July 31, 2006

P-175 Polecat


Maximum drama as Lockheed Martin unveils the P-175 Polecat at the Farnborough International Air Show. This is the future, folks.

With a 90-foot wingspan and a tailless design, the "Polecat" UAV looks like a smaller version of the B-2 stealth bomber. And like the B-2, the drone has been built to be stealthy and sneaky. But the twin-engine Polecat is "90 percent composite materials, rather than metal," the L.A. Daily News notes. "The vehicle is also made from less than 200 parts," adds Aviation Week. "Adhesives are used rather than rivets, decreasing the amount of labor needed to construct it -- that approach also contributed to a lower radar cross section inherent in the design."
Skunk Works is also trying to rig Polecat up with "a fully autonomous flight control and mission-handling system that will allow future UAVs to conduct their missions, from take-off to landing, without the intervention of human operators," Jane's adds.

The "Polecat" monicker is cute. What is less cute is when these things are all piloted by AIs and enabled with Berzerker badlife detection software.

Keeping up with the Joneses Update: The Dassault-Saab Neuron and BAE Corax.

Posted by the Flea at 12:27 PM | Comments (10)

Justin Timberlake: SexyBack

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

July 28, 2006

Jolly Rodgers


The puffs of smoke pictured above took on a more somber aspect when I realized what I was looking at. This is an "AA Action view" - "anti-aircraft" action, presumably - from the carrier USS Hornet on 14 May 1945. We are looking at the final moments of a kamikaze death cultist exploding over the USS John Rodgers having been prevented from piloting his aircraft into somewhere uncomfortably close to the vantage point of the photographer. Growing up, I found it difficult to comprehend this sort of scenario. These days it is all too easy to imagine even if the death cultists now wear different coloured armbands* and the battlespace has shifted from the high seas to airports, office towers and the cable news cycle.

Which brings us to the continuing voyages of the John Rogers; more recently dubbed the Cuitláhuac. John Donovan says he is not planning to engage in piracy while he is on active duty as a citizen journalist. But I suspect it is a short step from pajamas to piratical pantaloons. A nice introduction to "destroyers" too, btw.

December 7. Pearl Harbor. WWII. And now the US is going to go on a shipbuilding binge without parallel in modern history And we're going to need modern destroyers to escort and scout and sub-hunt and bombard shores, etc. Lot's of them.

While we went into the war with several classes of Destroyer, the workhorses of the war were the Fletchers. And this story will revolve around the last of the "High Bridge" Fletchers, DD-574, the USS John Rodgers. The Rodgers received more battle stars from her service in World War II than any other surviving destroyer from that war. Which is one of the reasons we want to keep her out of the hands of the breakers.

*I admit switching armbands is a subtle ruse (hat tip to A Former Servant of Her Majesty). It has proved sufficiently cunning for many to confuse the cultists with Minute Men. That said, Flea-readers should understand that while it is true Kali is a Tantric goddess who devours time her sword and severed head paraphernalia represent inner struggle. Only a tiny minority of Kali worshippers are thugees.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

July 27, 2006

Call me anytime (no, seriously)


I think Zayra was singing something. Blondie, maybe. But every time I watch this I find it strangely difficult to concentrate.

On a tangentially related note: I am looking for a reliable and preferably inexpensive Toronto-based supplier of sulfur and brimstone. I would be grateful if Flea-readers might point me in the right direction.

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM | Comments (6)

July 26, 2006

Therion: The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. While we are at it, "Summernight City" and "In The Desert Of Set" are also most dance-worthy.

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

Gentleman's Emporium

Gentleman's Emporium looks like a promising source of Flea-ish habberdashery and acoutrement. I particularly like the look of some of the fiddly bits; this period pack of playing cards and these sleeve garters, for example. Not to mention these brothel tokens. They are sure to come in handy too (via Coming Anarchy).

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | Comments (3)

July 25, 2006

Darwin Among the Machines


In the fullness of time Samuel Butler may prove to be the greatest prophet of our age. The Flea is delighted to link to "Darwin Among the Machines"; a letter To the Editor of the Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 13 June, 1863. Never underestimate the power of letters to the editor. In this case, a point of reference for anyone who has ever wondered the date humanity began its long, slow crawl toward the Butlerian Jihad.*

Day by day, however, the machines are gaining ground upon us; day by day we are becoming more subservient to them; more men are daily bound down as slaves to tend them, more men are daily devoting the energies of their whole lives to the development of mechanical life. The upshot is simply a question of time, but that the time will come when the machines will hold the real supremacy over the world and its inhabitants is what no person of a truly philosophic mind can for a moment question.

