How a pro-domme, a Russian diplomat, U.S. intelligence and Mary Tyler Moore's landscaper conspired to create a dance classic

In 1978, the CIA was caught up in a BDSM Cold War affair.

A potential Soviet asset had fallen for a professional dominatrix who made decent money peeing on entertainment lawyers. Also in play was Mary Tyler Moore's landscaper, merely because he was sweet on the dominatrix and her record collection.

The most actionable intelligence from these black leather ops would not be obtained by the Agency, but by the landscaper himself, Stuart Argabright. Under the alias Dominatrix, Argabright recorded "The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight," a New York club hit released in 1984. [...]

This all started like so many high-school dreams: with no wheels and dumb luck. In 1977, Argabright was picked up while hitchhiking back home on the Key Bridge crossing the Potomac from Washington, D.C. He was 18, wearing a Tubes T-shirt and had just won tickets to see the Stooges. He was six years away from borrowing Iggy Pop's swim trunks in West Berlin, and seven from Dominatrix turning Iggy and Bowie's "Play It Safe" into a post-punk seizure.

The woman driving was older, and her red Corvette Stingray smelled of spy perfume. [...] They began seeing each other, spending nights at her East Side apartment, getting high and listening to Bowie records. After Argabright noticed the bull whips and manacles hanging in the closet, it became apparent that his friend's occupation entailed visiting all manner of welt and contusion upon the no-account hides of wealthy degenerates.

They soon compared clientele: He had Dylan, Paul Simon and Rock Hudson. She had music executives and a Russian official in D.C., who apparently had been beaten senseless enough to fall in love, with ambitions of defection and marriage. ("But a dominatrix doesn't often entertain marriage thoughts," says Argabright.) Always game for defection, the CIA contacted the dominatrix and encouraged her to "play ball." She reluctantly agreed while continuing to make the landscaper late for his mulching appointments on the Upper West Side. [...]

"The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight" was recorded in the studio of Tangerine Dream's Peter Bauman, with vocalist Claudia Summers, Ken Lockie of Public Image, Ltd., and Bow Wow Wow remixer Ivan Ivan. [...] One imagines the boys at Langley picking up this 12-inch and adding it to the Argabright-Argabright folder, somewhere between "weeded Paul Simon's periwinkle bed" and "shared stage with Klaus Nomi." Not to mention those gigs with Rammellzee, G.G. Allin, and good lord, Max Headroom. Best keep that tab open.

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If You Add Drunk People to Fitness Quotes, Things Get Hilarious.

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Second Livestock

Virtual Free Range™

Eliminating the need for the physical space required for free-range livestock our Virtual Free Range™ gives livestock the experience of Free Range life while in the safe confines of our facility.

Free Range life, though providing a diverse diet, exercise, and socialization, is inherently stressful to the animals. It can also result in a high loss for the producer due to injuries and predation.

Virtual Free Range™ combines the physical and psychological benefits of free range life with the safety and security of conventional agriculture. Chickens are free to roam, socialize and "eat" virtual food, which appears in the virtual world where their real food trays are located.

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Today in Monkey Butter News:

Cow Milk Without the Cow Is Coming to Change Food Forever

They're trying to make cow's milk cheese without the cow. Using mail-order DNA, they're tricking yeast cells into producing a substance that's molecularly identical to milk. And if successful, they'll turn this milk into cheese. Real cheese. But vegan cheese. Real vegan cheese.

That's the name of the project: Real Vegan Cheese. These hackers want cheese that tastes like the real thing, but they don't want it coming from an animal. Abandoning real cheese is one of the hardest sacrifices vegans must make, says one member of the group, Benjamin Rupert, a chemist by training and a vegan for the past decade. With Real Vegan Cheese, they won't have to. "What we're making is identical to the animal protein," he says. "You're not giving anything up, really."

This is what we call "burying the lead":

The possibilities include not just vegan cow cheese, but, well, vegan human cheese. The same basic process for synthesizing cow's milk applies to milk from any other mammal. You just need different genes. Cheese made from engineered human breast milk may not sound like a top seller at the deli counter. But the team says it can serve a practical purpose: Human milk cheese could offer an option to people who have allergies to non-human dairy products. (Chavez said the group has put its experiments with human milk on hold due to Food and Drug Administration concerns about possible autoimmune reactions.)

They also hope to engineer cheese based on the milk of the narwhal, the most outlandish mammal they could imagine. They hear the milk has the consistency of toothpaste.

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Coconut Oil

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Fly through Wipeout tracks in your browser

Reverse Engineering WipEout

With all the work that went into this project, handling the WebGL drawing with three.js turned out to be one of the simplest parts.

The finished WipEout Model Viewer loads all the original data files and does all the binary file reading, unpacking and scene creation in JavaScript.

All in all, I wrote about 800 lines of JavaScript to load and draw 3D scenes for a 20 year old game. I wonder how big the original WipEout sorurce is. It's quite sad that probably nobody will ever see it again, considering that it now belongs to Sony.

Having a hard time accepting what I see my web browser doing right now!

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SOMA Nature Walk, hemorrhagic tax dollars edition

These guys are digging a trench in a road that was poured literally two days ago. Prior to two days ago, this road was an open dirt hole covered with movable steel plates for close to two years.

Meanwhile, a hundred feet away, another crew are jackhammering up a sidewalk that they poured two weeks ago.

Who is in charge of this Mickey Mouse operation and how do they still have a job??

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I'm only up to episode 7, but wow, Daredevil is amazingly good! And it has some of the best fights I've ever seen on TV.

Fisk is perfect! Stick is perfect! Foggy is just the right level of goofball.

That hallway fight, with the six minute tracking shot!

First they do a slow build, down the hall once, peeking in the rooms to establish the space; then fight after fight, some of them off screen, which is fine because we already know the rooms; and the whole time the camera just stays out of the way! Then it ends as slowly as it began, and we never actually get to see into the Bad Room at the end of the hall. I backed up and watched that scene twice. You never see that combination of physical badassery and cinematic restraint. I haven't seen fight cinematography that good since Haywire.

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Dali Clock 2.43

Android bug fixes.


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Eighth-grader charged with felony for shoulder-surfing teacher's password

A 14-year-old Florida boy has been charged with felony computer intrusion after shoulder-surfing his school's computer network password and using it to play a prank on a teacher.

Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday, Florida, was charged with an offense against a computer system and felony unauthorized access, according to a report published Thursday by The Tampa Bay Times. In late March, the youth allegedly used the administrative-level password without permission to log in to the school's network and change the images displayed on a teacher's computer to one of two men kissing.

While the factual allegations laid out in the article seem to indicate the youth perpetrated some form of trespass, they also alleged a litany of poor practices on the part of school administrators. These practices include weak passwords, entering passwords in front of others, and widespread unauthorized access, possibly that went undetected.

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