'virtual light'

a novel by william gibson, the first novel i read to the end in a loong time.

i only read part of one of his books, 'all tomorrow's parties' before, but i like how his vision of technology is full of just as much broken, repaired, misused and abused stuff as the present is. he writes about things in a nice way.

"She gave him a look like you might give a dog that had just told you it was a good day to spend all your money on one particular kind of lottery ticket."



not even a 'storefront' church

Some people who go to a church at the ned of my road have a strange ritual that I've seen them perform twice.
One member of the congregation, dressed in white robes, sits in the front seat of a parked car and four others, also wearing robes, stand at the open front doors, boot and bonnet, 'speaking in tongues', or at least chanting something bizarre and incomprehensible.
I think it's an exorcism.



Q: What's Bush's position on Roe vs. Wade?

A: He doesn't care how black people get out of New Orleans.




they relaunched the newspaper this week in a smaller, reformatted, rejigged version. the size is good. instead of turning into a tabloid it's something halfway btw a tabloid and a broadsheet they call a 'Berliner', which some european papers apparently use, it's like 'le monde' but i think narrower? it's good, it fits in your bag.

the new typeface is horrible, and it's a shame because the old one was such a classic. one of the few things about it that were both good and distinctive, apart from its built in leftwing bias. it added a certain deadpan to the puns in the headlines. the new one is too informal for a paper, too of the moment to be classic. they mix in the bold and normal versions everywhere which is quite ugly. they would have been better off using upper case.

looking at the front page i can only assume they were a. on drugs, or worse, b. 'trying to appeal to a younger audience' or both. the masthead says 'theguardian' in lower case, in blue letters on a blue (blue?) background. there are more smaller text boxes and stories than there used to be and it looks very cluttered. in general they seem to have seen smaller pages as a chance to stuff in more bits and bobs everywhere, i'm not quite sure why. the times looked a bit like this after they turned into a tabloid.

unlike the times though, it doesn't seem to have been dumbed down much (yet). they've added 2 extra pages of comment (but who has time to read that anyway) and a big centrefold picture in the middle which is very very cool. memorable this week were some soldiers rioting in n. ireland, the alison lapper sculpture in a warehouse somewhere, and all the world's leaders at the un.

the sub-tabloid or 'half-berliner' g2 supplement is quite alright, except it has staples in which i hate. i like to take my newspaper apart! (i also liked to obsessively refold the centre fold to make every page line up evenly, which i won't be able/have to do anymore). the paper is kind of cheap and crappy and shiny. the saturday edition is extremely ugly, there are 12 sections which all look exactly the same except the magazine, which is bigger than all of them.

oh yeah and they got rid of doonesbury! until protesters started blockading motorways and oil refineries to get them to bring it back, some other guardian readers in n. ireland started a riot, etc. so it was back on friday with a whole week's worth of strips.




Discovered a new error message: "Jam at fingers". I also discovered that a envelope jam can sometimes cause the whole machine to reboot rather than display an error message. This is strangely reassuring.

Also, the 'Envelope sealing fluid' ran out so we put water in instead and it worked. This suggests that 'Envelope sealing fluid' is in fact just blue water.



long live the humble biro

the 100 billionth Bic Crystal has been sold.



'in other news'

Teacher threatened with screwdriver
HIH witness asked about lies
Red tape delays murder investigation
Penguin returns to the sea
Minister queries school surfing course
Man faces court over child porn
Cocaine worth $½m posted in letters
Bid to outlaw finals scalpers
Bus crash victim breathes on own
Mum, daughters escape sinking car




"I presume things like a performance management framework will help with that"



excel 22

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