May 4, 2011
Mindless Ones is a surreal, cerebral comics blog filled with essays about Grant Morrison and Batman villains. Still not enough? Too Busy Thinking About My Comics takes comic book overthinking to another level.
Trigger warning! What do speaker grills, wasp's nests, worm-eaten wood, swiss cheese, surinam toads and lotus seed pods all have in common? Visceral disgust and fear, if you have trypophobia!
Troy Tate and The Smiths: The Not Poor Recordings. The Smiths were first produced by Troy Tate and the bootlegs have been rather bootleggy as it were. These are one step removed from the master recordings and don't sound quite so hollow... Includes an apparently unheard version of Accept Yourself as a bonus.
Born in the border city of Tijuana, Nortec is an audio and visual style that digitally alters the local music and images to make something unique. The sound of Nortec takes the acoustic sounds of norteño (sample) and banda (sample), cut up and re-arranged into something new, with influences from electronic music broadcast by San Diego radio stations. Before too long, the Nortec sound would leak back north, and create divergent paths. More sounds and stories below the break. [more inside]
Alphaland: your friend has sent you a game in the alpha stage of development, but it soon becomes clear that there is more there than just the test level.
Introducing Scanimate. It was an analogue computer that was programmed by turning knobs, directing beams of light and using animation cells as input. It was one of the first computers ever used to make visual graphics on TV. Scanimate excelled at making flying logos. The logos that they created freaked out a generation of kids. So many people developed a phobia of these logos, there's a short movie out that documents the the fear these kids experienced, and relates to the scariest logo of them all: the dreaded Screen Gems bumper. The movie is called The S From Hell.
After twenty years, the James Joyce estate finally grants Kate Bush permission to use Molly Bloom's soliloquy. Now called Flower of the Mountain, the original lyrics have been replaced by a passage from James Joyce's 1922 novel. "Originally when I wrote the song The Sensual World I had used text from the end of Ulysses," Bush said. "When I asked for permission to use the text I was refused, which was disappointing ... When I came to work on this project I thought I would ask for permission again and this time they said yes ... I am delighted that I have had the chance to fulfill the original concept." Emma Forrest, of the Paris Review, on the destructive influence of Kate Bush, "Bush emerged at the same time as Debbie Harry, but your punk-rock Grace Kelly was nothing like our prog-rock Ophelia. Never had one felt so worried for a pop star." A clip from the new song, Flower of the Mountain and her new single, Deeper Understanding. Wolfmother's cover of Wuthering Heights, The Sweptaway's cover of Wuthering Heights, Noel Fielding's cover of Wuthering Heights.
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
In this paper, we report on the first-ever test of the accuracy of figures who made political predictions. We sampled the predictions of 26 individuals.... We discovered that a few factors impacted a prediction's accuracy. The first is whether or not the prediction is a conditional; conditional predictions were more likely to not come true. The second was partisanship; liberals were more likely than conservatives to predict correctly. The final significant factor in a prediction's outcome....[PDF] Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air? [more inside]
Where do you fit? Main Street Republican? New Coalition Democrat? Post Modern? Disaffected? It's the Pew Research Center's 2011 Political Typology Quiz.
Smells Like Teen Spirit is probably the most influential song of the early 1990s. It was performed by Nirvana, and was released in September 1991. Nearly twenty years later, 18-year-old Miley Cyrus cites it as one of the songs that inspired her to perform. Here is a video of Miley Cirus performing Smells Like Teen Spirit in Ecuador last weekend.
"A ballet dancer needs a mirror to perfect her style, her technique. A singer needs the same -- an aural mirror."In 1950 and '51, Japan’s first reel-to-reel tape recorders, the "G-Type" (for gov't use) and the "H-1" (for home use) were released by a company named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. Music student Norio Ohga was unimpressed by the wobbly sound of "Talking Paper," so he wrote a note complaining to the firm's founders, who hired him. Mr. Ohga never achieved his original dream of becoming a baritone opera singer, but the future President of TTK, (later renamed Sony,) would still make an indelible, global impact on the world of music -- including the development and introduction of the compact disc. Mr. Ohga died on April 24, 2011. [more inside]
‘Everyone is a worker.’ That is a powerful statement, if you think about it. Richard Scarry wasn’t afraid to paint contemporary American society in such bold strokes. Nor was he afraid to explain commerce and capitalism to children. - What Do People Do All Day.
"There is a space-time vortex around Earth, and its shape precisely matches the predictions of Einstein's theory of gravity." NASA announces result of elaborate experiment to prove Einstein's inferences about space time. The engineering involved in this blows me away. More links within the article...
Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Angels in America," has been denied an honorary degree because of his views on Israel. City University of New York trustee Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld raised objections to the nomination in what may the first honorary degree candidate to be denied by the board. [more inside]
Barcelona may or may not be the greatest soccer team of all time, as some now claim, but watching them is one of the prime viewing pleasures of our sports era. Can it get any better?. SLYT.
"I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog." Writer, editor, musician and marine biologist Derek Miller, author of Penmachine, wrote this blog post to be published after his death from colorectal cancer. He died on May 3rd.
In the afternoon of May 4, 1971, in the Stouffer's Somerset Inn in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Steve Cook presented his STOC paper proving that Satisfiability is NP-complete and Tautology is NP-hard. [more inside]
Americhrome: The color that has come to signify America in today’s combat theaters isn’t the red, the white, or the blue picked by Betsy Ross, but an ignoble sandy hue commonly referred to as desert tan and officially identified as Federal Standard 595 Color No. 33446. The official swatch of desert tan is housed in Franconia, Va., just outside Washington’s beltway, in a warehouse filled with the rest of the federal government’s certified color chips. From there, for $625, you can purchase a complete set of the 650 three-by-five-inch cards that define the colors covering the vast majority of items purchased by the Federal Acquisition Service, a $50 billion subsection of the General Services Administration, which acts as a kind of equipment manager for federal agencies around the country...
"No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."
Ultra Local Geography documents the everyday architecture of Chicago with detailed drawings and neighborhood historical research. [more inside]
Mining the Mother of all Data Dumps We now have a relatively massive haul of digital data from the OBL strike. There are several forensic toolkits in use by the private (commercially available) and public sector as well as open-source. Best practices include inventorying all the sources, cloning the sources so as to not damage pristine data, recovering any partial or damaged content, making the cloned sources read-only, adhering to legally-admissible tools standards, and documenting everything. There is an excellent source titled Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content from the Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf, Resource Shelf]. But what to do next*? [more inside]
"If you've never heard of this game, it is simply the best bear-driving simulator ever made. It's also the most accurate." Let's Play Enviro-Bear 2000: Operation: Hibernation [more inside]
"The Bunny has become what the Zeigfield girl was to another generation: synonymous with the most glamorous women in the world. The Playboy Club Bunny Manual (1968)
So you want to write a fugue? Some examples of modern songs in fugue format: ♫ The Lady Gaga Fugue ♫ The Final Countdown Fugue ♫ The Legend of Zelda Underworld Fugue ♫ The Nokia Ringtone Fugue ♫ The Dragnet Fugue ♫ The Oops, I did it again Fugue ♫ [more inside]