The Null Device
A recent survey, taken among Catholics in Italy, has found that devoutly religious people are more likely to suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder than less religious people. It is as yet uncertain whether OCD predisposes people towards extremes of religious devotion, or whether a strict religious upbringing or lifestyle can induce obsessive-compulsive behaviour.
The researchers compared people, such as nuns and priests who worked in the church, with committed lay Catholics and others with virtually no religious involvement. Each subject was asked to document mild OCD symptoms, such as intrusive mental images or worries. The more devout Catholics reported more severe symptoms.
This sounds interesting: Sabbatum, an early-music tribute to Black Sabbath... in Latin, too. (via Found)
A new anti-cloning bill being debated in the US could be used to outlaw abortion, by defining life as beginning from conception. Then again, the two issues seem rather closely related; isn't the entire moral panic about the evils of cloning firmly rooted in a Fetus People fetishisation of the religious significance of the embryo?
As Japan's economy declines and jobs are axed, many young salarymen, unable to cope with the shame of being laid off, are becoming hermits, locking themselves in their rooms and shunning all social contact. Known as hikikomori in Japanese, some remain isolated for years, usually supported by their parents. (via Plastic)
Neo-Dadaist musician/prankster John Trubee gives his account of his opus Peace & Love (better known as the Blind Man's Penis Song). And there's also a MP3 of the anti-music classic on the site. Praise "Bob"!
I picked up Hefner's The Hefner Brain EP today (PolyEster happened to have a copy). It's pretty good, in a geeky sort of way; three songs of squelchy synth-driven electro-pop (including a mix of the excellent When The Angels Play Their Drum Machines, which 3RRR had been playing quite a bit), a tongue-in-cheek country number and a touchingly sincere, if perhaps slightly too sentimental, love song.
Oh yes, and Jeremy Dower's Music For Retirement Villages circa 2050 sounds a bit like Múm.