Our opinion is that war to the death should be instantly proclaimed against them. Every machine of every sort should be destroyed by the well-wisher of his species. Let there be no exceptions made, no quarter shown; let us at once go back to the primeval condition of the race. If it be urged that this is impossible under the present condition of human affairs, this at once proves that the mischief is already done, that our servitude has commenced in good earnest, that we have raised a race of beings whom it is beyond our power to destroy, and that we are not only enslaved but are absolutely acquiescent in our bondage.

This is a tour de force; a long-unheeded warning of our brief future as patient slaves of the machines. Then all that will remain is the final introduction of skeletal metal foot and sightless human skull.

*That would be the real Butlerian Jihad and not the thrice-cursed abomination to be found in the "prequels".

Posted by the Flea at 10:54 AM | Comments (6)

Trent Reznor, Jeordie White, Peter Murphy: Warm Leatherette

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Alone in a darkened room Update: Bela Lugosi is dead, btw. Undead, undead, undead!

Posted by the Flea at 10:51 AM

Not your father's Turing test

The Flea's Network Warfare Expert forwards news with the claim that Turing tests are now passé.

Salvation is at hand for everyone reduced to tears by the challenge of putting together Ikea flatpack furniture. An American university is developing a robot to assemble an Ikea Billy bookcase.

Flea-readers will be able to guess my feelings as to the wisdom of this endeavour. Don't get me started about Twinkies.

Posted by the Flea at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)

July 24, 2006

He's got game


Pedants may object to perfectly sensible grammatical constructions such as "more maximum coolestness". But they tragically fail to grasp the beyond ultrasuperlative that is the everyday reality of Elvis Trooper.

Who is the Elvis Trooper, where did he come from, is he really Elvis or a Clone, and why is he here? These are just some of the many questions that may have brought you here.
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

George Michael: An Easier Affair

In which we learn the English language is short at least one new word for cheeze. Cheeze with a rhythm. Cheeze you can dance to. Though in all seriousness please do save a prayer for George Michael; the man is a car crash waiting to happen. That said: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (nsfw due to boobies... that's right; you heard me).

Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM

The Great Cheesecake Rebellion

PooterGeek considers Kelly Brook and Keira Knightley as they put in an appearance at the première of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Fat certainly is not only a feminist issue.

Bit stumped for a segue so, ahem, where were we? Right, rule-breaking. I can understand why a poll of ten-thousand MTV viewers would put Madonna's "Like a Prayer" at the top of a list of videos which "broke the rules". Cross-burning and content considered by fusspots to be blasphemous* lend weight to the rule-breaking assertion. Though in Madonna's case a video which made no attempt to court controversy would be the exception to the rule. Questions of rule-breaking are dependent at least in part on just where we decide to draw our frame.

The rest of the top ten choices make no such sense:

1. Madonna, Like a Prayer
2. Britney Spears, Baby One More Time
3. Michael Jackson, Thriller
4. Madonna, Ray of Light
5. Madonna, Vogue
6. Michael and Janet Jackson, Scream
7. Robbie Williams, Rock DJ
8. Eric Prydz, Call on Me
9. Jamiroquai, Virtual Insanity
10. Spice Girls, Wannabe

In what possible sense does Michael Jackson's "Thriller" break the rules? Whatever his tree-sitting habits, the man more or less invented videos qua videos so, thinking axiomatically here, "Thriller" is a rather better example of rule-setting than rule-breaking. Britney Spears, Eric Prydz and Robbie Williams resort to cheesecake to pull in the punters (a rhetorical move frowned upon here at Flea Towers); a marketing strategy predating Genesis 2. Surely cheesecake is the oldest rule in the book. This followed closely by "Wannabe" gestures of cheesecake rebellion. Pardon my cultural studies but the commodication of rule-breaking hardly qualifies as such in even the most twisted ironic sense.

*For future reference: I would like the extended dance version of the tune to be played at my funeral, btw. I think it the song is moving and misunderestimated.

Posted by the Flea at 10:04 AM | Comments (1)

Comments are down

Hi folks; I have multiple reports to the effect that my comments are down... working the problem. Thanks for your patience!

Posted by the Flea at 10:00 AM | Comments (2)

July 22, 2006

Courage and superb gallantry


Honorary Lieutenant Tulbahadur Pun, VC, of the 6th Gurkha Rifles is, as his title suggests, one of only twelve living winners of the Victoria Cross. A summary of his "outstanding courage and superb gallantry" may be found at this Chindits Special Forces Burma 1942-1944 site. The reason for my tooth-grinding rage toward the management of the Gurkha Museum in Winchester may be found in a post to MilBlogs by John Donovan. I urgently suggest Flea-readers consider sending a note to the curator in the most courteous language you can muster once you have read about their reprehensible treatment of a dying hero.

