Web Curios 13/11/15

Web Curios 13/11/15

So this morning I unaccountably woke up 75 minutes late (not unaccountably at all, I just forgot to turn on my alarm) which means that I had even less time than normal to write all this crap and which crap, as a result, is a little shorter and more pared back than normal. Sorry about that.

Although I don’t know why I’m apologising - I know it’s too long, and that that’s an ISSUE. Which is why (note the SEAMLESS SEGUE here) the clever man that is Shardcore has built THE WEB CURIOS BOT! Yes, as of this week, if you follow Imperica on Twitter you will receive, each hour, a link from the previous week’s Curios, with a screencap of the accompanying sparkling prose, so you can ‘enjoy’ it all in bite-sized chunks. I mean, I would say this, but it is SO USEFUL; do let us know what you think of it as a development. Oh, and if you think there would be value in a separate bot doing the same thing for the whole Curios archive (many THOUSANDS of links) do let us know and we will try and sort it (or lock Shardcore in a basement until he’s done it; either/or).

Anyway, I am spaffing on and I can’t afford to waste the time. Let’s MOVE, people, weaving through the thick linkforest, trying not to get snagged on the bark, and perhaps stopping a little too often to taste the assorted berries and fruits - they’re probably not poisonous, though don’t quote me on that. This, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 06/11/15

Web Curios 06/11/15

In a week in which we’ve seemingly just sort of rolled over and accepted the fact that we’re going to be surveilled everywhere we go on the internet with a broadly resigned shrug - look at us, apparently feeling all totally fine and relaxed about The Man knowing all about our secret bongo predilections! - and in which, more importantly, HEARTS replaced STARS, what could be more important than getting reacquainted with all of the week’s internetting?

*waits*

YES THAT IS RIGHT THERE IS NOTHING. NOTHING. THE WEB IS EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING IS THE WEB - THE WARP AND WEFT AND WOOF OF OUR EXISTENCE IS, IN FACT, CONTAINED IN THE LINKS WHICH FOLLOW (none of which, I’m pretty sure, should cause Theresa May undue concern as to your status as a terror suspect). Come along, and bring your passports, just in case I’m wrong about the preceding sentence and Guantanamo does in fact end up beckoning. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 30/10/15

Web Curios 30/10/15

Across the world, people are looking forward to celebrating All Hallow’s Eve this weekend - a time when people everywhere can...er...get really drunk and, in certain cases, dress up as a sexy cat or something. PRAISE BE OUR DEAD ANCESTORS.

I’m not, though, I bloody hate Hallowe’en. Though I probably will get drunk, if only to try and block out the voices and the faces. No sexy cat for me, though.

Anyway, it’s that time again - shuffle over here and open WIDE as I prepare the deliveryfunnel and start to pour the DELICIOUS LINKCORN down your eager gullets, not stopping until you’re all swollen and tender and ready to be eaten. This, everyone, is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 23/10/15

Web Curios 23/10/15

You know what the best thing about this week was - I mean, absolutely the best, bar none? The dawning realisation on Thursday that we as a species would never have to go through Back to the Future Day EVER AGAIN. Small mercies.

Otherwise it was as bleakly grey and mediocre as one would expect, as we limp unwillingly towards another orgy of relentless consumption and faux-celebration, watching the mornings and afternoons get darker and pretending that the extra hour in bed in some way compensates for the very real fear that we may never see sunshine again.

So consider this, and by extension me, the SAD lamp to your disorder - gather round and bathe in the comforting glow of this week’s content-prolapse (is it possible for a prolapse to glow? I suppose it is, depending on radioactivity of one’s colon), and ignore the fact that it gives little or no actual warmth and comfort to anyone - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 16/10/15

Web Curios 16/10/15

HELLO AGAIN I AM BACK! Well that was a lovely break - turns out, people are right and Venice really is all beautiful and lovely and stuff, although they don’t appear to get the irony of having an art biennale which this year focuses on HOW TERRIBLE THE WORLD IS and how we probably ought to do something about said terribleness located in what appears to be the most expensive city on the planet, a city in which hotel rooms careen towards the low-5 figures per night at high season and where you can see ACTUAL OLIGARCHS’ YACHTS moored casually amongst the vaporetti.

No matter, though - normality is restored, or at least the shiny simulacrum of normality which we’re fed these days. BIG NEWS this week is that, according to the Evening Standard, newsletters are officially A Thing (they unaccountably failed to mention this one in their whistlestop roundup, the churls) - those of you reading this as an email, WELL DONE, you’re now part of a trend that, having been covered by the Standard, is now officially OVER. Those of you reading it on the web, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Those of you not reading it at all, I hope a terrible fate befalls you and all those you hold dear.

