Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lost Stockings of the 1950's TV Women

Take a look into womens commercials of the fifties with : Beacon Floor Wax, Bravo Floor Wax, Albolene Cream, Accent, Calgon Bath Beads, Bubble Bee Tuna, Crisco Oil, Lustre Creme, Liquid Vel, Vel, Freewax, Gas, Lustre Creme, G.E. Dutch Skillet, Kodak Copy Machine, Elmers Glue, Borden's Cottage Cheese, Buttermilk, Mazola Corn Oil, Congestaid, Faberge Tigress, Niagara, Dessert Cake, All, RCA Whirlpool Range, Cashmere Bouquet, Skin Mist, Tender Loving Care, Vel, Sunbeam Bread, Johnson Baby Powder, Alka Seltzer, Sunbeam Bread, Coffee, Sinactin, Clairol Hair Color, Total, Bold, Colgate Mouth Wash, Prell, Breck, VO5, Enden, Halo, Wash N Curl.

Looking Into The Eyes Of The Dead

From the end of World War II and up until about 1960, the superpowers of the Cold War era, conducted nuclear tests, detonating bombs into the atmosphere. These detonations have affected the content of radioactive trace materials in the air and created what scientists refer to as the C-14 bomb pulse. From the first nuclear detonation and, until the ban on nuclear testing was evoked, the quantity of C-14 in the atmosphere doubled. Since 1960, it has only slowly decreased to natural levels.
This sudden curve has left an impression in the food chain and therefore also in the lens crystallins of the eyes, which have absorbed the increased carbon content through food stuffs. Since the crystallins remain unchanged once they have been created, they reflect the content of C-14 present in the atmosphere at the time of their creation. An event occurring shortly after birth. Using a large nuclear accelerator, physicists at Aarhus University can now determine the amount of C-14 in as little as one milligram of lens tissue and thereby calculate the year of birth.
(read more)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Never dye your hair

As we discovered in his book The Double Helix, Nobel Prize winner James D. Watson – immortalized for his part in revealing the structure of DNA – is a colorful, larger than life character. Surprisingly, the science in Watson's Double Helix is almost, if not entirely, overshadowed by the wheeling and dealing of his ambitious scientific peers – which is exactly what makes it such a rollickingly good read. Now, unencumbered by political correctness, and wielding an innate sense of candor, Watson again pries open the inner workings of scientific research – this time for the benefit of neophyte scientists. Avoid Boring People is both the product of an exemplary scientific career and an exceptional life, and the gems of wisdom that Watson imparts will surely fast-track any young scientist's ambitions. Watson's advice is the type that you'd expect from a man who "discovered the secret of life"; the kinds of things that you'd change if you could live your life over again.(read more>>)
Avoid Boring People: Lessons From A Life In Science
James D. Watson (2007)

Snow in Jerusalem 1921

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Sir, (a+bn)/n = x, hence God exists. Reply!"

Which math-phobic among us has not beseeched God for help with another colon-clenching algebra or calculus exam? Had we heeded the words of the German mathematician Leopold Kronecker, perhaps we would have realized we've been talking to the wrong person: "God made the integers; all else is the work of man."
What is it with God and mathematics? Even as science and religion have quarrelled for centuries and are only recently exploring ways to kiss and make up, mathematicians have been saying for millennia that no truer expression of the divine can be found than in an ethereally beautiful equation, formula or proof.
The New York Times reported recently that mathematicians believe in God at a rate 2 1/2 times that of biologists, quoting a survey of the National Academy of Sciences. Admittedly, that's not saying much: Only 14.6 per cent of mathematicians embraced the God hypothesis, versus 5.5 per cent of biologists (versus some 80 per cent of Canadians who believe in a supreme being).
Count John Allen Paulos among the non-believers. A mathematician who teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia and who has popularized his subject in bestselling books such as Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, Paulos's latest offering is a slim but explosive volume whose title is self-explanatory: Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up (Hill & Wang).
Deploying "a lightly heretical touch," he dissects a playlist of "golden oldies" that includes the first-cause argument (sometimes tweaked as the cosmological argument, which hinges on the Big Bang), the argument for intelligent design, the ontological argument (crudely, that if we can conceive of God, then God exists), the argument from the anthropic principle (that the universe is "fine-tuned" to allow us to exist), the moral universality argument, and others.
The famous Pascal's wager – that it's in our self-interest to believe in God because we lose nothing in case He does exist – is upended as logically flawed, based on what statisticians call Type I and Type II errors.
His arguments notwithstanding, Paulos concedes that there's "no way to conclusively disprove the existence of God."
The reason, he notes, is a consequence of basic logic, but not one "from which theists can take much heart."
As for the problem of good and evil, he defers to fellow atheist, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg: "With or without religion, good people will do good, and evil people will do evil. But for good people to do evil, that takes religion."
Or as Paulos might say, no mathematician has ever deliberately flown planes into buildings.(from Star)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Drew Endy and the Art of DNA Hacking

The 24th Chaos Communication Congress (24C3) is the annual four-day conference organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). It takes place at the bcc Berliner Congress Center in Berlin, Germany. The Congress offers lectures and workshops on a multitude of topics and attracts a diverse audience of thousands of hackers, scientists, artists, and utopians from all around the world. The 24C3s slogan is Volldampf voraus! – the German equivalent of “full steam ahead” – a particular request for talks and projects featuring forward looking hands-on topics.
Drew Endy is an inventive scientific heir of the original genetic engineers at Stanford and UCSF who started to revolutionize biology and medicine around the time he was born in 1970. His generation may leap even further, not just by splicing a few genes but by constructing entire synthetic life forms whose impact across many technologies could rival the transforming effects of the computer age.
The imperative of the born engineer drives Endy's interest in biology: "I like to build stuff," he said. But he's a trained engineer who also quotes Thomas Jefferson as he describes the young generation of wired, wiki-fed students who are hurtling fearlessly into this new future: "The earth belongs to the living."

Genetic engineering is now a thirty year old technology. For reference, over a similar period of time, modern computing machines went from exclusive objects used to design weapons of mass destruction, to the now ubiquitous panoply of personal computing devices that support mass communication and construction. Inspired by this and many other past examples of the overwhelmingly constructive uses of technology by individuals, we have been working over the past five years to develop new tools that will help to make biology easy to engineer. We have also been working to foster a constructive culture of future biological technologists, who can reliably and responsibly conceive, develop, and deliver biological technologies that solve local problems.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A powerful forehand : Maria Sharapova vs Anna Kournikova

Russian Maria Sharapova used strong serving to capture her third Grand Slam title, beating Serbian Ana Ivanovic, 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday to win the 2008 Australian Open.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova won 24 of her last 26 service points in the battle of 20-year-olds. Incredibly, she won 24 of 27 points on her first serve for the match.
"This is just incredible," Sharapova said to the crowd at Rod Laver Arena after the match. "If someone had told me in the middle of last year that I'd be standing on this stage in front of all you guys with the big one I'd probably say forget it."
Sharapova, who didn't lose a set over these two weeks, had also won Wimbledon in 2004 and the U.S. Open in 2006. She lost the 2007 Australian Open final to American Serena Williams. (read more>>)
(Kournikova's "I lost my balls" trick)

Penn, Teller and Feng Shui Bullshit

The purpose of the series was to reveal the truth behind talking to the dead, Nostradamus, remote viewing, feng shui, alien abductees, creationists, extreme environmentalists, bottled water, alternative medicine and more. Undercover operatives were used to film the stories, and these location shots are interspersed with Penn’s comments (Teller remains mute), in the studio. The programs are fast paced, use a lot of humor, and pull no punches, as you might guess from the provocative series title.

They certainly get their message across. For example, in the segment on feng shui, they call in three feng shui experts to rearrange furniture in the same Californian house. No one who sees this program will forget how each of the three feng shui experts comes up with completely different arrangements of furniture - each expert supposedly using the same feng shui “science”. Especially telling was how the first feng shui expert said that the red sofa was bad for the family – she mentioned several health problems that would result. Then the second one said the red color was “absolutely perfect”. What a hoot. Does this prove that feng shui is bullshit? Well no, of course not. To do that you would need a much bigger experiment. But it’s not the job of Penn & Teller or anyone else to prove that feng shui is nonsense; if feng shui experts want us to believe in it, it is up to them to provide evidence that it does work. What P&T do is demonstrate the general idea of how things should be tested. And they make it pretty clear that they think feng shui failed the test.
(for bottled water bullshit click here for other here)

Friday, January 25, 2008

I can't believe they want to demolish this beautiful house

A FARMER who secretly built a castle and lived in it for four years while it was disguised as a stack of straw is now battling to save it from demolition.Robert Fidler, 59, of Honeycrock Farm, in Axes Lane, Salfords, spent two years building the castle, complete with ramparts and cannon, from behind a barricade of 8ft by 4ft bales to hide it from council planners.
The father-of-six then moved his wife and son inside when the castle was completed in 2002. There they lived for four years with only straw to view from the windows.
Shocked neighbours spotted the structure, which cost £50,000 to build, after it was unveiled when the hundreds of bales and blue tarpaulin sheets were taken down in May 2006.The farmer has applied to the council for a Certificate of Lawfulness which can be sought after a development has been in place for at least four years without planning permission.Mr Fidler said: "I can't believe they want to demolish this beautiful house. To me it [the council] is no different from vandals who just want to smash it down.
"But I'm not worried because I don't believe I've done anything wrong."
(

Dylan and The Hawks

Bob Dylan's Eat the Document is a documentary that captures the madness that ensued during Dylan and The Hawks 1966 tour of Europe in which Dylan transformed himself from an acoustic folk singer to a rock ‘n’ roll musician.
Bob Dylan's 1966 tour of Europe created more controversy and artistic debate than any other tour to date. Dylan left behind his image as a scruffy, socially relevant folk singer and now embraced rock ‘n’ roll: his clothes were mod, his lyrics oblique, and the music loud. His once loyal fans bombarded him with shouts of "Judas" and "traitor." The enveloping madness was captured by filmmaker Donn Pennebaker, who made the documentary of Dylan's 1965 tour, Don't Look Back. Eat the Document was later edited by Bob Dylan with Howard Alk resulting in an extraordinary look into the artist's psyche. (read more>>)

Venter's Golem:Second Step in Three Step Process

A team of 17 researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has created the largest man-made DNA structure by synthesizing and assembling the 582,970 base pair genome of a bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI-1.0. This work, published online today in the journal Science by Dan Gibson, Ph.D., et al, is the second of three key steps toward the team’s goal of creating a fully synthetic organism. In the next step, which is ongoing at the JCVI, the team will attempt to create a living bacterial cell based entirely on the synthetically made genome.
The team achieved this technical feat by chemically making DNA fragments in the lab and developing new methods for the assembly and reproduction of the DNA segments. After several years of work perfecting chemical assembly, the team found they could use homologous recombination (a process that cells use to repair damage to their chromosomes) in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to rapidly build the entire bacterial chromosome from large subassemblies. (read more>>)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Every Day Blind To Reality

Raul Midon brings a vibrant sound steeped in classic soul to the pop arena, because pop is where a singer and a song can have the biggest and most widespread impact. When an envelope-pushing song becomes a pop hit, it shifts the entire musical landscape, forcing out the shopworn and clich?d while opening the windows of change to let in fresh ideas. The notion of shifting the landscape is this artist's passion; the wide-ranging skill sets he brings to bear on his mission provide him with the tools to pull it off.
Midon was born in Embudo, N.M., to an Argentinean father and an African-American mother. A passionate music lover for as long as he can remember, Midon started playing drums at age 4 before shifting his focus to the guitar. He turned down a scholarship in creative writing offered by the University of New Mexico after being selected by the University of Miami for its highly regarded jazz program. Staying in Miami after graduating, Midon became an in-demand backup singer, working primarily on Latin projects for artists like Julio Iglesias, Shakira and Alejandro Sanz, while moonlighting as a club performer, sprinkling the requisite cover songs with the original tunes he was starting to write(read more>>)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Raging Jew

The era of Jewish boxers tough guys from the ghettos, like Benny Leonard and Barney Ross is over. For that matter, the era of boxing itself, once king of all American sports, has passed, as well. In that regard, Dmitriy Salita is doubly a throwback, being both Jewish and a boxer, with an added twist: As a practicing Orthodox Jew, he does not fight on the Sabbath. What normally might be a potentially fatal limitation for a boxer (many fights are scheduled for weekend nights) has proved to be a public relations bonanza for this undefeated junior welterweight, now the star of Jason Hutt’s documentary film “Orthodox Stance” opening January 25 in New York and April 11 in Los Angeles.(read more>>)

