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October 31, 2010

The Guild: Halloween Special

Socially acceptable real world looting.

Posted by the Flea at 10:19 PM

Misery Bear: Dawn of the Ted

Agent Bedhead has been proselytizing for this one.

Posted by the Flea at 08:38 AM

October 30, 2010

Undead American Studies

The University of Baltimore has added a Zombie Studies course.

Those attending the University of Baltimore can enroll in Arnold Blumberg's Zombie Studies course -- a semester-long class devoted to examining the walking dead's influence on popular culture and mass media. Blumberg, the author of Zombiemania, has crafted a class that will have students viewing films and reading books and comics about the living dead -- or basically, get course credit for what a lot of us do as part of our daily routine.

Such is the genius of the Frankfurt School. When all you have to offer is some combination of the usual bromides about race, gender and class you can rinse and repeat on any subject whatsoever. When you have so little to say in the first place, the medium is the message no matter how limited the bandwidth of your chosen memeplex.

Closely related: The University of South Carolina now offers Lady Gaga Studies (an hat tip for both links to Agent Bedhead).

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

The glamorous unlife

Daphne Guinness has what might charitably be described as a wardrobe malfunction were it not more of an aesthetic malfunction. Worse yet, she and her party are in clear breach of the Masquerade.

From the comments.

She has the look of a fruitcake about her.
- Grumpy, UK

Not that I have anything against Daphne Guinness, quite the opposite. It is just that I like that comment so much, wanted to draw attention to it and plan to start repeating it (without attribution) in appropriate social contexts.

It will be "my thing".

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Behemoth: The Reign ov Shemu-Hor

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

October 29, 2010

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5

State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation, Evgeny Svetlanov conducting. The Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was composed between May and August 1888:

Possibly for its very clear exposition of the idea of "ultimate victory through strife", the Fifth was very popular during World War II, with many new recordings of the work, and many performances during those years. One of the most notable performances was by the Leningrad Radio Symphony Orchestra during the Siege of Leningrad. City leaders had ordered the orchestra to continue its performances to keep the spirits high in the city. On the night of October 20, 1941 they played Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 at the city's Philharmonic Hall and it was broadcast live to London. As the second movement began, bombs started to fall nearby, but the orchestra continued playing until the final note.
Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

October 28, 2010

Durmstrang located

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Schloss Drachenburg has been faithfully restored (via Gates of Vienna).

According to German folklore, Siegfried slayed a dragon just a little further up the mountain. But the story of this spectacular building, a jumble of architectural styles erected in less than three years in the late 19th century by a wealthy stockbroker, is strange enough to become legend in itself.
Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

More bed-bugs than a blanket-full

Bedbugs attack the United Nations.

Background: Don't read this unless you want the story about the cot and the bedbugs jumping from the wall stuck in your head.

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

Crusader Rabbit

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Lordside Family: Gospel Funky Fresh

I look forward to my power to walk on snakes and scorpions. Much as this does not sound terribly comfortable for the snakes and scorpions.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

October 27, 2010

The Hundred Year Starship

NASA plans a one-way mission for permanent settlement on other planets.

The ambitious idea is known as the Hundred Years Starship and would send astronauts to colonise planets like Mars, knowing they could never come home.

NASA Ames Director Pete Worden revealed that one of NASA’s main research centres, Ames Research Centre, has received £1million funding to start work on the project.
Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM

Cheryl Cole: Promise This

Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM

October 26, 2010

Hobbit bidding war

New Zealand is determined to talk its way out of $1.5b.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Ben Kenobi: Private Jedi

Via Taylor Empire Airways. Better by far than Lucas' prequels, not actually prequels but vectors of retroactive heresy.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM | Comments (3)

Florence + The Machine: Dog Days Are Over

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

October 23, 2010

United Monster Talent Agency

Via Haute Macabre.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM

Day of the Subgenius

A video interpretation of "The Brag of the Subgenius" Don't forget that you are PINK until "Bob" sees your GREEN.
Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM | Comments (1)

Hard news

Yet another instance of cause and effect.

Japan plans to mine in Vietnam for rare earth metals used in high-tech manufacturing, officials said Friday.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung are expected to agree on the proposed deal in Hanoi later this month, a trade ministry official said.
Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM

When my parents rolled up my character, they didn't get any 18s

Bioshock creator Ken LevIne's Penny Arcade Expo 2008 keynote speech.

