Imported From Epistula MotW

There is no such thing as a mirror that makes chocolate biscuits

MP3 of the Week

In our neverending quest to being you the weird, the strange, the B-Sides and the just plain odd, we have brought you Disco remixes of Star Wars, Bagpipe music with electric guitars, and the signing talents of movie stars.

Thus, it’s with great pleasure, we bring you the biggest star of them all, with a tartan cap, remixed for the new generation.

Diffusion, Craig David/Bagpuss Remix

Gaming Imported From Epistula

Games Are Evil. Again

EverQuest linked to death

bq.An Arkansas mother was arrested after her 3-year-old daughter died sweltering in a closed car, while her mother played EverQuest, police told the Northwest Arkansas Morning News.

So, Point by point then.

  • Mother, Leaves small child in hot car
  • Mother plays computer game for a long time
  • Game blamed.


Imported From Epistula media

Take no lergie

So, there are people out there who enjoy watching me rant about technology. Current rants are being shelved until we go public, mostly because I’ve kinda been asked to keep quiet about work stuff (We are doing Cool Things. This is all) because when I mentioned who I was working for, our webtraffic trebled and the number of google matches on our name shot up for a while. Behold the power of a single C-list weblogger.

Anyway, The big thing in the ISW1 right now is either that TheFeedFormat (AKA Pie, Atom, etc) is still happening; or that Greg Dyke wants to open the BBC Archive up. I’m with Danny and Stuart and Half the frigging internet on this one. With the notable and exceptional exception of the British Conservative Party, who think that shutting down BBCi is better fitted to their remit.

The BBC is a fun entity to behold, and it may need to be explained to furriners. Basically, the BBC is funded by us – the TV watching UK public – to (originally) “Inform, Educate and Entertain”. This was then expanded (Or contracted, depending on how you see it) when commercial TV happened, in order that the non-profit nature of the BBC didn’t kill it off. The Remit is a large document on what the BBC can and should do. Generally, the other channels feel that the BBC should stick to public service stuff, and basically leave the entertainment and profitable activities to them. I’d disagree with that, mostly because of what passes for entertainment on channel five, but these are the same people who want to shut down BBC news because Reuters do it commercially.

The first result of this pressure was to shut down half of the BBC World Service, which for many years was (and some would say still is) the best advertising that Britain had. They now want to limit it further – or shut it down completely. All this misses the point. The BBC was invented to “Inform, Educate and Entertain”. It has the wonderful motto “Nation shall speak peace unto nation” not “Nation shall watch it’s borders and keep to itself”, the point of the BBC was – and I’d say is – just to be. To be an example of a public service not just to Britain, but to everything and everyone.

There has been an argument over who owns BBC content for years. Last year it was triggered internally when the BBC Tech department started looking at Ogg Vorbis as an alternative to RealPlayer for their streams. The crucial difference between the technologies was – is, in fact – that Ogg is open. People would be able to download the streams and save them for themselves for playback whenever they wanted. It was a fantastic idea, but got bogged down in legal stuff and then completely killed when BBCi lost half it’s workforce.

The opening of the archive is a wonderful idea, but I have a horrible feeling it’ll get bogged down in “Can we do this” until it gets stop-energied to death.

[1] International States Of Webloggers, because “Blog[o]sphere” is a deeply horrible word.

BrowserAngel Imported From Epistula Personal

Seven things that make me think today is not a good day

Nicked shamelessly from Mark

  1. Drifted into awakeness, thought “I should get up, what time is it?”, then dreamt looking at my watch, seeing it was half six, and deciding to stay in bed. It was not six thirty.
  2. Got up, recovered from a night of dreams of big A4 bits of red paper saying “Payment Due”, turned on my computer (to listen to Radio 4) and discovered my hard-drive in the desktop is now fragged as well.
  3. Discovered that my train to Paddington was delayed. Got stuck in a ‘Quiet’ coach sat next two a pair of marketing executives discussing a deal at high volume.
  4. …who then glared at me for switching on my GameBoy (muted, natch)
  5. Fought my way onto the train at Paddington (After letting people off, which put me behind the crowd I started at the front of
  6. Fought my way off the train at Baker Street when the train was cancelled due to a failed signal.
  1. Got to work to discover that yesterdays code panics when it encounters google. Bother.
computing Imported From Epistula


This morning, at quarter to seven, I discovered the ideal way to free space on your /home partition.

