DNA Lounge: Wherein Musicians Are Begging Fans to Mask Up at Concerts

Pitchfork, Nina Corcoran:

"Yes SXSW was a superspreader event, and yes my entire band got COVID, as did many others," tweeted Canadian singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield. "We obviously knew there was a risk going in, but really feeling for everyone whose tours/lives have been derailed by this thing." Several other bands and radio DJs, music promoters, and record label employees have tweeted similar sentiments after testing positive. [...]

"Large swaths of the live music industry are overeager to pretend we're out of the pandemic. We're leaving behind many folks with disabilities and illnesses, which is not a new problem -- just a new way the ableism inherent in many venue spaces is being expressed since COVID," Speedy Ortiz singer-guitarist Sadie Dupuis tells Pitchfork. "When mask mandates first went away, the largest nurses' union in the country petitioned the CDC to reverse its decision and reinstate masking due to breakthrough cases. Because, vaccinated or not, masks are incredibly effective at preventing infection. With many of us having received boosters six-plus months ago, their efficacy is waning. A breakthrough case could wind up costing your favorite artist tens of thousands of dollars of expected income, the difference between a profitable tour and a tour in the red." [...]

Harpist Mary Lattimore says she still doesn't feel comfortable performing live, but knows it's an essential part of her job. "I link it to the lack of streaming revenue for artists," she explains. "Tour income is basically the only income. It was nonexistent for years so we have to get out there, but we're pretty vulnerable, going from place to place every night. One case of COVID and bands potentially lose thousands and thousands of dollars." [...]

For other touring artists, mask policies aren't necessarily up to them, but rather the headliners they're supporting. Wednesday are slated to open for Beach Bunny on a two-month-long tour, and their newfound discomfort around COVID-19 policy isn't reason enough to bail on such a big opportunity. "Because we're just openers on the tour, I don't feel like we have a ton of authority [to ask for that]," [...] The most I've felt comfortable asking people to wear masks so far is saying, 'Please wear your masks tonight; we have more dates we gotta play,' into the mic.

But "catching COVID might scuttle the tour" is only the start of it, as all of this completely ignores the specter of Long COVID. Wait until two years from now when you learn that your favorite band isn't a band any more, because the financial pressure to crowd into small rooms with antimaskers and antivaxxers means that now they have MS, or diabetes, or 20% lung function, and -- oh yeah -- no health insurance. (Are you kidding? They were in a band.)

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Dyson Snot Cannon

Dyson Snot Cannon Wearable SuperSpreader Event: (Unrolled.)

Ok here's a technical breakdown of why the "@Dyson Zone™ Air-Purifying Headphones" aka. the Snot Cannon aka. the Wearable SuperSpreader Event is such a staggeringly bad idea and a significant danger to public health if it is allowed to be sold. [...]

The Snot Cannon is based on a pre-2020 understanding of public health. Prior to 2020 there was limited attention paid to the concept of "source control". The source of the "bad air" was pollution- not us. The bad air had to be filtered coming in, surely not the other way?

During the last two years, we've learned the hard way that's exactly what has to happen. The air has to be filtered in both directions- even if we feel ok. Because we know that the asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2 accounts for about half of all cases.

The problem is the Snot Cannon is worse than no-source control, it's far worse than no mask at all- because it uses high-powered fans directed at the wearer's nose & mouth which project exhaled aerosols outward. If you wanted to weaponize a virus host it would be perfect.

When we see someone hock a fat loogie onto the sidewalk we are understandably disgusted even by the 1-2ml of potentially infectious fluid produced. Yet, the average person expels 300-500ml of this fluid a day in the form of a fine mist- an aerosol. You can see it in cold weather.

Imagine spitting into a bottle for a day- and the next day, putting a spray nozzle on and casually spritzing it about wherever you go. This is terribly unsanitary, and the distance that aerosol-cloud travels is obviously something we want to minimize- not power assist.

See also her earlier takedown of the similarly stylish-yet-worse-than-useless Razer Zephyr mask.

Though, with the CDC now telling us that masks are optional and are only for protecting ourselves and not for reducing community transmission, these sorts of masks are well aligned with the zeitgeist of "fuck everybody who isn't me".

I'd buy a god damned space suit if I thought it would let me safely go to shows.

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Lumon Industries Macrodata Refinement Terminal:

Production designer Jeremy Hindle and set decorator Andrew Baseman worked to capture the feel of a period computer terminal without using anything that would be instantly recognizable to most viewers. The keyboards are very similar to the Data General Dasher, but have been built with a trackball that never existed in the original.

The Stories Behind Severance's Eerie Office Design:

"I was careful not to show anything that was easily recognizable," Baseman said of the props found within the Innies' "macrodata-refinement" office. "We wanted to confuse the viewer about whether this is a period piece, contemporary, or the future. The lamps and chairs, all of those things were either manufactured or found in faraway lands because we didn't want people to say, 'Oh, that's an Eames chair.'" [...]

