Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's midnight and i've just ordered some magnets


Neodymium atom x 2
Iron tom x 14
Boron x 1
Method A:

Prepare by pulverizing an ingot precursor and liquid phase, sintering the magnetically aligned powder into dense blocks

then heat treat, cut to shape, surface treat and magnetize.

Method B:

Melt spin a thin ribbon of the Nd-Fe-B alloy.

pulverize ribbon into particles

mixed with polymer

either compression or injection mold into bonded magnets

... i had to buy 100 of them because they are RARE EARTH MAGNETS.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Best Elliot Smith Covers

Cranial Nerve Zero: Sex and the Secret Nerve

Now this is entirely news to me! Despite 6 years of undergraduate med school study, and two postgraduate degrees- including one in which i spent quite a bit of time learning about neurology- i have NEVER heard about Cranial Nerve Zero. I wish i was in a band because that's what i'd call it.
It apparently usually gets ripped off when the brain is removed from the skull so anatomists often miss it- but it has been described intermittently over the last few hundred years! There's a fascinating article about it in the latest Scientific American Mind magazine- particularly interesting is its postulated role in sensing pheremones.

Actually the rest of the magazine is really really good and includes fun stuff like: differences between Bonobos and Chimps, The Psychopathology of Paedophilia, The Science of Orgasm (using what i like to call the Heavy-PET Scan Studies), Arrested Development in Rapist Orangutans, Genetics of Homosexuality etc etc. I wonder if paedophilia drove the evolution of human neoteny?

Would have been even better to include general stuff on the theories of the evolution of sexual reproduction, and the theory that the brain/mind evolved as a 'conspicuous display' on the basis of sexual selection. I'm assuming these theories are dreamed up late at night by Geek Biologists- to reassure themselves that Geekiness= Chiciness= Sexiness.

If true though- everything really IS about sex- and not just the 90% of our salacious western culture that is so OBVIOUSLY about sex. Great art, poetry, literature, greed, war- it may all just ultimately be about getting laid.

What would the world be like if there was no need for lust? If humans reproduced parthenogenetically like certain species of lizards? What if you could just 'pinch off' a new little you? What would motivate you to get up in the morning?

To find out- you'd need to inteview thousands of really extraordinarily good-looking guys for whom getting laid is no problem to find out what life is like. Personally i've always had to struggle against the demotivating effects of my extreme physical attractiveness.

Electrofolk: James Yuill "This Sweet Love"

What i want to know is: was there anyone who sounded like Elliot Smith before Elliot Smith? He stabbed himself thru the heart don't you know. Crazy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Watchmen: The Giant Blue Penis

What a terrible, terrible flop of a film- redeemed only marginally by the repeated appearance of Dr Manhattan's giant glowing uncircumcised flip-flopping blue penis.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Charlie Chaplin: The Circus

This is the 1st Charlie Chaplin film i've ever seen- and i expected to be bored after 5 minutes. Really this is (i know you probably don't believe me) extremely funny. Laughed? I nearly cried. How did he train those monkeys to bite his nose? I think the kids will love it. You can watch it all on youtube in segments.

How to Find new Music

1. Listen to NPR's "All Songs Considered".
2. Read/Listen to AURGASM for amazing stuff- download (legal/free) any tracks you like... or better yet - subscribe to the podcast. They are a little 'top heavy' on quirky jazzy french/german chanteuses- but i like that stuff.

Rachel Goodrich

Mélissa Laveaux


Theresa Andersson

Ben Sollee

Lily Frost

Kate Schutt

Lucy Schwartz

Kitty Hoff & Forêt-Noire
Aaron Parks

Una Mas Trio

Mandelbrot Browser: Electrified, Fractalised Turtles.

Nice (Green) Mandelbrot browser- tho not particularly fast (although it's still a lot faster than the program i wrote about 20 years ago on my Atari!). What's amazing about these fractal structures is that they are 'chaotic': deterministic, yet not entirely predictable (you do keep seeing electrified turtles). In other words, the iterated equation that describes them would very easily fit on a very small T-shirt- yet the pattern it generates is literally infinite. It's almost certain that if you explore this for more than 30 clicks, you'll actually be seeing stuff that NOBODY else in the world has ever seen, or will ever see again. You're not wasting time- you're an explorer. Although it probably can't be proven- i think it'll be "turtles all the way down"..Dig that crazy Mandelbrot man... (Mandelbrot set left, Mandelbrot pastry right).

Here's also a great youtube video of a dive into the Mandelbrot (apparently): "An extremely deep dive into the mandelbrot zoom. If the final frame were the size of your screen, the full set would be larger than the known universe". (fuck that's BIG)

Sex is Really Strange

What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

from Academic Earth - youtube for geeks... actually it's more like "TED Talks" for thhe Uber-Geek.

Jake and Amir are BRILLIANT

For the uninitiated, the "Jake and Amir" series on youtube is a spin-off from two of the writers of "college humor". Essentially Amir is a strange exasperating young man, obsessed with his taller, cooler colleague. "Jake and Amir" is twelve kinds of funny all at once. Pure genius.

favourite lines: "snake eyes bitches!", and "no, that's the plot of the 1st Star Wars Movie..!"