And I am right there with him on the Scarlet Witch.

This guy is reading my biography. Except the bit about drama, I went into anthropology.

Posted by the Flea at 09:01 AM

October 22, 2010

Dangerous Method

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Based on the play "The Talking Cure" by Christopher Hampton, David Cronenberg directs Viggo Mortensen (The Flea Sigmund Freud), Michael Fassbender (Carl Jung) and Keira Knightley (Sabina) in "A Dangerous Method".

Detailing Knightley's character, director David Cronenberg recently said, "Really [Sabina] was a passionate, intelligent, very creative woman who didn't have an outlet for those things so it manifested itself as madness until she met Carl Jung. She was 18, he was about 29. They had an affair, she become his mistress." He concluded, "So it's the story of the three of them particularly and it's a really fascinating story.

This is a first date movie if I have ever seen one.

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Posted by the Flea at 06:59 AM

Lawgiver! Awesome.

Judge Dredd smartguns are to be issued to the 101st Airborne (via Warren Ellis).

It's all go in the world of futuristic Judge Dredd style guns today. Reports suggest that a battalion of US airmobile* troops in Afghanistan are to be equipped with the XM-25 computing smart-rifle, able to strike enemies hiding round corners or in trenches. A successful "proof of concept" of a guided homing bullet for use in sniper rifles has also been announced.

Briefing: The Lawgiver.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM | Comments (1)

Practical Dreamer (1957)

After a long night of dissociating and empty directionless rage, Edie Michaelson escapes into a kitchen planning and modernization themed psychotic break.

Coming soon to a women and trans studies department near you: Sayyid Qutb warned us these women are whores.

Gender trouble: In the Matrix, the only women who act like women are men living as women.

Not sure where I am going with this: Not until I complete my time travelling apparatus, at least. Then it is a one way ticket to 1964.

Posted by the Flea at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)

Gordon Pinsent reads Bieber

Hat tip to Mr. Liddle.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

Aishwarya Rai: Kajra Re

Posted by the Flea at 06:51 AM

October 21, 2010

Gareth Pugh Spring/Summer 2011

This is more like it.

Protip for the perplexed: It isn't about clothing, it's about design.

Gareth Pugh Autumn/Winter 2010/11

Posted by the Flea at 06:03 AM

There and back again

Filming for The Hobbit may move to England after an apparent own goal by New Zealand Equity.

The development is the latest twist in a bitter dispute between Sir Peter’s Wingnut Films production company and the actors’ union New Zealand Equity, which last month invoked an international boycott of the film over pay and conditions.

“It appears we cannot make films in our own country even when substantial financing is available,” Sir Peter said in a statement.

“New Zealand Equity’s unjustified industrial action against The Hobbit has undermined Warner Brothers’ confidence in New Zealand as a stable employment environment, and they are now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their US$500 million investment,” he said.
Posted by the Flea at 06:02 AM

Bettie Page/Goodbye Horses Mashup

Today's moment of redemption.

Posted by the Flea at 06:01 AM

October 20, 2010

The Man in the High Castle

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The Telegraph calls it "breathtaking news for sci-fi movie fans". And it is. This is the best news of the year.

Ridley Scott is set to co-produce another adaptation of Philip K. Dick.

His company will co-produce Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, which imagines that the Allies lost World War II, and America’s East coast is occupied by Germany, with California under Japanese rule.

He has to direct the project. He just has to.

Related: To PKD, Canada was always both the question and the answer.

Posted by the Flea at 08:59 AM

Hang him

"Osborne slashes 490,000 jobs, cuts welfare by £7bn and forces us all to work longer - but there's even MORE money for overseas aid and global warming."

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

WWDD?

Man sees Dalek in tree trunk, mistakes it for Jesus (hat tip to Mr. Myrick).

The two differ in a number of ways. One is the saviour of the world, the Son of God, who died and is risen and will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. And the other is a mutated Kaled life form from Skaro, bred to eblieve in its own genetic superiority with a desire to destroy everything else in existence, and a propensity to scream “Exterminate”.
Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Davros at the Proms

There will be only Dalek music!

I am with those kids. This scares the daylights out of me.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

October 19, 2010

Memory works both ways

This + some breakthrough for Lamarckian genetics = Dune.

