USB Mix Tape

Posted on June 11th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
new stuff is cool, i just love the aesthetics and care that goes into older stuff.

But wait, Joe — what if you had to stick a piece of tape over a hole in the USB key to get it to record…?

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The Hauntological Congress

Posted on June 11th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Anyway, it was a really memorable, tangible place!

That’s a difference, I think. Hauntology seems to often summon wandering down back alleys that look really familiar, but the last time you were there you were drunk off your ass, and you’ll never find that one door again, because it’s dead and gone and quite possibly wasn’t there to begin with. You’ve caught your dream train and forced it to circle the vinyl forever so we can all hear it. Burial almost all sounds like it wants you to chase it down, a will’o'wisp in a long fallow field, a voice that’s always three rooms away; Mystery Train sounds like it’s coming closer, and you can’t stop it. Neither is inherently better — I really like Burial, a lot — but they’re very different, to me.

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The Singularity Thingy

Posted on June 11th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Joshua, I don’t think you can have this conversation without some people wrapping in some of the allure/disgust of the Singularity. Because no matter how it’s being defined, no matter how much you try to refine it down to facts and logical theories — the idea of “post-humans” inspires semi-religious awe and psuedo-atheistic backlash. It’s not the Nerd Rapture for nothing. Yeah, I know what you’re trying to get at here, of course — but it’s really, really hard for humans to theorize a world where they aren’t the same humans they are now without leaning to “Holy Crap we’re gonna be GODS!” or “Fuck you, we’re all gonna die buried under miles of plastic, first.” When you first pitched GMF against Bright Spime Future, y’know, I had this minute of wondering if you weren’t just fed up with all the shiny happy we’re all gonna hold hands and wear white futuretalk, too.

But I think there’s something to be gleaned from why people do or don’t want it, and, more importantly, why people do/don’t think it’ll happen. I mean, you can’t really trend tech without looking at what the population really wants and how they really want it, can you? Sure, in the fifties, everyone (in the US) was talking about flying cars and sky cities… but they were trending towards the suburbs and bigger back yards, weren’t they? Now, sure, the Nerd Delusion says “I wanna live forever” — but are we really trending towards that? News says we’ve got too many Baby Boomers and we’re all going to be broke when we retire (again, US viewpoint, here) — so who’s _honestly_ thinking about living forever? And yes, that’s short term, but it’s always been a balance of our need for movement versus our superstitions that drove us to evolve. Even back when those superstitions were just “Other creature bad” and our need for movement was just “Shit, food gone.”

All my, lemme just amend with this, all my ideas about where we’re going to be long after I’m dead… well they aren’t in this thread, and they don’t make a shit-ton of sense without a lot of prefacing and grains of salt. Which is why I’m just nattering up your space instead of adding anything relevant. But I will say we’re not going to hit an Anylarity, I don’t think, as long as we’re confined to one planet with the same gravity and atmosphere we’ve always had, and our gods haven’t changed much in thousands of years.

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The June Food Thread

Posted on June 11th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Speaking of piggy bits: I don’t actually eat breakfast — my stomach doesn’t understand anything but caffeine until at least 5 hours in, but here’s how I do bacon and eggs.


Bacon and Mushrooms and Garlic and Eggs and Toast and Parmesan and Tomatoes and Avocado.

Takes about 20-30 minutes with bacon cooking time — and is all done in one pan and one plate, because I don’t much like cleaning up. See, here’s the thing about bacon. I know some of you make your bacon in the microwave, because it’s faster that way. But what you don’t get with microwave bacon is a nice, sizzling pan of bacon grease. And yes, I smoke two packs a day and eat bacon and one of those may very well kill me someday, but when I keel over after a life of eating piggies and smoking… well I’ll have had a life of eating piggies and smoking. No one lives forever.

So, I put the pan on the stove and slap four thick-cut slices in it before I turn the burner up to medium heat. It’s always tempting to try and cook bacon at a higher temp in an already hot pan — but it’s just not meant to be. While the bacon is warming up, I wash and dice a few mushrooms and some garlic (all my recipes have garlic. Well, the cookies don’t, but pretty much everything else does.). After I’ve turned the bacon a couples of times, I drain off a bit of the bacon grease (with thin-cut bacon this step can be skipped, there won’t be as much. With thick cut bacon you’ll have a bit too much oil if you don’t drain a bit) and toss the mushrooms and garlic in to brown along with. Then I grab two eggs and a slice of bread (I buy the short and wide loaves pretty specifically so that I can do this next bit) and cut two holes in the bread at the top and bottom corners.

