Hi. I used to use this blog a lot more than i do now. I don't agree with much of what i've posted here, but such is the nature of time. :) My instagram & facebook are likely to be more up to date.

report back - sandor katz lecture

>> Sunday, March 30, 2008

he was great. a wealth of knowledge surrounding fermented foods... some of the points he made that i found interesting were...

1. almost all gourmet foods are fermented... cheese, olives, bread, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, etc...

2. fermentation arised as an art because it is the path of least resistance... food ferments!

3. fermentation was a necessity because 38 degree boxes are a new luxury... need to preserve.

4. the double meaning of the word culture is appropriate, fermentation has local flavor.

5. wild fermentation captures local bacteria. just like eating local honey helps local allergies.

6. our bodies are 90% other organisms, we need to maintain their balance to maintain ours.

7. our "disinfecting" culture actually makes us less safe by making resistant bacterias unnecessarily.

8. fermented foods make food more digestable and increase the available vitamins including B12 (earlier...)

he gave a very simple fermented vegetable recipe (which we've done... great!) which i will give here:

chop whatever vegetables you want (raw, although cooked do work). i'd recommend cabbage, carrot, pepper, garlic, crimini mushroom, green beans, romanesco (for looks), and some salt. he said that salt does prohibit certain (potentially beneficial) bacteria from forming, but that lactobacillus (a very necessary bacteria) actually likes salt. his ratio for salt is roughly 2.5% by weight... or just salt to taste. mix those veggies together, squeeze them to slightly break the cell walls down a bit, put in an open jar or crock, and press them down. if their own juices don't cover the veggies, add a bit of water. make sure there is cloth cover on it and just let it sit. it can sit for a long time, just keep pressing the veggies under the liquid. the water protects it from mold growth. if mold does form, skim it off. if you let it sit, the mycelium will penetrate the pickle and make the texture softer (that's desirable in some cultures). we let ours sit out for about a week before we put the top on and tossed it in the fridge, although much slower, longer ferments (especially in cooler climes) can go on and makes the flavor more complex. anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks to 3 months, to even 3 years can work, with some variation. this is hardly exhaustive, but feel free to ask any questions.

enjoy... foods with live cultures help us live!


the alhmabra

>> Friday, March 28, 2008

god it's gorgeous. the jewel of moorish spain. we visited it during our huge europe/north africa trip in 2006 and took some photos. i'm a bit obsessed with islamic geometry and moorish spain(pdf for a conference i didn't go on but contains info about the period), so it was a dream come true. below is a slideshow of photos i took. click on the photo if you want to read a description or see the full size.


how we fight for...

i remembered recently that at the people's strike back on september 27th, 2002, laura and i took part in some actions with POG and ended up as part of the 631 arrests (including tourists, office workers and legal observers... whoops!) at pershing park near freedom plaza in d.c. the photo above is from right before they swept in, whaled on us with batons and arrested us. it only shows one edge of the corral. the red arrow points to my peace sign (it was way back when i was a baldhead), the orange arrow points to laura's head. we also happen to be featured (cheek to cheek!) on the official site for the still-pending class action suit. each stage has been won by the people, so we might see some dough from this eventually.

it makes me wonder sometimes if street action is still where it's at. if you don't use rights, you lose them. not that anyone really has the authority to declare "rights" anyway, but that's a more complicated discussion.

this all came up in my subconscious because of this post on laura's blog about this post on patrice's, both about how we are five years into the re-escalation of the iraq war.


four songs for anarchy

one aggro, one chill, one nostalgic, one utopian...

(mp3) dead prez - fuck the law
(mp3) nicolette - no government
(youtube) against me - baby, i'm an anarchist! (fan video version)
(youtube) john lennon - imagine (original video)

i'm just sick of this election already, even though i am considering donating dough.


ok, last video for four posts... promise.

>> Thursday, March 27, 2008

want! i always bang on tables anyway. my pops and i have talked about making a full wood kit, similar to the drums at paul e. maybe some day we'll get around to it. i've got a batajón. it's great. i just played a cajon today, but not as good as this guy:


bill cowan outs pentagon paying journalists

i'll cool it with the videos soon, but this one is a doozy. hannity seems to want to cut this off quick. this story is a pretty interesting (though not surprising) example of how spin happens in the (supposedly) liberal media. via the daily kos, which i just started reading, and is apparently the second most read web news...


the most important issues in the campaign

>> Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters


spinning on top

this video is a funny mashup of memes... some hip hop top action... guy is good.

via this post on metafilter, which i have been enjoying more and more recently. it's a pretty good example of a post style typical of metafilter. never any image, several hyperlinks and an air of mystery as to what exactly the post is about until you click... btw, the link i'm sending to you shows the permalink... when you see the post on the front page you only see what is above the dotted line.

this is a good example of the awesome ask.metafilter.com, a good place to get a quick answer from a pretty smart bunch of websurfers.


sufi music - the modern and it's roots

>> Tuesday, March 25, 2008

in honor of "that veiled gazelle..." getting props on dj rupture's blog (gush!)... i'm going to give props to that special kind of music we both seem to love... that new shit with an ear to the ancient... and the ancient itself... this time centered around sufi music.

first up is mercan dede... that's him above with a ney behind the d.j. booth. he sent a very beautiful reply to a praise letter once. some of his music could be described as "over-blown" or critically written off as "world music fusion", but i think he's on the right track generally... and he will drop the occasional jungle beat... he let's you listen to every track he's made on this site. the first track on the most recent album (800 - named for rumi's 800th year) has a dope (turkish?) rap at about 3 minutes in...

three dope tracks from three different albums:

(mp3) mercan dede - "semaname" - from "seyhatname"
(mp3) mercan dede - "dreams of sufi saints" - from "sufi dreams"
(mp3) mercan dede - "remember the loveliness" - from "journeys of a dervish"

my first dhafer youssef album was given to me by a totally insane irish guy in chefchaouen, morocco. dhafer is a good oud player who fucks with electronics. i don't like every track (there aren't many artists that i do) but there are some gems... like this track...

(mp3)dhafer youssef - "miel et cendres" from "divine shadows"

sussan deyhim is a wild singer. she did this cool album with cello and what-not that was remixed by bill laswell with drum work from glen velez and zakir hussain. my dad had it in his collection and had no idea where it came from... he doesn't usually go for anything like that... spooky. nice album, anyway... this is from it...

(mp3)sussan deyhim - "gereyley (nocturnal dialogue)" from "shy angels - madman of god"

now for the traditional wowness:

the best example of sufi trance musics i've found recorded (from this ellipsis arts disc) by the stupendous Sadreddin Özçimi (here's him making visual art in a weird way - anyone know anything about this technique?) and friends... it's an 30+ minute excerpt from a longer piece. eat some nepalese bliss (or get a massage) and chill out for a bit...

(mp3) sufi dervish rite, "perde kaldirma"

here is some random sufi thing i found on the interwebs labeled persian tribal iranian sufi... some badass drum and dulcimer stuff with "allah... hum!" vocals...

(mp3)unknown persian sufi music

no collection of sufi music would be complete without some nusrat! i picked this one at random. he's got A LOT of recordings.

(mp3) nurat fateh ali khan - "mast nazron se" - from "the ultimate nusrat fateh ali khan collection pt. 2"

this is from boubacar diagne... super syncopated, phasing, drumming from a seventh generation senegalese drummer of the qadiriya order of sufi's.

(mp3) boubacar diagne - "dembe" from "tabala woof - sufi drumming of senegal"

this last one is important in that it is a certain link between these realms... the master musicians of jajouka are important because they turned on borroughs and bowles and susequently the rest of the counter-culture to this music. there are two groups with this name (see the disambiguation at the top), i've heard recordings from both. they both sound similarly awesome, i forget which of the many discs of them (two?) i have (this is from, but it's a doozy. the drums sound flanged, but they aren't! (it's not the brian jones produced one, which features some subtle remixing...)

(mp3) master musicians of jajouka - unknown title

all this was inspired by the combination of styles that occurs in great music, in this case dj rupture. you can peep (for free!) his now legendary "gold teeth thief" mix or better yet buy his more recent (and better in my opinion) "minesweeper suite" mix. laura and i bumped it non stop in 2003 (and still play it).

remember to support the artists if you can afford it (most who buy internet access can...) and spread the love to all... thanks for reading (and listening!)


not your ordinary chess

this online chess game is beautiful... it visualizes the force of the pieces, and you can see the machine think. it takes a little longer for the computer to move, but that's o.k. you need breaks during chess.

i was taught (advanced) chess by richard farrar, whom i have only been able to find this tiny jpg of one of his paintings... maybe somehow i'll track him down... a lovely fellow.


human pulls off lizard tail trick

>> Monday, March 24, 2008

"a man cut off his finger tip while working on a model plane. his brother, a medical research scientist, sent him a vial containing powdered pig bladder and told him to sprinkle on the severed finger tip. it grew back -- "flesh, blood, vessels and nail" -- in four weeks. "

via boingboing

reminds me of this stuff made from some part of a cow. soldiers use it, and it's becomming available to the public. i've considered getting some for my friends on broad st. who deal with a lot of gun wounds (some fatal.) it might work, although some claim direct pressure on the wound is superior.


why doesn't all design do this?

>> Sunday, March 23, 2008

a young inventor, daniel sheridan, has designed a seesaw for african schools that could power the classroom lights after only 5 minutes. ultimately, he would like to generate power with the entire playground. this principle seems like it could be mapped fairly easily onto exercise gyms.

via goodnewsnetwork.


pittsburghers - fermented foods visionary visits!

>> Saturday, March 22, 2008

the one and only sandor ellix katz.

live at the east end food co-op sunday march 30, 6-8pm

this guys fermentation recipes have kept his AIDS at bay, and he is a one-of-a-kind fermentation feteshist. we have his book, wild fermentation - a d.i.y. guide to cultural manipulation, which is awesome, and sports the finest double-entendre in a sub-title ever (on the old version.)

we made the mead from it... yum. we made the kim-chee from it... yum. we tried the sourdough... yum. you get the idea.

can't wait to hear his anecdotes. call ahead for reservations. $5-$20 suggested sliding scale, but no one turned away for lack of bread!


the hardest working blogger: whole albums pt. 2

apparently there are others. i just hadn't found them yet. these people post SO much music. wow.

idm trade: intelligent dance music, that worrisome catch-all label for the hard-to-classify electronic music created in the last 15 years. this site has piles of it. a couple great features they have are a drop down menu (under the elephant) of artists, so you can see all the albums for each artist, a tag cloud of genres, and clear try it and buy it links. they post hard-to-find vinyl rips, brand new stuff and some classics. some of the albums i recommended earlier on my dubstep post are available there.

also a little honorable mention to the magic of juju. whoever runs this blog hasn't posted since december, but the music here is very hard-to-find and universally beautiful... great indian ragas ripped from old vinyl (complete with cover scans!), jamaican 7" dub collections and much more. an enticing collection of links, too... i'm sure more gold is through that door.


art made of books - a four part post

1. a lot of people on the blogosphere have posted about brian dettmer's book autopsies, with good reason... very meticulous. some of them are boring in terms of what is revealed, but the technique is gold. also love this one.

2. also worth mentioning is georgia russell's work. the gun below is atypical of her work (UPDATE: actually the work of robert the as this page confirms! only the very shredded work on my link is hers), but i find the title/form juxtaposition really funny. robert the does a few cool pieces with books linked into chains.

3. on a more functional tip, jim rosenau takes the floating book shelf idea a step further with humorous contextual elements, and sometimes other objects, although his are more obviously shelves. he even makes some classic bookcases out of encyclopedia sets... i would build one if we had the space for that style of shelf.

4. finally, if you want to get rid of old books, but don't want to spend the time on crafting them into something else, you can trade them for books you want very easily through paperbackswap.com. just for joining, you get three free credits (at least thats how it was when we joined a couple years ago.) you can use a credit to have any book listed on the system sent to you, free of charge. you can create a wishlist, and whenever a book from your wishlist appears, you are notified, and can have it sent. you can list the books you have, and if anyone requests them, paperbackswap will print a mailing label and calculate the exact postage, so you can mail them from your mailbox... we used it to trade crappy romance novels from the trash for great books, like those featured in the art & imagination series. note: there are other sites like this, but i can endorse paperbackswap having used it...

(UPDATE: my sister had difficulties using this site because she's a minor... she recommended bookmooch)


further obama endorsement

>> Friday, March 21, 2008

a few caveats before you take this endorsement the wrong way:

1. i think a lot of the clinton hate is ridiculous. she's just beholden to corporate interests, focus-grouped to death, strategic and ambitious. so is obama, he just pulls it off better, and more honestly.

2. i think the entire electoral process, from the money, to the delegates to the two-party stranglehold to be a human rights violation and preposterous. the countries founders must be vomiting in their graves.

3. i think the current incarnation of the u.s. goverment and it's neo-conservative capitalist cronies are continuing to be the best argument against (coerced) capitalism and (coerced) government.

4. i think that real change, hope or health has to come from ourselves, not elected officials. they can only facilitate our own illumination, not be the cause of it.

so for years i was a clinton supporter. i am a radical (though not "seperatist"), sex-positive, anarcho-feminist, and in a (maybe sexist way) truly wanted a woman in the white house. i felt a woman would have a much better chance than any man to address the rampant sexist heirarchy in u.s. policy, domestic and foreign. it was a good enough reason to support clinton, although there were others... she is obviously a hard-worker, erudite, and not afraid of adversity... good qualities in a leader.

also, i'm sure that she and bill have an AMAZING little black book, with at least a few shady entries that might come in handy in the oval office.

however, over time she has exhibited certain behaviors that show concerning qualities in a leader. she has dodged fairly simple questions, or given answers that insult the intelligence of the voter. she has been overstated her role in various foreign policy events, and almost certainly lied about policy stances, such as her position on NAFTA. she is also unlikely to win the pledged delegate count or the popular vote, but may win more superdelegates. however, a win like that would overturn the popular vote, and would be just as bad as bush being selected by the supreme court in my opinion.

most heinously, she has claimed the john mccain and herself have passed the commander-in-chief test, but not obama. this begs the question, does hillary really prefer john mccain as president to obama? even though he jokes (JOKES!) about bombing iran, even though he says we could be in iraq for 100 years? is that really what a commander in chief is supposed to be like? shame on you, hillary clinton.

obama catching flack for reverend wright is ridiculous. many people are doing a good job refuting these issues. he's hardly any more fringe than any republican candidate's pastor.

finally, obama has pledged to have a dialogue with cuba's new leader, where as hillary won't even meet with whoever it is. it's a little thing, but it represents a bigger idea. the u.s. has reacted unilaterally for too long, claims diplomacy as a principle, but rarely is diplomatic in practice. you have to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. people knew that over two thousand years ago.


i endorse this message

>> Wednesday, March 19, 2008

i'll explain in depth sometime why i'm voting and encouraging others to vote for obama, but this video should contain the gist of it.


