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PETITION AGAINST THE DEMOLITION OF METELKOVA CITY CULTURAL COMPLEX IN LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA: METELKOVA CITY CULTURAL CENTRE is a former ex-Yugoslav military complex in the center of Ljubljana, squatted by artists, activists, cultural workers, etc. from Ljubljana / Slovenia in 1993. METELKOVA CITY CULTURAL CENTRE represents one of the most prominent cultural/artistic landmarks of the city of Ljubljana. It's reputation reaches well over the borders of the state of Slovenia. Dated this Wednesday, June 1, 2005, the State Inspection for Environment and Space of Slovenia announces the beginning of the demolitions of some objects of Metelkova. It is our firm belief that such a demolition opposes civilized norms of the world we all share. We thus urge you to use all your influence in finding a more constructive solution for the future of this unique cultural phenomenon. Such a solution should, of course, take into full account the will of groups and individuals who created (and continue to do so) Metelkova City Cultural Centre. Your act - signature, your voice - may be of great help for us who go into defending this unique cultural, artistic, social and political space, that is known all over the world. Support us in our struggle for the last free and urban space in the centre of Ljubljana! So send the petition, spread the word, inform colleague musicians, artists, activists... Sincerely yours, Forum of Metelkova City Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova mesto

Darth Vader shows his dark side: Police in Malaysia are hunting a man who flashes women while wearing a Darth Vader costume.

Underwater Robot Launched From Bermuda To Cross Gulf Stream:

A small autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, named Spray was launched recently about 12 miles southeast of Bermuda. The two-meter-(6-foot)-long orange glider with a four-foot wingspan will slowly make its way northwest, crossing the Gulf Stream and reaching the continental shelf on the other side before turning around and heading back to Bermuda, where it will be recovered in July.

Vifm - ncurses based file manager with vi-like keybindings:

Vifm is a ncurses based file manager with vi-like keybindings. If you use vi, vifm gives you complete keyboard control over your files without having to learn a new set of commands (via Der Wiener Lloyd).

Transparent Mellotron: Wow!

Introducing the chocolate candy diet... Candy is dandy for North Korean children trying to grow tall, strong and smart in a country battling chronic food shortages.

I want planes with frickin' laser beams attached to them: "The US government is to begin testing a laser device which is bolted to the belly of American commercial airliners to protect against shoulder-launched missiles, it was reported yesterday."

History is littered with lots of hoaxes: Some lies can lead to a deeper truth. Intro: "Tales of a runaway bride and a finger afloat in a chili bowl have seized our attention of late -- but for sheer shock value, they can't compete with Mary Toft of the British town of Godalming. In 1762, Mary flabbergasted her doctor by seeming to give birth to rabbits. Soon top medical advisers, including the king's surgeon, investigated, witnessed the bizarre births and vouched for them. Only when she was sequestered and stricken with infection did Mary fess up: Craving a little attention, she had been inserting dead rabbits into her vagina. Hoaxes have been around as long as humanity itself. But history is spiked with spells when hoaxing is more prevalent. Experts say we're in just such a period now."

'Slime Worlds' May Reflect Signs of Life: 'Slime worlds' may prove excellent targets for the search for extraterrestrial life, according to new calculations. The research suggests future space missions may be able to detect the signature of microbial life around as many as 200 nearby stars.

Bum Lee's De-Animator:


Relationships, eating habits and personal hygiene going down because Halo2 is keeping you occupied? Try here: Online Gamers Anonymous.

Zooming through Space: Intro: >In a typically uncomfortable paradox, Pascal observed: "By space, the universe envelops me and swallows me up like a point; by thought, I envelop it." This could be a motto for all who zoom. And which of us doesn't? Once a novelty, the zoom is now the optical standard of technological culture. Since all but the cheapest still cameras and all video cameras now have zoom lenses, practically anyone who has used a camera is familiar with the zoom's telescoping effect. You can stay in the same place, point the camera in the same direction, and the detail in the image you see will be magnified or minimized. Zoom in, and you cut out from its horizon the object of your interest. Zoom out, and you see it in a dense visual context. The institutional use of the zoom in documentaries and TV news mirrors its underground use in home movies/video and pornography. Filmmakers zoom in on event-fields not subject to their prior control, like sporting events and impromptu encounters with politicians, celebrities, and suspects on live cop shows. But the opportunism with which the zoom greets reality is also a subjection, a submission. In zooming, the filmmaker con-fesses a powerlessness to intervene other than optically in an event whose flux s/he is doomed merely to follow. The filmmaker always lags behind the event: The zoom compensates for this delay, but it also registers it. Unwilling to accept this implied helplessness, Hollywood long banished the zoom from its productions, designed as they were to show complete mastery of everything visible.<

Philosophy Karaoke... if you dare.

At Long Last, Scientists Figure Out How Plants Grow: Scientists have known since 1885 that the plant growth hormone auxin exists. They've known of its dramatic effects on plant growth and development since the 1930s. But only now do scientists know how it works.

More gadgets, more lost, more found: A study conducted by Pointsec Mobile Technologies, a mobile-data protection software company in Chicago, found that the number of laptops abandoned in one London cab company's taxis rose 71 percent in the second half of last year from the same period in 2001, while the number of personal digital assistants left behind shot up 350 percent. (via Pasta&Vinegar)

Marx for Beginners: A cartoon book by Rius.

A cartoon book about Marx? Are you sure it's Karl, not Groucho? How can you summarize the work of Karl Marx in cartoons? It took Rius to do it. He's put it all in: the origins of Marxist philosophy, history, economics; of capital, labor, the class struggle, socialism.

Darfur Drawn: The Conflict in Darfur Through Children's Eyes:

On mission along the border of Chad and Darfur, Human Rights Watch researchers gave children notebooks and crayons to keep them occupied while they spoke with the children’s parents. Without any instruction or guidance, the children drew scenes from their experiences of the war in Darfur: the attacks by the Janjaweed, the bombings by Sudanese government forces, the shootings, the burning of entire villages, and the flight to Chad. (via Histologion)

Life is short in online news: How long did it take you to find this story?

The Return of the Design Argument: Taner Edis reviews two books about evolution and design. Intro: "The intuition that complex objects must be the result of intelligent design remains a major motivation for thinking that our world was created by a divine intelligence. In scientific circles, however, design has become another unnecessary supernatural hypothesis. Philosophers and theologians have never lost interest in design arguments, but workaday science has ignored their debates as irrelevant to the real task of explaining the world. Even the emergence of a sophisticated anti-evolutionary movement under the 'intelligent design' (ID) banner has not changed many scientists' attitudes. Intelligent Design has had a negligible effect on mainstream science; it only attracts attention due to the unending creationist attempts to interfere with science education. Scientists would prefer philosophers to deal with ID, preferably by producing a conceptual argument to rule it out of scientific consideration. Call it unfalsifiable, a violation of methodological naturalism, whatever – anything to make ID go away. Philosophers are overrepresented among defenders of ID, so there is even more reason for scientists to hope that more mainstream philosophers can keep ID out of their hair."

The Celebrity Atheist List: Quote: "This list was created to demonstrate the diversity of atheists and agnostics. It provides ammunition against those who would pigeonhole the godless as being a narrow class of unpopular and amoral individuals. It further demonstrates that atheists share no ideology other than their shared lack of belief."

Hamming It Up at Radio Meets: When amateur radio operators, or hams, get together, the emphasis is on technology and gossip, not fashion.

The Left and Power – the Italian way: From the dramatic events surrounding the killing of an Italian secret agent to a sweeping electoral victory against Berlusconi, Hilary Wainwright provides a snapshot of a dramatic time in Italian politics. But as Rifondazione Comunista extends its influence in regional government, she asks: can the left transform the state by sharing power?

