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2 August, 2004

Clubbo Records

Indie music from Clubbo Records.

For more than 40 years Clubbo Records has epitomized the maverick spirit of the old-school independent record labels.

In today's era of test-marketed, formula-bound pop culture, it's easy to forget there was a time when the soundtrack of daily life was composed not by multinational media conglomerates, but by low-budget visionaries like Clubbo co-founders Chet Clubb and Morris "Bo" Bogerman.

The only problem? It's not for real. According to The Museum of Hoaxes...

Clubbo.com is definitely one of the most elaborate, in-depth hoax websites that I've ever come across. The attention to detail is astounding...

Clubbo.com purports to be the homepage of an indie record label that's been representing bizarre, one-hit (or in many cases, no-hit) wonders for decades. The fun thing is that they actually provide mp3 samples of all the artists, as well as tons of background material, so you can literally spend hours going through the site

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Afri-Can Guitars

I've mentioned the Afri-Can guitar before (see previous entry). It's a guitar made in South Africa, and constructed from an old oil can. The tone and volume controls are bottlecaps.

I've been doing a bit of research, and I think I'm going to buy one. I've always assumed that they'd be poorly made and sound terrible. Apparently, that's not the case at all.

These guitars play and feel great, but the outstanding feature is the tone. They have a raw sound like no other as well as an extra ordinarily long clean sustain without having to overdrive the amp. (Listen to Red House in the listening room) They are also very light and use only 20% of the wood of a regular electric guitar, which we feel is "earth friendly". Most of the cans have some dings as they are recycled, and we feel that this only adds to the authenticity of the Afri-Can experience.

Listen to some sound clips here.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

WWR House Concert

Saturday night we listened to the first-ever Whole Wheat Radio House Concert, featuring Jack Williams. The general consensus is that it was a roaring success. I bought a Jack Williams CD (with a special autograph), and I'll probably buy some more. He's an incredible guitarist and has a great voice.

Apparently, Jack had a good time too. Here's part of what he wrote on a music forum.

Last night I played a house concert in Talkeetna, Alaska for the good people at Whole Wheat Radio. I discovered a community of people who regularly tune in and who are devoted to these two folks and their delightful, 24-hour, extremely loose internet station which is broadcast from a couple of rustic cabins in the woods near town, with no running water and, for the time being, no windows or doors!

The concert was webcast and we heard from new listeners and old friends from around the world during and after the concert, many of whom ordered CDs and offered donations to this wonderfully wacky station. Afterwards, in the lingering twilight beyond 1 am, there was a joyously raucous song circle outdoors which was also broadcast in real-time.

Thanks to Jim, Esther and Jack. It was a great time, and I'm looking forward to many more.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Oilcan Echo

Back in the old days, musicians went through a lot of trouble to get a echo delay effect. For example, the Tel-Ray Oilcan Echo.

TEL-RAY is a long-forgotten California electronics company that made "tape-less echo effects" in the 60's, before analog delay pedals existed.

Instead of tape, "Adineko Memory System" used what looks like a tuna can filled with electrolytic oil. A tiny motor pulls a miniature rubber belt, spinning a flywheel armed with a pickup inside the can, acting like a recording head, sloshing it around in the oil to produce echo.

While some Adineko effects were designed to create delay and reverb, others produced a strange pitch-shifting effect, an uneven and somewhat schizophrenic warbling sound.

More information at: The Technology of Oil Can Delays.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Found Photos

Found Photos: A huge collection of (often) weird and (usually) unusual photos.

these photos were found by doing a search using p2p file sharing programs. people share their own personal digital photos in their shared folders, i'm thinking they put them there for friends or family to download or just select their whole my documents folder as shared.

(via firq krumpl j-w.a.l.k.e.r.s)

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Spammers In The News

Two spam-related news items:

  • From The Register: Anti-spam spamvertisers agree to quit.

    A Californian company last week promised to stop promoting its ad-blocking software using Internet pop-up ads. San Diego-based D Squared Solutions reportedly used the Messenger function built into Windows to spamvertise its "anti-spam" services. Its cynical marketing tactics caught the attention of regulators the Federal Trade Commission, which instigated a civil case against the two person start-up last year.
  • 22-year-old thrives in world of spam.

