February 28, 2013

Model Files - Episode 3: Model Alliance

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

We aren't the world

"A modern liberal arts education gives lots of lip service to the idea of cultural diversity. It’s generally agreed that all of us see the world in ways that are sometimes socially and culturally constructed, that pluralism is good, and that ethnocentrism is bad. But beyond that the ideas get muddy. That we should welcome and celebrate people of all backgrounds seems obvious, but the implied corollary—that people from different ethno-cultural origins have particular attributes that add spice to the body politic—becomes more problematic. To avoid stereotyping, it is rarely stated bluntly just exactly what those culturally derived qualities might be."

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

After peak plastic

"There are people saying that the coming wave of 3D printing will lead to a landfill’s worth of 'crapjects' – useless bits of shit we’ve printed out just because we could, without a moment’s thought to their utility or beauty."

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Face to Face: Karl Lagerfeld

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

CocoRosie - In-Store Performance

"CocoRosie in-store performance at Amoeba Music in Berkeley CA on June 29th, 2010, during their North American tour promoting their 2010 release 'Grey Oceans.'"

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

February 27, 2013

BioShock Infinite - City in the Sky Trailer

Addendum: BioShock Infinite's Ken Levine on PS4, Vita and marketing (audio interviews at the link).

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM


"I'm a pretty fierce critic of the academic labor market, but not because I think professors are useless parasites busily indoctrinating our children into Socialism. As an outsider who knows a fair number of people who have passed through this system, or work in it at varying levels, I happen to think it's the most cruel, abusive labor market in America, doing terrible things to bright and idealistic kids who want to be scholars. And I wish it would reform itself. At the same time as I am aware of the terrible collective action problems and institutional imperatives which make reform unlikely short of some sort of catastrophic collapse in enrollment."

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give

Freakomnomics asks "Who owns the words that come out of your mouth?"

What’s not so well-known about Churchill is the tenacity of his estate when it comes to protecting his copyright. If you want to write a book about Churchill and quote him, or just about any member of his family, in fact, you have to pay – a pretty pound sterling.

Half hour podcast at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM


The unveiling of the ice cream flag.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Punch Brothers - Movement and Location

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

February 26, 2013

Brian Eno - Thursday Afternoon (14 video paintings 1981-1984)

"Thursday Afternoon is a 1985 album by the British ambient musician Brian Eno consisting of one 60 minute eponymous composition. It is the rearranged soundtrack to a video production of the same title made in 1984."

(NSFW - nudity, ambience)

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

I am Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Ghost, Captain Marvel & Avengers Assemble. Ask me anything.

Dville1 Why do you think it's been so difficult for Marvel to establish a female hero who isn't 1.) based of a male counterpart, 2.) made to give gender balance to a team or 3.) made to be the love interest of a more popular male hero?

kellysue Think about the manga boom for a minute. The American notion had always been that women would not buy comics in significant numbers. There was even a commonly bandied about notion that "women are not visual." Who bought manga in the US? Largely women and girls. At ten bucks a pop, no less. Women spent literally millions of dollars on what? On comics.

Now, some people will argue that that had as much to do with the diversity of genre in manga as anything else--and that is a fair point. But I would argue that there is nothing inherently masculine about the science fiction aesthetic, nothing inherently masculine about power fantasies or aspirations to heroism.

So what else was it about manga that got women to buy in in huge numbers?

Well, for one thing, they didn't have to venture into comic book stores to get it. No risks of unfriendly clerks or clientele, authenticity tests or the porn basement atmosphere that even if it's not the reality of most stores, is certainly the broad perception. They could buy manga at the mall. What's more, they didn't need a guide. All they had to do was find the manga section, flip the books over and read the description (just like they'd done with any book they'd ever bought in their lives) and then, once they found one that interested them, find the volume with the giant number 1 on it and head to the check out.

Contrast that with an American comic books store experience for a new reader. First challenge--find the store. Now say you just saw the Avengers movie and you think you might want to find something about Black Widow. Where do you even start? If you don't have a friendly clerk, you're going to get overwhelmed and leave. If there's no BLACK WIDOW #1 on the shelf, you literally do not know what to do. New comics readers have to have a guide. Compared to getting into traditional American comics, it's easier for a new reader to learn to read backwards! Think about that.

Anyway. That's it. The summary is "change is hard." Our industry is built to sell Batman (literally--all of our sales figures are relative to the sales of Batman) to the same guys who have always bought Batman and change is hard.
Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM


The first scent recognition app for the iPad.

There are 10 different olfacio flowers [and] the flowers refer to the smells. So is the flower "Olfacio Rubus Idaeus Fruticosus Flores" is a refence to raspberry. On the cards is a description of what the smell is -- for this example you read "Slippery, jelly and Melting" and that is also exactly what the flower looks like. When you lay the same flower on the smell incubator on the iPad two times, you get an digital image of what this flower looks like. But the most exciting part is, of course, making mixes with the smells. I'm not going to tell all the fragrances that are used. It's important the user uses his/her imagination. The smells are on the back of the cards and this back looks the same for all the cards so there's no image recognition involved. It's just smell!

Which smells like... artistic license... to me.

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Desfile Leyre Valiente - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid PV13

Leyre Valiente SS13 Show Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid.

+ CHIMAERA + A fantastic and metaphorical journey from fetus (when we all are pure and simple) to chimaera; the complicated yet beautiful monster we get to be when we grow up.

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM

Hans Zimmer feat. Édith Piaf - Waiting For A Train

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

February 25, 2013

Secrets of the Dead - Lost Ships of Rome (2010)

"Marine archeologists discover ancient Roman ships around the Italian island of Ventotene laden with artifacts in pristine condition."

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Low diversity ecosystems

"Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth," says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. "[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up."

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Breweries feature peominently

"According to a report published by the Bank of Korea on May 14, 2008 investigating 41 countries, there were 5,586 companies older than 200 years. From these 3,146 are located in Japan, 837 in Germany, 222 in the Netherlands and 196 in France."

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Getting Into Print (1903)

By Jack London.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

A Tribe Called Red - The Road

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

February 24, 2013

Brian Eno - Imaginary Landscapes (1989)

"What you need are fewer possibilities that are more interesting."

And other creative clues.

Posted by the Flea at 10:48 AM

Say what you will about Walder Frey, but he runs a tight ship

Walder Frey: best or worst patriarch in Westeros (spoiler alert for TV-only Game of Thrones people).

On a Ruler Effectiveness scale ranking from one to ten, with Tywin as Aerys’s Hand being ten and Dany as the Queen of Meereen being one, I would place him at about an eight, ranking just above Jaime as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and just below Doran as the grass that hides the snake.
Posted by the Flea at 10:47 AM

Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich

Rich people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

Posted by the Flea at 10:44 AM

X Minus One - Tunnel Under the World

X MINUS ONE from NBC radio, 1956. "Tunnel Under the World," a story by Frederic Pohl.

Posted by the Flea at 10:43 AM

Brian Eno - Sky Saw

Posted by the Flea at 10:42 AM

February 23, 2013

Britain's Real Monarch (2004)

"In investigating the life of Richard III, Tony Robinson was shown evidence to suggest that the royal line was tainted by the illegitimacy of Edward IV. As such, every monarch since has actually had no legitimate claim to the throne.

"So who did? And, perhaps more to the point, who does?"

Posted by the Flea at 12:58 PM

Sadly, nowhere to put a pocket-handerchief

Middle Earth map leggings.

Also fashion forward: Custom silver elf ear cuffs.

Posted by the Flea at 12:57 PM

Seen the light

"Last week, we reported on the story of Maker’s Mark, the bourbon that got so popular that production couldn’t keep up with demand and the company made the decision to add water in order to extend production.

"Yeah… that isn’t happening anymore."

Posted by the Flea at 12:54 PM

Ruhr Hunter - Woodlore Communion

Posted by the Flea at 12:52 PM

February 22, 2013

Alan Moore - Monsters, Maniacs and Moore (1987)

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

Inside the Battle of Hoth

"When Vader enters the Hoth System with the Imperial Fleet, he’s holding a winning hand. What follows next is a reminder of two military truths that apply in our own time and in our own galaxy: Don’t place unaccountable religious fanatics in wartime command, and never underestimate a hegemonic power’s ability to miscalculate against an insurgency."

Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM

Boiling spacetime

Time in comics is completely elastic.

Dialogue can slow down the experiencing of a page. (Frank Miller once said, possibly in Eisner/Miller, that when he wants to slow the reader down he just starts the characters talking.) But your control of time begins with panelling and space.

Japanese comics read very fast because they have very few panels a page and those panels generally contain little visual information. Occidental comics are often too dense for the Japanese to enjoy. (I was told the same thing by my handlers when I was writing outlines for Japanese animated series.) There’s a thing I love in manga, though: every now and then, you’ll find a panel knocked out to bleed at (say) top, left and right. Leaving the framework of gutter and margins. And it creates a complete stillness, a frozen moment that you live in for a little longer.
Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

A Night's Work (Shadowrun promo, 1990)

Hat tip to Evan.

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

Basil Poledouris - Conan The Symphony - Part 2 (Gift of Fury / Atlantean Sword / Love Theme)

"Basil Poledouris conducts the Andalucian Philarmonic Orchestra & Chorus at Ubeda Film Music Festival in July 2006, Sadly, he passed away less than 4 months later. This was the first and only Conan live concert he ever gave."

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

February 21, 2013

Peugeot Onyx

Peugot Onyx concept.jpg

One of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen.

This is a concept car. One that really is made from paper and felt and copper, and is now in danger of melting back into its constituent elements under the sun's punishing attentions.

I like the look of the bicycle too.

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 PM

Why you shouldn’t draw from photographs

"I received some excellent advice today."

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 PM

Cramped apartments of Hong Kong

Shot from above.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 PM

Miami Horror - I Look To You

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 PM

February 20, 2013

BBC Horizon - Arthur C. Clarke (1964)

Arthur C Clarke Imagines Life In The Year 2000.

"One day, we may have brain surgeons in Edinburgh operating on patients in New Zealand. When that time comes, the whole world would’ve shrunk to a point and the traditional role of the city as a meeting place for men would’ve ceased to make any sense. In fact, men will no longer commute — they will communicate. They won’t have to travel for business anymore, they’ll only travel for pleasure."

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

Littered under Mercury

Scientists working on Nasa's Messenger probe to Mercury have shown off a stunning new colour map of the planet.

Related: What Mars would look like with oceans and life.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

Lies, myths and misconceptions

"There is a lot of misinformation circling around in mainstream nutrition."

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Cato Institute - Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century

Featuring the author William H. Patterson, Jr., Editor and publisher, The Heinlein Journal; moderated by David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute.

"Robert A. Heinlein is regarded by many as the greatest science fiction writer of the 20th century. He is the author of more than 30 novels, including Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, and the libertarian classic The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. According to biographer William H. Patterson Jr., Heinlein's writings 'galvanized not one, but four social movements of his century: science fiction and its stepchild, the policy think tank; the counterculture; the libertarian movement; and the commercial space movement.' This authorized biography, reviewed enthusiastically by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post, is the first of two volumes, covering Heinlein's early ambition to become an admiral, his left-wing politics, and his first novels. Heinlein later became strongly libertarian."

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM

U2 - Bad (Live Aid, 1985)

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

February 19, 2013

Alejandro Jodorowsky - Tarot Special

"First part of six of the documentary 'Alejandro Jodorowsky - Especial Tarot' subtitled in English. An insight into Jodorowsky's world with special attention to his relationship with Tarot and its therapeutic use."

Posted by the Flea at 08:59 AM


"No one wants to hear, 'Read a book.' In fact, people so don't want to hear 'Read a book' that "Read a book" is officially an insult."

What people would like to hear -- if printed words and sentences containing dependent clauses (or even parentheticals nested within interrupting clauses set off by em-dashes) make their brains hurt -- is that all this "political self-detemination" and "informed consent of the voter" stuff is all just a bunch of silly hooey for Smarty-Farties Who Probably Can't Get Laid.
Posted by the Flea at 08:58 AM

50 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Works Every Socialist Should Read (by China Mieville)

"When I became a socialist I was also studying Sociology and Philosophy academically. I experienced something that seems to be a trend among many (though assuredly not all) folks who delve into these worlds: a sudden loss of interest in fiction."

Posted by the Flea at 08:57 AM

Two dangerous tribes

“The last bastions of resistance to evolutionary theory,” Chagnon told me, “are organized religion and cultural anthropology.”

Posted by the Flea at 08:54 AM

Dothraki vos ondeo shoris tawakofi

"Dothraki is now heard by more people each week than Yiddish, Navajo, Inuit, Basque, and Welsh combined."

Posted by the Flea at 08:53 AM

Chelsea Wolfe - Flatlands

Posted by the Flea at 08:52 AM

February 18, 2013

Mythic science fiction


"Players love MMOs and open world games more for the emergent gameplay than the gameplay crafted by their designers. They remember the things that happened because players got together and did stuff, whether it be some dramatic boss fight at the end of an hour-long raid or the exploration of a cave discovered off the beaten track. Story lead Joe Staten expects Destiny will work in a similar way, with players building their 'personal legend'."

Destiny has elements of a first-person shooter, the Halo-style experience Bungie built its reputation on, elements of an open world sandbox and elements of a persistent world. "We realised to refer to Destiny as any one of these pre-existing genres would almost be to undersell or under-promise what we think it could deliver to gamers, because we think it has the capacity to deliver a new experience," Hirshberg continues.

Over the past few years whispers heard through the Seattle rain described Destiny as "Warcraft in space". After a day spent inside Bungie listening to key developers say as much as they can about Destiny without saying much about it at all, I feel like it's an appropriate way of thinking about the game. But Hirshberg has coined a different phrase. He calls Destiny the "world's first shared-world shooter".
Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Fire in the sky

"…The chance in your lifetime of an even bigger asteroid impact on Earth [than Tunguska in 1908]—with explosive energy of 100 megatons of TNT—is about 1%. Such an impact would deliver many times the explosive energy of all the munitions used in World War II, including the atomic bombs. This risk to humanity is similar to an individual’s odds of dying in a car accident. That risk is small, but would you drive a car without air bags and seat belts? The question is apt because our society is effectively doing so with regard to the risk of a devastating asteroid strike."

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they said: "Lubin and his colleagues have conceived of a system they call DE-STAR, or Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and exploration. The concept: harness power from the sun and convert it into a massive phased array of laser beams that can deflect or evaporate asteroids hazardous to Earth."

Ex astris, scientia: A Coast Guard for space.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM


"Here are the loneliest places mankind has made its bed in search of the unknown, the overwhelming, and the great."

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

The Art of Noise

On its centenary, a PDF of Luigi Russolo's The Art of Noise (Futurist Manifesto, 1913).

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Quiet Arrows - You Are My Planet

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

February 17, 2013

BBC - David Hockney's Secret Knowledge (2003)

"David Hockney demonstrates how, four hundred years before the invention of the photograph, artists were using simple cameras to capture realistic images. Hockney takes us to Florence, Bruges, Ghent, and a specially designed set in Hollywood, to demonstrates his findings.

"He compares van Eyck's 'Ghent Altarpiece' (1432) to his own 'Pearblossom Highway (1986) concluding that multiple viewpoints (many, many windows) have a similar distancing effect on a two-dimentional surface as a bird's-eye view, but that it is contradicted in details. Hockney's 'Pearblossom Highway' photographic collage consists of approximately 750 individual chromogenic print and, it is historically known, that van Eyck made lots of drawings of various elements and then 'drew' the whole painting out of details from them. Hockney also, convincingly, demonstrates how Brunelleschi, the first architect to employ mathematical perspective to redefine Gothic and Romanesque space, used a mirror for the perspective picture of the Baptistry of San Giovanni; a painting that, around 1412, astounded Florence."

Posted by the Flea at 08:48 AM

Game Of Thrones prequel

"If developed, a Dunk and Egg adapation would be a prequel to Game of Thrones, taking place ninety years before the Westeros action begins in book one of A Song of Ice and Fire. The titular Dunk and Egg are soubriquets for Ser Duncan and Aegon Targaryen, both of whom are well known in GoT lore to fans of Martin's saga."

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM

Here are 10 ideas

"With the news last week that Knopf will be published a re-telling of Pride & Prejudice told from the servants’ point-of-view, I started thinking about other great novels that might actually be interesting if told from a different character’s perspective."

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Faun feat. Santiano - Tanz mit mir

Posted by the Flea at 08:42 AM

February 16, 2013

Fist of Jesus (2012)

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM

International Anti-Asteroid System

"Russia's deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has called for leading powers to work together to develop a system to intercept objects falling from space, after a meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural mountains injured about 1,000 on the ground below."

"Neither we nor the Americans have such technologies," Rogozin told Interfax news agency.

Sobering: "So how close did the city of Chelyabinsk come to doom?"

Consider this: a ten-meter stony asteroid exploding at the altitude of the Tunguska visitor would pack the same punch as the Fat Man bomb. This rock was much bigger, with a mass of 7000 tons. Had the explosion occurred a fraction of a second later in the meteor's descent, over a populated area like Chelyabinsk, most if not all of the dash cam owners who uploaded to youtube would have been fried, along with much of the town.
Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Too many stopwatches, not enough time

Submarine Command Course Perisher finish first sea phase.

4 weeks of intensive training to develop the mental agility, spatial awareness and command presence to deal with warships in close proximity has completed off the coast of Norway onboard two submarines against a total of 22 different NATO warships over 2 weeks.

What does it involve?

Calculations and images at the link.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Swedish has no word for "irony"

The Pirate Bay: We will sue copycat site for copyright infringement.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Pitbull - Maldito Alcohol

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

February 15, 2013

Dan Pink - The puzzle of motivation (2009)

For certain tasks, intrinsic motivators such as increased rewards are beaten by the extrinsic motivators of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.
Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

The end of green design

"Tech has killed green. Until recently the design world was on a mission to save the planet; now it seems enthralled by gadgets. Adjectives like 'sustainable' and 'eco' have been usurped by upstarts such as 'smart' and 'hacked'. ...

"Green design felt right at the start of the economic crisis: it sought to replace over-indulgence with frugality, served with a side order of punishment for our wickedness. Penal minimalism was all the rage: spartan furniture made of ethically sourced timber that was so good for you, it hurt."

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

Divisible gold

"The problem with one ounce gold coins, or even 1/10th of an ounce fractional coins, is that if you needed to buy a few loaves of bread, medicine, clothing or supplies in an emergency it would be difficult to do so with a gold coin as opposed to something like silver, which can be more easily traded for smaller value goods.

"Enter the Combibar Gold Card – designed for 'a scary new world.'”

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Explosions in Chelyabinsk

Meteor suspected (videos at the link).

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM

World War One


Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

Malcolm Lincoln - Siren

Posted by the Flea at 09:21 AM

February 14, 2013

Alan Watts - What if money was no object

Posted by the Flea at 06:28 AM

Bill Ardolino - Fallujah Awakens

"The cradle of an insurgency that plunged Iraq into years of chaos and bloodshed, Fallujah conjures up images of the brutal house-to-house fighting that occurred during the 2004 U.S. invasion of the iconic city. But attacks in the area actually peaked two years later, when American and Iraqi government forces struggled with a reinvigorated insurgency and the prospect of premature withdrawal by U.S. forces. Fallujah Awakens tells the story of the remarkable turnaround that followed. Journalist Bill Ardolino explains how local tribal leaders and U.S. Marines forged a surprising alliance that helped secure the famous battleground. It is one of the few books to recount events from both American and Iraqi perspectives.

"Based on more than 120 interviews with Iraqis and U.S. Marines, Ardolino describes how a company of reservists, led by a medical equipment sales manager from Michigan, succeeded where previous efforts had stalled. Circumstance combined with smart, charismatic leadership enabled Americans to build relationships with members of a Sunni tribe--once written off as dangerous and intractable-- who pushed al Qaeda and other insurgents from their notoriously rebellious area."

Bill Ardolino: Fallujah Awakens: Marines, Sheikhs, and the Battle Against al Qaeda (Blue and Gold)

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM

Mountain Man

"Dashrath Manjhi's wife, Falguni Devi, died due to lack of medical treatment because the nearest town with a doctor was 70 kilometres (43 mi) away from their village in Bihar, India."

Dashrath did not want anyone else to suffer the same fate as his wife, so he carved a 360-foot-long (110 m) through-cut, 25-foot-deep (7.6 m) in places and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) to form a road[5] through a mountain in the Gehlour hills, working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982. His feat reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of the Gaya district from 75 km to 1 km, bringing him national acclaim.
Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

Wardruna - Yggdrasil Preview

"Listening samples of the first four tracks of 'Yggdrasil', to be released March 15 in Norway, March 25 in Europe and April 2 in North America. Includes comments from Kvitrafn and Gaahl."

Posted by the Flea at 06:22 AM

February 13, 2013

A city of future: Khazar Islands

"It’s not surprising that Ibrahimov, who plans to live in the penthouse of Azerbaijan Tower, had his epiphany on a flight from Dubai. The vision behind Khazar Islands, after all, is not a vision so much as a simulacrum of a vision. The fake islands, the thousands of palm trees and the glass and steel towers — many of which resemble Dubai’s sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel — are all emblems of the modern Persian Gulf petro-dictatorship. And two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union — its final custodian during 23 centuries of near-constant occupation — Azerbaijan could be accused of having similar ambitions. The country, which is about the size of South Carolina, has 9.2 million people and is cut off from any oceans. It builds nothing that the rest of the world wants and has no internationally recognized universities. It does, however, have oil."

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey

"The private household of King Herod has been laid bare in a new exhibition being held at a museum in Israel.

"Herod the Great: The King's Final Journey at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem features exhibits that offer an intriguing glimpse into the home life of the divisive figure, including his bath and the decorations that adorned his palace."

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

The Tarr Steps

"Today, engineers began the painstaking task of rebuilding the 180ft-long crossing, which some believe dates back to 1000 BC. Situated on the River Barle in Somerset, it collapsed after being struck by a 10ft wall of flood water on December 22."

Posted by the Flea at 08:24 AM

Invisible Reality - Alice Dream (Haldolium Remix)

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

February 12, 2013

Da Vinci - The Lost Treasure (2011)


"Leonardo da Vinci is considered by many to be one of the greatest artists who ever lived. Yet his reputation rests on only a handful of pictures - including the world's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa."

"As the National Gallery in London prepares to open its doors on a remarkable exhibition of Leonardo's work, Fiona Bruce travels to Florence, Milan, Paris and Warsaw to uncover the story of this enigmatic genius - and to New York, where she is given an exclusive preview of a sensational discovery: a new Leonardo."

Posted by the Flea at 07:48 AM

Reflectance Transformation Imaging System

"The world's oldest undeciphered writing system, which has so far defied attempts to uncover its 5,000-year-old secrets, could be about to be decoded by Oxford University academics."

In a room high up in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, above the Egyptian mummies and fragments of early civilisations, a big black dome is clicking away and flashing out light. This device, part sci-fi, part-DIY, is providing the most detailed and high quality images ever taken of these elusive symbols cut into clay tablets. This is Indiana Jones with software.

This way of capturing images, developed by academics in Oxford and Southampton, is being used to help decode a writing system called proto-Elamite, used between around 3200BC and 2900BC in a region now in the south west of modern Iran.
Posted by the Flea at 07:47 AM


The CymaScope uses a high definition camera to monitor the effect of an individual sound's particular vibrations on purified water.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM

Mercian Studies

"Hump, well! I wonder (if we survive this war) if there will be any niche, even of sufferance, left for reactionary back numbers like me (and you). The bigger things get the smaller and duller or flatter the globe gets. It is getting to be all one blasted little provincial suburb. When they have introduced American sanitation, morale-pep, feminism, and mass production throughout the Near East, Middle East, Far East, U.S.S.R., Hither Further and Inner Mumbo-land, Gondhwanaland, Lhasa, and the villages of darkest Berkshire, how happy we shall be. At any rate it ought to cut down on travel. There will be nowhere to go. So people will (I opine) go all the faster. Collie Knox says 1/8 of the world’s population speaks ‘English’, and that is the biggest language group. If true, damn shame—say I. May the curse of Babel strike all their tongues till they can only say ‘baa baa’. It would mean much the same. I think I shall have to refuse to speak anything but Old Mercian."

