[ B l o g / / Archive]

In Italy's Constitutional Referendum, Berlusconi Gets Slapped: Quote: >>For the third time in two months, the always arrogant and increasingly ill-tempered former Premier Silvio Berlusconi was slapped down by voters, who scorned his effort to rewrite the Italian constitution in his own name. A mere 38.4% voted with the Berlusconi coalition; a solid 61.6% rejected it. The voting took place Sunday and Monday without incident, and with a remarkably large turnout of 53.6%. In the waning days while he was premier, Berlusconi passed the bill challenged by the referendum. The last-gasp populist law whittled away at both the parliamentary system and the presidency while expanding the powers of the premier pro-devolution, anti-immigrant ally, the separatist Northern League headed by the xenophobic demagogue Umberto Bossi. In addition, health services, education and police powers were devolved to the twenty Italian regions, not all of which shine for their skills at self-government. The present constitution is widely honored because written in 1948, when painful memories of World War Two and the 22 years of Fascist dictatorship were still fresh. Although many of his opponents would like to see a constitutional revision (few countries have or need 950 members of Parliament), Berlusconi chose to give the referendum a high-voltage politicization, which became a boomerang against him.<<

About the Continuity of Our Consciousness: By Pim van Lommel, from Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2004. Details on an NDE study in survivors of cardiac arrest in the Netherlands, which was published in The Lancet, along with comment on similar findings on two studies on survivors of cardiac arrest in the US and UK.

Researchers Discover Which Organs In Antarctic Fish Produce Antifreeze: Thirty-five years ago Arthur DeVries of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first documented antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) in Antarctic notothenioid fishes. This month three colleagues report they’ve solved the ensuing, long-running mystery of where these AFGPs, which allow the fish to survive in icy waters, are produced.

Slumming the Golden Arches: McDonald's as an International Refuge? Quote: "Despite its vaunted reputation as a juggernaut of American culture, McDonald's has come to function as an ecumenical refuge for travelers of all stripes. This is not because McDonald's creates an American sense of place and culture, but because it creates a smoothly standardized absence of place and culture — a neutral environment that allows travelers to take a psychic time-out from the din of their real surroundings. This phenomenon is roundly international."

The Princess Has Come of Age: An Animated XXX Sci-Fi Adventure: Well... that's definitely not safe for work.

Quote: >>The young princess is finally old enough to get married so she needs to find a suitable man - or woman - or creature of some kind. Each of the characters she meets in this hardcore fantasy feature will get their chance to prove to the princess that they are the one she wants. Will she pick the giant sex machine, the horny plant with multiple vines, the tiny elf with a huge organ, the female robot, or one of the other incredible characters? Watch the uncensored movie and see...
A hardcore uncensored animated fantasy with incredible sexual intensity. The creation of The Princess took 3 years and millions of dollars. The production rivals and surpasses mainstream digital animation. The smooth animated texture of The Princess with her big brown eyes instantly hook you, and the hardcore scenes must be seen to be believed. Unlike any other adult feature produced this year.<<

J-Track 3-D / NASA Satellite Tracking: Awesome. Quote: "It should appear in its own window and begin loading a database of over 900 satellites. What you will see (assuming your system supports this JAVA applet) is a plot in 3-dimensions showing the position of these satellites. Be sure to try the "Satellite" pull-down menu to choose which satellite you wish to view." (Thanx, Joerg Piringer!)

Logan's Run - Advance Preview of Selected Scenes: Contains deleted and alternate footage.


Melted Men: Melted Men are a brilliant absurdist music collective. Highly recommended. Here's an example, the song "BullnChinaShop" (MP3).


Sudden impact: A computer simulation of Earth being destroyed by a 100km-wide asteroid. See the Earth annihilated in an eye-popping computer simulation candy.


