Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday Weirdness: Meditation, Movies and Mystery Sites


One of the benefits of being the spouse of a Georgia Tech professor is taking advantage of free offerings from the school. We had started a 4 week meditation class in an attempt to reduce stress and see if it would help me with some back pain that I was having. But the metaphysical nature of the teachings kept me from really being able to use the teachings. Lines like, "build a tunnel from your heart-center to the candle..." weren't working for me. I know that there are tangable and observable benefits to meditation. Being a skeptical kind of guy, the spiritual side to the teachings keep me from really getting much out of the class and we stopped going after the second week.

What got me thinking about such things was reading an article about the Dalai Lama working with scientist to document the changes on the brain and body when meditating. I would think that a tech school could develop a mediation program that was inclusive of scientific aspects that the students could relate to. I would certainly be more likely to go to that one.

Also see:

Wired News: Scientists Meditate on Happiness
Wild Divine Home Page "the Journey to Wild Divine is a unique program for mind & body that links biofeedback hardware with your computer..."
The Science Of Binaural Beat Brainwave Entrainment Technology frequency-based brain alteration



Finally finished some movie watching started over Thanksgiving weekend. It started with a post turkey-diner viewing of Reefer Madness! The Movie Musical. Based on the original propaganda film "Reefer Madness" (available here for free download) this one had Christian Campbell, Robert Torti, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming, Neve Campbell, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Spanger and Steven Weber in it. Great scenes like Jesus Christ "lording" over a heavenly cocktail lounge, marijuana induced sex-madness and catchy songs made this a great way to wind down. Seriously good stuff.

Lat night, we finished Mad Hot Ballroom which followed a collection of NYC grade-school kids in their mandatory ball-room dance classes. Really charming, with the kids being both funny about boy-girl stuff and really coming alive as they preform in a city-wide competition.


And finally, Mystery Sites: more weirdness in the good U.S of A.

More Scientology fun. Now everyone can see where the Scientologist keet their secret stash of records, alien bodies and rejected Tom Cruise movie scripts. The circles etched in the New Mexico desert are signs for future Scientologist to follow in order to unearth a repository of teachings and documents important to the group.

A Place in the Desert for New Mexico's Most Exclusive Circles from the Washington Post
Scientology landing strip - Microsoft TerraServer Imagery
Scientology landing strip - Google Map

A Florida television station reports on a community outside of a state prison where the homes have no public records, the police won't allow filming and the folks won't talk about the place.

First Coast News | Local News - The Secret City

Monday, November 28, 2005

My Birthday/Christmas List: Secret Santa Anyone?

Blogging on this rainy day...

I know that there won't be any suprises from the internet, but that's not keeping me from posting some of my desired gifts online. Christmas is less then a month away and my birthday is coming this Sunday.

Even as a kid my parents told me that I had expensive taste in gifts. I would make my Christmas list on a roll of cash register paper. That way I had an almost unlimited length of paper to add to when I remembered another item to be included. For the sake of my parents convenience, I would also put the prices next to each item. I would pride myself on the $100,000 Christmas lists I managed to hand to them. Inflating the cost, Corvettes, motorboats and airplanes. How an 8 year-old would pay for the insurance on these items is beyond me. But they were on the list none-the-less.

A small sidenote, as a kid I had a standing deal with my parents that if I was able to spot 13 Corvettes in one place and point them out to my parents, they would buy me one. The problem was that my dad would speed up if a collection of Corvettes were seen on the road, making my task of counting impossible. I am still Corvette-free.

And now my list, with details as to why someone else may like these things as well...


Invader ZIM - House Box Complete Set (Vols. 1-3 Plus Extra Disc):

A twisted "kid's show" that follows that attempts of an inept alien to conquer the world while attending elementary school. From the creator of the comic book, "Johnny The Homicidal Maniac." I know that my corruption of my wife was complete when she started watching the show without my suggestion.

You would like this if you: like Adult Swim, support alien overthrow of the world, enjoy dark, twisted humor.

Korla Pandit Video

In the 1950's, this mystical Indian man wordlessly stared into the TV camera and play exotica Hammond organ. But he was not so mystical nor Indian. "His birthplace was Columbia, Missouri, and he was an African-American, not an Indian, despite what his death certificate would ultimately say. Pandit was born to Ernest Redd, pastor of the Second Baptist Church, the largest black church in Columbia, and Doshia O'Nina Redd, who was of Creole lineage." He transformed his heritage, thus evading the stigma of being black in America, and turned himself into a much more acceptable and exotic foreign personna. This tape has an hour of his televised performances.

You would like this if you: like retro kitch, exotica organ music

The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

The picture doesn't do this blinking sign justice. Looks just like the Vegas sign on the outskirts of town. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Nevada Cancer Institute.

You will like this if you: enjoyed "Swingers," gambling or just want some Sin City in a room of your own.

Little Nemo in Slumberland

A surreal collection of Windsor McKay's sunday comics, circa 1905-1910. Loads of graphic artists cite this guy as a major influence. The hero's dream adventures are reproduced in their original size 16x21 inches.

You will like this if you: like vivid and artistically skilled images, enjoy fantasy without irony, need material for your dreams.

Flying Spaghetti Monster Shirt

The Flying Spaghetti Monster was created as an alternative deity to add to the Intellegent Design debate.

You will like this if you: want you scientific debates religion-free, want to wear your sacralige proudly, want to be touched by His Noodly Appendage.

"Shepp's World's fair photographed. Being a collection of original copyrighted photographs authorized and permitted by the management of the World's Columbian exposition"

This is the rarest item on my list and hardest to find. Chicago got to host the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus's landing by creating a huge fair in 1893. A year after the Paris Fair opened with the Eiffel Tower, this fair introduced the world to the first Ferris Wheel and the first midway. An amazing photogenic place, nothing remains of the fairgrounds.

You will like this if you: like the amazing made real, see gorgeous architecture and displays, want to see the fair in the book "Devil in the White City."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Post-Thanksgiving Post: One Holiday Down, One to Go

Whoa! I've just come to after a 3-day turkey coma. Guess that's what happens when you overdose on tryptophan.

Now, on to the inevitable pre-Christmas stressfest!

Monday, November 21, 2005

HoML@nd SECR:ITY WANtz ME!!!!<>>

I got a bunch of spam at my hotmail account, telling me that my "IP was logged." The various addresses included...

This is the email sent to me...

"Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.

Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison

*** Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI-
*** 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 3220
*** Washington, DC 20535
*** phone: (202) 324-3000"

...and the email had a small .zip file included. Which I didn't open, but even if I did I have an Apple, nothing could have happened. I knew it was real when Steve signed it "yours faithfully." *Sigh*... stupid spammers.

Blogging Boredom: 3 Pictures of Customized Stroller, Dork with Creepy Robot

Waiting for something good after Aquateens...

George looks as happy with the robot as the kid does in the picture.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Weekend Update: High Museum and a Motorcycle Powered By Fruit

With my wife out of the apartment and with the car, I woke up with no one but the cat as company and no way to travel but by foot. So I decided to make a field-trip to the High Museum and see what all the fuss was about. It had been getting good write-ups since its reopening and this would make my first visit ever. I made the decent walk from my place to the musuem, paid my $15 and promptly got misplaced. The strange segregational use of the elevators, one for the Andrew Wyeth show and the other for all other floors, got me confused. Eventually I go to the 3rd floor, where the modern art was. I'm getting more and more sceptical about "modernism" and art that needs concepts and explainations to be fully understood. There should be some inherently appealing aspects to a piece of art that compell a desire for further examination. But so much is just an a proof-of-concept exercise that often doesn't leave a final product worth much thought. I had more fun looking at the light-infused ceiling then some of the art. That being said, I did enjoy looking at the various and varied collections and the building in general. I should have taken along with my iPod the microphone, as I had loads of opinions I would have liked to taken home with me. But my short-term memory loss meant that all my deep thoughts were left behind when I left. I have marked in iCal when the museum has its free-admission days, so I hope to visit again soon.

Before heading home. I stopped by the Atlanta College of Art's gallery at the Wooduff. An interesting show that revolved much around Atlanta and processing the city on foot. Reflected on that since I seldom walk around the city, mainly drive from place to place.

While walking home I passed this and thought to myself...

"That motorcycle never crashes!"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bloggers Meetup Missed: Play Attended

I proved myself a dumbass last night by going to the "Atlanta People With Blogs Who Get Together To Drink" meetup a night early. And since I had been bitching about not having fun with my wife, I couldn't say no to her suggestion that we go to Push Push Theater to see "The Robbers." It is a movie-play that has significant parts of the performance on video. It's big risk and it pays out. Afterwards, we talked about how it was nice to go out to see some live theater (partially live in this case) and feel like it was money well spent.

Its a almost impossible show to recap, especially at this late hour. I find that it went well with my love of the harsh and profane wordplay in HBO's "Deadwood" series and thematically reminded me of "Fightclub" and "The Usual Suspects." Not being a regular attendee of theater, these are my best comparisons.

And that's what I did tonight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Admitting You Have A Problem is the First Step in Helping People Make Fun of You

So, I was sitting at Limerick Junction Wednesday night wondering where all the bloggers were...

