December 27, 2004

Malcolm Gladwell on Jared Diamond's new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. Diamond wrote an article for Harper's on this subject:

One of the disturbing facts of history is that so many civilizations collapse. Few people, however, least of all our politicians, realize that a primary cause of the collapse of those societies has been the destruction of the environmental resources on which they depended. Fewer still appreciate that many of those civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society's demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth, and power.
Posted by Bill Stilwell at 10:45 AM
December 21, 2004
Winter Solstice Lantern festival

This looks like fun: Chinese Winter Solstice Festival - in four different Vancouver neighbourhoods. (via)

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 02:26 PM
December 15, 2004
His Dark Materials not longer his

Chris Weitz resigns as director of His Dark Materials. His being able to admit that he's not the right director to get this done is admirable, I have to say.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 02:39 PM
Complete Calvin & Hobbes

From the people that brought you the complete far side comes The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. It's available for preorder, although publish date is September, 2005.

That sound you hear is me giggling with girlish glee.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 01:45 PM
December 13, 2004
Online Etymology

Forget where I got this from, but it's definitely something for the bookmarks: Online Etymology.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 10:12 PM
Arcade Fire

Brief review: my, what a joyful noise that was. If you have the chance to see them live, do it.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 10:10 PM
December 10, 2004
You too can be "hep" and "with it"

I have an extra ticket for the (sold out!) Arcade Fire show on Sunday night, email me at bill.stilwell <at> if'n you're interested.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 03:20 PM
December 08, 2004
Paper Enigma Machine

Is the internet making with the awesome today, or what? Paper Enigma Machine (via)

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 07:58 PM
Wow, that's just, like, wow

Wonderfully good product of Vancouver: Gung Haggis Fat Choy.

Wonderfully bad product of Vancouver: TatAD - The only place in the WORLD to get a tattoo & get PAID for it!

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 06:46 PM
How We Work

I find this kind of stuff all kinds of interesting: How We Work:

We're interested in the habits, rituals and small (and occasionally big) methods people and teams use to get their work done. And in the specific anecdotes and the way people describe their own relationship to their own work. Here's a list of some stories and habits.

Choice quote, from J.G. Ballard: "Unless you're disciplined, all you end up with is a lot of empty wine bottles." Marginalia favorite Haruki Murakami takes this to extremes: "He swims and runs daily, and has run marathons in New York, Boston and Sapporo. He is in bed by 9 p.m. and up at 4. 'You need power to be a good writer.'"


Posted by Bill Stilwell at 04:33 PM
Missing the point

I've been excited about the possibilities of the film versions of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (the theatrical production is apparently amazing), but things like this have dampened it significantly:

THE Hollywood adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials, in which two children do battle with an evil, all-powerful church, is being rewritten to remove anti-religious overtones. Chris Weitz, the director, has horrified fans by announcing that references to the church are likely to be banished in his film. Meanwhile the “Authority”, the weak God figure, will become “any arbitrary establishment that curtails the freedom of the individual”.

The interview this comes from is here. Weitz is in a difficult position, as an anti-religious film would face financing problems, but tearing out one of the core elements of the story could drive away the fanbase, which would certainly make success difficult.

Another bad sign: firing Tom Stoppard.

Maybe I should just hope a Vancouver theatre puts on a production.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 01:34 PM
A comic for the disaffected? No way!

A comic for the temp workers in my readership: Temporary. Halfway through verdict: pleasantly bizarre. (via.)

Posted by Bill Stilwell at 01:00 PM