The Proust Pill: Memory In A Jar? Quote: "Researchers at West Virginia University stumbled across a gene in the mouse brain that appears to erase long-term memories. When scientists switched off the gene, the mice developed super-charged memory, able to recall the solution to a maze they'd seen six weeks before, an eternity in mouse time. The discovery is only the most recent in a flurry of breakthroughs that promise a new class of drugs that might help us retain newly learned information and stave off diseases like Alzheimer's."

The Jerry Springer Show Presents: "I have a philosophical secret!":
Quote: "Today's guests are here because they can't agree on fundamental philosophical principles. I'd like to welcome Todd to the show."
(Thanx, Thomas Koenig!)

Cyberpunk pioneer Bruce Sterling has designs on a better world: The author of seminal science-fiction works is taking a very pragmatic approach to the world's environmental challenges.

In Search of Dracula: Quote: >>Bram Stoker's Dracula was by no means the first vampire story. It was the culmination of a writing tradition of Gothic horror stories that had begun nearly eighty years earlier with "The Vampyre," by John Polidori. (Was he a relative of mine, I wonder?) Others followed, like "Varney the Vampire" (1847), a serial that ran in magazines called "penny dreadfuls" for more than two years, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla" (1871), which centered around a lesbian vampire. But Dracula was a departure. In Stoker's hands, the vampire became all-powerful, the embodiment of evil-and a creature whose immortality was bound up in a rich cocktail of blood, sex, and death. Ironically, though the novel was first published in English in 1893, Romania's most famous fictional resident, Count Dracula, was almost unknown there until 1992. Only with the fall of communism was Bram Stoker's classic finally translated and published in Romania.<<

Encyclopedia of all human gene mutations planned: A database of millions of mutations would speed diagnosis, treatment and research -- but will cost millions of dollars.

Wal-Mart: Drop the shop: Robert Greenwald isn't just taking on the world's biggest retailer with his film on Wal-Mart. He wants us to rid ourselves of the whole myth of 'retail therapy'. Carol Allen interviewed him for Red Pepper.

Has String Theory Tied Up Better Ideas in Physics? Mathematician Peter Woit of Columbia University describes string theory as "a disaster for physics."

Magnets zap migraines: Headache pills might be superseded by portable device.

Information Interruption Age: The Information Age was supposed to provide humanity with access to endless streams of information, carefully organized and readily available to anyone with a computer and a bit of know-how. But how are you supposed to take advantage of such bountiful excess when you're forced to deal with a constant stream of pop-up ads you can't get rid of, "informational" e-mails you didn't ask for, and other newfangled distractions? It's a serious matter, according to researchers who have been studying worker productivity, and the unceasing interruptions are having a profound impact on our ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

Hitler cats! A blog dedicated to cats that look like Hitler. (Thanx, Jörg!)


Planet Quest: NASA offers Planet Quest, the search for another earth (flash presentation) which rounds up information on 8 separate up-coming missions.

(Via Nonist.)

In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran's Offer of Dialogue: Some Officials Lament Lost Opportunity.

ToonCast digs through the public domain toons and short films on the Internet Archive and picks out some goodies. (Via DD.)


YouTube and 1980s Music Videos:

DaddyD writes: "YouTube is your friend. A friend with a messy room, one who collects anything and everything and is more than willing to share it if you just know what to ask for. The trouble is knowing what to ask for. Luckily, there are a few people out there mining the depths for golden nuggets of goodness. Like 80's music videos. Not just any videos. Fans of alt-eighties stuff that never got shown on the MTV have made their way to YouTube, just waiting to be watched by adoring fans. Of course the hit parade is there, all of those over done 80's anthems that anyone and their mother probably likes (or hates). There are also some tasty treats. Videos that many alive at the time never even new existed. Videos by Bad Brains, Butthole Surfers, Afrika Bambaata, Gang of Four, Husker Dü... And the list goes on."

monochrom report // "Libération" reports about monochrom and Soviet Unterzögersdorf: French only.
Jeu Visite d'une enclave soviétique à l'Ouest, par le collectif Monochrom.
Un saut chez les Soviets.