The Free Society Collective's Seminar Series co-sponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies and Black Sheep Books: The Free Society Collective’s (FSC) seminar series aims to provide an independent space for ongoing inquiries into social, political, cultural, economic, historical, and other fields of study from an anti-authoritarian left perspective. The seminar series draws on a variety of radical traditions, revolutionary histories, contemporary social movements, and social and political analyses, including anarchism, Western and autonomous marxisms, and other libertarian left tendencies. By exploring the past as well as the present, these weekend-long seminars are meant to deepen our understanding of dynamic social phenomena such as capitalism, statecraft, racism, gender, and the devastation of the natural world, to name a few. The seminars are also a way of reclaiming our own education and scholarship—by mentoring, learning from, and challenging each other in a highly participatory setting. And over time, it is the FSC’s hope that this seminar series will contribute to the development of public intellectuals, theoretical insights, and sophisticated forms of praxis as well as social organization in our struggle for a nonhierarchical, egalitarian society.

Superproducer Phil Spector's new courtroom hair-do: This is amazing. Just amazing. Wow. Thank you Stereogum.

Juvenile Pop Culture Creators, Compared: Quote: "Team America was made by 17 year old boys who cut class to smoke cigarettes. Star Wars was made by a sophomore who was bumped ahead to the senior class because of his smarts, but never fit in and spent lunch hour drawing rocketships in his notebook. The Incredibles was made by 30 year olds who remembered what it was like to be 16, but didn't particularly care to revisit those days, because it's so much better to be 30, with a spouse and a kid and a house and a sense that you're tied to something. Not an attitude; not some animist mumbo jumbo, but something large enough to behold and small enough to do."

Climate: The British government recognises two kinds of freedom. There is the freedom of the citizen. There is the freedom of business.

Voyager Spacecraft Enters Solar System's Final Frontier:

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered the solar system's final frontier. It is entering a vast, turbulent expanse, where the sun's influence ends and the solar wind crashes into the thin gas between stars.

SINS: SINS Is Not Surface: A video series by Carlos Katastrofsky.

Quote: >the video series SINS deals with different concepts of human "layers". each of the five parts of SINS focuses on one of the following terms: surface, skin, fashion, architecture and screen. the footage of each movie has been exclusively extracted from the web by means of searchengines and consists of approx. 1500 pictures as well as numerous audio- and videofiles. the short movies are - according to their thematical focus - technically constructed as tense representations of the www - material. layer by layer the pictures and sounds make us aware of the im/possible glance beneath any layer we encounter.<

Dark Hero Of The Information Age: In Search of Norbert Wiener The Father of Cybernetics: Book by Flo Conway, Jim Siegelman.

Quote: "No one saw earlier or more fully the possibilities and perils of automated information systems than did Norbert Wiener, whose remarkably prescient vision receives overdue attention in this compelling biography. Beginning with the wunderkind years that put Wiener in graduate school at age 14, the authors limn the development of the brilliant mind that created the basic framework for a statistical science of communication. As that mind pioneered new understandings of feedback loops and analog information systems, a cybernetic paradigm emerged, opening new horizons for computer designers, biologists, and sociologists. Conway and Siegelman chronicle Wiener's highly fruitful collaboration with the computer maven John von Neuman, anthropologist Margaret Mead, and others who applied cybernetic principles. They also detail Wiener's estrangement from cold warriors he accused of misusing his discoveries for political purposes and from corporate leaders he feared would use cybernetics to exploit and displace workers. At a time when information technology is delivering new powers to government security agencies and new clients to unemployment offices, readers will read this life story with great interest." (Bryce Christensen)

Low Morale:

DaddyD writes: "You can think of Low Morale as a flash based version of Dilbert, just without the witty cat, pointy headed boss, or Wally. It still has all the hopelessness though. So if you are the type who thinks hell just might be other people, and enjoy watching other peoples futile attempts at coping with the utter meaninglessness of their existence, or, if you just like Radiohead and want to see a clever animation to an acoustic version of Creep, then you will probably enjoy Low Morale."

Vampirism presentation from a pharma company's PoV:

Laurie sez, >This is a reproduction of a very funny slide/talk by biologist/SF author Peter Watts (actually delivered at a Toronto SF convention this spring) with audio track and PowerPoint type slides. It brilliantly satirizes talks at Big Pharma conferences as it describes (from a Big Pharma standpoint) the evolutionary explanation for the existence of vampire, and the argument for genetic tweaking to create more vampires, backed up with real biology. Runs approximately 30 mins. Take special note of the various "company" slogans in the bottom corners of the slides.< (via bb)

Fahrenheit 2777: 9/11 has generated the mother of all conspiracy theories. Intro: >Noted French left-wing activist Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 conspiracy book, L'Effroyable Imposture, became a best-seller in 2002. But I never imagined such an "appalling deception" would ever find a voice in America. At a recent public lecture I was buttonholed by a Michael Moore–wannabe filmmaker who breathlessly explained that 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Central Intelligence Agency as part of their plan for global domination and a New World Order. That goal was to be financed by G.O.D. (Gold, Oil, Drugs) and launched by a Pearl Harbor–like attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, thereby providing the justification for war. The evidence was there in the details, he explained, handing me a faux dollar bill (with "9-11" replacing the "1," a picture of Bush supplanting that of Washington) chockablock with Web sites. In fact, if you type "World Trade Center" and "conspiracy" into Google, you'll get more than 250,000 hits. From these sites, you will discover that some people think the Pentagon was hit by a missile; that U.S. Air Force jets were ordered to "stand down" and not intercept Flights 11 and 175, the ones that struck the twin towers; that the towers themselves were razed by demolition explosives timed to go off soon after the impact of the planes; that a mysterious white jet shot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania; and that New York Jews were ordered to stay home that day (Zionists and other pro-Israeli factions, of course, were involved). Books also abound, including Inside Job, by Jim Marrs; The New Pearl Harbor, by David Ray Griffin; and 9/11: The Great Illusion, by George Humphrey. The single best debunking of this conspiratorial codswallop is in the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which provides an exhaustive point-by-point analysis of the most prevalent claims. The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics). All the "evidence" for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy. Such notions are easily refuted by noting that scientific theories are not built on single facts alone but on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry.<

Air-travel maths could limit spread of disease: The formulae that describe global air travel could be used to mitigate the spread of deadly diseases such as SARS or flu, researchers say.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Crisis of Conscience.

Labels and the problem of defining the good. Intro: >Good. Bad. Ugly. Not a lick of difference between them. Everyone knows the three words are just labels Sergio Leone pinned on his characters as a joke, or at most as a comment on Hollywood casting conventions: Clint Eastwood’s “Blondie” is blue-eyed and handsome, therefore he is Good; Lee Van Cleef’s “Angel Eyes” has a mustache Simon Legree would envy and a resume crowded with petty-villain roles, ergo he must be Bad; Eli Wallach’s “Tuco” is short, loud, and smelly, so of course he is Ugly. Everyone knows this. But is it true?<

The Hasselhoffian Recursion:

(via irtz)

Developing a cultural policy for the International Space Station: The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded the independent arts organisation the Arts Catalyst in London a contract to carry out a 6-month study on possible future cultural utilisation of the International Space Station (ISS), the European aspects of the Station in particular.

a card for that special someone, that no-one should know about: say, you got an extra-marital love-affair or dating someone on the side, and inspite of all the moral implications, you want to give that other special someone a card displaying your affection, this place is where you should go: The secret lover collection.

ESA issues first Jules Verne payload list:

In 2006, with the launch of Jules Verne, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will become the new European powerful automatic re-supply spaceship able to bring an indispensable payload to the International Space Station and its permanent crew. This first ATV will carry a mix of supplies depending on the Station’s needs and its own payload capacity.

