Is This Thing On?

Mad shit in RANT!



This is the first of what will hopefully become a semi-regular feature showcasing some of the more interesting and obscure finds on the Web, from mammoth megawebsites to interesting, individual articles. Use it in conjunction with the TM Link of the Day, and I suggest you explore these links over more than one sitting.

Beyond the well-publicized, idiosyncratic art of exploding dog and Devoted Bee, the Web is also a terrific forum for more experimental art, and as a showcase for the best in photography. This website, despite it's crazy-as-fuck URL, houses a near-infinite array of bizarre, megasized 'splash' pages. Make sure you've got a fast connection. When done there, browse a fine array of street art at The Art of Graffiti, and read the strange story of Farrel Eaves, whose digital camera was dropped in a pond, and which started taking surreal, magical pictures. It's also in your best interest to explore the diaspora of fine images from the World Press Photo prizes, and to think over the ethical implications of this year's disturbing Best of Photojournalism winner.

Meanwhile, Slimeball is a great time-waster; play volleyball against a too-smart computer opponent. I've won all of once. The Infamous Worm Game is also fun - simple, silly, addictive.

If you want something for your ears, take advantage of the National Library of Canada's collection of 78s. These ancient recordings run the gamut from ragtime to classical to crooners. All songs are available in RealAudio and MP3 formats, with notes, and are a stunning window into the history of Canadian recordings. Plunderphonics is a complete change of pace - also Canadian, but long undercover in an extended legal battle. The famous disc is an experimental reworking of different famous samples (the Beatles, Michael Jackson, etc.), slowed down, sped up, or riffed upon. Available in MP3, for free, with full notes. Of course, if you try to sell the stuff, the RIAA will kill you. With knives. In a related field, the new genre of 'cutups' or 'bootlegs' are exploding in the UK, spearheaded by the absolutely awesome remix of Christina Aguilera with the Strokes. More classics include the Grange Hill theme/Nelly mix, and Osmyso's ten-minute, hundred-sample "Intro Inspection". Elbow's cover of the Destiny Child hit "Independent Woman" isn't quite a bootleg, but their xylophone, foot-stompin' bastardization might as well be. Keep track of all of the new releases in this not-entirely-legal scene by keeping your eye on Boom Selection.

The Morning News recently relaunched, and they've now got some fantastic workers contributing. Joshua Allen's "Behind the Scenes at the White House" is hysterical, and I look forward to more stuff from the wistful Paul Ford. His piece about Japanese cartoon animal identities is a subtle gem.

There's an enlightening interview at the Fortean Times with a maker of crop circles - yes, a hoax [partially] exposed! - and also an interesting read at Canadian site Writersblock: an interview with The Onion's head writer, Todd Hanson. If that's not risque enough for you, "My Dad and I Visit a Porn Set" is smart, funny and obscene!

At Phone Bashing there are very, very funny clips of men in giant cell-phone costumes stealing cell-phones. Ignore all of the other strange links on the page - it's really a front for Universal Music or something, some bizarre British band from 1998. If you're looking for absurd silliness, the random joke inventor is good for a hefty chortle, as is the surrealist compliment generator. And then, of course, there's Adam Sandler Death Fantasy #3.

Finally, if you need somethin' more to read every day, the fine Marksinger-songwriter Damien Jurado now keeps a daily journal (or 'blog'), as does Mark (director of Coven and protagonist in the documentary American Movie), not to mention urban fantasy author Neil Gaiman, and Star Trek's Wil Wheaton.

In parting... Where are all the tits?


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