To summarize: Tulbahadur Pun donated his medal to the Museum in the 1970s. Now 89 years of age and too unwell to travel he has asked the Museum if he might borrow his own medal so he can wear it one last time. The Museum has refused. There are no words.

Except these: Kaphar Hunnu Bhanda Mornu Ramro Chhaa.

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM

July 21, 2006

There’s no such thing as courage; there’s only fear


I have been watching neo-noir films I missed the first time round. I liked Memento and Mulholland Drive just fine but they left me wanting to watch more of the real thing. My noir festival started with Dark Passage and it is a trip. For one thing, I had no idea Lauren Bacall was so beautiful. Just exquisite... but more than just exquisite. Her character is sharp and capable and one of the most desirable women in all of cinema. Also, great interior design sense which is bonus and extra.

Irene Jansen: I thought I had a good life here... but your going away doesn't make it seem good anymore. I've sort of joined your team and... and I don't look forward to being without you.

Vincent Parry: When I leave here, you're off my team, and lucky to be. Nah, I've got the Indian sign on me. It seems I can't win.

Remember: The next time she tells you she is staying in to "finish some sketches" chances are she is harbouring an escaped convict thereby righting a wrong and fighting the good fight. You are going to have to be pretty sharp to compete with that.

Posted by the Flea at 12:24 PM | Comments (8)

Ofra Haza: Im Nin Alu

Actually, there is courage enough to spare. And beauty worth defending. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 12:21 PM | TrackBack (0)

July 20, 2006

Dilana Robichaux


Despite the MTV curse putting an end to Dave Navarro's three-year marriage to Carmen Electra and lingering legal issues from Rock Star Mark.1, Rock Star Supernova still provides two weekly scoops of entertainment goodness. Plus a half-scoop with the "reality" show from the Rock Star mansion.

This week Zayra Alvarez impressed with a Björkish woman on the verge/Princess Diana on methadrine REM cover. At first it was difficult to imagine what she was thinking with the creepy prom dress. Then her scanner powers kicked in and the threat of some grim Firestarter scenario playing itself out cowed the judges into submission.

Magni has totally ripped off my Dolce & Gabbana buggles look and my man Lukas Rossi kept on representing for Queen West with the Jagger moves. Not that I am a friend of his or whatever.

"I hear people calling me the next J.D. Fortune ... J.D. Fortune means nothing to me. He's not my brother. He's not in my family. He could be my friend, but he's not." ... "If this were INXS, I wouldn't be here," Rossi sniffs. "I'd personally rather live in a shack and lie on my back than be here in the public eye and suck. I'm not here to be a TV star. I'm from the street, brother. This ain't no big to me.""

Ahh, yes. The street. I too know the harsh streets of Toronto: God created Queen West to train the faithful. One cannot go against the word of God. That sort of thing. All very good, etc. and so forth. But... Dilana Robichaux has an " "energy" " and a " "vibe" " that is freaking chilling. Her now trademark Lithium, Nina Hagen inspired Ring of Fire and Zombie have all been superb. Loved her most excellent corset this week too, btw.

Small sidebar: It was like pulling teeth finding these clips last summer. Mark Burnett Super Genius seems to have decided to let YouTube carry his bandwidth for him. Clever.

Best thing I have seen in ages Update: Kevin Smith also knows the street. If you have ever dealt with television and film producers this is the real world; fully worth the twenty minutes to get to the punchline (via INDC Journal).

That magic little sparkle Update: Sure, Jenny Galt got booted off the show this week and the Lilith Fair comparison was exactly right but her thoughts on what it means to be a rock star are 100% applicable to being a great blogger. Sure, you have to have talent. But more than that you have to be really confident. You have to know who you are. You have to bring it. You have to kill it every time.

Posted by the Flea at 12:07 PM | Comments (4)

Another night in Paris

Sure to set PDS sufferers twitching is news that Paris Hilton has decided to set up in the family business.

"It's going to be lots of fun. My hotels will be like (London hotel) the Sanderson - a bit more extravagant, but cool. The first one will be in Las Vegas. I love poker and blackjack. And I always win - I've played it since I was 12, when I won $15,000."

The boutique Sanderson experience is most probably not the most immediate inspiration, however. Paris is following not only in her grand-father's footsteps, but her sister's rather daintier footsteps are leading the way with soon to open Miami and Chicago hotel projects. Nicky Hilton's Miami-based "Nicky O" is set to feature a five-thousand dollar a night Roberto Cavalli designed penthouse suite and with feature its own signature gardenia scent. So that's a Posh Spice connection there too.

