I had no idea ficus trees could look so pretty or could grow so large from just a small pot. I may consider getting one for a future home! It really brightens the whole place up. Btw we have plenty of ficus growing wild in Singapore, but most of them are of the fruiting variety (are there male and female ficus?) and plenty of our native birds eat the figs.
There is also this article about how Doug Coupland predicted Minecraft in Microserfs. I think Microserfs is the one novel of his that I may not actually have a hard copy of. His novels are really light years ahead of their time and he’s fantastic at hypothetical, into the future writing without going all scifi and nerdy. Like his thought experiments are actually interesting to the average person whose reading diet doesn’t comprise solely of Dune and Isaac Asimov. I was first introduced to him years ago when Mingsee gave me Shampoo Planet for my birthday and she’ll never let me forget it. (We usually give each other crap we like ourselves for birthdays)
An amazing article by Robert Webb (props to Rayner for sharing this on fb) of Peepshow fame on political apathy as advocated by Russell Brand. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Russell Brand (especially when he’s talking about something worthwhile)
but I love Robert Webb even more (even though I don’t follow his writings or twitter or anything, if they exist) so his very responsible piece is an excellent reminder to celebrities who have mass appeal to younger people to not belittle their public influence by shooting their mouth off on matters of consequence. And he’s absolutely spot on about Stephen Fry and being 15.
Last link: A quiz that Jen shared on fb on Which Classical Composer are You? which is pretty accurate apart from the hard work bit. No one has ever had to force me to take a vacation. Ha. Also, I do not have exceptional talent, certainly nothing to rival Mozart’s. And I come off as a bit stuck up more than occasionally, but probably not irresponsible. Wish I got Beethoven though! Also I wish such quizzes would put more obscure composers on here, it’s always the same old folks. Nonetheless I really do love taking these quizzes- I used to spend hours on them in high school – and when you are that age it does really help you gain some perspective on how other people may view you and how to tailor/rectify your personality accordingly. At the very least, it elucidates which actions (usually the multiple choice options) cause what impressions of you to form so you have much greater control over your public image. I first met a girl from RJ after we’d graduated from there who shared a mutual friend with me who told me that way back in JC she thought I was aloof and arrogant. I don’t suppose much has changed, but it was never unintentional, at least not back then, because I was in a period of filtering my friends to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I didn’t want to add on to a burgeoning pool of pseudofriends who were either boring/not very funny or network-y/pretentious. RJ was full of those – goes with the territory I guess.