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Entries from July 2002

The Media Lab

July 31st, 2002 · No Comments

In one of the slower periods at the lab, I browsed through the mini library we have here and began flipping through The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT by Stewart Brand. It was absolutely fascinating reading – not because the Media Lab is an interesting place, but because the book is fifteen years [...]

Tags: future · tech

SemiShake

July 29th, 2002 · 1 Comment

Whenever I go on holiday, I always think it’d be a good idea to do something spontaneous and unusual. Most of the time though I don’t really bother since there isn’t anyone I know who’s around to watch, and in any case the ideas I have invariably involve a fair amount of risk or money. [...]

Tags: adrian · edu · theatre

Airports

July 26th, 2002 · Comments Off

About twice every year, there’ll be a newspaper story about how Heathrow or some major metropolitan airport wants to add more runways. This story will be immediately followed by complaints from nearby residents’ group organisations about noise pollution. My typical thought used to be, “Get over it. We need more transport capacity, and I’m sure [...]

Tags: airport

Bulwer Lytton

July 25th, 2002 · Comments Off

The reliably humorous winners of the 2002 Bulwer Lytton contest for worst opening sentence for a novel. Also, check out the 2001 Lyttle Lytton contest winners, which limits the sentence length to 25 words.

Tags: book · silly · writing

American TV

July 25th, 2002 · 2 Comments

Yesterday, I read an article at the Guardian about Big Brother 3 in the UK, which among other things mentioned that Channel 4’s editing of the primetime programmes results in a drastically skewed view of the contestants. I thought, “Well, obviously.”
Then last night, while watching Big Brother 2 here in the US (I see it [...]

Tags: tv · usa

Rereadability

July 23rd, 2002 · 2 Comments

Having just read three novels, I’ve come up with a theory about the quality of books. Namely, if a book withstands rereading at least once, it’s probably good. Additionally, if a book that reads well initially does not lend itself to rereading, it may not be as good as your initial impressions gave it.
I say [...]

Tags: book · sf

Work

July 19th, 2002 · Comments Off

Things at work are proceeding along fairly smoothly. I’ve been running the first set of subjects on my pilot experiment during the last couple of days and processing the results (too early to tell whether they’re ‘good’ or not).
Probably the most exciting thing that’s happened around here was a BBC crew interviewing the head of [...]

Tags: adrian · bbc

A Blog Too Far

July 18th, 2002 · Comments Off

The Guardian has just launched a competition for the ‘Best British Blog’. As far as I know, it’s the most lucrative competition of its type ever, with a £1500 prize fund. I, like many others, believe that this isn’t a good idea. It fosters an uncomfortable kind of competition in an area that doesn’t need [...]

Tags: newspaper · web

Synaesthesia

July 17th, 2002 · Comments Off

People might be wondering what it is that I’m doing in San Diego, beyond my rather nebulous description of ‘research’. Right now I’m working in the research labs of V. S. Ramachandran at the University of California, San Diego Center for Human Information Processing on an experiment to investigate an interesting condition called synaesthesia. Synaesthesia [...]

Tags: neuro · psych · science

A Tale in the Desert

July 17th, 2002 · Comments Off

A Tale in the Desert – a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game with no combat, no monsters, no swords and no armour. Sounds interesting? It is.

Tags: games