like a rose left on a digital doorstep

To celebrate my insanely exciting travel/adventure news, I’ve been blasting my facebook with the good times virus. Here’s a round-up of some of the cheerful links, as well as a few extras:

  • A video of Mariachi Connecticut serenading a beluga whale at the Mystic Aquarium.
  • A video of a plane to plane skydive, taken by one of the skydivers.
  • A Swedish man was arrested for trying to split atoms in a home kitchen reactor. “Mr. Handl, 31, said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove. Only later did he realize it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police.”
  • Revival, Beats Antique’s brand shiny new music video.
  • One of the best sci-fi trailer-teasers ever made. (I wish it were for a new favourite television show, but no, it’s for a terrible video game).
  • According to Gawker, Newt Gingrich might have paid for the majority of his Twitter followers.
  • Art installation: books rupturing through a wall of an advertising agency in a building that used to be a library.
  • Starting next August, U.S. insurance providers will be required to cover all FDA-approved birth control methods.
  • Timelapse of 3D printout of Stephen Colbert’s head.
  • Explain like I’m five, simply worded answers to complicated questions.
  • Fastest Shave Ever.
  • tabdumping: for those limiting days where I have no time to write

  • Birds for bulbs is a cute site and a great idea. The basic premise is this: If you switch one or more of your light bulbs to a CFL (Compact fluorescent light-bulb, which produces smaller amounts of harmful emissions), and send them an email with your name, they’ll draw you a bird. Your bird shows up on the bird pages with your name as a mouse over, and in return you switch to a cheaper and more effective bulb. Rosemary from Bird and Moon draws the birds, and they’re beautiful. Anyway, it’s a fun demonstration that every little bit counts.” as said by Joey.
  • In order to combat light pollution, city officials in Reykjavik, Iceland, “will turn off street lights on Thursday evening and people are also being encouraged to sit in their houses in the dark.” The clincher: “While the lights are out, an astronomer will describe the night sky over national radio.via WorldChanging via +Z. (Speaking as someone who’s gone so far as to actually disabling street lights, I want to kiss whomever set this up.)
  • I did it my wa-a-a-a-y

    When I was a kid, I wanted a tree-house. I liked the idea of having a little place that was my own, high up, and floored in the cloth bound books I liked to read. I would hang tassels, I would paper with comics and pieces of sari. I wanted to tumble down the ladder in a rush of limbs to a mother waiting with ice-cream. I wanted what the real kids had, only to try. I could see them sometimes, transitory, from the window of the truck I was growing up in as we drove past little houses. Surrounded by trees, always on the highway, these houses, with a gas station at the end of the row that would sell cold things and packets of shrink wrapped pepperoni sticks that my father would open with his teeth. My favourite treat was the Cadbury cream eggs with shiny tinfoil that I would flatten with the back of my fingernail until I could pretend it was tain I’d peeled whole from some antique washroom mirror.

    Andrew had a comment published on BoingBoing this week.

    Have you ever been in love with someone to the point where you’re afraid? They meet your eyes and the amount of feeling that shoots in to your blood must betray you, it feels certain, but then they blink and look away. Disaster averted. It’s terrifying, like suddenly discovering you’ve got a red jewel of cancer in the palm of your heart.

    I’m selling my old monitor on Craiglist for $50.

    The fireworks last night were nice. I led everyone directly to the waterfront, with nothing between us and the show but for water. Blooming explosions of mostly gold, laced with red and Italy’s particular green. Their music choice was a little damning, no match of Denmark’s Abba medley of last year, the cheesiest possible clips of Celine Dion, Queen, & Ennio Morricone, but they made up for it with the intense amount of bang.

    After, though, was better than nice, it was magical. Police arrived on horses, with back-up from police boats and helicopters, to clear people from the beach. Horses in riot gear, to be more precise, with little see-thru plastic helmets and shiny reflective socks. Lit only by beacons and searchlights, they came out of the heavy sulpherous smoke like a slowly solidifying dream. It was impossible to focus on them, they were so ephemeral, such perfect phantasmagorical memories come real. They seemed both bigger and smaller than horses are, because they faded in and out of the flashing lights so strangely, so beautifully. The police on top seemed grown from the same dark flesh, details were so randomly precise. A leg would show in stark detail then vanish again into the sand and night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine wonder, approaching.

    Here’s some fine examples of where I’ve been wasting my time on-line

    I am wretchedly tired. Come to my party tomorrow. Instead of writing, you’re getting a tab-dump. (Has anyone formalized that term yet? We should get on that.)

  • Fairwood Press currently publishes Talebones, a magazine that has been publishing science fiction and fantasy short stories for eleven years. Yesterday they sent out a plea for subscriptions, saying that they are in financial distress and without new subscriptions, they’ll have to quit putting the magazine out. Click here to see what you can do.
  • European Honeybees commonly imported to Japan fall prey to the Japanese giant hornet. The local bees do not, instead they have evolved a fascinating and wierdly wonderful defense. National Geographic News has a video.
  • An audio recording made on November 18, 1978, at the Peoples Temple compound in Jonestown, immediately preceding and during the mass suicide and/or murder of over 900 members of the cult, has been put on-line by someone who got the audio tape in 1979. This means that for your auditory indulgence, an alarming bit of educational history is vicerally available.
  • The Steam Powered Internet Machine, by Turner-prizewinning artist Jeremy Deller and his collaborator Alan Kane, links a steam engine to a computer, allowing visitors to surf the net, powered by one of the driving forces of the Industrial Age. Although mischieviously impractical, (click to see the picture, it’s neat), the machine does work.
  • Gez Fry decided in 2002, without any experience whatsoever, that he wanted to make a living out of Japanese style illustration. After studying artists like Masamune Shirow, he emerged with an astonishing enough portfolio to break into the big market, in only two years. Pingmag has an essential interview that follows why he decided on his excellent life-changing decision and how he went about it.
  • the girl from labrynth is the girl from requiem for a dream

    Psychedelic Fur
    Originally uploaded by Airchinapilot.

    Fashionably Late Birthday Party, Saturday, July 15th, Cotton & Second, just off Commercial, BYOB, friends, instruments, sweets, savouries, BBQ-ables, drinks, bubbles, whatever-you-like, appropriately pass it on.

    Mike‘s so cutting edge.

    The silence was deafening, heavy with threats. To break the quiet, my friend asked, “Alright, what’s the average penis length?” I asked, “Average average or average that I’ve encountered?” “Both,” she said. I did a quick calculation using the wrist of my right hand, quickly marking off lengths from the tips of my fingers. She spit laughter, “Did I actually just see you do that?”

    Vladimir Putin kissed a boy ‘like a kitten’.

    There was a behalf-of-someone-else marriage proposal in the comments section of my poll post. I don’t know either of the men involved, but it made me smile through my ridiculous sun-burn. Not sure if I’m really marriage material right now, poorly tanned red leather for skin, hobbling around everywhere on my cane and wincing. If I move the wrong way right now, I’m liable to crumple like a burning photograph, clutching at my ruined shoulder or irritable wrist. On the up side, I came home to an answering machine message dismantled into merely someone scatting with the word ‘beep’. I can’t even tell what gender the person is, let alone figure out who I’m to call back. Congratulations mystery caller, you win the Interesting Yet Disadvantageous Communication award. Tonight, it’s a paperback copy of The Fall by Albert Camus. Only trick is, you have to call back and actually leave contact information to get it.

    R.I.P. Syd Barret

    I pulled out a cheap pink striped restaurant mint. “Wait, no. I have better ones.” My hand dug into my pocket again and emerged with an ouzo ball. “I’m useless for this right now,” she said. I looked at her face, fixed behind the shield of her helmet, looking like a sixties movie astronaut, then at her gloved hands resting on the arms of the motorcycle. “You’re right.” I crumpled the blue foil wrapper off with my fingers, reached up under the plastic screen and placed the candy into her mouth. “Drive safely.”

