September 30, 2004



I have been trying to come up with an excuse to write about Mira Sorvino so I could run this image. Let us ponder life, the universe and everything for a moment shall we?

That's better. Comments and suggestions on possible Sorvino themed topics are welcome! For example, I loved her in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. That accent slayed me.

Posted by the Flea at 05:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Stripper's Pole

This Stripper's Pole will finally let me tone my hard to reach Q-Zone!

You've tried weights. You've tried treadmills. You've tried rollers. Isn't it about time you tried what the real professionals use? It's the Stripper's Pole! From Los Angeles to Las Vegas to strip clubs just over the border that let you get away with a little more, strippers all over the world know that "The Stripper's Pole" gives them the most intense workout possible.
Posted by the Flea at 05:57 AM | TrackBack (0)


A recording of Stephen King's The Mist is seriously creepy (in Kunstkopf binaural sound!). ABC's new series, Lost evokes the same feeling. I missed the pilot but it is being rebroadcast this Saturday evening...

Posted by the Flea at 05:55 AM | TrackBack (0)

Cutie Honey

I have no idea what Cutie Honey is about but I demand its immediate broadcast on North American television (hat tip to the Neighbour of a Flea).

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Kittens for Kerry

This kitten does not share your values.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM | TrackBack (0)


This Telefunken Kannon must be defeated if we are to prevail.
- Winston Churchill

Posted by the Flea at 05:45 AM | TrackBack (0)


Sophia Sideshow has thoughts on flipping channels and heroism and wonders if Japanese artists and directors are puppets of the VRWC.

Cartoon Network's was the best example last night. Some anime cartoon about a guy in chitinous powered armor who is growling about how "we can just let them get away with this!" crossed against some buffoon waving a sheaf of papers in his hand smugly declaring "the conventions are clear that we can't interfere!" Meanwhile, evil robots are destroying things. The armored guy storms out, disgusted; he's the hero. You know that the hero will buck convention and do what is right. Meanwhile, the buffon spends more time attempting to undermine our hero than worrying about the evil robots.
Posted by the Flea at 05:43 AM | TrackBack (0)



The Agence France-Presse continues its downward slide into collaboration. This celebratory commemorative photo of a German Olympic ski champion either chooses to mark the wrong moment in a distinguished sporting career or the apogee of a career in service of symbols that must never be celebrated again.

German fans carry Christl Cranz following her victory at the Winter Olympic Games (news - web sites) in 1936. The German ski legend died of natural causes at the age of 90.(AFP/File)

Yes, that Olympics and yes that is a swastika patch on the ski suit. We have descended a long way when the Nazi Olympics can slip into an obituary unremarked.

It is all happening again.

Posted by the Flea at 05:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2004

Terminator 4


Hollywood keeps flogging a dead gift horse with the possibility of yet another Terminator film. I would have thought the not very good Terminator 3 would have forestalled more of the same. Now it looks as though they will proceed even if it means doing so without Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Discussions are ongoing with Schwarzenegger - who's already pretty busy running California and trying to get that Bush chap re-elected - and we may yet see him return to cause more mechanical mayhem. But don't expect a leading role. If he signs on at all, Arnold's role will likely be a small one, leaving the fourth instalment to break in an entirely new model of Terminator. Since they've already done the shapeshifter and one that can operate electrical appliances, what can we expect for the fourth generation of killing machine? A jet pack? Roller blades?

With apologies to Arnold, this is beside the point. Those films were all about Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. Bring her back for Terminator 4 and the franchise might be saved.


Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | Comments (45) | TrackBack (1)

The Fishy Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Bonfire Part LXV

The Bonfire is crackling away at Kin's Kouch.

School's back kids! So, we're gonna go back there for this week's Bonfire of the Vanities. So in honor of that glorious occasion... Welcome to the School of Suck - Bonfire of the Vanities Part LXV
Posted by the Flea at 08:49 AM | TrackBack (0)


A clever viral pipes game.

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Big Red Button

The Big Red Button that doesn't do anything.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Mecha Barbara

"Ok! Now this is very important. Where is the Triangle of Zinthar now?"

Posted by the Flea at 08:26 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 28, 2004

Robin Himmler


"You can see Mr. Trump now."

With apologies to Maxim for borrowing their documentary efforts. You would not believe how difficult it is to find web materials on the supporting cast of The Apprentice, a subject of obvious import. So who is Donald Trump's mysterious receptionist? The Apprentice' Robin Himmler is not the fake some have claimed.

When Robin Himmler ushers the apprentices into her boss' private office on The Apprentice, she's not only acting, she's working. Himmler, who has been one of Donald Trump's executive assistants for four years, was conscripted into service in that same job for her bit part on Trump's NBC series.

"It's definitely been an experience," Himmler said, declining to comment on whether she received extra pay for the TV gig.

Enquiring minds want to know how you get through high school with a last name like Himmler.

And then... An article by Charlie McCollum writing for the San Jose Mercury News (Thu, Apr. 15, 2004) makes a peculiar claim (emphasis added).

Even the smallest parts of ``The Apprentice'' clicked. Carolyn Kepcher, the frosty blond who is executive vice president of Trump National Golf Club, and George Ross, Trump's grandfatherly general counsel, have achieved a certain iconic stature while helping the Donald pick the losers. Robin Himmler, a Trump assistant who acts as gatekeeper to the boardroom, has Web sites devoted to her.

Not that I can find. Shades of Stephen Glass? I know it is a minor detail in a puff piece for a smallish newspaper... but Mr. McCollum, as an Apprentice fan looking for these fansites, could you please point me to one? Have they disappeared since season one? Or was this just padding out the end of a paragraph?

Posted by the Flea at 05:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The Streets, "Blinded by the lights"

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* Possibly nsfw... no, wait, make that definitely nsfw. Though it is strangely beautiful much as the rest of The Streets' oeuvre.

Posted by the Flea at 05:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

Mep Ball

I am truly terrible at Mep Ball but it has got a great soundtrack.

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Kirby Gasoline

Mile High Comics has set photos from the Fantastic Four film in production. I am delighted to pass on news of Jack Kirby tributes.

Our Man in Vancouver, "Elite Beat Spy Swifty" shot these photos of some of the sets being used in Downtown Vancouver for the FANTASTIC FOUR movie. They are clearly a tribute to FF co-creator Jack "King" Kirby: an abandoned gas station (Kirby Gasoline) with a rocky orange man for a logo and an art gallery called the Kirby Gallery.

And more Fantastic news as Hollywood North Report has images of a statue of Victor Von Doom and the Von Doom Industries logo.

Posted by the Flea at 05:49 AM | TrackBack (0)

F4 Phantom

Jet meet concrete. Concrete, jet.

Incredible movie clip. An US F4 Phantom Jet tests the strength of a concrete wall built to withstand a nuclear blast by crashing into it at 500 MPH. A high rate FPS camera is used to watch the plane literally turn into dust.
Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM | TrackBack (2)


andúnië reports on efforts to counter Michael Moore's Wormtonguery. I linked to Celsius 41.11 yesterday... now FahrenHYPE 9/11 is on the way! ¡No Pasarán! has more including a link to another Michael Moore documentary. Cutting facts makes for a more truthier truth!

Posted by the Flea at 05:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Rather full of himself

Guerrilla News Network (sounds reliable don't it?) quotes a June 2002 Dan Rather UK appearance that makes interesting reading in light of recent events.

In June 2002, Dan Rather looked old, defeated, making a confession he dare not speak on American TV about the deadly censorship -- and self-censorship -- which had seized U.S. newsrooms. After September 11, news on the U.S. tube was bound and gagged. Any reporter who stepped out of line, he said, would be professionally lynched as un-American.

"It's an obscene comparison," he said, "but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here. You will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck." No U.S. reporter who values his neck or career will "bore in on the tough questions."

Because anchoring a network news broadcast means you are silenced. Because a seven-million dollar a year salary is the same as being lynched with a burning tire. Because this man is so full of himself that dissenting opinion is sacred unless it is dissent against the ideology of CBS News. Yes, I would say there is something obscene about those comparisons.

Posted by the Flea at 05:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 27, 2004

La la Hoo Hoo

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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Dear Flea-readers,

I have no idea what that new graphic in the Zud ad in the sidebar is supposed to represent. The BlogAds interface allows advertisers to change images without notifying the blogs on which the ad sits. I can only express my befuddlement at an apparently disturbing image.

Posted by the Flea at 08:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Invasion of

A graffiti artist is tagging the world with Space Invaders.

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | TrackBack (0)


It looks like Khartoum's racing days are over.

This is our little contribution to the Godfather legacy. A custom severed horse head pillow that is actually quite comfortable to sleep on, albeit a tad on the south side of morbid. A great conversation piece for the film buff who has everything and whose wife won't let them own a revolver. Same effect without the mess. Fans of the Godfather can now unite and rest comfortably, if not uneasily.
Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

Celsius 41.11

Celsius 41.11: the temperature at which the brain begins to die.

You have the right to know the truth behind Michael Moore's lies!

The trailer to this film includes graphic violence and yet more graphic stupidity. It is important to steel yourself and to watch it nonetheless.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2004

Sigur Rós, "Vaka"

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | TrackBack (0)

Boddingtons Brewery


"If they pull out of Manchester, the brand will die. It won't be the Cream of Manchester, it will become the sour grapes of South Wales."

I had resigned myself to living without Boddington's down to my decision to leave Manchester but could at least cherish the thought of the real thing being enjoyed by my friends. Now a... monstrous... decision to close Boddingtons Brewery means they will be left with the same insipid simulation that even I, in my colonial exile, could buy in a can. This is the best bitter on earth and it is being murdered.

Dear Interbrew,

I write to express my dismay at the possibility your company will close the Boddingtons Brewery. Please know that should you do so I will never buy any of your products again.

For the rest of my life.

I will also do my level best to explain my decision to anyone I see consuming any of your products and convince them to join me.

For the rest of my life.

If your company cannot act as responsible guardians of this centuries old brand you should sell the brewery to someone who can. To do anything else cannot be forgiven.


Not that giving up Stella Artois is a great loss. Yates on the States is leading the way. (via Gen X at 40, with thanks).

Posted by the Flea at 09:19 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

Land of the Dead

Rumour has it Asia Argento is to feature in the latest of George Romero's series of Dead films, Land of the Dead.

He gave a brief synopsis of what the film will be about; it will take place farther along in the future from Day of the Dead, and it is set up as a city living in the now zombie-controlled world. The city will have a giant wall built around it to keep the undead masses out, and the problems and action will occur when the people of the city need to leave to get supplies such as food. The main overlying theme he wanted for this movie would be ignoring the problem, or rather how society ignores the problems around us until we are forced to actually face them.

Because we all watch zombie movies for their social commentary.

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


USA Today runs a picture of Jessica Alba as Sue Storm in the forthcoming Fantastic Four feature film. Va va voom!

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Loyalist studies

The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies offers materials relating to the Loyalist military, genealogical information and "information on how the Loyalists are portrayed today throughout the US and Canada in Living History organizations, including photo galleries, schedules of events, and information on how to join a group in your area."

What is a Loyalist?

For our purposes, we define a Loyalist as any inhabitant of North America, from Newfoundland to Nicaragua inclusive, plus the islands of the West Indies, Bermuda and Jamaica, who served in a military capacity for the British, or provided services of a military nature or other beneficial services to the Crown.
Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Victoria class


Canada's new submarine fleet is belatedly coming into service (via Rantburg). I saw all four of these former Upholder-class submarines when they were still on the market and, despite their difficulties, am delighted they were purchased by Canada.

Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 24, 2004



How did I not know Nicole Kidman plays Samantha Stevens in a forthcoming movie remake of Bewitched? Perfect, perfect casting.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


My "most recent pings" box in MT shows a trackback from a post at another blog yet there is no link to the Flea from that post. How do I remove this obnoxious, forced trackback link from my blog? Unfortunately, the "most recent pings" box shows the link this jerk has created but does not show me where in the 75Mb of Flea files it is to be found... Any help is much appreciated!

More thoughts on trackback etiquette at today's INDC Journal.

Posted by the Flea at 08:46 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Yuri In Da Cab

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

*Where do I get my Green Card? Oh, here.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

Solomon's Key

Solomon's Key is fun once you figure out it is the control key that allows you to make and break blocks.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Mercy Killing

There is no denying the satisfaction of taking a chainsaw to Teletubbies no matter what Mr. Blair's anti-hunt friends may have to say about it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wall Street

The Flea School for Wayard Expats continues a series in rhetoric and oratory. Today we are addressed by Mr. Gordon Gekko.

The point is, ladies and gentleman, is that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

Thank you very much.
Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Comics Archive

Andy's Early Comics Archive offers a history of picture stories.

Over 350 scrolldown pages of comics, or comics-related illustration, dating from 300 A.D. to 1929
Posted by the Flea at 08:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 23, 2004



An Ain't It Cool News review of Strange, the newly minted J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes interpretation of a Marvel classic, describes the book as Dr. Strange: Year One. This is exactly right. JMS does his usual bang-up job and artist Brandon Peterson provides the best drawn Strange book ever.

In STRANGE, as in the original Lee/Ditko stories, Stephen Strange is a snothole doctor who doesn't care about his fellow man. Eventually, he meets a master sorceror called The Ancient One in Tibet and learns the secret of magick. But first, he needs to be taken to rock bottom.
Posted by the Flea at 05:33 AM | TrackBack (0)


I should publish a Flea-themed comic and related anime tv show so people could dress up as their favourite Flea characters.

Posted by the Flea at 05:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

You're my only hope

I am almost more annoyed with the people who respond to email scams than the scammers themselves. If people did not fall for this stuff the con-artists would stop sending me these emails. I mean seriously, an enormous "moon-shaped space station"? Please... (via ***Dave).


Posted by the Flea at 05:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Video will

Last will and testament (with director's commentary).

Posted by the Flea at 05:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Scott Haefner

Scott Haefner presents a variety of stunning aerial panoramas (via kite). Lovely castles and lighthouses but I was most impressed by the clear line of the San Andreas Fault.

Posted by the Flea at 05:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Phallic bats

When I first read the expression "phallic bats" I thought of the flappy mice-like creatures and wondered what it had to do with baseball.

Academic departments like the one referenced in this post are the intellectual equivalent of a very small community in a hillbilly backwoods holler--in desperate need of an infusion of fresh genetic material. Perhaps one day the lady in question will awaken from her four to six year drunk and realize that the lampshade on her head is her dissertation.
Posted by the Flea at 05:21 AM | TrackBack (1)

September 22, 2004

Self-titled Kylie


"It will become an instant kitsch classic.”
– The Evening Standard

Why are people who work in socialist bookstores such sourpusses? Are they drawn to their employment by their sourpussery? Or do they become sourpusses as a result of the sterile, hopeless philosophy they are forced to buy and sell (ahh... kapitalism!). I was at Pages, a Toronto sourpuss bookstore, when I came across Kylie (Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1999), a casebound artbook by Kylie Minogue featuring photos of Kylie, tributes to her character and some of her own thoughts on life. It was in the dump bin. It was reduced in price. It was shocking pink. I had to have it. Imagine my chagrin on getting to the counter, ready to share my enthusiasm with the world, only to be confronted with a sourpuss. At least their collectivist nihilism and self-hatred meant I could purchase it for a small fraction the cover price. In your face, art-snobs!

