All entries for Wednesday 28 September 2005

September 28, 2005

Gerin Oil

Ho ho ho. I thoroughly enjoyed this article by Richard Dawkins on the perils of Gerin oil (or Geriniol to give it its scientific name) and its intoxicating effects. Dawkins suggests that this powerful substance is both addictive and hallucinatory, and is responsible for many tragic acts of violence. He's puzzled, therefore, about its largely unregulated status, and the fact that it's not just tolerated, but supported by governments, often enjoying tax-free status.

That Dawkins, he's a card. I sometimes find him a bit ranty, but this piece goes in as smooth and sharp as a rapier. Elegant.

7 habits of successful people

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I'm saying nothing.

Gaiman & Whedon: Together at last!

Writing about web page,8599,1109313-1,00.html

If you're a fan of Buffy, Firefly, Sandman, Good Omens or any of a pretty long list of great fantasy work then this interview with Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman is a good read. They're both erudite, witty people, so their views on their own work and on pop culture generally are interesting and entertaining. Joss Whedon on the upcoming Wonder Woman movie he's working on:-

TIME: You're working on Wonder Woman now, right?
JW: I am.
TIME: How's that going?
JW: In my head, it's the finest film ever not typed yet.

And Neil Gaiman on the endless rewrite process that Hollywood insists on going through when adapting original work for the screen:-

JW: I find that when you read a script, or rewrite something, or look at something that's been gone over, you can tell, like rings on a tree, by how bad it is, how long it's been in development.

NG: Yes. It really is this thing of executives loving the smell of their own urine and urinating on things. And then more execs come in, and they urinate. And then the next round. By the end, they have this thing which just smells like pee, and nobody likes it.

I can't remember whether Time is one of those magazines that puts articles online for about a week and then moves them into a subscriber-only archive, so if you're reading this in 2008 and the link doesn't work then, you know, sorry.

Metafilter: Tips for students

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There's a discussion going on at Metafilter about tips for being productive at university, with some solid advice, including:-

Unless you are really confident that you can complete a task without assistance, start it early. Asking for help the day before a deadline comes across as slack. Teaching assistants and lecturers are an order of magnitude more helpful if asked for assistance a week in advance.


Teach others what you have learned. There is no better way to learn something than to teach it. For revision, split up what you need to learn, get a group of people together, and teach each other parts of the course.

Worth a read.

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