[ B l o g / / Archive]

Ancient Raptors Likely Feasted On Early Man, Study Suggests:

A new study suggests that prehistoric birds of prey made meals out of some of our earliest human ancestors.

Cultural Norms Not Unique to Human Societies: Humans are not alone in their desire to conform to cultural norms, according to new study findings that confirm, for the first time, chimpanzees share the same conformist tendencies. Researchers, in determining how chimpanzee communities share and maintain traditions, discovered they possess a natural motivation to copy their peers well into adulthood and say that although other species show some cultural behaviors, the level of cultural variation shown by chimpanzees is exceeded only by humans.

Reversal - Music Giant Okays Free Downloads: Quote: "Universal Music Group announced Tuesday that it would license its digital catalog to a website offering free legal downloads. The two-year deal marks a significant shift in an industry long criticized for fighting, rather than harnessing, the Internet's potential. The new website, backed by New York company SpiralFrog, hopes to make money selling advertisements that play while songs download."

The High Cost of Being Poor: By Barbara Ehrenreich. Quote: "There are people, concentrated in the Hamptons and Beverly Hills, who still confuse poverty with the simple life. No cable TV, no altercations with the maid, no summer home maintenance issues -- just the basics like family, sunsets and walks in the park. What they don't know is that it's expensive to be poor."

Sense of Time, Sense of Place: A protein chemist ponders upon the cyclical nature of nature and its effect on human nature.

Microsoft tackles anti-copy hole: Hackers have broken Microsoft's digital rights protection. Quote: "The program apparently strips Windows Media audio (wma) files of Microsoft's DRM 10 or 11 protection, removing any usage restrictions. A post on the forum said: 'This program is only designed and intended to enable fair-use rights to purchased media'."

New monochrom content // Campaign For The Abolition Of Personal Pronouns: One personal pronoun is enough to address men, women, whatever lies between, and any lifeform capable of producing something like language! We need your support!

Key stars have different birthdays: In a complex Universe, astronomers thought they had at least one simple system to tell them how stars are born. Turns out they were wrong.

Physics Proves Horror Movies Get It Wrong: Theoretical physicist Professor Costas Efthimiou of the University of Central Florida attempts to scientifically disprove ghosts and vampires--or at least their theatrical representations.

Purple, the Color of a Legal Conniption: The owners of the Barney brand have been extremely aggressive in going after anyone they think is infringing on their copyright. Quote: "On Wednesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group based in San Francisco, filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in New York against Lyons Partnership of Allen, Tex., which owns the Barney brand. The group’s aim is to bring an end to what it characterizes as the partnership’s relentless harassment of Web site owners who parody the Barney character, chiefly through threatening cease-and-desist letters from Lyons’s law firm in New York, Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty."

Pluto Haiku:
I do not feel that
I have lost a planet but
Gained a planetoid

Game Boys for Play Girls: Barbara 'Babsi' Lippe enjoyed a typical postmodern childhood filled with cartoons, action figures, comics and video-games. The latter in particular had a great impact on her life: she has just finished a 1000 page PhD thesis about Games and Gender. PingMag interviewed the cheerful Austrian expert about why Japanese game esthetics are more appealing to women in the West and how the market in Europe is slowly changing.


The Most Incredible Knife: This isn't your father's Swiss Army knife. Check out the nine-inch, two-pound "blade" that sports 85 unique tools.


The puppet pushers: Reflections on dictatorship, terrorism and the spectacle of stage hypnotism. Quote: >>In Equatorial Guinea, President Francisco Macías Nguema billed himself as 'The Unique Miracle'. He convinced audiences to sit and watch subjects dance around a fire, waiting anxiously for one of them to fall from exhaustion. [...] Dictators don't start off with power either. They evolve, like hypnotists, from lower forms of life. A shyster lawyer, Jose Antonio Garcia Trevijano Fos, dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Economics at the University of Madrid, used Macías Nguema as a dummy front man for shady business deals in Equatorial Guinea. Which was fine until Nguema made that laughably incoherent speech at the United Nations, then went home and convinced everyone he could turn himself into a tiger and eat them. After that people did whatever he said, including the shyster lawyer.<<

Music gets personal as games turn up the interaction: Music for video games is getting a big upgrade, with more sophisticated quality. "The game itself is interactive, the story line is interactive, so to the extent that you can make it work, and it doesn't mess up the experience, the music should be interactive as well."

