Scenes from a Zombie movie

20110522-141830.jpgJohnny Goodhero is tired. He’s been surviving for months since the cliché virus struck. His only friends a baseball bat and a 9mm pistol. One last plan, to get across a Zombie infested battlefield without being eaten, to the temporary safety of a nuclear bunker.

Johnny tries not to gag as he covers himself in rent zombie guts. The squishy noises sound like the the horrific noises that come from your parents’ bedroom at three in the morning when all you want is a glass of chocolate milk. A terrible set of bling begins to form, liver earrings, colon necklaces, a visceral survival suit.

He crawls. So slowly, the Somme of moaning and scratching all fogged around. An invisible orchestra takes up a beat, industrial timekeeping keeping pace with the undead hearts of his costume. He reaches forward to a key lying forgotten on the ground. Salvation named Chubb. Touching one side, it’s so close, an undead arm reaches for the other. Crescendos. Slow motions. A flesh-stripped face comes into view. Johnny raises his piece. Recognition and hunger leap at clean food. Trigger pressed. An explosion.

“Wake up. It’s already twelve and we have things to do!”

I really shouldn’t read the Walking Dead last thing at night.

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“This is the Big Society. You see it must be big, to contain so many volunteers.”

Precious Moments figurine of a boy in uniform ...
Image via Wikipedia

Leave the libraries alone. You don’t know the value of what you’re looking after. It is too precious to destroy.”

Philip Pullman

I remember the first day I was old enough to be brought to the public library. I was luckier than most of the other kids in my neighbourhood in that I had parents that encouraged reading, but it wasn’t until I entered that dusty bastion of oak-wood and furniture polish that I really discovered just how wonderful books were.

It was in the local library where I discovered Enid BlytonAsterix, the Moomins, Huckleberry Finn, and the Hobbit to the sound of a ticking grandfather clock and whispers of fellow readers.  That hardened paper ticket was the gateway to a lifetime of learning, of enjoyment, and countless worlds.

During Ireland’s last recession in the 80s the building, which had been a public library since 1884, needed some work to be made safe and so was condemned as libraries in poor areas were considered luxuries.  So we moved further afield and I found the many worlds of Clarke and Asimov, the joys of Adams, and had my noodle cooked by Ellison and Bradbury.

It was in a library that I met Roald Dahl. It was a library that started me programming. Libraries got me through school and into technical college and if it wasn’t for the groundwork laid there I’d never have made it through the Open University.

As Pullman points out, the fallacy of the market economy is going to drive out anything of worth in our society and it’ll be the less well off that will suffer.  It is nothing more than greed and selfishness couched in the language of ideology and stewardship.  A reduction to the lowest common denominator for those who can’t afford it, while the selfish classes get to keep more opportunities for themselves.

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August Reading

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

According to Banned in the USA by Herbert N. Foerstel this is the fourth most banned book in US schools because of its use of the “n word.” It’s a shame, because Twain’s portrait of the pre-Civil War South is a damning satire of the post manumission world in which racism was simply driven underground rather than addressed.

Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter.

What started off as a pretty dull, sub-Crichton, Space Cowboy type story turned into something much more compelling half way through. You need to persist past the near future 2010 and clunky technobabble but then pay-off is worth it; the same mind-bending stuff that Bear and Simmons regularly trade in.

Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur.

I got this free with Stanza in what I can only imagine is an attempt by the publisher to try and get people to buy the rest of the series – I still feel short changed. I don’t think I’ve come across a published book that reads as much like a bad teenage fantasy as this… and I’ve tried to read the Twilight ‘books’. If you want a bunch of bad deus ex machinae, wooden characters that all have the same voice, and some really bad semi-furry sex then read away. Everyone else, life’s too short

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Giving the Schafernaker

Ben and Tom had the idea of getting the phrase giving the Schafernaker into common usage, just like the Santorum (NSFW) and lifting your luggage (NSFHypocrites).

Next time you’re cut up on the motorway, pushed about on the Tube, or just plain fed up with the world consider giving the Schafernaker.

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Big Read

Reading listImage by jakebouma via Flickr

How many of the BBC Big Read books have you read?

Instructions:
Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman X
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams X

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert X

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley X

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon X

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold X

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson X

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker X

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White X

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom X

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan X

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton X

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas X

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Ronald Dahl X

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

(via My Own Little Region of Space)

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Write on

Tesco punctuation

Rob Caron points to a great post from Dumb Little Man, a Lifehacker type blog.

If only it could be enforced before anyone is allowed near a keyboard.

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Sarcastinate

Ang’s worried about being too sarcastic.

Ang to Pickle : Would mam mind taking me shopping for a plunger later.
Pickle : Why?
Ang: Because I’m making a dalek costume.

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