Monday, January 31, 2011

Tea Party Express founder Sal Russo in cringeworthy (and hilarious) ‘Hardball’ appearance

Another great commentary from Richard Metzger over at DangerousMinds

I’m perhaps a little bit late on this one, but this has to be the single funniest clip of a Tea bagger having his ass handed to him on a silver platter that I have ever seen. I snickered derisively throughout this as Hardball host Chris Matthews hangs Tea Party Express founder Sal Russo out to dry on a hook for the world to see. To be fair, Russo was cast in the unenviable role of having to intellectually defend gross misstatements of historical fact by Rep. Michele Bachman, who just makes shit up that sounds good, or that seems to bolster her other misstatements of fact, as she goes along. A tough act to follow. But he tried! What a fool he looks trying.

Russo keeps trying to maneuver it so he can repeat one of his Tea party talking points, but Matthews will have none of it. Bachmann, it’s obvious to almost anyone with an IQ over 50, is a complete buffoon and yet she is the de facto spokesperson for Sal’s organization. And he can’t make even a single valid point to defend her! It gets even funnier as it goes on and Joan Walsh really rips Russo a new one as well.

I like “Balloonhead” as a name for Bachmann, too. I hope it sticks!

Note to Russo: Matthews treated you with the respect that you deserved, which is to say: none. You might want to reconsider making TV appearances where you are called upon to defend something which is intellectually indefensible (and you even know it, beforehand!). This is what’s gonna happen anytime you venture out of the FOX News echo-chamber with your lame-o talking points, buddy. You got no game, Russo. None. Do you really need to see yourself on TV so badly that you’re willing to look this bad?

Can you imagine how Russo felt after this taping? Ouch. HIs ass must’ve hurt.

The Ultimate Collection Of Bad Michele Bachmann Quotes (BuzzFeed)

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Can I get an “amen”?

from Richard Metzger (DangerousMinds) Via Jesus Needs New PR

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What should be the LAST post on Kodachrome.
from the London Review of Books

Short Cuts
Julian Stallabrass
The longest-lived of camera films has just ended its 75-year history. The only laboratory that still processed Kodachrome, the first commercially available colour slide film, stopped doing so at the end of last year. Kodak progressively withdrew the film from sale between 2002 and 2009, though many photographers loved it enough to buy large stocks to keep in their freezers. Amateurs cannot develop Kodachrome, which requires a large number of carefully controlled treatments, so, with the end of laboratory processing, the film is finished.

Kodachrome is made up of layers of black and white film, each of which responds differently to coloured light, and a series of filters. Only during processing are the appropriate dyes added to each layer to produce a colour transparency. Compared to other colour films, at least up until 1990 when Fuji introduced the garish Velvia, Kodachrome had unique advantages: its colours were rich and naturalistic, its blacks did not have the greyish cast of so many colour films, it had remarkable contrast, its greys were subtle, and the lack of colour couplers between its layers (which tend to diffuse light) gave the film extraordinary sharpness.

Getting my first yellow box of processed Kodachrome 25 through the post in 1982, and holding the cardboard-mounted slides up to the window, is an experience I won’t forget. I had no idea that a photograph could be so vivid, so rich in tonal range or so finely detailed. The mystery of these dark rectangles that sprang to life when backlit was further enhanced by the tiny and intricate engraving on their reverse side, visible when the slide was held in a raking light so that the contrasting lines of the image appeared in low relief.

‘25’ meant 25 ASA, a measurement of the film’s (low) sensitivity to light but also an indication of its resolution, since slow, insensitive films tend to have the smallest grain and thus the greatest ability to render detail. Most general purpose films are at least quadruple the speed of this slowest and finest of Kodachromes, which was meant for use in bright light. It was often used in the spot-lit or flash-lit studio, where its dark monochrome layer was banished by fields of flat, brilliant colour, but it was also used to record, under sun or leaden sky, in narrow bands of sharp focus and in muted colours, US farmers in the Great Depression, Nazi parades and the battlefields of World War Two.

Kodachrome was for decades the film in which the colours of commerce were written. It reproduced more beautifully than any other film, and was a mainstay of the great illustrated magazines which, before colour television, were the most advanced arena for the visual propagation of capitalist values. While it was best known as a 35mm film, used by amateurs and professionals alike, it was for a time available in medium and sheet film format, which opened it up to commercial use. The complexity of its processing, however, meant that commercial photographers tended to prefer films which could be processed more rapidly. Even so, it was the mainstay of many magazines. National Geographic, in particular, used Kodachrome to bring the world’s exotica to its readers in millions of living-rooms and waiting-rooms. Steve McCurry used Kodachrome for his famous (and in some circles, infamous) 1985 National Geographic cover photograph of a girl in Afghanistan with striking green eyes, and for most of his work over 35 years. He arranged to shoot the last roll of the film to come off Kodak’s production line and, piling elegy on elegy, used part of it to photograph members of a vanishing tribal people in Rajasthan.

Kodachrome, for a very long time the only colour film capable of retaining its colours across generations, is also, very largely, the surviving colour of interwar history. It was a demanding film to use, requiring precise exposures that could only be achieved with skill and a reasonably sophisticated camera. Kodak had good reason not to boast of Kodachrome’s durability, for fear questions would be asked about its other films. It kept the matter secret for 40 years, by which time it was plain for all to see in the faded, yellowing ruins of all other colour pictures, and the remaining brilliance of Kodachrome (provided it was stored in the dark). Other film manufacturers were complicit in this extraordinary act of corporate bad behaviour: all of them kept the ephemerality of their colour films secret.

When I started to use the film, its stability was well known (and still unique), and was a strong consideration in my choosing it: the little rectangles into which I poured such labour would still be readable in 50 or 100 years’ time. The commercial look of Kodachrome was also important for I was trying to turn the most advanced visual means of commerce against itself in recording the ruins of Thatcher’s first recession: the boarded-up shop fronts, derelict workplaces and unswept streets. Outdoors, under gloomy British skies, Kodachrome’s deep blacks – its shadow layer – became, with a touch of underexposure that also saturated the colours, wells of melancholy.

