Year of the Ox’s most popular internet slang

FAIL is over – especially if you’re in China. Apparently, these are the Year of the Ox’s most popular linguistic terms on the internet (although we’re only halfway through the year). Wonder how long it will take for ‘yùzháizú’ – the Chinese word for otaku – to appear in Wired or the new William GibsonContinue reading “Year of the Ox’s most popular internet slang”

Virtual reality, then and now

In the 1980s and 1990s, the term ‘virtual reality’ was understood to mean the creation of reality inside the computer – and thus we would need to experience it using complex imaging and interaction systems (3D googles, cursors mapped to the movement of a glove etc.) The implication behind this was the reality itself wouldContinue reading “Virtual reality, then and now”

A post in 2 parts: Mark Rothko and Camerabag

Took the shot above yesterday at Tate Modern, and it’s the first one I’ve got from the iPhone’s camera that I’ve been really happy with. It’s from Tate’s excellent Mark Rothko exhibition… Part 1: Overheard at Mark Rothko Well, I say it’s excellent, but that’s if you like Rothko. If you don’t, it’s fair toContinue reading “A post in 2 parts: Mark Rothko and Camerabag”

My Favourite Piece of Travel Writing

My favourite piece of travel writing is short and to the point, but it questions everything about ‘here’ and calls to mind perfectly the change of ‘there’ that is its lure. It is a description of people in an airport, and how easily they strike up conversation with each other. They are: ‘Strangers rendered open-heartedContinue reading “My Favourite Piece of Travel Writing”

Drops wet cement on unsuspecting crippled children: Web 2.0 vandalism

By now you’ve hopefully seen Juno; it’s a wonderful film with a sharp script and well drawn characters. It uses music beautifully, too. Rather than simply whacking it down as a thudding backbeat to some flash images (CSI), or using overfamiliar tunes to prop up dead scenes, the team behind Juno make the music integralContinue reading “Drops wet cement on unsuspecting crippled children: Web 2.0 vandalism”

Flickr definitions: is an image worth a thousand words?

The phrase ‘in the dictionary, next to X, there’s a picture of you’ (where X is a negative term like stupidity) is a bit of an old comic standby – there’s a brilliant Simpsons episode based around it – and it works so well as a joke because it recognises the truth of another oldContinue reading “Flickr definitions: is an image worth a thousand words?”

David Mitchell on writing

Unlike a lot of novelists, David Mitchell doesn’t do a lot (if any, actually?) journalism, so the lulls in between his novels can be hard for rabid entirely reasonable fans of his like myself. Having just finished his latest book, Black Swan Green, I’ve been ploughing the interwebs to see what’s out there, and itContinue reading “David Mitchell on writing”