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May 31, 2010

The Hobbits are just rustic English people

English Russia calls it a Russian Lords of the Rings. It is actually a Russian translation of The Hobbit. Mikhail Belomlinsky's illusrations are the draw for those with no Russian; his adapted map is particularly charming.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

Sub Focus feat. Coco: Splash

Posted by the Flea at 07:51 AM

May 30, 2010

Education

John Noonan explains the need to modernize America's nuclear forces is pressing.

Though most of the details about America’s warhead stockpiles are highly classified, there are a few key points well known to close observers. Most of our nuclear warheads are 20-30 years old. The last weapon was constructed in 1991 and the last test detonation of a bomb occurred in 1992. The average age of an operational bomb is slightly over 30 years old, meaning many of our deployed warheads were built before President Reagan took office. Scientists who specialize in warhead construction and sustainment are aging and retiring at an alarming rate. By 2008, over half the nuclear specialists at our national laboratories were over the age of 50, and very few of those under 50 have the technical know-how to produce and sustain functional weapons. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates estimated that within a few years, roughly three-fourths of our nuclear technicians will be at retirement age. The National Nuclear Security Administration, a Department of Energy subagency responsible for the security and health of our stockpile, has lost over a quarter of its workforce since the end of the Cold War. Components in our warheads are aging just as fast. We no longer possess the capacity or ability to construct certain parts required in our bomb designs.
Posted by the Flea at 10:44 AM

Uschi Glas: Cover Girl

Posted by the Flea at 10:41 AM

May 29, 2010

Approaching space object 'artificial, not asteroid' says NASA

"Too small for a proper mothership at ~10m, though."

NASA boffins report that an unknown object approaching the Earth from deep space is almost certainly artificial in origin rather than being an asteroid.

Object 2010 KQ was detected by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona earlier this month, and subsequently tracked by NASA's asteroid-watching service, the Near-Earth Object Program headquartered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

I won't spoil it for you.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Kasabian: Vlad the Impaler

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM

May 28, 2010

The ante

South Korea may be considering a naval blockade of North Korea. Though I am not certain The Chosun Ilbo quite understands the ramifications of the term in English.

The sanctions the government announced on Monday include steps to blockade North Korea, which became unavoidable after clear evidence showed that the sinking was an act of military aggression against the South.
Posted by the Flea at 10:34 AM

Teen Werewolves

And speaking of hideous, soul-scarring nerd shame.

Some distancing behaviour from the comments.

skrag2112 said:

It will be funnier 20 years from now when these kids will vehemently deny they were ever into this. Its this generations bellbottoms and platform shoes.
Posted 05/25/2010 at 07:24:09 PM

Reply
telezombie replied to skrag2112:

I don't deny being a punk during the 80's and 90's. It's something I'm proud of to this day.
Posted 05/25/2010 at 08:50:08 PM

Reply
ZeroCorpse replied to telezombie:

Me too... but then, I think there's a big difference between punk/alternative/goth style of the late 70s to early 80s, and walking around in Hot Topic rip-offs of that style while adding fake dog tails to the mix and declaring yourself a "werewolf".
-
I feel the same way about these kids that I did about the "vampires" who co-opted punk/goth style and ran around drinking V8 and playing "Vampire the Masquerade" as if it were real to them.
-
Posers with no creativity. Come up with your own style, kids. Don't keep borrowing from the true (1st generation) hippies, punks, and goths who are all at least 36 years old right now.
-
I hate disco, but at least the disco generation came up with their own (ugly) style. Gen Y and later seem to be caught in a loop where they keep borrowing from punk, goth, and hippie styles. (But at least they're not borrowing from disco).
Posted 05/27/2010 at 05:57:55 PM
Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

Josh Dubovie: That Sounds Good To Me

Bookmakers have branded Josh Dubovie’s That Sounds Good To Me the worst Brit entry in Eurovision history. I am not certain this celebration of nothing deserves the kudos.

Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM

May 27, 2010

Not nuked enough

Clinton offers China proof the North Koreans attacked and sank South Korea's warship. I would ask "why bother" but that would not cover the mind rending futility of the gesture. You will understand why momentarily.

Mrs Clinton said a 400-page technical report on the sinking by an international team, including experts from the US, led to the “inescapable” conclusion North Korea was to blame and that action had to be taken. Should the Chinese need more information, she said the US would offer it.

Meanwhile, my point. That being this Japan Today poll: Who do you think was behind the sinking of a South Korean warship on March 26?

From the most recent comment:

How in the world did the US get 37% of the vote! What would have possibly been the benefit from such an action? The US is stuck in two wars, a massive debt, 20 million people out of work, A war on the border with Mexico and a major environmental disaster growing by the day. A major confrontation with Korea is certainly not on their list of priories at the moment.

And this from a guy who thinks the U.S. government knew in advance of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 PM | Comments (1)

We are playing chess, they are playing go

I am not certain what I meant by that but it sounds cool. In any event, mainland China's control of a number of strategic mineral resources has become obvious.

A tightening supply of rare-earth elements such as neodymium, samarium, and dysprosium used in permanent magnets, catalysts, glass, polishing, and a broad range of other applications has caught the attention of policymakers in Washington, stimulated efforts to tap rare-earth deposits in North America and Australia, and spurred R&D on alternative materials.

The US and the rest of the world have relied on China for nearly all of their rare-earth supplies. But China has been curtailing its exports in recent years, conserving the elements for its own manufacturers. That has prompted fears of an impending shortage in the West.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (1)

Rik Mayall: Noble England (World Cup Anthem 2010)

The last refuge of English patriotism is found in sentiment.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

May 26, 2010

If you don’t like my education budget, find a new job

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

"Dude — 2016, right?"


Posted by the Flea at 06:11 PM

The difference between tolerance and surrender

Rick Barber for U.S. Congress.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Manufacture: Armed Forces

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

May 25, 2010

Blogger admits affair

Belinda_Stronach_is_Premier_League.jpg

I guess it is time to come clean about me and Belinda Stronach.

It's a conflict of interest/editorial honesty/mea traffica culpa kind of a deal.

But I shan't be discussing any further details with the media. Please -- leave me alone with my solitude.
Posted by the Flea at 01:11 PM | Comments (2)

Except for all the others

Elizabeth Scalia describes the Left's enthusiasm for dictatorsip. In the United States.

Every murderous totalitarian government of the 20th century began with some insulated group of faux-intellectuals congratulating each other on how smart they are, and fantasizing about how, if they could just install a dictatorship-for-a-day, they could right all the wrongs in the world.

It is the ultimate fantasy of the narcissist. And we’ve got whole generations of them, in control of our media and our government, all intent on “remaking America.”

Here's a thought: The worst generation in the history of the world is about to retire. Now they need the retirement benefits "they paid for" I wonder how much of the bloated helping state they are willing to part with in order to fund their twilight years. Thinking of just one example among many here, if the Baby Boomers are true to form - and you know they will be - it is all too easy to imagine countless Grievance "Studies" departments shut down in the name of economy. Having gutted the natural sciences and any teaching of classical values, fat tenured salaries in the Studies departments are the only low hanging fruit remaining in the universities. Well, that and a (not so small) industry of counselling and support services. By contrast, those departments teaching skills sought by employers - and therefore by parents and students - should weather the last great crest of Western demography. Somebody has to pay for all the rest.

Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM

Those who cannot remember the past

Would be bloody lucky if this meant a repetition of the Protectorate. A couple decades of Cromwell could sort out England for the next few centuries.

An alarming number of young people do not know the difference between Oliver Cromwell from Horatio Nelson, a survey shows.

The poll of 18- to 24-year-olds found that 45 per cent of young Britons did not know Nelson led the British to victory at the Battle Of Trafalgar, and 28 per cent thought that Trafalgar was part of the English Civil War.

Indeed, 15 per cent thought that Oliver Cromwell led the British forces against the French and Spanish navies during the Napoleonic Wars.

By contrast, many young "Britons" know Uthman was murdered while at prayer.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM

If there must be trouble

Let it be in my day that my child may have peace (via Vlad Tepes).

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM

Talk Talk: Such A Shame

Posted by the Flea at 09:01 AM

May 24, 2010

A cunning linguist

Hot_For_Words.jpg

Now considering the etymology of the word "philology". But not very carefully.

Thanks to Community Channel's "Clip Art Makes Everything Sh*t", I am now familiar with Hot For Words, not your ordinary philologist.

Posted by the Flea at 10:58 AM

Severed Heads: Hot With Fleas

Hat tip to Ben.

This song and the animated video for it were first made in 1987. At that time the animation was done by painting each frame manually in Deluxe Paint and animating them via a UNIX script called "longmovie" onto UMatic tape. It caused quite a stir when first broadcast as it repeatedly goes to black. Various bootlegs of this are on YouTube, but a good quality copy is on a DVD called Palaeolithic.

In 1994 a 3D version was made on an Amiga using Imagine. Since then the video has featured knives and forks travelling through a reflective space. Every few years another version was made for live shows at the time and each slightly improved the rendering quality. This version was made for a live show in Brisbane in 2007 and was rendered in Cinema4D. It's near identical to the version shown in Belgium in 2005 - just recalculated for 720p.

The raytracing here takes a very long time as there are apparently infinite reflections inside the space. Actually there's about 8 bounces - even then each frame took as long as 12 minutes to create.
Posted by the Flea at 10:54 AM

May 23, 2010

To think we can change the Earth

An email making the rounds (hat tip to the Father of the Flea).

For all of you out there across the globe who have fought so hard to tackle the hideous enemy of our planet, namely carbon emissions, that bogus god you worship named "Climate Change" or "Global Warming", there is some really bad news that will be very painful for you to process.

The current volcanic eruption going on in Iceland, since it first started spewing volcanic ash, has, to this point, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet. Not only that, this single act of God has added emissions to the earth estimated to be 42 times more than can be corrected by the extreme human regulations proposed for annual reductions.

It's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up til midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your Landcruiser and speedboat, going on vacation to a city park instead of overseas, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your $1 light bulbs with $10 light bulbs ...well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just the past week. The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in the past weeks has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast carbon. And, those thousands of jobs you helped move to Asia with expensive emissions demands on businesses...you know, the ones that are creating even more emissions than when they were creating our jobs, well that must seem really worthwhile now. And I do wish that there was some kind of silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western U.S.A. will start in about 2 months and those fires will negate your efforts to reduce carbon emissions in our world for the next 2 years.

So, grab a beer, give the world a hug, and have nice day!
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | Comments (3)

Animals AutoTuned: Wolves

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (1)

The Bloody Beetroots: Warp 1.7

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

May 22, 2010

Static Revenger & Richard Vission ft. Luciana: I Like That

Crank 'er.

Posted by the Flea at 08:51 AM

May 21, 2010

The commodification of tragedy

Toward the end of an extensive interview with Vice magazine, Bret Easton Ellis offers details about his forthcoming collaboration with Gus Van Sant on The Golden Suicides.

The movie is really Jeremy Blake’s journey. We meet him before he even knows Theresa Duncan. I really related to Jeremy, and I love his work, and I kind of fell in love with him. The movie is from his point of view. It’s not from her point of view. It is an incredibly sympathetic portrait of him, and I think of her, too. Part of the problem with the original magazine piece is that it’s kind of gossipy and a little salacious at times, and it concentrates on things that I’m not that interested in. But this is a heartfelt script. If anyone is thinking that I’m doing some kind of, like, “Bret Easton Ellis” take on it, like it’s a satire or stand-up, they are completely wrong. It’s a very heartfelt love story.

Not my take on the story but then I don't know any more about the truth of the matter than does Ellis; his version is at least sympathetic to Theresa for all it makes her out to be a bit crazy (which, in fairness, at least in one sense was my impression).

