Another Dark Little Corner
Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.
There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought. Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]
Absolute Write Paypal donation button: Absolute Write is one of the leading sites for information on writing and publishing, especially the scam versions thereof. It has a broad, deep online community with an enormous message base going back years. Now it needs help. See the details and discussion here
Preditors and Editors
Everything you wanted to know about literary agents
On the getting of agents
(and my Wish List)
Blogger is still behaving strangely betimes. Am not able to safely remove duplicates or re-edit entries yet. Sorry about the mess, it'll get fixed, but I think you can get the general flavour anyway. I hope. <cheesy grin>
New Lows in Film Tie-in Merchandising
Sauron's One Ring
An electronic replica of the Dark Lord of Mordor’s armor-clad severed finger which recalls the defeat of the malicious ruler of Middle-earth by brave Isildur, eldest son Elendil, who cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron at the Battle of the Last Alliance in the Second Age.
(Collections are also available for Alien, Predator, Shrek, Star Wars and Star Trek)
That last bit is a kinda cosmic recognition. But then, you can almost say
the same thing about roads: "The road goes ever on and on, down from the
door where it began" Certainly it applies within continental
masses, like Eurasia-Africa, the Americas & Australia.
Going Home Again by Howard Waldrop; Review by Greg L Johnson
Going Home Again is Howard Waldrop's fourth short
story collection. It contains nine stories published from 1992 to 1998. Not
only are they the best stories Waldrop has written over that time span, they
are pretty much the only stories he has written, along with continuing work
on two novels, one already 26 years in the making. As he observes in the
introduction, "This is not the way to make lots of money." It is, however,
the way to write many-layered stories that reward the reader willing to pay
attention to every word that appears on the page ...
One of the best things about science fiction is that it often provides a
home for writers that just don't fit in anywhere else ... Howard Waldrop is
another singularly individual writer who writes complex, beautiful short
stories, many of which reveal alternate histories of a truly unique nature
Words & Music. Words & Deeds
You probably need to hear this. ( href="http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/common_people.wma">http://www.shoutfact
ory.com/av/common_people.wma ). You may not think you need to hear it,
but I'm afraid you do. Resistance is futile. (Who do you think is the vocal
ml - with video (may be overloaded) -- or explore other (p)arts at
aviola.com ( or try from this page: href="http://fredo.em411.com/show/release/2430">http://fredo.em411.com/show/
release/2430 , which links to the MP3 at href="http://fredo.em411.com/download/release/2430/fredo_em411_com_the_sad_s
... and for dedication to the cause of freedom from censorship (compare
9/11F banned by ADF stories) see href="http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16088">http://n
ewsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16088 re David
David's fundraising efforts ("PETER DAVID & THE PINIS' SDCC INK ADVENTURE"-
with pix) or the same story at href="http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16047">
"PETER DAVID: GETTING INK FOR THE FUND"
Words & Music; Words & Deeds
You probably need to hear this. ( http://www.shoutfactory.com/av/common_people.wma ). You may not think you need to hear it, but I'm afraid you do. Resistance is futile. (Who do you think is the vocal artist?)
Alternatively, http://aviola.com/the_sad_song.html - with video (may be overloaded) -- or explore other (p)arts at aviola.com ( or try from this page: http://fredo.em411.com/show/release/2430 , which links to the MP3 at http://fredo.em411.com/download/release/2430/fredo_em411_com_the_sad_song.mp3
... and for dedication to the cause of freedom from censorship (compare 9/11F banned by ADF stories) see http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16088 re David David's fundraising efforts ("PETER DAVID & THE PINIS' SDCC INK ADVENTURE"- with pix) or the same story at http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16047 "PETER DAVID: GETTING INK FOR THE FUND"
Going Home Again by Howard Waldrop; Review by Greg L Johnson
Going Home Again is Howard Waldrop's fourth short story collection. It contains nine stories published from 1992 to 1998. Not only are they the best stories Waldrop has written over that time span, they are pretty much the only stories he has written, along with continuing work on two novels, one already 26 years in the making. As he observes in the introduction, "This is not the way to make lots of money." It is, however, the way to write many-layered stories that reward the reader willing to pay attention to every word that appears on the page ...
That last bit is a kinda cosmic recognition. But then, you can almost say the same thing about roads: "The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began" Certainly it applies within continental masses, like Eurasia-Africa, the Americas & Australia.
Re Ulrika's post on part of one of Patrick's comments "In a society in which everyone "knows" that politicians and activists are entirely no-goodniks, who has power?"
I call this 'Christabel' from just one tiny moment in the TV version.
[In 1934, Christabel Burton married Peter Bielenberg, an Oxford graduate and German lawyer. In 1935 she became a German citizen and moved to Hamburg. She kept notes during the next ten years, and a few years after the war, wrote her story (under either "The Past is Myself" or "When I was German" ). In 1988 it was adapted by Dennis Potter to a TV series called "Christabel", and shown on the BBC (and PBS in 1989).] Someone asks her what she thinks of Herr Hitler's political ideas and she says something along the lines of "Oh, I don't follow politics"
Weather dark, cold, occasionally wet, just like winter should be. I'm miserable & logy, just like usual in winter.
