The story is here.
In my limited Sims experience, backrubs always seem like a good idea at the time, but often lead to trouble. i recommend that you save this site until pre-election anxiety is about to make your head explode. This is really funny, though as is often true in the game, the entertainment factor decreases a bit as the cast is multiplied. Here is the link; thank you, ubergoth. Your bandwidth is trashed, but you have the thanks of a grateful nation!
Via Boing Boing via Plastic Bag we receive a report from Australia that indicates global warming has been very, very good for squid. They're multiplying, getting bigger, and taking over the oceans of the world. According to scientists, squid have overtaken human biomass on the planet. i'd say the good news (besides that squids are, uh, COOL), is that the smaller ones are pretty tasty. Let's eat, eat, in the name of all that's holy to save our lives!!!!
According to a story from the BBC, giant squid have at least one other predator, besides the sperm whale we often see depicted in epic battles. For more fascinating reading about squid, check out The Cephalopod Page, the Eurosquid, and there is an outline of the research that uncovered this news here.
By an interesting synchronicity, i had pre-ordered the Criterion edition of Georges Franju's Eyes Without A Face, which arrived on Monday. In the meantime we picked up a cheapo copy of George Breakston's The Manster, planning to watch one or the other on Sunday night. In the notes to Eyes, David Kalat writes that in its original US release it was shown as a double feature (as The Horror Chamber of Doctor Faustus) with...The Manster!
These two films don't have much in common, but that wasn't unusual for double billings in the 60's. One presents as art, one as shlock. What they do share is a particular shock quality which renders them very memorable. Pauline Kael called Franju's film "Perhaps the most elegant horror film ever made", and i agree, but the creepout surgery and its disturbing morbidity fascinated me as a teen. What i liked best about The Manster was the first part of the film where Japan is depicted as some kind of mad sexual playground, right up to the moment the eyes first appear on his shoulder. Coolnesswise, it's kind of downhill from there, but still something everyone interested in horror or psychotronic should see at least once.
Because i haven't seen either of these films in about 30 years, i'll hold off on the plot synopsis or any more comment until i watch them again in a few days. In the meantime, there is a fine Film Forum piece on Eyes Without A Face with many links here. Richard Scheib has an excellent overview of The Manster, with some great comments on its racist subtext here.
"Oh, this is a happy development..." Firefly fans may find much joy in the Firefly Chinese Pinyinary. Searchable by episode or phrase as well as the Chinese graphics on the show, you can see these phonetic pronunciations with the Chinese script. Some translations from the DVD are corrected as well. 'C'mon, don't you wanna learn to say "All the planets in space flushed into my butt!" in Chinese? Not a fan? Ah, nah mei guan-shee.
National Geographic reports today that fossil skeletons of a hobbit-size human species have been found in Flores, an island between Asia and Australia. The species, named Homo floresiensis, is a completely new discovery. The original skeleton, a female, lived about 18,000 years ago, making her contemporary with Homo sapiens. She stood just over 3 feet tall and weighed about 50 pounds. At least seven foresiensis skeletons have been found so far, male as well as female. (Um..this picture appears to be a guy.) There is much more to the story here.
It's kind of a melancholy music day, with the news of John Peel. i was just listening to John Cale perform in WDET's studio, in lieu of seeing him at the Magic Bag tonight...no dough, don'tcha know. But, hey, a lovely new 'Pod with a color display for those who can afford. This photo shows the brightness of the display with a photo collection, but there will be also be CD cover support, of course, in the forthcoming iTunes. Check out more photos and stuff here. i've been telling people to wait before buying an iPod this year; this is why. Drives are 40 or 60 GB; battery will last 15 hours. i'm still on the original battery on my second gen iPod..when it goes i have a big decision to make.
As i heard on WDET this morning, John Peel has died in Peru at the age of 65 while vacationing in Peru. He was the most influential DJ in the world, responsible for recognizing EVERY trend in British pop music for the past 40 years, and giving them international attention. If you love the Small Faces, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Clash, Joy Division, the Smiths, the Cure, or the White Stripes, to name just a few, you owe his superb ears and boundless enthusiasm a debt of thanks. Link to the BBC obituary.