Kiki and Bubu like Christmas. But they hate the System. What can they do? They need some music!
Link to Video Link Audio (last.fm, iTunes)
Alien Abductions and Mental Hygiene Films: A Possible Link
A well-known alleged paranormal phenomenon is the alien abduction popularized by books such as Communion: A True Story (Strieber 1988) and Intruders (Hopkins 1987). The stereotypical abduction begins with the sleeping human participant being awakened by an entity. Sometimes the human/entity encounter is confined to the bedroom; other times, the entity conveys the human to another location and later returns the human to his bedroom. During the encounter, the entity either imparts arcane knowledge to the human or performs pseudo-medical procedures upon him. When this extraordinary encounter is over, the human paradoxically resumes sleeping. This paradoxical resumption of sleep suggests that the encounter is a hypnopompic or hypnogogic hallucination (those experienced during the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness) devoid of any objective reality (Klass 1989).Link
NGOs and the victim industry
Is a victim the subject of aid or the object? Most people see themselves as individuals dealing with a crisis. It's the outside world that sees them as victims.
Becoming Screen Literate
Everywhere we look, we see screens. The other day I watched clips from a movie as I pumped gas into my car. The other night I saw a movie on the backseat of a plane. We will watch anywhere. Screens playing video pop up in the most unexpected places — like A.T.M. machines and supermarket checkout lines and tiny phones; some movie fans watch entire films in between calls. These ever-present screens have created an audience for very short moving pictures, as brief as three minutes, while cheap digital creation tools have empowered a new generation of filmmakers, who are rapidly filling up those screens. We are headed toward screen ubiquity.Link
You Do the Bath
From ancient Pompeiian baths to modern Swiss spas, there’s always been something dirty about getting clean.
Harnessing Light To Drive Nanomachines
Science fiction writers have long envisioned sailing a spacecraft by the optical force of the sun's light. But, the forces of sunlight are too weak to fill even the oversized sails that have been tried. Now a team led by researchers at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science has shown that the force of light indeed can be harnessed to drive machines — when the process is scaled to nano-proportions.
I am disturbed by this photo of a Mumbai hotel gunman. I find myself longing for the fabled days when villains did not look like people I might hang out with.
In this video Snoop Dogg gives Martha Stewart a classic lesson in Prestige Dialects. From Wikipedia:
"A prestige dialect is the dialect spoken by the most prestigious people in a speech community which is large enough to sustain more than one dialect."Link
Should Mumia Abu-Jamal receive a new trial?
Philly.com asks: Should Mumia Abu-Jamal receive a new trial?
And I guess we should let them know...
Between Imperial Client and Useful Enemy: Pakistan's Permanent Crisis
By Justin Podur.
Pakistani scholar–activist Eqbal Ahmed, who died in 1999, had a canny ability to predict events. In a 1974 article for the Journal of Contemporary Asia, he suggested that Pakistan was headed towards a police state structure because of the class and ideological composition of the military and its supremacy over civil society.1 Other sectors, such as the bureaucracy, feudal landlords and the small entrepreneurial class, were weak and subordinate. Opposition parties, meanwhile, were 'given more to hyperbole and public meetings than to organizing and resisting. A large part of the opposition is either ideologically reactionary or indistinguishable from the party in power.' A police state would use either a kind of developmental-fascist ideology (as happened in Chile, Brazil and Greece) or it would rely on religious fundamentalism, and would find an eager sponsor in the United States. 'Unfortunately,' the article concludes, 'the democratic and revolutionary groups in Pakistan to whom falls the responsibility of halting this trend are as yet only weakly developed.'Link
Another Large-Scale Brain Simulation
On the heels of the Blue Brain project, here's another effort to simulate neural systems on a very large scale, with the provocative title "Cognitive Computing via Synaptronics and Supercomputing."LinkFrom DARPA's announcement: “The end goal: ubiquitously deployed computers imbued with a new intelligence that can integrate information from a variety of sensors and sources, deal with ambiguity, respond in a context-dependent way, learn over time and carry out pattern recognition to solve difficult problems based on perception, action and cognition in complex, real-world environments... The end goal is inevitable, but is unpredictable."
