PyEphem provides scientific-grade astronomical computations for the Python programming language. Given a date and location on the Earth's surface, it can compute the positions of the Sun and Moon, of the planets and their moons, and of any asteroids, comets, or earth satellites whose orbital elements the user can provide. Additional functions are provided to compute the angular separation between two objects in the sky, to determine the constellation in which an object lies, and to find the times at which an object rises, transits, and sets on a particular day.
Link (via Schockwellenreiter)
Phoenix to Earthlings: I've Landed! Awesome!
Whoever thought a NASA spacecraft could be so adept at social networking and Web 2.0?
Link (via yarnivore)
To what culture does the concept of "cultural property" belong?
To what culture does the concept of "cultural property" belong? Who owns this idea?Link
The art of Adolf Hitler (with a little help from the Chapman brothers)
When the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman bought a series of paintings by Adolf Hitler for £115,000, many questioned the morality of paying for works produced by one of history's most brutal dictators.Link
Slide Rule Sense: Amazonian Indigenous Culture Demonstrates Universal Mapping Of Number Onto Space
The ability to map numbers onto a line, a foundation of all mathematics, is universal, says a study published May 30 in the journal Science, but the form of this universal mapping is not linear but logarithmic. The findings illuminate both the nature and the limits of the human predisposition to measurement, a foundation for science, engineering, and much of our modern culture.
It's hard to imagine that life on another planet would be any weirder than what we have on Earth already. For proof, see these beautiful photos of the lifecycle of a Cecropia Moth.
Credit: Michael Cook
Extraordinary: James Last in the Soviet Union 1972
Wonderful footage material of a 1972 James Last convert in the USSR.
Link (thanx, Richard Wientzek)
Nicole Hassoun Experimental Study On Meeting Needs
Experimental Philosophy recommends:
Political philosopher Nicole Hassoun has just published an experimental study on the questions of distributive justice that arise when governments are forced to choose between meeting different people's needs.Link
Religion: A Feature?
By distilling religious belief into a genetic predisposition, a computer program may explain how humans evolved a spiritual side.
Doing Battle With the Bard: Shakespeare vs. Milton
"Is Milton Better Than Shakespeare?" asks Nigel Smith in the title of his new book (Harvard University Press, 240 pages, $22.95). The obvious answer is no: It would be hard to dispute that Shakespeare's plays are more powerful, and more central to our culture, than Milton's biblical epics or his artfully classical lyrics. Around the world, when people dream about true love, they think of Romeo and Juliet; when they thrill with ambition, they think of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and so on down the list of Shakespeare's characters. Harold Bloom could even speculate, not quite in jest, that Shakespeare invented human nature, so completely does he seem to dominate our imagination of what it means to be human.Link
Sydney Pollack, Film Director, Is Dead at 73
Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like "The Way We Were," "Tootsie" and "Out of Africa" were among the most successful of the 1970s and ’80s, died Monday at home here. He was 73.
Humans = Cool: Mars Orbiter Snaps Phoenix During Landing
Wow. Humans = Cool.
A telescopic camera in orbit around Mars caught a view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suspended from its parachute during the lander's successful arrival at Mars Sunday evening, May 25.
Podcast of Talks on Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta
Podcasts are available of nearly all of the talks that were given in a public conference held at the University of Alberta in Edmonton last year, "Eugenics and Sterilization in Alberta: 35 Years Later". Eugenic sterilization was practiced in Alberta until 1972, when a new provincial government repealed the Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta. The conference was public not only in the sense that it was "open to the public" but in that it strove to include the voices of community members who were affected by the long history of eugenic sterilization in the province of Alberta.Link to podcasts (via What Sorts of People)
Google Adwords: context matters
Text ads can be smart, funny, and sometimes unintentionally hilarious when they show up in the wrong context.
Insane: 256-gigabyte solid state drive by Samsung
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest computer chip maker, said today it has developed a new solid state drive which is expected to replace hard disk drives in laptop computers.Link
Howard Zinn: On Anarchism
An interview with Howard Zinn (Professor Emeritus of political science at Boston University) by Ziga Vodovnik (Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana).
Ziga Vodovnik: From the 1980s onwards we are witnessing the process of economic globalization getting stronger day after day. Many on the Left are now caught between a "dilemma" - either to work to reinforce the sovereignty of nation-states as a defensive barrier against the control of foreign and global capital; or to strive towards a non-national alternative to the present form of globalization and that is equally global. What's your opinion about this?Link
Freeman Dyson: The Question of Global Warming
Freeman Dyson reviews "A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies" (by William Nordhaus) and "Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto" (edited by Ernesto Zedillo).
The World Food Crisis: Sources and Solutions
By Fred Magdoff.
An acute food crisis has struck the world in 2008. This is on top of a longer-term crisis of agriculture and food that has already left billions hungry and malnourished. In order to understand the full, dire implications of what is happening today it is necessary to look at the interaction between these short-term and long-term crises. Both crises arise primarily from the for-profit production of food, fiber, and now biofuels, and the rift between food and people that this inevitably generates.Link
NASA: "Se7en Minutes Of Terror"
That's how the NASA PR video calls today's interplanetary nail-biter: the Phoenix spacecraft performs a series of challenging maneuvers right before it lands on Mars.
And: The Phoenix spacecraft is not only twittering, but doing it in the first person. (Bio: "I dig Mars!")
Twitter / Link
NASA / Link
(via bre, sfslim)
"Creation Science 101" by Roy Zimmerman
Slavoj Zizek on Tibet: Dream and Reality
What if China now is our past and future? The West is projecting not only its own spiritual fantasies upon Tibet, but its own economic fears upon China, imagining a power struggle quite different from that which has actually happened in Tibet. We have to learn to look at Tibet as it is – and China too.
Richard Dawkins: Rapping Evolution
Werner von Braun: A 20th-Century Faust
Wernher von Braun is an iconic figure of the 20th century, someone who built deadly missiles for Adolf Hitler and the Saturn V rockets that sent Americans to the Moon. Michael J. Neufeld's long-awaited biography, Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War, steers a course between the extremes of demonization and hagiography. "Von Braun has often been depicted as a saint or a devil, as a hero of spaceflight or as a Nazi war criminal," observes Neufeld. "It is comforting to pigeonhole him as either white or black," he goes on to explain, "because then one does not have to deal with his ambiguity and complexity, or the ambiguity and complexity of the moral and political choices offered to scientists and engineers in the modern era." Neufeld's thorough, nuanced, insightful account does this challenging subject justice.Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War. Michael J. Neufeld. xvi + 587 pp. Knopf, 2007. $35.
Why Do Astronauts Suffer From Space Sickness?
Rotating astronauts for a lengthy period provided researcher Suzanne Nooij with better insight into how 'space sickness' develops, the nausea and disorientation experienced by many astronauts.
Guestblogging for Laughing Squid / From Vienna with LED Love
I'm guestblogging for Laughing Squid... and took the chance to propagate Metalab's wonderful LED Matrix project.
monochrom's projections: "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
This time we want to talk about Stanley Kramer's 'It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World'. And of course show it.
Sunday, May 25. 8 PM @ Raum D / Museumsquartier, Vienna.
Link / Mad World (desc, German language)
Link / monochrom's projections (desc, German language)
Chrisitee Art-Opening Today
Good friend Chrisitee a.k.a. 8 Hours Manatee, real name Christian Tanzer, is having an exhibition at Inoperable/Vienna in the 7th district, and the opening reception is at 4pm. Come down.
There's a pretty cool new blog out there, done by a couple of Vienna boys, and I suspect it's the same dudes that had something to do with the now defunct Partyspam. Don't quote me on that one though.
Anyway, clstrfcuk posts mp3s and get you in the right mood for going out and being all nihilist and stuff. The result might be that you will end up puking down the 12th floor of some aparment-building, and your photo going straight into the Don'ts-section of Vice. Oh wait, that'd be a Do.
