Saturday, May 31, 2008

Roland Kirk Quintet - Fly Town Nose Blues (Bologna 1973)

The meanest nose in jazz history.

via Daily Jive

Lost Tribe of the Amazon: Startling Truth Revealed

from b3ta board
via J-Walk

Akasha - Mescalin

Akasha - Cinematique
another video

Seal Rocks, Night

MumbleyJoe has some badass landscapes

via (・∀・)イイ!!

stray bullets

Putin continues to rule Russia; Roz Savage continues her row across the Pacific and she's blogging it; video game critics really have no clue; (via) and Bohemian Grove actually has a membership list, though I'm not really sure who compiled it. (via)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Most Interesting Bookstores

One of the reasons for putting up with life.

Most Interesting Bookstores of the World.

Cornelius - Omstart

video directed by Koichiro Tsujikawa
via suwaowa.log

221b Baker Street

221b Baker Street

Every August I read all of the Holmes stories. I'll be keeping this map close-by this year.

via Strange Maps

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The Brooklyn Museum Photostream has some nice images of Egypt and the Paris Exposition of 1900.

via not enough memory

Sebastien Tellier - Divine

I saw Sebastien Tellier open for Air in Atlanta, back in 2001 with my buddy Nick. It was just Mr. Tellier on guitar and some woman playing the theremin. She played it melodically as you'd expect, but she also used it like a drum machine, cutting house breaks and beat boxing. They stole the show.

Sebastien Tellier

Readings 5-29-08

I've been a bit lax on the readings lately. The weather has been unseasonably cool here in Savannah and it's just too beautiful to miss. It is going to be hot as hell real soon, so I'll have plenty of time and inclination to stay in and blog.

Nonetheless, some worthy items culled over the last few days:

A native Burmese account of the cyclone aftermath

I'm going to put it plainly, redneck stylee: The Burmese government are a bunch of pricks.

hat tip

92.3% of all email in first quarter 2008 was spam

Great googly-moogly, that's a lot of spam!

I think there's something wrong with these people. Not just that they're greedy knuckleheads, but something deeper, more psychological. Perhaps a similar compulsion that motivates bloggers to spend endless hours on the internet seeking the holy grail of post material grips these enigmatic and insanely driven people; their muscles atrophying in a stew of caffeine and nicotine while the sun rises and sets repeatedly beyond brick walls they rarely pass. They need to be located, isolated, quarantined and probed. After that, they need to be taken out in public so that everyone that owns a computer can line up and punch them in the stomach.

via Advertising Is Good For You

Forget the naysayers - America remains an inspiration to us all

Rumors of the demise of the U.S. have been greatly exaggerated.

The US economy is certainly in transition, made vastly more difficult by the spreading impact of the credit crunch. But the underlying story is much stronger. The country is developing the prototypical knowledge economy of the 21st century, an economy in which the division between manufacturing and services becomes less clear cut, in a world where the deployment of knowledge, brain power and problem-solving are the sources of wealth generation.

What counts is the strength of a country's universities, research base, commitment to information and communications technology and new technologies along with a network of institutions that supports new enterprise. Here, the US is so far ahead of the rest of the world it is painful.

The figures make your head spin. Of the world's top 100 universities, 37 are American. The country spends more proportionately on research and design, universities and software than any other, including Sweden and Japan. Of the world's top 50 companies ranked by R&D, 20 are American. Fifty-two of the world's top 100 brands are American. Half the world's new patents are registered by American companies.

As I've said before, it's about time the rest of the world caught up.

Even from a more pessimistic view, Bruce Sterling put it plainly:
There's a swarm of guys in there insisting that America is toast. Listen, fellas, be reasonable -- the USA might collapse as abjectly as the USSR did, but the continent and the population would still be there. I mean, Russia exists, right? It's not like North America is going to vaporize just because the world's gone "post-American."

Personally, I'd be happy to see the world get over whatever preoccupations with the USA and find their own identity in this new future of ours. Besides, nationalism is a zombie only kept going because it's more convenient than dismantling it. De facto or contrived, it's a wide open global playing field we find ourselves on. Time to act accordingly.

Europe found a way to end three thousand plus years of perpetual warfare and disruption. Asia found a way to bootstrap vital and vibrant economies, in the process lifting a billion plus people out of poverty. Maybe we could learn something from them, just as they might learn that the USA is not doomed to go the way of the Romans because of a few defaulted mortgages and expensive oil.

How To Be A Renaissance Man

Good, solid, manly advice, but you gals out there can benefit, too. We need Renaissance women.

