Somehow It’s Thursday Already (001)

Aw man.  Somehow my primary responsibilities at work have gone from Pretending to be Awake to Pretending to be Busy.  Definitely cuts out a lot of internetting.  I was meaning to read these but… you know how it goes.  Give the comments section some love and fill me in, will ya? Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.  Or how to best spend money to get the middle class to screw themselves and the poor to whip themselves in a lather defending the privileges of the rich. Brain Coprocessors: The need for operating systems to help brains and machines work together Make mine Windows ME. Fake Tickets, Scorching Heat: Inside Story of Disneyland’s Disastrous Debut Theme parks gone awry has been a favorite topic since I started reading George Saunders. The New Big Tobacco: Inside Canada’s underground tobacco industry Agriculture + Crime is always a […]

China’s Moon Shot Rains Rocket Parts on the Countryside

China sent their unmanned lunar probe Chang’e II (nickname: Moon Safari?) skywards last Friday, packing the usual assortment of stereo cameras, laser spectrometers and microwave detectors to scour the lunar surface as it orbits the moon for six months or better.  What it didn’t take with it, however, was a few large chunks of its launch rocket.  These fell to earth two days later, landing in a rural part of Jiangxi, China. Villagers thought they were being struck by an earthquake as the debris crashed down.  Luckily, no one was hurt and no structures were impacted.  While snarkier blogs than this one will no doubt bag on China’s devil-may-care approach to space debris management, I’m just glad no one was hurt.  Besides, there’s not a space program out there (not even Mr. Veer’s), that has its hands completely clean. Remember Skylab?  Australia does. Take a closer look at the above […]

Squarepusher is back with a new band ‘Shobaleader One’

2010 is turning out to be a great year for IDM/Braindance/whatever fans. Two albums by Autechre including their triumphant “Oversteps“; Wisp’s We Miss You, the perpetual hope of new Aphex Twin, and now today new Squarepusher. There’s been a short clip up for awhile, but today we get the track Megazine in all its glory. This time around though the multi-instrument and normally mildly dressed Thomas Jenkinson aka Squarepusher is in a band called Shobleader One with forthcoming release d’Demonstrator. Or so he claims. According to a Q&A on Warp’s Squarepusher page the band is composed of Squarepusher (Bass/vocals) Strobe Nazard (Keyboards), Sten t’Mech (Guitar), Arg Nution (Guitar) and Company Laser (Drums). Mr Jenkinson goes into more detail on its founding and purpose. Given this genre’s artists penchant for gags, hoaxes, and jokes this could be a one man show by Squarepusher– much like The Tuss might be Aphex Twin. […]

The Squeeze: This Movie Won’t Get Rereleased (with the same poster) Anytime Soon

This 1987 $11 million dollar over the budget flop with Michael Keaton in some 1980’s “My Life is Bonkers!” comedy in the vain of The Man with the one Red Shoe, Three Men and a Baby, and Quick Change will not see a DVD (or poster) rerelease anytime soon. Roger Ebert said: Sometimes they hold sneak previews for movies, and ask the audience to rate the picture on a scale ranging from “excellent” to “poor.” I’ve got an idea for “The Squeeze.” They should hand the audience postcards and ask them to mail them back a week after seeing the movie – if they can recall anything about the plot. I’m serious. This movie isn’t about anything or anybody, and to remember it is an act of the will. I think there’s one thing memorable about that cover: its never going to be forgotten today. If Sarah Palin ever wants […]

1983: The Year the World Almost All Died

Cast your mind back to 1983 when the cold war was heating up. Then President Ronald Reagan carried a cavalier attitude against the Soviet Union, calling them “evil” such as this speech from March 8 1983: In your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil. The bold was added by this author. Rather than tact or diplomacy Reagan had taken policy into a fuzzy metaphysical world of good versus evil. A new military policy was introduced of Psychological Operations (PSYOP) on an extreme scale later that year. Just […]

UVB-76, Secret Soviet Number Station, Dramatically Increases Activity

UVB-76 is a number station from Soviet days. Its purpose still remains a mystery. Rumors claim its a dead man’s switch to automatically launch nuclear weapons in the event of the Kremlin being destroyed– but that seems like sheer speculation. Today, August 24 2010, there has been three audio transmissions. What is odd is that in its 20 years of operation the station has only broadcast vocal transmissions five times– two of which were this week! Normally it sounds like a buzzer pulsating a coded message to unknown agents. Whatever purpose the station serves it still receives funding as is staffed. Anything else is a mystery. The message repeated three times says in Russian: UVB-76, UVB-76 — 93 882 Naimina 74 14 35 74 — 9 3 8 8 2 Nikolai, Anna, Ivan, Michail, Ivan, Nikolai, Anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4 UVB-76 from Satellite Possibilities abound. […]

RIP Jack Horkheimer, Star Hustler

If you live in the United States, there’s a fairly good chance you have seen Jack Horkheimer’s Star Hustler or recently dubbed Star Gazer. He delightfully explained constellations seeming something like Carl Sagan’s Uncle Buck. Low budget, outdatted effects and cheesy deliver no matter when it aired. It was a Tim & Eric skit but with a genuine passion for the stars. Horkheimer passed away at age 72 according to the Miami Dade Herald. His later life was surrounded in some controversy but he will be missed.

Arcade Fire Frontman’s Grandfather Helped Invent the Electric Guitar

What’s the diminutive of ‘mind-blowing’?  How does one indicate a spot on the continuum of emotions between ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and ‘holy sweet goddamn!’? Among my many areas of interest is that of instrument inventors.  I dabble myself, mostly in making electrical contacts that warp the frequency of a triggered sample, but still, there’s an aspirational admiration for those who have pushed through with their tinkering and made a mode of music that became a standard, that provided the very vocal cord of a whole means of expression.  And of that pantheon, there’s a special place for the tweakers of that universal weapon of the Western music canon, the electric guitar.  Credit due to Les Paul, with his electric log, and credit to George Beauchamp, for guiding this innovation.  Credit to the swamp-pop stylings of Willie Joe Duncan and his unitar. So I found it notable to discover that the […]