, and 3 1/2 months since going live as an original Facebook Platform partner.

Lending Club will also announce today that it is expanding beyond Facebook and will now offer similar ways to connect borrowers and lenders through thousands of alumni associations and professional organizations via"

More at TechCrunch.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Google takes on Facebook

"Google is going after Facebook. A leaked video contains details on Google's plans to integrate a number of its offerings (think Picasa, GTalk, Calendar, Reader and more) into what the movie refers to as "activity streams." Activity streams can be subscribed to by friends, creating a way to track and update what you and your friends are up to, à la Facebook's feeds."

More at Wired.

Mars Rovers back online!


Dust settles. Back in rovin action!

"NASA's Opportunity Mars rover took a first tentative step into the planet's Victoria Crater Tuesday, at the beginning of a risky trek that could spell trouble for the little explorer. The mission has been on hold during dust storms the last two months, and the rover is now headed into the half-mile-wide crater. Researchers hope to examine formations in the crater that may give them new information about the Mars atmosphere from millions of years ago."

More at Wired.

Salt Water Fuel!

*fingers crossed*

"John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn.

The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel."

More at LiveScience.

China Shenanigans: Ministry of Reincarnation


"In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

More at BoingBoing

Courtesy of Houston.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Gimme Gadget: In-Flight Gadget Power

"The Inflight USB Power Unit connects directly to the headphone jack found in the armrests of most commercial airplane seats and passes power to your gadgets via a USB connection."

This is cool and all but er... if every passenger has one of these, what does that do to the staying-in-the-air business?

More info at Lifehacker.

How and Why to Power Nap

"Contrary to popular opinion, napping isn't for the lazy or depressed. Famous nappers have included Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison. The moral of the story: to be ultra-productive, just rest your head. You snooze, you gain."

I can't see this taking off in the office. Oh well, I'll be hitting the caffeine until it happens.

More info at Lifehacker.

Shinjuku: 35 years in 10 seconds

Courtesy of BoingBoing.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Nicki Greenberg's The Great Gatsby, launched!

Congratulations, Nicki, on your amazing achievement! The launch, with the 200+ fans celebrating with you, was truly fantastic!

Read more about the launch here.

Read more about Nicki's little gem here.



Must.... not..... get........ sucked into.......... gadget porn.....

More gadget porn here.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Hawking's SF Trilogy For Younguns

Cool! Will have to check this one out me thinks.

More info at BoingBoing.

Scribbling: Scoots and the Flamer

Years upon years ago, I used to get my hands dirty in art. Oils, inks, pencils, charcoal, I gave them a go and had a great time with it all. However, I tended to feel frustrated when an image I conjured in my mind didn't quite translate onto the canvas or paper. Slowly, over time, I drew less often and stopped painting. But, I've often felt that art was something I needed to get back into.

In the last year, I have discovered, in a relatively short space of time, the likes of Robert Ingpen, Shaun Tan, David Mack, Nicki Greenberg and Eddie Campbell. The nudge to pick up the pens and pencils has gradually grown stronger ever since. So last night, I finally picked up my pencils again and trotted out a quick sketch of the images that had come to mind as I read a flamer's comments on Nicki's blog.

It isn't quite what I had in my mind but it will do for now. I hope with hard work and deliberate practice, the mind-hand disconnect, as Nicki so aptly puts it, will be cured.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Words that I can learn from

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” -Goethe

Courtesy of Grinda.

Secrets of Greatness

Just found a great article I read some time ago courtesy of Scooterboy, which was quoted by his father at our wedding :) I chanced upon it again at Fabrice Grinda's site.

"Research now shows that the lack of natural talent is irrelevant to great success. The secret? Painful and demanding practice and hard work...

...Maybe we can't expect most people to achieve greatness. It's just too demanding. But the striking, liberating news is that greatness isn't reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone."

A darn good read. What it takes to be great.


Nice one from Fabrice Grinda.

"Most people, through a combination of education and genes, have a set level of happiness. While circumstances may change that level, we usually revert back to our mean.

Despite that, there are 10 things you can do to improve your mean level of happiness. They sound artificial, but they work.

So the 10 things are:...."

Listed here.

Saturday, 1 September 2007


Battersea by Hooverphonic

One of my fave songs set to oarsome CGI. Shweeet!