April 30, 2004

Trojan War


Manfred Korfmann, director of the excavations at Troy, comments on whether or not the Trojan War depicted in Homer's Iliad, like, happened.

On the basis of my years of experience and knowledge of Troy, I feel the question ought to be: "Why should the scholars who won't rule out a possible degree of historicity in the basic events in the Iliad have to defend their position?"

Ok, I teach this stuff and that is a pretty boring question. How about, shouldn't Helen be prettier than Achilles? And how many millihelens can Brad Pitt register anyway? I mean, wouldn't that need another unit of measurement seeing as he is a guy?

Posted by the Flea at 07:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

Umbrella Project

This is the sort of inventiveness that could rescue Flea Towers (via Attu).

Aye, these garments are truly made of umbrellas. Except for the lining of both bodice and skirt, the ensemble is 100% reused Umbrella skin. The goal behind the Umbrella Project is, as you might guess, to reuse the umbrellas that people casually toss aside when they (the umbrellas) fail structurally. Next up is a raincoat for Anadamayi --we're thinking with an Inverness cape.
Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Oil Emperor of Dune

So... George-Muad'ib riding a worm of Irraqis is supposed to be a bad thing, right?

Posted by the Flea at 07:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Fifty reasons why I am in the wrong city (though Toronto does share some features in common with the real Big Smoke).

32 People outside London are warmer and friendlier, which means they may try to talk to you, thus exposing your pathological distrust of anyone you don’t know.
Posted by the Flea at 07:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

The color of money

And at long last for all those cracks about Canadian Monopoly money we can now examine in detail the new US $50 bill. In colour. Or rather, color.

The most noticeable difference in the newly designed note is the addition of subtle background colors of blue and red to both sides of the note. Different background colors will be used for the different denominations. This will help everyone to tell denominations apart.
Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | TrackBack (1)


National Geographic offers revamped on-line maps.

Find nearly any place on Earth, and view it by population, climate, and much more. Plus, browse antique maps, find country facts, or plan your next outdoor adventure with our trail maps.
Posted by the Flea at 07:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 29, 2004

Picard Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 10:33 AM | TrackBack (0)


Are you sick of being told where you can smoke?

The breath-taking design of the Nicosphere 3000 signals a breakthrough for smokers of all ages. Using the latest Nicological technology, the Nicosphere 3000 offers a discreet smoking environment for its user.
Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM | TrackBack (0)


UNICEF releases a report on slavery in Africa and between Africa and the Middle East and Europe.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the report found that 89% of the countries had trafficking to and from neighbouring countries, but 34% also had a human trade to Europe. Poverty, traditional migration and conflict are blamed for the traffic. The trade in people is frequently regional. Of the countries surveyed, 26% said trafficking was taking place to the Middle East.

And this is interesting... UNICEF has positive things to say about its relationship with "faith based organizations."

Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Invisible Adjunct

For people outside the academic job market, an adjunct lecturer teaches on a course by course basis typically with limited benefits. Pay is also limited so there is a tendency to overload on courses thereby keeping tenured faculty from straining themselves and limiting an adjunct lecturer's time to finish the PhD or write the publications that lead to a full-time job. Disappointing to see one of my favourite blogs come to end and a peculiar echo of my own work circumstances just now.

The Chronicle of Higher Education notes the passing of a great blog (hat tip to Mondo Sismondo).

She's the Invisible Adjunct. Or at least, she used to be. After five years of being an adjunct and a year after starting one of the most popular academic Weblogs, she is giving up and getting out. More than a decade after entering graduate school with great promise, she hasn't landed that full-time, tenure-track spot she dreamed of. So although she's unsure what comes next, she is quitting the academy and shutting the blog down.

"What I need to do, I think, is to revise and rewrite my own script," she wrote months ago when she began to consider this jump. "Get me rewrite! I'm done with this story and I want a new script."
Posted by the Flea at 10:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 28, 2004

Tiffany Case


Ok, so Solitaire is the ideal Bond girl. Tiffany Case is my favourite. When did TBS start using the expression "Bond Women"? Much less chic.

I dare anyone to watch Diamonds Are Forever and tell me Ewan McGregor should not be the next Bond!

And now I have everyone's attention... Heroes of the Blogosphere has more than a day to go! Watch this space for updates as I move to a real computer! The best place to start is at Da Goddess who offers thoughts from bloggers who explain why they are taking time to support Spirit of America. Then report for duty at Castle Argghhh!!! where Fusileer 6 offers the latest SITREP.

Posted by the Flea at 07:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Big Pants

I have almost certainly linked to this before. Possibly not work safe depending on how attentive your co-workers are to detail.

Posted by the Flea at 07:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dynamic duo

Batman and Robin are fighting crime in Reading.

Michelle Kirby, from Whitley, was stranded in Whitley Wood Lane when her Peugeot 206 ran out of petrol on Easter Sunday. But our Batman and Robin appeared out of nowhere to save the day and push her car to the nearest petrol station. “They just appeared. I saw them running down the road in Batman and Robin outfits – I was laughing so much,” she said. “It was like a scene out of Only Fools and Horses and they stayed in character the whole time.

“They said, ‘I’m Batman, I’m Robin’ and I said, ‘No, you’re not’ and asked them if they were going to a fancy dress party but they said they were going back to Gotham City.”
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

German public television

This bile is what passes for humour on NDR, a regional German public TV channel (via Frozen in Montreal).

You don't need to speak German to understand the message of the clip: awful Ariel Sharon suppresses the poor Palestinians. Now, that's the standard bias in the German media, so this by itself doesn't deserve special attention.

But have a closer look at the scene with a Jew sitting laughing on the back of a Palestinian, and the one where a Jew stands next to a Palestinian who holds a sign "Doof" (Dumb).
Posted by the Flea at 07:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Remember 11

This is difficult to read (via Chaos Central).

The exterior of the towers was made of 12-inch steel columns spaced four feet apart. As they fell these shafts speared everything in sight. A dozen of them protruded from the West Side Highway, sticking up like some mad confection. Four of them shot Zeus-style into the side of the American Express building 30 floors up, knocking off a corner. The debris washed across the highway smashing into the World Financial Center, blasting all of the glass from its walls.

Looking downward through the wracks of steel beams you realize they are sitting upon a sea of emergency vehicles.
Posted by the Flea at 07:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 27, 2004

Hanukah or Chanukah

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bonfire 43

The finest in toasted cheese is now available at On the Fritz.

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


Star Trek producer Rick Berman is dropping hints about the next film in the Trek franchise.

Unwilling to offer many details he cryptically describes it as "a prequel" without any further elaboration. The names of his producing cohorts will have to remain unknown for now, as well. This follows a report earlier this week from Dark Horizons that Paramount may be working on a project the site described as "Starfleet Command." Coincidentially, former TREK producer Harve Bennett (STAR TREKs II-VI) revealed recently that several years ago he had pitched a Starfleet Academy-based STAR TREK movie concept.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Marine archaeologists are after the remains of as many as a thousand Greek and Persian wrecks from the Persian Wars. Their aim is to discover just how a trireme worked.

