July 31, 2004

The Army Of Beauties

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (or else).

Posted by the Flea at 11:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Don't Panic

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... film trailer. The official film website is here. My thought is how great a Hitchhiker's movie could be. My second thought is how bad a Hitchhiker's movie could be. It is difficult to think how a new interpretation of the book could beat the tv series.

Even so, that red button looks tempting...

Posted by the Flea at 11:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Accidental art

"proof of the existence of real dragons in new zealand" explores the "accident art" of search engine results. Fair warning as the contents are quite vulgar for the most part. And for the record, I found the site on a Google image search for "Franke Potente". I was sidetracked by Catherine Zeta Jones. So sue me.

Okay, let me explain what this is. When you have a web sight on geocities, as most of you know I do, you can go in and look at the statistics for your sight. That way you can find out how often people are reading, what time of day, where they linked from, what kind of browser they have and all kinds of more obscure type business. I hardly ever look at that crap because alot of it's greek to me, and besides what good does it do me as an artist, or as a person, to know that my poetry is most popular at 2 am on wednesdays?
Posted by the Flea at 11:05 AM | TrackBack (0)

For the Arsenal

Here is one for the Arsenal (and this one is not).

Posted by the Flea at 11:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Live JailCam

The Anderson County Detention Facility (Tennessee) offers a live JailCam. The following disclaimer is useful advice but does not tell me, like, why they are webcasting from jail. And, just as important, where is my live Toronto JailCam? Strangely engrossing.

This is a real life transmission of the Anderson County Sheriff's Department. Instances of violence or sexually inappropriate behavior by detainees during the booking process may occur. Viewer discretion is advised. This is a Jail, not a simulation. The persons in this transmission are either employees of the Anderson County Sheriff's Department or arrestees.
Posted by the Flea at 11:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Spam Wars

***Dave reports on the Spam Wars. Spammers have adopted a new tactic of generating links to blogs that do not bother to weed out comment spam.

The result, as Jay Allen notes, is inevitable: the MT-Blacklist is going to start carrying blogs in it, sites that are not, themselves, comment spammers, but who (shades of Middle-Eastern geopolitics) lend shelter and support to spammers by not actively cleaning out their nests. Thus, Joe-Bob might suddenly find that MT-Blacklist-protected sites will no longer allow comments that link back to his blog, until such time as it gets cleaned out and de-blacklisted.
Posted by the Flea at 10:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 30, 2004

Body Language Live


Rick McGinnis got me on the psychic telephone. A combination of work-related nonsense and the Smog of Udûn festering over Toronto had got me blue. The fix? A Kylie dvd... thanks! Basically, I could try to sit here and sulk but since I have started playing the disc I am compelled to do the Flea-dance while typing. If Kylie Minogue was an angel she would be in charge of infectious enthusiasm. There are soft drinks that are less bubbly.

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


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Retro Racer

It was a tough call but I chose Luke Skywalker's landspeeder over the tank. I beat the General Lee but K.I.T.T. kicked my ass.

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

Get ahead

Pull off your head and give it a kick. I managed 699.9 and have only stopped for fear of becoming obsessive.

Posted by the Flea at 08:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Great Girl

The Flea has the same problem as Great Girl in the early stages of any relationship. How to out yourself as a superhero? Though it looks like she has better superpowers than I do (warning: grotesque violence considering this is a lo-budget internet feature).

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

Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters in graphic novel form. One of my best students this last year was obsessed with Palahniuk's work where my knowledge is confined to a single viewing of Fight Club. Perhaps someone could have another go at explaining the appeal of the man's work.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Hidden Features

Hidden Features catalogues dvd easter eggs. Most useful for your weekend dvd viewing.

Some DVD discs contain hidden features that are more or less easy to find. Well, some are rather obvious, but others are quite a tricky beast. On this page we want to help you find some of the so called “Easter Eggs” on currently available discs so that you, too, can take a look at those special features the publishers are hiding there.
Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (0)


Mike Campbell calls it the Bloggish Enlightenment. Thinking along similar lines, BuzzMachine makes an apt comparison (via InstaPundit).

The priests are nervous, eh? The people are outside the cathedral tacking up their 95 theses and the priests are sticking their fingers in their ears, trying to ignore them, telling each other that those guys outside aren't blessed with the right to perform the sacraments of the church. They think they own "ethics, laws, fairness etc." Hell, they think they own the truth. But, of course, they don't. And what the priests don't see is that the reason the rabble is organizing outside is that they are fed up with the priests and their indulgences and their failures.

Welcome to the First Reformed Church of Journalism, professor.
Posted by the Flea at 08:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 29, 2004

Batman Begins


New material has appeared at the Batman Begins website including new photos and... a trailer. So. Goth. It looks like the Batman has finally arrived. The real Batman. The Dark Knight. Now going to watch trailer compulsively and consider the darkness.

They told me there was nothing out there. Nothing to fear. But the night my parents were murdered I caught a glimpse of something. I've looked for it ever since. I went around the world, searched in all the shadows and there was something out there in the darkness. Something terrifying. Something that will not stop until it gets revenge... me.
Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Christina Aguilera's Skechers campaign kicks off here, here and here (via Attu).

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

Harvey Wallbanger

Roll a ball through a disco-themed course.

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

Soylent Kreme

The Flea has already covered the liquid doughnut issue but the tag-line for a diztopia post on the same subject is a classic. The report and review from the field is also most satisfying: "Might it be true that man will no longer need solid food?" (via The American Mind).

As a longtime Krispy Kreme enthusiast, I set off to determine if mankind was ready for this evolutionary leap forward. Arriving at KK with trusty Agent L (pictured above, undercover) as backup, I inquired of the dour KK kounter-man, prithee, what is the Frozen Blended Beverage made of? "It's a drink," he answered. Yes, that I got from the poster showing the product as a liquid in a cup, but what's in it? Milk? Is it like a milkshake thing? At this point, his jaw began working mechanically, and he called for his manager. Uh oh.
Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

That's No Space Station

That's no space station... that's a moon!

(via ***Dave)

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich is to host a joint retrospective of the bicentenary year of the battle of Trafalgar. Both Horatio Nelson and Napoleon Bonaparte are to be commemorated and this historic meeting of the two men began this week at James Lock & Co. in London. With their hats.

And, to mark the occasion, their hats and their descendants came together this week at the shop where Nelson had his hats made. At James Lock & Co in London, where Nelson settled his final bill on his last morning in England, the families of the two men mingled.
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Regis Le Sommier

Remember Regis Le Sommier, read James Lileks latest Bleat and carry on not drinking French wine.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown
You are Charlie Brown!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I am still looking for a Charlie Brown shirt to call my own (via wunderkammer).

Posted by the Flea at 08:10 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 28, 2004

Showgirls: V.I.P. Edition


Personally, I thought Showgirls was a work of transcendent genius. But if it is the slings and arrows of received opinion that have brought me a campy special Showgirls: V.I.P. edition dvd release of the film, so be it.

"We've targeted the DVD release to adults who have embraced the campy, fun and even outrageous aspects of the film and provided extras that deliver on that notion," Blake Thomas, MGM executive vice-president for worldwide marketing, said in a statement.

Still skittish over Showgirls, MGM executives declined interviews for this story. But the studio clearly has recovered from the drubbing well enough to realize it can recoup some of its bad investment by mocking the movie.

And then... Gothamist has the same view as the Flea. So does Maxim.

And then... Rick McGinnis judges and assigns *** 1/2. I would have gone higher but then I am annoyed ironic Gigli viewers have inflated the price of used Gigli dvds so what do I know.

Posted by the Flea at 07:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


All I can say is I am glad gold does not set off metal detectors.

Lionel Richie's daughter Nicole had to show her breasts to airport security staff after her nipple ring triggered off metal detectors. Nicole, who stars with Paris Hilton in US reality TV show The Simple Life, was travelling from Reno, Nevada to New York City.

She says: "I said: "I'm pierced", and that usually is the end of it. And she said: "Well, what are you gonna do about it?"
Posted by the Flea at 07:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tall buildings

The Museum of Modern Art presents tall buildings. Gorgeous, gorgeous Flash presentation of the material.

Tall Buildings presents a focused study of twenty-five tall buildings. Each project was designed within the last decade for sites around the world by an international group of architects and engineers. In making our selection, we considered three fundamental aspects of the tall building: technology, urbanism, and program.
Posted by the Flea at 07:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Ploop is a bit nerve wracking until you figure out how the traps work.

Posted by the Flea at 07:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

Project Apollo

The Project Apollo archive offers image and multimedia archives. Watching Apollo 11 crew member Michael Collins shave is like having a window into a Heinlein novel. Or life in one of Larry Niven's Belter singleships.

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM | TrackBack (0)


Has anyone else received a "notice of of class action and proposed settlement" from PayPal? Is this legitimate or am I looking at an elaborate phishing expedition? The Statutory Damage Fund Claimants form page does not appear to be working (12:41 a.m. EST, July 28, 2004) though it does appear to be a redirect from PayPal itself. Ok, now it is working (12:51 a.m. EST).

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Bridge for Peace, etc.

There is something wrong with me. First of all, I hurt myself laughing. I cannot explain properly so you will have to visit INDC Journal for yourself.

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

Assassin's Mace

The US Department of Defense attempts to anticipate China's Assassin's Mace asymmetric warfare program "though it is not sure what that means, exactly." Even the sinister sounding Assassin's Mace is outdone, if only in rhetorical terms, by the potential for shashoujian, "Killing Maze" weapons (via Post-Atomic).

