Sunday, June 14, 2009

Closing Tabs

Actually, I never close this tab: Awkward Boners. Yeah. Exactly what it says it is. Because penises (peni? penes? penids?) are funny.

This post on how to get with that friend you really like in that way cracks me up. It is a hilariously idea, so wrong and so full of genius.

So, you're in love with one of your friends, but she has a boyfriend and probably wouldn't have sex with you anyway.

What you will need: 1 x knife, 1 x ring, access to a sunbed, the ability to grow a beard.

Unfortunately, we all know about my ability to grow a beard. I have no choice but to rely on my charm and wit instead.

Organic Chemistry As Magical Realism is a sublime translation of a passage of dry chemistry text into lush and decadently styled prose.

The fumehood was thick with serendipity on the day the prophesied oxindole, known as 1-methyl-3-dicyanomethylene, floated into the laboratory in an ochre coloured corporeal guise.

If all scientific books were written like this...well I'd be in trouble. That would just mean more books I want to buy and read.

Losing Our Voice, Richard Flanagan's closing address at the Sydney Writer's Festival, specifically concerning the push to abolish territorial copyright here in Australia. This is an excellent speech, and summarises the situation and consequences of such action very well.

Of course, as the Coalition for Cheaper Books - or, as we might more accurately call it, the Coalition for Bigger Business - would point out, that's not the whole story.

This is.

What is being proposed doesn't exist in Europe or the USA. And even if US and British publishers are allowed to dump books on our market, Australian publishers will not be allowed to do the same in theirs.

In the one country in the world where the change was introduced, New Zealand, publishing has, according to the New Zealand Publishers Association, suffered, and books are now more expensive.

This would basically turn Australia into a remainder bin for the rest of the world. I'm not cool with that.

I would dearly love cheaper books. I was given a $50 voucher for my birthday, and that bought me one and a half books. I had to shell out extra. That is for one trade paper back, and one mass market paper back. $37 and $26 a piece, both on general release in Australia. The last book I bought before those was $55, an imported hardcover, and that was really cheap. I snapped it up because every where else I'd seen it on the shelf, it had been upward of $65.

So when I say I love reading, I support authors, I support the book industry, I buy the fucking books, you can be damn sure I mean it.

I would love cheaper books, but I'm not interested in shit and trash and sludge. I'm not interested in our own rubbish, let alone the rubbish that other countries are trying to offload. I don't think any one is. The books I buy generally do not end up remaindered. They're quality. They're wanted. That's what I want to see on the shelves; more excellence. More quality, not quantity.

Even more alarming is the thought of parallel importing books that are on release here. Sure, they might be cheaper, but most books get tailored for the market. They'll cut out our vocabulary. They're taps, not facets. Doonas, not comforters. It'll be yet another rollover of imported culture, American in particular, and we're already drowning. (That isn't a diss to you America, it's simply a fact. Our identity is blurring beneath yours. Your volume is louder.)

If they were serious about lowering the price of books, they'd take the GST off. It was putting that in place that caused the price to skyrocket in the first place.

I grew up in a house full of books. I loved the library and used it well, but there's nothing like being surrounded by books in every room. It shapes your mind when you're growing. My heart dies a little to think of all the kids who aren't growing up with such surroundings, purely because books cost too much.


I was recently reminded of the Halo 2 ARG I Love Bees, and had a yen to listen to the radio play again. And lo! The folk at HBO have compiled the chapters into easy to swallow files in WAV and MP3. I'm downloading now. It's a great dramatisation, with gorgeous voice acting.

Finally, I really want this, this, and this. Saw them at the no vacancy art market and have lusted quietly ever since. My flat needs a flying narwhal. Good thing my credit card is in the other room.


  1. I'm afraid most of the attached ladies of my acquaintance would see through that trick, what with them being in the SF field and some of them having physics degrees.

    (And I can't help wondering about step 15. That confidence from step 14 is going to evaporate pretty quickly.)

    (Unless it's perfunctory mediocre bored married couple sex, I suppose. Deep game, but that's not going to make it to outcome 1.)

    Still, it'd be amusing to watch someone else try it.

  2. I agree, that sort of confidence would take a hell of a lot of actor training. I'd like to watch someone else try it. Someone who can grow a beard, obviously.

  3. Awkward Boners? Man, there really is a website for everything now.

  4. Anonymous14/6/09 14:05

    doona! doonadoonadoona.

    David's right, of course. And, this would make the best short student film ever. Someone at some university should take that plot, use it.

    I'm not sure what made me laugh harder--that, or the awkward boners. The entertainment tonight video just about killed me.


  5. Chris, there was -always- a site for everything.