The Null Device


3RRR just played Dandelion Wine's cover of Slowdive's Melon Yellow. Very nice. I like the new electronic-beats-and-dulcimer format.

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This is not the Onion: The Islamic theocracy of Iran is ahead of the U.S. in sex education. Mostly because of the U.S.'s federally-mandated "abstinence-only" sex education and panic about regarding under-18s as sexual beings. (For example, the Missouri legislature, presumably taking a break from the War On Goths, recently voted to cut $100,000 from a University's budget to punish a professor who claimed that the 'moral panic' over paedophilia is exaggerated.)

Update: An AlterNet story about the issue, and about a controversial book criticising the whole notion of protecting minors from the very knowledge of sex.

(via Unknown News, The Fix)

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Silly/amusing: The random masturbation euphemism generator. And the band instrument quiz tells me I'd be a clarinet. (via sex and sunshine)


One of the most contentious processes is selecting tracks for a mix CD to give to someone. In doing this, one encounters a number of dilemmas:

  • The overall philosophy of song selection (by what you think they'd like, or by what you like, or some happy medium).
  • Which areas of your musical taste the recipient is likely to share; do you occupy different ends of the ironic/sincere spectrum? Do you go for twee indie-pop or SubGenius doktorbands? Would a spirited gypsy/klezmer number about cannibalistic bootywhang make you look like a dangerous nutter? Would a CD full of drill'n'bass or shoegazer grab them?
  • Favour vs. diversity. In your heart of hearts, you may want to make it equal parts Slowdive, Lush, The Paradise Motel and The Licorice Comfits, or whatever your favourite acts are, but what if they don't like these acts?
  • How much of the CD do you reserve for semi-obscure local bands they may not hear of otherwise.
  • Do you put on obscure remixes of bands you know? If the original means nothing to them, will such wilful obscurantism at best go over their head and at worst make you look like an insufferable trainspotter?
  • Representation. Which songs do you choose to represent, say, The Smiths? Which version of Bizarre Love Triangle to put on: Frente's or Even As We Speak's (or even the original)?

So in the end you give up and make it a double CD.


Here comes the remote electronically controlled around corners trajection of frankenstein cyborg rats. What would Francis E. Dec have thought? Quite ingenious. Of course, the ethical question of running electrodes into an animal's brain and training it by stimulating its pleasure centres comes up. Though is that any more inhumane than training an animal to perform an artificial task by conventional means? (And it could be argued that the implanted rats have more fun than their regular cousins.)

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