April 30, 2012

Fight the Vampire Squid


Goldman Sachs was founded in the 19th century when Jews were excluded from other firms.

If you believe that Goldman has done nothing wrong, then any criticisms of Goldman or use of the firm as a symbol of the crisis are obviously unfair to Goldman. Furthermore, they would raise the legitimate question of "Why pick on Goldman?" and the possibility that anti-Semitism is part of the explanation. Similarly, if you believe that anything Goldman did wrong was done wrong by lots of others, the question of "Why pick on Goldman" arises, as does the same obvious answer.

The same obvious answer, but one - supposedly - lost on the BBC, today celebrating Occupy as a new artistic movement.

Paul Mason, Economics editor for Newsnight - and therefore the right choice to cover an arts movement, somehow - cites Molly Crabapple's impromptu salon of graphic novelists, painters, illustrators and graphic designers a few streets away from Zuccotti Park.

Now she is hard at work on a major series of paintings on themes of protest and rebellion, entitled Shell Game . The most complete of the works shows a Vampire Squid, depicting Goldman Sachs, surrounded by a crowd of little fat-cat capitalists doing various unspeakable things in the style of a Bosch or Breugel painting.

"I started out just doing graphics - I drew this picture of an octopus with 'Fight the Vampire Squid' on its belly - and put it online and people used it as protest signs all over the country," Crabapple says.

A vampire squid representing Jewish bankers is le dernier cri for these intellectuals. Anyone want to guess what the Economics editor for BBC Newnight makes? Or what it costs to maintain a salon a few blocks from Wall Street? But then this was never about money; it's about virtue.

I am not saying Molly Crabapple is anti-Semitic - in fact, being only one or two steps removed from her social circle, I am certain she isn't - but I am saying there is a reason some images resonate with the words "banking" and "conspiracy" while others don't. She couldn't have compared Goldman Sachs to, say, the Borg? And Occupy had to focus on a Jewish banking firm rather than, say, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose ideologically driven mortgages triggered the meltdown in the first place?

Matt Taibbi, whose 2009 Rolling Stone article "The Great American Bubble Machine" is the immediate source of the vampire squid metaphor, is another story. Taibi describes Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.


Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Rule of Acquisition No. 109: Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack

While I am on the subject of anti-Semitic stereotypes, a few words from the Ferengi*, my heroes from the Star Trek universe, the only people prepared to stand up - ethically - against the Fascist economics of the Federation.

* I get the Bajoran comparison too. But then in the '90s it was still ok for Hollywood to celebrate Israel.

Related: The Great Material Continuum.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

We Love - Don't Cross

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 29, 2012

Brigitte M - I was made for loving you

I have probably already told the story about how Metallica saved my life.

Long story short: Metalheads probably have the same facility for mathematics as classical musicians.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Cira Las Vegas & Flo - I was made for loving you

Ouch. Stabbed in heart.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Hitbotique - I was Made for Loving You

Meanwhile, in Vichy France.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Danny Vera - I Was Made for Loving You


Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

Kiss - I was made for lovin' you

The immortal classic.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 28, 2012



Ferrari launches its entry into Italy's private high speed rail market.

From Saturday, the traveller from Rome to Naples can cover the 225km (140 miles) in little over an hour, paying as little as €20 (£16.33) for the pleasure.

The new Italo – the first privately operated high-speed train in Europe – is a train like no other, claims Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari and boss of NTV, the firm challenging the state service.Mobbed by press at the inaugural journey from Rome Tiburtina, the flamboyant Montezemolo purred: "I'm addicted to speed. Speed and risk. Economic risk."

There are no travel "classes", NTV insists, only different "ambiences" – albeit differentiated by bigger seats, at-seat dining and pricier tickets.

"The Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatoro (NTV) owned train system will run from Italy’s North in Turin down to the South in Salerno, using the Alstom AGV train model." Fast - and supposedly green - technology at the link. More Ferrari train porn here.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Give Three-Piece a Chance

"On the morning of St George’s Day, April 23rd, swathes of immaculately dressed chaps and chapettes gathered outside No. 3 Savile Row to demonstrate peacefully – but firmly – against Abercrombie & Fitch’s proposed plans to open a children’s store there."