Here is the revolting part. Sadly, Hollywood will only love when you are dead and beautiful. Yes, Theresa was beautiful, but there was so much more to her beauty than being "hot".

[Vice] That’s where her theories about a Scientologist plot against her come into it.

[Ellis] The Scientologists. And then she began to build this huge narrative as to why she wasn’t successful in the film industry. I’m haunted by it. I don’t know why it resonated with me so much.

You explained it pretty well. It was the relationship that you’d been having, and your experience with The Informers. That could really put you in a place where the Blake-Duncan story would hit you hard.

And they were hot.

They were hot. Yeah.

Literally, this is how it sold with one of the producers, to get financing for it. “Who wants to see a movie about two people who kill themselves?” And then the other producer said, “Well, they were hot.”

Oh, fuck.

And he said, “Really? Well, where’s the pictures of them? Ah. Yeah.”
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)

Uh Huh Her: Not A Love Song

Posted by the Flea at 10:12 AM

May 20, 2010

Cyclopean

The London Olympics mascots are revealed.

Wenlock and Mandeville, their cyclopean eyes representing England's Big Brother police state, were unveiled today. You might as well just sacrifice your firstborn now and get it over with.

(Hat tip to Bill, describing them as the "final nail in the coffin of a once-proud British Empire").

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

2 Thessalonians 2:15

A top Arizona utilities official has warned Los Angeles it risks having its electricity cut off if it wants to boycott Arizona.

"I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands," Pierce wrote. "If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona's economy."
Posted by the Flea at 10:03 AM

Driving in the third person

Rooster Teeth make their lives more like GTA IV.

Embedded video after the bump.

Posted by the Flea at 10:02 AM

Dead Can Dance: The Snake And The Moon

Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM

May 19, 2010

No sympathy

Spiegel carries images from the Trolley mission, six days of aerial reconnaissance documenting the effectiveness of the Allied bombing campaign in Germany.

Missing from Spiegel: Any sense Germany brought this ruin upon itself.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (5)

Facebooks

Death masks of the rich and famous.

Death Masks are easily the most haunting mementos of the deceased. They have been in existence since the time of Tutankhamun, whose solid gold burial mask is an object of extreme beauty and superstition. Here, we present twenty casts that have preserved some of the most famous faces to have graced this planet.
Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

A Split Second: Flesh

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

May 18, 2010

Miss Oklahoma USA supports the rule of law

Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard: "I'm a huge believer in states' rights. I think that's what's so wonderful about America. So I think it's perfectly fine for Arizona to create that law."

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

Fitness - Fast Death Workout

You're welcome.

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

Borghesia: Discipline

Posted by the Flea at 07:51 AM

May 17, 2010

Apology. U by Kotex

I wish I wrote this.

Posted by the Flea at 07:09 PM

Optimism

Theodore Dalrymple offers a strategy for the resurrection of German nationalism.

With a little luck and attention to detail, the situation might evolve into war, first civil and then international.
Posted by the Flea at 10:25 AM

Russian navy captures and destroys a pirate mothership

Memo to Somali pirates: Stay away from the Russians.

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

Delerium ft. Kreesha Turner: Dust In Gravity

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

May 16, 2010

The swerving logic of the English mind

Surplus to requirements and more Monty Python than James Bond - despite the Ian Fleming connection - but World War II strategic headfake Operation Mincemeat still stirs in me a sense of loss and nostalgia where once there was patriotism and a love of my fellow Englishmen.

Too much to excerpt properly. The following is for flavour.

