May 31, 2009

The Bloody Beetroots ft. Steve Aoki: WARP

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

May 30, 2009

I have decided not enough of you followed that link to the Brett Domino Trio cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It"

BRETT DOMINO: Live in London.

Posted by the Flea at 05:49 PM

Glukoza: Schweine

The Lord of the Rings pastiche is classic.

English lyrics below the fold.

Flow of cars, I arrived peacefully
Without control and with obstacles in my head
I'm going home
Step, step, step - I ended up in the dark again
For the third time I was completely deceived
Already by you

I won't forgive, and the head goes*
I want to choose the words for them

One, two, three
Swanky-swanky pigs

One, two, three
Swanky-swanky pigs

Quid pro quo - now a strike for the honest**
I'm in motion top center
Now you aren't mine
Piggy boy, I in no way expected
That I'm flying into a bum deal again
Now with you


[Man speaking Russian in background:]
Attention! Attention!
To all cheaters of girl's hearts,
You are ordered to gather together and go on...
Or try to turn from pigs into people
And not cheat on those who love you.

[Woman speaking German in background:]
Attention! Attention!
This is for all liars who broke the heart of a woman,
You are given the order to stick close together,
and, erm, oh-oh, or try to turn from pigs into people
and never lie again to the ones who love you.

Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM

May 29, 2009

Brett Domino Trio: I Kissed a Girl

There cover of Beat It is classic.

Posted by the Flea at 02:58 PM

We call that one Mua'dib

Ever watchful lest I relent and agree to a pet, the Girlfriend of the Flea is now angling for a Greater Egyptian Jerboa.

Or possibly a Long-eared Jerboa.

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM | Comments (4)

And thanks for all the fish

Three families of beavers have been released into a Scottish forest, reintroducing the creatures to the UK after a 500 year absence.

Opponents fear that beavers could damage stocks of salmon and other fish, threatening angling which is worth £100million annually to the Scottish economy. But the 11 beavers, fitted with tracking devices, are not being released in salmon rivers.

Nothing to worry about then. (Canadians will detect a note of sarcasm.)

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM | Comments (1)

What has no heart, bones, eyes or brain, is made up of 95% water, and yet is still a remarkably efficient ocean predator?

The answer is the jellyfish.

This unusual creature is not actually a fish, but an invertebrate from the Coelenterate phylum (the same phylum as coral, also called Cnidaria). It comprises a ‘bell’, made up of a jelly-like substance, as well as tentacles and oral arms (sometimes called ‘flaps’), which are used to eat its prey. The bell is called a medusa, because it resembles the Gorgon Medusa of Greek mythology, with its hair of writhing snakes.
Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM

Red squirrels are such beautiful, mystical little creatures. The greys are not. They are destructive.

Up with the Red!
Down with the Grey!
Something that rhymes!
Eat the Grey!

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM

Wolfsheim: Kein Zurück

Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM

May 28, 2009

Jeeves & Wooster: Roderick Spode

The British knee is on the march.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

James Doman: Everything's gonna be alright

Mock me as you will. Traffic doesn't generate itself.

James Doman - Everything's gonna be alright (2008)(1)
Uploaded by vassago_303
Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM

May 27, 2009

Hermione for Lagerfeld



This is not the first time she's crossed over from actress to model. In fact, it's becoming something of a habit. And Emma Watson's latest photoshoot is the most daring and unusual yet.
Posted by the Flea at 07:49 AM


We have no one but ourselves to blame. We did not live up to our end of the bargain with Japan.

A defense panel of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party largely agreed Tuesday to propose that Japan acquire the capability to take out enemy bases under new National Defense Program Guidelines. The proposal, which is in large measure a response to North Korea´s nuclear test on Monday and its April 5 rocket launch, is likely to be controversial given that some government officials and lawmakers have expressed reservations about making the leap.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | Comments (2)

A vampire lives there

I am jealous of Guillermo del Toro's home in Los Angeles.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

77 Million Paintings

Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings is spectacular against the Sydney Opera House (trust me, follow the links). The man still rocks a synth pad.