Underground gallery
The city’s most intriguing art gallery lives under Las Vegas Boulevard. It’s dark and it’s dirty. There are no formal openings. No curator. No reviews. No selling of the works.

The artists slip in and out. They do their work, then disappear from the underground concrete corridors. Runoff water pours from pipes into these toxic storm drains. Debris is everywhere. You’re glad you have thick shoes as you walk through water and muck. Sun shines through a few of the grates, lighting some areas, but most of what you see is what your flashlight catches.

Out of options in the above-ground world, these graffiti artists do their thing in the underground tunnels of Las Vegas.

Spray paint graffiti art is not an easy thing to pull off. I guarantee that if any of us with no experience or talent tried, it would look like crap.

Excellent article with video and images.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ostad Hossein Tehrani talking about Ostad Saba

I have no idea what he's saying, but I'm guessing that he's going through the basic chops.

Ostad Hosain Tehrani

Listen to some Tombak beats.

More on YouTube

via Everyone Forever

Hermeto Pascoal - Música da Lagoa


Known as o bruxo (the sorcerer), Hermeto often makes music with unconventional objects such as teapots, children's toys, and animals, as well as keyboards, button accordion, melodica, saxophone, guitar, flute, voice, various brass and folkloric instruments. Perhaps due to his growing up in the countryside, he uses nature as a basis for his compositions, as in his Música da Lagoa, where the musicians burble water and play flutes while immersed in a lagoon...

via PCL LinkDump

Writers' rooms: Roald Dahl

Quentin Blake:

I didn't go into the shed very often, because the whole point of it as far as Roald was concerned was that it was private, a sanctuary where he could work where no one interrupted him. The whole of the inside was organised as a place for writing: so the old wing-back chair had part of the back burrowed out to make it more comfortable; he had a sleeping bag that he put his legs in when it was cold and a footstool to rest them on; he had a very characteristic Roald arrangement for a writing table with a bar across the arms of the chair and a cardboard tube that altered the angle of the board on which he wrote. As he didn't want to move from his chair everything was within reach.

I've always been fascinated with people's private workspaces, whether they be writers, artists, craftsmen or even programmers, technicians or scientists. I have had the chance to hang in the home laboratory of a botanist and stayed in a large house that doubled as a bustling art restoration operation, a dozen or more pre-20th century paintings laying about in various states of completion. I've been wowed by the workshops of metallurgists, armorers, woodworkers and the uncounted studios of painters, filmmakers, photographers, writers, designers, sculptors and musicians. There is a palpable 'spirit' to these spaces that I find energizing.

I am sometimes embarrassed by the clutter and disarray of my own workspace, but when I apologize to visitors, they often, to my continual surprise, say they like it and feel comfortable there. People have been known to settle into The Lab for hours. I'm a little bit more obliging about letting people in than some.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why the 'Biggest Drawing in the World' Is Probably Fake

Well, for starters, the Artist Admits He Didn't Actually Use GPS, DHL to Create 'Biggest Drawing in the World'

Bauhaus - Slice of Life

It only just occurred to me that the reason this was always my favorite Bauhaus tune was that it is preminiscent of Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets and it lacks an overbearing Peter Murphy-ness. I'm ok with Peter, I've just always favored the direction the rest of the guys went when the band split up.

I saw Love and Rockets live at Tipitina's in New Orleans, back in 1987. A relatively unknown Jane's Addiction was the opening act. It was quite a show. Way too big for that place.

stray bullets

Long Views posted a link to the Analogy typographic clock, a unique fusion of analog and digital timekeeping, with a screensaver and widget due soon; There should never be a bad place to be a girl, but these five places suck pretty bad; (via) A home-made mixing deck, created by the world's first disc jockey is due to be auctioned in Boston; (via) and, you know the urban legends about the tarantula in the grapes and the scorpion in the bananas? Well, sometimes they are based in reality.

My Dad's Vietnam

My Dad's Vietnam 1966

via this isn't happiness

Worst keyboard ever

Dude, get an ashtray.

from そんなあなたに (I think...)
via feed2ch

Exhibit 3: Warren Jeffs is a creep

The Smoking Gun:

In what may be the creepiest court exhibits ever, Texas officials have released photos of imprisoned polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs in intimate clinches with two underage girls.

Talk about a smoking gun.

Sensing Sounds

British product designer Scott Hobbs demonstrates Sensing Sounds, a visual timeline-based touch-screen interface for manipulating sound.

