Updated blog is now at Interference Patterns. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Revised Gallerias

Scroll down to EyeCandy on the left, and click on Art (w)Rex or Make It Snappy for the revised galleries (Foundlings, the collection of notes, scraps, fragments & doo-dads that have been posting here is coming later). Currently, the "snapshots" consist of Christmas (at my parents' house) and it's snowy aftermath. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any decent pictures of my back, which I hurt in a fall Thursday morning.....
12/28/2002 09:31:07 AM
Friday, December 27, 2002

Mona Mona Mona

I can never get enough of La Gioconda. Neither can anybody else, it seems. Robert A. Baron's Mona Lisa Images for a Modern World collects and analyzes the use of the image in a plethora of works. (here's the front page).

Spotted on BoingBoing.
12/27/2002 01:27:46 PM

Zwack Unicum

unicum poster
Although the recipe is a strictly guarded secret, this much is certain: UNICUM is made of a mix of over 40 different kinds of handpicked medicinal herbs and spices. Its unique, characteristic, bitter-sweet flavour unfolds in the course of the 6-month aging in oak casks. Thanks to its special harmony of flavours and beneficial effects, it can just as well introduce as close a meal. Many of its consumers drink it chilled but its grandiose, complex flavour can be enjoyed best at room temperature. Try it with dried plums whose sweet flavour together with the characteristic aroma of UNICUM produces a fine harmony of flavours that cannot be resisted. Mix 2 cl Unicum with 2 dl of blood orange juice, and you get an excellent refreshment in the form of a long drink.
Afficionados say it "grows grey moss on your tongue." After three years of living in Budapest and tricking new Americans in trying it, I perversely developed a fondness for this. I have found but one liquor store--in Manhattan, a 2-3 hour drive away--that sells it. I'veo nly found one place on-line that delievers in the US, and they charge $52 for a small bottle. The Zwack site above (click the poster) delivers, but only within Hungary....

What, you expected a Christmas update? My sister Er, "Santa" gave me a teeny, tiny bottle of the stuff in my stocking. The size they (used to?) sell at bus stations to take on the ride. I lived above a station for a year and never ceased to be amazed at how much the drivers could pack away before hitting their route....
12/27/2002 12:36:58 PM
Monday, December 23, 2002


Because what we all really want for Christmas is Japanese Snacks.
12/23/2002 09:24:55 PM
Sunday, December 22, 2002
Archbald Pothole Jigsaw Puzzle
This state park boasts the world's largest glacial pothole; 38 feet deep and up to 42 feet across. The pothole formed during the Wisconsin Glacial Period about 15,000 years ago.

A pothole usually is a hole which is worn into the bedrock of a stream at the base of waterfalls or in strong rapids. The moving water spins sand, gravel and rock fragments in any small indentation in the bedrock. After enough time, the sand and stones carve out an elliptical hole. Potholes may also form under or near the edge of glaciers by the action of glacial meltwater.

Archbald Pothole was discovered in 1884 by coal miner Patrick Mahon while extending a mineshaft. Mr. Mahon fired a blast of explosives and water and stones came rushing out. The miners fled fearing that the mountain was falling on them. Edward Jones, the manager of the mining company, investigated and ordered the area cleared of debris. 800 to 1000 tons of small rounded stones were removed and Mr. Jones realized that the vertical tunnel was a large pothole.
If you visit me, you're going to see it. No ifs ands or buts.

thanks to Mr. Bowerman for the tip.
12/22/2002 04:13:50 PM
Antique Musical Machines

Just "upda line" in Moscow. I'm going to have to visit there someday soon.

Just look at this beauty:
Item: 67 Key Mortier Dance Organ
Ref Number: 26
Status: For Sale
Dimensions: 14' long, 10 1/2' tall
Country of Origin: Belgium
Maker: Mortier
Style: dance organ
Condition: Fine
Year: c. 1920 SOLD
Price: $45,000.00
Description: Near full-scale dance organ, 12 base, 12 accompaniment, 22 melody notes, 7 counter melody notes, 3 feet of music (additional music available), about 10 registers, bell ringer and percusions, fully restored, unlimited 1 year guarantee (Mortier was the top organ builder of their time)
12/22/2002 01:20:45 PM
Greetings from Plague Central

My girlfriend took violently ill Wednesday at the Artists for Art holiday party. I took her back to my place and she basically remained in bed--except for periodic bouts of vomiting--for the next two days.

On Saturday, she started feeling better, & actually got out of bed to take a shower and did some dishes while I was out buying groceries.

So of course I get ill after I return home Saturday afternoon. Stomach virus. Extreme exhaustion. Fortunately, I vomited only once and things have been relatively calm since then, except for fatigue and aching.

I got an email from my mom that Dad was sick on Friday, as well, so he couldn't finish his holiday preparations. I've missed out on Friday, Saturday & Sunday so far..... Y'all had better hold to the "it's the thought that counts" precept.....
12/22/2002 12:54:10 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Okay. The show happened. Changes were made to "Mr. Stein's Neighborhood Street" pretty much up until we started (if you count improvisation, then changes were made until pretty much after we started). Looking forward to episode 3 with Geno T. on music in February or March.

I hope to have added a gallery of scripts by the end of the year. So y'all can revel in the glory and grandeur of the weird little things I do with puppets.

and then maybe someone can explain to me just why I do it.....
12/21/2002 12:32:03 AM
Friday, December 20, 2002
ergh. It's now Friday. I've done laundry, some dishes, shopping (not in that order), and finished most of the Mr. Stein's script for tomorrowtonight's show.

In my sleep-deprived haze, I don't think it's all that bad! Not for something cocked-up at the last minute, anyway.....

Oh, and I fiddled with the links, down on the left. And added that ugly black blob between entries.

You'd think something that ugly would have been easy to add.....
12/20/2002 12:12:05 AM
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Tissue San
(Eco kun) He is made with environmentally friendly 50% recycled paper. Likes to read a book on a shelf. He has an ability to eat trash and produce recycled paper.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Christmas is right around the corner, and I >know< you ain't gotten me that Hello Kitty toaster I asked for....

In the future, I talk more about toasters.

UPDATE 02.05.04: the Tissue-San link is dead. Contemporary research suggests he was developed by San-X. Can't find him back. In Japanese. Good luck.
12/18/2002 10:59:55 PM

Did I tell you before that I've been working with puppets???

Frankie & Godzilla. the same picture I posted in October. More were taken, but I lost them all when I moved. I mean, I have them somewhere. In a box. You know what I mean?

WINN(t)ER alternative to noise 20
an evening of performance art away from the cold.
Friday December 20, 8 p.m.
FREE but a $5 donation is encouraged ($3 for seniors, students and starving artists).
Afa Gallery 514 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton

Featuring Vanessa Norton and her Sweaters, "Christmas" music from Die Hohe Wurst Industrielle Gegen (Goadheel Schpiederhans, Amaco Gahasapuhmp, & Brad Cox), Fr. Joe Gilbert interpreting Dylan Thomas, Michael Paulukonis with another episode from Mr. Stein's Neighborhood Street, Vicki Ross' Loony Tunes, and more.

For more information contact Michael via email or 570.383.0201.

er, yeah. the original Mr. Stein's episode planned for Friday features Frankie & Godzilla going out to Hollywood to escape the cold and pitch TV show ideas. On the way, about 6 songs get sung, and there's a special appearance by The Greatest Performance Artists of All Time (last seen in The Magic Accordion).

But since I moved 2.5 weeks ago and put the notes and mostly-complete script in a secure, non-disclosed location, just like Dick Cheney, it can't be found.

I could have started again from scratch, but the musician hadn't learned the songs yet, and neither had my girlfriend, Vanessa, who would have had to sing 2 or 3 duets with me (it's tough to sing a duet by yourself--possible, but tough).

So, that show got nixed. Look for it in February. Instead, there will be a different winter/christmas/holiday themed Mr. Stein's show. Which I'm sure you've all been waiting for.....
12/18/2002 10:28:44 PM
Tuesday, December 17, 2002


Wash. Post: Today's Nerdy Heroines Follow After the 'Scooby-Doo' Sleuth

Here's what we know: Velma is a high-IQ, freckle-faced teenager, though her age is unclear; she might be 16 or 19 or 23. She is about 15 pounds overweight, but if a pirate ghost jumps out of a closet, she can scoot pretty quick. She has exactly one outfit -- a pleated, burgundy miniskirt and a roomy, orange turtleneck sweater with matching knee-high socks. (Actually, she also has a snow-skiing outfit, in the same shade of orange.)

When she deciphers a clue -- for example, when a ghost leaves a note that says "Feed the organ" and Velma, and only Velma, realizes that this means the notes F-E-E-D on the organ, and plays them herself, thereby opening the secret door to the secret tunnel under the mansion, all this deeply erotic metaphor of feeding organs and opening tunnels, etc. -- she usually exclaims, "Jinkies!"

There you have it. In Velma Dinkley, the modern sex symbol.
12/17/2002 05:22:48 PM
a week where obscure chunks of memory detach from the sky to dive-bomb my head:

Dear Michael,

Google rocks. I just typed in "rare species of anarchist curse," and your name and various websites came up right at the top of the list.

I've been trying to find you off and on for a few years, circa 1994 to the present, since Budapest.

Hope you will remember me and get in touch again. I've been living in [California City] for the past 6 years, but I'm about to become a professional drifter again soon. Hope you are well and that life is great for you!