The following two embedded videos are from a time lapse recording of a different performance of the same piece. Click through to Vimeo if you would prefer to see the HD version; the embedded version will play here after a 30 second delay. Haunting and beautiful - as one would expect from Eno - but for the irritating hang ups in the audio I am getting at my end.

7 Hours in 77 Million Paintings (2008.03.08) from Pitch Bend on Vimeo.

7 More Hours in 77 Million Paintings (2008.03.16) from Pitch Bend on Vimeo.

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM

May 26, 2009

Throttle an environmentalist. But take care to wash your hands when you are done.

As of June 1, the people of Toronto enact out our latest stupidity; an environmental kabuki at the check out counter. Paying five cents a bag to carry home the shopping will be vexing and pointless, I had thought, but mostly harmless in comparison with a plethora of other statist fads that have been imposed upon the Canadian people by our betters (allied with our own ignorance, indifference and self-satisfaction).*

Not so. It turns out the reusable grocery bags of our green masters are a rich source of food poisoning. Also skin infections such as bacterial boils. And allergic reactions. And asthma attacks. And ear infections.

And, in my case, dangerously elevated bile levels.

The study found that 64% of the reusable bags tested were contaminated with some level of bacteria and close to 30% had elevated bacterial counts higher than what's considered safe for drinking water. Further, 40% of the bags had yeast or mold, and some of the bags had an unacceptable presence of coliforms, faecal intestinal bacteria, when there should have been 0.

It is almost as if disposable plastic shopping bags were a miracle product from the future; a product of science and industry meant to save us from all manner of contagious nastiness. In our all too immanent green future, we will be quite literally forced to eat shit and like it.

(via Celestial Junk)

* Excepting those residents of Toronto on a fixed income. As ever, the poor will pay the highest price for the virtue of the Canadian Establishment.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM | Comments (2)

September: Cry For You

September - Cry For You

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM

May 25, 2009

What we are dealing with

In light of North Korea's latest atomic weapons test, a reminder of what we are dealing with.* I almost wish I could unsee image No. 4.

A dozen or so citizen snoops use images captured by Google Earth to build an annotated map of the secretive country.

* Of that with which we are dealing.

Related: From the documentary film A State of Mind, "The story of two North Korean schoolgirls and their families in the lead up to the Mass Games – the biggest and most elaborate human performance on earth."

Posted by the Flea at 06:07 PM

That's what people are paying for - to be terrified and disturbed


Two stars: One strikes fear into the hearts of millions by offering up serial misogynistic caricatures of femininity as a form of low brow mass entertainment. The other is Eli Roth.

Step 1 - Create bitchin' horror movies.
Step 2 - Get second billing to Brad Pitt.
Setp 3 - Profit!

Related: While not an auteur a la Roth, Paris Hilton has her own terrifying Tarantino ambitions.

Yet more related: Agent Bedhead offers an exceptional rant.

In the wake of our Cannes coverage, I’ve received a few emails about Eli Roth, so I will make reference to one particular discussion (& semi-heated comment section) that partially explains why he is actually a decent human being and not some psychopath that spends his time dreaming up new ways to torture women in his films.

Death defying Update: Inglourious Basterds star cheated death (hat tip to You Know Who).

Posted by the Flea at 09:54 AM | Comments (1)

Appropriate military dress

No, I have not seen the new Star Trek film. Or the the Terminator movie. Or that other thing that came out recently that I was supposed to have seen. I have no good excuse as it is summer term but it is a scheduling problem nonetheless. I expect I shall see the new Harry Potter in a timely fashion.

Posted by the Flea at 09:51 AM | Comments (2)

Cabaret Voltaire: Seconds Too Late

Posted by the Flea at 09:41 AM

May 24, 2009

Kylie wears dress

Eats cherry. In related news: Blogger awaits comp tickets to Kylie Minogue Toronto show.

Still awaiting.


No reply from Walrus re my forwarded link/ticket hint, btw. My working assumption is arts magazines can't get comp tickets to real concerts.

Posted by the Flea at 06:49 AM | Comments (1)

What if they held a Monroe doctrine and nobody came?

Information Dissemination hosts photos from China of recent work on former Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag. Also an important scoop lifted from a Portugese language defense, strategy and intelligence site: Brazilian Minister of Defense Nelson Jobim has announced a deal whereby PLAN pilots are to train for catapult operations on Brazilian carrier São Paulo.

I think the important part is that Jobim is going to China this fall to basically finalize a deal that will allow Chinese naval pilots to train from Sao Paulo. You can see a little bit about the Sao Paulo aircraft carrier in its Wikipedia Page. I think it's kind of interesting that they chose Sao Paulo, because it's basically the only aircraft carrier with catapult and not serving for a country that current has military embargo on China. US will obviously not let PLAN train on its carriers and French navy probably will not either due to the embargo. I guess it shows that China is looking to build a CATOBAR carrier pretty soon. Otherwise, there really isn't any need to train on Sao Paulo right now. On the other hand, it's kind of curious that China is also planning to use NITKA training center, because that's probably preparing pilots for STOBAR carrier. Obviously, PLAN would be able to do more realistic training on Sao Paulo, but it would only have limited training schedule on Sao Paulo compared to NITKA. So, it looks like PLAN is just covering all the basis with its plans. On the whole, my guess is that Varyag will probably not equip any catapult, but the home built carriers will.

For the uninitiated: Wikipedia entries for CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery) and STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery).

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Rohan: Willy Nilly

Some risqué imagery.

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

May 23, 2009

Crush your enemies. Drive them before you. Hear the lamentation of their women.

How Sri Lanka's military won:

Ban the international press.

Ignore the "international community".

Defeat the enemy.

"The Sri Lankan military juggernaut cruised ahead despite mounting civilian casualties. The rebels thought the international community, especially neighbouring India, would intervene looking at the civilian suffering and bring about a ceasefire in the final stages. When that did not happen, they ran out of options," says Mr Jeyaraj.

I prefer Sri Lanka's approach to bringing about a ceasefire.

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

Fischerspooner: Emerge

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

May 22, 2009

And he is right

Tom Tancredo says it is time to consider legalizing drugs (via Hot Air).

Posted by the Flea at 02:01 PM

Gingerbread haka

Because today I am thinking there are plenty of folks who need a good ass kicking.

Posted by the Flea at 10:11 AM | Comments (4)

Lady Sovereign: So Human

Posted by the Flea at 10:01 AM

May 21, 2009

Enrich yourselves

American Thinker reprints a letter from a filthy kulak unfit to sell the people's automobiles. RTWT.

(Severe blood pressure warning.)

Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM | Comments (3)


A friend of the Flea - let's call him "Ben" - is an ardent flâneur, gadabout and people viewer who enjoys attending... let's (charitably) call them community events around Toronto and on occasion I tag along. "Ben" is not always the most forthcoming chap with the details and - as I regard the asking of pointed questions as a form of cheating - it was not unusual for me to turn up at last night's event without knowing quite what it was I was attending.

Which is how I ended up at a community party for the Centre for Women and Trans People (UofT) at the Gladstone. The theme? "Policy and Performance" or something to that effect. I am afraid I was not dressed appropriately. In fairness to "Ben", I can imagine how the promise of lesbian musicians, a puppet show and drag acts was too tempting to ignore. Well, we got none of those. Nor did I get an event flier. The be-caped/nebulous character handing them out took one look at us and gave our table a miss.

The nerve of it. The little twerp's social act is predicated on feeling "excluded" and there was I with no clue whose slam poetry I was hearing.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

REO Speedwagon: Keep On loving You

Posted by the Flea at 07:41 AM

May 20, 2009

Lizard lady


I take back anything snarky I have had to say about ABC's forthcoming V reboot. Morena Baccarin is in it.

Posted by the Flea at 10:41 AM | Comments (4)

Sherlock Holmes trailer

Fun, fanciful and Flea-ish but I am having trouble with Downey's horrendous attempt at an accent.

Posted by the Flea at 10:17 AM | Comments (2)

Victory for the legions

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to acknowledge defeat in his battle with common sense, common decency and Joanna Lumley (bless). This is good news for the UK, as well. Soon enough, the British are going to need every Gurkha they can find handy.

The Prime Minister was forced to order a re-think after suffering a Commons defeat, which also triggered a meeting with Lumley and a subsequent press conference in which the actress appeared to be dictating policy to immigration minister Phil Woolas.

However, Mr Brown has decided to give all Gurkha veterans an entitlement to live in this country.

That could open the door to 36,000 veterans, plus roughly twice as many of their family, although campaigners say the number of arrivals is likely to be no more than 10,000 as many will stay in Nepal.
Posted by the Flea at 10:14 AM

Kate Bush: Mná na hÉireann

Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM

May 19, 2009

The mother of broken windows

Greenwich Village residents are shocked by an alarming 43 percent increase in violent crime so far this year relative to the same period in 2008. If only there were some difference between 2008 and 2009 that might explain why violent criminals* now feel they have license to do as they please. Oh well; I expect it will always remain a mystery.

"I've never seen it like this before -- never, ever," said G. Simon Chafik, a female photographer who has lived in Manhattan for 15 years. ... I'm a big New Yorker. New York is one of the safest cities. [But] I'm beginning to question that."

Other hot Manhattan neighborhoods tainted by the crime wave include TriBeCa, with a nearly 17 percent jump, and Gramercy, which has seen a 24 percent increase in assaults. The danger zones also include the East Village from East 14th Street to Houston Street and the East River to Broadway, which has seen a 27.7 percent rise, from 47 to 60 assaults. The Lower East Side has experienced a whopping 30 percent hike in assaults.

* Be they foreign, domestic or Congressional.

Posted by the Flea at 11:15 AM

Deadliest Warriors: Doc Martin vs House

House would use his sarcasm which would bounce right off Doctor Ellingham because he could not care less, is impervious to sarcasm and would treat anything House said as a genuine question. This in turn would only cause House to increase his sarcasm at a geometric rate.

Advantage: Doc Martin.

Posted by the Flea at 11:14 AM

Kirlian Camera: Blue Room

Posted by the Flea at 11:12 AM

May 18, 2009

Svetlana was robbed


Jeff makes an excellent point vis a vis Ukrainian Eurovision hopeful, Svetlana Loboda.

Posted by the Flea at 01:32 PM

Aesthetics are a moral imperative

Ten year old Natalie Okri is bullied at school for her hard work and her natural talent. Such is today's England on a Leveller's path to ruin.

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM

May 17, 2009

It's (not quite) my time

Eurovision 2009 featuring Dita von Teese and Russian cops misdirecting their aggression.

And the winner: Alexander Rybak of Norway.

Posted by the Flea at 10:12 AM | Comments (1)

May 16, 2009

Kate Bush: The Big Sky

Rainy afternoon in Toronto. Something to cheer me up.

Posted by the Flea at 05:23 PM

Performing the Fourth Amendment

Now they have incorporated a TSA-style metal detector into their stage act, Penn & Teller give Americans something to think about every time they are waiting on line at an airport security-checkpoint.

In addition to that real metal detector, Penn & Teller bring out one of those wands we've all had waved over us at the airport when the change in our pocket or the wire from our bra causes the machinery to beep. An audience member is invited up on stage to make sure the equipment is working, and when Jillette's pocket beeps he hands over a playing-card-sized piece of metal that just happens to have the Bill of Rights printed on it with the Fourth Amendment highlighted. Jillette says it usually elicits a big laugh when he gives the audience-assistant the mini-metal Bill of Rights and tells him how much fun it will be if he keeps it in pocket when going through the security checkpoint at McCarran International Airport.

Once it's established that the metal detector is working, the always-innocent-looking Teller walks through it and sets off no alarms. But then, from somewhere inside his coat pocket, he pulls out a metal pan that's on fire. Next, he produces a fire extinguisher and, after that, a full-size shovel. "The point we're making," says Jillette, "is that if two goofball magicians can slip this stuff by with full lights shining on them and the full attention of the audience, then what could a really bad person do?"
Posted by the Flea at 03:11 PM

Elena: The Balkan Girls (Romania)

Time to find out if the HQ button works on an embedded video.