Weird things happening on several computer sites today. Things not working the way they should (e.g. Blogger), multiple postings appearing, etc. Think I'll get out of the way for now.
Supply and Demand (Goose & Gander Sauce)
Supply And Demand
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
I'm still catching up on blog reading, so I almost missed Kevin Drum's hilarious economics contest (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_07/004329.php ) (also see below):
Supply and demand. Yes indeed. The labor market is a slave to supply and demand just like any other market, right?
Odd, then, that CEO pay rose 27% in 2003 ( http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/invest/extra/P83603.asp ), isn't it? Did the supply of CEOs shrink last year? Did demand skyrocket?
What's more, compared to average workers, who remain stuck in the invisible grip of Adam Smith, CEO pay has increased about 3x since 1990 and about 7x since 1980 ( http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0414-10.htm ).
Is this the free market at work? That's what I'm told. So I have a contest in mind: a prize for the least laughable explanation for why CEO pay has gone up 7x since 1980 based on supply and demand ...
July 18, 2004
WORKING CLASS WOES — PART 1....The New York Times reports that the working class isn't doing too well these days:
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hourly earnings of production workers - nonmanagement workers ranging from nurses and teachers to hamburger flippers and assembly-line workers - fell 1.1 percent in June, after accounting for inflation....In June, production workers took home $525.84 a week, on average. After accounting for inflation, this is about $8 less than they were pocketing last January, and is the lowest level of weekly pay since October 2001.
...."There's a bit of a dichotomy," said Ethan S. Harris, chief economist at Lehman Brothers. "Joe Six-Pack is under a lot of pressure. He got a lousy raise; he's paying more for gasoline and milk. He's not doing that great. But proprietors' income is up. Profits are up. Home values are up. Middle-income and upper-income people are looking pretty good." ...
Happy Anniversary Mike, Buzz & Neil
Happy Anniversary Mike, Buzz & Neil
Sitting among a bunch of restless children on a hard wooden floor at the back of the midwinter-cold school hall, with the B & W 16" TV on the stage, after waiting through a long delay, it was very difficult to hear or see the transmission. Luckily by then my parents had TV of their own (before would watch at my grandmother's) and we could all watch the replay together on that night's news.
Apollo Lunar Surface Journal: www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj - a good resource to argue against the 'moon landings were faked' idea.
www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au/apollo11/one_giant_leap.html Memories of the Parkes connection with the first human landing on the Earth's moon (as fictionalized in film The Dish)
www.honeysucklecreek.net Memories of the Honeysuckle Creek- Tidbinbilla (aka Honeybilla) - near Canberra - connection with the first human landing on the Earth's moon. They did the first bit, before Parkes took over - the last-moment crisis in The Dish is true. Order your DVD! (The DVD contains the audio of the comms loop at Honeysuckle and Net 2 (the NASA tracking station network) synchronised with the video of the first 30 minutes of the Apollo 11 moon walk.)
An archive of photos related to the whole Apollo project: www.apolloarchive.com/apollo_gallery.html
www.retroweb.com/apollo_retrospective.html A personal look back at man's first voyages to the Moon, from the perspective of a young teenager at the time.
All the people who were trying to locate a radioactive dump always said: "it's only for the low-level waste".
This, to me, is the equivalent of the well-worn phrase: "I'll only put it in a little way."
Once the low-level waste is in a special place, wait a couple of years, and where else but right nearby would they want to put the intermediate, and then the high-level waste?
Once there's a place for Australian waste, wait a couple more years, and hey-ho, why not make money from those poor worried people who don't have a place for their own?
Remember much of the world still considers Australia to be the sort of place that's well out of sight and mind (soapie characters come here to disappear), and have been sniffing around the idea of using us as a handy dump for European, Japanese & other toxic wastes, e.g. the Pangaea company.
Back to the Fifties again -- the 1850s
Heard recently on 702BL a quick discussion of recent suggestions. Chips are being spat.
Based on what I understand from that discussion:
Mrs Bishop says the Tax Act should be amended to provide taxation deductions not just for childcare or caring for disabled & elderly, but for any & all handymen, gardeners, housekeepers & so forth employed by a household.
Sounds, basically, that this is mainly to pay for wealthy people's servants, under the guise of helping your average Aussie to pay for childcare.
The wealthy will be able to employ many more such helpers, and as both partners will *not* need to work in paid employment in order to get the deduction, I strongly suspect the amount they'd be able to claim would be considerably higher than the mean or median income couple.
Mrs Bishop goes on about the extra jobs produced, but why encourage in particular such servant's jobs, yet discourage things like people researching alternative energy, or ecological or medical research by cutting funds to a number of research centres in this year's budget?
To me this reflects the whole psychology & ideology of the 'modern' Liberal Party, which goes back to nineteenth century ideas, nineteenth century industrial & social relationships and the kind of Social Darwinism and Free Trade philosophy that had parts of Ireland exporting wheat to the English market (which could afford it) even while hundreds of thousands of other Irish (who couldn't afford it) were starving.
A good use for genetic manipulation techniques
Flies help unlock the secrets to diseases such as Alzheimer's
By Michael Bradley
July 13, 2004
Scientists have found a way of successfully treating flies that were given
human degenerative brain diseases.
The Genetic Society of Australia conference in Melbourne yesterday heard how
an insect best known for its insatiable appetite for rotting fruit has been
catapulted to the forefront of attempts to prevent and cure conditions such
as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.
US researchers have identified the human genes responsible for brain
degeneration and put them into the humble vinegar fly.
Nancy Bonini, a biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "What
these mutant genes do is give the fly something which very much looks like
Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Huntington's disease.
More importantly, Dr Bonini said she had identified compounds capable of
controlling these conditions in the insects. Dr Bonini has spent more than
six years working with the impaired flies.
She said geldanamycin - a naturally occurring compound that is being
trialled as an anti-tumour agent in humans - had been shown to stimulate
genes in the fly that helped its body in times of high stress.
"We gave the flies these compounds and, as a result, it prevented the
build-up of plaque in the fly's brain and stopped their degeneration," Dr
Bonini said. "What we have really done is use fly genetics to prevent these
About 162,000 Australians suffer from some form of dementia or brain
A report by Alzheimer's Australia titled The Dementia Epidemic estimates
that more than 500,000 people will suffer from dementia by 2041 [I assume
this means 500,000 in Australia.]
Another use of internet & computer technology
Virtually opening the books
By Edmund Tadros
July 13, 2004
A little lateral thought might produce other applications for this idea.
[extracts of article]
When WH Smith came to sell most of its Asia-Pacific businesses, it knew
potential buyers would want to check the books.
Management identified about 1900 documents relevant to the running of the
three book-and-stationery chains up for grabs - Angus & Robertson in
Australia, Whitcoulls in New Zealand and WH Smith in Hong Kong.
Traditionally, a physical data room would allow potential buyers to carry
out their due diligence. But the trouble with physical data rooms is the
volume of electronic and physical documents means they are time-consuming to
set up and run. In addition, too many interested bidding groups might mean
having to set up another data room.
Many have switched to virtual data rooms that contain electronic copies of
all documents. Users still have to sign confidentiality agreements but going
virtual means the data can, depending on security requirements, be easily
accessed using computers either in a secure room or through the internet.
In this case, WH Smith decided to use the online data-room system created by
its lawyers, Clayton Utz.
Edwards says some information was released only to serious bidders.
"By putting (certain information) into a data room, you're actually up
against the privacy laws (so) we took a decision to keep staff information
out of the data room until we got to the serious players," he says.
Six virtual data rooms were opened during the bidding period, with 110 users
in three countries accessing the information. Each buying team had a posse
of lawyers, accountants, business analysts and merchant bankers to wade
through the books.
"(Bidders) access the data room via secure internet connection (and) we keep
an eye on file size and break up files that are too large to easily open,"
Most information was provided in Adobe's PDF format, with 257 documents
released in Microsoft Word and Excel formats to allow the data to be
manipulated by potential buyers.
The online data room also allowed easy tracking of bidders' requests for
information, (RFIs), which are lists of questions generated by the bidding
teams as they examine the documents.
Any documents that were added into the data room were indexed in a
supplemental release. During the month the data room was open, 235 RFIs were
received, requiring a total of 20 supplemental releases.
An electronic data room also provides a clear audit trail
Complete records are maintained of who had access to the documents and when;
this eliminates the accusations later that information was not disclosed."
At the end of the selling process a DVD was burnt of the complete set of
data-room information, adding up to more than 2 GB of files
A few Leichhardt references
a few Leichhardt references
www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/extras/oq/book2main2.html - Newspaper
www.sl.nsw.gov.au/heritage/collection/8.cfm - From an exhibition of
Australian historic material
> www.teachers.ash.org.au/mrlaneis/ozedweb_h_oz_e_leichhardt.htm - Short
school version of his story in Australia
etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/l/l52j/part3.html - Leichhardt's journal
of the 1844-1845 expedition
Patrick White's novel - href="http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-0140014381-2"> (Powell's
717"> Dymock's) - inspired by Leichhardt, which inspired href="http://www.opera-opera.com.au/plotm.htm#mealvoss">an opera by Richard
Jim Sharman - In the Realm of the Imagination: An Individual View of Theatre
The Inaugural Rex Cramphorn Memorial Lecture
Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney, 23 July 1995
In the Realm of the Imagination: An Individual View of Theatre
by Jim Sharman
What your cat does while you're at work
What your cat does while you're at work: (http://dahtcom.com/Roger/lick.jpg)
Hooray! Rain at last! We might need these...
"Rite in the Rain" is a paper created specifically for writing field notes in all weather conditions; from torrential downpours to blistering heat and humidity.
Click here to search our complete product line.
For a pen that writes better while wet, try our all-weather pens.