Rumsfeldor the Burninator

Rumsfeld Unleashes Death Ray
PHILIPPINES: US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld prepares to tear away the rubber mask hiding his true face, a glowing red skull, moments before incinerating a crowd of onlookers with his heat vision.

Rumsfeld Flipper Legacy

INNSMOUTH, MASS.: US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reveals the first stages of his tranformation into a Deep One, the hybrid fishmen now scheduled to take control of the Federal Government no later than Q4 2003.
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William Gibson on movies and music

A talk given at the Directors Guild of America. He says some interesting things about the history of mass media, dead people, the music industry, and then goes totally gonzo at the end: keep reading until you get to the part where he starts talking about the ubiquitous-computing vaseline and the dog heads.
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xscreensaver 4.10 out now

xscreensaver 4.10 out now. You have to see the Apple ][+ emulator that Trevor Blackwell wrote for BSOD: it's the most badass thing ever. He simulated a CRT: it has all the ghosting, tearing, jiggling and distortion that cheapo composite monitors have. (Run bsod -only apple2.) Also, the requisite new Matrix nonsense is xmatrix -small -crack.
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Life isn't fun 24 hours a day, so shopping should be.

The Economy of Cool

Katayama has a dozen or so interiors to his credit in Harajuku-Aoyama, Tokyo's fashion and design district. All within walking distance of one another, they are boutiques that, in almost every case, aggressively cater to a youthful clientele for whom shopping is an adored cultural pursuit. ''You're not just buying the product,'' Katayama says. ''You're also buying the time you spend.'' [...]

Now 36, Masamichi Katayama studied interior design in Osaka, although he is quick to point out that it was strictly technical training, with no theoretical or academic courses. ''I learned the philosophy of what I do by shopping,'' he says. ''I'm a consumer first and foremost. Life isn't fun 24 hours a day, so shopping should be.'' He lights cigarette after cigarette as he speaks, taking no more than three drags on each before moving on to the next. [...]


cutlery for the rape festival

Cutting-edge agriculture:
A woman protecting herself from the sun with an umbrella walks past a giant fork and knife in a field of yellow rape May 11 at the Adlersberg monastery near Regensburg, Germany. The oversized flatware was erected for a rape blossom festival.
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caption contest


DNA Lounge: Wherein the disgusting vandalism continues apace.

I made a few changes to the web site today: the top-level page now lists, in addition to our next event, all of the events for which advance tickets are available. That should make that a bit more obvious, and also points out "big" events that are happening more than a couple of weeks out. Also, now contains calendar-like details on only those events for which tickets are available.

In this week's edition of the "people really fucking suck" newsletter, our top story is pictured to the right: yes, that's a kiosk trackball on which someone has not just stuck, but smeared a giant wad of chewing gum. Dear whoever-you-are: fuck you very much.

So remember last month, when it sounded like we'd decided to do live music on a more regular basis? Yeah, I thought so too. It really seemed like Barry and I had finally made a decision, and dammit, something was going to happen. Then we talked to a few more people, and we heard thirty ways it wasn't going to work, and all the decision drained out of the room.

Alexis put out the word to the existing set of promoters we work with that if they want to do a show that is A) live music, and B) not on a weekend, then we'll give them the room for free. They all liked hearing that, but the world's not exactly beating a path to our door. I'm sure it will help, but I seriously doubt that that alone is going to get us where I want to be, which is at least one live act a week.

What we really need is to find some promoters who know live music, and who are ok with a situation like: promoter and band pay the sound guy and split the take of the door. If we can do that and get around a hundred people in here, we won't be losing too much money, since we can run with a pretty stripped down staff. But this is not a lucrative arrangement for anyone involved, so we need to find some person (or more likely, set of people) who's obsessive enough about live music to be willing to do this basically for free, and talking bands into playing nearly for free as well. Of course, if everyone's working for free, but we still only get 15 people a week, we're still losing money, so we need that rare thing: a band with a draw, who are also willing to work for cheap.

Ron and Caroline have both expressed some interest in doing this, so we'll see how that goes. Ron's working on putting together his first show, and Caroline might do the same once she gets back from tour...


HollywoodOS gets an upgrade

One thing we've learned from The Matrix Reloaded is that power plant control systems use SSH version 1, and that the software that controls the power grid is apparently some variant of Cisco IOS.

These screen grabs snarfed from titney:

<LJ-CUT " ...not really a spoiler... ">

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Today in Mad Science News: Crack the Earth!

NASA Meets Hollywood: Real Mission Proposed to Earth's Core

A Hollywood-like proposal to explore the center of the Earth calls for exploding a crack in the planet's surface and dropping a probe in behind tons of molten iron, which would sink and forge a path to the core. [...]

Stevenson figures that a nuclear device would likely be the best way to blast the necessary gap, as long and deep as several football fields and about 1 foot wide. The event would be commensurate with an Earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter Scale.

At least 100,000 tons of hot iron would be poured instantly into the crack, along with a well-protected probe the size of a grapefruit.

"Once you set that condition up, the crack is self-perpetuating," Stevenson explains. The weight of the iron, which is much denser than Earth's outer regions, would open a gap all the way to the outer portion planet's core, about 1,860 miles below. The probe would fall at about 10 mph as the crack closes up behind it.

The weeks-long mission would seek to measure the temperature, electrical conductivity and chemical composition of the core. Stevenson said the amount of iron needed is equal to what's produced on Earth in a week or less. [...] "Think of the probe throbbing like a heart," Stevenson said. "It will set the neighboring material in motion and that causes a sound wave to travel away from the probe all the way to Earth's surface."

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Submarine Eaten By Bears!

Bear Attacks Sub: During the ICEX 2003 naval exercises near the North Pole, the American submarine Connecticut (SSN 22) poked it's sail and rudder through the ice. When an officer looked around outside via the periscope, he noted that his sub was being stalked by a hostile polar bear. The periscope cam was turned on, and these photos of a polar bear chewing on the subs rear rudder resulted. The damage was said to be minor. The SSN 22 is a Seawolf class boat, one of the navy's newest submarines. It wasn't designed as a polar bear snack, but that's how life is sometimes.