Tuesday, 24 August 2004

tiresomely materialistic virtual girlfriend

The Hong Kong company Artificial Life, which developed the new game, says the girl will appear as an animated figure on the video screen of a mobile phone.

All virtual girls will look the same - but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her.

On top of a general subscription, men will be charged a fee to buy flowers and gifts for the virtual girlfriend. If players neglect her, she will refuse to speak.

The company says the amount of money players will have to spend has yet to be determined.

But unlike other computer games, it seems that cash, not skill, will enable players to climb the different levels in the game.
Almost 43% of all unwanted e-mails originated from the US

the majority of ALL unwanted things comes from the fucking US


US pollution may damage UK health
The US consumes 25% of the world's fossil fuels - mostly oil - and it's predominantly the consumption of fossil fuels that creates pollution. It's perfectly plausible that they are exporting air pollution to us. The predominant wind is from the south west.


when it comes to foreign aid the usa is the stingiest of the 22 "most developed" countries.

as a proportion of its wealth america gives the least. denmark is top of the table, giving 1.01% of gdp, while the usa manages just 0.1%.

not only that, but according to a source sited by sarder and davies in "why do people hate america" 80% of that aid itself actually goes to american companies in those foreign countries.
serial killer action figures

David Johnson says a year ago he was an artist struggling to sell his more conventional sculptures. But when he started making a line of action figures that included infamous serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy and began selling them over the Internet, his career took off. His success reflects the popularity of murderabilia.

Gacy, the serial killer who performed as a clown at parties and buried his victims underneath his home, is the most popular figure because of its design. Johnson depicts Gacy in full Pogo the Clown gear. Johnson says he receives many requests to make a Charles Manson figure, but cannot make one because Manson has exclusive rights to his image.

However, Johnson says he does have boundaries. He will not make figures of Osama bin Laden or Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the culprits behind the Columbine massacre.
(via grow-a-brain)
monkey portraits
(via octopusdropkick)

Monday, 23 August 2004

man carries his mother on 17-year trek

32-year-old, Kailashgiri Brahmachari is carrying his aged, blind mother, Kethakdevi, on his shoulders on an all-India pilgrimage.

he carries two baskets on his shoulders, balanced by a wooden bar. In one, his mother, in the other his belongings, which include a stove and pots, a couple of rugs, some clothes, a gold-plate wristwatch and a mobile phone.

He has already covered more than 6,000km (3,750 miles), beginning the journey in his native village of Piparia, near Jabalpur in the northern state of Madhya Pradesh eight years ago.

his mother, Kethakdevi, is in her 60s and was born blind. Kailashgiri undertook the trip to fulfil his mother's lifelong wish to offer prayers at important holy places in the country.

He walks three or four kilometres every day but on occasions logs more than 20.

"It all depends on how my mother and I feel. Sometimes, we are so exhausted, we take a rest for a couple of days before resuming our journey," says Kailashgiri.

If all goes well, Kailashgiri's plan is to end his spiritual quest at the next Kumbh Mela Hindu festival in the holy city of Varanasi in 2013.
registration required

Before they went down, the folks at Bugmenot created the mother of all compulsory registration forms...
jesus of the week


Justin TIMBERLAKE naked fantasy
Justin TIMBERLAKE naked 2

and photos of concentration camp orchestras
In pictures: Arab Pop Idol finale

Palestinian Ammar Hassan versus Libyan Ayman al-Aathar. results on sunday 29th.

Super Star (in Arabic)

last year Jordan's Diana Karzon, 19, won the Superstar talent show run by Lebanon's Future Television. she beat Syria's Rowaida Attiyeh, 20.
Tories may repeal Human Rights Act if re-elected

.....blair's Labour party or the Tories. talk about a rock and a hard place.

meanwhile Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman QC pointed out that "because of the reduction in the availability of legal aid by the present (labour) government, it is extremely difficult for anybody to mount a human rights claim,"
I cut my eyelashes off when I was 6
fungus of the month: Boletus barrowsii, Chuck Barrows' bolete.
the daily photo project

recordable cd

401 125 M D 09823 TDK CD-R80 CD-RECORDABLE METALLIC COMPACT disc Recordable 700MB

Sunday, 22 August 2004

Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century by Lauren Slater

a review
"Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase ... the human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive."
(... Frank Herbert)
Miscarriages of Justice UK
"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." - Jim Morrison

'CSI effect' has juries wanting more evidence

fictional tv shows such as CSI are affecting action in courthouses across the USA by, among other things, raising jurors' expectations of what prosecutors should produce at trial.

Prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges call it "the CSI effect," after the crime-scene shows that are among the hottest attractions on television. The shows —CSI and CSI: Miami, in particular — feature high-tech labs and glib and gorgeous techies.

In a survey of the 500 people in the jury pool of a recent trial, the defense found that about 70% were viewers of CBS' CSI or similar shows such as Court TV's Forensic Files or NBC's Law & Order.

CSI, which begins its fifth season next month, was America's second-most-popular TV program during the season that began last fall, after the Tuesday edition of American Idol. CSI and a spinoff, CSI: Miami (which is about to begin its third season), have drawn an average of more than 40 million viewers a week during the past TV season.

Lawyers and judges say the CSI effect has become a phenomenon in courthouses across the nation: what's on TV does seep into the minds of jurors," says Paul Walsh, chief prosecutor in New Bedford, Mass., and president of the National District Attorneys Association. "Jurors are going to have information, or what they think is information, in mind. That's the new state of affairs." Terry Melton, president of Mitotyping Technologies in State College, Pa., says the programs have made "jury duty something people now look forward to."

But real scientists say CSI's main fault is this: The science is always above reproach.

"You never see a case where the sample is degraded or the lab work is faulty or the test results don't solve the crime," says Dan Krane, president and DNA specialist at Forensic Bioinformatics in Fairborn, Ohio. "These things happen all the time in the real world." CSI producers acknowledge that they take some liberties with facts and the capabilities of science, but they say it's necessary to keep their story lines moving.


Crime Scene Cleaners
(via fleshbot)
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
(... Thomas Jefferson)
"odd erection"

"I don't know who he is, or what he's doing, but when I pass through Piccadilly, he's almost always there, standing in front of the same fountain. He's an Asian man in his twenties or thirties, with large mirrored sunglasses. His crisp black military cap, with its red sash and a gold medallion, would make him look like a soldier or a limo driver, if it weren't for his baggy plaid pyjama bottoms."

"He's always holding the same sign. It features the words "Odd Erection," above a black and white image of a strange blurry shape that could be a cloud, or a rag doll, or, yes, a particularly odd erection."

link 2
(via linkmachinego)


hairy chinese rock singer Yu Zhenhuan link 1
hairy chinese rock singer Yu Zhenhuan link 2


fat bloke in tron cotume interviews audience members from fahrenheit 911

de-virginize marc.com

It's Time For Blaire To Get Married....and She Needs Your Help!


Naked man covered in nacho cheese arrested
A man was arrested in Tennessee after police caught him running naked from the scene of a robbery covered in nacho cheese. An officer said: "The male had nacho cheese in his hair, on his face and on his shoulders. The nude male had a strong odour of alcohol and was semi-incoherent.''
Cliff Yablonski Hates You

NOT KFC: (a bad gas photo gallery)


KFC Chicken-Abuse
An animal rights group on released a video they secretly taped showing cruelty at a U.S. poultry plant owned by Pilgrim's Pride Corp, the No. 2 U.S. poultry producer after Tyson Foods, is a KFC supplier.

Alphabet Soup
everybody knows that KFC at one time stood for 'Kentucky Fried Chicken'. Right up until 1991, when they ditched all the actual words and just went with a monogram. (Dieting trends had made "fried" a dirty word.)

ad says KFC's drumsticks are good for you.
in late 2003 an ad strongly suggested that fried chicken is the cornerstone of a healthy diet.

A tribe living in a remote part of Brazil's Amazon rainforest has no words for numbers beyond two. The Piraha use "one" to mean one or roughly one, two means two, while any larger number is just "many". (source)
superhero boots

the Globalization of Nothing by George Ritzer

George Ritzer theorizes in his book, The Globalization of Nothing, that the "grand narrative" or social story of this period is a movement from "something" to "nothing." Building on but going beyond his renowned McDonaldization thesis, Ritzer contends that societies around the globe continue to move away from "something," defined as a social form that is generally indigenously conceived, locally controlled, and rich in distinctive content. He argues that we are moving toward "nothing" – that which is centrally controlled and conceived and relatively devoid of distinctive substance. It is in the movement toward the globalization of "nothing" that "something" is lost. More than likely, that "something" is an indigenous custom, a local store, a familiar gathering place, or simply personalized interaction. Thus, the central problem in the world today is defined as "loss amidst monumental abundance (of nothing)."

This book is structured around four sets of concepts addressing this issue: "places/non-places," "things/non-things," "people/non-people," and "services/non-services."

By drawing upon salient examples from everyday life, George Ritzer invites the reader to examine the nuances of these concepts in conjunction with the paradoxes within the process of the globalization of nothing. Why is it that those who produce "nothing" for major multinational corporations often cannot afford that which they produce? Why do so many of us seem to be enraptured with our favorite brands or with our credit cards? What are the social implications of the increasing "globalization of nothing" for medicine, education, and tourism? Critical questions are raised throughout the book and the reader is compelled not only to seek answers to these questions, but to critically evaluate the questions as well as their answers.
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
(...Soren Aabye Kierkegaard)
daily mail watch

they read the Daily Mail so we don't have to
"Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."
(...Bertrand Russell 1872-1970)
What is real is what your neurons are processing. And hallucinations are just as real as anything on the outside. There's an external reality and internal reality. Inner reality is certainly more important than the outer reality. It is the outer reality that we have to talk about, agree upon, fight over and organize in order to survive. But this notion that the outer, for example that the foreign policy of the Reagan and Bush is somehow reality, more real than, uhh [fades off]. It's very complicated, and I object to anyone grabbing the term "reality" . . .
(interview with leary)


Albert Camus in the 'Myth of Sisyphus' (1942):  “The divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, truly constitutes the feeling of Absurdity”

Dada's greatest lesson, tacitly transmitted to its successors, is not an esthetic, but a philosophical one: on the best use of revolt. It is by unceasingly, patiently, obstinately putting into question the most well established truths, that man will become conscious of his collective destiny: "I revolt, therefore we are", will say Camus.

The concept central to the early phase of Albert Camus's thought is the Absurd. Absurdity is a feeling which arises from the confrontation of the world, which is irrational, with the hopeless but profound human desire to make sense of our condition. The appropriate response to this situation is to live in full consciousness of it. From a lucid appreciation of the absurdity of our life three consequences flow, which Camus calls revolt, freedom and passion.

By 'revolt' (in the early phase of his thought) Camus means defiance in the face of the bleak truth about the human condition, hopeless but not resigned, lending to life a certain grandeur. Again, recognition of the absurdity frees us from habit and convention: we see all things anew, and are inwardly liberated. By 'passion' Camus means the resolve to live as intensely as possible, not so as to escape the sense of absurdity but so as to face it with absolute lucidity. The way to do this is to maximise not the quality but the quantity of one's experiences ...

"Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit."
(...Abbie Hoffman)

Scream stolen from Norway museum

Armed robbers have stolen the iconic Edvard Munch painting, The Scream, from the Munch Museum in Norway.

Two masked thieves pulled the work and another painting, Madonna, off the wall as visitors watched. the two stolen paintings were among its most valuable - worth an estimated $19m together.

Munch painted several versions of his famous 1893 work.

The Scream (1893) is a seminal Expressionist painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Regarded by many as his most important work, it symbolises modern man taken by an attack of existential angst. Some theorists liken the look of the screamer to that of a grey alien, claiming Munch was painting a close encounter he had experienced. The landscape in the background is Oslo, viewed from the hill of Ekeberg. The reproduced painting hangs in the Munch Museum, Oslo. The most famous version, however, is in the National Gallery, Oslo.

The National Gallery version was stolen in 1994 as the Winter Olympic Games began in Lillehammer, Norway. The Norwegian government received a demand for a ransom of $1m, but never got proof that those demanding the money had the painting.

An anti-abortion group claimed it could get it returned if an anti-abortion film was broadcast on television. Police dismissed that claim.

That painting was recovered undamaged in a hotel about 65km (40 miles) south of Oslo in May 1994. Three Norwegians were arrested in connection with the theft.

Saturday, 21 August 2004

This isn't London
The internet's first, best and only source of untrue, made-up and false facts and information about London.

guy fawkes


The Gunpowder Plot Society

The Gunpowder Plot Society is made up of a loose-knit group of researchers who share a common interest in the events and people surrounding the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, an attempt by disgruntled Catholics to blow up King James I and the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder.


GUY FAWKES and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605
An Annotation of Literary, Historic, and Artistic References in Alan Moore's Graphic Novel, V For Vendetta.
(via linkmachinego)
The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
A Surrealist Statement Against Torturocracy on the Occasion of the Imperial Coronation of George W. Bush
Bikes Against Bush is a one-of-a-kind, interactive protest/performance occurring simultaneously online and on the streets of NYC during the upcoming Republican National Convention. Using a Wireless Internet-enabled bicycle outfitted with a custom-designed printing device, the Bikes Against Bush bicycle can print spray-chalk text messages sent from web users directly onto the streets of Manhattan.
"Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others."
random groucho marx quotes
12 Ways To Crush Your Own Testicles In Your Own Home
the essential ingredients for making all good meat-flavoured milkshakes: white vanilla ice cream, sundae glasses, various meats, milk, and a BIG FUCKING BLENDER.
(via b3ta)
"doing a Lynndie"

Who can forget the iconic image of Lynndie England,

The image has shocked, sickened and outraged people. But more importantly, it has captured the imagination of young men and women up and down the country who don't give much of a shit about anything. The result is a new craze called "doing a Lynndie". If you aren't "doing a Lynndie" now, you soon will be.....

