The Tunguska Event, or Tunguska explosion, was a massive explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya (Lower Stony) Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, at around 7:14 a.m. (0:14 UT, 7:02 a.m. local solar time) on June 30, 1908 (June 17 in the Julian calendar, in use locally at the time).
Žižek: On Pedophilia and Posthumanity
This lecture of Žižek's hit something that I have not yet, prior to this realization, developed on my theories of posthuman sexuality. To get right down to it, the question would be this: isn't it interesting that in a society where almost every consensual sexual act is not only condoned but solicited — and even to the extent of using violence, corpses, and excremental objects — child porn still has to remain as a very strong taboo? Of course I by no means condone pedophilia, but what I find very ridiculous is the flimsy argument of age that is taken as a symbolic line separating those able of having the socio-cognitive function of consensus and those unable. I mean, we are today more than ever very diligent people when it comes to teaching children of consensus and openness — say for determining a weekend trip — and didn’t we say we believe Freud when he said children are really not asexual creatures? So shouldn’t the golden rule of postmodernity of "If all sides agreed, and it will bring pleasure to all sides, it's only politically correct to do" also apply here? What is going on?Link
Is there a 'gay gene'? Nope.
Homosexual behaviour is largely shaped by genetics and random environmental factors, according to findings from the world's largest study of twins.Link
Bacteria In Extremely Hostile Environments: New Protein Discovered That Repairs DNA Under Extreme Conditions
Mild environmental conditions are a prerequisite for life. Strong acids or dissolved metallic salts in high concentrations are detrimental to both humans and to simpler life forms, such as bacteria. Such conditions destroy proteins, ensuring that all biological functions in the cells come to a standstill. So what do we find at the limits of hostile conditions where we still find life?
Your Brain Lies to You
The brain does not simply gather and stockpile information as a computer's hard drive does. Facts are stored first in the hippocampus, a structure deep in the brain about the size and shape of a fat man's curled pinkie finger. But the information does not rest there. Every time we recall it, our brain writes it down again, and during this re-storage, it is also reprocessed. In time, the fact is gradually transferred to the cerebral cortex and is separated from the context in which it was originally learned.Link
The Mighty Maki feat. Mr. Oizo
So Many Pixels!
The Void's Foaming Ebb: Moscow International Film Festival, Jury Special Mention
MEDIA FORUM/Moscow International Film Festival, Jury Special Mention (Moscow, Russia)For our short film "The Void's Foaming Ebb"...
Get Out of Your Own Way: Studies Show the Value of Not Overthinking a Decision
Fishing in the stream of consciousness, researchers now can detect our intentions and predict our choices before we are aware of them ourselves. The brain, they have found, appears to make up its mind 10 seconds before we become conscious of a decision -- an eternity at the speed of thought.
Orbiting robots could repair satellites on the fly
Crewed repair missions are wasteful and costly, say aerospace engineers – it's a job that could be done better and more cheaply by robots.
Fewer astronauts, more robots. That's the call from three European aerospace engineers, who argue that crewed satellite repair missions - like the ones flown by NASA to fix the ailing Hubble Space Telescope - are expensive, wasteful and set the wrong agenda for the space community.Link
Mugabe, Britain and the abuses of anti-colonialism
Over forty years ago, as Africa commenced the long and arduous process of decolonization, one of its foremost liberationist thinkers issued a prophetic warning. Frantz Fanon, himself a freedom fighter, wrote that the national leader in the postcolonial era should not 'fall back into the past and become drunk on the remembrance of the epoch leading up to independence.' His powerful descriptions of a once effective leader who gradually secedes from reality and betrays the people who entrust him with their future has resonances for the tragic situation in which Zimbabwe finds itself today. Having reduced a once significant anti-colonialism to a self-serving dogma, Robert Mugabe is the kind of fallen leader Fanon cautioned Africa against. Hesitant African leaders who are being called upon to intervene might want to reread his classic essay, 'The Pitfalls of National Consciousness' from that classic liberationist text, The Wretched of the Earth.Link
Obama Supporters Take His Middle Name as Their Own
Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on Facebook.com, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father.Link
Viennese Zombie Brood: Krocha Zombies!
It was a frightening dawn of the dead here in Vienna!
They crawled out of the darkest corners of the unholiest Austrian discotheques and white trash nightclubs: The Krocha Zombies!
Jumpstyle and fresh flesh! Ba-ah-m!
Here is a short cellphone video, recorded at Vienna's Subotron Shop. Did the salesman survive?
Link (monochrom Viennese Zombie Brood)
Photo-Exhibition tonight, plus Paper Bird live
Tonight is quite special. I'm having a photo-exhibition I call "Live & Quiet", in which I show 24 pictures of mainly live-bands (and some street-journalism stuff). The majority of the pictures are analogue black & white, only 5 or so are digital. Bands include Built To Spill, Tocotronic, The Heavy, Pungent Stench, A Thousand Fuegos and plenty more I can't think of at the moment. Anyway, that's one side of the night.
The other is a gig by Paper Bird, one of my favorite musicians in Austria at the moment. No shit. They call it singer/songwriter, I call it just great.
This special evening is at Schloss Wolkersdorf, about 15 mins north of Vienna. You can get there easily by Schnellbahn S2 departing from Floridsdorf.
Link (Paper Bird)
Link (Daniel Eberharter)
Link (Forum Schloss Wolkersdorf)
Vak-Vak, The Water Splash Gun Duck Shoe
Ah, what a nice gadget. With a squish of your heel, water sucks into the duck. Another squish jettisons water in a stream of fun wetness.
