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January 31, 2012

Gareth Pugh | Spring Summer 2012

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Topless Models, Doing Semaphore, Wave their flags as she walks by and, get ignored

One hundred and sixty five years ago, the Royal Navy closed its high-speed network.

In an age before telegraph, phone or the Internet semaphore enabled the admiralty in London to communicate with ships in Portsmouth in a matter of minutes.

In fairness, if they sent the message on foot it would still arrive several months before DHL.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

A very small man can cast a very large shadow

Game Of Thrones Season 2: "Shadow" Teaser.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Julian Cope - Woden

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 30, 2012

Rest in the arms of the dragon

Best known as Merlin in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981) and Sherlock Holmes in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), Nicol Williamson has died.

Valerie J. Nelson: Nicol Williamson dies at 75; legendary British actor.

Once heralded as the greatest British actor of his generation, Nicol Williamson was also a legend for stormy onstage behavior that included calling off a performance of "Hamlet" mid-speech because he was too tired to go on.

"I'll pay for the seats," he later recalled telling the audience in 1969, "but I won't shortchange you by not giving my best." And then he walked off.

Michael Riedel: Actor was sword of volatile. Antics at the link.

In London, Nicol Williamson is remembered for celebrated performances in “Hamlet,” “Waiting for Godot” and “Inadmissible Evidence.” But around Broadway, he’ll always be remembered for his bizarre — sometimes hilarious — antics, onstage and off.

Tim Walker: Excalibur star Nicol Williamson has just six mourners at his funeral.

Mandrake disclosed on Wednesday that the actor had died in Holland, aged 73. “He was adamant that there should be no fuss,” his son, Luke, tells me.

The star of Excalibur, whose former lovers include Dame Helen Mirren and Marianne Faithfull, fought what Luke describes as a “brave battle” against cancer for two years. “He said he didn’t want any big announcement. He hated the idea of people who didn’t know him putting together pieces about him by 'Googling’ and 'cut-and-pasting’ stuff.”

With apologies for cutting and pasting this stuff. And with respect for Helen Mirren and Marianne Faithfull.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Ad Preferences

How to find out who Google thinks you are from your web history (and how it may even have your sex wrong).

It has been said that Google knows more about what you like than your own partner Now the search giant has given a glimpse on just how much information it has collected - and who thinks you are. But it seems the famed Google algorithms are far from infallible.

Far from infallible, Google thinks I am at least ten years younger than I am, but close to the mark in terms of my interests.

Your categories

Below you can review the interests and inferred demographics that Google has associated with your cookie. You can remove or edit these at any time.

Arts & Entertainment
Arts & Entertainment - Movies - Movie Memorabilia
Arts & Entertainment - Music & Audio
Beauty & Fitness - Fashion & Style
Games - Computer & Video Games
Games - Roleplaying Games
News
News - Politics
News - Politics - Campaigns & Elections
People & Society
Reference - Humanities
Reference - Humanities - History
Reference - Humanities - Myth & Folklore
Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Vivienne Westwood | Spring Summer 2012

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

Uriah Heep - Wizard

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

January 29, 2012

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Based on the award winning novella by Harlan Ellison (nsfw due to imagery of sexual violence, Don Johnson).

A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society where the old society is preserved. The daughter of one of the leaders of the community seduces and lures him below, where the citizens have become unable to reproduce because of being underground so long. They use him for impregnation purposes, and then plan to be rid of him.
Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

In dog years I'm dead

"Man's best friends may have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated."

An ancient dog skull, preserved in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for 33,000 years, presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with equally ancient dog remains from a cave in Belgium, indicates that domestication of dogs may have occurred repeatedly in different geographic locations rather than with a single domestication event.
Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic

Traces of a red paint made from ochre shows Neanderthals were producing and using it up to 250,000 years ago, pushing evidence of paint use in Europe back to the same same range as examples from Africa.

Recent debates on Neanderthal culture have highlighted that sites occasionally contain pieces of iron oxides, interpreted as pigments, possibly for personal decoration.

Modern hunter-gatherers are known to have used red ochre for medication, as a food preservative, in tanning of hides and as insect repellent.
Posted by the Flea at 08:55 AM

Joe Goes Steampunk

"It's pronounced you're a virgin, you're going to die alone."

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Amok Time, a Star Trek Opera

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

Alexander Courage, Bob Karlan, Gerald Fried - The Ritual / Ancient Battle / 2nd Kroykah

Star Trek: Volume 2 - Doomsday Machine and Amok Time.

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

January 28, 2012

I let them use you for their own ends

Mickey_Mouse_Joy_Division_Unknown_Pleasures.jpg

A T-shirt inspired by Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures cover art was - briefly - on sale at Disney World and Disneyland (hat tip to Rick McGinnis).

The listing on the Disney Store website reads: "Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey's image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That's appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!" The shirt is "created especially for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort."

Quite possibly the greatest T-shirt ever conceived but, sadly, no longer available at the Disney Store.

It's remotely possible you might still be able to find one on, for example, eBay. Just saying.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

How to get out of your own skull

Harlan Ellison names his influences.

Mark Twain, Gerald Kersh, Clark Ashton Smith, Joseph Conrad, comic books, Big Little Books, radio drama (especially “The Shadow”) and the best writer in America today, Paul Di Filippo. I wish I could write 1/20th as well as Paul Di Filippo. If you’ve never read him, get a book called Lost Pages. Read the first story, which is called “Anne,” and if it doesn’t break your heart and make you weep, I don’t know what will. Also Donald Westlake. Particularly the Richard Stark novels. You can learn more from the chapter in The Outfit where he goes down south to buy the car . . . self-contained. I think it’s the third chapter. I teach it in writer’s workshops. I say, “I’m going to read, just sit and listen.”
Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

The name "sphinx" means "strangler"

George R.R. Martin answers ten questions about A Song of Ice and Fire, saying almost nothing as he does so.

Reddit: Can you give us three unanswered questions that you expect will be answered in Winds?

GRRM: I could, but I won't.
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

The battle for Earth is gonna get Nazi

Kathy Shaidle: ‘Iron Sky’ is now officially completed and will premiere February 11 at the Berlin Film Festival.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

How To Destroy Angels - A Drowning

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

January 27, 2012

Archery - Fast Shooting (Murmansk)

"I need an archer to join my quest to kill the Glass Dragon of The Bronx...I can offer a quarter share of any treasure we find. We have a Warlock/Paladin, a half-giant & an Arcane Trickster so far."

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

Viking death squads

A mass grave found in Dorset contains what may be the bodies of a group of Viking killers associated with Thorkel the Tall, ambushed and dispatched by local Anglo-Saxon villagers.

They either were, or modelled themselves on, the Jomsvikings – a hit squad founded by Harald Bluetooth, the Norse king who died around 970 who masterminded a stream of vicious raids on the south coast of England. Named after their stronghold at Jomsborg on the Baltic coast, their history is shrouded in myth but at a time the Vikings were feared across Europe, they were regarded as the most terrifying of all.

But on this occasion, the men, barely into their twenties, were ambushed by the local Anglo-Saxon villagers.
Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

Troll Studies at Harvard

Walter Russell Mead is scandalized by the idea, but I think Scandinavian 102: Trolls, Trolldom and the Uses of Tradition might be one of the most useful things they are teaching at Harvard.

Pertinent: The Troll Hunter (2010).

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

Hagalaz' Runedance - Das Fest Der Wintersonne

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

January 26, 2012

Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 Runway

An excerpt.

Now under the stewardship of Sarah Burton. The runway show at Paris Fashion Week:

Also: The pre-collection lookbook including some exquisite bridal. Someone has been watching Downton Abbey.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

H+M is awesome

Regretsy reports H+M has stolen the work of East Atlanta Village artist, Tori LaConsay.

On December 14, 2008, I painted a love letter to my neighborhood. The sign was located on the main thoroughfare on Flat Shoals Avenue.

On one side of the sign, I painted, “You Look Nice Today” followed by a little heart. This was on the side of the sign that I thought people would see on their way to work. On the other side of the sign (the side I thought people would see the most on their return back to the neighborhood) I painted, “I’m So Happy You’re Here” with another little heart. It was a small gesture that I genuinely hoped would make my neighbors feel good.

Now yours for £12.99 from H+M.

Yesterday, I wrote to H+M's PR flack Amanda Wennö, a representative for "an independent film production company, making both TV documentaries as well as press films (such as those for H&M)" (I'm on her mailing list) to ask about the problem.

She hasn't replied.

Not much later that morning: I have amended the above post to more correctly represent Amanda Wennö's relationship to H+M. She is not a PR representative acting on their behalf, only a representative for the firm that makes the H+M promotional videos she keeps sending me. Some might call this a distinction without a difference. Some might call it getting a reply only after you have published a direct link to someone's LinkedIn profile.

Not that she has bothered to reply herself (and this is not the first time). But thanks anyway to Cecilia Wirseen for alerting me to this crucial distinction and my apologies for any confusion arising from the difference between H+M public relations and H+M press films.

Note to marketing firms: If you insist on spamming me with unsolicited promotional materials, you should observe the basic courtesy of replying to your email. I gave Amanda a full day to respond to my concerns. It is the least she could have done considering the H+M press films she keeps sending me.

So, no, Cecilia, I won't be deleting anything.

Minutes later: A wild H+M Media Relations note appears!

Dear Nicholas,

We are sorry if we have upset anyone, we are taking this matter most seriously and right now we are looking into the situation.
We have reached out to Tori LaConsay, are in direct contact with her and we will continue this dialogue directly with her regarding this matter.

Best regards
Håcan Andersson
Press officer, H&M

My reply:

Dear Håcan,

Imagine my astonishment to hear from you. Cecilia Wirseen took great pains to distance her firm from H+M, I gather they don't engage in PR for H+M, only make press films for H+M and then promote them to people like me.

