Archive for February, 2007

no matter how grandiose

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

“Except for one or two minor details,” said Aziraphale smugly.
“But it nearly worked,” snapped Crowley, feeling he should stick up for the old firm.
“You see, evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction,” said the angel. “It is ultimately negative, and therefore encompasses its downfall even at its moments of apparent triumph. No matter how grandiose, how well-planned, how apparently foolproof an evil plan, the inherent sinfulness will by definition rebound upon its instigators. No matter how apparently successful it may seem upon the way, at the end it will wreck itself. I will founder upon the rocks of iniquity and sink headfirst to vanish without trace into the seas of oblivion.”
Crowley considered this. “Nah,” he said, at last. “For my money, it was just average incompetence.”

“Good Omens”
By Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Tchaikovsky’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Aziraphale (an Angel, and part-time rare book dealer) and Crowley (an Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards), are in Crowley’s Bentley. One particularity is that all tapes left in a car for more than a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.

Somewhere around Chiswick, Aziraphale scrabbled vaguely in the scree of tapes in the glove compartment.
"What's a Velvet Underground?" he said.
"You wouldn't like it," said Crowley.
"Oh," said the angel dismissively. "Be-bop."
"Do you know, Aziraphale, that probably if a million human beings were asked to describe modern music, they wouldn't use the term 'be-bop'?" said Crowley.
"Ah, this is more like it. Tchaikovsky," said Aziraphale, opening a case and slotting its cassette into the Blaupunkt.
"You won't enjoy it," sighed Crowley. "It's been in the car for more than a fortnight."
A heavy bass beat began to thump the Bentley as they sped past Heathrow.
Aziraphale's brow furrowed.
"I don't recognize this," he said. "What is it?"
"It's Tchaikovsky's 'Another One Bites the Dust,'" said Crowley, closing his eyes as they went through Slough.
To while away the time as they crossed the sleeping Chilterns, they also listened to William Byrd's "We Are the Champions" and Beethoven's "I Want To Break Free." Neither were as good as Vaughan Williams's "Fat-Bottomed Girls."

“Good Omens”
by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Things I saw today (worst fight scene ever)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Via Max, “The Worst Fight Scene Ever.” The alien is like an 80 year old, cigar-smoking, hacking-cough, spangly-mini-skirt-wearing, lizard Uncle Maury “AGGGHHH get me a piece of pie! AGGGHKK”

Things I … STOP! Oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh, Hammertime! (MC Hammer)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

What can I say? Tears of joy are building up behind my eyes at this little animated gif found by Dean at the best 403 page ever. This is yet another in a series of Hammer refs including the always fantastic xkcd (you’ve just got to adore this guy).

Things I downloaded today (typewriter keyboard)

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Found by Coralie and filed under “absolutely awesomely fun things to play with and/or ‘how to drive your office mate mental”; Typewriter Keyboard for mac makes old typewriter noises when you type

Doctor, I think I have a problem with premature castling.

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

The queens of chess

There apparently is a lot more to international competitive chess than I had realised. Chess Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk and Almira Skripchenko show they are not just enormous brains in this photoshoot. I don’t know why I assumed there were no attractive chess masters, male or female. I now stand corrected.

Doing a little more research on Almira Skripchenko turns up some interesting facts, other than she has a name that wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond movie. Almira was born in Moldavia (not to be confused with Molvania ;) with a mother who is also a Grandmaster. She has won the French National Chess Championship a number of times and entered the men’s competition in 2002 and 2003, the only woman to have done so. She migrated to France, but they still love her in Molvania, naming her “best sportsman in 2001” and giving her the Order of National Merit. Outside chess, she competed, unsuccessfully, in the Ladies World Championship of Poker and she is the official poster girl of a German first division football team. I didn’t know Chess opened so many career doors.

A record of Almira’s games is available. Buried within the many serious chess comments are Whitehat1963 with “very hot!” and Runemaster with “I’ll admit that I agree with Acirce about that photo of Almira in the CCCP t-shirt: I want to embraced to the bosom of the motherland!”. It seems Almira Skripchenko is the Maria Sharapova of Chess.


Back to the photoshoot. You can buy autographed copies of the photos from $6-$36. You can also describe what you’d like the signed message to be, as long as it is a reasonable request. Within seconds we had excluded “I’ll take your bishop any day”, “please be my check mate”, “I am forever your pawn”, “it was a pleasure to handle your rook” and “I’d love to ride your knight”. I’m sure there are many others.

All this raises the question: who is the Almira of the male chess world? Garry “Gazza” Kasparov? Anatoly Karpov (now there is a face only a grandmaster could love)? Bobby Fischer? Without doubt, it’s Deep Blue who gets me hot!

I think I have now filled my chess-champion-stalking quota for the week. Next episode: monster truck minxes and ping pong pretties.

quiz time! (what kind of people do you attract)

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Rock on!! Awesome.

What type of person do you attract?

Your Result: You attract geeks!

Your stunning intellect and love of sci-fi and video games allures the geeks like nothing else. Maybe it is the sparkle in your eye that makes them want to text you, who knows. Geeks make good partners, but tend to be arguementative. If you are a TRUE geek magnet, you will know if that was spelled correctly, and actually care. If it is a bad-boy/bad-girl you are seeking, you are barking up the wrong tree, unless they are just ‘bad’ behind a PS2 console.

You attract Yuppies!
You attract artsy people!
You attract unstable people!
You attract rednecks!
You attract models!
What type of person do you attract?
Quizzes for MySpace

I also, surprise!, know my bible very well, am a dedicated reader and have a midlands (no accent, Pennsylvania, Ohio) American accent.

these are a few of my favorite things (‘Sabotage’ and ‘Praise You’)

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

In a work conversation today (describing the aqua blue leather couches and general 70s decor of some meeting hotels we were considering, then side burns, mustaches and ‘foxy’ polyester dresses), I thought of one of my favorite music video ever*, “Sabotage” for the Beastie Boys by Spike Jonze.

Probably my favorite video is “Praise You” for Fat Boy Slim, also by Jonze. When this video first came out, I made my sister miss her exit (twice!) from laughing while I was trying to describe and act out the dancing in the car.

At dinner one night a colleague asked us which video we’d watch if we had to watch one over and over again and this was my choice. I said I’d take the opportunity to learn the dance. Dean, who was there, later offered to learn the Napoleon Dynamite dance if I’d learn this one — a bet I am still willing to take on. Get your moon boots on, Aussie!

*To be completely honest, if the overall strength of liking a video counts instead of just the most current favorite in defining “favorite, ever” then the answer would be greatly, embarrassingly, skewed by the blinding ecstasy with which I loved some Duran Duran videos when I was 13 years old (Simon LeBon, *sigh*). I may someday embarrass myself further on this topic.