Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Planet is Demoted - Solar System Unapologetic
Today, the day before my birthday, has been a fairly depressing day. In an effort to revive my spirit in preparation for the annual celebration, I have pondered all the possible reasons for the current state of psychological affairs. The grey ceiling currently over London is certainly not helping - but it seems to me that the reason lies beyond that. I have been wondering whether somewhere above, my planets are not aligned as they should be. And then, in a moment of clarity, it all came together; of course my planets are not aligned – cause we are missing one!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the planet formerly known as Pluto is no more. As of today, it is no longer considered a planet by the scientific/astronomical community.
But will people follow suit? This is what I’m really interested in. Will I tell my children about the 8 (not 9) planets in the solar system? Can I be expected to assimilate the Aristotelian change just like that? In my universe, the one my mind populates, Pluto is still there – far away, but there. The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of losing a planet. What if they decide that Mars (or Uranus, god forbid) is no longer there? The reason why I think it’s so fundamental a change (and worth this endless paragraphs) is because the celestial bodies have – from time immemorial – defined who we are and our perception of where we are going. You change the planets, you change the present and the future (imagine Horoscopes from now on!). And Im just not entirely sure that I want a bunch of people in the Czech Rep. deciding this on our behalf…
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The first time I saw the movie Alive, was also the first time I kissed a girl. I kid you not, I was that old. The girl was the prettiest in the school – and though we agree to start dating, she eventually dumped me for the goalkeeper of our football team – a much taller/older guy called Miranda.
Miranda, or the girl, are not important in this story. The important thing is Alive - because the movie shocked me, like it did so many others. People eating each other to survive? When does the animal instinct switch on? Is there a click sound and a sudden willingness to eat human flesh? Can this happen at any time? Reassuringly, however, I told myself that things like that no longer happen; planes don’t crash in the Andes, and when they do, people don’t survive for months. Thus, surely, enforced cannibalism and tales of heroic survival have come to an end. We can return to our somewhat moral Big Macs.
But like so many times before, the Mexicans had other ideas and have gone on to prove the seemingly impossible. In case you didn’t pick this up on the news; three Mexican guys have just arrived in the Marshall Islands (5,500 miles of the Mexican coast) after claiming to have been at sea for nine months. Now, read this again; NINE months (since October 2005, that is). Two of their comrades on board died (apparently because they were too cool to eat raw fish).
Is it me, or is this just not right? Surely if it is true, then the two unfortunate souls did not go to waste. Or did they? Is Catholicism that strong? I wonder. In fact, I don’t wonder. I know myself and what I would do.
new is old and old is new
Polliciation, Bush and Wordsmith
So here is another recommendation, and its one of things that I look forward to daily. Anu Garg, a linguaphile set up a site called Wordsmith.org which sends you a daily word for FREE (so don't complain that I am plugging something commercial, even ask the founder email@example.com ), with a quotation at the end of it. Anyway, its all structured so you get 5 words a week linked to a common theme. If your not into it by this point, then you wont ever be, so now to move on and rationalize both the title and embedded picture, with the word I was sent today:
pollicitation (puh-lis-i-TAY-shuhn) noun
A promise or an offer made but not yet accepted. [From Latin pollicitation, from polliceri (to promise).] As used in,
"With what broad gestures of invitation, and also with what subtle almost imperceptible hints and suggestions and pollicitations, she lays herself out to cajole us, to notify her eagerness."
Christopher Morley; Inward Ho!; Doubleday; 1923.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Ode to the Old
If you are one of those (enlightened) people who think that music isn’t what it used to be, this is for you and you alone.
A lot has been said about the Aussie trio Wolfmother and their energy-dense debut album. If you haven’t come across it, or if your contact has gone beyond their single Woman, then prepare yourself for what it’s definitely one of the best albums of the year. Imagine Zeppelin’s lost album, with a sprinkle (and nothing more) of Jethro Tull and the brutality (animal instinct, I think John Peel once called it) of the White Stripes. This is an album that pays its respects to Hendrix and Floyd, the forgotten organ grinding days of the Doors, but also reminds us that this is the post- Tom Morello years. The sounds are anything but original – but its brilliance lies precisely in that it sets to be anything but. It feels like a pretty well thought out tribute to music as it was – a respectful (and at the same time challenging) ode to the music of the old guards. Absolutely beautiful.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Demetri Martin - Comdey, One-Liners and a name which SHOULD be spelt Dimitri
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
India's Space Program - Up Up and (willy wonkily) Away!
Would be funny if all there is left to prove that it actually happened, was the bits and pieces scattered (and reproduced) around the intangible internet. Even funnier, when the tapes turn up on Ebay (like some of us know only too well) - and the Russian government puts in the highest bid...now there is something to get the archenemies racing again...
