April 30, 2011

Her name is Rachel


She works at Advanced Armament Corporation. She doesn't sit behind the front desk, clean the shop, do the books or answer phones. She's what you'd call the "real deal".

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Superplexus Circles, 24"

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Herman Dune: Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

It turns out Jon Hamm rules.

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

April 29, 2011

A pillar of smoke by day

The Tuscaloosa Tornado. Those are horizontal twisters emerging from the main funnel, at points a mile wide.

This video is from the EF4 tornado that went through Tuscaloosa, AL on 4/27/11. It was taken from the University Mall parking lot. Probably the closest video to the storm your going to see.

More videos from the April 27 storms. Also, the mid Alabama region Red Cross.

Update: The aftermath.

Nate Hughett and Ryne Chandler chasing the F5 tornado in Tuscaloosa AL.

Posted by the Flea at 07:37 AM

Tony Laudati: Angering the Gods

Let the gods decide. Good plan.

Posted by the Flea at 07:34 AM

April 28, 2011

J-15 Flying Shark

China reveals of its more or less indigenous J-15 Flying Shark, a "heavy fighter" purpose built for the Chongqing, formerly the Russian aircraft carrier Varyag.

It comes equipped with large surface area wings (for extra lift at low speeds) that fold (for a small footprint on a crowded aircraft carrier deck), reinforced landing gear (for high, sink-rate landings), a tailhook (for arrested landing on short carrier decks) and a light blue paint scheme to signal its role in the People's Liberation Army’s Navy.
Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

How lucky was that, missing all those rocks?

Michael Podniestrzanski had a falling out with his cousin.

The Florida man, 23, was arrested last night after an argument over the new HBO fantasy show “Game of Thrones” turned violent.

As will happen during shows “based on medieval times,” Podniestrzanski and his cousin “got into a verbal altercation” over which of the cable program’s characters was going to win ... After scuffling for a bit, Podniestrzanski’s cousin “ended up getting thrown in to the front window during the altercation.”

Sadly, the police report sheds no light on which cousin was with House Lannister.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Life is really like this

Kurt Vonnegut explains drama.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

Beastie Boys: Make Some Noise

The correct use of the expression "Tally ho!"

Also, Chloë Sevigny forever.

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

April 27, 2011

In the game of food, you win or you do the dishes

In At The Crossroads presents medieval and modern interpretations of the cuisine of Westeros and the lands across the Narrow Sea.

We are fans of the author George RR Martin, whose series A Song of Ice and Fire has recently been turned into a series by HBO. In the original books, there is frequent mention of food, most of which sounds mouthwatering (there is a lot of bacon). We had the idea one night to make dinner based on one of the dishes, and the whole thing sort of snowballed out of control!
Posted by the Flea at 07:38 AM

The solar system

To scale.

At a half-mile wide, the website is pretty big too.

Posted by the Flea at 07:37 AM

Sartre Wars

Hat tip to Bill.

Posted by the Flea at 07:34 AM

Eurythmics: No fear, no hate, no pain

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM

April 26, 2011

The Burns Archive

Newsweek offer a selection of images - many of them disturbing - from the collection of ophthalmologist Stanley B. Burns.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

It’s a wonderful world

Marcus Hirn hosts spectacular photographs taken from the International Space Station.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM

Altered Images: Insects

So it turns out if I want to meet the perfect woman I have to build a time machine again.

Posted by the Flea at 07:12 AM

April 25, 2011


This is how to tell time in Japan.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

Talking Funny

Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, and Louis CK talk about comedy. Brilliant stuff. It is so rare to see master craftsmen of this particular art talking on the square about anything (and I was fascinated to see the reverence they hold for Seinfeld). Perhaps their usual reticence about their craft is something like that of stage magicians wanting to keep their secrets. Or perhaps these are real magicians not wanting to risk jinxing what works for them.

"No one is more judged in civilized society than a stand up comedian," says Seinfeld. In Canada, these days, we mean that literally.

Chris Rock explains his show had a rule: You make fun of the things people do, you don't make fun of the things they are. And that right there sums up the difference between the outlook of people I agree with and the outlook of people I don't agree with; the people who think we should be judged by what we do and the people who think we should only be judged by who we (supposedly) are.

Update: Mark Steyn on the big joke, Canada's justice system.

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM

Karmin: Look at me now

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

April 24, 2011

It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

Posted by the Flea at 06:17 PM

Eddie Izzard: Easter and Christmas

Posted by the Flea at 05:57 PM

April 23, 2011

Russell Brand On Newsnight

Posted by the Flea at 06:09 PM

The Crossing

An Abbey Road webcam suggests what must be a constant source of irritation for the locals. You would think the council could set something up on a side street.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Panorama 1956 - Behind the scenes view of BBC Television

A Panorama programme from June 1956, with Richard Dimbleby, showing a behind the scenes view of technological advances in BBC Television.

Showing the studios at Alexandra Palace where colour television experiments were being conducted, along with the latest advances in camera design.
Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Eli Lieb: Tight Rope

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

April 22, 2011

Donny and Marie Star Wars

Seeing as Kathy is hating on the '70s, the following rebuttal (via Boing Boing).

Posted by the Flea at 04:16 PM

Luke Skywalker Ceremonial Jacket (with Medal Of Yavin)

"I bought this jacket for a co-worker in hopes that giving him a gift would inspire him to reveal his true feelings for me. He did look very nice in it, but maybe that's what caused the problem. He looked TOO nice. And kind of boring. Shortly after I gave it to him, I realized that he felt more like a little brother to me and that I actually have a thing for another guy at work who's kind of a scruffy smart aleck (a bit of a loser, really) and SO not my usual type at all who hangs around with some totally disreputable characters (some of them look like real hairballs ) and may not be strictly honest. But he has this sexy bad boy thing goin' on, IYKWIM and I'm finding it hard to resist. Heh, I haven't resisted AT ALL!
"It's a really nice jacket, even though it kills all your romantic feelings for the nice, responsible and even kind of attractive guy you give it to, so be careful with it."

(hat tip to Taylor Empire Airways)

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

Euthanasia coaster

You're killing me. I'm dying here.

Euthanasia Coaster: "a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely -- with elegance and euphoria -- take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster's track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death."

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

Battlestar Galactica Online

Impressive browser based graphics.

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Paramore: Playing God

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

April 21, 2011

INS Vikramaditya

The Russians are somewhat belatedly set to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov to India next year.

The Navy also placed a $526 million order for 16 MiG-29K aircraft, which began arriving last year and are currently on shore at Goa. These aircraft will fly from the carrier, which will be renamed INS Vikramaditya.

With the INS Viraat, formerly HMS Hermes, and the indigenous Vikrant class Air Defense Ship under construction, India will have three aircraft carriers in service by 2014.

Related: India puts another three satellites into orbit.

Posted by the Flea at 06:33 AM

Black trees blossom

On a world with two suns.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Space Engine

"Space is freaking huge. Yeah, like this big. That's how space rolls."

Here is a new 'game' that lets you explore the entire universe. Most of it is procedurally generated so most things look one-of-a-kind and in a simulator with millions of stars and planets that's something.
Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Patty Pravo: Vola

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

April 20, 2011

The basic flaw in Protestantism

Graphically illustrated. This is what happens when you encourage people to do their theology freelance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Koreans know how to sell ice cream

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Japanese Belly Dancers in Kamakura

I had the exact same track playing the last time I went belly dancing (hat tip to Ben).

Funny how that happens.

But wait, there's more!

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

April 19, 2011


Long on optimism, short on irony.

The language of Ayapaneco has been spoken in the land now known as Mexico for centuries. It has survived the Spanish conquest, seen off wars, revolutions, famines and floods. ... There are just two people left who can speak it fluently – but they refuse to talk to each other.
Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

The Sound Design of Mass Effect 3

An interview with Bioware's audio lead Rob Blake.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Mylène Farmer: Désenchantée

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

April 18, 2011

When you mention Christ, they will bring up Darwin

"When you say you believe in Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest, they say you should be more Christ-like."

Make what you will of the argument, as rhetoric it's genius.

Posted by the Flea at 11:08 AM

T Mobile Royal Wedding

Posted by the Flea at 11:07 AM

Eisenfunk: Pong

Posted by the Flea at 11:03 AM

April 16, 2011

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.

ABC Australia's TheBookShow interviews Terry Pratchett on writing and living with Alzheimer's disease (hat tip to Pocket War Comics).

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

I Dream of Jeannie: My Sister, The HomeWrecker

Jeannies' sister's name? Also Jeannie.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Gerry and The Pacemakers: Ferry Cross The Mersey

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

April 15, 2011

Winter has come

This Sunday April 17, Game of Thrones premieres on HBO. At 45 million dollars for ten episodes, this is the most expensive television ever produced, qualifying this as an event even for viewers who have not read George R.R. Martin's novel or who might normally have little interest in fantasy genre productions.

The book was written to be "unfilmable". Having worked on The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast, Martin was frustrated by the limits imposed on storytelling by the reality of film and television production budgets.

When he took up novel-writing afterward, he recalls: “I said, ‘I’m sick of this, I’m going to write something that’s as big as I want it to be, and it’s going to have a cast of characters that go into the thousands, and I’m going to have huge castles, and battles, and dragons.”

More of Martin's reactions to the HBO television adaptation at the link.

Related: George R.R. Martin talks Game of Thrones, the novel and the projected seven volume Ice and Fire series ("Seven kingdoms, seven gods, seven books.").

Related: George R.R. Martin's favourite fantasy films.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Butterbeer cupcakes

No need to wait for the Hogwarts Express food trolley, you can make your own butterbeer cupcakes at home.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

The Wurzels: Tupthumping

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

April 14, 2011

Henry Rollins - Man Test

Clinical psychologist Oliver James considers the psyche of Henry Rollins.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Combat Coffee 101.dv

How Canadians make coffee in Afghanistan. Strong language is involved.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Daft Punk: Alive

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

April 13, 2011

The Kraken: The Bottle, The Legend, The Rum

I love everything about Kraken Black Spiced Rum. The bottle, the marketing and, strangely enough, the taste. It is almost a liqueur. Right up my street; think, if Lovecraft drank Jagermeister.

I also love the Kraken store. Take Eau de Kraken Perfume, for example.

A unique new fragrance for men and women with distinct cephalopod undertones. Release The Kraken with every spritz.

I am after a Kraken shower curtain and possibly a T-shirt to go with. One important reservation, however.


Cephalopod related: You can now buy your own blasphemous waxen cylinder from H.P. Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in the Darkness" (hat tip to the Armored Facilities Manager).

Posted by the Flea at 07:59 AM

Katana vs Longsword

News you can use.

Posted by the Flea at 07:54 AM

Comus: The Prisoner

Posted by the Flea at 07:52 AM

April 12, 2011

I am disappoint

I do not think there is an aesthetic imperative for an English language film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Swedish film adaptation stands on its own (there is Stieg Larsson's trilogy to read as well, of course,and here the point of translation is more readily understood).

Even having accepted the box office temptations of the project, there is the thorny problem of who to play Lisbeth Salander. Noomi Rapace' portrayal was edgy, off kilter, sexy as hell and, once suspects, potentially emasculating to the sensitivities of North American film goers.

Then for a brief shining moment I had the answer.

The small, terrifying and completely singular Yo-Landi Vi$$er of the notorious South African rap trio Die Antwoord was recently offered the main role in David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

First I was all. Then I was all.

She turned it down.

She told New York magazine that "They contacted my agency in L.A...but we said no because it's not something I want to do.”

What we have.

What we will not have.

Posted by the Flea at 05:48 AM

The Crimson Petal and the White

This is extraordinary. And it means I have another novel to read.

It has got Shirley Henderson in it; my favourite voice alive.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM

Ken Burns' The Vowels

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM

Blue Foundation: Eyes On Fire

Posted by the Flea at 05:42 AM

April 11, 2011

Chappism has spread to France

Related: Convention dictates the bottom button of one's waistcoat must be left undone.

I hold to this idiotic tradition because it’s one of those little details. You know the ones: If you don’t do it, it looks like you have no idea what you’re doing even if you do know what you’re doing and why you’re not doing it. Buttoning that bottom button will make every half-smart dick think they have something on you. And the only thing more insufferable than a half-smart dick is one who thinks he has the upper hand. So fuck it – I leave it undone.

But I yearn for the day when my vest buttons can all be done up. The day when I can stop aping some fat monarch.

My thoughts exactly at the link.

In addition: The Chap's guide to the royal wedding.

Posted by the Flea at 06:08 AM

Do your inconsequential bit for the environment

My other bottle is 50,000 Styrofoam cups.

(hat tip to Mr. Liddle)

Posted by the Flea at 06:07 AM

Parry Grip: Overweight Hedgehog

Posted by the Flea at 06:03 AM

April 09, 2011


Using data from the Tevatron particle accelerator, physicists with the US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have detected evidence of a new elementary particle.

By an astounding coincidence, the Tevatron particle accelerator is scheduled to be shut down in September 2011.

Posted by the Flea at 05:58 AM

Moon Base Alfa

Russia unveils its plans to build a moon base in the next twenty years, a stepping stone on the way to Mars.

Posted by the Flea at 05:57 AM

The biggest game (so far)

Shamus Young uses the Xbox driving game Fuel to discuss procedural generation.

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM

Mipso Trio: He'll

Posted by the Flea at 05:52 AM

April 08, 2011

Deeply horrifying

Gabe Zichermann describes gamification as "the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems".

Here we can imagine a form of society– “game society” –where 1) there are no laws (rules of a game aren’t quite the same as laws), and where 2) we have no unity among the members of society (because they are in competition with one another), yet where, nonetheless, behavior is thoroughly regulated by participation in the game. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about this model of power that I find deeply horrifying.

Can't imagine why.

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Unreal Engine 3: Under The Hood

Epic unveils its updated physics engine.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

IBM 7094: Daisy Bell

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

April 07, 2011

Professor of Gor

iO9 makes itself useful and interviews philosophy professor John Frederick Lange, Jr., better known as John Norman.

