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April 30, 2010

Telephone Remake

I shudder to think what Agent Bedhead and SondraK will have to say.

This is a couple guys located in afghanistan, that re-made the music video by Lady Gaga....Telephone. Prepare yourself for a fantastical journey. Right now this is the temporary version, we have more scenes to cut, and edit, however with guys always on mission it is harder to film than you think.
Posted by the Flea at 11:39 AM | Comments (2)

Perhaps this is too good to be true

Vincent Gray at Climate Realists has noticed a little flaw in the mythical Computer Model of global warming.

The model is based on a flat Earth.

(Via Five Feet of Fury)

Posted by the Flea at 09:38 AM | Comments (1)

Slave Leia Splashdown

This original series inspired Star Wars Charity Car Wash may be the greatest car wash of all time (via Agent Bedhead).

Putting on a Slave Leia bikini from Star Wars to pander to nerds is so simple, so uncreative, and so transparent that it’s pathetic. And yet… when Princess Leia’s wet boob squishes against the glass and the camera man says, “This is the greatest car wash of all time,” …I truthfully cannot disagree.

Related: This interview with a Slave Leia fan suggests the character may have played a part in the sexual awakening of impressionable young men of a certain generation. Astonishing.

Posted by the Flea at 05:48 AM

The Gladiator version of Robin Hood

Ridley Scott explains why he hasn't made a good film in ten years.

Scott’s version of Robin Hood, which stars Russell Crowe with Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion, has undergone some drastic revisions since Universal won a bidding war for Nottingham, a script which told the folktale from a point of view sympathetic to the sheriff. In true Hollywood tradition, the concept was scrapped entirely and the script rewritten many times to come up with what producer Brian Grazer calls “the Gladiator version of Robin Hood.”

According to Scott, “The Nottingham script read a bit like CSI in green tights and I thought, 'Why are we doing this?’ If you’ve got a subject about Robin Hood, why on earth are you calling it Nottingham? So we rewrote it from page one. It’s not a remake, it’s a brand new story.

Whereas I think, "Why did you do that?" Since Universal bought Nottingham in a bidding war they presumably saw something of merit in the property. Now you discover you don't like its CSI in green tights take on the subject matter, perhaps you should have read it before agreeing to direct the project.

Meanwhile someone wrote a potentially interesting take on Robin Hood and, thanks to Ridley Scott and Universal, our chances of ever seeing it are nil. Instead, we get yet another warmed over version of Gladiator.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM

Strong Horse, Weak Horse: Power and Perception

Mark Steyn is almost always good. He was very good here. This video is 1:31:00 long and well worth your time. Amongst other things, he does a great job at retasking Baudrillard's analysis of the first Gulf War.

As a guest speaker for the 23rd Annual Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Memorial Lectureship in National Security Affairs, Mr. Mark Steyn spoke on Thursday, March 15th 2007.
Posted by the Flea at 05:43 AM

Alison Moyet: Love Resurrection

Posted by the Flea at 05:41 AM

April 29, 2010

Nasty, stupid and backward

Gordon Brown has sent a grovelling email to Labour supporters apologising for hurting the party's campaign.

'You know I have strengths as well as weaknesses. We all do. You also know that sometimes we say and do things we regret. I profoundly regret what I said this morning,' he wrote.

A TV microphone overheard Mr Brown privately attacking Mrs Duffy, 66, as a 'bigot' for daring to raise immigration with him - seconds after telling her she was a 'good woman'.

It came on the day that Labour's favourite think-tank admitted those concerned about mass immigration had been treated as 'nasty, stupid and backward.

Read the whole thing. They finally threw water on him and now he is melting.

Posted by the Flea at 11:44 AM

The Eagles of Hornby Island

Doug Carrick's Hornby Island eagle cam is just the ticket to free the minds of the cubicle bound (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea).

Posted by the Flea at 11:43 AM

Tones On Tail: War

Posted by the Flea at 11:42 AM

April 28, 2010

The Whisperer in Darkness

H.P. Lovecraft's weird tale of Alien Horror comes to Vivid Life...

