Thursday, September 22, 2005

Real Fiction II

Life imitates art, as the evidences abound one more time. At least it is what one might deduct over the group of consultants established by FEMA "to complement traditional intelligence-based threat projections by taking an 'out of the box' approach that is achieved by drawing on the talents of a broad range of individuals, such as best-selling authors, academics, the military, and pop musicians." Well, the fictional character Turner belonged to a group exactly likewise...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Real Fiction

In a dense singularity times, scientists should pay more attention to sci-fi writers, as they seemingly are the only ones capable of previewing to where technology are going to. Take a look at this obscure line, written by an obscure sci-fi writer from the 60's: Heading towards the mountains Drover switched the car radio to YBM*Sonic, which, in the interests of safe driving, transmits a 24-hour programme of shifting electronic patterns ("A Landscape of Shallows", Christopher Finch, Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5, edited by Michael Moorcock, Phanter Books, 1969). This dream comes true almost 40 years after, for Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it has improved its pre-crash safety system by adding a driver-monitoring function that recognizes the orientation of the driver's face and warns of a collision. The system will be mounted on the new model of Lexus slated for launch in spring 2006. The principle is the same... Instead of a radio station that transmits anti-hypnotic beats in brain waves frequencies, a face recognition system.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Outer Space Pyrites

A catchy briefing of "Piritas siderais", found in "Brazilian Science Fiction: Cultural Myths and Nationhood in the Land of the Future", by M Elizabeth Ginway, thanks to Google Print: In Piritas siderais (1994), the title of which refers to the gold-colored nuggets commonly known as "fool's gold", black American Berzelius Baldwin makes a pact with the devil to be immortal, with his soul to be places in the body of a Brazilian black who happens to be the twin brother of Zé Seixas, the protagonist of the story. However, when that twin dies in utero before the reincarnation can take place, the attempt fails. In order to keep his end of the bargain, the devil improvises a genetic chip which renders Baldwin's body immortal, but only if it is nurtured with a constant supply of gold, an abundant supply of which Baldwin has located on an as-yet-uncharted planet, ruled by an Afro-Brazilian deity. Baldwin believes that he can secretly obtain the gold from the planet by channeling. Maria, the priestess, claims that her chicken, Leda, has the power to provide part of this service by imitating the goose that laid the golden eggs. Zé and his friend Terêncio, who also happens to be an excellent medium, volunteer to go along with the plot. When the Afro-Brazilian god Oko magically appears, Terêncio, in an act of recalling Zeus's seduction of Leda the swan, channels Oko's powers so that the chicken is able to lay golden eggs. Of course, like the god's name, Oko (oco or hollow in Portuguese), the victory is hollow because Terêncio, after his orgiastic night with the chicken Leda, is famished and cannot resist roasting her in order to satisfy his hunger, thus completing this satiric fairy tale and justifying the title, "Outer Space Pyrites".

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sunday's Balsam

Last Studio 360 show was about conspiracies. Kurt Andersen had interviewed the journalist Jon Ronson, who uncovered Daved Icke's horrid tactics of calling Jews as lizards. His books, along with Henry Ford's The International Jew should be thrown into a pyre. NPR's Studio 360 is the best radio show ever; it is not obnoxious and it is not obvious, as a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang miniature. By the way, next week Kurt Andersen talks with Terry Gilliam about why darkness, fear, and the fantastic are good for kids.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Everything Has Its First Time

Well... Resistance is futile. My first podcast is up and running. Thanks to Ourmedia and FeedBurner. Go and listen Renato Carosone, Donald Duck, Monty Python... For now, it is in Portuguese. Adam Curry and Sirius: watch out!
UPDATE (08-07): I was obliged to withdraw my acknowledgement to Ourmedia, because they simply fade away my two podcasts shows. I recognize that nobody is perfect in this event - as my podcasts are not podsafe at all - but I was expecting a minimal decorum of them. Ourmedia is a free service and, for that reason, attracts a lot of freeloaders. As one of them, I can't complain, but I can send to them ketchup packets with tiny holes, as suggests my friend David Blumenstein, who kindly had offered a hosting space for me. Thank you, David!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Good Bye Rock Combat Years

Maybe the years of charity rock concerts are over. Maybe Bob Geldof and the Live Aid concert were just a dream within a dream. But it is impossible be apathetic to "Unplayed Piano", Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan's last song composed in homage to Aung San Suu Kyi, a political prisoner in Burma. It is a honest outcry wrought in pure stanza, as: Unplayed pianos / Are often by a window / In a room where nobody else goes / She sits alone with her silent song / Somebody bring her home. Those are the kind of words that makes me feel relived of having transcended the rock combat years.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Dictatorship of Objectivity

Much have being said about Joseph Ratzinger's opinions against relativism. For the new Pope, this view epitomizes the cultural confusion of our times, in which a bubblegum pop is placed in the same hierarchic position as a Bach's fugue. Ratzinger prefers the secure harbor of an Aristotle’s universal or an absolute entity that imposes itself through a "winner-take-all" method. I've been scratching my head over this issue for a long time and I'd like to make some points. I don't think, for example, that the relativist position should lead to the idea that anything goes morally, like prejudge the Aztecs because they sacrificed children. The Brazilian historian Boris Fausto had quoted last week, in a local paper, the differences between relativism and pluralism made by Isaiah Berlin. With due respect, I think the two categories are intertwined, because both grant as valid people’s cultural differences. For all matters, it is easier figure out this peculiar concoction in the anthropologic field, specifically in the brawl between Marshall Sahlins and Gananath Obeyesekere over the death of Captain Cook. For the first, Cook was confounded with a Hawaiian war god, and this clearly reflects an autochthon rationality; for the second, he was condemned to death for have took as hostage the native chief of a tribe, and this reflects a practical rationality. The anti-relativists argue that the so-called "Western" rationality, expressed at least partially by science and technology, is not locked up in itself, differently of, say, Zande witchcraft. This is the typical argument that makes me believe more enthusiastically that different cultures have different rationalities.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Swing Forever

This is the story: A grandchildren asked her grandpa to make rearrangements over classic rock swings from bands as Nirvana, Soundgarden and (how odd!) Spandau Ballet. Lucky us the grandpa was nothing more than Paul Anka. What about the results? "Sonically amazing, musically impeccable, vocally superb".

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sexual Healing

As everybody knows, John Paul II's Holy Spirit has taken Bush and his John Birch Society acolytes. What everybody doesn't know (and when I say everybody I say the Brazilian media in general) is that Pedro Chequer, the director of Brazil's HIV/Aids programme, had rejected the faith-based AIDS funding, a variation of the infamous condom ban promoted by almighty Vatican.

Team Korea

Who'd say that the only cultural product from North Korea would be pansori or films shot by kidnapped South Koreans directors? Cunnilingus in North Korea is here to oppose this silly and somewhat PI thought. This is a smart flash edited by the artist Young-Hae Chang, a piece of animation that mix a Kim Jong Il's discourse about sex equity with a soul music background. It is probably one of the most acid critics to PKR's Dear Leader, widely known for his instrumentalisation of art for political ends. The piece is publicly available in the skybox of Internet, which certainly was not previewed by the great movie buff.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Drones and Droids

The appearance of Lezama Lima in Before Night Falls (with Javier Bardem in the role of Reinaldo Arenas) is absolutely stunning and unexpected. "Dictators hate art, because beauty cannot be dominated". Fidel's pursuers are like Cylon pursuers, as in Battlestar Galactica.

Folksonomy Sartori

As I was tagging my recent photos in Flickr, something struck me hard in the head. I was using the tag "Trips" for the photos of a travel I did in 1998 to Europe. But I've noticed that "Trips" is an ambiguous word, for it can means either "traveling" or "drug driven experiences". Moreover, the tag "travel" has already been released in the wild inside the Flickr universe, so why not be leveraged by it? Immediately, Thomas Vander Wal's spirit descended upon me and put me closer to other folks that are using the same tag. Somehow, I felt a structural connection with others human beings, a relationship created by a common cultural practice. It is as simple as name an imaginary friend, but it gives empowerment to the people. There is a "revolution going on in the art and science of categorization", as said the prophet Bruce Sterling.

Delicious Sin

It must be the most frivolous thing to do in the face of the earth, but Alf Eaton knows how to skin Install URIid extension, put a small style sheet in a special folder and make a little editing of userContent.css. Presto! The desert of real is no more. Hey, how many of you really believe that Rogers Cadenhead registered Benedict just to prevent evil doers from acquiring this domain? Maybe I won’t see he down there...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Rare Word

"ABRUPTIVE CELERATION OF ALL DERVISHES CARRYING BIBUGGISH PYRITES VIA TURMAND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED." (Memoirs Found In a Bathtub, Stanislaw Lem, p.62, 1973). This is the second time I read the word "pyrites" in the literature (in the first occasion I've read it in the title of a book written by a Brazilian schizoid writer). A word so rare, that it should return some gold to the perpetrator.

