Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080630

Hi,

I have a cold, a real beaut. So this isn’t going to be a long one. The highlight of the week (before my body turned traitor, was finding a live recording by Big Country. It was recorded on New Years Eve in 1983 at Barrowlands. I heard this concert about 20 years ago and was totally blown away by it and then I stumbled on it at Wolfgang’s Vault. It sounds just wonderful still. Damn they were a good band.
http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/big-country-concert/20052585-637.html

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Let’s start with art and Lego. As part of Bocchignano, Italy’s group project “20 Eventi,” Jan Vormann went around town and filled in all the cracks in the walls with painstakingly clicked-together patches made from legos They then took photo’s of it all whacked ’em in a box and flogged off the pics.
http://www.janvormann.com/dispatchwork.php

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Jools spotted this one over at Mini Movie Channel.
Putin and Bush Putting on the Ritz.
http://www.minimovie.com/film-128212-Putin%20On%20The%20Ritz

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Another one from Jools.

“device to root out evil’ by the American artist Dennis Oppenheim has recently come under a lot of controversy. the large scale sculpture was first exhibited at the 1997 Venice biennale. in the form of an upside down church, with its steeple buried in the ground the work is a clear remark on religion. the sculpture was later moved to a public park in vancouver, canada as part of the vancouver sculpture biennale in 2005. Unsurprisingly, the public had mixed a mixed reaction to the work. recently, the vancouver public parks committee voted to remove the sculpture. the glenbow museum in calgary, canada jumped at the opportunity to display the sculpture, which will arrive in a week or so. the piece was previously rejected by stanford university in 2004, oppenheim’s alma mater

So it’s not just Melbourne that it clueless when it comes to public art. But Calgary seems to have its act together.
http://tinyurl.com/559kc9
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This week at Duggup. Jools wrote about “Kenny Wayne Shepherd”, he is quite a spiffy guitarist.. Well worth a look. Me, my faves this week would be “Damien Dempsey” and “She & Him”. Damien Dempsey is amazing. Head over and check it out. duggup.com.au
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Flash Game Time: On Mondays you will have noticed that there is a overwhelming urge to waste time. and seeing as how a few of our readers (yes there are more than two. god knows why) like cats Todays timewaster is Kitten Cannon. Yep, today we shoot small fluffy kittens out of a cannon.

Well that’s enough for this week. Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Pete Seeger and Big Country (Barrowlands 1983 Live Concert)
{Currently reading: Greg Bear’s Eternity (it seems to be taking an eternity }
{Quick Status Check: Runny Nose, Crapped out lungs, aching joints. this is hell}
{Crop Circle Status: Total for is June so far is 9. A whole one showed up. {insert head shaking here}http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080623

Hi,

A while back I mentioned my friend Anna who is currently working in Liberia and her photo’s that she stashes at Picasa album. Well she was quite cool about the link being shared out (and I suspect a tad bemused). Here is the link to the pics, A bit of vicarious travel for a Monday.
{link only went out to mailing list people… sorry}
I met Anna when she worked at IWDA and she now works for ARC as a Gender Based Violence Prevention Coordinator. http://www.arcrelief.org/site/PageServer?pagename=programs_GBV it’s the same sort of stuff she did at IWDA. Just on a different continent.

Totally changing the subject, Ross Ryan has a another gig at Capers in early July. http://www.rossryan.com/gigs.htm I am sure it will be as much fun as last time. See https://thatchspace.com/2007/11/14/ross-ryan-and-a-zoom-h4-at-capers/ and http://www.rossryan.com/av/index.html

So on with the sillies.
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HacknMod has some great reading about ballistic gel (you know the stuff. it appears in just about every episode of Mythbusters) http://www.hacknmod.com/displayMOD.php?hack=1484
They have some links to online resources related to making and using it. Here is a video of Adam from Mythbusters explaining everything you ever wanted to know about the stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=023Ho–XPts
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As I have pointed out on one or two previous occasions I think Google Earth is pretty spiffy. And equally I find the whole “cereal art” thing totally fascinating on a whole bunch of levels, I mean just check the bottom of the page on any given week. So just in case you were wondering… Yes there are other people out in the world who are just as fascinated by “cereal art” and Google Mapsas I am and Yes they are way deeper into than me.

Spotted at Cabinet of Wonders http://tinyurl.com/425jvf
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Fair Use Dept: Over at VideoGum there is fab collection of light saber mashups. Some are priceless, Aragorn, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Westley. Using a computer, bright sparks have put a lightsaber in these fearsome warriors hands.

Some of you will ask “Why” and there can be only one answer. because they can.
http://videogum.com/archives/the-ultimate-argument-settler/lightsaber_010339.html
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On a more serious note, Over at the New York Times, David Brooks has an article entitled “The Neural Buddhists”
It starts off ..

In 1996, Tom Wolfe wrote a brilliant essay called “Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died,” in which he captured the militant materialism of some modern scientists.

To these self-confident researchers, the idea that the spirit might exist apart from the body is just ridiculous. Instead, everything arises from atoms. Genes shape temperament. Brain chemicals shape behavior. Assemblies of neurons create consciousness. Free will is an illusion. Human beings are “hard-wired” to do this or that. Religion is an accident.

Then over at the IEEE Spectrum there is a special issue on the Singularity
(Wikipedia to the rescue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity )
“The technological singularity is a hypothesised point in the future variously characterized by the technological creation of self-improving intelligence, unprecedentedly rapid technological progress, or some combination of the two.

It’s a great read and if you follow all the links on the webpage it will be well past Tuesday before you finish.
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/singularity
Hang tight folks it’s a bumpy ride.
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This week at Duggup. Jools wrote about “The Trinity River Whalers” and “Stone Angels”. Well worth a look. Me, my faves this week would be “Postal Service” and The Awkward Stage”, Postal Service are on their way to taking up permanent residence on the MP3 player. Head over and check it out. http://duggup.com.au
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Flash Game Time: On Mondays you will have noticed that there is a overwhelming urge to waste time. and seeing as how a few of our readers (yes there are more than two. god knows why) like cats Todays timewaster is Kitten Cannon. Yep, today we shoot small fluffy kittens out of a cannon.

This one is so simple, shoot the kitten out of the cannon as far as possible. You can adjust the aim and velocity of the cannon, but for real distance you need for the kitty to land on a pile of explosives, or is bounced into a balloon-bomb. I love the Venus Fly errr Cat-traps and then there are the tasteless spikes as yet another impediment. to a high score.

Head over to http://www.burststudio.com/kitten.html and be offended.
I prefer to think of it as a Road Runner/Coyote induced desensitizing of the good taste chip.

Actually, seeing as though the good taste chip is cactus this would be a good time for another tasteless Flash Game. You’ve read the book, seen the movie, watched the DVD, flicked through the comic book (no I am not kidding) and now you are bored with the ring. But to revitalize your flagging interest in the franchise we have The Lord Of The Rings Swig and Toss game. ( I am not making this up)

This is silly for a few reasons.
1: The more you drink, the harder it is to hold the axe straight, naturally.
2: The more you drink and the better you do, the more points you get!

Oh just go and play it. http://www.kewlbox.com/games/GameLaunch.aspx?GameId=289

Well that’s enough for this week. Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Slainte and Oregon (the Winter Light from 1974) it makes for some interesting juxtapositions}
{Currently reading: Greg Bear’s Eternity and the CSS manual}
{Quick Status Check: Hell}
{Crop Circle Status: Total for is June so far is 8. A couple of pretty ones starting to show up. http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080609

Hi,

For those of you not in Melbourne, it’s a public holiday here. The excuse this time is that it’s the Queen’s Birthday. Now personally I think that this is a great holiday, it allows Republicans to enjoy the same kind of dilemma that non-Christians get at Christmas and Easter. You know should I take the day off if I don’t support the monarchy? Is this giving tacit approval to an outmoded ridiculous hereditary method of choosing a leader. Then you look at what you can get with a vote and figure “they owe me”.

What’s even funnier is that most people in the UK DON’T get a day off (it appears that the civil service may get a day off). Bizarre huh?

On with the sillies..

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Hands up everyone who hasn’t read “Little Fuzzy” by H Beam Piper. Whooah ,that many huh? Well get your MP3 players out and head over to Archive .org and Download the mp3.s (I suggest the 17 parts rather than the one big one) load it up and enjoy your journey to work. This is a classic piece of SF and the reading isn’t half bad.

Here’s the synopsis..
The planet Zarathustra is going through a dry spell. Land-prawns, ecologists, and scared bureaucrats are coming out of the woodwork. But there’s more trouble to come. The cutest little alien critter you’ve ever seen: Little Fuzzy. This book is widely regarded as a minor sf classic, and is much loved.