Posted by the Flea at 11:33 AM

Monkeyspace 2030

Charles Stross considers the future of gaming and challenges for video game designers in light of coming augmented reality applications, prosthetic memory and the internet smeared all over the world around us. The post is too detailed to summarize adequately; best read the whole thing.

Here in the world of human beings — call it monkeyspace — we are all primates who respond well to certain types of psychological stimulus. We're always dreaming up new ways to push our in-built reward buttons, and new media to deliver the message. Television came along within fifty years of cinema and grabbed a large chunk of that particular field's lunch. Cinema had previously robbed theatre's pocket. And so on. Today, MMO gaming is the new kid on the block, growing ferociously and attracting media consumers from older fields. I can't speculate on what might eat the computer games field's lunch -- most likely it'll be some new kind of game that we don't have a name for yet. But one thing's for sure: by 2030, MMOs will be seen as being as cutting edge as 2D platform games are in 2009.
Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

Frankly my dear

The top five ways classic pieces of literature would be different if written by Robert Heinlein.

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Allahpundit calls it "the 'Citizen Kane' of giant octopus movies."

Posted by the Flea at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2009

The Torment of Saint Anthony


The words "prodigy" and "genius" are most often used lightly. Which is a problem.

Sometimes we need these words to do their job.

A painting thought to be the first work by Michelangelo, completed when he was just 12 or 13 years old, has been snapped up by a gallery in Fort Worth, Texas.
Posted by the Flea at 09:37 AM

Big Design

Kay Hymowitz considers (at considerable length) the new Design Economy, a world where information technology has enabled and democratized the design process such that it is no longer an add-on but integral to the products and services we use including virtual ones such as this weblog.*

What does this suggest for designers of all stripes given our wider economy's current straightened circumstances?

We prefer good-looking things, and we will insist on them. If anything, we may get even pickier. “The recession itself may increase design pressures,” Virginia Postrel observes. “As consumers demand more value for their dollars, design is one form of value they expect at any given price point—including cheap ones. I observed this phenomenon in the 2001–02 recession. Rather than reverting to the expectations of a decade earlier, consumers became even more demanding about design quality, not only in products and graphics but also in environments such as hotels and restaurants.” As businesses keep looking for ways to separate their products and services from the chaff, even seemingly frivolous professionals like experiential designers and design anthropologists will continue to find some demand for their services.

Design anthropologist. I like the sound of that.

* Or "blog".

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM | Comments (3)

Brinck: Believe Again (Denmark)

Poking through this year's Eurovision entries I am forced to conclude the first language of most "European" countries is English and that crap dance music serves the transcendent function once intended by the Tower of Babel.

This is quite nice though.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

May 14, 2009

Christina Metaxa: Firefly (Cyprus)

I am geeky enough to read this as a tribute to the lost works of Joss Whedon.

Posted by the Flea at 06:38 PM

Patricia Kaas: Et S'Il Fallait Le Faire (France)

Posted by the Flea at 06:30 PM

Inconceivable reality

Commander of US. Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy J. Keating discusses a sea change in relations with India. Well intentioned PR fluff for the most part but with the following point of interest.

India and the US represent two of the most vibrant large countries in the world. Both are relatively young and growing sufficiently to support their own long-term prosperity. Within the next two decades, India will surpass China as the most populous nation while the US will maintain its position as the third most populous.

Don't ask me what his office meant by "inconceivable reality"; could be some new buzz-term that has yet to escape into the private sector.

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM

Ernesto vs Bastian: Dark Side of the Moon

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

Dark Void

Battlestar Galactica composer, Bear McCreary talks about scoring for television, scoring for video games and his signature accordion.

Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM

My problem isn't piracy

Harlan Ellison takes a hard line on protecting his intellectual property: "If you put your hand in my pocket,” he said, “you’ll drag back six inches of bloody stump.”

Fair dues. Though I tend toward Cory Doctorow's line of thinking on the subject.

