Dust Houses

August 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm (art, neat things) ()

Maria Lopez, inspired by her work as a house cleaner, makes doll houses of dust and vacuum lint. An unusual medium indeed. Some I think are grossly charming; others, just gross. Looking at them makes me want to sneeze.

I do really like “The Fisher’s Mansion,” pictured and labeled near the bottom of this page.

Via Make.

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Rotating Snakes

July 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm (neat things) ()

From MAKE, check out this horrible optical illusion. I say “horrible” because it’s the kind that can make you sick.

snakes

The phenomenon is called peripheral drift. As you look away from the image, each “snake” appears to slowly rotate, glimmering like a mirage. Maybe that’s what makes me queasy: the strange similarity to those wavering pools of water that appear in the desert here, vanishing as you approach.

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More About This Godforsaken Race (Stupidity Abounds)

February 12, 2008 at 11:38 am (politics, sexism) (, )

I hate everything.

I’m not making direct comments here because it’s imperative that someone on the left defeat the monsters on the right; I don’t want to bash my allies. Mother of god, whoever the fuck made that shit could have the decency to do the same.

This stuff makes me so mad. I know it’s not his fault — I try hard not to blame him for it. But I am extremely fucking suspicious of his more zealous supporters, given that his policies are barely a hair more progressive than hers, if that.

Do we need to add a “liberals, the truth about many of them” category? Shape the fuck up or go back to the side of hate, regression, and misogyny.

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Well, if this isn’t the grossest thing…!

February 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm (frightening things) ()

The team recorded footage of a female worm-like amphibian, called a caecilian, allowing her young to peel off and eat her skin.

The video here.

As if these animals weren’t repulsive enough to begin with…(okay, my personal bias). Still.

Gag.

Via Boing Boing.

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EW.

January 8, 2008 at 4:40 pm (Uncategorized) ()

From. Via.

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“Post-Abortive Men”: FUCK YOU.

January 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm (politics, sexism, stupidity) (, , )

Via both Melissa at Shakesville and Cara at the Curvature, I’ve unwittingly been prompted to confront (not really for the first time, but officially) the existence of a disgusting group of men whose intentions lie at the intersection of the men’s rights (so long as they’re posited and pursued as being oppositional to women’s) movement and the anti-choice crowd, and proclaim themselves victims of their sex partners’ decisions not to carry unplanned pregnancies to term. Lovely.

Now, I don’t deny that a partner’s abortion may have severe emotional implications for some men. And that those feelings should be assessed and dealt with. But…duh?…restricting women’s access to the health care they need, in this case abortion services, is not an acceptable method for moving past any possible grievance. Therapy, maybe? Some attempted compassion for the woman and the situation she found herself in, at least?

No, I don’t mean the kind of therapy or “compassion” offered by so-called Christian counselor Mark B. Morrow mentioned in the above-linked LA Times article, who claims that “We had abortions,” or, “I had abortions.” If, in this case, I’m not making a mistake by consciously assuming that this guy does not personally harbor his own female reproductive system, then this is an offensive and impossible over-reach of egocentricity. There is a distinct difference between being emotionally involved in another’s abortion and actually having one. And, you know, it’s that bit right there that makes all the difference and really matters when addressing that other person’s right to healthcare and physical independence, for pete’s sake!

And let me spoil the end of that wonderful piece of journalism for you with one of the last quotes from one of the men profiled, who had just been chronicled as re-imagining what his life might have been like (not for his present wife or children, but only for himself, of course) if his previous girlfriends had endured their unwanted pregnancies (emphasis mine):

In the end, Aubert says his moral objection to abortion always wins. If he could go back in time, he would try to save the babies.

But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?

Aubert looks startled. “I never really thought about it for the woman,” he says slowly.

Clearly. Because the importance of his retrospective feelings about their potential life-altering choices and actions eclipse the actual human experience of the women who found themselves face-to-face with whatever options they had to choose from to better their own living situation.

GAH.

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That’s really something…

December 13, 2007 at 9:40 pm (frightening things) (, )

A Japanese aquarium is lighting their Christmas tree this year with energy harvested from…the tank of an electric eel?!

Two aluminum panels inside the eel’s tank work as electrodes to catch its power. Cables attached to the panels supply the lights on the nearby tree with electricity.

Inventor Kazuhiko Minawa said it took him more than a month to devise a system that would effectively harness eel power.

I don’t see eel power as a viable option for widespread or consistent use, but that’s cool, I guess…

*Shudder*

Did you see that close up in the video attached to that article? Better question: If you were to make a macro of that, what would you have it say?

Thanks to Katk for the heads up.

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Who needs credit cards…

December 11, 2007 at 4:27 pm (sexism) (, , )

…when preteen female bodies are currency/commodities in and of themselves anyway? Wal-Mart wants to know.

Via Pandagon.

UPDATE: Good news! Wal-Mart will no longer sell this underwear.

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The inhalation of pigs’ brains may cause illness. Who knew?

December 8, 2007 at 7:44 am (frightening things) (, , , , )

Yikes.

On the slaughterhouse floor at Quality Pork Processors Inc. is an area known as the “head table,” but not because it is the place of honor. It is where workers cut up pigs’ heads and then shoot compressed air into the skulls until the brains come spilling out. But now the grisly practice has come under suspicion from health authorities.

Over eight months from last December through July, 11 workers at the plant in Austin, Minn. — all of them employed at the head table — developed numbness, tingling or other neurological symptoms, and some scientists suspect inhaled airborne brain matter may have somehow triggered the illnesses.

Via Boing Boing.

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E. coli contaminated beef sold to consumers: not an accident.

November 12, 2007 at 1:16 pm (frightening things) (, , , )

That’s right; and it’s in large due to what is sometimes referred to as the “E. coli loophole.” The USDA allows contaminated meat to be sold as long as it’s done so under the “cook-only” category. Every year, millions of pounds of E. coli infested corporate slaughterhouse beef is sold in this manner.

Cooking the meat, the USDA and producers say, destroys the bacteria and makes it safe to eat as precooked hamburgers, meat loaf, crumbled taco meat and other products.But some USDA inspectors say the “cook only” practice means that higher-than-appropriate levels of E. coli are tolerated in packing plants, raising the chance that clean meat will become contaminated. They say the “cook only” practice is part of the reason for this year’s sudden rise in incidents of E. coli contamination.

“All the product that is E. coli positive, they put a ‘cooking only’ tag on it,” said one inspector, who like other federal inspectors interviewed asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs. “They [companies] will test, and everything that’s positive, they slap that label on.”

Oh, and it’s covered in shit.

E. coli can be difficult to detect and prevent. The bacterium lives in intestines of cattle, which tolerate it. It can contaminate meat during the slaughter process if fecal matter comes in contact with the meat portions of a carcass. That can happen in several ways, such as when workers accidentally puncture the digestive tract during removal, or when a cow’s hide, which might carry fecal dust, is taken off.

Yummm.

Via The Ethicurean.

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