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November 30, 2005

Love Angel Music Baby

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Writing for the Seattle Times, Patrick MacDonald reviews Gwen Stefani's live show without troubling himself to think about it terribly carefully. First, and hopefully for the last time, Stefani's Harajuku Girl attendants are meant to be an expression of her dreamlife. This is what some would call "Art". You may not think it is all that interesting but it would be worth noting rather than simply to cite unspecified critics in "the Asian community". Second, pointing out Stefani's frequent costume changes is hardly a point of criticism for a performer whose flamboyant public persona is explictly tied to her ostensibly outrageous, though quite fetching, sartorial expression. Third and finally, anyone who thinks Stefani's supposed lack of dance ability has any relationship to her lithe, porcelain... legs... uhh... sorry, lost the plot there.

Action update: Rika Ookubo, who is the genuine article apparently, finds Stefani's antics "amusing and distasteful". That is what we call the attractive metallic-pink pot calling the comely kettle metallic-pink.

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

Style by Kravitz

Learning that celebrity fashion lines are "one of the biggest trends at the moment" has only spurred my intention to produce Flea-branded cufflinks, hatbands and watch-fobs. Lenny Kravitz, take note!

"I'm working on a fashion and home line. Everybody's doing it. You've got Puffy and J.Lo and Gwen Stefani doing a great job at it, and I've just kind of been laying back."
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tiesto: Love comes again

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (QT file).

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

Choco! Party! Good! Good!

The Flea's radical reportage on Object Lessons in Objectification™ continues with reference to an ad whose subtleties render me inexplicably fascinated with the subject of Choco Party products. Whatever they might be. Vote Flea for Best Culture Blog, btw (hat tip to A Former Servant of Her Majesty).

Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Kingdom of Loathing

Blame Varenius for introducing me to my new obsession: The Kingdom of Loathing. Just keep an eye out for the cans of asparagus. Those things will cut you up.

One fateful Porktober morning, a Sorceress came to the Kingdom. A Naughty Sorceress. A Naughty Sorceress who was clearly up to no good, and even more clearly up to plenty of bad. King Ralph sought to expel the Naughty Sorceress from his Kingdom, but she imprismed him in a black crystalline shard of curdled magic. It was very dramatic.

Dramatic update: Having just found the Tolkien reference at the Typical Tavern, I am once again overwhelmed by the genius of the writing.

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

November 29, 2005

20 cult films you should have seen, Part Deux

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Moving on from a first instance of stealing from and ripping off Protein Wisdom, the Flea proudly presents another twenty cult films you should should have seen.

The Great Dictator... for Tomanian flying lessons.
The Lair of the White Worm... for the red-tipped pen.
Wicked City... for the love theme.
The Thing from Another World!... for the walking carrot.
The Thing... for the biohorror.
The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse... for the master of disguise.
Forbidden Planet... for Prospero.
Scarlet Diva... for the femme fatale.
Secret Agent... for the skiing.
Gummo... for the electrical tape.
The Wicker Man... for Willow's Song.
Liquid Sky... for aliens, heroin and orgasms.
Mondo New York... for Deen and the Weenies.
Quatermass and the Pit... for Hob's End.
Without You I'm Nothing... for the pasties.
Electric Dragon 80000V... for the voltage.
The Addiction... for the dissertation party.
The Warriors... for the boppers.
Runaway... for the cyberpunk completists.
Battle Royale... my high school life.

Silver-screen update: The Pirate King thoughtfully offers twenty more films for your consideration.

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

Morningwood: Nth Degree

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. With a gentle reminder to Flea-readers: I would appreciate your support for Best Culture Blog (and Best Blog, what the heck) with a quick vote once a day, every day this week... keep me dancing!

Posted by the Flea at 10:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Seat 29E

Continental Airlines would be well advised to remove some seating.

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

LynxJet

The Flea's hard-hitting documentary series, Object Lessons in Objectification™ continues with this latest Lynx ad (that's Axe to North American Flea-readers).

Get on, then get off at the Mile High Hotel for an experience you will never forget.
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Vampire in Balenciaga

New Line Cinema is offering at auction yet more Danica Taltos wear from Blade Trinity. No word on whether they will ever cut to the chase and auction Parker Posey.

Give the ultimate gift this holiday season with wardrobe worn by Danica (Parker Posey) in Blade Trinity! This hot ensemble comes complete with black silk chiffon blouse with flutter sleeves and leather trim, black knee length Balenciaga skirt, black Marni ankle wrap heels, and lacey camisole. Don't miss your chance to own this evil vampire attire and place your bid today!

Update: I cannot believe bidding is stalled at twenty-five dollars from yesterday. That is a Belenciaga skirt, people! As worn by Parker Posey!

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

November 28, 2005

Shaken and stirred

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Part travelogue, part instruction manual, part bar philosophy, part discursive history, Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History fits into a larger genre than your average bartending book. It is a whimsical examination of the drinks that have captured our imagination and have symbolically identified us.

With the television, radio and print media blitz for "Mondo Cocktail" it is difficult to think of original interview questions for noted Toronto foodie and cocktail expert, Christine Sismondo. Better get these in before someone thinks of them on her forthcoming American book tour for Mondo Cocktail, "a shaken and stirred history".

Flea: Is Mondo Cocktail a great short-cut for people who want to make clever conversation at cocktail parties? Or do they have to drink several cocktails before they will truly grasp the subject? (If so, how many?)

CS: Clever cocktail party conversation is really rare these days. Unfortunately, there are no short-cuts and the only advice I can give is that people have to shirk all other responsibilities and devote themselves to going to parties (or at least very good bars) every single day and practicing. However, several cocktails (as in, all of them) may speed up the arduous process.

Flea: Will upstanding community members think Mondo Cocktail readers are alcoholics? Also, why do we care what upstanding community members think?

CS: Exactly. Why, a girl can't have eight or ten cocktails before dinner anymore these days without eyebrows being raised.

Flea: Is this the sort of book Flea-readers can safely buy for their enemies? Or should they only purchase copies for themselves and trusted friends so as to hoard their cocktail lore?

CS: You wouldn't want this getting in the hands of any moral reformers, if that's what you mean. Although, in my experience when you give interesting books to dull people, they rarely have the good sense to read them anyhow. That's how they got dull in the first place.

Flea: Gin-soaked popinjay, Christopher Hitchens is akin to God. Discuss.