The team hopes to illuminate the battles and solve trireme mysteries. For instance, modern experts built a 120-foot copy, but neither it nor recent theorizing and experimentation have explained how the ancient warships moved so rapidly.

"That means somewhere there is a mistake," said Katerina Dellaporta, director of underwater antiquities for Greece and a leader of the project. "They were very, very steady in naval battles and very fast."

And then... Here are some photos of a contemporary - arguably not working quite right - version of the ancient real deal, the Hellenic Navy's Olympias. Something right up my street: a paper on how trireme construction was financed. Neat!

Posted by the Flea at 09:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Black Widow

I would have said I was Clea, Princess of the Dark Dimension so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this test. Which Marvel superheroine are you?

Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2004

Sk8er Boi


I don't know why I am running this. Consider it CanCon. Harry Windsor is to have a "date" with Avril Lavigne, someone who accomplished something as a result of personal talent and hard work rather than by accident of birth.

A friend of the party-loving prince told me: “Harry put Avril right at the top of his wish list of performers — and it has paid off for him. He really likes her music and thinks she’s cute. He can’t wait. Not only will he see Avril sing, he’ll also get to meet her backstage and will be able to take a few friends as well. Avril is no doubt very excited too about meeting a member of the Royal Family — and who knows what could happen.”

No doubt! And who cares?

Posted by the Flea at 09:55 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dutch Idol

These Dutch idol entrants makes the Canadian pickings look good. Someone. Anyone. Please tell me this is a joke. And what is with the yellow Che shirt?

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

Unfinished Chamber

We travel beneath the Pyramid of Khufu thanks to the wonder that is "the internet".

This unfinished subterranean chamber, an unfinished chamber within Khufu's Pyramid, lies 90 feet (30 meters) below the surface of the plateau, and is closed to the public. Standing alone inside this oxygen-deficient space is quite an experience; 2.3 million blocks of stone weighing some 6.5 million tons loom overhead.
Posted by the Flea at 09:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

Self-propelling cart

Designs from Leonardo's Atlanticus Codex have been transformed into a working model now the steering mechanism is no longer confused for the propulsion system.

For more than a century, modern Leonardo scholars have grappled with page 812R of the Atlanticus Codex. Other pages contained astounding inventions, from a bicycle to a submarine. A variety of models were built, based on da Vinci's wooden cart, but no one was ever able to make them work, because of an error of interpretation.
Posted by the Flea at 09:38 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 24, 2004

Van Helsing


This one says "Flea." Kate Beckinsale discusses her latest goth vixen role.

Q: Is playing against with a werewolf on a stick like any other type of acting?

BECKINSALE: I do think it's a bit daunting, because the opportunity to feel an idiot is quite high. If you do your homework as an actor and get yourself where you're supposed to be… Obviously, it's preferable to have another very good actor to work off because it raises your game, but if you've got a little cross of tape and a fairly fevered imagination you can get reasonably far.

I find myself thinking much the same thing. Preview pics can be found here.

Posted by the Flea at 11:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Flea Market

When Rev. Donald Sensing's "One Hand Clapping" first featured BlogAds the Reverend kindly offered a week of free ad-space to the first blogger who asked.

The Flea now follows his excellent example. There is a week of free adspace on the sidebar to the first blogger who writes!

And then... We have a winner! Now let's see if we can get this BlogAds interface to work...

Posted by the Flea at 11:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Boss-inator 3000

Be the Donald!

Posted by the Flea at 11:08 AM | TrackBack (0)


Il est mou ton tra la la... (probably not work safe).

Posted by the Flea at 11:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

Banana Guard

The last time your squashy banana need be stored in the freezer of hypothetical banana-bread fixings. "Protect your banana!"

Are you fed up with bringing bananas to work or school only to find them bruised and squashed? Our unique, patented device allows for the safe transport and storage of individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas anytime, anywhere.

And then... Deb beats me to the banana!

Posted by the Flea at 10:57 AM | TrackBack (0)


Just my luck as the Flea is accepting over-the-top gifts at the moment (though I expect I could make a set of these myself).

These outrageously over-the-top Stainless Steel playing cards are from a strictly Limited Worldwide Edition of 50 sets, each set is individually made to order and carries its own unique serial number. At £1000 they're no off-the-cuff purchase, unless money is no object (lucky you), but they are awesomely beautiful, and of course extremely exclusive.
Posted by the Flea at 10:55 AM | TrackBack (0)


My name is none of your business because... I. Am. Canabian!

Posted by the Flea at 10:52 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bogus refugee claims

I posted the following comment to a post at the Shotgun. I think it is worth repeating here (as is a link to the original Globe and Mail article that started the discussion). Each concerns the possibility of people claiming refugee status in Canada claming to risk persecution for their sexual orienation.

I notice the Globe and Mail article gives two grounds for the "bogus" quality of some claims. First, the claimant may not actually be gay. Second, the claimant may come from a country where gay people are not persecuted. I hope we could agree these cases coult accurately be described as bogus.

I would further hope we could agree there are many countries - the article cites countries where homosexuality is outlawed - from which a legitimate refugee claim could be made.

Posted by the Flea at 10:48 AM | TrackBack (0)


Being American in T.O. on the last full measure of devotion.

Love isn't about perfection. If it was, none of us could love; it's all about loving despite flaws and often even because of them.

What astounds me is not how much we love our country but the lack of bold admissions from others that they love their countries. I may be a simpleton because I love my country, but they are ungrateful, shallow bastards for not honouring the blood and dedication of those who came before them.

Love of country isn't pride, people, it's humility. It's being bowed by the burden of mighty examples and, even as we enjoy the freedoms bequeathed by those who came before us, we freely accept that our heritage includes the admonition that we highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.
Posted by the Flea at 10:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

April 23, 2004

Pat Tillman

A hero has died.

Someone has to protect us.
Someone may have to save us.

And then... nikita demosthenes comments with multiple links.

Posted by the Flea at 12:24 PM | TrackBack (1)

GAU-8 Avenger cannon


Ever wanted a practice round for the cannon sported by the A-10? Your wish can come true at Castle Argghhh!!! and it is all for the Fighting Fusileers' Spirit of America charity drive! "You know you want it! You know you need it!"


As far as I know, legal everywhere. Completely inert, it's never been 'ert'.
Posted by the Flea at 08:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Jim Morrison Simulatron

Jim Morrison is with us once again thanks to the wonders of "the internet".

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
That the Jim Morrison Simulatron
was not the coolest thing ever.
Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ant Run and Brain Strain

Just the metaphors for your Friday morning blahs.

Posted by the Flea at 07:55 AM | TrackBack (0)

6th place

Fun with motorcycles. Probably best not to try this at home (or your sun-roof).

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM | TrackBack (0)

Pilot's seat

I love this panoramic view of a Concorde cockpit in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum. But wait, there's more!

Over 100 aircraft and spacecraft were photographed during the first phase of this project. These included the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft; the Piper J-3 Cub, F-4 Phantom fighter ; Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay;" and the de Havilland Chipmunk aerobatic plane just to name a few.
Posted by the Flea at 07:50 AM | TrackBack (0)


Rock art discovered in what is now South Korea dating back as much as six thousand years depicts early whaling practices. Flea-readers interested in trying out this whale steak with herbs recipe or another for whale steak and green peas should invite me over for bbq.

Analysis of rock carvings at Bangu-Dae archaeological site in Ulsan in the southeast of the country revealed more than 46 depictions of large whales. They also show evidence that humans used harpoons, floats and lines to catch their prey, which included sperm whales, right whales and humpbacks.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 22, 2004

The Tao of Kylie


This latest contribution to Kylie-media is an interview ranging from the question of whether we have souls (yes) to whether we will all end up with chips in our heads (maybe). Also, women's undergarments.

“Big knickers are back,” she decides, and once again digs into her denim to provide evidence. “Women want comfort again. And I don’t mean that we’re going to start wearing the sort of underwear our grandmothers wore. It’ll be more French and sexy, but definitely bigger. The G-string is last year’s thing.” This small woman then announces with a big, loud laugh: “The thong is gone! The flossing has finished!”

(With a hat tip to the much missed Sketches of Strain.)

Posted by the Flea at 06:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


Now Flea-readers can have a stuffed facehugger for their very own.

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM


This may put a kink in my plan to buy a pink shirt. It does not require much confidence to wear the same thing everybody else is wearing.

"If a guy wears a lot of pink, it's not a big deal," says Maxim's Williams. "It says, 'I'm confident enough to wear pink.' "
Posted by the Flea at 05:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

So You Want to Write a Star Trek Novel

I have the best idea for a Star Trek novel ever and now I know what to do about it.

The first step is to read the guidelines posted here on this site. Now that you've read the guidelines, the second step is to believe them. When a novel comes in with a letter that starts "I know that this violates your guidelines but..." it is returned, unread.
Posted by the Flea at 05:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The shape of the universe?

Could the Universe be shaped like a medieval horn? It may sound like a surrealist's dream, but according to Frank Steiner at the University of Ulm in Germany, recent observations hint that the cosmos is stretched out into a long funnel, with a narrow tube at one end flaring out into a bell. It would also mean that space is finite.
Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM | TrackBack (0)


If someone at the IAEA knows why referrals from their server are now sitting at the top of my stats for this month (and that includes an Instalanche) I would be delighted if they let me in on it. Shouldn't you guys be, like, looking for nuclear weapons or something? Here's a hint: it has four letters, starts with an "I" and this year ends with the letter "N" instead of the letter "Q".

Posted by the Flea at 05:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Captain Mbaye Diagne

I am republishing this post from the lost Mk. 1 version of the Shotgun. This is for everyone at the IAEA and other international organizations nominally dedicated to helping people out. Keep your eye on the ball people.


"Ghosts of Rwanda" represents the best of PBS' Frontline series. Anyone who thinks the barbarism in Fallujah could be assuaged by withdrawal of Coalition forces should watch this show. Anyone who thinks the word "barbarism" is more offensive than the murder and desecration of free people should be ashamed. Anyone who cannot find the word "evil" in their vocabulary may not be capable of that emotion. But that shame is nothing next to what we should all feel for standing by as genocide was perpetrated in Rwanda. Canadian General Romeo Dallaire sums it up with brutal clarity.

"I'm sure there would have been more reaction if someone had tried to exterminate Rwanda's 300 mountain gorillas," he said.

So much for the United Nations. So much for international law. So much for the international community. 800,000 people were murdered. And still the only thing that matters to so many people is marching in the streets against... against what exactly? Against civilization. Too many of those outraged by the toppling of dictators could not find Rwanda on the map.

One story stands out. A Senegalese peacekeeper saved a hundred, as many as a thousand, lives by escorting some of the few Tutsis left in Kigali away from one of many Hutu Einsatzgruppen. Captain Diagne saved these lives against the express orders of the United Nations. Remember that the next time someone suggests that parliament of dictators has the moral authority to point fingers as as it chokes back the lobster and champagne.

When plans were first discussed for evacuating U.N. personnel, the rule was that no Rwandans, staff or not, could be taken along. Colonel Balis stated that he questioned Dallaire twice about the directive and was told, “Orders from New York: No Locals.” The rules were not always followed, even by the authorities in New York or by some U.N. agencies. ... On April 7, the Senegalese Captain Mbaye Diagne and a U.N. employee named Le Moal rescued the five children of Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana, who then left the country through the efforts of a French professor, André Guichaoua, who was in Kigali at the time. Throughout the next weeks, Captain Mbaye became virtually a legend among Rwandans for his bravery and inventiveness in saving people and in deterring soldiers who sought to enter the Hotel Mille Collines at night to kill those whom he had saved during the day.

Captain Diagne was killed by shrapnel at a checkpoint and the UN could not offer him the dignity of a body bag. He deserved better.

Posted by the Flea at 05:40 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

April 21, 2004



Analogia compares the Flea to Tim Robbins, Clint Eastwood and Scott Baio. The software took a bit longer coming up with female comparisons but eventually settled on Patricia Arquette, Andie MacDowell and Maria Callas. Ahh, la Divina! I think this software is designed to blow smoke somewhere or other (via Cup of Chicha).

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (4)


"Making the Creatures", a featurette from the forthcoming Aliens Vs. Predator film is now available. I love the mechanical mandibles!

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sexiest Vegetarians Alive

Vegans taste better, look better and feel better. Or so claim two veggie models whose names escaped me on a first (or possibly second) viewing. I assumed this piece was meant to be satirical but as it wore on the grinding realization of the utter humourlessness of these people sunk in. Nice lettuce though.

Posted by the Flea at 10:09 AM | TrackBack (0)


This is going to hurt you more than it is going to hurt me (probably not work safe).

Posted by the Flea at 10:08 AM | TrackBack (0)


I wonder if this is a Shopped image. Great idea either way.

Apparently the best way to test a new 7.1 million dollar scoreboard is to play Unreal Championship on it!
Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM | TrackBack (0)


So as I was saying, you wouldn't happen to have the other half of this amulet...

The final link of what is believed to be a necklet owned by Queen Boadicea has been discovered in Norfolk. The 2,000-year-old treasure is part of a gold torc, a type of Iron Age necklet, and was found by archaeologists in a field in Sedgeford.
Posted by the Flea at 10:02 AM | TrackBack (0)


A stone coffin containing the body of an iron age warrior, found close to a bronze age burial, may point to a Druid holy site.

The discovery on Marshill, Alloa, last year was hailed as one of the most significant Iron Age finds for decades in Scotland. A copper pin, which once fastened his uniform at the neck, remained, along with rings on two toes and six other rings unlike any found in Scotland before. He was gripping his sword.
Posted by the Flea at 10:00 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2004

Your Disco Needs You!


The Blog-Bash to raise money for Spirit of America kicks off at noon (EST). Please come back to the Flea later today for a link to the donation site.

The latest broadside for the Fighting Fusileers is available at the Castle (along with some remarks about the arsenal of blogocracy: "Shoot girl, I'm bettin' I've got more machineguns than you have guns.")

And then... Actually, it is the donation buttons that are to arrive noonish. Donations are to be accepted starting just after midnight tonight. I will let you know in which time zone as soon as the information arrives. The Canadian Pesh Murga stand ready!

