Thursday, October 31, 2002

Trick: Nasty, snot-nosed egg separator
More Terrible Gun Nonsense. Jam Master Jay was shot and killed last night at his studio in Queens.
Treat: The Shaggs and how they changed my life.
Shaggs, Shaggs, Shaggs
Say what you want about thier chops... I've heard Sonic Youth butcher chords and meter much worse, and they were more concerned with looking cool and affected while they did it. The drummer rocks my world in "Foot Foot".
Treat: The Infinite Wheel Dub Selector (bling bling from Metafilter)
Treat: The great "pop" vs. "soda" controversy. It's "soda" here in Philly, as this research paper's demographic map shows. If you submit the stats on what you call it, and where you grew up learning to speak this way, you get an option to see the total stats. Amazingly, "pop" leads (as of today), which has to be falsified research data (or for whatever reason, this site gets inordinate hit numbers from the flyover states).
Trick: 8 ball mods
From a site that also features an amazingly comprehensive review (!) of all 8-ball sites on the net including one that uses an actual 8 ball held in a robotic arm crane to tell you your fortune.
Treat: Comic artist Steve Ditko
Treat: Domino on Acid
Trick: EvilFinder
This script uses a trivial engine and a small database of numerologically significant integers - dates, sacred numbers, symbols. This information is used to verify whether the subject of your choice is truly evil, perhaps the devil himself... Pick a name, thing, location, event, situation - "Bill Gates", "George Bush", "Jerry Springer" or other people you respect - and ask the script!
Treat: Strange ambient ghost harmonic interval noise generator.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

My sucker quotient just went up a notch on somebody's list. Two Nigerian Scam letters in two days!
Scientists create antimatter.
Universe eliminating playset may be just in time for Christmas!
Burial Carp
Winona says she did it for "art". Guilty. Next.
Now Morrisey will know exactly why some girls are bigger than others. Utah Scientists say they've found the obesity gene.
Utah geneticists say they have found the biological equivalent of the Rosetta stone for heart disease and overweight bodies: a single, inherited obesity gene. Dubbed HOB1, for human obesity 1, identifying the gene is being hailed as a first step toward developing drugs to treat moderate to severe obesity and associated conditions, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, said Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics. The company announced its discovery Tuesday.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Here in Philadelphia, the Eagles have the worst, dumbest, most violent fans on earth. So much so, that they've established a court of law- in the Vet - to process the hordes that get arrested in drunken brawls at every home game.
Toast Art
Spain vs. the Internet.
[Controlling ][the ][weather].
[Oh Ma... Have some potatos, will ya.] Bjork's mom hungerstrikes for savings the Icelandic highlands
Artificial Art.
abstract, algorithmic, cellular automaton, generative, random and software - art
Computer languages as art tools.
Invention, design, and the creative process animated in the Glider Project.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

A view from the insides of a copyright infringment case - this one between the band The Beastie Boys (who've been AWOL since '98) and jazz musician James Newton whose flute sample they used on a recording 10 years ago. This article presents the Beastie Boys' side of the argument, while the Washington Post featured the argument from Newton's side. Its interesting to see how although the Beasties followed the rules, Newton was not aware that his performance was used - even 8 years after the hit, "Pass the Mic" was released.

Beasties: Before spending a lot of money on the case we contacted Mr. Newton and offered him a generous out of court settlement in hopes of avoiding further legal fees. He responded by telling us that the offer was “insulting” and said that he wanted “millions” of dollars. In addition he told us that he wanted 50% ownership and control of our song, “Pass the Mic.” But because Mr. Newton’s flute sound is just one of hundreds of sounds in our song giving him 50% ownership of our song seemed unfair. That kind of split is sometimes done if one party writes all of the music and the other writes all of the lyrics. Newton by no stretch of the imagination wrote all of the music in “Pass the Mic.”

Newton's label, Munich-based ECM (great minimalist album cover designs) was apparently OK with the whole deal. Raises questions about what belongs to labels to give away/sell/license, and how much cooperation is required of the original artist when constructing arrangements with artists who want to sample previously recorded work.
Sure you talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? The feds want to watch your groovy strut to identify you in airports and "around government buildings". Is collecting identity information without consent an obscene invasion of privacy? Can your walk be counterfeited?

Saturday, October 26, 2002 No further explanation necessary.
Gambler's fallacies and reasoning blunders: Why Amos Tversky, maestro of the irrational, deserved this year's Nobel Prize in economics
Specifically, he noted, people have a tendency to expect the overall odds of a chance process (say, the 50 percent distribution of heads on a flipped coin, or the 46 percent accuracy of Toney's field-goal shooting) to apply to each and every segment of the process. For instance, when flipping a coin 20 times, it's not uncommon to see a string of four heads in a row. Yet when people are paying attention to a shorter sequence of the 20 coin flips, they are inclined to regard a string of four heads as nonrandom - as a hot streak - even though a strict back-and-forth of heads and tails throughout the 20 flips would be far less likely.

Friday, October 25, 2002

The Russian Avant Garde Book 1910-1934 from moma.
A paper-folding project that any fool can do.
Courtesy of
The Electrum Project is a sculpture designed to attract lightning, and it works. The picture gallery has some good shots of it doing its job.
Doing web design or page layout and you don't have any usable text from your client to insert in the right spots? Then you need the "lorem ipsum" latin text generator.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
Mere hours after the Beltway sniper was aprehended, Maryland political candidates are seizing the opportunity to put gun issues front and center in their political ads. It appears that neither candidate is tough on gun laws.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Woman stays in room full of scorpions for 32 days
Living with scorpions was not unusual for her. She has performed with the creatures daily as a tourist attraction - putting them in her mouth as part of the routine - and has been stung hundreds of times.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Bad Parasitic Worm Story
The moral: Don't leave your tapeworm-free house. Don't go anywhere. Ever.
"The beef tapeworm Taenia saginata is long and ribbon-like, about one cm broad and up to several meters in length. Each worm has hundreds of segments, each of which is a hermaphrodite creature... It usually causes surprisingly little disturbance to its host, who may be unaware of its presence until segments are discovered in the stools, or even wriggle out of the anus."

Found on jetcityjimbo, an entertaining diary of a hardcore traveller, courtesy of the always fascinating GMT+9.
From Salon, The American Way of Snacks. Penthouse Pets, Joker rolling papers and frolicking chimpanzees: At the National Association of Convenience Stores show, it all makes a kooky kind of sense.
A great page showing pictures of every boy scout merit badge available (at least to those who are willing to keep themselves trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind...)
In addition to the old warhorses like hiking and farm mechanics, it seems they've updated with the times and offer badges for things like "American Business", "Graphic Arts", and "Crime Prevention".
"An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house ..."
The coming boom in fogie jokes.
(slim on content - one great joke)
IBM wants to make a computer that fixes itself when things go wrong. Don't they need to distance thier hardware from crummy Microsoft operating systems before this can be realistic?

Monday, October 21, 2002

A reference to Christ's name was found on a burial box just three decades after the crucifixion.
The inscription, in the Aramaic language, appears on an empty ossuary, or limestone burial box for bones. It reads: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." Lemaire dates the object to 63 A.D
The San Francisco Chronicle put together a team of scientists and physicists to analyze how Barry Bonds swings so successfully. They came up with nothing interesting whatsoever to report.
Not a single mention was made of hooking people up with electrodes, so I'm not sure what kind of "scientists" the Chronicle would have us believe they pulled together. If they really wanted results, they shoulda gone for the electrodes. They look cool, they reek of scientific legitimacy, and they impress pretty much everyone. Who's gonna argue with electrode-data?
Real Levitation in its 3 forms: superconductive levitation, diamagnetic levitation, and stabilized diamagnetic levitation.
The author of the empty site copyrighted its emptyness. (View page source)
Considering the 6 figure settlement that composer Batt had to pay John Cage, for stealing his silence, it would be wise of any of you web authors out there not to leave blank links lying around.
Soda Constructor has a great Soda Zoo featuring tons of homemade artificial javabots.
Show Me Your Wound
.. user submissions of wounds incurred during adventures in everyday life
A man in Egypt posted a poem written by his father to his personal web site. The government deemed it inappropriate, and sentenced him to a year in prison. He fled to Moscow, where he now lives in exile.
Springtime for Hitler: Bush, tax cuts for the rich, and spin. (NYTimes)

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Happy 10th birthday to the fantastic site, for providing online guitar and bass tabs, chords, and transcriptions for 10 years on the internet. Despite heaps of legal trouble, they're still live, and better than ever.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

The Hizouse of Potato Guns

Friday, October 18, 2002

Today is Media Democracy Day
Our most powerful tools of communication are in the hands of a shrinking handful of private corporations - and they aren't sharing. There's only one solution.
[Graphics] K-mart tests a new logo, in a radical departure from its old look
The NRA clams up about the sniper attacks. You see, this just isn't one of those horseback, protect-the-frontier-homestead-from-bears-and-wolverines moments that they're so fond of basking in. There are also fair odds that the shooter is one of those redneck, NRA, gun-loving, Christian-Republican types himself.
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." - John F. Kennedy
New proof of the black hole at the center of our galaxy.
Scientists can stop onion-induced tears. Hey, I'm all for enzyme research and everything, but is this shit even worthwhile? How much are these jokers getting paid to write reports on how to stop onions from causing tears? When people ask me if there's something better I should be doing, the answer is generally "yes", as it most definitely is for these "scientists". What's next? How to make white bread more white?
An excellent review of kid's art that I found on metafilter.
Godspeed /You /Black /Emperor

Thursday, October 17, 2002

[60's psych-folk] Tom Rapp and Pearls Before Swine
I've run Syd Barrett stuff before, but I found another great article that's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in him or his music.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

North Korea to U.S: "We've got' nukes, and we're down to party."
(actually, I made up the part about them claiming to be "down to party". I only wish they said that. It would have been so much more a bold statement.)
A new biography on Clockwork Orange writer Anthony Burgess reveals that real-life CIA mind-control experiments inspired to the book. Hey- if it's got "CIA" and "mind-control" in the same headline, you can bet your sweet ass I'm linking it, but this one has the added bonus of some semblance of truth (or at least speculative heresay).
According to the anonymous source, Burgess became involved with the CIA while working as a Colonial Service education officer in Malaya in the 1950s.
There he became a party to trials for a mind-control process designed to trigger emotional responses in the brain using pain and pleasure – the inspiration, it is claimed, for the chilling Ludovico Technique in A Clockwork Orange.
Ok... so a guy in London puts things on his tiny fence- literally, then publishes pictures and writes about it on his blog, aptly entitled whatshouldiputonthefence. Of course, polite Londoners are welcome to submit suggestions as to what the host should put on his fence next:
If you have the opportunity, try and put a [t]elevision set in front of the fence, using the fence as an antenna (steel wire from the fence to the antenna thingie).
You could use a travel-tv, with a handle you could use tp lock it to the fence.
Project Gastro - for people who want to explore themselves internally.
Red Hat is fighting DMCA, and God bless 'em. The strange upshot is that Red Hat - a U.S. company - has a licensing agreement that cannot be agreed to by citizens of the former Land of the Free.
Red Hat has struck a small blow against the DMCA, by publishing a security patch which can only be explained fully to people who are not within US jurisdiction. The company's position here seems to be not altogether voluntary - according to a spokesman "it is bizarre,and unfortunately something Red Hat cannot easily do much about," but like it or not Red Hat has been recruited to the campaign to make the DMCA look ridiculous.
I think blogger might be broke.. Can't find any of the stuff I posted last night... Hmm.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Joni Mitchell is pissed at the record industry, and she wants to tell you all about it. I'm not sure exactly what her beef is, but its hard to stick up for the other side.
Medicinal uses of duct tape.
Bush's war on the environment is also in full swing. The National Environmental Protection act is his regime's latest target.
Last January, the state director of Utah's Bureau of Land Management issued a bulletin to field officers that outlined a new plan for speeding-up oil and gas drilling permits -- citing the acceleration as a top priority of the Bush team.
Breakdancing: Present at the Creation
Breakdancing may have died, but the b-boy, one of four original elements of hip hop (also included: the MC, the DJ, and the graffiti artist) lives on. To those who knew it before it was tagged with the name breakdancing, to those still involved in the scene that they will always know as b-boying, the tradition is alive and, well, spinning.
Microsoft's "switch" ad campaign featuring a photo of a woman from a clip-art library leaves people wondering as to whether or not she actually exists. It wasn't the suspicious picture that bothered me - it was the mixed English/Trademarkese quote: "Yes, it's true. I like the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system enough to change my whole computing world around." It just flows off the tongue doesn't it?

Monday, October 14, 2002

The Pope is going to be changing the Rosary - for the first time in about 900 years.
According to Vatican sources, the Pope Wednesday will issue a document proposing that Catholics meditate on five more events in Christ's life in the new rosary, adding a further layer of spirituality to the age-old prayer.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Caricaturist and Illustrator Kristen Ulve
Caricature painter Sebastian Kruger.
The "King of Crosshatching", David Levine gallery of caricatures.
Philip Burke gallery of Rolling Stone magazine caricatures.

Friday, October 11, 2002

U.S. Has a plan to occupy Iraq. Grreeeeaat...
I can't wait to hear more about scheme, which can only be called 'hairbrained'. After all, it's worked so well in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors"
-- Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
"Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total authority to the president, who wants to invade a sovereign nation without any specific act of provocation. This would authorize the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history. It sets a precedent for our nation -- or any nation -- to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus."
An interesting article on how IBM may be able to boost drive storage 200x by altering the magnetic patterns on drive surfaces.
Hey! Sharpeworld is back from a long summer vacation.
What took them so long? HP finally releases a TV-enabled home computer. With TIVO's recent troubles, it may be a little late to spur much excitement. I'm not buying another TV until it has a networking card in it.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Incredibly comprehensive daily photo project, courtesy of cp.
Singer Agulera's new calculated "raunchy" image somehow gives her a newfound sense of freedom.
File sharing at universities is so rampant that it slows networks to a crawl. Universities are slowing it down even further in response.
Microsoft discloses another Outlook Express security flaw.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

South Korea's rage for virtual games is creating a population of 'zombified addicts'.
Broadband's killer application — the one activity that dwarfs all others — is online gaming, which 80 percent of South Koreans under 25 play, according to one recent study. Critics say the burgeoning industry is creating millions of zombified addicts who are turning on and tuning into computer games, and dropping out of school and traditional group activities, becoming uncommunicative and even violent because of the electronic games they play.
From the Onion:
American People Shrug, Line Up For Fingerprinting
WASHINGTON, DC—Assuming that there must be a good reason for the order, U.S. citizens lined up at elementary schools and community centers across the nation Monday for government-mandated fingerprinting. "I'm not exactly sure what this is all about," said Ft. Smith, AR, resident Meredith Lovell while waiting in line. "But given all the crazy stuff that's going on these days, I'm sure the government has a very good reason." Said Amos Hawkins, a Rockford, IL, delivery driver: "I guess this is another thing they have to do to ensure our freedom."

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

San Fransisco penis puppeteers sport live frontal junk on A.M. talk show.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Why does the shower curtain fly into the shower when you turn on the water? Scientist know and tell all.
After 1.5 trillion calculations and two weeks of running the software nights and weekends, he was able to simulate 30 seconds of shower time.
Boardroom power cliques and the old-boy network.
Speaking of extraterrestrial threats, we've now found a 10th planet/object and its name is ... Quaoar. Pronunciation, please?
The object is half the size of Pluto, composed primarily of rock and ice, and circles the sun once every 288 years.
[Them vs. Us] Another example of corporate interests crushing individual rights, but this time there may be a chance for people to prevail. The Copyright Extension Act (a.k.a The Mickey Mouse Extension Act) is being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court this week.
Lessig claims Congress acted unconstitutionally by extending copyright protection 11 times over the past 40 years. The plaintiffs contend the Constitution grants Congress the right to grant copyright protection for a limited time and that the Founding Fathers intended for copyrights to expire so works could enter the public domain and spark new creative efforts to update them.The plaintiffs also claim that by extending copyright protection retroactively, Congress has in effect made copyright perpetual largely in response to corporate pressure.

"Disney has come under special criticism because the company reaped a fortune making films from such public domain fairy tale characters as "Snow White" and "Cinderella," but is fighting to prevent others from doing the same with characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck."

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Asteroid could have caused a nuclear war. An interesting paper on what the government thinks of extraterrestrial threats.
Totally Tesselated
[Who's on first?] "First" being a reference to the ordinal number matching the number one in a series. Mathmatician Trading Cards
The Devil Cats of England "This site is dedicated to the examination of unusual features on the surface of the Moon, with the possibility in mind that some of them might be artificial."
What does the internet look like?

Saturday, October 05, 2002

More genius you're not gonna find anywhere else but the web. Flipflopsflyin is a gallery of photos of flip flops thrown into the air and captured suspended. I can't say enough good things about people who do shit like this. Thank you. Kudos metafilter.
Found Magazine - love letters, notes, old homework, photos, bags of weed.
The Godfather of Soul is about to be the hardest working man in real estate. Unless he sells a commercial investment fast, the banks are coming after his funky house.

Friday, October 04, 2002

More Libertarian follies, and you ain't gonna believe this one. A senate candidate turned blue... permanently... from a concoction he drank... to protect himself from Y2K viruses. This story has everything. Libertarians, conspiracy, and even a touch of the blues.
"People ask me if it's permanent and if I'm dead," he said. "I tell them I'm practicing for Halloween."
Boiinnngg! I'm sure my man will be rocking that line until well after Halloween, but what the hey! He's even got a K-Razy libertarian sense of humor! Oh, will those madcap gadflies ever learn!!!?
Some of the most anal Beatles arrangement analysis ever geeked over. Check almost anything on this list to see the stupifying level of meticulousness the author achieves. Brilliant. You always thought 'She Loves You' was a jaunty little number? Well, take this, mouthbreather:
Five out of seven diatonically available chords in the Major home key appear in the song: I, iii, IV, V, and vi. They are joined by two altered chords: the already familiar V-of-V and, making its first but by no means only appearance in this series, the minor iv chord; borrowed, as it were, from the home key's parallel minor mode.
They're pulling lost guys out of the oceans left and right. This guy made it after 2 months.
Officials aren't sure how Watson survived. He apparently used his broken mast to rig a shelter, but Coast Guard crewmen said they had not been able to talk with Watson long enough to determine how long he has been without food and water.
The Bugbear virus gets worse.
[Bedtime for Privacy] Music industries are going to the courts trying to take names in a scare campaign.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

The Colormatch 5k: Scroll a color you like, and this app cranks out another 5 complimentary colors to make your website look dyn-o-mite. Huzzah, Magnetbox.
The Official Funniest Joke in the World.
The absolutely fascinating CIA World Factbook (in a geographic way). I especially like the profiles on tiny, remote islands. For instance, if you wanted to claim the Palmyra Atoll for your own, this site would tell you that you've only got one overgrown WWII airstrip to secure and between 4 and 20 nature conservancy people to boot out before 'Operation: This Freakin Island is Mine!' can be declared a success.
[All the corporate mainstream media B-Boys in the house throw 'em up and say 'Hell Yeah!'... DJ- hit it on 5, 4, 3, 2...] CNN: Wack or Crazy-Stoopid Fresh? You decide. I already have: Wack. Jeez, shit like this is embarrassing to even link to.
"Please use this guide to help all you homeys and honeys add a new flava to your tickers and dekkos," the message said, referring to graphics on the Headline News screen."

Probably the most noodle-limp flow since the Keebler elves rapped in that one E.L. Fudge commercial... or maybe even since McMahon rocked the Superbowl Shuffle.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Unelected daddy's boy George Bush is clearly out of his mind, and wants nothing to do with reason. Doesn't he have some crooked billionaire pals to look out for or something?
Bush, speaking before Fleischer's briefing, said he still has not decided whether to go to war against Iraq. "I've made up my mind we need to disarm the man," he said.
More Bush-regime civil liberties abuse. No-Fly blacklists bans peace activists from flying.
New hidden "stealware" diverts the source of online consumer sales from sales affiliates.
Chainsaw sculpture school.
The MIT gallery of hacks.
Hey kids, its Blowfly!
He was working a job stacking records in a jukebox in a restaurant and, as usual, making up dirty versions to the songs. Songs like Hank Ballard's "Do the Twist" and Dinah Washington's "What A Difference a Day Makes" immediately became "Suck My Dick" and "What a Difference a Lay Makes."
The face of the new anti record label. 1200 Bootleg MP3s on Three CDRs
Sheldon's Boom Selection compilation, available only via mail-order from his wildly popular website of the same name, compiles over 400 MP3 tracks and 11 mixes (about42 hours in all) of boots and regular old songs in what has to be the single most massive issue of non-licensed material in music history. The small print says it all: "All rights wronged. Any public performance, broadcasting and copying of this recording strongly recommended."
The subversive art of Negativland. Hugely expensive lawsuits don't scare these guys.
"It's inevitable Pepsi will find out, but we hope Pepsi has a sense of humor," Joyce says. "Our intention is not to get sued. Lawsuits are no fun. They ruin your life for years and totally occupy you and certainly none of us want that. It's just that the type of work we do involves a lot of appropriated stuff. Overall, it feels pretty safe, but problems arise when you take on something famous, because you have all of these 'nobody-makes-fun-of-us' people, people so vested in their corporate identities that they can't stand to be embarrassed and [who] want to get back at you..."
The Beale cipher.
[Get your dolors on] Bad Things can happen to you.
Mother Theresa performed a miracle, so now she's a shoe-in for sainthood.
"She deserved the preferential, fast track to beatification." There's a fast track to beatification? Does the Vatican put out powerpoint on this kind of thing?