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

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
crested the 1500 mark today, thanks primarily to people looking for "hat pictures", "patriotic umbrella" and "pictures of saddam hussein in a dress."
people who have nothing better to do?
4/30/2003 10:32:18 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Alan Sondheim by Lewis LaCook

A month or so ago Alan mentioned to me that he had once written a text editor that was designed to "frustrate" the writing of the user. This editor would transform the user's writing as the user enetered text. I thought it was an ingenious concept for a piece: a work that combined the networking possibilities of user input and transformation...a work that would literally change what the user invested in the object...So I set about making an approximation of what Alan was talking about.

This is the web mix of that idea. A full blown piece of software based on this concept is still in the works (I'm writing THAT one in C++), but this Flash version combines that concept with some multimedia ideas. To use it, simply enter text in the blue box. Every time you press enter, your text will change; sometimes it will be replaced by a line from some of Alan's writing, sometimes it will spatter your text in asemic strings across the box, sometimes your text will simply disappear, and sometimes a combination of these will happen. I doubt that this work is anywhere near as capable as Alan's original program, but it seems to me to be a worthy web amusement.

takes a while to load.....
4/29/2003 11:04:14 PM
Monday, April 28, 2003
  4/28/2003 03:13:06 PM
14 4 30: Online and print Journal of experimental/minimal writing
4/28/2003 02:27:31 PM
ben vautier, French Fluxus artist, once signed my arm.
4/28/2003 12:46:02 PM
BARRY GRAY - an interview by Randall D. Larson
CS  What is your view of the use of electronic music in the place of, or in addition to, symphonic music in film scores?

Gray  Well, I'm afraid that electronic music is mostly suitable only for visuals that are concerned with such things as laboratories, space, very weird and perhaps even strange situations, astral sequences, etcetera. I'm not enamored of writing orchestral music and producing it on synthesizers. Much as I appreciate the use of a synthesizer today, I don't go along with scoring ordinary music for a bundle of synthesizers. An outstanding example of this, for me, is CHARIOTS OF FIRE. A very simple musical theme, but produced on multi-track synthesizers, and although the music was very suitable to the film, because the action of the film was 'round about 1924, I did not really care for the synthesized sound. Although it had a semblance of a large orchestra, you could still tell that it was synthesized sound. Electronic music, I feel, is suitable only for the other situations that I've mentioned.


4/28/2003 11:19:20 AM
Sunday, April 27, 2003
TV Turn-off Week at the Jaunt

John Bert & I travelled to Mike Ciul's (pronounced "shool") & Janine Schwab's three-story mansion "The Jaunt" for their Friday evening installment of alternative entertainment the week of TV Turn-off Week. John dressed in drag and moved painted pieces of cardboard from one side of the stage to another, I presented a reading of Egyptian Fax Chamber, John ripped a suit apart whilst wearing it, and many other activities followed. I got several new umbrella hat photos. John's final performance was sleeping in the window overnight.

More details to follow.

Here is a schedule/recap from the outrageous organizers:
Well, TV Turnoff Week Alternative Prime-Time Programming got off to a good start Monday night at Janine and Mike's place. We had a dramatic reading of Jim Speer's original soap opera, "While the World Burns" and afterwards he and Helene Zisook performed folk tunes from the Swiss Jura mountain region.

Tuesday night the former inhabitants of the Jaunt came and performed. Jim Trainer read his neo-beat poetry and Maleka Fruean delighted us by reading poetry she'd written for the house while she lived here. We could relate to the "cat shit" phenomenon. Her brother, Nick, did a freestyle rap that knocked the cat's spots off.

Wednesday Maggie Kruesi and Frank Lamont performed original protest and folk song, including "Saddam's Shame" and "Moving to Canada". The next installment of "As the World Burns" was performed and Jim Speer did his George W. Bush War Room Improvisational Dance accompanied by George Korein on synthesizer.

Thursday Oskar Castro read his excellent political poetry. "GI Joe and Barbie vs. the Taliban," an original screenplay by Iden Rosenthal, ended up not being read due to lack of audience (of course this wasn't a problem for any of the other performers).

Friday the evening began with Toshi Makihara performing free improvised percussion. The Greater Scranton Area Umbrella Hat Performance Art All-Stars and Marching Kazoo Orchestra performed Egyptian Fax Chamber (spoken word with projection) and various and sundry performance art acts of terror. John Bert finished off the evening by sleeping in our window until morning. Here you can see a picture of John waking up with our cat T-Toes, the amazing twelve-toed cat.

On Saturday our new acquaintance, Makeda aka The Brooklyn Bellyrina performed North African belly dance. A woman stopped to watch whose pastor mother had thrown out all of her belly dancing costumes while she was in college. Because the dancing had started late, "Nameless" Mike Benedetti's call-in report from the annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off Party (the first day of the hiking season) had to be interspersed with dances and did not get the attention it deserved. The horny toads he described did, however, cause a stir. Afterwards Charles Cohen who, indeed, provides "beeps and boops for all occasions", played late into the night.

Sunday evening John and Jan Haigis sang lullabies, Groundhog Day carols, hymns, and early American songs. They ended up being our last act.

All in all we were very pleased with TV Turnoff Week. Only two performers bailed out and those who performed were very good sports about a cramped stage and little guarantee of an audience. It was heartening for us to hear from our neighbors how much they liked a performance that we hadn't seen them at. Apparently, people were watching and listening from their windows. Our hearts can only go out to the poor people whose car stalled while they were pulling in to our parking space (we are car-free - www.carbusters.org) at an angle. With their headlights trained on the stage, they were a captive audience for John Bert's antics with spraypainted cardboard. We are sure they will remain haunted by the images they saw.

There will certainly be more TV Turnoff Week performances in the future. If you are interested in performing next year, contact us at:

The Jaunt
1124 So. 47th Street
Phila. PA 19143

---Janine and Mike
There is an old Zen analogy that the way to calm, clear and quiet the mind is similar to the way to clear a muddy pool -- not by action, by doing, by stirring it up, but by stillness, by letting it be, by letting it settle itself. The function of TV is to create, maintain and constantly reinforce what -- in the Zen tradition -- is often called "monkey-mind." The question to ask is: What is the good of a jumpy, volatile, scattered and hyper monkey-mind?
- Bernard McGrane

4/27/2003 10:52:52 AM
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Jobless and Hopeless, Many Quit the Labor Force

Oh, that's just the best darned news I've heard in a long time.

4/26/2003 04:59:30 PM
Is Was Saddam Hussein gay?

That's the question that won't seem to go away.... I posted letter from a friend on the topic after he saw a Weekly World News story article.....and then, for some weird reason, I started getting lots (well, several) of web hits from people looking for more info. Seems WWW doesn't put all their stories online... anyway. I tried to do my desperate readers (and you are all desperate, n'est ce pas? or you would be reading something else) a favor and added value with some more links, although the best I could come up with was some guy claiming Muamar Qaddafi was a transvestite personality (not an actual transvestite, mind you).

Then, I today, I found this. Seems raunchy gay porn has surfaced featuring the dictator-everybody-loves-to-hate in his earlier, learner, more loving years.

My, my, my.
4/26/2003 04:51:06 PM
Friday, April 25, 2003
In Texas, land of every-execution-is-a-justified-execution, breast-feeding is BAD. Pictures of breastfeeding, particularly. Forget thousands of years of breast-feeding artwork hanging in museums around the globe (with the exception of the looted Iraqi museums). It's a bad, deviant, sexually-charged thing. Whatever you do, if you take photos of your perverted acts (whattsa matta, you never heard of FORMULA before?), DON'T DROP THEM OFF AT ECKERD.


Nope. Not me. All natural.
4/25/2003 02:21:54 AM
Thursday, April 24, 2003
Yesterday was my birthday.
note the postage I got this cool envelope in this mail

Note the 66-cent postage. The sender only had 33-cent stamps.

