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Weblog> August 2003

030827: Wed

Plaything - digital games keynote address, symposium and exhibition - Oct 10, 11, 12, Sydney Uni

If you're into digital games design and development, then check out the Plaything event. It sounds really interesting! Plus, it's really good value $20/day and $12.50 for students etc.

Plaything is a major international event focusing on current and future trends in the field of digital games, featuring key Australian and international game designers, theorists and artists. The symposium, exhibition and catalogue provide platforms for discussion, play and critical discourse, bringing together people that develop, analyse and play digital games.

Speakers are: Mary Flanagan (USA) Keynote, Eric Zimmerman (USA) Keynote, AvatarBodyCollision; Vicki Smith (NZ), Andrea Blundell (Aus), Natalie Bookchin (USA), Rebecca Cannon (Aus), Chad Chatterton (Aus), Chris Chesher (Aus), Leon Cmielewski (Aus), Michael Goldberg (Aus), Troy Innocent (Aus), Kipper (Aus), Feng Mengbo (China), Melinda Rackham (Aus), Melanie Swalwell (Aus), Camille Scaysbrook (Aus), Select Parks (Aus), Eugenie Shinkle (UK), Vanessa Sowerwine (Aus), Laurens Tan (Aus), Anne Mette Thorhauge (DK). The event has been curated by Josephine Starrs. Check out the biographies page of the speakers to find out more about their work.

This event sounds like it's going to be great. Will definitely try and get to this event!

Animania - Oct 11 and 12

There's a weekend of Anime events, screenings etc at the UNSW also on Oct 11 and 12. Two cool events ie this event and the Plaything event on the same weekend. Decisions. Decisions. Would've been great if they were a weekend apart. Probably a similar audience that would be interested in both of these events too.

Don't know how or if I can manage it but I want to go to this event too!

SMH Good Food Month

September is Good Food Month. Check out the SMH site for which top Sydney restaurants are offering $30 lunch deals, dinner degustations, and more. Also there's the 'Sugar Hit' where top hotels offer a dessert or tasting plate of yummy sweet things for $15 between 9pm and 11pm.

Uchi Lounge

Went to the Uchi Lounge in Surry Hills for dinner last night. There's a bar downstairs and a restaurant upstairs. Was thinking of grabbing a burger afterwards, but then dessert came. After eating half of my friend's white chocolate cheesecake (which was really yummy), I decided I probably didn't need a burger after all.

030821: Thu

Brain Snacks

Brain Snacks is a "quick look at the world of new ideas and trends". It's a marketing/advertising type site. Brain Fruit is a great idea though - they bring you some of the new ideas that are floating around the world.

Search & Searchability Seminars - Does Your Enterprise Pass the Test?

David Hawking from CSIRO is giving this seminar on Monday 25th August. He's worked for Google and Alta Vista. The seminar sounds like it'll be really interesting. It's $79.95 and will be held at Sydney Uni. I'm going to it. Go to: for seminar details. He'll also be running this seminar in Melbourne and Canberra.

Free online virus and security check

The Symantec website offers computer users a free online virus and security check. It's a useful tool! Go to:

Hard copy zine

Am currently working on putting together a hard copy version of Chaos Generation. It'll be a summary the online content. Aiming to get it finished, printed and distributed to cafes and record shops by September. I'm laying it out in Microsoft Publisher for now. It works ok for my purposes. I know there's Quark and PageMaker etc and may look at getting one of these later down the track. But for the moment I already have Publisher and will put any available funds towards getting the zine printed.

If anyone out there knows of an environmentally friendly printing company based in Australia, then please let me know. The greener the better ie they may use vegetable or soy based inks and use 100% recycled paper etc. I've found a couple so far that I'm getting quotes from. But haven't found like a whole directory of such printing companies as yet.

Funny observation / thought of the day

You know how sometimes you get a thought that comes into your head but it's kind of just like pointless trivia in a way or whatever. Well anyway, my thought today was that even though both Neighbours and Home and Away have been successful soapies in Australia and overseas, I was thinking that if anyone out there wanted a singing career, then they should try and get a role on Neighbours. Think Kylie, Natalie, Holly, and Delta.

030814: Thu

Amazing Race 4

Saw the first episode of the Amazing Race 4 on Channel 7 at 10.35pm tonight. They're going to be screening it next Tuesday and Wednesday night also. I loved watching the last show. The teams were fun to watch ie Zac and Flo, Derek and Drew and some of the others. See what happens with this one. One of the legs of the race lands the remaining teams in Brisbane, Australia! If you're into spoilers, you can go to the CBS Amazing Race 4 site as there are only 2 legs of the race left so the transcripts for the earlier legs of the race are all up on the website.

Comic Book Idol competition

Comic Book Idol is like Australian Idol. Amateur comic book artists submit their url to a forum thread and the judges pick the Top 10 and then they get weekly assignments to complete. The public votes for the best to stay and two get knocked out each round.

If you want to check out the entrants' work, go to the forum thread for Comic Idol and follow the entrants' links. The top 10 as selected by the judges will be posted on Thursday 14th U.S. time.

It's great how lots of artists' websites and links to their portfolios are posted up in the one place, whereas without this competition, you might never come across the comic artists' work. Been looking at some of the portfolios. Lots of great work being done by amateur comic book artists around the world!

Judges for the competition are: Ron Marz (CrossGen Senior Writer and Code 6 Editor), Joe Quesada (artist and Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief), and Jamie S. Rich (writer and Oni Press Editor-in-Chief), and there will also be guest judges for each round. There are some good prizes for the winner of Comic Idol too!