Having done it for the war, I now intend to do it in the name of music.
If like Toddy and myself you appreciate the music of Sublime (and their subsequent Long Beach Dub All-Stars project) you may also find Slightly Stoopid your cup of the proverbial tea. Their first two albums were produced by Skunk Records (of Sublime's late front man Brad Nowell). The later three or so have become a bit more comercialized - thus changing the (more laid back, dubby) direction of their music. Now, like Sublime, theirs is a mix of dub, home-brewed punk and ska and the occassional (completely misplaced, in my opinion) touch of californian, white-boyz rap...
They will be playing on the Barfly Club in Camden Town (for those of you in London) on Saturday 19th Aug.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Iranians, Burkhas, the Police and Bombs
Don't Mention the War
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Is a Nobel Cause Worth It?
In my first week living in Dublin – where I was to spend a pretty uneventful year – I developed a cold of biblical proportions. I had just moved into my tiny flat – and the stress, loneliness and equally copious dust all joined forces to keep me bedridden for what should have otherwise been a week of initial discovery and inner-city exploration.
Just before I fell ill, I discovered a bookshop not too far away from my home – in fact, much closer than I had ever had a bookstore before (a fact that if I had noticed earlier, would have played a more significant part in my choice of homes than it actually did). Thus, in my week of illness, I read and read, and visited the bookstore virtually daily, as I swallowed one book after the next.
During this period, I printed a list of laureates and decided to have a stab at reading all of the laureates – which, you should know, amount to over a hundred. What I found was surprising; some of the awards were an obvious recognition of popularity and outright talent; Kipling, Russell, Fo, Marquez, Camus, Faulkner, Neruda, Yeats, Golding, Soyinka and, of course, Hemingway. But other choices I found either dubious (Coetzee, Toni Morrison) or outright bizarre (Winston Churchill). The most striking thing in the end, however, was the eurocentrism of the award – (by my calculations) it took almost 67 years before a non-European became a laureate. This fact was not lost on more modern writers – whose recognition of this fact, led in part to some of the most interesting Nobel anecdotes. In 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the prize for his (now seemingly indisputable) role in world literature. But he publicly refused it – in fact, he wrote in advance to the academy to suggest a willing recipient was found – in order to avert the inevitable embarrassment. In his statement, published in Le Figaro he made it clear that a writer should never accept any kind of institutional recognition, lest it confuse their personal commitment to literature itself. The act of writing should remain rewarding in itself. With the Nobel he was less abstract or moderate – to accept it, he made clear, would be to tantamount to condoning the Eurocentric policies of the past. To consider the Nobel an award for groundbreaking contribution to world literature, would be arguing that the Nobel had indeed any knowledge of exemplary literary talent worldwide.
My cold eventually vanished, and with it my Nobel endeavour. Not because I felt cheated, or disappointed even, with the poor sample of world literature. But instead, because I found some of the writers and their work impossibly dull. I simply wasn’t ready for Thomas Mann or Saul Bellow. Im still not. But I continue to go back to this list from time to time – to remind myself of a different vision of literary quality in which the marketing strategy of Random House, Vintage and Penguin have less bearing. It sometimes feels like a walk in a Pantheon of literature, one in which Dan Brown works as tour guide, and can only dream of attaining the status of literary demi-God that he currently enjoys. If you are the kind of person Im likely to bump into in such a place – then you will find this link of use, and the previous words of some amusement.
(Tune in next week for an candid feminist critique of the Man Booker Prize)
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Just to continue on the street-art theme, here is one of my favourites.
Some of you may recognise the work - especially those of you living in London, Barcelona or Paris or LA. If not - then keep an eye out for it, and you are likely to eventually spot a quick thing in an unknown corner.
If you like what you see - check out some of the stuff he has done indoors; like adding his own artwork to the Louvre and the National Gallery. The singularity of modern art and its critique has never been so laughable.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Mark Jenkins: Street Installations
I love it,
I love it,
I love it,
honestly. I am a huge fan. Yes, so what, you don’t care. (do you?)
too much art on here and not enough substance. BUT, never mind that, pictures are better than words after all. What is truly fantastic about this is not that the execution is slick, its not the that there are guerilla art/tones-of-banksy(isms) amplified another notch, its that these form of urban disruptions challenge you to ENJOY your concrete landscape. they challenge you to look again, and take in what is normally just wallpaper. Why on earth is this not everywhere in
please check it out and let me know what you think in the comments. i'd also love to build a database of this kind of stuff, so anything else you may know of, and can point me in the right direction i'd be mucho appreciado.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
9/11, Vanity Fair and Norad
(and yes, i am sure norad looks a litte more advanced nowadays, but i am a sucker for wide-angled lenses.)