CS: Hitchens is one of the very few people to go on record against the smoking ban in bars. It takes guts to fight for an unfashionable cause. I see in Hitchens the spirit of H.L. Mencken and, as everyone who knows me has heard (ad nauseum, perhaps), I love Mencken.

Mondo Cocktail is available at fine retailers including Amazon.com. Ships in time for Xmas!

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

Coldplay: Talk

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Biblana

You could get some work done or you could dig out that old Scalextric racing game from storage in your parents' basement. Or you could play Bilbana on-line and pretend to do both.

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

Paris Hilton's monkey confiscated

Once again I am at a loss to improve on a Female First tag-line. As enquiring Flea-readers will have already divined, Paris Hilton is now minus one monkey.

"She recently fell in love with a baby kangaroo while filming in Queensland and asked for it to be boxed up and shipped back home. But she was forced to send it back when she discovered they grow up to be very violent. It's the same with Baby Luv. She had no idea she was breaking the law when she smuggled him into LA."
Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Invincible and the Beautiful

Sure, you might like Tom Cruise. But Niki Yan really likes Tom Cruise. Time for a Flea-book about Kylie Minogue (via A Former Servant of Her Majesty).

Tom, Thank you so much for all these years' inspiration and Positive information, you know, without it, I would not be who I am today, and this girl's life would never be changed in the most positive way. And I call it universal love, unconditional love, maybe you did not know, now you know, the strength, the power, the light from the deepest darkness, that's what you taught me, and you will continue to do so.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

X Minus One

RadioLovers hosts old time radio shows... perfect for curling up with a brandy and a loved one on a winter's night. Best of all is Flea-fav '50s science fiction classic, X Minus One.

X Minus One was a science fiction radio series on NBC from April 1955 through January 1958. The show feature stories written by some of the big names in 1950s science fiction, like Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Issac Asimov. X Minus One followed another great sci-fi series called Dimension X that was broadcast in 1950-51. Some of the X-1 shows were rebroadcasts of Dim X. For baby boomers that liked The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone and for all you Trekkies, X Minus One is the forefather of the science fiction you grew up with.
Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 26, 2005

Vote Flea!

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Shouldn't you be living the Flea lifestyle? Find out how: every day at Ghost of a flea! Vote Flea for Best Blog and especially Best Culture Blog.

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

Wagon Christ: Shadows

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

What blog through yonder window breaks?

Ardolino wonders if he has a shot with Angie Harmon.

What if I told her that I was a blogger?
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Chocolate covered bacon

A beginning is a very delicate time. Know then that the year is 2005. In this time, the two most precious substances in the known universe are chocolate and bacon. The chocolate extends life. The bacon expands consciousness. Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you. Chocolate and bacon exist on only one planet in the known universe. Hidden away within the rocks of this plaent are a people who have long held a prophecy that a man would come, a messiah, who would lead them to chocolate covered bacon.

At this point you are probably wondering if Chocolate Covered Bacon (CCB) tastes good or is utterly disgusting. Perhaps you are asking yourself "Why would anyone even consider this combination?" I suspect the person who suggested that orange juice might not just be for breakfast anymore was subjected to the same level of scrutiny. But it was exactly this type of forward thinking that tore down the walls and stereotypes about orange juice, and made it perfectly acceptable to consume anytime of the day.
Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Hell hath no fury, etc.

The September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair was the magazine's top-selling edition, like, evar. Thanks Jennifer Aniston's break up with Brad Pitt and Brad's callous (if perfectly understandable) macking on Angelina Jolie in public! GQ was probably also doing quite well with Aniston's "Woman of the Year" side-boob cover. But more about Angelina Jolie. She is so hot.

Instead of being reviled as The Other Woman, Jolie posed for pictures on an energetic round of appearances as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations—and then trumped even that public-relations bonanza by adopting another orphan, an African girl whose parents had died of AIDS. In the blink of an eye, the twice-divorced Jolie—previously known as a tattooed vixen with a taste for bisexuality, heroin, brotherly incest, mental institutions, and wearing her husbands' blood—had morphed into a globe-trotting humanitarian who seemed to be channeling Audrey Hepburn.
Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

A lost world

Photographs of Berlin in the 1930s by Roman Vishniac are now on display at the city's Jewish Museum.

The Berlin Vishniac first captures is a warm and lively place, with bustling streets, loving families and cheery bars and shops. Having fled the Soviet Union, he was clearly fond of his adopted city.

An on-line sampling of images from A Vanished World, a collection of his works, includes "the only known photograph of the contemplation of the Cabala prior to the Holocaust". That would be the actual Kabbalah rather than the celebrity kind.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 25, 2005

Smokin'

As INXS invade Toronto the National Post is squeezed in for an interview during J.D. Fortune's smoke break. So remember kids: smoking is bad. Yes, all those stories about smoking being sexy and a little dangerous may be true in this case but a long life, good health and adopting a finger wagging anti-smoker busy body persona more than make up for not being a rock god. Meanwhile, the cool kids can get J.D. Fortune to autograph their body parts at HMV, First Canadian Place at 12:15 pm today.

Update: Interviewed on Canada AM, INXS reveal Suzie McNeil sings "God's Top Ten", a duet with J.D. on the last track of the new album. Sweet!

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Best Blog & Best Culture Blog

Voting continues in the 2005 Canadian Blog Awards. I would be especially grateful for votes in the Best Culture Blog category. The interface lets you vote once per day but make sure to click all your selections before hitting that "submit vote" button. Remember: you do not have to be Canadian to vote!

Posted by the Flea at 07:16 AM | TrackBack (0)

Cat Power: Cross Bones Style

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

My Fair Brady

Christopher Knight, best known for his portrayal of Peter Brady, and Flea-fav America's Top Model winner Adrianne Curry are to be wed. O frabjous day! And another season of My Fair Brady.

"Who knew?!," said Chris Knight. "The last year was filled with drama of me trying to change Adrianne just to find out that maybe it was I that needed the changing. In the end, it was our deep love for each other that prevailed, with our individual quirks and flaws in tow. We look forward to planning the rest of our lives together and continuing to embrace our differences on our way to the altar."
Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

Quite corrupt enough

I would reveal my results on this corruptability test but I did not think the questions offered sufficiently corrupt alternative answers. That said, camping in Wales is quite dirty enough, thank you very much. Full marks for effort to Malmaison and especially Mal Oxford what with the corruption and the music and so forth.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 24, 2005

The loneliest number since the number one

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Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson: was the couple in trouble? They was! Pravda reports on the newlywedded couple no more.

After months of rumors, denials, and salacious magazine covers, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are officially kaput.

