Archive for November 4th, 2010

November 4, 2010

Blivet

A blivet [bliv-it], also known as a poiuyt, devil’s fork or widget, is an undecipherable figure, an optical illusion and an impossible object. It appears to have three cylindrical prongs at one end which then mysteriously transform into two rectangular prongs at the other end.

In traditional U.S. Army slang dating back to the Second World War, a blivet was defined as ‘ten pounds of manure in a five pound bag’ (a proverbial description of anything egregiously ugly or unmanageable); it was applied to an unmanageable situation, a crucial but substandard or damaged tool, or a self-important person. In some areas of the U.S., it refers to a juvenile prank, clearly connected with the original military usage: a sack full of excrement is ignited on the victim’s porch, while the pranksters ring the doorbell and run. The victim attempts to put the flames out by stamping on the bag.

November 4, 2010

Duke Sex Thesis

fuck list

The 2010 Duke University sex thesis (also known as the ‘Duke Fuck List’) controversy arose from a private document written by senior, Karen Owen, in the format of a thesis about her sexual experiences during her time attending the university. Owen wrote and distributed the document to three friends shortly after graduating from the university, in May 2010. By mid-September it was widely available on the internet. In the satirical thesis, titled ‘An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics,’ Owen ranked her partners based on her criteria for performance.

The bulk of the controversy surrounded whether she invaded her partners’ rights to privacy, and whether the subjects of Owen’s paper have a right to sue, as in the case of Jessica Cutler when Cutler published details of her sex life on a blog. It also raised questions as to whether double standards exist if the reaction would have been the same had the document been written by a male. The paper attracted additional attention because some of the men which Owen ranked were from the lacrosse team, and there was an unrelated sex controversy surrounding the team a few years prior.

November 4, 2010

Roland 808

Kanye bear

The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was one of the first programmable drum machines. Introduced by the Roland Corporation in early 1980, it was originally manufactured for use as a tool for studio musicians to create demos. Like earlier Roland drum machines, it does not sound very much like a real drum kit.

One of the machine’s earliest mainstream hits in the United States was on Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing.’ A TR-808 was also David Byrne’s sole accompaniment (apart from his acoustic guitar) at the beginning of ‘Stop Making Sense.’

read more »

November 4, 2010

Reason

Reason is a music software program developed by Swedish software developers Propellerhead Software. It emulates a rack of hardware synthesizers, samplers, signal processors, sequencers and mixers, all of which can be freely interconnected in an arbitrary manner. Reason can be used either as a complete virtual music studio, or as a collection of virtual instruments to be played live or used with other sequencing software. As of August 2010 Reason was at version 5.0, version 1.0 was released in November 2000.

Tags:
November 4, 2010

Cindy Jackson

cindy jackson

Cindy Jackson (b. 1959) is listed in the Guinness World record book for having had more cosmetic surgery procedures than anyone else in the world. She set the record in 2000 and is still the official record holder to date.

Since 1988 she has had 52 cosmetic procedures, including several facelifts, two nose operations, two eye lifts, knee, waist, abdomen and thigh liposuction, jaw surgery, lip and cheek implants, chemical peels, chin bone reduction. Others were non-surgical, including Radiesse injections, hand rejuvenation, Voluma treatments and permanent make-up.

Tags: ,
November 4, 2010

Stelarc

stelarc

Stelarc (Stelios Arkadiou) is a Greek-Australian performance artist whose works focuses heavily on extending the capabilities of the human body. As such, most of his pieces are centred around his concept that the human body is obsolete. He is currently a visiting Professor in the School of Arts at Brunel University, West London.

In 2007, Stelarc had a cell-cultivated ear surgically attached to his left arm. In 2005, MIT Press published ‘Stelarc: The Monograph’ which is the first extensive study of his prolific work.

November 4, 2010

Vacanti Earmouse

earmouse

The Vacanti mouse was a laboratory mouse that had what looked like a human ear grown on its back. The ‘ear’ was actually an ear-shaped cartilage structure grown by seeding cow cartilage cells into a biodegradable ear-shaped mold. The earmouse, as it became known as, was created by Dr. Charles Vacanti, an anesthesiologist at the University of Massachusetts and Dr. Linda Griffith-Cima, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at M.I.T. in 1995.

Tags:
November 4, 2010

The Cremaster Cycle

cremaster cycle

The Cremaster Cycle is an art project consisting of five feature length films, together with related sculptures, photographs, drawings, and artist’s books; it is the best-known work of American visual artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney.

The films were made over a period of eight years (1994–2002) and culminated in a major museum exhibition organized by Nancy Spector of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, which traveled to the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Musée d’art Moderne in Paris from 2002-03. Barney’s longtime collaborator Jonathan Bepler composed and arranged the soundtracks for the films.

read more »

Tags: ,
November 4, 2010

Qatsi Trilogy

godfrey reggio

The Qatsi trilogy is the informal name given to a series of three films produced by Godfrey Reggio and scored by Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of balance (1983), Powaqqatsi: Life in transformation (1988), and Naqoyqatsi: Life as war (2002). The titles of all three films are words from the language of the Hopi people; ‘qatsi’ means life. See Also: Baraka (1992) – an experimental documentary film directed by Ron Fricke, cinematographer on Koyaanisqatsi, and Chronos (1985) – an experimental film about the passage of time on different scales, also by Fricke.

Tags:
November 4, 2010

Balloon Dog

balloon dog by jeff koons

Balloon Dog is a sculpture by American artist, Jeff Koons. It is over ten feet tall, and constructed of high chromium stainless steel with a transparent color coating. It is part of the ‘Celebration’ series, which Koons began working on in 1993. Other forms in the series of sculptures and paintings include Valentine hearts, diamonds, and Easter eggs. Some of the pieces are still being fabricated. Each of the 20 different sculptures in the series comes in five differently colored ‘unique versions.’

read more »

Tags:
November 4, 2010

Master Shake

master shake

Master Shake is a fictional character on Adult Swim’s television series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Like the other main characters, Meatwad and Frylock, Master Shake originally appeared in the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode ‘Baffler Meal,’ and then made his first official appearance in the show’s first episode, ‘Rabbot’  Voice actor Dana Snyder provides Shake’s voice throughout the entire series. Master Shake lives next door to Carl Brutananadilewski in a suburban neighborhood in New Jersey with his roommates, Meatwad and Frylock. He spends most of his time watching TV, causing mischief, talking about women, sex, breasts, and porn.

He is also fond of playing cruel pranks on Meatwad. In ‘Video Ouija’ Shake commits suicide just so he can haunt Meatwad through his new video game. In ‘Reedickyoulus’ Shake kills Meatwad’s innocent kitten, in a microwave, just to upset Meatwad. His behavior is highly irregular, blaming others for his numerous mistakes, antagonizing Meatwad for pleasure, putting material goods above necessities, concocting poor lies to cover and justify his actions even when caught red-handed, and having an overall lack of empathy and regard for the safety of others. Shake has no official power, except his ability to shoot a substance from his straw, and almost every thing he throws to the ground explodes.

Tags: ,
November 4, 2010

The Business Plot

American Fascism

The Business Plot (also the Plot Against FDR and the White House Putsch) was an alleged political conspiracy in 1933. Retired Marine Corps Major General  and two time Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans’ organization and use it in a coup d’état to overthrow United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1934 Butler testified to a Congressional committee on these claims. In the opinion of the committee, these allegations were credible, but no one was prosecuted. While historians have questioned whether or not a coup was actually close to execution, most agree that some sort of  ‘wild scheme’ was contemplated and discussed.