A Fembot living in a Manbot’s Manputer’s world.

Little-known fact: The first computer programmers were all women. ENIAC was programmed by Jean Bartik, Marlyn Meltzer, Kathleen Mauchly Antonelli, Betty Snyder Holberton, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum, and Frances Bilas Spence.

Bartik and her colleagues debugged every vacuum tube and learned how to make it work, she said. Early on, they demonstrated to the military brass how the computer worked, with the programmers setting the process into motion and showing how it produced an answer. They handed out its punch cards as souvenirs. They’d taught the massive machine do math that would’ve taken hours by hand.

Jean Jennings Bertik and Francis Bilas Spence

what is this thing you humans call... love?

Littler-known fact: Many of the first computers were also women! In the days before ENIAC, ‘computer’ was a job, not a machine, and thousands of women were recruited by the US Military to do ballistics research to supply weapons trajectories to soldiers and bombardiers. Top Secret Rosies, a documentary about WWII’s female computers, was released last month.

Erickson’s documentary focused on women plucked from high schools and colleges to work at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1940s. They moved into dorms and apartments and went through a rigorous introduction to ballistics calculations in order to do the job. It paid well, and the women were close. They played bridge, shared dinners and danced together in the university gardens when the war in Europe ended.

If I am not me, then who the hell am I?

A moment to remember screenwriting legend Dan O’Bannon, who left us yesterday:

Dan O’Bannon, one of the scriptwriters behind such seminal SF flicks as Alien and Total Recall, has passed away in Los Angeles following a bout of ill-health, at the age of 63.

O’Bannon was a lifelong SF enthusiast, and got his first experience of filmmaking when he worked as writer, editor and special effects producer on John Carpenter’s brilliant, cynical debut Dark Star. O’Bannon and Carpenter had studied together at USC prior to the film’s 1974 release.

He went on to do special effects work on the first Star Wars film and was involved in the early stages of comic writer Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unsuccessful attempt to bring Dune to the big screen in the mid-‘70s. But it was when he began to concentrate on writing over production and effects that his career really took off. O’Bannon is credited with writing the original screenplay for Alien (alongside Ronald Shusett), and his influence on that film extended to bringing into the fold a certain Swiss artist called H.R. Geiger, who had also been involved in the failed Dune project.

O’Bannon’s other hits included the gloriously OTT Schwarzenegger vehicle Total Recall, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by the O’Bannon-Shusett partnership. He was also involved in a number of cult classics, including Lifeforce, Heavy Metal, and Screamers, while his Moebius-illustrated comic The Long Tomorrow was the inspiration for the art style of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

O’Bannon changed the face of science-fiction (and horror, inventing ‘fast’ zombies in his 1986 directorial debut Return Of The Living Dead), and I’ve been hoping for years that he’d make a return to the big screen (possibly with the perpetually-delayed Silvaticus 3015) to show all these modern ‘sci-fi’ writers what’s what.

A public memorial for Mr. O’Bannon will be held sometime in the next few weeks at my apartment in the form of a movie marathon. Interested parties please reply within.

i can has police robot?

THE EXCITEMENT NEVER ENDS

also i forgot my lunch at home

OTTAWA, Nov. 13 (Reuters) – Police are investigating a suspicious package found outside the Bank of Canada headquarters in Ottawa on Thursday, bank spokesman Jeremy Harrison said.

Harrison said the central bank had been notified by police of the package, left outside the bank’s center building, which houses the office of Governor Mark Carney. Staff in the immediate area have been evacuated, he said.

“We are awaiting further information from the relevant authorities, and will provide updates to you as we receive them,” Harrison said.

The bank announced plans on Wednesday to inject an additional C$8 billion ($6.5 billion) into the Canadian financial system to unlock credit flows, on top of the roughly C$20 billion it has already pledged.

Other important buildings nearby include the Supreme Court of Canada and the Parliament Buildings.

Update: Now with ROBOTS!

My new favourite translated review

From the Belarusian site Machinist, and translated by the helpful robots at Google:

Jairus Khan about ten years led an active life in the Canadian di-dzheyskuyu/promouterskuyu underground techno-industrial stage, but three years ago, decided to form their own musical project AD VER SARY. The most meticulous and informed of you probably have heard his remixes of the tracks on the CONVERTER and ISZOLOSCOPE.

In May 2008, a musician in the court ruled his public debut album “Bone Music”, which contains a powerful, energetic and melodic cocktail of power rhythmic noise, Industrial, an organic landscape ambience, idm-electronics and tribalnyh ancient rhythms. As you can see, nameshano lot, but the result sounds very harmonious and fresh. What’s immediately striking when listening to the album is a very good balance between the rigid, harsh, aggressive and beautiful, including imagination, causing emotion sounds.

Many of AD VER SARY based on attacking rhythms perfectly adapted to the club environment and able to strike and disperse the noise-industrial human biomass on tancpole to very high speeds and orgazmicheskih sensations. For example, a turbojet accelerators can choose to drive such downhole, technique execution and not deprived of intelligent charm of tracks like “Ancients”, “Bone Music” or “Number Nine”.

It is a pleasure to listen to music groups and dance outside the site. Because it such a multi-layered, deep and diverse. Moderate eksperimentalizm it is also not alien. Rapid and robust, well unwind devastating tribalno techno-industrial songs, alternate militants on the album with a calm, measured and atmospheric rooms, which tend to be powerful, painted mrachnovatye mysterious tone of the industrial trip-Hopu ( “Friends Of Father”), gratsioznym Forms of hard-techno ( “Just [Spooks]”) or pleasure to shake tribalnyh rhythmic waves of steel dark ambient ( “International Dark Skies”). The album also includes remixes good ANTIGEN SHIFT, TONIKOM and SYNAPSCAPE, as well as a remix AD VER SARY on track URUSAI.

Finally, add that you can download a free peer-album, including the complete design, the official site AD VER SARY on the Internet. And, believe me, it is worth it! Album: “Bone Music” really good and I suspect must come to taste fans of groups such as THIS MORN’OMINA, EXOCET, REMAIN SILENT and ISZOLOSCOPE. [8 points]

Things I need more of, in no particular order. (first in a series)

– science-fiction
– coffee
– Super Paper Mario
– Eric B & Rakim
– weird sex
– sun
– N2O
– time
– Amsterdam
– robots
– teeth
– teeth made from robots with smaller teeth inside them so that they chew my food for me when my mouth is closed
– lucid dreaming
– Strongbow
– the responsible abuse of pleasure

you two

So I have my costume picked out..

Josh is going to be my evil robot LAZER (red).

My idea is for us to walk around the club on sunday, everytime we see eachother I am all like “IS THIS GUY LOOKING FOR A CHALLLLLLEEEEENNNNGGEEEEE!!!!???”

Thats it.

August 29, 1997 – NYC

In The Terminator, there’s a scene where Sarah Connor is told a speech by John Connor’s father, that John Connor’s father heard from John in the future.

John is born, Sarah tells John the speech, and then John grows up and tells it in the future.

…so who wrote the speech?

I now understand why my father owned a handful of Cadillacs. They are like driving inside a big couch. A big, $70,000 couch with 300hp and power 4-way lumbar controls.

It was worth every penny we paid Hertz. Do you know what it’s like to drive to NYC, and not have your legs or ass hurt when you get there?

I could go on about the car, but I will leave you with this: After crossing the border to the US, we switched the onboard controls from metric to imperial, and promptly forgot that the readout was now in MPH instead of KPH. We went up to about 100-110MPH before we noticed that the cars ahead seemed to be approaching at an alarming rate. The ride is just that smooth.

New York City was very big. Overwhelmingly so.

Even more impressive than the physical scale of the city was the economic scale. Where else in the world can you support a video game store that only sells retro/weird consoles, like $500 Intellivision and Coleco bundles, or Hello Kitty Dreamcasts?

I’m having a hard time writing any of this without sounding like a tourist.

Greenwich Village was blindingly fantastic, and anything else I say on the area would be a massive understatement. The rest of Manhattan was a bit too much for me at times, to be honest. Too much money, too many shiny things. It was like a giant set of <BLINK> tags had encapsulated the borough. I much preferred the architecture (and renegade craps games) of Brooklyn, or the back to back graffiti walls of Harlem.

The Siouxsie show was fantastic. Performing with her were Budgie, Knox Chandler (guitarist/multi-instrumentalist from The Psychedelic Furs and countless other bands), Kris Pooley (keyboardist from Jane’s Addiction), and Leonard Eto (from Kodo, widely considered the world’s preeminent master of Taiko drumming).