The phrase �Assassin�s Mace� is not a new one - having its origins in traditional Chinese military theory and statecraft. However, it has appeared regularly in Chinese literature on military affairs since 1999, when the then-president, and current Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), Jiang Zemin, reportedly demanded that the military bring him an Assassin�s Mace to wield in the Taiwan Straits.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Politics and culture

From Timbuktu to Tijuana, you know all about world culture and politics. You've seen it all, and what you haven't seen, you watched on one of the "smart people channels." Your friends tell you that you should run for governor.
What people love: You've always got a great story to tell.
What people hate: You make them feel like ignorant plebians. Sometimes you slip and CALL them plebians.

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

This insight was brought to me courtesy of Paul Jané, a noted book and language snob.

Posted by the Flea at 07:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 27, 2004

Bonfire 56

The Bonfire of the Vanities is underway at King of Fools. Obsolete technology and bad marketing are on the agenda.

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

Grapes of Love

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (or else).

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

Sealab 2021

Sealab 2021 has the been soundtrack - and voiceover - of any webgame I have ever played.

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

Emu Lander

Emu Lander is pretty much what the name suggests. You, ahh, try to land an emu.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Alice's Adventures Under Ground

A complete graphic image collection of Alice's Adventures Under Ground. The illustrations are wonderful.

Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Nursery Rhymes

The lyrics and origins of nursery rhymes.

Many of the words and nursery rhymes lyrics were used to parody the royal and political events of the day, direct dissent would often be punishable by death!
Posted by the Flea at 08:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


For all your parasol needs.

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


Monks of the Dark Ages and Medieval times may have resembled popular images of Friar Tuck.

The jolly image of rotund Friar Tuck could be only partially true, according to a recent study of skeletal remains from monks that lived during the Middle Ages (476-1450 A.D.) that revealed most monks were overweight, but perhaps not entirely jolly because they suffered from conditions associated with obesity, such as arthritis.
Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | TrackBack (0)


The ancient Olympics shared many of the problems of the modern version.

It was like the Super Bowl, Woodstock, Mardi Gras, a holy pilgrimage and Chippendale dancers all rolled into one. The setting for the earliest Olympic Games some 3,000 years ago was both a sanctuary of soaring marble temples and a foul, drunken shantytown plagued by water shortages, campfire smoke and sewage. The athletes, glistening from olive oil, competed naked. Gymnasiums were restricted to keep the sex trade from overrunning events on the field.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | TrackBack (0)


A cave under a Byzantine church in the Syrian village of Hurrarte reveals insight into the cult of Mithras.

The Mithrae religion was secret; the inexistence of texts describing its mythology has placed this cult among the unknowns of history. The paintings covering the walls of the cave of Hurrarte are rare indicators of what this religion may have preached. "It seems that Mithrae was born as an adult from a rock," says Gawlikowski "and after chasing the bull and killing it in a cave he shared his meal with another divinity representing the Sun." This sacred meal pictured on the walls became a ritual to be practiced by the followers of this religion, as discoveries in the cave in Syria have shown.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Honest mistake

It is Brooks Brothers vs pvc as Myrick and Moxie both experiment Sandy Berger stylee (via Chaos Central).

Inspired by Myrick's Sock Experiment, I decided to do some of my own investigative journalism.

Had my pilot fly me to the National Archives this morning. No sooner had I begun reviewing classified documents when memos began flying into my go-go boots.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

July 26, 2004

The Flying Legion Combat Challenge


The forthcoming Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow film offers a playable viral air combat challenge. It takes a moment to download followed by registration.

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Magical Trevor

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Ode to the Flea

An ode! Just for me! And sensible thoughts about Dark Knight Returns and a bad turn in comic book history can be found at Let It Bleed.

DKR, Watchmen, Maus. These are held up as comics as “art”, the moment when the potential inherent in the medium was realized and brought to a large audience (Maus, of course, is not a superhero comic). While Maus was innovative, but not terribly good (I think it’s renown is largely due to the fact that it’s conceit was so striking, not that it told the story in a particularly good way), DKR was both: it was innovative and good. But good in a self-defeating way. Good because it was aesthetically pleasing. Bad because it ruined everything.

It should be obvious I have quite a bit more to say about this. Off to the comments section...

Posted by the Flea at 08:38 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)


Christina Aguilera unzipping herself to show off a bra. Nothing can express the shock I feel at the material that makes its way on to "the internet." Share your outraged opinion! Are we going to sit still for this? I think not!

Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Air toss

Throw the paper into the basket. Just the thing for Monday morning office productivity enhancement.

Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Don't Let Go

I managed rank position 3104 with 82.28 seconds in this Don't Let Go happyfun flash game.

Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ghostrider 2

For all your 499 HP Suzuki Hayabusa Turbo needs.

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


The Knight Industry Two Thousand is for sale. On eBay (via Daimnation!).

K.I.T.T. (Knight Industry Two Thousand) car from Knight Rider. (Universal TV, 1982-85) This highly-modified 1983 Pontiac Trans Am is an original screen-used hero car used during the second season of the hit TV series. Instantly recognizable with its working scanner in the front and highly futuristic interior, this vehicle was arguably the star of the show!

What do you mean "arguably"? And does anybody have 40 thousand dollars for the tip jar?

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

Declaration of Independence

A management analyst to the British Crown offers a useful guide for revisions to the Declaration of Independence. Really, how could the framers expect this to get funded without another draft or three?

Dear Mr. Jefferson:
We have read your "Declaration of Independence" with great interest. Certainly, it represents a considerable undertaking, and many of your statements do merit serious consideration. Unfortunately, the Declaration as a whole fails to meet recently adopted specifications for proposals to the Crown, so we must return the document to you for further refinement. The questions which follow might assist you in your process of revision:

1. In your opening paragraph you use the phrase "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God." What are these laws? In what way are they the criteria on which you base your central arguments? Please document with citations from the recent literature.
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Kevlar shorts

Marines here from 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment are trying out a new form of body armour: kevlar shorts.

The one-size-fits-all shorts are worn over a Marine's uniform and are held up with built in suspenders. Each pair of shorts weighs close to 5 pounds. Lance Cpl. Mike C. Suchevich and Pvt. Luis R. Mejia have both tried the shorts a few times.

"The other Marines made fun of me the first I put them on," Mejia said. "I guess they thought it was a joke. They are really funny looking." The shorts have already acquired a few nicknames from the battalion. One Marine referred to them as "lederhosen," and others call them "fishing shorts."
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

How gay are you?

How gay are you? Over gay, under gay or just gay enough? Take the quiz to find out...

I love it that your county of residence is relevant to the quiz-writer. I cited Greater Manchester as this was where I last lived in the UK and consequently find it difficult to credit my test result of "slightly undergay". My downfall may have been having to look-up the definition of "greige".

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2004

Everybody wants to be a Roboto

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

Commando Arena

For all your robotic gladiator needs.

Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

Buddha vs. Shaolin

Someone has been spying on the Flea's daily kata.

"I give you bitchslap stance!"

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mark Robert Halper

My quest for Fred pictures also lead me to Spike, Angel, Trip and other figures of the fannish imagination at Mark Robert Halper Photography.

Posted by the Flea at 09:42 AM | TrackBack (0)


Excorcist: the Beginning claims to represent a new chapter in evil. The trailer, at least, is satisfyingly creepy.

Posted by the Flea at 09:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Memory of Shadows

Straczynski Project Watch has most excellent news: Babylon 5: The Memory of Shadows. This puts an end to speculation at 2.35:1 aspect ratios. Let speculation about the plot begin!

A new Babylon 5 filmed project, probably a feature film, is on the way. The title is Babylon 5: The Memory of Shadows. According to Straczynski, they are already past the "let's do this" phase and are well into the "let's make everybody's deal" phase.

But even better than this to me is the news JMS will be putting together a Dr. Strange limited series.

The funny thing about Strange is that if you look at the Matrix, there's nothing Neo does that Doc Strange doesn't do, minus the incantations and magical gestures. So why is Neo a pop culture icon and not Strange? As they say, presentation is everything. Strange was born at a time when magicians were very Las Vegas-y, with the costumes and the capes and the grand gestures. He, too, was frozen in that mode, and since the world has moved on from that image, Strange became kind of campy. Change that form of presentation, and you'll get something more modern and more cool.

Now curious to learn who the artist will be... ahh... Brandon Peterson.

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


Worth1000 presents Modern Renaissance News Personalities.

Posted by the Flea at 09:36 AM | TrackBack (0)

Liquid donuts

Canadian donut hegemony takes a kick in the teeth as our southern neighbo(u)rs introduce liquid donuts to the arsenal of donutocracy.

Once the fried dough embodiment of hot and fresh, Krispy Kreme has transformed its original glazed doughnut into a new frozen beverage for summer. The chain introduced a new line of frozen drinks Wednesday, including frozen original kreme -- a drinkable version of the company's signature doughnut -- raspberry, latte and double chocolate. Customers can also add coffee to the kreme and double chocolate.

Cross-posted to The Shotgun

Posted by the Flea at 09:34 AM | TrackBack (0)

July 23, 2004

Word is out


Paris Hilton singing one of Kylie's songs... it was not to be. This is a shame as the two chanteuse are highly compatible in all three primary biorhythm cycles.