Kylie is a vivid self-portrait of Kylie Minogue’s many different personas: actress, pop singer, media magnet and cultural icon. Moving beyond autobiography, Kylie examines the iconic status she has gained in a career spanning from Neighbours to high-credibility chart hits. With an essay by renowned music journalist Chris Heath and contributions including work from Wolfgang Tillmans and Ellen Von Unwerth, the book is an intelligent celebration of a well-loved figure.


Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (2)

Bathtime in Clerkenwell

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

*With a live link this time (fingers crossed).

Posted by the Flea at 08:12 AM | TrackBack (0)


tATu are back with a plan to shed their faux lesbian image. Frankly, I find this plan extremely faux lesbophobic.

The pair may even change the name of their band in an effort to distance themselves from their old image for good. Mind you, the Russian duo could hardly keep up the pretence — Lena is a MUM of one and Julia is getting MARRIED.
Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Quest for the Red Diamond

The Quest for the Red Diamond is quite simply the best choose your own adventure Flash game yet. I think I am about to be killed by the Mall Demon...

And then... Finished! With a special prize at the end, too (though I rather think she looks like a "flower").

Posted by the Flea at 08:09 AM | TrackBack (0)


Ultra-Condensed SF/F Books presents a variety of sf classics in a minute (via Attu).

Let's face it. There's a lot of science fiction and fantasy out there and very little time to read it in. Well sit back and relax, because your troubles are solved! We here at Book-A-Minute SF/F have come up with a solution. We've taken several great speculative fiction novels and extracted the important stuff, cutting out all the filler. (You'd be surprised how much filler there is sometimes.) With our ultra-condensed versions of your favorite speculative fiction, you can read entire books -- entire series, even -- in just one minute!

The God Emperor of Dune summary is particularly apt.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Horror Author Roundtable

This Horror Author Roundtable poses questions of horror authors. For example, "Are you consciously trying to "be scary" as you write a horror story?"

F. Paul Wilson: ... A horror writer is not "scared" while writing a horror novel. You know what's coming as you build scenes to maximum effect, so it's very hard to be scared. It's work. When you're spending days on a scary scene, believe me, the only thing you're scared of is not being able to bring it off. But a year later, when the reader is plowing through that scene in a matter of a few minutes, the impact is entirely different and, hopefully, very scary.

I have, however, creeped myself out at times. Occasionally I'll been writing through a planned scene or relationship when suddenly I see it in a new light and say, "What if . . .?" And then I change it and a whole new realm of unsettling possibilities opens up. And I think, "Where did that come from? I must be a real sicko."
Posted by the Flea at 08:06 AM | TrackBack (0)

Old English

Which British Literary Period are you?

Old English

450-1066, Caedmon, the Venerable Bede, Beowulf. Trying to record history in a dying time. You think highly of the past, but you are also aware of when change is coming.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

This observation arrives via Ith, who is Victorian.

Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 21, 2004

Eyes Wide Shut


I was out on a date this summer. Architect, back from New York, conversant with the properties of drugs I had not even heard of (hey, I'm an anthropologist... I've read about plenty). All very promising in terms of conversation and such. I was even prepared to overlook the copy of Stupid White Men that was presented for my approval (well, some white men are stupid). But to declare Eyes Wide Shut one of the most over-rated films of all time was too much. It is, of course, one of the most under-rated films of all time.

The cool people jumped on it immediately. They are anti-Tom Cruise so their pro-Stanley Kubrick sensibility was offended that his serious directorial mastery should be wasted on such a commercial actor. The point is not that they underestimate Cruise or over-estimate Kubrick. The point is that they had damned the film before they had seen it leaving me (and one other) as the only people to see at the cinema. Their loss. Look, Kubrick did not choose Cruise and Kidman by accident. If you did not like the film the first time, watch it again (unedited) but this time watch it with Captain Subtext.

Posted by the Flea at 06:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Tanz Mit Laibach

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (also, with kittens).

Posted by the Flea at 06:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Square 2

Square 2 has a great dance loop.

Posted by the Flea at 06:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

Gentleman's Emporium

Gentleman's Emporium looks just the ticket for fashionable Flea-ware.

At Gentleman's Emporium, we are proud to provide a complete line of authentic victorian men's clothing and furnishings, as well as traditional fine writing sets. Because we sell clothing, not costumes, you can be assured of an authentic period look and feel, and clothing that will last for years of comfortable wear.
Posted by the Flea at 06:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Enola Gay

The Enola Gay and the Smithsonian presents "contemporary articles, reports, and documents" from a proposed revisionist exhibition of the famous bomber.

In 1994, the National Air and Space Museum planned to exhibit the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, as part of a political horror show. A raging controversy ensued when Air Force Magazine and the Air Force Association brought the plans to the notice of the public, the news media, and Congress. In 1995, the museum’s parent organization, the Smithsonian Institution, pulled the plug on the original exhibition and replaced it with a straightforward program that eventually became the most popular exhibition in the museum’s history.
Posted by the Flea at 05:55 AM | TrackBack (0)

Men in tights

Mark Steyn commits pun crime. Excellent Human Torch reference though.

Tights are no obstacle to effective security and are much better suited to sprinting after intruders than ostensibly more "modern" Cool Britannia-type legwear such as those baggy pants with the gusset round the knees favoured by the hip-hop crowd. These gangsta rappers are always going on about their hose, but, as far as one knows, never seem to wear it.
Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 20, 2004

Number 6


"In reality, there is a sexiness to people and life and everything in general."

I think I got that quote right. Something was distracting me while I listened to Canadian Cylon threat, Tricia Helfer and some other folks comment on the forthcoming Battlestar Galactica.

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sin City

Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke are to star in a film based on Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels. If this preview is any indication, we are in for a lethargic mess (takes a moment to load and a partial-nudity warning is in effect). Watching it I am reminded of how beautiful the original pieces are and how difficult it is to translate comics to film. I guess I was spoiled by Hellboy. At least Clive Owen makes an appearance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Six Feet Under

Accelerate your herse by tapping the right arrow and use the space bar to break when you reach the red area. I managed 588.71m.

Posted by the Flea at 09:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

A word from our sponsors

I would be grateful if Flea-readers would take a moment to consider the Flea's advertisers. The life of a sessional lecturer is not all tea and cake... your patronage of this blog is most appreciated as is your consideration for the running cost of all these pretty pixels!

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The Age considers the work of English philosopher and novelist Alain de Botton and considers popularizers of philosophy.

It is not difficult to see why de Botton has become so popular. He is an entertainer and he makes few demands on his reader - or no demands at all, depending on the reader. He embodies the notion that this is easy, anybody can do it. You don't have to be an egghead to read philosophy, you can even read it on the conveyer belt at your local gym, thus combining your physical and intellectual work-outs and saving valuable time.

It doesn't do any great harm, except to offend some purists. On the other hand, the promise that it is all pretty easy is the kind of expectation that produces a sort of DIY intelligentsia, because, in the end, the inescapable fact is that it is not easy. It is, ultimately, difficult to understand complex ideas. They have to be taken in slowly, over a period of time, which the readers of fast-food philosophy presumably don't have.

Conversely, de Botton's musings on Wittgenstein and relationships may move people to pick up Wittgenstein. The fact is that the work of many economic or political philosophers can be summed up by reference to key concepts without damaging a future detailed reading. In my own teaching, I believe demonstrating the contrast between different schools of thought is at least as important as explication of particular schools of thought. Alain de Botton does yeoman work in making relevant ideas that would otherwise be disregarded. It is a bit much to dismiss his books as "middle brow" consumption for the crime of being popular, commercially successful or, heaven forbid, readable.

Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM | TrackBack (0)


Look at this image and tell me we aren't fighting the KKK (via Merde in France).

Posted by the Flea at 09:38 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 18, 2004

The Lumberjack Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM | TrackBack (0)

Why judo is better than karate

Why judo is better than karate (via the Accordian Guy).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM | TrackBack (0)


Once pointed out, it seems obvious Frodo wore pajamas on the way to Mordor (via Babbling Brooks).

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Traffic report

Glenn Reynolds reports over 440,000 page views for September 16. I imagine Rathergate has boosted traffic across the blogosphere as the Flea saw a spike over 23,000 page views on September 17, around three times what I would expect for a Thursday.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Borat Doctrine

It seems I have been mislead about the customs of Kazakhstan.

Roman Vassilenko, the press secretary for the Embassy of Kazakhstan, wants to clear up a few misconceptions about his country. Women are not kept in cages. The national sport is not shooting a dog and then having a party. You cannot earn a living being a Gypsy catcher. Wine is not made from fermented horse urine. It is not customary for a man to grab another man’s khrum. “Khrum” is not the word for testicles.
Posted by the Flea at 08:39 AM | TrackBack (0)

Roy Batty

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

This insight into the character of the is brought to you by Dr. Rusty Shackleford.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

September 17, 2004

Heroic Trio


Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui and Maggie Cheung as superheroes. Latex is involved. What's not to like? Dung fong saam hap (Heroic Trio) is a masterpiece of cheeze wire-fighting action and I now own a copy on dvd thanks to mad collecting skillz.

The all-female Heroic Trio are Tung (Wonder Woman), Chat (Thief Catcher), a mercenary, and Ching (Invisible Woman). Initially, they're on opposing sides - the invisible Ching is kidnapping newborn male babies for her evil master, Tung is trying to solve the crime (rather more effectively than her policeman husband, who is unaware of her secret identity), and Chat, who was formerly employed by Ching's evil master, is trying to sell her services and inside knowledge to the police. But all three have something in common buried deep in their past...
Posted by the Flea at 10:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sexy Snape

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (hat tip to the Flea's Australian Employment Opportunities Expert).

Posted by the Flea at 10:47 AM | TrackBack (0)


Antkendo is polished, beautiful to look at and I am no good at it. Vexed again!

Posted by the Flea at 10:43 AM | TrackBack (0)

Space Ace

Space Ace would be a fine office diversion if my office computer had a sound card. Forget you, thrifty Lutheran university!

Posted by the Flea at 10:41 AM | TrackBack (0)


Ain't It Cool News links to a scene from Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

Posted by the Flea at 10:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Thing

Hollywood North Report has the first public images of Michael Chiklis as the Thing.

The orange-hued skin coloring does seem spot on and overall from our brief views of him with the cape off he definitely looks like The Thing (very Kirby-esque)...we would give the overall body suit+outfit+makeup a 9 out of 10; on par with X-Men 2...only to be expected seeing a lot of the same people worked on both projects here in Vancouver.

We also can confirm that in the movie this street will be the one and only Yancey Street in New York City, Ben Grimm’s (aka The Thing) home turf.
Posted by the Flea at 10:37 AM | TrackBack (0)


Air Force Link reports Richard Dean Anderson is to be honored by the Air Force Association (via Pinwheels and Orange Peels).

Actor and executive producer Richard Dean Anderson of Stargate SG-1 will be recognized at the Air Force Association's 57th Annual Air Force Anniversary Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, September 14, 2004. Air Force Chief of Staff, General John P. Jumper, will be on hand to participate in the special recognition.
Posted by the Flea at 10:33 AM | TrackBack (1)

Hurricane Ivan

Above the eye of Hurricane Ivan (via The Bleat).

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM | TrackBack (0)


Giulio Magli, an Italian professor of mathematics, argues city planning for Cusco, the Inca capital, may have followed the dark constellation of the Puma.

According to tradition the city was conceived as a puma incorporating a nearby hill as its head and the main temple of the capital as its genitals. The tail of the puma is formed where the Tullumayo and Huatanay rivers join. Magli said Cusco's layout was meant to replicate a puma constellation, which the Inca said was formed not of stars but the dark spaces between the stars.
Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 16, 2004

Jessica 6


I will see your Princess Leia and raise you Jessica 6.

Posted by the Flea at 06:14 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

Kill the Pacman

Kill the Pacman!

Posted by the Flea at 06:12 AM | TrackBack (0)

Lillyxandra and Haruka

I do not know who Lillyxandra and Haruka but I am pretty sure they would make a fine addition to any superhero team.

Posted by the Flea at 06:11 AM | TrackBack (0)


So that's what Stormtroopers wear under their armour.

Posted by the Flea at 06:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The only thing better than the phrase "the Sauronic Big Eye of CBS" is the term "Pajamahadeen" (why no permalinks Kerry Spot?). Glenn Reynolds posted James Lileks' illustration of the term before it was de-Bleated.

Posted by the Flea at 06:07 AM | TrackBack (0)


Does anyone know what these photos are meant to promote?

Last week I drove to a nearby town. The town is surrounded by tall hills and mountains, and you can have a very pleasant hike down any of the numerous trails there. Anyway, I was climbing one trail and enjoying the good weather when I saw what looked like a silver box. When I approached, I saw it was a digital camera!
Posted by the Flea at 06:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Unusual Search Engines

Search Engine Journal reviews some unusual search engines.

Posted by the Flea at 06:01 AM | TrackBack (0)

Historic feet

MemeFirst proposes name changes for various New York landmarks. I will henceforth think of the Chrysler Building as the Hungarian Pagan Revolt Building (via Gothamist).

Having Freedom Tower rise to a symbolic 1776 feet is a brilliant idea, and not arbitrary at all. I believe that this practice will catch on, so as a public service I would like to propose historically more relevant names for New York's other tallest buildings.

Empire State Building, 1250ft: Stockholm City Building (City founded 1250 AD)

Chrysler Building, 1046ft: Hungarian Pagan Revolt Building (1046 AD)
Posted by the Flea at 06:00 AM | TrackBack (0)

Tribute in Light

A panorama of Tribute in Light, 2004.

To honor the citizens who lost their lifes in the World Trade Center attacks, a 6 month anniversary was held with a "Tribute in Light" memorial from March 11th to April 13th 2002. From dusk until 11 p.m. each night two beams of light rose into the sky from a site near Ground Zero. The Tribute in Light returned at Sept 11 2003 and 2004.
Posted by the Flea at 05:57 AM | TrackBack (0)

El Pais

El Pais runs an ad showing two images of the Manhattan skyline. One includes the Twin Towers. The other does not. The ad copy reads: "You can do a lot in one single day; just imagine what can happen in three months"

It isn't that a major Spanish newspaper thinks this despicable sentiment is... what... clever? It isn't even that a major Spanish newspaper thinks this ad will sell newspapers. It is that they may be right to think it will sell newspapers (via lgf).

As I said to my wife this morning after seeing the amoral ad in El Pais:

"Honey, cancel our trip to Spain this winter."

Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 15, 2004

Julien MacDonald


The Flea's unrelenting support for the UK fashion industry means I am pleased to report Julien Macdonald (and wow, great fur, btw), creator of the luxury laptop bag, is to receive an award from the University of Wales, Newport.

The Merthyr-born Royal College of Art graduate has dressed many stars, including Kylie Minogue, Joely Richardson and Martine McCutcheon.
Posted by the Flea at 10:38 AM | TrackBack (0)

Legend of Zelda

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (encore performance).

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Krispy Kreme

Making a Krispy Kreme donut. I don't think these have made it to downtown Toronto yet so I will stick with Tim Horton's for now.

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)


You sunk my battleship!

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D-Fence lets you defend your shoebox fort! It speeds up after Level 10.

Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

“Bunny of the Month” Club

For all your bunny needs (via the Flea's Network Expert).

