Mister Blobby

"A Fathead (genus Psychrolutes) trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between 1013 m and 1340 m, on the Norfolk Ridge, north-west of New Zealand, June 2003 (AMS I.42771-001). Photo: K. Parkinson © Australian Museum. The scientists and crew on board the RV Tangaroa affectionately called this fish 'Mr Blobby'. Note the parasitic copepod on Mr Blobby's mouth."
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DNA Lounge: Wherein I try to get you to come see Halou.

We've got what should be a pretty interesting show coming up next Thursday, Nov 30: they're calling it "Reload", and their goal is to play with new ways of presenting and sharing live music online. There are three bands:

  • Halou (who are awesome)
  • Zoë Keating (formerly of Rasputina, who is/are awesome)
  • Pants Pants Pants (whom I haven't heard)

Besides that, there are a couple of interesting twists:

  • DNA Prototype will be at DNA Lounge while doing a live DJ set inside Second Life;
  • and after the event, the video and multi-track audio of the bands will be available for download and remixing.

There's also a San Francisco Podcasters Meetup just before the show.

There are a few more details at Rebecca's myspace and Upcoming.org. Promotions seem to be off to a very late start on this show, and it's next week, so please spread the word...

Current Music: Wormfood -- B4 ♬

The Nagy Magical-Movable-Type Pixello-Dynamotronic Computational Engine

Previously, previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we find pirates, clowns, and a blinky new toy.

Photos are up of the Bawdy Island Burlesque Hullabaloo and of this month's Bohemian Carnival: fine evenings both! Luxxury were really good, you should buy their CD.

We have a new toy: John acquired an old LED sign that had apparently started its life as a stock ticker in a brokerage somewhere. (A Translux Datawall, to be precise, though he refers to it as The Snark-o-Tron.) It took him quite a while to figure out how to talk to it, but he did, and now you can too. The sign is hanging from the front of the DJ booth, and is currently scrolling our schedule of upcoming events, but you can add your messages to the queue from the sign control web page!

Yeah baby, party like it's 1995...

We're probably going to restrict this so that you can only add text if you're in the building (using the DNA kiosks or wireless network) because otherwise I think we'll just be drowning in stupid...

We had a bus sign at Netscape, way back in the caveman days, that random people could write to, and there was a webcam pointed at it. It was one of the earliest webcams, I think; probably one of the first dozen or so. The thing made a godawful racket, since it didn't have LEDs. Instead it had little plastic chits for pixels that turned over every time the message changed. It was fully saturated 24/7: messages were coming in just as fast as it could update itself. So we all immediately knew when our network was down, because the deafening silence of the sign going idle would make heads pop up out of cubicles like whack-a-mole... These days they call that an Ambient Information Display.

(I am pleased to discover that the venerable Fishcam is still around!)



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Terror Level Ernie

A note posted in my building's lobby:

Blah blah blah blah, blah blah, and stuff.


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"The Stomach is Controlled by Computer"

"And Can Even Vomit"

The Institute of Food Research hopes it will aid the development of new superfoods by revealing how they are broken down in the gut. The device, made from sophisticated plastics and metals, can withstand the corrosive gut acids and enzymes, and can be fed real food.

It mimics both the physical and chemical reactions that take place during digestion - and can even vomit.

Chief designer Dr Martin Wickham said his model was much more sophisticated than previous attempts, which tended to focus solely on reproducing the chemistry of digestion. It even mimics the stomach contractions which are used to break up food, and send it on its way along the alimentary canal.

The top half of the model consists of a vessel in which food, stomach acids and digestive enzymes are mixed. Once this hydration process is finished, the food gets broken down into smaller pieces that can be absorbed by the human body. Computer software is used to control how long food remains in a particular part of the stomach, and the release of the gut secretions.

It has the capacity of about half the size of an actual stomach, and can "eat" the equivalent of a normal portion of fish and chips.

Previously pioneered by Wim Delvoye's Cloaca.

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Current Music: Wormfood -- U-Plug ♬

style AND grace


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I, for one, welcome our new teen girl supervillain overlords

'Spider Girl' gang held in Chile

Police have arrested two members of one of Chile's most notorious gangs, known as the Spider Girls. The all-girl gang of teenagers were infamous for climbing up buildings in Santiago to burgle luxury apartments.

In a spate of high-profile robberies in 2005, they made off with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.

Lurking in the gardens of expensive parts of Santiago, the four girls hurled ropes and hooks up to balcony railings, hauled themselves up and walked through the flat windows. They then walked out of the buildings as if they were visitors.

The gang members were arrested last year but three of them were sent to reform school rather than prison because of their age.

They vowed to change their ways but after being released, one Spider Girl, Yasna, returned to her old tricks, recruiting a new member, Marcielle.

Despite both being heavily pregnant, they still managed to climb up to the third floor of some flats.


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