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Madness: One Step Beyond

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

April 27, 2010

Werner Herzog Reads Curious George

Would you like to touch my monkey? Touch him! Touch my monkey!

Posted by the Flea at 11:31 PM

Japanese sign Final Surrender

Anonymoose points to a previously unreleased news reel of the Japanese surrender aboard Battleship Missouri Sunday Sept. 2, 1945.

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Gene Loves Jezebel: Desire (Come And Get It)

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

April 26, 2010

Yet another nightmare

The Club-K shipping container missile system.

It is feared that the covert Club-K missile attack system could prove "game-changing" in fighting wars with small countries, which would gain a remote capacity to mount multiple missiles on boats, trucks or railways.

Iran and Venezuela have already shown an interest in the Club-K Container Missile System which could allow them to carry out pre-emptive strikes from behind an enemy's missile defences.
Posted by the Flea at 09:18 AM

China to overtake U.S. as world's biggest asshole by 2020

The Onion reports.

According to a new report released Monday by a panel of top economists and social scientists, the People's Republic of China will overtake the United States as the world's dominant asshole by the year 2020.

The findings, published in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, support recent speculation that America's unquestioned reign as the leading super-prick may soon be drawing to a close, leaving China as the foremost shithead among all developed nations.

RTWT. Via Chris Myrick.

While we are on the subject of farce: What kind of U.N. environmental ambassador builds a 20,000 square-foot home with a six-car garage, an elevator and a lagoon?

The normal kind, I assume.

Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM

Florence + The Machine: Hardest Of Hearts (The Oddword Remix)

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM

April 25, 2010

Wilkins Coffee

The before of Kermit the Frog (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea).

Posted by the Flea at 09:37 PM | Comments (1)

That tragic reality

Victor Davis Hanson on war.

Related: Rob Johnson, Author and lecturer in the History of War, Oxford University - who wears a silly rag around his neck - offers ten of the greatest battlefield tactics of all time.

'Peruse again and again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederick,' urged Napoleon. 'Model yourself upon them. This is the only means of becoming a great captain, and of acquiring the secret of the art of war. Your own genius will be enlightened and improved by this study, and you will learn to reject all maxims foreign to the principles of these great commanders.'
Posted by the Flea at 03:24 AM

Without a thought

Stephen Hawking suggests contact with aliens is "a little too risky". This suggests Stephen Hawking is paying attention.

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

The V reboot has already aired in England, apparently.

Posted by the Flea at 03:23 AM

Olivia Newton John: A Little More Love

Posted by the Flea at 03:21 AM

April 24, 2010

Survivalism A-Z

A guide to crossing your fingers and hoping against hope.

The best basic survival advice we’ve heard came from Bruce Beach, whom I visited a while back at his massive Ark Two fallout shelter in Ontario. His “top three rules” for preparing to survive a nuclear war hold true for most other WTSHTF scenarios, too:

Rule 1: Get out of the cities.
Rule 2: Get out of the cities.
Rule 3: Get out of the cities.

I think about this sort of thing from time to time and have decided to mutate with the flow and eat my neighbours instead. Plenty of good eating in the cities.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM | Comments (2)

This is Chauncy Morlan...

"...and around 100 years ago his obesity was so shocking that people would pay money to see him as he toured the country as a circus 'fat man'."

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

Prince feat. Sheena Easton: U Got the Look

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

April 23, 2010

The Residents: Moisture (1980)

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

April 22, 2010

All-Time Hottest Robots

Pris_Bradbury_Building.jpg

Related Tags: comics, hottest robots, movies, robot, sci-fi sexy time, tv

Posted by the Flea at 09:09 AM

Peace Earth Bread

Kathy Shaidle observes Earth Day.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM

The newest new Moon

"Thierry Legault is a French amateur astronomer… and if ever the word "amateur" were misleading, it’s here."

Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM

Martin Solveig feat. Dragonette: Boys & Girls

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM

April 21, 2010

Kate Bush: Breathing

Posted by the Flea at 11:53 AM

April 20, 2010

The Best Sign in the History of the World

Or a contender, anyway (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea).