Here, he has two of them set up with a DJ mixer. In his proposal he states that he hopes to create a version that will respond to movement alone.

more video

via Kitsune Noir

Introducing the amazing...

Also doubles as a handy stool....


Beatboxing on a bass flute

get some

via Bifurcated Rivets

It's official: I have lost my mind

Did someone spike my coffee?

Excuse me, I have to go and lie down for a minute. This might have been the kill-shot for me.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner

Anyone remember the source for this?

Man walks away from IED blast

This is surreal.

I don't think the guys in the truck were so fortunate.


Another way to get on the "Do Not Call" list

One from the "I wish I had thought of that" files.

hearty hat tip to the Nag on the Lake

In Memoriam: Sergeant William Jasper

Sergeant Jasper Monument, Savannah GA

Wherever you stand on the issue of war, take a moment to remember the fallen Americans that died in conflicts both just and questionable. Regardless of the situations, these men and women were someone's son or daughter, father or mother, wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, best friend or favorite student. They were the customer that the clerk enjoyed greeting every day and the person that helped them change a flat in the rain. Their loss left an emptiness in the lives of those that cherished them. These were people, like you and me, and they were sent off into awful circumstances, never to return to their homes.

The human potential lost in warfare must give us pause to remember what we fight for and the hope to end all war, forever.

On this Memorial Day, please take the time to read the story of Sergeant William Jasper, a man of humble origins whose determination and bravery helped change the world.

Jasper's actions at Fort Moultrieearned him the confidence of his commander. With Moultrie's blessing, Jasper led a series of daring, small guerrilla raids on British forces in coastal Georgia during the period between 1776 and 1779. As Moultrie later recalled in his Memoirs of the American Revolution, "I had such confidence in [Jasper] that when I was in the field I gave him a roving commission and liberty to pick out his men from my brigade. He seldom would take more than six; he went out often and would return with prisoners before I knew he was gone."

Peace, out.

(note to my international readers: Thank you for your indulgence. We'll be back to our usual Uncertainty presently.)

"I Feel Good Tommy!"

Lots of baseball on Memorial Day.

Ever wonder what managers say when they go out on the mound to replace a pitcher? Here's one example from the 1977 World Series. Tommy Lasorda shows us how it's done. (The organ music really made the whole thing for me. You don't hear that at ballgames anymore.)

Not family oriented.

Hope you're feeling good this Memorial Day. Oh yeah, it's a Bank Holiday in G.B., so you Britons have a great day off, too!

Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders vs. Dragonball Z

I want one of those giant chicken legs!

via Super Punch

Startling Image From NASA Phoenix Spacecraft! Life on Mars?

topherchris: blakeley started it. I couldn’t resist adding something.

via suawaowa.log

MarsPhoenix is Tweeting

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Excursions: Holiday Weekend

A light offering during a busy holiday weekend.

Scroll Manuscript of Jack Kerouac's On the Road In Texas through June 1

Kerouac noted on the document that it had been "eaten by dog," namely, the cocker spaniel owned by his friend Lucien Carr. Nobody knows how many inches or feet longer the 120-foot-long artifact used to be.


The Wold Newton Universe

In his classic “biographies” of fictional characters (Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life), Hugo- and Nebula-award winning author Philip José Farmer introduced the Wold Newton family, a collection of heroes and villains whose family-tree includes Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, Philip Marlowe, and James Bond. In books, stories, and essays he expanded the concept even further, adding more branches to the Wold Newton family-tree. MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE, edited by Win Scott Eckert, collects for the first time those rarely-seen essays. Expanding the family even farther are contributions from Farmer’s successors—scholars, writers, and pop-culture historians—who bring even more fictional characters into the fold.

Paint That Shit Gold

Vandalize your favorite (or least favorite) website.

via Urlesque

Tom Waits Interviews Tom Waits

Q: What's wrong with the world?
A: We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. Leona Helmsley's dog made 12 million last year... and Dean McLaine, a farmer in Ohio made $30,000. It's just a gigantic version of the madness that grows in every one of our brains. We are monkeys with money and guns.

see also

Cibo Matto - Sugar Water

Cibo Matto


A happy Memorial Day weekend for you Yanks out there, for the rest of you, stay tuned, we'll be right back.

Obama's Secret Service Protection

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., arrives at a rally in Sunrise, Fla., Friday, May 23, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Two photo essays profiling Barack Obama's secret service detail.

Based on a review of AP photos from December 2007 to January 6, 2008, no other presidential candidate is being protected as carefully as Obama. The Secret Service is clearly worried, and may have information on threats...

