Sunday, November 30, 2008

Body art behind bars

Audio slideshow: Body art behind bars:

The BBC's Mohammed Allie talks to photographer Araminta de Clermont and the subjects of her recent exhibition - former South African prisoners, whose tattoo-covered bodies reveal the story of life inside and its gang culture.

Michael Page

“Yet Another Attack At Dusk”

Michael Page

via Suzanne G (whose site seems to have been hacked, so I'll refrain from posting the link until I can get through again)

Living Africa

Fighting elephants, Savute, Botswana

Steve Bloom - Living Africa

Living, breathing and bleeding.

via New Scientist

The Standard Living Package

10 Gonzo Machines From Rogue Inventor Buckminster Fuller:

Bucky's interest in efficient design encompassed more than just external structure. Instead of assembling the comforts of home piece by piece, Fuller proposed a packaged set of everything necessary for comfortable human life, from toilets to tables, in one easy crate. Fuller envisioned such a Standard Living Package as being a family's simple starter pack.

via Great Map

Bob Dylan - Love Minus Zero/No Limit

(video link)

for John Henry

from No Direction Home

via kung fu grippe

Saturday, November 29, 2008

stray bullets

Cannibal call not a hoax: The woman, known only as Anthea from Guisborough, rang up the Breakfast Show after DJ Graham Mack asked listeners about the most unusual thing they had eaten. The topic sparked a flurry of calls from Teessiders who had eaten sea urchins, monkey brains and play doh. But nothing prepared him for Anthea who calmly said: “I’ve eaten human being”. A shocked Mr Mack replied slowly: “Oh my goodness. Right, all bets are off. You can’t beat that. How come you were a cannibal?” (listen to the call) I believe her. What do yo think? (via)

Terry and Harry Gilliam: being and having a famous parent (via)
Malcolm Gladwell Talks Sports (via)
Cryptome Eyeball: Obama Chicago Home Security Zone
dublab podcast: David Axelrod interview

60-Second Science: Broken Windows Crime Theory It’s called the "broken windows" theory and it says that in a neighborhood where buildings have broken windows, people are more likely to engage in bad behavior. Broken windows are contagious.

Word Spy: "mug me" earphones n. The distinctive white cord and earbuds associated with the often-stolen Apple iPod digital music player. Also: mug-me earphones.

The most outrageous day on The Price is Right
Japanese Man Makes Mexico Airport Home

Wow, this is the first stray bullets since the day before the election. I'll be getting more of these up as I get some traction. The November Debacle really threw me off my game.

Stone House

Nas montanhas de Fafe, Portugal

the other side:

hat tip: copula*

Friday, November 28, 2008


(video link)

Wow. If you haven't seen this yet, don't miss it. The NYT Magazine presents this study of the facial expressions, or lack thereof, of kids playing video games. The results are as unique as the individuals - some, a little disturbing, yet funny at the same time.

created by Robbie Cooper

Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin' (1969)

(video link)

trivia: Cass Elliot and Keith Moon both died in Nilsson's London flat.

thanks to Them Elks we won't be talkin' at!

The fires under Centralia, PA

In 1962, attempts to clean up a landfill by burning it set fire to the coal mine underneath Centralia, Pennsylvania. The fire has been going strong ever since. Most of Centralia is in ruins and its population has dropped from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to less than 10 in 2007. As the area is loaded with rich deposits of coal, the spreading underground fire is expected to threaten the neighboring town of Ashland in the near future. There are no immediate plans to extinguish the fire, which is consuming an eight-mile seam containing enough coal to fuel it for upwards of 250 years.

So you want to visit Centralia PA ...

Centralia Pennsylvania (many photos)
Centralia, Pennsylvania wiki

hat tip to wtf_nature

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'll be buzzing off for the Thanksgiving holiday. See you all Friday morning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Ryuichi Sakamoto, Rage

via neverneverland

Allan McCollum. The Dog From Pompei, 1991.

