Tag Archives | Art

A Roller Coaster Designed to Kill People


via Vice.com:

According to artist Julijonas Urbonas’s ​​website, his work Euthanasia Coaster is “a hypothetic roller coaster, engineered to humanely—with elegance and euphoria—take the life of a human being.” In simpler terms, it’s a carnival ride that kills you, though not before you have a spiritual experience along the way. The Euthanasia Coaster starts with a long, slow incline before a quarter-mile fall, which leads into a series of loops that are designed to create so much centrifugal force that you won’t be able to breathe, finally dying from lack of oxygen to your brain.

The coaster may seem like a gimmick, but it turns out to be an art piece as humane as it is shocking and terrifying. Urbonas mentions that his roller coaster could be used in a theoretical future to curb overpopulation, or to help people who feel their life has gone on “too long.” Sure, the whole idea sounds like a black metal concept album, but Urbonas’s death device was created to serve a sympathetic purpose—to give someone the ability to bow out of life with one final, lethal thrill.

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Ouija Boards Become A Christmas ‘Must Buy’: Church Warns ‘Don’t Let This Darkness Into Your Lives’

Dave Winer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dave Winer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via The Inquistr:

It would appear that Ouija boards are fast becoming one of the “coolest” and “must-have” Christmas gifts of 2014, but the church has fiercely criticized the trend calling it “absolutely appalling,” and strongly warned people to “not let this darkness” into their lives.

Google reports that sales of Ouija boards are up to 300 percent, and are flying off the shelves quicker than you can say, “Oh no, it looks like poltergeist activity’.

The reason for the resurgence in sales is a new low-budget horror film called Ouija.

The film, which tells the time-honored story of kids meddling with powers they do not comprehend and then wondering why all of a sudden everything’s gone to hell, was slated by the critics, but cinema-going teens adored it.

Cue the current demand for Ouija boards. Interestingly, toy manufacturer Hasbro, who are one of the companies currently selling Ouija boards to ghost-seeking teens, helped finance the making of Ouija.

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Assassination as Art? Or Simply Wrong?

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Gabriel Elizondo, writing at Al Jazeera in 2010:

What is art?

That is the question many Brazilians have been forced to ask themselves after the country’s most important alternative art show displayed nine drawings depicting the assassination of world leaders.

Each charcoal drawing shows the artist, Gil Vicente of Recife, Brazil, holding a weapon moments before assassinating a world leader.

The exhibition is titled “Enemies” and is seen in the photo above.

One drawing depicts Vicente, the artist, holding a knife to the throat of Brazilian President Lula da Silva. Others show the artist pointing a gun at Pope Benedict XVI, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Queen Elizabeth. Many have their hands and feet bound by rope.

The first piece in the series, completed in 2005, is a drawing depicting former US President George W Bush being shot. The most recent drawing, completed this year, depicts Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Shell ‘Art’ Made 300,000 Years Before Humans Evolved

The geometric pattern on Pseudodon DUB1006-fL. Click for more images at Nature.

The geometric pattern on Pseudodon DUB1006-fL. Click for more images at Nature.

One of the main themes of Graham Hancock’s bestselling book Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind was that the emergence of painting some 40,000 years ago marked a shift in human consciousness, possibly brought about via consciousness expanding substances. Now a clam shell buried between 430,000 and 540,000 years ago with artwork etched onto it has emerged, reports New Scientist. What might this mean?

The artist – if she or he can be called that – was right-handed and used a shark’s tooth. They had a remarkably steady hand and a strong arm. Half a million years ago, on the banks of a calm river in central Java, they scored a deep zigzag into a clam shell.

We will never know what was going on inside its maker’s head, but the tidy, purposeful line (pictured above right) has opened a new window into the origins of our modern creative mind.

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Is AI a Myth?

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via Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

A few weeks back the technologist Jaron Lanier gave a provocative talk over at The Edge in which he declared ideas swirling around the current manifestation AI to be a “myth”, and a dangerous myth at that. Yet Lanier was only one of a set of prominent thinkers and technologists who have appeared over the last few months to challenge want they saw as a flawed narrative surrounding recent advances in artificial intelligence.

There was a piece in The New York Review of Books back in October by the most famous skeptic from the last peak in AI – back in the early 1980’s, John Searle. (Relation to the author lost in the mists of time) It was Searle who invented the well-know thought experiment of the “Chinese Room”, which purports to show that a computer can be very clever without actually knowing anything at all.

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DMT and the Bible: An Interview with Rick Strassman

51jfPl+PNwLvia Reality Sandwich:

This interview was conducted to mark the release of Dr. Rick Strassman’s new book, DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Biblepublished by Park Street Press.

Jeff: Rick, can you tell us a bit about why you wrote this book?  Your work, of course, is well known and celebrated through your first book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule.  But this book seems like a ‘return to roots,’ as it were. Can you speak in particular to that?

Rick: I was left with a handful of difficult questions at the end of my DMT research in 1995. And I felt I had only partially worked them through in the process of writing DMT: The Spirit Molecule in 2000. It seemed to me that all of these questions would resolve themselves if I could only find the proper model or models that could help me understand the DMT effect.

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The Lost America of Team America


via The Atlantic:

As the geopolitical satire turns 10, it reminds of how much the world has and hasn’t changed.

To remember what the world felt like to a lot of people in the fall of 2004, look no further than the opening scene of Team America: World Police, the South Park-driven marionette action spoof/international affairs crash course/musical that was released during one of the most divisive election seasons ever.

Islamic terrorists are just about to detonate a weapon of mass destruction in Paris before an elite squad of swaggering American puppet commandos confront them. The Americans foil the terrorists’ designs, but not without also laying to fiery waste the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre.

After all the terrorists are dead (one is blasted through the window of a baguette shop) and the Parisians look around mouth-agape at their half-demolished city, one member of Team America gives his Patton speech: “Bonjour, everyone!

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God’s Lonely Programmer

Duncan Verrall (CC BY 2.0)

Duncan Verrall (CC BY 2.0)

via Vice:

In the beginning there is darkness. The screen erupts in blue, then a cascade of thick, white hexadecimal numbers and cracked language, “UnusedStk” and “AllocMem.” Black screen cedes to blue to white and a pair of scales appear, crossed by a sword, both images drawn in the jagged, bitmapped graphics of Windows 1.0-era clip-art—light grey and yellow on a background of light cyan. Blue text proclaims, “God on tap!”

This is TempleOS V2.17, the welcome screen explains, a “Public Domain Operating System” produced by Trivial Solutions of Las Vegas, Nevada. It greets the user with a riot of 16-color, scrolling, blinking text; depending on your frame of reference, it might recall ​DESQview, the ​Commodore 64, or a host of early DOS-based graphical user interfaces. In style if not in specifics, it evokes a particular era, a time when the then-new concept of “personal computing” necessarily meant programming and tinkering and breaking things.

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The Hypnotikon Psychedelic Music Festival is Happening This Weekend

hypnotikonIf you happen to be lucky enough to live in Seattle and are planning on being incredibly high or possibly tripping balls this weekend, might I recommend the second installment of the Hypnotikon psychedelic music festival? Fun fact: the origins of the sort of spiritual writing I’ve been doing on Disinfo for the last several years actually date back to pieces I was writing for musician and visual artist Aubrey Nehring’s Portable Shrines website about 5 years ago. Back then, Nehring and his friends in the utterly brilliant band, Midday Veil, were disappointed with the fact that Seattle was lagging behind other west coast cities like Portland and San Francisco in terms of any sort of cohesive psych rock scene. In an attempt to change that, they organized the two day trance freak out, Escalator Fest. Eventually Nehring (who is doing visuals for Hypnotikon) decided booking festivals wasn’t really his cup of tea, but thankfully local electronic/psych beat writer Dave Segal and his lovely/talented girlfriend Valerie Calano (DJ Veins and Explorateur respectively) seized the mantle and created Hypnotikon, which saw its first incarnation last year.… Read the rest

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