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.

sex, sex, sex and...

>> Tuesday, April 29, 2008

short bus!

this great movie about sex is something i have wanted to see for a long time... a movie that depicts sex (quite graphically) but isn't pornography. that may be a philosophical point, but it short bus has a complex, rewarding plot, lush character development, non-simulated sex, pointful animation and an up-to-the-second awareness of the complexities of modern sexuality. i really can't reccomend it enough, especially anyone for who wonders at how sexuality fits into our overall expression. while the trailer below is quite PG... don't watch the movie if you can't watch fucking or dark emotions or are homophobic (seriously on that last one... while there is straight sex in the movie it is overall much queerer). oh, and justin bond is AMAZING.


albert hofmann 102 years

albert hofmann passed on... his "problem child", L.S.D. is easily among the most influential discoveries of the past 100 years.

albert discovered lysergic acid diethylamide while searching for medically useful derivatives of ergot (which coincidentally may have been involved in much earlier strangeness)

during the cold war, the CIA was interested in it as a potential "truth serum" and ordered 100,000,000 does from sandoz, the company that produced LSD while it was legal. a GREAT book documenting this history entirely from documents released through the Freedom of Information Act is Acid Dreams, the complete social history of LSD.

psychiatrists have been very interested from the start, but research was put on hold when LSD was made illegal in late 1966. recently there has been a renewed effort to have the drug studied under scientific circumstances. among other uses, it has shown remarkable potential to combat alcoholism.

most of all it has blown a lot of minds.

let's let the doctor speak for his creation...

"I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's vision-inducing capability more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjunction with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonderchild."


obama/weiss dream ticket

old lady fires up barrack... "don't pick on hillary, let her do that..." here is a clip from the beginning...


dj sarah and dj ryusei

>> Saturday, April 26, 2008

my pal ang from kill the unicorn (highly energetic pittsburgh band) recommended this amazing video of 5 and 8 year old djs... sweet. they're better than me.


no surprises department - secrecy

"The Bush Administration then moved to dismiss Al Haramain’s case, citing the “state-secrets privilege,” a controversial legal doctrine that can be used to prevent the introduction of evidence that might jeopardize national security. Judges tend to show deference when the executive branch invokes state secrets; courts have rejected the privilege on fewer than six occasions since it was first recognized by the Supreme Court, in 1953. In that case, U.S. v. Reynolds, the widows of three civilian engineers who died in the crash of an Air Force B-29 sued for negligence. The government would not turn over the accident report, asserting that it contained information about the plane’s secret electronic equipment. However, when the report was declassified, in the nineties, there was no mention of secret electronic equipment. It did reveal that the plane lacked standard safeguards to prevent the engine from overheating—the very negligence that the widows had alleged."


"According to a 2005 study by William Weaver and Robert Pallitto, political scientists at the University of Texas at El Paso, the Bush Administration has claimed the state-secrets privilege in recent years with “offhanded abandon.” By Weaver and Pallitto’s count of reported instances, the privilege was invoked fifty-five times in the half century before 2001; it has been used more than two dozen times in the years since. Its heavy use has drawn criticism from members of Congress, including Senator Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “We’re going to look back at this period of time two decades from now and see a vast expansion of executive authority,” Specter told me this month. “And a big part of it is done by the state-secrets doctrine. Do I think in some cases that the government uses it inappropriately? Absolutely.”


"In October, Bernabei wrote a letter to the Justice Department. The attorneys representing Al Haramain had been dealing with a novel quandary of legal ethics. If they had a reasonable belief that any telephone conversation with Seda or Buthi might be monitored by the N.S.A., could they talk to their clients without violating attorney-client confidentiality? Bernabei requested confirmation that the government was not intercepting her “written or oral communications” with her clients. Two weeks later, she received a response from the lawyers at the Justice Department. They wouldn’t confirm or deny."

from an interesting article in the new yorker on a vignette in the illegal wiretapping scandal.


pitsburghers - dance your ass off for a good cause!

>> Thursday, April 24, 2008

dana lee dolney has breast cancer. she is holding a benefit at remedy friday april 25th (tomorrow!). the family friendly entertainment (with phat man dee and jay shields) is 7-9, then the DJs are 10-2.

i'm spinning 11PM - 1AM. i'm gonna play an international heavy bass casserole of jamaican, african, balkan, middle eastern, spanish and latin tunes mashed up with emcees. garunteed to be delicious and floor-filling!

i've been pre-turntabling some mashups for maximum action... this way i can have time to drink some water, pre load the next two tracks, or even layer up to four tracks at once. should be ridiculous... here is an example: goran bregovich's "underground" into kraftwerk's "music non stop":

(mp3) james gyre - "underground non stop"

see you at the party.


many faces of darth

some exhibit in L.A. featuring a lot of heads of darth vader... mostly political.

via word soup


follow up - stephen kurtz

>> Tuesday, April 22, 2008


judge says evidence "insufficient on it's face"... not that it's over, over, but a major victory!

NY Times article


dan tague's origami activism

artist dan tague folded a bunch of money to make it say things... from the copy at the excellent groundswell collective blog:

In the dollar, he’s managed to find such politically charged phrases as “We Trust Liars, He is a liar. State of Fear. The American Idol. I Hate War. Hunt For Oil. The Heat is On. In God We Trust, Serve The State.”

many more images here.

UPDATE: the gallery requested that i add this link: www.jonathanferraragallery.com


scan - islamic geometry how-to

>> Monday, April 21, 2008

from the incredibly intricate, instructive, "islamic design - a genius for geometry" by daud sutton (one of the "wooden books" i just got) i've looked at some other great books on islamic patterns like keith critchlow's classic "islamic patterns - an analytic and cosmological approach", but this book seems to go more into the construction of the patterns from a geometrical perspective, and while it touchs on some of the symbolism and metaphysics, it is less absorbed in this aspect than the critchlow book. get out your compass and straight edge! (or adobe illustrator...)

NOTE: click on these for very legible 2000 pixel - wide versions.

eight fold rosettes:

making things fit:

self similarity:



scan - the pleasure programmer!

i bought (for $1.50) a 6 LP set of swing records from my local charity thrift and it came with this swell "pleasure programmer". sounds like some sort of complex sex-toy, but it's really quite G-rated. just pull the tab to pick music for themes such as "cocktail hour", "let's dance" or "serenade for you alone". click for (legible) hi-res version. detail below.

from the copy:

"WHAT IS PLEASURE PROGRAMMING? Pleasure Programming is an entirely new concept of record arrangement, devised by Reader's Digest Music Editors to dramatically increase your pleasure from your Reader's Digest record albums! ... ... From the ten records and twenty sides in your album, how many different Pleasure Programs do you think could be devised... 5,000? 10,000? 100,000? We asked an expert statistician for the answer and it is an astonishing 2,216,228! So you see, it will take you a long, long time to exhaust the listening pleasures of BACKGROUND MOODS."


scan - italian decorative style

i've always been a fan of this style of italian decoration. my mother had some mugs of this style featuring arabesque-esque (!) motifs and bizarre animals. apparently the style is centered around pottery from deruta. this scan is from a sketchbook made by rossi. i can't find this particular paper on their website, but it there is a picture of it on the products page. click for a larger version.


scan - the best dome

>> Sunday, April 20, 2008

my first scan is the beautiful roof of the timchah amin dawlah in kashan, iran. click on it for the big version and check out the staircases... awesome. from the lavishly illustrated "sufi: expressions of the mystic quest" by laleh bakhtiar, a decent book from the excellent thames and hudson art & imagination series. (that link only shows like eight of the 30+ titles for some reason... i'd reccomend the sacred geometry book, the zen book and oddly, the surprisingly informative angel book by the sketchy but impossible-to-ignore peter lamborn wilson a.k.a. hakim bey.)


big bad bill ayers

>> Saturday, April 19, 2008

UPDATE: people keep finding this post. if you are interested in bill ayers and the morality or lack-there-of of his actions, essential (quick) reading is "the trolley problem and bill ayers"

the big gotcha question at the last democratic debate was about obama's connection to bill ayers, former weather underground member. like so many of the questions posed by the moderators, the framing contained blatant falsehoods. they claimed that bill is "an unrepentant terrorist who had written an article on September 11, 2001 extolling bombings against the U.S., and even advocating more terrorist bombs"

bill responds to slander:

"I’m sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say “no, I don’t regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.” Sometimes I add, “I don’t think I did enough.” This is then elided: he has no regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings."


art of christine gray

>> Friday, April 18, 2008

above: "rabbit tureen"

i think i'd like her work even more if it was even less representational... but interesting color sense and great use of perspective. speaking of perspective, i got four more books in the mail from wooden books, including "perspective and other optical illusions", "islamic design - a genius for geometry", "useful mathematical and physical formulae", and "li - dynamic form in nature". haven't read them yet, but the pictures are beautiful and instructive.

painting via spencer attackerman an awesome blogger...


obama on hip hop

"art can't just be a rear-view mirror, it also has to have a headlight out there, pointing to where we need to go"

apparently he likes jay-z's american gangster... take that chuck d! (who i recently saw, and was talking shit on jay-z... mad respect for both of em, btw...)


my sister gets t

my sister, a sophomore in high school, pretty much summed it up here. from the post "say to yourself, "i can survive anything for an hour and a half" because you can... ... define everything yourself... ...life is too crazy, too unpredictable, too significant and insignificant to take too seriously"


white privelege, it's real

i'm a white male of upper-middle class background. i've noticed this has some perks. so have the lolcats. based on peggy mcintosh's "invisible knapsack".


hick... hand... skills... want...

>> Wednesday, April 16, 2008

don't miss the end.

via daily kos coverage of obama's huge poll gains.


8 songs, 1 spirit

>> Tuesday, April 15, 2008

these appear to be among my most listened to songs in itunes. i haven't always kept track, so i'm not sure how far back this is accurate (probably only a year or two) but i find a certain theme among them. i can't describe it, but perhaps you could hear it...

(mp3) the cocteau twins - "throughout the dark months of april and may" from "victorialand" i don't even listen to this group beyond this tune... several albums i heard bored me to tears. this song is a beauty though, even with the indecipherable lyrics...

(mp3) nass marrakech - "yo mala" from "sabil 'a salaam" my gangsta rapper friend digs this one. beautiful tune with unearthly (earthy?) percussion. very mellow, and drops in the krakeb after many minutes...

(mp3) burnt friedman & the nu dub players feat. patrice - "life is worth dying for"
from "can't cool" i can't sing the praise of this tune enough. if you only download two, this is one of them. the best track by burnt or patrice, and has a catastrophic bass drops each time before the chorus. absolutely tremendous production quality, relevant vocals, creative execution.

(mp3) dudley perkins - "falling" from "a lil' light" (produced by madlib) not really a rap tune, but then dudley is not really a rapper, he's more a poet, a singer, a prophet, a stoner. true words, dope beat.

(mp3) capleton - "stand tall"
from "more fire" i played this album like crazy up until i found out capleton was wicked homophobic... apparently i still play this track, and apparently capleton has signed some pledge to be nice to gays...

(mp3) donovan - "the river song" from "hurdy gurdy man" i'm a bit biased because my son's name is river, but i find this to be the best donovan tune, and quite beautiful. i like the way he says"over rock and stone"... it's cute, in a scottish sort of way...

(mp3) dj vadim feat. diane - "they say" from "the soundcatcher" cool housey tune with middle eastern percussion, indian vocal samples, and diane spitting some true shit.

(mp3) delroy wilson - "better must come" from "better must come" classic reggae tune. huge organs. great singing.

this next recording is beyond music:

it's spirit. please take the time to read the short bio here to understand what forward kwenda is doing in this piece. it was recorded in 1999 on a mountain top in a nature reserve of zimbabwe.

(mp3) forward kwenda - "23 minute excerpt from an mbira spirit ceremony - tadzungaira & gonamombe rerume" from "ellipsis arts - trance 3"

UPDATE: fixed broken link all tracks.


DJ... not that one...

this interview (from the intelligent, anarchist, infoshop news) with derrick jensen had some good chewables in it. he used the term "paper revolutionary" to describe himself and others, theorists, etc... i can't find any other uses of it on google, but it's a good term. i didn't finish "a language older than words" but it was a great mix of violent memoir, eco-critique and nature oddities. laura and i get a lot of use out of his ten rules of writing from "walking on water: reading, writing, and revolution". (which mumia abu-jamal calls "almost brutal in it's honesty) four of the rules are "don't bore the reader", but the one that sticks with me is "you want the reader to be thinking about what you want them thinking about and not what you don't want them thinking about" there is some grey area there, but i don't think jensen misses that...