The secret, it seems, is to type “rm -rf * BMP” without putting the dot between the star and the BMP.

And deleting everything in my home directory.

That doesn’t include most of my data (which was saved my me pressing “ctrl-c” in time.) or shared data like MP3s (which aren’t in my home directory), but does include about 1.3 gig of stories in progress, non-catergorised MP3s…

…and every email I’ve recieved in the last two years.



Imported From Epistula MotW

MP3otW – Misirlou

MP3 of the Week

You know the music from Pulp Fiction? The guitar thing? Then you probably know it’s called Misirlou, and is one of the most covered pieces in the world.

Here it is, with electric guitars and bagpipes.

Off Kilter, Misirlou

Imported From Epistula media

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Wang

From, IRC quotes to the gentry.

[JonJonB] Purely in the interests of science, I have replaced the word “wand” with “wang” in the first Harry Potter Book
[JonJonB] Let’s see the results…

[JonJonB] “Why aren’t you supposed to do magic?” asked Harry.
[JonJonB] “Oh, well—I was at Hogwarts meself but I—er—got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wang in half an’ everything

[JonJonB] A magic wang… this was what Harry had been really looking forward to.

[JonJonB] “Yes, yes. I thought I’d be seeing you soon. Harry Potter.” It wasn’t a question. “You have your mother’s eyes. It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wang. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wang for charm work.”
[JonJonB] “Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wang. Eleven inches. ”

[JonJonB] Harry took the wang. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wang above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls

[JonJonB] “Oh, move over,” Hermione snarled. She grabbed Harry’s wang, tapped the lock, and whispered, ‘Alohomora!”

[JonJonB] The troll couldn’t feel Harry hanging there, but even a troll will notice if you stick a long bit of wood up its nose, and Harry’s wang had still been in his hand when he’d jumped – it had gone straight up one of the troll’s nostrils.

[JonJonB] He bent down and pulled his wang out of the troll’s nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy gray glue.

[JonJonB] He ran onto the field as you fell, waved his wang, and you sort of slowed down before you hit the ground. Then he whirled his wang at the dementors. Shot silver stuff at them.

[JonJonB] Ok
[JonJonB] I have found, definitive proof
[JonJonB] that J.K Rowling is a dirty DIRTY woman, making a fool of us all
[JonJonB] “Yes,” Harry said, gripping his wang very tightly, and moving into the middle of the deserted classroom. He tried to keep his mind on flying, but something else kept intruding…. Any second now, he might hear his mother again… but he shouldn’t think that, or he would hear her again, and he didn’t want to… or did he?

[JonJonB] Something silver-white, something enormous, erupted from the end of his wang

[JonJonB] Then, with a sigh, he raised his wang and prodded the silvery substance with its tip.

[JonJonB] ‘Get – off – me!’ Harry gasped. For a few seconds they struggled, Harry pulling at his uncles sausage-like fingers with his left hand, his right maintaining a firm grip on his raised wang.

Imported From Epistula stories

Happily Ever Now

Happily Ever After.

By Nicholas Avenell 23/02/2001

January 26th.

There is no such thing as a happy ending.
There are no endings, only beginnings. The end of a story is the start of a new story. Therefore to get a happy ending, you must stop the story before completion, because completion in the “And then they were married and they had children and lived happily ever after” sense fails to take in the final and ultimate deaths of both Snow White and the Prattsome Hince.
And the dwarfs, slowly drowning to death in the dust that Snow White used to tidy.
Or the Queen, who is an evil bitch, and appears to remain that way. Doesn’t she get a chance to be good?

No. Because the story ends there. Finito.

By the rambling above, you may gather that Claire and I have split up. A week ago you may have ended the story with us walking, hand in hand into the sunset. Or riding up on the big-wheel, or the kiss at the top, seeing the whole village spread out below us like a map. Not that either of us noticed at the time, being -as we were – Otherwise Engaged.
Either of those would have been a perfect ending to the movie. The Perfect Couple. Living Happily Ever After. The End.

It was an amicable departure. By which I mean that I didn’t say much, and she told me that we can remain ‘Just Friends’. I suppose I could keep track of my ‘Just’ friends, of both the “I love you as a…” and the “Can we remain..” variety.

But I won’t.