Allan McCollum:

Cast glass-fiber- reinforced Hydrocal. Replicas made from a mold taken from the famous original "chained dog" plaster cast of a dog smothered in ash from the explosion of Mount Vesuvius, in ancient Pompeii, in 79 A.D. Produced in collaboration with the Museo Vesuviano and the Pompei Tourist Board, Pompei, Italy, and Studio Trisorio, Naples, Italy.

via hyde or die

Bright Eyes - At the Bottom of Everything


directed by Cat Solen

Bright Eyes

via bright stupid confetti


People walk in the center of Helsinki on November 2008 during the first snowstorm of the season

photo: Martti Kainulainen

Winter descends on the Northern Hemisphere

Monday, November 24, 2008

Imke Lass Photography

John Nash

Imke Lass is a friend here in Savannah and a freelance photographer with a wonderful talent and a compassionate eye. I just love her work and envy her for her globetrotting assignments. If you've opened a magazine in the last five or ten years or so, there's a good chance you'll have seen one of her photos. The very fact alone that she had the opportunity to photograph John Nash sufficiently blows my mind.

Take the time and check out her website. The stories she tells are touching and amazing - and I'm not blowing smoke because she's a friend, this is top drawer stuff.

China: Portrait of a People

Tom Carter traveled around China for two years and photographed thousands of people in all 33 provinces and autonomous regions. I look forward to checking out his book, China: Portrait of a People. You can watch a preview on YouTube.

via Danwei

Chris Rainier

Chris Rainier (stunning)


Will Lion's photostream

I saw this on someone's blog before I went offline but I can't remember where. I thought about this quote a fair bit during the last ten days.

Sunday, November 23, 2008



Suffice it to say that I had to jump through some major hoops to get this act back onstage, but I'm here and ready to roll!

I hope y'all didn't go away.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hello there

Hi everybody,

It has been a week since I last posted and it's about time for an explanation for my absence.

Last Thursday, I found myself suddenly and inexplicably denied internet connectivity. This was quite mysterious as my modem seemed to be working fine and my computer showed that I was online.

Comcast seemed to be unable and unwilling to help, so after trying to diagnose and repair the situation on my own - with no luck- I called some friends who are IT pros and picked their brains.

After a fair bit of doinking around, it became apparent the there was some sort of unidentified network set up on my computer. While I was unable to dial up anywebsites, this network was chugging away, pumping data through my system.

The consensus was that a reformatting was in order. I spent a good day or so backing up and early Saturday morning I reformatted. This should reset everything back to normal, right?

Wrong. When I rebooted, I found that I had no local area connection, no Network 3 to hook up to the internet - nothing. It was as if whatever had hijacked my system took a big chunk of it away when I removed it, not even leaving a bloody socket or stump.

My computer is now a glorified MP3 player and I have to live with that for now. I could have it fixed, but the quoted prices, just to get me in the door, would have me well on my way to a brand new rig. As I am a bit tight on funds right now - it's the offseason in my business and it has been a noticably bad year - any timetable for my return to Uncertain Times is a big unknown. I'm shooting for the spring, but would resume sooner, probably after the new year, if my fortunes were to turn in a positive direction.

To be frank, I'm kind of enjoying being disconnected. My brain is dialing down a bit, and even in this short of a period of time I am enjoying reading real books and catching up on my life in meatspace. It's a refreshing change. I spent a great deal of my spare time on this blog.

I won't deny that there was a degree of separation anxiety. The first three days were the worst. I still dream about blogging, but the dreams have ceased to be the Hitchcockian nightmares they were early on. This is not a cop-out to pull away - I miss it terribly.

I will certainly miss those of you who read, commented, supported and communicated with me over these last few months. You folks are truly the best part of the experience.

But this is not goodbye, or even farewell... it's more like: Hold on... I'll be back as soon as I can.

I have recently acquired a pda that I can check my email with, so feel free to drop me a line. Once I get the hang of this thing, I'll be Tweeting now and again and even making attempts to post with it. (Right now, I have difficulty staying on for more than 30 minutes at a time, but that will pick up after a while.) Regardless, I'll be popping in here at least once a month or so with updates, so keep an eye out.

Later, all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mitch Mitchell - Drum Solo, Sweden, January 9, 1969

(video link)


Mitch Mitchell (1947 - 2008)

Mitch Mitchell (July 9, 1947 - November 12, 2008)

Truman Capote on The Dick Cavett Show

(video link)

Truman Capote, Groucho Marx, and Jim Fowler on the Dick Cavett Show - 1971

Shut the #&@! up, Groucho. Please.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dmitry Korotchenko

Dmitry Korotchenko

hat tip: roo

Tippi, the real-life Mowgli

Her "brother" was an elephant, her best friend a leopard and her playground the African bush.

The real-life Mowgli who grew up with Africa's wild animals

Tippi: My Book of Africa

Hammer and Tongs: 1943


March 1943. "Santa Fe R.R. shops, Albuquerque. Hammering out a drawbar on the steam drop hammer in the blacksmith shop." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


24 hours in pictures:

Puskar, Rajasthan: Pilgrims visit the world's largest cattle fair. The festival hosts about 50,000 camels, which are sold, decorated, shaved and raced Photograph: Piyal Adhikary/EPA

Theme Park for Border Crossers

Tour guide "Pancho" directs a "nite walk" in the Parque Alberto. Every weekend, dozens of participants pay about $20 to scramble up hills, slide down ravines and run through tunnels pursued by siren-blaring pick-up trucks and pumped-up border patrol agents shouting in accented English. Alana Gonzalez for TIME

In Mexico, a Theme Park for Border Crossers

Veteran's Day

An Outpost in Afghanistan’s Borderland

via roo

Happy Birthday!

And many happy returns, Maud!

Another ridiculous "death of blogging" item

Rough Type - Who killed the blogosphere?

A few points to ponder about the increasing number of items like this:

Three years is not a long time... ten years is not a long time.

People who consider themselves on the "cutting edge" always reject and turn their noses up at latecomers, even though it was those very latecomers that vaulted them up to their perches.

If you attempt to gauge the true state of the blogosphere - not the statistical - by only looking at the top 100, or even top 10,000 blogs on Technorati, your data set will naturally be tainted and not indicative of what is really happening. Most of the established and popular weblogs don't pay much attention to newcomers, so how could they know? These newcomers are not necessarily doing the same things for the same reasons that their predecessors were. The Technorati top 10,000 is no longer the blogosphere, it is the MAINSTREAM MEDIA. The new form of blogging is largely based on community and no longer about being a columnist or a pseudo-journalist. The usurpers have arrived and most know that the old school is largely irrelevant. This next wave does not mean that blogging is dead, it means that the old wave is dead.

Sure, people tire of blogging. People tire of stamp collecting. However, I am subscribed to over 400 excellent weblogs - most of them are latecomers and show no signs of slowing down. They are blowing away the old-timers. In fact, many of the old guard appropriate and even steal much of their material from these obscure efforts.

I'd wager that many of the people who started what are now abandoned weblogs were motivated by the potential for profit and when they found out that that was not likely to occur, they bailed. Others probably left because they realized that it actually involved work. Many bloggers that are still active are in it for the love and the community.

What we're really hearing from the old-timers that keep ratcheting this increasingly tired argument is that THEY are dead and the secret garden that they cultivated and cherished is changing and moving beyond their control and comprehension. It's time that THEY abandoned their weblogs if they think the medium is dead. While tech gurus pontificate, regular folks, academics and aficionados continue to post fascinating and timely material. In short: Stay in the game and keep up, or go away and leave us alone - we'll take it from here. Stay over by Twitter and shut up.

140 characters on Twitter cannot replace the wonderful items I find every day in my reader. Please do not insult us with this outrageous dreck.

With all of this in mind, it seems to me that these specious "death of blogging" items are the products of bloggers that are out of touch, misinformed and running out of material. What is truly passé is tired, masturbatory ranting about the death of the blogosphere.

The only reason I stoop to blog about blogging is that I'd like to see young people and newcomers greeted with the notion of "the life of blogging" - arriving to find unfurrowed fields of potential so that we can enjoy what their unique minds have to share. Remember, the rest of the world is coming online, individual by individual, and I'm sure they are going to have something to say.