In this photo series, up to 11 Secret Service agents guard Obama, facing crowds, hands usually held waist-to-chest-high, coats open, never smiling. Any hands laid on Obama are quickly removed. Agents close at hand are supplemented with others in the crowd and snipers overlooking...
It seems that Obama resisted the protection but it doesn't take much imagination to realize the danger he could be in. There's probably a hundred guys within a five mile radius of me that would pull the trigger if they could get close enough. (Note to Secret Service: this is wild speculation on my part. Remember, I live in Georgia.)

Obama Protection

Obama Protection 2

Hillary Clinton Protection

Saturday, May 24, 2008

People are not wearing enough hats

The Meaning of Life

Thelonious Monk - Evidence

Thelonious Monk is my musical godfather. I first heard him when I was eight years old while playing chess with my friend Leroy Watts. Leroy was the leader of the local Black Panther cell in Pittsburgh and he introduced me to a lot of things I would never had been exposed to otherwise. Monk's music made sense to me from the start and I've been hooked ever since.

In his autobiography, Miles Davis frequently mentioned that during the bebop days, Monk was the glue and the guiding hand. He wrote that they always knew they were on if Monk's feet were moving. If they weren't moving, something was wrong.

The above clip is from the film Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser

stray bullets

There's more than you'd ever want to know about the Pink Floyd pig, (via) (prev) the Fermilab Code was broken even before Bruce Schneier had a chance to blog about it, there's a new Theory for the Formation of Large Agrarian Empires and, um, a government insider says that George Bush authorized the 9-11 attacks. (via)

Uncredited Photos

Too many people post photos without giving credit to the photographer or the original publisher. I have found myself guilty of this, but I make an effort to find the provenance of the item. If I post it anyway, that means that I loved it too much to let it pass.

Now, as a part of a long term study, I will intermittently post uncredited photos in groups. If anyone viewing them can identify any of the sources, please pass any available information on to me and I'll post the image again with credit. It will be interesting to see how many of these photos we can identify.

Furthermore, I will no longer post links to uncredited images. I vow to maintain and encourage the practice of giving credit to artists and publishers for their hard work and intellectual property and not give credit to those that can't even pull a little mousework and give proper attribution. I have contacted many photographers and every single one of them have been accommodating and even enthusiastic in their responses. A little thing like getting an email asking to use their cool picture seemed to make them feel good. The Uncredited Photos project will be my humble attempt to find the creators of these stolen images and give them proper recognition.

Friday, May 23, 2008


from Simon Crowley

via Hysterical Paroxysm

Burma's dangerous hip-hop scene

One rapper was taken away by the not-so-secret secret police for displaying a tattoo of a pair of hands in prayer while onstage. Now many of Burma's rappers languish in cells with only their welts, prayers and rhymes for company.

via Neatorama

One marine's close call

Photos Show Marine's Narrow Escape From Death in Afghanistan

via Danger Room

Readings 5-23-08

Change is in the air for financial superclass:

Elites make billions on markets whether they go up or down and their institutions win government support while the little guy loses his home. Multinational chief executives 30 years ago made 35 times the wages of an average employee; today it is more than 350 times. The crisis has focused attention on the obscene inequities of this era - the world's 1,100 richest people have almost twice the assets of the poorest 2.5bn.

And after you own everything on the planet, including the air, dirt and water, what will you do with it then?

via John Robb

Was China's earthquake triggered by a nuclear accident?
"Nuclear experts said that closer to the epicenter of the earthquake, in rugged hills a two-hour drive west of Mianyang, China runs a highly secretive center that houses a prompt-burst reactor. It mimics the rush of speeding subatomic particles that an exploding atom bomb spews out in its first microseconds..."

Chinese magazine shut down for sexy quake pictures
The New Travel Weekly, a small lifestyle magazine, ran photos of sultry models in their underwear amid the debris in an issue that hit the stands on Monday - the first of three days of national mourning.

The press and publication department of the southwestern city of Chongqing, where the magazine was based, said it decided to close the magazine down for "rectification."

In China, "rectification" means a foot up the ass.

via The Stumbling Tumblr

The Science of Irrationality: Why We Humans Behave So Strangely

SciAm interview with behavioral economist Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational.

The Top 15 Vaporware Products of All Time

via Beyond the Beyond


Flame robot walks like a human


Researcher Daan Hobbelen of TU Delft has developed a new, highly-advanced walking robot: Flame. This type of research, for which Hobbelen will receive his PhD on Friday 30 May, is important as it provides insight into how people walk. This can in turn help people with walking difficulties through improved diagnoses, training and rehabilitation equipment.

