Monday, May 31, 2010

Bird (or genyornis) is the word

Friend of yours?

This is a pretty exciting find. Genyornis has been extinct for quite some time, for one thing. For another, an intact work of art from the middle or upper Paleolithic is a rare occasion. Finally, it's good. The nameless artist who did this painting knew the animal well, as they say. And knew some perspective as well. All told, pretty cool.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's baaack: Saturday Random Ten

Was a little out of it Friday. Not 100% still, but doing some quick blogging.

1. Taj Mahal--Sweet Mama Janisse
2. Yuka Honda--Night Driving
3. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings--Give It Back
4. Beck--New Round
5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--Big Boys
6. Janis Joplin--Mercedes Benz
7. Los Campesinos!--We've Got Your Back
8. Roy Orbison--The Clown
9. Dinah Washington--This Bitter Earth
10. Thelonious Monk--Ask Me Now

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Turns out you cab catch a nasty cold in late May. Maybe I'm just that cool. Anyway, there are enough colors being coughed up to keep me entertained.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guess we really can't have nice things

Well, I had sort of adopted Clusty as my pet site, the little search engine that could. It seemed handy and low-key at the same time. Then it happened. Acquisition by Yippy, Inc. And with it, this:, its sub-domains and other web based products (such as but not limited to the Yippy Browser) may censor search results, web domains and IP addresses. That is, Yippy may remove from its output, in an ad-hoc manner, all but not limited to the following:

1.Politically-oriented propaganda or agendas
2.Pornographic Material
3.Gambling content
4.Sexual products or sites that sell same
5.Anti-Semitic views or opinions
6.Anti-Christian views or opinions
7.Anti-Conservative views or opinions
8.Anti-Sovereign USA views or opinions
9.Sites deemed inappropriate for children
YIPPY RESERVES THE RIGHT – that any site or domain that displays, does business with or derives revenue from any of the above may be blocked without notice by Yippy, Inc. Sites that are blocked may appeal one time by sending an email with “Appeal Notice” in the subject line and include the domain in the body to Yippy is not required, nor does it make any warranty or otherwise that a blocked site will be reinstated. Yippy, Inc. and its affiliates general rule is that all material that would be objectionable to governments, parents, schools and libraries will be blocked and that sites or other search engines that do not have an adequate controls with regards to protecting children or do business with producers of objectionable material may be denied access to Yippy users. Yippy reserves the right to redirect its users to approved sites.

To sum up, items 6, 7, and 8 and that cute little after-note say that if conservatives don't like it, it has no right to exist.

Yippy was already getting on my last nerve. Their own site has these stupid pseudo-Japanese icons you can't get away from, and now they're censoring the internet on behalf of the slow guests at the tea party. It's the worst of both worlds.

Oh well. At least IceRocket still seems to be pretty cool.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rush weekend Friday Random Ten

Signs have started piling up. This coming week graduating Brownies and their families will be everywhere. Luckily I'm taking the week off, so my schedule won't be too badly hurt.

1. Janis Joplin--Half Moon
2. Roxy Music--2 H.B.
3. Talk Talk--I Believe In You
4. Tom Waits--I Wish I Was in New Orleans
5. Todd Rundgren--Sweeter Memories
6. Radiohead--Wolf At the Door (It Girl. Rag Doll.)
7. Loretta Lynn--High on a Mountaintop
8. Roy Orbison--Mean Little Mama
9. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--Sunday's Best
10. Sarah Vaughan--It Had Better Be Tonight

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That's Mr. James Crow to You

It would be nice to think that a Senate candidate warning that making lunch counters serve Negroes is a slippery slope has just committed political suicide. There are definitely parts of the country where it would be. Is Kentucky one of those places? I'm going to withhold judgment and not make any bold predictions.


This evening while I was sitting in Starbucks (handy location for me) and reading, a girl came to my table. No no, it's not that kind of story. She had blue hair, and from conversation, I learned she was a high school senior in advanced art classes.

Her project--which she asked me to help with--was to draw with 25 other people. On a page in a decent-size sketchpad, she would make a mark, then I would, then her again, then me, and so on. At some point I felt like I was overthinking, so I started making the marks with my eyes closed, and she followed suit.

She filmed/taped us at work, so I don't know if this will show up somewhere and if I might see it. It was interesting, though, and I think the young woman in question will prove a valuable talent.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sure about Friday Random Ten

Hmm. Why did I pick that header? I really don't know. Maybe it's more like, "Sure. About (i.e. approsimately) Friday." Taking into account differing time zones?

1. Bob Dylan--Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again*
2. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--Party Girl
3. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings--Better Things
4. Talk Talk--My Foolish Friend
5. Zapolsky Quartet--Nielsen Sting Quartet op 14, Allegro con Brio
6. Thelonious Monk--Straight No Chaser
7. Janis Joplin--A Woman Left Lonely
8. The White Stripes--One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)
9. Los Campesinos!--The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future
10. Pink Martini--Ou Est Ma Tete?

* Yes, he really did fit that phrase into the chorus.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Love the one your with

I like this. Yes, sex with homo floresiensis is a scene that I probably wouldn't get into myself. (Neanderthal chicks might be a different story.) But humanity has grown insular over the millennia, loath to admit we have any relatives among the animal kingdom, much less peers. So I'm gladdened to know that we once reached out to our kindred species, that we carry some of them in our makeup. Let this knowledge go out.

It's less thrilling to know that they're all dead. Their estate lawyers and life insurance companies may want to look into this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's funny because it's abstruse

Two solipsists walk into a bar. But only one of them counts.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wizarding stuff

First of all, Friday Random Ten hasn't been permanently cancelled. It didn't fit into this week's schedule, but will likely be back soon.

Just finished reading Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Which took a couple of weeks, at least. In mass market paperbook, it's 1000 pages and change. Compulsively readable, though. There are a huge number of characters, so the fact that so many of them are as detailed as they are is more than impressive.

Narcissism seems to have a major power in the story. Norrell and Strange are both self-obsessed in a way, although the latter is somewhat more grounded by his wife (until he isn't.) Of course the elfin villain has everyone beat in self-regard. The path to his defeat is interesting, and I won't spoil it here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fired up

This is pretty interesting. From what I understand, Australia's Western desert is one of the harshest environments on the planet. I'm sure the local species are glad of any help they can get.

Martu life revolves around hunting and fire, Douglas Bird explained. Martu inherit ritual duties that correspond to certain tracts of desert called "estates." An important part of this inheritance is the knowledge of when and where to light smoldering brush fires. Martu never start blazes without knowing every nook and cranny of a territory and often forgo campfires when traveling through foreign estates, he said.

"You never burn unless you're with someone who has all of that knowledge about that estate," he added. "If your fire were to threaten one of those totemic spots where they keep all their religious paraphernalia associated with these rituals, it's technically punishable by death."

Whoa! Message received. Even if you know how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, you want to take a consult before you actually do it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Waste not, want not

This is an animated film by John and Faith Hubley. The dialog is by their daughters Georgia and Emily. The former of these daughters later went on to co-found Yo La Tengo (shown up a few times on my FR10 lists.) What's cool is that they seem to let the animation flow out of what the girls are saying, leading it to places it might not have gone.

It carries a sixties air with it, even though you won't mistake it for the two giants of sixties animation. (Yellow Submarine and The Jetsons of course.)