Archive for August, 2009

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Basements are dark, dank places that require at least some light fixture for you to find your way around. Thankfully, we have a Fake Window that utilizes electroluminescent sheets as its light source, allowing you to adjust the intensity of the light by manipulating the shades. It surely looks like a nifty idea to have in your home (assuming you have a basement to begin with), and this would also work well with cramped store rooms or even the attic.

[From fake window – Fake window brightens up the blues]

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Belgian humor magazine runs most offensive ads in history of mankind

Expect to see many panties get bunched up when these ads inevitably enter the cable news network dialogue. No surprise, but I think they’re brilliant.

[From Jeff Koyen – The Places You\’ll Go – Belgian humor magazine runs most offensive ads in history of mankind – True/Slant]

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Aug
31

Frank Gehry

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Frank Owen Gehry, CC (born Ephraim Owen Goldberg, February 28, 1929) is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles.
His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions. Many museums, companies, and cities seek Gehry’s services as a badge of distinction, beyond the product he delivers.
His best-known works include the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Basque Country, Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, Experience Music Project in Seattle, Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic and the MARTa Museum in Herford, Germany. However, it was his private residence in Santa Monica, California, which jump-started his career, lifting it from the status of “paper architecture,” a phenomenon that many famous architects have experienced in their formative decades through experimentation almost exclusively on paper before receiving their first major commission in later years.

[From Frank Gehry – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

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[From Google Image Result for http://www.vectorscopefilms.com/lextopia/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/frank_gehry_star_wood_hotel_3.jpg]

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Aug
31

Frank O. Gehry: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

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[From Frank O. Gehry: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao]

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Aug
31

ersinhan ersin: tapeography

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turkish designer ersinhan ersin deconstructed old cassette tapes to create a series of images and typography
he calls tapeography. the handmade font was originally created for a school project about music, but ersin
carried the concept to a variety of projects. the letters are made from the tape’s ribbon and pieces of the
mechanics. by rearranging the elements, ersin is able to create letters from the alphabet and images such
as a skull and cross bones.

[From ersinhan ersin: tapeography]

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Aug
31

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OMG!!!

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Conservative media figures are blasting Democrats for trying to draw political gain from the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. But on Thursday, it was one of their own — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — who went there.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate suggested during his radio show, “The Huckabee Report,” on Thursday that, under President Obama’s health care plan, Kennedy would have been told to “go home to take pain pills and die” during his last year of life.

[From Huckabee: Kennedy Would Have Been Urged To Die Earlier Under ObamaCare]

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Charting New Orleans’ progress since Katrina

[From Charting New Orleans’ progress since Katrina – CNN.com]

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Trimpin + EMP guitars from Peter Esmonde on Vimeo.

This is a trailer for Trimpin: The Sound Of Invention, a new feature film documentary premiering at film fests around the country.

Artist/inventor/engineer/composer Trimpin designs a 60-foot tower of electric guitars that automatically plays nonstop at Seattle’s Experience Music Project.

About Trimpin

Trimpin, a sound sculptor, composer, inventor, is one of the most stimulating one-man forces in music today. A specialist in interfacing computers with traditional acoustic instruments, he has developed a myriad of methods for playing, trombones, cymbals, pianos, and so forth with Macintosh computers. He has collaborated frequently with Conlon Nancarrow, realizing the composer’s piano roll compositions through various media. At the 1989 Composer-to-Composer conference in Telluride, Colorado, Trimpin created a Macintosh-controlled device that allowed one of Nancarrow’s short studies for player piano to be performed by mallets striking 100 Dutch wooden shoes arranged in a horseshoe from the edge of the balcony at the Sheridan Opera House. He also prepared a performance of Nancarrow’s studies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for New Music America in 1989.

Trimpin was born in southwestern Germany, near the Black Forest. His early musical training began at the age of eight, learning woodwinds and brass instruments. In later years he developed an allergic reaction to metal which prevented him from pursuing a career in music, so he turned to electro-mechanical engineering. Afterwards, he spent several years living and studying in Berlin where he received his Master’s Degree from the University of Berlin.

Eventually he became interested in acoustical sets while working in theater productions with Samuel Beckett and Rick Cluchey, director of the San Quentin Drama Workshop. From 1985-87 he co-chaired the Electronic Music Department of the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.

Trimpin now resides in Seattle where numerous instruments that defy description adorn his amazing studio. In describing his work, Trimpin sums it up as “extending the traditional boundaries of instruments and the sounds they’re capable of producing by mechanically operating them. Although they’re computer-driven, they’re still real instruments making real sounds, but with another dimension added, that of spatial distribution. What I’m trying to do is go beyond human physical limitations to play instruments in such a way that no matter how complex the composition of the timing, it can be pushed over the limits.”

bio via Other Minds

[From Open Your Ears, And Your Mind Will Follow » Synthtopia ]

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Aug
25

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[From WiseStart | UK’s top startpage. Reach everything with just one click.]

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Aug
24

Determining The WEP Key

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It is surprisingly easy to setup the necessary equipment to crack a WEP key. If you have a laptop and wireless card supported by Linux, it takes about 10 minutes to temporarily convert it into a network security tool. For this article, I made use of the following (shown in Equipment Used To Decode WEP):

[From Determining The WEP Key]

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Aug
24

‘Enter The Void’

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Can you capture a DMT trip on film? Jason Tucker wrote to tell us about a movie screened at Cannes this Spring that claims to do just that. ‘Enter the Void’.

[From ‘Enter The Void’]

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Aug
24

Civilization by Marco Brambilla on Vimeo

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Civilization by Marco Brambilla from CRUSH on Vimeo.

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Aug
24

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Having read a huge amount about The Beatles, I thought I pretty much knew all the quirks in their recordings. How wrong I was.

I have just been enjoying Here, There and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick, the man who was the engineer on Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road, along with many other Beatles tracks. For aficionados it is an unmissable book, a superb account of their work in the studio.

This morning I read Emerick’s account of the recording of Hey Jude.

Emerick wasn’t the engineer on the track – the recording didn’t begin at Abbey Road – but he was called in to fix problems caused by technical deficiencies at Trident Studios.

He notes that when he listened to the mix, in the third verse:

Right between the lines “The minute you let her under your skin/ Oh, then you begin” you can clearly hear Paul curse off mic saying ‘F****** hell!”

Apparently this exclamation was caused by McCartney playing a duff note on the piano.

The Beatles knew it was there, but John Lennon insisted it stay. He wanted it low in the final mix so that while most people wouldn’t realise it was there, the Beatles could enjoy it.

And so it stayed. And when I put down Emerick’s book I realise that the expletive can be heard, really quite clearly. You can hear it from minute 2:56 of the song.

[From Comment Central – Times Online – WBLG: Which Beatles song can you hear Paul McCartney swear in?]

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According to the suggested reports, the alleged “death panel” originator and former lieutenant governor of New York and adjunct fellow of the Houston Institute, Betsy McCoughey has reportedly resigned from her post after suffering ample amount of humiliation in the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Stewart, who was well informed and prepared reportedly demonstrated McCaughey’s entire foothold in the health care reform to be “as solid as Swiss cheese”. Obama’s health care reform has recently triggered a wide array of controversies off late.

Betsy McCaughey who has also been termed as the serial mis-informer wrongly claimed in the Stewart show that the Page 432 of the House Health Care Reform Bill would make end-of-life counseling “mandatory” after backtracking from her previous statement that stated Page 425 would provide for “mandatory” end-of-life counseling. She had also stated that a provision on that page “penalizes doctors who do not follow or adhere the policies and rules that is set by the government.

The host of the show Jon Stewart noted that the words depicted by McCaughey does not point at making end-of-life counseling mandatory and does not “penalize” doctors but it rather provides incentives for the doctors on the terms of providing “data on quality measures” for end-of-life care.

After discovering that she has been made a subject of ridicule after her infamous appearance on “The Daily Show”, McCaughey reportedly stepped down from her position as the Director of Cantel Medical Corp.

Host Jon Stewart was quite aggressive on his stance thereby proving McCaughey a complete mis-informer. McCaughey has been billed as the creator of the “death panel” myth.

[From Betsy McCaughey Resigns After Humiliating Herself In Jon Stewart’s Show]

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A wonderful slice of New Orleans funk history that would certainly qualify as rare grooves. This 1973 recording has been issued incomplete on a couple of European bootlegs but it always had a very flat, unappealing sound. After many unsuccessful attempts, 7 or 8 years ago I actually managed to perk it up and give the recording some life. Good thing too, this is one of the only documents of the actual everyday working band of this period and this recording catches them on a really, really good day. (Mac’s own description of this band admits they were a hard partying bunch.) And what a band it is! The roster of this ultimately funky ensemble (named The Rampart Street Sympathy Orchestra by Professor Longhair) is:

Dr John piano, guitar
John Boudreaux drums
Robert Lee Popwell bass
Sugar Bear Welch guitar
Daryll Leonard cornet and trumpet
Jerry Jummonville tenor sax
Bobbie Montgomery & Jessie Smith vocals

The venue was a weekly live radio spot for WLIR in Hempstead, NY (Long Island) that took place (ironically) at Ultrasonic Studios. This was more than 3 years before the famous New Orleans Ultrasonic Studio was even built. The show is deep voodoo funky and wonderfully tight (even with the interruption for the interview with the stunned DJ which I have edited out). This here is simply the best damn Dr John album you never heard.

Dr John the Night Tripper and the Rampart Street Sympathy Orchestra live in Hempstead, NY 1973 [Uber Std mp3]

[From The KingCake Crypt: Dr John @ Ultrasonic Studios, NY 1973]

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I was alerted of this from the comments on Mutant Sounds.

***Ariel Pink alert!!!!*** ***Total mind-fuck alert!!!***
Shits And Giggles is a brand new band that features Ariel Pink alongside the mutant sonic terrorists the Vas Deferens Organization. While everyone in the world seems to be biting on Ariel Pink’s brand of outsider pop, recently, it’s kind of awesome to see him take a total left turn and create a completely different, but equally warped sonic beast.
Shits And Giggles wander in a musical landscape that feels like it’s being beamed over from a different galaxy. Collapsing fucked up jazzy rhythms melt into plunderphonic like excursions while taking turns into psychedelic funk and other worldly whatthefuckness. All totally insane yet somehow still so damn compelling and weirdly trance inducing. You can hear how records by Negativland, Nurse With Wound, John Oswald, Throbbing Gristle, Muslimgauze, Wicked Witch, Sublime Frequencies, etc. have seeped their way into Shits And Giggles’ subconscious, and no doubt about it this is a uniquely distorted musical adventure. Vas Deferens Organization are some of the folks who run the totally awesome blog Mutant Sounds, so it’s no surprise that they have found their own way to create some completely tripped out magic of their own. Even though it’s nothing like an Ariel Pink album there are still moments, the production, specific sounds, certain melodies and phrases, that are still so recognizably Ariel Pink. A total must have for Ariel Pink fans and everyone else into the demented done right!

[From [ aquarius records new arrivals list #326 ]]

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The sheer beauty of the BMW R7 prototype takes my breath away. A single copy was crafted in 1934 by design engineer Alfred Böning. His vision was a departure from the “bicycle with motor” design still prevalent in the 1930s. The R7 incorporated sweeping enclosed bodywork, a pressed steel frame, valanced mudguards and then-innovative telescopic front forks.

The R7’s beauty was more than skin deep, however. The transmission featured an ‘H’ pattern hand shifter and the 800c Boxer engine crafted by Leonhard Ischinger was decades ahead of its time. The revolutionary engine includes a forged, single piece crankshaft. The cylinder housing is a monoblock with a hemispherical combustion chamber, eliminating the need for a troublesome head gasket and the camshaft is positioned below the crank (allowing more convenient plug placement).

[From Retro Thing: The Art Deco Motorcycle That Time Forgot]

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Aug
21

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This is the Axixa, and here in Barcelona, we need it. The ceramic, water-stain shaped device is a public urinal. It even comes in pee-yellow.

Public urination is a big problem in my hometown: hordes of drunken tourists, all filled up with nowhere to go. Bars won’t let you use the restrooms unless you are a customer, there are almost no public toilets (a few porta-potties at the beach is about the size of it), and because the locals have some taste, there aren’t even many branches of McDonald’s, the default public bathroom for much of the world.

The Axixa is a design by Mexican Miguel Melgarejo, and could be deployed cheaply and easily on any city wall. Inside there is a traditional U-bend water trap leading to a drainage pipe. The outside could actually be any shape, but a yellow streak of piss seems appropriate enough. But would people use them? If you are desperate enough to pee in the street anyway, we doubt you’d be too embarrassed to use the Axixa instead. I just hope that the local government sees this and turns the design from concept into reality.

Axixa, a hygienic way of peeing on the walls [The Design Blog]

[From Street Urinal Makes Public Peeing Practical | Gadget Lab | Wired.com]

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Slow Motion Baby Laugh – watch more funny videos
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Exclusive: An Australian Federal Police boast, on the ABC’s Four Corners program, about officers breaking up an underground hacker forum, has backfired after hackers broke into a federal police computer system.

Security consultants say police appear to have been using the computer as a honeypot to collect information on members of the forum but the scheme came undone after the officers forgot to set a password.

Last Wednesday, federal police officers in co-operation with Victoria Police executed a search warrant on premises in Brighton, Melbourne, connected to the administrator of an underground hacking forum, r00t-y0u.org, which had about 5000 members.

Many details of the investigation were revealed for the first time on Four Corners last night.

[From Hackers Break Into Police Computer | Australian Federal Police]

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Aug
21

40 years of Unix

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The computer world is notorious for its obsession with what is new – largely thanks to the relentless engine of Moore’s Law that endlessly presents programmers with more powerful machines.

[From BBC NEWS | Technology | 40 years of Unix]

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Regardless of the smoldering controversy cannabis stirs up in Sacramento City Hall, the state Capitol and Washington D.C., the global scientific community has examined the drug with increasing interest recently. Local patients and doctors can’t say enough about the groundbreaking potential of THC as a pharmaceutical.

[From Sacramento Press / The science of THC medicine]

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Aug
21

The world’s first cocaine bar

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“Tonight we have two types of cocaine; normal for 100 Bolivianos a gram, and strong cocaine for 150 [Bolivianos] a gram.” The waiter has just finished taking our drink order of two rum-and-Cokes here in La Paz, Bolivia, and as everybody in this bar knows, he is now offering the main course. The bottled water is on the house.

The waiter arrives at the table, lowers the tray and places an empty black CD case in the middle of the table. Next to the CD case are two straws and two little black packets. He is so casual he might as well be delivering a sandwich and fries. And he has seen it all. “We had some Australians; they stayed here for four days. They would take turns sleeping and the only time they left was to go to the ATM,” says Roberto, who has worked at Route 36 (in its various locations) for the last six months. Behind the bar, he goes back to casually slicing straws into neat 8cm lengths.

[From The world’s first cocaine bar | World news | The Guardian]

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Aug
21

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