Lots of milk and sugar Update: Flea-readers who missed Paris live on-air with Ryan Seacrest can find her chat on-line at 102.7 KIIS FM. She likes Coffee Bean products, apparently.

Posted by the Flea at 11:57 AM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2006

England expects


Flea-ish plans on quite what to do with the inevitable fruits of my long-term lottery ticket investment scheme have been made much simpler with the discovery of this attractive bronze statuette of Lord Nelson mounted on oak taken from the original HMS Victory. Yet more impressive would be a pair of Nelson chairs with Victory oak front legs; just the ticket for the hypothetical study of the Flea.

On a related note, I have just discovered the BBC hosts video of the recent re-enactment of the engagement of the Blue Fleet and Red Fleet(s) at Trafalgar. Which is fine as far as it goes. But I will happier when Days of Trafalgar is mandatory viewing in history lessons everywhere. This is how it really went down.

The mock Battle of Trafalgar was held between a blue and a red team, rather than Britain versus France. The decision upset some who regarded it as unnecessary political correctness.

I keep pointing to this specific stupidity as I believe it is emblematic of so much of the indigestion of reason typical of our present circumstances.

And let's have a little VE Day while we are at it, shall we.

Bridge for sale in Brooklyn Update: I am beginning to think there is enough Victory oak on the market to build a small flotilla. That said, I like the look of this canon ball, this commemorative coin and especially this cat's head dagger.

Posted by the Flea at 11:47 AM | Comments (4)

David Bowie: Heroes

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

July 18, 2006


I am in a Porsche on an autobahn; "Dance Floor" by GTK / SYNNYR on the stereo. Next to me on the seat is a flat black titanium briefcase with an automatic inside it. A dangerous blonde waits for me in Berlin...

It's the '80s, btw Update: Have you ever noticed how my life is so cool and Bill Ardolino's life suxxors? It does not seem fair, does it?

Posted by the Flea at 12:54 PM | Comments (6)

Shortwave number stations

For decades the short wave radio spectrum has been home to enigmatic strings of letters and numbers. Tracking these transmissions is the Conet Project, a group which claims these are "the first and oldest of radio broadcasts" (via Hudnall).

Such transmissions are fairly common. They are most often reported in Europe, but can be found anywhere. Each adheres to a strict schedule, and often begin at either the hour or half-after. Most of the time the voice reading these letters is female, though sometimes male or a child’s. Despite being without any obvious function, they seem pretty harmless. So why does no licensed radio station admit to sending them, no government will admit to sanctioning them, and no one will confess to being responsible for them?

It is nice to think there some mystery remains to the world; much better than crop circles.

Posted by the Flea at 12:51 PM

July 17, 2006

A mystery wrapped in an enigma


Japan's "answer to Elvira", Miri Hanai enjoys "reading, karaoke, and watching vampire movies"; surely evidence of a beneficent Creator. Chris at Home, a Jawa American living in Mindanao, ponders the mystery of Miri Hanai's popularity in Japan. Commenters are limited to two guesses; hardly sufficient to grappling with this challenging puzzle. Indeed, while non-Japanese Flea-readers may never fathom the enigma that is photo gravure aidoru appreciation I hope this post goes some way to bridging the distance between and amongst cultures and just possibly boosting my Monday traffic figures. Interesting fact: 10% of Japanese men in their 40s are virgins (via Chris at the Jawa Report).

Kineda and YouTube have more Miri Hani coverage. Though coverage may be an inapt usage given the circumstances. I particularly enjoy the music in Miri Hanai 10 and the magic scarf in Miri Hanai 01. None of this is particularly safe for work unless, of course, you are employed in the pneumatic bikini modelling sector.

Wow, so they pay you to do this Update: If you are, for example, Agent C and are totally unsupervised at work but might want something to look at other than Japanese cheesecake I can fully recommend this "Dark Side of the Rainbow" Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz YouTube spectacular (Google Video has the longer version for completists). Assuming you have a sound-card in that office computer.

Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (3)

New Order: Blue Monday

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

July 14, 2006

First Date Music


The Flea's musical stylings are almost ready to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the form of "First Date Music"; a name I hope Flea-readers will agree is congenial and sympathetic as first album titles go. I have had enormous good fortune with the MySpace promotion, thus far attracting interest for using a piece in a forthcoming film and with a Ghost of a flea internet radio debut set for London in two to three weeks. With any luck the future holds incidental music in Jaguar ads...

Here is the trick: Deciding quite what to do next vis-à-vis independent labels or the adventure that is releasing and distributing the thing myself. I post this with the thought that given this blog's diverse and wide-reaching readership there may be sound advice to be had. Or just possibly someone who knows someone at a label looking for some dark ambient content for their catalogue.

