Entries from October 2009 ↓

Hoax…or Alien Doily Pattern?


For decades, millions have been entranced by the mystical appearances and geometric precision of crop circles, like this one from 2001, above. From where do they come? How are they made? Are beings from other worlds trying to communicate with us?

All of which must have given John Lundberg and his chaps a right good laugh. He’s the founder of circlemakers, “a UK based arts collective famous for covertly creating hundreds of the world’s largest and most elaborate crop circles.” With Rob Irving and Mark Pilkington, he’s also the author of The Field Guide: The Art, History and Philosophy of Crop Circle Making.

Now, in the first book of its kind – part history and part how-to guide – the secrets of the crop circle world are revealed, by the people behind the modern era’s most astounding artform.

Whether you think crop circles represent a genuine mystery, a new kind of art, or an elaborate practical joke, The Field Guide is sure to leave a lasting impression. Join us in the fields for a unique exploration of this very English artform.

Mystery solved! Wow: Can’t wait to tell Bigfoot, the next time I take a trip through the Bermuda Triangle….

It’s Too Funky In Here.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

I think this speaks for itself, fam.

It’s What the Fashionable, Well-Dressed, Battle-Hardened Woman Is Wearing This Fall.


Ever seen this movie?: An angry couple is in their humid apartment’s living room, screeching at each other. The man, in a fit of passion, loudly slaps the woman.

Instead of cowering, though, she becomes enraged. “YOU FILTHY MOTHER$%&@#%!!” she curses, holding her bruised cheek in pain and shock. He tries to apologize. “Baby, I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened!” She’s done, though. Her eyes go cold. “Oh, I got somethin’ for you…you dirty MOTHER$%&@#%!!” she screams, as she disappears into the darkened bedroom.

Typically, she returns with a gun. But wouldn’t it be cool if the next thing you heard were servomotors…then the sound of a smashing bedroom door frame as she emerged from the dark, not with a .38, but piloting one of these, above: A Super Armored Fighting Suit (S.A.F.S.), from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion?

900575_press16-001Marketed by the unstoppable Sideshow Collectibles, this Medicom Toy piece, marketed in collaboration with Toys McCoy, is fully 1:6 scale. The eight-pound, 16″ tall, finely detailed unit

combines vinyl, PVC, and metal to bring you this articulated fighting suit, complete with fully realized 12-inch figure pilot. The Super Armored Figure Suit features opening hatch and arms, articulated shoulders and waist, and a manipulator on the right arm. The interior details of the machine are perfectly realized with lights and the 47mm Prg. 56 Examiner razor revolves for added authenticity. Driving this detailed super suit, the female pilot features a headset inspire by U.S. and German models, comes with switch-out gloved and bare hands, and comes clothed in an authentic figure uniform.

The mecha opens out and can completely encase the pilot inside, above. Plus the driver’s got what every guy collector wants on his toy girl warriors: Fully erect nipples, engorged, no doubt, from the adrenalized rush of battle. Hey, no one should ever put their hands on anyone else in aggression, and no man, especially, should ever do so to a woman. But when you’ve gotta fight back, girls, go robotic. Out 1st Qtr 2010, limited to 600 pieces. MEDICOM TOY Super Armored Fighting Suit (S.A.F.S.), $1,249.99.

Night Light Fight.


Even as a supporter of Gaza and the West Bank, I was immediately taken with the texture, shapes, and angles of designer Michael Tsinzovsky’s “Little Night Lamp For Sderot,” above, and below right. As the text on Yanko Design noted,

The lamp is created from a bomb shelter light switch as a gesture to the citizens of Sderot, Israel who have been living under siege for years.

sderot2Commenters on the site, though, don’t seen to feel Tzinzovsky’s politics. For example:

” the citizens of Sderot, Israel who have been living under siege for years”.

with my all knowledge of the middle-east history, I can’t recall such a period. Sieged by who?

Or this one, in reply:

Sieged by the Palestinians of course! With their.. rocks?

despite the stupidity of the gesture, its quite a nice piece of design. Perhaps a night light for the Palestinian children would be more appropriate.
It could be made out of the rubble of the houses they grew up in?

Dag: Everything in the Middle East is political, even home design. That’s why we gotta free Palestine!

[via YankoDesign.com]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.


“For what?”

That was my response Friday when a friend tweeted me with news that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Unguarded as my words were, though, similar sentiments would soon reverberate across the land as incredulous newswatchers wondered the same question aloud. Like him or not, what exactly had Obama done during his first eight months in office to deserve what is, arguably, our species’s highest honor for reconciliation?

TIME.com writer David Von Drehle remains one of the incredulous, apparently. As he ponders next year’s Nobel, and the list of presumably more deserving recipients, the journalist has reached an odd, yet captivating, conclusion:

If the Nobel Committee ever wants to honor the force that has done the most over the past 60 years to end industrial-scale war, its members will award a Peace Prize to the bomb.

Von Drehle is not kidding in the least. In his adroitly titled, “Want Peace? Give a Nuke the Nobel,” he argues

60728-004-bcf9187dthat industrial killing was practiced by many nations in the old world without nuclear weapons. Soldiers were gassed and machine-gunned by the hundreds of thousands in the trenches of World War I, [right] when Hitler was just another corporal in the Kaiser’s army. By World War II, countries on both sides of the war used airplanes and artillery to rain death on battlefields as well as cities, until the number killed around the world was so huge that the best estimates of the total number lost diverge by some 16 million souls. The dead numbered 62 million or 78 million — somewhere in there.

So when last we saw a world without nuclear weapons, human beings were killing one another with such feverish efficiency that they couldn’t keep track of the victims to the nearest 15 million. Over three decades of industrialized war, the planet averaged about 3 million dead per year. Why did that stop happening?

It did, Von Drehle says, for one reason: Thanks to nuclear weapons,

Major powers find ways to get along because the cost of armed conflict between them has become unthinkably high.

Is Von Drehle right? It’s an old argument, that the power of the nuke is not explosive, but aversive; that no one really wants to see one go off. And although there’s exactly zero chance the Norwegians will give a Peace Prize to the Peacekeeper, the notion has got to have the inventor of dynamite—Alfred Nobel—cracking up in his grave.

[via TIME.com]

Own It Like Oprah.


The awesome success of TV magnate Oprah Gail Winfrey—estimates put her income somewhere in the area of $1 million a day—suggests that limits for women in entertainment are astoundingly high.

But where should you start, if you hope to have a real and prosperous career in the field? In her new book, Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business: Industry Secrets for Your Success, industry veteran Thembisa Mshaka discusses how career goals can be best met by an application of smarts, hard work, respect, and “going the extra mile.”

Thembisa Mshaka is the guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, October 9th, at 2 pm ET.

Then, I was probably just as shocked as you were to hear this morning that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

What do you think about the honor, and what does it mean? We’ll be taking calls from our listeners, during the second half of the broadcast, about the stunning news.

You can hear Ms. Mshaka’s and our listener’s ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.

It’s Hard Out Here For a Thug.

The recession is affecting all of us, for sure. Leave it to reduced baller Slim Thug and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, though, to uncover the ways that rappers are, purportedly, most being affected: With fewer platinum front purchases, dinners at strip clubs, and a diminished quality in “video hos.”

Cat Got Your Tongue…With His Big, Freakin’, Lion-O Sword, Baby.


I wasn’t a big ThunderCats fan. They raised their leonine heads in 1985, long after I’d stopped watching violent, action-packed, Saturdaymorningesque animation. In fact, the only reason I probably know anything at all about this profoundly ugly pride of superheroes is that my youngest brother, Louis, couldn’t stop talking about them.

Well, Lou, knock yourself out: Early next year, Hard Hero Enterprises, makers of collectible fantasy and comic book statuary, will release a limited-edition, cold-cast porcelain statue of Lion-O, leader of the T-Cats, above.

Sculpted by master artist Paul Bennett, the fully-painted piece is a whopping 14 inches high from its rugged, stone outcropping base to the tip of Lion-O’s gleaming sword. Packed with detail, as you can see in this 360-degree QuickTime movie, the work comes with a “color collector box,” whatever that is, and retails for $199.00, $215.00 for one with Bennett’s John Hancock ‘pon, thus. Hey: Since Lou just had a birthday, maybe his wife will jump in with one more present. Cue intro.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

[via tomopop.com]



That, above, is the final resting place of chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer, arguably the greatest person to ever play the game.

It’s on panopticist, an intriguing blog run by Vanity Fair contributing editor Andrew Hearst. As well as being a man of letters, Hearst is the son of chess royalty. His dad, Eliot, grew up in New York City, and

was one of the top players in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s, eventually earning the title of Life Senior Master. Both he and Fischer spent time at the Marshall Chess Club, which is still located on West 10th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, as it was back then.

Hearst the Younger admits he’d always fantasized about going to Iceland and introducing himself to Fischer, who lived there during the last years of his life.

Fischer is buried in Selfoss, a small town about 40 miles from Reyjavik. I have an Internet pal in Reykjavik named Halldor, and he passed along these photos of Bobby’s grave. They were taken by an American friend of his named Judith Gans, a singer and Icelandic music expert.

Game over, man.

[via panopticist.com]

Pimp My Tractor.


Calicut, India-based, MIT-educated industrial designer Vipin George takes agricultural automotion seriously. That’s why, for a recent style exercise, he created the COSMICtrac, “a tractor for the international market for the future.”

As reviewed on YankoDesign, COSMICtrac’s features include:

a single sheet hood. Fibre-reinforced plastic head light housings – which, by the way, are housed rather than mounted, which is a fabulous idea because tractor lights that are mounted break off basically every five minutes.

Projected grill up front, exposed engine parts, partly covered fender for driver safety. The future is the basic super-simplification of all machines based on the knowledge we’ve gleaned from the past few decades of trial and error.


[via yankodesign.com]