I have never managed to square Simpson's apparent love for bouncing about the place with her repeated affirmation of pre-marital chastity. Perhaps in California cheesecake and virginity can be made to rhyme. Rumours, denials and salacious magazine covers aside (sample pictured above), mad props to Pravda for covering the real news; even if "kaput" has such a harsh Durmstrang Institute sound to it. Almost as bad as Madonna's explanation for the success of her marriage: Guy Ritchie is sufficiently evolved not to mind being her "trailer bitch".

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

2005 Canadian Blog Awards

The Flea has been nominated in the Best Blog and Best Culture Blog categories for the 2005 Canadian Blog Awards. Your vote would be much appreciated! Just take care to vote in all categories before submitting your votes as the interface seems to have indigestion otherwise.

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

Depeche Mode: A pain that I'm used to

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:19 AM | TrackBack (0)

Gothic content

As soon as prime-time bastian Coronation Street chose to admit goth's "preposterous trash-aristocratic excess" it could only be a matter of time before the same would be true for His Dark Majesty Bob. Now if only we can convince Wendy Mesley to wear black lipstick on "The National". Then my victory would be complete.

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

Snowball Warfare

Last night Toronto was blanketed by the powdery white stuff, i.e. "snow" and not the Toronto Film Festival kind either but the kind we Canadians have over a hundred words for due to its ubiquity, persistence and so forth. Perhaps winter will not be so bad after all.

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

London Mobilisation Centres

The London Mobilisation Centres were built between 1889 and 1903 as part of the London Defence Scheme; a network meant to provide the main line of defence for London. This map provides useful pointers for anyone wanting a poke around.

That London was not provided with its own defences until the announcement of the London Defence Scheme in 1889 was not for want of trying, however. An early proposal for defending London was in response to a French invasion scare in 1803. During a debate in Parliament on the provision of defences Pitt said: "If by erection of earthworks such as I am recommending, you can delay the progress of the enemy for 3 days it may make the difference between the safety and the destruction of the Capital". As was so often to be the case, nothing was done.
Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

Secret Base

Alan Turnbull's Secret Base page offers clues for anyone curious about contemporary scenic military locales of the United Kingdom.

What makes a "Secret Base" secret? By "base", I mean those British Government installations or military sites you've seen surrounded by razor wire fences and guarded by Ministry of Defence (MoD) police. How on earth can these sites be secret? The UK Government hasn't (yet) developed stealth technology in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. So they can't very well make, say, Faslane nuclear submarine base suddenly disappear as you come around the corner!
Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2005

Blowing smoke

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A lawsuit launched by Guy Bourdin in the wake of Madonna's "Hollywood" video made sense to me as a casual comparison showed what might charitably be described as an inspiration by the fashion photographer's oeuvre. It was with Bourdin's case in mind that I first considered Belgian songwriter, Salvatore Acquaviva's case against the Immaterial Girl for her 1998 "Frozen" single.

Salvatore Acquaviva claimed the track copied one of his songs - and it was upheld by a Belgian court, with a judge agreeing Madonna's single used part of 'Ma Vie Fout L'camp'. The little-known composer told Belgium's RTL TV in May: "I was in the bath. I was listening to the radio, and thought that's strange, I know that melody. I said it's not possible."

Indeed, not. My formal musical education being somewhat rudimentary I am at at loss to hear in these four bars the debt a Belgian court found in "Frozen" to Acquaviva's "up in smoke" ditty. Some sum of go away money seems inappropriate in this instance. Danegeld, Danes, and so forth but Belgians in this case which is arguably worse.

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

Disco D vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Ali G considers Welsh devolution

When you hear the word "Wales" you probably think of the fish with the biggest dick in the ocean. Well, obviously.

Posted by the Flea at 08:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Google Snake

Why waste your time at the office when you can waste everyone's time at the office? This Google Snake game is just the ticket.

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

The Colorado Kid

Stephen King's The Colorado Kid, as reviewed by the Village Voice, is found lacking in angry telekinetic teenagers, zombie pets and homicidal motor vehicles.

Sound modest? It is, but it's also a small masterpiece, a powerful metafiction by a natural storyteller exploring the limits of his art.
Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Stargate SG-3000

Toronto not being Chicago, Louisville or San Francisco (or Bremen, for that matter) it is time for a Flea-pilgrimage to Six Flags Great America and the Stargate SG-3000 simulator ride. It sounds cheezetastic.

You get to travel through the gate not one, but four times! Just as the series suggests, it's fast and jolting, but exhilarating all the same. I did notice that the creators of the ride chose to depart from how the wormhole appears in the series. I had hoped that it would be exactly the same to give the fans of the series the feeling that they were truly taking a step directly onto the show. Instead, the colors were far more purple than blue, and as well as being wider in appearance, it seemed somehow "faked" to me. It just didn't feel authentic, but the sensation of having gone through was very real, even if the feeling of having been half frozen to death while traveling through space was missing.

Seemed "fake", you say? This might have something to do with being a half-assed animated trailer splapped on to a creeking old Space Shuttle simulator or the small detail about Stargates not existing. But such is to quibble.

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

November 22, 2005

Galactica miniatures

Miniatures for a Colonial Viper and a Cylon Raider from the orginal Battlestar Galactica are to be offered for public auction for the first time.

... two of the ORIGINAL filming miniatures from the classic science-fiction series of the late 1970s are due to fall under the auctioneers hammer on eBay on December 16 and the pair are expected to fetch more than US$50,000. The craft in question are the Starbuck Viper and Cylon Raider, each representing the apex of technology as realized by the Colonials and their arch-enemies, the Cylons. Both of these filming miniatures were created by John Dykstra and the crew of Apogee Effects.
Posted by the Flea at 09:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

What superheroes really do

Speaking from hard-won personal experience, I can assure you there is more to the superhero job than meets the eye.

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

Dudeology 101

This Dudeology test should alleviate any anxieties Flea-readers may be experiencing regarding their dude-like qualities. Though I do not know which is worse: claiming golf is a sport or the fact I remember Custer's Revenge.

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

The skill of lying, the art of deceit

A lunatic conspiracy theory should include Masons, Jews, Satanism, the CIA and the Illuminati. And The Wizard of Oz, of course. There is usually a gay panic element to this sort of thinking.

