November 20th, 2009 | brainjuice
Because it watches you while you look at it. For the next 20-odd hours or so, I present a selection of the readers of this website:
(Join in by sending a self-portrait to email@example.com.)
November 19th, 2009 | knock john
Knock John, like Shivering Sands, was a Maunsell Sea Fort in the Thames Estuary. It still stands today. All its ladders have been prised off to ensure it can’t be used as a smuggling stage… although it’s worth noting that the big guns weren’t taken off it until 1992. In 1965, it was taken over and used as a pirate radio station.
(We like our pirates around here. The creeks of shoreland Essex were the byways for pirates all the way into the 19th century, after all)
Radio Essex broadcast for a little over a year. They may have been the first British radio station to broadcast the likes of John Lee Hooker, I’m not sure — I know they played a lot of blues and R&B that wasn’t getting much attention elsewhere. I’ve read that Radio Essex was in fact criticised for being "weird" in 1966. Roy Bates, who set Radio Essex up, later decamped to the sea fort Roughs Tower, which you may know better as the principality of Sealand.
SHIVERING SANDS was my first POD book. A year from now or thereabouts, KNOCK JOHN will be the second.
(Superb image of Knock John by Richard Brown, found on a Flickr search)
November 19th, 2009 | brainjuice
So every year I do a thing where all the readers of the site take a photo and send it in to me, and I run as many as I can. It started off as World Wide Wednesday, and last July I did a World Wide Week just because of the volume of shots I get. I just realised today that I haven’t done one of these stunts this year. And that I don’t have a clear week between now and New Year where I’m actually at the keyboard every day. So I’m going to bring back the iteration from 2008, I think. Tomorrow will be The Friday Telescreen 2009.
Take a picture of yourself, email it (not a link to it) to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll run as many of you as I can here during Friday.
Why do I do this every year? I dunno. Kind of a tradition now, since the days of the WEF and Die Puny Humans. I have this idea in my head that the internet, like Soylent Green, is made out of people, and it doesn’t hurt to see the people you’re with when you come here.
I’m off in my head today, in story-hunting mode. In lieu of actual content, let’s see what some people I know are up to.
Jamais Cascio is practising his stance for the day he takes over the world:
Katie West is… god, I dunno… pink?
She’s also in Matt Sheret’s PAPER SCIENCE, which I’m going to need a copy of, young man, if you’re reading this…
Zo is Zo:
Templesmith’s new book is looking good:
(Bruce lives out of his laptop, and it accrues memetic furniture as it rolls around the world with him.)
Ellen Rogers photography for the Dec 09 issue of i-D:
November 18th, 2009 | Work
The Twitter account of industry magazine PRODUCTION WEEKLY just posted on teh twittarz:
The CW will again try to adapt Warren Ellis’ comic book "Global Frequency," this time Scott Nimerfro will script the pilot.
Which I discovered because half a dozen people retweeted it at me within about thirty seconds of it landing.
I haven’t been cleared to comment yet, so I can’t really add anything to this. I’ve spoken briefly to Scott Nimerfro — by which I mean I threatened to have him stabbed, and he thanked me and told me a funny story about how he’s had worse threats — and he is Okay.
Anyway. Yes. Shouldn’t say any more until I get the nod from the studio. But yes.
(Also, yes, I did tell John Rogers. But John, you know, has his own hit show LEVERAGE these days. One of his temple houris told me that John, from the depths of the bed made of golden vaginas that they wheel him around in, wishes me luck.)
November 17th, 2009 | researchmaterial
Excellent article from Julian Smith for New Scientist about wingsuited skydivers trying to cut the last cord from old-style jumping, and effect chuteless landings. Excellent quote therein:
Von Egidy sees her suit as a step towards a grander vision of people soaring like birds, not just gliding. "There could be nothing more challenging on Earth than to explore the limits of direct human flight. We are in fact far better suited to flight than we believe."
Ben Templesmith is wandering the UK, watching re-runs of THE SWEENEY and peering through your windows at night. These are the details on where to see him, how to commission a piece of art from him for dirt cheap, and exactly what he’s prepared to do to you sexually under the current exchange rate.
Behold the dress that bespoke pervert-enablers Ego Assassin made on request by/for the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary Fashion Show on 14 Nov 09. Ego Assassin make many things. We like people who make things.
Good morning/afternoon. This is Warren Ellis dot com.
November 16th, 2009 | Work
TOTW is basically a joke that Ariana and I pull each week in our joint guise as the International Electrophonic Unit. Basically, we take some of the stupider things I’ve said on Twitter and elsewhere, often in a state of extreme alcoholic refreshment or severe sleep deprivation, and put them on a t-shirt. Ariana set up a Cafe Press store (because this is a joke and engaging with a serious maker of t-shirts would be less funny to us), and… well, once a week, here we are.
Through this website and this Cafe Press store, we’re going to release one t-shirt a week. It’ll go live on Monday… and it’ll die Sunday night — midnight UK time, more often than not. Each one lives for a week, and then it’s replaced by the next week’s shirt. Until I either run out of dumb ideas or Ariana’s brain explodes.
So, every Monday, I’ll post the new shirt here, and you can peer at it more at http://www.cafepress.com/electrophonic.
Anyway. I present to you — this week by popular request on Twitter — T-Shirt Of The Week #004: SPACE BASTARD:
We also offer a couple of perennial items. Mostly because I wanted one of these for myself:
(And also a MAN COOK MEAT WITH FIRE "splatter-shield", because Ariana’s crazy)
Thank you for your kind attention.
November 16th, 2009 | photography
I’ve had the throwing-up-and-falling-over virus since Friday morning. Broadcasting may be bitty, because I’m still doing the falling-over part from time to time.
This is Warren Ellis dot com. Good morning.
And this is the brilliant Ellen Rogers:
I love Moon Wiring Club. And not just because I got their new record this weekend, which I am going to play tonight because I’ve been sick and/or unconscious with some weird bug since Friday morning. Oh no. (What if it cured me?) No, I love them because they do things like this, too:
In 1982, Gelographic RadioTelevision co-broadcast a test transmission for the tentative BBC5 channel.
Although the station idents were deemed a massive success, sadly the only known survivors of this viewing were unable to be traced, due to radiation issues. This archive footage has been recently unearthed, and provides a tempting glimpse into what those who watched through the smoked glass were able to see.
The musical accompaniment, acclaimed in some quarters, features on the new Moon Wiring Club album ’Striped Paint for the Last Post’, due ’sometime’ November. Certainly before the feast of Syllabub in any case.
Remember: confusing electronic music is a great British tradition.
November 15th, 2009 | brainjuice
November 15th, 2009 | researchmaterial
Apple has filed for patent on a technology they call an "enforcement routine," that’ll display ads on pretty much any device with a screen and demand that you view them — or else you don’t get your device back:
Its distinctive feature is a design that doesn’t simply invite a user to pay attention to an ad — it also compels attention. The technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed the commercial message. Because this technology would be embedded in the innermost core of the device, the ads could appear on the screen at any time, no matter what one is doing.
November 15th, 2009 | brainjuice