Our new shirt is available! Right on time for Maker Faire 2009:
Check out genderish versions, colors and (uber)sizes!
Meeting point for monochrom's Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling @ Maker Faire Bay Area 2009
We checked out all the locations at Maker Faire 2009 and the best spot to meet for tomorrow's Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling tournament is here:
Sunday, 31 May 2009, 3 PM!
monochrom's Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling @ Maker Faire Bay Area 2009
Please take part in our Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling training camp @ Maker Faire. Ongoing sessions. You will find us. Just look for a bunch of people with their thumbs up!
You can find the ruleset on our page.
monochrom's 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.Here, an interesting Applied Office Art installation:
monochrom: New Gastro-Art
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.
Like this one, featuring a cross and zombie hands. Image taken at a Viennese Chinese restaurant.
Harsh Conditions: monochrom's Roleplaying Extravaganza
monochrom will bring good old role-playing to the big stage.
May 23, 2009; 10 PM -- as part of SIGINT in Cologne.
The Innermost Unifier: Corporate Anthems @ SIGINT festival
Johannes Grenzfurthner will present a talk/audio performance @ SIGINT festival in Cologne. Friday, May 22, 10:00 PM.
The Innermost Unifier: Today it's the Corporate Anthem
The Hidden Toxic Flow: How our old computers are poisoning Africa
Chris Cummins reports...
11-year old Emmanuel Osei works as a scrap collector in Ghana, scavenging metal from the corpses of Western computers, televisions and other end-of-life electronic products that have been dumped in West Africa. His goal is to salvage the odd gram of useful metals such as copper, which he can resell for a few cents. To isolate those metals he and his fellow rubbish-pickers have to burn away the useless plastics in the insulation tubes and circuit boards. Black clouds rise above the scrap heaps from the fires – a toxic mist that boys like Emmanuel constantly breathe in. Sometimes, to make the fires more effective, rubber car tyres are thrown on to the flames - adding some new ingredients to the toxic cocktail.
Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock
The Case of the Missing H-Bomb
This essay is featured in Jeffrey St. Clair's forthcoming book, Loose Nukes published by Count Zero Press.
Things go missing. It's to be expected. Even at the Pentagon. Last October, the Pentagon's inspector general reported that the military's accountants had misplaced a destroyer, several tanks and armored personnel carriers, hundreds of machine guns, rounds of ammo, grenade launchers and some surface-to-air missiles. In all, nearly $8 billion in weapons were AWOL.Link
You can now buy low calorie water.
Bio-synergy Skinny Water, is the first in the world to be fortified with l-carnitine and chromium. A low-calorie water, enhanced with a unique combination of ingredients to help support healthy weight loss.Link
What We Think We Know Of Fairy Tales Is A Fairy Tale, Too
In the scholarly debate about the origins of fairy tales, "the latest clash [is] over a new claim that, far from being passed down through an oral tradition, fairy tales actually have their history in print." Stony Brook University professor Ruth B. Bottigheimer argues that "folk invention and transmission of fairy tales has no basis in verifiable fact."
Anarcho-Transhumanism and "Hacking the Spaces"
Anarcho-Transhumanism features our pamphlet "Hacking the Spaces" and posts a couple of suggestions:
This is just the start, of course. I'd also suggest that efforts be made to develop more radical hacktivist projects, particularly aligned towards ongoing social struggles. What if an Anonymous-style movement went after the Minutemen and nativist anti-immigration groups rather than the Church of Scientology? Hacklabs should also be connecting to these ongoing social movements and offering their technical expertise and support. Imagine if a worker-occupied factory was able to continue production under worker control thanks to the adoption of reprap machines or other open source 3D printers, facilitaed by hacktivists? What if DIY robot hackers assembled fleets of drones to aid in Copwatch programs, using sousveillance to keep abuses of authority in line? Even better, what if these hackerspace users took their politics back to the labs, factories, and offices in which they work, enabling a new movement of radicalized scientists and techies to counter the corporate uses and abuses of their research and intellectual labor? What are we waiting for?Link
Biological Particles Trigger Ice Formation In High-altitude Clouds
A team of UC San Diego-led atmospheric chemistry researchers moved closer to what is considered the "holy grail" of climate change science when it made the first-ever direct detection of biological particles within ice clouds.
What is it like to be a baby?
In The Philosophical Baby developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik compiles the latest in her field’s research to paint a new picture of our inner lives at inception — one in which we are, in some ways, more conscious than adults. Gopnik spoke with Seed's Evan Lerner about how babies and young children learn from us and what we can learn from them.
New Honda hybrid: Terrible?
Much has been written about the Insight, Honda's new low-priced hybrid. We've been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you're easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days.Link
monochrom's "Climate Training Camp": Setup
Pictures of the setup procedures for monochrom's "Climate Training Camp" in Berlin/Germany.
Flickr Set / Link
Climate Training Camp
Dorkbot Vienna #8: Tetsuya Umeda
Dorkbot Vienna #8 is being hosted by J Grenzfurthner (monochrom) and Coded Cultures. Thanks to the Metalab!
Altering fans, televisions, and other everyday appliances, converting their functions into something utterly different, UMEDA creates objets freed from their original meanings. His works, created to suit the spaces in which they will be installed, use utterly familiar, commonplace phenomena, channeled through his clever handiness and unique spatial sensibility, to create mysterious, seemingly impossible sensations. They thereby free one from rigid perceptions constrained by preconceived ideas.Sunday, May 17, 2009.
7 PM @ Metalab Vienna (Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna)
monochrom and "Lonely Planet": Infringement updates
We got an email by the "Infringement Co-ordinator" (doesn't that actually mean to co-ordinate infringements?) of "Lonely Planet". We have to remove our LPG page. But there is a mirror... and we are in no way related to the people running this mirror site. I think they are called "Google" or something.
monochrom's "Climate Training Camp"
Gear up for the future: with our DIY climate booths!
Climate change tends to be seen as the result of failed politics. But the causes lay deeper: certain subjects of an economy act against each other's interests in international as well as in terms of the nation state. It's always the fault of the others who want to eat twice a day, as German chancellorette Angela Merkel rightfully stated.
'Climate machines' like portable heaters for example enabled humanity to adapt to any climate in the 19th century, creating 'climate-independent artificial man' (Friedrich Nietzsche). But the climatic challenges of the 21st century want to be tackled with a new generation of climate machines: adjusting the climate to man's needs is no longer the aim, it has to be the other way around.
In a workshop and with lectures the art group monochrom wants to convey the knowledge required to build climate booths enabling you to train your personal adaptability to the extreme weather conditions of the future, today. Success in your job and with your choice of sexual partners is guaranteed! On top of that you have the opportunity to get a whiff of tomorrow's climate in our climate booths 'sand storm' and 'snow storm', and to gain precious experience. There's a lot to endure, let's get started.
May 18/19, 2009 in Berlin/Germany
at HAU 2 (Theater Hebbel am Ufer; Hallesches Ufer 32 / 10963 Berlin) as part of "Woher der Wind weht. Szenarien des Klimawandels"
Catholic Kama Sutra
The Catholic church just got a whole lot sexier...
The Reverend Ksawery Knotz has a message for all married Catholic couples out there: there's nothing wrong with a steamy sex life.Link
Hackerspaces and hippie crashpads: "Hacking the Spaces" on Boing Boing:
"Hacking the Spaces": A critical acclaim of what was, is and could be a hackerspace
A critical acclaim of what was, is and could be a hackerspace (or hacklab, for that matter).
By Johannes Grenzfurthner/Frank Apunkt Schneider (monochrom).
The history of the so-called hackerspaces expands back to when the counter culture movement was about to make a serious statement. In the decade after the hippies attempted to establish new ways of social, political, economical and ecological relationships, a lot of experiments were carried out concerning the construction of new spaces to live and to work in. Thus, the first hackerspaces fit best into a countercultural topography consisting of squat houses, alternative cafes, farming cooperatives, collectively run businesses, communes, non-authoritarian childcare centres, and so on. All of these established a tight network for an alternative lifestyle within the heart of bourgeois darkness.
Hackerspaces provided room where people could go and work in laid-back, cool and non-repressive environments (well, as far as any kind of space or environment embedded into a capitalist society can be called laid-back, cool and non-repressive).
Sociological termed "third spaces" are spaces that break through the dualistic scheme of bourgeois spatial structure with places to live and places to work (plus places for spare time activities). They represent an integrative way that refuses to accept a lifestyle which is formed through such a structure. This means they can come to cooperative and non-repressive ways of working on e.g. technical problems that may result in new and innovative solutions. And that's exactly where Adorno's "Wrong Life" could slip in too...
Essay by Jim Tomlinson.
The current economic crisis has reignited a debate about Keynesianism that many had thought only of historical interest. This commentary suggests that the revival of Keynesianism undermines a key assumption of almost all accounts of postwar capitalism, namely that it can be fundamentally divided into a "Keynesian" and a "post-Keynesian" period.Link
UK's Immigration Laws Are Harming The Arts
Thanks to the one-size-fits-all anti-terrorism laws, artists from outside the EU now need to go through a complex process of finding a sponsor and getting all manner of fingerprints and face-scans prior to travelling to the UK. ... [D]o we really need a scan of Robert LePage's face to know that he's not coming here to bomb Canary Wharf?And that's hardly the only problem with the laws.
Obsessive Housing Disorder
Nearly a century of Washington's efforts to promote homeownership has produced one calamity after another. Time to stop.
In December, the New York Times published a 5,100-word article charging that the Bush administration's housing policies had "stoked" the foreclosure crisis--and thus the financial meltdown. By pushing for lax lending standards, encouraging government enterprises to make mortgages more available, and leaning on private lenders to come up with innovative ways to lend to ever more Americans—using "the mighty muscle of the federal government," as the president himself put it—Bush had lured millions of people into bad mortgages that they ultimately couldn't afford, the Times said.Link
Today: Live Stream from Soviet Unterzoegersdorf
Glorious technology! Ambassador Nikita Perostek Chrusov will be giving a live speech today -- May 8, 2009! Through the vastness of time and space! Please pay him a virtual visit! 2100 hours Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Standard Time (9 PM Vienna Time).
Where? Please visit dock18.ch!
The Neuroscience of Magic Tricks
Our brains don't see everything - the world is too big, too full of stimuli. So the brain takes shortcuts, constructing a picture of reality with relatively simple algorithms for what things are supposed to look like. Magicians capitalize on those rules." Says Teller (of Penn and), "If the audience asks, 'How the hell did he do that?' then the experiment was successful. I've exploited the efficiencies of your mind.Link
"Israel" and "Israel in the Media"
I have my very own Israel problem and it is this: the Israel I know, which I have visited for weeks at a time, which I experience through its literature and media and the Israeli citizens I have met, bears no relation to the Israel I see in most of the Western media. That Israel seems almost to dominate Western intellectual life. It is commonly held that Israel lies at the heart of the widespread Muslim hostility to the West and much of the ideological conflict in the Middle East. But Israel must surely also lie at the heart of the West itself; it is so often the centrepoint of raging ideological debate, shrill mutual denunciation, ferocious polemic, emotional demonstrations, university activism and academic boycotts.Link
The Only Grave On The Moon
To date, Eugene Merle Shoemaker is the only person to have been buried on the Moon. Didn't know that.
On this graph...
Surviving the Apocalypse: The Romanian Perspective
A wonderful cartoon-style interview with Stefan Tiron and Alexandra Croitoru. How to survive a cataclysmic disaster in the 2nd world?
Comrade or Brother? A History of the British Labour Movement
A timely overview of two centuries of British labour history carries hope for the future as well as insights on the past.
The broad thrust of this impressive overview of 200 years of British labour history concerns the dichotomy between a rich radical socialist tradition and an equally influential reformist current. The latter tendency was perhaps best exemplified by the Labour leader Keir Hardie, who at the beginning of the 20th century identified his and the Labour Party's politics as 'labourism': a 'theory and practice which accepted the possibility of social change within the existing framework of society'.Book: Comrade or Brother? A History of the British Labour Movement (by Mary Davis, Pluto Press)
Slot games for the hippocampus: Computing uncertainty
The hippocampus, a key brain region for memory and learning, codes the degree of uncertainty of potential reward situations. This fundamental role has just been demonstrated by Giovanna Vanni-Mercier and her colleagues at the Centre de neuroscience cognitive (CNRS / Université Lyon 1), working with the medical epileptology team from the Neurological Hospital in Lyon. Their work, published on 22 April 2009 in Journal of Neuroscience, sheds new light on the way the brain extracts and processes information about the environment.
Post-Google, plagiarism is a different art
It was October 25, and I suppose it was the middle of the night, given the time difference between the Netherlands and Virginia, when a Dutch newspaper nabbed my grandmother.Link
External monochrom links:
[ P r o j e c t s ]