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

Casino opportunity

The Lockheed Martin-built Sea Shadow is for sale.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

The Sisters Of Mercy - Nine While Nine

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

April 27, 2012

ABBA in Concert (1979)

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Also handy for teaching

The ten most satisfying cases of hecklers getting destroyed (via Five Feet of Fury).

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Text-Only Instagram

Your personal Instagram feed in a lightweight text format.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Junior Senior - Move Your Feet

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

April 26, 2012

Penthouse PPDG


Hernandez Silva's Penthouse PPDG occupies the 15th floor of a 70's Mexican colonial style building in Guadalajara.

A characteristic feature of the project is that a volume that was originally intended for a second elevator and was never installed becomes a powder room with a glass floor that looks down all the 15 levels, the PPDG penthouse is a great versatile modulated space, with great views all this with the concepts of transparency and the simplicity of materials.
Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM

I've got a bad feeling about this

Peter Jackson's ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is the first major motion picture to be filmed at 48 frames per second, twice the old standard of 24 frames per second.

Well today he screened 10 minutes of footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and according to some, it sorta sucked. Because now the images are actually too crisp and clear, and it doesn’t look like a movie any more.

IGN elaborates (hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities).

It looked like an old Doctor Who episode, or a videotaped BBC TV production.
While 48fps may create a more realistic, "you are there" picture quality, it actually works against The Hobbit from the 10 minutes of footage we saw. This undeniable "reality" kept pulling me out of the movie rather than immersing me fully into its world as the Lord of the Rings films did; the very fantasy element, the artifice of it all (whether it's the wigs, fake beards or CG monsters) was plainly, at times painfully, evident. There was none of the painterly gentleness that film offers a fantasy film, as was so beautifully the case with the original (shot on film) LOTR trilogy.
Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM

Letter to Jeff Walker regarding "Blade Runner"

Philip K. Dick wrote this letter after seeing his first glimpse of Blade Runner in a television segment (via Boing Boing).

... after looking -- and especially after listening to Harrison Ford discuss the film -- I came to the conclusion that this indeed is not science fiction; it is not fantasy; it is exactly what Harrison said: futurism.
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Planetary Resources, Inc. - Asteroid Mining Mission

Great idea: Corporations with the power to lob asteroids at the Earth.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Gabriel Fauré - Requiem in D minor

Fauré: Requiem & Cantique de Jean Racine - Paavo Järvi, Orchestre de Paris, Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris & Matthias Goerne.

I Introit et Kyrie (0:00)
II Offertoire (6:34)
III Sanctus (15:20)
IV Pie Jesu (18:30)
V Agnus Dei et Lux Aeterna (22:08)
VI Libera me (27:44)
VII In Paradisum (32:16)

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

April 25, 2012

Battlefield Britain - Battle For Wales (2004)

Owain Glyn Dwr And The Battle For Wales is a look at the Battle for Wales in 1403 and the leader of the Welsh rebellion, Owain Glyndwr.

Features: An arrow to the knee (30:35).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM


The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh braved heavy rain and driving winds to name Gloriana, the first royal barge to be built in one hundred years.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Dishonored - debut trailer

Revenge is everything.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Eluveitie - Omnos

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 24, 2012

Settlers of Catan - TableTop Episode 2

Wil Wheaton and guests Jane Espenson (Writer and Producer-Buffy, Caprica, BSG, Game of Thrones), James Kyson (Actor-Heroes, Hawaii 5-0) and Neil Grayston (Actor-Eureka) play Settlers of Catan.

Posted by the Flea at 07:29 AM

No surfeit of lampreys

Now the lamprey has been declared an endangered species, Gloucester has turned to the Great Lakes for its Jubilee celebrations.

For the people of Gloucester, it wouldn't be a Jubilee year without a lamprey pie.

In a custom stretching back for centuries, the city marks every one of these royal milestones - as well as Coronations - by sending the monarch a traditional dish made with an eel-like fish native to local rivers.

But this time around the uniquely British recipe will have to be prepared with lampreys from abroad, due to a shortage of the species in Gloucester waters.
Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Hot pie!

The Inn at the Crossroads has recipes for modern and medieval venison pies.