Two Australian comic sites

Came across 2 cool Australian comic websites: Comics Australia @ and Oz Comics @

Voxpopulis - Zines stuff

If you're into zines, check out the Voxpopulis site. You can email them and they'll send you a hard copy of their zine catalogue. They've also put up an interview with them up on their site if you want to know more about the people behind Vox Populis (Amelia and Karl).

030813: Wed

Resource NSW - guide to buying recycled paper

The Resource NSW has made this guide to buying recycled office paper available from their site. You can download a pdf version of this paper titled: Know Your Paper - A Guide to Purchasing Recycled Content Office Paper.

The description says: "Know Your Paper - A Guide to Purchasing Recycled Content Office Paper will help you to select the paper that is appropriate to your needs whilst contributing to the conservation of our natural resources. The guide details the characteristics and performance of currently available recycled content printing and copying papers."

Resource NSW Publications

The publications page has links to lots of other useful documents to help save the planet as well. Go to: These include: The Easy guide to recycling and The Easy guide to natural cleaning.

If you want to buy cheap materials for your next art project and save the environment at the same time, check out Reverse Garbage at Marrickville and Casula.

The site says: "Reverse Garbage is a not-for-profit co-operative that sells industrial and commercial discards, off-cuts and over-runs to the public for creative and practical uses, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

We are well known and respected in the education, community and arts sectors for our huge variety of materials, that include; perspex, cloth, ceramic tiles, closed-cell foam and foam sheeting, stickers, cardboard, wood, hessian sacks, paper rolls, bubble wrap, toys, craft supplies and dozens of other useful items. From time to time we get some very unusual, and highly sought-after items that have included mannequins and furniture."

Doctor Who series will screen once again on ABC TV in September

The ABC are going to screen the Dr Who series starting with episode one: The Unearthly Child on Monday September 15 2003. They plan to screen all 700 episodes, in celebration of the program's 40th anniversary.

Last Sat night

Was picking up some pizza on the way to the folks place to watch the Rugby game on TV. Gone about 10 minutes. Came back to the car to see the bumper had fallen off, glass on the ground, and right side mirror up against the driver side window. Bystanders told me a State Transit bus clipped my car from the right as he was pulling in towards the kerb. Called the police and the insurance company. Car got towed. Driver left a note but not his name. The insurance company says they need to the bus driver's name and address to process a faultless claim, but can't get this info out of the Bus Depot due to privacy laws. Was told by police that he was meant to stick around. So ringing around trying to sort things out for the insurance, encountering red tape, also carless. Stuff happens. Am relieved I wasn't in the car at the time it happened.

030806: Wed

Free Design Talk tomorrow night at the Powerhouse Museum!

Thursday 7 August 2003
Future Now: Better Business by Design

Design is a powerful business tool. It's about encouraging innovation and creativity, whereby designers must anticipate the future to produce their best work. Speakers include prominent UK design professionals: product designer Paul Priestman of Priestman Goode, digital design pioneer Professor Malcolm Garrett, trend forecasters Martin Raymond and Christopher Sanderson of The Future Laboratory, and Harry Rich, Director of Business at British Design Council.
Supported by British Council Australia, British Design Council, and British Consulates-General.

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Free, includes exhibition viewing and refreshments Limited seats available, bookings essential on 02 9217 0222.

030805: Tue

Abby Dobson at the Sandringham

I missed Abby Dobson last time because I had something on that night but this time round, she'll be performing every Tuesday night in August at the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown. Make sure you catch her gig if you can. She's great!

Workshopped 03

Workshopped 03 is an exhibition of 20 Australian designers' work. It opens tonight at the Strand Arcade and will be open to the public from 6-20 August 2003.

MABEG urban furniture at the Sydney International Boat Show 2003

MABEG urban furniture held a function in a 'tent' at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour at the Sydney Boat Show 2003 last Friday night. There were lots of boats on display in the water. Got to go on board 2 boats - one was $650k and the other was $1.2 million dollars and had 3 bedrooms and lots of nice fittings inside. The boats were pretty impressive looking. Today is the last day it's on.

Photo: Paul Rushton

After this, met up with some uni friends and we went to Sayori Japanese restaurant on Harris St, Pyrmont. Had a feast. The sushi/sashimi boat was really good! There was so much on that boat but the 6 of us did get through it all. Good thing we only ordered one boat. Then we went onto Passion Flower at Darling Harbour for some ice-cream to wash all that food down :-). It was a great night out! Great to catch up with everyone.

Springtime in a Small Town

Saw the Sydney premiere of the Chinese film Springtime in a Small Town last Tuesday night at the Chauvel in Paddington. It was organised by the Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival. The film was directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang who made Blue Kite, for which he got banned from making movies for a few years by the Chinese government. For more info on director Tian Zhuangzhuang click go to the Film Directors: Articles on the Internet page: Tanner-Tsai Ming-liang and scroll down the page till you get to Tian Zhuangzhuang's section. Zhuangzhuang was at the premiere and was interviewed in mandarin by Australian writer, film director and China specialist Geremie Barme who also translated in English from time to time.

The movie was very expressive, emotive yet subtle. The pace of the film was very slow, allowing the viewer to be absorbed into the time and pace of the film and to watch the characters' relationships and feelings towards each other unfold through the film. It's a beautifully told simple love story posing the 'What if?' question.

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