Have Camera...

..give it to somebody else to take pictures with. Ladies and gentlemen, I present The Celtic Soul Brothers — no, hold on, I mean UNITAS 2003—

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currently playing: Mint Royale - Don’t Falter

Kiss & Ride?

Ah, it’s an area where parents can drop off their children safely. Not, as first feared, a service where you have to kiss the driver before you’re allowed on the bus. Potential embarrassing situation averted.

Yes, I've finally booked my Spring Break trip to Washington, where I will get a pair of Josh's enforcer sunglasses and look menacing. Stop laughing.

I'm going to be staying in Cheverly, MD, at this hotel, which is near the Metro station. However, I'm never simple; my first three days of Spring Break will be spent in Chapel Hill. The reason for this is that the annual Duke v. Chapel Hill basketball game is on the Saturday, and Laura tells me that the town goes completely crazy if UNC manages to win. Not much chance of that, but I think I should stay in town just in case.

One annoyance is that Amtrak refuse to send a ticket to university dorms. I can't see why, and it's irritating; Durham doesn't have a "Quik-Trak" station, so I'm going to have to pick up my ticket from an agent on the day. Grr.

By the way, have Easter Eggs gone on sale back in the UK yet? I haven't seen any here so far...

currently playing: Saint Etienne - She’s The One

I Won't Give You Anthrax or Anything

If I achieved nothing else today, I saved my students from the homework assignment from Hell. The professor snuck in a question at the last minute, assuming that it would be quite easy. I started working on the answer sheet this morning, only to get hopelessly stuck. A quick trawl on the Internet didn’t seem to find anything, so it was time to break out the big guns (see, they were useful). I eventually found an answer.

Which ran to ten pages of dense maths involving imaginary integrals.

One hurried email to the professor later, the question was removed. That should prevent a deluge of confused students at my office on Thursday...

I did intend to vote today. Honest. But the blasted website refused to let me enter with Mozilla, and then Internet Explorer wouldn't work properly, and then a student came in with some questions. So it slipped my mind a little.

Go and buy the new Nick Cave album.

Insane and stupid ideas at the ready.

Get Your War On.

currently playing: Nick Cave - Babe, I’m On Fire

Lettering Issues

I was playing with my shiny copy of Illustrator (God bless Adobe and their Educational Licence Programme). After spending many nights pulling my hair out with Sodipodi trying to get the lettering right for Schroedinger’s , it’s a major change. You just click, and the text flows. Wonderful.

Letter balloons are a strange thing. I’m not sure whether the influence of Western comics is affecting me or not. Look at these three balloons:

If this was plain text, I wouldn’t even consider the first font. But the balloon outline changes everything. The other two bubbles look artificial, whereas the first now looks natural. Is it just me? Have I been ruined by years of reading hand-lettered balloons?

"I don't want to debate world politics with you"

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you — the fair and balanced reporting of FOXNews!

O’REILLY: In respect for your father…

GLICK: On September 14, do you want to know what I'm doing?

O'REILLY: Shut up! Shut up!

GLICK: Oh, please don't tell me to shut up.

Meanwhile, back in the realm of the sane, France and Germany attempt to cut the Americans off by presenting their own plan. Send in the UN Peacekeepers! I find it highly amusing that they neglected to mention the plan to the US Administration.

A weblog from Baghdad.

And this is just funny.

currently playing: Idlewild - I’m Happy To Be Here Tonight

Revolutionary Optimism

Can’t seem to shake this sore throat. America doesn’t offer an equivalent to the mighty Strepsil. They have things that look like them, but you might as well be sucking a mint for all the good they do.

Playing around with Illustrator:

PBS on Saturday night seems to a British love-in. It's a little shocking to see Fresh Fields and Are You Being Served in a prime-time slot. Obviously, they couldn't afford the good British comedies. I suppose. Oooh. Waiting For God. Looks like a fourth-generation VHS copy. I don't remember it being quite so bleak and depressing...

