March 14th, 2007


The Most Appealing Video In A Long Time

Royksopp - Remind Me

I got this via 2004 Clarion classmate slithytove who got it from a friend...

NOTE: 5-7-2007 -- For some reason the embedded YouTube image isn't here anymore, so I'll just stick the link here:

How Many Ways Do I Love This?

This is like a mash-up of the best Sims demo ever and all the pie charts, modern transportation, marketing, systems and industrial consumerism raw data -- and all dynamically animated. Think USA Today graphs and diagrams on a grand scale. It's got a decent sense of humor -- come on, the cute girl with the freckles is slurping the milk out of her cereal bowl! -- and a cheerfulness which places this plastic perfect world WAY above the antiseptic silliness of The Stepford Wives. Plus it's "exotic" from my perspective, being set in London, where the government can actually provide public information. (It wouldn't work nearly so well set in the U.S.) And it's based on so many familiar images. I am in awe of how beautifully it all integrates together. The relentlessness of movement and progress... (grin)

You know, the London Tube map itself is quite the recreated schematic map worldwide -- and despite its quite modern appearance, dates back to 1931. Now put it all on steroids and you have parts of this video. But I have to say the video is much more appealing than say the Transport for London Real-Time Map, which while useful, only gives us gems like:

NORTHERN LINE: Minor delays are occurring due to a person under a train earlier at Kentish Town.

Message received:
14/03/2007 13:46:

Sure it's a regimented, controlled life -- but dammit it's clean, efficient and the trains run on time. (grin)

YouTube Is Rife With Videos

The people making comments on YouTube don't always know how to use complex technology like spelling out words or making complete sentences, so it sounds like there are more than one version of the song, and I cannot tell if this "techno" remix is done by the original group or someone else. I mention this in interests of full disclosure. (grin)

Less fun, there's another version of the song with a couple of high performance sports cars in it.

Where Have I Heard This Before?

In case you can't figure where that catchy song comes from, it's used in the Geico Caveman commercial at the airport. And did I hear right? The Geico Cavemen are getting a TV series? Wow -- talk about life imitating art imitating life...

Dr. Phil
  • Current Mood
    happy surreal

New AOL Cat Waxer 1.00

Like You Really Need A New Time Waster

SF author and general raconteur John Scalzi writes on his blog about a new collaborative short fiction writing site called Ficlets from AOL.

Relatively easy to browse around, though you have to sign in to access stories marked as "mature" or to submit anything. They allow Open ID sign-ins, so I didn't have to create an AIM or Flickr or Twitter account but used my LiveJournal http address. Not having one of the AOL sponsored accounts means I don't get to use a nifty icon. (sigh) But the whole process takes seconds.

WARNING: This is "all too easy" and could really become violently addictive. I wasn't going to post anything, but decided to write the start to a story, "The Hero Business", which is sort of a mean-spirited riff on an SF novel I read years ago called The Galactic Medal of Honor (1976) by Mack Reynolds. The little editing window is pretty clean and cleverly keeps track of the number of words added and words left as you type. No pressure there.

This looks to be a lot of fun. Not only can you post little story bits, you can add prequels and sequels to your own stories -- or to other people's stories -- under a Creative Commons license. Oh now this sounds like a LOT more fun.

Ficlets is a new site and they are still ironing out some bugs and there are some issues regarding how to find something. Right now there's not too many stories posted. My one story has a URL which ends in 128 -- -- which I assume means it is just the 128th story. Cool. Last time I was "on the ground floor" of something new it was way back in 1989-90 or so and the birth of the Young Scientists' Network, where I within the first ten to find out about it.

Must. Go. Grade. Papers. Now.

Dr. Phil
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

Speaking Of Publishing

The Unspeakable

My darling sister sent me an email, explaining how someone she corresponds with through work has just published a novel. Something about the phrasing of "Googling his name" and "it's available on Amazon" made me suspicious -- and so I looked up his book. The publisher is iUniverse. If you Google "iUniverse", you find:

iUniverse, the leading book publisher, offers the best book publishing services in the self publishing industry. Chosen as the leading print on demand book ...

This guy's book is self-published. He didn't find a publishing house and an editor willing to pay him and publish his book -- he paid someone else to put his book out there. Amazon will sell them, too -- they don't care. But this isn't proper publishing.

I will say that as a business, iUniverse gets higher marks than PublishAmerica. See the Wikipedia entry on "Atlanta Nights".

And there are times that printing a book or producing a POD (Print On Demand) from iUniverse or LuLu is useful -- a previously published best-selling author I know recently used LuLu to produce a handful of draft copies of one of his novels to hand around to people before it was published. I might try that myself sometime. But claiming you are a published author when you did it yourself... sorry. Not Kosher.


(laughing out loud so much it's a good thing I wasn't eating at the time)

What I hadn't read before were the blurbs for Atlanta Nights.

Oh my...

Oh my. (wipes eyes)

Dr. Phil
  • Current Mood
    surprised surprised