To fashion the container that would keep the corpse “fresh,” before it was dumped off the coast of Spain, Mincemeat’s planners turned to Charles Fraser-Smith, whom Ian Fleming is thought to have used as the model for Q in the James Bond novels. Fraser-Smith was the inventor of, among other things, garlic-flavored chocolate intended to render authentic the breath of agents dropping into France and “a compass hidden in a button that unscrewed clockwise, based on the impeccable theory that the ‘unswerving logic of the German mind’ would never guess that something might unscrew the wrong way.” The job of transporting the container to the submarine that would take it to Spain was entrusted to one of England’s leading race-car drivers, St. John (Jock) Horsfall, who, Macintyre notes, “was short-sighted and astigmatic but declined to wear spectacles.” At one point during the journey, Horsfall nearly drove into a tram stop, and then “failed to see a roundabout until too late and shot over the grass circle in the middle.”
Posted by the Flea at 11:47 AM | Comments (1)

Extinction event

If any other tribe were being hunted to extinction, I would have something to say about it. I can hardly remain silent now for all this particular genocide is popular in Canada's polite company.

"A genocide goes beyond murder. The genocide that we are talking about highlights other issues too. Whites are the only group whose language is being attacked and eliminated. White culture is being attacked and eliminated. We have ticked the boxes which qualify a nation of genocide and there is a genocide of whites"
Posted by the Flea at 11:45 AM

Negligent

I gather there are people shocked to learn the Soviet Union planned a nuclear attack on China in 1969. Swayed by the Americans, they didn't attack China.

But this is the actual shocking news.

The historian claims that Washington saw the USSR as a greater threat than China and wanted a strong China to counter-balance Soviet power. Then US President Richard Nixon was also apparently fearful of the effect of a nuclear war on 250,000 US troops stationed in the Asia-Pacific region and still smarting from a Soviet refusal five years earlier to stage a joint attack on China's nascent nuclear programme.

They could have stopped the spread of atomic weapons and chose not to. So much for civilization. We will get precisely what we deserve; millions dead in a fire lit by chanting Persian maniacs.

Posted by the Flea at 11:44 AM

Shagged by a rare parrot

In which at least two traditional English virtues are demonstrated.

Posted by the Flea at 11:43 AM | Comments (1)

Lipton Ice Tea with Hugh Jackman

Hat tip to the Sister of the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 11:42 AM

May 15, 2010

Mikhail Gorbachev

Another murdering fuck celebrated by the left.

Berlinski quotes this passage from Politburo minutes of a discussion of the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989:

Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.

Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?

More atrocities we aren't meant to care about at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 10:04 AM

Brian McFadden ft. Kevin Rudolf: Just Say So

Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM

May 14, 2010

Condemned

Peter Hitchens explains Britain's new Con-Dem government is to the left of New Labour.

Now, to the silly people who seem to think that the events of the past few days have shown me to be wrong - how, exactly did I err? I was absolutely right about three important things - two of fact and one of opinion. I said Mr Cameron was a man of the Left, and I said he wouldn't and he shouldn't win a majority. I said (and Mr Brogan and Mr Portillo agree with me from their very different perspectives) that the Tory Party couldn't win a majority again. I even remarked rather early on Mr Cameron's closeness to Mr Clegg, in my one question to him during the campaign. Remember what I asked: ‘Are you politically closer to Norman Tebbit or to Nick Clegg?’ And remember that he didn't answer. Well, he has answered now, hasn't he?
...
But what of my cavilling foes - whose case always seemed to be based on the idea that a Tory victory at all costs was both possible and desirable, without any reference to what sort of government it would bring? Did they either want or predict the Cameron-Clegg civil partnership? Are they pleased at what has taken place, now they have got it? Are they pleased by the enthusiasm that Mr Cameron shows for lashing his party to the Liberal Democrats, quite possibly forever?
Posted by the Flea at 09:29 AM

Fine young cannibals

New Zealand's Prime Minister makes a joke, offends all the right people and inspires the following reaction from the negotiator representing his opponents.

"It gives me the sense that whatever we say or do he will never, ever take it seriously.”

Good. Nor should he.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

Information wants to be free

Epic Boobs Girl's latest attempt to end her meme has been quashed.

A girl who posted pics of her "epic boobs" and inadvertently became an Internet meme lost a lawsuit against the outlet that made her a star. It raises the question: If you become an internet meme, what should you do?
Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Dannii Minogue: Xanadu

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM

May 13, 2010

Kanellos

Kanellos the Greek protest dog makes another appearance.

