Monday, December 18, 2006

Cool New Weapon with Cool Old Weapon

On CSI: Miami I learned of this cool new weapon, the Corner Shot. It is an Israeli weapon designed for urban warfare. The Isrealis have to deal with not just the organized armies of enemy states but also random gangs of murders. The image above comes from a clip of the product use in training.
On the page for Corner Shot there is details about Corner Shot adaptation for an infantry anti-tank weapon. The anti-tank weapon is the Corner Shot Panzerfaust. Yes, that Panzerfaust. It is German-Israeli weapon. WWII is over.

Insect Tales

From Cartoonbrew there is a report of some amusing new insest animations. In these shorts the characters are animated while been set in a real meadow. Follow this link to Cartoonbrew and the 3 completed shorts.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

In the spirit of Kent Brockman abject acceptance of "our new insect overlords" comes this cautionary tale.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Venture Communists

In the future we will all become like China, as their living standards rise ours will drop. Not as consequence of mercantilism but as human powered manufacturing drives out machanized manufacturing, see Manufactured Landscapes. In Boingboing there was excepts of a report of venture capitalist who just toured China. He was in China to scope out custom manufacturing, in his case hand assembly that is cheaper the machine assembly.I used to joke about Dot Communists during the dot com boom. It is no longer a joke when venture capitalists ally with communists with the same goal of cheap manufacting, cheap life. When a post called Venture Communist is writen the joke becomes a sick one.

Once I came a magazine piece that consisted of predictions by famous writers. Paul Theroux's vision was the bleakest in seeing the future in the worst of China. Here is, if the exact quote, Paul Theroux's dire futurism, (thanks Ambivalence.)
from Down The Yangtze in Fresh Air Fiend]

In a hundred years or so, under a cold uncolonized moon, what we call the civilized world will all look like China, muddy and senile and oldfangled: no trees, no birds, and shortages of fuel and metal and meat, but plenty of pushcarts, cobblestones, ditch diggers, and wooden inventions. Nine hundred million farmers splashing through puddles and the rest of the population growing weak and blind working the crashing looms in black factories.

Forget rocket ships, supertechnology, moving sidewalks, and all the rubbishy hope in science fiction. No one will ever go to Mars and live. A religion has evolved from the belief that we have a future in outer space, but it is a half-baked religion, a little like Moromonism or the cargo cult. Our future is the mildly poisoned earth and its smoky air. We are in for hunger and hard work, the highest stage of poverty -- no starvation, but crudeness everywhere, political art, simple language, bad books, brutal laws, plain vegetables, and clothes of one color. It will be damp and dull, monochrome and crowded -- how could it be different? There will be no star wars or galactic empires and no more money to waste on the loony nationalism in space programs. Our grandchildren will probably live in a version of China. On the brown banks of the Yangtse the future has already arrived.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Dalek Chorus for the Season

Listen to heart warming sound of a chorus of Daleks yelling EXTREMINATE. Listen to other happy sounds from Dr. Who here.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rudolph the Paranoid Reindeer

An album of Christmas song mashups, Santastic II has been released online. My favorite cut has mixed Paranoid by Black Sabbath with Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. The resulting Rudolph the Paranoid Reindeer feels more like a stampede of reindeer rather than the gentle canter of the original Xmas song.

The Xmas song, not Christmas carol, occupies a place in our culture that is at once well loved and hated. There are true postive feelings about the "holidays" that a commercial Xmas song evokes. At the same time the Xmas song with it little or no connection to any particular religion or faith is (over)used as aural wallpaper between Halloween and New Years. Thus through annoyance earning out hatred.

Back Seats Are Evil

(thanks AdFreak)

Where Advertisers get their Bad Taste

(thanks Adfreak)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Premier Isaac Asimov

On there is discussion of Isaac Asimov, or Исаак Озимов, who stays in the Soviet Union as a child eventually raising to be Premier of the Soviet Union. HA HA.

Scary Scopes

Photo: David Guttenfelder/AP

A Canadian soldier looks through the scope of his rifle as he guards a road construction project near the Mas'um Ghar base in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

I remember seeing a documentry about Canadian troops in the Balkans. The soldiers were not routinely issued with binoculars. They would use their scopes on their rifles as monoculars. This would freak people out who would see guns pointing at them. Afghanistan is a more dangerous mission then the peace keeping / peace enforcement in the Balkans. But I wonder if scopes are ever issued that are not attached to rifles.

Database of Slavery Images

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas is a database of images that has been collected and put online by a two University of Virginia profs. The database has a lot disturbing and upseting images. The drawing above is of Arab slavers and their prey. We forget, with our underatandable guilt and shame clouding our memory, that the Arab slave trade in West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasuses was started before the Atlantic slave trade and continued long afterward. Saudi Arabia agreed to abolish slavery, officially, only after much pressure by President Kennedy.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Total Perspective Vortex

There are times in our life when we feeel we matter, we are important to the our universe of personal experience. Then there are times when realize how meaniless we are to the cosmos. Here is a video of the HubbleDeep Field, thanks RG. Douglas Adams realized how unnerving the immsensity of the universe is so he wrote about the Total Perspective Vortex. It is a device that will drive you mad with the meaniless of you own existence.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quote about Bob Rae

He has a lethargic fluency that can be appealing.
- Quote about Bob Rae

Phrase of the Day: Lathargic Fluency

Political Humor

At On Point there is a discussion of political humor in the US today. Many outtakes and excepts of what could be considered humor in bad taste. Later one caller gives a reason for this increase in political themed humor and why in the States it is mainly from the left.
Humor is anger, drama is fear.