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April 30, 2007

I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see

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WTFsrsly reports on a Belgian senate campaign sure to be remembered by future archaeologists as one of the last moans gasps of Europe before the scimitar descended on their necks and two hundred million women entered purdah. The NEE Party and Tania Derveaux's arguably nsfw marketing are on-line.

Tania Derveaux, leading candidate for senate of the NEE party in Belgium goes completely naked for the party’s campaign and for Belgium’s most popular men’s magazine. Their official campaign involves billboards featuring her in all her naked glory with a very seductive look and the text “I promise you 400.000 jobs” above her.” This was submitted to WTFsrsly this morning along with these photos.

The country’s largest party (VLD) announced last week that it promises 200.000 jobs, shortly after that another prominent party (SP.a) states that it is aiming for 260.000 jobs. And now, Belgium’s newest and controversial party NEE promises 400.000 jobs and goes completely naked in the press and in their campaign images. Interesting strategy.

I am not clear on the particulars of their platform or ideology but from from all appearances this is the Matrix Party. I mean, I know the promise of 400,000 jobs is not real but it is still juicy. And you know what I have learned? Ignorance is bliss.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM

Wolfsheim: Once in a Lifetime

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

It's a shame cars don't run on cognitive dissonance

Lewis Black considers celebrity tips for "Earth Day"; hosted at the Jawas.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2007

Rammstein: Ohne Dich

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM

April 26, 2007

The Hermetic Order kicks ass and takes names

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The latest trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is on-line (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea). More movie stills and poster art may be found here. Fans eager for the slightest detail of the final book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - can turn to a J.K. Rowling appearance on Richard and Judy.

Related: Harry Potter and the Secret Chamberpot of Azerbaijan.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (2)

Lene Lovich: Lucky Number

Goth or not goth: Quatloos are awarded for showing your work! Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (6)

Psycho Girlfriend Design

Flea-readers with an eye to a career in couture but uncertain as to quite where to start might have a look around the house and garage. I am particularly drawn to the spork dress (hat tip to Ragged Robin).

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (3)

April 25, 2007

Brobdignagian

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When Nikolai Sutyagin started building he thought two-floors would be sufficient for the richest man in Archangel. The result: Gormenghast in planks; "a mix between a Brobdignagian tree house and the lair of a wicked fairytale character" (via La Petite Claudine).

For the one-time gangster who built it, it is nothing less than "the eighth wonder of the world". The less charitably disposed dismiss it as a glorified barn, fire hazard and eyesore. But on one thing everyone agrees: Nikolai Sutyagin's home is certainly different.

Dominating the skyline of Arkhangelsk, a city in Russia's far north-west, it is believed to be the world's tallest wooden house, soaring 13 floors to reach 144ft - about half the size of the tower of Big Ben.

Be sure to click the "In pictures" link at the top of the article. This fictional castles and fortresses information should also come in handy.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (4)

Victoria Mil: Junto Latas

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

The Force Unleashed

As much as I loathe to confess any admiration for the continuing works of the heresiarch Lucas, I am forced to do so with the two new bits of Force tech on offer; Digital Molecular Matter and Euphoria. Both videos are worth a look despite the obvious Stormtrooperphobia of the latter. I am less impressed by the power-twink premise of the game (via Unicorn Bacon).

With DMM in action, a Jedi unleashes the Force like never before. His violent Force push hurtles a helpless stormtrooper through a stone column, blasting it apart. Moments later, the sudden lack of support causes the building to smash to the ground, piece by piece. Meanwhile, a virtual Jabba the Hutt presides over his court, as rolls of gelatinous fat bounce and jiggle thanks to a body composed of DMM.
...
A revolutionary behavioral-simulation engine, euphoria simulates the unpredictability of real life where no two experiences are ever the same. For the first time ever, euphoria enables interactive characters to move, act and even think like actual human beings, adapting their behavior on the fly and resulting in a different payoff ever single time.
Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

April 24, 2007

The Circular Path

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Being asked why he had not made any use of written laws, he said, "Because those who are trained and disciplined in the proper discipline can determine what will best serve the occasion."
- Lycurgus, founder of the Spartan 'Constitution'

A series on ancient warriors considers the Spartans. They must have made terrible neighbours except, of course, when they made the best. More specific to our current travails is the Battle of Thermopylae, now fitting better into my head as the Hot Gates (love that Total War game-engine action).

