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

Thursday, July 31, 2003
A Behavioral Experiment
A Behavioral Experiment and United Faiths

Bumpy Ride

Among the thousands of e-mail based discussion groups, many are private and clublike, while others are public and raucous. But there's nothing else quite like BumpList (www.bumplist.net).

BumpList, a discussion forum with no defined topic, allows just six subscribers at a time. When a new person joins, a subscriber is bumped off to make room. To rejoin you must resubscribe, bumping someone else, and so on.

To stay on the list for any significant time requires numerous resubscriptions - the list calls itself "an e-mail community for the determined." So far, more than 1,700 people have joined at least once and there have been 1,300 resubscriptions. (I lasted just 10 hours and 25 minutes before my first bump.)

BumpList is a sort of art project as behavioral experiment. "I want to get people to think about the culture and process of these lists," said Jonah Brucker-Cohen, the site's creator and a researcher in the Human Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe, an institute in Dublin. For example, the structure of

BumpList prevents cliques from forming, making it more "democratic" than most lists, he said.

But that structure also makes it difficult to keep a conversation going, and a dialogue is, after all, the point of a discussion list. "Theoretically, it is possible to have a serious, sustained conversation on BumpList," said Michael Paulukonis, a technology professional in Scranton, Pa., who is a BumpList member, by e-mail. "Practically speaking, I don't think it has happened - unless you consider the dialogue the resubscribers have with the medium itself."

Mr. Paulukonis has resubscribed to BumpList 148 times since it started up in June.

Indeed, the experience has been so frustrating that devotees of BumpList have started a separate Yahoo group to talk about it (groups.yahoo.com/group/bumplistgroup) since the list itself "militates against discussion," as the group's home page puts it.
7/31/2003 12:19:08 PM
NYT: Paddling Hartford's Scenic Sewer Navigating a buried river, you keep expecting to see a corpse, or the long shadow of Harry Lime, the villain played by Orson Welles in "The Third Man."
7/31/2003 12:15:49 PM
  7/31/2003 11:19:19 AM
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
runme.org - say it with software art!: "Runme.org is a software art repository, launched in January 2003. It is an open, moderated database to which people are welcome to submit projects they consider to be interesting examples of software art. Software art is an intersection of two almost non-overlapping realms: software and art. It has a different meaning and aura in each. Software art gets its lifeblood and its techniques from living software culture and represents approaches and strategies similar to those used in the art world. Software culture lives on the Internet and is often presented through special sites called software repositories. Art is traditionally presented in festivals and exhibitions. Software art on the one hand brings software culture into the art field, but on the other hand it extends art beyond institutions."
7/30/2003 06:23:40 PM
Researchers say Stonehenge depicts female genitalia.
The theory is laid out in a paper entitled "Stonehenge: a view from medicine" in the July issue of Britain's Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. "To the builders of the henge, the most critical events in life were birth and death," Anthony Perks, a retired professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia, wrote in the paper. He noted there was no evidence of tombs built by the original builders. "Of birth, we could expect little evidence. However, evidence may be there but so large as to be overlooked." Viewed from above, Dr Perks suggests Stonehenge's inner bluestone circle represents the labia minora and the giant outer sarsen stone circle is the labia majora. He says the altar stone could be the clitoris and the open centre the birth canal. "Could the outer avenue of Stonehenge...represent the way by which new life entered?" the article wondered, adding that when comparing "the layout of the henge with the anatomy of the human vulva. There is a distinct similarity".
7/30/2003 04:52:49 PM
Chain Letters
Today, with the click of a button, a message can be forwarded to hundreds of people at no apparent cost to the sender. If each of the so-called good Samaritans sends the letter on to only ten other people (most send to huge mailing lists), the ninth resending results in a billion e-mail messages, thereby, clogging the network and interfering with the receiving of legitimate e-mail messages. Factor in the time lost reading and deleting all these messages and you see a real cost to organizations and individuals from these seemingly innocuous messages.
7/30/2003 08:55:01 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Bollywood joker Walker dies: "One of Bollywood's best known comedians, Johnny Walker, has died in Mumbai after a long illness. "
7/29/2003 10:59:29 AM
Monday, July 28, 2003
Bob Hope died Sunday night at 100. NYT obituary>

A nice Road to Morocco page.

7/28/2003 12:37:52 PM
Palms, Huts & More: Tiki Huts Online: "Welcome! Palms, Huts, & More, L.L.C. has been manufacturing handcrafted, thatched-roof tiki huts and bars since 1995. Located in Southwest Louisiana, we understand the effects that the elements can have on outdoor furnishings. This is why we design all of our products to handle heavy rains and gale force winds. Each unit is made of high quality cypress wood and fresh cut Florida Sabal palms. We take great pride in the manufacturing of our products, as well as assisting our customers after the sale.

Our tiki huts and bars are extremely versatile, and can be used in a variety of settings. From turning an ordinary hotel into a tropical paradise, to converting any backyard into a private Caribbean resort, our tiki huts and bars are sure to create the perfect atmosphere for those who take relaxation seriously."

