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6 August, 2003

Prokudin-Gorskii Photos

The photographer to the Tsar: Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

In the early 1900s Prokudin-Gorskii formulated an ambitious plan for a photographic survey of the Russian Empire that won the support of Tsar Nicholas II. Between 1909-1912, and again in 1915, he completed surveys of eleven regions, traveling in a specially equipped railroad car provided by the Ministry of Transportation.

You may be surprised to see that these photos are in color. Yes, they've been "colorized" -- but they remain true to the photographer's original intentions.

We know that Prokudin-Gorskii intended his photographic images to be viewed in color because he developed an ingenious photographic technique in order for these images to be captured in black and white on glass plate negatives, using red, green and blue filters. He then presented these images in color in slide lectures using a light-projection system [right] involving the same three filters

(Thanks Ben Turner)

Posted on 6 August, 2003

The Aphex Face

A face hidden in music? Check out the Aphex Face.

Some time ago, in the summer of 2001 if I recall correctly, I ran into an intriguing page...

The page was all about this hidden "demon face" in one of Aphex Twin's tracks, #2 on "Windowlicker". This face was supposed to be viewable with a spectrograph program (basically a program that visualizes the sound spectrum), so I decided to try it myself.

(via Iconomy)

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Matador Records

From the Denver Post: Indie label hits mark.

Record labels these days are the stuff of great melodrama in the decline-of-Rome battles between petulant artists and the fading major brand names that print their work onto CDs. But music lovers these days know more about who built the blank CDs stacked in their ripping rooms than the name of the record company that puts out Queens of the Stone Age or Ashanti.

Into that brand void comes mounting praise for a large independent label out of New York called Matador Records...

An indie label is a record company that is not affiliated with the RIAA -- and that's a good thing. Emusic has music by quite a few Matador artists.

(via Scrubbles)

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Future California Governor?

Schwarzenegger Pranks:

To think, all of this started because one day, something showed up in our mailbox, tantalizingly labeled "Schwarzenegger Pranks." And, sure enough, they featured the voice of the Austrian muscleman berating Hooters waitresses, hotel receptionists and other innocent civilians. Now, because you demanded more and other celebrities, we're offering some of the best celebrity prank calls on the net. The resulting calls are hilarious and surreal, and we're proud to share them.

It's all a gag, of course. Actual phone calls combined with audio clips from Schwarzenegger movies.

(Thanks Jody Cairns)

Posted on 6 August, 2003

More On Ticketmaster and Privacy

A few weeks ago I linked to an article by Ed Foster about Ticketmaster's privacy statement. Now, Business Week has taken notice: Ticketmaster privacy policy slammed.

People buying tickets online through Ticketmaster may be surprised to find themselves receiving spam as an encore.

"I have only bought a single ticket from Ticketmaster, many years ago," wrote one customer on an online discussion board devoted to the privacy policy. "Since that purchase, I have received tons of 'targeted' e-mail personalized with my full name, the city, etc...For now, I do everything I can to avoid ticket purchases from Ticketmaster (and have been successful)."

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Photo Caption Contest

The folks at A-1 AAA AmeriCaptions have a simple mission:

We will be the premier leader in the production and distribution of quality comedic caption product, at a lower cost and quicker turnaround than any of our competitors.

Here's an example, along with just a few of the captions that were provided for it.

United Airlines presents Simon Barnes, their sole passenger in 2004, with his confirmation number.

Two reasons the live-action Simpsons bombed: Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders.

Never has a Starbucks drink card been redeemed with such poignancy.

After forty years of dedicated service, Mr. McFeely receives a complimentary piece of mail.

Lesser Moments In History: The Lenny/Squiggy Nonagression Pact.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Stealing The Internet

Jeff Chester asks, Ever stop to wonder what is really happening to the Internet these days?

From Congress to Silicon Valley, the nation's largest communication and entertainment conglomerates -- and software firms that want their business -- are seeking to restructure the Internet, to charge people for high-speed uses that are now free and to monitor content in an unprecedented manner. This is not just to see if users are swapping copyrighted CDs or DVDs, but to create digital dossiers for their own marketing purposes.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Words That Sound Dirty

A list of words that sound dirty, but aren't. Each word is annotated, and many have accompanying images.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Some Emusic Picks

If you're a regular reader, you know that I'm a fan of Emusic. It's the only online music site that's does it right. For a flat monthly fee, you can download as many songs as you like, and you can download complete albums with a single click. And unlike the others, these are real MP3 files -- no DRM and no restrictions whatsoever.

It's been a few months since I listed some of my favorites, so here goes. Following are a few recent downloads that I particularly enjoy.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

And Now, Some Poetry

This blog has been seriously lacking in poetry. That's about to change. Check out Nerve Cowboy.

