Nov 2006

Let's try that again…

I spoke too soon. Within hours of proclaiming myself back online, my swanky new graphics card gave up the ghost. I’m now using a very old (borrowed… thanks K) card until a replacement swanky one is dispatched by the shop. I understand, of course, that ATi can’t individually test every card that comes off the assembly line for several days to see if there’s any flaws in the chip (which will be revealed only after the GPU heats up and cools down a few times through regular use). That doesn’t stop it being a right royal pain in the arse when you get sent a dud though.

Anyways, during my extended absence from the internet (that word is only one and a half letters away from ‘internment’, y’know) I generated a lengthy backlog of emails which I’ve now pretty much caught up with. If you’re reading this and are expecting a reply to an email, could you please resend it as you wouldn’t believe the amount of spam I received, and I was getting pretty damn cavalier with the delete button at a few points there.

But among the emails I received were several containing links to interesting stuff. And some of those are worth sharing.

First up is this piece on Wolves and Dogs (via Gyrus). The notion of a “mutual domestication” process between man and dogs/wolves isn’t new. It’s covered quite well, for instance, in Colin Tudge’s essential So Shall We Reap (and when I say “essential”, that’s not just hyperbole… I mean “please go and buy the book now and read it”. Seriously. Go and do it). But Jason Godesky’s article takes the idea to some surprising places. It’s well-researched and coherent. Some of the conclusions he draws are perhaps a bit further out than I’d be willing to go, but interesting stuff nonetheless.

Next, something silly… the Notepad Secret Trick video. For those without Windows XP to try this on, I can assure you that it’s completely accurate. If you save a file in Notepad containing the words “Bush hid the facts”, it will be scrambled into an unreadable character set when you reopen it. Just imagine trying to explain the online video demonstrating this little oddity to someone living 150 years ago. If nothing else, technology has made the word a far weirder place.

And for that, I salute it.

Mahalia sent me this wonderful News In Brief item from consistently funny, The Onion. I’m not sure there’s been a single issue of The Onion that hasn’t had at least one thing in it that made me laugh. And I’ve been reading it for almost a decade. Outstanding stuff.

From R.A., YouTube (of course) have the promo-video for Spearhead‘s “I Know I’m Not Alone” (the single from the sublime Yell Fire! album). The song itself is a wee bit Michael Franti goes U2, and perhaps not entirely typical of Spearhead, but still a groovy tune. I mention this primarily as Spearhead are touring Europe again during the first half of December (full dates) including Saturday the 2nd in Dublin! Yay!

By the way, I’ve spent most of this week listening to “LOVE” by The Beatles. A full review of which should hopefully appear here sometime very soon. As a sneak preview… the review will essentially be the two words, “bloody awesome”, expanded into several hundred.

Anyways, I hope all is groovy with you, dear reader. And let’s hope I’m back up and running for more than a few days this time.

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