Great collection of H. P. Lovecraft quotes
If we knew what we are, we should do as Sir Arthur Jermyn did; and Arthur Jermyn soaked himself in oil and set fire to his clothing one night.Link
Is it permissible for God to kill people?
Many people have difficulty with God's acts in the Bible because God seems to be committing or commanding immoral acts (e.g., when God commands the Israelites to wipe out certain people-groups, including children). I think that many of these charges can be alleviated if some good justification can be given for the claim that it is morally permissible for God to kill people as he does in the Bible.Link
A Tale Of Two Storms: Myanmar And New Orleans
Sometimes you hear things that are so unbelievable that you wonder whether it was all in your imagination. That is precisely the way that I felt in listening to comments by the Bush administration on the disastrous cyclone that hit the south Asian nation of Myanmar (Burma).Link
Does Time Run Backward in Other Universes?
One of the most basic facts of life is that the future looks different from the past. But on a grand cosmological scale, they may look the same.
Ono In Copyright Fight Over Lennon
Ono In Copyright Fight Over Lennon Yoko Ono is battling in court to prevent a filmmaker whose documentary challenges the theory of evolution from using John Lennon's song, Imagine, in the soundtrack.
The filmmakers acknowledge they did not ask Ono for permission to use 15 to 20 seconds of the song. But they argue they are protected by the 'fair use' doctrine.Link
For those who skateboard, this post will provide 4 minutes of joy. For those who know that band Clara Luzia, this post will provide surprises, and definitely more joy. For those who think Vienna is a boring place and would rather live in Berlin, this post will provide a hefty "just go ahead and leave this city then".
Andi Luger part in Strictly Business DVD, 2008. Get it here.
National Institutes of Health's new "Undiagnosed Diseases Program"
If TV's Dr. House, diagnostician extraordinaire, is ever truly stumped, he can refer his patient to the National Institutes of Health's new "Undiagnosed Diseases Program."Link
Are We Really Discovering "Interesting" Knowledge From Data?
By Alex A. Freitas (Computing Laboratory, University of Kent)
This paper is a critical review of the literature on discovering comprehensible, interesting knowledge (or patterns) from data. The motivation for this review is that the majority of the literature focuses only on the problem of maximizing the accuracy of the discovered patterns, ignoring other important pattern-quality criteria that are user-oriented, such as comprehensibility and interestingness. The word “interesting” has been used with several different meanings in the data mining literature. In this paper interesting essentially means novel or surprising. Although comprehensibility and interestingness are considerably harder to measure in a formal way than accuracy, they seem very relevant criteria to be considered if we are serious about discovering knowledge that is not only accurate, but also useful for human decision making. The paper discusses both data-driven methods (based mainly on statistical properties of the patterns) and user-driven methods (which take into account the user’s background knowledge or believes) for discovering interesting knowledge. Data-driven methods are discussed in more detail because they are more common in the literature and are more controversial. The paper also suggests future research directions in the discovery of interesting knowledge.Link
Body's natural painkillers may block phobias
The way humans are conditioned by fearful stimuli is to some extent damped down by the body's own pain-relief system, a study suggests. The finding may shine light on the neural mechanisms behind anxieties, phobias and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
1968: The mysterious chemistry of social change
The last thing the legacy of 1968 needs is nostalgic commemoration, writes Mike Marqusee. Even as it was happening, it was being packaged for consumption. Nor should we celebrate it in the name of some abstract spirit of resistance. It was a year of contradictions and confusions, many of which continue to confront anyone who wants to take part in a movement for radical change.
"Skin Is Longing For A Cream" with Audrey Penven and Jesse' Darlin
Our artists-in-residence Audrey Penven and Jesse Darlin' are part of the exhibition "Skin Is Longing For A Cream" @ Freiraum/Museumsquartier Vienna.
Opening: May 21, 2008; 7 PM.
Servo reports about Roboexotica 2007
Christian Wackos Galore: The Skoptsy
The Skoptsy were a secret sect of Christianity in imperial Russia. The Skoptsy are best known for practicing castration of men and removal of women's breasts in accordance with their teachings against sexual lust. The movement originated as an offshoot of the sect known as the "People of God" and was first noted in the late eighteenth century. The Skoptsy were persecuted by the imperial government and later by the Soviet Union, but enjoyed substantial growth before fading into obscurity by the mid-twentieth century.Link (via lfodemon)
Will Elder: "I was raised on chicken fat."
Will Elder, whose frantic, gag-filled illustrations helped to define the comic identity of Mad magazine and who was a creator of the Playboy cartoon serial "Little Annie Fanny," died Wednesday in Rockleigh, N.J. He was 86.
Times = tough / Music = soft
When times get tough, as in America during the Great Depression and the Second World War, music gets soft. The times, surveys say, are once again tough, and they're likely to stay that way. A sustained period of stylistic regression is thus a possibility. But there is no law that says history has to repeat itself in an endless loop.Link
Doom all pixels! Photoshop disasters!
The great blog "Photoshop disasters" collects... well...
Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter. And yes, deep down, we love Photoshop.
Smart grids: home energy management
Coming soon: better tools for monitoring and regulating power consumption in the home. "Power companies will be able to cue us...to make choices about when and how we consume power. And most likely, we'll have our computers and appliances carry out those decisions for us." It's not just that we're managing power efficiency with smart tools, but we're doing it interactively with feedback to and from the energy provider.Link
Interior Of Mars Is Colder Than Previously Thought, So Any Possible Liquid Water Would Be Deep Underground
New observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate that the crust and upper mantle of Mars are stiffer and colder than previously thought. The findings suggest any liquid water that might exist below the planet's surface and any possible organisms living in that water, would be located deeper than scientists had suspected.
The Orgasmic Mind: The Neurological Roots of Sexual Pleasure
Martin Portner reports that achieving sexual climax requires a complex conspiracy of sensory and psychological signals—and the eventual silencing of critical brain areas.
UK Family Names: 1881 and 1998
A post at 'Linguism' links to a useful-looking site that "tracks the distribution of family names in Great Britain in 1881 and 1998":
This gives the absolute frequency of a name, and also its relative frequency (occurrences per million of the population) and ranking (where its frequency stands in relation to all other family names). There is also a map which shows the areas where the name appears most frequently.Link (via language hat)
Hillary: Testosterone is Not to Blame
By Tim Wise.
Hillary Clinton is finished, and contrary to the insistence of many of her supporters, sexism has had virtually nothing to do with it.Link
MUTO: a wall-painted animation
Aliens against Aids
Black doll / White doll: Exploring self-image
High school student Kiri Davis explores the self-image of black children in the US by repeating the historic "doll test" of Dr. Kenneth Clark that led to school desegregation. The experiment shows how many black children are trapped by low self-esteem.
Link (via SOS Mitmensch)
A praise to Monty Python
Monty Python freed the world from the punchline, the "cum shot" doctrine of television humor. May they be praised in eternity!
Useful Distractions: International Law Blog
"Opinio Juris" is a weblog dedicated to reports, commentary, and debate on current developments and scholarship in the fields of international law and politics. Pretty interesting stuff...
I like software: power plants open to hacker attack
A software package widely used to automate power stations and production lines has a serious security vulnerability.
pranks.com on monochrom/BLF: The Great Firewall of China
pranks.com reports about our cooperation with the Billboard Liberation Front: "The Great Firewall of China" at the Google headquarters in Mountain View.
Eric Nyandu Kabongo: A Boatman's Story
Eric Nyandu Kabongo is a singer and artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The violence that has engulfed his country forced him to flee his home. He moved to Gabon, where he was attacked, then to Benin, where he didn't feel at home, and then, like many sub-Saharan Africans, to the northern coast of Libya. There, living in a cramped room with five other migrants, he faced daily hostility from a suspicious local population. For him, like many others in his decision, Europe became the "Promised Land" - the land of milk and honey. And that's why he got together the money to pay for a 300 kilometres trip across the Mediterranean in an open fishing boat.
