[ B l o g / / Archive]

Insurgency And Betrayal: An Interview With Guy Philippe 
Peter Hallward interviews Guy Philippe.

Guy Philippe was a commander in the Haitian National Police from 1995-2000, and in February 2004 he led an armed insurgency that helped to overthrow the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Peter Hallward is a professor of philosophy at Middlesex University in the UK, and the author of a book on recent Haitian politics entitled Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment (Verso, forthcoming in the autumn of 2007).


US military wants $10m space-weapon funding 
Space cadets, listen!
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) wants $10 million to investigate space-based weapons over the next year. As Pentagon budgets go, it is small change, but it is also a red flag for critics who worry that such plans could turn space into a shooting gallery.

Most of the $8.9 billion the Bush administration plans to spend on missile defence over the next year will go towards developing systems based on the ground, at sea, or in the air.

These defences "could be greatly enhanced", however, by adding space-based interceptors, Lieutenant General Trey Obering, head of the MDA, told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Video Games Conquer Retirees 
>>Anxious about the mental cost of aging, older people are turning to games that rely on quick thinking to stimulate brain activity. A step slower than in their youth, they are using digital recreations of bowling, tennis and golf. Spurred by the popularity of the Nintendo Wii game system among older players, Erickson Retirement Communities, based in Baltimore, which manages 18 campuses around the country with 19,000 total residents, is installing the consoles at each location.<<

Diode Sex 

Prison Weapons 
A gallery of objects creatively turned into real-life weapons by prison inmates.


Philosophy Now reports:
What does the term 'chimera' conjure up for you? The fire-breathing monster of Greek mythology with the head of a lion, body of a goat and tail of a serpent? Or the biological version of a chimera – a mixed organism such as a cultivated plant consisting of two genetically different kinds of tissue as a result of mutation? British scientists are challenging the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 1990, which makes it illegal to mix human and animal eggs and sperm. They have submitted applications to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to proceed with experiments which will involve fusing human cells with eggs from rabbits, cows and goats. They hope to benefit from an established exception, the 'hamster test', by which doctors are allowed to test the quality of human sperm by fertilising a hamster egg and then destroying it no later than at the two-cell stage.

The scientists' aim is to create 'chimeric' embryos that would be 99.9% human and 0.1% animal in order to produce embryonic stem cells. Stem cells are known to be basic 'building-blocks' of the body and can develop into all other types of cells. If permission is granted, the embryos would be destroyed after fourteen days. At present human eggs are supplied by IVF patients, but as demand increases these are no longer sufficient. If given the go-ahead, Dr Stephen Minger of King's College London hopes to use cloned hybrid embryos to create stem cells carrying the defects responsible for conditions such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's, thus facilitating research.

Opponents have expressed strong views; Josephine Quintavelle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics said: "This is abhorrent ... there is a basic human feeling that animals and humans do not mix in these areas." Calum Mackellar of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics said "In this kind of procedure you are mixing at a very intimate level animal eggs and human chromosomes and you may begin to undermine the whole distinction between animals and humans."

The CD Is Dead! Long live the CD! 
Stories of CD's death are premature.
"What we are witnessing is not so much the imminent death of CDs, but the death of the old methods of selling CDs. It's still possible to make money in the CD business--any business with more than $7 billion in retail sales should allow someone, somewhere, to make a profit. The incumbents are getting killed, but upstarts are thriving, using different methods."

Death Of A Yiddishist 
The Times (U.K.) has a nice obit for Mordkhe (Mordecai) Schaechter, "indefatigable and prolific champion and scholar of the Yiddish language".
(Via Lanuagehat)

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville 
Sir John Mandeville was an Early-Renaissance writer of travel tales, similar in style and content to his near-contemporary, Marco Polo. But history has judged the two quite differently: whereas Marco Polo has become a household word, synonymous with bold explorations, Mandeville has been largely forgotten. It was not always so.

Time for a bi-national state 
Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas may have affirmed that they want a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but it may be more promising to return to a much older idea.
There is talk once again of a one-state bi-national solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Oslo peace process failed to bring Palestinians their independence and the withdrawal from Gaza has not created a basis for a democratic Palestinian state as President George Bush had imagined: the Palestinians are watching their territory being fragmented into South African-style bantustans with poverty levels of over 75%. The area is heading to the abyss of an apartheid state system rather than to a viable two-state solution, let alone peace.

Anti Rape device == Vagina Dentata 
Technology is amoral. It has influenced human sexuality in all sorts of ways, and the result is not always to encourage more and better sex.
In this postmodern world such ideas as free consent and gender equality live down the block from the same old predatory/ownership impulses that civilization grew up with.
In South Africa, where the battle against predatory sex is raging, one inventor is using a surreal technology to fight back.

Meet RapeX, a modern incarnation of Vagina Dentata.
Billed as an anti-rape female condom, this tampon like device has rows of tiny barbs that will snare anyone unlucky enough to attempt penetration.

"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers, 57, said her invention.
The device, made of latex and held firm by shafts of sharp barbs, can only be removed from the man by surgery, which will alert hospital staff, and ultimately, the police, she said.

NY Bus Converted Into Oven for Matzos 
I'm very impressed by this ingenious bus hack. Have a wonderful passover everyone, and may your easter bunny lay lots of eggs!
When police responded to a report that something smelled of smoke in the middle of the night, they found an old school bus that had been converted into a supersized oven for Passover matzos - complete with a smokestack, exhaust fans and working fire.

A building inspector said that while the bakery bus wasn't nearly up to code, it was "very creative."

Sandra Bullock can actually cure a cold 
Chicken soup is not enough; you also need 'Practical Magic'.
Two things you can almost always count on:

1. Everything you touch is crawling with germs and viruses.

Not to freak you out or anything, but it's a fact. And, because of that fact, you're going to catch a cold or the flu eventually. I do, usually about once a year. I think that's about normal. And because I like being normal, the cold and/or flu usually hits me during the months between October and March, when it's coldest and when, frankly, it's more fun to be sick.

2. Cable TV is crawling with Sandra Bullock.

This is also a fact. It's much less of a freakout than the germs and viruses, but it's just as true. This week alone, on four different channels, you could watch "Hope Floats," "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous," "28 Days" and "The Divine Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood." The last three are on twice.

In my life, these two phenomena are inextricably entwined. Now, "Premonition" notwithstanding (a film I saw in a private screening room two weeks ago because my job is to review movies — fancy, I know), I don't often watch Sandra Bullock's work in theaters, seated upright or wearing pants. I'm usually on the couch, in pajamas, covered in a blanket, eating soup. Because I like her best when I'm sick.

100-Year Forecast: New Climate Zones Humans Have Never Seen 
Worst-case warming scenario may bring totally new kinds of tropical climate and cause others to disappear.

The Spirit of Jean Baudrillard 
Just stumbled over Arthur Kroker's obituary for Jean Baudrillard.
In Memoriam: 1929-2007

Like his intellectual predecessors -- Nietzsche, Artaud, and Bataille -- Jean Baudrillard was that rarity of a cultural philosopher, a thinker whose reflections, refusing to be simply culturally mimetic, actually became a complex sign of the social reality of the postmodern century. In his thought there was always something simultaneously futuristic and ancient: futuristic because his theorization of the culture of simulation ran parallel to the great scientific discoveries of our time, specifically the radical transformation of culture and society under the impact of the speed of light-time and light-space; and ancient because Baudrillard was haunted by the enigma of pataphysics, namely the magical ascent of the reality-principle itself into the language of artifice, seduction and terror.

Arse Elektronika: Viennese Community Vote 
monochrom content info
We are really happy that the Viennese net culture community awarded our project "Arse Elektronika" with 5,656.44 euros at yesterday's netznetz voting. Thanks!

(The different projects presented themselves with small collages on the windows of the geek cafe werkzeugh.)

Snail Slime Deluxe 
A team of engineers have set a small robot climbing walls in order to compare how natural and artificial snail slimes work. A snail's slime acts as both a glue and a lubricant, allowing the snail to crawl up walls and across ceilings without falling off. The snail pushes until the structure of the glue breaks, at which point it glides forward. When the snail stops, the glue structure reforms - sticking the snail safely to the ceiling. The team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, and the Catholic University of Leuven (CUL), Belgium, looked at how the cycle of glue breakdown and repair works in natural snail slime.


Latin America's pink tide 
Socialism! For most of us it is still the ideal, but with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the defects of China and other neo-Stalinist regimes, and the sell-out of the Labour Party, it seems more distant than ever. If there is to be a new model, a real alternative to globalised capitalism, what will it look like and how do we get there?

Conan the Bacterium 
Nicknamed Conan the Bacterium, it can survive doses of ionising radiation thousands of times stronger than would kill a human - but how?

International Year Of Polytheism: Bast and Coyote 
monochrom content info
Next two "favourite deities"!

Frank Apunkt Schneider tells us about a trickster God: Coyote!

And Evelyn Fürlinger chose Bast, the cat goddess from Egyptian mythology.

More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.

Baumol's cost-disease 
Artists! Attention!
In 1918, Igor Stravinsky composed The Soldier's Tale, a new-music/theatre piece designed for a performance tour; it was initially unsuccessful and lost money. In 1976, Philip Glass premiered his own theatrical production, Einstein on the Beach; it was quite successful, playing to capacity audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, it also lost money. (Glass wrote that during Einstein's brief, sold-out run at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the deficit was $10,000 a night.)

What happened? Stravinsky had the misfortune of seeing his planned tour cancelled due to a worldwide influenza outbreak. Glass fell victim to a subtler ailment: Baumol's cost-disease.

Baumol's cost-disease (sometimes more prosaically referred to as the Baumol-Bowen effect) is well-known among economists and arts administrators. First described by economists William J. Baumol and William G. Bowen in 1966, the main symptom of the disease is this: labor costs in the performing arts will always inexorably rise, and at a faster rate than other industries. That's because in most industries, technological advances allow for increased productivity without an increase in labor. This doesn't happen in the performing arts, though.