Perhaps this new era we find ourselves in might also be reflected in how we interact and share our experiences and outlooks online - for it is indeed time for change. Time to slough off the fluff and keep on. Blogging is here to stay. (listen)

Welcome newcomers! Come on in and pull up a chair, there is so much more to explore.

update: I find it amusing that Mr. Carr disabled the back-links for his post after I wrote this.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brian Griffin

Leifur with Steinunn, Holar Farm, Hornafjordur, Iceland 2007

Brian Griffin (don't miss it)

via benhästen (the always wondrous)

People of Chernobyl

(video link)

Serge Van Cauwenbergh:

In 2006, 20 years after the nuclear disaster, I visited the Zones of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl. I also visited elderly inhabitants of Chernobyl. This is my photographic testimony of those visits.

via Chernobyl and Eastern Europe

Jacques Plante's Original Hockey Mask, c.1959

ClassicMask Network: The Real Story Behind the Invention of the Goalie Mask:

On Nov. 1st, 1959, the Canadiens were playing the Rangers at Madison Square Garden and at the 3:06 mark into the game the Rangers' Andy Bathgate cut across the slot and took a rising backhand shot at the Canadiens goal. Plante was crouched low looking through legs when the puck caught him on the left side of his nose. The shot was Plante's third save of the game. The star goalie toppled and lay unconscious in a puddle of his blood. As the "lodge brother's" expression goes: the last thing he remembered seeing was "made in Czechoslovakia". Plante was carried from the ice to the Madison Square Garden emergency first aid room where the Rangers' physician Dr. Kazuo Yanagisawa, (A.K.A. Kamikaze) used seven stitches to pull together the gash and stop the leak. During this era teams dressed just one goalie and as long as you continued breathing and were more less conscious you were expected to continue playing. Despite his reservations Canadiens' coach Toe Blake agreed to let Plante continue the game with his new, ghostly, flesh tone face mask constructed of fiberglass. When the goalie skated back on to the ice a hush fell over the crowd as they witnessed what appeared to be Plante's exposed skull. Plante won the game 3 to 1 and ushered in a new era in goaltending history.

(I took the liberty of correcting the numerous typos and misspellings in this account.)

You can buy a replica at Masks From The Past

image found at Anonymous Works

repost: Once Upon a Time in the West - Opening Scene

I can think of no better way to honor Ennio Morricone's 80th birthday than by reposting this awe-inspiring clip of the opening scene of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. Morricone's soundtrack for this film is one of his most outstanding works. Enjoy! (turn it up loud)

You brought two too many...

Ennio Morricone's score for Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West starts with the first notes of his well-known The Man with the Harmonica. The soundtrack music, in fact, starts with the first water drip you'll hear on this video. Close your eyes or turn away from the monitor and you'll experience a magnificent piece of sound design and composition.

Better to just watch and listen for the full effect, as the imagery is integral.

One interesting twist to this film, which is often overlooked, is in the casting. Charles Bronson, the protagonist, up to that point almost always played the bad guy. Henry Fonda, who plays one of the truly great movie villains, almost always was the good guy. Leone's Westerns often blurred or obliterated the line between hero and villain, but that's the way it draws out in this one. It was a subtle move on the director's part - I suspect to add to the cognitive dissonance and ambiguities that often permeate his films.

Ennio Morricone @ 80

(original post)

Louis-Léopold Boilly - A Painter's Studio

Louis-Léopold Boilly

National Gallery of Art

inspired by Jahsonic

Weblog Awards

I was quite flattered that my good friend and veteran blogger, Nag on the Lake, nominated Uncertain Times for the 2008 Weblog Awards in the Best New Blog and Best Culture Blog categories. If you are of a like sentiment, it wouldn't hurt if you chimed in and posted your nomination, as well. I did, and I think UT might have a shot, long as it may be.

I don't really care all that much about awards, but what the hey, it's nice to be nominated.

Thanks Naggy!

btw, to make things easier, here's the links they're looking for:

Also, in case you didn't get the memo, Uncertain Times now has a presence on Tumblr. Uncertain Times v.ii will be a slightly - and I really mean slightly - less SFW repository for material that generally won't be posted here. I like to keep UT safe, fun and edifying for kids, people with kids around, and folks in the work environment.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Touching Strangers

Tim, Victoria and Derek, 2008

Photographer Richard Renaldi has a wonderful series titled Touching Strangers, in which he not only convinced complete strangers to pose together, but also to touch one another. I found it interesting how some of the people appear as if they are not strangers at all, and how others seem a little bit reluctant and create obvious boundaries.

