“The part about the Hookers was a lie.”

The Men Who Stare at Goats, based on Jon Ronson‘s account of one of the US military’s strangest black ops project, looks to be much funnier and absurd than the source material would suggest.

Based on research into the First Earth Battalion (and various other projects involving belief in magical thinking) the book is a trip down the rabbit hole of the American military-industrial complex at its weirdest.

The cast alone makes it worth checking out.

Happy Emergency Christmas

In the Crisis of Credit visualised, media design student Jonathan Jarvis takes a simple approach in showing how the US banking system has plunged the global economy into recession.

How long will it take before all the Obama supporters start calling for his resignation because he took too long to undo years of greed and short-sightedness?

Happy Emergency Christmas everyone.

“An bhfuil tusa ag leabhairt lomsa?”

Irish language prideHere’s a great video about a bored Chinese shop worker who learns Irish before moving there, without realising that very little Irish is used in day-to-day life.

Highlights include the Taxi Driver reference and a cameo from Frank Kelly (better known as Father Jack in Father Ted) and the result is a touching short film that’s equal parts hilarious and shaming. Maybe I’ll try and find my old Inter. Cert. course books and have a refresher before I start Cognitive Psychology.

A Brief History of Meme

Cover of Weezer are known for their inventive videos, from Buddy Holly (which was included as part of Windows ’95 to show off its multimedia capabilities) to Islands in the Sun.

The video to Pork and Beans, the single from their soon to be released Red Album,
contains a potted history of some of the more pervasive internet memes. If you’re having trouble finding them all Fox Australia has a nice little cheat sheet.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse

I would encourage everyone to check out The War Game, a BBC fictional documentary by Peter Watkins which was never shown due to governmental pressure. Appearing to be the first of what is now a genre of “aftermath” movies from Briggs’s sublime When the Wind Blows to ABC’s The Day After Guttenberg-fest, it’s in equal measures frightening, harrowing, and an ultra-realistic depiction of what might have been.

I grew up in the 80’s of Reagan, Thatcher, and Haughey and remember the all pervasive fear of nuclear war. Survivalist books were on the best seller lists. Chernobyl gave us in Europe an idea of the widespread damage a nuclear detonation could do. Even Tomorrow’s World got in on the act with a special programme simulating a Soviet Nuclear attack being repelled by Reagan’s fantastical SDI programme (if anyone can find something on this please let me know).

Of course, since I was only nine years’ of age, I truly believed there was a nuclear attack. Thankfully Mr. Tulié put me right the next day in school.

UPDATE: Ferg pointed out Threads, an eighties film which is just as harrowing.

Ask and ye shall receive – Venice is saved

Although it baffled some people it seems that I’m not the only person who has heard of Rondò Veneziano’s La Serenissima. Some kind, but anonymous soul has sent me a link to the video in the comments field.

Anyone else remember this now?