The occultist Baum, a member of the Theosophical Society, was inspired by some spirit who gave him the “magic key” to write the Wizard of Oz book, which came out in 1900. The book’s story is full of satanic activity and satanic thinking. The story was chosen in the late 1940s to be the basis for the Illuminati/Intelligence community’s trauma-based total mind control programming.
Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

Splogging

Plagiarism Today considers splogging, yet another attempt to spoof search engines in pursuit of profit. I have been wondering if my RSS set up, a feature about which I know precious little, makes the Flea more or less vulnerable to having my writing harvested in this way. I recently found a site that was republishing my posts in toto thereby stealing my work (and my traffic). Time to collect lawyers, guns and money and go after the thieves.

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

November 21, 2005

Who goes there

A first proper look at David Tennant!* Doctor Who's little transformations are familiar to Pisceans everywhere; especially when things do not go quite according to plan (via Quotulatiousness).

Billie Piper and David Tennant are starring in a special Doctor Who scene written exclusively for BBC Children in Need.

*Much less troubling than his recent Harry Potter appearance.

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

Cab Calloway: Reefer Man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Sounds fine

FindSounds is a search engine that lets you, uhh, find sounds on "the internet". Phasers, for example.

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

Internet of Things

Now taking bets on when the whole shebang becomes self-aware.

Machines will overtake humans to become the biggest users of the Internet in a brave new world of electronic sensors, smart homes, and tags that track users’ movements and habits, the UN’s telecommunications agency predicted.

In a report entitled “Internet of Things”, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) outlined the next stage in the technological revolution where humans, electronic devices, inanimate objects and databases are linked in real time by a radically transformed Internet.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 19, 2005

Absinthe-swilling dandy

Famed gadabout and expert in the arts typographical, Bill Ardolino offers an opinion on gentlemen's haberdashery and comportment by describing me, the Flea, as an "absinthe-swilling Canadian dandy". While Mr. Ardolino assured me by means of a private communication this was a superior appellation to "gin-soaked popinjay" I harbour two reservations. The first is that the latter description is a riff on commentary by no less a personage in men's fashion than the Right Honourable George Galloway, standing in awe as he does before noted raconteur Christopher Hitchens. Hitch is, of course, a Flea role-model and having come within a hair's breadth of sharing a gin or ten with the man last night (due to an enterprising member of the Flea's celebrity stalker brigade) I know whereof I speak in matters of popinjays and dandies. Second, and rather more important, is this "swilling" business. This conjures a mental impression of absinthe as mouth-rinse which, now that I reach the midpoint of my sentence, I rather suppose it is. So, well done there, Bill.

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Hurra Torpedo: Total Eclipse of the Heart

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance along to some authentic industrial music for Jennifer's birthday. More Hurra Torpedo tour information here.

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

Panda Bounce

Because I am reasonably certain Flea-readers would like to bounce a panda on a trampoline.

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Madonna is quite mad, apparently

I have been astonished at the media generated by Madonna in the run up to her new album release and have been increasingly curious why I care to repeat any of it. Yes, I think I could have put on a good show in her reported post-gig dance-off at Kabaret's Prophecy if only due to my maximalist sartorial decisions complementing the decor. But does even a nosey chap like myself need to know rock shrimp tempura and black cod was on the menu? As for the Cristal it is to shudder. Surely, Bollinger Special Cuvée would have been a better choice.

More worrying has been an inclination on the part of the press to repeat any old nonsense an aging pop singer chooses to impart. Writing for Rolling Stone, Neil Strauss describes Madonna as "a quick study". But not a quick wit, apparently. Take her view on the massacres of September 11, 2001, for example; the Post Chronicle carries a snippet Rolling Stone mysteriously chose not to excerpt on-line.

"9/11 was too ambiguous," she tells the magazine. "You couldn't prove how the government was somehow in on the deal. There were too many arguments against it. You could say, 'Oh, that's just Michael Moore,' 'Oh, that's just hearsay.' New Orleans was undeniable irresponsibility."

Now, this might seem like the most offensive bit of Madonna media you will read today. How wrong you would be. Rubbish Gays take her to task for her true fashion crime transgression: agreeing to play G-A-Y. Lunatic conspiracy theories are one thing but there are aesthetic lines that cannot be crossed while expecting to remain whole and sane (lots of foul language through that last but one link).

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

Knitting and movies

This comprehensive list of instances of knitting or crocheting in television and film should come in handy. Mad props to Angel Hair Yarn Co.!

Lost in Translation - Scarlet Johanson's character tries on a scarf in progress near the beginning of the movie (and boy would I love that pattern!).
Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ruh-oh

A variety of Japanese neologisms respond to the changing circumstances of Japanese women in the workplace. Many would make useful loan-words into Canadian English. For example, perhaps the Japanese word experts could oblige with a word for "gangs of women who think they are specific Sex and the City characters".

Bridget Joneses of the world beware: spend too much time with the rikonmiminenzo (divorce-promotion generation) and you just may end up as a moshimo-onna (a "what if?" girl) or even risk spending your thirties as a tsurumun (a woman who dreads being alone on national holidays and invents reasons to visit friends).
Posted by the Flea at 10:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 18, 2005

Triwizarding

I imagine many Flea-readers are as excited as I am at the prospect of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I thought Prisoner of Azkaban was particularly well done and am hoping for more of the same. Distressing news, however, as The Onion reports on adult themes in this PG-13 Potter; perhaps an inevitable tilt in the series as Hermione and the rest are growing up. By the time they get to the witchcraft and wizardry undergraduate stage I expect to see them in street protests wearing Voldemort-chic T-shirts. "Hey hey! Ho ho! The Ministry of Magic 's got to go!", etc. and so forth.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Dance Team

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

The Case of Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore and destiny meet in H.P. Lovecraft stylee (hmm, better add a spoiler warning to this one).

My fate is near. I hear it. Something is stirring in the hall outside. My God, the four-eyed child! He shall not have me! I am hurling myself out of the window as I write!
Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A Magical Fall

If you cannot wait for the Harry Potter premiere you can take a peek at Steven Dempsey's A Magical Fall in the meantime. It is a delightful retreat from all the unpleasantness into all the beauty.

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 17, 2005

Hitting rock Beckham

There is a point when a man wonders to himself if he shouldn't be doing something useful with his life. Study molecular biology or work on a plan to address world poverty, perhaps. Read a book. Something. Anything. Gentlemen, that point arrives when you find yourself watching the dvd extras for The Real Beckhams. Though I was scandalized to watch Victoria disavow responsibility for David's sarong. I still think it was quite fashion forward.

This astonishing fly-on-the-wall documentary of Britain's most famous celebrity couple catches David signing to Réal Madrid, Victoria launch her new singles and the family move to Spain.
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Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot: Comic Strip

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. Possibly the hottest video ever made.

