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March 31, 2008

This is how to do it

Fitna is back online at LiveLeak.

On the 28th of March LiveLeak.com was left with no other choice but to remove the film "fitna" from our servers following serious threats to our staff and their families. Since that time we have worked constantly on upgrading all security measures thus offering better protection for our staff and families. With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules. We apologise for the removal and the delay in getting it back, but when you run a website you don't consider that some people would be insecure enough to threaten our lives simply because they do not like the content of a video we neither produced nor endorsed but merely hosted.

This is the way to do it. This is the correct response. I now DEMAND Her Majesty's government do its duty and protect the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression and freedom from unlawful threat of violence.

Update: Pat Condell comments on "The Religion of Fear" (via The Jawas).

Posted by the Flea at 12:54 PM

VNV Nation: Genesis (C92 remix)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 04:43 AM

ReviveTube

For the next time YouTube deletes a video.

ReviveTube allows you to watch and download YouTube videos that have been deleted or removed by user. Note this tool can't revive every video, but it can handle most.

Background hat tip to Agent Bedhead.

Posted by the Flea at 04:41 AM | Comments (2)

March 29, 2008

Don Felder: Heavy Metal (South Park Mix)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. The original track is here. Crank'er!

Related: Frustration (nsfw). Hey, I am having a Lacanian kind of day. So sue me.

Posted by the Flea at 09:54 AM

March 28, 2008

When I grow up, I want to be just like Harlan Ellison

An internet treasure from a couple years back: As part of his "Tough Questions for Tough Jews" series, Clifford Meth asked Harlan Ellison - who rocks hardcore - if he had any Jewish role models.

METH: Did you have Jewish role models who were tough Jews, because in the 1930s it would have been guys like Bugsy Siegel and Dutch Schultz representing that image.

ELLISON: No, I’ve never had a Jewish role model of any kind.

METH: So you thought Jews were a bunch of wimps.

ELLISON: No. You want to ask the questions and answer them, too? You can hang up and you won’t need me and I can go back to work.

He is just getting warmed up; his answer is one for the ages. Here are Part II and Part III of the same interview. And I want to emphasize: I am with Ellison, I don't let things go either.

Posted by the Flea at 06:31 AM | Comments (1)

Wumpscut:: Wreath of Barbs

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Never mock an ex-Marine

It turns out mad FPS video game skills do not necessarily translate into the real world. And vice versa.

One of the people I worked with had been a Marine before he went on to the natural next thing of selling online ads. You would expect somebody that previously had a career in the art of killing would be fantastic at a computer game that was all about guns. He was terrible, really terrible. You would find him in a corner looking the wrong way while you crept up on him and 'fragged' his character. He once managed to kill himself with the sniper rifle, a feat that none of the rest of us could reproduce, even when we tried.

Not to worry, he returns the lesson.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

March 27, 2008

The fury of the parasite

G.K. Chesterton comments on William Blake's The Ghost of a Flea (with thanks to Culture Club at the Chesterton link).

The first thing that any ordinary person will notice about it is that it is called ‘The Ghost of a Flea’; and the ordinary person will be very justifiably amused. This is the first fact about William Blake - that he is a joke; and it is a fact by no means to be despised. Simply considered as a puzzle or parlour game, Blake is extraordinarily entertaining… It is as if we had a highly eccentric neighbour in the next garden. Long before we like him we like gossiping about him. And the mere title, ‘The Ghost of a Flea’, represents all that makes Blake a centre of literary gossip.

And now, having enjoyed the oddity of the title, let us look at the picture. Let us attempt to describe, so far as it can be done in words instead of lines, what Blake thought that the ghost of a flea would be like. The scence suggests a high and cheerless corridor, as in some silent castle of giants. Through this a figure, naked and gigantic, is walking with a high-shouldered and somewhat stealthy stride. In one hand the creature has a peculiar curved knife of a cruel shape; in the other he has a sort of stone basin. The most striking line in the composition is the hard long curve of the spine, which goes up without a single flicker to the back of the brutal head, as if the whole back view were built like a tower of stone. The face is in no sense human. It has something that is acquiline and also something that is swinish; its eyes are alive with a moony glitter that is entirely akin to madness. The thing seems to be passing a curtain and entering a room.

