Year of the Pig

PigIt’s Chinese new year: the year of the pig. Judy’s parents are here for the new year, which we are celebrating by eating a lot. Yes, pork is very much on the menu, and no, that doesn’t mean that we’ll be eating rat a year from now.

Thanks to KnOizKi for the picture of the pig, which I believe is in Hong Kong, and is apparently still celebrating Valentine’s Day. But not everyone there is so upbeat. “The Year of the Pig will not be very peaceful,” said Hong Kong feng shui master Raymond Lo. Meanwhile, in Korea, it’s the year of the golden pig.

From Boston, a happy new year of the pig to you, wherever you are, and whatever year you were born in. (I’m a dog myself.)

Walk Out to Winter

Aztec Camera’s first album, High Land, Hard Rain, has long been a favorite of mine. I never saw the band live. But there they are on video from those far-off days, when Roddy Frame was 19, doing “Walk Out to Winter.”

Other relevant Roddy-related resources include:

Perplex City

One of the good things about procrastination is that, if you do it long enough, the thing you’re putting off doing becomes irrelevant. This recently happened to me yet again. After nearly two years, a cryptic treasure hunt played out between the real and virtual worlds has been won. That’s from the BBC’s article on Perplex City.

I didn’t get any further than registering. The email that told me that the race had been run also reminded me that I had yet to leave the starting line. “You’ve scored 0 Perplex Points. That makes you number 44995 on the global leaderboard, out of 53954 players!”

Dogs, Drawn

FoxHoundHey, this looks like Betsy! Actually our dog Betsy is, we think, mainly Treeing Walker Coonhound, while this is a foxhound. But the coonhound breed was originally a mix of foxhound and some stockier dog.

The image is from the Wurstminster dog show. Perhaps my favorite image from that gallery is the Vizsla. Having found, and loved, that picture, I see that the artist lives just a few miles down the road from me, in Dedham, MA. Even so, don’t tell Betsy that “her” picture is not my favorite.

Zlango Has a Way to Go

Zlango 1Zlango is an icon-based language. Here are a couple of recent takes on it.

I want to like Zlango, but found it frustrating to get the above very simple message into this post. What I wanted was a the URL of an image so that I could link to it. I ended up emailing the message to myself and uploading the file, which was one of four attachments to the resulting email.

I also wanted to use words not currently available in Zlango, such as share, to see the page on which “my” messages were posted, to link to that page,…

So I hope that Zlango will use the $12M of funding reported in the first of the above quotes to implent the advice offered in the second quote. Then “we help Zlango help us,” words such as we will be added to the language, and the above message won’t have to be a palindrome for ever.

Mobile Music (Station)


Rather than just providing a grumpy old answer to the hip young guy in the picture, perhaps I should provide a little more detail about:

MusicStation, an all-you-can-eat (AYCE) full-track mobile music service which will be rolled-out in partnership with major music labels, mobile operators and mobile industry partners across the world.

There, now I’ve done it. But DRM certainly doesn’t make it more interesting…

Andi Watson, Artist

Haunted If you haven’t yet followed the link from the image to the comic, the caption tells us that “Maddy is haunted by the ghosts of relationships past.” That was a little weird to me, since my daughter’s name is Maddie Watson.

Even without coincidence of names, the comic is well worth checking out. So is Andi (short for Andrew, but it’s not me) Watson’s other work. I found out about this fellow Andrew Watson via Drawn!

New Camera

Can I Have Some Juice?We recently got a new digital camera, a Canon PowerShot A540 6MP. So far, so good. It’s amazing how much camera you get for a couple of hundred bucks these days.

The previous camera, a Casio, gave up the ghost about the one-year mark. I liked the camera before that, which was a Canon my wife gave me as a present. So we went back to Canon. I was thinking of holding off on the purchase, since Canon are coming out with some new models soon, but it’s hard to be without a camera when one has young kids at home.


Flixster is a movie social network, recently written up on TechCrunch and on Read/Write Web. Each of the writeups focuses on Flixster as a social network centered on movies.

That is of course an accurate way of looking at Flixster, but I’m inclined to come at it from the other direction, and look at it as a movie site including social networking. So my main point of comparison is IMDB, which is mentioned by neither TC nor RWW.

RWW does make the comparison with a couple of other movie sites: “the recent hit movie Dream Girls has been rated by 4,600 Flixter users… 5,000 times on… Fandango and only 300 times on AOL Movies.” IMDB has 6,300 ratings of this movie, and so is not so far ahead of Flixster.

I find IMDB annoying, partly due to its ugly layout, and partly due to its requiring registration to see the message boards. Flixster’s layout is more appealing, and it appears to require registration only for the things that it’s really needed for (e.g., My Friends’ Reviews).

So, a tentative thumbs up for Flixster as a movie site with social networking.