In a gray, polluted country, where one's mind is expected to wear a uniform, where acres of books are indistinguishable from one another, where values are engineered, and attitudes are packaged like corn flakes, where a small number of individuals will determine what you may and may not read, something different, that hints at truths you recognize but have been ordered to ignore, is likely to attract attention.
Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Aneyoshi remembers

“High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants,” the stone slab reads. “Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point.”

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Serenading Unicorn serenades Sarah Silverman

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

That's not crescent fresh!

Sadly, I am not crescent fresh.

Related: What does crescent fresh mean?

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

April 06, 2011

ElfQuest: A Fan Imagining

Boing Boing is outraged - outraged - by the hot, bisexual elves in the above teaser trailer for a fan produced Elfquest feature.

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Deskford Carnyx

The sound of kicking Roman ass (hat tip to the Armored Facilities Manager).

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Christian Lindberg plays Arvo Pärt

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

April 05, 2011

The solar system

In Copernican and Tychonian perspectives.

Posted by the Flea at 12:58 PM

Escape Machine

To think she hesitated.

Posted by the Flea at 12:57 PM

How to sharpen your disposable razor

Like a Bossou chimpanzee teaching another how to use a stick to catch ants, I pass on this handy meme for your attention.

Posted by the Flea at 12:54 PM

Rad Omen: Rad Anthem

NSFW due to taste level.

Posted by the Flea at 12:53 PM

April 04, 2011

Use your head; cut off theirs

A film adaptation of Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is filming in London, Brad Pitt to star.

Remember these words:

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don't need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Walker related: Robert Kirkman wants Charlie Sheen for season two of The Walking Dead.

"Charlie call us, we we will totally make that happen," he says, speaking from the Paley Center "Walking" Dead event Friday. "We'll do whatever you want."
"He can direct an episode," says Kirkman. "Actually (Sheen) could play a car for all I care," he adds. "He's awesome."
Posted by the Flea at 05:38 AM

What planet is this, mmmh?

The Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission has sent back its first image of Mercury since entering orbit on March 17.

The dominant rayed crater in the upper portion of the image is Debussy. The smaller crater Matabei with its unusual dark rays is visible to the west of Debussy. The bottom portion of this image is near Mercury's south pole and includes a region of Mercury's surface not previously seen by spacecraft.
Posted by the Flea at 05:37 AM

An excellent idea

"In a move sure to irk at least two or three people who work for The New York Times, The Huffington Post ... has put up a paywall that applies only to NYT employees."

Shame about the date.

Posted by the Flea at 05:34 AM

Simple life Manhattan: a 90-square-foot microstudio

My Dad gave me a copy of Walden years ago; just the thing for keeping your priorities in order. Though like Felice Cohen, I have always looked for the experience in an urban jungle.

Posted by the Flea at 05:33 AM

Gerry & the Pacemakers: Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying

Those aren't tears. That's weakness leaving your body.

Posted by the Flea at 05:32 AM

April 02, 2011

Buzz apothecary

HBO's marketing for Games of Thrones has been impressive, a long step up from the Team Atia shirt they sent me for supporting their Rome promotion. Unfortunately, I was not on the list for a Maester's box of scents. Best send one to someone who doesn't know anything about the show and hasn't read the books (in fairness, he owns equity in the company that put them together).

It's a lovely thing.

As you can see in the set of photos I took, it is an old wooden box. Inside were six different glass vials that each contained a different scent. There were also several scrolls, a map and two glass vials with location names on them that matched locations on the map. Finally there were some smelling sticks and little brass funnels that could be used to pour the oils into the glass location vials.
Posted by the Flea at 09:17 AM

Nicholas Breeze Wood: A Chanter M'er

Nicholas Breeze Wood.

A Chanter M'er (I must sing of what I do not want), a medieval melody by Beatriz, Comtessa de Dia (The Countess of Dia) written in about 1180. Beatriz was a female troubadour (called a troubaritz) who lived in the South of France.
Posted by the Flea at 09:14 AM

April 01, 2011

Robbing hood

Retired author and lecturer David Baldwin believes he has identified a 13th-century yeoman farmer as the man behind the Robin Hood legend.

'His name is Roger Godberd and he was an outlaw who was active in the late 1260s. Quite a number of his activities seem to be replicated in the stories found in the earliest Robin Hood ballads.

He poached deer in Sherwood Forest, was captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham, was imprisoned in Nottingham Castle and had the assistance of a friendly knight who helped him stay one step ahead of the law. He certainly robbed churchmen, just as the legendary Robin Hood did.
Posted by the Flea at 02:07 PM

Katy Perry: E.T. ft. Kanye West

Posted by the Flea at 02:03 PM