Pop superstar Kylie Minogue has shattered wannabe singer Paris Hilton's dreams of recording a cover version of one of her old tracks. The singer was contacted by the dizzy socialite earlier this year but refused to allow her to record a version of Word Is Out for Hilton's debut album.
Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

The Picard Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (to the full version of the Picard Song).

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


Oh sure, I start wearing a giant fuzzy horn hat and now I have to see them every time I go grocery shopping.

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


The John Cage Organ Project approaches the end of the third year of a John Cage's "organ2/ASLSP" (As SLow aS Possible) with the sounding of two Es.

A relative rush of activity broke out here this week in the world's slowest and longest-lasting concert as two new notes sounded in a piece of music that is taking a total 639 years to perform in its entirety. The abandoned Buchardi church in Halberstadt, eastern Germany, is the venue for a mind-boggling 639-year-long performance of a piece of music by U..S experimental composer John Cage (1912-1992).
Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Army rations

I have a second cousin (once removed? I can never get that straight) who still talks about WWI British North African army rations on the menu for his service in WWII. They still sound appetizing in comparison with the latest in army ration technology (via The Eternal Golden Braid).

Would you eat food cooked in your own urine? Food scientists working for the US military have developed a dried food ration that troops can hydrate by adding the filthiest of muddy swamp water or even peeing on it.

The ration comes in a pouch containing a filter that removes 99.9 per cent of bacteria and most toxic chemicals from the water used to rehydrate it, according to the Combat Feeding Directorate, part of the US Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts. This is the same organisation that created the "indestructible sandwich" that will stay fresh for three years
Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) offers an on-line F/A-18 Hornet training simulation.

So you think you have what it takes to fly an F/A-18 Hornet in the Air Force. Well here's your chance to get a taste of flying one of the most sophisticated aircraft in Australia.
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Philosophy of Liberty

I might describe myself as a small-l libertarian but there is only so much Flash animation on the subject I can take. By contrast Edward Feser offers a considered article on the variety of libertarianisms to be found at Tech Central Station (via Andrew Ian Dodge). A clarification of John Locke's notion of the limit of self-ownership is particularly useful.

But what grounds the right of self-ownership itself? The answer, according to Locke, was that it derives from God. How? God, being the creator of everything that exists other than Himself - including us - is the ultimate owner of everything that exists - including us. Therefore, when a person harms another person by killing him, stealing from him, and so forth, he in effect violates the rights of God, because he damages what is God's property. To respect God's rights over us, therefore, we must recognize our duty not to kill, harm, or steal from each other, which entails treating each other as having certain rights relative to each other - the rights to life, liberty, and property. And these rights can usefully be summed up as rights of self-ownership. But ultimately, as it turns out, we don't really own ourselves: God does. Relative to Him, we are merely "leasing" ourselves, as it were, and are accountable to Him for how we use His property. Relative to other human beings, however, we are in effect self-owners; we must treat others as if they owned themselves, and not use them as if they were our property.
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game

The Amazon.com Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game:

Here's a fun game... First, look up the most popular and critically-acclaimed books, movies, and music on Amazon. Click on "Customer Reviews," and sort them by "Lowest Rating First." Hilarity ensues!
Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)


There are enough perfectly good arguments against smoking without have to lie to people about them. It looks to me as though for A Non Smoking Generation, as with so many do-gooder zealots, the issue has nothing to do with health and everything to do with imposing their moral hysteria on everybody else.

The Swedish organization A Non Smoking Generation covered Stockholm in posters claiming that smoking stunts penis growth and that cigarette filters are filled with mouse excrements, along with other lies aimed at getting kids to stop smoking.

With someone please think of the children? Lies are no example to set and young people have bs-detectors more than capable of seeing through a smokescreen of nonsense.

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

When The Levee Breaks

Hmm. Not sure about this result as I would have said I am more of a No Quarter fellow. Worth a look, however, for clever questions (and Ith's result sounds much more plausible).

You Are
When The Levee Breaks

You are a dominating person. People don't stand in your way. Everybody basically does what you say. And if they don't, they better start, or you just might have one of your henchmen kill them.

Just like "When the Levee Breaks" dominates Led Zeppelin IV, you dominate your world. You don't have time for nonsense (it's surprising you even took this quiz) and you would love to be dictator of the world someday.

You are dark and scary, and you probably don't at all care about this quiz, if you even bothered to read your results.

Take the Which Led Zeppelin Song Are You? Quiz

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 22, 2004

D&D Axe Scuffle

It is so sad that I understand this. Better make the rest of today's posts fandom related too by way of penance (via Doc's Blog).

My name is Quargomath, the demonic god of darkness. Guys you don't see this! You are still in the plain of darkness!
Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Marvel Characters Appearance Program

"The city. Someone has to protect it. That someone is I [sic]. Along with my fellow superheroes."

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

Doom 3

The artwork for Doom 3 is impressively creepy. I do wonder, however, if the Magickal Childe Necronomicon folks know their cover sigil has been lifted for the Doom 3 Flash interface...

And then... The Magickal Childe was a bookstore in Manhattan closed now its own has passed away. I should have wondered if whoever owns the rights to the paperback Necronomicon knows about Doom 3 stepping on their copyright.

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

Mirkwood Summer Break

Would you like to buy some Sauron popcorn chicken?

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

Call it a Stargate

Fandom takes another step forward with four episodes of a Stargate SG1 homage series. Carry on through the Stargate? I am not sure if this better represents the show had it been produced in the UK or a real life British SG team: wobbly and a bit crap. Well done, lads!

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

Map of the Federation

A large map of the Federation and its environs is strangely hypnotic. I just noticed the Kzinti Hegemony to the far side of the Romulan Star Empire (Republic? Give me a break). Presumably not the Kzinti I would have thought of at first. Eye of Kdapt!

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Known Space

A chronology of Larry Niven's Known Space.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Babylon 5 data

The Babylon stations are great examples of the monumental architecture afforded in space. A Babylon 5 station map needs a description of its various sectors as well as an elevation view.

Babylon 5 is the last of the Babylon stations. After the loss of Babylon 4, the station was left with a minimal budget. Even with additional alien funding, the Earth Alliance kept looking for ways to reduce their financial commitment. Babylon 5 is a marvel of human engineering. It is a cylindrical construct nearly five miles long with a maximum capacity of 250,000 beings. While the interior rotates for a gravity positive environment, the spine of the station, housing the zero-g docking bays, and the fusion reactor, are relatively stationary. Framing the rear of the station are the blue internal heat radiator fins.

A time line of the Babylon 5 universe. Other sources include lists of B5 prophecies, Earth Alliance planets and a map of the B5 galaxy (all courtesy of the Babylon 5 History Page).

"Assuming it means anything!
Signs, portents, dreams –
next we'll be reading tea-leaves
and chicken entrails!"

Captain John Sheridan

Finally, a list of references to other science fiction in J. Michael Straczynski's Bablyon 5 comes to you via "the internet". My favourite is the as yet to be written Harlan Ellison biography.

Not everything in this show is a reference to some other show. We do have some interest in doing our *own* story, rather than nodding to every series on the face of the planet, and not all concepts started in the other shows that used them.
Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Lara Croft

What video game character are you?

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

July 21, 2004

San Marino


The Flea rattles its ghostly chains in glee at a visitor from San Marino. You have to love a country whose official website is half-Italian, half-English. Well, close to English anyway. An attractive flag and a castle that kicks ass and takes names. The government of San Marino should be advised the Flea stands ready for any offers of citizenship or professorial sinecures. I am certain I could make a significant contribution to the International Centre for Semiotic and Cognitive Studies. Seriously.

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Capuchins' Catacombs

Palermo is home to catacombs now documented thanks to the miracle of "the internet".

Welcome! This is a photographic trip to the Capuchins' Catacombs located in Palermo, Italy, where there are thousands of corpses lined on the walls like paintings.

The catacombs date back to the 1599 when the local priests mummified a holy monk for all to see. They wanted to pray to him after death. In time the locals wanted their relatives remembered in this same way. Soon there were hundreds of corpses.
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM | TrackBack (0)


Anyone with a few million to spare should hit the tip jar for the Flea's Templar castle fund.

The castle has been built in 1216 by the templar knight Alberici Ghislero. Its beauty represents a milestone in the medieval architecture development. It has been declared as an "UNICUM" by the Ministry of Culture. This adobe, case of unusual beauties, has witnessed particularly crucial events through the centuries, at times even extraordinary ...
Posted by the Flea at 08:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Agent Provocateur

Kylie Minogue demonstrates "the world's most erotic lingerie." Using a mechanical bull. I provide this link as a public service to readers relatively new to the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Spider-Man 3

Excellent news. A BBC interview reveals Sam Raimi is to take on Spider-Man 3.

I just finished this morning [Monday 12th July] - I mean the basic story. I'd been working on it with my brother.
Posted by the Flea at 08:34 AM | TrackBack (0)

Blue Öyster Cult

Heavy Metal graced Bravo! last night. Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty and John Candy as Den mean the voices of half of SCTV make an appearance. This is serious Canadian content and inspiring of '80s metal nostalgia. For instance, I had forgotten the joys of Blue Öyster Cult. The Fleä is a big fan of the umlaut and as for Veteran Of The Psychic Wars... classic. Some lyrics only become more meaningful as time passes (but that's Michael Moorcock for you).

