κλῠδώνιον: Prometheus perturbs Saturn’s F Ring, photographed by Cassini, 14th February 2009.
Prometheus orbits just inside the F RIng, moving slightly faster than the ring particles. As Prometheus passes, it drags ring particles with it, creating ripples.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.
Peter Dive: Newport Lifeguards
East End, 1961, David Bailey
“Scientists have treated a man they believe to be the first patient with internet addiction disorder…”
Scientists have treated a man they believe to be the first patient with internet addiction disorder brought on by overuse of Google Glass.
The man had been using the technology for around 18 hours a day – removing it only to sleep and wash – and complained of feeling irritable and argumentative without the device. In the two months since he bought the device, he had also begun experiencing his dreams as if viewed through the device’s small grey window. […]
The patient – a 31-year-old US navy serviceman – had checked into the Sarp in September 2013 for alcoholism treatment. The facility requires patients to steer clear of addictive behaviours for 35 days – no alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes – but it also takes away all electronic devices.
Doctors noticed the patient repeatedly tapped his right temple with his index finger. He said the movement was an involuntary mimic of the motion regularly used to switch on the heads-up display on his Google Glass.”
- Google Glass user treated for internet addiction caused by the device | Science | The Guardian
Sketch of the 1st six minutes of Echoes (Pink Floyd).
October 15, 2014
“The Voice of love seemed to call me, but it was a wrong number.” That seems to happen a lot in my life, and yet, I tend to keep moving on. Although I have been financially strapped for a while now, I still keep a man-servant with me. I had to sell off my rare vinyl and books, but I think I made the right choice. A butler is a sort of combination of spiritual advisor as well as taking care of one’s schedule and clothing. In a way it is like an I-Phone, but I prefer the human touch than the mechanical one. Kato, was born in Kobe, and eventually ended up in Los Angeles as a student of the English language and to study the fine art of Judo. When he was thrown out of language school, due to an overnight game of Go, where some say he swindled various participants of their parent’s pension money. Nevertheless, I hired him as a butler, and he moved in with me in my single room apartment at the time off Melrose Avenue. Over time I got married, and people come and go in my life, but my butler remained with me thick and thin. And due to his cooking, the thin part is losing out to a great amount of fat. Even though I’m suffering from the physical point, I’m gaining in a peace-of-mind that is opening doors left and right for me. Of course, eventually those doors shut tight as soon as I leave the exit, but I go through life as an experience, and not as an end result.
I began to write a detective novel that is based on my life. Not the case itself, God no, I never even seen a dead body before, but the fictional detective is based on my character. I’m not one of those writers that can write third person, only first-person narratives. Even when I dream, it is me watching the dream unfolding in front of my eyes. I’m in the audience, and oddly enough the figures in my dream narratives are not based on people I know. They are usually an archetype of a specific type of person. Usually the slut, the loser and so forth. But when I awake, I can’t write the narrative as a nameless observer. I need to be in the story as well, and it has to be told from my point-of-view. Therefore my character is a foppish dandy, and one who is part of society that is slowly decaying. As people who know me, decay is very much a process in life that I find fascinating. Kato always supplies me with clothing that is slightly worn or torn even. Maybe the collar is even moderately stained. It’s imperative to show life as it moves from one plane to another - and a detective murder narrative is very much part of that world. For instance I come upon a room where there is a lifeless body, and my detective character comments and to quote from my book “The Canary Murder Case”: “Why the haste, old dear?” I asked, yawning. “The chap’s dead, don’t y’ know; he can’t possibly run away.”