And yet now I hear direct from H+M.

With respect to the issue at hand, please feel free to keep me informed as to how the work of an Atlanta artist could appear on your products without attribution or, one imagines, compensation.

I can only base my opinions on what has been reported, of course. It may be some terrible error has been committed. But I can tell you that if something comparable had happened to me, the firm responsible would hear from my attorneys and I would not be satisfied until someone had been quite publicly fired.

Directly related: I haven't set foot in an Urban Outfitters for a year. I don't expect I will be back to H+M any time soon.

If you work in a "creative industry", or hold any sort of intellectual property in any medium, I suggest you don't either.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

How thick is your bubble?

How Thick Is Your Bubble?

View user's Quiz School Profile
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Score » 1 out of 20  (5% ) 
Result  
On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 0 and 4.

In other words, your bubble is so thick you may not even know you're in one.
Quiz SchoolTake this quiz & get your score
How Thick Is Your Bubble? » Quiz Maker

I did not give myself points for a very brief stint in demolition, my construction gigs usually involved site tours with a hard-hat and tie. Similarly, my experience of union meetings is limited to participation in an ad hoc media relations committee for CUPE 3903, arguably the most aggressive academic union in Canada (with all the usual non-teaching related, problematical York University political commitments; we were on strike at the time). And while I used to be on Greyhound most weekdays, it was to commute to my teaching job in a cultural studies program.

In fairness, I do know I live in a bubble. It's called the Annex.

People are starting to notice the great divide. The tea party sees the aloofness in a political elite that thinks it knows best and orders the rest of America to fall in line. The Occupy movement sees it in an economic elite that lives in mansions and flies on private jets. Each is right about an aspect of the problem, but that problem is more pervasive than either political or economic inequality. What we now face is a problem of cultural inequality.
...
We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America's core cultural institutions.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Angelina Jolie - Butterfly Knife skills

Remember when Angelina Jolie was so hot it physically hurt to look at her?

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Nichya - Odin Odin

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 25, 2012

Idumea (Black Ships Ate The Sky)

Three different interpretations of the hymn "Idumea" written by Charles Wesley in 1793, from the Current 93 album "Black Ships Ate the Sky":

1) Clodagh Simonds
2) Bonnie Prince Billy (Will Oldham)
3) Shirley Collins

And am I born to die?
To lay this body down?
And as my trembling spirits fly
Into a world unknown

A land of deeper shade
Unpierced by human thought
The dreary region of the dead
Where all things are forgot

Soon as from earth I go
What will become of me?
Eternal happiness or woe
Must then my fortune be

Waked by the trumpet's sound
I from my grave shall rise
And see the Judge with glory crowned
And see the flaming skies

Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM

Disney Princesses vs. Hayao Miyazaki Characters

"To me it's telling that most Disney princess stories fail the Bechdel Test while Studio Ghibli stories do not. You don't have to be a feminist to appreciate well developed characters with their own independent story arcs."

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Run, Johnny Depp! Run!

"You know, when I eat three peas, I'm pregnant.
When I visit a city, I'm buying a house.
In the winter I separate, in the summer I marry.
It's been fifteen years since I've been getting married every year.
In addition I have to answer all these rumours!"

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Air Chanel

"The elaborate setting for this season's Couture show saw the Grand Palais in Paris transformed into a 'private jet' - complete with numbered seating, floor-level lighting and even a slatted roof which revealed a 'faux-sky'." (images at the link)

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Nature And Organisation - Wicker Man Song

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 24, 2012

Hannibal - Rome's Worst Nightmare (2006)

Featuring Dr. Bashir!

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Shock-and-awe Shakespeare

Ralph Fiennes irritates me but, as a fan of Anthony Hopkins as Titus Andronicus and Ian McKellen as Richard III, Coriolanus looks promising (hat tip to Paul).

Working from a highly inventive screenplay by Gladiator writer John Logan that recasts ancient Rome as a Balkanised warzone, debut director Ralph Fiennes mounts a muscular modern-dress version of a notoriously difficult play. Pretty poetry is in short supply but, with a hail of bullets and a pile of bodies, this is shock-and-awe Shakespeare.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Miranda Kerr's Grazia "Australia Day" cover shoot

It turns out Wonder Woman has an Australian accent.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Rondellus - Verres Militares (War Pigs)

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 23, 2012

For all your cadre needs

The RedPad is China’s first working platform exclusively for government cadres and officials.

Redpad has various software built-in/included such as Central Leadership Developments, the “Strong Nation” People.com.cn discussion forum, Daily Policy Reference, Internet Public Opinion, and the People’s Daily newspaper. According to “RedPad’s” official website, this tablet’s retail price is 9999 yuan.

At around one and a half-thousand dollars in the old empire, ten thousand yuan is a bit steep even in comparison with an iPad (though, in fairness, the RedPad probably supports Flash and offers more freedom of choice than Apple's closed ecology).

