Rachel's Blog

Tue, 31 Oct 2006
Family First; technological literacy last.

Go here (try not to flinch), click on Blog Entries (the white text in the blue banner), and tell them what you really think!
Too much fun.

(thanks, anonymous LJer!)

Edit: The "feature" has been disabled. According to this Age article it was the work of a hacker that freely allowed anonymous posting to the Family First blog.

Edit #2: Anthony, Damien and Kyle have gone further in on this one, taking screenshots, talking to Senator Fielding and being sensibly critical.

Mon, 30 Oct 2006
Whitney Music Box

a musical realization of the motion graphics of john whitney as described in his book "digital harmony"

I like to call it "sounds and patterns that will either evoke 70s sci-fi films or melt your brain".
Very cool.

(via Crooked Timber)

Fri, 27 Oct 2006
Fiction; Hemingway-style.

Lots of people have jumped on the six-word story bandwagon, including me:

Egg donor wanted: Near-human preferred.
Pluto unappreciated. Seeks new solar system.
I'm not your mother, am I?

The hardest part really is getting the six words to tell a story rather than just evoke an emotion or be a clever quip as capnoblivious has mentioned. The advertising format ("For sale:..." "Egg donor wanted:...") seems to be the easiest to work with because the language is already in a clipped style. Similarly straightforward is the headline style of poor unappreciated Pluto. It's easy to write a story in a sort of shorthand, such as "Cold call. Life insurance? Too late." but it then ceases to be something that is pleasant to read.

I think my favourite of the Wired stories is Eileen Gunn's, because it doesn't rely on any of those tricks.

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?

There must be something in the question-with-no-answer story, but I'm not sure I've got it with my attempt.

Wed, 25 Oct 2006
Abbey wants...

For those whom it concerns, Abbey's Amazon wishlist has been updated. Not much on it, but at least a few things that can be found locally. Remember it's only if you really need to buy her something but you're really stuck. Gifts are never compulsory.

Tue, 24 Oct 2006
Wired: Free brevity laden science fiction
Fri, 20 Oct 2006
Event: Shaun Tan discusses The Arrival

I just heard on Triple R that Shaun Tan will be discussing his latest work The Arrival at Dymocks Melbourne this Tuesday. I strongly urge anyone who has the opportunity to go hear Shaun talk about this work. It will be followed by a Q&A and signing.

The Arrival is a beautiful, wordless graphic novel of the journey of a migrant to a new land. I haven't seen the whole book yet, but I do already have a print from it hanging on my family room wall. I saw many images and heard him talk about it at Continuum earlier this year. I'm only waiting for a slightly more financial moment to get my copy.

Also, he does little drawings on the books he signs. That alone is worth going.

Buy Shaun Tan's books at Amazon.

Thu, 19 Oct 2006
Aren't it All Amazing?

What do Numbers Radio Stations, the new Bravia advert and Blackalicious' Alphabet Aerobics have in common?
Aside from them being very pretty to watch, I think they make a nice edumacational trio.

The Shonkys
Feeling tired? Run down? Flat? Then you could drink 10ml of this product’s “bio-available oxygen” once or twice a day and “keep your body topped up with oxygen” for “enhanced quality of life”. Or you could breathe — which is widely regarded as the platinum standard for oxygenating your blood.

To find out more and discover other exciting new shonky products check out the 2006 CHOICE Shonky Awards.

Wed, 18 Oct 2006
New look - blue!

After a few days of lurid green text (do not play with the CSS page while drunk) I have settled on a new mature? scholarly? primary school? blue colour scheme for the website. Yes, a couple of tiny things are broken and if you really want you can go find them, but I'll bet you won't even notice, so I'm not going to fix them. At least not today.

And as a bonus you can try out your graphological skills on the header. Let me know what you discover. ;-)

Sat, 14 Oct 2006
Irony in a Vacuum

The worst part of having your vacuum cleaner break down is not a job half-vacuumed, that's inevitable.
The worst part is not having to find the clothes brush to finish de-cat-furring the couch, you're already half done.
The worst part is not finding a nesting white tail spider behind the couch cushions.
The worst part is not threatening said spider with aforementioned brush and bodily harm and whacking away, regardless of spider guts on the couch.
The worst part is the moment after the spider runs into the upholstered frame of the couch when you realise that you don't have a vacuum cleaner to suck it out again.

Incidently, as of six hours after applying liberally "Do not apply to furnishings" insect spray, no harm has come to the couch.
Condition of spider: unknown.

Fri, 13 Oct 2006
Horror Day - Things to read and do.

Today has been declared Horror Day by, umm, some people (possibly zombies), and there are loads of things to read, events to go to, signings, prizes. It's all about the prizes today.

The fastest anthology in the West has been assembled over the last 36 hours or so by Martin Livings and is available online only for the next 24, so get in there and read some short Australian horror fiction.

The Ticonderoga/ASiF Donation Drive is ending on 15 October, so if you want to support more reading, writing and discussion of Australian genre fiction please donate. You'll get a free ebook if you do and go into the draw for some dead tree books as well.

While you're there, Ticonderoga is hosting the first Australian survey of genre reading habits, so now that you've read some, go and help them out with some free data (prizes there too!)

Thu, 12 Oct 2006
Literature on the High Seas!

I know I haven't been posting a whole lot lately, but here's a gorgeous image I saw on Bibliodyssey today. There are a couple of others there in the same series, created by Kaspen for Anagram Bookshop in Prague.

It sure makes me want to go and read more books!

Tue, 10 Oct 2006
Best video you will see today.