All posts made in Aug. 2001:

Juice: There's now an electricity supplier in the UK that for no extra cost will generate all the energy you need with wind-power. Perfect. Switch over now. (See yesterday's Guardian article, The lazy person's guide to saving the planet, for more.)

The Hoopla500 is daily updating texts, roughly 500 words a piece. I like it. Today's piece, Unsaid is particularly good.

Now here's a thing. I just read K-PAX II: On a Beam of Light, and on the last page it say that there's to be another book. And indeed, K-PAX III is out 3 July 2002. Can't wait.

K-PAX is the story of prot, a maybe alien from a utopian world, and the man whose body he lives inside. And there's a movie site, with a trailer, too.

Kevan's just said the nicest ever thing about Upsideclown (post of 30.08.01). And I think I've just had a vision of a 'clown mission statement. These pictures, these fragments, these living ideas. It's very Ballard. Very Vonnegut. Very take-an-idea-and-twist-and-run-with-it. (And yes, I know I'm showing off, but dammit I'm proud of this).

A list of words with which my soul has deep resonance today:

  • Concrete
  • Swan
  • Atom [bomb]
  • Neptune
  • November
  • Mud
  • Augment
  • Agitprop
  • Coal
  • Leopard

More as I think of them.

Impressive Exhibition of High Speed Photography [via slashdot].

"I mean I'm all for doing your own thing, but couldn't you do it indoors and far away from major traffic arteries like this one. I've been crawling along here for forty fucking minutes on account of all you heretics. That's it. That's fucking it."

Thursday and a new Upsideclown. James today, with cycles and religion: Each To Their Own.

The Dingo Kids meet OJ Simpson plus Jack Chick's Doom Town equals ojchick.gif.

Interesting: Embedded Markup Considered Harmful in which Ted Nelson argues that markup interferes with content reuse. This conflicts directly with the concept of the Semantic Web (where markup provides meaning for machine use of text-as-information).

At the Hypertext 2001 conference, Ted Nelson provided an introduction to Xanadu, and set out the path for the New Xanadu, a version of this incredible (yet unbuilt) hypertext system that exists with and on top of the www, and uses (to a degree) XML and XPath to implement its functionality. This is a great step forward in taking this alternative hypertext metaphor set to a wider audience.

The poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. (Reading it, I'm surprised about how much is familiar already. And how visual it is.)

Photo Gallery of Neptune. For some reason that planet is feeling particularly magical for me today. Neptune is blue because of the methane in its atmosphere.

Serious Upsideclown today: "If the money spent on helping the homeless, rather than spent on agencies and workers and programmes, was simply divided up amongst them, they would each receive a lump sum of around seventy thousand pounds."

Neil's talking shop, fresh today, in Tsarina.

(Both Upsideclown and Upsideclone were updated last week and not mentioned here. 'clone is still on the front page; for 'clown check the archive.)

"Internet Viral marketing is the future of creative driven advertising. By allowing the audience to decide what is distributed, poor advertising and filmmaking will never again be thrust down the throats of the public."

It only fucking works doesn't it? Go to The Viral Factory and watch headrush.mpg. It's funny. It's what they want you to do. Give in now. >sigh< They knew this would happen.

Why Gnome and KDE are misguided is a good rant about how the UNIX design pattern isn't being applied to these new window managers, and how that's wrong. Also included is a simple implementation of this design pattern for MacOS, called the Good Easy. [via flutterby]

Armpit Photography. Scroll down to the zooming photo applet. Dear god no. [via fatskier.]

Bush follows his nose. Flash. No badly cut-out found photos, no tinny foreign language music. But it's still good. What's going on?

Another great front-page headline, from today's Mirror: When I grow up I want to be a suicide bomber.

The best headline ever. How do people come up with these? [props to paulm]

I love the way the Reader's Digest unsubscribe page has a checkbox to be removed from the mailing list, shortly followed by three other checkboxes that if left as they are would allow your name to be sold, and Reader's Digest to email and phone you. Nice. [via Anil]

Great, bleak, photographs of abandoned places [via memepool].

OoOOOooh baby. Netmogul: The Step-by-Step Guide to Your Startup Millions. Carl Steadman. Hideous amounts of writing. Ascii interface. Fucking hey. (Green for up; red for down.) It's. All. Just. So. Good.

Oolong the rabbit is 7 years old, Japanese, and features on an regularly updated website dedicated to photographs of foodstuff (both ready- and home-made) balanced on his head. This is not a comedy site. Repeat, this is not a comedy site. Before you get too excited, it's not all about food. [cheers Dan B.]

New at Upsideclown: "My uncle once told me a joke. That's not unusual in and of itself. My uncle had a better sense of humour than people generally gave him credit for. It's just that a cataract operation gone horribly wrong deprived him completely of his ability to see the funny side. But that's not really the point."

It's Dan up today, and it's a good one. I say I say I say, fresh today.

(Don't forget, you can subscribe to Upsideclown-by-email. Details are at the bottom of the article. And we're hunting for people to get involved in Upsideclone -- come chat on the boards.)

Really nice light on water photo. Really good at 800x600, and looks like smoke or something. There's a very faint distorted grid in the background.

Everything you know is wrong!! Lookee, Upsideclone launched today. That means: writing. Fridays will never be the same again!! It's different from Upsideclown, cos it'd be good if you (yes, you) got involved. It's what the web's about, dontyaknow. Or at least, come and chat in the forum. (You can get 'clone by email too, if you like.) Submissions, subscriptions, and all round cool shit are to be found on the 'site. And there today is...

An excellent #1: Collector's Item. Go, read, enjoy. And if you do, think about writing? Ta.

Idea: The perpetual cigarette packet. The same size as a conventional box, you keep it loaded with tobacco, filters and paper, and the fags are autorolled every time you open the lid, the system being powered by clockwork.

Snout! interviews Tarnia Heathcliff-Slutt: My long-standing companion Clifford, a Chinese crested powder puff, died last year after a prolonged battle with behavioural problems. Before that I had a man.

Victor does Snout!, fresh today at Upsideclown.

And! Get Upsideclown by email. Send the word subscribe in the email body to

And! Upsideclone launches this Friday. Want to write? Anyone and everyone can. See the 'site for how to get involved. First up, Kevan Davis.

I'm not sure what the name for the genre is, but the best way I could describe PARK is as an ambient Flash experience, a detailed and intricate world to explore with no goal other than to click on everything. Peaceful, and lots there.

Putting the fish in the net (BBC News): Artifical life fish screensaver, all connected. Learn more about DALiWorld.

"Mrs Bins cured me. Or rather, the Church did. Mrs Bins herself had been dead a good thirty years, having founded the sect in the days when Charlie Parker the masked jazz vigilante was still swinging round the city. But the Church - or to give it its full name, The Church of Mrs Bins and her Nine Lovely Daughters - the Church lived on."

Of fingernail chewing, of children, of The Church of Mrs Bins: it's a new Upsideclown, by me today. Enjoy.

Stylish, Frank Milleresque animation: Booby Trap [not at all rude. Flash]. Very nice. (Sample Frank Miller artwork.)

Blast from the past: there's going to be a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film [via Fark], and it's going to be directed by John Woo. Cowabunga.

Over the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about the nature of hypertext (bringing in language, the mind, and UI). Recently, and more specifically, I've been trying to break my internal node/arc metaphor, which is being applied to far too many things. This morning I realised that my rate of change of thoughts on the matter has slowed down and I've reached some conclusions. It's braindump time: Thoughts on hypertext, being, some notes on what hypertext really is. (I don't bother making any practical suggestions for the www, that's the next level up. I have much clearer ideas about how information should be organised than I used to, but I have the feeling that's just the beginning of something different so that aspect is left for another time.)

Okay, so we've just been run through the new project proposal system at work. And I'm wondering: In any given group or community, what proportion of people/ time is devoted to the task of tracking, monitoring and making rules?

So cool! So cute! check out the intro movie, and the games, and the graphics, and the music, and-- someone just give these guys a lot of money to keep on doing what they do.

Rezroz (Perl) can be used to play classic Infocom games.

"George ran down the garden path to greet her cousins as they dismounted from their uncle's car. She showed no sign of caring that her slim boyish legs, encased in her elder brothers khaki shorts, were being scratched by the thorns of the roses that she skedaddled past. She was a young baby dyke, and the pain of the thorns only reminded her of the sharp nails of her lover and school mistress."

Methinks George has been reading too much pulp romance. New Upsideclown today: Names of the Roses.

There's nothing like a spot of political diatribe to kick the day off. Summing up our conversation about our litigious society, poor council performance, inadequate police, and rampant fraud, my hairdresser declared the main problem with the country: "Too many people got too many rights. Thas what the problem is."

I didn't say anything. You wouldn't argue with a man with scissors either, I bet.

Jesus Christ, that's one horsey lady [also via b3ta]. Part of Unicorn Dream.

And b3ta appears to be the hub for all this cool shit. A Frightened Boy is the best Flash movie I've seen all year. Brilliant. Long and brilliant. Very long, and very-- you get the picture.

Like all fine Flash movies, it's got badly put together pictures and a foreign language soundtrack. Fucking funny. And, um, no name. So I don't know what to type here, but watch anyway [via tsluts].