It is impressive, but I'll be really impressed when they teach it to moonwalk.

...and now, The Telectroscope

do you believe in the telectroscope?

People are now gathering to take a peek at the steampunk webcam.

prev prev

Air - Alpha Beta Gaga

Only In Africa

Only In Africa

Excellent photos from Africa. Not sure of the source(s).

Navy Seal vs. Chimp

I was rooting for the chimp. I find it amazing that she stayed on the course.

Now I can relax. The military has finally proven that we can out-maneuver chimpanzees.

from Strategy Page
via Super Punch

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another B. Kliban Moment

More Kliban
Past Kliban
Buy Kliban

stray bullets

Oscar Pistorius was on NPR's Talk of the Nation earlier this afternoon. Nice kid. I'll be pulling for him. All of the arbitration and media attention has disrupted his training schedule, so he has about two weeks of intense workouts to get ready to qualify. Dan Patrick, earlier this week, observed that naming the prosthetic legs "Cheetahs" might not have helped Pastorius's case in the early stages.

Dan had some good interviews this morning. Cancer survivor and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was on, talking about his no hitter, while Danica Patrick and Mark Cuban stopped by and Charles Barkley talked about his gambling problem. The Dan Patrick Show is probably the only sports talk radio program that transcends the genre, though you'd have to be somewhat plugged into that scene to get it. I enjoy it so much, I've altered my sleep schedule to catch it.

Speaking of sleep, Word Spy's latest entry:

junk sleep n. Low-quality sleep caused by disruptions from nearby electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, and TV
Also, Springtime for the Taliban, Breton's Surrealist Manifesto sold at auction and This man walked around with a paintbrush in his head for 6 hours. (via)

Chinese Zipingpu Dam Eyeball (Earthquake Photos)


Cracks run on the top of quake-hit Zipingpu dam, near broken railings in Wenchuan, China's southwest Sichuan Province Tuesday, May 20, 2008. China said it was struggling to find shelter for many of the 5 million people whose homes were destroyed in last week's earthquake, while the confirmed death toll rose Tuesday to more than 40,000. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Highway interchanges in Japan


via Pink Tentacle

Tom Vek - If I Had Changed My Mind

Tom Vek

Tummy Touch

Could an Acid Trip Cure Your OCD?


At a handful of sites across the country, after a four-decade hiatus, psychedelic research is undergoing a quiet renaissance, thanks to scientists like Charles Grob who are revisiting the powerful mind-altering drugs of the 1960s in hopes of making them part of our therapeutic arsenal. Hallucinogens such as psilocybin, MDMA (better known as Ecstasy), and the most controversial of them all, LSD, are being tested as treatments for maladies that modern medicine has done little to assuage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, drug dependency, obsessive-compulsive disorder, cluster headaches, and the emotional suffering of people with a terminal illness.

Looks like they're dusting off the psychedelics again, and to good effect it would seem. By the early 1960's there were over a thousand studies of these substances, the vast majority showing promise for individuals with all sorts of psychological problems. Then some guy thought he was a bird and jumped off a building, the Manson family came along, (trivia: Sharon Tate and co. took LSD shortly before they were murdered by the Manson family.) the shriekage began in earnest and serious study of these substances was largely shelved. By the 1980's the followers of the Grateful Dead and Alexander Shulgin were some of the only people keeping psychedelic culture alive. Now after forty years of relatively widespread amateur research, the sci and psy folks are back in the game.

A couple things to note when reading this, especially those of you unfamiliar with psychedelics: First, although many of these substances discussed in this article are chemical cousins, their experience signatures are decidedly unique. Secondly, back in the day, the researchers usually experimented on themselves first. I'm not so sure they do this, or admit to it, these days. Rick Strassman, a University of New Mexico researcher who conducted groundbreaking studies of DMT, claims to have never taken it himself.

Below is an clip from the film Hofmann's Potion featuring the research conducted by Humphry Osmond, (who coined the term "psychedelic") Abram Hoffer and Duncan Blewett in Saskatchewan during the 1950s. These guys experimented on themselves. With a lot of substances.


The safest seat on a plane is...

Popular Mechanics:

Myth: It doesn't matter where you sit...

For several weeks, we pored over reports filed by NTSB crash investigators, and studied seating charts that showed where each passenger sat and whether they lived or died. We then calculated the average fore-and-aft seating position of both survivors and fatalities for each crash.

Nervous about flying? (and I mean the actual flying part, not the gate-rape part) You might want to read this before your next trip. Or maybe not.

via Flowing Data

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cool Stuff You Can Do With Paper Money

One of the coolest things I've seen all week

via Information Nation

One Happy Elephant

source, or as close as I could get
via not enough memory

Stravinsky Conducts Firebird

Igor Stravinsky conducts the New Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, London, 1965.

He was 83 years old at the time of this performance.

If you're not hip to Stravinsky, then you need to catch up. I would suggest listening to everything.

via Bibi's Box

Links 5-21-08

Marshall McLuhan, the Man and his Message

"One day people will learn via an electronic circuitry system..."

The CBC Digital Archives offers 9 radio and 9 TV clips of Marshall McLuhan, the man that coined the term global village, predicted the internet, and even hinted at Web 2.0 and crowdsourcing.

via The Huge Entity

Each Grain of Sand a Tiny Work of Art

What does sand look like up close? It's really quite astonishing, actually.

The 9 Most Devastating Insults From Around the World

Suck butter from my ass is fightin' words where I come from.

hat tip: My 2 Second Shelf Life

Do Not Touch

from chicken crap
advertising is good for you

Readings 5-21-08

Study Says Carbon Nanotubes as Dangerous as Asbestos

Inhaling carbon nanotubes could be as harmful as breathing in asbestos, and its use should be regulated lest it lead to the same cancer and breathing problems that prompted a ban on the use of asbestos as insulation in buildings, according a new study posted online today by Nature Nanotechnology.

Big challenge for the nanotech community if this bears out.

As homes foreclose in U.S., squatters move in
Squatting is on the rise across the United States as foreclosures surge, eviction notices mount and homes go unsold for months, complicating the worst U.S. housing slump in a quarter century and forcing real-estate brokers to enlist the help of law enforcement and courts to sell empty houses.

In some regions, squatting is taking on new twists to include real-estate scams in which thieves "rent out" abandoned homes they don't own. Others involve "professional squatters" who move from one abandoned home to another posing as tenants who seek cash from banks as a condition to leave the premises -- a process known by real-estate brokers as "cash for key."

We have to be careful with how we define the term squatter. There are many possible interpretations, some not so good in the eyes of society at large. The cases cited in this article paint squatting strictly as a willful criminal act, while there are many cases where people revitalize abandoned and decaying areas or are so destitute that they just need a place to stay.

Years back, I squatted in London for a while and found that I was helped and encouraged from many quarters, including the local government and even the police. It was decent cold-water council flat in Southwark. A bit of roughing it at first, but after a short while, we had a nice little crib going. We were a small improvement on a largely abandoned and decaying neighborhood.

via Squatter City

The freedom to say 'no'
Why aren't there more women in science and engineering? Controversial new research suggests: They just aren't interested.

So, in other words, instead of pushing for more women to go into the hard sciences, why not ask them what they would prefer to do?

One thing I found interesting about the study was the evidence showing that a majority of the women preferred to work with people while the men preferred to work with things. A cliché, perhaps, but there seems to be a some truth to this if you buy into this research.

via Arts & Letters Daily

The List: The Worst Place to be a Terrorist

This reminds me of a moment in Robert Littell's 2002 novel, The Company (p. 707):
"I stumbled across an Israeli report describing how the Russians dealt with a hostage situation," he said. "Three Soviet diplomats were kidnapped in Beirut by a Hezbollah commando. The KGB didn't sit on their hands, agonizing over what they could do about it. They abducted the relative of a Hezbollah leader and sent his body back with his testicles stuffed in his mouth and a note nailed-- nailed, for Christ's sake-- to his chest warning that the Hezbollah leaders and their sons would suffer the same fate if the three Soviets weren't freed. Within hours the three diplomats were released unharmed a few blocks from the Soviet embassy."

But hey, we're America, we don't work that way... right?

I don't necessarily condone this type of activity, but I can safely say that there were no more abductions of Soviet citizens in Lebanon after that exchange. Only Americans and Britons that were held suffering for many years.

I'm conflicted on this.


Music to Help You Stop Smoking


I've played this record 150 times and it's not helping.

via The Triumph of Bullshit

Strange weather phenomenon video - 10 mins before the Sichuan earthquake

Looks like a fire rainbow to me.

More video and images

via LedgerGermane

Transatlantic Tunnel complete? Telectroscope next?

do you believe in the telectroscope? reports:

I received a mysterious phone call at 7:00 a.m this morning from Paul St George.