Food, Finance & Climate
Industrialized agriculture and globalized food systems have been put forth as sources of cheap and abundant food. However, food is no longer cheap. The era of cheap food and cheap oil is over. The food crisis, mainly triggered by rising prices that emerged in 2007 and 2008 has led to food riots in many countries. From 2007 to 2008 the price of wheat increased by 130 per cent. The price of rice doubled during the first three months of 2008. Biofuels, speculation, destruction of local food economies, and climate change have all contributed to the rise in food prices. Climate change is aggravated by industrialized, globalized agriculture based on fossil fuels, and the resulting climate crisis in turn impacts food security in numerous ways, including intensified floods such as those Iowa experienced in 2008 and intensified and extended droughts like the one Australia witnessed in 2007. Globalization has also led to the destruction of local food economies and increased control by corporations like Monsanto and Cargill over our food systems. Global integration of agriculture in effect means global control over the world's food supply.Link
Huge Buried Water Glaciers Discovered on Mars
Giant glaciers buried under the surface of Mars at much lower latitudes than any previously known ice are a potential source of drinking water for future astronauts.Link
David Wiggins: The Solidarity at the Root of the Ethical
Professor David Wiggins, the Wykeham Professor of Logic, Emeritus, at Oxford University gave a fantastic talk [...] at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on "The Solidarity at the Root of the Ethical."Link to podcast
Obama and his first language
According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.Link
Nuclear Moon Bases
When lunar astronauts flick on their televisions after a long day of prospecting, they’ll have a trashcan-size nuclear reactor to thank for their nightly dose of prime time. NASA, looking past the already daunting task of simply getting humans to the moon by 2020, recently started considering proposals for ways to power lunar habitats. Batteries and fuel cells provide only short-term solutions. Solar power would be limited where a single night lasts as long as 354 hours. So space-agency officials have started making plans to go nuclear.Link
Peter Campus messes with your head
Three transitions (by Peter Campus, 1973):
George W. Bush's nostrils always ran ahead of his mind
With Jimmy Carter it was the teeth, big, straight and white as a set of country palings. With Richard Nixon it was the eyebrows, surely brooding on Hell. Abe Lincoln had the ears (and the beard, and the stove-pipe hat); Bill Clinton had a nose that glowed red, almost to luminousness, as his allergies assailed him. But George Bush's most extraordinary feature was his nostrils, and they will be missed.
Greenland: Independence and Wealth and Suicide
Greenland has rich deposits of oil, zinc, and diamonds. But will independence from Denmark do anything about its suicide rate?
BBC1 and BBC2 TV To Stream Online
From November 27, the channels can be viewed online via their respective sites on bbc.co.uk at the same time as they are broadcast on television. They will also be available to licence fee payers using the internet on portable devices such as mobile phones… The channels join BBC3, BBC4, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News, which are already simulcast.Link
Top 60 popular Japanese words/phrases of 2008
Publishing company Jiyu Kokuminsha has released its annual list of the 60 most popular Japanese words and phrases of the year. This diverse collection of expressions highlights many of the events, trends and people that caught the attention of the Japanese mass media in 2008.Link
The Jurassic Auto and Idea Park
It's unfair to call the US auto industry dinosaurs, as some now do. It's certainly unfair to the dinosaurs. The 'Terrible Lizards' did not lay the basis for their own extinction or that of myriad other species. The original dinosaurs (who scientists now tell us were neither all that terrible nor lizards), were great examples of success and adaptation, good enough to rule the planet for 150 million years. The US auto industry is the opposite. It's not just that the Terrible Metal Lizards opposed fuel efficiency standards. Of course, they did. They also promoted gas-guzzling SUVs as a lifestyle must. They cranked out cars many did not want to buy. They wielded heavy clout in Congress, and were able to sponge off public funds in the name of saving jobs as they have yet again. Having received $ 25 billion earlier, their hats are in their outstretched hands again.Link
Track the Space Toolbag
A US astronaut lost her toolbag in space. But we know where it is.
Long-lost 'Furby-like' Primate Discovered In Indonesia
A team led by a Texas A&M University anthropologist has discovered a group of primates not seen alive in 85 years. The pygmy tarsiers, furry Furby-like, or gremlin-looking, creatures about the size of a small mouse and weighing less than two ounces, have not been observed since they were last collected for a museum in 1921.
