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Water-Walking With John Cage
11.09.2009
05:10 pm
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The New Yorker‘s great Alex Ross (The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century) alerts us to the first major museum exhibition in years devoted to “arch-magus of the musical avant-garde,” John Cage.  Unfortunately, though, it’s happening not in America (nor is it scheduled to), but in Barcelona at its Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).

The Anarchy of Silence?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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11.09.2009
05:10 pm
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Roy Harper: Stormcock
11.09.2009
04:41 pm
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Continuing on from yesterdays’ Lucifer’s Friend post, why it’s, it’s… the greatest folk album of the 1970s! Why has nobody heard of this one? Is it the tremendously unexciting cover art? The lack of any kind of pandering to any audience or demographic? The, um, name of the album? Regardless, there’s no good reason why this album remains buried, lost in the annals of history. It’s like an hour of Johnny Appleseed blowing up your head with the sheer awesomeness of his guitar magic, then planting a tree in your head cavity that immediately grows into a 80 foot tall cedar that unleashes 17 red doves from its branches that fly off to establish 200 years of peace in the world.

Uh, Wikipedia has this to say:

Stormcock is a 1971 album by English folk/rock singer-songwriter Roy Harper, commonly acknowledged to be his “best record”.

What? That’s it? That’s like saying that the existence of the universe is god’s “best idea.”

Witness the miracle below.

(Roy Harper: Stormcock)

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.09.2009
04:41 pm
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Stanley Lieber: Ensign Smurf
11.09.2009
04:12 pm
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Via Arthur Magazine, it’s Ensign Smurf, a running comic by Stanley Lieber that they’ve been serializing on the blog. Stanley’s comic and video work, seen at his blog, is original, excellent stuff. Why they don’t stock stuff like this anywhere outside of ?ɬ

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.09.2009
04:12 pm
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Inside The Martian Torture Chamber, Preparing For Contact
11.09.2009
03:31 pm
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Is photosynthesis possible on Mars?  Scientists at the German Center for Aeronautics and Space Research (DLR) seem to think so.  They’re rigged up a hermetically sealed steel chest consisting of 95% carbon dioxide, set the thermostat to ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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11.09.2009
03:31 pm
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Lachanophobia: Fear of Vegetables
11.09.2009
11:14 am
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Vicki Larrieux, a 22-year-old student from Portsmouth, claims she is unable to keep to a healthy diet because she is frightened of vegetables.

She suffers from a fear known as lachanophobia, which leaves her sweating and stricken with panic attacks at the merest sight of a sprout or a pea.

Miss Larrieux survives on a diet of meat, potatoes, cereals and an occasional apple but refuses even a single slice of carrot on her dinner plate.

“I have always had an irrational fear of vegetables even as a child I used to properly freak out if some carrots or a few peas were on my plate,” she said.

“But as it continued into adult life I started to think it might not just be a dislike for vegetables but an actual phobia.

“Every time I would see vegetables not just on my plate, but anywhere I would get feelings of panic, start sweating and my heart rate would shoot up.

“People might think it is a bit of a laughable affliction but I have a genuine fear of greens it’s not just that I dislike the taste of sprouts or broccoli, but the actual sight of them fills me with dread and I could never touch them.”

The unusual fear affects just a few thousand people in Britain and treatments for the condition include “psychological re-programming” to control the anxious response to seeing vegetables.

Miss Larrieux’s condition makes routine trips to the supermarket or a night out at a restaurant with her boyfriend Joseph Jade, 25, a major problem.

“It is a bit of an ordeal to go to the supermarket because the veg is usually right by the door,” she said.

“My boyfriend is very understanding and does his best to accommodate me. It is a good job he isn’t a vegetarian because it just wouldn’t work.

Read more of Woman diagnosed with fear of vegetables.
 
(via Arbroath)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.09.2009
11:14 am
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Sorted for E’s and Wizz: Man Takes 40,000 Hits of Ecstasy in Nine Years
11.08.2009
10:16 pm
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Bez from the Happy Mondays has nothing to do with this article.
 
Why would someone do this to themselves? I mean, no wonder! How the hell did this guy expect he’d end up after taking 40,000 E’s?

Doctors from London University have revealed details of what they believe is the largest amount of ecstasy ever consumed by a single person. Consultants from the addiction centre at St George’s Medical School, London, have published a case report of a British man estimated to have taken around 40,000 pills of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, over nine years. The heaviest previous lifetime intake on record is 2,000 pills. Though the man, who is now 37, stopped taking the drug seven years ago, he still suffers from severe physical and mental health side-effects, including extreme memory problems, paranoia, hallucinations and depression. He also suffers from painful muscle rigidity around his neck and jaw which often prevents him from opening his mouth. The doctors believe many of these symptoms may be permanent.

