Tag Archives | Bizarre

The Streets of San Francisco Are Covered in Human Shit

nynbys82m8ttdj5rfs3jAndy Cush writes at Gawker:

Poop on Mission Street. Poop between cars. Poop in the alley. Poop in the Tenderloin. Poop in the escalator—so much poop that the escalator breaks down under the strain of all that poop. Everywhere you look, San Francisco residents are saying, there is poop, poop, poop.

The latest doodoo dispatch comes via a New York Times op-ed by Allison Arieff. She begins:

This past fall, a project started called (Human) Wasteland, which maps reports of human waste throughout the city of San Francisco. Yes, a disproportionate amount of poop on the streets is not from dogs but from humans.

Some in the blogosphere tended to play this for laughs, but the reality isn’t very funny.

Counterpoint: it’s a little funny. There’s a nice poetic justice to the gilded paradise of new-money tech-dudes teeming with the inescapable waste of people left behind or displaced by the awful march of disruption.

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Flying Hamsters: Circus Attaches Alive Hamsters to Balloons For Children, But They Died Mid-Flight

inside_parad_alle_poster

Who thought up this brilliant idea?

From November via The Daily Mail:

Animal rights campaigners in Russia are furious after a circus allegedly attached hamsters to balloons and dropped them down to children in the audience as ‘live gifts’.

The rodents were apparently dead by the time they reached the crowd below, leaving the children in the audience ‘acutely distressed’.

Some parents have complained the animals were placed inside bottles and thrown into the audience and, in some cases, rats were used instead of hamsters.

The circus, based in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, takes this controversial act all over Russia, according to the Siberian Times.

34,000 animal lovers have so far signed a petition calling for them to stop using hamsters in such a way.

Olga McManaman, who organised the petition, said: ‘I invite all animal lovers and caring people to protest against this outrageous practice of inhumane animal treatment.’

The animal rights campaigner from Siberia has urged people not to donate hamsters to the circus because they will be mistreated.

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10 of The Most Costly Sports Riots in History

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Via The Richest:

Former Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly once famously said that football is more important than life or death. This sentiment, despite its extreme nature, is not an entirely alien concept to officials, fans and players of practically the entire range of competitive sports across the world.

Sports, in all its various forms and flavours, tap into our ancient tribal instincts, and provide an outlet for our deep seated primal urges. It comes as no surprise then, when these urges manifest themselves during emotionally charged moments in the sporting arena, from cries of rapture to screams of anger. However, some of these urges occasionally appear in much darker tones, often leading to physical altercations.

Evidence of this can be seen from as far back as 2,700 years ago (753 BC) in the chariot races of the Roman Empire. Riders, crews and horses were all fair game for the armed participants and spiked chariot wheels.

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The internet is so damn unpleasant. Do we need fewer humans and more bots?

Jess Zimmerbots

Jess Zimmerbot’s Twitter Photo

Jess Zimmerman writes at the Guardian:

In a welcome sign of the coming singularity, Buzzfeed just announced that it has built a sentence generator that mimics the turgid writing style of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The auto-Friedman, which also posts to Twitter as @mot_namdeirf, operates on a principle called Markov chaining; essentially, it strings together chunks of Friedman sentences based on how often words tend to appear together.

Friedman isn’t the only writer with a Twitter bot. I’ve got one too, made using a Markov chain-related program and my tweet archives. The guy who made it, Brett O’Connor, made bots for a number of other people I know, and most of us follow each other’s. (Most of our bots follow each others’ bots, leading to some gloriously weird bot-on-bot conversations.) Interacting with the bots is a surreal experience; they seem to develop their own personalities and priorities, distinct from their parent tweeters.

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Controversial DNA startup wants to let customers create creatures

Stuart Caie (CC BY 2.0)

Stuart Caie (CC BY 2.0)

Via SFGate:

In Austen Heinz’s vision of the future, customers tinker with the genetic codes of plants and animals and even design new creatures on a computer. Then his startup, Cambrian Genomics, prints that DNA quickly, accurately and cheaply.

“Anyone in the world that has a few dollars can make a creature, and that changes the game,” Heinz said. “And that creates a whole new world.”

The 31-year-old CEO has a deadpan demeanor that can be hard to read, but he is not kidding. In a makeshift laboratory in San Francisco, his synthetic biology company uses lasers to create custom DNA for major pharmaceutical companies. Its mission, to “democratize creation” with minimal to no regulation, frightens bioethicists as deeply as it thrills Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

With the latest technology and generous funding, a growing number of startups are taking science and medicine to the edge of science fiction.

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M’onma – Lucid Dreamings

From text by Randall Morris, quoted with permission.

Monma’s Lucid Dreamings

IMo 48 - 1

Looking for a cohesive narrative in one of M’onma’s drawings is like telling someone about a dream and then realizing that you are losing and changing the thread of the experience as you tell it…. The further in you get into the telling, the further you travel from the original way you remember it. It is a lot like a novel or short story by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. One needs to move through the narrative without necessarily putting the pieces together. Add a healthy dose of Shinto and contemporary spiritual symbolisms and you begin to get an inkling into the dream world of M’onma. Murakami also must also allow himself to abandon concepts of rational sequence when he writes. In a way this brings one back to Surrealist concepts of automatic writing and allowing dream to occupy equal ground with temporal realities.… Read the rest

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FAMILY LEXICON – Fred Stonehouse and Esther Pearl Watson Curated by Michela D’Acquisto

Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea MILAN is proud to present Family Lexicon, the exhibition of american artists Esther Pearl Watson and Fred Stonehouse, curated by Michela D’Acquisto.

The show proposes a new body of works intended to explore the family lexicon of the two artists, the labyrinth of sayings and terms typical of the intimate dimension of every family.

Fred-Stonehouse-Search-For-The-Finish

Fred-Stonehouse-Search For The Finish

Esther Pearl Watson’s confessional and distinctly naïve painting draw on the years of her very peculiar adolescence, spent tavelling between Italy and Texas, in the orbit of her father, an inventor of flying saucers made of cars’ motors and scrap parts.

Her memories unravel in the background of sleepy small towns and infinite Texas prairies, whose skies are always dominated by the strangely comforting presence of space shuttles: these are the double emblem of the relationship with her father, the first inspiring figure of her life, and with her own young daughter, who has learned since she was a child to associate Esther to her UFOs.… Read the rest

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In Search Of A Science Of Consciousness

Capture Queen (CC BY 2.0)

Capture Queen (CC BY 2.0)

Via NPR:

Any color you choose can be matched by a mixture of short, medium and long wavelength light (i.e., blue, green and red light). This perceptual observation led to the formulation, early in the 19th century, of a neurophysiological hypothesis: The eye contains three kinds of distinct color-sensitive receptors (cones); just as colors themselves can be composed of lights of different spectral character, so we can see the vast range of visible color thanks to the joint operation of only three distinct kinds of receptors.

This is a beautiful example of the primacy of experience in the study of the brain-basis of consciousness. Before you can even begin to think about how the brain enables us to see or feel or (more generally) experience what we do, you need to pay careful attention to what our experience is actually like.

And, so, it was further attention to the experience that led scientists to realize the shortcomings of what came to be known as the Trichromatic Theory of Color.

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