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November 28, 2006

In praise of jargon

Kathy Sierra: "Dinner conversations around my house often are about one of those two things--programming or horses--and most non-horse, non-developer folks might wonder if we're just making s*** up. But if you took away our jargon, the conversations would not just be slower, they'd be dumber."

November 28, 2006 in Usability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


David Slack: "The following phrases are drawn from Key's speech today, and Helen Clark's conference speech last month. See if you can identify which comes from which."

November 28, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2006

SF Book Club 50

Via Ian McDonald: "This is the Science Fiction Book Club's list of the fifty most significant science fiction/fantasy novels published between 1953 and 2002. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicise those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved."  And per Ian's suggestion, <bracketing out> the ones I have no intention ever of reading. 

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick*
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe*
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson*
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
<29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice>
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley*
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith*
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
<48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks>
<49. Timescape, Gregory Benford>
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

I'm not sure if some of the "loves" would still be there if I were to have reread the book since adolescence.  I'm looking at you, Stephen R Donaldson.

November 25, 2006 in Books | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 15, 2006

Mission: implausible

What kind of situation could possibly require a squeegee mop, a garden chair, a broken branch, and the leftover packaging from a flatpack bookcase?

Only, I would imagine, a completely ludicrous one.

November 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 12, 2006

Two Toles cartoons

October 29, 2006.

November 9, 2006.

November 12, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2006

Love amongst the chickens

"67-year-old disaffiliated flaneur picking my toothless way through the urban sprawl... on the lookout for a contortionist who plays the trumpet."

""You were reading the BBC in-house magazine on the Jubilee Line (12 November). I was coughing hot tea through my nostrils. Surely you can't have forgotten?"

Hurrah for the personals column of the London Review of Books.

November 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fireworks safety basics

Don't fire them out of your arse.

November 10, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack