» The Porcelain Gentleman

Via Nick via Dan who adds:

i think you should up your ‘work loo review’ game

Do I have games or not?

Does your cat know about the feminist movement?

Does your cat know about the feminist movement?

(Source: meerkatmanor)

How flag emoji are represented in Unicode, as told to Lawrence via Android voice typing
wjt:The short version is unicode does natalie define flight characters what defines instead are at the letters of the alphabet a to z again somewhere in the astral plane as a good and then an optional fisher instrumentation can choose to interprete jason pairs of letters as iso codes and a 4 sided flag
wjt:Voice typing doesn't understand that very well
millerdl:That was good enough
millerdl:Actually better
wjt:I think i'm gonna write all of my honey technical text messages this way in future
nanoq: flat out and bluesome – artists’ survey of stuffed polar bears in the United Kingdom between 2001-2004 by Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson:


  This project is, as the subtitle implies, a survey of taxidermic polar bears existing in the United Kingdom today. In its methodology it actively sets out to track down these specimens. We have done everything within our power to locate every last specimen that exists as a whole mount, but also acknowledge that this may be an impossible task. We have reason to believe that some remain tucked away in private collections. […]
  
  After 3 years of research we have found 34 stuffed polar bears in the U.K. We have tracked them down, visited them on site, photographed and gathered documents about their history and provenance.


The original site seems to be down, but this mirror has some interesting tales.

nanoq: flat out and bluesome – artists’ survey of stuffed polar bears in the United Kingdom between 2001-2004 by Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson:

This project is, as the subtitle implies, a survey of taxidermic polar bears existing in the United Kingdom today. In its methodology it actively sets out to track down these specimens. We have done everything within our power to locate every last specimen that exists as a whole mount, but also acknowledge that this may be an impossible task. We have reason to believe that some remain tucked away in private collections. […]

After 3 years of research we have found 34 stuffed polar bears in the U.K. We have tracked them down, visited them on site, photographed and gathered documents about their history and provenance.

The original site seems to be down, but this mirror has some interesting tales.

Will Reads Books, 2014 Q1

China Miéville – The Scar

Solid. I liked the nested hidden agendas, though I think someone more observant or cynical than me would have picked up on them sooner than I did. And (mild spoiler) I think it’s interesting to play with the nature of chance in a genre that depends so heavily on unlikely coincidences. I didn’t get as vivid an image of Armada as I have of some of his other settings – maybe because I read it in chunks on the tube? – and for obvious reasons I was sad that not a single Garuda made an appearance.

S. G. Redling – Damocles

I didn’t remember buying this, but it was a nice study on communication problems on first contact. I think the only other thing I’ve read which even tries to address this rather than handwaving and/or introducing a babelfish is Embassytown, and there it’s taken as a given that the language barrier has been dealt with in the past, and the remaining barrier is a difference in consciousness. Even the miraculous syntax tree translation tool the characters in Damocles have isn’t a magic wand – they still have to painstakingly communicate the meaning of (eg) trust between very different societies with no language. (There’s one slip-up where a character remarks on an accidental pun on “dropping” – the aliens’ analogue to sleeping – but there’s no indication that they know this verb is the same as to drop an object.) Nothing ground-breaking but a good yarn.

(I have decided not to read the Translator Microbes page on tvtropes because our time on this Earth is so short.)

The Google Keep widget seems to have a new and exciting invisible mode.

The Google Keep widget seems to have a new and exciting invisible mode.

Mapmakers have always claimed objectivity, and cartographers always imagine they’re creating maps from some omniscient God-like position. When it comes to Google Maps, however, the reality is that they’re being produced on the west coast of America.
[Start iAkonadi]

[Start iAkonadi]

[W]e continually obsess over certain coffee purveyors or certain methods of brewing coffee — each new one more complex, more Rube Goldbergian and more comically self-involved than the previous brewing fad. […]

We avidly talk about our passion for essentially meaningless distinctions between different coffee brews the way we talk about the weather — which is to say endlessly, tiresomely, and as a method of saying something without actually saying anything.