Saturday, July 04, 2009


The Guildhall on the ‘Sandhill’ is the ancient centre of municipal government of Newcastle.
What caught my attention is this fine example of how the Brits like their spikes! Oh mama. No soft touches here in the home of justice.

Bugatti convertible

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport. 1000 horsepower. World's fastest and most expensive production car. Get one of these for the price of seven Ferraris.
I don't know why you would need a convertible which can drive faster than you're allowed practically anywhere in the world, but apparently the richer part of Bugatti's fans demanded it. It wasn't easy to make it strong enough without a roof.
0-60mph in 2.5 seconds? Ouch. Better not drive this thing inebriated.

I could buy one, but it's not practical if you like having two or three girls with you.

Friday, July 03, 2009

No-Slogan Week

I've instituted No-Slogan Week (International). It starts the first Monday in August every year. The goal is to eradicate all and every slogan on the planet.
It'll be run by No Slogans Limited, and its slogan is "No slogan is too big or too small to be eliminated".

It has a subdivision, No Slogans Unlimited, which has the goal to make every government in the world officially recognize No-Slogan Week, and has the slogan "No slogans anywhere, on every wall and every desktop in the world".

Let me count the ways

Do I Love My Wife? An Investigative Report, article. [Thanks to TC]
"When I told friends and family I was trying to scientifically assess my love for Julie, they all had the same response: "No good can come of this."
[...] Inside the MRI tunnel, the image of my wife vanishes from the screen. And up pops another female face. [...] It's Angelina Jolie. That's another part of the experiment. The scientists and I want to see how my love for my wife compares with my feelings for Angelina Jolie."

One section explained something for me:
"The [brain's] Romance System. This produces the cocaine rush you get from beginning love. And cocaine is more than an idle metaphor. The reptilian brain — one of the nervous system's most ancient parts — floods you with dopamine, just as it does after you snort a line of blow."

I never understood the appeal of strong romance for so many people. Despite the clear disastrous influences strong "love" has on so many lives, it is often treated (just see books and movies) as the most important thing in the world. A dopamine rush explains a lot. Many people simply get high on being in love! And it is unrelated to whether the subject of the love is the world's best candidate for it, or the world's worst.

VIW 2 (updated)

Update: Bert points to this about a Tilda Swinton movie. Seems interesting.

Indie band records entire song on their iPhone

The 88 records entire song on their iPhone, article. [Thanks to Drew.]

The song sounds pretty pro to me. (A comment on iTunes says the lead vocal was an exception to the whole thing being recorded on an iPhone, but the article doesn't mention it.)

Now, naturally a hand-device like the iPhone which can do so many things will never be a real replacement for professional devices dedicated to doing one thing well, but I must say it's ridiculous the number of things that little fucker can do so well. It's a phone, it's a web browser, it's a camera and video camera, it's a gaming device, it's a GPS device, you can play and record music on it, etc etc. When you can buy an app for it which enables it to make my cappuccino, I'll have to get one.
(Gawd, I forgot, it also plays music. And video. And does email.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Free art

Bunny Project at Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden 2008, Conny Blom.

Performance commissioned by Kalmar Museum of Art, Sweden. During the inauguration of the new art museum in Kalmar a suspicious individual sneaked around the premises mounting sculptures made of carrots, alarm clocks, red and blue cables, metal wire and tape. On direct orders from the Swedish secret police the performance was stopped since the Culture Minister refused to give her inaugural speech if it were to continue. The speech , as it later turned out, was about how art must be allowed to be free and provocative.

Art or Sport? part 4

6000 post-it notes.

China backs down over controversial censorship software

China backs down over controversial censorship software, article.
"Green Dam" censorship software, which was to be compulsory on all new PCs in China, is now optional after massive protests.
It includes porn picture filters based on color, blocking lots of skin colors. So for example a hard-core picture with black models might be allowed, but a close-up portrait of George Bush would be banned as obscene. (Not that everybody would disagree with that result, but one assumes it was not the intent.)