Molly Mackey and the wrath of the jilted collector

Molly Mackey has been an independent book dealer for more than 10 years. She gained her book knowledge as a used book buyer for Bodhi Tree bookstore on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. From there she moved to an on-line independent career. Molly and her partner manage a used and rare book inventory of more than 25,000 titles.
A first edition of “Gravity’s Rainbow,” a signed copy of “Naked Lunch,” a early version of Wilde’s “Salome” with the Aubrey Beardsley cover intact…these are some of the holy grails of the rare book world and each worth a great deal. Indeed, the exciting world of book collecting has its share of fortunes to be made, but not all of these are through honest means. Illicit copies abound, so buyers must know exactly what to look for before investing in a rare book. And sellers must know exactly how to describe their books to potential customers wary of a scam or simply an inaccurate listing by someone unfamiliar with the stringent standards of this exclusive world.
In this series of internet commerce videos, Molly Mackey gives you expert advice on how to sell your old books. She tells you how to determine their value using the esoteric language of the rare book world. Molly shows examples of different book flaws and tells you how to describe them to potential buyers. You will also learn how to target potential internet buyers with just the right keywords. Watch these videos before you begin selling your books, and you will learn how to avoid the wrath of the jilted collector.
1. Learn How to sell used books on the internet

2. Learn How to make your listing standout on the internet

3. Learn Terminology for book damage

4. Learn How to spot the Inside book flaws

5. Learn about Signed books and their relevance

6. Learn How to spot the outside book flaws

7. Learn How to spot outside book assets

8. Learn How to use keywords in your book listings

(more on Expert Village)

Beggars can be choosers

This is "Speedy", he's a bum that lives in the Fayetteville area of NC. This short video series will give you a better understanding of how some homeless live .



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Torah scroll from Salt Lake City

About a year ago, the retired Rutgers University professor Seventy-six-year-old Alvin Segelman went to visit Brent Ashworth, an attorney who, for 46 years, has been collecting rare books, manuscripts and art. While he was poking around Ashworth's store, something caught Segelman's eye.
"I noticed, hanging on his wall, what to me was obviously part of a Torah scroll. It struck my attention because the damn thing was hanging upside-down," Segelman recalled with a laugh. "I said, 'Where the hell did you get this thing?' "
Ashworth, who counts among his collectibles a first edition King James Bible from 1611, had been in the market for old Torah scrolls. He'd purchased a fragment from a 500-year-old Moroccan deerskin scroll from a Jerusalem dealer. And along with the piece framed on the wall, he had bought a larger section that is from Eastern Europe and believed to have predated the Holocaust. That one spoke to Segelman, who says Nazis killed 67 of his relatives.
"I said to Brent, 'I think perhaps someone else should look at this thing.' "
(

Stealing books in Pakistan

Voltaire once bumped into Newton near Piccadilly Square and after noticing a book sticking out of Newton’s pocket, said “to steal a book is not a crime”.
Stealing books, perhaps the most selfish of all forms of theft, has a history that dates back to the beginning of libraries. In the Middle Ages books were rare and thus became a great temptation for the readers who stole library books.
In Britain, the punishment for stealing books had included deportation to Australia; a punishment reserved at that time for hardened criminals.
But history shows that some of the most shameless book thieves emerged not from the criminal fringe but from the ranks of piety and respectability. A good example is Dr. Elois Pichler, a Bavarian theologian and one of many German librarians employed in the Russian Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg. From 1869 to 1871, he committed the largest theft of books on record from a European library. He was caught in 1871 with about 4000 volumes. He wore a large, bulky overcoat that had been fitted with a special inside sack, in which he hid his stolen books. His collection included rare and valuable volumes as well as a large number of ordinary items bearing no relation to his research. He was found guilty and sentenced to exile in Siberia. read (more>>)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Linear Sex

La Linea ("The Line") is an Italian animated series of about 150 episodes created by Osvaldo Cavandoli in 1969. Due to its short duration (usually 2 minutes 30 seconds), it is often used as an interstitial program.
The cartoon features a man (known as "Mr. Linea" or, in some parts of Europe, "Balou", as well as "Linus på linjen" (Linus on the Line) in Sweden, "Złośniczek" in Poland, "Menő Manó" in Hungary, "Mar Kav" in Israel, "Streken" in Norway, "Bay Meraklı" in Turkey and "Lineman" in the U.S.), drawn as a single outline around his silhouette, walking on an infinite line of which he is a part

Richard, Daniel, Sam and Christopher :The Four Horsemen

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh Timonen.
All four authors have recently received a large amount of media attention for their writings against religion - some positive, and some negative.In this conversation the group trades stories of the public’s reaction to their recent books, their unexpected successes, criticisms and common misrepresentations. They discuss the tough questions about religion that face to world today, and propose new strategies for going forward.
Hour 1

Science is not simply a secular religion that works by decree. Science is tested, over and over and over, to extreme degrees, and those hypothesis that don't pass that testing are removed. It actually makes predictions, and is held accountable to those predictions. Religion has nothing comparable, and is indeed the exact opposite of science. Religion is systematically incomprehensible, and deliberately designed to be immune to refutation. It's all wishful thinking, based on faith, and any prophecy made is easily shown to be false (and subsequently pushed further along to a later time) or a generalized nonsense that your horoscope would put forth.
Hour 2

Authors’ Recommended Books: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins , Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett, Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris ,The End of Faith by Sam Harris, God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hula Hoop and Frisbee guy dies

Richard Knerr, who gave the company he and a friend started in a garage the altogether appropriate name Wham-O, then marketed products that for two decades virtually defined frivolity in postwar America, from the Hula Hoop to the Frisbee to the SuperBall, died on Monday at his home in Arcadia, Calif. He was 82.
Mr. Knerr (pronounced nur) and Arthur Melin had a talent for turning seemingly quirky ideas into national passions. In 1958, their Hula Hoop invigorated members of a rock ’n’ roll generation eager to shake their hips, if only to keep the precarious plastic ring from dropping to their feet.
In the first year, Wham-O sold as many as 40 million hoops; by 1960, 100 million, a mark no other toy had ever reached. After too many households had two or three of the hoops, the fad evaporated, leaving Wham-O marooned on a mountain of tubular plastic. Total profit: only $10,000, a result of business inexperience and millions of unsold hoops.
The Hula Hoop financial debacle was unusual, however. The company had done, and would do, considerably better on products like the Frisbee, for which it bought the rights, streamlined and named. Brought to market in 1957, the Frisbee became a lasting diversion, and even the basis of competitive sports, some of which Wham-O invented.
Other Wham-O brainstorms included the exceedingly bouncy SuperBall, the Water Wiggly sprinkler, the Slip ’N Slide water slide, the Limbo Game and Silly String, a seemingly endless stream of liquid that hardened after being expelled from an aerosol can, all too often in a child’s hair.
An attempt in 1982 to reintroduce Hula Hoops this time with a peppermint scent wafting from the ring went nowhere.(read more>>)

A peristaltic pump and the pedal crank

The Aquaduct is pedal powered vehicle that transports, filters, and stores water for the developing world. A peristaltic pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large tank, through a filter, to a smaller clean tank. The clean tank is removable and closed for contamination-free home storage and use. A clutch engages and disengages the drive belt from the pedal crank, enabling the rider to filter the water while traveling or while stationary.
The Aquaduct is the winning entry in the Innovate or Die contest put on by Google and Specialized. The contest challenge was to build a pedal powered machine that has environmental impact. Please see the website innovate-or-die for more details.(via Nothing To Do With Arbroath)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Primate soft porn

Racy images of bared bottoms are providing the best clues yet as to how we weigh up options. When four male experimental subjects were found peeking at explicit images of naked female bottoms on laboratory computer screens you might have expected disciplinary action.But Dr Michael Platt and colleagues at Duke University, North Carolina, actually encouraged the voyeurs to keep looking.They set up a pay-per-view system and even tried bribing them to look at less desirable images - all the while monitoring their sleazy viewing habits in the name of science.
Those bared rumps belonged to female macaque monkeys - and the males mesmerised by the images were macaques too.And the payments and bribes associated with these slide shows of simian smut were not financial but rewards or forfeiture of fruit juices depending on what they chose to view.Primate soft porn may just help solve one of the central questions about how our brains work – how faced with all the choices we have to make every second of every day we weigh up the options and convert disparate information about them into a common neurobiological currency.
The research could even unravel the mysteries of autism, reports New Scientist.
Dr Platt and his colleagues initiated the pay-perview system to test how male macaques reacted to images of faces and bottoms – two things the researchers were convinced would capture their attention.Four macaques learned to look at a screen with two targets. Looking at one earned them some juice, the other earned them less juice but also a glimpse of an image of a bottom or a face.The researchers have also tried their pay-per-view experiments with humans.(read more)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ralph Baer and his Brown Box

Ralph H. Baer wasn't just a dreamer. He really was responsible for the start of home videogaming. A World War II veteran with Millitary Intelligence experience, he started work as a television engineer in 1951. He was fascinated by the potential of television to become an interactive medium, not just a passive device, and in 1966 -- while waiting for a friend at a New York City bus terminal -- he scribbled down some notes about a home videogame system. He came up with possible game categories: Action, Puzzle, Instructional and Sports. That same year he got together with some fellow engineers and built a prototype, a system that could move dots around the screen. A later version allowed for multiple games, including one with a light gun. One version even played Pong. (read more>>)

British Counsel , Crimean War , Polonium-210, Stalin and his Irish Whore

Beginning with the rise of Russophobia in Victorian Britain, former MI5 director general Stella Rimington explores our love-hate relationship with Russia over the past 150 years. The journey takes her to the East End of London on the trail of Russian revolutionaries and to the former mining town of Chopwell, once dubbed Little Moscow. She talks to former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and shares recollections of the bugged British embassy in Moscow with former ambassador Rodric Braithwaite.
The British Council has been in Russia long enough to know that its activities there are only legitimate if the government deems them to be so

The British Council in Russia, now under heavy pressure from the Putin government, insists it is a cultural organisation - and that for this reason Russian authorities should leave it alone and allow it to go about its business. As a cultural organisation working in Russia, the council is now learning some tough lessons about the culture of the country in which it operates.
Any Russian knows that all cultural activity is ideological: be it a musical or film festival, an exhibition, or a play. Even those who have not learnt this wisdom from their school textbooks and government-controlled media, have imbibed it with their Soviet mothers' milk. What did the British Council do in Russia? Its website boasts that last summer its St Petersburg office organised a roundtable discussion, Tolerance and City Culture, and that "experts from universities, non-governmental organisations, community organisations and local authorities from Russia and UK shared their experience of tackling racism and building cultural cohesion". Is this a cultural activity? Surely not. Propaganda for British views, pure and clear. Which means ideology. And who gave the Brits the right to spread their ideology in Russia, particularly at a time when political relations have become difficult
(read more in Guardian)

A pint of 'Old Bob' and a bag of Pork Scratchings

The pub is a British institution. In fact a good 'local' is as important to some as a post office, supermarket or place of worship. The image of a warming fire and a jovial landlord, chatting to a core of regulars is certainly enough to entice me out for a pint of 'Old Bob' and a bag of pork scratchings! While such a romantic image is still a reality in many public houses, others have had to react to changing times.
In the 1950s and 60s, pubs tended to be working-class male establishments, but as restaurants flourished and supermarkets increased their off licence capabilities, pub attendances fell. When brewery giant Bass Carrington bought up many of the 3,000 UK smaller breweries in the early 60s, change was inescapable. But for the campaigning of the real ale groups (Camra), many of our traditional ales would also have disappeared in favour of the more profitable designer beers.
Kate Thomas' programme, narrated by Arthur Smith, looks at the transformation of the British pub over the past 50 years. «

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MacBook Air - better than sex

During his Macworld Expo keynote address on Tuesday morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air, a computer that the company billed as the world's thinnest notebook -- small enough to fit inside an interoffice mailing envelope. It's priced starting at $1,799 and will be available within two weeks.
Sporting a silvery finish, the MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display that has a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The backlighting saves power and provides "instant on" response from the moment you turn it on, according to Jobs. The device has a slightly wedge-shaped profile. It weighs about 3 pounds, and sports a thickness of 0.16-0.76 inches. It's 12.8 inches wide and 8.95 inches deep.
The MacBook Air also features a built-in iSight webcam and a full sized MacBook-style black keyboard. The keyboard is backlit, similar to MacBook Pros, and has an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness. The trackpad is also capable of recognizing multi-touch gestures, similar to using an iPhone or iPod touch. As a result, the MacBook Air's trackpad is disproportionately large, compared to the size of trackpads found on the MacBook or MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Air features a 1.8-inch hard disk drive with 80GB of storage capacity standard. A 64GB solid-state disk (SSD) drive is an option. The hard drive is a Parallel ATA (PATA) model that operates at 4200 RPM.
The laptop is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo chip running at 1.6GHz, with 1.8GHz available as an option. Jobs noted that Intel was willing to engineer a new version of the Core 2 Duo specifically to Apple's specifications -- it's 60 percent smaller than others. The chip operates with 4MB of on-chip shared L2 cache running at full processor speed, and uses an 800MHz frontside bus. 2GB of 667MH DDR2 SDRAM is also included.(read more>>)

Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo

ein hodHeidelberg University library confirmed last Friday a German radio report that its researchers had discovered the true identity of the model in the famous 16th century portrait. She was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Franceso del Giocondo.
The director of the university library, Veit Probst, said the mystery was unravelled after a book was found in the library archive that once belonged to a friend of da Vinci. In October of 1503 the Florentine official Agostino Vespuccui wrote a note in the margins of one page, saying that his friend was working on three paintings, one of them a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. The note, scribbled into a collection of letters by the Roman orator Cicero, compares the Florentine painter and sculptor to the ancient Greek artist Apelles.
The fact that the painting has long been known as "La Gioconda" would seem to support the Heidelberg academic's theory. In 1550, art historian Giorgio Vasari had already linked her name with the painting, which hangs in the Louvre in Paris. However, there were doubts about his reliability, particularly as he was writing 50 years after it was painted. Theories about her true identity have flourished, ranging from it being a self-portrait in drag, to a picture of da Vinci's mother or even his lover.(read more>>)

AC/DC: new research

"...female sexuality is relatively fluid and that the distinction between lesbian and bisexual women is not a rigid one"
Bisexuality in women appears to be a distinctive sexual orientation and not an experimental or transitional stage that some women adopt "on their way" to lesbianism, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
The study of 79 non-heterosexual women over 10 years found that bisexual women maintained a stable pattern of attraction to both sexes. In addition, the research appears to have debunked the stereotype that bisexual women are uninterested in or unable to commit to long-term monogamous relationships.
"This research provides the first empirical examination of competing assumptions about the nature of bisexuality, both as a sexual identity label and as a pattern of nonexclusive sexual attraction and behavior," wrote University of Utah psychologist Lisa M. Diamond, PhD, who conducted the study. "The findings demonstrate considerable fluidity in bisexual, unlabeled and lesbian women's attractions, behaviors and identities and contribute to researchers' understanding of the complexity of sexual-minority development over the life span."(more sex research)

Save Virginia Virgins from Bouncing Balls!

Drive in Virginia with outsized rubber replica testicles dangling from your trailer hitch and face a fine under a bill before the General Assembly.
Taste and even decency notwithstanding, Del. Lionel Spruill introduced the bill Tuesday as a safety measure: male genitalia swaying from a car distracts other drivers.
His bill would make displaying the ornamentation a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250.
The idea and motivation, however, came from a constituent upset that his young daughter had caught sight of the facsimile sex organs and asked what they were.
"I didn't know what to tell her," Spruill said, quoting the constituent, whom he refused to identify.
"I said, 'Sir, I'm going to be a laughing stock, but I'm going to do it,'" he said.
Spruill, D-Chesapeake, said he'd never seen vehicular testicular hitch ornaments on the highway, but discovered they could be easily bought on several Internet sites. They're marketed under terms commonly used to describe the body part. A rubber set, available in a rainbow of colors, costs about $24.95 while a chrome or brass pair will set you back $49.95 plus $10 shipping.
"Now they got all types of sizes: small ones, big ones," he said. "Those things come in blue, black, white."
Virginia's nearly 400-year-old House of Delegates has a penchant for pondering earthy issues. Just three years ago, it passed a measure that would have outlawed baggy pants worn so low they expose underwear or worse.
That bill died in a Senate committee, but not before it was reported worldwide and became grist for television and radio comedians and talk-show hosts.(more balls)

Feynman and Darwin against Ron and Paul

QUESTIONER: …All of the candidates were asked if they believe the theory of evolution to be true, but I didn’t see [your answer] and I’m wondering, do you believe it to be true or false?

REP PAUL: Well, first I thought it was a very inappropriate question for the presidency to be decided upon a scientific matter. And uh, I uh, I think it’s a theory. The theory of evolution. And I don’t accept it as a theory. [snip] The creator that I know created us, each and every one of us and created the universe, and the precise time and manner and uh, you know, I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.

Happy Assholes

Eric G. Wilson is a professor of English at Wake Forest University. This essay is adapted from his book Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, being published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

At the behest of well-meaning friends, I have purchased books on how to be happy. I have tried to turn my chronic scowl into a bright smile. I have attempted to become more active, to get out of my dark house and away from my somber books and participate in the world of meaningful action. I have taken up jogging, the Latin language, and the chair of a university English department. I have fostered the drive to succeed in my career. I have bought an insurance policy, a PalmPilot, and a cellphone. I have taken an interest in Thanksgiving and Christmas, in keeping my hair trimmed short, and in meticulously ironing my clothes. I have viewed Doris Day and Frank Capra movies. I have feigned interest in the health of others. I have dropped into the habit of saying "great" and "wonderful" as much as possible. I have pretended to take seriously certain good causes designed to make the world a better place. I have contemplated getting a dog. I have started eating salads. I have tried to discipline myself in nodding knowingly. I have tried to be mindful of others but ended up pissed as hell. I have written a book on the hard-earned optimism of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I have undertaken yoga. I have stopped yoga and gone into tai chi. I have thought of going to psychiatrists and getting some drugs. I have quit all of this and then started again and then once more quit. Now I plan to stay quit. The road to hell is paved with happy plans.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Price of Wines and your Frontal Cortex

“We enjoy our purchase, more precisely, because we paid more,” it has been said. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to scan the brains of 20 adult test subjects in California. They were given five different samples of Cabernet Sauvignon, each priced differently and presented in random order. The subjects reported experiencing pleasure at markedly higher levels when they were told that the wine cost more. Thus the researchers discovered signs of how a change in the price of a product can affect “neural computations associated with experienced pleasantness.".According to the researchers, "Contrary to the basic assumptions of economics, several studies have provided behavioral evidence that marketing actions can successfully affect experienced pleasantness by manipulating non intrinsic attributes of goods. For example, knowledge of a beer's ingredients and brand can affect reported taste quality, and the reported enjoyment of a film is influenced by expectations about its quality. "Even more intriguingly, changing the price at which an energy drink is purchased can influence the ability to solve puzzles."
As a follow-up eight weeks later, subjects were given the wines to taste without any suggested prices. The majority of them selected the $5 wine, the cheapest, as their favorite (from Earthtimes)

Looking for Karma in Jerusalem

Judaism as an ancient religion resembles Hinduism in a number of respects. Ancient Judaism employed similar fire offerings as the Vedic religion. Its emphasis on Torah or the law is similar to the Hindu emphasis on Dharma. It has actively promoted mysticism in its Kabbalistic tradition, which contains an honoring of the Goddess. In fact some Jewish mystics teach karma and rebirth and promote yogic like teachings and practices, including non-violence.
An ancient city excavated on Kerala's Malabar coast had trade links with many key centres around the world as far back as 500 BC, fresh archaeological evidence says.
The Institute of Physics in Bhubaneswar has also concluded that the site, which archaeologists named Pattnam, was actually the ancient city of Muziris. It is located seven kilometres from Kodungallur in Ernakulam district.
Excavations there - the last of which were carried out in February last year - have produced evidence of the area's strong trade ties with ancient Rome, Yemen, the Middle East and even the Nabatian civilisation of the Arabian peninsula.
The excavations had produced fragments of imported Roman amphora, mainly used for transporting wine and olive oil, Yemenese and West Asian pottery, besides Indian roulette ware that was common in the east coast of India and in Egypt. (read more>>)
There is very little reliable information about the origin of Kerala Jews. One belief is that 10 Jewish families released from jail by a Persian king in BC605 came by ship to Kodungallore. Another group must have followed in BC586 when Judea was defeated by Babylon. In AD 68 when the second temple of Jerusalem was destroyed another migration of a thousand Jews took place. There were subsequent waves of migration in AD369 and AD490. One source state that a large group of Jewish refugees came from Mesopotamia in AD 486.Most historians agree that the local Hindu rulers did everything to settle the new immigrants

Babes in Heat

Babes in HeatDo women have a hidden heat period?
This article aims to throw light on the controversial topic of whether women have a ‘heat’ period within their menstrual cycle. The majority of publications in this field report, in addition to a periovulatory peak, no changes at all or even rises in male- and female-initiated sexual activity, woman’s sexual desire, autosexual activity and sexual arousability, and interpersonal sexual activities during the mid-follicular and late luteal phases. The lack of a distinct pattern of women’s sexual behaviour across the menstrual cycle may be explained by the interplay between cyclical endocrine fluctuations and many psychological, social, cultural and environmental factors, as well as the methodological shortcomings associated with menstrual cycle research. However, studies focused on cycling changes in women’s olfactory and visual perception show that, in comparison with women at other phases of the menstrual cycle, women at mid-cycle exhibit increased sexual motivation that biases recognition performance towards objects with a sexual meaning, evaluate the unattractive sweat substance androstenone as more pleasant, and display enhanced preference for the odour and face shape of masculinized, physically attractive and symmetric men. On the other hand, men find the scent of women at mid-cycle more pleasant and sexually attractive than during the luteal phase.(read more>>)

Pregnant woman on the run! We’re Doomed!

Children of Men DVD was released in Europe on January 15, 2007 .

World divisions, chaos and anarchy, these are the ways the world and the last remaining inhabitants are checking out. No child has been born for eighteen years. Human life and its moral self is eroding into extinction. Set in Britain in the year 2027, this is Theodore Faron finding his ghosts coming back to haunt his fruitless life, in the form of an underground band of rebels The Fishes. Unwittingly drawn into their plight, learning who can be trusted, who can be dependable, and how he must hold the most precious secret the Human race has been so longing to hear, the miracle that can change the course of Humanity; the first pregnant woman in eighteen years. On the run, he, Kee and Miriam must travel cross-country, on the run, terrified and helpless to the safe haven of the Human Project. With the help of aging hippie Jasper Palmer this horrific, dark, unconventional and uncompromising road movie is all that is left between the demise of the Human race and the birth of a new drawn
This half-hour documentary by director Alfonso Cuarón entitled "The Possibility of Hope" is included in the extras. The documentary explores the intersection between the film's themes and reality with a critical analysis by eminent scholars: the Slovenian sociologist and philosopher Slavoj Žižek , anti-globalization activist Naomi Klein, futurist James Lovelock, sociologist Saskia Sassen, human geographer Fabrizio Eva, cultural theorist Tzvetan Todorov, and philosopher and economist John N. Gray.

Monday, January 14, 2008

In a gritty, urban sort of way

Seven weeks ago or so, rare-book dealer and Ypsilanti property owner Hedger Breed noticed a four-square-foot, stenciled graffiti piece spray painted on the side of his building at 117 Pearl St.
It's done in two colors, with a red heart and, painted in black, a screaming figure with a gun pointed at his mouth.
"In my opinion it's absolutely charming," Breed said, "in a gritty, urban sort of way."
So Breed decided to leave it there, because he considers it art.
The City of Ypsilanti disagrees.
"I have to be black and white, I can't be gray on this," said ordinance officer Ron Monroe. "I have to consider this graffiti."
This is something I know and something that's important to me," said Breed, who holds a degree fine arts degree from Eastern Michigan University and managed an Ann Arbor gallery in the 1970s.
"The main thing is it's charming, it's evocative. It reminds me of Banksy, the famous English graffiti artist. For all I know, he may have done it. ... Like most good art, it is a bit provocative."
Stencil graffiti does have a growing audience thanks to people like Banksy, an internationally known artist who has been in the news recently for works painted on walls in the West Bank and Gaza.(read more>>)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Israeli Potter: Doron Jacoby 1946-2008

Dear Sirs & Madams,
I would like to introduce myself:
My name is Doron Jacoby and I was born in Israel in 1946.
From 1960-1964, I studied at an art school in Tel Aviv.
In 1968, I established a studio for pottery.
My specialty was kitchen ware, in the style of majolica on red
clay fired at a temperature of 1020 to 1060 degrees.
In the 1980's, I started using the raku and smoke fire methods of firing, especially for big ornamental and decorative products.
I have participated in group exhibitions both in Israel and abroad and have also held my own exhibitions.
I have also hosted workshops for students and ceramic artists in places such as universities & museums
( for more>>) בצער רב אנו מודיעים על פטירתו, לאחר מחלה ממושכת , של דורון יעקובי ז"ל - קרמיקאי ותיק ואהוד .הלווייתו התקיימה ביום שישי.
כתובת המשפחה: הראשונים 13/3 , כפר סבא. טלפון: 077-7680341

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ils ne passeront pas?

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see em
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that d.d.t. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Friday, January 11, 2008

Terry Jones is the ONE

It's not just the story of one, the first number, but the story of how humanity developed the concept of numbers itself: how organized warfare and powerful monarchies created the need for really big numbers, how zero revolutionized mathematical thinking, how taxes and accounting led to the changeover from Roman numerals to the Arabic ones we use today (numerals that are, in fact, Indian, and not Arabic at all). Terry Jones hosts this short BBC documentary as whimsical and cheeky as you'd expect from a Monty Python alum.

Grass is indispensable for Victory

Hemp for Victory is a black-and-white film produced in 1942 by the USDA outlining a plan to distribute 400,000 lbs. of cannabis seeds to ... all » American farmers with the goal of producing 350,000 acres of cannabis by 1943 -- all for the war effort. The USDA even went as far as to urge 4-H clubs to grow at least half an acre, but preferably 2 acres of cannabis. All American farmers were required to see the film, sign a paper saying that they had viewed the film, and read a booklet on the matter. Farmers who agreed were waived from serving in the military, and all their family members were also exempt. They received farm equipment at a discounted price, and sometimes for free.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Potters of Hebron

A visual portrait of a Mediterranean pottery workshop, nestled in the Hebron Hills southeast of Jerusalem. Potters of Hebron focuses on the craft processes within the workshop where potters fashion the earthenware water jars, called zirs, that have been used since antiquity. Step by step we are led through the process until the craftsmen's work is complete. The documentation of these contemporary and yet traditional craft techniques not only serves as a record of man's artistic achievement, but also as evidence of a rapidly disappearing pre-industrial technology. Produced and directed by Robert Haber

You bet your Marx

Much of the tension of the show revolved around whether any of the contestants, in pre-contest conversation with Groucho, would say the "secret word", a common word seemingly selected at random and revealed to the audience at the show's outset. If a contestant uttered the word, a toy duck made to resemble Groucho with a mustache, eyeglasses and with a cigar in its bill, would descend from the ceiling to bring the contestant-pair $100. A cartoon of a duck with a cigar was also used in the show's opening title sequence. In one special episode, Groucho's brother, Harpo came down instead of the duck. Marx would sometimes slyly direct their conversation in such a way as to encourage the secret word to come up.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The pope versus Freud and the penis

The instructions are clear: After having sex, the man is to stay in bed while the woman should get up and run in a circle around the room three times and complete 10 deep knee bends after each lap. It apparently does not matter if the woman runs clockwise or counterclockwise, but running swiftly in a circle and breaking to do knee bends was, as late as 1928, prescribed as a form of birth control.So was Coca-Cola. Rumored to be a spermicide as well as a refreshing beverage, it seems to have been frequently used as some sort of post-coital cleanser.So there’s the deep-knee bends and the Coke trick as contraceptive folly. Add to that some anti-baby lipstick, pumps, sprays, clamps, one-quarter-inch thick condoms made from fish bladders, and a dizzying number of spiral intrauterine devices (that look oddly beautiful, fragile, and delicate, laid out in uniformed rows), which together create an amalgam of sexual factoids and implements contraceptive information and misinformation on display at the Vienna Museum of Contraception and Abortion.(read more>>)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How to pick the right stud

When it comes to success on the racetrack, nurture beats nature by a mile, new research suggests. A Scottish team has found that horse breeders who pay the highest stud fees to mate their mares with popular stallions--hoping to cash in on the bloodlines of a champion--won't necessary make out any better in the winner's circle.Alastair Wilson and Andrew Rambaut of the University of Edinburgh, U.K., analyzed the race results and purses of nearly 4500 offspring of thoroughbreds foaled between 1922 and 2003. Based on the lifetime earnings of those foals, they concluded that genetic links to previous champions had only a small effect on the amount of prize money--less than a 10% correlation. As they report online this week in Biology Letters, other factors, such as the farms where the horses were raised and the trainers employed to teach them how to race, exerted a considerably bigger influence--as much as a 90% correlation. "The best males are not necessarily those with the highest price tags," Wilson says. "People could potentially pay a lot of extra money to buy genes that are no better than average."(from Science)

Ein Hod is not IKEA (yet?)

New York City apartment had to be fumigated. All of his friends have tiny studio apartments. Hotels in New York are insanely expensive. Left with few living options, Mark thought it would be fun and make an interesting video to move into an IKEA store where he'd live and sleep for a week. Never in a million years did he think IKEA would go for it, but miraculously they have a agreed.
Mark moved in early morning Monday January 7th to the IKEA in Paramus, New Jersey and will stay for the week through Saturday January 12th. Every day people can watch a video recap of his day. He will be living in IKEA 24/7 and eating all his meals in the restaurant (he may order Domino's take out once or twice). Thankfully they have a shower for him in the back offices. (link via Presurfer)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Abdul Mati Klarwein in Ein hod (summer 1966)

The art of Mati Klarwein, one of the most influential artists of the 1960s counterculture. He produced art that studded the covers of some great albums including Abraxas by Santana. He was good friends of Jimi Hendrix and Brigitte Bardot. He traveled around the world and his experiences shown in his amazing visionary In the early 60's, Klarwein painted most of his works in a Parisian studio with its storefront gallery on Place Dauphine (on the Ile de la Cité). Quite often his studio became home to all-night music jams with the likes of Ornette Coleman or Ravi Shankar.
Summers were often spent in the company of other painters. Ernst Fuchs, Arik Brauer and Mati Klarwein spent the summer of 1966 together in Ein Hod Israel at Arik Brauer's home.
After his first visit to New York in 1961, Klarwein painted The Annunciation. "You can feel the sudden burst of the Big Apple's electric zap in the composition..." he later remarked. Carlos Santana used it as the cover image of his band Santana's second album Abraxas (1970). The psychedelic era would not have been complete without Abdul Mati Klarwein.(and Ein Hod?)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Winter in Ein Hod

Nice short video about Ein Hod made By Dan Ben-Arye whose informative site is a pleasure to visit.(

Fourteen males for a single female

The female is receptive for a single night per year. For males this is a stressful time. What will happen during this special night?
The male will approach the female giving the trill call and tail-lashing vigorously, and the female will respond with aggression towards the male. When peak receptivity occurs for the female she will engage with frequent anogenital rubbing and mouthwiping, and at this time when the male approaches the female she will not act aggressively towards him.When the male approaches the female he will sometimes sniff the flanks and the anogenital area of the female. The will groom the female before he mounts her and will continue to groom her neck once mounted . During mating the male will utter soft trills and the female is quiet except for threat calls once mating has completed.The position the male takes during mating is that his forearms are grasping the waist of the female and the feet are either gripping the substrate or the hocks of the female .
Up to fourteen males visit a single female and females copulate with up to seven different males at maximum. But who will become father.
The selection of successful sperms must be influenced by internal body mechanisms after copulation. The female’s mate lemur choice was not driven by any preferences and the males could not enforce copulation due to the fact that both sexes are similar in size and body weight (60 gram).(read more>>)

Thursday, January 3, 2008


It: cannot last. This desecration.
You shame the mountains. Their ribs corrode.
The valley thirsts for decency.
This land was gifted. You despoil it.
The wells are poisoned. The birds will die.
The trees are wasted. You don't belong.
The land shall be taken from you.

You : you who bribe the taxi-drivers,
who pre-fix awards, decaying scare-crows,
public relations artists, you
who bend the knee before The Tourist,
care more for comfort than for craft,
who lie while shaking hands, whose word
is garbage, you have not earned these hills.

You : is not the other fellow.
Is you : Aleph neged Beth,
Daled neged Gimmel, Samach
neged Shin, Lamed neged
Nun, Mem neged all,
all neged all ... in malice, slander,
envy, hatred , , , How can birds sing ?

Perhaps the hills are to blame. Perhaps
delusions of grandeur derive from real grandeur.
But what fuels appetite for endless quarrel ?
Why expel the young like lepers ?
Why freeze in cliques, when warmth is pie ?
Why squeeze pennies to be gaped at ?
The generous gesture is absent here.

So I shall pack my mule and move.
And build my tower on a distant hill.
Small birds will perch on my swing. The hawk
will hover. And bless. My garden, yield.
Eve, return. The cat will hum
in gratitude. And we shall feed
on memory of could-have-been.

Norman Lewis 1963, Ein Hod

How to keep dishonest people with X-Acto knifes honest

More than 30 rare, antique maps stolen from the Boston Public Library by a Martha's Vineyard map dealer were returned to the library in 2007, library president Bernard Margolis said this week, part of the conclusion of an international scandal that rocked the staid world of map collecting.
Not all has been resolved, however. More than 30 other missing maps, losses that have not been linked to confessed map thief E. Forbes Smiley III, have yet to be recovered by the Boston library more than a year after their disappearance was discovered..Smiley, of Chilmark, admitted stealing close to 100 maps from libraries in Boston, New York, Chicago, and London, and from collections at Harvard and Yale universities, between 1998 and 2005. He sold many of the maps to unsuspecting collectors. Caught at Yale in June 2005 after he dropped an X-Acto knife blade on the floor, Smiley was sentenced to three years in prison in September 2006. He helped authorities track down most of the stolen maps so they could be returned to their rightful owners.(read more>>)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Alternative Russian (not Medvedev)

The Alternative dictionaries are a collection of various forms of "bad language" from many languages. At the moment, there are 2743 entries in 162 dictionaries. This is a collaborative project with contributions from a lot of people
бардак ~ bardak (m.,noun,pron.bahr-dack') brothel (literally);disorder, mess, disarray note Most frequent use connected rather with untidiness than with prostitution.
бздёнок ~ bzdenok (masc. noun) ‡ little old man who farts frequently note /bzdYO nok/, archaic, only older generations know this one
блядки ~ bl'adki (noun) † fuck session note The underlying meaning is that the person is gonna fuck with whores or with occasional partner (maybe he gonna find some chick in a bar) or with somebody he knows but who has low moral principals. It isn't used if man gonna have sex with his girlfriend.
блядовать ~ bl'adovat' (verb) ‡ to be a prostitute note Also means 'to fuck with everybody who wants ( maybe for free)'
блядство ~ bl'adstvo (noun) ‡ See comments note 1. A complex of habits, manners and also a way of life of a whore; 2. Prostitution in common; 3. Bad situation.
блядь ~ bl'ad' † bitch note often used like "well", but in the end of a clause
бугор ~ bugor the boss note Used in penitentiary for the men who control the criminals.
во пизду ~ vo pizdu (expr) to hell note like "v pizdu", but made less strong by changing the preposition into "vo" and stressing this preposition. used in a funny way among friends
встать раком ~ vstat' rakom (expr) To assume a doggy position. note It means 1) to assume a dggy pose for havinf sex; 2) To assume any unsuitable position, to be in unpleasant situation.
выёбываться ~ vye"byvat'sja (v., intr., imperfect aspect) † to brag, show off note The word comes from the root ebat'. Ty u menja dovye"byvaesh'sja skoro. If you keep on showing off like that you're gonna be in trouble. (It has a flavor of 'Stop bugging me or else!').
гандон ~ gandon (noun) † condom
говно ~ govno † shit note Used in literal reference only. Not used like its English counterpart.
говнюк ~ govn'uk † bastard (more... much more>>)

Badass Jewish Chicks at The Zipper Factory

Jewish burlesque seems, in a way, only natural. Sex and humor are inextricably bound in Jewish culture (or at least in certain precincts of it); potty-mouthed, voluptuous women are celebrated. The burlesque tradition took root in the Yiddish theater nearly a century ago when Jewish thespians, not content to be restrained by a single medium, decided that their plays would include a bit of everything: song and dance, sentimentality and comedy, romance and raunchiness. This is precisely the logic employed by the burlesque troupe Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, which performed a three-week run at The Zipper Factory, a funky off-Broadway theater in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen.(read more in Forward)

A mass of pubic hair

More than a century ago, Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, a milestone work that would inspire generations of scientists to examine the connection between the nebulous, hard-to-define mind and the grey, wrinkled organ that sits between our temples. Freud called our dreams the "royal road to the unconscious". His seductive idea was that their content is shaped by experiences early in life, creating the hope that psychoanalysis could use our dreams to reveal our childhood miseries, and thereby cure our inner torment.
Today, however, a study of dreams conducted for The Daily Telegraph by Harvard University has come to the inescapable conclusion that Freud put too much emphasis on our formative years.
Although dreams are bizarre and otherworldly, they are as likely to be moulded by mundane, humdrum and everyday activities as by life-changing events.(read more>>)