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.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

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.”
[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

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.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

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.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Seven Songs

Posted on June 5th, 2008 in entry

I don’t write about music — I listen to it, but I’m not equipped with the proper vocabulary to tell you what I’m hearing. Where a music connoisseur would say “Oh, that’s some pop-infused thingama with deep shades of post-progressive somethingorother” I’m just going to say “Oh, hey, it’s got a good beat and I can dance to it.” Like when I taste wine I say “Yum” or “Ick” — never catch me going on about the woody notes or hint of cheese. But Warren says he wants me to meme along, so blame him.

Let’s see, what am I doing?

“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”

So:

“They Do Not Come Knocking There Anymore” - Natural Snow Buildings
I have no idea where I got this one — I don’t have the rest of the album or any recollection of downloading it. It’s still very chilly here at night, and it’s hard to remember it’s already June. In the early still-dark mornings, here, the foghorns are louder than any music I’m playing. It’s very easy for me to lose track of the music in a room — it hovers on the edge of my consciousness and keeps my fingers moving, but if I’m not sitting back and just listening I don’t always know what’s playing. This track is just harsh enough to cut through work-fugue and catch my attention. If I loop it, I realize how much the beginning sounds like an orchestra pit having difficulty tuning up in the next room — but at about the six minute mark it shifts to a train leaving the station. Dunno. There’s something about the slow march of layer on layer of dying notes that makes me keep it on list, yet. I don’t see it lasting on rotation into summer.

“Momentary Drowning” - Young Coyotes
Another one I’ve got no idea where came from. It’s the precise opposite of the previous track, a stomp and call that doesn’t care if it’s in tune, because what does it matter? I’m not fond of the primary vocals on this one, but the beat, the claps, how can you say no to that? I do not think this one plays if you aren’t close enough to the water to have the scent of salt in the air — it’s got a definite beach band flavor (beyond the mention of waves in lyric, I mean).

“Black Cat” - Ladytron
Pretty sure it was McKelvie that told me there was new Ladytron, and this is the first track I heard. It’s…. well it’s Ladytron. It’s good, it’s a little defiant, with that “I’m pretty but I’ll cut you” undertone you expect. It’s older, somehow — the sound is tighter and deeper than earlier tracks, maybe the word I’m looking for is matured, or maybe, hell, maybe it’s that I’m older, who knows?

“Dance Dance Dance” - Lykke Li
&
“Heels on Fire” - Sargasso Trio

Got both of these off Warren, actually, and they’re one after the other on the playlist because one segues into the next no matter which order you play them in. (Which amuses me, as I don’t know that you’d see one act opening for the other, ever. But they’ve both got that same pitterpatter beat.) They’re just two ridiculously spinny little numbers that put a bounce in my step when I’m walking to market. Very much morning and afternoon music — if they come up late at night they’re a little too loud for the room.

“The Beat That My Heart Skipped” - Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
I don’t know who the hell I got this one off of… Gillen or Kitten, maybe? It’s from last year, but it didn’t get much rotation during the winter. This is one of the rare songs on my list that makes me listen to the lyrics — something between the repetition and force on each word draws my conscious attention. The beat’s what I want it to be — just strong enough to make me nod, just fast enough to match my walk or the turn of a wheel, just loud enough to bring up my pulse rate a little.

“Take this Waltz” - Leonard Cohen
This one is very old, but it comes out every spring. I don’t know why. It sounds like spring - blue sunlight on budding leaves, damp earth in the chilly morning. It’s the waltzing strings, the soft swells that always seem to rise just as a spring breeze lifts a strand of my hair to my cheek. It’s sweet, and a little bitter (like much Cohen, and everything in my herb garden).

Apparently, I’ve also been tasked with passing the disease on. Well, joke’s on you Warren — no one reads my blog, so your dirty little game dead-ends here. Although, I suppose I could throw it up on Whitechapel. At least there it would be contained. We’ll see. That’s probably cheating. But I might not care.

Oh, come on…

Posted on June 5th, 2008 in entry

See, I smiled when Warren Ellis got tagged by that Seven Songs Meme, because the man’s got excellent taste in music. But after he tagged six great people (including Matt Fraction, Keiron Gillen, and Wil Wheaton) he apparently went blank on a seventh and picked me. He may just be trying to kill me, because he’s a bastard.

I’ll get to this, um, I don’t know. Later.

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.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

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.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

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.]
Wandering around ruined islands, surrounded by infinite oceans and the slow creaks and groans of deteriorating machines, piecing together a mysterious world that no longer works

This. It’s odd, much of the talk of stuff that isn’t strictly music on this thread (my own comments included) are pretty much just describing Ambient of some fashion — but no one’s coming right out and saying ambient, not as a huge, sweeping generalization at least. A lot of the ambient out there, it’s very… god, what’s the word, it _moves_, at least. It’s the sound of things making noise. It’s the breath of the world, whatever world that is. Even the crackle-hiss layered on a lot of tracks I wouldn’t necessarily call under the Hauntology umbrella, well that’s a sound of life layered on, too, even when it elicits the past.

Warren’s got a line in Dok that, if I recall correctly, came out of an earlier work — paraphrasing ’cause it’s not right on me at hand — about going to the graveyard and listening to the sticky sussurus of decomposition, and about standing up higher and listening to the world resonating with its own stark mediocrity.

(Which probably had nothing to do with hauntology in either context. But it’s two really hard and lovely lines, isn’t it?)