If that is not enough 300 and, let's face facts, it isn't, some ancient Sparta resources will come in handy. Flea-readers with a masochistic streak might also consider this video diary, undertake the Circular Path and get buff; Spartan buff.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM | Comments (5)

Cocktail Vomit: Crazy Secrets

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (arguably nsfw).*

* Also featuring Cocktail Vomit: "Everybody is a Rækjusalat" lends ambiance to this short documentary piece, Icelandic Girls Get Busy In Reykjavik.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Latter-day Corsairs

Christopher Hitchens considers Thomas Jefferson, piracy and the forging of a young Republic. Commenting at Rantburg, Mike Kozlowski expands on the theme.

As always, Mr. Hitchens does a great job, and this is a story America needs to know and remember - but there's a few points that should be addressed.

First, Jefferson - while not the anti-military and isolationist politician that many would have us believe - was never in favor of a large fleet and Marine regiment (and it stayed a regiment for another forty years or so) and firmly believed that America's destiny lay westward in the vast tracts of the Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson happily allowed his SecTreas, Albert Gallatin, to come within an ace of essentially closing down the USN and the Marines with it - and this while the Barbary Wars were reaching their height. At one point, the USN was down to just nine purpose-built warships (the United States class frigates), and some of those were to have been 'in ordinary', that is, laid up with skeleton caretaker crews.

Next, what the USN was doing in the Med was far from the 'instructions to enforce existing treaties and punish infractions of them' that Mr. Hitchens states. They were there in the desperate hope that the Barbary pirates (who tended to quail away from large heavily armed warships with trained sailors and Marines aboard) would therefore stay away from US shipping. It didn't work for a number of reasons. First, the aggressiveness of the US skippers was in some cases less than what was called for (in one case, USS Constellation watched as a Pirate towed a captured US merchantman past because Constellation's skipper feared ending up aground) and secondly the ROE were utterly unbelievable - if a Pirate ship was caught, it could be fired upon and even captured, but then HAD TO BE RETURNED. There was one notable exception to that - the case of Mastico/USS Intrepid - and that was very much a case where the leadership on the scene just said 'the hell with it'. But overwhelmingly, the Mediterranean Squadron was not allowed to do a great deal and when it did it was badly hamstrung.

Sounds familiar. More at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

April 23, 2007

There is always the sun

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Cheer up, they say. It can't be that bad (via Agent Bedhead).

Kylie Minogue is the new face and body of H&M's summer swimwear. Described as "relaxed meets disco", the new line features silver bikinis and is inspired by the Australian singer's unique beach-life style.

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (5)

a-ha: The Sun Always Shines on TV

One of the most terrifying songs ever written... Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (for a second time).

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Cutethulhu

The Great Old Ones will awake when the stars are aligned. Your tea and ponies will not save you from the... what's that? Oh, never mind (hat tip Varenius).

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

April 20, 2007

Hansen Writing Ball

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With my very own Schreibkugel installed in the office of my Odic battle zeppelin* I have no excuse not to write my novel. If Nietzsche could tap, tap, tap away through the stomach cramps and a variety of idiot neighbours I have no excuse not to buckle down myself.

The Hansen Writing Ball is one of the most finely crafted and impressive of the early typewriters. It was invented in 1865 by the reverend and principal of the Royal Institute for the deaf-mutes in Copenhagen, Rasmus Malling-Hansen, 1835-1890. The writing ball was first patented and entered production in 1870, and was the first commercially produced typewriter, in Danish it was called the skrivekugle. The Hansen ball was a combination of stunning design and ergonomic innovations, but like most of the early 19th century typewriters, it did not allow the paper to be seen as it passed through the device.

Which I admit is a limitation; not sure about the back-space either. Other useful office equipment include this steampunk laptop or, for more serious sound processing and Abyssal target acquisition purposes, this working Nagy Magical-Movable-Type Pixello-Dynamotronic Computational Engine. I am certain the Opti-Transcriptocon flatbed scanner mod would also come in handy. But the hands down winner of any administrative task necessary for retro-Victorian expeditions to the outer planes must surely be the Telecalculograph; I especially love the furnace.