With this we may mark the second fact about Blake - that if his only object is to make our flesh creep, he does it well. His bogeys are good reliable bogeys. There is really something that appeals to the imagination about this notion of the ghost of a flea being a tall vampire stalking through tall corridors at night…

The third thing to note about this picture is that for Blake the ghost of a flea means the idea or principle of a flea. The principle of a flea (so far as we can see it) is bloodthirstiness, the feeding on the life of another, the fury of the parasite… This is the next point to be remarked in his makeup as a mystic; he is interested in the ideas for which such things stand. For him the tiger means an awful elegance; for him the tree means a silent strength.

If it be granted that Blake was interested, not in the flea, but in the idea of the flea, we can proceed to the next step, which is a particularly important one. Every great mystic goes about with a magnifying glass. He sees every flea as a giant - perhaps rather as an ogre. I have spoken of the tall castle in which these giants dwell; but indeed, that tall tower is a microscope. It will not be denied that Blake shows the best part of a mystic’s attitude in seeing that the soul of a flea is ten thousand times larger than a flea. But the really interesting point is much more striking. It is the essential point upon which all primary understanding of the art of Blake really turns. The point is this: that the ghost of a flea is actually more solid than a flea. The flea himself is hazy and fantastic compared to the hard and massive actuality of his ghost. When we have understood this, we have understood the second of the great ideas in Blake - the idea of ideas.

Related: Hoffmann’s Master Flea, here undisguised.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Blutengel: Beauty In Suffering

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (Danger: nsfw cheese!).

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

The full English

Some time ago, two friends told me they don't get MySpace.* Fried bacon, toast, even a full English breakfast.** If you check out Toast's friend list, you can get pretty much whatever you need on MySpace.

* (cough Bob and Damian cough cough)
** Or, for those on a more restrictive diet, Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen head.

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM | Comments (3)

March 26, 2008

A Cylon of my own

Possibly the most awesome contest in the history of the Known Universe (hat tip to a Faxy Lady). Though I would have placed the exclamation mark after the words "Grace Park".

You know the Cylons — that fanatical race of genocidal robots? There are a bunch of different kinds, from toaster-like automatons to human-looking androids to fighter planes, and the idea is for contestants to mod something (or create something from scratch) to make it look like a Cylon. You can put photos of your entry on Flickr or video on YouTube with a special tag or just send them in to a specific e-mail address we've set up (details after the Continue link below). Judging the entries will be none other than BSG cast members Tricia Helfer and Grace Park. The best ones will be featured on the SCI FI Channel!

And there is some great cross-over potential with my Alyson Hannigan Project.

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM

All hail TECHNOVIKING!

TECHNOVIKING does not dance to the music. The music dances to TECHNOVIKING. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* This one goes with a shout out to Agent Bedhead who is v. talented and clever.

Posted by the Flea at 05:43 AM | Comments (2)

Bring delicious cake

Operation_reconnect_picnic_flyer.jpg

(via Warren Ellis)

Posted by the Flea at 05:37 AM

March 25, 2008

Sinéad O'Connor: Jeremiah

Sinéad O'Connor on the fine line between corny and cool when it comes to religious music. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Materialism and Theology

Some non-stupid comment on matters theological and a critique of a certain stupid, vulgar direct materialism from Slavoj Žižek. His mic is working so feel free to skip past the introduction. Flea-readers not normally enthralled with the idea of Slovenian philosophy professors might nevertheless humour my particular fascination and consider listening to part 4. In this bit Žižek considers an "open ontology", tells a story about a Polish elevator and in so doing suggests some interesting possibilities about how the universe is put together which had not occurred to me before.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Tangwyn

Not that I needed another reason but it strikes me now I hate David Suzuki. I mean I viscerally hate him (via Small Dead Animals).

