We would like to invite you to our exhibition Re:AW: [Wir] Fwd: Loge etc / OTS-Auss.f.Ubernahme; oel / businessplan // WICHTIG; wer?
We are presenting a series of 12 oil paintings visually narrating the story of the Lord Lim Lodge and our hostile takeover.
Opening: May 15, 2007; 6 PM @ Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Vienna.
Soon more info in English language soon.
Journalists and Journalism Education Must Grasp the Democratic Science Opportunity
By Steve McIlwaine.
In an age when science-based questions are confronting society almost constantly, public science knowledge appears to have remained stalled at a very low level, or is in retreat. This is largely a result of a failed communication theory that persists in science journalism and particularly among scientists. Serious thought should be given urgently to training working journalists and journalism students to deal successfully with science topics by abandoning failed models and taking up the democratic opportunities offered by new communications technologies.Link
Request: Crystalline Lifeforms in Science Fiction
Philosopher Thomas Brandstetter, a really good friend of mine, is doing some research and he is looking for hints about crystalline lifeforms in SF novels and fantasy literature before 1945. If you have some info, please mail him. Thanks a lot.
Yummie! Protein links T. rex to chickens
T. Rex (probably) tasted like chicken...
Protein extracted from 68 million-year-old T. rex bones has shed new light on the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds. [...] The proteins found in the T. rex bones belong to the elastic connective fibres - known as collagen - that support other tissues in the body. [...] Collagen makes up most of the organic material in bone, which consists of both minerals and protein. It is the same substance injected into the lips, and other areas of the body, in cosmetic surgery procedures. [...] When minerals are removed from human bone, a collagen matrix is left behind. The US scientists performed the same operation on the T.rex fossil, and found what appeared to be residual traces of collagen.
The "Stab in the Back" Trap
Comment by Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith.
The Democrats and the peace movement are walking into a trap. The Republicans are preparing with Rovian cunning to focus the mind of the public on the question: Who lost Iraq?Link
Science Fiction novelist John C. Wright reviews "Lady in the Water"
Metaphilm recommends a review of "Lady in the Water" by Science Fiction novelist John C. Wright.
When something supernatural or something epic happens to us in real life, we have no means of dealing with it except what we have learned through stories. Myths are the soul of the civilization. When a war starts, for example, whatever the governing myth is in the society dictates how men will react to this epic circumstances: if Viet Nam is the governing myth of the society, we will react to all wars according to what that myth says, and we will call the war a quagmire. If David and Goliath is the governing myth in society, then we will root for the little guy. So the movie had to deal with the question of what happens to a man who over-intellectualizes his myth. What do you do when you do not have a myth ready to deal with things of mythic magnitude in life? The character, to make this point, had to be someone who knew stories backward and forward, but who was not himself a creative person: a critic, in other words. Someone who sucks the magic out of myth-making for a living. Of course he has to come to a bad end: the point of the story is that we need stories to live, we need the inspiration as a lantern in the dark. A man who throws that lamp away, according to the logic of the story theme, has to stumble.Link
Solar Storm Cycle Will Likely Start Next March
The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012—up to a year later than expected—according to a forecast issued by the NOAA Space Environment Center in coordination with an international panel of solar experts. The NOAA Space Environment Center led the prediction panel and issued the forecast at its annual Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo. NASA sponsored the panel.
Rising Ocean Level? Interactive chart!
What would rising ocean levels mean for your neighborhood? Visit an interactive world map.
Who Says We Know: On the New Politics of Knowledge
In the Middle Ages, we were told what we knew by the Church; after the printing press and the Reformation, by state censors and the licensers of publishers; with the rise of liberalism in the 19th and 20th centuries, by publishers themselves, and later by broadcast media--in any case, by a small, elite group of professionals.
But we are now confronting a new politics of knowledge, with the rise of the Internet and particularly of the collaborative Web--the Blogosphere, Wikipedia, Digg, YouTube, and in short every website and type of aggregation that invites all comers to offer their knowledge and their opinions, and to rate content, products, places, and people. It is particularly the aggregation of public opinion that instituted this new politics of knowledge.
Ravens: Masters of Deceit
Ravens can toboggan, ride other animals and spy on their enemies. Their life as cadgers stealing prey from wolves, eagles and bears has made them outstandingly intelligent. But do ravens know what they're doing and why? Austrian biologists want to find out.
Get dressed, comrades! Photo shooting for "Soviet Unterzögersdorf / Sector 2"
We'd like to invite you to the first photo shooting for "Soviet Unterzögersdorf / Sector 2".
