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September 30, 2008

David Bowie: Sorrow

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

September 29, 2008

You can't blame gravity for falling in love

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Why We Fight Week @ The Flea... Episode I:

The scene is New York and the designer Italian* but the legs were made in England** (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

It was like a scene from a movie - hundreds of excited fans, some hysterical at the thought of catching a glimpse of their idols, packed up against the barrier, jostling for space. By the time the Beckhams finally arrived, half-an-hour late, New York's 34th Street was at a standstill. And Posh didn't disappoint, poured into skin-tight thigh-high PVC boots, balancing five 1/2 inches high - without heels.

As she tottered along in her incredible 51/2in gravity defying Berardi boots David held his wife's hand in a supporting manner, perhaps to stop her tripping over.

Rear view here.

* Well... half-Italian. And Antonio Berardi studied at St. Martin's. Not a bad place to work come to think of it.
** As opposed to Nicole Richie, lately of the Land of the Lost.

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

Alizée: Mademoiselle Juliette

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Any tool is a weapon if you hold it right

What is the deadliest weapon in science fiction? The answer is, in my opinion, completely wrong. Not even close.

The deadliest weapon in all of science fiction is clearly... the Liberator. Most of the linked suggestions are insufficiently crap to qualify as deadly in this context. Also, Philip Glenister as Blake, please.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (2)

September 26, 2008

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind

A little known treasure is winging its way to Flea Towers. Frank Herbert's Without Me You're Nothing (1981) is his commentary on home computers and the philosophy of computing. Butlerians everywhere take note.

Theres really too much in the book of interest. Promoted as a ‘how to use your computer’ book for early 48k RAM technology such as the atari 400, it ends up being much more interesting. Appendices titled “Computers are not People”, “the Biomachine”, and “Did a computer write this book?” flesh out lists of microcomputer accessories and manufacturers: Commodore and Byte, inc included. Chapters titled “computers are not oracles”, in which Herbert warns “dont get the idea these uses of computers are off in some far distant future.” and “A computer can listen for particular voices and alert you when those voices are nearby.” Other chapters are: “The Logical Crutch”, which proclaims in bold: “LOGIC IS A LIMITED AND LIMITING WAY OF THINKING” and discusses dreams.

My copy cost me one dollar (plus S/H) though avid collectors might consider a somewhat pricier signed first edition.

Posted by the Flea at 04:43 AM

September 25, 2008

Socialism for the rich

Spengler on the bail out.

If America is to adopt socialism, why not have socialism for the poor, rather than for the rich? Why should American households that earn $50,000 a year subsidize Goldman Sachs partners who earn $5 million a year?

Believe it or not, there is a rational explanation, and quite in keeping with America's national motto, E pluribus hokum. Part of the problem is that Wall Street, like the ethnic godfather in the old joke, has made America an offer it can't understand.

By contrast with the grasshoppers of America; Dita Von Teese, an ant.

Posted by the Flea at 11:32 AM

Good news

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Bruce Boxleitner joins the cast of Heroes (many spoilers up to S03E02 at the link).

It is not exactly a slow news day. I have just decided to take a break from the lo-res reality I currently inhabit and move into an HD reality with great sound design and Kirsten Bell who can shoot lightning bolts. You know I'm not wrong.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Julian Lennon: Too Late For Goodbyes

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Chained to a bed with a velociraptor is no way to go through life

I could survive for 51 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

The Ground Rules

* Both you and the raptor are tethered to the bunk bed with 7 foot chains
* The chains are unbreakable and cannot be removed from the bunk bed
* The bunk bed is light enough that you can drag it a little
* You are free to run around the bed or get on the top bunk

How long could you survive chained to a bed with a velociraptor?

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (5)

September 24, 2008

Tangerine Dream: Circulation Of Events

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM

September 23, 2008

Save the Whales, Save the World!

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Hayden Panettiere is selling her couch -- and a variety of odds and ends -- at auction. I am quite certain it is for a good cause.

This news via Agent Bedhead. Also, Agent Bedhead on the subject of Oprah's inadvertent introduction to the gremlins at 4chan: "Oprah. Retract that statement. Now."

Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM

Melissa Auf Der Maur & Karen Elson: Devil's Plaything

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | Comments (3)

September 22, 2008

Tragedy 1 : Farce 1

Some might imagine Chris Reid's suggestion the people of Canada owe it to each other to act in each others' defense -- let alone we consider manning-up in the face of reality -- a bit harsh, even unrealistic considering the danger posed by an armed psycho to a busload of Canadians disarmed by their government and their own rose-coloured glasses. After all, we can always call the police if anything like this ever happens again.

Unless, of course, it was the police who put the armed psycho on the bus in the first place.

A young man was stabbed in the chest while travelling through northern Ontario on a Winnipeg-bound Greyhound bus Sunday afternoon - less than two hours after passengers say the attacker was put on board by members of the Ontario Provincial Police.

The victim, identified by witnesses as an Asian male in his mid-20s, was rushed to hospital but is expected to survive. Police arrested the suspect near the town of White River, Ont., just moments after the Greyhound driver allowed him to get off at the side of the highway.

"We don't know why he was with the police or why he was able to get on the bus with a knife and get that by police," Winnipeg author Anita Daher told the Free Press late Sunday night. She was one of an estimated dozen passengers who witnessed the incident, which immediately brought back memories of the July attack near Portage la Prairie in which Winnipegger Tim McLean was stabbed and beheaded on board a Greyhound.

"There's got to be some security measures put in place," Daher added.

And that, my friends, speaks for itself. As to the victim of the first notorious cannibal killing, his family are suing Greyhound and the government; the victim's fellow passengers presumably sleep well in the knowledge some institution is to blame.

There ought to be a law.

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

Solitary Experiments: Watching Over You

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

September 21, 2008

Fedde le Grande: Put your hands up for Detroit

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Summon a demon

An interactive gallery by Axel Torvenius.

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

You know you are in trouble

When you make Bill Maher look reasonable in comparison. Andrew Sullivan continues his public descent into personal farce. No need to expose the man; he has done quite enough of that for himself.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

September 19, 2008

Superbus: Lola

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

September 18, 2008

Zazie: Danse avec les loops

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM

September 17, 2008

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf

"Too bad the people who need these men the most respect them the least."

Never a truer word was spoken. It is much the same for "pacifists" and "anti-war" activists whether it is the armed forces or the police or their ongoing grievance against any strong paternal figure or against any woman who has decided to arm and defend herself. As a wise man observed: To a sheep, a sheep dog can look much like a wolf. It is perhaps unfair to blame sheep for being sheep but I find it in my heart to feel contempt for them nonetheless. But then I believe people have the capacity to become more than weak and stupid. Where there is freedom and a public library there is no excuse for being ignorant and ungrateful.

As to the kind of men who would use parents' loss and grief toward venal political ends... the only answer to that is unprintable.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Sofia Essaidi: Cléopatre

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Heroics

No Heroics looks like fun. No word on when the show might (officially) cross the Atlantic.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

September 16, 2008

Axelle Red: Naive

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (with shades of Sound and Vision).

Posted by the Flea at 09:53 AM

Above the law

Is Scientology Above the Law? is a France 2 documentary dating from May 9, 1999 , later dubbed into English by an Australian television network is worth the investment in time. This is how the adversary works.*

Among things covered is a court case in which documents were stolen from the French courts by Scientologists. An excellent look into the cult and some of its criminal and subversive tactics.

* No, not the French in this case.

Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM

September 15, 2008

Alizée: J.B.G.

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

September 13, 2008

Kate Ryan: Ella Elle L'a

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Low Budgment Day

Terminator 2 Sweded.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

September 12, 2008

That’s what you get for your hatred of the working class

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Greg Gutfield considers Palin Derangement Syndrome.

I know the real reason why every single elitist media type is terrified of her. They've never met her. And by "her," I don't mean Sarah Palin. I mean "her", an actual normal woman with a bunch of kids, an average husband and no desire to watch "The L Word."

She's scary to these folks the way Wal-Mart is scary to them: Both are alien to someone who blogs about their chakras. They won't go there, because they've never been there.

Related: Choked up.

Also related: A hero's welcome for a retail politician.

Matthew E. Berger reports that Palin couldn’t wait to descend down the stairs from her campaign plane lat night. The plans called for her to wait for the media and staff to leave first, set up, and then allow the doors to open for a grand entrance. But the sight of her family, and several thousand of her Alaskan brethren waiting for her on the tarmac of the Fairbanks airport, was too much. Palin could be heard nearly squealing with delight in the front of the plane at the sight of three of her children at the foot of the stairs, and according to several aides, refused to stay inside the plane.
Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | Comments (1)

Trio: Da Da Da

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

September 11, 2008

NIN: A Warm Place

Today's musical interlude.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (1)

Of the spheres

The 312 key Chromotone synthesizer is something to lust after. A snip at $1575 USD + shipping.

Though I confess my main aim in owning one would be to irritate people. The actual synthesizer I am after is the Arturia Origin, a hardware synth with swappable modules including my beloved CS-80. Though judging by their sample player, the manufacturers have yet to work out how to use it properly.

And I am still waiting for the EWQL Forbidden Planet sample-based soft synth.

"With no other collection can a user have alien vocal phrases echoing inside of a giant bronze bell."

Oh. Yes.

Related: Ladytron members give tips on using analog synthesizers. Mira Aroyo gives demonstration on her KORG MS 20.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

September 10, 2008

Ask and it shall be given unto you

The Greatest American Hero creator, Stephen J. Cannell, announces a forthcoming feature film based on the 1980s cult classic. Watching the intro again for the first time in years, I am now wondering why an average '80s theme tune took up half the shows' airtime.

The Greatest American Hero ran for three seasons on ABC, 1981-'83, and centered on Ralph Hinkley (Katt), a teacher who comes into possession of a red alien suit that endows its wearer with superpowers--but not the instruction manual. Culp played Hinkley's FBI minder and Sellecca his long-suffering girlfriend.

The show is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, with a new comic book produced by Katt and producing partner Chris Folino under their Catastrophic Comics banner. The first issue should hit shelves in November. Additionally, there are plans for a series of four-minute animated Web shorts, voiced by Katt, Culp and Sellecca.
Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM | Comments (3)

Emilie Autumn: Swallow (Punto Omega Mix)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

The continued role of sexism in American life

For example, regarding lipstick (via the Corner).

Totally unrelated, thank God: I had a brief moment of insanity this morning where it came to me I could reorganize my blogroll into categories by AD&D alignment. Fortunately, the idea hit a brick wall as I realized immediately I had no idea how to characterize the alignment of the Flea.

Linking theme: The AD&D Random Harlot Table. I had forgotten this lost treasure of popular culture; blame Ace.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

September 09, 2008

Dance or Die: Fire

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

September 08, 2008

The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older

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The CW 90210 may be an "edgy, contemporary spin-off" of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 but for all its juiced up cars and houses the next generation pales in comparison with the lovely Jennie Garth, still at school after all these years. I know the feeling.

According to CBS Paramount, which produces the series for the CW network, "Garth will make special guest appearances as her original character, Kelly Taylor, a guidance counselor at her alma mater, West Bev High, where our new characters attend high school."

In an industry where divas with 'tudes so often bite the hands that fed/feed them, it's just plain nice to see that Jennie is still down with the franchise that made her famous.

I could not agree more. But not everyone is happy with the next generation, Anna Chan dismiing the premier as "overexaggerated trash". Not a bug, Anna; a feature. Though Michael Idato is correct to point out once Jennie Garth, Shannon Doherty and Tori Spelling have had their walk-ons the new show will have to earn its audience on its own; some of us have to get up early. Besides, the real nostalgia lives at the Peach Pit.

So... when do I get my Fame reboot?

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (1)

Addictiv: Tonight

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

September 06, 2008

Isaac Clarke

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While its status in Germany has yet to be determined, EA Game's new flagship sf survival horror FPS Dead Space has reportedly been banned in Japan and China. I gather the necromorph dismemberment may need to be toned down in non-pirated/downloaded versions in those markets. An E3 2008 game play demo allows Flea-readers to judge for themselves.

I am impressed by the zero gravity action and, better yet, the decision to do away with menu screens in favour of a health indicator built into the character's suit and a heads up display visible to the character himself; both obvious innovations after the fact. Best of all is said character's environment suit. Isaac Clarke is an engineer -- not a combat monster -- and the design team decided to reflect the fact in his outfit.

That helmet is already iconic. Now seeking someone with mad cosplay skills to build me one.

Isaac's look came about through a lot of thinking and designs. The key idea is that Isaac is an Engineer, not a Space Marine. His outfit had to look functional and utilitarian, basically like a space welder. He is very specifically not designed to be shot at, and he doesn't have macho armor plates all over him.

