Saturday, January 30, 2010


I’ve always liked to hear the whales sing and now Valerie clues us in on how there’s a visual representation…

“Whales and dolphins are accomplished vocalists, emitting complex patterns of clicks and whistles that vary in pitch, volume and length. To visualise their songs, and therefore identify species, marine biologists usually produce a spectrogram, a graph of how the frequency of their vocalisations varies over time. Spectrograms are created using a mathematical process called the Fourier transform (FT), which can convert raw sound into a set of sinusoidal waves. However, because these waves are periodic and infinite, they are better suited to describing repetitive, continuous noises, such as the whirr of a propeller, rather than the staccato clicks and whistles of cetaceans. Now Mark Fischer, an expert in marine acoustics, has come up with another way to illustrate whale song. He uses a more obscure method, known as the wavelet transform, which represents the sound in terms of components known as wavelets: short, discrete waves that are better at capturing cetacean song.” (Click here for more.)


Okay, so we’ve hammered President Obama for multiple reasons multiple times of late, but yesterday’s q&a with the Republicans was pretty damned impressive. So impressive, in fact, that Fox News started phasing it out well before the end. It’s like Doug the Bass emailed us – “Hey, guess who showed up today. The guy we elected last year.” If you didn’t see it, it’s well worth a glance. Click here.
The secret word is Pragmatism


Friday, January 29, 2010


When our pal Joly sent this over, I was fascinated. Okay so maybe they’re just a data glitch or maybe they’re really coming for us. Either way it makes for an interesting Friday morning…

“NASA’s Stereo spacecraft monitoring the Sun began registering huge spherical UFO’s in the vicinity of the Sun around January 18, 2010. According to one observer, the UFOs “appear to be moving as they are in different positions on many [of the NASA Stereo] photos, and are huge possibly at least the size of Earth. If the UFOs were planets or some type of huge asteroid comets, they would already have been pulled into the Sun by the strong gravity the Sun produces as in the case of the recent comet." Dr. Joe Gurman, NASA Stereo Project scientist states the giant solar UFOs are compression artifacts. Moreover, he states, the "’central data recorder’ at DSN, that stores all the playback data from all the missions DSN supports, failed' on January 18, 2010, the date the solar UFO wave began, thus accounting for the images of giant UFOs (see full statement in the article below). In a quantum physics solution to the mystery of the giant solar UFOs, physicist Nassim Haramein states in a video-taped analysis (below) that Earth-sized UFOs are in fact giant extraterrestrial or interdimensional spacecraft, which are accessing our solar system, using the Sun as a black-hole singularity, or star gate. Mr. Haramein contends that NASA Stereo data of giant solar UFOs prove that extraterrestrial civilizations access our solar system via a star gate on the Sun when using large (Earth-size) vehicle spacecraft.” (Click here for the whole story)

The secret word is Mothership


Image lifted from Siblingshot



Thursday, January 28, 2010


I’m all for the ethical treatment of animals, but some animals are more ethical than others…

“PETA wants to take Punxsutawney Phil away from Gobbler's Knob and give the little guy a dignified retirement at an animal sanctuary. In his place, you guessed it: A robot groundhog. Gemma Vaughan, PETA's animals in entertainment specialist, fired off a letter to groundhog club president William Deeley this week, asking for his promise that the group will forgo the use of real rodents in future Groundhog Day celebrations. Little Phil, Vaughan wrote, is a pretty unhappy fellow, "forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation." Groundhogs are typically shy creatures, Vaughan goes on to explain, and they can become easily upset when confronted by throngs of people, loud noises and camera flashes.” (Click here for more.)

The secret word is Rodent


Maximilian Frozdick’s plans for world domination were elaborate…very elaborate.