Dr. [Daryl] Bem, a social psychologist at Cornell University, conducted a series of studies that will soon be published in one of the most prestigious psychology journals (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). Across nine experiments, Bem examined the idea that our brain has the ability to not only reflect on past experiences, but also anticipate future experiences. This ability for the brain to "see into the future" is often referred to as psi phenomena.
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | Comments (1)

The Ting Tings: Hands

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

October 18, 2010

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis I

A change in the weather.

This week, a combined training of the IAF and the Hellenic Air Force took place in Greece. This training included flight and landing in mountainous terrain and under changing weather conditions.

In the video, you will see parts of a training mission designed to simulate an event of attack by an enemy force during flight. The objective was to safely extract the unit offended, and was fully achieved through the cooperation of both forces.

Ecclesiastes 11:4

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis II

Vietnam offers repair services for Indian warships.

After a meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony in Hanoi, his counterpart Gen Phung Quang Thanh welcomed more port calls by the Indian Navy and offered maintenance and repair facilities for warships at Vietnam ports.

This would extend a major advantage to the Indian Navy that has been scaling up operations in the region, specially in the South China Sea where several patrols have been carried out in the past few years.
Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM | Comments (2)

Sparks fly

Why sharing aircraft carriers with France is a non-starter.

As per the information given by a French navy spokesman, Charles de Gaulle which is an aircraft carrier has been forced to come back to base. This has happened because the aircraft is facing technical and physical damages and was in dire need for repairs.
...
Capt. Hugues d'Argentree, who is involved with the repair work said that the same involves faulty insulation for an electric cabinet. This is present in the propulsion system of the carrier.

Unless the deal is to share virtual carriers in which case, bonne chance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:25 AM | Comments (1)

Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009)

Gentlemen (but mainly Kathy), I present one of the few proper films since Evil Dead II or possibly even Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM | Comments (1)

Ebisu Muscats: Banana Mango High School

I have no plausible excuse for posting this.

Arguably related: The all-singing, all-dancing female robot that can now be operated using just a mouse.

Also features an off switch.

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM | Comments (4)

October 17, 2010

John Coltrane: Psalm

A Love Supreme
By John Coltrane

I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee O Lord.
It all has to do with it.
Thank you God.
Peace.
There is none other.
God is. It is so beautiful. Thank you God. God is all.
Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses.
Thank you God.
In You all things are possible.
We know. God made us so.
Keep your eye on God.
God is. he always was. he always will be.
No Matter what . . . it is God.
He is gracious and merciful.
It is most important that I know Thee.
Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, thoughts,
fears and emotions—time—all related . . .
all made from one . . . all made in one.
Blessed be His name.
Thought waves—heat waves—all vibrations—
all paths lead to God. Thank you God.
His way . . . it is so lovely . . . it is gracious.

It is merciful — Thank you God.
One thought can produce millions of vibrations
and they all go back to God . . . everything does.
Thank you God.
Have no fear . . . believe . . . Thank you God.
The universe has many wonders. God is all.
His way . . . it is so wonderful.
Thoughts—deeds—vibrations, etc.
They all go back to God and He cleanses all.
He is gracious and merciful . . . Than you God.
Glory to God . . . God is so alive.
God is.
God loves.
May I be acceptable in thy sight.
We are all one in His grace.
The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement
of Thee O Lord.
Thank you God.
God will wash away all our tears . . .
He always has . . .
He always will.
Seek Him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday.
Let us sing all songs to God

To whom all praise is due . . . praise God.
No road is an easy one, but they all
go back to God.
With all we share God.
It is all with god.
It is all with Thee.
Obey the Lord
Blessed is He.
We are all from one thing . . . the will of God . . .
Thank you God
I have seen God—I have seen ungodly—
none can be greater—none can compare to God.
Thank you God.
He will remake us . . . He always has and he
always will.
He is true—blessed be His name—Thank you God.
god breathes through us so completely . . .
so gently we hardly feel it . . . yet,
it is everything.
Thank you God.
ELATIONS—ELEGANCE—EXALTATION—
All from God.
Thank you God. Amen.

December 1964

Posted by the Flea at 12:40 PM

October 16, 2010

The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

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The Mask of Fu Manchu was filmed back in the day when it was all applied archaeology.

Nayland Smith: What do you expect to find in that tomb?
Sir Lionel Barton: A record, the golden plate, the threat of Genghis Khan's return, the golden mask he wore, and the famous golden scimitar.
Nayland Smith: Exactly, of course in your hands these things would be merely interesting archaeological specimens to go into British Museum, but should Fu Manchu put that mask across his wicked eyes and take that scimitar into his bony, cruel hands, all Asia rises. He'll declare himself Genghis Khan come to life again. And that, my friend, is what you have got to prevent. You must find that grave, and you must be the first to find it. And you must bring those pretty things back to England.

Features Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu and Myrna Loy as his daughter... Fah Lo See.

Controversy: The Mask of Fu Manchu.

>During its intial release, The Mask of Fu Manchu was criticized by the Chinese government for its hostile depiction of the Chinese, particularly Karloff's line "Would you all have maidens like this for your wives? Then conquer and breed! Kill the white man and take his women!"

Some other critics also objected to the film's depictions of violence and sexuality.[2] The film's re-release in 1972 was met with protest from the Japanese American Citizens League, who stated that "the movie was offensive and demeaning to Asian-Americans." Because of the criticism of the film's racism, the 1992 VHS release of the film removed several scenes containing the most criticized lines of dialogue, such as the "Kill the white man" speech.

YouTube only has part one uploaded. I am just watching it now on Veoh and do not yet know if this version is the money. Even without its injunction to "Kill the white man!" this one is a testament to a golden age for evil overlords.

Posted by the Flea at 09:48 AM | Comments (3)

Canada was built on dead beavers

Fenris Badwulf: "I have not met anyone who had any book by Margaret Atwood that was not purchased, obtained, required but for some sort of school course."

The used store book guy would not take the four volumes of Margaret Atwood. He said that they never sold, except when school started. The students needed them at school. They then sold them at the end of the year, or sooner, as soon as possible. He could rhyme off the likely lesson plans of the local high schools and the likely weeks of the month when the unread rag stock pulp would reappear, unwanted, at his sales station. He scowled. No, said the bookseller of Guelph, he had never sold anything by Margaret Atwood to anyone just looking for a good read. No. It is not hard to realize that the popularity, the very existence, of Brand X is dependent upon the Red Fringe that lives, over paid and ability challenged, in the intestines of the body politic, the education bureaucracy. The witches, he called them, the witches.

They were now on a mission. The books had to be dispensed with in accordance with the wishes of Set, the Snake God.

Warning: Mission features climate controlled nipples.

Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM | Comments (1)

At Home with Glenn Gould (1959)

"A stunningly intimate conversation between a world-weary Glenn Gould and the CBC's Vincent Tovell, conducted on 4 December 1959, two years after Gould's triumphant tour of the Soviet Union, five years prior to his final concert."

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM

October 15, 2010

Duel persons

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First news of a Wonder Woman television reboot, now it is the Incredible Hulk.

Sadly, no news of another Mighty Isis on the horizon.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

The next time I give evidence in court

I plan to do it right.*

It's my religion. If you don't agree you are racist.

* With my apologies for sending you to the greatest choose-your-own-adventure time wasting site of the intertubes.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Taste levels

This is the extravagant £630m ($1bn) home built by a billionaire Indian tycoon to house his family-of-four in Mumbai (video at the second link).

With 27 storeys, Antilia will be home to Mukesh Ambani and features a health club with a gym and dance studio, a ballroom, at least one swimming pool and a 50-seater cinema.

Towering above the Mumbai skyline, the 37,000sq ft property is 570ft high and also boasts three helipads on its roof, space for 160 vehicles on its lower floors and nine lifts.
Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (2)

Stayin’ Alive In The Wall (Pink Floyd vs Bee Gees Mashup)

"Let’s face it, the Bee Gees were and are the greatest rock and or roll band the universe has ever seen and experienced."

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

October 14, 2010

Free Kristina Svechinskaya

I have no particular justification for this position. Res ipsa loquitur and all that.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Now lusting for a baked apple pie wedding cake

Hong Kong McDonald's now offering wedding packages (via Hot Air).

“The package has all the details to attract a wedding banquet cynic or a Golden Arches obsessive: a baked apple pie wedding cake, dress made out of party balloons, kiddie party favors for guests, and of course, catering by McDonald’s.” (It must be noted, though, that the “baked apple pie wedding cake” is actually just a bunch of microwaved apple pies in individually-sized boxes stacked on top of one another.)
Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Therion: Sitra Ahra

Hat tip to Steve.

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

October 13, 2010

Hoth: Ice Planet?

Leia_Hoth_Ice_Planet.jpg

Snow Planet more like.

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has admitted taking drugs on the set of The Empire Strikes Back.

The star, now 53, said she snorted cocaine as she sat on the film’s famous Ice Planet in the second film released in the phenomenally successful big screen franchise.

Thanks to nerf herder Paul for the planetary classification.

Leia_Hoth_Ice_Planet_2.jpg

Related: That's what a boy likes.

Also related: Star Wars Action Figures Doing What They Do Best.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Disqualified

Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize in literature for 2010, attracting the ire of Sweden's cultural elite.

Not to worry, they haven't become "racists".

‘I am a bit angry’, said the Swedish literary critic Ulrika Milles during Swedish television’s broadcast of the announcement of the Nobel Prize in literature for 2010. It took the country’s cultural elite just seconds to realise that a mistake had been made in the Swedish Academy’s voting process: you see, Mario Vargas Llosa, the winner, is no longer a socialist. ‘I lost him when he became a neo-liberal’, complained Milles. Many others echoed her.

A selection of non-controversial progressive winners follows (via Arts & Letters Daily).

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM | Comments (1)

Saffo, venere di Lesbo (1960)

This is goes with a shout out to Mark Steyn for his recent excellence in lesbianism.

Possible triple-wide with a porch due to swords.

Sappho ~ Venus of Lesbos (1960) starring Tina Louise, Kerwin Mathews, Riccardo Garrone and Susy Andersen (credited as Susy Golgi).

I love this Peplum. I'm almost addicted to it. When I first saw it, I watched it once a day 4 days in a row. And I'm still hypnotized by it. The film hits all the right Peplum notes. The direction by Pietro Francisci is fun, fast and dreamy. Even if it's a romantic film, it still has lots of sword fights, big battles, ramming ships and, of course, killer lions, all set to a great swirling score.

Or you could cut to the Tina Louise highlights.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Robyn: Hang With Me

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

October 12, 2010

The shape of things to come

Korean_Air_uniforms_by_Ferre.jpg

In Cult of Flea, Air Org members will be styled by Gianfranco Ferré.

korean_air_uniform.jpg

I cannot remember what I was searching for that I came across this news from last year. Such are the intertubes. The track is Robbie Williams' The Road to Mandalay btw.

Stark contrast: The Vice Guide to North Korea.

Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM

I shall fall

Like a bright exhalation in the evening: Royal Navy to reduce to smallest size ever to save carriers.

The Navy is set to be reduced to the smallest size in its history after admirals yesterday offered drastic reductions in the fleet in order to save two new aircraft carriers from defence cuts.

And no man see me more.: Royal Navy are pirates, says Argentina's president.

The president of Argentina has described the Royal Navy as pirates and accused the British government of behaving like an imperial power with regard to the Falkland Islands.

In a more civilized age, they would have shelled the nest of pirates at Quinta de Olivos. Sadly, for gunboat diplomacy to work you need gunboats.

Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth.

- Henry VIII, 3. 2

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM

Maybe a visit from Dr. Fist will wipe that smirk off his face

After he prescribes a medicine called American Pride.

Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM

The New Pollutants: Metropolis Rescore - Shift Change

This Metropolis rescore arrives courtesy of the Armored Facilities Manager.

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM

October 11, 2010

Versace doing SPACE:1999 set design

"It should have been Freeman Dyson’s ride."

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Wisin y Yandel - Irresistible

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

October 10, 2010

On the one hand, brutal tyranny

On the other hand, high kicks with swords.

Tough call.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)

Not to physical scale

Gravitational constant is 1.

Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM

Sofi Mkheyan: Luys Khavarum

I was about to say I have no idea what she is talking about.

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)

October 09, 2010

Another angle on the "infamous sex thesis" story

A fun fact about the tennis player referenced in press coverage of Karen Owen's Duke University sex list:

It was on the cab ride back that I discovered he was rude, Canadian, and spoke mostly French.

Raw Score: 1/10. Seriously.

See page 39 for Owen's Evaluation Process.

Related: Why the legal concept of "libel" will wither away by 2018.

Add "privacy" to the list. We are all going to know a lot more about each other's neuroses and proclivities than we have had to endure until now. It will be that or "submission" in which case all bets are off.

Also, get used to professionals with tattoos, facial piercings and ear stretching. Assuming civilization emerges from the Great Recession, employers are not going to be spoiled for choice.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

I am free

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
- Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Led Zeppelin: No Quarter (1973)

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

October 08, 2010

The direction of travel

First Sea Lord Sir Mark Stanhope has saved some remnant of the Royal Navy, winning his fight against calls to cancel Britain's aircraft carrier program. Two carriers will be built with one of the two to be mothballed or kept in port.

The Royal Navy will get two new aircraft carriers – preserving Britain’s status as a global sea power – after a crunch Downing Street meeting on defence cuts chaired by David Cameron.

But one of the carriers is on course to end up as a £2.6billion white elephant until the 2020s as the Government seeks to save money. First Sea Lord Sir Mark Stanhope fought off calls for the £5.2billion project to be axed altogether at a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday.
Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No. 2: VI. Waltz 2

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM | Comments (1)

October 07, 2010

The Tempest

I am going to die of how awesome this is (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea)

In Julie Taymor's version of 'The Tempest,' the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor's version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it's a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.
Posted by the Flea at 01:36 PM | Comments (2)

Campaign sign of the year

I won't spoil it for you.

Note to the West Virginia Republican Party: We’re not worthy.
Posted by the Flea at 12:04 PM

Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (Op. 64) - Dance of the Knights

As a side note: No, all cultures are not equal. This is manifestly superior.

PROKOFIEV - Romeo & Juliet - Opera National Paris - Nureyev - Ballet de l'Opera National de Paris - Monique Loudieres - Manuel Legris

From the comments:

The Greatest Masterpiece of the 20th century. This piece directly reflects 20th century itself. WW I, Russian Revolution, Nazi, WW II, Cold War, and finally collapse of the Greatest Empire of that era in 1991, which sent the rest of us to the next century, the century of iPhones and iPads, and untalented people =)
Posted by the Flea at 12:02 PM

October 06, 2010

Nabhaḥ-Spṛśaṃ Dīptam

IMINT & Analysis has an image of the new Indian Su-30MKI (FLANKER-H) at HAL's Nasik plant.

Background: Air Power Australia has Dr Carlo Kopp's "Sukhoi Flankers: The Shifting Balance of Regional Air Power".

Posted by the Flea at 08:13 AM

Fischerspooner: Danse en France

Posted by the Flea at 08:12 AM

October 05, 2010

Against conceptualism, hedonism and the cult of the ego-artist

Stuckists_against_the_Turner_Prize.jpg

The Tate scored an own goal with its attempt to guarantee positive press for the gallery and this year's Turner Prize entrants by demanding press photographers sign a form banning "adverse publicity". The photographers refused and, after a stand off on the gallery steps, the Tate backed down.

This in turn offered the press a hook to kick off this year's round of ridicule.

Brian Sewell, art critic for the Evening Standard, said the organisers of the prize were 'prickly' about criticism. He said: 'They are prickly about the Turner Prize because they are mocked about it year after year.

'Most of the art that gets into the Turner Prize is some kind of extremely contemporary rubbish - assemblies of rubbish masquerading under important names.'

So much for events. The real news was the anti-Turner Prize Stuckist demonstration already underway (video at the link).

"It's like watching a TV comedy show parody of contemporary art," said co-founder Charles Thomson, who called the Prize "an excruciatingly painful presentation of mind-numbingly tedious, pretentious and vacuous exhibits."

"The obvious response is that of a lady last year, who asked for her money back, as she'd paid to see art and there wasn't any.

"The demonstration outside is far more entertaining, artistic and informative."

Time to found a Toronto cell.

Ironic: "Stuck", 2010, by Turner Prinze entrant Angela De La Cruz.

Related: Background on Stuckism. The Stuckist manifesto.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM | Comments (1)

Like an exploding tomato

John Sweeney revisited yesterday's fastest growing religion in the world (we all know who occupies pole position these days) with Secrets of Scientology on Panorama.

Fighting his way through a thicket of cultist spam, Xenu/Xemu comments.

Good program told the public what they needed to know. Scientology is a thing best left alone.

The cult came accross as paranoid and creepy, not one member could confront Sweeney so much for communication being the universal solvent. They were all hiding from the BBC man - low tone scale much.

I would have liked to have heard Kirstie Alley explain the origin of Body Thetans given that she stated I do not exist.

LOL

Zemu is a Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby creation, in case you were wondering.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Silvio Berlusconi's women

Self-explanatory.

Posted by the Flea at 06:25 AM

Why I suck

Throbbing Gristle is on tour - on tour - and I will not be in London, Prague, Bologna or Minhead.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

The Muppets: American Woman

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

Jenn Grant: Dreamer

Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM

October 04, 2010

Rising sum

Ethan Devine argues China needs to reconsider its Japanese inspired export driven growth model or risk following Japan down the same path to economic stagnation (via A&L Daily).

... Japan's export boom funded stellar growth for four decades. But its undervalued currency eventually helped blow one of the largest bubbles in history, the bursting of which still hobbles Japan today. Japan's famously dismal demographics didn't help, but China's aren't much better. Beijing's one-child policy, introduced in 1979, has worked its way up the population pyramid such that China's supply of rural workers ages 20 to 29 will halve by 2030. Worse yet, China is much larger than Japan -- which means that the global consequences of a crash would be far greater. For the moment, Beijing is riding high, but China's sustained success depends on understanding where Japan went so badly wrong.

Where Japan went so badly wrong at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 06:38 AM

Guillermo Del Toro: Interview About a Vampire

Posted by the Flea at 06:35 AM

Prokofiev: Hamlet, Op. 77 - The Ghost of Hamlet's Father

Sign of the Horns, both hands. Check. Head banging in slow motion. Check.

Posted by the Flea at 06:32 AM

October 03, 2010

The kobolds may no longer rest easy

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(Not a kobold.)

I now have my Dungeons & Dragons Premium Dice.

I cannot say why.

Related complaint: This is not the Fiend Folio. This is the Fiend Folio.

To elaborate: Gsundgnugenfreude explained.

People either love it or hate it. Well, maybe hate is too strong a term. Is there a German word for dismissing something out of hand due to 'obvious' lameness? Gsundgnugenfreude or something like that. Anyway, I will readily admit that the FF is chock full of crazy non-sensical monsters. The difference between me and the gsundgnugenfreuders is that I like it when parts of my D&D game make no sense.

These are mostly ad links, btw. I am multitasking.

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

I know what family looks like

In the second episode of Blue Bloods (S01E02), our family of gritty Reagan Democrats take on a thorny issue: How to ensure justice for a "Good Samaritan" subway shooter. Because of that time Jesus was held up by an inter-racial gang on the subway and that other guy with an unregistered firearm he had for self-defense stepped up and it was like blam.

Tough one. You know how it is with these moral issues.

There say there is justice and there is justice before the law. But in Tom Selleck's moustache you shall find both.

Related: Blue bloods vs. blue collar in the GOP.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

Sintel

Via Felicia Day: "This is incredible. Made from open source software, funded by fan donations."

"Sintel" is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film.

This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world.

Now looking into Blender.

Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM

Alexi Murdoch: Breathe

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | Comments (4)

October 02, 2010

Our home and sacred nothing

The Globe & Mail claims it wants to launch a discussion about the future.

This part and parcel of an imminent rebranding exercise.

We hope, and intend, for this discussion to strike at the heart of how Canadians define ourselves, and our nation. It is meant to go beyond words. We hope it will become a turning point.

We need to re-examine Canadian institutions, and conceits, that we hold dear. Instead of locking ourselves in celebrations of the past, we want to explore our future -- and all we can do to make it brilliant.

And so accelerates the erasure of history as all that was Canada melts into air.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM | Comments (1)

Christina Aguilera: You Lost Me

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM | Comments (1)

October 01, 2010

Today's adventures in rhetoric

Arnold Chrysler, if such is his name, takes the stand having been charged with stealing 40,000 hotel coat hangers.

I won't ruin it for you.

Posted by the Flea at 07:55 AM

Chris Athey: Sweet Home Alabama

The internets are better than television. This one goes with a shout out to all my friends in the great Republic to the south. I will join you all as soon as I can get my ass in gear. And some papers. So if anyone knows a guy who knows a guy, just saying (hat tip to Ben in the wilderness).

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM