Tags: art

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Winner: Fantasy Fiction
"Toads of glory, slugs of joy," sang Groin the dwarf as he trotted jovially down the path before a great dragon ate him because the author knew that this story was a train wreck after he typed the first few words.
- Alex Hall, Greeley, CO

The winner (and runners up) of the award for worst writing of 2008, named the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, have been announced.

I'm giggling like a mental patient and making an ass of myself here at work reading these. Also, don't read this drinking Pepsi or you'll need a new monitor.
word can help write your suicide note

Internet scrapings and oddities

Starving puppies partially ate wheelchair-bound cancer victim after his daughter and caretaker abandoned him in his home.

5 of the world's best driveable wooden cars.

The world's wierdest vending machines.

Woman driving asks her passengers odd questions about faith, swerves car off road and deliberately hits cyclist, carjacks SUV, crashes SUV into other cars, crashes SUV into fence, then gets out and strips naked.

Spanish Olympic basketball team poses for picture for ad, all making a slit-eyed face with their fingers, causing predictable shitstorm.
Seriously, what did they think would happen?

Georgian reporter gets grazed by bullet on air. Throws on vest and keeps on reporting. Hardcore. Video.

Oil companies may drill off the coast of New Jersey, ruining beachgoers' view of sign-towing planes, medical waste washed up on shore, orange-tanned guidos, and fat guys with hair on their back. Since this involved New Jersey, where I lived for three years in art school, I had to include it.

Apple is now worth more than Google.

34,520 people are on a waiting list to buy a new all-electric Chevy Volt tomorrow, although it won't roll off the assembly line for another two years. Let's see if history repeats itself.

85 percent of flying public wants to see children in separate section of plane. I think the other 15 percent are just masochists.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to fine American Airlines $7.1 million for safety violations and intentionally flying planes that pilots said needed repairs.

Houses in Detroit are being sold for as little as one dollar.

US restrictions of imports from Europe have caused sperm banks to run dry of much-demanded Nordic semen, causing wannabe single moms to fly to Denmark to get pregnant.

Authorities in Queensland are on the hunt for a mob responsible for bashing a baby koala to death, attempting to stone a mother koala from its tree and pinning cane toads and nailing live magpies to trees.

An inflatable dog turd the size of a house blew away from a modern art exhibition in a Swiss museum before bringing down an electricity line and smashing a greenhouse window. The name of the sculpture is "Complex shit." Tragically, no pic :(

Man would rather fake being a cop from a nonexistant police department than pay for porn, apparently.
He said he was from the "age verification unit" and saying he wanted to make sure the performers weren't underage. It didn't work. If this job exists I want it.

Consumerist: United Airlines ruins family vacation to see dying relative in Hawaii, sells tickets to someone else, lies about it, gets caught lying about it, but still won't admit it to insurance company.

Even for evil airline stories, this one may shock you. How about:
* Holding $5,000 in tickets from a family for six months, then telling them the day before that the flight has been canceled;
* When confronted with the fact that the flight hasn't been canceled, telling the family that the reservation has been lost;
* Finally admitting that they've bumped the family from the flight and were lying about the cancellation and the lost reservation;
* Offering replacement seats on multiple planes and days, splitting the family up on different flights and depositing them at different islands;
* Offering to get them there 5 days into a 7 day vacation, part of which was scheduled to spend time with a family member who was dying in a hospice in Hawaii;
* Refusing to write a letter on the family's behalf so that they can collect their insurance payment on the house they rented but never used.

With one act of disregard, United destroyed the vacation, cost the family over $10,000 in house rental fees that they can't get back, and forced them to cancel the trip. The dying family member they didn't get to see passed away in early June.
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From this post by accomplished comic book writer and lesser god in the making warren_ellis:

I can’t tell you how many new hopeful comics writers I meet who have never finished anything in their lives because their intended first project is a hundred-episode epic that creates a whole new universe or three. And I tell them all the same thing: you’re screwed. No-one will want it. Not until you’ve written something short, capable
of being produced on a budget, and finished. Your epic may be worldchanging, but no-one will ever know because no publisher will gamble that kind of money on an unknown. And that’s before you get to the vagaries of the attention economy.


word can help write your suicide note

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word can help write your suicide note

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word can help write your suicide note

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"This is old Russian lady from Ukraine. You can see her in the middle on the photo above. She had a life full of hardships but overcame all of them, then settled in a small village in Ukraine. Her grown-up son was beating her constantly demanding to sell all her things and furniture and give all the money to him. Eventually he got into a jail and the lady was left all by herself in this house. And once she tried to draw something on the wall when she had nothing to do. She liked so much this that she went on and on and finally all her retirement money she spent on the paint to turn all her house into an art gallery. Just take a look."

English Russia blog: Old Lady's House

On the delicious English Russia blog ("just because something cool happens daily on 1/6 of the Earth surface").
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I shall look up so my tears don't fall: Sukiyaki and Japan Airlines Flight 123.

Ue o muite arukō is a song you probably have heard a lot of times as covers, usually named "Sukiyaki" in English-speaking countries. It's the one that usually begins as "It's all because of you / I'm feeling sad and blue."

The original song was performed by a Japanese singer named Kyu Sakamoto and was a hit in his native country in 1961 before also hitting number one in the United States in 1963.