this quote is from the interview: "I got interviewed for Green Anarchy a few years ago. And the way I started the interview they asked me if I’m a green anarchist and I said “you know? I don’t give a shit. If you want to call me that that’s great, but what I really care about is living in a world that has wild salmon, and living in a world that has no dioxin in a mothers breast milk, a world that has icecaps, whatever, and if that makes me a green anarchist, great, if it makes me not a green anarchist, great.” It’s the same with anarchism ... I have problems with labels anyway. I mean it took me years before I’d call myself a writer. People would say “what are you” and I’d say “I’m a person” and that felt really precious to me. So yeah, I’m a writer, I’m an anarchist, I’m an anarcho-primitivist, whatever you want to call me, whatever, but then I’m a capitalist for that matter; I mean I sell books, I have a little publishing company. So yeah I’m a capitalist and damn proud of it. Whatever."

jensen uses the same booking service as m1 from dead prez, the institute for applied autonomy and the beehive design collective, all of which deserve their own post some time...


fuck with your head

there is an explanation in the comments here, but try and figure it out first...


RANDOM specks OUT there

>> Monday, April 14, 2008

switch heads on some of these links, people...

sometimes spin can backfire. (RE: obama's "bitter" comment)
wind powered mobile sculptures. (beautiful theo jansen work)
news about america imported. (international news sees u.s.)
ten beautiful indian roads. (yes india, not "indians")
favorite world music blog. (flamenco, sufi, asian albums)
incredible piano scale resource. (i like "double harmonic")
lloyd kahn, "shelter" writer. (posting book scans soon!)
bendy and flexy images. (kid dances for laughs)


i'm not a pessimist, but... this is ridiculous

>> Sunday, April 13, 2008

clear-cutting hidden from the road. we aren't permitted to see the devastation we do. reminds me of the $15,000 matching grant the (inaccurately named) "friendship development association will give in my neighborhood of pittsburgh. they only award it for facade work! not for greening your building, not for repairing necessary utilities, just for making the neighborhood more inviting to corporations or white, upper-class "artists". anyway, here is an appropriately titled (and beautiful, but appropriately somber) philip glass tune:

(mp3) philip glass - "facades" from "glassworks"

btw, for those that know me, this would be obvious, but... i'm almost impenetrably optimistic. i'm having a great time while writing this, oddly enough. but the picture did piss me off.


jive turkey

this video from the movie "crossing the bridge" - the sound of istanbul inspired me to pull out my father's old clarinet. after some help from laura's parents, who are visiting, i was able to get some of the lower register. anyway, watch the video, especially note the kiss at 57 seconds, and the oud playing later on when someone (in turkish) explains that the term flamenco came from "flamo mengue". istanbul was great when we visited. the secular turks are a blast. this photo is laura in front of a huge pillar in the blue mosque.

also, not to be missed... selda. psychedelic anatolian protest funk from turkey's joan baez? these two tracks are from this record from the awesome finders keepers records. i really want this other album, but haven't poneyed up yet. i wonder where that phrase comes from? anyway, selda... wow. loop-mining here people...

(mp3) selda - "yaz gazeteci yaz"

(mp3) selda - "karaoglan"


music makes me happy - no frills

>> Friday, April 11, 2008

(mp3) burnt friedman & the nu dub players - "hard drive dub" (33rpm rip) from "do not legalize it!"
(mp3) benga - "zero m2" from "diary of an afro warrior"
(mp3) lullatone - "marching to sleep" from "bedtime beat"
(mp3) ovuca - "aheet" from "lactavent"


interesting article on biomimetics

>> Thursday, April 10, 2008

this lizard above wicks water FROM IT'S FEET TO IT'S MOUTH. nature is an embarrassment of riches. This article from national geographic explores engineers using nature as inspiration. from page 3:

"As we walked, Parker explained how the metallic sheen and dazzling colors of tropical birds and beetles derive not from pigments, but from optical features: neatly spaced microstructures that reflect specific wavelengths of light. Such structural color, fade-proof and more brilliant than pigment, is of great interest to people who manufacture paint, cosmetics, and those little holograms on credit cards. Toucan bills are a model of lightweight strength (they can crack nuts, yet are light enough not to seriously impede the bird's flight), while hedgehog spines and porcupine quills are marvels of structural economy and resilience. Spider silk is five times stronger by weight and vastly more ductile than high-grade steel. Insects offer an embarrassment of design riches. Glowworms produce a cool light with almost zero energy loss (a normal incandescent bulb wastes 98 percent of its energy as heat), and bombardier beetles have a high-efficiency combustion chamber in their posterior that shoots boiling-hot chemicals at would-be predators. The Melanophila beetle, which lays its eggs in freshly burned wood, has evolved a structure that can detect the precise infrared radiation produced by a forest fire, allowing it to sense a blaze a hundred kilometers away. This talent is currently being explored by the United States Air Force."

via boingboing


clairvoyant music from germany

>> Wednesday, April 9, 2008

a quickie... i think this track is interesting glue between dubstep, instrumental hip pop and house. it gets a little dramatic, but the overall bass feel is great. gangster rappers in my old hood liked freestyling over it...

(mp3) ellen allien & apparat - "metric" from "orchestra of bubbles"


i fucking love squarepusher

guy is talented, people. i know he can get jazzercise on us, but damn. flea thinks he's the best bass player on the planet. andre 3000 wants to work with him and thom yorke kisses his ass. he did the best remix ever of "tried by 12". what else do you need to know, people?

squarepusher... (acid dealer? dork shover? pear squisher?) anyway this new(ish) single is dope, even laura loves it, and she likes like 4% of squarepusher. there is this weird atonal melody, a kind of video game speed-up/slow-down part, super-fly rhythms and far-out sounds.

(mp3) squarepusher - "hanningfield window" from the mind of tom jenkinson. thank the gods this crazy wanker is alive, or drum n bass would all sound like dieselboy. pbbth!


big bird is watching

funny work by celine shenton called "big bird is watching you". the fact is though, that it does have a camera, but to see the nest, not the neighbors...


journalists with integrity... exist

i was turned on to this british master, jeremy paxman from a great daily kos diary post by ouroborous. watch how he drills these people by repeating questions... doesn't let them dodge.

i also have been more and more enamored with keith olberman of countdown on msnbc. i don't watch t.v. and i admit i have only seen a few of his segments, but he really goes for blood on some of my favorites loonies like fox news, john mccain and walmart, with a good control of facts and general humor. this clip debunks the "obama voted present" b.s.


tiny drum - sequencing site

if you've never played with a sequencer, or don't know what one is, try out the simple but fun tiny drum site. it's pretty easy (and only takes a few seconds) to make a pretty melody like some tracks of aphex twin's still awesome selected ambient works vol.2.


brief vacation post - borges

>> Saturday, April 5, 2008

borges was blind. his writing wasn't.

i'm traveling. funeral, friends. back tuesday.


battle of the adepts - remote viewing

>> Wednesday, April 2, 2008

after posting about remote viewing on boingboing, i received a very stylish challenge from the venerable takuan... it is as follows:

"and it's on! The crowd goes wild! One corner, Takuan spits in the bucket and comes dancing out, sequined tights twinkling under the kliegs, spiked gloves up and waving! From the other corner, Jamesegyre somersaults to center ring completely naked except for a thick layer of rancid yak butter and brandishing a jeweled scythe labelled "Truth"! Takuan jabs with:
"Remote Viewing is Bullshit!!"......"

my reply is as follows:

i admire your stylish challenge (and generally admire your comments) so it is, with the utmost respect, that i ask you move the rest of this battle here. i find it annoying to follow long comment threads, and would like to document this sure-to-be-epic intellectual struggle for my readers. sooo...

jamesgyre immediately sits in bound lotus and pronounces "remote viewing is an ancient and proven practice with some adherents even in mainstream physics. i have witnessed it performed perfectly first-hand. oh, and my yak butter isn't rancid, it's fermented."

let the games begin!

UPDATE: the conversation was not moved here, but is continuing on boingboing. i will post it here after a certain stage of completion has been reached.

UPDATE 2: a certain stage of completion has been reached... very civil, very cool. the whole original thread (with other folks comments and other digressions is here) the rest of takuan vs. jamesgyre is here in the comments.


great finds, sample sources

>> Tuesday, April 1, 2008

how to speak hip... cause you know you need to learn. click on the earlier link to hear this incredible record. some genius on metafilter somehow dug through the javascript to provide direct mp3 links... side one, side two. i know a ton of tracks sample this record. now you can too!

"much hipper just to relax and flip, you know groove with it..."


weird interactive web art

above: man in the dark (move your mouse, click, etc...)
similar but different: creepy girl. (not cgi, apparently)


hackers stage interesting response

the chaos computer club, in response to germany's plans to use biometric data (including fingerprints) in the new identification, has threatened to release chencelor angela merkel's fingerprints... it's kind of a good point. their position is that the data is easy to collect (they just released interior minister wolfgang schaeuble's fingerprints collected from a glass he used at a lecture) and will only help instead make spying easier on the citizens... the story here...


got money? feed kids!

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