Just took an online test to find out which superhero I must resemble! Here’s the result:
You are Spider-Man
Just took an online test to find out which superhero I must resemble! Here’s the result:
You are Spider-Man
The day is overcast, misty, very Irish Christmas day feel to it. Everywhere round here as quiet as a bell, apart from the actual Christchurch bells that rang out for mass a few hours ago. Listened to a few tracks from an album by a young singer songwriter called Fionn Regan. He has a great way with words. Full of that honest intensity that comes with youth. It can sometimes be misguided but it’s also sometimes full of shards of wisdom. As it is in this case. Spend last night watching a Fanny Craddock night on BBC 4! Old footage of her 1970s Christmas cookery shows and an interesting drama in which she was played by Julia Davis. I wallowed in its strangeness and campiness and thought about how far away the 1970s seem. The young Polish people who are renting the apartment next door had a Christmas Eve meal late into the night. In town yesterday I was struck by the variety of nationalities , Chinese, African, Indian, East European – all buying presents and wrapping paper. It was a wonderful sight. Below my window, I watched men walking home with Christmas wrapping paper sticking out of plastic bags. Something tender about it all.
I bought the Christmas edition of the Radio Times yesterday. I’ve been buying it for years along with the RTE Guide , though in recent years I’ve dropped the Guide realizing at last that I now make little use of either magazine. So I have an important question for you this dark wet morning. What’s the future for “bumper TV guides to your holiday viewing” in the age of utube? They sell in great numbers , but are they now more decoration than practical? Part of that dream that you will batten down the hatches while the snow falls outside and you settle down to watch a “feast of Christmas movies” Movies that you most probably own on DVD anyway. Still, it’s very hard not to pick up the Radio Times with its Christmas cover all aglow with promises. (there is by the way a web site showing all the Christmas covers going back to 1923! http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/radiotimes/christmas.htm
Most TV Guides will probably survive for a good while yet , continuing along the route they have taken, becoming lifestyle magazines. It’s difficult though to see any long term future for the listing function unless they find some way to make it wider and more active, something that is hard to do on the printed page. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing printed web links and not being able to click on them. Anyway, for those of us who came of age in the 1970s and 80s, the glory days of “bumper TV”guides, we will I think continue to buy the Christmas Radio Times , if we haven’t gone abroad for the holiday. But it’s now probably more like a Christmas card from a relative who you feel is getting on a bit now , but who you hope will live for many years yet.
London, England (AHN) - For those that worry they might eat their Christmas dinner alone this year, they now have reason to fear no more. Courtesy of a Dutch art company, a new DVD will allow a lonesome dinner to become one full of holiday fun and good cheer with dinner companions eating, drinking, and engaging in conversation.
The DVD will feature actors reading out different scripts in other for people to pick out which type of people they would want best.
According to Ananova, the producers, the Tilburgs CowBoys and Theater NWE Vorst, said they hoped it would ease the loneliness of single people without families at Christmas.
Producer Chris Gribling says: "The client can watch the DVD while sitting and eating in front of the television."
"The actors can offer him or her a romantic evening or even a good discussion. We have a good variety in the choice of our table companions."
AA Gill’s ramblings and musings are usually the best bits of his Sunday Times restaurant reviews. Yesterday he was writing about the real reason we like to give books as Christmas presents.
“This is the time of year when, traditionally, we indulge in things bookly and literish. We fret the bookmonger’s groaning board like word-starved waifs confronted by a logoscrumptious buffet. And we give books nilly-willy. Books are papery gifts that say lots and lots — much of it stuff that the author never wrote. We give them to people we’re obliged to and secretly hate.
A book says: “I’m cleverer than you.” It says: “You need to read this because you have no conversation and your thoughts are wan, halt things. I’m giving it to you with the thin smile of pitying patronage. And it will be a personal and private recrimination for years to come, because I know you’re cancerous with guilt about all the unconsumed words left on your bedside table.” A book says: “I loved this when I was 13. Now you’re in your late forties, you might be able to appreciate it.” Never for one single, naive moment imagine that a book at Christmas is well meant. Read between the lines, dummy — it’s an ode to snobbery and loathing. " (more here)
Not much got done today. Got my new phone, the Sony Ericsson P990i. Bleary eyed reading reviews about it for the past week, a lot of them negative. But it’s the only phone that has everything I need at the moment and doesn’t look like a brick. The problems people are having with it seem to be almost all to do with the software. SE are supposed to be releasing a new software upgrade soon – so I’m banking on that. The look and built of the phone is great and so far I have had no problems with it. Then again, I’ve only had a few hours! The new UiQ software looks very promising, very clean in an OSX sort of way.
As part of its ten year on air celebrations, TG4 is running a poll to get people to nominate favourite ads from the past decade. This one gets my vote. Strange to look at it now from this perspective knowing what happened to our Eircom shares. Still, for those of us still hanging in there, Vodafone might come through one of the days – if they ever come up with some forward looking 21st century ideas. What a wonderful ad that was though, evocative meaningless and sexy.
Never in my wildest dreams thought I’d write a single word about golf. The Ryder Cup was held in the K club in County Kildare over the past weekend and the hype made me look in. And I stayed to look a lot longer than I thought I would. I was struck by the artificial beauty of the K Club golf course. It kept reminding me of the set for the toddler TV show “Tellytubbies” that was popular some years ago. I’m not really into any sport much but at times over the weekend I could see the attraction of golf. Yes, there’s the county club thing, the strange gear they wear – even when it’s jazzed up it’s still so stridently heterosexual in a 1950s sort of way. And yet, there is something decent about it all. Something comforting and middle aged, even though a few of the players were only in their 20s. In town today I almost bought a book about the history of the Ryder Cup!
Upstairs in Easons O Connell Street Dublin is now a very comfortable place to have a cup of something and a read of the paper. Reminds me a bit of what we used Bewleys for all those years ago. On a corner wall there is a large LCD screen showing a silent SKY NEWS with the text button on. It’s strangely calming despite the alarming images it often shows.
I’ve been waiting patiently for Vodaphone Ireland to release the Nokia e70. It was due last June but was delayed because of problems “testing the software” Now, they finally say it will be released on contract by the end of August – or maybe September. I check out the Vodaphone UK site and see that the E70 is up there for a good while, you can even get it free with some of the higher tariffs. There’s been a lot of talk recently about the mobile operaters overcharging for calls, but less talk about how they are screwing us with their selection (and prices) of handsets. I’d love to know, for example, how Vodaphone UK could release the E70 without any “software problems” in the UK but failed to do this in Ireland. What exactly were the “software problems” that made it unsuitable for the Irish market but ok for the UK?
Does anyone else feel a sense of restlessness in the air? I feel this in Dublin at the moment. People in transit. I wonder how many of the people who have arrived here in the past few years will settle and stay? So many of them talk about “home”, and that home isn’t here. Then again, we were the same in Britain and America, always talking and singing about home but staying where we sailed to. I hope the majority of our immigrants stay. We need their energy as much they need whatever “home” and shelter this land can offer. We are still at the start of an uncertain new century. Too often, lately, I think about the beginning of the last century . I used to read a lot about that strange period between 1900 and 1914. In my heart, I don’t really believe that history repeats itself. It’s just this sense of restlessness , leading .....someplace.
Still bright at 10 clock. A few evenings ago I took a picture of the moon rising over
It’s the end of a fine hot day in
So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years:
1. Ignore everybody.
2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.
3. Put the hours in.
4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
5. You are responsible for your own experience.
6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
7. Keep your day job.
8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.
14. Dying young is overrated.
15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.
16. The world is changing.
17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.
18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
19. Sing in your own voice.
20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
23. Worrying about "Commercial vs. Artistic" is a complete waste of time.
24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
25. You have to find your own schtick.
26. Write from the heart.
27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
28. Power is never given. Power is taken.
29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.
30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.
One morning last month, I woke early, finished a book I'd been reading, and shut down my blog. I had kept the blog for nearly five years, using it as a repository for personal anecdotes, travelogues, and the occasional flight of fiction—all of which I hoped, eventually, might lead to a novel. And then, somewhere between the bedsheets and 6 a.m., I realized something: Blogging wasn't helping me write; it was keeping me from it.
In my other life I work as a writer, so this gives me pause for thought. God knows, the small amount of bogging I do doesn’t interfere too much with my work. In fact, I justify it to myself by thinking of it as a mental warm up exercise some mornings. There is a far more serious time waster for writers. Computers. And the internet. Much as I love them both I would not like to see the hours I spent sitting in front of my monitor added up. My first computer in the mid 1990s was an Amstrad PCW. I know that it barely qualifies for the term computer but to me it was a wonder. No more Tippex , no more cutting and pasting with scissors and sellotape. Think of all the saved hours! But the saved hours disappeared down the worm hole of cyberspace. Not that I’m complaining. I would never go back to harsh clicks of an electric typewriter. Images of smoke and the metal sounds of the industrial revolution came into my head there. We are in a transition period. Of a generation that knew the old ways, fascinated by the new but not yet able to make full use of it. I keep trying to use voice dictating programs but don’t stick with them, the mind to keyboard line is too ingrained. That’s just one example of not making the leap. There’s still time.
Yep, after four years and almost 3,000 posts I've decided to close up the Notebook. There's lots of reasons, but generally this is a continuation of the full-reset I started back in January. At first I was actually thinking about just transitioning to a more of a weekly blog where I write less frequently and was sort of cleaning everything up with that in mind. But then I just decided that I really needed a break, and that I'd really much rather start from scratch at another URL some other time when I'm ready to write again. Lot less pressure that way to do something new later on, and a lot easier to get out of the habit of posting daily now.
This blog started out as a personal wiki, actually... Back in 2001 I decided to finally organize my personal web server into sections - so I had the Notebook, Scrapbook and Guestbook. I had stumbled onto Ward Cunningham's original WikiWiki earlier that year and thought, "Wow! That's a much easier way to maintain my site," and so I whipped up a wiki of my own using JSP and used it for the Notebook section. But within a few months, I discovered blogs, and realized that was a much better way to do it. It took a while to really get into it - after trying a few other systems including Radio and Blogger, I finally converted my wiki software into my own personal blog system in May 2002 and started posting pretty much daily from that point on. Four years! It'll be weird to *not* be a blogger any more, I have to admit, but despite how good blogging has been for my life, it's time to move on.
If you've just stumbled onto this post in the months and years ahead, and are reading this now wondering who the hell I am and what I am talking about, feel free to roam through the archives and discover for yourself. For the rest of my readers, thanks for subscribing it's been great having you there to write for! Now please *unsubscribe* and give my poor server a break. :-)
I'll miss reading his blog which was always good clear and thoughtful.
I took this picture on the LUAS on my way to Easter Sunday dinner at my sister's house yesterday. A poster of the 1916 proclamation advertising an exhibition in the national museum. I watched part of the 1916 commemoration ceremony on the TV in the kitchen while the dinner was cooking. And here’s the weird thing, I found something moving about the lines of tanks and soldiers walking up
SANTA MARIA, Calif. — Like many American teenagers, Julissa Vargas, 17, has a minimum-wage job in the fast-food industry — but hers has an unusual geographic reach.
"Would you like your Coke and orange juice medium or large?" Ms. Vargas said into her headset to an unseen woman who was ordering breakfast from a drive-through line. She did not neglect the small details —"You Must Ask for Condiments," a sign next to her computer terminal instructs — and wished the woman a wonderful day.
What made the $12.08 transaction remarkable was that the customer was not just outside Ms. Vargas's workplace here on California's central coast. She was at a McDonalds in Honolulu. And within a two-minute span Ms. Vargas had also taken orders from drive-through windows in Gulfport, Miss., and Gillette, Wyo.
Ms. Vargas works not in a restaurant but in a busy call center in this town, 150 miles from Los Angeles. She and as many as 35 others take orders remotely from 40 McDonald's outlets around the country. The orders are then sent back to the restaurants by Internet, to be filled a few yards from where they were placed. Read more here
Went to see the film “Transamerica” yesterday and enjoyed it a lot. A lot more than I thought I would to be honest. Listened a bit too much to the people who talked about the movie in terms of its calculated storyline. This film had humor and heart - and yes it has to be said a good dollop of
It goes against everybody's inner cynic to read (or forÂ that matterÂ to write) a sentence like the following: We are on the verge of the greatest age of creativity and innovation the world has ever known. It smacks of treacly dotcomism. It smacks of I Love the '90s. My inner cynic is a tiny bit queasy right now. But lately it's a conclusion I've had a hard time avoiding. Consider the following idea. Things, broadly speaking, used to be invented by a small, shadowy Ã©lite. This mysterious group might be called the People Who Happened to Be in the Room at the Time. These people might have been engineers, or sitcom writers, or chefs. They were probably very nice and might have even been very, very smart. But however smart they were, they're almost certainly no match for a less Ã©lite but much, much larger group: All the People Outside the Room.
Historically, that latter group hasn't had much to do with innovation. These people buy and consume whatever gets invented inside the room, but that's it. The arrow points just the one way. Until now it's been kind of awkward getting them involved in the innovation process at all, because they're not getting paid; plus it's a pain to set up the conference call.
But that's changing. The authorship of innovation is shifting from the Few to the Many. Take as an example something called the open-source movement. The basic idea is that while most software is produced by the aforementioned People in the Room, open-source software is offered to the entire world as a collaborative project. Somebody posts a piece of software on the Internet and then throws the joint wide open. It's like American Idol for software. In the open-source model, innovation comes from hundreds of thousands of people, not just a handful of engineers and a six-pack of Code Red. One open-source program, the truly excellent Web browser Firefox, has been downloaded 150 million times. SourceForge.net a website that coordinates open-source work, is currently host to almost 15,000 projects. Internet behemoth AOL, which shares a corporate parent with this magazine, open-sourced its instant-messaging service just last week.
The idea that lots of people, potentially everybody, can be involved in the process of innovation is both obvious and utterly transformative, and once you look for examples you start seeing them everywhere. When Apple launched iTunes and the iPod it had no idea that podcasting would be a big deal. It took the rest of us to tell Apple what its product was for. Companies as diverse as Lego, Ikea and BMW are getting in on this action. And it exists in the cultural realm too. Look at websites like YouTube, or Google Video. Anybody anywhere can upload his or her little three-minute movies, and the best ones bubble to the top. Who knows what unheralded, unagented Soderbergh will come crawling out of that primordial tide pool? Granted, some of the movies are of people falling off jungle gyms. But some of them are brilliant. Some of them are both.
Two things make this kind of innovation possible, one obvious and one not. The obvious one is--say it with me--the Internet. The other one, the surprising one, is a curious phenomenon you could call intellectual altruism. It turns out that given the opportunity, people will donate their time and brainpower to make the world better. There's an online encyclopedia called Wikipedia written entirely by anonymous experts donating their expertise. It has the unevenness you'd expect from anything that's user-created and user-edited, but it's still the most useful reference resource anywhere on- or off-line; earlier this month Wikipedia posted its 1 millionth article.
You would think corporations would be falling all over themselves to make money off this new resource: a cheap R&D lab the approximate size of the earth's online population. In fact, they have been slow to embrace it. Admittedly, it's counterintuitive: until now the value of a piece of intellectual property has been defined by how few people possess it. In the future the value will be defined by how many people possess it. You could even imagine a future in which companies scrapped their R&D departments entirely and simply proposed questions for the global collective intelligence to mull. All that creative types like myself would have to do is sit back and harvest free, brilliant ideas from the brains of billions. Now that's an idea my inner cynic can get behind.
Are you out celebrating with your friends or are you stuck at home watching tv while sitting on the couch wishing you were out with your friends? So, it's 2009, the year you're going to graduate from high school and finally go to college! YAY! Well, I hope you are having a good New Years Day. You'll probably get this on the 1st, rather than the 31st because it doesn't set the particular time to send it. And plus, what the hell would I be doing at on the internet on New Year's Day. So, have you sent in your applications for colleges and scholarships? Are you on your way to being valedictorian? Are you still popular because I bet by now, people have seen your competitive side and knows you act like a bitch when you do stuff like that. Hopefully, not because I'm working on that attitude now. Are the parents still on your case and vice versa? Any boyfriends? Are you still friends with the Melissa, Kalyn, and Denise? If so, are ya'll crazy as ever since it's senior year? What about a job? Please tell me I got one and got some new clothes!!! God... how about the SAT and ACT? High scores or average? Did I find the college I wanted to go to. Well, anyways, I just wanted to say have a fun (not boring) New Year's Day!
So I finally got to see “Good Night and Good Luck” yesterday afternoon. While I enjoyed it I wasn’t as fond of it as I thought I would be. I agreed with its view point and purpose but I thought it lacked feeling somehow. It was made in black and white which looked great, I just wish the screenplay itself had a bit more colour in it. Like the Johnny Cash movie, I was fascinated once again by 1950s
During yesterday's Apple launch of the new apple boom box, Steve Jobs talked about it as being portable enough to take .".. out the cabana or the pool..” Lovely word , Cabana. Very pleasant word associations. Definitely designed in
Ads by Google can get it so wrong! Yesterday I wrote a piece about the riots in
There is a piece of software made by Microsoft called ONENOTE that I have been using for some years. Apart from Photoshop, I think its my favourite application. I think that it was originally invented for the Tablet PC and I imagine it works very well on that platform – in fact I often considered buying a tablet PC just to use ONENOTE. I use it on a desktop PC and also on a Sony Vaio laptop. Beautiful, intuitive and practical aren’t words usually associated with Microsoft but beautiful, intuitive and practical is what ONENOTE is. And no, I have no connections whatsoever with Microsoft. It just occurred to me, that once in a while, we should speak up in praise of our favourite tools!
The suit, stuffed with old clothes and a radio transmitter, orbited Earth twice on Friday, giving off faint signals to Japan. But then the suit, called Ivan Ivanovich, apparently went silent.
"It may have ceased operating very shortly after its deployment," said NASA spokesman Rob Navias.
Navias speculated that the suit's batteries might have become too cold.
The Russian Orlan spacesuit, stuffed with rags and other trash, was released early Saturday Moscow time.
It looked like an astronaut tumbling helplessly 350 kilometers above the central Pacific Ocean, beginning a gentle downward spiral that will end in four to seven months when it incinerates in Earth's atmosphere.
Its transmitter was to broadcast a limited lineup: First an announcement via voice synthesizer that said, "This is SuitSat-1, RSORS," followed by greetings in English, French, Japanese, Russian, German and Spanish with "special words" for students to decode.
Then SuitSat was to relay its vital signs in English -- temperature, available battery power, the elapsed time of the mission.
The whole thing was to take 30 seconds, after which SuitSat was to rest 30 seconds and broadcast again.
SuitSat arose in late 2004 as the brainchild of the Russian space station team and the Space Radio Amateur Satellite Corp., a nonprofit that promotes education and amateur radio satellites.
Unlike the United States, which recycles its spacesuits, the Russians use Orlans for about two years and then discard them.
The Russians suggested a variation on this theme: Why not hook up radio gear to an old suit, toss it into space and make a satellite out of it?
International space station commander William McArthur and flight engineer Valery Tokarev began the second spacewalk of their six-month stay aboard the space station at 1:44 a.m. on Saturday.
Its primary purpose was to secure a cable cutter on the mobile transporter that moves the station's robot crane.
But first they had to get rid of SuitSat. The old spacesuit, weighing several hundred kilograms, had last been used by NASA astronaut Michael Foale during an August 2004 spacewalk.
On Friday, a radio antenna poked out the top of the backpack.
The idea of a quick departure was apparently a good one, for SuitSat first got in the way of closing the airlock door, then balked at being wrestled into position.
Finally, with video cameras recording the event, it was gone.
"Wonderful picture, Valery," mission control said. "Thank you very much."