Simple Artificial Cell Created From Scratch To Study Cell Complexity
A team of Penn State researchers has developed a simple artificial cell with which to investigate the organization and function of two of the most basic cell components: the cell membrane and the cytoplasm--the gelatinous fluid that surrounds the structures in living cells. The work could lead to the creation of new drugs that take advantage of properties of cell organization to prevent the development of diseases. The team's findings will be published later this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Israeli History at 60
A history of contention over a contentious history.
A Missouri University's Successful Strategy Against Illegal Downloads?
In order to download (or upload) files on any peer-to-peer network whatsoever, all on-campus users have to pass an online quiz on copyright infringement. But not just once. Passing the test -- with a perfect score -- enables peer-to-peer access for six hours on the user's on-campus registered machines. The next time, the student, staff or faculty member has to go to the intranet Web page and take the randomized test again.Link
DIY at the Jugendmedienmesse, Saturday
Exactly one year ago I was one of a handful of great people that organised an exhibition on DIY-culture in Vienna (here's last year's post). This year we were asked to be part of the Jugendmedienmesse here in Vienna, a fair for young people that are interested in journalism and the media. There's big names at that fair - and us. We show kids the beauty of DIY-publishing, we made a zine for it and also a little blog. Come and visit if you're in the area!
DKJJK.blogspot.com (a little HOWTO on blogging for kids that really need a little kick in the backside!) ;)
monochrom proclaims: The International Year Of Polytheism Will Be Endless
In 2007 we started a project to honour religions which are not into that blunt one-church-under-one-God-stuff, but hail to the chaotic postmodern multitude of Gods and Goddesses. Religion should be like a swinger club, we believe. A dark room where you worship a God but you don't even know which God you're worshipping. That would be pretty cool we think. Worshipping Gods and Goddesses doesn't need to be some boring and dull and heteronomous thing for bores and squares clinging to whatever bloody tradition they have inherited. It can be a ride to the shopping mall of the unknown. Go out with one God/Goddess, come home with another. Worship one God/Goddess in your living room, while you hide another God's/Goddess's sacrificial altar in the toilet.
Tell everybody you're into Greek Gods/Godesses but actually worship Polynesian ones when nobody's watching. Play off the Norse Gods/Godesses against Hinduism. Let them fight and use their superpowers to entertain you. And so on.
Polytheism is a big party that screams "Bring your own God!" on the invitation. Now you understand why we were so sad about it being over. Damn you, 12/31/2007! Fucking monotheist moderation tricked us again: Fun is an ocean but it ends at the shore! We sat around crying a little and talking bullshit, depressed and weary of life. But then it struck us: If this great polytheism project is about kicking the unhealthy influence of monotheist crap out of our lives, why not kick out the Gregorian calendar which definitely is some Christian nonsense.
Why should polytheists stick to that calendar anyway? Why couldn't the year of polytheism be a somewhat polytheist year of which nobody knows exactly when it will end and when it has started? Nifty! So we went to ask the Gods and Goddesses what they would say at which date the year of polytheism expires. As always they have not come to an unambiguous ordeal yet and they just keep on arguing and arguing. Since they can not notify us, we cannot close the year of polytheism as you will surely understand. So just choose an individual bundle of personal Gods/Goddesses and join us waiting for them to stop their quarrel. You are welcome unless you're a Nazi pagan asshole buying that bullshit of a "true and authentic religion" somehow related to that place in which you were born by chance.
Check us out saying fuck off to Nazi polytheists!
Stephen Fry defends public service BBC
Stephen Fry was enlisted by the BBC this week to deliver a lecture on the future of public service broadcasting.
