The Null Device
The BBC has a piece on Radiohead's new album, Amnesiac. It's an interesting album, though the jury's still out. (Oh, and if you're quick, you may score the limited edition which comes with a hardcover book of cryptic/disquieting/pretentious artwork.)
The amazing story of childhood prodigy David Hahn, who built a nuclear reactor in his garden shed at age 15.
Of his exposure to radioactivity he says, "I don't believe I took more than five years off my life."
John Alejandro King is apparently a CIA agent, a former well-known disco bass player, and quite possibly a raving nutcase. Anyway, he writes bizarre poetry in his spare time and sells books of it, apparently giving the proceeds to Amnesty International. His site has a wealth of borderline-psychoceramic material, as well as this illuminating piece about other eccentrics in the intelligence community.
I just received a mail from a band's mailing list, which had the following ominous footnote:
Come to the Espy while we've still got an Espy. Even go on the nights when we're not playing. Words going around that the ESPY will be closing its doors for good at the end of July. This will be a sad day for Melbourne. The Continental has closed. We're told the Punters Club might be turned into a Country Road outlet. Melbourne's turning into Sydney. Get out there people. Support live music and live music venues.
The Closure of the Espy one can understand; St Kilda has become thoroughly yuppified, and a grungy rock'n'roll venue (especially one that keeps someone as disreputable as Fred Negro off the dole queues) is as out of place there as it would be in South Yarra at the Trak shopping centre. Apart from wasting perfectly good views of the bay on such downmarket clientele, it probably brings property values down, and we can't have that. On the other hand, I did hear that some locals were about to buy the Espy and keep it running (then again, they may be out to turn it into a more upmarket venue of some sort). In any case, something like the Espy in a prime St Kilda location is an anomaly.
You'd think the Punters would be a bit safer though.
The Nepalese Crown Prince has achieved what the Maoist guerillas have been unable to, and wiped out the Nepalese royal family. Crown Prince Dipendra took a machine gun and gunned down the King and Queen, as well as several of his siblings, after arguing about astrological prohibitions on him marrying and having children. Crown Prince Dipendra is expected to become the next King of Nepal, if he survives the self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Though with the hit in legitimacy the monarchy is likely to take after his assention, I wonder how long it will last.