Anyway, enough of that - we have nearly two weeks of web to get through. Buckle in and hold tight, my blank-eyed, unthinking pretties, as we strap once again into the metaphorical crash test vehicle and send it careening at 70mph into the IMMENSE AND DENSE WALL OF INFORMATION that is The Modern Internet - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 02/10/15

Web Curios 02/10/15

Disappointingly, this week has been nowhere NEAR as mental as last. Ah well, normal life has to reassert itself sometimes, I suppose. Speaking of normal life, or that which passes for it in these Ballardian times, mine's on hold for a bit as of tomorrow as I pop to Venice for a few days with my mum - anyone with any top Biennale tips, feel free to share them with me. Web Curios will hence be on holiday next week - in its absence, why not try smiling at strangers, or cultivating an unusual but by no means unpleasant feeling of gentle optimism about the future? Neither of those things will make any long (or even medium, or possibly short)-term difference to the course of your or indeed anyone else's life, but when you only have plasters with which to treat your axewound then you must make do and mend. 

Anyway, don once again the ritual blindfold and clasp tightly the end of the proffered string as once more we delve deep within the twisting, angular corridors of the weblabyrinth, taking care not to drop it lest you be left down here all alone with nothing but the algorithms and spambots and bongo agreggators and the loneliness which can only be measured in binary - THIS, AS EVER, IS WEB CURIOS!  

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Web Curios 25/09/15

Web Curios 25/09/15

Satire is dead, killed by politics. There's literally nothing that I can write here which could come close to the brain-splittingly odd events of a week in which several organs of the national press felt it necessary to publish definitions of both necrophilia and bestiality so as to assure their readers that the Prime Minister could not, in fact, have been guilty of either. 

I know that my continual repetition of this refrain is marking me down as an increasingly old and confused antique, but modernity is baffling to the point of incomprehensibility at times. 

So whilst I slope off to wrap a blanket over my knees and sit in a bath chair with an ear trumpet, you young things gather round and suckle at the many porcine knowledge-dugs of the web, each ready to dispense a warm and sticky flow of CONTENT MILK into your waiting, gummy maws - as ever, THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 18/09/15

Web Curios 18/09/15

So it seems the universe doesn't in fact read Web Curios, or that this particular form of cosmic ordering is broken, because despite my plea for everyone just to be quiet about Jeremy Corbyn for a bit exactly the opposite has happened and it now appears that everyone in the UK is currently afflicted with a strange variant ofspeaking in tongues whereby everything that anyone says must contain the words "Jeremy" or "Corbyn" or "beard" or "left-wing" or "national anthem" or, in my case, "deargodmakeitstopit'sfivesoddingyearsuntilthisactuallymakesanypracticaldifferencandhaveweallforgottenabouttherefumigrantsalreadyohyeswehave".

Anyway, was we eagerly await the next exciting step in the media vs a middle-aged former trot, let's step away from the political bearpit for just a second and instead take a moment to sit and smell this week's internets - close your eyes, inhale deeply, and let me help you identify the strands and unique musks which make up this week's webspaff. That topnote? Yes, it's wet dog and regret. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 11/09/15

Web Curios 11/09/15

A marginally less rubbish week than last, thank Christ, not least because we all got to get distracted by SHINY NEW SLIGHTLY RUBBISH TOYS! Of course, outside of that people continue to have really horrible times all over the place and noone really knows what to do about it - YOU could do something about it, maybe, there's an idea!

Nah though, mate, we did all of that miserable stuff LAST WEEK! Let's move on! Let's look forwards, not back! Let's stare straight into the burning orb that is the future (is it the sun? is it an onrushing, skin-flaying explosion? WHO KNOWS?!) and not worry too much about what it's doing to our eyes (not to mention the other, more intangible bits of ourselves which seem to be increasingly necrotic and diseased and just broken) -  come with me once again as we peer into the scrying glass to a better (or at least different) tomorrow that is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 04/09/15

Web Curios 04/09/15

Well that was a uniquely crap week, wasn't it? Except it wasn't actually unique at all, what with it simply being an extension of exactly what's been happening for much of 2015 and indeed before that too. I'm sure you're all nice people, you lot reading this, people who understand that it's not a question of logistics so much as it is a question of morals and responsibilities - you don't need some generic media wanker telling you what to do or think, so I shan't. 

Except to say that, on an unrelated note, I would really appreciate it if you could perhaps this weekend take a moment to do or say something nice to anyone you know who you think is a little bit sad or lost or alone - mainly because you never know whether if you don't you will find yourself regretting it five years down the line when they're dead. 