- J.R.R. Tolkien: from a letter to Christopher Tolkien, 9 December 1943, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted by the Flea at 07:43 AM

Gooral - W moim ogródecku

Posted by the Flea at 07:42 AM

February 11, 2013

Vice - Seoul Fashion Week (2012)

"Fashion Week Internationale lands in Seoul, the technology and entertainment capital of East Asia. Charlet tries and fails to understand why people there shop at 4 AM, gets a makeover on the subway, and meets Donald King, the loneliest punk in the world."

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

Bodies of work

Are tattoos protected under copyright law?

In light of the recent tattoo cases and as body art becomes more mainstream, it is advisable for entertainment clients to obtain proper written agreements from those who display - and those who own – copyright protected designs, visible tattoos and body art. For example, releases should require all on-camera talent to: (a) refrain from displaying any tattoos, especially if they incorporate any recognizable logos or other copyrighted material, or the name or likeness of a celebrity; or (b) represent and warrant that they either own the copyright in such artworks or have a valid license from the copyright owner to display and reproduce the artwork and have the right to license others to do the same. Also, to avoid moral rights claims in Canada, the agreement should also confirm that the released parties have the right to alter, modify and/or remove the tattoo altogether, if desired

Hat tip to Mr. Tarantino.

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

The eye of the earth

"The Richat Structure, Oudane, Mauritania, is not really a 'structure' per se, but a huge circular formation (50 km in diameter - 30 miles) that somewhat resembles a human eye when looked upon from space."

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Bill Ardolino - Fallujah Awakens

"The cradle of an insurgency that plunged Iraq into years of chaos and bloodshed, Fallujah conjures up images of the brutal house-to-house fighting that occurred during the 2004 U.S. invasion of the iconic city. But attacks in the area actually peaked two years later, when American and Iraqi government forces struggled with a reinvigorated insurgency and the prospect of premature withdrawal by U.S. forces. Fallujah Awakens tells the story of the remarkable turnaround that followed. Journalist Bill Ardolino explains how local tribal leaders and U.S. Marines forged a surprising alliance that helped secure the famous battleground. It is one of the few books to recount events from both American and Iraqi perspectives.

"Based on more than 120 interviews with Iraqis and U.S. Marines, Ardolino describes how a company of reservists, led by a medical equipment sales manager from Michigan, succeeded where previous efforts had stalled. Circumstance combined with smart, charismatic leadership enabled Americans to build relationships with members of a Sunni tribe--once written off as dangerous and intractable-- who pushed al Qaeda and other insurgents from their notoriously rebellious area."

Posted by the Flea at 09:23 AM

Senor Coconut And His Orchestra - Around The Word

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

February 10, 2013

Garik Israelian - How spectroscopy could reveal alien life

"Garik Israelian is a spectroscopist, studying the spectrum emitted by a star to figure out what it's made of and how it might behave. It's a rare and accessible look at this discipline, which may be coming close to finding a planet friendly to life."

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

Radiolab - Raising Crane

"In this short, costumed scientists create a carefully choreographed childhood for a flock of whooping cranes to save them from extinction. It's the ultimate feel-good story, but it also raises some troubling questions about what it takes to get a species back to being wild."

Crazily enough, it seems to be working -- there are now somewhere around 500 whooping cranes in the wild, 30 times more than there were in the 1930s.

But that's not quite the whole story. Andrea tells us about a sad mystery in the middle of this monumental effort -- one very crucial moment where things go terribly wrong. She and John French explain the strange behavior that has crane champions worried, and what might be causing it.
Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM

I'd have to call it Rivendel

Or possibly the Overlook.

This mountaintop log estate is located at 2480 Saddle Notch Road in Loveland, CO and is situated on a vast 375 acres.
Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM


Assembly of the front end of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been completed.

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

Arga Bileg - Bayad

At the link: Arga Bileg in concert (complete). Featuring a horrendous introduction to an exceptional performance.

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

February 09, 2013

Black Lizard (1968)

"High camp meets film noir in the 1968 Japanese film Black Lizard. Based on Yukio Mishima's stage adaptation of the novel by Edogawa Rampo. Featuring female impersonator Akihiro Miwa, credited here as Akihiro Maruyama, and a cameo appearance by Mishima himself (see part 8)."

Posted by the Flea at 09:29 AM

How I discovered Alan Moore without knowing it

"I spent my formative years – the years when you’re still young, but have now become aware of the world and are being shaped and influenced by it – living on St. Croix, an island in the Caribbean. I was five years old or so. This is where the red thread begins.

"I don’t know how I came to own it, but I owned this action figure. It had a name, and it was from a movie, but who cares what the packaging said? I was already making things up. He had a clumsy backstory, weird superpowers, and his name was 'Monkey Man'."

Posted by the Flea at 09:28 AM

Salvador Dali's Alice in Wonderland

"Published by New York’s Maecenas Press-Random House in 1969 and distributed as their book of the month, the volume went on to become one of the most sought-after Dalí suites of all time."

Posted by the Flea at 09:27 AM

Other memory

"Two publications are seeking to resurrect claims that plants can reject the inheritance of a mutated gene from their parents, in favour of a healthier ‘ancestral’ copy from their grandparents."

Posted by the Flea at 09:24 AM

Rouge Rouge - Decide Toi

Posted by the Flea at 09:22 AM

February 08, 2013

Illuminations: Part 1 of 6 - The Private Lives of Medieval Kings

"Dr Janina Ramirez unlocks the secrets of illuminated manuscripts that were custom-made for kings and explores the medieval world they reveal. She begins her journey with the first Anglo-Saxon rulers to create a united England, encountering books in the British Library's Royal manuscripts collection which are over a thousand years old and a royal family tree which is five metres long."

Posted by the Flea at 09:48 AM

Interaction design

"But the problem with readers, the idea we’re given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, 'I should sit here and I should be entertained.' And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That’s the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It’s an old moral, but it’s completely true."
- From an interview with novelist Zadie Smith on KCRW's Bookworm program

Posted by the Flea at 09:47 AM

You gotta be clever all the way down

"I hate would-be-clever subversions of cliches more than I hate cliches. It often signals the designer's dumb enough to think the game's more about the ideas than what people can do with them."

Posted by the Flea at 09:44 AM

Star Wars spinoffs

"I want to say something about this, but it’s like my ability to give a shit has been frozen in carbonite."

Posted by the Flea at 09:43 AM

Yppah feat. Anomie Belle - Film Burn

Posted by the Flea at 09:42 AM

February 07, 2013

Alfred Korzybski - The world is not an Illusion

"The world is not an illusion. It is whatever it is, except what we abstract from it."

Posted by the Flea at 06:49 AM

This American Life - 110: Mapping

Five radio shorts. Act Two: Hearing and the Prologue struck me in particular.

Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way — by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.
Posted by the Flea at 06:48 AM

Mapping exoplanets

"Astronomers are developing a system to use reflected starlight to create maps of alien planets that show oceans, land and even clouds."

Developed by planetary scientist Nicolas Cowan and presented this month at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, California, it is inspired by a technique originally developed to distinguish between natural surfaces – such as forests – and unnatural ones like military bunkers in satellite images of Earth.

The software can take a point of reflected starlight from an exoplanet, and analyse it to extract the unique signals required to form a rough map.
Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM

Meanwhile, in space

"Below is a photo of Sagittarius B2, a huge cloud a few million times the mass of our sun, floating around near the center of our galaxy. Scientists have discovered that it's basically a giant river of raspberry-flavored rum."

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Pictures of Assh*les

"It doesn't normally happen that paparazzi photographers pay me any attention when I'm not working. In fact, it only ever happened once (thank god) that I can think of. Luckily I had my video camera on me when it did. A friend and I were just walking down the street in Manhattan when we passed these two photographers who were sitting outside the entrance of some hotel, presumably waiting to photograph somebody who was staying there. I didn't think much of them until, a block or so later, they came running up and started to take my picture. I tried to be nice and politely ask them not to. They were neither nice nor polite. And that's when I remembered I had my camera in my bag."

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Sysyphe - Missing Time

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

February 06, 2013

Jess Dunlap - Monolation

Monolation from Jess Dunlap on Vimeo.

Music: The Haunted Ocean by Max Richter.

Posted by the Flea at 10:28 AM

The Winds of Winter is coming


George R.R. Martin, on whose fantasy book series HBO‘s hit drama Game Of Thrones is based, has signed a two-year overall deal with the pay cable network. Under the pact, Martin will continue as co-executive producer on Game Of Thrones, whose Season 3 premieres March 31. Additionally, he will develop and produce new series projects for the network.
Posted by the Flea at 10:27 AM

Due process when everything is a crime

"Federal criminal law is beyond the understanding of laymen. If that is so, it seems to me, the body of federal criminal law is itself a due process violation since laymen are required — on pain of imprisonment — to comply with a body of law that is, according to an eminent federal judge, too complex for them to understand."

Posted by the Flea at 10:24 AM

Republic of Korea Air Force - Les Militaribles

Posted by the Flea at 10:23 AM

Minilogue - The Girl From Botany Bay

Posted by the Flea at 10:22 AM

February 05, 2013

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace - Episode 01

"New doctor Liz Asher arrives at Darkplace Hospital, where a mysterious cat portends disaster. Dr. Rick Dagless, M.D., must act in time to prevent unspeakable evil from leaking out from a portal to Hellmouth under Darkplace Hospital."

Posted by the Flea at 08:08 AM

Time Warner boots my speed, cuts my bill

"I just happen to live near Google Fiber."

