Read More · 30 September 2006 · · Journal

I’m Alright, Jack

Alright, it’s time for some more fun with words. Specifically, that one—alright, a word that sets some people’s teeth on edge. Which is why I don’t use it much any more: I use all right for the same reason I avoid split infinitives in formal writing—because alright and split infinitives annoy some people, not because they annoy me.

Read More · 27 September 2006 · · Whatever

As Aussie As

A couple of weeks ago I was trying to find the definitive spelling of strewth (for here), which turns out to have the edge over struth and my preferred streuth. In the process, I came across a 2004 article by Bruce Elder on the decline of the Aussie vernacular, and by cripes it had me spitting chips. (In a mellow kind of way.)

Read More · 24 September 2006 · · Whatever

The Black Hole

This dearth of posting is deceptive, because elsewhere I’ve actually been blogging like it’s 1999. It’s all been for the course, though, and for a smaller (or at least more private) audience.

Read More · 24 September 2006 · Journal

The Not-What-You-Meant-ary

Bill’s Top 10 Yet-To-Be-Employed Forms of -umentary, with further contributions from loyal readers. Whee!

24 September 2006 · · Weblog


Och, it’s Wikipedia in Scots.

Idle talks to Eggers.

Amazing trick pool playing.

Why email is addictive. And the rest...

Who are the prisoners at Guantanamo? [Mefi]

Clouds. [Mefi]

23 September 2006 · Weblog

War of the WWWs

The chances of anything coming from blogs are a million to one, but still they come...

Read More · 13 September 2006 · · Weblog



Read More · 12 September 2006 · Events

Running After Royalty

King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV of Tonga died last night in Auckland after a long illness. He was 88. I never met him.

Of course, most people would take that last point as read—who on earth expects to meet the reigning monarch of a tiny country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? But I did at least try to meet him. When I was a Ph.D. student I spent seven weeks in Tonga interviewing various public figures about tradition and politics, and of course the King was top of my wishlist. Every week I asked the Palace Office if there was any chance of an audience, and every week was politely declined. He was a busy man, after all, in a country known for its furious pace of life.

Read More · 11 September 2006 · · Events


As you can see, things are slowing down here as work ramps up. For the next few months I’ll be immersed in teaching, so I have no idea how much will appear here between now and Christmas. Here’s some other people’s stuff in the meantime.

Read More · 9 September 2006 · Weblog

Note to Spammers

A subject line of “Watch the pounds disappear” really doesn’t work for a UK audience.

9 September 2006 · Net Culture

Y’know how sometimes you’ll see someone who’s a tremendous ham, but hammy in such an honest and unrepentant way that you can’t help but love him?

Onya, Steve.

4 September 2006 · · Events


Around the darkened stone of his exterior
Erect a scaffold made of pipe and wood

Clean the shell that shelters his interior
Until his golden surfaces come good

Steam the grime of each benighted era
Off, and leave unblemished skin behind

Each blast of scalding water brings him nearer
What his architect once had in mind

Remove the soot that renders him inferior
And scrape the grit that’s gripping at his soul

From high upon your scaffolding, it’s clearer
Just how much is rock, and how much coal.


2 September 2006 · · Whatever

Head... Hurting...

I should know better than to follow a link on the name Rumsfeld, or I too will end up with headaches.

Read More · 2 September 2006 · Politics

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