    For a young man who has repeatedly reached into the personal e-mail boxes of uncountable numbers of Americans, Ryan Pitylak is awfully bashful. His name never appears as the sender in any of these e-mails, and he has taken great pains to set up hundreds of shell companies, with anodyne names such as Federated Continuum, Northern Alternative and Visionary Advanced, that conceal his true identity.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Everyman Photo Contest

A contest for every man (or woman, I presume): The Everyman Photo Contest.

While I can appreciate the honed prowess of a skilled photographer I also enjoy the work of amateur photogs. A great problem though is that adequate forums do not exist to showcase and reward the efforts of these less involved owners of cameras. Professional photographers sometimes take bad pictures and occasional photographers sometimes take great pictures. The Everyman contest offers a space to showcase the works of the latter category.

Shown here is the 2003 winner in the "Most Discussed" category. Apparently, Curtis knows this guy. Or maybe Curtis is this guy.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Iraq Photos

From the Happy Robot: Hello from Iraq!

One of our former contributors here at happyrobot went off to serve in Iraq at the beginning of 2004 and has finally got settled enough (or as much as you can 'settle') to start sending me photos of what he's doing.

These aren't gruesome combat photos. Just snapshots from a typical soldier.

Posted on 2 August, 2004


Pokia: The retro phone of the future.

(Thanks Shallow)

Posted on 2 August, 2004

The PayPal Settlement

Are you eligible for some free money from the PayPal class action law suit? Check out the PapPal Litigation Settlement Website.

You are a Class Member if you opened a PayPal account at any time between October 1, 1999 and January 31, 2004.

I think I qualify for that, and I'll gladly accept $50 from PayPal.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Guitar Face Contest

Attention guitarists... Send a photo and enter Mag Rack's Guitar Face Contest.

The most original, most outrageous image selected wins a Les Paul "Black Beauty" electric guitar and hard case from Epiphone.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Five Years Of Junk Mail

Happy birthday to one of my favorite blogs: Pop Culture Junk Mail.

August 2, 2004 marks FIVE years of Pop Culture Junk Mail! What a long, strange trip it's been.

Congratulations, Gael.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

How To Buy A TV

From Dennis Haarsager's blog: How to buy a TV.

TV buying is much more complicated than it used to be.

In the past 50 years, there haven't been many features to pick from, and once optional things like UHF tuners, remote controls, color, stereo and cable channel tuning have all become standard. The main constant over the years was a choice of picture size.

Now, there are SIX different decisions to make and the choices within decisions keep changing. This confounds even the experts. So don't feel alone in your quest!

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Sounding Art

Jane Mackay's Sounding Art.

Sounding Art is the name I chose four years ago for my new venture and adventure. It describes both the type of art I specialise in - that of recording the images I see in my mind's eye when hearing musical sounds - but the name also suggests the element of 'taking soundings' in relatively unexplored artistic territory.

The painting shown here was inspired by the first four bars of Rachmaninov's Vespers No 9.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 2 August, 2004


Watch this amusing video from Zefrank: Request.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Anti-Spyware Tools

Here's a list of anti-spyware software that you might want to avoid: Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Web Sites.

Some of the products listed on this page simply do not provide proven, reliable anti-spyware protection. Others may use unfair, deceptive, high pressure sales tactics and false positives to scare up sales from gullible, confused users. A very few of these products are either associated with known distributors of spyware/adware or have been known to install spyware/adware themselves.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Memory Card Torture Tests

From BBC News: Digital memories survive extremes.

Five memory cards for digital cameras were subjected to a range of tests. The formats were CompactFlash, Secure Digital, xD, Memory Stick and Smartmedia.

We knew modern memory cards were durable, but had no idea they would be quite so tough Even some of the thinner cards that appear to be fragile fared well in the trial.

They were dipped into cola, put through a washing machine, dunked in coffee, trampled by a skateboard, run over by a child's toy car and given to a six-year-old boy to destroy.

Perhaps surprisingly, all the cards survived these six tests.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Big Wine Bottle

The world's largest wine bottle.

With the capacity to hold over 1200 glasses of wine, this masterpiece of glassmaking art was certified by Guinness World Records on July 28 at a ceremony at Beringer Vineyards, where the bottle was carefully filled with 130 liters of Beringer Vineyards 2001 Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Seeing Dick Cheney

It seems that Dick Cheney was in Tucson over the weekend. We were driving down Oracle, and saw what appeared to be a small political rally. We had no idea what it was.

Later, I learned that Cheney is on a campaign tour in some of the western states. I found this interesting article in a Wyoming newspaper: Some Democrats seeking Cheney tickets had to sign oath.

Some Democrats who signed up to hear Vice President Dick Cheney speak here Saturday were refused tickets unless they signed a pledge to endorse President Bush.

The measure was a security step designed to avoid a disruption, which Bush campaign spokesman Dan Foley alleged Democrats were planning. Democratic Party officials denied it.

Two men who had sought tickets reported they were required to give name, address, phone number, e-mail address and driver's license number, then were presented the pledge of endorsement when they arrived to pick up the tickets Thursday.

So there you have it. Free speech is now limited to specific zones, and citizens must sign a loyalty oath in order to hear the VP talk.

Update: From the Arizona Daily Star: Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer.

President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

The journalist is Mamta Popat.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Stupid Motorist Law

Apparently, Arizona has a Stupid Motorist Law.

Now that monsoon season is here, driving around town can be a daily test of intelligence. Tuesday morning two drivers got themselves stuck in washes still flooded from the previous night's rains; but only one is likely to face Arizona's Stupid Motorist Law.

But, it seems that the law is not enforced very often -- at least in Pima Country.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Guitar Tunings

An old article from Guitar Player: Courting Chaos: Inventing Your Own Guitar Tunings.

What comes first: The tuning or the tune?

Both situations have their pleasures. Some players insist that belly-flopping into an unfamiliar tuning is the best way to unlock compositional creativity. On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for the ability to meet a specific musical task with a new, sculpted-on-demand tuning.

(via Volume 22)

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Pope Michael

I've got to start keeping up with the news.

I had no idea that Pope Michael was elected pope back in 1990.

On July 16, 1990 the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church elected David Bawden as Pope Michael, ending an almost 32 year long interegnum.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Another Car In A Pool

It's becoming quite common to see photos of a car ending up in a swimming pool. Here's another one, en entire series of photos, including an animation.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

War Coverage

From Humor is Dead: $20 Billion Bid From FOX Secures Exclusive Rights To 2005-2008 War Coverage.

FOX News has won the bid with the US Government to be the exclusive provider of all "liberations" to be bestowed upon the world for the 2005-2008 season, assuming easily manipulated voting systems go unchecked as planned. Or, Plan B, in which the election is outright canceled.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Dream Anatomy

The Dream Anatomy Gallery.

The invention of the printing press in the 15th century-and the cascade of print technologies that followed-helped to inspire a new spectacular science of anatomy, and new spectacular visions of the body. Anatomical imagery proliferated, detailed and informative but also whimsical, surreal, beautiful, and grotesque - a dream anatomy that reveals as much about the outer world as it does the inner self.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Ashtar's Trinity

Prepare for the ascension at Ashtar's Trinity.

The Purpose and Mission of Ashtar's Trinity, as was explained to us by Sananda, is to unite two 'camps'� those on the ascension path with those connected to the Space Brotherhood. They are related and cannot be separated anymore than 'Heaven' can be separated from 'the Heavenly Hosts'. They are not only one and the same, but neither would exist without the other. The Space Brotherhood, under the direction of the Ashtar Command, ARE, by and large, the 'Heavenly Hosts' referred to in all sacred scripture. Our job, therefore, is to show the correlation and Oneness of these two Realities.

Posted on 2 August, 2004

Self-Referential Text

An excerpt from Metamagical Themas, by Douglas Hofstadter. It starts out like this:

This is the first sentence of this story. This is the second sentence. This is the title of this story, which is also found several times in the story itself. This sentence is questioning the intrinsic value of the first two sentences. This sentence is to inform you, in case you haven't already realized it, that this is a self-referential story, that is, a story containing sentences that refer to their own structure and function. This is a sentence that provides an ending to the first paragraph

Posted on 2 August, 2004

New Age Shopping

Welcome to The Eye Of Newt: America's metaphysical warehouse.

I couldn't find any actual newt eyes for sale, but I did find a Money Draw Ritual Bath Kit.

Don't just watch the money move beyond your reach. Take charge of universal forces and push the wealth into you direction and the direction of your loved ones. Kit contains everything needed to perform your bath ritual: herbs, oils, stones, crystals, and easy to follow spell instructions.

Apparently, this stuff is so effective that that limit you to one kit per order. I guess they don't want one person getting too wealthy.

Posted on 2 August, 2004