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.

wacky facts i learned about my father's family...

>> Monday, June 30, 2008

1. my great aunt adelaide stole a beautiful pitcher from the ruins of pompei, and it's still in the family (pictures someday).

2. eve ensler, creator of the vagina monolgues, was fired from her high school cheerleading squad by my stepmother.

3. we're related to john adams, william penn and abraham lincoln.

and as an aside...

people are uniformed about politics. everywhere. even smart folks like my father and aunt. i have a lot of free time compared to most people and even i barely have time to do any in depth research into policy issues, global news or do some fact-checking. it makes for emotional decision making based on faulty assumptions. i'm down with emotional decision-making, just fuel it with some truth. anyway, the onion takes on those who are willfuly ignorant of electoral politics (unlike my father, who is merely partially and unintentionally ignorant).


obama gets some necessary criticism

bear in mind these people are strong obama supporters.

arianna huffington on why moving to the center is for losers.

glenn greenwald on fisa and olbermann's double standard.

crooks and liars laments obama's possible support of gates.

one of the biggest groups on barrackobama.com is this one.

an honest politician is only possible if they are accountable.


the hang drum

>> Sunday, June 22, 2008

i was browsing through haha.nu today and i came across video for the hang drum. i saw someone playing one of these in barcelona and i have been enchanted ever since.

the good news is that there are a ton more videos, a blog, and an informative wiki. the sad news is that there is no official website, and it is very hard to buy one. depending on whether or not you want to pick the scale (ad whether or not they still do that), you may have to go to switzerland to get one. anyway, you can write a letter to the inventors to get in line...

attn: Felix Rohner & Sabina Schärer
PANArt Hangbau AG, Engehaldenstr. 131, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

(in case this isn't totally obvious... WNAT! WTNA! WANT!)


a giant eco post

>> Thursday, June 19, 2008

so, there are all these alternatives out there for sensible energy use and ultimately: permaculture. permaculture, roughly speaking, is a design and philosophy that has long-term sustainability as a goal, with a heavy debt to natural systems and nature itself.

this post is going to look at some permaculturally inspired technologies, that may not all be brilliant or sustainable, but are steps on the path towards a more eco-friendly future.

a real common discussion in the ecosphere is automobiles. driving is arguably not the most important, but easily the most popular and contentious issue in the u.s. much is attention is paid to alternative fuel sources and car designs, but less discussion surrounds the roads themselves. roads are a big issue for animals and designs like the wildlife corridors are really important to connect the areas that roads disconnect. but even beyond that is the designs for the roads themselves.

so a company in the netherlands is building roads (picture above) that use the huge space they take up to both heat and cool nearby buildings (and heat the road in the winter for longevity). walk on the asphalt in a hot day to feel the immense energy being wasted.

also while i tend to argue in favor of bike lanes, there is an interesting pro/con discussion here.

alright, so cars. forget the 1st generation hybrids. above is the tesla roadster. it's fast and strong and electric, gets 250 miles per gallon (sort-of... it's a funny electric conversion method), but only has a 22o mile range and costs a whopping $100,000. rich people seem to like it, but i think there are a lot cooler alternatives...

...like the air car (pictured above). it runs on compressed air. could be zero emmissions (with a zero-emission electrical source). it's already being made in india, and a version with a small fuel component could hit the u.s. in as little as two years with a thousand mile range and for under $20,000. sign me up (or i'll just take the aptera, which i covered earlier...). popular mechanics article here and here (thanks to my stepfather) with other entrants to the automotive x prize.

also not worth missing is the inflatable car (the four versions pictured above). i'm pretty intrigued with this one, as it appeals to my nomadic lifestyle urges (it ships in two boxes!). it won't ship for another two years at least, but it should only cost $10,000 and should have a range of 2500 miles (that's almost driving across the u.s. on one "fill-up") objective article here, official site here.

oh, and i can't resist mentioning the splinter (pictured above), the first all wood super car. it doesn't seem that great in practice, but wood + technology = cool, in my opinion. o.k., let's move on from cars. i don't even own one. i mostly take the bus and ride my bike (and if you want to see some awesome bikes, go here.)

