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Optical illusion: Albert Einstein morphs into Marilyn Monroe


 
At first you see Albert Einstein, now get out of your desk chair, stand a few feet back and you’ll see Marilyn Monroe. This reminds me a bit of Salvador Dali’s “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters becomes a Portrait of Abraham Lincoln.”

(via How To Be A Retronaut)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Chris Stein interviews William Burroughs, 1987
06.01.2011
10:52 am

Topics:
Literature
Music

Tags:
William Burroughs
Chris Stein


“Towers open fire.”
 
Here’s a short but compelling clip of Blondie’s Chris Stein and William Burroughs having a chat in 1987. Wish there was more. 

Chris describes the scene:

This is a pretty simple discussion here, (i was trying to sound intelligent)... Bill is just saying that war is part of the natural plan, universe whatever… he drops a lot of phrases that come from Buddhism, he and Kerouac, Ginsberg and co. were all enthusiastic followers… i dont really think that Bill was a devoted practitioner… he was more of a mystic or animist in my opinion.

This was shot in the basement of the last and biggest Warhol factory which was the old Con Ed building on Madison and 33rd street for a segment of Andy’s cable tv show hence the models who were directed to wander through the shots.”

“This a war Universe.”
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Shark Whisperer: Woman hand-feeds great white shark


 
Austrailian shark expert Valerie Taylor hand-feeds a great white shark for Australian Geographic’s TV documentary Shadow of the Shark. Towards the end of the video, she even gives the great white a friendly pat on the head. What the heck, Valerie?!
 

 
(via Neatorama)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The GOP’s ‘useless eaters’ solution: No more food for you, poor people!


 
Let them eat… nothing!

There is currently a record number of Americans—14%—relying on federal food stamp assistance programs and that number is probably not going to shrink, but grow, in the near term, as more and more desperate Americans exhaust their unemployment benefit extensions. The number of recipients has risen 11% since last year and over 61% since 2007. At present there are an incredible 45 million people (21 million families) who depend on this assistance to put food in their bellies. So that they and their children do not go to bed hungry. (My parents run a food kitchen for the poor out of their church basement in West Virginia, the stories I’ve heard are sad and pitiful.)

If the evil Republicans get their way, these poor families, school-age children, veterans of foreign wars and disabled people can just… starve… Via ABC News:

The Republicans’ 2012 budget plan proposes changing SNAP [“Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”] from an entitlement to a block-grant program that would be tailored for each individual state, much like their proposal for Medicaid. States would no longer receive open-ended subsidies and the aid would be contingent on work or job training. It would also limit funding for the program.

“Limit funding”? In certain states (see New Mexico, Florida, Michigan) they’d just eliminate it entirely.

Why should poor people think they have some kind of a right to eat?

Rand Paul would tell you this himself: Food, like healthcare, is not a right! If some Americans have to starve to death, this is what it takes to preserve our freedom!

It amazes me that Republicans think stirring up these kinds of vicious class resentments somehow helps them politically. I mean, sure, the very, very poorest people tend not to vote, but this stuff is just so nasty that I can’t help wondering what is really going to happen if/when these sorts of cuts go into effect. Do they really expect that these folks will simply STOP EATING AND DIE?

Well, judging from the GOP’s behavior, maybe they do! How else do you explain away this particular aspect of “compassionate conservatism”? Well… now that you mention if, it would certainly help balance the budget if a ton of poor people died. Why just think of the tax cuts for the rich!

Will the Republicans finally be happy when we’re all living in a country that resembles Mad Max far more than it does Leave it to Beaver? Is this what the Republicans want? It sure seems that way to me. If not that, then what? What am I missing???

But the thing is, right, is it actually good for them, too? Think of the shitty karma the Republicans unleash by skull-fucking the poor and indigent?

It’s a very black and white situation: Vote a certain way and millions of people go hungry. Vote a certain way and INSURE an increase in misery for the weakest members of society (just like Jesus would want!).

Would you want that stain on your karma? There is a special place in Hell for someone so cruel and ugly.

It’s not really any kind of grand “thought experiment” to imagine another member of Congress being shot—a Republican this time—not by some lunatic like Jared Lee Loughner, but by a broken man who’s completely lost his shit because he can no longer feed his family. Some sad guy, completely depressed walks into a town hall meeting or a political appearance with a gun and decides to confront the cold-hearted bastard who he blames for fucking his life up and shoots him. It’s not difficult to imagine at all. But again, it won’t be a professional lunatic next time, it’s going to be a destitute, desperate John Q type-situation. It’s gonna happen, it’s just a matter or when.

For the record, I’m not a big fan of violence, but it does have its place, historically, in the class war that’s raged since human society began. Admittedly the image of say, Rep. Paul Ryan, being forced to fellate a Colt .45 in front of news cameras and having to beg for his life by a once-proud middle-class father reduced to moving his family into a car is something I’d really enjoy seeing. (I think whoever did that would go down in history as a folk hero and at least THEY FEED YOU IN JAIL)

The Republicans think that they can cut entitlements for the poor with impunity because the poor don’t vote. But they are not immune from the laws of karma: What if a new front in the class war opens up that doesn’t involve the ballot box?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Pledge of Allegiance: This is not a form of brainwashing


 
Outrageous!
 

 
Via Michael Simmons

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Poto and Cabengo: The secret language of twins
05.31.2011
08:27 pm

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Poto and Cabengo
Jean-Pierre Gorin


 
In 1978, French filmmaker and sometime Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin, then teaching at UC San Diego, trained his lens on eight year old identical twins Grace and Virginia Kennedy.

Poto and Cabengo, as the two girls called each other, spoke to each other in a private language they’d made up.  Because their father feared they were developmentally disabled, the twins were neglected by their parents and kept from the outside world and their unique language flourished in that neglect.

Observing Poto and Cabengo in conversation is riveting, what one imagines watching a Henry Darger-directed version of ‘Waiting for Godot’ might be like.
 
‘Poto and Cabengo’ Digital Restoration from Criterion Films
(Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1979, USA, HDCam video, 76 min.)

Posted by Nicole Panter | Leave a comment
This Guy Has My MacBook
05.31.2011
04:04 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
Crime
MacBook

image
 
This reminds of the story in Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, when a woman called Ivana left her cell phone in a taxi. Thinking it lost for good, Ivana was surprised when a friend, Evan discovered the girl who had found the phone was using it as her own. They contacted the girl and asked her to return it. But the girl told them to go to hell. So Evan started a webpage called StolenSideKick, and blogged about the phone and the girls actions. As Shirky pointed out in his book:

“Everyone who has ever lost something feels a diffuse sense of anger at whoever found and kept it.”

And this “diffuse sense of anger” makes people behave in different ways.

When Joshua Kaufman had his MacBook stolen, he responded by taking direct action to get it back. He set up a tumblr page This Guy Has My MacBook and started posting photos from a hidden device contained in his Mac. It takes pictures of the person who allegedly has it:

On March 21, 2011, my MacBook was stolen from my apartment in Oakland, CA. I reported the crime to the police and even told them where it was, but they can’t help me due to lack of resources. I’m currently in the process of contacting the mayor’s office. Meanwhile, I’m using the awesome app, Hidden, to capture these photos of this guy who has my MacBook.

Check Joshua’s site, This Guy Has My MacBook, here.
 
image
 
image
 
With thanks to Shahriar ‘Carlin’ Islam
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Eerie robot doll sings: ‘I Feel Fantastic’

image
 
This is quite weird and wonderful, chilling even - a surreal Stepford Wife sings “I Feel Fantastic”.

In ancient Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a highly accomplished Cypriot sculptor. Though skilled at imitating the human form, and well acquainted with it’s subtleties, he became disgusted by it when he witnessed the Propoetides prostituting themselves. These women were punished by Venus for their lack of worship with a coarseness of skin and a crudeness of nature, and were then forced into prostitution. Seeing this, Pygmalion the sculptor was repelled and could no longer appreciate women.

Seemingly alone, Pygmalion sought to create for himself a perfect, pure, unsullied companion. He used his particular skills to this end: he created a statue bride.

What you are about to watch is a mysterious video. It’s origin is attributed variously, and almost certainly spuriously, to various abstract artists or surrealists. The truth is that what we are seeing, and what we perceive to be strange and disturbing, is actually beauty to it’s creator.

Perhaps what we are viewing is the work of a modern Pygmalion. To him, her toneless voice, the paleness of her skin and the comparative vibrancy of her lips may indeed be the very embodiment of a perfect woman…

Consider the mind-scape of the creator. In whose mind does this appear beautiful? In whose mind is this pure, near worshipful? Are we missing out on his perspective?

Who are we to be afraid or to judge them? He may well love her fully, perhaps more fully than any of us could ever hope to be loved. In the mind of her creator, she is a near goddess; the perfect representation, not just of femininity, but the peak of human potential. A perfectly satisfactory being.

How does that kind of unconditional love feel?

Well, how does she feel?

Fantastic.

The great thing about these videos is that you can sit and compose stories around what is going on, who made this beautiful “android”, called Tara and why? And what happens when the drapes are drawn?

If this were a fiction, a horror film, then the close-up of the trees and grass in the first video would be significant - a clue to where the bodies are buried. But of course this isn’t a fiction.
 

 
Bonus clips of this singing android, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Steve Duffy
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Asheton alone: Isolated guitar tracks from ‘No Fun’
05.31.2011
12:14 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Ron Asheton
Isolated guitar track
No Fun


 
In 2007, Asheton described his guitar sound: “I get a brighter and brassier sound than a lot of people. It’s almost painful. I’ve been told, ‘Your guitar sound is painful, man!’ And I go, ‘Hey, cool. All right!’”

I love this description of Asheton’s playing on “No Fun” from Tim Lucas:

For the first 2:43 of the song, Asheton anchors the song with steady, distorted, rhythmic riffing from the right channel—and just when we think we’ve heard everything this anthem to teenage boredom has up its patched denim sleeve, Iggy’s pleas prompt Asheton to launch into the fuzziest, dirtiest, squiggliest, squealingest, noodly guitar solo ever heard, absolutely merciless in its full-on drilling against the hard stone walls of ennui.”

The man who gave courage and inspiration to thousands of fledgling punk guitarists, launching a rock and roll revolution, the godhead of psychotic, six string, sonic sublimeness, Mr. Ron Asheton:
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Baby Bullet: Creepy infomercial made even creepier
05.31.2011
11:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
Unorthodox

Tags:
creepy
The Baby Bullet


 
The Baby Bullet looks innocent enough, right? No, no it’s not. Pure. Nightmare. Fuel.

You can watch the original Baby Bullet infomercial here.

 
(via TDW)

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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