Also: Pylons courtesy of House Baratheon.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Olga Ziemska - Stillness in Motion (2003)

Olga Ziemska - Stillness in Motion.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Pink Floyd - Echoes (Live at Pompeii)

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

April 23, 2012

Thor pipeline


Pipelines for beer. Not a dream; reality.

Bars in the Veltins-Arena, a major football ground in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, are interconnected by a 5 km long beer pipeline. It is the favored method for distributing beer in such large stadiums, because the bars have to overcome big differences between demands during various stages of a match; this allows them to be supplied by a central tank.

In Randers city in Denmark, the so-called Thor beer pipeline still exists. Originally copper pipes were running directly from the brewery and, when in the 90s the brewery moved out of the city, Thor beer replaced the centre of a star with a giant tank.
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM


A two thousand year old statue shows a topless female gladiator in a pose of victory.

She holds up a 'sica' - a cruel curved short sword used in arena matches by gladiators, who were often captured warriors from other countries.

Few statues of female gladiators have ever been found, after the Emperor Septimus banned the fairer sex from gladiatorial combat in AD200.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Wooing Women

Step 1. Be rich.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Maylee Todd - Heart Throb

Hat tip to Paul.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 22, 2012

Catherine Owens - Chalk Art at Backbar

Chalk Art at Backbar from Catherine Owens on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

Adam Carolla - Wealth redistribution

NSFW (strong language, personal responsibility).

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Dead Man's Bones - For Weddings and Funerals

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

April 21, 2012

Christopher Hitchens - Why Orwell Matters

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Hierarchies of contempt

Southern Metropolis Daily‘s City Weekly has compiled a list of “Hierarchies of Snobbery” or “Hierarchies of Contempt”.

These hierarchies show the multi-layered prejudices amongst Chinese when it comes to how the products, brands, sports, media, academic disciplines, music, movies, fashion, etc. they choose reflect their intelligence, sense of fashion taste and fashion, originality, or how “international” they are.
Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

Mausi - Sol

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM

April 20, 2012

Leica and me, and that's reality


Portraits by Man Ray, 1921-1937.

Posted by the Flea at 06:58 AM

Occupy Antarctica

HMS Protector arrives at the British Antarctic Suvey Rothera Point ice station on Adelaide Island, 800 miles south of Cape Horn.

Adelaide Island was discovered in 1832 by a British expedition led by John Biscoe. The island was first surveyed by the French Antarctic Expedition under Jean-Baptiste Charcot.

The Antarctic region has no indigenous population but now a few thousand transient scientific and other personnel work across several dozen research stations situated on the continent.
Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Max Barskih - Z.Dance. Episode 1 & 2

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities (nsfw due to a swear word, recycled sentiment/zombies).

Posted by the Flea at 06:52 AM

April 19, 2012

Dalek relaxation for humans

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Innovate or die

In 1996, I was hired to help a major ministry of a G7 country encourage "world beating" innovation across a variety of industry sectors. My first question at the first meeting did not make me any friends: What's innovation? Nobody could answer the question, obviously; a small step for general semantics, a giant leap of faith.

If you read Forbes, you already know people still can't be bothered to define their terms. Some great quotes nonetheless.

Henry Ford - If I had listened to my customers, I would have designed a faster horse.

Related: Introducing Macintosh.

Relateder: Eight features of Google Glasses (as they'll really be used).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

How to design a logo

Sagi Haviv asks what problem your client is trying to solve.

When you want a new logo is when your current trademark is too complex, no longer relevant to your brand, or you want to unite various sub-brands. A new mark should be an uncomplicated form that can work anywhere, from a billboard to an app tile. It must be appropriate and relevant to the company and its field. And it must be memorable.
Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Ikea Uppleva

If I were in the market for a condo, this would factor into my budget.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Sigur Rós - Untitled 3

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 18, 2012

Talks at Google presents - Jane Espenson

"Jane Espenson, American television writer and producer, came to Google on April 3, 2012 to talk with her Google fans about writing for T.V. Among her serial dramas are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Caprica, Torchwood, Firefly, Angel, Tru Calling, Dollhouse, and Once Upon a Time. In 2010 she wrote an episode of HBO's Game of Thrones. Jane also talked about her experience working on the new web series "Husbands" with Brad Bell. The series premiered at HusbandsTheSeries.com on Sept. 13, 2011. The second season is due out later this summer, 2012."

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Keeper of the mythos - Bryan Cogman

Westeros.org interviews Game of Thrones writer and keeper of the mythos, Bryan Cogman.

What exactly does a story editor do, anyways?

“Story Editor” is really just a writing staff title. It has to do with where you are in your career more than anything. The entry level title is Staff Writer, then Story Editor, etc. I’ll be “Executive” Story Editor for Season Three, but I imagine my duties will remain the same. Every show is different. On THIS show, in addition to working with David, Dan & Vanessa mapping out the season, the Story Editor’s job is to be on set for most the production, advising the various depts, and so on. I’m often D&D’s eyes and ears when they’re on other units. And, of course, I get to write an episode a season. Plus I maintain the show bible, help.com & Home Ent. with special features, etc. Just try to be on hand to be a resource on the show’s mythology whenever I can.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM


Much as Star Trek: The Original Series anticipated cell phones but not loud, one sided conversations on the bus, the replicators on Star Trek: The Next Generation didn't have warning labels about reproducing someone else's intellectual property. Our live social experiment in the future continues as The Pirate Bay launches Physibles category for printing 3D objects.

In the next few years, physical replicas of objects could feasibly be pirated if The Pirate Bay has anything to say about it. The notorious site has introduced a file category called Physibles, which is targeted at 3D printers.

Related: Sweden has granted religious recognition to a file-sharing church.

The recognition of the Church of Kopimism as a religion by the state of Sweden was revealed in a statement on the Church’s Website, after more than a year of trying to gain formal recognition.
Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Sean Young filmed the making of Dune with David Lynch (1983)

Via Boing Boing.

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

Arcana - Cathar

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

April 17, 2012

In the beginning was the Word


The British Library has acquired the St Cuthbert Gospel for £9million.

The book was produced in the north of England in the late seventh century and buried alongside St Cuthbert, an early English Christian leader, on the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumberland in around AD698.

The coffin was moved off the island to escape Viking raiders and taken to Durham, where the book, which is a copy of the Gospel of St John, was found when the coffin was opened at the cathedral in 1104. Its original red leather binding survives today.
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Tomb raiding

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Neolithic portal dolmen in an isolated field in Wales.

It is thought the tomb was built from giant boulders about 5,500 years ago. Its capstone bears a seemingly random pattern of dozens of circular holes gouged into its surface – symbols of Neolithic or Bronze Age ritual burial activity.

What makes it particularly interesting is that the site has rare remains of human bones and shards of decorated pottery

More on the Trefael Stone.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Britain's greatest foe

It wasn't George Washington.

I can’t help feeling that, in terms of actual damage inflicted on the British, the list contains a glaring omission. Had I been speaking at the museum I would have nominated a man who achieved what Philip II of Spain, Louis XIV and Napoleon all failed to do — who in fact makes their efforts look amateurish.
Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Enya - Boudicea

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 16, 2012

Bomber Boys (2012)

"Brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor follow up their documentary The Battle of Britain with a film exploring Bomber Command, a rarely-told story from the Second World War."

Note to Ewan McGregor: All is forgiven. Let us not speak of the "prequels" again.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Flying in the Lancaster cockpit

One of the great privileges of living in Toronto is having a Lancaster bomber handy for Memorial Day.

From the cockpit, it looks like four Spitfires strapped together.

"Dedication from all involved in restoring and maintaining this historic WWII bomber aircraft, I could only think of all the young airmen who worked on and flew in these Lancasters through wartime and what it could of possibly meant. ----- Part1 flight begins with engines starting then @ 00:48sec 3/4 throttle takeoff from Hamilton CWHM , cockpit view 1:53min along Great Lake Ontario to Toronto with a CN Tower flypast 07:01min . 45 degree bank turn over Toronto at 07:24 then over Lake Ontario with a upper mid gunners view 07:51min, onto Niagara Falls 10:33min."

"Part 2 continues on from Niagara Falls to the North Shores of Great Lake Erie and then with a flypast 9:56min over the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum."

