The Null Device
Trainspotting/synchronicity: Was looking at the website of Piano Magic (a band well worth checking out, btw); according to their history, they were somewhat inspired by 4AD acts such as This Mortal Coil, Modern Lovers and Dead Can Dance (Artists' Rifles was recorded with at Woodbine Street Studios with John Rivers, who worked with DCD on The Serpent's Egg).
Seen on a mailing list: An artist named Nina Katchadourian has an interesting exhibit showing in a New York gallery. Viewers put popcorn into a machine, and as it pops, the sounds are recorded by a computer and translated from Morse Code, recording what each bag of popcorn "said". (via mediaculturebooks)
MIT neuroscientists show that laboratory rats dream of running mazes; not only that, but the same mazes which they ran whilst awake. The brain activity patterns are so similar, scientists could tell which part of the maze the rat is dreaming of.
The latest craze among young men in Islamic Fundamentalist-ruled Afghanistan is the Titanic haircut, so named as it's modelled on Pretty Boy DiCaprio's hair in the eponymous blockbuster. The Taliban rulers (who have banned Western clothing and the trimming of beards) are not amused, and have arrested dozens of barbers. (via Rebecca's Pocket)
Interesting software of the day: A watercolour simulator, which uses an array of "wet pixels" to model the effects of watercolour paint on paper; soon to be a GIMP plug-in. And since it's open source, you can see how it's done.
The Americanized Harry Potter Script; be very afraid...
Who was Max Schreck? The actual identity of the Nosferatu actor whose name translates as "ultimate terror" is somewhat of a mystery, with some believing that he never existed, and the euphonious sobriquet was a pseudonym for another actor. Meanwhile, recent film Shadow of the Vampire capitalises on the mystery, suggesting that Schreck was an actual vampire.
A roundup of films shown at Sundance. The Believer looks interesting, as does Enigma.
Perhaps there is hope for Ireland, given the overwhelming indifference with which the prospect of an Irish Pope (the sternly conservative Archbishop of Dublin) was met. (Are condoms legally available in the Emerald Isle yet?) (link via Leviathan)