7/28/2003 11:21:43 AM
  7/28/2003 08:53:18 AM
Friday, July 25, 2003
  7/25/2003 11:57:52 AM
mikey-the-devil /x-ray archive: "online archive of my collection of x-ray photographs. "
7/25/2003 09:00:19 AM
Thursday, July 24, 2003
WebCollage: Exterminate All Rational Thought: "This is what the Internet looks like. WebCollage is a program that creates collages out of random images found on the Web. More images are being added to the collage about once a minute, so this page will reload itself periodically. Clicking on one of the images in the collage will take you to the page on which it was found. It finds the images by feeding random words into various search engines, and pulling images (or sections of images) out of the pages returned."
7/24/2003 11:17:23 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
EMERGENT image browser
Emergent is a generator of Internet image collages and a true web "browser" in the sense of allowing casual and random exploration of the World Wide Web. Emergent tears images from their original documents and recycles them into a novel experience. Advertisements, corporate logos, web camera photos, and even pornographic imagery are all juxtaposed to suggest curious new meanings. Unrestricted by purpose, Emergent wanders into the web’s darkest recesses and provides the user with a random sampling of all that the Internet has to offer. Emergent is the poo poo platter of web browsers - users are encouraged to try something new and, though not always palatable, the experiences are at least fresh.
7/23/2003 09:47:41 PM
Rearranging an Ad Jingle So That It Now Jangles
For the project, more than 30 audio artists captured speech and music samples from commercials, public service announcements, campaign ads and other promotional spots, then rearranged them into short sonic collages that often subvert the source material's original message. On one track, snippets excised from ads for over-the-counter drugs were reassembled into a horrifying litany of side effects, concluding "one daily dose provides 24 hours of headache, diarrhea and abdominal pain."

The album was organized by Every Man, the online alias of Jay Kennedy, a 30-year-old computer systems administrator in Lakewood, Ohio, and a host of a weekly experimental show on a community radio station. Rather than overtly parodying advertisements he found most irksome, Mr. Kennedy said he decided to use them as the raw ingredients for creations that would be "far more palatable than something that's shoving an ad message down your throat."

7/23/2003 09:46:37 PM
David Hasselhoff loves it when I touch his booty.
- I like this particularly lady at work who tells me she enjoys reading the Atlas because she likes learning about other people and cultures.
- I like when the bus isn't late and I arrive to work on time.
- I do not like it when I am late for work.
- I do not like it when my boss gives me silent disapproving looks about my unpunctuality.
- I do not like my boss.
7/23/2003 07:38:07 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2003
The Digital Landfill
Clean up the Web! Dispose of your unwanted e-mail, obsolete data, HTML, SPAM or any other digital debris just by clicking the Add to Landfill button. All refuse is automatically layered into the Digital Landfill composting system.
7/20/2003 10:46:29 PM
Saturday, July 19, 2003
Converstaion between my friend Linda (theatre director at a Job Corps Center) and two students in the art room. Student 1 is drawing a portrait of Student 2.

Student 1: you should do the "Wiz" here- I'd be Diana Ross cause I look just like her.
Student 2: Is that the one with Michael Jackson?
Linda: Yeah, but he doesn't look anything like he did in "The Wiz" now.
Student 1: His old face was fine. That boy needs to find Jesus or something because that monkey is not working for him.
Student 2: I always wanted a monkey for a pet- for real.
Linda: I don't know if you're allowed to do that anymore.
Student 1: Oh yeah- they gave people the AIDS and shit.

Followed by discussion about theories of simian transmission of HIV.

7/19/2003 09:02:52 AM
Friday, July 18, 2003
Sacre Bleu: you've got "courriel"
"PARIS (AP) -- Goodbye 'e-mail', the French government says, and hello 'courriel' - the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents. The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of 'e-mail' in all government ministries, documents, publications or Web sites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.

The ministry's General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term 'courrier electronique' (electronic mail) instead of e-mail - a claim some industry experts dispute. 'Courriel' is a fusion of the two words. 'Evocative, with a very French sound, the word 'courriel' is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed 'mail' in English,' the commission has ruled."

Yes, and French Fries are now to be known as "les pomme frites de libertaire"
7/18/2003 11:08:28 AM
American Theater Web: waaaaay down on the page is a brief review of a community theatre production of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" where I played the titular role. Well. Thank you!
7/18/2003 09:46:01 AM
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Rescuing the First Cowboy Movie Star From Obscurity: "There are other signs of a revival of interest in Broncho Billy. He is the subject of a new biography, and programs of his films have been presented in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. Each year since 1998 he has been celebrated at a Broncho Billy Film Festival in Niles, Calif., where he once lived. The most recent festival, held last month, was the largest yet and drew several hundred people."
7/17/2003 11:03:18 AM
NYTimes: Picking Up the Pieces
Advanced scanning technology makes it possible to reconstruct documents previously thought safe from prying eyes, sometimes even pages that have been ripped into confetti-size pieces. And although a great deal of sensitive information is stored digitally these days, recent corporate scandals have shown that the paper shredder is still very much in use.

