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Entries from November 2002


November 30th, 2002 · No Comments

There’s no doubt that there are many who love Marmite, but personally speaking, I can’t stand the thing. Clearly MetaFilterites don’t agree with me though: “The marmite is not too strong for us. It is we who are too weak for the marmite,” and “Bow before the Gods of Yeast Extract! Bow damn you!”

Tags: mefi · silly


November 28th, 2002 · No Comments

Seen on Usenet, about spacecraft yachts for the rich: “Larry Ellison would probably go for it — but even he isn’t rich enough. Here’s an idea, though: An orbital timeshare. Ellison can use it six months of the year; Bill Gates gets it the rest of the time.”

Tags: space · tech


November 28th, 2002 · No Comments

I’m getting quite annoyed with MetaFilter, again. It’s not that the posts aren’t good – they are, I’ve seen some moderately good ones recently. It’s that I cannot sum up the enthusiasm to take part in discussions any longer. A thread about the link between autism and vaccines caught my eye today, and I was [...]

Tags: mefi

Community Effect

November 28th, 2002 · No Comments

Learned about an interesting thing in a developmental biology seminar today called the ‘Community Effect’. If you transplant a very small group of cells into a foreign, non-self environment, the cells will lose their identity and assume one identical to that of the surrounding cells. However, if the group of cells that you transplant is [...]

Tags: bio

A humbling experience

November 26th, 2002 · No Comments

A humbling experience – one man’s amusing tale of how he made a fool of himself in front of SF writer Greg Benford.

Tags: sf

Mars beckons

November 26th, 2002 · No Comments

It’s now just over a week until I go to Mars – or more accurately, to the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station. Things are looking up – the Station took delivery of three new Kawasaki ATVs recently, and when I get there, the hab will have been in use for a month, meaning that [...]

Tags: bio · mars · science

Old British Actors

November 23rd, 2002 · No Comments

Who will play wise, old men in 5-10 years? It’s an interesting question which deserves some attention ever since they’ve been looking for a replacement for Richard Harris as Dumbledore in Harry Potter. “Old British Actors, a non-renewable resource?”

Tags: film


November 23rd, 2002 · 3 Comments

Is ragging – making new initiates/players/students perform pointless tasks – the key to forming a strong community?

Tags: arg · cambridge · edu · games


November 22nd, 2002 · 1 Comment

Take a look at the LambdaMOO constitution (about halfway down the page). It confirms my belief that the most efficient and often best form of governance for an online community is essentially a benevolent dictatorship. LambdaMOO is basically an virtual online world.
In their constitution, the LambdaMOO administrators (’Wizards’) explicitly state that they will sometimes make [...]

Tags: games · politics


November 22nd, 2002 · No Comments

A few days ago, the world (for me) passed another technological milestone – I now had full and unmetered Internet access for 99% of the time*. I’d just bought the Orange SPV Smartphone.
This phone is quite a nice piece of kit; it has a decent sized colour screen with a reasonably fast processor. Importantly, it [...]

Tags: review · tech