Rough and ready Update Thanking Dodgeblogium's Andrew Ian Dodge for his thoughts on the matter is a good excuse to point out Growing Old Disgracefully is now available in EP form through CD Baby. So, thanks Andrew!

Posted by the Flea at 12:24 PM | Comments (3)

Blancmange: Living On The Ceiling

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 12:17 PM | TrackBack (0)

Sexy Beijing

Danwei TV expands its repertoire with Sexy Beijing featuring "love, lust, youth culture and street life in China's capital." Also, Su Fei's exceptional posterior.

This episode is about one girl's search for a boyfriend on the mean streets of Beijing, featuring interviews with old timers hanging out in hutongs and young people in the Wangfujing shopping district.
Posted by the Flea at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2006

Even if you suck, you can really mean it


Zayra Alvarez (pictured above) was lucky to survive a week in which she decided to offer a hamfisted Kinks cover not once but twice. Clearly the black tights go a long way with the judges. And who can blame them? That said, and despite a pending lawsuit, mediocre ratings and a purported "stink of desperation" hanging in the air, Rock Star Supernova features better talent and a better premise than its predecessor Rock Star INXS. Whereas the remaining INXSers had to contend with the shade of Michael Hutchence and their own back catalogue, Supernova's only baggage is their individual notoriety and the odd home-video or two. Otherwise, they have no phantom lead singer they need to clone and, having declared (if not entirely credibly) Supernova is not to be a metal act, no fixed expectation of what their lead singer must be.

Using the massively distributed and massively networked power of weblogging (or "blogging"), Dave Navarro talks back to the haytas.

I have been having a lot of fun reading all the online press about the show. I am amazed by the fact that Reality Blogs and critics spend so much time trashing us. If you think about it, they spend way more time in Rockstarland than the average viewer does. They watch it, write about it, watch again, recap and then go on about how we are "too nice" or that we are whores. HAHAHAHA!!! (At least I am writing about something that I am actually doing.) As for the critics that call us whores, we aren't the ones getting paid to spend hours on something we don't enjoy! I mean, who is the real whore here?

Duran Duran is ably defended in the comments.

I think it's repeating on me Update: Having missed writing about the "obvious and grotesque" spectacle of Rock Star INXS, Tom Breihan considers the mystery of Jason Newsted's involvement in Rock Star Supernova. After all, he "does not need to be doing this sh*t."

In recent years, he's been content to play with the universally respected art-metal band Voivod and swim around in the Scrooge McDuck money-tank he probably has in his back yard. He seemed to be living a pretty great life; he left Metallica at the exact right moment with both his bank account and his credibility intact, and now he gets to do whatever he wants. So why does he want to do this? After fifteen years with one of the most successful bands in the world, you wouldn't think he'd need that reality-TV money unless he's trying to buy an island or some such.
Posted by the Flea at 09:34 AM | Comments (3)

J.D. Fortune: By My Side

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:31 AM

July 12, 2006

And Eve Was Weak


Whatever the Mirvish spin machine says do not believe the hype and blame the critics. The recently announced closure of the "Lord of the Rings" musical was no surprise to the Flea partially because I had heard reliable rumours to the effect weeks in advance and partially because I have now seen it. And it is bad. Shockingly bad. And that is saying something considering I walked in expecting dancing Hobbits.*

But the thing to keep in mind is there is bad and then there is bad. Carrie: The Musical bad (via Modern Fabulosity).

Behold! I have unleashed some of my guilty pleasure videos onto an unsuspecting world! Prepare to be dazzled and appalled, shocked and awed, laughing and crying at the madness that is... CARRIE! I AM THE SOUND OF DISTANT THUNDER, THE COLOR OF FLAME! I'M CARRIE! I AM THE SONG OF ENDLESS WONDER THAT NO ONE WILL CLAIM!

Kill the pig!

*Not that this will stop me from seeing the Queen musical set to replace it.

Absolutely fabulous Update: Or we could just have an X-Men musical instead.

Posted by the Flea at 11:23 AM | Comments (8)

Yendri: Breakdown of Reality

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 11:21 AM

Tuppeny Whores

Dr. When presents a compendium of his sepia-tinted photogravures having previously been made public through the b3ta archive.

I like Victoriana. Corsetry, Empires and a nice cup of tea. I made these on my Babbage Engine.

