Monday, August 31, 2009

British Museum and Porn

When Benjamin Franklin said nothing was certain other than death and taxes, he missed out the P-word. Even if every rude website packed up and went home; even if all the top shelves in all the newsagents were cleared for more improving material; even if the spouses of every one of our MPs stopped watching blue movies — even then, the British Museum and British Library would still be there, boasting some of the most extensive collections of pornography in the known world.
It seems appropriate that room 69 is one of the most loved-up spaces in the museum. Here you will find a picture of Eros himself, with rather small genitals, on an ancient-Greek amphora. On another one nearby is the teasing image of a Greek beauty seductively removing the belt of her chiton, or tunic, in front of a semi-clad man
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

I found science boring

Objective: To find out whether taking images of the male and female genitals during coitus is feasible and to find out whether former and current ideas about the anatomy during sexual intercourse and during female sexual arousal are based on assumptions or on facts.
Design: Observational study.
Setting: University hospital in the Netherlands.
Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging was used to study the female sexual response and the male and female genitals during coitus. Thirteen experiments were performed with eight couples and three single women.
Results: The images obtained showed that during intercourse in the "missionary position" the penis has the shape of a boomerang and 1/3 of its length consists of the root of the penis. During female sexual arousal without intercourse the uterus was raised and the anterior vaginal wall lengthened. The size of the uterus did not increase during sexual arousal.
Conclusion: Taking magnetic resonance images of the male and female genitals during coitus is feasible and contributes to understanding of anatomy. (read more...)

Friday, August 28, 2009

You say Sambusak , I say Chamuça

An illustration of the making of samosas, inspired by the boxing sequences from Scorseses Raging Bull. A tribute to the directors mother who has rheumatoid arthritis in her knees and shoulders; this is a record of her hands in case they become affected. (via SlowFood)

A sambusak (Arabic: سمبوسك‎), samosa (pronounced [səˈmou̯sə]) in south Asia (Punjabi: smosa, Hindi: samosa), samsa (pronounced [ˈsamsə]) or somsa in Turkic Central Asia (Kyrgyz: самса, IPA: [sɑmsɑ́]; Kazakh: самса, IPA: [sɑmsɑ́], Uzbek: somsa, IPA: [sɒmsa]), sambusa among Tajiks (Tajik: самбӯса), or chamuça in the Lusophone world, is a stuffed pastry and a popular snack in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, throughout the Mediterranean Sea (Greece), Southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa and North Africa.

It generally consists of a fried or baked triangular-, half-moon-, or tetrahedron-shaped pastry shell with a savory filling of spiced potatoes, onion, peas, coriander, minced meat, or sometimes fresh paneer. Non-vegetarian samosas may substitute fillings of minced meat or fish. The size and shape of a samosa, as well as the consistency of the pastry used, can vary considerably, although it is mostly triangular

Sunday, August 23, 2009

conceptual Prick and ceramic Cunt

New York is a city of neighborhoods with each neighborhood attracting its own distinct group of people. The Bowery was New York's skid row, but on the upper floors of its industrial buildings was a world of lofts populated by young artists and nonconformists. The top floor loft at 98 Bowery was my entry into that world. During those early years, the picture-perfect garret was a magnet for a cast of creative and philosophic youth worthy of La Bohème or Rent. Here I sharpened my sensibilities and embarked on my own creative journey.
"Make a Penis and Vagina Out of Clay" extended the penis and vagina drawing series into both sculpture and performance. The catalyst was art critic Edit deAk who asked if she could bring by a group of students from the University of Michigan who she was escorting on a tour of the New York art world. The students proved to be eager participant / subjects. After I explained Conceptual Art and the subject of the piece, Jim Cobb, a ceramics instructor at Hunter College, gave some rudimentary lessons on how to manipulate the clay. Paul Tschinkel videotaped as the students went to work creating their clay genitalia. The event culminated with interviews in which each participant explained the process that went into their unique creations
(read more...)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Shacky Jacket

25 years ago, a dust jacket did not have the capacity to hike up the value of a collectible book from, say, $3,000 to $180,000 (as it now can for "The Great Gatsby"). And at the time, it's doubtful anyone had even considered printing counterfeits
For many bibliophiles, building a collection of rare books is a deeply satisfying treasure hunt, and because what's sought can be worth a small (or large) fortune, theft, fraud and forgery lurk in the shadows. Temptation to swindle grows alongside value, and dust jackets are a case in point.Most attempts at phony jackets do not fool professionals who handle books for a living and have a feel for the old papers, an eye for the ways that ink used to meet the paper. But collectors usually don't have this savvy, and neither, for that matter, do all dealers.
Complicating matters is the fact that there is a legitimate market for facsimile dust jackets. Those who can't afford the original jacket for "The Great Gatsby," for example, can purchase a new one for about $20 .
Some purists would rather do without than buy a facsimile, which they feel cheapens a collection, akin to accessorizing vintage Chanel with a sidewalk vendor's knockoff purse. Yet in many collectors' eyes, an authentic looking facsimile jacket can give their collection a completeness otherwise impossible.
Add restoration to a bad marriage, and the jacket's integrity is on truly shaky ground. While making repairs to prevent further damage is considered acceptable, restoration, which can involve adding paper and painting it to make it look like the original, isn't always viewed favorably by those in the trade. (read more by Allison Hoover Bartlet)
Bartlett is the author of "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession," which comes out in September.

Monday, August 17, 2009

La vie est une fenêtre

Created in 1968, the film is an exploration of Parajanov’s life without the use of dialogue. The entire story is narrated in imagery and symbolism alone. It would probably take a decade or more to unravel all of the meaning. The film was suppressed in the former Soviet Union and was not widely available outside film festivals in the West.
It stars Sofiko Chiaureli in no less than six roles including that of the male poet and main character Sayat Nova, the King of Song.
Sadly, Parajanov didn’t live long enough to see his work flourish. He passed away in 1990 after a battle with lung cancer. Arguably caused by his years of incarceration in a labor camp as punishment for expressing his views.(read more...)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A state of mind

Directed by Santiago Bou Grasso of Argentina in 2008, Le Empleo tells a story about how we all have our little job to do in order to make a little money. Simple and beautifully animated, with graceful character animation perfectly conveying a state of mind or existence that seems natural and mundane until you closely examine it – or make a film about it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul (1915-2009) Unplugged

With apologies to Hendrix and Clapton, inventor and musician Les Paul, who died Wednesday at 94, was the most influential rock guitarist ever — even though he was only tangentially involved in rock. Paul was important not just for his instrumental virtuosity, but also for his groundbreaking studio developments and creation of the Gibson solid-body guitar that bears his name, the quintessential rock instrument made famous by such legends as Clapton, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen.(read more..)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

$1 Million Solution to Middle East Problem

Some residents of Kiryat Yam,Israel are convinced the city is home to a mermaid, and the town's local council is offering $1 million to anyone who can prove the aquatic damsel exists.
Over recent months, dozens of people in the Haifa suburb have reported seeing a creature that resembles a young girl leaping out of the water and doing aerial tricks across the waves before disappearing to her home under the sea.
The story has caused quite a splash in Kiryat Yam, with dozens of onlookers flocking to the town's beach at sunset, cameras in tow, to catch a glimpse of the mermaid and hopefully, the million dollar photo.(from Haaretz)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Borscht: Jewish Secret Viagra

Drinking beetroot juice boosts your stamina and could help you exercise for up to 16% longer. A University of Exeter led-study shows for the first time how the nitrate contained in beetroot juice leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake, making exercise less tiring.
The study reveals that drinking beetroot juice reduces oxygen uptake to an extent that cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training.
The research team believes that the findings could be of great interest to endurance athletes. They could also be relevant to elderly people or those with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases.
Corresponding author of the study, Professor Andy Jones of the University of Exeter's School of Sport and Health Sciences, said: "Our study is the first to show that nitrate-rich food can increase exercise endurance. We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training. I am sure professional and amateur athletes will be interested in the results of this research. I am also keen to explore the relevance of the findings to those people who suffer from poor fitness and may be able to use dietary supplements to help them go about their daily lives."
(read more...)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