The bacon should be about 2/3 done at this point, so I pull it out, chop it into manageable bites, stir the mushrooms and garlic around a bit, and toss everything back in the pan and push it over to the edge. (You may need to drain a little more grease off at this point. There’s death by arterial clogging, and then there’s just too much fat to deal with.) Then I toss the bread in the pan and let it sop and toast on both sides, and crack the eggs into the holes.

Yum, yes, it’s a double egg in a basket. Delicious enough under normal circumstances, but double delicious with two eggs and triple delicious with bacon. While the eggy-eyeball-toast is cooking on one side, slice up a few cherry tomatoes and half an avocado. There’s something like 8 million % of your daily RDA of protein in the pan, so you really do need a little fruit to even it out. When I flip the egg/toast, I sprinkle a little grated Parmesan on top and — as the bacon is done cooking now — move all the meat/mushroom/garlic on top to help the cheese melt before the eggs are done. I like my eggs a bit runny, so that’s how you do that.

Slide everything onto a plate, artfully arrange (read: scoop and toss) the tomatoes and avocado on top, and eat with fork and knife and yums.

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Mexico Advice

Posted on June 10th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Aside from not bringing anything of value, what’s the best way to go about not getting killed, arrested, or abducted?

Don’t be a dick. Don’t offer people money if you get lost and need to ask directions. Start smoking if you don’t already, and trade in cigarette currency if you feel the need to repay the kindness of strangers. Say please and thank you. Smile a lot. Don’t drink anything but beer and bottled water, but don’t get drunk. Don’t fuck beautiful strangers. Don’t get drunk and fuck beautiful strangers. Don’t get drunk and offer to pay to fuck beautiful strangers. If you absolutely have to fuck a beautiful stranger, say please and thank you. And pay with cigarettes.

That should do it.

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The Weekly Listening Thread (9 June 08)

Posted on June 9th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
I don’t know if I’m liking The Black Angels’ Directions To See A Ghost better than/as much as/less than Passover — it’s… hm. It’s, well the recording quality seems a little bit better, but it’s taken the edge off. Or put a new edge on. I can’t decide. It’s less Vietnam, and more the drugs to beat the PTSD after, y’know? Maybe it’s a logical progression. It’s got that drone-edges-into-dizzy-psychedelic edge that really sounds like painkillers and self-medication, to beat a metaphor. I like “Mission District”, “Science Killer”, and “You on the Run”.
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Whitechapel June Flickrgeist

Posted on June 9th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Warren’s been doing these most recently under the heading of ZEITFLICKR, and I love them like delicious candy. So I want MOAR NOW. It’s a pretty easy set-up to point and click with fd’s Flickr Toys, so let’s play along at home, yeah? No rules — you can use your own flickr account or your contacts, recent or wayback. Go with a different layout if it works better. Go nuts.

1. my tree #7, 2. Isengart [7060], 3. I’m a big NERD, 4. IMG_0539.JPG, 5. > I took it for Brightkite, but I like it for a lot of reasons, 6. Untitled

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The June Food Thread

Posted on June 8th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Omnomnom I am eating delicious pork chops nom. I make a lot of fifteen minute meals. Pigs were pretty much invented for single servings and fast cooking, seriously.

What I do for chops of piggy is take the little skillet — the six inch one that doesn’t get too much action other than eggs — and pour a little olive oil in it. If there’s more than one of you, use a bigger pan, obviously. While that’s heating (medium-highish), I’ve popped out to the patio to cut some oregano, snip a little marjoram, thyme, and basil from the window garden, and diced that up with two cloves of garlic. Then I toss all that nonsense in the pan and stir it around, letting the hot oil infuse with all the deelicious herbs. Once the garlic is starting to brown a little, I clear out a space in the middle of the pan and slap the pork chop down. I brown the chop on both sides (and you only need to turn it once, the timing’s about the same for an egg on a thin cut chop, a titch longer on a thicker one) and then move it to a plate. The pork is finished cooking at that point, and you could just spread the garlic and herbs onto a piece of toast and make a sandwich if you’ve gone with a boneless cut and you want to stop there.

