The Null Device


Some clichés never die: Wouldn't you know it; the first place winner of the QuakeCon "coolest case" contest involves a glowing skull. (via Slashdot)

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A few weeks ago, John Hawk visited his uncle's body at the Ohio funeral parlour where it was being kept prior to the funeral. Requesting some time alone with his late uncle, he cut off the corpse's head with a handsaw, and made off with it. (via Follow me Here)

Mr. Hawk had developed some bizarre religious beliefs, many of which were spelled out in flyers he printed on his home computer and distributed in town. In one, he described a method for resurrecting a loved one that first called for obtaining and consuming the deceased's brain, the chief said.


Prediction: after everyone gets bored of electronica, of 3-chord grunge-pop bands buying TB-303s with label advances and adding breakbeats to all their songs and of radio waves flooded with pumpin' chemical doof, rock'n'roll will make a big comeback. Blue jeans, letterman jackets and duck's-arse haircuts will become the next big youth fashion, one-upping the britpop movement's appropriation of 60s Mod styles.

All of this will last for about a month, and then the next big thing will roll right over it.


Mooks. No, not the retro-fratboy fashion label, but a youth subculture inspired by rap, metal, burlesque images of black culture, professional wrestling, porn and the 'white-trash' identity. (via Follow Me Here)

what white artists have taken from hip-hop is a towering sense of resentment. Rap today has a well of aggrievement, and when a black artist is sloppy about his rage, race relations have a way of focusing the issues for him. It doesn't take much thinking to imagine what a black rapper might be mad about. But when white kids start talking that talk, the rage often comes out inchoate; it appears and vanishes like a half-formed thought. And it doesn't take much to release it... And the easiest targets get flayed the worst: women, of course, and gays.
Half of the 98 percent-Caucasian crowd is dressed for a tractor pull, the other half for a Puffy video. There are longhairs with John Deere caps and denim jackets drinking beer alongside pals wearing Fubu shirts and Avirex footwear. Rednecks dress like roughnecks, and people who in their daily lives keep a distance from black culture have given themselves a ghetto makeover. I ask one fan who loves Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and even the Marxist, multiracial Rage Against the Machine if he has many black friends. He smirks and removes his baseball cap... He is a skinhead, and he knows he has answered my question without saying a word.
Rap ... makes life on the streets seem as thrilling as a Playstation game. Pimping and gangbanging equal rebellion, especially for white kids who aren't going to get pulled over for driving while black, let alone die in a hail of bullets

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Hoax of the day: the secret Gospel of Mark , an apocryphal religious text depicting Jesus in a much more, umm, lavender light than the usual ones. (via RobotWisdom)


A piece on the decline and fall of Melbourne's Brunswick St..

Trish has always lived within close proximity of Brunswick Street and she's worked in three of the cafés along this strip. "It's changed phenomenally," she gauges. "When I moved into the area in `88, every second person was wearing black or looked different from the norm."
Over the past two years, we've seen the construction of the Max Apartments and The Metropole, not to mention the glary, saturating neon washes that hallmark the new 7-Eleven and Blockbuster Video stores... "It's obvious that business is seeing Brunswick Street as a good place to invest, because they want to target younger professionals," assesses Richard Martin... "More people now own their own properties, or investors have bought into the market. There are less `shared households' here now, so [fewer] students live in the area."
"The Evelyn is the place that most gets to me -- I used to go there to see mates' bands, and there'd be fights and it was a cool pub. Now it's just kind of bland. It's the same with the Punters Club -- I used to feel really at home there, but now it's like the place is paranoid -- I can't explain it. If I was going to go to a pub now, it wouldn't be one on Brunswick Street at all."


Slouching towards Los Angeles: Much to the chagrin of public-transport advocates, vegetarian bicyclists and miscellaneous dreadlocked people who don't bathe, the Victorian government has brought back the Scoresby Freeway, which it scrapped after winning office. It doesn't look like there'll be any major public transport enhancements for the sprawling, car-dependent outer east of Melbourne; a few extra bus routes perhaps, but nothing of the scope of the railway line extension called for by public transport groups. Then again, everyone in the outer east has a car and drives everywhere anyway, and there is more demand for freeways than for public transport, which is mostly an inner-city thing, like fancy cafés and voting Democrat. The only people who use public transport there are kids too young to drive who can't get Mum to give them a lift in the minivan.

Of course, such a reinforcing of the Los Angelisation of Melbourne's transport infrastructure will take its toll on pollution and health problems, and will make fixing the problem much more expensive in future.

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Might makes right: A large US publishing company recently published a book, recounting a woman's story of being seduced by an online child molester. Their marketing people titled it, without checking whether such a domain already existed. As it happens, it did. Meanwhile, the original owner of, a London woman named Katie Jones, found herself inundated with email, much of it of an unpleasant nature, and forced to shut down her web site. She complained to the publisher, who basically told her to shut up or else. It is unlikely that she would be able to claim any damages. (via The Register)


Veteran rapper turned online entrepreneur Ice-T on Napster and the upcoming recording industry apocalypse.