Thursday, November 20, 2008

Polyvinyl Black Friday Sale


Polyvinyl is having a massive Black Friday sale -- that has already started! Save between 10% - 70% on some of your favorite Polyvinyl records! Nearly every single Polyvinyl release -- close to 200 items -- is on sale!

I splurged in the 70% Off store:
     Items in Order
1 x Rainer Maria - Ears Ring EP CDEP ($1.20)
1 x Kyle Fischer - Open Ground CD ($1.20)
1 x The Ivory Coast - Clouds CD ($1.80)
1 x of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse CD Single ($0.30)
1 x The Red Hot Valentines - Calling Off Today CDEP ($0.90)
1 x Various Artists - Direction CD ($3.00)

Twelve bucks after shipping.

Fermilab Golden Books Collection

Fermilab's History and Archives Project features a great collection of short books, pamphlets, and talks they refer to as The Golden Book Collection.

Some excerpts:

Weighty Thoughts by Jane S. Wilson
Well, hello and how are you doing?
Let's have a little chat
About our national obsession
The unwanted possession
Of -- Oh God! -- a lot of extra fat.

From the very beginning
The definition of sinning
lay in Eve's entreating,
"Adam, we're eating,
Come taste it. It's nice".
When they ate, they got fat
And the upshot of that
Was to end Paradise.
from her book of poetry, Songs of Too Much Experience

In April 1979 Chandra participated in the Fermilab symposium, Aesthetics and Science, to honor the contributions of the founding director Robert R. Wilson. This book is a reprinting of his significant remarks on that occasion, some of which also appear in his book, Truth and Beauty: Aesthetics and Motivations in Science.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar expounds on Beauty and the Quest for Beauty in Science.

Every thinking person at some time has looked up into the dark night sky and wondered about the Universe. How big, how old? What is it, why is it? Where is the edge, the center? What is beyond, before? Every civilization has imagined answers to these questions, and has employed people expert in such matters to answer them.

20th century experts who study such questions about the Universe are scientists known as cosmologists. The word cosmology is derived from the Greek κóσµοζ (COSMOS). κóσµοζ does not mean enormous, immense, Universe, or even "billions and billions." Rather,κóσµοζ is the Greek word for ORDER. Modern cosmologists use physical law as a tool to bring order to an apparently complex and mysterious Universe. The strategy is straightforward: Learn the laws of physics by performing laboratory experiments, and explain the observed Universe on the basis of these laws.
from Exploring the Universe by Edward W. Kolb

via SpaceCollective

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MeFi Mix #1 - Do Not Kink

Yet another source of my overflowing love for the community blog MetaFilter has been the CD swaps organized about twice every year. The idea is simple: burn 5 copies of a mix to CD and mail them to the 5 other people in your assigned swap set. Expect a mix in return from each of those same 5 folks.

Though I don't think I've ever participated in a swap where all 6 swap set members have come through, now that I think about it.

Still, about 7 years of this has loaded me up with great music mixes from around the world. I've started digitizing them now, and the first one up is (randomly) Do Not Kink!, sent to me in 2003.

These are included in the archive.
Click for bigger.

I can't remember who put this mix together. Here's the mystery mixer's liner notes:

    Do Not Kink!
  1. Gridlock by The Pogues
  2. Cornflake Girl by Jawbox
  3. Look Up by Stars
  4. Ivanka by Imperial Teen
  5. Air Batucada by Thievery Corporation
  6. Because of Money by 3rd Generation Band
  7. Paperwings by Damien Jurado
  8. Ray of Gob by Go Home Productions
  9. To Hell With Good Intentions by Mclusky
  10. Merchandise by Fugazi
  11. I'll Be Around (Live) by The Afghan Whigs
  12. Polaris by Nortec Collective and Bostich
  13. Ce n'est pas pour nous by Le Nombre
  14. And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight by Q and Not U
  15. Barra Barra by Rachid Taha
  16. Pack Yr Romantic Mind by Stereolab
  17. I Got Erection by Turbonegro
  18. Status by Mr. Lif feat. Insight
  19. Young Offenders by The Constantines
  20. Grounded (Live) by Pavement

back cover

This is a pretty good mix. I dig how it takes a bunch of artists I already like (The Pogues, Stars, Mclusky, Stereolab, Q and Not U, Constantines, Pavement) and then goes in a completely different (though not wholly unexpected) direction. A somewhat juvenile and awesome direction.

Check out all my MeFi Mixes

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008


99 Bricks

Stack the wobbly tetroids as high as you can go. Discard blocks with 'c'. Note: Your structure will collapse, usually in some glorious fashion.

Under Construction

Fill the shape with the blocks provided. You can add 1 square or take 1 square away at a time up to three times each. Much easier than 99 Blocks.

6 Tetris skins/versions

There are small variations between each game, but they're all basically Tetris.

Mt. Head by Koji Yamamura

Nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 2002.

Enjoy many small animations on Koji Yamamura's website

This blog...what a waste! *pops internet into mouth*

Saturday, November 08, 2008

You've noticed, I know.

Things have slowed down 'round these parts; apologies.

I started a new job, now part time, but for the past two weeks it was 39 h/wk + the fucking commute. It's 45 white-knuckle minutes there in the morning—if I drive like Batman—and usually a good hour plus of continuous stop/go street traffic on the way home. Thankfully, that lessens now that I'm cutting hours.

That's right! Now I'm a part time library slave. Four hours less per day of

MOVE those books.
"Yes sir, I understand that the new location of DVDS/BIOGRAPHIES/REFERENCE/XX is INCONVENIENT/CRAMPED/DIFFICULT TO REACH/XX and you wish it magically appeared in your hand at home instead. You could always apply for shut-in status."

...and wondering why everyone else working there is bored senseless. I'm still endlessly fascinated with The Library and how it works. Everyone has a very small job that they do the same way every day—Librarians, Support Services, The Friends OTL, etc. Some lucky souls (circ Clerks, mainly) have multiple small assigned jobs that they rotate through over the course of the day. I do everything else, and shelve the collection.

Shelving the collection isn't as bad as it might seem. At Borders I was about as eager to haul out a cart of books as I was to lick the banister on the main staircase. There was never enough room for the product on the shelf, or too damn many of the product to fit anywhere in the store, and usually a combination of both. There are very few crowded sections in the library. It is generally sprawling, with multiple odd-shaped rooms and two levels and vaulted ceilings. Beheld glorious by these tired IPT eyes.

And full of books! Well, not completely full, I guess, which I'm counting as a plus due to the nature of my job. 'Handling media' is probably the most succinct job description I could come up with, though 'shelving books' describes a damn big portion of my time spent on the clock. My department is Circulation, an apt name. It resembles the inventory process at Borders in many ways, but one difference delighting is the constant variety the patrons drop off in my bins every day.

The DVDs especially. I've been watching that section closely for two weeks now (the allotted check-out time) and am positive that I've only seen maybe 70% of the discs available. The selection doesn't come close to Borders out on the shelf, of course, but I think it'd be a fair fight if everybody brought back their checked-out discs on the same day. Collection size aside, it's the day-to-day variety that's really refreshing. At Borders the same 25 DVDs (or CDs, or books, too) came in pretty much every day, 15 or more of those with 5+ copies, and usually 1 or 2 with 25+ copies per. It would change up a little every week or so, with a total rotation of all new popular material taking 3 to 4 months. At the library I see new stuff, very low repeats, every single day.

This I like.

OK, I'm running out of steam (it's almost 10 on a Friday night, and I'm ready to drift off to sleep), but there's lots more to tell. I'm learning cool new stuff every day, like how to mount newspapers on the big sticks. Important stuff. I'll tell you about it now that I've got a bit more time (for the [hopefully] short while before I snag a second gig) and I'll rumble out the link machine and get it going again to boot.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Disney Movie!

And as a matter of fact, as I was going to post this I saw in my 'watched blogs' this post from Nico on lame Disney princes. The character of The Prince always leaves more questions than answers. Who is this guy? Where does he come from?

The answer to these questions and more, at Nico Cartoons.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Wang Hui Monday

[click for bigger]

images courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Wang’s seemingly effortless perfection brings Mozart to mind. Both were young prodigies who were prolific, at ease in many different styles, with, it seems, never a note or brush stroke out of place.

Unlike Mozart, Wang lived a long life. He was restless, always heading off in a new direction, copying one master after another. He succeeded so well that by the end of this exhibition the perfectionism, the lack of noticeable missteps, can be almost wearing.
NYT review of MoMA's "Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717)." Featuring a nice slideshow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Perfect Human (Det perfekte menneske)

A short film by Jørgen Leth

Today I experienced something that I hope to understand in a few days.
Lars Von Trier's favourite film is Leth's The Perfect Human (1967). Von Trier gives Leth the task of remaking The Perfect Human five times, each time with a different 'obstruction' (or obstacle) given by Von Trier.

Obstruction 1: Leth must remake the film in Cuba (but with no set) with no shot longer than 12 frames, and he must answer the questions posed in the original film; Leth successfully completes this task.

Obstruction 2: Leth must remake the film in the worst place in the world but not show that place onscreen; additionally, Leth must play the role of "the man". The meal must be included but the woman is not to be included. Leth remakes the film in the red light district of Bombay, only partially hiding it behind a translucent screen.

Obstruction 3: Because Leth failed to complete task 2 perfectly, Von Trier punishes him, telling him to either remake the film in any way he chooses, or redo obstruction 2 in Bombay again. Leth chooses the former option and remakes it in Brussels using split-screen effects.

Obstruction 4: Leth must remake the film as an animation. He does so with the aid of Bob Sabiston, a specialist in rotoscoping, who creates animated versions of shots from the previous films.

Obstruction 5: The fifth obstruction is that Von Trier has already made the fifth version, but it must be credited as Leth's, and Leth must read a voiceover narration ostensibly from his own perspective but in fact written by Von Trier.
I can't find a video for this one.

via MetaFilter


Hundreds of French pop-kitsch postcards from the 50's, 60's, and 70's at Popcards.
via Unscathed Corpse [NSFW]