You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars
I've been living on the edge so long,
where the winds of limbo roar
And I'm young enough to look at,
and far too old to see
All the scars are on the inside
I'm not sure that there's anything left of me
Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


French professors worry Harry Potter "glorifies individualism, excessive competition and a cult of violence." Or possibly that it is a socialist tract. My simplisme suggests they do not have much to do with either (via The Therapy Sessions).

The five Harry Potter books -- enormously successful in French translation -- are stuffed with "neo-liberal stereotypes" which caricature approvingly the "excesses of the Anglo-Saxon social model," (Ilias) Yocaris wrote.

Thus all representatives of the state (the Ministry of Magic) are lampooned as ridiculous, or incompetent or sinister. Harry goes to a "private" school, whose "micro-society" is a "pitiless jungle" that glorifies "individualism, excessive competition and a cult of violence."

Public institutions are unable to protect individuals. Au contraire, Harry Potter and his friends find that they have to break the magical state-imposed rules to protect themselves from evil forces.

...Le Monde last week published an equally erudite reply to Yocaris. Far from being a capitalist lackey, Harry Potter is the first fictional hero of the anti-globalist, anti-free market, pro-Third World, "Seattle" generation, according to Isabelle Smadja.

...Harry and his friends show great concern for the "house elves," the unpaid servants of the magical world. The fact that the elves are mostly content with their lot is, says Smadja, a "pertinent" critique of globalization.
Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Rabbit food

My Grandad used to refer to McDonald's hamburgers as "foreign muck" and would render them edible by adding most of the contents of a salt packet. I never acquired his taste for salt but remain in general agreement with a broad ranging category of fruit and veg he referred to as "rabbit food." Batter-coated french fries as a fresh vegetable might make an exception to the rule.

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

Top Scots

The Adam Smith Institute presents the ten greatest Scots of all time courtesy of Mr. John Blundell, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Of course, there are infinite criteria on which one might base such a list, but since this is my list, I have chosen the following: those writers and thinkers who have contributed most to our appreciation of human nature, our understanding of society and, of course, our ongoing quest to live in freedom.

That is an important caveat. Otherwise, I would have added James Watt, Alexander Graham Bell and John Logie Baird. Oh, and Sean Connery. But as Mr. Blundell points out we have to cut off the list somewhere. We are dealing with a nation of over-achievers here.

Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

20 Questions to a Better Personality

While I agree with some of what this test has to say, particularly the bit about not being particularly interested in the results of this test, I must categorically deny any similarity to Paul Begala (via The Tiger in Winter whose test results suggest a Scorpio Sun).

Wackiness: 66/100
Rationality: 60/100
Constructiveness: 56/100
Leadership: 50/100

You are a WRCF--Wacky Rational Constructive Follower. This makes you Paul Begala. You are unflappable and largely unconcerned with others' reactions to you. You were not particularly interested in the results of this test, and probably took it only as a result of someone else asking you to.

You have a biting wit and intense powers of observation. No detail is lost on you, and your friends know it--relying on you to have the facts when others express only opinions. You are even-tempered, friendly, and educated. Foolish strangers may mistake your mildness for weakness--they will be surprised.
Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 20, 2004

The Simple Life 2: Road Trip

Is it wrong for me to like Paris Hilton as much as I do? And have I missed the one where she and Nicole drive around in police uniforms?

Googling around for this post I found a bit of moonbattery comparing Paris to Benito Mussolini. This is a classic case of the bitterness and imaginary revenge Nietzsche described as ressentiment.

The "well-born" simply felt themselves the "happy"; they did not have to manufacture their happiness artificially through looking at their enemies, or in cases to talk and lie themselves into happiness (as is the custom with all resentful men); and similarly, complete men as they were, exuberant with strength, and consequently necessarily energetic, they were too wise to dissociate happiness from action—activity becomes in their minds necessarily counted as happiness . . . —all in sharp contrast to the "happiness" of the weak and the oppressed, with their festering venom and malignity

Paris may have been born into wealth but it is her spirit of fun that makes her an aristocrat. The "Indy"media writer can only offer anonymous poison for the people who have offered her a job. I know which feeling I would rather aspire to.

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Let's dance

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Superman Returns

Bad news about the Fantastic Four and Green Lantern is balanced out by the news Bryan Singer is to direct Superman Returns.

As of Today, the deals for Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris have been closed to helm & write from scratch the new SUPERMAN film. This is the X2 team. The team that made, arguably the best of the Marvel Films (arguable only because Raimi nailed the hell out of SPIDER-MAN 2).

The Chaos Overlord comments. We both agree Cthulhu would crush and humiliate Superman in battle.

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


The Flea remains trapped at the Archipelago.

Shipwrecked and alone, you find yourself on a surreal reef strewn with mysterious items and bizarre devices. Use your wits to uncover the method in this madness, and escape from the Archipelago - before it becomes your prison!
Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Forbidden Library

Forbidden Library catalogues banned and challenged books.

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
--Oscar Wilde

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Proof Librarians are Sexy

I am not sure libraries are the most dangerous place in town anymore (that would be the blogosphere) but am in perfect agreement that glasses are sexy.

Librarians are hot. They have knowledge and power over their domain. When you enter a library, you enter as a supplicant. It is the librarian that must strip you bare of your layers of obfuscation and find you what you really came for.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

High Line

One and a half miles of abandoned, elevated train tracks in Chelsea are to be transformed into a park. What an excellent idea. Make certain to watch the video that accompanies the article (via Gothamist).

The High Line area, which extends from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea, hasn't been used in over 20 years and has become an eyesore. Four teams of designers have unveiled their ideas for what to do with that space, last used by trains in 1980 and nearly demolished in the mid-80's. Ideas include a perennial landscape with a pool, a long, stretching green space, and expansive trails.

Flea-readers who can arrange a green card/employment for the Flea in New York are encouraged to write!

Posted by the Flea at 08:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Cassini schematics

3D schematics for Cassini in astonishing "virtual reality".

Posted by the Flea at 08:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

MPs and Blogging

The Hansard Society examines political blogging.

New research from the Hansard Society shows that the use of blogging as a new media resource can increase the transparency and accessibility of parliamentarians and their work.

Their optimism for "transparency" cannot include Canada's current Prime Minister. I keep linking to his dead "blog" as it amuses me for some reason.

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

July 19, 2004

Redemption Song

We all know the Canadian anthem is dull and that for reasons of political lameness we will never get to sing the Maple Leaf Forever at hockey games and so forth. We need something inspiring. We need something speaking to faith carrying us through tests and trials. We need something cool.

Be it resolved that Canada should change its national anthem to "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley.

Posted by the Flea at 08:50 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

Dance Commander

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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


Eagle eyes have spotted an enhanced Keira Knightley appearing in some King Arthur promotional materials. The cads!

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (1)


Madonna rude. News at eleven. And here is the Flea without an invitation to the Toronto Kabbalah Centre!

"I waved and said 'Hello,' but she didn't even wave back," said Melissa, who considers herself a big fan of the pop star. "I thought it was rude." Shortly before 1:30 p.m. Madonna and her entourage walked a short distance from the centre's door to her waiting motorcade of SUVs without acknowledging the well-wishers.
Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gollum and Smeagol

Gollum and Smeagol make great FoxNews hosts.

Gollum: He lies to us. He says things that make no senses!
Smeagol: No he doesn't. He's our friend! Does the master want a fish? So juicy sweet!

I suppose this is supposed to be a poke at Fox and yet it points to why the network is so popular. International Flea-readers may not be aware Canada's guardians of the airwaves do not allow us to see such "biased" fare. Last week these same guardians cleared al Jazeera for broadcast in Canada.

This country is broken. It is going to take some work to fix it.

And then... Canadians wishing to respond to the CRTC's recent call for public comment on broadcasting FoxNews in Canada should write to the CRTC now. Some useful thoughts on how to do so can be found here.

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)


Who lives down in deepest darkest Africa?
Who's the one who brought the jungle fame?
Who's the king of Animals in Africa?
Kimba the white lion is his name!

Kimba The White Lion, first known as Jungle Emperor Leo, was a '60s Japanese animated film that some suggest inspired another well known production. It is not without reason Tezuka Osamu is called the Walt Disney of Japan. Perhaps it should be the other way around.

During planning sessions for The Lion King, Simba started out as a white lion until one of the animators spoke up: "Not even OUR lawyers are THAT good!" Maybe so, but notice how both characters have a tuft of hair in the middle of their foreheads, and the very unusual dark ear rim. That alone shows how Kimba is the direct predecessor of Simba.

It is my opinion that the creative people at Disney most definitely knew of Kimba as they were making The Lion King-- but somehow, before the movie could be released, it was decided that the tie must be denied. Even if that means a slap in the face for Osamu Tezuka, the "Walt Disney of Japan".
Posted by the Flea at 08:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Richard Owen

The 200th birthday of Richard Owen, one of Charles Darwin's "most ferocious opponents" is acknowledged by an exhibition at London's Natural History Museum. I worked for Lancaster University for several years and cannot help but wonder what the town was like when he was born there two centuries ago.

Richard Owen went to his grave believing Darwin was wrong to argue that life evolved by natural selection operating on random mutation - but he also discovered the gorilla for science, identified the dodo, coined the word dinosaur, and founded the Natural History Museum in 1881
Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Living Room Candidate

The Living Room Candidate showcases Presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2004. Browsing through ads by issues is fascinating.

"The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process."
-Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson, 1956
Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Jetsicle news

GenX at 40 updates the jetsicle file. I am certain pictures of airplanes from around the world would be welcome at the jetsicle archive.

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

V for Victory

"Peace sign, my ass." Quite right. All is explained at Castle Argghhh!!!

July 19, 1941 - Winston Churchill flashes his "V for Victory" for the first time"
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

UK carriers

The assessment phase of UK carrier procurement has been extended through next spring. With delivery dates of 2012 and 2015, and at an estimated £4bn, I begin to wonder if sourcing the two carriers in the United States begins to make sense given a price tag in the range of next generation CVN-77 supercarriers. I say this as someone who is very sympathetic both to BAE Systems Marine and the logic of maintaining strategic capacity to build these monsters in the UK. At some point the cost has to be weighed even against this last consideration particularly given American claims to reduced crew complement and life cycle costs of their new ships.

An aside in the Telegraph's article is intriguing given my own work on business partnering in UK defense, civil engineering and construction. Taylor Woodrow and Tarmac are both likely candidates for such an alliance agreement and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Last week Alex Dorrian, the chief executive of Thales's UK operations, said the French group and BAE had agreed in principle to an MoD-led alliance in which the two companies would work with the ministry to oversee the project. The alliance could bring in a third company, possibly a construction group familiar with alliance agreements, which are common in offshore oil and gas exploration projects.

The Telegraph also reports UK's next generation of unmanned reconnaissance planes is likely to be sourced with Thales, the French defence contractor partnered with BAE on the carrier project.

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

Edward Gorey Death

Oooh, easy does it on the metal food group
You will swallow some tacks. You are a little
weird, maybe not so much in a good way. Buy a
yellow tie and wear it on your head.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Best. Quiz. Ever (via The Tiger in Winter).

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (1)

July 17, 2004

Green Lantern

***Dave and the Flea are both worried at the prospect of a comedic Fantastic Four. But it gets worse. I love Jack Black and the Green Lanterns are among the only DC characters I care about. But dear heavens... Jack Black as Green Lantern. This is to be a comedy. You know, like "The Mask".

As I understand it, DC Comics tried desperately to dodge this bullet, but ultimately, they don’t have the right to veto something if Warner Bros. really wants to make it happen. This is the problem with the way DC’s deal with their corporate overlords is structured. Their hands are tied.

All of this may be true. But I blame Jack Black. He does not have to take this role, he does not have to take this money and he does not have to do this to a character so many people love.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Oh sure, we know it starts with a robocoaster but it ends with a skeletal steel foot crushing a human skull.

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

"Star Wars" Episode III

Here are some images from "Star Wars" Episode III. I see Kit Fisto is making another appearance. Ho hum.

Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

After Morse

The Flea is delighted to report Kevin Whately is to reprise his role is Lewis in the new "After Morse".

Morse’s comeback — two years after the death of star John Thaw — is bound to be a big ratings winner when it is shown next year. Thirteen million people watched the final episode of the original series in 2000.

ITV drama chief Nick Elliott said last night that it felt like the right time to bring the show back. He added: “Colin Dexter — who wrote the books — and Kevin Whately are very happy and looking forward to it. Kevin will be Lewis, getting on with his life after his friend’s death.”
Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM | TrackBack (0)


Reports of China's Type 039 Song class submarine emerged in Strategy Page over a month ago. The Washington Times now reports on China's new Yuan class deisel-electric

One official said the new submarine was a "technical surprise" to U.S. intelligence, which was unaware that Beijing was building a new non-nuclear powered attack submarine. U.S. intelligence agencies have few details about the new submarine but believe it is diesel-powered rather than nuclear-powered, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The new boat, which appears to be a combination of indigenous Chinese hardware and Russian weapons, suggests that China is building up its submarine forces in preparation for a conflict over Taiwan, defense analysts say.
Posted by the Flea at 09:01 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)


What Sort of Hat Are You? I am a Top-hat.I am a Top-hat.

I'm a bit of a jack-of-all-trades; creative, in a stylistic sort of way, a little vain, a little dark, perhaps a little archaic. I get on alright with people, but I can take them or leave them. What Sort of Hat Are You?

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

July 16, 2004



"None is truly great, but he that is truly good."

Excepting Uncle Bob, there have been few famous Packwoods (though George Packwood should be more famous than he is). This coat of arms site is fair on geography but lousy on history.

First found in Warwickshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and were Lords of the manor of Packwood, some say before the Norman Conquest in England in 1066 A.D.

Packwood House is a lovely place, and noted for its "religious emblematic horticulture", but my family were never lords of the manor. The Featherston family, whose crest looks a bit more legitimate, owned the place since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century meant the Benedictines lost the property. There is also the somewhat confusing fact of Packwood Hall, a manor house a short distance from Packwood House.

For the benefit of future googlers of Packwood family history and genealogy, further Packwood lore should include the Packwood House Museum of Lewisburg, PA, the community of Packwood, WA and the life of George Horatio Packwood of Maitland, FL. Also noteworthy are New Zealand artist Don Packwood and Christian musical artist Anthony Packwood. Samuel Packwood, burned at the stake by Shawnee indians in 1770, certainly rates a mention.

Posted by the Flea at 08:50 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Anthony Ainley

I have sad belated news about Anthony Ainley, best known in his role as the fourth incarnation of The Master from Dr. Who. Mr. Ainley died on May 3, 2004.

Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Middle England

Chris Upton argues there is much of Middle England in Middle Earth.

If there is any place that re-connects Middle Earth to the real world it is here. Here still stands Sarehole Mill, the city’s last surviving water mill, where Ronald and his brother, Hillary, used to hide from the ‘White Ogre’, the name they gave to the flour-covered mill owner. In later life Tolkien himself contributed to the fund-raising to save the mill.

Here too is Moseley Bog, the remains of an old clay quarry, where Ronald and Hillary found a mysterious and secret world of giant trees and hidden streams. Could this be the Old Forest, where Tom Bombadil hides away?
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Ghosts of Motley Hall

I wish someone would put The Ghosts of Motley Hall back on tv.

Motley Hall was for sale! And, as the local residents were saying, a good thing too, for it had been looking more derelict every year as it lay empty, gathering layers of dust and ivy and cobwebs, while the owner, the last of the big Uproar family, travelled abroad on his own. Now he was dead (knelt on by an elephant, people said!), and the house would be sold. It didn't matter much, for there was no one left to care - or no one that ordinary people knew about. What they didn't know was that there was a thriving community of GHOSTS at Motley Hall, all of whom were taking a very lively interest in its fate. Motley was much more than a home to them; it was more a rather comfortable prison, because they could never leave it even if they wanted to, so it would be bad luck if it fell into the wrong sort of hands, or worse still, if the house were to be demolished. Then they wouldn't stand the ghost of a chance.
Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Alien, re-enacted by bunnies. In 30 seconds, of course.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | TrackBack (0)


This makes me feel oogy.

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (0)


Gaming meets modern art.

Pac-Mondrian closes the perceptual distance between fine art and video games by combining Piet Mondrian's Modernist masterpiece 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' with Toru Iwatani's classic video game Pac-Man.

And if that is not exciting enough there is always Poly Play, East Germany's Pac-Man knock off (via Daimnation!).

Posted by the Flea at 08:35 AM | TrackBack (2)


Grow a tree as tall as you can. I managed 21.7 feet. Possibly the best web-game ever.

Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Caramilk Bar Secret

How do they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar?

After spending 10 years designing new formulae for the confectionery industry, one gets asked that question more than any other question. The short answer is that they use a shell moulding plant.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Origins of Blog Names

The Origins of Band Names is a good idea for a website. The origins of blog names is a good idea for a post!

Let us begin with the grandmother of all blog name mysteries: Little Green Footballs. Can anyone cite the post where Charles Green revealed the stunning mystery?

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

O-Ren Ishii

This test claims I am O-Ren Ishii. She was the saving grace of the film... What movie villain are you?

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

July 15, 2004



I had heard the new building housing the United States Embassy to Canada described in unflattering terms: a fortress, a battleship, an aircraft carrier. At least these terms were meant to be unflattering. Imagine my surprise to discover the attractive and sympathetic building pictured above. The rather grand mansard cum cupola is in keeping with the nearby Château Laurier and Parliament Hill itself while the glass structure echoes the National Gallery across the street.

Here are more images of Ottawa, Canada's capital city in exciting virtual reality.

And then... Ravishing Light points out the cupola is, in all likelihood, a Marine redoubt. Very clever and sadly necessary in these troubled times.

Posted by the Flea at 08:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Baby hippo!

Baby hippo!

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Fantastic Four

Jessica Alba has been cast as Sue Storm... Yay! The forthcoming Fantastic Four film is going to be a comedy... Boo! Marvel Film's Avi Arad comments:

"It's funny, high adventure," he said, confirming rumours that that the Tim Story-directed movie will be primarily a comedy. "But you are going to tear up too. It's a bittersweet comedy."

But what of Dr. Doom who, as Marvel aficionados, is so evil that he might not transfer very well to a knockabout laughfest. "Dr. Doom is going to be amazing," said Arad. So he won't be comic relief, then? "No, serious. Human, and serious. It works!"
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)


LiTraCon© have developed translucent concrete. Neat! Now all we need is transparent aluminum (via small dead animals).

LiTraCon© is a concrete stone-block that turns out to be light conducting through its embedded glassfibers. From one side to the other light passes the stone with- out any significant loss and illumi- nates the darker side of the stone. Shadows are transmitted and shown in precise shapes on the opposite surface.
Posted by the Flea at 08:39 AM | TrackBack (0)


Photovoltaics applied to thin flexible plastics may offer a lightweight power source for US forces in the field.

