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Crop Circles in 1678?
09.04.2009
02:54 pm
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There have been some truly sensational crop circle formations appearing in 2009 and while I was hunting around for some good images to post here, I came across an article (on the BBC’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy forums, I think I should add) that contained this rather astonishing bit of information:

Crop circles are not a new phenomenon. There are 17th Century woodcuts that record the observation of what appears to be crop circles. One such woodcut, entitled The Devil Mower, appeared in a Hertfordshire newspaper dated 22 August, 1678. The article described the apparition overnight of a strange design in a field of oats, so neatly pressed that ‘no mortal man was able to do the like’ which was attributed to the ‘devil or some infernal spirit’. By convoluted logic this apparition confirmed the existence of God since, it was argued, if devils have a Hell then there must be a Heaven, and a God.

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Here is what it says:

Being a True Relation of a Farmer, who Bargaining with a Poor Mower, about the Cutting down Three Half Acres of Oats: upon the Mower’s asking too much, the Farmer swore That the Devil should Mow it rather than He. And so it fell out, that very Night, the Crop of Oat shew’d as if it had been all of a flame: but next Morning appear’d so neatly mow’d by the Devil or some Infernal Spirit, that no Mortal Man was able to do the like. Also, How the said Oats ly now in the Field, and the Owner has not Power to fetch them away. Liscensed, August 22nd, 1678.

Arguments Against the Hoax Theory of Crop Circles by Joseph E. Mason (he works for NASA)

The 2009 Crop Circle Season

Crop Circles (BBC)

Crop Circles: An Invitation (Reality Sandwich)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.04.2009
02:54 pm
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Catfish Being Used to Clean Pools of Foreclosed Homes
09.04.2009
01:15 pm
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WELLINGTON, FL—Debra Mitchell is a lead code compliance officer for the Village of Wellington. During the collapse of the housing market, the community was left with a large number of foreclosed homes.

Pointing out one example Mitchell said, “It has an unsanitary, abandoned swimming pool, stagnant swimming pool. There’s no electricity running at this location.”

The code compliance department was paying nearly 7,000 dollars a year to dump chemicals into the pools to treat the scummy buildup.

That’s when Mitchell and some of her colleagues came up with an environmentally-friendly idea to get rid of the green. An idea with a much lower price tag of just 700 dollars.

“Some of us got clever and decided to try the fish-eating…er algae eating fish,” she said.

At a typical home that needed help Mitchell revealed, “We have dumped 15 pleco algae-eating fish in here to take care of the algae situation.”


Something’s fishy in Wellington


(via Arbroath )

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.04.2009
01:15 pm
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Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ?
09.04.2009
12:50 pm
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An exhibit opening soon at London’s Drawing Room art gallery displays the materials produced for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s sadly never-produced version of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels:

This exhibition includes production drawings made by Moebius, H.R Giger and Chris Foss alongside commissioned work made in response by three international contemporary artists Steven Claydon, Matthew Day Jackson and Vidya Gastaldon.

Following the release of his mystical Western ?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.04.2009
12:50 pm
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Jeff Hoke: Museum of Lost Wonder
09.04.2009
11:45 am
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I first came across Jeff Hoke’s “Museum of Lost Wonder” in zine format; at the time he was doing them out of his house and selling them on stapled manila paper. Basically you could chop up the zines and make your own origami temples, mind-bending devices and other examples of the genius of the ancient world. In the meantime the zines taught you everything you need to know about alchemy, Qabalah, the universe and ways to trip out without drugs. They were practically arts-and-crafts training modules in the Ancient Mysteries. Now it’s all been collected as a hardback. Hm… slightly less tempting to chop up. Buy two! If I knew any smart kids (I don’t) I would buy this for them next time at the next given Present Tax time, and guarantee a life of inward-directed seeking fun.

(Link here.)

Posted by Jason Louv
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09.04.2009
11:45 am
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It’s Freej: Dubai’s Answer To South Park
09.04.2009
01:52 am
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Meet the stars of Freej, Dubai’s first 3-D animated series.  If you’re wondering which of the above four grannies plays the “Cartman,” rest assured these ladies get nowhere near Satan, J-Lo, or even Casa Bonita.  The humor here instead “tackles hot topics like wedding traditions and bribery in a distinctly Arab way, sometimes merely hinting at issues.”