When you have a man-servant, one takes a stand in life that says I’m going to drink that cup of life and not find a dead beetle at the bottom. The ability to transform oneself into something hopefully better, is one of the great things regarding to be alive in such a horror show of a world. “I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.” And there lie the great adventures that come upon us, as we slip into a world that looks like the outside. It is really an inner landscape that Kato and I dwell in. I once asked Kato if “trousers matter?” He told me that “the mood will pass, sir. ”
Buster Keaton ~ College (1927)
Alan Turing proposed that an artificial intelligence qualified as a capable of thought if a human subject, in conversation with it and another human, cannot tell them apart; the strange thing about the Eliza Twitter bot is it doesn’t come across as any more like a machine than those who keep repeating their points over and over and over, ad nauseum. It’s difficult to decide who’s failed the Turing test here. (via New Statesman | The ultimate weapon against GamerGate time-wasters: a 1960s chat bot that wastes their time)
That said, the August unit didn’t operate perfectly all the time. Every now and then it didn’t recognize my phone as I approached the door. One time I made it all the way to the door before realizing that I was no longer signed into the app for some reason. There was also one late night when a stranger opened the door and walked into the house when August should have auto-locked the door. (The stranger was trying to enter our next-door neighbor’s house and didn’t realize he was at the wrong door.)
Have been spoiled with some very good light reading. When I read the good stuff it makes me wonder why I waste my time with second- and third-tier nonsense! On the other hand, the hours must be whiled away some way or another - but I do think I will have a year sometime when I will only read novels I really really want to read, and that the rest of my reading should be narrative nonfiction etc.
Anyway, Deon Meyer's Cobra is superb - hard to imagine a better book in this sort of vein. Then I read a delightful trio of books on the recommendation of Charlie Stross: Max Gladstone's Craft books. I was slightly skeptical at first - it's purely personal preference, but I really always like it best when urban fantasy follows a single character as either first-person narration or third-person limited, it's part of my affinity for character- and voice-driven fiction - but was utterly won over. These books are great! Interestingly Deon Meyer is using a very similar form of narration, in terms of pacing and following a set of characters, though the books are in most other respects about as different as you could imagine.
Just now halfway through a book I have been awaiting for a long time, Garth Nix's new Abhorsen installment Clariel. The original trilogy of Old Kingdom books, along with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, were the inspiration for The Explosionist and sequel: I kept haunting the shelves of the Bank Street Bookstore looking for something like and as good as those two sets of books, and when I couldn't find them, I thought I would just have to try and make something like that myself....
Nobody knows what running looks like.
Metadata scarf and cowl!
Medieval pet names (courtesy of Rivka).
Puggle production line? (Wishful thinking edition.)
Four years later, a lost African gray parrot is reunited with its former owner:
When Nigel vanished four years ago, he spoke with a cultivated British accent.
Little is known about where the African grey parrot went, what he did — or who he was with — in those missing years. But when he was reunited with his owner, Darren Chick, in Torrance last week, the British accent was gone and the bird was chattering in Spanish, often mentioning the name “Larry.”
October 14, 2014
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” I followed that advice to a “T” and it left me miserable and quite alone. But alone is perfectly OK, because I can’t stand the mindless chatter of my fellow citizens, even if it is to go from point A to Z, there is too much noise that goes with it. To find that one piece of silence and to be able to groove with it, ah, that’s amore! Even poetry is way too loud for me. I recently picked up a book of collected poems by e.e. Cummings, and man, is he unnecessary loud or what? “Yours is the light by which my spirit's born: - you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.” Total shite. When you compare it to Dean Martin’s song and to quote:
“When the moon hits your eye
Like a big pizza pie, that's amore
When the world seems to shine
Like you've had too much wine, that's amore. ”
The above song is blaring, but it is also fits perfectly as a form or stanza. The e.e. cummings poem is also a lie. I don’t believe him when he writes such sentiment - also he was a life long Republican who supported Joseph McCarthy, so fuck him anyway. On the other hand, the Dino song perfectly reflects a realistic approach to life, that doesn’t make moral demands on one’s ability to love or not to love.