monochrom content update // Infinite monkeys: We had some server problems, but now the script is running again.
darwinist thomas henry huxley (left, 1825-1895, for those keen on numbers) claimed in the 1860s that: "... if monkeys randomly strummed typewriter keys for a long enough time, then sooner or later Psalm 23 would be printed out."
well, let's see about that!
due to the blatant absence of (infinite-1) monkeys a script shall be used for demonstration purposes.
research has learned that the average (medium sized, classification: primate) monkey's typing speed is approximately 500 characters per minute, that is, of course, once the whinging primate is somehow coerced to do such a thing. no statisticians were harmed during testing, however, one programmer's dignity was certainly abused. (he shares 99 per cent of his genes with the next-best ape anyway.)

Remote Island Provides Clues On Population Growth, Environmental Degradation: Halfway between South America and New Zealand, in the remote South Pacific, is Rapa. This horseshoe-shaped, 13.5 square-mile island of volcanic origin, located essentially in the middle of nowhere, is "a microcosm of the world's situation," says a University of Oregon archaeologist.

monochrom interview // monochrom featured in V. Vale's RE/Search "Pranks 2":

V. Vale's RE/Search Publications is just about to release "Pranks 2", the follow-up to their legendary "Pranks" book (published 1988). The articles and inteviews in "Pranks 2" feature Jihad Jerry, Jello Biafra, Al Jourgensen, Bambi Lake, The Yes Men, The Suicide Club, The Cacophony Society, Reverend Al, Julia Solis, Billboard Liberation Front, Marc Powell, Frank Discussion, Paul Krassner, Margaret Cho, John Waters, Ron English, Joey Skaggs, Survival Research Labs, Lydia Lunch, Monte Cazazza and (and we are very pround about that) monochrom.

Biologists Discover How We Detect Sour Taste: A team headed by biologists from the University of California, San Diego has discovered the cells and the protein that enable us to detect sour, one of the five basic tastes.

Fuck you and your H2: Welcome to FUH2.com, home of the official Hummer H2 salute. More than 3.000 submissions.


New monochrom content // Toyps: A collection of aesthetically beautiful typing errors of the so-called >English< language. An unpretenitous listong.

Please submit!

How do deep-diving sea creatures withstand huge pressure changes? Paul J. Ponganis and Gerald L. Kooyman of the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps Institution of Oceanography provide the following answer.

A Knight's Tale: metaphilm points out that Gilbert — the magazine of the G. K. Chesterton Society of North America — ran an interpretation of the Heath Ledger movie, A Knight's Tale, which is appropriately Chestertonian—paradoxical and insightful. Quote: "Slowly, I caught on to what the filmmakers had in mind. Only until recently have people paid much attention to minute historical accuracy, and our ancestors would have thought it blatant pedantry to do so. As late as the 18th century, actors trod the boards in performances of Joseph Addison's Cato while being bedecked in periwigs. Similarly, the real Chaucer cared so little for such accuracy that the laws of chivalry bind an ancient Trojan like Troilus. And then the truth dawned on me: this story is being told the medieval way, just as surely as clocks strike the hour in Julius Caesar—without regard to historicism."

Astronomers lean towards eight planets: After a heated public debate and subsequent closed-door negotiations, astronomers settle on a draft planet definition that would demote Pluto.

Mummify Your Dead Rat:


The Inelegant Universe: Two new books argue that it is time for string theory to give way.

The Future of Korea: An Asia-Pacific Perspective: By Mark Selden. Intro: >>The essence of the "Korea Problem" lies not in the threat of North Korean development of atomic weapons, nor in the existence of a rogue regime in North Korea, as the international press and some American presidents would have it. The central problem is the division of the Korean peninsula, an outcome of half a century of Japanese colonial rule and a legacy of the incomplete character of independence resulting from US-Soviet division of Korea and the Korean War that has now continued in various forms for more than six decades. This article reflects on Korea within an Asia-Pacific and global framework. It also examines possible steps toward resolving the core conflicts, solutions that can only succeed if they find regional and global support. Korea is the most dangerous legacy of the US-Soviet division of Asia, a war without end that continues in the form of military standoff that threatens the peace of Northeast Asia.<<

NASA Finds Direct Proof Of Dark Matter: Dark matter and normal matter have been wrenched apart by the tremendous collision of two large clusters of galaxies. The discovery, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, gives direct evidence for the existence of dark matter.

