I have a fear of flying. When I travel, I do it by car. One of the many joys of driving across the States is checking out local restaurants, junk shops and record stores. So having a GPS-based record store locator in my cell phone is an utterly cool app that I can get behind. The Vinyl District has created software for the iPhone and Android that will lead you to indie record stores throughout the United States and United Kingdom. And it’s free.
All you need to know about downloading the record store locator is at The Vinyl District’s website.
This is a great tool, not only for music freaks, but for the surviving record stores out there. Technology doin’ the right thing. Put some good karma in that irritating plastic rectangle in your pocket.
YouTube user bd594 says, “For this video I recorded each instrument separately with a decent stereo mic and I also used a mixer to adjust the audio levels. I would like to point out that absolutely no sampling or audio effects were used.”
An incredible interview between Philip K. Dick and Charles Platt from 1979, where the legendary author discussed his life, his writing and the strange events that inspired his famed Exegesis. At nearly 2 hours long, this interview is essential listening for anyone with an interest in PKD.
If you have dreamed of joining the Astronaut Corps, now is the time to apply. NASA is continuing space exploration programs that will include missions beyond low Earth orbit.
NASA, the world’s leader in space and aeronautics is always seeking outstanding scientists, engineers, and other talented professionals to carry forward the great discovery process that its mission demands. Creativity. Ambition. Teamwork. A sense of daring. And a probing mind. That’s what it takes to join NASA, one of the best places to work in the Federal Government.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a need for Astronaut Candidates to support the International Space Station (ISS) Program and future deep space exploration activities.
It was in 1959 that NASA selected the 7 military personnel who became the first astronauts. Since then, 330 have been chose from diverse backgrounds, who all passed the strict physical, technical and academic requirements. The backgrounds of NASA’s latest group of Astronaut Candidates include schoolteachers, doctors, scientist, and engineers. According to Geek Sugar, you could now be one too if you have:
Height between 62 and 72-inches, as well as a resting blood pressure not to exceed 140/90.
20/20 vision, though corrective eye surgeries like LASIK are allowed.
Bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics. Despite the space flight factor, aviation degrees do not qualify.
3 years of relevant professional experience or 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in a jet aircraft.
Of course, qualifying doesn’t mean you’ll end up floating in a tin can, but you will have as much chance as everyone else who applies - and the pay’s pretty neat at $64,000-141,000 per year - so, why the hell not?
In this clip from the “Earth is Change” episode of the great PBS kids science series, 3-2-1 Contact, at just before the five minute mark, you can see Al Jarnow’s profound—and somewhat haunting—“Cosmic Clock” animation.
Jarnow also did animations for Sesame Street and The Electric Company. A DVD of Jarnow’s complete short films made for PBS and The Children’s Television Workshop, as well as his experimental animation work, is available through the Numero Group.
Thanks to the fine folks at Morbid Anatomy I just discovered the fascinating web show “The Midnight Archive” created by Brooklynite Ronni Thomas. It’s the first offering from online network hellabox.tv.
The Midnight Archive is a new web series which aims to document the exotic, the strange, the eccentric and the truly unique. Often dark and always on the fringe, the series puts an honest look into some of the most fascinating people, places and artifacts that many people are wildly unfamiliar with. From a woman who mummifies pets to the largest collection of automata, the idea is for the subject matter to tell its own story and give the viewer just a taste of something ‘unusual’. No dramatic stings, no editorial drama - just the facts.
In this episode, we visit Sue Jieven who in addition to being a tattoo artist is an anthromorphic taxidermist which is the art of “taking an animal’s skin, preparing it, and putting it in a human-like setting.”
“The Midnight Archive” consists of six episodes so far and they all make for compelling viewing.
A Narco Polo comic by former inner-city teacher and public defender, Rob Arthur. Here’s a snippet from Rob’s website:
One way in which creativity can be described is the ability to find new and novel connections between concepts. In scientific terms the ability to find connections between words is called semantic priming. A 2010 study published in Psychiatry Research found that the use of marijuana induces a state of hyper-priming. (9) When presented with an activation word, subjects reacted faster to distantly-related words when high than when sober. (For a neuroscience journalist’s take on this study go here.) The flow of loose associations promoted by marijuana is a real phenomenon.
Credit goes to Jason Silva for introducing me to this study. His article on marijuana’s “butterfly effect” on thought can be found here.
The fun and beauty of toys is they exist purely for pleasure… but within the most wonderful of toys there is poetry and secret teachings.
“Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas.” - Charles Eames.
Charles and Ray Eames made over 100 short films. Many of them had toys as their subject. In Tops (1969) and the solar powered Do-Nothing Machine (1957), the Eames celebrate design and movement for their own sake as well as their potential to open doors of perception.
The Do-Nothing Machine was created by the Eames to do exactly what its name says - nothing. In the 1950s, when progress was our most important product, a machine that did nothing, other than dazzle the eye and compel one to meditate upon the beauty of form, sunlight and gravity, was a radical statement. Eames’ machine could be seen as a precursor to the psychedelic experience: a device to tickle the senses and bring us into the NOW. Add the fact that it is solar-powered and we have something that is positively visionary in all senses of the word.
In our goal-oriented society, a toy is a respite from getting things done. A toy is like the Buddha nature, it need not justify itself. It just is, of the moment, no results required, no function necessary other than in the delight of being. But within the playful nature of a toy, there are things to be learned if you so choose to discover them.
A top is perfect, profound in its simplicity, offering up a multitude of possible teachings. Truly alive when it is in balance, the top, spinning like a prayer wheel with a sense of humor, in accordance with natural law, is a symbol of the Dharma as it spins upon its invisible axis. The spine of the top is charged like some kind of tantric machine. With each new spin it is reborn.