First Flight for the Google Lunar X PRIZE: The Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association
The Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association is the first team to submit a due date for sending a robot to the moon in the Google Lunar X competition. The flight will be launched within three months and if the team succeeds, they will grab prize money of $30 million. This will be the first flight to the moon conducted by a privately funded team.
Link (via plomlompom)
Giant Asteroid Flattened Half of Mars, Studies Suggest
Hemisphere-size crater documents solar system's violent origins.
Who's Actually Winning in Iraq?
The American occupation of Iraq follows the same course as that of British rule after the First World War. At first there was imperial over-confidence following military victory and a conviction that what Iraqis did was of no importance. Then there was the shock and surprise of an Iraqi rebellion against the British in 1920 and the Americans after 2003. In both cases the occupiers responded by establishing an Iraqi national government but with limited powers. In 1930 under the Anglo-Iraqi treaty Iraq achieved nominal independence and joined the League of Nations but Britain retained two large bases and remained the predominant power in 1raq. Iraqi governments were tainted and lacked legitimacy because of Iraqis' perception that their rulers were foreign pawns until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958.Link
Morbid Thoughts Whet The Appetite
Can watching TV news or crime shows trigger overeating? According to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research, people who are thinking about their own deaths want to consume more.
Appease Your Robot Overlords
Prepare Humanity's manners for the imminent robot uprising with these jolly little stickers, once more available at the joyous celebration of all thing Robot, Suicidebots.
Lovingly made with 100% pure, robot-approved vinyl, let your overlords know you respect their needs and wishes. That way, when the robot lose patience and begin extermination, you stand more of a chance of being assimilated last.
Hurray! Such fair and just conquerors are our machine benevolences!
Bill Gates suffers too
Luckily it's not only us suffering. Even Bill Gates -- who champions the "magic of software" -- isn't immune to the frustrations of everyday computer users.
Link (via Franz Ablinger)
The Torture Trainers and the American Psychological Association
Torture and business...
The most extreme life-forms in the universe
While scientists find ever more planets around other stars and contemplate missions to probe the far reaches of our own solar system, researchers are looking to the extremes of the Earth for clues about what kind of organisms could exist in the brutal conditions elsewhere.
The balloon-like shape at upper left is a specimen of 'Strain 121', a microbe that survives temperatures as high as 130 °C (scale bar is one micron).
"The Black Death": John Hatcher's Remarkable History of the Plague
This totally absorbing book presents the best account ever written about the worst event to have ever befallen the British Isles. In the hands of John Hatcher, an English medievalist of sober and steady reputation who has for decades been squirreled away in one of the smaller, older, and least obtrusive of Cambridge colleges, the extraordinary tragedy of the great plague — which wiped out as much as 60% of the population of 14th-century Europe and killed an estimated 75 million worldwide — has been brought to life in a manner rarely attempted, and with a level of success even more rarely achieved.Link
Internet Undersea Map
TeleGeography create these brilliant visual map's with subtle colours and stimulate our thinking with clean, clear info graphic pye charts.
(click to enlarge)
Link (via EnlargeYourPen)
A Marxist analysis of the Simpsons
Homer, in this period is the best example of this phenomenon. He is a brilliant caricature of the American working class. He has the gut of the American worker, the broken shoulders, and all the tastes that we associate with the American worker. Physically, he’s a lot like Michael Moore, himself a product of the working class in defeat. Homer takes no pride in his work, does his utmost to avoid it, and prefers drinking beer, sitting on the couch and watching TV. This is obviously the American worker in a period of defeat.Link
Is Obama being slurred as excessively feminine?
Susan Faludi has got an interesting article out arguing that Obama is being slurred as excessively feminine. And, well, hmm, Buzzflash (a left-wing organisation that loves Obama) now has the above fridge magnet for sale.
Swimming and Race?
A recent national, first-of-its kind survey found that approximately six out of ten African-American children are unable to swim, nearly twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts while fifty-six percent of Hispanic and Latino children are unable to swim. The study by USA Swimming, the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming, found that the significant gap in swimming between races was due mainly to parental influence and socioeconomic factors.Link
Why Are Dogs So Diverse? DNA Study Finds Out
What makes a pointer point, a sheep dog herd, and a retriever retrieve? Why do Yorkshire terriers live longer than Great Danes? And how can a tiny Chihuahua possibly be related to a Great Dane?
Video games don't make people violent any more than explicit lyrics make teens get pregnant
"Go ahead, steel my car!"
By Bill Blake.
Any minute now, someone will steal your car and drive it recklessly through crowded city streets on the way to an abandoned warehouse, where it will inevitably blow up in an epic shootout involving missile launchers and strippers. I'm not joking. That is a scenario from Grand Theft Auto IV, which recently set the record for the highest-grossing first week of sales for a video game — more than $500-million. According to politicians like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York City's Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the growing popularity of the game poses a clear and present danger to American society.Link
The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era
Review of "The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era" (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004; written by Micheline Ishay). Rreviewed by Anand Bertrand Commissiong.
Judging by the queries about the book from usually indifferent New York City Subway riders, The History of Human Rights certainly has an interested audience outside the academy. To be sure, considering the "slaughter bench of history," and the twentieth century's innovations of mass murder, the development and institutionalization of human rights the book charts represent remarkable achievements. But institutionalization is not the same as compliance. Thus what may account for my fellow travelers' interest is that, as immigrants from developing countries, they are probably well aware that the mid-twentieth century's human rights victories proved incapable of halting atrocities perpetrated after their ratification. For while an acknowledged genocide in western Sudan rages, economic disparities continue to increase globally as the richest, most powerful nation on earth is engaged in an ill conceived war initiated on the most flimsy pretexts. Speaking in this context, Micheline Ishay provides a necessary and refreshingly accessible study.Link
Recording Industry Pressing Broadcasters To Pay Musicians Royalties
On Monday, the recording industry sent the National Association of Broadcasters -- the trade group representing the $16 billion a year AM-FM broadcasting business -- a can of herring to underscore that it believes its arguments against paying royalties are a red herring. The NAB says its members should not pay royalties because AM-FM radio "promotes" the music industry.Link
Brave New What? New Archetypes / More Naked Adventures in Hypotopia
Jesse Darlin' -- our current artist in residence -- presents her ongoing project Brave New What? New Archetypes / More Naked Adventures in Hypotopia.
