There Are Just No Words

… to explain some of the stuff we unearth. But unearth we do – and share we must.

If you are keeping count …

… you will have noticed that this chap is delivering posts today faster than a Gatling … and yes he recalls back then writing;

… we are done with guns for now.

Well, that was then … different times. And we are, but sometimes you just need the reference to make the point. Anyway. suffice to say, this chap has been faced with a backlog of stuff that he has been thinking about sharing and writing and commenting on. When originally saved, he had entire posts in his head. Still does in fact …. Continue reading “There Are Just No Words”

Jonesing towards Bethlehem?

… before we get going, this chap would like to point out the possibility that though our readers might have heard of Alex Jones and Infowars, they might have missed out on his recent Performance Art defence. In itself – arguably – some of his best performance art. Then of course, this chap is not the expert on that particular topic.

Meanwhile …

Graham has worked in performance art …

… and seriously, knows whereof he speaks. Be warned, though, you can’t talk about this stuff in front of the kids. (Yes, Ian, we’re talking about you, Jude, and the herring… ) But it was always a broad tent and, frankly, needed one from time to time (yes, Ian and Jude, we do mean you).

So, why would he be reluctant to consider Alex Jones any sort of peer or colleague?

It’s not the content. Being (seriously, NSFW) shocking is par for the performance art course –– expected, in fact.

Continue reading “Jonesing towards Bethlehem?”

Shocking… But True … Part 1

John … I mean – who else?
ahem …. what is ‘truth’
#justsayin

Graham was reminded…

…that it’s been more than 50 years since Stanley Milgram’s famous, or notorious, “electroshock” experiments, that claimed to show how compliant people would be to authority figures. So compliant, in fact, that they would electroshock a stranger at lethal intensity just because a man in a white coat told them they must. And people are still questioning those conclusions, even re-replicating, because after all, who wants to think they would do such a thing to another human being for no good reason?

And Graham began musing that what Milgram, his academic career blighted by the experiments, needed was a better write-up; a better spin doctor, perhaps, placing him in a fresher, more modernist light. (After all, spinning it seems to work for the present White House…) Then he read something Milgram said, and the obvious candidate sprang to mind…. Continue reading “Shocking… But True … Part 1”

Worried About Water

.. Graham is concerned…

… that xkcd, witty though it is, has some strange wiring into the Zeitgeist.

xkcd #1561: Water Phase Diagram

Which is all well and good, most informative. Except that today, we came across this article from the Smithsonian, with its suggestion that water has more states (phases) than simply solid, liquid, and gas, predictably dependent on temperature and pressure.

There’s more to H20 than meets the eye. (Yegor Larin / Alamy)

Why should that be troubling? Continue reading “Worried About Water”

Gin And Tonic Pancakes

… apparently, they are a thing. Well … kind of.

This Chap stumbled into this particular link over the weekend … and, he has to admit that he was initially ‘psyched’. Until he wasn’t.  His initial thoughts, shared with he that provided the original link.

… you had me at Gin and Tonic Pancakes are a thing … a meeting of two core elements of anyone’s diet neatly packaged into a single consumable offering – I missed the picture and clicked through to ensure it wasn’t #fakenews … it all seemed to be valid and so saved off the page into Instapaper … when I came back … the image caught my eye …. I know right … they say images are needed for engagement … wrong … it’s all in the headline … anyway – back to the image. I noticed something …. to be sure I magnified the image and indeed … there it was … a can of gin and tonic …. being a little nervous, I clicked back to the page … and there it was a single line for a ‘single ingredient’ … a ‘250g gin and tonic can’ ….

I am sure that the problems are immediately apparent Continue reading “Gin And Tonic Pancakes”

Posthumous 2017 Darwin Award

… well a contender at the very least. Click on through if you don’t know of the Darwin Awards.

This Chap marvels at the …

… idiocy, inadequacy of knowledge, stupidity, ignorance .. I am not sure what it is – but really?

A British man was fatally electrocuted as a result of charging an iPhone while he was using it in the bath, a coroner has recorded. The coroner warned of the dangers of using electrical devices in bathrooms, and said that he would be writing to Apple about the case …

The assumption is that this was Dick before his bath. Maybe that Red Label impaired the judgement?

Continue reading “Posthumous 2017 Darwin Award”

Smart Devices? Absolutely …

… but you need to think outside of the box.

This chap got to thinking today …

… about a podcast by Mike Pesca last week. Sorry – I can’t recall which one, but as I have said before – you should be listening to him anyway. In this one, he got on to the topic of the ‘Internet of Things’ and explored specific projects on Kickstarter.

… and then a slot in the Daily Show last night (I looked – sorry – no YouTube video – but click here and spin through to minute 11.) included highlights such as

  • a kid’s toothbrush connected to a gaming device,
  • a smart hairbrush (you did read that correctly … and as Ronnie Chieng said … if you are taking advice from a hairbrush …) and
  • a dishwasher that listens to you … again Ronnie calls no fair … something that can do the dishes and listen to you? Game over!
Common thread?

SMART devices, IoT and all that mumbo jumbo.

Bottom line conclusion?

File in the ‘just because you should ….’ drawer – cross-referenced to hashtag WTF!

But there’s more ….

This particular Kickstarter campaign caught this chap’s eye ….

Continue reading “Smart Devices? Absolutely …”

In Our Defense

Graham was involved with an artist …

Raymond Hitchcock: Lovers in the Poppyfields (1955)

… and it seemed like fun at the time. However, the lady had patterns (!). Her creativity (lost-) waxed and waned with the moon, or the tides, or (not putting too fine a point on it) her menstrual state.  The Chap somehow turned, during such seasons, from Adonis to Bluebeard. Partner artist’s manic creativity spiked high at those times, and for a Chap with survival in mind, rapid and adequate (even excessive) provision of the apparent creative necessaries — pencils, fabric, printing ink, et al. became a paramount issue. (Think 2 a.m. ice cream and pickles, for those inclined to procreation.) It worked, in its own way, and this chap had a fairly peaceful and happy life for a while.

So in later years, Continue reading “In Our Defense”

If You Think Alexa Is Worrying …

… then consider this …

Some considerable number of years ago, this chap…devised a direct-mail fundraiser for an AIDS-assistance charity that was, unusually, profitable on first mailing. Its success was due to a search algorithm, applied to publicly-available data, that identified likely male gay couples living together.

The beneficiaries closed the project down, immediately. And in the uncertain social/legal climate of the times, it was, and remains, hard to fault their decision.

So, suffice to say ‘rattled’ comes to mind, as he read that image recognition has progressed to the point that it can produce equivalent results just from video of people in public places. ID a ‘dressy’ restaurant, to go in the ‘Near You’ search results? OK… ID a place where a lot of men are hanging out, who may be gay? Well…. In Tehran? Oh. But, wait, couldn’t that be…

Several years ago, a small tech company called Jetpac identified and categorised the content of 150 million photos posted publicly on Instagram to build a directory of businesses searchable by their characteristics. If the photos taken at a restaurant showed a lot of mouths wearing lipstick, Jetpac’s app would tag the spot as “dressy.” If most of the faces in a photo of a bar were male, it would tag the spot as a gay bar. (Jetpac was acquired by Google in 2014.)

How about analysing facial features, backed by fingerprints, Continue reading “If You Think Alexa Is Worrying …”