Yes, it's Saturday night, and I'm watching PBS.

I Love The 80s! US Version! ALF! Teddy Ruxpin! Save Ferris! But no Stuart Maconie, Mark Radcliffe or Manchester linking scenes. I'm not expecting Pete Waterman to make such a big appearance either. I think I'll watch, just to see if our nostalgia towers over their nostalgia.

First thought - they don't have interviews with the people involved with the events they're discussing - just fast-cutting interviews with celebrities. Which seems to miss the point by a mile.

They're dissing John Hughes films. DEATH. And they don't seem to realise that Ducky was a New Romantic. Maybe the term didn't make it to America.

Change subject every two minutes!

Was American music really this bad in the 80s? TOP GUN! "You can ride my tail anytime!" God Bless Jerry Bruckheimer.

"FORMAT DEVISED BY THE BBC"

Tiffany! Bah, it's a bait-and-switch. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" — Bonnie, I'd just like to point out that it's not going to happen. NEVER. EVER.

EVER.

Okay, I can't take any more of this. Britain wins!

currently playing: Taja Seville - Love Is Contagious

The Sane Response

So my friend, if you want to start using American military strength as The Arm Of The Lord, you can do that, we’re the only superpower left. You can conquer the world, like Charlemagne, but you better be prepared to kill everyone, and you better start with me ‘cause I will raise up an army against you and I will beat you.

Condition Orange!

Be afraid. Exercise caution, and review your disaster plan. Report suspicious behaviour to the authorities. Develop alternate routes to and from work or school and practice them.

North Korea is not a threat.

We have always been at war with Iraq.

Internment Camps are justified. For their own protection.

The Attorney General is right in dismissing plea bargains. We cannot negotiate with the Enemy.

Work smarter with PowerPoint version 2002, the Office XP presentation graphics program. Create attention-grabbing slides quickly, collaborate with team members on your presentations, and share them live or online.

Can you trust your neighbours? Are they true Americans? Do they believe in One Nation, Under God?

We are at Condition Orange. You may continue to work, but be vigilant! The Enemy is everywhere. Report UnAmerican Activities to the Department of Homeland Security immediately.

Your representatives in the Ministry of Justice are drafting new legislation to protect you from the ever-increasing threat. We will keep you safe.

This is a Condition Orange Alert. Be safe. Be watchful.

currently playing: Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Moya

This is a Rescue Mission

Unlike most people, I have something of a soft spot for Courtney Love, to the almost heretical point where I prefer Hole to Nirvana. So I speak from a position of concern: has she gone crazy? Getting arrested on a Virgin Atlantic flight, dressing up as Donald Duck, and of course the recent Q interview (I have links to scans of that, so consider yourself grateful that I spared you the trauma. It must have been an interesting art meeting — “Do you think we can get away with an 11pt Q there?” “Actually, I think you could get down to 10pt before all the copies are impounded under the Obscene Publications Act.”). Or is she just fishing for interest in her new album?

From the what-might-have-been department: character designs for Buffy: The Animated Series.

Couldn't face doing the marking tonight. It shouldn't be too bad though, as they only had four short questions to answer. Oh, and we had more snow this afternoon. I'd like the weather to decide on what season it is, and stick to it, thank you.

No decent films to watch this week. Or the week after, for that matter, but the University is showing a double-bill of Punch-Drunk Love and Breakfast At Tiffany's next Friday, so I'll probably be going along to that. I still have a lot of unwatched DVDs to get through, so I'll be doing that this weekend.

Oh, almost forgot. You need to see this: The Second Renaissance. It's about five minutes long, and at the end you'll be hoping that the robots kick Keanu into submission in this year's sequel...

currently playing: Slumber-Party - Fantasy

Your Inner Child Wants This

I just have to find a way to get it back to the UK. The planet mode is a little squarish, and it's only 13" tall. But! it's! Unicron!

currently playing: Beth Orton - I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine