Saturday, December 29, 2012


Haven't posted anything arty for a while so here's some microscopic artwork, by Willard Wigan, I was looking at not long ago.  They're pretty damn impressive work if you ask me.

Willard started making small sculptures a little over 50 years ago when he was 5.  Having dyslexia and other learning disabilities, he was teased in school when he was young and he turned to his art for solace.  These days the majority of Willards sculptures are usually displayed inside the eye of a needle or literally on the head of a pin.

They are so small that Willard has to go into a meditative state to slow his heartbeat, and he works between each pulse when his hand is completely still and steady. His artwork is of such minute proportions that it virtually can not be seen with the naked eye, and can only be seen clearly with a microscope.  Each piece is sculpted with grains of sand, dust fibers, cobwebs or even insect hair. Willards creations are so light eacho one can be lifted with an eyelash.
The average price for each of his micro-sculptures is around $80,000.  Prince Charles Elton John and Mike Tyson are some of the people who collect his work.  Once while he was working on an Alice in Wonderland micro-sculpure, his phone rang. When he answered the phone he sighed and he accidentally inhaled Alice.
Presently Willard is collaborating with two of the worlds finest watch makers, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey (, on a project to create the world’s most exclusive timepiece, Art Piece 1 is scheduled to be unveiled soon at the World International Watch Convention in January 2013.
As it is easier for a rich man to enter a camel than for a poor man to pass a needle, you can see more of Willard and his micro-sculptures at


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Silent Night Assassin

Happy Christmas. This years Christmas themed book is The Silent Partner by Anders Bodelsen.

Santa doesn't take kindly to his toy store debtors being late on their payments. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you’re awake and he's packing heat.
Watch out for the movie in the bargain bin at your DVD store.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

An Excess of Farrisses

If you listen to the song I Need You Tonight by INXS you'll realise it's about plastic surgery addiction.  One of the lines is clearly:
"Your boobs are so long
   They've got to hit your nose"
The lyrics to Biting Bullets have something to do with aquatic mythological battles in the lines:
"Fighting mermaids,
   fighting around!!"

While the lyrics to the song Mystify are clearly a reference to lead singer Michael Hutchence hiding behind his hotel door:
"Mister find, Mister find me
   Mister find, Mister find me"
The origins of the band that was later to become INXS, began in 1977 with Andrew Farriss convincing his fellow High School classmate, Michael Hutchence, to join his band called Doctor Dolphin.  It was a terrible name but even at this early age, Hutchence enjoyed playing with his pink dolphin.  With three Farriss brothers in the now seven piece band (Andrew, Jon and Tim) they decided to rename themselves as The Farriss Brothers.
In 1978, The parents of the Farriss boys relocated to Perth, taking Jon to continue his schooling and, as soon as Hutchence and Andrew finished school, the rest of the band followed.  In Perth, for some inexplicable reason, they briefly performed as The Vegetables, singing "We Are the Vegetables", before returning to Sydney ten months later.
At a chance meeting in a Sydney pub car park, Tim was approached by Gary Morris, the manager of Midnight Oil. The band began to regularly support Midnight Oil and other local bands again under the name The Ferris Brothers during which time Morris advised that a member of Midnight Oils crew had come up with a less crappy band name and he suggested they change it.  The name INXS was inspired by English band XTC and Australian jam makers IXL.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Carl Sagan Doomsday Quote

Yep, this Friday is Doomsday.  The Deathstar Mimas has been hanging out around Saturn waiting for December 21, 2012 to charge up it's superweapon. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Moustache Power

With great moustache power comes great responsibility.

He can also uses his armpit hair for endurance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The latest uncommon word I have encountered is nudiustertian.  No, it's not an Austrian word to describe a nude citizen. It's the proper term to describe the time frame pertaining to the day before yesterday.
I think it's an important word because it's the pivotal point in history where memory starts to go fuzzy.  Remembering what happened yesterday is fine but the day before... may as well be the year before yesterday. Alternatively if you drink a lot it's where your last memory starts since you woke up.
I couldn't find a picture I liked depicting the day before yesterday, so here's one of some nude Austrians.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Excreting Mozart

Mozart was absoloutely the first music super star.  If you can't appreciate his music, you really don't know music at all.  Sure there were other other famous composers but for super star status they really didn't compare.  It's sort of like comparing the guy who writes the opening title music for sitcoms to Elvis Presley.  Even Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozarts talent.  Over his lifetime Mozart composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music.  Born as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart in 1756, but like most rock stars, he preferred to be known publicly as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
When Mozart was three he would watch his seven year old sister, Nannerl, during her keyboard lessons with her father.  When he was four his father began to teach him a few minuets and pieces at the keyboard.  He could play faultlessly and with perfect timing.   At the age of five, he was already composing small pieces, which he played to his father who wrote them down.  In 1762, at the age of six, Mozart and his sister began his first concert tour across Europe which spanned three and a half years.  During this trip, Mozart met a great number of musicians and acquainted himself with the works of many other composers. A particularly important influence was Johann Bach.
Mozart was a big fan of excrement and had a fondness for scatological humour and poetry.  Something which is preserved in his letters, notably those written to his cousin Maria, but also in his correspondence with his sister and parents.  According to some research an estimate of 39 of Mozart's letters include scatological passages.  The majority of these are written to family members who occasionally included similar scatological humour in their own letters.  No doubt that if Mozart was alive today The Human Centipede would be pride of place in his DVD collection.

One of the surviving letters to his cousin Maria contains a fine example of Mozart's use of scatology: "Well, I wish you good night But first shit into your bed and make it burst. Sleep soundly, my love Into your mouth your arse you'll shove."  The German original is in rhyming verse.

Mozart even wrote scatological music, a series of canons that he sang with his friends:
 "Leck mich im Arsch" (Lick me in the arse)
  "Gehn wir im Prater, gehn wir in d' Hetz," (Off to the Prater, off to the Fun)
 “Difficile lectu mihi mars et jonicu” (Difficult thing for me is reading Mars and Ionian)
 "O du eselhafter Peierl" (Oh, you asinine Peierl)
 "Bona nox" (Good night)
As well as two canons by Trnka to which he gave new poo themed lyrics:
 "Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schön sauber" (Lick my arse right well and clean)
 "Bei der Hitz im Sommer eß ich" (In the heat of summer I eat)
An unusual phenomena occurs when listening to Mozart called, not surprisingly, The Mozart effect.  Mozart's music induces a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as spatial-temporal reasoning. If you look around, you will quickly realise that the opposite occurs when listening to Justin Bieber.
Researchers Shaw and Ky, investigated the effect of listening to music by Mozart on spatial reasoning.  They gave research participants one of three standard tests of abstract spatial reasoning after they had experienced each of three listening conditions: a sonata by Mozart, repetitive relaxation music, and silence.  They found a temporary enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning, as measured by the Stanford-Binet IQ test.  What this shows is "that there are patterns of neurons that fire in sequences, and that there appear to be pre-existing sites in the brain that respond to specific frequencies."  Unfortunately, the research also showed that the enhancing effect of the music condition is only temporary, no student had effects extending beyond a 15-minute period.
So there you have it, listening to music about poo can benefit your brain.  Try it out yourself, here’s Leck mich im Arsch (Lick me in the arse). 
I'm waiting for the karaoke version to come out.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Bionic Yuletide Stripper

December again?
Six Million Dollar Man Christmas Adventures.

The four exciting adventures mostly involve Steve Austin breaking in to peoples houses, dressed as Santa, at midnight and performing a unsettling striptease as he wakes them at their bedside.
There's also some sort of reference involving a rocket thrusting up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Monkey's Peeing Circus

Little Monkey's Big Peeing Circus
by Veldkamp and De Boer

Yes, it's a real Book.
No I'm not reading it to you at bedtime.

Before you ask, it's not a banana in his pocket.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Forgetting The Jam

Even Flow by Pearl Jam.

Right from the early days of their debut album, Pearl Jam delivered a consistently even flow of misheard lyrics.

Even flow features lyrics written and sung by Eddie Vedder and music written by guitarist Stone Gossard.  It's the guitar playing in particular that you should listen out for.  If you listen closely to the guitar solo you'll hear Gossard begin his...
I forget.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Beard Tax

Peter the Great (1672-1725), Tsar of Russia, was a beard-hater.  He also wanted to Westernise his nation. To do so, among other actions, he required the men of Russia to shave their beards in imitation of the high-born men of Western Europe. Or, alternatively, to pay a beard tax.  On 16 January 1705, men 'of all ranks', were ordered to shave.  Anyone who wished to keep his beard and whiskers had to pay the beard tax based on their social status: 60 roubles for nobles, military officers and chancellery officials, 100 roubles for merchants of the first guild. Peasants and the clergy were exempt from the tax. Travelling beard wearers had to pay a kopeck each time they entered the city gates.
Men who paid this beard tax were given a special permit in the form of a beard token (obtained from the police station) to prove that they were honest, beard tax-paying citizens.  The beard token was a small bronze medallion with a Russian eagle on one side and a beard on the other.  It was inscribed with two phrases: "the beard tax has been taken" and "the beard is a superfluous burden".  The token was often worn on a chain around the neck, underneath the beard it gave permit for.
Peter the (beard hating) Great was not the only beard tax instigator.  Almost two hundred years earlier in 1535, King Henry VIII of England, who himself had a beard, introduced a beard tax. The tax was also graduated, varying with the wearer's social position. His daughter, Elizabeth I, reintroduced the beard tax, taxing every beard of more than two weeks' growth.
You can read more on Beard Taxing by downloading Erik Jensens 2003 article from the journal Tax Notes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Predator’s Coming Out

 Oddly the story of Predator starts with Silvester Stallone. Following the release of Rocky IV, a joke was making rounds in Hollywood that since Rocky Balboa had run out of earthly opponents, he would have to fight an alien if a fifth instalment. Screenwriters Jim and John Thomas wrote the Predator screenplay based on the joke, originally with Stallone in mind for the part. Originally titled Hunter, it featured one commando facing off against the alien, taking inspiration from both Rocky and Rambo.  It was picked up by 20th Century Fox in 1985, and turned over Joel Silver and Lawrence Gordon to produce.

Silver and Gordon approached Arnold Schwarzenegger for the lead role.  Schwarzenegger liked the combination of action/sci-fi/horror but felt the script would be more believable if it was a team of commandos, so the script was re-written.  Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the alien, however, on the set Van Damme behaved like a whiny little bitch, constantly complaining that the costume was too clumsy and too hot and he was going to pass out. He also repeatedly winged about not be appearing on camera without the suit. Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by Kevin Peter Hall.
Regardless of how much you liked the movie or not, it is one revelation that will change your whole perspective on the Predator movie and that it: The Predator movie is a gay coming out movie. The alien in the movie represents the characters latent feelings and getting killed by it is a metaphor for coming out of the closet.  I'm not even going to get into how all the guns are handled and fired from the hip.  The Predator symbolises the spectre of the company of mens suppressed homosexual feelings, which is lurking there unseen, waiting to emerge when they are away from their masculine peers.  Arnies character spends the most time with the only woman in the film and consequently is the only one who doesn't get killed by the alien and metaphorically come out of the closet. Covering himself in mud to mask his body heat and hide from the alien he symbolically conceals his true feelings by conforming to match his environment.
Now try watching it again with that idea stuck in your head.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Zombie Girls Choir

Oh Graveyard You Can't Hold Me Always released by Mississippi Records.

This LP contains the preparation details and chanting for the voodoo ritual by which one may raise ones self up from the dead, performed by a school girl choir.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Chewbacca Gets Dissed

I've got mixed feelings about the recent news of Disney buying Lucas Films and planning a seventh Star Wars Film.  The good news is there will be another Star Wars film, the bad news is the risk that it gets disneyfied.  On the other hand Disney already owns Marvel and they are doing an OK job and not dumbing down that too much. I'm just hoping we don't end up being delivered a movie like Jar Jar Prince of the Galaxy with ewoks flying X-wings or something just as tragic.

Anyway I realised something about the medal ceremony at the end of the original A New Hope.  At the ceremony Luke and Han get awarded medals and Chewbacca is standing there getting nothing.

See even in the free republic wookiees are still classed as pets, just a notch above droids.  At least Darth Vaders plan included freeing all people in slavery.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Divination Food

There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties, most of which are played as forms of divination. The most well known being apple bobbing, which is called "dooking" in Scotland.  A bunch of apples float in a tub of water and the someone must remove an apple from the basin using only their teeth.  After the person has rubbed their germ filled mouth and drool all over the apples trying to get one, it's the next persons go.  If you put the apple under your pillow you are supposed to dream of your future spouse.  A more hygienic variant involves holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drop the fork into one of the apples.
A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.  In the early 1900s a Halloween game that was played involved walnut shells. People would write fortunes in milk on white paper and, when dry, the paper was folded and placed in walnut shells, a bit like a fortune cookie. When the shell was warmed, the milk would turn brown and the writing would appear.
One custom that continues in Ireland is the baking of a barmbrack (often shortened to brack), which is a light bread with raisins and used as a sort of fortune-telling game. Baked into the barnbrack is a ring, a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary.  Commercially produced barmbracks for Halloween still include a toy ring but not a filthy rag or a dirty stick from they yard.  Each item carried a meaning for the person who received it in their slice.  The pea meant the person would not marry that year; the stick meant an unhappy marriage or constant disputes; the cloth meant bad luck or poverty; the coin meant good fortune or wealth; the ring meant they would be wed within the year; the medallion symbolised going into the priesthood or joining the nuns, however, the medallion is not widely continued today. 
Another similar old Irish Halloween tradition is to serve colcannon with a ring and a thimble hidden in the fluffy green-flecked dish. Prizes of small coins such as threepenny or sixpenny bits were also concealed in it.  Mush like x-mass pudding, there are probably many stories of people finding their coin by choking to death.  Colcannon is a traditional dish that is made from mashed potatoes and kale (or cabbage), with scallions, butter, salt and pepper. Occasionally it contains other ingredients like milk, cream, leeks, onions and chives.
Yet another fortune-telling game involved paper cut out symbols on a platter and some ice.  The paper symbols included: a dollar sign or a penny for wealth, a button for bachelorhood, a thimble for spinsterhood, a clothes pin for poverty, rice or a ring for a wedding, an umbrella for travel, a cauldron for trouble, a 4-leaf clover for good luck, and a key for fame. Someone would enter a dark room and would put their hand on a piece of ice then lay it on the platter and their "fortune" would stick to their hand.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Burning Clown

The Fire Clown by Michael Moorcock.

Acording to the book cover: He was a mysterious cosmic presence who came out of nowhere with the incredible promise to free the dying planet.

His promise to free the planet involves everyone undressing and making a bonfire with their clothes and all their money.  This is not going to end well.

Never trust a clown, never turn your back on a fire.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rancid Shopping

Listening to Action! Not Words by Def Leppard, Joe Elliott is singing:

"I'm sick and tired of the dancing tree,
 I'm gonna make my own movie"

"Shopping! Make it rancid
 Shopping! Make it last"
The thing about Def Leppard is through most of their career they've had a surplus of hair (enough hair to support more than three bands) but have suffered a shortage of arms.  On the 1984/85 new years eve, drummer Rick Allen swerved his Corvette off the road and went through a drystone wall, he lost his left arm in the car crash.  Allen endeavoured to continue as Def Leppards drummer, realising that he could use his legs to do some of the drumming work previously done with his arms and designing a custom electronic drum kit.  Allen practised in a separate studio with his new drums for several months before rejoining the band.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Superpowered Perception

If you want to supervillan level perceptual skils and mental reflexes, video games are the way to do it. But just clicking away at simcity isn't going to cut it, you needs to be playing fast paced action first person shooters for measurable results.  Several studies in recent years have shown that action-heavy video games can dramatically improve a skill known as visual attention, the ability to pick and choose relevant visual information from a chaotic environment.  Proof that some of my misspent youth was not as misspent as it would first appear.
Research published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science March/April 2011 showed that those who habitually play video games have been documented to outperform novices in a variety of visual attentional capabilities, including attention in space, in time, and to objects. Training studies have established similar improvements in groups of nongamers who trained using games improved their visual attention scores, leading researchers to believe that games of this sort could be used for education, workplace training, and in accident rehabilitation.  So ask your manager to make that next training workshop an inter-office Halo match.
A previous studey at Leiden University in 2010 showed that playing first-person shooter video games is also associated with superior mental flexibility. Compared to non-players, players of such games were found to require a significantly shorter reaction time while switching between complex tasks, possibly because they are required to develop a more responsive mindset to rapidly react to fast-moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to shift back and forth between different sub-duties.
Yep, the research is in, supercharge your visual perception skills and speed up your mental reaction time between tasks by playing the latest Doom.  Go boost your workplace skills, get on the phone to HR and tell them they should buy you a copy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pleasurable First Contact

Just a word of advice: if you meet an alien from another world, don't go grabbing and pulling any of his appendages if you don't know what the are for.  Even if he does look happy to see you.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Philippic means a verbal denunciation or condemnation, often in a speech, characterised by harsh, insulting language.  What I like most is how positive it sounds.  To me its sound invokes feelings of the word terrific.
The word also refers to any of Demosthenes's speeches urging Athenians to rise up against Philip II of Macedon in the fourth century BC. which is the origin of the word.  Ironically though, these speeches failed to effectively warn the Greeks of the danger of Philip of Macedon, who turned out be Alexander the Greats Dad.  Later in 44BC Marcus Tullius Cicero of Rome consciously modelled his own series of verbal attacks against Mark Antony on Demosthenes's and several of these speeches were referred to as The Philippics during the time.
But, for a modern Philippic orator you can't go past Bob Dylan.  A fact which his contemporaries Simon & Garfunkel acknowledged in their 1966 recording of the song A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara'd into Submission) for the duo's album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.  In the song Simon complains about a man who is, " unhip, when you say Dylan he thinks you're talking about Dylan Thomas," the next line in the songs says, "It's all right Ma. Everybody must get stoned." which is a reference to the Bob Dylan song Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35.  At the end of the song Simon says, "Folk rock," and, after an audible noise, "I've lost my harmonica, Albert." This again refers to Dylan, his music, his harmonica and his manager Albert Grossman.
Have a listen.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kung Fu Cafe

One of the places we stopped to eat when I was overseas recently was the Kung Fu Paradise Cafe.  It had lots of  kung fu named items on the menu like Kung Fu Masters Salad, The Art of Wok and Kung Fu Stylo Coffee, but the best value items on the menu are the large burgers.
The thing to take not of though, is that Kung Fu Paradise doesn’t have burgers, they have bumgers.  Beef bumgers, chicken bumgers and the must try signature Kung Fu Bumgers.
Bumgers beat burgers hands down, there should be a restaurant chain called Bumger King. Their advertising campaign could say “The juiciest bumgers around. Come in and put your mouth on our enticing bumgers.”

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Pink Pickles

The two Japanese women are obviously very happy at the prospect of enjoying some pink pickles. So much so that they've written a song about them.

Oh, just so you know, pink pickles are the little bits of ginger that you get with sushi and not a European mans penis like you were thinking. The traditional Japanese pickling process turns the ginger a yellowish pink. These days it's sometimes enhanced with pink food dye. Occasionally other things like eggs are pickled using the same process resulting in pink pickled eggs.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Holiday Food

I'm still on holidays. Hopefully I'm eating one of these roti tissues.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Willian Shatner?

Willian Shatner.

Willian Shatner!

This is the most recurrent picture on an internet image search for Captain Kirk:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh Four Tuna

O Fortuna is actually a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the 13th century.  Some time around 1935-36, O Fortuna was set to music by the German composer Carl Orff as a part of movement Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi of his cantata Carmina Burana.  Orff's musical setting of the poem has become immensely popular and has been performed by countless classical and popular music artists. It features in numerous movies and television commercials and has become one of the most played classical music pieces in the past 75 years.

If you listen closely you're realise it's a song all about food.

The original medieval poem is a complaint about fate and the Roman giddess Fortuna, the personification of luck.  Here's the original  Latin Goliardic version with translation:
O Fortuna
velut luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem.

Sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis,
status malus,
vana salus
semper dissolubilis,
et velata
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.

Sors salutis
et virtutis
michi nunc contraria,
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
sine mora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem
sternit fortem,
mecum omnes plangite!

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice.

Fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

Fate is against me
in health
and virtue,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Celebrity Hobgoblins

A relatively new scientific finding called the "Flashed Face Distortion Effect" causes the brain to turn attractive people into deformed, weird headed, hobgoblins.

Cycling quickly through pairs of eye-aligned faces on a screen, the brain seems to exaggerate features and interpret each face as a caricature of itself. The degree of distortion is greatest for faces that deviate from each other in relation to particular features.

You can read more about it at: