Dark is the suede that mows like a harvest.*

The European Space Agency has discovered what it believes to be ice on Mars. Thanks for saying something about it, BBC! Our domestic news engineers were aggressively ignoring Europe's success in space by reporting on the same thing California scientists said about a different object just over a year ago. Well, that or the space walk.

It's probably safe to assume that NASA doesn't want to you question its authority any more than you already do. It seems the agency is putting a softer spin on this latest mission, particulary its similarities to a disaster in recent memory. I don't mean to be morbid, but NASA might reconsider having return in the shuttle mission's title.

* - Obscure Mars Attacks! reference. Didn't want to do the obvious "needs women" Mars joke, and "pump up the volume" was too much of a stretch. Like this post needed any more hyperlinks.


Oblique Strategies

I recently rediscovered Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies when they were made available as a Widget for OSX Tiger's Dashboard. These "one hundred worthwhile strategies" are a lot like Zen Buddhism's koans - only with fewer religous overtones. You can get your hands on a hard copy via Eno's online shop, or check out several other digital versions. I've got to admit, I put them to use on some new business I'm working on, and they definitely helped get the (mental) wheels turning. You business types out there might employ Oblique Strategies to arrive at the proverbial Purple Cow that Seth Godin is always talking about. Or you could carry on being unremarkable.


Lidell did I know...

Certain corners of the Indie-net have been abuzz with Jaime Lidell lately. (Admittedly, I slept on most of his work until now.) His innovative approach to "soul" vocalization is what ultimately makes you a fan (I'm told you have to see it live, but there are a few videos online that give you a hint). His discography reaches from the Super_Collider realm of yester-year to Matthew Herbert's Big Band, to his latest, Multiply on Warp - perhaps the last label on which you'd expect to find a soul singer.


X-ian zombies want to eat your porn-riddled brains!

Mind Hacks has a post about a conservative group that's raising money to conduct studies in the hope of proving that porn is an erotoxin. The term is a neologism coined by an anti-porn activist, so you know the ratio of actual science to irrational conservativism is low. This pushy, "holier-than-thou, but out-of-touch-with-reality" christian conservativism reminds me of the "Xian Zombie Vampyre" chorus from My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult's "Days of Swine & Roses" (on Confessions of a Knife). Someone had to point this out, because these irrational christians are the real zombies and zimboes.


Birds imitate man-made, electronic sounds

In Germany, orinthologists have determined that birds imitate mobile phone ring tones. I'm very pleased to see this article, as I have noticed birds in my neighborhood imitating car alarms (you know the tune). Bird's songs are a great example of memes occurring outside the human race, and bird's ability to mimic human speech sounds is widely known already; it seemed completely logical that they would begin to imitate urban noises (albeit in a monophonic way, since birds can't sing chords) and incorporate these sounds into their song-vocabulary.


While my girlfriend scoffed at the thought, I insisted it was at least possible - and awfully coincidental that the birds picked up those sounds around the same time a neighbor of ours couldn't keep his car alarm (the ubiquious "song" of the city) from going off for an entire hour at a time. Some are helping to call attention to the similarities with a little clever editing, too.


Is Not Magazine

Is Not Magazine would be a magazine if it weren't published as a poster. There's a lot of talk in the persuasion industry about "invented media", and this is a good example. It's a nice, simple idea. I especially like that the site does not duplicate the content, but instead offers information about the editorial staff and the means by which Is Not is produced / published. You get a glimpse at the recipe for this invented media, and you still have a reason to be on the loookout for a poster (next time you're in Melbourne, anyway).

[via Kottke]


Laces of death

The pair of Adidas kicks I'm wearing have ridiculously long laces, and today was the umpteenth time they got tangled in the wheels of my office chair. Naturally, I was thrilled to discover YewKnee's link to this list of shoelacing methods. I'm going to try the doubleback method, the lattice method... or just get shorter laces.


The Recombinant

Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do. All of us. Though not all of us know it - yet.

William Gibson romanticizes our recombinant tendencies and cut-and-paste culture in this Wired article.

I've always liked the word recombinant - ever since first learning it during a genetics chapter in grade school science class (a truly remarkable occurrence for Catholic school). I wouldn't apply the term to my creative output for at least another ten years, once I learned to study culture in terms the meme (parallel to the gene in biology). Now it's a challenge to describe my work (and recreation) without using the "r" term, or some synonym of it.