January 26, 2008
The 25 Greatest Duets Of All Time (with embedded YouTube videos of each) from retroCRUSH. Duets, by nature, are a corny type of song. Sure, there's a handful that we recognize here that are also some of best tunes ever recorded, but there's something inherently cheesy and fun about duets that make them a fun guilty pleasure for millions to enjoy.
What did the Internet look like in 1996? "...very few web designers had even the most rudimentary of aesthetic sensibilities, and nearly half of them were clinically retarded."
To the august company of "I now pronounce you man and wife" and "I bet you sixpence it will rain tomorrow," artist Sean Landers adds a new utterance for study, albeit one that perhaps he alone is capable to perform: "I am vastly underappreciated . . . as an artist . . . in my time." [MP3]
Lego wrangler Lwelyk has put together a little blog featuring his video game Lego creations. Each piece is an exact recreation of the original 2D sprite artwork where one pixel equals one square Lego block. Aside from Mother Brain we also get Phanto, Mushroom Block, Flying Shy Guy, Tingle and tons of others. The Mother Brain is by far the most impressive but the Twinrova piece definitely gets an honorable mention. [more inside]
George Habash aka the Doctor, founder of the PFLP has died. The group, still extant, were notorious for various attacks in the 60s and 70s, most notably the Dawson's Field Hijackings in the early days of Black September when four planes bound for NYC were hijacked. Three were evacuated and detonated on live TV at a remote airstrip in Jordon. Leila Khaled (Mefites might better know her the inspiration for another Doctor's accomplice, Leela) and her Sandinista accomplice Patrick Argüello boarded a Swissair flight from Amsterdam posed as married Hondurans. Argüello was assaulted with a whiskey bottle and finally shot, while Leila was arrested and released as part of an exchange deal. Though the group gave up hijacking, the Japanese Red Army, armed with Czech rifles concealed in violin cases, orchestrated the Lod Airport massacre on their behalf, killing mostly mostly Puerto Rican pilgrims. The only surviving culprit, Kozo Okamoto is eventually granted refuge in Lebanon.
"There are literally millions of tone qualities and endless shades of dynamic level available on the Hammond organ." [more inside]
Fuck Planet Earth. The extreme beauty of the popular Planet Earth series comes alive with this comedic bit that simply repeats the F-bomb to great effect. [more inside]
Looking for something unique to bring to your next gaming session? Star-spawn will cringe in fear when they see you have shown up to battle bearing these long-lost relics of R'lyeh. The dwarves have toiled long in the mines and quarries of Khaz Modan, and even crafted the bones and teeth of great ancient beasts to create deadly weapons for your gaming arsenal. Perhaps most impressive and prized of all these unique equipages is this rare trophy of the cold and frozen north. [more inside]
Italian Progressive Rock, and a few examples of the genre: Locanda Della Fate, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Balletto di Bronzo, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme, New Trolls, Area. [more inside]
With the death of Louis de Cazenave, Lazare Ponticelli is the last surviving French veteran of World War One, and the country has been wondering how to mark the inevitable. By contrast, Germany's response to the recent death of Erich Kaestner has been a more muted affair, indeed, all but unnoted. [more inside]
The Japanese National Archives have a nice set of late 1930s, pre-World War 2, civil defence posters, created in response to their hostilities with China: General Air Raid Defence; Blackout Control; Fire Protection; and Gas Attack. via Airminded, an excellent blog on "Airpower and British Society 1908-1941, mostly." [more inside]
Scientists have built the first synthetic genome by stringing together 147 pages of letters representing the building blocks of DNA.
French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet, one of the most important literary stylists of the last 50 years, the acclaimed master of hyper-realism and the anti-novel, and member of the Académie Française, has devoted his latest novel to kiddie porn. [warning: first link contains excerpts of the novel which many may find truly disturbing.]
Another Country is the name of Chicago Tribune photographer Scott Strazzante's long-term documentary project. Presented in diptych form, he shows the lives of two subjects on the same piece of land separated only by time. From the Cagwin family farm to a sleepy suburban Chicago subdivision, the striking images magically embody the old saying- the more things change, the more they stay the same. [more inside]
The rules of the contest are simple: create the best Steampunk version of a Star Wars vehicle. Out of Legos.
While many of Cuba's top musical figures left the country to pursue their careers in the US and elsewhere, the suave, hugely popular singer Benny Moré stayed. While he is a much loved and revered figure in Cuba, this great vocalist, who died in 1963, is not nearly as widely known outside the island nation as he should be. Viva Benny Moré! [NOTE: See hover-overs for link descriptions] [more inside]
He's probably the first person you'll see if you've ever been to an Indian Train Station. Not as dramatic as has been immortalized on screen, but certainly no less forgettable either. He is one of many who waits for his turn to carry your luggage on his head, or his shoulders, and maybe even around his neck. He has dreams and ambitions too, and just wants to earn a decent enough living. But it can get tedious at times, especially with the odds stacked against him. [more inside]
Those of us who were born in the 1970's have a number of indelibly permanent shared experiences. Relive a few of them with 3 hours of MTV from 1983. [more inside]
At the Isle of Wight Festival, Dylan was the only monster on the bill capable of attracting a monster of an audience. In refusing to play the Woodstock Festival and in then letting himself be talked into playing the Isle of Wight, Dylan in effect was telling England's counterculture: ''C'mon. Let's hold our own Woodstock.'' And so, on the Isle of Wight, a dot of land that certainly wasn't the easiest place in the world to get to, Dylan almost single-handedly proved an enticing enough attraction to collect an audience sometimes estimated to be as few as a 125,000 and sometimes as many as 250,000.My Dylan Papers: Part 2 The Isle of Wight
Another scrap from the late Al Aronowitz, the self-styled Blacklisted Journalist, and former Dylan courtier, recalling the only full concert Dylan gave solo or with the Band between 1967 and 1973 and sung in his Nashville Skyline voice, to boot, no less. And now you can have it all to yourself.... [more inside]