November 25th, 2008 | people I know
And yes, that is Antoine de Caunes with her.
November 25th, 2008 | people I know
And yes, that is Antoine de Caunes with her.
We used to do a thing called REMAKE/REMODEL at The Engine, where I’d call a character and any artist who fancied it would have a go, during that week, of reinterpreting that character in a sketch. We used to get some really fun stuff.
So I brought it back at Whitechapel today. First up, Irma Vep. Feel free to come by and play, or keep an eye on the thread over the next couple of days as people start posting their ideas.
November 24th, 2008 | people I know
Siege: "There The Richest Was Poor, And The Poorest Lived in Abundance", Decay Series, pigment print, soil, black mold, water stains, whitewashed antique baroque frame. 32×44 inches, 2008.
November 24th, 2008 | Work
From the forthcoming graphic novella, as illustrated by Marek Oleksicki:
His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion, and straight black lips.
– Mary Shelley
November 23rd, 2008 | brainjuice
November 22nd, 2008 | music
If you’ve been as busy as I have over the last couple of days, you too will not have seen the video for Brokencyde’s "Freaxxx." Ariana just made me watch it. I will think of a suitable punishment for that later.
As she says, it really kicks off into lunacy around the 1.50 mark. But I would like you to watch the whole thing. Because it really is one of those "fall of Western culture" moments. It’s a near-perfect snapshot of everything that’s shit about this point in the culture.
It is, however, going to be one of those great Litmus tests. If you meet someone who likes this? Even if they profess to like it in an "ironic," knowing, media-aware kind of way? Then they’re a turd with a haircut.
November 22nd, 2008 | researchmaterial
* George W Bush intends to leave office with class by eroding protection for endangered species and, in keeping with the themes of his presidency, basically handing the keys to the country to the oil companies.
* A third of China’s mainland is having the topsoil torn off it by wind and water erosion, to the tune of an incredible 4.5 billion tons of dirt per annum. Basically, Chinese population keeps growing, and the Chinese ability to grow crops keeps dropping. You know what a country with no topsoil looks like? Iceland. China’s around 3.6 million square miles, isn’t it? So inagine a 1.2 million-square-mile Iceland sawn off a country that’s got to feed one point four billion people a day. And when you’re situated where China is, you’re not going to be looking to the neighbours for help.
* I mentioned the new Ebola thing earlier. Which confounds any hope of a vaccine for some while.
* It’s a source of some amusement that the piratical state of Puntland is actually the most stable area in Somalia.
It’s 4pm and I’m barely showing signs of sentient life. I spent the first couple of hours of the day pretty much resembling a pseudopod with an overgrown beard stuck on the front. If pseudopods have a front. Anyway. The point is, I can’t be bothered to sort, today, so I’m just going to empty out Feed Demon and see what’s happening…
Yeah. Okay. Five minutes later, I think I’ve stopped laughing at The Love Song To Zo, which I can’t quite bring myself to quote. I know the guy’s first language isn’t English, but I suspect that the sheer mentalism behind lines like "makes the hormones to neigh psalms" would survive a broader vocabulary.
Siege found this yesterday evening: "I was horrified. It’s a baby cockfight – just like somebody put two animals up to fight each other."
Incidentally, this was the first face I saw today, in email:
Took me a minute to remember that Mer had said something last night about getting tickets to a GWAR show…
Jamais Cascio was ranting on Twitter the other day about weakass "futurists" using Second Life for presentations and examples. That’d be the Second Life that becomes harder and harder to access and insists on fucking the paying customers it somehow manages to retain. Well, Bruce Sterling notes that Google has shut down its own virtual-world service, Lively, after barely five months in operation. At some point I want to find the time to get my own final thoughts about Second Life down.
What would you like for Christmas? A new species of Ebola turning up in Uganda? No. Well, please yourselves. How about a new species of dolphin instead? Excellent. Throw the tuna out of that net and bring it to me for lunch.
