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Friday, June 30, 2006 
that moustache feeling
we saw this vandalized tribune kiosk outside virago's apartment and had to take a picture for posterity.

disclaimer: i didn't vandalize the kiosk, nor do i know who did.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 
lugar wins by default
we learn from the indy star that the indiana democratic party just can't be arsed to field a candidate to run against dick lugar this year:

Dan Parker, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, said this morning that Lugar is just too popular to challenge.

"Let's be honest," Parker said. "Richard Lugar is beloved not only by Republicans but by independents and Democrats."

as gary says at advance indiana:

Regardless of what you think of Sen. Lugar, it is simply unacceptable for him to be given a complete pass by the Democrats. The two-party system is critical to maintaining accountability. By not fielding a candidate, Lugar can now do as he pleases for the next 6 and a half years without any need to consult his constituents. The Indiana Democratic party really let the state's voters down on this one.

let's face it: any democrat running against lugar would be at a disadvantage. the chances of any democrat unseating lugar are admittedly slim. but at least put up a token candidate and run a half-assed campaign.

as far as republican senators go, lugar isn't that bad. then again, that's one hell of a qualifier. sure, lugar voted to increase the minimum wage, but he also voted for the flag-burning amendment and any number of other things i'd disagree with. even the right-leaning star ed board knows better than that. (emabarrassingly, bayh also voted for it.)

as it stands, the only other candidate on the ballot facing lugar will be libertarian steve osborn, and judging from his issues page, i'm not sure i could vote for him in good faith. there's no none of the above option in indiana, either. so what happens if a voter leaves that space blank? as far as i know, the ballot would still be valid and votes for other offices would be counted, but maybe not. for touch-screen voting, is it even possible to "skip" a race on the ballot, or does the machine force you to vote for one candidate or the other?

the return of dr octagon
i couldn't resist. after i saw the video for "aliens", the first single from the return of dr octagon, i knew i wouldn't be able to wait long before grabbing the record. though he's been horribly inconsistent, kool keith is still probably my favorite mc of all time, so after a string of missteps in the past few years, i've been waiting for him to do something really innovative again. this is it.

the original dr octagon record, dr octagonecologyst, was a collaboration between keith, dan the automator, and dj qbert, three immensely talented people. dan the automator and qbert are not involved with the return. in their place is a berlin-based production trio called one watt sun. i'd never heard of these cats (and tragically, their website seems to be down today, two days after the release of the record that could launch them to stardom), but they manage to fill those shoes admirably.

sonically, this record doesn't sound anything like dr octagonecologyst, but after 8 years, i'd probably be disappointed if it did. the return is full of escher-esque left turns, where three lefts don't necessarily make a right. styles change dramatically not just from song to song, but from segment to segment. there are tracks that resemble stuff you've heard before in mainstream hip-hop, and then there are tracks like "a gorilla driving a pickup truck" where keith almost sounds like mike patton à la "RV" mumbling over drums and slide guitar. but the stylistic shifts are more subtle than you might get from mr bungle; they flow smoothly and subtly—if you weren't paying attention you might not even notice the bizarre tempo changes in the first single, "aliens", for one example.

for whatever reason, it seems like nobody makes hip-hop that's as structurally complex as the return of dr octagon, or if they do, it's invariably instrumental or turntablist stuff. most hip-hop with vocals hangs around a handful of loops that repeat with little variation. repetition is great—i use it plenty in my own music—but i've been hungering for years for hip-hop that was willing to be this adventurous. even kool keith, who's as lyrically daring as anyone, has never put out a record that was this structurally experimental. yes, this is probably the most experimental record that kool keith has ever put out.

the doctor is in.

[consumer alert: don't be fooled by the mediocre bootleg dr octagon ii. that record is not very good, and is not sanctioned by kool keith. the return of dr octagon comes in a digipak (at least mine did) with the cover art shown above, released by ocd international in the states.]

virago asked me recently if it would be possible to download videos from youtube. we've been spending a lot of time there, both watching videos and uploading them, so it's only natural we might be interested in downloading them from time to time.

the answer to the question "is this downloadable?" is almost always "yes, if you have the right software", and this is no exception. firefox users can download and install the videodownloader extension for firefox, which lets you

Download videos from Youtube, Google, Metacafe, iFilm, Dailymotion... and other 60+ video sites ! And all embedded objects on a webpage (movies, mp3s, flash, quicktime, etc) ! Directly !

i've tested it and it definitely works, though if you're not a flash developer, you might also need to download a new player, depending on what kind of videos you're downloading.

for example, youtube converts all videos to a flash format called FLV. programs like windows media player generally don't play FLV files, so you'll need to download an app like FLV player or a conversion tool to convert the FLV files to another format. also (at least on youtube), the downloaded file is named get_video.htm, and you'll need to rename it yourself after downloading, including manually changing the file extension to .flv. but that's a simple matter.

enjoy, and feel free to download any or all of my videos. and if you're still using IE for some ungodly reason, i'm sorry.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 
i feel like muncie tonight

tonight. free admission. 21+. this is officially an "open mic night" so it could be a weird show. this will be the first live appearance by noiseman433 since halloween 2004, and possibly the first AWIA performance for a live audience ever in indiana.

miss ann gets a blog
miss ann, the meridian-kessler dominatrix who's being prosecuted (or persecuted?) by the city of indianapolis, has started her own blog. it's new and still short on content, but it has a couple posts about the latest developments defending herself against the city's lawsuit.

as i reported earlier this month, the city recently informed miss ann that it had a partial audio recording of a session that took place between miss ann and an undercover policeman—despite having previously denied the existence of any such recordings. at the time, the city said it would get a copy of the recording to miss ann the following week, but apparently that wasn't meant to be:

It took several phone calls, emails, and a letter from my attorney threatening to file a MOTION TO COMPEL, but we finally got a copy of the audio recorded by the undercover officer of his session with me recorded on September 16, 2005.

For those of you who are not up to date on this case, our REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION and FIRST SET OF INTEROGATORIES filed in with the court in January 2006, specifically asked if audio or video survelliance was used in the course of their investigation of my professional D/s practice. In February 2006, the city filed their ANSWER and stated audio or video tapes were NOT used in connection with their investigation.

Four months later, on June 8, 2006 (which was the day before our first round of depositions), my attorney was told that an audio recording of the September 16, 2005 session existed and that we would be given a copy the next day at depositions.

The next day we saw the CD containing the recording, but were told only one copy existed and that we would be given a copy the following Monday or Tuesday. That failed to happen. It was not too unlike their stalling to get us our copy of "Exhibit A", which is the vice undercover officer's notes that took more than six weeks to get.

a couple days earlier, she had posted complaining about the then-still-missing evidence:

On this currently withheld audio evidence, I admonished the detective's repeated overt sexual advances. The audio should also include evidence that our session was about teaching the role of submission, substantiating that I am a dominatrix who practices from a perspective of both an artist and educator. It should also include some pretty funny material of me dressing the detective up like the slut he was hoping I would be and asking him how it felt to be degraded and treated as a sexual object.

I've never advertised anything except D/s - Dominance and submission training from a psychological perspective. And I certainly believe it is improper for a submissive to EVER ask a Dominant for sexual gratification.

furthermore, in a post on the IMN messageboard (paid registration required), miss ann suggested that "It is likely that I will release sound bytes." personally, i would love to get a copy of that audio.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 
rush limbaugh on viagra
we all know that rush limbaugh had some nasty things to say about drug users in the past, advocating hard jail time for addicts even while he himself was struggling with oxycontin addiction.

so now that we know rush uses viagra (perhaps illegally), i thought i'd look back to see what rush used to say about viagra. is locked up behind a subscription wall, which theoretically prevents non-subscribers from reading his prose or listening to his streaming audio files. and that's cool—if he can make money selling subscriptions, bully for him. but the implementation isn't very secure: if you try to click an article and you aren't logged in, you are taken to the actual article page, but then a javascript spits out html which redirects you to the login page. in other words, if you're a little savvy, it's fairly simple to avoid the html redirect and view the articles. and if the article has a link to an audio stream, you can even listen to the stream.

rush doesn't mention viagra all that often. sometimes, he uses it as a metaphor ("Tax increases to Democrats are like a lifetime prescription to Viagra.") most of the time, he uses it to mock democrats for their ideas about health insurance:

Now, it's one thing if you talk about health care. It's one thing if you're talking about education. You can have arguments about those issues. This, we're talking national security and they're treating national security the same way they do food stamps! They're treat national security the same way they do any little silly social concern and that is, "Do whatever damage to the country possible. We'll fix it our way when we get our power back," but they're messing with national security on this one, not some of these, you know, social issues like what are we going to do getting everybody health care, getting everybody a condom or getting everybody Viagra, whatever they want. "We'll handle that, when we get our power back." It's just unseemly, you leftists.

rush also proudly states that he doesn't take viagra ads on his show:

In a business where erectile dysfunction ads are taken by almost every show, you will not hear garbage and gunk on this program, particularly if it's a product about which I am going to speak.

but when does rush actually speak about ED products? i could only find one place where rush seems to offer up an opinion on viagra itself. rush has a section on his site called the love stack, which you shouldn't visit unless you have a strong tolerance for rush limbaugh talking about sex. one of the items in the love stack is titled USA makes love and war. the piece is short, and sadly it doesn't have an accompanying audio stream, but here's what it says:

My friends, the United States remains the world's sexual superpower. Yes, they do studies on this kind of thing, and apparently our country ranks number one - again. And people wonder how it was that Clinton got away with his Oval Office shenanigans?

This is the most oversexed country in the world. Just look at Viagra sales, and that will tell you everything you need to know. Reuters reported that according to a poll conducted by a leading condom manufacturer, and they would be in a position to know, "Americans are making love more often and with more partners than any other nationality."

The individuals questioned averaged having sex about 124 times a year, with an average number of 14 sex partners during their lifetime. I guess next to Wilt Chamberlain that's nothing. And for Bill Clinton it's more like 14 partners in a week, not a lifetime.

Second place went to the Greeks and Japan still remains in last place, with its citizens averaging 36 sexual encounters a year.

So this is just another example of that great old capitalistic U.S. productivity, folks. It's just up and up and up, shows no signs of stopping, even during a recession.

viagra sales are an indicator that we are "the most oversexed country in the world". i wonder if rush was already taking viagra back then (nov 2001).

update: taylor marsh notes that the dominican republic is one of the biggest sex tourism destinations in the world. who did rush hook up with down there?

limbaugh detained for suspcious viagra
this weekend, conservative radio host rush limbaugh flew down to the dominican republic for some tropical brown sugar. at 55 years old, rush isn't a young man anymore, so to prevent any problems during his sexy dominican vacation, he was sure to stock up on viagra.

there was only one problem: his name wasn't on the viagra bottle. so when limbaugh returned to the states today, he was detained by customs for more than 3 hours. eventually the officials took limbaughs little blue pills and sent him home:

However, the sheriff's office plans to file a report with the state attorney's office.

"We believe there may be a second degree misdemeanor violation, which is possession of certain drugs without a prescription, because the bottle does not have his name on it," Miller said.

A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes," Roy Black, Limbaugh's attorney, said in a statement.

so limbaugh got a viagra script under someone else's name. people are wondering whether that's legal. it sure doesn't sound legal. and if it's not, it could mean big trouble for limbaugh, considering he's already on shaky legal ground:

Last month, Limbaugh reached a deal with prosecutors who had accused the conservative talk-show host of illegally deceiving multiple doctors to receive overlapping pain pill prescriptions. Under the deal, a single charge commonly referred to as "doctor shopping" would be dismissed after 18 months if he complies with terms that include submitting to random drug tests and continuing treatment for his acknowledged addiction to painkillers.

a misdemeanor drug charge, even for viagra, would violate the terms of the agreement and he would be forced to stand trial.

if it's not illegal, i'll be a bit surprised. what's the point of the fda requiring prescriptions if people can get them under names other than their own? far be it for me to judge limbaugh for wanting some hot island sex, but if you're already in trouble for drug problems, you need to be extremely careful about what you transport across the border.

Monday, June 26, 2006 
nbc misspells name of iupui department head
philanthropy has been big news since the revelation a couple weeks back that bill gates will soon retire as head of microsoft in order to work full time giving away all his money, as head of the bill & melinda gates foundation. i hate microsoft as much as the next geek, but i have to give it up for bill gates, because that's pretty damn cool.

today philanthropy is in the news again, as warren buffett has announced the largest charitable donation in US history. what's most striking about the $37 billion gift (other than its massive size) is that, rather than go the traditional route of creating a foundation in his name, he is giving his money to the bill & melinda gates foundation, effectively doubling the foundation's size.

you might not be aware that indy's own IUPUI is home to the center on philanthropy, possibly the nation's premier academic program devoted to philanthropic studies. (virago is working on a master's from the program, and also has a summer job there.) the media regularly turns to dr gene tempel and others from the center for expert analysis of philanthropic issues (see, for example, the front page of today's new york times).

tonight, dr tempel appeared in a segment on nbc nightly news with brian williams. unfortunately, they got his name wrong. his bio shows that the correct spelling is t-e-m-p-e-l.

old-school hip-hop videos
if it wasn't bad enough that i stayed up too late watching videos on youtube, i spent a lot of time on there today tracking down old hip-hop stuff. enjoy.

run dmc
eric b & rakim
public enemy
ultramagnetic mc's
kool keith
and oh my god i'm freaking out about the return of dr octagon!!!

yeah, i got fooled last winter by a crappy bootleg called dr octagon ii but this is legit and if the rest of the record is half as good as the first single then this record is going to rock. and it comes out tomorrow!

sapphire bullets (fun with youtube)
i generally don't post unless i have something to add to a topic, but using that standard has left the blog a bit sparse of late, so what the hell... here is the first of what might be many short link-filled posts. all links go to youtube. some links are not-work-safe.

more when i think of them.

Friday, June 23, 2006 
filter kings
internet filtering has been hot news in the midwest this week, with political stories out of indiana and kentucky.

TDW first posted on monday that the state of indiana was installing new net-blocking software on state computers. at first, TDW and other blogs were blocked, preventing state employees from visiting them, but apparently this was some kind of error. the next day, TDW posted that blog access had been restored and the filters were only there to block porn, not political speech (at least, according to the state).

then today, the louisville courier-journal had a surprising revelation:

The Indiana state government began restricting state workers' Internet access yesterday and some employees have been fired or disciplined after evidence was found that child pornography was viewed from work computers.

yes, a "handful" of state employees were let go because they'd allegedly been viewing kiddie porn while at work. how foolish can you be? viewing any kind of porn at work is bad form, especially if you work for the state and taxpayers are paying your salary. but if you're into kiddie porn you seriously need to keep that to yourself, at home, with the windows drawn. (or better yet, get some counseling, because that stuff's not just gross and illegal, it's unhealthy.)

i thought this quote was worded weirdly:

Indiana State Police spokesman David Bursten said it's illegal to intentionally view child porn for sexual gratification. He could not immediately say whether state police are investigating the situation.

it's only illegal to view child porn intentionally for sexual gratification? i thought possessing or viewing child porn was illegal for any purpose other than law enforcement...

moving southward to kentucky, governor fletcher also introduced new filtering software, but the aim is a bit different: it's specifically intended to block blogs. some liberal bloggers spoke up, saying this was a deliberate attempt to suppress their voices.

the fletcher administration responded by insisting that all blogs were being blocked, and thus the blog block was content-neutral. an argument can be made that viewing blogs at work is a distraction, so as long as the block was indeed content-neutral, this wouldn't be a big deal.

but then a kentucky libertarian blogger (he insists he's not "conservative" though others disagree) was personally informed that his blog was no longer blocked. this seems to destroy any pretense that blogs aren't being blocked because of their political content.

when tpm muckraker asked a ky official how the right-leaning blog had managed to get unblocked, he said he didn't know, and gave the excuse that it's "up to independent agencies".

amazingly, the ky official tried to defend his state by mentioning indiana's new filtering software, perhaps thinking that tpm muckraker wouldn't follow up:

During my conversation with the guy from Kentucky's state tech office, he mentioned that the state of Indiana had just implemented their own filtering technology up there.

Hmm. So have they chosen to block state employees from viewing blogs? I called up Mark Cotterill, General Counsel of Indiana's Office of Technology.

No. "I don't see us going there." Why? "We treat our state employees as professionals."

So what have they chosen to block? Two categories: general pornography and child pornography.

"Our process is just different," he said. Yep.


show me the money
the first news i read today was this link my sister sent me, with the bombshell revelation is that the US government isn't just spying into phone records, but is also looking at bank records:

The Bush administration has been quietly tracking people suspected of bankrolling terrorism through a secret program that gives the government access to a massive data base of international financial transactions.

Treasury Department officials said they used broad subpoenas to collect the financial records from an international system known as Swift. Stuart Levey, Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, called the subpoenas "a legal and proper use of our authorities."

Under the program, U.S. counterterrorism analysts could query Swift's financial data base looking for information on activities by suspected terrorists as part of specific terrorism investigations, a Treasury Department official said. They would do so by plugging in a name or names, the official said.

this is unsettling news. my sister says she "could not even finish reading". but i'm a blogger, so let's keep reading. or at least, i'll keep reading so you don't have to.

Swift, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is a cooperative based in Belgium that handles financial message traffic from 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

The service, which routes more than 11 million messages each day, mostly captures information on wire transfers and other methods of moving money in and out of the United States. It doesn't execute these money transfers. The service generally doesn't detect private, individual transactions in the United States, such as withdrawals from an ATM or bank deposits. It is aimed mostly at international transfers.

as tristero says, "Whew. Well, that's reassuring."

but hold on a minute, back when the NSA phone tapping was first revealed, didn't the administration assure us that they were only monitoring international calls? and didn't we later find out that was bull, and they had been monitoring domestic calls all along? why should we believe them now?

and look at all the qualifiers in that paragraph: the service mostly captures info on moving money in and out of the US. it generally doesn't detect ATM withdrawals or bank deposits. it's aimed mostly at international transfers.

in other words, the bush administration isn't monitoring your bank records... except when it is.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 
funny quotes
I learned from Bobby Knight that you're supposed to berate and degrade your own team, preferably right before, and you physically assault them. It makes them want to win to prove you wrong.
—stephen colbert, speculating that the reason ghana defeated the US in the world cup was because colbert had taunted ghana too much the previous night.

Cloaked in a transparent shroud of secrecy, Mike Ashley (guitar/vox) and Jeff Eakins (guitar/vox) began a musical collaboration that, in the history of rock, is rivaled only by that of Lenin and McCarthy.
—local band thesociety, comparing their tunes to the beautiful music made by vladimir lenin and joe mccarthy. or maybe they meant someone else.

There are second of life when you are not fully self-confident in yourself. This can happened because of many many possible reasons work accent, body fatigue, bad mood or just a bad meteorological conditions. And the nastiest case is when you can not appease the your partner. This is when we come to help you and restore your fleshly vigor and your manhood confidence in our online shop

A clean reinforcement will help your small john-doe because a real JOHNDOE making your companion scream from a pleasure.

Easy to use with on target price (up to 30% deduction comparing with similar goods). Shipped in careful box with 1 day liberation.
—from a spam email i received that had the fantastic title "get bigger underwear".

hamilton county cops crack down on cruising
anyone who knows a thing or two about gay culture has likely familiar with cruising, the practice of hanging out in public and looking for other gay men (often for sex, but not necessarily). cruising is not a safe activity by any stretch of the imagination, but not so long ago it was one of the only ways for gays who didn't live in large urban centers to find one another, due to long-standing taboos against homosexuality. these days there are safer ways for gays to socialize, but cruising still goes on, though modern cruisers tend to be older.

knowing all this, i'm not sure what bugs me the most about this indystar story:

Nearly two dozen people have been arrested this week on charges of lewd behavior at Westfield's Cool Creek Park, and officials said other Hamilton County public places are being watched.

On Wednesday, Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter and Jeff Wehmueller, administrative chief deputy at the Hamilton County prosecutor's office, announced 22 people had been arrested, all charged with indecency-related offenses. Two warrants are outstanding, Carter said.

Because much of the behavior occurred in a public park that is equally accessible to adults and children, Wehmueller elevated the charges against many of the suspects to felonies.

If convicted on the felony charge of performance harmful to a minor, the suspects could receive jail sentences ranging from six months to three years.

Wehmueller said that although none of the incidents involved or was witnessed by children, the threat that a minor would see the sexual activities paved the way for the harsher charges.

did you catch that? these people are not pedophiles. not one of them was there looking for children. they were all adults, with no kids anywhere nearby. but because theoretically a child could have accidentally stumbled across some man-on-man action, they are facing felony charges.

According to probable cause affidavits, at least four undercover officers made contact with the suspects, either near the restroom or in a parking lot at Cool Creek. Police and a suspect often would agree to take a walk on one of the nature trails that wind through the heart of the park. Once inside the forested area of Cool Creek, the suspects would expose or fondle themselves or attempt to engage in such behaviors with the officers.

haven't they heard it's not nice to tease?

one of the men who was busted was an employee of carmel high school who resigned a few days after his arrest. the star quotes his lawyer as saying he "resigned in an effort to protect the school", but i have to wonder if he resigned by choice or was pressured into doing so. i won't quote his name (it's in the article if you want to know), but i have to quote this passage: he "was in his parked pickup when an undercover officer made contact. The pair walked into the park on one of the nature trails, police said, and at some point engaged in intimate acts." what does "engaged in intimate acts" mean? to me, it reads like the cop actually had sex with this guy, which would be a major no-no.

i just had to know what people were saying on the indy star forums about this story, so i braced myself and dove in, knowing full well that i would see comments calling the arrestees "social parasites" and "perverts" and demanding they "[need] their faces plastered all over the newspapers for weeks and weeks and weeks so none of us forget WHO they are!!!!" or better yet they should "be placed on a Sexual Predator list, if not taken out and shot!"

but then there were posts like this and this and this, defending the carmel high school teacher and chastising the star for dragging his name through the mud. (the online version of the star article lists the names and hometowns of all arrestees, but doesn't go into further detail about the others. some of the forum comments suggest that the printed edition of the paper didn't even list the names of the other arrestees, but i don't have a paper version in front of me to check.)

and i would be remiss if i didn't mention this insightful post from brian1973:

Did anybody else make the connection that the men engaging in homosexual activity were charged with lewd conduct AND felony charges of Felony performance harmful to minors, while the straight couple having sex was only charged with public indecency. In no way do i condone what these men did, but the police seem to have it in for homosexuals.

indeed, the online star article lists all 22 arrestees and the charges against them. of the arrestees, 21 were men, and 20 were charged with felony performance harmful to a minor. who were the two people not charged with the felony? if you guessed that the woman was one of them, give yourself a cookie. and it sure seems likely that the other was her partner: they are both in their 20s (every other arrestee was 35 or older) and they are the only two to hail from sheridan, indiana.

so let that be a lesson to you. straight sex in public = misdemeanor. gay sex in public = felony.

update: advance indiana has more.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 
my nuvo
i mentioned in march that nuvo has a new webmaster. nuvo is indianapolis's premier alterna-weekly, and i was pleased that their website was recovering from a severe wrong turn in november.

but that was just the beginning of what nuvo's webmaster had in store for us. this week, nuvo launched its brand-new website, redesigned from the ground up with lots of new features. the design is pretty decent, though it doesn't function as well as i'd like in firefox. they're still working out the kinks, so maybe they'll resolve the formatting quirks that currently bug me.

the most significant change is the addition of social networking features—nuvo's answer to myspace, facebook, and the like. i know what you're thinking—another social networking site? so what?—because i thought it, too. but the more i read, the more convinced i became that i at least needed to create a band account, because this sounds way more promising than myspace or that ghost town called friendster.

from the mynuvo signup page:

A myNUVO account is similar to a MySpace, Friendster, or Facebook profile. It allows you to create a unique profile online to tell other NUVO readers about yourself. Like MySpace, you can personalize your myNUVO page, send messages to your friends, post bulletins and view their profiles. But myNUVO is no mere MySpace clone: With a myNUVO account you can add any article, event, place, band or person on to your list of favorites. When you add a band their songs are automatically added to your music player and when you add a place it is added to your Google map. You can also decide what elements you want on your myNUVO page. You can add or remove the following elements from your account: Articles, Bands, Events, Google Map, The Week in Nuvo, and Places. You can also re-arrange all these elements by dragging them where you want on the page. The site will remember your settings next time you log in. Yes, this is all completely free!

as i learned last month, myspace code is a mess. imagine being able to actually remove sections of your myspace page... why, that'd be like squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle. the google map functionality sounds pretty sweet, too. and wayne "barfly" gertsch has been raving about the music player... though as a nuvo employee, he might be biased. (though i wish you could add more info to each mp3 than just the song title.)

so here it is: stAllio! on nuvo. in contrast to myspace, which restricts bands to a meager 4 songs each, mynuvo allows bands to upload up to a whopping 10 mp3s, so i've been diligently adding songs, including some that aren't available here on my site.

like i said, it's still a bit buggy (i haven't been able to upload a "band photo"), and it's buggier in firefox than in IE. but it has loads of potential.

safavian guilty; ney a lobbyist "champion"
former bush admin official david safavian has been found guilty of illegal dealings with gop superlobbyist jack abramoff:

The former General Services Administration chief of staff was found guilty Tuesday on four counts of obstructing justice, concealing his assistance to Abramoff in a proposed land deal and making false statements to a Senate committee that investigated Abramoff's activities.

i was thinking about blogging the story, so i browsed google news. the top link to the story happened to be the new philadelphia times-reporter, so that's the one i clicked. i didn't realize at first that this paper is not based out of philadelphia, pennsylvania; it hails from the town of new philadelphia, ohio, a bit south of cleveland, in ohio's 18th district. ohio's 18th is currently represented by bob ney.

the times-reporter article is not the best source of information on the safavian conviction (this link is better, for example), but bear with me for a minute:

Safavian is the first official to be tried in the wide-ranging investigation of Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Heath, is under investigation as part of the federal probe.

Safavian's trial featured testimony about a lavish golf trip to Scotland that Ney took part in and that was funded by Abramoff. Ney insists he has done nothing wrong or illegal and says he was duped by Abramoff.

Safavian was among nine people who went on the August 2002 trip, which included Ney, Ney's former aide-turned-lobbyist Neil Volz, two other Ney congressional aides, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed and another lobbyist.

Testifying in Safavian's trial, Volz called Ney a "champion" of lobbyists and said the Scotland trip was among the "things of value" that he and Abramoff offered to lawmakers and their staffs to secure favorable legislative action for their clients.

it's only natural that the times-reporter would focus on the ney angle of the story, since the paper is in ney's district. but here's my favorite part: smack dab in the middle of the article, virtually bracketed by the ney allegations, is a big fat flash ad championing "ney for congress".

i just had to take a screenshot to share, and i even marked it up bag-style. i also had to wonder about the times-reporter's bob ney ad buy (try saying that ten times fast). was this a prank by a zack space supporter, surreptitiously placing ney ads in the most embarrassing spots possible? or was it some kind of coincidence?

after taking my screenshot, i clicked refresh 5x and while some of the other ads on the page rotate, the ney ad appeared every time. i tried some other stories on the times-reporter site, and the ney ad appeared in the same place on every one. so it would appear that the ney campaign simply bought enough ad space so that their ad is on every page of the site, and the fact that i first stumbled there to read the safavian piece is happenstance. that's the danger of blanket ad buys, i guess: you never know what your ad will be juxtaposed with.

murkbox - telemetry music video(s)
something is seriously messed up with my installation of studio 8. but i think i like it.

first, some backstory. when i got my first video camera (let's say '99), my fellow bad taste artist murkbox was one of my roommates. he eagerly agreed to make a music video for one of his tracks, suggesting his then-new remix of his track "telemetry" from his excellent atmosphere ep. (bad taste trivia: murkbox later sold me the gear he used to produce atmosphere, an mc-303 and an sp-202, which i eventually used to produce _the fezzuck_. i still have the mc-303, though i haven't used it in a long time. i sold the sp-202 to unszene, who still uses it for live performances. that sampler has history.)

murkbox further suggested he was interested in experimenting with video feedback. i was game, so we gathered in my bedroom and filmed a bunch of video feedback using my 13" television. we also filmed a spoken introduction to the video, which neither of us ever liked (though we did have a happy editing accident, where the video unexpectedly and momentarily cuts to footage of a car being crushed).

murkbox and i agreed that i should edit out the introduction before posting the video on youtube, so i loaded the mpeg into pinnacle studio 8 (which came with my video card), edited out the offending footage, and recompiled.

i was supposed to get something like this:

instead, i got this:

wow, that's what an f'ed-up MPEG looks like, all right. databending fans, this video is a must-see. even more than the "who are these people?" video i posted earlier this month, this video looks like my databending gallery come to life, full of shifting bands of colors and dancing pixels. i couldn't have assembled a more perfect databending video if i had tried, so it only seems right that such a thing would occur spontaneously on its own.

(of course, i knew that it was possible studio 8 could glitch out the video—i had vaguely similar results last month when i tried to re-encode the original audio version of the drbmd "suffer" video—but i never could have guessed that the glitchy version would be so beautiful. but that's the nature of bending: you never know whether you'll get something fantastic, mediocre, or broken.)

in the end, i re-edited the video using windows movie maker (no kidding), which gave me a suitably un-glitched WMP file. normally i would eschew the WMP format, but for uploading to youtube it seemed okay.


Sunday, June 18, 2006 
june 28, muncie

bobby vomit has made some contacts at a bar called doc's in muncie, and we'll be playing a show there in a couple weeks. even though it's our home state, i think this will be animals within animals' first performance for an audience in indiana. it's also bobby vomit's birthday.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
last month i put in some work redesigning and updating, the website for a radio show that exclusively plays recordings which somehow sample from other recordings. the show is hosted by jon nelson, who also makes audio collage under the name "escape mechanism". jon was so pleased with my work on the SAR site that he asked me to work on was originally designed a few years ago by lloyd dunn of the tape-beatles. the original design used frames, which admittedly was the only way to pull off such a design at the time. i was tasked with stripping out the frames (but keeping the appearance and functionality as similar as possible) and otherwise altering the site so that jon could update it. (it hadn't been updated in a year.)

the transition wasn't perfect—IE6 and earlier don't support position:fixed, which is the current way to fix things onscreen as opposed to frames, so i had to include a hack for the code to even work in IE (and it still doesn't work perfectly), but it looks great in firefox. on the other hand, there were some parts of the old site that didn't scale well, because 1027x768 was big back then. those parts now look much better on my 1280x1024 monitor.

check out the site if you like, listen to the mp3s, and watch the video. there's also a new video which is set to premiere on (i believe) the 16th, so keep an eye out for that, too.

circles: a new splash page
i've had some time in between working on websites for clients to tinker around with my own, and voilà! the old rabbit watching tv is gone (don't worry; if you miss him, he's still here). what's in his place? that's hard to predict... whatever it is, it'll likely be round.

i've been playing around with circles and round imagery to promote the upcoming animals within animals release parts is parts (ETA: late 2006 or 2007). it's only natural i would start using circles for AWIA, given the recursive nature of the band's name. the new splash page will randomly display one of these new images, so click refresh to see more. there are currently 7, but i'll stealthily add more as i complete them, so check back in perdiodically.

my personal favorite so far is "cut and paste yourself", which i would post here, but won't because it wouldn't show up properly on the blog's black background. instead, here's the chicken one:

if you want to see the rest, you need to go to the splash page and start clicking refresh. which one is your favorite? which one do you despise?

and yes, i know that splash pages are so 1997. at least it's not flash.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 
city lies to miss ann?
it's been a few months since i posted about miss ann, the meridian-kessler dominatrix who's being sued by the city of indianapolis. the case has been progressing as most legal matters do—quite slowly—and there hasn't been much to report.

in my last post i mentioned that the case had moved to the discovery process. in february, the city filed its response to miss ann's interrogatories. now, miss ann is alleging that the city lied in that document.

as she posted on her website (as well as on local messageboard indianapolis

In our REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION we specifically asked the city if any audio or video evidence existed. In the city's ANSWER filed with the courts they specifically said no such evidence existed. "There have been no audio tapes, video tapes, or films generated or made in the course of the investigation up to this point" is the exact sentence they used in their answer and is published on this website.

the post is mysteriously vague about exactly how the city lied, so i posted on the messageboard asking for more detail. here's part of her response:

Yesterday, the city attorney called my lawyer and told him an audio tape existed.

Detective Walter Sanders (undercover cop) was deposed today. He confirmed to us that he wore a wire called a "whisper" device. He was only able to get half of the session recorded. I will have a copy of the tape next week.

sanders, of course, was the undercover officer who made an appointment with miss ann and was "forced to get down on his hands and knees and kiss [ann's] boots and feet". apparently he was wired for sound during this encounter, and for some reason the city lied about the existence of this recording in its original answer.

i don't know enough about law to know how much this matters (it sounds like contempt of court to me), but if it's true, it doesn't look good. i trust some of my readers have a better understanding of the potential ramifications.

in her messageboard post (which i won't link to because paid registration is required to view the thread), miss ann also made comments about the ongoing deposition process, closing with this intriguing comment:

We uncovered all kinds of things in depositions today including a statement Detective Sanders made that will infuriate the gay community.

hmm... what could the detective have said? miss ann offered no hints.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 
small victories
the hot news of the day is that abu musab al-zarqawi has been killed... for real this time! sure, we've heard rumors of it happening bunches of times (never mind all the other "al qaeda second-in-command"s that have been killed), but this time it actually appears be true. (reportedly fox news has been airing pictures of the corpse.)

zaraqawi's death is a win for US forces in iraq, no question. of course, they had a number of opportunities to kill him before the invasion and decided not to, but at least he's dead now, right? and sure, the fact that the iraqis already had him in custody last year but let him go (reportedly because nobody knew he was) could be interpreted as a sign of incompetence (or corruption) in the iraqi campaign, but you could also interpret it as a display of zarqawi's keyzer söze-esque supervillainy. either this guy was iraq's lex luthor or the US's terror-fighting skills in iraq are more aqua teen hunger force than justice league. (and if zarqawi was luthor, who's bin laden? brainiac?)

anyway, you have to give them credit for finally accomplishing something they've been trying to do for months. (i'm not faulting the troops themselves—it's not labor's fault when management is inept.) but will zarqawi's death be a major blow to the insurgency, or will he become a martyr and inspire the insurgents even more?

so i was reading this new york times piece about how katherine harris is becoming a pariah in republican circles (harris, you might recall, was the florida secretary of state who was a little too eager to certify florida's electoral votes for bush in 2000. she's now running a humiliating campaign for senate, despite the pleas of republicans nationwide) and i came across this amusing anecdote, which i apparently missed the first time or forgot in the ensuing years:

In Congress, Ms. Harris has been a reliable ally of the Bush administration on issues like tax cuts, Iraq and opposition to same-sex marriage. She has done little in her three-and-a-half-year tenure to win notice beyond her district — one exception being a speech in which she spoke of a foiled terrorist plot against the city of Carmel, Ind. (Federal officials said the plot never existed; Ms. Harris later said she had heard of it secondhand.)

most of the prominent indiana political blogs weren't even around in august '04 when this happened, but i note that steph was on top of it. still, she linked to a local story that has long since expired. fortunately, cbs news still has the story up:

Harris, who was at the center of the political storm over the disputed 2000 presidential election, made the comments about terrorism and the plot on Monday at a rally for President Bush in Venice, Fla., and a subsequent interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

She told the audience that while in the Midwest recently, the mayor of Carmel told her how a man of Middle Eastern heritage had been arrested and hundreds of pounds of explosives were found in his home.

"He had plans to blow up the area's entire power grid," she said, according to the newspaper.

a terrorist plot in carmel? if you were stuck in indiana with enough explosives to blow up a power grid, wouldn't you at least want to drive the 30 minutes to downtown indianapolis? if you were even going to waste your time attacking a state like indiana, that is.

naturally, the mayor of carmel and other officials denied that any such thing ever took place. mayor brainard even denied ever having spoken to harris. but what's really odd is how harris worded her public "apology":

Questioned Wednesday, Harris' office issued a statement in which the congresswoman said, "I regret that I had no knowledge of the sensitive nature of this situation."

even after harris insinuated that her real crime wasn't spinning a laughable yarn about terrorists attacking the midwestern suburbs, but inadvertantly leaking details about a plot that the government had been keeping secret. as if the bush administration wouldn't want to tell anyone that it had foiled a terrorist plot in america's heartland during an election year. not just one plot, but "more than a hundred".

anyway, it's kind of satisfying to watch harris implode, and it made me curious how ken blackwell is doing in his run for governor of ohio (blackwell was harris's 2004 analogue; his antics as secretary of state helped hand ohio to bush). turns out blackwell is down 16 points in the polls.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006 
world premiere! animals within animals video: "who are these people?"
seems like i should pop in here every few days even if i don't have much to say. i'm still busy working on other people's websites, with my remaining time going to television and girlfriend. but hell, it's been a couple weeks since i posted one of my videos.

also, i got my first youtube subscriber today, and i wanted to reward that person with some new content. so i was fishing through my videos, thought about posting "eggify", but finally decided to post this instead.

i put this video together a couple weeks ago, but hadn't posted it. if you have satellite tv and live in a stormy climate, you might recognize this: all the footage is taken from satellite signals that have been corrupted by local weather. if it's storming outside and the weather interferes with the signal reaching your dish, the MPEG stream gets corrupted, leading to the odd digitial distortions seen in this video. this can be seen as a downside of satellite tv: if a storm hits during your favorite show (let's say 24), you're screwed. you'll have to hit up bittorrent, or hope one of your friends got it recorded. but if you're into databending, it's one of the coolest things ever to happen to tv. (at least most cable shows are re-aired a dozen times, so you can reschedule your recording.)

this is a never before seen video! to emphasize how never-before-seen this video is, as of right now, i am the only person who has seen it to date. my girlfriend hasn't seen it. my bandmates haven't seen it. just think of it... you could be the first person ever to see the brand-new world-premiere video from animals within animals. hot damn. chances are you won't be, but can you really afford to take that chance?

but wait, there's more! not only is the video brand new, but the song, "who are these people?", has never been posted online before. before now, the song has only been available as part of the hell compilation put out by lost frog productions. (lost frog is a web-label that also released AWIA's mp3ep give me some press or kill these people. oddly, the lost frog website seems to have vanished. but at least the all the mp3s are still up at

the track is also tentatively scheduled to appear on AWIA's upcoming full-length release, tentatively titled parts is parts. stay tuned for that release, late this year or in 2007.

finally, with no further ado, here's the video.

enjoy, and rate highly!


Friday, June 02, 2006 
online all day and no time to blog
yeah, we got back from our cleveland mini-vacation sunday night. we had a great time with the recycled rainbow crew, hanging out with interesting people and experiencing live art and music. i improvised an audio performance at around 4:30 in the morning that got lots of kudos, but my recording was unsalvageable, so no mp3 for you.

as i mentioned in the comments at syntax's blog, it was nice to perform using a decent cross-fader for a change. my improv style depends heavily on the cross-fader, but the one in my mixer has a short so that if you flick the switch all the way to either side, both channels will play. in order to get only one channel, you need to move it, say, 95% of the way instead of 100%, which is a real pain (and it took me a couple trouble-prone performances before i diagnosed this problem). at RR, i was using someone else's mixer, so i got to relive the joy of a working fader. i really need to get a new cross-fader before my next performance.

i haven't been blogging this week, but i have been spending lots of time online... working on other people's websites. jon nelson was so pleased with my work on that he's asked me to help him renovate his other websites. and i even have a paying gig building another site (though hardly a living wage; i'll probably earn enough to buy a new cross-fader, though). i can't really discuss either of these pages before they go live; i only mention them so you know i'm alive and doing stuff.

over the weekend we went to see x-men: the last stand and i was a bit disappointed. there were a few great scenes, but overall it was like they tried to pack way too much stuff into one movie. some of the highly-touted new characters (like angel and madrox) were barely used and could've been cut altogether without losing much. others were so far in the background that i didn't even recognize them until i was reading stuff online afterward (like callisto and psylocke). other characters who were essential in the previous movies are also shoved to the side: nightcrawler isn't in the film at all, rogue is barely in the film (and she should be one of the emotional centers of the "cure" storyline), cyclops disappears after the first 10 minutes... and don't get me started on all the characters who are killed, de-powered, or seem to be on the wrong side (madrox and psylocke working for the brotherhood?).

the main problem is that there are two major plots in the movie, each worthy of its own film, and each suffers because of the other's existence. the idea of a "mutant cure" is great fodder for x-men stories, and could've made a great movie, but on top of that, the filmmakers are trying to squeeze in the "dark phoenix" story. the dark phoenix is one of the quintessential x-men stories of all time, and it is not handled well here. we get a bunch of people who are scared witless about how powerful jean is, and sure, jean flips out and kills a couple people, but the rest of the movie she just stands around like a doofus. the phoenix—supposedly the most powerful being on earth—spends most of the movie just standing there while far less powerful mutants move the story forward. arguably the biggest x-men epic of all time is relegated to a subplot in this movie, and not a very satisfying subplot, either.

this is frustrating because, after some missteps in the first x-men movie, they got a lot of stuff right in the second film: while the plot points weren't always faithful to the comics, they got the heart of the x-men right. but this time, while there were a smattering of nice moments, there were some pretty blaring flaws (the worst of which i won't mention, because they'd constitute major spoilers).

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