Nerve Cowboy is a biannual journal of poems and short fiction sensitive enough to make the hardest hard-ass cry, funny enough to make the most hopeless brooder laugh, and disturbing enough to make us all glad we're not the author of the piece.

This is actually a paper publication, but quite a few sample poems are available online. Even if you're not really a poetry fan, you might enjoy these. Here's "Reply To My Ex," by Kell Robertson:

Crack of dawn
and I'm up in
the blood of christ
mountains, burning
my lip on a tin cup
full of boiled
coffee...Grounds
in my teeth.
Your letter made me cry
so I built this fire
with it. The one warm
thing you ever did
for me rises
with the smoke
and vanishes
into this false dawn.

Next time you write
send me some matches.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Rock Music Copyright Battles

Rolling Stone lists Rock's Ten Most Famous Copyright Battles. The number-one spot belongs to the Chiffons vs. George Harrison, also known as  "He's So Fine" vs. "My Sweet Lord."

The judge rules that even though Harrison did not consciously steal the melody and song structure, he subconsciously did so. Harrison is forced to consciously pay Bright Tunes $1.5 million. As for the Chiffons, they later record a cover of "My Sweet Lord."

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Cow Parade

Sculpted cow art from CowParade -- which bills itself as the world's largest public art event.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Dumping The Land Line

From Wired: Millions Going Solo With Cells.

The curly-corded phone by Brandon Fogel's bed was starting to seem like a relic. A graduate student living in Chicago, Fogel used his cell phone for most calls. And when he replaced his dial-up Internet connection with a cable line, he realized his regular phone wasn't central to his life. So Fogel joined as many as 7.5 million Americans who have "cut the cord" and gone solo with their cells.

And you can count me among those 7.5 million. But I did it to avoid the telemarketers. So far, it's working.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Julia Louis-Dreyfus At Home

According to this article, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who played Elaine on "Seinfeld") lives in an "eco-friendly hideaway."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and husband Brad Hall were devout environmentalists. Now they are key players in Hollywood's green vanguard. Over the past decade she has been actively involved with nearly a dozen environmental organizations...

She and her husband hired an architect to transform their oceanfront bungalow into a "showcase of green design and state-of-the-art energy efficiency mechanisms."

(Thanks Esther Golton)

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Why She Infringes

Annalee Newitz writes: Why I Infringe.

I like to violate copyright everyday. Usually it's in some small way. I'll copy an Oingo Boingo CD for a friend, photocopy an interesting essay from an anthology, or maybe download an episode of Six Feet Under from a file-sharing network. Sometimes I go bigger, like when I bought a bunch of cracked software from a guy who was literally standing in a shady doorway, or when I bought a pirated DVD on the street in New York City (yes, it looked like shit when I played it).

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Three Stooges Bobble Heads

Yesterday I encountered some Three Stooges Bobble Head dolls. Details of the heads are shown below.

Moe and Larry are acceptable, but what's the deal with Curly? The face looks nothing like him. Not even close. So I kept looking, and found a much better rendition. But both sets have a flaw: Curly is not fat!

When will the world finally get a quality set of Three Stooges Bobble Heads?

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Serial Killer?

Take the killer quiz. View a series of photos, and decide if the photo depicts a serial killer or a programming language inventor.

I got 7 out of 10 correct.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

Ghost Sites

A collection of screen shots from now defunct Web sites.

This exhibit is an image gallery preserving the home pages of sites that expired in the last few years. Please scroll down to view any of the 1,221 screens captured from approximately 900 defunct Web projects that became Ghost Sites between 1998 and 2003.

It's like taking a stroll down memory lane.

(via Poor Clio)

Posted on 6 August, 2003

The KKK For Kids

The Ku Klux Klan is recruiting children -- the KKK Youth Corp. The site provides answers to questions these potential members might have. For example, what about race mixing?

If you are on this website because you are doing a report for school, your teacher may have said some some things that are untrue. Your teacher is probably a very nice person and he or she no doubt cares a great deal about you or they would not be trying to teach you - but that doesn't mean they aren't wrong sometimes. And almost every teacher of the past would disagree with them on the subject of race mixing. They would be against it.

One thing a teacher (but not all teachers - some teachers might be with The Knights) may tell you is that the reason we do not believe in race mixing is because we hate other people who are not like us. This is not true.

Posted on 6 August, 2003

The California Recall Election

You've probably heard that both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gary Coleman have announced their candidacy for Governor of California. Both, of course, are highly-qualified. Either one would make an excellent leader for the state.

But frankly, I think we need more choices. I wonder what it would take to get Carrot Top to run? Now there's a candidate that I could relate to.

Posted on 6 August, 2003