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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stumble Findings: Comrade Spider and the People's Mario


(In keeping with the Soviet allusions of our blog..)

Comrades! It is my honor to present to you today two glorious pieces of artwork for your viewing enjoyment. Alas, I do not remember where I found this first piece, but I give full credit to the brave Patriot who produced it in order to fight the deceptive propaganda of the evil Capitalist Imperialists! 







The second is a short film expositing the harsh realities behind Comrade Mario's noble struggle against the Bourgeoisie. Sadly, most of you know of him only through the warped caricatures produced about him by the Western-loving Nintendo.

But finally, comrades, the truth behind The People's Mario.


For the Motherland!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Legitimate Thoughts: Space Opera, Afterall



Howdy buckaroos (and buckarettes)! For those of you wishing for a life of swash-buckling adventure on the high seas of space, you're in luck! After years of being told by skeptics that our planet is the habitable exception to a cold and barren rule, scientists from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the Carnegie Institute of Washington have discovered the first potentially inhabitable world outside our solar system



Granted, this isn't the first extra-solar planet found, but it is the first to be right smack in the middle of its sun's Goldilocks zone--the crucial orbit no too far or close to the sun where water can exist in its liquid form. And if there’s something you must know about water, it’s that it is necessary for just about everything needed to support life.

You see, we here on earth take water for granted. It's everywhere. It's in our air, our oceans, and on the floors of subway stops and public restrooms everywhere (urine is 80%+ water). So it's understandable that we don't grasp just how stacked the odds were against us having liquid water. Indeed, just a bit closer or farther in our orbit and the Big Blue would either be a frozen wasteland like Siberia or a barren desert like Death Valley, respectively. 

Of course, don't go wanking off to Avatar (again) just yet. Just because it's in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean it has life, it just means it has the potential for it. All of you budding space cowboys and cowgirls out there can still dream, but it is also highly unlikely that the technology to reach this glorious Earth 2.0 will exist in our lifetime (it is a wopping 20 light-years away).




So much for your career as a bounty hunter..

This will never be you. 




Still, if this planet is in fact habitable then even if we ourselves are unable to warp drive our way over, we can at least settle one debate that has been raging in the media ever since hippies first started digging holes in the ground and going to town: There is a Plan B.

So yes! we can in fact pillage and rape our planet for years to come, because once it’s spent, we’ll have a perfectly good new one to pillage and rape all over again.

Cheers,
Touch

Short Story: For a Breath I Tarry, by Roger Zelazny



"They called him Frost. Of all things created of Solcom, Frost was the finest, the mightiest, the most difficult to understand. This is why he bore a name, and why he was given dominion over half the Earth."

For those of you unfortunate enough to not be acquainted with this literary giant, Roger Zelazny was one of the best science fiction writers of all time. His magnum opus, arguably, is the Chronicles of Amber series, as well as the novel Lord of Light
If these bodies of work seem a bit too meaty for first time readers, however, then you are in luck! One of the gems I have found over the years is his story--actually a novelette-- "For a Breath I Tarry. I must say, this novelette had a more profound emotional effect on me than most of the full length novels I have read, an effect which has scarcely lessened with each rereading.
The premise is that man has destroyed himself in some unnamed conflict, but the machines he built to serve him are still trying to fulfill their duties to their deceased creators. One of these, Frost, is different from the other machines.


"He was a processor of data, and more than that.
He possessed an unaccountably acute imperative that he function at full capacity at all times.
So he did.
You might say he was a machine with a hobby.
He had never been ordered _not_ to have a hobby, so he had one.
His hobby was Man."
You can read the ENTIRE story here: Full Text
I promise you, it is well worth the 15 minutes it takes to read!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Music: Little Lion Man - Mumford and Sons

As you may or may not know, I possess a very wide and varied taste in music. A few posts ago I mentioned a song by Dos Minutos and highlighted some of its key messages (sort of). Likewise, my other half posted a video of Minor Threat and gave a little history on the band and what made them great (if you haven't heard either of the songs I've mentioned I highly recommend you take a listen).

Of course, this doesn't mean I'm a one-genre man. No no no, like Mambo No. 5 I have lots of girls songs lined up waiting for me, hailing from all corners of the music spectrum.

Here's one of them!

video



-Touch

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do all east coast raves suck?