5 reasons to say "Non" to the European constitution: In the EU Observer, Susan George provides 5 reasons to say No to this European Constitution treaty (via Histologion).

Rick Rubin and Neil Diamond: Some time ago I had a vision and now it has come true: Rick Rubin produced a record with Neil Diamond. Thinking of all the malice and mockery I received in the last years for praising "Stones" as one of the greatest records of all time, I want to see those fashion-hoppers and scenesters crawl to me begging forgiveness (as they did some years ago, when suddenly Johnny Cash was cool again.)

Top 99 Actual Star Wars Lines You Might Hear In A Porno

Processing for Science: "@Home" projects band together and proliferate:

Intro: >Fans of the spacetime continuum can now uncover gravitational ripples at their desks thanks to the February launch of Einstein@Home. The project is one of the latest of at least 60 "@home" projects now on the Internet, in which personal-computer users can donate spare processor power to help solve scientific problems. And no need to choose one mission over another: @home software can now multitask, and enough microchip muscle exists to handle many more distributed-computing projects.<

Does this French Woman Have Diana's Kidney? Quote: "On September 2, 1997, [Francoise Gaellar's] life was saved by a kidney transplant - and the donor was Diana, Princess of Wales, killed two days earlier in a car crash in Paris. Francoise certainly received a kidney at that time but it must be said that there is little hard evidence, beyond one or two coincidences of timing, that the organ had belonged to Diana. The authorities say Francoise must be wrong. Yet she believes her claim to the depths of her soul. [...] 'I found myself speaking English to my friends, something I don't normally do because I have no reason to. I cannot explain why I did this.' [...]" Link

Past century sees biodiversity dive: Biodiversity is disappearing faster than ever, according to a report backed by the United Nations. Without action to curb the rate of ecosystem damage, its authors argue, the health and livelihoods of people around the world could be under threat.

The Music Genome Project: Intro: "The foundation of Savage Beast's software solution is the Music Genome Project, the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected on this scale. In this database, Savage Beast has developed a system for breaking down and analyzing music along a proprietary set of attributes that capture not only the musical identity of a song, but also many significant qualities that are relevant to understanding the musical preferences of consumers who browse the material. Each song is analyzed along 400 distinct musical attributes to create a complete musical analysis. Savage Beast was founded on the idea that every individual has unique musical tastes, and that an effective recommendation tool needed to contain a rich enough understanding of music to account for this diversity. By building products that utilize the wealth of musicological information stored in the Music Genome Project, our technology can be highly responsive to each individual, and allow consumers to easily scan vast catalogues of music to find new songs and artists they will like."
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monochrom T-Shirt Link // Cory Doctorow's t-shirt collection: Cory provided a list of t-shirts he wears for Phreshrunk, a nice weblog specialized in geeky t-shirts... and he lists two monochrom textiles.

Adopt an Artist! In the frame of the international art manifestation Steal my Idea (July 1-3, 2005) De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam, offers 16 artists up for adoption. The motivation for this remarkable move are the continued cut backs of funding that have been imposed upon the cultural sector in The Netherlands. De Balie has decided to take the initiative to bring artist and the business community together. Let us, for a change, not stand in opposition. Commerce is not afraid of culture, and with this project culture no longer rejects commerce. Where the government stops taking its responsibilities, the business community takes over. An economic investment in arts is an investment in social change, thus both parties achieve their aims. Change is good: To stand still means to fall back, both for society as well as the economy.

Make your own light saber sex toy:

(via Fleshbot)

Episode III Obligatory Commentary: Quote: "I did like the Boris Karloff Frankenstein step however, when Darth first steps out of his medical gurney and into his new persona in the black suit. That was a nice touch. And still, for an old fart (i.e., above 21) like myself, I have to admit that I cried at the very end -- when baby Luke is handed over to a young Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, and that classic music comes up. Not for the cheesy predictability of this inevitable moment, but because despite itself, the scene transported me right back to that very own moment, at age nine, when I first saw Luke Skywalker look out over the twin sunset to wonder what the future held for him. As a movie, it seemed about what I expected, another Lucas special-effects experience of more is less. But as a vehicle for cultural or personal time-travel, boy, it's a beauty."

The Invisible Female Patient: The New Reproductive Technologies Discourse in the Medical Literature: Abstract: >The idea that infertility is mainly a technical problem, which can be remedied with the new reproductive technologies, has become paramount to popular media coverage of these new procedures. Over the past decade, studies of the popular press have generally found that the news media promote assisted reproduction as a technological marvel and champion doctors as miracle workers. The media usually anchor these procedures with two main actors: the doctor and the fetus, thus positioning the patient (mother/father) outside the realm of the medical experience. Few studies have focused on the portrayal of reproductive arrangements in the medical news media and even fewer projects have concentrated on doctors as news writers. This study proposes to direct attention to physicians’ communicative skills. Using textual analysis, the project examines medical representations in professional periodicals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal and the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Findings demonstrate that as news writers, journalists and doctors practice similar reporting instruments related to news sourcing, news worthiness and story dramatization. Physicians pack their medical linguistic practices with professional jargon, almost entirely isolating the outcome (fetus/baby) from the sources (mother/father). Finally, examples are provided to illustrate how medical jargon can follow proposed journalistic techniques to create a “patient-friendly” inclusionary vocabulary when writing about female patients.<

Particle smasher gets a super-brain: The world's most powerful accelerator will be backed by computing power that is equally impressive.

Help save Kodachrome 40:

Quote: "ok everybody. let's get organized! kodak wants to stop producing super 8 kodachrome 40 film stock, you know that is the beautiful classic that gives us the cosy feeling of being back home in the 70s (although we might have been quite little back then) and makes the world look all sunny and beautiful... this is a disaster, please sign the petition and forward the link to everybody you know. for a bright sunny future with lots of contrast."

Not everything is always Black or White: A phone conversation between Aleksandra Mir (New York) and the creator of the original Che Guevara poster, Jim Fitzpatrick (Dublin). Via stunned

Rocket Man: William Shatner performed a unique version of Elton John's song, "Rocket Man", in 1978, for a Sci-Fi/Fantasy awards show.


Quote: "Welcome to Danteworlds, an integrated multimedia journey--combining artistic images, textual commentary, and audio recordings --through the three realms of the afterlife (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise) presented in Dante's Divine Comedy. The site is structured around a visual representation of Dante's worlds: it shows who and what appear where. Click on regions within each realm (circles of Hell, terraces of Purgatory, spheres of Paradise) to open new pages featuring people and creatures whom the character Dante meets during his journey. Click on individual figures in the regions to view larger images in pop-up windows. Available for each region are explanatory notes, a gallery of artistic images, recordings of significant Italian verses, and study questions--all aimed at enriching the experience of reading Dante's poetic vision of a voyage literally out of this world. Danteworlds is conceived as a complement to--not replacement of--the experience of reading and discussing Dante's Divine Comedy. It is therefore recommended that you first read the cantos describing a particular region (click here for links to the text in electronic form) and then visit that region in Danteworlds." (via Scarab Dreamer)

How to Write a Protest Letter: tips from Women in Media & News (WIMN), a New York-based media-monitoring, training, and advocacy group.
via Bitch | Feminist Response to Pop Culture

Rising US Stakes in Africa: Commentaries on "an article written for the U.S. Defense Department's American Forces Information Service, 'New Counterterrorism Initiative to Focus on Saharan Africa'." According to the commentary, "The Americans are concerned that the old caravan trade routes and vast empty desert will prove too attractive to potential terrorists to resist." The reason for this: "because there are more than 60 million Muslims." Also, according to the report, "Other factors -- war, poverty, disease, corruption and lack of education, among them -- create an atmosphere of hopelessness where extremists' messages resonate, particularly with the younger generation ... The very conditions that cause these humanitarian tragedies are also the very conditions that lead to breeding grounds for the kinds of threats that we're most concerned about in this region." Rather than redressing the conditions that cause "humanitarian tragedies", the "Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative" will probably have the effect of "pumping even more money into the militarisation of states that are undemocratic and repressive and who will more than likely use their newly learned skills and equipment on their own citizens rather than any terror threat."
via Black Looks

Play with the dark lord: Thanks to the ongoing licensing frenzy you can challenge Darth Vader himself in a game of "20 questions" called SITHSENSE. And find out that the dark lord has a sense of humour after all. (presented by Burger King)


Lost Highways: Edited by Jack Sargeant and Stephanie Watson.
The road movie: a complex cinematic journey that incorporates mythic themes of questing and searching, the need for being, for love, for a home and for a promise of a different future, and yet also serves as a map of current cultural desires, dreams, and fears. Lost Highways explores the history of the road movie through a series of detailed essays on key films within the genre.