Isaac's suit and RIG are functional mining equipment designed to help him survive and augment his strength for lifting and cutting, not fight aliens. The idea is kind of like taking the loader from the end of Aliens and evolving it 400 years or so.

Much more including high definition trailers at the Dead Space website.

Update: Not quite what I had in mind.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM | Comments (1)

David Bowie: It's No Game (Part 1)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

At my first opportunity

Must have New Edison-style Cup Phonograph Kit. Just the ticket for issuing threats to Martian war machines.

Newly designed version of the Edison-style phonograph kit, so popular among our customers! With setup in about an hour (according to the box), you can record your own voice on an ordinary plastic cup, for up to 50 seconds, and experience the wonder of Edison.s discovery, first-hand!!
Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM | Comments (2)

September 05, 2008

Blue Oyster Cult: Don't Fear the Reaper

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

September 04, 2008

A caller on Dennis Miller just now

"I think the Dems woke up with a moose-head in their bed."

Posted by the Flea at 09:59 PM | Comments (1)

Styx: Too Much Time On My Hands

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

September 03, 2008

Rush: Closer To The Heart

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

Gangs of London

Funny I do not see Islington on the list. I believe these days they are called "New Labour". Bit of a misnomer now I think about it.

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

Mr. Poutine

Le Point offers a remarkably sensible summary of Russian foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet system;-brutal, self-serving in its hypocrisy regarding Kosovo and indifferent to international opinion (hat tip to Will). But it is the transliteration of Vladimir Putin's last name that struck me. Fortunately, William Safire had noticed the same thing and offers a handy guide to the diplomatic briar bush that is the pronunciation of foreign names.

Now we come to the reason that French is known as the language of diplomacy. In France's official documents, as well as uniformly in the French press, Vladimir Putin's last name is spelled Poutine. As a natural result, it is pronounced poo-TEEN, rhyming with our ''routine.'' The French undoubtedly know that is not the way he or his compatriots, or even President Bush looking into his soul, pronounce Putin's name.

As Safire goes on to observe, in Canada, poutine has a rather different connotation.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2008

Critical Love Map update

A world record for the number of high-heeled sprinters in a race has been smashed by a group of women in Australia. Video at the link (hat tip to Will).

Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM

Supertramp: The Logical Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 04:23 AM

Tumbrel remarks

Christopher Hitchens considers tumbrel remarks and the banality of class warfare in the election cycle (via the Drink Soaked Trots).

I count myself as something of an expert on what writer Joyce Cary once called "tumbrel remarks." A tumbrel remark is an unguarded comment by an uncontrollably rich person, of such crass insensitivity that it makes the workers and peasants think of lampposts and guillotines. I can give you a few for flavor. The late queen mother, being driven in a Rolls-Royce through a stricken district of Manchester, England, said as she winced at the view, "I see no point at all in being poor." The Duke of St. Albans once told an interviewer that an ancestor of his had lost about 50 million pounds in a foolish speculation in South African goldfields, adding after a pause, "That was a lot of money in those days."
Posted by the Flea at 04:21 AM

September 01, 2008

Love Map

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Australian researchers have created a "love map" as one step toward redressing a southern continental gender imbalance (hat tip to Agent Bedhead). There are quite literally tens of thousands of Kylie Minogues and Natalie Imbruglias going spare.

An analysis of new census figures has shown that Australia is suffering from an unprecedented "man drought". The statistics have revealed that there are almost 100,000 more females than males in Australia.

The problem is worse in the coastal cities, where women have moved seeking better jobs and lifestyles, while many men have gone overseas. ... Demographers have compiled a so-called "Love Map" that shows how the various clusters of unattached men and women are distributed across the Australian continent.

Second look at Bondi Beach emigration plan.

Posted by the Flea at 01:00 AM | Comments (1)

Pablo Cruise: Love Will Find a Way

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 12:59 AM

Pennywise Go Home

Flea-hero, Poppy Z. Brite, her husband and however many cats are currently resident have decided to ride out Gustav in New Orleans. Depending on the condition of my hypothetical New Orleans home, I suspect I would do the same. God bless.

[Chris is going up the street to make sure the storm drain is clear.]

PZB: Don't you stick your arm in there!

CdB: I'm not gonna stick my fuckin arm in there!

PZB: And if you see a clown, you RUN!

CdB: A WHAT??!

PZB: Don't talk to it, don't look at it, just RUN!
Posted by the Flea at 12:58 AM