January 18, 2008
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He plays the banjo, but he isn't just some hick. He enjoys Chicks, jamming with friends, wide open spaces and fights.
Lost cosmonauts is a site detailing the radio site at Torre Bert, set up by Italian amateurs in 1959 to monitor the beginnings of the space race. The Torre Bert station was regarded as a legitimate tracking station, however they then released recordings of dying cosmonauts which were quickly denounced as exaggerations, or outright conspiracy. In 1991 Pravda admitted that Gagarin was not the first cosmonaut . [more inside]
On November 14, 1940, German bombers flew through the skies for nine hours above Coventry, England in a raid that Winston Churchill probably didn't know about but if he did, did nothing to prepare for. The bombers dropped thousands of pounds of explosives and incendiaries that resulted in hundreds of deaths and huge destruction. Coventry, perhaps best known before the war for naked horseback riding and the manufacture of pretty-but-malfunction-prone automobiles, was also home to a grand cathedral, St. Michael's Church, one of the greatest cathedrals in England. The cathedral was nearly destroyed; the fire left behind little but debris and the still-standing outer walls and spire. [more inside]
The Tokyopia Wedding Game A work of love for friends executed in late 2006, via "Greggman"'s generally excellent blog. [more inside]
Michel Gondry Curates YouTube from Sundance; Pussy On The Mat : Ornette Coleman and Mark Kostabi: anxiety attack: Devendra Banhart - A Ribbon: Max Roach at his best: MIT sketching: game Over
Reviving an ancient practice, churches are exposing sinners and shunning those who won't repent. Unfortunately, some of the worshipers are expelled not because of willful or unrepentant sins, but for criticizing the pastor on matters of church polity. "A lot of times, flocks aren't willing to submit or be obedient to God. If somebody is not willing to be helped, they forfeit their membership."
The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World. In order to get this out of my head, I must share it with you.
MATSYS Based on the idea that architecture can be understood as a material body with its own intrinsic and extrinsic forces relating to form, growth, and behavior, the studio investigates methodologies of performative integration through geometric and material differentiation.
B_Complex, N_Table, Endless Ocean, Endless Sky (more), P_Wall. more.
B_Complex, N_Table, Endless Ocean, Endless Sky (more), P_Wall. more.
Axis of Agriculture: Tagging Terrorist Chickens If you worry about al-Qaeda infiltrating the Amish farming community or the organic food movement, you can finally relax.
Larry Schwarm is best known for his photographs of prairie fires and landscapes in the Flint Hills of Kansas. On May 5, 2007, he visited his hometown of Greensburg, Kansas to take photos of what was left after an F-5 tornado leveled the town the day before. [more inside]
WTF, LA hospitals? "Gabino Olvera, 42, sued the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center for negligence and elder abuse after it discharged him in February 2007, took him across town in a van and left him in a soiled hospital gown without a wheelchair in the heart of the city's homeless area."
Decoder Ring Theatre! Follow the pulpy audiodrama adventures of Black Jack Justice (& girl detective Trixie Dixon) and Canadian superhero The Red Panda with his trusty sidekick The Flying Squirrel. [more inside]
The G1000 Fucking Fucker. There is nothing like the G-1000. Not even vaguely. It is arcane and radical. It is 100% vacuum tubes, from input to output. It contains 100% new-old-stock (NOS) tubes. Types never seen in guitar amps. Artwork on the amp's front panel by Dave Lovelace, of "Retarded Animal Babies" infamy. Check out the hi-res picture for all the explicit functional details. [NSFW] I'm guessing it has a pretty good dirty channel. [more inside]
Retrospectacle on the Plague. Shelley Batts is a neuroscience PhD candidate who writes the great blog Retrospectacle [Prev]. She's recently posted a series on the bubonic plague: It's real and perceived causes (1 2), the bizarre medical garb doctors used, and modern cases of Yersinia pestis* infection in the U.S. and the world.
Comics writer Warren Ellis invited indie comics creators to introduce their work (warning: image intensive page) in his new forum, Whitechapel. With posts from 100+ writers/artists creating everything from free webcomics to traditional books, it's a great source for new reading material.
Line Golfer = Line Rider + mini-golf. A great idea that just needs some super amazing artists to build some awesome levels.
Periodic Table of Printmaking : AzureGrackle started a project with 96 printmakers to create an artistic representation of the periodic table of the elements.
In the 1980s, some artists successfully managed the transition from punk rock to rap. Others, not so much.
"Jennifer Musa, who has died aged 90, was an Irishwoman of modest stock who took over from her husband as head of a tribe in the remote borderlands of Baluchistan; unveiled and uncompromising, she dedicated her life to the conservative Muslim tribesmen among whom she lived for 60 years until her death." 1992 New York Times interview. 1995 interview with The Independent. 2006 interview. Another 2006 interview.
Chicago Center for Literature and Photography has some excellent book and film reviews, written by author and artist Jason Pettus. He mostly reviews contemporary fiction but has a few classics like The House of the Seven Gables, which is part of a two-year project to read 100 "classics" to see if they are really classic or not.
Hip-hop artist Sean Paul suspected to cause grand mal seizures in woman. Stacey Gayle, a 25-year old epileptic, had grand mal seizures nearly every time she heard Paul's hit "Temperature." She listened to the song on her iPod in front of doctors. Soon after, she suffered three seizures. [more inside]
After 60 years of separation due to her family being marked as an enemy of the people, and sent off to internal exile a couple who spent only three days together after their marriage have reunited, in an amazing stroke of luck. [more inside]
It could have been the greatest disaster in US history. On January 18, 1978, 30 years ago today, the 1400 ton 2 1/2 acre roof of the Hartford Civic Center, covered by a blanket of snow and ice, suddenly and completely collapsed, damaging almost all of the seats underneath. Just four hours earlier there was a basketball game packed with 5000 fans. Had it collapsed then, many, if not most, of the fans and players could have died. [more inside]
Stickk.com allows people to undertake commitment bonds: promises that they will do something (lose weight, quit smoking, etc.) or else forfeit a pre-determined amount of money to a charity. Either the honor system or a referee can be used to decide if the goal is met. The idea is related to Nobel prize-winner Thomas Schelling's concept of strategic precommitment. More here, here, and here.
Did Vladimir Putin really turn around Russia's economy? Washington Post's Fred Hyatt attempts to refute the conventional wisdom that Putin was responsible for Russia's turnaround from the economic instability of the "disastrous" 90s by offering a thorough counter argument to prove that Putin's effect on the economy was just the reverse. [more inside]