-Mikita Global Services

at any rate, it's true now:

It took less than 24 hours for Google to update from yesterday's post. hmmmmm.....
12/17/2002 06:48:25 AM
Monday, December 16, 2002

rare species of anarchist curse

c'est moi, n'est ce pas?
12/16/2002 07:46:47 AM
Saturday, December 14, 2002
Wrigley's has redesigned the labels:

I don't like it. The old style was iconic--not in the casual sense of an individual design striving to function as an icon for the product, but iconic as in being emblematic and evocative of a time-period, a place (America), advertising, etc.

It was also white--and now it's green. this is MAJOR.

I'm probably just being a curmudgeon.

so be it.
12/14/2002 11:58:50 AM
Monday, December 09, 2002

Salvation on the Cheap

Saturday last, I bought a pair of jeans at a new Salvation Army, one of those where they arrange everything according to the colors of the rainbow. It's a good system and looks nice....but it's also somewhat creepy to see a bunch of purple stuff including crocheted kleenex dispensers, purple mini-coolers, and a purple package of Depends.

12/9/2002 11:31:44 PM
this is a test of things to come....

12/9/2002 04:58:01 PM


Sometimes, words get stuck in my head.

It seems to have been yet another of those gloriously facetious bits of wordplay so characteristic of America in the nineteenth century. Quite how it came about is a matter of some guesswork, but it looks moderately certain that the first part derives from the beginning of umbrella, with a b put in front so that it makes the evocative and forceful first syllable bum; the second half, as you surmise, is a respelling of the final syllable of parachute, presumably because of the similar shape.

Don't assume that any word derived from parachute must be at all recent. Perhaps surprisingly, that word dates from the early days of Montgolfier ballooning and first appeared in English in 1785. (Umbrella itself dates from the early seventeenth century, originally from an Italian word for a sunshade, with the first part traceable back to Latin umbra, shadow.)

The first example of bumbershoot in Professor Lighter's Random House Historical Dictionary of the American Language is from 1896. There were some variations around in the early days, such as bumbersol (with sol presumably taken from parasol) and bumberell. By the first decade of the twentieth century it had settled down to bumbershoot.

This fairly rare example of the word in print comes from L Frank Baum's book Sky Island of 1912:

"This umbrella has been in our family years, an' years, an' years. But it was tucked away up in our attic an' no one ever used it 'cause it wasn't pretty." "Don't blame 'em much," remarked Cap'n Bill, gazing at it curiously. "It's a pretty old-lookin' bumbershoot."
12/9/2002 10:08:42 AM

Dear Esteemed Person,


Compliment of the season, Permit me to inform you of my
desire of going into business relationship with you. I know
this mail may come to you as a surprise, since we have not
known orwritten before.

Our Mother died long ago when she was about to
delivered my most junior sister ESTHER, she is 10
years old as of today, based that we lost our mother
so early our father took us so special, we are only
three from my mother's side, I and the two girls.
Introducing myself , I am CHARLES ANTHONY,
the only son of the late Chief and Mrs
EDWARD ANTHONY, My father was a gold and cocoa merchant
based in Accra, Ghana and Abidjan ( Ivory Coast ) , he
was poisoned to death by his business associates onone of
their business trips.

Before the death of my father on 28th February 2001 in
a private hospital here in Abidjan. He secretly called
me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of
USD$12.5M ( Twelve Million five hundred thousand U.S),
deposited in Bank in ( Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire , that
he used my name as his beloved son for the next of
kin in depositing the fund. He also explained to me
that it was because of this wealth that he was
poisoned by his business associates, that I should
seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice
where I will transfer this money and use it for
investment purpose such as expansion of his existing
cocoa business and real estate management overseas. I
have make an arrangement with the Local bank manager
here on how best to transfer this money to oversea
please, I am humbly seeeking your assistance in
thefollowing ways.

1- To assist me in providing an account of yours
where this fund can quietly be transferred into..
2-To serve as the guardian of this fund since I am
still in the secoundary school with my junior sisters.
3)- To make arrangement for me to come over to your
country to futher my education and to help me secure a
residential permit in your country.

Moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total
sum as compensation for your effort/ Input after the
successful transfer of this fund into your nominated
account overseas, while 5% will be set aside to offset
any expenses we may incure.Furthermore, you can indicate
your option towards assisting me as I believe that this
transaction would be concluded within the shortest possible
time if you signify interest to assist me.

NB: Please contact me immediately you receive this
message through the above e-mail address if you
intend to help us.

God bless

Yours sincerely

Gagne une PS2 ! Envoie un SMS avec le code PS au 61166
(0,35? Hors coût du SMS)
12/9/2002 07:09:55 AM
Sunday, December 08, 2002


in a book.

this was my sister's. cc 1978-1980.

12/8/2002 11:54:53 PM
Thursday, December 05, 2002

Suicide Mistaken for Art Performance

BERLIN (Reuters) - Visitors to a off-beat Berlin arts center thought a dead woman on the ground was a performance art act rather than a suicide, police said on Thursday.

"A group of visitors to the center at first thought the body lying on the ground at the art center was part of an art performance," said police spokeswoman Christine Rother. "It took a while before anyone realized it was not an act but a suicide."

I would like to say something uplifting here, but can't think of a redeeming thing.

However, Kafka's The Hunger Artist comes to mind. Complete text here. Twisted Spoon Press has some interesting things to say about K's final volume with its titular piece.
12/5/2002 08:34:31 PM
Tuesday, December 03, 2002

NYT: Experts Question Authenticity of Bone Box for `Brother of Jesus'

Skeptics in growing number are weighing in with doubts about the authenticity of the inscription on a burial box that may have contained the bones of James, a brother of Jesus, and so could be the earliest surviving archaeological link to Jesus Christ.

When the existence of the limestone bone box, or ossuary, was announced five weeks ago, a French scholar asserted that the inscription — "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" — most probably referred to the Jesus of the New Testament. The script, he said, was in the style of the Aramaic language of the first century A.D.

Now that more experts have studied photographs of the inscription or seen it on display at a Toronto museum, they generally accept the antiquity of the ossuary itself, but some of them suspect that all or part of the script is a forgery. Apparent differences in the handwriting, they said, suggested that the Jesus phrase in particular could have been added by a forger, either in ancient or modern times.

Too bad. That would've been interesting.....

Then there's Holy Blood, Holy Grail:

First published in 1982 to immediate international acclaim and controversy, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln's seminal book 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' has spawned an international media industry and entirely new academic disciplines. Many of its themes have become part of conspiriology's substrate, including political secret societies, the Knights Templar and the search for fragments of an Alternative Christianity.

'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' is a powerful example of investigative journalism meme-spliced with religious conspiracy theory, a 'fictive arcanum' whose provocative thesis continues to undermine the Catholic Church's institutional reading of Judeo-Christian history. Its trash literature veneer has introduced memes that have led readers to subsequently study the scholarly work of Robert Eisenman, Barbara Thiering and the Dead Sea Scrolls researchers that reveal the suppression of early schisms within Christianity. The book's central hypothesis - that Jesus survived the Crucifixion and together with Mary Magdalene founded a bloodline that later became the Merovingians in France (protected by the Knights Templar and later by the Freemasons) amounts to a stunning re-write of Western history. Banned in Catholic-dominated countries including the Phillipines, the book remains an incendiary example of why culture-jamming official 'grand-narratives' is the frontline of new information wars.

TONS of links on th' page.

And there's one of my favorites, the conceit that Leonardo DaVinci created the Shroud of Turin--as not just the world's first photograph, but the world's first self-portrait. Of his head, at any rate. "The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?" goes here and there and probably involved lots of specious argumentation--it's "scientific proof" is certainly funny enough! Secret societies, alchemical mysteries--the whole nine yards. Here's a nice (er, not favorable) review of the book.

When South African scholar Dr. Nicholas Allen, Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Port Elizabeth, published his Shroud-as-photograph theory in 1993 that, consonant with the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, his hypothetical photo was made before 1356, he overcame some of the palpable weaknesses of the Leonardo theory. Today we know the ingredients and requirements for making a photo. We can read a children's handbook and make rudimentary home-made pictures. Dr. Allen notes that all the ingredients were available in the 14th c., and all one had to do was suspend the corpse for three to four days in sunlight, at the proper focusing distance from the fourteen-foot cloth that has been treated with silver nitrate or silver sulphate, outside a large camera obscura whose aperture contains a double convex quartz crystal lens fifteen centimeters in diameter and seven milimeters thick, then fix the negative image with ammonia or with urine.

Both of the photography theories found it important to insist that the necessary materials were known much earlier and essentially were "in place" for the right genius. This does not explain why those same ingredients were not exploited in the following centuries of great scientific curiosity that followed: the Renaissance could only come up with a hand-made grid or mirror through which an artist might achieve relative size and perspective in his landscape; a master of photography would not have kept his secret to himself in this age of proto-capitalism and profits. No genius of the 16th century Scientific Revolution could get to photography, nor of the 17th and 18th centuries, ages of photographic realism in painting. The Shroud-as-UNIQUE-photograph theories seem to be founded upon the unlikeliest scenarios, throwing back to a single genius what is common knowledge today, the results of centuries of gradual, groping, painstaking approach to the precisely correct combinations of ingredients and materials for the making of photographs.
12/3/2002 04:29:44 PM
all I see are little dots dots dots dots