August 31st, 2007
Posted in Funny
I still maintain that the best Simpsons episodes were those little ones interspersed within the old Tracey Ullman Show. But maybe it’s just because I’m bitter that it was cancelled, more than a decade ago. Perhaps I should get over it.
Anyway, I did a thing, because, well, everyone else was.
I don’t think it really looks that much like me, but it’s kinda funny. This character would be the guy that shows up at Homer’s door, claiming (in an outrageously fake English accent) to be the seventh Earl of Robson. Hilarity ensues.
August 29th, 2007
Posted in Art'n'Design, Geek
I’m sitting at the Railway Hotel in South Melbourne, waiting for my mate Gary to show up (bastard is late!), and read about this article about data visualisation on Guy Kawasaki’s blog. I haven’t even finished reading it yet, and I want to share it with you, gentle reader. For an information visualisation geek like me, it’s pure joy.
PS: There’s free wireless at the Railway. Hooray!
August 28th, 2007
Posted in Culture & Trash
In 1453, Constantinople fell (I say it tripped, other people say it was pushed) and it became Istanbul. A few hundred years later, a song was written about it, even though it was nobody’s business but the Turks’.
But that’s not what this is about.
I have two simple questions, gentle reader, and I shall list them here.
- If Peking is now Beijing, why isn’t the lovely waterfowl meal now called “Beijing Duck”?
- If Bombay is now Mumbai, why isn’t that spectacular film genre now called “Mollywood”?
I thank you for your kind attention. Please, continue your day, and do not let this quandary lay heavily upon your heart.
August 26th, 2007
Posted in Culture & Trash
For reasons that escape me right now, I found myself reading an extensive article about magician Ricky Jay. I first heard of him from one of the many David Mamet films that feature him in a supporting role. He’s worked in the entertainment industry for quite some time now, and has several interesting friends – including one Steve Martin. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a fan of Martin’s. I think it was LA Story that did it, really. That, and his assembled book of short essays called Pure Drivel. He seems to understand the necessary balance between scholatship and sillyness (something the gents from Monty Python also groked). Unfortunately, lately, he seems to have been doing a lot more of the silly – or, more accurately (and sadly) – banal. Oh well, it pays the bills, I suppose.
Anyway, when I learnt that Ricky Jay and Steve Martin collaborated on a comedy sketch about magic, I just had to see it. Luckily, Google and one of those video-sharing sites came to the rescue. So now, I present to you, gentle reader: The Great Flydini!
The Great Fyndini – Celebrity bloopers here
August 12th, 2007
Posted in Art'n'Design
The New York Times has a lovely in-depth story about the creation of the Clearview font – a font that is starting to adorn US highway signs. It’s a twisty tale that starts (as many twisty tales do) in the state of Oregon, and winds its way across that country, ultimately ending in a story that will subtly affect the entire place. I never really liked the US highway signs. They looked, in comparison to the Canadian ones, a bit dopey. Their penchant for using the abbreviation “No” for “North” would also lead to such brilliant signs as “Fort Lewis (left arrow). No Fort Lewis (right arrow)”. I’ve got a picture someplace, I’m sure.
I wonder how many people will notice the change. People don’t think about signage systems that much (I think I’m some kind of weird exception), but they permeate our lives, almost subconsciously. I remember when Vancouver changed the font of their street signs, from a rather boring all-caps white-on-black, to a system of mixed-case signs, with individual colour accents depending on the neighbourhood. Very nice indeed. Melbourne’s
public transport system re-signed everything about 2 or 3 years ago. Train stations, tram stops and bus stops all got a uniform system of signage. Now if only they could work on the capacity issues…