Albania: the women's story: "He came home and threatened to kill me with a pistol in front of the children, and the children protected me, came and stood in front of me and said, 'You have to kill us first'." This testimony, from a woman, aged 37, mother of two children, illustrates the legacy of Albania's cultural past and the effects of gun proliferation. Hundreds of thousands of Kalashnikovs, pistols and other weapons were looted from military and police depots as law and order broke down after the collapse of financial pyramid selling schemes in 1997. Despite successive collection programmes, some 200,000 illegal weapons still circulate among Albania's 3.3 million people. A recent survey found that more than one in 20 Albanian families had experienced an arms-related crime in the past year.

'End Times' Religious Groups Want Apocalypse Soon: Apocalyptic movements are nothing new, but many 'End Times' groups are relying on high tech -- and red heifers -- to hasten its arrival. Eugen Weber, author of Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults & Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages: "It's always been an ultimately bloody hope, a slaughterhouse hope. What we have now in this global age is a vaster and bloodier-than-ever Wagnerian version. But, then, we are a very imaginative race."

Professors of Paranoia? Academics give a scholarly stamp to 9/11 conspiracy theories.

The Face Of Shakespeare: Few figures have captivated humanity across the centuries like William Shakespeare. But as much as we know about the Bard, much remains murky. For one thing, what exactly did Shakespeare look like? "Since Shakespeare's time, eight portraits have seemed to be genuine likenesses, but today only three of them stand up, and even those are not indisputable."

MagicCube5D: A fully functional 5-dimensional analog of Rubik's cube.


Sketcher is a Firefox extension that allows you to draw graphic comments over web pages. You can link 'sketches' to other 'sketches', webpages or files, organize sketches by topic and add in-line comments. A tool for web-research. Or for grafitting the web.

Saturn's moons seen wearing haloes: Saturn's two largest moons have been captured together in a new image from the Cassini spacecraft. The image will help mission managers refine their models of the moons' positions to better steer the spacecraft in the future. The image was snapped on 11 June, when Cassini was about 3.6 million kilometres away from Saturn's second-largest moon, Rhea. It shows the 1528-kilometre-wide Rhea silhouetted against Titan, which is about three times as big.


1491: The Truth About the Americas Before Columbus: Quote: "In many high school history classes students are told that before Columbus arrived the Americas were full of untamed wilderness loosely populated with savage Indians. Charles Mann's book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus proves that the opposite is true. He draws from recent archeological and scientific discoveries to describe booming civilizations which thrived throughout the Americas centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Like Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States this book made me want to call up my old history teachers and tell them they were very wrong. In fact, Mann's self-described thesis is to show that indigenous societies before the arrival of Columbus deserve more than a few misleading pages in a textbook. Mann was able to hold my attention not just with the details of complex indigenous societies, but also with controversies, adventures and divisions among the scientists and archeologists which have contributed to what we know of pre-Columbian history. Not only is he able to make squabbles between European archeologists interesting, but he's able to smoothly describe scientific data and Mayan politics in the same breath."

Dating Old Books By Biology: Quote: "A Penn State biology professor with a passion for old prints and maps says he has found a new way to date centuries-old books by using a technique similar to what scientists use to study mutations."

New monochrom content // Dark Dune Spots: They all see it. It comes and goes. Could it be that it's alive? An audio interview with Ákos Kereszturi and András Sik.

In the South polar region of Mars, some dark stains emerge cyclically. A team of Hungarian researchers analyses pictures of these "Dark Dune Spots" and compares them with similar geological or biological formations on Earth. The spots could be a form of life adapted to Mars' extreme conditions, but how can one verify this hypothesis without being able to check on site?
Part of the installation project "Stained Perception" in Vienna, Austria.

The American Dream and Its Indian Vendors: Quote: "The American Dream acted as a driving force not only during the gold rush of the second half of the 18th century, but also proved to be a great magnetic power in the case of the impoverished Western Europeans, especially the Irish farmers, escaping the potato famine. Its attraction has not diminished even after centuries and one can see the rush of legal and illegal immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Dream was idealized in a variety of literary writings. The novelist Horatio Alger, Jr. was prominent among them. In the beginning of the 20th century a number of industrialists became symbols of the American Dream. Among them were Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. In spite of their very humble origins, they came up to the top, thanks to their talent, intelligence, readiness to work hard and courageously face all sorts of odds. The market forces recognized their worth and rewarded them with fabulous riches. Not only in trade and industry, but in the arena of politics too this phenomenon could be observed. Quite a few politicians reached the White House and the corridors of power from their huts or log cabins."

Researchers Show How Brain Decodes Complex Smells: Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered how the brain creates a scent symphony from signals sent by the nose.

Are We Too Clean For Our Own Good? Quote: "Studies give more weight to a 17-year-old theory that the sanitized Western world may be partly to blame for soaring rates of human allergy and asthma cases and some autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, figures that people's immune systems aren't being challenged by disease and dirt early in life, so the body's natural defenses overreact to small irritants such as pollen."

New monochrom content // Nicholas Negroponte Memorial Cable:


Pimp my Rubik's Cube:


The aesthetics of plane crash landings: I *love* this pictures.


Archaeological Site Yields Dental Surprise: Researchers have found a 4,500-year-old burial in Mexico that had the oldest known example of dental work in the Americas.

Software untangles chat room debate: Software that follows an online discussion and picks out the most relevant post and the most influential participant could provide an automated synopsis of chat-rooms debates and email chatter. The software was developed by Eduard Hovy and colleagues at the Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, US. They say single out the key post or email from thousands of messages.

Phosphor is a first-person shooter created with Macromedia Director (links will open in new window). The Shockwave Player allows the game to run within a web browser on Windows and Mac OS computers. Both single player (with AI-controlled bots) and multiplayer (using peer-to-peer Internet or LAN connections) game modes are supported. Our goal is to create a gaming experience similar to classic FPS games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3, but with the accessibility of a webgame. This is the first public beta. Current development is focused on tuning bot AI and improving multiplayer performance. Future versions will include additional player models, game types, and many more maps.

Arctic Expedition Will Investigate Alien-like Glacier: A scientific expedition to a remote glacier field in Canada's High Arctic may help researchers unlock the secrets about the beginning of life and provide insights for future exploration of our solar system.

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism: By Jaron Lanier. Intro: "The problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it's been elevated to such importance so quickly. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it's now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn't make it any less dangerous".

Bioethics Now: Jeffrey Spike explains the place of medical ethics within bioethics and in relation to philosophy.
Quote: "What I want to do in this brief introduction is (1) help define what bioethics is, (2) identify its major aspects, and (3) clarify its relationship to philosophy. To this aim I will outline how bioethics has developed three distinct branches in its short history, and discuss the different groups of professionals who have been the primary contributors to the field."

Survival Of The Most Idle: Quote: "'Idle theory' is at one level quite simple. All living creatures have to work to stay alive. Some have to work harder than others. Those creatures that need to do little work to stay alive are more likely to survive periods of difficulty than those that must work harder and longer. Evolution is thus based... on the survival of the idlest."

International Sticker Award #2: Quote: "Once again we are asking for your fine artworks to compete with the rest of the world - send your photos and graphics of your stickers and interventions in public space and win one of our fantastic prizes. With this award we are trying to create an overview on the worldwide sticker and culture jamming activities and want to establish a permanent archive on this lucid and fastly vanishing medium. Our experienced jury will try to determine the world sticker champ 2006 in late September..."

KRANE: Girls dream of Robots:

A music video about robots, cowboys and rocket engines. All those things girls dream about...

Japan's alternative economics: Japan's current growth, with 2.8% forecast for 2006, is at the forefront of western countries. It is linked to exports to emerging economies, a high level of research and development, and a refusal to follow all the economic doctrines proposed by the United States.