Posted by the Flea at 06:58 AM

Uncensored

Episode 34 of I Hit It With My Axe features Mandy Morbid wearing a Captain Canuck t-shirt (hat tip to Mark).

Trying random unidentified potions, what's the worst that could happen?

This works on several levels.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM

Talk this way

When did Americans lose their British accents? (Or rather, the other way round.)

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Caste: Radio

Posted by the Flea at 06:52 AM

January 22, 2012

Christopher Hitchens on Mormonism

Excerpted from 'Lowly Stamp of Their Origin - Religion's Corrupt Beginnings' from Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

Fascinating even for folks familiar with the Mormon story; I had not heard of the Burned-over district or Emma Smith's first reaction to her husband's revelation.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Ghost of a Flea

William Blake's best loved spiritual visitant finds a new lease on life in Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy (hat tip to Pascal).

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut

If you have never experienced LSD, this is the nerd version.

In 2009, thousands of Internet users were asked to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Poncho - Please me

Quite possibly the perfect pop music video (hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities).

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 21, 2012

Kari Tauring - Kjerringa med Staven

"Researching vardlokkr (songs or calls to lure nature spirits), Kari Tauring came across the Norwegian Folk Song, "Kjerringa med Staven," or "Dear Lady with a Staff." This children's song describes the traditions of the volva kona, living outside of community, talking to the goddess Frigg as the hare, and working with jotun energy (giants, primal nature energy)."

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

The Fantasy Novelist's Exam

"Answering 'yes' to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once."

Related: Just how heavy were swords from the Middle Ages and Renaissance? (both via The Wingnut Musings)

Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM

Warwick Castle Trebuchet

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

Ásmegin - Huldradans-Hin Grønnkledde

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

January 20, 2012

What the Tudors Did For Us - Ep. 3, War Machyne (2002)

What the Tudors Did for Us is a 2002 BBC documentary series that examines the impact of the Tudor period on modern society.

Adam Hart-Davis travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Tudor Age. This episode addresses weapons of war, torture devices and Hart-Davis test fires a replica of a cannon cast of iron.
Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

That's no moon

George Lucas has decided to build another studio for all those blockbusters he won't be making.

On a campus largely hidden from view, a 263,197-square-foot building with a footprint as big as two football fields will feature just about everything 340 movie-making employees, actors and guests will need. Plans include 51,000 square feet of film stages, 27,918 square feet of screening rooms, a 4,381-square-foot cafe, a 1,151-square-foot kitchen, 19 units providing 11,228 square feet of guest quarters, a general store, a gym and a day care center.

Some of the neighbours are unhappy. So, on the one hand, Grady Ranch is Hearst Castle redux. On the other, it is annoying people in Marin County.

So that's a win-win.

Well played, George Lucas. Well played.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Napoleonland

A theme park in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte will be a daily reminder of French defeats.

The Battle of Waterloo, which put an end to Napoleon's rule in France, is expected to be recreated on a daily basis and visitors may even be able to take part in the reenactments.

They will also be able to take in a water show recreating the Battle of Trafalgar.

This stuff writes itself folks.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Wishbone Ash - Throw Down the Sword

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

January 19, 2012

Jason Chaffetz: Nerd Whisperer

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on SOPA: 'Bring in the Nerds' (via the Armored Facilities Manager).

From the House Judiciary Committee markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), December 15, 2011. For more information.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Twirling, twirling into the future

"An online appeal for ordinary people to help find unknown planets has resulted in the discovery of a new world.

"Chris Holmes, from Peterborough, found the planet after logging on to Planethunters.org, an Oxford University project that asks the public to sift through images from Nasa's Kepler telescope."

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Wagyu Cheesburger with Fried Egg and Crisp Onions

Challenge accepted.*

* It will have to be a Flea version. Sadly, no Capital Grille locations north of the border.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Albir & Sarah - Kizomba

‎"For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union."

kizomba from Nicola Meninno on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Lucenzo feat. Big Ali - Vem dançar kuduro

Hat tip to Alex.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 18, 2012

Exeunt George Lucas

Lucas says he won't make any more Star Wars films. Whereas I was under the impression he hadn't made a Star Wars film since 1977.

On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie,” Lucas tells the New York Times in a new profile, referring to YouTube fans who have re-cut his films in retaliation for the small changes he has made. “I’m saying: ‘Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.’”

Combine that experience with the cool reception the three “Star Wars” prequel films received in the late 90s and early 2000s, and Lucas says he’s done making new films in the canon.

“Why would I make any more,” Lucas says, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?

There's a "George Lucas fired first" line in here somewhere but it's not coming to me.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Why is Wikipedia blacked-out?

"Wikipedia is protesting against SOPA and PIPA by blacking out the English Wikipedia for 24 hours, beginning at midnight January 18, Eastern Time. Readers who come to English Wikipedia during the blackout will not be able to read the encyclopedia. Instead, you will see messages intended to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA, encouraging you to share your views with your representatives, and with each other on social media."

That said: Not everyone at Wikipedia agrees with the blackout.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

No GTA V, therefore list is invalid

The ten most anticipated games of 2012.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Transparent aluminum

Almost. Also, worth watching the Voyage Home clip for a demonstration of how Mac people think computers work.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Seth MacFarlane - Ain't That a Kick in the Head

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

January 17, 2012

The Oseberg Priestess Burial

Maria Kvilhaug makes a convincing case for the identity of the occupants of the Oseberg.

Oseberg - "The Mound of the Gods", in Vestfold, Norway, close to Norway`s oldest city Tunsberg. The mound of Oseberg contained a viking ship burial of unequalled splendor for the Viking Age. It was the grave of two ladies of high standing. Long belived to have been a Queen and her sacrificed handmaiden, many modern researchers have pointed out that the ship burial bears overwhelming evidence of having been part of a religious cult, and that the two women were priestesses of more or less equal rank. Was this the grave of an incarnation of Freya and her priestess? (Anne Stine Ingstad`s thesis) Or the grave of two women connected to the cult of giantesses and the Sacred Marriage in connection to kingship consecration? (Gunnhild Røthe`s thesis based on Gro Steinsland`s work) Was it the grave of two völur (witch-priestesses or seeresses), masters of the art of seidr (a Norse form of witchcraft and shamanism)? (Brit Solli`s thesis) Or perhaps a combination of all these things and something more?"
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Investigative challenge

The UK Security Service has posted an online investigative challenge as a recruitment tool. It's a fun test to take though IMHO flawed both in its conception and suggestive of a peculiar mission brief at MI5.

Fair warning: If you meet the eligibility criteria the pay for intelligence officers is still crap.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Skyrim Kinect - Fus Ro Dah

Buddy has hooked up an Xbox Kinect to his PC.

Using the hack, players can chop down their enemies with a simple swipe of their right hand. You can also use it to cast spells and your left hand is used to control the camera. Moving your character is as simple as putting your right foot forward. If you put your foot out more, your character will change from walking to running.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Selvmord - OK

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 16, 2012

Stories from the Stone Age - Ep. 1, Daily Bread (2003)

Two things; first, something the writers get consistently wrong. Early farmers were not inadvertently mimicking natural selection in their plant and animal husbandry, quite the opposite. Early farmers were quite intentionally ("advertently"?) choosing strains to encourage and strains to discard. Natural selection is design without a designer, farming is selection by design.

Second, something they got exactly right (I suspect, inadvertently). The writers describe the first intentional planting of grain seeds as a "sacrifice" of precious food. This is not only correct on its face but correct in a profound figurative sense as well. I have never come across a satisfying explanation of sacrifice (my favourite has been George Batailles' description of sacrifice as a form of communication) but here it is at last. I sacrifice food I could have eaten by burying it in the ground and if all goes well my sacrifice returns to me many times over at the harvest. It is a short leap from there to imagining other kinds of sacrifice - of meat, say - returning in the form of a successful hunt.

Finally, an observation. Those early farmers were not burying their dead under the kitchen floor. They were planting them.

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

If you stare into the abyss, George Lucas will stare back at you

Producer Rick McCallum reveals the working title - and other details - about the live action Star Wars television series.

It turns out George Lucas hasn't finished raping what's left of our childhood.

The working title is Star Wars: Underworld and the show is about the “underneath of what is going on”, “the criminals, the gangs that are running like, you know Wall Street, basically running the United States”

Fuck you, George Lucas. Just fuck you.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories

Hat tip to Bill.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Eivør - Trøllabundin

Warning: May trigger pon farr.

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

January 15, 2012

Christopher Hitchens on Holocaust Denial, Religion and Free Speech

"Pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass."

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Christopher Hitchens does standup (2005)

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Christopher Hitchens' house

And, more importantly, his library.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Therion: Kali Yuga III

Put your backs to it, my brothers! The Wheel of Cheese must turn!

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 14, 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 01:28 PM

Dimensionally transcendental

Own your own TARDIS purse to "carry with you time and space wherever you want (and bigger on the inside!)"

Posted by the Flea at 01:27 PM

Maximalism

My home decor now has a name design philosophy.

Posted by the Flea at 01:24 PM

Vogue Italia January 2012 - The Collections on IVC

Posted by the Flea at 01:23 PM

DJ Shadow - Fixed Income / What Does Your Soul Look Like

Posted by the Flea at 01:22 PM

January 13, 2012

An ok back up ninja forearm machete blade full tang knife sword

Blood_Rayne_Arm_Blade_w_Sheath.jpg

The Blood Rayne Arm Blade W/ Sheath & Adjustable Handle reviewed by a professional.

I have been a user of Ninja Forearm Machete Blade Full Tang Knife Swords (NFMBFTKS for short, pron ‘nif-mib-fit-kis’) for most of my career, and have some that are quite nice. As a professional mercenary and vendor of ‘blood diamonds’, ‘blood coffee beans’, ‘blood Nike knock offs’, and other ‘conflict-zone’ products, I find myself in need of a good NFMBFTKS regularly.

I was a bit disappointed for several different reasons when this product arrived at my secure compound.

First, this product is sold by a company called ‘Martial Arts Land’, which is the same name I gave to my home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I wish the company had done more research into other entities who are also using that name before naming their company. The post office had quite a time, seeing as the shipping label read ‘From: Martial Arts Land’ and ‘To: Martial Arts Land’. I hope they are not the people who have been getting my missing issues of ‘Soldier of Fortune’ magazine, as the ‘help wanted’ section is crucial to my ability to earn a living.

Second, when I saw the description of a ‘hi-tech’ strap in the product description, I was fully expecting something computerized and perhaps operated by hydraulic machinery that would maybe shoot spikes into the arm if someone besides the owner attempted to use it. Imagine my disappointment when it was shipped to Martial Arts Land (my secure compound in DRC, not the original shipping company, see how confusing this is getting?) with a simple Velcro strap. There is no failsafe in the weapon as-shipped to prevent an enemy skilled in the use of ninja weapons from taking this particular NFMBFTKS from you and using it against you.

Thirdly, I did not find the handle to be particularly ergonomic. After using this product as intended for approximately 8 hours a day, I have developed ‘repetitive ninjitsu stress disorder’ in my rotator cuff caused, I believe at least in part, to the lack of adequate wrist support. I saw an occupational health ninja who agreed with my assessment and suggested I spend hours on end standing under an icy water fall in the middle of the woods in the dead of winter doing ninja poses to help it heal.

All in all, I can see myself using this as a back up ninja forearm machete blade full tang knife sword day-to-day, or maybe on light trips to the grocery store or library, but I will not be replacing my primary ninja forearm machete blade full tang knife sword any time soon.

Pro:
Powerful Ninja Weapon
Machete Blade
Full Tang Knife Sword

Con:
Velcro strap not hi-tech
Lack of good ergonomics
Company name ‘Martial Arts Land’ is a problem, as I as my home address is also ‘Martial Arts Land’

Sadly, this device does not ship to Canada.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Our ships were British oak, And hearts of oak our men

Britain’s most advanced warship HMS Daring sets sail for the Gulf (video at the link).

HMS Daring completed four years of sea trials and training late last year and is the first of six new destroyers which will replace the Type 42 vessels which started service in the 1970s.

It is armed with high-tech Sea Viper anti-air missiles and will be able to carry 60 troops. There is also a large flight deck which can accommodate helicopters the size of a Chinook as well as take on board 700 people in the case of a civilian evacuation.

Related: Building the Queen Elizabeth Class. Featuring rather large sponsons.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

In Russia, Burger is King

I feel so ripped off by Canadian Burger King.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Red Eyes And Tears

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 12, 2012

Jorge Luis Borges - Borges and I

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"The other one, the one called Borges, is the one things happen to. I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and stop for a moment, perhaps mechanically now, to look at the arch of an entrance hall and the grillwork on the gate; I know of Borges from the mail and see his name on a list of professors or in a biographical dictionary. I like hourglasses, maps, eighteenth-century typography, the taste of coffee and the prose of Stevenson; he shares these preferences, but in a vain way that turns them into the attributes of an actor. It would be an exaggeration to say that ours is a hostile relationship; I live, let myself go on living, so that Borges may contrive his literature, and this literature justifies me. It is no effort for me to confess that he has achieved some valid pages, but those pages cannot save me, perhaps because what is good belongs to no one, not even to him, but rather to the language and to tradition. Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things.

"Spinoza knew that all things long to persist in their being; the stone eternally wants to be a stone and the tiger a tiger. I shall remain in Borges, not in myself (if it is true that I am someone), but I recognize myself less in his books than in many others or in the laborious strumming of a guitar. Years ago I tried to free myself from him and went from the mythologies of the suburbs to the games with time and infinity, but those games belong to Borges now and I shall have to imagine other things. Thus my life is a flight and I lose everything and everything belongs to oblivion, or to him.

"I do not know which of us has written this page."

Here: Borges y Yo and an alternative translation.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

No Gods or Kings. Only Man.

Hey, Scientology, Andrew Ryan called. He wants his architectural plans back.

The [Village] Voice has obtained hundreds of new renderings of Scientology's Super Power Building in Clearwater, Florida, as well as a comprehensive collection of its architectural drawings.

A few renderings of Scientology's expensive new "mecca" were published as long ago as 2007, but that release, and a few since, have included only a few images of how the building's interiors will look once it is finished.

Images at the link. Remember: The squirreling of tech basics is a suppressive act. Search your 4th dynamic, your knowingness is trying to warn you it is true.

Tangentially related Objectivism in BioShock. Not that I'm not blaming Ayn Rand for L. Ron Hubbard. He was if anything her antithesis.

Levine wondered what sorts of people might live in an underwater city, what would drive someone from the rest of the world.

"I started thinking about utopian civilizations," he said. "You have these traditional utopian notions. I've always been a fan of utopian and dystopian literature. The more I started thinking about making a compelling place and compelling villain, someone who had a real concrete set of beliefs made sense."