Through these comprehensive and absorbing studies a clear and concise post-modern picture of the road movie emerges, tracing hitherto neglected intersections with other genres such as the western, film noir, horror and even science fiction. From "The Wizard of Oz" to "Crash", "Apocalypse Now" to "Vanishing Point", "The Wild Bunch" to "Easy Rider", Lost Highways is the definitive illustrated guide to a diverse body of film which holds at its nucleus the quintessential cinematic/cultural interchange of modern times.

Hyperbole in Media Reports on Asteroids and Impacts: Intro: "Many observers of the science press have noted an increasing tendency for both news releases and printed stories to exaggerate the uniqueness and significance of new research. The writer of a news release does this to increase the probability that the media will cover the story, and the media reporter will go along with this hyperbole or perhaps expand it further to get the story approved for publication by editors or other gatekeepers. The field of impacts (and impact hazards) is not immune to these trends. In my NASA-supported Web page http://impact.arc.nasa.gov, I try to apply a filter to reduce the noise level in media reports, which would otherwise overwhelm much of the real science. This is not intended as a general criticism of science reporting. There are many excellent science journalists who understand the issues and provide well-reasoned discussions of context for news stories. Overall, the reporting by science journalists of impact-related stories has been excellent. But a hyperbolic headline added without their knowledge can sometimes catch even the best writers."

42 midgets versus 1 lion: This is what happens if the Cambodian Midget Fighting Team gets challenged seriously.

Red State America and violence: Quote: "The tyranny of the majority, the primary drawback of democracy that de Toqueville warned us about, has arrived."

monochrom content update // Piracy Warning Messages In Movie Theaters // Instant Blitz Copy Fight Project: New pictures online.

Join the Instant Blitz Copy Fight Project! Please bring a digital camera next time you go to the movies, take a picture of the piracy-warning before the movie starts and use the flashlight. Thanks!


DaddyD writes: "Tie-Tanic is an ancient but lovely little mash-up of Star Wars and Titanic, featuring Vader as a cut throat marketroid, flaming ewoks, and a large sinking ship."
Link (50 MB file)

Old Foes Soften to New Reactors: Quote: "Several of the nation's most prominent environmentalists have gone public with the message that nuclear power, long taboo among environmental advocates, should be reconsidered as a remedy for global warming. Their numbers are still small, but they represent growing cracks in what had been a virtually solid wall of opposition to nuclear power among most mainstream environmental groups. In the past few months, articles in publications like Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Wired magazine have openly espoused nuclear power, angering other environmental advocates." (via Quark Soup)

Resisting the Latest Version of "European Construction": Vive La France? Article by Jean Bricmont.

Red is the colour if winning is your game: Sportspeople or teams that play in red have an instant, though slight, advantage over their opponents, according to a study of sporting victories.

Haider interview in the Guardian: >What, then, is his ultimate ambition? Chancellor? "I don't want to have to wait forever like your Gordon Brown."<

monochrom Musical // "Udo 77" is back:

Udo Proksch is the ultimate 'enfant terrible' of post-war Austria. He was an eccentric design artist, a militarist, political networker, jet set macho man, owner of a famous Viennese confectioners' and plastics industrialist. In 1977, the ship 'Lucona' sank in the Pacific Ocean after an explosion and 6 people died. Udo Proksch, the owner of the cargo, claimed 20 million US dollars from his insurance for the ship allegedly had loaded expensive uranium tilling machines. Investigations started and fraud was suspected. The investigations were continuously impeded by powerful Austrian politicians who were all friends of Proksch. Well... bloody good material for a musical. Even better: bloody good material for a nerd musical. So, we have decided to give it a try... we teamed up with Rabenhof Theater and lots of great musicians, actors and actresses, and on September 15, 2004 "Udo 77" premiered.
Rabenhof Theater has decided to re-run our work... and we're quite proud of that. So, if you would like to see our adaptation of Proksch's life... you're very welcome to come to Rabenhof Theater.
Re-Run Premiere: May 18, 8 PM.
All dates: May 20/21/24/25/26/27/28/31 and June 1/2/3/4/7/8/9/10/11; 8 PM.

Bresson's Product Placement: Quote: >Watching Robert Bresson's Pickpocket this week, I couldn't help but wonder if the scene in the subway in which we see Michel in front and to the right of a seltzer water billboard that says "L'egalite de Perrier" was a conscious choice or not on the director's part. If so, it struck me as either the first use of product placement in film, or else, more likely, a nice and (given the way it was shot) subtle means of using "found" media messages as a contrast to the protagonist's views -- in the film, Michel makes a somewhat tenuous argument justifying his pickpocketing by claiming he is part of the elite of society who should go unpunished since they are ostensibly doing French culture a favor by redistributing the wealth. Is this scene the first time in cinema history that the rhetoric of a film's content is contrasted with the rhetoric of the dominant culture into which the film's narrative arrives? If Bresson is as all that as many claim him to be, then having the "editorial" of the film world contrast with the "advertising" of the viewer's world produces an interesting paradox: the viewer comes away confirmed in their intuition that only through film can we really see and then question the dominant cultural ideology, at the same time feeling perplexed, since escaping to the movies is already a fundamental part of the dominant cultural ideology before we enter the theater. I have a vague recollection of a similar moment where a character's actions/motivations are contrasted on screen by an advertisement they pass by, in an early Buster Keaton comedy (which would be a much earlier example), but can't place the film or scene. Anyone?<

Wikipedia reports: The National Assembly of Kuwait passes new legislation for women's suffrage, allowing all women aged 21 and older, subject to Islamic law, to vote in elections in Kuwait in 2007.

Star Wars fans contemplate the 'other side of life': Where will they go now that the story is about to end in a galaxy far, far away?

Tits and Asses: Safe for work.

Banksy treasure hunt: The rock pictured in the photograph below is located somewhere in the British Museum. The first one to find it should email Banksy real quick.


monochrom presents // Hornbach writes art history: We're quite proud being able to present a wonderful installation by Or-Om, an Austrian art group, at monochrom space/MQW Vienna.

The conceptual character of Or-Om's art of supra-appropriation is clear. It is with affection and devotion that the group finds creative way to deal with Marcel Duchamp's famous piece of appropriation art -- the urinal he bought, signed and put into an art context -- which was rejected at the Society of Independent Artists in New York in February 1917. With "Die gehornbachte Kunst" Or-Om explores certain trains of thought and makes a step on: in cooperation with the German DIY store chain "Hornbach" Or-Om declares that all "Hornbach" outlets are art galleries.
German language background info can be found here.
Exhibition at monochrom space: May 17 - August 15, 2005.

In Silico Immunology: For most of us, the jargon of modern immunology is incomprehensible. Even immunologists themselves frequently have trouble understanding their colleagues. So the plainspoken Melvin Cohn is a welcome island in a confusing sea of concepts like self/nonself, costimulatory signaling, and sorting the repertoire. And in fact, Cohn, who at 83 is still a fixture at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, has clarified his ideas to the point that he has come up with a list of discrete immunologic rules. Those rules allowed him to build a computerized version of the entire human immune system. "If you can't make it clear, you don't understand it yourself," says Cohn.