The man, known as Mr A in the report in the scientific journal Psychosomatics, started using ecstasy at 21. For the first two years his use was an average of five pills per weekend. Gradually this escalated until he was taking around three and a half pills a day. At the peak, the man was taking an estimated 25 pills every day for four years. After several severe collapses at parties, Mr A decided to stop taking ecstasy. For several months, he still felt he was under the influence of the drug, despite being bedridden.

His condition deteriorated and he began to experience recurrent tunnel vision and other problems including hallucinations, paranoia and muscle rigidity. “He came to us after deciding that he couldn’t go on any more,” said Dr Christos Kouimtsidis, the consultant psychiatrist at St George’s Medical School in Tooting who treated him for five months. “He was having trouble functioning in everyday life.”

The doctors discovered that the man was suffering from severe short-term memory problems of a type usually only seen in lifetime alcoholics. But evaluating the full extent of his condition was difficult as his concentration and attention was so impaired he was unable to follow the simple tasks involved in the test.

“This was an exceptional case. His long- term memory was fine but he could not remember day to day things - the time, the day, what was in his supermarket trolley,” said Dr Kouimtsidis. “More worryingly, he did not seem aware himself that he had these memory problems.”
 
Below, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker sings his wryly observed outsider’s tale of being on E at a rave and not quite getting it, Sorted for E’s and Wizz:
 

 
The strange case of the man who took 40,000 ecstasy pills in nine years

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.08.2009
10:16 pm
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Babies Learn How to Speak in The Womb
11.08.2009
09:44 pm
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I’ve always read that beyond the ages of 3-5, a child cannot develop “perfect pitch” so it’s a very good idea to start ‘em young if you want to raise the next Yo-Yo Ma or Duke Ellington. I was always impressed by friends of mine who made a point to make sure they had things like a complete Beatles CD collection in their babies room or who started their kids with piano lessons at two, but this article, from Science Daily makes the case that expectant mothers might want to start even earlier and maybe evan wear headphones around their tummies!

It turns out that when babies are born, they’ve already been absorbing the sounds that go on around them, in particular the sounds of their mother’s voice. So much so that they are, in a sense, already speaking their parents native tongue as the exit the womb. Researchers can hear it in their first gurgles and cries:

From their very first days, newborns’ cries already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, reveals a new study published online in Current Biology. The findings suggest that infants begin picking up elements of what will be their first language in the womb, and certainly long before their first babble or coo.

“The dramatic finding of this study is that not only are human neonates capable of producing different cry melodies, but they prefer to produce those melody patterns that are typical for the ambient language they have heard during their fetal life, within the last trimester of gestation,” said Kathleen Wermke of the University of W?ɬ

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.08.2009
09:44 pm
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Cocaine and Alcohol Make a Third Drug in Your Body
11.08.2009
09:18 pm
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Make of this what you will. It certainly seems plausible enough to me, but the article doesn’t really quote any pharmacological experts so that always raises my eyebrow. Valid information or merely anecdotal evidence that probably shouldn’t be a major newspaper until it’s a bit more solid? You decide:

“I first took coke when I was 18 and at university. I remember two friends who did chemistry told me I should get really drunk first because it would mix into this new chemical in my blood and make me even higher,” a 30-year-old woman who works in publishing told the Observer yesterday.

What her friends did not tell her is that the combination of cocaine and alcohol in her then teenage body will have left a highly toxic chemical in her liver called cocaethylene.

While few outside the world of pharmacology have heard of the chemical, fewer still are aware of its life-threatening properties. Now, however, its side-effects, discovered in 1979, are threatening to become tragically familiar as they take their toll on users in their 30s and 40s.

Drug addiction clinics say they are becoming increasingly concerned by the health risks associated with the chemical ?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.08.2009
09:18 pm
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Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers
11.08.2009
08:15 pm
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Here’s an amusing Flickr pool dedicated to crappy bootleg DVD covers.
 
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.08.2009
08:15 pm
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Martian Landscapes: Mars in High Resolution
11.08.2009
07:03 pm
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From The Big Picture:

Since 2006, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars, currently circling approximately 300 km (187 mi) above the Martian surface. On board the MRO is HiRISE, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, which has been photographing the planet for several years now at resolutions as fine as mere inches per pixel. Collected here is a group of images from HiRISE over the past few years, in either false color or grayscale, showing intricate details of landscapes both familiar and alien, from the surface of our neighboring planet, Mars. I invite you to take your time looking through these, imagining the settings - very cold, dry and distant, yet real. (35 photos total)

Martian landscapes

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.08.2009
07:03 pm
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