The Sound From Wind by designer Joseph Kim is an awesome handle bar accessory for your bike that produces sound by funneling the air as you ride. You can control the notes by pressing keys on the device.
Wouldn’t it be great if it produced anything even resembling the creepy tones of this thing?
photo by StewieD on Flickr
You’d either delight or terrify the neighborhood.
Some years back I meant to purchase a book called The Men Who Stare At Goats, by Jon Ronson, because I was doing some research on the study of paranormal experimentation for a novel I was writing. Ronson’s book covered the history of paranormal experimentation in the US military since the 70′s, everything from spirituality-heavy martial arts trainings to the eponymous men who stared at goats (in an attempt to stop their hearts, not to make them uncomfortable). Somehow I forgot to buy the book and promptly forgot all about it.
Today the entire internet and myself found out that The Men Who Stare At Goats is set to be a dramatized movie starring George Clooney – all good news – and a little side tidbit that I had no idea existed: Jon Ronson had made a two-and-a-half-hour documentary of his book some years ago, titled, bafflingly, “Crazy Rulers of the World.”
I actually mean the ‘bafflingly’ part. “Crazy Rulers of the World” is the most sensational title since I was in New Zealand during the Boxing Day Tsunami and saw a newspaper headline that read “SATAN’S WAVE”. Then again, America has no sense of the dramatic.
I quickly researched the documentary to see who else had covered it (uh… everyone), and was unsurprised to find massive, pissy disgust with it. Unsurprised not because the documentary deserved it (it doesn’t – more on that in a moment), but because the tier of “intellectual” trolls are shot from cannons whenever something claims to research the “paranormal” and then comes to the conclusion that said things exist. Oh, how they frothed. It’s crap science! they screamed. Ronson’s voice bothers me! they crowed. I know, I know, I recently screamed about someone’s crap science, but it takes one to know one, right?
The documentary has a delightful kinetic flow to it. Ronson hears about experiments where the military has men trying to stop a goat’s heart with their mind, and off he goes on the most astounding chain-of-connections through the upper US military echelons from the Vietnam War until the present day. He’s a talkative fellow, Ronson, but nothing he says overtly interjects himself into the narrative flow. He engages his interviewees with palpable interest and charm, helping the subjects to relay their stories for what they are. It is a thoroughly fascinating combination of good film making skill (editing, sound, and interview technique are all great) and people (every person has a place in the story, a tale to tell, a part in it). And while some parts most certainly have crap science (a much-pooh-poohed ‘hamster scene’ admittedly just serves to undermine the character witness in the scene, something that Ronson seems reluctant to take part in), for the most part it isn’t about science. It is about credible doubt. Are all these people either lying or coo-coo? Are they all mistaken?
Parts are downright silly, some people have clearly been smoking the Mellow Yellow in the years since the Vietnam War, but none of this detracts from what good time I had watching it. The documentary was made for Channel 4 (a UK station), in three parts, so you have to endure some recapping. You’ll survive.
Google Video link to the three parts of “Crazy Rulers of the World.”
I just adore finding fantastic tidbits of unknown origin – and while I wish I knew who was really responsible for this video so that I might hand them some well-deserved credit, I also like this new era of free-range art.
Quagmire sent this one to me and pointed out that something of note occurs at around :44 seconds in, and even with this warning the aforementioned “something” still made me bark out the embarrassing, overloud Julia Roberts-esque guffaw that I am infamous for. Busy bars on Saturday nights have quieted when this laugh is deployed.
Once upon on this date, from a trans-dimensional hellrift a baby girl of indeterminate providence shot through. She fought her way tooth and nail through Dragon Ladies, mad doctors, torture, peril, and sadness beyond all description. You know what they say about adversity building character? It appears to be true, if BattleGate is any example; character, charisma, genuine talent and no small amount of physical attractiveness now pour from her in life-threatening waves each moment.
Leesa, happy birthday.
Things to consider: starting a category of items that make Subspace cry.
Despite all snark, and in deference to all criticism, some aspects of childhood remain sacrosanct. Wise elders of all societies have sent the young ones off on dreamquests, an unknown path into the wild to find an unknown truth – and here, today, I have found myself suddenly 6 years old, sitting on the pea-green carpet of our 1985 living room floor, face a healthy 12 inches from the TV screen, the end of my internet dreamquest I didn’t know I was taking.
With no memory of having gotten there, I was looking at one of the most comprehensive fan pages I’d ever seen – and it was for Rainbow Brite. I linked to an mp3 of a song, mistakenly thinking it was just the Rainbow Brite theme song – no, it was Katy Cartee singing a sincere, loving techno remix. And it made me cry.
It’s complicated, of course, because I don’t want to come across looking like a commoner weeping at greeting card commercials (which is basically what Rainbow Brite was: it was a Hallmark endeavor). I had forgotten the song, to start, and hearing it was all it took for me to be sucked two decades back in time, for the feel of the carpet under my knees, the taste of Kix in my mouth. Secondly – and this will be a topic we pursue further this week at GalacticMu – non-ironic fan art makes me swoon. We’re geeks, nerds and losers. Admitting to love comes naturally to us.
Turns out that Katy Cartee doesn’t just sing the song, she’s the fan site’s webmistress as well. To you, Ms. Cartee, a GalacticMu honorable 16 lo-gee plasma rifle salute.
Katy Cartee, showing you how a proper fan site is done at RainbowBrite.net.
Katy Cartee singing Rainbow Brite theme song (mp3).
Much lower quality version of her song at YouTube.
When you grow weary from the perpetual hyperdrive induced gray blur visible outside the portals, you might wander down to the Gmu Meditational Hall to view the works displayed there. Let them ease the space madness and bring about a magical state of calm wonderment.
From the collection:
You might have heard about the hairy re-entry of a few astronauts last month (their Russian capsule entered too steeply), but we’re just now getting reports of what happened. Well, sort of – South Korean shenaut Yi So-yeon was free to discuss her experiences, but no one is talking about what caused the capsule to veer 300 miles off course and pull a few bonus gees.
Basically she thought she was going to die (well, yes) and found the experience to be profoundly physically painful (I imagine so), but most importantly, once they’d crashed into the middle of absolute nowhere, some curious nomads approached, prodded them and then dragged them from their smoking, blacked capsule. Which is all to say: way to go, nomads! At least we can count on them to not shoot first and ask questions later, a virtue becoming increasingly rare amongst this planets denizens.
Yi, who it sounds like pulled a back muscle during the ordeal, was well enough to give a giant “Thumbs up, bitches!” at a press conference.
Link to source material.