Flea-readers wishing to tool up for their own expeditions to the Kuiper Belt and beyond might usefully peruse Brass Goggles for all their creative anachrony needs.

* Which needs a name come to think of it. I shall christen her, Adeste Fideles. Quick! To the champagne vats!

Flea's Moving Towers Update: Bonus and extra; this mechanical tiger is a practical solution to inner-city commuting challenges while with minor modification this steam-powered spider would make an excellent battle zeppelin parking attendant.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (4)

Vernian Process: Noir

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

Save Net Radio

I received a troubling note from Tim Westergren, founder of Flea-fav internet gadget, Pandora. I am all for artists being paid royalties for their work - for obvious reasons - but proposed license fees strike me as the workings of an abusive and monopolistic old media hierarchy that sees its audience vanishing onto the internet.

I'm writing today to ask for your help. The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays and broadcast radio doesn't pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.

American Flea-readers might usefully consider the SaveNetRadio petition while Canadians might turn a baleful eye toward Ottawa.

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

April 19, 2007

War is bad

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You'll never get away with this, Black Helmet Man! You are bad! You are bad and we are good! Your badness will be the end of you, and our goodness will be our triumph! Bad is bad - good is good! Bad-bad-good-bad! Good-good-bad-good, bad! Good.
- Princess Bunhead

I have been giving careful consideration to this Natalie Portman T-shirt choice and it occurs to me that war is bad.* We should stop wars. There, problem solved.

* This as opposed to my usual way of thinking where us losing wars is bad. Call me old fashioned.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM | Comments (9)

Coil: In My Head A Crystal Sphere Of Heavy Fluid

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Zohar Studios

I love Stephen Berkman's ambrotypes but it is his working Surveillance (camera) obscura that I will be needing multiples of for my Odic battle zeppelin. Yet more on which to spend my vast quatloo stash (via La Main Gauche).

Also wonderful: These mechanical spectacles (hat tip to Rue).

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

April 18, 2007

Robbing-Hood Canadians

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Oh Lord, we pray thee - not that wrecks should happen - but that if they do happen, Thou wilt guide them to the coast of Cornwall for the benefit of the poor inhabitants.

While my people are more from Somerset and the Welsh Marches and so more prone to rustling than wrecking, having seen Jamaica Inn, I can only offer 100% of my sympathy and support for the plight of Devonshire-Wrecker-Canadians. Fenris Badwulf explains, nay, emotes from the bitter well of centuries:

It is impossible to believe anything bad about my ancestors who lured ships onto the rocks. Why were they forced to overpower ship’s crews in the cold and dark of night, swimming out to moored ships with only a dagger clenched in their teeth? Why were my simple, happy, politically correct ancestors forced to smuggle tea for hundreds of years? The lavish profits (equivalent to heroin or cocaine smuggling today) were not sought out for financial gain. No, of course not. The vast sums of money (along with looted weapons, livestock, and of course, tea) were used to correct social injustice and fight poverty. Among my people, smuggling is celebrated. And it is time the taxpayers of Canada forked over some reparations.

The next time you are on a boat and one of the crew guides you straight into a reef or shoal, ask yourself, How did I offend this person? When his family group from his global village swarm over the decks to take everything of value, leaving you in your undergarments (sometimes there is a undergarment ’swap’, but only if your shorts are clean and the pirate’s are either wet or stained) to ask yourself: How could I accommodate these Wrecker-Canadians?

Quite right. And reparations too for the injustices done to all of my hallowed ancestors. Might as well be in for a sheep as for a lamb.

Duke of Devonshire Update: What class are you? (hat tip to the Parental Units of the Flea)

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (3)

International Pony: Gothic Girl

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

First to fight

Christian Lowe takes a ride in an Osprey. Wild. Excellent use of the term "nacelle", btw.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (2)

April 17, 2007

Wolfsheim: Blind

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

Orwell's Victory

Addressing the dining hall at Hogwarts*, Christopher Hitchens lectured on freedom of speech on November 15, 2006. The U of T audience reliably applauds his contention the greatest source of hatred in the world is religion. Worth a listen even if the sentiment rankles. While Hitchens takes a libertarian view and I do not, I could not agree more with his resistance to the application of "hate speech" laws to religion; the institutionalization of heresy by another name.

Hang in there, he really gets up to steam at the 16:39 minute mark and on: "Self hatred, self righteousness and self pity." Absolutely right. We are giving away what is most precious in our society. This is, as he says, really serious.

* Otherwise known as Hart House. It is a joke Hitchens recycles.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

April 16, 2007

Jericho

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Following the boutique success of Undying, Clive Barker returns to game storytelling with Jericho. The game begins with the appearance of a lost desert city; the player sent in as a member of an occult special forces unit... Judging by the trailer and these stills, this is right up my street.

"This project is very close to my heart and I don't believe there's ever been anything like it. It promises to be the most spectacular, creative, and unflinching realisation of a Clive Barker nightmare that will drag players in kicking and screaming," Barker said.

"Players will constantly be given new challenges, new environments, and yes, new horrors and abominations to face every step of the way. However, unlike a conventional game in which the characters are attempting to escape at the end of their ride through Hell, our protagonists have a much more difficult task. ... The closer they come to the end of their trek into darkness, the nearer they get to the source of that darkness: Evil Incarnate, we'll call it for now..." Maybe they'll change its name to Steve or something later.

Spooky. Clive Barker himself is somewhat alarming as he is interviewed about the game; his voice is deteriorating.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM | Comments (6)

Tying Tiffany: I Wanna Be Your MP3

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (arguably a bit pneumatic for work).

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Clive Barker's Spider-Man

Nick Gillespie has seen inside my soul.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes Update: The first Clive Barker story I ever read, Midnight Meat Train is in production by cheese-factors extraordinaire, Lion's Gate.

Next stop, death.

When his latest body of work – provocative, nighttime studies of the city and its inhabitants -- earns struggling photographer Leon Kaufman (Bradley Cooper) interest from a prominent art gallerist (Brooke Shields), she propels him to get grittier and show the darker side of humanity for his upcoming debut at her downtown art space.

So, if I have sex with two or more vampire wenches that makes me Nick the Vampires Layer, right? I am asking because this Saturday, well, long story.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM | Comments (4)

April 13, 2007

Alizée: J'ai pas vingt ans

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM

Slavery

No.

You apologize.

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM

April 12, 2007

The Ditty Bops: Wishful Thinking

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Swim

Wow.

Also wonderful: Duet.

Caketown Update: In case there are Flea-readers who have missed the PG trailer for 300.

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2007

Be yourself

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GQ has named Daniel Craig the best-dressed man of the year, saying the 007 look works for him as it "seems like an upgrade of what Craig would naturally wear." This is possibly the best articulation of what I have been trying to express through the Flea's crime-fighting panache. Be yourself, but more so.*

Yet even in the imaginary land of fast cars and faster women there is a feeling of unease and, forgive my German, Unheimlichkeit. James Rovira sees some cause for concern in a time when Bond has come to define the acme of post-war British masculinity. Worth the read even though, as with much film theory, it is difficult to infer whether the intent is criticism or lament. I particularly enjoyed this quoted screed by Tiger Tanaka from Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

“Bondo-san, I will now be blunt with you, and you will not be offended, because we are friends. Yes? Now it is a sad fact that I, and many of us in positions of authority in Japan, have formed an unsatisfactory opinion about the British people since the war. You have not only lost a great Empire, you have seemed almost anxious to throw it away with both hands. All right,” he held up a hand, “we will not go deeply into the reasons for this policy, but when you apparently sought to arrest this slide into impotence at Suez, you succeeded only in stage-managing one of the most pitiful bungles in the history of the world, if not the worst. Further, your governments have shown themselves successively incapable of ruling and have handed over effective control of the country to trade unions, who appear to be dedicated to the principle of doing less and less work for more money. This feather-bedding, this shirking of an honest day’s work, is sapping at ever-increasing speed the moral fibre of the British, a quality the world once so much admired. In its place we now see a vacuous, aimless horde of seekers-after-pleasure—gambling at the pools and bingo, whining at the weather and the declining fortunes of the country, and wallowing nostalgically in gossip about the doings of the Royal Family and of your so-called aristocracy in the pages of the most debased newspapers in the world.”

