Monday, July 25, 2005

Leave now, and never come back 

No, no, no - you don't want to be here. This is the old blog, the less good blog. You want to be at the nice pretty shiny new blog.

That's right. The new blog. The new blog. Keep saying it. New. New. New.

You feel a lot better now.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Staircase zen 

One of those brief moments of realisation, the sort that location scouts for major films dread...


Batman Begins. The Spice Girls' video for Wannabe. Same staircase. As my grandmammy used to say, "it's all wired up to the moon."

(via a comment on Tom Coates' blog, where more pictures reside)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

From A to Z 

Meme of the day seems to be "what's the first url to come up when you type each letter of the alphabet into your address bar?" Well... - the super-geeky film news site - predictably - Getty Images, used for work - the Gawker Media behemoth's hypersnarky Hollywood gossip site - home site of Tracy, the Monkeybashi of Monkeyfilter, narrowly beating Wikipedia's English-language site - me - somewhat predictably, narrowly beating Gmail. I don't actually go the the main Google page much, what with the search box in Firefox - Odd... I don't use Hotmail. I think this might be other people using my computer - the witty and erudite linguistics group blog - Transport for London's journeyplanner, somewhat unreliable, but still indespensable - that "make your own Conservatives poster" thing - another great linguistics site from a well-known MeFi/MoFi elder - MoFi - predictably - damn funny cartoon strip - the Channel4 press site, job-related - Chris narrowly beats Questionable Content - film review aggregator with excellent coverage and horrible design - Urban Legends debunkathon - film news and opinion blog - IMDb's British version - publicity site for the excellent film Bullet Boy - better known as BabelFish - nowhere near as dodgy as that url would suggest. Just click (SFW)... - I don't use Yahoo. Might be due to looking for their press office around the time they bought Flickr - some guy's review of Sin City. I guess I don't visit many sites that begin with z...

And a quick breakdown:
Film related sites - 7 (26.9%)
Language related sites - 3 (11.5%)
Very widely read news-type sites - 3 (11.5%)
Journalism-specific sites - 2 (7.7%)
Sites I write on - 2 (7.7%)
Friend's sites - 2 (7.7%)
Well-known sites I never use and I don't know why they're there - 2 (7.7%)
Sites I've only visited once but were the only things that came up when I typed in the letter - 2 (7.7%)
Sites essential to living in London - 1 (3.8%)
Urban legends - 1 (3.8%)
Comics - 1 (3.8%)

Which I think sums up my life quite accurately.

Thursday, April 14, 2005



Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Linguists are simultaneously great and scary (in that sense, they're like a stranger giving you sweets). There is nothing in human speech they won't analyse, in painstaking detail, for

a) the quiet satisfaction of contributing to the noble march of human knowledge


b) shits and giggles.

Exhibit A: Reduplication in English Homeric Infixation, by Alan C. L. Yu (PDF, medium size, trends away from comprehensibility). Homeric infixation is a very complex, precise and highly technical linguistic term, meaning "when Homer Simpson puts the syllable ma into words like saxo-ma-phone".

Now, this is great, because I just spent the best part of half an hour thinking about how Homer Simpson talks, and how I talk, and how it is that it's nearly impossible to Homerically infixate either the word "Homeric" or (to a lesser extent) "infixation". Infixamacation is how the latter comes out, but it doesn't occur very naturally. "Homeric", I believe to be impossible in any meaningful sense. Anyway, that's why it's great.

It's scary, because of the subtle but forceful hint that YOU ARE A ROBOT AND THESE PEOPLE ARE LEARNING HOW TO REPROGRAM YOU.

That's all.

Via this, which is great, via here. See also the great multi-blog series of posts on Marge's vocalised frustration.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Painfully obvious 

Everybody's got one right now, you know...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I'm aware that I haven't updated in many's a long day - suffice to say, I'm a little busy right now. Apologies. I break my silence now merely to point out that, while Language Log has long been one of the very best sites on the internet (never mind one of the greatest blogs), it's been on god damned fire recently. And that's without even talking about Dan Brown.

From Mark Liberman's analysis of the reporting of Glaswegian dialect, to John McWhorter's astonishing hypothesis regarding hobbits and language on Flores, to Geoff Pullum's whimsical adventures into Seussian territory... it's the most interesting, educational, fun, serious, scholarly and light-hearted read on the web.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

"You have brontosaurs. This is good." 

"...Everything should have more iconographic brontosaurs."

Monday, February 21, 2005

"You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't, you're gonna have me on your hands." 

"We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60's. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America selling "consciousness expansion" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously... All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel."


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Miserable thought of the day 

Hey, says somebody-or-other, what if Calvin had been diagnosed with ADHD? Then they remix an old strip to show us.

This tiny death of childhood's innocent wonder brought to you via MoFi.

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