I was excited to get the envelope (I had been waiting for a week, actually).
But I didn't want to spoil the suspense by opening it too rapidly.
ooooh, the suspense is killing me. but still.....
Dave Matthews Band ticket, in the flesh (so to speak) This is MINE!

I bought it at an auction, but the seller said I didn't have to pay.

She was kinda surprised anybody had bid at all.
And she threw in two miniature glowsticks (in the black cardboard-thingy) because I seemed so pathetic.

Well, yeah. I can understand that. It's a used ticket, after all.....

4/24/2003 06:18:08 PM
TV Turn-Off Week
Watch More TV
On Friday I will be performing with John Bert & others as part of Mike Ciul's 7-day TV-Turn-off-Week alternative.

"The Jaunt" 1124 S. 47th, Philadelphia
4/24/2003 12:19:44 PM
Monday, April 21, 2003
Easter Fire Festival in Texas
People here tell their children that on the night before Easter in 1847, the original fires scared German children, who did not understand that the flames signified peace. Legend also has it that German mothers calmed those children by telling them the fires were set by a rabbit who was boiling eggs for an Easter celebration.

The fires may have another root as well. A handbook published by the Texas Historical Society points out that the people of northwestern Germany — ancestors of some of today's Fredericksburg residents — lighted Easter fires on the hills for centuries. The practice might even have started as a pre-Christian celebration of spring.

This town of about 9,000 people, 70 miles west of San Antonio, is teetering on the cusp between an authentic and an unabashedly commercial celebration of its heritage. "The old mom-and-pop stores are turning into tourist attractions," said Troy Ottmers, 47, an oil salesman who has been a participant in the pageant since childhood and a principal organizer since 1980. "We've got a little more corporate, I guess you could say. We've lost a little bit of the hometown flavor."
4/21/2003 09:19:07 AM
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Bkv Rt. - homepage

The folks who helped me get from here to there when I lived in Budapest.
A really good website (especially for a public transit company). Has music, too!
How bizarre is that. Makes me feel kinda guilty for the time I spent dodging fares (I eventually wised up and bought a year-long pass).
4/16/2003 12:42:41 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
my, aren't YOU looking sharp today!

this marvellous image, and MORE! now available within Make It Snappy.

4/15/2003 11:13:23 PM
how I pretty much spent April 14, 2003
4/15/2003 12:33:40 AM
Monday, April 14, 2003
my birthday is coming
NCC Book Formed in 2000, visual design agency Neasden Control Centre work for anyone bright and daring enough to hire them - art galleries, ad agencies, book publishers, bars, clubs, charities, design agencies, shops, musicians and magazines. Sought after in London and beyond, their commissions have included Esquire, Big Issue, 4AD and MTV. Named after their headquarters, a rented idyll just beyond the green belt, Neasden are a true collective, each member adding a little something to their designs. Easily on par with the likes of Silex, this group of young British illustrators has a sixth sense for space and distribution: with the eye of a child and skill of a master they mix a healthy, irreverent punk spirit with extremely skilful, cutting edge techniques in their risky brew of drawing, graphic design, art and advertising. Split into twelve distinct chapters based on a different part of the body, the book will include a selection of works by all Neasden artists in their distinct, edgy hand-drawn style, through a variety of mediums including photography, writing and found-objects. Check out Übersee 1 and www.neasdencontrolcentre.com for further examples of their work as well a huge A-Z of influences – including yellow Labradors and Swiss girls.
I've always wanted Laurie Anderson's United States pts I-IV. And just look how charming those prices are!

And there's always Godzilla! (the VHS version is muy-cheap!). King Kong vs. Godzilla and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla!

And there always Taschen's All-American Ads of the Fifties!

Buy more stuff--it's the American Way!

4/14/2003 11:49:29 PM
  4/14/2003 08:11:44 AM
Sunday, April 13, 2003
real performance artists
the photo-gallery
Collected photos of REAL performance artists
in their native habitats wearing their fave chapeaus
(with useful links and information!)