According to some accounts, this canine resident of Athens (his name translates into "Cinnamon" in English) has been spotted at nearly every protest that has occurred in the Greek capital over the past two years. The distinct blonde mixed breed dog has many adventures under his belt, as documented in this slideshow.
Posted by the Flea at 02:33 PM | Comments (1)

Chung Kuo

Commander James Kraska, JAGC, U.S. Navy, serves as the Howard S. Levie Chair of Operational Law at the U.S. Naval War College and Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute claims China is set for naval hegemony.

The Chinese navy has been throwing its weight around in East Asia. A US Navy commander asks how much longer the US can do anything about it.

Sobering: Commander James Kraska's "How the United States Lost the Naval War of 2015" (pdf).

Abstract: Years of strategic missteps in oceans policy, naval strategy and a force structure in decline set the stage for U.S. defeat at sea in 2015. After decades of double-digit budget increases, the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) was operating some of the most impressive systems in the world, including a medium-range ballistic missile that could hit a moving aircraft carrier and a super-quiet diesel electric submarine that was stealthier than U.S. nuclear submarines. Coupling this new asymmetric naval force to visionary maritime strategy and oceans policy, China ensured that all elements of national power promoted its goal of dominating the East China Sea. The United States, in contrast, had a declining naval force structured around 10 aircraft carriers spread thinly throughout the globe. With a maritime strategy focused on lower order partnerships,and anational oceans policy that devalued strategic interests in freedom of navigation, the stage was set for defeat at sea. This article recounts howChina destroyed the USS George Washington in the East China Sea in 2015. The political fallout from the disaster ended 75 years of U.S. dominance in the Pacific Ocean and cemented China’s position as the Asian hegemon.

I am still pro-carrier, mind you.

Elsewhere in Middle Kingdom news: China's first man in space has said that Chinese astronauts eat dog meat to keep their strength up as they orbit around the earth.

"Many of my friends are curious about what we eat [in space] and think that the astronauts must have some expensive delicacies, like shark's fin or abalone," he wrote. "Actually we ate quite normal food, there is no need to keep it a secret," he added.
Posted by the Flea at 02:28 PM

Lady Sovereign: My England

The education system has failed Lady Sovereign. She has no notion the English drink spirits, apparently.

Posted by the Flea at 02:24 PM

May 12, 2010

Let's face facts

Gabriel Malor: Let's face it; Leftism has always relied on a certain ignorance.

* 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.

* 51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.

* Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.
Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

Operator Please: Back And Forth

Posted by the Flea at 07:37 AM

May 11, 2010

Frank Frazetta, R.I.P.

Frank Frazetta - 1956.jpg

The most influential fantasy artist of all time, Frank Frazetta has died at the age of 82.

He was an artist, not an author, but I suspect he was responsible for more fantasy book sales than any single person except J.R.R. Tolkien.

Also: Guillermo del Toro, Neal Adams and John Milius remember Frank Frazetta.

Neal Adams, perhaps the most celebrated living comic book artist, said be believed Frazetta was the rare individual who could bridge the vast gulf between fine art and pop illustration.

"There is no one who can fill the space left empty by the passing of Frank Frazetta," Adams said Monday. "Few have studied Classic Renaissance oil painting, and applied it so successfully. Few can draw outward from deep within their gut; very few can actually paint and draw man/woman sexual allure; nearly none can tell a story with oil paint that lets you know what is actually in the muscle and sinew of the artist."

And: Check out some of Frazetta's artwork.

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

Selected not elected

Mark Steyn on the British electoral system.

So much for those Yank-style televised leaders' debates only a couple weeks back. Instead, Britain will end up with a leader who didn't participate in the leaders' debates, presiding over a coalition that wasn't on the ballot, implementing a platform no party ran on, yet committed to transformative electoral reform for which there is no mandate.