Cory Doctorow offers free e-versions of his books when they’re published, believing that “free versions, even unauthorized ones, entice new readers.” He explained: “I really feel like my problem isn’t piracy. It’s obscurity.”
Posted by the Flea at 08:10 AM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2009

Coca-Cola: The Organ Player

Posted by the Flea at 01:03 PM

Metisse: Boom Boom Ba

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

May 12, 2009

Polysics: I My Me Mine

We were not doing anybody any favours by not nuking folks on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. If we had, large parts of the world could be almost a decade closer to awesome by now.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

May 11, 2009

It was the seventy-seventh richest country in the world. And it didn’t even exist.

After yet another querulous note from The Walrus I am throwing them a link (but not to the sidebar). Game Theories by Clive Thomson is a piece from several years back. It remains of interest; first, as a comment on virtual economies and; second, as a rags-to-riches tale of academic excellence. The latter is heartening as it suggests it just may be possible to succeed in higher education without signing away your soul.

Edward Castronova had hit bottom. Three years ago, the thirty-eight-year-old economist was, by his own account, an academic failure. He had chosen an unpopular field—welfare research—and published only a handful of papers that, as far as he could tell, “had never influenced anybody.” He’d scraped together a professorship at the Fullerton campus of California State University, a school that did not even grant Ph.D.s. He lived in a lunar, vacant suburb. He’d once dreamed of being a major economics thinker but now faced the grim sense that he might already have hit his plateau. “I’m a schmo at a state school,” he thought. And since his wife worked in another city, he was, on top of it all, lonely.

To fill his evenings, Castronova did what he’d always done: he played video games.

Far too much to summarize; I shall leave the rest at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 11:24 AM

Urban Symphony: Rändajad

Estonia's entry for Eurovision 2009 at Moscow is disappointingly listenable. Spain's hopeful, Soraya, by contrast, has got the attractive lampshade constituency locked down.

All very well and good but the Flea shall be rooting for Ukraine this year: Svetlana Loboda for the win. Let's face facts.

It is worth the trouble to click the "HQ" button.

Posted by the Flea at 11:21 AM

May 10, 2009

Nick Cave & Current 93: Patripassian

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

May 09, 2009

It's like a dog meowing

Greg Pritchard - Britain's Got Talent: For the Flea's many enthusiasts of British reality television.

Oh hell, I'll post Mr. Methane too.

Posted by the Flea at 05:42 PM

By hand and ingenuity

Robert Hardman celebrates the Royal Navy's field gun race.

This is a competition rooted in that most politically incorrect of imperial conflicts, the Boer War. In 1900, the entire British Empire rejoiced after British forces, besieged inside the South African town of Ladysmith for 119 days, were finally relieved. They owed their salvation, in part, to 280 Royal Navy sailors, even though Ladysmith is 100 miles inland.

The men of the Naval Brigade removed six guns from their warships and placed them on hastily-constructed gun carriages. These were moved inland first by rail, then by mule and, ultimately, by hand and ingenuity. Once in action, they brought down enough withering fire to drive off the Boers and liberate the diseased and starving garrison.

Queen Victoria was most impressed and dispatched a congratulatory telegram to the Naval Brigade, who returned home to a euphoric welcome. They were soon re-enacting their heroics at the Grand Military Tournament which, in due course, became the Royal Tournament, the annual celebration of the British Forces.

The owner of the Castle replies with YouTube documentary evidence in case I had never seen such a race run.

Posted by the Flea at 09:48 AM | Comments (1)

Margaret Thatcher on Socialism

Will remember the bit with the hands for all future conversations related to this subject.

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

Margaret Thatcher: Free Society Speech (1975)

I want that feather duster.

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM

May 08, 2009

God bless Joanna Lumley

Jay Currie calls it a hand-bagging.

Coup latest: Joanna Lumley to lead Government of National Salvation.

Only the sketchiest details, fuelled mostly by rumour, are emerging from a dazed and embattled Westminster; but it is clear that a major transfer of power is taking place. The growing consensus is that Joanna Lumley will now head a Government of National Salvation, with Vince Cable as Chancellor and the Gurkhas in charge of law and order. The House of Commons is to be mothballed indefinitely.
Posted by the Flea at 06:50 PM

Björk: Declare Independence

Industrial pixie music.

