猫バス de GO!

typed for your pleasure on 27 April 2007, at 1.30 am

Sdtrk: ‘Where were you?’ by the Mekons

This is so cute, it’s giving me cavities.


‘Exact change? Stitch that, I’ve got a bus pass’

Mystery cat takes regular bus to the shops
Daily Mail | 9th April 2007

Bus drivers have nicknamed a white cat Macavity after it has started using the No 331 several mornings a week.

The feline, which has a purple collar, gets onto the busy Walsall to Wolverhampton bus at the same stop most mornings – he then jumps off at the next stop 400m down the road, near a fish and chip shop.

The cat was nicknamed Macavity after the mystery cat in T.S Elliot’s poem. He gets on the bus in front of a row of 1950s semi-detached houses and jumps off at a row of shops down the road which include a fish and chip shop.

Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, who first saw the cat jumping from the bus in January, said: “It is really odd, the first time I saw the cat jumping off the bus with a group of passengers. I hadn’t seen it get on which was a bit confusing.

“The next day I pulled up on Churchill Road to let a couple of passengers on. As soon as I opened the doors the cat ran towards the bus, jumped on and ran under one of the seats, I don’t think any of the passengers noticed.

“Because I had seen it jump off the day before I carried on driving and sure enough when I stopped just down the road he jumped off – I don’t know why he would catch the bus but he seems to like it. I told some of the other drivers on this route and they have seen him too.”
the rest of the article is here

I love the shot of Macavity in the top left corner. He’s like ‘What? What??‘ Plus, he’s heterochromatic — he has one blue eye and one green eye. He’s a David Bowie kitty!

You have to ask yourself: what would possess a cat to not only take the bus on a regular basis, but make the same stops? It’s apparent that the entire concept of animal intelligence is vastly understudied. My guess is that he’s saving up for driving lessons

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Music (In my mind), or, I am going to stab someone

typed for your pleasure on 24 April 2007, at 11.41 am

Sdtrk: ‘Beautiful dreams’ by Twiggy

Good news, bad news, humans. Good news first: I’ve just received my copy of Moon wiring club’s ‘I’m more than a memory now’, from the lovely spectres at Blank Workshop. A number of weeks ago, I’d stumbled across their MySpace site, after having seen it linked on one of the MySpace pages of an artist on the seminal Ghost box label. Much like Ghost box, Blank Workshop’s overall (hazy) focus is that of ‘eldritchtronica’ — samples from obscure British television programmes fusing with various beats and other found sounds. They’re not as sinister as say, Eric Zann, but more than a couple of Moon wiring club’s tracks have an uneasy atmosphere lying beneath their surface, a bit like ‘The Wicker man’ redone as a childrens’ telly programme for the UK; if you can somehow picture that, you’ve got the general idea.
Blank Workshop have a pop-up .mp3 jukebox on their site; you should give it your attention. Especially while you’re checking out their rather esoteric information and history. Quite good!

So the bad news? Hanging out with Derek at Jeff‘s luxurious estates last Saturday eve found us watching the live-action Cutey Honey DVD. A fun film, directed by Hideaki ‘Scruffy Beard and Midlife-Crisis’ Anno, and featuring the rather supple Eriko Sato as the busty Gynoid who fights evildoers, it was exactly as described — a live-action anime movie. But the thing that really captured my attention was the soundtrack for the fillum, as it was very Shibuya-kei / Pizzicato five-esque. So I’m on a goddamned quest to find the soundtrack, and I can’t seem to locate it online anywhere, neither through legitimate means or from our friends the INTERNET PIRATES. I’m debating whether or not to go to Anime Central — what is that, next month? — in order to perform a search-and-destroypurchase mission for that damn Cd. Those tunes were catchy.

Things. I find that I have to buy things quite often. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m not knocking retail therapy at all, it’s just that I wish things were easier to acquire, so I could spend less time hunting them down, and more time acquiring more things. AND THUS THE SERPENT EATS ITS TAIL

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Not your typical receptionist

typed for your pleasure on 23 April 2007, at 1.35 am

Sdtrk: ‘An invitation to Shoebox Garden’ by Moon wiring club

Finding this on YouTube was certainly an unexpected surprise! Actual footage of Kobayashi Labs’ Android SAYA. Nice!

I’ve always gotten little digs in about her somewhat mediocre appearance and older technology — if you’ll recall, she unfortunately didn’t rate too well in that poll I’d held a couple of months ago* — but seeing her in motion, she looks… not entirely unattractive, actually.

Doing a bit of investigative digging round, I discovered why the sudden resurgence in news about our SAYA; according to this article in Plastic Bamboo, she was purchased by a university in Israel, in order to help kickstart their own robotics programme. I approve!

And as per her custom, Sidore-chan’s got another intriguing pair of videos on her Dailymotion page that should prove, err, intriguing. Happy 23rd!

*To be fair, the pic I’d selected for Android SAYA was a bit crap

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, Synthetik, Kobayashi Labs

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Two week PURCHASING WHIRLWIND

typed for your pleasure on 20 April 2007, at 2.35 am

Sdtrk: ‘Die Wäscheklammern’ by Stereo total

After getting over a case of the 24 hour flu, which personally I’d never previously had and only thought they existed in films and television, I contracted a case of consumption (ho ho) as recently, I’ve purchased:

+ the trade paperback of Grant Morrison’s Sebastian O. Finally, a comic miniseries that asks the question, ‘What if Oscar Wilde was an assassin that lived in a steampunk London?’ Lovely stuff, but far too short

+ the 2-disk version of ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou‘. Y’know, I think one of the reasons that I dig Wes Anderson as a director, is that he often uses the same typeface, known as Futura, in his films. That man loves him some Futura. I think I fell in love with Futura after realising that one of my all-time fave directors, Stanley Kubrick, used it wherever and whenever he could. Honestly, ‘Shouting etc etc’ is only in Century Gothic cos most people sadly don’t have Futura installed on their computers… I don’t see why not! It’s the Typeface of the Future, circa the Twenties!