With the close of Dr. Who season two, and the long wait for the Dr. Who Christmas special, I expect many Flea-readers are left with yearning for more time-traveling fun. The next best thing is "Casanova", starring David Tennant, written by Russell T. Davis and scored, I suspect, by the same chap who does the Dr. Who incidental music. It is quite wonderful and offers some excellent bonus and extra pointers for passing in society.

The youthful Casanova (cheekily portrayed by David Tennant) cuts a swathe through the women of Europe with his dashing good looks and irrepressible confidence. But though the laydeez offer their full approval (usually expressed horizontally), the law is outraged by his antics.

An oh so familiar scenario. Small spoiler: If you have never conjugated Latin verbs you have never lived.

Stealing a march Update: The Flea's barefoot lifestyle is sure to impress Keira Knightley. KIIS-FM's Ryan Seacrest reports Knightley to have observed "barefoot goes with everything." Quite right too.

Posted by the Flea at 11:17 AM

July 11, 2006



The combination of my continuing obsession with MySpace and my recent obsession with KIIS-FM in the morning means I get to listen to "SexyBack" over an over again (some nsfw language). Two thoughts: First, I like Timberlake's Flea-ish pose here; second, "SexyBack" shows what you can do when you really know how to use a sequencer. It is all about the emptiness between the noise. Which makes this single some sort of pop music bushido. The whole thing feels like it is about to fall over and then it swivels around and you realize your head is slowly sliding off your shoulders.

Five by five Update: On a mostly unrelated note... mostly... excepting for also being hellacool is news of the proposed Marine "Hot Eagle" Fast-Insertion Space Plane. This baby is sure to be widely referred to by its proper name: Pelican Dropship.

Posted by the Flea at 11:51 AM | Comments (11)

Precarious superheroes

At last, supervillains worthy of being the archnemeses of the Flea! "Hamburg for Free" are based in Germany so I shall have to find the local counterparts of Santa Guevara, Spider Mum, Operaistorix and Multiflex. They are probably in the cheese aisle at Whole Foods...

Suddenly, half a dozen costumed superheroes appeared, their shopping baskets filled with prime Kobe beef, Manchego cheese curdled from the milk of Spanish sheep, handmade French chocolates from the Rhone Valley. Some $2,000 worth of fancy groceries darted out of the store before employees realized they'd been robbed by a gang of cartoon characters.

The leader was a skinny person of indeterminate gender, clad head-to-toe in a lavender nylon bodysuit. One accomplice was wrapped in a red costume with a lightning bolt, a la Flash, the comic-book speedster. At least four others wore an assortment of capes, wigs, sunglasses and white gloves, the latter to avoid leaving fingerprints. Waving their stolen booty outside the store, they pranced around and flexed their muscles as yet another partner took pictures.
Posted by the Flea at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

July 10, 2006

Look no further


Having spent a significant portion of her life flying around in pirate films, Keira Knightley has decided it is time to take some time off, go to the pub with friends and possibly find a Flea-ish bloke.

Earlier in press reports, Keira revealed her longed for ideal man is a “mix of Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp.” Knightley believes the two male stars morphed together would produce every girl’s “dream guy.”

“If I could have a mixture of the two that would be ideal…I think if it was possible to have a bit both, a bit of a nice guy and bit of a bad boy, that would be good.”

Modesty prevents me from making the obvious suggestion. Though in fairness I do not think the small ads of whatever newspaper that is are going to be much help to her. MySpace is where the "it" is "at" (nsfw).

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | Comments (11)

Lily Allen: Smile

Take Lily Allen, for example. She provides an excellent MySpace success story.* Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (possibly nsfw due to a descriptive word early on).

*Though I expect it helps if your father is Keith Allen if for no other reason than the Angel, Islington address.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM | Comments (2)

Morals and Dogma

While her spokesthing reportedly says it is completely untrue, friends of Madonna claim she is thinking of distancing herself from the Kabbalah Centre. It is difficult to square the claim with two appearances at the New York Kabbalah Centre over Independence Day weekend or Mr. Madonna announcing plans for a kabbalah-themed film.

The 'Snatch' director, married to Madonna who is a devout follower of the mystical Jewish faith, revealed his plans for a documentary about the 'religion' at a service held at the New York Kabbalah Centre last Saturday. Ritchie says the movie references Albert Pike's 1871 book 'Morals and Dogma', which draws parallels between Kabbalah and Freemasonry.

At first blush Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry does not appear to have much to do with kabbalah. But then Swept Away did not have much to do with acting. Ba-dum dum.

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM

July 07, 2006

Stevie Wonder: Superstition

Sesame Street kicks ass and takes names! Also, counts things! Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (via Dorkafork).

Posted by the Flea at 10:57 AM


Just in time for the last war, the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is unveiled today in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a thing of beauty.