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

Kid Canyon's Cunning Stunt

My motorcycle managed an impressive 666.61 m before I crashed into a UFO. Best ignore the play on words.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Dodge SRT-10

Jeremy Clarkson takes the revised Dodge Viper for a spin. His comments on American safety warnings* summarize my feelings of pride and affection for my UK passport. Though the "internal combustion with a hint of spontaneous combustion" might render the safety stickers sensible in context.

*Canadian warnings are equally dire.

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

Just don't let the side down

Aspiring citizens of the UK will be confused by new culture-themed test questions they must address on their way through the immigration process. It only shows what your average British citizenship mandarin knows about Englishness. Not much, that's what much. The correct answer is, of course, "prepare for a fight in the car park".

For example there is one that asks (and I am not kidding): "What should you do if you spill someone's pint in the pub?" The wrong answers are: "Dry their wet shirt with your own." Or "Prepare for a fight in the car park" or "Run away from the pub." The right answer: "Offer to buy the person another pint." And, no, the test was not written by Monty Python.

Monty Python, perhaps, but the English exam remains quite strict by regional standards. Scots citizenship is simpler yet as they skip the parking lot and have at it in situ. In Ireland they don't even wait for the spilled pint. Better to bypass written exams, spill a pint on prospective immigrants and observe their reaction.

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

November 16, 2005

Gorillaz live

Channel 4 reports on Gorillaz live in Manchester. A neat trick for an existential pop-act.

They are the British band that has sold 10m albums and have just been voted best pop band in Europe. But rappers like 50 Cent say they shouldn't even have been considered, because their members are four cartoon characters that "don't really exist".
Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bananarama: Look on the floor

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 10:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Paris Hilton attacked by monkeys

I could not improve on the tagline for this Paris Hilton news.

The sexy socialite was out shopping buying lingerie with her new primate pet, Baby Luv, in Los Angeles on Saturday, when the animal went bananas.
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

And on the sixth day God created idiots

Channel 4 jokingly describes the Creation Museum as "heresy to science" (video link in the top right).

Our Washington Correspondent Jonathan Rugman has been exploring America's first `Creationist Museum', where a vegetarian T-Rex - made along with man on day six of creation - strolls through a replica Garden of Eden.

Just as important: stupidity is heretical to an authentic Christianity. It is difficult to list the extraordinary, babyish nonsense these people claim to believe. Nonsense that finds no support whatsoever in Scripture and quite the opposite of "upholding the authority of the Bible". As a Presbyterian minister interviewed for the piece puts it: the Bible says God is a rock. This does not mean God is made of granite.

Posted by the Flea at 10:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

T-Rot

That's right, South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. It's all cocktails and handshakes now but next week - or possibly sooner - it's a metallic foot stomping on a human skull.

The Ministry of Science and Technology's Intelligent Robot taskforce has created the "T-Rot," which is scheduled to wait on world leaders in a Robot Café at the APEC summit venue. "T-Rot was developed as a service robot for the elderly and disabled," says taskforce director Kim Mun-sang. "It has the ability to hold conversations with people and fetch items that they want, so we call it a 'thinking robot' or T-Rot."

Murata Boy isn't such a hot idea either.

Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 15, 2005

In a great big circle

I understand Toronto's Metro News is not written by or for the average rocket surgeon but one would hope Grade 10 math might suffice where Kate Bush's use of metaphor has apparently failed.

Next to Joni Mitchell, few female artists would be hard-pressed not to cite this U.K. siren as an influence. And after virtually disappearing off the face of the planet, Kate Bush's first disc in 12 years finds her using a backdrop of aural grandeur whilst regaling in hushed fashion all the numbers that make up pi.

All the numbers that make up "pi" might take a bit longer than the average pop song. Meanwhile, the blogosphere is on the case with a pedantic lyric fisking. Take it away, Confusability!

But something kept nagging me about the song. Was Kate realling singing Pi to 150 decimal places?

I got hold of the lyrics and checked them against an online version of Pi. All was well for the first 53 decimal places but then Kate sang "threeeeee oneeeee" when she should have sang "zeeeeeeerooo" instead. She recovered for the next 24 digits but then it went to hell in a handbasket when she missed out the next 22 digits completely before finishing with a precise rendition of her final 37 digits.
Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Pi

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Meet the World

Icaro Doria interprets some flags of the world.

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

Car ads

In England a valiant Mini defends London from invading Martians. Much like English television. In France a Citroën is added to a creepy montage of scenes from Happy Days. Much like French television.

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

Wiesmann

Ladies and gentlemen: the Fleamobile. Right then. Now all I need is €40k for a slightly used Wiesmann. Though it is a sad day choosing a Bf109 over a Spitfire.

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

The Sword of Gondlebreath

I am alarmed at my deep feelings of empathy for Ace's Dungeon Master. I would have fully had an Arch-Lich show up as a Wandering Monster or something and it would have totally kicked their asses. But Ace is so wrong about the Fiend Folio. The Fiend Folio included Githyanki and Githyanki kick ass (via Bill).

EXT. CAMP IN RAINY FOREST -- NIGHT

BEORN BEANDELBUTT and STINKY THE ELF are now cold and hungry, because they took nothing except combat skills instead of Survivor Skills or Hunting ability, WHICH I EXPLICTLY WARNED THEM NOT TO DO.

So now they're hungry, and will soon have to begin saving vs. Constitution or suffer -1 to Strength. Which is their own damn fault.
Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2005

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

A Douglas Adams script lost to labour dispute limbo may be realized at last.

Now a forgotten Doctor Who script by Adams - creator of the hugely successful Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - which was abandoned halfway through filming because of the dispute, has been revived, re-recorded and will be broadcast for the first time by the BBC. The story had widely been seen as the writer's great lost work.
Posted by the Flea at 09:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Demeter: Pleasure Island

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Diva free for all

Sharon Osbourne offered terse comment on Madonna's recent appearance at the Europe Music Awards.

"One day you're in f***ing gun gear, then you're in horsing gear, then you dress like a f***ing dyke, then you dress like a hooker, then you're in a flowery dress reading kids' poetry looking like a f***ing librarian - then you're back looking like an old hooker again."

While this might seem a bit harsh it is best to remember Madonna's own disposition is not famed for its restraint. Madonna's catty commentary contra Elton John, for example, might explain his decision to ask Victoria Beckham to be his best man instead of the Immaterial One. Though this presents Elton with a serious problem: how to achieve greater camp than the Posh and Becks wedding?