It is in fact the only completely Japanese language song to top the American charts to date.

The song was first loosely translated into English by A Touch of Honey in 1981, and most recently by 4PM in 1995, and by a myriad of artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Snoop Dogg have covered or sampled it in between. There is even a Spanish version by Hispanic diva Selena. Several versions have topped the charts worldwide at various different times.

The translation is very loose: ..."A Taste of Honey's Janice Marie Johnson is quoted as saying that when she translated the original Japanese lyrics into English, she found out that the lyrics could be interpreted in three ways: as a man on his way to his execution, as someone trying to be optimistic despite life's trials, or as the story of an ended love affair. "Me being the hopeless romantic that I am," she explained, "I decided to write about a love gone bad." Thus, the English version featured lyrics like: "In reality/You and I will never be/'Cause you took your love away from me." (Wikipedia article)

However, the original song and title translate more accurately as:

"I shall look up / so my tears don't fall."

The verses of the song go on to describe him doing this through the seasons of the year.

On August 12, 1985, Kyu Sakamoto, the original singer of this haunting song, boarded Japan Airlines Flight 123. Twelve minutes into the flight, the vertical stabilizer (the tail) literally fell off the aircraft, a Boeing 747 jumbo jet with 519 passengers and 15 cabin crew.

While this is in itself a fatal wound, as a plane without a tail is nearly uncontrollable, the tail also ripped off all four hydraulic systems, meaning the pilots had no surface control systems (flaps, slats, all those flappy things on the wings) of any kind. The massive aircraft began porpoising, flipping up and down randomly, in what is called a Phugoid cycle, typical behavior for a paralyzed plane in the air.

For the next thirty two minutes of sheer unimaginable terror for everyone on board, the pilots bravely struggled to keep the crippled aircraft in the air using what little control they had, which came in the form of innovatively manipulating the engine thrust. But it was still clearly hopeless. With no tail, no hydraulics and control surfaces at all, the aircraft was simply doomed. It was just a matter of time.

The passengers began writing farewell notes to their loved ones. Kyu Sakamoto wrote a letter to his wife.

Some had no access to writing instruments and cut themselves to write their farewell notes in their own blood.

At six minutes past seven pm, the giant aircraft plunged through dark skies towards a remote, mountainous area near a quiet village named Ueno in Japan.

It slammed into a mountain, flipped over once, and came to rest upside down in flames.

The screams and moans of survivors amidst the wreckage slowly quietened one by one as the hours of the night bled by slowly and help did not come.

Hampered by the remote location and terrain, rescue teams arrived over twelve hours after the crash. They found only four survivors.

Japan Airlines Flight 123 still stands as the worst air disaster involving a single aircraft. 520 passengers perished.

The ensuing investigtion into the cause of the crash revealed a rushed maintenance job by the ground crew. Their failure to follow procedure to Boeing's instructions perfectly had caused the rear bulkhead to weaken and fail in flight, bursting open and tearing the tail off, which also severed all hydraulic lines in the process.

In the aftermath, Japan Air's passengers dropped by a third. Its president resigned, and one of the ground crew maintenance managers committed suicide as an "apology" to the victims and their grieving loved ones. Without admitting liability, JAL paid 780 million yen to the families of the victims of Flight 123.

Among the many grieving families were Catherine Bayly of England and her unborn child. Her husband was a banker named Akihisa Yukawa. One month after the crash, Catherine Bayly gave birth to Diana Yukawa.

At the age of 5, Diana mastered the violin, clearly a musical prodigy.

At a memorial service for Flight 123 victims, young Diana performed "Sukiyaki" on her violin in memory of her father whom she never got to know. She also played another piece, Elegy, that was composed by a man whose wife and child perished in the crash.

The performance made her a media sensation for her phenomenal talent and led to her eventual success while still a teenager.

Shortly before the Japanese release of her CD, she returned to the site of the crash with her violin for another performance of Sukiyaki, as a gift and message to her father.


YouTube of the original Sukiyaki song, Ue o muite arukō, by Kyu Sakamoto, 1963.

YouTube of the popular cover, Sukiyaki, by 4 PM, 1995.

"The anniversary happens to fall during the holiday of Obon, when the souls of the dead are said to return home. Crowds of mourners scale this mountain on this day every year to remember the disaster. They all fall silent as Diana Yukawa, 15, picks up her violin. She shuts her eyes and plays a tune by the singer Kyu Sakamoto, who also died in the crash. The song topped charts around the world in 1963 (in the U.S., it was called Sukiyaki) and is popular again in Japan thanks to the plaintive rendition Diana plays in sold-out concerts and on a best-selling debut CD, which is dedicated to her father and other victims of the crash. When she finishes, she walks calmly into a log cabin and bursts into tears." - Time article.
word can help write your suicide note

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Clock sculpture with more than 150 analog hands spells out the name of the hour.

Christiaan Postma's "Clock" is a cunning arrangement of hour- and minute-hands on a black background. As the hands swing around, they spell out the name of the present hour.

The word “three” completely appears when it’s exactly 3 o’clock and will then transform again as time passes. The word “four” begins to appear and at exactly 4 o’clock the word “four” is clearly visible. The word “three” is by then totally vanished and no longer readable.

Link includes an animation showing how the words appear and disappear as all those tiny clock arms rotate and rotate. Amazing.

Via BoingBoing.