Weapons of Math Instruction: At New York's Kennedy airport today, a person later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a drafting triangle, a compass, and a calculator. (Thanx, Ronald Ortner!)

monochrom server guest // "Krach" uses monochrom server: Our good old friend Andreas "Krach" Stoiber, longtime monochrom satellite, now uses our server to blog about his activities and publish his wonderful experimental electronic disco MP3s.
For example, you can watch Andreas construct an electronic music instrument by connecting a Sony Walkman to a sound effect generator.

Der Fuehrer's Face: Donald Duck, Adolf Hitler and a bacon flavoured aerosol.


Single gene turns fruit flies into fighters: Careful breeding turns normal fruit flies into super aggressive warriors with an extended portfolio of nasty moves.

Cuba exports health: Some 14,000 Cuban doctors now give free treatment to Venezuela’s poor and 3,000 Cuban medical staff worked in the aftermath of last year’s Kashmir earthquake. Cuba has plans to heal those poorer than itself.

Why Solving Deeply Theoretical Math Matters: So the landmark Poincare problem has been solved by a mathematician, and there's much rejoicing across the land. But "it won't help anyone build a bridge, aim a rocket, crack a code, or privatize Social Security. Mathematicians, no dummies, like to point out that, in some unspecified future, Perelman's theorem might pitch in to help with these problems in ways that aren't obvious now. But its real significance is like that of the fact that a times b is equal to b times a; it's a basic structural statement about how the world is organized. If you prefer order to chaos, that's something worth caring about."

How to Educate a Scientist: By Anthony O'Hear and Michael Redhead.
Intro: >>Popular science is a multi-million pound publishing industry. Books purporting to divulge the secrets of the universe, of life, of time, of evolutionary psychology, of consciousness, of quantum theory, and of much else besides now fill large sections of bookshops in every major town and shopping centre in the country. Many of these books make it into the best-seller lists. They are widely and often respectfully reviewed, there are national prizes for them, and their authors become famous in their own right, with newspaper columns and radio and television appearances.
Whether the books do what they (or their publishers) claim they do is another question; and whether, if they do, they are understood by their readers (or even actually read beyond the first couple of chapters) is yet another question, and one not unrelated to our present topic, because if you lack a basic education in science, it is not clear that the deficit can satisfactorily be made up by a publisher's pot-boiler. So there is a question as to whether there really can be 'popular' science, that is, scientific understanding in the absence of harder and more systematic scientific study than can be found in popularly presented books. But the existence of a market for such things is a striking testament to the fact that people desire to know the things the books are about and what science can tell us about them. Science, or what science attempts to do, answers to a basic human need, as basic in its own different way as literature, music and the arts generally.
So why is it that in schools science is often so disliked by pupils? Why is it that many university science and maths departments have great difficulty filling their places at all, let alone with good applicants? Why is it that so few people seem to want to study science, compared to those who want to study business or English or the media?<<

God Bless This Lube: A Christian sex-toy shop hopes to help married couples increase pleasure and intimacy through toys, games and Happy Penis Massage Cream. Commentary by Regina Lynn.

Masturbate for justice: "Oklahoma judge accused of using sexual device in court." A story of a man and his penis pump.


Robert Scoble's mom was ready for the Apocalypse: Eddie Cordel videoblogs: "While in Montana last week for Off the Grid Camp, I shot this video of Scoble giving a tour of the massive food store in his recently deceased mom’s basement. She was a member of the Church Universal and Triumphant cult which believed World War III was imminent back in the 80's. They may have only been a little early in their prediction."


Pierced Glasses: Yes. What it says. Pierced glasses.


We Shall Overcome: An Hour With Legendary Folk Singer & Activist Pete Seeger: In the 1940s, he performed in the Almanac Singers with Woody Guthrie as well as the Weavers. In the 1950s, he opposed Senator Joseph McCarthy's witch hunt and was almost jailed for refusing to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He helped popularize the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome." In the 1960s, he was a vocal critic of the Vietnam War and inspired a generation of protest singers. He was later at the center of the environmental and anti-nuclear movements. At the age of 87, Pete Seeger continues to perform and be politically active.

Langmaker: wiki for constructed languages with conlangs, neologisms, babel texts, neographies and more.

Do the Jackson Pollock!

DaddyD recommends: "Play with the Pollock-o-matic, and help disprove the idea that any 3 year old could be an abstract expressionist."