Should we mourn the passing of a commercial product, particularly one with such a mixed history? Most cultural works are made with such products. Duchamp pointed out that even paintings could be thought of as ‘ready made’, being mere reorganisations of material squeezed from off-the-shelf tubes. Just as it takes practice and time to learn how to use a camera or a lens, so it does to know how both will interact with a type of film. The technical conservatism of professional photographers is purposeful. They are defending their hard-won knowledge: in what circumstances is a film best used, how does it bear detail in highlight and shadow, how does it behave in different lighting conditions? So the end of Kodachrome may be regretted as an abrupt extinction of techniques, practices and knowledge.

Digital cameras are quite different, binding together the optics and mechanical elements of analogue cameras with a light-sensitive array which, alongside elaborate software processing, acts as a simulation of a remarkable range of film-like behaviour – fast and slow, warm and cool, colour and monochrome. Advanced cameras allow the user to precisely configure the colour temperature for which the virtual film is balanced along with the vividness of its colours and its sharpness. The effect is similar to the move to satellite and cable TV: much greater choice and with it a splintering of communities once formed by their shared consumption.

from the London Review of Books.

thanks, Doug!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Last Kodachrome

Well almost a month after I shot them, my last roll of Kodachrome film finally came back from the only lab on the planet that still processed the stuff, and no longer does. I was really hoping to shoot the last roll of Jay Adams since he was the subject of my 1st published photo, but parole difficulties had him back in Hawaii. Then I hit up Alva, who's always down to skate a secluded backyard pool, which would have been great, but he had a serious foot injury he was trying to heal while i was out west, so he couldn't be on it either. So I just headed down to the Venice skatepark made some calls on the way to one of my old best friends Steve Olson, see if he wanted to come down with his now "famous" son who's following in the footsteps. I also spoke to the folks at Juice magazine who mentioned the young local Haden McKenna, they have been trying to encourage to take a good path, so I kept an eye out for him, he' caught my attention briefly last year when i was out, besides I knew his father as a Marina skatepark local many years ago. So if he had a good attitude and was doing anything interesting i'd take a look through the lens and think about shooting.

(click on any of the images to see them bigger)

When I got there Haden was already warming up (btw. you may have seen the photos i posted last month of him from the same week while i shot him with a borrowed digital camera and got smashed in the face), got a call from Steve too, the Olson's, father and son were just a few minutes away. Got some cool stuff of the local and the old man, and even a good shot of the "kid" after harassing him about a sticker he had on the bottom of his board representing a company that stole from me, i wouldn't even point the camera in his direction until the sticker was removed, the "star" didn't take me seriously until an hour later so in the end we were both lucky i still had the last few frames I could shoot of him, including my very last one. Here they are, with a bonus shot of Jesse Martinez, the Godfather of the Venice Skatepark, I also shot on Kodachrome, on my second to last roll started a few days earlier.

p.s. don't be confused! Indeed this is my last Kodachrome ever, but by no means does that mean I have finished shooting on FILM, just not that type of film anymore.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

We're Losing Our Intelligence -- How the Purge of True Dissent Has Starved Our Discourse

from TruthDig via AlterNet
By Chris Hedges

The blacklisted mathematics instructor Chandler Davis, after serving six months in the Danbury federal penitentiary for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), warned the universities that ousted him and thousands of other professors that the purges would decimate the country’s intellectual life.

“You must welcome dissent; you must welcome serious, systematic, proselytizing dissent—not only the playful, the fitful, or the eclectic; you must value it enough, not merely to refrain from expelling it yourselves, but to refuse to have it torn from you by outsiders,” he wrote in his 1959 essay “...From an Exile.” “You must welcome dissent not in a whisper when alone, but publicly so potential dissenters can hear you. What potential dissenters see now is that you accept an academic world from which we are excluded for our thoughts. This is a manifest signpost over all your arches, telling them: Think at your peril. You must not let it stand. You must (defying outside power; gritting your teeth as we grit ours) take us back.”

But they did not take Davis back. Davis, whom I met a few days ago in Toronto, could not find a job after his prison sentence and left for Canada. He has spent his career teaching mathematics at the University of Toronto. He was one of the lucky ones. Most of the professors ousted from universities never taught again. Radical and left-wing ideas were effectively stamped out. The purges, most carried out internally and away from public view, announced to everyone inside the universities that dissent was not protected. The confrontation of ideas was killed.

“Political discourse has been impoverished since then,” Davis said. “In the 1930s it was understood by anyone who thought about it that sales taxes were regressive. They collected more proportionately from the poor than from the rich. Regressive taxation was bad for the economy. If only the rich had money, that decreased economic activity. The poor had to spend what they had and the rich could sit on it. Justice demands that we take more from the rich so as to reduce inequality. This philosophy was not refuted in the 1950s and it was not the target of the purge of the 1950s. But this idea, along with most ideas concerning economic justice and people’s control over the economy, was cleansed from the debate. Certain ideas have since become unthinkable, which is in the interest of corporations such as Goldman Sachs. The power to exclude certain ideas serves the power of corporations. It is unfortunate that there is no political party in the United States to run against Goldman Sachs. I am in favor of elections, but there is no way I can vote against Goldman Sachs.”

The silencing of radicals such as Davis, who had been a member of the Communist Party, although he had left it by the time he was investigated by HUAC, has left academics and intellectuals without the language, vocabulary of class war and analysis to critique the ideology of globalism, the savagery of unfettered capitalism and the ascendancy of the corporate state. And while the turmoil of the 1960s saw discontent sweep through student bodies with some occasional support from faculty, the focus was largely limited to issues of identity politics—feminism, anti-racism—and the anti-war movements.