And it was amicable. She is moving away. Long Distance Relationships Don’t Work (LDR’s, in fact, do work. They just suck mightily. So I’m told. Oh, and both parties have to *want* them to work. Which screwed that idea) and… and…

…and she wants a new life, and I’m not in it.

30 January

Helped Claire pack, and watched the car pull out and away. She has my address, she has my number.

I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for contact though.

Throwing myself into work. DVD reviews are in, Cinema tomorrow to catch the last release, Films are cowards, I know. They never come singually, but gang up and pounce at you five at a time. Last two tomorrow evening.

Oh, I have my new writer, BTW. Name of “George”, apparently. Poor sod. I expect he has some nom de’plume he’ll want to use instead. The question is, will the big magazines take any notice of anyone who doesn’t use their real name?
Read the flick-pages. Still nothing. I keep sending them the magazine. For Christ sake, I leave this god-forsaken dump in *Five Months*. I *Have* to get a job by then or it’s another year at the Fuckit & Run, serving lager to overweight football addicts who wouldn’t recognise a real soccer-ball if it bounced against their stomach. Most would probably not even fucking notice.

Anyway, George is apparently showing his face in the office tomorrow. Meanwhile I need to find someone to take to the screening.

31 Jan. 9am

(From office, emailed home)

George showed up. George is, in fact, Georgina. Bet Central had a mightily loud giggle at that one. Bastards. Writing style is flowing, slightly academic, and just a touch too serious for the stuff we normally put out. Better get to work.

3rd February

George & I went out to the screening, and then out for a meal to talk the films over. Nothing fancy, just a Maccy-D. Inteligent. Film-buff. Occasional (she says) weekness for romantic comic-dies. That might be a problem.

5th Feb

Weakness! *HAH*.
What she should have said is: “My critical senses go into overload”, She ripped the fucking thing into confetti! The page of this magazine should be placed in a steel box lest the thing contaminate the very earth.
Fucking *hell* the girl is good.

10 Feb.

Flick with G, For fun rather than for the mag. Proper meal this time, restaurant recommended by the foodies.
Went up to the river. Didn’t even notice the trash :).
Sat by moonlight discussing the film.
Then we stopped discussing the film.

Slept late.

No, In case this is found, nothing happened.

Not sex, anyway. Just talk, sleep. Friends. Lovers in all but the physical act.

I still can’t bring myself to write out that full date, not after last year.
Letter from Claire – and a card – saying how much she enjoys her new place. New boyfriend. That makes me feel better, I suppose. It isn’t really *that* long since we split.

G. comes back from her family today. Not much chance of a movie, what with the date, anything not a R-C will have been shunted for something that is.

I’ve been reading this diary again.

There are no happily ever afters.

That doesn’t mean that the happiness cannot last for a fairly long time.

Tomorrow she might have to move away, or I might catch her with the entire football team (Happy Valentines Day *sigh*) or she might do a Gemma and just dump me in the public eye (Front page of the /fucking/ magazine. Bitch).

But for now. For this moment, and for this day, I am in love, and she loves me.

And the only we need is the Happily Ever Now.

epistula Imported From Epistula

Random acts of senseless updating

In responce to a number of complaints (Two, in fact) the Gallery – ever the black sheep module of AqCom since it (unlike everything else) hasn’t been completely rewritten since 2001 – has been updated. The huge list of all images down the right has gone, the default thumbnail size has been increased (This only affects galleries after CCDE 2003), and you now have – gasp – next and previous buttons to navigate the gallery. Code is online as ever, and whilst it still is nowhere near as robust as anything else on the site (An added forward-slash totally buggers it) it’s an improvement on the useibility monstrosity that was there before.

Imported From Epistula stories


The Scene: A school stage, after hours. Two sixthform (17ish) students are in the remains of school uniform (smartish shirt/trousers, Shirt is undone at the neck) rehersing for a performance this evening

What? Arms across? Worthy? Methinks you should hold them open when a friend’s so near.

The man has got the vapours in his ears. I must expell this meloncolly spirit..”.

Damn. I’m going to have to start that one again. Starting positions.

Si? The lack of response to your first name is only slightly more strange than your failure to pick up on the orignial mistake. But not by much. Simon? The man has got the bloody vapours in his ears. SIMON!




It lives! It breathes! It is alive, I say, Alive!


Ian, old chap


Yes frankenstien?


Go find a cliff to throw yourself off


Aha. So you are alive after all, I was begining to wonder if I wasn’t going to have to do this thing this evening by myself. What’s wrong?


