1. NATO Makes Raves Happen

    Did you know the North Atlantic Treaty Organization loves ravers? Neither did I, but for 60 years they have been making them happen. What the hell?

    So next time you pop so ecstasy, thank NATO. There are more equally surreal attempts at viral marketing by our forced military alliance overlords on their 60 Years of NATO propaganda public relations site.


  2. The Internet is Pictures of Cats: Weird Science

    Yes, that’s a video of a man jerking of a rhino. With good intentions. On the BBC.

    There is no Pop Science linking gold like the words “penis” or “sperm“.  Sure, nine times out of ten it baits and switches with some barely multicellular organism’s sex habits but every now and again there’s a linked video of two moose exchanging handjobs with an orca for a carton of cigarettes.  The write-up is to die for on that one.

    But I swear I had a point.  I think it was…

    Somewhere along the way, loving Pop Sci stopped being something you’d whisper at the newstand and wrap in a plain brown wrapper.  It’s not hard to know what did it: same as porno, the internet sloughed the shame off the sticky, nerdy surface of loving reports of animals banging and new non-lethal weapons that make a guy shit himself.  In the privacy of our own homes, finally we could all admit to each other that we secretly wished we paid attention during biology.

    So glory, glory be, to all the half-pervy come-ons from the Discovery Channel, telling me through my Gmail news ticker that prehistoric swizzle sticks made from juvenile raccoon penis bones have been carbon-dated to prove that Neanderthal man was an alcoholic inter-species pederast. (Wait for it… they’re still factchecking that one)

    And ancient peeFake rabbit wangThe DaVinci Cones!


  3. Rick Moranis Does Kraftwerk

    pic113_70Kraftwerk are widely regarded as one of the most influential groups in music of all time. Namely for their pioneering work using synthesizers and drum machines but also for their distinct melodies. They have been cited as an influence from musicians such as Madonna, David Bowie, and Michael Jackson.

    They are one of the most sampled groups with their melodies and beats appearing in rock, pop, and hiphop. Their music has been heavily sampled or covered by artists such as Afrika Bombasta, U2, Coldplay, and Will Smith.

    18-Rick-MoranisOne artist who also covered them, was Rick Moranis.

    As in Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Spaceballs and Strange Brew Rick Moranis. Thus creating the single greatest cultural crossover since that guy who played the Doctor or Doctor Who is the bad guy in the forthcoming GI Joe movie. Or when The Jetsons were on The Flintstones.

    The cover was released on Moranis’ now out of print 1989 EP You, Me, the Music and Me.

    I guess after looking at these two images I can see the connection.

    Other great Kraftwerk covers:


  4. Operation Other Planet Freedom

    George W Bush Tries Some Bling On

    Movies about aliens are certainly not new, as well as the evil aliens invade Earth plot. The recent crop of alien movies such as Battle for Terra, Avatar, The Day Keanu the World Stood Still, and District 9 though feature a thinly veiled metaphor: humans are the bad guys and not the aliens. Instead of the usual aliens invade and must be stopped by Jeff Goldblum using his Powerbook.

    All of these basically have the same storyline: humans meet some aliens, humans are mean to aliens, one human is nice to the aliens, and then they all get along and the bad humans go away.

    I wonder what historical figure or incidents of late could have inspired that people in their arrogance and greed destroy the lives of others under the pretense of it being good…


  5. The Internet is Pictures of Cats: Stweet

    Stweet

    (GoogleMaps/Streetview Availability) x Twitter = Stweet

    Not that I twart, but this looked interesting… like an alpha build of a subconsciousness browser: Stweet

    Fun for staring into the bored thoughts of those around you, or in cities you miss.  Still doesn’t fix the problem of most people’s tweets being boring.  It’d be cool to have filters on this or an option to just map those in your network/users you follow.

    Something of this type, on a phone, that displayed people’s tweets around you, sounds like the next step.  Or one of many next steps.

    via warrenellis.com


  6. Rewire: The Postal Service

    letter_crude

    Alright, I confess: I still write and send actual, physical letters to people.  People I know even.  For non-special occasions, not even as a ritual or an outdated formality.  I’m a sucker for physical objects, what can I say.

    As often as I think that I’m the last non-corporate entity who still uses the post office, there’s still that enormous line at every sad outpost of the U.S. Mail.  Weird.  Who are these people?

    Before this devolves into a pointless antiquarian rant, let me get to the meat: there’s an article brewing that I want to get a conversation going about before it starts.

    Topic: how would you go about making the postal service relevant?

    Included in this would be the issues of improving the user experience, competing with email for ease of use, making all those hackneyed storefronts do something and running it all without just digging a big hole to throw money in.

