Internet I can't put my finger on why I love this article by Max Adams from Silicon Sally. I think it's because when offered the brief to write about women and the internet she spends a thousand words talking about messages in bottles. Yet another example of professional bloginalia.

Wars The Force reports that the queue has started for Episode II. Don't you guys have anything better to do for the next four and half months!?!

Linux Schminux. The only wish list I've ever seen with 'closing remarks'.

Statistics and other nonsense Sorry about the patchy updates over the festive period, but its pleasing to see that the number of people visiting has levelled off at an average thirty hits a day -- I love that so many people care that much, and enjoying what they see. I received a lovely email from the Vodkabird, Vicky: "Just a quick note to say that I've really enjoyed your weblog over the past couple of months, and am sure I'll continue to do so. Your mobile phone story the other day made me laugh so hard, tea came out of my nose." Reading this was the biggest laugh I had that day. In other news, I noticed an upturn in hits from Bloghop. It turns out that 251 people have been nice enough to vote on the site, and I've come out at **** (77%). If this was a degree it would be a First in Bloginalia. 180 people love the site or think it's good. Staggeringly 50 think it sucks -- or is it one person with a grudge?


You know all and see all, but that doesn't prevent you from having a child-like innocence and a playful sense of humor. You obviously think very highly of yourself, but that's okay, everyone does. Told ya God was a woman!!

Journalism The main online news sources which trumpet minute by minute updates are in fact sluggish and often scooped by amateurs, with web-only content being the last priority, is the main jist of this article from the Online Journalism Review: "But sadly, many online news sites are mere repositories for their print edition and serve as short-term archives. Many of the top sites are not even attempting to cover breaking news. With few exceptions, the race among the most-read online news sites has turned into a competition to see which site can post wire copy the fastest." This is a good survey of how a few breaking news stories were covered by the main services.

Music Clicks and Klangs debates the nature of International Jazz with a look at the work coming from South Africa and Bombay. And 'The Fast Show' was completely correct. Direct quote from the article: "But it’s not all cheese-flavoured retro. Grupo Batuque, like Paul Horn, have created a rhythmic melange of percussive sounds from Brazilian, African and Indian sources. Add to this a dirty, sliding acoustic bass with no other augmentation and you have one of the cd’s most compelling tracks."

Obituary Antonio Todde is dead.

Media Danny Kelly has quit the 365 corporation now that its given up its on-line content. Well that's the story. The real news is nestled at the bottom... "Danny Kelly recently signed a deal with the BBC to host a football chat show with Danny Baker on Radio 5 Live." What again? After they said they'd never take Baker back because he was too much of risk? Yes!
Photography Stephen Poliakoff's 'Shooting The Past' was a classic piece of televsion drama about a photography archive under threat from being broken up, the linkages throughout the collection lost. Now the story is being played out for real in the Polaroid archive, a collection of pictures documenting six decades of America's social and artistic history. The parallels are surreal: "So far, its photo collection has been untouched in the corporate foraging through Polaroid's $1.8 billion in assets, and even insiders say it's almost impossible to predict when the pictures might be sold, or to whom, or for how much. Although many curators and collectors agree that the collection is worth millions, there's no estimated value on record, nor even a precise count of how many images Polaroid has—the interns who were doing an inventory have been let go to cut costs." I imagine there's even a Timothy Spall-type ferriting about trying to save everything he can.
Books There is one key phrase which defines me -- "my knowledge is spotty at best." I'm not actually an expert at anything, I just know bits and pieces about everything. A good example is American history. I know roughly how things happened, but not necessarily when and in what order. Which I why, I suppose, in the Waterstone's sale, when faced with great Booker nominated fiction and Terry Pratchett, I took home the somwhat academic 'The Penguin History of the USA' by Hugh Brogan. So whilst everyone else is currently following the geography of Middle Earth for the first time, I'm learning about the history of a real but no less fantastical place.

Pleasingly it follows the brief of it's own title, dealing with The States and not The Americas. The Viking landings to Columbus' 'discovery' are given a chapter, the story only really beginning with the colonisation and founding of Virginia. The next four hundred years are covered in the remaining six hundred and fifty pages.

This will take a while.

I've already been reminded now long ago the first landings actually were -- the white man was already padding about Jamestown when Shakespeare was crafting the canon.