[ Zero 7 - Passing By ]

Monday, April 11, 2005

Singing Head

UPDATE 05/22: Is it a perpetual playlist? Or the music industry put a spell on it, making it round in an eternal recurrence movement?

[ The Jimi Hendrix Experience - One Rainy Wish ]

Friday, April 08, 2005

American Politics Archeology

Robert Drew's Primary (1960) is an example of Americana cinema verité. The ones who are not political junkies will bash it as a great waste of time, but still it deserves some attention span. Using technologies new for the time - portable cameras and sync audio - Drew shows the critical points in 1960 Democratic primary in Wisconsin, between Senator Hubert Humphrey and Senator Kennedy (Nixon is just shadowy referred). Focusing in the urban constituencies, Kennedy anticipatedly conquers the hearth of the swing state. On the other side, Humphrey directs too much his chautauquan chanting towards the folksy people. Remarkable the scenes in which Draw capture the feet of the registered voters inside the ballots choosing the candidate for the party's nomination. Kennedy addressing a sort of Manifest Destiny is another great moment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Things To Come

David Fenech has quoted a "song" by Wesley Willis: I like audioblogging is fucking good a lot. You can really jam harder like a magicist. Right on brother. About 93300 people like audioblogging is fucking good. AUDIOBLOGGING IS FUCKING GOOD!!! The music industry notwithstanding, their gonna sail. Oh, they will.

[ The Notwist - One With The Freaks ]

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Spongy Road Trip

If you can't afford the Miles and Jack Wine Tour in real life, you can try doing it through Google Maps application. Take the push-pins path and get all the add-on information in the info-popups. Probably you don't have a Chateau Cheval Blanc bottle to toast the special occasion, but you can get along with that old Piriquita though. For the braves, Los Olvidos Cafe is charging $29.00/per person (plus tax) for the SIDEWAYS Menu.

[ Interpol - PDA ]

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Music From Aether

Introducing to the feint of heart my candid playlist in Webjay... Oh, Lord, in the very day I've promised never touch a keyboard again You'd showed me some outstanding MP3 blogs! How to turn away and ignore this, this and this?

[New Folk Implosion - Releast]

Monday, January 10, 2005

Godspeed, Herr Knopper!

Knoppix is a Debian Linux you can burn into a CD and boot it over any computer. A work of art kittened by a Teutonic guy named Klaus Knopper. Knoppix is really a smart and sophisticated piece of art. Inside it, the guy has packed all KDE and a whole wurlitzer of wonderful open source software, like GIMP, Open Office and the cave of wonders, KStars, your personal desktop Planetarium (I'm tracking Orion now, eh). Thanks a lot, Mr. Knopper. May the Force be with you against the cipayos patent holders!

[ Rolfe Kent - Chasing The Golfers ]

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sincere Toast

Sincere Toast
Originally uploaded by Kuja.

Mauricio and Nando toasting with the genuine Zubrowka. Oooh, Zubrowka, as expressed by Suw Charman.

Odd Couple

Odd Couple
Originally uploaded by Kuja.

Me and Teca in "A Polonesa" (Hilario de Gouveia Street, 116, Rio). Why not? look the word "jibble" in the sub-title of this blog...

The Peirogi

The Peirogi
Originally uploaded by Kuja.

The peirogi. Not the Hungarian, but the Polish one.

The Czekoladowy

The Czekoladowy
Originally uploaded by Kuja.

The Souffle Czekoladowy, one of the most delicious deserts I've eaten in all my life. Basically, it is an airy chocolate mousse.

The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party
Originally uploaded by Kuja.

The after-effect posers showing a genuine satisfaction in "A Polonesa". The waiter, standing strategically in the center, was the proof of our repletion. From left to right: Mauricio, Maria, "DCMOUSINHO", Nando and Teca, my wife.

The Gefildt

The Gefildt
Originally uploaded by Kuja.

The primo piatto in a polish restaurant in Rio: a Gefildt Fish. This restaurant, called simply "A Polonesa" (The Polish Girl), is a must. Very impressive experience for a Slavian offspring.