[ B l o g / / Archive]

MIT Turns Spotlight On 'Doc' Edgerton:

Quote: >He revolutionized photography, helped the Allies win World War II, allowed Jacques Cousteau to see deep under the sea, and even hunted the Loch Ness monster. Harold "Doc" Edgerton, who spent a lifetime teaching people to see the world differently, is the subject of an exhibit at the MIT Museum, on the Cambridge, Mass., campus where he worked and taught for half a century. Through his revolutionary work in stroboscopy, Edgerton showed what time looks like when it stands still. His photographs of a milk drop forming a coronet after splashing on a tabletop, and of athletes in multiple-action sequences, blurred the line between science and art.<

The Sun: Damming Its Power: Quote: "Let’s imagine that a single bacterium, placed on the medium of culture at midday, will have reproduced enough to fill the dish by midnight. During that time the number of bacteria will have multiplied by 68bn. So when was the dish just half full? At 11.40pm. If we were one of those bacteria, when would we have realised that we were running out of space? At 10pm, when the colony occupied only 1.5% of the dish’s volume, we would have had no inkling of the disaster ahead. Suppose that at 11.20pm an alert bacterium got worried. Mobilising all resources, it launched a search for space in which to expand. At 11.40pm three new dishes were discovered, quadrupling the available space. But that apparently substantial increase in resources gave a breathing space of only 40 minutes: at 12.40am disaster struck the colony."

Question all assumptions... Article by Ivan Eland. Intro: "Post-World War II US foreign policy, including that of the Bush administration, has been based on certain assumptions about the nature of the world. Unfortunately, most of those assumptions are suspect."

Passenger Screening, Take 10: The Transportation Security Administration continues to push for a centralized passenger-screening system, this time using a combination of airline passenger information, terrorist watch lists and junk-mail databases.

Rethinking the meaning of tools... with cheese? Quote: "One of the puzzling facts about the discovery of a new species of hobbit human in Liang Bua cave on Flores announced last year is that the remains were found alongside tools that appear to be as sophisticated as those made by modern humans. This was a surprise as hobbits have such a small brain."

Templating Ourselves: In Part Two in the series on stellar and terrestrial evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of the PBS/NOVA Series "Origins", discusses the human tendency of being self-centered, and how that can shape our reality and cloud our vision of the truth.

SWORDS - First Robots To Break Asimov's First Law Of Robotics:

Next month, the US Army will be putting robot soldiers in the field in Iraq. The SWORDS (Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems) robots are fully armed; when the human operator verifies that a suitable target is within sight, it fires. They are equipped with either the M249 (which fires 5.56-millimeter rounds at 750 rounds per minute) or the M240 (which fires 7.62-millimeter rounds at up to 1,000 per minute).

Cory Doctorow on horseshoes and DRM: Question: "But the ability for people to easily make and distribute copies of music and movies is new. Entertainment content providers want to protect themselves with DRM."
Doctorow: "Well, locomotives didn't require horseshoes. You know, the blacksmiths might not have liked the fact that locomotives didn't require horseshoes. But if you started a business to outfit locomotives with special horseshoes in order to keep the blacksmiths happy, you probably wouldn't have lasted very long. Likewise, if you're starting a business to outfit phones with special locks that make it hard to copy things in order to make the music industry happy, then you're probably not long for this world."

'Bumpy' Glass Could Lead To Self-cleaning Windows, Slick Micromachines: Ohio State University engineers are designing super-slick, water-repellent surfaces that mimic the texture of lotus leaves. The patent-pending technology could lead to self-cleaning glass, and could also reduce friction between the tiny moving parts inside microdevices.

Sometimes we should look at what Blair has done - and ignore what he says: Quote: >All the evidence shows there has been a significant redistribution of wealth under the current government. [...] If you want to understand that Britain still has - despite everything - a pretty good Labour government, I have one tip: don't listen to Tony Blair's speeches. Ever. In his peroration yesterday setting the agenda for Labour's election campaign, the Prime Minister directed his comments towards the self-interest of the middle class. "We don't pay taxes for public services simply to invest in a good cause," he said. "To justify the tax paid by each individual, services must deliver for the individual, offering value for money which is as good - if not better - than that which the individual could provide for themselves if they were able.<

Special Forces, Including TF 6-26, Implicated in Numerous Incidents; Abuse Not Confined to Abu Ghraib: Investigative files released today by the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that the Army failed to aggressively investigate allegations of detainee abuse. Some of the investigations concern serious allegations of torture including electric shocks, forced sodomy and severe physical beatings (via Histologion).

Hot-spring creatures use hydrogen:

Quote: "The tiny, unseen life forms that live in Yellowstone National Park's most extreme environments still guard some secrets. But the search to reveal one of those secrets - the fuel for primitive life forms in Yellowstone's colorful hot springs - turned up a surprise. According to new research, the major energy source for certain primitive organisms living in the park's thermal areas is not sulfur, as your nose may have suggested to you, but hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe."

Japan's Wageless Recovery: Creating an underclass of part-time workers.

Universal Translator Might be Needed to Understand ET: Last month, anthropologists who gathered for a major conference heard some news that will be sobering for SETI enthusiasts: it may be much more difficult to understand extraterrestrials than many scientists have thought before.