Even that, I need to secure myself from the brutality that lies in front of me. Life to me is a series of elimination. There is such a thing in having too much. When you have it all, you forget where you’re standing, and therefore the space becomes more important than the clutter that surrounds you. As a child, my mother read me “The House of Pooh Corner” and there is a segment that explains everything that is important in my life. To quote”
“..."But what I like doing best is Nothing." "How do you do Nothing?" asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time. "Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, What are you going to do Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and you go and do it." "Oh, I see," said Pooh. "This is a nothing sort of thing that we're doing right now." "Oh, I see," said Pooh again. "It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear and not bothering." "Oh!" said Pooh.”
Now that’s amore! Le Monte Young had a conceptual piece that was equally important to me. He recommended to draw a straight line, and follow it. That, and his composition “The Well-Tuned Piano,” which in a typical performance can last five to six hours - is just heaven to me. There is no beginning and no end, just an existence where you float upon what’s inside your head, and only the beat of your heart is the only rhythm one needs.
For the past ten or so years, I have been listening to Cliff and The Shadows, trying to bring myself closer to a culture that I understood being essential to one’s mindset. I even danced in front of the mirror, imitating the choreography of that band’s intimate and quite beautiful dancing; but even that, I was hearing someone else’s noise, and I needed to live and reflect on my “noise” than someone else’s. Therefore the dream that is in front of me, is one of my own making, and with that knowledge, I jump in with both feet, and not a thought in my head.
There has been a lot of online comment recently about a dataset released by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. It contains details about every taxi ride (yellow cabs) in New York in 2013, including the pickup and drop off times, locations, fare and tip amounts, as well as anonymized (hashed) versions of the taxi’s license and medallion numbers. It was obtained via a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request earlier this year and has been making waves in the hacker community ever since. […] First things first. How might I track a person? Well, to zone in on a particular trip, I can use any combination of known characteristics that appear in the dataset, such as the pickup or drop-off coordinates or datetime, the medallion or license number, or even the fare amount from a receipt. Being the avid fanboy that I am (note: sarcasm), I thought it might be interesting to find out something new about some of the celebrities who had been seen in New York in 2013. In particular, where did they go to / come from, and how much did they tip? In order to do this, I spent some of the most riveting hours of my professional career searching through images of “celebrities in taxis in Manhattan in 2013″ to find enough information to identify the correct record in the database. I had some success – combining the below photos of Bradley Cooper and Jessica Alba with some information from celebrity gossip blogs allowed me to find their trips, which are shown in the accompanying maps.
October 13, 2014
“I’ve invented nothing; I’ve simply been the secretary of my sensations.” As I walk around Asakusa, I found the theater where Lenny Bruce performed, totally in English on Rokku-Broadway. It’s an area that is full of small theaters, and it is regarded as the home of 19th and 20th centuryJapanese comedy. Bruce, being the king of American stand-up comedy, decided to do a show here in the late 1950s, but did his act in English. Ten or so years after Japan surrendered to the United States, this series of islands had to cope with another alien invasion. What I have read is that he bombed at the Toyo Gekijo theater. It wasn’t his subject matter, but the fact that he insisted on doing the entire act in English, which in the 1950s, was not a common second language in Japan.
Nevertheless, to be honest, it is not what he says that is so great, but how he says it. I rarely follow his narratives, but instead I’m glued to the visuals of the man on stage. The way he snaps his fingers, in key lines, it is virtually done to wake one up in the audience. In other words, he’s absolute music to me. But as a visitor or tourist, I have a tendency to like to see performances in languages other than English. And Engilsh is the only language I know. And what I know beyond language is music and visuals. So in that sense and my thinking, Tokyo is the perfect landscape for me. Here, I can enjoy my misery in peace and quiet, because chaos is all around me. I can’t figure how to work with anything here. Toilets are impossible. So many push buttons to push, but all in kanji, so I can’t read what it is for or even why. But on the other hand, “Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, Chaos is being yourself. ”
I went to the “Band of Outsiders” cafe in Shibuya, which is a venue devoted to Jean-Luc Godard’s film “Band à part.” It’s an interesting place, because all the customers here are encouraged to speak only lines from that film (in Japanese), and of course at 9 PM every Tuesday night, there is the famous line-dance done in the film. Sometimes there are up to 15 people doing an exact imitation of the dance done by Anna Karina, Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur. With a few glasses of sake, I get the encouragement to join the dance. In my mind, I just try to imagine Lenny Bruce doing the dance as well. I snapped my fingers like everyone else in the dance, but my thoughts are not on that film scene, but Lenny as he performed in front of an indifferent Asakusa audience.
