More excellent news on the "people who get sent to jail but shouldn't" front - DNA evidence has proven the West Memphis Three innocent, and implicated (the now deceased) stepfather of one of the murdered children as the
"The DNA results show no link whatsoever to Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley or Jason Baldwin – and all of the experts agree that, under the prosecution theory of how the crime was committed, their DNA would be present at the crime scene if they were guilty. Instead, the DNA results match Terry Hobbs, the step-father of one of the victims. Our new filing also includes strong evidence from Pam Hobbs (the ex-wife of Terry Hobbs and the mother of one of the victims) implicating her former husband in the murders. "The defence fund is now more in need of funds than ever, and I'm going to drop some cash their way in just a minute. There is Paypal information on their most recent How to Help page. Their website also contains all the information about the case and more importantly, all the evidence brought to the trials. If you want a quick (and disputed) wikipedia entry, then here it is. They have been fighting for twelve long years, and if there is any justice left in this world, then let those
boys men be out within the year.
My backlog is horrendous, must work harder.
- Crossing the Line by Peter Jackson is a trailer for a WWI non-movie, shot to experiment with some new, affordable professional camera (although $17k is a hell of a lot to be affordable, but OK). Perhaps he could consider making a half hour version at some point, put it in front of his next big film for fun, because it's really slick.
- YouTube: SouthWest Airlines has some fun flight attendants. "Please stop screaming and let go of your neighbour" - take note, British Airways.
- Old news but The Pirate Bay have been planning to bring back Oink. Nothing online as of yet. Thanks to Dan for linking me to the actual domain before I had any idea of what he was talking about.
- Warren Ellis: Designed to be Wanted. I just bought Tristan Manco's new book (which is hella underpriced on Amazon, go get it now) and I've got into the habit of picking over vinyl releases of my favorite artists for the artwork. Can't play them, got no record player, but I want them because they're well designed and the quality is obvious. So this concept, it is good.
From BBC News:
"Two graffiti artists jailed for spray painting trains and railway bridges have had their sentences overturned. The Court of Appeal decided each man should receive a two-year conditional discharge instead of prison terms.Five-year Anti-Social Behaviour Orders were also quashed by Mr Justice Grigson sitting with Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Aikens in London.SO HAPPY FOR THEM! Good to see that some people in an authoritative position know what they are doing. (Also kind of sickened to see Facebook lauded over everyone else that protested on the internet about their unfair sentencing) Unless artists are carving their graf into the faces of grannies, can we keep them out of custodial sentences please? Oh, and while you're at it, legalise a few hundred more walls in UK cities?
They said the Asbos were "inappropriate" because the graffiti was not threatening or offensive. The "positive features" in their cases should also have persuaded the original trial judge a community sentence was the appropriate punishment, said Mr Justice Grigson."
- The Pledge to Not Suck at the Internet: "I will trick people into seeing Goatse, because that is funny and will never not be funny."
- The Greater Los Angeles. I visited LA for the first time earlier this year to see a Junko Mizuno exhibition. It blew my mind in the same ways that San Diego is so easily easy. No one gives a shit, everything is crammed in together in strange ways, Jewish grandmother in the supermarket, a single block of insane street art. Can't wait to go back.
- Lots of birds are facing a decline in numbers here, so the RSPB is asking people to consider small changes in their garden to help.
- Moleskine Project. Some chap is passing a Moleskine around to various people (talented and not so talented). I know that the Moleskine notebook is only a vessel, but it's a vessel bringing people together, and I will never get enough of looking at what other people are producing.
- The BBC is doing a series called the Genius of Photography. I keep meaning to catch this on TV, but it's on an awkward channel at awkward times.
"I used to run medium secure units for kids who were a risk to themselves or other people. There were some very angry, disenfranchised, vulnerable, isolated, sometimes abused children for whom these games could be a factor - as part of a number of factors - that impact on them in a way that could offer role models that might reinforce and validate their anger, but may not actually be very healthy. I'm not saying, therefore, put that kid in front of that game and they will shoot someone, but what I'm saying is we can't go down the "it's not going to affect anybody" [road]. There are some very vulnerable kids who will be affected by any factor that keys into their vulnerabilities."Psychologist Tanya Byron is analysing the effect of gaming on children in a remarkably sensible and educated manner. When you hear about reports into this area of leisure technology, very often it's coming from the right wing, where video games are evil and should be banned forever. Instead, she's looking at role models, responsibilities and the positive effects that various games can provide. Hooray, finally. It's just a shame it takes an investigation to conclude what seems so obvious.
"When I set up the site I didn’t think I was doing anything illegal and I still don’t. There are 180,000 users and there has been an outcry about what has happened to me."
Answering questions in IRC:
"Yawg> did you anticipate a raid in the past? Did you take any precautions regarding site design and logs and whatnot to protect the community?
OiNK> the logs we store aren't enough to incriminate users"
"But it's not so much that they shut Oink down that boils my blood, it's the fucking bullshit propaganda they put out there. If the industry tried to have some kind of compassion - if they said, "we understand that these are just music fans trying to listen to as much music as they can, but we have to protect our assets, and we're working on an industry-wide solution to accommodate the changing needs of music fans"... Well, it's too late for that, but it would be encouraging. Instead, they make it sound like they busted a Columbian drug cartel or something. They describe it as a highly-organized piracy ring. Like Oink users were distributing kiddie porn or some shit. The press release says: "This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure." Wh - what?? That's EXACTLY what it was! No one made any money on that site - there were no ads, no registration fees. The only currency was ratio - the amount you shared with other users - a brilliant way of turning "free" into a sort of booming mini-economy. The anti-piracy groups have tried to spin the notion that you had to pay a fee to join Oink, which is NOT true - donations were voluntary, and went to support the hosting and maintenance of the site. If the donations spilled into profit for the guy who ran the site, well he damn well deserved it - he created something truly remarkable."
When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of Record Industry Suicide by Rob Sheridan. It's a long article, but necessary for your mind.
Do you like good music? Do you like good words? Do you like Trent Reznor? Do you like both of them smashed together in literary aural ejaculations? Do you have $5? Do you have a major credit card and/or a Paypal account?
Then mark November 1st down on your calendar as the final, beautiful day that Saul Williams is releasing his new album The Rise of NiggyTardust for free or for $5/£2.50, quality: 190kbs (free version) or 350kbs/FLAC (paid for version) online. Record company free. DRM free. Guilt free. This is what freedom tastes like, and it tastes like AWESOME.
This album is destined to kick my ass. I am shivering with expectation. You can pre-order it right now. Go go go.
"Oink had everything by certain artists. Literally, everything. I searched for ‘DJ Rupture’ and found every release I’d ever done, from an obscure 7″ on a Swedish label to 320kpbs rips of my first 12″, self-released back in 1999. It was shocking. And reassuring. The big labels want music to equal money, but as much as anything else, music is memory, as priceless and worthless as memory…Defending the Pig: Oink Croaks by DJ Rupture
About a week after I shipped out orders of the first live CD-r Andy Moor & I did, it appeared on Oink. Someone who had purchased it directly from me turned around and posted it online, for free. I wasn’t mad, I was just more stunned by the reach… and usefulness of the site."
Via Z303, Jack Schofield questions the arrest and closure of TV Links:
" Indeed, if linking is illegal, we might as well shut down the Internet, because there is no practical way anybody can guarantee the legality of what's on the end of any link. Even if you could guarantee it at the time of linking, there's no guarantee it would still be legal less than a second later, or for the rest of time."
There are a lot of people out there that would be pleased to see the whole internet shut down. And that's a goddamned terrifying thought if there was a chance they could get their own way.
- Pictures of people and their breakfasts. A gigantic gallery, I couldn't get halfway through. But there's a whole lot of coffee going on there, and people either eat a whole lot less than I, or they're lying about their portion size.
- Opus Underground is a site that's selling artwork by some damn good artists, including Copyright and Jef Aerosol.
- For me, a lot of inspiration for a productive, hard working life comes from people like this: "Catalino Tapia came to the United States at age 20 with $6 in his pocket. He worked hard, as a baker and a machine operator, and eventually started his own gardening business. He and his wife bought a home in Redwood City and raised their two sons, putting the eldest through college. Now 63, the Mexican immigrant is giving back to the country he says has given him so much. With legal help from his son, Tapia established a nonprofit corporation, the Bay Area Gardeners Foundation, and recruited a dozen other immigrant gardeners to join the board. This year, the foundation gave out nine scholarships of $1,500, almost double what it distributed in 2006, its first year."
- PingMag: Michael England: "I saved all the parts till they had withered and aged to show time in the evolution of the species. The first stage is the embryonic level; three years later the same elements were old and about to die in a cocoon, each time rebuilding the birth, death and growth of the subject."
"A 26-year-old man from Cheltenham was arrested on Thursday in connection with offences relating to the facilitation of copyright infringement on the internet". I don't understand how there can be a law against linking to something, whether it's illegal or not. Linking to something can't be bloody illegal. WTF. THOUGHT CRIMES, NEXT ON THE INTERNET.
Robyn - Handle Me (2007 version)
I still like the original. I'm not sure if she's going to make another big hit like she has done with With Every Heartbeat, this isn't exactly radio friendly. But at least there has to be one kid out there that has done a mental "fuck you" to all the self-created female slaves of pop music (Fergie, Pussycat Dolls, Girls Aloud et al) and decided to cut their hair weird and dance like a nutter.