In the second installment of our adventure game series we want to present the history of the last appanage republic of the USSR. Therefore, we need heroes and heroines of work! Would you like to join the forces? Dress up in Soviet uniforms, working outfits or camouflage suits and show up! If you don't have any costumes we can provide you with stuff.
* When: Sunday, April 29, 2007, 1 PM thru 5:30 PM.
* Where: Metalab, Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna.
Trillions Of Calculations Per Second?
TRIPS (The Tera-op, Reliable, Intelligently adaptive Processing System) is a revolutionary new microprocessor architecture being built in the Department of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. The team's goal is to produce a scalable architecture that can accelerate industrial, consumer, embedded, and scientific workloads, reaching trillions of calculations per second on a single chip.
Closer Toward High-yield Fusion Reactor: Revolutionary Circuit Fires Thousands Of Times Without Flaw
An electrical circuit that should carry enough power to produce the long-sought goal of controlled high-yield nuclear fusion and, equally important, do it every 10 seconds, has undergone extensive preliminary experiments and computer simulations at Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine facility.
Cyborg addition of the month
Here's a cheap hardware hack that will make you the coolest kid on the block: Turn old 3D video game glasses into battery powered cyborg sunglasses with adjustable brightness!
----- Warning! Half assed technical instructions below this line ------ These glasses which you can buy on ebay are made with a 2.5cm square LCD panel. They were originally intended to flicker in sync with the video game so that only one eye was clear at a time, thus creating the 3D effect. To turn them into sunglasses, we need to connect both LCDs together and make a circuit to drive them with alternating current (driving an LCD with DC will cause streaks to appear over time). Start by cutting the cord on the glasses. Each LCD has two wires: ground and positive. Connect the like wires together so they can be controlled by one output. You can make whatever oscillating circuit you want, but I used the tried and true 555-timer in astable mode. Get the CMOS version so you can feed 9v through it, because that is enough voltage to turn the LCD nice and dark. Use a calculator like this to figure out resistor/capacitor values that will get you around 400hz. My guess is that anything between 100-2000hz will work fine. Hook the positive of the glasses to the output pin of the 555 timer (pin 3). Now power it up and the LCDs should turn dark. But wait! Want to adjust the brightness of your sunglasses like a real cyborg? Of course you do! Create a voltage divider by wiring a potentiometer between the oscillator output and ground, with the sunglasses' positive wire connected to the middle pin. Turn the knob and your sunglasses get darker! Now you can experience what it's like to be a robot!
Islamic Antisemitism And Its Nazi Roots
Paper by Matthias Küntzel.
In order to understand what the similarities between Islamist and Nazi imaginations are based on, we have to look at the history of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood which was founded in 1928 and which established Islamism as a mass movement.Link
Ark Two Community's Giant Nuclear Shelter: Made Out Of 42 School Busses
The Ark Two Community is the largest pluralistic survival community in North America without any political, religious, or cultural bias. Its purpose is to ameliorate the catastrophe of a nuclear war and to help restore civilization. [...]
Link (thanx, Peter Hauser!)
monochrom left-overs @ ARTmART
Occasion! Left-overs of 25th Bienal de Sao Paulo! Auratic field guaranteed!
You have the possibility to buy some monochrom stuff for affordable 70 EUR each.
Where? At ARTmART Vienna, Künstlerhaus. April 25 thru May 1.
Everything must go!
ARG: World without oil
Another large scale alternate reality game by Jane McGonical is due to launch in 5 days. Already bits and pieces are being leaked across the blog-o-verse. Centered around an impending oil crisis, the game may turn out to be the most interactive public service announcement ever designed.
In case you like new media but don't like to use the internet, there is now a "Blogger and Podcaster" print magazine.
Link (via Kottke.org)
An extensive paper on information software design which among other things comes with a UI redesign of Amazon's book listings.
The ubiquity of frustrating, unhelpful software interfaces has motivated decades of research into Human-Computer Interaction. In this paper, I suggest that the long-standing focus on interaction may be misguided. For a majority subset of software, called information software, I argue that interactivity is actually a curse for users and a crutch for designers, and users goals can be better satisfied through other means.Link (via kottke.org)
"Homeless nerds often roam around the subway looking for wifi hotspots and batteries, but recently they have begun to form gangs."
Learn all about the important new development of homeless nerds at Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
There is a website for every hobby imaginable on the Internet. Point in case: A place for people collecting obsolete processors.
Things to read: The Shockwave Rider
John Brunner's 1975 science-fiction novel The Shockwave Rider is an amazing piece of work in many ways. It describes a future where a complete and totalitarian information network controls the lives of citizens in a dystopian society dangeling over a precipice (and in which a village of a few rebels flying underneath the radar of total information gathering is, aptly enough, actually called Precipice).
We follow renegade government program member Nick Haflinger as he struggles to circumvent the network and reveal the government's secrets to the people, giving them the choice to take the power that is information into their own hands.
Among the things predicted in this work from the 1970s are: a network not unlike the Internet (called "the Web"), cracking, computer viruses and worms (as a matter of fact, the term "worm" comes from this very novel), "smart mobs", anonymity services for the Internet, and a futures market on world events which resembles the US Department of Defense's planned (and, after a public outcry, cancelled) Policy Analysis Market. It also describes an interesting abstract board game called Fencing which can be thought of as a cross between Battleship and Go.
Definitely recommended reading for those enjoying this blog.
Welcome Jens Ohlig
We have a new member in the monochrom blogging team: Jens Ohlig.
He's living and working in Bonn. He is long-time member of the Chaos Computer Club and his major fields of interest are the intersections of linguistics and computer sciences. According to Wikipedia criteria he is irrelevant, but thinks he is in good company.
A warm welcome!
>>This short film was made about 1938-1939 as an advertisement for Django's brand of music before a tour of Great Britain to educate music-hall audiences on what jazz was all about. In those days, many people thought improvisations were due to bad musicianship---musicians who culdn't play in tune! This film was "lost"---even forgotten---for decades until a French fan of cartoons with jazz soundtracks found it in a brocante junkshop in a marché aux puces in a film can simply marked "Jazz Hot"; the price was right, so he bought it, and voila, here's the film!<<
Link (via Popmoderne)
ICANN is the USSR of the internet - Karl Auerbach speaks out
Interview Karl Auerbach, the last publicly elected board member at ICANN, has been involved with internet development almost since the inception of the internet itself, and served as North America's direct representative on ICANN's Board of Directors. Always the iconoclast on the ICANN Board of Directors - and with the Lisbon meeting now squarely in the rear view mirror - we thought Auerbach would have some interesting things to say about recent developments at the controversial group that runs the internet we all know and love.
Link (via lynx @ quisse-list)
Do you really need to know your antioxidant level?
Is there a reliable way to check my antioxidant levels?
Tolkien's Children of Húrin
A new novel from the creator of Middle Earth. Reviewed by Elizabeth Hand.
If anyone still labors under the delusion that J.R.R. Tolkien was a writer of twee fantasies for children, this novel should set them straight. A bleak, darkly beautiful tale played out against the background of the First Age of Tolkien's Middle Earth, The Children of Húrin possesses the mythic resonance and grim sense of inexorable fate found in Greek tragedy.Link
We may have inherited our brain from an ancient worm
Despite their differences, vertebrates, worms and insects are all believed to be descended from a common ancestor - a worm-like organism, named Urbilateria, which lived some 600 million years ago. Urbilateria displayed bilateral symmetry - its body was symmetrical along its longitudinal axis - and this body plan was inherited by the diverse array of organisms descended from it. But, according to new research, just published in the journal Cell, it wasn't just bilateral symmetry that Urbilateria's descendants inherited: at the earliest stages of their evolution, vertebrates - including humans - may have inherited the organization of their nervous systems from Urbilateria as well.Link
Italian franchise holder for monochrom's Quality Aseptic Average Holy Water
We are pround being able to introduce you to our new business partner: Liquid Cat. Liquid Cat is the Italian franchise holders for monochrom's Quality Aseptic Average Holy Water.
What is monochrom's Quality Aseptic Average Holy Water?
Investigators in various European countries have found that the Holy Water in churches is more often than not of poor or even alarming quality. monochrom has, therefore, obtained samples of Holy Water from ten selected Viennese churches. These samples have been mixed in correct proportions, purified from pathogens through distillation and osmosis, and then bottled in handy portions. We feel confident that we are offering not only the best Holy Water of all Vienna (city average) but the most aseptic Holy Water in the entire world.
Yesterday Liquid Cat started to focus on the Italian market -- as our official franchise holder.
In a nocturnal cerimony in front of the Episcopal Palace, Liquid Cat unveiled a preliminary design of the new label for its purified Holy Water brand San Giovanni.
Link Liquid Cat
monochrom's Taugshow #11 in Berlin
Our 11th episode of Taugshow will be recorded at the C-Base in Berlin/Germany, May 12th. Our guests will be Régine Debatty of "We Make Money Not Art" (asks the question what happens when artists manipulate life itself, hack the genes and grow semi-living entitites in their labs) and Karin Harrasser (who will tell us why Science Fiction is a restricted mode for science communication). Evelyn Fürlinger will present "Wicked Wordz", our regular column about lingustics.
Music performances by the monochrom Allstar Band and Krach the Robot.