Enter Objectivism. Levine said he had been reading Ayn Rand's books over the past few years and was fascinated with her "intensity and purity of belief."

"The surety she has in her beliefs was fascinating," he said. "She almost spoke like a super villain, like Dr Doom."
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Keep the lasagna flying

It's Robert Anton Wilson week at Boing Boing. This link aggregates the whole week's RAW posts.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Dick Tracy Detective (1945)

Dear i'm Watch, I don't want an awkward smart phone, I want a hard boiled accessory.


Related: Dick Tracy: Phony Pharmers (1961)

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Porcelain Raft - Talk To Me

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 11, 2012

Lady Gaga - Marry The Night

If you haven't figured out Lady Gaga is trolling you, I rest my case.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

World of Warcraft, Pencil and Paper Version

In which Ace reveals a suspicious familiarity with the Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition controversy and the problems that arose from making the 3rd edition Open License.

What happened was that D&D 4th was such a departure from the well-liked (and yet super-clunky) 3rd edition rules that... someone did in fact go ahead and start publishing the rules under the Open License, but it wasn't some guy in his garage. It was a somewhat-established game company, using a lot of the same artists who illustrated the actual D&D products.

And further, the anger over D&D 4 was so great people flocked to support this competitor company, which was actually simply publishing D&D 3rd edition under a different (lame) name, Pathfinder. And I hear that Pathfinder is actually... outselling the actual D&D game it's knocking off. Or at least it's too close for comfort.

Warning: Sexy elf at the link.

We search, you view: Another sexy elf girl!

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Hallaton helmet

After a decade long process of reconstruction, a rare Roman helmet has gone on display at Harborough Museum.

British Museum conservator Marilyn Hockey, and colleagues Fleur Shearman and Duygu Camurcuoglu undertook the micro-excavation, stabilisation and reconstruction of the hundreds of fragments – a task described as being like a 3D jigsaw puzzle. Thanks to this process we know the helmet was probably made between AD 25 and AD 50 and that it was crafted from sheet iron, covered with silver sheet and decorated in places with gold leaf.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Alain Vinnytsia feat. Kievelektro - Walk, Slavs!

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities!

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 10, 2012

Mia Love - Give Back

This is what a Tea Party President sounds like (i.e. Margaret Thatcher).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Good luck, Extreme sleeve!

"Attached to a weather balloon, an Apple iPad was lifted to over 100,000 feet and dropped back down to Earth encased in G-Form Extreme Edge case. It remained on throughout the drop and landed fully functional."

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Ryse (2012)

In related news: I just decided to buy a Kinect.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

The Presets - Steamworks

I'm not saying I'm ready for the new term. I'm saying I aim to kick ass anyway.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 09, 2012

Resurrection

Preserved in Antarctica since 1907, and resurrected as Mackinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky, the Scotch that Ernest Shackleton drank is now available in stores* (via Quotulatiousness).

Phenol and related phenolic compounds show up in Scotch whiskies, giving them the unmistakable character that's referred to "peaty," because the flavor is introduced when the grain is exposed to peat smoke during the malting process. Chemical analysis revealed not only the quantity of phenolics in the Mackinlay -- surprisingly low, given that era's reputation for heavily peated malts -- but also the particular balance of compounds, which enabled the experts to pinpoint what region the peat used had likely come from. The answer? Orkney.

* Though not, it seems, at Ontario's thieving, useless state liquor monopoly.

Reviewed: "Overall: If I were weathering a snowstorm at the South Pole, I’d sure like to have several cases of this stashed under my cabin."

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Insight

If you have to use a flourescent bulb it might as well look like this one.

the most recent project of belarusian industrial design duo solovyovdesign (igor and maria soloyov) 'insight lamp' is a fluorescent bulb that plays a joke on the classic good idea light bulb joke.
Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Pizza Principle

Since 1960, inflation and other factors have caused the the price of both a slice of pizza and a single ride on the subway to rise at a nearly identical rate.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

Pelicans and Flying Rays

Narrated by David Tennant.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

Girls Aloud - Call The Shots (Live at O2)

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

January 08, 2012

Kristen Bell's Body of Lies

Now I want a Windows 95 tattoo.

Kristen Bell's Body of Lies - watch more funny videos

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

Xbox 720 & PS4

"Microsoft and Sony's new games consoles could be launched at this summer's E3 games show in Los Angeles, according to industry website MCV."

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Goths up trees

Challenge accepted.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Kamon!!!: Brunette

Каблы, КАМON!!!

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

January 07, 2012

Mark Bramley - Lost in Tokyo (2012)

Lost in Tokyo from Mark Bramley on Vimeo.

"Had 2 days to myself in Tokyo so I decided to take about 10,000 photos. All shot on a Canon 5D MkII. All the video footage was shot handheld."

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

If famous writers had written Twilight

My high school experience was a Dorothy Parker Twilight LARP (I played several characters).

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

I love the new Gmail look!

"Just kidding. I hate the new look. Got your attention? Good."

Seriously, Google. This is why I don't use Apple products. I don't have to do business with you either (all these ads could go, for a start).

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Michael O'Leary at the Innovation Convention 2011 - Brussels

The EU accidentally invites a good speaker (via AoSHQ).

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

LCD Soundsystem: You Wanted A Hit

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

January 06, 2012

Kôsçak Yamada - Symphony in F Major "Triumph and Peace" (1912)

This rendition of Triumph and Peace was conducted by Takuo Yusaua with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The Symphony in F major 'Triumph and Peace', which amounts to the first-ever symphony by a Japanese composer, was completed on 8th November 1912. It may be that the symphony initially had no title and was given the name after the outbreak of World War I in 1914. In any case, the work is true to its name.

I. Moderato - 00:00
II. Adagio Non Tanto E Poco Marciale - 8:45
III. Poco Vivace - 20:07
IV. Adagio Molto - Molto Allegro E Triofante - 25:56

Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

"If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

"After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud."

Hat tip to the Sister of the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Everything you need to know about the Nobel

New documents have revealed JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was criticised by the Nobel prize jury of 1961 for its "poor prose and bad story-telling."

Jury members were also not impressed by other well-known authors including EM Forster, Graham Greene, Robert Frost - deemed too old at 86 according to the documents - and Lawrence Durrell, who was said to have an unpleasant 'preoccupation with erotic complications'.

Judges eventually named Ivo Andric, a Yugoslavian writer whose writings were inspired by the folklore of his native Bosnia, as the winner.
Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Boy - Little Numbers

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

January 05, 2012

The Roman Family

Garrett Fagan, Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, History of Ancient Rome - Lecture 39 - The Roman Family.

Posted by the Flea at 10:18 AM

Adam Carolla - Women Don't Know Anything About Wars

Before you click play, name as many World War II era aircraft as you can (warning: possibly illegal to laugh at this in Canada).

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM

Eisley - Mr. Moon

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM

January 04, 2012

For Skyrim and the Nine

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In early days, I would scrounge gold coins and battered armour from the shrines I would find around Skyrim. It felt wrong but needs must. Just now I came across a shrine to Talos, perched high above Arcwind Pass on a path leading nowhere looking down on nothing in particular. It was just there, where the designers had placed it, as part of the landscape, the home of the Nords. Without realizing what I was doing, I searched my inventory and dropped a potion in offering. It fell there, joining scattered coins and battered armour and I realized my chest was tightening and my eyes misting over. One hundred and sixty hours in Skyrim and at last I know what I have to do.

Posted by the Flea at 10:09 AM

Aviatr

The $715 million Aviatr is designed to fly over Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Scientists believe that Titan is uniquely suited for heavier-than-air craft - the moon's gravity is relatively low, but its atmosphere is thick, which would mean that a heavier than air craft such as Aviatr could stay airborne for longer.

Unlike a balloon - the rival method proposed for missions to Titan - Aviatr would allow scientists to precisely control its altitude, and build up a library of 3D images of the surface and Titan's weather.
Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM

Best Roofs 2011

The best photographs taken from the roofs throughout Russia in 2011. The first one is my favourite.

Posted by the Flea at 10:04 AM

Icelandic Folk Music - Tyrkjaránid

Posted by the Flea at 10:02 AM

January 03, 2012

Lisbeth Salander’s closet

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Designed by Trish Summerville, H&M has released a Girl With The Dragon Tattoo line.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Ancestral heritage minute

Ten lesser known Germanic tribes.

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

Google news

Google is revamping their main search page. It's going to be two clicks to get to those Kate Beckinsale images.

Also: GDrive. I wants it.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Sh*t yoginis say

I just got some really great eyeshadow for my 3rd eye!

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

Laura Marling - Blackberry Stone

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

January 02, 2012

Bettany Hughes - The Spartans (2003)

It's a bit slow to start but picks up once Hughes gets into Spartan social organization. What is most interesting to me is not so much the enduring appeal of Spartan sado-tourism, but how life in Athens was, if anything, even more alien to our everyday assumptions than Sparta.

The Spartans was a 3-part historical documentary series first broadcast on UK terrestrial Channel 4 in 2003, presented by Bettany Hughes. A book, The Spartans: An Epic History by Paul Cartledge accompanied the series.

Episode I, Episode II, Episode III.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

The 5 Most Depraved Sex Scenes Implied by "Harry Potter"

And that was the day Harry learned that you do not mess with Hermione Granger.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Biblios and The Great Wall

Carved book landscapes by Guy Laramee.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Darius - Maliblue

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

January 01, 2012

I resolve to eat more meat, butter and desserts

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This information is now my Koran.

Directly related: Nigella Lawson talks dirty (nsfw in Canada due to humour).

Posted by the Flea at 10:18 AM

Penn & Teller - 2012

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

Nicole Scherzinger - Poison

Happy New Year!

Posted by the Flea at 10:12 AM