Tuesday, January 31, 2006


JOSS WHEDON—the Oscar®- and Emmy-nominated writer/director behind the global phenomena of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel—makes his feature film directorial debut with the science-fiction western adventure Serenity.

The film is based on Whedon’s critically acclaimed, short-lived television series Firefly, which aired on the FOX TV Network during the fall of 2002. Set in a futuristic, post-Earth universe dominated by a planetary Alliance, the series chronicled the adventures of the ragtag spaceship Serenity and her eclectic crew of outcasts, led by Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, played by NATHAN FILLION. Although FOX TV cancelled the show after only 11 of the 14 produced episodes had aired, Firefly’s quirky mix of humor, complex characters and sci-fi had attracted a loyal and passionate following.

The heartbroken fans, the cast and Whedon wouldn’t allow the cancellation of the series to equal the end of this universe. For Whedon, “this story was not done being told. It wasn’t out of me yet…and it wasn’t out of these actors.” While efforts to find a new home for the series on another network or cable channel proved fruitless, all parties were nonetheless determined to keep the campaign alive. Lobbying for the release of the series on DVD, they saw the Firefly fan base multiply dramatically after the episodes went on sale—almost exactly one year after the last airing on FOX. Once on shelves, the sales of Firefly resoundingly expressed both the loyalty of the fans and the potential for creating new ones.


WHEDONesque : Joss Whedon weblog

Sunday, January 29, 2006

GIANT SHARK WATCH: When the fish is bigger than your boat

New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz: Beach alert for monster shark
Fresh sightings of a monster great white shark close to North Taranaki's shoreline have prompted a warning to swimmers.

The Conservation Department warning comes after two more close encounters with the shark, estimated to be six metres long.

Fishermen on a charter boat got the fright of their lives when the great white swam directly under them last Friday. And two competitors in a yacht race off Port Taranaki watched in horror as the shark – its fin clearly out of the water – swam between their much smaller craft.


"He had time to take a very good look at the shark. His boat is seven metres long, and he was able to use that to estimate the size of the shark as up to six metres. He estimated its width to be well over one metre, and its dorsal fin was at least 500 millimetres high."

Warnings issued over shark sighting | NATIONAL | NEWS | tvnz.co.nz

A huge six metre great white shark has been sighted on five separate occasions off the the coast of Taranaki.

The Department of Conservation is warning people not to hunt the shark, which was most recently sighted by two aspiring young sailors who say the fish was bigger than their boat.

Leah Monchuer and Nicola Trudgen were practising for the World 420 Class competition when they were alerted to the massive shark.

"Our friends...came over and they were like, 'shark shark shark'," says sailor Leah Moncheur.

Fellow sailor Nicola Trudgen says: "We turned back and looked and there was just this huge black thing in the water."

The girls say they reckon it was about the size of a car.

The sighting of the shark was the fifth since November, but it did not deter surfers at New Plymouth's Fitzroy Point on Friday.

"The fact that there's been several sightings by kayakers and surfers and they're still here to tell the tale indicates (the sharks are) not out here to eat people," says Department of Conservation shark expert Clinton Duffy.

It is unusual to see such a mature female so near to New Zealand shores says DOC and the department is now warning people not to go on a great white shark hunt.

Leading Taranaki sport fisherman Kevin Moratti is also calling for other fishers not to harm the shark.

He says killing sharks is bad for fishing as seal numbers increase, putting more pressure on fish stocks.

It's behind you: How to best fight off a shark

# Get out of the water ASAP
# If you can't, head for the sea floor or hide in reeds
# If cornered by a shark, hit it hard on the nose with an object
# Avoid using bare hands and feet if possible
# Target the gills and eyes which are sensitive
# Never, ever 'play dead'

Decade on decade the number of shark attacks on people has increased.

However, Mr Burgess says, this is only because the number of humans spending more time in the water, and in deeper waters too. In effect, people are invading the sharks' territory.

"When I starting diving years ago we were oddballs, now it is a very common water activity. In reality, we're pushing the sharks out of the water."

Mr Martin agrees: "We need to stop treating the ocean like a swimming pool. It is a wilderness. And when we enter this liquid wilderness, we must assume responsibility for our own safety."


Adrift at sea off Key Largo, scuba divers contemplated death

KEY LARGO, Florida (27 Jan 2006) -- The divers had been floating in the chilling water for hours when they saw the shark fin cut through a wave.

It was just 20 feet away, and that's when Michael Kittle realized the awful truth: He and friend Mark Hines might not make it out of this alive.

"I thought, 'God, you've got to be kidding me," said Kittle, 31, of Fort Myers. "Sharks mainly feed at dusk.

"So you better believe that was going through my mind."

The two men came to Key Largo in the Florida Keys to scuba dive, but they almost didn't make it home to Lee County.

After their boat line snapped while they were underwater, the two men spent eight hours swimming Sunday — first trying to reach their boat, then trying to kick to shore miles away.

Finally, they made it to a small island off Rattlesnake Key. And a U.S. Coast Guard boat found them after a four-hour search.

Mirror.co.uk - News - SAILOR LOST FOR 4 DAYS

A BRITISH yachtsman has been rescued after drifting in shark-infested waters in the Atlantic for four days without food or water.

Peter Chandler, 52, was 700 miles into his 2,250-mile solo voyage from the Cape Verde Islands to Barbados when his rudder fell off.

The engine on his 28-foot yacht Inca faltered in rough seas and his fishing gear was dragged away by sharks.

His SOS was heard by an oil tanker, which alerted Barbados coastguard.

The father-of-two, from East London, kept his spirits up by whistling Rod Stewart songs. "It was by far my worst experience in my 25 years at sea," he said.






Why do they always send the poor

Barbarisms by Barbaras
With pointed heels
Victorious victories kneel
For brand new spankin' deals

Marching forward hypocritic and
Hypnotic computers
You depend on our protection
Yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth

Everybody's going to the party have a real good time
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine

Kneeling roses disappearing into
Moses' dry mouth
Breaking into Fort Knox stealing
Our intentions

Hangers sitting dripped in oil
Crying freedom
Handed to obsoletion
Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth

Everybody's going to the party have a real good time
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine

Everybody's going to the party have a real good time
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine

We're the regulators that deregulate
We're the animators that de-animate
We're the propagators of all genocide
Burning through the world's resources
Then we turn and hide

It's a violent pornography
Choking chicks and sodomy
The kinda shit that's on your TV

It's on the TV
Turn off your TV

Why don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen Square
Was fashion the reason why they were there
They disguise it hypnotize it
Television made you buy it

I'm just sitting in my car
And waiting for my

She's scared that I will take her away from there
Her dreams and her country left with no one there
Mezmerize the simple minded
Propaganda leaves us blinded

I'm just sitting in my car
And waiting for my girl

I'm just sitting in my car
And waiting for my girl

I'm just sitting in my car
And waiting for my girl

I'm just sitting in my car
And waiting for my girl

Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?
Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?
Where do you expect them to go when the bombs fall?
Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?

They were crying when their sons left
All young men must go
He's come so far to find the truth
He's never going home

Saturday, January 28, 2006

KILT WATCH: "Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, great chieftain o' the puddin-race!"

Ewan McGregor salutes haggis at Burns bash

While haggis, a traditional delicacy comprising a stuffed sheep's stomach, may not be to everyone's taste, there's no denying its central role in traditional Scottish culture. Indeed movie heart-throb Ewan McGregor, who originally hails from the Highland town of Crieff, was clearly thrilled at being the man chosen to offer it a personal address.

The hunky actor donned a kilt and Prince Charlie jacket when he took on the role of master of ceremonies at a dinner to mark Burns Night in London. With a copy of the national poet's writings in one hand and a sharp knife in the other, the Moulin Rouge star offered the Address To A Haggis as a roll-call of his showbiz friends looked on.

"Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, great chieftain o' the puddin-race!" recited the 34-year-old.

KILT WATCH: the unbifurcated brotherhood

Journal Gazette | 01/26/2006 | A sexy look dressed to kilt
PITTSBURGH – I did a double take. Was that a guy … in a skirt?

It was at a folk music festival, so it could have been. But the cut was wrong and the heavy black cotton twill was almost menacing.

I asked the guy just what he was wearing, and he handed me a business card from the maker, a Seattle company called Utilikilt. It was a kilt, but not your Uncle Angus’ Black Watch plaid by any stretch, laddies.

Fortune smiled, because a vendor at the festival was selling a slightly different version. Ninety bucks later and sporting a camouflage AmeriKilt, I joined the unbifurcated brotherhood.

That was two years ago.

Steve Villegas founded Utilikilt in 2002 after having created his own modern take on the ancient garb a couple of years before. After getting lots of compliments on his kilt, he decided to try his hand at making them professionally. The first year, he sold about 750. Now, Utilikilt sells about 13,000 kilts annually and employs about 20 people.


What’s the appeal? For me, it was non-conformity and the natural air conditioning. And it just looked good. (I wore mine with a tuxedo jacket, cummerbund and bow tie last New Year’s Eve.)

"For guys, it’s a sign of strength, leadership. It takes balls to wear something different," Villegas said. "For women, they find it incredibly sexy. They love to see legs."

Giant Shark / Fübar Watch: Sharks don't brush their teeth

IOL: Shark victim's long wait
Mauled and bleeding after a shark attack on the Wild Coast, a Scottburgh man watched his emergency air ambulance circling vainly above Mthatha Airport for more than an hour, unable to rescue him because no one was around to switch on the runway landing lights.
Eventually, with the rescue aircraft running low on fuel, a doctor grabbed a fire extinguisher in desperation and smashed open an airport window to reach the landing lights' switch. The drama started just after 2pm on Wednesday, when diver Michael Vriese, 34, was attacked by a shark while spearfishing at Coffee Bay. Its teeth severed two arteries on his right arm, damaging muscles and nerves on his wrist and forearm.
"I forced my way into the control tower, but there was a huge Trellidor in the way and the only apparent entry point was through a window. So I phoned a senior SA Police director at 8pm, explained the situation and asked if I could break in.
"He told me to wait while he contacted the airport manager. I phoned again at 8.35pm and he urged me to wait a little longer. In the meantime, we were phoning the paramedics and pleading for them to circle for another 10 minutes.
"Finally, at 8.40pm, I took a fire extinguisher off the wall and smashed a window so the manager could get at the lights. The lights went off twice while the plane was coming in and it finally landed at 8.50pm.
"This whole chartered emergency mission was almost a complete waste. He needed treatment urgently because the blood supply to the tissues in his hand and forearm was restricted. Sharks don't brush their teeth, so the risk of infection also increased with time."
No one from the airport was available for comment.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

NPR : Tailor-Made Cartography with Google Maps

All Things Considered, January 12, 2006 · Google's popular mapping service has inspired people to add their own information to maps. The resulting "mashups" are maps overlaid with clickable icons that provide a unique look at fast-food restaurant locations, crime statistics and other data sets.
Robert Siegel talks to Mike Pegg, whose Google Maps Mania Web log tracks the latest mashups, by category.
Topics include transit (Boston subway stations), current events (BBC world news), and weather and Earth (meteor impact sites).
Some are clearly designed to be useful for everyday life: New York pizza places, Washington, D.C., home prices, and Chicago crime locations. Others are more for fun: find the nearest pub or brewery, peek in on Webcams, or look for a convenient jogging route.
"One of my favorites is a mashup in Dublin, Ireland, which takes the real-time locations of a commuter train and plots it onto the map, and it actually shows that train moving," Pegg says.
Another popular mashup lets users see where they would end up if they drilled through the Earth to the other side. For example, click on Wichita, Kan., and you come out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
"I think we're destined to see big things from this, both as the maps improve and as people's imaginations just continue to go wild with this," Pegg says.

GIANT SQUID WATCH: The Calamari Wrestler

DVD Times - The Calamari Wrestler The film opens on a wrestling bout between Koji Taguchi (Osamu Nishimura) and “Crush Volcano”. When Taguchi defeats his opponent with his special move (the “Torture Ring Strangler”) he becomes the new champion. Just as he raises the belt in the air to celebrate an unknown wrestler leaps into the ring and snatches it away from him. The crowd goes wild at the sight of none other than a giant squid who proceeds to grapple a tired Taguchi. By using the “Northern Light Suplex” the squid defeats Taguchi and becomes the talk of the town. [snip] What is there really to say about The Calamari Wrestler? It’s mad, that’s for sure. It’s cheap, tacky, melodramatic, clichéd; in fact it throws in just about every cliché in the book, replete with shock family twists and bizarre love triangles which are all played out so deadly serious. The only reason it escapes with some credibility is because at its heart is a bleedin’ huge squid who wishes to dominate the wrestling world. Add to that a giant octopus and a boxing shrimp (Squilla) and you have something that’s quite difficult to fathom in an ordinary world.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

word up

predilection \preh-d'l-EK-shuhn; pree-\, noun:
A predisposition to choose or like; an established preference.

"[Frank] doesn't see any inconsistency between his socialism
and his predilection for the high life."
--Marina Cantacuzino, "On deadly ground," [1]The Guardian,
March 13, 2001

[slight edit]

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Fübar Watch: Feel the Need

Leif Garrett arrested in L.A. - Jan 18, 2006 - 1970s teen idol suspected of carrying narcotics

Garrett, 44, was arrested by sheriff's deputies Saturday on the platform of the Pershing Square Red Line station when he didn't have a ticket, authorities said. Deputies found suspected narcotics during a search, officials said.

If one tries to follow the sequence of events:
1) Leif didn't have subway ticket
2) Leif decided to try to get on the subway anyway
3) Leif got caught...
4) ...while carrying narcotics

brilliant Leif, just brilliant

Leif Garrett gets arrested, discovers LA subway system || Jaunted: "The most shocking travel related item in this story is that he was arrested at Pershing Square station in downtown LA. Raise your hand if you knew there was an operable LA subway system. Thought so. This Lief guy must be a decendant of Icelandic explorer Lief Erickson--leading westward expeditions and exploring unchartered territory, like Pershing Square station. We bet Pershing is such a ghost town homeless people don't even hang out there--Lief must have been really down on his luck."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Kilt Watch

DenverPost.com - Lads in plaid making waves
Highland Water hopes a new uniform will make its delivery workers stand out

Maybe the lassies will swoon, maybe not. But the kilt-wearing, bottle-toting deliverymen of Highland Water are going to draw attention, said Keith Warner, the company's 45-year-old owner.

That's why his employees began arriving at customers' doors in kilts Tuesday.

"Water is an undifferentiated commodity," he said. "How many of your customers remember you were there the following day? This is a way for us to get uninvisible."

The company's fleet of seven trucks and vans now bears stenciled signs that scream (what else?) "Men in Kilts Deliver." Also, pictured is a man in a kilt who, we may assume, is delivering.


Kilts have a romantic attraction, even for a tech-savvy generation.

"They have a wonderful effect on girls," said John Thornton, executive director of the Colorado Scottish Festival. "I started wearing a kilt when I was 45 years old, and my son started wearing one at 14. I wish I had known about it when I was 14."

April 7, 1933

'Now you see it. You're amazed. You can't believe it. Your eyes open wider. It's horrible, but you can't look away. There's no chance for you. No escape. You're helpless, helpless. There's just one chance, if you can scream. Throw your arms across your eyes and scream, scream for your life!'
King Kong (Collector's Edition): DVD

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


GI MacJoe
"It's been more than 35 years since the first GI Joe changed the face of toys. Since then, Joe has been a soldier, an adventurer, a pilot, President and everything in between. He's even been German, Russian, Japanese and English. But Joe has never been a Scottish highlander.

Until now.

Here Zach, an Elite Brigade WWII British SAS desert commando, shows how to wear a wee kilt with other clothes. Shirts should be tucked into the kilt. And beneath the kilt, it is traditional to wear tall socks with a roll on the calf."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

Wired 14.01: PLAY: "Not even the best marketing team can save a movie from a stupid name. Take New Line's Snakes on a Plane. It doesn't come out until August, but it's already a laughingstock. Why the derision? A plot that borders on ridiculous (an assassin releases deadly snakes aboard a flight, terrorizing passengers like Troy, played by Kenan Thompson), coupled with an absolutely artless title. The studio tried to change the flick's name to Pacific Air Flight 121 earlier this year, but star Samuel L. Jackson balked, saying the title was a big reason he signed on. Thing is, the terrible name might end up being the film's saving grace. It caught the attention of meme-happy bloggers who produced songs, apparel, poster art, pages of fan fiction, and even a mock trailer. This attention all but clinches the would-be dud's place in the camp classics hall of fame."

Dressing for Doomsday

Wired 14.01: PLAY: "Sixty years after Little Boy and Fat Man obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cultural fallout is still fueling Japan's exploding neo-pop art movement. Check out Kenji Yanobe's collection of whimsical doomsday gear like Yellow Suit - radiation-safe attire for children and dogs - and Atom Car, a postapocalyptic commuter pod. Yanobe's latest creation is Giant Torayan, a 25-foot-tall, fire-breathing bot whose voice recognition software responds only to kids. During a recent show at the Toyota Municipal Museum, youngsters reacted with glee when the pyrotechnic bot danced and sang folk songs. Yanobe's next big exhibit takes place in March at the Osaka Contemporary Art Center, also in Japan."


CDNN :: Great White Shark Attacks Scuba Diver off Perth Australia

A Perth diver has told how a white pointer shark "chomped" on his arm before the monster took him for a terrifyingly brief "ride".
Bernie Williams, 46, was bitten on the left elbow after the predator grabbed him from behind as he was scuba diving about 3km offshore from City Beach.
The attack happened at about 11am (WST) on Sunday.
Mr Williams fought off the three- to 3.5-metre white pointer by striking it with his spear gun.
The electrician, an experienced diver, has told how he was diving with two friends when the shark appeared from nowhere.
"It just came out on my left hand side from below," Mr Williams, of the northern Perth beachside suburb of Sorrento, told Network Ten.
"I never even saw it coming.
"(It) chomped on my arm (and) took me for a ride for about two metres."
The father of three said that as soon as he spotted the shark he stabbed it in the nose with his spear gun.
"It was just like hitting a lump of steel," Mr Williams said from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he is recovering.
He said his first instinct had been to hide among a reef and search for his friends and his boat.