Again, anything I say about the performance will be wildly misleading, simply because I don’t have adjectives large enough. Instead, I’ll tell you that someone made the mistake of fucking with Leslie at the show (we got your back, ), and Leslie made the shitheaded sonofabitch cry like a girl.

Didn’t know who they was fuckin with.

Back in town, the show on Tuesday was great, aside from the (surprise!) turnout. Luckily, our expenses for this show were very small. A rental van, some food and spending money, a few dollars, and flyers. It’s hard not to break even, really, given those expenses — but it was close, for a while.

There seems to be a new crowd that is starting to come out to the shows, I didn’t recognize at least half of the crowd, and they all seemed to have a blast. I would very much like to see more of them, they seemed more interested in participating than complaining and sniping.

It’s hard, though, to tell if some of the new people are being friendly because they’re friendly people, or because I’m the complete stranger with blue hair who hangs out in the DJ booth. Anyone who’s ever played a show outside their hometown will know exactly what I mean.

It was great to finally meet Caitlin, after chatting online for the last seven years or so, which is almost long enough ago that meeting people online got you strange looks from your friends.

She is smart, clever, and capable. She’d do very well here, or overseas, or anywhere she chooses to be. Here’s hoping she’ll make the choice.

375

               INT. LAIR

               Machiba walks into the room, carrying a giant steaming plate
               of spaghetti and garbageballs. He places it on the table in
               front of Robot, and steps away.

                                   ROBOT
                         Delicious. I've been looking
                         forward to this all day. I can't
                         wait to devour it with my MIGHTY
                         ROBOT JAWS.

                                   MACHIBA
                         I hope the garbageballs are to your
                         liking. I prepared them from the
                         finest dumpster juice in town.

               Taking a bite, Robot begins spewing heroic amounts of pasta
               in all directions from his mighty robot jaws.

                                   ROBOT
                         AAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGH! This garbage is
                         totally disgusting! Thank god I'm
                         not programmed to taste crap!

               We see Machiba's horrified face as Robot continues to spew
               his culinary masterpiece all over the room. His eyes narrow.

                                   MACHIBA (V.O.)
                         For years my blade has tasted
                         garbage in the search to make my
                         metallic master happy. No more.
                         Now, my blade will taste...
                         VENGEANCE!

                                   ROBOT (CONT'D)
                         What do you want me to do? Wipe my
                         robotic ass with this? If I had
                         emotions I'd totally hate this!
                         Hey, MacArthur! You wanna taste
                         this? It's like ass, but in a pasta
                         costume!

Sit down, remain, stay, abide.

In addition to introducing the word robotics to the English language, Isaac Asimov has also made another common, if less known, contribution to language. Asimov’s groundbreaking novel “Foundation” was translated into Arabic under the title “al-Qaida”.

The Arabic word qaida – ordinarily meaning “base” or “foundation” – is also used for “groundwork” and “basis”. It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example. Lane, the best Arab-English lexicon, gives these senses: foundation, basis of a house; the supporting columns or poles of a structure; the lower parts of clouds extending across a horizon; a universal or general rule or canon. With the coming of the computer age, it has gained the further meaning of “database”: qaida ma’lumat (information base).

This wouldn’t be the first time Foundation had deeply touched a radical audience, as Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo (known for the Tokyo sarin gas attacks) was working to build a community of scientific elite, as modelled in the novel. It might sound too incredible to be true, but the Bible of the Aum guild was, in fact, the Foundation series.

(Via comments in this MeFi discussion.)

Re:

Despite my sleeping adventures, I feel it important to note that I was woken up with juice, coffee, and a fantastic three-piece slow-cooked breakfast.

I’m not sure what it is I did to deserve someone like her, but I figured I had better marry her before she figures out that I’m secretly a robot I’m not a very good dancer.

Her dreams of being a ballroom dancing princess will be dashed.

incomplete but

2003++good:

Hero – One of the most beautiful films I have ever had the pleasure to watch. The finest work from China’s Fifth Generation of filmmakers.

F44-876 – New York, Illinois – Is it metal? Is it punk? Is it post-rock? It’s a mystery. A beautiful, noise-filled mystery.

Imminent – The most technically and emotionally accomplished live electronic performance I’ve ever seen.

Coil – Except for this one. I wept.

Blacksmoke – The KLF is back, and they’re very, very pissed off. Also: They have guitars, and swear a lot. Come back, Bill Drummond. All is forgiven.

Kill Bill Volume 1 – How do you have such good taste, Mr. Tarantino? I think you’re a robot. From space.

Dark Carnival – Thank you, everyone, for making it what it was.

Tick Tock, Sean, Chris Tenn – Thank you for your words, your time, and your fraternity. I treasure the time we spent together, as brief as it may be.

Jösh, Vanessa, Suzanne, Rachel, Christo, Charles, Adam, and Adam. – Thank you for your friendship and love. You are my family, truly.

Leslie – Always you, now and forever. I have nothing, without you by my side. You have taught me more of beauty, truth, and love than I had dreamed possible in this world. I will never have enough words for what you’ve given me.

2003++ungood:

The Matrix 2/3 – Why? I mean, didn’t you two bother thinking about why the first one was so kickass before you wrote two more?

The Lord of the Rings, The Cat in the Hat, and countless others – You have exploited and destroyed my childhood mythos. All the hells of a thousand prophets do not contain the torment you deserve.

The loss of so many people I had called friend, for reasons I don’t expect to fully understand.

The loss of St. Jude, Anita Borg, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, and Fred Rogers.

The loss of my faith in this culture; I fear that ‘freedom’ will forever be a dirty word to me.

The loss of my mobility, financial stability, physical ability, and confidence, in return for recurrent agony, insomnia, and delerium. I cannot express the feelings of crippling horror and helpnessness that accompany being unwillingly dependant on others.

stupid quiz

bunny_babe 60%
littleaphid 59%
dem 56%
dirtybunny 55%
cairde_luis 54%
tigertosser 45%
intercitykitty 43%
innoxia_ 42%
yulduz 36%
nextproblem 36%
demonalissa 36%
sickrobot 34%
crotchgoblin 31%
squid_pants 29%
gloominous_doom 26%
heartovmidnight 24%
neilx 22%
ironstar 22%
_descending_ 20%
violetnun 19%
substance_p 14%
joshfnlazer 13%
sloot 12%
siksyko 12%
oninochuck 12%
oninofro 10%
wildelf 9%
How sexually compatible with me are you?Take the NEW sexual compatibility quiz at LJMatch!
orkillme 102%
sexbat 102%
butterfukky 98%
reyl 98%
spiderfarmer 98%
briela 95%
x_iris_x 95%
arkane 91%
converter 91%
error853 91%
heartovmidnight 91%
neilx 91%
teye 91%
threatis 91%
zoeanonymous 91%
ironstar 87%
lacomediedivine 87%
siksyko 87%
stinkey_e 87%
yulduz 87%
substance_p 86%
cairde_luis 84%
littleaphid 84%
divine 83%
burntflowers 81%
ironstar 81%
liquidab 81%
joshfnlazer 80%
miyoku 80%
poohkenstein 80%
_li 80%
skelectica 79%
azraiel 78%
baanrys 78%
oninofro 78%
crotchgoblin 76%
_descending_ 76%
wildelf 75%
oninochuck 74%
violetnun 74%
dem 72%
dirtybunny 72%
divafairy 72%
evilunderneath 72%
khryzt 72%
lumpy_lia 72%
sickrobot 72%
squid_pants 72%
gloominous_doom 70%
sloot 70%
angel_electric 69%
bunny_babe 69%
t0yb0x 69%
sloot 65%
demonalissa 61%
eloree 61%
innoxia_ 61%
lamewhore 61%
morguecrawler 59%
intercitykitty 58%
tigertosser 58%
nextproblem 54%
raggedy_ann 47%
How compatible with me are YOU?

The Last Resort

A terrifying read about Jamaica’s Tranquility Bay – a 60K a year ‘behaviour-modification centre’ for the children of the US/UK elite.

‘You have to understand,’ a former student, who turned 18 and walked out, tries to explain. ‘The staff are constantly trying to work out what you are thinking about and constantly telling you what to think about, and then constantly checking to see if you are thinking about it. And if you’re not, and they know you’re not, you might as well be dead.’

A parent’s perspective:

‘Sure, he complained like hell at first,’ he recalls fondly. ‘Typical case of manipulation, just like they said in the handbook. He said the staff were mean and violent, they beat you, the food is terrible.’ He chuckles, pleased by the neat symmetry of the handbook and letters.

(This centre would be highly illegal on UK grounds, which is why it is located in Jamaica. Via Robot Wisdom.)