the problem with mash-ups...

...is that once you get past both "oh, that's unexpected" and "that must have been difficult", what you're left with is a dj with really fucking terrible taste in music.
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Royal Deluxe #3

I just can't get enough of this! Flickr photos tagged with "nantes". The first four pages have photos of the rocket girl parade; Winonawen's gallery has a lot. Also, here are a few pictures of their Giraffe performance in 2000.

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more on Royal de Luxe

Ian Flanigan has some more photos and videos of the giant french rocket girl parade in his photo gallery. Wow! He says:

I must say that this was one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed. People got very involved in the story to the point where they interpreted what the Little Giant was feeling based on what she was doing and how she acted. They talked about her as a person, not a contraption. At one point we asked someone where she was and they told us that she decided to go out for a walk after her shower. In the evening people were saying that she was riding the elephant because she was sleepy. I didn't see it, but I was told that on Sunday morning, the Little Giant had to pee -- and when she did, all of the handlers turned their backs and looked away so as not to embarrass her.

It's that kind of little detail, that kind of gesture, that allowed it to transcend mere puppetry. It's hard to believe without actually being there, but just watching her sleep fills you with emotion.

On the technical side, the Royal de Luxe has pulled off other amazing feats, including a fully articulated giraffe with her baby, and several sizes and kinds of giants. They've also made a piano catapult, a life-sized pop-up book, stadium lights made out of car headlights, snow guns, and more. If you want to see this in person, it's traveling to other European cities this year and next:

  • Amiens (France) Thursday 16, Friday 17, Saturday 18, and Sunday 19 of June.
  • London (UK) the 8, 9, 10 and 11 of September.
  • In 2006: Bilbao (Spain), Antwerp (Belgium), Calais (France).

Apparently this was to commemorate Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes. He died 100 years ago (1905).

More technical details.

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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein The Epoxies, taggers, and [REDACTED] are noted.
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best, most misleading headline of the week

"Alzheimer Victim Sold 11 Organs"

A music store manager was charged Thursday with exploiting a woman with Alzheimer's disease who authorities say bought 11 organs from him over 18 months - including four on a single day. The woman spent about $25,000 on organs and ended up with one worth only about half that.

Heyder was charged with felony exploitation of the elderly and was held on $10,000 bail at the Pasco County Jail.

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kissing the CD goodbye.

I think it's time to stop living in the past and admit that I never access CDs after I have ripped them -- and stop devoting so many square feet of wall to making them easy to get to. Since I never do. Here in the 21st Century, they're solely for backup.

I know a lot of DJ folks who use those CD notebooks and throw away the jewel cases, but I'd feel bad just throwing away all the other pieces of the package (back cover art, etc.) and I sure don't want to tear up my fingernails by disassembling 1700+ jewel cases to save all that extra paper too.

So I'm thinking maybe I'll just get a few of these and fill them with jewel cases, and tuck them away in some write-only corner of the apartment. Something like that seems better than, like, comic book long-boxes or something, since it's roughly the right depth.

Have any of you come up with anything better?

Update: I got some of these plastic "underbed boxes" instead. I actually meant to get the "long underbed" boxes but I picked up the wrong one. But, I'm glad I got the smaller ones, because they're pretty heavy when full. It's not a perfect fit: the lids don't snap closed, and the last row of CDs is angled; but each box holds about 170 CDs. Good enough!

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I, for one, welcome the Giant French Rocket Girl and her Elephant of Royal Luxury!

From which parallel universe did this parade come? It is amazingly badass! These things are marionettes: they walk, their eyes and mouths move, and the elephant's trunk is prehensile!

"This Thursday, May 19, a rocket landed on the square of the Cathedral. It is a rocket controlled by a small giantess. Our sources of information indicate to us that it is probable that she will leave tomorrow morning..."

"This Friday, the elephant of Royal of Luxury arrived on Saint-Pierre road and the small giantess left her rocket to join it and visit the downtown area."

"This Sunday was the departure in the rocket of the small giantess... and end of 'the visit of the sultan of the Indies on his elephant to travel in time.'"

Some short videos: geantregard, geanttrottin, geantdort. (There are more.)

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Meet the Flintstones

I think some of Banksy's stencil stuff is entertaining, but most of his gallery hacks are pretty dumb. I like this one, though:
"This image released by the British Museum on Thursday May 19, 2005 shows a hoax cave painting of a primitive man pushing a supermarket trolley which was on display in the British Museum in London. The work was planted by an anonymous 'art terrorist' called Banksy and museum staff were alerted Wednesday May 18, 2005, after he put a message on his website, saying that the 10in by 6in rock, 'had remained in the collection for quite some time'. This is not the first time Banksy has stuck fake objects to gallery walls and waited to see how long it takes before curators notice. (AP Photo/British Museum/HO)"
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Voted "Most Likely to [REDACTED]"

Secret Service Looks Into Yearbook Prank

Most Mesa Ridge High School students got yearbooks with a black mark under one student's picture, covering up a phrase that has caught the Secret Service's interest.

After about 100 yearbooks were distributed May 6, somebody complained about the caption, which reads "most likely to assassinate President Bush." School officials asked students to return the yearbooks, and staff members used markers to cover up the words in those and the still-undistributed books. [...]

Lon Garner, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's Denver District, said all threats against the president must be investigated. "That's our mission," he said. "That's what we do."

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Bad Grinch, no Constitution for you.

Man Arrested for Wearing Grinch Mask

City and county attorneys are defending Wheeling police who arrested a man for wearing a Grinch mask while walking along a city street.

Norman Eugene Gray, 42, was arrested Tuesday. He was arraigned and released on a personal recognizance bond.

Officers saw Gray about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, told him to take the mask off and not put it on again. Gray removed it and asked why he could not wear it. Officers told him wearing masks in public is illegal. Gray said he felt he had a right to wear it and said it was not illegal. He put the mask back on and was arrested. The mask was confiscated.

Wheeling City Solicitor Rosemary Humway-Warmuth and Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith said masks as well as dark window tinting in vehicles can pose a safety hazard to law enforcement officers and hinder efforts to identify criminal suspects.

Smith said wearing a mask or hood in public is a misdemeanor under [West Virginia] state law, punishable by a fine of up to $500 or up to a year in jail, or both. Children up to 16 years old can wear masks. Traditional Halloween masks, safety gear used in occupations, theatrical productions, civil defense or protection from bad weather also are legal.

Previously: "The ability of that officer to gain compliance is restricted."

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