The broader calls for socialism, the detailed Marxist critique of capitalism, the open rejection of the sanctity of markets, remained muted or unheard. Davis argues that not only did socialism and communism become outlaw terms, but once these were tagged as heresies, the right wing tried to make liberal, secular and pluralist outlaw terms as well. The result is an impoverishment of ideas and analysis at a moment when we desperately need radical voices to make sense of the corporate destruction of the global economy and the ecosystem. The “centrist” liberals manage to retain a voice in mainstream society because they pay homage to the marvels of corporate capitalism even as it disembowels the nation and the planet.

“Repression does not target original thought,” Davis noted. “It targets already established heretical movements, which are not experimental but codified. If it succeeds very well in punishing heresies, it may in the next stage punish originality. And in the population, fear of uttering such a taboo word as communism may in the next stage become general paralysis of social thought.”

It is this paralysis he watches from Toronto. It is a paralysis he predicted. Opinions and questions regarded as possible in the 1930s are, he mourns, now forgotten and no longer part of intellectual and political debate. And perhaps even more egregiously the fight and struggle of radical communists, socialists and anarchists in the 1930s against lynching, discrimination, segregation and sexism were largely purged from the history books. It was as if the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had no antecedents in the battles of the Wobblies as well as the socialist and communist movements.

“Even the protests that were organized entirely by Trotskyists were written out of history,” Davis noted acidly.

Those who remained in charge of American intellectual thought went on to establish the wider “heresy of leftism” in the name of academic objectivity. And they have succeeded. Universities stand as cowardly, mute and silent accomplices of the corporate state, taking corporate money and doing corporate bidding. And those with a conscience inside the walls of the university understand that tenure and promotion require them to remain silent.

“Not only were a number of us driven out of the American academic scene, our questions were driven out,” said Davis, who at 84 continues to work as emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto. “Ideas which were on the agenda a hundred years ago and sixty years ago have dropped out of memory because they are too far from the new center of discourse.”

Davis has published science fiction stories, is the editor of The Mathematical Intelligencer and is an innovator in the theory of operators and matrices. He is a director of Science for Peace. He also writes poetry. His nimble mind ranges swiftly in our conversation over numerous disciplines and he speaks with the enthusiasm and passion of a new undergraduate. His commitment to radical politics remains fierce and undiminished. And he believes that the loss of his voice and the voices of thousands like him, many of whom were never members of the Communist Party but had the courage to challenge the orthodoxy of the Cold War and corporate capitalism, deadened intellectual and political discourse in the United States.

During World War II Davis joined the Navy and worked on the minesweeping research program. But by the end of the war, with the saturation bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, as well as the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he came to regret his service in the military. He has spent most of his life working in a variety of anti-war and anti-nuclear movements.

“In retrospect I am sorry I didn’t declare myself as a conscientious objector,” he said. “Not at the beginning of the war, because if you are ever going to use military force for anything, that was a situation in which I would be happy to do it. I was wholehearted about that. But once I knew about the destruction of Dresden and the other massacres of civilian populations by the Allies, I think the ethical thing to do would have been to declare myself a CO.”

He was a “Red diaper baby.” His father was a professor, union agitator and member of the old Communist Party who was hauled in front of HUAC shortly before his son. Davis grew up reading New Masses and moved from one city to the next because of his father’s frequent firings.

“I was raised in the movement,” he said. “It wasn’t a cinch I would be in the Communist Party, but in fact I was, starting in 1943 and then resigning soon after on instructions from the party because I was in the military service. This was part of the coexistence of the Communist Party with Roosevelt and the military. It would not disrupt things during the war. When I got out of the Navy I rejoined the Communist Party, but that lapsed in June of 1953. I never got back in touch with them. At the time I was subpoenaed I was technically an ex-Communist, but I did not feel I had left the movement and in some sense I never did.”

Davis got his doctorate from Harvard in mathematics and seemed in the 1950s destined for a life as a professor. But the witch hunts directed against “Reds” swiftly ended his career on the University of Michigan faculty. He mounted a challenge to the Committee on Un-American Activities that went to the Supreme Court. The court, ruling in 1960, three years after Joseph McCarthy was dead, denied Davis’ assertion that the committee had violated the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech. He was sent to prison. Davis, while incarcerated, authored a research paper that had an acknowledgement reading: “Research supported in part by the Federal Prison System. Opinions expressed in this paper are the author’s and are not necessarily those of the Bureau of Prisons.”

Davis, who has lived in Canada longer than he lived in the United States, said that his experience of marginalization was “good for the soul and better for the intellect.”

“Though you see the remnants of the former academic left still, though some of us were never fired, though I return to the United States from my exile frequently, we are gone,” he said. “We did not survive as we were. Some of us saved our skins without betraying others or ourselves. But almost all of the targets either did crumble or were fired and blacklisted. David Bohm and Moses Finley and Jules Dassin and many less celebrated people were forced into exile. Most of the rest had to leave the academic world. A few suffered suicide or other premature death. There weren’t the sort of wholesale casualties you saw in Argentina or El Salvador, but the Red-hunt did succeed in axing a lot of those it went after, and cowing most of the rest. We were out, and we were kept out.”

“I was a scientist four years past my Ph.D. and the regents’ decision was to extinguish, it seemed, my professional career,” he said. “What could they do now to restore to me 35 years of that life? If it could be done, I would refuse. The life I had is my life. It’s not that I’m all that pleased with what I’ve made of my life, yet I sincerely rejoice that I lived it, that I don’t have to be Professor X who rode out the 1950s and 1960s in his academic tenure and his virtuously anti-Communist centrism.”

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He writes a regular column for TruthDig every Monday. His latest book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thousands Of Fishermen Empty Lake In Minutes

On one day of the year the Dogon people of Mali can fish in the sacred water of Lake Antogo. It's every fisherman for himself as the lake is emptied in minutes.

thanks PreSurfer

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Preparations for alien contact

from BoingBoing:
If we do make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, what happens next? Well, assuming the ball is in our court, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project has a plan. In fact, SETI even has a Post-Detection Taskgroup made up of scientists, journalists, philosophers, and, of course, science fiction writers. Astrobiologist Paul Davies of Arizona State University leads the bunch. From Smithsonian:
Their job is to advise relevant parties—other scientists, governments, the United Nations—about what to do if a SETI signal or any "putative evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence" were detected. While waiting for a contact, the group deliberates about what the consequences might be. While a discovery of microscopic life on another body in our solar system would be "of profound significance, which would change our worldview," Davies says, "it's not one of these things that is going to be disruptive to society." But the discovery of a signal from intelligent extraterrestrials could lead to "mayhem." (former of head of NASA's SETI program John) Billingham agrees. "Some people will think that this is a natural event in the continuing work on scientific questions," he says, and others will ask, in panic, "What do we do now?"

