Archive for July 23rd, 2012

July 23, 2012

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice by John Van Hamersveld

Inherent Vice is a novel by Thomas Pynchon, originally published in 2009. The term ‘inherent vice’ as a legal phrase refers to a ‘hidden defect (or the very nature) of a good or property which of itself is the cause of (or contributes to) its deterioration, damage, or wastage. Such characteristics or defects make the item an unacceptable risk to a carrier or insurer. If the characteristic or defect is not visible, and if the carrier or the insurer has not been warned of it, neither of them may be liable for any claim arising solely out of the inherent vice.’ The phrase appears often in William Gaddis’ ‘The Recognitions,’ a novel that influenced American post-modern literature and Pynchon. Gaddis’ novel uses the term to refer to defects in works of art.

In a generally favorable review, Michiko Kakutani of ‘The New York Times’ called it ‘Pynchon Lite,’ describing it as ‘a simple shaggy-dog detective story that pits likable dopers against the Los Angeles Police Department and its ‘countersubversive’ agents, a novel in which paranoia is less a political or metaphysical state than a byproduct of smoking too much weed.’

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July 23, 2012

The Recognitions

william gaddis

The Recognitions,’ published in 1955, is American author William Gaddis’s first novel.

The novel was poorly received initially, but Gaddis’s reputation grew, and the novel received belated fame as a masterpiece of American literature.

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July 23, 2012

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

nrqz

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) is a set of claims of adverse medical symptoms purportedly caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields. Other terms for IEI-EMF include electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), electrohypersensitivity, electro-sensitivity, and electrical sensitivity (ES).

Although the thermal effects of electromagnetic fields on the body are established, self-described sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity report responding to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (or electromagnetic radiation) at intensities well below the limits permitted by international radiation safety standards. The majority of provocation trials to date have found that self-described sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity are unable to distinguish between exposure to real and fake electromagnetic fields, and it is not recognized as a medical condition by the medical or scientific communities.

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July 23, 2012

Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter by Sam Gibbons

The murders perpetrated by members of Charles Manson’s ‘Family’ were inspired in part by Manson’s prediction of Helter Skelter, an apocalyptic war he believed would arise from tension over racial relations between blacks and whites. This ‘chimerical vision’—as it was termed by the court that heard Manson’s appeal from his conviction for the Tate/LaBianca killings—involved reference to music of The Beatles (particularly songs from ‘The White Album’ of 1968) and to the New Testament’s Book of Revelation.

In its final form, which was reached by 1969, the scenario had Manson as not only the war’s ultimate beneficiary but its musical cause. He and the Family would create an album with songs whose messages concerning the war would be as subtle as those he had heard in songs of The Beatles. More than merely foretell the conflict, this would trigger it; for, in instructing ‘the young love,’ America’s white youth, to join the Family, it would draw the young, white female hippies out of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury.

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July 23, 2012

Rodney Greenblat

parappa

Rodney Greenblat (b. 1960) is an American graphic artist known best in the United States for the visual style of the computer games ‘PaRappa the Rapper’ and ‘UmJammer Lammy,’ and in Japan for his comic ‘Thunder Bunny.’

He was also the character designer for the ‘PaRappa Rappa’ anime that was released in Japan. He also designed They Might Be Giants’ self-titled debut album in 1986. He is currently an abstract painter in New York.

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July 23, 2012

Rhythm Game

simon

donkey konga

Rhythm game refers to a genre of music-themed action video games. Games in the genre typically focus on dance or the simulated performance of musical instruments, and require players to press buttons in a sequence dictated on the screen. Doing so causes the game’s protagonist or avatar to dance or to play their instrument correctly, which increases the player’s score.

Many rhythm games include multiplayer modes in which players compete for the highest score or cooperate as a simulated musical ensemble. While conventional control pads may be used as input devices, rhythm games often feature novel game controllers that emulate musical instruments. Certain dance-based games require the player to physically dance on a mat, with pressure-sensitive pads acting as the input device.

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July 23, 2012

PaRappa the Rapper

buddha vacuums by rodney greenblat

PaRappa the Rapper is a rhythm video game (e.g. ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ and ‘Guitar Hero’) for the Sony PlayStation created by Masaya Matsuura (the former leader of the Japanese ‘Hyper Pop Unit’ PSY S) and his NanaOn-Sha company.

While the gameplay is not challenging for experienced gamers, the game is remembered for its unique graphic design, its quirky soundtrack and its bizarre plot. Despite being made in Japan, all of the game’s songs and dialogue are spoken in English in all versions. The game is named after its protagonist, Parappa, a 2D rapping dog with the motto, ‘I gotta believe!’ His name comes from the Japanese term for ‘paper thin.’

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July 23, 2012

Gitaroo Man

gitaroo man

Gitaroo Man is a 2001 rhythm video game developed by iNiS and published by Koei for PlayStation 2. The game features visual design by pop artist 326 (Mitsuru Nakamura) and an original soundtrack by Japanese band COIL. The player character is U-1, a young boy who finds out he is the last legendary hero of Planet Gitaroo, and the possessor of the Last Gitaroo, a legendary guitar.

Despite a number of positive reviews, the North American and European versions of ‘Gitaroo Man’ were produced in very low quantities by Koei and, as a result, have become somewhat rare; it is regarded as a cult video game. Around 2005 in North America, copies began popping up in GameStop game stores. This was due to a reprint by GameQuestDirect, similar to their previous reprints of PlayStation RPGs ‘Persona 2’ and ‘Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure,’ both of which were previously very rare.