The U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center is working in conjunction with Iowa Thin Film Technologies to develop tents and other fabrics made with flexible solar panels that can provide up to one kilowatt of energy, enough power to run devices such as laptops and lights.

Such capabilities would ultimately make travel safer for soldiers in countries during wartime. Extra battery packs carried by troops are sometimes left behind, providing unnecessary hints to enemy forces.
Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Evolution of the skyscraper

This evolution of the skyscraper sensibly excludes the Petronas Towers.

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


A temple to Mephitis, a goddess of the pre-Roman Samnites, has been found at Pompeii. As the goddess of noxious vapours - her name also means "skunk" - it would seem to have been an appropriate locale.

The discovery in Pompeii of a pre-Roman temple is being hailed as evidence that the city was sophisticated and thriving 300 years before Vesuvius erupted. The temple is said to be of Mephitis, a female deity worshipped by the Samnites, a mysterious ancient people who preceded the Romans in Pompeii.
Posted by the Flea at 08:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gibraltar of the Gulf

Fort Jefferson, the largest Civil War-era coastal fort in the United States, is reported to need $18 million in restoration by 2010 to prevent it crumbling apart.

The 158-year-old fortress is located on a tiny island 68 miles (110 km) west of Key West in the Florida Keys and is part of the 23-acre (9-hectare) Garden Key atoll in the Dry Tortugas National Park, a cluster of seven low-lying islands.

The fort "is the Stealth Bomber of its age. The ultimate goal was deterrence," said park ranger Mike Ryan on a recent tour of the nation's largest masonry fort, built of 16 million hand-made, sun-aged red bricks.

My favourite feature of Fort Jefferson is the "moat" created by its seawall. A neat trick considering the fortress is some way out to sea. I am astonished there is anything left of the structure given the stresses it must by under.

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

July 14, 2004

The Big Blue


The Flea's Jean Reno film festival continues with The Big Blue. A slow moving, peculiar film where Rosanna Arquette manages to keep her kit on for a scene or two longer than usual. The scenery and underwater photography is stunning and the slow moving pace accentuates the drama of each dive. Most important: Reno's Enzo Molinari kicks ass. Finally, the film provides useful if impractical instruction on how to meet a mermaid.

Posted by the Flea at 08:59 AM | TrackBack (0)

Jean Reno

Japander.com presents Jean Reno ads for Japanese tv. Gotta love that coffee in a can. The Flea takes this time to remind ad agencies of Japan that I stand ready to endorse your every pop culture product. Except Pocari Sweat which is truly horrid.

Salad dressing, canned coffee, undescribably sweet beverages and cars are just some of the products getting a boost from Jean Reno.
Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Political: This Land!

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (via Daimnation!).

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

Catch the Tube

The London Underground lets you build your own tube and race against a friend.

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


Welcome to Zombo.com. You can do anything at Zombo.com.

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

Sand art

For all your sand art needs (hat tip to Varenius).

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


Super soaker plus windshield washer concentrate equals flamethrower. I quote the first comment:

"I just feel the need to say this. Please do not try this at home. This stunt looks like it was performed by professional idiots."

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Vescere bracis meis

"Stand aside plebeians! I am on imperial business."

A compendium of vulgar expressions rendered in Latin is reproduced in the extended entry to provide a fig leaf for the Flea's moderated swearing policy (because this post crosses that line, walks back and does a victory dance on the line just to be sure). Just doing my bit to raise the tenor of bathroom stalls everywhere.

Latin Swearing English Translation

Futue te ipsum et caballum tuum Screw you and the horse you rode in on
Cunnus Cunt
Irrumator Bastard (lit. submits to fellatio)
Leno Pimp
Flocci non facio I don't give a damn
Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo Give me head and I'll ass fuck you
Mentula Penis
Meretrix Prostitute
Spucatum tauri Bull shit
Tu es stultior quam asinus You are dumber than an ass
Dormi mecum Sleep with me
Es scortum obscenus vilis You are a vile, perverted whore
Es de acervus excrementum You are a pile of shit
Cupis homines You crave men
Bibe meum semenum Swallow (drink) my cum
Bibe meum semenum e baculo Swallow (drink) my cum from a cup
Lambes meus globi Lick my balls
Stercosus es You shit
Moecha putida Dirty slut
Cannae Filius Bitch (lit: son of a female dog)
Podex perfectus es You're a perfect asshole
Futue te ipsum! Go fuck yourself!
Stercorem pro cerebro habes You have shit for brains
Caput tuum in ano est You have your head up your ass
Perite Fuck off!
Impudens es leno You shameless pimp
Vacca stulta You stupid cow
Vescere bracis meis Eat my shorts
Tu scronium es You are a whore
Androgynus Hermaphrodite
Caput sterci Shithead (lit. shit's head)
Mentulam Caco I shit on your prick
Obesus porcus Fat pig
Cupio te meam mentulam sugare I want you to suck my dick
Matris futuor Mother fucker
Te odeo, interfice te cum cochleare I hate you. Kill yourself with a spoon.
Canis Bitch
Filius Nolius Bastard (lit. nobody's son)
Furcifer Gallows-meat
Crucifer A person who carries his own cross
Ad nauseam To sickness
O tempora, O mores! Oh the times, oh the morals!
Stercus accidit Shit happens
Hic puer est stultissimus omnium! This boy is the stupidest of all!
O di immortales! Good heavens!
Non Gradus Anus Rodentum! Not Worth A Rats Ass!
Vescere bracis meis. Eat my shorts.
Fac ut vivas. Get a life.
Qui vir odiosus! What a bore!
Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri? How do you get your hair to do that?
De gustibus non est disputandum. There's no accounting for tastes.
Tum podem extulit horridulum You are talking shit
Potes meos suaviari clunes You can kiss my ass.
Saltatrix tonsa Drag queen (lit. "shaved dancing-girl")
Lupa Prostitute (lit. "she-wolf")
Quando podeces te regi eorum fecerunt? When did the assholes make you their king?
Lupa Slut
Cacator Shitter
Tu plenus sterco es You are full of shit (lit. you are packed with shit)
Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.
Apudne te vel me? Your place or mine?
Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.
Cepe indicum Take a hint
Derideo te! I laugh at you!
Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?
Fabriacate diem, punk Make (my) day, punk
Fac ut vivas Get a life
Apudne te vel me? Your place or mine?
Hocine bibo aut in eum digitos insero? Do I drink this or stick my fingers in it?
Obesa cantavit The fat lady has sung
Id imperfectum manet dum confectum erit It isn't over until it's over
Illegitimi non carborundum Don't let the bastards burn you
Labra lege Read my lips
Lege atque lacrima Read 'em and weep
Morologus es! You're talking like a moron!
Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo Don't call me, I'll call you.
Noli nothis permittere te terere Don’t let the bastards get you down.
Nullo modo No way
Puto vos esse molestissimos I think that you are very annoying
Qualem blennum! What a doofus!
Qualem muleirculam! What a bimbo!
Quisque comoedus est Everybody's a comedian
Quo usque tandem abutere patentia nostra? How long are you going to abuse our patience?
Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri? How do you get your hair to do that?
Radix lecti Couch potato
Raptus regaliter Royally screwed
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem! Stand aside plebeians! I am on imperial business
Scio vos esse molestissimos I know that you are very troublesome
Stultus est sicut stultus facit Stupid is as stupid does
Tace atque abi Shut up and go away
Ut si! As if!
Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant May barbarians invade your personal space
Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant May conspirators assassinate you in the mall
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy
Vacca foeda Stupid cow
Vae! Damn!
Viri sunt Viri Men are slime
Immanissimum ac foedissimum monstrum! Gross and putrid monster!
Faciem durum cacantis habes You have the face of a man with severe constipation
Mala pituita nasi Nasty nasal drippings!
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem. Stand aside plebeians! I am on imperial business.
Si me rogas, potes abire et tu ipse cacare. If you ask me, you can go and shit on yourself.
Semper in excrementum, sole profundum qui variat. Always in the shit, just the depth that varies.

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (4)

July 13, 2004



I know of no greater outcry of loss and futility in the face of a capricious fate. female.first.uk explains. Kylie Minogue: to quit music?

Kylie Minogue is ready to quit music and become a mother, it has been claimed. The stunning pop star has reportedly told friends she wants to settle down with her handsome French boyfriend, Olivier Martinez, and start a family.
Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Compose your own south asian music. Just the thing for the Tuesday blahs.

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

lookie lookie, fire!

The soundtrack makes this short film more than a simple warning about playing with fire.

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


An inventive game that would send me round the twist if I spent any more time on it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

Human for Sale

How much $$$$$$ are you worth?

Have you been thinking about putting yourself up for sale lately? Ever wonder how much money you could get on the open human market? HumanForSale.com will attempt to place a value on your life using a variety of criteria in 4 basic facets of life (physical,mental,lifestyle,personality).
Posted by the Flea at 08:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Arkham Asylum

I was always pleased that the Batman universe included an homage to H.P. Lovecraft. Certainly, an hospital for insane super-criminals is made all the more sinister when its name echoes that of my favourite fictional town. According to Wikipedia the link is more direct than I had suspected. Bob Kane was a Lovecraft fan and met the man himself.

