Advertising, scepticism and zombies

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

VS Naipaul’s Advice To Writers

VS Naipaul’s Rules for Beginners

1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.

2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.

3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.

4. Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.

5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size and number. Use as few adverbs as possible.

6. Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.

7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short, clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it’s training you in the use of language. It may even be getting rid of the bad language habits you picked up at the university. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.

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Monday, 18 April 2011

15 Movie Cliche Supercuts That Poke Fun at Hollywood [VIDEOS]

Do you sigh every time you see an overused plot device or hear a tired old cliché trotted out on the silver screen? We do too. In what should be required viewing for all Hollywood scriptwriters, we’re calling out the industry for its lack of imagination.

To poke some loving fun, we’ve curated 15 fantastic “supercuts” lovingly compiled by some talented YouTubers. This clips make fun of hackneyed lines and fatigued filmic scenarios that appear all too often.

Take a look through the video gallery below to see our selection and let us know in the comments below which movie clichés make you groan.

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Friday, 15 April 2011

A Taxonomy of Gods


How many ways can you be god? You know, when you make an artificial world, what are the different positions that you can assume as its creator? For this exercise I am imagining powers of creation that we humans do not currently possess, but seem on our way to acquiring -- such as being able to instill choice in our creations.

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If Fox News existed throughout history

Found Sign: Why the Internet is No Substitute for a Library - Boing Boing

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Canadian Ad Says Women Are Like Used Cars [PIC]


A woman's sexual history is like car value depreciation

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Wicked Plants on exhibit in San Francisco - Boing Boing


San Francisco's gorgeous Conservatory of Flowers is hosting an exhibit titled "Wicked Plants," all about poisonous plants and their place in history, from the lethal ricin-producing castor bean, to hemlock -- aka "dead men's oatmeal" (above), to white snakeroot, the weed that did in Abe Lincoln's mom. The exhibit is named for Amy Stewart's book "Wicked Plants: Botanical Rogues & Assassins" that tells true tales of these fearful flora. For example, in 1978, Bulgarian dissident journalist Georgi Markov was assassinated with a poke to his leg from an umbrella tipped with ricin. From the Conservatory of Flowers:

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Monday, 11 April 2011