Grass Created in Lab Is Found in the Wild: Scientists said the discovery could be the first instance in the United States in which a biotechnology plant has established itself outside a farm.

Hungry sparrows sing the saddest songs: Sparrows deprived of food early in life are unable to learn the songs that attract elite mates, researchers say.

Harry Potter Loves Malfoy: Japanese Fan Art Flourishes: Japan's relaxed attitude about copyright has allowed a flourishing of fan-created art and literature. "That it not only exists but thrives is a testament to Japan's relaxed attitudes on copyright, which have facilitated a flowering of both creative and commercial activity. American media companies, take note."

The Fembot Mystique: Sex-and-tech writer Annalee Newitz explores the pop-culture fascination with female robots.
Intro: >>Fembots were a pop-culture staple long before Austin Powers battled them--witness the popularity of The Bionic Woman, The Stepford Wives and Blade Runner. But what is it about curvaceous cyborgs that stirs the imagination? To some, fembots represent the perfect male fantasy: They're sexy and submissive and have more techie features than the Xbox 360. But they also have a dangerous side that can reduce walls to rubble and make an army retreat. Perhaps the fembot's allure resides in her ability to walk the line between total obedience and unfathomable power. Feminist science-fiction writer Amy Thomson, author of robot-comes-of-age novel Virtual Girl, suggests that the fembot myth is attractive to men because it deals with "a woman you create and control." But tech journalist Daniel Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising, argues that fictional fembots have hardly been portrayed as controllable--in fact, he claims, they're often presented as the most dangerous robots of all, because feelings of attraction to them could leave their victims vulnerable to attack. "A sexy robot that's aggressive could be a wolf in rubberized skin," he says.<<

Neuropsychology and Psychosis in 'A Scanner Darkly': Vaughan looks at the controversial psychology of Phillip K. Dick's book (not the movie) A Scanner Darkly. Intro: "Partly motivated by his increasing brushes with psychosis, by the early 1970s, Philip K. Dick was struggling with increasing doubts over the nature of reality and personal identity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, characters with unstable worlds and existential doubts are a familiar focus of his work. Dick was interested in more than just description however, and often used his novels to explore personal theories of existence. During his research, he discovered the work of Roger Sperry, who had rocked the foundations of neuroscience by discovering that when separated, the hemispheres of the brain seemed, at least to some degree, independently conscious. Worried about his own perception of reality, Dick considered that this could explain his increasing feelings of alienation and self-detachment. These reflections resulted in A Scanner Darkly, a partly autobiographical near-future novel that remains an incisive commentary on society, psychosis and the brain."

The Age of Female Computers: Before computers, science still needed number-crunchers. It found them in the quick minds of highly talented and under-rewarded women...

Link (Review)
Link (Amazon)

Beijing Bans Foreign Cartoons: In an effort to promote homegrown productions, the Chinese government has banned foreign-made cartoons from prime-time television schedules. "Foreign cartoons, especially from Japan, are hugely popular with China's 250 million children and the country's own animation studios have struggled to compete. Communist leaders are said to be frustrated that so many cartoons are foreign-made, especially after efforts to build up Chinese animation studios."

monochrom update // Applied Office Art / Update: Beautiful new office art arrived! Project info: "Office art (especially office drawing) is a regular technique used by people in white-collar working situations. There may not necessarily be a creative impulse to create office work, but the impulse of overcoming general work boredom or the necessity to help office workers keeping focus during telephone conversations and/or office meetings."


An Illustrated Guide to American Robot Sumo:


Return of the Bible Code Bozos: Those who were predicting that a nuclear bomb would be blown up in the UN plaza have updated their prediction 5 more times now.

New Method Shows That Neocortical Nerve Cells Are Not Renewed: Most bodily organs continually die and regrow a little at a time. It takes two years, for example, for all the cells of the liver to be replaced by fresh ones. Research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now shows that there is one important exception to this -- the nerve cells of the brain remain the same throughout a person's life.

monochrom info // Dorkbot Vienna is online:

The worldwide family of dorkbots is constantly growing and dorkbot has finally arrived in the very heart of (fortress) Europe. We at monochrom will try to organize the events in Vienna.
You don't know Dorkbot? Well, Dorkbot is a regular meeting of people doing strange things with electricity.
the main goals of dorkbot vienna are: to create an informal, friendly environment in which people can talk about the work they're doing and to foster discussion about that work; to help bring together people from different backgrounds who are interested in similar things; to give us all an opportunity to see the strange things our neighbors are doing with electricity. dorkbot isn't really a forum for formal artist talks or lectures, but rather a chance for diverse people to have friendly conversations about interesting ideas.
Please subscribe to the dorkbotvienna-blabla list (open discussion and announcement list) or to the dorkbotvienna-announce list (read-only, information about future dorkbot events in and around Vienna).

