MonthOctober 2004

James Koehnline

James Koehnline

Link

(via New World Disorder)

Paulo Coelho biography

I read Paulo Coelho’s the Alchemist on the train from Berlin to Amsterdam last spring, and was impressed at how simply Coelho was able to explain the magical path. This seems to be Europe’s best seller, and here it is explaining alchemy to anyone who cares to take time to read this short little novel.

I’ve been curious about Coelho’s connections to the occult, and it turns out he’s lead a pretty interesting life. He’s Catholic now, but was a practicing occultist for several years.

In 1973, Paulo and Raul became part of the Alternative Society, an organization that opposed capitalist ideology, defended the individual’s right to do what he or she pleased, and also practised black magic. He later described these experiences in The Valkyries (1992).

During this period, they began publishing “Kring-ha”, a series of comic strips, calling for more freedom. The dictatorship considered these subversive, and Paulo and Raul were detained and imprisoned. Raul was soon released, but Paulo was kept in for longer because he was considered to be the ‘brains’ behind the comic strips. His problems did not end there however; two days after his release, Paulo was seized as he was walking down the street and taken to a military torture centre where he remained for several days. According to him, he only escaped death by telling them that he was mad and had already been admitted to mental hospitals three times. He started physically harming himself when his kidnappers were there in the room, and, in the end, they stopped torturing him and let him go.

Paulo Coelho

Stranded in the Jungle

Work-in-progress by Steven Shaviro, author of Doom Patrols and Connected.

Stranded in the Jungle

(via New World Disorder)

Man sends e-mail by thought

Better living through wetware:

An pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far.

Nature: Paralysed man sends e-mail by thought

(via Kurzweilai.net)

The gangster’s pantheon

As the setting sun casts long shadows over a Caracas cemetery, crime-weary Venezuelans pray at the tomb of the notorious thief Ismael, believing he and other dead gangsters can protect them against violent attacks and robberies.

Believers say the spirits of the dead criminals are trying to make amends for their villainous past by protecting people and helping those who might be tempted into crime.

Reuters: The Ganger’s Pantheon

(via Notes from Somewhere Bizarre).

Sacred ecology

LVX23 says:

My practice has been veering more and more towards generating a deeper relationship with nature. I’ve always had a strong bond with nature, thanks in large part to my parents for making such great efforts when I was a child to spend as much time as possible exploring the wilderness of the West Coast. Now as an adult it’s painfully apparent how our consumer lifestyles are impacting the biosphere. So, along with modifying my behaviors as a consumer, I have been modifying my spiritual/magickal practice to give more energy back to the Earth. My notion is that by healing the planet we heal ourselves, and vice versa.

LVX 23: Sacred Ecology.

People Are Human-Bacteria Hybrid

It’s true:

Most of the cells in your body are not your own, nor are they even human. They are bacterial. From the invisible strands of fungi waiting to sprout between our toes, to the kilogram of bacterial matter in our guts, we are best viewed as walking “superorganisms,” highly complex conglomerations of human, fungal, bacterial and viral cells.

Wired: People Are Human-Bacteria Hybrid

(via Dr Hyatt)

Interactive video: Voodoo Office

Brilliant:

Office Voodoo is an interactive film installation for two people.

It tells the story of Frank and Nancy, two bored Irish officemates, condemned to spend their lives in an office. This infinite film is an algorithmic sitcom inspired from Sartre’s play “Huis clos”, crossbred with an office life simulator.

Two physical voodoo dolls, that represent the protagonists, can be manipulated in order to change the emotions of the characters in the film. It is a social laboratory where the viewers can experiment on the influence of emotions as initial conditions in any social interaction. As viewers get skilled manipulating the dolls, they can control the emotions of Frank and Nancy, and see what happens when : Frank is cranky and Nancy is hyperactive ? Frank is horny and Nancy is depressed ?

Why didn’t I think of this?

(via Notes from Somewhere Bizarre)

Japanese Vending Machines

used japanese school girl panties machine

Most of these are pretty mundane, some look extremely useful (like the mobile phone recharger). But then there’s this “used” (?) school girl panties machine. This probably doesn’t do much to fight the western stereotype of the Japanese as a bunch of weirdos, does it?

PhotoMann: Vending Machines

(via Peep Show Stories)

Ladycomp and Babycomp

Josh Rubin says:

By monitoring your patterns and comparing them to a local database of over 700,000 women’s patterns the device manufacturers claim it will accurately predict periods of fertility and infertility. All you do to use it is place the sensor under your tongue when you wake up in the morning. If you happen to be having your period, just press a button to indicate that.

babycomp-ladycomp

(via Cool Hunting)

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