Boris Pasternak never knew it, but the CIA funded Dr. Zhivago in Russian, enabling him to be named for the Nobel Prize in 1958.
France Allows Les Miserables Sequel
France's highest appeals court says it will allow a modern sequel to Victor Hugo's classic "Les Miserables". The author's great great grandson says he's bitterly disappointed in the decision. Quote: "I am not just fighting for myself, my family and for Victor Hugo but for the descendants of all writers, painters and composers who should be protected from people who want to use a famous name and work just for money."
monochrom in Esquire Japan
monochrom is featured in March 2007 issue of Esquire Japan. We were asked to show the folks around Vienna and Museumsquartier.
Link to issue
Is Philosophy Progressive?
Some say that one of the main differences between science and philosophy is that science makes progress while philosophers go round in circles endlessly discussing the same questions. Toni Vogel Carey isn’t convinced.
Top Ten Signs That You're An Art World Token
Free Bariumnitrate @ Laughing Squid
Laughing Squid features "Free Bariumnitrate!"...
Jacob Appelbaum / Photo exhibition
Our monochrom ambassador and artist in residence, Jacob Appelbaum, will present a small photo exhibition of his work on January 31, 2007 (8 PM) at Museumsquartier Vienna (Quartier 21).
(You want to see the prints? Show up!)
Stonehenge Settlement Found
"Excavations also offer new evidence that a timber circle and a vast earthwork where the village once stood were linked to Stonehenge—via road, river, and ritual. Together, the sites were part of a much larger religious complex, the archaeologists suggest."
Free Bariumnitrate: Video online
Finally, the video documentation of "Free Bariumnitrate!" -- the opening event of the "International Year Of Polytheism" -- is online. Watch us ignite 10.000 bound sparklers, free of any judaeo-christian intent.
Link to video (YouTube and Hi-Res)
Link to various photostreams
No time for British clock changes: Daylight-saving measure fails to gain enough support
A plan to bring Britain's clocks into line with those in the rest of Europe has failed to gather the necessary political support. The potential change, championed by supporters as a way to save lives and energy, will now be dropped.
Iesu Matayoshi -- Japanese Politician, God and Jesus Christ
Mitsuo Matayoshi (also Iesu Matayoshi) is an eccentric Japanese politician, self-styled as The only God Mitsuo Matayoshi Jesus Christ or Matayoshi Jesus. He is the leader of the World Economic Community Party.
He was born in Ginowan on February 5, 1944. After graduating Chuo University in Tokyo in 1968, he moved back to Okinawa and ran a juku, a private school to which students went after their regular classes in official schools. He was also trained as a preacher of a Protestant sect, and did religious activity. After a life of preacher he has developed a particular concepts of Christianity, strongly influenced by Eschatology. In 1997 He established the World Economic Community Party based on his conviction that he is the God and Christ.
Penises have higher bandwidth than cable modems
Well, here's the calculation...
The human genome is about 3,120,000,000 base pairs long, so half of that is in each spermatozoa -- 1,560,000,000 base pairs. Each side of these base pairs can either be an adenine-thymine or a guanine-cytosine bond, and they can be aligned either direction, so there are four choices. Four possibilities for a value means it can be fully represented with two bits; 00 = guanine, 01 = cytosine, and so forth.Link
The Case Against Science
By Samuel Thorpe.
Science has become an unreliable epistemological resource for several reasons. First, the assumptions of science are suspect. Second, the scientific method exhibits narrow limits to the acquisition of universal knowledge. Third, the conclusions of the scientific community at large are questionable and inadequate. Fourth, the practice of science has developed a particular perspective about its place in the world of knowing that diminishes all other avenues of knowledge, to its detriment. Finally, the practice of science involves a philosophical approach which makes scientism and "pure science" hard to differentiate. Thus, science itself, as an epistemological discipline, has been discovered to be unworthy of the extreme admiration granted it by the present technology-loving world.Link
Penguins: A Falklands Photo Essay
By Nathan Myhrvold.
The Forgotten American Dead: Rural America Pays the President's Price in Iraq
Quote: "When we hear about the American dead in Iraq, we normally learn about the circumstances in which they died. Last Saturday, for instance, was, for American troops, the third bloodiest day since the Bush administration launched its invasion in March 2003 -- 27 of them died. Twelve went down in a Blackhawk helicopter over Diyala Province, probably hit by a shoulder-fired missile. Five died under somewhat surprising and mysterious circumstances. They were attacked in a supposedly secure facility in the Shiite city of Karbala by gunmen who, despite their telltale beards, were dressed to imitate American soldiers and managed to drive through city checkpoints in exceedingly official-looking armored SUVs. They could, of course, have been members of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, but were probably Sunni insurgents from a neighboring province. The rest of the Americans in that total died as a result of roadside bombs (IEDs) around Baghdad or fighting with Sunni insurgents, mainly in al-Anbar Province. The Pentagon announcements on which such news is based are usually terse in the extreme. The totals, 29 dead for the weekend (as well as hundreds of Iraqis), did, however, become major TV and front-page news around the country."
January 28, 2007: European Data Protection Day
I guess this is some kind of memorial date. Set up just after data protection passed away.
