Chaos theory: What it might look like if 1500 people walked and texted at the same time


 
This Japanese ad, by mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo, purports that one in every five people who walk while using their Smartphone will experience some type of accident or injury. I believe it. They’ll probably also inflict many an injury on innocent people, too. (I witnessed a mother crossing a busy downtown Los Angeles street with her toddler yesterday smiling at something and texting and I wondered WHAT could be so important that she had to reply to it right then and there?)

Attention to the surroundings is neglected while walking around staring at your cellphone.

We decided to study the danger of texting while walking using a computer simulation.

We used a computer simulation to have 1,500 people text while walking at Shibuya Crossing, the busiest crossing where people can cross in every direction.

What actually happened? Chaos? Fear? Comedy?

See the numerous unusual movements resulting from texting while walking.

*Some of the numbers used in the simulation were based on the research results of Professor Kazuhiro Kozuka, Department of Media Informatics, Aichi University of Technology.

Okay, so it’s not exactly the infamous 1979 Who concert in Cincinnati, but it does show you how disoriented people get from walking and texting. And from what I can tell, a few animated people do get trampled.

 
Via Daily Dot

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Classic rock conspiracy theory: ‘Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon,’ the dark heart of the hippie dream


 
The standard modus operandi of a work of “conspiracy theory” is fairly straightforward. The author/researcher takes some commonly accepted historical narrative, and lavishes scepticism upon it, while simultaneously maintaining an alternative understanding of what “really” happened, one that ostensibly better fits the considered facts.

While Dave McGowan’s Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon : Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream, indubitably follows this approach, its focus is utterly unique. Not to put too fine a point on it, the book is no less than the Official Classic Rock Conspiracy Theory, with individual chapters tackling the unlikely subjects of Frank Zappa, the Doors, Love, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Gram Parsons and more, the careers of which are scrutinized for the fingerprints of the secret state.

What you make of McGowan’s criteria in and of itself (which ranges fairly widely, and at times wildly, from a “tell-tale” preoccupation with the occult to heavy military-industrial family ties), to my mind the virtue of Weird Scenes dwells in the ensuing atmosphere of incredible fairy-tale strangeness—not unlike Joan Didion’s own famous look at California in the late sixties, The White Album. On almost every page, movie-star mansions, knitted with secret passages, spontaneously combust; murders, suicides and overdoses spread through the celebrity populace; cults spring up peopled with mobsters and spies… and all the while, this timeless, intriguing music keeps on geysering away. I contacted McGowan about his bizarre book earlier this week…

Thomas McGrath: Hi Dave. Could you begin please by telling us something about your previous work?

David McGowan: My work as a political/social critic began around 1997, when I began to see signs that the political landscape in this country was about to change in rather profound ways. That was also the time that I first ventured onto the internet, which opened up a wealth of new research possibilities. I put up my first website circa 1998, and an adaptation of that became my first book, Derailing Democracy, in 2000. That first book, now out of print, was a warning to the American people that all the changes we have seen since the events of September 11, 2001 – the attacks on civil rights, privacy rights, and due process rights; the militarization of the nation’s police forces; the waging of multiple wars; the rise of surveillance technology and data mining, etc. – were already in the works and just waiting for a provocation to justify their implementation. My second book, Understanding the F-Word, was a review of twentieth-century US history that attempted to answer the question: “if this is in fact where we’re headed, then how did we get here?” Since 9-11, I’ve spent a good deal of time researching the events of that day and looked into a wide range of other topics. My third book, Programmed to Kill, was a look at the reality and mythology of what exactly a serial killer is. For the past six years, I have spent most of my time digging into the 1960s and 1970s Laurel Canyon counterculture scene, which has now become my fourth book, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon.

Thomas McGrath:  Am I right in presuming that you take it as a given fact that power networks are essentially infected by occultism? Are these cults essentially Satanic, or what?

David McGowan: Yes, I do believe that what you refer to as power networks, otherwise known as secret societies, are occult in nature. The symbolism can be seen everywhere, if you choose not to maneuver your way through the world deaf, dumb and blind. And I believe that it has been that way for a very long time. As for them being Satanic, I suppose it depends upon how you define Satanic. I personally don’t believe the teachings of either Satanism or Christianity, which are really just opposite sides of the same coin. I don’t believe that there is a God or a devil, and I don’t believe that those on the upper rungs of the ladder on either side believe so either. These are belief systems that are used to manipulate the minds of impressionable followers. In the case of Satanism, it is, to me, a way to covertly sell a fascist mindset, which is the direction the country, and the rest of the world, is moving. Those embracing the teachings think they are rebelling against the system, but they are in reality reinforcing it. Just as the hippies did. And just as so-called Patriots and Anarchists are. I don’t believe there has been a legitimate resistance movement in this country for a very long time.

Thomas McGrath: Tell us about Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon. What is this new book’s central thesis?

David McGowan: To the extent that it has a central thesis, I would say that it is that the music and counterculture scene that sprung to life in the 1960s was not the organic, grassroots resistance movement that it is generally perceived to be, but rather a movement that was essentially manufactured and steered. And a corollary to that would be that for a scene that was supposed to be all about peace, love and understanding, there was a very dark, violent underbelly that this book attempts to expose.

Thomas McGrath: How convinced are you by it and why?

David McGowan: Very convinced. It’s been a long journey and virtually everything I have discovered – including the military/intelligence family backgrounds of so many of those on the scene, both among the musicians and among their actor counterparts; the existence of a covert military facility right in the heart of the canyon; the prior connections among many of the most prominent stars; the fact that some of the guiding lights behind both the Rand Corporation and the Project for a New American Century were hanging out there at the time, as were the future governor and lieutenant governor of California, and, by some reports, J. Edgar Hoover and various other unnamed politicos and law enforcement personnel; and the uncanny number of violent deaths connected to the scene – all tend to indicate that the 1960s counterculture was an intelligence operation.

Thomas McGrath: You propose that hippie culture was established to neutralise the anti-war movement. But I also interpreted your book as suggesting that, as far as you’re concerned, there’s also some resonance between what you term “psychedelic occultism” (the hippie counterculture) and the “elite” philosophy/theology? You think this was a second reason for its dissemination?

David McGowan: Yes, I do. Hippie culture is now viewed as synonymous with the anti-war movement, but as the book points out, that wasn’t always the case. A thriving anti-war movement existed before the first hippie emerged on the scene, along with a women’s rights movement, a black empowerment/Black Panther movement, and various other movements aimed at bringing about major changes in society. All of that was eclipsed by and subsumed by the hippies and flower children, who put a face on those movements that was offensive to mainstream America and easy to demonize. And as you mentioned, a second purpose was served as well – indoctrinating the young and impressionable into a belief system that serves the agenda of the powers that be.

Thomas McGrath: One thing your book does very convincingly, I think, is argue that many if not most of the main movers in the sixties counterculture were, not to put too fine a point on it, horrendous, cynical degenerates. However, one might argue that a predilection for drugs, alcohol, and even things like violence and child abuse, does not make you a member of a government cult. You disagree?

David McGowan:  No. I’ve known a lot of people throughout my life with a predilection for drugs and alcohol, none of whom were involved in any cults, government or otherwise. And I don’t believe that a predilection for drugs makes one a degenerate. The focus on drug use in the book is to illustrate the point that none of the scene’s movers and shakers ever suffered any legal consequences for their rampant and very open use of, and sometimes trafficking of, illicit drugs. The question posed is why, if these people were really challenging the status quo, did the state not use its law enforcement powers to silence troublemakers? I do have zero tolerance for violence towards and abuse of children, which some people in this story were guilty of. But that again doesn’t make someone a member of a cult – though it does make them seriously morally challenged.

Thomas McGrath: You say in the book that you were always a fan of sixties music and culture. Weirdly, I found that, even while reading Weird Scenes, I was almost constantly listening to the artists you were denouncing. I mean, I found albums like Pet Sounds, Forever Changes, Return of the Grievous Angel,et al sounded especially weird in the context, but I still couldn’t resist sticking them on. I was wondering if you still listen to these records yourself?

David McGowan: Yes, I do. The very first rock concert I ever attended was Three Dog Night circa 1973 – a Laurel Canyon band, though I did not know that until about five years ago. To my mind, the greatest guitarist who ever lived was Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin was arguably the finest female vocalist – in terms of raw power and emotion – to ever take the stage. I don’t know that it is accurate to describe my book as “denouncing” various artists. Brian Wilson, who composed Pet Sounds, is described as the finest and most admired composer of his generation. The guys from Love, architects of Forever Changes, are presented as among the most talented musicians of the era. Frank Zappa is acknowledged as an immensely talented musician, composer and arranger. And so on. It is true that I believe that some of the most famed artists to emerge from Laurel Canyon are vastly overrated, with Jim Morrison and David Crosby quickly coming to mind. And it’s true that on some of the most loved albums that came out of the canyon, the musicians who interpreted the songs weren’t the ones on the album covers. And it’s also true that, unlike other books that have covered the Laurel Canyon scene, Weird Scenes doesn’t sugarcoat things. But the undeniable talent and artistry of many of the canyon’s luminaries is acknowledged. And the book also shines a little bit of light on some of the tragically forgotten figures from that era, like Judee Sill and David Blue, which could lead to readers rediscovering some of those artists and the talents that they had to offer.
 
Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream is available now in special pre-release hardback only from Headpress. The paperback is out next month, and should be available from all strange bookshops.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Beyond the Doors: Conspiracy theories about the deaths of Jimi, Janis and Jim

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Discussion
The Zombies’ Colin Blunstone, this week on The Pharmacy


 
Gregg Foreman’s radio program The Pharmacy is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

This week’s guest is the great Colin Blunstone, lead vocalist of the classic 60’s outfit, The Zombies. The Zombies carved their way into the history books during the British Invasion with hits like “She’s Not There,” “Time of the Season” and “Just Out of Reach.” Their classic album is Odessey & Oracle. The group will perform as one of the headliners at this years Austin Psych Fest.

- The recording of Odessey & Oracle using the Beatles’ Mellotron and equipment at Abbey Road Studios.

- Why The Zombies broke up in 1967 thinking they were unpopular.

- Life in postwar England and “Swinging 60’s” London.

- Coming to America and playing with the Shangri-Las on Dick Clark’s “Cavalcade of Stars” package tour.
 

 
Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.

Set List

Intro
Just Out of Reach - The Zombies
Around and Around - The Rolling Stones
Intro 1 / 2120 South Michigan Avenue - Rx / The Rolling Stones
The Zombies Colin Blunstone Interview Part 1
Indication - The Zombies
Talk Talk - The Music Machine
I Can’t Believe What You Say - Ike and Tina Turner
Open My Eyes - The Nazz
You Don’t Love Me, Baby - Junior Wells
Intro 2 / Get Up and Get It - Rx / Jackie Mittoo
The Zombies Colin Blunstone Interview Part 2
She’s Not There (cover) - The Black Angels
You’ve Got Me Uptight - Evie Sands
Contact - Brigitte Bardot
Green Light - The Equals
Indian Rope Man - Brian Auger and Trinity
Look For Me Baby - The Kinks
Intro 3 / Trampoline - Rx / Spencer Davis
The Zombies Colin Blunstone Interview Part 3
I Love You - The Zombies
My Little Red Book - Love
Reach Out (I’ll Be There) - Lee Moses
Bring Down The Birds - Herbie Hancock
Beggin’ - Timebox
Intro 4 / What’d I Say ? - Rx / Unknown
The Zombies Colin Blunstone Interview Part 4
Care of Cell 44 - The Zombies
Vacuum Boots - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Zombies Colin Blunstone Part 5 - Colin Blunstone / Rx
Intro 5 / Ambulance City - Rx / Pink Mountaintops
Outro

 
You can download the entire show here.

Below, a Dutch TV documentary about “She’s Not There.” In English with Dutch subtitles.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘Real-life’ Marge Simpson is jaw-dropping (and kinda terrifying)


 
This is truly something else. And before you all yell “photoshop” and “fake”—I monitor the comments here on Dangerous Minds sometimes so I’m accustomed to all the usual comment tropes—it’s very real. Moscow-based photographer Alexander Khokhlov captures these extraordinary images with super-talented make-up artists, designers and expert lighting.

While this “real life” Marge Simpson is simply fascinating to look at, she’s still somewhat unsettling and terrifying, right?!?

There’s a video below showing you how Khokhlov and his team created Marge. I highly recommend muting the music. It’s godawful and distracting.

 
Via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Morrissey vs. Phil Lynott is not as exciting as it sounds
03.24.2014
09:32 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Television

Tags:
Morrissey
Phil Lynott

yessirromttonyllihppop.jpg
 
The individual components to this TV show promised more than was delivered. The fact Phil Lynott and Morrissey were part of the two teams taking part in this Pop Quiz, would whet any appetite, but sadly the result is as bland and anodyne as the show’s host, Mike Read.

You may have heard of Read before, he was the BBC Radio One DJ behind the banning of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s single “Relax.”

While treating his listeners to a performance of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s thumping dance single “Relax,” Read idly scanned the record sleeve and began to read the lyrics to the song, which had been steadily climbing the charts.

Then, mid-broadcast, he lifted the needle, denounced the content as “obscene” and refused to play it again. The rest of the BBC followed suit, banning the song, with its veiled reference to gay sex, from all TV and radio airplay, with the curious exception of the top 40 show.