Video link (via Helge F)
Cyberdyne Building Factory To Construct Consumer Power Exoskeletons
Our friend BotJunkie reports about a new consumer power exoskeleton:
This is Cyberdyne's HAL (hybrid assistive limb) exoskeleton, a powered robotic suit designed to significantly increase the strength of the wearer. Using sensors attached to the skin, HAL senses which muscles you intend to move, and powers its joints at the same rate as you move yours, allowing you to walk around effortlessly while wearing the fifty pound suit. If you pick something up, the suit is able to compensate for a portion of the weight, effectively increasing your strength from 2 to 10 (!) times. The suit can be used indoors or outdoors and will provide power for between about three to five hours before it needs a recharge.
Seal caught on tape molesting a penguin
A seal has been caught on camera trying to have sex with a penguin. This seems to be the first example seen in the wild of a sexual escapade between a mammal and a different kind of vertebrate such as a bird, reptile or fish, "although some mammals are known to have attempted sexual relief with inanimate — including dead things — objects," said researcher Nico de Bruyn, a mammal ecologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Link (via Jana Herwig)
Laughing Squid features "The Great Firewall of China"
Scott Beale is helping to spread the word. And the art.
monochrom and BLF: The Great Firewall of China // BBtv video
Boing Boing TV.
monochrom and BLF: The Great Firewall of China // Photo set
Finally, entire photo set of Google Campus Sculpture Mob is online.
Link (yes, next time we should visit Yahoo)
For Immediate Release // monochrom and BLF: The Great Firewall of China on Google's Mountain View campus
As shareholders at Google's annual convention were counting their well earned dividends, America's premier billboard improvement corporation, Billboard Liberation Front, assisted the Austrian arts collective monochrom in a monumental advertising coup designed to celebrate Google's online partnership with the Peoples Republic of China.
China's heroic effort to protect their enormous internet market (162 million!) from an overload of useless information includes a moratorium on abrasive, ugly, and thoroughly misleading concepts such as truth. China's Internet "Cultural Revolution" is made possible through support from America's most leviathanesque behemoth, Google Inc. 'Don't be evil' says Google's PR department!
During Dr. Eric Schmidt's keynote address on China, BLF and monochrom agents worked feverishly to improve signs on Google's campus.
monochrom came to the USA to promote a singular concept called Sculpture Mobs. "No one is safe from public sculptures, those endless atrocities!" explained Johannes Grenzfurthner, "All of them labeled 'art in public space'. Unchallenging hunks of aesthetic metal in business parks, roundabouts, in shopping malls! It is time to create DIY public art! Get your hammers! Get your welding equipment!"
At the Maker Faire in San Mateo earlier this month, Johannes and accomplice Daniel Fabry trained attendees to erect public sculptures in a simulated Wal-Mart parking lot in just 5 minutes before "security" was called. Google and the PRC proved to be the ideal test case clients for this new advertising improvement technique.
Said Grenzfurthner, "We needed to maintain a low standard of political metaphor to give American citizens a chance to understand it. From an aesthetic perspective, The Great Firewall is radically mediocre. In the end, China's stoic indifference to Western art insanity is quite impressive."
As BLF CIO (Blank) DeCoverly pointed out in his power point presentation,
* My god the Chinese masses are so lucky,
o not having to grapple with the incessant flood of information
o The veritable 'Tower of Babble' we Americans and to a lesser extent our European cousins have to digest from our
* Each and every day
"The truth is a bummer," agreed BLF CEO Jack Napier, "it's confusing, and they're damn lucky Google has such a lovingly orchestrated filter to shelter them from it"
The BLF (http://billboardliberation.com) has been improving outdoor advertising since 1977. Prior campaigns have included work for Exxon, R.J. Reynolds, General Motors, Revlon and Apple Computers.Link to exclusive Boing Boing TV video documentation
Spider Bots! Molten Steel Man!
The Walking Beast is a mechanical creature that walks on 8 legs!
Link (via Suicide Bots)
Alternative To Silicon Chip Invented By Student
Even before Weixiao Huang received his doctorate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his new transistor captured the attention of some of the biggest American and Japanese automobile companies. The 2008 graduate's invention could replace one of the most common pieces of technology in the world--the silicon transistor for high-power and high-temperature electronics.