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Spitbank, Horse Sands, and No Mans Land

The sea forts of the Solent are getting a makeover, to ensure their survival.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

The British Beehive

At the heart of the hive: The tea dealer.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Morrissey - Everyday is like Sunday

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

April 15, 2012

Brothers Band - Nothing Else Matters

If you're like me, your time travel fantasies involve going back and authoring centuries of timeless folk tunes.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Gregorian - Nothing Else Matters

I guess I could invent polyphony while I was at it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Hel7808 - Nothing Else Matters

I was in a mood when I was collecting these.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Shakira - Nothing Else Matters / La Despedida

Crazy never stopped me neither.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Metallica & San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - Nothing Else Matters

This is what the ending of Mass Effect 3 should have felt like. It didn't.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

April 14, 2012

The Green Hornet: The Tunnel of Terror - Chapter 1 (1940)

Posted by the Flea at 08:59 AM

The greater fool theory

Econophysicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich suggest Facebook and Zynga are "vastly overvalued."

"On the basis of this result, we can claim with confidence that, at its IPO and ever since, Zynga has been overvalued," say Cauwels, Sornette and Forro, adding that even their calculations are optimistic.

The bigger picture, of course, is that the entire market for social networking companies is experiencing a bubble, probably sustained by the greater fool theory of market behaviour: "I'm a fool for paying so much but I know there's a greater fool out there who will pay more".

Obi Wan Kenobi made a similar observation.

All sunshine and no rain: EnemyGraph is an application that allows Facebook users to identify their enemies.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

LCD Soundsystem - Get Innocuous

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

April 13, 2012



A man spent $100 at a Vancouver garage sale and walked away with a watercolour by Frederick Varley and painting by Tom Thomson.

At first, the appraiser didn’t even think to take one of the paintings out of the bag, thinking it wasn’t worth anything. But another staff member had a hunch and discovered that the painting was actually a piece of Canadian art history, a previously unknown work by Tom Thomson.

A two-month long authentication process discovered that it was likely painted in 1915.

The last Thomson sold at Maynards went for $170,000 and the auction house says this latest find could go for even more, maybe even half-a-million dollars.
Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM


Jeremy Hart takes a look at a decommissioned Soviet submarine base, fascinating despite the gratuitous shots of his Land Rover (hat tip to Mr. Jané).

In 1953, Joseph Stalin signed the plans for a top-secret nuclear submarine base that would become the operational home for the fearsome Soviet Black Sea Fleet.

Hidden inside the base of a mountain in the port town of Balaklava on Ukraine’s Crimean coast, the 153,000 square-foot facility took nine years to build and its entrance camouflaged from spy planes. It could survive a direct nuclear hit and at maximum capacity could hold 3,000 people with supplies to sustain them for a month. Best of all, the vast subs that slunk in and out of here between tours of duty could enter and leave underwater, keeping them from prying eyes at all times.

Vocabulary building: Balaklava is Turkish for "fish nest."

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Richard Dawkins - God Strikes Back (2008)

"Relativism, the quaint notion there are many truths all equally deserving of respect even if they contradict each other, is rife today. It sounds like a respectful gesture towards multiculturalism. Actually, it's a pretentious cop out; there really is something special about scientific evidence: Science works. Planes fly. Magic carpets and broomsticks don't."

This excerpt includes the above quote and, better yet, the grotesque spectacle of "scientists" claiming they believe the Earth is more than ten thousand years old because they are scientists, rather than because scientific investigation supports the contention.

Dawkins calls them on the distinction and they have nothing to say for themselves. Whether because the distinction eludes them or because they live in fear of their students is another question.

The complete Channel-4 documentary 'God Strikes Back', part of the series 'The Genius of Darwin'.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

Justice - Canon

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

April 12, 2012

VICE Motherboard TV - William Gibson in Real Life

Posted by the Flea at 07:19 AM

Dress code

Attempting to raise sartorial standards among racegoers, organziers have issued one hundred thousand Ascot style guides - one for the Grandstand and another more restrictive guide for the Royal Enclosure.

Posted by the Flea at 07:18 AM

Truly, the way is narrow & the path is steep

Hanging monasteries of the world.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

Baby Red Panda!