The 10 best ghost stories in Wales: Wales is arguably the most haunted country in the world, say Richard Holland, the author of a new book called Haunted Wales. IC Wales asked him to pick his 10 favourite ghost stories from across the country.

Films Can Help to Change the World: Mark Achbar interviewed by Dennis Ott and Sebastian Dalkowski. Intro: >Modern law endows economic institutions with legal rights of real, flesh-and-blood people. But if the corporation is a person -- what kind of person is it? A recent documentary film provides an alarming answer: the institution is "a person that is pathological by nature and by law, and systematically crushes democracy, freedom, rights, and the natural human instincts on which a decent life and even human survival depends." Featuring interviews with such diverse figures as Milton Friedman and Naomi Klein, The Corporation is a compelling account of a suicidal economic system that has long become a global phenomenon. JUSTmag talked to co-director Mark Achbar about the film, corporate globalization, and popular activism.<

Floating In Weightlessness -- On Earth:

"What goes up must come down". Ever since astronauts started playing games in space, for instance catching morsels of food floating in weightlessness conditions, the general public knows that the saying is not necessarily true. Conditions of weightlessness may be obtained for short periods without going into orbit: from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Tuesday, 17th May: International Day Against Homophobia:

The International Day Against Homophobia will articulate action and reflection in order to struggle against all physical, moral, or symbolic violence related to sexual orientation or to gender identity. It intends to inspire, support, and coordinate all initiatives contributing to the equality among citizens in right, as well as in fact, and to achieve this in all countries where action is possible. Via indymedia

Swindle Magazine: Shepard Fairey's new magazine. Will buy one soon when I visit old Glasgow again.


Gamers to rule their own virtual worlds: Intro: "Multiplayer online games could be made more robust and immersive by using peer-to-peer (P2P) networking to let players store part of a virtual universe on their own computer. Researchers say blending P2P networking - best known for letting people find and share music and video files online - with online gaming could make virtual worlds more stable and, eventually, more expandable. Massive multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, provide users with a complex virtual world in which to interact and act out adventures with others. Popular titles in the genre include World of Warcraft, Everquest II and Final Fantasy XI. But existing games require users to connect to a centralised server owned and maintained by the company behind the game. Although this makes a game easier to control and maintain, it also provides a single point of failure and can complicate expanding it for large numbers of player. Now researchers at France Telecom have built a simple role-playing game that works without the need for any centralised server. The project, called Solipsis, lets users interact within a virtual space hosted collectively on their own computers."

Future Unknown: Machiavelli for the Twenty-First Century: Article by Gopal Balakrishnan. Intro: "To which thinkers should we turn in a bid to ground a new conceptualization of political agency—or to determine whether such a move has been nullified by the transformations of the last decades? Gopal Balakrishnan on Machiavelli's parables of innovation and readings of him from Rousseau to Schmitt, Strauss to Gramsci. The Florentine as strategist of beginning anew, in the context of historic defeat."

Zapatista rebels woo Inter Milan:

The captain of Inter Milan football club says he would be willing to take up an invitation for the club to play a team of Mexican Zapatista rebels (via histologion).

Whale Strandings Linked to Solar Activity: Surges of solar activity may cause whales to run aground, possibly by disrupting the creatures' internal compasses, according to University of Kiel researchers.

Natural Gas Diesel May Cut Smog: A secret process that uses cobalt to turn natural gas into a clean-burning diesel fuel could bring riches to the tiny desert sheikdom of Qatar, and help clear big city smog.

Politics of the Imagination: The Life, Work And Ideas Of Charles Fort: Book by Colin Bennett. The "foe of science" is how the New York Times described Fort in its obituary.

Born in Albany, New York, in 1874, Charles Fort spent almost his entire life searching through periodicals in the New York Public Library and the British Museum, compiling evidence to show that science was a mere façade which concealed as much as it claimed to have discovered. In a series of four books — The Book of the Damned, New Lands, Lo! and Wild Talents — he argued that explanations are far more fantastic than the things they are supposed to explain, and that we only use them to get some sleep at night. Science, believed Fort, was a new form of social control whose object was to conceal the fantastical nature of the universe by means of editing out paradoxes, contradictions, miracles, paranormal events — anything that was unusual or which did not fit into a set scheme of things.

Star Wars: A Penetrating Analysis: Phallic light sabers. X-Wing penetration. A dominatrix father. Ugh. Sounds like a tale of impotence. Quote: "By now, everyone's so familiar with the familiar song and dance about Star Wars being the Woodstock of our generation, about how Joseph Campbell and the power of myth powered the most comprehensive comparative religion fable rolled into one tell-all amazing sci-fi epic of epic proportions that you could probably just puke. The truth is, that crap just sells more tickets to pseudo-intellectuals who need to rationalize going for the eleventh time to see a movie about their most deeply rooted fear: impotence and premature ejaculation. Star Wars is one big cock tale about one and only one thing, the ability to get and keep it up all the way to the end."

Massacre in Algeria: As France celebrated victory in Europe on 8 May 1945, its army was massacring thousands of civilians in Sétif and Guelma - events that were the real beginning of Algeria’s war of independence.

One Longsome Argument: Intro: "Charles Darwin liked to describe the origin of species as "one long argument," but his extensive treatise in support of biological evolution now seems painfully brief compared to the argument that has followed in its wake. Indeed, never in the history of science has a more prolonged and passionate debate dogged the heels of a theory so thoroughly researched and repeatedly validated. And the end is nowhere in sight. Despite all evidence to the contrary, a large portion of the world's population continues to cling to the belief that human beings are fundamentally different from all other life forms and that our origins are unique. It's a lovely sentiment to be sure, but how is it that so many people continue to be drawn to this thoroughly discredited notion?"

Geek Fantasies: Oh no, oh no, oh no... I quote: "Have you ever fantasized about a room full of sexy college coeds sweating over a match of Strip-Counterstrike; or perhaps you long to see young, bikini-clad sweethearts slaving away with soldering irons, installing mod-chips in their home consoles?"

Offensive and aggressive: The war against art:

Los Angeles' Transport Gallery has featured some in-your-face work: a show by seminal punk photographer Edward Colver called Remember September 10th, featuring an effigy of a lynched Klansman (title: A Well-Hung Klansman), and the traveling show of anti-war posters by the likes of agitprop greats Robbie Conal and Mark Vallen called Yo! What Happened to Peace? But these exhibitions didn’t rouse the Los Angeles Police Department the way a one-night showing on April 23 did. With six patrol cars, they shut down the exhibition Mark of the Beast, forcing some 1,000 attendees into the streets, on grounds that it was "offensive and aggressive in nature." The offending works? Culture-jammed corporate logos.

The GE90-115B is the biggest jet engine ever built.

Mystery of Mars' Mixed Up Poles Solved: Scientists have long wondered why Mars' southern polar cap is offset from its geographical south pole. Now they've solved the mystery.

MC Frontalot: DaddyD writes: "Nerds and such have usually been great fans of music. Musicians haven't always been such great fans of nerds. Some styles lend themselves readily to the nerd lifestyle, while others remain rather hostile. Punk worked well. Think Devo. Or the Adolescents. But Hip Hop? Yes indeed. Thanks to MC Frontalot. Frontalot's got it. Whatever it may be. He is probably the only person on the planet rapping about Nigerian E-Mail scams, Little Red Riding Hood and FTP servers. I think that just about says it all. Of course, some of you may be able to appreciate that he uses the Knoppix start sequence as a sample. You know that's a first. Go listen, and if you can't decide which track to check, I would suggest Nerdcore Hip Hop, Indier Than Thou, Crime Spree or Braggadocio as some potential starting points. I just downed them all. It was easier."