Meny Pannies (errrr Many Pennies, so dizy...)
All the following pages have tables at the bottom, listing things such as the value of the pennies, size of the pile, weight, and area (if laid flat). All weights and measurements are U.S. standards, not metric.
Anyway, these type of things interest El_Montador_Loco.
May my interest become yours and our friendship blossom.
is it a bird? is it a plane? No, it's... SUPERTONY!! hehe
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Benny in London
Just got in to London and picked up a mobile. Call me at 07772755247 since I don't have your numbers.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Chuck Norris Gets Even More fame
Connections: clean water and playground laughter
here is one for the guerrero - he who fights the fight we all secretly wish we cared enough to fight but instead care too much about ourselves and shiny flats/lives/ipods/holidays, so instead only fight for whats best for me, and thats not you to me, but "me" as you read it (so technically me as well when i re-read it).
Anyway… “Clean water. It is the key for public health and for fighting infectious disease. The question for some parts of the world with few resources is how to get it out of the ground. PlayPumps is a non-profit that has connected the sounds of playground laughter with groundwater to change villages in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a simple idea. As children spin on a merry-go-round, water pumps from below the ground. It is stored in a tank just a few feet away, making a safe, plentiful supply of water available in the community.Nearly 700 PlayPumps have been installed in South Africa, providing safe water to a million people living in rural communities. Thousands more PlayPumps will be installed throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing the many benefits of ready access to clean drinking water to millions of underserved people. Intersectional innovations like this one may have plenty of applicability in other areas – children after all have tremendous amount of energy … are there other ways to tap it? " Cant get the link in at the moment, as it keeps messing up… will be up soon.
Karl Hungus is an Expert
-Pick a field that can't be verified.
-Choose a subject that's actually secret.
-Get your own entry in an encyclopedia.
-Use the word zeitgeist as often as possible.
-Be sure to use lots of abbreviations and acronyms.
-Speak from the balls, not from the diaphragm.
-Don't be afraid to make things up.
-Don't limit yourself to current knowledge.
-Get an honorary PhD.
-Make a habit of name-dropping.
-Be famous. It helps.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Mini Water Cars
Apparently developed to educate kids (and anyone else who is curios to listen), the H-racer has been developed by Horizon to be the worlds smallest fuel cell car in the world. The car measures 16cm X 7cm and once you've "fueled" the car up can run around for a couple hundred yards!
Apart from all the environmental benefits, its also great because it costs under $40 - full details here - meaning that it might just be possible to have fun for under $10 (if you split it 4 ways with three other friends).
How long before we start seeing a lot of these, just bigger?
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Hi. Me again. Its been a while. I was recently told off for my lack of commitment to this blog (though at least my integrity was not questioned. Which may be progress).I heard about this website not so long ago. It’s a forum – an online gallery in fact – of anonymous home-made postcards that people send. Each telling a personal secret. And that’s really the magic of it, I think. The catharsis that getting things out of your chess and onto such a public and open arena provides. Without exposing you as a person.
You may think it tacky, but I invite you to look at some of the secrets and I trust you’ll see what I mean; some of them are pretty dark – some of it are pretty girly. An interesting balance – and on the whole, very insightful. So check this out
Small Ads from the UK
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Woman Spotted Yesterday Reading Today's Paper
Did i just see that?
marketeers, are now trying to own the few seconds between the normal ads and when a TV programme starts. Why? Well, PVRs (personal video recorders) like SKY+ usually start taping again a couple of seconds before a show starts, just so you dont miss something.
"Honda has tried one for its new Fit hatchback but seriously, trying to dupe the viewer into watching your ads is no way to sell"
or is it?
Spam King - Russian Style
Check it out here
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
According to the Guardian, Channel Five is to broadcast a documentary on the cryonic freezing of a terminally-ill cancer victim.
The one-hour documentary will follow an American woman's "emotional journey" – told through interviews with her and her husband - to eventual cryonic preservation. It will show for the first time the "shocking and compelling invasive procedure used to freeze her", which has been performed only on around 150 people, The Guardian explains.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles!
So I called the cable company before the World Cup to order DVR just so that I could record the matches while I was at work. Only thing missing now is a group of dudes that appreciate the sport...
What's the deal with the WC logo? It looks more like the symbol for the Junior Paralympics than the greatest tournament on earth.
On the 4th of July, I went down to the local sports bar to watch the Italy v. Germany game. I think the ending deserves a replay:
An Italian guy at the bar got so excited that the ripped his shirt off. Across the room a young German girl kept cussing to herself. It was good to see some passion for futbol in the US...