NOW! in the NEW! umbrella hat gallery.
4/13/2003 10:30:56 PM
Saturday, April 12, 2003
DeathWatch update: Little Eva is Dead
Both the homeless woman in Pittsburgh and Eva Narcissus (Boyd) Harris, the singer of "The Locomotion."
4/12/2003 09:46:35 AM
Centralia PA
is no longer there. Not really.
4/12/2003 08:46:41 AM
Friday, April 11, 2003
In other news, my former-employer's outplacement service contacted me yesterday. I've got a find-a-job-workshop (or whatever it is), next Monday thru Wednesday, 9-4 each day. Hunh.

The Where The Hell Did My Job Go? guy hasn't posted anything since March 16. Does that mean he landed another one? But since he's in London, that won't help....

MSN has some discouraging news for the unemployed, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps watch on it all.
4/11/2003 09:18:08 AM
I Had a Dream Last Night
that the FBI finally caught up with me for all those e-bay scams I did a few years back. There was a big stack of photocopies of everything I had sold (comics cut from the sunday funnies; cheap Chinese wrapping-paper passed-off as an expensive print, etc). It was about four-inches thick, and I couldn't remember any of it until leafing through the stack in shock.

This is why that guy down in the hotel lobby said I looked so familiar. Wish I hadn't been so friendly....
4/11/2003 09:12:18 AM
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
The Spawn of Henshin,
or Six Degrees of Separation

King Waldar (blue) the Enemy of Henshin Cyborg Just as Barbie inspired G.I. Joe, which in turn inspired Henshin Cyborg, so too did Henshin Cyborg inspire other toys. While in the midst of the Henshin Cyborg line, Takara decided they needed to make a scaled-down version of Henshin so that they would better be able to design playsets and vehicles for the figures. This was an especially important social and marketing issue for the company because, as you might have noticed, Japan is a series of small islands and space is a commodity.

From this concept was born Microman Zone, the first series of Microman figures ever made. The early figures are almost exact replicas of Henshin Cyborg. Microman took off and ran concurrently with the Henshin Cyborg series for a number of years, outlasting the Henshin series. During this time, Mego licensed a subset of the Microman line and introduced them to the US as Micronauts. The Micronauts became Mego's bread and butter all through the mid to late 70's replacing the waning popularity of Mego's cloth 8" Super Heroes line. From the Micronauts' demise was borne a whole slew of different toy lines, including the Lords of Light, the Inter-Changeables, the Fantauti and the AstroWarriors.

Meanwhile Microman begat New Microman in late 1980 or early 1981. New Microman went on for a number of years until 1985, at which time it was discontinued and part of it's later product line, called Micro Change, was retooled and repackaged as the Transformers. And of course, the Transformers are still with us, currently as Beast Wars.
4/8/2003 12:50:29 AM
Monday, April 07, 2003
The Magic Accordion: a responsible work combining performance art, improv, puppetry, rousing musical numbers, and social critique. The Magic Accordion:
a responsible work combining performance art, improv, puppetry, rousing musical numbers, and social critique.

is now online within WROTTINGS.

Written in collaboration with Mike Benedetti for John Bromberg's First Annual Mudball Puppet Festival.
4/7/2003 11:22:20 AM
Sunday, April 06, 2003
Film Threat reviews The Man Without a Past, by Aki (Leningrad Cowboys Go America) Kaurismaki

UPDATE 10.28.03: I finally saw it myself last month at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock. It wasn't nearly as "funny" as "Leningrad Cowboys Go America", but then, why would it have to be? The only other Kaurismaki that I've seen is his bit in "Night on Earth", but MWaP did not disappoint me. It was slow, moody, off-kilter at times, and didn't beat you over the head with much of anything. I overheard someone outsidet he theater commenting that it wasn't as good as his previous films (something other reviews said as well), but without having seen the lot of them, I was not disappointed. The film existed on a different temporal plane where very little occurs, and that suited me just find, compared to all the H'wood blockbusters where EVERYTHING occurs.
4/6/2003 09:04:53 PM
Thursday, April 03, 2003
giant monsters.art
It's Calimari Time!

image vacummed from CNN.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) -- A rare and dangerous squid with eyes the size of dinner plates and scores of razor-sharp hooks to snag its prey has been caught by fishermen off Antarctica, New Zealand scientists said on Thursday. The half-grown female colossal squid is only the second intact example of the monster cephalopod known to have been found, said marine biologist Steve O'Shea of New Zealand's national museum.