The Bible And Entomology
Quote, Leviticus Chapter 11:
All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.No insects (including grasshoppers) are 4-legged.
How Does Your Brain Respond When You Think About Gambling Or Taking Risks?
Should you leave your comfortable job for one that pays better but is less secure? Should you have a surgery that is likely to extend your life but poses some risk that you will not survive the operation? Should you invest in a risky startup company whose stock may soar even though you could lose your entire investment? In the Jan. 26 issue of the journal Science, UCLA psychologists present the first neuroscience research comparing how our brains evaluate the possibility of gaining versus losing when making risky decisions.
How the Moon rules your life
At last, scientists claim to have found a link between our satellite and human behaviour - like how it governs the size of your dinner.
10-year-old filmmaker sues for creative control
Budding filmmaker Dominic Scott Kay wants creative control, along with a shot at the Sundance Film Festival. And, as often happens in the entertainment business, to get what he wants he's headed to court with one of Hollywood's top litigators in tow.
International Year Of Polytheism / Blog launch
We just launched the official blog of the "International Year Of Polytheism".
Tonight is the glorious opening event "Free Bariumnitrate!"...
Crash Test Parking
Stupid and sexist comments, but an awesome video.
A Good Kill, A Humane Hangman?
Albert Pierrepoint hanged Nazis, common murderers, and more than a few American GIs. He also believed that a hanging should be done humanely.
G** bless you, airline movie censors
All mentions of God are bleeped out of a version of Oscar-nominated movie The Queen distributed to Delta and some other airlines.
Reminder: 10.000 Sparklers For Polytheism
Tomorrow, January 26, the opening celebration of the "International Year Of Polytheism" (powered by monochrom) will take place in Lindabrunn, Lower Austria.
It is time to Free Bariumnitrate! We'll create a wonderfully powerful fire signal, whose representational vacuity and lack of otherwise traditional symbolic meaning might just wake some of the ignoble gods exiled by monotheistic McKinseyism. We welcome them back from their second-class beyond(s).
Need more info? Visit our project page.
The only Castrato sound recording
Alessandro Moreschi, member of the sistina capella from 1883 to 1913, was the only castrato ever making solo recordings.
monochrom lecture at Sheridan College
Our lecture at the Sheridan College is confirmed.
Tuesday February 6, 2007
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
@ Sheridan College
Art & Art History
1430 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, Ontario L6H 2H1
public transport patterns
Inside artzine #11
Inside artzine #11 is out.
This time with MAXIMUM ARTSCUM from Europe, USA, Japan and Australia - Evil & Subversive Paintings, Drawings, Collages, Stories, Poems, Reports from Naoto Hattori (JAP), J.K. Potter (USA), Jan Off (GER), Marcel Ruijters (NL), Microbo (ITA), Karl Persson (AUS), Mike Bohatch (USA), Fabrice Lavolley (BEL), Urs Böke (GER) & many other weirdos....Link (PDF)
Pirating the 2007 Oscars
For the last few years, the movie industry's battles with Internet pirates offered an entertaining diversion during Oscar season. Their problem: they need to "leak" their films to Academy members for consideration, but don't want those official leaks to fall into the hands of pirates. [...]Link
No Consolation For Kalashnikov
John Forge considers the moral dilemma of the weapons designer.
>>Here is the dilemma: Weapons research produces in the first place not guns, bombs, bullets and planes and the various command, control and communications hardware and software needed to use these things, but plans, blueprints and designs – knowledge and know-how. Unless these useful plans are lost or destroyed, they can be implemented or instantiated many times over, and thus project unforeseen into the future.Link
Did the dinosaurs invent biplane technology?
All God's Creatures:
Microraptor gui, a little dinosaur with four feathered limbs, may have glided through the air like a biplane, with its wings paired in parallel.Link
John Nichols Thom, the Cornish King of Jerusalem and Malta
John Nichols Thom (1799-1838) was a Cornish self-declared Messiah in the 19th century.
Minor Google Security Lapse Obscures Ongoing Online Data Risk
Finjan confirmed earlier reports that Google's anti-phishing blacklist, containing private user names and passwords, was accessible without protection on Google's servers.
Dorkbot in Second Live
Dorkbot SL is trying to establish dorkbot meetings in second life a internet-based virtual world. Dorkbot SL wants to explore the new possibilities of the metaverse and tries to establish a platform for a glocal way of creating new connections and collaborations. Meetings are held at rhizomatic, which is a place in Second Life.
DAVID KARSTEN DANIELS - sharp teeth (Fat Cat)
KOTRA & ZAVOLOKA - wag the swing (Kvitnu)
NEON - au theatre de sons imaginaires (poeta negra)
PERLONEX - tensions w/Keith Rowe and Charlemagne Palestine (Nexsound)
THE ARTIFICIAL SEA - city island (Travelling Music)
New Skype Add-On: The Lie Detector
"KishKish Lie detector offers you a tool to detect the stress level of the person you communicate with over Skype. With the use of KishKish Lie detector you can monitor in real-time the stress level of the person you talked with. This allows you to gage the level of stress and modify your questions in real time."
Link (via crion)
Resurrection of the Greek Mythology
"It has taken almost 2,000 years, but those who worship the 12 gods of ancient Greece have finally triumphed." An old religious community strikes back.
Stop wasting SETI money and resources
Seth Shostak, a senior associate with the SETI Institute is taking a noble effort at fending off the project's critics.
Brazil's Lula: Tropical Blair or Axis of Hope?
Hilary Wainwright returns from Sao Paulo to report on how social movements are preparing for President Lula's second term.
Shotgun Sequencing Slime And Life On Other Planets
Scientists have identified tiny nanoorganisms, which are virtually impossible to see beneath the microscope, in a Californian mine. The discovery may have important implications in the search for life on other planets.
Quote: "For 11 years, Jill Banfield at the University of California, Berkeley, has collected and studied the microbes that slime the floors of mines and convert iron to acid, a common source of stream pollution around the world. Imagine her surprise, then, when research scientist Brett Baker discovered three new microbes living amidst the bacteria she thought she knew well. All three were so small - the size of large viruses - as to be virtually invisible under a microscope, and belonged to a totally new phylum of Archaea, microorganisms that have been around for billions of years."
Teaching Science to Biblical Literalists
By Alvin M. Saperstein.
Intro: >>I have taught introductory astronomy and physical science for many years. I also teach courses on the application of science to world affairs: the impact of war and technology on the historical development of human society (and vice versa) as well as the "war" between man and nature. I explore the historical development of the sciences as well as the scientific view of the evolutionary nature of the universe and its inhabitants. In recent years, I have noted an increasing number of students who are "uncomfortable" with, or actually object to, such evolutionary paradigms. They state, or hint, that they accept the Bible literally as a historical and scientific text. They believe that fixed biological species were created, together with the earth and its universe, some six thousand years ago. How can I teach these biblical literalists while respecting them and others in my classes and remaining true to the requirements of scientific and educational professionalism and the needs of modern society?<<
Say hello to the paleoclimatologists!
How severe will global warming get? Jason P. Briner is looking for an answer buried deep in mud dozens of feet below the surface of lakes in the frigid Canadian Arctic.
Reservoir Dogs: Redemption in a Postmodern World
By Mark T. Conard.
Tarantino's characters find that their redemption depends on whether there is a meaning to the word. An excerpt from The Philosophy of Neo-Noir.
Intro: >>Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Kill Bill (both volumes: 2003, 2004) are arguably the most successful (and I would say important) of the four full-length feature films that Quentin Tarantino has directed. And each is more or less explicitly about redemption. Further, Tarantino is widely recognized as a quintessentially postmodern neo-noir filmmaker. His films are postmodern in the artistic sense, insofar as they are, for example, blends of genres and highly allusive. But they're also postmodern in terms of the underlying epistemology and the position on morality and values that they take. That is, they reflect a postmodern sensibility about our ability (or lack thereof) to know and understand the world and about the value and significance (or lack thereof) that our lives and actions have. I argue here that this postmodern sensibility undermines the characters' attempts at redemption in the films. That is to say, in a postmodern world, such as the one depicted in Tarantino's films, there can be no such thing as redemption. While I include discussions of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, the arguments below focus primarily on Reservoir Dogs.<<
China rejects new Scorsese film "The Departed"
"The Departed" will not be shown in China, after it was rejected by the country's state-run distributor. But China only imports about 20 films a year, so it is not uncommon for the country to block Hollywood movies.
The True Beauty Of The Parking Lot Of An A&P
Learning From Miami: An Architectural Guide to Coping With Urban Sprawl
Quote: >>It was at Yale in 1968 that Venturi and a small group of professors and students first unleashed their ideas on the academic world. Theirs was a two-pronged aesthetic diatribe, both a scathing criticism of modern architecture and a promotion of roadside American architecture, specifically the commercial strip. It all began as a university lecture called "A Significance For A&P Parking Lots," in which Venturi calls the huge parking lot fronting any less significant building "...the greatest evolution of vast space since Versailles." Later, the lecture was expanded into a formal written manifesto, Venturi's infamous masterwork Learning From Las Vegas (1972). Venturi still designs architecture today: He recently proposed the addition of the largest clock face in the world to the top of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.<<
The 100 Worst Martial Arts Movie Names
Quote: "Martial arts films have a proud history of unusual naming practices. For one thing, it's not uncommon for a film to have a ridiculous number of different titles. Take for example Jackie Chan's Police Story 4 – according to the IMDb it is also known (in English) as First Strike, Jackie Chan's First Strike, Police Story 4: First Strike, Police Story 4: Piece of Cake, Police Story 4: Story of the CIA, and Story of the CIA. [...] After trawling through thousands of pages on IMDb, I have compiled what I believe to be the 100 worst martial arts movie names in existence. Some of these titles are just one of the many a film is known by. But that still means that somewhere at some time, these films were marketed under these names."
How the Body Shapes the Way We Think
"How the Body Shapes the Way We Think - A New View of Intelligence"
By Rolf Pfeifer and Josh C. Bongard
Foreword by Rodney Brooks
How could the body influence our thinking when it seems obvious that the brain controls the body? In How the Body Shapes the Way We Think, Rolf Pfeifer and Josh Bongard demonstrate that thought is not independent of the body but is tightly constrained, and at the same time enabled, by it. They argue that the kinds of thoughts we are capable of have their foundation in our embodiment--in our morphology and the material properties of our bodies.Link
Spice Healer: Curry Vs. Alzheimer
An ingredient in curry shows promise for treating Alzheimer's, cancer and other diseases.