The Energy Of Empty Space That Isn't Zero: A Talk with Lawrence Krauss. Quote: "I invited a group of cosmologists, experimentalists, theorists, and particle physicists and cosmologists. Stephen Hawking came; we had three Nobel laureates, Gerard 'tHooft, David Gross, Frank Wilczek; well-known cosmologists and physicists such as Jim Peebles at Princeton, Alan Guth at MIT, Kip Thorne at Caltech, Lisa Randall at Harvard; experimentalists, such as Barry Barish of LIGO, the gravitational wave observatory; we had observational cosmologists, people looking at the cosmic microwave background; we had Maria Spiropulu from CERN, who's working on the Large Hadron Collider — which a decade ago people wouldn't have thought it was a probe of gravity, but now due to recent work in the possibility of extra dimensions it might be."

Neutron star clocked at mind-boggling velocity: The latest speedster, zipping along at 1500 km per second, deepens the puzzle over how these dense stellar corpses reach such astonishing velocities.

Luck and Punishment: Joel Marks tries to answer the following question from a read of PhNow: "The journalist Tom Utley has recently written (Daily Telegraph 04/11/2005) about a proposed new British law to punish drivers who cause a death through carelessness with up to five years' imprisonment. The journalist noted that he himself had once inadvertently (and carelessly) driven his car straight over a junction, but without causing an accident. He therefore was no differently placed in his actions and motives than a driver who had killed several people. Now one could argue that the driver who killed others should be punished in order to encourage all other drivers to exercise care. But this offends against the so-called Kantian Principle -- that people be always treated as ends, not as means. A deterrent punishment treats the offender as a means, by making an example of him. It is therefore arguably utilitarian. Is there any other way one might claim that it is right to punish someone for carelessness in such cases where very many are occasionally similarly careless, and so perform the same acts, but without any terrible (accidental) consequences?"

Can tinfoil hats actually prevent the government from reading your thoughts? Conspiracy theorists, beware: That aluminum foil beanie--headwear believed, since at least the 1950s, to stop brain-control rays--may make it easier for The Man to read your mind, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology grad students. Inspired by fringe beliefs that invasive radio signals can probe citizens’ thoughts and that wearing foil on your head may fend them off, an experiment by four Ph.D. candidates found that certain key frequencies--owned by the Feds, naturally--are actually enhanced by such "protection." (Thanx, m.dilly)

WHERE THAT BIKINI GIRL COMES FROM: Greg Apodaca has worked as a digital retoucher in pre-press houses, design studios and advertising agencies in and around the San Francisco bay area since 1995. On his website he gives some examples how things are done.

Metal Under Your Skin: A gallery of people with metal beneath their skin.


Flood-resistant crops could aid developing nations: Biologists have found a gene that enables rice to live longer underwater. The new breed can survive underwater for up to two weeks, researchers say -- most rice plants die within days of being submerged.

Can Friendships Survive Ideas? Principled disagreement can be a powerful force that tears apart a friendship. "These days, such principled disagreements tend often to involve ideas, and to be endemic among supposedly educated people and especially among intellectuals. The ideas themselves are as likely as not to involve politics. Even more than differences over religion, political disputes seem to ignite ugly emotions and get things to the yelling stage quickly."

monochrom report // Cocktail robot: Gesundheit: Magnus Wurzer blogs about monochrom-member Franky Ablinger's cocktail robot "Gesundheit".

"Gesundheit" is one of our cocktail robot projects for Roböxotica. Roböxotica is the first (and inevitably leading) festival concerned with cocktail robotics. monochrom organizes it in cooperation with Shifz.

AOL released the logs of all searches done by 500,000 of their users over the course of three months earlier this year. That means that if you happened to be randomly chosen as one of these users, everything you searched for from March to May (2006) is now public information on the internet. This was not a leak - it was intentional.

