Thursday, June 29, 2006

All my blog posts can be found at

But here's a teaser:


So, What's News?

Ah yes, the squirrel. Nice story, couple were taking a self portrait, you know the thing: put the camera on a rock, click the timer, lights flash (once upon a time it whirred as the timer was manual) and just before the camera snaps the couple perched in front of a lake - whoops, a little ground squirrel pops up next to the camera to be immortalised forever (with couple laughing like drains in the background)... Oh alright then, here's the bloody picture (you could have looked for it yourself, you know...).

So, as I was saying, one of the many nutters/saints who populate made the "squirreliser", where you can put the url of any picture, and it gets "squirreled". Yes, he's spelt it with a 'z', but he's submitting to American indoctrination).

It stopped working a couple of nights ago (they ran out of squirrels) so your mileage may vary. B3ta also gave me a bookmark that allows you to substitute all the photos on a site with pictures from flickr of a theme of your choice (like kittens, or guns). Little things to pass the time...

It's been hot. When I wake up it's already 30°C / 90°F in the bedroom, outside it's hotter.

\\ Coresect
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest - Denis Diderot, 1751

The Words



This one is a strange story. Many years ago I saw a great film called Static. I was only a kid at the time, but it left quite an impression on me. For years I tried to track it down, but unfortunately I was convinced the director was a certain Alex Cox. It was a simple mistake to make, seeing that Channel 4 was broadcasting Static as part of a series of cult films, all chosen and presented by cult director Alex Cox (he gave us the wonderful Repo Man, more about that film in another post). Yesterday I was trawling the internet trying to take my mind off the unbelievable heat that Italy is just so good at when I thought I'd try yet again to find Static. Thanks to wikipedia I quickly discovered that Static was not an Alex Cox film, and after some more hunting I discovered that it was in fact the very first feature-length film by none other than Mark Romanek.

Now here is a director who started small, and then made it big. After Static he got into directing musical videos, and would you imagine that, he directed Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" and "The Perfect Drug", as well as Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt". Weirdly enough he also directed Michael and Janet Jackson in "Scream", reputedly the most expensive music video ever made. One thing I never knew though was that Romanek was also responsible for another of my favourite films: "One Hour Photo", beautifully shot and starring Robin Williams as a very convincing psychopath.

Back to Static, the story revolves around a young man who, driven be the desire to get in touch with his deceased parents, comes up with a special television-like device that shows images of heaven. Unfortunately only he can see the images, everyone else sees just static. The film features music by English seminal band The The. The lead role is played by Keith Gordon, who starred in another of my favourite films, "Christine".

The man...

The car...

So, I found the film info, and I'm a happy bunny, right? Nope, Romanek has all but disowned Static, and it's never been released on DVD. I'll be trawling the torrents for this one, as it can't be bought for love nor money.


Little Things

My girl has started up a new blog called Little Things dedicated to handcraft and bricolage. One of the first things she's made was this little cat, followed by more cats, fish, and even an elephant. Now she's exploring new worlds of little stuffed (and perfumed) animals.


However, the current must be attached

Lets edit in an explanation, just in case... Head to the link below, and you'll be able to enter in an English phrase of your liking. The original phrase goes through a series of translations into Japanese and back again into English, with all the inevitable slight variations that translation programmes cause. The translations stop when the translations no longer vary in any way. So, I picked a nice old quote (any ideas who?)...

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you.
into Japanese

back into English
It should not, not that I currently have no delusions.

back into Japanese

back into English
In, but you should have a current obsession.

back into Japanese

back into English
However, you should have a current obsession.

back into Japanese

back into English
However, it should be the current obsession.

back into Japanese

back into English
However, the current must be attached.

I like it.

Enjoy translating stuff from English into Japanese and back again till it doesn't change any more.

Going further, I'm on a roll ...

Continue reading after the leap...


Xia Xiaowan

Chinee painter Xia Xiaowan creates his "3D artworks" by painting and drawing on multiple sheets of glass like slices of a three dimensional sculpture. The results are striking, and I suspect need to be seen in person to be really appreciated.


The Rabbit

A butcher was opening his market one morning and as he did a rabbit popped his head through the door. The butcher was surprised when the rabbit inquired ‘Got any cabbage?’ The butcher said ‘This is a meat market – we sell meat, not vegetables.’ The rabbit hopped off. The next day the butcher is opening the shop and sure enough the rabbit pops his head round and says ‘You got any cabbage?’ The butcher now irritated says ‘Listen you little rodent I told you yesterday we sell meat, we do not sell vegetables and the next time you come here I am going to grab you by the throat and nail those floppy ears to the floor.’ The rabbit disappeared hastily and nothing happened for a week. Then one morning the rabbit popped his head around the corner and said ‘Got any nails?’ The butcher said ‘No.’ The rabbit said ‘Ok. Got any cabbage?


I'm a Photographer...

"Photography is under attack. Across the country it that seems anyone with a camera is being targeted as a potential terrorist, whether amateur or professional, whether landscape, architectural or street photographer.

Not only is it corrosive of press freedom but creation of the collective visual history of our country is extinguished by anti-terrorist legislation designed to protect the heritage it prevents us recording."


That font looks familiar...

Ah yes:

Simlar font.


Honda EVO6 concept bike

Honda reckon they'll start producing this one (the engine is taken from their 1832 cc (christ on a stick) Goldwing engine.
If it stays close to the concept, it'll be a very pretty bike indeed, huh?

Ganked from Bike Exif.


New Music File Format

The record industry attempts once again to disappear up its own greedy orifice by trying to bring out a replacement for all those MP3's we have:

"Forget WAV, MP3 and M4A – major labels have something new in mind, and it's called CMX. Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI are reportedly preparing a new digital album format that will include songs, lyrics, videos, liner notes and artwork."

Ganked from The Guardian

I have to wonder why they called it CMX, when another nice name like FAIL would have suited it much better. Forward thinking Apple are working on one of their own, called Cocktail.



Uhm, yeah, right...

So just how kooky is Scientology? This kooky:

"According to Scientology, when a person dies — or, in Scientology terms, when a thetan abandons its physical body — they go to a "landing station" on the planet Venus, where the thetan is re-implanted and told lies about its past life and its next life. The Venusians take the thetan, "capsule" it, and send it back to Earth to be dumped into the ocean off the coast of California."

Yup, that's kooky on a high level of kookiness.

Words is Will Smith has set up a private school for young children where a few of the staff are Scientologists. Way to go, fresh prince.

Film Making

Depth of Field Adapters

One of modern-day camcorders' little let downs is the problem of relatively large depth of field. Put basically, it means that more often than not, everything in shot is in focus, or as near as dammit as to be negligible. If you want to focus on just one thing in shot, with everything else blurred to hell, well you will have to work hard to make the aperture wide as possible, with varying results. ...

Continue reading after the leap...

Film Making

Steadycam - Mark I

This is the first attempt at a DIY steadycam, or camera stabiliser. It's rudimentary, but does the job pretty good for a first try. Two mini tripods were used in the making of, but I have a ball bearing and a few universal joints arriving so it should get a little better.

Tomorrow I'll put some footage shot with the steadycam. Click on the picture for a bigger version.


We Know Why You Bought It

You Know it's true.


Confederate Motorcycles

Quite extreme, huh.
They only do three models, and none of them look easy to ride or comfortable to sit on, but I guess that just ain't the point now, is it?


Ukraine band Los Colorados

Check out this funny video after the link...

Continue reading after the leap...



I'm not a big fan of Ducati, though I have a soft spot for the older Le Mans and the V series have a few nice models. On the other hand I do like some streetfighters, and this one does it for me.


Boys like Toys, and this one likes watches

Nice and sexy watch, love the all black, and of course, any 23 is always welcome.

It's been a busy month so far. Usually the teaching winds down as summer hits, but this year I've got an intensive course next week, and it seems quite a few people want lessons right till the end of the month. It's all good, as it means next month when I don't work at all, I can relax some and not worry about making ends meet when September rears its head.
Talking of summer hitting, well, it has. It's been blisteringly hot in the past week, with temperatures touching 40°C. Public transport in these conditions has been unbearable, especially on one of Rome's only two underground lines, which doesn't have air-conditioning... The only solution for now is handing out free bottles of water. Providing showers would be a nice idea too...

None of this will matter next week though, as finally I have the bike on the road. After wasting more than 3 months waiting for an Italian identity card (this weekend I'll write about that little adventure) I finally have everything sorted and I'm good to roll. As soon as August is here I'm taking the bike off to the coast for some eagerly-awaited messing about in the water.

In case you're wondering, this is the bike:

Majesty 250.


HDR Self-Portrait

I've been wanting to use HDR / Tonemapping for a portrait for a while. The images that you get are gritty, and very detailed. Not flattering for sure, but definitely striking. I went for a real, just step outside and take a picture, no shaving, make up, cleaning, preening or waiting till the light is flattering. Oh, and no blurring, smoothing and hiding afterwards. I wanted a gritty black and white self portrait and that's what I got. Click on the image for a big version.


Rollins Loves Techno

So, first you get Henry Rollins giving a little speech on how shit techno music is, and then some genius gives it a techno remix, AND adds the Techno Viking. Awesome got bigger.


The Techno Viking

Blast from the past here, with a film from 2000. It starts innocently enough, with a blue-wigged girl dancing at a techno parade. Suddenly someone looking a tad drunk barges in and grabs the girl, only to come face to face with what can only be described as the Techno Viking. The skirmish is brief, and then the awesome that is the Techno Viking dances away.
Watch, enjoy, and then go get the merchandise.


Doodling As Art - Joe List

Nice Blog by a guy who spends rather a lot of time doodling on pages of the weekend supplement. Funny, and striking, I'm almost inspired to do the same. I suspect I lack the talent.

Check out too


By admin (when... 27/06/2009 @ 08:52:51, Where Bike, linked 130 times)

I quite like modern cruisers, they strike me as being the bike equivalent of a muscle car:

and I just love those. So the Lazareth 1000 FZR Compressor catches my eye a little, but the silver is perhaps a little too much for my liking. Based on a Yamaha FZR 1000, it's a custom job built by Frenchman of the same name. You want one (complete with its Mini Cooper S supercharger) it'll cost you €40,000.

Spotted at

Must go look at the Lazareth Website when I feel the need to drool some.

New pics up on deviantart

By admin (when... 26/06/2009 @ 22:55:54, Where Photography, linked 19 times)

Top is the gasmask, it turned up (an adventure in itself) and the second is the view I get when I take the dog for a long walk Wednesday mornings.

Click on the pictures to go over to see them on my Deviantart page, and, ahem, buy a print should you so wish.

A Rose by any other name...

By admin (when... 26/06/2009 @ 15:55:31, Where Funny, linked 17 times)
So Facebook recently allowed people to choose their own url name, and even if I only go to Facebook once a month at max, I went and got

I don't know why, I think mainly just so nobody else would. So, it looks like some girl had a little trick played on her, and by the powers of thar interwebz she became

Seeing how usernames are not changeable, and the person in question flatly refused to believe the fact, she might just be stuck with that one for a while.

Little things make me smile.

The Downward Spiral

By admin (when... 19/06/2009 @ 09:52:54, Where Italy, linked 26 times)

Grafitti on a berlusconi propaganda poster. "Local police and carabinieri (military police) are now in every city."
"..but they still haven't found you!"

silvio's empire is starting to smell worse than ever, with magistrates in Bari investigating new claims that his frequent parties involved prostitutes. His lawyer (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Lurch)
Ghedini (he's the one on the right)
defended his client (or patient, depending on your point of view) by stating that silvio can all the girls he wants without having to pay, so why would he pay? Very classy defence for a respectable leader of a so-called civilised country. Not to mention that people do strange things, just ask Hugh Grant...
silvio's personal news channels focused their attention on how a poitical opponent knew about the investigation before everyone else, thereby giving tacit approval to silvio's alleged penchance for prostitutes, just 4 weeks after everyone was talking about his alleged penchance for minors. Now of course his strill bleating about it all being a conspiracy is echoed all the more frantically by silvio's entourage, though with the press and media being in his pocket (or wallet), and we all know how easily silvio finds magistrates on his payroll (in this Economist article the details behind fund transfers from silvio's swiss bank accounts via 3rd parties to a judge) the only possible enemy appears to be the public, and the political opposition parties. Far from being a conspiracy, this is what is known as a democracy.

In a very short while silvio will be leading the European government, so you too will be able to enjoy the experience.


By admin (when... 18/06/2009 @ 11:21:51, Where technology, linked 16 times)

Great article by an ex-pilot of the world's fastest jet-powered plane: the Blackbird. Which began in the late 1950s as a Mach 3 high-altitude interceptor and strike platform.

'You might want to pull it back,' Walter suggested. It was then that I noticed I still had the throttles full forward. The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds, well above our Mach 3.2 limit. It was the fastest we would ever fly.

Major Brian Shul.

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