I do not make the same bunny for everyone each month, oh, no. I look at each person's file, and I think of all the clues I have about them: name, address, handwriting if I have a sample, email style, any hints of personality I am given. I make sure they will not get the same colour or style this month, and finally, I listen to the rabbits and make a wild guess as to which thing to send them this month -- then I go out and make it.
Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | TrackBack (0)

Nader '04

The Nader '04 Impact Map purports to show the effect of Mr. Ralph Nader's candidacy on the Electoral College election outcome. Any Democrat taking this seriously should consider voting Nader in '04. Even Pat Buchanan thinks he is great guy: anti-capitalist, isolationist, bitter and with ill-fitting shoes... what's not to like? Better yet... stay home and protest that way!

Posted by the Flea at 10:02 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 14, 2004

Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket


Minnie Driver sings. Who knew?

It sounds like a sort of alt-country Dido: you would never call it a revolutionary leap forward, destined to alter the face of rock music, but it is an incalculable improvement on recent efforts by, say, Juliette Lewis and the Licks or Russell Crowe's 30-Odd Foot of Grunts. Given the current musical climate, it also sounds like a hit.
Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)


The Secret Garden of Mutabor is a peculiar webgame with a gorgeous Flash interface and design.

Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

First Love

More parkour, this time from a French Nike commercial.

Posted by the Flea at 06:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


Angua seeks gainful employment.

guess who's unemployed? go ahead, guess!

in unrelated news, a talented, experienced, and creative technical writer and editor is now available for freelance, contract, and full-time work
Posted by the Flea at 06:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Geography Olympics

When I signed up for Geography Olympics the US team (56.81) was beating Canada (49.27). My 90% helped the Canadian side by 0.01% (sorry, Samoa!).

Posted by the Flea at 06:12 AM | TrackBack (0)

Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa

British archeologist, John Prag believes the funerary sculpture of Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa is "the first portrait of a known and named individual to be identified anywhere in Western art."

According to Prag, the re-creation of Seianti's life and looks solves a mystery that has long baffled archeologists and art historians: when and where in the ancient world did people make the psychological and artistic step from the general to the specific in the depiction of individual people.

In Prag's view, the when is about the 6th century BC and the where is Etruscan Italy.
Posted by the Flea at 06:07 AM | TrackBack (0)

Brainwashing 101

Brainwashing 101 is a documentary examining university bias (via lgf).

In this cutting exposé, documentary filmmakers Maloney, Browning and Greenberg shine a light on political correctness, academic bias, student censorship--even administrative cover-ups of death threats--at three schools: Bucknell University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly).
Posted by the Flea at 06:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2004


Another contestant for the new Flea-mobile (comes with Flea-dance too!).

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Rockwell Automation

I bet at least half of all Flea-readers design, sell or use Rockwell Automation products.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Quaker rites

Madonna honours two Quaker rites: respect for a Friend's right-of-way to a burial ground on her Ashcombe estate, and; the more contemporary fighting Quaker ale and dancing rite.

Posted by the Flea at 09:18 AM | TrackBack (0)

Cromwell's navy

Investigation of remains of a sailor found at the wreck site of Commonwealth warship Swan reveal elements of life in Oliver Cromwell's navy.

The remains were found on the Swan - the last warship to be built for Charles I and originally designed to fight pirates off Ireland. During the Civil War, it swapped sides and eventually became part of Cromwell's navy, taking part in skirmishes off the west coast of Scotland. It was sunk on Sept 13, 1653, off the Isle of Mull and now lies crushed on the sea bed, 30 feet below the surface.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

Intestinal Linguistic Amplification

Detroit furniture salesman, Jason Jablonski suffers from Intestinal Linguistic Amplification.

Linguists and proctologists from around the world are stunned by a Detroit man's unique gift ... he is able to speak fluent French out of his buttocks.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The Alabama Shakespeare Festival "hopes for an effect 'like Braveheart'" from its performance of Macbeth at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Although the blood-splattered Scottish play is not known for its morale-inducing qualities, the touring Alabama Shakespeare Festival hopes for an effect “like Braveheart”. The Pentagon has coughed up $1m (under special congressional authorisation) to bring the Bard to the troops. The actors will also do workshops for them.

Dana Gioia, the NEA's chairman, insists that the choice of “Macbeth” reflects no underlying message; it is just a short, well-known and portable play with a small (and rapidly diminishing) cast. Besides, he adds, it's a play about soldiers. Well, yes, they do appear occasionally, sometimes as trees.
Posted by the Flea at 09:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 11, 2004

Wish You Were Here

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Freedom Tower

A collection of images of the Freedom Tower and WTC reconstruction. Funny a German language site would have the best material I have found so far. Too much of the rest is out-of-date or snarky in tone (what is "inane" about the name Freedom Tower?). PBS' Sacred Ground did a great job detailing personality conflicts in the planning and design process but left viewers hanging when it came to design that was ultimately adopted. I will use this post to add more links as I find them.

And then... The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has posted images (via Gothamist).

Posted by the Flea at 09:05 AM | TrackBack (0)

Radio Free Canada

PolSpy floats the idea of an internet-based radio alternative to Canada's establishment media.

Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM | TrackBack (0)


Gen-X at 40 receives an unexpected tribute to Canadian hero, General Roméo Dallaire.

I have never met such a Great General, a tremendous Professional and extremely courageous. Nobody else could talk about the leadership he demonstrated. Alone, he was the Force Commander, the Special Representative, the camp Commander almost the everything...Taking risks every single day (fire, mortar shells, threats, stress). We were just amazed by his energy, clairvoyance.
Posted by the Flea at 09:02 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 10, 2004

Amerika ist Wunderbar


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* Rammstein translation assistance would be much appreciated. No wait, here are the lyrics. What they sing in irony I sing in earnest.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)


David Boreanaz did a great job with Angel and I look forward to his new projects. But not Superman, please.

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


Maganic is a satisfying turn based card game.

Posted by the Flea at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Best. Monitor. Ever.

The VisionStation by Elumens is a low-cost 3D immersive viewing system with a wide range of applications.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Electric blue

Colby Cosh calls it electric blue.

I suspect Yuvchenko might be the only living person to have looked into the core of a functioning nuclear reactor (situated on Earth, that is) with unshielded eyes.
Posted by the Flea at 09:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bang Bang

aBum asks, "Are these guys Gay or what?" Well, probably not. Except in the South Park usage of the term in which case, possibly yes. I was sent the link by a colleague commiserating at the start of the teaching term next week. Yep. You are looking at a slice of university life.

Posted by the Flea at 09:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

A Brief Monetary History of Gilligan's Island

The Monetary Economics of Thurston Howell III asks if "fiat dollars be treated as valuable without the government around to enforce its fiat" (via ***Dave).

One thing Gilligan has, which Crusoe doesn't, is a shared culture with the others on the island. If Robinson Crusoe had been shipwrecked with a chest full of British banknotes, they wouldn't have done him any good. Friday would be more likely to trade for shells or gold than he would for the strange paper.

But on Gilligan's Island (and in the Kurdish rebel territories, and briefly in Baghdad), people who are already used to making their exchanges in slips of unbacked paper can continue to do so profitably without the hand of government. The invisible hand of the market serves them better -- even when dealing in government paper.
Posted by the Flea at 09:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)


And war they shall have. A murderer of children speaks.

Appearing on Russian state television, the unidentified man said the attack was ordered by Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov and Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.

"They gathered us in the woods and 'The Colonel' said that we should take over a school in Beslan. That was our order," he said. "When we asked why we were doing this, what our goal was, 'The Colonel' answered us, 'Because we need to start a war across the Caucasus."
Posted by the Flea at 09:00 AM | TrackBack (1)

September 09, 2004

Get Smart


The Cone of Silence and other innovations. I have to get one of these things installed at Flea Manor. Strangely, I already know someone who is a dead-ringer for Agent 99.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sour Girl

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM | TrackBack (0)

Danny Bot

Banny Bot is a short film by Frank Lesser. Is there something wrong with me that I find this moving?

You taught me well and raised me to be loyal,
You cleaned my room of every spot of soil.
I greased your gears and filled you up with oil;
Oh, Danny Bot, oh Danny Bot, I love you so.
Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | TrackBack (0)

Bonfire 62

The Bonfire of the Vanities has been lit at DeCloah Blog. It promises to be the cutest Bonfire ever.

Posted by the Flea at 08:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

Batman Theory

The Electric Commentary argues all bloggers want to be superheroes. All the guys, anyway (via Pete Holiday).

Obviously, guys want to be superheroes. Jerry Seinfeld famously observed this when commenting on the act of transporting a mattress from one house to another by means of securing it to the roof of a car. Invariably the driver of the car will reach out the window and hold the mattress down, just in case the rope breaks. This obviously does no good, but we like to think that it would. We all want to be Superman.

I actually think that most guys want to be Batman. Moreover, this desire can be tied to the fact that guys are messy, disorganized, and also tend to procrastinate. I call it, "Batman Theory."

I guess there are some guys who would rather be Superman. Go figure.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Bookslut runs an interview with Poppy Z. Brite about her new novel, Liquor. Favourite New Orleans dishes are discussed along the way with an unfortunate, if understandable, ellipsis regarding absolute Flea-favourite roast duck (hat tip to Mondo Sismondo).

-- do you find that there's a relationship between food and gore? As a writer, is there a connection between describing brain matter and filet mignon?

Well, it's all just part of the world, isn't it? For me, the most disturbing thing about death is the pain, fear, and loss involved -- not the sometimes-messy physical results.
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM | TrackBack (0)

New York skyline

New York Times architecture critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff discusses buildings under development that will change the New York skyline (via Gothamist). I am particularly struck by Santiago Calatrava's 80th South Street Tower featuring ten condominiums at US$30m a unit.

The building will be Mr. Calatrava's first residential project in the United States. The principal units of the building are 45-foot glazed cubes, each of which contains four floors of residential space. Twelve cubes are cantilevered, in steplike fashion, up the building's vertical core, which in plan is a slender concrete rectangle.

An unofficial Calatrava site has more on the architect's work.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

How can I keep from singing?

The Tiger in Winter writes about Anglican hymns.

Just happened to be thinking of my old schooldays. And you know what? The thing I seem to miss most is what annoyed me most when I was there -- chapel. I found this page with favourite hymns of various Anglicans, and I found some dear old friends.

I submit "How Can I Keep From Singing" by American Baptist minister, Robert Lowry (music by Ira David Sankey) for your consideration. People often attribute it to the Quakers, falsely I am afraid, or even the Shakers... A good one for fighting Quakers!

"How Can I Keep From Singing?

"My life flows in endless song, above earth's lamentation,
I hear the real though far off hymn, that hails a new creation.
No storm can shake my inmost calm, I hear the music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?

"When tyrants tremble, sick with fear, and hear their death-knells ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing?
In prison cell or dungeon dark, our thoughts to them are winging,
When friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing.

"What though the tempest 'round me roars, I know the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness 'round me close, songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is Lord of heaven and earth. How can I keep from singing?

"I lift my eyes, the clouds grow thin, I see the blue above it.
And day by day this pathway clears, since first I learned to love it.
The peace from love makes fresh my heart, a song of hope is ringing.
All things are mine, since truth I've found. How can I keep from singing."

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 08, 2004

Ayumi Hamasaki


Until about ten minutes before I wrote this I had never heard of Ayumi Hamasaki but any of these pimped out vans would make a most excellent Fleamobile.

They are the fanatic fan of Ayumi Hamasaki. in addition to the fanatic fan of car tuning. Please click following link to see more picture of their car even if you are not fan of Ayumi Hamasaki or Car tuning.
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Call On Me

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (with a well judged SNSFW warning).

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sad moment

The all too brief career of a model B-52.

Posted by the Flea at 09:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Radiocarbon dating links a carving of Odin in the collection at Colchester Castle Museum to the more recently uncovered Seahenge.

At first, the carved object puzzled scientists, who could not determine if it was a man or a woman, or why its left eye appeared to have been mutilated.

Marie Taylor, Marketing Officer of the Colchester Castle Museum, which houses the Odin carving, told Discovery News, "Archaeologists now know that these distinctive features are deliberate, and that the idol is an early representation of the later Viking god named Odin. Odin could change his sex at will from man to woman, and he lost the use of his left eye so that he could see into the future."
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Scream

Edvard Munch's The Scream may have been inspired by an Inca mummy from Paris' Musée de l'Homme now undergoing CT scans at Florence's Museum of Natural History.

"It"s the strong resemblance that struck us. Basically, the images of the 'The Scream' and the mummy can be overlapped," Piero Mannucci of Florence University told Discovery News. The idea that Edvard Munch got his inspiration for "The Scream" from a Peruvian mummy is not new.

Already in 1978, in the exhibition catalogue "Symbols and Images of Edvard Munch," National Gallery of Art, Washington, the renowned Munch scholar Robert Rosenblum, professor of modern European art at New York University, suggested a possible link with an Inca mummy now kept at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Operation HARPOON

The Canadian Army's first non-defensive combat mission since the Korean War and an opinion piece by Major-General Lewis MacKenzie are discussed at Castle Argghhh!!!

One hopes the current Canadian government will take the advice of those who do the killing and dying at their command.

Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

Posted by the Flea at 09:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 07, 2004

Toronto Air Show


I took shelter from the sun under the Toronto inukshuk and watched the Canadian International Airshow this weekend. It turns out taking pictures of things that are at a distance and moving at speed is tricky. The Snowbirds obliged by flying in numbers sufficient for my autofocus to get a bead on them. A CF-18 made noise satisfying enough to trigger car alarms, there was an even louder F-18 Super Hornet and I had never thought to get so close to a B-1B. But I was there for the A-10. What a monster! Glad not to have the full attention of one of those things. Better yet was seeing the A-10 do what looked like impromptu formation flying with a stunt plane. Seriously, not something you see every day.

Also spotted was a rather magnificent vessel on the horizon. Does anyone recognize her?


Posted by the Flea at 09:38 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

Chavhemian Rhapsody

Now is the time a the Flea when we dance (and more on chavs in case this confuses).

Posted by the Flea at 09:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Stiff drink needed

Stiff drink needed.

Posted by the Flea at 09:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


For all your time-keeping needs this talking Yoda is.

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM | TrackBack (0)

Yellow Out

I am sufficiently bloody-minded I had to solve every level of Yellow Out, a car-parking puzzle game.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

Geoffrey Boothroyd

A previously unknown archive of Ian Fleming's letters reveals the thinking behind James Bond's weapon of choice and the man who would become the model for Q (via Attu).

James bond's weapons epitomised his brand of cool, deadly professionalism but soon after Ian Fleming's super spy appeared there were accusations that he was carrying "a lady's gun".

The criticism came from Geoffrey Boothroyd, a gun expert, and Fleming was so mortified that his hero might be equipped with the wrong weapon that he hired the Glaswegian as his firearms adviser and later introduced him as a character in the Bond books.
Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

Natural Magick

Giambattista della Porta's 16th-century science best-sellers include the Ninth Book of Natural Magick, "How to Adorn Women, and Make them Beautiful." I am particularly struck by Chapter V, "How hair may grow again."

And if any hair has fallen off, to make it grow again, Torrify Pith upon coals, when it is Torrified, powder it, sift it, and mingle it with water, and anoint the head. The Ancients made their hair grow again with these remedies. With the ashes of a land Hedgehog, or of burnt Bees or Flies, or the powder of them dried, also with man's Dung burnt, and anointed on with Honey, to which they added well the ashes of small Nuts, Walnuts, Chestnuts, and other beanlike substances. For by all these mingled together, or by them single, hair will be made to grow. But if you will, "That hair shall grow quickly"

M'kay, I am going to assume this works for men as well as women, skip that burning dung suggestion and go straight to torrifying some pith.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

President Black Bush

Chappelle's Show takes on American culture "from the streets to the 'burbs and all things between."