WOW, THAT WAS CHEERY! Sorry guys, don't know WHAT came over me there - the bonhomie will resume forthwith! Come now, follow the man in the red frock coat and the top hat as he pulls back the tarpaulin and ushers you inside the gaudily-striped big top for this week's exhibition of freaks and oddities and exhibitionists, and don't, whatever you do, look too closely at the tear tracks on the clowns' faces, or the gentle scarring on the contortionists' inner arms, or any of it really. Don't look closely AT ALL. This is WEB CURIOS!!!!!!

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Web Curios 21/08/15

Web Curios 21/08/15

I'm back! But only briefly! Yeah, sorry about this, turns out August's a bit of a sketchy month when it comes to my ability to imbibe straight from the frothing torrent of the web. I promise you, though, that normal service will be resumed again as of September where I promise to have AT MOST a week off between then and Christmas. 

Sadly, though, this is your last Curios of the month, and probably of the Summer because we all know that September's basically winter and all the fun is OVER. Have you had good Summers? Have you achieved a tan, found love, lost yourself in a field with a whole host of people who are all expressing their unique and creative natures in EXACTLY THE SAME FCUKING WAY AS EVERYONE ELSE ("oh, you're wearing glitter on your face? What a uniquely liberated and free soul YOU must be! What, you work in advertising too? How FUNNY!")? Great, well done, I'm happy for you.

As you may have guessed, I'm not really feeling the cheery preamble bit. Let's get this 'show' on the 'road' - make yourselves comfortable in the back of the Curios charabanc, my lovelies, and please don't try and talk to the driver; you wouldn't want to distract him where we're going, and we're already late, too late, so late, far too late...THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 07/08/15

Web Curios 07/08/15

So lots of stuff happened this week, as per, but what with a really inconvenient IT meltdown over the past 30 minutes and the fact that I have a train to catch I am not going to talk about any of it it (aside from congratulating Friend of Curios Sam Cookney on his newfound viral fame, and suggesting that all of these people find something better to do than complaining about transport on the internet you terrible dullards).

I'm off to go and hang out in a field with a bunch of other generic media wankers - if you're not doing that, why not lie back and let me gently attach the infonozzle to the fresh incision in your sternum and let it all just flow into you like so much nourishing balm; and ignore what it looks like, this sort of gently bruised knowledge-swelling's going to be all the rage in the new information age. HERE IS THE INTERNET YOU DESERVE - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 31/07/15

Web Curios 31/07/15

I had a whole riff worked out here about Lord Sewel and that dentist and the poor lion, but then I realised it wasn't funny, so I binned it. Trust me, you're missing nothing. 

Hold still, keep quiet and take your bloody medicine - it may not cure you, but the foul taste might at least cause you to reflect briefly as to why you need it in the first place. This is Web Curios!  

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Web Curios 24/07/15

Web Curios 24/07/15

A week characterised, tediously, by ACTUAL WORK draws to a close. NO MORE OF THAT, PLEASE - obviously I am ordinarily a man of leisure, lying back on a chaise longue and being fed peeled grapes by a succession of lightly-oiled eunuchs, and as such anything so unspeakably vulgar as actual labour makes my teeth itch rather. I barely had the time to wade through all the webspaff this week, so I hope you're grateful. 

Eh? What was that? The sound of crushing indifference? Oh, suit yourselves. In any case, before I head off to Brighton to catch up with old friends and pretend I'm still young for a couple of days, let me guide you gently and with care to the centre of this week's infolabyrinth - easy to enter, tricky to leave, and oh so full of dead ends and ephemera and the slightly troubling sound, just over there, of something mythical and horned and hungry - this, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 17/07/15

Web Curios 17/07/15

SPACE! SPACE! SPACE IS AMAZING! Loads of other important stuff may have occurred this week, but frankly the whole 'pictures from billions of miles away' thing totally eclipses them. WOW. 

Anyway, I am not in London today and therefore have even more incentive to get this copy filed and head out into the great sunshiney outdoors - I hope you get to do so too, in time. First, though, cock your ears - if you listen hard enough you may receive the faintest traces of the sounds of the furthest reaches of in internet; don't worry, webmongs, they're probably not really screams of pain and loneliness and anguish, honest! THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 10/05/15

Web Curios 10/05/15

So, those Greeks, eh? I think if I'd voted 'Oxi' I'd be feeling a touch miffed at what looks a little bit like a capitulation so far, but nonetheless - MORE POWER TO THEM. While we're at it, more power to the tube people too! YEAH! COME ON! TAKE THAT, THE MAN! 