Roboexotica 2007 
monochrom content info
Finally, I think we can announce a date. Roböxotica 2007 will take place in Vienna from November 22 thru November 25.

Roboexotica (or Roböxotica) is the first and inevitably leading festival concerned with cocktail robotics.
Until recently, no attempts had been made to publically discuss the role of cocktail robotics as an index for the integration of technological innovations into the human Lebenswelt, or to document the increasing occurrence of radical hedonism in man-machine communication. Roboexotica is an attempt to fill this vacuum. It is the first and, inevitably, the leading festival concerned with cocktail robotics world-wide. A micro mechanical change of paradigm in the age of borderless capital. Alan Turing would doubtless test this out.
Scientists, researchers, computer geeks and artists from all over the world participate to build cocktail robots and discuss about technological innovation, futurology and science fiction.

Roboexotica is a cooperation with Shifz and 'Bureau für Philosophie', Vienna.


A few notes on Culture 
In his essay "A few notes on culture", science fiction author Ian M. Banks writes:

Intelligence, which is capable of looking farther ahead than the next aggressive mutation, can set up long-term aims and work towards them; the same amount of raw invention that bursts in all directions from the market can be - to some degree - channelled and directed, so that while the market merely shines (and the feudal gutters), the planned lases, reaching out coherently and efficiently towards agreed-on goals.

What is vital for such a scheme, however, and what was always missing in the planned economies of our world's experience, is the continual, intimate and decisive participation of the mass of the citizenry in determining these goals, and designing as well as implementing the plans which should lead towards them.


Nazi Polytheists Fuck Off // A Statement 
monochrom content info
A necessary statement.
monochrom's polytheist community wants to dissociate itself from any religious back-to-the-roots-movement in Western society, which aims to replace the dominant local monotheism with some older form of religious practice. A practice which they believe to be rooted in the original doctrine of that region and the people grounded in it.

One example for such a practice is given by the neo-pagan movement that is popular in the gothic, dark wave, and parts of the industrial scene.


More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.

the cracked ambience: New and recommended sounds for your aural space 

Yuri's Night 2007 World Event 
Yuri Gagarin was the first human to go into space on April 12th, 1961. The US Space Shuttle first launched on April 12th, 1981. Yuri's Night is like the St Patricks Day or Cinco de Mayo for space. It is one day when all the world can come together and celebrate the power and beauty of space and what it means for each of us.

Every year on April 12th Yuri's Night is celebrated all around the world. This year there are events planned in 69 cities including San Francisco, Vancouver, Beijing, and Graz. The range of events is as diverse as the people who hold them - even the residents of the International Space Station have been known to join in the fun!

Click the link to find a party near you!


International Year Of Polytheism: Hanuman (the Indian Superman) and Loviatar 
monochrom content info
More "favourite deities"!

Kixmi submitted a report about Hanuman, the Indian Superman.

And Anika Kronberger tells us about a frightening (yet compelling) persona from the beyond(s)... Loviatar.

More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.

"GWEI - Google Will Eat Itself" fully censored 
Ubermorgen just informed us that "GWEI - Google Will Eat Itself" is now fully censored on all Google Search indexes worldwide. What a scandal!

Mathematicians finally map 248-dimension structure 
Lucky them.
A fiendishly complicated mathematical challenge has finally been conquered by mathematicians.

The team has exhaustively explored an esoteric 248-dimension structure called E8 and the results take up 60 gigabytes of data. If written out in tiny print, the results would cover an area the size of Manhattan.

"E8 was discovered over a century ago, in 1887, and until now, no one thought the structure could ever be understood," says the team leader Jeffrey Adams from the University of Maryland in College Park, US.

E8 (pronounced E-eight) is an example of a so-called Lie group. A Norwegian mathematician invented Lie groups in the 19th century to study symmetry. A Lie group underlies objects like balls, cylinders or cones that are symmetrical when rotated by small amounts.

Lost Genius: The Story of a Forgotten Musical Maverick 
By Kevin Bazzana.
Erwin Nyiregyhàzi (1903-1987) is the Velikovsky of classical music. If he is right, all the rest of us are completely wrong. And yet it is clear that he was in his own way a unique genius, and he was hailed as such from early childhood on by many of the world's musical elite.

Reading Roland Steiner 
If you are just a little bit able to understand the German language you might get a headrush out of this:

Tomorrow, 23rd of March, Roland Steiner will be reading from his collection of stories at the Cafe Sperl, Vienna (Gumpendorferstrasse 11, 6th district).

He makes Elfriede Jelinek sound like John Irving and I mean it.

Dopamine - "the slightly more informed" Primer 
Let's start by destroying a metaphor. Your brain is not a bathtub with neuron spigots for neurochemicals labeled "happy" or "pleasure." In fact, the chemicals themselves are valueless and are often used in rather unrelated sections of the brain and body. Dopamine is no different, but we're just gonna focus on it’s function in the reward and learning system.

In the spirit of accessible and interesting approaches to science, I've constructed an little neuro-allegory entitled "The Shrine of Wa-King and the Dopa-monks".


How Insulting! 

De-ontologizing the Brain 
From the fictional self to the social brain. By Charles T. Wolfe.
The brain thinks, not man. Man is just a cerebral crystallization.
-- Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari
I don't pretend to account for the Functions of the Brain. I never heard of a System or a Philosophy that could do it.
-- Bernard Mandeville
What can a philosopher say about phantom limb syndrome? More specifically, what can a materialist philosopher say about phantom limb syndrome? At first glance, a phenomenon by which our 'corporeal imagination' -- what La Mettrie in the eighteenth century called the "magic lantern" working within the brain, projecting images created by our memory and intellect -- induces us to feel pains in a missing limb might seem like profound evidence that naïve, scientistic views of consciousness are false or at least useless. How could science with its measurements ever grasp the irreducibly subjective construction which my body is? Notice that in any case, regardless of our answer to such a question, a somato-psychic phenomenon like phantom limb syndrome raises significant issues regarding good old-fashioned notions such as the self, and slightly less old-fashioned notions such as the tandem 'self and brain'. Namely, if the self has already been deflated -- since Hume and Nietzsche in their respective traditions, and in recent times since Dennett -- what about the brain?

Communist Cache Goes To NYU 
Quote: "The songwriter, labor organizer and folk hero Joe Hill has been the subject of poems, songs, an opera, books and movies. His will, written in verse the night before a Utah firing squad executed him in 1915 and later put to music, became part of the labor movement's soundtrack. Now the original copy of that penciled will is among the unexpected historical gems unearthed from a vast collection of papers and photographs never before seen publicly that the Communist Party USA has donated to New York University."

Infinite Monkeys 

Now available in T-shirt form
All proceeds go to EFF to help keep those monkeys typing.


The cute little kitten says... 

Anthropomorphism, the Easter Bunny, and Islam 
Momus writes:
"I was in the Post Office queue yesterday, examining Easter cards featuring rabbits. While all the cards based on photographs were forced to show the rabbit's eyes on either side of its head, looking out sideways, ever-vigilant for predators, the cards which used drawings of rabbits "corrected" this, putting the eyes on the front of the face, as they would be if rabbits were a predator species like humans. Presumably this alteration was to make rabbits more like us, and therefore more loveable. But why must we only love things on the condition that we can project our own features onto them?

The problem is, that's exactly what we have. Every day we read the opinion that radical Islam is reproducing Medieval Europe, or that Japanese women are just about to go through a stage Western women went through in the 1960s. We invade Iraq thinking that they'll thank us for giving them the political apparatus we already have. We are perhaps the most narcissistic culture that has ever existed."


Possibly the best way to fight poverty and desertification.
Tree-Nation is an ecological project with a focused objective: To plant 8 million trees in the Sahara to fight desertification! Large-scale plantation of trees will increase the land's productivity and re-generate the soil.

Tree-nation is an online community in which you can buy your own tree and become the guardian of a real and happy tree that we will plant in our park in Niger.

Our objective is two-fold:

Primarily environmental, but also closely linked to the humanitarian aid that it will provide in the long term. The project will benefit local populations in terms of welfare, education and farming practices. And that's not all... The benefits of preventing desertification extend beyond trees to other kinds of plant and animal life. Any opportunity to re-introduce and/or help prevent any endangered species will therefore become an integral part of our mission.


Shooting Marbles At 16,000 Miles Per Hour 
NASA scientist Bill Cooke is shooting marbles and he's playing "keepsies." The prize won't be another player's marbles, but knowledge that will help keep astronauts safe when America returns to the Moon in the next decade.


Taking Back the Southwest: Being a Zapatista Where You Live 
By John Ross.

>>New Mexico is outlaw country. It is up near the top of all U.S.A jurisdictions in incarcerations per capita, heroin deaths, drunk driving arrests, radioactive contamination, and private prisons. The nuclear poisons are in the wind, leaking out of Los Alamos and Alamogordo and the slag heaps of yellow cake up in Navajo country. The skag comes up the pipeline from Sinaloa, Mexican Brown, and has cut a swatch of death through northern New Mexico. Read Chellis Glendinning's "Chiva" to weigh its deadly embrace. Chellis lives out in Chimayo and knows where the bodies are buried.<<


My intuition tells me 

Dept. of Applied Office Arts: New Submissions 
monochrom content info

We got new submissions for the Dept. of Applied Office Arts. You don't know the Dept.? Well...
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. This page is dedicated to collecting office art.

Please submit!

Up and Away 
In the latest bid to rocket tourists into orbit, the secretive Blue Origin unveils a flying pod. Is your space voyage sooner than you think?


A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope: Reconsidering Star Wars IV in the light of I-III 
Keith Martin stands up to the task of reinterpreting post-prequel Star Wars brilliantly.
If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon, then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels. As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2.
(via Metaphilm)


Evolution myths 
On the morning of November 24, 1859, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species made its first appearance and the world changed forever. An age of faith was plunged into profound religious doubt, and believers of every kind rose to pronounce anathema on Darwin's godless tract, sparking a fresh battle in the long-running war between science and religion. But while the reactionaries raged, the scientific community soon came to accept natural selection, and the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel's work in 1900 (which marked the founding of modern genetics) set the seal on Darwin’s triumph by providing the missing piece to his puzzle – a scientific understanding of just how inheritance works.

Unfortunately, everything in the previous paragraph is nonsense, apart from the Origin's publication date (and even that is wrong in Morse Peckham’s recently reissued variorum edition, which claims it was November 26). Nonetheless, statements like the ones I've just made summarize the popular view of Darwin and his great book; variations on them are made regularly throughout the media - even by those who really ought to know better. Take, for example, the mythical clash between science and religion. The Victorian "crisis of faith" predated the Origin by many years; Tennyson found himself stretching "lame hands of faith" when confronted by "nature red in tooth and claw" in 1850, almost a decade before Darwin went public. When Nature gave voice in Tennyson’s In Memoriam, instead of demonstrating the existence and beneficence of the creator, she expressed complete indifference for species, the "types" of living things: "'So careful of the type?' but no. / From scarped cliff and quarried stone / She cries, 'A thousand types are gone: / I care for nothing, all shall go'".

Beat the bosses! 
Months ago, Johannes invited me to write stuff about games culture in this fine little blog here. And what can I say.. there were things that had to be done first, but now the time has finally come to get started here. I'll try to post interesting links and little stories about games that should be played and people who make games who should be heard. All the German speaking people, please also check out my main blog at Radio FM4.

I already mentioned this before at FM4 in a story but it doesn't hurt to say it again: Warning Forever is a neat (and actually very good looking) little freeware game for PC/Windows. It's a shoot'em up (you know, Space Invaders, R-Type, Gradius, Raiden, etc.) where you just fight big bosses. So, each stage is a new boss. The bosses get bigger and more dangerous from stage to stage, and they adapt to your attack techniques. Try it out, and if you play it frequently, mail me your scores!

Who makes your zip? 
At last I've remembered to google for the one company that manufactures one item that we all carry and use day in day out, a company that we all are familiar with but no one (at least I haven't) read or heard anything about EVER. I've been meaning to google for YKK for months but always forgot. Well, today I have not, and I shall deliver the info to you.

"The Fastening Products Group meets continually changing market needs with three product business divisions - the Slide Fastener Division, the Textile and Plastic Products Division, and the Snap Fastener and Button Division."

My quest for knowledge of zipping is satisfied....what will I wonder about now?


A Cockroach Can Live without Its Head? 
A nuclear war may not trouble them, but does decapitation?

Lawsuit aside, the point is -- content is king 
>>Figuring out whom to root for in the battle between Viacom and YouTube is pretty simple, particularly if you own a computer: Turn it on and play. YouTube, with its library of archival television and music clips and its array of user-generated video oddities, is one of the truly great gifts of an invigorated, inventive Internet. That Viacom is suing -- for a chilling $1 billion -- the former startup now owned by Google is likely to give YouTube devotees the willies. All those cool clips -- potentially gone.<<

Lonely Planet Guide action 
monochrom content info
monochrom features Stefan Tiron's comment about "Lonely Planet Guide action".
>>Buy a cheap Lonely Planet Guide copy off the markets in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, India or any where else. Even a used and trashed copy or a rip-off pirate copy will do fine. Then, go to work modifying the covers and content of this Lonely Planet guide you bought using the same fonts and general style of the original. Your cover should illustrate a reality The Lonely Planet Guide never managed to convey.<<


LucyTuning and "Music of the Spheres" 

"Scriabin's theory was that each note in the octave could be associated with a specific colour, and in Prometheus, the Poem of Fire, he wrote the colours and music to match. Colour may be defined mathematically by the electromagnetic wavelength to which it corresponds. But there is no general agreement on which colour matches which note, pitch or range." --Charles E.H. Lucy

Lucy developed "LucyTuning", a musical microtuning system derived from Pi and the centuries old writings of John "Longitude" Harrison.

In the future we will say... 

Welcome David Fine! 
monochrom content info
We have a new member in the monochrom blogging team: David Fine.

He's living and working in San Francisco. David truly is a renaissance man. And sometimes a renaissance zombie. We are delighted that he is now part of our humble journal.

Drug wipes specific memories in rats 

A single, specific memory has been wiped from the brains of rats, leaving other recollections intact.
The study adds to our understanding of how memories are made and altered in the brain, and could help to relieve sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of the fearful memories that disrupt their lives.

Who is Flora? 
Interesting project...
In the summer of 1998 I discovered a number of postcards from the year 1942. They were sent by a twenty-something woman named Flora who traveled the United States alone, sending postcards to her family. The postcards moved me because Flora and I have many things in common: our ages, upbringing, and struggles, and our travels. This piece focuses on studying the cards, the messages they shared, and my own impressions gathered from them. I was able to categorize the cards into four dominant themes: age, sense of place, time, and communication (primarily with family), and from those themes I created a storyline. The storyline here deals with the marriage of a friend and the tension between independence and love.


Asian drumming sex 
Once again, thanks to Youporn for merging things that shouldn't be merged.


Thomas Kinkade: The Painting/Movie 
Oh bugger. They are making a film out of a Kinkade painting...
Lionsgate and the Firm are partnering on a feature adaptation of Thomas Kinkade's painting "The Christmas Cottage," aiming for a holiday season release.

The project's part of an overall film-TV producing deal that Lionsgate made with Kinkade, who's become a successful artist via paintings with glowing highlights in idealistic settings, such as country cottages and streams.

Kinkade's company asserts it's sold $1.7 billion of artwork at retail over the past 15 years along with $2.4 billion in licensed product sales -- such as greeting cards and calendars -- over the past decade, resulting in Kinkade art being found in one out of every 10 U.S. households.
(via Metaphilm)


Imperialism: In Tribute to Harry Magdoff 
By William K. Tabb.
Imperialism is the system by which a dominant power is able to control the trade, investment, labor, and natural resources of other peoples. It takes different forms in different stages of capitalist development and has elements in common with the imperium of ancient empires. I want to lay out these structural elements, contrast them with the mainstream economists' view of exchange regulated by free market principles, and then discuss the specific form imperialism takes in our own time. Any essay on this subject written from the left must acknowledge the influence of the writing of Harry Magdoff and on this occasion his influence is highlighted.

The universe is a string-net liquid 
A mysterious green crystal is challenging our most basic ideas about matter and even space-time itself.


International Year Of Polytheism: Maman Brigitte 
monochrom content info
New submission to our series "Favourite Deities". Roland Gratzer reports about Maman Brigitte.

More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.

Arse Elektronika: Pornography And Technological Innovation 
monochrom content info
From the depiction of a vulva in a cave painting to the newest internet porno, technology and sexuality have always been closely linked. No one can predict what the future will bring, but history indicates that sex will continue to play an essential role in technological development.

monochrom wants to organize an international conference with experts from the fields of science, economics, art and technology.

We are looking for: speakers, designers, artists, funding.

Planned date // End of September 2007 in San Francisco, CA.


Steve Irwin on Ice 
A snow sculpture memorializing the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin has been created by a US artist.


Globalization and the Struggle for Immigrant Rights in the United States 
Keynote Presentation for "El Gran Paro Americano II" Immigrant Rights Conference, Feb 3-4 2007, Los Angeles. By William Robinson.
It is an honor and a privilege to be here with you today, with the leaders and organizers of one of the most vital, just and cutting edge struggles of our time. I am very grateful to Javier Rodriguez and the other conveners of this conference for inviting me to participate. I want to start by highlighting three things that are unprecedented and interconnected, three current "upsurges," and I am not referring to Bush's escalation in Iraq.

The first is an upsurge in Latino immigration to the United States. Officially, there are 34 million immigrants in the U.S., 12-15 million of them undocumented, although we know that these are underestimates. Migration levels in recent years have surpassed those of the turn of the 19th century. Of these 24 million, 18-20 million are from Latin America, the majority from Mexico, but also from Central America, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and elsewhere.

The second is the upsurge of repression, racism, and discrimination against immigrants – the minutemen, the denial of drivers licenses, attacks, evictions, escalating raids, public segregation and anti-immigrant jim crow, and so on. We are witnessing the criminalization of immigrants and the militarization of their control by the state.

Third is an unprecedented mass immigrant rights movement. We saw last Spring the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. They had the powers that be quite frightened. This is what poder popular looks like; what "power of the people" means.

What is the larger context and backdrop of anti-immigrant politics and immigrant struggle? In an attempt to answer this question I would like to put forward 10 points for analysis and discussion. [...]

Carl Sagan's Life and Legacy as Scientist, Teacher, and Skeptic 
In this new remembrance of Carl Sagan, who died ten years ago, a noted planetary scientist and colleague (and former student of Sagan) recalls Sagan's immense contributions to planetary research, the public understanding of science, and the skeptical movement.


Structure vs Conjuncture 
Robert Brenner reads the US mid-term results against deeper structural shifts in the American polity. The rise of the Republican right seen in the context of the long downturn and dismantling of the liberal compact: from New Deal and Great Society to the capitalist offensive under Reagan, Clinton and Bush.

Vatican plans new TV network 
Quote: "Days after Pope Benedict XVI criticized the media for its 'destructive' influence, the Vatican on Monday announced plans to launch its first television network by the end of the year. H2O will broadcast news and original entertainment programming worldwide in seven languages..."

Song about Taugshow #10 
monochrom content info
We recorded our Taugshow #10 on Sunday, February 11th, at San Francisco's Exploratorium. Steven Gray, who assisted us with his musical skill, just informed us that he has written the below song/poem about that event. Thanks a lot, Steven!
THE TAUG SHOW, or Weird Scenes in the Gemeinschaft

by Steven Gray

The Taug Show is a talk show, it is
like a big mirage
of media and interviews,
they're wearing camouflage

as if they are invisible,
but everyone can see them
wearing little microphones,
some people want to be them.