Calling all Hot Women of the LORD!!!

"Not only can we date cute guys, but hopefully we can lead them to God and save them from the burning fires of Hell. I've outlined a few tips to help you date cute heathen guys, step-by-step"
Diary of a Paedophile
ready teddy death
Siegfried and Roy's First Public Appearance

In their first public appearance since Roy Horn was mauled by a white tiger named Montecore last October, Siegfried and Roy spoke directly to Entertainment Tonight. (may 2004)

and some of the 504 Reader Comments......

"I was actually at the show when this guy got bitten! It was great watching the white tiger rip in to his soft flesh! He was really screaming, and the more he screamed the more the crowd cheered! There was blood everywhere, and when they tried to fire a dart at the tiger they missed!, it was sooo funny, I highly recommend the show! Even if they are a couple of dirty old poofs... "

"I heard that they both used to put there willy's up the Tigers bum holes! Is this true, as I know they are both huge faggots!"

"Just because someone is gay doesn't mean you want to fuck tigers you half witted morons."

I have to disagree with Tony (above), as I am gay and I frequently fuck tigers!, so, infact, do all my gay friends. They are all tiger fucking fruits!

"I hope the cunt dies."

(via bad gas)

Friday, 20 August 2004

Toronto-based photographer Jeff Harris has had his picture taken - either as a self-portrait or by a friend - every day since January 1, 1999


the daily photo project
Call for candidates to participate in ground-based experiments of future exploratory human missions to Mars

a 60-day head-down tilt bed-rest study on female volunteers.

The volunteers in MEDES bed-rest studies remain in head-down tilted position (6 degrees below horizontal) during the whole experiment without standing, even for meals and getting washed. Movements are allowed as long as the subject's body axis remains in this position, which is checked by video monitoring.

the first of 2 bed rest campaigns will start in the timeframe January-March 2005.

The main selection criteria are the following:

women, aged 25-40 years,

Fluent in French and/or English,

Within the frame of the international co-operation for this study, the volunteer's nationality and residence must be in a member state of the European Union, Norway, or Switzerland. U.S. citizens with permanent residence in one of the pre-cited states may also apply,

Comply with the criteria of the French law for biomedical research, and specially be covered by a social security scheme,

Good health, Moderate regular physical activity,

Height up to 185 cm, not over-, or underweight,


No addictions (alcohol, illicit drugs, etc...),

No ongoing medical treatment (except contraceptives),

Willing to stop pharmacological contraceptives at least 2 months before the start of the study.
(via grow-a-brain)
Marijuana Compound Chokes Brain Tumors

More evidence found for cannabinoids' cancer-fighting abilities

Marijuana's main active ingredients, cannabinoids, appear to restrict blood supply to brain tumors, a finding that supports their use to fight brain cancer and could lead to new cannabinoid-based cancer treatments.
Brain Protein Turns on Calm Alertness

Finding could lead to treatments for sleep disorders and anxiety. Researcher Rainer Reinscheid and colleagues at the University of California, Irvine found that the protein, neuropeptide S (NPS), increases alertness, suppresses sleep and controls stress responses. Neuropeptides are protein-like molecules made in the brain. They regulate an array of brain functions, with some functioning as neurotransmitters and others functioning as hormones.


In Japanese Buddhism, Jikininki ("man-eating ghosts") are the spirits of greedy, selfish or impious individuals who are cursed after death to seek out and eat human corpses. They do this at night, scavenging for newly dead bodies and food offerings left for the dead. They sometimes also loot the corpses they eat for valuables, which they use to bribe local officials to leave them in peace. Nevertheless, jikininki lament their condition and hate their repugnant cravings for dead human flesh.

Often, Jikininki are said to look like decomposing cadavers, perhaps with a few inhuman features such as sharp claws or glowing eyes. They are a horrifying sight, and any mortal who views one finds himself frozen in fear. However, several stories give them the ability to magically disguise themselves as normal human beings and even to lead normal "lives" by day.


Marmanhig The living dead on the Philippines.
Create a Fake Phantom Limb
(via geekpress)
Zombie Anthology submissions

short story submissions are now being accepted for a chance to be published in the upcoming anthology of zombie tales 'The Undead.'

deadline for submission: January 1, 2005

(via all things zombie)

US army medics accused over abuse

United States army medics have been accused of being complicit in the abuse of Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad.

Writing in the respected medical journal The Lancet, Professor Steven Miles says some medics collaborated with abusive guards.

"Confirmed or reliably reported abuses of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan include beatings, burns, shocks, bodily suspensions, asphyxia, threats against detainees and their relatives, sexual humiliation, isolation, prolonged hooding and shackling, and exposure to heat, cold and loud noise," said Professor Miles.

He said there was evidence that some medics had played a part.

"Government documents show that the US military medical system failed to protect detainees' human rights, sometimes collaborated with interrogators or abusive guards, and failed to properly report injuries or deaths caused by beatings," he said.

"In one example, soldiers tied a beaten detainee at the top of his cell door and gagged him.

"The death certificate indicated that he died of 'natural causes...during his sleep'. After news media coverage, the Pentagon revised the certificate to say that the death was a 'homicide'."


Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror

Mike Scheuer, a senior intelligence officer, his book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, is a fire-breathing denunciation of US counter-terrorism policy. In it, Scheuer addresses the missed opportunities of the Clinton era, but he reserves his most withering attack for the Bush administration's war in Iraq.

He describes the invasion as "an avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat but whose defeat did offer economic advantage".

He even goes so far as to call on America's generals to resign rather than execute orders that "they know [...] will produce more, not less, danger to their nation".

Bin Laden, he believes, is not a lonely maverick, but draws support from much of the Islamic world, which resents the US not for what it is, but for what it does - supporting Israel almost uncritically, propping up corrupt regimes in the Arab world, garrisoning troops on the Saudi peninsula near Islam's most holy sites to safeguard access to cheap oil.

What makes these comments the more challenging to the Bush administration is that they come from a self-described conservative and instinctive Republican voter.



ninety-eight paper mache pulp figures representing the members of the US senate who voted for the USA Patriot Act. It premiered at the March 2003 Howard House show The End of Reason.

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Cassady turns Leary on

December 1960, Timothy Leary invites Neal Cassady to his house to play with drugs.

Leary, a novice drug user (compared to Cassady), is describing his challenges.

Timothy Leary said:

"We're doing our best. We've read everything that's been written in the last four thousand years on the subject."

Neal Cassady responds in his habitual western accent:

"You're cracking me up, man. There are no books written by scientists about ecstasy and cosmic orgasms. it's oral history and poetry. The history books are about meaningless public events like wars and elections and revolutions. The only important things happen in the bodies and brains of individuals, you understand. That's the great secret of human life that scientists never talk about."

to which Timothy Leary responds, "Is that right."

.....from Flashbacks: A Personal and Cultural History of an Era by Timothy Leary (Page 52) (via future hi)
Bluetooth robot micro flyer, FR-II has its own battery pack. its 136mm wide, 85mm tall, 12.3g in weight, by Seiko Epson.

Transhumanism Evolves in Silence

TransVision 2004 highlighted both the transhumanist movement's progress and the difficulty of getting people to notice


TransVision 2004 Coverage PART ONE: A RAMBLING OVERVIEW OF TV2004
by Shannon Larratt, editor and publisher of BMEZINE.COM, (body modification e-zine)

"if I could say one thing to transhumanists in general, it is to follow Steve Mann and Stelarc's example and make it real. Don't just talk about far future fantasies. Taking the first step may not be as fantastical as masturbating over the year 3000, but it's the only way that we can force transhuman evolution without being restricted by governments and corporations, who will act in the best interests of nationalism and capitalism, rather than humanity's future. While it's true that we'll see the occasional Mr. Hyde as a result, I call out to Bruce Banner: it's time to irradiate yourself."


Libertarianism is a political philosophy which takes liberty as the sole political right and the securing of liberty to be the only valid function of government. Transhumanism is a cultural philosophy which views reality in scientific rationalist terms but combines this with the desire for radical transcendence. It advocates using science, technology and critical thinking to strive for self-perfection by greatly enhancing human mental and physical characteristics to explore post-human realms of existence. The combination of the two memes (ideas) is emerging as a comprehensive new philosophy of life.





Monkeys Turned Into Workaholics With Brain Gene Suppression

Brain's reward circuitry revealed in procrastinating primates
turkmenistan's president, whose recent decrees have included banning gold teeth, has told television presenters to stop wearing make-up because he had difficulty telling the men from the women. (source)
Smart tiles add reality to virtual worlds

Intelligent floor tiles that allow a person to walk through a virtual environment while remaining in one spot have been developed by Japanese researchers.

Hiroyuki Fukushima and colleagues from the University of Tsukuba, in Ibaraki, and ATR Media Information Research Labs, in Kyoto, came up with the smart tile system, dubbed CirculaFloor.

The system can be connected to a virtual reality headset to let a person move through a computer-generated world while remaining in the same space.

The new prototype consists of four square floor tiles, each incorporating several motors and wheels to enable the tiles to move in any direction. The tiles move to cancel out the motion of someone walking. They use magnetic sensors attached to the walker's feet to determine the direction they are walking.

As the user passes over one tile it repositions itself to create the illusion of a continuous floor. If someone is walking forwards, for example, the backmost tile will race to the front of the line to let them continue.

video (22MB MPEG)

guardian article

trendwatching article

nokia lifeblog

the teddy


Microsoft plans online life archive: the MyLifeBits project
Electricity rationing is set to end on a remote Scottish island

A diesel generator currently supplies power to the 32 residents of Foula, but they have no electricity from midnight until 0730 BST in an effort to save diesel consumption.

A £200,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund will help create a new system for the island 12 miles west of Shetland.

Solar panels will be used in producing the energy and there are long-term plans to harness wind power.

Isobel Holbourn, who has lived on the island for nearly 50 years, said: "It is really very positive and exciting, especially for me because I had my family in the Sixties with no running water, no electricity and using oil lamps.

"It will be really good to have a dependable electricity supply all day and all night."
virtual gaming activity has a gross economic impact equivalent to the GDP of Namibia.

players of Everquest and other online games create characters that take on a profession relevant to the virtual setting.

Everquest is populated by warriors, magicians, priests and thieves. As well as looting saleable items, many characters take on a profession and, as they build up skill in that trade, produce virtual goods for trading.

Prof Castronova assumed, based on an earlier study, that the average gross domestic product of each of the two million or so permanent virtual world dwellers is $2,000 (£1,087).

He said the real world nation with an equivalent GDP per capita and population is Namibia which has about two million people and, according to World Bank figures, a gross national income of $1,790.

and the country that the online game world could over take next is Jamaica.

"When you realise the immense cultural impact that a place like Jamaica has had," he said, "you also realize the potential impact that virtual worlds might have."

"The deeper point is that virtual worlds simply are not trivial phenomena," said Prof Castronova. "Statistically, they matter, already, and it's only 2004."

He said the current set up of playing to produce stuff to trade is likely to last and help to steadily grow the economic impact of online gaming.

"We are learning that people get deep enjoyment from building up a stock of goods out of nothing," he said.

Players like going out and finding iron ore, smelting it into iron, hammering it into a sword, selling it for some gold pieces, so they can buy new clothes.

"Each of those steps is emotionally satisfying," he said.

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

a few square inches of fake plaster prostheses were too much for NBC, who studiously avoided showing these performers dressed up to look like Greek statues at the opening olympic ceremonies.

Free Cinema is an experiment with two goals:

1) To introduce independent filmmakers to the ideas behind the burgeoning free-culture movement.

2) To see if applying those ideas to feature filmmaking will result in something new and interesting.

To help focus our efforts, we made rules:

Rule One: No money may be spent on the production
Make a film for free, and suddenly giving it away is a lot easier.

Rule Two: The film must be copylefted
A "copyleft" means that you let anyone copy and/or make new things from your film--as long as they promise to release anything they make from it with the same terms.

wheat intolerant 8-year-old's wheat-free Holy Communion invalidated by Church

An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder -- celiac sprue disease -- and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine.

church doctrine holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition should not exclude her from participating in the sacrament, in which Roman Catholics eat consecrated wheat-based wafers to commemorate the last supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.

The Diocese of Trenton has told Waldman's mother that the girl can receive a low-gluten host, drink wine at communion or abstain entirely, but that any host without gluten does not qualify as Holy Communion.

Pelly-Waldman rejected the offer, saying even a small amount of gluten could harm her child.

Society for Barefoot Living

"This letter is in response to your letter of March 12, 2002 in which you ask about regulations or laws in New York State that require that people wear shoes or other footwear in public buildings, including restaurants. It is quite common to see signs that require shoes by order of the Health Department, but in reality, there is no such order or regulation in New York State." (..... STATE OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH 2002)

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is supposedly the most free country in the world; yet, from discussions with barefooters around the world, the USA is one of the most anti-barefoot countries. Many people in the USA have seen signs like: "NO BARE FEET.... by Order of the Health Department" Such signs are outright lies. To prove it, several barefooters together wrote to 48 states
(via j-walk blog)


Parents for Barefoot Children
barefoot travelling
barefoot travel
the barefoot hiker
barefoot central
running barefoot
running barefoot
Barefoot Water Skiing
gilmore vs ashcroft

On the 4th of July 2002, John Gilmore, American citizen, decided to take a trip from one part of the United States of America to another. He went to Oakland International Airport -- ticket in hand -- and was told he had to produce his ID if he wanted to travel. He asked to see the law demanding he show his 'papers' and was told after a time that the law was secret and no, he wouldn't be allowed to read it.

On the 16th of August 2004, John Gilmor filed his case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. At stake is nothing less than the right of Americans to travel anonymously in their own country -- and the exposure of 'secret law' for what it is: an abomination.
(via monkey filter)
robo-equality party

by joe alterio

(previously at the Bluebottle Art Gallery)
hot olympians
hot prison pals
(via fleshbot)

In demonology Gamigin is a Marquis of Hell, and rules over thirty legions of demons. He teaches all liberal sciences and gives an account of the souls of those who died in sin and who drowned in the sea, speaking with a rough voice. He also answers what is asked about, and stays with the conjurer until he or she is satisfied.

Gamigin is depicted as a little horse or a donkey, which changes form into a man under the conjurer's request.
dead deep sea creatures (very image heavy)
(via geisha asobi blog)
Inappropriate Toys for Children
Stoned scientists
(via grow-a-brain)
propaganda and "objectivity"

Arguments that "pure" news cannot be propaganda are untenable. Propaganda is most effective when it is unrecognised, and when people come across a factual, informative statement they are off guard and believe it cannot be propaganda. And if they can be made to think that the views they hold are their own, arrived at without outside interference, so much the better.

best summed up by the Nazi propagandist, Goebbels, when he said: "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect".

(Why you can't read all about it by Brian Whitaker)

Thich Quang Duc

Thich Quang Duc

in protest against a U.S.-backed and U.S.-trained South Vietnamese military that imprisoned, beat, and killed thousands of Buddhist monks..... Thich Quang Duc was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burnt himself to death on a busy intersection in Saigon on June 11, 1963.

As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.

The social and political impact of Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation was far reaching.

To choose to be burned alive, and to do it with such clear resolve , to remain absolutely still, despite the pain: That, indeed, is strength. The intensity of his determination makes us speechless. If only one percent of us had such self-less determination, human civilization might be a thing to be loved.

Thich Quang Duc was born in 1897 and was 67 at the time of his self-immolation in 1963. He had lived in a Buddhist monastic community since he was seven years old and was ordained as a full Buddhist monk or Bhikku when he was twenty. Thich Quang Duc practiced an extreme ascetic purification way for several years, became a teacher, and spent many years rebuilding Buddhist temples in Vietnam prior to 1943. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Quan the Am temple and Director of rituals for the United Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation. Thich Quang Duc is considered to be a bodhisattva, "an enlightened being - one on the path to awakening who vows to forego complete enlightenment until he or she helps all other beings attain enlightenment."

Thich Nhat Hnah describes the action of Thich Quang Duc and other determined monks ... "The press spoke then of suicide, but in the essence, it is not. It is not even a protest. What the monks said in the letters they left before burning themselves aimed only at alarming, at moving the hearts of the oppressors, and at calling the attention of the world to the suffering endured then by the Vietnamese. To burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance ... The Vietnamese monk, by burning himself, says with all his strength and determination that he can endure the greatest of sufferings to protect his people ... To express will by burning oneself, therefore, is not to commit an act of destruction but to perform an act of construction, that is, to suffer and to die for the sake of one's people. This is not suicide."

"Suicide is an act of self-destruction, having as causes the following: (1) lack of courage to live and to cope with difficulties; (2) defeat by life and loss of all hope; (3) desire for nonexistence ... The monk who burns himself has lost neither courage nor hope; nor does he desire nonexistence. On the contrary, he is very courageous and hopeful and aspires for something good in the future. He does not think that he is destroying himself; he believes in the good fruition of his act of self-sacrifice for the sake of others ... I believe with all my heart that the monks who burned themselves did not aim at the death of their oppressors but only at a change in their policy. Their enemies are not man. They are intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, cupidity, hatred, and discrimination which lie within the heart of man."
team america world police

"putting the 'F' back in freedom." from the creators of south park
FBI continues to harass protesters

"It is part of a national effort to chill dissent in this country," said William Dobbs, the spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, which is planning to stage week-long demonstrations in New York during the republican convention. "And it is always a worry that this kind of intimidation will scare some people off."

the right to free speech and free assembly is enshrined in the US constitution. but there are plenty of ways around that.

"People are going to be afraid to go to a demonstration or even sign a petition if they justifiably believe that will result in your having an FBI file opened on you."


FBI agents came calling on Lawrence anarchists

"I think they're exploiting people's fear about terrorism as much as possible so as to neutralize opposition," said Scott Pinkelman, 20, who said agents paid a Friday morning visit to his parents' home in Shawnee and called his father at work.

Monday, 16 August 2004


Gandhi (or "Ghandi") once said, "I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill."

He believed that non-violent measures could be refined and expanded upon.

"Things undreamt of are daily being seen, the impossible is ever becoming possible. We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence," he said.
(via sentient developments)
Britain's information watchdog attacks ID card scheme

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas says the scheme could result in the UK "sleepwalking into a surveillance society".

He raised concerns over ID cards, a separate population register proposed and plans for a database of every child from birth to the age of 18.

he added, "Some of my counterparts in eastern Europe have experienced in the last century what can happen when government gets too powerful and has too much information on citizens."


in 1987 Australian citizens managed to stop their government from introducing a national identity card system.

The sophistication of public debate was highly developed. Massive opposition to the plans in Australia reached the point of open civil disobedience.

the australian opposition to id cards
stop id cards
no 2 id
privacy international

Sunday, 15 August 2004


reporters without borders
news insider
under reported

the paperboy

what really happened
the memory hole
here in reality

guerrilla news
protest net
globalise resistance
Pollutants cause huge rise in brain diseases

The alarming rise of brain diseases in the west, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, motor neurone disease, and which includes figures showing rates of dementia have trebled in men, has been linked to rises in levels of pesticides, industrial effluents, domestic waste, car exhausts and other pollutants, says a report in the journal Public Health.

But Food is also a major concern because it provides the most obvious explanation for the exclusion of Japan from many of these trends. Only when Japanese people move to the other countries do their disease rates increase.
uk Gay couples to get new rights to fertility treatment
surveillance culture

uk Parents keep web watch

The Hove-based Cbabiesafe is believed to be the UK's first webcam nursery. At any time, parents can log on with their own password and check that their child is safe and happy. Such peace of mind comes at a high price. A week at Cbabiesafe costs £250.

Some childcare experts would like to see webcams in every nursery, but only five in England and one in Scotland have them. However, others say such tactics infringe children's human and privacy rights and point to the latest craze in the United States, where parents have hidden video cameras inside teddy bears to observe their nannies secretly.

Saturday, 14 August 2004


according to The Ladies Home Journal in 1918..... Pink was a boy's colour while blue was thought better for girls - a "generally accepted rule". The Ladies Home Journal described pink as "more decided and stronger" while blue was "more delicate and dainty".

and apparently the colour pink gets its name from the jagged-edged dianthus flower, commonly known as a pink, which in turn got its nickname from pinking shears, those serrated scissors used by seamstresses.

archive: april 2003

i was just in a shop where i overheard a small boy showing his mum a decorative birthday candle. it was in the shape of a number 5 (probably his age) and it was pink.

and his mother snarled at him "are you a girl? you need blue."

the psychotic tyranny of gender policing.

Friday, 13 August 2004

GIs in Iraq are asking: Why are we here?

There were no WMDs, Saddam was not a threat. There was no link from Iraq to either Al Qaeda or 9-11. You were taken from your home and sent into danger....... for oil, to settle an old score and to please israel.

But, don't worry, if you make it home alive, they give you a medal. If you get killed, your family gets the medal. That makes it all better.


shoot officers

"we support our troops when they shoot their officers"
media Muzzling begins in Iraq

Iyad Allawi, the "prime minister" appointed and approved by Iraq's American management, didn't wait even a month after the "handover" to establish a "Higher Media Commission" to red line the press.

Among the restrictions? Any "unwarranted criticism'' of the aforementioned "prime minister."

(A French Citizen reports that): Rense.com Banned In Paris Over 'Content'!

A pop-up window displayed : "As requested by the establishment, this site cannot be displayed due to its content."


uk mass web censorship

previously thought to be at the limits of technical possibilities of the internet and prohibitively expensive, it would not have been possible a year ago, but improvements in computer processing speeds means that British Telecom is now able to block websites, offensive pages and even individual images

though supposedly to be only used (initially?) against child pornography, blocking websites is highly controversial and until now has been associated only with oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and China, which have CENSORED SITES ASSOCIATED WITH DISSIDENTS.
Evidence gained by torture allowed by British judges

Two of the country's senior judges granted the Home Secretary the right to hold terror suspects on the basis of intelligence from tortured prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other US detention camps.

But in the two-to-one judgment, the dissenting judge, Lord Justice Neuberger, warned that by "adopting the fruits of torture" Britain would be weakening its case against terrorists.

The men's solicitor, Gareth Peirce, described as "terrifying" the suggestion in the judgment that evidence obtained through torture could be admissible. "It shows that we have completely lost our way in this country legally and morally," she said. "We have international treaty obligations which prevent the use of evidence obtained by torture in any proceedings."

Shami Chakrabati, director of the human rights group Liberty, said the effect of the judgment would encourage the police and security services to adopt a policy of "hear no evil, see no evil".

She said: "As long as the Home Secretary does not inquire into how the information was obtained he can use it in any way he wishes. This would surely make Britain complicit in international acts of torture."

Peter Carter QC, chairman of the Bar's human rights committee, said the ruling meant the Government was being allowed to "connive in torture". He added: "Under international law there is an absolute prohibition on torture. This is not just because it is an inhumane act but because of the rationale that the fruits of torture are very likely to be wholly unreliable and so it is irrational to rely on information obtained by torture."

Lord Justice Neuberger said that "democratic societies, faced with terrorist threats, should not readily accept that the threat justifies the use of torture, or that the end justifies the means. It can be said that, by using torture, or even by adopting the fruits of torture, a democratic state is weakening its case against terrorists, by adopting their methods, thereby losing the moral high ground an open democratic society enjoys."


India anti-terror law to be axed

The new Congress-led government says the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) had been grossly misused for the past two years, especially against Muslims. They also argue that the act has been used to settle political scores.

Pota gave the security forces greater powers to arrest and interrogate terrorist suspects. It will now go to parliament to be repealed.
(via what really happened)

Thursday, 12 August 2004


California annuls gay marriages

California's Supreme Court has annulled about 4,000 gay marriages that took place in San Francisco.

The court ruled that San Francisco's mayor had overstepped his authority by issuing same-sex marriage licences earlier this year.
"Living in 1954 for 10 days"

Larry Smith lived for 10 days using only technology that was available in 1954, i.e. utilizing nothing that had been invented in the last 50 years.
Gallery of Hoax Websites: A-J
Gallery of Hoax Websites: K-Z
(via GeekPress)
The Transhumans Are Coming! And they're promoting mito flushes, sousveillance, cyberglogging, and genetic virtue

a Reason review of this year's World Transhumanist Association's annual conference TransVision 2004 in Toronto
surveillance culture

the best way to screw up the surveillance industry is if EVERYBODY starts acting suspiciously. I've also thought it would be useful if masks became a fashion essential.

privacy international

speed cameras uk

Spy Blog

Watching Them, Watching us
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

stop 1984

surveillance and cctv

(via kirkby times)



surveillance means "to view from above." Sousveillance means "to view from below." Big Brother will watch our every move. But that's OK, because we'll be watching him too. While privacy may have to be redefined, the new technologies of surveillance should and will be the primary countervailing force against tyranny.

Sousveillance, not just surveillance, in response to terrorism By Steve Mann

"many people feel that the security of Big Brother is another form of terror.''
audio: "The Great Dictator" (1940)

closing speech delivered by Charlie Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel (dictator of Tomania)/A Jewish barber)
audio: "i'm afraid i have some bad news for you"
audio: pork and beans
i shop therefore i am

Czech Dream

How two film students built a hypermarket that wasn't there and fooled thousands

In the last five years, over 125 hypermarkets have opened in the Czech Republic, and the social habits of the Czechs have changed radically. Shopping has ousted other private family activities.

This first Czech reality show is a reaction to this. Its authors, Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, commissioned, in the roles of top managers, a campaign from a well-known advertising agency for the gala opening of the fictional hypermarket, Czech Dream. The campaign included advertising spots on radio and television, 400 illuminated advertising sites, 200,000 fliers with their own production series, advertising jingles, and advertisements in the newspapers and on the internet...

On 31 May 2003 several thousand eager citizens arrived at Letnany in Prague where, instead of the longed-for shopping centre with a wide assortment of goods and amazing reductions, they found only a giant painted facade.

An opinion poll showed that 18% of consumers still think that the hypermarket Czech Dream exists.


(via grow-a-brain)
(via online guardian)





"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

random groucho marx quotes
The FBI's Vendetta Against Martin Luther King, Jr.

excerpted from the book The Lawless State: The crimes of the U.S. Inteligence Agencies by Morton Halperin, Jerry Berman, Robert Borosage, Christine Marwick, Penguin Books, 1976

the FBI planned to use "bugs" to learn about "the [private] activities of Dr. King and his associates" so that King could be "completely discredited." It was clearly illegal.

for King 1964 was a year of honors and increasing public recognition, in October, he was named by the Nobel Prize Committee to receive the Peace Prize in December. for the FBI it was a year of concerted effort to dishonor him. Learning that King had been named Man of the Year by Time, Hoover wrote across a memorandum, "They had to dig deep in the garbage to come up with this one."

Unknown to King or SCLC until later, the FBI took its most distressing step. It mailed their scandalous surveillance "tapes" to the SCLC office in Atlanta with a covering letter urging King to commit suicide or face public revelation of the information on the tapes on the eve of the award ceremonies in Sweden. The letter said in part:

"King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy fraudulent self is bared to the nation."

It was thirty-four days before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies.

The FBI had turned its arsenal of surveillance and disruption techniques on Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. It was concerned not with Soviet agents nor with criminal activity, but with the political and personal activities of a man and a movement committed to nonviolence and democracy. King was not the first such target, nor the last. In the end we are all victims, as our political life is distorted and constricted by the FBI, a law enforcement agency now policing politics.
british intelligence in northern ireland

Low-Intensity Operations is a military term for the deployment and use of troops in situations other than war. Generally these operations are against non-state adversaries and are termed counter-insurgency, anti-subversion, peacekeeping or similar double-speak. The term appears to have originated with General Sir Frank Kitson.

"The Government must promote its own cause and undermine that of the enemy by.... a carefully planned and co-ordinated campaign of psychological operations. There is of course an element of truth in the idea that an effective domestic intelligence system could be used to jeopardise the freedom of the individual. Under an authoritarian regime, freedom of the individual is not particularly relevant."
- Brigadier FRANK KITSON (the architect of covert death squads in Northern Ireland)

Frank Kitson, Low intensity operations: subversion, insurgency, peacekeeping (1971)

In April 1970, Brigadier Frank Kitson arrived in Belfast and took control of 39 Infantry Brigade. Kitson was a counter-insurgency intelligence officer in Kenya, where he had devised techniques of "terrorising the terrorists" against the Mau Mau rebels. These methods involved terrorising the civilian population using "counter gangs", whose activities could be attributed to the enemy in order to discredit them. Kitson's writings, Low Intensity Operations and Gangs and Counter Gangs, outlined the use of illegal interrogation techniques, killings and counter gangs. Kitson applied these methods to Northern Ireland and he has been attributed with devising every conceivable dirty trick used there.

Kitson also created the Military Reconnaissance Force (MRF), which was composed of Army soldiers and members of the SAS, armed with Browning 9mm pistols and Sterling sub-machine guns. They were divided into units of around fifteen, assigned to a particular area and worked in four-man squads, travelling in plain clothes in single, unmarked vehicles. These murder squads cruised the streets of Belfast carrying out "hits" on suspected IRA members and shooting at Republican civilians in order to discredit the IRA.

The aims of the MRF's indiscriminate killings of Catholics were to discredit the IRA, to alienate the nationalist population from the IRA by showing that the Provisionals were incapable of defending Catholics, and to involve the IRA in a sectarian war which would divert them from their guerrilla war against the Army. By the end of 1972 there had been over one hundred sectarian killings; the vast majority were Catholics and some of the victims were tortured and branded with red hot pokers. The killings were widely suspected of being the work of the MRF.

"Half the assassinations in the early 70s wouldn't have been committed if there hadn't been RUC backing. Half the people who died in those assassinations, or more, would have been living today if the RUC hadn't supported the assassination teams."
- ALBERT WALKER BAKER, a Loyalist killer who worked for British intelligence

the British government achieved its main objective: the passage of strong anti-terrorist legislation through the Dail. Two car bombs planted by British intelligence exploded in Dublin the night before the vote and produced an overnight switch of policy in the opposition Fine Gael and Labour Parties, whose votes carried the measures through the Dail.
Beggars and drug addicts disappear in Athens 'clean-up' before games

In the count-down to the olympics about 70,000 police and military personnel have been drafted to patrol the capital.

"There is a climate of absolute terror on the streets," said Spyros Psychas, a member of Arsis, a charity working with the homeless and underprivileged youth.

"People are afraid. They're ringing in saying how unbearable the police controls have become."

"Recent reports regarding the 'clearing' of the streets of Athens ... create concern," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) Athens branch said in a statement.

Some people are thought to have been put in psychiatric institutions where doctors have complained of being deluged with sectioning orders from public prosecutors.

Psychiatrists told the Guardian that many of the capital's burgeoning population of drug users had mysteriously disappeared.
New York lockdown

While anti-Bush activists in New York are adopting new techniques to try and disrupt the Republican party convention later this month, the police have got some new strategies of their own....

In Hinduism, Hiranyaksha was a demon killed by Varaha after taking the Earth to the bottom of the ocean. The battle lasted one thousand years. He had an older brother named Hiranyakashipu.
game: A Murder of Scarecrows
audio bored

(via the ultimate insult)

Wednesday, 11 August 2004

carbonated jazz


camp records

Almost nothing is known about the mysterious 60's record label Camp Records. They released an album and ten 45rpm records of gay parody songs, most done with effeminate voices.

from queer music heritage
(via grow-a-brain)


Slowed down Chipmunks.mp3


online audio book: Shock Value - Read by john waters
photo stamps

Create personalized U.S. postage stamps. Upload a photo, choose the stamp value, pay some money, and they'll make stamps just like you want them. And yes, they can be used just like real stamps from the official U.S. Post Office.
Color Light DVD

Use your TV as a colorful light fixture.

Many colors are recorded on this DVD. You can use it as lighting. It is possible to stop at the desired color.
Cashier Confidential

"Ever wonder what grocery store clerks think about you? Their reaction to your inane and nonsensical demands, absurd purchases, hostilely unfashionable mode of dress, and willingness to pay out the nose for what could be gotten, with a little extra driving, for less than half the price? Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the other side of the looking glass: your little peek into those who facilitate your day to day eating."
(via j-walk blog)
octopus table

Satala Hammock
A new concept in sitting


The Quantum Sleeper Unit

The Quantum Sleeper Unit is a high-level security system designed for maximum protection in various hostile environments

Quantum Sleepers can also be fitted to provide protection from destructive forces of nature such as tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.
mobile phone 'Game virus'

Japanese Sound effects and what they mean
(via grow-a-brain)



uk talk show host Richard Madeley was forced to apologise after he called lesbians "dykes" on daytime TV, claiming he thought it had become acceptable. Welcome to a modern-day minefield.

The reclaiming of pejorative words by radical queers, niggers, crips and crazies took root in the 1980s. Yet anyone from outside these minorities, seeking as Madeley would put it, to utter these words in a "hip" way, does so at their peril. It's a lexicographic minefield.


Gorilla Seeks Help Using Sign Language


3D holograms to crack handwriting forgeries

a new technique that produces a 3D hologram of handwriting. Through virtual reality and image processing, tiny pressure bumps in writing can be analysed to spot fakes.

uk Scientists given cloning go-ahead

British scientists have been given permission to perform therapeutic cloning using human embryos for the first time.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority granted the licence to experts at the University of Newcastle.

Cloning human embryos for therapeutic purposes was made legal by an amendment to the Human Embryology Act in January 2001.

But cloning humans for reproductive purposes remains illegal and is punishable by a 10-year prison sentence and unlimited fines.


Kids mimic meat from hooks

Law enforcement officials in the Florida Keys in the United States are mystified by a new pastime -- young people dangling themselves from meat hooks on a popular sandbar.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said Sunday that the Monroe County sheriff's office and Coast Guard were called to the sandbar off Whale Harbor in Islamorada where they found that five young people had erected a bamboo tripod and hung meat hooks from it. A young woman, her feet brushing the surface of the shallow water, dangled from the frame, hooks embedded firmly in her shoulders.

Lieutenant Tom Brazil of the Coast Guard told the Key West Citizen newspaper that a young man, who also had hooks embedded in his heavily pierced and tattooed skin, assured him the group was "just enjoying the afternoon."

A Coast Guard spokeswoman in Miami said "As long as they weren't creating any kind of ruckus or riot within a crowd they really weren't breaking any laws."

food and drink at the olympics

Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games.

Sweltering sports fans who seek refuge from the soaring temperatures with a soft drink other than one made by Coca-Cola will be told to leave the banned refreshment at the gates or be shut out. High on the list of blacklisted beverages is Pepsi, but even the wrong bottle of water could land spectators in trouble.

Fans will be allowed into the Olympic complex if they are drinking Avra, a Greek mineral water owned by Coca-Cola, which paid $60 million US for the privilege of being one of the main sponsors. Officials are under orders not to let in rival brands' bottles unless the labels are removed.


The Cook's Thesaurus is a cooking encyclopedia.
(via j-walk blog)



what is a factory farm

a basic click through guide to factory farms and the problems they cause

naked aprons

Scarfs against cell phone radiation
mobile phone wrist carrier

Insect Resistant Clothes
recycled link: microsound
bird song

includes real-audio of the superb lyre bird which can imitate a camera's motor drive and the screech of a chainsaw (right hand column, scroll down)
(thanks to nikky who sent me this link)

the next time you're throwing a 70s theme party, try to remind your guests that there was far more to the 70s than glitter, flared trousers and amusing olivia newton-john travolta dance routines.....

Tuesday, 10 August 2004

inner space and ontological transcendence

"When it comes to speculating about the nature of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations almost everyone assumes the basic structure and intent of such a civilization should exist somewhere on the Kardaschev Level. I think the lack of any evidence to their existence using this model, could be the result of human scientific chauvinism.

For example there is a distinct possibility that advanced civilization's could decide that moving out into space in the traditional expansive convert-the-universe-into-computronium agenda is not be the best way to go. Instead they may convert their local resources into ultra-miniaturized "femto-tech", where all of further advancement occurs at an increasingly miniaturized "internality" and/or they actually reach a plateau of complexity/novelty.

In this scenario, such singularity intelligence never leaves their home planet. Instead 99.999% of their existence, exploration and creation happens in inner space, not outer space. In such a scenario it's possible that such a civilization would remain undetectable in their own solar system, not to mention hundreds or thousands of light years away."
the daily photo project

A spirit of knowledge in Basque mythology, his name means "devil" or "fiend". He teaches in a cave, and knows a great deal, but he is feared because, at the end of his lectures, he requires one of his students to remain at his service forever.

Atarrabi and Mikelats were once his pupils. At the end of their studentship, Etsai asked Mikelats to stay and serve him. Atarrabi, the good son of Mari, proposed instead that he should take his brother's place. Etsai agreed, but was suspicious of his servant, and thus often called Atarrabi's name. And he would answer "I am here". But in the meantime, Atarrabi taught a flour weevil to talk and answer for him, and he managed to escape Etsai's cave.

"Woke up, put on clothes, went to work."
astronomy picture of the day
Random ghost town Site

(via the ghost town webring)
"Evaporating Zeitgeist" by Paul @ future hi

"I have somehow managed to reach a major, if not the most significant crossroads of my life. If you've noticed there has been little blogging from me for a couple of months. Part of the reason is that I have been very busy. Actually more busy than I desire to be, although occupied with things that need to be done. In any case I am going though some kind of crisis.

It’s not particularly painful or unpleasant, which is one of the many reasons I think that makes it so damn disconcerting. Deep, unsettling change is supposed to be unpleasant, even painful right? In either case, I have no idea what this crisis is or what I am supposed to be doing about it! The best way I can describe it is that all of my major focal points, or if you will, my underlying, life-guiding zeitgeist, has evaporated. In other words, the one thing that has never changed, despite what has otherwise been profound change in my life across the board, is gone.

The only problem is nothing new has emerged to replace it. There is no new zeitgeist to define my life going forward. So for the last couple of months I've been sitting in limbo, and for the first time in my life having no idea what to do next, other than to keep plugging away at the more mundane necessities. What makes this crisis particularly troubling, is I have always felt things deeply and generally connected to what makes life satisfying and authentic. So, this particularly new found emptiness is especially unsettling.

Lets see. I now feel that I am old enough to not allow any outside stimulus influence my attitudes, behaviors or desires, regardless of how taboo they are. This is not to say that I have lots of these, only that my locus of control and sense of identity has become increasingly self-defined as I get older. Although I try to participate in socially constructed reality with as much joy and fun as possible, the increasing set of rules, regulations and plain old bullshit have become increasingly irrelevant and/or downright toxic to living an authentic life.

I do my best to follow my own ethical guidelines which are in the spirit of Aleister Crowley’s maxim, “Love, and do what thou wilt”. I especially like Robert Anton Wilson’s view that reality is what you can get away with. One thing is for certain, the quote, "I'm not going to take it anymore" really hits home."
Chances of aliens finding Earth via radio waves is diminishing

Frank Drake's point, made at a SETI workshop at Harvard University on Friday, is that television services are increasingly being delivered by technologies that do not leak radio frequencies into space.

Monday, 9 August 2004

The Time Travel Fund

The premise is that you invest a small amount of money, and in some distant future when time travel is possible your descendants use the astronomical interest on that money to come back and retrieve you.
(via gravity lens)
The First Genetically Modified Olympics
Widely expected by 2008, genetic doping could make its first appearance at this year's summer games
man of the year
(via grow-a-brain)


ben affleck naked fantasy
ben affleck naked 2

and: jesus of the week

"Prepare your stallion for breeding by cleaning him prior to collection. Using clean warm water, start with the shaft of his penis, working down to the head, with numerous clean pieces of wet sheet cotton. Finish by gently removing the "bean" from the opening. Towel dry. I recommend Viva papertowels for their lack of lint, strength, softness, and absorbtion."


pet cloning service has successfully cloned two cats
Pig Tail Butt Plug
(via fleshbot)