(mp3)fosforo - cumbia de obama


happy spring!

this is a 13cm tall crabapple tree (with at least 13 crab-apples) from a beautiful gallery of mini-bonsai trees. for more amazing bonsai, check out man lung penjing bonsai landscapes.

anyway, tonight is the vernal equinox, and as such is the beginning of spring. get your garden on! we ordered some great organic seeds and bare-root trees. if you don't have a lot of space, try the square foot garden. my friend swears by the grow wall. we're just gonna use our roof, as our new building doesn't have a yard.


tom friedman like

>> Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a collection of someone's incredibly precise carvings of pencils. reminds me of the pencil work of tom friedman (not the new york times columnist.). i can't find a picture of it, but friedman once used a pencil sharpener to create one continuous spiral out of a pencil... beautiful. another pencil piece he made that boggles the mind is an image of a pencil in exaggerated perspective made from pressing powdered pencil on a wall! maybe someday i'll scan some of his work. if you can't wait, this is the best tom friedman book. he's one of those artists that it really helps to read the fine print next to the piece or you may miss what's so interesting about it.


arthur c clarke... dies tommorow

it's funny. for about two weeks now i've been running into (and said) "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," a famous quote from arthur c. clarke and part of clarke's three laws of prediction (a must-click).

he dies at age 90 tommorow. seriously, because it's the 19th in sri lanka, where he is/was. he wrote "2001 : a space odyssey", which we will rip off for our new building, calling it "5001 : an odd space" (it's 5001 penn avenue.)

he also said "religion is a brain disease"... which can be true, but isn't always, so it seems less rigorous than some of his other ideas... anyway aethiests have long been viewed to be just as unquestioning in their beliefs (or "faithful") as believers. both kind of creep me out unless they can consider the alternative, or at least laugh about it. the absence of humor terrifies me most when combined with any strong opinion.


freaky video from gizmodo

freaky animal-movement like robot... fast forward in a little to see someone kick it. wow. funded by the scary folks at darpa of course.

this video is much more fun. an old-school unicycle with some heavy gyroscopic action... ican't figure out how to embed the video, so here is a picture of a similar device:

gizmodo cares about gizmos. i found it from popurls, which collects on one site popular links from several social bookmarking services like delicious, metafilter, reddit, digg and the like...


new shackleton opus

"death is not final, it's only a misunderstanding of time..."
he's been influenced a little by all the attention from the techno world, but not to bad effect.

(mp3) shackleton feat. vengeance tenford - "death is not final" from a 12" on skull disco

the remix is hot too, you can find it on various music blogs.

we can all rejoice now that i can upload things larger than 10 mb. maybe someday i'll update all the old links to mediafire.com like the one above. the only detriment is you can't listen like on box.net. preferences, people?


about the header

so that isn't really a gazelle, it's an antelope (a kudu bull to be specific). as far as i can tell, all gazelles are antelopes (bovidae), but not all antelopes are gazelles. it's also not veiled, per se, it just goes off the edge... peering over with knowing eyes... the face is really quite serene in the original, but the title dictated the crop.

the font is the unfortunately named "bleeding cowboys". it's free from dafont.com, which has TONS of other free fonts, some of which are quite spectacular. i think the G is beautiful and it's cool how the two Ts in "that" look like two horns.

the geometry is based on the dodecahedron, of which one view can be constructed from a pentagon fairly easily. there is a fairly thorough breakdown of the mystical significance of the dodecahedron, five-sided symmetry, and basic sacred geometry here.

i used the dodecahedron because i often describe my various interests as "various sides of the dodecahedron of existence"... which isn't to say that reality is twelve-sided specifically (although hemoglobin and chlorophyll are), but just many sided, and one must observe the facets to begin to understand the core.


the tortoise of time...

>> Friday, March 14, 2008

banyan trees are truly awesome. photo comes from a small collection of things eaten by trees.


bass pt. 3

the motherload... dubstep. don't bother listening if you don't have speakers or headphones with good bass output. you'll miss the root of the issue.

you might have heard about it. even the new york times had to talk about it. it's usually fast (150 bpm) and also slow (75 bpm) at the same time, with a mix of woofer-wrecking bass, dark textures, and diverse vocals ranging from dancehall toasting to grime rap to singing (or all of the above.) it crosses through drum n bass, twostep garage, minimal house/techno, hip hop, reggae dancehall, ambient music and world beat. a little bit of everything for the bass-lover.

(mp3) loefah - "disko rekah"
starting off real easy with a nice dubstep tune that shows the form well. sparse beats, deep bass, and basic synths and vocals (in this case a sample of busta rhymes).

(mp3) boxcutter - "glyphic"
this is sort of the other end of the spectrum, a really elaborate dubstep tune with a couple different sections, instrumental layering, great melody. this is the title track from my favorite album of 2007. the album has all kinds of different genres representing, all surrounding the amalgam that is dubstep.

(mp3) burial - "gutted"
this tune makes me misty. not sad, just nostalgic for the love of bass music. btw, burial's second album, "untrue" was universally loved by the critics. i find it boring, repetetive, and unnecessarily simple compared to his excellent self-titled debut.

(mp3) milanese - "reading you"
this comes off of planet mu's great 200th release compilation. it's a nice example of dubstep with more traditional pop vocals.

(mp3) pinch - "get up" feat. yolanda
this tune shows the link to twostep garage music, the more housey side of dubstep's origin. it's from the album "underwater dancehall", which is a close runner up for last year's best, featuring great vocal work from brooklyn-based juakali.

(mp3) kode9 & spaceape - "quantum"
spaceape's vocals remind me of mutabaraka, but more cyborg. kode9 is one of the early dubstep producers, and their combined album "memories of the future" is in my top ten dubstep albums of all time.

(mp3) benga - "combs 60"
this is the first dubstep track that really caught my attention, made me fall in love. it's really simple, even repetitive, but i give a lot of props to benga overall... check out his album "newstep".

(mp3) shackleton - "blood on my hands" (ricardo villalobos remix pt. 1)
this tune is a remix that marked the awareness of dubstep by more traditional 4-on-the-floor electronic music, in this case minimal techno royalty, ricardo villalobos. shackleton is on the more mystical side of the whole dubstep scene, deeply influenced by middle eastern instrumentation. in my opinion if he learned how to play some of those instruments instead of sampling he could rule the music world (but in the meantime i'll play them for him if he wants!) btw, i would have uploaded the original, but it's over my 10 mb space limit. there is a video here of the original with o.k. sound.

well now you can listen to dubstep. learn yerself. this is just a smattering of the many talented artists out there...

you can go listen to a bunch of others (and more full tracks of the same) at last.fm's dubstep archive. i also like pinch, skream, digital mystikz, bass clef, geeneus, d1, the bug, drop the lime, sub version, luke envoy, warrior queen, scuba, appleblim and neil landstrumm (his album, "resturaunt of the assassins" is challenging, but super-awesome...)

btw, if anyone knows who drew the image above, i'd love to credit them. it basically captures the future envisioned by dubstep. the holy war of sound, liberating the lower frequencies. the cultural machine complex.


incredible new technology

the people at audeo have created a device that allows thought to "speech". it can only recognize 150 words, but of course that will grow. a person wears a neckband which intercepts neural signals from the brain to the vocal chords and converts it to synthesized "speech".

like almost any new technology, there is the potential for this to be used for more heinous things than allowing those who have lost speech to speak again (like interrogation, forced mind reading, etc...) but it is an incredible invention, and shows just how soon the flesh will meet the tech.

via wordsoup... which grows on me every time i read it.


the phenominable snowball!

>> Thursday, March 13, 2008


this is not just some truffle, it is a multi-layered extravagance of confection... and it just happens to be vegan! mmm.

fresh grated coconut flesh from 1 coconut
1 cup smooth unsalted cashew butter
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon grade b maple syrup
1 tablespoon grand marnier
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon anise extract

wherever possible, use organic ingredients, it tastes that much better. also, get fair trade chocolate and sugar if you can find it. child labor is a drag you don't want to mix with luxury.

1. mix the maple syrup, grand marnier, vanilla extract and anise extract. pour it over the cherries in a small bowl. if necessary, add a little water until the mixture almost covers the cherries, stir occasionally and let soak for as long as you can bear it. overnight is best.

2. to prepare the coconut, i used james patterson's excellent method from "what's a cook to do?": hammer a screwdriver into two of the soft round spots that appear near one end of the coconut and pour out the liquid (he says discard it, i say drink it... heavenly!). bake the coconut on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. wrap the coconut in a towel and crack it in half with a hammer. use a screwdriver to pry the flesh out of each end. if the thin brown membrane adheres to the flesh, peel it off with a vegetable peeler. grate. the fresh stuff is so much more succulent and complex, don't get the dried. if you're going to make these, make them perfect!

3. melt the sugar in a small saucepan over medium low heat (no teflon... it's public record now that dupont lied about it's harmful effects. i know of a former dupont employee who says to NEVER feed food to kids cooked on teflon. yikes!).

4. when the sugar is melted, stir in the cashew butter and cocoa powder, and turn off the heat.

5. if there is still a lot of liquid left on the cherries, strain some out, but keep it.