The power of No
Do we have to learn the creative power of rejection?
"No may be the most important word in our vocabulary, but it is the most difficult to say well. At the heart of the difficulty in saying No is the tension between exercising your power and tending to your relationship."Link
Deep brain implants show bionic vision promise
Implants inside the brain may provide the best hope yet for vision-restoring bionic eyes, research suggests.
An imagined country
In towns and cities where we sleep alongside millions the notion doesn't arise. But out here where there is nobody, we're terrified of seeing a single man, precisely because there's nobody else. For why would anybody be out here if he wasn't reeling around the mercury sands with an idiot grin that changes to a grimace as soon as he sees the tent?Link
Hark! Matrimony! Karin and Franky!
We are tremendously happy being able to announce the marriage of monochromaniac Franky Ablinger and his Queen of Hearts: Karin Frank. The ceremony took place on Saturday (April 21st) in the Lower Austrian town of Perchtoldsdorf(*).
Johannes was Franky's Best Man... and Valie was Karin's witness to marriage.
Here is a nice group pictures including sheep.
(*) The only Austrian ever to reach outer space, Franz Viehböck, is from Perchtoldsdorf. But there is no relation whatsoever.
Violet Blue blogs "Arse Elektronika"
Violet Blue -- who is part of the organizational team -- blogs about "Arse Elektronika".
It's time to let this genie out of the bottle: I'm helping to organize an international conference and festival all about sex and tech, with experts from the fields of science, economics, art and technology — Arse Elektronika. It will take place here in San Francisco on October 5-7, 2007 at the Porn Palace of Kink.com. The premise isn't the question of whether or not sex affects tech and culture, but *how* it does.
Casino Royale: Taking It in the Cojones for Her Majesty's Secret Service
Is Bond defining a new type of post-war masculinity for Britain?
On "The Darker Nations"
Author Vijay Prashad interviewed by "Radical Notes".
The importance of Vijay Prashad's book, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, lies in its ability to trace the trajectory of the "Third World Project" - its genesis, growth and crisis - amidst the cacophonous range of local political economic structures and their varied articulation with global capitalism and the metropolitan world. The book shows us that beyond the simplistic orientalist image of the Global South as just being on the receiving end and reactive, there has existed definite protagonism with all its contradictions grounded in the peoples' struggle against domination, oppression and exploitation.
Scientists Design New Super-Hard Material
Ultra-hard materials are used for everything from drills that bore for oil and build new roads to scratch-resistant coatings for precision instruments and the face of your watch.
Diamond is the hardest material known, because its carbon atoms form very short covalent bonds, according to co-author Richard B. Kaner, UCLA professor of inorganic chemistry and materials science and engineering. Most of the diamond used in the world is actually synthetic and very expensive. Diamond powder is used for oil drills and machines that build roads and cut holes in mountains. Diamond cannot be used, however, to cut steel without ruining the diamond blade.Link
Georg Paul Thomann @ Joey Skaggs' pranks.com
We have been invited to be official contributors to Joey Skaggs' wonderful pranks.com site. What an honor! monochrom is being introduced with a short piece about our political art avatar Georg Paul Thomann.
The Memory Hacker
Ted Berger has spent the past decade engineering a brain implant that can re-create thoughts. The chip could remedy everything from Alzheimer's to absent-mindedness—and reduce memory loss to nothing more than a computer glitch.
The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
Ernest Dempsey gives a feminist analysis of Virginia Woolf’s first novel.
Buzz Aldrin's Space Lottery
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, is planning a lottery that would send its winner into space in an effort to spread the dream of space travel beyond the super-rich. Although details – such as the spacecraft that would make the trip – haven't yet been worked out, the goal for the top prize is an orbital flight.
Your Job in Germany
A short propaganda and information movie for US soldiers directed by Frank Capra, written by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel and produced by the United States Information & Education Division of the Army Services Forces in 1946.
"Every German is a potential source of trouble."
"To Be Or Not To Be" / Screening
As part of our film and discourse series "Projektion" we'll show Lubitsch's "To Be Or Not To Be" (1942, English version). Franz Ablinger will give an intro talk.
April 19, 2007; 8 PM at Museumsquartier Vienna/QDK, next to the monochrom office.
More info (sorry, German only)
Gravity Probe B sees "glimpses" of twisted spacetime
The long-awaited results from a NASA satellite sent up to test Einstein's theory of gravity will have to wait a few months longer. Although researchers have spotted one of the two spacetime-bending effects they were looking for with the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) relativity mission, they are still working to pry the second, fainter effect from the data.
France's foreign policy
Main party candidates in the French presidential election are saying little about foreign policy, especially the most important issues -- Iraq and Palestine. And they don't much mention European affairs either. External policies might not win elections, but they can lose them.
A piece about Richard Reynolds' Guerrilla Gardening efforts, produced by Green Lions. It aired as part of the launch line-up for Current TV, an independent cable and satellite TV network that broadcasts in the US, the UK and Ireland.
I saw your nanny-Blogging
The way people in the land of the free are willing to give up their personal liberties in exchange for self-imposed fascism will always amaze me.
Moon customs form
Here's a teaser for an exhibition I'm part of. It's basically about the DIY-punk/hardcore/emo-scene that started to do things in Vienna in the mid-1990s. Handbills, posters, zines, records, photos and other material is on show for 4 days only in the beginning of May. There'll be live gigs on 3 of the evenings as well. If you're in Vienna, come on by!
For more information please click on the little flyer. Check back for updates in the coming weeks!
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
CHERRY OVERDRIVE - clear light! (Heptown)
DIMITRIJ - words-objects (noise appeal)
JAZKAMER - balls the size of Texas, liver the size of Brazil (purplesoil)
THE TWILIGHT SAD - 14 autumns & fifteen winters
VELLO LEAD - morning star (insight room)
HARRY MERRY - first contact (Olé)
Killer Field Hare
Maybe this field hare has watched this wonderful little clip and felt inspired. According to this article (German) he first attacked a 74 year old woman in her garden and bit her in the foot, after which her husband tried to get him out of the garden but was not the one to win the fight. Several policemen sent the man back to the house and 'fought' with the animal but failed miserably yet again. In the end they apparently felt the need to kill the hare with a gun shot. What an improper, unfair ending for such an extraordinary strong biest. I wonder if the old couple had field hare for dinner...
poor Google translation to English
Article by Ignacio Ramonet.
The Poles call it the law of lustration, a term meaning ritual purification; the word has strong connotations of repentance and penitence in Poland, where history and Catholicism are so closely intertwined.Link
Wrestling with Ideas
In Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported that a local wrestler has become entranced by philosophy. Since wrestler Nick Baines blew into town (or rather into the University of Northern Iowa) he has, according to his college advisor, applied the discipline learned in his chosen sport to his academic studies. Majoring in philosophy and humanities, Nick has declared his intention of becoming a philosophy professor after graduation. Perhaps he takes inspiration from Plato, who is said to have followed a similar career path! ('Plato' was apparently the name he took when competing in the Isthmian Games, and means 'Broad-Shoulders').
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
CHERRY OVERDRIVE - clear light! (heptown)
DIMITRIJ - words-objects (noise appeal)
JAZKAMER - balls the size of Texas, liver the size of Brazil (purplesoil)
THE TWILIGHT SAD - 14 autumns & 15 winters (fat cat)HARRY MERRY - first contact (Ole)
VELLO LEAF - morning sun (insight room)
Insulin Cells: Xenotransplant
Peter Hauser sent some info in reply to my post "Diabetics cured in stem-cell treatment advance Diabetics using".
a recent article in nature reports about the controversy around a xenotransplatation study, carried out in russia.
Diabetics cured in stem-cell treatment advance
Diabetics using stem-cell therapy have been able to stop taking insulin injections for the first time, after their bodies started to produce the hormone naturally again.
Link (via "It's complicated")
International Year Of Polytheism: Pan and Shiva
More exorbitant gods!
Georg Cracked is a good man, and he thinks Pan is a good god.
And Günther Friesinger admires Shiva... and he has good reason to do so.
More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.
Snakes on a Plane: The Post-9/11 American Mind
This B-movie helps us address our existential fear and phantasmic preoccupations.
An essay by Jason Del Gandio.
At thirty thousand feet above sea level, Snakes on a Plane is a basic Hollywood movie: exciting stunts, goofy one-liners, campy performances, gratuitous sex, unneeded violence, and serious pre-release hype in search of a foregone market conclusion. The movie itself does little to advance cinematic aesthetics, and it squeaks by with a semblance of entertainment value. It is a Hollywood B-movie, period. However, at ground level, the movie is something else altogether: a vehicle with wide open windows staring straight into the post-9/11 American mind—a mind plagued by existential fear and phantasmic preoccupations.Link
Astronomers zoom in on black hole during 'eclipse'
The chance passage of a gas cloud in front of a colossal black hole in a distant galaxy allowed astronomers to zoom a million times closer to the black hole than ever before.
As you will have heard by now, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died last night.
Rest In Peace.
And what else can I say?
All I know is that I'll start reading Welcome To The Monkey House again tonight.
Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 1: Telepolis Open Source Game Top 10
German net culture magazine Telepolis awarded the Top 10 of Open Source Games. "Soviet Unterzögersdorf / Sector 1" is number 6!
Tell the European Parliament to Fix IPRED2
Sign the petition!
On April 24th, the European Parliament will vote on IPRED2, the Second Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive. With one stroke, they risk turning thousands of innocent EU citizens and businesses into copycriminals. Only you can stop them. Sign our petition now!Why?
If IPRED2 passes in its current form, "aiding, abetting, or inciting" copyright infringement on a "commercial scale" in the EU will become a crime. Penalties for these brand new copycrimes will include permanent bans on doing business, seizure of assets, criminal records, and fines of up to EUR 100,000. IPRED2's backers say these copycrimes are meant only for professional criminals selling fake merchandise. But Europe already has laws against these fraudsters. With many terms in IPRED2 left unclear or completeley undefined - including "commercial scale" and "incitement" - IPRED2 will expand police authority and make suspects out of legitimate consumers and businesses, slowing innovation and limiting your digital rights.Link
Quebec's Lessons for the US
How "Wars on Terror" Should be Fought.
Nice essay by R.T. Naylor, author of Satanic Purses: Money, Myth and Misinformation.
Alien plants may come in all colours but blue
Model shows the rainbow of plant life possible in the Universe.
A picnic on a far-flung planet orbiting a red dwarf might involve spreading your blanket on black grass and munching on purple veggies, according to a new model.Link
Upon my death I wish to be cremated and made into pencils.
After that, please cremate the pencils and turn them into diamonds,
and then shoot the diamonds into space.
These are my final wishes.
Self Replication in Second Life
Cellular Automata Video Synthesizer Kit: Contest
From Video Thing: "We're so excited about the new video cellular automata kit from MAKE magazine, that we're going to hold a contest to see who can make the coolest implementation of it- bend, hack, unexpected use or just a sweet case design, the sky is the limit."
Cellular Slime Moulds: Neither Slime Nor Moulds
(Part 3 in an interminable series about mycology.)
Link (Part 2: Things that eat jet fuel)
Link (Part 1: Predatory Moulds)
Top violinist plays DC transit station: will beauty transcend?
No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities -- as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?Link (read article to find out)
Link (or just listen to the performance)
The Guerrilla Girls at the Feminist Future Symposium, MoMA
Frida Kahlo and Kathe Kollwitz, two founding members of the feminist activist group the Guerrilla Girls, present as part of a panel on Activism/Race/Politics. Recorded at MoMA on January 27, 2007.
The long tale of the donkey
Where ecology meets a disappearing and precious culture.
In Mediterranean countries, a combination of automobile mania and contempt for our peasant, agricultural past means that the ancient mule and donkey culture is in crisis. In Greece the number of donkeys (including the unique breed of Arcadian donkey known to Homer and Xenophon) fell by 96.4%, from 508,000 to 18,173, between 1955 and 2006 and is still falling. The special breeds of Asinara, Sardinia and Sicily are endangered species. Donkeys in Corfu are on the verge of extinction. The lovely Martina Franca donkey of southern Italy has just been rescued from oblivion, but at a price: it is likely to be farmed for meat.Link
Robotics: Engineers Announce Plastic, Air- And Light-driven Device More Precise Than Human Hand
Engineers at the Johns Hopkins Urology Robotics Lab report the invention of a motor without metal or electricity that can safely power remote-controlled robotic medical devices used for cancer biopsies and therapies guided by magnetic resonance imaging. The motor that drives the devices can be so precisely controlled by computer that movements are steadier and more precise than a human hand.
Is Handel's Messiah Anti-Semitic?
Handel's Messiah is a beloved part of the Christmas tradition all over the world. But the piece was originally intended for Lent, not Christmas, and Handel wrote it "to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in A.D. 70. For most Christians in Handel's day, this horrible event was construed as divine retribution on Judaism for its failure to accept Jesus as God's promised Messiah."
Do violent computer games make frequent players more violent? Do these games have to be banned? The German Pirate Party doesn't think so. It's the social and economical background that matter rather than some games. The Pirate Party demonstrated against the prohibition of games: ...they played 'Blood Chess'.
Link / Picture gallery
(Thanx, Florian Hufsky!)
The Artist's Survival Kit
Jean Baudrillard brought to Second Life
They must by hyperjoking...
Ester Dreier and Lamb Lamont are proud to announce that Jean Baudrillard has been caught while floating around the Odyssey art gallery. Look at the amazing philosopher, take pictures and click on him to let him talk about death, life, and how is it to be a simulacrum!Link (via Enki Böhm)
Today I gave a lightning at Metalab's Metaday #2 to present the idea behind "Dot Smoke". Afterwards I got really promising feedback, great new ideas are emerging!