Charles and Manuel, 2007

Conscientious: A Conversation with Richard Renaldi about 'Touching Strangers'

Julie and Xavier, 2007

Renaldi: In thinking more about how I would approach the project, I decided I wanted the images to explore how notions of trust, love, social conventions, and taboos are expressed through body language. After that it was really just getting up the courage to actually go out and do it.

asteroid trail

On the Trail of 2008 TC3 Credit: Mohamed Elhassan Abdelatif Mahir (Noub NGO), Dr. Muawia H. Shaddad (Univ. Khartoum), Dr. Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute/NASA Ames)

APOD: On October 7, the early dawn over northern Sudan revealed this twisted, high altitude trail. Captured in a video frame, the long-lasting persistent train is from the impact of a small asteroid cataloged as 2008 TC3. That event was remarkable because it was the first time an asteroid was detected in space before crashing into planet Earth's atmosphere. In fact, after astronomers discovered 2008 TC3, the time and location of its impact were predicted based on follow-up observations. Later, the impact predictions were confirmed by sensors, including a Meteosat-8 image of a bright flash in the atmosphere. Astronomers are now hoping for more reports of local ground-based observations of what must have been a brilliant meteor streaking through Sudan's night sky. Additional reports could improve the chances of recovering meteorites.


Plot chart for Norman Mailer's book Harlot's Ghost, undated.

Harry Ransom Center: The Mystique of the Archive

via The Dizzies
via The Elegant Variation

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pink Storm with Leaves

from the archives of John H. McNulty


After coming home from work and finding the same problems, only worse - my connection kept kicking off - I contacted Comcast again and they helped me to reset my modem. My connection was speedier and stable, but I still couldn't upload photos.

Frustrated to the point of giving up, I figured out another possible workaround and gave it a try. I found that I had over 5000 "starred items" in Google Reader, dating back to February. I un-starred them and deleted all of my gadgets on iGoogle. I also found that I had close to 1100 RSS subscriptions, so I dropped those down to under 500. On top of all that, I uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox, in case there was a problem with Java, in the process losing hundreds of bookmarks. All of this time consuming work made everything run much more smoothly, but still the same trouble with pics.

Any of you that saw my previous message - now deleted - know that I am not yet at the point of reformatting, but the option is still on the table. If you'd like to read it, it's still up on Technorati.

After a long nap, I find that I can upload photos again, but I'm not convinced that this is a permanent condition. Regardless, I'll keep trying to post.

After all of this, the only thing known for certain is that I really have no idea what I'm doing. I'm shooting in the dark. If any of these measures remedy the situation, in the end, whatever the cause or the solution turns out to be will remain unknown. One thing's for sure, my high-speed internet is now truly high-speed, so that's a bonus.

Wish me luck, and I'll keep my fingers crossed and my hopes up.

me and my dad, c.1970

take a bow

Juliana Peloso

Friday, November 7, 2008

ok, hopefully this will be the last programming note...

Last night my connectivity problems flared up again. The whole time it was a major struggle. I was losing my connection and couldn't get anything to work right.

At my wit's end, I contacted Comcast to see if they could help. They said that my modem health was fine and directed me to their help section on their website. I followed all the instructions to check the connection on my end and all was well. Since then, everything is blazing. I can safely surmise that they were throttling me and when I called them out they eased up. The bastards. I can't be sure about this, but if I get home from work and have no problems, I'd wager that this is the case.

I don't download p2p all that much, although I do subscribe to a few mp3 blogs, and of course, I upload a fair bit. A short while back, some of you might remember, my connection was shut off for a day. When it came back up, my IP address had changed and not to long after that all of these problems cropped up. This is all conjecture on my part, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Wish me luck, and with any, I'll be back on the axe for some Saturday morning posting. Now I'm going to crash. Have a wonderful day, all, and thanks for the kind and encouraging comments.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Liu Jianhua : Yiwu Survey

Liu Jianhua : Yiwu Survey (2006)

hat tip: trendbeheer

pizza rolls

Undead Film Critic

via LedgerGermane

trick or treat?