Quite.

* In related news, Russell Brand was nominated as both the No. 8 best dressed man and No. 1 worst dressed. Shouldn't Agent Bedhead be dating this guy? It might bring the reading public some relief from the ongoing Pete Doherty barrage.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (11)

Vitalic: My friend Dario

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* Also fun: "Birds" by the Pleix Design Group featuring "Poney Part 1", a stylin' tune by Vitalic. Or so I have read; it sounds like Daft Punk to me. Perhaps someone might enlighten me on the point.

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

Arrest the usual suspects

Or whatever is left once the religion of pieces is through with them. In what must be the apotheosis of Newspeak, Reuters describes a chap as a suspected suicide bomber even though he "actually blew himself up."

A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up after police shot dead another overnight during a chase in a Casablanca slum, Moroccan police sources and witnesses said on Tuesday.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2007

Logan's (Re)Run

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Joel Silver, producer of The Matrix amongst other things, thinks that Logan's Run (spoilerific original trailer of 1976) is "a bit silly" but loves the original material (that being the 1967 novel). So much so he plans to produce a remake.* Some Flea-readers may wonder why I would so wholeheartedly approve the idea having been appalled at the thought of an Escape from New York remake. To me, the distinction could not be more clear.

Plus what is not to love about this original intro:

"The seeds of the Little War were planted in a restless summer during the mid-1960s, with sit-ins and student demonstrations as youth tested its strength. By the early 1970s over 75 percent of the people living on Earth were under 21 years of age. The population continued to climb — and with it the youth percentage.
In the 1980s the figure was 79.7 percent.
In the 1990s, 82.4 percent.
In the year 2000 — critical mass."

It is never too early to cast the new Jessica 6; suggestions are welcome. And to kick things off, I nominate Lindsay Lohan to reprise Farrah Fawcett-Majors' role as Holly 13.

* Ok, another remake. I loved the tv series too, btw.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM | Comments (5)

Tweaker ft. David Sylvian: Linoleum

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (1)

A Caprican in the White House

DefenseTech's Ward Carroll interviews some top people* from the Battlestar Galactica remake in the latest edition of his Editor's Desk podcast. Featured: Apollo of yore and Tom Zarek of today, Richard Hatch.

If you're a fan of the show, which just finished its third season on the Sci Fi channel, I submit this podcast is a "must listen." And if you're not a fan, as a latecomer myself I'm here to tell you you should be.

I have restricted my Battlestar commentary since the show jumped the daggett at the end of season two. Suffice to say things have picked up as the show has got more surreal. Mercifully, series producers appear to have backed away from the BDS-inspired plot-line dominating the start of season three.

* Top people.

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

April 09, 2007

Porter Airlines experience

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There was a cold wind blowing and, thanks to the holiday, only a handful of people to be seen this last Friday morning at the Toronto Island Airport, once more grandly known as the Port George VI Airfield. Thanks to would be environmentalists and a handful of island residents, the airport is a source of some controversy (as with just about everything else cool about this town) but having flown from the island I will only go back to Pearson as a last resort.

Home to the Royal Norwegian Air Force for most of the War*, the island airport now hosts Porter Airlines; a combination of Canadian efficiency, class and cool. I had looked forward to traveling by Bombardier Q400 as I had seen - and barely heard - one pass overhead at last year's Toronto air show. I was not prepared for the experience. Perhaps it was the near empty streets, the short ferry ride to the terminal or the snow squall as the propellers begun to turn; this was the most romantic travel experience of my life. Everything had the glamour of the '40s - from the white leather seats to the stunning flight attendants - I half expected Ingrid Bergman to slink down the aisle. Pity I was on my own. Then again some journeys are all the more romantic for leaving someone behind; some things are too good to last (though I hope Porter Airlines makes a go of it).

* While I am on the subject of the Norwegian armed forces I want to point out the Royal Norwegian Navy claims to have nine stationary forts and six underwater bases. What exactly, I may ask, is an "underwater base" and how come I do not have one?