H.P. Lovecraft met Bob Kane, Batman's co-creator, in 1935 on a train. The young Kane told Lovecraft that he loved how he wrote his stories and told him about a vigilante that had literally gone insane with vengeance over something that cannot be destroyed: the essence of evil itself. Kane was so grateful for being able to meet Lovecraft only two years before his death that he created Arkham Asylum as a means of paying tribute to his hero.

Now all I need is Batman vs. Cthulhu. The answer, btw, is Cthulhu. Obviously.

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


Say I lost my head. Would I say me and my head? Or me and my body? We might ask Livia, wife of Caesar Augustus.

A caesar's wife may have to be above reproach, but one of them lost her head centuries ago. The head was found late in the 19th century by a roving Guardian reporter who later became a distinguished archaeologist; her body was only found nine years ago, in modern Croatia; but now the two have been re-united at an exhibition in Oxford.

And Arthur Evans wrote for the Guardian. Who knew?

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

July 12, 2004



I would be more enthusiastic about Alexander if it was not an Oliver Stone epic. The obligatory post-Gladiator pre-battle inspirational quote does not work for me either. Angelina Jolie plays Olympias, Alexander's mum. Her nose is clearly out of joint in the above image because that trailer should probably have shown Alexander kissing Hephaestion. "Hephaestion too is Alexander."

Comments using the phrase Platonic relationship shall be mocked mercilessly and the Flea has no comment to offer about anything connected to Colin Farrell. It is a shame the Baz Luhrmann version has been cancelled.

Posted by the Flea at 08:59 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

In the jungle

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Shoggoth Plush Toy

Must. Have. Shoggoth Plush Toy.

And then... Army of Darkness shot glasses are a good idea too.

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


For all your Monday morning Galaxian needs.

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

Riddle Quest

The BBC offers an on-line Tolkien knock-off game.

Once again the powers of darkness have taken over Little Earth and their evil is spreading. Using all your courage you must guide Orly the Elf away from his village, across the mountains and into the lava kingdom to drink from the golden cup of life.

An homage to Tolkien is fine. An homage to Tolkien that turns the Ring, locus of all evil in Middle Earth, into "rings of peace" is missing the point. Or is it? BBC editorial policy is consistently pro-ringwraith these days.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Phone

This is an automated message. This telephone can be used to transport to other places.

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

Space rocks

NASA and JPL are keeping an eye on space rocks.

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

Colonial House

Help our colonist get dressed.

In 1628, a colonist in the New World had a limited wardrobe. What might she have worn?
Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM | TrackBack (0)

July 10, 2004

Hot Sauce

Hmm. I see my advertiser is offering a new perspective today. Well, call that inspirational too. Take the Cope twins, for example.

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

July 09, 2004



The trailer for Casshern is stunning but, due to my lack of Japanese, incomprehensible. A translation arrives thanks to the wonder that is "the internet".

Reincarnated with an invincible body
Fighting an iron devil
If Casshern does not do it… who will?

Now that makes sense.

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


The official Dannii Minogue Calendar 2004 (some nsfw banner ads).

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

Pictures of you

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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


An innovative use of belts defines the latest in the Flea's commitment to the latest in fashion-media coverage. Well, not quite coverage exactly. Definitely not safe for work and not for Canadian weather.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


It took me a few tries to figure out how to fire my blobs correctly.

Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Slick Ball

Move the ball through the maze. I can only recommend this one for those with a head for heights.

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


Paris Hilton is to reportedly set to release her first single, "Screwed". Paris will be rapping. Oh yes.

The rapper/producer, who struck gold with Usher´s "Yeah," has signed on to produce tracks for the project, which Paris has said is tentatively called "Screwed."

The two apparently met at a party in a Los Angeles club, where Hilton leaned over to Lil´ Jon and began rapping in his ear, and the rapper was sold. "We just gotta get in the studio, and I´m gonna basically deal with a club vibe," Lil’ Jon said. "And make it super sexy, because she´s such a supermodel."
Posted by the Flea at 08:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

License Plates of the World

A catalogue of world license plates from Abaco (Bahamas) to Zona Fronteriza (Mexico).

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


The Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers flirts with danger in 30 minutes or less. There must be a pizza-themed pun I could work in here but this one speaks for itself.

Join APDD! There is strength in numbers. One voice can be drowned out easily - not so with a large group of voices. And if you feel strongly enough to start your own local, check the box on the sign-up page. We'll help get you started.
Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | TrackBack (0)


"A View in Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky Bay, New Zealand" was painted over an earlier work, the first known depiction of Antarctica.

One of Captain James Cook's official artists painted the first image of Antarctica, new x-ray analysis shows. But the painting had remained hidden for more than two centuries, as the artist had painted the landscape of a New Zealand bay over it.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 08, 2004

Winston Review


"He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."

This is an editorial statement for a new weekly feature at the Flea. Every week I hope to post links to inspirational writing in the blogosphere and beyond at the Winston Review. There have been points since that day in September that I would have lost the plot if it was not for the courage and decency I find every day on the internet. I would like to provide a round-up of inspirational, contemplative, even angry writing to turn to each week. With luck, I hope people will take up the challenge and feel moved to speak.

There is poignant, truthful writing out on the internet. Every time we turn on the television we are subjected to the latest atrocity and its apologists. There is little room for heroism or sacrifice in the heart of our media establishments. Imagine these last few years without Bill Whittle or James Lileks. These are names to conjure with. Let's help them out. If we can stand up to the tyrants that confront us, all of us may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

I am counting on Mike Campbell, Churchill scholar of the bloggish enlightenment, to keep any future Churchillian references straight.

Send me your links. Tell me about your own writing and point me to blogs or particular posts that have moved you. Let me know about news and commentary from the mainstream press that have done the same. Consider taking up the challenge yourself. Write something that will help the rest us keep up the fight.


Your courage. Your cheerfulness. Your resolution.
Will bring us Victory.

The Winston Review:

These archives have been removed.

That is all for now.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)


Crank the sound for this bubbles game. Pop music is an appropriate accompaniment.

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

Kill Bill Vol. 1

I am watching the uncut Japanese release of Kill Bill Vol. 1. There is plenty of gore and so forth yet I am finding it tedious and pointless. Am I missing something? Bits of it are cute but there is only so much J-pop and 60s homage I can take. Also, I wish the trend toward skeletalism in A-list actresses would end. Uma looks like she could use a hamburger.

And then... Ok, Lucy Liu just showed up. She might save this thing.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

One: A Space Odyssey

Hit things with sticks.

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

GoogleDaq ylnej


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

The Tinners' Rabbits

I saw the Tinners' Rabbits at Widecombe-in-the-Moor on a trip to Dartmoor. Widecombe is not alone in choosing hare decor.

The first known literary reference is from A Survey of the Cathedral of St Davids published in 1717 by Browne Willis. It says: "In one key stone near the west end are three rabbits plac'd triangularly, with the backsides of their heads turn'd inwards, and so contriv'd that the three ears supply the place of six so that every head seems to have its full quota of ears. This is constantly shewn to strangers as a curiosity worth regarding."

It turns out the three hares motif is more widespread than I had imagined.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Nesperennub, a Theban priest buried around 2800 years ago and now a resident of the British Museum, has undergone a CT-scan at a London hospital and a 3-D laser-scan in Scotland.

The hologram-like pictures reveal amazing details. Crowned with a ceramic bowl — probably accidentally glued by the embalmers — Nesperennub had an abscess at the base of one of his teeth, and a mysterious small hole, like a bullet hole, near his brain.

Several linen-wrapped protective amulets were recognizable on his chest, while almond-shaped fake glasses were inserted by embalmers so that the mummy could see in the afterlife.
Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Space Educators' Handbook

The Space Educators' Handbook (designated as document number OMB / NASA Report Number S677) is a great resource. Using science fiction to teach space technology is a great idea.

From an editorial letter to AD ASTRA, Jun 1990: "Science fiction is not only the best way to predict the future, it has also helped to create the civilian space program. "Name any other method of attempting to forecast the future...including the work of professional scientists...Read their predictions five or ten years after they were written. Pitiful! Science fiction writers, on the other hand, have predicted virtually every aspect of our modern world - often 30 or more years before the events came to pass."
Ben Bova, Chairman, National Space Society Board
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tour de force

Everyone is linking to Lileks today and I am no exception. Today's Bleat fisks Michael Moore's July 4 LA Times piece.

Are you proud that one in six children lives in poverty in America?

No. I’m ashamed. I think we should be more like British Columbia, where one in six children lives in poverty. No – wait. Er - next question.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

July 07, 2004

Be it resolved


Look there... is that a bird... a plane? No! It is the Dark Knight smacking down Superman (again). Be it resolved that the Batman would defeat Superman in a fair fight.*

* Meaning of "fair fight" may vary. "Fair fight" may include use of nuclear weapons, subterfuge and kryptonite boxing gloves.

Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

Ice Man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Space Invaders

This Space Invaders has the best sound effects of any version I have played on-line. This does mean you will have trouble to pretend you are, like, working if you are at the office. Only a trial version of the game, sadly.

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Village

I don't see this point of M. Night Shyamalan films.

Posted by the Flea at 08:38 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Stargate Atlantis

Stargate: Atlantis premieres July 16. The Flea has no Sci Fi access (thanks Canadian media regulators!) so will have to wait for it to appear in repeats on some network that has paid off my Canadian overlords.