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM

The Chap - We work in bars

The Chap - We work in bars from Harry Rambaut on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 07:12 AM

April 11, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock - Masters of Cinema (1972)

Posted by the Flea at 08:08 AM

Lakes and Oceans

"Randall Munroe's produced another in his series of his spectacular, gigantic charts of unimaginably large and complex things compared and rendered tractable by the human imagination."

The chart.

Fun fact: The Edmund Fitzgerald, the Kursk, and the Lusitania all sank in water shallower than they were long.
Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

The Flog: Blacksmithing

In which, Felicia Day.

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM

Genesis - Dancing with the Moonlit Knight

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

April 10, 2012

The Battle of Chernobyl (2006)

On the one hand, science fiction horror. On the other, absolute heroism.

On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat exploded and began spewing radioactive smoke and gas. Firemen discovered that no amount of water could extinguish the blaze. More than 40,000 residents in the immediate area were exposed to fallout 100 times greater than that from the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. But the most serious nuclear accident in history had only begun.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.

Posted by the Flea at 07:08 AM


Photographs by Father S.J. Browne, 1912.

Also: Construction of the Titanic.

Related thought: I have been watching Julian Fellowes' Titanic. I want to say it's a train wreck but...

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

The heart and stomach of a king

"Towering among the grey clouds, HMS Queen Elizabeth cuts a intimidating figure as she comes one step closer to being let loose on the seas."

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Schelmish - Rabenballade

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

April 09, 2012

The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains

"What would you pay for the perfect short story? To read it? To write it? Don’t post your answer. Instead write the story."

Neil Gaiman reads from his story (via Boing Boing).

Related thought: Neil Gaiman's library.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

You're suddenly transported back to 1000 BC

What's the most advanced machine that you could possible construct?

With the background established I'd do the following:

0) (before any machine is made) Learn the language of whatever civilization I'm thrown into so I don't kill myself by being ignorant.

1) I would obtain some tin and copper and smelt it together in a crude forced air furnace to make some bronze (basically rocks in the ground with a leather bellow). I would have to experiment to make the optimum (or pretty close) quality of bronze, testing the quality is super simple (hit it with a predetermined weight, see if it breaks). I like bronze as the materials are not too hard to get (tin and copper).

The next steps at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Dothraki studies

David Peterson explains how to create a language.

The word dothraki itself translates to "riders". As horse riding is so central to Dothraki existence, it seems natural that the concept would crop up in their language in a variety of ways.

For example, the basic way to inquire after someone's state is, Hash yer dothrae chek? That translates literally to, "Do you ride well?" or, "Are you riding well?" In English, though, an appropriate translation would be simply, "How are you doing?"
Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

How I Play Skyrim

This is the correct procedure.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

Peter Hollens & Lindsey Stirling - Skyrim

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

April 08, 2012

The Turin Horse (2011)

The opening scene of A Torinói ló.

While travelling in Turin, Italy, in 1889, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed a horse being whipped. He tossed his arms around the horse’s neck to protect it, and then collapsed. Less than a month later, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a mental illness that left him bedridden and mute for the next eleven years, until his death at age sixty-five. But whatever hap­pened to the horse?
Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

City of Z

Thanks to Google Earth, and forestry, archeologists in Brazil are finding geoglyphs carved into the ground in the Amazon rainforest.

The geoglyphs are believed to have been sculpted by ancient people from the Amazon region around 700 years ago, though their purpose is still unknown. So far, nearly 300 geoglyphs have been identified, but with advances in satellite imaging--and increased clearing of the jungle coverage--scientists are hoping to discover many more of these strange, geometric designs.

People had long suspected a vanished civilization is hidden in the trackless wastes of the rainforest, whether known as the legendary El Dorado or (better) the lost City of Z.

Sculpted from the clay rich soils of Amazonia as perfect circles and squares, these structured earth mounds, or "geoglyphs," are located on the east side of the Andes and span a distance of 155 miles.

Built long before Christopher Columbus set foot in the new world -- the sites date from 200 to 1283 A.D.-- the earthworks are the remains of roads, bridges and squares that formed the basis for a lost civilization, according to a study published in the journal Antiquity.