This is a Good Thing. There is now a Blogger xmlrpc interface (xmlrpc is an easy way for programs to communicate across the internet). Cheers Ev. Let a thousand flowers etc, and all that. I wonder what the first big app will be?

I read McSweeney's daily. This is because it is funny, and because it comes out every day. Maybe you should read it too.

Very many funny piss-take X10 ads. What do you mean you haven't noticed those annoying pop-under ads that have been all over the web the past month or so? You should get out less.

Good, new technology: OpenCola Folders. Two parts, the technology and the UI. Technology: Documents can be like other documents. You see a document, you can see documents like it. This is done with distributed databases, spiders to find similar documents (documents can appear anywhere on the net) [technical overview]. UI: "Create a folder on your desktop. Drag a file into that folder. The folder automatically fills up with other files that are similar. If you take something out of the folder, it doesn't find stuff like that anymore. You can create as many folders as you want by setting them up yourself or by adopting them from other users." [source]

That's the best interface for live searches I've heard of so far. How about this in the OS? And, in fact, why can't this be done right now, in email clients? There are enough links between individual messages and people, including (but not limited too) people on the same cc: list (strong link), people you were talking to around the same time (weak link), messages which have "similar" subjects/bodies (weak link), between people you forward messages between (strong). When the volume of email in the archive becomes extremely large, a fuzzy live "emails like this" folder would be very powerful.

And before anybody else says it: Intertwingle (JWZ's hypothesised email application that works along these lines).

"They'd held me for I don't know how long, occasionally moving me blindfolded from one camp to the next, carried like an unwilling deity on a rough hewn sedan chair from the old days."

Today's Upsideclown is brought to us by James: An Escape, In Sonata Form.

There are some good timelines at Ancient Egypt [cheers Es]. I like to see everything in context.

Fascinating comments by Andrew Otwell on the subject of The sameness of interfaces. Andrew talks about the node/arc system being limiting, and a relatively new development -- even mentioning narrative/flow as an interface device. This is something I'm going to ponder on; I've not thought in this direction before.

Over the past couple of days I've been listening to fluffertrax, streaming internet radio porn movie music. Groovy.

The Second Coming: A Manifesto. A couple of quotes...

  • "The computer screen is the window of your vehicle, the face-shield of your diving-helmet."
  • "Computers make alphabetical order obsolete."

It's an article, by David Gelernter, hitting the world of the future, cyberspace, UI and information storage. My buttons, in other words.

Many new AIMbots, as posted by Anil Dash. Check out memepusher which will IM you with the latest MetaFilter links as and when they come up. Brilliant. This is what it's all about.

(And, tangentially, some geezer who writes a column for the Wall Street Journal mailed asking me the story behind googlematic. So I told him. But the story's so dull it probably won't ever get anywhere, although his mooted column about the future of IM services should be interesting. Anyway, that's my brush with mass media for the year.)

The physics of the Web: connectedness of nodes, self-similarly, and all the rest. Link here because I really must give it the attention is deserves.

George Lakoff (bio) looks like an interesting person to read up on: "The way ordinary people deal implicitly with the limitations of any one metaphor is by having many metaphors for comprehending different aspects of the same concept." -- and so on. Via Snowdeal, which has many good article links.

Wow. Neil presents us with today's Upsideclown. Pretty fucking stunning, is all I want to say. The man's words always get inside me. Read: Family and Friends.

GUI time line [via Haddock]. Very good, lots of linked information and screenshots.

Interesting to see that the NeXT OS and Windows 3.0 were contempory -- how could you even go about writing Windows if you knew that this other, spectacular UI was out there?

From an Apple Mac OS X fan perspective, I'm a bit concerned about the impending launch of Windows XP: They're sticking with the familiar Windows 95 UI, fixing it, tweaking it, and enhancing it in the right places (the way they deal with photos is superb). It's becoming mature. OS X on the other hand has thrown away a lot of the mature aspects of NeXT (on which is was based), and of Mac OS X Classic -- they're going to have to do a lot of basic coding work even before the point where innovative things (like live folders, and enhanced file metadata for MP3s/emails/etc in the file system) can be worked in.

AngryAngryGabe is an insulting AIMbot. I've not found it to be online, but the page is useful enough with example code and a command list.

I used to love this show: Knightmare. Spellcasting: W- A- N- K- E- R (to be said in a squeaky Northern accent) [via Venusberg].

Now the question: What was that programme on Children's BBC (I think) with the red-haired girl who used to collect all the letters of the alphabet, being battled by a witch and her useless sidekick, a young boy called 'Teabag'?