Update: Will hates lots of people.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2008

It is all fun and games until someone loses a top hat

Generally speaking, I am not one for cutesy alternative church services - pet blessings and the like - but I am four-square in favour of Reverend Marcus Ramshaw's gothic eucharist at Cambridge and Whitby. Most public spirited of him.

Cambridge goths are routinely victimised by local youths, he says, with abuse ranging from knocking off their top hats and running off with their capes to more serious beatings. And while they preach non-violence to others, that doesn't stop goths harming themselves, which some of them do.

"They don't have that positive expectation from life. They expect others to treat them with disdain and suspicion," he says. "Romance lies very much at the heart of the goth ascetic but it's a romance in which tragedy is only a sigh away."

Yes, that plus lots of latex and corsets so let us keep things in perspective tragedy-wise.

Related: Follow these simple steps. First, go to Google. Second, type the words "Google gothic". Third, press "I'm feeling lucky" et voila! (hat tip to Captain H)

Also related: Absinthe Lollipops. Also, One Hairstyle, Three Memoirs: Alma Rubens, Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

Life's Decay: Retroscape

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM

The Occult Experience

I cannot speak for most Flea-readers but The Occult Experience is giving me major mid-80s nostalgia (via Technoccult; set shields for cheese; nsfw due to naked witches).

Posted by the Flea at 05:43 AM

March 23, 2008

Re-create 68

Re-create 68: Good idea. To quote Atomic Conspiracy:

Personally, I would love to see the Denver cops recreate their Chicago colleagues' role in the '68 convention.

The whole world is watching, moonbats, but not through the filter of collaborationist networks this time. The people (the real ones, not the mythical workers and peasants you pretend to represent) will see you for the conniving vermin and nihilist charlatans you really are.

Onward to Denver! May jackals slake their thirst on hippie blood!
Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM

March 22, 2008

Their PR is even worse than their biology

PZ Myers did not quite get to see a screening of "creationist propaganda" film, Expelled. The film's producers were apparently concerned by what he might have to say about it.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Posted by the Flea at 10:54 AM

March 21, 2008

Changing tomorrow. Today.

The latest "open source" research project from EniTech Research introduces the first public video from the Gardner Project (hat tip to Mr. Bowers).

The Gardner Project is an effort to develop a device that processes imagery based on faster-than-light particles (tachyon particles). Unlike a camera which processes light, thus depicting the present, this device should theoretically detect the particles originating from a point in time farther ahead than the present. Since faster than light particles move backward in time the particle imagery that is developed should theoretically depict what we would call "future" time.

If only they could have foreseen the cancellation of the Bionic Woman reboot. I think I was the only person watching that show.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 PM | Comments (1)

"Hey, you think of something practical, and I'll ask the internet!"

I had been labouring under the illusion rats do not really swim up into the toilet. It turns out they do. Or rather, they walk most of the way and only have to swim a few inches around the U-bend. No bigee as rats tend to be accomplished swimmers.

To quote one commenter: "i wish i had not read this. oh jesus."

I'd just gone to the bathroom and fixed my hair, I came out and sat down for a moment to check my email before leaving the house. I heard a splashing, and thought it was my sister's demon cat playing in the toilet. I thought "Awww, how cute," went to look, and saw a GAWDDAMN RAT swimming in the toilet. I screamed, ran upstairs and alerted the roommates with testosterone.

It's a rented house, but it was also the last day of the long weekend, and I doubt the cottaging landlord would do anything (or be able to do anything) about a swimming rat. The roommates and I stood around for a bit wondering what to do, I said "Hey, you think of something practical, and I'll ask the internet!" So while they looked for pots and lids and tongs and tupperware, I asked metafilter what we could do (like flush. That was my favourite choice.)

This via Londonist which reported a similar rat in toilet incident. Note to self: Note to superintendent regarding the roof vents.

Related: "It was one of those five levels of realization ... How big is this snake?"