6. stir in the cherries, adding the liquid as necessary to assimilate them. i used about 1 tablespoon. more might be fine, but too much could make the balls fall apart.

7. when the mixture is cool enough to touch, stir in the chocolate chips.

8. form the mixture into balls and roll in the coconut shreds. cool or eat warm... both are great.

by the way, i want to extend a warm welcome to everybody who came via tastespotting (a most excellent image blog of creative foods). please check out the rest of this blog. it's not just food, (in fact this is my first food post!) but i'll be sure to do more. my wife laura and i are big vegan and vegetarian foodies, and have produced a small cookbook. we were in a dialogue with ak press to create a vegan "joy of cooking", but while they are interested, they can't really advance us enough to cover the research costs, so we are trying to figure out other options.


great use for a ton of rice

i was really moved by this video on boingboingtv of stan's cafe's piece, "of all the people in all the world. " it uses 1 ton of rice (actually!) to show statistics about people visually. 1 grain of rice = 1 person. beautiful... (btw, it's been buggy about embedding properly, so if you can't see it try clicking here...)

here is the official video:


5 songs 5 decades - random edition

the 60's - (mp3) the beach boys - "hang on to your ego"
recorded for pet sounds, changed to "i know there's an answer" due to controversy about brian wilson's l.s.d. use.

not the absolute grooviest beach boys tune, which would have to be "good vibrations", but a nice send up of the hippies AND their critics with great harmonies as always.

notable lyric: "i know so many people who think they can do it alone, they isolate their heads and stay in their safety zones"

the 70's - (mp3) betty davis - "gettin kicked off, havin fun"
from "nasty gal" & "this is it"

this IS the grooviest betty davis tune (in my opinion), shows both awesome sides of her vocal sound... lots of the silky luciousness and touches of the growling grit... and great work from her ex-sly stone/ex-santana backup band. she recently gave her first radio interview in thirty years.

notable lyric: "do you use a napkin at the dinner table?"

the 80's - (mp3) l'trimm - "we like the cars that go boom"
i don't know anything about the origin of this tune, i just found this because it was mislabeled le tigre. it's got a dope miami bass beat though, and some nice cornball lyrics about car stereos... the video is so goofy.

notable lyric - "he was obviously hooking up bass, i assume"

the 90's - (mp3) beck - "milk & honey"
from "midnite vultures"

i get a bit concerned when i think about beck being a scientologist, although he makes some nice claims about it, but this is also one of the most elaborate, diverse, genre-smashing beck tracks. disco, rock, slow folk, electronics, all mixed up.

this song features a sample from buzz clifford's "i see i am" from his "see your way clear album (which i would love to find btw, if you have a lead, let me know...)

the 00's - (mp3) filastine - "autology"
from "burn it"

filastine was a member of the infernal noise brigade, a protest marching band and an interesting cross point of current music ideas. his whole idea is bringing the streets into the club, and the club into the streets.

the album this comes from is beautiful, hard to define, strangely ancient, but definitely new... just like this track.

laura loves this one too.


Akiyoshi Kitaoka's powerful illusions

>> Wednesday, March 12, 2008

i'm really impressed by Akiyoshi Kitaoka's rotational illusions. click on the image above to make it full size, and i bet it will look animated... it sure does for me. he uses a principle called "peripheral drift illusion" which he details in the explanation pdfs under the images on his website.

i use a similar technique in my paintings, called "negative afterimages", to produce illusions of spacial distortion. wikipedia has a nice entry on afterimages with a great test to demonstrate this principle. it mentions a disease called palinopsia, where people see after images all the time. seems like a good name for a news blog.

UPDATE: some hipster artist totally put this very illusion prominently into one of their "artworks" in the most recent whitney biennial. i'ved loved the biennial a lot before, but i found this one to be stale. and i was pissed there was no credit for akiyoshi kitaoka considering how high-profile his work was in this one piece. it definitely implied the artist had made it.


geeking out

i've haven't been blogging for a minute because i have been geeking out... working on this, my new macbook:

it's a bit of cognitive dissonance for me, as i have issues with the environmental impacts of computers, but i assuage my guilt by buying refurbished and from small retailers. also, what work one does with a computer has the potential to offset the (very real) harm done during the manufacturing process. not that i'm sure i accomplish that, but it is a goal.

in more light news, i found some great little thingies to spruce up leopard:

interfacelift has great collections of icons including the samurai set and black set used above. you can switch the (stark and cold) icons that come with leopard with a nice little app called candybar. interface also has wallpapers, including the steven miller photo above. i usually make my own, but i don't have any for this wide aspect ratio yet. i might try to upload some of my images to that site. it seems like a nice piece of free audience/advertising.

i have some more exciting music and food posts coming this week, if i can stop geeking out!


i didn't know the onion did video...

>> Sunday, March 9, 2008

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

satire is the union of truth and humor, and the onion sometimes pulls it off.
diebold is sketchy though...

via my stepfather.