"Hegel was a really profound guy": As part of the weekly, one-hour radio series "Philosophy Talk", on June 6, 2006, the hosts Ken Taylor, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stanford University, and John Perry, Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, discussed Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel with their guest Allen Wood, Ward W. and Pricilla B. Woods Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University. Their concise summary: "Hegel was a really profound guy".

The Next Big Storm: Can Scientists and Journalists Work Together to Improve Coverage of the Hurricane-Global Warming Controversy? Quote: >>The debate over whether and to what extent global warming may be influencing the behavior of the world's hurricanes is scientifically complex, rife with data issues, and superimposed atop a disciplinary rift between climate scientists and hurricane forecasters as well as a politically charged debate over what, if anything, needs to be done about it. Whatever relationship is ultimately found to exist between hurricanes and climate change, it will inevitably be complex and statistical. Global warming (defined as an average increase in global temperatures) can never be determined to "cause" a specific storm. However, global warming may affect a great many environmental factors that could, in turn, strengthen hurricanes on average and increase their destructive potential.
First, there's evidence that global warming will make (or has already made) storms stronger for thermodynamic reasons. Furthermore, if global warming increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere then hurricanes - which cause heavy precipitation and sometimes massive flooding - may produce more rain; similarly, if global warming causes a significant rise in sea level, destructive hurricanes may penetrate further inland. Based on what we already know about global warming, such changes are considered likely in the coming decades, yet the importance of other factors remains much more obscure. Consider the effect of an El Nino year, characterized by strong warming in the tropical Pacific ocean off the coast of South America: It tends to suppress hurricanes in the North Atlantic but increase them in the Eastern Pacific. So how will global warming alter the frequency and strength of what scientists refer to as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO? At this point the question isn't settled, although scientists suspect that there will probably be an effect.<<

The trendy taxidermist: Quote: "For generations, the art of preserving dead creatures has been considered at worst barbaric and at best a relic of 19th-century colonialism. Now, however, a new breed of artists and collectors are discovering taxidermy. A manky hoof or a moth-eaten fox head that once adorned your granny's spare room is probably propped on the wall of an expensive restaurant. A new shop selling taxidermy is opening next year in London's achingly fashionable Shoreditch. Kate Moss has just spent several thousand pounds on a piece of taxidermy sculpture - a dead bluetit on a prayer book - by the east London-based artist Polly Morgan."

New monochrom blogger // Welcome Vibemaster! Robert Glashüttner aka Vibemaster joins the monochrom bloggers. He is a computer gaming aficionado and is known for fine electronic music products.

Vibemaster's homepage (mostly German language)

Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names: Arsole? Adamantane? Moronic Acid? Traumatic Acid? Fucitol?

Vancouver Matters: The UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture has a call for submissions for a series of publications about Vancouver.

"The proposed investigations seek to engage Vancouver as a material condition – to explore what the city is made of, the codes that have constructed it, and the manifestations produced as a result. Work will be presented in three volumes: a resource dictionary, a code handbook, and an architecture guidebook. Contributors are asked to align the concepts of material, code, and their constructed products with any number of meanings and experiences, and to speculate upon their consequences using a variety of mediums."

monochrom internal update // Our new intern! Christoph Sonnleitner! We are excited that Christoph Sonnleitner, our new intern, started working in our humble little office today. Welcome!

Doomsday: Not As Much Fun As You'd Think: Why is doomsday so fun to think about? Maybe it fulfills the same role as the frontier once did: to allow us to envision a new world that we can shape from scratch. The world sometimes seems so messed-up, and individuals so powerless, that a hard reboot can start to seem downright attractive.

The Pornography of Meat: Lisa Kemmerer agrees with Carol Adams about some of the subliminal assumptions advertisers use to sell their wares.

The places in between: Book review: Intro: "Afghanistan, one of the poorest, least developed nations on the planet, has long been the cross-roads of central Asia, intersection of the famous Silk Road where Eurasian civilizations traded, waged war and destroyed each other in a litany of power struggles which now seem of little relevance to the contemporary world. British civil servant-journalist Rory Stewart walked through the heart of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and his often dangerous encounters with a mélange of Afghans - good, bad and ugly - are recorded in The Places in Between. The book has been reviewed as travel commentary in some sources, but Afghanistan's role in the expanding global cultural wars of this century, makes The Places in Between a particularly informed window into a vanishing world, a core-sampling of what Jared Diamond might call a collapsing culture."

monochrom content update // Gastro-Art: In gastronomical enterprises the management frequently elects to present art as a form of extraordinary room decoration. Some time ago we at monochrom have decided to dedicate a page to the breathtaking world of 'gastro-art'. And there are some excellent new gastro-art picture submissions.