But this is not to say series creator, 31-year-old Mohammed Saeed Harib, shies completely away from button-pushing.  In Freej’s first season, an episode alluded to Islamic extremism.  It was pulled from repeat broadcasts, but managed to later wind up on DVD.

 

 
In the NYT: Dubai Superheroes: Little Old Grannies Who Wear Veils

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.04.2009
01:52 am
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Oliver Stone Goes South Of The Border
09.04.2009
01:08 am
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The trailer for Oliver Stone‘s new documentary on Hugo Chavez, South of the Border, just popped up on YouTube.  I see Stone co-wrote it with Tariq Ali, the New Left Review editor (and inspiration for the Stones’ Street Fighting Man), so expect the usual shitstorm of controversy.  And who’s that behind the camera?  How nice—Gimme Shelter‘s Albert Maysles

In the LAT: Oliver Stone Heads “South Of The Border” To Chat Up Chavez And Others

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.04.2009
01:08 am
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The Pink and Blue Projects
09.04.2009
12:00 am
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JeeongMee Joon’s ?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.04.2009
12:00 am
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Rudy Wurlitzer: Two-Lane Blacktop And Beyond
09.03.2009
03:30 pm
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In reference to Rudy Wurlitzer‘s ‘69 debut, Nog, none other than Thomas Pynchon said: “The novel of bullshit is dead.””  A not bad start for Wurlitzer, the sole member of the piano-making clan who never saw a dime (or not many) from his family name.

Tracing the often-psychedelic wanderlust of its title character who was either insane or drug-addicted (or both), Nog brought Wurlitzer a certain degree of fame as a novelist, but he’s perhaps best known, and celebrated, for his screenwriting.  His collaboration with Sam Peckinpah yielded the Bob Dylan-scored Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.  Two years before that, though, he and Monte Hellman pulled off one of my all-time cinematic favorites, Two-Lane Blacktop.

Starring James Taylor and Dennis Wilson (both looking shockingly boyish) as eternally drifting drivers, Two-Lane featured sparse dialogue and even sparser performances.  Visually, though, it’s pure poetry, and, to me, a still-vital piece of American existentialism—especially in its final moment.  The trailer for Two-Lane follows below.

And just up at Chuck Palahniuk‘s website, an excellent, yet typically elusive, interview with Wurlitzer where he discusses everything from Dylan to Pynchon.  Regarding his new-ish novel, The Drop Edge of Yonder, Wurlitzer also addresses, politely, “l’affaire de Jim Jarmusch.”  Apparently, the director “pillaged” from Wurlitzer the raw material he’d later shape into Dead Man.  You can read the interview here.

 
See also in Arthur Magazine: ON THE DRIFT: Rudy Wurlitzer and the Road to Nowhere

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.03.2009
03:30 pm
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Testing The Spontaneous Human Combustion Beam
09.03.2009
01:50 pm
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More news from the “death from above” front: Boeing just announced the successful testing of their Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL).  Not familiar with the ATL?  Well, according to Wired‘s David Hambling here’s what it can do:

The Advanced Tactical Laser, weighing twelve thousand pounds and mounted in a Hercules transport plane, is intended to give Special Forces Command ‘ultra-precision strike capability’ against a wide range of ground targets.  Its power is somewhere in the hundred-kilowatt range.  According to the developers, the accuracy of this weapon is little short of supernatural.  They claim that the pinpoint precision can make it lethal or non-lethal at will.  For example, they say it can either destroy a vehicle completely, or just damage the tires to immobilize it.

But that’s not even close to what’s got the military so hot and bothered about this baby’s capabilities.  Hambling asserts that Boeing’s ATL “will allow Special Forces to strike with maximum precision, from long distances—without being blamed for the attacks.  ‘Plausible deniability’ is how the presentation put it.”

Or, in simpler terms, the ATL can carry out covert assassinations with zero accountability.  Cause of death, forensically speaking?  Struck by lightning.

From The Register: Secret U.S. Spontaneous Human Combustion Beam Tested

In Wired: Laser Gunship Fires; “Deniable” Strikes Ahead?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.03.2009
01:50 pm
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Podiatrist Photographs World’s Most Endangered Flowers
09.03.2009
03:06 am
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Alisa Opar from Audubon Magazine says,

For the first time in nearly 70 years, an Amorphophallus titanum, dubbed the ?

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.03.2009
03:06 am
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