    Somewhat harder than all that would be: how can we revive the culture of sending each other tangible objects?  How does one create a market for the delivery of things?

    Go nuts in the comments.  Let’s get talking.


  7. String 1, Cats 0

    cat_mind

    The Guardian reports on what we all have been muttering under our breath: “that cat thinks it’s soo smart, but yknow what?  It’s not.”  Read:

    Psychology lecturer Britta Osthaus says cats do not understand cause-and-effect connections between objects. She tested the thought processes of 15 of them by attaching fish and biscuit treats to one end of a piece of string, placing them under a plastic screen to make them unreachable and then seeing if the cats could work out that pulling on the other end of the string would pull the treat closer.

    Sure, cats understand that knocking stuff off a cluttered desk is a great way to wake up the food-pouring ape thing and that jumping into a box is a great way to get on YouTube but apparently taking any cause and effect relationship beyond that… just too much work.

    This goes a long way to explain why cats have not invented anything more complex than cat vomit.

    Fish, on the other hand, have been observed excelling at observational learning. (No jokes about schooling… none!)  I fully expect the nine-spined stickleback to soon start trawling the parking lots of Arthur Treacher’s with ingenius nets of their own design, harvesting the ape oil-rich bounty of swollen suburbanites.


  8. Enemy Combatants Don't Surf

    Palau Map

    Palau Map

    The Guantanamo beat and News of the Weird collided last week when it was announced that the likely destination of 13 soon to be released Uighur “non-terrorists”/”possible nationalist separatists”/”guys we mistakenly imprisoned for seven years” is the island nation of Palau.  This move, of course, has nothing to do with any upcoming U.S. aid package to Palau, a small cluster of islands administered by the U.S. until 1994.

    While the opinions of China (‘hey, let us get a crack at ‘em’), the Palau tourist industry (‘shit.’) and the U.S. (‘anywhere but a swing state’) were duly recorded by journalists, absent from any of the news reports was mention of how the Uighur ex-suspecteds (let’s start calling them ‘mistainees’) felt about moving to a tropical paradise.

    Carnival Cruise ads aside, it is not the dream of every human to sweat glamourously near a vast blue ocean.  Xinjiang, the region that the Uighur people come from, is more of a mountains, snow, camels and roasted meat on a stick kind of place.  For context, the Toronto Star reports: “Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world.”

    Palau sounds like kind of a tough sell to that crowd.  Factor in that the type of guys who head down to Taliban-run Tora Bora to learn how to shoot an AK just might like their Islam flavored conservative, the bikini beaches and being nearly only Muslims for hundreds of miles around might not be considered pluses.

    This is all speculation of course.  A decent barometer would be to check in with Uighur ex-detainees in Albania, Sweden and Bermuda but reports seem decidedly mised, depending on who’s telling the storyForeign Affairs reports that they will be at least hooked up with some time in Palau’s fine community colleges.  I smell a wacky fish-out-of-water college movie brewing.

    And then there’s this clip, which I will take advantage of the flimsiest reason to post:


  9. Tin Foil Hats Are Sexy: Barack Obama prepares for UFO arrival, open alien contact

    From All News Web:

    a_blackberryBarack Obama is in almost daily contact with SETI and is communicating with the aliens directly.

    The aliens indirectly contributed to the development of internet search engines and they are in limited contact with Google through SETI. They are able to access the internet currently and their involvement in search engine research is for the purpose of allowing them to understand as much about earth as possible prior to their next arrival.

    Awesome. Not only is Barack Obama in constant contact with them but they both contribute and learn from the Internet.

    Just keep that in mind whenever you spread a meme: cultural emissaries from several light years away will be basing every picture of a cat as what it means to be human.

    a_nutpoda_fail


  10. Human Lessons: Cellphone Firestarter

    via MAKE

    We’d all like to think that in a survival situation the education we have in our heads could pop up a new version of civilization fully former like some pop-up trailer but no, we’re wrong.  I can’t build you a Ford Taurus or a Cuisinart.

    But without fire, we aren’t even properly functioning as animals.  That’s why it’s important to know how to make it in any situation, especially with the modern detrius we’ve got laying around.  Hence, the genius of the above instructional video.

    Summary: remove battery, short with rolled up steel wool, use smoldering steel wool to light tinder and save your poor fur-less, scale-less, horn-less human ass.

    This comes via Backpacker magazine’s Survival Skills section, a great place to look around and learn how to look less like coyote food.

    Remember: until you pick up a tool, fucking koalas are higher on the food chain than you.