Archive for June, 2012
The fuck. A “rider” is a list of wishes a performing artist demands when playing a gig. Now check out the rider of multimillionaire commercial crap electro house dj Steve Aoki.
When the LSD crew was dj’ing herself, we were happy when we got discounts on drinks.
I had no idea, but this is apparently what it looks like when an airplane breaks the sound barrier. More pictures here.
A very impressive and entertaining Portal fan video. Awesome special effects.
My interpretation of what a real Portal gun would be like if one existed. Based on the video game, Portal. I tried to match the game as close as possible. This was the most challenging project I have ever undertaken, consisting of 3D tracking, seamless camera cuts and 3D camera projection. ENJOY! The Visual Effects.
Breakdowns will follow so watch for that.
For those of you that think the gun is a physical prop you can buy, well…..sorry to break the news to you, but it’s entirely CG. The 3D Portal gun was replacing/covering up a painted up coffee can with tracking markers.
Okay, here’s the weirdest thing you’ll come across on the intertubes today.
If you want to know what, I imagine, it would feel like to find yourself in the freakiest dark gay club imaginable whilst spacing on ketamine, or some such, listen to this. This could be the soundtrack to that.
Oddly captivating. Wait till the singing starts.
Here’s a great example of the stupidity of public officials in many countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands – when it comes to drugs, and more specifically, marijuana policy.
In the US, marijuana is “classified” as being as risky as heroin and meth for a person. So, the Congressman above keeps asking the top administrator of the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) a simple question: are heroin and meth more dangerous and addictive than marijuana? Watch the reaction of the administrator as she keeps selling the “official” answer.
One wonders how long these fact-free policies can go on. In the Netherlands, kids are now on the streets selling marijuana, because of a government-enforced registration of marijuana smokers. We have, among others, the Christian Democrat party to thank for that. The smaller Christian Union is even proposing, out of pure religious zeal, to abolish the distinction between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ drugs, which will result in the same idiotic charade as witnessed in the video above.
I keep coming back to the same question: what goes on in the brains of these people? If anybody has an answer, I’ll be glad to hear it.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s track ‘Round and Round‘ is my favourite track of 2010, and Ariel Pink is a hero, period.
But check out this fantastic remix by Tourist – of ‘Jupiter‘ and ‘Placid Acid‘ fame – of the signature track. Managing to give me the same exhilarated feeling I had when I first heard the original. That, I think, is when a remix succeeds.
And while you’re at it, check out the other remixes by Tourist too. All of them bright, big-gestured, upbeat electronic gems, with lots of synthesizer love.
- edit: And while you’re at that, check out ‘Fires‘ by Tourist too. Hypnotic track.
Wow, an HD-quality registration of Radiohead’s concert at Bonnaroo 2012. Over 140 minutes of Thom Yorke magic (who seems to be sporting the Richard D. James Windowlicker-era look). Don’t know how long it will be online before the copyright-mafia finds it, but until then here it is:
Here’s a beautiful short documentary about beachcombing culture on the Dutch Wadden Sea island of Texel. Because of its geographic location, lots and lots of stuff has washed up on the shore of Texel for hundreds of years. Hence, a particular beachcombing culture (‘jutterij’ in Dutch) has developed here, and you can find museums on the island of all the things that have been found through the years.
Shot in nice colors, with lots of moving images from days past and interviews with colorful local people.
A great summer track by Norwegian Dolle Jolle from 2008. This was a time when a Balearic reference in the title was still cool (4 years later, not so much :p). Deep and fresh:
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, those wicked Afghani find yet another way to get high. Apparently, smoking scorpion is all the craze down in Kandahar.
Crushing, drying and then smoking black scorpions can give effects similar to mescaline. But before you run to the pet store: the trip can last for days. Read all about it here.
Macdonald notes that in Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).
A friend of Macdonald’s who witnessed a man smoke scorpion in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:
The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, “much more than a hashish smoker” …. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position …. the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)
As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpion’s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a “strong mescaline trip.” (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.
Here’s a video of a guy eating scorpions to get high:
A beautiful folk interpretation by Julia Stone of perhaps The National’s greatest song; that shows that really this is one of the best tracks of the past decade.
Lucid dreams – who doesn’t wanna have them? Online, since long guides have existed detailing how to dream lucidly. For example, you can create the routine of performing a ‘reality check’, like holding your breath, looking at your watch or switching the light on. If this happens in your dream, but you still breathe or the light doesn’t go on (for some reason, electric light doesn’t seem to work in many people’s dreams), then you know you are dreaming and can start controlling it.
It takes a lot of practice, though, to control a dream and not wake up. Now, however, apps exist to aid you in this endeavor. As the BBC puts it, lucid dreaming has moved from the margin – featured in New Age fare like Carlos Castaneda’s The Art of Dreaming - to the mainstream. Apps like Dream:ON play sound cues, like singing birds, and thereby attempt to instill a dream without waking you up. Other apps are Singularity Experience, Dreamz and Lucid Dream Brainwave.
I very much wonder whether it works, however. In my experience, lucid dreams happen at that moment right between being asleep and being awake. That’s usually (hopefully) not the state you’re in in the middle of the night, but more like in the morning. Maybe if you combine it with setting your alarm way early and then going back to sleep again – another old lucid dreamer’s trick – it’ll work, but I doubt whether most working people will go to such lengths. Still, great stuff!
Lucid dreaming technically refers to any occasion when the sleeper is aware they are dreaming. But it is also used to describe the idea of being able to control those dreams.
Once confined to a handful of niche groups, interest in lucid dreaming has grown in recent years, spurred on by a spate of innovations from smartphone apps to specialist eye masks, all promising the ability to influence our dreams.
“A couple of years ago there were about four or five people organising meetings” says Mac Sweeney, a dentist and lucid dreaming expert from Islington, London. “Now there are closer to 50, and that’s in the capital alone.”
In addition to the group meetings, Michael has toyed with Dream:ON, the most popular of the many new smartphone apps now available.
Created by psychologist Richard Wiseman, the app has seen over half a million downloads in just six weeks.
“The new wave of interest is led by technology,” says Wiseman, whose app claims to allow users to choose their dream before bed, and plays sound cues once they have entered the right phase of sleep.
“When I selected birdsong, for example, I found myself dreaming that I was in a green and sunny field,” says Cave.
Whilst this isn’t strictly lucid dreaming, as it doesn’t offer users control from within a dream, there are many more which promise just that.
Singularity Experience, Dreamz, Sigmund and Lucid Dream Brainwave all work in a similar way, by playing subtle audio cues whilst the user is asleep. Not enough to wake them, but hopefully sufficient to trigger awareness inside a dream.
[R]eferences to lucid dreaming stretch back at least as far as Tibetan Buddhists in the 8th century, for whom it was just one stage in the practice of “dream yoga”. In 1867 Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys even wrote an instruction manual entitled Dreams and How To Guide Them before a Dutch psychiatrist, Frederick Van Eeden, finally coined the term “lucid dreaming” in the early 20th century.
More recently it has been hinted at by films like Inception and the Science of Sleep, which have no doubt contributed to its allure.
Disappointingly, Hobson tells us, “lucid dreaming is very hard work and won’t happen for everyone”.
There’s no guarantee that the apps will help, either. Success rates in those we asked were low, even among experienced lucid dreamers.
Ultimately, the lucid dreaming adherents say attaining the revered state requires discipline and practice, and the key is being able to quickly distinguish dreams from reality.
Eerie synthesizers, sombre piano tunes, but an uplifting beat and ditto vocals, laced with nice little electronic goodies. I keep playing it over and over.