Poetry Pod: Quote: "Listening to poetry on your iPod may not be everyone's idea of entertainment, but a new website called iPoems (which has nothing to do with iTunes or its owner, Apple) is setting out to persuade audiences that downloadable poems read by their authors are the next big thing - and worth 50p per poem."

U.S. scientists invent 'Smart Petri Dish': U.S. researchers say they have developed a "Smart Petri Dish" that can rapidly screen new drugs for toxic interactions.

Jesus Christ Superman: First there were the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Now, for many Christian moviegoers comes another gospel. As the hype machine shifts into high gear for the upcoming release of "Superman Returns," some are reading deeply into the film whose hero returns from a deathlike absence to play savior to the world.

Old masters: Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be a 27,000-year-old drawing of a face, which would make it the oldest in history. Like many other ancient portraits, it is reminiscent of the work of some of the great modern artists, writes Jonathan Jones - and speaks volumes about the way we see ourselves.


Unesco: Stonehenge Off the List? Unesco is considering removing Stonehenge from the World Heritage list. Why? The site has "poor traffic management".

More on culture war 2.0: President Bush's brand new chief domestic policy adviser, Karl Zinsmeister, has a few thoughts on contemporary art: "When Art Becomes Inhuman"
This author is one sick fuck. A sample: >>Novel writers and film and theater producers have started selling voyeurism, drugs, homosexuality, and pedophilia to middle-Americans at the mall, instead of leaving these things to patrons of peep shows and trendy art galleries. One of the most heavily Oscar-awarded movies of recent years — American Beauty — combined all four of those degradations in one package.<<
Equating pedophilia and homosexuality — nice guy.

Definition of 'Planet' Expected in September: Some might think it ironic that the world's governing body for astronomy -- the International Astronomical Union -- does not have a definition for planet. The problem stretches back to the late 1990s, when astronomers began discovering Pluto-like objects in the distant reaches of our solar system. All the newfound worlds—there are several known now—were until recently smaller than Pluto, but they are round and orbit the Sun, two characteristics that had for centuries been sufficient for the implicit definition of planet. The hitch: These small objects are typically on wild, elongated orbits that stretch well above and below the main plane of the solar system where eight of the traditional planets travel (Pluto has a wild orbit, too, which is one reason many astronomers do not consider it a planet anymore). So what to call them? Astronomers have been arguing about it in earnest since 1999.

Fissile fantasies: The nuclear industry has always had something of the absurd about it. Efforts to recover its lost glory by painting itself green is just the latest example of this, Adam Ma'anit explains why.


High fying, slow motion dogs with an ambient background track. Viral for a French music store by Pleix Design Group.


Palmtop Feng Shui? Ever felt the position of your home furnishings were seriously throwing your mystical chi – or life energy – out of balance? Then put your mind at rest. Motorola has patented a new kind of PDA that evaluates a property's Feng Shui rating by measuring positive and negative chi and awarding plus and minus points accordingly. "Feng Shui principles are widely applied in the fields of interior decorating and real estate," a company spokesperson explains.

How do 3D glasses work? American Paper Optics, one of the major manufacturers of 3D glasses, explains.

Why do bubbles form if a glass of water is left alone for a while? Rick Watling, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, offers this explanation.

The Rebel and Mr. Danger: Is Bush's Nightmare Venezuela's Salvation? There is something quaint -- flattering, even -- about the way Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez insists on calling George W. Bush "Mr. Danger." The taunt, which Chávez delivers in English with rolled-out vowels and pinched consonants, evokes an earlier era of cloak-and-dagger politics and lends Bush a certain mystery that he is generally denied in these shrill times of stateless terrorism. Mr. Danger, it turns out, is a minor character in Rómulo Gallegos's 1929 novel Doña Barbara, a landmark in Venezuelan literature and before the fiction boom of the 1970s one of the most widely read Latin American novels in the world. A "great mass of muscles under red skin, with a pair of very blue eyes," he is one of many unsympathetic misters who populate 20th-century Latin American social and magical realist prose, beginning in 1904 with the Chilean writer Baldomero Lillo's abusive mine foreman Mr. Davis and continuing through Mr. Brown, the manager of a U.S. banana company in Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Revisiting The Natural Contract:
"A satellite for speed, an atomic bomb for energy, the Internet for space, and nuclear waste for time...these are four examples of world-objects." (Michel Serres)