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM | Comments (2)

Blue Rodeo: Hasn't Hit Me Yet

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:51 AM | Comments (1)

Test pattern

This colour palette claims to be totally goth. One is forced to the question: Goth or not goth? (hat tip to Agent Bedhead)

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (6)

April 06, 2007

Gatling gun, corset and spats

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I finally got round to watching Steamboy. Arguably, the Japanese trailer makes a bit more sense as an introduction to the piece for Flea-readers who have yet to see it than the dubbed version. Yes, it is English, but Manchester never sounded like this. Still, it was worth the wait; magnificent, a triumph, breath-taking... no wait, that's Magdalene Veen, say, in some sort of deranged fantasy with a Gatling gun, corset and spats.

Where was I again? Ahh, right, Steampunk. The Flea's ongoing personal branding make-over has lead me to the style Bible of the new millennium - and the last century but one - Steampunk Magazine (via Warren Ellis). Throw some coal into the office copier and print yourself some reading for the underground carriageway.

Before the age of homogenization and micro-machinery, before the tyrannous efficiency of internal combustion and the domestication of electricity, lived beautiful, monstrous machines that lived and breathed and exploded unexpectedly at inconvenient moments. It was a time where art and craft were united, where unique wonders were invented and forgotten, and punks roamed the streets, living in squats and fighting against despotic governance through wit, will and wile.

Even if we had to make it all up.

Also loving the look of this Steampunk Keyboard mod. I will commission one for my very own just as soon as I get round to checking my winning lottery tickets investments.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (8)

Kate Bush: Rubberband Girl

Three rubber bands won't keep you up... Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

Fearful symmetries

Would you describe yourself as a circle, a square, a triangle or a square? Give it a moment's thought...

Your results here (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (3)

April 05, 2007

Cut you up

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Tim Burton is an unusual artist in that his work rarely asks anyone to wonder what it is about. Exquisitely presented, yes, but with an antiseptic emptiness that is both sinister and devoid of affect.* Gothic window dressing as cinema. Edward Scissorhands is perhaps the most representative of the effect. Here he presents an amplified suburbia with an amplified black clothes kid - I should be able to relate - but nothing to hold on to by way of a moral lesson or existential insight; an Aesop's fable without the Aesop.

It is precisely this enigma which presents other artists with such a tempting challenge. British choreographer Matthew Bourne has seen into the heart of this southern California Frankenstein.

“It was, I believe, Tim’s way of expressing how he felt as a teenager—unable to touch or connect with people, awkward and isolated. I think this expresses the way many teenagers feel, and, therefore, they identify with his struggle for acceptance.”

Bourne adds that Kim, the girl with whom Edward falls in love, “is also comforting for many young people. She learns to look beyond Edward’s strange appearance to the gentle and loving soul within. It gives all the world’s outsiders hope!”

Winona Ryder was the hope of all hopes... so give Tim Burton credit for that important insight. Which brings me to a Ryderless - and indeed Deppless - take on the same material. Last night's Toronto opening of Bourne's extravaganza more than met my expectations. Is perkigoth cinema for everyone? No. Is, for that matter, modern dance? No again. But Toronto showed it had more than enough devotees of the two to fill a three-thousand seat venue. My only advice to the production: A wordless spectacle so dependent on sound needs to get the balance right. Crank up your multiband equalizer and power down the 300-800 kHz range and the whole will not sound so boxy. That and make certain to have enough programs on hand for the door. My media kit was fine but I noticed paying customers were going short; perhaps a sign of an ever too slightly successful marketing campaign (we should all have such problems).

Finally, a local spectacle in the Orchestra seats...

Two Orchestra tickets: $196 plus tax.**
Stompity Stomp Stomp Boots: $250 dollars at Hell's Belles.
The Flea meets Raymi the Minx: Priceless.

* With the exception of Nightmare Before Christmas, which has a plot.
** Unless you find the special ticket offer on-line.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | Comments (2)

Sad Kermit: Hurt

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (arguably nsfw) (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea).

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Nostradamus Library

Luxist asks if we know any "any reclusive millionaires with an end-of-the-world obsession"; excepting the millionaire bit I certainly fit the bill. Though I am less reclusive than I used to be... but I digress. Given a massive lottery win I expect I would turn up at Swann Galleries in New York for April 23 if only to have a look at the Nostradamus Library of the late Peruvian collector, Daniel Ruzo de los Heros.

