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Pre-teen ass-kicking tabla prodigy Rimpa Siva
05.04.2010
09:32 am

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Music

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Rimpa Siva
Tabla

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Rimpa Siva, born in 1986, was a pre-teen when these absolutely stunning clips were made. What more can I say ? I was exhilarated and emotionally drained after watching these and shouting my approval at my monitor at regular intervals. I hazard a guess you will be too, momentarily.
 

 

 

thx Ustad E. Loi-Morelock !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Computer Love
05.04.2010
08:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Science/Tech

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(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen
05.03.2010
08:36 pm

Topics:
Heroes
History
Music

Tags:
Leonard Cohen

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Fascinating film about Leonard Cohen the poet/novelist and not yet folk singer of 1965. It’s strange to see him a) so young (he’s 31 here) and b) to see him being funny! Parts of his act back then was straight stand-up comedy. Leonard Cohen funny?

Informal portrait of Leonard Cohen. The film begins with Cohen delivering a comic monologue about his visit to a friend in a Montreal mental hospital. Later he is seen reading poetry to rapt audience and also alone, or relaxing with family and friends, walking the streets of the city, eating in a popular night spot, sleeping in his three-dollar-a-night hotel room, even taking a bath. His poetry readings are principally from “A Spice-box of Earth” and “Flowers for Hitler”. A press conference with Cohen and his friend Irving Layton forms a part of the film.

Filmed and recorded at various locations in 1964, released in 1965 by the National Film Board of Canada. Directed by Donal Brittain and Dan Owen, produced by John Kemeny. Black & white, 44 min.


 

 
Thank you Nicolae Halmaghi!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Noah’s Ark was not recently ‘discovered’ despite what you might have heard
05.03.2010
05:32 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
archaeology

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You wouldn’t know it from the coverage of the most recent “discovery” of Noah’s Ark, but there is rather a huge difference between an archaeologist and an “ark-eologist.” Fed up with seeing their field’s legitimate discoveries lumped in with such ludicrous events as the umpteenth discovery of Christ’s tomb, the Ark of the Covenant or Jimmy Hoffa’s body, a group of scientists have begun to fight back. Exhibit A is this debate, naturally, this latest “discovery” of Noah’s Ark by a group of overzealous Chinese Christians, with spades in one hand and bibles in the other:

“There are certain biblical artifacts—like the Ark of the Covenant and the Ark of Noah—that just seem to bring out a lot of amateur searchers,” says Bill Crouse, president of Christian Information Ministries, who has spent years searching for Noah’s Ark. “My concern is that well-meaning Christians jump the gun, and this thing becomes viral on the Internet. A lot of Christians are confused because they thought the ark was found two years ago, or two years before that.”

Scholars acknowledge that amateurs can make important discoveries: a Bedouin goat-herd found the original Dead Sea Scrolls cache while searching a cave for a missing member of his flock. The problem, they say, arises when these amateurs try to interpret what they find instead of passing it along to scholars for investigation and publication in scholarly journals.

When they “publish by press conference,” Cargill says, the ark hunters betray their real motive: cash. “Noah’s Ark quests are always about the money—always,” he argues. “This group was put together to do one thing and one thing only: make money and spread ideology by pimping both archaeology and religion.”

He points out that one member of the recent expedition, Yeung Wing-Cheung, has directed a documentary about the hunt for the ark and is selling the DVD online. The Media Evangelism Ltd., meanwhile, operates a Noah’s Ark theme park that needs to sell tickets.

All this, Cline says, makes the lives of real scholars more challenging. “The gullible believers and evangelicals, along with other faiths, throw money at these expeditions not knowing whether they’re going to produce anything,” he says. “Every year we have to scrounge for money to run a real excavation that may shed some real light.”

In any event, Cargill says, if Noah’s Ark existed, it would have been taken apart years ago for its wood—which long since would have decomposed. “It’s just one big scam. The ancients were great recyclers,” he says.

“In my opinion, there is no Noah’s Ark. And if there is, it’s not there anymore.”

Scholarly Squad Debunks Biblical ‘Discoveries’ (AOL News)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Christoga: Christian Yoga
05.03.2010
04:44 pm

Topics:
Belief

Tags:
Christoga

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Christoga (yes, that’s pronounced “Chris Toga”) is yoga with all that evil pagan Hindu stuff taken out or, rather, renamed with Biblical-sounding names and dedicated to Jesus. (And with Janine Turner from Northern Exposure, no less?!?) I heard about this from a friend about a year ago but Everything is Terrible linked to it today… however, I couldn’t find the embed code for their mashup version, so I’ve included the original below along with a link to EIT. This boggles the mind, it really does. I imagine like 8 sweaty Jack Chick guys somewhere outside of Atlanta doing down-dog for Christ and I… well, I’ll let you fill in your own emotional reaction.

(Everything is Terrible: Christoga)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Here’s E.T.!

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Ran across this thinking it was possibly a cartoon rendering of The Fall’s Mark E. Smith (see previous post).  Nope, just E.T. looking to take an axe, or, in this case, his finger, to The Shining‘s Wendy Torrance.  And here’s a bit of that film’s Shelley Duvall (now, sadly, bonkers) talking about shooting with director Stanley Kubrick:

 
(via SlashFilm)

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith
05.03.2010
03:00 pm

Topics:
Music

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Mark E. Smith
The Fall
Your Future Our Clutter

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While my Fall phase stopped completely with ‘88’s still-excellent I Am Kurious Oranj, Mark E. Smith and his rotating cast of band members have continued pumping out albums with almost Woody Allen-like consistency (28 albums, 33 years).  

In yesterday’s NYT article, Mr. Smith Shows His Staying Power, Ben Ratliff calls the new Fall album, Your Future Our Clutter, one of the band’s best.  He also attempts to zero in on just what it is that makes Smith such a fascinating, and yes, endearing, character.

Um, maybe it’s the crank factor?  The 53-year-old singer claims that Pavement, “didn’t have an original idea in their heads.”  He also thinks that Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore should “have his rock license revoked.” 

And while Smith may have written in his autobiography, Renegade, “The Fall are about the present, and that’s it,” what follows below is a considerable chunk of his past, Part I of the ‘05 BBC documentary, The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith (links to the other parts at the bottom).

 
The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith Part II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

Bonus: Kurious Oranj, Live In Edinburgh

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Sean Young’s Dune video diary

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While the sandstorm clouds of another Dune movie threaten to gather once again, tidbits of the visually striking David Lynch version keep rolling in.  Back in ‘83, the one-time future Mrs. Novicoff actress Sean Young, who played Chani against Kyle MacLachlan’s Paul Atreides, brought her video camera to Mexico City’s massive Dune set.  Here’s a bit of what she experienced:

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds: Frank Herbert & David Lynch discuss Dune

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
The dangerous diskofolk of Derdiyoklar

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Once again Mr. Eddie Ruscha points out a confounding delicacy for our obscure delight in the form of Derdiyoklar (roughly translates as The No Problems): a Turkish self-styled diskofolk duo based in Germany and, as evidenced in the completely unhinged and nicely confusing live clip below, mostly played weddings and other events amongst fellow “gastarbeiter” Turks.
 

 
When not enacting elaborate melodramas in a live setting, the records (check the clip below) rather more live up to their description. There is nothing bad and a whole lot good about electric phase-shifted baglamas over groovy disco beats.
 

 

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Jet Propulsion Labs Brings AI to Space
05.03.2010
12:42 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
NASA
Mars
h+
Artificial Intelligence

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I have the cover story over at h+ magazine today, about the new artificial intelligence upgrades to the space program. (Jet Propulsion Labs has upgraded the Mars rover with artificial intelligence firmware… could intelligent AI nanoclouds be far off?) Read on at the link below for the rest of my reporting live from NASA’s labs.

Though we may not have found intelligent life on Mars, NASA has just beamed up its own.

As announced at the end of March, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories has upgraded the Opportunity rover (already stationed on Mars) with artificial intelligence firmware, code-named AEGIS. Short for Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, AEGIS allows the Opportunity to identify high-value photography targets — making its own decisions about which Martian rocks to photograph and send back to Earth. As the rover has limited downlink capacity, this is expected to greatly increase its productivity, allowing it to retrieve more data in fewer trips across Mars’ surface. AEGIS isn’t the first artificial intelligence application developed for space, or even at Jet Propulsion Labs — JPL has been in the game as far back as the Deep Space 1 craft in 1998.

I visited JPL on a recent rainy afternoon. Nestled in the mountains near Pasadena, California, the NASA campus dates to the 1940s, and was an early stalwart of the United States’ rocketry and space programs. Beyond security checkpoints, rows of polished, glass-and-steel buildings house the facility’s various projects — major foci at the moment are the Mars rovers and Reconnaissance orbiter, the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, and the Spitzer space telescope. Further up the hill is a simulated outdoor Martian landscape, with volcanic rocks resting in red sand. It’s an eerie thing to see through a gray LA fog.

(h+: Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
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