Friday, November 30, 2007
On the 11th November 2007, Remembrance Sunday, the Ministry of Defence stated that 171 British Soldiers had died in Iraq since the beginning of the war in March 2003. A new series of prints by Mark James explores the current attitude towards the war in Iraq focusing on the seemingly irreverent way human lives are being sacrificed and our apparent emotional disengagement from such atrocities.
Another Soldier was originally created as a one off piece for the Action Man 4040 exhibition in May 2006 (www.am4040.com) the original piece sold at auction, but as time has passed the work has become a more potent symbol for the frivolous and disposable way soldiers lives are being used by our government to fight in an unjust war. As the war in Iraq blunders on the stories of horror and tragedy occurring on a daily basis are routinely being glossed over while the latest celebrity tittle-tattle and Big Brother headlines are given front page prominence. The toy soldier lying in his coffin is intended as a stark reminder of our increasingly desensitised attitudes towards the concept of war, its brutal realities and our apparent acceptance of the government and the media's portrayal of war as a game that is played in some far-off land, with soldiers discarded like broken playthings unrelated to the real and significant, needless loss of human life.
Another Soldier will be an edition of 171 screen prints, each representing a soldier. Taken from one original image, each print varies slightly as the ink dries and fills each screen; the image gradually decaying at each stage in the printing process.
The prints will be for sale with 10% of proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. Printed on 250gsm white Keycolour, B2 (700x500mm) Each print will be signed and numbered.
Available from December 3rd through Scrawl Collective.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
As the star of '07 summer blockbuster Transformers, Shia LaBeouf has quite a few options when it comes to future projects. Already, he snagged a role in fourth Indiana Jones flick Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull alongside Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett, so what could be next? A movie with Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, or Hilary Swank? Maybe a stint on Broadway? Alas, no. Instead, it seems LaBeouf will travel down the tricky, so often indulgent road of the "pet project." And his pet project is... a Cage biopic.
Yep, you read right. LaBeouf is looking to play Def Jux rapper Cage, aka Chris Palko, in a forthcoming film about the MC's life, according to an article in the December issue of Spin. "I have been listening to Cage since I got into hip-hop when I was 12," LaBeouf said. "I grew up on the West Coast listening to a lot of 2Pac and Eazy-E, so when I found out that Cage was white, it was incredible. I'd never heard anything like that."
After having gained a measure of fame due to his roles in tween hits Holes and Disney Channel show "Even Stevens", LaBeouf contacted Cage about making a documentary about the rapper, and Cage allowed him to film his tour in 2006. (Whoa... could Shia LaBeouf have been at the Pitchfork Music Festival last year?) According to SPIN, at some point along the way, the prospect of drawing from Cage's history of drug abuse and psychiatric problems for a biopic became more enticing than a straight documentary. And thus, the idea was born.
As Tom Breihan wrote in the Pitchfork review of Cage's 2005 album Hell's Winter, "Cage has the kind of life story most aspiring new-schoolers just lie and make up. He was abused by his dishonorably-discharged junky father and his stepfather, kicked out of high school, overmedicated in a mental hospital, became a white-rap wunderkind in the early 90s, almost put out an album on Columbia, kicked around the major label system, got hooked on drugs, had a kid, got dissed on the first Eminem album, and found himself a home in underground rap." Sounds like a promising story arc to us.
Talking to SPIN, LaBeouf made it clear that this will be a chance for him to subvert Hollywood's expectations of him as a squeaky clean boy next door, saying, "It's kind of like how no matter what film De Niro was making, he was always ready to pull Raging Bull out of his back pocket. Cage is my Jake LaMotta." It seems the movie will also allow LaBeouf to explore themes of delusion and overstatement.
Despite all the talk, the movie is still very much in its beginning stages. LaBeouf is producing it (probably under the umbrella of his own Grassy Slope production company), according to a recent Cage interview with LAist.com, but the two are still looking for a writer and a director.
As for the specific content of the movie, Cage claims in the LAist.com interview that "it [covers] from birth to about '98 or so, after I dropped 'Agent Orange'." He also didn't rule out the possibility of making a cameo.
Today, Cage posted the following message on his MySpace page, referring to the SPIN article:
"By the way it's not.... Plus I be disturbed it's Plus happy disturbed in that Agent Orange quote no matter how many websites tell you different.That's right people I was an angry misogynistic angel dust smoking suicidal high school drop out former mental patient lashing out in music and stumbled into everything including the movie being made about it.
We are in development we can't get a writer until the strike is over and that is where we are.
I hope this answers some of your questions."
Cage is currently working on the follow-up to Hell's Winter, which he first talked to us about over a year ago. It's still titled Depart From Me, and it's due out summer 2008 on Def Jux. Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw/Head Automatica is serving as executive producer, Sean Martin of Hatebreed contributes production, and Phil Caivano of Monster Magnet is recording the album. According to Cage's publicist, "it's a very progressive record that is mostly sample-free and guitar-heavy, with beats ranging from 88 to 200 BPMs-- not a typical rap record by any means."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
By Tillie Fong, Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday night defended the need for the USA Patriot Act, saying that since Sept. 11, 2001, there has been a new "paradigm of peril."
"The old type of systems allowed to happen to us what happened to us on 9/11," he said.
Ashcroft spoke to more than 800 students and community members at Macky Auditorium Tuesday night at the University of Colorado.
Members of Students for Peace and Justice staged a silent protest at Ashcroft's speech, and a number of people heckled Ashcroft, sometimes snorting in derision, at other times shouting challenges. In many cases, the heckler was escorted out of the auditorium by student ushers.
Ashcroft talked about the events that led to the Patriot Act. The day after 9/11, "the president said, 'Do not let this happen again,' " Ashcroft said.
"Let's look at the law and see what we can do that would help us. We need to think differently, think outside the box . . . never think outside the Constitution."
When that comment was met with boos, Ashcroft responded: "Whooping and hollering in an auditorium will not get that done."
Ashcroft said that the Patriot Act "makes perfect sense."
This is the kind of thing that we have lived comfortably with in fighting organized crime and drug dealers. We hadn't understood the need . . . to fight against terror."
Ashcroft also responded to questions from the audience. The first question came from a woman who asked if Ashcroft would be willing to be subjected to waterboarding.
"The things that I can survive, if it were necessary to do them to me, I would do," he said.
Ashcroft was also asked if he knew during his tenure about abuse in Abu Ghraib prison. "How was I to know what was happening in a prison in Iraq?" he said. "The Justice Department does not run prisons in foreign lands."
However, he apologized for what did occur there. "I'm sorry about Abu Ghraib - it was hurting the United States," he said.
Ashcroft also defended the incarceration of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. "Yes, it's a good place for them," he said. "You detain people you don't want to enter the stream of battle. It's a new kind of battle: They don't wear uniforms; they attack civilians."
His speech was sponsored by the Cultural Events Board.
CB4 - Slum Village
Physicists have developed a way to turn heat into sound and then electricity, suggesting a new way to effectively recycle waste energy.
“We are converting waste heat to electricity in an efficient, simple way by using sound,” said the scientist who led the effort, Orest Symko of the University of Utah. “It is a new source of renewable energy from waste heat.”
Symko’s recycling devices are cylinder-shaped “resonators” that fit in the palm of your hand. Each cylinder contains a stack of material with a large surface area—such as metal or plastic plates, or fibers made of glass, cotton or steel wool—placed between cold and hot heat exchangers.
When heat is applied, the heat builds to a particular threshold where hot, moving air produces sound at a single frequency—like air blown into a flute.
“You have heat, which is so disorderly and chaotic, and all of a sudden you have sound coming out at one frequency,” Symko said.
The sound waves then squeeze what is called a piezoelectric device (“piezo” means pressure or squeezing). The pressure created produces an electric voltage. Symko says it is similar to when you hit your "funnybone" or the nerve on outside of your elbow, thereby generating that weird, painful pinch, which is actually an electrical nerve impulse.
Symko plans to test the devices within a year at a military radar facility and the University of Utah’s hot-water-generating plant. (The U.S. Army funded the study in hopes the technology can be used to create a portable source of energy.)
Symko expects these devices could be used within two years as an alternative to the photovoltaic cells that currently convert sunlight into electricity, and could also provide a new way to cool laptops and other computers, and a to generate electricity from the heat released by nuclear power plant cooling towers.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Raica Oliveira, one of my girl crushes. Gorgeous. I can't explain it--just something about her face. No...wait...I can explain it--look at those eyes. She's so pretty and sweet-looking, my favorite kind of foxiness. I love her. She's got some fake breasts like a lot of Cariocas but I still love her. Raica, call me. We don't have to make out; I just want to stare at you.
Coping skills. I hate honking horns and people rushing me and being mean. I'm determined not to let this goddamn city get to me. I need kindness daily in order to function.