Angry Robot


Props out to my namesake, d-log!

boring old site news

This is undoubtedly the most boringest category I have, isn’t it? Anyway, as you may have noticed, there have been changes. Mostly I am taking better advantage of MT, what with the comments and the categories and such. And d/photo is more or less there. Check it out, dude!

(and I am abusing this “more” feature like goddamned crazy. I never knew I was such a windbag.)

There are still layout problems with d/photo that have stumped me (in IE5.5/Win, anyway), but the backend is bootylicious. Also, over here in this end of town, the category archive pages are haunted: what should be a list of recent posts is in fact a list of arbitrary picks — I think MT has grown a brain. Anyway, this will be fixed with the next MT release. Thanks Ben!

And finally, with the latest redesign, I have axed the poll. It may return a) when I overcome pollster’s block and b) when I can make one myself. The winning movie title, if you can remember back that far, was “Teenage Bilge Dwarves 2: Space Court.” There is a story behind it that I have been meaning to tell.

It has got to be one of the most pathetic websites yet made.

This website is dedicated to finding a toilet as and when you need one, it also has Toilet Tales from around the world and links to toilet related sites.

I found zero Toilet Tales for North America. Yet the front page also says,

Additionally if any Venture Capitalists feel that they have a couple of million burning a hole in their pocket that they wouldn’t mind parting with, then please feel to drop a line to the above address to hear more about the Toiletfinder business plan.

D’you suppose toilets will pay to be listed? Or is it the WAP access that will bring the mad stacks? Granted there’s some attempt at humour here… but also, if I’m reading it correctly, a dot-com-esque urge to make truckloads of money. Boy howdy.

bung prognosticator

Googlewhacking is a lot more fun than it should be. Try to get a single search result when you enter two common english words, i.e. “bung prognosticator.” (MeFi thread) You can play a similar game with the Oracle of Bacon’s star links device. Note the goal is to get 7 degrees of separation, not infinite, which is easy.

Did I mention that God hates figs? (via kafkaesque) And, if my information is correct, He drives an El Camino.

Oh, and here’s my new favourite book, co-authored by Ass Meat Research Group.


Hello there. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the
wonderful world of production music.

What is it? Well, it’s cheaper than music. TV/film/interactive production
companies use it when they can’t afford to pay a composer or license an
existing song. It tends to be sold in CD sets, much like sound effects. Some
of it is perfectly fine at first listen – especially tracks like “Drama
Drums,” “Percussive Drama” and “Drama Percussion”, which are meant to lie
under a given scene and not get anything more than a first listen anyway.
Much more of it, however, is greatly entertaining for how narrowly, or
sometimes hugely, it misses it’s target.

I once chatted with a composer who was doing stuff like this. He was
composing a TV theme for a basketball team. Circumstances dictated he use
hiphop elements, yet he confessed, “I hate rap. I’d rather be listening to
Mozart.” Accordingly, his composition was waaaaaay off. Sax over
Kraftwerk-esque beats, and a whole lot of trashy synth.

Career angst is audible in production music.

I’d love to post some tracks here, but the potential for legal headaches
discourages me. However, there is more than enough entertainment in the song
titles and descriptions. So here is a list of my favourites, with the requisite quippery appended.

petition to Lucas

Petition to have Peter Jackson replace Lucas as director of Episode III. I can get behind that. Jackson is suddenly the New Lucas anyway, really, whereas Lucas has moved on to making Teen Movies in Space. Which brings me to some dialogue suggestions for Mr. Lucas. I imagine he’s not hep to the latest slang the kids are using.

Annakin: Yo, Yoda, yo.

Yoda: Whaddup.

You outta Space Yoohoo, yo.

Yoda: (shrugs) Whatever.

Amidala: (snowboarding, in space) To the max!

Annakin crashes into a tree.

Annakin: Aww damn! I broke my Space-Snowboard.

Amidala: Dude, I am so totally Space-Blogging that.

the benevolent cabal

The Global Business Network, a research consultancy. Devoted to “scenario planning,” a type of nonlinear and heretical prognostication. GBN (and its predecessor, the Royal Dutch/Shell’s Group Planning) successfully predicted the end of the cold war, the 70s energy crisis, the changes in South Africa. Members include Brian Eno, Bill Joy, John Perry Barlow, Walter Parkes. For a good backgrounder, see this Wired article from ’94; for a glance at the breadth of their thinking and some opinions on the short-term future of the world, read that.

Schwartz bemoans the sorry state of broadband – “When was the last time your TV crashed?” He argues that the VC field is healthier than ever. He considers the world to be on the cusp of massive scientific breakthroughs. He raises concerns about the US becoming a “rogue superpower,” the Microsoft of governments. The reemergence of the state after market dominance in the 90s: “the model around the world is increasingly Singapore, not the United States.” The difference between dictatorships and the new criminal states (Burma, Columbia, Sudan, etc). And on changes in intelligence:

What is interesting to me is to see the degree to which we are having an influence over places like the CIA, in how they think, how they approach thinking about the future .. Because we are at a moment where the global rules of security are changing in a very big way … It’s a privilege to be an active participant in the process of rethinking the future of national security and global security.

Amongst other things, the lack of political bias is refreshing. Schwartz speaks harshly about Bush’s actions on the international stage, yet elsewhere argues for the deployment of ground troops in Afghanistan. Too often we assume that if we agree with someone on one point, we should agree with their other points as well, and if we hate one action, we should hate all others produced by that person. Whereas things are rarely that simple.

And, uh… “check out the big brain on Schwartz.”


Finally, some good old fashioned flashing and screaming. Requires, um, Flash.


While I’m mentioning man-behind-the-Britney Oliver Willis, I should mention his EnronGate page, a superior way to get some good background info about this fiasco.

fictional blogs

Fictional blog roundup: my warmongering alter-ego Caesar has inspired some other historical blogs, such as Cleopatria and Eusebius (who didn’t really take to blogging, it appears). I’m quite fond of Snoop Doggy Blog, and tha Doggfather is now joined by Britney in the pantheon of popstar-bloggers.

Of course, there’s a whole history of online-journal people doing fiction in their preferred format, which you could explore via the DMOZ. And let’s not forget Dracula, which is just begging to be turned into a group blog or series of blogs…


I’m back from LA, that depraved sweatbox, that suburb without an urb, that surprisingly beautiful shithole, that artifice magnet, that sprawling bitch goddess, that — oh, somebody kick me. Anyway it was a blast.

One thing that caught my eye down there was this article in the LA New Times concerning narcocorridos, Mexican traditional music about drug trafficking. It’s a fascinating type of gangsta folk. (Apologies to my US readers who may already be familiar with this stuff, but to a naive Torontonian the piece was quite an eye-opener.) There’s a book available on the subject. That page there about the book also has links to further topical material – much better than I could turn up via half-assed googling – so take a look.


An incredibly well-written comic. Be sure to click “next” at the end of the first page. Here’s the first part; haven’t read that yet. (via randomwalks.)

capital of the 3rd world

I’m going to LA next week. Never been there before. I’d like to hear about hotspots, coldspots, happyspots, sadspots, or any type of spot I should visit. Film landmarks would be nice. I know to go to Sunset Blvd., Mulholland Drive, Venice Beach, and Mann’s Chinese… Any suggestions? (if you don’t want to leave an email address just make one up, please)


Good friend Matty C has produced a kid. Congrats to Matt & Alison. In Matt’s words, “Holy shit I’m a dad!”