Sunday, August 07, 2005

"Advice from a Caterpillar" from

The Many Faces of Alice,

"the process and product
of a fourth grade class study of
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, its author,
Lewis Carroll, and its many illustrators"

includes great puppet theatre quicktime movies, hypertext annotations &c. :--

"The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.

`Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then...'"

(thanks to the Protection Island crew)

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"a blood-spattered Canadarm..."

"Taken on its own merits, the Shuttle gives the impression of a vehicle designed to be launched repeatedly to near-Earth orbit, tended by five to seven passengers with little concern for their personal safety, and requiring extravagant care and preparation before each flight, with an almost fetishistic emphasis on reuse. Clearly this primitive space plane must have been a sacred artifact, used in religious rituals to deliver sacrifice to a sky god.

As tempting as it is to picture a blood-spattered Canadarm flinging goat carcasses into the void, we know that the Shuttle is the fruit of what was supposed to be a rational decision making process. That so much about the vehicle design is bizarre and confused is the direct result of the Shuttle's little-remembered role as a military vehicle during the Cold War. "

Saturday, August 06, 2005


(When bees are in hives)


Bracton: De Legibus Et Consuetudinibus Angliae
(Bracton on the Laws and Customs of England
attributed to Henry of Bratton, c. 1210-1268)

For if they settle
in my tree
they are no more mine--

before I shut them
into a hive--
than are the birds

who make their nest there,
and therefore
if another hives them

he will be their owner.
A swarm that flies
out of my hive

is taken to be mine
so long as it remains
in my sight

and pursuit is not impossible,
otherwise it becomes
the property of the taker.

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Friday, August 05, 2005

trippy single-cell silica leak forms:--Ernst Haeckel: Die Radiolarien (1862)

(from MetaFilter where there's more)

some deadly unreachable & far from ripe Vancouver blackberries from Adam Harrison; Nanaimo's are good to go, ran into a couple of folks picking in the lee of our hinge and their pails were 3/4 full, leaning over to check, that great wafting smell...
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interesting guest writer at Altercation

"Although liberals accomplished great things during the first three quarters of the 20th century, thereafter they stumbled badly. When they encountered resistance to black civil rights among poor and working class whites--some of it racially motivated some of it not--rather than dealing with the resistance politically, liberal elites sought to impose solutions from above by taking advantage of their privileged access to judicial and executive power. Then, rather than telling Americans honestly about the likely costs and consequences of a military intervention in Southeast Asia and trust them to make the correct decisions, they used lies and deception to trick voters into supporting an unwinnable war that was fought mostly by the poor and working classes; and when the war came too close to home, they quickly forgot about the lower class combatants and their sacrifices they had made. Then after liberals' attempt to support guns and butter set off hyperinflation to erode the real value of wages, they callously thought up new ways to spend the windfall of tax revenue rather than adjust tax brackets to relieve the unsustainable burden on the middle class. Finally, when faced with political revolt because of these misguided policies, they retreated into arcane ideologies to wage a rearguard cultural insurgency from the safety of the ivory tower. Is it any wonder that liberals lost the public trust?"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

many, many versions of Ghost Riders in the Sky--including Burl Ives, Shadows, Roy Rogers & c. I remember a fine, unrecorded instrumental version played by the Dick Damron Band (my pal Vic Bateman on bass)in the hotels & beer halls of Edmonton, winter of '77...

(via the newly-located gmtPlus9)

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Flow, Laura Niagara

"when I was a Freeport,
and you were the Main Drag..."

"I've got a lot of patience, baby
That's a lot of patience to lose..."

machine-tickling aphid" Darwin

over-crayoned blue sky flakes

but the duck's left blank,
like Depot Harbour

getting rubbed off
the grid was no biblical

judgement, dig--
it looked like a nice place!

but Carthage NOW
looks better than this place

fifty years on--
alder-poked, broom-worried,

a ghost town
after the ghost had gone--

a desertedness
out of large-print SF--

writhing and plinking
in the furzy foundation

the dreaded
"Ukelele Konig"

laced its tongue
through a web

of taut nylon but
we couldn't make it out

or if it was even
talking at all--

auctioned off
from under your feet

like the family
Astrakhan, and if

a trestle is the only
thing holding it back

then admit the jungle
the empire of the ants

could we not just
get it over with?

Or must we choke forever
on periphery's piney sap?

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Shandy Hall in Yorkshire hosts the premiere of A Cock and Bull Story, Michael Winterbottom's promising adaptation of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy

"After a nap in the garden (I woke to see Winterbottom wandering across the lawn), it was time to wander down to the village hall. In the field outside it, people were milling around, eating canapes, drinking wine and staring at a large, black bull. They were trying to guess its weight. I bought a ticket saying 428kg and a 'christen the cock' ticket saying 'Phutatorius'.

I met John, an accountant from York, a woman called Marion, a big, bluff businessman who was in York for the races and a beautiful woman called Polly. She, it turned out, was Lady Feversham. She had offered, since all the B&Bs were full, to put me up for the night. 'We've got 10,000 Hells Angels at the moment,' said her husband Peter. 'Don't worry, you can't see them from the house.'"

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interesting Elvis revisionism from jazz writer Will Friedwald--

"Unlike Sinatra’s, Presley’s recorded output looks meager when compared with what it could have been. There are so many songs he should have done: “There Must Be a Better World Somewhere” (a Doc Pomus song for B. B. King that’s far superior to anything he wrote for Presley), “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone,” “A Rainy Night in Georgia,” “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” Louis Jordan’s “Early in the Morning,” “What a Wonderful World,” “Empty Bed Blues,” “Stand by Me,” “On Broadway,” “I Pity the Fool,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “Work Song,” “SeƱor Blues,” “Don’t Go to Strangers,” “At Last,” “Teach Me Tonight,” Robert Johnson’s “Hellhound on My Trail.” He could have sung entire songbook albums of the works of Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, and Hoagy Carmichael, three old-school songwriters who also bridged the worlds of jazz, pop, and country music."