+ Penny Arcade’s The Warsun Prophecies. Always a laugh riot, our Tycho and Gabe

+ the 40th anniversary Prisoner DVD boxset (comes with a full-colour map of The Village!)

+ I’m Alan Partridge – Series 1, which I know I shouldn’t have bought as Series 2 isn’t domestically available yet, and once it is, you’ll merely wait about six to eight months, and both series will be available in boxset form, cos that’s how they get you. Bastards

+ Vol.4 of Naoki Urasawa’s manga, Monster, a ‘taut psychological thriller’

+ Tomorrow’s Eve, by Jean-Marie-Mathias-Philippe-Auguste, comte de Villiers de l’Isle-Adam (his homies just called him ‘Cheezy-J’). As it’s a book from turn-of-the-century France, concerning a man who falls in love with a Gynoid built by Thomas Edison, it was obviously a book that I had to read

+ the RealDoll Complete Collection DVD, which was more of a gift exchange thing I’m doing with MaRi-chan‘s lad atsushi-san. (He also shipped me the first ‘Ergo proxy’ DVD. How generous!) In exchange, he’d like a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. Done and done, sir!

+ and finally, a stand for the Missus. I’ve yet to assemble it, as I’ve been busy playing catch-up on everything lately, it seems, but that should be on the week-end. Shi-chan’s been wanting to stretch her legs!

The slight irony behind all the DVD purchases is that my DVD player — the one that replaced my previous CyberHome that went tits up — has gone tits up. So now I have to acquire a new, sanely-priced, region-free player that converts PAL as well. Guh.
At this point, I have to retract my recommendation for the CyberHome CH-DVD-500 player, as pretty much all of my mates bought one, and pretty much all of them have expired unceremoniously. Maybe other CyberHome models are more robust, but I’ve no idea. This time, I’m thinking Malata, which is, by all accounts, the Cadillac of region-free player brands.

All of this mania is brought to you by Tax Return Cheques! WOOOOO

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Singapore to physics: ‘Screw you’

typed for your pleasure on 15 April 2007, at 10.25 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Underground library’ by Moon wiring club

Apparently the architects of Singapore like to play fast and loose with Mistress Fate. Observe:


*facepalms*

Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest private development company, has commissioned the Office for Metropolitan Architecture for OMA’s first architectural project in Singapore – a 36-storey residential high-rise. […] With 20,000m² of built floor area, the building will provide 68 high-end apartment units with panoramic views. The design strategically maneuvers within the highly regulated building environment to maximize the full potential of the site: Four individual apartment towers are vertically offset from one another and suspended from a central core.
taken from this site

I have to be honest — this proposed Scotts Tower looks rather fab, but it also looks like a Seventies disaster film just waiting to happen.

“THE SCOTTS TOWER CATASTROPHE”

starring

Peter Fonda

Suzanne Somers

Dick Van Dyke

Dyan Cannon

Avery Schreiber

and Gig Young as “Paddock”

© 1973 A QUINN-MARTIN PRODUCTION

Nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there, that sort of thing. There but for the grace of god go Singapore, I guess…
Also, if you recognise any of those names in the film cast, you’re too old

ta very much to KrazyQ for the tipoff

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Jumping on the bandwagon

typed for your pleasure on 13 April 2007, at 1.14 am

Sdtrk: ‘Ma recontre’ by Benjamin Biolay

I have to admit; the only Vonnegut that I’ve ever read would be Harrison Bergeron (for school) and Slaughterhouse-five (still a fantastic book), but I can definitely admire a bloke who not only came up with the concept of Ice-nine, but apparently had his den wallpapered with rejection notices from various publishers throughout the years.

RIP Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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DER2-chan’s latest job: political spokesperson

typed for your pleasure on 8 April 2007, at 12.36 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Jinxed’ by The Aluminum group

Well, I for one am certainly encouraged!

Robot woman encourages turnout for local elections in Yokohama
Mainichi Daily News | April 9, 2007

YOKOHAMA — A humanoid robot designed to look like a young woman was a popular attraction at a department store here on Thursday as it called for voters to participate in nationwide local government elections.

The robot, named Actroid, appeared in front of the Sogo Department Store in Yokohama’s Nishi-ku.

The Yokohama Municipal Election Administration Commission planned the robot display to educate voters, as turnout for the unified local elections in Yokohama has not exceeded 50 percent since the start of the Heisei era in 1989.

The robot’s eyes and mouth move, along with its cheek muscles, and it even has veins in its legs to make it look real. The robot left at least one customer tying to sort out whether or not it was a real person.

“It’s a real human, isn’t it?” the customer asked.

Hopefully voters won’t have as much trouble sorting out the candidates during election time.

Hell, get me round to Yokohama; I’ll vote for whoever had the foresight to employ her.
That’s how they’ll get all of us Technosexuals — the worst party to vote for in the world will say ‘Hey, vote for us! We have Androids and Gynoids!’ and we’ll be like ‘Fuck yeah, there’s Gynoids at the polling booths WOOO’, and months after that party has won, we’ll all be made into Soylent Green or something similar. ‘Know your voters’ is the lesson to be learned here…

Not to harp on this point, but someone please put her in sandals and get some pics, even if it’s just for one day! If I can’t see how her feet look at least once, I will be vastly disappointed in the Universe

Technorati tags: Actroid, Repliee, Android, Gynoid, Technosexual

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