Opening: June 25, 19h
Exhibition: June 26 thru July 31 at AiR base next Freiraum/quartier21, MQ Vienna.
Honzo: the world commiserates!
We got some heart-warming tributes to Honzo!
But by far not enough! Send yours!
Simpsons Quake 3 Arena map
Something is definitely wrong, God: George Carlin is dead
Amen and Awomen!
9 things I learned about the world according to anonymous stock photo models.
Well, click the link.
International Society for Military Ethics 2009 Symposium
"Public Reason" reposts the call for papers for the symposion of the "International Society for Military Ethics".
As you can see, the conference themes are broad enough that even those that do not typically write on war may find it a congenial place to present some of their work. I really enjoyed last year's symposium - the participants included not only philosophers but also political scientists, legal scholars, historians and serving and retired military officers of varying ranks (many of whom had, or were working toward, advanced degrees in philosophy or political science).Excerpt:
The theme for the opening plenary session is Morality versus Legality. Papers might involve issues such as:Link
Planet Pluto fans rebel against 'plutoid' designation
Some planetary scientists have not been appeased by the latest name-change and are planning an event devoted to debating Pluto's place in the solar system.
Has modern life killed the semicolon?
Architects: Buildings For Dictators?
Four months ago the architect Daniel Libeskind declared publicly that architects should think long and hard before working in China, adding, "I won't work for totalitarian regimes." His remarks raised hackles in his profession, with some architects accusing him of hypocrisy because his own firm had recently broken ground on a project in Hong Kong. Since then, however, Mr. Libeskind's speech, delivered at a real estate and planning event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has reanimated a decades-old debate among architects over the ethics of working in countries with repressive leaders or shaky records on human rights.Link
Insect Sex: What's Isabella Rossellini got to do with it?
Isabella Rossellini, well known as a supermodel and movie star, is now making short films for mobile devices that illustrate the sex lives of dragonflies, earthworms and other creatures. But they are not like standard nature shows. In these films, which she researched with the help of Wildlife Conservation Society experts, she not only details unusual aspects of the critters' biology but also dresses up as them and mimics sex with paper cutouts. We asked Rossellini what she hopes to accomplish with the films on invertebrate love, dubbed Green Porno, which premiered May 5 on the Sundance Channel's Web site.Link
The Myth of Multitasking
[...] Challenges to the ethos of multitasking have begun to emerge. Numerous studies have shown the sometimes-fatal danger of using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, for example, and several states have now made that particular form of multitasking illegal. In the business world, where concerns about time-management are perennial, warnings about workplace distractions spawned by a multitasking culture are on the rise. In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, "Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers." The psychologist who led the study called this new "infomania" a serious threat to workplace productivity. One of the Harvard Business Review's "Breakthrough Ideas” for 2007 was Linda Stone’s notion of "continuous partial attention," which might be understood as a subspecies of multitasking: using mobile computing power and the Internet, we are "constantly scanning for opportunities and staying on top of contacts, events, and activities in an effort to miss nothing."Link
Arse Elektronika: "A Series Of Controversial Dildonics"
Arse Elektronika's Prixxx Arse is being featured on Fleshbot and Gizmodo.
San Francisco's annual Arse Elektronika events sees the sexiest of the geeky (or the geekiest of the sexy) trying to outnerd each other with fabulous sexual inventions that are impractical, implausible, and exactly what you want for Christmas. It's also a great way for tinkerers of this sort to experiment with new and wacky ideas. Like, say, a vibrator that's hooked up to the U.S. Geological Survey and only buzzes when there's an earthquake somewhere in the world: you just plug it in, turn it on, and ... wait for a completely unpredictable natural disaster! Only trouble is that when your own "Big One" finally arrives, it's tempered by the realization that a building might have collapsed somewhere with people trapped inside. Talk about a buzzkill.Link Fleshbot
Short notice: monochrom wants to hug the past
Are you in Vienna today?
Come and hug the past!
And maybe even witness an arrest.
Saturday, June 21 / Around 2 PM / U2 Museumsquartier exit
Fastest-ever flashgun captures image of light wave
Flashes that last just billionths of a billionth of a second have been used to take "photographs" of a laser beam pulse.
ROFLcon bashing on cracked.com
The ROFLcon convention, which seems to be part metahumor and part harrowing horror, sought to bring together every popular internet meme in one place at one time in the hopes of perhaps creating the biggest nerd salad that's ever been assembled. Guests included some of the faceless folks behind xkcd, 4chan, Leeroy Jenkins, the Tron Guy and too many people whose claim to fame include the letters lol.Link
The "F" Word and the White Press: The Editorial Sins of Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright
B Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D.
Two of the most important prophets confronting the oppression of black persons in America are Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. They are black-chosen not white-approved leader. Thus their unique prophetic authority is revealed in the intense negative reactions to them by mainstream media, which are the guardians of America’s white-controlled hierarchy of access to political and economic power. The fact that the dominant press have singled them out for vilification is evidence of their validation as prophets speaking truth to power—rather than conventional religious leaders finessing compromise with the hierarchical status quo.Link
Ice on Mars: shout heard 'round the world
Mars Phoenix says on twitter:
Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!Link
Sega's curvaceous new robot walks like a lady and blows kisses to her fans. The 38-centimetre-tall humanoid, called EMA (pronounced Emma) – short for Eternal, Maiden and Actualization – uses infrared sensors to detect nearby men and has more than sixty moves, including smooching whenever her programming kicks into "Love Mode".
Unlike Sega's robotic musicians and pets, the diminutive damsel is mainly targeted at single males in their 20s. "EMA is very lovable. She's not a human, but can act like a real girlfriend," Sakanoue said, adding it would be perfect for shy people looking for a bit of companionship.
Tripwolf: Travel in the World of Web 2.0?
DaddyD recommends Tripwolf:
Think of it as a socially networked resource for those bitten by the travel bug. The basics should be pretty familliar to anyone who has ever used a classic social network. This one promises to provide a mix of user generated content and commercial content provided by the MairDumont group, a company that publishes many maps and travel guides, including the German version of the Lonely Planet guides. The commercial content seems to come from that groups Marco Polo guide books.Link
Where's the "New New Labour"?
New Labour is dead. The New Tories are in the ascendancy. The left needs to look beyond its existing, inbred networks, writes Hilary Wainwright.
New Labour is now reaping what it has itself sown: a cumulative weakening of the values of social solidarity, public service and altruism, which provide the invisible bedrock on which the electoral fortunes of the Labour Party ultimately depend.Link
Sexcess: Sex and the City and Female Friendship
Barbara Nicolosi: Church of the Masses:
I thought about the movie, what I have always thought about the TV show: Sex and the City is not so much about sex as it is about female friendship. And more particularly, how female friendship allows women to survive their relationships with men.Link (via Metaphilm)
"Applicant Fisch" / Full scale
Here is the full scale massive assault version of "Applicant Fisch".
"Applicant Fisch" on BBtv
Cosmonaut pissing tradition
The first photo shows the tradition of Russian cosmonauts, according to it just before taking their seats inside of the space ship they have to take a leak upon the wheel of the bus which takes them to the launching site. This is the first time it has been caught on film for already 40 years of space launches.
From Loving To Wolfing: Peter Cave toys with love, sex and other objects
Peter Cave writes about love. And it's interesting.
"Darling, I missed you."Link
Type And Severity Of Combat Wounds In Iraq War Have Changed Over Time
The transition in Iraq from maneuver warfare to insurgency warfare is associated with changes in the type and severity of injuries treated by surgical units of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to a new report. In the second, insurgent phase of the war, injuries have been more severe, transport times longer, more injuries have occurred per individual and more soldiers have been killed in action or died of their wounds.
Japan, Seeking Trim Waists, Measures Millions
A law that recently took effect there requires local governments and companies to measure the waistlines of those ages 40-75. If certain population targets aren't met, the governments and companies will face financial penalties.Link (via Bioethics)
Turning a Cold War Scheme into Reality: Engineering the Berlin Tunnel
Fifty years ago, the CIA embarked on a project to intercept Soviet and East German messages transmitted via underground cable. Intelligence was collected to determine the best place to hit the target, and then concrete planning for a new collection site was begun.
Dept. of Applied Office Arts: New Submissions
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.
How to nap
Is it music we love or the sound of our own voices?
3 Smart Things About Music:
1 The pitches in musical scales are likely derived from language. Turns out, aspects of spoken English and Mandarin correlate to the intervals between notes in a chromatic scale (the black and white piano keys in an octave). Is it music we love or the sound of our own voices?Link
monochrom presents: brand new Gastrokunst
In gastronomical enterprises the management frequently elects to present art as a form of extraordinary room decoration. Some time ago we at monochrom have decided to dedicate a page to the breathtaking world of 'gastro-art'. And there are some excellent new gastro-art picture submissions.
A tribute to HONZO! Participate!
Gone but never forgotten: Honzo!
In 1952, Austrian big-game hunter and Africa ‘researcher’ Ernst Zwilling (a colonial revisionist and member of the Nazi party) brought a male chimpanzee from Cameroon to Schönbrunn, the Viennese zoo. In his African home, ‘Honzo’ had reportedly been a friendly and amiable animal, but in the zoo he began to show a rather violent temper. Due to his choleric outbreaks, poor Honzo was kept in solitary confinement. The chimpanzee was given beer and cigarettes. He got addicted and died an alcoholic and chain-smoker. After his death, the chimp was taxidermied (see above picture) and put into the Viennese Museum of Natural History. Now people from all over the world stare at him.
We want to create a page that is dedicated to Honzo: the victim, the choleric, the drug abuser.
Please send your images (max. width 500 px), videos (YouTube links or such), scanned drawings, whatever! Show us that you care about Honzo and his sad, sad fate!
Email us your "Tribute to Honzo".
Link to public gallery
How To Bring Down Internet Explorer With Six Words
If you save the following code (from August 2007) in an HTML file, it fatally crashes Internet Explorer. Very basic stuff. And the Redmond guys have not fixed this yet...
Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol
Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide 'renewable petroleum'...
"Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this," says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. "I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to – especially the ones coming out of business school – this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into."
Link (via Karli)
Did the United States Create Democracy in Germany?
By James L. Payne
Both advocates and opponents of nation building say that the United States played a key role in helping post-war Germany become a democracy. In fact, a close look reveals that, from the standpoint of democratic nation building, the U.S. occupation of Germany is actually a lesson in what not to do.Link
What happens when Firefox renders a webpage?
Inside Gecko is a visualization program created by Satoshi Ueyama, made with Processing which shows the reflow process of a browser while it translates the HTML code so as to present the page to the user.
Link (thanx, Flo Hufsky)
Research Finds Wide Disparities in Health Care by Race and Region
A study by researchers at Dartmouth reports that a person's place of residence or ethnicity can have a dramatic impact on the type of care they receive. For example: blacks with diabetes are almost five times more likely than whites to have a leg amputated.
PETA paying for animal testing?
Philosophy and Bioethics reports:
This seems a very unusual move from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) they are offering to pay $1000000 to the first group to develop commercially viable vat-grown meat.Link
Reverse Engineering The Brain To Model Mind-body Interactions
When you grab a cold beverage out of the cooler this summer, what is really going on between your brain, your eyes and your hands?
"It is still a mystery, really," says UBC computer science professor Prof. Dinesh Pai. "No one has ever completely mapped out the processes at the level of specific neurons, muscles and tendons."
NASA's new spacesuits are made for walking
The US space agency yesterday placed an order for new spacesuits for the 2015 launch of the new Orion capsule, designed to replace the aging space shuttle and re-establish humans on the Moon as part of the Constellation Program. Until now, astronauts used spacesuits that were designed for floating in space, but Moon missions require a more flexible approach.
Bill seeks to turn down sound on TV ads
A Bay Area lawmaker is pushing a new bill that would force federal regulators to ratchet down the volume of commercials... British regulators approved similar rules last month that require broadcasters to limit the 'maximum subjective loudness' of TV ads after receiving complaints.Link
Reverse Graffiti: Creating Art Works By Cleaning Surfaces
monochrom: The Group Picture / June 10, 2008
Rene Kiesler sent us a hi-res (or almost hi-res) version of the group picture he took at our birthday party. It's a great image with all the monochroms and many good friends, supporters, influencers.
(click to enlarge)
We will try to tag all the faces...
Haha! Vienna avant-gardes?
Vienna avant garde circa 1897: http://tinyurl.com/5rro9o, Vienna avant garde circa 2008: http://www.monochrom.atLink
They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions
Abraham Lincoln never said, "You cannot fool all the people all the time." Thomas Jefferson never said, "That government is best which governs least." And Horace Greeley never said, "Go west, young man." In They Never Said It, Paul Boller, Jr., and John George examine hundreds of misquotations, incorrect attributions, and blatant fabrications, outlining the origins of the quotes and revealing why they should be consigned to the historical trashcan. Many of the misquotes are quite harmless. Some are inadvertent misquotes that have become popular (Shakespeare actually said, "The best part of valor is discretion"), others, the inventions of reporters embellishing a story (Franklin Roosevelt never opened a speech to a DAR group with the salutation, "My fellow immigrants"). But some of the quotes, such as Charles Darwin's supposed deathbed recantation of evolution, are blatantly dishonest and falsify the historical record. And others are chillingly vicious, filled with virulent racial and religious prejudices that completely distort the views of the person supposedly quoted and spread distrust and hatred among the gullible. These include the forged remarks attributed to Benjamin Franklin that Jews should be excluded from America, and the fabricated condemnation of Catholics attributed to Lincoln.Link
Single-horned 'Unicorn' deer found in Italy
A deer with a single horn in the center of its head — much like the fabled, mythical unicorn — has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy.
"This is fantasy becoming reality," Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center of Natural Sciences in Prato, told The Associated Press. "The unicorn has always been a mythological animal."
Pong, Let's Sing About You
Jonathan Mann (aka GameJew) wants to uncover the stories you usually don't hear about in the world of video games. He is a great singer/songwriter...and Jonathan's latest song is about Pong. Because we owe Pong a lot.
Every Five Seconds an Inkjet Printer Dies Somewhere: The Cultural History of Amok
Finally updated my essay about "Amok". New version online.
Every day, the snuff picture sites on the internet display pictures of people, and sometimes animals, that died in the most unusual circumstances. In this gigantic photo depot I also discovered an image of the remains of the head of an American who, after a short morning visit to his office, left his workplace in order to leave a trail of carnage at a nearby supermarket and finally to kill himself. Somehow the police photo landed on the website, and below it was a commentary unobtrusively written in Times New Roman font: "Maybe his inkjet printer had a paper jam." Who knows? In office space no one can hear you scream.Link
monochrom is 15: pictures and video
Some pictures and videos from our birthday party. But there is more to come.
Kewagi, Flickr stream
Magnus, Flickr stream
Danke Song (German; thanx Kewagi for the vid)
The War against 'the Inferior': On the history of Nazi medicine in Vienna
"The War against 'the Inferior'" is an exhibition by the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance in Vienna's Otto Wagner Hospital. The exhibition has attracted thousands of visitors since its opening in early May 2002 and has offered a detailed insight into the history of Nazi medicine.
You can find many articles online.
Blog reactions: "Carefully Selected Moments"
Some nice blog reactions about "Carefully Selected Moments":
Link (Laughing Squid)
Link (Boing Boing)
Grand Theft Auto IV - Naked Gun Edition
Star Wars: The Imperial Floppy Disk March
monochrom & Kewagi present: Firing Squad / EuroCup 2008
An intervention in public (advertising) space.
Join the movement.
Garkov: Garfield + Markov Chains
A Markov chain is a probabilistic model well suited to semi-coherent text synthesis.
Garkov is an application of the Markov model to transcripts of old Garfield strips, plus some extra code to make it all look like a genuine comic strip.