Nothing that can be classed as new


Ha. So we are doing the wrong play then


And what play should we be doing?


Why, As You Like It, by old WS,

From the east to western Ind,

No jewel is like Rosalind.

Her worth being mounted on the wind

Though all the world bears Rosalind

That is, I assume, your major problem.


Furthest thing from my mind


Do we detect the foul stench of falsehood from my friend? I belive we do


Ha. Shall we go back to As You Like It then?

All the world is a stage,

And all the man and women are merely players

They each have their entrances and their exits,

and one man in his life plays many parts


Nah, Skip to

…and then the Lover,

Sighing like a furnace, with a woefull ballard,

Made to his mistriss’ eyebrow;

That’s your problem then. You are identifying with the depressingness of Jaques, whilst I am going for the lightness of Touchstone


The Rosalind poetry was by Orlando, and spoken by Rosalind herself


Pedantry is the last resort of the losing party. The point is still valid, you are mooning over yonder fair maiden, instead of doing something about it


There are complications


She’s female. There always are, It goes with the terror


You mean territory


I know what I mean


She is a friend, I don’t want to spoil that


So you prefer to moan about it to me, yes?


It’s an easier option


Come on, lets get back to this scene. We only have a few hours left before curtian. It’ll take your mind off it


You mean this scene? This scene were two friends are discussing My charector’s love life, or lack of it, because he hasn’t tried hard enough in your Charecters opinion?


Yes. ‘Tis indeed the picture of Worthy, but the life…


Where they then go on to discuss your charector’s love life, which is being hampered only by your complete and total stubboness. I mean your charectors, obviously


Shut up. ‘But the life has departed. What? Arm’s Across…


And correct me if I’m wrong, But the stubbonness in question is on the inability of one party to do an action. Good morning Mr Pot, Can I help you?


I told you to Shut Up. And besides, there are complications on this too. You don’t know what you are talking about.


No, Mr Plume, I have no idea. Mainly because every time I enquire as unto the name of this Miraculous Helen, this Misstriss of Troy, This Slivia to your captian Plume, Juilet to your Romeo, Jessica to your Roger Rabbit, I am so vigourously repulsed, that I dispair of ever finding…


OK, alright. For fuck’s sake, It’s Rosalind.

Long Pause


Have you ever had a moment, an instant which seems to drag on for hours, an event of such earth-shattering magnetude that it would take you days to see the extent of it? A point when you can see the world shatter into equal pieces and fall away from you. And you stand, in blackness, and in total deprevation of reality, stripped of all the layers of cotten wool designed to insulate you from the real world. You can analize every insult two of your friends have directed at each other, every conversation they have had with each other, and with you, that you have been party to. And woe betide that you should find something. and at that point, all your elequonce, all your studied phrases and dramatic emphasis will leave you. Everything will leave you. a broken shell.
You bastard.


‘You absolute and total and utter fucking bastard. So you have been egging me on for the past two fucking years to ask out your fucking Girlfriend?


She isn’t my girlfriend. She refused to go out with me until I told you


Nice to know she was thinking of me


Don’t be like that.


Like what? Like fucking what? Like I’ve just been betrayed by my two best fucking friends?


There was no fucking involved


Shut the fuck up! And when were you going to tell me? When were you going to pop the bubble and actually do what Rose…

…that’s it, isn’t it. That’s what this mysterious friend of yours wanted. The Canyon in your relationship. The thing you had to do before it went any further. Fucking Jesus! I’ve spent the last two weeks counsuling you to ruin my fucking life!


But I didn’t


No. You carried on stringing me along. You were still trying to get me to ask her out three minutes ago! Why? Why continue? So that I found out from her lips rather than yours?






I knew how much Rose meant to you…


…Means to me. But carry on…


alright, Means to you. So I couldn’t tell you. I’ve been trying for weeks now


how… how long has this been going on for?


It’s three weeks since she told me. Three weeks since she gave me the ultimatium


And how long have you been seeing Rosalind for?


I told you, she refused to see me properly until I..


Don’t fuck with the words, Ian


A month tomorrow. Simon. Simon! You can’t go now!


Yes, actually, I fucking can. Exit, stage right. Exuant Omnes. Pursued by a bear-stard, like as not.


Where are you going?


I don’t know. I’ll tell you when I get there


But… The Performance?