Sunday Roast: together we will upgrade the universe

I can’t believe that it is one of the hottest days of the year and I am stuck inside blogging. Damn not having a garden I can laze in. For those who are curious, it took near three hours to write this weeks offering, mainly because the PowerBook keeps getting hot enough to fry eggs on. God bless the inventor of the desk fan is all I can say! So you’d better enjoy it. I’m off to try and find a cool spot in the flat. Wish me luck!

Last week I talked about the Conservative’s plan to replace the Human Rights Act – seems I’m not the only one who thinks it is a bad idea.

I, like most other bloggers, am fighting the good fight against spam. A few weeks back I tried Bad Behavior on recommendation – it made no impact, if anything the amount of spam I had to wade through went up, so I’m back to working with just Akismet. Happily, there’s a new extension on the block that snuggles up cosily to Akismet. The “Worst Offenders” extension lists the most common offenders in your Akismet queue, batching them up so you can delete them in one fell swoop. It needs the latest version of Akismet, something I haven’t got around to installing yet, so I can’t tell you how well it works, but it seems like a good idea 🙂

The BBC has launched a new blog, The Editors, written by (you’ve guessed it) the editors of the BBC News team. They explain the rationale behind it a bit more here. Not saying it’s going to be something that stays in my regular reads, but on the first weeks showing, it’s thrown up some interesting pieces:

I bring you (ok, Tara brings you, I’m just pointing you in their direction) the eleven rules of engagement for community building.

How could I not link to a story about fluffy penguins in a zoo? Especially when the penguins in question are called Piglet and George.

In a staggering win for common sense, it has been proven that the feeling of being watched makes people act more honestly. I’m paranoid enough that I always think someone’s watching me so act honestly, but this little trick would be great for those who weren’t dragged up as well as I was. Wonder if it makes a difference what sort of eyes are used? Male/female? Human/cat? Adult/child?

Firda little tale about how a famous photographer’s work was judged to be not very good made me think (as it made her) about reputation. How do people get to be considered ‘worthy’ in the first place? Endless are the tales of people toiling away in obscurity till just one person decides they are the best thing since bread came sliced. Take Van Gogh – infamous for never getting a break in life, now he’s judged as one of the greatest painters ever. Where along the line did that happen? Who was the first to go “Hang on, this chap’s really rather good”? Perhaps more importantly, what was so special about this person that made everyone listen to them? Everyone says that good work always get recognised eventually, and maybe it does, but it definitely helps if you’ve got a name. Or a name decides to take you under their wing.

Fox has officially announced Wolverine the movie. Excuse me whilst I take a moment to give a large “Woo Hoo!!!” of excitement. Yes, I am a fan. I can’t help it – Hugh Jackman makes my knees go all wibbly. Tall, dark, and ever so slightly brooding… Just as I like ’em 😉

I love Liverpool for many reasons, not just because their museums are wonderfully forward looking. I mean, how many museums do you know of that have even heard of Flickr, let alone leveraged it into an exhibition? I’m laying money on the Scouse One having something to do with this. If only he would answer his frelling email, I’d find out!

Blog layout is one of the more contentious subjects in certain circles at the moment. Do you support two or three column layouts? Perhaps you are daring and have a one column layout (*gasp*). Should you have an ‘about’ page? What needs to go in your sidebar? Liquid, fluid, or static? Lots of colour, or lots of whitespace? What exactly constitutes ‘good layout’ and design none agree on, but all can point to it when they see it. Edrei’s been brave and had a stab at what constitutes a good layout. On the whole I would have to agree with him – focus on the content, think carefully about whether you really need all that crap in your sidebar (if you just can’t live without it, have you thought of shunting it onto a sub-page?), and never be afraid to tinker.

Apparently, there are eight ways to kill someone by using an iPod Nano. My favourites are 5 and 7.

I bring you this not because anything the ‘Hoff does interests me in any way, but because the headline was just supreme: Hasselhoff in chandelier accident. I won’t spoil your fun by telling you anything more than that.

I’m not going to get into a debate about whether films should be made about 9/11 – you should be able to make movies about anything, but that doesn’t mean I will want to watch them. I sincerely doubt whether I will ever go to see ‘United 93’, or Oliver Stone’s up and coming ‘World Trade Centre’, but that is for personal reasons. My problem with this is Nicholas Cage’s comments. When talking about how the upcoming movie is not meant to entertain, Mr Cage says:

“I see it as storytelling which depicts history… This is what happened… Generation after generation goes by, they’ll have ‘United 93’, ‘World Trade Centre’, to recall that history”

For one it is a film – a dramatization, not a documentary. So they have tried to be factual, but… Oh, go badger Moose in the comments for the debate on this one. She says it so much better than I ever could (well, she has spent the past semester teaching a course on the subject, so I hope she can!)

I couldn’t give a flying monkey’s how desert ants measure distance. I’m just boggled that scientists stuck stilts on ants’ legs!

Lastly, I’ve been indulging in a little archive-browsing this week, and I came across this gem, which set me thinking – do you think I would look good as a blonde?

19 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: together we will upgrade the universe

  1. A technical note: The Akismet Worst Offenders Extension includes the latest version of the plugin. No prior upgrade is necessary – it’s all rolled together in one. This is necessary because the Akismet plugin doesn’t have hooks built into it (yet) that enable it to be extended.

  2. I am thinking of cooking my sunday roast on my powerbook….it’s having the same sweaty warm feeling. Penguins! My week is fullfilled by some more penguin goodness. And as for this blogging / working indoors….know what scratch that I’m off out!

  3. Thank you Rich for clearing that up. In that case, I’ve downloaded and installed. Fingers crossed that it all works (I’ve had some very bad luck lately when I try and change anything behind the scenes!) And welcome to Bright Meadow 🙂

    Do read the rest Edrei, I spent three hours on it! But I know what you mean – I saw the story when I was at work during the week and emailed it to myself, just to make sure I didn’t forget it. Quite why the female penguin is called George, however…

    And there really is no situation that cannot be improved by penguins. If I had an ‘out’ to go to Tammie, I’d be outside as well. Perhaps even indulging in a little wi-fi blogging (what’s the point of a laptop if you don’t take it for little outings occasionally?) But I don’t even have a deep windowsill I could sit on 🙁 Well, I could sit out in the car park, but I think that’s just a little bit too odd… I miss not having a garden/balcony 🙁

  4. Quotes from Doctor Who. Oh God. I peed my pants. Even though it all looks frightfully over the top and daft. Torchwood was interesting. And frightfully British. Oh and I found this for you:

    POQbum.com

  5. I am in the process of responding to Cas’s challenge, and will post my views on Nic Cage’s comments just as soon as I’ve written them.

  6. Yup, Dr Who. It looks good! I kind of wish they hadn’t given the cliffhanger away at the start of the two parter. I won’t say any more in case there are people watching who haven’t seen it yet.

    Thank you for the link – heaven save me from bouncing text 😐

  7. I’m a blonde and have been my whole life. I always figured there was probably a bit of truth in the “different treatment” theory, but not a lot of thought went toward it. (I always assumed it was just something about my personality that made women hiss when they made eye contact with me). Soooo… Last autumn, I colored my hair brunette and found out that yes indeed, there is a difference, but mine was…different. WOMEN were suddenly nice to me. After a lifetime of suspicious glances and protective-pulling-aways-of-the-menfolk when I entered a room, suddenly women were friendly, smiley, chatty. They wanted to talk to me. Asked me things. It was flabbergasting and it took me a whole day of looking over my shoulder to see who they were talking to before I realized it was my hair color causing the change. I have to admit I was thrilled, though I’m a bit ashamed to admit it now.

    Alas, my brunette has washed out and I’m back to Barbie Blonde, and things are back to “normal”. Some women who were friendly a few short months ago now give me the glacial polite-smile when I greet them. Men stay away, and yes, stare. Of course I could change this by going brunette permanently (at $80 every 4 weeks, I don’t think so) but it makes me mad that people are so surface-based and I won’t do it, by golly!
    So it is my theory that there are degrees of blondeness and if you can strike the exact shade of unthreatening-to-women, you can be a Blondes With More Fun kind of girl, but tread cautiously…..

  8. What’s putting me off the whole blonde gig is that the upkeep would be horrendous – my hair grows quickly, so roots would be a *big* issue for me. Just like you and going brunette.

    Also, I’ve spent the past year and a half growing my hair long again. Knowing my luck I’d go blonde and absolutely hate it, leaving me with the only option of going short again… Nothing wrong with that. I’ve shaved my head before and I expect I will again at some point, but damn-it! Nearly year and a half!

    I don’t know. Whilst my hair has been pretty much every colour under the sun (including red and green) I’ve stuck more or less to the reds/brunette/darker end of the spectrum. Blonde never really appealed to me before. I have dark brows and eye lashes so I have a feeling blonde could look silly…

    Then again, I’m not exactly fending men off with a stick here, so perhaps blonde + attention would be good?

    Perhaps I should try a blonde wig first.

  9. Tennant’s season of Dr Who finally begins this week down here. Cas, redheads are in—OK, it’s not just because of my personal courtship preference, but women like Debra Messing, with her raven hair, just seem to be around in the media a lot more.

  10. Wow, 3 hours! I have finally broken the 15 minute blog post, up to 30 minutes now. I guess I need to quit sleeping so much.

    I am looking forward to Wolverine too. I am hoping that they will spend some more time with character development and fleshing out the story line and that it will be a longer movie.

    I hope WordPress.Com implements the new Akismet ASAP, the spam spawn is starting to figure out how to bypass the current version and I am having to kill more spam than I am accustomed to killing.

  11. Jack, I’ve done red before. Red works on me – probably because my hair is a chestnutty-brown anyway, so I’m close. I never noticed any different treatment when I had red hair. The only time I’ve received noticeably different treatment due to hair colour were on two occasions.

    Once when I had a very anime-esque blue/red/black/blonde streak thing going on which looked *amazing* for the first few days (the blue didn’t stay sadly 🙁 ) I had that done in time for one GenCon and it earned me some very appreciative comments. And a few odd glances on the tube. People talked to me more because the hair was a great talking point. Possibly also because I was more confident knowing I had a very funky hair style.

    The other time was when I went a deep bluey-black and then I got the alternate response. Very few people struck up random conversations with me. Possibly because my hair was dull and threatening, screaming “GOTH!!!” (even though I am too pink-cheeked, plump, and generally happy to make a good Goth). Possibly also because at that time I was feeling very low, insecure and unapproachable anyway.

    Every other hair colour I have gone for has had zero affect on how people treated me (that I noticed). Zip. Nada. Then again, I did enjoy the red… Thanks for reminding me about it!

    I would say though that I wouldn’t describe Debra Messing’s hair as ‘raven’. I always thought raven was black? I could be wrong. Been known to happen!

    Dewayne, three hours is nothing. There’s one post in my folder of shame I have been writing for six months. I kid you not!

  12. The word raven was used by David Letterman after an appearance by Debra, and I caught it off him. It probably is wrong, now that you mention it! As I am a judge for L’Oréal Colour Trophy here, I should have known!

  13. I’ve been thinking about this on and off all day, and I will admit that I am intrigued – what does being a judge in a Colour Trophy entail?

  14. I go and look at the entries (over 300), and basically decide on which is the most fashion-forward look of the lot. I do have to take into account the colouring, photographic quality and model as subsidiary considerations.

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