It's in the subway at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, disguised as an official Metropolitan Transportation Authority notice -- except that the MTA generally doesn't do numbered screen prints. Artist Jason Shelowitz does.

Sign at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 12:24 PM

British Airways sent a test flight into the ash cloud

It's a photo caption that reads like Quatermass.

Also: More from Eyjafjallajokull.

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Close Combat Training

Kathy asks if this is the greatest commercial ever filmed. Possibly, if you are going for irony.

Over the top sincerity, by contrast...

WARNING: Do Not Watch This Free Presentation if You Have Moral, Ethical Or Religious Reasons Forcing You To Cower Helplessly While Someone Attacks You, Your Wife Or Your Kids...

If you scroll down at the AoSHQ post, Slack Power brings everything together.

Related somehow: Wet Goddess: Recollections Of A Dolphin Lover. Which, it turns out, exists.

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

Wonder Girls: Irony

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

April 19, 2010

Captain Sensible: Wot

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 PM

April 18, 2010

The rise of militainment

P.W. Singer puts scare quotes around the word "game" to suggest we be cautious using tactical multiplayer first-person shooters for training or recruitment.

Because heaven knows the Army couldn't use technologically adept young men who enjoy shooting bad guys.

From the Army's perspective, commercial triumph was secondary. Its goal was to recruit. And at this, too, the game proved to be a wild success. To log on to the game, you have to connect via the Army's recruitment website and fork over your information. Gamers can also check out profiles of current Army soldiers and video testimonials of why they joined. Just one year after America's Army was released, one-fifth of West Point's freshman class said they had played the game. By 2008, a study by two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that "30 percent of all Americans age 16 to 24 had a more positive impression of the Army because of the game and, even more amazingly, the game had more impact on recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined." Notably, this is from a game that the Pentagon has spent an average of $3.28 million a year developing and promoting over the last 10 years -- compared with the military's roughly $8 billion annual recruiting budget.

Which, unless you are a commie who hates America, is clearly a result.

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

Mercenary

If Her Majesty will not make provision for the armed forces Her Majesty's subjects will have to make do.

The Sunday Telegraph has been told that a £400,000 "contingency fund", financed by private donors, was used to purchase body armour for members of 21 SAS, one of the service's two territorial regiments, prior to their deployment to Helmand in 2008.

Cash from the fund was also used to pay for operational welfare equipment, personal kit and to pay-off the mortgages of two members of 23 SAS killed in southern Afghanistan in an earlier deployment.
Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

Engine check

An engine check on a Finnish F-18 shows the effects of ingesting volcanic dust from recent activity in Iceland.

Five of the air force’s Hornets were involved in a training exercise on the morning of 15 April, just hours before the imposition of airspace restrictions due to the ash cloud spreading from a major volcanic eruption in Iceland.

One aircraft’s engines have been inspected so far using a boroscope, with melted ash clearly visible on its inside surface.

Images at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM

An excellent idea

Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

Here's a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at airports. Have a booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you.
...
I can just see it now: You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement comes over the PA system, "Attention standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight number.........."

Via Small Dead Animals.

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

The Police: Synchronicity II

Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM

April 17, 2010

Comic Book Cartography

Comic Book Cartography features a map of Krypton, a diagram of Batman's utility belt and a cutaway of the Avengers' Mansion (via io9).

Related: American states that never made it to the map.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Let's Enhance

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM | Comments (1)

OMD: Maid of Orleans

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

April 16, 2010

Why we are losing

They've got the most often sensible J.K. Rowling.

Suggestions that Mr Cameron seems oblivious to how poor people actually live, think and behave seem to provoke accusations of class warfare. Let me therefore state, for the record, that I do not think it any more his fault that he spent his adolescence in the white tie and tails of Eton than that I spent the almost identical period in the ghastly brown-and-yellow stylings of Wyedean Comprehensive. I simply want to know that aspiring prime ministers have taken the trouble to educate themselves about the lives of all kinds of Britons, not only the sort that send messages with banknotes.
Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)

Oh, I laughed at first

But then the possibility of a pig wool suit came to mind.

Originating from Austria and Hungary, the Mangalitza is similar to the native Lincolnshire curly coat breed which died out in Britain 40 years ago.

