28 February 2010

BeFunky.com - Photo effects with one click, Turn your photos into artwork.

BeFunky.com - Photo effects with one click, Turn your photos into artwork.

Fricken Wicked! Article and examples to come.

Arg! Spider!!

This spider lives outside my bedroom window. Just to give you some perspective, her abdomen is the size of an Oreo, and each leg is about 2 inches long. She builds an new web every night, in different positions depending on the wind speed and direction. So far, I have managed to not walk into the web.

Did I mention that my rabbits also live outside my bedroom window? I have to walk under this spider to feed them.  Naturally, I have adopted her as a pet and have taken to catching moths and flinging them into the web at night, but I have not yet seen her move more than a small twitch.  It seems she waits until I leave before eating my humble offerings.

I've been calling her an Orb spider, but I don't know if this is true or not. The webs are usually about 3 metres across and hang from three main strands. The strands look to be about 2mm thick.  This photo was taken in Donnybrook, Western Australia.  If anyone knows the species, I would appreciate it.

I never want this rather scary looking lady to come into contact with my face.
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26 February 2010

The Cyberpunk Project

A while ago I found this Russian site called The Cyberpunk Project which has a bunch of e-books relating to cyberpunk.  Includes stuff by Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan, Douglas Rushkoff, Neal Stephenson and Tom Maddox.  Also has synopsis of other cyberpunk books and links to various essays and interviews.

I'm not entirely sure about the legality of this sites content, but a pretty nifty place to grab some stuff to read when I finally get a PDA or maybe a Kindle.  I really want a kindle.

Amazon.com presents - The Guppie

I am very very impressed with the Columbia River Knife and Tool 9070 Guppie

Can I have one please?

When the Shit Comes Out, Ya Gotta be Ready...

Australia Day Fireworks. This was the night the dog pooped on my leg. I really wanted to play with the camera and this is about all I got before I had to take the Tippo back to the car so he could hide under the front seat. Oh well, we can't all be brave
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    Bruce Sterling - Visionary In Residence

    13 Short stories by Chairman Bruce
    • In Paradise - What could happen with real-time translation of language via mobile phones when people of two cultures meet, and fall kinda in love. 
    • Luciferase - All about growing up and seeking love and companionship from the perspective of a Lighting Bug
    • Homosapiens Declared Extinct
    • Ivory Tower
    • Message Found In A Bottle - A cautionary tale about Global Warming
    • The Growthing
    • User-Centric - A look at how product development works.
    • Code - Nerd Love Story, complete with RTFM and LSD-25
    • The Scabs Progress (with Paul Di Filippo)
    • Junk DNA (with Rudy Rucker) - Ribofunk take on Tamagotchi type toys.
    • The Necropolis of Thebest
    • The Blemmyes Stratagem - How the world might have been, if an advanced alien inteligence had landed in the Arab Gulf during the dark ages.
    • The Denial

    24 February 2010

    John Barnes - Apostrophes and Apocalypses

    A great collection of reprints and unpublished essays and short stories. I particularly liked Gentleman Pervert, it's just such a weird and funny story, but I generally like the way Barnes writes anyway so I might be biased.  This story relates to the novel Mother Of Storms (link to my notes on this to be added when I finally get to read it.)

    23 February 2010

    Years Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy

    Third annual volume Edited by Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt

    Mirror Danse Books 2007 ISBN 9780975773628

    Not even worth ordering this one - I find it really disappointing to read australian scifi.  I don't understand why Australian stuff is so often average or boring.

    I can barely even stand Greg Egan.

    Science Fiction - The Best of the Year 2008 Editor Rich Horton

    Prime Books 2008 ISBN 9780809572502

    Greg Egan - Dark Integers
    John Barnes - An Ocean is a Snowflake
    Paul Di Filippo - Wikiworld
    Ken MacLeod - Jesus Christ, Reanimator
    Jack Skillingstead - Everyone Bleeds Through
    Nancy Kress - Art of War
    Plus others

    Not worth getting this series again - Rich Horton has taste in his ass.

    22 February 2010

    And the award for Best Prediction in a Science Fiction Novel Goes To...

    This it too fucking scary...

    An article By Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing notes that Disney gets all of it's marketing ideas out of novels by prominent Canadian science fiction writers. Hereby quoting the article directly:

    Disney's launching a line of girl-goth merch to tie in with the release of Alice in Wonderland, whose soundtrack features Cure frontman Robert Smith performing a track from the 1951 Alice movie: "Walt Disney Co.'s consumer-products division is aiming its marketing firepower at young women and teenage girls, particularly those who gravitate to darkly romantic entertainment like the 'Twilight' series."

    I really don't know whether to laugh, cry, or jump on ebay and start selling my old t-shirts as genuine vintage goth apparel - ya know, for the How Dare They Corporatize Goth, Even Though I am Not A Goth and Honestly have been Not A Goth for MUCH longer than Alice In Wonderland has been around market which will no doubt burst into life in the next few weeks?

    In case you haven't figured it out, I stole this story from  BoingBoing

    The End Of Fireworks

    This is totally the end of fireworks.  It has so much potential, it makes me feel giddy and a little bit ill.  Go MIT

    Found on BoingBoing.net

    21 February 2010

    Science Fiction wallpapers

    Science Fiction wallpapers

    to be continued

    18 February 2010

    The Matta Gallery

    Elle Loge La Folie, oil on canvas, 1970.Image via Wikipedia
    A while ago, while looking for paintings by Ralph Steadman, I stumbled across this gallery site about

    Zemanta - Blog Smarter

    Zemanta Ltd. HQ SignI found this nifty little plug in for Zemanta, which is a Content Recommender for blogs.  Acts as a plug in to Mozilla Firefox, and analyses your posts to find related media, links and additional content for you, so that you don't have to think for yourself.  I think probably the most useful thing from the description is that it uses Creative Commons licensed images so might make it easier to find cool pics to go with posts about random stuff.

    Image by Peter ÄŒuhalev via Flickr

    17 February 2010

    Sleep Talking Man

    Far out.

    16 February 2010

    GML - Graffiti Markup Language

    To be completed - found it at the library where fricken Javascript is blocked.

    On making stovetop bioplastics Boing Boing

    Joris Peels from the 3D printing startup Shapeways has been experimenting with making stovetop bioplastics, with mixed (but promising) results:

    Overall making bioplastic at home was a fun activity. It had a certain magical, "oh my, I made plastic" quality to it. Bioplastic in thin sheet form does seem to be a fun and practical application as a build material. However right now the results, as far as I have found with molds, are not promising enough for one to be able to use it to make your own things or to produce plastic for your DIY projects. I need to qualify this by saying that any of the problems with the bioplastic could of course be my fault for not cooking it long enough, cooking it too high/low, measuring out the proportions incorrectly, using the wrong starch,drying the bioplastic in too hot/too humid/too dry a room etc.

    Taking that into account, at the moment shrinkage, warping and the long drying times, as I have found them, make it unpractical. As for using it as a 3D printing material, I am not comfortable enough with this material at the moment to even properly test it in a 3D printer. The "gunky" quality and long drying times seem to currently make it impractical for use as a 3D printing material. Someone could possibly tweak the recipe and make it more practical both for 3D printing and molding and I hope this happens. Perhaps you could with some careful experimentation be the one to make bioplastic a practical reality for molding and 3d printing?

    Written by Cory Doctorow on boingboing.net

    Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report on Vimeo

    Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report on Vimeo

    Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.



    Looks like it could be fun to play with....

    Chrome Experiments - Home

    Chrome Experiments - Home

    Chrome Experiments Not your mother's JavaScript

    14 February 2010

    RiP: A Remix Manifesto

    Everyone should see this film. Well worth watching even in peices. It talks about remix culture, the history of copyright and the movement to reform copyright, Creative Commons, and it has a fantastic soundtrack.

    Also features interviews with one of my heros, Cory Doctorow, founder of Boingboing.net and author of Makers, one of the best fricken books ever. And you can read it for free in a number of formats thanks to the CC License it was published under.

    PS Nirvana+bigbeat=awesome. I really never thought I would say that.

    13 February 2010

    Get Old Layout For Facebook

    Get Old Layout For Facebook

    Do this later, because the new facebook fucking sucks.

    Hooray For TV Be Gone

    A universal remote that is just an off button and a frequency sweeper? I want one. This would be so much fun.

    12 February 2010

    The History of Pretty Much Everything

    Chris Cornell released from the vile clutches of Timbaland

    Making Drinking Glasses out of Bottles At Makezine.com

    Awesome howto on making glasses out of bottles.  I would like to do this with Absolut bottles.

    08 February 2010

    Kage Baker - Sky Coyote

    The second book in The Company series of novels, largely centered around Joseph.  Excellent book, once again.  I am desperately awaiting arrival of the next volume in this series.

    See also:  In The Garden Of Iden