Particle Portraits

Quote: “Take a deep breath! You have just inhaled oxygen atoms that have already been breathed by every person who ever lived. At some time or other your body has contained atoms that were once part of Moses or Isaac Newton. The oxygen mixes with carbon atoms in your lungs and you exhale carbon dioxide molecules. Chemistry is at work. Plants will rearrange these atoms, converting carbon dioxide back to oxygen, and at some future date our descendants will breathe some in.”

11.07. filed under: play. science. 6

Robot Folktales

Have you ever found yourself, sitting there at the office or behind a neighbors shrub, wondering, “What would a robot tell me if I weren’t so self involved and just gave it the chance to talk about itself?” I think we all have. It’s one of the great burning questions. Yet even in this magical age of information and technology, in which we enjoy the benefits of rocket ships and self-raking litter boxes, the answer has not been forthcoming. Or at least that’s what I thought before meeting Bluebell and Hector, a couple of genteel robots with tales to tell.

Tips for greater efficiency for example:
 
#2. Don’t waste time on decisions. Always choose the third from the left.

#3. Think about the bees. If they can succeed so can you.

#4 Get a nickname, preferably “The Colonel.” This will save you years of effort.

Hearty kudos go to Emma Payne for dragging our sorry asses into the red-wallpapered, naturalist illustrated, future. Because truly… any future in which I can’t listen to a robot recount its dreams or read me its latest poem is not one I want to spend a hell of a lot of time in. Brilliant.

 

 

10.28. filed under: bits&bytes. play. 5

Butoh, Dance of the Dark Soul

“But by an altogether Oriental means of expression, this objective and concrete language of the theater can fascinate and ensnare the organs. It flows into the sensibility. Abandoning Occidental usages of speech, it turns words into incantations. It extends the voice. It utilizes the vibrations and qualities of the voice. It wildly tramples rhythms underfoot. It pile-drives sounds. It seeks to exalt, to benumb, to charm, to arrest the sensibility. It liberates a new lyricism of gesture which, by its precipitation or its amplitude in the air, ends by surpassing the lyricism of words. It ultimately breaks away from the intellectual subjugation of the language, by conveying the sense of a new and deeper intellectuality which hides itself beneath the gestures and signs, raised to the dignity of particular exorcisms.”

–Antonin Artaud, from The Theater of Cruelty (First Manifesto): The Theater and Its Double, 1938.

10.21. filed under: art. history. people. play. 4

Mr. Men: The Movie

Way back in 1971 Roger Hargreaves, a London Ad man, wrote and illustrated a little book called Mr.Tickle. It was the birth of the immensely popular Mr. Men franchise which would make Hargreaves the third most selling British author in history, published in over 22 languages. Some of the older among you surely remember these. here is a screenshot.) Why am I telling you all this? Why would a person like myself, with an admittedly acerbic sort of outlook, put myself in a position to have to post an image which contained not just rainbows and butterflies and picnic blankets but kites and hot-air balloons to boot?! Read on…

10.17. filed under: film. lies. play. 6



Peanuts, by Charles Bukowski. Funny, and strangely simpatico. Via Monkeyfilter.

10.09. filed under: books. comedy. play. 1

And you shall know us by our doodles!

Oh, the tortured and convoluted minds of the insane! What a horror, the knowledge that they slink down the evening streets, pass us on rainy highways, stand behind us on line at the supermarket. They mutter, they stammer, they crane their necks and wail with bloodied hands during every lighting storm. But when they are silent? When their tumultuous souls are temporarily still? How shall we know them then? I ask you, how will we safeguard our slumber parties and campsites and abandoned gas stations? How will we ever again feel safe walking through poorly lit parking garages at three in the morning? How will we change flat tires on remote rural roads knowing deranged minds lurk all around us?!  Fortunately, good citizen, there is an answer- for so deranged are these crazies that their madness spills over, not only into their ramblings and murderous hands, but onto the very walls around them! Lunatics simply can not resist the urge to scrawl their turbulent thoughts over every inch of bare wall available to them. They are, one and all, compulsive doodlers… evidently.

10.02. filed under: film. observations. play. 7

Truth of words, larkless, here the possibility of greatness ever a page existing. Crazy pulchritude with incomprehension. Each vision a riddle with silent smilings! The mystery is additive to all, however, with production of private head tales, tongueless! like Pinker in Chomsky’s night pillow. No memory, even as childish, these wonders. Smurfs? The Terrific Space Coaster? Kangaroo Commander? Bah! The sadness does hover at missing the most great entertainments young eyes might glance on screens, it’s certain. Old eyes now and glancing at screens. Different but approaching what was. Together our tongueless eyes! We, all of us, glance at screens!

09.27. filed under: film. play. 1

Her name is The Humanities

There has been a lively discussion going on over at Varieties of Unreligious Experience touched off by Conrad’s post Humanism and the virtue of anxiety. My mind, degenerate and poorly oiled as it is, could not help but take a particularly delightful exchange to its ultimate conclusion (pictured above through the miracle of photoshop). Rather than catastrophically lower the level of discourse there, I thought I’d post my addition where it could do no such harm- here.

09.20. filed under: ideas. misc. play. 3

Description: A late 19th Century quarter repeating Swiss lever in a gold full hunter case. Gilt three quarter plate keyless movement with going barrel, four armed cam above the plate to actuate the automaton. Plain cock with polished steel regulator, compensation balance with blue steel overcoil hairspring. Club foot lever escapement. Slide quarter repeating on two gongs. Engine turned 18 carat gold full hunter case, slide in the band, etcetera.

Wow. Pretty fancy! And what is all that high presision Swiss mechanical dodaddery in the service of? What does it all lead to? 

 

09.18. filed under: history. humanity. play. wtf. 4

The robes are not that of a tattered crackpot or insulated monastery man. Those are scholars robes and this scholar has done the research by god! He’s evaporated liquids into condensates! He’s emptied test tubes and dropped them clattering to the table! He’s unrolled scrolls and traced things back to their ancient Greek antecedents only to disgustedly clap closed weighty tomes. He’s gone grey and bald at the effort. Oh yes, he’s done the research. And what has he found? What’s it all boil down to after all? el-zilcho.

09.04. filed under: misc. play. 5

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