President Black Bush presents his case for war with evidence of aluminum tubes and yellow cake.
Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

Day of the Jackals

MIFfed reports on the new French literary season.

After Beigbeder's 'Windows on the World' in which 9-11 victims have an orgy in the burning collapsing Twin Towers, Yann Moix's 'Partouz' draws an analogy between Western swingers' club members and Arab kamikazes (Why? Moix says it's because they all like to get off, duh!). Yann Moix refers to the 11th of September 2001 as 11 Septembre ™ and to Mohammed Atta as his brother.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 06, 2004



Being bloggers we all wear cyberfashion, of course.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Decline of Fashion Photography

The Decline of Fashion Photography is an argument in pictures.

What made Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue emblems of visual sophistication during the '40s and '50s was their visionary art directors, Alexey Brodowich and Alexander Liberman, respectively. Both used only exceptional photographers and then set their photographs off to maximum effect with a generous use of white space. Their goal was to turn the fashion magazine into a luscious exotic escape.
Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


What makes Europe a "creepy place" and messenger of "bad news" are people like the art critics from the Süddeutsche Zeitung or the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited in this Herald Tribune review of reaction to MoMA-Berlin.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Pitch Black

That would be Mountain Dew Pitch Black. Despite the questionable point of this time limited product, and their inexplicable failure to advertise at the Flea, I can highly recommend the Terror in the Woods webgame. Seriously creeped me out.

Posted by the Flea at 08:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Norman Conquest

BBC History offers a Battle of Hastings game. You know, 1066 and all that.

Play the game to re-enact the Battle of Hastings, which took place on 14 October, 1066. This is your chance to change history, as the exhausted troops of King Harold fight against William of Normandy.
Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM | TrackBack (0)


It is enthralling to learn the the name of German philosopher Hans Capitalism and the answer to the eternal question, "So we should kill the French?" I have taught courses on the Monkeysphere without having a name for it. Though to be pedantic it would be the less fun sounding Apesphere... we don't have monkey tails (via Watch Without a Watchman).

Yes, the Monkeysphere. That's the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people. If the monkey scientists are monkey right, it's physically impossible for this to be a number larger than 150. Most of us do not have room in our Monkeysphere for our friendly neighborhood Sanitation Worker. So, we don't think of him as a person. We think of him The Thing That Makes The Trash Go Away.
Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Saddle orders

Belmont Club discusses swarming, netcentric warfare and "the Internet cloud of enemies which has descended on the John Kerry campaign." To paraphrase, the VRWC expects every blog to do its duty.

In an earlier, low tech era, this phenomenon was referred to in the German Army as "saddle orders". Because the general principles of the campaign were so well understood by lower-level commanders, Guderian and Rommel could redirect subordinates and trust them to do the "right thing", that is, act consistently within the agreed strategic framework. They could give orders from the "saddle". In contrast, the French High Command had to laboriously consider its reaction to each threat. It was this kind of confidence in the Age of Sail which enabled Nelson to break the French line at Trafalgar. Nelson's captains had served together so long they were like a basketball team that could blind-pass to each other, so that his pre-battle signal consisted simply of "England expects every man to do his duty". Both the German Army of 1940 and Nelson's fleet of 1805 were inferior to the enemy in materiel and numbers. But it did not matter. The surprise of 2004 may be that the Mainstream Media, like the Chars of the French Army or the sailing wonders of Villeneuve, will not matter at all.

Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

Posted by the Flea at 08:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2004

Show Trial

The Flea has been found guilty as one of many "contemptible murderers, these vile and insolent enemies of the people."

In reality, of course, I am a cutie pie.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)


Amazon.com reviews written by Chad Kultgen (Los Angeles, CA United States).

Posted by the Flea at 09:25 AM | TrackBack (0)

What is up?

What is up?

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

Holme Island

I am looking for information about Holme Island near Grange-Over-Sands in Cumbria. I used to pass by the place on my way to Barrow-in-Furness from Lancaster or Manchester by train and have been curious about the house there ever since. My web search has let me down so I am hoping someone with local knowledge can fill me in!

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM | TrackBack (0)

The Stairway Suite

The Stairway Suite imagines Stairway to Heaven by Schubert. And Holtz... and Glenn Miller...

Posted by the Flea at 09:19 AM | TrackBack (0)


I picked up Robert Harris' Pompeii after enjoying Fatherland, Enigma and Archangel. This is yet another of his novels I wish I had written myself. The inevitable vulcanology lesson is worth the read but I was more struck by how absolutely contemporary in many respects was life in Roman Campania of the first century. There is the (glaring) fact of slavery but otherwise Harris manages to present a story on a human scale despite the difference of two-thousand years and the disaster we know is coming and the characters cannot. I found that having read the book I could go to websites showing the streets of Pompeii and recognize landmarks without having visited the place. Most impressive.

This is also the first I learn Pliny the Elder found time to be praefect of Classis Praetoria Misenensis, the Roman fleet at Misenum. This letter from Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus includes spoilers (or rather, spoliatori).

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM | TrackBack (0)


Roman military campaigns in Wales and southern England indexed using the wonder technology of "the internet".

Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 03, 2004



"She's definitely not just bad and not just good. She's both. That makes her different and challenging to play."

Bad? Good? She's got the gun. And the tattoos. Italian Cinema Week at the Flea™ concludes with Asia Argento as Yelena, Anarchy 99 evil doer in xXx.

"I love action movies," the 27-year-old actress revealed during the recent press tour for her latest film, xXx. "I really love these big American movies. I love to watch them. I find them much more fun than some "artsy" movies, so I always wanted to do one. I thought it would be a real challenge to do one."

While Argento had always wanted to do an American action film I had taken an irrational antipathy toward the movie and avoided it until recently. Fortunately, a fanatic Vin Diesel friend of mine convinced me to give it a chance and now I want, like, a thirty-year Bond run of xXx movies. So much fun.

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

The A****** Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (possibly nsfw but crank your speakers anyway).

And then... A thought: Canada will never understand itself until we can poke fun of ourselves like this.

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Knitted superhero uniforms

Knitted superhero uniforms by Mark Newport. The comic cover samplers are nice too.

"Freedom Bedcover," a quilt made of Batman comic book pages suggests that it might offer strength when tired or provide warmth from cold. But its irony lies in the fact that it would not protect or shelter its owner from anything - despite the depictions of super heroes representing strength and power. Pumped-up cartoon characters are just a few of the personas from which the artist learned about masculinity.
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Battle Chips

This is worth it just to read the line, "I splatted your Battle Chip!"

Posted by the Flea at 10:15 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sonya Thomas

At last she who is spoken of in prophecy has arrived.

There is an century-old prophesy within the competitive eating community, dismissed by most, that foretells the rise of the One Eater, a woman who will electrify America.s gurgitators and lead them to international victory once again. Like Joan of Arc before her, this eater will be slender of stature, but mighty in strength. In recent months, the prophesy has been mentioned more and more frequently as the eaters have watched Sonya Thomas excel in nearly every contest she enters.
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

Beneath the Queen's Chamber

Gilles Dormion and Jean-Yves Verd'hurt claim to have located a cavity under the Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid using microgravimetry. They argue this may be a tunnel leading to the burial chamber of the Pyramid's end-user, the Pharaoh Khufu (that is Cheops to you classical Greeks). Despite apparent confirmation of their findings by a Japanese team using radar, and their earlier discovery of two previously undetected rooms at a pyramid of Meidum, they have thus far been denied permission to investigate further (supposedly as they are not professional archaeologists).

According to the French pair, none of the pyramid's three existing rooms would have been strong enough to qualify as a royal burial chamber which needs to withstand the test of centuries.