Xia Xiaowan's 3D glass paintings
The only problem with the cutting edge art in China is that it doesn't make it outside of China frequently enough.
Artist Xia Xiaowan uses layers of glass to make 3-D paintings. He draws his inspiration and method from X-ray photographs, giving two-dimensional painting a three-dimensional effect. He combines material, technology and painting, thus maintaining the hand-made qualities of painting while adding elements of installation and sculptural art and displaying the cold, absurd and strange qualities of realism.Link
Link (to gallery)
The English version of our short film "Bye Bye" is online. It's a little story about life, water, infamousness and sound storage media. Enjoy.
Housing price roller coaster: an analysis
You may have seen this video of housing costs graphed as a 3D roller coaster ride. As someone who can't afford to own property (didn't we used to call them peasants?), the steep incline in the past decades is frightening.
In America it is especially true that owning one's home confers rights on an individual that they do no otherwise have. A man's home is his castle, as they say, and if you are on your own property it is difficult for the government to screw with you. Owning one's home also give the advantage of being less at the mercy of markets and employers. This all suggests to me that a society is more free and stable when more people own instead of rent their homes (not to mention more happy).
Can the rapid inflation of home prices be explained by traditional supply and demand models? Or is it the result of a fundamental shift in the demographics of the housing market?
I suspect the problem is that home ownership is also a capitol investment, and the owning class can buy properties not to live in but to rent for profit. This arrangement funnels money from the renters to the owning class, perpetuating a system out of balance.
In this case, the cycle would look like this: The influx of investment money into the housing market inflates values, making it harder for working class people to own property. This raises the demand for rentals, the rental prices rise, and the cycle spirals upward. Which is what you see in this video of housing prices from 1890 to the present as represented by a 3D roller coaster ride.
Link from kottke.org
Hacking more senses onto your body
We humans get just the five. But why? Can our senses be modified? Expanded? Given the right prosthetics, could we feel electromagnetic fields or hear ultrasound? The answers to these questions, according to researchers at a handful of labs around the world, appear to be yes.
For six weird weeks in the fall of 2004, Udo Wachter had an unerring sense of direction. Every morning after he got out of the shower, Wachter, a sysadmin at the University of Osnabrück in Germany, put on a wide beige belt lined with 13 vibrating pads. On the outside of the belt were a power supply and a sensor that detected Earth's magnetic field. Whichever buzzer was pointing north would go off. Constantly.
Deep into the experiment, Wachter says, "I suddenly realized that my perception had shifted. I had some kind of internal map of the city in my head. I could always find my way home. Eventually, I felt I couldn't get lost, even in a completely new place."
The effects of the "feelSpace belt" became even more profound over time. Konig says while he wore it he was "intuitively aware of the direction of my home or my office. I'd be waiting in line in the cafeteria and spontaneously think: I live over there." On a visit to Hamburg, about 100 miles away, he noticed that he was conscious of the direction of his hometown. Wachter felt the vibration in his dreams, moving around his waist, just like when he was awake.
Link (see also this article about seeing with your tongue)
Bare-Life Innovation: The role of low-tech applications in political and social contexts
Alessandro Ludovico reports on political low-tech hacks:
The Western high-tech elite, being too busy with defining and re-defining what the digital divide is and endlessly trying to compensate it, is definitely missing one the best lessons it could learn. It is a fact that developing countries are low-tech by definition, so they are always struggling to improve their minimal infrastructure by creating and exchanging ideas, rather than by assembling and delivering pricey chunks of electronics. In >>bare-life<< territories, there is a need to develop technological innovations while being aware of technical limitations. The focus here is on their creative exploitation or on slight but effective improvements that enable radical changes. Whereas, in the so-called industrial countries, we feel more and more >>connected<<, perpetually and unavoidably - even in the countryside or on the road - to the invisible communication networks, people not living in G8 countries are in a completely different situation: they have to hack communication systems to get what they need. Mobile phones, for example, have already provided the infrastructure for political movements in these kinds of countries, and have already been successfully used in this context.Link
* Do you often have problems getting up in the morning?
* Have you realized that aquiring more self-dicipline is simply too hard?
* Have you tried placing the alarm clock at the other end of the bedroom, just to find yourself bringing your pillow when turning it off and continue sleeping on the floor?
It's time to toss another technical solution at this: Wire the alarm clock to a coffee machine and wake up to a cup of fresh coffee within an arm's reach.
Wonkaland For Stoners
Franz Ablinger recommends a link. File under "Wow!"...
Law enforcement officers in Tennessee make the greatest underground discovery since Tutankhamen's tomb was unearthed in the Valley of the Kings.
Under this ordinary house is a marijuana grow-op unlike any you have ever seen. Within the caves of middle Tennessee, growers constructed a complex of offices, living quarters, restroom facilities, and a climate-controlled forest of over one thousand cannabis plants.
They even had a hydraulic rock.
In NYC there are huge power hungry TV screens above subway entrances that play ads for reality TV shows, and well, other reality TV shows, 24 hours a day 7 days a week- they're not used for public service or weather, word of the day, teaching people the metric system or to say things like the trains are delayed -- but some are now being turned into art, the site shows you how to make your own too.
(Thanx, Jörg Piringer!)
Laughing Squid and Boing Boing feature Taugshow #10
International Year Of Polytheism: Daikokuten and Challalamma
Next two "favourite deities"!
Franz Ablinger's favorite god is from Asia. It is the Japanese god Daikokuten.
And Harald List is worshipping Challalamma. And he tells us why.
More info about the 'International Year Of Polytheism' can be found here.
Goodbye Yellowcake Road
Google makes April Fools joke, and will continue to do so forever.
In what may be the death rattle of hipness at google.com, senior executives unveiled their annual April Fool's day prank promoting free wireless internet through their home plumbing systems.
What used to be a novel and creative impulse to stir things up has become a ritual over at Google, and fans of such pranks can rely on something zany every year. Just like the holiday appropriate logo that Google displays several times a year, the April Fools day joke is no longer a creative impulse. It's an expectation, it's just what they do, and it will be institutionally perpetuated in perpetuity.
This illustrates the contextual difference between a prank and a joke. In the context of a joke, you are primed and waiting to be served the punchline. With a prank, the punchline happens whether you realize it or not.
Such is the fate of a prank that bears imitation; it becomes a joke. It's become so stale that Google is planning pranks a year in advance now.
This may be a hoax, but supposedly next year's Google "prank" has already been leaked at the following site:
Taugshow #10 finally online!
Finally! Taugshow #10 was recorded at San Francisco's Exploratorium on February 11, 2007. Thanks to the wonderful folks at RE/Search for being our producers. And million+1 kisses to Liz Keim of the Exploratorium, Scott Beale of Laughing Squid, Jacob Appelbaum, Eddie Codel and David Fine for helping us organize a really nice show.
Now you can download the entire show!
J.D. Lenzen on long-chained molecules and (bondage) knot efficiency.
Jennifer Granick (Executive Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic) on law and other hacks.
Evelyn Fürlinger presents "Wicked Wordz", our regular column about lingustics.
VJ Mattbot spins the photons, the monochrom Allstar Band plays some songs and... well... see for yourself.
Don Quixote and The Narrative Self
Stefán Snaevarr asks, are our identities created by narratives?
Once upon a time a philosopher wrote an article called 'Don Quixote and The Narrative Self'. He commenced by saying: In this essay, I will discuss the question of whether our selves are constituted by narratives, ie stories. Are we like Don Quixote, whose self was created by his reading of medieval romances: are we Homo quixotienses, the narrative self? Or are we rather like the protagonist of Sartre's novel Nausea, Antonin Roquentin, whose life did not form any narrative unity? Are we in other words rather Homo roquentinenses?Link
Warmer waters could spin the Earth faster
The oceans' heating will shave instants off the day.
The warming of the world's oceans is going to shorten the day, say German researchers. But there's no need to adjust your watch: the shortening will be by only 0.12 milliseconds over the next 200 years, they estimate.Link
Biography today reigns supreme -- the most challenging, controversial, and popular form of nonfiction publishing and broadcasting. So why is it still shunned by the academy?
Bluefin Tuna On The Brink
With a month to go before the start of the 2007 fishing season for Mediterranean bluefin tuna, WWF is asking the European Union to hold back half its fishing quota or watch the stock collapse.
The quota for this season's fishery is more than double that recommended by scientists to avoid the high risk of collapse. The global conservation organization is calling on the EU to voluntarily heed scientific advice and hold back 50 per cent of its quotas to help conservation.
You are of male gender and refuse to grow up? Well, here is a product for you.
Teddy Babes are plush adult toys. They can be used as sex dolls, but not necessarily. They can also be collected as "soft sculpture" art objects. They're not inflatable or made of latex or silicone, but made of velvety-soft plush material stuffed with non-allergenic poly-fil. Essentially, they're 'stuffed pretty girls,' as opposed to stuffed animals (such as teddy bears). They're also of superior quality than most, if not all, inflatable love dolls on the market, given that they include moveable joints, a high-quality fashion wig, and other special features.
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 ]