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

May 07, 2009

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly

Heavy weather for the indoctrination of British students as 40 schools watched the eco-friendly Fleur* run into trouble on its 5000 mile renewable voyage to Greenland. Taking on water and with wind and solar generation ripped from the yatch by high winds, it seemed the tiny ship was lost...

Fortunately, salvation was at hand after three capsizes and the loss of their power. Unfortunately for the 40 schools following the Fleur’s progress on its green journey on the blue seas, salvation came from the oil tanker Overseas Yellowstone, hauling precisely the fuel that climate-change advocates dislike. The students in British schools got an unintended lesson on the readiness of wind and solar power to replace oil and coal, fortunately a lesson that didn’t cost any lives.

* A French word meaning "We speak French".

Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

9.7" DX

I have hundreds of books in txt form that I am most likely never going to get round to reading at the computer. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to think about an e-book reader... I cannot endorse the product as I find the concept an abomination but I confess I am tempted by the new, larger format Kindle DX.


The most startling thing Jeff Bezos said today at Amazon’s launch of the Kindle DX, it’s large-format Kindle optimized for textbooks and newspapers, was this statistic: For books that are available on the Kindle, sales are already 35 percent of the same books in print, up from 13 percent just a few months ago. In other words, if a paper book sells 10,000 copies on Amazon, it will sell an additional 3,500 digital copies on the Kindle. Let me repeat that, digital books via the Kindle are selling at 35 percent the level of physical books 18 months after launch.

So much for civilization; try stashing this lot in an Irish monastery through the coming Dark Age. The auto-rotating screen feature would probably get right up my nose too.

By contrast: While I have yet to read it, I am sufficiently convinced of its currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose to endorse Hairy Pothead & the Marijuana Stone.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

May 2009

Robert Jago updates his ranking of Canada's top 25 political blogs by Alexa traffic rank and Google page rank.

No. 4, you say? In honour of another unaccountably popular figure who enjoys graphic, beautiful lines: Lady GaGa on MySpace Fashion.

MySpace Presents: The Fit with Lady Gaga

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

A modern fairy tale

I have very little to say about Warren Kinsella especially after the mini-debacle exiting a Porter flight last weekend. He was traveling in the other direction and dropped something right next to me as he exited the ferry but was on his way before I could yell "Punk sucks!"

Such is the spirit of the stair.

On a brighter note from the Pre Raphaelite Files, the story of Sophie Merry (Part I).

(And Part Deux.)

Posted by the Flea at 06:40 AM

May 06, 2009

The Matrix Vs. Carl Sagan

Posted by the Flea at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)

A moment in film making

Neutral Hills Stills / Words considers an exceptional fan film, state subsidies for art and the concerns of Sarah Polley (RTWT).

... whenever Sarah Polley (or any other tit-suck CanCon “artist” [spit]) whines that she (they) can’t make a movie without extensive government funding, she (they) can also be told to STFU and The Hunt for Gollum thrown in their faces.

Polley is NOT an artist. Artists create art. They find a way around obstacles. They go into debt. They take a third mortgage on their home. They find volunteers who share their vision. And they create.

Whores, on the other hand, won’t hop into bed until they negotiate a price first.
Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM | Comments (1)

Adora's goth make-up tutorial #2 "The practice"

Oh, what the heck.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

May 05, 2009

The Land of No Smiles


Documentary photographer Tomas van Houtryve entered North Korea by posing as a businessman looking to open a chocolate factory (via).

Please consider supporting van Houtryve's work:

Flattr this

Posted by the Flea at 07:58 AM | Comments (1)

The true face of Leonardo Da Vinci

To quote from the comments: Very impressive and persuasive short speech.