Monty Python musical nominated for seven Olivier awards
Monty Python's creators will be eating their words today after Spamalot, the musical they had to be persuaded to put on, scooped seven Laurence Olivier nominations.
Tickle Me Elmo... Terminator?
Dorkbot Vienna #2: Jacob Appelbaum's talk on anonymous communication is online
monochrom ambassador Jabob Appelbaum's passionate talk about anonymous communication, pseudonymity and privacy is now online. (Thanx, Manfred Krejcik @ Radio Netwacher!)
Topics discussed include: Anonymous communication. Desires for communicating anonymously. Historical examples. Pragmatic methods for staying anonymous online with software recommendations. Threats are presented for someone trying to communicate anonymously. Techniques that are useful off of the internet. Risks involved in such communication. Ethical issues involved with anonymity. Ideas for the future.
Software to be discussed includes: Tor, JAP, mixmaster, mixminon, Freenet, pgp, gpg, Torpark, generic proxies.
monochrom's Taugshow #10 in San Francisco
Our 10th episode of Taugshow will be recorded at the Exploratorium in San Francisco/USA, February 11th. Our guests will be J.D. Lenzen (an environmental chemist and rope bondage instructor), Jennifer Granick (Executive Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic) and VJ Mattbot.
The Boiling, Surging, Churning and Corporatizing Economy of the United States
By Ralph Nader.
Quote: "The boiling, surging, churning and corporatizing economy of the United States is racing far ahead of its being understood by political economists, economists, politicians and the polis itself. Tidbits from the past week add up to this view, to wit [...]"
India's boundless ambitions
The United States will attend the Aero India defence show next month, hoping to profit from India's hunger for military equipment; it wants to make India a counterweight to China. The relationship between China, India and the US is ill-defined; in a region that bristles with weapons, India also will have to contend with Japan and Russia.
Bigfoot Sightings on Google Earth
You can't see a Bigfoot using Google earth. But this is a google earth map with the location of bigfoot sightings dotted.
Decomposition of a baby pig
Take a deep look at nature's workings. I don't recommend watching this before any kind of food intake or early in the morning.
Groundation -- California Jammin'
Americans playing Reggae Music, and all of them are white men... That is something that must have been difficult to accept for Reggae purists and other rastas. But Groundation is now a name that almost every Reggae fan has already heard.
Cop Tech 2010
Stink bombs, pain beams, spy drones--this is the future of law enforcement, brought to you by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
Dorkbot Vienna #2: The future of free communication - Techniques, ideas and pitfalls for communicating (semi)anonymously
Dorkbot Vienna #2.
A talk by Jacob Appelbaum.
Anonymous communication: A discussion about anonymity, pseudonymity and privacy. Primarily a technical talk, historical and ethical background will also be presented. Pragmatic techniques for communicating anonymously both on the internet and off.@ werkzeugh.at
Wednesday - January 17, 2007 - 8 PM
questions about life
A movie inspired by the beautiful diagrams at Indexed:
Le Grand Content examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential. Intersections and diagrams are assembled to form a grand 'association-chain-massacre'. [...]
Link (via information aesthetics)
Lewin teaching electromagnetism
The great Walter Lewin talks about electric shock treatment, electrocardiograms, pacemakers, superconductivity, magnetic trains, aurora borealis and tries to levitate a woman.
Link (Real Video)
But you can find more of his wonderful lectures here.
Lego-made Lego car factory
DaddyD recommends a video about a 100% Lego-made factory that produces mini Lego cars. What a machine.
John Isaac's disturbing and fascinating sculptures.
Copernicus and the Wild Goose Chase
From "Astrobiology Magazine, European edition" is a story that describes the first science fiction stage play, "Man in the Moone". It's a rainy day in London, April 1706. A gentleman eager to impress his lady decides to take her to the opera. Once seated in the theatre they are delighted by an extravagant show which features flying geese on wires, a Spanish gentleman of indiscriminate morality, and giant lunar royalty.
Self Cleaning 'Lotus Plastic'
A plastic cup that can be reused without washing it, simply because contamination has no chance to stick to the surface? A self-cleaning surface like that of the leaf of a Lotus plant is ideal for many applications and consumer products. These ideal natural properties can be imitated remarkably well now. Structuring a plastic or other surface is now possible by using an ultra fast femtosecond laser. PhD student Max Groenendijk of the Applied Laser Technology Group of the University of Twente presents remarkable results with this new technique.
In association with the Philosophy Research Base at erraticimpact.com, this website aims to combine the best textual and visual resources with the best online resources in Critical Theory, Cultural Theory, Literary Theory, Feminist Theory, Post-Feminist Theory, Gender Theory, Music Theory, Queer Theory, Postmodernism, and related subjects.
What's a man got to post about first, I asked myself in shivering excitement. Could there be something about romance, sarcasm, math, and language in the vast digital wastelands we call cyberspace?