so electric cars are all very groovy, but the source of the electricity is of course in question. while there is much to say about wind, solar, geo-thermal and plasma sources (later...) one source is bio-fuel. the big noise about ethanol going around is a little disheartening mostly, people are just mentioning sugar and corn as sources. that's a bit ridiculous, as those are foods to a lot of people, and aren't even that great a source. the best is marijuana/cannabis/hemp. hemp produces the most biomass of any plant on earth, at least four times richer in potential than its nearest rivals: cornstalks, sugarcane, kenaf, or trees, it grows extremely fast (like a weed!) in almost any climate and requires less pollution to refine into fuel than alternatives. (you can also make bricks, plastic, beams, paper, cloth, rope, and food with it, by the way!) read more on hemp as a fuel source here. also touted as a potentially good source is kudzu (pictured above), an invasive species that currently is something of a nuisance. it seems tricky, though... i say use hemp, or...

...petrol shitting bugs. no shit! the bugs can feed on most natural feed stocks (plants) and produce usable, normal, fuel from it. none of the refining issues with ethanol production, but it's hard to scale. times uk article here, official site here. some serious investment has gone into it, though, so we'll see. for the moment, we might want to stick with...

algae? well, sure, it's biomass. sure, it grows really easily (sometimes too easily) and doesn't necessarily even need light. a whole blog discussing algae as fuel is here. a giant goverment report is here(pdf). anyway, 15 companies have started working on it, you can drive with it, and we might even be able to feed the algae with the emissions from power plants! more from the solar biofuels consortium.

also worth considering is off-shore wind power. it's harder to build, but out of the way, and the wind is less interrupted on the sea. i've covered geo-thermal and plasma-power in an earlier post, but also worth noting is this diary from daily kos on plasma power. plasma easily wins my nomination for coolest eco-technology... to quickly summarize, it turns ANY garbage into energy, usable fuel and useful ceramic material. a LOT of money is spent on landfills (and energy) and this tech makes a lot more sense. on the solar tip, check out this list of 100 solar gadget ideas and the followup of 100 solar architecture ideas.

anyway, buildings. a lot of ideas have been floated for growing vertically in urban spaces, as in the images above. some of it makes sense to me, some of it doesn't. it can be made organic, it could be efficient, and could reduce the transportation costs (financial and environmental) of shipping our food. some say that green roofs are better overall. a very thorough post on the topic can be found here, which includes links to despommier's (the main proponent) site and his interview with stephen colbert.

one idea (pictured above) that's pretty hard to argue with is growing food in window space. using hydroponics, you can still get a lot of light, it helps with heat and cold retention, oxygen production and end up with beautiful plants, growing without soil. it's like greenhouses or sun porches but for office spaces and homes.

the comic above basically decribes my feelings of lawns. i don't have one (as i live in a loft on the top of a storefront building (with a nearly green roof!). if you have a lawn, at least use a reel-mower (below) if you can't grow a more diverse natural space than grass.

on the fun tip, these lawn furniture ideas (below) are awesome. i'd want one if i had a lawn... who needs to build furniture when you can grow it?

there are a billion other ideas that are important. one could get into the importance of organic food production (and the stupidity of popular claims otherwise), the environmental dangers of computers (like coltan mining, carcinogenic manufacturing conditions, toxic disposal and electricity use), carbon offsets, grey-water systems (like the washing machines that connect to your toilet) or plastics made from pig urine. we could go into the dangers of compact flourescent bulbs and how cool led technology is. we could discuss all the basic, popular efforts. we could survey more in-depth analysis. we could talk about how even kids take great steps to fix these issues. or we could just eat endangered animals (seriously?).

i could talk about my personal practice of greening things, and maybe sometime i will. the important thing to realize is that alternatives exist, have existed, and will continue to be created. all we need to do is educate ourselves and big business how intelligent, necessary and even profitable these ideas are.


family travel

that's my son river and i at the new york dolls concert in pittsburgh recently. thanks to patrice for pointing the photo out on the three rivers arts festival website.

i'll be traveling for two weeks for some family business (and some fun). i'll be busy intermittently and have tons of free time intermittently. so i'm going to try to keep the blog up... but not like normal. i owe you a few in depth posts. i've been building up a big archive for a huge eco-tech post and i want to do an in-depth analysis of radical and anarchist perspective on this elections.

any other topics you're dying to have me blather on in a somewhat intelligent way about?

more music styles you are eager for a primer on?

all talk at once, now, o.k.?


spanish "duchess" leaves huge historical archive and palace to wife

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

i found this article on luisa isabel fascinating. what an interesting life... from the article:

"The dictator Francisco Franco jailed her for championing workers, who nicknamed her the "Red Duchess". She challenged Spain's official history, arguing that Columbus didn't discover America. She was an atheist, a republican and reckoned her 13th-century ancestor Guzman el Bueno, ennobled for fighting the Moors, was a north African whose grandmother was black."


the ideal exam.

from these folks, a perfect exam. i almost want to do it.

Patch together some things you have heard in lectures, in no particular order.

2. Has this question vexed philosophers for centuries?

3. Create an impression of original thought by impassioned scribbling (your answer may be ungrammatical, illegible, or both).

4. Does the answer to this question depend on what you believe?

5. How much irrelevant historical background can you give before addressing this question?

6. Describe two opposing views, then say what you personally feel.

7. Rise above the fumbling efforts of others and speculate freely on an issue of your choice.


(a) Answer this question by announcing that it really means something different (and much easier to answer).


(b) Write out your answer to last year’s question on this topic.

9. Protest your convictions in the teeth of obvious and overwhelming objections.

10. Keep your reader guessing about what you think until the end. Then don’t tell them.


patching ancient walls with legos

meticulous reconstructions in lego. link to the original site.

via boing boing


"why i'm voting republican" (NOT!!!)


gorgeous website design

>> Saturday, June 14, 2008

stillshots don't do it justice, so i won't bother. just head over to


and click around... there is sound and motion, but it's very well done, not at all distracting.

NOTE: make sure to click "news" and "creative knowledge"!!!

via webby awards.


bizarre aerodynamic forms

by luigi colani... a ton more here... check out the 2000-passenger plane.


stillness in motion

great japanese contact juggler...

via this post (with more videos) on metafilter


demolition, travel and dubstep

been slacking on the blog because i'm not slacking on other things... like massive demolition and cleanout of our storefront building, organizing my art/music space and getting ready to travel to new york and oregon...

i also went to see some sweet dubstep (with joe nice of dubwar, j burns, cutups and keeb$). they played some really massive tracks... j burns played the roommate remix of djunya's "contact"... one of the only places i can find this INCREDIBLE BANGER is on this mix... it's the second track. (UPDATE: i'm pretty lukewarm on this mix overall, and the djunya track is on this, but the INCREDIBLE BANGER was this babylon system tune...) i also really liked the babylon system & noah d track "control", but can't find it anywhere... help please? (FURTHER UPDATE: it's not "control", but "examination of time"... and it does exist.) joe nice played a nice mala (of digital mystikz) tune called "livin' different" which for the moment you can hear on his myspace. i also made a quick and dirty (and kind of sloppy) 18-track 23-minute mix to try to hustle up some dubstep djing gigs... it's fun, but it was friday the 13th, and things got weird... enough excuses... the tracklist is below and in the comments file.

james gyre
mixing dirty


friday 13th
june 2008

wagawaga - nuff wobbles
overcast radio - honky paradise
cauto - bona vida
loefah - disko rekah
the others - africa vip
diplo - pop (m.i.a. vs dead prez)
maurice gleaton - lean wit it, rock wit it (instrumental)
benga - pleasure
flying lotus - melt!
benga - pleasure
krazy baldhead - revolution (para one remix)
dj vadim - ballistic affairs feat. skinny man & sena
skepta - blood, sweat & tears
2562 - morvern
fatboyslim - star 69 (dj godfather remix w/ acapella)
hossam ramzy - khusara, khusara
timbaland - big pimpin (instrumental)
lily allen - ldn (radioclit remix)
aphex twin - spoken word

UPDATE: (added the hossam ramzy and jay-z instrumental... i forgot... oops, not included in the mp3 id3 tags)


something you missed, surprisingly

>> Wednesday, June 11, 2008

at least you missed it if you mostly read or watch corporate news. dennis kucinich read 35 articles of impeachment for george bush two nights ago. the evidence is damn good. the whole list is here. will it go anywhere? probably not. dennis claims he'll keep fighting for it.

and sure, people love to marginalize kucinich, because he has ethics, and is arguably the most radical elected official in the u.s. (and sure, he also saw a u.f.o. at shirley maclaine's house... but does this guy really look crazy?)

something should happen to bush besides going back to texas to rot on the porch... like rotting in jail... in morrocco... or saudi arabia... or mars...


overcast radio and the passing of a titan

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the great teo macero has died. he was unarguably one of the first remixers. from the new york times obituary...

"Helping to build Miles Davis albums like “Bitches Brew,” “In a Silent Way” and “Get Up With It,” Mr. Macero (pronounced TEE-oh mah-SEH-roh) used techniques partly inspired by composers like Edgard Varèse, who had been using tape-editing and electronic effects to help shape the music. Such techniques were then new to jazz and have largely remained separate from it since. But the electric-jazz albums he helped Davis create — especially “Bitches Brew,” which remains one of the best-selling albums by a jazz artist — have deeper echoes in almost 40 years of experimental pop, like work by Can, Brian Eno and Radiohead."

get up with it is my favorite miles davis album... an amazing compilation of work from 1971-1974 (the last released before his 6 year sobering-up/retirement)... spectacular work, that wouldn't be as awesome without teo's touch...

i found out about this passing from overcast radio's myspace page. overcast radio is chris jones, and his track below is a funky bass-filed banger... he sites miles as a major influence, and i can hear it in the wahs... direct link, so you can save as...

(mp3) overcast radio - "honky paradise"

i don't think you can buy his music yet, but i sent him a note, and i'll update when i know.


the spanish civil war

>> Monday, June 9, 2008

when i first became interested in practical, as opposed to theoretical anarchy, i was schooled on how little i knew about anarchist history, in particular, the spanish civil war. i still don't know as much as i would like, but recently have been educated on the topic more.

i watched a lecture (put on by our local anarchist rabble-rousers, pittsburgh organizing group, and our local christian peace workers, the thomas merton center) with george sossenko, pictured below...

he was a bit daft, but with it enough to recount some of his experiences running away from home to take part in what some have argued was the most successful non-hierarchical uprising in the history of the earth. for a long while, the anarchists held control of barcelona and other lands, until they we're defeated by the facists on one side and the state socialists on the other.

i asked him whether or not modern anarchists should be actively pursuing violence with the state and he said yes. easier said than done, in my eyes, considering the power of the u.s. military. i liked ashanti allston's answer better... he was the next speaker in the series, and he said, yes, we should train in violent methods, but we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket... self defense is a must, but glamourizing violent uprising has it's problems... he should know. he said it's most important to talk and build with people, face to face. hear hear!

anyway, if you want to talk face to face with me about anarchism and revolution (and can get to pittsburgh sometime or wait till i get near you, email me... j at gyreworks dot com)

bonus album of spanish civil war songs courtesy of zerogsound.

bonus folio of bourgeois personalities courtesy of i flips me lid.

UPDATE: from the comments, reader carlos points out subtleties:

"the uprising itself was the nacionales (fascists). the anarchist thing was basically pre-existing, as spain was mostly agrarian at that point and had been anti-monarchy + anti-clerical for decades. they had also organized into syndicates / militias, and were supportive of and supported by the socialist government at the time (it was all you could do to keep the nationalists out of government in th 1930s).

so to me, the most interesting thing is that restructuring barcelona into an 'anarchist' city (and abolishing money, etc) was actually a defensive act, reactionary as opposed to the 'revolutionary' (violent, military) stance taken by the nationalists!

finally, i think it wasn't exactly the state socialists who ruined everything (specifically the POUM, that group so often associated with Orwell thanks to Homage to Catalonia). it was actually the communists from moscow, who'd become major players in the war by 1939 and were fixated on consolidating power 'to win the war'. there were plenty of state socialists who sided with the moscow commies, but just as many were very skeptical of these cats and sympathized w/the anarchist critiques of them.

in any case, if you want to read any more on this, i really really really recommend anthony beevor's The Spanish Civil War. it's pretty darn good, although there's a lot of (overly) specific descriptions of battles and shit."


more wild hair

>> Sunday, June 8, 2008

my first post about wild hair remains one of the most popular posts on here, oddly (i think it's the image i link to, but who knows...) anyway, i saw these bizarre animal hairstyles and couldn't resist. they're really elaborate and awesome. above is the giraffe and below is the lion, but the others are cool, too.

UPDATE: credit, nagi noda


your moment of zen (6 secs...)

>> Friday, June 6, 2008

because you asked, of course there's a remix!


one of my favorite works of art (NSFW)

>> Thursday, June 5, 2008

it's by packard jennings. it is sized so that it can be folded up and sent back in the standard postage paid envelopes sent with all kinds of mail. it's all using non-language-based pictures to tell the story of a corporate drone opening the letter, to find the art, starting a riot, taking over their office, all the way to neo-primative society hunting gophers and, well... the first two panels are below, but you can click on them to see the whole folding masterpiece... just check it out...

just comment if this link ever breaks... i've got a downloaded copy...


i love techno a-z: daft punk - drop the lime

>> Wednesday, June 4, 2008

this is part of an ongoing series
abe duque - autechre
baby ford - burial
cajmere - cylob

daft punk - if you haven't enjoyed this classic album, you live under a boring rock. (unless you hate dance music, in which case you might as well stop reading this post and go listen to brahms or hannah montana or whatever it is you like.)

(mp3) daft punk - "oh yeah"
from "homework"

david bowie - not really techno, but this track kinda is. he doesn't sing, and it has a fast beat and it's basically textural manipulations by eno, i assume.

(mp3) david bowie - "abdulmajid" from "heroes"

dead prez - revolutionary rappers of high quality. this, however, is a club jam... with a revolutionary message. one of my favorite d.p. tunes...

(mp3) dead prez - "warzone" (single with pete rock)

deadbeat - beautiful dub-electronic tune by one of the montreal geniuses (along with akufen, etc...). deep textures... he mostly makes more overtly techno music, but this track is my favorite of his.

(mp3) deadbeat - "organ in the attic sings the blues" from a ~scape compilation

dee-lite - play this song and people dance. it's a total classic.

(mp3) dee-lite - "groove is in the heart" (with q-tip)

detroit grand pubahs - play this song and people feel a little dirty (in a good way) and often dance. it's an underground classic.

(mp3) detroit grand pubahs - "sandwiches" from some 12"

dinky - laura and i once danced to the beautiful ms. dinky by ourselves in the beautiful watergate club in berlin. she was warming up for a m-nus showcase and it was awesome. a melodic minimal producer with a psychedelic bent. this tune is a totally overt drug reference, but the track stands anyway.

(mp3) dinky - "acid in my fridge" from some 12"

dj hell - saw him in the same club and he rocked it. a very unique hard techno producer with a lot of brashness and attitude, but a great mixer and label boss of international deejay gigolo records.

(mp3) dj hell - unknown track w/ chicks on speed - from some bootleg cd i bought in thailand

dj/rupture - often he does a global clash style with drumnbass and hip hop and dancehall tones, but this slow latin kicker definitely qualifies for this 4/4 review... i wonder who the vocalist is... maybe rupture (or one of his readers) will tell us? UPDATE: it's fosforo.

(mp3) dj/rupture - "musquito (club foot remix)" from "special gunpowder"

dj vadim - easily in my top 5 for hip hop producers, dj vadim (from russia) occasionaly drifts into other genre territory, as in this track (which i posted the vocal of here)

(mp3) dj vadim - "them say" (instrumental) from "the soundcatcher instrumentals"

drop the lime - mostly does breakcore and dubstep (and sings very poorly), but this tune is a more classic-style rave banger (with stupid samples, but i dig it anyway...). his track "rocker party" should not be missed... awesome.

(mp3) drop the lime - "i want 2 know" from some 12" and palmsout sounds blood oranges


the aptera

>> Tuesday, June 3, 2008

the aptera. under $30,000, 300 miles per gallon, exceed safety specs, all electric version... want! (if i had $30,000...)


scott, why didn't it happen sooner?

as usual, the toughest questions get asked on comedy shows... the only interview with scott mclellan worth watching... even keith olbermann went easy on him... pts 1 + 2 below...


spicy bits

>> Monday, June 2, 2008

sweet DOUBLE hidden drawer (bottom of link...)
convenient CHART of plants that neutralize household toxins
sublime GRAFFITI of granada, spain (mentioned earlier)
cute PICTURES of animals raising other species
german ROBOT fast food service restaraunt


got money? feed kids!

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