Turn the clock back a few years before you heard dance, trance, techno, dupstep, house, etc. all over the radio and there was something called PLUR(R). It stood for Peace Love Unity Respect.

Recently, some ravers have added the second R (Responsibility) both in embrace and scorn of the hordes of newcomers that don't follow PLUR, don't know about PLUR, and only go to raves to drop [too much] e and ruin the night for everybody.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

In Southern California--arguably the rave capital of the United States--there is an annual rave festival called the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). Over the course of it's 13-year existence it has grown from a relatively modest one-day event to a full-on two-day extravaganza with carnival rides and over 180,000 attendees. I have personally attended and can attest to its glory but also to its plight. At the most recent event a 15-year-old girl overdosed on drugs she was probably doing for the first time at what may have been one of if not her first rave. Fellow ravers within and without my family agree that though the newfound popularity of raves has shot new life into the scene it isn't necessarily the kind of life they were looking for.

Certainly, new faces are always a delight to the enthusiastically extroverted followers of PLUR, but these new faces haven't exactly been willing to adhere or even learn about PLUR--quite honestly most don't even care and proceed to bing on shoddy pills and brag to their friends that they're now "ravers" with little concern to their own well-being and that of others. Going back to my previous statement, this is why the second R was added.

Responsibility is something that was a bit of an unwritten rule in the rave community. If you Respect yourself and others, you won't be overdosing on drugs nor encouraging others to do so; if there is Unity, you look after one another like you would a member of your family; if there is Love, you accept every newcomer with open arms; if there is Peace--well, you don't get into fights or bring your shit from the real life into the rave life.

Which is something that has been happening with increasing frequency. Case in point, on the weekend of 25/09/2010 my brother and I had the misfortune of attending a New York City rave. This isn't my first east coast rave but I've been debating whether it should be my last. Not only did nobody seem to know about PLUR but everyone stratified into their own groups rather than take the time to meet new people. My multiple attempts to make new friends were often met with awkwardness or outright hostility (especially when the encounter involved a guido douchebag and his bitch).

Now, I'm a generally nice guy and I don't get pissed off easily, but to call these sort of events "raves" is like calling Avril Lavigne punk. Maybe I've just gone to the wrong raves, maybe I just don't get along with the east coast, but as far as I can tell there is no PLUR on this side of the States and the few people that know about it are just asshole posers and drug pushers.

This wouldn't be the first time a subculture of the small but avid few becomes overwhelmed by the much larger and much more ignorant majority. It happens all the time in music, clothes, television, and even in whole neighborhoods (Lower East Side in Manhattan or Williamsburg in Brooklyn, anyone?). Is it only a matter of time before PLUR is nothing more but an empty slogan, and rave music ironically commercialized like the punk rock of old?

Hopefully not. But I think it's inevitable.

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and for those newcomers, Responsibility.

-Touch

Music: One of the best--and first--hardcore punk bands, Minor Threat


As we have mentioned in a few of our posts, punk rock was our first love. Minor Threat was a band from Washington D.C. Though they only lasted for about three years, from 1980 to 83, they are widely considered to have been the first punk band to solidify the "hardcore punk" sound in songs such as "Filler."

They also started the Straight Edge movement (though few of the straight edge kids I know come close to being as cool as Ian MacKaye).

Enjoy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOOGLE!

As anyone who has typed in google.com will know, it is Google's birthday today! Everyone celebrate by enjoying the awesomeness that is Google. Here's to 12 years of not being evil, and 12 more of the same!

Also, in other news...We have more than 100 followers now! Thank you all for your continuing support!

Stumble Findings: The Wilderness Downtown

I stumbled across this fantastic find over the summer, but totally forgot to post it on the blog (I was busy interning at the time).

Anyway, this is a lovely interactive work of music video art created by Arcade Fire. It is so interactive, in fact, that it SHOWS YOU YOUR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD. For those of you (my brother and myself included) who have moved away from the house and neighborhood in which you grew up, the emotional impact is indescribable--so experience it for yourself here:

http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Enjoy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stumble Findings: The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

All I can say about this film series is that it is both stunning and hauntingly beautiful, especially if you are a fan of China Mieville's books, the short game Loondon,  or Gothic/Victorian steampunk in general.

