November 26, 2007
Wife thief - the Wodaabe of Nigeria are one of the world's few remaining Nomadic peoples, retaining age-old customs and ways. Physical beauty and charm are highly prized, qualities much in evidence at the annual Gerewol ceremonies. After donning elaborate makeup and clothing, men engage in stylized dance and preening to win the favor of a desired woman - often one who is already married. [more inside]
Do you remember an old photo of a thunderbird/pterodactyl, nailed against a barn wall, with men standing in it for scale? So do many others (including myself). But since that photo has entirely disappeared, are we all victims of a form of mass hysteria? Or victims of a massive reality-altering conspiracy (ctrl-f for 'Birdzilla')?
A window to the world by car or train. Passingby: Videos uploaded to Youtube, showing various parts of the world, from the vantage point of someone just passing by. (Flash, video, youtube link)
Almonds. Eat more almonds. They're good for you. The fall harvest is now in and you can get organic almonds online. Also, they're better than pecans. [more inside]
Mayor Ken Williams of Centerton, Arkansas, recently resigned over allegations of identity theft and other weirdness. He claims that a truth serum injection helped him to recognize that he was formerly The Rev. Don LaRose. He runs a website telling the "amazing story" (in 11 chapters) of his abduction by satan-worshippers three decades ago.
Dear Rockers. Guilt ridden music lovers get to feel better about themselves.
The Bugle is a topical comedic podcast by The Daily Show's John Oliver and fellow comedian Andy Saltzman. They style it an Audio Newspaper for a Visual World. Each weekly episode is about half an hour long.
Kimberly Miner's award-winning short documentary reveals a fascinating way to negate the effects of gravity. A variant of this effect was first revealed to the world by the wise Internet Oracle over 15 years ago. Also of interest, a discussion of potential problems with this arrangement, and the obligatory 'pedia entry.
Trent Lott announced today that he will be resigning from the U.S. Senate at the end of the year. His swift and unexpected decision to retire just one year after a re-election that many saw as a comeback from his much disgraced comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party in 2002 has puzzled many folks. Rumor is spreading that his resignation is due to an alleged scandal: his involvement with a gay escort. [more inside]
Colombia's FARC rebels hold over 3000 current hostages, including soldiers, lawmakers, presidential candidates, Americans, Canadians, Japanese, a Turk, 291 children (including one born in captivity who is the youngest hostage in the world), and a disillusioned Dutch convert whose diary was recently discovered. Family members of the kidnapped can send messages to their loved ones on a popular radio show. More about Colombian kidnappings in Silvana Paternostro's captivating memoir My Colombian War.
"NATURMOBIL is about to pioneer in the state-of-the-art, first ever advertising promotion by means of traveling around the world with the vehicle that is nature-friendly that preserves the welfare of the beings and the environment. NATURMOBIL will soon to be the byword in every household globally." If Fleethorse, LLC meets their modest goals, the world's first advertising-funded horse-powered car will be followed by horse-powered buses and taxis.
Viral marketing for The Dark Knight kicks it up a notch. The Gotham Times -- Joker's Take -- A Safer Gotham -- Gotham National Bank -- Gotham Police -- Gotham City Rail -- Victim of Crime -- Harvey Dent for DA -- Wanted: Henchman
The media begins to awaken. Recently, Tom Curley, the President and CEO of Associated Press lashed out at the absurd conditions surrounding the detention of Bilal Hussein. After being detained for over 18 months, the US Military has finally decided to charge him, but nobody can say for what, or when, or why, or what evidence might be brought forth. Strangely, Mr. Curley writes this without a hint of the irony present in being caught in the net of lies, deception and constructed memory hole that the media has participated in the creation of. Playing patsy comes back to bite. AP hosts a timeline of articles.
This cheesy 1979 promo film from the group, Blackjack, offers a glimpse into the hard rock past of balladeer Michael Bolton, which also includes a co-writing credit for a Top 40 hit by Kiss. Similarly, Bill Joel disavows the days when he posed in medieval armor next to slabs of raw beef on the cover of the self-titled album by Joel's heavy metal duo, Attila, although Julian Cope is a fan of the album and its Deep Purplish vibes (check out Holy Moses and Wonder Woman). To round out the trifecta, we have Tori Amos who got marketed as the metal-chick frontwoman of Y Kant Tori Read (check out the video for The Big Picture). On the other hand, metalheads have the opposite problem of hiding their pop past. Examples include the industrial metal band Ministry's early days as a new wave synth act and Tommy Iommi's brief tenure as a member of Jethro Tull before becoming lead guitarist of Black Sabbath. Meanwhile, Bon Scott, the late lead singer of AC/DC, is probably spinning in his grave over the YouTube footage of him as an Australian teen idol and a bearded hippie with a recorder.
Plane Crazy [Wikipedia] was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon produced; it debuted on May 15, 1928. It was followed by The Gallopin' Gaucho [Wikipedia], which had a sneak preview on August 28, 1928. [more inside]
Kevin DuBrow dead at 52. The lead singer of the 80's metal band Quiet Riot found dead at 52 in Las Vegas. Break out your leather and studs...and hockey masks?
Alain Robbe-Grillet's La Belle Captive, Andrzej Zulawski's 'comedy,' My Nights Are Better Than Your Days, Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Seance, Masahiro Shinoda's Pale Flower, Seijun Suzuki's Tattooed Life and Kanto Wanderer, Lucio Fulci's House by the Cemetery, Kinji Fukasaku's Blackmail is my Life, If You Were Young: Rage and Legend of the Eight Samurai, five films by Takashi Miike, the entire Ring series, thirteen(!) Zatoichi sequels, and 500+ other movies, streaming, online, free and legal. (Some links, NSFW) [more inside]
Could giant magnetically levitated windmills be the solution to the worlds energy problems? Chinese scientist have reported 20 percent increase in capacity over traditional wind turbines using maglev turbines, and now Arizona-based based Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies claims their turbines will have 1000 times the capacity of a traditional turbine. Not everybody is convinced.
New Beef Eco-Report: Pound-for-Pound, Beef Produced with Grains and Growth Hormones Produces 40% Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Saves Two-Thirds More Land for Nature Compared to Organic Grass-Fed Beef. "Environmentally conscious consumers who have been told that grass-raised beef is more environmentally sensitive and sustainable should rethink their beef purchases in light of our findings," says lead author Alex Avery, author of The Truth About Organic Foods.
God's Waiting Room is a British documentary about the daily struggles of Haji Taslim Funerals, the first European Muslim Funeral Directors, and how they work to honor the requirements of ancient faith while cutting through the red tape of modern death. [more inside]
Emma Clarke the voice of the London Underground has just been fired for recording and posting some spoofs on her own website. "Mind the gap" no more. (To spare Emma's server and in case she is forced to remove the files for some reason: External linkage to streaming mp3's of these spoofs are below) [more inside]
Kent French is the world's fastest clapper.
"If the emergence of techno and the proliferation of its related genres thrust DJs and producers into the spotlight, it also spawned artists who, like Kraftwerk before them, chose to remain anonymous and distant. The Scottish duo Boards of Canada (Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison) is a case in point, an even more enigmatic presence on the UK's electronic music landscape than Aphex Twin and Autechre. Eoin and Sandison have consistently minimized their role in the commercial side of music-making and have avoided its attendant lifestyle: They've shunned city life for the rural seclusion of their Hexagon Sun studio and its local collective of artists. They claim to record primarily for themselves and their friends. They have reportedly amassed an enormous archive of unreleased music dating back to the early '80s (numerous apocryphal BoC tracks make the rounds). They seldom give interviews or perform live." [more inside]
Lucky Soul's 'Lips Are Unhappy' isn't the likliest of contenders for the UK's coveted Christmas number one, but this is the track (from a shortlist) selected by listeners of Last.fm to receive Last.fm's backing. Profits go to charity, as is the norm for Xmas No. 1 entries.
Beginning with Slow Food in 1986, the idea of rejecting the "cult of speed" has gradually spread from a focus on food into other fields. In his book In Praise of Slow, Carl Honore explores the spread of the worldwide Slow movement, urging greater attention to all aspects of daily life, human relationships, and the quality of experience. Meanwhile, on the web, witness the spread of Slow. Slow down your stuff with Slow Home, Slow Travel, Slow Fashion, Slow Art, Slow Craft, Slow Design. Relax with some Slow Reading; check out a Slow Read from a Slow Library. Plan for Slow Cities governed by Slow Leadership. Use Slow Schooling, Slow Research, and the Slow University to explore Slow Science and Slow Math. Bank with Slow Money [PDF]. Explore the world with Slow Travel, using Slow Fuel for Slow Transportation. What's the rush? Come on. Take it easy.
Definr is an incredibly fast online dictionary. It joins other cool Web 2.0ish word applications, such as Wordie [prev.] with its hot words and great blog (see also their glossary of glossaries); the collective Madlibs-like idea generator that is Seedy; the TagCrowd word cloud creator; and, most importantly, the blog devoted solely to the word literally [prev.].
"we upheld against proportionality attack a sentence of 40 years' imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute nine ounces of marijuana" - Justice Kennedy
DrugPolicyCases.com - Yakov Spektor, a New York-based attorney, combed through two decades of US Supreme Court opinions "to discern certain trends in the Court's treatment of various issues" related to the War on Drugs. The collection of opinions are organized by case, author and topic.
Whispering Jack Smith, an early crooner, sings - From 1929./ / Whistling Jack Smith, an imposter, lies - I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman [+da hool long]. / / At the bottom of the pool : : the perfect filmic appositeness of Maria Montez. / / Jack Smith, Blastitudinal Love & MORE.. . in their NEWEST pagan sensation! [more inside]
Crazy Rulers of the World: The Men Who Stare at Goats - A rather clear look at attempts to use the paranormal in the US military. (Part 2: Funny Torture, Part 3: Psychic Foot Soldiers)