I found this very relaxing!
It’s been years since we first heard it, and I have no idea if my little boy still loves it like he did then, but I can’t get enough of this acoustic version of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” from the kids’ album B Is For Bob:
This song and its video presentation drive home the importance of a literary frame for meaning. I never much liked the other versions of this song, in part because the frame was obscured. The cartoon and the flattening of the song’s structure help draw it out again.
Bob Marley and (forgive me) a bunch of college hippies singing “every little thing’s gonna be all right” as an anthem is insipid. But Bob Marley singing a song to children about three birds who tell him (apocryphally, fleetingly) that everything will be all right? That is inspired.Tags: birds Bob Marley children’s music love letters music
It's the saddest thing I have seen in many months of sad news: The front page of the Metro, a free newspaper given away on the buses in Britain, said "At least 27 people were killed during a morning church service in the latest US shooting massacre."
"The latest"! They're now so routine that the Metro has switched from indefinite to definite article. It's not "a terrible shooting massacre in the US" anymore, it's just "the latest US shooting massacre." Everyone knows there will be more. This one was merely the latest. The governor's prayers are with the people of Sutherland Springs; the president sends word from Japan that it wasn't about guns, it was about mental illness. See page 4 for the Queen's investment in offshore tax havens, page 6 for the governing party Member of Parliament who puts his hand up women's skirts in elevators.
What the actual what??
Among the millions of algorithmically-generated videos on YouTube attempting to hack keyword searches, autoplay rankings, and human cognition, a very sizeable number are aimed at children, playing on common YouTube tropes such as nursery rhymes, surprise eggs, learning colours and popular songs and characters.
A very significant number of these however are intentionally disturbing, segueing from standard cartoon fare into nightmarish situations of pain, fear, violence and abuse, with a notable propensity for things which particularly trouble children: dentistry, blood, injections, insects, and evil clowns. The knock-off Peppa Pigs above are at the very mildest end of this spectrum.
What is particularly troubling is that while there is a connection here to the kind of algorithmic weirdness that youtube and other similar complex computational systems throw up with increasing regularity (the rape tshirts, the adult diaper phone cases), this is not fully automated, random, or accidental, but a deliberate, intentional attempt to terrorise and traumatise children, performed on a massive scale, using Youtube and its algorithms as its attack vector.
EDIT: This seemed interesting enough that I wrote an extended piece on it, which contains most of the responsible links originally posted here:
Click here to read: Something is wrong on the Internet by James Bridle
Aaaand I just read a poem in Chinese. Very cool.
From Bryan Van Norden:
It took me a while to "get" this, but it's very cool, and you can appreciate it even if you have never learned a Chinese character before in your life. It's a contemporary Chinese poem entitled "War Symphony." You only need to read four characters to understand it:
兵 bīng means soldier (you can imagine that the lines at the bottom are the soldier's legs) [VHM: The lines at the bottom are actually derived from the pictographic representation of two hands; they are holding an adze (you can see additional examples if you click on the "more" button at the top right of the linked section), the primordial tool-weapon, which is what the earliest form of the character actually stood for. It was later used by metonymy to mean "soldier". For a powerful woodcut (artist Dan Heitkamp) inspired by the oracle bone form of the glyph, see the title page of Victor Mair, tr. and intro., The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods (Columbia University Press, 2007).]
乒乓 pīng pāng is Ping Pong, but individually the characters are used to represent the sounds "ping" and "pang" (like the sounds of metal weapons clanging)
丘 qiū is a mound, like a funeral mound
Taiwanese poet from Hualien
Zhànzhēng jiāoxiǎng qǔ 战争交响曲 (War Symphony)
乓乒乒乒乒 乒 乓 乓 乓 乒 乓乒 乒 乒 乓
乒乒 乒乒 乓乓 乒乒乓乒乒乓乒乓乒乒乒
Here is an animation of the poem, followed by a video of the poet reading it aloud:
Chen Li 陳黎: A War Symphony 戰爭交響曲 (animation+reciting 動畫+唸詩)
Animation made by Wu Xiu-jing (動畫：吳秀菁) Chen Li's reciting of the poem starts at 1:01
These are so great!
Last Autumn, we covered an Instagram sensation concerning mushrooms and in a strangely timely coincidence we’ve just stumbled across another amazingly colourful tribute to world of funghi. The work of artist Jill Bliss, this series focuses not just on individual mushrooms but rather group compositions that Bliss has created herself with a strong eye for colour combining.
Bliss calls her works Nature Medleys and to make them she uses “natural objects found on daily wanderings among the islands of the Pacific Northwest.” The artist lives on a small island in the Salish Sea, which sits between a network of coastal waterways that stretches between British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest – the local natural biodiversity is her inspiration and her palette.
Photographed against a bed of vibrant green moss, sedums and coastal plants, the mushroom medleys combine natural browns and greys, murky purples and sedate blues shot through with hot oranges, yellows and pinks. Sometimes they feature feathers, bark, slabs of wood, even antlers and they look for all the world like wonderful bouquets of blooms.
Bliss grew up on a farm in northern California and later worked as a designer and artist in New York, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. In 2012 she sold her house and belongings to embark on a year-long sabbatical, expressly to embrace a slower pace of life. As she has noted on her website, “that sabbatical year has stretched into a new life chapter – I’ve been living, working, traveling and exploring amongst the Salish Sea islands of Canada and Washington State ever since.” She describes a rather lovely way of life dictated by the seasons, her desire to do her bioregional studies and the need to earn enough to support her new life. You can buy prints and stationary from her online shop and follow her Salish sea life on Instagram.
Home sweet home :)
Bondi Beach and its surrounding suburb are located in Sydney, Australia. One of the city’s most stunning and popular destinations, the beach gets its name from the Aboriginal word “Bondi” that means waves breaking over rocks.
Source imagery: Sinclair Knight Mertz
Compilation of short animations by Ari Weinkle features a topographic human form that is undone represented as metaphorical emotions:
Moodles is a short animation based on the effects of negative emotions on one’s self. It turns built up tension, stress, and anxiety into creative catharsis. Frozen figures – once paralyzed by moods – are reduced to heaps of flexible nothingness.
Reference to The Fountainhead
Touchingly inept definition of a well-known cultural phenomenon: “Rock ‘n’ roll is a type of bouncy music that originated in the 1970’s…”
Misattribution of quotation: “As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’”
Use of the word “Nowadays…”
The Catcher in the Rye reference, often misremembering the book’s conclusion.
“A ______________ team is like a family” about any team sport.
Use of the phrase, “According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary…”
Scorn heaped upon peers who make a certain mistake, followed by the writer making the same mistake herself: “Unlike my peers, I don’t need to use an acronym every time I want to share my emotional response, LOL.”
Writer takes a grim turn within list of rhetorical questions he poses in essay: “What is the main character’s desire? Do any of us have any desire? Is there anything worth desiring? Why are we here? Why?”
Commas instead of periods.
Broad declaration about the characteristics of all people: “Everyone loves pizza!” “No one likes Minnesota!”
Tautologies, e.g. “As a football player, I learned that the game is the reason we play the game.”
Touching attempt to find a positive despite overwhelming odds: “So in the end, even though we set our house on fire by mistake, and my dog lost that fight with the rattlesnake, and the rest of the town tried to tar and feather us, I learned that people are still really good.”
Semicolons subbed in for any punctuation except their actual use.
“Since the dawn of time, man has….”
Hint of a more interesting story not being told: “The day I got my college acceptance was the same day my English teacher was arrested for soliciting. I’ll never forget opening that letter from Duke…”
Attempt to butter up the teacher/professor: “As I’ve learned in the only helpful English class I’ve taken so far…”
Attempt to subtweet the teacher/professor: “While some would say Joan Didion is a wonderful writer, she isn’t.”
One enormous paragraph.
Assertion that writer was somehow the only member of a rather large demographic in area where he or she grew up: “As a child with glasses, I was the laughingstock of Peoria.”
Closing paragraph clearly exists to fulfill mandatory page count: “In conclusion, it is indeed true that The Scarlet Letter, a book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a very, very good book that is worth having considered in this essay, as I have done in this essay, here.”
This is EXCITING news!
Sony is bringing back its robodog Aibo over a decade since it launched the original robotic canine friend in 1999. The new model, continuing the name Aibo, “can form an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion,” says Sony.
A handy PSA
Always worth rewatching!
Guillermo del Toro directed this epic three minute intro to ‘Treehouse of Horrors XXIV’.
Best. Intro. Ever? Or do you prefer Banksy’s?
This is ridiculous and great.
I'm happy to see that Google Translate is still turning (many types of) meaningless character sequences into spoken-word poetry. Repetitions of single hiragana characters are an especially reliable source — here's "You need to know something":
And "I feel a strange feeling":
And "Stay free to leave":
Repeated combinations also often work — here's repetitions of "Ga mama" rendered as "Let it go / As it is":
These works also often reveal some interesting things about the letter-to-sound part of Google's current text-to-speech algorithms, e.g. the performance of that last one:
And as usual, if you ask for it again, you get a performance that sounds like the system has had a drink or five:
Here are the inputs in case you want to try them:
This is very cool
This is legit amazing.
Perched atop the Kodiak Queen, a former WW2-era Navy fuel barge, this 80-foot ‘Kraken’ now serves as the base of an artificial reef and marine research station on the ocean floor near the British Virgin Islands. The project, entitled BVI Art Reef, accomplishes a range of goals all at once: saving a decorated ship from destruction, transplanting coral to a new site in the hopes that it will flourish, creating an epic dive site and underwater art gallery, and providing a new habitat for marine life.
Photographer Owen Buggy documented the process, from the early stages of building the massive sea monster to sinking it in April 2017 to checking out the results a few months later. Sunken off the coast of the island Virgin Gorda with the help of tugboats and helicopters, the installation is already helping to rehabilitate heavily over-fished marine populations. Filmmaker Rob Sorrenti also got some great footage, presented as a documentary entitled ‘The Kodiak Queen,’ which is due for release in early 2018.
“This is the story of learning from past lessons and coming together to create something greater; rooted in joy and fueled by the power of play,” reads the BVI website. “This is the story of a group of friends from around the world who fell in love with the BVIs… and turned a weapon of war into a platform for unity – and a catalyst for new growth. This charitable kick-off in the British Virgin Islands combine art, ocean conservation, world history, marine science and economy… to solve a series of challenges in the BVIs by asking: how can we use play and collaboration to install permanent solutions that boost the local economy, secure the prosperity of these pristine islands for generations to come?”
“Our solution: a fantasy art eco-dive and ocean conservation site that puts the BVIs on the map as having one of the most unique and meaningful dive sites in the world… and one of the most forward-thinking approaches to creative problem solving that secures the education of its youth, and the health and prosperity of this island nation.”
Get updates on the project at the BVI Art Reef Facebook page.
Though Nelson Mandela's passing will spur the creation of memorials worldwide, a number of larger-than-life tributes are already extant or planned. Nelson Mandela Capture Monument (images ...
It sounds like the premise of a science fiction film, but deep in a rural valley of Japan there is a town where eerily lifelike dolls have been slowly replacing actual residents of Nagoro for ...
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin purchased a sprawling abandoned bowling alley in Santa Fe, New Mexico so an art collective called Meow Wolf could transform it into a bizarre and ...
[ By SA Rogers in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ]
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Much longer (14:38!), but also well worth watching.
Goodbye Uncanny Valley by Alan Warburton
If you missed it earlier this week, Björk’s got a theme song to help you get through 2017.
This is, weirdly, worth watching all the way through.
‘Vida’ - glass sculpture by Jack Storms made with 32% optical lead crystal, optical crystal & dichroic glass.
I don't understand but I love it
Bread Man at Onomichi Station, Japan (2017) | photo courtesy The Mainichi
Last weekend a group of 36 people with 3 to 6 baguettes wrapped around their face appeared suddenly at Onomichi Station in Hiroshima, Japan. They paraded down a street, through the city’s shopping district and even went on a ferry ride, all the while chanting “We are Bread Men. We are not human” in Japanese and English.
This was not the latest All Breads Matter protest. Rather, it was a performance art piece by 71-year old Japanese artist Tatsumi Orimoto called “Bread Man” and has been staged around the world over 200 times.
Bread Man at the Brussels Train Station (1996)
In the early 70s Orimoto spent time in New York working as Nam June Paik’s assistant and taking part in the Fluxus movement and the performance art pieces of John Cage, Yoko Ono and Joseph Beuys. Around 1991 a defining moment for Orimoto occurred when he learned that in the Bible ‘bread means body.’ That’s what gave him the idea for Bread Man. “If Marcel Duchamp could call a toilet a fountain then bread means not food: it is sculpture.”
Orimoto keeps what he calls his own bible: large yellow binders packed with postcards of his past performances. He staged Bread Man in Turkey, Nepal, Germany, London and he’s been chased by homeless people in New York and thrown out of a restaurant in Moscow for wasting food. But nothing has stopped him from wrapping at least 6 baguettes around his head in various configurations and exploring the world, challenging people to accept him.
Bread Man in Penzance (2010)
A wildlife photographer captures images of a rare budgie murmuration as more than 8,000 birds swarm in the red centre against the backdrop of a waterhole.
What weird dystopia are we living in :/
A cartoon version of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, visited hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico on Monday, in a tone-deaf livestream that was part disaster tourism, part product promotion.
Zuckerberg, along with Facebook’s head of social virtual reality, Rachel Franklin, appeared as avatars within the broadcast from his profile as they “teleported” to different locations using Facebook’s “social VR” tool Spaces. In reality, the two were speaking from the comfort of their offices in the company’s campus in Menlo Park, California, wearing virtual reality headsets.
“One of the things that’s really magical about VR is you can get the feeling you’re really in a place,” said Zuckerberg as his grinning avatar floated over scenes of flooding and destruction.
“Rachel and I aren’t even in the same building in the physical world, but it feels like we’re in the same place and can make eye contact,” he added before he and Rachel high-fived within the virtual space with the sombre scenes of Puerto Rican devastation around them.
Our 3rd most read article of the year.
(Originally published October 2, 2017.)
Having a fucking bake sale
Building a fucking shed in your own backyard
Pumping fucking gas
Getting a fucking vasectomy
Owning a fucking car
Driving someone else’s fucking car
Riding in a fucking car
Disposing of fucking batteries
Cutting fucking hair for a living
Having a controlled bonfire on your own fucking property
Owning a fucking dog
Walking a fucking dog
Selling a fucking mattress
Watching a fucking DVD
Holding any sort of public fucking performance
Importing foreign fucking cheese
Changing your last fucking name to your spouse’s
Buying fucking fireworks
Riding a fucking bicycle
Having a fucking swimming pool
Xeroxing and distributing copyrighted fucking material
Transporting a bottle of opened fucking wine home from a restaurant
Using a fucking skateboard
Buying unpasteurized fucking milk
To learn more about this piece and the writer behind it, visit this profile of Sarah Hutto over on our Patreon page.
adjustin’ expectation in line with ya nerves