May 31, 2004

Gothic Japan

Christon Café is a small chain of restaurants in Japan featuring uber-goth decor. The not-at-all goth clientele leads to me wonder if the effect is intentional. They do know the many icons on display are sacred to some people, right?

Apparently not, if this review of OI One, an eight-story goth/punk/etc. Tokyo shopping mall is any indication of what goth means in Japan.

Besides the scale and the methodical nature of the co-optation, one other thing makes it remarkable: OI ONE (supposedly this store is pronounced CIRCLE ONE, but since 'circle' isn't any more of a japanese word than 'oi', I fail to see the point) is a totally respectable, high-end retail chain. It's not HOT TOPIC, it's not even MACY's. it's like going to NIEMAN MARCUS and finding CRASS buttons and pre-spiked leather jackets.
Posted by the Flea at 07:55 AM | TrackBack (1)

Who theme

The famed Dr. Who theme is to be reworked by Slipknot for the latest incarnation of the show.

As soon as the Beeb said they were making a new series Slipknot started work on an updated version of the well-known theme. Drummer Joey Jordison told me: “I’m so excited Doctor Who’s coming back. It’s a great show, wild and exciting. “I watched it as a kid and it freaked me out. I’m 29 now and it was only a couple of years ago that I figured out what was going on."

And then... I like the Orbital version.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Not the brightest ghost in the machine.

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

Miss Universe

The Flea can only express outrage at the continuing anachronism that is Miss Universe 2004 (and how are we meant to keep the flag flying if there is no UK candidate?) At least Canada's representative fills out her résumé with good works.

Being Miss Canada Universe 2004 is a full-time job filled with public appearances, charity work and motivational speaking tours.
Posted by the Flea at 07:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

Zombie College

It only takes one zombie to eat your brains. That's what you get for following your girlfriend to Arkford University.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

Science Fiction Museum...

...and Hall of Fame opens June 18 in Seattle.

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame combines artifacts and information in evocative environments that immerse visitors in science fiction's "alternative worlds." Witness how this dynamic and diverse genre touches all forms of artistic expression and reframes the complexities of science, art, culture and the humanities, giving us new insights into ourselves and the world around us.
Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mercedes SLR McLaren

The Flea's panorama quest presents the SLR McLaren in virtual reality.

Posted by the Flea at 07:39 AM | TrackBack (0)


At least the Joint Strike Fighter is not alone in its troubles. The UK is trying to sell a number of Eurofighters before it has taken delivery of them.

The embarrassing revelation comes just days after it emerged that the Eurofighter's test pilots had been told to avoid flying through clouds because computer problems risked throwing the aircraft into a "catastrophic spin".

In a leaked report by a test pilot it emerged that the computer had a tendency to switch from flight mode to ground mode while still in the air.
Posted by the Flea at 07:36 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

May 29, 2004

Politics in wartime


World War II was deemed insufficient reason to give FDR a wartime pass on criticism by the Republican party of his day. Churchill won the war but his government lost the election of 1945. And wartime Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King understood a large part of Canada was unwilling to fight the Nazis at all. No prizes for guessing which part. La plus que change...

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Spammer in slammer

Oh yes.

Posted by the Flea at 10:08 AM | TrackBack (1)


John Stewart acknowledges an honorary doctorate awarded to him by William & Mary (via the Daily Dish).

I am honored to be here and to receive this honorary doctorate. When I think back to the people that have been in this position before me from Benjamin Franklin to Queen Noor of Jordan, I can’t help but wonder what has happened to this place. Seriously, it saddens me. As a person, I am honored to get it; as an alumnus, I have to say I believe we can do better. And I believe we should. But it has always been a dream of mine to receive a doctorate and to know that today, without putting in any effort, I will. It’s incredibly gratifying. Thank you. That’s very nice of you, I appreciate it.

I’m sure my fellow doctoral graduates—who have spent so long toiling in academia, sinking into debt, sacrificing God knows how many years of what, in truth, is a piece of parchment that in truth has been so devalued by our instant gratification culture as to have been rendered meaningless—will join in congratulating me. Thank you.
Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

Muppet Iwo Jima

Gary Brecher comments on a clash of the Titans in the Med as Spain and Morocco claim sovereignty over the Isle of Parsley (via Paul Jané).

This island is worthless scrub. No water, no houses, nobody living there except a herd of goats. As far as I know, nobody did a referendum with the goats whether they wanted to go with Spain or Morocco. They were just grazing the chaparral as usual on July 11 when out of nowhere a couple dozen Moroccan "gendarmes" occupy the island and run up the Moroccan flag.

In the Muppet-movie version, this is where Gonzo in a big turban and his belly-dancing chickens sail in, with Dom DeLuise as the Admiral waving a plywood scimitar.

Of course, it is with precisely such pointless gestures that illegitimate regimes arm themselves. And don't get me started on the General Belgrano.

Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Bill C-24

More proof it is always possible to find people who will: a) believe any hoax put in front of them, and b) support it.

Bill C-24 is now in force.

An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act (political financing) received royal assent on June 19, 2003, and most of its provisions came into force on January 1, 2004. ... Under the amending Act, the Criminal Code of Canada was changed to allow for penalties for individuals failing to vote in a general election from $500 to $650, and to allow for the publication of the names and addresses of those individuals that did not vote in the general election.

For the record, I am in favour of legislation making voting compulsory on the condition I can vote "None of the above". Seriously.

Posted by the Flea at 10:00 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 28, 2004

Luke Goss


Luke Goss portrayed the head Reaper from Blade II, easily the most sympathetic character in the film. It turns out Goss is one of the twins from late 80s pop act, Bros. Head of a sinister army of cloned super-vampires... you don't say?


Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Rogue demon hunter

"You know, back in my days as a rogue demon hunter I once used that very spear to pin down what I thought was a small Rodentius demon -- of course the poodle's owners weren't very happy."

Rue is under the impression I only hunt rogue demons.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Let Forever Be

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


One SOURCE of my superpowers has been REVEALED to the public. I assure you, if the miscreat is found he will be PUNISHED severely.


This is the LLAP-GOCH MASTER who will reveal to YOU ONLY the SECRETS of LLAP-GOCH. He is a fully qualified leek coloured belt first dai master and cares nothing for penal reform.
Posted by the Flea at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


You should have seen the one that got away.

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Jessica Simpson instructs men on how to buy lingerie.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Visual Cognition

Watch the video and count the number of times the white team passes the ball. Then watch the video again without counting.

Posted by the Flea at 08:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


A man, his gas turbine engine collection and a motorcycle.

This page will detail my collection of old gas turbines and some of things I get up to with them. I've been collecting and playing with old gas turbines for some years now; I finally concluded that old computers were fun but didn't make enough noise.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

Miniature Earth

"Appreciate what you have" is a fine sentiment though as a basis for public policy needs some work. I am surprised there are more people with bank accounts than there are people with closets and refrigerators. Oh, and I blame it all on that one Australian.

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

Carry on browsing

The Flea has a high-speed bias with all these links to videos and such. I have been thinking of fiddling with MT to make links open into a new window on the grounds this would make it simpler for dial-up folks to carry on browsing while files load. Thoughts? Anyone? Bueller?

Posted by the Flea at 08:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

May 27, 2004



The New York Post just wants the return of the cone bra. No fair talking about the "kabbalah T-shirt" without a photo. Ahh, here it is.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM | TrackBack (1)

Richard Biggs

Richard Biggs, best known to fannish audiences as Dr. Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5, died over the weekend. JMS expresses his regret (hat tip to Being American in T.O.)

"Toast. To absent friends, .. in memory still bright."
Cpt. John J. Sheridan in Babylon 5:"Sleeping in Light"
(J. Michael Straczynski)

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | TrackBack (0)


Spike Milligan's epitaph is in place at long last. Sort of.

Relatives of the former Goon have now decided that it can bear the star's epitaph: "I told you I was ill." However, the inscription had to be written in Gaelic in order for it to be approved by the Chichester Diocese.
Posted by the Flea at 08:46 AM | TrackBack (1)


Now it's time for your drum solo.

Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

Matchstick Man

A striking short film (via b3ta). The Erik Satie soundtrack is a Flea-fav.

Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


RetroCrush presents the 100 scariest movie scenes of all time.

It's easy to talk about scary movies, but we wanted to highlight the individual scary scenes that really stick out. Some films aren't scary by design, but happen to have creepy and shocking moments that deserve special recognition.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

E Pluribus Unum

"We know the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?"

In my search to place this quote in context I came across a sermon by Donel McClellan, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Bellingham, Washington. "E Pluribus Unum, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26" was delivered shortly after the inaugural address of President Bush and reflects on the President's use of the quote to conclude his address. Pastor McClellan takes it from there.

President Bush did not use my sermon title in his address, but he might have. It fits the message he delivered. According to our resident staff Latin expert, Sexton Jerry Greenwalt, it is pronounced: E Pluribus Unum—Out of Many, One.

The phrase was well known to literate Americans in 1776 when the Great Seal Committee selected it as a national motto. The popular London periodical the Gentleman’s Magazine published from 1731 to 1922 used the words annually. Each year the twelve monthly issues were bound together by a thirteenth to become a single volume. On the title page was written E Pluribus Unum—From many, One.

Curiously, the motto traveled from thirteen magazines bound in a single volume to thirteen colonies bound together. From Many, One: assurance that together we may aspire to greater accomplishment than can be achieved independently.

Wonderful stuff. But wait until you read about the First Church of the Brethren in Sarasota, Florida.

Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

White Island Crater


New Zealand's volcanic White Island draws all sorts of tourists. Vulcanologists have an uninvited, if not unwelcome, guest in sight of their volcano webcam.

Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) researchers have installed a digital camera in the crater of the volcano which makes up most of White Island in the Bay of Plenty, east of Auckland. The often active volcano draws tourists by boat but most people do not go ashore on the uninhabited, rumbling island.

To keep a close watch on the area, GNS researchers installed a digital camera on the island and shots taken every hour are posted on their website. But suddenly a pink dinosaur has appeared in the shot.
Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 26, 2004



Clearly, I have this stuff on the brain. I must have been sleep-blogging or something when I wrote about Blade: Trinity because I have a vivid memory of Jean Reno as Dracula back to back with Blade in a poster. Go figure. First up in my Luc Besson film festival is Wasabi, "quite possibly the greatest French-language, English-subtitled, Japanese action-comedy of all time." Besson's movies have a cartoonish quality and there is something extraordinarily appealing about Reno's self-effacing ass-kickery.

Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Sure, a Predator plush toy seems just the thing until you scroll down and spot the plush Alien. So lovable! But not as huggable as this one.

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ding Dong Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (maximum cheeze alert and possibly nsfw).

Posted by the Flea at 08:50 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Dragon & the Rat

Beautiful. Ostland is worth a visit too.

Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

USS Enterprise

I could maybe fly this thing in a strafing maneuvre at the local skateboard kid.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

De Bloemert

Excavations are shedding light on one of Rome's neighbours, a village near the contemporary Dutch holiday resort of De Bloemert.

What is special about this is the fact that the village stood outside the Roman Empire – 150km to the north of the border formed by the Rhine, in fact. In those days that represented many days of travel, and yet the finds from the Roman period indicate that there was a lot of contact with the Romans. To the locals these foreigners may have been intimidating - representatives of the Superpower of their time - but were also people with whom one could deal.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | TrackBack (0)


Marine archaeologist Irene Chryssoheri proposes a Pharos Museum in Alexandria. Good idea.

Designed by Sostratus during the reign of King Ptolemy II, Pharos was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World due to its immense height that reached 400 feet. Standing on a little island of the same name opposite Alexandria, it would guide sailors into the city harbour for 1,500 years till it was toppled by earthquakes around 1345.
Posted by the Flea at 08:46 AM | TrackBack (0)

Wonkette, etc.

INDC Journal asks us to de-link Wonkette. Tricky. I rely on the InstaPundit to read her for me so have never linked in the first place. INDC Journal's ire inspired me to look if only for curiosity's sake and I begin to understand the popularity of Wonkette. I mean, we are not made of stone.

And then... Wizbang has more details.

And then... I was about to say "I'll pose nude for fifty bucks." Then I remembered some people around here have a sense of humour. Ahem. This update comes via Gawker (with a hat tip to Mondo Sismondo).

TND is hearing through the grapevine that that Playboy magazine is in discussions to offer both Cutler and Cox a six figure deal to pose nude for an upcoming issue of Playboy timed for the fall elections - more if they pose together. Cutler, who has done her share of glam-photos in the past, would be looking at a hefty pay increase over the $400 per hour she was earning as a DC escort for Capital Hill staffers and cabinet officials.
Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2004

Blade: Trinity

Reviews for the third and final installment of Marvel's Blade film franchise are generally positive in previews (no spoilers but pics and spoilers here). Rumours to the contrary stemmed from its being pushed back to December from its original August release. Apparently, the change was made to avoid going head-to-head with Alien vs. Predator. Very sensible. I am pleased to report Jean Reno is making an appearance... As it happens, I am in the middle of a Flea-at-home Jean Reno film festival. Details to follow!

And then... I must have written this in some parallel reality over the weekend because Mr. Reno has disappeared. Hmm. Need more coffee or something. Still, a Luc Besson version would be fun.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | TrackBack (0)

Boogie Pimps

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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


It is pretty obvious that Batman would not have locked the keys in the car.

Posted by the Flea at 08:36 AM | TrackBack (0)


This latest installment of the Flea Panorama Corner takes us to the Paris Metro.

Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mile by mile

Images of Chicago by intersection.

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | TrackBack (0)


Digital art 250 by 250 pixels. Neat. Now can someone tell me where the expression "five by five" comes from? Not that it sounds the same coming from me as from Faith. Oh wait, here it is. But that leaves me wondering what the technical origin is from the radio communication people.

Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Blah Blah Blogging

It's the latest netscaper cyberweb craze! Best "think of the children" quote ever, by the way.

"How do you communicate with others? Do you use your cell phone, or emails? Chat rooms? Instant messages? Well, there's a NEW way of chatting without parting your lips: it's called BLOGGING."

It should be noted she says the word "blogging" like she can't stand to have it in her mouth. You'd think she was talking about "ferrets" or "e coli."
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (1)

Ultimate War Simulation

A realistic war simulation has more than "little cartoon tanks jostling around in a video sandbox" (via Argghhh!!!).

17. In my Public Support display let me find out that the news media has run, in the same magazine, one story blasting us for going to war for minerals and another story blasting us for not acting on the continuing mineral shortage back home.

There should also be simultaneous stories about the outrageous expense of the war effort, and another about how the troops are under-funded and under-equipped. Set it so that I somehow lose Public Support points with each story.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

May 24, 2004



The Kylie rumour mill has little conclusive to report about everyone's favourite pop pixie. Word has it her forthcoming "Chocolate" video features a tutu sequence.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

The lion sleeps tonight

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The special edition trailer. I expect this means a special edition Howard the Duck is in the offing (via Ain't It Cool News).

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


This test rates me at 76% snob.

Nice one Nicholas, at only 76% snob you're a happy go-lucky-social chameleon, comfortable in any echelon. Even though you enjoy the odd swipe at your neighbor's taste in wives, you're still a well-rounded human being who'd never dream of judging his fellow man on the color of his shoes.

Unless, that is, they did not match his belt (via the Meatriarchy).

Posted by the Flea at 08:50 AM | TrackBack (2)

Ultimate Chainsaw

For all your logging needs.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM | TrackBack (0)


Paul thinks this is "a bit low-rent" to be the Fleamobile. Hmm. How about this?

Koenigsegg manufactures exclusive super sportscars for a select elite of enthusiasts. Spaceage materials and uncompromizing quality both in finish and function make these cars among the very best in the automotive history. They reach higher top speeds and are more powerful than any other series-produced car today.

