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Buddha Sculpture Made from Dead Insects
08.31.2009
11:56 am
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Not being able to read Japanese there is not much I can write here, but I think a picture is worth a thousand words in this case! Damien Hirst take note.


Via Japan Probe

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.31.2009
11:56 am
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CD Packaging has Built-in Theremin
08.31.2009
11:26 am
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Moldover’s new CD, over 3 years in the making, not only delivers gorgeously diverse music with meaning and musical mastery, it completely redefines what it means to “play an album”... Moldover’s CD packaging itself IS a new musical instrument! The CD is mounted on a custom designed circuit board, intricately patterned and powering a “light-Theremin”. Yes! You play the artwork and it makes sound! Only the musical supervillain genius of Moldover could develop something so stunningly innovative.

 

(via Arbroath)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.31.2009
11:26 am
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Leopards Do Not Change Their Spots: GOP Christian Extremist Running for Governor of Virginia
08.31.2009
11:09 am
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Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell has, perhaps, just a teensy weensy bit of a right-wing authoritarian streak in him, what do you think? Well, McDonnell seems to think he’s going to get away with “re-branding” himself as a moderate. Although he’s trying to back peddle furiously to disassociate himself from his own words—good luck with this one, buddy—let’s hope the VA Democrats really stick it to this jerk in the general election. From The Washington Post:

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master’s thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” He described as “illogical” a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

The 93-page document, which is publicly available at the Regent University library, culminates with a 15-point action plan that McDonnell said the Republican Party should follow to protect American families—a vision that he started to put into action soon after he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.

In his run for governor, McDonnell, 55, makes little mention of his conservative beliefs and has said throughout his campaign that he should be judged by what he has done in office, including efforts to lower taxes, stiffen criminal penalties and reform mental health laws.

—snip—

He argued for covenant marriage, a legally distinct type of marriage intended to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce. He advocated character education programs in public schools to teach “traditional Judeo-Christian values” and other principles that he thought many youths were not learning in their homes. He called for less government encroachment on parental authority, for example, redefining child abuse to “exclude parental spanking.” He lamented the “purging of religious influence” from public schools. And he criticized federal tax credits for child care expenditures because they encouraged women to enter the workforce.

“Further expenditures would be used to subsidize a dynamic new trend of working women and feminists that is ultimately detrimental to the family by entrenching status-quo of nonparental primary nurture of children,” he wrote.

He went on to say feminism is among the “real enemies of the traditional family.”

There’s more! Oh yes, there is more…

‘89 Thesis A Different Side of McDonnell Va. GOP Candidate Wrote on Women, Marriage and Gays

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.31.2009
11:09 am
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Japan’s Bloodless Coup
08.31.2009
10:32 am
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Dangerous Minds pal Charles Hugh Smith has posted an essential essay to read today at Of Two Minds if you want to understand the voter’s revolution that just occurred in Japan. The ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) is out, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is in and over 50 years of domestic and foreign policy is about to be turned on its head:

Transparency has no place in central planning. The major banks were crippled with massive bad debts, yet the planners moved glacially to force write-offs and renunciation of impaired debt. Even now, no one really knows how much uncollectable debt remains on the books in Japan, Inc.

One reason is cultural. Declaring a bank insolvent is a major loss of face for everyone involved. Thus the preferred solution was to keep “zombie banks” alive as a face-saving measure.

The tricks used were plentiful and clever. Say a commercial real estate loan went south and the borrower stopped paying. Hmm, that looks bad; why not loan the firm more money, as long as they agreed to use part of it to make some token payments which would allow the bank to keep the loan off the “in default” ledger?

Never mind the additional loans only made matters worse; face was saved and time was bought.

After 20 years of malaise, the citizenry’s patience finally ran out. Things are dire for the Japanese economy and nation: the birth rates have fallen dramatically, social security costs on the exploding elderly population are climbing, and an entire generation of younger workers has been relegated to dead-end part-time jobs at 7-11. Like other global manufacturers, to remain competitive Japan’s firms moved production to China and other parts of Asia; automation in Japanese factories eliminated many of the remaining domestic jobs.

Japan’s Bloodless Coup: Devolution of the Export/Central Planning Model

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.31.2009
10:32 am
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Susanna and the Magical Orchestra: Love Will Tear Us Apart
08.30.2009
09:57 pm
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Posted by Jason Louv
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08.30.2009
09:57 pm
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TOBACCO: Hawker Boat (Trippy Beta Carnage)
08.29.2009
01:27 pm
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Awesome TOBACCO video featuring Richard Simmons!


(via HYST)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.29.2009
01:27 pm
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Progress in Darfur
08.29.2009
12:12 am
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Some generally good news, for a change.

The United Nations military commander, General Martin Agwai, says that although the area will likely continue to see things like banditry and skirmishes of local violence, the ?

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.29.2009
12:12 am
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Jeff VanderMeer on Derek Raymond
08.28.2009
09:28 pm
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Awesome post by weird fiction author Jeff VanderMeer on British crime novelist Derek Raymond (also known as Robin Cook), one of my favorite writers.

Jeff reviews Raymond’s autobiography, which is apparently even harder to find than the rest of his books. From Raymond’s introduction:

I have said a lot about writing in these memoirs, with particular reference to the black novel. I could not have described my life in any depth without almost constant reference to the work that has given it meaning?

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.28.2009
09:28 pm
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Bats Use “Love Songs,” Foul Smells to Woo Mates
08.28.2009
08:03 pm
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I was lucky enough to be in Austin, Texas during the Summer on three occasions and each time I saw hundreds of thousands of these bats waking up for the night and going out to look for a bite. During the day they slept under a bridge and at dusk they would start streaming out. It was an incredible sight. The sky would literally turn black with bats.

Obviously Texas is a great place to study bats and researchers at Texas A&M and the University of Texas, Austin have released the results of a new study that indicates bats sing “love songs”—a sort bat version of free jazz scat singing—to woo potential mates:

In the musical city of Austin, Texas, a group of smelly, pug-faced crooners is hoping to woo some females with surprisingly complex tunes.

That’s the finding of a new study of Brazilian free-tailed bats, which now join songbirds and whales as some of the only animals known to use a kind of musical language during courtship.

Also known as the Mexican free-tailed bat, the species is quite numerous in Austin and around the Texas A&M University football stadium in College Park.

Based on recordings of the animals from both locations, the researchers found that the bats’ songs contain definite phrases made up of birdlike chirps, buzzes, and trills.

Males sing their ballads as they hang upside down or sideways, sometimes flapping their wings and dripping a foul-smelling liquid that further attracts females.

Thanks Steve Silberman!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.28.2009
08:03 pm
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Dracula A.D. 1972
08.28.2009
07:20 pm
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Trailer for one of the campier Hammer films of the seventies (and that is saying a lot), Dracula A.D. 1972. Starring Christopher Lee as Dracula, Peter Cushing as a Van Helsing descendant and pre-Dynasty Stephanie Beacham (she played Sable) and scream queen supreme Caroline Munro as the requisite Carnaby Street dolly birds.

“He’ll freak you out! Right out of this world!”

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.28.2009
07:20 pm
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