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‘Draw a circle around the one God loves the most’
05:06 pm

Stupid or Evil?


According to PZ Myers over at Science Blogs this image is from an old Irish Catholic schoolbook. Cute, huh?

(via Laughing Squid)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Loving Trap: Brilliant Adam Curtis parody
02:23 pm


Adam Curtis

Absolutely spot-on parody of BBC documentarian Adam Curtis’s signature style by “psychonomy.” Perfectly encapsulates my own reaction to each and every one of his films:

In a landmark new documentary produced for YouTube, Adam Curtis has not examined his career and laid bare his style in the light of some confused academic papers he stumbled across on the internet. Instead, I have plundered various video archives and ripped him off, up, down, left, right and back again.

The documentary films of Adam Curtis are entertaining, for sure, and thought-provoking, too, but I always feel that he takes but one strand of a very complex braid of historical confluences, and then presents this sliver of history as if it is THE received truth in that authoritative BBC voice of his. I do enjoy watching his films (and I like his blog, too) but he completely fails to win me over to his arguments each and every time.

Thank you Niall O’Conghaile and John Caples!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
T-Shirt can convert sound into electricity

This is quite amazing - a T-shirt that can convert music into electrical energy.

This prototype hi-tech T-shirt is called a Sound Charge and is the brainchild of global telecommunications firm Orange in collaboration with renewable energy experts Got Wind. The Sound Charge produces enough electricity to charge a cell phone, and will be debuted at the Glastonbury Festival, in England, this weekend - as explained in an Orange news release:

The eco charging device uses an existing technology in a revolutionary way; by reversing the use of a product called Piezoelectric film, allowing people to charge their mobile phones whilst enjoying their favourite headline act at Glastonbury.

Usually found in modern hi-fi speakers, an A4 panel of the modified film is housed inside a t-shirt which then acts much like an oversized microphone by ‘absorbing’ invisible sound pressure waves. These sound waves are converted via the compression of interlaced quartz crystals into an electrical charge, which is fed into an integral reservoir battery that in turn charges most makes and models of mobile phone. As the ‘device’ is worn, a steady charge is able to be dispensed into the phone via a simple interchangeable lead which fits most handsets.


After a weekend at Glastonbury the Orange Sound Charge will almost certainly be in need of a good scrub, so the Piezoelectric film panel and electronics are all fully removable to enable you to stick it straight in the wash.

The development team behind the device estimate that when used at the festival with sound levels of around 80dB (roughly the same as a busy street), the Orange Sound Charge will generate up to 6 watt hours (W/h) of power over the course of the weekend – enough to charge two standard mobile phones or one Smartphone. Of course festival goers will also be able to plug in their phone for a quick ‘top up’ charge whenever they need it.


Via Ecouterre - With thanks to Tara McGinley

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dr. Dee: Sneak preview of new Damon Albarn opera about 16th century alchemist

Damon Albarn has written and will star in a new opera about a 16th Century alchemist, Doctor John Dee. Titled simply Dr. Dee: An English Opera, the production will premiere next month at the Manchester International Festival, running July 1-9.

Albarn played one of his compositions from new production, titled “Apple Carts,” on The Andrew Marr Show over the weekend. Simply gorgeous.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Two hour MP3 mixtape curated by Portishead
01:35 pm


I'll Be Your Mirror

Here’s a lovely mixtape curated by Portishead for the I’ll Be Your Mirror music festival taking place July 23rd and 24th at the Alexandra Palace, London. Everyone featured on the mixtape will be playing the festival.

00.00 “...They Don’t Sleep Anymore on the Beach…” / Monheim - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
13.19 We Carry On - Portishead
19.44 A Cold Freezin’ Night - The Books
23.04 Gazzillion Ear - Doom
27.15 You Fucking People Make Me Sick - Swans
32.20 Yang Yang - Anika
35.11 Real Love - Factory Floor
42.32 Infinity Skull Cube - DD/MM/YYYY
45.51 Untilted - Helen Money
51.42 “Four Spirits In A Room” Excerpt - Alan Moore & Stephen O’Malley
56.50 Plaster Casts Of Everything - Liars
60.43 8 Steps To Perfection - Company Flow
65.23 Written On The Forehead - PJ Harvey
68.49 Arabic Emotions - The London Snorkeling Team
71.27 Wulfstan - BEAK>
77.28 When My Baby Comes - Grinderman
84.09 Paris Signals - S.C.U.M.
88.30 Lovers With Iraqis - Foot Village
92.18 Gratitude - Acoustic Ladyland
96.29 Violence - The Telescopes
100.01 Hannibal - Caribou
106.15 Walk In The Park - Beach House

(via KMFW)


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
One woman’s amazing journey to the 39th Annual Emmy Awards, 1987
11:58 am


Emmy Awards

I have no idea who this woman is or why she was at the 39th Annual Emmy Awards show in 1987 or even where these photos came from, but the pictures tell the story of her adventure pretty well, I’d say. It looks like she was having the time of her life.


More photos after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Miss USA contestants sound off on Darwin being taught in the classroom
10:26 am


We're doomed

As I was watching this clip of the 2011 Miss USA pageant contestants sounding off about the issue of whether or not evolution should be taught in schools, I had the reaction that I think most intelligent people would also have: “Who gives a shit what these pretty pinheads think? Why am I watching this?” (Maybe someone at the pageant has an offbeat sense of humor?)

Not all, but nearly all of them equivocate furiously on the matter. They basically say nothing at all, in other words, but even THAT often comes out in a garbled logic word salad that’s somewhat amusing to watch. Nearly all of them sound just like Sarah Palin!

Beauty and no brains = not very attractive in my book. Only two of the contestants said they believed in evolution, winner Alyssa Campanella from California and Alida D’Angona from Massachusetts.

Via Nerdcore


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
THIS is what America has become, a cruel, cruel society

We can no longer hide from who we are. Not anymore. Not when things like this happen. I see something historic in this, don’t you?

We live in a cruel, cruel society. A land where the game is rigged for straight up misery for the common man and the winners have been taking all that they can get away with for decades. I was deflated when I read about this story. I just wanted to put my head down on my desk and cry.

From ABC News:

A 59-year-old man has been jailed in Gastonia, N.C., on charges of larceny after allegedly robbing an RBC Bank for $1 so he could get health care in prison. Richard James Verone handed a female teller a note demanding the money and claiming that he had a gun, according to the police report.

He then sat down and waited for police to arrive. “… I say, ‘I’ll be sitting right over here, on the chair, waiting for the police,’” Verone told reporters, recalling the June 9 robbery in an interview from Gaston County Jail.

And wait for the police, he did.

“He’s sitting on the sofa as you walk in the front door,” the bank teller said in a 911 call.

Police arrested Verone where he sat. He was unarmed.

Verone said he asked for $1 to show that his motives were medical, not monetary, according to news reports. With a growth in his chest, two ruptured disks and no job, Verone hoped a three-year stint in prison would afford him the health care he needed.

“I’m sort of a logical person and that was my logic, what I came up with,” Verone told reporters. “If it is called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care, then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care.”

But the charge of larceny, not armed robbery, is unlikely to keep Verone behind bars for more than 12 months. He is being held in Gaston County Jail on a $2,000 bond, according to a spokesman for the jail, and is scheduled to appear in court June 28.

Read a more detailed story of what led an American citizen to chose prison over his “freedom” at the Gaston Gazette. It’s enough to make you want to puke.

What he did took guts. I see this as a principled stand. I sincerely hope this gentleman gets the medical treatment he needs and that one day statues are erected of him across this land…

And now, if you really want to weep yourself senseless, watch this clip of FDR discussing a Second Bill of Rights in 1944. This footage, long thought lost, was found by Michael Moore’s researchers and used so brilliantly in Capitalism: A Love Story (a film I urge you all to see if you haven’t. On Netflix VOD). Imagine if the country had realized these goals 70 years ago?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Ray Davies!
09:16 am


Ray Davies
The Kinks

The the former Kinks frontman and one of our greatest living pop songwriters and observers of working-class life, Ray Davies, turns 67 today!

Although stories have long been told about what a prick Davies is supposed to be in real life (especially those tales told by his estranged younger brother Dave Davies) I got a chance to meet him in the late 80s and he was super cool. He had to change a shot on the master of a music video he’d directed (I can’t recall for what, but it took place on a rooftop) and I was given the job at a video post house where I was working at the time. He was cheerful and friendly.

I was looking for just the right video—my first choice would have been a live “Shangri-La” or “This is Where I Belong” from the sixties or early seventies, but neither can be found on YouTube—and came across a clip I had not seen before of The Kinks performing on the Once More With Felix program hosted by American folk singer Julie Felix, in 1969.

Below, watch a terrific performance of “Picture Book,”  from their classic album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. This is one of those things that would have been lost to time—and the idiotic BBC policy of wiping their video masters to re-use the tapes!—had not a former BBC video engineer named Bob Pratt defied BBC policy and made his own copies of significant programs and event coverage.

Birthday bonus, a great “Days” from Pop Go The Sixties:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) disguise kit

Truly one of the dumbest products I’ve ever seen. Apparently with this, uh… versatile mustache disguise kit you can pretend you’re in Star Wars, endorse Colt 45 malt liquor or be a mac daddy ladies’ man. It’s entirely up to you!  The mustache is $7.99 at the Star Wars Shop.

(via Gorilla Mask)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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