Tempting as it is to ascribe civilizational collapse in the New World to the arrival of Europeans with their "guns, germs, and steel" these dates neatly match an earlier calamity, the end of the Medieval Warm Period, which put paid to classical Mayan civilization, the Chaco culture/interaction sphere, and hundreds of years of Viking settlement in Greenland. Given there has been no statistically significant global warming trend since 1995, our little Ice Age seems set to continue.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, R.I.P.

"A designer in the illustrious German automaking family, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche shaped the famed 911 sports car and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS."

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Sa Ding Ding - Ha Ha Li Li

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 07, 2012

Serge Gainsbourg - Melody (1971)


A short film by Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Christophe Averty based on the concept album "Histoire de Melody Nelson". Featuring Jane Birkin.

Histoire de Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg from LeGouter on Vimeo.

1. Melody | Gainsbourg
2. Ballade de Melody Nelson | Gainsbourg, Vannier
3. Valse de Melody | Gainsbourg
4. Ah ! Melody | Gainsbourg, Vannier
5. L'hôtel particulier | Gainsbourg
6. En Melody | Gainsbourg, Vannier
7. Cargo culte

Aussi: Jean-Claude Vannier - Melody Nelson revisitée.

Posted by the Flea at 09:08 AM


Rick McGinnis reviews Lee Hirsch's "Bully".

The most heartbreaking scenes of the film ... were the ones where poor Alex, as obvious a bullying victim as almost any kid who’d ever slouch through a school’s doors, haltingly tries to make friends with his bullies and whatever fellow student gets close to him. As Hirsch’s camera follows him through the crowds of kids loitering between classes, he seems to be searching for a single sympathetic look or gap in the wall of antipathy or indifference, unaware that this show of desperation has made him an even riper target. I wished, for a moment, that I could have made him a gift of the hate that insulated me from the worst of my own bullying, or a bit of the sense of pride and superiority that was both a partial cause of it all and, ultimately, my means of escape.
Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM

It was all just a dream, Bobby Ewing didn't really die!

No comment from BioWare on the Mass Effect 3 Indoctrination Theory.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM

Project Glass: One day...

Google's prospective heads up display for glasses - or contacts - means I will have to rewrite all my tests somehow. On the other hand, I will be able to stare into space and read my lectures.

Big Brother meet Panopticon. Panopticon, Big Brother.

And I've never heard it called a "ukulele" before.

Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM

Serebro - Opium

Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM

April 06, 2012

Converting to Norse Religion


Norse religion is pretty much just like this all the time. And by "this", of course I mean "awesome".

Basically Norse Religion is all about kicking asses and dying valorously in combat by bleeding to death on the battlefield after some jerk cut your arms off and stole your favorite hat. Anything else is for chumps. I mean how can you talk shit about a religion that has three gods of war. Three. Even the Goddess of Love, Fertility and Beauty is also the fucking Goddess of War. There's so much emphasis on dying a horrible bloody death that all murderers, cheaters, liars, and men who died of old age and/or illness get sent to Hel, a magical mysterious place where you spend all day wading around in a waist-deep river of blood while snakes spit poison in your eyes and people who you never met before run up and kick you in the ballsack. If you die in battle however, you get the honor of going off to a sweet afterlife where there's less ball-kicking and more drinking and singing, which is probably a better way to spend eternity.
Posted by the Flea at 10:18 AM

Sink the Ryou-Un Maru

The long, lonely voyage of the Japanese ghost ship is over.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter unleashed cannon fire on the abandoned 164-foot Ryou-Un Maru on Thursday, ending a journey that began when last year's tsunami dislodged it and set it adrift across the Pacific Ocean.

It sank into waters more than 1,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Alaska, more than 150 miles from land.
Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM

Pat Tillman, Running and Screaming With Head Aflame

The nine most baffling monuments to great people.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

Wagner - Parsifal - Karfreitagszauber (Good Friday Music)

Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM

Natalya Mogilevskaya - Na grani

Hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by the Flea at 10:04 AM

April 05, 2012

Super kawaii


"In recent years, the Tokushima Provincial Cooperation Office of the Japan Self Defense Force has created recruitment advertising posters featuring cute, adorable illustrations, and it wasted little time in releasing this year’s version."