Monkey 'Pay-Per-View' Study Could Aid Understanding of Autism: Researches have found that monkeys will 'pay' juice rewards to see images of high-ranking monkeys or female hindquarters. They say their research technique offers a rigorous laboratory approach to studying the "social machinery" of the brain and how this machinery goes tragically awry in autism -- a disease that afflicts more than a million Americans and is the fastest growing developmental disorder.

Simulation Shows Impact Could Have Produced Pluto's Moon: The pairing of Pluto and its moon Charon is unique in our solar system because Charon is nearly half the size of the planet it orbits, whereas the diameters of most moons are just a few percent of those of their parent bodies. Findings published today in the journal Science shed new light on how the pairing formed and support the hypothesis that a large cosmic collision was to blame.

monochrom Server // Problems, problems: We're having some problems with the server... some scripts are not working correctly. We try to fix that as soon as possible. If you want to send us error reports, please don't hesitate.

Matt Groening Apple Ad: This is an ad for the Macintosh around 1989.

(via Lights and Diagrams)

Linux Changed My Sex Life: The Tale of a Super Villain. Link

Jim Crow Returns To The Voting Booth: Black Voters in United States Disproportionately Disenfranchised.

Sapere Aude! Anja Steinbauer introduces the life and ideas of Immanuel Kant, the merry sage of Königsberg, who died 200 years ago.

Ion-drive probe snaps lunar pics: The European Space Agency probe SMART-1 has returned its first pictures of the Moon's surface.

monochrom celebration // Exhibition opening: The exhibition opening at Kunsthalle Exnergasse was really wonderful. ARTE is planning an eight minute presentation about monochrom and filmed the whole event. I hope we can post some pictures soon!

Basketball. This is just plain stupid and I won't pretend that it's clever. No wait, it is!

Blogblox: DaddyD writes: "Everyone Blogs. Right? Almost everyone? Someone? Well, if you do, and you are feeling limited by the usual set of options provided by your loving blogservice, then I might just have something for you. Blogblox is a collection of little tools that will fit into most standard blog templates and add some fun things like mp3 streaming, link boxes or a nifty little slide show. Now, you could get all funky and make some toys like this on your own, but why spend time reinventing the camera when you could be out there taking pictures, or in this case, showing them on your blog."

monochrom celebration // Hooray! monochrom is 12 years old! Hard to believe, isn't it? And we decided to celebrate at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, located at WUK/Vienna.

The birthday party will be the opening of our exhibition "Bildet To-Do-Stapel": Wednesday, January 26 2004, 7 pm. Hope to see you! Cheers!

Ties That Bind: Hopi gift culture and its first encounter with the United States.


The supernatural is super boring: Quote: "Enough with the aliens. And no more clairvoyant prognosticators. Please. Can we shutter Area 51? Lock Los Chupacabras in a cage? Dump cement into Loch Ness? Stop speculating about Roswell? While we're at it, can we all declare a temporary moratorium on ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, poltergeists, crop circles, crystals, shape-shifters, time-travellers, spoon-benders, Satanism, channelling, remote viewing, cryptozoology, psychokinesis, and any paranormal phenomena recognized internationally by a three-letter acronym — UFO, OBE, ESP, EVP? Can we put this stuff on an empirical shelf? At least until it seems fresh again? People, there's way too much White Noise."

Plagiarism Charge Flies Over Discovery: Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Shady is hurling allegations of plagiarism and intellectual plunder at American colleagues who are researching the ruins of Caral, the oldest known city in the Americas.

Revolutionaries: Adrienne Rich on Marx, Luxumbourg, and Guevara.

A Glimpse of Supersolid: Solid helium can behave like a superfluid.

The Nation puts gays in a skirt: Nice entry on Lenin's Tomb.

The Being John Malkovich Effect: Mark Dery on the political blogosphere: Quote: !But bloggers who want to remedy what ails the corporate McMedia monopoly should grab a clue from Chris Allbritton and haul their larval, jack-studded flesh up out of their Matrix-like pods and do some goddamn reporting instead of just getting all meta about Instapundit’s post about The Daily Kos’s post about Little Green Footballs’s post about the vast left-wing media conspiracy’s latest act of high treason. It’s the Yertle the Turtle syndrome: Pundits stacked on top of pundits on top of pundits, all the way down, and, at the very bottom of the heap, the lowly hack who kicked off the whole frenzy of intertextuality: the reporter who dared venture out of the media airlock to collect some samples of Actual, Reported Fact."

Huygens: the missing data:

Quote: "The Huygens probe's mission to Titan has been universally hailed as a grand success. It has delivered stunning images of the moon's landscape and scientists are now poring over measurements of Titan's weather and soil. And yet it didn't all go exactly to plan. One aspect of the mission that hasn't been trumpeted quite so loudly is the fact that not all of Huygens' data actually arrived on Earth. So what happened to the rest of them?"

Vanity YEAH! You've probably seen this already somewhere else, but a link like this simply can't be kept off the mono-blog. It's what happens when Fox TV books someone who they think will sugar coat Bush, but instead shits all over him. Great Fun to watch.

Subterranean Mythology & The Primordial Religion Of The Basque People: Quote: "The Basques think of themselves as the original, prehistoric inhabitants of what is, today, Spanish territory. Some scholars think that the Basques may indeed be the descendants of the Cro-Magnon populations that occupied the area in prehistorical times and that made the famous rock paintings and graffiti discovered inside many caves in this territory. Physical anthropologists think that modern Basques and ancient Cro-Magnon men share many characteristics and physical traits." (via Mmothra)

Baby Art: The homepage of artist Trevor Brown.


Largest iceberg on Earth runs aground:

The world's largest iceberg appears to have run aground in Antarctica instead of crashing into an enormous floating tongue of ice, as predicted by previous satellite imagery.

Wedging Creationism into the Academy: Proponents of a controversial theory struggle to gain purchase within academia. A case study of the quest for academic legitimacy. By Barbara Forrest and Glenn Branch.

Killing democracy in Iraq: Red Pepper invited Naomi Klein and Haifa Zangana to discuss the current situation in Iraq and its implications for the anti-war movement.

Possibility and Hope: Getting from Here to There: Pete Seeger interviewed by Linda C. Forbes. Intro: >Pete Seeger is one of the world’s quintessential activists, having played such an important role in singing the songs and engaging in the struggles of civil rights, free speech, human rights, anti-Vietnam War, environmental, peace, anti-nuclear, and social justice movements. (David Kupfer, "Longtime Passing," Whole Earth Magazine, 104, 2001, p. 19.)<

Dirty tricks: Bush's choice for Energy Secretary was one of Texas's top five worst polluters. Article by Jason Leopold.

Buddhist Monks Lead Prayers to Cleanse Thai Beach: Some 100 Budhhist monks led a mass cleansing ritual Tuesday at popular beach on the island of Phuket to dispel fears that restless spirits of tsunami victims are haunting the area.

Columbia crew saw new atmospheric phenomenon: A new atmospheric phenomenon was caught on video by the crew of the space shuttle Columbia just days before the shuttle broke apart, new findings suggest.

The upper red line is the Earth's horizon, with the last glow of sunset visible to the left. The fleeting flash of the TIGER, below the shuttle, is circled.

Avant-Garde Realism: Essay by Nicholas Rombes. Intro: "Today, the real has become the new avant-garde. Can we lay responsibility for the resurrection of reality at the doorstep of digital cinema? In what might be the supreme irony, it turns out that the re-emergence of realism in the cinema can be traced directly to a technological form that seems to represent a final break with the real. For doesn't the digital -- in its very process of capturing reality -- break with the old photographic process upon which classical cinema was built."

Volkswagen Polo Suicide Bombing TV Spot

MP3 Player Case Made Out Of Altoids Box:


Natural Disasters and Theodicy: Some interesting thoughts on that topic by Ron Rosenbaum at the New York Observer.

Lula's Two Years: When defending itself against its critics, Lula's administration reproduces the traditional discourse of conservative Brazilian elites.

Early Mammal Dined on Dinosaurs:

Quote: "New fossil finds from China are painting a different picture of the mammals that lived alongside the dinosaurs during the Mesozoic era. Most mammals known from this time are thought of as relatively small, nocturnal creatures--the hunted rather than the hunters. Findings published today in the journal Nature provide the first direct evidence that some mammals dined on their dinosaur contemporaries."

Euro? Regio! Almost not noticed by the international community a new trend against globalization rises in Europe: Economically weak regions tend to create alternative economic models, which include the concept of regional currencies. The idea is to keep the money within a region. On Jan 1st, 2005, a new currency named "Waldviertler" started in the Waldviertel region of lower austria. Heini Staudinger, the founder of the new currency system will hold a lecture about the first results at WU Wien (University of Economics) on Jan 18, 2005, at 17:00.
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monochrom content update // Gastro-Art: In gastronomical enterprises the management frequently elects to present art as a form of extraordinary room decoration. Some time ago we at monochrom have decided to dedicate a page to the breathtaking world of 'gastro-art'. And there some excellent new gastro-art picture submissions.


Turning an AA on-battery tester into a CPU load monitor for Linux:

(via Der Wiener Lloyd)

The President of Good and Evil by Peter Singer: Scott O’Reilly reviews Peter Singer‘s review of George W. Bush‘s statements on ethics.

Jaffa: Land Of Sad Oranges: Intro: "Jews and Arabs live side by side in Tel Aviv and its neighbour and twin Jaffa. The dual cities, which are just an hour from Gaza, seem far from the fighting. But their parallel citizens are strangers to each other. They seldom meet or speak."

A Republican Proletariat: Why did cultural bogeys trump economic distress as working-class voters went to the polls in the US? Can the case of Kansas stand in for proletarian America at large, as Thomas Frank suggests? Billionaire Democrats and blue-collar Republicans in the twisting shapes of the 21st-century political system.

"Jim Morrison really is alive," says Cheri Woods. "He is living with his girlfriend in the middle of nowhere. He still smokes pot and drinks beer. The last time I talked to him, he told me he wanted to meet Billy Idol and that he liked the way Val Kilmer portrayed him in the film The Doors."