Image supplied by Valerie


Howard Zinn – RIP
J.D. Salinger – RIP

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I’ve hung out with Lemmy and watched hundreds of hours of The History Channel, so I am under no illusion that an imperative to the panoply of Nazism lurks just below the surface of our political culture, both in the US and Europe. In some cases, it’s nothing more than a matter of dress-up. First-generation punks and, before them, the Hells Angels flaunted Nazi regalia to scare the squares. But then the skinhead faction took on the political philosophy of violence and race-hate with jackbooted glee, and swastikas were no longer a joke. They became symptoms of chaos, as their wearers pissed on any semblance of human civilization, and made themselves posturing, Wagner-lite media fodder. Swastikas are hardly a joke today as the extreme fringes of the Republican right pussyfoot around a new crop of master-racers who seem to have re-invoked their parades and costume parties as bigot commentary on the first black president of the United States, and a play by the deeply ignorant and loathsome to cast themselves as the saviors of white America in these desperate days. The idea is, of course, completely nonsensical. I’ve never met a neo-Nazi who could explain National Socialist economic policies beyond predicable anti-Semitism, and, in the long term they go away. Their membership dwindles or the hardcore attempts some dumb scam involving guns and dynamite and falls foul of the FBI. Uniformed, uninformed brown shirts, despite their furious display, hardly stand a chance in a society where true fascism wears a blue suit with a flag pin in the lapel and treats the poor as sub-humanity. What does worry me, however, is what unholy alliances, infections, and cross-fertilizations might occur during flirtations in the twilight zone between goose-step Nazi flag-wavers and the dangerously lumpen, outer-limited, far-right supporters of Palin and her ilk. That needs watching. They should not be allowed to breed.
And click here for a gratuitous clip of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me."

The secret word is Heil


A clip of the reading from my book Zones of Chaos that Andy Colquhoun and I did last Saturday at La Luz de Jesus Gallery is already up on YouTube. Click here and enjoy. The piece is called “Song of The Hired Guns”, and here are the words for ease of understanding…

We have taken it to the edge of gravity's defile
We have shot out rainbows with our cannon
We have walked with spurs and hard nails
Over the curvature of planets
And made our mark on iron mountains
So tell us quickly great hero
And Man With No Name
What the fuck are we supposed to do now?

We have matched pocheen
And double shots of railroad gin
With Nazgul of the Ninth International
And taken abuse
To the upper echelons of naked art
We have been and seen
And spurned the design
Abandoned the plan
And rejected the plea bargain
So do not leave us hanging
Here in the discolored darkness, Don Vito
For are we not your chosen men?
What the fuck are we supposed to do now?

From sewer and cesspool
Trailer park and half crown knocking shop
Feral and fastidious
With only a bottle of pills between us
Sharp swords and a fistful of dynamite
Songs of victory and execution
We have done the bidding of all
And the will of none
We have sacked and pillaged
In the cities of the ravaged night
But never except idly and temporarily profited
And it's the time to clue us in
Divine Marquis
For we need to know
What the fuck are we supposed to do now?

(And copies of Zones of Chaos can still be obtained for the super-low price of ten bucks. Just shove a ten spot in an envelope and mail it to Doc40 with your address. Email for where to send it. (And if the ten gets lost we’ll make it good.)


(Image lifted from Brusquelles)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


If, as promised, Barack Obama announces a spending freeze in his State of the Union speech tomorrow, it will be my cue to mutter “what the fuck does he think he’s doing?” and make plans to slink away. What is it in the Presidential mind that moves him to take the classically wrong course of action for an economy in recession? (Unless of course it’s all a fiendish political trap into which the Republicans will haplessly fall.) Where are the massive public works projects? What happened to job creation by cutting edge tech? What happened to the single-payer US health service? Where’s the new green WPA? In every direction, all I see is madness. As Obama starts to act like Herbert Hoover, Wall Street and its zombie bankers continue to evaluate profits as some abstract numerology without even a token relationship to serving a social function or producing a product. It's that same Gekko-thinking that wrecked ENRON and everything else since. As the workers are progressively screwed and far too many are condemned to dangerous unemployment, no one seems able to recall that the worker is also the consumer, and when the consumer base collapses – as it is clearly in the process of doing – the country collapses right along with it. I would like to pretend that all the bad shit might still be turned around, but I fear my optimism will no longer stretch that far, as I become convinced that the US may be entering a decade of hard time that is a combination of former Soviet dysfunction and Japan’s ten year recession. And doubtless with eruptions of mindless and desperate fury as the right gratuitously messes with primal forces. It is not a pleasant prospect, and survival may now be the hot topic as we remember we stand a better chance united, and try to rediscover the knack of creating our own solutions.

