Archive for March, 2009

2007 Booker/Pulitzer/IMPAC Winners

12:32 31 Mar 2009

Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2007: The Gathering, Anne Enright.
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2007: The Road, Cormac McCarthy.
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2007: Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson.

I read The Gathering and Out Stealing Horses this month, and read The Road in August 2008.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

Hudson on Financing the Empire

23:55 30 Mar 2009

Michael Hudson’s Counterpunch article on how the USA’s global economic hegemony functions, and how it relates to the current international economic climate, is worth reading.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

The Tendrils Reaching, Reaching

22:11 29 Mar 2009

Despite the light-hearted tone, I found this rather creepy to watch; difficult not to anthropomorphize the coil and the way it really seemed to be trying to reach the person in the cage.

Permalink     Comment     []    

2008 Booker/Pulitzer/IMPAC Winners

23:37 27 Mar 2009. Updated: 00:39 28 Mar 2009

Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008: The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga.
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2008: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz.
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2008: De Niro’s Game, Rawi Hage.

I read The White Tiger in December, De Niro’s Game in January, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in February.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

Book Divestment

23:53 26 Mar 2009. Updated: 01:05 27 Mar 2009

Having decided a while back that I would, today I finally got rid of some books by selling them, first at Moe’s and then the remainder at Half Price Books. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can even contemplate getting rid of books, but I came up with a single criterion that I find extremely useful: for each book, I ask myself whether I would want to buy it if I didn’t already have it, and if the answer is no, I put it in the “get rid of” pile.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, ]    

If You Watch Just One Deliberately Too-Long Horror Movie Parody Trailer This Year…

11:59 24 Mar 2009

Make sure it’s this one:

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

WP Plugins: Recent Commentary and Show Tags in RSS

19:38 23 Mar 2009

I finally got around to writing up docs for, and then packaging, the two WordPress plugins I’ve finished recently:

I’m currently looking at support for series in WordPress, and am considering either writing my own plugin or using/forking the Organize Series plugin.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    

The Gods Themselves Review

20:02 22 Mar 2009. Updated: 10:13 27 Mar 2009

Isaac Asimov wrote The Gods Themselves in 1972, and it was the only one of his novels to win the Nebula award, as well as being the only one to win the Nebula/Locus/Hugo triple. I read it as a teenager, and read it again recently because of its “triple crown” winner status.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , ]    

Ringworld Review

14:03 20 Mar 2009. Updated: 12:54 12 Oct 2009

Larry Niven’s Ringworld, written in 1970, is considered a classic work of science fiction and is the first book to have won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards (and was also the first recipient of the Locus). I read it as part of my plan to read all of the eleven “triple crown” winners this year.

Permalink     4 Comments     [, , , ]    

Some RSS Changes

19:44 19 Mar 2009

I’ve made some changes to my Related Posts by Tags plugin, so that it’s now possible to add the list of related posts to the RSS feed entries. As I was experimenting with this, I realized that I wanted the RSS entries to show the tags for a post as well, so I wrote a (very simple) plugin to do that, too.

As a result, those of you reading this via RSS will now see a list of tags at the end of posts, followed by links to related posts. Please let me know if this doesn’t work as intended, or if you have other comments on the change.

Permalink     5 Comments     [, , , , ]    

Dream About Irish Education/Politics

17:57 17 Mar 2009

In this dream, I was apparently some kind of education official. Not an elected representative, but some kind of bureaucrat or “expert” in the education field. I was invited to participate in a major discussion by a politician (I think a Minister) who looked rather like a 40-year-old Séamus Brennan.

Permalink     2 Comments     [, ]    

xkcd on Dreams

23:51 16 Mar 2009

I don’t remember seeing this xkcd before. I like it.

(In my current mental state, however, I’m unable to not note that the message of the comic is a hell of a lot easier to act on when your status or privilege is above a certain level, and that horrifically, there are still lots of people on this planet for whom the first panel’s advice actually makes a great deal of sense if you replace “when a future employer” with “who”. For the majority of people who are likely to read this, though, the overall message likely holds.)

Permalink     2 Comments     [, , ]    

Three Articles by Hanna Rosin

12:37 15 Mar 2009

I’d never heard of Hanna Rosin before this morning, when some random tweet-following led me to three of her articles for The Atlantic. This is not an endorsement of The Atlantic, or Hanna Rosin, or the articles, but rather my noting that I found each of them rather interesting and that I don’t quite know what to think about some of the questions raised in them.