That's the 2011 poster pictured above. The 2012 version is at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM

Rude awakening

A trojan has infected 550,000 of Apple's 'virus free' Mac OS X machines. lol

The attack works using a vulnerability in Java, and is delivered via infected web pages. Just visiting the web pages is enough to infect a machine, downloading an .exe file which then downloads further malicious software from elsewhere.

Dr Web claims that more than four million web pages are infected with the trojan.
Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM

An eagle, a fox and my cat all getting along fine on my porch

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Of Montreal - The Past is a Grotesque Animal

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

April 04, 2012



I have been watching Tom Baker era Dr. Who - Horror of Fang Rock, so Lovecraft - and particularly enjoying Leela, a Who companion who was formative in my development. Leela was meant to be a noble savage by way of Eliza Doolittle with leather outfits engineered to be "very popular with the Dads."

Poking around on Wikipedia, however, was a revelation.

Leela is a fictional character played by Louise Jameson in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Leela was a companion of the Fourth Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1977 to 1978. Writer Chris Boucher named her after the Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled.

Typical BBC. Selling sex under the banner of feminism. Orientalist romantics pretending to be anti-racist. Tenured civil servants playing at being revolutionaries.


In popular culture: The song Like Leila Khaled Said from The Teardrop Explodes' 1981 album Wilder is a love song to Khaled. Songwriter Julian Cope said it was a love song to her "cos I thought she was so beautiful. But I know that the whole thing was like bad news."

Also: Which box is larger?

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

Now we're cooking with fire

Remains of ash and bone fragments found 30m inside the entrance of Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa suggests early humans were cooking with fire one million years ago.

The ability to use fire is regarded as a key step in human development because it gave us access to cooked foods and new technologies.

Stone tools found at Wonderwerk Cave indicate the ancestor in question may have been Homo erectus, a species whose existence has been documented as far back as 1.8 million years ago.

The discovery may support Richard Wrangham's "cooking hypothesis" viz the invention of cooking split the ancestors of humans from those of modern gorillas and chimpanzees.

Cooking allowed our ancestors to develop bigger brains and, in his hypothesis, is the key reason modern humans emerged. The controlled use of fire, according to Wrangham, was a more important milestone in human evolution than the invention of agriculture or eating meat.
Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Total Recall (2012) - Official Trailer

Featuring Kate Beckinsale and some other people.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers - I can't go for that

Via Ace.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

April 03, 2012

Metropolis (1925)


Behind the scenes (hat tip to the Armored Facilities Manager).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM


Glowing blue water washes up on a beach in Vaadhoo, one of the Raa Atoll islands in the Maldives.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Cracking the Maya Code (2008)

"The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind a riddle: an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script carved on stone monuments and painted on pottery and bark books. Because the invading Spanish suppressed nearly all knowledge of how the script worked, unlocking its meaning posed one of archaeology's fiercest challenges."

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Wretch 32 ft. Josh Kumra - Don't go

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

April 02, 2012

Vaginal Fantasy Book Club #3: Slave to Sensation

This month's book was Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1) by Nalini Singh.

Posted by the Flea at 05:48 AM

We must map this emptiness so modern man may continue to avoid it

The five most clearly cursed expeditions of all time. For example.

In 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton decided to conquer Antarctica, the last unexplored continent on Earth, because fuck there being an unexplored continent.

Which is why I often think if I were a better writer I would be writing for Cracked.

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM

Celine Dion - Je danse dans ma tete

Posted by the Flea at 05:42 AM

April 01, 2012

David Bowie: Cracked Actor - A Film About David Bowie (BBC 1975)

"Cracked Actor is a 53-minute-long BBC television documentary film about the pop star David Bowie. It was filmed in 1974, at a time when Bowie was a popular and commercial success. At the time he was a cocaine addict and the documentary has become notorious for showing Bowie's fragile mental state during this period. It was made by Alan Yentob for the BBC's Omnibus documentary strand, and was first shown, on BBC2 in the UK, on January 26, 1975."

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

One of London's great fictional characters

Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp unveils a black plaque in honour of David Bowie's creation, Ziggy Stardust, 40 years after The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album was released.

Related: How streets featured on classic album covers look today.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

David Bowie - Life On Mars

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

David Bowie - Starman

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM