The Null Device


Semiopathy is a condition which causes its victims to over-empathise with objects:

Kathy Haskard, meanwhile, tells us of the wave of sympathy that washed over her when she saw a sign on a country road in Tasmania saying: "Warning, depressed bridge ahead". Roger Lampert, on the other hand, was perhaps suffering more from semiophobia when, at an early age, he was deeply distressed by the sight of the local "family butcher".
Meanwhile, Sandy Henderson tells us that at Dunblane, near where he lives, is a sign that reads "Hummingbird House Training Centre". Henderson says he hadn't realised that hummingbirds needed house training, but it was very thoughtful of someone to set up a centre to provide it.

Do you have any similar examples to recount? If so, post them in the Comments.

amusing language semiopathy 1

Now this is cool: Curve (yes; the Toni Halliday Curve) have made available separate tracks of one of their tracks from 1992, from the original master tape, as MP3s, for remixing. And if they like your remix, they may post it on their web site (which also has free MP3s of relased and unreleased tracks, changing periodically).


Freedom of Speech: A former One Nation candidate is suing a radio broadcaster for defamation after the broadcaster described the One Nation party's faithful as "loonies" and "whackos". Douglas Cecil Hesse, who stood for election as a member of the reactionary-right One Nation party in 1998, is claiming $40,000 damages for anxiety, upset and ill health. This is possible because this is Australia, where libel/defamation laws designed centuries ago to protect the British aristocracy from common riffraff with printing presses are still in force.


Perception engineering: The US Military-Industrial-Entertainment Complex is considering ways to defuse anti-American resentment in the Middle East; their latest idea is saturation bombing with MTV, to bring their young people into McWorld, away from the lure of terrorist martyrdom. Who needs 72 virgins in the afterlife, the argument goes, when you can have Britney Spears videos in the here and now? (Warning: evil pop-up ads)


Uh-oh: Will Microsoft buy Adobe? If they do, we can say goodbye to cross-platform PDF beyond the current version, not to mention see Windows take over as the dominant graphic-design platform (much in the way that happened with video when MS made Avid drop Mac support).


Speaking of things psychoceramic, this rant is an instant classic. Someone should record a spoken-word version of it. Actually, I'm tempted to run it through a speech synthesiser and use it as material, just for the sheer way-out cosmic mojo of it. (via the Psychoceramics list)


Also from the band names site: the fascinating story of SPK, or "Sozialistisches Patienten Kollectiv"; basically, they were a group of German mental patients who, in the heady days of the late 1960s, decided that forming a revolutionary terrorist group was a good form of occupational therapy, and thus conducted a killing and kidnapping spree with the enthusiasm that only the insane can muster. Their name was borrowed by an Australian post-punk/industrial band in 1978.


A big list of band names and their etymologies; mentions some bands you knew, and some you probably didn't (and possibly wouldn't want to).

[Aleister] Crowley's philosophy has influenced many musicians including Jimmy Page (who owns one of Crowley's former homes), Ozzy Osbourne and Daryl Hall of Hall and Oats.

(Daryl Hall?!?)

Piece of trivia: Skinny Puppy has the morbid honor that Jeffrey Dahmer picked up one of his victims at one of their shows.
SUGARCUBES - Dripping liquid LSD on Sugarcubes is a time honored way to "package" LSD.

Though I thought that the Sugarcubes was an absinthe reference, and not an LSD reference (absinthe being so bitter that it is typically consumed by dissolving a sugar cube in). (via Lukelog)