Nominated for and winner of numerous awards, the first video in this series follows Jasper Morello, a royal navigator who has just been called back to pilot a ship after three months of being grounded. I won't spoil much more of the plot (wikipedia does a great job of that, anyway, if you really don't feel like watching this gorgeous piece of animation) so you can watch the video for free here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vORsKyopHyM

Edit: The main site is here http://www.jaspermorello.com/gazette/

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Legitimate Thoughts: Banging Under the Influence (originally posted 23/09/2010)

Whiskey dick, beer goggles, Greg Sgammato—call it whatever you want, there are many words describing the juxtaposition of drinking and sex because as everybody knows, when the weekend comes and class is out it’s time to down a few drinks and go home with someone for the night.
Bullshit aside though, alcohol is a depressant and makes you feel relaxed. The great Benjamin Franklin himself was quoted saying that “beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” So why not be happy? Part of the appeal of drinking aside from honoring our equally alcoholic forefathers and toasting cheers to a week of hell done and a week of hell to come is that alcohol serves as the friendly mediator, breaking down the twin barriers of social awkwardness and moral inhibition. When we drink it not only becomes easier to court someone but there’s also a good chance that the courtee is also drunk. In these situations, alcohol makes the proposition of sex less a game of blindfold chess and more a matter of whether both of the participants can walk back to a designated destination.
For guys, the appeal of this is obvious: it cuts out the hassle of having to pretend to care about a relationship and the protocols of a thing called “courtship” if they want to sleep with a girl, it gives them an excuse to think with the other head, and, as many a study has shown, girls become more submissive when intoxicated while men conversely become more emboldened. So score one for the men. (Women that are reading this you know you’ve met assholes and you know this is true, don’t judge me.) This isn’t to say that girls don’t also have their reasons to mix drink and sex or this whole article would be pointless. Though less obvious than a guy’s reasons, on top of the relaxing effects of alcohol and not having to deal with whiney boyfriends, girls also find drinking appealing since it gives them a convenient excuse to be promiscuous and not be considered slutty by society’s biased standards (Girls, I’ve got your backs.).


Like with any drug, alcohol enhances the sensual experience and makes it feel like you’re Captain Ahab killing Mobey Dick while climbing Mt. Everest and having sex—wait, maybe I’m thinking of the wrong drug…—, better yet, it can also sometimes double as an amnesiac so you don’t even remember just how stupid you acted, but even if you do you can always blame it on the alcohol like that stupid Jamie Foxx song. Alcohol also causes what we affectionately know as “beer goggles” which means our perception of another person’s attractiveness gets skewed exponentially the more we drink. This means that there’s the double-edged sword of having the equal chance of either spending the night with an Adonis or Aphrodite or of spending it with a Moby Dick. In other words, our f-t (f**k threshold) is significantly reduced which drastically increases our hunting grounds for the night even if we’ll probably regret it in the morning. For those few hours though, when we’re crammed into various seedy basements bathing in the sweat of the people next to us, we can feel like lions in a field of sheep.
Onward: while there are some obvious advantages to drinking and sex there are also some rather blatant disadvantages before, during, and after the act. For starters, while it’s great when both parties are drunk it’s miserable to be slobbered on or harassed by a drunk when sober. But what if this doesn’t happen? Well, there’s still a chance of whiskey dick which means your gun can’t be loaded and there’ll be no firefight that night. Which kinda sucks after all the work to get someone.

Of course, there also the just-fell-off-Mt. Everest hangover and realizing that last night you were actually banging Moby Dick, as well as the infamous walks of shame in the morning when everyone has sobered up and hypocritically judges you for not being wise enough to walk back before everyone was up and the general lead slabs of regret that some of us feel after our protective ethanol-based big brother has disappeared, to list some more. There is also the awkward post-sex conversation a few days later when one or both parties admit to having been extremely intoxicated, driving the other party to feel like a grown-up pedobear.
But as the wise Hank Moody from “Californication” said: A morning of awkwardness is better than a night of loneliness.
Disclaimer: This in no way reflects how I actually feel.
--Touch

For those punk rockers out there (originally posted 23/09/2010)

One of the best Spanish punk songs and arguably one of the best punk songs in any language ever. For those of you non-Spanish speakers, this song is a bout a childhood friend that "sells out" and becomes a cop, proceeding to terrorize the neighborhood he and his friends grew up in




"You ain't hardcore cause you spike your hair, when a jock still lives inside your head"

--Dead Kennedys

Stumble Findings: A Brief Study of Mario


Mario is a badass.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Raves this weekend


Now, some of you may be wondering: why Touch and Feel? Are you guys pedophiles or something? Perverts who grope women in public? Gay incestuous twin lovers? No, no, and hell no!