Mona Lisa is one of the best-known faces on the planet. But would you recognize an image of Leonardo da Vinci? Illustrator Siegfried Woldhek uses some thoughtful image-analysis techniques to find what he believes is the true face of Leonardo.
Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM


The PRC's top admiral Wu Shengli claims a supercruising fighter aircraft - the J-XX or an advanced J-10 - is a priority for the PLAN. Sounds like a great time to cancel the Raptor.

For the Chinese navy, one advantage of supercruising would be the ability to cover a large defensive area in less time -- quite useful if the imagined target is a U.S. carrier group at long range.

Importantly, Wu lists a supercruising fighter among a series of technological demands that all look quite achievable for the Chinese navy over the next decade or so, suggesting that he does not regard such flight performance as a pie in the sky.
Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM | Comments (1)

crowds LOVE ugly people

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

May 04, 2009

The Hunt for Gollum


Mother of all fan films, The Hunt for Gollum is now on-line at DailyMotion; full screen HD all the way (hat tip to various).

"Above all I was so inspired by Peter Jackson's trilogy - and jealous that he got to make it first! I loved the scale, the quality, the epic scope of it all and figured, hey, maybe we can do that too. We don't have millions of dollars of funding (our budget is less than £3000) but we do have a huge love for the subject, a growing number of talented volunteers behind us and above all the determination to make it happen to a high standard of professionalism."

Beautifully, beautifully done.

Posted by the Flea at 10:55 AM | Comments (4)

Carrie Underwood: Jesus, Take the Wheel

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

May 03, 2009

Gary Numan: Cars

Posted by the Flea at 01:59 PM | Comments (2)

This government is commited to destroying this country and nothing less

In yet another misguided shift to an all irregular warfare military, Britain has stopped producing its own tanks. Future armour will rely on a Swedish chassis and - for pity's sake - German guns.

... General Patrick Cordingley, Commander of the Desert Rats in the first Gulf War, warned: 'I think we have got ourselves into a real tangle here. If you look at the economic troubles of the 1930s, it ended in a terrible war.

'Are we saying it could never happen again, that we will not be drawn into a war where we will need a full range of forces and equipment?'

In Weimar England, the government surrenders for you.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM | Comments (1)


Wesley Pruden considers the White House' brush with hoof-in-mouth disease.

After several days of crying that the end is near, the White House finally came up with a celebrity victim, a presidential aide who had traveled to Mexico with the president a fortnight ago and started coughing when he got home. He didn't actually get very sick; this flu so far is mild stuff and the aide is already back at work. There was no need to worry about the president himself; he has no symptoms. Besides, even if he dies he'll only be gone for three days.


Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM

Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.

Sue Son has no friends; only a master, her talent.


Also, she was the hot one.

The betrayal: Best friends in better days. Also featuring: Legs.

Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM

May 02, 2009

33 Minutes

The Heritage Foundation presents an HD trailer for an argument in favour of ballistic missile defense.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)

"More warning than our sailors got on the morning of December 7, 1941"

In fairness, Mr. Whittle, our Prime Minister Churchill did his best. The Americans were not the first not to listen. As to the rest, a brilliant summary. Bill Whittle discusses Jon Stewart, war criminals and the true story of the atomic bombs which ended the war in the Pacific.

A further note to Jon Stewart: The war criminals were running Japan.

Posted by the Flea at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)

Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 5 (excerpt)

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

May 01, 2009

No. No no no.

Universal to remake "Videodrome".

They got the scarequotes right. Videodrome is not a large-scale sci-fi action thriller. I hope the videodrome signal infects all of these vandals. Long live the New Flesh.

The original "Videodrome" starred James Woods as the head of Civic TV Channel 83, who makes his station relevant by programming "Videodrome," a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers. The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.

Posted by the Flea at 01:05 PM | Comments (4)

Fritz Lang's The Indian Tomb

You ever have that thing where you dream you are a Hindu priest doing some sort of initiation thing beneath a pneumatic idol and before you go all 2nd edition Player's Manual cover and make for the jewel you realize you are speaking German but have no idea what you are saying?

Yeah, like that.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

The Ferris Bueller Fight Club Theory

Blindingly obvious once it is pointed out (via Agent Bedhead).

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

Further explication at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM | Comments (1)