The White House
President Henry Hayes

TO: Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Stargate Command
General George Hammond, USAF

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate you and the Stargate SG-1 team for discovering the hidden Antarctic base of the Ancients, the creators of the Stargates. We now possess the knowledge to travel farther through the cosmos than ever before.

Dr. Weir is assembling an elite team to explore — for the first time — outside our own galaxy. The Stargate Command group currently in Antarctica is already discovering unique new technologies that will aid us as we strike out to the Pegasus Galaxy and beyond.

Yet we must remember this: With all these boundless possibilities will come new threats. Is the balance of risk worth it? I wholeheartedly say yes. And if I may add, I envy those about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Forgotten Ohio

Explore the lost worlds of Ohio.

Ohio has a long and varied history. Within the 88 counties of the state you'll find some of the densest woods in the country, plenty of industrial wreckage (hey, just look at Cleveland), lots of abandoned houses, and about a million cool, deserted, rarely visited places.
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

War Psychiatry

The Textbooks of Military Medicine presents War Psychiatry.

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

Invincible and Type 23

The Royal Navy offers panoramas of an Invincible class aircraft carrier and Type 23 frigate. I especially like the diagram showing the location of the coffee maker in the Type 23 wardroom.

The same page offers a neat interactive iCarrier simulation, Royal Navy operations information and videos. From the ship's company video it looks like the lads spend time paragliding and shopping.

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

July 06, 2004

James Doohan


Most installments of the Flea Presents Great Canadians™ are somewhat tongue in cheek. This one is not. Recent news coverage of James Doohan's poor health has revealed aspects of his biography many fans knew nothing about. Doohan was a Captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery, stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and was wounded after taking out two enemy snipers only to go on to fly an artillery observation plane for the Royal Canadian Air Force. This is a stand up hero and a great Canadian. The Campblog has more to say.

Posted by the Flea at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)


Lt. Saavik is revealed to be half-Romulan in a STAR TREK II special preview featurette. Rabbinical debate has broken out as to the canonical status of the find.

Hence the question: is this footage considered canon? It was not utilized in any released version of the film, though it was filmed during the film's production, and the references to Saavik's Romulan heritage are part of the expanded Star Trek universe. This footage would likely be considered apocryphal, since technically it was not included in any version of the film.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (and sing along).

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


This would be more fun if I had the faintest idea how to play chess with any strategy.

Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)


An art historian's guide to the movies.

Hamlet -- 1990
"Mel Gibson's Hamlet in which the hanging through which Polonius is stabbed is the lion from the Book of Durrow and Ophelia is embroidering the Bayeux Tapestry."
Posted by the Flea at 08:35 AM | TrackBack (0)


For all your JDAM impact needs.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Radiance of the Seas

Extreme cutaway action of the seas.

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

Dreadnaughts and ironclads

Belmont Club discusses new naval technology and calls for doctrine to make that technology effective. It is odd how the silhouette of the forthcoming DD(X) echoes some of the first iron clads. Who could have imagined those sloping surfaces would be resurrected to deflect light instead of shot? The Visby class corvette is a stealthy Swedish alternative while HMS Daring, first of the Royal Navy's Type 45 class destroyers will come into service in 2007.

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

July 05, 2004

She's got legs


A Gillette poll demonstrates Solomonic wisdom.

Kylie Minogue is well known for having the best bottom in showbiz - and now she has been voted as having the best legs too. The pint-sized pop princess has topped a poll to find the celebrity with the world's most perfect pins.
Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Vampire glyph action and a fun new trailer at a revamped Blade: Trinity website. Parker Posey as a vampire... be still my beating heart!

Posted by the Flea at 08:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The web presence for Ghost in the Shell II.

The line between humans and machines has blurred beyond distinction....and humans have forgotten that they are human.
Posted by the Flea at 08:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Peril of Doc Ock

This Lego short film is the latest in Spider-Man 2 viral marketing. It features some most satisfying web-slinging action. Doctor Octopus was never the Flea-fav of Spiderman villains. Mysterio (I or II) has more cheeze-appeal.

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


Just the thing for Monday morning office hand-eye coordination.

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

Banana-flavoured death

Truly, death comes in many flavours.

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Shore Acres

Brian's Night Out is a peculiarly gripping exploration of the life of Brian Teeman.

You're about to take a trip through Brian's past. Much of what you're about to see actually occured in his life. Some of it is based on dreams he's had, and other parts are just because he's a creative little punk... hmmm enjoy
Posted by the Flea at 08:30 AM | TrackBack (0)


Now we learn what Becks was practicing.

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

A web of tentacles

A fungus living three feet underground at the Malheur National Forest in Oregon may be the world's largest living organism.

Officially known as Armillaria ostoyae, or the honey mushroom, the fungus is 3.5 miles across and takes up 1,665 football fields. The small mushrooms visible above ground are only the tip of the iceberg. Experts estimate that the giant mushroom is at least 2,400 years old, but could be 7,200 years old.
Posted by the Flea at 08:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Good-bye God, I'm going to Bodie.

A photographic journey through Bodie ghost town. Stunning. The web offers more on the brief, tragic history of Bodie.

Killings occurred with monotonous regularity, sometimes becoming almost daily events. The fire bell, which tolled the ages of the deceased when they were buried, rang often and long. Robberies, stage holdups, and street fights provided variety, and the town's 65 saloons offered many opportunities for relaxation after hard days of work in the mines. The Reverend F.M. Warrington saw it in 1881 as "a sea of sin, lashed by the tempest of lust and passion."
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July 04, 2004



"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?"
- John Page

Now is the time at the Flea when we rock (with more from the film Gunner Palace here).

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July 03, 2004

The Method


To me, fair friend, you never can be old. For as you were when first your eye I eyed. Such seems your beauty still.
- Marlon Brando

The Telegraph's obituary for Marlon Brando is only one of many tributes offered to the great actor.

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No Daleks

No Daleks. Boo.

Talks between the BBC and the estate of late sci-fi writer Terry Nation, who created the Daleks, broke down over issues of editorial control.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "After lengthy negotiations, the BBC and Terry Nation have been unable to reach an agreement on the terms of the use of the Daleks." The Terry Nation estate said it was "bitterly disappointed".

Gay daleks may have been one of the deal breakers. Not for the forthcoming Dr. Who series but for TV Offal, a satire that had run elsewhere on the Beeb. "They're camp! They exterminate! Better watch your back! They're the gay daleks!" Personally, I thought the show was hilarious but I am easy to amuse.

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Come to Norway!

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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All all male Madonna cover band. This would have rated a dance or two but you will have to find the "audio" link for yourself. This is truly horrible. Boys, boys, boys. Just because it is camp does not mean it is clever.

And then... It seems that Mandonna are not only bad singers but are incapable of tolerating criticism. Gentlemen, you are going to have to develop thicker skins if you want to survive an audience full of trannies with the material you have to offer. Trust me. You will look back upon this gentle critique as a fond memory.

Comments on this post are closed.

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What shapes do dice have?

Here is a table of the different shapes I have encountered over the years (68 shapes)
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A map of Mars from Vastitas Borealis to Argentia Planum.

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Extreme fullscreen

A plethora of panoramas. Dr. John Riley's mouth panorama signals a new direction for this genre...

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July 02, 2004

Jet Boat


The Beachcombers may be the ultimate CanCon. It was November 15, 2003 that the Flea posed the ultimate Canadian bar trivia question. What was the name of Relic's jet boat?

The answer? There was more than one jet boat. A Flea-reader wrote to explain (follow that link for the details). Now a yet more definitive answer has arrived via the ethereal tracks of "the internet". There were not one... not two... but seven boats used for the role. You will have guessed that image above is one of them!

This boat's owner writes:

Hey Nick

The boats official name is 10k9602. Because they had 7 boats that did this role they just used the number system, most of the boats had 440 engines in them and they were built extremely heavy for jumping and stunts. The one I have was made for the speed shots and is considerably lighter. Also a lot faster. I shall attach a picture of her for you. Unfortunately she is red now as black was not a functional colour on the water.

That is a national treasure. Keep her safe!

Update: Welcome Boating Sportsman Forums readers.

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John Cage

Test your endurance! Annoy your coworkers! John Cage for everybody!

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Invisible World

Worth1000 presents invisible celebrities. Some cyborg animals are also clever.

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Daiquiri Whacker

For all your gas powered blender needs.

The Daiquiri Whacker gas powered blender is designed to be easy to operate, yet extremely durable. The twist throttle gives you precise RPM control of the 25cc Homelite motor featuring the patented easy Zip Start feature.
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Fantana Island

I could race around Fantana Island for the checkered flag but the Nazi connection has soured me on Fanta-themed products.

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Traffic signs

Start your own collection of traffic signs. Take signs through the eye of Monsieur Jean (occupation: hairdresser), for example.

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You're a literary minded as the Bard himself!
You are a complete literary geek, from knowing the
classics (even the not-so-well-known classics
and tidbits about them) to knowing devices used
in writing, when someone has a question about
literature, they can bring it to you and rest
assured; you know the answers.

How much of a literary geek are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Any reputable literary geek quiz should fail me. It should also consider running its questions through a spell check (via Light & Dark).

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July 01, 2004

Dominion Day


Astute Flea-readers will note this is posted a day early. My current magickal mystery tour has taken me to a place with limited web access. Friday postings may be delayed! I hear it whispered on the wind, "Soon... wifi... soon..."

It has become more clear than ever we have work to do up north. This was a great country once and with a nudge in the right direction will be so again. Happy Canada Day.

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