My parents say they get their alzheimers from me.

See you Thursday.

Learn Shame the Old Fashion Way: Sex Education from the 1950's

If there was one thing that the 1950's did right, it was educating people about healthy attitudes on sex...

...the kids over at Basic Hip Digital Oddio have been posting complete albums online for ages. The free mp3s are there for a limited time, and this album is available until the 21st at their site.

So, when your kids start asking about "it" just press play on this beauty and scar them emotionally the way they used to do it back in the day.

I just grabbed all the files today but haven't had a chance to give them a listen.


Also See:

Free B/W Burlesque Videos Courtesy of the Internet Archive:

Georgia Sothern
Sheree Tiger Dance
Red-headed Riot in black and white.
Indian Love Burlesque

These and many of the other Internet Archive's great videos are now my screensaver for my Mac. OS X users can grab SaveHollywood which shows movies as your screensaver. Easy to use and free.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Didn't Know, I Didn't Go, LCD Soundsystem Show

Patience is a virtue and one that my wife has in spades when it comes to me complaining about not hitting the town's clubs and bars. My complaints have been general ones, since there have been few bands that I really wanted to see. So when LCD Soundsystem was coming to town this weekend I was psyched. The upsides was I liked the band and there was an after-party. The downside was a lack of money and a Sunday workday that started at 9am. put out a post saying that the first 5 commentss on their site would get free passes to the after-party. Cool, less money to spend. Went to the site to find 2 comments, me being number 3. Placed my post only to find that it would not show it. Came back later to find 3 newly published posts all made earlier in the day now showing ahead of my post, which made 5 before me and left me disqualified. Bummed.

Spent the rest of the day out with my wife running around town, having fun. Got call late that afternoon, my boss over at the Ferst Center... want to work? With no LCD Soundsysterm show to go to I'm game and tell him so. Come home to find an email, its Preston over at KissAtlanta tell me I got free aftershow passes. Grrr...

Long story short; Saturday night... went to work, didn't see the band, got some sleep, went to the Ferst Center on Sunday, had a 13 hour workday. I guess its best I didn't go.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Old Atlanta: Part Duex & Work Report

Continuing my last post's historical theme (and seemingly my compulsive weekend blogging), the Atlanta Time Machine has lots of now-and-then pictures of the city. Listed by location, the side-by-side comparisons use the same angles illustration well what has changed and remained the same. The shear volume of newly taken pictures show that the site is a labor of love. And the "Atlanta, My Home Town" mp3 shows that the city didn't need a new theme jingle to replace the first written in 1961. Maybe it should have just been rerecorded by Outcast.


On a work related note, I got to work the Laurie Anderson show at the Ferst Center. She's a well regarded visual/performance artist and NASA's only resident artist, and it was that experience that she based last night's performance on. Really nice, gracious person. As the crew was breaking down the stage we started talking about identity theft, and she joked that she wished someone would steal her's. I told her she should either sell it on eBay or rent it out. I think she liked the idea of that. When I told her that the folks over at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center hoped she would stop by for tonight's opening (Saturday 12th) she sounded genuinely disappointed that she was leaving that night. I always had an appreciation for her performances, and now I have an even better impression of her as well. It's nice to get paid to work for good people.

International Time Capsule Society: And Other Groups that Like Old Crap

I like old things: cars, pictures, etc. So, I was pretty pleased that an eccentric entity like the Oglethorpe University's International Time Capsule Society resides in Atlanta. What to actually do with this newly acquired knowledge, um... I don't know.

But thinking about historical surroundings and preservation aren't new fascinations for some folks, myself included. In the 1870s, the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London started taking pictures of sites in the city that were old at that time. Places like The Oxford Arms, Warwick Lane were in peril when the picture was taken and destroyed soon after the picture was taken. That place and others can be seen here at The Eastern Window. That's why I've been digging the pix of some of the local blogger/flickr/urban explorer people. They have captured some things that have already been lost like Casa Destruido someplace in the city...

... and Brooke Novak's got some Urban Decay | Texture which includes this former Mr. Fangs mural which is no longer around.

Mr. Fangs, originally uploaded by brookenovak.

Friday, November 11, 2005

"My House, My Home, It Rolls with Me."

Brick Car, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Saw this car and thought to myself, "Best car ever." In hindsight, that's not true but it's pretty damn close. Making me think that I will need to be carrying around my camera all the time.

Title quote from a Southern Culture on the Skids song.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Atlanta UE: Going Where You're Not Supposed To

Urban Exploration, think of it as tourism with a touch of breaking & entering. But between being a coward and the scorn heaped upon me by my wife at the very mention of it, I have yet to do any UE. The closest I have come is buying all the issues of Infiltration Zine...