To point, though, if you unlayer anything by Burial, fuck if it’s not just little ten second cries of every mediocre musak-wail of the past thirty years, isn’t it? Without the heartbeat in the background, and the sound of bubble thin walls straining outward while the world drowns, it may as well be any little love-diddy, and little singalong pop keen, any refined-and-looped feel-sound in an Audi commercial. Just tossing the beat-layer on top really just pulls it up to an Audi-Hybrid commercial. Lookit, there’s a car racing along an open road, with “Loving you” playing in the sunlight. It’s the sticky sussurus — (you know why that line stays with me? Because it _aches_. It’s hummingbird wings dipped in hot wax and straining in painful death.) — of meat falling off the bones of the world that makes Burial haunted. It’s not the creepy filtered voices (or every boy-band tune would qualify), it’s not the beat, it’s not the words, it’s not even the occasional creak of machinery — it’s that dripping, sticky sound that the music plays fast around for fear of getting caught, spreading decay. Not so much the music in the next room, but the fear that by observing (hearing) the music in the next room, we’ve alerted it to our presence and the decay has spread. Y’know, maybe. I’ll bet there are real words for all of what I just said there.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

The DOKTOR SLEEPLESS Plasma Globe Bust

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.]
Wouldn’t that have to be TWO plasma globes?

I wasn’t going to say it. I was going to ignore it and leave the thread on track. I said to myself “Self, don’t you dare link the musical telsa coils what arc between two great glowing globes, and we’ll all be all right.” I did not, apparently, cc you on that internal memo.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Science fiction karma

Posted on June 2nd, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Hope you’re enjoying them…

YES.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Flash Magazine/Flipbook Software?

Posted on May 31st, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Oh! Actually — would slideshare work? It’s dead simple, but hitting the right or left half of the screen flips the pages.
[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Flash Magazine/Flipbook Software?

Posted on May 31st, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
If you don’t care about the branding bit at the bottom, you can put one together in a few minutes with the thing we’re running all our widgets on: sprout .
[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

links for 2020-05-30

Posted on May 30th, 2008 in link

  • Will attempt to begin actually blogging links…

FREAKANGELS Episode 0015

Posted on May 30th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
G’morning, Whitechapel. Here’s your FREAKANGELS. (Ooh, the little window looks particularly lovely this week, doesn’t it?)

It’s almost June (canyoubelieveitaaaaawheredidMaygo?) — how’d we all do this month?

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Schattenm�dchen via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 08:44 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

Schattenm�dchen

Jesus has it locked down via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 08:44 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

Jesus has it locked down

P> via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 08:44 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

">P>

surrounded via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 08:44 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

surrounded

Zombies!!! and being a dork continue to be rewarding experiences, when practiced in tandem

outsider via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 07:38 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

outsider

Shack attack via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 07:12 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

Shack attack

the Shake Shack Stack, New York City's #1 cause of spontaneous heart-attacks in just-turned-27-year-olds

street fatigued via Trixie Bedlam (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 07:06 PM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

street fatigued

links for 2020-06-06 via Warren Ellis

Thursday June, 05 2008 05:44 PM PDT

  • “evil, decadent… amoral, intoxicated, and uncontrolled”.
    (tags: mp3)

Miss April and Henry Leo via Kelly Sue DeConnick (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 01:52 PM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

Miss April and Henry Leo

AHH!! via Kelly Sue DeConnick (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 01:52 PM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

AHH!!

Hero In Need via Chip Zdarsky

Thursday June, 05 2008 10:55 AM PDT

WARNING: This week's column is pretty intense. I deal with the horrors of heroin through my own battles with drug abuse.



After you ingest my pain using the metaphorical needle of the National Post's website, please feel free to send me your questions and problems.

Love you.
-Chip!

p.s: ALSO! If anyone gives a shit what I'm doing MOMENT TO MOMENT, I'm on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zdarsky

Ryan Condal To Adapt OCEAN via Warren Ellis

Thursday June, 05 2008 09:39 AM PDT

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Ryan Condal has been hired to adapt "Ocean," a comic miniseries by Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse that is set up at Warner Bros. Nick Wechsler and Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari are producing…

…story revolves around the discovery of thousands of coffins containing angel-like bodies and a giant weapon of mass destruction beneath the ice on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. A U.N. weapons inspector is sent to investigate the find, teaming with a space station crew, when a powerful conglomerate moves in to exploit the discovery….

And now you know as much as I do!

this moustache is dangerous via Marc Johns (Flickr)

Thursday June, 05 2008 09:21 AM PDT

Marc Johns posted a photo:

this moustache is dangerous

ink & watercolour, 8x10 inches (SOLD)

On Whitechapel Today (5 June 08) via Warren Ellis

Thursday June, 05 2008 08:37 AM PDT

An interview with FREAKANGELS artist Paul Duffield. Me trying to kill people using solely a 1980s music video. A discussion on The Singularity that I haven’t had time to look at yet. Award-winning creator Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Sean Azzopardi announcing a new webcomic. The Hauntological Congress chugs on, as does Val Lindsay’s fantastic scans of old sf pulp magazine covers.

And the Self-Portrait Imagethread is always fun.

mocca this weekend via Rich Stevens

Thursday June, 05 2008 08:31 AM PDT

Hey, New Yorkers! My crew of weirdos will indeed be at MOCCA this weekend. I'm bringing a few shirts and books, plenty of socks and a as-yet-unseen *secret robot tote bag.*