Firestarter by David Roth

via musecrack
via riotclitshave

Aaron Huey


...and his photographs are incredible.

via madamjujujive

a (hopefully) final note on recent difficulties

Earlier tonight, I had written a post crying my woes as I moved into day four of my recent struggles with Blogger. I tried Flickr and Tumblr and all sorts of suggestions concerning Java and networks and malware, basically everything short of shamanic intervention, all with no luck. I was just about to throw my hands in the air and try reformatting my computer.

After I posted this missive, I tried one more time and wouldn't you know it, it worked fine and continues to do so. All I can hope for is that this smooth sailing maintains and the sargasso I found myself in over the last few days is now behind me.

In the process, however, I found myself in the midst of passing a kidney stone, which leaves me in moaning agony for hours at a time. Time when the pain had subsided was spent cursing at my computer. Hopefully, this too will pass and I can get on with my life. So, in the balance, posting will be sporadic and when I'm capable of any sort of clear and painless thought.

These last few days have been rough.

Oh, btw, I guess I have a Tumblr now. I'm not sure how I'm going to use it yet, but it's out there:

The lost (found) synthesizer music of Ursula Bogner

German pharmacist, family woman and explorer of the esoteric, Ursula Bogner, left behind a vast collection of electronic music she made in her home studio from the 1960s until her death in 1994. Electronic musician Jan Jelinek has compiled and preserved her lighthearted and quirky work and made it available to the public.

I found it to be a lot of fun and you can enjoy samples of it on Jelinek's Faitiche website. It reminded me a little of The Residents, but it has its own unique feel. After listening to the tracks, try playing them at the same time for a very interesting effect.

via MetaFilter

Fidel & Che

By who, when or where, I don't know, thanks to the always thorough documentation of vintagephoto.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Lassel

Bankier in guter Gesellschaft

Wonderful work by Michael Lassel. His painting Turm zu Babel will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition Babylon: Myth and Reality at the British Museum.

third day in a row

This is getting to be a bit frustrating. I still have a rather large backlog of material and I can't get photos to upload. I have been trying off and on since last night. On top of that it takes about thirty tries to get a post up. If this keeps on I'm going to consider moving to Tumblr.

Check back later. Sorry.


Jasper Johns. (American, born 1930). Flag. 1954-55 (dated on reverse 1954). Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, three panels (MOMA)

"One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag," Johns said, "and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it."

via hyde or die
via jillsies

A message for America in Uncertain Times: For better or worse, we are all Americans. Dream, get up, go out and get on with it.

Now, let's see whatcha got, President-Elect Obama.

I must also say that in my lifetime, I have never witnessed such a childish and irrational display of partisan hatred during any presidential campaign. It was embarrassing and those involved should be ashamed, on both sides. We've had to endure countless petty, ad hominem attacks in a seemingly endless campaign that, in many ways, has left me weary and disgusted.

One can only hope that the gracious examples set by both candidates tonight might inspire us to rise above our juvenile impulses to demonize our fellow human beings. If we really want change, we could start with a little class and decorum and stick to the issues. I applaud both Senator McCain and President-Elect Obama for not sinking to, or even approaching the level of a sizable number of their supporters.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Philip K. Dick, A day in the afterlife

(video link)

An excellent 1994 BBC documentary, including interviews with Tim Powers, James Blaylock, Thomas M. Disch, Kim Stanley Robinson, Brian Aldiss, Terry Gilliam, an assortment of ex-wives, friends and associates, as well as PKD himself.

I liked how this film riffs on Ubik, a favorite of mine, which is probably his most lucid and complete work.

Interesting note: Tim Powers was a close friend and submitted the typescript for Radio Free Albemuth, written in 1976 but published posthumously as Dick's "last novel" in 1985. The character "David" in VALIS is based on Powers and a later edition of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - published concurrent with the release of the film Blade Runner - is dedicated to him.

see the rest here

found thanks to MetaFilter

and again...