A big hello to all of you and thanks for the invitation Johannes! I am one mostly friendly human being so don't hit me if I am wrong or outdated. Just tell me.
Welcome Dominik Unger!
We have a new member in the monochrom blogging team: Dominik Unger ("Nungee").
He's living and working in Vienna and London and dealing with design, aesthetics of information, math creativity, 'Social' Software, games and visuals, motion design and photography. A warm welcome!
"Death of the Author"... this time for real?
Quote: "Postmodernism, like modernism and romanticism before it, fetishised [ie placed supreme importance on] the author, even when the author chose to indict or pretended to abolish him or herself. But the culture we have now fetishises the recipient of the text to the degree that they become a partial or whole author of it. Optimists may see this as the democratisation of culture; pessimists will point to the excruciating banality and vacuity of the cultural products thereby generated (at least so far)."
James Brown's Graceland?
Plans are underway to turn the home of late soul singer James Brown into a museum and to construct a mausoleum on the site for his body, says the Brown family attorney. Debri Opri said discussions about the Beech Island, S.C., location are being held by Brown's children, close friends and the singer's trustee.
The many stripes of anti-Americanism
Sociologists find that anti-American sentiment is more varied -- and less widespread -- than you might think. Quote: >>In their new edited volume, "Anti-Americanisms in World Politics" (Cornell University Press), international relations scholars Peter Katzenstein and Robert Keohane bring together a distinguished group of social scientists to consider how much anti-Americanism there is, and whether, in fact, anti-Americanism is any one thing at all. The plural "anti-Americanisms" in the book's title reveals its core insight: Anti-Americanism is not a single, unitary phenomenon. Instead, Katzenstein and Keohane suggest there are four distinct strains. [...]<<
Dying for Nintendo Wii... and the market
A woman who competed in a radio station's Nintendo Wii contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner's office said Saturday. Well. One more reason to quote what Iain M. Banks thinks about the "market":
The market is a good example of evolution in action; the try-everything-and-see-what-works approach. This might provide a perfectly morally satisfactory resource-management system so long as there was absolutely no question of any sentient creature ever being treated purely as one of those resources. The market, for all its (profoundly inelegant) complexities, remains a crude and essentially blind system, and is - without the sort of drastic amendments liable to cripple the economic efficacy which is its greatest claimed asset - intrinsically incapable of distinguishing between simple non-use of matter resulting from processal superfluity and the acute, prolonged and wide-spread suffering of conscious beings.Link, Wee/Wii
Link, I. M. Banks
Our wonderful monochrom ambassador and artist in residence, Jacob Appelbaum, threw a party (tags: intoxication, bizarrish, white) in his studio and took pictures of all the guests. Nice shots.
Rogues Gallery / Mugshots
The British Transport Police have a small Rogues Gallery which contain some fascinating mugshots and details of their crimes and convictions.
Gravity gets a quantum boost
Despite its 300-year history, Newton's gravitational constant, G, is the least well measured of all the fundamental constants. Now quantum mechanics may help pin down the strength of gravity more precisely. Traditionally, various kinds of torsion balance have been used to calculate G by measuring the twist in a wire induced by the gravitational force between two masses. But this can only provide rough estimates.
Contribute To Free And Open Culture: Subverting Copyright And Radical Ideas About Sharing
monochrom ambassador Jacob Appelbaum is giving a lecture at the University of Applied Sciences (Information Design) in Graz, Austria.
Monday, January 15, 2007; 6:15 PM. University of Applied Sciences, Studio Information Design, Graz.
International Year Of Polytheism / First Announcement
The "International Year Of Polytheism" powered by monochrom) wants to overcome the epoch of the monotheistic worldviews (and its derivatives such as "The West" and "The Arab World") through the reconstruction of a polytheistic multiplicity in which countless gods and goddesses will eventually neutralize each other. Polytheism is democracy, Monotheism a dictatorship, even in its pseudo-secular form.
Freed from the servitude of monotheism and the fraternal strife of the trinity, the world would be redeemed in a chaotic baptism of multiplicity. Besides, we believe that polytheism is the most suitable form of religion for a modern, dynamic and cosmopolitan young culture. Improve your C.V. with polytheism. Create your own heavens and hells. Or try it out yourself with our special Gods/Goddesses trial subscription. Our qualified operators are standing by to take your calls!
Grand Opening:Further events are planned.
And never forget: One is the number of the beast!
Reading 'Lolita in Tehran' in Connecticut
Review of "Lolita in Tehran" by Simon Hay.
Intro: >>Azar Nafisi's bestselling Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Random House, 2003) has become a popular choice for required summer reading for incoming students at many colleges and universities across the USA, including my own. It has also been immensely popular with book clubs, library organizations and the like. Translated into thirty-two languages, it has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Clearly, it offers a message that 'resonates' for a significant portion of the US – and world – reading publics. As a choice for incoming first-year students, Nafisi's book seems compelling because, as a reviewer from the New York Times is quoted on the cover as saying, it is an 'eloquent brief on the transformative powers of fiction'. But what kind of reading practices is the book describing and encouraging, and what reading practices are being declared significant intellectual engagements with literature, and with Iran, in this positioning of Nafisi's book?<<
Disturbing Dog Technologies
Doggy bag and more.
Chavez Announces Nationalizations, Constitutional Reform for Socialism in Venezuela
During the swearing-in ceremony of his new cabinet, Venezuela’s President Chavez announced a series of dramatic new measures for moving ahead in establishing 21st century socialism in Venezuela. Among these new measures are the convocation of a new constitutional assembly and the re-nationalization of key industries.
Bizarre New Form of Life Found in Arctic Ocean
An entirely new group of tiny and bizarre marine algae has been discovered in the Arctic Ocean. A team of European researchers found the new organisms while analyzing DNA sequences in samples of seawater. Genetic evidence pointed to the presence of an unknown type of microalgae, which the researchers named picobiliphytes ("pico" means "a trillionth of a part of") because of their miniscule size. But the discovery may be huge—scientifically speaking. "These organisms represent a new evolutionary lineage," said team member Fabrice Not.
monochrom's Zeigerpointer: FAQ
We added a small FAQ to our Zeigerpointer project page, because many submissions were wrong. We hope that helps.
Canadian coins bugged, U.S. security agency says
Quote: "Canadian coins containing tiny transmitters have mysteriously turnned up in the pockets of at least three American contractors who visited Canada, says a branch of the U.S. Department of Defence. Security experts believe the miniature devices could be used to track the movements of defence industry personnel dealing in sensitive military technology." [...] "You might want to know where the individual is going, what meetings the individual might be having and, above all, with whom," said David Harris, a former CSIS officer who consults on security matters."
Wikipedia? Not for this professor...
"Form" -- a bilingual design magazine -- asked a couple of designers what they think about Wikipedia: "What do designers or specialist authors think and how do they use it?"
One of the comments...
Blah blah... I won't change a single error online but I contribute to a really really REALLY important encyclopedia... haha.
Sound: Not as Simple as It Sounds
An Interview with Joshua Fineberg.
A child of psychoacoustics and the computer revolution, the "spectral music" movement is turning Western art music on it ear (by turning it on to its ear).
By William K. Tabb.
The close relation between war and natural resources is of long standing. What else was colonial conquest about? Vast estates held by the Dutch East India Company came under direct control of the Crown as did the lands conquered by the British East India Company. What was in demand in Europe dictated the commodities produced and the natural resources that were ripped from the earth. European violence set the terms on which resource extraction occurred. There was no free trade for mutual benefit based on comparative advantage. There were few constraints on the violence employed in the extraction of resources starting with the "shock and awe" of bombardments and fire storms of wars of conquest and followed by the pitiless subjugation of people of color. Having defeated the locals in battle the invaders suborned local elites and customs to extract resources from those they had conquered.
Shrinking Higgs brings optimism to US lab
Tevatron gains renewed hope of bagging the particle that endows mass. Quote: "Physicists shooting to find the Higgs boson -- the particle thought to endow all others with mass -- have seen their target move, again. A new measurement of the mass of another subatomic particle, the W boson, has lowered the predicted mass of the Higgs."
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln in Pennies
Quote: "I used 1,702 pennies to make a portrait of Lincoln. Sorting the coins took about seven hours, and making the image took just under six. May 2005."
My oh my... "Check out wild animals raping their masters".
A crossover of bad photoshopping and sodomy. Yeiks!
Harvey Weinstein: A Sun Tzu of Oscar Warfare Resurfaces
Quote: "For the last year he and his brother have been announcing deals almost as often as they have released films, arranging for theatrical, cable television, pay-per-view, video on demand and video-store distribution of their movies. They've invested in a MySpace-style social networking site for the rich and famous called aSmallWorld.net, made a new publishing deal with Hachette Book Group, bought the tiny arts channel Ovation, set up a Latin American film distribution fund and partnered with Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, to make movies under a new urban label, Our Stories Films."
New China. New crisis.
In the last decade China has emerged as a powerful, resurgent economic force with the muscle to challenge America as the global superpower. But, in his controversial new book, Will Hutton argues that China's explosive economic reforms will create seismic tensions within the one-party authoritarian state and asks: can the centre hold?
The Contradiction of the "Bill Gates Foundation"
Quote: "The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health, The Times found, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total of France — the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe."
Where's Darwin when you need him?
Bruce Sterling and Boing Boing blog RFID Song
Prisons of Stateless: The Derelictions of UNHCR
Charged in 1951 with defending rights of asylum, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has been recast for an age of humanitarian warfare. From Operation Provide Comfort to Bosnia and the Rwandan massacres--a compliant advocate of repatriation at any cost.
Language Hat reports:
Manchán Magan decided to take a trip around his country and speak its native language. Nothing remarkable about that? Ah, but he's Irish, in a country where 25% of the population claims to speak the language of that name but in fact... well, let him tell it:LinkI chose Dublin as a starting point, confident in the knowledge that in a city of 1.2 million people I was bound to find at least a few Irish speakers. I went first to the Ordnance Survey Office to get a map of the country. (As a semi-state organisation it has a duty to provide certain services in Irish.) "Would you speak English maybe?" the sales assistant said to me. I replied in Irish. "Would you speak English?!" he repeated impatiently. I tried explaining once again what I was looking for. "Do you speak English?" he asked in a cold, threatening tone. "Sea," I said, nodding meekly. "Well, can you speak English to me now?" I told him as simply as I could that I was trying to get by with Irish.He had similar experiences trying to get a drink ("'Did you not hear me, no?' the barman said menacingly"), information from the tourist office ("'You don't speak English, do you?' he asked coldly"), and so on, and he and the reader are getting pretty depressed, until:
The world's first underwater restaurant opened in the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa.
Georgia Man Kills 11-hundred-pound Hog
A wild hog even bigger than the near-mythical "Hogzilla" caught in rural south Georgia a few years ago has been been shot and killed in a suburban neighborhood.
Soldiers of misfortune
Manet's paintings of the execution of emperor Maximilian of Mexico, a subject to which he returned repeatedly between 1867 and 1869, have striking contemporary parallels. This is political art at its most powerful and timeless, argues John Elderfield.
Instant Blitz Copy Fight Project / New submissions
We wanted to inform you about a couple of new submissions to our 'Instant Blitz Copy Fight Project'... and we need you! 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. Don't go for quality taking the picture, it’s secondary. Please jot down time, place and the title of the movie. And thanks!
monochrom's Overhead Cumshot on YouPorn
monochrom's Toyps / New entries
Toyps is a collection of aesthetically beautiful typing errors of the so-called >English< language. An unpretenitous listong. And we got new submissions!
We need your errors!
Inventor of instant noodles dies
"The inventor of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando, has died in Japan, aged 96, of a heart attack."
I wanted to visit his instant ramen museum in Osaka this fall but I couldn't work out how to book it or get there. Anyway, here's to Ando-san, without him students wouldn't have much to eat all over the world. Can anyone image a Britain without Pot Noodles?
OhMiBod: iPod Vibrator
Quote: >>Simply plug OhMiBod into your iPod® or any music player and it automatically vibrates to the rhythm and intensity of the music. Let your body feel the vibrations as you get down with your favorite tunes. The combination of listening and feeling your music quickly transports you to a place where music, mind and body come together to create an unbeatable sexual experience.<<
(Thanx, Oliver Cosmus!)
Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History
Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs--sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment. Joann Fletcher, research fellow in the department of archaeology at the University of York in Britain, describes the history of tattoos and their cultural significance to people around the world, from the famous "Iceman," a 5,200-year-old frozen mummy, to today's Maori.
The Cruelty of Eros: Sex tips from the Marquise de Pompadour
>>Some study history for knowledge, others to honor their ancestors, but few, I suspect, do so to improve their sex lives. This is most unfortunate, since buried within the lives of great men are history's compelling stories of romance, and in them useful, practical lessons on how to seduce that special, or even not-so-special, someone. For my own part, I feel a pressing urge to write a few kind words about a certain marquise de Pompadour, best known as Louis XV's official mistress, and someone who, I think, has much to teach us about seduction and human nature.
That history has ignored the woman who seduced Louis XV is disappointing but not altogether surprising, for to have as your life's principal achievement the seduction of an utter mediocrity, to be, as it were, the Edwina Currie of the ancien régime, inspires more contempt than admiration. Baudelaire wrote no poetry in Pompadour's honor, Camille Paglia passed her over in Sexual Personae, and the nicest thing I could find that anyone interesting has written about Pompadour was, "Elle pensait comme il faut", which, since it came from the author of Candide, is probably a mark against her. Though not, perhaps, the most significant event in pre-revolutionary French history, Pompadour's seduction of Louis was a remarkable accomplishment in its own right, since only a very special woman is able to seduce the King of France.<<
New Sucker-footed Bat Discovered In Madagascar
Scientists have discovered a new species of bat that has large flat adhesive organs, or suckers, attached to its thumbs and hind feet. This is a remarkable find because the new bat belongs to a Family of bats endemic to Madagascar--and one that was previously considered to include only one rare species.
"Thriller" of Bollywood
mp3-blogs come a dime a dozen, but this one her oughta be something different (it better be!) because beloved DNL works it. Starting with Dub Narcotic and Assfactor is way cool. And I am looking forward to what is to come. And you might also. So why don't you visit and say hi.
Machine Project and monochrom @ LA Weekly
LA Weekly publishes a big article about our wonderful friends at Machine Project in Los Angeles. We're quite happy that they use our 'Experience The Experience Of Being Buried Alive' (2005) as intro:
They were burying people alive the first time I went to Machine Project. Someone had dug a hole in the ground, into which a coffin was lowered. A group of Austrian artists known as monochrom were putting on an event called "Experience the Experience of Being Buried Alive!" It was an invitation to confront death.
RFID Song: New MP3 versions online!
Yesterday we recorded a couple of versions of our RFID Song at the Studio of Radio Orange 94.0 and put two of them online for download. Thanx to Stefan Ried for radical guitar extravaganza and to Manfred Krejcik for providing us with his recording skills!
RFID Song (Bratlfettn Version)Link / MP3s and Lyrics
10 myths --and 10 truths-- about atheism
By Sam Harris.