Professor Discovers New Mixing Method For Microchip-Sized Labs: By alternating the flow of fluid through tiny plastic pipes, a team of mechanical engineers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has discovered a new and speedier way to mix liquids, which in turn will someday produce better and safer medications.

You can ring my bell: The catastrophy in Asia has effects to the whole world: Due to the heavy earthquake that caused the tsunami the european continent lifted about 1 cm and shifted about 2 cm to the north. It moved back about 10 Minutes later. It will continue to oscillate with an amplitude of less then 1 millimeter until autumn at a frequency of about 1 cycle per 10 minutes, as Rudolf Widmer-Schnidrig from the geological observatory in Schiltach (Kreis Rottweil) stated on friday. Now I know why I feel so shaky today...

Creating gays in the military: Quote: >The Pentagon considered developing a host of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops, newly declassified documents reveal. Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of an "aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among troops would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale, the proposal says.< (via Histologion)

Dollars and Sense: Now celebrating its thirtieth birthday D&S analyzes economics in clear and succinct language that requires no prior education but retains full cogency. As Chomsky says, "There are few things as important as the kind of work Dollars & Sense is doing.."

Oyster Christ: Matteo Brandi (from Roche, Switzerland) says he wants to sell an oyster shell that looks like Christ. 'When I tried to toss one of them away, it stuck to my hand. It wouldn't slip off my palm. Like He was calling me.'

Huygens Probe Lands On Saturn's Moon Titan: After its seven-year journey through the Solar System on board the Cassini spacecraft, ESA’s Huygens probe successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, and safely landed on its surface. The first scientific data arrived at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, this afternoon at 17:19 CET. Huygens is mankind’s first successful attempt to land a probe on another world in the outer Solar System. "This is a great achievement for Europe and its US partners in this ambitious international endeavour to explore the Saturnian system," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

Rats Can Tell Languages Apart: The ability to distinguish between two different languages is not unique to humans. New research indicates that rats can manage this as well, making them the third type of mammal with this documented ability.

WMD: Steve Bell, my favorite cartoonist ever, sums up the official end to the US search for WMD in Iraq.

Harry sorry for Nazi uniform stunt: Britain's Prince Harry has apologized for wearing a Nazi uniform to a party, admitting he made a bad choice and saying through his publicist, "I am very sorry if I caused any offense."

Radical Teacher is an independent magazine for educational workers at all levels and in every kind of institution. The magazine focuses on critical teaching practice, the political economy of education, and instutitional struggles.

Evidence That Human Brain Evolution Was A Special Event:

Genes that control the size and complexity of the brain have undergone much more rapid evolution in humans than in non-human primates or other mammals, according to a new study by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers.

Satan Sheets: A hotel bed which belonged to devil-worshipper Aleister Crowley is to be exorcised.

Microbes Found in Saltiest Place: The finding points to the possibility of extraterrestrial life in brines on Mars, where salts might allow water to remain liquid at very low temperatures.

Swordfish heat their eyes for better vision: Warm eyeballs allow them to see prey faster in the murky depths.

Büro Destruct reconstructed their workstations out of loads of cardboard boxes.

(via Interference patterns)
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Zappa On Crossfire (1986):

It's just about words. WORDS! Hilarious. I've been re-playing this video all night: Zappa on Crossfire, anno 1986. The John Lofton/Frank Zappa confrontation is really amazing. Zappa uses the prophetic words "fascist theocracy".

Why is normal blood pressure less than 120 over 80? And why don't these numbers change according to a person's height? Jeffrey Cutler, senior scientific adviser for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, explains.


Biojewlery uses lab grown human bone tissue as a design material. Their intention is to have nuptial rings created from the bone tissue of both people to be wed (via ollapodrida).

2600 Magazine Cover Art Index:

I just clicked through the cover art index of The Hacker Quaterly. They display all their covers since 1987. Awesome stuff.

Germaine Greer on Celebrity Big Brother. I'm not even kidding. Every year, Big Brother UK has a shorter version of BB with celebrities. This one tops it though for obvious reasons. Who else is in it? Bez from Happy Mondays, Lisa I'Anson (the younger MTV audience might remember her) and Brigitte Nielsen. Oh how I WISH to still lived in Britain.
Link 1 is the official BB website, Link 2 gets you to a great article from the Guardian.
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James Hetfield Hair Watch:

Following the Follicular Foibles of the Metallica frontman. They monitor James Hetfield's hair, so you don't have to.

Shepherds Whistle While They Work And Brains Process Sounds As Language: The human brain's remarkable flexibility to understand a variety of signals as language extends to an unusual whistle language used by shepherds on one of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa.

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask): Nice blog entry (via DaddyD).

More Air Miles in circulation than dollars: The pool of unredeemed frequent-flier miles is the most voluminous currency in the world, worth more than the cash supply of dollars and pounds combined (via bb).

Kaido Ole: Estonian painter.

Untitled CLXIII, oil/canvas, 2000 (part of a series).