New monochrom info // Nation of Zombia: New Service:

Many people in the USA and Canada want to be turned into representatives of the Nation of Zombia. We get inquiries on a daily basis. You don't want to wait until a zombie addresses you? You want to be turned into a zombie immediately? Well, there is no virtual infection. You need to physically meet a zombie to be turned into a zombie. But if you want to send us an email we can try to hook you up with official representatives of the Zombie Nation in your neighbourhood.


Maladministration of Organs: Post about organ recipients and the institutions which are supposed to match them up with donated organs. Intro: "More specifically, how one such institution, the Kaiser HMO of Northern California, quite spectacularly failed several thousand people who were depending on them, by not matching them up. The story has been around since early May, when it was broken by Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber in the Los Angeles Times, since confirmed by an investigation by Medicare/Medicaid. It doesn't seem to have gotten all that much attention among the blogs, but it's outrageous, and deserves, for that reason alone, to be better known."

Polynesian Esperanto? Language Hat reports about a project "for the development of a pan-Pacific language".

Falling Off The Math Cliff

A foray into American competitive eating: Intro: "The first thing to say about Insatiable is that it is a full-length book about the sport - or, if you prefer, the disgusting practice - of competitive eating. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read 300 pages about an activity known as 'gurgitating'. The second thing is that the author, Jason Fagone, is absolutely superb. In many ways, he's like the young Tom Wolfe - he wants to take you somewhere you wouldn't normally go, and then, somehow, with tremendous verve, use it to explain the state of the world. He succeeds brilliantly."

Some Economics of Class: By Michael Perelman. [Michael Perelman teaches economics at California State University at Chico and is the author of fifteen books, including Manufacturing Discontent: The Trap of Individualism in Corporate Society (Pluto Press, 2005) and Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology (Monthly Review Press, 2006).]

Intro: >>How much more will be required before the U.S. public awakes from its political slumber? Tepid action in the workplace, the voting booth, and the streets have allowed the right wing to steamroll revolutionary changes that have remade the entire sociopolitical structure of the United States. Since the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, every Democratic administration with the exception of Lyndon Johnson's has been more conservative -- often far more conservative -- than the previous Democratic administration. Similarly, every elected Republican administration, with the single exception of George Herbert Walker Bush's, has been more conservative than the previous Republican administration. The deterioration in the distribution of income is a symptom of a far larger problem. Perhaps formulating the situation in the United States might help people understand their class interests as well as reveal who has benefited from the right-wing revolution. Critics of Marx have long taken pleasure in claiming that the rise of the middle class in the United States and other advanced capitalist economies disproves Marx's "predictions" of the course of capitalism. In recent decades, however, the distribution of income in the United States is coming to resemble that of many poor Latin American economies, with a shrinking middle class and an obscene share of wealth going to the richest members of society.<<

Congo's abandoned miners: The Democratic Republic of Congo will hold its first general election since 1960 at the end of this month, a sign that peace may be returning after civil and regional wars that killed three million people between 1997 and 2003. The European Union's willingness to send troops to oversee the election is an indication of the value the world sets on the DRC's mineral resources, which it previously looted.

Not brain-dead, but ripe for transplant: A drive to increase the number of human organs taken before they become unusable is dividing the medical world.

Meet The World's Biggest Movie Star: Quote: "Shah Rukh Khan (also known as "King Khan") has been in more than 50 Hindi films and has won 13 Filmfare awards, regarded as the "Bollywood Oscars". He is the biggest star in Hindi cinema and this means billions of fans (Bollywood has a global audience of 3.6 billion; Hollywood has 2.5 billion)."

monochrom supports // We support PPO (Austrian Pirate Party):

Pirate Party info: "Compared to the ongoing developments in the information society the state is reacting very slow on changes. Austria and the rest of Europe are following a rather dangerous path in terms of privacy, copyright and patent systems. Being part o a large international network, the newly born Austrian Pirate Party stands for human rights in the digital era."

What does the Pirate party want?