When scientists don't know something -- like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed -- they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesn't know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn't arrogance; it is intellectual honesty.
Africa's medical deficit
The African continent is facing 25% of the world's morbidity rate with only 3% of its healthcare personnel. This is the result of years of neglect and underinvestment by African governments and the international community, plus harsh IMF restraints on nations' budgetary expeditures.
Europe: The Doubts Of Empire
Quote: "As it grows to 27 countries, the European Union is the most successful example of peaceful regime change in our time. More than half its member states were dictatorships well within living memory. Their advance towards liberal democracy has gone hand in hand with their advance towards membership of what is now the European Union. In every corner of the continent most people are better off and more free than they were half a century ago. Yet everyone knows that, beneath the surface, political Europe is not in party mood about itself."
Fumi TV blogs 'Proto-Melodic Comment Squad'
Fumi TV blogs about a performance of monochrom's 'Proto-Melodic Comment Squad' at 23C3, featuring stuff like RFID and Lessig ist lässig.
Violet Blue about Overhead Cumshot
Sex blogger Violet Blue calls Overhead Cumshot an
[...] explicit and strangely arousing volley in the effort to save the overhead projector.Link
Collection of Propaganda Posters
Quote: "Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people. Instead of impartially providing information, propaganda is often deliberately misleading, using logical fallacies, that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid. The following list includes some of the more amazing propaganda posters ever made by Americans, Soviets, Nazis and others."
In Defense of Dharma
Review of In Defense of Dharma: Just-war Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka. By Tessa J. Bartholomeusz. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002, 209 pages.
Intro: >>The relevance of the theme discussed in Tessa Bartholomeusz's book, In Defense of Dharma: Just-war Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka, hardly needs explanation. The author explores the religious dimension of the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, where since the first (1983) bombing of the Kandy temple holding the Buddha's Tooth Relic, national symbol of 'Buddhist Sri Lanka', 60 000 people have lost their lifes. Bartholomeusz researches the Buddhist side of the conflict, and shows that many Sinhalese Buddhists active in the public domain have promoted a "Buddhist fundamentalism" that has contributed to the polarization of religious (and ethnic) groups in Sri Lanka. One wonders how Buddhists relate such an attitude to the supposedly fundamental Buddhist spirit of ahimsa or non-violence. Bartholomeusz's book provides an abundance of material on exactly this question: how have Sri Lankan Buddhists "justified their resort to violence and why?"<<
Antiquarian Herbal Book Yields Potential New Drugs
Mayo Clinic doctors are impressed with the anti-bacterial properties of a plant extract that they identified from a 17th century Dutch herbal textbook.
monochrom office "notegame"?
Leobard took a couple of pictures of our office and now he started a monochrom office flickr notegame. Wow.
Notegame: On this photo you find billions of wonderful things, its like boinboing.net in a physical place. Add notes and links to them!Well, if you like.
Link / Notegame
monochrom: Overhead Cumshot
The overhead projector is a dying medium. The only way to save it is to explore its pornographic possibilities.
By Joel Marks.
"Over the course of a day, the earth spins once, or 360 degrees." So pronounces The New York Times for August 26, 2005. Hardly news, you might say. But the asserted fact did have relevance to the news – which was that a team of geophysicists had found confirming evidence that the earth's solid iron inner core rotates a tad faster than the rest of the planet: an extra 0.3 to 0.5 degrees per day, to be exact (more or less). This is possible because there is a molten outer core that allows the solid inner core to move somewhat independently of the layers above, including the surface where we live.
Unfortunately, the above background information provided by the Times reporter is incorrect, and possibly incoherent. "What?" you say. "What could be more obvious than that the earth turns once each day? Indeed, this is practically a tautology, or a geometric truism, since one rotation equals 360 degrees." Nonetheless, it is wrong.
France's Museum Imperialism
Quote: "Questions are being raised about plans to create a satellite of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and to establish an outpost of the Georges Pompidou Center in Shanghai. Critics have accused President Jacques Chirac of using the country's museums to promote France's political and commercial interests abroad."
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
A LIFE, A SONG, A CIGARETTE - fresh kills landfill (siluh)
EMANUELE ERRANTE - migrations (chapitre)
JOHN HEGRE - colours don't clash (dekorder)
HUNTSVILLE - for the middle class (rune gramofon)
MILHAVEN - I.M. Wagner (12rec)
THE MINSTRELS - our cruel demise (klem north)
NMPERIGN & JASON LESCALLEET - love me two times (intransitive)
PATRICK PORTER - die wandaland (Greyday)
SEVEN SIOUX - we are not the scared people (fettkakao)
monochrom's Proto-Melodic Comment Squad @ 23C3
We at monochrom had the idea to create a "Proto-Melodic Comment Squad" at the Chaos Communication Congress 2006 (23C3). So monochrom members Johannes G. and Roland G. were wandering around the Berliner Congress Center, playing the acoustic guitar, singing old songs (e.g. Let's network it out or Farewell OH) and writing new ones. About Apple, pr0n or Lawrence Lessig.
There is a good chance that there are cam-phone recordings of all of the songs... but we haven't seen any of them yet. If you have... please email us.
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.
External monochrom links:
[ P r o j e c t s ]