the whole world burns

Archive for March 2006

Creator of flash mobs did it to make fun of hipsters

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Not only was the flash mob a vacuous fad; it was, in its very form (pointless aggregation and then dispersal), intended as a metaphor for the hollow hipster culture that spawned it.

On Playboy and Centrefolds

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In the nineteen-eighties and thereafter, the artificiality only increased, as did that of all American mass media. The most obvious change is in the body, which has now been to the gym. Before, you could often see the Playmates sucking in their stomachs. Now they don’t have to. The waist is nipped, the bottom tidy, and the breasts are a thing of wonder. The first mention of a "boob job" in "The Playmate Book" has to do with Miss April 1965, but, like hair coloring, breast enlargement underwent a change of meaning, and hence of design, in the seventies and eighties. At first, its purpose was to correct nature, and fool people into thinking that this was what nature made. But over time the augmented bosom became confessedly an artifice—a Ding an sich, and proud of it. By the eighties, the Playmates' breasts are not just huge. Many are independent of the law of gravity; they point straight outward. One pair seems to point upward. Other features look equally doctored.

Humpback whalesong has definable syntax

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Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.

Life imitates Star Trek IV?

mind-bogglingly bad Glaucoma website

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I can't speak for the information on it, but damn. Hideous colours, Terry Gilliam heads, and worst of all: an embedded music player blaring out the "Glaucoma Hymn".

Who's the Man?

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[T]his Harvard professor of government and the author of "Manliness" (yep), a new polemic about the nature and value of masculinity, shows little awareness of much that's happened recently — televisually and otherwise — in the allegedly feminized culture that he aims to shake up. Like Austin Powers [...], Mansfield seems stuck in a semantic time warp in which it is still possible to write sentences like "Though it's clear that women can be manly, it's just as clear that they are not as manly or as often manly as men."

JavaScript diff

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Apparently it's better than this one.

Erowid: psychoactive effects duration charts

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So much fascinating stuff on that site...

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.