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM | TrackBack (2)

Ab urbe condita

The Flea wishes a happy birthday to Rome, founded April 21 2,757 years ago.

Posted by the Flea at 07:26 AM | TrackBack (1)


Just the thing to lower the productivity of your office-mates.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

Red Bull

***Dave links to an astute observation about the blogosphere (including the Flea-ish part).

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hand of God

Diego Maradona has been hospitalized with heart problems said to be related to years of drug and alcohol abuse. Sad.

The years of drug abuse have left Diego Maradona a bloated parody of the man who became the most feared striker in international football, leading Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup finals.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Two nuclear submarines have surfaced at the north pole with a game of footie in mind.

"The crews of HMS Tireless and USS Hampton are gearing up for a game of football," Commander John Parris said. "It will probably be English football (soccer) since I doubt our lot know much about playing American football," Parris told Reuters from Portsmouth in southern England. "I expect there will also be the mother of all snowball fights."
Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Gas tax

James Lileks responds to Andrew Sullivan on gas taxes (via She who will be obeyed!).

The only relevant question is, Which taxes? The case for a gas tax is a straightforward one. Gas prices are strikingly lower in America than anywhere else in the world

And if all your friends jumped off a cliff and imposed a landing-on-the-rocks surcharge, would you do it too? Get out a map. Look at, say, Belgium. Look at America. Compare. Consider the costs of trucking lettuce from Mexico to North Dakota. Discuss.
Posted by the Flea at 07:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 19, 2004


I had an interesting conversation with an editor at a major national Canadian daily newspaper that is attempting to "ingratiate itself with the blogosphere." The idea is to run occasional posts from Canadian bloggers as a comments feature in the print edition. Sounds fine. Here is the catch: the paper does not intend to pay to publish that work. Why would it, the argument goes, when the blogger had already written the post for free? Hey, I have got an idea... I will reprint entire articles from the paper, put them up behind a paid subscription wall and sell ads along the way. I mean, I found a copy of the paper on the subway and was reading it for free anyway. So why should the owners of the paper care what I do with their work?

I happen to know what the per word rate used to be for this particular major national Canadian daily newspaper so no blogger should expect to get rich even if the paper does an about face. I have two observations to make. First, writers should be paid for their work. Second, it may be I was the first of twenty-five bloggers to ask for money from a business attempting to sell papers with my writing. But I still think this is no way to ingratiate the paper with the blogosphere.

And then... If you were one of those twenty-five you should send me an email. The traffic generated by twenty-five bloggers ads up to a newspaper. We should be selling our own ads not giving away our work to the dead tree media.

And then... Think of the following before giving away your work in exchange for a reprinted URL in the print edition of anything.

I remember the business head of MSNBC.com telling me sometime ago that Glenn Reynolds' column there gets more traffic from external blogs than from the internal promotional power of the meganewssite.

Remember, paper does not support hyperlinks.

Posted by the Flea at 05:00 PM | TrackBack (4)

Hammy Hamster


This weekend I was reminded of Hammy Hamster... and a surreal moment living in England when a Brummie colleague broke into a rendition of the title theme for The Littlest Hobo. Now I wonder how far afield Hammy Hamster lore has travelled.

There is a sparkling, gurgling River, a soft and lovely woods, mysterious dark places, trees, flowers, tall grasses, a Great Scary Swamp, and all kinds of nooks and crannies where wonderful things can happen.

And then... Ok, that's enough with the hamster lore. You can let it out. Sing along now. You know you want to!

There's a voice that keeps on calling me.
Down the road. That's where I'll always be.
Oh, every stop I make, I make a new friend.
Can't stay for long. Just turn around, and I'm gone again.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down.
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep movin' on.
So, if you want to join me for awhile,
just grab your hat, and we'll travel light. That's hobo style.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down.
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep movin' on.
Until tomorrow, the whole world is my home.

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)


Now is the time for all good Flea-readers to come to the aid of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society (with a hat tip to the Flea's whisky expert).

Any Cthulhu player or Lovecraft fan would love to have their own highly authentic 17th-century Necronomicon, but who is crazy enough to sit down and write one? No individual since Abdul Al Hazred himself could do it, but working together, we can pull it off!
Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Panoramas for every occasion. I like this view from the Monument.

Commemorating the 1666 Great Fire of London, the Monument is the world's tallest free standing Doric column.
Posted by the Flea at 09:18 AM | TrackBack (0)


Vocera makes a Next Generation-style lapel communicator (via Venomous Kate).

Similar to the TV series, all you do to contact someone is press the talk button on the lapel badge, say their name, and you will be put through. The gadget is proving popular in hospitals to make it easier for nurses to find and get advice from doctors.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


b3ta points out having your own Geiger counter "would be fantastic device for making yourself utterly paranoid." Great idea!

The РМ1801 is a personal gamma radiation detector with the high sensitive spectrometer designed for detection, locating and identification of the radioactive sources.
Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

Capitalism in Amsterdam

It is possible the liberal terms offered to Parma to induce the surrender of towns in the southern provinces may have enabled citizens of those towns who were resolved not to return to their Spanish and Catholic allegiance to send or take with them other countries capital assets of substantial value.

So claims Violet Barbour in Capitalism in Amsterdam in the 17th Century (University of Michigan Press, 1966). This fifth sentence on the twenty-third page of the nearest book to hand comes to you courtesy of Blog Treatment and in the tradition of surrealist party games (via Argghhh!!!).

Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)


Sadly, this is how most media works (via the Melbourne Truth of blogs).

Posted by the Flea at 09:09 AM | TrackBack (0)


Democracy, minority rights, an independent judiciary and (above all?) the rights of women, these are the foundations of Paul Wolfowitz' vision of an alternative to despotism in the Middle East. My favourite part of this Australian article is an architectural metaphor (via A&L Daily).

The Pentagon is the most powerful building in the world. It hums 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Its 24,000 staff make it the biggest single government office building anywhere.

It stood, co-equal with New York's World Trade Centre, as the supreme symbol of the US for Osama bin Laden to attack but, unlike the World Trade Centre, it survived the attack and has been hitting back since.
Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | TrackBack (0)


I'm A 1990s Geek
Cool, confident, and very powerful, you're the sexiest geek ever! Buckle in, your decade is one hell of a ride.
find your geek decade at spacefem.com

The accuracy of my result matches those of She Who Will Be Obeyed!

Posted by the Flea at 09:01 AM | TrackBack (1)

Blogger section

The Campblog proposes the next stage in the Bloggish Enlightenment, a blog section at the magazine rack (and that thing about the InstaCar is true).

Now, I'm no proponent of print magazines relating to blogging (although Admit It! some of you would buy them!), but I wonder what that section of the magazine rack would look like ... shimmer shimmer shimmer shimmer ...
Posted by the Flea at 09:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 17, 2004


So. Ok. Here is some more, like, oratory.

And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty?
Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dance Co.

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


As the name suggests.

Posted by the Flea at 08:39 AM | TrackBack (0)


This database of band name origins is a great idea. ZZ Top's choice follows a parallel logic to "A" blogs wanting to sit at the top of all those blogrolls.

The band picked this name so that their records would always be last in a record store (who's gonna beat ZZ?), making it easier for fans to find them.
Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)


A truly ancient necklace may "present absolute evidence for perhaps the earliest storage of information outside the human brain." Adorning ourselves is a symbolic act and this necklace pushes back estimated dates for the appearance of modern human behaviours.

Perforated shells found at South Africa's Blombos Cave appear to have been strung as beads about 75,000 years ago-making them 30,000 years older than any previously identified personal ornaments. Archaeologists excavating the site on the on the coast of the Indian Ocean discovered 41 shells, all with holes and wear marks in similar positions, in a layer of sediment deposited during the Middle Stone Age (MSA).
Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Kensington Runestone

The "smoking gun" proving the Kensington Runestone to be a hoax may lie in the particular runes in which it is written. It seems Olof Ohman's find uses a rune system rather more recent than the supposed Norse expedition of the year 1362.

The latest in the century-old controversy centered in Minnesota came in documents written in 1885 by an 18-year-old Swedish tailor named Edward Larsson. He sometimes wrote in runes -- an ancient Scandinavian language that differs from the English alphabet. But Larsson's runes were not the usual runes used over the centuries.

The scholars contend that parts of his documents seem to be written in a secret runic alphabet used by tradesmen in Sweden in the late 1800s, rather like codes that tramps have used over time to leave secret messages for one another.
Posted by the Flea at 08:34 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sith Lord

:: how jedi are you? ::

Hmm, looks like I've got some 'splaining to do (thanks to the philosopher of Classical Values).

Posted by the Flea at 08:32 AM | TrackBack (0)

Nehemiah and the Mausoleum

Which Old Testament Character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

This Biblical insight arrives courtesy of the philosopher of Classical Values. And, no big shock here, it turns out I am the Mausoleum.

You are the Tomb of Maussollos!
You are the Tomb of King Maussollos!

Private and reclusive, you just want to be left
alone. Although you do enjoy good
conversation, you tend to avoid confrontations
and keep an emotional distance. As the Tomb of
Maussollos, you are very precise in your work
and daily living and strive to keep out of
other peoples business. Youre a good listener,
and you strive to find logical solutions to
your own and other persons problems. Very
indecisive, you tend to analyze yourself into

What Wonder of the Ancient World are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 16, 2004

Maximus Decimus Meridius


Today's lesson in rhetoric and oratory is dedicated to a hero, Fabrizio Quattrocchi. Fratres!

Fratres! Three weeks from now I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled -- for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers, what we do in Life echoes in Eternity....
Posted by the Flea at 09:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)


And don't forget Ghost of a Flea!

The BlogFather offers a kind word. Thanks! InstaPundit readers curious about Canadian life and politics should check out my fellow Shotgunners at the Western Standard...

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Block clock

Another intriguing on-line time-keeping device.

Posted by the Flea at 09:26 AM | TrackBack (0)


A heightend telephonic experience.

The Iso-phone is a telecommunication device providing a service that can be described simply as a meeting of the telephone and the floatation tank. By blocking out peripheral sensory stimulation and distraction, the Iso-phone creates a telephonic communication space of heightened purity and focus.
Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mountain Dew

Steven Segal can't believe it's him either.

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM | TrackBack (0)


Ghostly chains are rattling in welcome to a Flea-visitor from Aruba. The CIA world fact website points out the island is "slightly larger than Washington, DC." The Flea would have said, small but perfectly formed.

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Minuteman III

Test launch.

After the Minuteman disappeared, an irridescent, glowing cloud was visible high in the west.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Calculate your next local asteroid impact effects thanks to the miracle of "the internet."

This program will estimate the seismic, blast wave, and thermal effects of an impact as well as the size of the crater produced by the impact. The crater size is determined using pi-scaling.
Posted by the Flea at 09:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 15, 2004

War movies

James Lileks asks why there have been no war movies about the current war (via InstaPundit, but I like the following quote better than the one he chose).

It’s like it's 1943, and Hollywood turns down a Pearl Harbor movie in favor of the gripping account of a Washington bureaucrat who warned FDR that the oil embargo would needlessly anger Japan. The attack on Hawaii would take up five minutes – and even then it would be a shot of the hero listening to the radio with an expression of stoic anguish. If only they'd listened.
Posted by the Flea at 08:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Expecto patronum!

The Sister of a Flea points to a new, longer trailer now available at the Harry Potter website. Kudos to Hermione for clocking that guy and the Dementors are suitably creepy. One thought: this is supposed to be the third year of our heroes' progress through Hogwarts... It might be an idea to speed up film production because at this rate Harry and friends are going to be a bit long in the tooth by the time school finishes. Sort of a reverse effect to the one experienced by the children of Genoa City sent off to boarding school in Switzerland.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM | TrackBack (0)


My favourite part of this egg toss game is the bunny with the bicycle helmet. Good idea!

Posted by the Flea at 06:46 AM | TrackBack (0)

Star Wars

Anthony, rib master and Meatriarchy author, editor and publisher has never seen Star Wars.

Posted by the Flea at 06:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


Esther, the artist formerly known as Madonna, has decided to observe Shabbat and avoid Friday concert gigs on her forthcoming tour.

Madge is well-known for her devotion to Kabbalah, an offshoot of Judaism. She sports a red bracelet — a symbol of her belief — drinks special Kabbalah water and has asked pals to call her Esther, her religious name.

But this is the first time she has let her faith play such a huge part in a career decision. A friend of the star says: “This shows just how much Madonna is influenced by Kabbalah. “She is completely focused on following her beliefs, no matter what lengths she has to go to.”
Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Serenity's Journal posts on the undue privilege accorded to matters of perception in contrast with matters of fact (via Argghhh!!!).

Posted by the Flea at 06:40 AM | TrackBack (0)


The people of Belgium, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Sweden and Romania ask what the world thinks of them.

What Netherlands think about Swedish:

Culture:I don't know
Religion:I don't know
Food:I don't know
Famous people:Zlatan
Music: I don't know
Clothing:I don't know
Climate:sea climate
Name: Ruby
Posted by the Flea at 06:38 AM | TrackBack (0)


The remains of a merchant schooner turned up in 2001 may be the oldest such wreck to be found in the Great Lakes.

Since then, two short periods of test archeological excavations on the site have revealed the presence of remains of the wreck, which is believed to be the Weazell, a schooner built in 1786 in Detroit for John Askin, a prominent merchant. Historic references state the ship carried furs, muskets, rum, flour, fish and other goods through Michigan and Ontario during the late 1700s.
Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Two halves

Say, do you have the other half of this amulet I have carried with me since I was a child? No? Ok, how about this lion's head?

Two halves of an ancient sculpture have been reunited for the first time in 2,500 years after an international search by a British academic. The stone image of a lion's head once formed the upper portion of a waterspout from the guttering, or sima, of the temple of San Biagio, in southern Italy.
Posted by the Flea at 06:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2004



The Flea School for Wayard Expats presents a continuing series in rhetoric and oratory. Today we are addressed by Canadian alumnus, Neo.

I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world... without you. A world without rules and controls. Without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there, is a choice I leave to you.
Posted by the Flea at 10:26 AM | TrackBack (0)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (and swallow our tongues).