Harsh Steady Cam
Ty Evans, the filmer behind some of the bestest skate-videos on earth - most notably Girl's Yeah Right (2003) and Lakai's Fully Flared (2007) is currently filming the new Chocolate video, and he's using equipment that puts a whole new angle on skateboarding. Here's a little teaser where he's just fooling around a bit.
Chocolate Easy Steady
Actually, Evans has always used kinda Hollywood-techniques in his videos. I guess having Spike Jonze around owning Girl Skateboards and still being totally into the useless wooden toys means that Ty has access to some of the finer lenses out there. Check out the invisible boards-montage in Yeah Right here and the Fully Flared intro here. They blow up stuff, it's ridiculous.
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
For summer starters, there should be a little bit of something for everyone:
AMEN RA - massIIII (hypertension)
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK - 2000 years (hypertension)
EVENTLESS PLOT / GOOD LUCK MR. GORSKY - split (Granny)
GREG HEADLY - 24carat abnormailities (28 angles)
KANEEL - I've sketched it a while ago (apegenine)
JAMIE LIDELL - jim (warp)
NOLE PLASTIQUE - escaperhead (nexsound)
LUPUS GOLEM - persuaded by the man who ate Phoenix (Twilight Luggage)
TUPOLEV - memories of Björn Bolsen (Valeto)
VETIVER - thing of the past (Fat Cat)
BULBUL - 6 (Exile on Mainstream)
Johannes is the "HR Giger of Multitasking"
At least according to the Austrian Vice Magazine (online edition).
School Of Robofish Communicate With Each Other In Underwater Robot Teams
In the world of underwater robots, this is a team of pioneers. While most ocean robots require periodic communication with scientist or satellite intermediaries to share information, these can work cooperatively communicating only with each other.
Sex and the City: Hormonal Hobbits
Faced with the flimsiest of concepts, he had to take it by both ends and pull until he stretched it out to two and a quarter hours. Two and a quarter! When Garbo made "Anna Karenina," in 1935, she got happy, unhappy, loved, left, and under the train in less than a hundred minutes, so how the hell are her successors supposed to fill the time? To be fair, there are four of them—banded together, like hormonal hobbits, and all obsessed with a ring.Link
DIY Steve Jobs
Reminder: monochrom's 15th birthday party + CD/LP release
Celebrate puberty with us! We are 15!
June 10, 8 PM @ Ost Klub, Schwarzenbergplatz 10, Vienna.
15 years! Oh my!
And we will present our Semi-Best-Of CD/LP "Carefully Selected Moments"! Will be also available in all major online stores, like Rhapsody.
Bald Eagle Gets New Faux Beak
The bird of prey was slowly starving to death after a poacher shot her upper beak off three years ago.
But thanks to a team of volunteers an artificial beak has been attached to the 15-pound (7-kilogram) eagle helping her to grasp food.
21 Accents By Amy Walker
Amy Walker does a little tour of 21 accents in 2 1/2 minutes. From the UK and Ireland to Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, France, Australia, New Zealand, and around North America.
Link (via philsblogging)
Robot capable of drawing artistic portraits?
This project aims at creating a robot capable of drawing artistic portraits. The application is purely entertaining and based on existing tools for face detection and image reconstruction, as well as classical tools for trajectory planning of a 4 DOFs robot arm. The innovation of the application lies in the care we took to make the whole process as human-like as possible. The robot's motions and its drawings follow a style characteristic to humans. The portraits conserve the esthetics features of the original images. The whole process is interactive, using speech recognition and speech synthesis to conduct the scenario.
Link (via Bre)
The Robots Will Not Revolt In San Francisco
No Sirree Jim Bob, they certainly will not, sir. They will not lull us into a false sense of complacency with beer and prescribed mayhem, they will not cause us to wonder at Humanity's creation and revel in the shiny prettiness of it all. The Austrians will not be humiliated at the hands of the Americans for their subpar attempts at Sumo, Line following and analog BEAM jiggle-bots. The Brazilians will not hand the Americans their corpulent asses for the first time in years with their skilled workmanship and the will to destroy the opponent's combat robot. The International RoboGames is *not* a hotbed of mechanical dissent. The festivities begin on Friday, June 13th, at High Noon. Details Here. Thank you, that is all.
Dumb Flies Live Longer Than Clever Ones
It doesn't pay to be smart and ignorance really is bliss if you want a long life -- at least if you're a fly, according to new research by a Swiss university.
The Magical Chorus: State of the Art
A new book by Solomon Volkov offers a sweeping panorama of art and politics in modern Russia.
Inflation deflated? The big bang's toughest test
Our best theory of the early universe is starting to look a tad insecure. Could this mean we have got it all wrong, asks Michael Brooks.
Blackwater opens San Diego training center
A new counterterrorism training facility operated by military security contractor Blackwater Worldwide echoed with the grunts of Navy sailors, a day after a federal judge ordered the city to let classes begin. The 24 trainees batted and punched each other Thursday as they learned basic strike tactics in a corner of the 61,000-square-foot converted warehouse in an industrial area near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Hats by Japanese artist Nagi Noda, crafted with human hair and styled to resemble assorted animals.
The Mindless Quantuum and the Alpha Centauri Lottery
What the Bleep Do We Know!? Nuthin.
Suppose you are a resident of a planet in Alpha Centauri. Back on Earth, a friend enters your name in a lottery in which your chance of winning the prize of a million dollars is one in a million. If you win the lottery, your probability of winning collapses instantaneously to unity, and your wealth increases instantaneously by a million dollars. But it takes four years for the news, traveling at the speed of light, to reach you and your Centauri bank. You can’t start spending the money until that happens. That’s how it is in quantum physics. The collapse of the abstract wave function is just a mathematical artifice. Even though this happens at faster than the speed of light, any signal and other practical result will be limited by relativity and the laws of conventional physics.Link
Smoking the celestial dream: the great dope myths of the 'counter culture' and its enemies
As the western world winds its way through the 40th anniversaries of 1968 and the 'summer of love', Steve Platt looks back at the role of cannabis in the 'counter culture' and how people on both sides of the political and cultural divide believed that a hardy psychoactive plant could change the world. He wonders how it could ever have aroused such passions – both for and against its use – and asks why it's still illegal.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: the prophet of boom and doom
When this man said the world’s economy was heading for disaster, he was scorned. Now traders, economists, even Nasa, are clamouring to hear him speak.
Palaeoparasitology in Japan - Discovery of Toilet Features
By Akira Matsui, Masaaki Kanehara, Masako Kanehara.
The development of palaeoparasitology in Japan has occurred in recent decades. Despite the fact that archaeology in Japan has been slow to develop techniques for excavating ancient toilets, important information about the development of sanitation has been derived from the analysis of a few sites. This shows that the earliest people had very simple methods of sanitation. As populations increased, sanitation became more complex. Ditches surrounding early towns were used for excrement disposal. Eventually distinct toilets were developed followed by cesspit type toilets and flushing toilets. The parasites recovered from these toilets include many species that infect humans today. These parasite spectra reflect local use of aquatic, marine, and land animals. Fecal borne disease was an increasing problem as represented by whipworm and ascarid roundworm eggs. Interestingly, ascarid roundworms were absent in the earliest cultures and only became common with rice agriculture. Finds of pollen and seeds in toilet sediments reveal the use of medicinal plants to control the emerging problem of parasites.Link (PDF)
Understanding Software Patents: Hartmut Pilch Interviewed by Transforming Freedom
I posted my new blog entry on Laughing Squid.
Transforming Freedom is a Vienna-based project that tries to build up an archive of interviews, focusing on digital culture, its technical, political, theoretical and artistic trends and historical backgrounds; like an oral history of the digital age. [...] Like an interview with Hartmut Pilch about Software Patents. Hartmut founded the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) and gives insights into the history of patent law, the theoretical shortcomings of the concept of software patents and their consequences.Link
"Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege" on YouTube
Bubu has a problem. He ran into a bunch of liberals and they gave him a book. They said if Bubu doesn't read it, they're going to beat him up. But Bubu can't read! And so Kiki helps...
Link (Kiki and Bubu site, uncut version)
monochrom's "Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege" / Director's uncut
Bubu has a problem. He ran into a bunch of liberals and they gave him a book. They said if Bubu doesn't read it, they're going to beat him up. But Bubu can't read! And so Kiki helps...
Link (Kiki and Bubu site, uncut version)
BBtv features monochrom's "Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege"
Kiki and Bubu return. Boing Boing TV features a slightly cut version.
Bubu has a problem. He ran into a bunch of liberals and they gave him a book. They said if Bubu doesn't read it, they're going to beat him up. But Bubu can't read! And so Kiki helps...
Link (Boing Boing TV)
Link (Kiki and Bubu site, uncut version)
DIY Indiana Jones Face Melt
IndyMogul shows us how to create a cheap face melt effect.
Matt's monochrom office pics
Giant telescopes could be built from Moon dust
Dust – often thought of as an impediment to lunar exploration – could be put to good use to build giant telescopes on the Moon – perhaps some large enough to fill entire craters, says a team of US researchers.Link
Militarization of Space: Czech Hunger Strike Encompasses more than Radar
The U.S. government, in collaboration with the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic, is very close to sealing a deal for a "defensive missile shield." According to the plan initiated by the U.S., ten GMD-variant interceptor missiles will be located in Poland, and an X-band radar will be located in the Czech Republic, 55 miles southwest of the capital of Prague. But there is a catch.Link
The Killing Bones: criminal trade in Native American archaeological artifacts
The thriving criminal trade in Native American archaeological artifacts always seems to be one step ahead of law enforcement. But when cops learned that a notorious Oregon antiquities collector had graduated from grave robbing to ordering up a contract murder, their macabre sting operation exposed the dark side of digging up the past.
Link (via wayneco)
Polytheism News: The Gods On the Structure
monochrom's International Year of Polytheism supports this news story:
A former employee of a Tennessee insurance company is objecting to a "ceremony" held at the construction site of a new building because it called on "the gods on the structure" for "good fortune and fertility."More info
Urbantakeover, Claim Spots In Your City & Track Them Online
I posted my second blog entry on Laughing Squid. This time I recommend the great virtual/reality game "urbantakeover":
The task is to put stickers with your name/tag/signature or even a picture onto buildings or other static stuff around. You can send a text message to urbantakeover with your mobile phone in order to 'claim' the spot you marked. On urbantakeover's website you can see your and your team's owned territories.
Objectivism and the Banks: Rand of Fuckin' Gold
Bloody objectivists, suck my laissez-faire!
The American banking giant BB&T is to make a $2 million grant to the University of Texas to establish a chair for the study of Ayn Rand's philosophical system, which is called Objectivism. Ayn Rand died in 1982, but her novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead continue to be hugely popular. Rand advocated laissez-faire capitalism and strongly opposed socialism, altruism and religion. BB&T say their aim is to encourage a thorough and fair discussion of Rand's philosophy and ethics on university campuses. The bank’s critics have accused it of using its shareholders’ cash to warp debate and influence the curriculum.Link
Philosophy: Hope In A Jar!
I knew it! Antibacterial wipes can spread bacteria around!
A study by the University's Welsh School of Pharmacy looked into the ability of antimicrobial-surface wipes to remove, kill and prevent the spread of such infections as MRSA. They found that current protocols utilised by hospital staff have the potential to spread pathogens after only the first use of a wipe, particularly due to the ineffectiveness of wipes to actually kill bacteria.
Fairness, Democracy and Lotteries: Does democracy require majority rule?
This paper challenges the common assumption that democracy requires majority rule. I assume that we can adopt a contractualist approach to uncover the demands of political equality and argue that contractors would not necessarily accept majority rule to make decisions in their society. I first reject broadly consequentialist arguments, arguing that firstly no procedure guarantees ideally best outcomes, secondly that in cases of pluralism there is no need to suppose there is a uniquely best outcome, and thirdly that we need to be fair between different individuals. I develop this need for fairness into a case for weighted lotteries, drawing on the Taurek-Scanlon 'saving the greater number' debate. This leads to my conclusion that democratic ideals can be realized by selecting a random vote to determine the outcomes of decisions.Link
Monkeys control robotic arm with brain-machine interface
Researchers report in Nature that that tiny sensors implanted in the brains of two monkeys allow primates to control a robotic arm with just their thoughts.
Arse Elektronika 2008: New location
Arse Elektronika 2008 -- "Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?" -- will take place at Cellspace (San Francisco). September 25 thru 28, 2008.
Astronauts attach Kibo lab to space station
A team of astronauts working inside and out anchored a giant billion-dollar Japanese lab to the international space station Tuesday, making it the biggest room there.
unterzoegersdorf.su, you techno-utopian triumph!
Soviet Unterzoegersdorf reports:
In accordance with the 25 year plan which has guided all internet development in the Soviet Union since 1987, our proud nation has finally been granted a .su domain name. We only wish that the rest of the Union could have held together long enough to see how proud we are!
(Celebration: The Young Brigades of the CPSUZöD constructed a Czarist monument -- and burnt it!)unterzoegersdorf.su
Monkey nerds and Shakespearean monkeys
Check out this article on Wired about monkeys and computers. It seems our concept "nerd forced to be monkey" is more effective than "monkey forced to be Shakespeare".
monochrom: "Carefully Selected Moments" / Semi-Greatest Hits CD/LP
Release date: June 10.
Will be available in all major online stores. Please place CD/LP orders on our "Moments" website or via Trost Records.
(Generic PR blurb, may be disfigured and idiotized by journalists and media officers as they please.)
I am the old salt lamp that nobody likes. I live a cobwebbed life of dust and debasement stuffed in closets and garages. I go for a measly three bucks at yard sales. And yet I still cling to the dream of someday becoming hip and retro for a few years.
So I was very happy when the Vienna-based art group monochrom asked me if I would like to be on the cover of their Greatest Hits album ‘Carefully Selected Moments’. We are pleased to announce it will be released in June 2008 on such antiquated formats as CD and, yes, vinyl.
I asked them if my old shelf mate, an ugly blue terry towel, could be there too and they agreed.
As you can see, monochrom are very nice people, and their music is nice, too! They have recorded a bunch of songs from their many projects (such as the Udo Proksch-musical ‘Udo 77’ and various other plays and performances). They sure do love to add music to their artwork!
But unfortunately, monochrom aren’t a regular band. They don’t have time to get involved in stupid band stuff like owning instruments or rehearsing. That’s why they asked some friends if they could help record these songs. Friends such as German house legend Hans Nieswandt, Matthias Kertal (from Mika), Gerald Votava, GameJew, Der Schwimmer, Max of Prey/audiospam, Gegenstimmen and the non-existing average Viennese laptop musician Tonki Gebauer. They all said “Well, yes, that sounds like the kind of collaboration that makes this world a place you can recommend to your children”. And so they did.
And they did so in a way that still makes me wonder how they did it. It’s a marvellous collection of songs and moments. Well, legal moments, that is. Stupid copyright asshole law!
All these songs reflect on – well – the world in which we live. Sorry if that sounds corny but I can’t help it, I’m just a salt lamp. You know what I mean: It’s a nasty world filled with Lidl shops, heavy metal collectors, Sao Paulo Biennials and unpleasant sex. Not to mention heterosexist musical productions!
Therefore, monochrom proudly protest-sings about that. Which makes for some great think-along stuff.
Let us all point our fingers at something just for the sake of pointing.
Repeat after me:
“We don’t need no edutainment!”
“Culture leave them kids alone.”
“Get on the scene you’re a search engine.” And so on…
(Well, of course, all that playing-with-words-jazz might sound really dull – but we know that if pop journalists would have to do that on their own, the result would be much worse).
Link (CD/LP info and order details)
World Cup 2010, South Africa: Construction and Corruption
"The world cup will be our chance to make our voices heard"
South Africa will host the World Cup in 2010 so construction – and corruption – is booming. But almost none of the building or the money can be accessed by the poor who live in shantytowns without proper water, sanitation or electricity. These inequalities could be a major issue in the 2009 presidential election.Link
Liquid-mirror telescopes are a reality at last
Ingenious liquid mirrors will soon help astronomers peer out to the edge of the visible universe.
Why waste good money on a fiendishly expensive glass mirror for a huge telescope, when you can have a cheaper, flawless mirror simply by spinning a pool of mercury?Link
The Water Justice Movement
As climate change and worldwide shortages loom, will people fight over water or join together to protect it? A global water justice movement is demanding a change in international law to ensure the universal right to clean water for all.
The Story of the Masturbate-a-thon
On this video our good friend Dr. Carol Queen describes the Masturbate-a-thon Event.
One Year Of Laugh-Out-Loud Cats.
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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