A Calendar of Tales →
Twelve shorts by Neil Gaiman based on prompts people sent him on Twitter. Part of a marketing campaign by Blackberry, fine by me. [PDF Download]
The Clock in the Mountain →
There is a Clock ringing deep inside a mountain. It is a huge Clock, hundreds of feet tall, designed to tick for 10,000 years. Every once in a while the bells of this buried Clock play a melody. Each time the chimes ring, it’s a melody the Clock has never played before. The Clock’s chimes have been programmed to not repeat themselves for 10,000 years. Kevin Kelly on the Long Now...
Stuxnet Q&A →
Fascinating details about the worm in F-secure’s standard no-nonsense format. Excerpts: Q: Which factory is it looking for? A: We don’t know. Q: Has it found the factory it’s looking for? A: We don’t know. Q: What would it do if it finds it? A: It makes complex modifications to the system. Results of those modifications can not be detected without seeing the actual...
The Vulture Transcript: William Gibson →
Brilliant interview with William Gibson, where he holds forth on Twitter vs Facebook (‘the street’ vs ‘the mall’), the world of things, terrorism, branding, post-nationalism, and the Tea Party.
A distant sparkling eruption of diamonds →
“My God, It’s full of stars!”
speech accent archive →
An audio archive produced by a linguistics program at the George Mason university, illustrating a large collection of English accents. CC-licensed and everything.
March to Keep Fear Alive: America, the Greatest Country God ever gave Man, was built on three bedrock principles: Freedom. Liberty. And Fear — that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty. Also: Rally to Restore Sanity.
Next Nature intro by Bruce Sterling →
Bruce Sterling’s very very meaty essay on ways of thinking about nature and technology, introducing the idea of ‘Next Nature’. Lots of good stuff in there, worth chewing over slowly and coming back to later. Excerpts: We’re especially guarded about our most pious, sentimentalized notions of Nature. Nature as a nurturing entity that is harmonious, calm, peaceful, inherently...
Blade Runner: Hades Landscape →
Douglas Trumbull, special fx supervisor for the movie, explains how the opening scenes of Blade Runner were shot. There are some other cool videos at http://douglastrumbull.com/videos.
Get Lamp: An Interactive Review →
Rob O’hare reviews Jason Scott’s interactive fiction documentary, Get Lamp. The review is a playable text adventure.
Nostos: A Story of Exile and Homesickness →
Tim Carmody’s magnificent rambling and interconnected piece he wrote for the new made-in-48-hours magazine, Longshot. Just look at this first paragraph: Punk rock and comparative philology were both invented in Germany about 150 years apart. This story is about how you go from one to the other in two moves, by way of Istanbul and the Mississippi Delta. First, though, you need to know...
What’s a Cyborg? →
This is exactly how I think of technology and human beings.
Supernova Spews Its Guts Across Space →
FYI: The future is here when you can watch a time-lapse video of a Supernova explosion.
Subutai Corporation →
New publishing startup for ‘post-book publishing and storytelling’, by Neal Fracking Stephenson. The first project is a serialized digital novel called The Mongoliad (previously).
Google’s Earth →
This is ridiculously cool. William Gibson on Google: Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison design is a perennial metaphor in discussions of digital surveillance and data mining, but it doesn’t really suit an entity like Google. Bentham’s all-seeing eye looks down from a central viewpoint, the gaze of a Victorian warder. In Google, we are at once the surveilled and the individual retinal cells of the...
Lovely short by David Mitchell. See also: the more recently published Muggins Here.
Gandhi’s voice: I do dimly perceive that...
The vanished gardens of Cordoba →
“It’s why we have blogs, people.”
Schneier: A Revised Taxonomy of Social Networking... →
ACQUINE: Automatic Photo Rating - Aesthetic... →
Promises: “Instant Impersonal Assessment of Photo Aesthetics”. Also: “At the moment, Acquine cannot understand the great complexity of our human society and should not be used for assessing photos with a lot of cultural meanings.”
I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like... →
Cthulhu fan-fic by Neil Gaiman.
Education | FontShop →
Typography tips from FontShop.
Big Contrarian → Pictures. →
On memory vs photographs. However: youngmenowme.
Douglas Hofstadter - Person Paper on Purity in... →
A very Mark Twain satirical piece by Hofstadter, masterful and deft. Most of the clamor,as you certainly know by now, revolves around the age-old usage of the noun “white” and words built from it, such as chairwhite, mailwhite, repairwhite, clergywhite, middlewhite, Frenchwhite, forewhite, whitepower, whiteslaughter, oneupuwhiteship, straw white, whitehandle, and so on. The negrists...
All Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online →
Scientists crack chemical code that controls... →
Excerpt: They’ve identified a protein that tells bacteria in a colony to halt their forward march when antibiotics are present, waiting until the coast is clear before resuming the infection. The finding shows how bacteria outmaneuver antibiotics in the body to continue infecting an organ even after treatment, but it also pinpoints a vulnerability that researchers may be able to exploit to...
Banana equivalent dose →
So today I learned that bananas are naturally radioactive. I think this is significant, somehow.
The Most Influential SF Movie Never Made →
Jodorowsky’s Dune adaptation as the proto-SF movie: Here’s a list of the movies those five artists would work on, together or separately. Each of these movies owes a visual debt to a movie that was never made. Star Wars Alien (the entire team would go on to work on this film) Blade Runner Tron The Abyss The Fifth Element Heavy Metal Conan the Barbarian The Last Starfighter Back...
How do they get to be that way? →
Poignant meditation on understanding racism, but this is what stuck with me: When I proposed marriage to Chaz, it was because of the best possible reason: I wanted to be married to this woman. Howard Stern asked me on the radio one day if I thought of Chaz as being black every time I looked at her. I didn’t resent the question. Howard Stern’s gift is the nerve to ask personal...
Netflix Instant Play Picks o' the Moment →
A blog curating good content in the Netflix streaming catalogue.
“an independent and open tool for scanning your Facebook privacy settings”.
Sorry, Mom! →
Pictory makes me misty-eyed every time.
I wish I could hate Doctor Who.– Terry Pratchett
“Did it ever occur to you that even the most... →
So who would want to be a journalist? It has always been work for the strong-hearted, the bull-headed and the hopelessly romantic. People do this work because they love it. They love telling stories, however grim, seamy, or heartbreaking. In fact, the more heartbreaking the better. But here’s a story that every working journalist, or would-be journalist, should hold in mind. Years ago, when a...
“Joe Heller” by Kurt Vonnegut
True story, Word of Honor: Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island. I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22′ has earned in its entire history?” And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.” And I said, “What on...