Almost Certified (Grade A Noise For Non-Discerning Consumers):

A mechanical sound installation and informative publication by K. Cain and B. Crabtree. Presented by Machine Gallery, Los Angeles. Quote: "A distributed network of precarious egg-tapping robots. Each unit, individually amplified, features a select unconventional egg. calculated sequences emerge, conducted by beautifully rendered software on a resurrected mainframe (a sweet mac LC3). [...] We seek and impart knowledge, addressing alarming practices and trends in the egg industry. By promoting social consciousness we can live better through decentralization."
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Iron Feather Journal recommends phresh new stuff:

Blacklisted! 411 Magazine: Along with 2600, this is definitely the bible of the hacking community. Every issue there's lots of technical stuff, with the current issue also featuring Hacking with a proxy server, hacking a wireless router, PDA security, Defcon 2004 recap and much more.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution: Zine and DIY Resource: Alex Wrekk compiled a 128 page DIY guide that teaches how to make zines, understand zine culture, and make your own zine related crafts. The stuff you know, stuff you don't know, stuff you didn't know you knew. Just about everything with a focus on zines. Tips and tricks for photocopying, doing creative layouts, mail art, zine ettiquette, how to deal with distros, making paper, starting/working a distro, how to put out a record, how to make your own envelopes and stationary, binding ideas, advertising ideas, cures for writers block and tons more.

Japan's East Asia Problem: A Sixtieth Anniversary Perspective on the Postwar.

Black hole blast stuns scientists: Astronomers have found evidence of a massive cosmic belch expelled by a black hole that gulped the equivalent of 300 million suns.

Pterodactyls Found to Come From Eggs: Pterodactyls were born from egg cells according to Professor Ji Qiang. Whether pterodactyls were viviparous or oviparous remains controversial.

Operational Media: Essay by Jordan Crandall. Intro: "Over the past several decades in computationally-driven cultures, we have witnessed the emergence of increasingly networked and automated apparatuses of engagement that are used for security, combat and navigation. These are strategic applications that facilitate distributed fields of intelligence and agency. We might recognize them at work when we see calculations and computer graphical overlays on screen-based representations of events, or luminous portable information scrims that hover between viewer and world. Integrated into all manner of strategic informational displays -- whether used for entertainment, communication, or locationing, by the military, policing, or civilian sectors -- these media have in turn been integrated into a contemporary regime of spectacle. They are visible everywhere as part of a machine-aided process of disciplinary attentiveness, embodied in practice, that is bound up within the demands of a new production and security regime."

Shroud Of Turin Holygrams: Religious hologram pictures vagely based on the Shroud of Turin.

penisland.net: This site deserves an award for the most misleading URL on the net.

Neophilic Irreligions: Audience Cults and the World Wide Web (1996):

Intro: "The unprecedented growth of the World Wide Web signals the emergence of new forms of communication in the so called Age of Information. Social groups are reevaluating the manners in which they conduct relationships and form organizations. Religions are no exception. Many faiths have online sites where members and nonmembers can gather facts about the group's beliefs, history, and locations of worship. Groups utilize electronic forms of communication like e-mail or newsgroups that bridge the distance between members. Audience cults, a term used by Stark and Bainbridge in The Future of Religion, are dispersed, unorganized religious groups. Three will be the focus of this paper: Discordianism, the Church of the SubGenius, and the cults of Cthulhu. I have attempted to show that the 'members' of these groups are actively involved in the construction of the World Wide Web. Due to their intimate affinity for the computer interface and lack of interest in traditional organization, these audience cults are better categorized as neophilic irreligions, diffuse groups of individuals committed to chaos and the unfamiliar that find meaning in supernatural forces embedded in parodies of conventional faiths. These irreligions construct social space and provide meaning for, instead of retreating from, the confusion and unpredictability so rampant in cyber communication. These groups provide members with ultimate meaning and general compensators that are in tandem to what the Web, and more generally, the Information Age, is all about." (via Mmothra)

Rain Forest Debate: Home to Complex Societies? Quote: "High along bluffs overlooking the confluence of the mighty Negro and Solomes rivers, super-sized eggplants, papayas and cassava spring from the ground. Their exuberance defies a long-held belief about the Amazon. For much of the last half-century, archeologists have viewed the South American rain forest as a 'counterfeit paradise' whose inhospitable environment precluded the development of complex societies. But new research suggests that prehistoric people found ways to overcome the jungle's natural limitations and thrive in large numbers. The secret, say the theory's proponents, is in the ground beneath their feet. The highly fertile soil called terra preta do indio, Portuguese for Indian black earth, was either intentionally created by these pre-Columbian people or is the accidental byproduct of their presence."