Galaxy Evolution In Cyber Universe Matches Astronomical Observations In Fine Detail: Scientists at the University of Chicago have bolstered the case for a popular scenario of the big bang theory that neatly explains the arrangement of galaxies throughout the universe. Their supercomputer simulation shows how dark matter, an invisible material of unknown composition, herded luminous matter in the universe from its initial smooth state into the cosmic web of galaxies and galaxy clusters that populate the universe.


New Mountain Species Discovered: A new species of insect has been discovered among more than 1,000 rare creatures catalogued for a survey of the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.

ASCII world cup: From the technically-amazing-but-why-would-I-want-that department: The World Cup, live, in ASCII art. You can use telnet to get a live stream of ASCII art of the World Cup games: $ telnet ascii-wm.net 2006

monochrom shirt // "monochrom rul0rz!" ... piratepango posts a picture of our copyright shirt on flickr. Thanx for spreading the word!

Mud and Mire Fetish: Well, people get turned on by slowly sinking in quicksand and mud.


Torture: A dangerous shift of norms: Intro: >>If the entertainment industry, not least Hollywood, reflects a prevailing state of mind in the United States and the West in general, torture may be steadily gaining acceptance as a means of extracting information from suspects. Or is it just a coincidence that the entertainment industry increasingly appeals to its audience through scenes of torture and violence at just this time when politicians and intellectuals are arguing in favour of interrogation methods that amount to torture, as a countermeasure in the so-called war on terror? In an earlier season of the popular Fox television series 24, Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer fought a radical Islamist plot to cause meltdown at US nuclear power plants. The series is highly entertaining, but it is also a test of its audience's views on the ticking-bomb scenario: are they prepared to condone torture if thousands of innocent lives are at stake? Is it acceptable, for example, when a CTU agent tortures his colleague's husband with electric cables in an attempt to extract the information that could possibly prevent the meltdown?"

Allergen-free cats – a breed apart? A company that promised to genetically engineer the cats gives up after two years, turning instead to conventional breeding techniques.

Toppling Thaksin: How Thailand's billionaire Prime Minister was overthrown by mass mobilizations in April 2006, and role of the Palace–Barracks–Temple triumvirate in his defeat. Kasian Tejapira on the twin conjuncture of 1997—combining a 'good governance' Constitution with the Asian financial crisis—that put the country’s corrupt electocracy into the hands of its telecom magnate.

Cyber Cinema, 1981-2001: metaphilm reader Doug Van Hollen points out "a piece (actually a series of pieces) on cyberpunk cinema and its various hiding places 1981–2001. This guy really knows his stuff and is willing to look in odd places (Batman as the ultimate cyberpunk? And Predator?!), while providing new insights into all the obvious ones."

Spiders from Vietnam: Beautiful photographs by Richard Seaman.


Going Nuclear: Frames and Public Opinion about Atomic Energy: By Matthew Nisbet. Intro: >>The debate over nuclear energy is back. With rising concern over energy independence, and a focus on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the Bush administration and even some environmentalists are calling for re-investment in nuclear power plants. Yet, the question remains, will the public support nuclear energy? Outside of a technical debate over benefits, trade-offs, and risks, at issue is the perception that public opinion rules out any serious new investment in the technology. In this column I take a look at the re-occurring ways that various players in the debate try to selectively frame the issue. I also review recent public opinion polls in an attempt to figure out exactly where the public stands on the matter.<<

Complex ecosystems arrived early: Diversity of oldest fossils could mean extraterrestrial life is more likely.

monochrom report // "Lord Jim Lodge powered by monochrom" is winner of Coke Light Art Edition 2006: We were asked to participate in the 2006 Coke Light Art Edition contest. The topic was "BRAVERY & INDIVIDUALITY, Courage To Create Your Own Luck". Well, we took part. And we won.