Jaws it is not: Whale-sharks in the Philippines

Shark advocate faces challenges in and out of the water

New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz: Massive shark seen patrolling Taranaki coast

Shark fever has hit Taranaki, with multiple reports of encounters with what is thought to be a great white giant.
On Friday, a great white estimated to be at least five metres long spent about 20 minutes circling a New Plymouth couple fishing off Oakura.
The following day a kayaker got the shock of his life when a big shark circled him off White Cliffs.
And there are further reports of fishermen's encounters with a big shark between Oakura and New Plymouth.
Experts believe the great white encountered off Oakura may be the same monster that badly damaged commercial fishing nets in the area last summer � and may even be the fish that terrified a group of anglers by lunging into their boat off Motunui the previous summer.
"It most probably is the same shark," said New Plymouth commercial fisherman Rob Ansley, who lost a lot of gear last year.
"I had thought that the great white caught off Raglan in October might have been the shark. That one was a monster that weighed a tonne and half.
"But it looks like our one is still around."
New Plymouth couple Howard and Tara Okey were fishing from their boat west of Oakura on Friday when the big shark arrived and spent the next 20 minutes circling their vessel.
The couple's boat is 6.5m long, and they say the shark was not much smaller.
"It would have been no smaller than five metres, that's for sure," experienced fisherman Mr Okey said.
"It was certainly the biggest shark I've ever seen. In fact, at one stage Tara said there were two of them because we saw two fins - but then we realised they were the shark's tail and dorsal fin."
The pair had just arrived in the area, and had not even begun to fish when the shark turned up. It came to within a couple of metres of the boat and checked it out, then circled from some distance.
"Tara had a camera with her, and she got it out and wanted me to chuck some fish into the water so it would come closer again and we could get a better picture - but I said no bloody way."
Mr Ansley said a member of his fishing boat's crew reported talking to a man who got a big scare on Saturday while kayaking off White Cliffs. The shark, estimated to be at least four metres long, came close to the kayak.
News of the latest encounter brought back plenty of memories for Inglewood's Gary Dodunski, whose boat was attacked by a giant shark off Motunui almost two years ago.
That day, Mr Dodunski, his daughter Michelle and mate Shane Noble were terrified as the shark launched itself out of the water and on to the side of the boat, scratching the hull with its teeth.
"I'll never forget that day - it's firmly entrenched in my mind," he said

STREAKER WATCH: televised dart tournament = what the hell are you thinking?

[this just takes guts on soooo many levels]

Mirror.co.uk - Sport - CUPID'S ARROW
Klaasen's opponent Greatbatch has been involved in two of the most memorable moments in televised darts history.

In 2002, he became the first man to hit a nine-dart finish live on TV, in the final of the Dutch Open.

A year earlier, his match at the BDO world championships against Ted Hankey was interrupted when a streaker sprinted on to the oche.

Weird Words: Oche
"The line behind which darts players stand when throwing.

The classic pub game, darts is the ultimate non-sportsman’s sport—you don’t need any special clothing and little equipment (a set of darts is a good idea, but pubs lend those out), and you don’t need to be fit (the aptitude of players often appears to be in direct proportion to the size of their beer guts). All you have to remember is to count back from 501, end on a double, and avoid putting your toes over the oche.


Savannah / Hilton Head - Bluffton Women Join Together to Build Home

Dozens of women were behind the hammers that pounded away on Saturday morning on the Habitat for Humanity "Womenbuild" home in Bluffton.
Some first-timers, others with many houses under their belts. And for this project no men were allowed except construction manager Tuck Daniels.
"It's fantastic," said Daniels. "What man wouldn't like it?"
Daniels said he wore a kilt in honor of his heritage--and the women.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Septic tank truck drives into sewer hole

this just seems right... as if the dynamic balance of the universe has been restored
Septic tank truck drives into sewer hole

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Espresso - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


* Lungo (long): More water (about double) is let through the ground coffee, yielding a weaker taste 40ml.
* Ristretto (restricted): With less water, yielding a stronger taste 10-20ml.
* Doppio (double): Two shots of espresso in one cup.
* Corretto (corrected): Some sort of liquor added.
* Americano (American): Diluted with hot water, similar to drip-brew coffee.
* Macchiato (marked): steamed milk is put into the cup first, and the shots are added on top.
* Con panna (with cream): With cream on top
* Affogato (drowned): Served over ice cream
* Cubano (Cuban): Sugar is added to the espresso grounds during brewing for a sweet taste.
* Red Eye is a cup of American coffee with a shot of espresso in it.
* Black Eye is a cup of American coffee with two shots of espresso in it.
* Dead Eye is a cup of American coffee with three shots of espresso in it.
* Shot in the Dark is an alternate name for a Red Eye.