High-speed folks can take a look at a massive five and a half minute, 89Mb promo for the Koenigsegg CC.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Just the thing for environmentally friendly commuting.

Going back to the future of rotor craft design is the basic concept of the AirScooter VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) vehicle by AirScooter Corporation of Henderson, Nevada. "The original Sikorsky rotorcraft helicopter concept was based on a coaxial design much like the AirScooter," says Woody Norris; internationally recognized inventor and AirScooter Corporation co-founder, "what we've done is package the coaxial design in a modern light-weight craft that allows for intuitive control and incredible maneuverability."
Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

Penny wise

Physiologists urge the UK government to reconsider its policy bias against human space flight.

They say the policy, based on the belief that robotic exploration represents far better value for money, is a false economy.

Alan North, president of the Physiological Society, one of the scientific bodies pushing for a change in policy, said: "The pay-offs could be enormous, not just for protecting astronauts from the effects of [zero gravity] but to learn how to prevent wasting of muscle and bone here on earth."
Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 22, 2004

New York City

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

New York
You're competative, you like to take it straight to the fight. You gotta have it all or die trying.


The last time I took one of these things I was San Francisco. When do I get to be Atlanta? And there should be some kind of internet law about spell-checking on-line test results.

Posted by the Flea at 11:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

Derelict London

Paul Talling provided a "photographic portrait" of London.

This is not a compilation of familiar tourist sights, as another of those is hardly needed, but a depiction of an (often un-picturesque) view of everyday life in London.
Posted by the Flea at 11:19 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sunset over the Mersey

The Purple Gang make a comeback. In Hungary.

Posted by the Flea at 11:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


This is a great idea.

"It's ridiculously fun. It's high-energy, you don't stop moving. There's sensory overload," said Colleen Finn, who founded the Portland adult dodgeball league this year.

And throwing a ball hard at someone can be fun, too.
Posted by the Flea at 11:14 AM | TrackBack (1)


The latest Flea fashion update.

New Rock only made a small handful of these, they are 100% leather boots, with three rows of springs, new rock laces and a HUGE platform of 15 Inches!!
Posted by the Flea at 11:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

The English Patient

The Telegraph reports on newly released MI5 files on Count Laszlo Almasy, made famous through a film adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient. The files describe the man as "very ugly and shabbily dressed, with a fat and pendulous nose, drooping shoulders and a nervous tic." This is hardly the stuff Hollywood romance is made of (Laszlo being gay would not have helped along that particular plotline either). "Ugly" seems a bit unfair. I cannot speak for his appearance while dodging Allied police in Cairo but at least in his younger days I think there is a reasonable resemblence to Ralph Fiennes.

Posted by the Flea at 11:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


Hey, the Stanley Cup is a big deal in this part of the world. A variety of Canadian women get into the spirit of the thing.

Posted by the Flea at 11:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 21, 2004

Captain America


Quoting Ultimates #12, "Persons of Mass Destruction" via the Peoria Pundit's summary.

Captain America has just been asked if he wants to surrender and receive a quick and merciful death. After pounding the alien to death with his shield, Cap replies: "Do you think this letter on my head stands for FRANCE?"
Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Thanks Ray!

Thanks Ray, for sorting out my sidebar wrapping problem! And check out the new look Abraca-Pocus!

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


And the winner is...

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | TrackBack (1)

Birth Of The Empire

I would put a spoiler warning on this but the franchise is so ripe by now I expect nobody cares. Mike Campbell shrugs and sadly, I agree. George, George, George. You are such a tool.

THE long-awaited final Star Wars blockbuster will be called Birth Of The Empire, movie insiders have revealed.

And the highlight of the space epic will be a thrilling lightsabre clash between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) while surfing on LAVA.

The Hollywood source said: “Anakin and Obi-Wan fight on platforms on the lava. They control these like surfboards.”
Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


I have been waiting for these contraptions.

Our neighboring planets may someday be explored by aircraft with no motors or jets or props, but with solar-powered wings that flap and soar like an eagle.

Leonardo da Vinci's ornithopter design remains the standard and plenty of aspiring aviators have had a go at ornithopter building but when I hear ornithopter I have Frank Herbert's Dune in mind. Ornithopter Zone is full of ornithopter goodness.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Seven Wonders

The new seven wonders, that is. And only a few hundred days left to vote on what they will be!

This is your opportunity to participate in the very first global and democratic internet vote to determine the New 7 Wonders of the World. The existing seven wonders of the world were determined over 2000 years ago. We have adopted the ancient concept and offer you the possibility of a current global ballot, the results of which will be held in highest esteem throughout future generations as symbols of the wealth of human accomplishment.

No list would be complete but this one seems peculiar to me. I like Gaudi's Sagrada Familia as a choice and the Golden Gate bridge is suitably Colossos of Rhodesy.

This is my list of the new Seven Wonders: the electrical grid, continental highway and rail transportation systems, cargo container ships, the communication satellite network, antibiotics, refrigeration and, of course, "the internet".

Posted by the Flea at 08:51 AM | TrackBack (0)


iSerenity Environments lets you choose a "sound and image experience to relax or work by."

Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

Die spambots die!

Spambots are invited to follow this and this and this and this. This one comes to you courtesy of Watcher of Weasels.

Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | TrackBack (1)

May 20, 2004

Good Morning Baltimore

I got to see the Toronto cast "Hairspray" in previews thanks to the Sister of the Flea who has a much more glamorous job than I do. Best musical ever!

And now, with a hat tip to my sister, is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


"I got here hours ago. I've been in the library researching cloaking spells!"

My thoughts exactly. But that's Hogwarts for you. This sort of thing is not tolerated at schools for muggles.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


This is just the ticket.

And then... Could be a "meme" (that's a trope, or perhaps a genre, actually but don't get me started on memes).

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


This test claims I think like a male and a female. It could be I think like someone who takes too many online tests.

Posted by the Flea at 07:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

Venomous Dell

This is even better than my planned "black and blue" garden.

You see, the Duchess's Venomous Dell is a very dangerous place. Look out for Atropa Belladonna. Deadly nightshade. Three of those tasty looking buds and you'll be heading home in a casket. They don't call them Satan's Cherries for nothing. Over in the corner is a swaying bush of Heracleum. Named after the Greek god Hercules. Brush your fingers on a single leaf and watch your hand burst into pustulating blisters. You could end up permanently scarred.
Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM | TrackBack (0)


This sort of behaviour is why the names of my hypothetical children are a closely guarded secret. It seems Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were not so original as they have been given credit.

Paltrow, it appears, is guilty of name-napping. And name-napping is unforgivable. Especially when the name is so wilfully obscure that it almost deserves a little TM logo in the corner.

To break that spiritual copyright is bad enough – but to commit the crime within one's own social circle would seem to be not only an appalling breach of manners, but dreadfully undignified to boot. For any child, be they a Fifi Trixibelle Geldof or a Moon Unit Zappa, being saddled with a novelty name is one thing but sharing it with a friend of the family is a curse too far.
Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


Those warnings about the growing wok-gap went unheaded. Now we have photographic proof.

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM | TrackBack (0)

A flotilla of lies

The Belmont Club may be the most important writing in the blogosphere. This piece on hyper-blitzkrieg media war is a must read.

The defeat being advertised by the press is a wholly new phenomenon: one which leaves the vanquished army untouched and the victor devastated; the economy of the vanquished burgeoning and that of the victor in destitution; the territory of the loser unoccupied and that of the winner garrisoned. It is an inversion of all the traditional metrics of victory and defeat. That the assertion is not instantly ludicrous is an indication of the arrival of a new and potentially revolutionary form of political wafare.

And then... I see the Minbari ambassador to the blogosphere has beat me to the punch! Now thinking of next blog to enthuse about.

Posted by the Flea at 07:00 AM | TrackBack (0)


Captain's Quarters describes how the 9/11 Commission has finally "jumped the shark" (via the Watcher of Weasels).