Scandal is our growth industry. Revelation of wrongdoing leads not to definitive investigation, punishment, and expiation but to more scandal. Permanent scandal. Frozen scandal. The weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist. The torture of detainees who remain forever detained. The firing of prosecutors which is forever investigated. These and other frozen scandals metastasize, ramify, self-replicate, clogging the cable news shows and the blogosphere and the bookstores. The titillating story that never ends, the pundit gabfest that never ceases, the gift that never stops giving: what is indestructible, irresolvable, unexpiatable is too valuable not to be made into a source of profit. Scandal, unpurged and unresolved, transcends political reality to become commercial fact.Link
Oldest Arabic inspriction isn't much more than graffiti
Ghabban now believes Muhammad's close associates and early followers "stripped Qur'ans of diacritical marks" in order to permit "Muslims to read the Qur'an as it was revealed to Muhammad in the various dialects of the Arabs, and allowing the skeleton of the word to bear all the meanings which appear in it."Link
Your brain will be controlled. Try it.
"Odd" Baby Play = Autism?
A recent study published by the UC Davis MIND Institute has found that infants who repetitively play with toys by spinning them or rattling them or who look at objects out of the corners of their eyes at one year of age are more likely than those who don't to be diagnosed with autism, says the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.Link
What's to be done about the Auto Industry?
The U.S. Congress will vote this week on what to do about the America's Big Three automakers -- Chrysler, Ford and GM. GM teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and is screaming for help. The Bush administration does not want to give more than the $25 billion it has already promised to develop more fuel-efficient cars. Democrats want to take another $25 billion from the $700 billion financial bailout program and use that as a bridge loan to the auto industry. That would be a $50 billion dollar bailout for auto. The Big Three and the United Auto Workers (UAW) are lobbying together for the bailout and Congress is to vote on this next week.Link
Invention: Diamond dialysis implant
Kidney failure currently affects around 400,000 people in the US and countless others around the world. And even for people who can access it, plugging into a dialysis machine is a far from an ideal solution.Link
2014: A Tory dystopia
David Cameron's apple-pie promises and feel-good rhetoric might sweep him to power in 2010, but there’s a yawning gap between the vagueness of his words and the likely consequences of his policies. Alex Nunns takes us on a trip into the future to see how Britain might look after four years of Tory rule.Link
Boing Boing TV: One year!
Hey, and we are proud being part of it...
City of Transformation: Paul Virilio in Obama's America
By Arthur and Marilouise Kroker.
It is surely the fate of every engaged political theory to be overcome by the history that it thought it was only describing. So too, Paul Virilio. His writings have captured brilliantly these twilight times in which we live: The Aesthetics of Disappearance, The Information Bomb, War and Cinema, Speed and Politics -- less writing in the traditional sense than an uncanny shamanistic summoning forth of the demonology of speed which inscribes society. A prophet of the wired future, Paul Virilio's thought always invokes the doubled meaning of apocalypse -- cataclysm and remembrance.Link
The Right To The City
We live in an era when ideals of human rights have moved centre stage both politically and ethically. A great deal of energy is expended in promoting their significance for the construction of a better world. But for the most part the concepts circulating do not fundamentally challenge hegemonic liberal and neoliberal market logics, or the dominant modes of legality and state action. We live, after all, in a world in which the rights of private property and the profit rate trump all other notions of rights. I here want to explore another type of human right, that of the right to the city.Link
How the US can learn to survive and thrive
Fareed Zakaria’s new book explores the role of the United States in a new world order in which it can at best be a smart power rather than the ultimate power.
Indian probe crash-lands onto the moon
In the race to explore space, there may be a new moon on the rise. In the same week that NASA declared the Mars Phoenix mission over, India dropped a probe onto the moon today, the Associated Press reports. The probe took off from India's space probe Chandrayaan-1, which entered lunar orbit earlier this week. The probe, painted with the flag of India, was blown to smithereens after crashing into the moon at about 3,100 miles (5,000 km) per hour.Link
UK Study: People Consuming More Music
The study found 44 per cent of people polled claimed to have consumed more music this year than in 2007. As well as the swelling market for live music, this surge may have something to do with commercial harnessing of music through means other than record sales, since 69 per cent of "the most passionate music fans" agreed that brand affiliations provide a valuable new revenue stream for artists.Link
Longitude forged: An eighteenth-century hoax
How an eighteenth-century hoax has taken in Dava Sobel and other historians.
Most people know something of the events in 1714 when the British government instituted a prize for the discovery of a successful way to find longitude at sea. The aim was to reduce the heavy toll of shipwrecks caused by the crude navigational method of dead reckoning. Dava Sobel gave new life to this episode in her bestselling book, Longitude: The true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time (1995), which inspired the widely viewed television programme Lost at Sea (aired in 1998). After these came a feature film directed by Charles Sturridge in 1999, starring Michael Gambon and Jeremy Irons. All these versions place at their centre the heroic figure of John Harrison and his struggles to perfect a clock which would finally carry off the prize of £20,000. Meanwhile, an early rival who figures in the tale has gone down in history as another projector from Yorkshire, named Jeremy Thacker. Unfortunately Thacker never existed and his proposal now emerges as a hoax.Link
Obama and the Left
Obama's election victory last week was generally greeted with warmth and a healthy degree of scepticism by those on, or leaning towards, the left. Of course, almost everybody felt a degree of Schadenfreude at the defeat of the McCain-Palin ticket. The extent of the ‘Change' that can reasonably be expected from an Obama presidency, however, remains open for debate.
Cassini Finds Mysterious New Aurora On Saturn
Saturn has its own unique brand of aurora that lights up the polar cap, unlike any other planetary aurora known in our solar system. This odd aurora revealed itself to one of the infrared instruments on NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Googorama / Update
I just got a nice email by Roberto Winter/Googorama.
Hi there Johannes,
"New Kids On The Road Block": monochrom's Illegal Sculpture in Ljubljana
Setting up "New Kids On The Road Block" in front of Slovenian parliament and on the main square of Ljubljana. [Part of Sculpture Mobs.]
Pictures: Alex Davies.
Sculpture Mob training in Ljubljana: Alex Davies' pictures
Alex Davies created a brilliant Flickr show of all his pictures of the Sculpture Mob training and illegal action in Ljubljana, Slovenia (November 8, 2008).
Putting Psychology Into Behavioral Economics
Behavioral economics and good psychology, there's a lot of art. There is science and there are well-crafted experiments, but thinking about what the right experiment to run, was art and, there are 80 gazillion experiments, which ones are relevant to getting people to plant the right seed. That's a problem that Sendhil and I have been talking about for, well, since he was born. You're now seeing the results of 15 years of conversations. And there wasn't a scientific way of answering that question.Link
Understanding the Beijing Consensus
The decades of the Washington Consensus and its imposition of a liberal model of world trade and financial good behaviour are over. What will replace it and which states will be the power-brokers?
Artist Gives Away Art By Leaving It Around London
Art worth an estimated £1m is being given away by one of the world's leading street artists, Adam Neate, in an exhibition that will see 1,000 pieces deposited across the capital and left for whoever wishes to take them.
How Evolution Learns From Past Environments To Adapt To New Environments
The evolution of novel characteristics within organisms can be enhanced when environments change in a systematic manner, according to a new study by Weizmann Institute researchers.
Ronald Mallett: Space cowboy
For more than 50 years, UConn physics professor Ronald Mallett had a secret. Now that it's out, we may be one step closer to traveling back in time.
Link (via DaddyD)
A news article describing an altercation between monks of different sects in front of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem. Both sides deny throwing the first punch.
Six Christian sects divide control of the ancient church. They regularly fight over turf and influence, and Israeli police are occasionally forced to intervene. A ladder placed on a ledge over the entrance sometime in the 19th century has remained there ever since because of a dispute over who has the authority to take it down.Just where are they drawing their authority from?
"New Kids On The Road Block": monochrom's Illegal Sculpture in Graz
Here is a nice picture of our illegal public sculpture in Graz: "New Kids On The Road Block"...
Photo credit: Eddie Codel.
Soon: more pictures.
Sculpture Mob Training in Graz: Eddie Codel's pictures
Eddie Codel posted some great pictures of our Sculpture Mob training camp in Graz at the Elevate Festival.
Awesome: Gesture Control
Mgestk Technologies unveils a new gesture control system that "makes use of nothing more than an 'affordable 3D camera' and some custom software to capture even small hand gestures."
Link (via Zeljko Lajic, metalab list)
Oxford Researchers List Top 10 Most Annoying Phrases
Not all University of Oxford researchers are uptight and humorless, "irregardless" of what you might think. In fact, a bunch of them compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions in the English language -- just because we needed one.Link
Space shuttle is key issue for Obama, agency says
US president-elect Barack Obama will need to decide soon whether to retire the space shuttle in 2010 or extend its life, a government oversight office said on Thursday.Link
The emerging moral psychology
Experimental results are beginning to shed light on the psychological foundations of our moral beliefs.
Gone in 900 seconds: Why you shouldn't use WPA anymore
If you still use WPA as encryption standard of your wireless access point, you better switch to WPA2 now, because a new hacker playground just has been opened. My recommendation: Leave your WLAN open and do others a favour (flatrate is a nice thing anyways) - and use strong encrypted VPN software for accessing whatever needs to be secure.Link
Obama Win Causes Obsessed Backers To See How Empty Lives Are
Tears for Obama
The Innermost Unifier: Corporate Anthems @ HAIP festival
Johannes Grenzfurthner will present a talk/audio performance @ HAIP festival. Friday, November 7, 8:00 PM at Kiberpipa/Ljubljana.
The Innermost Unifier: Today it's the Corporate Anthem
Sculpture Mob in Training: Graz and Ljubljana
On November 6 we will administer a couple of basic Sculpture Mob training sessions in Graz, Austria -- as part of the Elevate festival.
We will create a simulated parking space and participants will learn how to erect a sculpture in just 5 minutes before "security" is called.
More trainings can be joined on November 8 in Ljubljana, Slovenia -- as part of the HAIP festival.
Biologists Discover Motor Protein That Rewinds DNA
Two biologists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered the first of a new class of cellular motor proteins that “rewind” sections of the double-stranded DNA molecule that become unwound, like the tangled ribbons from a cassette tape, in “bubbles” that prevent critical genes from being expressed.
What will a new president do for the arts?
What would an Obama or McCain presidency do for the arts? Or will the new President's hands be tied by the economic turmoil?
Studs Terkel, Listener to Americans, Dies at 96
Studs Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose searching interviews with ordinary Americans helped establish oral history as a serious genre, and who for decades was the voluble host of a popular radio show in Chicago, died Friday at his home there. He was 96.
Jonathan Mann reports about the Proposition 8 Protest
Eddie Codel: New monochrom resident artist
Our new artist in residence arrived! Yeah!
Eddie Codel is a videographer, documentary filmmaker, technologist, political activist, open source evangelist, robot enthusiast and occasional conference organizer who strongly believes in the notion of empowering others through open information exchange. Codel currently resides in San Francisco where he makes online videos for political campaigns, blogs, Internet startups and produces Geek Entertainment TV, a weekly videoblog on passionate geeks.
Codel was previously in Vienna & Graz in 2006 presenting on videoblogging, underground robotic art of San Francisco and zombies.
Codel's video work includes the upcoming Big Sur Fire documentary, various productions for Geek Entertainment TV, Boing Boing TV, Digg, Revision3, io9, Mahalo Daily, ChannelFlip, Nokia Productions, the San Francisco Chronicle and LunchMeet TV.
Codel has presented at numerous conferences including SXSW Interactive & Film, SF Music Tech Summit, Northern Voice, Roboexotica, Pixelodeon, Netsquared, Webzine, Podcast Hotel and the Consumer Electronics Show.
Codel co-founded and organized the Webzine conference series which began in 1998 in San Francisco. The mission of Webzine is to empower individuals and artists through storytelling and media creation on the Internet.
Codel has been a member of the machine arts group SRL since 1999, is a guestblogger for culture blog Laughing Squid and maintains his personal website and blog at eddie.com.
Big Brother Awards 2008: Pictures
A couple of good pictures of our 'Special Postal Services' performance at the Big Brother 2008 gala in Vienna.
10th anniversary of Soul Sale: monochrom's spirituo-capitalistic market stand
Unbelievable, but it was 10 years ago today that we opened up our spirituo-capitalistic market stand in the center of Vienna.
A total of fifteen high-quality souls were purchased and registered. These souls are still being offered for sale to third parties with power of disposal. We still understand the project – beyond all philosophical discourses and argumentation seeking to prove God's existence – in the classical sense of a market driven by supply and demand. The soul is a tradable commodity, a form of virtual capital.
monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.
External monochrom links:
[ P r o j e c t s ]