animated Jim Woodring

One of these videos i’ve seen before. Although the effort is appreciated, the motion and sound do very little for me. The stillness of the frames of the Frank comics that is unnerving all by itself, making them seem even more like dream fragments.

Israeli attack on Syria is more proof of failure of U.S. foreign policy

This can’t be good. What the fuck is going on in Syria?

Admittedly, i’m out of the loop. Between the vacation in austin and the work i’ve had to make up, as well as these recurring headaches, i’m not so up on the news.

My speculation is that this proves once again, Syria did not have WMDs smuggled in from Iraq, or at least any nuclear ones. Why on earth would they import them from North Korea? The reason why the Bush administration is not crowing about the Israeli strike is because they don’t know how to spin this. Syria had to import nuclear weapons and North Korea was not contained. Sure, Syria has possibly suffered a setback to what might be a nuclear program, but how is that an argument bolstering U.S. foreign policy?

Bush can cry all he wants about how he warned us that North Korea would be engaging in nuclear proliferation, but where is the United States? Bogged down in Iraq. Idiot.


ACL was fun, but a little of a bust for us.

We attended Friday, seeing Blonde Redhead, LCD Soundsystem, part of Spoon (who turned out not to be very compelling live,) part of Queens of the Stone Age (who were quite good live,) the Kaiser Chiefs, and the Killers. Actually i saw a bit more than that, but thopse are the ones i caught enough to identify songs. I only regret not seeing more of Del McCoury, and choosing Spoon over QotSA initially.

Saturday, we skipped altogether. The White Stripes cancellation played a factor in that decision, but we were having too much fun sightseeing.

Sunday, we showed up for Bloc Party, only to be defeated by heat and overcrowded. Kat & i were fed up with tripping over the abandoned chairs set up for camps at the AT&T tent. There were plenty of shows that i wanted to see, but it simply wasn’t worth the claustrophobia. My brother Travis was able to make it into the tent where Preservation Hall Jazz Band was playing, and said it’s the best thing he saw at the whole festival. He stuck around to catch part of Wilco, who bored him, and My Morning Jacket, who he said was excellent. He tried unsuccessfully to get us to come back to see Bob Dylan, but we already got our money’s worth, as i had lucked out on the $50 for 3 day pass deal.

LCD Soundsystem was my favorite performance. I was a little worried about dragging Kat & Travis to see them despite LCD’s great reputation as a live band. (Also, at the time, i was not aware of Travis’ near obsession with Daft Punk. I feared that he might be bored with dance music.) Although it wasn’t necessary for my entertainment, i was amazed that nearly every sound on the songs was replicated live, no tapes, very little sampling, which was a huge contract to the Blonde Redhead show that we saw earlier on the same stage. Murphy was also one of the most engaging presences i saw onstage at ACL, chatting up the audience, making funny quips, and making a spectacle of himself. For allegedly being a go-to hipster band to namedrop, they seemed like one the most grounded bands that i’ve seemed in awhile, with a real desire to entertain, not so much striving to impress with credentials.

A trip to ACL next year seems like a longshot. The outdoor festival thing in 90 degree weather surrounded by tens of thousands of people just doesn’t seem to be my thing anymore. SxSW maybe?

my Genographic Project kit

A couple of months ago, i bought a kit from the Genographic Project. The postal service lost it the first time… some sort of weird, byzantine shit about strictly and perversely interpreted subcontracts that made my little corner a world a black hole for the postal service. Then Stephen Colbert did his show on it, and i gnashed my teeth.

The replacement that National Geographic provided finally arrived yesterday.

I’ve done one swab already. The mtDNA test seems to be the way to go for my amusement, as most likely with the Y chromosome test, as i’ll probably just wind up with R1b, and probably R1b1c at that.

My DNA is pretty whitebread on my father’s side, solidly Western European. The probability of getting R1b just doesn’t make it worth it to find if there is something unexpected in there.

I’m going to lay some odds in the coming days on the results, just to amuse myself.

I neglected to mention that Bill and i picked up some books at Cottonwood Books in Baton Rouge last Saturday. I bought Richard Powers’ Gold Bug Variations and Peter Ackroyd’s First Light.

Bill bought what was labeled as a first edition Borges, Brodie’s Report, but definitely was not.

the purchases were of no real consequence, although i’m pleasantly surprised by that Ackroyd. Really, i just wanted an excuse to slap an embedded Google Map into a post.

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Acheulean villages

I ought to confess that i’m very sympathetic to the idea that Homo erectus had villages. Laugh at me. I promise not to cry. It’s just that the jump from tool-using nomadic apes to agrarian villages seems like a big one. What Bednarik proposes does not seem that outrageous.

via Remote Central.

Update: This has been nagging me for the past day. Please let me clarify that “villages” should be just that… “villages” in quotes. I doubt whether they were villages as we understand the word now. It’s just that a relentlessly nomadic model for the entire species doesn’t sit well.

Google Book Search has a way to go

I lost my password for Library Thing months ago. Recently i went insane on Facebook trying to put together my library on some app they stuck on there, before it began to bore me to tears with how damned slow it was to load. Now there is a My Libary feature on Google Book Search.

That edition of The Master & Margarita that i just mentioned? It ain’t on there. I checked the ISBN. It’s a relatively common book. Their database cannot be terribly vast yet, can it?

So much for wasting a few hours trying to save some work for the government clerks assigned to track my every movement.

When they do get this together though, it looks like it might be fairly useful, in that some of my searches on certain books will go far more smoothly.

translating Bulgakov

Damn it to hell… i finally read The Master & Margarita earlier this year. Although it had been recommended to me dozens of times, it was usually recommended by kids who played Vampire: The Masquerade who fancied themselves as libertine iconoclasts. They also had good things to say about Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible and wore pewter pentacles around their necks. I cannot count how many cats that i’ve met named Behemoth. There was no fucking way that I was going to read Bulgakov.

Another debate has erupted over which is the superior translation of the book, and this time, i actually give damn. Unfortunately, the translation that i’ve read is the Burgin & O’Connor translation, which suited me just fine as i now love the book, but i ain’t got a horse in this race.

Despite the number of books that i read that are in translation, the only non-epic poem ones that i recall intentionally reading in different translations are Don Quixote and The Arabian Nights oddly. And the Bible. Ach.

via 3%.