Posted by the Flea at 09:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Warriors

Now that Rockstar Toronto has released The Warriors this list of gangs from the movie script should come in handy.

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

Synchronicity

I confess I have never watched The Wizard of Oz while listening to Dark Side of the Moon. Neither have I watched all six Star Wars films at the same time.

So all six movies are out on DVD now, and I said to myself: I have nothing better to do, and there are so many parallels between these movies as it is, it'd be fun to see how many interesting things line up with each other if I watch all six movies simultaneously.
Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

New York Underground

National Geographic pokes around under New York City.

New Yorkers go about unaware of what is happening just beneath their feet: Power pulses, information flies, and steam flows. The city’s infrastructure starts just below street level, but it doesn’t stop there.
Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 12, 2005

Puffy

New Yorkers thrill with anticipation while Torontonians suffer in anguished silence as a Puffy AmiYumi float is set to appear in the Thanksgiving Day parade. I have yet to find maquettes of float features on "the internet" but Flea-readers can visit the Puffy AmiYumi website to get an idea of what NYC is in for.

Yoshimura said the two women didn't know entirely what to make of their small but growing popularity in the United States, where they are known as "Puffy AmiYumi" and sing high- pitch, accented English over their sugary tunes.
Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

Puffy AmiYumi: Joining a Fanclub

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. All in good fun. Just don't ask me about the spray-foam.

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

Pyroclastic flow

Note to Japanese nature enthusiasts: if you spot this in real life it might be time to stop with the digital camera and start with the fleeing for your life.

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

Ariel Atom

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Ariel Atom calling it "one of the most beautiful cars in the world". Quite fast, apparently.

There is no car, nothing on four wheels, as fast as this. Nothing.

The Tokyo 2005 motor show is also worth a look.

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

Gen-Ryu

I was watching Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and, aside from being overwhelmed by the animation, was thinking they should really manufacture some anime-looking super-motorcycles. Yamaha obliges with the Gen-Ryu.

Japanese motorcycle giant Yamaha unveils the concept model of a high-performance hybrid motorcycle, the 'Gen-Ryu,' equipped with a 600cc engine and electric motor hybrid system which can achieve over 1,000cc class machine.
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

19th-century Japan

The Nagasaki University Library hosts high resolution images of life in 19th-century Japan.

The Nagasaki University Library's "Collection of Old Photographs from the Late Edo and Meiji Periods" is comprised of photographs of Japan taken from the middle to the end of the 19th century. Many of these photographs are extremely clear and thus contain a wealth of information about the urban landscapes, scenery and customs of the period in which they were taken.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 10, 2005

My young Apprentice

The Fonz is in the air and due to land directly on the shark with tonight's Star Wars themed episode of The Apprentice. Crass product placement and laughable anti-corporate bloviating are not enough for George Lucas. Not content with having raped my childhood with his odious re-releases and prequels, Lucas is now set to put the capstone on what had been a fun little reality show.

On the November 10 episode of The Apprentice on NBC, Donald Trump's candidates will find themselves challenged to create compelling and unique marketing materials for the massive launch of Episode III on DVD and the Star Wars Battlefront II video game.
Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

J'en ai marre!

Sure Theodore Dalrymple was the first to write cogently about French troubles in the banlieus and is one of the few to offer cogent comment on the Paris riots (or indeed, Lozells'). But has he linked to Alizée performing "J'en ai marre!" live?* No, has hasn't.

*Blood-pressure warning, risquée content and advertising.

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

7hatner

William Shatner reprises Seven. Brilliant. I live for the day an Orion slave girl pulls up in a delivery van at Flea Towers.

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

Airbus 380

There may be a point at which your model airplane is so big you need a pilot's license to operate it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:05 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tokyo Xbox360 Lounge

Toronto could surely use an Xbox360 Lounge.

The Xbox 360 Lounge is located in Tokyo's up-market Aoyama district. It will open its doors to guests on Nov. 1 and for general visitors the following day. In addition to Xbox 360 consoles, the center will also have a 70-seat cafe, according to Microsoft.
Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

Long Range Acoustic Device

The Seabourn Spirit used a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) to repel pirates off the coast of Somalia. The technology may also prove effective with skateboarders or wandering saxophonists of the Annex.

Device maker American Technology Corp. said earsplitting "bangs" were directed by trained security personnel toward the pirates. That, combined with ship maneuvers, caused the attackers to leave the area, the company said.

The LRAD is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.
Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 09, 2005

Tarot Blocks

Futurecast™ Tarot Blocks combine the fun of Tarot with the convenience of blocks.

The game was once used by the ancient magicians of great kings. By the casting of stones, with similar markings, they foretold their fortunes. This is how the idea was first conceived, with much research, as well as endless hours of math and artwork.

Umm, no.

Posted by the Flea at 09:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Ozzy Osbourne: Mr. Crowley

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Whale Meat Story

Clive Barker shares a story of wartime rations in his grandmother's kitchen. A whale of a tale, obviously. Not safe for lunch.

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

Cthulhu calling

Book-A-Minute condenses the narrative form of H.P. Lovecraft. It is a wood for the trees problem: correct in the detail but missing of the point. Lovecraft's magical realism is something that emerges from the fissures in his prose.

As a marginally popular writer working in the literary equivalent of the gutter, Lovecraft received no serious attention during his lifetime. But while most 1930s pulp fiction is nearly unreadable today, Lovecraft continues to attract attention. In France and Japan, his tales of cosmic fungi, degenerate cults and seriously bad dreams are recognized as works of bent genius, and the celebrated French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari praise his radical embrace of multiplicity in their magnum opus A Thousand Plateaus.
Posted by the Flea at 09:29 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

John Dee and the Necronomicon

Colin Low considers a gnostic continuum of ideas in John Dee, the Necronomicon and "the cleansing of the world".

The idea that there are forces ruling the earth is a little odd to the modern mind, but it is consistent with very old traditions that the earth is watched over by a hierarchy of powers, and can be traced back to the earliest times when the stars and planets were worshiped literally as the divine rulers of the world (the Sumerian cuniform for a god is a star symbol).
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The ontology of the Necronomicon

The most common question about the Necronomicon: is it real?

When I first began to participate in the Internet newsgroup alt.magick in the late ‘80s, one of the common questions asked was "where can I find the Necronomicon?". Replies to this question were often extremely contemptuous. I found myself identifying more closely with those looking for the book than those denying its existence.
Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 08, 2005

The Humidor NX

As soon as my ad revenue ramps up to sinecure levels I shall acquire the obvious casemod for Flea Towers.