The Case Against Breastfeeding.

A Boy’s Life.

American Murder Mystery.

Permalink     3 Comments     [, , ]    

Some Thoughts on Racism and Science Fiction/Fantasy

17:16 13 Mar 2009

I’ve been reading a lot about this recently. I’m not sure why, although some of it is due to looking around for info around when I was coincidentally writing up my Fantasy World Sketch. Some of it is due to just happening to run into the edges of a larger discussion taking place mostly on LiveJournal.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , , ]    

Yahoo!’s Website Performance Rules

16:32 12 Mar 2009. Updated: 02:38 15 Mar 2009

While I’m familiar with a lot of them, I’d never actually read Yahoo!’s performance recommendations. They’re clearly laid out, with lots of good information in there. I should have a look at changing some of my own stuff into CSS sprites, as well as some of the other suggestions—these rules make a difference to users even on sites like mine.

Except for those of you who read all this via RSS, of course.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

Violence in the Watchmen Movie

20:21 10 Mar 2009

I don’t have much of a problem with film violence generally, and appreciate good fight scenes, but found myself disturbed by the Watchmen movie’s treatment of them.

Permalink     3 Comments     [, , ]    

Fantasy World Sketch

23:58 09 Mar 2009. Updated: 01:10 15 Nov 2009

Over the last three weeks ideas about a setting for a fantasy roleplaying campaign have been popping into my head. I haven’t really wanted to work on this, especially since I don’t intend to run a campaign anytime in the near future (although doing so remains tempting), but I had to write some of them down, and now I feel I should outline the major points of this setting, just to get them out there.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

Stalin Versus Martians

22:19 08 Mar 2009

I wonder if this game was created just to garner attention on blogs, because, well, with a name like Stalin vs. Martians it seems impossible not to mention it. I do have qualms about the treatment of Stalin, given his responsibility for horrific atrocities, but the trailer seems to make him look pretty ridiculous in some ways. (The developers address this issue in their FAQ.)

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

Chris Gay, Tennessee Outlaw

17:49 06 Mar 2009

Apparently the modern-day version of outlaw living includes stealing a country singer‘s tour bus while on the run… and escaping from custody repeatedly. Maybe he deserves punishment for fraud, but I hope a) that he doesn’t get killed (he’s been designated “armed and dangerous” despite there being no evidence he has weapons) and b) that he makes a boatload of cash from the movie apparently being made about his exploits.

My favorite part of the article:

After being nabbed for stealing an RV in Alabama, Gay was being extradited to Tennessee to face the bulldozer charge when he escaped the first time, using a paper clip hidden in his mouth to unshackle himself from both handcuffs and leg irons.

During his 2007 run, he stole Gayle’s tour bus not by hotwiring it, but by walking into the management company’s office and asking for the keys. “He hasn’t gotten through life killing people, but outwitting them,” says Prof. Mihm.
—Patrik Jonsson, Tennessee’s ‘Little Houdini’ revives the outlaw legend, Christian Science Monitor, 9 Mar 2009

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

Saturday Morning Watchmen

23:38 05 Mar 2009. Updated: 00:42 06 Mar 2009

Thanks to Micah for sending me the link to this clip. As I said to him, I think it might offer a glimpse into Alan Moore’s personal hell:

Permalink     Comment     []    

Team Fortress 2 First Impressions

18:05 03 Mar 2009

I recently started playing Team Fortress 2 at the insistence of some former Nimblefish colleagues, and am finding it a lot of fun so far, despite being rather bad at it.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

Hexstatic SF4 Music Vid

16:59 02 Mar 2009

I like Hexstatic, and I love Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but I can’t decide whether this promo vid Hexstatic did for Street Fighter IV is retro-ish fun or just terrible phone-it-in paid work:

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

Flash Game: Mirror’s Edge 2D

23:54 01 Mar 2009. Updated: 02:59 02 Mar 2009

I’ve never played Mirror’s Edge, a kind of futuristic FPS-derived game of anti-totalitarian parkour, but the 2D Flash version is pretty good, and makes me think I might want to.

Permalink     Comment     []