He sounded tired, but elated. He urged me to come down to Tower Bridge to bear witness to the completion of the tunnel...

Tomorrow he will prepare the ground for the Telectroscope and he has agreed to answer any questions that people may wish to pose him about his project.

Anyone in the area, be there at one p.m. and have at it.

I'm not sold on this, just yet.

Previous UT entry

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Amateur footage of the immediate aftermath of China earthquake

Seconds after the quake struck

The last 30 seconds are the craziest.

I Heart My Grass Driveway

I thought this one was funny. Do people have grass driveways? Astroturf?

Photoshop Disasters

Sand Fountain in Saudi Arabia

I have not been able to find any more information about this. Nothing in the news, nothing on the web except further iterations of what you'll find here.

From Kasimir1982:

Sand Fountain apparead in Al Ahsaa City, in Saudi Arabia. Reported from an Islamic Site.
Here is the author's comment I am JUST reporting : (English translation will follow)

]فجأة تخرج نافورة من الرمل وصل إرتفاعها إلى 9 أمتار ،
وذلك في مدينة الأحساء شرق السعودية ...
على الفور هرعت فرق جيلوجية ومجموعة من علماء شركة أرامكو لمعاينة الحدث الغريب ...
وإلى الآن لم يصلوا إلى تفسير للحدث ...
غير أنهم أجمعوا على نظرية مفترضة وهي أن هذه أثقال في الأرض ولا بد من خروجها وفوران الرمل هو بداية لخروج هذه الأثقال ....
قال الله تعالى:-
(( واخرجت الارض اثقالها )) ...
أحد خبراء أرامكو توقع أن تكون هذه بداية لخروج معادن جديدة من نواة الأرض السحيقة...
والتي ستغير مسار البشرية ..
Suddently, a 9-meter fountain (geyser) apparead, in the Al-Ahsae City, Eastern Saudi Arabia.
Immediately, Armaco geological teams and scientists hurry to deal with this strange phenomenon, but they did not succeed in explaining what happened !
But they agreed on a theory (...) that these are -what so called- burdens of the Earth.
Allah said in the Quran : "And the earth throws up her burdens (from within)" 99.2
Some scientists said this phenomenon will lead to apparency of new materials, which will change the humanity way of life ...

via Digg

p.s. my buddy Chris points out that anyone who has read Declare by Tim Powers, might have an idea what this is!

can't sleep

by 史黛普.王

Senor Coconut - Smoke on the Water

Senor Coconut

Monday, May 19, 2008

Buckminster Fuller - Humanity's Final Exam

In this excerpt from The Lost Interviews, Bucky tells the world it's time to get our act together and put the knowledge we've accumulated to good use, because it's time for the Final Exam to see if we're qualified to stay here. It's a 40+ year old message that still needs to be heeded.

Buckminster Fuller - The Lost Interviews Part 1, Part 2 & torrent

Buckminster Fuller Digital Collection

3 giant pandas missing after China earthquake

see electra-cute's amazing collection of panda photos


Three giant pandas are missing from the world's most famous panda reserve after China's devastating earthquake and five staff members were killed, an official told state media Sunday.

China Earthquake Links

Panoramic photograph made from multiple shots from the middle of Beichuan after the earthquake in China's Sichuan province.
Photograph: Dan Chung/Guardian

Deadly aftershock jolts Sichuan as mourning begins

1,000 hurt and three killed on eve of nationwide silence to start three days of recognition of disaster victims.

China begins mourning as toll mounts

China on Monday began three days of national mourning as the death toll from last week's devastating earthquake mounted and rescue workers continued to search for survivors among the rubble.

Survival of quake victims depends on many factors

A nurse survived eight days in the wreckage of a Turkish hospital destroyed by an earthquake in 1992. A newborn was rescued after more than a week in the rubble of Mexico City's 1985 quake. Now, in China, rescuers are pulling out victims days after they were buried by a powerful earthquake.

China allows bloggers to spread quake news

Almost nonstop, the uncensored opinions of Chinese citizens are popping up online, sent by text and instant message across a country shaken by its worst earthquake in three decades.

China bloggers cook up quake conspiracies

Broadband connections across the country are pulsing with rumours of "earthquake omens" involving toads or butterflies - all allegedly ignored by the authorities. Some even talk of a vast pre-Olympic conspiracy.

In Rubble, Couple Clung to Each Other, and to Life

At the moment of greatest despair, Wang Zhijun tried to kill himself by twisting his neck against the debris.