People would likely fall into two camps. Catastrophists, as one of the camps is called, might well predict the end of humanity as we know it, or at least the end of our current culture. In 2010 Stephen Hawking said that making contact with aliens would be "a little too risky" and compared the event to Columbus arriving in the New World, "which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans." But millenarian enthusiasts anticipate revelations of rapture: how to cure cancer, solve the energy crisis or win world peace. And if aliens did manage to come to Earth, says (Center for SETI Research director Jill) Tarter, an admitted enthusiast, "they would likely have outgrown the aggressiveness that has served us so well."

"Ready for Contact"

Monday, January 24, 2011

Orson Welles's Future Shock documentary

Here, in five parts, is Orson Welles rather obscure documentary adaptation of Alvin Toffler's Future Shock.

"In 1970, sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler, the Ray Kurzweil of his day, wrote a book entitled Future Shock, which proposed a certain distressing psychological state , induced by change so rapid the human mind can't digest it, and introduced the notion of "information overload" for the first time. In 1972, the book, already a bestseller, was adapted into a little-known documentary of the same name, narrated by Orson Welles. Exploring the shift from industrial society to what Toffler calls "super-industrial society," the film tackles notions of consumerism and information overload -- think BBC's The Century of the Self meets Nicholas Carr's The Shallows."

Thanks, BoingBoing

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Surfing Killer 30-40 Foot Waves in the Dark

from Surfer Mark Visser:
It wasn’t until I saw the pictures I realized how big it was. This project has been two years in the planning and it was the scariest, but most exciting thing I have ever done,” says Visser. “Riding in complete darkness meant I had to go off feeling. I had to zone out from how you normally ride and just be part of the wave. I am so pumped to achieve something that no one thought possible and that I was told was couldn’t be done.
Transworld Surf has the scoop. Read it here. via DangerousMinds

Saturday, January 22, 2011

To Play and To Fight

To Play and To Fight presents the captivating story of the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra System - an incredible network of hundreds of orchestras formed within most of Venezuela's towns and villages. Once a modest program designed to expose rural children to the wonders of music, the system has become one of the most important and beautiful music phenomena in modern history. To Play and To Fight presents interviews and performances by many of the world's most renowned musicians including the great tenor Placido Domingo, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Guiseppe Sinopoli, and Eduardo Mata, as they reflect on the impact of such a far-reaching social project. The documentary also presents the inspirational stories of world class musicians who have been trained by the Venezuelan system, including The Berlin Philharmonic's youngest player Edicson Ruiz and world class conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

Friday, January 21, 2011

1986 New York City Hip-Hop Doc. from Holland uncovered

Incredibly classic Grand Master Flash, Doug E. fresh, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante, Bill Adler and Russell Simmons in front of the the original Def Jam office at 298 Elizabeth street, I used to hang out at every day. Run-DMC also out in front of the office and in the studio, LL Cool J at his grandma's house i visited many times myself, his interview is incredible of the era. One of the original "Last Poets" gets his educational rap and hate on the current generation, then Schooly D. performing at the legendary "Latin Quarter" (what's got to be his worst song ever), and closes with a pretty cool interview.

Funny that when the film starts the RUN-DMC tour book i designed and photographed sits on the desk of the announcer.

via DangerousMinds
Shot in New York City in 1986 by Dutch filmmaker Bram van Splunteren, Big Fun In The Big Town contains a motherlode of amazing footage
I look at the new rock ‘n rollers…it’s a shame what they did to it, and I hope that rap don’t go that same route – where they take the rawness away…just then make it too pretty! I don’t think rock ‘n roll was meant to be pretty. Rock was meant to be bad – just like rap” - Schoolly-D

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God Hates Tucson: LIFE photographs inside Westboro Baptist Church

Ben Cosgrove of LIFE Magazine tells Boing Boing last week,
This morning LIFE published a gallery of exclusive, never-seen photographs by Anthony Karen (the same photographer who did our KKK gallery last year) taken at the Westboro Baptist compound in Topeka, Kansas, in June 2008, and other places where the church likes to hang out and picket grieving families, etc.
The gallery is a disturbing, thought-provoking, intimate look inside what might well be the most despised community in America right now, along with Anthony's insights into what makes these people tick.
Here is the full photo gallery at
The church has been in the news this week for their characteristically offensive plans to protest at the funerals of shooting victims in Tucson. The government of Arizona took quick action to block this, by passing an expedited law that made protesting within 300 feet of a funeral or burial service illegal. NY Mag, CNN, ABC affiliate in AZ, Christian Science Monitor.

This person has some interesting theories on the church's founder.
Thanks to Xeni, from BoingBoing

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cruisin Casket for Only the Most Serious O.G.

For if you want to leave this world in style.

Cruisin Caskets is the first and only of it's kind. We are a casket fabricating company that creates custom car designs for the car lover that wants to leave this world in style. We are currently taking orders for a 1950's style Merc coffin.

The specially designed, car-shaped coffin opens as conventional coffins do, with a hinged top portion, and features the same type of upholstered interior as standard coffins. Cruisin Caskets have a fiberglass body and may come in a variety of paint colors and designs.
thanks, Presurfer

Monday, January 17, 2011


How 'bout that?

Here's a t-shirt i designed several years ago...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Love/Hate relationship with automobiles continues:

from Design Juices
I think we have all ambitions to own a super car in the future, maybe your even lucky enough to be close to reaching that ambition. Whether your after and old school american muscle car, or a new-wave carbon fibre body super car; we are all interested in the new technologies of making the car as sexy in its aesthetics and also as fast as possible.

Here I look to highlight and showcase several amazing concept (and possible production) super cars who are all using new technologies and new ways of designing the super car of the future.

SC Ultimate Aero 2
This is the super car which is on its way to becoming the fastest mass-production car; the SC Ultimate Aero 2. It can achieve a maximum speed of 440km/h, its modern design is the work of Jason Castriota and takes advantage of Carbon Fibre. The SC Ultimate Aero 2 is available at a snap at €696,000. Found on Fubiz

ssc aero 1 550x309 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Halo Intersceptor
You maybe thinking what if i could combine my personal super car and boat; well now you can with the Halo Inspector. This hybrid vehicle concept aims to become the icon on every extreme sports addict, its aesthetics certain attract your eyes attention. Found on Tuvie.

halo intersceptor alone can offer land water and air travel for complete future transpiration1 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Hussar Dakar
This vehicle is a concept that design Klaud wasiak has taken inspiration from winged polish calvary soldiers names hussars; the Hussar Dakar. The car is designed as a rally car and uses the wings to create kinetic energy during the vehicles movement. Found on Design Boom.

ws1 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Citroen Survolt & Agni Z2<
These two machine have been designed to compliment one another; Citroen Survolt and Agni Z2. The two of them are both powered with a electric drivetrain and make them a team of almost silent racers, it also features an emission-free and eco-friendly engine which ensure smooth driving up to 200km/h. Found on Tuvie.

citroen survolt and agni z2 a breathtaking super car and racing bike duo2 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Mob Sports Car (Made from Wood)
The Mob is an extreme racing sports car which has been designed by Jorge Marti vidal, the whole car is envisioned to be created with a strip; two films that create the vehicles structure. The idea would be to use liquid wood, organic material sthat come from waste wood and can be moulded into different shapes. From Tuvie.

toyota mob race car5 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

This design is the work of Alexei Mikhailov, it is almost a mis-mash of different styles; it encorporate both Italian and German design. It works with the pure italian fluid (almost) organic design and the German sports lines, which emphasise the overall quality of the cars design. Found on Tuvie.

amv r concept2 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Tesla EYE Concept
Considering there’s almost no chance we’ll ever see the EYE concept cruising the streets, we’ll just have to enjoy the car for what it is: a good-looking show car with a Tesla badge. Sure, we can imagine putting an electric powertrain in there and showing up at the soccer game in one of these, but for now we’ll just have to ask ourselves if the IED students managed to create a new status symbol with the EYE, something they said they were shooting for. From Autoblog.

01 ied tesla eye conceptopt Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Lamborghini Concept EV
Flavio Adriani, the designer, created the Lamborghini Concept EV as a tribute to the man who changed everything about sportcars, Ferrucio Lamborghini. The design, the lines, the impact of the car derive from a beautiful, almost perfect combination of the Diablo and Gallardo. Found on Tuvie.

lamborghini concept car3 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Saab Spyker 9+ Tribue
The Saab Spyker 9+ Tribute is a concept car imagined by Swedish designer Eduard Gray, graduate of the Coventry University (UK), with a Bachelor Degree 2:1 in Industrial Product Design.The exterior design is pure Saab, featuring simple lines, turbine-style wheels, trademark headlights and the Saab grille, but also a big windshield that extends over the entire roof top. Via Concept Supercars.

saab spyker 9 tribute concept 2 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Audi A0 QS
The Audi A0 QS, Q stands for four-wheel drive and S for sports, has been specially designed for athletes and rich people to enhance their active lifestyles. This small and dynamic sports car is equipped with electric motor and a hydrogen engine that make the car entirely hybrid. Found on Tuvie.

audi a0 qs features stunning aesthetics and great performance3 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Bentley Aero Ace Speed VI Concept
The Bentley Aero Ace project Speed VI concept car is an independent design proposal from Royal College of art student Gabriel Tam. The designer has given the Speed VI concept a futuristic treatment, but at the same time, the concept looks back at the original Bentley Speed 6 for inspiration, and seeks to celebrate the sporting heritage of Bentley. Found via Greenpacks.

bentley aero ace speed vi concept4 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Lamborghi Countach EV Concept
The design of the Lamborghini Countach EV, a 3D concept electric car, has been inspired by the fascinating Countach by Marcello Gandini which is an unforgettable piece for every Lamborghini fans. This redesigned car features more clean curves without changing the standard appearance such as doors, wings, front lights, etc. Found on Tuvie.

tribute countach6 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Mobius Car
The vehicle you’re about to glance upon is the Mobius, this one designed by Tommaso Gecchelin who aims to merge aesthetic suggestions of both math and geometry into one harmonious shape. Via Yanko Design.

mobius01 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Opel Flextreme GT/E Concept
Opel is all set to unveil its new concept car at the 80th edition of the Geneva Motor Show, the Opel Flextreme GT/E. The idea of this concept is to show how extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) systems can be integrated into larger cars, a mid-size five-door hatchback in this case. Via Concept Supercars.

opel flextreme gte concept 2 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

TVR Throne Concept Car
Hussien Al Jammazi has envisioned an excellent and unique car concept name TVR Throne that has all the aesthetical aspect to make a person get amazed. The designer has given his maximum effort to make unique components for the car. From Tuvie.

tvr throne car concept3 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

Ghepardo De Tomaso
Designer Frederik Tjellsesen has done one heck of a job creating a concept to catch their eye. Tjellsesen’s created a four-door sports car by the name of “Ghepardo,” accenting the fabulously modern gray with a smooth, sensual purple. From Yanko Design.

ghepardo detomaso06 Super Cars of the Future: Inspiring Future thinking in Car Design

this storyy "The EN-V – Is this the Car of the Future?" should make up for the above

Saturday, January 15, 2011

30,000 Used Chopsticks Transformed Into a Fallen Tree in Shanghai

from Inhabitat
Single use-chopsticks are a notable waste issue in China - roughly 100 trees a day must be felled to create the little, wooden eating utensils. In response to the atrocities being subjected to these innocent trees, the China Environmental Protection Foundation has assembled the ghostly remains of meals past into a full-sized chopstick tree. An impressive sculpture standing beautiful and tall, this was actually far from the message they hoped to convey. So what did they do to get their point across? They broke it and handed out reusable chopstick sets and statistics near the slain tree.