“The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live — moreover, the only one.” Therefore I venture into the night, and try to find substance, but alas, even that, is just an illusion. Yet, the beauty of the moment of getting lost, or having the mjst of the rain hit your face, is truly what to live for. “Melancholy: an appetite no misery satisfies.” I go to Disk Union Shibuya, down to the basement in their jazz store, to hear the melancholy playing by Art Tatum, and suddenly remembered that my life is full of right turns, when I’m obviously left-handed. No wonder I don’t connect to this world. And happily so.
The voice of Aiwass came upon me as I about to fall asleep. It finds out about me when I’m either in the mood of exalted hope or dread. “The voice was of deep timbre, musical and expressive. It tones solemn, voluptuous, tender, fierce or aught else as suited the moods of the message.” He, and it is for sure a male, speaks in English and very clearly, without an accent that can pinpoint where the voice came from. The voice seems to come from the corner of my bedroom, but clearly he’s not there or here, but alas, in my heart and soul. I imagine Aiwass as an “angel,” but one, who looks over me. He recites me tales that I write down, and therefore I become known as Clark Savage, Jr.
I was raised since birth by my father (perhaps Aiwass) and other scientists to become the most shinning example of a human being with respect to physical strength, intelligence, and physical fighting skills. In other words, a perfect human being. I’m a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and a poet.
Needing a headquarters I set up a lab and living area on the 86th floor, at the Empire State Building in New York City. No one can be a living fort by itself, so therefore I have five assistants:
- Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Blodgett “Monk” Mayfair, an industrial chemist.
- Brigadier General Theodore Marley “Ham” Brooks, an accomplished attorney.
-Colonel John “Renny” Renwick, a construction engineer.
-Major Thomas J. “Long Tom” Roberts, an electrical engineer
-William Harper “Johnny” Littlejohn, an archaeologist and geologist.
I watch over conditions in Palestine, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere where evil is being done, in the name of “good.” In a world of shadows, I hear Aiwass, and he tells me wise ways. It angers me that my fellow citizens think Aiwass as a subjective presence in my life, when in fact he’s quite objective in his manner in communicating with me. My assistants and I stand ready to battle the wrong and turn it into a right. Let me make this pledge to you:
“Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.”
With my headquarters on the 86th floor, I have a private high-speed elevator that leads to my fleet of cars, trucks, aircraft, and boats. I will use all my strength and wisdom in bringing justice to a world that laughs at common decency. “In the absence of willpower the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.” I have the will to do what I have to do. As for faith, “I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” Or in other words, “I have never grown out of the infantile belief that the universe was made for me to suck.”
So my assistants and I go in my limousine, and play “New Rose” by the Damned and I try to see the world as a reflection of my soul, which I share with Aiwass. There goes the night…
One delightful but painful side effect of working on this talk has been that I am now absolutely consumed with the desire to spend some months sitting in rare book libraries with amazing tomes before me: I do have a sabbatical coming up, not next year but the following one (i.e. 2016-17), with the only problem being that I have two competing projects that I am equally excited about, The ten-week Clarissa and the new one for which I have just now created a folder on the hard drive titled "Ancients and moderns"!