Breathing had become harder as day turned to night. The chunks of brick and concrete that had buried him and his wife were pressing tighter by the hour, crushing them. Their bodies had gone numb.

NPR audio:

Chinese Still in Danger from Flooding, Landslides

Following Monday's devastating earthquake, the Chinese government says it expects the final number of dead to surpass 50,000. On Sunday an aftershock rattled buildings and sent people into the street and a nearby dam is in danger of collapsing. Officials released water from dams and reservoirs to reduce danger of flooding and landslides.

Chinese Volunteers Set New Precedent

Chinese citizens from across the country have been organizing food convoys, setting up blood drives and raising money for the victims of the earthquake that hit last Monday. While this sort of reaction may not be unusual in the West, China has little tradition of civil society.

Small Miracles Rise from Earthquake's Rubble

NPR's Melissa Block was in Chengdu, China when the earthquake hit last Monday. She and her
All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel were there, preparing for a week-long series of reports from Chengdu they had been planning for months. That coverage will begin tomorrow on All Things Considered, their stories, obviously, radically transformed. Now, Block offers this Reporter's Notebook.

“The earthquake can ruin our homes, but it can’t ruin our future!”

Earthquake Hit Students Find Light in the Dark

And let us not forget Burma

Burma neighbors in cyclone talks

Foreign ministers meeting in Singapore hope Burma's military junta - which has so far blocked most of the foreign aid - might accept the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) help.

Glimmer of hope for Burma's dying children as UK minister signals breakthrough on aid

A senior British minister said a breakthrough was within reach yesterday in the standoff between the international community and the Burmese regime over allowing foreign aid for cyclone survivors into the country.

Diplomats Tour Myanmar (audio)

U.S. Charge D'Affair Shari Villarosa was part of a group of diplomats given a tour Saturday of the cyclone-struck areas of Myanmar by the country's military government. Villarosa tells Liane Hansen she is concerned that there are hundreds of thousands of people who haven't received assistance. She hopes officials there will open up and welcome international assistance.

Osaka Oasis

A Posh Sentinel


Readings 5-19-08

Ireland to hunt nightmare fishing nets in north Atlantic

The Irish Sea Fisheries Board has said that Ireland is to tackle the growing problem of so-called "ghost nets" that are destroying fish stocks in the northeast Atlantic Ocean.

"Ghost nets" are so called because they drift in the ocean after being abandoned or dumped and some have been found to be still catching fish and ensnaring other marine life for up to three years.

This Mob Is Big in Japan
Most Americans think of Japan as a law-abiding and peaceful place, as well as our staunch ally, but reporting on the underworld gave me a different perspective. Mobs are legal entities here. Their fan magazines and comic books are sold in convenience stores, and bosses socialize with prime ministers and politicians. And as far as the United States is concerned, Japan may be refueling U.S. warships at sea, but it's not helping us fight our own battles against organized crime -- a realization that led to my biggest scoop.

Without the equivalents of RICO, plea-bargaining or witness protection, Japanese law enforcement is essentially helpless in battling the Yakuza. Read on to find out why the reporter's scoop has now left him under police protection in Japan and his family by the FBI in the States.

via Marginal Revolution

No wonder Iceland has the happiest people on earth
Highest birth rate in Europe + highest divorce rate + highest percentage of women working outside the home = the best country in the world in which to live. There has to be something wrong with this equation.
Well, they put up with Bobby Fischer, didn't they?


100 year-old Transatlantic tunnel nears completion

Hardly anyone knows that a secret tunnel runs deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean. In May 2008, more that a century after it was begun, the tunnel will finally be completed. Immediately afterwards, an extraordinary optical device called a Telectroscope will be installed at both ends which will miraculously allow people to see right through the Earth from London to New York and vice versa.

If this is for real, this is astonishing news. The Telectroscope sounds cool enough, but I want to go into the tunnel!

Apparently, Paul St. George, using maps and drawings passed down through his family, is completing the tunnel from London to New York that his great-grandfather, Alexander Stanhope St. George started, but never finished, over a century ago. Once the tunnel is completed they say they will install the Telectroscopes. Mr. St George refuses to disclose the exact locations in London and New York where they will be situated, but rumor has it that they are near the Tower Bridge in London and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

You can read their press release here.

There's a weblog covering the story, with quite a bit of detail.

Here's a brief interview with Paul St. George:

and another:

the Telectroscope?

video source

I don't know. I want to believe. We'll have to keep an eye on this story.

via MetaFilter