If all the above doesn't sound terribly democratic, well, at least, Mr. and Mrs. Bloggs of Little Stitch-Up-On-Thames can still elect their Member of Parliament and know who they're going to get. As it happens, that's what the LibDems want to change — to some Continental-style "proportional" system. The way things are going, giving every voter a blindfold and a pin would make as much sense.

RTWT for the Sovietization of the Celtic economies.

Posted by the Flea at 10:18 AM

Art vs Science: Parlez-Vous Francais?

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

May 10, 2010

A majority of one

By way of complaining about the Porsche 911 GT3, Jeremy Clarkson expresses a number of opinions that used to be blindingly obvious. But cultures change. Or atrophy and die.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that if you drive into London at 6am, half of the cars on the roads are Porsches and Astons. Whereas if you go in at ten to nine, they’re all Renaults. Simple solution, then. You want a nice car? Get up earlier and do more work.
Posted by the Flea at 12:07 PM

Russian Air Force 2010 - Sukhoi Air Power

Posted by the Flea at 12:04 PM

Brotherhood Of Man: Angelo

Posted by the Flea at 12:03 PM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2010

The year of the vampire

With "Cullen" leaping 300 spots in the charts, Stephanie Meyer has changed the fashion for baby names.

The most popular boy’s name was Jacob, an eternal favorite that happens to be the name of the buff rival of paler-than-thou Edward: Jacob Black. The most popular name for girls was Isabella, the progenitor of Bella, the love interest of both Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf. Just plain Bella logs in at 58.

These are baby names for white people, you understand, and so of diminishing statistical consequence. Flea-favs Sheniqua and, of course, Mohammed will most likely remain unaffected no matter the popularity of the Twilight franchise.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

He never let friendship take precedence over his first love

In which Kathy explains something about writers by way of Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis.

Most writers are extremely unpleasant individuals. Some are just better at hiding it. Words come first; people and their feelings are a very distant second. This does, alas, indeed mean you. Sorry.
Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Rusko: Jahova

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

May 08, 2010

Developing

As part of a brief but wide ranging question and answer session with the Financial Post, Niall Ferguson makes an important observation about Africa. And, not incidentally, about socialism vs capitalism.

Chinese capitalism is working better for Africa than decades of Western socialism.

Q How does Africa fit into all this?

A In the eyes of the Chinese, it is a place with a lot of commodities and very poor infrastructure, and the Chinese have figured out they can access the commodities if they provide the infrastructure. So, they have a pretty instrumental view of Africa. Given the West has a sentimental view of Africa, which is they want to [help with] water, give it aid, help Africans by giving them free malaria meds. And China, of course, thinks that’s absurd. They want to come in and buy stuff, give them highways in return. And right now that model is working better.

Q Working better for China or Africa?

A Working better for Africa. Just look at the growth rate. Africa is enjoying … rapid growth, and it is mostly on the back of sales of commodities and the improvement of infrastructure. By comparison, we’ve had 50 years of development aid and achieved less.
Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM

Star Wars theme on the Electone

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup: We No Speak Americano

Hat tip to Jeff.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

May 07, 2010

Helen Reddy: I Am Woman

The Flea: In solidarity with womanitude since 2002.

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

If you want peace

Oil has been discovered in the Falklands.

Shame about dismantling the Royal Navy. It might have come in handy.

A British oil company is set to invoke the wrath of Argentina with the discovery of oil in the Falklands.

Rockhopper Exploration today announced that it has made an oil discovery in the North Falkland Basin - the first oil find of an exploration programme in the Falkland Islands that has already pushed relations between London and Buenos Aires to breaking point.
Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM

Good musicians borrow

Great musicians are thieving bastards.

Every artist "steals" a little, whether they realize it or not. For instance, we talk about how some musician was "influenced" by music they grew up with, even if sometimes that influence consists of outright stealing and/or barely remixing a classic. That's just the way it works.

But sometimes, it's even more blatant than that. In fact, some of the most successful musical acts in history based huge chunks of their careers entirely on plagiarism. Like...

Disappointment in humanity at the link. The musician part of humanity at least.

Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM

Christina Aguilera: Not Myself Tonight (Official Unedited)

Hat tip to Jeff.

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM

May 06, 2010

Just disgraceful

The budget deficit of the United Kingdom is set to overtake Greece as the worst in the European Union.

The country's budget shortfall was the third largest in the EU last year but will overtake both Greece and Ireland this year, according to the forecasts. Greece's measures to tackle its public finances problems are projected to cut its deficit to 9.3% of GDP.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Tight Fit: Fantasy Island

I'm in a mood this week, apparently.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

May 05, 2010

The apotheosis of posthumanism

Japanese engineers say they would prefer to send a humanoid robot to the Moon rather than, say, a Japanese person.

It's the future of Japan, really.

"We decided on a human-like robot because it's more fascinating and stimulating for us," said association director Hideo Sugimoto to the Daily Yomiuri newspaper. "We'll make an attractive robot to carry our dreams to the universe."

Attractive robots can be fascinating and stimulating it's true. For making babies, not so much.

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | Comments (3)

The War on Freedom

Daniel Greenfield argues the only people who want the freedom to keep what they earn, write what they think, choose their own health care, elect their own leaders, read what they like and live lives apart from the great machinery of the state—are the White Male Oppressors.

What he says rhetorically I am quite happy to say literally. The rot set in with the Reform Act of 1832 with all too predictable.

How do you take away the freedom of a free people without putting tanks on every street? You do it by transforming their culture. By turning the very idea of freedom into something ugly and shameful. A foul thing to be associated with extremists and other bad folk that good citizens are advised to avoid. The goal being to convince the people that their freedom is a thing they should be happy to give up, rather than having to forcibly take it away from them.
Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM

Medical ethics in Ontario

Under Canada's provincial variety pack of state mandated medical insurance, you will not be shocked to learn it is often difficult to find a family doctor who can admit a new patient to the roll of their medical practice. In the United States it has been supply and demand, in Canada it has been and remains rationing and waiting lists.

With this in mind (and with apologies for my continued use of the passive voice), does anyone happen to know if it is legal - let alone ethical - for an Ontario GP to tell their patient that if he or she seeks a second opinion then he or she will be struck off the patient list at their practice?

If so, please feel free to comment or email. This is not an academic question.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | Comments (2)

Turisas: Rasputin

Hat tip to Ben.

And live!

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

May 04, 2010

Not that pagan yoga

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM

Aural Vampire: Hot Blood Workout

Hat tip to Ben.

Live!

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM

May 03, 2010

Beatles Rooftop Concert

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Cordell Barker: The Cat Came Back (1988)

An inspirational for my brothers and sisters in the Canadian revolution.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

May 02, 2010

Times Square Bomb Scare: 'Very Deadly' Blast Averted

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Glee: Sweet Caroline

There is no good reason I should be the only one with this song stuck in my head.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM

May 01, 2010

M.I.A.: Born Free

Die, ginger! Die!

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

(Banned from YouTube, apparently.)

Posted by the Flea at 10:49 AM

David Suzuki compares humans to maggots (1972)

Via Steynian 409.

Posted by the Flea at 09:45 AM

Capturing Somali Pirates: The First Person Shooter View

My favourite part is the way the gun tracks the shooter's head movements, a bit disconcerting considering my current Fallout 3 skewed worldview. Also, the hilariously simulated looking view of stair climbing.

I wonder if this is what reality looks like.

Here's some video of the Dutch Marines re-taking a German container ship that had been captured by Somali pirates.
Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

Tim Gunn on superhero fashion

"There is a problem by definition with fishnets."

"I would find especially in her nighttime prowling activities that to have this much volume of fabric behind you - I can understand the cape - it think it could be dangerous. It could get caught on an antenna."

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

The Daily Mail Song

Sadly, reality means the joke is on this guy.

Posted by the Flea at 08:12 AM

Mike Oldfield: Let There Be Light

Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM