Saturday, March 24, 2001

Much to my surprise, the webcast of A-ha's concert in Oslo just now was done very professionally. And the music was good too.

Some weird fantasy at Electric Sheep, involving Bill Gates, Walt Disney's brain, and the extinction of humanity.

Patrick Farley is up there with Scott McCloud as one of the visionaries of web comics. He doesn't make much, but the stuff he makes is absolutely wonderful.

Murdoch jr eagerly licks the boots of his daddy's shady business partners, another example of megacorp media with absolutely no shred of integrity. [From Drudge.] Here's a frighteningly long list of News Corp mags and TV channels You Might Not Want To Trust, (almost as long as AOL Time Warner's).

I can't put my finger on precisely why, but this article in Aftenposten on artists and poseurs may be one of the silliest things I've ever read. Don't know why I'm linking to it, really.

Friday, March 23, 2001

Two different worlds: In Russia, 13 out of 21 newspapers will print anything you like if you pay them well. In the US, 27 out of 52 college newspapers won't print a controversial political ad, no matter how much you pay them. Oddly similar cases, yet vastly different.

Thursday, March 22, 2001

Another Modern Humorist dawt-com satire - this time in meta!

Added Hverdag, the online diary of Kariann Askeland, to the norwegian blogs and diaries list. Also, Noemata seems to have come back to life.

Say anything you like about Amazon's patent, lawyer and highway robbery department, but it is pretty nice of them to replace that Duck Soup tape without actual proof that it is broken. Or it might be one of those instances where niceness and business sense overlaps, I don't know.

Well you can stick your nine to five livin'
And your collar and your tie
And stick your moral standards
'Cause it's all a dirty lie
You can stick your golden handshake
And you can stick your silly rules
And all the other shit
That they teach to kids in school
('Cause I ain't no fool)

Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll star
Gonna be a rock 'n' roll singer
I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll,
A rock 'n' roll star

- AC/DC, Rock'n Roll Singer

Oh well, back to reality, where tanstaafl rules the day.

No opnar han herlege Kjetil sin noble munn: "er du klar, kugutt? Kor vil du ha kula- i panna eller i prateholet?" Tenna hans glimrar i s�rstatssola. Han rettar kjekt p� hatten, og spyttar snusen p� ein dum unge som ser p� med store, patetiske gluggar. Dei g�r tyve skritt fr� kvarandre. Klokka p� r�dhust�rnet tikkar m�lretta fram mot han ub�nnh�rlege duellen. "DONG" Her tek dermed historia ei interessant vending- Han Kjetil spring bort til han Ari i lynande fart, ja, f�r pjattmakaren rekk � snu sitt udugelege corpus, og perforerar han brutalt med sitt mannslem.
From an amusing thread over at Dagbladet on the Rolness-Behn catfight. I'm siding with Rolness here - he's got a sharp pen and a clear head. I say: More blood, more snide remarks - less respect and big words. Some of these literature pundits take themselves way too seriously.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Salon is planning a subscription service - an experiment everyone knows Slate failed with two years ago, so they must be pretty desperate. The united response from Kuro5hin: A big shrug. Salon, like Slashdot, has been fading into irrelevancy for a long time - I won't miss it.

My work had me going across town to get something done, (details irrelevant). It didn't take long, which was as good excuse as any to take the rest of the day off. Spent some time walking through a part of Oslo I haven't explored before, starting from a place above Tøyen where you can see most of central Oslo, down Tøyengata and through Grønland. Nobody ever accused Oslo of being beautiful, but there are some well-hidden spots here and there that doesn't look too bad when you're not in a rush to get anywhere else. Ended up at Oslo S and bought some scifi (Heinlein and Poul Anderson) and another volume of R. Crumb comics. My back is still killing me, and I feel pretty funny.

Must have slept wrong, because my back is giving me hell this morning. Ouch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Minister of Church, Education and Research (!), Trond Giske, refuses to budge in the issue of Oasen Bibelsenter, a church that wishes to run a private elementary school on traditional christian principles. Giske wants to keep religion out of education, which I disagree with - parents should decide how to raise their children, not the government, and religion is not child-abuse.

In addition to this, he lists two arguments that strikes me as very odd:

2.) Departementet mener at undervisningsopplegget er sv�rt individualisert og at den sterke vektleggingen av individuell oppl�ring i undervisningsplanene i for sterk grad bryter med vesentlige prinsipper for norsk skole.

3) Departementet antar at Oasen barneskole ikke vil ivareta alle prinsippene i FN�s barnekonvensjon.

Why is individualized education bad, and how does religion violate the UN childrens rights convention?

Modern Humorist: First aid for the dying dot-com. Read and memorize - if you have a Real Job it may seem quaint now, but when your best friends dot-com is lying there gasping for air, there is no time for indecision.

On one hand it annoys me that Salon heralds a lame, intrusive music service as the Next Napster. On the other hand I'm so relieved every time one of these mag parrots don't mention and bring unwanted RIAA attention to AudioGalaxy (easy to use, good selection, and .. oops .. centralized servers). I also haven't seen much mainstream coverage of FreeNet, which continues to grow, and is destined to annoy censors, copyright holders and moral guardians everywhere when it reaches critical mass. I don't know if I support it, but I do know it will cause some ugly pedo/nazi/terror headlines.

Mapping the growth of a meme, from the early posts at Something Awful, TMOL and Stile, through Tribal War and the Register, to Fox News and LA Times! That's quite a journey, placing AYBABTU up there with Mahir and the Hamster Dance.

Monday, March 19, 2001

That high school Drudge apprentice I wrote about earlier was linked to by Drudge himself today, which may explain this amusing headline: "WHAT HAPPENED? TRIPOD SERVER SHUTS DOWN DAHILLER; REASON UNKNOWN; SEVERAL ARTICLES LOST...DEVELOPING..." OJR, who carried Matt Welch's original, excellent article was also linked to, and currently isn't available at all.

Update: Looks like a mistake at Tripod was to blame, and whatever load brought OJR to its knees yesterday, it's gone now. All the better reason to read that article.

Last years Donald Duck & Co are being made available in huge three-month pocket books for 140 NOK. I just picked one up at the grocery store. This is the kind of great, obvious idea I would never think of in a million years. It is clearly targeted directly at people like me, ex-readers who can't be bothered to collect issues the old-fashioned way, week by week. There's rarely more than one good story anyway, and with my extremely limited salary and shelf space I have to prioritize, so Donald Duck lost out to the competition years ago. But now that it's both cheap and pre-collected, I feel it is time to resume my donaldist duties again.

What are the albanians in Macedonia fighting for, anyway? Here's a nice background to the situation, and a more up to date analysis of the NLA. One thing is for sure: The next politician who suggests military interference in this ethnic quag-mire, I'll hit over the head with a large, heavy history book.

Mr Rock'n Roll Incarnated is currently seeing the very beautiful granddaughter of one of my favourite authors, who happened to be part norwegian. Coincidence? Well, propably, but it's a nice coincidence, and I like nice coincidences.

(Sincere apologies for linking to a "newspaper" that refers to Roald Dahl as a "crime writer", I really tried to find a better source -- but then again it's not very important news, is it?)

Thanks to Jill for digging up Nordbø 11, another norwegian blog.

Sunday, March 18, 2001

Mir is coming down this Thursday, and if the gods of turbulence and galactic karma wills it, there's a reasonable chance it won't hit Australia. Any technical equipment can fail at any time. We put the risk at 2 to 3%. These are the russians own words, mind you, so at least they're not exaggerating.