But, if it’s dinner time, what you want to do is pour a little white wine in the pork-greasy pan and make a tasty reduction. Stir the wine around, getting all the browned pork drippings and garlic and herbs mixed together while about half the wine cooks off. Then dollop in some stone-ground mustard, a spoonful of honey, and stir that into a honey mustard sauce. Or sauté some mushrooms and onions in the pan before you add the wine, and stir a little brie or buttermilk in for a white or cheese sauce. Or, if it’s a little chilly out still, thinly dice some apples and use port instead of white wine to make a sweet sauce.

Throw the pork chop back in the pan for a minute to get it nice and toasty again, and let it soak up some of the sauce, and then serve with a salad, or over a bed of rice, or with some chips you’ve thrown in the oven before you started anything. Or, if you’ve suddenly realized you really did just want a sandwich, pour everything onto a slice of toast, dice a tomato or some cheese on top, and you’ve got a fancy one.

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Temes: Self replicating Memes?

Posted on June 7th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Yeah, I personally think the ‘meme’ is just a fun/useful tool for analyzing the spread of ideas. Once it gets woven into polarized, alarmist rehashings involving aliens, religion, and the singularity, &c.,

…Then you’ve got Scientology.

Which would, come to think of it, explain why one of the foremost meme-machines of our time suddenly decided to go after one of the largest organizations actively seeking to clear humans of their malevolent sentient alien thoughtwaves…

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Will space travel ever be truly feasible?

Posted on June 6th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Most modern physicists are pretty convinced the graviton exists.

C’mon. Everyone knows that the real trick is to anchor our ships to Dark Matter with thin, nearly transparent transfer cables and let the equal-but-opposite orbit pull the vehicles through space at doublespeed. It’s in all the old television sci-fi serials, even.

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Temes: Self replicating Memes?

Posted on June 6th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Susan Blackmore is, of course, absofuckinglutuely bugnuts. Her anthropomorphism of data is little more than thinly-veiled demonology. As with “Flying Spaghetti Monster” and “Singularity,” it helps when reading Blackmore to replace every instance of “meme” with “malevolent spirit.”
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FREAKANGELS Episode 0016

Posted on June 6th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Hello hello, it’s FREAKANGELS!

Happy Friday, Whitechapel. Check in, say hello.

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Seven Songs

Posted on June 5th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
YOU CHEAT, MADAM

I certainly do, sir. But I also WIN.

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The Hauntological Congress

Posted on June 3rd, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Sonic hauntology does enforce attention. It does enforce concentration.

… I would have had no idea, which may be why I’m so far off on a lot of my musings, here. Apartment dwelling, grown up latch-key kid, me. I grew up in empty houses with the television on in one room and the radio on in another — a clock wrapped in a hot-water bottle, basically. My clock radio plays me to sleep, volumes up to wake me in the morning, and I’ve generally got a playlist going all the hours in between. I get a brief adrenaline spike when my iPod battery dies when I’m out. The only time I haven’t got music at some volume is when I’m with someone else, and focussed on them. All sound, especially music, is ambient to me unless I’ve consciously stopped doing everything else to just listen (usually a new track, or when I need to cycle my brain). The only sound that enforces my attention is absolute silence.

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Terraforming Mars and so forth

Posted on June 3rd, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Main problem seems to be that we’re not looking for new places to ship our poor folks, exiles, undesirables, and criminals anymore. </sarcasm>

Seriously though, the socio-economics of the US — no matter how much it might suck for the UK folks getting paid in USD — make it very hard to make a case for sending hundreds (thousands) of settlers into space. I mean, most scenarios we’re talking about here — setting up a system where in twenty years a small camp of scientists go up to research to see if we can send ten or so more people in another twenty years, in the hopes that in fifty years we could set up a little area where maybe fifty whole scientists could possibly start thinking about bringing up their families, too… Where’s the _drive_ there? Hell, I don’t wanna fund that shit, either. And I fucking LOVE space.

We used to, let’s face it, fund preliminary expeditions to see if there was anything useful there, and then fling thousands of people at the wall in the hopes that 1% of them would survive and make someplace hospitable. And when we couldn’t find volunteers, we sent prisoners.

Lemme clarify: I’m not advocating emptying out prison system into space. That’s more than a little problematic on several levels, morality aside.

But until we’ve got enough people clamouring to move up there — some reason other than “maybe we should think about expanding, possibly, y’know” — until we give folks some reason to gather up the slightest bit of what they own, kiss their extended families goodbye forever, and fucking set forth to tame the wild planet against all odds, knowing that one in five will die within a year, and they’re gonna need to just keep breeding until they STICK… we’re not getting to Mars. You don’t settle a new frontier by making it comfortable _first_. You go, and you beat the fuck out of it, and you tell it I BLED ON IT, I LIVE HERE NOW, and you dare it to argue.

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The Mating Rituals of the Baby Velociraptor via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Thursday June, 26 2008 12:48 PM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a video:

Starring Henry Leo and Zoe B. (Not for the faint of heart.)

In my garden [7447] via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 12:34 PM PDT

IreneKaoru posted a photo:

Run [7285] via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 12:21 PM PDT

IreneKaoru posted a photo:

Soho.

Fresh [7278] via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 12:10 PM PDT

IreneKaoru posted a photo:

I stopped her and told her the shoes were totally fresh. She was a nice lady from England, visiting NYC to shop but I said not to bother, she already out-cooled us all.

Shoes [7260] via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 12:08 PM PDT

IreneKaoru posted a photo:

Spying on 7th street.

Chicago Day 2 via Warren Ellis

Thursday June, 26 2008 12:05 PM PDT

I have to start doing press in about forty minutes. Got about five hours sleep and then just laid there in bed until noon, wondering if I’d turned into the guy from The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, only able to communicate by pressing the channel-change button on the remote. "Look how angrily he seems to mash that button when CNN Headline News comes on. Is he trying to tell us something? Look… I think he’s spelling out a sentence by flicking from MSNBC to that crappy Matthew Perry movie and back again."

Went out to dinner with William and Ariana last night at a remote and relatively ancient steakhouse, which was offering dinners-for-two for $39 to celebrate their 39th year in business. Across the road, next to the Des Plaines Chamber Of Commerce, were stores called THE BAREFOOT HAWAIIAN and REBEL’S TROPHYS (sic). The air’s like soup. I stuck my arm out of the window earlier. First, my flesh took on the consistency and moistness of crushed watermelon. And then it caught fire anyway.

American news is as bad as ever. Top stories — Washington DC residents can buy monstrous rhino-killing handguns again (CNN actually called the overturned ban "unAmerican") and some nutbag in Iowa has built his own personal levee around his floodbound house (and is nonetheless sending his wife and kid out to work across the water while he stays to guard the threshold. And fish). Penetrating reportage: "Where did all the sand for the levee come from?" "Well… I bought it."

I also think I hallucinated a show called CASH CAB, where a cab driver appears to abduct New Yorkers and ask them gameshow questions. If they get the questions right, the ceiling of the cab lights up, the cabbie gives them cash money, and they leave the cab, where local criminals are lying in wait for them because let’s face it it’s not hard to spot the Cash Cab when it’s lit up like a 70’s disco floor inside. If they fail the quiz, the Cash Cabbie dumps them on wasteground in Brooklyn in the middle of the night to get sexually assaulted and skinned. I’m pretty sure I made this show up during some early morning fugue episode. I mean, The Discovery Channel would never fund something like that. Right?

Casualty [7295] via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 11:48 AM PDT

IreneKaoru posted a photo:

Must have been some impact.

He only napped for 18 minutes... via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Thursday June, 26 2008 11:41 AM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

Zoe B in HL's Space Cockpit via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Thursday June, 26 2008 11:35 AM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

Zoe B in HL's Space Cockpit via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Thursday June, 26 2008 11:35 AM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

The birds on east 8th street via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 10:52 AM PDT

This is what my morning walk is usually like. I really just recorded this for the sounds. They hide so well you can’t really see them.

Extremely Bad Advice: You Goddamn Commie Terrorist via Chip Zdarsky

Thursday June, 26 2008 10:09 AM PDT

Extremely Bad Advice, Week 58. Go to hell, Girl Guides.


Your questions and angry emails are always welcome. Always.

Love,
Chip!

we call it "achiever hour" via Trixie Bedlam

Thursday June, 26 2008 09:31 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

jewish plates via Trixie Bedlam

Thursday June, 26 2008 09:31 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

whatever works via Trixie Bedlam

Thursday June, 26 2008 09:29 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo: