Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Mongolian Art

Here in Mongolia (your Atomic Surgeon goes get around) they are proud of the their new generation of Mongolian artists. However, to my eye, a small number seem to have been strongly influenced by the early work of Vaughn Bode and Jeff Jones.

Stay tuned fro more updates.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Kipling West's August Calander

Go to 7 Deadly Sinners to download a larger version.

The Vision of Snakes On A Plane

Even in the dark, snakes on a plane (at least those of the pit viper and boa varieties) could keep a close watch on terrorized passengers and crew thanks to small cavities near their snouts known as pit organs. The organs are sensitive to the infrared radiation emitted by warm prey such as rats, rabbits, and Samuel L. Jackson.

An optical analysis of pit organs suggests that snakes shouldn't be able to use the organ to track prey very well because the pit aperture is large and the organ is not very deep. However, studies have shown that snakes can localize heat sources to a surprisingly accurate resolution of five degrees (roughly the angular width of "Snakes on a Plane" costar Rachel Blanchard at three meters).

Physicists at the Technische Universität München believe the solution to the paradox could be a network of neurons in the snakes' brains –a kind of snake brain firmware - that provides image enhancement as though the snakes were wearing virtual corrective lenses. They discovered that even a crude network dramatically improves infrared imaging - which you might want to keep in mind if you ever book a flight on a snake-infested airline.

Link: Virtual Lens May Improve Heat Vision in Snakes. 2006. A. B. Sichert et al. Physical Review Letters.

Pink Floyd 1977: Where's Syd Barrett?

Back in 1977 the French music mag “Rock&Folk” published a long article on Pink Floyd. These were the heady days when the French comic artists were cracking the NA market through the import of “Métal Hurlant” and its English spin-off, “Heavy Metal”. Accompanying the piece was this comic strip. You don’t have to speak French to figure out what’s going on.

“Nightmare” © Paringaux & Macedo

Click to enlarge all images.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Fallen Domino

Syd Barrett 1946 - 2006

Syd’s obituary in The Gaurdian.

Syd with Pink Floyd live in 1967 performing Astronomy Domine:

While I was in the field last month Syd Barrett quietly passed away at his home in Cambridge, England. When I started up this blog a few months back it was with the specific purpose to post some of these old PF videos featuring Syd. Before I could get around to it the blog shifted directions on me (somethings can't be changed even when you have a Time Bubble) & a number of other blogs did some detailed Syd and PF postings, so I let the original idea slide. But now that The Madcap has laughed his last laugh I'm posting a clip of arguably my favourite song.

According to several sources Syd was regularly painting while in 'retirement' but always destroyed each piece once it was finished. A few years back one of the British music monthlies reproduced one of Syd's paintings that apparently survived the torch. Hopefully a lot more did and we'll see a show of his work sometime in the future.

“Stairways scare Dan Dare, who’s there….?”

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Ape I.Q.

Exactly how smart is that ape holding the gun? Well, smart enough to get the girl! But, the real answer is HERE.

Predators Prefer Small-Brained Prey

Predators such as leopards and chimpanzees consistently target smaller-brained prey less capable of escape. They avoid more intelligent prey such as monkeys which have exceptionally large brains and are more capable of escaping attacks.

The report shows a strong correlation between the brain size of the prey and the predatory bias towards it. The study, carried out by Dr Susanne Shultz, focused on predators from Africa and South America such as the jaguar, chimpanzee, leopard and puma. Dr Shultz found that prey with a small brain such as small antelope, mongooses and the red river hog were more susceptible to attacks by predators compared with larger-brained prey.

Animals with small brains lack behavioural flexibility and are probably less capable of developing new strategies to escape predators, compared with larger-brained species.

"Some animals' ability to avoid being eaten by predators may be a contributing factor to the evolution of large brains across some species, adding to conventional theories which argue this is important for developing social relationships and using tools."

Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Biter of Thorpe

Hmmm... just back into this time line long enough to talk about....

Danielle Dax was a goth/punk/experimental musician and producer from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. After a brief stint in a band called The Lemon Kittens, Dax broke off and embarked on a solo career, recording and producing "Pop-Eyes"(1982), "Jesus Egg That Wept" (1984), and "Inky Bloaters" (1987) on her own label, Awesome Records. In 1988, she signed with Sire Records, which released her double album "Dark Adapted Eye. “

She made her sole film appearance as "the naked wolfgirl who comes out of the well and slinks around" in Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves. Her last two releases, in 1995, were a compilation appropriately titled Comatose Non Reaction: The Thwarted Pop Career of Danielle Dax, and an EP of new material called Timber Tongue EP. Although officially retired from music she did make a live appearance earlier this year reading poetry over the soundscapes of her longtime partner David Knight.

I first became aware of her through the cover doddle she did for Robert Fripp's "League of Gentlemen" LP (as such things were called back in the 1970's).

A explanation for the name of her record label, "Biter of Thorpe", comes from this interview:

'Ah, Biter of Thorpe' she laughs, 'that was my nick-name at infant school. I went to Thorpe junior school, or Greenways as it was also known as, and I used to fight all the time - I used to feel bad about it; every Monday I would think 'Right, I'm not going to get into any trouble,' and I always got into trouble, I was always going to the Headmistress. `Once a boy called Steven Gandey gave me a Valentine's sticker, which a girl then stole from me, so I bit her on the arm.' she laughs, 'I was only about six or seven at the time, and there was a great big hoo-haa about it, and her mum came to the school and there was a big argument. And after that I was called the Biter of Thorpe!'

A clip of 'Pariah':

Danielle Dax Home Page

She recently released the live DVD, “Bad Miss M