- Taliban executions still haunt Afghan soccer field by Sanjeev Miglani: "Few Afghans can put behind them the brutality of the Taliban years when men, and sometimes cowering women in their pale blue, all-enveloping burqas, were brought into the stadium to be either stoned or shot dead at close range."
- Behind the Last Closed Door, a series of photographs from a crematorium by Laura Peters. Interview with her here.
- Alex Petridis meets Heavy Load, a punk band comprised entirely of guys with special needs: "it's swiftly becoming clear that life in Britain's first disabled punk band brings unique challenges. White, who has Down's syndrome, has vanished. 'Is he in the Portaloo?' asks guitarist Mick Williams. 'Last time he went into a Portaloo before a gig, we couldn't get him out.'
- You put Eye Candy on your tongue, and you see pictures in your head. So awesome.
"'Tous les gens normaux sont dans des hopitaux,' sang a crazy man in ragged grey pants held up with a string around the waist as I got into my car after a visit to the doctor. He was singing at the top of his lungs and shaking his head left to right like a reggae star. I silently prayed he would not notice me for some wandering crazies are magnetically attracted to whites. But this poor unwashed stick of a man was happy in his own world. All the normal people are in hospitals. 'He likes to speak in rhymes,' commented the parking boy who had looked after my car. 'His mind is gone but he is not dangerous.' I handed him 50 cent. 'May God bless you,' he said as I drove off."
West Africa Wins Always is a blog by a white journalist called Pauline, who lives and works on the Ivory Coast. I love it. I think you will too.
- I love her work to infinity but Allison Sommers modification of a John Coltrane album made my brain go *splooey*. If you're in the LA area, make a note to visit the exhibition next month. If I was back in the US right now, that would be the focus of the next road trip.
- Claremont. If you spent your summers as a kid on bikes/skates, rolling around on tarmac/concrete, then the soundtrack to this short film will provoke much nostalgia. It made me excited to be moving to California and be able to own a bike again (no room where I live right now).
- Twitch reviews Mamoru Oshii's new film The Sky Crawlers. I love Oshii's films, they're like fast paintings of the future: "The world of The Sky Crawlers is a social and geographical fusion of 1950s America, Japan and Western Europe that favours propeller styled fighter planes along with satellite television, large multinational corporations and genetic science. "
- The San Diego Tribune looks at the herd of wild bison living on the Marine Corps base. Really random, really awesome.
"Italy's Northern League, allies of centre-right Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, want to limit the growth of Islam in the centre of world Catholicism by blocking the construction of mosques through strict new regulations. Muslim immigrants using Italy as a route into Europe already get a foretaste of the mistrust with which many Europeans view their religion, with many projects for mosques and prayer halls already blocked by the opposition of local Italian residents.
But if the anti-immigrant Northern League pushes its bill through parliament -- where Berlusconi's coalition has a strong majority -- Italy will soon have a new law effectively blocking the construction of new mosques in much of the country."
"On 1 April 1933, Jewish doctors, shops, lawyers and stores were boycotted. Only six days later, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service was passed, banning Jews from being employed in government. This law meant that Jews were now indirectly and directly dissuaded or banned from privileged and upper-level positions reserved for “Aryan” Germans. From then on, Jews were forced to work at more menial positions, beneath non-Jews."
Bristol Graffiti has already covered this one (he's a gem, if you are in any way interested in the Bristol scene, go visit him), but it bears repeating: 3dom is hot shit and completely underrated at the moment.
"If the evil of those who promote corruption in belief and actions cannot be held back through lesser punishments, then they can be put to death through the judicial process."
- Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, head of the Saudi Arabian Supreme Judicial Council. [Reuters]
Charlie Gibson interviewed Sarah Palin last night for ABC News. Some quotes:
PALIN: We're going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable..."What a nightmare.
GIBSON: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany.
PALIN: ...we are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security. (she decides to repeat this three times when asked to explain further)
GIBSON: Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.
Just a quickie to remind everyone out there that Graffle 2008 will be drawing the winners on Friday night. That gives you less than 48 hours to buy a ticket (£10, they take Paypal - and there are physical ticket outlets if needs be), and have a chance at winning some seriously lovely artwork by some damn good artists (including: Sickboy, Nick Walker, Dolk, Eelus, Ghostboy, Jef Aerosol). Some of the donated art is too big to raffle, so there's an auction going on RIGHT NOW, that ends at midnight Friday.
Why should you buy a ticket if you don't like the art? Because absolutely no one is taking money home for this. Because that money is going straight into the hands of charities that help kids get through life. And what else are you going to spend a tenner on this Friday night?
"Cholera has broken out in a province south of Baghdad and at least 20 cases of the waterborne disease have been confirmed there, a Health Ministry official said ....a member of the ruling provincial council, Hassan Tofan, gave a much higher figure. He said that at least 300 cholera cases have been reported in Babil and that 10 people died recently."
- Rabbits are Lagomorphs, which differ from rodents in a few ways, including that they have four teeth rather than two, and the male's scrotum is above their penis.
Written by David Peoples, Soldier is supposed to be a side-quel to Blade Runner. Starring Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee and Gary Busey, it absolutely bombed in the box office - quite possibly because it's an open critique of military policy re: civilian casualties and the training of troops - and went straight to video in the UK. But I tend to like films that other people don't, especially when set in a post-apocalyptic/future environment, and this was no exception whatsoever. Kurt Russell's character is on screen 85% of the time and speaks only 104 words, yet conveys great discipline and emotion through miniscule pieces of body language. Jason Scott Lee's race has no impact on his character, not even at the end where they could have scripted some really killer martial arts. They show divisions in the military organisation, I loved the costumes and the metal-desert landscape and the ruthlessness of the violence. They didn't cut corners in this film ladies and gentlemen, they might not have shown it directly, but children are very obviously murdered in cold blood without overwrought emotion or drama.
So I give this film 7/10 - losing points for the predictable plot and the way women are generally quite useless to the male characters. But I'd watch it again. Might even buy it on DVD.
"Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. “She asked the library how she could go about banning books,” he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them."
- Mayor Palin: A Rough Record by Nathan Thornburgh. via
- Chatroom is a free game based around an IRC/apocalypse environment. Played it, enjoyed it, took me less than half an hour to complete it.
so the self under the eye lies/attendant and withdrawn, originally uploaded by _saturnine.