The line which actually led me to purchase the boon is on the final page. It's the last sentence in fact, written two years ago, and will make you shudder, considering the events of the past few months:

"The ship's voyage was indeed endless; but in 1999, looking back, the American people could reasonably feel that they had survived its most dangerous passage; looking forward they could expect to find themselves equal to whatever challenges a new century and new millenium might throw at them."
Blog! Some weblogs have names like 'The Adventures of Accordian Guy in the 21st Century' and can't hope to live up to their name. And then there are weblogs called Joey deVilla's 'The Adventures of Accordian Guy in the 21st Century' which are exactly that. This is a rich concoction of off-beat musicality and the usual bloginalia (I hereby copyright that word, although feel free to use it yourself). Don't miss the exhaustive and exhausting record of every New Year's Eve in Joey's recent history: "I was staying in a short-term-rental apartment near Prague's Old Town and enjoying my vacation. Some very drunk Swedes kept me in beer and sausages (the only items on the menu) at one of the Czech beer halls one night, while at the bartender at the James Joyce stood with me on the bar and did a rousing version of the Proclaimers' 500 Miles. At several pubs, the accordion once again proved its worth as a machine for turning music into free beer and strangers into drinking buddies at several fine local pubs"
Tourism Ground Zero in New York has become the grimmest of tourist attractions. So many people are now visiting the site of the tragedy, people are actually selling maps of the area showing the main points of interest.

"With so much public attention being paid to rebuilding, Kurgan says she wanted to document the site as it is now, creating not only a helpful tool for visitors, but also a series of snapshots of an area changing. "Maps are always political and utilitarian, and sometimes they can be aesthetic," she says. "I suppose this map is all three. But the political aspect is what interests me most. I want to put the emphasis on memory, on thinking about commemoration before thinking about rebuilding."

In many ways this defies belief -- but people do visit other international tragedy centres like Aushwitz so ... this just seems too soon ...
Epilogue Lately I seem to be consumed by the lingering past. The small snow fall on New Year's Eve has stayed on the ground, all frozen, slippy and suspended. Our Christmas decorations still deck the halls a week after the 25th. I'm still eating my chocolate presents. We still have mince pies. The programmes I video'd on Christmas day still linger unwatched. It's as though I'm living an epilogue of a book without a final page, without a definate end.
Quiz What Is Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient? I scored 80% (a minor miracle).
Literature "A lot of my friends have asked me, my friends are scared for me, and so maybe I’m not taking things very seriously. Maybe I should be more concerned about the passion and the intensity that people really, really like my stuff. But, when I meet the people, there’s no sense of lunacy, it’s just that people have found something that they’ve really enjoyed, that totally surprises them. And I don’t think that there’s any lunacy to it other than just an appreciation to something different." 3am Magazine interviews Chuck Palahniuk, author of 'Fight Club'
Advertising I love the free promotional postcards which are given away at cinemas and pubs. But as Brunching Shuttlecocks discovers in Los Angeles, they are something else entirely: "This card features a completely nude Gena Lee Nolin with a bad case of mermaid hair. Now me, I'd consider a primordial rainforest to be a great place to put clothes on, what with the insects and the jaguar scratches and the fish that swim up your urethra."
Astrology Shelley von Strunckel thinks I'm going to have great time -- at the end of the year. And as for the love life: "Initially, giving others the space they need presents a challenge. But whether it's children, colleagues, close friends or romantic ties, your patience pays off, building a new trust." Siberian, man, Siberian.
Blog Barbara Fletcher, one of life's little warriors.
More Life Something for the Weekend's Things that it took me 50 years to learn... "8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy." Too why is it usually me?
Art As a serial appreciater of hip-hop anything which moves it from the natural setting of Mtv and the radio are always of interest. 'The Bronx Museum of the Arts' is currently offering an exhibition which examines hip-hop's impressions on the visual arts. Luciana Lopez reviews for The Art Magazine.
Life Although I have to tell you, I'm greeting 2002 with some foreboding. I remember the Millennium being a great celebration. Everyone spoke about a sense of renewal, of a fresh start, about the world changing. And for whole year, the year 2000, it felt true and right. The world was fixed there wasn’t anything we couldn’t do. And then, almost as a counterpoint to all of our happy feelings, to balance out the world, we had 2001. I sit at the beginning of this year and if I was a betting man, I would say the odds are evens, evil with a slight upper hand. But doesn’t it always?
New Year Happy New Year!