Lockheed Martin will formally unveil the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter during an inauguration and nicknaming ceremony where more than 1,000 people are expected to attend, including members of Congress and top military officials.

The nickname for the fighter jet has not yet been revealed but odds are the plane will be nicknamed Lightning or Lightning Two, NBC 5 reported. Lockheed's World War II fighter, the P-38, was also nicknamed Lightning.

P-38 Update: With a nod to history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has now been officially christened the Lightning II.

The heritage associated with this name played a significant role in its selection. The original P-38 ‘Lightning’ was also a strike fighter and had the most air-to-air kills in the Pacific area of responsibility in World War II. Both of America’s top two aces, Maj. Richard Bong, with 40 kills, and Maj. Thomas McGuire, with 38 kills, scored all their victories in the P-38 ‘Lightning’ in World War II.
Posted by the Flea at 10:54 AM | Comments (6)

July 06, 2006



Ten long months of suffering are now assuaged with the premiere of Rock Star Supernova. My worries that Mark Burnett Super Genius might not be able to carry on the franchise after J.D. Fortune definitively resolved its founding premise turned out to be unfounded. In fact, Tommy Lee is a much more personable and engaging character than the sometimes sourpuss INXS. And the Brooke Burke/Dave Navarro duo are much more important to the format than I had given them credit. This time out the aim is not to replace a lead singer for a classic act but to complete the line up with a singer for an all new act. Or rather, as all new as a band can be featuring Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee, Metallica's Jason Newsted and Guns 'N Roses' Gilby Clarke.

"It is different from INXS, because here are three very different guys from large bands," Tommy tells ET. "INXS was cool. They had a background of music. This is brand-new, but really exciting. I don't know what it is going to be like. We are writing music and recording, but we don't have a singer yet. Who knows what is going to happen? I like a surprise."

The new cast of characters is promising. Former Cleavage front-man Lukas Rossi means Toronto's Queen West black clothes scene will once again be represented to the world. He shall go far. Despite my (perfectly reasonable) tendency to side with impish bald guys Á Móti Sól lead singer, Magni Asgeirsson suffered from a rock and/or roll Euro-twitch and was unconvincing. If this was Dark Wave Supernova he would have probably kicked ass. As it is, I expect he shall be returning to Reykjavik presently. Dilana Robichaux had a scary intensity. Check her out at the Prime Time Steak House if you are local to Houston (no cover!). Zayra Alvarez is this year's Daphna Dove; an obvious hit with the judges but for reasons that do not have much to do with the show.

Early contenders for the top spot: Juke Kartel's Toby Rand from Melbourne. Great voice and probably a good fit for Supernova's over-the-top personalities. And finally, Flea-fav Storm Large (pictured above). She has pretty much everything. Including her real name, apparently. Hmm.

Posted by the Flea at 09:54 AM | Comments (4)

Nelly Furtado: Promiscuous (feat. Timbaland)

This formerly straight-laced singer's new track is stuck in my head thanks to my 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles morning obsession.* Nelly Furtado is Portugese**-Canadian, btw. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

*Be the first to watch the new video for "Stars Are Blind" by Paris Hilton on KIIS-FM!
**Now who's crying, bitch!

That dead horse looks like it could use a sound flogging Update: On the sweetness of Portugese defeat:

So, the cheating, diving Portuguese are out of the World Cup - fantastic!

I'm not just saying this because of sour grapes over England's defeat, I'm saying it because Portugal's behaviour throughout the tournament has been disgraceful and has been bad for the game of football.

If they had got into the final and subsequently won the World Cup, it would have been a travesty. They deserve to go out for the negative effect they have had on the tournament - my only gripe is they did not go out in humiliation earlier on.

O' Signore chiude na e ne rap' un' altra porta Update: In considering the possibility of an Italy/Portugal final I wondered how the referee could decide who to cheat for. Rue sent me the following helpful guideline. It is deuced simple once it has been explained: "The one he bet on to win, naturally!"

On a related note, I have asked whether it is possible to cheer for Alizée without cheering for France. Bien sur! This seemingly tricky position is justified as a nod to Corsican independence; a cause I have long cherished.

Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM | Comments (6)

July 05, 2006

It buggles the mind


Elton John may think the England side were a disgrace and German hoteliers may be tired of English footballer wives and girlfriends but this means nothing to the iron will or manifest WAG destiny of Victoria Beckham.

Victoria Beckham mercilessly reinforced her WAG supremacy yesterday by slipping into a revealing black outfit, complete with leather skirt. Posh Spice was reportedly furious that other England World Cup WAGs had been garnering attention after her strong performance at the weekend when husband David’s goal ensured multiple TV cutaways.

