Abusing the Cute

Microsoft is now gunning straight for your clucky/cute genes. Goddamn, if that’s not a dirty trick…

the daily column

Lights Go Down

There’s a song you probably have never heard by Basement Jaxx called Lights Go Down that just has to be heard with the world around you just so – possibly the most ideal would be at sunset, as I’ve experienced it a couple of times while walking home with the lights of the world dimming slowly.

The song doesn’t spend long building – the complexity of the song is there from nigh on the first note, and it remains a beautifully complex song throughout. Were you to seperate out the components, I could easily imagine four, maybe five distinct tracks coming out in the simplest parts of the song, and it is without a doubt one of the finest demonstrations of stereo equipment.

Add to this mix the mysterious voice, slight choral echo and the plain and repeated but haunting lyrics layered on top, this song takes on new dimensions. The lyrics are as simple as the following:

And when the lights go down
That’s when it bites just a little
Bites just a little more
And when the lights go down, down
That’s when I die just a little
Wanna get high just a little more

When the curtain falls
And there’s no more applause
When the party’s over
And there’s no one to hold ya
Look inside yourself and find
Your own light to ease your mind

… and that’s it, just repeated – but not so as you’d notice.

I’ve yet to find a song that can change my mood so drastically. It’s not necessarily change-for-worse, either – there’s almost a happy melancholia to it that means you can take out whatever you want from it. And ultimately, the message is a positive one.

Just thought I’d share :)


Your Voice Now Copyright’d

Authors’ Guild claims copyright on a computer reading a book out loud through text-to-speech:

“They don’t have the right to read a book out loud,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”

What the fug? I hope the cognitive dissonance in this guy’s head didn’t stop him from reading to his kids. If he has any.

asides tech

Kindle 2 Released

Amazon releases the Kindle 2 – I have to say, this looks miles better than the previous model. Ars Technica & NY Times have more – now, when are they bringing this down under?

the daily column

A Couple of Characters

Octavia – a.k.a. Tavia, Tavvie, Tavs; she is 5’4″, olive skinned, dark brunette mid-back-length hair with brown eyes. You wouldn’t call her a model or stand-out beauty, but she has a certain winning quality to her, and a smile that lights up her whole face. Generous and loyal to a fault, occasionally self-absorbed but always has an impeccable memory for friends & acquaintances and their situations. Talkative and decisive, quick to anger but also quick to forgive. Curious about the world, having travelled extensively with parents as a child.

Claudius – a.k.a. Claudio, Dio – never Claude; he is 5’11”, mixed race (North & South European, so not neccessarily an exotic mix), fair-to-olive complexion, black hair of variable length to shoulders depending on style, with grey-blue eyes. Self-conciously handsome, he is shy despite appearing to have all the qualities necessary to behave enitrely the opposite – leads to being a bit of a loner type, few good friends only. Muscled from manual labour helping with the family business, not artificial gym muscles. Slow to anger, but can hold a grudge until payback has been dealt. Free with laughter and quick-witted when comfortable.

Tavia and Dio both need a home in a story – I have had one stewing for the past three months and it has got no further than these two childhood friends bumping into each other and going for a coffee – the dearth o,f story is immense, and finally I have canned it. These are good characters though, who can be pulled & prodded any way you’d like. I reserve the right to use them in a story in future, but for any/all the story writers out there, I’d be pleased to see you use them ( & link us if you do!)


Obama’s Halo


the daily column

Calvin and Hobbes love

This is why I love Calvin and Hobbes.






There’s no other ostensibly kids comic in the world that could do something like that. Just gorgeous.