... a cool read about people willing to tell their tales. The zine and the Infiltration website were the brainchildren of Ninjalicious. But the future of the zine is up in the air since his passing of cancer this year.

Atlanta has its fare share of UE fans poking around the city's bits. The Urban Exploration Resource website has a Georgia section and an Atlanta subsection. Earler this year, the city was host to APEX '05, a "conference" for urban exploration enthusiast, which included an tour of the city's abandoned attractions.

So, thanks to the internet for keeping me out of cool, abandoned buildings and free from tetanus because I stepped on a nail in the dark.


Related Links with loads of pictures:

See Pie Bar before it was over-priced - Georgia National Trust.

The amazing and huge 1903 Canfranc International Railway Station.

Massive Japanese Website with an abandoned amusement park amongst other places.

Abandoned city/island - Gunkanjima - Views of an Abandoned Island

London's Abandoned Tube Stations

Modern Ruins

Forgotten NY

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Road Trip Saturday: Social Circle, Madison, Athens, GA

Since our arrival in Atlanta, we hadn't been any further than Stone Mountain Village. With a lull in work, the wife and I planned a trip to Madison and Athens, GA. The main attraction in Madison was the tiny cars of the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum. While the website taunts with a collection of great pictures of tiny cars, Bruce doesn't spend much time with his cars... Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on Saturdays by appointment only. So with no appointment made, we weren't going to be seeing any small cars today. But we decided to head off anyways to Madison and Athens.

On our way, we passed a sign for "Historic Social Circle," Social Circle being a small community north of the 20. When visiting a "Historic" district, one is betting that the ratio of cheesiness to genuine historic worth is balanced. Meaning that the place you are visiting, usually a Main St., has a nice collection of restored and nicely painted buildings and only a few of the tenants have names like "Karl's Krap" and "Julie's Jeweled Junk." Social Circle has a perfectly fine historic district. Nuff said.

Back on the road, we go to Madison. Lots of cute houses, including this one...

House 1 - Madison, GA, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

... love the windows on it. Madison also has a decent village square and a good candy store. 1/4 lb of maple fudge and 1/4 lb of chocolate walnut were bought at Antique Sweets. And on to Athens we went.

We had never been to Athens and their brochures we got at the Madison Chamber of Commerce were no help. So in looking for a restaurant, we hit one of the health food grocery stores and asked for advice on finding a place to eat. One of the suggestions was The Last Resort, which is where we ended up eating. And what a great choice! Seriously good food, mine was penne with beef tenderloin and carrots and green beans. It tasted so great and it felt nice and healthy. Highly recommended.

Lastly we went back to our car to find it blocked by a bus...

Girls Gone Wild - Athens, GA, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

... until they tired of being wild in Athens. In the picture is my favorite wild girl, my wife.

Friday, November 04, 2005

City Mayors: Mine and Yours

I don't think of Shirley Franklin as my mayor. I had looked towards taking in new, cool bars and music venues when moving to Atlanta, but it seems she has worked hard towards making it harder for places like that to thrive. Now, take a look at Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

In the past he has said that if given the choice he would look towards leagalizing prostitution, was a celebrity photographer for Playboy, he is Sin City's biggest cheerleader, and most recently has suggested that the city should cut thumbs off graffiti 'punks'.

"Goodman said the city has a beautiful highway landscaping project and 'these punks come along and deface it... ...I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb,' the mayor said. 'That may be the right thing to do.'"

Plus, once a month, he has a public meet-and-greet at a Vegas coffee house. You get ten minutes with hizzonner. He definately has his faults and detractors, but it hard to beat a former mob laywer who played himself in the movie "Casino" for attention grabbing stunts and city promotion.

So, in the upcoming election, what are the topics a new Atlantian should be paying attention to and what stance do the candidates have on them?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Shows Galore: First Up, Raymond Loewy at the MoD

You are invited to see the fruit of my labor...

... it's a gorgeous show, full of pretty, shiny radios, cars, and assorted consumer designs/goods from the 1920's - the 70's. Opens Thursday, the 3rd at 6pm. Plus the folks at the the museum are pretty cool and would love to see your smiling faces. Oh, the show may be covered on CNN. They stopped by and filmed the galleries earlier today.

Next week, it will be "Cindy Loehr and Rachel Lowther: Rough Magic and Dark Lullaby" & "Cecelia Kane: Hand-to-Hand, a Project for the Round Gallery" at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

And lastly it will be Laurie Anderson at the Ferst Center for the Arts. Work is good. Tiring, but good.