And click here for Patti Smith doing “Changing of the Guards.”

The secret word is Solidarity


Doc40 isn’t really in the habit of running fishing stories, but when the amazing HCB sent this over, we made an exception.

"A grandmother has entered the record books after catching the biggest ever freshwater fish by a British woman - a 15st 4lb catfish. Sheila Penfold, who stands at just 5ft 3in and is registered blind, was nearly dragged into the river when the monster catfish took her bait during a holiday in Spain. The 56-year-old had to be directed by husband Alan and son Arthur as she fought for 30 minutes to land the prized 214lb catch." Click here for the rest


Monday, January 25, 2010


When our pal Peromyscus sent me a link to this piece posted by Amanda Marcotte, it caught my eye because it referenced an ancient essay by our good friend Ellen Willis. But then I went on reading this well reasoned argument that everything from marijuana prohibition and the drug war to virulent and never ending resistance to legal abortion are all part of the same class war.

“So the other night, I was reading a book of essay by Ellen Willis called No More Nice Girls, and I bookmarked a page because the sentence on it really jumped out at me as the most succinct description of why the social conservatives merge so seamlessly with “economic” conservatives (who I would call class warriors, as that explanation predicts their behavior better than self-flattered ideological explanations about “small government"). The essay was a 1989 one about the drug war, and the way that it wasn’t about stopping the crack epidemic or slowing down crime or any of the other, more liberal explanations, but how it was strictly about authoritarian control, which explains why relatively harmless drugs like marijuana and psychedelics were being grouped in with harder drugs like speed and heroin. But this part touched on the much larger issue at hand.” (Click here for more.)

The secret word is Fruit


Marvel Comics' adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Electric Ant (sample panel above) has finally been scheduled for release this April, which causes me to once again to wonder how Phil Dick must feel. He’s been dead since 1982, after spending his life as a cult author subject to the disappointments and outrageous fortune that goes with the territory, but now he’s a topflight famous author with his work being made into movies comic books and with – who knows – action figures yet to come. To become big-time famous after you’re dead must surely put a crimp in any afterlife you might be enjoying. I can only appeal to the media moguls to discover me now while I still have life and breath shamelessly to enjoy all the capitalist perks of fame. The media moguls would also have the advantage that I would still be around to advise them on how the stories should be translated to film and other media. Or maybe that’s what they fear.


Dante Gabriel Frozdick’s single claim to fame was that Elvis Presley had once written on his head.



Sunday, January 24, 2010


“So your reading went well last night?”
“Yes, it did. Extremely well. Andy rocked and I was pretty lively, even if I say so myself.”
“And now you’d like black pudding, scrambled egg, fried tomatoes, buttered toast, marmalade, and Coca Cola for breakfast?”
“The idea did cross my mind.”
“Even if it totally clogs your heart?”
“It was only an idea.”
“And you fancy a day off from contemplating the ills of this crumbling planet?”
“How do you know all this?”
“I read your mind.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m a morning illusion.”
“You’re not real?”
“Of course not.”
“That’s a shame.”
“Smoke this joint and you’ll feel better.”

Click here for the inevitable Velvet Underground

The secret word is Mindless
Jean Simmons -- RIP


“I used to have all these weird adventures, but now I just stand around like I was in an Ingmar Berman movie.”

New visitors or anyone one who wants to revisit the Adventures of Marilyn should click here.


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