- Women and Food: a grotesque relationship by Jane Shilling: " The bleak truth is that among British women the disconnection between food and body image is so absolute that it is pointless to talk of a “normal” body shape. Polarised by the twin crises of thinness and fatness, what used to be the median dress sizes – 8, 10, 12, 14 – are now regarded by half the female population as signifying obesity, and by the other half as unattainable ideals of thinness."
- Mutating Pictures: Accidental Samurai: "all pictures are originally randomly created, some with symmetry, some without."
- How can a frugal person buy expensive items? "In a nutshell, a frugal person seeks to find the best deal on an item that meets the desired level of quality."
- Create your own noise blocking in-ear headphones. If this looked somewhat safer, I would try this. Might settle for buying some expensive ones in the future.
- YouTube: Dove Onslaught. Still advertising, and not really as good as it pretends to, but still provokes thought.
- Flickr: Lost Soul. If you like neon colours and techy photography and urban exploration, this is where you go for your fix.
- BodyMod: Tattoos in Singapore
4 hours of walking for photos today, and for some reason people were drawn towards me for conversation. Two kids riding around on bikes asked me repeatedly if I liked graffiti and I told them all about Flickr, a biker couple asked me if I was photographing Banksy (?) and told me about some warped Madeline McCann graf (I saw some later, but didn't take a picture, too sick to give attention to), two Persian men tried hitting on me (FAIL!!!) on East St and a nice Asian (I think he was Indian, but can't be sure) chap had a chat to me about local history, looked at my pictures and directed me to take a picture of a window with flowerpots because he thought it would be good.
I'm all talked and walked out.
Today I bought my first download album, in fact, the first album I've bought since Robyn and The Smashing Pumpkins released music actually worth pre-ordering and playing until my ears leaked tinny pop. Radiohead - In Rainbows. I chose to pay £5, because I didn't know exactly what I was getting but I didn't want to download it for free, and as it turns out it's 40 minutes of music, so with the 45p handling fee I felt like I've paid a good price. Some people are paying more. Maybe some people are paying less. But people are listening - last.fm are listing just under 9000 people having listened to the first track. It only became available for download today.
Radiohead have done damn good thing (even if they're not the first, they're the most important), and I want all bands to go this way: make your own shops, sell your own music, sell your own t-shirts, escape those damn dusty old record companies that steal your money and devalue your music and be free.
Enjoying the album (I'm no music critic, so I'll leave it to others to hear what they hear and talk about that), so I might pick up a t-shirt at some point in the future and give them some more of my cash. Dan made a really interesting post yesterday that you should read, and helped sway me over to spending my money. And I'll do it again if another band that I like release their music in the same way. Reznor, I'm looking your way, especially in regards to the new Saul Williams album you're responsible for.
- Reaching the other parts photographers won't touch, a profile of Nan Goldin.
- Denver International Airport is really weird: a " mural depicts a Gestapo-like figure "knifing the dove of peace with his bayonet," surrounded by crushed cities and starving citizens." WTF indeed.
- IllDoctrine: How to Avoid George Bush Syndrome
- YouTube: Biodome Returns. Shut up, this film changed my life. I will hear no ill of it.
- PingMag: Bad Food gone Worse: "The visual world is a very fast world: Magazines come out once a week or once a month; posters get replaced weekly; billboards get replaced twice a month; newspapers are put out daily. There is no time for decay as everything has to look brand new and fresh."
- Saudi Arabian kids & their graffiti: "Although al-Alwani and his friends write their graffiti in English, they do not speak it, and most have not traveled outside the Arab world." Funnily enough, there are older figures in the community that are paying attention in a positive way, rather than outright condemning the graffing.
- Some chap followed the street artist Mildred around, and ended up with a nice portrait of his art and who he is. Unfortunately it's way too short a video, but good nonetheless. You can find more of Mildred on Flickr.
- PingMag: Ohgushi: "I’d say that it’s a style that expresses that twinge of heart, as I mentioned earlier. Many of my works focus on a single feature – like the face or the lips – but when a beautiful countenance gives me that twinge, everything else, including the surroundings and the details of the hair doesn’t register in my mind"
- Flickr set: The Best Word Book Ever, 1963 vs 1991. Lots of little changes, mostly in regards to representations of race and gender.
- Mark Kermode vs the TV. The TV won, a little bit.
- A jacket for sleeping on public transport. But it's not actually real yet, it's still waiting on a patent and presumably a manufacturer. I can't explain how much I need one of these jackets, it would make long haul flights so much more comfortable.
- Spiral cut whole potato. I've been craving chips recently, but this would hit the spot so much better.
- Tokyo Dreaming, a report on Japan's homeless, by Justin McCurry.
- Proof of Purchase is a blog written on the back of till receipts. Good light entertainment.