Thursday, March 30, 2006

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before

Researchers are building a little gadget which will help autistic people find out if they're boring or annoying the poobits out of the person they're talking to.

According to Boing Boing it's a little camera clipped onto your glasses which feeds pictures to a little computer running image recognition software to characterize emotions of the person you're talking to/at.

If the listener doesn't seem to be interested in your boring story about the dream you had last night, the gadget vibrates.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Another Melbourne Festival!

The 2006 Biennial Bugger All Going On Here This Week Festival Of Melbourne
Curated by Paul Grabowsky, Rachel Griffiths and Franco Cozzo, it's a celebration of our city with DJ's, street theatre, buskers™, coffee, street art, cold architecture, underrepresented world music, dagwood dogs, fully ticketed football, dirty needles, P Plates, star fruit, fresh bread, slow caravans, knackwurst, high fringed dark haired ACMI goers, toenails, bullets, nice shoes, local bands, public toilets, sandblasted graffiti, beggars who need a couple of bucks to see their niece in Frankston, remote controls, Phil Cleary, infrastructure works, security staff, baklava, camera crews, brochures, IKEA, outreach, digital cameras, scarves of all types, cookbooks, sub woofers in the boots of Toyotas, heroin, sachel bags, health workers, stencil art, strong coffee, ragged tiles, ragu, pools hanging over back lanes, yesterday's washing, SMS massaging, landslides, bicycles, gargoyles, The Johns (Thwaites and So), Port Melbourne supporters, the BLF, jus, spanakopita, feral cats, poker machines, torn gig posters and so many more events which will make this festival the biggest and best in the earth's history.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You're Eephing Crazy!

Last weekend me and a coupla mates had a lovely campfire conversation about the nutty human beat boxer man, Rahzel.

Today Boing Boing showed me the way to something much crazier, the lost hillbilly art of Eephing.

Eephing is a crazy way of singing- abit like beat boxing, a bit like throat singing and a lot like making fart noises to impress yer classmates.

According to NPR's Jennifer Sharpe who did a great little radio spot on the silly art which you can listen to here, eephing is a "kind of hiccupping, rhythmic wheeze that started in rural Tenessee more than 100 years ago."
"Just like human beat-box artists of the 1980s rendered perfect imitations of drum machines with their mouths, the original eephers of the 1880s imitated the hogs and turkeys living in their backyards.."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Delta Goodrem Breaks Songwriting World Record

Delta Goodrem's stirring Commonwealth Games anthem, Together We Are One has broken the world record for most cliches packed into one song.

Each of the 44 phrases contained within the song is a cliche, an achievement unmatched in music history.

While the games anthem does comply with the Eurovision Song Contest's Rule 18B.2 stating, "All songs must include an uplifting key change three quarters the way through," Delta and her Irish bloke, Brian McFadden were snubbed by Irish team selectors.

Instead, Ireland have decided to run with a song containing only 11 cliches, Brian Kennedy's Every Song Is A Cry For Love.

This is Delta's second world record after recently claiming the record for the world's longest neck by a female singer/songwriter.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Set Yer Videos, The Avengers Are Back!

The Avengers is the sassiest show ever.

It's on tonight, Channel 9 at 1.30am!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Iraq Could Be Tip Of Iceberg In AWB's Dodgy Regime Dealings

Today's Crikey newsletter pointed readers to Parade Magazine's annual and essential list of The World's 20 Worst Dictators.

Check this list against the list of countries AWB sells wheat to, and you can only come to one conclusion.

AWB are addicted to wheeling and dealing with violent and corrupt regimes.

In the past couple of years they've sold wheat to nine the world's worst 20 dictatorships.

And they're ruled by: Omar al-Bashir, Sudan (ranked #1); Kim Jong-il, North Korea (#2); Hu Jintao, China (#6); Seyed Ali Khamane’i, Iran (#9); Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya (#11); Isayas Afewerki, Eritrea (#13); Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan (#17); Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia (#18) and Duc Luong, Vietnam (#20).

But don't hold your breath for another nine kickback inquiries.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ahh Had A Dream

Just sat through two episodes of The West Wing- no ads, back to back and now my brain is jelly.

Now to go to bed and dream of a perfect world with President Bartlett ruling and me hanging out with me mates, Rob Lowe, Brad Whitford and Mary Louise Parker.


Me and Mary Louise Parker sitting on the back porch listening to a new batch of Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt bootlegs (which only minutes ago popped up on The Pirate Bay).

Me: "I love this song. It's almost my favorite Townes song!"
MLP: "It's beautiful. But what is your favorite?"
Me: "If I Needed You. And yours?"
MLF: "Flying Shoes."
Me: "How sad. Aww, come here!"

Photo from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Stunning Mingus

Charles Mingus is known for his music but it's his writing which really sucks me in. His spoken piece, A Colloqual Dream from his album, Tijuana Moods is snappy and delicious.

I found a copy of his 1971 autobiography, Beneath The Underdog at my local library and boy oh boy, it's one stunning read.

Here's a little from the intro bit.
"I am Charles Mingus. half black man, yellow man - half yellow- not even yellow, nor white enough to pass for nothing but black and not too light enough to be called white. I claim that I am a Negro. I am Charles Mingus- to me I am nothing. I am Charles Mingus, a famed jazz musician but not famed enough to make a living in society, that is in America, my home. I cannot even support my family, honestly that is from the fame that I gain to the right of being a Negro musician.

I am a human being born in Indian territory conquered by white skins or invisible skins, transparent skins, people who killed and robbed to inherit the earth for themselves and their children.

Charles Mingus is a musician, a mongrel musician, who plays beautiful, who plays ugly, who plays lovely, who plays masculine, who plays feminine, who plays music, who plays all sounds, loud, soft, unheard sounds, sounds, sounds, sounds."
Photo from his official website,

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Reading Books: It's Not A Race

Some time ago I presented a little series about lunch break reading on Myf Warhurst's lunchtime Triple J radio show. It was a short lived little thing but I reckons, stunning radio.

Today I found the notes I wrote, preparing for the episode on reading novels. And here they are, slightly edited with the naughty words taken out.
Reading Books: It's Not A Race
It's okay not to finish a book. Hell, some books are best thrown than read.

I mean, does anyone read EVERY WORD of the weekly trash glossies?

When someone says they spent the morning reading the paper, do you ask whether they read ALL the paper or did they only ready the front and back bits?

No. So why should reading novels be any different?

If you get bored of a book you shouldn't let it take over.

Persisting with a crap book is like book is like bowing down to terrorism.

I read to go to another world, and this one was okay to visit but i really didn't want to move there.

Even movie reviewers leave the theatre early. When I went to the reviewers' screening of one of my fave films, Night On Earth, the late, Ivan Hutchison came and sat right next to me. Me and the Hutch tapping our feet to the same wonderful Tom Waits soundtrack. Heaven, until he walks out.

With over 20 minutes until the end of the movie.

He gave it five stars.

So, if it's okay for Ivan Hutchison to walk out early on Night On Earth, it's got to be fine for you to throw the latest Jonathan Franzen novel out the window if you're not digging it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Best AWB Headline So Far

From today's Crikey newsletter.
AWB: Downer couldn't see the wood for the trucking fees