Love Your Tree/Wife/Children/Bodies... (choices not hyphanable)
I really like this site. I fimly believe everyone sits around (at some point another) pissed off that they arent doing enough to affect positive change (in one way or another). Yes, there's a bit of tree huggery going on, but if that doesnt float your boat and you're hell bent on pollution/destroying the rainforest/nulifying the kyoto agreement/love cows because they fart and emit carbon thingies, there are plenty of OTHER things you can do which provide either a social or personal benefit.
My favorite is take a bath with someone you love. There is barely enough room for me nowadays, let alone Philip Seymour Hoffman...
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Integrity. The other contributors have none. So rather than; a) quitting my job to look for a better one (with a few weeks in-between to search the net for articles and forgotten pages) or b) choosing a self-gratifying name accompanied by an equally banal picture and posting the cyber equivalent of an I-O-U, I've taken it upon myself to add a measure of integrity to this blog. I may not be the best person to do this, that much I accept - but weigh in your options if you will. Besides, it goes with my self-righteous character...
So, Ill share with you an interesting (if not altogether obscure) fact; the ten most searched for words in the Merrien-Webster's Online dictionary in 2005 were:
- Integrity (see! there it is that word again)
- Refugee (didn't Angelina take care of this?)
- Contempt (stupid, ignorant people...)
- Filibuster (I confess to not having a clue what this was all about - but how many of you knew that filibusters refers - amongst other things - to gringos sent to Latin America to foment insurrection in the 19th century. I should have known...)
- Insipid (rumour has it that Simon Cowell caused widespread confusion amongst US audiences when he used this word on TV)
- Tsunami (0.6% of Indonesians have access to Internet, but Im pretty sure that not even them where the ones looking up the Japanese name for a big Big BIG......glup)
- Pandemic (is what you get when a chicken sneezes and Vietnamese air-hostess breathes it)
- Conclave (OK, fine, not everyone is a die-hard Catholic....sorry...)
- Levee (like No. 6 - I bet you people in inner-city New Orleans isn’t the ones using the dictionary)
- Inept (my favourite - The Merrien-Webster could do with an online mirror)
So there. Feel the difference? The extra weight on your head? Fine. Back to our regular programming
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Worlds Fastest Undresser
Next week. World's fattest undresser.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Digitised Money Shots, Fiat 500 and the Death of Luxury
I came across this photo of a Fiat500 while perusing (ahem, researching) through the website of New York artist Adam Harvey, a 24-year-old digital designer based in New York. Briefly, he seems to be involved in a lot of stuff, but has recently gained notoriety through that old creative process of turning "junk" (in this case p.orn spam) into art. There's something remarkably otherworldly about his stuff, and i wish i could use the word rollerskate-scrambled-playboytv-johntravolta'scrotch to describe it. Well anyway, you can check it out for yourself here.
As for the Fiat500. This photo was taken in 2005, so this isnt some "harkening back to the good old days of classic Parisian style" balblalbabullshit. And i know this wasn't the point of the photo (maybe it was), but what stood out to me was that, in terms of iconic (and brand) notoriety this old Fiat500 hands ms coco chanel a big fat punch on the panda nose. In short, whats been gradually happening is that "luxury," once equal to exclusivity, has lost that brilliance ("lux"/light) which once defined it. In the real world luxury should be an item (or experience) glistening with the unattainable and defined by it's own scarcity. But it seems that that bond between luxury and exclusivity, which acts as the facilitator of social prestige to the beholder, has now been severed by mass accessibility to "traditional" luxury brands. At the end of the day, what's so exclusive about a Chanel sunglasses or a Porsche when the rest of town wears the same shades and drives the same car?
Give me the cinquecento any day of the week.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
"Pandora is a music discovery service designed to help you find and enjoy music that you'll love. It's powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Just tell us one of your favorite songs or artists and we'll launch a streaming station to explore that part of the music universe."
Basically you enter music you like and it creates a playlist based on music may enjoy. If your anything like me, and tend to end up listening to the same thing for a couple months - this may just be a way to broaden your musical horizons!
Rooney, Jesus and the Sun
andrew zbihlyj's work is all acrylic paint, gel, ink, tape, glue, fire and industrial chemicals. Yes there are some political undertones to the work, but ignoring your personal persuasions, it should be viewed for what it is - some great illustration. If you’re into that kind of stuff you should check it out here
Monday, June 19, 2006
(practical) Kubb & Rose at Battersea
...so weekend + kubb + cooler full of rose = lots of fun. not much more to say, except that (a) this is most definitely the least masculine picture of GSpot ever and (b) that its worth checking out Dr. Clooney's concentration in the video.
Dennis (as usual) foot faults on his throw. sort it out dude...
Oh how i wish it was a saturday everyday...
...and more photos found here