Show your solidarity
by going to the show,
an intellectual lost and found,
they'll show you what they know.

The last show had a chemist doing
bondage, a guitarist
and a lawyer, there was no time
for a terrorist,

maybe next time. It is necessary to explode
your mind, the fall-out lasts forever,
you can take it on the road,

becoming open-minded with
a Marxist education,
putting things into perspective
more than Euclid did.

I'm going to Vienna for a
leftwing sing-along,
we need to network while the U.S.
keeps on going wrong,

and wallow in the absurdity
of theater, it's called
a theater of the absurd.
Your parents are appalled,

you need transparency: father, son and holy ghost
have been transformed into a German-
speaking talk-show host.

The show appearing once a month,
they do it on location,
powered by a full moon and the
analytic conversation,

but no go-go dancers, they rely on government funding.
Like the polyamorous
and polymers they're bonding

with each other and a brutal
zeitgeist and that's show biz,
a laptop and projectors and they
tell you what it is.

It's important to dissect
a middle-class facade,
and do it with the joi de vivre
of the Marquis de Sade.

The inside information that
outsiders can collect,
it keeps the women interested
and the men erect,

and when the show is over they are
standing at attention,
clapping for the Taug Show, its
dementia and dimension.
By the way, we are currently cutting the show. Will be online soon.

The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space 

Early Christianity's Martyrdom Debate 
Princeton University's Elaine Pagels is about the nearest thing there is to a superstar in the realm of Christian history scholarship. It is largely through her work that many understand the early non-Orthodox Christianity that she at one point dubbed (and later un-dubbed, finding the term imprecise) the Gnostic Gospels. She breaks new ground with the debut of Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, her collaboration with Harvard Divinity scholar Karen King about the second-century "Gospel of Judas" that was made public last year.


New Orleans Community Spaces in Crisis 
Community centers have long been central to New Orleans organizing, serving as a gathering location for people, culture and ideas. One activist recently explained, "organizing here looks like neighborhood get-togethers, potlucks, block parties, and conversations on a neighbor's porch. Its about culture and community." But 18 months after Katrina, many of New Orleans’ community spaces, vital resources in the reconstruction of the city, remain shuttered. Traditional sources for support, such as foundations or charities, often miss this aspect of New Orleans' community, and many of these spaces have received little outside assistance.

Will Biology Solve the Universe? 
For years, scientists have tried to develop a universal theory of everything. Steven Hawking predicts that such a theory will be discovered in the next 20 years. A new theory asserts that biology, not physics, will be the key to unlocking the deepest mysteries of the universe, such as quantum mechanics.

Interview with Winston McAnuff 
"Electric Dread" short-circuits Parisian Ground ... Makavibes ...
In the 70s, Jamaica has known lots of wonderful singers ... Sweet voices could be heard at almost every corner, coming from every studio's window ... One of those voices was Winston McAnuff's. The "Electric Dread", born in 1957 in Christiana, Jamaica, recorded his first album "Pick Hits To Click" in 1977 with legendary producer Derrick Harriott. [...] We met Winston just one hour before at he last show of this tour.

Fact or Fiction? Living People Outnumber the Dead 
The human population has swelled so much that people alive today outnumber all those who have ever lived, says a factoid whose roots stretch back to the 1970s. Some versions of this widely circulating rumor claim that 75 percent of all people ever born are currently alive. Yet, despite a quadrupling of the population in the past century, the number of people alive today is still dwarfed by the number of people who have ever lived.

The sting in the bio-buzz 
The EU's new targets for biofuel use will result in the destruction of forests and livelihoods in the global South without a clear environmental gain, writes Jutta Kill.

Pubic lice leapt from gorillas to early humans 
A genetic analysis of pubic lice suggests the parasites were transferred between early humans and gorillas about 3.3 million years ago. Researchers say the findings suggest close contact between our ancestors and gorillas. But they claim it is far more likely that early humans caught the lice from sleeping in abandoned gorilla nests than from having sex with gorillas. (Thanx, Magnus Wurzer!)

Atkins diet marginally better than rivals 
One of the largest studies to date has found that overweight women lost a little more weight on the popular Atkins diet than on three other well-known diet plans. However, the effect was small, and it is not clear that the Atkins diet works the way it claims.

Tsar Putin's Russia 
Energy is at the centre of Russia's strategic partnership with the European Union. Oil is the cause of its struggle with the US over the routes of pipelines from the Caspian and Central Asia. Dismantling the Yukos group will complete Russia's renationalisation of energy. President Vladimir Putin, in his second term, has restored state power within a market economy framework.

France: We Can Sing. We Can Win! 
France is tired of losing in the Eurovision Song Contest. So it's undertaking a national effort to win. Quote: "We've had enough of being humiliated by Ukraine and of calamitous scores well behind Bosnia-Herzegovina or Macedonia. France wants to reclaim its dominant position ... Operation reconquest has begun."

She's No Fundamentalist 
What people get wrong about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. By Christopher Hitchens.

International Year Of Polytheism: Ratatoskr and Ba'al 
monochrom content info
We got two new submissions to our series "Favourite Deities". David Fine from San Francisco sends us info about Ba'al and our own Johannes Grenzfurthner introduces us to Ratatoskr, the squirrel.

More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.

R.I.P. Jean Baudrillard 

Thank you for the theory of the spectacle, the symbolic exchange and the extinction of meaning. Thank you for thinking outside the box and provoking those not even realising there is a box. Thank you for your clear words that probably only a handful of people understood.

1929 - 2007.

Christopher Lee... sings? 
Christopher Lee is a singer now. And the title of his first album is "Revelation".


Elephants Pause for Reflection 
What's a girl to do when she discovers a large white cross on her forehead? In the case of Happy, an Asian elephant at the Bronx Zoo in New York, she raises her trunk and touches the cross on her mirror-image thereby passing a standard test known as the ‘mark test’. Happy’s response was on a par with those made when human children or great apes are presented with the test.
Happy, with her companions Patty and Maxine, were shown a very large mirror, and it was observed that after initial exploratory behaviour sniffing the mirror and looking behind it, the elephants took an increasing interest in their reflections. This led to each peering into its own mouth. There was no evidence of an elephant mistaking their reflection for that of another.
This self-recognizing trait is thought to relate to empathetic tendencies and the ability to distinguish oneself from others. The study was carried out by scientists from the Yerkes National Primate Research Centre, Emory University, and the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.

Water Flows on Mars? Not So Fast... 
Signs of recent liquid water on Mars may have instead been caused by mini-avalanches of dirt. In December, NASA released photos of Martian gullies that showed enigmatic tracks of material suddenly appearing in the last five years. Researchers interpreted the deposits as having possibly come from trickling water.
The problem with that theory is that such features can be reproduced in the lab by letting small particles slide away, says granular materials researcher Troy Shinbrot of Rutgers University. "You find that every single thing that geologists say, 'Ah, that means there's water,' you can duplicate," says Shinbrot, who described his research on sliding grains at this week's meeting of the American Physical Society here.

The Intellectual in the Infosphere 
Quote: "What qualifies as intellectual authority today is changing fundamentally. People are much less prepared to defer to the acknowledged experts in various fields. At the same time, however, we are being swamped with data and information -- a glut that cries out for analysis and summary. So there is a dilemma: Whom do we turn to?"

Physicists reveal water's secrets in journal 'Science' 
Equipped with high-speed computers and the laws of physics, scientists from the University of Delaware and Radboud University in the Netherlands have developed a new method to "flush out" the hidden properties of water--and without the need for painstaking laboratory experiments. Their new first-principle simulation of water molecules--based exclusively on quantum physics laws and utilizing no experimental data--will aid science and industry in a broad range of applications, from biological investigations of protein folding and other life processes, to the design of the next generation of power plants.

Perfume: The Perverse Allegory of a Savior 
Tom Tykwer offers an odd-smelling twist on the Christ-figure.

Quote: >>Ecce homo is the Latin Vulgate’s translation of the Greek eido ho anthropos, which is what Pilate says when he presents the scourged, thorn-crowned Jesus to the crowd in John 19.5. The term has come to refer to any artistic work that depicts Jesus in a crown of thorns, but one of the more famous versions of this scene is Antonio Ciseri’s Ecce Homo! We look from behind as Pilate presents Jesus to the torture-seeking crowds. This is the scene Tom Tykwer echoes as he introduces us to the murderous protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, in his latest film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.<<


Intellectual seekers in the notorious Tenderloin, San Francisco 
John-Ivan Palmer writes about the Tenderloin in SF.
Late one night in the Tenderloin, 1968, my girlfriend (if you could call her that) was talking to one of her topless-bottomless dancing friends at an unlicensed bottle club deceptively called Coffee Ron. I ignored the riffraff staring at me for reading a book. Suddenly three men pulled a gun on the manager, and beat up the bartender who tried to intervene. Panic, screaming. My two lady escorts rushed behind me for protection. I held the Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism (1947) over my chest in an equally absurd attempt to protect myself from bullets.

It was horrible what happened next. The manager, a naive ex-prize fighter named Gene Echols, was beaten almost to death. In the hospital for weeks. Of course no one called the police, and when they asked questions afterward, no one talked. This was a typical night in the Tenderloin shortly after the Summer of Love.

Around the time I was living in that black hole, a San Francisco journalist wrote, "The Tenderloin seems overwhelming and eternal and no one can really say for sure what is happening within its sprawling reaches." As close as most people got was reading about it in the paper - salacious stories of sordid sex, thug wars, and murder. Having lived there, I can tell you it was indeed a horrific place. But the cost of living was cheap.

Sooner or later somebody had to find out... 

So be warned!

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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