"People perceive it as an almost perfect device," said Jack Brassil, a researcher for Hewlett-Packard who has worked on making shredded documents traceable. If people put a document through a shredder, "they assume that it's fundamentally unrecoverable," he said. "And that's clearly not true."

In its crudest form, the art of reconstructing shredded documents has been around for as long as shredders have. After the takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979, Iranian captors laid pieces of documents on the floor, numbered each one and enlisted local carpet weavers to reconstruct them by hand, said Malcolm Byrne of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. "For a culture that's been tying 400 knots per inch for centuries, it wasn't that much of a challenge," he said. The reassembled documents were sold on the streets of Tehran for years.
7/17/2003 10:36:42 AM
CNN.com - Mummified daughter kept for aliens - Jul. 17, 2003
A distraught Kazakh mother kept her daughter's mummified corpse in her apartment for three years hoping she would be resurrected by aliens.

Police spokeswoman Nina Tsys said Tuesday from the town of Pavlodar in northern Kazakhstan that Olga, 27, was believed to have died from an auto-immune disorder after her mother failed -- or declined -- to call for medical help.

She said Olga's cousin, worried by her long absence, had repeatedly tried to see her, but the mother would always refuse to let him in under various pretexts. Finally police broke in and made the gruesome discovery.

"We believe death was from natural causes, although due to the long time that had passed we can't be absolutely sure," Tsys said. "At least we found no signs of vandalism."

Popular Kazakh daily newspaper Vremya carried a picture of the mummified body, with withered limbs and parched skin, lying on a plain bed in the flat in this industrial town.

Vremya suggested the mother -- a former nurse -- could have known how to treat the body to preserve it.

Tsys said the mother appeared to have been influenced by a sect preaching "cosmology" that promised resurrection of her child with the help of a "third cosmic eye" or by aliens.

She said the mother was undergoing medical checks at a psychiatric clinic. Her daughter's remains had been given a proper burial.

7/17/2003 10:36:07 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
  7/16/2003 01:40:22 PM
  7/16/2003 12:01:02 PM
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Dixon"
To: rumori@detritus.net
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 6:21 PM
Subject: [Rumori] A Shoggoth on the Roof
I recently got an email (as fan email for Beatallica) from one of the perpetrators of "A Shoggoth on the Roof"-- an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's work to the tunes of "Fiddler on the Roof." Funny stuff, if you dig Lovecraft. Anyway, Chicago's Defiant Theatre was planning to actually stage it this fall, but the production's been cancelled due to legal threats from Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, the authors of "Fiddler". Quoting from Harnick's letter:

"Since neither Mr. Bock nor I are happy with the notion that this parody of "Fiddler on the Roof" might be done in a stage production, I called Music Theatre International, the firm which licenses productions of "Fiddler". What they told me is this. While parodies do enjoy a degree of copyright protection and recordings of them can obtain compulsory licenses, the same is not necessarily true of stage works... [T]hey would have to apply for a license from MTI in order to produce a live stage production. Such a license will not be granted."

So you can record a parody, but you can't perform it? What the hell?

Read the whole sordid story, and see a very funny mockumentary about "Shoggoth" at: http://www.cthulhulives.org/Shoggoth

7/16/2003 01:22:27 AM
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Love and Thanks to Water

July 25, 2003, is 'World Day of Love and Thanks to Water'.
We have a vision that on this day, our Earth will be filled with beautiful golden/silver light of Love and Thanks that is flowing from the hearts of each and every one of us. Golden/silver light is the highest vibration in the range of visible light, and it will heal and cleanse all the water on earth, be it water of the ocean or that of our own body.

7/15/2003 01:00:10 PM
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Ideas aren't meant to be carved in stone and left inviolate; they're meant to stimulate the next idea and the next.
7/12/2003 12:30:29 PM
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
CNN.com - Giant sea creature baffles Chilean scientists - Jul. 2, 2003
SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) -- Chilean scientists were baffled on Tuesday by a huge, gelatinous sea creature found washed up on the southern Pacific coast and were seeking international help identifying the mystery specimen. The dead creature was mistaken for a beached whale when first reported about a week ago, but experts who went to see it said the 40-foot-long (12-meter) mass of decomposing lumpy grey flesh apparently was an invertebrate.

'We'd never before seen such a strange specimen, We don't know if it might be a giant squid that is missing some of its parts or maybe it's a new species,' said Elsa Cabrera, a marine biologist and director of the Center for Cetacean Conservation in Santiago. Photographs showed a round leathery substance like a mammoth jelly fish, about as long as a school bus."

Shot BBC story with picture. They call it a "giant blob."
Marc Laidlaw has a different opinion

Back in April it was the eeriely-named Colossal Squid that provoked a brough-ha-ha. (scroll down from the archive top--permalinks are not working at the moment).

July 11: Turns out that the gelatinous blob was a dead whale after all. :::sigh:::

7/2/2003 07:50:05 PM
I see you