>> Saturday, March 8, 2008

this resonance emulator is pretty sweet. load the page, and it goes, you can click and drag on the moving image and it will effect the resonance patterns. this looks like a 4d interactive psychedelic version of some of the images in "harmonograph - a visual guide to the mathematics of nature" (from the excellent wooden books publishers) that laura's father john shaffer (click his name for a link to an interview about his book on st. winifred's well) got me for chronikah.


can you get 100%?

play this game... it will only take a minute. see how many you can place before you start getting them wrong. i was proud to get almost the entire middle, and then all the -stans, but embarassed to have serious trouble with non-coastal africa and non-war torn middle east.
it's a challenge!


flower of life cd case of paper

with a little simple sacred geometry based upon the flower of life (and a big enough sheet of paper), you can make a great cd case...

Cooll Paper Cd Case !!! Flower Design ..... - The top video clips of the week are here

there is also a design for folding a 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper to make a case with a closure. i haven't found it online, so maybe someday i'll make and post a video...


the pentangle

>> Friday, March 7, 2008

pentangle is a really unique band (in my experience). they combine folk, jazz and rock with a unique old school british countryside sense of harmony. upright bass, great kit drumming, virtuoso acoustic guitar work, and the stunning voice of jacqui mcshee.

this track shows them at their best and worst. at their best they are undeniably funky with mystic strings. at their worst they are a bit campy and corny... which can be fine if you are in the mood.:

this one is my favorite pentangle track overall:


the hardest working blogger: whole albums



this person has put a lot of effort into putting a lot of albums on the web.

a ton of four disc (some ten disc!) sets, live shows by artists you know, and re-issue compilations.

i've gotten most of the ethiopiques series (highly recommended!), brian eno, philip glass, obscure velvet underground shows, beautiful folk records, turkish psychedelia, sitar beat, doo-wop, can, and album afer album of old psych/garage/pre-british invasion rock comps. but there is TONS more. some electronic stuff, avant garde, motown, rolling stones, james brown...

just browse through the archives at the bottom of the blog. some of the really old stuff isn't up anymore, but some still is (like the "perfumed garden" compilation from december 2005 i'm downloading now). a lot of the older posts use rapidshare (which only lets you download 100 megs every hour or so) but the new ones tend to have stuff in several locations to make it easier to download faster. if you need help figuring out how to unpack his archives, comment, and i'll help.

a brief order of operations i would suggest to get the albums is:

make sure you have unrarx (for mac) or winrar (for windows)
download all the parts
extract the .rar files by opening the first one
the password for all of them is: posted_first_at_chocoreve


wrong season, but...

these maple leaf roses are beautiful... here's the how-to. presumably, you could do this with other leaves/materials... they could be finished with (natural and archival!) rice paste (link to recipe, but you don't need the sugar or oil) or shellac (which i found out recently isn't made from the lac bug itself, just secretions from the females... so it's sustainable as far as i know).


looks like friendly crustpunks

they get a lot of flack, but traveler kids have beautiful aspects to their culture (which, like most cultures is hardly homogeneous). this collection of photographs shares some joy (roadkill cookout at the very bottom, watch out...)

update: that's our friend amber in the 12th picture down (in the back)... didn't recognize her at first, but laura picked her out... same chest tattoo and everything. that makes two traveler friends in two major collections, amber in this one and lizzie the whiz kid in this one.


no armed guitarist

>> Thursday, March 6, 2008

via wordsoup


arizona junior high school students stage hug-a-thon

they tried to stop the kids from hugging... so they rebelled... where's the solidarity action, people?

via boingboing
via making light


welcome again...

>> Wednesday, March 5, 2008

so what in all creation is a "veiled gazelle"?

well, a (translation of a) poem by ibn arabi says...

"and among the wondrous things is a veiled gazelle:
a divine subtlety, veiled by a state of the self,
referring to the states of those who know.
unable to explain their perceptions to others,
they can only indicate them symbolically
to those who have begun to experience the like ..."

so it could be said that a "veiled gazelle" is
an intuitive non-thing, basically inexpressible...
yet can maybe be indicated to another through
symbolic gesture, but only with common "ground."

why is this blog called "that veiled gazelle..."?

well, my first post (february 11th 2008) says:

"...i hope to provide the best of what i find on
the internets and the interworlds here,
to aid you all in wasting less time,
both on- and off-line.
i get really inspired from a real stretch of content,
so i won't pigeon-hole this blog
one way or another.

so, the "non-pigeon-holed" content of this blog,
at first appearing merely scattered and unrelated,
collectively gestures towards "that veiled gazelle..."
if reality is a1000-faceted diamond, these are faces...

so what makes your facets any better than mine?

nothing. the internet's diversity should increase.
if even one post affects you, that is beautiful.
feel free to comment, good or bad, and i'll change.
i've begun to court other authors too...

i'm convinced that we all share a love supreme,
but even i get elitist and skeptical of others.
this effort is as much for me to be changed by
public opinion as my efforts to shape the like.

and what is that image at the top of this post?

that is a piece of digital calligraphy by laura gyre
superimposed over an ancient pattern i copied.
the calligraphy is arabic/farsi, it says "ghzl"
here follows a nice piece of synchronicity:

during a shamanic trance i saw a horned animal
i knew it was a beneficial vision, there to aid me.
i was uncertain of the species until reading arabi...

i told laura i was sure the animal was a gazelle.

sufis often use a weird word in poetry because
it shares a linguistic root with other concepts,
so laura suggested we look up gazelle in arabic
and see what other words have the root, "ghzl"

they were aligned with our work (and our name):

spinner of yarn (we spread tales, sufi means wool)
spinning (we named ourselves "gyre" for a reason)
love (the greatest force in the universe, bonding us)


culture jammed surveillance posters

in honor of the recent federal money for video surveillance in my hometown of three rivers: (read: pittsburgh, pa) here is a story of remixes of the ridiculous recent british fear campaign against photography...

the cat one is really great (if you follow web humor), but here is the best overall...

via boingboing


erykah badu and alex grey?

>> Tuesday, March 4, 2008

but it's real!

erykah badu premiered her new album at the chapel of sacred mirrors, the entheocentric psychospiritual museum in chelsea, nyc of alex grey (and features some sweet works by allison grey too!) she's sitting above in front of "theologue", a huge painting on meditation by alex. i never would have guessed these two were aware of each other, but i am thrilled to find out they do... it seemed to be a good mix...

from the cosm blog:

"...she played the album to a packed house at cosm, then took questions of all kinds. one person asked her what her philosophy was and she stated that she considers herself "first a spiritual being, then a human being, then a woman, then a color, in that order." she spoke on how the kah and the ba in her name are specifically related to ancient egyptian words for the soul. the album is awesome..."

and it is... "new amerykah pt. 1 - 4th world war" highly recommended... i dug her early stuff, thought her next work fell off for a bit, liked a few things on the last album, but this one is solid. buy this one!

a track from it:

(mp3) erykah badu - "the healer" - it's a beautiful song, and a tribute to the late j dilla, too...


triple dose - older stuff

>> Monday, March 3, 2008

a video of young kids rippin' some flamenco (via muddup!):

a track of slim whitman, and underappreciated american "countrypolitan" singer who can damn sure make pretty sounds come out his mouth. i was introduced to this through the andy kaufman show... i guess people know it because it "saved the world" in "mars attacks!":

(mp3) slim whitman - indian love song (from "20 greatest hits")

a painting - "the beguilling of merlin" by edward coley burne-jones (1833-1898) i love the background, and how merlin is treated as a normal-ish looking human:


the greatest ripoff in animation

>> Sunday, March 2, 2008

when it came out i loved disney's alladin.

that was because i didn't know how it stole SO MUCH from richard williams' "the thief and the cobbler," which in the best available form, "the re-cobbled cut" is way excellent.

there are hundreds of direct pieces of theft, including at least four identical characters (the sultan, princess yum-yum/jasmine, zig-zag the grand vizier/jafar the grand vizier each with a bird pet fido/iago... shown below is zig-zag and fido over jafar and iago:

there are scenes stolen (like a thief falling through laundry), stolen shots, gags and styles.

it's important to say here that the original movie as richard williams intended was never completed, but was released in butchered form by miramax as "arabian knight." the original original was a movie about nasruddin developed with idries shah & family, but after a falling out between williams and the shahs it became a thirty year odyssey of making "the thief & the cobbler." richard williams during the rift stated, "the many years work spent on painstaking research into the beauty of Oriental art has been retained." also, apparently, a lot of the original footage without nasrudin was re-used, including the character grand vizier.

the art in it is incredible. bear in mind that williams did the animation for roger rabbit, including the slapstick classic of the opening cartoon. "the thief & the cobbler" reads like a mix of silent movie (the two main characters don't have lines), monty python animations by terry gilliam, "oriental" art (particularly the style of persian miniatures) and psychedelic patterns all thrown together with incredible hand-drawn animation and 4-dimensional movement.

wonder - pure, visual, wonder.

here is a trailer for the re-cobbled cut:

the re-cobbled cut is available for purchase somewhere, a lot of it (if not all) is on youtube, and there is a legit free download through torrent discussed here.


triple dose - new stuff

a video:

this short video discusses how animals can be trained to eat weeds and leave crops untouched. eliminates the need for herbicides and pastures, and encourages a more permacultural approach.

a bloglink:

bittbox, a graphic design blog with freebies. i got this vector of trees which i quickly made into the illustrator doodle below.

a track:

i've been getting too much goodness from this track from santogold produced by the venerable switch and freq nasty. she doesn't seem to have a full length yet, but i'm a listen when it drops...

(mp3) santogold feat. switch & freq nasty - creator


got money? feed kids!

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