Film The Matrix Comics (as Graphic Novel) ... is there no end to the merchandising possibilities?
Star Struck I've seen Christopher Biggins on Church Street, Liverpool twice this week. It feels like stalking. I saw John Barnes and his son outside Boots yesterday.
Life Whilst we've been packing I found my christening certificate. And there at the top is my name Ian Stuart Burns.
"Oh," says my Mother, "They got your name wrong - that's what you were baptised under ?"
"WHAT!?!" So my name is Ian.
"No. You're what it says on your birth certificate. Stuart."
Oh, that's comforting. But then I start to wonder what it would have been like if I had spent the past twenty-seven years as an "Ian" Well, it's my father's name, so I'd no doubt have ended up being called Ian Burns Jr (which sounds like a Baseball player). At some point I would have had to insert an 'i' so he spelling became Iain just to be different. But then this would have become the most interesting thing about me as I join a rugby team at university and decide that 'lass' or 'bird' is acceptable description for a female. After a while I would have become a manager of a bank branch who took time off for golf games with my other friends who have pretentious made up spellings for their names and ended life retired swimming around in Bath somewhere. I think I'll stick with Stuart.
News The Hutton Inquiry actually has a website and it makes for fascinating reading. Much of the coverage since the story broke has concentrated upon this one-to-one from the Today programme. It's actually stunning to read how relatively benign the piece is. It's quite balanced, the only gap being the name of the source (who we now have an idea is Dr Kelly). Just goes to underline that if the government hadn't leapt on the story with lots of non-denial denials it probably would have blown over, and would have to be enduring the reconstructions of enquiry on Sky News in which card carryng members of equity pretend to be well known personalities. Can I vote for Jon Culshaw or Rory Bremner to do Tony Blair for them when he's up to give evidence next week?
Two Houses
previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ...

Wierd It can be seen immediately that this is a phone call. (A) tells (B) she has to put an ‘extension’ on hold. There is also a certain amount of verbal freedom exhibited which might not have happened in real life. The conversation about the properties of helium balloons might not have been at such great length if some body language at such great length if some body language had been seen; also telephone conversations tend to end with each party saying ‘good-bye’ many times – each wants the last words but it doesn’t seem as though they are ending the conversation abruptly; there are also some areas which could suggest (B) is on a mobile phone – the importance of the call being taken – mobile phone callers on trips use longer sentences through boredom – whereas (A), possibly in an office uses shorter sentences, perhaps because she is busy – other than her protest about the balloon, her pronouncements are shorter, more direct. But it seems more likely to be a land-line. It’s obvious at the beginning that (A) + (B) are familiar with each other. (B) The simple ‘hello’ is of recognition.

[I found this during my pre-move trall through my college papers. I think it's an analysis of a telephone conversation. I can't remember which course it was for. But for some reason I'm reminded of Kraftwerk and Soderbergh's Schizopolis.]
Blog! A lack of inspiration tonight leads me to casting elsewhere, to my regular reads for your entertainment ...

The Quiet Coach. Innovative concept or waste of pissing time?

Japanese gadget for translating baby cries

Free web books, online [via Wrzl]

Create a clever Rorschach test

1992: Duchess of York in photos row

Gawker Personals: sample: "The five items I can't live without: "Pencils, pin-up art from the '50s, enough money to get home, company, lungs."

A Whole Lotta Wild Chihuahuas

Fun with the Google calculator

Singles gone wild

Who to kill?

I've never had a very high opinion of people who talk loudly in comic stores.

Troll Associates - Computers

Junji Hirayama 's Home Flight Simulator
Quiz! Analysing that last post The Gender Genie has decided that I write like a girl. Not at all surprised or insulted. The accuracy is a bit suspect though. Apparently it's only been correct on 41% of occasions after nearly eight thousand attempts...
Life She sat next to me on the bus.
“Excuse me …" I said. "Sorry … excuse me. Can I ask you a weird question.”
She glances at me.
“Do you know anyone who likes Terry Pratchett?”
“Terry Pratchett. He’s an author.”
“I’m not English … so …”
“It’s just I’ve got a book I want to give away…”
“I mean you can have it anyway if you like.”
“Are you a BookCrosser?”
I grinned (what are the chances).
"You know what that is?"
"But I don't have a book to give to you."
"Doesn't matter."
I handed her the book. She’d heard of the co-author Stephen Briggs.
She’d first heard of BookCrossing six months ago but what with the recent publicity … and we talked all the way home about books and what they can mean. She reminded me a bit of Muriel Hemmingway in Manhatten. I talked about my problem with this book and she explained that she read Chaucer between novels to come down from the experience (which is fabulous by the way, I should try that). It’s weird how talking to someone about the things you like can broaden the soul. And how sometimes doing something impulsively doesn't make you seem very strange (although it might).
TV This looks to my eyes like the new 24, and my kind of television:
"Not as easy to categorize is "Carnivale," which weaves a multi-layered tapestry of stories that threads together science fiction, history and religion. The series also is propelled by two seemingly disparate story lines that never intertwine throughout the first season, a narrative structure that could puzzle viewers, acknowledged Ronald Moore, one of the series' executive producers. "This is not a traditional TV series by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "We're telling a complicated story in a very elliptical, unusual fashion. We're setting the bar pretty high for the audience."
If this is the same Ron Moore who worked on the final few season of Deep Space Nine and made that series a legend, this should be very good. And because it's on HBO it should be given a good airing. [see also the IMDb]
Libraries On a related topic, The Guardian says Libraries blamed for their own decline:
"'The library has the potential to be the 'living room of the city' or a 'club for everyone',' says the report, Better Public Libraries, citing a score of developments as pathfinders for the new approach. 'New libraries should increasingly be long-stay places for students, a safe haven for children, even a home from home. They should include cafes, lounge areas with sofas, and chill-out zones where young people can watch MTV, read magazines and listen to CDs on listening posts.' "
I hope there is some room for books in there. And I'm not being rude, but more often than not library visits can be spoilt by the kids they seem to be wanting to attract -- you're trying to read and three tracksuits are flicking paper at each other or listening to music at twenty decibals through their headphones. Surely the library should be a place to get away from all the things they're mentioning? Or am I missing something? Should libraries be staying open at any cost?
Books After the massive media push motivated by Manchester's Urbis I've joined BookCrossing. The concept is simple and surreal. Once you're read a book you've no intention of reading again, you go to the site, register it, print out a label with a reference number and then release it into the wild -- or in other words, just sort of leave it somewhere for someone else to pick up and enjoy. They will then go to website, register that they've read it then pass it on again.

Since I am in the process of having a clearout in preparation for the big move I'm essentially getting rid of anything I really don't need. There aren't actually that many books I would read over and over. I've always had a very strong recall for most things artistic so I can always remember the experience of reading the book if it was vivid enough. I've also got a lot of books I've bought with good intentions but know I'll never get around to. Like The DiscWorld Companion which you would only need if you're a fan and since Ankh Morpork's passed me by due to a commitment to a certain timelord I might as well leave it somewhere for a real fan to pick up.

At the site a bookshelf is set up where you can list all of the books you're releasing. You can see where I left some of the books so far. Although I'm going to try and keep some fidelity with the concept, today I just made a point of going places. Strangely the only time anyone asked about what I was doing was on the bus home tonight when I left Notes and Queries on my seat as I got up and someone asked if it was mine. I denied all knowledge, but one went to pick it up. I am aware looking at the site that many of the books don't have many more than two or three journalers unless they're being looked at by a reading group, but it's just an exciting thing to do. I'll keep you posted as to how I get on.
Quiz! Have you got good manners? 5 out of 5. I'm such a square.
Film ""Movies are more than a commodity. Movies are to our civilization what dreams and ideals are to individual lives: they express the mystery and help define the nature of who we are and what we are becoming. " Frank Pierson's emotional commencement address to the 2003 USC film school graduating class, which illuminates the gulf between the hollywood system and the state of affairs which exists now. Katherine Hepburn made some bad films and still managed to become legendary; Jason Lee makes one or two and suddenly he's over.
Fashion The other fair trade Safia Minney is the founder of The People Tree, a new label which has been set up using the Fair Trade principles seen in other industries such as coffee and tea, which seeks to return more of the profit to the producers in the third world cutting out the intermediary.
"Therefore, People Tree begins with the producer, based in India, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nepal, Peru and another 12 countries. Realizing that many of its poorer producer nations have traditional skills, it seeks to combine them with consumer-pleasing design. Added to this is the company's strict environmental policy. 'using organic cotton in 60 per cent of our clothing, and non-carcinogenic (azo-free) dyes and natural dyes throughout,' said Minney."
This is a cracking idea, and the designs are splendid drawing on the origins of the producing nations but still keeping the high street firmly in focus.