Monday, December 24, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I demand more from the people I want running my country, I want them to stand for something, I want them to make a difference. Instead my cynicism is in full blown attack mode as another centre party takes the stage. This election campaign has been BEIGE and I'm sick of beige politics.
It's clear in my mind that right and left have no meaning in discussions of political ideology anymore. I find the terms limiting and blinkered, and lead to 'turf' wars that avoid solutions and focus on terminology. We should be encouraging our politicians to try and be forces for change, and innovation, not sound bites that have to stay 'on message'.
There are some obvious problems facing Australia's future, and they don't have anything to do with interest rates, unemployment, and the economy. Indigenous Australians and the environment are two challenges for the future. Our new PM has promised to apologise to Aborigines and sign Kyoto. I hope his plans go deeper than that, both these issues are complex and need leadership to start the process for improving the situation, and for too long they have been ignored by major politicians and deserve more than symbolic actions to set them right.
As you have probably guessed I haven't voted for a major party since I voted for Paul Keating. (He was never beige).
So, keep watching your elected reps. closely and make sure they are striving to make this country better.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
And the industry has come a long way since Pong, Space Invaders and Frogger. More and more designers are trying to push the boundaries of how computer games work, trying to increase the immersiveness, and trying to tell interesting stories.
One major hurdle to this is the lack of a proper rating system for games in this country. The government repeatedly refuses to bring in a system similar to movies that would include an R rating, rather than banning games it considers to be too violent etc. Statistics show that the average age of gamers is 25-35 and getting older, yet these adults cannot chose for themselves whether they would like to play certain games. Who said censorship was dead?
But, I can hear you saying, violent video games lead to violent children! This old canard has been brought out many times, yet there is no concrete evidence to support it. But you will continue to hear it. Using myself as an example I've killed millions of people/aliens/robots and God knows what else and feel no urges to go on a killing spree. In fact I think I'm calmer because of this. I've also driven thousands of cars at high speeds, and through pedestrians (in Carmageddon), and have yet to incur a speeding ticket, or be involved in an accident.
I consider myself a fairly average member of society, and I can tell the difference between reality and fiction, just like the millions of other people who play video games.
Now I'll get off my high horse and tell you about some great blogging that's being done about games. One of the best, and one I'll add to my blog roll, is by N'Gai Croal and called Level Up.
Croal is a great writer whose passion for his chosen topic is evident in every post, and it is a great way to find out what is happening in the world of video games.
So approach gamers, and video games with an open mind and you may just be surprised.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
For example in this run Moore describes the Flash like this, "a man who moves so fast that his life is an endless gallery of statues." One sentence and Moore has cut to the heart of the character.
The Swamp Thing is another tragic character who is at first searching for his humanity, but later learns to accept what he has become, an earth elemental tasked with protecting the Parliament of Trees. (The group consciousness of all plants on Earth.)
Moore's writing is great and i found myself wanting to read just one more page before putting it down. Moore will also make you think, as this series is a long discussion about what makes a person human, and what makes a person a hero.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Forced blogging defeats the purpose of blogs in the first place. If I like an idea I will add it to my blog, but spruik it to others ... not likely.
Blogs are for whimsy, and whatever takes your fancy, and they won't appeal to everyone. And people should not be forced to write things if they don't want to. I like blogging, but am more interested in writing about books, pop culture, computer games and hobbies than feeling like I must produce a piece of writing letting everyone know that I've visited technorati. (I have and have added a widget to my blog.)
So the course goes on, and I'll continue to visit sites and play around, just don't be surprised if I refuse to diligently write posts about it. Watch my blog though as it will change.
Meanwhile I have a pile of things that need to be read and there's always a new game I could play.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Asher also has very firm political views, and he doesn't suffer fools gladly. Read his blog, a link can be found in my blog roll, and be prepared to be forced to think about things. Asher is not a fan of what he sees as environmental idiots pushing global warming disaster scenarios. Now I'm not saying I totally agree with him, but it is good to see someone who is willing to ask questions and poke holes in arguments rather than blindly jumping on bandwagons. (Al Gore and the British Government are two common targets for Asher's anger.)
Have a read of Asher's blog or just read his novels, but I'm warning you he'll make you think.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Unfortunately the cover tells you everything you need to know about this book, biological threat, overblown prose and loner hero.
Avoid like the biological weapons that threaten the world in this narrative.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
It looks good sitting at the bottom of my blog, but the reality of working on desk means I do not use it much, instead I have gone lo-tech and replaced it with a good old-fashioned reading diary.
The reading diary is more portable and easier to access if I want to check books I've read, and what score out of five I gave them.
This doesn't mean I hate LibraryThing, I just think it is suited to being a part of my blog rather than a tool I would use every day. Patrons might like to browse through it for curiosity, but I'll stick to my reading diary as a reference tool.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
One of the joys of the web is browsing the blogs, and other sites just smelling the roses. I think we should be slowing our experience of the web down, not trying to speed it up in some attempt to see everything as quickly as possible. It's a big world/web out there and we are never going to see all of it, so instead enjoy the bits you can see, and take your time enjoying them.
Lets take the rush out of life, and stop to smell the roses.
- I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me - Charles Darwin
- Edgar Allan Poe's prose is unreadable - like Jane Austen's. No, there is a difference. I could read his prose on a salary, but not Jane's - Mark Twain
- Ulysses is the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples - Virginia Woolf
- Henry James has a mind so fine that no idea could violate it - T S Elliot
- Free verse is like free love; it is a contradiction in terms - G K Chesterton
- It was a bad play saved by a bad performance - George S Kaufman
- Gertrude Stein was a past master in making nothing happen very slowly - Clifton Fadiman
- Truman Capote has made lying an art. A minor art - Gore Vidal
- J D Salinger is the greatest mind ever to stay in prep school - Norman Mailer
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a bad novelist and a fool. The combination usually makes for great popularity in the US - Gore Vidal
- The g is silent - the only thing about her that is - Julia Burchill on Camille Paglia
Thursday, September 27, 2007
These are all things I think everyone should have either read or listened to.
Frank Herbert - Dune
Alan Moore - Watchmen
Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971
Monday, September 24, 2007
- Neal Asher - Hilldiggers
- Mike Davis - Buda's Wagon. A Brief History of the Car Bomb
- Ian C Esslemont - Night of Knives
- Christopher Fowler - The Water Room
- William Langewiesche - The Atomic Bazaar
- Christopher Moore - The Stupidest Angel
- Mark Millar - The Ultimates 2. Grand Theft America
- Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives
Books I have not enjoyed at all:
- Mike Carey - Ultimate Fantastic Four vol. 7
- Mark Edmunson - Why Read?
- Michael Grose - XYZ. The New Rules of Generational Warfare
- Myriam Miedzian - Boys Will Be Boys
Friday, September 21, 2007
Just make sure you keep quiet when this librarian asks you to.
Ouch, that hurt...don't point them at me!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I was impressed by how much fun they still were, plus they brought up fun memories of reading them as a kid.
Now I'm not saying the plots are terribly complex, but the idea that the reader could choose how they wanted to approach the story is an interesting one, and trying to bring that to a solo adventure is also an interesting one.
So I'll continue to relive a part of my childhood and enjoy the other books in the series.
Monday, September 17, 2007
As the library undertakes a self-learning course designed to teach librarians about the wonders of the Web, and its amazing ability to engage I will be called upon to comment on my blog about my experiences. So ...
OK we're only up to week three but I'm sure something will come to me. Maybe if I sit and stare at the computer I'll be inspired. This is starting to feel like an episode of Californication without the sex, smoking, and bestselling author bit. But the writer's block I can relate to.
Hmmmmmm. Stay tuned and I'll think of something...I promise...really I will...don't go it'll get better...come back!
Hello....Hello, anyone there.
Damn it is this thing on?...
Friday, September 14, 2007
You're Prufrock and Other Observations!
by T.S. Eliot
Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic
and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying
to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really
heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
BOOKS I ENJOYED:
- Chester Brown - Louis Riel
- Andrew Cockburn - Rumsfeld. An American Disaster
- Robert A Doughty - Pyrrhic Victory. French Strategy and Operations in the Great War
- Warren Ellis - Desolation Jones: Made in England
- Stan Lee - The Essential Captain America vol. 2
- Tim Moore - Nul Points
- Greg Pak - Hulk: Planet Hulk
BOOKS I DIDN'T ENJOY:
- Mario Acevedo - X-Rated Blood Suckers
- Mark Edundson - Why Read?
- Sam Harris - The End of Faith
- Russell Kirkpatrick - Across the Face of the World
- Ron Suskind - The One Percent Doctrine
Monday, August 27, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
- I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I'll die like a poet.
- Woody [Guthrie] is the greatest holiest godliest one in the world.
- I don't care what people expect of me. Doesn't concern me. I'm doing God's work. That's all I know.
- Everything is changed now from before.
- How many singers feel the same way 10 years later? A lot of my songs don't work now.
- Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt my whole body tremble.
Friday, August 17, 2007
- Never open your book with weather - Elmore Leonard
- Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke - F Scott Fitzgerald
- Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators - Albert Camus
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out - George Orwell (who really could have cut two words out of this statement.)
- If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talk about writing or themselves - Lillian Hellman
- This is just the book to give your sister if she's a loud, dirty, boozy girl - Dylan Thomas on At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien
- Proust changed my life with books one, two and three. I'll read more of Moby Dick, but three Proust books may have to suffice - Jonathan Franzen
- I don't fire up the prose, I just tell it straight and don't fool around with it - Raymond Carver
- Just remember how many writers down the ages have written to entertain, and who remembers them now? - Miguel Angel Asturias
- You have the idea and you put down what you want to say. Then get somebody to add commas, maybe fix the spelling. They have people who do that - Elmore Leonard