Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20070430

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20070430

A quick one this week as I find myself a tad strapped for time.

We will get the Flash Game people out of the way first. We have had one of these a while back but they are so simple and yet so insanely addicting.
The missiles take way to long to reload

This is just mad, Coca-Cola is teaming up with L’Oreal to make a skin cream. It’s only fair I suppose seeing as how drinking the stuff gives you pimples. now they will fix them. this really is mad.

Raku Ray Guns are one-of-a-kind ceramic sculptures made by West Magoon. They are inspired by alien technology unearthed at a secret UFO crash site, known only to a tribe of Wyoming Hill People. These photos depict all of the individual Ray Guns currently available. Each is named after a classic science fiction author. The moon crater wall plaques that support the guns each measure 12″ wide by 9″ high. Yes yes . we all want one (or two or three)

Kalene (of assorted “Blame” fame) left a cooment in last weeks blog.

“Can anyone recall seeing “Spinal Tap” performed entirely by Peeps?

I am sure that I saw it last year and when looking for it this year all I found was Peeps “Lord of the Rings.” Excellent, but not what was required.

If anyone has seen it, (or references to it to prove I am not entirely mad,) please leave a comment.

I am confident that if anyone can find it, someone from the MMItP community can.
We’re a community? That’s a scary thought but if any one can help leave a message in the comments at Thatchspace or email me and I will make sure it gets to the right place

And lastly some of the highlights from over at this week. All sorts of goodies this week. Jools did a quick review of some unsigned Australian bands. I rediscovered Will Ackerman. Rather an odd week. Have a listen.


{Currently listening to Will Ackerman & Artic Monkeys}
{Currently reading: }
{Quick Status Check: Still going to hell}
{Crop Circle Status: April: We now have 2
(Going well isn’t it}


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20070423

Good Morning Gentle Reader,

I have started to assemble “Impediments” a bit early this week. Its Friday night/Saturday morning and I am in a waiting room… well… waiting. Have you ever noticed that the pile of ancient reading material is in inverse proportion to the amount of time you are going to be sitting there. This one had none. remember folks a bored thatch is a dangerous thing.

Lets begin with “Blame” first up Crop Circles are back (insert hysterical Kermit like arm waving here). Friend Terri spotted the opening of the 2007 Cereal Art Events. er sorry the first vist of the year.
“Hi Thatch and Jools,
I’m very excited – the first crop circle of the year has appeared :o)
It’s very pretty:
Have fun and I hope to catch up with you soon”
Terri is right it really is pretty, and you can see where it on Google Maps here if you are interested.

More “Blame”. this time from Kalene, and I quote.

It is too bad that you are not a Diet Coke drinker.

kalene ”

Bloody typical, I get forced to give up my caffeine and sugar fuelled lifestyle and the buggers go and make it good for you. Some days you just can’t win.

When Jools and I lived in Moonee Ponds we were down the bottom of a valley and consequently missed out on the occasional hot air ballon sailing by. We got quite used to seeing these when we were living in South Melbourne and in once again in our new abode we are treated to the site of them sailing past. BUT we have never ever seen anything as cool as this.

and if you think about it the sound the heaters make would go close to creating the right sound effects.

Flash Game time. as the Excel games didn’t go down to well last week, this week we are back on familiar turf. Blueprint is this weeks festival of frustration. The deal is you need to get your ball to the target. How? You move around the pieces to create a path for the ball to go in. lots of variations to choose from and the easier ones aren’t that easy. You got pipes, triangles, treadmills, half-pipes, and a thingies that propel your ball in a straight line. This should keep you going until Tuesday

This truly breathtaking, “The Inner Life of the Cell” is from the Biovisions at Harvard initiative is absolutely incredible, I have no idea what half of this stuff is meant to represent but I could watch this for ages.

And I cant resist this one.
France’s space agency puts its secret UFO archive on the Web.

PARIS: The saucer-shaped object is said to have touched down in the south of France and then zoomed off. It left behind scorch marks and that haunting age-old question: Are we alone in this big universe of ours?

This is just one of the cases from France’s secret “X-Files” – some 100,000 documents on supposed UFOs and sightings of other unexplained phenomena that the French space agency is publishing on the Internet.

France is the first country to put its entire weird sightings archive online, said Jacques Patenet, who heads the space agency’s UFO cell – the Group for Study and Information on Nonidentified Aerospace Phenomena.

You can read the rest at

And lastly some of the highlights from over at this week. A rather interesting collection this week, from Vanden (a five piece full on rock band) to neo folk “THEIF”
Once again another good week. Have a listen.


{Currently listening to Gamerna & }
{Currently reading: 3 day old newspapers. }
{Quick Status Check: waiting rooms? Hell? … a no brainer really }
{Crop Circle Status: See above}


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20070416

This week I have decided to see whether or not the infamous “obscurity filter” is set too high or too low. That’s right instead of self indulgent twaddle, we are going for obscure self indulgent twaddle. So if you found this weeks a bit too far out there (god only knows what you are going to use as a baseline) put a comment on the website and let me know.

The next time you are in Washington DC, grab a pair of binoculars and head to the Washington National Cathedral, go to the northwest tower and look up (use the force. sorry the binoculars) and there you will find Darth Vader as a gargoyle. If you can’t use the Force then just follow the instructions on the PDF below. One of our friends from England confirmed this.

Click to access darth.pdf

and over at Make there’s CrabFu’s steampunk R2D2, if they made this for Christmas they would make a fortune, we all want one. Just so damn cute.
and the steampunk beetle is pretty cool as well

I had never seen this before, Superthunderstingcar is Peter and Dud’s “Not Only. But Also” parody of Thunderbirds, Supercar, Sting Ray, and all the rest of The Anderson’s “supermarionation” TV shows , it’s from the sixties and it’s just wonderful, now I know where the the D-Generation got it’s idea from (if you are going to imitate, use the best). I still have no idea how I missed this.

Top 10 lists are always fun (NOT), no don’t panic I’m not going to do one but I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend awhile back on the top 10 albums that had influenced me back when I was discovering music. Apart from all the regular suspects (Clapton, Hendrix, Fairport Convention, Canned Heat) I would have to put in “Switched On Bach”. Talk about “WOW” moments. There was no going back after hearing that one. So finding a recent interview with Wendy Carlos is pretty cool. the first 30 seconds should be written up a manifesto for “Twitch” I know it works for me. She has some amazing takes on how this all works and a pretty definite points view and she still keeps pushing the envelope.

Continuing with the “Abuse to Defenseless Vegetables” theme from last week, the video at Dark Sector shows how to use vegetables to make sounds of bodies being crushed, ripped open and torn asunder. George Spanos and Daniel Creena do sound design for games and show a selection of techniques for getting some appalling effects. NOT worksafe by any stretch of the imagination and probably more than a toe over the bad taste line. but weirdly interesting. Oh yeah, turn up the volume, the celery is priceless.

This one was just written for us “Non-productive use of essential software!”, sounds like our brief doesn’t it? Enter stage left (with fanfare). Excel Games — the site for games that you play inside a program the network nazi’s will never ever uninstall. Bejewelled in Excel, bugger, there goes Monday

SO you read William Gibson’s Neuromancer (what you didn’t??? Go to your nearest bookstore and buy a copy. Right Now, I’ll wait.. OK finished it? Lets continue) and were totally captivated by his cyberpunk vision of the future (some of us were). Well check out Christopher Conte’s portfolio and you can see some of the book bought to life like “Mid-Sagital Skull Bisection,” which sports gears and cogs, a la the Tessier-Ashpool terminal at the end of the book (you did read it all the way to the end?). Thanks to BoingBoing for the heads up.

And lastly some of the highlights from over at this week. A bit of an odd one this week, Alice Russell, the amazing Clothesline revival (you have to check these guys out), Ground Components and Carbon Based Lifeform. All in all another good week. Have a listen.


{Currently listening to John Coltrane & Loreena McKennit Live at Alahambra (just released. yummy) }
{Currently reading: Gravity’s Arc by David Darling}
{Quick Status Check: Giving up a caffeine and sugar fueled life style. this is hell}
{Crop Circle Status: Roll on May 2007… It’s April already, not long to go now}


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20070409

Just a quick one for Easter Monday. No chocolate, just a few bits of silliness.

But it is Easter so we gotta have eggs. So have a look at this guys work. it impressed me. (You can take this one up with Jools)

It wouldn’t be a Monday without a game and seeing as how after all that chocolate your reflexes are going to wired to the hilt of the sugar hit , today’s Flash game is that fantastic cell phone hit from years and years called Snake. But (and you knew there would be one), this version is in 3-D. The game play is roughly the same, you have to get the apple and not hi the wall or yourself, the more apples you eat the longer your body becomes and I am sure you can see where this is going. It was a doddle on the phone compared with this .

Blame time. and today’s contribution is from Chris O.
“Hi Thatch,

Well for any teaching subscribers… apologies if you and/or Jools have seen these very valuable, educational and environmentally aware sites.

I am especially concerned by the effects of the challenge to California’s Velcro Crop since the “Trade Agreement” probably means a cascading threat to our own plantations in Oz.

May you have the time to peruse and educate yourself

* Australian Drop Bears –
* The Pacific North West Tree Octopus –
* California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge –
* Velcro and George de Mestral –

Thanks for the educational contribution, it’s nice to see what sessional teachers do with their research time.

This is just bit of silliness I knocked up, head over to and have a look at the video. Let me know what you think. It was a hoot to do.

And lastly some of the highlights from over at this week.
Another interesting collection of stuff. Jools found Sulfer Children & Dirty Pink Jeans. I was taken with Baby Blonde and The Downs and es pecially blacklab… crunchy guitars, yummy. All in all another good week. Have a listen.


{Currently listening to The National Folk Festival feed & David Knopfler }
{Currently reading: Head First Ajax}
{Quick Status Check: Heads. I got hell, Tails I don’t. do we really need to look? Naah. Hell it is}
{Crop Circle Status: Roll on May 2007… It’s April already, not long to go now}


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20070402


Can you believe it, another week gone already? (Are we having fun yet?). This week I think we will mug the “arts”, I always like that, a bit of thought provoking fun for a Monday, get the brain working so by the time we hit the obligatory Flash game you ill all be fired up and ready to rock.
So let the games begin.

Still working off the smell of petrol have a look at the work of Italian artist Luca Pancrazzi, it’s a Maserati Quattroporte (think bucket loads of money) and then cover it with (no not chocolate) but half a ton of shattered glass. The piece currently sits outside the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (I am amused that the blinkers still work) and

Ok from expensive cars to stuff you have lying around the house (I love the sheep. about two thirds of the way down the page).

Now this one I would love to experience, “Sustainable: a dynamic robotic sound installation by David Birchfield, David Lorig, Kelly Phillips “. So the installation is comprised of a network of robot water gongs that are linked together by water tubes that allow each tank to receive water from one upstream neighbor, and to pump water into one downstream neighbor. The network is a closed system that distributes water between the members. I really like this one.

Andrew Smith is an artist is found at Make magazine. There is a wonderful sense of whimsy lurking in nearly all these pieces. Tornando 2 would be my pick if I had to choose just one.
Have a look at the Make page first
And then head over to his site (it’s one of the Flash driven thingies) and there is video and stuff.

Diversion. this is from Boing Boing. Hilarious: ask Google Maps for driving directions from New York to Dublin, Ireland and they’ll give them to you, including this step, “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 mi.” Weirdly, they instruct you to swim to France, drive the Chunnel to England, then take a ferry back to Ireland. Surely there’s a more efficient totally impossible route?

OK it’s time for the “life imitates art” or “aret imitates life” or “maybe these guys should get a life bit”. The deal is that a dozen 7-11 stores in the States are going to be refurbed as Kwik E Marts. Yep if it all goes to plan you will be able to score KrustyO’s cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee). Actually I think it might be time for the “Beam Me Up” bit.

And this weeks “Flash Game” is Shrink. The short version ( and this will take longer than it will for your first attempt to end in tears) you control the red ball. Avoid the black balls that come flying at you from every angle. So far, it’s a doddle. The catch (like that’s a surprise) is that the red ball keeps getting smaller. You can make the red ball larger and earn points by touching a larger blue ball. The blue ball is also floating around making it difficult to hang on without accidentally getting in the way of a black ball and dying. And then it gets harder, but oh so addictive. You have to give this one a try.

And lastly some of the highlights from over at this week.
An interesting collection this week. A lutist called Paul Berget, a fiddler named Natalie MacMaster, a weird house act called Hercules and Love Affair and Susan McKeown (yep you guessed it she’s Irish), all in all it was another good week
Have a listen.


{Currently listening to Imogen Heap (and Frou Frou) and The Morrighan}
{Currently reading: Still on Richard Dawkin’s God Book (God it’s taking a while)}
{Quick Status Check: Going to hell. well of course I am.}
{Crop Circle Status: Roll on May 2007… It’s April already, it wont be long now}