November 22nd, 2008 | brainjuice
* You know, if you’re going to take a sex drug called Power 1 Walnut, you’re pretty much bound to get what you deserve.
* Lithuania operates what appears to be a Museum Of The Classic Soviet Death Camp. "Every visitor has to wear Soviet Russian prisoners cloths and when enters is being humiliated by the staff dressed as Soviet army soldiers. They yell on and almost beat all the visitors, force them to do things, wear gas masks, run distances and many many more things to do."
I kind of want to work there. Y’know, just a summer job.
* Talking of classics: attempting to get high by huffing air freshener is back. On the bright side, it’s not jenkem.
* Organised poaching is back in the British countryside in a big way. I suppose it’s a good sign that they’re doing it for hard currency, as opposed to doing it to stave off starvation.
* "Contradicting nearly two decades of government denials, a congressionally mandated scientific panel has concluded that Gulf War syndrome is real and still afflicts nearly a quarter of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 conflict."
* Pastor Ted Haggard, famous for losing his shit with Richard Dawkins before sucking cocks while crying and doing meth and then lying about the whole thing and then doing it all again, now claims his "problems" stem from being sexually abused at the age of seven. The idea appears to be that if Pastor Ted — quite happily, by all accounts — can convince everyone that copping the bad touch from some mystery kiddie-fiddler made him gay, a tweaker and a pathological liar, then he can go back to preaching the bullshit and running his church and filling the heads of the credulous with poison. For added hilarity: Pastor Ted’s day job is as an insurance salesman.
* The Kingdom Of Yahweh sect, based in Melbourne, has declared itself above Australian law. Which doesn’t seem completely unreasonable to me. Naturally enough, there are concerns about guns, compounds, nutters, etc etc.
November 21st, 2008 | researchmaterial
I just moved my New Scientist newsfeed out of Bloglines and into Feed Demon so that I can actually bloody read them, and today’s capture is just outstandingly strange, ugly and wonderful. I should just del.icio.us the lot, really, but this is too good to not lump together as a snapshot of What We Learned Today (Or Overnight, Anyway):
I have to say, the NS crew really do have the art of the lede down pat. "Human aerial bombardments might have pushed Neanderthals to extinction, suggests new research." How can you not love that? Studying the bone shapes of Neanderthals and homo saps indicates that humans spent a lot of time doing overhand throws with heavy objects, something apparently beyond Neanderthal capability or conception. The inference is the subject of some doubt, but someone’s got a Neanderthal rib bone with spear damage.
This, too, sometimes gives me pause to think: that homo sapiens has only been without a sibling human species for some 25,000 years, whereas we shared the other with other human species for a period of not less than 160,000 years and possibly some 300,000 years. More time passed with more than one human species than without. And, even stranger to me — we forgot all about our sibling species until discovering and comprehending their bones in the mid-1800s.
And it’s been a hair over 150 years from then to the first test of an interplanetary internet.
A rough draft of the woolly mammoth genome has been extracted. I would love to see a woolly mammoth, and I hope the gene delivery system gets cracked sooner rather than later. The tarsier, it turns out, is still alive. But tarsiers look a bit like someone turned a baby inside out and then rubbed it in the fluff that collects down the back of the sofa, so nobody really cares.
The headline of the day, mind you, is probably still Woman Receives Windpipe Built From Her Stem Cells.
The old idea of using the temperature differential between layers of the ocean to generate power is being revived again, this time by Lockheed Martin of all people: but they’re being outpaced by, believe it or not, the US Army, who’ll have a major military base powered by ocean-thermal by the end of 2011. It seems that they also get the desalinisation of 1.25 million gallons of seawater per day out of the deal, which is also interesting. I imagine all those parts of eastern England that are due to be flooded out in the next ten years can at least be converted into ocean-thermal fields to provide cheap power for those of us on high ground. Fuck you, Great Yarmouth, I have machines to run.