Dead Tree Version – http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/18137
MP3 version – http://www.archive.org/details/LittleFuzzy

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About two years ago I made mention of “Elephants Dream” https://thatchspace.com/2006/05/29/monday-morning-impediment-to-productivity-20060529/
A Creative Commons movie using Blender (cool open source software). Well another movie has shown up, this one is a great ten-minute cartoon called ‘Big Buck Bunny.’ They were bankrolled by the Blender foundation and pre-orders of the DVD by the Blender community. But the coolest part is that the whole thing is Creative Commons-licensed, and all the files for the animation are available this means if you don’t like the end. do your own). It’s ten minutes long and they have versions for about every format (the YouTube one is pretty good looking)

http://www.bigbuckbunny.org/index.php/download/

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Sock puppets deconstruct 1984, this is so funny (this may be my sense of humour kicking in).This is from monochrom who are an Austrian international art-technology-philosophy group, founded in 1993. it’s a safe bet they aren’t on the Right of the political fence.

http://www.monochrom.at/kiki-and-bubu/

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The New Yorker is a site I pop into from time to time. Currently they have an article by Elizabeth Kolbert about the life of Buckminster Fuller and the exhibition about Fuller at the Whitney Museum of American Art. “By staging the retrospective, the Whitney raises-or, really, one should say, re-raises-the question of Fuller’s relevance,” Kolbert writes. “Was he an important cultural figure because he produced inventions of practical value or because he didn’t?” Here is a portfolio of images from the magazine and the Whitney exhibition.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/2008/06/09/slideshow_080609_fuller

They also have an article about Jeff Koons and a retrospective being held at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary art. Koons is one of those artists that you can’t ever make your mind up about. Just when you’ve decided that he’s pulling your leg he will turn around and do something that stops you in your tracks.
No pictures but a good read.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/artworld/2008/06/09/080609craw_artworld_schjeldahl

and lastly there is one for the audio geeks (you know who you are). There is a story called “The Gerbils Revenge” by Sasha Frere-Jones.

“Tourists black out reflective retinas in snapshots before printing them, and millions of people refer to strangers they’ve never spoken to as friends, because they’ve connected through a social-networking platform. The transition from living in the stubborn physical world to managing a life that is split between platforms, where the ability to change aspects of your identity (at least digitally) is always an option, is becoming more common. It should come as no surprise, then, that singers sometimes choose to correct recorded flaws in pitch with modern software, like Antares’s Auto-Tune.”

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/musical/2008/06/09/080609crmu_music_frerejones

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Blame this week is courtesy of Andrea L. It puts together two of my favourite exports from Scotland.

Lets read on….

Subject: FW: Runrig single malt
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 11:09:06 +0100
For all you Single Malt aficionados here is a new Runrig Whisky now available from the following web site.
Remember, this is for those fans who are 18 years of age or over. There are some tasting notes below.
http://www.singlemaltsdirect.com/shop.php?action=full&id=1206
Cost £35.00 inc VAT

Tasting Notes for Runrig Edinburgh Castle Concert Aberlour 12yo 46%
Nose: Sweet vanilla, malty, fresh cut grass. Fresh & zesty with some creamy caramel notes and soft oak.
Taste: Warm fruity notes and creamy caramel with a touch of milk chocolate.
More vanilla on the palate. Light, refreshing & soft with a hint of nutmeg.
Finish: Lingering creamy toffee notes mixed with zesty citrus fruits and nutmeg.

Well Andrea If your friend Howard can whack one in a post pack for us.. Nuff said.

And More Blame for Jools .
“This is a pretty astonishing article – the photos are incredibly detailed. There are links at the bottom of the article to more photos and some video footage assembled from the photos – but you loose a lot of detail. Check out Lake Eyre – there is a lonely little light that I suspect is Rob Backway (Commodore of the Lake Eyre Yacht Club).

Check out the following related link too.
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/cities/
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/CitiesAtNight/

Love, Jools “

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Also from Jools (she thought it was terrible).

A letter from the past to a “snivelling pond destroyer”. This is fabulous, it’s the sort of thing that you wish you had thought of years ago. This really appeals to the “evil” thatch

http://www.thatcanadiangirl.co.uk/blog/2008/05/30/the-letter-in-the-pond/

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This week at Duggup. Jools wrote about “EarthlyDelights” they are basically a dance ensemble but the music is acoustic, not overproduced and enchanting. My favourite this week would be “Devotchka, totally insane music and incredibly well done. Head over and check it out. http://duggup.com.au

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Flash Game Time: What with today being a public hol and all, we all have time for an impediment with a touch more complexity. MotherLoad – will let you dig your way out of the Monday blues . Short version. You are an operator of a digging vehicle on Mars, the game’s objective is simple: dig your way to riches and upgrade your digging vessel as you sell the collected ore on your way to the hidden treasures deep within Mars.

The controls are just the arrow keys and talk about intuitive interface, the digger moves exactly as you would expect it to which means you get to the time wasting part really quickly, but comes in handy as your digging vessel is rather fragile and needs to be cared for if you want to survive multiple trips below the surface. (Hint Don’t just enter the Down tunnel and stop, remember it’s not the fall that kills you. it’s the sudden stop at the bottom). Upgrades are imperative, you start with a small hold and fuel tank and the drill’s not that flash either. But be warned, this puppy becomes incredibly addictive after having pulled in your first few loads and made some basic upgrades. Kiss the day goodbye.

http://www.miniclip.com/games/motherload/en/

Well that’s enough for this week. Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Muse and Amy MacDonald }
{Currently reading: Still reading Greg Bear’s Eon and the CSS manual ( I hate precedence)}
{Quick Status Check: Clinton 0 Obama 1 – Hell there is gong to be another 6 months of this}
{Crop Circle Status: Total for June is 2. Barbury Castle is a ripper http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20080601

Hi,
Today’s missive comes to you courtesy of “I need a break”. I have been writing a huge proposal with a bunch of supporting data on “Social Networks”. Thrilling stuff eh? Actually it turns out to be more fascinating than I thought at first.

I am not fascinated enough to go out an create a thatch site at MySpace, I mean I have enough trouble getting this puppy out once a week without going and creating another pile of infrastructure to maintain.

But there are things, like more of you send email rather than leave comments over at the site. A friend of mine who is currently working in Liberia saves photos to a Picasa album and then sends just the likn rather than the photo’s and we are able to leave comments and questions in the album.
(I will ask her if I can share them with you next week. )

Anyway it’s time to get back to work
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More cats this week, my favourite line about cats.
“Dogs have owners cats have staff” how true is that?
Any way all of these are couretesy of webzen
http://shockingcats.ytmnd.com/ (have the volume up for this one)
Stunt Kitty videos http://www.robotcomix.blogspot.com/
Talking Cats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JynBEX_kg8
And Hugo Cat of a Thousand Faces http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGkQkVQt7ak
OK I’m over it now. goto http://www.chaoskitty.com/webzen/archive.php?choice=77.29.08 for more.

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The internet is supposed to teach us about the world around us (I suppose that does included YouTube videos). Worldometers shows real time numbers created by an,
“algorithm that processes the latest and most accurate statistical data available together with its estimated progression to compute the current millisecond number to be displayed on each counter based on the specific time set on each visitor’s computer clock.”
This is very cool and very disturbing. When you see some of the numbers you will see why. Check it out and ponder the numbers. http://www.worldometers.info/

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This from Doreen B.
“Thought this was very clever and funny.
http://little-people.blogspot.com/
http://innercitysnail.blogspot.com/
Doreen”

And on a similar theme this item is from Make magazine.
http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/05/swedish_scale_modeling_co.html

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More Blame, this item comes from Peter G.

Hymn #365
This is a hoot, but I suspect the minister didn’t appreciate it.

A minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, ‘If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.’

With even greater emphasis he said, ‘And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.’

And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, ‘And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and pour it into the river.’

Sermon complete, he sat down.

The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, ‘For our closing song,
Let us sing Hymn #365, ‘Shall We Gather at the River.’

Smile, life is too short not to !! See you at the river.

Take it up with Peter. (

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Still more Blame.. .This from Anne M

“Hi Thatch,
shades.playsleuth.com terrible waste of time but increasing my detective experience so that’s got to count for something…
http://shades.playsleuth.com/

This is evil. just evil.
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This week at Duggup. Jools wrote about “One EskimO” good songs and a killer video, and Pete Murray. Well worth a look. Me, “Picastro”. “Spoon” and “Jesse Harris”, all killer acts and all different. Picastro are becoming a favourite. Head over and check it out. http://duggup.com.au

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Flash Game Time: Some days, the urge to waste time is just a little stronger than others (Monday’s are popular). If it happens to be one of those days for you today, you are in luck, because Blobular will not only help you waste your time, but also make you slightly nauseous.

Blobular, a blob out and about in the world, needs to get back home to Blobsville. First up you pick how Blobular looks (image is everything these days) and then off you go to collect stuff and thwart foes. And yes you are playing against the clock and each level gets harder.(It wouldn’t be any fun fun if they got easier).

So far so good but theres a twist (of course there is), you move your blob by spinning the world around and letting gravity pull the blob around. Hello motion sickness. once the medication kicks in and you get adjusted this impediment is full of potential. As you collect stuff, you get bigger and the holes get smaller and you won’t fit through smaller gaps anymore. Solution? Split your blob apart into smaller blobs that can fit through these gaps, and merge again whenever you please. Continue until you have won the game or thrown up once to often.
http://www.freeworldgroup.com/games6/gameindex/blobular.htm

Well that’s enough for this week. Have a good one.

thatch

{Currently listening to Picastro and Stephen Stills }
{Currently reading: Greg Bear’s Eon and the MySql manual}
{Quick Status Check: According to many religious beliefs, Hell is a place of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous souls are punished. sort of explains Micro$cum and public transport really}
{Crop Circle Status: Total for May is 4. I hope it’s going to pickup. http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/2008.html }