‘At first sight, people think they are sheep,’ Denise Cox, education co-ordinator, at Tropical Wings, said. ‘It is not until they turn around and you see their faces and snouts you realise they are in fact pigs.
Posted by the Flea at 08:19 AM

Gary Numan & Little Boots: Stuck On Repeat

Hati tip to Jeff.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

April 15, 2010

Country Life

Lieutenant_Emma_Spilsbury.jpg

The Daily Mail rightly draws attention to Lieutenant Emma Spilsbury, now gracing the cover of Country Life in the Afghan sun.

But kudos too to photographer Rob Knight, aka Arkady001, for his "Girls Aloud - Sangin" inspiration and my favourite of Lt Spilsbury.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

The question of freedom

Theodore Dalrymple on a depressing, and perhaps sinister aspect of public commentary that ignores the question of freedom.

It is a necessary condition of freedom that private citizens should be allowed to treat with, or to refuse to treat with, whomever they choose, on any grounds that they choose, including those that strike others as repellent. Freedom is freedom, not the means by which everyone comes to precisely the same conclusion and conducts himself in precisely the same way.
...
For liberals, it seems, any trampling on freedom or individual conscience is now justified if it conduces to an end of which they approve. Thus liberalism turns into its opposite, illiberalism.
Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Porn for the blind

When you hear "Braille porn" you know without being told that the artist is a Canadian woman, right?

A Canadian artist is creating porn for the blind by turning nude photos into raised images.

Lisa Murphy of Toronto takes the pictures herself, then uses materials like clay, metal, cardboard to make a relief that's put into a machine that spits out formed plastic pages.
Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

Tangerine Dream: Poland (1983)

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

April 14, 2010

Luke 6:48

Scientists participating in the global warming hoax chose a bad spot to pitch their tent.

It turns out the sky isn't falling after all.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

"It's So Funny"

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

The Residents: Satisfaction

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

April 13, 2010

Bread and circuses

First it is the Mob (blood pressure warning).

Father-of-seven Peter gave up work because he could make more living on benefits.

Then it is the Barbarians.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Metric: Monster Hospital

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

April 12, 2010

There's a brand new dance but I don't know its name

hipster-protester.jpg

We are the goon squad and we're coming to town. Beep-beep.

Beep-beep (hat tip to Kathy).

I'll say this about the rioters in Kyrgyzstan: They know how to dress. This Reuters photos shows a protester in Bishkek carrying a riot shield, shouldering an RPG and sporting APC jeans
Posted by the Flea at 06:58 AM | Comments (2)

Middle-earth is our world

Halls of Macademia does not like the look of it but I beg to disagree. The more cyclopean, Tolkienesque public art, the better.

Work is to start on a giant sculpture of a naked woman which is to be carved into the Northumberland landscape.

The "Goddess of the North" will be made from 1.5 million tonnes of earth from the Shotton mine, near Cramlington. It will stand 34 metres - 10 metres higher than the Angel of the North - and will be 400 metres long.

The sculpture, also knows as Northumberlandia, will form the centrepiece of a 29 hectare public park on the Blagdon Estate.
Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Ruh-oh

Japan is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Greece's debt problems may currently be in the spotlight but Japan is walking its own financial tightrope, analysts say, with a public debt mountain bigger than that of any other industrialised nation.

Public debt is expected to hit 200 percent of GDP in the next year as the government tries to spend its way out of the economic doldrums despite plummeting tax revenues and soaring welfare costs for its ageing population.

Not to worry, there is no problem as long as there are flows of money in the bond market, they say.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

Patrick Jean: Pixels

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

April 11, 2010

Glo-fi

Fever_Dr_Strange_Spiderman.jpg

Brendan McCarthy channels Steve Ditko as he creates "Fever", a new Spider-man/Doctor Strange series for Marvel, and invents Glo-fi along the way (via Warren Ellis).

I adored Steve Ditko’s art when I was a boy. I’m old enough to have bought the original Marvel comics off the newsagent’s spinner racks when they first came out. The surreal dimensional realms of Dr. Strange were, both conceptually and artistically, the craziest and weirdest places I’d ever visited in literature or art. There was something a bit scary and mad about those dimensions and now that I’m older, something kinky too (which was probably the influence of Ditko’s art-studio buddy at the time, bondage artist Eric Stanton).

Frank Brunner was drawing Doctor Strange by the time I was buying comic books from a spinner rack but these were true to Ditko's trippy, psychedelic parallel dimensions; I am delighted McCarthy is revisiting them.

Posted by the Flea at 07:18 AM

You know how dumb the average guy is, right? Well, mathematically, by definition, half of them are even dumber than that.

The Church of the SubGenius has announced that the end of the world will take place on Monday, July 5, 2010 (hat tip to Ben).

All well and good. But I like the part where Scientologists don't get it.

In 2008, the notorious hacker collective known as "Anonymous" took up the cause of the Church of the SubGenius, and many of the alleged "hackers on steroids" were among the attendees at its Brushwood festival. In an astounding case of the pot calling the kettle black, representatives of the Church of Scientology have accused the Church of the SubGenius of being "a dangerous UFO cult," and SubGenius members (and SubGenius memes) have been among the ranks of "Anonymous" since its war against Scientology began.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

Tentacular, tentacular!

Cthulhu dropped by Nate Anderson's office and left a manuscript.

In choose-your-own-adventure form (hat tip to CM).

Cthulhu plucked a manila folder from somewhere within the non-Euclidean geometry of his manbag and dropped it on my desk with a thud.

"20,000 WORDS OF AWESOME. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO PAY ME. I JUST WANT THE EXPOSURE SO I CAN MEET CHICKS. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO R'YLEH? ONE WORD: BORING."
Posted by the Flea at 07:15 AM

The Life of J.R.R. Tolkien

Narrated by Judi Dench. In which Christopher Tolkien explains his father's philosophy including a passage on magic and "the machine" in Part 2.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | Comments (1)

Roxy Music: Avalon

Posted by the Flea at 07:11 AM

April 10, 2010

Everything on the table

Doctor Zero thinks the unthinkable. But then, at the time of the Founding, what is now the unthinkable was then the blindingly obvious.

Let’s explore the idea as a thought experiment. If taxation without representation was an outrage that sparked the Revolution, why is representation without taxation acceptable? It’s logical to suggest that only those who pay for government benefits should have a vote in selecting our representatives. Allowing net tax consumers to vote seems like an inherently dangerous practice, given their numbers – we’ve reached the point where 47% of American households pay no income tax – and their strong motivation to support politicians who promise endlessly increasing benefits. When politicians loaded with vast public funds to purchase votes meet up with a population eager to sell its votes for benefits, a grim marketplace will inevitably develop.

Such was the fate of Rome. RTWT, I am not certain he has reached the correct conclusion.

Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM

Tori Amos: Enjoy the Silence

Hat tip to Ben.

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM

April 09, 2010

Malcolm McLaren: Madame Butterfly

Malcolm McLaren, R.I.P.

Also: "Diaghilev of Punk" Malcolm McLaren on the South Bank Show in 1984, he was 37 at the time.

A South Bank Show from Autumn 1984 featuring Malcolm McLaren. Presumably a vehicle to market his new album, Fans, it features interesting interviews with Boy George, Annabella Lwin, Adam Ant, Steve Jones and plenty of others. It is one of my oldest surviving VHS recordings...and it's quite depressing to realise I am now older than Mr Mc was when it was made. Oh well... !

Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM

April 08, 2010

Kim Jong-Il mode

kim-jong-il-teapot.jpg

The suits consist of an overall-style zipped-up tunic and matching trousers, usually in khaki or blueish-grey.

The trademark suit sported by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is now in fashion worldwide thanks to his greatness, Pyongyang's official website said Wednesday. Uriminzokkiri, quoting an article in communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, said the modest-looking suits have gripped people's imagination and become a global vogue.

"The reason is that the august image of the Great General, who is always wearing the modest suit while working, leaves a deep impression on people's mind in the world," it said. "To sum it up, that is because his image as a great man is so outstanding."