Posted by the Flea at 06:59 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 19, 2004

Cheeky Girls: Reloaded


The Flea's unswerving commitment to the latest in Cheeky media meant I need to come up with an excuse to run this picture. They are under new management or something.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mrs Wiseman

A rather detailed picture of Kate Beckinsale's embroidered bikini bottom. Will the Sun stop at nothing to sell pictures? And what inhuman motivation caused them to disable right-clicking?

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Learn to look for positive feedback.

Inspired by the face-in-the-crowd paradigm, EyeSpy teaches people to look for the smiling/approving person in a crowd of frowning faces. By doing this repeatedly and as quickly as possible, this teaches people to look for acceptance and ignoring rejection. In order to successfully and accurately identify the smiling/approving face, one must get in the mind frame “Look for acceptance, and ignore rejection because it slows me down”.
Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Alien vs Predator

The poster. I am only now reminded Lance Henriksen is going to be in this thing. Kewl! A fan site is running a web poll for just how he is going to get bumped off. I would say, "using his nascent chest burster as a weapon" but we saw that in the last one.

A spoiler warning is in effect for the following Dark Horizons report drawn from an annual meeting hosted by North American Theatre Owners.

Fox had a 3-4 minute trailer of Alien Vs. Predator. It showed Bishop preparing the mission to Antarctica for Weyland Yutani. The team preparing to descend into the pyramid is given a rundown of what it will take to keep them alive as the mission was put together in a short amount of time. When the team descends into the pyramid it is cut off from the surface after a small group of Predators attack. Several members of the team are trapped in a sacrificial chamber and out of the floor rise alien eggs. The eggs open and just as the facehuggers jump there are several quick cuts of the humans fighting the Predators, Aliens attacking the humans and Predators fighting the Aliens. Great stuff!!
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


How many times have I watched Star Trek in mute horror? A friend of mine and I once realized we had all the symptoms of transporter psychosis and were getting worried until we remembered transporters do not exist. I am with Bones. I would not step into one of those things if I had the choice (now off to see what Staying Alive has to say on the subject).

And then... No spoilers here but I will say this... There is a genre of on-line psychology/philosophy tests that irritate me. In my view, it is a bit much to introduce conclusive evidence of something half-way through a test, fail to articulate its consequences and then tell the person taking the test how inconsistent their responses were.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tales of Future Past

Nothing dates as quickly as our conception of the future.

It wasn't that long ago that we had a future. I mean, we have one now; the world isn't going to crash into the Sun or anything like that. What I mean is that we had a future that we could clearly imagine. The future wasn't tomorrow, next week, next year, or next century. It was a place with a form, a structure, a style.
Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Canadians Are Smug returns to James Burke's view of the future from 1979. Quoting Burke here:

Today, the people who make things change - the people who have that knowledge - are the scientists and technologists who are the true driving force of humanity. And before you say, "What about the Beethovens and the Michelangelos?" (tsk), let me suggest something with which you may disagree violently.

That at best, the products of human emotion: art, philosophy, politics, music, literature are interpretations of the world that tell you more about the guy who's talking than about the world he's talking about. Secondhand views of the world made thirdhand by your interpretation of them.
Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Pro-Irak Argumentengenerator

In case you need to make the case in Dutch.

Posted by the Flea at 08:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Beyond help, but not helpless

Baldilocks agonizes over what it must be like to die alone and surrounded by your enemies. Mich at Tonecluster offers the following response drawn from Bachya ben Asher, a Spanish rabbi of the 1300s.

"God can transcend the laws of nature and change a person's fortune, and though a situation may appear to be hopeless, Divine intervention can change that reality in an instant. God's salvation is close at hand, for He is omnipotent. Even if a sword rests on a person's neck, he should not imagine that his salvation is impossible... Thus said Chizkiya to Yeshayahu the prophet: I have received a tradition from my grandfather's house, that even though a sharp sword rests on a person's neck, he should not withhold himself from supplication to God."

I will tell you what I want to see. Or rather, what I want to hear. I want to hear Fabrizio Quattrocchi use his last moments well.

"Now I'll show you how an Italian dies!"

Al Jazeera said they would not air the video of Quattrocchi's death because it was "too greusome". I do not believe it. I believe they chose not to air the video because it showed a man dying a hero. Neither al Jazeera nor our own media elites can afford to show us that. James Robbin writes:

The enemy we face today would have to rise far to earn even our contempt. Fabrizio's captors wanted not just to kill him, but to humiliate him, the true mark of the savage. However, they needed his cooperation, and Fabrizio knew it. He was beyond help, but not helpless. He was alive. He could still choose, if only to choose the manner in which he would die. Consider the bravery, the nobility, the strength of that act.
Posted by the Flea at 08:12 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 18, 2004

Combined Task Force 150


It is a Cancon day at the Flea. Our participation in Combined Task Force 150 is one welcome example of Canadian content. Mike Campbell explains and links to this super-size version of that super-cool picture.

Posted by the Flea at 08:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Terrance and Philip

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)



Let's face facts. It should have looked like this.

And then... That blue is from the Union standard. Here is a French version.


And an American one.


Let us see. Red, white and blue appear on the flags of the three countries most closely connected with Canada's history. Red and white, on the other hand, are the colours of the federal Liberal party. Astonishing thing that.

Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


Nate spent entirely too much time getting his Hallowe'en costume together.

Many of you may also know that Nate spent ENTIRELY too much time working on the Extendable / Retractable claws for his outfit, as well as the outfit itself. The outfit was visualized, conceived, and conceptualized entirely by Nate, as were the claws. However, Nate did pick up quite a bit of help along the way as friends came forward to participate in the creation of what many said was "The most accurate costume I have ever seen..."
Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2004



Oh yes.

Bruce Campbell says there is "some validity" to rumours Ash could take on Freddy and Jason.

"As I've been explaining to people, this wouldn't be a movie where you could just make a phone call and go, 'Let's do it,' and then it all happens," Campbell said in an interview. "You've got three franchises."

Campbell added, "[That] means you have 17 lawyers, each going, 'Yeah, look at my franchise. Yeah, look at my franchise.' So you have to get past that. Then you have to get past the question of 'how will the characters be treated?' What would you do with Ash? There's no way I'd be in it if I lost. No way. The good guy has to win, especially in that movie. You couldn't kill two whole franchises, but we could sure maim them."
Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (2)

Calling all Canucks

Canadian bloggers... send me your best articles of the week for tomorrow's Carnival! Canadian lovers... send me your Canadian related articles! Say something nice, take a shot, be our guest... now is your time for some linky love!

Posted by the Flea at 08:34 AM | TrackBack (0)

Disco Inferno

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (I also like the Bagpipe Koala).

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

The Incredibles

This looks like fun. So, how do I get an interview with Elastigirl?

Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | TrackBack (1)


At last! The solution to the problem my mother calls "book blight". A cadre of these guys should do the trick.

The Bookman is a bookshelf in the shape of a man and is a highly decorative piece of furniture as well as a sculpture.
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | TrackBack (0)


It seems to me that brutal honesty in personal ads rather misses the point (via INDC Journal).

The singles below are real people with real issues. Some are overweight. Others are crippled by debt. Quite a few live with their parents. But they all have one thing in common: They are available.
Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | TrackBack (0)


Italian police will now get to tool around in 2-seater Lamborghini Gallardo.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | TrackBack (0)


The Royal Navy's two new carriers may have to be redesigned to accommodate the Joint Strike Fighter. 3,300lb overweight might be described as pleasantly portly.

An analysis by Lockheed Martin has disclosed that the jet can only land safely if it has used its full complement of bombs and missiles and if its fuel tanks are virtually empty. Otherwise the undercarriage is likely to collapse during landing.
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (1)


Some common sense from Retired Maj. Gen. Mohammed Abdul-Latif.