Posted by the Flea at 01:23 AM

Eths: NaOCI

So I have mentioned I regard Candice with a kind of Holy Awe. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 01:21 AM

Everybody kills Hitler on their first trip

Abyss & Apex has secured some bulletin board traffic from the future. To be specific, from the International Association of Time Travelers: Members' Forum Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War (via Quotulatiousness).

11/16/2104
At 10:15:44, JudgeDoom wrote:
Good news! I just left a French battlefield in October 1916, where I shot dead a young Bavarian Army messenger named Adolf Hitler! Not bad for my first time, no? Sic semper tyrannis!

At 10:22:53, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1916 France I come, having at the last possible second prevented Hitler's early demise at the hands of JudgeDoom and, incredibly, restrained myself from shooting JudgeDoom and sparing us all years of correcting his misguided antics. READ BULLETIN 1147, PEOPLE!
Posted by the Flea at 01:14 AM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2008

Caprica

Sci Fi Channel has announced a Battlestar Galactica prequel series; a two-hour pilot for Caprica is set to shoot in Vancouver this spring (hat tip to a Faxy Lady).

The Caprica story is set 50 years before the Cylons annihilated the 12 Colonies of Kobol and will follow the stories of two rival families.

Awesome. Though sounding a bit Book of Mormon meets Dallas.

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM | Comments (1)

Toto: Dune, (Alternate) Prologue & Main Titles

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

The Dune

Peter Berg, director of The Rundown and The Kingdom, is reportedly set to direct a new adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune.

The project is out to writers, with the producers looking for a faithful adaptation of the Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning book. The filmmakers consider its theme of finite ecological resources particularly timely.

Update: Then I say unto you, send men to summon... wooorrrrms!!!

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

March 19, 2008

Partition

Writing for Reuters, Shaban Buza, who clearly has no dog in this fight, cites "senior diplomatic sources" who claim Serbia's plan to govern ethnically Serbian areas of what was until a few weeks ago part of Serbia* is a form of partition.

"The proposal's goal seems to be the partition of Kosovo, literally for Serbia to govern in the enclaves," one source told Reuters. Another source in the U.N. mission UNMIK said this would be "a ratification of partition".

No. EU and UN sanction for an independent Kosovo is "a ratification of partition". If the sovereign territory of Serbia is not sacrosanct, then neither is the sovereign territory of Kosovo. Something Quebec might do well to remember.

* Yes, yes, I know. But such is to quibble. Christopher Hitchens offers an excellent and unsympathetic introduction to Serbia's case. I am simply in favour of forestalling more bloodshed for the sake of yet another line on the map.

Posted by the Flea at 07:34 AM

Meanest Man Contest : Throwing Away Broken Electronics

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (via La Petite Claudine).

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

It's not just some dude

Marty O'Donnell discusses the into to the Halo 3 soundtrack.

Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM

March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke

RIP.

Legendary British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90. He came to fame when his story, 2001: A Space Odyssey, was made into a film by director Stanley Kubrick in 1968. Once called "the first dweller in the electronic cottage", his vision captured the popular imagination.

Update: Rantburg notes his passing.

And don't forge Clarke's Law - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - gets proven every day as 12th century jihadis meet the US military.
Posted by the Flea at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)

The CIA created AIDS to kill black people

This is the same CIA that can't find its own ass with both hands in the dark CIA? Just want to be sure we are talking about the same organization. Because you know, if oHb's "pastor" means that other CIA I think he must have been smoking something.

Like crack. Which I am pretty sure was also invented by the CIA.

I would not know. I have never been a cocaine dealer.

Posted by the Flea at 05:27 PM | Comments (1)

Propaganda: Duel

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

The Old Duke

The master speaks: An interview with Frank Herbert. By contrast: An interview with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. So much for Lamarckism. YouTube comment is à propos:

Reading these books is bad ... watching these morons is even worse. The only positive thing about this interview is the interviewer. I would do her any time.

The spice must flow.

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

Operation Reconnect

Operation Reconnect is April 12.

In our continuing efforts against the Church of Scientology, Anonymous is launching Operation Reconnect. Projected to take place in the month of April, this operation will shine a spotlight on families torn apart by the Church of Scientology. "The aim is to bring these families together," commented an organizer who identified himself as David Mudkip.

The name of this operation stems from the Church of Scientology's notorious 'disconnection policy', under which individuals within the Church are forbidden contact with those whom the Church deems to be a threat to its security. This policy is used frequently by the Church of Scientology to separate families, creating a rift between those outside the Church and those trapped within it. This also serves the purpose of removing any social supports an individual has outside the Church, making it more difficult for them to end their affiliation with this organization.

Related: Andrew Morton On CBC The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. Also, Black Propaganda 2.0 and "Fair Game".

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

March 17, 2008

What price dignity

Heather Mills married Paul McCartney on 11 June, 2002. On 30, July 2006 McCartney filed for divorce. Four years is 1460 days. Add another 29 and 30 days for June and July of 2006 and we get 1519 days or 36,456 hours.*

Astute Flea-readers may already see where I am going with this.

On March 17, 2008 Heather Mills was awarded £24.3m as her divorce settlement.** This figure equals £666 per hour or US$1333 at today's rate of exchange thereby easily trumping Ashley Alexandra Dupre's reported $1000 per hour. I realize Dupre is taking a hit in comparison but, hey, at least she can still say she is an honest woman.

* Giving credit for whole days at both ends; there may be a leap day to consider but this is a hand waving exercise.
** £16.5m lump sum, including £2.5m to buy London property, £7.8m assets and £35,000 a year for daughter Beatrice (plus nanny and school fees).

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 PM | Comments (2)

There has got to be a better way to make money

Harlan Ellison and Robin Williams discuss L. Ron Hubbard; fascinating both for the subject in hand - Hubbard's electric typewriter, for instance - and for a glimpse of the Hydra Club and life as an sf writer in the 1950s. Ellison offers his usual hyper-caffeinated restraint. It turns out Lester Del Ray had been a stump minister when he was young. LRH complained he was breaking his ass writing and could not keep it up for ever.

"There has got to be a better way to make money."

Related... J. Michael Straczynski and Harlan Ellison at the movies. Also... Harlan Ellison: Stud.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Darkstar: Break

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

It's alright, they're only nuts

Prisoners of Gravity: Fans.

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

March 15, 2008

You know you are the Flea when...

... you turn up at an Anonymous street demo and recognize someone because she is wearing her gasmask.

Posted by the Flea at 01:41 PM

Kano ft. The Streets: Nite Nite

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

The answer is yes

Flynet asks a question arising from the reported assault on their photographer and another paparazzi by Nicole Kidman's bodyguard.

Now I know the paparazzi can be annoying, but do they deserve a physical assault of this magnitude?

Update: WWTDD? comments.

Posted by the Flea at 07:10 AM

March 14, 2008

Not Saville Row

The Times of London reports James Bond has changed his tailor. Brioni is reportedly to be replaced by Tom Ford . We can debate the choice - and I do - but I expect Flea-readers will turn to canon for judgment. The Times cites Nick Foulkes, co-author of Bond "style bible" Dressed To Kill, Fleming never tells us who tailors Bond's suits even as Bond himself takes time to consider his enemies' sartorial choices.

For example, in Goldfinger, we have Mr Du Pont “dressed in he conventional disguise in which Brooks Brothers cover the shame of American millionaires”. He himself is a study in anonymity and mystique. The best we get is a “dark-blue single-breasted suit, white shirt, thin black knitted tie, black casuals” (The Man With The Golden Gun) and that is as descriptive as it gets. Bond, writes Foulkes, is “able to take a morally superior stance when faced with excessive dandyism”.

As opposed to what... insufficient dandyism? Luxist claims Tom Ford is "a bit too metro than James Bond" but, frankly, it would be difficult to exceed Pierce Brosnan for metro in Brioni. Ian Fleming himself "dressed for comfort not for style" purchasing his suits just off Saville Row at Benson, Perry and Whitley of 9 Cork Street, W1. Sadly for purists the establishment appears to have gone out of business.

For Bond, Fleming chose an anonymous, pared-down version of his own wardrobe but in the novels the identity of Bond's tailor was always a well kept secret. Although Savile Row is hinted at (and specifically mentioned in Fleming's 1964 article 007 and Me) we never learn any of the details of who makes his clothes or in what style they are cut. Over 14 books virtually all we can glean is that Bond's suits and evening wear are lightweight and single-breasted; we are told some of the materials and colours (always navy serge for the regular suits or houndstooth check for more casual occasions) but we never learn how many buttons his jacket has or whether his trousers have turn-ups.

My suggestion: Gieves & Hawkes at No, 1 Saville Row; excellent tailoring, economical off the peg and offering a millitary collection. Right up Bond's street, in other words. Flea-readers wishing to consider suits and related matters in detail might consider The Bond Lifestyle. It is a bit short on polymathory and killing folk who need killin' but has plenty to offer brandwise.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Elegant Machinery: Feel The Silence

Will i watch a video just for the Adora BatBrat cameo? Apparently, yes. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Related: We are all fetish models now. Also related: Why do you have dots for eyebrows? Answer: It's a real time-saver.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

John Adams v The Bush Administration

Which side are you on? A simple test to find out.

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

March 13, 2008

Christopher Hitchens is God

Continued.

Posted by the Flea at 05:41 PM

Bauhaus: Hollow Hills

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

March 12, 2008

Howling Bells: Low Happening

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 04:17 AM

Insensitivity Training

Good idea.

Posted by the Flea at 04:14 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2008

Benga/Skream: Lion of Judah

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 04:37 AM

Lower Street

A new Banksy appears on the Essex Road, a short walk from the Flea's Islington residence. A second cousin (once removed) of the Flea is concerned the piece will be whitewashed; he believes the property has now increased in value... Londonist says not to worry.

The new Banksy work on Essex Road is proving rather popular, as this video from romanywg shows. The stencil is already protected by a perspex panel (not shown in the video), after a recent spate of Banksy maulings.
Posted by the Flea at 04:34 AM

March 10, 2008

License to Thrill

Vanity Fair says there should be "a war memorial to fallen Bond Girls". There case is bolstered by an Olga Kurylenko photo shoot which I suspect Flea-readers will find convincing. Featured: Riding boots. Related: Daniel Craig turns 40.

Not related by awesome: Stills from Zack Snyder's Watchmen film adaptation.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (4)

Underworld: Cherry Pie

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Auf Wiedersehen!

Project Runway Season 4 is done and, somehow, I managed to avoid learning the winner before the finale; this despite Victoria Beckham's decision to turn up at Bryant Park in an orange Versace dress thereby attracting the lidless eye of the press. Entertainment weekly has exit interviews with Jillian Lewis, Rami Kashou and Christian Siriano.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (2)

March 09, 2008

Ground speed check

Major Brian Shul flew the SR-71 (via Instapundit).

One day, high above Arizona, we were monitoring the radio traffic of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers to check his ground speed. 'Ninety knots,' ATC replied. A twin Bonanza soon made the same request. 'One-twenty on the ground,' was the reply. To our surprise, a navy F-18 came over the radio with a ground speed check. I knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley know what real speed was 'Dusty 52, we show you at 525 on the ground,' ATC responded. The situation was too ripe. I heard the click of Walter's mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, 'Aspen 20, I show you at 1,742 knots on the ground.' We did not hear another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.
Posted by the Flea at 11:29 AM | Comments (5)

March 08, 2008

Food Fight

An abridged history of America at war. Go hamburgers!

Unrelated (or is it?): Jeanie and the Tits - "I Owe it to the Girls".

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

March 07, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

Scientologie, published in 1934 by Dr. Anastasius Nordenholz* appears to have provided some inspiration to L. Ron Hubbard's later cult of the same name. Enturbulation has scanned images from the book. Comment at Enturbulation suggests Nordenholz was not the first to use the term.

The English-language term "Scientology" originated neither with Hubbard nor Nordenholz, but with philologist Allen Upward, who coined the term in 1907 to ridicule pseudoscientific theories.

Related: A Secret Lives documentary on the life of LRH (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).** Flea-readers who do not share my interest in the Scientology organization into hatred and contempt might nevertheless be interested in the part one. This features an interview with literary agent Forrest Ackerman on LRH, hypnotism and much else. Particularly interesting is Excalibur: The Dark Sword, a book written by LRH after a nitrous oxide experience at the dentist and reputed to drive readers to suicide. Think the Necronomicon meets Battlefield Earth.

The next Anonymous action is due March 15 in recognition of L. Ron Hubbard's birthday.

* Whose name sounds like it comes straight from central casting.
** This linked by an ex-Scientologist. He links an excellent documentary about Anonymous. I am beginning to admire the children of Generation X.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

The Smiths: Big Mouth

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

Battlefield Heroes

My friend Alucard directed me to the free*, on line game trailer for Battlefield Heroes.

* The game is meant to be supported by advertising and micro payments made by players wishing to customize the look of their character.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

March 06, 2008

Feindflug: Stukas im Visier

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Jackson Pollock

Somewhere at three in the morning a quiet noise in the gallery as a cigarette comes unglued from the canvas and falls to the floor.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

March 05, 2008

-10 hp

On a recent expedition to the Basement of the Parental Units, I found my character sketch for my first ever D&D character; I was a bit unclear on the concept. "Sauron" was a first level magic user but - in my mind - was already fairly represented as a pillar of smoke surmounted by a lidless flaming eye. Graph paper at the ready, I sent Sauron, his three hit points and supply of ten foot poles into the dungeon. He never made it past the first room. He fell into a hidden floor trap falling ten feet into a pit. One hit point down... when the Kobold guard appeared at the edge of the pit it was all over. My magic missile failed to work for some reason while the Kobold's first arrow did the rest.

I still think that Dungeon Master was a complete dick. If I could remember that velour wearing jerk's name I would publish it. Scott something. Who sends a first level magic user into a dungeon on his own? And he was really directive about my dungeon mapping too; as if that was going to make the slightest difference. Plus I was at 0 hit points, not -10 hp. Sure I was immobilized but maybe the Kobold wandered off and I - that is to say, Sauron - could have recovered. Then the poles could have been improvised for an escape; I had plenty of rope on hand to tie them together. But no.

Sauron, rest in peace. Also, Gary Gygax.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (5)

Ásmegin: Til Rondefolkets Herskab

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

March 04, 2008

She Wants Revenge: Out of Control

The definitive gothic club track of our time: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance .

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Why I love America

In part, it is the "can do" spirit. Take the BROACH, for example. Fortunately for Iranian weapons designers, fire does not melt steel. Otherwise they might think twice about their roofing situation (not so sure about concrete, it blows up real good).

Then there is the proposed morphing UAV, brought to you by Lockheed Martin and, apparently, Anonymous. To quote comment by omnipotent:

This is the first time, as an adult, that I’ve been proud of this country.

(It is possible a sarcasm tag was included there somewhere...)

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

March 03, 2008

Johnny Carson Sings With The Rat Pack: Birth Of The Blues

The single coolest thing I have ever posted: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

After the fire

The YouTube age allows the fire at Bathurst and Queen to be seen after the fact on line. It was a gut wrenching walk along Queen by Funhaus on Friday night. Where once there was Suspect Video there is wreckage and a view of the spire of St. Mary's at Bathurst and Adelaide. The church was built in 1885, a quarter century after the buildings lost to the fire, and consequently it is only now it can be seen from this part of Queen Street.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

March 01, 2008

Antoine Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Birgé: Nabaz’mob (Opera for 100 smart rabbits)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

My linguistic profile

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% General American English

25% Yankee

15% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

I have posted something close to this before but I think it is a nice Saturday diversion nonetheless.

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM