Archive for July, 2002

blogpop handover

Sometimes, you have to hand over the reins to someone who really knows what they’re doing. It’s with great pleasure, therefore, that I can announce a new home for blogpop, where you can read all about the top 213 UK blogs, as opposed to my piffling top 30 list. In the meantime, I owe a hearty debt of gratitude to Mo for all the help he gave me with my own version, writing scripts and answering my series of staggeringly inane questions with impressive and memorable patience.

linky linky

When Microsoft introduced XP, their most recent operating system, one of the features that didn’t quite make the initial deadline for inclusion was the implementation of Smart Tags. With these, words and phases on blogjam could be turned into links, links I never intended to be there, links that point in the direction of Microsoft-approved content. I’ve inserted a meta-tag in my code that prevents Bill Gates and his evil henchmen from doing this, but I’ve always been a little curious as to how they might actually work in real life.

Like this, perhaps? [link via udn]

blogjam blog test

What with all this fuss about the Guardian weblog awards, and talk of whether bloggers would play up to the camera in the hope of impressing the judges, I decided to compile a test that would sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of deciding exactly who is best placed to judge this particular website. It’s quite straightforward. Anyone who feels they know blogjam well enough to compare it favourably or otherwise with other sites can take part, just as long as they can prove themselves to have a sufficient understanding of personal publishing in general and UK weblogging in particular.

no sex, playground’s muddy

Something I was sent today prompted me to go in search of euphemisms for menstruation, and naturally I came up trumps at the wonderfully named Museum of Menstruation. It’s fascinating in a slightly disturbing kind-of-way, featuring such expressions as “Little Red Riding Hood is making her way through the woods,” “My pussy cat has a nose bleed” and the truly baffling “Having a talk with Father de Bricassat.”

gary numan’s shorts

Yesterday afternoon found me lying back in the sun and enjoying the cricket at Channel 4’s Indian Summer event in Regents Park, when I got the call: Cinderella, you shall go to the ball, and it won’t cost you a penny. An hour or so later I’m sprawled, Pims in hand, in the VIP enclosure at The Cure’s Route Of Kings event in Hyde Park, a mile or so further south. Now I’m generally not really a fan of these places — the drink is always more expensive than it is out front, and you end up surrounded by wannabe media bunnies queuing up for their next line of ‘beak glitter.’ Talking of which, and on the up side, the toilets tend to be clean, and you get to stare in wonder at Gary Numan’s extraordinary dress sense (baggy shorts, black socks and patent leather shoes, anyone?) and his incredible looking stalker-wife (insane hair, tiger-print dress, high heels and lavish cleavage).

Oh yeah, and I watched the bands. Mogwai sounded as good as I’ve ever heard them, despite the daylight and genteel surroundings, whilst The Cure continue to rely on a set the bulk of which features songs between fifteen and twenty years old. Almost to reinforce the fact that they probably belong in a different era now, they encore with songs by Alex Harvey and Thin Lizzy. It’s kinda sad, kinda karaoke, kinda irrelevant, but judging by the sheer number of Robert Smith-alikes in the crowd the band can continue to wheel out this tribute to themselves act for a few more years to come.

his space holiday

So there I was, browsing around to find a nice holiday destination for this year, only to discover that going into space is actually a serious option. Can anyone lend me $20,000,000? Failing that, $50,000 for a sub-oribital trip will suffice. I promise to send a postcard.

46% useless

Sometimes all the computer trickery in the World falls flat in the face of brutal reality. Today I took the pull-o-meter test, which will advise you on the likelihood of successfully pulling a member of the opposite sex on an average night out, based on the usual carefully selected set of criteria. I got 46%. You what? That would suggest that I ‘get lucky’ nearly half the time I’m in this kind of environment, which is so far off the mark it’s laughable. 4.6% would be closer to the truth, and even that’s generous. But then again… it’s Friday night, and I’m indoors staring at a screen whilst most healthy humans are out experiencing exactly the sort of evening where these things tend to develop.

Note to self: must get out more. [link via grayblog].

stop piracy

You know that dodgy copy of Photoshop 7.0 you downloaded from Kazaa last night? Put it back, because The BSA are on your case. They’re an organisation which “educates computer users on software copyrights and cyber security; advocates public policy that fosters innovation and expands trade opportunities; and fights software piracy.” All highly laudible aims, you might think, but I’ve got to wonder at their chances of success. Why? Because one of their main prongs of attack is a quite fantastic (and yet completely ludicrous) flash movie explaining how much your life will improve by licensing your software. It’s like your dad attempting to warn you off drugs by retelling his one bad acid trip story from the sixties; not convincing in the slightest, and somehow glamourising the whole experience at the same time.