The Warrant Report and the philosophers who investigated the Kennedy assassination
Tim Madigan on the philosophers who investigated the Kennedy assassination.
It has now been almost 45 years since John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. In September 1964, the Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy was issued by the United States Government. It is generally known as the Warren Report after Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who chaired the Commission. Constituting 26 volumes of testimony and evidence, the Warren Report concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who caused JFK's death.Link
'Fraggle Rock': The Musical
The Weinstein Co. will turn the Jim Henson series "Fraggle Rock" into a live-action musical feature.
Paraflows 2008: Utopia / / Call for Papers
The topic of the 3rd festival for digital arts and cultures in the city of Vienna is UTOPIA.
[...] UTOPIA can be traced back to the book 'De Optimo Reipublicae Statu deque nova insula Utopia Libellus vere aureaus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus (Of the best state law and of the new island Utopia, truly a golden booklet, as pleasant as it is cheerful)' by Thomas Morus which was first published in 1516. The text alludes to positive scenarios of technical, spatial and social constructs which have not been realised. Usually, technology plays a major role in utopian phantasms. More often than not their realistic implementation is a matter of availability of technology and very often it is – especially in digital art – the starting point of a work of art. [...]More info and submission requirements
Torture, Law, and War
The website for the UC Conference on Torture, Law, and War now has audio and video of conference presentations available. Participants include the philosophers Nancy Sherman, Marcia Baron, Claudia Card, David Sussman, Scott Anderson, and Jeff McMahan, amongst others. Albie Sachs (South African Constitutional Court) gave the keynote address, "Four Tales of Terrorism."
Living bandage heals damaged organs
A layer of healthy cells wrapped around organs could lead to powerful new treatments for diseased body parts.
Speculate to accumulate: IMF, WTO -- and clever plans
By Serge Halimi
The International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation promised that more trade would help to eradicate poverty and hunger. Foodcrops? Self-sufficiency in food? They had a better idea. Local farms would be closed down or encouraged to concentrate on exports. This would make the most, not of natural conditions which might be good for growing tomatoes in Mexico or pineapples in the Philippines, but of the fact that production costs are lower in Mexico and the Philippines than they are in Florida or California.Link
'Obedience': Milgram's film about his social psychology experiments
If you do not know about the Milgram experiment on obedience, please read the Wikipedia article. And I highly recommend Milgram's fascinating film on the subject: "Obedience".
Link (via histologion)
monochrom car gets new license plates
Our monochrom car -- mostly used for transporting strange DIY stuff and getting posh internet celebrities to and from the Vienna airport -- got new license plates.
More than fitting, we think.
["KO" actually stands for the county 'Korneuburg', but please read it as 'Keep On'. The '1' is a bad capslock typo.]
Converting Toxic Computer Waste Into Fuel?
Discarded computer parts could one day wind up fueling your car. That's because researchers in Romania and Turkey have developed a simple, efficient method for recycling printed circuit boards into environmentally-friendly raw materials for use in fuel, plastic, and other useful consumer products.
"The Dreamers": Revolution as a Gala Dinner and a Game
A close, detailed viewing and extended discussion of the context, plot, and themes of Bertolucci's controversial masterwork.
Are the chances of an accidental nuclear war back again on the increase?
Do you know about this? On Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day, 2007, two U.S. jets were scrambled from the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to intercept two Russian long-range "strategic" bombers (strategic being a euphemism for nuclear-capable) in the skies over the Aleutian Islands as the bombers approached Alaskan air space.
Haiti: A grain of dissimilarity
In Greek legend a chimere is a fearful, fire-belching monster with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail. For Haitians it means a gangster.
Jesse Darlin': New monochrom resident artist
Jesse Darlin' is our new artist in residence.
Jesse is a pirate, rebel, post-postmodernist, rent-a-muse and neo-archetype in progress. Hacking protocols and drawing on formal and informal explorations of archetypology, disposable culture and beauty myths, she walks across the channels and works across the platforms in search of hypotopia the organic autonomous aesthetic that grows on the psycho-geographic underbelly of popular and consumer culture.
Humour as a Weapon? Georg Paul Thomann and the New Right
Haha. A "New Right" writer created an article about humour, pranks and political activism for "New Right Australia / New Zealand" -- and he mentions our Georg Paul Thomann. Link (via Pranks.com)
Wired: Bot Bartenders Sling Drinks at Roboexotica USA
Wired's Jenna Wortham reports about Roboexotica USA. Great pics.
Aficionados of alcohol and androids alike celebrated the first stateside gathering of cocktail-serving robots this weekend at Roboexotica.
Laughing Squid's excellent Roboexotica USA pictures and videos
Roboexotica USA: More blog and press reactions
The Kevin Pipe
Windows Tips and Tricks
Roboexotica USA: Blog and press reactions
Roboexotica USA! Good blog/press reactions...
Form and Reform
Hi Tek News
[Censored] was [censored]. [Censored]! We keep you updated.
Laughing Squid features Roboexotica USA
IQ and Religion: Graph!
The graph shown above relates the arithmetic mean IQ measured in various country's populations, to the fraction of each country's population that believes religion is very important.
The green diamonds represent individual countries; the yellow line is a linear regression (y = mx + b), calculated by the least squares method. The United States data point is circled in red.
What could be better in life than robots and cocktails? Well, nothing! Roboexotica is the premier cocktail making robot event which happens in Vienna each year. This week it comes to San Francisco. Join us for good music, cocktails, and robots that pour you drinks, insult you, and test your BAC. Several different artists from around the Bay Area and Europe will be presenting their work for your imbibing pleasure.
Next Saturday the first US Robexotica exhibition is opening at Space, 354 5th St. San Francisco.
The Austrian cocktail robots that came to the Bay Area for Maker Faire will be joined by several local creations, ones that have been to Vienna for Roboexotica before, and some that haven't.
You are invited to join us at the grand opening on Sat. May 10th from 8pm-2am!
monochrom in Oakland: "I Can't Be Blamed For Transfiguring History But For Laziness, Though"
May 9 we will have a performance in Oakland, California.
I Can't Be Blamed For Transfiguring History But For Laziness, ThoughAt 21 Grand gallery, Oakland, CA; 415 25th St. / Friday, May 9 2008 / 8 PM
monochrom's Sculpture Mobs: Documentation online
Find our complete Sculpture Mobs documentation online.
Please send us any additional flickr streams or picture links! Thanks!
Laughing Squid publishes Maker Faire pictures (including Sculpture Mobs)
Scott Beale of Laughing Squid posted nice pictures of Maker Faire, including some great pictures of our Sculpture Mobs training setting.
Link (all pix)
Link (Sculpture Mobs)
sexuality.about.com features Arse Elektronika 2008
Cory Silverberg about Arse Elektronika 2008.
The folks at monochrom who brought us Arse Elektronika 2007 are back, asking the question on everyone’s mind: Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep? Check out their call for presenters, performers, and collaborators. [...] Having heard so many good things about last years conference I can't wait to see what comes out of this one. It's rare to find an event that strives to engage sexuality in academic, artistic, and pornographic ways all at once. With the recent success of Sex2.0 and the announcement of a second Arse Elektronika, I'd say things are looking up.Link
Sculpture Mob Photos
At Maker Faire monochrom created a simulated public parking lot and held trainings in sculpture mobs. Participants learned how to erect a sculpture in just 5 minutes before "security" is called.
This is in preparation for a secret mission in the near future.
monochrom's SCULPTURE MOBS: Training Camp @ Maker Faire Bay Area 2008
Just two more days! It is time for SCULPTURE MOBS!
monochrom offers free courses, in-depth training and invites people on a couple of guerrilla field trips.
Where? At Maker Faire Bay Area 2008! May 3 and 4!
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:
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