Within a fortnight the song had rocketed to number one, where it nested for four weeks. (As if to rub the Beeb’s nose in it, a few months later “Relax” returned to the charts, reaching number two.)

“Relax” eventually reached Number One on 24th January, 1984, and was the beginning of an incredibly successful year for Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The ban made the BBC and especially Read look prissy, out-of-touch and utterly ridiculous. With this in mind, one has to question why the Beeb thought Mike Read a suitable host for their Saturday tea-time entertainment show Pop Quiz? As anything the poor man touched was automatically rendered vapid, bland and unrelentingly dull.

Poor Phil Lynott, who looks here like a doorman for some low-rent strip club, tries his best to jolly things along, but is given little to no help by his fellow team members, some hairdressing experiment from Kajagoogoo, and a dull Derek Forbes from Simple Minds.

Morrissey, meanwhile, is teamed-up with aging glam rocker, Alvin Stardust (yes, the fellow who crooned “My Coo Ca Choo”) and Kim Wilde of “Kids in America” (Whoa!) fame. At first Morrissey looks almost keen (answering his early questions correctly) before the full horror of the show dawns on him. As he later told The Face magazine:

Pop Quiz was unbearable. I realized it was a terrible mistake the moment the cameras began to roll. … I just squirmed through the programme. I went back to my dressing room afterwards and virtually felt like breaking down, it had been so pointless. I felt I’d been gagged.”

I’m not sure Morrissey was gagged, but it is fair to say both he and Lynott were certainly under some sort of neutralizing presence that seems to emanate from Mr. Read. The only colorful thing about him is his tasteless shirt that looks like something Walt Disney puked up.

Now you know what made for popular television in Britain back in 1984.
 

 
Part deux of le quiz de pop, apres le saut…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Will robots replace Lady Gaga?

 
Last week Dangerous Minds’ Martin Schneider posed the question “Will pole dancing robots put human strippers out of work?” After watching the video of this batshit gyrating animatronic by artist Jordan Wolfson I’m inclined to answer “maybe.” I mean I doubt they’ll be wearing bonkers witch masks, but who knows?

According to the description on YouTube:

“The figure incorporates facial recognition technology, allowing her to focus on, and unnervingly follow visitors at the exhibition.”

The piece is currently being exhibited March 6 – April 19 at David Zwirner Gallery in New York. 

 
Via io9

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Diana Rigg stars in bizarre German ‘stag films for Avengers’ fetishists’
03.18.2014
07:14 am

Topics:
Amusing
Movies
Pop Culture

Tags:
Diana Rigg
The Avengers

riggmindiaded.jpg
 
Diana Rigg was already well known as Emma Peel, the iconic kick-ass star of sixties hit TV series The Avengers, when she made these two short Super-8 films The Diadem (1966) and Mini-Killers (1969).

The Avengers was one of that decade’s most successful TV series, so why Ms. Rigg should have agreed to appear in these rather bizarre home-movies, I have no idea, but perhaps as Steven Puchalski suggests over at Shock Cinema, we should:

Think of these silent shorts as stag films for AVENGERS fetishists, who love watching Rigg beating the bejesus out of burly guys, amidst secret agent-style shenanigans.

That almost sums them both up. The Diadem is mainly an Emma-Peel-style showreel, with lots of fighting and not much plot, while Mini-Killers obviously had a bigger budget, was shot in color in exotic locations, with a bigger cast, some special effects, and a more convoluted plot involving killer dolls.

Both films were made for distribution as Super-8 home movies in Germany. The question is why did Rigg make them? Mini-Killers was filmed after she had starred in The Assassination Bureau with Oliver Reed, and appeared with the George Lazenby in the James Bond classic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, so we can scrub lack of money off the list of possible reasons why. Who cares why, it’s just some wonderful and bizarre fun from the 1960s.
 

 
‘Mini-Killers’ plus Emma Peeler photo shoot, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Alan Moore REALLY hates Grant Morrison’s guts
03.17.2014
12:15 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
Alan Moore
Grant Morrison


 
Admittedly I was semi-aware that there was “some” particularly bitter distaste between comics god Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, but that’s about all I knew… until this morning. Now I know a whole lot about the matter—at least I know Alan Moore’s side of the story in minute, excoriating detail—and you will too, if you click over to Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s Slovobooks blog for the extremely long email interview—that Moore claims will be his last—in which the comics mage addresses controversies surrounding depictions of rape in his work, his appropriation of the Golliwogg character, a sort of minstrel doll once commonplace in England (and the trademark/mascot of Robertson’s Jam until 2001) as the Galley-Wag in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier and his loathing for a particular comics author who he describes as a “Scottish cover band.”

The backstory, summarized succinctly at TechnoOccult, more or less begins in the aftermath of a November 2013 appearance in London that Moore made in with biographer Lance Parkin and others, including Méalóid. One attendee, Will Brooker, took to social media and stated his displeasure with the event on Twitter:

Really wish An Evening with Alan Moore hadn’t involved four white people on stage defending the “golliwog” as a “strong black character”

Followed by a short film about a young woman stripping, dressing in “slutty clothes” and killing herself on screen

Followed by Moore insulting Gordon Brown based on mental and physical disability

I then left the venue.

You can watch the video below and form your own opion, but suffice to say, this stirred up reactions across the Internet—you’ll find several of them linked in the TechnoOccult article—and Moore, obviously pissed off by these accusations of racism and sexism, responded with rhetorical guns-a-blazing.

Moore concludes his lengthy essay—it could hardly be considered a Q&A—devoting nearly 5000 words to the subject of why he absolutely hates Grant Morrison’s guts. Stalker, tapeworm, parasite, “feverishly fixated non-entity,” “my own personal 18th century medicinal leech”—these are some of the nicer things Moore has to say about Morrison. It’s daggers out the whole way. I could just pick a random paragraph. In fact that’s what I will do. Eeny, meeny, miny… Moore:

Having removed myself as much as possible from a comic scene that seemed more the province of posturing would-be pop-stars than people with a genuine respect for themselves, their craft or the medium in which they were working, I could only marvel when the customary several months after I’d announced my own entry into occultism and the visionary episode which I believed Steve Moore and myself to have experienced in January, 1994, Grant Morrison apparently had his own mystical vision and decided that he too would become a magician. (It wasn’t until I read Lance Parkin’s biography that I learned that as a result of Morrison’s apparently unwitnessed magical epiphany he had boldly decided to pursue a visionary path of ‘materialism and hedonism’. Could I point out for the benefit of anyone who may have been taking this idiotic shit seriously that this doesn’t sound so much like a mystical vision as it does an episode of The Only Way Is Essex? How does this magical discipline and philosophy differ in any way from the rapacious Thatcherite ideologies of the decade in which Grant Morrison wriggled his way to prominence?) I’m reliably informed that he has recently made the unprecedented move of expressing his dissatisfaction with the superhero industry, if only because there isn’t as much money in it as there used to be, and I imagine that there is a very strong likelihood that he will contrive to die within four to six months of my own demise, after leaving pre-dated documents testifying to the fact that he actually predeceased me.

Ouchy!

Moore continues, wishing that:

”...admirers of Grant Morrison’s work would please stop reading mine, as I don’t think it fair that my respect and affection for my own readership should be compromised in any way by people that I largely believe to be shallow and undiscriminating.

That’s really throwing down the gauntlet, you might say, when one writer would like another’s readers to fuck the fuck off.

It cannot be said that Alan Moore doesn’t know how to express himself, can it? Read the entire thing—it’s long, but I promise you it’s worth it—at Pádraig Ó Méalóid’s Slovobooks blog.

Last Alan Moore interview?

The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, As Told By Grant Morrison

Below, “An Evening with Alan Moore” at the Prince Charles Cinema, November 26th, 2013:

 
Thank you Ben Telford!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
New ‘Twilight Zone’ action figures announced
03.14.2014
08:57 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture
Television

Tags:
Action Figures
Twilight Zone


The Twilight Zone Henry Bemis 3 3/4-inch Action Figure
 
Wow! Boing Boing just hipped me to these marvelous Twilight Zone action figures by Bif Bang Pow! Apparently they have a new series of action figures they’re going to release this August and you can pre-order them now.

I feel a wee bit embarrassed I’ve never seen these before?! This is something I should’ve known about! Anyway, there are other amazing Twilight Zone action figures you can still get your hands on from an existing line. My choice selections are below.


Bif Bang Pow! Twilight Zone Series 6 Action Figure Nurse
 

Bif Bang Pow! Twilight Zone Series 6 Action Figure Alien
 

Bif Bang Pow! Twilight Zone Series 6 Action Figure Alicia
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Low-Cost Cosplay: For when you can’t afford elaborate costumes
03.14.2014
12:40 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:
Cosplay


 
Thai Facebook community page Low-Cost Cosplay is a neverending treasure trove of cosplayers giving it their all one toilet paper roll and hot dog at a time!

ALL of these folks deserve an A++++++ for effort!
 

 

 

 

 

 
Many more after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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