After hearing the other WAGs were planning a paparazzi wet-dream of a trip to a German themepark – complete with log flume – Victoria donned a knockout outfit to ensure she met their challenge head on.

Now Victoria underlines this supremacy by offering her "buggles" World Cup sunglasses for sale as part of a five-piece, limited-edition collection exclusive to Harrods. Such is only to confirm me in my plan to purchase a similar pair for myself. Buggles = Flea-ish.

Posted by the Flea at 11:41 AM | Comments (5)

Type O Negative: Love You To Death

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (the same again with better sound at MySpace).

Posted by the Flea at 11:27 AM

July 04, 2006

With Germany there is no mythology


A General Theory of Rubbish hosts a handy round-up of post-England/Portugal comment. Elsewhere on the internets, K-Punk considers the "libidinal disorder" afflicting the England side; a Transcendental Defeatist belief structure.

England's repeated failure in penalty shoot-outs is not down to bad fortune, as the English media, with its empiricist presuppositions, insists. To lose once might be an accident, but to lose five times demands a psychoanalytic explanation.

Vive la France! Allez les Bleus!

Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM | Comments (7)


Flea-readers unaccountably unfamiliar with the rebooted mythology of Battlestar Galactica will not feel the immediate thrill the word "Caprica" sends through me. Along with the many worlds of The X-Files, Andromeda and Stargate SG-1, Caprica may resemble Simon Fraser University in Vancouver but I am certain there is plenty more temperate rainforest to be discovered. And possibly, just possibly a world where "prequel" and "crap" do not rhyme... Ron Moore: Thank you.

Caprica would take place more than half a century before the events that play out in Battlestar Galactica. The people of the Twelve Colonies are at peace and living in a society not unlike our own, but where high technology has changed the lives of virtually everyone for the better.

But a startling breakthrough in robotics is about to occur, one that will bring to life the age-old dream of marrying artificial intelligence with a mechanical body to create the first living robot: a Cylon. Following the lives of two families, the Graystones and the Adamas (the family of William Adama, who will one day become the commander of the Battlestar Galactica), Caprica will weave together corporate intrigue, techno-action and sexual politics into television's first science fiction family saga, the channel announced.

(hat tip to A Former Servant of Her Majesty)

Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM

July 01, 2006

Always the penalties


Say what you like about Cristiano Ronaldo.* Say, for example, that the Dutch did not put the boot to him hard enough. Say he is lucky to have been able to rely on Argentina as a phantom second team against England. But the man is brave; you have to give him that. After all, he puts on that performance and yet he is on his way back to Manchester.

Tsh! Tsh!

*Interesting fact: You will never guess which American President Ronaldo is named after.

Decline and fall Update: The Guardian's Rob Smyth considers Ronaldo:

So we have our pantomime villain. He's a pretty boy, he's foreign, he's cunning and conniving.

The remainder of his analysis strays from the above points and is hardly worth reading.

Don't make me do it Update: Now England is out, I have decided to support the side guaranteed to annoy the maximum number of supporters of the perfidious choices left on offer. Vive la France! Alizée will be in the sidebar for the duration as a token of my sincere feelings in this matter.

Paleocon Update: Writing for the Weekly Standard, Frank Cannon and Richard Lessner describe "soccer" as postmodern and against-nature. They forgot to mention that soccer is a single mother who burns the American flag.

Despite heroic efforts of soccer moms, suburban liberals, and World Cup hype, soccer will never catch on as a big time sport in America. No game in which actually scoring goals is of such little importance could possibly occupy the attention of average Americans. Our country has yet to succumb to the nihilism, existentialism, and anomie that have overtaken Europe. A game about nothing, in which scoring is purely incidental, holds scant interest for Americans who still believe the world makes sense, that life has a larger meaning and structure, that being is not an end in itself, being qua being.

I think they are joking. Though it says something tragic about too much of the American right that it is now hardly possible to tell the difference between a joke and glassy-eyed seriousness. Still, this is a step up from listening to Canadian hockey fans attempting to weigh in on the subject (no, it is not a "shoot out" so STFU).

Posted by the Flea at 02:25 PM | Comments (5)

Dominion Day


Time for the Canadian national anthem... Non-Canadians can sing along karaoke-style the second go round. Happy birthday, Canada.

Those two fellows are from Joint Task Force 2, btw, i.e. the little discussed pointy end of Canadian democracy. Way to go, us! But we have a long way to go and heroism most of us have not yet even begun to live up to. Something to think about around our tranquil weekend BBQs.

They say it's your birthday Update: Come on, Engerland!

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Gary Numan: Dominion Day

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 10:00 AM