Rob is a Time Warner Cable customer, and he’s received two really interesting things from them lately. First, a 50% speed boost: they claim to have upgraded the speed of his home Internet connection. That’s neat. Oh, and they’ve also cut his bill, from $45 to $30. Wow! What has prompted this amazing treatment? Years of loyalty and on-time payments? No, not exactly…Rob lives in Kansas City, pilot site for Google Fiber, the gigabit broadband project that’s threatening to make current broadband providers almost care about competing.

Message received: My internet service provider just randomly added 15Gb to my monthly plan. Put an ear to the ground and you can hear Google Fiber all the way from Kansas City to Toronto.

Someone to fool us, someone like you: The $178 billion telecom industry is scrambling to kill a government plan to provide free super Wi-Fi across the United States.

Google and Microsoft told the FCC that additional public Wi-Fi would spur "millions of de­vices that will compose the coming Internet of things," a resounding early endorsement of the nascent policy proposal. The wireless industry responded with a fierce and well-funded campaign to kill the proposal.
Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

The face that launched a thousand myths

"When I first saw it, I thought there is enough of the portraits about it for it to be King Richard but not enough to suggest they have been copied."

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM

HMS Queen Elizabeth progress report

The forward island is ready to go (video at the link).

Posted by the Flea at 08:02 AM

David Bowie - Live Nassau Coliseum 1976

Station To Station
Suffragette City
Word On A Wing
Waiting For The Man
Queen Bitch
Life On Mars?
Five Years
Panic In Detroit
Diamond Dogs
Rebel Rebel
The Jean Genie

Posted by the Flea at 08:01 AM

February 04, 2013

The Ryan Sisters - Episode 1

Starring Angie Le Mar, Ellen Thomas, Tanya Moodie, Somalia Seaton, Melanie Cameron, Eddie Nestor, Kim Woodburn

Posted by the Flea at 08:28 AM

Radiolab - Crossroads

"In this short, we go looking for the devil, and find ourselves tangled in a web of details surrounding one of the most haunting figures in music--a legendary guitarist whose shadowy life spawned a legend so powerful, it's still being repeated...even by fans who don't believe a word of it."

The story goes like this: back in the 1920s, Robert Johnson wanted to play the blues. But he really sucked. He sucked so much, that everyone who heard him told him to get lost. So he did. He disappeared for a little while, and when he came back, he was different.

Directly related: "As we investigated the myths surrounding the bluesman Robert Johnson for our short Crossroads, we found ourselves swimming in amazing music -- not just blues -- and we wanted to share it."

For example: Robert Johnson - Me and the Devil Blues.

Posted by the Flea at 08:27 AM

Nicholas Packwood - Your Pleasure, Sir

A moment of shameless self-promotion: A Nicholas Packwood video is embedded at NME and I am hoping to help search engines find it. Also linked at NME, a more recent - and better engineered - effort: May his passing cleanse the world.

Posted by the Flea at 08:25 AM

In praise of the unlived life

“Our unlived lives—the lives we live in fantasy, the wished-for lives—are often more important to us than our so-called lived lives. ... We can’t imagine ourselves without them.”

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Lenny Kravitz crashes the VOP Choir in New Orleans - Fly Away

The First Baptist Church of Lewisville Voice of Praise Choir and a guest artist.

Posted by the Flea at 08:22 AM

February 03, 2013

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

"The Fall of the Roman Empire is a 1964 epic film starring Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, Mel Ferrer and Omar Sharif. It was directed by Anthony Mann and produced by Samuel Bronston, with a screenplay was by Ben Barzman, Basilio Franchina and Philip Yordan."

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

Doctor Sleep

Stephen King is writing a sequel to The Shining. Oh, ok.

Posted by the Flea at 08:13 AM

DongHuaMen - Exploring Beijing's Culinary Gauntlet with Zoetica

Posted by the Flea at 08:12 AM

Miley Cyrus - Jolene

Hat tip to Mr. Tarantino.

Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM

February 01, 2013

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (2004)

Posted by the Flea at 10:08 AM

High heeled

High heeled shoes began as a riding aid to the mounted archers of Persia, allowing them to stand up in their stirrups.

At the end of the 16th Century, Persia's Shah Abbas I had the largest cavalry in the world. He was keen to forge links with rulers in Western Europe to help him defeat his great enemy, the Ottoman Empire. So in 1599, Abbas sent the first Persian diplomatic mission to Europe - it called on the courts of Russia, Germany and Spain.

A wave of interest in all things Persian passed through Western Europe. Persian style shoes were enthusiastically adopted by aristocrats, who sought to give their appearance a virile, masculine edge that, it suddenly seemed, only heeled shoes could supply.
Posted by the Flea at 10:07 AM

Charles Marie de la Condamine

Voltaire became rich early in life by teaming up with a statistician to win the French national lottery.

Posted by the Flea at 10:04 AM

Minilogue - Drop The Mask Of Self Protection

Posted by the Flea at 10:02 AM