Doing something well

Doing a thing well is often a waste of time.
-- Robert Byrne

I lean more towards the old adage: if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.

To "Jacko"

Pascal (for some reason I never got calling himself "P-04 Referent") writes about Michael Jackson, the boy/man.

Apropos the man, here's his patented leaning shoes device.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

100-years old color photos!

Tommy found this great article about a Russian photographer, Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky, who documented Russia a hundred years ago... in color!
I'm amazed at the fidelity of the photos. These are better than most color photos half their age. This was a couple of decades before the first color films, so each color had to be photographed separately through a filter. So the subjects had to sit still even longer than for normal BW.

Iggy Pop - Living' on the Edge of the Night

I'm not sure if he wrote this one himself. I don't see any evidence that he didn't (Wikipedia is down right now), but it displays far more melody than he usually has when composing alone. Anyway, great song.
Update: it seems Jay Rifkin wrote it.

levels of nudity

Anon said:
That statue is kind of funny. They're allowed to show tits, but not snatch. Weird.

eolake said...
'twas always thus. Funny.

There's a level below that where you can show a naked girl fully from behind, but nothing from the front.

And a level below that where you can show a naked girl, but you have to hide pudenda, tits, and bum.

And the next level down of course is no nudity at all. But very small bikinis are OK, funny enough.

And so on, down to women in full burkahs and shown in the distance only. :-)

The really funny thing is that in each area each limitation seems very solid and important and serious, until one day it's broken.

Name and URL in comments

Ray brought up a good point:

I think some people may opt for anonymity because it's not apparent that one can display a name without an URL. From what I've seen, you can do that, but it's not obvious.

You don't need a blogger account or an email address, and you don't need to connect any web address to a name, just select "other", and write in whatever name you like use on the Net.

Unlike Facebook, I don't insist on your "real" name, it does not matter one bit. The point is just to have handles and avoid the confusion of a bunch of anons.

By the way, you can make a blogger account (or google account) without having a blog. This gives the advantage that if you are taking part in a discussion, you can get emailed (if you select it) when new comments appear in that thread.

S.O.A.P. - Ladidi Ladida

S.O.A.P. was a great young Danish duo of sisters, sadly now disbanded. Their exotic look comes from their Indian mother, I believe.

Olympus PEN E-P1 video preview

I am of two minds about if this is the camera for me.
The autofocus is not quite as fast as I'd hoped (slower than the Panasonic G1), and it is bigger than hoped. It might feel just Goldilocks, I liked my Pentax ME Super. But I dunno.

It looks a bit more compact in a man's hands.

I am starting to lean towards the position that we probably won't ever get a real pocket camera with exchangeable lenses, because the lens can't retract into the camera. For me an "everywhere" camera has to fit easily into a pocket. And it's fine with me if the lens is not exchangeable for that kind of camera. A 28mm-100mm zoom built in works great for me. Even a non-zoom 35 mm, if it was fast and very sharp, would be very welcome.
I want a pocket camera with a damn good lens, good low-light performance (useable able 1600 ISO), and fast autofocus. We are inching towards it from various directions, but we are not there yet.
The very compact Canons are not far from it: wonderful lenses. Autofocus is better than compacts used to be, but still can be too slow for people photography. And the noise is unbearable over 400 ISO. The autofocus I'm sure will be fast enough soon, but the question is how long it will be before those tiny sensors will be that much more noise-free. Five years? Ten?

Monday, June 29, 2009

VWP (various web pictures) (updated)

Macbook surprise

[Thanks to Tommy] It's incredible what they can do these days.

Men are no mystery

Wood iPod

This is cool. If somebody did this for money and with present models, I would be game.
(An iPod Mini. Man, that's a while ago, innit? I'd almost forgotten those. It's one of the few I never had.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Does a cardboard bear poop in the woods?

Too funny. "This is what the bear probably looked like. Except real".

Surely a joke, but hits well the media's pathetic scare-mongering.

Takako Minekawa

Piano dancing

Found on Michael Burton's blog.