A trawler caught the 150 kg, 330-pound squid in the sub-Antarctic Ross Sea about 3540 kilometers (2,200 miles) south of Wellington. The squid was eating Patagonian Toothfish, which grow to two meters in length, when it was caught. It was dead when it was hawled into the trawler and the remains are now in the New Zealand national museum. The body of the colossal squid is much bigger than the giant squid, which can weigh up to 900 kg, 2,000 pounds when fully grown. A giant squid's tentacles can be up to 13 meters long, compared with five meters on the recovered creature

American marine biologist Kat Bolstad said the colossal squid was a more dangerous animal than the giant squid, the mythical monster of the deep that attacked Captain Nemo's Nautilus in Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." "This is a very aggressive animal and moves quickly. If you fell in the water next to it you would be in big trouble," said Bolstad.

The colossal squid finds food by literally glowing in the dark, deep waters to light up prey for its massive eyes -- the biggest of any animal. But it is the colossal squid's weaponry that marks it out from its giant cousin. Its eight arms and two tentacles have up to 25 teeth-like hooks -- deeply rooted into muscle and able to rotate 360 degrees -- as well as the usual suckers to ensure fish do not escape. The hooks not only hold fish for the squid's two parrot-like beaks, but also are used to fend off attacks from hungry sperm whales, O'Shea said.

The species, whose scientific name is mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, was previously thought to have lurked at least 800 meters down in the freezing waters near Antarctica, but the specimen found a fortnight ago was near the surface. O'Shea said the discovery raised questions about what else was down deep in the ocean. "We know so little about the marine environment in general. If animals like this are turning up, what's going to be at 3,000-meters (10,000-foot) depth. We don't know," O'Shea said.
The BBC story has some good colossal squid photos. Who you gonna trust? TONMO, The Octopus News Magazine Online, has yer octopi & squid--normal, giant & colossal--stories, photos, and a 4.5meg absolutely-amazing Squid fact-sheets stuffed fulla pictures, charts, graphs, &c. A slightly-blurry AP photo on MSNBC. There used to be a Giant Squid Resource Center but all seems gone but the Google-cache.... SlashDot is chattering. A January article from the BBC on a Giant Squid Attack!. 7 or 8 metres long. Dr. Steve answers question on Giant Squid in this 2002 feature from the Discovery Channel's Chasing Giants. Another 2002 Discovery Channel report sez Global Warming is "causing squid to grow abnormally large." We we warned! A 200kg giant squid washed up onto a beach in Hobart, Aus in July 2002, but nobody took any pictures (or put them online, anyway). The LessonPlanLibrary has this Giant Squid pdf to help you break the news of these friendly maurding montsters of the deep. Cool engraving, as well!

It may not have been colossal, but Jules Verne had a giant squid attack the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Karen C. points out the the original English edition had more than 1/4 of it cut out. She provides a lot of links, including to several complete public-domain e-texts.
C.B. Adams brings us some photos and text on the Walt Disney World Nautilus.

TurboSquid.com has absolutely NOTHING to do with real squid. "Founded in early 2000, Turbo Squid is a fully-featured digital media marketplace for 3D assets." What a gyp.
Dr. Squidd isn't a REAL squid with a doctorate, no! He's a "Zine featuring b-movie reviews and articles about low-budget and no-budget movies, actresses, obscurities, sci-fi, comic books and other weird stuff."
SQUIDLY has nothing to do with our colossal friend, other than another nod an article, but (s)he's got a relevant domain name & image at the top o' the page. Tasteful.

God only knows why Google is throwin me up into the top-ten for c.s.p. searches--but you guys have been slamming my site all night! Weirdness. Anyway. Somebody was kind enough to read Egyptian Fax Chamber in the midst of all of this. EFC does not currently have any references to colossal squids OR alien mummies. But it WILL, mark my words, it WILL.....
4/3/2003 10:09:33 AM
Edwin Starr is Dead,

CNN article
Motown singer Edwin Starr dies of heart attack
LONDON, England (AP) -- Edwin Starr, the soul singer who produced No. 1 Motown hits such as "War," died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday, his manager said. He was 61. Starr, who lived in England, died at his home near the central city of Nottingham, said manager Lilian Kyle.

Born Charles Hatcher in Nashville, Tennessee, Starr formed his first group, the Future Tones, in 1957, recording one single before his three-year army service. In 1965, he was offered a solo deal following two years of touring with another band.

Early hits included "Agent Double-O Soul" and "Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S)." But his biggest success came with "War," a No. 1 hit in 1970 during a time of growing anti-Vietnam War protests. Other top 10 hits included "Contact" and "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio."
I used Mr. Starr's lyrics to start out my war-links.
Here is his website.
4/3/2003 12:29:10 AM
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Oldest Mummy Discovered in Egypt
April 1, 2003 — Egyptian archaeologists have brought to light the oldest known evidence of human mummification after opening on Sunday a 5,000-year-old wooden coffin found at Sakkara near Cairo. Discovered amid more than 20 tombs built out of mud brick, the sarcophagi contained human remains covered in linen and resin. "The mummy is considered the first embalming attempt known by ancient Egyptians 5,000 years ago dating back to the era of King Hor-aga," the Egyptian state information service said.

Protecting bodies from decay and preserving them in a recognizable form was extremely important for the ancient Egyptians. They believed no person could enter the afterlife unless the Ka and Ba, the most important parts of the spirit, could return to the body: the reunification of body and spirit was the key to enjoying the afterlife.

Bodies were embalmed as early as 2613 to 2494 B.C., under the pharaohs of the 4th dynasty. However, already in 5000 B.C. bodies were preserved by burying them in the heat and dryness of the desert sand.The most effective techniques were used between 1567-1200 B.C., and substances with the best antibacterial properties were chosen. A recent, systematic analysis of mummification, involving 25 mummies dating from 2600 B.C. to 395 A.D., revealed that the ancient Egyptians used complex recipes.

Plant oils, salts, beeswax , coniferous, Pistacia and balsamic resins were found among the embalming ingredients. Moreover, "drying oils", which would have been liquid when applied and then hardened over time, were applied to provide an impermeable coating against the humidity of underground tombs. Mummification required the removal all internal organs except the heart through a four-inch incision on the body's left side. During a final magical ceremony known as the "Opening of the Mouth," the eyes, mouth and ears were opened so the deceased could see, speak and hear during the afterlife.

"This is certainly one of the earliest attempts at mummification, but only moderately successful as the flesh was not adequately preserved. The discoveries of mummies that can be studied in context will certainly advance our understanding of the history of the mummification process and the technological advances made by the ancient Egyptians in this field," mummy expert Salima Ikram, Egyptologist at American University in Cairo, told Discovery News.
Yeah, but it ain't an ALIEN.
4/2/2003 09:51:26 AM
AlterNet: Support Our Tunes!
At least 70 groups spanning the musical spectrum are on the roster of Musicians United to Win Without War, an organization that coalesced in just a few weeks around a shared belief that war is "wrong, absurd and dangerous to all of our futures." Visit the Musicians United website to see who else is on their statement of conscience, and then support these artists by listening to their music, seeing them in concert, purchasing their albums, and spreading the word.
4/2/2003 09:46:19 AM
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
smoking ban hits NYC.

So I suppose I should be sympathetic and murmur something about civil liberties, freedoms, etc.

Except that I'm allergic to smoke and have never appreciated smokers continual invasion of my personal space. Hah! The only thing I'm worried about is that NOW there will be MORE SMOKERS ON THE STREET.

4/1/2003 08:59:57 AM
Moses supposes his toses are roses