Hang on, The Man, what was that? You're going to toss us some scraps from the table of your largesse in order to give us the illusion of social progress whilst at the same time absolutely removing the existing basis whereby those scraps might actually be meaningful, like a vengeful king cutting off someone's lips and legs and then suggesting that they can go free if they can run through the streets of town whilst playing the trumpet (an actual prize to the first person who can tell me who / where I have lifted that from)? Oh, ok, GREAT, that makes it all ok then!

There's been just TOO MUCH to get exercised about this week, webmongs, so in the main I've not really bothered. I suggest you stop caring about everything too, and instead just spend the rest of the day clicking at the below links like some sort of labrat hitting the sugar pellet pleasure switch - and don't worry about the white-coated functionary approaching with the scalpel, it's probably going to be FINE. This is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 03/07/15

Web Curios 03/07/15

Gah, I am LATE. I made a fatal (not obviously fatal at all, sorry) error last night in going to my part-time employer's summer party last night after a trip to the theatre (to see this, which if you're at a loose end tonight or tomorrow I can heartily recommend FWIW) and I got a slightly later night than planned and now I'm all late and I am meant to be meeting someone for lunch and OH GOD IT'S HARD SOMETIMES, WEBMONGS. 

Anyway, you don't care about that (and readership figures suggest you don't care about this either, so screw the lot of you) - you only tolerate me for my links. So plug your noses and plaster the scented handkerchief over your faces, webmongs, as we prepare once more to take a tour through the slightly less well-lit corners of the internet, where you're never more than three clicks away from something genuinely disturbing and the stuff you can half-see moving in the shadows just looks broken - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 26/06/15

Web Curios 26/06/15

Wow, holidays are GREAT! I went here, in case any of you care and want a top-quality airbnb recommendation. Now, though, the beach and the heat are but fading memories, and I'm once again confronted with the harsh reality of my glaring insignificance in the grand scheme of things, a reality only amplified at this time of year when once again I am unaccountably not on Marty's yacht in Southern France or backstage in Somerset. 

Yes, that's right, it's late June which means that even fewer of you than usual will be failing to get to the end - or, let's be honest, even the beginning - of Web Curios, what with you variously being septum-deep in glassine bags of lignocaine and baby laxative in either Glastonbury or Cannes. To those of you who remain, though, I offer a salute and a tribute - the following rubbish is ALL FOR YOU! Huddle round, you few remaining wretches, and attach yourselves to my withered webdugs - SUCK THE SUSTENANCE FROM MY INFOTEATS! 

*ahem*

This is Web Curios.   

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Web Curios 12/06/15

Web Curios 12/06/15

Stuff may well have been happening this week, webmongs, but I get on a plane to go and visit the mothercountry in about 3 hours and so frankly I am about as inclined to comment on it as you are to read my eventual comment. So it goes, we'll save the pithy analysis for next time (or, perhaps, never). 

So while I bash this top bit out with even less care and attention than I normally lavish on it (clue: literally none at all, even on a good day), let me simultaneously bid you adieu until 26 June, at which point I will return refreshed and renewed and probably all cheerful and stuff. As of the now, though, the newsletter is done, the 'comedy' out of office message is troubling my temporary paymasters' HR department, and I am OFF -  make yourselves at home in my absence webmongs, mi casa es su casa...ignore the strange noises and the troubling smells, and don't, whatever you do, open that door...this is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 05/06/15

Web Curios 05/06/15

Not really sure why, but large swathes of this week have felt pretty much exactly like this. Anyone out there able to empathise? Hm, no, thought not. 

Anyway, more sadness EVERWHERE this week, but at least that fat Swiss man fell on his sword (can we all stop talking about it now, please, it's VERY boring) so that probably makes it all ok. The best thing I did this week was going to see Death of a Salesman, which if you can snag tickets I would unreservedly recommend (although it did turn me into a right emo sadfag by the end, so caveat emptor and all that). 

The worst thing, obviously, was wasting somewhere in the region of 20+ hours of my still reasonably young life trawling what at times really did feel like ALL OF THE INTERNET, just for you. Oh, which reminds me, if you like this sort of stuff then can I heartily recommend the occasional newsletter Essential Ephemera by the (presumably, although I never have and possibly never will meet her) lovely Lauren Epstein? It's excellent, and I have been meaning to plug it for weeks but keep forgetting - if you do TV-type stuff you really should subscribe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Right, altruistic plug done and dusted it's time to once again get back to the real task at hand, of feeding you information. Tip your heads back and open WIDE as I prepare to vomit the partially-digested stream of infopuke straight down your e-gullets; it's chunky, but you won't choke (probably). This, my dear webmongs, is WEB CURIOS!

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