"Laws which are passing now and relate to IT are setting up our way in terms of cultural and constitutional development for the next decades. Europe is now on a rather direct way to becoming a surveillance state. We want to avert that! Monopolies and patents are preventing innovation, progress, research and development - which Europe is needing desperately to continue to compete on an international level. Meanwhile the music industry is issuing tons of lawsuits which affect mainly young people and children. We demand the industry to stop making whole parts of the Austrian people to criminals!"

Link (mostly German)

Louis Armstrong International Airport: A post-Katrina meditation: By Richard Carlson. Intro: "The sun unfurls its noon fury in the Creole heat of late summer. One walks slowly over bare tarmac with the wavy mirage traces of jet fuel evaporating from the baked runway. Your eyes must squint to distinguish actual form from hallucination in the gaseous blur. The mugginess is palpable and steams up from the bayou to create a state of perpetual humidity, you strain to wipe away the sweat dripping from your brow on the balmy Louisiana day."

15% More Universe! An Ohio State University astronomer and his colleagues have determined that the Triangulum Galaxy, otherwise known as M33, is actually about 15 percent farther away from our galaxy than previously measured. This finding implies that the Hubble constant, a number that astronomers rely on to calculate a host of factors -- including the size and age of the universe -- could be significantly off the mark as well. That means that the universe could be 15 percent bigger and 15 percent older than any previous calculations suggested.

Fish out of water: An oriental weatherfish shows up in Oregon, walking around, no less.

Islamic Terrorists' and Salem Witch Hunters' Motives Same Says Author of New Book: Quote: "What do Seventeen Century Massachusetts Puritans and today’s Islamic Jihadists have in common? The desire for a world led by God rather than by men, and the belief that Satan and his earthly helpers actively oppose this."

Your Brain As A Computer: Scientists are building a microcomputer meant to mimic functions of the human brain. "The Spinnaker — short for 'spiking neural network architecture' — system will not only help scientists better understand the complex interactions of brain cells, but it could also lead to fault-tolerant computers that, like the brain, work despite malfunctions in tiny circuits."

Trainspotting: Addicted to Denial:

If a train is heading toward you, ignorance does not lead to bliss.

Japan's Political and Constitutional Crossroads: Japan is at a constitutional -- and political -- crossroads. In the wake of dispatch of GSDF forces to Iraq and the MSDF fleet to the Persian Gulf, the pacifist constitution faces the possibility of revision for the first time since its adoption during the postwar occupation sixty years ago. Also well advanced is a parallel effort to revise the Fundamental Law of Education, which was adopted as a companion to the constitution, in an effort to enshrine the nurturing of patriotism as a goal of the educational system. Combined with the deepening integration of Japan's Self Defense Forces and the US military in an expanded conception of the alliance, these moves signal the transformation of Japan's posture on the world scene.

E-Science is the buzzword in science policy and science funding. But what does it mean? What sense can we make of it? This paper is actually not much more than an exercise in thinking aloud about how we might get a hold on the phenomenon of e-science.

Electronics from seaweed: Better electronic capacitors could come from an unlikely source. Quote: "New materials for advanced electronics are usually expensive, high-tech substances. But a team of researchers in France has shown that energy-storage components called supercapacitors can be made from a remarkably cheap and humble material: baked seaweed."

It's just Hangman!

Childhood games can be really dark. (Click on the 'Hangman' link.)

Scientists Find Antarctic Ozone Hole To Recover Later Than Expected: The Antarctic ozone hole's recovery is running late. According to a new NASA study, the full return of the protective ozone over the South Pole will take nearly 20 years longer than scientists previously expected.

Transforming the Alchemists: Many were cranks, frauds or just plain mad. But today, four centuries later, they may have something to teach scientists.

Now Hear This! Polymath Bart Kosko sounds off on how noise can make you smarter. Intro: "Britney Spears ringtones, junk email, electromagnetic fuzz – unwanted signals assault us from all sides these days. But in his new book, Noise, Bart Kosko argues that even the most annoying racket can be beneficial. The USC professor draws on his degrees in electrical engineering, law, mathematics, economics, and philosophy to connect the finer points of calculus, game theory, and court precedent to all kinds of random, unpredictable energy."

Anal Sex in Accordance with God's Will

Life After Earth - Imagining Survival Beyond This Terra Firma: The Alliance to Rescue Civilization differs from other so-called doomsday projects. It envisions a lunar base where, in the event of global catastrophe, humans could carry on, protecting DNA samples of life on Earth and maintaining a bank of human knowledge.

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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