Conspiracy Theorists See Dark Forces Behind Tsunami Disaster: Just 11 days after Asia's tsunami catastrophe, conspiracy theorists are out in force, accusing governments of a cover-up, blaming the military for testing top-secret eco-weapons or aliens trying to correct the Earth's wobbly rotation.

monochrom content update // The Exhilarator: Do you already know our Exhilarator project? No? Intro: "The cartoon with its sheer endless humoristic allegories is among the oldest of trades, and a creative one at that. We want to breathe new life into all those used and out-laughed witnesses of human tragedy - but how? We have asked our friend algorithmic random generator to give us a hand. We split the image from the text and shove the gag into a new interpretation (with an element of sadism, one might add)." Well, I finally did the source code clean-up I should have done half a year ago. And I got some wonderful test results:


Covering East Timor: Danny Schechter interviews Alan Nairn: Intro: "When East Timor exploded and foreign journalists fled, American reporter Alan Nairn remained behind. To be arrested, it turned out, by the Indonesian army, because his earlier reportage had earned him a spot on a government blacklist In a discussion with Media Channel Executive Editor Danny Schechter, Nairn talks about the press coverage of East Timor—what it did well, what it did poorly and what it did not at all. He also has some advice for covering future conflicts. Read the interview with Jakarta's least-favorite journalist or watch it in Real Video." (via Histologion)

Found Photos is an excellent site. It shows what happens to people who use P2P and let everyone view all of their folders. With sites like this I'm glad they do!


The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They are currently organizing against The Gonzales Nomination.

Aerial shots reveal extent of tsunami devastation: These photographs were captured by a range of Earth-observation satellites including IKONOS, SPOT 2, SPOT 5 and RADARSAT, and by the Indian National Remote Sensing Agency. The pairs of images show devastated regions before and after the tsunami.

What good is unicode if you can't abuse it?

the age of wireless: Guglielmo Marconi's views of the wireless era, creating a perfect socialistic world. Interesting to read in the WLAN context. Published Oct 1912.

Who are you gonna call? Soldiers writing poems. No comment.

Will Eisner, RIP (1917-2005)

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Selling hell as a long-haul destination: David Tomory's article about the Andaman Islands before the tsunami catastrophe is worth revisiting.

Destination: Titan: Quote: "Around 4:30 a.m. eastern standard time on the morning of January 14, 2005, a flying-saucer-shaped object named Huygens will encounter an atmosphere for the first time since it left Earth, in 1997. In that atmosphere’s thin, cold gas, the object, roughly nine feet in diameter and hurtling through space at 13,500 miles an hour, will make its first palpable contact with Titan, the largest moon of the planet Saturn. Ever so slightly, the friction with Titan’s atmosphere will slow down the spacecraft, triggering a complex sequence of events that, in the ensuing few hours, should unravel some of the secrets of what could be the most exotic environment in our solar system. By all signs to date, that environment could be dominated by complex organic molecules and seas made of liquefied hydrocarbons. A day at a Titanian beach would be spent freezing to death under hazy skies made of methane and nitrogen, a scenario similar to what would have taken place on the early Earth (though our young planet probably wasn’t freezing). [...]"

Camels and Rubber Duckies: Joel Spolsky's excellent article on (software) pricing. Intro: >You've just released your latest photo-organizing software. Through some mechanism which will be left as an exercise to the reader, you've managed to actually let people know about it. Maybe you have a popular blog or something. Maybe Walt Mossberg wrote a rave review in the Wall Street Journal. One of the biggest questions you're going to be asking now is, "How much should I charge for my software?" When you ask the experts they don't seem to know. Pricing is a deep, dark mystery, they tell you. The biggest mistake software companies make is charging too little, so they don't get enough income, and they have to go out of business. An even bigger mistake, yes, even bigger than the biggest mistake, is charging too much, so they don't get enough customers, and they have to go out of business. Going out of business is not good because everybody loses their job, and you have to go work at Wal*Mart as a greeter, earning minimum wage and being forced to wear a polyester uniform all day long. So if you like cotton uniforms you better get this right. The answer is really complicated. I'm going to start with a little economic theory, then I'm going to tear the theory to bits, and when I'm finished, you'll know a lot more about pricing and you still won't know how much to charge for your software, but that's just the nature of pricing. If you can't be bothered to read this, just charge $0.05 for your software, unless it does bug tracking, in which case charge $30,000,000 for it. [...]<

Build Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) Replica:

Project to build a working reproduction of the 1964 prototype for the Block I Apollo Guidance Computer. The AGC is the flight computer for the Apollo moon landings, with one unit in the command module and one in the LEM (via Forever Geek).

UCSB Scientists Build Nanoscale 'Jigsaw' Puzzles Made Of RNA: Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, working at the leading edge of bionanotechnology, are using assembly and folding principles of natural RNA, or ribonucleic acid, to build beautiful and potentially useful artificial structures at the nano-scale. Possible applications include the development of nanocircuits, medical implants, and improved medical testing.

PET+water+sun=drinking water: Swiss lo-tech allows people to gain drinking water even in regions like the flood areas in southeast asia.

The method uses just a simple plastic bottle (must be PET) and dark ground (e.g. a roof). Let the bottle heat for 6 hours and the water is ready for consumption.

The method will also be presented at EXPO 05 in Aichi/Japan.

Aliens Adored: Aliens Adored is the first full length, in-depth look at the Raelian movement, a fascinating new religion founded in the 1970s by the charismatic prophet, Raël. Born in France as Claude Vorilhon, the former race-car driver founded the religion after he experienced a visitation from the aliens (the “elohim”) who, in his cosmology, created humans by cloning themselves.