The article quoted an unidentified French fashion expert as saying world fashion follows Kim Jong-Il's style.

"Kim Jong-Il mode which is now spreading expeditiously worldwide is something unprecedented in the world's history," the stylist was quoted as saying.
Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin

Virtually every extra job created under Labour has gone to a foreign worker.

Figures suggested an extraordinary 98.5 per cent of 1.67million new posts were taken by immigrants.

The Tories seized on the revelation as evidence that the Government has totally failed to deliver its pledge of 'British jobs for British workers'.
...
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green revealed unpublished figures showing there are almost 730,000 fewer British-born workers in the private sector than in 1997.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

Laibach: Mama Leone

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM

April 07, 2010

Blood suckers

The University of Hertfordshire in England is set to offer an MA in Vampire Literature (via Agent Bedhead).

In case anyone is still unclear on the historic decadence of our elites, some presentations from "Open Graves, Open Minds" a conference/segue as prequel to the degree.

- Bloody hell. Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks. Oh God, I'm English - Translating Spike by Dr. Charlotte Bosseaux (University of Edinburgh).

- The Brutal and Bloody: Representations of the ChupaCabra in Rudolfo Anaya's Curse of the ChupaCabra by Prof. Suryendu Chakraborty (Krishnagar Women's College).

- Fundamentalism, Hybridity and Remapping the Vampire body: Postmodern Vampirism and the Presidency of George W. Bush by Dr. Sorcha Ní Fhlainn (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland).

- Zombies and Ninjas and Class, Oh My!: Marxist Paradigms in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Julia S. Fullman (California State University, Fullerton, USA)

Not that I am against vampires, far from it, but I am a firm believer in applied vampire studies. Ruining good fun in the name of a stale dated poke at George Bush appears to be the best academia can manage.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (1)

Sandra Bernhard: Violet

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM

April 06, 2010

My suspense of disbelief just gave out

Think back to the most farcical, absurd and exaggerated dystopian fiction of your Kafkas or your Orwells, write them up as the news and you are left with an accurate description of contemporary public policy in England.

Take Student Voice, for example, a government scheme based on the premise that children are entitled to a role in the management and delivery of their own education.

The all-too predictable outcome has been that such immature opinions have often been genuinely infantile — and yet have had to be taken seriously.

As a result, one teacher failed to be appointed after being labelled ‘Humpty Dumpty’ by a child.

Another was humiliated by being told to sing her favourite song; she refused and didn’t get the job. A third was asked by children on the interview panel how this candidate might impress the judges of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

These are the same people we have entrusted with the economy, the environment and the war.

It is a very good thing our enemy is hobbled by a culture and an ideology which render him functionally retarded because otherwise we would be in bigger trouble than we already are. Perhaps the best thing to do now is hope our civilization is overwhelmed by people who still know who they are, what they are about and what they want; the Chinese, for instance.

Yet more: Now teachers are ordered to smile at their pupils.

A secondary school has ordered teachers to welcome children with a smile at the start of every lesson as part of a drive to hand more power to pupils.

Staff have also been told to ensure they are not boring students by setting work that is too hard.

The directives appeared in a memo detailing student 'entitlements' and feedback from 'student voice discussions' at the comprehensive Buile Hill Visual Arts College in Salford.

Teachers said it made them feel 'undervalued and undermined'.

As opposed to feeling outraged and then doing something about it.

Posted by the Flea at 12:48 AM

Coil: First Five Minutes After Violent Death + Golden Section

Posted by the Flea at 12:44 AM

Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer

Posted by the Flea at 12:43 AM

April 05, 2010

Good news and bad news

The bad news is Western civilization is broke. The good news is the reason we are broke (it is something we can fix, if we so choose).

It turns out our economies - and our economics - are fine. Incredibly robust, in fact, considering we have gone on for so long pissing away so much money on civil servants (via Lumpy, Grumpy and Frumpy).

Take Toronto's public transit workers, for example.

One Toronto Transit Commission operator earned $165,632 last year, even as fewer TTC operators made the $100,000-plus club.
...
The list revealed 89 operators, and 14 station collectors, earned more than $100,000. A total of 724 TTC employees, including 134 non-management staff, earned more than $100,000. The top earner at the TTC was chief general manager Gary Webster, who raked in $280,037.

Of the 14 station collectors who made the list, down from 21 last year, Yasin Saleemi earned the highest salary, taking home $114,520 -- about $10,000 less than the top collector last year.

Station collectors, for Flea-readers who have yet to enjoy the thrill ride that is the Toronto subway system, are the trolls who exchange your cash for subway tokens. You could quite literally train a monkey to do the same job. And the monkey, at least, would smile at you as he took your money.

Posted by the Flea at 06:58 AM | Comments (1)

Nina Hagen & Nana Mouskouri: Lili Marlene

Via Mitchieville.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones Review

Hat tip to Bill. Same content warning as the last.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

April 04, 2010

The 11th coming

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Today, I join millions of others in celebrating the regeneration and the 11th coming.
- Chris Myrick

The new Doctor Who features, amongst other things, a new look TARDIS.

The Doctor's efforts, having to save the world yet again, were rewarded with a new-look Tardis. Featuring steam-punk interior design, it is packed with bric-a-brac and Victoriana and has more rooms than before, possibly even including a swimming pool and a library. Or was the doctor joking?

Moffat has revealed that the out-going Doctor, David Tennant, left a sealed envelope for his successor, in the manner of a departing prime minister. After the first episode in this series, it is clear the advice was powerful stuff.

It was stupendous.

Posted by the Flea at 10:48 AM | Comments (2)

Delia Derbyshire :Ziw-zih Ziw-zih OO-OO-OO

Montage of images to accompany a live recording of original members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop performing an excellent version of a spooky Delia Derbyshire composition, originally created for Out Of The Unknown: The Prophet. This is one of many episodes wiped by the BBC, but telesnaps made at the time thankfully still survive (and in higher resolution than I've been able to show here). The brief bit of live footage comes from Failmedotnet's excellent selection of clips from this concert.
Posted by the Flea at 10:47 AM

April 03, 2010

Sprockets: Germany's most disturbing home videos

Liebe meine Abschminke!

Posted by the Flea at 03:02 PM

The changing demographic of London

Arranging deck chairs on the HMS Götterdämmerung.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

The Infidel

Ahh, fiction.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Joanna Lumley on MOD's Gurkha smear campaign

The video tags blame New Labour. Joanna Lumley blames the Ministry of Defence.

Posted by the Flea at 03:22 AM

April 02, 2010

Christina Aguilera: Not Myself Tonight

Christina-Aguilera_Not-Myself-Tonight.jpg

Via Agent Bedhead.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Michelle Malkin: It's Time For A Spartacus Revolution!

Via Five Feet of Fury.

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

The Muppets: Stand By Me

Hat tip to various spots in the dextrosphere.

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

April 01, 2010

Ban the burka

Pending a vote in Parliament later this month, Belgium is set to be the first European "nation" to ban the burka.*

Under the proposals, women could face a week in prison or a fine for wearing a veil in public.
...
The text of the new law does not specifically mention burkas but makes it illegal for anyone to wear clothing ‘that covers all or most of the face’ in any public place.

* "Nation", indeed. To cite Charles de Gaulle, Belgium is a country invented by the British to annoy the French. I am delighted to observe it is still working.

Meanwhile: Lest we forget what brought about this cultural contretemps (via Gates of Vienna).

“The recruitment of labourers in the 1960s”, Van de Beek said, “was an economic disaster. The stated intent here was to keep wages down, but we would have been better served by letting them rise. The switch from an industrial economy to one dependent on capital was inevitable for us to be competitive internationally. It would have been best to make that change in the 1960s, when the economy was booming. Finally, we had to restructure the economy anyway and many of the immigrants who came here in the 1960s were laid off in the 1970s and 1980s and ended up on benefits.”

Welcome to the entire Western world.

Posted by the Flea at 07:37 AM

Eyeful Tower

Hideous, projectile vomit as architecture.*

* I am in a mood today, apparently.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM | Comments (1)

Flying Penguins (BBC April 1st )

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

You should not drink and bake

160 greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

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