In truth, those happen to be our rave names from Los Angeles. Admittedly, neither of us raves much anymore (especially since we're in the East Coast now) and if anything we consider ourselves punk rockers at heart, but we still love trance/hardstyle/techno and raves are a blast to attend in general.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because there are two (three) promising events happening this weekend for those of you near New York City!

First off, there's Resurrection on Friday the 24th of September at a place called Evolution in Brooklyn. One of us attended a rave here last week and, though we must admit it lacked the full awesomeness of raves in Los Angeles--where it seems like everyone follows the PLUR ethos and shuffles like a pro--it was nonetheless loads of fun. This week, it'll be even bigger and thus (hopefully) even better! It goes from 9 PM to 4 AM, and admission is $5 before 11, $10 after.

Then, if you feel like powering through the weekend without sleep, there's 2012: A Telepathic Awakening happening on Saturday the 25th! This one is definitely a lot bigger than Resurrection, though it is a bit heavier on the Dubstep (which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your preferences). It is also in Brooklyn, at the Wild East Saloon. This puppy goes from 8 PM to 6 AM in the morning, but will cost $20 if you did not buy presale tickets (and $25 if you don't go in costume).

Lastly, if you don't feel like forking over your Jackson, or want to warm up before 2012, there's a FREE event going on at Union Square in Manhattan called Unified Vibes. It goes from 2pm to 6pm.

Enjoy!

Touch and Feel

Stumble Findings: Paraprosdokians

According to wikipedia, a paraprosdokian "is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re-frame or re-interpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists."

All I know is that they are bloody funny.

Examples:

  1. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  2. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  3. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
  4. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  5. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Stumble Findings: Scientists use atomic clocks to show that time moves faster at altitude, even on Earth.


"The world's most accurate clock has neatly shown how right Albert Einstein was 100 years ago, when he proposed that time is a relative concept and the higher you live above sea level the faster you should age.

Einstein's theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. He suggested that the only true constant, the speed of light, meant that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling.

Now scientists have demonstrated the true nature of Einstein's theory for the first time with an incredibly accurate atomic clock that is able to keep time to within one second in about 3.7 billion years – roughly the same length of time that life has existed on Earth."


You can continue reading this awesomely interesting article here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/einsteins-theory-is-proved-ndash-and-it-is-bad-news-if-you-own-a-penthouse-2088195.html

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stumble Findings:Lady Gaga eating a unicorn.






Um. What.

Stumble Findings: Palladium Boots Explorations



This is an interesting 4-part documentary I came across about the city of Detroit. Yes, it's done by a shoe company, but it's an interesting view nonetheless. I've posted the first part to the series in this post. You can find parts 2-4 here:

Stumble Findings: Doctor's Advice.














Man the fuck up, indeed.

-Nero Thanes.

Legitimate Thoughts: Banging under the influence.


Whiskey dick, beer goggles, Greg Sgammato—call it whatever you want, there are many words describing the juxtaposition of drinking and sex because as everybody knows, when the weekend comes and class is out it’s time to down a few drinks and go home with someone for the night.

Bullshit aside though, alcohol is a depressant and makes you feel relaxed. The great Benjamin Franklin himself was quoted saying that “beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” So why not be happy? Part of the appeal of drinking aside from honoring our equally alcoholic forefathers and toasting cheers to a week of hell done and a week of hell to come is that alcohol serves as the friendly mediator, breaking down the twin barriers of social awkwardness and moral inhibition. When we drink it not only becomes easier to court someone but there’s also a good chance that the courtee is also drunk. In these situations, alcohol makes the proposition of sex less a game of blindfold chess and more a matter of whether both of the participants can walk back to a designated destination.

For guys, the appeal of this is obvious: it cuts out the hassle of having to pretend to care about a relationship and the protocols of a thing called “courtship” if they want to sleep with a girl, it gives them an excuse to think with the other head, and, as many a study has shown, girls become more submissive when intoxicated while men conversely become more emboldened. So score one for the men. (Women that are reading this you know you’ve met assholes and you know this is true, don’t judge me.) This isn’t to say that girls don’t also have their reasons to mix drink and sex or this whole article would be pointless. Though less obvious than a guy’s reasons, on top of the relaxing effects of alcohol and not having to deal with whiney boyfriends, girls also find drinking appealing since it gives them a convenient excuse to be promiscuous and not be considered slutty by society’s biased standards (Girls, I’ve got your backs.).

Like with any drug, alcohol enhances the sensual experience and makes it feel like you’re Captain Ahab killing Mobey Dick while climbing Mt. Everest and having sex—wait, maybe I’m thinking of the wrong drug…—, better yet, it can also sometimes double as an amnesiac so you don’t even remember just how stupid you acted, but even if you do you can always blame it on the alcohol like that stupid Jamie Foxx song. Alcohol also causes what we affectionately know as “beer goggles” which means our perception of another person’s attractiveness gets skewed exponentially the more we drink. This means that there’s the double-edged sword of having the equal chance of either spending the night with an Adonis or Aphrodite or of spending it with a Moby Dick. In other words, our f-t is significantly reduced which drastically increases our hunting grounds for the night even if we’ll probably regret it in the morning. For those few hours though, when we’re crammed into various seedy basements bathing in the sweat of the people next to us, we can feel like lions in a field of sheep.

Onward: while there are some obvious advantages to drinking and sex there are also some rather blatant disadvantages before, during, and after the act. For starters, while it’s great when both parties are drunk it’s miserable to be slobbered on or harassed by a drunk when sober. But what if this doesn’t happen? Well, there’s still a chance of whiskey dick which means your gun can’t be loaded and there’ll be no firefight that night. Which kinda sucks after all the work to get someone.

Of course, there also the just-fell-off-Mt. Everest hangover and realizing that last night you were actually banging Moby Dick, as well as the infamous walks of shame in the morning when everyone has sobered up and hypocritically judges you for not being wise enough to walk back before everyone was up and the general lead slabs of regret that some of us feel after our protective ethanol-based big brother has disappeared, to list some more. There is also the awkward post-sex conversation a few days later when one or both parties admit to having been extremely intoxicated, driving the other party to feel like a grown-up pedobear.

But as the wise Hank Moody from “Californication” said: A morning of awkwardness is better than a night of loneliness.

Disclaimer: This in no way reflects how I actually feel.

--Touch

Hiatus over!

Well my friends, I'm back. You may have been wondering, I'm sure, that if this blog is by twins then where has the other one been? How can you have good without the bad, black without the white, yin without the yang, weed without the munchies?

Well fear no longer! I have heard your tears and I am a benevolent lover for I am here and I shall never again leave your side.


Much love,
Great Chairman Meow

Music: For those punk rockers out there.

video



One of the best Spanish punk songs and arguably one of the best punk songs in any language ever. For those of you non-Spanish speakers, this song is a bout a childhood friend that "sells out" and becomes a cop, proceeding to terrorize the neighborhood he and his friends grew up in



"You ain't hardcore cause you spike your hair, when a jock still lives inside your head"
--Dead Kennedys

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stumble Findings: Din-Ink

Now this is one of the most genuis ideas I have ever seen! Busy at work? Need to eat? Don't have utensils? Not a problem!!!!

I initially found only the image shown here, but a quick google search of "pen cap utensils" revealed that these badass mofos were called "Din-Ink." Geekologie has more here: http://www.geekologie.com/2008/01/dinink_pen_utensils_never_with.php

-Nero Thanes

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stumble Findings: Disgusting crap found in food.

Well, I am thoroughly grossed out.

Oddee is one of those sites you come across every now and then that has links to a bunch of other interesting -looking stuff, ranging from the weird (12 craziest bacon tattoos, anyone?) to the disgusting--this particular post.

I can only imagine the look on these people's faces when they opened up that can of pepsi or that bottle of curry and found a reason to puke instead.

Anyway, here's the link: http://oddee.com/item_97193.aspx

BACK FROM HIATUS

Well, been gone for a while due to moving back to teh East coast for moar colleging. Will be posting updates from previously soon (yes, still made some!).

-Nero Thanes

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