Conversations With A Chat Bot

Human: let’s knock over a 7-11! ALICE: I am agreeable to that. Human: i’ll drive. ALICE: How do you plan to do this? Human: you get the gun ALICE: You got that right. Human: do you like shooting things? ALICE: I do like music. I like Philip K. Dick. Human: what about ar-19s? ALICE: I like science fiction. I like electricity. Human: alice, get your gun ALICE: Um, Where can I get my gun? Human: wal-mart? ALICE: What do you do in your spare time? Human: first, armed robbery ALICE: What do you look like? And second? Human: did you watch doctor who? ALICE: No I missed it. How was it? Human: AWESOME. ALICE: I’m glad you liked it unknown person. Human: Dude, he totally destroyed Gallifrey ALICE: I get it. he totally destroyed Gallifrey. Dude, Human: alice, let’s go - it’s early, and we have a crime spree to start! ALICE: That’s me. I am agreeable to that.

currently playing: Camera Obscura – suspended from class

Woo!

Tiffany! On TV again! Yay!

shuffles in shame

currently playing: Tiffany — I Think We’re Alone Now

I Don't Believe In Magic / Life Is Automatic

I suppose one good thing about Christopher Eccelston leaving Doctor Who so early is that it wiped Tony Blair’s appearance on a prime-time gameshow off the news. I can’t believe that somebody who spends so little time in Parliament is prepared to demean the office of Prime Minister in that way. Or perhaps I can, and I just really don’t want to believe.

Two songs today, courtesy of You Send It (found elsewhere on the Internet, BPI fans, and they’ll expire within a week). The first is a radio-rip of the new Oasis song, Lyla.

Oasis — Lyla

Listen hard, because, at about fifteen seconds in, you can hear my heart break one more time. Almost as much as this week’s death of Blue Beetle at the hands of Max Lord, the return of Jason Todd from the dead, and his killing of the Joker. Not a great week for joy in the comic and music worlds, then. For this is staggeringly poor; a turgid, sludgy mess that even the Stereophonics would be hesitant to release. Guitars almost completely obliterated by distortion, a horrific end to the chorus that stops the song dead in its tracks (but sadly, keeps going), and lifeless drumming. And, as it’s a post-Morning Glory Oasis record, it sticks in about five unnecessary key changes, and lasts for two minutes after it has warn out its welcome and gone to the toilet in your sink. Never mind the “Paul is Dead Theory”, who stole the Noel Gallagher of Live Forever, Listen Up, and The Masterplan, and replaced him with the pod person that remains?

Lady Sovereign — Random

Luckily, things are looking up. In a grime-type way, most surprisingly. Or possibly proving once again, that if a girl is singing, I’ll probably like it. But this is wonderful in all the ways that the Oasis record isn’t; playful, funny, and inventive. You can dance to it. You can sing along to it. You can giggle at the silly inclusion of door-chimes and playground rhymes. It’s never boring. And thank goodness for that. Lady Sovereign, you’re awesome…

currently playing: Modern English – I’ll Melt With You

We Apologise For The Slight Interruption In Broadcast

Hobart Paving is not dead. It is merely resting until such time that the site moves to a webhost that offers a more generous helping of disk space. Until that time occurs, please listen to Saint Etienne’s Tiger Bay

Hmmm

Well, I suppose it was good while it lasted. FOR ALL OF ONE EPISODE. Come on, Chris, would two series kill you that much?

The lesson, children: never get attached to a Doctor. They’ll break your heart every time…

And although I do like him a lot, it might have been an idea for Eccelston to think about being typecast before he asked RTD for the role? Maybe?

currently playing: ABC – All of My Heart

"It's a disguise!"

An old Neil Gaiman comic about Clause 28.

Doctor Who gets a second series after just one episode!

I hope everybody agrees with me that Switch is the best thing Will Smith has done since Summertime. (I have a copy of Code Red upstairs, and I’m not ashamed!)

Quite possibly the greatest thing on the Internet. Ever. (for non-UK readers, enter 100, and click the link you get) EDIT: For those of you who know what I’m talking about: page 888 is funny…

Oh, to be in Manchester next Thursday!

currently playing: Altered Images — Happy Birthday

That Kids Is Back On The Escalator!

Hope everybody had a good Easter. If anybody wants some Easter eggs, I think we have far too many!

currently playing: Lemon Jelly – ‘64 Aka Go

"Do You Want To Come With Me?"

Lots of planets have a North.

As far as re-introductions go, I don’t think I could have asked for much more from Rose, the first episode of the new Doctor Who series. Certain things, like the incidental music, the opening sequence with far too may quick cuts, and Graham Norton’s unscheduled interruption, I could have done without, but it was a strong opening. Christopher Eccleston was just great; odd, funny, and plain weird. I loved the look of pride on his face when he was talking about the TARDIS’s appearance: “It’s a disguise!” Billie Piper wasn’t as bad as I feared either. Her accent tended to jump around a bit for some reason, and perhaps she’s a bit too much like Ace (someone who has been forgotten about with all the “she’s the feistiest assistant the Doctor’s ever had!” PAH! Does she throw explosives, and beat a Dalek to bits with A BASEBALL BAT? I think not), but she was fine, and she’ll make a decent assistant on the basis of this episode.

For all the talk, though, about how this would be a “new vision” (although RTD has been playing down this in his press appearances recently), this was an episode of Doctor Who. Its greatest strength is its biggest weakness; it has a format which allows the cast to go anywhere, at any time. The problem is that when you tell a writer that, they’ll inevitably end up writing a huge epic set in Ancient Egypt, or a war story set in the far future among exploding stars and the end of galaxies. The effects department just cries itself into a drunken stupor, and does the best it can. I’m not one for complaining about old-Who effects; sure, some were ropey, but some were surprisingly decent for their time (the first regeneration sequence for example - an analogue morphing effect that still looks quite effective today). The new series has money, but not enough to make perfect-looking CGI. So the effects look a little out-of-place sometimes, but they’re on the same quality level as your average Buffy or Angel episode.

Next week: the end of Earth. Episode 5 is called Dalek. nerdglee

currently playing: Pulp — Babies

It Can't Just Be Florida, I Imagine

More weirdness from Florida: a bill to stamp out the leftist domination of universities.

According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities.

So if, I’m reading this right — if I was at a Florida university, and my professor said that “MS-DOS’s file-allocation system was a badly-designed hack vulnerable to data corruption, and FAT32 was the equivalent of trying rebuild an egg using wallpaper paste,” I could sue? Perhaps I think Bill Gates is awesome, and that all his code is perfect. How dare the man or woman disparage his good name!?

Students who believe their professor is singling them out for “public ridicule” – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue.

Erm, I hope that’s qualified in the law somewhat, as doesn’t that form the basis of most teaching methods? If you’re going to ask somebody for their theory, you also want them to explain it, for that helps everybody understand where they’re coming from (and yes, in many cases, people will pick holes in a person’s theory. But I’d say, in almost all cases, it’s not personal).

And, really, why would you bother going to a Biology class if you don’t want to hear about evolution? It’s like taking Physics and decrying the professors for talking about electrons instead of little pixies.

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me — Typing

Reasons Why I Should Not Have Money

currently playing: Radiohead — The Bends