Posted by the Flea at 10:19 AM | TrackBack (0)

Test and Commandments

My only objection to this 100% accurate Gay Test is that it is perfectly possible for gay people to be familiar with the lyrical oeuvre of AC/DC.

No need for a blood test or lengthy therapist visit to find out if you're really a homosexual. Matt Rouse has developed this handy test promised to produce accurate results. Just answer these 20 questions and know for sure!

Straight Flea-readers wondering why they are getting misleading test results should refer to the Men Commandments for pointers.

Argument with these rules instantly revokes your identity as a man. You’re no longer a man and you’re out of the man club.
Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Millenium Falcon


Chewbacca leads the group into a giant dirt pit that is Docking Bay 94.
Resting in the middle of the huge hole is a large, round, beat-up,
pieced-together hunk of junk that could only loosely be called a starship.

LUKE: What a piece of junk.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Internet Traffic Report

Another source of data courtesy of "the internet."

The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around the world. It then displays a value between zero and 100. Higher values indicate faster and more reliable connections.
Posted by the Flea at 10:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Air Force Academy

A 3D panorama of the Academy including the attractive Cadet Chapel.

Posted by the Flea at 10:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2004

Roy Batty


The Flea School for Wayward Expats continues its series in rhetoric and oratory. Today's speaker is Nexus 6 Replicant, Roy Batty.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | TrackBack (0)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (warning: this one is catchy).

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Vodka Cranberry Magnum

I would have thought vodka was relatively flavourless. Must be an Australian thing.

The booze-flavored Illicit Vodka Cranberry Magnum ice creams hit the shelves just months after biscuit-maker Arnott's new Tia Maria Tim Tams and Kahlua Slices prompted fears that the liquor-laced biscuits would encourage children to drink.
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tetra Vaal

This one takes a while to download but is visually stunning. Also, I think this is the direction technology is headed. I have this image in my head of a skeletal metal leg stomping on a human skull.

What if.... We could build a system to help police developing nations. What if.... it could be rebuilt and improved upon
Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)


Archaeological investigation of Civil War submarine, H.L. Hunley reveals details about her crew days before their remains are to be laid to rest.

The fact that George Dixon came from Ohio was only one of several surprises uncovered about the Hunley's commander. After the war, a colorful legend arose about him.

Lucky Gold Coin Dixon, so the story went, had a beautiful young sweetheart in Mobile, Alabama, named Queenie Bennett. She gave him a U.S. $20 gold piece, which Dixon had in his pocket at the bloody Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee in 1862. A bullet that could have killed Dixon struck him in the thigh, but the gold coin stopped the slug. The legend said that Dixon had this lifesaving coin from his sweetheart with him the night he went down with the Hunley.

Bennett had a photograph supposedly of Dixon that was published many times after the Civil War. A bent gold coin, inscribed "Shiloh April 6, 1862 My life Preserver G.E.D" was found in the Hunley near Dixon's remains. At least part of the legend was true.
Posted by the Flea at 10:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 12, 2004

Tyler Durden


The Flea School for Wayward Expats present the third in a continuing series on rhetoric and oratory. So 9/10.

Durden: I look around. I look around. I see a lot of new faces.

Club: [laughter]

Durden: Shut up! Which means a lot of you have been breakin' the first two rules of Fight Club. Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who have ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. Goddammit, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy s*** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man; no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised by television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't; and we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very p***ed off.
Posted by the Flea at 10:54 AM | TrackBack (1)

Spiderman 2

The second trailer. Some shaky cgi but you have to love the Carl Orff soundtrack (via ***Dave).

Posted by the Flea at 10:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

Shake Your Blood

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (Probably not work safe for most. Lemmy rules!).

Posted by the Flea at 10:38 AM | TrackBack (0)

Omarosa Manigault Stallworth

It turns out Omarosa has had some experience being fired. She is reported to have been fired four times in two years in her much vaunted work experience with President Clinton's administration.

A worker at her last job with the Commerce Department says Omarosa was asked to leave as quickly as possible because she was so disruptive. She says, "One woman wanted to slug her."
Posted by the Flea at 10:35 AM | TrackBack (0)


The wreckage of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's plane has been found (via Merde in France).

The mystery of the death of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who celebrated the mysteries of life so charmingly in "The Little Prince," remains intact. Or nearly. French researchers are due to announce Friday that 60 years after the philosopher-pilot crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, they have found, and identified beyond a doubt, the remains of Saint-Exupéry's Lockheed P-38.
Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2004

Renton's Choice


The Flea School for Wayward Expats presents the second in a continuing series in rhetoric and oratory. Choose life.

Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f***ing big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of f***ing fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f*** you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f***ing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, p***ing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f***ed up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?
Posted by the Flea at 10:33 AM | TrackBack (1)

Rev. Billy Bob's Rodent Revival

I saw the light!

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The Flea's latest foray into gentlemen's haberdashery features a great outfit for cycling at night.

Posted by the Flea at 10:18 AM | TrackBack (0)

Crazy Train

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (but wait, there's more!).

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Soken DVD

A dvd player that avoids those annoying skips.

Posted by the Flea at 10:16 AM


First we get the news that cats and humans may have been living together for considerably longer than has been thought. Then the secret of the true world conspiracy is revealed at Castle Argghhh!!!

And then... Other details of the impending revolution have been leaked at Baltic Blog.

And then... And now our overlords show their power at the very heart of the blogosphere!

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (1)

Modern Ruins

Intriguing photo essays speak for themselves. Rather a lot of commentary by the photographer as well.

When first visiting ruins I realized that these abandon buildings had an interest and meaning that went beyond the original design intent, that in fact they had become something quite different; the original function had become lost with time and disuse and there had been a transformation over time from a utilitarian structure to one that was void of function.
Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2004

Dancing chicken

Take the quiz: "What kind of chicken are you???"

You are the dancing chicken.
You just wanna shake your tail feathers. You tend to dance around questions and not answer them directly, but you're oh so damn fun!

This chicken-lore arrives courtesy of the philosopher of Classical Values, a Golded Mis-Proportionate chicken. For the record, I was also a Grammar God but gave up trying to post it because the graphic failed to load!

And then... And here is my American city. I would have said Manhattan (and I am also partial to Atlanta).

Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"

San Francisco
Liberal and proud, you'll live your lifestyle however you choose in the face of all that would supress you.

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Henry V

The Flea School for Wayward Expats presents the first in a continuing series in rhetoric and oratory. To begin: the St. Crispin's Day speech.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | TrackBack (1)

Band of bloggers

We few. We happy few! And Jay Currie heralds the formation of the Kylie Party.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Battle Pong

Just the thing for a Friday afternoon (if you are better at Pong than I am, that is).

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)


More zombie goodness is on the way in Biohazard 4.

Posted by the Flea at 10:09 AM

Feed the Models

A small donation will make a world of difference.

"If you don't feed them... They won't feed themselves."
Posted by the Flea at 10:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

Throbbing Gristle 2004

A celebration of Industrial music in the 21st Century from May 14-16 suggests that once again I am in the wrong country.

Featuring a live performance by Throbbing Gristle with Chris Carter, Peter Christopherson, Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti who will briefly regroup to present RE~TG, a weekend of music, art, film and performance culminating in an exclusive set by Throbbing Gristle as well as performances by Coil, Scanner, Pansonic, Matmos, Richard H Kirk, Thee Majesty, Black Dice, along with DJs Daniel Miller, Andrew Weatherall and John Lacy plus many more.
Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Macallan Scotch

It could be the single malts I have had have been unrepresentative. Is this stuff supposed to taste like it was strained through socks? Give me an Irish blend anyday. Then again, this Macallan deal would tempt me in the $50 range.

Until now, the Macallan Scotch whiskey vintage collection of 38 bottles, which is valued at $170,000, has only been sold by the bottle. But the Borgata hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has decided to offer the 38 different vintages by the glass, where one glass can cost anywhere from $50 to $3,500 depending on the vintage.
Posted by the Flea at 10:02 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Corporate ethnography

Life beyond teaching beckons for the enterprising anthropologist.

Girl walks into a bar. Says to the bartender, "Give me a Diet Coke and a clear sight line to those guys drinking Miller Lite in the corner."

No joke. The "girl" is Emma Gilding, corporate ethnographer at Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world's top advertising agencies. Her assignment is to hang out in bars across the country, watching guys knock back beers with their friends. And wipe those smirks off your faces. This is research.
Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2004



National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice is testifying before Congress as I type these words. Let's have a look at that bio, shall we. And here is something to look forward to.

And then... Once again The Meatriarchy and the Flea are reading off the same page.

I have been giving some thought to what Condi should wear for her testimony. She is such a strong confident woman that she needs an outfit to complement it. One that says I am a woman but at the same time says "Don't f*** with me".

And then... Man, that guy is totally cruising for links. But it is all in a good cause. Here is a possible Demi Moore look for Dr. Rice. And here is a Matrix outfit to consider.

Posted by the Flea at 11:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Age of Horus

One hundred years ago today, British occult philosopher Aleister Crowley began the first of three days through which he received "The Book of the Law" at Cairo, Egypt. Crowley believed his revelation ushered in a new Age of Horus and signalled the end of the last two-thousand years or so of the Age of Osiris. This is the "new age" referred to by subsequent exponents of the Age of Aquarius and all its attendent book and incense sales.

93 93/93

Posted by the Flea at 10:49 AM | Comments (4)


Rollerskates only increase the mystery of the ancient Hittites.

Sign #91 from Laroche's book of Luwian/Hittite hieroglyphs remains a mystery to the present day. Laroche gives no interpretation for what this sign might conceivably mean and certainly does not offer the following obvious (though unlikely) explanation for the use of this sign. Simply put, that the Late Bronze Age Hittites enjoyed zipping around Carchemish on curly-toed rollerblades...
Posted by the Flea at 10:44 AM | TrackBack (0)


"...When Octavian, father of Augustus, at the head of his army, came upon the Holy Mount of Dionysus, he consulted the oracle about his son, and the prophets said to him that his son was to rule the world, for as the wine was spilt onto the altar, the smoke rose up above the top of the shrine and even unto heavens, as had happened when Alexander the Great himself had sacrificed upon that same altar".

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus

A place for rituals of wine and fire written of by Dion Cassius and Suetonius may have been found.

Bulgarian archaeologists believe they may have found one of the most famous prophecy sites in antiquity, a temple of the Greek god of wine Dionysus, in the mountains of what is today southern Bulgaria.
Posted by the Flea at 10:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

Odd Objects Gallery

Biggles has made some odd objects. My wardrobe could certainly use a pair of Brogued Wellingtons.

Welcome to odd objects gallery of selected 3d works by Biggles. He would love to hear from you if you wish to purchase any of his work, or commission him to produce something similar.
Posted by the Flea at 10:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 07, 2004

007 Kylie


Evil Bond girl, please! But let's face facts... Kylie is bound to be a good Bond girl.

And then... Though news via Anthony suggests Kylie might have other matters to attend to first.

Posted by the Flea at 11:55 AM | TrackBack (0)

Scooby Doo Cthulhu

The Mythos origins of Scooby Doo are discussed. At length.

So what do this, you are asking, have to do with the Cthulhu Mythos? Well, the link lies in Fu Hsi.
Posted by the Flea at 11:49 AM

St. Peter's

This is a new Flea-favourite. I particularly like the bottle.

English Halcyon malts are used together with lager malts. Golding hops provide the bitterness and aroma. The result is a highly distinctive light, golden ale similar in character to a full bodied Czech lager.
Posted by the Flea at 11:47 AM

Sign language

Another alternative internet clock.

Posted by the Flea at 11:46 AM


The McGurk effect demonstrated thanks to the wonders of "the internet."

Posted by the Flea at 11:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 06, 2004

Vegetarian gladiators


The protein deficiency could explain the aggressive temperament. That and the smart remarks about form-fitting armour.

Hollywood has portrayed them as muscle-bound and handsome, but Austrian anthropologists have found evidence suggesting that Roman gladiators were fat vegetarians who bore scant resemblance to Russell Crowe.
Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Legend of Zelda

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (quite work safe, actually, unless your work has something against Japanese elves).

Posted by the Flea at 06:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A girl's best friend

Margot Knight has a peculiar pet.

In the fall of 2002, a girl in San Francisco woke up and spent the morning with her best friend.
Posted by the Flea at 06:31 AM | Comments (2)


A four-hour miniseries, Farscape: Peacekeeper War is to pick up where the series ended.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Armor of the Witchking

The Flea reported on an impressive pair of Witchking gauntlets in January. I am pleased to provide an update courtesy of Mr. Jeffrey Stelter, creator of an off-the-rack Witchking of Angmar costume.

Posted by the Flea at 06:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Remember: these people can vote (courtesy of Fred Kiesche).

Britain is a nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey. A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place.

Researchers found that many of the 2,069 adults questioned could not tell fact from fiction. More than one in 20 thought the sci-fi classic War of the Worlds, in which Earth is invaded by Martians, was a historical event. Some even believed the Battle of Helm's Deep from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi actually took place.
Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2004


It takes a village to raise a blog!

The Flea is now MT-Blacklist protected thanks to the patient advice of blogospheric savants ***Dave and Eric Scheie and the skills of Dean Esmay, a blogger and a gentleman. Thanks guys!

Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | Comments (4)


Akira, contender for most over-rated film of all time (up there with Blue Velvet), neverthess featured a kick ass motocycle. One for me, please.

Good for health.
Bad for education.
Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Zombies: friend or foe?

Some say people are worse than zombies. Perhaps. I still say we must organize before they rise!

How are they created? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their needs, their desires? Why are they hostile to humanity? Can you survive and attack? Can you keep your family safe?
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Holy ---, Batman!

A compendium of phrases from the camp version of the story of the Batman.

Holy Contributing to the delinquency of minors!

Meantime, someone has noticed Superman in all those Seinfeld episodes...

Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | Comments (1)

Hovercraft with Motorycle

Yes, I love the U.S. of A. The spirit of invention lives on!

"Hovercraft with Motorycle" is unique in the world of vehicular travel. As the name implies, it is a hovercraft type of vehicle with motorcycle steering and propulsion. The advantage is that the user has access to all the benefits of hovercraft along with the improved steering and propulsion. Traditional hovercraft devices, because they have no supplementary steering or propulsion system, are difficult to start and stop and are affected with sluggish steering capabilities. In "Hovercraftwith Motorcycle" those problems are virtually nonexistent.
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM


Duke University plant geneticist, Mary Eubanks argues DNA evidence demonstrates corn is the result of a serendipitous cross between teosinte and gamagrass rather than a simple evolution from, and selective breeding of, teosinte.

"Understanding the genetic origins of corn and how people historically used corn could offer valuable insights for application to sustainable agriculture today," she said. "And finally, the gene pool underlying corn is part of our heritage that must be preserved if we are to retain the ability to solve agricultural problems such as new pests or the need for new farming methods."
Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 03, 2004

Say Mail

Read my lips... no more boring emails.

Sympatico brings you the latest in enhanced e-mail! You can make your favorite photo speak your message, or choose from the assortment of characters in our picture gallery
Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | Comments (2)

Skull and bones

Start your own collection of fossil hominids. I like the idea of a Piltdown Man skull sitting on my desk. What an ice-breaker!

Piltdown Man Skull 1912 Fraud, This skull is a replica of the so-called Dawson's "Dawn Skull," which had been unearthed in a gravel pit in Sussex, England by Charles Dawson in 1912.
Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM


Yet another unilateral action by Western imperialists as a ruse to gain access to Transylvanian oil reserves (via Merde in France).

Indignation took hold of the whole world as soon as news transpired of the cold-blooded murder of Transylvania’s spiritual leader, Count Dracula. The militant and founder of the local anti-imperialist movement was a victim of what both human rights organizations and specialists in International Law called an “extra-judicial execution”. The UK government took responsibility for the action, justifying it as a legitimate reprisal against an open enemy in a context of war. Diplomatic sources, on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that the aristocrat has been killed by members of the SAS under the command of the notorious Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (3)

Schwinn Sting-Ray

Add this to the shopping list.

It's been over 25 years since Schwinn Sting-Rays ruled America's sidewalks, streets and alleys. Now we're taking them back, with a totally new Sting-Ray, built for a totally new generation.
Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM

Astute Design and Build

I am sorry to learn the next-generation UK hunter-killer submarine program is having problems. I am almost embarrassed to learn it is £1 billion over budget (and counting). I am surprised to learn BAE Systems has brought in management from Electric Boat to help sort out the problem. Finally, I am a bit alarmed to learn how detailed is the information made public on engineering processes that are both sensitive from commercial and security perspectives. It is not the release of specifications that concerns me but publishing the names of senior members of the design and build team.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | Comments (2)

Leather boots

leather boots
Leather Boots- sleek, trendy, and popular, you are
always dressed right. You sometimes seem fake
to people that don't know you. You enjoy
shopping and hanging out with your many
friends. [please vote! thank you! :)]

What Kind of Shoe Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

This obviously correct answer comes via the barefoot Classical Values and Sketches of Strain who has a big stompy pair of boots really.

Posted by the Flea at 08:16 AM | Comments (1)


I am the number
I am friendly


what number are you?

this quiz by orsa

This numerical insight comes courtesy of the philosopher of Classical Values (who is infinite).

Posted by the Flea at 08:15 AM

April 02, 2004



As much as it pains me to reprint this Herald Sun photo, it pains me more to say news reports of Kylie's betrothal have been greatly exaggerated. Crown Prince Frederick loses out too.

We were quite bemused to see an article in the Daily Star on Saturday, March 27th which managed to get every single aspect of their report on Kylie completely wrong!

Let us assure you that Kylie is NOT quitting her music career - far from it! Dannii did not confirm that Kylie is getting married (she is not); and Kylie is not and never was performing at the wedding of Danish Crown Prince Frederick!
Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | Comments (1)

The Shotgun

Canada's new media voice features a group-blog: "The Shotgun has fired!" This northern answer to The Corner features the cast of the Western Standard and blogosphere supporting cast Colby Cosh, Damian Penny and Your Friendly Neighbourhood Flea.

I want to thank Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant for making the conversation possible. This country is in desperate need of an alternative to our state-sponsored Ministry of Truth. The Shotgun should help provide it.

They will have to pry this blog from my cold, dead hands!

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (2)

Batmobile 2.0

This is more like it. Oh yes.

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM

Zombie zombie zombie

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

And then... I found the zombies!

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | Comments (5)


Romanian villagers are up in arms at police interference in long-standing vampire slaying activities.

Before Toma Petre's relatives pulled his body from the grave, ripped out his heart, burned it to ashes, mixed it with water and drank it, he hadn't been in the news much.

That's often the way here with vampires. Quiet lives, active deaths.
Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM

Street Climb

My parkour links have proved unreliable so I post this mirror to David Belle's Spiderman routine. And while I am at it, here are variations on the theme.

Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM


Seventeen years are up. Prepare for the invasion!

"If you dig in the right place, you can find 30 to 50 nymphs in a hole about a foot square [0.1 square meter]," Cooley said. After the cicadas have counted 17 years—"we really don't know how they count the years," Kritsky said—they are ready to emerge, which usually happens in late spring when the soil reaches a temperature of about 64° Fahrenheit (18° Celsius).

When twilight of their emergence day hits, the one-inch-long (2.5-centimeter-long) nymphs crawl out of their holes and up just about anything vertical—trees, barbecues, walls, tombstones.
Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

A little Latin. Less Greek.

The Spectator mourns the passing of Latin in the UK (despite a modest Harry Potter-inspired renaissance). Minor quibbles about Gibson's Passion are made along the way.

Whatever you might think of The Passion of The Christ, at least Mel Gibson tried with the Latin. There aren’t many films with a credit for ‘Theological Consulting and Aramaic/Latin Translation’, and Dr William J. Fulco, the Jesuit priest brought in to sort out the locatives and the subjunctives, gets an alpha beta, if not quite an alpha, for his homework.

Cute. But surely that alpha beta would have been earned for a course in Greek rather than Latin or Aramaic? Now, repeat after me: Romanes eunt domus...

Posted by the Flea at 08:15 AM

April 01, 2004

Bra brawl


Kylie claims housework is a favourite hobby! It seems odd she should choose to announce the news in Elle given her recent "bra brawl" with the publication. Oh wait, not that Elle. That Elle.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Fun, fun, fun

Something odd in the Flea's referrals. Is this one of those parallel invention stories?

This is a video taken from a U.S. Army helicopter on maneuvers. They spotted some, uh, interesting activity. Believe me, this is NOT worksafe.

Via Ghost of a Flea
Posted by the Flea at 07:19 AM | Comments (2)

Girlz In Da Hood

Can we please go round the block again?

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM


Sarah Davis has produced a condensed version of The Lord of the Rings as an animated gif file. Very clever!

Posted by the Flea at 07:16 AM


Make yourself a monster then take one for your very own.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM

1954 Ford FX-Atmos

Another contender for the Fleamobile may be found in a page of concept cars. There are plenty more where that came from. Flea-readers everywhere can pick there own (though we know what Paul is after). I will also be giving serious thought to this bad boy when my archaeological riches start to roll in.

Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM | Comments (1)