Sale highlights include the only known copy of the earliest surviving prognostication, Prognostication nouvelle, & prediction portenteuse, pour Lan M.D.LV., Lyon, [1554] ...; the only known copy of the earliest surviving almanac, Almanach Pour l'An 1557 ...; the 1555 Lyon edition of Nostradamus's collection of recipes for cosmetics and preserves, Excellent & moult utile Opuscule à touts necessaire ...; a first edition in German of the treatise on cosmetics and preserves (fourth illustration); and what appears to be an unrecorded edition of a plague tract attribued to Nostradamus, Paris, circa 1598-1603
Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

April 04, 2007

Here we go

BugattiVeyronFaceShot.jpg

Perhaps the single most pornographic video I have ever linked at the Flea. Ladies and gentlemen, Top Gear presents the Bugatti Veyron at top speed. Turn up your speakers.

Here we go.

On another Top Gear episode (broadcast on 4 February 2007) James May tested the car's top speed of 253 mph at Ehra-Lessien in Germany, which has a straight piece of track of 5.5 miles long, suitable for the test. Upon reaching the top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph), James May mentioned that he was "covering one football pitch every second" . In the after-comments section he said that the whole experience was rather disorienting, as he thought he had stopped and was ready to open the door when he looked at the speedometer and it was still at 70 mph.
Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (4)

The Bastard Fairies: Whatever

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre

Rantburg's Gorb reports on the French TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) as it breaks the world rail speed record at 574.8 kilometres per hour (357.2 miles per hour) on a specially prepared track east of Paris.

Wow. Amazing engineering. But I wonder what its top forward speed is.
Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

April 03, 2007

Björk: All is full of love

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

You make your peace sign and I'll make mine

Mary Van Note starts her pin-up girl training. I think my favourite part are the signing off noises (radically not safe for work).

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

April 02, 2007

Doomsday Vault

DeathStarPort.jpg

The BBC reports more than one hundred "countries" are contributing to a "Noah's Ark on Svalbard." The Svalbard Global Seed Vault - dubbed a Doomsday Vault by the gentlemen of the press - leaves me wondering about a few things. For example, what is it about these last days of Western civilization that leads to us obfuscation? The Empire did not bother to hide the purpose of its battle station behind some French concatenation; say, the Transplanetary Stability Maintenance Project. No, Death Star like Dreadnaught or Odic Battle Zeppelin has an admirably self-explanatory quality.

But to the transnational inversion of morality under whose burden our last footsteps must falter, the needle in our own eye is to be abominated while the plank in the eye of the sacred Other must never be named. Such is the end of Empire. At least Germania had the virtue of illiteracy. No Roman hold-out had to suffer the last indignity of reading about the sins of his fathers as the barbarians made sport of his daughters.

Revisionist History?

The first Death Star was destroyed in the Battle of Yavin and everyone aboard was lost. Though the Rebel Alliance official reports put the death toll at around a million Imperials, that estimate is based on intelligence about the minimum crew requirements to operate the Death Star. The Imperials tell a different story.

Imperial analysts claim that between 800 million to a billion people were lost in the "Yavin Massacre" This number is based on the flood of missing personnel reports filed in a period of 18 months after the Battle the Yavin. Imperial loyalists claim that the Alliance is intentionally down-playing the loss of life to distract from the fact that the destruction of the Death Star was an equally catastrophic loss of life as the destruction of Alderaan. The crew manifest of the Death Star was classified and destroyed with the station, so the truth may never be known.

George Lucas claims the only dead were Geonosians. So not to worry then. Why should we care about some far, far away people in a galaxy created by a know nothing?

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM | Comments (3)

Rammstein: Sonne

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:31 AM

Comment 93

You stupid bitch.

Seriously, if anyone yet doubts we are also at war with our own morons as much as we are with the seventh-century, please refer to this Popular Mechanics response to Rosie O'Donnell's latest embarrassment of Reason. My favourite comment summarizes the problem.

After reading this carefully, I am flummoxed. Who are we supposed to believe: a host of physicists, demolition experts, and FEMA officials or a big, fat, stupid, loudmouth lefty comedienne on a dopey chick talk show? I'm stumped; really, really stumped.

Commentary at Chasing Vincezo via Agent Bedhead from whence the first link.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (9)