90 percent of this post is crap

Brooks' law Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. Named after Fred Brooks, author of the well known book on Project Management, The Mythical Man-Month.
Dilbert Principle Coined by Scott Adams as a variation of the Peter Principle of employee advancement. Named after Adams' Dilbert comic strip, it proposes that the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management.
Finagle's law Generalized version of Murphy's law, fully named Finagle's Law of Dynamic Negatives and usually rendered "anything that can go wrong, will or "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment." Not strictly eponymous, since there was no Finagle.
Godwin's law An adage in Internet culture that states "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Coined by Mike Godwin in 1990
Gresham's law "bad money drives good money out of circulation". Coined in 1858 by British economist Henry Dunning Macleod, and named for Sir Thomas Gresham (1519–1579). The principle had been stated before Gresham by others, including Nicolaus Copernicus.
Hanlon's razor A corollary of Finagle's law, normally taking the form "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.". As with Finagle, possibly not strictly eponymous. Alternately, "Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence."
Herblock's law states that "If it's good, they'll stop making it." Possibly coined by Herbert Lawrence Block, whose pen name was Herblock.
Hofstadter's law "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law." It was created by Douglas Hofstadter in his book Gödel, Escher, Bach.
Hotelling's law in economics — Under some conditions, it is rational for competitors to make their products as nearly identical as possible.
Hutber's law "Improvement means deterioration". Coined by financial journalist Patrick Hutber.
Kranzberg's First Law of Technology - Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
Linus's law — named for Linus Torvalds, states "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow".
Moynihan's law "The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country." Coined by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927–2003).
Murphy's law Ascribed to Edward A. Murphy, Jr. who stated "If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will end in disaster, then someone will do it that way."
Occam's razor States that explanations should never multiply causes without necessity. When two explanations are offered for a phenomenon, the simplest full explanation is preferable. Named after William of Ockham (ca.1285–1349)
Okrent's Law The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true. Stated by Daniel Okrent, first Public Editor for The New York Times
Pareto principle States that for many phenomena 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes. Named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, but framed by management thinker Joseph M. Juran.
Parkinson's law "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Coined by C. Northcote Parkinson(1909–1993), who also coined its corollary, "Expenditure rises to meet income." In computers - Programs expand to fill all available memory.
Peter principle "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." Coined by Dr. Laurence J. Peter (1919–1990) in his book The Peter Principle. In his follow-up book, The Peter Prescription, he offered possible solutions to the problems his Principle could cause.
Poe's Law That there is a maximum desirable length for poems: "the unit of poetry must be fixed by the reader's capacity of attention, and ... the limits of a poem must accord with the limits of a single movement of intellectual apprehension and emotional exaltation". Named for Edgar Allan Poe.
Reilly's law of Retail Gravitation, people generally patronize the largest mall in the area.
Roemer's law a hospital bed built is a bed filled
Sayre's law "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue." By way of corollary, the law adds: "That is why academic politics are so bitter."
Schneier's Law "Any person can invent a security system so clever that she or he can't think of how to break it."
Segal's law "A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
Skitt's law a corollary of Muphry's law, variously expressed as "any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself" or "the likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster."
Sturgeon's law "Nothing is always absolutely so." Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon (1918–1985)
Sutton's law "'Go where the money is'". Often cited in medical schools to teach new doctors to spend resources where they are most likely to pay off. The law is named after bank robber Willie Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks is claimed to have answered "Because that's where the money is."
Wirth's law Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.

Sturgeon's revelation "90 percent of everything is crap."

(read more...)