From Russia with (silicone) love

typed for your pleasure on 30 April 2009, at 12.17 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Monument’ by Depeche mode

To be honest, the link for these blokes has been cleverly hidden in the ‘Synthetik companion types’ section for the past couple of weeks now, but it’d be wrong for me to not do a wee post to bring them to further attention, right? So straight from Vladivostok, Russia, please give a warm welcome to the newest company making affictitious women, Anatomical Dolls.


‘Not only am I an employee, I’m also a product’

Much like the next generation of Synthetik companions, Anatomical Dolls are made with platinum silicone, which has a less-tacky and more flesh-like feel. The heads are interchangeable, and the degree of joint mobility can be requested as well, so you can have a Doll that’s more stiff for posing, or more loose for ahem other purposes. The Body 1 is a very statuesque 5’10”, 73 lb lass, with 34D breasts and a sz 9 shoe. Yeah, she’s a supermodel.


My current desktop wallpaper. I don’t get much work done

So far there are two heads available, the Victoria and the Marina, and they also claim that you’ll be able to order a lass with an optional 12v internal heating system, that can raise her body temperature up to 140°F. Which, it could be said, truly makes the Anatomical Doll hot. Ah ha ha ha haar.

Congratulations Russia, on your delicious entry into the Global Doll Market! It’s a bit like Eurovision, only sexier! And quieter.
More news as it surfaces, of course

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We just couldn’t stay away

typed for your pleasure on 27 April 2009, at 1.20 am

Sdtrk: ‘We know how to have fun’ by ADULT.

So it’s more or less confirmed; the Missus and I will be filmed for another documentary segment late this Spring. Huzzah! I’d received a missive last week from a one Emily Potts, researcher for a National Geographic series called ‘Taboo‘, enquiring if I’d be so kind as to blather at great length on camera about my affictitious wife Sidore. We conducted the pre-interview screening thang this afternoon/her morning, as Ms Potts is based out of Australia, and it was 3am where she was, and we spent an engaging two and a half hours (!!!) on Skype, discussing the direction that she wants the documentary to go in, Myspace impostors, and how to pronounce agalmatophilia, a word which has been thankfully replaced with the less-tongue-twisting Pygmalionism. Charming as she was, unfortunately she won’t be doing the actual interviewing, as she is merely the researcher. Isn’t that always the way?
Nevertheless, Shi-chan and I are rather looking forward to it! At the very least, we can show off the monochrome splendour that is Deafening silence Plus as well…

We have yet to lock in a date, but shooting should be in a month or so. More news as it tumbles towards me, of course

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In the throes of Fanboyism / Boxy but benevolent

typed for your pleasure on 25 April 2009, at 12.15 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Night night’ by Blank dogs

Flipping through the latest MetroTimes whilst at work, I’d spotted a full-page advert for the 2009 Motor City Comic con. Under normal circumstances, information about that event would evaporate quickly from my brain as I made my way towards the page containing Dan Savage’s column, but three of the special guests slated to appear caught my eye, and held it to such a degree, that I’m considering attending for the first time since the mid-Nineties.

You’ve got Priscilla Barnes, who portrayed Terri Alden for three years on one of my all-time favourite sitcoms, ‘Three’s Company’. Then there’s Joyce DeWitt, who for eight years played Janet Wood, my favourite roommate, on the same show; which is even more astounding, due to the fact that she’s pretty much kept out of the public eye since ‘Three’s Company’ ended. That’s ace enough in and of itself, but! The other guest? JULIE ‘AF-709 / CATWOMAN’ NEWMAR. YES. Only thing is, if I decided to bite the bullet and spend the $20 entrance fee (now you know why they call them ‘cons’), what would I have them sign? Priscilla and Joyce’s choice would be simple; I could have them autograph my copy of ‘Come and knock on our door‘, the rather-inclusive book about ‘Three’s Company’, but what of Julie? I don’t have any paraphernalia from Batman, and I’d really love for her to sign something related to ‘My living Doll‘, the short-lived Sixties sitcom starring Ms Newmar as a Gynoid, but theoretically, they’re still in the process of remastering the episodes. Hrrm.
I’m seriously thinking I should go, though. I mean, how often does the opportunity to meet Terri Alden, Janet Wood and AF-709 under the same roof come up in one’s life?

Speaking of robots (pronounced ‘ro-bits’), I ran across this on 4chan‘s /m/echa board: Tweenbots. They’re awfully cute!


‘Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? And DON’T ANSWER PRACTISE’

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate [New York City] with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Given their extreme vulnerability, the vastness of city space, the dangers posed by traffic, suspicion of terrorism, and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. […] The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged.

As Kacie Kinzer is an art school student, the whole exercise is partially a sociological experiment as to how humans interact with non-human beings, so naturally the idea piqued my interest. Besides, the method with which she’s going about it is just plain adorable. Throw in a talking dog, a cat, and a ferret, send the four of them across the country, and you have a family-friendly film just waiting to happen!
So if you reside in NYC and you happen across a Tweenbot that needs assistance, do the right thing, eh? A robot might just help you one day

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Food, arguably

typed for your pleasure on 22 April 2009, at 12.13 am

Sdtrk: ‘Electro gypsy’ by Savlonic

Last Tuesday evening, I stopped round to my local Arby’s, for one of their fine sandwiches of roasted beef (or approximate), and to go along with that, I’d ordered a thing of potato cakes. What’s the proper term for a container of potato cakes, anyway — is it a portion? A silo? A duet? A murder? ‘Err, I’d like a murder of potato cakes, please?’
Following that, I arrived round at goshou’s, for Tokusatsu Tuesday. That’s when Zip Gun, Dave Z and I converge in goshou’s basement, for four hours of tokusatsu telly viewing (usually something Kamen rider-based — we’re currently working our way through the latest series, Kamen rider Decade), followed by some anime occasionally, and we usually cap off the eve with a brief fling with Earth Defence Force 2017, as those giant ants and giant robots aren’t going to kill themselves. Which, all told, would make for a rather bizarre gaming experience.

Anyway! I’d showed up with my Arby’s sammich, plus a cold Gatorade in tow. It was after I’d sat down that I noticed a large dark stain on my bag of food. ‘Huh, my drink sweating must’ve gotten the bag moist, there,’ I’d pointed out. Goshou spotted it, too; ‘No dude, that’s grease from something.’ As it turned out, it was seeping from one of my potato cakes! You probably could’ve wrung the bastard out, it was that saturated. Needless to say, it left a lasting impression, wink wink.


The grease had literally turned the bag translucent for a while

Then I saw this on the side of the bag. It was at that point that I started laughing, and couldn’t stop:


Irony never dies, baby

Kinda makes me reassess my idea of the SoGo NoGo sandwich!
In conclusion: eat more sushi

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You and me and the Continuum

typed for your pleasure on 19 April 2009, at 4.24 pm

Sdtrk: ‘NCR’ by Ike Yard

James Graham Ballard, one of my favourite authors, has passed away today at the age of 78.

Cult author JG Ballard dies at 78
BBC News | Published Sunday, 19 April 2009

The author JG Ballard, famed for novels such as Crash and Empire of the Sun, has died aged 78 after a long illness.

His agent Margaret Hanbury said the author had been ill “for several years” and had died on Sunday morning.

Despite being referred to as a science fiction writer, Jim Ballard said his books were instead “picturing the psychology of the future”.
the rest of the article is here

My first encounter with Ballard was back in the Nineties: my best friend Sean and I were getting into Industrial music — the proper stuff, such as Throbbing gristle, SPK, and the like — and I’d picked up an issue of a counter-culture magazine with a very sporadic release schedule called RE/Search. The issue I’d bought was number 4/5, and dealt exclusively with Throbbing gristle, William S. Burroughs (another author I admire), and Brion Gysin. As there was no other publication out there that we knew of that covered the subjects and topics we liked, we figured RE/Search would be worth keeping an eye on. Issue 6/7 was the highly-influential Industrial Culture Handbook, whose interviews with luminaries of the scene such as Genesis P-Orridge, Boyd Rice, Monte Cazazza, and others, make it entirely invaluable. Now, there had been mentions of J.G Ballard in both of those aforementioned issues, as his erotic-yet-clinical style of writing was an inspiration to many in those circles, so our interest in him was piqued. So when we managed to find issue 8/9, which consisted entirely of interviews and articles concerning Ballard, it was a must-buy.

The thing I liked most about him is that he wasn’t a science fiction writer; he trafficked in speculative fiction. His earlier works were arguably more straightforward scifi, to which I admit I haven’t read them, but the works he’d written that really resonated with me were stories like Concrete island (a businessman is stranded on an abandoned section of land beneath a motorway overpass), High-rise (the micro-society within a penthouse apartment rapidly degenerates into chaos and warfare), The Atrocity exhibition (a series of experimental short stories that dealt with deviant medical professionals and pop culture icons), and one of his most infamous, Crash, which, in a nutshell, dealt with the sexualisation of automobile accidents, and was made into a reasonably-good film adaptation by David Cronenberg in 1996. The speculative fiction label comes from the fact that the events in aforementioned stories are something I could readily see happening if people in society were given that little extra push, the push that strips away all semblance of civility in a person and reverts them to an instinct-driven being that either has morals that are purely self-serving, or who no longer has any morals at all.

Apart from doing things such as writing fictional stories in the style of medical reports or biographical appendices, his stories were populated by characters who were extremely sexual, yet simultaneously incredibly detached. There’s a starkness to Ballard’s stories that appeals to me — Sean had once mentioned that after reading High-rise, he felt as if he’d been beaten with a baseball bat — and his style will always remain unique and undisputably original

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This was the Future, Vol.36

typed for your pleasure on 17 April 2009, at 2.09 am

Yes yes, finally.
Sdtrk: ‘Ein neuer Tag’ by Daniela

So what took me so long to get back to this series? Err, laziness? Plus, it was getting to the point where I’d see an interesting house or building or designer I’d want to profile, and I’d bookmark it for later, and the selections really started piling up, and I’d be hamstrung by the sheer amount of choices. Well, I’m getting back into it, baby. Yeeaaahh. And besides, ‘Shouting etc etc’ isn’t a blog strictly about Synthetiks! It’s, err, just mostly about Synthetiks

Tonight, we profile a structure so famous and ‘This was the Future’-worthy, that I’m slightly ashamed I’ve not already written about it. This would be Case Study House No.8, also known as the Eames House.

Charles and Ray proposed that the home they designed would be for a married couple who were basically apartment dwellers working in design and graphic arts, and who wanted a home that would make no demands for itself, but would, instead serve as a background for as Charles would say, “life in work” with nature as a “shock absorber.”

The first plan of their home, known as the Bridge House, was designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen in 1945. Because it used off-the-shelf parts ordered from catalogues, and the war had caused a shortage in materials delivery, the steel did not arrive until late 1948. By then, Charles and Ray had “fallen in love with the meadow,” in Ray’s words, and felt that the site required a different solution. […]

Charles and Ray moved into the House on Christmas Eve, 1949, and lived here for the rest of their lives. The interior, its objects and its collections remain very much the way they were in Charles and Ray’s lifetimes. The house they created offered them a space where work, play, life, and nature co-existed.
taken from this site

Charles and Ray Eames: when they weren’t designing all manner of fab seating, or producing films such as ‘Powers of Ten‘, a short film that explores the scale of the Universe, they were busy with architecture. They weren’t just multitaskers, but design trendsetters in a post-WWII America. Prior to them, the word ‘modular’ wasn’t even in the popular vocabulary.

The exterior of the Eames House is available for visiting at practically any time; however, you have to be a member of the Eames Foundation to actually step inside for their annual tour. With a building that culturally significant and just plain cool, it might be worth the price

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Yes, more pro-Synthetiks propaganda

typed for your pleasure on 12 April 2009, at 2.18 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The angel of the odd’ by Merzbow

Just a heads-up: ULTRAKILLBOT has generously posted Part II of their interview with yours truly, which details me rambling at length about iDollators, life with Shi-chan, the future of Androids and Gynoids, and… Toronto. What better way to spend an Easter Sunday, I ask you??

Tell me a bit about your interest in Gynoids.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enthralled with artifice as a whole — I’ve always been drawn to things that resemble something from nature, yet aren’t actually natural. I’m completely in love with the whole Sixties-era obsession with plastic, for one. I believe two of humanity’s greatest achievements are developments in robotics, and the replication of things that Nature usually creates, and Synthetik humans are a fine combination of those two things. Creating robots in general supports my philosophy of every man being his own god, but when you wrap all that technology up in a very humanlike appearance, it’s easier for Organik humans to embrace the idea of robots as valid members of society. That’s why I always use the terms ‘Synthetiks’ and ‘Organiks’ — it’s my hope that in the future, people will see Androids and Gynoids as simply another type of human. Although they’re not meat-based like we are, they’re human as well, in their own fashion.

A fine interview, and a fine site, with fine staffers. Go check it out!
Also, eerily relevant, courtesy of my new favourite online comic strip, Married to the Sea:

marriedtothesea.com

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