Have a look at our strategic concept paper. For a world of radical beauty and exclusive bottles in small editions! In the end we are all individuals -- at least as long as nobody comes along and proves the contrary.

100,000 Year-old DNA Sequence Allows New Look At Neandertal's Genetic Diversity: By recovering and sequencing intact DNA from an especially ancient Neandertal specimen, researchers have found evidence suggesting that the genetic diversity among Neandertals was higher than previously thought. The findings also suggest that genetic diversity may have been higher in earlier Neandertal periods relative to later periods that approached the arrival of humans in Europe. Changes in genetic diversity over time are thought to reflect population events, such as low-population bottlenecks caused by disease or environmental change, as well as the influence of random genetic change.

Mining Days in Ecuador May Be Numbered: Several hundred mining opponents, many carrying colorful banners, marched into the town square of Garcia Moreno, Ecuador on May 20 for a region-wide assembly concerning the mining activities of Canada's Ascendant Copper Corporation. A declaration signed by all of the Parish presidents of the Intag region was read to the crowd, which Ecuador's daily newspaper, El Norte estimated was close to 1,000 people. The declaration demanded that the company depart immediately. Polibio Perez, the president of the council of communities, said the company would have until June 4 to leave.

monochrom report // Roboexotica in MAKE 06:

The wonderful and inspiring MAKE magazine features an great article by Cory Doctorow about Roboexotica, the Festival For Cocktail Robotics, an annual festival we host in cooperation with Shifz.
Cogs and Cocktails by Cory Doctorow. Meet the drink-serving, drunk-driving droids at Roboexotica. Page 65

What does the Kremlin want? The separatists' victory at the end of August 1996 marked the end of the first Russian war in Chechnya. It resulted in a series of social and political agreements but the military campaign launched in October 1999 continues, despite repeated denials from Moscow. The conflict has gone on for so long that it raises questions. Can it be considered genocide? Have Russian objectives altered over the years? Does Islam play a role in the war or is religion being manipulated?

Xenotransplantation: For and Against: By Ololade Olakanmi and Laura Purdy.
Intro: >>Organ transplantation saves thousands of lives every year, and is arguably one of the most significant medical innovations of the past century. At present however, the worldwide demand for organs far outstrips supply. For instance, in 2004, the United Network for Organ Sharing (United States) found that over 100,000 patients could have benefited from an organ transplant, whereas only 29,000 were available. In the US, 17 patients die each day while on the organ donor waiting list – a dismal statistic which, unfortunately reflects a global trend. In an effort to satisfy the growing demand for organs, the scientific community is once again turning to xenotransplantation, a cutting-edge medical technique that involves the transplantation of biological material from nonhuman animals (primarily pigs) to humans. If properly developed, xenotransplantation has the potential to one day not only ameliorate the present organ donor shortage, but also to help address the ravages of Parkinson’s disease, childhood-onset diabetes, Huntington’s disease, and a number of other conditions.<<

Don't Try This at Home: Garage chemistry used to be a rite of passage for geeky kids. But in their search for terrorist cells and meth labs, authorities are making a federal case out of DIY science. The curious case of Bob Lazar & United Nuclear Scientific Supplies; and much much more.

Endgame: By Michael Carmichael. Quote: "Imagine: Ted Kennedy presiding over an official investigation into Bush's clandestine eavesdropping, wiretapping and mail-openings aimed at US citizens or the torture cases of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib."

monochrom appearance // monochrom live @ Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic (Zagreb/Croatia):

monochrom gala show "No Power For Theory And/Or Practise" at Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb, Croatia.

monochrom's medley is a tour-de-farce. A joyful bucket full of good clean fanaticism, crisis, language, culture, self-content, identity, utopia, mania and despair, condensed into the well known cultural technique of a gala show. Powernapping highly welcome.

June 6, 2006 - 7 PM.

What is the Experimental Gameplay Project? The Experimental Gameplay Project began as a student pitched project at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The project started in Spring 2005 with the goal of discovering and rapidly prototyping as many new forms of gameplay as possible. A team of four grad students, we locked ourselves in a room for a semester with three rules:
1. Each game must be made in less than seven days,
2. Each game must be made by exactly one person,
3. Each game must be based around a common theme i.e. "gravity", "vegetation", "swarms", etc.

Achenbach's "Tempest" and the Global-Warming Skeptics: Quote: >>Last Sunday in the Washington Post Magazine, Joel Achenbach published "The Tempest" (registration may be required) which profiles the global-warming skeptic community through some of its most vocal and prominent members: hurricane expert William Gray, climatologist Richard Lindzen, Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and others. I thought that as a piece of magazine feature writing, it did a fine job of capturing the various flavors of contrarianism (simple crankiness, desire for attention, political cunning and so on) that motivate the movement, and I walked away from the article assuming that most readers would recognize these skeptics as the loopy misfits that Achenbach perceives them to be.<<

Japan's Worker Co-operative Movement into the 21st Century: Intro: >>The pace of Japan's economy is picking up again after more than a decade of stasis. During this long period of economic stagnation, the many personnel practices favoring employees known by the rubric "lifetime employment" have been subjected to increased criticism by pro-investor, neo-liberal voices. Yet other less-well-amplified voices in Japan offer an alternative criticism of, and look for opportunity in, the changing status quo as well. In the last quarter of the 20th century efforts to create worker-owned and democratically governed businesses in Japan began to emerge with the support of a wide variety of economic actors -- among them labor unions and union organizers, consumer cooperatives, income-seeking housewives, the elderly, employees of small businesses, farmers and farm workers, employees of failing firms and maverick employees of large firms. And as worker owned and managed businesses have increased in size and number, their awareness of each other and their common interest in alternative ways to organize production has also grown.<<

Electric Fish on Verge of Evolutionary Split: Researchers have found electric fish with the same DNA as others emitting distinctly different electrical signals. The fish are likely on the verge of splitting into two species, say the researchers. Matt Arnegard, neurobiologist: "We think we are seeing evolution in action."

Sweden Gears Up For Another File-Swapping Smackdown: The headquarters of The Pirate Bay, a web site that enables users to find and download pirated music and movies, was raided by Swedish police this week, setting up a legal confrontation over the issue of whether such sites can be held responsible for the actions of their users. Courts in several other countries, including the U.S., have held that sites clearly intended to facilitate illegal activity are not protected by law. The fight is likely to be more complicated in Sweden, however - the country is notorious for tolerating file-sharing, and has no specific law prohibiting it.

monochrom exhibiton // Cafe King Fussball: Soccer World Cup 2006: World Cup Mania... "You-Are-Germany" slogans... RFID chips... friendly racism... nation-branding... security craziness... public viewing areas... larger than life headache tablets... Beckenbauer... Blatter... Goleo. We're fed up.
The exhibition Heimspiel (Home Game) is bringing artistic positions, which tackle the subject of the Soccer World Cup 2006 in a critical and ironic fashion. The works shown addresses the growing 'festivalisation' and commercialisation of major sporting events, analyzes the new surveillance technologies being implemented in stadiums and cities and critizises the neoliberal image campaigns taking place in the context of the World Cup.

We at monochrom are on the trail of the relationships between fraud and "business as usual", between corruption and commercialisation, through the reconstruction of Cafe King, famous scene of the crime of last years scandal around the bribery of a german referee. It's an installation about morale philosophy, bourgeois objectivism, soccer and carnival. A tour de farce.

At NGBK (Oranienstrasse 25, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg). Opening: June 2, 7 PM.

monochrom on tour // Germany:

On the left: Roland Gratzer. On the right: Johannes Grenzfurthner.

We are currently setting up our installation for "Heimspiel" at NGBK in Berlin. Soon more.

[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