So, Paddy Bullard, “What Swift did in libraries,” in Jonathan Swift and the Eighteenth-Century Book, ed. Bullard and James McLaverty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 65-84 (the quotation is on 72):
[I]t is clear that Swift was an unusually active reader. This activity often involved a kind of conversation with the text written upon the printed page. The tone of that conversation was often indignant or otherwise aggressive--the anti-Scottish invective of his notes on Clarendon ('Cursed hellish Scots!'--'Greedy Scotch rebellious dogs'--'Diabolical Scots forever', etc.) is not untypically virulent.Also: "The regularity of Swift's anti-monarchical marginalia across several volumes gives it a ritual quality, as though he were leafing through his books looking for opportunities to perform it. . . . It seems that Swift found in the pages of his personal library a textual site just secure enough to bear anti-monarchical inscriptions that were too dangerous for him to make in any other kind of papers, either published or private" (74).
What does an educated owl say?
Guy Isnard, one of the first police officials to specialize in art forgeries, curating an exhibition of fakes at the Grand Palais, Paris, 1955.
Photo by Robert Cohen (via)
A cosmic wedding suite inspired by colourful nebulas and astronomy diagrams.
Watercolour and digital
by illustrator Caitlin Russell
October 11, 2014
I’m 60 and I’m fat. How is it that such a beautiful boy like me, turns into an old fat man? It seems like life’s revenge at the very least, and yet, what have I done in life, except show it love and respect. And in return I get a puffy body. Of course I could have exercised more with weights and avoided certain foods, but at the time, it didn’t seem reasonable. When someone puts a cake with whip cream in front of you, wouldn’t it be bad manners not to eat the cake? I barely left the plate on the dinning table, and if that was eatable I would have to digest that object in no time.
The worst is when people who I have known for a long time, look at me now, I can see the disappointment in their eyes. When I look at images of Gérard Depardieu, and see how obscenely heavy he’s now, I think “Oh my.” Now I can see people thinking the same thing with me. What’s even more embarrassing to me is when I see old girlfriends now, who are as stunning as ever. I knew they went out with me because when I was younger, I was quite handsome, but now, I can see them being disgusted and even ashamed of their old passion for me.
Since my physical side is falling apart I really need to take care of my brain more. As most of you know, I write every day under stressful conditions. If I finish my daily writing for that day, then I feel I have completed something and I can go on with my (so-called) life. “I’m fat, but I’m thin inside… there’s a thin man inside every fat man.” I need to focus on my inner-well being. I often walk in the public streets, both here in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and I noticed my reflection from boutique windows and think "oh wow have I changed." The funny thing is that I remember the moment I got fat. I know one doesn’t get fat overnight, but that self-awareness happened to me about a month or so ago. At first, I observed the friends who glance at my stomach and then quickly look away. I just have to tell you it’s a terrible moment. I don’t think I can ever be skinny again. Those days are gone. But lf I develop a bigger character to fit my bigger body, well, that would be ideal. As Jack said: “With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 60.
It is at that time I really got into Orson Welles. I have decided to become a fan of his later works, you know... when he was fat. I wonder how he felt about himself as he gained weight. He is likewise a fave of mine because he started at the top and worked his way down. As he further went down, the fatter he got. It is like each failure added inches to his waist. As I struggle with my work, I become super conscious of my gaining weight, and I ask where it will end. As Orson has commented: “When you are down and out something always turns up - and it is usually the noses of your friends. ”
As age and weight take over me, I try to flow like a rapid river, but to be honest I feel like a water trapped in a damn. Sitting there and breeding mosquitos by the millions, and not being able to move. Just sit and rot. That’s fat for you.
An editorial illustration inspired by this National Post article, a book review for The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe, which proposes that the bard was a heliocentrist, and that Hamlet is an allegory for the Scientific Revolution, representing ”the true nature of the universe — the heliocentric model proposed by Copernicus.”
A comedy club in Barcelona is charging patrons per laugh. This is real, according to the BBC. The Teatreneu club, in partnership with ad agency The Cyranos McCann, has installed tablets on the back of each seat equipped with facial recognition software that can apparently detect when you laugh. The going rate is 0.30 Euros ($0.38) per laugh, up to a maximum of 24 Euros ($30.45). In other words, buy 80 laughs and the rest are free.Via Alex E.