Quote: "Susan J. Palmer, a teacher of religious studies at Dawson College in Montreal, chronicles this tale from the time of Vorilhon's claimed first encounter in 1973 with the Elohim, the extraterrestrials who designated him a prophet. Palmer had been studying the group for 13 years when Raelians made world headlines in 2000 with their declared intention to clone a human child. That hubbub escalated in 2002 with the group's entirely dubious claim to have done so through its Clonaid lab under a PhD chemist, Brigitte Boisselier."

Aerial Patterns

George Orwell: An Exhibition from the Collection of Daniel J. Leab: Quote: >George Orwell attempted in 1940 after the outbreak of World War II to enlist in His Majesty's armed forces. Because of ill-health, he failed. Had he succeeded and been killed in action he would be remembered by academic specialists, if at all. He would have been noted as a minor, not too successful English novelist and memoir writer who had penned some interesting critical essays and as a man considered by many of his contemporaries to be a rude person. Fortunately, Orwell did not die in that war, and today his name has become an oft-used adjective. "Orwellian" has become a synonym for the oppressive social forces that make us discontented and fearful, whether they be state regimentation, dissimulation at any level of life, or abusive propaganda. His 1940s writings, whether books or essays, have had lasting and smashing impact. A prolific writer, he constantly honed his ideas and his prose. He was tempered by adversity -- well into his early 40s, despite his Etonian background, he lived a hand-to-mouth existence, partly by choice (given his uncompromising nature) and partly by circumstance (his writing brought little remuneration). Nor did his political attitudes make life any easier: in a U.K. many of whose intellectuals and academics were infatuated with a false view of the Soviet Union, Orwell questioned the premises of its government and ideology. ...<
Read more over at George Orwell: An Exhibition from the Collection of Daniel J. Leab at Brown University Library (via PCI LinkDump).

CleanSoftware.org is a resource to help Windows users find the best free daily-use software, free from nasties: adware, spyware, harmful/intrusive components, and threats to privacy. (via DaddyD)

George Orwell Opera: Forget the Neujahrskonzert. The George Orwell Opera is approaching! Both are conducted by Lorin Maazel, Director of the NY Philharmonic Orchestra.

Scientific American: Top Science Stories of 2004

antimult.ru: Remember the famous "smoke kills" flash animation that hit the net two years ago? The team from antimult.ru did several more of these, with growing perfection. Most of these are in russian language and show a perfect inside view of russia, drawing typical characters, telling emotional stories about country and people. Several stories can be understood easily, without any knowledge of the russian language.
I recommend the following Antimult movies:
The latest story is about a long, long travel with the trans-siberian railway:

This one about the 300 year anniversary of st. petersburg, going back in time:

...and of course the "smoke kills" animation:

Cory Doctorow sets DRM strawmen ablaze

The Poodle Sleddog Web Site:


Einstein as Philosopher: Essay by Friedel Weinert. Intro: "On September 26, 1905 Einstein's paper 'On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies' appeared in the Annalen der Physik. All agree that it is one of the most important scientific papers ever written. But was it a revolutionary paper? Einstein generalizes the Galilean relativity principle to include electro-magnetic phenomena; he postulates the velocity of light in vacuum as an upper speed limit on all phenomena. He uses the Lorentz transformations for the calculation of spatial and temporal measurements in the transition from one reference frame to another. There is much to be said for the view that Einstein's Special theory of relativity completes classical physics, especially the work of Maxwell. Einstein himself did not see his theory as a 'revolutionary act'. But Einstein's work did introduce a philosophical revolution in our fundamental notions. Einstein was not a professional philosopher. He was, in Reichenbach's judicious phrase, a philosopher by implication. Still, it would be more judicious to characterize Einstein's philosophical innovations as consequences of his scientific work. Implications can be hidden in the logic of a situation. But Einstein was fully aware of the philosophical dimensions of his scientific work. I prefer therefore to speak of the philosophical consequences of Einstein's physics. They extend far beyond the familiar reshaping of the notions of space and time. What made Einstein a great physicist was his ability to question unquestioned assumptions in the tradition of physical theorizing. What made him an even greater physicist was his ability to recognize the limits of his own work. This talent led him from the Special to the General theory of relativity and beyond to a general theory of fields. What made him a decent philosopher was his willingness to pursue the philosophical consequences of his physical discoveries."

Snowflakes made easy: A mathematician has been making indoor snowflakes that are surprisingly similar to nature's fractal beauties.

Historical Nuclear Weapons Test Films: Reminds of the closing title of Dr. Strangelove and Vera Lynn's wonderful "We'll Meet Again" (via Der Wiener Lloyd).

Skeletal Systems: Michael Paulus's character study of 22 present and past cartoon characters.

Quote: "Animation was the format of choice for children's television in the 1960s, a decade in which children's programming became almost entirely animated. Growing up in that period, I tended to take for granted the distortions and strange bodies of these entities. I decided to take a select few of these popular characters and render their skeletal systems as I imagine they might resemble if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass. Each character resides on a translucent, hinged panel. When the panel is lifted the character’s skeletal structure is revealed giving each a certain validity and glimpse into its origins. Each panel is hand-drawn with archival ink and covered with an acrylic/acetate transparency. The photos of Hello Kitty on the site give an accurate idea of what the actual, assembled pieces look like---with the hinged translucent cover both closed and open. The rest of the characters shown on the site are approximations of what the transparency overlay looks like since I don’t have actual photographs of all of them."

You Fucking Asshole Ocean:

From time to time we at monochrom buy artworks. We have some installations and a few paintings. Evelyn acts as a kind of curator of our small collection. Last year we bought this painting by Viennese artist Billie. Yesterday Evelyn asked the rest of us: "Did you realize that this painting gets a totally new dimension after the devastating tsunami?" We had to agree... what a fucking asshole ocean...

[The Archives]

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monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.

Booking monochrom:

External monochrom links:
[monochrom Wikipedia]
[monochrom Flickr]
[monochrom blip.tv]
[monochrom GV]
[monochrom Youtube]
[monochrom Facebook]
[monochrom iTunes]
[monochrom Twitter]

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 2 / The Adventure Game

Climate Training Camp

Krach der Roboter: Hello World!

Slacking is killing the DIY industry (T-Shirt)

Carefully Selected Moments / CD, LP

Freedom is a whore of a word (T-Shirt)


International Year of Polytheism 2007

Santa Claus Vs. Christkindl: A Mobster Battle

Could It Be (Video clip)

Pot Tin God

Hacking the Spaces

Kiki and Bubu and The Shift / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Self / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Good Plan / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Feelings / Short film / Short film

Sculpture Mobs

Nazi Petting Zoo / Short film

The Great Firewall of China

KPMG / Short film

The BRAICIN / Short film

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 1 / The Adventure Game

I was a copyright infringement in a previous life (T-Shirt)

Brave New Pong

Leben ist LARPen e.V.

One Minute / Short film

Firing Squad Euro2008 Intervention


A tribute to Honzo

Lessig ist lässig

I can count every star in the heavens above -- The image of computers in popular music

All Tomorrow's Condensations / Puppet show

Bye Bye / Short film


PC/DC patch

Proto-Melodic Comment Squad


The Redro Loitzl Story / Short film

Hax0rcise SCO

Law and Second Order (T-Shirt)

They really kicked you out of the Situationist International?

Death Special: Falco

Applicant Fisch / Short film

When I was asked to write about new economy

Taugshow #6

Taugshow #7

Taugshow #9

Taugshow #10

Taugshow #11

Taugshow #14

Taugshow #15

Campfire at Will

Arse Elektronika 2007, 2008, 2009 etc.

The Void's Foaming Ebb / Short film

Remoting Future

When you / Short film


Free Bariumnitrate

Toyps / Typing Errors

ARAD-II Miami Beach Crisis

The Charcoal Burner / Short film

Digital Culture In Brazil


Nation of Zombia

Lonely Planet Guide action

CSI Oven Cloth

Dept. of Applied Office Arts

Farewell to Overhead

Google Buttplug

Fieldrecording in Sankt Wechselberg / Short film

Dark Dune Spots

Campaign For The Abolition Of Personal Pronouns


Space Tourism

In the Head of the Gardener

Entertainment (Unterhaltung) / Short film

Cthulhu Goatse

Nicholas Negroponte Memorial Cable

Coke Light Art Edition 06

Experience the Experience! (West Coast USA/Canada Tour 2005)

April 23

Overhead Cumshot

Irark / Short film


Instant Blitz Copy Fight

A Patriotic Fireman

A Micro Graphic Novel Project

Noise and Talk

The Exhilarator


SUZOeG Training / Short film

The Flower Currency


A Holiday in Soviet Unterzoegersdorf

How does the Internet work?

Paraflows 2006 and up

Special Forces

Coca Cola

About Work

Turing Train Terminal

Me / Short Film

Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling Network


Some Code To Die For

The Year Wrap-up

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Metroblogging

Project Mendel

Display, Retry, Fail

Manifesto of Ignorantism


Towers of Hanoi



Every Five Seconds an Inkjet Printer Dies Somewhere




We know apocalypses

452 x 157 cm² global durability

A Good Haul

Blattoptera / Art for Cockroaches

Minus 24x

Gladiator / Short Film


An attempt to emulate an attempt

Paschal Duct-Taping

Laptop Crochetication


Somewhere in the 1930s

Soul Sale

The Department for Criticism against Globalisation

Dot Smoke

Georg Paul Thomann

Nurgel Staring

War On

Let's network it out


Mackerel Fiddlers


Disney vs. Chrusov / Short film

Bulk Mail

Easter Celebrations

Mouse Over Matter

Condolence for a Crab

Force Sting

Turning Threshold Countries Into Plows


A Noise

A. C. A.

Hopping Overland

Achy Breaky Heart Campaign

Hermeneutic Imperative III

Holy Water / Franchise

Roböxotica // Festival for Cocktail-Robotics


Engine Hood Cookies


The Watch

Creative Industry 2003

This World

Cracked Foundation For The Fine Arts

Sometimes I feel

Fit with INRI

Growing Money

Catapulting Wireless Devices

Buried Alive

Illegal Space Race

Magnetism Party

Brick of Coke

1 Baud

Scrota Contra Vota

Direct Intervention Engine

Oh my God, they use a history which repeats itself! (T-Shirt)


Dorkbot Vienna