The tree was built from 30,000 used wooden chopsticks, stretched five meters high. It stood along a local street in Shanghai accompanied by a laundry list of chopstick consumption statistics. And despite the likelihood they were dipped numerous times in soy sauce, the sticks were odor-free having been thoroughly cleansed before assembly.

The hope of this project was to raise awareness and encourage the use of reusable chopsticks. China’s activists estimate that the country’s current forest stock will only support chopstick production for the next 20 years.

via Treehugger
With various "bring your own chopsticks" movements making little headway against the 45 billion pairs of disposable wooden utensils used each year in China alone, a clever Chinese environmental group has brought a dramatic visible representation of the environmental impact to the streets of downtown Shanghai.

Though they can be made out of porcelain, plastic, lacquered bamboo, stainless steel, and even ivory or jade, chopsticks of the disposable wooden variety have long been the most-used utensil in China's restaurants and other eateries. Some 25 million trees are required to feed the country's annual chopstick, er, yen, according to the China Environmental Protection Foundation, which notes that at this rate, "forest will disappear from China in 20 years."

Only Two Decades' Worth Of Trees Left
To raise awareness about the problem, the foundation went around Shanghai and gathered 30,000 pairs of used disposable chopsticks from the city's restaurants. After washing and preparing them, they used the little wooden sticks to build a five-meter-high tree in a busy district of the city -- and then chopped it down. Volunteers were stationed by the fallen "tree" to hand out reusable chopsticks to curious passers-by, while a sign laid out the consumption statistics and warned: "Our trees are enough to feed us for only another 20 years."

We'll agree with tipster copyranter that it was an impressive and "pretty damn industrious" idea -- and hopefully one that makes a real impact.
I eat with chopsticks almost all the time, almost never disposeble ones, and if the are disposable, they are bamboo. There's something about stabbing food and the need for cutting at the table is usually unnecessary, with my diet. It's much calmer to just pick it up and place it in your mouth rather than cutting, stabbing and shoving it in.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Energy And Dynamic Braking

OK, even though this video comes from GE one of the great evil corporations of our time it is very interesting.
Energy: you can't destroy it, but you can certainly waste it. That's what most motorized vehicles do, including trains. Usually, the energy generated when you stop a moving vehicle is dissipated as heat, and is lost to the atmosphere.

With GE's ecomagination you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it. Watch the video to see a simple illustration of the physics behind dynamic braking. Keep in mind an object's force is measured in newtons, using the equation force = Mass x Acceleration.

via The Presurfer blog

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NASA Stops Planned Animal Experimentation, Space Is Cool Again

from Ecorazzi:
NASA announced that it’s going to put a hold (hooray!) on the $1.75 million taxpayer-funded study that would expose 18 squirrel monkeys to doses of harmful radiation at New York’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. The plan was that after the radiation was administered, the primates would then reside at McLean Hospital in Belmont where they would be monitored for the the rest of their lives by Harvard Med School researchers. The amount of radiation would be equivalent to three years of space travel, and would help to determine safe levels for astronauts on lengthy missions.

Many celebs, including Sir Paul McCartney, have been outspoken in their campaigns against these experiments, and activist groups like PETA have applauded the decision to re-evaluate this line of research.

A statement put out by Brookhaven Labs, said that they were about to “undertake a comprehensive review of the agency’s current research and technology development plans to see how they align with the President’s plan for human spaceflight.”

While Michael Braukus, a NASA spokesman, stated, “A decision will be made when the review is completed, depending on whether it’s still deemed to be a value added experiment.”

Personally we don’t see the value in dousing live monkeys with huge levels of radiation, which seems to be animal cruelty to the extreme. For now we’re happy that this is on hold, and we hope it lasts indefinitely!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The CIA funded the famous animated film of Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ you saw in school

one of my top ten favorite books of all time...

story from DangrousMinds

Until videotapes replaced 16mm film projectors in the classroom in the mid-1980s, there was a very good chance that if you were British or American, that at least once, if not twice or more, you were going to see the animated 1955 version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm during your education. I can vividly recall being absolutely incredulous during a post-film discussion in high school, that the teacher we had seemed to have no idea, as in none at all, that Animal Farm was quite specifically a satire of the Russian revolution and the rise of Joseph Stalin. After I raised my hand to object and explained, no doubt with the cocky annoyance of a teenaged autodidact, that “Old Major” was a Karl Marx/Lenin figure, that “Napoleon” was Stalin, “Snowball” was Trotsky and so forth, she blithely dismissed what I said (she clearly had no idea of what I was talking about and so therefore had nothing to add) and remarked that “it could be one theory.”

No my dear, that would be the only fuckin’ theory. If you think American public schools are bad now, I put it to you that they’ve always been pretty shitty…

Animal Farm was directed by the husband and wife animation team of John Halas and Joy Batchelor. It is considered one of the greatest British films, something akin to a “serious” work from Disney. The film does not follow the events of the book very closely, especially the “hopeful” ending that Halas felt necessary to tack on. Orwell’s book ends with the animals numbly resigned to their exploitation by the porcine politburo in cahoots with the humans. This was considered too bleak and Halas wanted an upbeat ending. “You cannot send home millions in the audience being puzzled,” he said about the film in 1980.

But there is an interesting back story of how Animal Farm came to be made that most people are probably unaware of: The most famous British animated film ever made was in fact financed by the American CIA in an effort to encourage a negative view of the Soviet Union.

In 1951, using American taxpayer dollars, the CIA’s Office of Policy Coordination carried out obtaining the rights to the book from Sonia Orwell, the author’s widow, in an operation run by future Watergate criminal E. Howard Hunt. Two members of the Psychological Warfare Workshop staff who were working in undercover in Hollywood made the arrangements. To thank Mrs. Orwell, the CIA arranged for her to meet actor Clark Gable.

Hunt chose as the film’s producer, Louis De Rochemont, the creator of the famed “March of Time” newsreel journalism films and De Rochemont had final say over all creative matters (Hunt worked for De Rochemont when he was younger). Over 80 animators worked on the film, including three Disney animators who were not credited, probably because they didn’t want to piss off Uncle Walt. Two of them went on to work on Yellow Submarine and Watership Down.

Vivien Halas, the daughter of the film’s directors, believes that her parents were innocent of knowing that the CIA was involved with the project:

“I don’t believe that my parents were aware of any CIA involvement at the time. Frances reminded me that, in the early 1950s, the CIA was not regarded with the same scorn as today. My father dismissed the idea, but my mother felt annoyed.” John Halas and Joy Batchelor would go on to do the Jackson 5ive and The Osmonds cartoons. Louis De Rochemont became paranoid about the CIA bugging him late in his life.

The film was completed in 1954 and distributed worldwide the following year, the first British animated feature ever to be so widely seen. Prints were made for schools and libraries the world over by the United States Information Agency (USIA). If you are over the age of 35 and saw the film in school, there is a very high likelihood that US taxpayer’s dollars paid for the print you saw. The animated Animal Farm, due to the whole “pigs are unclean” thing, was also thought to be effective anti-Soviet propaganda in the Middle East.

On the flip-side, the Soviet spin on Orwell’s 1984 is that the book’s nightmarish depiction of constant state surveillance was about everyday life in America.


Orwell Subverted: The CIA and the Filming of Animal Farm

The cartoon that came in from the cold (The Guardian)

How Big Brothers used Orwell to fight the cold war (The Guardian)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Little Red Book That Swept France

from The Independent (UK):

The latest call to (non-violent) arms has turned a 93-year-old war hero into a publishing phenomenon.
Take a book of just 13 pages, written by a relatively obscure 93-year-old man, which contains no sex, no
jokes, no fine writing and no startlingly original message. A publishing disaster? No, a publishing

Indignez vous! (Cry out!), a slim pamphlet by a wartime French resistance hero, Stéphane Hessel, is
smashing all publishing records in France. The book urges the French, and everyone else, to recapture the
wartime spirit of resistance to the Nazis by rejecting the "insolent, selfish" power of money and markets and
by defending the social "values of modern democracy".

The book, which costs €3, has sold 600,000 copies in three months and another 200,000 have just been
printed. Its original print run was 8,000. In the run-up to Christmas, Mr Hessel's call for a "peaceful
insurrection" not only topped the French bestsellers list, it sold eight times more copies than the second
most popular book, a Goncourt prize-winning novel by Michel Houellebecq.

The extraordinary success of the book can be interpreted in several ways. Its low price and slender size –
29 pages including blurbs and notes but just 13 pages of text – has made it a popular stocking-filler among
left-wing members of the French chattering classes. Bookshops report many instances of people buying a dozen copies for family and friends.

But Mr Hessel and his small left-wing publisher (which is used to print runs in the hundreds) say that he has evidently struck a national, and international nerve, at a time of market tyranny, bankers' bonuses and budget threats to the survival of the post-war welfare state. They also suggest that the success of the book could be an important straw in the wind as France enters a political cycle leading to the presidential elections of May 2012.

In a New Year message Mr Hessel, who survived Nazi concentration camps to become a French diplomat, said he was "profoundly touched" by the success of his book. Just as he "cried out" against Nazism in the 1940s, he said, young people today should "cry out against the complicity between politicians and economic and financial powers" and "defend our democratic rights acquired over two centuries".

In a party-political aside which might or might not undermine his new status as political prophet, Mr Hessel went on to imply that "resistance" should begin with a rejection of President Nicolas Sarkozy and a vote for the Parti Socialiste.

The book has not pleased everyone. It also contains a lengthy denunciation of Israeli government policies, especially in the Gaza Strip. Although the final chapter calls vaguely for a "non-violent" solution to the world's problems, the book also suggests that "non-violence" is not "sufficient" in the Middle East. Mr Hessel, whose father was a German jew who emigrated to France, has been accused by French jewish organisations of "anti-semitism".

Mr Hessel was born in Berlin in 1917. He emigrated to France with his family when he was seven. He joined General Charles de Gaulle in London in 1941 and was sent back to France to help organise the resistance. He was captured, tortured and sent to concentration camps in Germany. After the war, he helped to draft the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Jean-Pierre Barou, the joint head of the small Montpellier-based publishing house Indigène, which commissioned the book, said Mr Hessel had revealed a "deep sense of indignation in France".

As a political tract, the book contains no especially original analysis of the world's problems.

"They dare to tell us that the State can no longer afford policies to support its citizens," Mr Hessel says. "But how can money be lacking ... when the production of wealth has enormously increased since the Liberation (of France), at a time when Europe was ruined? The only explanation is that the power of money ... has never been so great or so insolent or so selfish and that its servants are placed in the highest reaches of the State."

The originality of the book is the suggestion that an organised "Resistance" is now called for, just like in 1940. "We, veterans of the resistance ... call on young people to revive and pass on the heritage and ideals of the Resistance," the book says.
How people should resist the power of money and the markets – by peaceful means, the book insists – is not made entirely clear.

A message of resistance

* "I would like everyone – everyone of us – to find his or her own reason to cry out. That is a precious gift. When something makes you want to cry out, as I cried out against Nazism, you become a militant, tough and committed. You become part of the great stream of history ... and this stream leads us towards more justice and more freedom but not the uncontrolled freedom of the fox in the hen-house."

* "It's true that reasons to cry out can seem less obvious today. The world appears too complex. But in this world, there are things we should not tolerate... I say to the young, look around you a little and you will find them. The worst of all attitudes is indifference..."

* "The productivist obsession of the West has plunged the world into a crisis which can only be resolved by a radical shift away from the 'ever more', in the world of finance but also in science and technology. It is high time that ethics, justice and a sustainable balance prevailed..."
read the original article comments here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Incredible Story of Vivian Maier

from PetaPixel

In 2007, 26-year-old real estate agent John Maloof purchased a box filled with 30,000 negatives from an estate sale for $400. After being stunned by the quality of the street photographs, Maloof began digging and discovered that they were created by a nanny and street photographer named Vivian Maier. He then decided to purchase the other boxes of negatives, bringing his collection of Maier photos up to about 100,000 images. Now some are saying he might have discovered one of the greatest (and previously unknown) street photographers of the 20th century. You can view some of Maier’s photographs here.

Next time you’re at an estate sale, you might want to take a closer look at any boxes of negatives you come across.
Thanks, Doug!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Old Telephone Books

Imagine a time when even phone books had interesting design to them, when it wasn't just about selling, but there was an aesthetic involved, that a designer or even a corporation actually tried contributing to culture with more than an Helvetica font (Not to take away from the incredible great cleanliness of helvetica and those designs built around it, but... ) These were cool even then.

I got this via Tara McGinley at DangerousMinds She says "It’s not like I’m some phone book enthusiast or anything, but these vintage designs over at Old Telephone Books are pretty great. The site touts being, “Possibly the world’s largest online collection of phone books.” I believe them. "

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Payback Is A Motherfucker

from our friend Xeni at BoingBoing

Bullfighter Pepe Manrique is tackled by a bull during a bullfighting festival at Canaveralejo bullring in Cali, Colombia, on December 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dumber & Dumber: Were Dragons and Unicorns on Noah's Ark?

from Richard Metzger at DangerousMinds


As if there is any doubt posed by the question “Are we slouching towards Idiocracy?” what else can a sane person conclude when confronted with headlines like “Conservatives Split Over Oppposition to Anti-Obesity Campaign” (WHO would be PRO-obesity aside from a politically astute moron like Sarah Palin? Surely the morbidly obese must make up a large percentage of her supporters) and “Kentucky Creationist Museum to Feature Dragons, Unicorns.”

Aside from a similar accident of birth on the North American land mass, I don’t perceive myself as having ANYTHING in common with someone who believes that dinosaurs and unicorns were on Noah’s fucking Ark (or Sarah Palin supporters for that matter)! Do you? Where is the commonality when IQs have become this stratified? And where is this mess headed when the stupidest people in the country are the only ones reliably voting? It’s really getting frustrating to read the news these days. I feel like there is a new low reached almost daily. The dumbness used to be a little more spread out.

Truly, it’s undeniable at this juncture that “the dumbs” are really starting to take over and if these shit-for-brains types are allowed to continue dominating the conversation, then all bets are off for the future of the American republic. I can’t help but to feel we’re about to reach a tipping point towards some serious bad craziness. If you can convince a man that dinosaurs and unicorns were on Noah’s Ark, you can convince this man of ANY darned thing (like millionaires and billionaires pay too much in taxes or that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president).

Reblogging this from Barefoot and Progressive:

I asked Answers in Genesis if there will be dinosaurs on their Ark. They said yes.

I’ve since asked if there will be fire-breathing dragons on their Ark.

My visit to the Creation Museum last week told me that the answer is a strong “probably so.” Digging through the AiG archives this morning, I now see that Ken Ham says the answer is an emphatic “yes”:

Being land animals, dinosaurs (or dragons of the land) were created on Day Six (Genesis 1:24–31), went aboard Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6:20), and then came off the Ark into the post-Flood world (Genesis 8:16–19). It makes sense that many cultures would have seen these creatures from time to time before they died out.

There will be dragons on their Ark. [What about Godzilla or Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster? Will non-American “dragons of the land” be considered for inclusion?—RM]

But here’s one more question for you: Will there be unicorns on the Ark?

According to Ken Ham and AiG, the answer is yes.

“Some people claim the Bible is a book of fairy tales because it mentions unicorns. However, the biblical unicorn was a real animal, not an imaginary creature.”

“Modern readers have trouble with the Bible’s unicorns because we forget that a single-horned feature is not uncommon on God’s menu for animal design. (Consider the rhinoceros and narwhal.) The Bible describes unicorns skipping like calves (Psalm 29:6), traveling like bullocks, and bleeding when they die (Isaiah 34:7). The presence of a very strong horn on this powerful, independent-minded creature is intended to make readers think of strength.”

“The absence of a unicorn in the modern world should not cause us to doubt its past existence. (Think of the dodo bird. It does not exist today, but we do not doubt that it existed in the past.). Eighteenth century reports from southern Africa described rock drawings and eyewitness accounts of fierce, single-horned, equine-like animals. One such report describes “a single horn, directly in front, about as long as one’s arm, and at the base about as thick . . . . [It] had a sharp point; it was not attached to the bone of the forehead, but fixed only in the skin.”

“To think of the biblical unicorn as a fantasy animal is to demean God’s Word, which is true in every detail.”

There will be unicorns on the Ark. So this is what we’re left with:

Thanks to [Governor] Steve Beshear, Kentucky is no longer just known as the state whose governor endorsed and gave $40 million in tax breaks to people who want to tell children that science and history explain that a 600 year old man herded dinosaurs onto a big boat 4,000 years ago.

No, Kentucky will now be known as the state whose governor endorsed and gave $40 million in tax breaks to people who want to tell children that science and history explain that a 600-year-old man herded dinosaurs, fire-breathing dragons and unicorns onto a big boat 4,000 years ago.

But Steve Beshear wasn’t elected to debate religion, he was elected to create jobs…
Ouch! I just want to pull the covers over my head when I read something like this, don’t you? Obviously, requesting a unicorn chaser would not really be appropriate here…



If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? (Discovery)

At least I let a week go by into the new year before i posted some of this depressing reality.
Here's another from Richard to get you even more upset.