    Vote for the Clowngod.
    Then vote for me.

    this album is too sexy

    In memory of language, I will spit you, craven, from my mouth. Every day that was a letter with you, I will burn. In memory of words, of meaning, of the double-handed dealings of my tongue between your lips, I will tear you from me, reject your chrome sensationalism, my infatuation, my glorified attachment to your acquisitive frame. I will deny and repeal all rights your hands had, all liberties of motion, all the rapacious, itching greed I had mistakenly, lasciviously, authorized and stamped with the sanctioned approval of my gentlest kiss.

    I will not allow you the animistic gift of speech. It is mine.

    In respect for adoration, I will not name you. Your face will be blank, as slate on concrete, as lacking in feature as you were in grace. In respect for devotion, I will not need you, not crave or desire your golden smile, your irrevocable beauty, your unfortunate habit of junk crashing my mind. I flatly refuse to focus on your absence or notice the anger on my hands, my thwarted fingers, or my dizzying feeling of rejection. Your singular admiration will sink into time like twinkling stars into a cold winter sea, your voice will be like an aftertaste, and the flame of your being will be as to ashes dusted out of a failed marriage bed.

    Medical-tophat, the creator of The Doctor Pepper Show, has a flickr account.

    The latest in WTFJapan: “I think I have that song for DDR” with dubious thanks to Ed, who wants to know why Japanese women “sound so uncomfortable?”

    Stevie Wonder setting fire to Sesame Street with an injection of pure funk into the Sesame St. Song and Superstitious.

    sam’s making me listen to a swing orchestral version of the bond theme, this doesn’t bode well

    Does anyone know if the Livejournal Feed for We Make Money Not Art?

    I feel lit by the fall-out from my computer screen even when I’m on the bus. It’s how I haven’t been writing. The result is a litany in my head of things to write, moments to mention; the man in front of me with the fleshy ears and the Orson Wells voice who, when I looked back from the doors to see what he looked like, had lips flecked with foam, or the person at the party whose business partner had bitten out his girlfriend’s eye or how the mail delivery woman has, unsolicited, lent me her favourite novel. I’ve simply been too busy, though in a vague sort of way. I haven’t set aside any time for self-care. My room is a clutter of other people’s DVD’s, other people’s clothes, other people’s books. My laundry is threatening to implode, to cede from the country, to sprout new tendrils of species, to metamorph from silk and lace into sweat-pants and ugly knit sweaters made of reconstituted newspaper clippings of uninteresting murders. I even have dirty dishes. Only a few cups and possibly one crusty fork, but an obscenely slacker sort of thing for someone who never manages to cook a meal when single.

    Watch this.

    you could have told me less casually

    Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

    When you say, you in the plural, in the too many of you, “I’m not telling my wife,” I have a perception shift as a tense block of knowledge creaks suddenly into place. You are partitioning me away, removing my reality. You are creating a space for me, which has nothing to do with your solid life, that is to abandoned as soon as primary characters arrive. I’ve done this before, had to live as my role is reshaped around me into the idea of my body and grace, I know what you’re doing before you do. When I look down into my lap with resignation, what else is there to do, it is with this understanding. From there on in, your honesty diminishes every time you kiss me. You might not even see it. Every time my hand is held, every time I am told that I am loved or treasured, our light dims, laced with the knowledge that I am an eradicable betrayal that you will want later to erase.

    And then we playfully kiss like sticky children outside a door, we share a glance and giggle at something improbable. I carve lines in the air around your body with my breath like prayer. You hold my hand and trace the lines there, as if you could grant me immortality with the poetry of your smile. But there never is any poetry. As soon as I am out of the room, you can reattribute your actions, decide after the fact what you meant and how you meant it. It burns, your plausible explanations, how you write all the rules, how you’ll still be cruel enough to pretend that I have any say in the matter, as if I had any power except to leave.

    Yesterday the line, “cradling my hips like a warm cup of tea,” popped into my head. When I was younger, I imagined that’s what I wanted. Someone who would hold my body canted to their lips as if I was a chalice of some sort to be poured. It might have even been the word canted that gave me such a fancy. Now that I’ve found a few of those people, I’ve discovered that I was right. It’s comforting to know that not everything I thought would be nice turned out to be wrong. There’s a not a lot else that I still have, not in the long run. I had a golden summer once that taught me how to smile. I cried when it was time to leave and when my then partner held me in the cloak of his obscene hair and comforted me, “Life is long, you will fall in love again, many times,” through my wracking body, I knew he was right. What he failed to explain was how few people would bother face the fear of falling in love, how they would hold back and hold back and hold back until finally, in cowardice, lose their mind and flee to be free.

    edit: p.s. Finland won?? whiskey tango fff?

    living in the wrong part of the world for what sustains me

    sultans elephant
    Originally uploaded by nickestamp.

    The Secret Machines didn’t really kick in until a third through their set, but when they kick in, they’re kicking in more than just the front door, they’re kicking in your entire cellular system. They sure do love their lights. It’s a first class show, only a little below Metric or the Arcade Fire with Wolf Parade. Duncan took a great little video of glasses dancing off a table from the thump and pull of the music. I was farther forward, in the front against the stage. It was both a tragedy and a shame that there weren’t more people, but it meant that I could move back and forth in front of the stage as much as I wanted, trying to get the perfect angle for my fan-slavish photography.

    Sultans Elephant 12
    Originally uploaded by Mr Hyde.

    Two found ads that taste great together: Campari & Choco.

    And here I am, glad to be on-line again because a friend is building a spaceship that’s going to fly with NASA and a 43-tonne wooden elephant took over London and Burrow has a new boy and they’ve discovered the oceans on Titan are actually sand. I felt horribly cut off without my pretty little window screen into the rest of the world. Trapped in my own head, unable to push out my miseries with keeping busy, is a wretched place indeed. I don’t recommend visiting. As I said to a friend earlier today, my posts this week have been the written equivilant of my computer catching me in the middle of a crying jag. I would apologize if what I had written wasn’t also true, however, so that’s that.

    Especially the awesome bit about the elephant.

    (verso) I can’t remember to forget you.

    Devon came out of surgery fine. He’s tired and looks worn, but that’s to be expected when your innards have been slipped out of your belly and rewound, I’m sure. His intestines had twisted, kinked themselves into knots in ten different places. There’s no need to worry, he’s resiliant, recovers like I do from damage. I have a fabulous picture of him in the hospital bed, looking put upon by uncomfortable plastic tubes, holding hands with his beaming parents. I didn’t get to post it last night, unfortunately, but it will be available soon. He’s possibly not sleeping enough, but that’s so close to normal that it almost doesn’t bear mentioning. We’re a batch of night owls, we are. A coven of ridiculously interesting people who are most alive when everyone else is in bed. Dancing with blades, dancing in gruops and apart from eachother, dancing and being glad that life continues. Sneaking into hospitals at ten minutes to midnight and being turned away at the last possible moment.

    Duncan’s got a livejournal.

    Various people have been asking me what my plans are this week. As of yet, I really don’t know. I’d been planning on going to the Pacific Cinematheque double-bill tonight: Paul Williams hosting THE MUPPET MOVIE and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, followed by an After-Party at the Media Club where he’s going to play a set alongside July Fourth Toilet, (no, I don’t know who they are either), but I expect to skip the first film entirely for the sake of visiting hours. Tomorrow I may end up missing rehearsal for the sake of other things. Visiting Devon in the hospital, for example, or dropping by Bob‘s for a showing of A Tale of Two Sisters, one of my favourite movies, (just as Phantom of the Paradise is my mother’s), and finishing the cleaning of my room that’s been dragging on for something akin to a month simply because I’m never there anymore.