Friday, April 30, 2010



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Could someone

please explain the logic in Amazon's associative processes.

Busy week

doing things editorial. 16 hour days hunched in front of a hot monitor. Smoking far too much, as I tend to do when I'm engaged in such pursuits. (&, as a side issue, I see that the Federal Government is going to increase duty on cigarets, which will increase the price by about 20%, which will mean I'll be paying an extra $20 per week for the privilege of killing myself by harmful inhalation. &, they're going to insist the tobacco companies start producing their wares in packaging with nil branding; just a huge photo of something like gangrene, a huge warning as to how smoking is a health hazard or causes cancer or..., & in small letters, the brand varietal.)

But I've caught up on getting Otoliths ready for going live. Only two more things to do, one fiddly, one very easy (putting a new front page in place in just over 24 hours!).

& I've even managed to get the next book in the Otoliths catalog to the stage where I've just ordered a proof copy for the author.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

anchovies & elephants & Thelonious Monk

"It begins to tell
round midnight, round midnight..."

Monday, April 26, 2010

still burning the

Midnight Oil

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Issue #17 of Otoliths

is, in terms of putting it together, well into the final straight. A horse-racing analogy, something I never thought I'd use.

Now make that is was. Received a request last night from a dear friend. The journal she was guest-editing an issue for has "lost their web person" & apparently they won't be publishing it any more. Could I possibly help by doing it as a feature in Otoliths?

Being a generous soul, & knowing how much work said dear friend had put into getting the issue together, how could I refuse? So, I'm burning the midnight oil—I don't think that's a horse-racing term, though you never know—&, in relative terms, am starting from scratch—a human-racing term—to put an entire issue of a magazine together to go into an issue of the big O.

Which means, peeps, that you'll be getting a great bonus issue inside issue #17 of Otoliths which is was already shaping up to be a great issue. Double the doohickies! Doohickie the doubloons! Spring has sprung / the grass has riz / I wonder where the birdies is. / The birds is on the wing. / But that's absurd / because the wings is on the bird.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Second Amendment, purportedly,

gives U.S. citizens the right to

bare arms

bear charms

beer farms

bury harm

or be fuckwits

Several dozen 2nd Amendment advocates — many with loaded handguns on their hips and rifles dangling from their shoulders — gathered in a Virginia park within view of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, marking a day of protest against what activists called dangerous breaches of the U.S. Constitution.

Organisers of the Restore the Constitution rally chose to stage it on the anniversary of the 1775 uprising in Lexington that started the War of Independence. It was also the date of the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City by the Right-wing extremist Timothy McVeigh.

The number of active anti-government Right-wing “patriot” groups nearly tripled last year to 512 from 149 in 2008, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the activities of hate groups.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today the
postman brought
me a calliope. He
was all steamed
up about it. So,
too, the calliope.
Instant (re)play.

&, on the subject of volcanoes,

a cigaret
a fumer roll?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

But / what causes / volcanoes to erupt?

Promiscuous women are responsible for earthquakes, a senior Iranian cleric has said.

Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told worshippers in Tehran last Friday that they had to stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves.

"Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes," he said.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Promised Land

Short-range ordered
nanoholes can
improve the health
of rice farmers &
consumers or even,
with the addition
of the new bad-boy
vibe, form a picture of
a dying Michael Jackson
that's part solid, part
liquid. Such prototyping,
with its specially de-
signed cells & the use
of heat sinks, would
seem to be an inbuilt
aspect of our human
software; but the only
constant factor in
natural phenomena
is universal change—
a life-size figurative
re-enactment of da
Vinci's Last Supper
made from wax just
doesn't cut it as a
wonder of the world.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

geographies: Bloomington

Even though it's in
its name, only Indiana
amongst the states
doesn't have some
type of embedded
DNA. Instead, it uses
a sparse Bayesian
regression method
which, in subsequent
iterations, creates
a silhouette, a gray-
level image made up
of motion pixels from the
final scene of Wozzeck.

halfway civilized

An oops

At least, I hope it's an oops, & not South Africa reverting to its pre-President Mandela days.

As it appeared on Google News South Africa:
Entertainment »

Times LIVE
NUM: Miners shot at - ‎4 hours ago‎
Police and guards fired live ammunition at striking Gold One workers at the Modder East mine near Springs on Thursday afternoon, the National Union of Mineworkers claimed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ah, Queensland. Bigoted one day, biggeroted the next

"But then, things are tough all over. Even as Abbott pumped his mighty legs up hill and down dale, debate was raging out of control in Queensland, as the prospect of splitting the state in two to accommodate daylight savings for the south-east was raised. Howls of protest ensued from Queenslanders, who objected strongly to the confusion this would cause, the disorienting effect it would have on cows, the necessity of waking up an hour earlier to accommodate their inability to reset a clock, and the reckless tampering of the state government with the space-time continuum. Premier Anna Bligh was reported to welcome the debate, inasmuch as it distracted regional and rural Queenslanders from the government's ongoing attempts to kill them with lethal doses of fluoride."

Ben Popjie: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) has promptly expelled a member who called Barack Obama a "monkey" on Twitter during the US president's interview on ABC television.

The tweets, from an account belonging to Griffith University medical student Nick Sowden, began just after 7.30pm (AEST) on Thursday, during ABC TV's 7.30 Report with Kerry O'Brien.

"I'm not sure why they paid kerry to fly to america (sic), if they wanted an interview with a monkey surely a ferry to Taronga would have sufficed," one tweet said, referring to Taronga Zoo on Sydney Harbour.

"If I wanted to see a monkey on TV I'd watch Wildlife Rescue," said another.

Mr Sowden appears on a list of Liberals on Twitter. In 2009 he was UQ's student council representative on the National Union of Students.

Alex Dickinson:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some names

are, in context, almost too good to be true.

A item on tv news tonight to do with the world premiere in Townsville of an Australian film, Beneath Hill 60, about a miner from North Queensland who led the tunneling under German lines in WWI so that explosive mines could be placed, included interviews with some of the locals who were extras in the film. Amongst them, a gentleman by the name of Bert Part.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I am toying—

a heading that would indicate a totally (or maybe not) set of activities if this was a pornsite—with the idea of doing another Allegrezza ficcione.

This one would be roughly contemporary with the history of Giovanni Allegrezza, the ancestor whose traces Umberto set out to seek for in the allegrezza. It would mean another relative, a brother or son perhaps, would have to be found; & this time it would take place in Africa, would be centered on Timbuktu, in Mali, during the time of the Mali & Songhay empires.

Djinguereber Mosque, Timbuktu, built in 1327

Timbuktu was a city of great Islamic scholarship in those days, with libraries, Quranic schools, & mosques. It was also a commercial center, situated on trade routes that linked it to the major North African cities, &, from them, on into Europe & Asia. Today it's an improverished place, with just over 30,000 people. But there are also 100,000 manuscripts, some dating back a millenium, kept in private libraries by some of the families there.

trade routes of Northern Africa

I have always believed—ironic though it may seem given today's global tensions—that Western civilization & culture exists only because Islamic scholars kept alive & built upon the great ideas of Greek & Roman & Egyptian philosophy, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, art, etc., with all its writings. Without that preservation, that curatorship by enquiring & active minds, there might never have been a Renaissance.

We might all still be savages, totally ignorant & with no nobility.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

geographies: Kandahar

The focus of a
failing strategy
in Afghanistan

has changed in
recent decades
from a patho-

genic underpin-
ning of a piece
of fruit—which,

put simply, is
just an entity
containing seeds—

to the use of a
super-size cup-
cake as an object

for semiotic

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lac Faguibine, Mali

a NASA photo from space

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A dialogue, a mild diatribe

"I've just finished reading Best New Zealand Poetry 2009."

"The title's wrong, you know."


"Because I'm not in it. Therefore it can't be the Best."

"That's pretty arrogant of you. But why should you be in it? You don't live there."

"I hold a New Zealand passport. I published poems in New Zealand journals during the year. The most minor of those poems is more major than the majority of poems included in this selection."

"Using whose criteria?"

"Mine, of course. But even my subjective is objective. What we are seeing here is nothing more than a collection of work primarily by people who did a creative writing degree awarded by the University that publishes this series, augmented by work from friends of the editor—who just happens to be 50% responsible for another travesty, Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets—& by work published in journals associated with said University. Then add a couple of well-known & -respected poets to give it weight. Voilà! I think it should be renamed Biased New Zealand Poetry 2009."

"Anything else you want to add to that?"

"Let me personalize it, push it through a sieve of my own making. Let's say that the 25 poems included were submitted to Otoliths. I would probably select three poems on their individual strength, another couple if they were part of a grouping. The remaining 20 I would reject outright."

"I'm starting to detect a definite undertone of bitterness here. Care to comment?"

"You're right, of course. It's a nationalist thing, a need for a sense of belonging. But when the nation doesn't want you to belong . . . Take Billy Apple, Russell Crowe—though you can't really take him anywhere—Anna Paquin. They've all gone overseas, but New Zealand still claims them as her own. Me? I feel stateless, & it hurts. I'd like a little recognition in my homeland."

"& appearing in a book, most of whose contents you think are crap, whose editor writes: 'Readers may find my choices formally conservative. I was conscious that this site is, for an audience outside New Zealand, a window on to its poetry and I suspect that on the web – even more than on the printed page – a poem that looks difficult will cause the cursor to stray, discourage lingering' would do that for you somehow?"

"I take your point. Let's just say that I would have liked to have been included in some of the earlier Best; & this year, because of the poems & where they were published, I thought I would be. However, having noted the 2009 editor's comments & the bias inherent in the selection, I'm not surprised I wasn't included. Nor, given the fact that most of the poems are not to my liking—note that it wasn't me that earlier used 'crap' in relation to them—am I all that disappointed, except mildly, in an abstract sort of way."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The upper speed limit

on most Australian highways, with the exception of some in the Northern Territory which are 20 kph higher, is 110 kilometers per hour.

So why the fuck would you have as the major selling point of a car advertisement the fact that it can do 305 kph? Already 46% of NSW road deaths are a result of speed, 34% of South Australia's, 30% of Western Australia's.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

Crying 4 Kafka @ the House of Blues

l-r: Joe Dean bass, Brandon Thibeault drums, Paul Abramson vocals, Steve Stewart (aka harry k stammer) guitar

harry writes: "incredible... we played to about 1000 people. What a fucking rush."

Friday, April 09, 2010

geographies: Cusco

Machu Picchu
is nearby. It
is a lever to
motivate adaptive
changes. History
happens back-
wards for a reason.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

At almost

the same time as I was disembarking off the connecting flight from Brisbane, after my earlier flight from New Zealand, 100 kilometers away a bulk carrier fully-laden with 65,000 tonnes of coal & just under 1000 tonnes of heavy oil fuel for the journey to China, turned north about 12 kilometers too early, & ploughed into the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef at full speed.

The vessel had arrived at Gladstone from China late on Friday night and loaded coal overnight before departing at 10.54 on Saturday morning with a pilot who took the ship to open seas before disembarking at 12.59. But, despite a number of similar accidents & something like 20 years of bickering, it is still not mandated to have pilots guide ships through the passage to the northern end of the reef.

Fortunately, this time not too much oil—about two tonnes—has leaked from the rupture in the ship's hull; the problem is to unload the fuel oil that is left, & then decide if the complete cargo needs to be unloaded onto another ship. Peparations for the salvage operation are underway; & all this week, heavy helicopters have been shaking the house, tracking down the path of the lagoons, away from built-up areas, long steel hawsers underneath them to which are attached the equipment necessary to carry out the salvage operation.

After a year of floods, bushfires & cyclones, it's a bit of a change to have a man-made disaster happening on the doorstep.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A souvenir of my trip to N.Z.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I am a supporter

of open source code, free trade, international communities, etc., etc., but, horror upon horrors, I was somewhat disturbed on my trip to New Zealand to find in the local supermarket kiwifruit labelled as "Product of Italy".

Turns out Italy is the largest producer of kiwifruit in the world.....

Monday, April 05, 2010

Quality fossils for sale at low prices

Sunday, April 04, 2010

harry k stammer's

band, Crying 4 Kafka,

is opening for Bad Religion at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard tonight, California time.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I have joined

what was once the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Collective Pwoermdists, but is now the International etc., &, since this is International Pwoermd Writing Month, have started a short-term blog, won des laits, so called because I missed the first day of the month.

You can find out more about this collective venture at—who else but?—Geof Huth's InterNaPwoWriMo blog.

Friday, April 02, 2010

One of the delightful

discoveries I've made on this trip to New Zealand is the video below. It's about a very rare species of parrot, with something like just over 100 left in existence, but seeing its choice of fuckmate, it's not surprising that its numbers are diminishing.