January 11th, 2009 | photography
January 11th, 2009 | brainjuice
Selections from this past week’s REMAKE/REMODEL thread on Whitechapel, this time featuring ancient comics character the Black Angel:
Edwin Den Ouden:
And Paul Sizer:
January 10th, 2009 | people I know
As many of you know, I make Steampunk Jewelry for fun and sometimes profit. I buy old watch parts off of eBay, glue them together into new and interesting shapes, and make them into pins and necklaces and earrings. Back in October, I won an auction that contained a bunch of old military watch faces. When they arrived, I looked them over, and after fiddling with them for a bit, and even preparing some of them to be made into jewelry, I noticed that several of them had greenish paint on their numerals. Huh, I thought. I’ll bet that’s the infamous radium paint I’ve heard so much about…
…which lead directly to Geiger counters, Radiation Safety Officers and concerns about earlobe cancer….
January 9th, 2009 | researchmaterial
RealTouch: a technological orifice that jacks into your computer and turns a subchannel of haptic commands into a servo-driven nightmarish despunking ordeal while watching your favouite porn star on VOD. There’s also a set of commands for homosex where the RealTouch simulates the most frighteningly muscular rectum you ever feared.
Zoetica Ebb and Courtney Riot at Suicide Girls HQ:
Also, I’ve totally lost it for coherent and well-constructed blogposts today. I think I used up the last of my brainpower in filing my first WIRED UK column yesterday. So it’s probably going to just be gibberish posts like these all night…
Short version, because I just woke up: a transit police officer shot an unarmed man in the back at point blank range as he was being held face down on the floor in Oakland early on New Year’s Day. Overnight, west Oakland finally went up, probably triggered by 1) all the mealymouthing around the shooting from the authorities 2) while everyone else was watching the fucking video of the guy being killed and 3) probably also the news that the shooting officer has resigned and is reportedly refusing to cooperate with investigators. And that no-one seems overly bothered by same.
So I just woke up, and the first thing I see is a link Laurenn sent me, to the Flickr set of a guy who went out there with a camera last night.
Naturally, what’s actually being trashed in this riot are people’s cars and "mom’n’pop" corner stores. All of whom are obviously The Man in Oaktown these days.
January 8th, 2009 | researchmaterial
This is quite amazing to me. Never heard of these before. The great northern coast of Russia is inside the Arctic Circle, and the shoreline is hundreds of miles from civilisation almost the whole way along. Lighthouses were required for the coast, because it’s a handy passage but it spends a hundred days of the year in near-permanent night. The problems were that they’d be miles from anywhere, and couldn’t realistically be supplied or crewed.
So the Russians erected autonomous nuclear-powered lighthouses. Which worked great, until the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, they probably would have been fine after that, if people hadn’t looted them for copper and anything else that looked like it wasn’t nailed down too hard. Including, apparently, reactor shielding.
So many of these great polar nuclear lighthouses are now radioactive deadzones. I would tend to doubt that the one in this fantastic series of pictures on EnglishRussia is one of them. But, honestly, you never know, abandoned-site explorers can be a little on the mental side. Anyway. Go and look.
January 8th, 2009 | researchmaterial
* A 90-year-old Port St Lucie woman was found in her home — which she shares with her 68-year-old son, supposedly her sole caregiver — “unwashed, wearing clothing soaked in urine, severely underweight and emaciated.” Also, her shoes had not been removed for so long that they had “grown into her feet.”
As anyone who watched QI this Xmas knows, urine-soaked old women are also a terrible fire risk.
* A reportedly mentally ill migrant worker in Guangzhou has been arrested after the body of a four-year-old girl was found in his fridge. "He was described as a recluse who sometimes wore women’s clothing and enjoyed watching war films. The newspaper quoted his neighbour as saying that on one occasion, while watching a film of people being killed in battle, A He commented that "human meat was in fact delicious"."
* Taliban combatants in Afghanistan continue to surprise people by employing marksmen with long-barrel rifles to make direct hits from long distance. This is being taken as a development in asymmetrical warfare, as opposed to something Lee Van Cleef used to do in Westerns a hundred fucking years ago. Interesting point made about the Iraqi insurgency snipers in Anbar, though:
Iraqi insurgent groups began filming their sniper attacks, and the images of Marines falling to them became a rallying point for the insurgency.
* Bird Flu re-emerges in Beijing and northern Vietnam, one dead so far.
* "The Human Flesh Search Engine," and other reasons why China wants to place serious controls on the internet.
January 7th, 2009 | researchmaterial
* Detox: doesn’t work. I am actually one giant toxin stack, and live in constant fear of stealth detox in the night. This news soothes me.
* Desktop particle accelerators: there’s an idea that’ll end well.
* The mayor of a small town in eastern Germany has gone into hiding after a threat on his life appeared on a neo-Nazi website. This follows the near-fatal stabbing of a provincial German police chief, at his home, by a neo-Nazi.
* A Hamas spokesman has claimed that the organisation will kill Jewish children anywhere in the world in retaliation for Israel’s continuing flattening of the Gaza Strip.
* The Arctic is melting twenty years ahead of predictive climate models. (And appears to have reformed around my bloody house.)
* In the aftermath of Katrina, a white vigilante group shot and killed at least eleven black men in New Orleans. The murders were never investigated.
January 6th, 2009 | Work
Due to some appalling fuckup that I can barely conceive of, I’ve got four comics released this week. Available from Wednesday (in North America) and Thursday (in the UK and elsewhere), then:
ANNA MERCURY #5
DOKTOR SLEEPLESS #11
NO HERO #3 (OF 7)
I can only apologise for this, and point out that I have no control over distributors and confirm that, no, I did not write them all in the same week and then conspire with the publisher to release them all in the first week of the new year.
January 6th, 2009 | people I know
* Detail from new Eliza Gauger painting "The Monk":
* Bruce Sterling’s State Of The World mass interrogation session for 2009 has begun. These are always funny and terrifically interesting, and this one’s just getting warmed up:
I’m a bohemian type, so I could scarcely be bothered to do anything "financially sound" in my entire adult life. Last year was the first year when I’ve felt genuinely sorry for responsible, well-to-do people. Suddenly they’ve got the precariousness of creatives, of the underclass, without that gleeful experience of decades spent living-it-up. These are people who obeyed the social contract and are *still* getting it in the neck…
January 6th, 2009 | brainjuice
Well, today was supposed to be the glorious opening of 2009’s working year, and the commencement of another year’s blogthinging. And then I had to bury the last of Lili’s rats, who died in the early afternoon. Little bastard had to wait until the ground was frozen solid and covered in snow, of course. So I haven’t finished the column I have to file today and I haven’t done shit here.
So I’m here, but moving slowly. About to open up long-neglected feed aggregators.
The new Animal Collective album isn’t bad, thus far (I’m two tracks/10 mins into it).