five minutes in a leather shop, before halloween

  • Girl buying plaid punk-rock miniskirt asking the 70-year-old Arab guy behind the counter whether he thought she should go with the black studded belt, or the red studded belt. (He offers an opinion, but doesn't seem like his heart is really in it.)
  • Girl trying on a red-and-black PVC corset over her collegiate gray sweatshirt. "That makes your tits look huge", her friend exclaims.

  • Girl on phone while picking through rack says, "I can't wear this thing. How about if I dress as, like, Army Girl instead?"

  • Guy asks girl, "what are you all doing for Halloween?" Girl says, "Oh, the usual, drink a lot and drive around."

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"Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple"

Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel threatened to sue the makers of the Simpsons over a spoof news ticker, the show's creator Matt Groening has claimed. [...] Mr Groening said the news channel backed down because it would have caused Fox to bring a lawsuit against itself.

"Fox said they would sue the show and we called their bluff because we didn't think Rupert Murdoch would pay for Fox to sue itself. We got away with it," Mr Groening told NPR. "But now Fox has a new rule that we can't do those little fake news crawls [tickers] on the bottom of the screen in a cartoon because it might confuse the viewers into thinking it's real news." [...]

The episode of the Simpsons in question showed a rolling news ticker at the bottom of the screen, which read: "Pointless news crawls up 37 per cent... Do Democrats cause cancer? Find out at Rupert Murdoch: Terrific dancer... Dow down 5,000 points... Study: 92 per cent of Democrats are gay... JFK posthumously joins Republican Party... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple..."

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Learn About The Importance Of Field Olfactometry

The Nasal Ranger
Field Olfactometer

The Iowa DNR has certified 34 odor inspectors trained by St. Croix Sensory, a Lake Elmo, Minnesota-based laboratory that specializes in odor analysis and taste and sensory testing. Training them cost about $15,500, with another $66,000 spent on equipment.

Nasal Rangers must have a good, but not too sensitive, sense of smell, said Charles McGinley, technical director and co-owner of St. Croix Sensory, which has certified more than 2,000 inspectors throughout the world.

Recruits are tested, using a series of felt-tipped markers containing varying levels of the chemical butenol. Blindfolded, the recruit must be able to pick the middle of the spectrum. The test is repeated three times for accuracy, McGinley said.

Once selected, the inspector gets a few days of training using an olfactometer, a device that resembles a radar gun held to the nose, and then receives a certificate and Nasal Ranger patch.


DNA Lounge:

We had three live shows last week! And there was much rejoicing. And also many photos:


hey, baby

Dear small plastic babies,
Please stop exploring your sexuality.
It really freaks us out.
Giant meat people.
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I, for one, welcome our pumpkin-carving robot masters

"A drywall-saw-wielding industrial robot with a chip on its shoulder.

"Last Halloween we could only run the robot at about 30% because it would tear itself out of the floor. Consequently it took about 6 minutes to carve a pumpkin. This year I hope it will make it in under 2.

"As each piece is completed, the robot spears it in the center, then wipes it off by passing the saw through a fork located above the orange bucket. Unfortunately, the robot does not gut the pumpkin."


XScreenSaver 4.14

XScreenSaver 4.14 out now. Seven new hacks this time!

The coolest part is that mad mastermind Trevor Blackwell generalized his analog TV code from the recent Apple ][ mode of BSOD and we split it out into a few different programs:

  • xanalogtv displays a slideshow of images, except with all the TV artifacts like snow, bloom, distortion, ghosting, hash noise, and rolling when changing "channels." It's incredible.
  • apple2 -text is a text-scroller that puts phosphor to shame. I strongly recommend:
                apple2 -text -program 'ljlatest --cols 40'
    to see the most recent LiveJournal posts scrolling by in their 40 column all-caps heavily distorted BBS-in-1982 glory.

  • apple2 -slideshow displays a slideshow of images, but dithered to the Apple ][ 6-color hires pallette! It was kind of a rough draft of xanalogtv.

  • apple2 -basic does something I won't spoil for you.

  • pong plays a game of pong on an analog TV.

  • gleidescope does a very nice simulation of a kaleidescope using any image as a source. If you run it in a window, you can drag the "tube" around with the mouse.

  • mirrorblob draws an environment-reflecting blob on top of an image.

  • blinkbox does, uh, stuff.

Trevor says:

/* A maxim of technology is that failures reveal underlying mechanism. A good way to learn how something works is to push it to failure. The way it fails will usually tell you a lot about how it works. The corollary for this piece of software is that in order to emulate realistic failures of a TV set, it has to work just like a TV set. So there is lots of DSP-style emulation of analog circuitry for things like color decoding, H and V sync following, and more. In 2003, computers are just fast enough to do this at television signal rates. We use a 14 MHz sample rate here, so we can do on the order of a couple hundred instructions per sample and keep a good frame rate. */
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Mr. Deadguy and Baby Cheezwitz

Mr. Deadguy and Baby Cheezwitz


oh that donald


DNA Lounge: Wherein is presented a puke story.

And now, another tale from the trenches.

It was around 2AM, and as is the custom in these parts, our staff were going around and taking alcohol away from people. Suzanne took a cup from a girl who then turned and puked right on the dance floor. "Oh my god, you just puked on the dance floor!" exclaimed Suzanne. "No I didn't!" said the girl. Suzanne summoned an escort to introduce the girl to the great outdoors.

Suzanne then noticed that the cup she had just taken from the girl was full of vomit.

Oh, and there was no need to clean up the puke on the dance floor: the dancing feet made it vanish of its own accord before anyone could get a mop over there.

And may I again take this moment to point out that there are people in the world who think it's a good idea to TAKE OFF THEIR SHOES in nightclubs?

Photos of the Male or Female / E-Craft / Terrorfakt show are now up.

Male or Female were amazing. They are a Front 242 side project, and the music is in the same vein as later 242, though on the mellow side: live guitar and occasional vocals over many, many layers of electronics. More funky than hammering. Great stuff.

They also had one of the best videos I've ever seen at a show. I know that sounds like a goofy thing to say, but it was really cool; I wish I had a copy to just watch! It was really sophisticated (mostly?) computer-generated landscapes and insects and machines, and it was (to some extent, at least) synched to the music.

E-Craft was a couple of german guys doing the pep-squad thing, like some kind of militant boy-band. Their music wasn't bad, but their performance didn't do anything for me. The thing I kept wondering about, though, was why -- considering that these guys were basically copping Front 242's 1989 act, which I loved at the time. What's different now? Am I just "over it" (as 242 themselves seem to be?) Or is there something different this time around? Well, one difference is that in '89, I spent the whole show getting crushed in the pit, which certainly put a different spin on things.

Terrorfakt were a couple of guys doing really good powernoise. Actually it was more structured and less chaotic than most powernoise, so maybe that's not quite what it was, but I liked it. They were a couple of guys in hoodies and wrestler masks hiding behind their camo-covered keyboard racks while a Skinny Puppy-esque video of nazis and suicides and bombings played behind them.

You could barely see them at all, but (good for them!) they realized that two guys playing keyboards isn't much of a spectator sport, so they played a movie instead.

Tickets just went on sale for the Genitorturers / Hanzel und Gretyl / Blue Period show on Nov 3. That should be a great show: those three bands aren't much alike, but I think it's a good progression. And Hanzel und Gretyl put on a great show last time.