In the so-called King's room, at the top of a steep shaft reaching up inside the pyramid, they point to deep cracks in the massive granite blocks that form the chamber's ceiling as evidence of this.

The Queen's chamber, meanwhile, cannot be sealed off, meaning it could not have been used as a burial chamber, while work on the third known room was abandoned before it was completed.
Posted by the Flea at 10:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

Reclining Buddha

Archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi searches for a 1,000 foot long Buddha of Bamian sleeping in the sands of Afghanistan. His source, a report from a Chinese pilgrim writing in AD 629.

The statue, probably constructed in the late sixth century, hasn't been seen in hundreds of years. If Tarzi succeeds in locating it, the discovery would mean more than uncovering the largest known statue of Buddha. It could be a psychic balm and a financial boon for Afghanistan, easing guilt over the Taliban's acts. "I do not want to dig just to wash away the shame of the Taliban," he said. "I am doing this for the people of Bamian and because I love what I am doing. Bamian is part of my country, and when I die, part of me will be here."
Posted by the Flea at 10:09 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2004

B. Monkey


"My name is B.
B. Monkey.
They call me that because I can get into anything."

Italian Cinema Week at the Flea™ continues with the story of a dream girl come to rescue a teacher from his dreary existence and lead him into a profitable life of crime and adventure. Something like that. Unfortunately, this film's teacher is too much of a wet blanket for suspension of disbelief to quite kick in. Fortunately, B herself more than makes up for it. The only problem with watching a good romantic comedy is the feeling of having your heart yanked out and stomped on. Ha ha! Thanks, Fate! Horror movies are much easier to watch, obviously.

Asia Argento stars as would be a would be reformed B. Monkey and features a new tattoo. Rupert Everett reprises his role as sympathetic gay friend to hot women. This one will make you homesick for London if you are not missing it already. And a good choice for subtitle haters as it is an English-language performance.

Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM | TrackBack (2)

Prowlies at the River

Like all good fairy tales, Prowlies at the River is both cute and creepy. Check out the rest of Bitey Castle for more about this Disney special effects animator's work.

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM | TrackBack (0)


I did better at Proximity than I do at most Go style games.

Posted by the Flea at 09:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Dark Knight

"I am vengeance. I am the knight. I am Batman."

Not a good day for the Batman. And that was almost certainly "I am the Dark Knight", btw.

A 6-foot-tall, 275-pound bearded man crashed a children's birthday party in Oak Forest, identified himself as "vengeance," then helped himself to a piece of cake, police said.

And then... ***Dave and Neil Gaiman think the intruder said something else. I think my speculation is better.

Posted by the Flea at 09:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Jedi Academy

Dr. Rusty Shackleford is expecting a comfortable academic sinecure in Romania. I am pretty sure the Jedi Academy will hire me too.

A Star Wars acedemy that teaches about the religion of the Jedi, use of the light sabre and speaking in Wookiee has opened its doors in Romania. Adrian Pavel, who runs the country's Star Wars Club, decided to found the Jedi Academy after getting so many questions from fellow fans on how they can be more like their heroes in the Star Wars films.
Posted by the Flea at 09:33 AM | TrackBack (0)

Traffic report

The InstaPundit reports 310,000 page views on August 31 and 6 million total for August. The Flea cannot claim such traffic but I am pleased to report 7500 page views for August 31 (11,500 page views on August 30... busy Monday I guess) and 156,805 page views from 37,502 unique visitors in total for August. Woo! Yay!

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

Helm's Deep

'None knows what the new day shall bring him,' said Aragorn. 'Get you gone, ere it turn to your evil.'

'Get down or we will shoot you from the wall,' they cried. 'This is no parley. You have nothing to say.'

'I still have this to say,' answered Aragorn. 'No enemy has yet taken the Hornburg. Depart, or not one of you will be spared. Not one will be left alive to take back tidings to the North. You do not know your peril.'

Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM | TrackBack (0)

September 01, 2004

Scarlet Diva


"I am the most lonely girl in the world."

Today's issue of Italian Cinema Week at the Flea™ features a film directed by Asia Argento and starring Asia herself as an "oblique personality". Scarlet Diva has a stunning soundtrack and direction that suggests these are all of Argento's favourite angles of herself (and her favourite angels... we get to see pretty much all of her tattoos). Everything is a bit unsteady much, I suppose, as we are meant to believe is her experience of life as a successful, sought after and gorgeous actress. Though it does leave one with the impression she is out of her mind. Unhinged. In short, even more attractive than I already thought she was.

Scarlet Diva is maximum non-family rated from almost the first scene. That said, the film makes effective use of Christian imagery, taking on board the redemptive power of grace despite the worst of circumstances. This has the best director's commentary of any dvd I have looked at (that accent... it kills me). It confirms my impression of Vincent Gallo as a cad.

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM | TrackBack (0)


Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (with some nsfw banner ads).

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Cutie Pie

The Tiger in winter calls me libertarian, BlogsCanada calls me conservative and Classical Values calls me a cutie pie. I am, of course, a cutie pie.

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Pshychederic gore trancer

So, basically Japanese people are just cooler than I am. Sometimes the blogosphere presents me with something so awesome no quip seems an adequate response. I look at Pshychederic gore trancer and realize this is one of those times.

Posted by the Flea at 08:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Topless 3D Tennis

Topless 3D Tennis is a self-explanatory webgame. I am just not very good at it.

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM | TrackBack (0)

Star Wars: Episodes 7, 8 and 9

Tell you what. For a nominal fee I will sign a Non Audience Agreement if George Lucas will only stop violating my childhood with more badly made Star Wars films.

Star Wars creator George Lucas could be poised to make three sequels to the original space opera trilogy, according to insiders at Lucasfilm.

According to fan site Theforce.net, employees at Lucas's company Industrial Light and Magic have all been made to sign non-disclosure agreements to promise not to talk about the possibility of episode's seven, eight and nine being made.
Posted by the Flea at 08:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Coca Cola Timeline

Somehow this slick Coca Cola timeline does not include the history of Fanta.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM | TrackBack (0)

Staplerfahrer Klaus

Yes, thanks to "the internet" I am watching German industrial safety videos. The Raging Kraut offers the following review:

Oh my God this is the most hilarious Safety Video ever. It takes a couple of minutes to get going and has one of the best ending gorefests since Evil Dead.
Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Losing it

Not so fun for Michael Moore when he is not in the edit suite, Al Franken cannot control his temper in the face of disagreement and the best Senator John Kerry's think puppets can come up with is sophomoric semantics. There is no point in parsing this stuff as logic has nothing to do with it. The Democrats have lost the plot. Having given over the ideological thrust of his campaign to conspiracy theorists, apologists and reactionaries the name Kerry is assured a place in history alongside Dukakis and Mondale.

Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

Posted by the Flea at 08:18 AM | TrackBack (0)

Sky not falling

The "population bomb" was a damp squib. The NGO money train was wrong on the facts then and they are just as obviously wrong about global warming now. I will not hold my breath waiting for anyone on the wrong side of the argument to admit it.

Remember the population bomb, the fertility explosion set to devour the world's food and suck up or pollute all its air and water? Its fuse has by no means been plucked. But over the last three decades, much of its Malthusian detonation power has leaked out.

The solution to poverty and pollution lies in the education and material enrichment of the very people the NGOs need to keep poor in order to hold on to their comfy chairs. To cite only two indices of development, there is a direct correlation between electrification and rates of women's literacy. This is hardly surprising. Find countries where people have little access to telephones and computers and where women have little or no control over their lives and you will find a country whose economy and ideology is medieval. And yet I cannot count the times some "progressive" has patiently explained to me that hundreds of millions of people choose to live in poverty because they are not brainwashed by materialism. It seems to me that most Malthussian predictions share the explict racist paternalism of that sort of talk.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)