Wednesday, July 05, 2006

TV in Japan

You can watch knock-off Japanese Spiderman, Johnny Depp getting interviewed by a female Willy Wonka, naked asian people playing Mah-Jong, lingerie models trying to sit in scalding water, and japanese rap videos, all on the same site. Possibly the most continually entertaining blog ever.

TV in Japan

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Poseidon sat at his desk, going over the accounts. The administration of all the waters gave him endless work. He could have had as many assistants as he wanted, and indeed he had quite a number, but since he took his job very seriously he insisted on going through all the accounts again himself, and so his assistants were of little help to him. It cannot be said that he enjoyed the work; he carried it out simply because it was assigned to him; indeed he had frequently applied for what he called more cheerful work, but whenever various suggestions were put to him it turned out that nothing suited him so well as his present employment. Needless to say, it was very difficult to find him another job. After all, he could not possibly be put in charge of one particular ocean. Quite apart from the fact that in this case the work involved would not be less, only more petty, the great Poseidon could hold only a superior position. And when he was offered a post unrelated to the waters, the very idea made him feel sick, his divine breath came short and his brazen chest began to heave. As a matter of fact, no one took his troubles very seriously; when a mighty man complains one must pretend to yield, however hopeless the case may seem. No one ever really considered relieving Poseidon of his position; he had been destined to be God of the Seas since time immemorial, and that was how it had to remain.
What annoyed him most - and this was the chief cause of discontent with his job - was to learn of the rumors that were circulating about him; for instance, that he was constantly cruising through the waves with his trident. Instead of which here he was sitting in the depths of the world's ocean endlessly going over the accounts, an occasional journey to Jupiter being the only interruption of the monotony, a journey moreover from which he invariably returned in a furious temper. As a result he has hardly seen the oceans, save fleetingly during his hasty ascent to Olympus, and had never really sailed upon them. He used to say that he was postponing this until the end of the world, for then there might come a quiet moment when, just before the end and having gone through the last account, he could still make a quick little tour." Poseidon, by Franz Kafka

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

someone is a genius

For the moment, if you go to google and type the word "failure" as the search phrase, and click "I'm feeling lucky" (to bring up the first search hit result), you get redirected the White House web page for George W. Bush.

Monday, April 03, 2006

genetically engineering myth creatures for fantasy pets

GeneDupe is a company in the business of genetically engineered luxury pets. They start out with a search image of a mythological creature (right now, dragons, unicorns and gryphons), and the living creature that most closely resembles the mythological creature (lizards for dragons, horses for unicorns, and the spliced genomes of a lion and an eagle for the gryphon). From there, by using computer simulations, the computer goes through a series of random mutations, breeding simulated embryos and selecting for the new mutation that most closely resembles the virtual creature. They have successfully designed, in theory, the genetics of multiple imaginary creatures from popular mythology. The next step for the company, which they are just beginning, is to take it into the real world for testing.

Combining the genetic traits from two different animals into a third is nothing new. Everyone has heard of the rabbit Alba (see wire article "I Love My Glow Bunny"), which had jellyfish genes spliced in to make its eyes, whiskers and fur glow green under fluorescent light. Scientists have also tinkered with designing human-animal chimeras, combining the DNA of humans with animal dna, and allowing the cells to survive for a few days in a petri dish before destroying it (see my previous article, mad geneticists create human monsters; chimeras a reality).

idea via future feeder
source article, "Here be dragons" at

new brain chip can connect to thousands of neurons, send signals back to hundreds

One small step towards mind control and cyborgs.
The mobile chip maker Infineon, working with a team from Italy and Germany, has developed a chip that can read signals from up to 16,328 mammalian brain cells, and send signals back to several hundred of them. The scientists tested the chip on snails, due to the simplicity of the cells, and tinkered with the genetics of the organisms to get the combination to work even better. In order to get neurons to attach to the circuit, the researchers had to develop a "neural glue" using a protein from the brain which glues connections together and also attracts sodium pores.

source article at new scientist

Monday, March 27, 2006

photographing every object used in a lifetime

Alberto Frigo, Professor in the Art and Technology Department at the Gothenburg University, has singlehandedly undertaken the task of photographing every object that he uses for the rest of his life. The rules of engagement are as follows:
1. During a life-event every object (every artifact that is graspable, consistent and independent) the dominant-hand uses is photographed once and while used.
2. If an object of the same type is the following to be used, this object is not photographed unless the life-event changes.
3. A life-event changes as soon as the dominant-hand uses a different object in a different space.

You can view his archive of photos and read more at his website. Photos are organized by date and by type of object used. You start out on the current day, and by clicking on an object you view a large paneling of every time in his recorded history that type of object was used. You can then click on a specific photo, and travel through time to view all of the objects he used during that same day. He also looks slightly like Amelie's boyfriend.

idea via pasta and vinegar

make something new

"draw-something is a program that generates original drawings. It does so by generating a simple random polyline scribble then drawing around that using a simple maze-running algorithm."

idea via future feeder

Sunday, February 26, 2006

thoughts watched and willed away - controlling pain

A study by Stanford Researchers together with the MRI technology company Omneuron demonstrates that patients can lessen their pain greatly by looking at a real-time fMRI neuro-imaging scan of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex in their brain, which is closely related to pain. By experimenting with different techniques while able to visualize the results directly, patients were able to play a sort of hot and cold game to learn what works best, decreasing total pain by an average of 64%. By learning the basic techniques from working with the machine, researchers hope that people can learn to strengthen the neural circuits responsible for lessening pain while outside of the lab.

source article from wired news
study available at the stanford web site

Colombian artist Catalina Estrada

visit her web site
idea via boingboing

Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Baby Cages keep me safe from my pit bull puppy doggy."

Remember Bonzai Kittens? Welcome

The top-rated greek news channel, Alpha TV, recently bit the bait, falling for one of the most obvious new internet hoaxes, Expressing public disgust and outrage, Alpha TV referred to it as another instance of "American self-indulgence" and a step towards a new-Orwellian society.

Babycage, spoofing the American tendency to keep children on leashes, go one step farther, offering a number of child-containment facilities, including the baby escort (above), the teenager cage, and the multi-baby cage.

idea via metafilter

Saturday, February 18, 2006

video collage of tunnel accidents set to dance music: biting postmodern media critique or perverse adolescent expression?

David Pescovitz recently posted this link on boing-boing, remarking that there was something "uncomfortably engaging" about the video. The video reflects a sort of naturalization of terror, the way in which a lethal event on the news will be surpassed minutes later by gum commercials, pop music, and reality television. Reflecting our virtual obsessions with reproducing reality, the real itch we can't scratch is the dim awareness of total falsity that normal television brings, causing the voyeuristic mas(s)ochist masses to demand entertainment that presses closer to the reality we feel is denied us. The unsettling part of watching people dying in tunnel accidents to dance music is the eerie way in which it doesn't feel unnatural at all, but just an everyday television experience.

watch video here
idea via boing boing

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Hall of Best Knowledge

The Hall of Best Knowledge is a weekly comic panel done by Ray Fenwick in Halifax. The first 35 panels are up for viewing on his Flickr collection.

via Drawn!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Nazi swing music from the 30's

For the novelty obsessed,
WFMU's Beware of the Blog has posted a collection of Nazi swing music from the 1930's by a band called Charlie and His Orchestra. The band was led by a man named Karl Swendler, who broadcast Nazi-themed big band and swing hits every night throughout the 1930's to Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain.

Along with the collection of MP3's, they have a link to a cogent and interesting article on the purpose of propaganda by the same man. If you weren't aware that he was
pure evil you might actually agree with him. The Nazi's are not mentioned by name very often throughout the article, and it is surprisingly lucid.
Travel here

Sunday, February 12, 2006

One step closer to immortality: Klotho gene may increase human life span by 30%

Image hosting by Photobucket
Scientists in the United States have discovered a gene in mice, named Klotho after a Greek goddess who spins life's thread, that extends their lifespan by about 30%. There is a similar gene in humans, that if activated through gene therapy could have similar results for us.
The mice in the new experiments tended to be less fertile, and the gene may also predispose people to diabetes. The miracle of the gene seems to work through reducing oxidative stress, a key cause of ageing, and the gene tends to delay many of the effects of old age, such as the weakening of bones, clogging of arteries, and loss of muscle fitness.

source articles at
BBC NEWS and ScienCentral