Today, my internet experience has been like trying to draw an elephant through a cocktail straw. I'll try again later after they announce a winner.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Neuman '08

Obama poster parodies

stray bullets

That Rothschild clan in full: eccentricity, money, influence and scandal Nat Rothschild’s career path – from playboy to plutocrat – has to be seen against the backdrop of his family history, studded as it is with eccentrics who were torn between loyalty to an immense and powerful name and the urge to break away from the clan. An interesting look at the 3rd Baron Rothschild and the celebrated, reviled and feared family of global players and manipulators. (via)

Turkish police may have beaten encryption key out of TJ Maxx suspect Otherwise known as rubber-hose cryptanalysis. (via)

Is surfing the Internet altering your brain? The Internet is not just changing the way people live but altering the way our brains work with a neuroscientist arguing this is an evolutionary change which will put the tech-savvy at the top of the new social order.

What I've Learned: John Malkovich There will be people who will hate anything you do. And some people will really love it. But that's not really different from the people who really hate it. You could learn a thing or two from what he's learned. (via)

Judge Slams RIAA Tactics (via)
A guide to the Hippocratic Oath
Seven of the greatest scientific hoaxes
Top 10 Science Hoaxes
Evolution of Logos (pictoral history of well known logo designs) (via)
How to Take Better Photographs
Audio Slideshow: Photos compete for the Prix Pictet
Listen to Genius (audio library) (via)
Andrei Codrescu: Life Without Smell May Not Be Worth It (audio)
Pinewood Dialogues (conversations with film, TV, digital media innovators and creators) (audio) (via)

A by-product of obsessively, constantly surfing the net to discover the bright and the shiny is a steady flow of promising new ideas. Mostly slight variations on existing great ideas that tickle your fancy. Rands In Repose: FriendDA (via)

FreakyFlicks (obscure torrents) (via)
Studs Terkel a/v linkdump
Film, Art and Creative Television (exclusive videos and interviews with artists and filmmakers) (via)
The greatest choreography in film history
Kids in the Hall - Sausages
Pig Fights Lion (wow)
Good for Nothing, Peanut-Stealing Cat (via)
Klaus Nomi's Lime Tart Recipe (doc)

"Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think." - John Cage, 'Rules for Students and Teachers' (via)

The Science Museum's hidden treasures

Only eight percent of the Science Museum is on show. Ninety two percent resides in six aircraft hangars just south of Swindon.

It is guarded by Gurkhas, peopled by ghosts in flying jackets and filled with vintage planes, strange machines and a teamaker the size of a wardrobe. Lucy Davies visits the greatest museum you'll never see.

'There's a reason for the red tags,' scolds the curator as our photographer circles in for a close-up of an autopsy table. This one, she warns, belonged to Sir William Jenner, physician to Queen Victoria, whose reputation rests on drawing the distinction between typhus and typhoid. 'It's covered in spores and deposits. We don't know how infectious they still are.' (read more)

Global Outlook: The Legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller

R. Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion House Model, Third Version, 1929, mixed media. Photo: Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller

Bucky Fuller is profiled in the November 2008 issue of Artforum.

via BFI

Classical Ghosts, Audible Once Again

The music-loving businessman Julius H. Block

Some 200 wax phonograph cylinders recorded by Julius H. Block in the 1890s have been recovered in Russia and excerpts will soon be released to the public. This is a major find as musicologists and aficionados can now have a rare glimpse at how classical music was performed at the time and will have the opportunity to hear the acclaimed musicians of the day, many which have never been heard by contemporary listeners.

Classical Ghosts, Audible Once Again

You can hear some excerpts of the excerpts here.

Programming Note

It seems that Blogger, and everything else Google-related is crawling at a geologic pace. I have spent the better part of the last thirty minutes trying to upload a photo, which is a bummer because I have a boatload of material to post.

I'm going to keep trying, but if it keeps up like this I going to bag it for the day and try again tomorrow.

Anyone else having problems?

