Tag Archives: link

I can’t get excited about the Sochi Olympics

I don’t usually get excited by the Winter Olympics. Most of the sports look like fun to participate in but not that entertaining for spectators, New Zealand never does very well, and the grapes are probably sour. But the Sochi Olympics are shaping up to be a particularly dire event.

It is traditional for the run up to the olympics to be filled with hand wringing press bemoaning the lack of preparation and political maneuvering of the host country, but Russia’s effort seems unusually corrupt even by olympic standards. Not to mention the weird anti-gay issue. If you didn’t want a bunch of homosexuals visiting your city, you picked the wrong event to host.

I don’t usually quote other blogs here, but this post by John Scalzi sums up my feelings:

The Olympic Games are what they are: a floating, rotating boondoggle-shaped shitcake of graft, venality and cronyism, with a spotty icing of athleticism spread thinly on the top to mask the taste of the shit as it goes down the gullet. Barring some sort of active revolution, that’s not going to change. Sochi’s problem is that this time, they heaped extra shit into the cake and skimped on the icing, and what icing it has is also made of shit.

Three Hundred

This is the 300th blog post I have made. When I started this back in August 2006 I had no idea that I would still be maintaining it 6 years later. My original plan was to average one post a week – it has been 323 weeks since I started so I am slipping behind.

I am celebrating the 300th post by making a list of blogs I read regularly, not including the technical blogs I try to keep on top of.

People I know who regularly update their blogs:

Simon is an arch-tinkerer, and the only person I know who is Internet Famous for various projects, most notably the Star Wars Ascii Animation.

Stu is runs a tabletop gaming website, and his blog is a font of information on modelling and painting. I never had the patience for these types of games but I find reading about them fascinating.

Nigel hasn’t updated for a long while, but his posts are great and he is pretty much the only person who will spontaneously mention that he reads my blog so he gets included here.

David does a lot of tramping and takes some great photos.

TV and Cinema:

Matt Shot – I love single-topic blogs where someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge in a narrow field talks at length about what they love. I have also always been fascinated with old-time cinema tricks so this is right up my alley.

Strange Shapes – Long, thoughtful articles about the alien series.

TARDIS Eruditorum: A Psychochronography in Blue – Long, scholarly articles on Doctor Who, one for each episode, in sequence, with occasional diversions, written by someone with a PhD in English. At the moment he is up to the gap years where Doctor Who was not in production so he is covering the (fairly terrible in my opinion) spin-off novels. New readers should start at the beginning or just jump to one of the “People Seem To Like These Posts” in the sidebar.

Gavin J. Rothery is a visual effects director, his blog is filled with all sorts of entertaining rubbish.


History Geek – Various titbits of New Zealand history, which some great scanned pictures from yore.

Beachcombing’s Bizarre History – short essays on historical weirdness.

Bad Archaeology – sadly, it turns out almost nothing was built by aliens.

Executed Today – I like to read this first thing in the morning. No matter how bad my day is going this helps me realise some people had it worse.

Futility Closet – A gallimaufry of highest quality.

General Rubbish:

YOU CHOOSE WRONG – a daily scan of a notably grim ending in one of the old “choose your own adventure” type books that were popular when I was growing up. Speaking of which…

Fighting Dantasy is written by a man with a mission. And that mission is to attempt every Fighting Fantasy book ever written. It is not a good mission but an entertaining one.

Finally, if you don’t care about any of the previous links you may like this music video made from clips from the IMDB Top 250.


Screenshot of the Scale of the Universe 2 flash object

The Scale of the Universe 2

This is very cool – an interactive demonstration of the scale of the universe, from the smallest unit of quantum length to the total estimated size of the whole shebang.

I’ve just about got my head around how big the universe is, but at the other end I had no idea that the Planck Length was so small. Now my brain hurts.

Full of Piss and Vinegar

I don’t usually pay much attention to the big NZ political blogs. At best, the usual suspects are occasionally insightful, but more often they suffer from varying degrees of simple minded egotism and/or outright vileness. However, like the million monkeys writing Shakespeare that they as a group resemble, every so often someone hits one out of the park:

It’s hard work at the best of times for political parties to attract good candidates. But it’s doubly so for the two main parties, because all the smaller parties are so quick to secure the urine-drinking bank-robbing identity-thieves, leaving National and Labour only the boring and sensible candidates to choose from.

Apart from the woman-bothering expense-rorting ones, those who end up in Parliament for the Nats or Labour often lack colour, but that’s probably because they’re not drinking their own piss

The rest of it is well worth reading as well.

This election is going to be like the Rugby World Cup – pretty much a foregone conclusion but the also-rans will provide much entertainment.

Glass Microbiology

A scale model of Phage T4 blown from transparent glassThis is Enterobacteria Phage T4. More accurately, it is an amazing glass sculpture of the Phage T4 made by a group of glass blowers in the UK that specialise in such things.

Of all human endeavours, I think glassblowing might be the one I find the most astounding. There are a whole bunch of other works in the Glass Microbiology gallery which are well worth checking out. It looks you can even buy some of the works should you want give somebody AIDS for Christmas.