"We can make them (Americans) use their rifles against us or we can make them build our country, it's your choice," Latif told a gathering of more than 40 sheiks, city council members and imams in an eastern Fallujah suburb.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)


Classical values addresses conspiratorial thinking.

A comment posted to the Nick Berg beheading video thread reminded me that conspiracy thinking is alive and well. The anonymous commenter asserted -- without any evidence at all -- that the beheading of Nick Berg was a "false-flag" operation by the U.S. government. Absurd as it initially seemed, eventually I remembered that many people believe that the entire Osama bin Laden operation is run by the U.S. government.

It amazes me that people understand what it means to line up to get a driver's license renewed or convince the city to enforce a no parking zone but still attribute divine competence to the CIA, FBI or their equivalents in the UK or elsewhere. They may be spooks but they are still civil servants working in massive government bureaucracies. I imagine that for many people it is more comforting to believe a malevolent force is running the show than face the fact that most of the time nobody knows with much certainty what the heck is going on.

I still fall into the trap of thinking everyone can be reasoned with and that every disagreement is grounded in an honest difference of opinion. I cannot quite resolve myself to the idea that people should choose an X-Files safety blanket over trying to come to grips with the world. I should get it through my head. My cousin once observed to me that William Shakespeare described every manner of rogue, scoundrel and fool hundreds of years ago. What on earth, he asked me, has changed in human nature since then?

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

May 15, 2004


VICTOR: You are victor!

1400-years-old, he is the supreme Vampire overlord who has been sleeping to restore his power. Selene trusts him as she trusts no one else and daringly awkens him when no one else believes her discovery of the Lycan plot to destroy the Vampires. Viktor is tall, powerful, haught, and ostentatious. And ruthless. He had his own daughter, Sonja, executed when it was discovered she was secretly involved with a lycan leader. Many have elevated him to celebrity status. Many others wish him dead. But Viktor has his own secrets and a dark side no other Vampire has ever known ... he may have been the one who began the ancient battle between Lycans and Vampires.

Which UNDERWORLD character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

This somewhat obvious result arrives courtesy of the philosopher of Classical Values who looks great in latex.

Posted by the Flea at 10:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

German pride

This one is for Ray...

We're here! We're German! Get used to it!

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

High Spirits

This would make more sense to me with the Cocktail soundtrack (via A Welsh View).

Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


It is wrong for me to want to own this outfit.

Posted by the Flea at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Grand Canyon (full screen)

Gorgeous Grand Canyon panoramas. I like the view inside Redwall Cavern.

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,904 sq. miles (4,950 sq. km) in northern Arizona; it is 277 miles long (446 km) and is cut by the Colorado River. The gorge is a mile deep (1.6 km) and 18 miles wide (29 km) in some places.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Moller Skycar M400

A snip at £324k (when it is in stock, that is).

Unlike previous prototype Skycars, the M400 can comfortably seat four people, making a day trip to the south of France with your mates the equivalent of a two-hour blat down the motorway. That’s when it goes on sale, of course, which isn’t just yet.

Personally, I would settle for BA609 Tiltrotor.

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

America's toupée

The metaphors in the first paragraph alone of this Telegraph piece make it worth a look. I make one plea for a reality check in an otherwise admirable reminder about throwing stones in glass houses. The prison guards at Abu Ghraib were not the ones engaged in the beheading of prisoners or the suspending of body parts in public places.

Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

Operation Wolverines

Culture jamming is not the sole preserve of antisemitic "progressives". Operation Wolverines is only the latest Protest Warrior contibution to the fight against idiotarianism everywhere. The theme music from Conan the Barbarian is hilarious. The near hallucinatory stupidity that is documented should come with a blood pressure warning.

Operation Wolverines
On March 20, PW launched multiple counter-strikes against A.N.S.W.E.R.'s Hate Across America. Click here for our new movie chronicling our operation, and see for yourself what happens when you take the principles of the Left all the way.
Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Were we misled?

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 14, 2004

Pamela Anderson


What do you call an accomplished, successful and famous Canadian?

An American.

And then... Remember, next week the Flea hosts Carnival of the Canucks #19. More details are here.

Posted by the Flea at 08:34 AM | TrackBack (0)

Cheer up

This one is for everyone in the VRWC depressed by events of the last couple weeks (possibly NSFW). You know who you are!

Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I Love to Love

But my baby loves it when it is time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | TrackBack (0)


Only because he was rumoured to be the replacement Spiderman.

Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | TrackBack (0)


Welcome to my life.

Renegade occultist John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), who has literally been to hell and back, teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister. Their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Based on the DC-Vertigo comic book Hellblazer.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Matrix

The Matrix Online is looking for beta testers...

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | TrackBack (0)


An accident waiting to happen.

It was created by a former English teacher and uses operating theatre technology, but a strapless and backless bikini unveiled yesterday is set to become the sexiest sight of the summer.

The gravity-defying garment, which has been christened the Demikini, allows women to develop a tan free from strap marks.
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)


For the discerning Flea-reader.

Imagine the thrill of driving a 56 ton tank over a car, trying to beat the SAS woodland patrol challenge, firing a 18th century musket and mortar, or "swimming" an amphibious truck? Thats just a few of the activities offered by corporate action activity specialists TANKS-A-LOT.
Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 13, 2004

Irish blood, English heart


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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


Yesterday's news produced a high traffic day. Was I imagining things or were speeds down across the network? InstaPundit reports over 200,000 page views yesterday (4547 at the Flea) while Andrew Sullivan reports over 100,000 visits and lgf reports 50,000 unique visitors (2519 at the Flea). This may suggest the Flea is getting around 5% of the traffic of the big blogs.

And then... Argghhh!!! reports on traffic from "Wahabism Delanda Est!"

And then... It is a Debbyelanche here at the Flea. I sent a note to my web host to ask if a denial of service attack was underway (seriously). Updates to follow...

Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


The Flea's unceasing commitment to satorial excellence compells me to report Brad Pitt's prophetic words accompanying the release of Troy. Somehow I don't think the effect would work as well for me as for Mr. Pitt.

"Men will be wearing skirts by next summer. That's my prediction and proclamation," he said with a laugh. "The film answers to both genders. We were going for realism and Greeks wore skirts all the time then."
Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM | TrackBack (0)


Hunting rats with Blowgun Joe is one thing. Blowgun fishing is a whole other story.

Posted by the Flea at 08:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Outside voice

To get the full impact of this story you need to imagine someone speaking in a hot Russian Bond girl accent.

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Burj Dubai

Taipei 101 (460m), the Petronas Towers (452m) and the Sear's Tower (442m) will be overshadowed by the Shanghai World Financial Center (492m) upon its completion in 2007. Even that last will be dwarfed by the Burj Dubai, intended to be the world's tallest building at a projected 705m. That is considerably taller than the world's tallest freestanding structure (as opposed to occupied building), the CN Tower (553m).

On the short-list to do the job: the Binladen construction group. Of course, another strategy for getting the world's biggest phallic substitute would be for some other family member to keep knocking down everyone else's accomplishments until we are left with a 7th century hut.

Posted by the Flea at 08:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The world condemns barbarism

When pigs fly.

And then... The world condemns slavery too, I expect.

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

May 12, 2004



Even the Flea thinks £30,000 could be better invested.

A number plate, KYL11E, is expected to fetch up to £30,000 at auction next month. Though it never belonged to Aussie popstar Kylie Minogue, it should attract interest from fans hoping they should be so lucky to buy it.
Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | TrackBack (0)


A fan's costuming obsession.

Well, there's actually more than that. I've always liked playing dress-up—when we lived in New Orleans when I was little, as soon as Mardi Gras was over I'd start planning my costume for the next year—and I love Star Wars. (Princess Leia is my favorite character, if you hadn't noticed.) And, I like sewing. It only seemed natural that I combined them into creating Leia costumes for myself.
Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Return of the King

The interface for the forthcoming dvd.

Posted by the Flea at 08:50 AM | TrackBack (0)

Middle Earth Furniture

The Flea opts for the One Ring Round Table with full set of nine Darkness & Light Dining Chairs (for the mysterious Council of the Flea). A snip at £34,800!

Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM | TrackBack (0)


For all your WiFi needs.

Magicbike is a mobile WiFi (wireless Internet) hotspot that gives free Internet connectivity wherever its ridden or parked. By turning a common bicycle into a wireless hotspot, Magicbike explores new delivery and use strategies for wireless networks and modern-day urbanites. Wireless bicycles disappear into the urban fabric and bring Internet to yet unserved spaces and communities.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (0)


An extreme time waister warning is in effect on this Fishy game variation.

And then... I am still trying to decide if that pun is funny or not. Also, I liked the Fishy game better because I am finding this one impossible.

And then... Ok, that's better.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (0)


Barking Moonbat Early Warning System alerts us to strange goings on in Antarctica. Has anyone else here worked at McMurdo or elsewhere in Antarctica? And what does it take to get a unique visitor that will make an Antarctica icon show up in my Awstats?

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Take this handy phrasebook with you and make your intentions clear all over the world.

How much is that in real money? C'est combien en monnaie réelle ? ¿Cuánto es en moneda estable? Wieviel ist das in richtigem Geld?

Don't you speak English? Vous parlez pas anglais ? ¿Usted no habla inglés? Sprichst du kein Englisch?
Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

9/11 video

Here is a link to 9/11 video. Damian explains.

Posted by the Flea at 08:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

May 11, 2004

The Gauntlet of Doom

A neat idea for on-line animated adventure. Basically, the premise is that Batman is cooler than Superman.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Spam wisdom

Cup of Chicha continues her "DIY resistance to MT-Blacklist" with a celebration of the clever rhetoric of blog spammers.

Posted by the Flea at 07:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Chess set

Best. Chess set. Ever.

SOTA Toys is excited to present the Aliens VS Predator Collectors Chess Set. This limited edition of 5000 features prepainted resin and white metal pieces that are extremely detailed and accurate to the new film. The top of the playing surface is hinged and opens to allow storage of your pieces in felt covered cubicles.

Ok, need to dramatically increase Flea-traffic, make a killing in ad revenue and buy this baby with PayPal riches!

Posted by the Flea at 07:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

French gestures

C'est dingue! Fun with gestures in France (with a hat tip to JMH).

If you've ever been to France or watched French movies, you've undoubtedly seen French people performing some familiar gestures as well as a few unfamiliar ones. While some gestures are vulgar, others are as innocuous as shaking or nodding one's head.
Posted by the Flea at 07:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Mass Destruction

Do it well and it could be released as a B-side.

We all know how hard it is to get hold of the parts of decent tunes. And how hard it is to get a label to listen to your remix once you've finished it. Well, here's your chance to do both. BMG Records have given us exclusive access to original parts of the new Faithless single, Mass Destruction, for you to play with.
Posted by the Flea at 07:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

Joseph Manogue

I came across this story while googling around for the Flea post on Jose Melendez-Perez. This one has everything: history, mystery and heroism.

Not long before he retired in 2002, Supervisory Customs Inspector Jim MacKenzie found something at an auction that piqued his interest: a box containing the brass buttons from an old Customs Service uniform, three .32 caliber bullets, a round Customs inspector's badge, and a picture postcard of an officer wearing a cap and uniform in the style of the early 1900s.
Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM | TrackBack (0)


Silent Running comments on victory over a city-funded antisemitic display in Melbourne. He worries it is "as if even when we win, we end up losing." (via Andrew Ian Dodge).

The Star Trek metaphor is a chilling one provided you know the story.

Being a late 20th - early 21st century kind of person, I tend to use popular culture as a touchstone, a tool to understand or explain reality. I've used "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" a lot, as you probably know. But today, as I look out my 11th-floor apartment window down onto a busy Melbourne street, one image comes irresistably to mind.

At the end of the "Star Trek - The Next Generation" episode "The Best of Both Worlds Part II", Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard is in his study. The Federation has managed, barely, to survive it's first encounter with the Borg, an alien hive-mind collective of seemingly unstoppable power and will. He himself was assimilated briefly into the Collective, becoming Locutus of the Borg, and directing the attack on Starfleet.

He gets up and crosses over to the window, and gazes out at the endless stars wheeling in their impersonal courses, oblivious to the fate of mankind. Like a bone that, once broken, is never quite as strong as it was before, Picard's mind has been broken by the Borg. He was forced to become something other than human, to act against his individuality as part of a vast array of linked minds. He has killed fellow Starfleet officers, fellow humans. He has been rescued, but he will never be the same as he was.

He has known pain before. And fear. And he has faced them. But now he looks out at the remotness of infinite space, and realises there is something out there that is implacable, remorseless, utterly without human emotion, and powerful beyond belief. And it is coming to destroy him and his universe forever. It will be as if they had never even existed.

He sags a bit, and he realises he is feeling something for the first time in his life, something beyond simple fear. Jean-Luc Picard looks inside, and feels the crack in his mind left by the Borg. He feels it now, something unfamiliar and terrible. He doesn't know if victory is possible.

He feels doubt.

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

May 10, 2004


A 26.7 mb photo of Mars. Welcome to the undiscovered country.

Scientists and engineers celebrated when they saw the first pictures NASA's Opportunity sent from the rim of a stadium-sized crater that the rover reached after a six-week trek across martian flatlands. They said, and I think you will agree, that it was the most spectacular view they've seen of the martian surface, not only for the scientific value of it but also for the sheer beauty of it.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Kenya (cosplay version)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

The Batman

First the new Batmobile. Now the new Batman.

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

Lock cup

For all your Monday morning office cootie concerns.

The "Lock-Cup" is designed for people who share facilities at their work place, such as the kitchen.
Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM | TrackBack (0)


For all your XM8 information overview needs.

Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

From A (ao dai) to Z (zoomie)

An Army Times guide to army talk in Vietnam.

If, as Emerson said, language is the archives of history, then U.S. soldiers in Vietnam are writing history with words as well as weapons.

So many slang terms, Vietnamese words and specialized usages are used by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam that language poses a bit of a problem to the new man coming over. Until he picks up the current slang, he is marked as a recent arrival.
Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

Infringement notice

Mental note: refer to this if every charged with parking offense in New Zealand.

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM | TrackBack (0)


One of the most irritating things about living north of the border is the constant proximity to American popular culture and inability to fully participate in it. There have been countless contests and promotions for, say, a tempting commemorative Star Trek plate that have only been open to residents of the continental United States. So it sucks to live in Hawaii too but not so much as the sucking of minus fifty degree weather.

Take Google as another example. I cannot access Google.com from a Canadian server and must settle for the cut-rate Google.ca instead. This is like the craptastic local commercials that get substituted for all those cool products on Fox I know I do not get to see.

This brings me to Froogle. I had no idea this beta was in play until I looked at Google through a proxy server today. My first Froogle look was my standard search for stuff by 19th century Rosicrucian writer Paschal Beverly Randolph. If anyone has a spare $2,500 they should feel free to hit the tip jar.

Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 08, 2004

Jack Skellington

Nightmare Before Christmas!

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

They got this one exactly right. I am trying to get back into this movie. As for the philosopher of Classical Values...

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The Shining

The Shining re-enacted for you in 30 seconds by clever bunnies.

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

All we are saying

Is give The Hobbit a chance.

Thank you very, very much for the incredible outpouring of support for LOTR, and your eagerness to see THE HOBBIT.
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Let me sleep

A simple, unsettling bit of animation. I am not sure what to make of it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM | TrackBack (0)


The sound of freedom on March 5, 1936.

And then... We could have asked these Jammin' Fighter Jocks for help with the Spirit of America fundraiser. "Man, I hope the 15 never gets fixed."

Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM | TrackBack (1)

You have to break a few eggs

Victor Davis Hanson on omelettes (via INDC Journal).

Recent chefs and historians have suggested - contrary to historic consensus - that the frying of eggs in culinary practice originated in the autocratic societies of the Euphrates river valley. The application of iron to the craft of cooking eggs was widespread throught the pre-enlightenment world as noted by Herodotus at the battle of Teflon. In India, China and the New World the frying of eggs was not unheard of.

But only in Europe did the concept of the omelette gain traction. This can be attributed to two phenomena: The Frankish culture's precision in matters of cuisine and the spirit of inquisition handed down to the Europeans from the Hellenisic societies of classical antiquity.

This homage to VDH omits the eggs Socrates had for breakfast the day he needed the energy to flee the rout at Delium.

Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


"It's not exactly Google"... I like the comparison the Boston Globe makes at the top of an article about the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI).

These clay documents contain the Epic of Gilgamesh (first written in Sumerian and Akkadian around 1800 B.C. and carefully copied until 500 B.C.) and the Code of Hammurabi, as well as notes and calculations by merchants, doctors, and others from the Babylonian bureaucracy and from the general population, that illuminate what daily life was like thousands of years ago. But these priceless tablets and shards are so fragile that they have been known to crumble spontaneously, so transporting them from place to place for research is unheard of.

Not exactly Google but about exactly the same things we are all still writing down.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


New estimates suggest Cival to have been one of the largest cities of "pre-classic" Mayan civilization. Vanderbilt archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli makes use of his new finds to make a satisfying point.

Tradition dates the Preclassic Period from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 250, and the Classic from A.D. 250 to 900. Estrada-Belli dates Cival to about 150 B.C. "'Preclassic' is a misnomer," according to the archaeologist. "Preclassic Maya societies already had many features that have been attributed to the Classic period — kings, complex iconography, elaborate palaces and burials."

Ian Skidmore argues the established line that adoption of king-lists around AD250 may point to a "focus on dynastic rule." To my mind, the highly conventionalized urban plan and textbook arrangement of ceremonial artifacts at Cival suggest even that distinction may prove to be ephemeral. Seriously, I could have made up this data as an essay question.

Alfred Korzybski famously observed that "a map does not represent all of a territory." Mayan archaeology continues to suffer from decades of adherence to historical metaphors drawn from representation of Hellenic antiquity, most notably a problematical application of the term polis. It is a relief to read about someone working from the facts on the ground.

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 07, 2004

Linda Wachowski

Rumour has it Larry Wachowski is to become Linda Wachowski. I have been struggling to come up with Matrix-themed puns on the topic and have failed miserably.

Posted by the Flea at 09:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


This may be the Joss Whedon masterpiece (via ***Dave).

Joss Whedon—who is directing Serenity, a movie version of his SF western TV series Firefly—told SCI FI Wire that he will begin production in three weeks, with all of the original cast members in place, led by Nathan Fillion. Compared with the Fox series, the movie will be "bigger, faster, stronger," Whedon said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles. "The show plays on a very small, personal level. And while I want that to work in the movie, the movie has an epic quality and a resolve that you simply can't afford in a TV show. Because if you have the epic quality, you run out of money, and if you have the resolve, you run out of ideas. ... The movie is really like, if you took a giant hit of the show all at once. It's very big. Perhaps I should use different imagery."
Posted by the Flea at 09:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

Banana phone

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (and one more time!).

Posted by the Flea at 09:49 AM | TrackBack (1)

Who the h*** is Rachel Lucas?

Blather Review answers the question (via Rocket Jones).

Bill Whittle got his start on rachellucas.com! Bill's first "essay" was an editting job by Rachel of his Comments made in a certain thread to one of her posts! She not only encouraged him to start a blog his own, but offered all of the guidence to get it up and running! For that alone she deserves to be remembered in HUSHED TONES!!!!! s-sh-h-h-h.......
Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Abandoned stations

Rich lore concerning derelict subway stations thanks to "the internet".

Posted by the Flea at 09:45 AM | TrackBack (1)


Marine archaeology may add to the dramatic story of a Dutch slaveship Meermin.

The Dutch slave ship, Meermin, ran aground off the southern Cape coast 236 years ago after an on-board rebellion nearly succeeded - and now researchers are poised to uncover her secrets. "It is the beginning of a larger project to find different slave wrecks around the South African coastline," said Meermin project manager Jaco Boshoff, a maritime archaeologist attached to Iziko Museums.

The ship's last moments are a researcher's dream: bottled messages were surreptitiously slipped into the sea and the rebellion of 140 slaves-to-be quelled before the Meermin ran aground.
Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Thames Mudlarks

Latter day ragamuffins with metal detectors have unearthed 13th century toys including "tiny cannons and guns, metal figurines, and miniaturized household objects such as stools, jugs, cauldrons, and even frying pans complete with little fish." These contradict fashionable academic opinion about childhood in the middle ages.

"In the 1960s French historian Philippe Aries claimed that there wasn't really such a thing as childhood in the Middle Ages and that parents didn't form emotional attachments with their offspring, regarding them as economic providers or producers for the household," Forsyth said.

Aries pioneered ways of looking beyond kings, politics, and war to everyday medieval life. He argued that parents invested little emotional capital in their children because they had lots of offspring, many of them died in infancy, and that surviving children were sent to work at the ages of six or seven. "His views had a lot of currency. And for very many years, people believed this," Forsyth said, noting that it has only been recently, with discovery of ancient childhood items by contemporary treasure hunters, "that we've challenged this received wisdom."

"Surprise, surprise, human nature doesn't change," she said. "Some parents [from the Middle Ages] were very devoted to their children and gave them every luxury and pleasure they could afford."

Now, if someone can explain to me who Flo is and what she has to do with the British Museum. Nice belt buckle!

And then... "Finds Liason Officer"... I get it.

Posted by the Flea at 09:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 06, 2004



Celebrity kabbalah devotee Britney Spears is reported to have got some letters mixed up in her new tattoo.

The 22-year-old has had a series of Hebrew symbols etched into the back of her neck in an act of devotion to Kabbalah, the mystical form of Judaism she was introduced to by Madonna. But unfortunately for her they are absolute gibberish.

Says a source: "She had hoped it would say new year or new era. It seems she's got the words the wrong way round. It is meaningless which will come as a bit of a blow to Britney. She's taken to Kabbalah pretty seriously and this was a big deal for her. She's going to be gutted when she finds out."

But where Madonna goes, Britney is sure to follow. Madge sported Jewish symbols on her arm in the video for the James Bond theme song Die Another Day. She has been studying Kabbalah since 1997. So both singers should really realise that tattoos are forbidden under Jewish law.

And then... Rue's comment leads me to link to an early Flea post on Madonna's tattoo in her Die Another Day video and a letter on the subject to the Flea from Madonna's rabbi.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Lunar Command

The soundtrack makes this latter day Missile Command.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hey, Mister Grad TA Man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (more CSE Band goodness here... with a hat tip to the Flea's whiskey expert).

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Goth Auctions

Just the thing for redecorating Flea Mansions.

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


Curious Flea-readers can try these out at home. I especially like the Twinkie Turing Test.

T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. is a series of experiments conducted during finals week, 1995, at Rice University. The tests were designed to determine the properties of that incredible food, the Twinkie.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


Enter a short story contest and win one of these.

Swissmemory, the new the Swiss Army Knife equipped with a removable USB memory stick, will be available for shipping in Late Summer 2004 - and Giltsharp is running a special competition to celebrate the arrival of one of the coolest gadgets ever.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 05, 2004

Lunch at noon

What a civilized idea.

There once was a time when a Monday lunch was Sunday's leftovers or a cheap sandwich. With rebellion in the ranks, the smell of decent cuisine around revolution. "No longer!" they shouted. LUNCH AT NOON was conceived.
Posted by the Flea at 01:17 PM | Comments (1)

To the Moon!

The adventures fo the Royal Society of Natural Philosophers in a conveyance strongly reminiscent of the Flea's TARDIS (via b3ta).

1679. The Royal Society of Philosophers meet to discuss the feasibility of an expedition to the Moon. Isaac Newton and Samuel Pepys argued in favour. The implications of what happened next were extraordinary. This is a recreation of that momentous day.
Posted by the Flea at 01:14 PM | TrackBack (0)

Bonfire 44

Spectra throws another batch of blogs on the bonfire.

Posted by the Flea at 01:12 PM | TrackBack (0)


Taken to the limit.

Posted by the Flea at 01:10 PM | TrackBack (0)

Look alike

Celebrity look-alikes can now be identified with alarming accuracy thanks to the miracle of "the internet".

We here at PeopleSayIlookLike are "looking" to feature Jennifer Love Hewitt as our official celebrity look-alike spokeswoman! Yeah, we know it's a stretch, but we thought it would be fun for you, the fans, to help us honor the celebrity with the most submitted look-alike pictures (so many, we can't even post them all!) We beleive "Love" is not only beautiful and talented, but a fantastic role model for her generation! If you know Jennifer, spread the word! We would "love" to award her the first ever.

No Kylie look alikes as of yet (or Winona Ryder though there is an excellent Christina Ricci).

Posted by the Flea at 01:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


The sound of freedom.

Posted by the Flea at 12:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Virtual memorials

A website hosts a number of panoramas in memorial to 9/11. I never thought I would know what it was like to stand at the base of the Tribute in Light. The virtual version gives some idea.

Posted by the Flea at 12:03 PM | TrackBack (0)

May 04, 2004

Pac Manhattan

Toronto's grid system lends itself to the same noble idea: a live-action recreation of an '80s epic.

A player dressed as Pac-man will run around the Washington square park area of Manhattan while attempting to collect all of the virtual "dots" that run the length of the streets. Four players dressed as the ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde will attempt to catch Pac-man before all of the dots are collected. Using cell-phone contact, Wi-Fi internet connections, and custom software designed by the Pac-Manhattan team, Pac-man and the ghosts will be tracked from a central location and their progress will be broadcast over the internet for viewers from around the world.
Posted by the Flea at 10:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Canucks #18

Just In From Cowtown hosts this week's selection of bloggy goodness from the Great White North. Don Cherry for Greatest Canadian!

And then... The Meatriarch's Cherry campaign is gaining steam (via Being American in T.O.).

Posted by the Flea at 10:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wayne Manor

They have gone gothic for the latest Wayne Manor. Good choice. Scroll for images... (via Superhero Hype). Mentmore Towers lore can be found here while Hatfield House in on-line here.

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

Turning the Pages

The British Library brings some classic works to your home thanks to the wonder that is "the internet".

Discover the British Library's award-winning system Turning the Pages. Just click on the links, wait a few moments, then turn the pages of our great books.

The Diamond Sutra interface is particularly clever.

Posted by the Flea at 10:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Dunhuang star map

One of the most mind-numbingly boring rhetorical devices employed by archaeology reporting is how much older and wiser Chinese/Egyptian/pick one/etc. civilization is than the European version. Take this Independent article trumpeting the "supremacy of early Chinese astronomy", for example.

A fresh analysis of the star chart, which was found buried in a desert cave on the ancient Silk Road between China and the West, has dated the manuscript to as early as the 7th century AD.

This makes the chart several centuries older than the first star maps produced in Europe during the height of the Renaissance when astronomy benefited from the invention of the telescope. The chart is written on paper - a Chinese invention - and is a representation of the complete sky with some 1,585 stars grouped into 257 clusters or "asterisms".

Paper, a Chinese invention! The article omits the heroic invention of pasta and ice cream. There is a peculiar racism in projecting a romantic mythicized past onto peoples I suspect this article's author knows next to nothing about.

Posted by the Flea at 10:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Forma Urbis Romae

Stanford University is using computing power to piece together a massive map of Rome dating back to about AD210. Only 15% of the map is thought to remain "and that is in 1,186 pieces."

Measuring 18m by 14m, it was originally hung in the Templum Pacis, one of the ancient city's major public landmarks. The map was remarkably accurate but researchers looking for new sites to excavate in Rome had only managed to fit back together a few of the pieces.
Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Buy Nothing Day: The Album

If only every day of the whole year could be Buy Nothing Day! Then there would be no cake and no presents for everyone! I have an idea. Let's... uh... celebrate? observe? acknowledge Buy Nothing Day by selling an album of alternative music! The "Buy Nothing Day Single" would have been a Flea-dance but I feared blowing their bandwidth... I quite like the first bit of the Veda Hille cover of "The River" though the song is so beautiful I expect a Flea version would still be moving. You can buy Hille's work through her website. Just so we are clear: buy nothing expect stuff sold by AdBusters or buy progressive folks they like. Otherwise, buying things is, like, capitalism man.

Posted by the Flea at 10:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 03, 2004

The Trouble with Tracy

Mike Campbell asks what happened to the promised remake of 70s' CanCon craptacular The Trouble with Tracy. What I want to know is why there is no Tracy resource anyone on "the internet". File this with my yearning for a proper Beachcombers web resource.

Posted by the Flea at 06:06 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


A zap gun McGyvered from a disposable camera is almost certainly a prohibited weapon in Canada (via Classical Values).

When you live in fear-driven times such as these, having grown up with MacGyver as a role model has its advantages. Kevin and I thought it would be cool to MacGyver our own shocking device in glove form, using simply what we had lying around the house. What was lying around the house was a simple one-time-use camera.
Posted by the Flea at 06:02 AM | TrackBack (1)

Naked men

Another reason to be proud of the Flea's Welsh heritage (and no, this one is not work safe unless it is that special day in Wales we do not speak of to outsiders).

Posted by the Flea at 06:00 AM | TrackBack (1)


Sample metaphors come to you courtesy of UK GCSE exams.

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
Posted by the Flea at 05:58 AM | TrackBack (0)

Pacific Arch

A panorama of the United States World War II Memorial on the National Mall is worth a visit. Do not forget to look up. There is something awe inspiring about that clear blue sky.

Posted by the Flea at 05:56 AM | TrackBack (0)

May 01, 2004



Lenore is just the ticket for some. But GloomCookie makes the Flea's heart race.

Gothic fairy tales with sharp characters and dialogue, and gorgeous art grace these vignettes of romance, humor, horror, and sorrow. This comedy of manners about unrequited love, social treachery, bad goth poetry, and monsters under the bed lures you in with daring imagery and gorgeous, dark atmosphere.
Posted by the Flea at 10:56 AM | TrackBack (0)

Link whore

Linkee linkee, only five dollar, me permalink you long time!

And yes, that is an inaccurate "authored on" time. One of the drawbacks of my magazine format at the Flea...

Posted by the Flea at 09:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)

Bang Bang

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (and make an odd '80s homage... some NSFW adult ads included so keep your attention on the video!).

Posted by the Flea at 09:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Springfield, Nevada

Someone has more time for DIY than I do.

The Simpsons' replica home includes the family room which has a fireplace and family portrait.
Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM | TrackBack (0)


The Flea's commitment to gentlemen's haberdashery continues with a quick lesson in how to fold a T-shirt.

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

Eccentric Genius

Unconventional contrivances and machina arcana include a range of desktop seige weapons including miniature trebuchets, ballistae, and mangonels.

I build antiques from...er...somewhere else. A parallel universe where Leonardo Da Vinci, John Cleese and Jimmy Neutron spend every Tuesday night playing poker with Sherlock Holmes, and the Victorian era 'gentleman inventor' still toils diligently in his potting shed laboratory.
Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)


I want to be different. Just like you!

The beatniks were non-conformists. They were independent; they were into cool and jazz and obscure poetry and modern art. And there was an amazing degree of uniformity amongst them in styles of clothing, and in ways of talking, and in attitudes and values; it was almost like there was some official "non-conformist" way of dressing and an official "non-conformist" set of attitudes and values to which these "non-conformists" all closely conformed.
Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | TrackBack (0)


Flea-readers who are also sidewayseight aigents should feel free to opt me in.

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | TrackBack (0)