June 2009 Archives

30.06.2009 20:48

Situationist International Comics

Situationist International Comics

Picture your social world as a large, well-lit closet / a tunnel extending through society from birth to death / a cave of shadows artificially illuminated / a populous boat adrift in a sea beyond meaning. The sea is an image of the world, a whole world; there is a universe beyond the widest reach of human perception. I do not yet know it / do you?

After someone posted the link to Persepolis 2.0 on Metafilter, it was quickly pointed out that recycling comics for political means is old hat. The Situationist International advocated subversion or détournement of pop culture's fake reality, in order to show the underlying capitalist degradation of human life.

Bureaucratic Comix (1971), Terry and the Situationists (1981) or Dagwood on Détournement (1981) are crude examples of how one's subversive scalpel can be used to cut an open space just large enough for revolution to pass through. For a more thorough examination of critical and situationist theory, download Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle and his User’s Guide to Détournement.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics

28.06.2009 17:55

x planes

x planes

experimental aircraft. exotic aeromachines. oddities. sleek silver cigars. pedal-o-trons. soviet hive-mind bombers. aerial joy. the olden days. action shots. propaganda posters.

Warren Ellis discovered x planes while doing research for his new steampunk-comic, Ignition City. I haven't read it yet, but if x-planes is anything to go by, I'll definitely have to check it out. Dirigibles, Tupolevs, hot-air balloons - the photos are nice and big, and the explanations very brief. Just the way we Twittards like it!

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: technology

27.06.2009 21:17

Michael Jackson wanted Vegas robot

"Michael Jackson wants Vegas robot" was published back in 2007 on Yahoo! Music:

Michael Jackson is in discussions about creating a 50-foot robotic replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert, according to reports.
On the subject of the robot, he (Luckman Van Pier, his partner at the company behind the proposal) continued: "It would be in the desert sands. Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying in would see."

I sincerely hope they finish this project. Maybe build a robot replica of Sinatra and Dean Martin as well, they could punch each other and shoot Laser beams at airplanes. Come to think of it, that's probably what the greeks had originally in mind when they built the Colossus of Rhodes.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: technology

26.06.2009 18:52

This is why you're fat

Flapjack Fiasco@This is why you're fat

I've written about Food Porn before, but This is why you're fat takes the proverbial cake. I hope no one actually eats the stuff on that page and just prepares it for shits and giggles. Just take a look at the recipe for the monstrosity pictured above:

Flapjack Fiasco
Layers from bottom to top: pancake; cookie dough; pancake; peanut butter and jelly; pancake; chocolate and bananas; pancake; caramel, oreo, marshmallow, sprinkles, M&M’s; pancake; caramel buttercream frosting granished with Trix cereal.

Mmmhh, finger-lickin' good! But it gets worse: Jell-O Mold Cheeseburger Spam Fries Baconoli Supreme Dorm Food Casserole... where dreams become heart attacks, indeed.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: body

25.06.2009 19:14

Zombie Generators

Great Blue Hole, Belize

The final piece in my triptych of desolate places and desolate bodies, Zombie Generators merely serves as a "best of big holes international". Why Zombie Generators? Well, they need to come from somewhere, don't they?

So why not big giant holes full of nothing, leading the way to the nine circles below. The rather mundane reason for the title of this entry is Mutant Chronicles, a zombie flick I saw a couple of weeks ago. As you might have already guessed, the mutants/zombies/whatever crawl out of some giant hole and terrorize people. It's bad, so don't watch it. Rather look at the purty pictures of John's 7 Holey Wonders of the World. Pictured above is the Great Blue Hole in Belize.

Situated 60 miles off the mainland of Belize is this stunning geological phenomenon known as a blue hole. There are numerous blue holes around the world but none as fine as this one. At surface level the nearly perfectly circular hole is 1/4 mile wide with the depth in the middle reaching 145 metres. The hole is a huge hit with divers.

Aha. But lest you forget: If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: fortune

24.06.2009 18:48

Zombie Habitats

Gunkanjima, Japan

If yesterday's post featured undead blonde people, this one is about undead places. Cities like Pripyat in the Ukraine (founded to house Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers), San Zhi in Taiwan, Gunkanjima in Japan or Centralia in the USA.

Abandoned Places In The World provides a select collection of urban decay in all its nihilistic glory. Pod-like buildings rotting away in the jungle, ghost islands made of concrete, labyrinthine corridors in monolithic slums... did I mention I've written about J.G. Ballard before?

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics

23.06.2009 21:53

Blonde Zombies

Blonde Zombies

Every link in this post is NSFW (not safe for work), so if you don't want to/can't look at adult material, better skip it entirely. Blonde Zombies is a spanish-speaking blog about vintage porn, pulp fiction, B movies, art, music and fanzines.

Their list of tags (called "TAG ATTACK!") consists of entries like Zombies Rubias, Pinky Violence, Yakuzas, Elviberia, Rayos Catodicos and Nunexploit, celebrating the old in and out and then some more. As you might have already guessed, there's no real need to speak spanish to enjoy this blog. With hundreds of scanned pictures, book covers and screencaps to ogle over, the language barrier will be the last thing on your mind.

Where else can you marvel at the adventures of Bruce Seex - Karateca del sexo? Who comes up with names like that anyway? "Hi, my name is Seex. Bruce Seex. And I can do Karate. Yeeha!". Raunchy book covers, indeed. "Mas putas que las gallinas". I wonder what that means. Who knows? Who cares.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: art

21.06.2009 20:56

Mobile microwave for Mankind 2.0

Heinz USB Microwave

Makers of the prototype say they came up with the idea after a recent poll found 20 percent of UK office workers miss out on meals because they are too stressed to take time off.

"It gives workers across the country a much needed helping hand to make some of their favourite hot snacks either on the go or at their desk by just plugging the microwave into the USB port on their computers," said a spokesperson for Heinz.


Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: technology

20.06.2009 21:08

The Zero Budget Indie Marketing Guide

David Byrne Powerpoint

Whether you're trying to pitch a book, song, or your piece of software, The Zero Budget Indie Marketing Guide provides helpful advice that comes at no cost. To be more specific, it comes at no cost if your time is worth nothing. Building contacts with the media, entering competitions, creating an interesting public persona, starting a blog - well yeah, easier said than done.

Too many game developers spend most of their time huddled up in the proverbial basement while hacking out a masterpiece, only to emerge at the end of the dev cycle and realise that they suddenly have to win friends, influence people and promote their work well enough to make the project worthwhile.

Yes, you really have to go for that magic mix of total introversion meets total extraversion. But I have to say I like this piece, it's good solid advice, even if it can be reduced to "markets are conversations" + "marketing is an assload of work, too". Nevertheless, if you believe the long tail will make you rich & happy, go read Chopping the Long Tail down to size by Andrew Orlowski. (Powerpoint art above courtesy of David Byrne's Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: fortune

19.06.2009 20:07

The Persian Bay

The Persian Bay

A joint venture between The Pirate Bay and Anonymous, The Persian Bay aims to be a reliable way of communication for Iranians and friends. It's basically a set of forums with titles like Keeping your Anonymity In Iran, News and Current Events, Protest Advice or Videos and Pictures. Even if you're not interested in first-hand reports of censorship and protest in the Middle East, the Anonymity Forum offers a good introduction to open source privacy- and security-software.

Fake-Edit: This sounds interesting: Protest In Iran Gear Recommendations And Preventive Measures. Could come in handy for any kind of protest.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics

18.06.2009 13:24

Germany's army too soft


Overheard the following conversation about "Moaning German soldiers" (Daily Telegraph) the other day:

Robert1966 As a Germanophile, that alway depresses me, too. 1800 years of history and all anyone can remember is the worst 20 years of it. As opposed to Bach, Beethoven, Goethe, Schiller, Heine, Nietzsche, Kant, etc., etc.

ParallelUniverseParking ...and Hitler! Don't forget Hitler.

phlegmmo Hitler was Australian.

ParallelUniverseParking I know - he was abandoned by his parents and raised by a gay kangaroo couple instead. That's why he was such a strict vegetarian.

And that's it folks, WWII and Nazi Germany explained in a nutshell. (via Fark) (Hitler @ the Beach courtesy of 4chan)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics

16.06.2009 17:33

Teaching kids how to spot terrorists

Great idea by a british primary school in East Lancashire:

More than 2,000 10 and 11-year-olds will see a short film, which urges them to tell the police, their parents or a teacher if they hear anyone expressing extremist views.
A lion explains that terrorists can look like anyone, while a cat tells pupils that should get help if they are being bullied and a toad tells them how to cross the road.

Lion, cat, toad, WTF? Why don't they just give everyone a copy of Where's Bin Laden? As a government poster in Terry Gilliam's Brazil famously proclaims: Be a Good Citizen and Turn in a Friend. (via Bruce Schneier)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics

15.06.2009 18:33

We sell corrupted Word files

We offer a wide array of corrupted Word files that are guaranteed not to open on a Mac or PC. A corrupted file is a file that contains scrambled and unrecoverable data due to hardware or software failure. Files may become corrupted when something goes wrong while a file is being saved e.g. the program saving the file might crash. Files may also become corrupted when being sent via email. The perfect excuse to buy you that extra time!

The idea being that you can safely ignore deadlines, and send in your (real) paper a few days later. Ingenious. Why didn't I come up with this? "No, Professor, I swear it worked on my lappy, it's just I dunno, the TRANSFER must have messed it up. But no problem, I'll send you another copy once I get home to my computer. That would be next week. Heh."

They sell corrupted files with 2 - 40 pages and the appropriate file size. Because 16 pages with 1 KB will make people suspicious.... jeez, why not me!? There's even a step by step guide for people too dumb to grasp the possibilities:

Step 1: After purchasing a file, rename the file e.g. Mike_Final-Paper.

Step 2: Email the file to your professor along with your "here's my assignment"

Step 3: It will take your professor several hours if not days to notice your
file is "unfortunately" corrupted. Use the time this website just bought you
wisely and finish that paper!!!
Because, you know, "Plagiarism is not the answer to procrastination. - Corrupted-Files.com is!"

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: technology

14.06.2009 18:37

Twitter with your C64


Great, now I can take turns playing Alleykat and writing about my utter lack of skill seconds later. To use Johan Van den Brande's Twitter client BREADBOX64, you'll need a vintage Commodore 64 with an ethernet adapter and the Contiki-OS. Losers with IBM-compatible PCs can get it working with VICE.

The C64 was introduced by Commodore in august 1982, it is 25 years old now. It had astounding graphics and sound capabilities for its time, but if you look at them now they are a bit outdated. The CPU, a 6502 from MOS Technologies, runs at 985Khz, the maximal screen resolution is 320×256 and it has 64KB of RAM.

Haha, not even 1 MHz! Jeez, time flies by. (Fake-Edit: According to Wikipedia, the NTSC-version of the C64 had 1,022727 MHz.)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: technology

13.06.2009 13:59

The dark side of shopping

Darth Vader@Tesco

Blogging this because I like the title. The dark side of shopping - You'd think Darth Vader suddenly comes walking down the aisles while you're grabbing some batteries. "Use the force, my friend." "What the fuck?" "Exit the shop through the employee restroom." "I-ah.... where is that?" "(Inhale/Exhale) Next to the vegetables... be careful, Jedi-scum is lurking in the frozen meat section nearby." "Ah.. ok thanks, Darth. Hope you have a good day and all. Gotta go." "(Inhale/Exhale) My pleasure."

Ah no, but this is serious business. To quote the Guardian:

It's perhaps not surprising that so many of us lose control in our extreme consumer society: we are not meant to be in control of anything, least of all the urge to shop. Compulsive shoppers tend to spend when they feel down, buying things they don't need, often returning or rapidly disposing of them and running up large debts in the process. At the extreme end of the spectrum are kleptomaniacs, driven to steal by the same compulsive urge that fuels gamblers and drug addicts. Then there are those who resort to stealing to maintain their lifestyle in these recession-gripped times.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics

11.06.2009 18:35

Little Wheel

Little Wheel

Little Wheel is a flash-based browser game from slovakian game studio OneClickDog.com. The backstory is about a planet full of robots that runs out of power. 10,000 years later, lightning strikes and one robot (you) gets reanimated. Now it's up to you to turn the power generator back on.

If you remember point-and-click-adventures from Sierra or Lucasarts, you know what to expect. Solving puzzles from one screen to the next, you guide your robot through lovely artwork, interspersed by lovely cutscenes and cool jazz music. If you just want to look at the artwork, there's a walkthrough-button in the upper right corner of the screen. (via IndieGames.com)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: games

10.06.2009 17:18

Pictures of apartments you will never live in

apartment therapy

If you liked my post about Food Porn Daily, chances are you will like apartment therapy, a blog devoted to pretty looking living spaces. Looking at stuff like How To: Create an Elegant Garden Your Kids Will Love or 10 Real Gardens From LA House Tours makes my kind of happy-sad.

C'mon guys, I want my "Sanitize your 20 m2 crack den in 10 easy steps" or some such. "Create an Elegant Garden Your Kids Will Love"? I don't even know what that means. I don't understand any of these words. (via Biella Coleman)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: fortune

09.06.2009 19:42

Last words from the black box

plane crash

No, not that black box, but transcripts and cockpit voice recordings from accidents in civil aviation, 1962 - 2009. Alitalia, Pacific Air Lines, American Airlines, Air Canada... after browsing planecrashinfo.com, airdisaster.com, EgyptAir Flight 990, Airport 1975 and PSA Flight 182, my plans for transcontinental holiday-making have been reduced to zero. Maybe reading the manual for an Airbus 330 will make me feel safe again.

FTA: Caution, may be disturbing to some individuals. Discretion is advised.

August 31, 1988
Dallas, Texas
Delta Air Lines, Flight 1141
Boeing B-727-232 Adv

The aircraft stalled and crashed during takeoff, hitting a ILS localizer
antenna, 1,000 feet beyond the end of the runway. Crew error. Improperly set
flaps and slats. Failure of the takeoff safety warning system. Fourteen out of
108 people aboard were killed.

CA = Captain
F/O = First Officer
CAM = Cockpit area mike
TWR = Tower
TWR 	Delta Eleven forty-one, fly heading one eight five, Runway Eighteen
	left, cleared for takeoff 

F/O 	Eleven forty-one, one one eight five, cleared
	for takeoff.

CAM 	[Sound of engines spooling up]

F/O 	Power is set. Engine instruments look good. Airspeed is comin' up both
	sides. Eighty knots. Vee R, Vee two.  

CAM 	[Sound of snap; sound of the stick shaker]

CA 	Somethin's wrong! Oh....

CAM 	[Sound of engine stall.]

F/O 	Engine failure.

CA 	We got an engine failure.  We're not gonna make it. Full power..

CAM 	[Sound of first impact; sound of second impact; sound of third impact.

CAM 	[Screams]

CAM 	[Sound of fourth impact]

Posted by mm | Permanent link

08.06.2009 18:07

Video software with realtime gender bender

The University of East Anglia (UK) and FX-studio Weta Digital (NZ, Lord of the Rings, King Kong) created a a video conferencing solution that lets you change sex or race on the fly. What used to take millions of dollars and years of work (see the posthumous performances of Oliver Reed in Gladiator or Brandon Lee in The Crow), can now be accomplished in just 150 milliseconds. The software is already used to conduct psychological experiments at three US universities:

Volunteers were asked to chat to one another in a video conference, but did not know if the face they saw was really that of the person they were talking with – or indeed if the other volunteer was seeing their own true face.

The results suggest that our body language during conversation is more reactive to that of others than it is to their physical appearance, says Theobald. "We've shown you can present a female as herself or as a male, and the other participant's behaviour doesn't change," he says. The results will soon be published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

As someone on Hacker News remarked, "I can see this being used by cam-girl sites". Sigh. I mean "Yay" for progress.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: body

07.06.2009 13:07

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble

David Carradine

Please listen to this while reading the divorce court filings by Carradine's ex-wife. FTA: "incestuous relationship with a very close family member" + "deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly". Oops.

Well all I gotta say is it's a pretty Kung-Fu way to go, tying yourself up in that way and then... you die. Ok, it's not Kung-Fu, but it could've been. "The Way of the Angry Nut Monkey". Err, "Angry Nut Monkey vs. the blinding rope." "Where is Angry Nut Monkey?" "Angry Nut Monkey vs. Angry Nut Monkey."

Yeah, I think that's it. The only one to defeat angry nut monkey is angry nut monkey himself. And when the time has come, he has to tie himself up in such a way that all his force gets released and - aww fuck this shit, it's sunday and I've got a hangover.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: fortune

05.06.2009 17:52

New Layout

I've been busy updating the nuts & bolts of this website, so don't expect any funny stuff for today. As you can see, the whole thing is now centered in the middle of your browser (it's magic, I know).

The new "Random"-section on the left side showcases "lengthier" blog-pieces, plus one outside link. The humongous thing to the right is a very decent and subtle image-link to my (german-speaking-art-project) Twitter. And that's it.

It's still rough around the edges, so expect a few changes in the coming weeks. The "Random"-section will eventually feature randomly generated links, the Twitter-ad randomly generated blurbs. (RSS/Twitter/Facebook-Crowd: Switch to the front-page to see what I'm talking about.)

Posted by mm | Permanent link

04.06.2009 19:36

Marvel's Pope John Paul II Comic from 1982

Marvel Pope Comic

4thletter published a nice write-up by James Hewitt on Marvel's The Life of Pope John Paul II. Learn how Wojtyla grew up in Wadowice, playing soccer and talking trash with his buddies! His decision to become a holy man... and to go on a crazy kayaking trip with his students. Ah Wojtyla, thanks for all those sweet, fond memories! PS: Can't wait for Marvel presents: Benedetto vs. Hulk.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: art

03.06.2009 13:10

Cigarettes for the Cigarette God

A discussion about the downed Air France flight brought up the following:

One of my teachers told me a story that one of his relatives was about to board a plane but had a bad nicotine craving. He went and bought a pack of cigarettes and hurried back trying not to miss his plane, but he ended up missing it anyway. That plane crashed a few hours later and everyone was killed onboard. He still smokes to this day because cigarettes saved his life.

Jesus, every time he unwraps a cigarette pack it probably feels like the holy communion. (via forums.somethingawful.com)

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: fortune

01.06.2009 18:38

Handheld puke ray ready for prime time

These non-lethal weapons have the ability to control the threat at ranges of 1 meter to 2400 meters (model dependent). The Dazer Laser™ - Light Fighting Technologies - emit a green “eye safe” laser beam, that is shaped into approximately a 1 foot to 8 foot Dazer Zone™ (model dependent) which when focused on the threats eyes, the threats vision is temporarily impaired, their balance is effected, and they become affected by nausea. This controls the threat making it difficult for them to manoeuver. The Ultimate Non – Lethal Weapon.

Makes me wonder if Spider Jerusalem's bowel disruptor will ever see the light of day.

Posted by mm | Permanent link | File under: politics