Dylan at Ondine

The magical world of Bob Dylan (nice selection of photos by Jerry Schatzberg within)

via Nag on the Lake

Children watching the story of "Saint George and the Dragon," at the puppet theater in the Tuileries, Paris, 1963

"It took a long time to get the angle I liked, but the best picture is the one I took at the climax of the action. It carries all the excitement of the children screaming, "The dragon is slain!" Very often this sort of thing is only a momentary vision, my brain does not register, only my eyes and finger react. Click." - Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt: Photojournalist of the Century

hat tip: βereníκe (v.ii)

Broadcast 2000 - Get up and Go

video by Jordan Clarke

Some "get up and go" for your Monday morning. Seize the day!

via Bifurcated Rivets

Yma Sumac (1922-2008)


Sad news, as the lovely and gifted Yma Sumac passed away on Saturday at the age of 86. Most definitely not Amy Camus of Brooklyn, New York, the Peruvian princess of exotica thrilled listeners with her "well over three" perhaps even four or five octave range.

You can browse some of her videos here and be sure to check out this previous entry in Uncertain Times that includes a scathing review of a recently released biography in the comments by Ms. Sumac's personal assistant David Devine.

"That I made good music and made happy, their hearts" - Yma Sumac, when asked what she wanted to be remembered for.

I would say that her wish has been realized.

L.A. Times obituary

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Daft Punk - Fresh


my mother's sister's girl


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (shooting script):


As they barrel down the highway -

That was really something. That
dancing girl.
(after a beat)
What did it mean?

Code. If you work with Gordon you learn
that right away.

Code, I've heard a lot about this.

Desmond pulls his arm back so that only his fingers come out of his sleeve.

Sort of shorthand.

(missing the humor)
Shorthand. really?

We're heading into a difficult situation.

How do you figure?

I'll explain it to you. Do you remember
Lil's dance?

As Desmond explains we -



In slow motion.


Lil was wearing a sour face.

What do you mean?

Her face had a sour look... that means
we're going to have trouble with the
local authorities. They are not going to
be receptive to the FBI.


Both eyes blinking means there is going
to be trouble higher up... the eyes of the
local authority. A sheriff and a deputy.
That would be my guess. Two of the
local law enforcers are going to be a


DESMOND (continued)
If you noticed she had one hand in her
pocket which means they are hiding
something, and the other hand made a
fist which means they are going to be


DESMOND (continued)
Lil was walking in place which means
there's going to be a lot of legwork


DESMOND (continued)
Cole said Lil was "his mother's sister's
girl". What is missing in that sentence?
The Uncle.

Oh, the uncle is missing.

Not Cole's Uncle but probably the
sheriff's uncle in federal prison.

So the sheriff had got an Uncle who's
committed a serious crime.


Right, which is probably why Lil was
wearing a red wig meaning we are
headed into a dangerous situation. Let
me ask you something, Stanley, did you
notice anything about the dress?

The dress she was wearing had been
altered to fit her. I noticed a different
colored thread where the dress had been
taken in. It wasn't her dress or she
must have lost some weight.

Gordon said you were good. The tailored
dress is our code for drugs. Did you
notice what was pinned to it?

A blue rose.

Very good, but I can't tell you about

Stanley rides along quietly for a while.

Jacques Piccard (1922-2008)

image: Wikimedia Commons

Lieutenant Don Walsh, USN, and Jacques Piccard in the bathyscaphe TRIESTE, nearly seven miles deep in the Marianas Trench, 1960.

Jacques Piccard, Scientist Who Explored the Deep Seas, Dies at 86:

Jacques Piccard helped his father invent the bathyscaphe, a vessel that allows people to descend to great depths. On Jan. 23, 1960, he and Lt. Don Walsh of the United States Navy took the vessel, named the Trieste, into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific to a depth of 35,800 feet, nearly seven miles below sea level. It remains the deepest human dive ever.

Biography: Jacques Piccard:

Jacques Ernest Jean Piccard was born July 28, 1922, in Brussels, Belgium. His career as an ocean engineer and explorer began with the aeronautical exploits of his father, Auguste, a physicist who became interested in balloons as a way of studying cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere. In 1931, Auguste reached a record altitude of 50,000 feet in a balloon equipped with the first pressurized cabin, becoming the first person to reach the stratosphere and return safely.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cliffs of the Dead

24 hours in pictures:

Sagada, Philippines: Coffins of Kankanaey tribal people are crafted from century-old pine trees. Death rituals are performed over them before they are taken to their final resting places, suspended along the limestone cliffs Photograph: Dave Leprozo/EPA