the glass teat

  1. Somehow I have missed last week's episodes of both 24 and Angel. Tivo, why hast thou forsaken me?

  2. The convenient coincidences and ham-hlanded forshadowing in 24 make me really angry. Very nearly throw-things-at-the-TV angry. But at least Jack's god damned daughter wasn't in the latest episode at all.

  3. I think that in the last few episodes, Penn and Teller have been spending less time showing "these commonly held beliefs are bullshit" and more time showing "some people who believe these things are inarticulate and not very bright." It's disappointing, because they didn't fall back on that tactic so much in the earlier episodes.

  4. Faith is a bit less annoying now than she was the first time around. But still pretty annoying.

  5. Even though Firefly is no more, it's good to see that Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres have gotten transferred over to the Buffyverse. They both do evil really well!

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Starship Dimensions

This was on slashdot a while back, but it was overloaded and I couldn't get in. Well, it's working now, and it's very, very cool. There are a few notable missing ships, though...
Starship Dimensions "This site is intended to allow science fiction fans to get an impression of the true scale of their favorite science fiction spacecraft by being able to campare ships accross genres, as well as being able to compare them with contemporary objects with which they are probably familiar. The scales are based on meter-to-pixel ratios so that they are accurate on any platform. The background grid is divided into groups of ten, and larger groups of one hundred pixels, to allow for easy measurement."
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lowbrow media report

  • I knew I could count on Mr. Zombie to deliver on the schlock horror front, and House of a Thousand Corpses did not disappoint. There are evil clown psychos, "Doctor Satan", premature burial bunny suits, and Karen Black. Joe Bob says check it out.

    The first half is great, but the second half kind of tapers off. At first I was thinking, "ok, he's doing the `Natural Born Killers' thing instead of the `Hills Have Eyes' thing." But no, once the second half gets going, it's the 'Hills Have Eyes' thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.

    It must be a fucking blast to be Rob Zombie.

  • The SciFi Channel is rerunning Cleopatra 2525 which I recommend most enthusiastically. I was totally bummed when that show got cancelled: it's Kung Fu Barbarella! It worked because it was a comedy in which the characters all thought they were in an action movie (as opposed to the never-funny Xena, where the characters all knew they were in a comedy.) And there's actually some interesting future-history world-building hidden in there, too. Plus, did I mention, kung fu wire-fighting Cyberdog girls. Oh, and also giant robots and evil clowns (as above.)

  • Tremors the Series sucks, don't even bother.

  • "Dude, Where's My Sacred Scroll?" was a perfectly adequate kung fu movie. Good fights, and it was not nearly the groaner I expected from the previews. Keanu-bot and Avril-bot versus the Super-Nazi! (no, not the Red Skull, though that would have been cool.) This movie featured no clowns whatsoever.

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one more nail pounded through the dessicated corpse of Netscape...

A Reliable Informant tells me that all email addresses ending in "netscape.com" will be going away within the next week or so: everyone in the Netscape division will now be required to use AOL Mail!

Presumably the "mozilla.org" folks will be able to hang on to those addresses, but damn. As I understand it, AOL mail doesn't even have folders, and the maximum data retention is some small number of days: after that, your mail just vaporizes. Whee!

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DNA Lounge:

Photos of sunday's Pigface, Thrill Kill Kult, Zeromancer, and Bile show are up now, as well as monday's Tarmvred, Iszoloscope, and Exclipsect show.

Apparently the rambling I did in my last entry about laptop acts wasn't very clear to some folks, so let me try that again. First of all, like I said, I did enjoy the music on monday, that's not what I was talking about at all. It just seems to me that when someone is standing there on stage doing their thing, they're saying to the audience, "Watch me. The show is over here." And yet, so often, there's no show.

In the case of a dj, this is somewhat expected: with a few very rare exceptions (Disco D comes to mind), djs don't do anything that's interesting to look at, so people don't really watch them: they dance, or socialize, or whatever. But at live shows, people tend to stand around in rapt attention at whatever's happening on stage, whether there's anything to see or not.

Cybrid are an example of a laptop band who actually have a show: they've got that whole Run DMC gag they do, plus having a vocalist always gives you something to watch. But mostly, laptop acts tend to be one or two guys with their bobbing heads buried in their gear. You assume they're up there creating music, but without going up there and standing next to them, you can't really tell that they're not just playing Tetris or checking their email. When you're watching a drummer, you can tell what he's doing. Drummers and guitarists are just inherently more photogenic than typists, since what they do involves actually moving around.

I guess what I'd say to laptop acts is, "if you have no stage presence, there's a lot to be said for getting a good slideshow."

Meat Beat Manifesto used to tour with a dance troupe!

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Current Music: Ministry -- Test ♬

ah, city living

rzr_grl and I took a mini-vacation this week and drove out to the middle of nowhere. When we got back, we dropped off out stuff and went out in search of burritos. We were out and about in civilization no more than fifteen minutes when we saw our first display of public urination, as some crazy begging homeless woman hiked up her skirt and proceeded to pee all over her shoes and hands, right there on the sidewalk.

I guess I don't really have a clever concluding sentence to this story, sorry.

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Current Music: (the blissful silence that means "I can go home soon")

garbage in, snake oil out?

This sounds like bullshit to me, but the article says they've actually built the plant already...

Anything into Oil: Technological savvy could turn 600 million tons of turkey guts and other waste into 4 billion barrels of light Texas crude each year

[...] Unlike other solid-to-liquid-fuel processes such as cornstarch into ethanol, this one will accept almost any carbon-based feedstock. If a 175-pound man fell into one end, he would come out the other end as 38 pounds of oil, 7 pounds of gas, and 7 pounds of minerals, as well as 123 pounds of sterilized water. While no one plans to put people into a thermal depolymerization machine, an intimate human creation could become a prime feedstock. "There is no reason why we can't turn sewage, including human excrement, into a glorious oil," says engineer Terry Adams, a project consultant. So the city of Philadelphia is in discussion with Changing World Technologies to begin doing exactly that.

[...] Today, here at the plant at Philadelphia's Naval Business Center, the experimental feedstock is turkey processing-plant waste: feathers, bones, skin, blood, fat, guts. A forklift dumps 1,400 pounds of the nasty stuff into the machine's first stage, a 350-horsepower grinder that masticates it into gray brown slurry. From there it flows into a series of tanks and pipes, which hum and hiss as they heat, digest, and break down the mixture. Two hours later, a white-jacketed technician turns a spigot. Out pours a honey-colored fluid, steaming a bit in the cold warehouse as it fills a glass beaker.

It really is a lovely oil. "The longest carbon chains are C-18 or so," says Appel, admiring the liquid. "That's a very light oil. It is essentially the same as a mix of half fuel oil, half gasoline."

[...] And it will be profitable, promises Appel. "We've done so much testing in Philadelphia, we already know the costs," he says. "This is our first-out plant, and we estimate we'll make oil at $15 a barrel. In three to five years, we'll drop that to $10, the same as a medium-size oil exploration and production company. And it will get cheaper from there."

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Current Music: Spire @ DNA Lounge

boob shirt

Accordion Guy has unearthed for us a new fashion horror to go along with the boob scarves: the Disney Boob Shirt.

Incidentally, Hooters is now hiring for their upcoming San Francisco location. I wonder if there will be lots and lots and lots of tattoos?

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Current Music: Spire @ DNA Lounge

we shall cleanse the world

Singapore uses walk-through heat detector to spot travellers with fever at airport

Singapore is using a walk-through heat detector to check if air travellers arriving from China and Hong Kong have fever. It is the first country in the world to use a thermal imaging system at its airport to spot travellers with SARS symptoms.

[...] Passengers just have to walk past the machine and the thermal scanner will show if the passenger has a higher body temperature than usual - one of the symptoms displayed by people with SARS. Essentially this is what officers manning the system will see. If a person is feverish, reddish spots will apear all over his face and that person will then be set aside for further examination by the nurses. The nurses will take the passenger's temperature and if neccesary send them to the hospital for checks.

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Current Music: Spire @ DNA Lounge

today in teledildonics news

The generalized followup to the Rez Trance Vibrator has arrived:

Audi-Oh

"Audi-Oh is a revolution in stimulation technology for men or women. Sound is converted into infinitely variable pulses of pleasure. Audi-Oh* can use ambient sound, like the music in your favorite club, or direct audio input from devices such as portable CD players, MP3 players, your PC or home audio and video systems. You'll find a million ways to use Audi-Oh!"
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Current Music: Spire @ DNA Lounge