Lavazza Training Center - Barista Terminology

Einstein's 'spooky action' seen on a chip

New Scientist Breaking News - Einstein's 'spooky action' seen on a chip: A simple semiconductor chip has been used to generate pairs of entangled photons, a vital step towards making quantum computers a reality.

Famously dubbed “spooky action at a distance” by Einstein, entanglement is the mysterious phenomenon of quantum particles whereby two particles such as photons behave as one regardless of how far apart they are. It is widely regarded as essential to the development of quantum computers and quantum cryptography.

Doomsday Vault

Disaster Planning: Norway builds a 'doomsday vault'

New Scientist News - Doomsday vault to avert world famine

WITHIN a large concrete room, hewn out of a mountain on a freezing-cold island just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, could lie the future of humanity.

The room is a "doomsday vault" designed to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world's crops. It is being built to safeguard the world's food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. "If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet," says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organisation promoting the project.

New Scientist has learned that the Norwegian government is planning to create the seed bank next year at the behest of crop scientists. The $3 million vault will be built deep inside a sandstone mountain lined with permafrost on the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen. The vault will have metre-thick walls of reinforced concrete and will be protected behind two airlocks and high-security blast-proof doors. It will not be permanently manned, but "the mountains are patrolled by polar bears", says Fowler.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Ok, so far I've seen this guy driving 275 KMH (that would be about 172 MPH) on the Autobahn and White Shark Cage diving in Cape Town, South Africa:

"My name is Jon Rawlinson, I was born and raised in Canada. I'm a producer, videographer, editor, photographer and designer. I'm currently travelling the world and the RAD blog is all about my travels! Follow me around the world! I'll be updating the rad blog almost everyday with my location, my photos and my videos!"

previously in:

* Victoria Falls, Zambia
* Kasane, Botswana
* Johannesburg, South Africa
* Dubai, United Arab Emirates
* Prague, Czech Republic
* Paris, France
* Berlin, Germany
* Zermatt, Switzerland
* Lugano, Switzerland
* Venice, Italy
* Florence, Italy
* Rome, Italy
* Santorini, Greece
* Mykonos, Greece
* Olympos, Turkey
* Istanbul, Turkey
* Brasov, Romania
* Bucharest, Romania
* Milan airport
* Sliema, Malta
* Lisbon, Portugal
* Sahara, Morocco
* Tangier, Morocco
* Fes, Morocco
* Tarifa, Spain
* Barcelona, Spain
* Mallorca, Spain
* Madrid, Spain
* London, U.K.
* Heathrow airport, U.K.
* Toronto, Ontario
* Thousand Islands, Ontario
* Scottsdale, Arizona
* Vancouver, B.C.

the RAD blog

And I'm... uh... I'm blogging about his blog!!!

RIP MIX BURN: Queensrÿche

Queensrÿche! 18 years ago - still as vibrant to my ears as the first time I heard it. A top 5, marooned on a remote tropical island (with Nicole Kidman hopefully!) album of mine. Heavy Metal Rock Opera Concept Album! And they have the required Heavy Metal Umlaut!

queensryche.com :: operation mindcrime

Operation: Mindcrime II comes out in April.... hmmmm, inspiration or new mortgage? I'll still buy when they unpack it from the box.

"Long dubbed 'the thinking man's metal band,' Queensryche have always been difficult to classify; somewhere between Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd."

Monday, January 09, 2006

Bring the boys back home
Bring the boys back home

Don't leave the children on their own
Bring the boys back home

[Pink Floyd 1979]

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Yes Nurse! No Nurse!

My favorite genre brought back to life again...

Yes Nurse! No Nurse!

"Move over Fred and Ginger, there's a new game in town. 'Yes Nurse! No Nurse!', the new film by Dutch director Pieter Kramer, is a glorious, imaginative homage to the golden era of the late, great Hollywood studio musical -- and a celebration of all its camped up, Technicolor glory.

Saturated with eye-popping candy-coated colors, 'Yes Nurse', paints an on-screen 1960s world where the streets are filled with singing and dancing, carnivals always come to town and the biggest problem in everyone's' lives is that mean, old, nasty neighbor."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A conscience can be a terrible burden.

"I find your lack of faith disturbing."

Manic's Photoshopping Collection

Into the Wild / Fübar Watch

An Artist in Chains Walks Into Town ... - Los Angeles Times

The artist's suffering didn't truly begin until he pitched his tent in the desert and whipped out the chains.

Trevor Corneliusen, a painter and classically trained violinist from Washington state who makes pilgrimages to the Mojave Desert each winter to meditate, chained and padlocked his ankles Tuesday morning while posing for a sketched self-portrait — and then couldn't find the key.

The artist hobbled for 12 hours through sand and scrub brush, using a wooden pole as a walking stick, before reaching a gas station in Baker to call for help, said Ryan Ford, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy.

"It's funny-sad," said his mother, Marie Corneliusen, "because he really could have gotten hurt. But it's not hard to believe. He can be very absent-minded."

Corneliusen, 26, graduated in 2001 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma with a degree in music, said a school spokeswoman.

His mother said he lives with her in Olympia most of the year, teaching violin, painting with watercolors and oils, and writing a book.

Twice a year, he hops trains and buses bound for the high desert in San Bernardino County, where Corneliusen, a born-again Christian, camps for a month or so, his mother said. "It's somewhat a religious experience what he does there. He meditates. He communes with God in the desert."

Folks in Baker, a pit-stop town about 90 miles west of Las Vegas known for its giant thermometer, stumbled upon the artist a few years ago.

"We had a local who kept calling about a terrorist in the mountains, but it turned out he goes there for inspiration," Ford said. "He's not a typical person you'd find living in a mine."

Corneliusen's latest journey began two days after Christmas. He pitched a tent about 25 feet inside an abandoned silver mine, crashed on an air mattress and sleeping bag and lived on canned food, Ford said.

On Tuesday morning, the artist looped a foot and a half of inch-thick chain around his ankles, leaving a sliver of room to move, and bound the links with a Master Lock padlock.

Wearing sweats and socks, Corneliusen plopped down, stretched his legs and sketched the chains. The pencil drawing complete, he scoured the campsite for the key.


It was a long way to Baker.

The mine shaft sits atop rocky, steep terrain bifurcated with a narrow trail. Coyotes roam the mountains. The artist laced his sneakers, then hopped and shuffled and baby-stepped across the desert, leaning on a mining pole he had found and toting his sketch.

Nearly five arduous miles later, Corneliusen arrived at the gas station. He phoned for help about 12:02 a.m. Wednesday.

"I went out there to make sure it was a real call," Ford said.

Corneliusen was sitting in the gas station, head drooping, dirt-covered and weary.

"He was laughing and embarrassed and wanted to go back to his mine," Ford said.

So the deputy rang the county Fire Department, which used bolt cutters to unshackle the artist. It took three tries.

Corneliusen's ankles were reddened and indented with chain marks, but he was otherwise unharmed. He did not explain to his rescuers why he wanted to make such a sketch.

The artist could not be reached for comment, as he camps sans cellphone. He was last seen at the trailhead, taking long strides back to the mine.

Friday, January 06, 2006

not a mullet but...

Tommy thinking "Is that Dr. Righteous in the bushes over there?"
or perhaps "This waterfall makes me want to pee."

Mullets Galore

site suggested by Frank, I suspect he secretly desires one...


featuring not 10, not 20, but 99 different classifications of mullets!


Exclusive: The Matador's Richard Shepard - ComingSoon.net


CS: I noticed that you also produced "Scotland, PA" and that you had another unusual role in the movie. Could you talk about that?

Shephard: Yeah, the last scene in the movie when Christopher Walken takes over the McBeth's restaurant, and he's outside by himself, and it's now a vegetarian restaurant, I streaked right by him. Really fast, but I'm there and I'm naked. The director was like "I need a streaker" and it was the last day of shooting so I was like "Sign me up!"


The Sunday Mail QLD: Sydney-to-Hobart sailors speak of ordeal
FIVE sailors survived 13 hours clinging to the wreckage of their yacht as sharks circled, only to collapse from seasickness aboard a rescue launch yesterday.

Three of the crew - which comprised four Swedes and a Finn - were returning from competing in the Sydney-to-Hobart race when they hit treacherous seas near Eden on the NSW-Victoria border.

They were encircled by sharks and had to endure 6m seas and 80-knot wind before being rescued.

Bulk cement freighter Goliath had been shielding the yacht from waves and wind after responding to the crew's SOS call, sent after the vessel flipped 360 degrees.

The carrier remained for almost 12 hours until rescuers arrived.

"It's very, very good to be here. (I was) not scared a bit, I hadn't time to be scared. I'm never coming sailing in Australia again."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Star Wars Photoshopping Project

Zeitlist: Feuilletons: Everything Counts in Large Amounts

Zeitlist: Feuilletons: Everything Counts in Large Amounts
11 secrets of swarm success
LA Weekly

When individual units combine to form complicated, intelligent structures with well-coordinated divisions of labor, command hierarchies, and problem-solving skills — that’s a swarm. More than just strength in numbers, the swarm is an emergent property: the whole can achieve what the parts alone cannot; but paradoxically, without the parts the whole does not exist. A nest of wasps. The antibodies in our immune system. Data moving through a network. WTO protesters in Seattle. This is why swarm theory is resonating these days throughout many disciplines, from biology to computer science to politics. The superorganism potential seems to exist everywhere. Here are some examples:

1. Autonomous NanoTechnology Robots. Soon, many tiny robots may go to Mars. A whole lot of nanobots — part of NASA’s Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarms, or ANTS project — were shipped to McMurdo Station in Antarctica for testing in harsh climates.
2. Killer Bees. Still swarming with gusto, Apis mellifera adansonii, also called “Africanized” honeybees, were created in 1956 when scientists in Brazil imported colonies of studly African bees for crossbreeding experiments. The downside: 26 African queens escaped to produce aggressive hybrid hives in the wild with drones that are cantankerous, attack in greater numbers, sting 10 times more, and give chase for longer distances.
3. Locusts. A.k.a. spam from God.
4. Grunions.
5. Bats. Each night, 2 million free-tailed bats exit the Gua Payau Cave in Borneo’s Gunung Mulu National Park, writhing in a long, sinuous ribbon across the dusk, headed for unknown feeding grounds.
6. Sharks. There always seems to be Shark Summer news packages in Florida, but this year the normal migratory pattern turned swarm when thousands of blacktip sharks suddenly appeared off the coast.
7. Velvet Ants.
8. Feral Chihuahuas.
9. The Evildoers.
10. Zulu Warriors.
11. Smart Mobs. In 2003, the flash-mob phenomenon put swarms in the service of agitprop, when spontaneous e-mail organization caused 100 unconnected people to gather at the New York City Macy’s carpet section to all stare at one particular very expensive rug then, as instructed, declare that they were shopping for a Love Rug.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

for Frank...


Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Powell's Books - The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks


Christmas mass streaker faces community service. 03/01/2006. ABC News Online

An 18-year-old Alice Springs man who streaked through a Christmas Eve mass will have to serve 200 hours of community service.

Shaun Edward Mackley pleaded guilty in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court to disturbing religious worship at the town's Catholic church.


Mackley's counsel Russell Goldflam told the court that the offence had started as a drunken, spontaneous prank and ended with serious consequences.

Mr Goldflam said his client wished to repay the town for his offence by performing community service [in the buff]

Monday, January 02, 2006

RIP MIX BURN: Boot Liquor Radio

Boot Liquor Radio: "What the heck is this format? Boot Liquor is a disturbing mix of Country, Singer/Songwriter, Rock, Folk and Bluegrass. It's Alt-Country/Americana at its core, but somewhat musically flexible (if the lyrics are a good match). Songs I play tend to have an interesting (storytelling) or humorous narrative, such as those typically found on the Bloodshot or YepRoc Labels. Boozing, drugging, soured relationships and hard living songs get played more than anything else. Generic, bland or sentimental country is avoided at all costs."


Winamp.com: Media Player, Skins, Plug-ins, Videos, Songs, Riffs, Jams, Grooves

KILT WATCH: Auld Lang Syne

Hollister Free Lance:
New Year a Time to Start Fresh? and Write the Wrong Date

Of course, a calendar change just isn't the same without singing that famous old song "Auld Lang Syne." Sure, nobody knows what it means. And sure, nobody knows the words. But still we sing it, and we love it.

In case you were wondering, after a bit of research, I believe I can clear up the "Auld Lang Syne" mystery. It seems this was a Scottish song, originally sung on New Year's Eve, which in Scotland is known as Hogmanay or "the night old man Manay's hogs turned loose on Edinburgh."

And the reason nobody knows the words is that the words are in Scottish, a language most Americans don't even pretend to speak. Oh, everybody knows a few words like "kilt," which is Scottish for "I'm manly and I wear a skirt." But for the most part, Americans are woefully ignorant of the Scottish language.

And that's why we don't understand "Auld Lang Syne." Not that it matters anyway. I mean, my extensive research (3.5 seconds on Google) revealed that "Auld Lang Syne" is actually a song about wading in streams, looking for daisies and drinking in a pub. Not one mention about changing your calendar or writing the wrong date on your checks, but for some reason, it's still a tradition.

Sunday, January 01, 2006