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

Faithless: Tarantula

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Corporate spyware

Think twice before running any Sony BMG cd on your computer lest you have to reformat your hard-drive to undo the damage. Supposedly a response to file-sharing of dubious legality, I can think of nothing better calculated to discourage people from using a legally acquired Sony BMG product. This is frankly outrageous.

... Sony BMG has configured some of its music CDs to install antipiracy software that uses techniques typically employed by hackers and virus writers to hide the program from users and to prevent them from ever uninstalling it.

Update, November 11: Sony suspends production of its rootkit hack as the inevitable wave of opportunistic trojans and class-action lawsuits appear in its wake.

Update, November 13: Microsoft is disabling its "rootkit" utility in response to the Sony BMG use of the feature. Good. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a list of cds with Sony BMG's tricky software for those wondering if their system has been infected and consequently might take part in a class-action lawsuit.

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

00000000

We have all seen the movies: American Minuteman missiles required an eight digit combination to activate. Will somebody please tell me this next bit is not true.

But what Secretary McNamara didn’t know is that from the very beginning, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Omaha had decided that these locks might interfere with any wartime launch orders; so in order to circumvent this safeguard, they pre-set the launch code on all Minuteman silos to the same eight digits: 00000000.
Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

PhaSR

PhaSR, the first "man-portable, non-lethal deterrent weapon" takes us one step closer to the Covenant Beam Rifle.

No this is not a movie prop nor will it be marketed by Mattel for the bigger boys this Christmas– it is one of two working prototypes of a non-lethal laser gun built by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 07, 2005

Im nin'alu

Flattery is not always intended by the sincerest imitation. Alison Goldfrapp is the latest to dive into a diva bun fight instigated by long-time crumpet in a hurry, Madonna.

"She's always got her eye on what everyone's doing and she's always nabbing people, the latest DJ or whatever, to get them to put their thing on her thing, you know."

I must say I have never heard it described in quite those terms before. It would seem the Immaterial Girl has her own accusations of copying to make. Word has it Madonna is disgruntled with "net pirates" and is on a witch-hunt for the culprit who leaked her album to "the internet" in advance of its release date. In related news, the Flea is informed by an impeccable authority that the controversial tune "Isaac" turns out to include large sung quotations from an Hebrew traditional, Im nin'alu.* Furthermore, that it is gorgeous. Though I am not certain to whom Madonna has decided the appropriate royalties should be paid.

If the doors of the wealthy are locked, the doors of Heaven will never be locked.

*Possibly familiar to Flea-readers through its interpretation by stunning songstress Ofra Haza.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Goldfrapp: Train

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. Not safe for work unless your job involves pasties.

Posted by the Flea at 08:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

Think of the antioxidants

Cocktail experts: what do you call a whisky and green tea combination? Aside from popular in China, that is.

Scotch Whisky and green tea has become a powerful combination for distillers in China, and exports to the country rose 124 per cent in value to £22m in the first half of this year, said the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

China is now the 11th most important export market for Scotch whisky after recording strong growth in 2004 too.

Update: The Flea's Cocktail Expert informs me this does not sound like a cocktail but a mixed drink. I blog corrected!

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

Johann Hari unplugged

Johann Hari attempts the Franz Mayr intestinal cleansing approach to weight loss. Not to be confused with the Maria Callas approach (via the Daily Dish).

As my taxi driver circled around Lake Worth trying to find the clinic, my gut was still digesting the KFC Mega Meal I had gorged on in Gatwick. Eventually we found a lumbering wooden edifice looking directly over the lake's blue cool calm, and I disembarked with my bags. At the clinic, there was a gaggle of beaming Austrians waiting to explain the "extraordinary cure" I was about to experience. My guide then began to talk about the life and work of Dr Mayr. He had that look of submissive reverence that North Koreans are required to show towards Kim Jong Il.
Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 05, 2005

Living in an immaterial world

Describing the West as "The Beast", Madonna's kabbalah has reportedly taken a gnostic turn.

"People are going to go to hell if they don't turn from wicked behaviour. The material world, the physical world, the world of illusion that we think is real, we live for it. We're enslaved by it. It will ultimately be our undoing."

Let us take a for instance. As a noted performer and reported spokes-celebrity for a new Kabbalah Energy Drink, Madonna has condemned Paris Hilton for damaging the credibility of kabbalah by treating it as a fad.

Ahem.

While it is not clear what Madonna makes of kabbalah's chances with Britney Spears and Victoria Beckham as enthusiasts, at least Gwen Stefani is not sitting still for Madonna's non-theological barbs.

"Some people say that I copy her. But show me one girl my age who was not influenced by her."
Posted by the Flea at 09:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

INXS: Pretty Vegas

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Fun with neurology

Check out the pink dots. Then follow the green dot...

Posted by the Flea at 09:51 AM | TrackBack (0)

The physics of extra-terrestrial civilizations

Michio Kaku is interviewed on the subject of extra-terrestrial life (and addresses the same issues here). He makes good reference to Nicolai Kardashev's typology.

In science fiction, the search for inhabitable worlds has been immortalized on TV by heroic captains boldly commanding a lone star ship, or as the murderous Borg, a Type III civilization which absorbs lower Type II civilization (such as the Federation). However, the most mathematically efficient method to explore space is far less glamorous: to send fleets of "Von Neumann probes" throughout the galaxy (named after John Von Neumann, who established the mathematical laws of self-replicating systems).
Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 04, 2005

Careful with that axe, Eugene

From the BBC archives: Recordings of Indeterminate Origin presents Pink Floyd, the John Peel sessions.

On July 16, 1970, Pink Floyd performed at the Paris Cinema in London. As stated in the liner notes to The Floyd's Of London, "Peel, at the time, was something of a maverick. Bucking the Top-40 format, he was more interested in promoting almost anything that was not in the mainstream, and had been a huge admirer of the Pink Floyd."
Posted by the Flea at 06:50 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sarah Brightman: Harem

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. With a wiggle of the hips and a tip of the hat to Jeff!

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Mouse Avoider 2

Because there is no reason I should go quietly mad on my own.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

Supersize

A month of effort has gone into perfecting the package for Superman's new-look supertights. Upgraded Superman, Brandon Routh reportedly finds the result "empowering".

"There was more discussion about Superman’s package than anything else on the suit. Was it too big? Was it not big enough? Was it too pointy? Too round? It was somebody’s job for about a month, just working on codpiece shapes."

Update: In related news, an innovative criminal defense strategy (hat tip to Jeff).

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

Pu-erh Imperial

Momentarily dazzled at the thought of Victoria Beckham's £150,000 worth of costume jewellery, and her subsequent ascension to the throne of Essex, the Flea wonders where to acquire a supply of Pu-erh Imperial tea. All the Spanish A-list are drinking it as part of their slimming regimens, apparently. Not certain of the specific brand though Tokyo T is another hit with the mannequin set.

Victoria buys Pu-erh Imperial tea from the Bormec store in Madrid. She drinks the tea when she wants to drop a few pounds or maintain her current slim build.

A spokesman at the store told Now magazine; "We advised Victoria to drink Pu-erh three times a day for three months and watch the weight drop off. After three months, it is possible to maintain the desired weight by drinking one cup per way."
Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 03, 2005

The Jane addiction

I cannot improve on the title so reproduce it in the tag-line instead. Peter Schilling considers the enduring appeal of Jane Austen.

Every year there’s a ritual in my house: My wife gathers all of her Jane Austen novels from the bookshelf and reads them in chronological order. Once that liturgy is complete, she devours all five hours of the landmark BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, or Bridget Jones’s Diary, the Laurence Olivier Pride, Bride and Prejudice, or one of the many other adaptations of her novels over the course of a long weekend. My wife is either devout or obsessed. I’m still not certain.
Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Ladytron: Jet Age

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (takes a moment to download).

Posted by the Flea at 08:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Top ten

4Car features the top ten Bond cars, the top ten cars that time forgot and a variety of Fleamobiles in the top ten cars from tv.

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

I am Canadian

William Shatner reveals the secret, seething capacity for violence lurking in the heart of every Canadian.

"I'm a Canadian. If the US and Canada were ever to war against each other it would be my duty to kill as many Americans as I possibly could. I'd enjoy it."

Update: Um, folks, these are bumpers from Conan O'Brien. There are a few clues here that Shatner of joking... I despair for the all too earnest dispotion of most Canadians.

Posted by the Flea at 08:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

What's wrong with trial by axe?

A Scot wit has a go at English anger. He has a point about comedy being war by other means. But I draw the line at the manners and the awkwardness and the garden sheds.

Only the English could in all seriousness say: “It’s not whether you win or lose that counts, it’s merely taking part.” If the result is secondary, why bother taking part in the first place? But of course, for the English, just getting off the pitch without their opponent’s ear in their pocket is a personal victory over their natural national inclination.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

Geek to Geek

Geek to Geek offers on-line dating for nerds. I notice no provision has yet been made for Canadian postal codes...

Koppel, who has been married to wife Penny for more than 30 years, signed onto some of the "traditional" dating sites and discovered that, indeed, no one mentioned favorite videogames or PDAs, or asked whether a prospective date favored a PC or a Mac.

"They're looking for a cute blonde, or a jock, and have certain height and weight requirements," he said. "I'd be reluctant to put a real picture of myself up there. The kinds of people I see there just don't share my interests."
Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 02, 2005

She ain't no hollaback girl

I think Madonna is joking with the Gwen Stefani comments. In related news, Abba petititions the EU for action under European unmitigated gall regulations.

"She ripped me off. We work with a lot of the same people. ... She married a Brit, she's got blonde hair and she likes fashion. ... But I don't mind. I think she's very sweet and talented."
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Madonna: Hung Up

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (and again on VH1).

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

1-888-2-Confess

Madonna's latest foray into viral marketing is a 1-888 confessions hotline number and an inevitable podcast of the confessions themselves. Also, a tagging project.

If you've seen 1-888-2-CONFESS posters around town, take a photo and add to madonna tagging!
Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Fascinating news from Belgium

Madonna is interviewed for Belgian television. No worries about translation from the original Belgian as Madonna's Belgianese sounds Detroit via the West End.

Für den Song "Hung Up" verwendete MADONNA ein Sample aus dem Abba-Hit "Gimme Gimme Gimme", der allerdings von Benny und Björn freigegeben werden musste. Dafür schrieb MADONNA persönlich einen Brief an die schwedischen Komponisten. "Ich schrieb nach Stockholm, bettelte und erklärte ihnen, wie sehr ich ihre Musik verehre. Ich sagte ihnen, dass 'Hung Up' eine Hommage an sie wäre, was auch stimmt," so erklärte MADONNA in einem Interview.
Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM | TrackBack (0)

Lurid confessions

Madonna is under fire for "Isaac", a tune on her new album. Many observers, including the Flea, assumed a reference to kabbalah super-genius Isaac Luria. It turns out the Isaac in question is Yemeni singer Yitzhak Sinwani. Though I doubt Madonna's rejoinder is likely to win over her kabbalistic critics.

A song on the new album titled "Isaac," which uses Jewish musical motifs, has outraged some kabbalist rabbis. They claim the song is about Isaac (or Yitzhak) Luria, a 16th-century Jewish mystic. "Jewish law forbids the use of the name of the holy rabbi for profit," Rabbi Rafael Cohen, who heads a seminary named after Luria, said in a statement.

Madonna insists that her song is not about Luria at all but about Yitzhak Sinwani, who sings on the track. "They're saying I'm committing a blasphemy, but that's not what the song is about," she says. "What are they doing commenting on pop songs? Don't they have synagogues to pray in?"
Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 01, 2005

Ferrari Enzo

Top Gear had trouble getting their hands on a Ferrari Enzo super-car as Ferrari quite sensibly refused to lend them one. And neither would anyone else. No one else that is until Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason decided to lend a hand, and his rather expensive automobile, in return for a little book publicity. Jeremy Clarkson obliged with an endorsement (BBC rules notwithstanding).

Atom... Heart... Mother... I've never known such savagery!
Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Young Punx: Young and Beautiful

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Celebrity sighting

The Flea is not normally one for star-struck commentary about supposed notables making their way to and from Yorkville hotel rooms. But I was delighted to run into Dave Thomas as I left Ryerson's bookstore. The great man even held the door for me, eh?

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

Black Helicopters

The Register posts its Google Earth "Spot the Black Helicopter" competition results. Amazing stuff. Loving this U2 in flight.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

I/O Brush

How neat is this. Love the tune too.

I/O Brush is a new drawing tool to explore colors, textures, and movements found in everyday materials by "picking up" and drawing with them. I/O Brush looks like a regular physical paintbrush but has a small video camera with lights and touch sensors embedded inside.
Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM | TrackBack (0)