Hindle and Baseman learned the hard way that any single brand of computer would be too identifiable for viewers. "We made a computer that, if it ever came out in the real world and the engineers described what they were doing, no one would believe them. It's a cathode-ray tube, but it's a touchscreen. It has a trackball. We recognize some aspects of it, and some not at all." The contradictory qualities are supposed to be baffling but also a bit amusing. "It doesn't look like an adult high-tech computer," Baseman added. "It looks like a toy."

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Fully operational Portal turret

Making a note here, huge success

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Kool-Aid man can burst through walls because he weighs 5.5 tons.

Here's a well-researched video including details on material density and blood loss.

And here's a D&D character sheet, which envisions it as two symbiotic creatures, rather than one with an unfortunate trepanation situation and sloshing blood like a horseshoe crab.

But most importantly, let's nevar forget that this gentle giant used to offer silent guided tours of Second Life.

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Wilma! Where'd you put my electric drill!

God dammit! Where's the pliers?!?

Denture Bit Holder With Magnets

There's an etsy listing but it's currently out of stock. There are a couple of other variants, but I like the gums on this one.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we've got something cooking

Here's a nice write-up about our upcoming Just Add Heather show this Sunday:

SF's Only Show With Live Cabaret and Live Baking

It started with a dessert -- remember how all of a sudden during lockdown, everyone was baking? "Nobody could go out and buy pastries," Thiel says. "I thought, why don't I just do my recipes and sing?" [...]

And once things did open up again for live performance, opportunity came knocking. Jim Sweeney, producer of The World-Famous Hubba Hubba Revue, approached her about potentially creating a live stage show for the DNA Lounge. With his encouragement, and with a new direction to go in with the show, Thiel found herself an old portable Wolf convection oven that could be brought onstage -- and the rest, as they say, is history. Just Add Heather Live premiered in the DNA's intimate upstairs lounge, and after an extremely successful first show, they've been upgraded to the main stage for this Sunday's blowout showcase. [...]

There aren't many backyard pandemic web series that can say they've found their way onto the DNA's Main Stage (trust me, I tried it myself), but of all the ones that can, Just Add Heather might just take the cake -- because at this show, you might actually get to EAT the cake!
This week was the return of the Game Developers Conference, which is historically significant as the cancellation of GDC 2020 and our week of related events was our first indication that the shit had, in fact, hit the fan. The whole city went into lockdown shortly after those GDC cancellations. (And that was back when our daily case rate was about a quarter of what it is today. You know, before everyone was just "over it".)

It was extremely nice to see that GDC was requiring both masks and boosters. Weird when a tech conference cares more about safety than the city of San Francisco!

Also last week, we finally had the Haru Nemuri show (and here's a nice review of it). This show was originally scheduled for March 29, 2020; then it was rescheduled to Sep 11, 2020; then to Mar 27, 2021; then to Nov 4, 2021; and finally to this one! I think that's the last of our 2020 reschedules.

Some POW photos, with our epic projections:

Also our GDC Meetup party the following night was so popular that a full 10% of GDC's total attendance came to DNA Lounge that night. That's pretty good!

We also have a bunch of other live shows coming up soon:

D.O.A + The Death Set
John 5 + The Haxans
Nascar Aloe
Front Line Assembly
Brujeria + Goatwhore
And I haven't done a photo roundup in a while, so here are some recent galleries. As you look at these galleries, you may be saying to yourself, "Hey, self, the DNA Lounge stage lighting is looking pretty amazing these days". Thank you, you're right!

Kool Keith
So Stoked
Noise Pop: King Woman + Spiritual Cramp
Noise Pop: Tipling Rock + The Rare Occasions
Indie Nite

Haru Nemuri
Taylor Swift Night
Psyber Punk
Omnium Gatherum
Bridge City Sinners


This has been around for a while, but I hadn't heard of it before. I had a spare 96GB on my iPad, so now I have an offline copy of all of Wikipedia on it, just because.


We can make highly compressed copies of entire websites that each fit into a single (.zim) file. Zim files are small enough that they can be stored on users' mobile phones, computers or small, inexpensive Hotspot.

Kiwix then acts like a regular browser, except that it reads these local copies. People with no or limited internet access can enjoy the same browsing experience as anyone else.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we raise the roof

Happy 99th birthday to the DNA Lounge roof! This photo was taken on this day in 1923:

And pictured in this slightly earlier photo is the fellow who built this building, Dave Lerer, who was our current landlord's grandfather. He's the one in the dapper waistcoat.

More details on the 1906-1998 page.

Climate Vortex

This is a cool visualization. All are one in time cube!

The visualization presents monthly global temperature anomalies between the years 1880-2021. These temperatures are based on the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP v4), an estimate of global surface temperature change. Anomalies are defined relative to a base period of 1951-1980.

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