October 10, 2014
The one artist (besides myself of course) that I admire is Ed Wood Jr. I admire him because he shouldn’t be by all accounts exist on this planet, yet he kept his head down and kept going. They treated him like shit, and even though he had to rely on the food that was thrown away by the Hollywood industry, he kept going, like an insect or to be more precise a cockroach. Like Wood, I had to swallow a lot of shit from people who just took pleasure in shitting in my mouth. I know the taste, and I have the taste of Ed Wood in my mouth. There are people like Thelonious Monk, who just wanted to do their art in peace. Yet was thrown against the wall, and told that they were insane, or just to go away. Of course, there were cops with a blackjack that wanted the taste of Monk’s blood on their hands. A human being with a vision never gives up. I, on the other hand always give up.
“Surrender” should be my middle-name. Not everyone is blessed to have a Pannonica to watch your back. A true fan, she took care of both Charlie Parker and Thelonious in their moments of sickness and joyous. If we’re lucky, and most are not, we have a version of Pannonica in our lives. I do, and she allows a space to be had, where I can roam without a passport or a care in the world. But of course, that is an illusion. When I go into a movie theater to see a film by Ed Wood, for instance “The Sinister Urge, ” I am reminded here is an artist that was barely holding on to respectability. He was a the bottom of the trash heap, and after this film it would be one would call” a blur of smut racket nudie flicks, soft core porn, and it ends with x-rated novels and films.” Alas, an artist that flew too close to the sun, and therefore his wings burned off, and he crashed into the earth. One then wonders if he was an artist? Perhaps he dwells into a world of his making but not by choice. You go to the world with materials that are on hand, and with that tool and substance you hope to make something great. It’s a giant leap into faith that somehow it will turn out OK. Wood wasn’t afraid, like I am. He took numerous risks in a world that was hostile toward him.
Thelonious was a different type of character. He knew he was placed on the right wave length, and overall, I don’t think he cared what others think or thought of him. “I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants. You play what you want and let the public pick up on what you’re doing - even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.” Wood needed acceptance in a large market place. Monk basically lived totally through instinct. He had no plan, because he loved the moment when it happened, and didn’t look back when it passed by. I’m not only moved by his music, but also his dress-sense, his style and the way he danced around his piano during performances. And it was a performance, because the audience is watching a moment as it happens. It can’t be controlled or contained. It just happens. Wood is all about craft and lousy advice. In his book “Hollywood Rat Race”, he advises new writers to “just keep on writing. Even if your story gets worse, you’ll get better.” Now, that depends on how one defines “worse” and “better.” But then again, Wood had commented: “What do you know? You heard of suspension of disbelief? ”
The distinguished citizen of Hackney, Harold Pinter, once wrote “I can’t really articulate what I feel.” Yet, of course he does, because that is exactly what writing is - to swim around articulation, and hopefully some tragic mistake will come out of it. It is just like squeezing the wound and watching the puss come out. It’s disgusting, but also somewhat pleasing at the same time. Articulation is the key or the entrance of the artist’s soul, and with that in mind, that is what will make me successful or a failure. And lately I have been on a tightrope with slippery soles.
more like hanging around: Earth, glitched by GOES-15, October 2014.
GOES-15, a geostationary weather satellite over the Pacific, takes a photograph of the Earth every 3 hours. On the 2nd of October, images from the 2100 UTC timeslot (local noon at the satellite’s longitude) began to glitch out; GOES-15 would produce several incomplete images, timestamped e.g. 2101, 2104, 2107, or no image at all. At least one image appears to be timestamped with an impossible time: 2701, on the 9th October. Images taken at other times seem to be unaffected.
This gif shows 25 of the glitched images, 2nd-10th October.
Image credit: NOAA/NASA. Animation: AgeOfDestruction. Title: Aimee Mann.