English Slang in the Nineteenth Century: Introduction: "This set of slang dictionaries aims to provide a conspectus, if not comprehensive then at least covering a wide range, of nineteenth-century English slang." (via Languagehat)

The Laws of Man and Beast: Intro: "While the mythical Chimera is the stuff of fantasy, researchers across the country are developing their own real-life chimeras -- animals that are bred to incorporate the cells of other animals or humans -- in an effort to better study human diseases or to create more viable organs for people needing transplants."

Purges, Pedophiles and Cover Ups: Article by Saul Landau: >How does the new Pope connect to Catholic kids persecuting me as a child, especially during Halloween, obstructing justice and shaping US politics? At age six, growing up in the Bronx, a gang of Irish Catholic kids jumped me and beat me. As they punched, I asked why. "You killed our Lord, kid," said a freckled boy of about eight. "We're getting even."<

Radar Solves Mystery of Bees & the Waggle Dance:

One of the most enduring disputes in the world of dance has been solved by scientists. Bees really do strut their stuff to tell other hive members where to located nectar and pollen.

Pass Your Drug Test: The Whizzinator is a realistic-looking prosthetic with a hidden pouch that can be loaded up with clean urine. Implies that when providing a drug taste sample one is (closely) observed. Really? (via ReBlog)

Google will eat itself: A project by Austro-Swiss art group ubermorgen. Quote: "We generate money by serving Google text advertisments on our website GWEI.org. With this money we automatically buy Google shares via our swiss e-banking account. We buy Google via their own advertisment! Google eats itself - but in the end we’ll own it!"
Link / Desc
Link / GWEI Site

Pinwheel: I rediscovered a little program on our monochrom server. I think the file is at least 15 years old... but anyhow: download the program, start it, focus on the center of the wheel for about 20 seconds. Now look at your hand...

...holy billow!
Link (DOS/Win .exe file)

online grokker: online since yesterday:

an interactive visualization of Yahoo search results, following the known 'grokker' method that was previously only available as a paid desktop application. search results are displayed as a series of categories set in circular clusters of nested orbs so that unexpected results can be quickly found. in the meantime, they hope that the awareness of visual search is raised & that the term 'grok' will soon replace 'google'. grokker via information aesthetics

Bob sings! Nice short film by Zefrank and Mark Hurst.

(via docvoo)

Happy Birthday, Kermit! The good old frog turned 50 on May 9.

Quote: >Kermit was not always a frog. In his early days, in the 1950s, when he was first constructed out of Jim Henson's mother's old coat and a ping pong ball, he was just a nonspecific green animal.
Only later did he become a specific green animal. Kermit was one of the first muppets, a puppet whose soft face could be manipulated to express varied emotions, and whose waving arms, arrayed on sticks, could be made to gesticulate for further emphasis. As Kermit matured he grew a spiky collar and crossed legs, and learned to play the banjo. He likes to sit around on a lily pad plucking tunes, maybe his theme song, "It Isn't Easy Being Green", or perhaps "The Rainbow Connection" or "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along". He has starred in several movies and TV shows and has appeared on several CDs.
In spite of being a media star, Kermit works part time as an intrepid reporter, donning a dashing fedora and trench coat to head out into the maelstrom of life to tell it like he sees it, though his hardheaded professionalism is diluted by his frequent cry of "hi ho!" and "sheesh". There are rumours that Kermit is gay, and others that he is in a relationship with a certain porcine star. Declining to comment on the former allegation, as regards the latter, Kermit for a time allowed only that "Miss Piggy and I have a professional acting relationship. I act like a professional, and she acts like we're having a relationship." The wedding put the kibosh on that story. As for his connection with Jim Henson, Kermit claims not to know him. "I don't know who Jim Henson is, but I've heard he has his hand in a lot of things around here," Kermit disingenuously avers. In spite of his alter-ego's tragic death in 1990, Kermit has soldiered on, as Henson wanted him to.
Other factoids about Kermit: His birthplace, Leland Mississippi, has an exhibit commemorating this fabulous frog in their Chamber of Commerce. The good Kermie received an honorary doctorate from Southampton College in 1996. And even though he's not dead yet, there's a statue of him dressed as Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" character atop the Jim Henson (formerly Charlie Chaplin) Studios in Hollywood.<

Use your PS2 as an FTP-Server
(via Der Wiener Lloyd)

Black Ice: Intro: "It's true that thousands of caribou and other types of wildlife will be displaced if Washington DC lawmakers pass a measure to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). But there's an even bigger issue floating under the radar: the very real possibility of an environmental tragedy that could be as catastrophic as the 1989 oil spill caused by the Exxon Valdez oil tanker if swift measures aren’t taken to address severe safety and maintenance issues plaguing drilling operations in nearby Prudhoe Bay - North America's biggest oil field, 60 miles west of ANWR - and other areas on Alaska's North Slope. That's just one of many alarming claims that employees working for BP, the parent of BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., the Anchorage company that runs the 24-year-old Prudhoe Bay on behalf of Phillips Alaska Inc., Exxon Mobil and other oil companies, have made over the years as a way of drawing attention to the dozens of oil spills, three of which occurred between March and April alone, that could boil over and happen at ANWR if BP continues to neglect safety issues and the area is opened up to further oil and gas exploration."

Wanna read the new European Constitution? Here it is: Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (via Der Wiener Lloyd).
Link / PDF file

Scientists Discover New Rodent Family in Asian Market:

A routine shopping trip in a market in central Laos has yielded much more than a good bargain. Scientists have discovered a unique long-whiskered rodent representing a previously unknown mammal family.

Slipstreaming the Cyborg: Christina McPhee in conversation with Francesca De Nicolò: Christina McPhee (Los Angeles) engages the sense of place within an art that extends the semiotics of new media into layers of time, memory and sublimity. Her installations, often at architectural scale, instantiate artifacts of memory within the landscape of their own echoes. She develops technologically nuanced topographies in net art, sound, video, performance, painting and photography. christinamcphee.net, naxsmash.net, and carrizoparkfielddiaries.net.

Iraq-o-mat: Cleaning Dollars for Corporations: Much of the post-war corporate activity in Iraq has come under heavy criticism from many different fronts. There are accusations of corruption, bribery and nepotism as well as simple incompetence - the jobs just aren't getting done... So what is all the 'reconstruction' activity in Iraq really about? Supposedly post-war Iraq is a neo-liberal utopia, an economy freed of the tiresome and inefficient burdens of government regulation. Yet an examination of this same economy may lead one to conclude that the system as it stands is rampant with inefficiency. Indeed Iraq's economy today looks less like an economic utopia than a giant money-laundering operation...

Daily Show with Jon Stewart -- on Blogs:

(via docvoo)

Chiquita's Children: Article by Nicolas Bérubé and Benoit Aquin.

Intro: "In the '70s and '80s, the banana companies Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita used a carcinogenic pesticide, Nemagon, to protect their crops in Nicaragua. Today, the men and women who worked on those plantations suffer from incurable illnesses. Their children are deformed. The companies feign innocence." (via histologion)

Rover Team Tests Mars Moves On Earth:

Mars rover engineers are using a testing laboratory to simulate specific Mars surface conditions where NASA's rover Opportunity has spun its wheels in a small dune. Careful testing is preceding any commands for Opportunity to resume moving to get out of the dune and continue exploring.

Google steps up fight for the China market: Quote: "Web services leader Google Inc. has won a license to operate in China and has bought a Web address as it battles Yahoo Inc. in the world's second-largest Internet market."

Prozac could stop cancer cell growth: Drugs such as Ecstasy and Prozac could stop cancer cell growth.

Build your own Rubrik's Cube - with LEGO:

This is perhaps the nerdiest thing I have EVER seen. It really works, too!

Protect american workers, support communist Super Mario:

Quote: "[...] aside from the slightly racist stereotyping of Mario and Luigi as food loving, NY fat bodies with ridiculous Italian accents, was there anything really insidious behind the scenes? [...] Mario, and his short-lived brother, are none other than cartoon representations of Joseph Stalin. Stalin was Russia's amicus humani, amor patriae or communist super man. So could this 'super' Mario represent another 'super' man? Well, that is for you to decide." (via Parasew)

The making of a disease: female sexual dysfunction: Intro: "Is a new disorder being identified to meet unmet needs or to build markets for new medications? The corporate sponsored creation of a disease is not a new phenomenon, but the making of female sexual dysfunction is the freshest, clearest example we have. A cohort of researchers with close ties to drug companies are working with colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry to develop and define a new category of human illness at meetings heavily sponsored by companies racing to develop new drugs. The most recent gathering, featured Pfizer as chief sponsor and Pfizer-friendly researchers as chief speakers. The venue? The Pfizer Foundation Hall for Humanism in Medicine at New York University Medical School. Since the launch of sildenafil (Viagra) in 1998, more than 17 million men have had prescriptions written for it as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, with Pfizer reporting sales in 2001 of $1.5bn.2 The emerging competitors, Bayer's vardenafil and Lilly-ICOS's tadalafil, are likewise expected to have annual markets in excess of $1bn each. To build similar markets for drugs among women, companies first require a clearly defined medical diagnosis with measurable characteristics to facilitate credible clinical trails. Over the past six years the pharmaceutical industry has funded, and its representatives have in some cases attended, a series of meetings to come up with just such a definition." (via Side Effects)

Albert Einstein, Radical: Intro: "2005 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Albert Einstein and the centennial of the publication of five of his major scientific papers that transformed the study of physics. Einstein's insights were so revolutionary that they challenged not only established doctrine in the natural sciences, but even altered the way ordinary people saw their world. By the 1920s he had achieved international popular renown on a scale that would not become usual until the rise of the contemporary celebrity saturated tabloids and cable news channels. His recondite scientific papers as well as interviews with the popular press were front page news and fodder for the newsreels. Usually absent, however, was any sober discussion of his participation in the political life of his times as an outspoken radical-especially in profiles and biographies after his death."

America's ghost fascination follows changing culture: Quote: "For Americans, ghosts represent much more than just spooky specters, says Central Michigan University English professor Jeffrey Weinstock. Throughout time, ghosts in American literature have signified representations of the American culture at large: a yearning to reconnect with lost loved ones, a reminder of cultural dilemmas like racism and slavery, or personal struggles like domestic abuse, according to Weinstock."

Frozen talks over fusion reactor warm up: Europe and Japan have taken a significant step towards finalising the highly contentious plan to build the world's largest nuclear fusion facility, thawing negotiations that have been frozen for 18 months. But the countries have not yet settled the most crucial question of where to build the reactor.

Creation of Black Hole Detected Today: Astronomers photographed a cosmic event this morning which they believe is the birth of a black hole.

The Last Word on Capital Punishment: Article by AC Grayling. Intro: "It a mistake to think that opponents of the death penalty are invariably sentimentalists, motivated by tenderness to those convicted of deliberate murder. They might, quite rightly, often be motivated by compassion for others branded as criminals, who in more rational, more just, or kinder dispensations would not be criminals at all – for example, soliciting prostitutes and drug addicts. They might also understand, although (a different thing) neither condone nor forgive, murder committed in the unmeditated grip of passion. Such attitudes are prompted by sympathy for the difficulties that can divert a life into making a hell for itself and others – or just for the frailties of the human spirit, so numerous and sometimes so final that they seem to be its destiny."

House of Wax:

Copulate. Videotape. Dissemenate. Or, How to Interpret a Film By Only Seeing the Poster.

Time Travelers Welcome at MIT: If John Titor was at the Time Traveler Convention last Saturday night at MIT, he kept a low profile. Titor, the notorious internet discussion group member who claims to be from the year 2036, was among those invited to the convention, where any time traveler would have been ushered in as an honored guest.

Snake Oil: Life's Calculations, Misdirections, and Manipulations: The new book by Jim Rose.

Quote: "The gyp, hoodwink, shuck, sandbag: An artform that has been passed down through generations of hustlers, con men, and freaks. Selling snake oil is the ultimate con, and readers will find within these pages everything from classic deceptions to the most recent of ruses. From fooling your friends to dangerous stage stunts, Jim Rose, snake oil salesman extraordinaire, provides new angles to old tricks. Those who dare to explore these pages will find themselved enticed by this special brand of snake oil ... there’s nothing it won’t cure!"

Mouse Research Bolsters Controversial Theory of Aging: Quote: "Aging is a process we humans tend to fight every step of the way. The results of a mouse study underscore the potential of antioxidants as a tool in that battle: animals genetically modified to produce more antioxidant enzymes lived longer than control animals did. They also exhibited fewer age-related health problems overall. The free radical theory of aging posits that substances with unpaired electrons attack the body's molecules and cause the functional decline of organs over time. Thus, antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals, should slow this deterioration. But animal models of aging designed to test the hypothesis have so far shown contradictory results."

Where spiders suckled:

Malcolm Gaskill patiently untangles the history of East Anglian witchcraft in his book Witchfinders. Review by Kathryn Hughes.

Dinosaur embraced vegetarianism: Utah discovery reveals how a predator switched to eat greens. Intro: "Fossil-hunters working in the dusty Utah desert have caught a dinosaur in the act of going vegetarian. The newly discovered species, which lived about 130 million years ago, displays the hallmarks of adapting to a leafy diet."

Block by blog: "The idea was simple. For 48 hours, I would tour Manhattan using the "blogosphere" as my guide. By tapping the freshly posted thoughts of the city's (perhaps the world's) most opinionated insiders - New York bloggers - I'd leave behind the instantly outdated world of guidebooks, with their inherent obsolescence and excess poundage. What use could I possibly have, in a high-speed world, for knowledge distributed on a crude and bulky medium like paper?"

Scream - the screaming enhancer: In a world where "anger" is paired with "management," Scream encourages the return to prominence of the lost art of screaming. Scream can be used in private. Or public. It can be used at home, at work, or on the street; at a Fluxus-style Scream-in; at the mall or at your favorite cafe. When your throat gets tired, Scream can double as an unusual music visualizer - or as a new approach to desktop filmmaking. Use Scream to start a meme. Or simply as a random act of deprogramming. (Also indicated for use with door slams, domestic disputes, and police helicopters.) SCREAM

The hustler:

The son of a Boston wholesale flower seller, John Brockman adapted his father's business methods in his work as a pop publicist and management consultant. He went on to become a successful literary agent, specialising in top science writers and - with an online 'intellectual salon' - building a reputation as a tireless promoter of influential ideas.

Buddhism and Death: The Brain-Centered Criteria: Abstract: >This essay explores the two main definitions of human death that have gained popularity in the western medical context in recent years, and attempts to determine which of these criteria -- "whole-brain" or "cerebral" -- is best in accord with a Buddhist understanding of death. In the end, the position is taken that there is textual and linguistic evidence in place for both the "cerebral" and "whole-brain" definitions of death. Because the textual sources underdetermine the definitive Buddhist conception of death, it is left to careful reasoning by way of logic, intuition, and inference to determine which definition of death is best representative of Buddhism.<

The 'Nature' of Net Viruses: Scientists could learn a lot about the way natural systems work from the decidedly unnatural world of the Internet, according to research published earlier this year.

Brain-Injured Fireman's Recovery Takes Science Into Murky Area: Little is known about people who enter a state of subdued awareness and then abruptly awaken a decade or more later. For example, Donald Herbert broke 10 years of virtual silence on Saturday by announcing that he wanted to speak to his wife.

Life Without -or Before- Planets? Intro: "The theory of panspermia proposes that life really gets around, jumping fron planet to planet - or even from star to star. Life might be everywhere! Assuming this is true, how do single-celled bacteria make the journey through the vacuum of space? Easy, they use chunks of rock as space ships, in a process called lithopanspermia. And now, researchers from Princeton and the University of Michigan think that life carrying rocks might have been right there at the beginning of our solar system, keeping their tiny astronauts safe and sound, frozen in statis until the planets formed and the right conditions let them thaw out, stretch their proteins, and begin a process leading from microbe to mankind."


Quote: "The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All movement in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A 'point-and-goto' interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit. Celestia is expandable. Celestia comes with a large catalog of stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that's not enough, you can download dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects." (via DD)

New monochrom content / // How does the Internet work? To approach people via the Internet you have to speak the language of the Internet fluently. To learn this procedure is not easy. This page serves as a brief introduction to the process.



Quote: "When it's in the game, it's in the brain! This is no fake, watch the Videos or look at the Screenshots! Mindbending Software Inc. is a company specialised on psychological conditioning software packages for children. With the newest technologies our products infiltrate the computer games of your kids and mingle various subconscious or concious conditiong messages and images in the game contents. The technology can be compared with the subconscious pictures in the TV program, and if you don't know about them, ask yourself why are you buying all those things you don’t need. You see it works! Our software uses the same and some other patented methods to condition your kids. Try it out, if you aren’t satisfied you’ll get your money back!"

The X Factor: Is the Art Market Rational or Biased? Quote: "With the Guerrilla Girls preparing to exhibit in the first Venice Biennale overseen by two women, a casual observer might think the art world is at the vanguard of gender equality. But next week's contemporary art auctions, one of the most prestigious art markets in the world, tell a very different story indeed. Of the 861 works that Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury, & Company are offering over three days starting May 10, a mere 13 percent, are by female artists. Sixty-one pieces have each been assigned an estimated price of $1 million or more; of those, only 6 are by women: a marble sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, 2 grid canvases by the late Minimalist Agnes Martin and 3 paintings by the South African artist Marlene Dumas." (via Lux Lotus)

If Smallpox Strikes Portland ... "Episims" unleashes virtual plagues in real cities to see how social networks spread disease. That knowledge might help stop epidemics.

Intro: "Suppose terrorists were to release plague in Chicago, and health officials, faced with limited resources and personnel, had to quickly choose the most effective response. Would mass administration of antibiotics be the best way to halt an outbreak? Or mass quarantines? What if a chance to nip a global influenza pandemic in the bud meant sending national stockpiles of antiviral drugs to Asia where a deadly new flu strain was said to be emerging? If the strategy succeeded, a worldwide crisis would be averted; if it failed, the donor countries would be left with less protection."

The China that isn’t China: Intro: >Suddenly international concern is focused on the Taiwan Strait, a scene of major tension since 14 March, when the Chinese parliament passed an anti-secession law that for the first time authorises Beijing "to use non-peaceful means" against Taiwan if its authorities insist on going their own way in opting for independence.<

Some additional background info on the Taiwan conflict can found on the page of monochrom's "Taiwan incident".

Lego Star Wars: The Game:

Quote: "The unyielding Hollywood marketing juggernaut has given us dozens of games based on movies, and hundreds of toys based on movies. However, it takes George Lucas, the emperor of movie marketing, to give us Lego Star Wars, a video game based on a toy based on a trilogy based on an older, more popular trilogy. If you love Lego toys, have a tolerance for the Star Wars prequels, enjoy video games, and won't be psychologically scarred by seeing a small plastic figure in childbirth, then this may be the cross-marketing meta-product for you."

MyDropBox.com: Quote: "MyDropBox.com provides the world's leading technology to detect and prevent cases of Internet plagiarism. We are dedicated to helping the higher education market meet the growing challenge of digital plagiarism by implementing an upscale technology that ensures no single sentence is copied from the Internet without proper reference. MyDropBox is also proud to deliver the first set of plagiarism prevention services, which is easily customizable and can suit the needs of universities, colleges, high schools and other education providers."

Researching Airborne Metals In Transit Workers' Bodies:

Working in the subway several hours each day, subway workers and transit police breathe more subway air than the typical commuter. Subway air has been shown to contain more steel dust than outdoor or other indoor air in New York City. But do transit workers' bodies harbor elevated levels of these metals? And does this translate into a health concern for the workers?

Common sense and fantasy in a private immigration prison: Article by Mark Dow.
Intro: >Maybe it was cynical courtroom theatre, or maybe the attorney for the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) believed it when he ridiculed the very idea that correctional officers would retaliate against prisoners for conducting a hunger strike to protest their incarceration by the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS). In his closing for the defense late last year in Aboyade and Dafali v. CCA (US District Court, Newark, NJ, cv-00-2067) lead counsel Brad Simon made repeated, sarcastic references to "wild conspiracy theories about retaliation" and asked jurors to rely on their "common sense" rather than on the "fantasies" offered by plaintiffs that CCA guards had beaten and isolated frustrated detainees. Simon was either unaware that such repression in INS facilities is the norm, or he cleverly chose to rely on the "common sense" that gives a uniformed abuser the benefit of the doubt.<

Star Wars: The Science of Consistency: On fictional universes and the fans who rationalize them.

Intro: >As a writer/editor at the American Council on Science and Health, I often criticize “crank” scientists who cling to a faltering theory long after it has become plain to all sane observers that the pet idea just doesn’t hold together logiwacally. They are pathetic, quixotic figures. We science fiction fans are not so different, though, when we struggle to rationalize away the contradictions in our favorite fictional universes. The fictional universes depicted in movies like the Star Wars or Star Trek series tend to get very complex (for beginners: the former features Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the latter Captain Kirk, the Enterprise, and a loyal crew made up of people like engineer Scotty; if you get them mixed up, you are worthless). That complexity means that—inevitably—the occasional "continuity error" occurs. In normal movie parlance, a continuity error means one of those embarrassing moments when, say, the bandage on an actor moves from the right hand to the left hand between scenes due to a mistake by the makeup department. For science fiction fans, though, continuity refers to the overall logical and historical coherence of our beloved fictional universes.<

Chernobyl cracking up: Quote: >The concrete sarcaphogus which is supposed to stop the guts of Chernobyl from forming a giant column of radioactive garbage seems likely to collapse. Built to last fifty years, it will have to be rebuilt next year anyway. Observers have seen the "luminescence" inside the core, visible at night when rain drips through the cracks.< (via Ollapodrida)

3x3 Chess: This page is about the game of chess on 3x3 board. This game is now solved. It means that the database of all positions is constructed, and the best move is known in every position. It is not clear how to define a starting position on 3x3 board, so all possible positions were included.

How Software Patents Actually Work:

(via Der Wiener Lloyd)

A Bipartisan Assault of Teenage Girls: Abortion a No-No : Life for teenage girls in the US of A took a dark turn this past week. On Wednesday April 27, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would strengthen state statutes in over two-dozen states that currently require clinics to obtain parental consent before they treat a female under the age of eighteen.

Acupuncture activates the brain: Acupuncture has a measurable, if mysterious, effect on the brain, UK scientists have found. The study adds to evidence that patients benefit from acupuncture not simply because of their expectations.

Hunt for the killer worm: It spits corrosive yellow saliva and can generate electrical blasts powerful enough to kill a camel. The only thing I'm nervous about is flight delays. But the Mongolian Death Worm - a comic book-style beast documented in local texts and folklore - may have met its match. A team of British scientists has set out to capture the elusive monster - and they plan to wrestle it to the ground with their bare hands.

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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